Wednesday, 28 March 2012

40k UK GT: Saga of the Defeated....

"Gather round pups and let me tell you a tale of woe..."

Well it wasn't that bad, but by god it was frustrating.

I won't go into a full "stato" breakdown of the numbers as Neil Kerr has done a good job already. But as one of the 6 Space Wolves I played 4 of the 25 Grey Knights in a field of 114 players.

Now I will make it clear now that I am not whinging about the Grey Knight Codex itself. In the big bad days of leafblower, IG where my bread and butter (Thanks to wolf Scouts), but even IG where rare with only 3 players present.

I came 85th, with 1 win (Grey Knights), 1 draw (Blood Angels - almost tabled him), and 4 losses (3x GK Henchman spam, Deamon Cavary with Fateweaver).

Anyway I would go over the games I played, but I think it's irrelevant. I made the same mistake over and over - I tried to fight my way out against the odds, and made mistakes (hindsight is great) again and again - one of which cost me a draw against the Deamons.

Out of the 4 GK armies i played the 3 I lost to where all Henchman spam in one form or another - and two of them where 80% similar:

4-6 units of Acolytes in Razorbacks
2 Units of Assassins in Razorbacks or Land Raider Redeemers or a Storm Raven
3-4 Psyflemen Dreadnoughts

Now someone asked in my last post why a Psyflemen Dreadnought is better than a full unit of Missile Launcher Long Fangs - well the Long fangs get 5 shots, so that's roughly 3 hits a turn, the Dreadnought gets the same but with re-rolls so you are looking at consistently 4 hits a turn. But the big difference is that on that turn you only get 1 hit the Dreadnought gets to re-roll his misses - Long Fangs don't, and this happened alot! Also the Dreadnought has fortitude so it's nigh impossible to stun lock him, and on top of that unlike the Long Fangs he is mobile. Then there is the comparable point costs:

Grey Knight Dreadnought, 2 Twin Linked Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo = 135
6 Long fangs, 5 Missile Launchers = 140

Granted the Dreadnought can die in one shot, but all the same a unit of Long Fangs can run off the table after taking only 2 wounds.

This comparison can continue though out the pair of codices, where Wolves had the upper hand (Razorback spam) Grey Knights get Fortitude, Psybolt Ammo, and Twin Linked Weaponry that becomes more effective due to the Psybolt ammo. Granted Wolves will take Las/plas-backs GK get in more Razorbacks who may only be spitting out St6 but it's Quantity, some quality and lots of reliability (Twin linked, Fortitude) vs quality that isn't twin linked.

Last year my friend Walter said about his old vanilla marine army "Who wants to waste shots at a (Heavy) Bolter(razor)backs"

Well now thanks to super cheap Henchmen and Psybolt ammo - EVERYONE!

How times have changed.

Skill > Codex 

Of course all this doesn't matter as I played like a total chump. I have had no real practice, and no practice what so ever vs Grey Knights (never mind henchman spam) and it showed, as all I have said so far is from the experience of those 3 or 4 games.

In retrospect my Rune Priest was terrible! He only stopped 3 powers all weekend and there was fortitude and hammerhand everywhere. In addition as much as I love Wolf Scouts (and I LOVE them!) I will have to dump them. A smart player can nullify their potential targets, or you get bad reserve rolls. Every game I would of rather had another unit of Grey Hunters or 2 Lone Wolves to cock block nasty units, but with Death Cult Assassins I think even Lone Wolves might of had their day in the sun cut short.

So where does leave us dying breed of Russ's sons?

Well for one I think my Dual Land Raider idea has some merits. It is working for Blood Angels but they do get a 35 point discount on theirs without taking up Heavy Support choices.  I think Long Fangs have had it - controversial I know, but like Hydras, Vendettas, and Thunder Hammer Death Stars before them people have adapted, found their achilles heel and have worked their way around them, same for the Wolf Scouts. But this is what happens when one codex or army list is saturated at a tournament or event. The more there is the quicker players adapt.  

Like Imperial Guard, Space Wolves of the "competitive future" need to mix things up. We only have a few months till (rumored) 6th edition comes out so it's back to the free for all but in these last few twilight months of 5th edition it's time to get radical, and Guard and Wolves have the tools to mix things up.

Next event for me is Open War in 17 on the 14th of April, followed by War of the Roses in May, and then Blog Wars 3 in June.

I might take the Dual Land Raider build to one of those, but for Open War I have submitted a Imperial Guard List that I will go through in a few days time.


  1. Thought I'd chip in.

    The biggest reason why Wolves lose to the Henchmen GK list is because the Henchmen GK list does everything a Razor back oriented Wolf List wants to do except better. As you pointed out, Dreads > Long Fangs, Psybacks > Las/Plas Backs. Lastly, Death Cultists > Grey Hunters, just in general.

    Basically, where Wolves could essentially produce a threatening shooting game has now been basically eclipsed because GKs can produce the same list except more damaging, survivable, and cheaper.

    More body heavy or infantry heavy Wolf lists can stand up better to the Henchmen lists. This relies less on Wolf shooting and more on Wolf resiliency. At the end of the day, shooting Psybacks and Dreads at 50+ Space Wolf bodies is very tedious. DCA are good, but they get slaughtered in the shooting phase and can only kill one squad as a result, if you play smart and don't let them multi-assault.

    I also think you should seriously consider before removing scouts. One thing to try is put melta bombs on them. Scouts are still an awesome unit, and again GKs provide one of the best anti-Dread units you can get. The reason is very often you multi-assault into multiple GK dreads, and with melta bombs, actually have a good chance of hurting them.

    Granted, the GK player can counter-assault with DCA, but to do so, he's now getting stuck in his back field.

  2. Thing is with the scouts the one time they could, my opponent kept his dreads on the back line and flanked them with razorbacks, and spent the whole game having a slap fight with a douche grenade inquisitor and 4 Acolytes.

    As for a pure foot SW list I lack the models so that's why I have gone for the idea of a Dual Raider List, or a Leman Russ Heavy Guard list.

    I have had in the past better success doing things my way rather than trying to bend to the meta, so I think I might listen to my gut more.

    Loving the podcast Neil, those GK games would of been total wipe outs if I wasn't a listener!

  3. I really liked how my GT list played out mate, the mass of Grey Hunters pushing forward really punished the Grey Knight armies I faced. Granted I lost against Josh but I blame that on me playing like a complete derp! I played 2 Death Star Blood Angel lists, 3 Acolyte spam lists and an Eldar player. The list ate the Deathstars with ease and the Grey Knights armies ran out of steam once those Grey Hunter packs were amongst them, I really think its the way forward at the minute but having said that 6th edition could change it all and I won't be able to test it again this edition by the looks of things.

    My next tourney is Botch in July and I'll be running my Logan list for that as a 5th edition swansong, lets hope 6th freshens up our codex.

  4. Quite the bold statement, I still think Long Fangs have their place, they're a massive deterrent to armies that cannot take a hit out of cover. While scouts make a mess of Dreads if they get rear armour shots and armed with Melta bombs they're good against them in combat as well. While the rest of the army should be geared to take out light transports, I don't remember the last time is faced or even saw a plasma gun heavy army at tournament, and I do believe 2 plasma gun shots are better than 1 meltagun shot against a razorback/rhino.

  5. Hey I think I was the BA player who you drew (thanks to my shenanigans :-P)! At least you didn't play the ONLY deathwing army at the tournament, and lose purely because you had nothing to bloody kill it! Was a good game though, thought I was done for from the start when you immobilised ALL my transports before I even moved.

  6. Hi Tom.

    I would of loved to playe the death wing army If only for the fluff reasons. It was nice to play you and your great looking blood angels, maybe we might cross swords again in the future!