I have been playing 40k with my Gallic Chum Lionel for probably a decade or so and we have a fairly relaxed attitude to army composition. The key thing for us is to have a partly competitive but definitely fun game so when Lionel said he like to run all of his wolf cavalry as a 2k point Unbound list, I was happy to take him on. I gave him the choice of opposition from my five armies and he picked Orks: very fluffy for the Space Wolves.
His list had a wolf-mounted Ironpriest with cyber-pups , Leman Russ himself (Santa!), a Vindicare assassin, two lords on wolfback, Longfangs, two units of four wolf cavalry and a damn Vindicator. The cultist at the front was just photo-bombing.
I decided to see if Orks could do cavalry as well. I also wanted to field as much S5 and above ranged weaponry. A squad of three Buggies and two Wartrakks with Twin-Linked Big Shootas, seven old school Warbikes (Nob with Powerklaw), 21 Shoota Boyz, a Dakka Jet, a squad of three TL Rokkit Koptas and one TL Big-Shoota Kopta. Twelve ‘Ard Boyz in a Trukk (Nob with Klaw again), four Mega-armoured Nobs, MA Warboss, MA Big Mek, Mad Dok Grotsnik and seven Lootas. So impressive were they that even fellow writer
Elvis Mark (cracking trainers -Ed) turned up to look at them.
As is our norm, we decided on simple kill points and standard victory conditions. I won the roll for deployment and set up first: Hammer and Anvil, Night Fight.
The MA Nobs, Grotsnik and the Warboss were in one battlewagon, the MA Big Mek and Lootas in the other. As MA is slow and purposeful, I could move the wagon 6″ and still fire the Lootas normally.
Whether it was tactical acumen or simply that the heater was on in that corner, Lionel set up top left of the board. This would give my bikes a looooong ride to engage.
The initiative was not seized and so my forces swept forward. Insomuch as a I had a game plan, it was to shoot the cavalry as much as possible without becoming engaged. The mega-armoured nobs and co would then tackle the survivors. The highlight of my turn was managing to use the Koptas to stun the Vindicator and take two hull points off it. The Lootas, wagons and buggies managed to cause only a couple of wounds on the cavalry.
Space Wolves turn one saw Lionel’s cavalry roar forwards at full speed and the Vindicare took out the gunner on the trukk.
I’d left my Warboss’s wagon too far forward and immediately paid the price as the Space Wolves wrecked it. The boyz bailed out and prepared to exact their revenge.
Orks turn two saw the bikers advance and put a few shots into the Long Fangs on the hill but no casualties were caused. The Koptas had better luck and wrecked the Vindicator. The trukk reversed out of sight of the assassin and the Shoota Boyz hunkered down in the building. Happily, my Dakka Jet had arrived from reserve and between it and the other massed Ork firepower, I managed to kill three wolf cavalry.
The Ork HQ lost a MA Nob but failed to kill the cavalry in return which meant they’d be liable to receive another power-armoured puppy charge.
Space Wolves turn two started as expected, one unit of wolf cavalry charged the Warboss and retinue. Much more unexpected was a Lord and Ironpriest coming over the wrecked Vindicator and making a beeline for the Koptas. To add to the Koptas’ woes, the Long Fangs targeted them with Plasma Cannons and Lascannnon. Some good Jink rolls meant that only a single wound was suffered.
The Ironpriest and Lord decided to finish them the old-fashioned way.
This ended badly for the Koptas and the victorious Space Wolves consolidated into cover.
Santa Russ had decided to get in on the act and crashed into my beleaguered Warboss. Mad Dok Grotsnik suffered the ignominious fate of being crushed by the wolves as they charged in. Lionel (and I) found this immensely funny. That set the tone for the combat and the Orks were wiped out.
My third turn became a desperate affair of trying pour enough firepower into the cavalry without getting charged in return. The Buggies made a break for it along the top whilst the bikes finally got in range of the Long Fangs. The Dakka-Jet had been forced to Jink in the previous turn and only managed to drop two cyber-wolves. None of the cavalry even took a wound.
Between dakka and Power Klaw, the Long Fangs were wiped out but the bikes were quite depleted.
The Space Wolves had taken exception to their revered ancients getting tyre marks across their faces and the Ironpriest and Lord came to remonstrate. Amazingly, the Biker Nob survived the initial onslaught with one wound.
Space wolves turn three. Russ turned and smashed the remaining Battle Wagon, the explosion killing three of the Lootas onboard.
The Big Mek and Lootas
retreated tactically withdrew into cover and poured fire into the remaining wolf cavalry. Between them and the Lootas they managed to take out the last regular wolf cavalry model. Only the Lord and Russ were left this side of the battlefield.
To add to the fun, the ‘Ard Boyz charged and mullered the Vindicare assassin.
Things were looking properly grim at the start of Space Wolves turn four. Russ eyed-up the Lootas and fancied his chances.
Equally, the Ironpriest and Lord (having disposed of the Nob in combat) saw the ‘Ard Boyz as scum to be cleansed.
The Ork HQ’s run of terrible dice continued as the Mega-Armoured Big Mek fell victim to Hammer of Wrath after rolling double one on his armour save. The Lootas dropped quickly afterwards and the wolves consolidated towards the Buggies.
The ‘Ard Boyz put up more of a fight and stayed in combat despite severe losses.
The Orks turn saw little movement. The trukk went for Linebreaker. the Dakka-Jet flew back on and the Buggies retreated up the board away from Russ. The Shoota Boyz stayed put in their cosy fortification figuring they were probably safe now.
The ‘Ard Boyz managed to take out the Ironpriest before being wiped out to a greenskin. The final Space Wolves turn saw the Buggies smashed from both sides and completely wrecked.
Time was again against us and it was obvious that my last Orks would go the way that all the others had. We tallied the points up and it was a clear victory to the Space Wolves by 13 points to 7.
It was a thoroughly-enjoyable game and nice for both of us to run a different sort of list. Lionel already has plans for a 2000 point, all-cavalry list. He just needs a few more wolves…
Me? I’m bring this: