As I’ve previously mentioned, this game was not my finest hour (or two). Fortunately, it wasn’t my opponent’s either. Capture and Control mission with a Pitched battle setup. I place my objective on the top of a two storey building with no stairs thinking that a good placement. Then turn 1, my opponent pointed out that there was no way I could get my Hellions to claim it and still be within squad coherency. The squads were too large (18 strong) and I couldn’t fit more than four on the building. Arse. I hadn’t realised this and it hit my plans fairly hard. This changed the battle from a Capture and Control mission to a Let’s Beat The Shit Out Of Each Other For A Single Objective mission. A single objective deep in my opponent’s deployment zone. To make matters worse (and to emphasize the fact that neither of our heads were quite in the game) both of us had deployed spread out across the entire board. I have no idea why. I set up first turn and did this, and I think my opponent just mirrored the setup to engage as many of my forces as possible. I’m not sure. Either way: bad move from both of us.
The battle carried on as you’d expect, really. Splinter fire did for a fair number of the Long Fang fire, but my vehicles were still popping like bubblewrap. The spread deployment helped neither of us. Despite the mission requirements, the Space Wolf objective was fairly sparsely defended, just a squad of Long Fangs and another of Grey Hunters which both fell to a Hellion charge in turn 4, with the squad populating the scenery and capturing the objective. This was unfortunately contested by a small Rhino Rush and a squad of Grey Hunters cropping up Turn 5. To make matters worse, he charged the Hellions with his Rune Priest to drag my only remaining scoring unit off the objective, leaving his Hunters as the sole scoring unit in range and capturing the objective.
We had timed out by this point and had the TO tapping his foot impatiently at our game, grudgingly allowing us to finish the assault phase. The problem for me with the Rune Priest combat was the fact that if I won, there was a 50/50 chance of not getting back into contestation range for the objective, thereby giving my opponent a sneaky (but well-deserved) win. Fortunately though (and in one of those oddly counter intuitive examples), my Hellions utterly sucked in hand to hand combat and only inflicted 1 wound on the Priest, resulting in a drawn combat. This was the best thing that could have happened. The drawn combat meant that I didn’t have to do a Morale test and then the squad simply Hit and Run out, easily placing themselves neatly back on the objective! We ended the game there, much to the relief of the exasperated TO. It was a draw, hard fought, but with my opponent scoring about 500 more victory points than me.
Playing the way I did, I should have lost that game. I was not playing decently and was suffering a little to nerves (I still get nervous at tournaments) and First Game Syndrome. But, as a mitigating factor, my opponent was using a list (indeed an entire army) he wasn’t used to, as he spent most of his games as a Dark Eldar player, switching to Space Wolves for the tournament because he wanted to try something a little different. That would explain why his las/plas Razorbacks were merrily skipping about the board, wasting my vehicles when they normally wouldn’t have been able to fire. Or loosing off both armaments when they had already moved. It can take a while to get used to non-Fast vehicles. The big deal was that I only noticed this and pointed it out on Turn 5! I should have picked this up damn near immediately. And it could have resulted in a much different game, but it was sadly not to be. Still, I wasn’t unhappy with a draw. It turned out to be the best result on our team. Everyone else got beaten down as we feared!
Anyway, the worst was over now right?