The Battle for Hab 25 : Space Wolves vs Iron Warriors

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It had been a day since Execution Pack Grylfyr had landed, and the civilians of the local area had ceased their panicked looting and fled from the Space Wolves.  Advancing on an Administratum building that had been ruined in the initial bombardment from the Void Howl, he stopped and instinctively knew his allies had stopped behind him – movement.  Heavy movement.  The Iron Warriors were here, and they had brought something big…


Two sentences.  That was the entire exchange Avor Kevron had had with Jarl Grylfyr before he had launched the invasion of his planet.  Scans revealed the bodies of multiple civilians that had been caught in the initial bombardment, and the Warsmith of New Messicca had determined that he would kill every single interloper on his world.  It had taken him less than a Terran day to muster an expeditionary force, and the ruins of Hab 25 would be where he would blunt this attack before it began…

Space Wolves vs Iron Warriors, 1,700 points.
Hammer and Anvil, Shatter Strike

DEPLOYMENT

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Both sides have gone for a fairly conventional battle line, with one unit in support – the Space Wolves have a unit of Grey Slayers backing up the Jarl and Varagyr, whereas the Iron Warriors have the Havocs on a tower in the back.  The Deathsworn are brutal if they get into melee, so I’ve put the Contemptor opposite them to try to intercept them before they get their axes into something…

IRON WARRIORS TURN ONE

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Krak missiles streaked through the air and impacted into the Space Wolves’ Command Squad, leaving the first rank in the dirt and the enemy force leaderless before the battle had even truly joined.  Elsewhere, Iraed, the Contemptor Dreadnought that had answered Kevron’s call, raked the front line of the Deathsworn – all down the battle line, the casualties were not large but they were certainly important.  Kevron smiled in his helmet – the Rout would regret ever coming to his home…

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Yeeah I keep putting my Warlords at the front and wondering what happened when Instant Death weapons hit and kill them.  Grylfyr’s bodyguards and AEther-rune armour did a pretty good job of keeping him alive, but Kevron seized the initiative and managed to bring him down before he got a chance for Endurance to kick in.  Only 5 models were killed this first turn, but those five models were Grylfyr, two of his bodyguards, a Deathsworn and a Varangyr from a lucky bolt round – none of these are small losses.  Still, the Chosen passed their leadership test and may be able to do some damage themselves?

SPACE WOLVES TURN ONE

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Without pausing for breath, the Space Wolves began a sprint toward the Iron Warriors force that ended in tragedy.  Where Grey Slayer Pack Jaeger rounded the corner of the Administratum building, they got gunned down by the accursed dreadnought and, while Grey Slayer Pack Gunnar got into melee with their opposite numbers, Gunnar himself charged straight onto his target’s chainsword and got to watch his internal organs spill across the mud of Hab 25.  Even as Gunnar’s subordinates tore into the rest of the unit, the survivors steeled themselves, knowing their allies were close at hand…

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10 points for Artificer Armour is great.  It’s nice, dirt cheap and allows you to be awesome by putting your unit leaders out front to take multiple bolt rounds that would take out a few other soldiers…  When they work.  This turn, an overwatching dreadnought gunned down one Grey Slayer sergeant, and a tactical squad sergeant with no weapon upgrades taking out the other in a challenge – the Space Wolves’ dice this turn were so bad that 21 Ws5 S5 attacks followed by 4 Ws5 S9 attacks that ignore armour killed a whole 4 enemies.  Time to weather the counter-charge, but I can’t imagine this is gonna be pretty…

END OF TURN ONE VPs – IRON WARRIORS 1, SPACE WOLVES 0

IRON WARRIORS TURN TWO

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As the soldiers of Garrison 132 ran forward, their firepower made itself known as Signaller Threx managed to triangulate his allies’ pict-feeds to call in some pinpoint artillery, blowing apart an entire Grey Slayer unit.  Across the field, Tactical Squad Beta ran to relieve Tactical Squad Gamma, cutting down the Grey Slayers on the other flank.  In the centre, Kevron led his men into the remnants of Grylfyr’s command squad, slaughtering them all.  The Iron Warriors had broken the back of the Space Wolves expeditionary force, but Kevron looked about, suddenly realising that the elite Varagyr were on one side of him, and the other were the psychopathic Deathsworn…

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So a little bit of behind the scenes here.  I run these games a few times to make sure I have the special rules down and that it’s not TOO comically unbalanced on one side.  In these games, they’ve always been close bloodbaths with the Space Wolves getting an across the board charge on the first turn and the Iron Warriors survivors dealing a ton of damage on the counter-attack.  Without the Howl of the Death Wolf, the Grey Slayers didn’t get the charges and the Iron Warriors haven’t needed to counter charge, they’re just charging.  That said, the Wolf Guard and Deathsworn are still alive, and they’re what usually get the kills.  Time to find out how that goes!

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SPACE WOLVES TURN TWO

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Aware that the end was at hand, the Deathsworn wordlessly ran at the enemy Warsmith, and Thegn Jalgyr took his Varagyr into the largest enemy unit he could see.  While Jalgyr slaughtered his enemies without mercy, the Deathsworn simply ran into the hammers of Warsmith Kevron, dying to a man while their blades bounced off the field generated by his Iron Halo, leaving a whole three Space Wolves left conscious on the field…

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Wow.  So that was a slaughter – I thought the Deathsworn would at least get the Slay the Warlord VP!  I think that, as fast as the Space Wolves are, they need some transports to basically help confirm some charges or the next few games will be just as one-sided!

Still, got a few good lessons out of this – the Space Wolves NEED the charge, and could do with more easily accessible anti-tank to take down the dreadnoughts, while the Iron Warriors need something to actually take the hit, seeing as every time they get into melee both sides lose everything!  Well, tune in next week (probably!) to see how the expansions work out!

The bridge crew of the Void Howl watched the battle unfold below them in horror, as the tide of Iron Warriors washed over the Space Wolves.  One helmsman broke from his terrified stupor long enough to activate the runes of his allies’ teleport transponders and rallied all available apothecaries.  He prayed to the allfather that they could save as many as possible but, even now, he feared the worst.


Kevron watched as the bodies disappeared.

“They’re fleeing.  We’ve routed them.”  He allowed himself a small joke at his foes’ expense as a marine ran up to him.

“My lord, what are your orders?”

“Search for survivors and rally rebuilding teams.  If that ship is still in orbit, hail them again.  Let’s see if they want to talk now.”  He looked up at the stars, sick with the feeling that this wasn’t over…

Garrison 132 : Iron Warriors 1,700 Point List

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Avor Kevron looked out over the assembled crowd, both saddened and heartened.  He had been sent to New Messicca to provide order and had found a lawless hellhole of a mining world but, over the last thirty years, his followers and he had built it up to a truly civilised world populated by humans that could be useful to the Imperium.  Today, however, he was here to deal with a criminal – worse, one of his own Astartes.  Hushin Olvar was a good man, and a good soldier, but he had not only murdered a man, he had outright stated he should be executed as a result.

Kevron could not bring himself to pass judgement himself – he had seen the helmet pict-feed, and had he caught that man doing what he was doing to who he was doing it to…  He was glad he hadn’t been in a position to have to have to remind himself to take him in alive himself.  Still, they found themselves in a position with Kevron standing in full armour on the top of the Administratum building and Olvar chained to the door frame in a plain hessian robe at the bottom.  He paused for a second and took a deep breath.

“The law applies to all of us, for we are all working towards a better future, and if we cannot be trusted, we do not deserve to see it.  While discharging his duties, this man unlawfully killed an unarmed civilian, and we need you to know that we judge ourselves as harshly as we would any other murderer.  He has killed, and he must face judgement.”

Kevron made himself watch as Jerrok Vharn, the 132nd’s Chaplain, drew his sword and, with one smooth motion, removed Olvar’s head.  The crowd cheered a little, but it was a solemn atmosphere.  The people of this world respected the law and, in return, he would keep them safe.  He glanced up to the stars – he could feel it, something big was coming…

I started Iron Warriors years ago with the Betrayal at Calth.  I like games that are bloodbaths and, win or lose, Iron Warriors always deliver the goods.  As a force that is narratively neutral, I run them as the opposite of whatever my opponent is playing so everyone gets to use their abilities – I figure it only makes sense.

This army is made using the Hammer of Olympia Rite of War.  Because it requires an extra Troops and Heavy Support choice, there isn’t a huge amount of choice at this level, but I do love being able to rapid fire then charge, and it’s not like I wouldn’t be taking those Havocs anyway!


HQ

Warsmith Avor Kevron
Praetor (upgraded to Warsmith) armed with Volkite Charger, Master-Crafted Thunder Hammer and Paragon Blade.  Equipped with an Iron Halo, Melta Bombs, Digital Lasers and a Servo-Arm.  Has the Shatter Defences Warlord Trait.*

Command Squad Kevron : 4 Chosen and a Standard Bearer.  All have Melta Bombs.
Standard Bearer has a Power Axe and Bolt Pistol.
Chosen have Volkite Chargers, Power Axes and Bolt Pistols.

Signaller Iairon Threx
Master of Signals armed with a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword.  Equipped with Melta Bombs, Artificer Armour and a Refractor Field.

ELITES

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon
One Contemptor Dreadnought with Kheres Assault Cannon, Power Fist with in-built Combi Bolter and Extra Armour

TROOPS

10-man Tactical Squad.  Whole unit has Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Combat Blades.
Sergeant equipped with Artificer Armour and Melta Bombs.  One marine has a Vexilla and one has a Nuncio Vox.

10-man Tactical Squad.  Whole unit has Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Combat Blades.
Sergeant equipped with Artificer Armour and Melta Bombs.  One marine has a Vexilla and one has a Nuncio Vox.

10-man Tactical Squad.  Whole unit has Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Combat Blades.
Sergeant equipped with Artificer Armour and Melta Bombs.  One marine has a Vexilla and one has a Nuncio Vox.

HEAVY SUPPORT

10 Iron Havocs.  Whole unit has Missile Launchers with Frag, Krak and Flakk Missiles.
Sergeant equipped with Artificer Armour.

*For the ease of play, I’m gonna generate all Warlord Traits (admittedly not a thing here) and Psychic Powers and use the same ones in each game.