Friday, July 17, 2015

Battle of the Brie: 1500pts of Cheese Harlequins/Eldar vs Space Wolves/Ultramarines

The Harlequins of the Masque of the Third Act had suffered greatly in the weeks since their exile from the Frozen Stars, having to fend off predation from both Dark Eldar of Elian Maiburiarch and Orks of Warboss Morgutz-Ear. Despite the unwanted attention, the Third Act had managed to keep the majority of their nascent Masque intact, and had even managed to acquire several gargantuan Wraithknight frames, as their family members from the Craftworlds had come to join them. The Troupe Master that had come to be known as the Willow Prince was glad for his family's company, they were what all the Third Act had rebelled against the Frozen Stars for. He watched the recently arrived Bonesingers working on the Wraithknight frames, musing on how far the Third Act had come. A crystalline chime stirred him from his thoughts. Intruders had neared an entrance to the webway....

1500 pts between Alan's combined Power Armour army and my Harlies with WK support. We both agreed to bring cheese lists so there was no quarter given.

Space Wolves/Ultramarines
1 x Rune Priest with Force Axe and Storm Shield
6 x Thunderwolf Cavalry with Storm Shields and 2 Power fists
Skyhammer Annihilation Force with Grav Cannons and Grav Amps
Grey Hunters with 2 Plasma guns, Drop Pod with Locator Beacon

2 x Cegorach's Jest formations (Troupes with Caresses in Starweavers, Skyweavers, Voidweaver)
2 x Wraithknights (2 x Heavy Wraithcannons, 1 x Ghostglaive and Shield, 2 x Shuriken Cannons, 2x Scatter lasers)

The Masque of the Third Act

Harlequin Deployment, hiding from the Skyhammer

The view downfield, Thunderwolf Cavalry hiding from all the D attacks

The Skyhammer all set to enter
Alan hid his Wolves well, my Wraithknights could only see one. Which was promptly killed by a volley of Wraithcannon fire.
As the ruins of an ancient city received the first rays of dawn's early light, the Third Act positioned themselves to intercept the intruders. Sensors had shown that a mon-keigh vessel had entered low orbit, and long experience told the Willow Prince that an airborne assault would soon follow. The Wraithknights hid themselves in large ruins, while the Starweavers of the Masque also stayed out of sight. A strong smell of wet dog and mon-keigh alcohol wafted across the battlefield, and he saw movement in the ruins ahead. Battle would soon be joined...

I deploy everything in ruins to give myself 4+ cover against his Skyhammer grav cannons, in case he brings them in on the first turn. Alan's wolves were deployed out of LOS, but one could be seen through a window. Two heavy wraithcannon shots quickly took care of him. nothing else could be seen, so the Sword Wraithknight ran to get the charge in next turn.

This drop pod had a locator beacon, to bring in the Skyhammer without scatter.

Grey Hunters with bolters and plasma shoot...

... and wipe out the Voidweaver for first blood!
The Harlequins had taken some sacrificial casualties with little caused in return, thanks to the Space Marine assault. Nevertheless, the time was ripe to spring the ambush on the intruders, and the Willow Prince ordered his forces to engage. As one, Skyweavers and Starweavers swept forward, spraying the marines on the ground with shurikens and star bolas. With a covering volley of shuriken cannon fire, a Wraithknight charged into the Space Wolves' cavalry. Despite their vaunted courage, the elite warriors fled after losing two of their brethren. The remaining marines, seeing their support flee, voxed for reinforcements...

The Ghostglaive Wraithknight kills two Thunderwolves and the rest run off the board! Meanwhile, the Wraithcannon WK fails to destroy the locator beacon drop pod, which meant that the Skyhammer formation could come in without scatter next turn. Uh-oh.

Between the Ghostglaive and Stomps, the Thunderwolves have their tails between their legs, and hightail it off the board!

They prefer the comFURts of home...

Like a maniature meteor shower, three drop pods fell from the sky on tails of flame, marking the Ultramarines' response to the Space Wolves' calls for aid. The pods' doors fell open with resounding crashes, and blue-armoured marines poured out. Displaying their famed discipline and training, the Devastators poured their fire into the Wraithknight that had routed the Thunderwolves, bringing it down with a thunderous volley of grav cannon fire. Elsewhere on the battlefield, staccato explosions marked the death of another Voidweaver, with the recently arrived Assault Marines making short work of the lightly armoured vehicle...

Complete carnage when the Skyhammer formation comes in, with the Grav cannons killing off the Ghostglaive Wraithknight and taking a wound or two off the Wraithcannon one. The Assault Marines wreck the last Voidweaver. Skyweaver jetbikes still survive, but only till Alan's next shooting phase. Thankfully the Harlequin Troupes are still at full strength.

Down comes the Skyhammer
Assault marines prepare to charge the second Voidweaver

Grav wipes out a heroic Wraithknight, who absorbed 30 Grav shots with rerolls to wound and hit before dying!

The Assault Marines destroy the second Voidweaver and begin rioting!!!

Wrecked! Those are amazing LED markers btw, many thanks to TG

The Harlequin forces had suffered several blows, losing much of their heavy support to the Space Marine reinforcements, but they had the marines right where they wanted them. Like a maestro worthy of his title of Troupe Master, the Willow Prince had funneled the enemy into the centre of the city, and they were now in a killing zone. The remainder of the Masque swept into the Space Marines like a whirlwind, tearing apart several Devastators in sprays of gore. Onwards they fought, carving a bloody furrow into the massed human warriors, who were so slow as to appear statuesque next to the quicksilver Harlequins...

Harlies charge into combat and across several assault phases, wipe out most of the Devastators and Assault Marines, with little losses of their own. At this point, the greater mobility of the Troupes/Starweavers and the durability of the last remaining Wraithknight mean that Alan's pods and marines can't do much to take objectives and we call it. GG.

Look at those blazing flames! Don't look too closely; Harlies wipe out the marines that got distracted by the fire

Harlequins slaughter their way through the Power Armoured foe...

Endgame. All that's left for the Harlies are the Warlord, a Wraithknight, and two Starweavers. The Space Wolves have two drop pods and their dead...
The Third Act gathered up their fallen and wounded and began to retreat through the Webway portal. Though the humans had been repulsed, the nature of the defeat would surely bring numerous forces in retribution. It was a losing war, and as the last Harlequins walked through the shimmering portal, the Willow Prince regretfully set charges to destroy the entrance. The Third Act had been victorious, but at the cost of yet another world lost to the dwindling Eldar....

Post game thoughts: On another day this game could have been completely different. If Alan's Thunderwolves hadn't run off the board in the first turn. Extreme luck also played a part (making 20-25 4+ saves), helping me absorb most of the punishment from the Skyhammer. If the first Wraithknight had gone down in one volley, the other one would have had to bear the brunt of the Devastator shooting. The Skyhammer is really aptly named. We'll be having a rematch to test it again ;)

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