This weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to a local event called Reading Warfare which is hosted by the Wargames Association of Reading and took part in the Warhammer 40K singles tournament.
If you live in the south of England I would highly recommend that you give this event a look next year even if you only come a spend some of your hobby cash in the huge retail hall.
I spent about six months working hard to get my army ready in plenty of time so I could chill out during the weeks leading up to the event. I spent a lot of time play testing the list in various configurations before finally settling of the list shown above/below.
Wolf Guard Battle Leader - Armour of Russ, Wolf Claw, Power Fist, Thunderwolf Mount.
Now the comp at this event was known to me well ahead of time but my personal goal each year is to win more games than I lose so my overall ranking is not important. I mention the comp specifically because there was a massive final score penalty for taking multiples of the same unit. In short you would have 50 points deducted per duplicate unit after the first so if you take one look at my formation you will see that I was looking at a 600 points penalty. This would stop most players from taking an army like mine but like I said earlier I was only looking to perform better than previous years. I have been attending since 2014 and if you check out the links at the end of this post you can see my previous reports and since then I have always come away with three wins and two loses. Back in 2014 I turned up with Drop Pods and my newly painted Knight Paladin, then in 2015 I took a crazy Thunderwolf Death-Star from the Champions of Fenris supplement so this year I used the Blackmanes formation to allow all three aspects to work together within 1500 points.
Space Wolves Vs Eldar
Final Score: 12 - 6
Round one saw me matched up Vs a mate of mine from my local gaming group who runs Eldar with a Wraith Knight and Warp Spider Spam Bluh! The missions were presented to us for the first time as we turned up to our assigned tables so they were a surprise to everyone on the day. After I had read it something like three times I was sure that there was a chance I could win as long as I got a massive lead early on and held on to it.
I won the toss and deployed first and then opted to take the first turn so I could capture as many objectives as I could before the Eldar had a chance.
I was not seized on and proceeded to move and Drop on as much as I could and by the end of my turn one I held 14 of the 15 objectives so all I had to do was tie down the Wraith Knight and run interference with my Squads to keep the Warp Spiders and Jetbikers busy.
The Thunderwolf Cavalry rushed forward and would sacrifice themselves to aid in keeping the Wraith Knight pinned down in close combat.
My Knight set off in the direction of the Knight to bait it away from my units that were holding the objectives. The Knight managed to destroy a D-weapon battery along the way with its Gatling Cannon which opened up the approach for the Thunderwolf Cavalry.
As close as it looked at half time the Eldar did break it back and by the end of turn six I had lost a significant amount of ground and victory was beyond my grasp. Now I will never deliberately throw a game but in a swiss system it can be good to lose in round one because it allows some of the horrible army lists to move ahead so you get an easier time in rounds two and three. With this in mind I was happy that I had done my very best and it had been a fun game and I was now looking forward to round two.
Space Wolves Vs Space Wolves
Score: 20 - 20
This game was a great laugh, the kind of laugh that only a game between two true Space Wolves players can deliver. The joke around our table was that this kind of in-fighting is the exact reason why the Fenris system is presently under siege. Neither of us could hit for shit with any of our shooting so we just ground each other down in a frenzy of fur and fangs. When the game ended at the top of turn six we had both played a great fun game but I had no recollection of anything tactically specific that went on because of all the joking about.
I went 2nd so there were some enemy Drop Pods in my deployment zone from the get-go.
In my turn one I blotted out the sun with my Drop Pod assault and once I made planet fall the game was on.
Brother vs brother there was not shortage of glorious combat.
When the dust settled we had virtually nothing left on the table between us and a draw was a perfect result.
Space Wolves Vs Imperial Fists
Score: 31 - 14
This game was my last game of day one so I really wanted to end the day on a high and get my first win. I was against an army that also had some Drop Pods so when I won the toss I opted to setup first and then to go 2nd and let my Knight be the bait for the Sternguard.
Sure enough the Sternguard dropped in and my Knight started its first turn with one hull point remaining.
My Drop Pods came in and my Knight slaughtered the two Sternguard Squads that had left it so critically damaged.
I ended my first turn with three of the six objectives in my control and a fourth surrounded and contained.
My Knight was destroyed before my second turn and my opponents objective secured units started to cause me problems then some plucky Tactical Squad Sergeant refused to die during three player turns of close combat despite being outnumbered ten to one.
The Thunderwolf Cavalry managed to cut a bloody trail through the enemy ranks while securing my deployment zone before moving in to shut down the Lascannon Centurions.
With no room to manoeuvre and defeat drawing near my opponent disembarked his warlord from his Rhino transport seeking one final chance at glory in single combat with my now lone Wolf Guard Battle Leader.
Our two warlords met and it was at this point that my Armour of Russ kicked in reducing my enemies initiative by five. I opted to use my Warlords Power Fist vs the Imperial Fist Captains Burning Blade. We both had a four plus invulnerable save and three wounds but at toughness five my warlord could not be instant killed. We rolled well and both had to make three invulnerable saves, I passed one of mine while my opponent failed one of his which was all I needed.
At the close of play only one Centurion was left alive and I had been dominating the objectives for many turns even managing to achieve the maelstrom card Domination right at the end.
Space Wolves Vs Eldar
Score: 25 - 9
Round four saw me facing Eldar for a second time, there was a Wraith Knight with a sword and shield which I guess was preferable for me than the Heavy D-Cannons. Where previously there had been Warp Spiders this time there were Walkers and Hornets all armed for wrecking my Knight.
I won the toss yet again and opted to setup first, my opponent then deployed just the Wraith Knight confident that it would weather whatever I could throw down in my 1st turn. I figured that Vs an opponent with so much in reserves and it being an objective based mission I would let him have the first turn.
My opponents turn one was over in just a few minutes as he could do nothing and soon I made planet-fall and captured all four objectives.
I set to implementing the same plan as I had in rounds one and three, dominate the objectives, pin down the greatest threat in close combat and dig in.
My Knight hung back to lure the fire of the Hornets and Walkers while I tasked a few packs to go and assault them as Krak Grenades were still legal to use on mass.
At the end of the game the Wraith Knight had spent five of it's six turns trying to kill all the annoying units I kept feeding it in close combat and victory was secured.
Space Wolves Vs Tau
Score: 42 - 20
When I heard this mission was kill points I was worried but upon reading the mission in more detail there was also a strong objective element. There has been a big objective holding theme to this event so it was clear that yet again operation drop everything I've got on the objectives would prevail.
for the 5th time I won the toss and setup first, I then chose to take the 1st turn so I could get on the objectives nice and early. Now despite having a re-roll and a plus one to the roll my opponent did not manage to seize the initiative.
As planned I put four Drop Pods on each of the two objectives and then added further padding with my Bloodclaws and Grey Hunters. I sent the Thunderwolf Cavalry straight after the unit of three Ghostkeel Battle Suits and on my turn two they were in close combat and my opponents shooting was halved.
The Stormsurge came out to try and break my hold on one of the objectives but I had too many units bubble-wrapping it.
The Stormsurge just could not get close enough to break my hold on the objective and with only a few wounds left it was in danger of being killed.
I managed to keep hold of both objectives all game and as a result earned myself a ton of points which when added to my kill points gave me a strong lead and victory was mine.
During the lunch break of day two all those wishing to be considered for best painted army were asked to setup their armies so that everyone could vote so here are some of the armies I could get pictures of.
Besting Painted Army Competition
My Space Wolves & Imperial Knight
Dark Eldar (3rd place)
Eldar Harlequins & Craftworld Eldar (2nd place)
Deathwatch & Space Marines
Eldar Harlequins & Craftworld Eldar
Tau & Craftworld Eldar
Eldar Harlequins (1st place)
And now the final rankings
With my penalties applied I was busted down to 18th place but with 3 wins, 1 draw and only 1 loss I could not be happier with how things panned out. My list worked really well and between the missions and my opponents I had five very enjoyable and challenging games. I was even more pleased when two of the four mates I attended with ended up on the podium taking 1st and 3rd overall.
Ranked 1st - Deathwatch & Space Marines
Ranked 2nd - Tau
Ranked 3rd - Tyranids
Best Sportsman - Imperial Knights
Best Painted - Harlequins
The Coveted Wooden Spoon - Imperial Guard
If you are still in the mood for more Warfare then please follow the links down below to my previous tournament reports and as usual thanks for reading and please do check back soon for more news and hobby updates.