Our Camera's lights went off just before the game started so apologies for the darker pictures on this one! Hope you guys enjoy - James
James’ Ad Mech - 9CP - 2000pts
BATTALION - Mars
Skitarii Marshall - Relic (Exemplars Eternity) Warlord Trait (Firepoint Telemetry Cache)
Tech-Priest Dominus - Logi Holy Order, Warlord (Masterwork Bionics)
Tech-Priest Manipulus - Artisans Holy Order
20 Skitarii Rangers
20 Skitarii Vanguard
5 Skitarii Vanguard
5 Sicarian Inflitrators - Taser Goads and Flechette Blasters
10 Sicarian Ruststalkers - Clordclaw and Transonic Razors, Relic (The Omniscient Mask) Warlord Trait (Archived Engagements)
3 Sydonian Dragoons - Taser Lances
5 Pteraxii Sterylizors
Onager Dunecrawler - Eradication Ray
Onager Dunecrawler - Eradication Ray
4 Kastelan Robots - 4 Kastelan Fists, 4 Kastelan Phosphor Blasters, 4 Heavy Phosphor Blaster
Dan's Space wolves - 2000 points - 6cp
PATROL - Space Wolves
5 Assault Intercessors
5 Bladeguard Veterans
5 Bladeguard Veterans
4 Eradicator - Heavy Melta Rifles
PATROL - Space Wolves
Primaris Lieutenant - Special Issue Carbine, Master-Crafted Power Axe, Warlord Hunter, Armour of Russ, Warrior of Legend -1cp Wolf Kin Trait.
Primaris Chaplin on Bike - Master of Sanctity, Hero of the Chapter -1cp Wise Orator. Canticle of Hate and Exaltation of Rage
5 Assault Intercessors
5 Bladeguard Veterans
Judiciar, Hero of the chapter -1cp Rites of War, Extra Relic -1cp Armour Indomitas.
4 Eradicator - Heavy Melta Rifles
So I’m running the new Ad Mech for the 2nd time, I’m still trying to get my head round all the new changes and combos. I've decided to run the Robots again, they didn't manage to do much the last time I played and I want to give them another go.
With that in mind I’m not massively confident but one thing I do know is Dan’s Space Wolves. I’ve got quite a lot of games against Space Wolves since their most recent update so I know some of the tools they can bring out. I'm not massively familiar on the psychic powers and all the capability of the special characters they can bring but the +1 to hit on charges and Super Doctrine ability I’m definitely familiar with.
I took Eradication of Flesh, Assassinate and Engage On All Fronts. Dan runs a lot of characters and his whole list had no vehicles. This seemed like a good opportunity to run one of the new secondaries.
Ok this is going to be tough because my Space Wolves are designed to do their damage in the combat phase. Sure they are Space Marines but the build I've gone with rewards a combat heavy build. Whereas Ad Mech have a big serious punch in the shooting phase. Im worried that if they get clear sight my units won't make it into combat. The other problem is they now also now have some nasty tricks in the combat phase too with the new book. I am going to have to use the terrain heavily here.
I will also need to feed in my tough units to pin and tag them back in their deployment. I have taken Vital Ground, Warrior Pride (Space Wolf Specific one, 3vp for 2 units charging or are in engagement range) and Bring It Down. After a discussion I think I want second turn, let's see what happens.
First turn for the Ad Mech! Unfortunately, Dan’s deployed 99% of his army out of line of sight so it's going to be a very short and very non-eventful one. I move up the Vanguard ready for a turn 2, the Infiltrators hop over the line for 2 points on Engage On All Fronts.
Other than that, it's very uneventful, my Skorpius parks in an L-Blocker and the Robots and Onager Dunecrawlers keep out of line of sight of the Eradicators.
So I got the second turn and I had deployed completely out of line of sight, putting 4 Eradicators in reserve with Cunning of the Wolf. Essentially I have nullified James's first turn. There are some Infiltrators deployed on one flank that I might get a cheeky charge on. The large Vanguard unit has come forward to right on the edge of a charge distance.
My Chaplain manages to get the Canticle of Hate off which makes the risky 10" charge if the Bladeguard move out an 8" charge, I think I have to go for it.
So the unit of Bladeguard furthest forward moves out in the open for the charge on the Vanguard, the rest of the army in the centre moves to the edge of the ruin staying out of line of sight. Ragnar moved to get his reroll charges in place for the Bladeguard. The Outriders on the flank with the Infiltrators move up ready to charge, on the opposite flank the Outriders advance into the ruins with the objective and out of line of sight.
Psychic Phase - Njal casts Murderous Hurricane on the Skitarii Vanguard making them ineligible to fight until all Wolf units have and unable to overwatch, I had to use a cp to get this one off as I really don't want to take the overwatch from those Vanguard, I try for Instincts Awoken but perils on a double 1 and take 1 mortal.
Shooting is limited, some heavy bolt pistols into the Sicarian Infiltrators doing nothing.
With a howl the wolves surge forward, the Outriders make the comfortable 4" charge into the Infiltrators. Now for the main event the Bladeguard into the vanguard, I roll a 5 oh no….. come on Ragnar reroll…… an 11, great I'm in. This is great on 3 fronts, if I survive I am move blocking the block of dragoons, I have tagged and I am going to kill some vanguard and this nets me 3vp for Warrior Pride.
With the Vanguard fighting last I choose to fight with the bikes, Wolves are super consistent in the fight phase but surprisingly James’ bad rolling means I kill the 5 Infiltrators outright. Next up the Bladeguard into the Vanguard; I use 1cp on Savage Strike (+1 to wound) hitting on 2s and wounding on 2s I decimate the squad leaving only a handful left.
All in all a great first turn, there isn't a huge amount James can do other than kill the Bladeguard and maybe a unit of Outriders.
Well that was unexpected - a massive charge from the Bladeguard Veterans and Dan slaughters 17 Vanguard… Ouch! My Infiltrators also roll terribly and they all get butchered by his Outriders. That +1 to hit when charging has already really come through strong for the Space Wolves!
I start my turn off with the Command Phase - a new and long one for the Ad Mech! I started off putting the Data Tether onto the Vanguard, I activate Benedication of the Omnissiah and the Bulwark Imperative. Finally the Dominus put the ignore AP -1 and -2 onto the Kastelan Robots.
Into the movement phase, the 3 remaining Vanguard fall back and the Dragoons edge slightly forward, the Kastelans and Onagers edge within line of sight of the Bladeguard Veteran Squad in the middle of the board that just butchered the Vanguard. I hold the Rangers back another turn - I’m hoping he’ll pull the Outriders out and then my Rangers can pop out and gun them down. My Pteraxi drop down behind his lines and get ready to gun down his out of position Chaplain.
In the shooting phase I start off with the Sterylizors, I use Wrath of Mars to try get his Chaplain down. It doesn't start well, I roll very poorly on the 4D6 Shots and only roll one 6+ to wound. I get a bunch of wounds through but Dan passes all his saves. Onto the Onagers. One put their shots into the Bladeguard Veterans, as well as shots from the Kastelans and all my characters. I have to use a Command Roll to re-roll the shots from the Onager and I get a total of 6 shots between the two of them. Dan rolls well on his 4++ saves and loses only 2! The Dragoons will have to get it done in the charge phase. The other Onager manages to kill 1 Outrider.
So my Dragoons run into the Bladeguard and I use the Crushing Weight stratagem and kill one initially. I then use the Chain-Taser Protocols stratagem to ensure that even if Dan uses Transhuman my Dragoons will clear off these Bladeguard, which is exactly what they do.
Finally the Sterylizors use the Booster Thrust stratagem and disappear back into reserves ready for next turn.
I get 10 primary and 5 on Vital Ground. I lost the 5 Bladeguard but they took nearly all the shooting to remove, Transhuman Physiology really paid off. A huge mistake almost cost me but James's dice went a bit squiffy, I left the Chaplain out which was fine until I remember he had some flame Pteraxii and the Wrath of Mars stratagem, but after James rolled I only suffered one wound.
Starting with the Chaplain, he got the Canticle of Hate off but he failed Litany of Hate. Now I have to feed in the next units to keep this fight going. The left unit of Outriders come away from the objective aiming to charge the Rangers through the wall and tie them up. The other flank the other two Outriders move to charge the Dragoons or, if they are destroyed the 3 remaining Vanguard holding the objective.
The rest of the army moves out with the Primaris Lieutenant advancing as his hunter trait allows him to run and charge and should he make it he then gives an aura of run and charge. Another unit of Bladeguard advance giving me a long charge to the rear robots and rear objective. My outflanking Eradicators come on in the ruin on the left claiming the objective the bikes left staying out of line of sight. I figure its more important to keep up on the primary objective this early in the game.
The Bladeguard go first against the Kastelans, I use Savage Fury to give them +1 to wound and savage they are, rolling 21 attacks I get 24 hits due to being in Assault Doctrine thanks to the psychic power caster earlier. At ap-4 the Bladeguard pull down 2 Kastelan Robots with the third on its last wound. The Dragoon interrupts and with Chain-Taser Protocol destroys the 2 Outriders that are left, the Judiciar avenges them and pulls it down.
The Bikes kill only 3 Rangers (so embarrassing), but actually this works well 1 more and James would have been able to pull them out of combat, now they are tagged and cannot shoot. I lose a single Bladeguard to the Kastelan’s and they have taken James's home objective. Again another great turn, really keeping the pressure on James and diminishing his resources. He still has a lot left and his Ruststalkers in his Skorpius are about to get out. I've left him some juicy characters in the open and he has the Assassinate secondary, he might go for them or my last unit of Bladeguard who are yet to get stuck in. 3vp from Warrior Pride and 5 from Bring it Down. Let's see how James responds.
The Space Wolves have finally come out to play. Unfortunately he managed to get deep into my lines with a 2nd unit of Bladeguard and his Outriders managed to attack through the wall into my Rangers and with some crazy saves I didn't even lose enough to pull them out of engagement range.
His Eradicators took down my Dragoons which I knew would happen and he’s taken down two of my Kastelans who in return only managed to strip 1 Bladeguard down.
I use the Chant of the Remorseless Fist Canticle and Conqueror Imperative Doctrine. The Skitarii Marshal uses his Control Edict ability on one of the Onagers to let them ignore the Depraction effect of the Doctrine. If this game is going to return back in my favour I need a really big push.
I fall back with the Kastelans, the Ruststalkers fall out of the Dunerider ready to strip off some of Dan’s key characters and get me some points on that Assassinate secondary. The Steryilzors pop down near the bottom Onager to help kill the Judiciar lurking there.
The shooting phase is lack luster. I've either had to fall back with my units or I've already lost them. Dan tying up my 400 point Kastelan Robot and 20 man Rangers unit was very painful. I manage to get the Judiciar down with the Onager and Pteraxii. My fight phase is going to have to be impactful here. If I can get rid of his Bladegaurd and kill his key characters I might be able to bring this back. But I do worry about those Eradicators being left untouched. Dan’s pulling ahead quite quickly on the Secondary and Primary points and I am running out of assets. Unfortunately my shooting phase hasn't helped and he passes all but 1 of his saves on the Bladeguard against my damage 3 Eradication Ray/
I decide I really need to bring these Bladeguard down and send all four of my characters in, maybe I’ll get lucky! The Ruststalkers throw themselves into his characters and Bladeguard. I’ll probably only have a handful left alive but I'm pretty sure they can clear out Ragnar and his Librarian. Which is exactly what they do, the Assassins Constructs stratagem really helps here and I down both of them and an Intercessor. Back in my deployment zone I barely manage to kill the Bladeguard leaving one of them left alive who turns and cuts down my Skitarii Marshall.
With more bad luck his Bladeguard turn and cut down my entire 10 man unit of Ruststalkers even without any re-rolls!
At the end of the turn the Pteraxi use the Booster Thrust stratagem to go back into reserves.
Wow that was a mixed bag for James, the Bladeguard that prevented his primary are alive, be it one guy. He killed 3 characters (Ragnar, Njal and the Judicar) but the Bladeguard that retaliated wiped out the whole 10 man unit of Ruststalkers. I feel the game is mine to lose now.
He’s run out all of his strong units and I still have my last unit of Bladeguard. I got 10vp on primary and 2 on Vital Ground. The Chaplain gets off the Canticle of Hate and the Litany of Hate this time. Movement the Intercessors move to charge the Vanguard on the right flank objective, the Eradicators in cover on the left objective move out to draw line of sight on the rear Onagar Dunecrawler. The Eradicators on the right move up to get in the Lieutenant reroll 1’s to wound aura. The Bladeguard advance as do the bikes on the left, unable to get to the Rangers due to terrain. They join the Bladeguard, Lieutenant and Chaplain who prepare to charge the characters and the remaining 2 Kastelan Robots in the middle keeping the pressure on James's home objective.
Shooting wise the Eradicators continue to prove my theory that Heavy Melta Rifles are the best choice for them, as each unit destroys an Onager each.
A bestial howl crosses the battlefield, the Wolves have circled their prey and now it's time to go for the throat. Charges happen everywhere; the Bladeguard charge the Tech-Priest Manipulus and the Kastelan Robots, the Chaplain charges the Robots, the Lieutenant charges the Cybernetic Datasmith, the bikes charge the Dominus and the Assault Intercessors charge the 3 Vanguard. James uses the Electro Shocked stratagem to make the Bladeguard fight last and the Lieutenant in turn uses his Armour of Russ to make the Datasmith fight last. It was a fight worthy of the sagas, when the dust settled the forces of the Mechanicus had been laid low all that remains was the Dominus, the Rangers and a Skorpius. Several Bladeguard fell in return and their names will be recited in the great Hall on Fenris.
By this turn the games run away from me, the Space Wolves are well into my deployment zone and he’s picked up both of my Onager Dunecrawlers with his Eradicators. He’s also finished off my Kastellans and killed another two of my characters.
I drop my Pteraxi into his deployment zone and blast off his Intercessors with Wrath of Mars - at least I get some vengeance this turn! My Rangers come out and gun down the Bladeguard and my Skorpius does a valiant charge and automatically explodes with the Machine Spirits Revenge stratagem and I roll a 5 for the mortal wounds on his Lieutenant just killing him!
Luckily, I managed to kill more infantry models with the explosion and I scored another 3 points for Eradication of Flesh.
My army is almost depleted and it's not looking good!
James never gives up, this is what I love about playing him, it keeps you on your toes. James combined what he had left to kill the Bladeguard. Including charging his Skorpius in and using the Machine Spirits Revenge stratagem to automatically explode killing my Lieutenant. His Pteraxii dropped down and flamed and killed my Assault Intercessors in my deployment. I got 10 on the primary and 4 on Vital Ground.
A bit of a summary for this turn. Chaplain got Litany of Hate off. Movement was simple the Eradicators at the back moved to reclaim my rear objective. One of my Eradicators runs over and kills 2 Pteraxii. Charges saw the Bikes into the Rangers, killing what was left. I got the last of my Bring it Down and 3 more for Warrior Pride.
With only my Pteraxi left we call the game, what a brutal finish!
What a massacre! The final scores are 42:88 to the Space Wolves!
Firstly - the Ad Mech book is amazing, it plays exactly how I want my Ad Mech too, a strong melee element backed up with some good reliable shooting units. I definitely forgot a few things, it wasn't until turn 3 I realised the Dragoons are actually also core and could have benefited from the Marshall and the Logi Dominus.
There is definitely a lot to think about and when to activate the Canticles and Doctrines can be really critical. I missed a few stratagems that may have helped but generally Dan played a great game and it was great to get the Ad Mech back out with a fresh new ruleset.
However, my main takeaway is that the Kastelans were a big liability, costing a whooping 465 points with a Datasmith. There are so many other options I believe would be much more reliable and useful in this match up.
I got a bit lucky at points, I guess you have to put yourself in a position to benefit from luck. This was far from an optimized Mech list and it was all new to James, I have no doubt when we rematch he will destroy my Wolves. However I had a game plan and it worked, I think I played as well as I could have. I always love the consistency I get from the wolves in combat, they still rely heavily on characters but I love this as they are after all a chapter of storied heroes. MVP was hard to pick but the Bladeguard always does really well, but I have to say I was very impressed with the Eradicators and the Heavy Melta Rifles. Always getting d6+2 damage and in half range getting d6+4 came in clutch every time they fired.
It was a great game thanks again to my opponent, awhooooooooooooo now back to Fenris to recant our sagas.
Credit to ITC Battle Apps