The other week my darling wife arranged a couple of games for me to play at Dark Sphere. The first of the two games was against a friend of mine who normally runs Chaos Space Marines with a Nurgle bent, but at the moment he's trying out some Space Wolves.
I had two unusual things in this list - the first was that I was using the Forge World rules for Manticore rockets, rather than "upgrading" them to Storm Eagle Rockets. This also, in theory, allows you to run in squadrons of 3, but I only own one model.
The other unusual item in the list was a Helbrute Mayhem pack - these were the three Nurgle Chaos Dreadnoughts I bought at the Overlords Bring and Buy.
My first pleasant surprise was a delivery of a Space Wolf dreadnought right into my lines. My veterans ran up and Demo-Charged it's drop pod for first blood, but it wiped them out in revenge.
Meanwhile, Bjorn the Fell-Handed, the Warlord, pottered his way up the field, with a Land Raider to keep him company.
The Land Raider does take a couple of hull points of damage from the Manticore and the Demolisher Cannon, but it certainly proves a tough nut to crack.
The flank objective turns out to be booby-trapped, so the Guard run away from it, having not drawn it as a tactical objective this turn!
The dropped Dreadnought slowly whittles its way through the guardsmen on the right flank.
Suddenly, surprise Helbrutes! My cunning plan of having put a homing device on the Demolisher failed, as it was blown up before I had the opportunity to use it. A third Helbrute came down behind the Land Raider with the intention of running up behind it and punching it with a Thunder Hammer, but then the Manticore rocket deviated onto it and blew it to smithereens.
I think I deserved that.
(I blew up Bjorn at some point around here, so the battle wasn't a total disaster.)
The priest holds it together for the Guard on the right flank, but lacking close combat anti-tank, it's only a matter of time.
Oh, Njal Stormcaller has decided to visit. How nice.
And a Wolf-Storm-Thingy-Bird. And Arjac Rockfist and pals.
Well, that's one Helbrute wrecked. The Chimera will soon follow.
Blown to pieces! Quick, run away and throw a Helbrute at them!
Oh dear, that didn't work. Maybe throw the Guardsman in their way? Will that work?
The priest tries to keep going, but eventually, he runs out of guardsmen to feed into the blender, and his Rosarius finally fails him.
Arjac cuts down the company commander for his dealings with Chaos, and the vengeful remnants of his squad bear down on the few guardsmen left (briefly) alive on the table. It was soon all over...
Operation: Surprise Helbrute did remarkably well. Sadly, I was up against a list for whom they were a diversion rather than a serious problem. I couldn't bring enough heavy firepower to deal with a list made up of Terminators, Land Raiders and Dreadnoughts. More anti-tank is definitely needed.
Also, the Forge World Manticore rules are just plain better than the ones in the Codex. When I take a Manticore from now on, I'll be using them provided they're allowed in the setting I'm in. But probably not one for a casual game without warning, I will say!