Monday, 12 April 2010

[Space Wolves] Space Wolves Theoryhammer overview

Hello again people, its been a while since I have posted on here, this has mainly been because I was “saving” my money, I didn’t do a very good job of that. Unfortunately the set of Work In Progress posts that I was doing on the Space Marine army has come to an end as I just lost the love for them and well any form of building or painting.

Then I decided I would do a Space Wolf army and incorporate the paint scheme I had decided on into them, so I went and bought the codex and read through, they had kept some of my favourite rules for the Scouts and Long fangs so I was happy with them to start with. I then also went and bought some models to get building with, but I still didn’t have the motivation. That is until I started reading the Space Wolf books, which got me right into them, now I have only built half of my 1500pt list which will be played at Marauders in Stockport, Manchester, England (which is on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean for any Americans). Before I get them on the table I am going to go through and do a big Theoryhammer blog on each of the units, so be warned, this will be a BIG read.

So for starters, lets look at the basic HQ’s, I will go over the Special HQ’s another time.

The Wolf Lord, well there isn’t much to say here, he is basically a Space Marine Captain with some different and lots of options, comes at a basic of 100pts with a CCW and pistol, and Power Armour, I think he comes with a 4+ Invulnerable but not 100% sure, in general I overlook this option in favour of the Rune Priest and Wolf Priest. The biggest letdown is that for 100pts the other two come with power weapons as standard whereas it costs the Wolf Lord 15pts, but odds on, you will be giving him a Frost Blade for the extra Str.

The Rune Priest looks like a good buy, 100pts basic with 2 psychic powers and a force weapon, I would defiantly pay the extra 50pts to upgrade him to using two powers in a turn, even if you don’t use both it means you can either use two, or use one AND his force weapon, which means you don’t have to be too reserved with when you use your powers. There isn’t too much point putting him in Runic armour as the biggest bonus it gives is a 5+ save against psychic powers, his hood/staff gives him negate powers on a 4+ anyway and for a similar cost you can put him in Terminator armour for the 2+ save and a 5+ inv.

A Quick overview of the psychic powers, everyone raves over the Jaws of the World Wolf which isn’t too bad, but there are other powers which do look good. The Spirit of the Wolves where you get an Assault 3 high Str High AP shot and I think Assault 2 Str 4 (or 5) AP 2 (or 3) which seems like good fun. There is also a power which means any jump infantry, jetbikes, and Skimmers take a Dangerous Terrain test if they move, and because they count ALL terrain as Dangerous (including Clear Terrain) that means they have to take a test when they start moving AND when they finish moving (or not move at all) there are a couple of other powers which are decent but those 3 powers are by far the best.

The Wolf Priest, a cross between a Chaplain and an Apothecary. Any unit he is attached to gains preferred enemy against a unit type of your choice, which you decide at the beginning of the battle, very helpful. He has the basic Stats of a Marine Chaplain but with some extra rules for the same price, starts at a basic 100pts, though I plan to give him Saga of the Hunter, which means he can infiltrate/outflank and stick him a unit of Wolf Scouts, also giving him a Wolf Tail Talisman means he and his unit are protected from Psychic powers. And for those two upgrades he only costs 115pts.

The last basic HQ choice is the lowly Wolf Guard Captain/hero/leader. Basically he is 30pts cheaper than the Wolf Lord, with 1 less WS and BS and also only 2 wounds, good for smaller games, but again I overlook this choice in favour of the Rune Priest and Wolf Priest who give more to the army.

Now For the Elites.

The Wolf Guard, the Elite of the Space Wolves, put into the right section that’s for sure. They have the same stats as a normal Space Marine Veteran with having an extra attack, and a massive LD 9 (which is big in the Space wolf army), but what makes them so good is that they are a basic 18pts, which isn’t too dear compared to the Sternguard and Vanguard Vets of the Smurfs. They can take almost any upgrade, Terminator armour with Power weapon and Storm bolter, only 15pts, everyone can take power fists, power weapons, Frost blades and so on, the cost does rack up, but they are good. If you take Logan Grimnar, they become troops, not just scoring like Pedro Kantor, but actual Troops, which means for 177pts (and a Drop Pod) you can do a Deathwing Army for cheaper than well, the Deathwing. If you take Ragnar Blackmane with 9 of these guys in a Rhino/Drop pod or maybe even 10 of them in a raider, then they get +d3 attacks on the charge! The biggest bonus that these guys give though, is that they can be split off to lead other units, which takes the basic Wolf LD of 8 up to 9, doesn’t sound like much, but it is. Also, giving one of these guys a Cyclone missile launcher and sticking him in a unit of Long Fangs, gives you an extra 2 Missile launcher shots to fire somewhere, good fun.

Next up is the Wolf Scouts, these guys are some of the Veterans of the Space wolves, and it is understandable that they are in the Elites section, but I think it distracts people from them as they aren’t scoring units. To make up for this though they are WS and BS 4 unlike the new Marine Scouts. They can have two power weapons/Plasma Pistols, and they can also take a meltagun, or flamer/plasma gun, but metlas are probably the best choice. They can also take heavy weapons, but I think this would be a waste of points seeing as their biggest bonus is that they can outflank but better, when deciding which table edge on a roll of a 1 to the players left, on a 2 the players right, on a 3+ the player decides out of all four table edges, including the enemies long table edge. For 15pts each, it’s a bargain. As you can turn one into a wulfen with D6+1 rending attacks, two power weapons and a melta, they would be a big threat, especially if you stick an outflanking Wolfguard leader/Wolf Priest or even let a Wolf Guard lead them giving an extra power weapon or a power fist. Big cost, but deadly and adaptable.

Lastly that is unique to the Wolves are the Lone Wolves, I don’t think these guys are competitive but they could be useful and very very fun. 20pts and you get a guy with 2 wounds and FNP that you WANT to die. For 65pts you can give him terminator armour and twin wolf claws, or two Fenrisian wolves for extra protection. This means he is a big threat if he gets into enemy lines, but if they kill him, they don’t get a kill point for him. This could cause the opponent to make bad decisions in annihilation missions where they need the kill point but cant risk letting him loose in their own lines. In this case, you could use him as a sheep dog and herd the enemy where you want them, because if they don’t move, he will kill at least most of them.

The Space Wolves also have an Iron Priest, which is basically a Techmarine and they also have the Standard Dread and Venerable Dread, but no major changes, except to wargear options.

Onto the Troops

This is a small section with only two choices, the Grey Hunters and the Blood Claws, the Grey Hunters are the Bread and Butter of the Wolves and have some good choices, they don’t have a Sergeant so anyone ca have the upgrades, I will usually take a Flamer and one of the other two weapon options, this is because the Flamer is free, and if you have 10 men you can take a second special weapon for free, which means flamer/plasma is free! Also because there is no Sergeant it means you don’t have to put the plasma Pistol and the Power fist on the same guy, so an unlucky 1 to hit doesn’t mean your fist dies. At 15pts each you get a Basic marine, with Acute Senses, Counter-attack AND a Bolter, pistol and combat weapon. However they are only LD8 lacking a sergeant to boost it up. But at 205pts for a flamer and melta/plasma gun, a Plasma Pistol, a Power Fist and a Mark of the Wulfen (d6+1 rending attacks) which is the same as a standard Marine loadout of Melta and missile/multi-melta and fist, they are pretty good.

The Blood Claws are a decent choice, but don’t compare to the Grey Hunters, they lack the Bolter to start with, but keep all the other options, however, unless accompanied by a Wolf Guard or IC they wont shoot at people as they prepare to charge. So if you are using them, best to stick a guy in there as the +2 attacks on the charge can be devastating, but the downside is they are only WS and BS 3 which means if they get hit back they will be hit a lot. At 15pts each which is the same as the Grey Hunters I don’t expect to use these guys a lot, if at all.

The Fast attacks

Here is where people cry cheese to the Space Wolves. The feared Thunderwolf Cavalry, and from looking at the rules, rightly so. Looking at the rules, and never used or seen them used they do look nasty, two wounds each, at T and S5, however the biggest question is, do you give them any special weapons, with 4 Attacks you would think so, but they come with rending basic and at 50pts basic is it worth the points. I’m not sure, if I used these guys then I would run them in a unit of three with one having a Plasma Pistol and Storm Shield, one with a Fist and Storm Shield and one with just a Storm Shield. This small unit of 3 would cost 250ish pts, but 2 wounds each with a 3+ save and a 3+ invulnerable would be hard to take down, and nasty in combat, however, I doubt I will use them as for 3 models, 250pts is a lot to fork out.

The next up is the Swiftclaw pack, these are basically the bikers, the problem is that they are part of the Blood Claws, which means, unless an IC or Wolf Guard is with them then they wont shoot, and usually the point of a biker is to carry around a special weapon and blow people/tanks up with it, they can also take an attack bike with a heavy weapon, but with a BS of 3 and only shooting with an IC/wolf guard around, these guys seem like a waste of points, they might not be as I haven’t used them but I don’t expect to see them on my army list.

Last of the Unique Space Wolf fast attack units are the Skyclaws, these are the jump infantry, the assault squads, they are also Blood Claws again, but this time, they got it right. They move fast, they don’t care about shooting oh well, I have 4 attacks on the charge and they only cost 18pts each. Here I am happy to put a Wolf Priest in with them to let them shoot a plasma pistol, maybe a melta and the rest of their pistols. I would put the wolf priest in there because with my dice rolls the preferred enemy would be helpful in the combats, throw in a fist and 235pts +Wolf Priest (as for some reason this is the only unit a Wolf Guard cant join even though they can take jump packs) you got a better than average assault squad. I may use a unit of these every now and again just because they seem like they might be good, even if they aren’t on the same level as my Khornate Raptors with two Meltas, plasma pistol and fist, but then again, they are 305pts.

Lastly the Heavy Support slots, and here they only have one Unique choice, but it is an amazing choice.

The Long Fangs, the most seasoned Veterans around other than the Wolf Lords, they are so amazing that they can shoot at two SEPARATE targets. I will always be running a unit of 5 with 4 missile launchers, at 75pts for the 5 of them, they are already starting cheap, you can make them very cheap by giving them 4 Heavy bolters for 20pts, but this means you have 6 shots at two targets, which normally if they have weak armour, 6 shots wont make much of a dint in numbers, so you will want all 12 shots, and if they have good armour then 6 shots wont kill many, so you want all 12 shots to force saves. The missile launchers are 10pts each, so taking two missile and 2 HB’s is an option, but I think 4 missile launchers making the unit 115pts is a good choice, as this means that you can take on armoured units, small units of marines, and large units of low armour troops, also if you attach a Wolf Guard in Terminator armour, with a Cyclone Missile Launcher it gives you the equivalent of 6 missiles to spread between two units, going either frag or Krak, and 6 Krak missiles can make a mess of a squad of marines, or a rampaging Carnifex, but because you also have the option to go frag you can make a bigger mess of a unit of gaunts.

All in all, I am looking forward to getting a game in with these guys, and I hope the the Long Fangs and Wolf Scouts live up to their expectations!


  1. Noticed a few things you might want to change: missile launchers on long fangs are half the points you list, and preferred enemy only effects melee, not ranged attacks.

    Also as a matter of opinion:

    Thunderwolves are so worth it, and you're silly if you don't put a power fist on one (s10). Also, instead of putting stormshields on them (which take away attacks) - run a squad of fenrisian wolves in front of them for a movable cover save. You then have the option of making the wolves I5 with Saga of the Wolfkin - remember the best defense is an I5 offense.

  2. Thanks for pointing out the two mistakes, they were due to writing up such a long report, I hadn't proof read it. good eye.

    As for the Thunderwolves I am going from a purely Theoryhammer basis of they do look good on paper, but on the table they may be too much of a target, and having never played with them am unsure on what the best loadout is, so again, thanks for your opinion and I will try it out once I get them down.

    Now to edit the post and get rid of the typos.

  3. I must say I resent being called a smurf.. thats racist. Anyway at the end of the day pack enough ap3 goodness and they will die just like any other marines. Good luck be nice to see a wolves army fully painted up.


  4. Space Wolves are pure cheese in every saspect. Why would anyone else play a diff marine army?