Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Observations from the table top: Space wolves

I've managed to get the wolves on the table top a few times and I'm really starting to see how people fall in love with this codex.  As a guard player this codex has a similar depth where every slot is viable and though you might not see much variation from the core of  grey hunter spam, ultimately, the lists you see has diversity.

I've played Logan wing, missile spam, razor spam, foot slogging grey hunters, bloodclaw death star, Nijal, Twolf spam and drop pod grey hunters.  They've all see success and failure and every single one was fun.

Coming from playing codex marines these guys are a dream come true for me.  Grey hunters are the answer to all my power armor dreams.  What I thought was a good core unit turned into the greatest core unit.  You can stack 9 (10 with a wolfguard) in a rhino and be successful with a list comprised of 80% grey hunters.

It really started coming together for me before I played wolves.  In a small points game, I blew up the rhino and was like "Ok, those guys are delt with."  Then it hit me that its not 10 space marines; its ten grey hunters.  Big difference when you start adding all their wargear in there.  A grey hunter squad with a powerfist wolfguard, meltagun, banner, and wulfen (maybe a power weapon too, thats how deep I roll) its pretty potent and far from neutralized when their ride blows up.  

The only disadvantage I've found so far is that if you stack special weapons deep you really need to max out the squad.  Unlike tac marines, the maxed out grey hunters have a limited number of yutzes to jump in front of bullets before you are putting saves on specialty weapons.  Typically there are weapons more useful than others so its not hard to lose one or two of the weapons, but its one draw back to maxing out gear on a razorback squad of 6; only one chump to die before it starts to hurt.

After that, another fun wolves unit is a 14 man blood claw squad with a wolf priest and wolfguard.  It gets costly if you're running it in the land raider, but its important that they get the charge to be worth it and on foot, they have no charge advantage.  Putting saga of the hunter on your priest is pretty awesome to give a 16 man blob a 3++ cover.  With 15 of them it should be easy to get them into cover while they slog where ever they need to be. You can sprinkle in a power weapon or a wolfguard with claws to really help the squad in close combat.  Sure they have WS 3, but they're still a fun unit to plop down in mass.  Not many people would realize marines can be giant units like that.

I don't really need to go into much depth about thunderwolves.  Everyone knows them and knows they're crazy.  A bunch of nutty drunks on giant wolves tear-assing around the battle field is just awesome.  When I first ran the twolves I always had a lord with them; I've found that this isn't completely necessary.  When I'm wanting to put down twolves but want to stay fun, 3 wolves with shields is more than enough to still disrupt but not be as difficult to manage as 4 wolves and a lord.  Recently I saw a post about a running a wolf claw as your special weapon which was interesting to me.  Its slightly cheaper and at st 5 you're usually killing on 3's so a reroll to hit is pretty nice.  I usually run the frost weapon just for the better chance vs high toughness or vehicles.

I usually run 3 twolves, because I like to keep it fun in casual games (but not a throw-away game!).  Running 4 with a lord gets really expensive and is a lot of overkill.  The lord alone runs like 260 kitted out, but he usually earns his points back.  When running just 4 twolves I'll usually not have a 4th shield.  Generally, unless they're getting hosed by plasma you can avoid putting something AP3 or better on the non-shield guy and even if you do, its usually just one of the wounds.

These guys are a great shock troop unit and that's how I run them.  They have a huge charge advantage so they're usually in combat a turn or two ahead of the grey hunters.  Also, with the high number of attack, toughness and 3++, they obviously are a strong unit.  I really like smashing them into the line or attacking foot troop choices to take away the opponents scoring ability.  Generally, even the 3 man 'lite' unit is better in combat than the average troop unit.

The last list I really liked was the logan wing list.  I put it all in drop pods, and it wasn't all that dangerous because of how expensive each unit was and they're small numbers, but its still a fun list.  I had 4-5 wolfguard with a termie in each squad covered by 2 long fang squads with TLLC razor backs.  Having the option to throw some ap3 wounds on the termie really helped to protect the squad from fire high AP (I happen to be playing against guard with a colossus).  Also, dropping right into threat range was difficult for the opponent to manage.  Other than that what really makes Loganwing fun is that its an ultimate tool box army.

When I was posting my lists, one comment was about tool box armies.  Essentially a toolbox army is an army that is the opposite of the cut and paste army and has something for everything.  Logan wing, because its comprised of squads of sergeants means it has access to almost the full armory.  Its a lot of fun to have a mix of multiple power fists and weapons and everyone having 2 attacks base along with combi weapons of any of the assault weapons.

Now obviously, you're going to be outnumbered with Loganwing, which is a big disadvantage. Grey Knights have really become kings of the outnumbered. With GK heavy in the meta, power armor players really need to push numbers to deal with the fact that in close combat you're just going to get cut through.  I don't really see it viable in tournaments in this moment of meta, but who knows when grey knights get settled in and fall into a more average number of players.

My Space Wolves experience so far has really shown me why people love them so much.  I have a hard time just looking at a codex and seeing how it works on the table so I have a lot of growing pains compared to other players who can just look at the codex and know what's going on with the army.  Right now I'm just going through that with the wolves.  In the future I want to play around with speeders and Fenrisian wolves.  I've really enjoyed my experiences so far and the ability for wolves to work with what most people would consider 'fun' lists....if you can consider playing against any wolves list as fun...


  1. I am glad to see you are finding your power armour home in the Wolves. As much as everyone on the web bitches about them, we really have a small representation of them locally and even on the east coast I only saw three different wolf players out of four different stores I visited.

    I think it's easy to call cheese on something, when in truth what draws people to the wolves is the fact that there are so many potential army themes in there and many of them are fun to play and to play against.

    When it comes to the Logan builds, I believe that it can be done with Grey Hunter Spam as well, especially when they are kitted out and within 18" of Logan. Have fun charging that!

    I look forward to the Wolf and the Lion meeting on the table soon and even to fighting them with the Sons of Perturbio.

    By the way, what do you plan to do with the Night Lords. I hope you are keeping them around. They are classic and terrifying!

  2. I cant deny wolves being a great book hell must be with all the cheese and counts as arguments going on lol. The thing i really hope for is that they would stick with making books where all the choices are good even if the individual choice is not the best in a super hard competition envrionment but at least still a good unit and worth the points you pay overall.

    This will allow for players to make lists that are interesting and fun to play while still being solid for most gaming aspects. I feel like this will eliminate spam(i dont mean choice spam i mean same army list copy paste spam). Im sure the internet will tell me otherwise but hey i find now time and time again that the Net is not reality.

    I feel most of the newer dexes are trying to do this but some have fallen short. I am sure i don't need to name them. I just hope they stay on track so each book will have many solid playable lists to suit peoples play styles and not to mention how great that would be for the hobby side of the house.