Thursday, September 27, 2012

Space Wolves in 6th Edition

CVinton to talk about some space wolves.  6th Edition has settled in and the rules are becoming more natural, so its time to figure out what it all means.  And most importantly, what it means the the Vlka Fenryka.

Well, to be completely honest and hopefully to no one's suprise...not much has changed.  Thankfully Razorback has pretty much been killed.  Missiles are still awesome.  Rune Priests are the shizzy now.  Grey Hunters are among strongest troop unit in the game.  Drop pod assault just got cooler.  6th edition brought a lot of gifts for the space wolves.

Razorback spam losing the ability to sit in your box and grab up an objective limits the effectiveness of MSU.    Forcing the unit to get out of the razorback, even if just for one round, is usually enough to annihilate a 5 man squad.  As well as the scoring unit change, hull points put a period on razorback spam.  Being able to more reliably destroy vehicles makes me so happy.  For all of 5th ed there was nothing more frustrating than having to roll on that damned pen table.  Now you only need to try 2 times before the next pen/glance guarentees a destroyed vehicle.  These two changes really make Razor/Rhino spam a touch less effective. (Though Rhino spam I still believe functions well enough to work, Razorspam just ins't points effective)

Missiles.  All space wolf players love them.  All non space wolf players hate them.  5 points cheap, 1 missile launcher per squad more and able to split fire...whats not to love.  But really this point comes to a little more than just missiles still being cool.  It really means long fangs can be more comfortable to diversify.  Heavy Bolter squad? Plasma Cannon squad?  These have really become a close contender for the missile spot.  Plasma blasts no longer needing to center on vehicles for full strength means more pens/glances and more light armor destruction via hull points.  However, Im willing to be light armor vehicles will only be in mass for a limited amount of time.  Heavy Bolters are great for the same reason; st 5 can open up light armor via hull points all the same.  Change up your long fangs.  Try a 5 heavy bolter squad and see what happens.

That brings me to Rune Priests.  The Rune Priest pulls double duty for the wolves.  Prescience simply makes long fangs awesome.  If you get lucky enough to roll the 'target unit rerolls successful saves' get to feel like eldar players do.  Nothing better than a twin linked Heavy Bolter squad shooting a doomed unit.  Twin linked plasma blasts....pretty sweet.

Beyond enhancing your long fang base, Rune Priests really are the kings of psychic null (eldar aren't part of this contest, they're cheaty bastards).  Psychic hoods getting the racial police beating they got in 6th and Rune Weapons waltzing into 6th untouched was crazy.  Rune priests became the one eyed man in the land of the blind.

Grey Hunters are just my favorite thing to play in 40k.  Such a well written troop unit.  We've all heard why their awesome and I could write for pages and pages of TL;DR about Grey Hunters but I'll leave that be.  What 6th brought for them was overwatch.  The unit that is already is 'ok' with being charged gets a chance to inflict some more wounds?  Yes please.  And the SW FAQ cleared up wolf banner applying to overwatch makes that 10 point banner even cooler.  Another 6th ed trick is that even though power weapons got a little nerf, Grey Hunters get power weapons on non characters (same for MotW) which means they won't be stopped from swinging into the squad by a challenge.  They're just great.

To add to early when I mentioned that Rhinos were still effective, I mean they still get your grey hunters into position just as fast, and actually a little bit further up the board.  You just have to remember that you get a turbo boost with all vehicles now.  Turn one 18", Turn two 6" is the same as in 5th when it was turn one 12', turn two 12".  In addition, now your troops deploy out 6" instead of 2"(3" if you do the tiny sliver is within 2" trick) so you actually get an extra 3".

One thing I still want to try is the drop pod assault with the wolves.  I'm not sure if it'll be more effective than rhino rush, but at least its on the same page.  Reserves being changed to a flat 3+ from turn 2 decrease the chances of being piece-mailed in.  Also, with a deployment of 6" from the pod you're a lot more likely to get where you need to be even with a poor scatter.

6th ed reshaped the wolves codex in small but big ways. Your 5th ed list might still work but there are new options you can explore and I really encourage you to try and break out of your comfort zone.  Have fun with your codex, explore the rules and you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.


  1. I've got one for ya!
    Wolf priest with saga of the hunter to outflank 10 GH with plasmaguns and a wolf guard with combi weapon. Preferred enemy infantry to take out objective-sitters on the other half of the table(also for linebreaker), fearless, wolf standard and all that jazz. Killed a tervigon and lots of termagants and also got to linebreaker at the end. It's risky, but it surprised my opponent a great deal :)

    1. I did this once with a 15 man blood claw blob except I forgot about the can't assault out of reserves rule and just came oon and pistol shot a raider down only to in turn be annihilated by dark eldar shooting. opps.

    2. Aaaah... i had been thinking of blobbing up a Blood Claw the same way and discovered only BP/CCW and no assault in the same turn as outflanking before i tried it.

      how many models do you have in your Grey hunter units?

      I tend to run 2x 8 with Melta/Standard,MotW,Rhino.
      And 1x the same just change out the melta with plasma.

  2. Nice write up CVinton. Your time and effort on th wolves goes beyond the paint job. One of the reasons you have done so well in 6th (and 5th really) is that you have been willing to try anything. That mentality really pays off in 6th where anything is really possible.

    I like that you haven't stepped away from the rhinos. When we played they proved they are still the workhorses they have always been and they certainly were not expected in one game.

    Have you tried any allies yet?