Sunday, July 20, 2014

Space Wolves in Stormclaw - What is revealed?

I picked up my copy of Stormclaw yesterday (well two copies actually) and I'm currently deciding what to keep and what to sell on. I'm certainly keeping one of each limited edition character but the rest I'm not sure on. Anyway, what's interesting about the kit is the rules within the Stormclaw Campaign Supplement. At 33 pages it's hardly a tome but we do get a bit of glimpse of some of the Space Wolf rules. Obviously I'm making a lot of assumptions here but it would be strange for them to change things significantly and the models in these supplements are legal in regular 40K as far as I'm concerned.

Krom Dragongaze
His statline is identical to the current Wolf Lord so we can assume that hasn't changed. He comes in at 135pts. The basic wolf lord in the current codex is 100pts and with a Belt of Russ, Saga of the Warrior Born and Frost Axe (which is effectively what Krom has) he'd be 185pts. That's not including his Furious Charge and Stubborn. 

Rules-wise his Frost Axe is the same as that in the 7th edition FAQ so it looks like that will stand. The Belt of Russ still gives a 4+ invulnerable save but Saga of the Warrior Born is now a Warlord Trait. This fits with one of the recent rumours that Sagas are Traits in the upcoming book. The Saga itself has changed from an attacks bonus to a re-roll to Hit in challenges. Sounds like a nerf but when you consider Warlord Traits are free it isn't really surprising that something you paid 35pts for before has changed. I'll be disappointed if they get rid of some of the sagas though.

All of the Space Wolves have kept Counter-Attack and Acute Senses. With the way Acute Senses works now I can only assume Space Wolves will get some more ways to Outflank since otherwise there's no point the whole army having it. 

Wolf Guard Terminators
The squad shown in the campaign supplement comes in at 230pts but when you add up their wargear with the current codex prices they should be 245pts. That either means their base cost has gone down by 3 pts per model or the wargear is cheaper. I'd expect the latter really. Their rules are otherwise unchanged but they receive a Character to lead the squad. This guy is listed as Unique so this might be something that only happens in Stormclaw. I wouldn't be surprised if they can include a Character though.

The biggest news for Wolf Guard is their listing for Terminator Armour states that they can Deep Strike. This is a change from the fluff that stated they had a "deep mistrust of such arcane tactics and prefer to fight with their feet on solid ground, just as Russ intended". They must've changed their mind or no longer give a toss what Russ thinks! Whatever the reason this is a big change to Space Wolf terminators and how useful they are. In the current book you have to buy a drop pod or Land Raider to get the most from them so it'll be interesting to see how the army dynamic changes with the ability to Deep Strike. Of course someone at GW might've just copy and pasted the Terminator Armour rules into this supplement and the codex will still not allow it but who knows?

Grey Hunters
Once again these guys come out at a slightly different points value to the current codex. Their squad should be 115pts but they're listed at 125pts. Either that means a base cost of 17pts per model or perhaps the upgrades have changed. I could see the plasma gun being 15pts in line with other marine books but I can't see anything else having gone up in price so I can only assume individual hunters now cost more. Options seem the same in that you can take a plasma gun, power weapon and plasma pistol in a squad of 5. 

There's another significant change revealed here though. All of the hunters are listed as having pistol and grenades but it no longer seems like you get a bolter for free. That's a big deal for Grey Hunters and will make for a pretty different loadout. There's been recent rumours to corroborate this too so I wouldn't be surprised if they're now effectively tactical marines with Counter-Attack and Acute Senses tacked on. No indication of pack size is given though.

Blood Claws
Recent rumours have Blood Claws as being cheaper in the next book and the points cost here would seem to tie in with that. The squad listed here comes in at 110pts compared to 115pts which means unless the power fist is cheaper the individual Blood Claws would cost 14pts a piece. I can certainly see that happening but that makes Grey Hunters over costed if they've lost their extra weapon, at least in my opinion.

Berserk Charge and Headstrong seem to have gone and been replaced by Rage. That means they're no longer forced to forgo shooting and charge and therefore don't require a wolf guard/IC to keep them in check. Both the Blood Claws and Grey Hunters in this supplement have a Character with them that gains an extra attack. This might just be a Wolf Guard but the leadership 8 would make me think otherwise. 

Conclusion
Assuming these assumptions are correct, there's some interesting Space Wolf changes revealed here. If Grey Hunters are indeed more expensive and they've lost their extra weapon then Blood Claws might start to look tempting. The big deal for me with Grey Hunters will be how Mark of the Wulfen and Wolf Standard turn out but even so losing an attack for the sake of a boltgun will be a difficult call to make. Basically it'll be a toss up between having extra attacks on the charge or being able to shoot at range.

I'm pleased to see WG terminators getting deep strike whilst becoming apparently cheaper. I often struggled to fit them in to my lists with them needing a transport of some kind to be effective. Krom is an interesting character and the little formation in the book is a nice touch. I'm still struggling to get my head around army selection in 7th so I'll need to write up a post to help me figure it out. Look out for that.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Shameless Plug Again! - eBay Auctions End Tomorrow

Quick shameless plug again for some of the items I'm selling on eBay. I hope to get more up next weekend too but you can check out what I've got for sale here. All of the auctions will be ending tomorrow (Sunday) night UK time. Pretty much all the models are new and either just assembled or else on sprue. The books are in excellent condition for the most part. I'm selling the Eldar and Tyranid codices because I can't see me actually starting an army for either race.

Here's a full list of what I've got up for sale:
  • Codex Grey Knights (5th ed)
  • Codex Space Wolves (5th ed)
  • Codex Eldar (6th ed)
  • Codex Tyranids (6th ed)
  • 5th edition rulebook (small)
  • 6th edition rulebook (small)
  • Tau Crisis Suit
  • Tau XV8 Commander (finecast)
  • Tau Stealth Team (3)
  • Tau Kroot x12
  • Dark Eldar Succubus (finecast)
  • Dark Vengeance CSM Helbrute x2
  • Dark Vengeance CSM Cultists
  • Dark Vengeance CSM Chosen
  • Dark Vengeance CSM Chaos Lord (Kranon the Relentless)
There's also a couple of limited edition items that GW no longer make:
  • Dark Vengeance DA Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus
  • Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Network (not strictly limited edition but you have to buy everything separate these days)
I've now also added:
  • Krom Dragongaze (Limited Edition from Stormclaw)
  • Grukk Face-Rippa (Limited Edition from Stormclaw)
  • 2x Small/Mini Rulebook (from Stormclaw)
Anyway here's the link to it all.

Sorry for interrupting the regular posts for this but I need the cash for my Orks and probably SW additions when the codex hits.

Friday, July 18, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Ork Codex Review - Lords of War!

Well it's been rumoured to be happening for a long time but we've finally seen a codex with Lords of War included. Lots of people are saying this will force TOs to include them but basically they can still say "no Lords of War" if they want. Tricky now that it means no Ghaz but it's up to TOs to decide how they want to run their events and players to vote with their feet if they disagree. I'm yet to decide on BW8 but I'll be looking at the SW release closely (which should be soon) to make up my mind on various things. Anyway, let's look at the "new" section of the codex then.

Ghazghkull Thraka
Ghaz was a beast in the old codex. He perhaps lost a bit of his charm in recent months with the amount of firepower some armies could bring to bear but he certainly packed a punch in 5th. He's now found himself squaring up to a Stompa for the single Lord of War slot. That could actually be a bonus as with the Ork Horde detachment you could easily take 3 HQs plus Ghaz. Mind you, most people will be wanting to use his supplement instead.

He's still the same cost and comes with the same basic wargear. Somewhere along the line he lost his Adamantium Skull which is now replaced with plain Eternal Warrior. Sadly since he isn't technically a warboss he can't Waaagh! every turn with the Ork Warband formation. His Waaagh! gives Fearless for a game turn thanks to his Warlord Trait and he still gets a 2+ invulnerable save. He no longer gives an automatic 6" run but does allow Meganobz to run despite Slow and Purposeful.

It's odd really that he's become a Lord of War but is actually worse than when he was just a regular HQ. Shame really and frankly the supplement doesn't really make him personally much better.

Stompa
Nothing has changed about the Stompa from the version which appears in Apocalypse and Escalation. Well except that you can take Grot Riggers to make it a nice round 800 pts. Of course the destroyer weapon has been nerfed with the new rules but since it's CC anyway it isn't that big a blow.

Stompas are deceptive really. When you read them you think this is some unstoppable gargant spewing torrents of fire in all directions. What you actually find is that they rarely hit the target and often the supa-gatler jams up early. A lot of the time they just act as a walking distraction and an oversized troop transport. Still I've always enjoyed using them and they can be a lot of fun when things go right. Effigy is suddenly a lot more appealing now Fearless is more useful too.

In smaller games they can be utterly devastating but in larger games they're likely to be brought down pretty quickly. Still with a nearby KFF and some meks inside the thing will be pretty tough to shift for most armies. Like a lot of things they're a style choice. Some people would never dream of running them but others will enjoy the look on people's faces when they plonk them on a table at a tournament. I intend to get a lot of use out of mine but mostly for friendly games at home.

Conclusion
The worrying thing for me here is the precedent that GW are setting by including them. Stompas were hardly game breaking even with the old Destroyer rules and I don't think that's changed. We're probably a long way off another Eldar codex for Revenants to be included but Necrons will probably arrive sooner and bring a Transcendant C'tan with them. I think I need to revisit the Lords of War in the Escalation book to decide if that's such a bad thing or not with the new Destroyer rules.

More worrying still is the thought that other special characters could become Lords of War. I'm pretty much certain that'll happen to Logan in the SW book but that won't be so earth shattering as there isn't really a super heavy for him to compete with.

This section of the book is going to be contentious. With the Ghaz supplement proving valuable to Ork players they'll probably want/need to take Ghaz to unlock the formations in it. I just don't understand the reasons for moving him into a section where he feels woefully out gunned. For the points he's probably more useful than the Stompa but some players will want the gargant every time. Time will tell with the other books I suppose.

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