Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Space Wolves in 6th Edition - Thunderwolf Cavalry
As regular readers will know I'm a bit fan of thunderwolves. There's no doubting they aren't as reliable as wave after wave of grey hunters but they're certainly more fun. In my experience of them in 5th edition they were either totally devastating or else a damp squib. The games where they devastated my opponents were some of my favourite 5th edition battles.
Let's have a quick look at what's changed in 6th edition then. The most noticeable change as far as TWC are concerned is the new rules for cavalry. The main problem I had with TWC in 5th was getting them to my opponents lines relatively unscathed. They had a massive charge range but with only 6" move followed by D6" run it wasn't too difficult to keep away from them. In 6th edition they can now move 12" and still run D6" (but not charge).
This is a big deal, in early turns they can now move 6" further than before. Now granted they can't necessarily charge as far but with Fleet re-rolls they should be getting 9" or so most of the time (I'm sure someone will mathammer this at some point). These guys aren't slowed by difficult either when moving or charging and thanks to difficult terrain allowing a save it really isn't an issue any more. Obviously their threat range is still 19-24" as before but covering more ground in the movement phase is better than charging further in my opinion.
The other bonus that Cavalry have gained from 6th edition is Hammer of Wrath. Not only is this a cool name but getting an automatic S5 hit for each thunderwolf at I10 is pretty nice particularly against units with I6 or better. TWC already have a sickening number of attacks anyway! A standard 50pt model now puts out 7 attacks on the charge!
In 5th edition it was important to equip each model differently to make the most of wound allocation. This is no longer necessary in 6th. This means no more 5pts wasted on melta bombs! As I discussed in the tanking post, wound allocation can still be achieved with LOS rolls on a wolf lord.
Here's how I'll be using my TWC in 6th:
Wolf Lord w/ Thunderwolf mount, wolf claw, storm shield, runic armour and Saga of the Bear
4 Thunderwolf cavalry (1 storm shield, 1 fist)
Coming in at 505pts it's hardly a cheap unit but with the runic armour tank it should be pretty resilient. As in 5th edition this unit will be a huge distraction for your opponents. The other advantage here is that the power fist model can't be challenged like the wolf guard in a grey hunter pack (more on that later). This unit puts out 33 attacks on the charge, 5 of which will hit automatically at I10. There aren't many units that can stand up to that.
However, in 5th edition I'd have had no concerns about charging terminators with my TWC. In 6th I'd certainly think twice. Whilst Rending as remained at AP2 my Thunderlord is now AP3 and therefore can't think out the terminators at I5 before they strike. The terminators on the other hand can still hurt my wolves with lightning claws and hammers alike. I recently took them against Scott's BA and bounced off a hammer/shield unit of terminators having failed to kill any of them!
Overall though I think the TWC have been boosted by 6th edition. They're a lot more reliable than before and with the thunderlord as a tank they're tougher too. I hope we see more of them in tournaments but I suspect that as before they'll be ditched because of their high points cost and WG terminators will be taken instead.