Saturday, September 20, 2014

After Action Thoughts on 7th Edition Space Wolves

I've now had a decent number of friendly games and a tournament to get to grips with the new Space Wolves codex so I thought I'd share my thoughts. First off I'd like to say I'm still very much feeling the love for my wolves. Space Wolves may not have been my first 40K army but I've always had a soft spot for them and they're certainly my favourite now.

The tournament I played in allowed two detachments of any type so I took along two CADs of Space Wolves. This allowed me four HQs without sacrificing Objective Secured which I'm still a big fan of. Here's what I was running:

1,750pts of Space Wolves
Thunderlord w/ runic armour claw, shield and helm
3x WGBL on wolf w/ fist, shield and fen wolf

3x 8 Grey Hunters w/ chainswords, meltagun and terminator w/ fist/PF in a pod (one with standard)
5 Blood Claws in a Stormwolf w/ multimeltas

That's it. Doesn't look like much but it hits hard when it has to. The lord has six S6 attacks at I5 and a Hammer of Wrath attack at S5. He re-rolls to hit and wound which lets him shred troop units and gives him a reasonable chance against things like daemon princes too. The battle leaders are awesome against DPs though with their S10 fists and the fen wolf allows them to soak up the odd S10 shot that might come their way. I run them all solo so they're difficult to deal with. Your opponent will struggle to charge more than one allowing the others to pile in and help out if necessary. Massed shooting is an issue but it all comes down to how well you can roll 2+/3++.

The hunters in pods aren't what they used to be but they're still awesome. Incidentally, it's worth noting that you can get a wolf guard pack leader in terminator armour with a fist for the same cost as a power armoured leader with fist. The difference is the combi weapon is cheaper for the terminator. Obviously not an option in rhinos and you sacrifice a second special weapon for the grey hunters (since you can only get 9 models in the pod) but still good to know.

In my friendly games before the tournament I was running a 15-man blood claw pack in the stormwolf with a priest but I quickly realised this was far too many points off the table at the start of the game. It hits incredibly hard when those 16 bodies get into combat but even if you get them turn 2 the stormwolf needs to zoom for a turn and then hover to get them in combat. Not only does it put it in danger but a turn 3 charge really isn't that exciting. The stormwolf is awesome and helfrost is scary even for models that only fail the strength test on a 6. Obviously it isn't reliable but things like that can come good and change the course of a game in your favour. Don't forget the flyer can hover late game to use Obj Sec to claim an objective. It's not invincible though so having just a 5-man squad is a lot less risk since they're all gonna die if the stormwolf gets taken down.

So how did it perform at the tournament? Well this event allowed Lords of War so in the first game I met a tyranid list with harridan and 4 FMCs. The S10 guns made short work of my thunderwolves and I simply couldn't down the FMCs quickly enough. The stormwolf killed the warlord tyrant on its own but it too fell victim to the S10 from the harridan. Obviously the list struggles against multiple FMCs but that's true of a lot of armies. The second game was against a warhound titan with some grey knights and an assassin. The callidus allowed a re-roll to Seize giving my opponent first turn. Of course he rolled 6s on the destroyer table for his first two shots removing my warlord and a WGBL. The mission was similar to Control Freak at Blog Wars though and so I held my own pretty well. My opponent's rolling was insane though and an uphill struggle ended in a narrow loss. With two narrow losses I ended up on the bottom tables and met a daemons list without any of the usual tricks in it. This gave me a fun game with plenty of combat and a decent win to place me mid table at the end of the day.

Following the event I've tweaked my list slightly. I really don't think the wolf standard is worth it in this particular list (and I'm not sure I'd bother generally). The extra 25 pts that gives me go into a fen wolf for the wolf lord and an upgrade to hammers for the battle leaders. That means they'll be striking at the same time as a monstrous creature if they get to a second round of combat thanks to Concussive. Might not save their life but should help them finish off the MC with their dying breath.

Conclusion
It's difficult to comment on the performance of the list when I had such bad luck with both my draws and dice rolls. In the first game I probably passed only 50% of my 2+ saves and in the second my opponent rolled an insane number of 6s. The last game gave me a hint of the potential of the list with two WGBLs going toe-to-toe with a Bloodthirster and coming out on top. One of them then went on to insta-kill a daemon prince too. The wolf lord chewed through karanak, 3 bloodcrushers and a squad of plaguebearers.

Obviously I couldn't run this list if the tournament wasn't allowing two CADs but it's helped me realise how useful Objective Secured is. Unless you're wanting to run a raft of HQs the Wolves Unleashed detachment isn't good enough to tempt me to drop Objective Secured. Despite the bad matchups the list held it's own and still would've won the first two games if the odd dice roll had gone my way. Neither felt like a whitewash.

I'd love to give rune priests a go but I'm finding it very difficult to write them into a list. I think there's a spot for them in a drop pod with some hunters but they'll often find themselves shut down by more powerful psychic armies. As I said in my review it's difficult to resist the temptation of a thunderwolf HQ. Even without any support they're still great for the points.

Finally, with this list at least, I'm really not seeing the point in using the codex warlord traits so I've been opting for the strategic table. This gives me a chance of getting some reserves manipulation for me or my opponent.

I'm determined to win the Best Painted award at the next event on October 18th so I've got some hobby work to do to update my wolves and add some much needed detail to them. I'll be posting about it soon starting with my stormwolf that I'm particularly proud of.

8 comments:

  1. That first image is from the cup-cake challenge isn't it?!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences, it's glad to here that Grey Hunters are still useful.

    Have you been tempted to make one of the units of Grey Hunters Bloodclaws instead. Even without upgrades they look like they can kill non assault specialist units.

    Your list did seem a bit top heavy, but you got very unlucky to face Str10 and D weapons in your early games. The battle leaders still seem a bit expensive at just over 150 points. What would you say to the following suggestion:
    Remove one WGBL for 15 Fenrusian Wolves that your warlord could join to give him some abalative wounds. Next you could swap the other 2 WGBL for a full thunderwolf unit with 2 shields, a powerfist & a wolf claw (my sums make the unit 3 pts more than 2 of your WGBLs, much less than the points saved from swapping the first WGBL for fenrusian wolves).

    Can you see scenarios where you would put back in the wolf standard ? I initially took it out of the lists I was writing after the codex dropped, but I'm tempted to put it back in, as I have a few big assault units, that will make a bee line for the drop pod landing site of unit carrying the wolf standard. I keep thinking of bloodclaws with 5 attacks on the charge, thunderwolves with 7 str 6 attacks on the charge, or best yet 8 point fenrusian wolves with 4 str 5 rerolling to hit attacks each on the charge (my warlord is Canis) !! I realise that all the pieces will not aways fall into place to get these stats, but it'll be devastating when it does :)

    Rathstar

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    Replies
    1. I like having the grey hunters ranged firepower when the pod lands. Often Blood Claws would get assaulted when they land and they lack decent overwatch plus when charged grey hunters are better with WS4. To me Blood Claws need to be in an assault vehicle to work effectively.

      Fenrisian wolves are fine in theory but I don't have to models for a squad like that. They work as ablative wounds but die very quickly and effectively reduce the Lord to T4 until all but one dies.

      Again I don't have the models for a full TWC unit but I actually prefer the separate WGBLs as it can mean wasted enemy fire power. With the runic armour and 3 wounds they're probably equivalent to 4 TWC defensively a lot of the time. Also two separate units for objective games and harder to pin down.

      In this list I don't think the standard works. I'd look at it again for a different list though.

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  3. Hi, just wanted to say thanks for the amazing reviews of the SW codex.
    Also, I like your list, but how would you change that for normal detachment rules? So without the option of the 4 hqs?
    Along with that, what would you suggest as changes/additions at 2000 points?

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    Replies
    1. You could either run the Wolves Unleashed detachment and sacrifice Objective Secured for a possible 6 TWC HQs. Alternatively you could run a single CAD with Iron Priests or TWC squads to replace the two WGBLs you lose. At 2000 you could consider another drop pod with grey hunters or perhaps some empty ones for first turn alpha and sneaky objective grabbing.

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    2. Thanks.
      Also, my group of gaming buddies have a very high number of superheavies, including a knight, stompa, lord if skulls and a maruder bomber. How would you suggest dealing with these? I know long fangs aren't as effective as they were, but I can't see much else to do

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    3. The Stormwolf can hold it's own but doesn't arrive early enough unless you use Wolves Unleashed. The S10 hammers or fists from the TWC or wolf mounted characters are effective too but you're gonna get stomped in the process!

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    4. Thanks again. Might have to consider getting a superheavy of my own, although I'm not sure what would be fitting of the sons of russ

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