Wednesday, 22 June 2011

As Russ Intended - Evolution of my Space Wolves List


You may remember from this post that I said that I was trying out a new unit in my Space Wolves list.  So I wouldn't have to rush my thunderwolves to get a army list up and running I decided on a list without the thunderwolves in to be my painting challenge.  The list I came up with was as follows:

Rune Priest
4 units of grey hunters with wolf guard in rhinos
1 Dreadnaught
2 multi-melta/heavy flamer landspeeders
2 units of max long fangs with missile launchers with las/plas razorbacks

The list was performing well, however I wasn't too impressed with the razorbacks.  They did have a lot going for them:
  • they were the only lascannons in the list, and at short range
  • at short range the plasma guns added some nice extra Ap2 firepower in the list
  • they allowed the long fangs to deploy better in dawn of war
  • they could pick up grey hunter packs who had lost their rhino later in the game
However for most of the game 150 pts for 2 lascannon shots seemed a bit ineffecive.  Also without having a lot of other vehicle armour in the list there wasn't enough other targets to distract the enemies heavy guns.  Razorspam Wolves or Razorspam Blood Angels works due to the number of razorbacks and the distracting Av13 predators.  My lists didn't have that so my fragile razorbacks were shaken often (if not destroyed).

What had always performed was the reliable grey hunters, although there was always an issue of having one unit stay slightly further back to get objective.  So my thought was 2 las/plas razor backs were the same as 10 grey hunters on foot.  To keep the volume of low AP2 shots I needed 10 pts to give the grey hunters 2 plasmaguns.

It I them considered that if this squad was on foot it would be the perfect place for a 5th wolf guard in terminator armour with a cyclone missile launcher.  Now that wolf guard is a lot of points so I had to be ruthless.  The squad of 9 grey hunters (including wolf guard) that was normally joined by the runepriest lost a grey hunter and it's mark of the wolfen.  A squad of 10 was reduced to 9, the weakest squad (which had only a combi melta on the wolf guard and a melta gun) was reduced to 8 models.  Finally although the whirlwind had done fine I changed by 2 long fangs and whirlwind to 3 units of 5, going from 10 missiles accross 4 targets and 1 whirlwind blast to 12 missile accross 6 targets, but more importantly saving me 20 points towards the cyclone wolf guard.

My new unit fought on foot as Russ intended, aided long range shooting with 2 more missile shots into another target, and was more than a match for most outflankers (or any traitious wolf scouts).  My first interation of this squad was:

Wolf Guard in Terminator armour with Combi-Plasma, Wolf Claw & Cyclone Missile Launchers
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns

Unit Performace

My first test was against a blood angels force that had two troops choices in landraiders, while also ramming dreadnaughts down your throt in drop pods, rounding the list out with fast vindicators, and they had been to the vampire cloning company to get a Mephiston clone (he pops up in so many lists).

The unit performed well advancing to mid field while firing off missiles every turn.  However their inability to hurt dreadnaughts in combat was also shown up when my missile launchers failed to hurt onr dreadnaught and it fell to the grey hunters to rapid fire plasmaguns into the side armour which luckily immobolised it.

My second game was against marines.  Lysander drop podding down with a tactical squad, along with two dreadnaughts in drop pods.  By the time most armies had recovered from that there was 5 hammer terminators in a land raider supported by another tactical squad in a rhino, scouts, and a vindicator.

This game it was nice to move the new grey hunter round a building and rapid fire three plasmaguns in hammer terminators, however it did seem like overkill with the rest of the rapid firing bolters and other squads ready to charge the couple of remaining terminators.

Over these two games it seems that I didn't need the plasma as much.  Normally the squad was moving to engage the enemy or claim objectives (so they weren't using the full 24" range), and they didn't need the risk of plasmagun overheats killing them.  What I did need (especially as this squad had to be move self sufficient) was a way to deal with vehicles and dreadnaughts.  Therefore out went the plasmaguns on the grey hunters for meltaguns, and the wolf guard gained a chainfist (at the expense of his combi weapon, and the points savings from using meltaguns rather than plasmaguns).

The revised unit was:

Wolf Guard in Terminator armour with Storm Bolter, Chainfist & Cyclone Missile Launchers
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns

It would have been nice to squeese the combi meltagun on the wolf guard, but I ran out of points.  This new unit faced an experimental tyranid army with prime, 9 hive guard, 2 trygons, termagaunts, hormagaunts, gaygoyles & genestealers.  The new unit performed very well.  They held a flank (staying 18" away from the board edge so it could rapid fire at any genestealers that outflanked that side) while hammering a trygon.  Later in the game they were charged by a weakened (about 12 left) hormagaunt unit.  With counter attack they saw off this threat and advanced to just short of the tyranid deployment zone.  Later in the game the firepower the unit put at short range was great (2 missile shots and then 22 bolter shots), and then were able to let most enemies charge them and counter attack.  The icing on the cakes was the chainfist that would allow them to be a threat to heavy vehicles, dreadnaughts and monstrous creatures in close combat.

Overall I really like the unit, it adds a lot to the mid field presence of the army.  I do have to be careful with it's deployment so it doesn't get left out of the main fight, after all with the wolf guard it is a lot of points, at 233 pts including the wolf guard (especially if all it does is fire 2 missile shots a turn).

For those interested here's my revised list:

Rune Priest - 100
Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf

Wolf Guard - 225
(Alpha) Frost Axe, Bolt Pistol
(Beta) Powerfist, Combi-melta
(Gamma) Powerfist, Combi-melta
(Delta) Combi-melta
(Epsilon) Terminator Armour, Cyclone Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter, Chainfist

Dreadnaught - 105
Multi-melta, Storm Bolter

Grey Hunter Squad Alpha - 170
7 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wolfen, Meltagun, Wolf Standard, Rhino

Grey Hunter Squad Beta - 185
8 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wolfen, Meltagun, Wolf Standard, Rhino

Grey Hunter Squad Gamma - 195
8 Grey Hunters, Powerfist, Meltagun, Wolf Standard, Rhino

Grey Hunter Squad Delta - 130
6 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino

Grey Hunter Squad Epsilon - 155
10 Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns

Landspeeder - 70
Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer

Landspeeder - 70
Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer

5 Long Fangs - 115
4 Missile Launchers

5 Long Fangs - 115
4 Missile Launchers

5 Long Fangs - 115
4 Missile Launchers

Totals: 1750 Points, 67 Models, 16 Kill Points

For high strenth shots the army starts out with 14 missile launcher shots spread accross 7 targets, and at short range this is complimented by 6 meltaguns, 3 combi-meltas & 3 multi-meltas.  Anti light infantry is covered with the ability of the missile launchers to switch to frag missiles and the number of bolters in the list. 

What I also like about the list is it's large number of models for a marine list.  It's slower than my other armies (Tau & Dark Eldar), but is as large as those armies and much more resiliant.  However it must be careful not let the many units get isolated so they can be taken apart piece meal.  If they support each other they can take on pretty much anything, even if it's by tieing something up so it can be dragged down and (power)fisted to death - as happened to Mephiston in the Blood Angels game :)

What do you think of the army list evolution ?  The army is much more counter attack rather than the full on agression of my early thunderwolf list.  What do you think of the new unit, do you use one like it yourself or have you faced such a unit ?


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