Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Space Wolves - New Codex Winners & Losers


The Space Wolves codex has been out for a few weeks, and I've had a chance to go through the codex quite a few times tweaking my old list to see what would be better now, and playing a few games.

Here are my top winners and losers.  There are quite a few winners in the new book, so these are my top 3:


[These models are from the Spears of Russ blog, click to check out his excellent blog, here, with other stunning models]
1st - Thunderwolves / Thunderwolf Mount:  From the 20% drop in the base cost of thunderwolves, to the increase in their maximum unit size, to all their attacks counting as rending (not just the basic attacks), to the extra wound it gives characters now (not only the wolf lord but the wolf guard battle leader and iron priest really benefit from this) to all thunderwolves being allowed special melee weapons.  This is alos not counting the warlord trait that Canis and Harald come with (that all warlords have a chance of getting) that makes thunderwolves stubbon and furious charge if they are within 12" at the start of the assault phase.

2nd - Wolf Claws:  These changed from Lighning claws that could reroll to hit or to wound to +1 Str Shred.  The +1 Str combined with the reiability of rerolling to wound make these excellent weapons.  Especially when you can combine it with a 2nd specialist weapon to gain the extra attack.  A powerfirst or thunderhammer would be a good choice to give the option of Str10 attacks against vehicles and monstrous creatures.

3rd - Bloodclaws & Skyclaws:  With a 3 point drop these can much better compete in their respective FOC slots.  I think a cheap 10 man bloodclaw unit in a drop pod for only 155 pts is a real contender for one of your troop choices.  Skyclaws get very stiff completeion from thunderwolf cavalry, but if you have the models and don't fancy buying more thunderwolves there's nothing wrong with putting them in your army.  Although swiftclaws also got reduced in cost I don't think they quite compete within a very tough fast attack selection.

Honourable mention must to rune priest with their significant points drop (even if the Wolves magic lore is poor).


1st - Power Armoured Wolf Guard:  Although these guys start out at the same base cost as they had before, their downfall is all about the cost of their upgrades and their cost when added to units.   When added to units wolf guard are a 10 point upgrade on a basic model in the unit, making them  more expensive in infantry squads such as Bloodclaws & Grey Hunters (although significantly cheaper in Skyclaws and Swiftclaws).  Next the Wolf Guard previously had cheaper weapon upgrades, now they choose from the generic weapon upgrades list, which means many of the weapon options are more expensive, the chief among them the combi weapon which doubled in cost.  The typical aggressive unit wolf guard upgrades were powerfist and combi weapon, this set-up has increased from 43 pts before to 59 pts for a unit of Grey Hunters (or 53 points in a unit of power armoured wolf guard).

When you add in the fact that Space Marines in general do not suffer too much from morale issues (due to And they shall know no fear), so they don't need the leadership buff as much, I think you will see less wolf guard in power armour in armies

[Taken from Aruboyz page on CMON, see here for more of his pics]
2nd - Long Fangs:  The split fire rule changes to the same as the main rulebook rule so you can only split off one shot rather than as many as you like into the 2nd target.  The weapon cost got increased to the same as Space Marine Devastators, so a full missile launcher unit went up from 140 to 165 points.  I used to use a 5 man squad with 4 missile launchers which went from 115 to 135.

Now Devastators are rarely seen in competitive lists in any great number, and if I was going to use them it would be in a Imperial Fists detachment where they get tank hunter (an excellent USR), so 5 points more for Counter Attack and Split Fire vs Tank Hunters seems like a poor comparison.  Next the competition got slightly better.

7th edition vehicle tables made vehciles harder to one-shot kill, plus the Whirlwind came down to the cheap 65 pts, and the predator with sponsons went down in cost.  A predator with Autocannon turret and Lascannon sponsons is now 115 pts, 2 Str7 and 2 Str9 shots for 20 pts cheaper than 5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers.

On the plus side for Long Fangs, Plasma Cannons & Lascannons came down in points in line with the Space Marine codex, and the points increase is not that drastic.  Putting them on the table would not seem strange, but if you have other heavy support choices you may look elsewhere, and I think the days of double and triple long fangs squads are gone.

3rd - Scouts:  With the lose of Behind Enemy lines, these are just scouts from the marine codex with WS & BS 4 for the same cost as Grey Hunters.  They do get the option to take a special weapon instead of the heavy weapon in the Marine codex, but at the same cost as Grey Hunters and not being troops I don't see you will see many of them on the board apart from Sniper Scouts to hold a back field objective.  Even the option to get a second melta shot the turn they turn up from reserves (a Wolf Guard pack leader with a combi-melta) has gone up from 23 pts to 34 pts.

Even the option to do a close combat scout unit is not as good as the vanilla marine book because they do not have a landspeeder storm as an option.  For the same cost a Grey Hunter unit in a drop pod will do better.

The only saving grace I can see is that they are the 2nd cheapest elite slot (after Lone Wolves) if you need a 2nd Elite slot to fulfil the detachment requirements in the Space Wolves suppliment.  However even then a few points more gets you a dreadnaught or a tooled up Lone Wolf.

Honourable mention goes to the Cyberwolf which lost T5, however they are all characters, even the ones accompanying the Iron Priest, so they can accept challenges.  Oddly enough the Rune Priest gets an honourable mention in the losers section as well for the nerf of the great psychic powers Living Lightning and Jaws :(

Those are my top 3 winners and losers.  What units do you think got the best buff or nerf with the new codex ?


I leave you with parting shots of my Dark Eldar who are in transit to their new realm in Commorragh (a new storage case) to house some new additions (Hellions) and make room for more Coven members (Grotesques).

The rumours of the new codex means I may use less wracks (as I'll have too many Elites) but will keep my 6 Venoms (with only a possible slight increase in cost, the likelihood that I can take them as separate Fast Attack slots, and the specific Dark Eldar detachment allowing 6 Fast Attack slots).

Rather than leaving the battles to his Wych Cult & Coven allies, Archon Rathstar may return to the battlefield :)

and it will be interesting to see which Flyer makes my army list (or maybe both as I can still have 2 Ravagers and both fliers):

Only a few days left to the codex now...


  1. As a Dark Eldar player myself I just bought 3 packs of Thunderwolf Cavalry, Arjac, Land Raider Crusader + 5 Wolf Guard Terminators (Arjac's Shieldbrothers) & Santa Logan o his sleigh.

    Not planning to buy any of the new Dark Eldar models though.

  2. The Void Claws are also interesting. In the detachment they have WS5, deepstrike on turn one, so help with drop pod early pressure, and if Arjac joins them they have someone with a 3++ and for the Str10 against wraighknights and imperial knights.

    What's been your experiences with the Wolves ? Logan does look that good to me, how have you found him ?

    I would have bought the DE bomber if I hadn't already converted one, but I'll be finishing some Grotesque conversions (Warmachine models with Talos bits)..

    My army is quite large, so unless they make Mandrakes good I'm fine :)


  3. I don't know if Arjac can join this unique formation. If he can - this would make this good formation brilliant! (even then I would go full monty with an allied Chapter Master with Sh Eternal - don't have the model though). I have no expierience with the Wolves just staring the army. I planning to build 2 aspects: competitive and themed.
    Competitive 1850p:
    4 triplemelta units of Legion of the Damned Detachment (just started playing them, Tessarac, Imperial Knight, Reaver Titan go down on the turn they all appear).
    SM CAD
    2 units Raven Guard Scouts (also just ordered)
    3 units triplemeta Legion of the Damned
    1 Chaplain on Jump Pack giving Thunderwolf Cavalry Scout, Fearless & Hatred.
    SW allied detachment
    Thunderwolf Lord Fist Shield Runic armour
    6 thunderwolf cavalry (no upgrades) or 5 with some storm shields
    +Blood Claws objective campers

    Arjac Shieldbrothers
    Company Detachment: Logan with Shieldbrothers
    Wolf Lord, 2 Iron Priests + TWC
    allied Salamander Detachment
    5 Scouts
    Harath Shen to join the Shieldbrothers & give them 4+ Feel No Pain

    No plans to buy Mandrakes because I have 10

    1. Interesting lists. How good are the Legion of the Damned ? I understand they are good, however they are also expensive and die to basic firepower as easy as a basic marine. Therefore my question is whether it's worth having so many, or whether it would be best to a have couple of units and spend the rest of the points elsewhere.

      I like the deathstar of the thunderwolves & characters. You'll have to let me know how they do. I normally try to spread my points, eg. I have my thunderwolves on their own, my canis with fenrusian wolves, and my iron priest with skyclaws.

      It seems all Dark Eldar players have Mandrakes, but no-one uses them :) Luckily it looks that with a drop to 12 points they will probably be useful in the new codex.


    2. Also I had a quick check on the rules about characters joining units and it says (p166): "While an Indepentant Character is part a unit, he counts as part of the unit for all rules purposes", however it also says special rules of the units are not confered onto joined character and special rules of the character are not confured onto the unit, unless specifically mentioned.

      In the detachment the rules the Terminators do not get any special rules. All the rules are for the detachment, eg. One character must make or accept challenges, Wolf Guard have +1 WS, must deep strike on turn 1.

      However I can see how someone could see it the other way, so if I was going to use Arjac with the Void Claws I would discuss it with my opponent first (and have back-up list, because if there were no other wolf guard Arjac would have to start on his own). For tournaments I would e-mail the tournament organiser for a ruling to be sure before the event.

      If I'm right you could use an allied shield eternal chapter master, however he'd be twice the cost of Arjac and would start to make it too many points in the same squad (about 475 pts rather 355 using Arjac).

      What's your take on it ?


    3. My local TO tolld he wouldn't let me join Arjac & Claws. But it is still possible to Deep Strike the IC in a Drop Pod and join the Claws on turn 1. The ShEtr Chapter Master has 2 more wounds than Arjac and I think he is worth it.

      I don't want to split TWC into couple of units because 1. They loose Fearless and running away 3d6 even if it happens only once during the game can be a total didaster (especially turn 1). 2. I can make a lot Look Out Sir shenanigans to distribute wounds as evenly as possible.

      I really loved the fluff and the artwork of LotD when GW relased their mini-dex a year ago. I was wondering nobody played them. Then a couple of months ago I won a box of tacticals on a tournament and decided to arm them WYSIWIG and try them out (4 units of 5). For a Dark Eldar player this was a shock. Not only they could kill all the vehicles that my Ravagers couldn't but they had immense staying power. I was used to wiping out all my infantry in one turn after they loose they trasport. But Legion survived the Titanic explosion of a Tessarac Vault they just killed and could stand for many turns of other Necron firepower.

      This edition is all about vehicles. There isn't enough "basic firepower" to kill all 7 units of the Legion because too much is spent on the Big Guns from Wave Serpents to Imperial Knights. And they are not that Expensive at all. They cost 50 points cheaper than 5 sternguard with combi-meltals in a Drop Pod. They do more damage and can survive more punishment than vets.

      I strongly recomend them as best SM AT choice in 40 meta right now.

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