Monday, March 30, 2015

Space Wolves Project: Part 7 of Lots


This week I have been mostly building Grey Hunters.

Unlike my other packs, this pack only has 8 miniatures, because they will always be joined by an HQ choice.

This is also why their Wolf Guard Pack Leader has Terminator Armour, a Storm Shield and a Combi-Melta.

Basically, to arrive, fire the Combi-Melta and then soak up a lot of hits. He has the rather dubious honour of being my HQ's meat shield.

This is my last squad of plastic Space Wolves and it shows, because this is the point where I started running out of bits! Namely torsos and shoulder pads.

My use of 'shouty heads' continues, as well as regular Space Marine legs and Anvil Industry urban bases.


I also made a Grey Hunter Wolf Standard Bearer for this pack. He might get booted out to make room for my HQ choice, one of the other guys might get booted out to make room.

The idea is that he works with Ulrik (who gives Preferred Enemy to all units within 6") and provides +1 attack to call units within 6" as well.

We'll see how that goes.

The Wolf Pelt is from the Dreadnought kit and the Troll Skull... I don't actually know where that's from.

But the whole pack has the embossed skull shoulder pad as their pack symbol, so I thought it would be cool if they were the "Troll Hunters" on Fenris and this Troll Skull trophy ties in with that quite nicely.

Only 8 Wolf Guard, 7 Drop Pods, a Rune Priest and 2 Stormfangs to build, then the painting can begin!

I may paint my "Wolf Guard Test Model" in between, time permitting...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wayland Games Doing 25% Off Warhammer 40K

7:00 PM by Adam Smith ·
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When the heck did this happen?

Wayland Games are now doing 25% off Warhammer 40K.

I'd better buy those 2 Stormfangs I need!

While Wayland may have a bad rep for stock levels and delivery times, when it comes to saving some money I really can't fault them. I've just had to be patient. About 2-3 weeks patient...

That's probably why their stand is so popular (and enormous) at SALUTE - Because people can actually buy what they want right there and then at the prices they want.

Because if I actually want something so badly that I must have it the very second it's released, I will walk to my local Games Workshop and pay full price.

But that only happened when the new Space Wolves Codex was released. And then I went back a week or two later for the Champions of Fenris book.

Personally, I shop with Wayland, (otherwise I wouldn't be recommending them) but I have to accept that if I want stuff cheap, I'll have to wait for it.

If you've never heard of them, check them out.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Thunderwolf Strategies and Army List Building - Thunderwolf Overload!

Thunderwolf Spamming! Love it or hate it, the fact is Thunderwolf Cavalry are some of the most cost efficient, hard hitting, and durable units available to a Space Wolf player.

They're fast and fun and there's few things in the grim dark future that they cannot outright destroy.

This has lead to lots of "Thunderstar" lists and more often than not they work just fine but include things like Blood Claws, that just do not belong in a proper Thunderwolf list 80% of the time, or Long Fangs which will literally kick dirt in boredom if your TW list is doing what it should be doing.

Now you've probably already seen the "New Hotness" list I had come up with from a recent post by Adam, but I figured going into depth on TW unit loadouts and strategies as well as a few lists at different point values would help some players gain more insight or ideas with their own TW lists.

This entire post is assuming you're running the Champions of Fenris detachment the Company of the Greatwolf.

If you're not, then you're simply not getting everything you can out of your Thunderwolf Cavalry and you're bogging down a killy list that carries a specific purpose with troop choices that are, frankly, a waste of points in such a list. More on this when I talk about list strategies below.

The best TWC load out is a subjective thing. Many players may argue that having more bodies is better than having amazing gear, after all, they're STR 5 rending with 4 attacks base.

Many will say that having all WC/SS is an optimum loadout as you're wounding most MEQs on 2's and still able to glance or pen a Landraider with a lucky rend. The army your playing against might play a factor.

The most common unit you'll see me bring to a competitive game is:

3 Thunderwolf Cavalry: 3 Stormshields, 1 Wolf Claw, 1 Powerfist, Thunder Hammer on the pack leader-240 points.


This loadout is very "take on all comers" and is as dangerous to MEQs and TEQs as it is to AV14 and hordes. The hammer on the pack leader will help with MCs and characters (which he is forced to challenge). Thats 5, STR 6 AP3 shred and rending attacks as well as 10 STR 10 AP2 attacks on the charge. Not much can withstand the punching power you'd be applying and with T5, 2W, and a 3++ on every model they're pretty tough too. The down side is 240 points is a lot to many players and they may cringe at the thought. I assure you, however, this unit has always earned its points back- if only by the amount of firepower and resources it will take to put them down.

Another loadout I use at lower point games is:

5 Thunderwolf Cavalry: 5 Stormshields, 4 Bolt Pistols, Thunder Hammer on the pack leader-305 points

This loadout is the complete opposite of the first; its very minimal. Bolt Pistols are CC weapons in combat. Might as well bring them for a few shots and hope to get lucky instead of a Chainsword that will do the same thing in CC but not offer the chance at an extra wound. Thats 20 STR 5 rending and 5 STR 10 AP 2 attacks on the charge for not too many points as well as 10 wounds with T5 and a 3++. This is what I call a "bare" unit. No TW EVER should be fielded without a Stormshield, EVER.

Bottom line. If your paying 40 points for a fire magnet that needs to get in CC to deal damage, pay the extra 15 points to protect your investment or you deserve to lose it to some Tau shooting. You can make the argument to run more TWs without shields to make up for it, but its a moot point. Now you're more vulnerable to shooting AND to CC which means your TW are safe nowhere.You'll lose more to shooting and more to CC and 1-2 extra wolves are not going to make up the wounds you would statistically have saved from AP3 and lower weapons.

Now, you still need Elite choices in the CotGW detachment and, sticking with the theme, Iron Priests on TWs are an obvious choice. In fact, Iron Priests can and do make cute little deathstars on their own with the versatility of joining other units or breaking off to eat overwatch or snag an objective.

And its as simple as pie:

1 Iron Priest: Thunderwolf mount, Bolt Pistol, 4 cyberwolves-160 points

This is a cheap unit you can tack onto any list and get some fun out of. This is a T5 2W character with a 2+6++ thats hitting with 5 STR 10 AP 1 attacks on the charge and can Look out, Sir! to his 4 wolf friends on a 2+ when AP2 weapons are coming at him. The Cyberwolves are an extra 4 attacks on the charge EACH. Thats 16 STR 4 attacks and 5 STR 10 attacks on the charge from a 160 point unit that can attach to another fast unit and tank wounds or provide extra attacks. Beautiful.

HQs, you're going to be tempted to kit a Wolf Lord to the teeth- and that's fine- but you need to consider a few things.

For one, TW are not guaranteed to win combats anymore. Necrons have hit my friends and they can cheese right through any incoming attacks, even ones as powerful as those from TWC.

If this is the case, You might consider running Harald Deathwolf.

Harald does a few things other Lords can't always do. For one, he gives all cavalry and beasts in 12" his stubborn LD 10.

This can be huge when you consider the fact that when TWs break, you're in some serious shit. TWC are only safe in combat where they're likely the top-dogs (pun intended). Once they can be shot at, however, they're sitting ducks that are just praying to Russ to weather the storm and make it back to combat.

Also falling back 3D6 is scary. You're probably not going off the board but that's distance you have to make up and that's pressure you're not putting on your opponent which is giving him options. and that's something you never want to do.

Additionally, Herald is guaranteed the Saga of the Wolfkin Warlord trait which is nice to have considering the whole theme here is beasts and cavalry and all the Wolf Claw Thunderwolves and cyberwolves with Iron Priests will benefit from the furious charge.

A Lord might not always get this but you can rely on old Harald. But, if you're comfortable without this leadership boost and you're confident in your ATSKNF, a Wolf Lord at 1500+ points or a WGBL under that is a great choice.

Here's how I'd equip them:

Wolf Guard Battle Leader: Thunderwolf mount, Runic Armour, Stormshield, Krakenbone Sword 175 points

or

Wolf Lord: Thunderwolf mount, Runic Armour, Stormshield, Krakenbone Sword 225 points

Both of these guys are hard-hitting juggernauts. Tough as nails and able to stand up to just about anything in combat. That's STR 6, AP2 with rending and 6 attacks on the charge with T5 4W and a 2+3++ on the Lord. If you'd like, adding Fellclaw's Teeth will make them even nastier in combat for only 15 more points.

Now lets briefly talk about some support units that can make these units just plain silly.

The first is obviously a Wolf Priest on a bike. Twin linked bolter goodness and extra attacks as well as Preferred Enemy and Fell No Pain will certainly be a boon to a unit as powerful as TWC. More survivability and more killability when your probably wounding on 2s anyway never hurts.

Another solid add is a Rune Priest on a bike with Biomancy.

Imagine if you will, your T5 2W TWs with a 4+ FnP and Eternal Warrior. Or your TWs or HQ regaining wounds. Trust me, its ridiculous. But that's a crap-shoot at best as you're never guaranteed to roll Endurance or Leech Life when grabbing your powers but in the end just having Smite will usually be fine.

And lastly, an allied force of a Sanguinary Priest on a bike for some guaranteed FnP and purchase a mandatory unit of troops like scouts fielded bare, parked on an objective and forget about. A nice, cheap way to sneak more survivability into your TWC but I myself don't like allies and would prefer my Wolf Priest even though his FnP is lack-luster.

So all that's left is putting it all together in lists!

Obviously most lists will not be entirely TWC. Every so often you'll want a flyer in there or some Venerable Dreads with axes and shields dropped behind your opponent to ensure there's nowhere to run from your glorious Thunderwolves.


Sometimes you just want to spam wolves and need to drop a few servitors in your list to keep it battle forged (you may catch some hate for this). Keeping that in mind, I'm going to give you readers a few sample lists that you can build off of or alter to suit your needs. Lots of these lists have a great deal of redundancy. That's what you want to ensure consistency in a more competitive environment. And don't forget, you're going to need a LOT of TWC models to run Thunderwolf Overload lists. I'm not including Wolf Priests or anything- that's your job if you want them!

Consider this the template to build your own brand of destruction from 1000 points:

WGBL: Thunderwolf mount, Runic Armour, Stormshield, Krakenbone Sword

Servitor
Servitor

5X TWC: 5 Stormshields, Thunder Hammer on the pack leader
4X TWC: 4 Stormshields, Thunder Hammer on the pack leader
4X TWC: 4 Stormshields, Thunder Hammer on the pack leader

This list is NASTY at 1000 points. Few players can handle 14 T5 Thunderwolves within this point bracket. This list is in your opponents face and snarling on turn 2, with combat imminent.

However, if you're like me, bringing 2 kill points for your opponent with nothing to do in the game-just to fill a slot as cheaply as possible-isn't that fun. Effective, but boring.

So, Alternatively:

WGBL: Thunderwolf mount, Runic Armour, Stormshield, Krakenbone Sword

Ironpriest: Thunderwolf mount, Bolt Pistol, Cyberwolf
Ironpriest: Thunderwolf mount, Bolt Pistol, Cyberwolf

3X TWC: 3 Stormshields, Thunderhammer on the pack leader
3X TWC: 3 Stormshields, Thunderhammer on the pack leader
3X TWC: 3 Stormshields, Thunderhammer on the pack leader


Just like above, this is a strong list at its points. 14 models but fewer wounds, it sports 2 more special weapons an no model without a purpose.

1250 points

WGBL: Thunderwolf mount, Runic Armour, Stormshield, Krakenbone Sword

Venerable Dreadnought: Fenrisian Greataxe & Blizzard Shield, Drop pod
Venerable Dreadnought: Fenrisian Greataxe & Blizzard Shield, Drop pod

4X TWC: 4 Stormshields, Thunderhammer on the pack leader
4X TWC: 4 Stormshields, Thunderhammer on the pack leader
3X TWC: 3 Stormshields, Wolf Claw, Thunderhammer on the pack leader

This list still boasts plenty of Thunderwolves but has the added joy of two, nearly indestructible, Dreads to drop behind your opponent and give him something else to be afraid of. If your opponent finds a way to deal with one dread, they probably cannot deal with the other and still have enough fight to address your cavalry, something that can overwhelm quickly.

And finally 1500 points

Harald Deathwolf

Venerable Dreadnought: Fenrisian Greataxe & Blizzard Shield, extra armor, smoke launchers, drop pod

Venerable Dreadnought: Fenrisian Greataxe & Blizzard Shield, extra armor, smoke launchers, drop pod

Ironpriest: Thunderwolf mount, Bolt Pistol, 3 Cyberwolves

3X TWC: 3 Stormshields, 1 Powerfist, 1 Wolf Claw, Thunderhammer on the pack leader
3X TWC: 3 Stormshields, 1 Powerfist, 1 Wolf Claw, Thunderhammer on the pack leader
Fast Attack Drop Pod

Stormfang Gunship: Twinlinked Multi-Meltas, Twinlinked Lascannon


This list has been altered to make the dreads more tough than they already are. Over kill but funny when your enemy drops 16 meltas into it and its still got a HP or two left.

They also arrive turn one due to the empty drop pod, which is useful itself to grab an objective on your side of the board that you've abandoned by rushing your whole army forward.

Additionally the Stormfang flies about, snipping enemies that are not caught between your Dreads and TWC or other flyers/vehicles you haven't made it to yet. A solid all-comers list that's rarely "outclassed" in the simple term.

CONCLUSION

The idea for all these lists, the strategy, is to tie your opponent up in combat. Apply pressure to as many units as possible so that he cannot comfortably manoeuvre about the board grabbing objectives.

You also want to try to initiate these combats centre-field if possible, so that your wolves may spread out and take objectives as needed once your comfortable that the enemy is crippled. You suffocate him with superior CC units so that he either has to kill your Thunderwolves in CC (unlikely for most armies) or lose.

Once you've chewed through enough of his army to thoroughly cripple him, use the late game to gather up as many objectives as possible (made more convenient by the sheer speed of your units).

This is assuming you haven't tabled him, which is more than a possibility against most CAD armies and happens a lot more with these lists than one might suspect.

Objective secured is not much to worry about, most any armies troops that would take an objective you want/need are going to be moved off that objective in a round of combat with a unit from these lists.

They're certainly not perfect however. Most are weak to fliers.

Some lists that can really hoard it up might give you some serious headaches. Necrons will outright laugh, so pungent is their reanimation cheese. Still they're solid and fun lists albeit repetitive and full of redundancy. Many might find running all the same unit boring and want diversity. And the amount of TWs needed to field these lists is more than most players own. I usually run a list like these for a week or so then change it up to terminators or formations for a while but I have NEVER brought a list without at least one unit of trusty Thunderwolves, and I wouldn't recommend ever doing so.

Thoughts? Concerns? Comments? Let me hear them all. If you have a Thunderwolf themed list, post it below so others can see it! I hope to have given some of you out there ideas or knowledge and if I have, leave feedback letting me know!

- Jordan

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

HUGE Bases Are Coming to Warhammer 40K

7:40 PM by Adam Smith · 4 comments
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None of the big sites seem to be talking about this yet, but something is happening in Warhammer 40K, something potentially very bad.

Huge bases are coming.

With the release of the new Necrons my local Games Workshop is giving away larger bases with all Necron releases.

Because now all Necron miniatures come on 32mm Monster Bases. Even those skinny Necron Warriors.

Sanguinary Guard also now come on 32mm Monster Bases.

And recently one of my friends purchased a Tyranid Battleforce to find that the Carnifex now comes on a base similar to, but slightly smaller than a Flyer Base, while the Tyranid Warriors come on bases slightly larger than 40mm Monster Bases.

Games Workshop seems to be supplying models with bigger bases.

When questioned about this, our local Store Manager said that "You can base your miniatures however you like."

It's worrying, for two reasons:

1) It's Open to Abuse

Imagine an Ork Horde on 32mm bases.

Blast weapons wouldn't be as effective. Template weapons wouldn't be as effective.

Meanwhile the vast numbers of Orks have a far larger footprint to claim objectives and catch enemy units in close combat more easily.

Alternatively, someone could base their army of Space Marines on 32mm bases, only to base their Stern Guard who desembark from a Drop Pod on 25mm bases to ensure all those Combi-Meltas are able to get into close range.

And there's always one douche bag who will base his Eldar Wraith Knight in a funky pose, balancing on one foot so he fits on to a 25mm base.

2) How Will They Fit On Terrain?

Look at all the terrain Games Workshop make. Heck, look at the terrain any miniature company makes.

It's made for 25mm bases. 32mm struggle to fit a lot of the time.

So if we're 'encouraged' to use larger bases. Scenery becomes rather difficult.

CONCLUSION

Tournaments are going to be interesting if shenanigans happen with people abusing large bases. Tournament Organisers will likely come down on this sort of stuff HARD. Games Workshop's own Throne Of Skulls tournament will be the usual loose mess it's always been. I may be proven wrong. But I doubt it.

As for me, I'll continue to base my miniatures on the "traditional" size of bases regardless. This is the standard sizing for ALL wargames, not just Warhammer 40K. Games Workshop set the standard aeons ago and honestly, I'm amazed that they could crucially mess this up.

But it looks like changes are coming under the new CEO and the Necron Codex is the first of the 'new wave'. A new wave of large bases and army structures of formations.

Games Workshop have had their eye on Warmachine/Hordes for years and seem to have been taking their ideas from Privateer Press ever since the Colossals and Gargantuans came out, inspiring the big kits and formations we now see in Warhammer 40K.

The only question is where unrestricted rules on basing and larger bases will take the system.

Personally, I think that changing the base sizes is a very bad move indeed.

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