Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm Taking a Break...

I've decided to take a break from the Space Wolves blog for a while as I concentrate on sorting my life out following recent events.

There's a Heck of a Lot Going on in Real Life Right Now

Work continues to be challenging and time consuming. But in a good way.

I'm still in the middle of the lengthy house selling process. Thankfully the house has has actually sold! But now I'm in the 2-3 month wait to move out and cash out while legal documents are signed (and witnessed) by myself and my ex-partner.

The way things are going, I should be out by early November at the latest.

Then the plan is to rent somewhere closer to work for 6 months and just see what happens.

Plus, it'll add 2 hours to my life each day (from not commuting on the train) and save me around £288 a month in train fares too - I could buy a Warhammer 40K army for that!

In the meantime, things are gradually being moved out of the house and sold off. I'm also managing all of the bills.

Not to mention that shopping on your own, cooking on your own and cleaning (a huge house) on your own is surprisingly time consuming too.

The State of Games Workshop Bothers Me

Codex Creep, the Space Wolves Codex, Horus Heresy and Forgeworld. These things bother me greatly. Allow me to explain...

7th edition 40K is fun, don't get me wrong, but the Codex Creep really hasn't been. Nigh invincible Necrons, Eldar with D Weapons everywhere and then some crazy Space Marine Formations. It makes you wonder how the rest of the armies are going to balance out... but we have to wait for the latest round of Codex books.

Which brings me on to the 7th edition Space Wolves Codex - I really didn't like it, because I feel that the Space Wolves background and stories have always been about Grey Hunters fighting tooth and claw to bring down the biggest of the Imperium's enemies through skill and cunning. Not a bunch of Thunderwolves charging around the field. And don't get me started on the Santa sled. This is why I chose to build a Space Wolves Drop Pod Army.

My other concern then, is the imminent release of the rumoured Battle For Ultramar Warhammer 30K start box. Beautiful Space Marine miniatures aside (who will be converted!), this then begs the question about Warhammer 40K Space Marine armies and Warhammer 30K Space Marine armies. Because if we're playing 2 systems, we will want some compatibility.

I can't imagine anything worse for someone than rocking up with a Crimson Fists army to be told you can't play them in Warhammer 30K because they weren't even born yet. The same goes for Grey Knights.

But at the same time, if everyone builds a Space Marine army to play Warhammer 30K, which they can also bring to Warhammer 40K, won't the game become even more saturated with Space Marines? Suddenly choosing a non-Space Marine army looks less appealing than ever if you want longevity from your miniatures collection.

Finally, Forgeworld units are my big concern. Yes, they're cool. But do I really want to spend £70+ on a super unit in order to make my army viable to play? I feel a little bit priced out when it's almost expected for me to field a Sicaran Battle Tank in my Space Marine army.

So I'm just going to take a big step back from it all and wait until things settle down so we know what's going on.

I Do Have Regrets

I deeply regret not updating the Space Wolves Blog as much as I'd like to. It makes me feel like I'm letting down everyone who comes here and reads my ramblings regularly.

But unfortunately real life really does get in the way of the fun stuff.

And it's not like this hasn't happened before when I've lost my job or something bad has happened.

So maybe it's something I should just accept?

I guess it's because the blog was launched during the 'golden year' of the Space Wolves, back in 2010 when the 5th edition Codex had just come out, the army was awesome, I had a huge force all built and painted, played regularly with my late friend James and attended numerous tournaments across the country.

It was the perfect time in my life to become an avid blogger, gamer and champion of the Space Wolves community online.

I miss those days and I miss having James to regularly play games with too. But life keeps moving forward, whether you want it to or not.

So yeah, it's time to take a break, recharge the batteries and return to Warhammer 40K (and maybe 30K?) once things have settled down - in both my life and within the Games Workshop hobby.

Fenris Hjolda! - Adam

Monday, August 10, 2015

Space Wolves Allies: Adeptus Mechanicus


Wolves for the Wolf King here again - this time to take a look at the use of Allies while keeping your Space Wolf Force as Primary.

Something people may have taken too much at face value is that Imperial armies have been Lumped together under "Armies of the Imperium". The point that I'm getting at is that 7th edition has given us a whopping 12 battle brother allies and with the new force organisation charts and various formations floating about we can pick and choose what we want to use as we wish and gives us access to nearly every rule imaginable and, if you're smart about where you're getting it from, at reasonable point cost.

The best thing about formations and new funky force org charts is that in most cases they allow you to pick up some pretty cool models outside of your normal range without needing to splash out on a full army. A few new models and formations have caught my eye over recent weeks and I've been wracking my brains as to how we as Space Wolf players can incorporate them into our lists to create a good Synergy.

Obvious starting point is the new kids on the block: Adeptus Mechanicus

Codex: Skitarii

With army wide Docterina Imperatives you can swing from gaining a super high Ballistic skill to weapon skill and with their funky new weapons, have a good chance at adding a little extra spice to your lists.

Skitarii battle maniple:

A HQ-less Force organisation chart, however with 2 mandatory troop choices means potential for minimal buy in.

Obvious choice here is two squads of vanguard or Rangers depending on what unit takes your fancy and fits your play style.

For vehicle hunting In a generic Drop podding Space wolf list, I’d consider dropping your meltagun units in favour of some Skitarii Vanguard in fast attack drop pods kitted out with arc rifles, Arc Pistols and omnispex. Reduce your opponents cover save and blast away with all that Haywire and if there's no vehicles to shoot, you still have multi-shot S6 weaponry to fall back on and use. If you want to go hunting for more elite units, swap out the Arc rifles for the Plasma Calivers - essentially: a three shot Plasma gun. The stock Vanguard troopers Radium Carbines are no snooze either – S3 Assault 3 weapons that on the roll of a 6 cause 2 wounds on the target unit regardless of toughness (eat that Space elves) you could even max out the unit and run them with just an omnispex. While in an ideal situation these guys wouldn't see combat, the Rad-saturation special rule increases their chances by reducing the opponents toughness by 1 – also great if your opponent is crying that Thunderwolves are S9 instead of S10!

Unfortunately, aside from going Unbound, the Battle Maniple is the only way to get Dunecrawlers into your list. These hefty crab lookin’ walkers boast a all round av12 3hull points, a war gear option to gain the ‘It will not Die’ USR and a invulnerable save that increases to a 4++ when in a squadron of 3. Needless to say real reason you're going to adding these to your Space wolf list is for the Iccarus Array, being one of the best weapons in Anti-air & Anti Skimmer around at the moment. Alternatively the Neutron laser & cognis heavy stubber with an extra pintle mounted cognis heavy stubber allows you to drop some S10 ap1 blast templates on your opponents head whilst boasting a BS2 Snapshot - great for overwatch - providing a better chance of upsetting some of those pesky Av10 flyers. These models also boast the biggest bases in 40k at the minute and with then 4” vehicle squadron coherency you can also play some area denial games. The only down side to the Dunecrawlers is that they can start to become very expensive very quickly with certain war gear options especially when squadroned.

Skitarii Formations

Skitarii Ironstrider Cavaliers formation:

One of the biggest issues I find when playing a full Thunderwolf list is despite the speed, having to slog all the way across the board to catch my opponents units. I have often wished for a cheap non-drop pod way to get into my opponents backlines early in the game to heard them towards my Thunderwolves, whilst retaining the speed and combat ability similar to the rest of my list.

Enter the Ironstrider Cavaliers.

At a base cost of 145 points, again, this formation is a relatively inexpensive buy-in for what it brings. This formation consists of three units; one unit of ironstriders and two units of Sydonian Dragoons, allowing them to roll for reserves from Turn 1 and outflank with acute senses.
This is absolute gold if you're running a Thunderwolf heavy list. The early arrival coupled with the fact its straight in your opponents face with a 9” dunestrider move forces them to make some quick decisions, distracting them away from the looming masses of Thunderwolves.

The Dragoons Taser Lance charge is brutal despite lacking AP, hitting at I6 S8 on the charge and causes an extra TWO automatic hits when you roll 6’s to hit. The ironstrider itself is best to sit back and keep obscured, maybe even use it vs flyers, snapping with a twin-linked BS2.

The Formation also allows you to field some bully boy tactics and pick an enemy character at the beginning of the game, following which, all units in this formation can reroll to wounds against this character and his unit.

In my view the best way to run this formation is x2 squads of x3 Sydonian Dragoons to X1 unit of x2 Ironstriders. Don't forget to make use of the Doctorina Imperatives to boost that WS & BS!!!!


Sicarian Killcade Formation:

Ok so with 3 units of Ruststalkers and a unit of Infiltrators this one is a bit more of an expensive formation and as much as I hate to admit it, I do have a bit of a soft spot for the Mushroom-headed Bastards… But with regard to their inclusion as allies within a Space Wolf army I can see these working well along side either a Thunderwolf or Rhino-rush style list.

Again they're another pair of units with Speed on their side owing to Dunestrider. The Ruststalkers are your more combat orientated unit, boasting a incredible amount of Haywire and a crapload of attacks with Transonic Weapons that essentially rend in the first round of combat, before dropping to a flat ap2 with 6’s wounding regardless of toughness there after. The chordclaws shouldn't be overlooked either. They boast the same transonic rule along with one attack gaining Fleshbane.

The Slaughter Sprint ability in this formation allows the Ruststalkers to make a Run move and assault in the same turn. Coupled with how Dunestrider affects their movement, that's potentially up to a whopping 33” charge threat range per unit.

The infiltrators play a different game, their Nuerostatic Aura debuffs your opponent hideously forcing units within their threat range to subtract 1 from their Weapon Skill, Balistic Skill, Initiative and Leadership. The formations rule ‘Malignant Susurrations’ increases this threat bubble from within 6” to 12” of the unit. Weapon-wise I'm a fan of the Fletchette Blasters and Taser Goads. Don't let the S2 of the Fletchette Blasters put you off. They are bust pistols shooting 5 shots instead of 1, can wound up to T5 with rerolls thanks to Shred and double up as an extra close combat weapon granting that extra attack.

The downside to this formation is that all types of Sicarian are very Squishy at T3. Sicarian Battle armour grants them a 4+/6++ along and they have FNP as a stock USR. The two wounds per model helps a bit but anything S6 or better is instant killing them. The best way to play these guys is to make use of their speed and keep them out of line of sight, hogging cover until the time is right to unleash their slaughter sprint.


Codex: Cult Mechanicus

Similar to Skitarii, the Cult Mech have Armywide buff in the form of Cantacles of the Ommnisiah. These can increase and decrease in effectiveness depending on the number of Cult Mech units you have on the table but used correctly they can really give you a good advantage.

Tech Priest Dominius:

Great looking model and at 105points stock he's a steal for what he can bring. Chuck him the Autocadues of Arkhan Land and stick him into a unit of your finest Thunderwolves to give them all ‘it will not die’. Sure he’ll slow them down a tad but the look on your opponents face when your entire unit of Thunderpuppies regrow wounds they've fought so hard to take off is priceless.
He can also be used in place of an Iron Priest to repair hull points/ weapon destroyed / immobilised results on friendly vehicles which he can do instead of firing one of his weapons on a 2+ a without the need for servitors. His ranged weapons are pretty solid too boasting the only access to Volkite Weaponry in 40k (at the minute). Always give him the Conversion Field for a 2+/4++ and a chance to cause blind.

To include the Tech Priest Dominius you can either use the Allied force org or take the cult mech force org depending on what points you have spare. The recommended troop slot is the Kataphron Destoryers. Load them up with the 30” range Salvo 3/6 Heavy Grav cannons and throw them in a drop pod. At 165 points per three man squad with 18 Grav shots per unit, there's no reason to take Centurions ever again and the best thing is, the more you take of them, the stronger Canticles of the Ommisiah becomes.


Holy Requisitioner Formation:

X1 Tech Priest Dominus and x2-x3 units of Kataphron Breachers. The whole formation has the ability to deepstrike without scatter and the Breachers get some nice buffs if camped within 6” of an objective. This formation really helps you gain some area control.

The Arc cannons are beauties for bringing plenty of decent ranged haywire to the table and the torsion cannons are pseudo D weapons - every Wound or Hull point caused by this weapon causes D3 instead. Both weapons are great if you're facing Super heavies or Gargatuan Monsterous Creatures regularly. Taking the full 4 units in this formation puts you in the middle range effects of Cantacles of the Ommnisiah allowing for some decent abilities too so plan what ones you're going to use and make use of them!!!

These guys are great. If your planning on taking a list similar to my ‘Lone Wolves’ Wolf Guard Terminator MSU list as discussed in my Previous Article or generally any list where you need some decent size models to control your back field objectives and get your enemy out of their vehicles and footslogging into the blaze of your guns, then you should consider this formation.


CONCLUSION

So yeah, those are just a few ideas I wanted to share. I've deliberately avoided the War Convocation as every man and his dog has heard about what that can do. Yawn.

In my view, both Ad mech Codexes allow for reasonably cheap buy-in and are guaranteed to make your opponent let out a little bit of wee as the robo-men from Mars descend to aid the Sons of Russ in making a mess of their toys.

Has anyone else been allying any Adeptus Mechanicus with their Space Wolves? Care to share your experiences in the comments?

That's it for now from me,

Wolves for the Wolf King

Monday, August 3, 2015

Battle Report: Space Wolves VS Chaos Marines

Jordan takes pits the skill of The Champions of Fenris against some Chaos Space Marines, joined by the Nurgle Daemon Lord of War, Gargantuan 777 points death ball from Forge World. It was quite a battle!


I had Logan, ulrik, Bjorn (in a pod), murderfang (in a pod), a venerable axe/shield dread (in a pod), a stormfang gunship with meltas and lascannon, longfangs with 4 missile launchers and Arjacs Shieldbrothers.


He had two units of chaos marines with mark of nurgle and veterans, and lascannon/meltas each. He also had a sorcerer, a nurgle daemon prince (ML3 with wings and the black mace), 2 vindicators, and the nurgle daemon lord of war gargantuan 777 point death ball from forge world. Fun stuff.

The game started out normal, I won the roll to deploy first and my opponent failed to seize.

His daemon prince rolled for powers and got invisibility. Eek!


I dropped my pods close to his Daemonprince with every intention of playing an objective game (contact loss) and scoring my objective of blood and guts when I (arrogantly assumed) killed the daemon on the counter attack that would surely come. Murderfang and Bjorn both popped out and fired their weapons. Bjorn rended a hull point off a vindicator Meanwhile the landraider and Logan took pot shots at the other unit of marines while hiding themselves as much as possible in cover to avoid incoming lascannons and demolisher shots.

My opponent started out strong by killing his own psyker turn 1 on a perils that pulled him into the warp. It was funny. But my laughter only lasted until he successfully cast invisibility on his daemon prince (thanks fully not the daemon lord) which I failed to deny with my measily 2 dice. The vindicator penned Bjorn and rolled an explodes result which I had him reroll with venerable, it turned into a 1 (luckily) He rolled all misses with his lascannons thus letting Bjorn and the venerable live unscathed another turn. He charged my vendread with his Daemonprince. The two proceeded to slap eachother with neither taking damage.


My turn I drew my objective (domination.. Pff) and succeeded with getting murderfang and my stormfang on the table from reserves. The stormfang, Logan, and the shieldbrothers moved to engage the daemon lord. The stormfang failed to do anything to the daemon lord and missed it's potms dispersed helfrost on the marines. Dissapointing. The ven dread actually hit and wounded the prince this time (and took a hull point himself) but murderfang couldn't charge in for the assist as the prince was bubble wrapped by marines which murderfang charged instead and wiped out in a round of combat (it was epic). Bjorn charged the vindicator and popped in like a water balloon.

On my opponents turn it became clear that we were pretty much giving up on objectives and our game devolved into good old purge the alien. His daemon lord charged my landraider and easily took it out. His lascannons remaining failed to hurt Bjorn and the 2nd vindicator failed to glance him as well. Invisibility failed this turn and my dread took his prince down to a wound.


On my turn it was looking as though I'd never kill the daemon lord. Toughness 9 a shit ton of wounds and a 3++ with FnP when failed had me discouraged, but I figured between Logan, the shieldbros and ulrik attached to them, it could happen. Arjac concussed the bastard with the luckiest throw ever. I charged it and lost 2 wounds on Logan, had Arjac, ulrik, and the terminator sergeant removed by a stomp for the trouble but I managed to wound it a few times. It was t looking good. The Daemon prince died to the dreadnought who, along with murderfang, began the long slow trip across the board (they didn't do anything else for the rest of the game). Bjorn charged the other vindicator and again, ate it for breakfast. The longfangs killed a few marines from the only squad left.

On my opponents turn, with not much to do, he killed Bjorn (finally) with a lascannon from his marines and it was straight to combat with the daemon lord. I lost a terminator, Logan took another wound, the daemon lord took more wounds.

On my turn, I shot his marines again with the longfangs and the stormfang (killing all but 1) and ran the dreads. The daemon lord killed Logan and one of the two terminators remaining.

On his turn he shot his bolt gun at my terminator. Nothing.

It went to turn 6, my stormfang finished off his last model.

CONCLUSION
Hell of a game! I fought hard against a gargantuan for what felt like ever with over 1,000 points worth of models and barely killed it, but it was all I needed to win.

The rest of his army just couldn't touch the armor of the dreads I fielded and suffered for it when the vindicators went down to Bjorn.

There's much to be said for having a well balanced army.

Thanks to Joe Todaro and Knights Blade Gaming and Hobby for hosting/playing such an awesome game! Can't wait for the next one!

- Jordan

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Space Wolves Still in Top of the Meta


Coverage from the 2015 ATC Warhammer American Team Championship has shown than Space Wolves are still in the top of the current game Meta.

As you might expect, Thunderwolves is the unit of choice, with 23 out of 29 Space Wolves players taking Thunderwolf Cavalry and Characters mounted on Thunderwolves.

On closer inspection, almost all of them were actually allied in for Thunderwolf Cavalry and only a handful of them were pure Space Wolves armies.

It just confirms the theory that the Space Wolves real strength is as an allied-imperial-multi-tool of sorts and a go-to powerhouse deathstar.

Anyway, take a look at the numbers and notes on the various armies below.

It's all very interesting.

40K Army Breakdowns

Space Marines: 36 (Of those, 6 are Gladius w/ Battle Company. Sky hammer is more prevalent
Eldar: 34 (Of those, 10 have 3+ Knights with 4 being most common)
Space Wolves: 29 (Of those 23 have Thunderwolf Deathstars of some type)
Necrons: 27 (17 are Decurions)
Imperial Knights: 25
Tyranids: 19 (All of them used multiple Flyrants)
Tau:19
Dark Angels: 16
Astra Militarum: 15
Blood Angels: 13
Chaos Daemons: 13
Grey Knights: 11
Officio Assinorum: 11
Orks: 11
Dark Eldar: 9
Chaos Space Marines: 6
Khorne Daemonkin: 6
Adeptus Soritas: 5
Inquisition: 5
Mechanicus War Convocation: 4
Skitarii: 4
Cult Mechanicus: 2
Harlequins: 2 (Both of them took only Harlequins)


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