Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thunderwolf Cavalry to the Rescue!!!

1:00:00 PM by Wolf Lord Noam ·
Greetings my Wolfy brethren… you wouldn’t believe how many times I get asked about how I outfit my Thunderwolf Cavalry (Heretofore we will be referring to them as TWC), the best way to deploy them… reserve or not to reserve etc.

I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how many times my TWC have pulled my ass out of the fire. More times than this old wolf has claws I can tell you. Let’s begin with my basic army composition, which is fairly standard for any wolf player, Grey Hunters in Rhinos and Razorbacks, maxed out missile fangs etc. Rune Priests with all the toys wielding JOTWW and Living Lighting.

Now, unlike a lot of you, who love the whole Deathstar Wolf Lord, on TW, with wolfy this and wolfy that, I NEVER take a HQ other than my Rune Priests, they are just too darned effective. However, I can see how one could be fun, if you really want to pile in and get some violent close combat going, at that, they excel.

Depending on points, I can usually field two squads of 3 TWC. Why two squads you say? Because splitting them down into two separate units, allows for a second special close combat weapon. I.e.: Your Thunderhammers and/or Powerfists. 5, Strength 10 attacks on the charge is nothing to sneeze at. Absolutely NOTHING can withstand contact with such a charge. Not Land Raiders, not Mephistion, not Purifiers, not a Monolith…. nothing.
Now a lot of opponents call them security blankets. Shield spam. I call them effective. What am I talking about? Storm Shields. I put on one every single TW in my army. Why? Because as soon as the TWC enters play, everything that CAN shoot at them, WILL shoot at them. Nothing is worse than a couple lucky meltagun shots, a stray round from a Vindicator or a railgun popping off a TW from 72 inches. It just ticks me off. So, I give all my TWC a better than 50/50 chance at flipping the bird those pesky railguns. At only Toughness 5, a railgun will insta-poof a TW without even trying hard. I love the look on a Tau or Eldar players face when every single thing they throw at my TWC bounces off, and they just keep closing the gap. C’mere little Xenos… I got a treat for ya…. I recall one time Maugen Ra and a bunch of Dark Reapers… ah well, you get the point…

We also need to talk about complex units and loadout. Vary them as much as you can. Obviously for wound allocation reasons. I give one a SS and a Chainsword, I give another a SS and a Chainsword and a Melta-Bomb, and the third always gets the special CC weapon and his SS.

Reserves. This is very much dependent upon what your opponent is playing. Gun heavy IG or DE, or maybe even Necrons? Let them come across the board and close the gap a bit for you, hopefully on or by turn 3, you can pop out of reserve, minimum 19 inch charge and lay right into them. I love that.

Is this a cheap build? Nope. Is this an effective build? You’re darn right it is. I can generally pull off these two units of 3 TWC at 1500 points. Yep, we are then talking about 3 Razorbacks with Grey Hunters, kind of minimal on the troops front, but these lists have almost ALWAYS treated me very well. Ask my local gaming group….

Until next time brothers...

Wolf Lord Paul


Varaken said...
March 14, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Hey Noam, not 100% sure on this but I didn't think you could equip a unit of TWC as you've listed there as it would require the two TW with pistols and shields to select their shields from the "one rider may replace his close combat weapon" list. I may be wrong and happy to be corrected but that's how I read the codex entry for wargear selection.



Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 1:48 PM

No, they all come with bolt pistol and CCW. The BP can be replace with either a Plasma Pistol or a Storm Shield. Totally legal. Paul.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

By the way, I have never claimed tobe a good writer, anything I write is more for entertainment and are my thoughts and musings, more than any special tactics or super competitive stuff. Paul.

Tobi Wiklund said...
March 14, 2012 at 1:53 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Varaken said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

@Paul, Yeah I thought it was an either or, so you could replace the bolt pistol for a plasma pistol or a storm shield but the other hand would have to hold the close combat weapon as taking the storm shield on that arm would use up the single choice from that list?

The Wolf's Lunch said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Yeah they're cavalry Tom, so 6" move, with a 12" charge, and fleet +d6" (19"-24" charge range).

RedBeard said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:03 PM

The Storm Shield and/or Plasma pistol is in place of the bolt pistol. As soon as you take a storm shield, you are denied use of the other two. So the only combo you can have is a CC weapon and Storm Shield. ONE guy can replace his CCW, therefore ONE guy could make use of this combo, but no the other guy. So one guy would be riding without a Storm Shield. I'd rather risk having two riders armed similarly. Or (might be wrong here) give ONE guy melta bombs to make him armed differently, meaning wounds could be spread. Beardy, but then a lot of Vylka Fenryka own beards...

Varaken said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM

@RedBeard, that's what I thought it was, glad it's not just me! Haha.

The Bear said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Thanks for the writeup, now that there's official models for the TWC I'm really considering bulking out my Grey Hunters with a squad or two (and landspeeders rounding out the Fast Attack slots).

Good point about charging 19" from reserve, that opens up all kinds of fun for 'Hail Mary' plays.

Ranulf Deathclaw said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I don't like the idea of relying on the rending results in combat. Give at least one of them some guarantee that the enemy aren't getting an armour save.
With the points value so high for them and not even guaranteed that you'll deny any armour saves on the enemy unit just baffles me.
Big gamble.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

TWC 1 - CCW and BP exchanges for TH and SS.

TWC 2 - CCW exchanges for SS, Keeping the BP.

TWC 3 - CCW exchanges for SS, BP exchanges for PP.


Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I never claimed to be a tactical genius, I just know it works for me!

madd0x said...
March 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

looking at my codex now, and I still dont see how you are switching 3 ccw in a squad

Brandon Griffith said...
March 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM

RAW, only one rider may ever switch his CCW. Assuming you switched it for a TH, PF, or FB, there is no legal way to have a PP/SS model, as (other than the one ccw switch-out allowed) all the storm shields must come at the loss of a bolt pistol, same as the plasma does.

I think the hang up here is coming from a general assumption that a bp and a ccw on a model are completely interchangeable, which in this case, they are not.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Oh my god, you guys are completely right. I shouldn't have been taking the plasma pistol. I have done fucked up my write up. God dammit. Well crap. That's what I get for getting old.

Icereaver said...
March 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I was about to write you wrong, good you realized, allthough it happens we misread some rules, i do however think you are right on the 2x3 twc groups, if i ran twc, i'd do that too, with a wolf lord on one of the groups i think, allthough super expensive, the can create quite the carnage ;)

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I am going to rewrite the list. In fact, it will be 10 points cheaper, no plasma pistol, but a CC and melta bomb instead. God I hate writing this stuff late at night. I start making mistakes.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 14, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Or something like that anyways.

Brandon Griffith said...
March 14, 2012 at 6:28 PM

No worries, at least the core concept of the tactic is still solid, and that's what's important; we have so many other ways to get plasma in the army. :)

Albert said...
March 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

There seems to be more or less consensus on the 3 TW squad with 1 hammer/fist and 1 shield, but the point for discussion is whether to field a second TW unit or a TW Lord.

A 3 TW unit has way more attacks and wounds, but a TW lord can provide Ld10, even with a reroll if adding the saga of the majesty.Has anyone playtested one option vs the other?

Spaguatyrine said...
March 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM

A lord lead TWC if you are using them as a hammer unit is absolutely needed. The Leadership 8 that TWC have is an issue against tank shocks and morale tests. at lower point games. 210 or 205 point TWC units are best.
1 TH, 1 SS, and 1 base. At higher point games 4 at 295 is the best value and use. 1 Th/SS, 1 SS, 1 BP and CCW, and 1 base plus meltabombs. If you want giant deathstars you can kit them out, but then the rest of your list not as effective. TWC can be used as a counter assault unit, but they are designed to be an assault, attacking, getting in combat on turn 2 unit after you pop transports. They are meant to draw fire and a good general will get a cover save anyways so all the storm shields aren't needed in my opinion.

Icereaver said...
March 15, 2012 at 1:34 AM

There's only one thing I don't like about giving them thunder hammers, and that is dropping their initiative profile to 1... I want them to hit a bit fast as well when they assault. I'm no expert at this though, i've just played 2 games with my army and never fielded TWC. Turbo-Boost gives cover save right?

Tossidin said...
March 15, 2012 at 1:35 AM

2 units costing 270 points each at 1500 is a real waste of points. Dropping donw to 1 shield in each unit would get you a massive 120 points. I dunno how you can claim it to be effective, and you noobstomping people at your local club tells us nothing. Would you mind giving me an example of your 1500 list, and tell me why it is good?

Jodo Kast said...
March 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I've got some of these new models coming in the post so I appreciate the write-up.

I'm pretty new to this so the rules and tactics haven't all completely sunk in yet but can someone please explain the wound allocation stuff I keep reading about and the necessity for different equipment in relation to it?

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Noobstomping? Hardly. I will have some of my friends/opponents tell you how effective they are at 1500 points.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Noobstomping? Hardly. I will have some of my friends/opponents tell you how effective they are at 1500 points.

tk505 said...
March 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I have seen these TWC be a pain in the arse in many games. They have a very high survivability (more so than Paladins) and good ability in CC. I've regularly seen them swing the odds.

However saying that they're not invincible, and due to their low numbers one round of bad saves decimates them. Personally I just use Riflemen dreadnoughts on them (or missile launchers and null zone) and watch them drop.

Fielding them is always a roll of a (favourably weighted) die. For when they die, much of the army tends to crumble around them (at which point you better hope those long fangs carry you). If you don't kill them in time, say bye bye to your nice HQ or linchpin unit.

I suppose the above is true of all "rock" based armies.

Jaybie said...
March 15, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I don't want to be a downer troll, but I think I should state my opinion. TWC used to be a great unit, but with the advent of the Grey Knight Force weapons galore, and the Dark Eldar 108 poison shots per turn, I really think Thunderwolves are kind of obsolete now.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 15, 2012 at 7:23 PM

"108 POison shots per round"... this is what R-E-S-E-R-V-E is for..... dont even let them get thier sights on your TWC.. just maul the piss out of them out of reserve.

Jaybie said...
March 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Any Dark eldar player who knows what they are doing will be able to work on your Longfangs with that kind of fire, and then when the thundercav come on, shoot them then. You might get 1 venom with each squad before they go down like a ton of bricks.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 15, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Do you REALLY thing a cagey wolf player is going to waste his time on a AV 10 venom with TWC?? There are much juicier targets... DE aint nuthing but a thing. Make no mistake, my TWC have been brought down loads of times, but they almost ALWAYS made more then their points back.

scscofield said...
March 15, 2012 at 9:34 PM

What is your typical list that you run to support them at 1500?

Jaybie said...
March 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Well, thing is, what would you be able to go after? A Ravager, who will be protected well by a bubble wrap of venoms? Beasts, who cost less than the Thunderwolves and are there primarily as a distraction anyway? Wyches, who again cost less than the TWC, and are there to kill battle-tanks, which wolves never take anyway?

Icereaver said...
March 15, 2012 at 11:33 PM

well well, Be it nobstomping or not, I think that you can field mostly any kind of list and do fairly well if you as a general know how to work the ropes. On a side note, it doesn't seem like a tournament list at 1500, but it does seem like a load of fun to run TWC.

Wolf Lord Paul said...
March 16, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Oh by no means is it a tournament list, but it is a hoot to play.

MJayC50 said...
March 16, 2012 at 9:24 AM

TWC are bloody great! But in my opinion you need that awesome Thunderlord with Eternal warrior do absorb certain hits (and to throw into dreadnoughts) I used to run (with great success - even tho the internet and experience said it should not work) 4 twc (1 fist/ss, 1 ss, 1 mb, 1 normal) with the thunderlord with a TH/ss, runic armour, bear and 2 puppies (great for wound allocation and vs some angles of fire its better to take a 4+ cover save on a dog that a 3+ on something you want to live)

This build is susceptible to being shot off the board and if it does get there a good player will spread out his msu so when you do get a charge its not as glorious as it could have been. (think Tau tactics).

Now I came second highest space wolf player at the etc (behind Tony Kopach) and that was mainly from defense (meaning I got picked on by an army who should in their mind beat me) So if I can do this then all the wolf players could do this! Its just a case of not throwing it away and of course, Rolling 3+ like a boss :D

Sadly I dont run them anymore (5th ed tournaments has a very med S shooting bias and thats just not fun) plus if you have some poor terrain then its just game over.

But they are still fun and I cant wait til the next edition to enjoy the charge of the Thunderwolves once again and to beat the crap out of those paladins with my 11 S10 attacks!

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