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I'm curious how people tend to field dire wolves. When and if you take them, do you field a greater number of small DW units--say, two units of five. Or do you take one larger unit, and if you go this way, how large is the unit?
I ask because I have twelve models. I like running a pack of them with a Carstein thrall equipped with a great weapon, the flayed hauberk, and wolf form. And I'm considering using all twelve with the thrall in an upcoming tournament (1250 pts). They'd have a huge unit size and scare the crap out of the enemy.
Or am I overdoing it?
Any unit of dire wolves must choose its targets intelligently, as DW have no armor save to speak of, as well as the standard S3 T3 stat line.
I'm not really sure how to impliment the thrall, still experimenting with that one. At the moment I use dire wolves in units of 6, they can take a bit of damage but aren't too big to be considered a threat, with a thrall they go 7 wide.
Of course it depends on what you want for the thrall, I am also trying him out in zombie units then when they get close he leaps out and unexpectadely (sp?) charges a mage and kills it.
I always field mine in 2 units of five because A) there small and because there fast cav I can send them up and get out of charge arks and there not threatening in small packs. HOWEVER I have found that they are really ineffective in small groups and killing a couple means ignoring ranks. I am going to try fielding one big unit of 10 (which will go with two units of 8 BK's with a count and a thrall).
The problem of canine atrophy is what bothers me, too. The smaller units of five or six get whittled down before they reach combat, and you need at least three alive to negate ranks, and then likely only for one round since they'll get hacked apart in combat.Originally Posted by 311
That's why I'm doing like you, 311, trying out a much larger unit on the field, 12. I might even make one a Doom Wolf just for the heck of it.
As fast cavalary, they're still really maneuverable at that size.
That is my point though, an opponent will see 12 fast moving wolves and crap themselves then target the unit so it doesn't reach them. If you field 6 (maybe 7 or 8, seems to work for some) then they are naturally seen as less of a threat so larger stuff will be shot in preferance, like grave guard, swarms, bats, even big units of skeletons or zombies. Watch the threat factor.
And if you field 2 units of 6 wolves (rather than one of 12) that is two different targets that they have to target different things at. As they are smaller units, as I mentioned, they won't be such a large priority to kill. Remember wolves are fairly soft, putting 12 of them in one unit is just giving away points IMO. And manouvrability is decreased even if not by a huge amount.
Still, I could be missing something. It would be interesting to see how the larger units work for people.
Since ranks are calculated at the beginning of combat, if you charge 3 direwolves in the rear (US6 total), at the beginning you would negate the enemies ranks, and if 1 died in combat, you still negate ranks that turn. However, flank and rear bonuses are calculated at the end of combat, when you calculate combat resolution, so if you do kill the wolves down to 2 (<US4), there would be no rear or flank charge bonuses.
The important thing is just to use them right. Here's my opponents favorite line (/sarcasm):
Three Ranks, a Standard, Outnumber for five.
Locked in VC blocks should have a Combat Resolution of 5, plus whatever they kill, if you can just negate ranks for one turn, your opponents are all ready down 4 generally (They will have a banner, versus your 5), so unless they inflict four more wounds then you do, you will win, outnumber, outbreak, and those wolves chase 3D6.
It's just a matter of using them just right. Bigger units are point sinks and targets, very very squishy targets. I often hold them back, march them 18 after stuff gets locked in using their fast cav to snake get through all the tight mess that happens, and then put them in the position to help break units.
The thing is if my opponent wants to shoot the wolves instead of my two big BK units with characters... all the power to them! I find in fielding them in small groups that the return attack brings them under strength to receive the bonus and thats why im going with a bigger unit. Also while its not uncommon to have all archers miss its not uncommon to see a small unit wipe out my small wolf squads..and it really blows when you loose your whole unit to stand and shoot.