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I chose Necrons as Army 1 a year ago in order to learn to paint and play a tough, forgiving army. I like them, but I've always been fascinated by Space Wolves (something about having read Beowulf about 15 times, I think). I've just begun work on an army by buying a Venerable Dread on e-bay for half price. I'd like to know what I should be looking for to build a decent 1,000 point list. I don't really want to buy the Battleforce box since I can't get two units of Grey Hunters out of it and I don't want the bikes. The plan is to e-bay tactical marines and get some SW sprues.

I'm thinking now about at least two units of 7-8 Grey Hunters (and a Rhino or two), a Rune Priest, maybe ten Blood Claws, some scouts (hate the models, though), and a couple of Wolf Guard sergeant types. What do you think?

Specific issues:

Long Fangs, tank, or Land Speeder?
Rune Priest, Wolf Guard battle leader, Wolf Lord? (Wolf Priest looks expensive unless you take him as is). Should the HQ have bodyguards at 1,000 points or wait for 1,500?
How many units of marines, what size units, and are Blood Claws worth it?

Any advice at all is welcome. I'm reasonably familiar with the Codex, by the way, but have never even played against Space Wolves, so any knowledge I have is strictly theoretical. Likely opponents include Dark Eldar, Mech Tau, Chaos, and Inquisition (Sisters and guard, usually Mech).

Thanks in advance,

Weaf
 

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Gone
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Hey Weaf.

I would recommend bikes. They rock. Especially wolf guard bikes. Expensive, but very powerful.

Next, long fangs are too fragile to be worth it, IMO. A leman russ exerminator or bikers with meltas/scouts with meltas are better.

A wolf lord is great. Really great.

Mobility is a must because you don't have that many ranged heavy weapons.

Powerfists are a must.
 

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Toy Soldier Aficionado
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Space wolf Fluff! and advice

Space Wolves are tricky, as they do not have the "Fluff" like other chapters.

Firstly Lets Start with the Leaders.
Rune Priest-The Rune Priest is the only psycher the SW have. He also has one of the better psychic abilities in the game. Storm Caller:party:. The Rune Priest is almost a no-brainer choice for those who delight in taking the already Melee strong Space wolves, and making one unit a First Striking whirlwind of death. Unless you have a specific plan on how to use a Rune Priest, just consider throwing him into a large pack of Blood Claws, and allow the beatings to begin.
Wolf Priest-This is a Chaplain and Apothecary mixed in one! Take advantage of the wolf Priests "Free" power Weapon and 4+ invul save. He is truly a beast in hand to hand, and can use nifty items like the Fang of Morkai and Healing potions! Awesome to stick in with a Blood Claw Squad.
Wolf Lord/Guard Battle Leader-The Wolf Lord/Battle Leader, like all Space Wolf HQ's, is a melee players dream. Although I do not use them, they can be upgraded to carry some pretty mean stuff.


Long Fangs
I do not use them. Although I don't use them they do have a purpose when you need them. And that's laying down an OBSCENE amount of firepower at an enemy. First off, NEVER mix your weapon payloads, unless they are meant to perform a similar task, like missile launchers and lascannons for tank busting, or missile launchers and heavy bolters for troop killing. You want to do this because the Split Fire ability is a 'gift', not an advantage. The first guy in your squad to die should be the pack leader, since heavy weapons are hard to come by in Space wolf armies.The only way to use them is put them in a firing lane and let them have at the enemy. From my experience, LF's die way to easily for my taste, unless they are in massive cover (I.E. a Bunker). In the Long run, it is a personal choice that should be carfully pondered.:?

Land Speeder
The Land Speeder is the clear choice for me. With speed and firepower, Land speeders can play 'cat & mouse' with enemy units, tanks, and transports, while being able to use speed to move in for the kill when needed. The best set up (IMO) is a basic land speeder with a melta gun. Space wolves do not need any more anti-infantry units. Mobility is essential for any Space Wolf army and a couple of these babies will set you on the right track.

Grey Hunters vs Blood Claws

Blood Claws get twice the number of attacks when charging, than your standard Grey hunter with bolter. So, a small squad of 8 Blood Claws is just as effective as 16 Grey hunters, when charging. And that's the same as 32 Tactical space marines. Talk about a bargain! And at 14 points a pop, they ARE a bargain! Grey Hunters, generally, use True Grit (Bolter and Chain sword combo) but they do not receive the extra attack for 2 close combat weapons. Also, Blood Claws can get an insanely high number of Power Weapons into 1 squad. My personal favorite option is an 8 man squad with 2 power fists, a Wolf Guard leader with lightning claws, and either a Rune Priest or a Wolf Priest. This, on the charge, pumps out an insane amount of power weapon attacks. 8 from your blood claws, 4 from your Wolf Guard, and 5 from your Rune/wolf priest, for a total of 18 power weapon attacks.8X
Likewise, it is compulsory for you to have atleast one Grey Hunter pack in your army, personally I like to leave them with their base weapons and let them roam and tie-up units, then the Blood Claw squad comes and steam roles them.

Wolf Guard-These masters of combat are generally too expensive for 1000 point games, and even in 1500 points they should be used sparingly. The main thing to remember is not to go overboard with Wolf Guard. Making a few 'expendable' or mission-specific Wolf Guard maybe a good idea. Personally I only use 2 in my 1500 point army, both are equiped with twin Lightning Claws and a wolf tooth necklace and go for a cool 60 points apiece. Simple, but mean. They both lead a pack of Blood Claws.

If you are brave enough to read all that then I salute you!
Blood Claws will be your bread and butter, and need to be taken instead of Grey Hunters.
Always, always, always put your blood claws in a rhino, unless you want them to get shot up turn 1. As for Squad size, 8 blood claws 1 wolf guard and 1 Priest of your choice is what I prefer to use. As for Grey Hunters, a squad of 10 of these guys can lock down whatever you need until Blood Claw support arrives.

Hope this helped.
 

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Um, let's not forget the coolest choice in the whole codex:

Wolf Scouts: With their OBEL special rule, they are the ace in the hole. They are cheap and they are nasty, serving as a utility unit capable of carrying all manner of upgrades to take on ICs, armour, or cause confusion in the enemy DZ. Throw in a WGL and they will be much feared.

Long Fangs are cool in concept, but you pay handsomely for their split-fire ability and the moment you start taking fire they start losing their value fast.

The Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought is best used with a the AC/DCCW combination, making the best use of its superior WS and BS. Being able to take one as a HQ is nice due to the flexible organization of the army, Grey Hunters being the only compulsory unit at 1+.
 

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Thanks for tackling the items I missed Kore! I was going to put in the Ven Dread, just forgot. As for scouts, yes they are cool, and they are very good at inspiring fear in the enemy. I don't use them. I would rather spend my points on another blood Claw squad.
 

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Wolf Lord
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Space Wolves are tricky, as they do not have the "Fluff" like other chapters.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Space wolves are far and away capable of fielding a "fluffier" army than any of the other SM armies. Leman Russes, Long Fangs, OBELing scouts, sergeant-less squads, non deep striking termies! What could be fluffier?

Long Fangs, tank, or Land Speeder?
As has been said Long Fangs are a great concept, but usually come up short on the table. I do have a set though and run them when I'm feeling frisky. I've even had them turn up the MVP in a match or two. I typically run two land speeders and a predator. My land speeders are tornadoes and do a fantastic job of taking out armor with the "OP" asscannons. Meltas are also an excellent option though. As far as tanks are concerned I would recommend the use of predators and discourage Lemans. Actually I always encourage those that are fluffy enough to put a Leman on the tabletop, but would not recommend it to anyone looking to build a new army.

Rune Priest, Wolf Guard battle leader, Wolf Lord? (Wolf Priest looks expensive unless you take him as is).
For me, the Rune Priest is the best HQ of these three. His power is a beast when combined with a swirling fury of blood claws. The Wolf Priest is also an excellent choice, but as you have already deduced he needs to be taken with very few options. As is, he is an exceptional value.

I almost always take a Ven Dread as my second HQ. My general set up is an asscannon and a drop pod. He can land close enough to the enemy to get into CC quickly or I can pod him down next to vehicles and use the rending power of the cannon to rip into armor. Old and Wise is fantastic.

Should the HQ have bodyguards at 1,000 points or wait for 1,500?
Wolf Guard are very good in small doses. I recommend adding them in as pack leaders here and there as points allow, but do not recommend them as a bodyguard in anything smaller than 2000 points. You will wind up with a very expensive squad that will be very susceptible to enemy shooting.

How many units of marines, what size units, and are Blood Claws worth it?
Blood Claws are definitely worth it, but must be used with care. They are exceptionally good when they get the charge and lackluster when they do not. I generally take them in 50/50 amounts with my grey hunters. At 1500 points I would either recommend two packs of each or two hunter packs and one pack of blood claws. I typically run eight man packs, but most people run eight to ten. I would say eight is the minimum for both types of packs.

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Scouts, scouts, scouts. OBEL is almost a must against armor heavy opponents. They are anti armor fiends and rarely disappoint.

I'll give you the same advice I give everyone starting a new list. Get the models and units you think you'll enjoy playing with. You'll like the army and the game a great deal more if you are happy with your units. It's great to win, but do not pick an army based on its ability to do so. Having fun as your Long Fangs use their mixed array of weapons to blast away at an opponent can be far more rewarding than winning games with units that you chose strictly because of their power and efficiency. Choose your list based on personal preference.

EDIT: On first read of your post I misunderstood and was thinking you were building a 1500 list. For a 1k'er I would recommend one pack of grey hunters and one pack of blood claws. I would then run a Rune priest for your second HQ. Landspeeders and scouts would take care of your armor needs and given the options available I think that should do it on points. On the scouts, if you are unhappy with the antiquated SW models use a set of the plastic SM ones.
 

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Really? Space Wolves more fluffy than a vanilla Marines? I just can't see how.
 

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Really? Space Wolves more fluffy than a vanilla Marines? I just can't see how.
Well, it depends on how you mean they are unfluffy. They are uber-fluffy. They don't follow the Codex Astartes, which is a bone of contention with the Inquisition, as represented in their lack of FOC proper. BCs, with lower BS and WS, represent the not fully trained, young pups eager to prove themselves in battle. Long Fangs are the few in number "old-guys" delegated to sitting in the back lobbing heavy weapon fire. Wolf Scouts are Elites for a reason as their jobs, as designated by the Chapter, are as elite (for lack of a different word) fighters. The VenDread HQ choice represents, quite well, the occassions when the old and wise must take on the role of leader. I could go on.

Perhaps I'm missed your point, please elaborate.
 

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Grey Hunters are good, I find, in rhinos with a melta gun (in the squad).

I also recently very nearly lost to an excellent Space Wolves 1,750 point tournament list. I beat the guy, but he ended up placing higher than me in the tournament (curse you, dice).

It consisted of 2 squads of afore mentioned Grey Hunters, some anti-tank and power-weapon equipped scouts, a ven. dread, two lord type units (A wolf priest and a battle leader, methinks) on bikes, and two squads of Wolf Guard Bikers. The squads were 5 man strong each, and had some powerweapons, 2 thunderfists, and a melta (maybe) per squad.
A vindicator rounded the list out.

It was deadly, he killed 3 skimmers in CC on turn 2. Yeah, that sucked. Fortunately, I was able to whittle down his small sized army as I fled into his deployment zone.

But it was deadly, unique, and awesome. Especially against my Tau. Tau hate bikers.
 
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