It’s nice to know that Gribblin is feeling better, he really was in a bad way Saturday, he probably doesn’t even remember the 20+ 19 year old Cheerleaders engaged in a naked limbo tournament outside Servitobs house…
I’m not going to steal his thunder by reviewing the same units as he did, he’s been a Tyranid player since the day he was spawned from the Norn-queens v******. Instead I want to talk about something else that made an appearance in that game, the sheer awesomeness that is Space Wolves.
Now, let’s not pull any punches here, I like Orks, always found their background to be fun and they look like a fun army. However, one of the major selling points of any army for myself is the aesthetics. If I dont like the armies models, then no matter how awesome the army list might be, there is no chance of me getting them. This is what has historically happened with Orks (that and they cost the same as a small country’s GDP to buy). When their new Codex hit I liked enough of the models to shell out and grab them and it was good. The greenskins have run rampant across or simulated battlefields and gorged themselves on battle and have won more than they have lost Waaagh Tuffgit has earned a fearsome reputation, just like my Big Meks have a reputation for not surviving past turn 4. Yet, there is a secret that no one else knows, while many may know that I first played Marines when I started 40k, I took Blood Angels and then moved to Dark Angels, there is a chapter that has been to me in the same boat as the Orks were. Since 2nd edition when I almost bought the first Codex and didn’t and then hated some of the other models. I sat there thinking about 40k and my Orks and honestly fancied a change of pace, something different and as Games Workshop have not yet redeveloped the Dark Eldar line there was only one thing that came to my mind. Yup, Space Wolves.
This Codex has been out for a while but I bought it, had a read and thought it sounded exactly like what I was after. They have armour (unlike my Orks) can shoot (unlike the Orks) and can still put up a decent fight in assault (just like my Orks). I checked out the models more fully and liked what I saw, the standard marine kits are pretty versatile anyway and with the addition of all the cool Wolfie bits I was sold. There are plenty of options in the list and the customisability (is that even a real word?) is astounding. I took a mixture of stuff I liked the models for as well as kitting myself out with choices that would see me taking on the big questions mentioned in the Army construction posts recently posted here.
This is the list I made;
Rune Priest w/ Master of Runes, Wolftooth Necklace, Terminator Armour, Living Lightning and Jaws of the World Wolf
Lone Wolf w/ Storm Shield and Mark of the Wulfen
5 Wolf Guard w/ Terminator armour, 2 Wolf Claws, 1 Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield, one Chainfist, one Power fist and a Heavy Flamer (which wounded the Mawloc)
10 Blood Claws w/ 1 Power Sword
10 Grey Hunter w/ 2 Plasma Guns and 1 Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters w/ 2 Plasma Guns and 1 Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters w/ 2 Melta Guns and 1 Power Fist
5 Long Fangs w/ 2 Lascannons and 2 Missile Launchers and a Heavy Bolter Razorback
I suppose I should go through the units in turn and give my opinions on them and how they fared facing horrible alien nasties. Let’s start with the Rune Priest then, might change around his psychic powers next time as I think mileage on Living Lightning may vary. Fighting Nids one of the terrain changing effects may have been better, also as an aside, Njal would be EVIL against the bugs. Living Lightning did no damage that I can remember and when the Mawloc popped up right in front of him I rolled a double 6 for his Psychic test and took a wound, he was half dead before doing anything. In the ensuing combat he charged the Mawloc did the one wound necessary to trigger his Force weapon (master of the runes paid for itself here) and then passed the test this time which saw the Mawloc’s soul sucked out. In the simultaneous combat though the Mawloc wounded the Rune Priest and I couldn’t pass his invulnerable save. I want to use him again as one run wasn’t enough to judge him but I like the character and can see getting a lot of mileage out of him.
The Lone Wolf was excellent, the configuration I have for him is a mere 60pts. He charged into the remnants of a Hormagaunt brood and mopped the floor with them, they were out of synapse and were chased down. He ended up getting rended to death by Raveners (only failed two inv. saves but that was enough) but this guy will be coming back because he is a one man road block. The Wolf Guard didn’t really see much use, by the end of our battle they were knocking on the door of the Termagants guarding the Tyranid objective, one more turn would have seen them charge and clean up I reckon. I love how customisable their load out is although some options are very expensive. Space Wolves have to foot slog unless you pay for a Drop Pod or Land Raider. I’m not sure about dropping them into a more convenient nom range of Nids and with the vast quantity of monstrous creatures around I consider a Land Raider to be free points, although I may get one just to build and use in larger games. I like the Redeemer myself.
The Grey Hunters were ace, despite on the first turn a Plasma gunner frying himself the bolter side of things went well and they spent more time marching forwards than shooting really. The Genestealers went into one squad (who were in cover) and they held up their advance amazingly, the Blood Claws went in too and I won every combat but the Stealers always held their nerve, eventually the lost and I moved away. Having armour that works in combat was a revelation and that these are my core scoring troops makes me happy. Very happy with the versatility that these guys provide.
Heavy Support…. I have appalling luck with blast templates, this led to the Vindicator reaping a massive toll of three Termagants! However, I could not put a price on the psychological impact as the waves of Tyranids seemed drawn to the flanks rather than driving up the middle where the Vindi sat, it’s short range does hurt it though. The stand out choice for me though, not just in it’s slot but also for the army, were the Long Fangs, these guys just didn’t miss. Although I can split their fire I didn’t bother, in the first few turns they ripped apart the Warriors unit with the Tyranid Prime in there and later on wiped out the Carnifex in one turn, I know that is what they are designed to do but I count myself lucky that they always hit and wounded with every shot which meant they accounted for a large portion of the enemies heavy infantry.
When looking at the battlefield as the dust settled there was nothing left on my side of the table that wasn’t controlled by me, Servitob had also reaped a toll on his side and was battling off the last of the outflanking warriors. We still had the Hive Tyrant, Tervigon and some Raveners around the place but really the heart had been ripped from Gribblin’s army. It was clear to us all that if the game continued the Marines would have won through but I think a draw was a fair result considering all that had gone on.
I will definitely be taking the Wolves again, they were a lot of fun and really are excellent in close quarters. Needless to say I’ll not be grabbing another army to surprise Gribblin with the next time we play, my wife may protest if before every gaming day our bank account is drained of funds. Great army and I look forward to working with them more in the future.