|I'm hungry like the wolf...|
Can it be done?
I'm going to find out if it can and hopefully make this, relatively suicidal, list into something vaguely competitive.
So first off, what is wolfwing?
Well, as you may or may not know, the Space Wolf codex has a named HQ character in it called Canis Wolfborn. This little fella grants the fantastic ability to make fenrisian wolves troop choices. Now, using this we have the unique ability to make an entire Space Wolf army out of wolves and people riding wolves (thunderwolves naturally).
This is wolfwing!
|kicking people into pits is optional|
Sound good? Well let's look at it's general advantages and disadvantages
- They're fast. Everything in this army will have the 'beast' or 'cavalry' type, meaning you can steam across the battlefield at a fair pace. You also won't need to worry about shooting (more on this later) so you're free to run without much worry. This will also help with the Linebreaker secondary objective, as getting into the opponent's deployment zone shouldn't be much trouble for any of your units.
- Fenrisian Wolves are cheap. Well, they're 8pts each, so while they're less than your standard Grey Hunters (understandably due to what they lose) they still cost a bit. They also can be fielded in units up to 15, so can have fairly sizeable units.
- Thunderwolves! Now, it comes down to your preferences whether or not you like these guys, personally I do (and subsequently if you're considering this list you probably should) but I do need to say quite how dangerous these guys can be. They're not the be all and end all of offensive units but they can dish it out and recieve a fair amount of punishment back.
- Your HQs. Now, you are limited to Canis, Wolf Lords and Wolf Guard Battle Leaders (WGBLs) as these are the only ones able to ride thunderwolves, but (in big letters) they will be scary as heck. At a base level your Wolf Lord will have 5/6 (/7 if you keep the pistol and CCW combination --on the charge) attacks and S/T 5. Word of warning, these guys will rack up points fast and can end up being very expensive. However, it's always nice to have HQs that can blend most things as a good Space Wolf should. Remember though, Canis comes with the Saga of the Wolfkin, I've talked about this in my previous saga articles but it's a very helpful boost to all your wolves.
- Let's start with the big one. None of your units will be able to score. Well, Fenrisian Wolves won't anyway as they can never capture objectives and your other units will only be able to if your lucky enough to roll The Scouring as a mission (making your Thunderwolves scoring) or the Immovable Object personal trait (making your Warlord scoring). Realistically, you're playing to deny the opponent all objectives, and then win on secondary objectives (a real bonus from 6th that has raised Wolfwing above 'table the opponent to win' status).
- Price. Yes, this again but as a negative. Whilst FenWolves are quite cheap, Thunderwolves are not (50pts base), and neither are your HQs (think around the 200 mark). These units will eat up probably more points than you're saving with your FenWolves so watch out.
- Killing potential. This is more of a warning than a full on problem. Thunderwolves and your HQs will dish out a lot of damage, as you would hope. However, your FenWolves probably won't. They can throw out a fair few attacks but against many units that won't really cut it. They are suseptable to overwatch (they have no armour) and dedicated assault units will still pose a serious threat even to your Thunderwolves. Therefore synergy will be needed to make this work. Drown the dangers with more than one unit. These will have to work in tandem to make the best impact.
- Shooting. Another big one. This list will have no shooting. Well, minimal shooting. FenWolves have no shooting, Thunderwolves can get Bolt Pistols and throw one grenade, your HQ may get a combi weapon if you buy them one. You are looking at a list that may throw out a few bolt pistol shots, a couple of frag grenades and one melta/plasma/etc shot, and that's about it. It's nothing, you have to get into combat to do your damage. Thankfully vehicles are easier to hit now so we'll need tankbusting combat weapons (or rely on a grenade toss). Fliers will be practically untouchable unless you buy an Aegis and leave someone (other than a FenWolf, sorry, that entertaining vision isn't allowed to happen) to man the gun. A difficult decision. You could still try to krak grenade them though, as there is nothing in the rulebook to disallow this. Have fun!
- HQs. Again. This time it's the limitations. You can't have any Wolf Priests or Rune Priests in your list. This is a big problem for me as they both have some serous utility that could help this list out a fair amount. They can have bikes though, if you want to convert up a smaller wolf to carry them and 'proxy' it as a bike. I'll leave that as last case scenario.
So there are a lot more disadvantages than advantages. Sadly, this list is a difficult idea to make work as a pure list (no allies/other units to help out). But, if it could work, it could be very fun.
So, here's my first 2000pt wolfwing list:
Canis Wolfborn - 2 FenWolves
Wolf Lord - Thunderwolf mount, Thunder hammer, Storm Shield, Runic armour, Saga of the bear
4 Thunderwolf Cavalry - 4 Storm Shields, 1 Thunderhammer
4 Thunderwolf Cavalry - 4 Storm Shields, 1 Thunderhammer
4 Thunderwolf Cavalry - 4 Storm Shields, 1 Thunderhammer, 1 melta bomb
Now I wanted more from this list, but this is my first brainstorm. So why these choices:
4 units of FenWolves gives me 60 bodies on the table, a fair presence. In honesty, these are mostly sacrificial. I want to keep as many of them alives as possible for linebreaker but I really need to get the two HQ led Thunderwolf units (and melta bomb one - the melta bomb is to try to make up for lack of extra HQ punch in dealing with AV) into combat. I would have liked to buy FenWolves for the Wolf Lord as well as Canis to add bullet shields to my Thunderwolf units but the points just weren't there, the lord however, should be fairly scary in combat and isn't too extortionate...the saga is a safety net as I can't afford to lose him to one hit. He's not really in need of the others either.
The point I'm undecided on is the Storm Shields on all the Thunderwolves. This is very expensive. Very. I decided to go for it because they really do need to survive and this way they're getting a 3+ save no matter what. In future I may drop this for more guys but for now I want that safety, they're the only real targets for the enemy's low AP/anti-tank weaponry so I felt they needed the protection from these weapons.
I'm going to be testing this list out and tweaking it in the future (near future I might add) so the challenge has now begun.
Can Wolfwing be competitive?