Project:Wolfwing is go and proving as challenging as I had expected. It's pretty fun trying to get this concept working even if I end up trying my hardest just to scrape a draw I'm beginning to get a grasp on how this list functions as a whole. It's the most difficult list I've used (even compared to my pure Grey Knight Daemonhunters list, and that had 18 models at 1000pts). It's the coolness of the list that makes me strive to make it work however...
|Just look at that|
So, some general reflections on a Wolfwing army:
- Objectives! Bane of my very existence with this list. I worried about this before taking to the field but it doesn't hit you fully until you spend half the game playing catch up to an enemy that only needs to sit still to be 3VP ahead of you. I have learnt however, that you cannot just ignore objectives and focus fully focus on other things (like killing for example). They need as much thought as with any list because you need to constantly be thinking about how to deny the enemy objectives (by killing, contesting or just by stalling them). With objectives being 3VP each even one will significantly reduce your chance of victory.
- Mobility. this list is very mobile (stating the obvious I know) but it isn't the best list to take advantage of this. Eldar jetbikes (or other such units, even Marine bikes) can shoot pretty well and use their mobility to reduce incoming damage/skirt away from threats and generally keep themselves safe whilst still threatening the enemy. Wolfwing units can't do this, they have no shooting over 8" (12" if you're lucky) and no extra move to skirt away after this shooting (like Jetbikes or Tau suits' Jetpacks). We have to focus on assaults to cause damage and this puts you within threat range of most of the enemy's army straight away. They also need the charge to put out most of their hurt, if they get bogged down they just get overwhelmed. Sadly, they have no Hit and Run to mitigate this, and counter-attack only works if you're not already engaged. Therefore you have to kill or chase away the enemy you're engaged with in one turn if you're threatened by nearby assault units (of course, against shooty armies you want to be engaged for 2 turns instead but I have no concrete experience against these lists yet to solidly say how this can be accomplished) and this is not always possible.
- Secondary objectives. Now first blood is the problem here. FenWolves are pretty darn easy to kill off for first blood putting you another 1VP down from the start. I can't afford enough HQs to shield all of my FenWolf units and even if I did that's risking my HQs for my sacrificial units. For now I just have to pray I can get first turn and then survive one round of shooting. Wolfwing can engage something from turn 2 if you move full speed so as a positive only 1 of your turns will be spent with nothing engaged, unless your opponent has some good luck and a cunning plan to back that up. Linebreaker is your best bet for VP if you can focus enough force to break one flank and run through. Slay the Warlord is beginning to be a risk, as you're risking 2VP (opponent's Slay the Warlord and 1 Linebreaker) for 1VP in return if you put the best guy up for the job (your own warlord). I think I'd only go for this if the odds were in my favour (not too scary a combat Warlord who is isolated enough to kill and then retreat away before being overrun)
- FenWolves. Wow, these guys really aren't what I wanted them to be. They are sacrificial, to the max. I'm being a little unfair here, they can do a fair amount of damage when they get chance (three I5 S4 attacks each isn't that bad) but they melt really quickly as they have no save (no, 6+ does not count as a save - it's just an occasional pleasant surprise). Therefore I'm torn on these guys, they're great for packing numbers into the list (particularly to go for linebreaker) but they are also fairly squishy targets and great for opponents to get first blood. then again, I need at least 2 units so there's always going to be a squishy target for that and the more I have the more likely some will survive. I've learnt not to expect much from these guys. BUT (capitals required): I have split the wargear FenWolves on my HQs to 1 each instead of 2 on Canis for shields. This is because 1 FenWolf grants move through cover to it's entire unit! That means no dangerous terrain checks whilst they're alive. They still catch the first Look our Sir though as dangerous terrain is no longer that bad (with you being able to take armour saves against it now) and it's better to lose a 10pt wolf than an 80pt Thunderwolf. Speaking of whom:
- Thunderwolves. I still love Thunderwolves. They can really be quite scary in the first round of combat (with the charge bonus or counter attack) and they do make great hammer units for this list, particularly when you are only comparing them to FenWolves. I'm still undecided on the Storm Shields though! I feel like dropping them would be very bad for their survivability, but they don't always need them and it's a MASSIVE amount of points. I'm contemplating whether the Wolf Lord led unit can forgo them (to hide behind the Wolf Lord's own shield) and potentially drop some from the other units. It doesn't say the entire unit has to buy them so maybe a couple in each unit and then make sure positioning puts them in front of the low AP weaponry. Their cavalry movement should be good for this.
Until next time,
The Emperor Protects.