TACTICA: Mark of the Wulfen

When the space wolf codex first came out, I read through it and noticed the section on Mark of the Wulfen. I thought it was a cool ability and had a lot of character, but in the days of the blood claw rhino rush, a character that cannot join a squad seemed useless. So, I promptly forgot about the wulfen and never gave it a second look.
In this tactica, I’ll go over some of the advantages and uses of the wulfen so you can make up your own mind about them.

The Good
Getting 4+D3 attacks on the charge is amazing. Throw in a frost blade, or even some lightning claws, and it is brutal. Especially when it always hits on a 3+. He can dish it out as good as any marine character in CC, but only costs a fraction of the points. He is an IC, so cannot be targeted in shooting most of the time.

The Bad
This guy takes up an elite slot (if you aren’t already taking other Wolf Guard) but cannot contest objectives. Even with all his advantages, he is still only one wound. He can’t ride on a bike, take jump packs, or get in a vehicle from another squad. Even the lowliest grot can hit him on a 3+.

Clothing your Wulfen
There are a couple of ways to outfit your wulfen. Twin lightning claws are popular. A frost blade with storm shield (to help him last longer) is also a good choice. Some people will even buy runic armor or a belt of Russ for him to offset his one wound. Personally, I like to keep his points cost low. He probably will not survive more than a round or 2 of combat, even if he does have runic armor and a storm shield.

Wulfen Tactics
He has to walk. Or at the very least, ride in his own land raider (BTW, never use a land raider as a wulfen delivery system). If you send him walking by himself, he will get sniped when a landspeeder moves in on him. And with only 1 wound, he will be toast.
The best tactic I see is to walk him up in a squad of bloodclaws. Remember, he can be near them, just not join them. 15 bloodclaws can have 3 powerfists. And, if you are losing the 1 elite slot for having wolfguard wulfen, you may as well buy those bloodclaws a wolfguard so they can have another powerweapon. This gives you a very tough, hard hitting unit that your opponent will have to down with shooting. There are very few units in the game that can take on that many marines with power fists/weapons.
Another option is to keep him in the backfield as a countercharge unit. He would be good for anti-CC on your longfangs or rearguard greyhunters.
When you have him charge into combat with another squad, keep your eyes out for powerweapons. The farther away he is, the more likely he will live to fight a 2nd round of combat.

While you will see marines on foot more often than you did in the rhino rush days, I still don’t think a 50+ point model with one wound is a good use of points, or an elite slot for that matter, but I would love to be convinced otherwise.

  • I always thoguht that the wolfen entry in the SW codex was a little odd. It seemed to be one of those entries that was put there more for fluff purposes rather than game advantage. I really like stuff like that, but it’s just so hard to use.

    I think it would be fun to run him is a very low points game just to mix it up a little bit. I mean, who would expect it?

  • Anonymous

    Just a couple of comments on Tactica Mark of the Wulfen:

    First–clothing your Wulfen: Regular wolf guards can be converted to Wulfen but they are not allowed to take a frost blade only Independent characters can. Wolf guard battle leaders can not be given mark of the wulfen per the Space wolves FAQ 4.1 so you’d have to give the mark to a Wolf Lord to be able to take a frost blade making this model uber expensive.

    Also mark of the wulfen is an upgrade; so one unit out there has to take a wolf guard to lead it and then lose it to the “mark of the wulfen” you can’t just by a wolf guard on its own and make him a Wulfen.

    One last thing, for Blood Claws the number of models you need for an upgrade is rounded up so you don’t actually need 15 models to be able to carry three power fists. Besides those minor points I thought it was a great article. I have to say I love the Wulfen even if its just for the fluff factor.

    Luis

  • Yeah, the frostblade was an oversite. As for your second point, it is assumed that you are not taking a wolf guard in all your squads. If you are, then yes, you cannot just buy another wolf guard.
    I used the example of 15 bloodclaws not for their fists, but for their numbers. If you are going to put bloodclaws on foot, you may as well make their squad large to soak up any wound you take while walking.
    I have seen some debate as to wheather it is legal to give a Wolf Lord the mark of the wulfen. What happens if you give him the mark, but also buy him a retune? Does he leave those guys and make them free to roam around the battlefield? If so, that might be an interesting tactic to explore.

  • Nick

    Technically… if you were to field a unit of Wolf Guard Bodyguard, you could give the unit a Rhino, and one of the models a Mark of the Wulfen. This would let the Wulfen model ride in that rhino, as it was bought for his squad, even though he has to act as an independent character. Just food for thought. I miss the days before the FAQ, when I could take a Wolf Guard Battle Leader in his own rhino with the mark. Called him “Uncle Slappy.”

  • What do you guys think of MotW in 5th? A WG with MotW is something that may be better in 5th edition. Give him a 4+coversave by making him walk behind a big unit, use Rhino’s of other units to transport him, and running makes him also more mobile.
    It may still not me a game winner, but better then in 4th?

    Just some thoughts I had since I want to make a conversion for such a model that I still wanna use in games as well 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Am I missing something here? The Mark of the Wulfen entry in the armoury says:
    Mark of the Wulfen (Wolf Guard Only)
    And it has a points cost in the “Wolf Guard” column, and “N/A” in the “Other” column.

    It seems pretty clear to me you can’t give Mark of the Wulfen to a Wolf Lord

  • Moses

    Actually as long as one of your IC’s doesnt have NINE wolf gaurd bodygaurds you can in fact take your wulfen from there, for five points cheaper. You can still have a leader on every single pack.

  • Actually, Mark of the Wulfen can only be applied to a Wolf Guard Leader and counts as a IC and has to remain that way, so he can’t join in a rhino with another squad, and he can’t be given a frost blade, as it can’t be given to any wolf guard.