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.
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.
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.
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.