Goatboy here again and today I want to go into a quick and dirty review of some of the new goodies we got in the Curse of the Wulfen book.
I am pretty excited for the book as both armies represented are armies I currently either play, counts as playing, or just want to play more of in the future. With that in mind – lets break down how I will do the review. Like the title says – I will go over some of the highlights from each army release and try to throw them into a category of Good, Bad and just plain Ugly. Good implies that I think it is a well designed formation/rule and overall healthy for the game. Bad implies that it might be too good or that I feel it isn’t a very inspired designed. Ugly just means it isn’t that good and should probably be ignored.
We’ll start out with my favorite Counts As Army choice – the Space Wolves. Overall I am pretty excited about the release as I think it gives Wolves players a ton of new things to play with as well as a flavor that isn’t just a Marine color swap. Each of the new formations adds a new wrinkle into your army design and while it did put a bit of a boot to the ThunderStar/Friends/Etc butt a bit it still gave this army a ton of new power.
Overall the book isn’t just a redux of a bunch of Space Marine stuff. This is a good thing as while having a massed objective secured formation might be good for the army – it doesn’t really fit the overall feel and ton of this faction. They shouldn’t be giving a crap of holding some random mysterious box and instead get to the job of dealing out the Emperor’s rolled up newspaper of punishment. The formations themselves feel like mini stories as each one is filled with a ton of different things. Of course the taxes in the formations are not always the best – but at least it still feels like how a Space Wolf army should feel.
The Good New Rules
I like the Wulfen a lot. I think they add a new bit of flavor to the army that isn’t just an extremely hard as nails unit. I especially like how they are designed to be force multipliers with their Hunt/Kill options driving the Space Wolves crazy. I think this is a good design as it lets you build an army around it and create new and interesting interactions as you boost “bad” units into something good. I think the weapon upgrades feel right as well as bringing back some of the scary – oh crap they are fast moments when they get up the battlefield and start punching your army in the gonads.
I think the move of the Iron Priest to an HQ slot is a good thing as it felt like such an abusive unit when left as an Elite choice. I am glad they left the Thunder Wolf mount as an option because it would suck to lose such a cool looking model a ton of people converted. Instead of just removing it, they moved it to the right force org slot and helped bring down some of the Super Friends annoyance as that army was extremely tight on points. It won’t make it completely go away but it will at least force a few less doggies, upgrades, and most likely psychic nonsense.
The Wolf Claw Strike Force is a fitting name for their Decurion like army building option. I like that you have a ton of core options in order to build your army. They don’t feel like copy and paste options from the Marine books and still have the whole – pack mentality when building them. I wish some of the taxes were not nearly as large in the packs – but I can understand GW trying to balance the game a bit with these “new” ways to build an army that isn’t just min maxing the CAD/Ally to death. I hope we see more for other armies so we can push CAD or Decurion as an army building method for events. The extra rules they get are not nearly as back breaking as other Armies decurions but they do seem to be interesting. Any form of extra movement can be pretty powerful – especially after some failed Charges etc. Plus mixing in with some fast assault elements and drop pods could bring a whole level of board control.
I’m glad we don’t have any new relics for the wolves as well. It was getting somewhat annoying to see some amazing relics come out and cementing specific style armies place in the “good” category of lists. The Hunter’s Eye should not have been made most likely and while it keeps some things in check it does worse for the game as a whole. Overall I think the additions are pretty good, nothing too overpowered, and the army list design seems to fit within the fluff ideas of what the Space Wolves should be.
The Good Formations that I feel are well designed, not completely broken, and do more for the game then just stomp the fun out of your face.
Iron Wolves – Best of the core packs by far as the taxes are not really any issue as the upgrades make them worth wile. Free Vehicle upgrades, being able to disembark after moving 12, and a ton of options makes this the one to pick if you are using that Space Wolf Claw/etc/host/Decurion thingie. This is where I start all my builds when looking to use this army creation tool.
Wolfkin – This is almost in the Bad category because it might just be a little too good. I want you to think about a 75 “dog” unit with a few fearless options attached. Think about how much battlefield space it covers as well as how long it will take you to chew through it. Add in a few rules, maybe a few hidden Claws/Fists/Etc and you got the new “cheaper” green tide. I expect a lot of closed hatching Rhinos to be in the future of Gladius Army builds.
Wyrdstorm Brotherhood – This isn’t as good as the Librarius Conclave but I am glad for that. That formation is a little too good and while this one isn’t near it, it does give you a lot of psychic power if you want it in your army. While the Space Wolf Psychic Discipline isn’t the best it really is the idea that you can start to generate a good deal of Warp Charge dice and utilize some of main rule book powers to help keep your horde of puppies alive.
Things that are not bad rules – just might be Bad for the Game.
The Wulfen formation seems to be where some of the “broken” options might pop out. I have talked about it once already – but there is a way to create a super fast, cruise missile type of Thunder Wolf Unit that can move twice and get involved with your opponents army on turn one. While for a Space Wolf thunder Etc player – this sounds awesome – it might not be that great for some of the weaker armies. I really like the Hunt/kill chart and this one formation adds a new “roll to it” with a 7 that grants all the effected units a double move. The formation gives you a +1 to the roll for each Wulfen Unit you have so you can start to see how you can math it out. The Hunt has another “movement” option that gives all the units a +3 to their movement, charge, and run moves. So even if you don’t get the 7 you can set it up where you will always get some kind of 6 inch additional move for your army. Thankfully the big ole Dog formation isn’t effected by this as I would suspect this would be all in your face right now.
The Blackmanes formation might also be another problem as they give you a ton of free Drop Pods that all arrive turn 1. That is a huge amount of board presence you can throw down on an opponent and lock them in. Heck these pods don’t even count towards the amount of Pods you can throw down for a Drop Pod assault. Sure there is a ton of taxes within the formation – but I can imagine someone can figure out the perfect set up to just cover the table in “free” walls. Time will tell if this just moves out of the Bad Category and into the good side of things but we all know free stuff can be an issue in any game.
Heralds of the Great Wolf might be a formation full of crazy glue depending on how it gets set up. If you add Bikes to each of the options, give them all Runic Armor and utilize some fun “psychic” abilities like Precog and you have a very rough tankable unit. Each model ignores the first failed saving throw, makes people shoot at them worse, and gains IWND. The Iron Priest, sitting on a Thunder Wolf, gives the unit another Would as well as the option to get a few more doggies to help cover some excess wounds. You then can add in a few more ICs to sprinkle in some pain and hopefully a few more doggies and create a really pain in the butt super unit that doesn’t need any other book friends to be powerful.
Things that are just – kinda meh and most likely will be used by Ben Mohile to kick my ass at some point.
There isn’t a lot in the new book that I find too terrible. Some of the extra Core packs are either too expensive or too limiting to be used. It still doesn’t mean they are terrible just not nearly as good as the other options in the book. Some of the extra rules they get are kinda lame especially when ATSKNF ignores a lot of it. I don’t know about you – but either the unit explodes when I charge it or they are a marine and just don’t give too effs about my howling.
I do wish we had a Thunder Wolf formation of some sort just to give that army some more options. I don’t know what they would call it – maybe the Murder Fur kill squad or something? It feels like a missed opportunity to maybe make a Great Thunder Wolf pack with some of the characters given. The Death Wolves is the closest and we only get one Unit of Thunder Wolves in there. I am sure it was done as a balancing issue – but that could have been a sweet formation. The 2 Characters on Thunder Wolves, 2-3 Thunder Wolves, 2-3 Units of Swift Claws, 2-4 Units of Speeds etc. S
I wish the Spearhead formation from the Space marine book for Land Raiders was a part of the Space Wolves. It just feels so cool to have “super heavy” like Land Raiders. You could even force an Iron Priest with the unit and make it have a Space Wolf name. I also wish all the Dreadnoughts got updated to 4 attacks apiece. It would have made that new Dreadnought formation something to be scared about. I don’t think a 3+ inv save dread in close combat is much of a threat to the sanity of the game right now. Maybe if it was effected by the Wulfen Hunt/Kill table we could be worried but overall it seems GW made sure that this set of units and formations isn’t going to leave a bunch of turds all over the competitive scene.
Next up we have the “evil” side of this campaign with the new Daemon release. Of course this release just means that there won’t be an updated Daemon book in the future as while it adds a ton of neat stuff it does not do much to change the overall “nature” and build of the army. Still I think it is a strong release and I am hopeful will see every army have this new style of army building in the future. But with that – lets dive right into the muck with this release.
Overall I think this army release did a good job with introducing new ways to make your Daemon army tick. I am a Daemon player so I am excited that I can figure out other things then just utilizing an unkillable star mixed with over powered psychic abilities. Fateweaver is still one of the best things in the book and with an updated Change Discipline he becomes a psychic powerhouse. The Battlehost also feels very fluffy with massed usage of the sacred numbers and other little nods to the fluff. The big “worries” are some of the new “artefacts” are pretty nutty but they get added on top of extremely expensive unit choices so while they are powerful they are limited to making the other parts of your army work harder.
The Good new Rules
Overall I find the Daemon rules to be solid with a few that might reach into the Bad category as they create some strong combinations. I think most of the gods got powerful new gifts and find the new set of disciplines to be flavorful enough to be useful – especially when 2 of the heads of Fateweaver get to know something like 18 spells total. The big winners are most likely Tzeentch, followed by Nurgle, then Khorne and finally Slaanesh. I just don’t think they know what to do with Slaanesh and I can only hope some kind of Emperor’s Children release might add some pep back the step of the creepy bad touch Chaos God.
The new Daemon Battle House – Armies of Unreason seems to be pretty cool. It feels very fluffy and there is a careful balance set up within its building restrictions. I do like how all the gods Sacred Numbers are expressed in the choices and I am thankful we didn’t get some kind of Herald Conclave. I think that is where the issues of the old book creep in as the 4 Heralds per HQ choice is a bit much when mixed with the overall power of Objective Secured Daemonic gribblies. The Grim is still there – and while it is abusive in specific builds – other daemon builds really need it as some of the shooting we see now can just remove all of them from the table.
The Daemonic host extra rules are pretty spicy. Adding and subtracting from the Warpstorm is a huge benefit as you will make sure you won’t get the -1 to inv save roll every again. Plus you could do a crazy number versus another Daemon player and force some rough instability rolls. The ability to reroll instability will let you get more games where the double 1’s win you an assault in the end too. The other power is the one that will cause all kinds of headaches as you always hold an objective even after you leave it. Corrupting it to its core. I feel events will just play it that it is held until another unit comes and takes it from you. They just have to clean up all the gross stuff you left you damned daemonic freeloader.
I think the addition of each gods own Warlord table goes a long way to creating a cohesive daemon list. Each one has some set of neat “abilities” that will make your warlord a much stronger character. Of course most armies will still run Fateweaver so I don’t expect a ton of games getting effected by this roll. Still it goes a long way into creating some a lot more “daemonic” then the normal roll on Strategic or the locked in Fate trait.
The Good Formations
The Infernal Tetrad rides the edge of Good to Bad as some players keep talking about the strength of 4 Daemon princes. I don’t think you get added bonus’s if you roll a +1 to reserve roll for each “warlord” in the unit but it still seems neat when you roll one of the cooler warlord traits like +1 wound or +1 to your psychic level. You won’t have much else in your army besides these guys and probably Fate and some nurglings in a CAD to keep your army going but still it seems like a neat warlord trait. Their are so many cool artifacts for that you can create a really crazy set of murder machines with this formation.
Warpflame Host seems completely workable as a Tzeentch core formation choice. The ability to get a +1 to all your shooting attacks as well as having your Herald pass his Locus all around could mean a ton of Strength 7 shooting coming your way. I do wish the Exalted Flamer was a Jump Pack Infantry as it would help that unit be useful – but as is you will see some small units of Flamers mixed with 3-4 units of Heralds. This is the beginnings of a summon house and I know a lot of players that already play this many horrors.
The Murderhorde, despite having the most obvious Khorne name, is actually pretty neat. You can load up on Dogs and have everything have hatred and +1-2 attacks on the charge. That is a lot of puppies that control the battlefield pretty well. KDK loves to throw its Gorepacks around and I expect this type of formation to do the same thing.
The Tallyband can be the cheapest option for a Core choice as you can take a crap ton of smelly Nurglings. Sure they don’t do a ton but they can be very annoying. Give the Herald the special gross Nurgling that gives everyone within 6 inches -1 to their toughness. That seems to be pretty strong. The Rotswarm could be ok too – as you can just take a lot of single unit Beasts and try to swarm the opponent in choices.
The Good Artefacts
Finally we have some artefacts to look at. I know the Space Wolves didn’t need much so it is ok we missed out on some sweet upgrades. I think it is kinda nutty the Daemons got so many as the regular Daemon codex is full of weapons, upgrades, and other nutty options. I just really like how they fully fleshed out each god and really spent some thought on what kind of crazy Chaos gifts would work best for their armies. Will go by each god highlighting the good stuff.
A’rgath The King of blades seems cute with its ability to always hit on a 2+. I do think they should have had 1’s hit the unit but its cheap enough to see use. Add this to a Daemon Prince and the sword becomes AP 2.
The Crimson Crown gives every Khorne buddy a +1 attack within 8 inches. It is pretty expensive but this could do wonders to a KDK Gore Pack army. Heck that hilarious All Khorne Daemonkin Vehicle army would love to have more attacks to stack on itself.
The SkullReaver is pretty friggin nuts with its ability to go D when you roll a 6 to hit. I wish this could be added to Khorne Heralds but man this is a nice weapon to add on to a Prince or Thirster.
Armour of Scorn drops all attacks by -1 strength and gives you a 3+ armor save. It seems pretty decent too and is one way to let your daemon prince survive.
Paradox is pretty strong as it lets you flip the Warp Dice rolled for a spell once a turn. It is also a weapon so heay that isn’t too bad. Being able to throw dice and guarantee certain spells seems pretty strong right?
The Impossible Robe seems destined to be combo’d with Cursed Earth. 2+ Inv saves are pretty dang good. And heck if you get D’d out you wouldn’t be surviving anyway.
The Endless Grimorie gives you all the Change powers too. That seems pretty good and then you can roll your 3+ powers on some of those lovely Malefic options.
Grotti the Nurgling could be a pain in the butt. He is pretty expensive and only effects 6″ from the bearer so while on a Herald he isn’t too hot he will be awesome on the King Papa himself. Of course if we had an updated Great Unclean one we might see more use out of someone on a friggin huge base.
Horn of Nurgle Rot seems pretty strong as you can add on more Plague Bearers. You got to love summoning without having to roll some dice for it.
Soulstealer seems awesome on a Keeper of Secrets. She can just go into units, suck up some Wounds, and then keep on a trucking down the field.
Whips of agony would be amazing on a Daemon Prince or Keeper of Secrets. Obviously you see the power of said combo and since you can’t do that you understand how much of a Sad Panda I am.
The Good Magic Mind Spells
Bolt of changed stayed a 24″ beam power. Remember kids beams don’t target so those pesky Warp Spiders can’t jump around when the beam is coming to town.
Boon of Flame could be very powerful when you start to throw down Chariots of Tzeentch all over the table top. You would have to have those models but hey – it could happen.
Primsatic Gaze is a true D shot from the great Tzeentch. It is actually AP 1 so if hits your favorite friendly Imperial Knight it can even blow up it through ITC’s Nerfed shooting D. 3 Hull Points plus a Penetrating hit – roll a 5+ and you do more Hull Points.
Debilitating Distention is pretty neat. Turning off Overwatch on a Unit could be the way you win the game a lot of the time. Also forcing a unit to not be able to run or Sweeping Advance can keep your corrupted Objective as well.
Rancid Visitations could be very combo like with Grotti.
Putrescent Vitality looks to be neat as you can boost an entire units toughness by up to +3 based on the Warp Charges you decide to throw in. I could see that unit of Plague Flies being a complete pain in the rear.
Cacophonic Choir seems strong if you do some Leadership manipulation treats. Its one of the bigger Nova blasts and could really do wonders on the back of a Daemon Prince.
Lash of Slaanesh stays as a 24 inch Str 6 Beam. As it Rends it could do a ton of damage to a Unit and is another answer to those ever Lovely Spiders of the Warp.
Acquiescence is another power I wish was the Primus power.
The Bad Stuff
It again feels like Slaanesh just didn’t get nearly as much cool stuff as the other Gods. I have a soft/hard spot in my evil heart for those pesky Slaanesh followers and had high hopes we would see something really neat – but instead we got more of the same. I am not saying it is all bad – but it just doesn’t feel nearly as cool as some of the Khorne artefacts and Tzeentch nonsense. I am glad that there is very little summoning in the actual God Disciplines. It helps keep some of the “free” nonsense at bay.
The lack of changing the Daemon rules too much left the same rerollable save debacle in the game so that is frustrating. There are also more powers that either give additional plus 1’s to their Inv Save so I expect some of the same style of armies from before just get moved over into the Decurion. The ability to control the Warp Storm more could lead to a lot of games won by the random roll of an 11/12 and getting that extra unit you needed to come down and hold your opponents objective.
No new Greater Daemon models and no other new “Daemon” models. That is the pits when we have such crappy big monsters. The Bloodthirster looks so bad ass and it is about time we got another big fat monster running around on the table top. I vote for Tzeentch as a Tzeentch Daemonkin book would be pretty rad. I do hope the next part of this campaign gives some Grey Knight and Dark Angel love with the enemy being some true Tzeentch Chaos Space Marines. Maybe they could have some crazy spawn monsters and other weird mutated powers?
This release has me pretty excited about the Future of 40k. I do like the Campaigns as they give multiple armies some new toys to play with and keep the game fresh. Thankfully there isn’t too much crazy stuff in the book to create some stale game states and I hope to see some different armies on the table tops in the coming future.
What do you think of Curse of the Wulfen?