Goatboy here again – today I want to talk about Thunder Wolves and how I think they should be used and dealt with. Right now, people are talking about how this is the second coming of the dreaded Nob Bikerz. Like the bikerz, they have a large assault range, multiple wounds, and a large number of attacks. They both can be wound allocated up as well. The big difference between these units is that one can beat an army the other needs friends to help finish the game.
Lets look at the advantages present within the Thunder Wolf Cavalry unit.
1. Increased toughness and multiple wounds. I put these together as they pretty much walk hand in hand. The model is harder to wound with conventional weapons as well as needing double the amount of wounds to have any chance to remove a model. Also, the normal use of Strength 8 to auto pop a Nob Biker doesn’t work on the basic Thunder Wolf Cav model. This really helps as the threat of Battle Cannons raining down is not nearly as bad as they are versus a Nob Biker army.
2. A very large and unorthodox threat range. Thunder Wolf Cav is a cavalry unit. This is a unit type you don’t see nearly as often in Warhammer 40k. This makes opponents misjudge their distance as well as let you ignore rapid fire for the most part (Except Tau and their guns from the super-future). A biker has a base 18 inch threat range. A cav model has a 19 to 24 inch assault range. This makes a huge difference and really places the cav model into the dedicated assault role, while the Biker is more of a assault/firepower model.
3. A larger assault threat due to the ability to wound almost all models. You can see this in the options for rending as well as having a base strength of 5, creating a strength 10 assault. The model has 4 attacks base (5 for rending monsters and 4 for those with a power fist or Thunder Hammer) which means an increased chance to rend when you have 5 models hitting with 24 attacks. Rending lets you deal with mech too (not as easily as you would want, but there is a chance) which is a definite advantage. Mix this with a large assault range and you can usually chase a tank down and show them them some love.
4. Fairly cheap points cost. When compared to similar models/units, 280 points gets you 3+ armor save, 10 wounds, 24 rending attacks and 5 Power Fist attacks on the charge. Very few units can put out this similar type of damage without the need for some kind of transport vehicle. This makes for a very cheap unit that takes a lot to deal with properly. The lower point cost also allows you to create great support units around this unit. This lets you have a more balanced army that still mixes a bit of deathstar/all comer list.
So now you see the advantages, how would you use them in your own Space Wolves army? Well there are a few ways I have found them to be useful.
These models are just like TH/SS termies. They won’t take the objective or truly win you the game. What they will do is help you keep your winning models safe for a few turns. I like to use LRRs and LRCs in my armies because they are tough, fairly good, as well as I just like the models. I need the Thunder Wolves to keep some random lascannon/melta fire off of them for a few turns as I use their armor to set up some scoring boxes and firing lanes. The wolves run in front, take a lot of fire/assault and then let the LR’s come in from behind and either mop up with some flamer templates, grey hunter counter charge, or massed fire power from bolters. Just like in fantasy, setting up the counter charge can let you win the game and turn the tide when all looks lost.
Thunder wolves are great at dropping off a couple of Characters into enemy lines. A Wolf Lord or 2 can do wonders to a batch of models. If equipped correctly, they can survive a lot of firepower and still go kicking as they hit a few units and start to chew them up in combat. The sagas of Warrior Borne and the Bear are two great ones for these type of builds. Nothing is more fun then watching a 20 attack Wolf Lord chew up a bunch of Chaos Marines.
Jack of all Trades
Their ability to do it all with their attacks (kill troops, mech, monstrous creatures, etc) allows for a very balanced unit that can help plug up your army’s holes. We all know how melta is great against mech, but 12 inches is usually not enough to deal with something that moves fast or can just stay away and pound you down with sustained fire power. This is where the Thunder Wolves come in as a fast threat that can get there and get the job done. If they move their vehicles away and don’t fire with them, then that is a win for that turn versus a lot of armies.
I know the actual “official” model is not the greatest for this unit, so a lot of people will probably wait on building this unit. I had to go into a different direction with my army and fit it around what I used for the model (Juggernaut of Khorne – thus the Space Goats were borne). I have seen some other models around the net that fit the theme pretty well so there are other ways to build it beyond the one kinda fugly one GW produced. I’ve heard that there are some good Warmachine wolves that may work as well.
If you have done one, post a link of it here so we can check it out. As usual, shoot me an email to [email protected] if you have any questions.
Iron priest with 4 cyber wolves. This is a “sleeper hit” unit within the Space Wolves codex that is pretty dang good. Check it out :). Of course mine has kept dying when trying to make his 2+ save 🙁 Makes me a sad panda/goat.
My version of Canis. He is another very cheap for his abilities Space Wolf character. Fenris Wolves are pretty good for the points cost and this just makes them a lot better.
I bought a bunch of stuff from a friend and he had made a wolf lord on foot. I took off his head, put a Chaos Terminator shoulder pad on him and viola we have a walking Wolf Lord in terminator armor and a pair of Wolf Claws. I don’t know if I will use him, but he was one of the few primed things I had when I wanted to paint.
~So what crazy stuff is popping up in your club with the Space Puppies? Are the Cav making appearances, and how are you seeing them modeled?