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Goatboy’s 40K – Too Much New Things!

11 Minute Read
Aug 10 2014
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Wow – this week was a crazy one.  Here’s what I think of the Space Wolf codex!

This is going to be a nuts couple of months as I feel GW is going to break apart their factions to create a game that lets you build all kinds of decks I mean army lists.  But today I won’t go into that as will deal with the real release this week – Space Wolves.  I think the book is alright – a bit bland but then it needed to get brought into how the Marine book is built.

Now that doesn’t make the book bad – it just has some flavor that I feel is gone out of it.  But it does let you build a full Thunder Wolf styled hero army and you how I love Assault/Cavalry styled army.  It just screams to my play style.  But will talk about that list later as a tidbit of fun at the end.  I will start at the top with some broad feelings about the book.

First thing – I don’t hate how GW has set up the book.  I know a lot of players don’t like the look but I think it fits into their motto of – no rules without minis that came about because of a lawsuit.  I only wish they designed the fold out section to be the initial beginning/wargear points section.  That way you could fold it out and then flip through the pages and quickly see the upgrades and point costs available.  This would mean you only really need to look at the unit and not have to flip back and forth with the points section at the front.  I think this little thing would make these physical books a lot better to play with.  Just my two cents GW.

HQ

The HQ section is pretty bloated like the Ork book.  There are a lot of choices and options which is great for building fluffy lists but not always the best for “strong” lists.  I think the biggest punch in the  gut is how the Wolf Lord really seemed to get dumped on a bit.  He got more expensive, didn’t get the Chapter Master extra wound, and well – just doesn’t seem nearly as worth it as the Wolf Guard Battle Leader.  Heck I can see a lot of armies taking Rune Priests or Wolf Guard Battle leaders.

I like the Wolf Priest but a 6+ FNP is just not nearly as cool as you want it to be.  The Fearless option and preferred enemy is ok so if you expect to play bigger Blood Claw squads then you might look at this option.  The new formation helps this a lot as it gives you 6 HQ choices to use but again the lack of objective secured might keep this one at bay.  Still – as I play more the most annoying objective secured is the Drop Pod you have to kill.

The Rune Priest got changed to fit more like a the librarian from all the recent Marine books.  The SW psychic power set is ok but I see the book powers getting used most of the time.  If you are going Thunderwolf heavy I bet some Biomancy heavy Rune Priests might be worth it.  Or heck just more Thunder Wolves.

The Spell set is kind of offensive heavy.  It seems all the spells took a hit in power level from the last incarnation.  Plus there is a ton of WC 2 powers in there.  I wonder if this will be the case for more future book powers.  I have found Psychics to be underwhelming in most games as I can’t roll a 4+ for the life of me.  I don’t expect most players to take these as they all feel like either they need +1 str to their attack (Thunder Clap) or just don’t seem nearly as strong as the book power version (Shrouding vs Storm Caller).

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The special characters are ok.  They all seem a bit too expensive for what they do.  That is always the issue is the cost of things.  Most of these characters are assault monsters so creating something similar at 50 points less is usually a better choice.  I guess it is good that there isn’t an auto include Special Character as it would get annoying to see that every time you played against a SW.

I haven’t found anything that says Thunder Wolves can’t join units.  This could be a way to create some kind of super units built out of Marine Characters due to the Battle Brother nonsense.  I don’t know how good that would be but it is something to think about.  The Wolves lost all their cool talismans which is kind of a shame.  It will be a dark day when they can’t use their special wolf tooth to hit invisible jerks in combat.  The relics are another bit of work as they all seem lackluster when compared to the last few books.  Their isn’t a cool force multiple option in relic section so I am hoping the Champions of Fenris pamphlet might bring something interesting.

The last blurb on HQ’s is that the new Sagas – while neat in the sense that it fits rules wise for 7th – do feel a bit underwhelming.  I know a lot of players were upset at the lack of Eternal Warrior but this game has moved away from a lot of Str 10 with smash getting nerfed and a lot of other weapons either attached to non characters or easy enough to keep away from.  Still I am hoping we get some better Sagas in the mini book.

Elites

Holy crap they filled this section out with a lot of stuff.  We all know about the nerf to the Wolf Guard.  I wish the rule had stayed with small tweaks to keep it in check.  It still is rough to have those crazy units gone.  I don’t know if will see units of them unless Champions gives us Wolf Guard as troops.  I know someone bought the expensive book so hopefully we can get some rules info in a week or so.  Arjac as an IC that can only join Wolf Guard is ok – just wish he could go around to other units.

The Elite that looks good to me is the Iron Priest.  I loved those guys in 5th edition and while the Cyber Wolves went down in Toughness the Iron Priest got to be an IC status.  You mix this with adding the ability to get a Thunder Wolf mount and you might have another lynchpin in the Thunder Wolf Armageddon list I am planning.  He also has Runic armor starting and sits at 2 attacks with a Thunder Hammer plus Servo Arm.  This gives him 3 starting as he sits with 2 plus the two Specialist Weapon options.  Man if you are playing Thunder Wolves take a few of these to help beef out your unit.

The dreadnoughts are so close to being good if they only let the Ven Dread become armor 13.  I hope the Blood Angels dreads don’t lose that extra bit of armor but will see.  I like the idea of the Storm Shield dread and it does look really cool.  I like the idea of a Helfrost Cannon option as it gives you a lot of AP 1 to help knock things down.  Will see if they become worth it.  I really think a boost to AV 13 for dreads would be the simple fix to get them working.  We see Soul Grinders on the table top but don’t see Defilers.

Just a quick side on Murderfang.  Doesn’t it seem like it was named by one of their kids during a Take you Kid to Work Day at GW?  I think it went something like this – Man so I have this idea for a crazy dreadnought that is basically Wolverine who has submitted to the Berserker rage.  His kid is there and they ask him what kind of name should this guy have?  Kid first says Murder Wolf and once they check it versus the wolf word count in the book they say – let’s go a little more subtle.  He then says Murder Brute and while they all laugh at how awesome that sounds they say it needs to be a bit more – Wolf like.  The kid thinks on it pretty hard and finally says – Murderfang!  They all clap and congratulate themselves.  The boy has his first bug mans brew (non alcoholic of course) and they continue on their day.

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The change to terminator armor and allowing the Wolves to teleport in might make Lone Wolves better.  The lack of scoring for the option is kind of depressing as he can’t just grab a Maelstrom mission.  Plus they can be very cheap and annoying to deep strike in and run around the table top.
The wolf scouts and regular Wolf Guard are ok.  The scouts lost their ability to come from behind and the Wolf Guard can get crazy options in the weapon department.  Still I don’t see them on the table top and instead resting in their foam coffins.

Troops

Hey we have some troops.  The Grey Hunters and Blood Claws are back with both getting cheaper.  The Grey Hunters lost their pouches as the fashion consultant for the wolves decided that this is the year of no fanny packs.  The Blood Claws won out in the cost department and if players are looking at going cheap to activate a StormWolf Transport.  I am happy you can take that model as a Dedicated option as some events will actually allow them to score if they are in hover mode.  Lukas is a troop option that joins a Blood Claw unit.  It would seem that you can just take Lukas and then a unit of Blood Claws and satisfy your troop limit.

Fast Attack

Here is where we see the new sweetness in the book!  We’ll start with the biggest gasp in that you can finally just take a Drop Pod as a FA choice.  This is huge as it means you can give any unit the option to ride in a Drop Pod.  I expect a lot of Marine armies to take a Long Boat, some Blood Claws, a cheap Rune Priest, and then a Drop pod to help get those Centurions to the middle of the table top.

The other FA options are pretty standard.  The Thunder Wolf Cavalry got cheaper but you have to take a minimum of 3 now.  Storm Shields got cheaper so again they seem to be trying to sell you on a Thunder Wolf Armageddon list.  Go figured as they took to long to come out with the models.

The Sky Claws and Swift Claws remain the same.  I used to play a lot of Swift Claws back in the day.  It isn’t bad but unless you want to go towards a bike heavy style list I just expect them to sit on the sidelines.  Still you could do something pretty interesting with Bike Riding Wolf Priests.

Oh and we have Land Speeders.  Man if Jink was just a straight 4+ cover save instead of having to snap fire to use it we might see more.  I miss them.  They have a weird place in my head as one of the vehicles that might be fun to drive around.

Heavy

There isn’t much new here.  You have all the ground vehicle options you had before.   There is not an option for the Stalker/Hunter as previously rumored.  The Long Fangs can start at 2 models and get Flakk missiles.  It is kind of odd they start this small but heck I don’t write rules right?

Lord of War

Finally we get to Logan.  His rules are not nearly as good as they once were.  He still seems alright as his Chariot gives him basically 3 more wounds and makes him immune to small arms fire.  I like the model as it just feels as goofy as the Space Wolves sound.  Still the last two Lord of Wars just seem like decent characters instead of devastating options you will face every time the army hits the table top.  It is odd that we don’t see the chariot option on other HQ characters.

Final Opinions

Really that is about it.   The book is a bit bland when you compare it to others.  The Relics just feel weak as I really expected some cooler options.  Of course when you have as many special characters as they do it becomes hard to create a Relic that isn’t just a rehash of the frost/ice/etc option the named character has.  I don’t think it is bad as it will win games with loads of good options it just doesn’t feel like the Space Wolf book we all grew to love/hate.

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Here is my first take on a Goatboy style list.  I want to play Thunder Wolves as I feel it is the most Grim, Dark, and ridiculous option we have in the book.  I just love the idea of marines running around of beasts of war and crushing heads.

List#1 Thunder Wolf Rush!

HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunder Wolf Mount, Storm Shield, Powerfist
HQ: Wolf Priest, Bike
Elite: Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf Mount, Cyber Wolves X 2
Elite: Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf Mount, Cyber Wolves X 2
Elite: Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf Mount, Cyber Wolves X 2
Troops: Blood Claws X 5, Stormwolf, Sky Hammer Missiles
Troops: Blood Claws X 5, Stormwolf, Sky Hammer Missiles
FA: Thunder Wolf Cavalry X 5, Storm Shield X 3

Knight Formation
Imperial Knight Errant

So this has 9 Thunder Wolves to run around – they are Fearless and have Preferred enemy for a little bit. Plus you can volition out if you need too.  You have a crap ton of 2+ saves too with the Iron Priests as well as five 3++ saves if needed.

I added a Knight as it helps out a lot to have this big threat behind.  You can drop down to a 3 man Thunder Wolf squad to try and get the special character Knight.   That might be better as he can run with the Cavalry and still shoot his gun.

List#2 HeroHammer!
Now here is the list with a straight Hero Hammer idea in there – this is using that 6 HQ formation.  So expect a ton of Copy and paste action for this list.

HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunder Wolf Mount, Storm Shield, Powerfist, Fenris Wolves X 2
HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunder Wolf Mount, Storm Shield, Powerfist, Fenris Wolves X 2
HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunder Wolf Mount, Storm Shield, Powerfist, Fenris Wolves X 2
HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunder Wolf Mount, Storm Shield, Powerfist, Fenris Wolves X 2
HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunder Wolf Mount, Storm Shield, Powerfist, Fenris Wolves X 2
HQ: Wolf Priest, Bike, Fenris Wolves X 2, Meltabombs
Troops: Blood Claws X 5
Troops: Blood Claws X 5
Elite: Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf Mount, Cyber Wolves X 2
Elite: Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf Mount, Cyber Wolves X 2
Elite: Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf Mount, Cyber Wolves X 2
FA: Thunder Wolves X 3, Storm Shield X 3, Powerfist

Fortification: Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubt

This one is just nutty.  I had to go with a Wall of Martyrs as it is a great anti air option.  Plus this list would just cover the table in wolves and dudes on wolves.  I expect Turn 2 to be rather insane.  It might be worth it to run more 2+ armor saves in there – but still this list looks just insane.  But again – sorry for the copy paste as these lists are just ideas.  You could easily drop some things to make it a hell of a lot more interesting to play with.

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What’s your take on the Sons of Russ’ latest rules?

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