Space Wolves: Tournament List and Tactics
Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of folks asking about Space Wolves in tournament play 40k – can they still cut it? My answer is an emphatic, yes!
Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles! Space Wolves may not have a fancy “Decurion” Style detachment, free transports or wargear, or 4 attack Dreadnaughts (which GW, PLEASE release an FAQ to fix that!), but they still have the manliest beards in 40k, and grit. Let me tell you, that’s still enough to win games!
Reecius here form Frontline Gaming to break down my specific Space Wolf list that I have been having a lot of success with. Now, I am not saying this is the best Wolf list, of the only way to play them, simply the list I have been using to good effect in a competitive setting. Another very popular Wolf list that has been performing well in events has been the Wolfstar with Grey Knight support, revolving around a unit of Thunderwolves with Storm Shields and Character support, backed by Grey Knights with Daemonolgy to boost them up to a 2++ save. It’s a very effective build, but I do not enjoy playing Deathstars, so I tend towards TAC lists. Here’s mine!
|Space Wolves CAD||1850 Pts|
|Wolf Guard Battle Leader||Thunder Wolf, Armor of Russ, Fist, Wolf Claw||1||180|
|Ironpriest||Thunder Wolf, Cyberwolf||2||120|
|Dreadnaught Drop Pod||–||1||50|
|Lone Wolf||T.Armor, T.Hammer, S.Shield||1||75|
|Sicaran||Schism of Mars, Las Cannons||1||200|
|Long Fangs||M.Launchers x 5||6||165|
Using the Space Wolves
The list features a few unconventional choices which I will explain. First of all, I take Ulrik the Slayer as my Warlord. He’s a great value for the points, and provides some excellent force multiplication ability. With 3 wounds, he’s fairly durable and I stick him in with the Rapiers to give him T7 vs. shooting with a 6+ FnP (Healing Balms), plus Fearless to make him extremely durable vs. shooting attacks. With his Monster Hunter Warlord Trait, he makes the Heavy Bolter Rapiers pretty nasty. With 18 twin linked Heavy Bolter shots, they tend to smoke what they shoot at so long as they can hurt it. Infantry units tend to melt (PE really helps increase the averages) andT6 or lower MCs with a 3+ save usually die in a single volley due to Monster Hunter. Even FMCs have a lot to fear from them with Twin Linked. He also provides a 6″ preferred enemy bubble which I am careful to provide to other shooting units such as the Long Fangs and Sicaran to really increase their efficacy. He also provides a 12″ stubborn bubble which is a great benefit for the shooting core of the army that holds the backfield. Lastly, if something does make it into my backfield, he’s not bad in a fist fight. Mostly, he ensures that I will not give up the Warlord bonus point and he increases the offense and defense of my shooting units.
The Wolf Guard Battle Leader is a beast! He is almost always an all-star unit for me. For a very reasonable price point, you get a nasty assault unit that is also very fast. The Wolf/Claw combo is just mean, giving you a bonus attack, for a total of 6 attacks on the charge with the option to go at I1 with Str10, AP2 or I5 with Str 6, shred, AP3, Rending attacks. It’s brutal. But, the secret sauce is the Armor of Russ, which grants him a 2+/4++ and a -5 In penalty to your opponent in a challenge. I cannot tell you how many times this has come in handy! Things that swing first can be killed with the Wolf Claw before they normally swing, or you can swing simo with things that you need to smack with your fist.
I run him with the big pack of Fenresian Wolves and the Ironpriest. This unis forms a fast, hard hitting melee unit that often wins me games. The Ironwolf gives another powerful attack with the Hammer, a 2+ save, and brings along a second Cyberwolf. The Cyberwolves are useful in this for taking or issuing challenges I do not want my characters taking. They also hit a wee bit harder and are more durable, which is nice for trying to soak some wounds. This unit typically does the most damage in my army, only suffering from Ld9 as their primary weakness. To mitigate this, I sometimes start them with Ulrik in the unit to provide some morale protection for them.
My Troops section is pretty straightforward. I take 2 units of 5 Blood Claws with a Flamer. Not too exciting, but they are small ObSec units with a 3+, decent melee ability and ATSKNF. They run around jumping on objectives and picking on other units like themselves that perform the same function such as Jetbikes, Scouts, etc. They also provide me with my AA, a Stormwolf which is an excellent flyer and is also ObSec due to being a dedicated transport which can and will win you games in when you drop into hover mode. The Stormwolf is a beast, it routinely drops two other enemy flyers for me the turn it comes in due to PoTMS.
In my Elites section, I run the aforementioned Ironwolf, and I take a Siege Dread in a Lucious Drop Pod. That unit is absolutely fantastic. The Siege Dread comes with a Flamestorm cannon (Str6, AP3), Heavy Flamer, and a special rule that lets it hit units inside transports with it’s Heavy Flamer if it pens them in melee. Pretty awesome! The secret sauce though, is the Lucious, which lets the unit drop in, flame something, then stay in the Drop Pod and jump out later to assault. It keeps the unit safe for a turn and provides a Shrouding bubble to my advancing units as well. So good. This unit nets me First Blood very frequently and provides a serious backfield threat that your opponent must deal with. The Lone Wolf is a bit of an experiment for me, but serves a similar function as the Dread. He drops into the backfield via Deep Strike and causes havoc. He’s a tough little bugger with a 2+/3++, FnP and EW. Plus, with WS5 and a Hammer, he packs a punch. If he does not work out, I will drop him for another unit of Blood Claws.
Heavy Support provides the firepower you need to stay competitive in 7th ed. The Rapiers have been covered, and the Long Fangs are pretty straight forward. Missile Launchers are still a great choice for their versatility with Kraks or Frags and with Mech popping up again all over the place in addition to the plethora of MCs and Knights we see, they most certainly have their place. Lastly, the Sicaran is just a phenomenal tank. Fast, durable, lots of firepower. You can’t ask for much more. The main cannon ignores jink and rends, which is really useful in this edition of Bikes, Skimmers and Flyers. The Schism of Mars upgrade also give him Tank Hunter (Which turns him into a murder-machine vs other tanks and Knights) and a 4+ to ignore Haywire, which is very useful with so many transports popping back up in the meta and Grav Cav, Drop Skitarii and AdMech packing so much Haywire in the game. This tank routinely nets me First Blood and in addition to all that, is a great looking model, too.
In the support role, I have my man, the Culexus Assassin. I can’t say enough good things about this model. He single-handedly levels the playing field vs. psychic heavy armies, particularly deathstars. I run him in a Rhino as I have found it to be far better than Drop Pod. It keeps him safe from things that often kill him like HoW, or Vector Strikes, gives him mobility and allows him to still shoot his mind bullets. If I run him on foot, I throw a unit of Blood Claws in his ride, instead. I find the Culexus in a Rhino to be an invaluable unit.
So far, I have done very well in competitive settings with this list. Not to say I am a super awesome player or anything, just that a TAC Space Wolf list can do work. At the last tournament I brought these fellas to, I only lost 1 game to the winner of the GT. It’s a list with a lot of synergy, mobility, and versatility.
Hopefully some of these ideas have inspired you to bust your Space Wolves out and give them a go at your next tournament!