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How to Play Space Wolves in Warhammer 40K

5 Minute Read
Jun 12 2023
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Today let’s take a look at some basics of how to play and get started with Warhammer 40k Space Wolves in 10th Edition.

The Space Wolves are a ferocious and feral Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. As one of the First Founding Chapters, the Space Wolves embody the distinct character of their Primarch, Leman Russ of Fenris. On the tabletop, the chapter fights with bestial fury.

Below we offer some tips on how to play the army and get started with the army.

Who Are The Space Wolves?

The Space Wolves were the VI Legion of the twenty Space Marine Legions. Their primarch is Leman Russ. During the Great Crusade they gained a reputation as the Emperor’s executioners and instruments of punishment.

Of all the Adeptus Astartes, the “Wolves of Fenris” regard themselves as the Imperium’s ultimate weapon, and are proud of it. They destroy anyone who opposes the Emperor’s will, including other Astartes. Their unorthodox behavior and organization as well as their single-minded dedication to tear the enemy, any enemy, apart like a wolf pack brings down a deadly prey reflects this original purpose.

The Wolves are almost as renowned for their passion for eating, drinking, and storytelling, when not engaged in battle. In contrast to the monastic habits of other Chapters, they enjoy boisterous feasting, eating enormous amounts of meat and guzzling Mjød, a liquor so potent that it would eat through the guts of a normal human. To many outsiders, therefore, the Space Wolves appear barbarous and lacking in self-control. But in reality, it takes a great deal of discipline and focus to be as dangerous and capable of anything as the Space Wolves are.

Why Play Space Wolves


The Space Wolves bring everything we should expect from a Space Marine chapter, while showing a stoic and dour knight attitude. They also have special units and formations, totally unique to their chapter.

Strengths of the Army

  • Close combat.
  • Strong characters.
  • Many unique units to choose from.

Weakness of the Army

  • Like most marines, an elite army with relatively few bodies.
  • Shooting.

Space Wolves Detachment Rules- Champions of Russ

  • Rules: The Deeds Worthy of Saga gives you powerful buffs as you accomplish more feats worthy of legend.
  • Enhancements: Classics like Frost Weapons (blades) and Wolf Tail Talismans make an appearance here.
  • Stratagems: Space Wolves have a surprisingly all-rounder set of Stratagems, that all seem to have reasonable utility.

Also remember you are still an Adeptus Astartes army, so you still get Oath of Moment and the most of the full roster of Space Marine units!


Key Space Wolves Units To Know

The army contains a decent supplemental unit roster on top of the immense Space Marine one. Knowing what units to take can be tricky. Here are some suggestions to get you off on the right track.



Ragnar Blackmane

A classic Space Wolves hero old-timers know, now reborn in Primaris form. Ragnar is one of the most brutal close combat specialists in any of the Space Marine Chapters.

Logan Grimnar on Stormrider

Look at this model. If you are into Space Wolves and more generally, wolves in space, I just cannot see how you resist it.


Primaris Intercessors

Like all Space Marines Chapters, a core of Primaris Intercessor Troop choices is never a bad way to go.

Other Units

Thunderwolf Cavalry

An absolutely iconic unit. Fast and with lots of bite, Space Marines riding giant wolves deliver what you would imagine.


Another brutal close combat specialist unit the army offers. They are capable of delivering a large number of multiple damage attacks.

Fenrisian Wolves

The best thing about playing Space Wolves is using actual “wolves”. They are very active on the hunt!

Hounds of Morkai

A specially themed unit of Primaris Reivers (it isn’t mispelled… I know) that belong to the Sons of Russ. They can force battleshock at range with Morkai’s Howl and having a pocket invulnerable save too!



A versatile aircraft which serves as Transport and gunship.

Sample Starter Warhammer 40k Space Wolves Army


Ragnar Blackmane. 1 Model. He is equipped with:  bolt pistol; Frostfang  105 pts


Primaris Intercessors. Ten Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; bolt rifle

Primaris Intercessors. Ten Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; bolt rifle


Primaris Intercessors. Ten Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; bolt rifle

Primaris Intercessors. Ten Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; bolt rifle

Other Units

Fenrisian Wolves. Ten Models. Every model is equipped with:  teeth and claws.

Fenrisian Wolves. Ten Models. Every model is equipped with:  teeth and claws.

Playing Space Wolves in Warhammer 40,000

Space Wolves are a fierce and mean, in your face, close combat Space Marine army. They have special units and rules meant to get the most out of this approach. More than other ‘close combat’ Chapters, the Sons of Russ will fail to make any sort of gun line effective for them. This mean that if you want to play Space Wolves you need to lean into it- Wulfen, Thunderwolves, and Fenris Wolves. Wolf shirt! Go!


For Russ and the Allfather!

Author: Allen Campbell
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