Wednesday, November 26, 2008

40k Wolves Strategy: Troops

Space Wolves have two options when it comes to troops: Blood Claws and Grey Hunters. In some ways it would make sense to discuss Blood Claws first. However, I've decided to build my force around a large number of Grey Hunters and for this reason, their strengths and weaknesses shape the tactical importance of the rest of my units. Ten Grey Hunters with bolters, close combat weapons, augmented with two power fists, a rhino with smoke and extra armor costs right around 270 points. 
Playing without heavy weapons in my tactical squads has certainly simplified the game for me. I don't stop to weigh the advantages of moving forward to claim ground versus the advantages of staying still to shoot my one lascannon at the tank across the board. Additionally, I have come to appreciate the power of the common bolter. 
Grey Hunters are gifted with the ability to use bolters as close combat weapons. The trade off is that they don't receive an extra attack when they assault. Consequently, you shouldn't be surprised when a Space Wolves player sits back for the rapid fire and waits for you to assault them. When you do assault them expect some special lovin'.
Instead of heavy weapons, two marines are allowed to wield power weapons or power fists at a reduced price. It is my understanding that because the two models wielding the weapons are not special characters that they cannot necessarily be singled out by enemy attacks. If I am wrong here please leave a post and set me strait. It is possible to include a Wolf Guard Leader in these units for a third power weapon/fist but that is overkill for me.
A mass of expensive troops with no heavy weapon moving six inches per turn just hasn't worked for me (and I've tried it). Rhinos or pods are essential. I don't have experience with drop pods but they are on my Christmas list. I've seen pictures of some great looking wolf pod armies. When playing with rhinos, I like to go first, get to some cover or launch smoke first round. When the transports are gone Grey Hunters have proven to be fairly useless against a shooty army. The cheesiest (er . . . um . . . most unique) special rules in the Space Wolves codex are clearly geared toward disrupting enemy fire. We'll discuss those eventually and lets not forget the other troop choice, Blood Claws . . .