Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Strategy: Assault

"The truth is that you could make . . . a fairly mean assaulting army"

Alright, so I might have fudged a bit in an earlier post when I said that Space Wolves are not an assaulting army. The truth is that you could make an army heavy in Blood Claws (the troop choice that I am just now discussing on this blog) and grab some unique options for HQ choices and put together a fairly mean assaulting army. I should start by introducing the Blood Claws.
In standard marine chapters, new recruits start as scouts and then progress into the tactical squads. Space Marines come from a world where the most basic of resources (land) disappears and reappears annually. Every spring the melting snow reveals what tribes are on firm ground and what tribes are S.O.L. and the wars begin amongst Fenrisians. The most renowned warriors are drafted into the Space Wolves chapter but not as scouts. New recruits are put directly into power armor and (assuming they survive the process) become Blood Claws. Blood Claws naturally progress into Grey Hunters as a whole unit. Certain warriors are picked out to be scouts. Grey Hunters naturally progress into Long Fangs as a complete unit. The maximum size of a Blood Claw unit is 20. Grey hunters max out at 10 marines while Long Fangs are allowed five marines. As a unit matures in experience, it tends to lose individual marines. Losses are not replaced as the tight knit pack of brothers would not likely welcome the replacement. The bold, young Blood Claws would be the center piece to an assaulting detachment.
Blood Claws cost a point less than a vanilla marine. They wield bolt pistols and close combat weapons. Like Grey Hunters they are allowed to take two power weapons or power fists. They have lower than average ballistic and weapon skill but they are allowed two extra attacks on the turn that they assault. Additionally, they are required to assault and sweeping advance whenever they have the opportunity.
As I have mentioned, I take Grey Hunters as my core choice. I tend to take one unit of Blood Claws in a land raider to throw at the fire base of my opponents. For Space Wolves, Blood Claws provide a cheaper unit of marines with a single function, assault. Space Wolf characters have a respectable selection of items to choose from in the armory for close combat. One example is the Frost Blade which is a power weapon that adds one strength to the characters profile. However, I would not try to entice anyone into building an army that focusses on assault because a Blood Angels army would simply be a better assaulting army.