Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Nobody Does It Better


Nobody does it better, well, apart from Connery
I played a couple of games last week against standard Space Marines and I got to wondering what similar lists would look like from the Space Wolves codex. The reason for this article is to show that Space Wolves aren't necessarily better than vanilla Marines, just different...

1500 Points - Dave's List

Dave runs two full Tactical Squads on foot, a Captain with a Relic Blade, a Venerable Dreadnought with a Plasma Cannon, a regular Dreadnought with an Assault Cannon, a 5-man Sniper Scout squad, a 5-man TH/SS squad and 3 Vindicators. Let's Wolfy it up...

HQ
Wolf Lord, Belt of Russ, Frost Blade

Elites
Venerable Dreadnought, Plasma Cannon
Dreadnought, Assault Cannon
5 Wolf Guard, 5 Terminator Armour, 5 Thunder Hammers, 5 Storm Shields, Drop Pod

Troops
10 Grey Hunters, Power Weapon, 2 Plasma Guns
10 Grey Hunters, 2 Plasma Guns

Heavy Support
Vindicator, Dozer Blade
Vindicator, Dozer Blade
Vindicator, Dozer Blade


This comes to 1475 so there are still 25 points to play around with. I couldn't fit the Scouts in due to lack of points and FOC restrictions. I've also gone for Dozer Blades on the Vindis rather than the Siege Shields that Dave takes as I'm a skinflint when it comes to points and I'll take my 1in36 chances (although I'd never let Andy roll the dice for me!)

Dave likes to Deep Strike his Terminators in so that they can threaten enemy heavy support while the Vindicators play a pretty defensive roll. To mimic this, I've had to put them in a Drop Pod. Now, this does give the bonus of always arriving on Turn 1 and there's always the option of dropping empty and deploying the termies as a Thunderbubble.  

Okay, so let's look at the differences. Dave's Captain comes with an invulnerable save as standard and has +1 strength compared to the Frost Blade. The Terminators are waaaaaay cheaper with the Space Wolf ones clocking in at a whopping 63 points each! However, this is the easiest way of bringing the points down in this list. Power Fists are 5 points cheaper than Thunder Hammers and in most cases are just as effective. There's also a question about whether you need 5 Storm Shields. This is the real benefit of the Space Wolf Terminators - the ability to mix and match weapons. If I wasn't copying Dave's list, I'd probably go with a couple of Power Weapons, maybe a Power Fist or two, just the 2 Storm Shields and something shooty, probably a Cyclone Missile Launcher so that I could threaten something when I stepped out of the Pod. Saying all that Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators are amazing for their points in the standard Marine 'dex. Pretty much everything bounces off them and they crush anything they charge. The other big difference is in the Troops section. Dave has 3 scoring units that can be combat squadded down into a maximum of 5, I have 2. The other big thing is that Dave's Troops are all Leadership 9 as standard. Ld8 is nothing to be sniffed at, but it makes easier to break or even Tank Shock, and when you only have 2 scoring units, that's a problem. Dave can also take a heavy weapon in his units compared to my 2 specials although it's situational as to which one of those is better.

So, which list is best? I don't really think there's that much in it. The fact that I always get my Terminators on turn 1 is a real advantage as is the fact that I can put them pretty much wherever I want. There is always a chance that if they Deep Strike that they could arrive on Turn 5 and then the game ends or they could Deep Strike Mishap. However, Dave's ability to combat squad would give him an advantage in Objective missions and with his heavy weapons his shooting has more range than mine. There's no doubt though that playing these lists against each other would be a close game and would probably come down to luck.

1750 Points - Andy's List

Andy is running what I call a "first principles" list as it features Dread 'n' Preads which seemed to be the go to when the Space Marine Codex came out. He has a Librarian (Avegner, Null Zone), 5 TH/SS Termies in a Redeemer, 2 Riflemen Dreads, 2 10 Tactical Squads with Las/Plas Razorbacks, 5 Scouts, 2 Auto/Las Preads and a Thunderfire Cannon (Andy loves his TFC!)

HQ
Rune Priest, Storm Caller, Living Lighning

Elites
Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon
Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon
5 Wolf Guard, 5 Terminator Armour, 5 Thunder Hammers, 5 Storm Shields, Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta

Troops
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Lascannon/Twin-Linked Plasmagun
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Lascannon/Twin-Linked Plasmagun
5 Grey Hunters, Plasmagun
5 Grey Hunters, Plasmagun

Heavy Support
Preadator, Lascannon Sponsons
Preadator, Lascannon Sponsons

This is 100 points short this time and is again missing the Scouts due to FOC restrictions. We also don't have the TFC since Wolves can't take them. Andy usually combat squads the Tac Marines with a Meltagun in the Razorback and a Heavy Weapon sitting back - this is why I have taken 4 units of Grey Hunters rather than just 2. In general, it's a sit and shoot list while the Redeemer rides out and dumps TH/SS killyness in your face.

Again, we have the huge point discrepancy between the Terminators and the issues around Combat Squadding (ie in a Kill Point mission Andy could put his Tactical Squads down as two Kill Points; the Grey Hunters are always four) Plus I don't have the option of the TFC. Now, I don't really rate it as a unit but it is pretty good against hordes (something Wolves are traditionally weak against) and if it gets blown up you have a Techmarine walking around fixing your Preads 'n' Dreads. I took Living Lightning on the Rune Priest to make up for some of the lack of firepower (NB he has Stormcaller so that he could be deployed in the Land Raider and give it a 5+ save)

So, who'd nick it in the head 2 head? I think Andy's might if only because he could start the Termies outside of the Land Raider then stick the Scouts inside and have a very difficult to destroy scoring vehicle. There's not a lot of Melta in the list so shifting it would be very hard. Kill Points would probably again go down to the dice.


I think that this article could be summed up by pointing out the fact that Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators are awesome and at 200 points for 5 you reall can't go wrong. Hopefully, I've also shown that regular Marines do have some advantages over their Wolfy brothers. Combat Squadding allows you to be really flexible and automatically getting Ld9 without having to use up an Elites slot is golden.

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