I love Friday Night Internet Fight over at Dethron's blog, it's probably the most consistently funny 40K on the web. Last week's was from one of these 'try a new unit' type posts that seem to be pretty popular these days. Now, I don't really like suggesting sub-par units as there is always a risk that someone will think that they're good and spend their hard earned money on them. When said unit turns out to be rubbish it can be very disheartening, and it's a short trip from that to eBay and onto a different hobby. Not good.
Hence, I want to warn people NOT to do what I'm going to suggest here. This is purely for my amusement. At the moment, it's just a thought experiment but it may make it to the table in a friendly game. This is in no way replacing my Razorwolf list.
Onto the crux of the matter - there are very few sub-par units in the Space Wolf Codex. The only ones I can really think of are Sky Claws. On paper, even they don't look too bad compared to their Vanilla equivalents and yet you never see any. I think that's mainly because they have some very tough competition in the Fast Attack slot, namely Thunderwolves. However, as I was reading this post, a thought was forming in my mind - Jump Pack Rune Priest with Sky Claws!
So, what's the plan? The Sky Claws act as cheap(ish) and killy bullet catchers for the Priest so he can get into range and cast Jaws of the World Wolf. These guys also hit pretty hard on the charge so they clearly have to be dealt with by your opponent. Let's see what we can take:
Rune Priest, Jump Pack, Jaws of the World Wolf, Storm Caller
That's 125 points. Jaws is an obvious power. The other one I considered was Fury of the Wolf Spirits but I feel that Storm Caller has more utility. The Priest and his pack can then hide behind a Rhino and give it cover while it gives them cover. Especially useful if you've already fired your Smoke Launchers. Also, if your guys get caught out in the open, it's a good power to have.
8 Sky Claws, Mark of the Wulfen
That's 159 points, not that much more expensive than one of my Grey Hunter Razorback squads. Why 8 men? Well, that makes it a 9 man unit so you have to take 3 casualties before a Leadership Test, an important consideration when you're going to flee 3D6 if you fail. Why Mark of the Wulfen over a Power Weapon? D6+3 Rending attacks on the charge seems pretty good to me. Obviously, this squad is mainly an anti-infantry squad. Even with so many attacks they're going to lose against dedicated Assault units and a Dreadnought could tie them up all game so you need to use their speed to pick their targets carefully.
Now, remember, don't try this at home. I'm only mentioning it at all because I have some unused Sky Claw models and I feel guilty for showing them no love for a while.