Friday, October 16, 2009

Eldar: Prince Yriel

This is an update of a couple articles I wrote for Warseer's Eldar Tactica a while back. My original blog plan was to only recycle them here whenever I hit writer's block or got busy with real life. However, Master DarkSol of All Things 40K decided to write up a nice review on Eldar Autarchs. The one version he didn't cover was the special character, Prince Yriel...

Prince Yriel, Corsair Prince and Autarch of Iyanden Craftworld:
Prince Yriel is a touch more expensive than a tooled-out Autarch and is even with the Avatar in cost. This makes him the lowest priced Named Unit in the Eldar Codex. By background he's supposed to be unique to the Iyanden Craftworld, but his usefulness on the battlefield has spawned a number of "counts as" likenesses. He's basically a cross between a Warlock and an Autarch and this is supported by both Fluff and rules.

Stats: Yriel has the same stats as a normal Autarch, but at +1 Attack and Initiative. The biggest item worth noting that he is only T3; he's not too hard to wound and will Instant Death against anything S6 and above.

Master Strategist: Taken straight from the Autarch's rule, this gives any army he is with an optional +1 to any Reserves rolls. Additionally, this entry and his army list name are the only non-background places that mention him as an "Autarch". This is important to remember if you want him to benefit from Exarch Powers.
Doomed: At the end of every game he takes an auto-wound from his weapon but gets a 4++ save against it. This rule is really just an annoyance and many players tend to forget about it. I find Yriel rarely ends a game with only 1 wound left; typically he's either unscathed or died gloriously around Turn 4.

Forceshield: Gives a 4++ Invulnerable save to go with his 3+ armour.
Plasma Grenades: Allows him to charge into cover.
The Spear of Twilight: One of the biggest problems with Eldar CC is that they're usually S3, don't ignore armour saves, or don't hit at Initiative (especially charging into cover). Yriel with his Spear of Twilight is one of the few exceptions. Running a WS of 6, hitting at I7, carrying plasma grenades, throwing 5 attacks on the charge, wounding anything on a 2+ and ignoring armour saves... Wow. Yriel is happy chewing through Marines or cutting down the biggest of monstrosities. The weapon is also decent in CC against tanks and Dreadnaughts as it hits at S9. The downside is that this is serious overkill against light targets and horde players will probably be unfazed.
As if the CC weren't enough, it can also be thrown in the Shooting Phase like a normal Singing Spear. This is commonly Yriel's best way to drop a mobile tank due to his higher chance to hit.
The Eye of Wrath: This weapon is a hold-out bomb for when he's surrounded by the enemy. Being S6 and AP3, it is most effective against basic Marines. Note that it hits everyone in the area, be they friend of foe.

Basic Tactics:
Yriel's biggest drawback is that he's a mainly CC unit that's stuck on foot. Since you can't always rely on the enemy coming to you, he's best served with a bodyguard that both protects him and wants to close with the enemy.
On foot, he is well suited with Wraithguard, Harlequins, or a Warlock Bodyguard. His presence can be a great way to attract extra enemy attention, especially for a fire sponge like Fortuned Wraithguard.
Running a Wave Serpent offers extra mobility as well as protection. Complimentary units include mech Wraithguard, Scorpions, Banshees, Dragons, Storm Guardians, or Warlock Council. It's also possible to run him with Serpent of Fury Dire Avengers, but not optimal as they tend to prefer a bit more distance from the enemy.
In either of these cases he can provide a nice bit of normal CC power. However, The Eye of Wrath has created an amusing tactic known as "Yriel Bomb". Yriel is escorted by his bodyguard towards the enemy similar to a Goblin Fanatic. When close enough to charge he disengages from his bodyguard, charges in solo, lets the enemy surround him with Defenders React, and then sets of his explosion.
This will typically kill off the majority of any target squad. Downside is that the return fire is often an angry Marine Sergeant with a powerfist. Yriel has a good chance of weathering this on his own, but Fortune can minimize his risk of Instant Death. Then he'll often see the rest of the unit off with No Retreat! wounds. But even easier? Just Doom the target. A 2+ to wound with re-roll and no saves rarely leaves survivors to hit back.
Just be warned... opponents WILL remember a tactic that causes this much carnage. Expect Yriel and his unit to be a priority target or avoided by anyone who knows better.

Advanced Tactics:
Independent Characters don't have to get out of the tank when the rest of the squad does. Because of this, people often forget he's around or assume he's in a different tank. This can be VERY effective to get them to make a bad choice and close within charge range of Yriel.
Put him in with a mech DA or Dragon squad and advance them to a "vulnerable" position. Optimally this will be some place where the unit isn't assaultable that turn, it looks like they are over extended, and/or they would have a hard time getting away even if they got back into the Wave Serpent. Other options for luring the enemy close it to offer up the Wave Serpent as a charge target and/or threatening an objective.
The turn you move the tank, the unit jumps out and shoots while Yriel hides in the tank. Wait for the enemy to close on their turn, spring Yriel out of the tank on your turn, and then sit back and watch the fireworks.
Another fun twist to this is to run a second HQ in the same tank. If a FarSeer jumps out with the squad, people will often presume the tank is otherwise empty.

With Serpent of Fury DA, there's an extra subtlety you can pull against players more experienced with Eldar: don't Bladestorm the turn you get out of the tank. People who play against DA Serpent of Fury tactics often expect to see them jump out, Bladestorm, and then jump back into the tank and fly away. When the DAs don't Bladestorm, it is either because the player forgot about it or the unit is planning on hanging around the area for another turn or two. Since Bladestorm is so integral to the squad's function, most people will figure that you didn't forget it... so they'll close units on the area thinking your DA want to stay there.

Last, try attaching Yriel's with a squad that doesn't want to get out of their Wave Serpent after it moved; such as a CC squad like Warlocks, Banshees, or Scorpions. Move the Serpent into a threatening location like normal. But when the unit get out of the tank the next turn, Yriel doesn't have to stay joined to them. Just deploy him out of coherency from them such as on the other side of the tank. He can then move and assault a completely different target. This can be a great way to hit multiple targets with one Wave Serpent's cargo, especially against players that have given you a bait unit and intend to shoot you with the second. This tactic is little harder though. Most opponents usually want to get away from the unit inside the Serpent, rather than closing like they might for the tempting bait of DAs.

Cheers and hope you've gotten something useful from the read!

**Image grabbed from GW.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Space Wolves: Iron Priest

The spiritual zen of Judas Priest, the strength of Iron Maiden, Rockin' with his digi-weapon out... we have the IRON PRIEST! (Yeah, I should have known there'd be a cover band by that name.)

Here is an Elites choice that should give the aspiring Wolflord pause for thought. This guy steps in with a statline equal to a Wolfguard and is packing Runic Armour and a Thunder Hammer. A Wolf Guard with that kit would cost 16% more even without the additional Servo Arm and Battlesmith rule. You're getting a nice little deal on those toys. Downside? He's not an Independent Character... so you can't attach him to a unit. This little item certainly narrows his battlefield role. Additionally, he doesn't get any form of Transport.

What about his other gear?
A Wolftooth Necklace is certainly an interesting item if you're going to get him stuck into CC. It's a little on the pricey side, but might not be a bad idea given the number of attacks he has.
A Wolf Tail Talisman is questionable. The Runic Armour already gives him a 5+ save versus wounds from Psychic attacks. The Talisman just extends this to a 5+ versus any psychic against him or him unit. It's certainly not worth the bother if you have a couple Rune Priests around.
Saga of the Iron Wolf is even more questionable. Note that as a Saga, only one Iron Priest can be upgraded with this. The first thing it does is give +d3" to the move of a vehicle he is inside. But since he's not an IC this vehicle can't have anyone else in it except him and his minions. So the vehicle needs to be a Transport, empty of other units and still something that would benefit from additional move. This might be a cute trick to get a Crusader or Redeemer into position quicker... but you're probably better off putting a real unit inside it instead. So really, the only worthwhile thing the Saga does is give +1 to any Repair rolls. This balances out the same bonus given by a Techmarine's Servo Harness. Still, I'd rather have the flamer and plasma pistol...

So where could he be useful?
Well, he is still a Techmarine. Potentially he could play the Maytag Man and focus on repairing vehicles. But then again, why bother? A regular Marine army gets Troops with Heavy Weapons... making them the superior gunline mech. If that's the kind of army you want, why are you playing Wolves? There is a small case for one bought to babysit a couple Predators or the like, but this is a rather limited use for him. The Battlesmith ability is nice but probably better used on a tactical opportunity rather than considered as part of a strategic plan.
So maybe the above and a bit of fire support? Throw in some Thrall Servitors to get some Plasma Cannon shots and/or repair bonuses. Okay, not bad... but static "move or fire" AND BS 3. Plus your Iron Priest's isn't going to be ripping it up with anything better than a Bolter. This isn't exactly on par with a Conversion Beamer. Yet again, this version is possible, but stock Marines do it better.
But what about a different role entirely? Take his Thunder Hammer to the enemy! The first item to up is a bike. The bonus to Toughness makes him 4(5) and bike mobility lets him zip about the field with impunity. Spiffy! Too bad he's still Lascannon bait and Cyberwolves can't keep up with him.
But wait, there's still hope! For just 10 points more than the bike, you can get a Thunderwolf. This gives him the +1 Toughness, Strength and Attack.* Throw in some ablative wounds ala 4 Cyberwolves and suddenly you're talking a much more interesting unit. It's not THE best unit in the Codex, but certainly up there. It's comparable cost and effect to 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry, but different in Force Org and best-case target. The only glaring weakness to the unit is the lack of an Invulnerable save... but T5, cover, and a guy with a 2+ save go a good bit toward mitigating that. Plus, I don't know about you, but the idea of an Iron Priest and a bunch of Cyberwolves also gives me some interesting ideas for some conversions.

*There's currently a debate about the intended benefit of taking a Thunderwolf Mount and if the bonuses modify the base values or are simple additives. Because the description doesn't specifically say, RaW makes him S4(5) and T4(5). This makes his T-Hammer hit at S9. However, the stats for Thunderwolf Cavalry modify the base values, unlike previous 4(5) units like Bikers. So some interpret this to mean the RaI was to modify the base value. This would make him S5 and T5, causing the T-hammer to hit at S10 and granting immunity to Instant Death from S8-9 weapons. It should be interesting to see how this gets ruled, but until then I recommend playing the 4(5/9) RaW version. If a FAQ/Errata later modifies base value, all the better!UPDATE: The FAQ is in and the ruling is for T5 straight, so carry on my wayward sons!

Cheers and hope you've gotten a few ideas!

Space Wolves: Bjorn the Fell Handed

Space Wolves get a unique (and Unique) HQ choice of Bjorn the Fell-Handed. Now Bjorne (The Emperor luffs you all, ho-ho!) is a Venerable Dreadnaught and then some. He's got better stats, a "I've got better things to do than die" 5+ save against everything, a re-roll for who gets to go first, Saga of Majesty, and a Wolf Tail Talisman and some entertaining rules for when he does get blasted.

First off, there's the Living Relic rule: In a KP mission, he cedes d3KP if you're don't have a living Space Wolf in base with him at the end of the game. Cute, fluffy, and kinda hurts if you screw up or have a bad day. In an objective mission, he becomes a new objective. This is also amusing and can cause headaches for an opponent. I can see some very funky manipulation of objective missions where you WANT him to die, especially something like Capture & Control. However, I don't think I'd want to bank my strategy off a unit this expensive falling... It's somrthing that should be exploited tactically, but not planned strategically.

Now how useful is the re-roll for choosing deployment? Presuming there's no Emperor's Tarot or other modifier, you normally have a simple 50% chance. With Bjorn? A 54.4% chance. Why so little a change? Because you still have to beat their original roll or meet and revert to a 50/50 system again. The formula is a simple (1/36/6*4.5)+(2/36/6*3.5)+(3/36/6*2.5)+(4/36/6*1.5)+(5/36/6*0.5)+(15/36)= 54.3981%. Not exactly a resounding improvement, is it? Of course, you could combine this with your own Emperor's Tarot and get a net effect that's about 68% or so... but that's extreme. It's better to just learn how to play from either side of the turn.

So how about that 5+ save against everything? This is certainly nice, but cover's better. It's only an advantage if he's in CC. Since he's got so many other CC plusses, how about getting him into CC? Well, he can't get a DropPod, so there goes Podding him in first turn as a short-range Dread. How about we run him as a mid-range that favors closing fast? Oh, wait, he can't get Extra Armour either. Better hope he's Shaken and not Stirred... He's going to be relying a lot on Venerable and AV13. With all the melta around, that last 18" is going to be tricky.

But the real kicker? You get all of this for the low, low price of just 270 points. More than a Land Raider. WTF?

Sadly, I give Bjorn the medal for the biggest piece of fail in the new Codex. (There's a "Bjorn the Fail-Handed" joke there, but I'm resisting...) His abilities are nice, but the sum does not warrant this kind of price tag. Still, I guess I can console myself that's he's still better than something from the Dark Angel Codex. :-p

Space Wolves: Dreadnoughts

What's more fun than a Dreadnought? Two! Especially if they're named Robert and are pirates... Then they can be the Dread Pirate Roberts! Hey, at least I didn't make an "Even in death I still surf." reference, right?

Okay, with the tasteless jokes and geek references now taken care of (mostly), let's look at the meat. The Space Wolf Dreadnought is point for point a direct copy of the stock Space Marine Dread. There's 6 notable differences:
1. Starts with an Assault Cannon for free, rather than paying to upgrade to one. (Subtle, but nice.)
2. Can take a Wolftooth Necklace that makes him always hit on a 3+ in CC. Cute, but of limited benefit to a WS4 Dread and even more so for a Venerable. After all, they only have 2 attacks.
3. Can take a Wolf Tail Talisman that gives a 5+ save versus a psychic power directed at him. Cute, but probably not worth it if you have a Rune Priest or two around.
4. The Venerable Dread may also take the Saga of Majesty. This allows any unit within 6" to re-roll a failed Morale check. (Note the lack of the word "friendly" in conjunction with "unit". I expect this to also get FAQ'd, but right now there's some RaW players who might try and use this against you.) This isn't a bad upgrade, but probably isn't critical either.
5. May not be taken as Heavy Support. Competing for those vital Elites slots is rough...
6. Ironclads? What are those?

Now Dreadnought tactics have been done and done again... but I'll give you my take anyways.
For the more aggressive player who wants a short-range Dread, nothing beats a Dread riding a Droppod. Typically he comes with a Drop Pod, Heavy Flamer, CCW, and Multi-Melta. This guy drops right into or in front of the enemy on the first turn. Weapon duality allows him to menace both tanks or hordes. But best of all is the disruption he can cause to the enemy lines. This kind of shooting and CC threat dropping in close can cause some serious havoc and needs to be dealt with quickly. This is a great way to distract the enemy from shooting at other elements of a close-range mechanized list or a full Drop list.
Ironclads are well suited to this role... too bad we don't get them. So additional protection is only available via Extra Armour and/or Venerable. Beware, these can quickly get expensive when he's used as a suicide unit. The other upgrades are cute, but just too situational to recommend.
When used as a suicide speed bump, throw him and his pod right up front wherever he'll be the most annoying. When used as a distraction and threat, shift his deployment to a flank to limit return fire.

The mid-range Dread goes on foot and tends to sport an Assault Cannon, CCW, and possibly a Heavy Flamer. This weaponry is chosen to make him mostly anti-horde, but still pretty decent against most tanks or in CC. This limited range and CC capability means he's at best effect advancing towards the enemy line; usually in support of infantry or other mechanized units. Downside is that he's still only AV12. Again, Venerable and/or Extra Armour aren't bad for increased durability, but other upgrades are of limited use.

The long-range Dread sits in the back to avoid melta and take advantage of cover. Typical armament is a Missile Launcher and twin-linked Lascannon for anti-tank, but sometimes you'll see one or both swapped out for twin-linked Autocannons. The downside to this build is that it relies on range... and there's only so much room on a table. Outflank, Run, Droppods and all those other fun things make a stand-off only unit iffy... not to mention that he'll rarely be pushing up to contest objectives. While this style isn't a bad choice... Predators and Long Fangs do this role cheaper and with more guns. You might use this in a mech force that's already used up it's Heavy Support and still needs anti-tank, but I wouldn't bother otherwise.

There's also the HQ option, Bjorn the Fell-Handed. Cute, fluffy, and ultimately over priced.

In the final analysis? Space Wolf Dreadnoughts are a decently priced unit. Their biggest drawback is the competition for Elites slots.
A single Dreadnought in a Drop Pod can work well as a distraction or suicide unit. This is probably the most common way you'll see them as it only takes up 1 Elites slot and works with many army styles.
Multiple Dreadnoughts on foot or Podding are only optimal when the entire army is mechanized or Podding also, due to vehicle saturation. Taking multiple also means eating up most or all of your Elites choices. Players who really want a lot of Dreadnoughts are better off looking into Vanilla Marine options, since they can get six of them and have Ironclads.
For these reasons I feel that Space Wolf Dreadnoughts are going to be an uncommon choice in most competitive Space Wolf armies.

**Image grabbed from the underbelly of the internet... Just FYI, be warned not to do a GIS for "4chan dreadnaught" with SafeSearch off...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Space Wolves: Wolf Scouts

Veterans of countless wars, social misfits and grizzled loners... there's something visceral in the imagery of the Wolf Scout. But what about the rules? Are they worth it?

Now the easy thing is to compare their choices against that of a stock Marine Scout. It gives a nice baseline of the familiar from which to start. It's also a completely stupid thing to do. The battlefield role of the Wolf Scout has little to do with that of the Marine Scout. Yeah, you can give them a Heavy Bolter or Missile Launcher, then flesh the rest out with Bolters or Sniper Rifles. You can even pat yourself on the back about how this is almost comparable in price but you're getting BS 4 and better CC. Big deal. Wolf Scouts lack the extra defensive options of Camo Cloaks and Bolster Defences; they're going to be a LOT less effective in a firebase or gunline role. Even more so, they're not Troops... so they're not great for camping an objective either. They should leave the Bolters and Sniper Rifles at the Fang and concentrate on their strengths.

So what's their strength? They get one thing nobody else does: Behind Enemy Lines (BEL). Your normal Outflank has a 67% accuracy to come in on the flank you want. That other 33% of the time you're stuck 72" away on the opposite side of the board. There's ways to mitigate this, such as the mobility of a Land Speeder Storm... too bad Wolves don't get them. But BEL balances via extra accuracy. Now you have only a 16.7% chance of a "wrong" board edge. Even better, the 67% allows you to come in via ANY board edge... including the opponent's or your own. This allows the Scouts to deploy for maximum efficiency no matter when they happen to arrive.

So they've got great ability to enter anywhere, what can they do with it? Here's where the unit fails.
Anti-tank? Well, you can get A meltagun or plasmagun, both of which are great for shooting into the back of tanks. There's also the option of buying some over-priced plasma pistols too. If you whiff your shooting, they also have Krak Grenades and the option to pay too much and get the whole squad meltabombs. The problem is, your Scouts are delayed due to Reserves. They're not coming in until Turn 2 at the earliest. The type of target they're best against has usually done it's job by that point; ala Transports moving forces forward or artillery batteries pasting your lines. While hitting from BEL CAN be useful, it's not universally so. The Wolves have other options that are more durable and/or more effective at this role.
Anti-Troop? Flamer, a couple over-priced power weapons, a Mark of the Wulfen... and Scout Armour. Cute, but not exactly a durable assault unit. Plus, there's just so many other things in the Wolf armoury that can fill this role.

Still, I see four major templates for Wolf Scouts:
1. BEL Anti-tank. 5 guys, Meltagun, and possibly a couple plasma pistols. Despite my reservations, I suspect this unit will still be popular. They wander in mid-game and pop a vehicle or squadron. At least it's cheap...
2. Infiltrating Anti-tank. 5 guys and a Missile Launcher. They hope to Infiltrate, pop a shot or two off into the side armour of a tank, and maybe distract the enemy for a bit.
3. Disposable Plasma. 5 guys, Plasmagun, 2 Plasma Pistols, possible Mark of the Wulfen. Runs BEL and looks to hit rear armour, Plague Marines, Termies or anything else that doesn't like Plasma. Again, more of a distraction that a solid threat.
4. Suprise Assault. 10 guys, Flamer or Meltagun, 2 Power Weapons, Mark of the Wulfen. Looks to charge enemy infantry from Reserves. Downside: How often do you see enemy infantry on foot and within 12" of a board edge? Might be useful for smacking down hordes or mucking up a gunline, but those aren't really competitive builds anyways.

But WAIT! Dweomer, you're always talking about army synergy! Aren't there other units that can benefit these guys? Yes, there are... somewhat. The problem is that those units are hampered by rules issues and/or are better off elsewhere.
Battle Leader with Saga of the Hunter: Gives him Outflank and Stealth. Stealth is cute, but only applies him and doesn't transfer to the unit. Outflank is NOT the same thing as Behind Enemy Lines. Since BEL doesn't transfer to him, why would you want to limit your Scouts to short edges only? He's a CC monster that can be better supported and used elsewhere. UPDATE: Thanks to the new FAQ, the squad would lose Outflank too. More reason not to bother.
Wolf Guard: Doesn't have BEL, Infiltrate or any other "Scout" special rule. So by adding one to your Scouts, you're forcing them to deploy normally. I suspect this will eventually get FAQ'd, but you're SOL until then. UPDATE: As predicted, the FAQ now allows him to join to the unit and BEL or Outflank. That's nice, but you still have the timing issue. Plus, he's really not THAT big a boon except maybe to a surprise assault unit or as an extra combi-melta. Save your Wolf Guard for units that need them.
The High King, Mentor or other Special Character buffs: Really? There's better places to use these.

In the final analysis, the Wolf Scout unit has a lot of potential. And in the astute words of my high school English teacher, "Potential is a French word that doesn't mean ***." Wolf Scouts are a gimmick; a threat only against the static, inflexible or unprepared. They're not utterly horrible and worth taking for a friendly list. A single unit might find it's way into a competitive list just to rock the boat or provide some insurance. Multiple units might make it into a gimmick list that goes heavy into Reserves. But these will be the exceptions and not the rule for competitive play. Space Wolves just have too many other useful choices for Elites.

Cheers and hope you enjoyed.

**Image gleefully obtained from the Cub Scouts...***

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Space Wolves: Lone Wolves

Since everyone and their brother seems to be playing Space Wolves these days, I thought I might jump on the bandwagon... Oh, wait, already there. Some of my Wolves are old enough to buy cigarettes and others are pushing drinking age.

As I also have a penchant for over analyzing everything, I thought I'd start by taking a gander at the new Lone Wolf. Likely this will be the first in a series of unit reviews.

Some basic thoughts:
1. Elites. So he's competing with Wolf Guard, Dreadnaughts, Iron Priests and Scouts for slots. Ouch, but not a deal breaker. This also reduces potential spamming; ironically something that their kit and battlefield roles support too. I approve of this.
2. WS5, Beastslayer, Feel No Pain, Eternal Warrior, and a partridge in a pear tree. There's a number of special rules here. It'll be a trick just to remember all of them.
3. Cheap... until you start adding upgrades.
4. Gives up a Kill Point in KP games... only if he LIVES. Okay, that's just an awesome tie-in with the Fluff.
5. Stuck on foot. However, I don't think this is really a problem... With Run, you should be able to get them where you need eventually. The only time I see this being annoying is Dawn of War. Plus, they're perfectly capable to mech up in someone else's spare ride. I think this unit is viable no matter the supporting force.

Aside from close combat weapons, there's 5 upgrades to consider:
1. Termie Armour: Better saves, better weapons... but more cost, lose your grenades, no CCW/pistol bonus, no Sweeping Advance, and Mark of the Wulfen get neutered. If you're just keeping him cheap, don't bother. But if you're paying to upgrade his weapons, it's worth it.*
2. Combi-weapon: Only purchasable by a guy in Termie armour, but cheap if you're doing it anyways. This is a nice option to give some anti-tank to an anti-infantry build or vis-versa.
3. Fenrisian Wolves: They're cheap, give you a few extra attacks and best of all... Ablative wounds for those shots that ignore armour. These are crucial to survival for all but the cheapest builds.**
4. Storm Shield: My first, second and third thoughts on this... expensive. With all of the other things this guy has going to keep him alive, it's a lot of cost for what you get. It's really only worth it if you know he's going to be hunting Monsters AND you want him to survive as long as possible. Even then I'd opt for a pair of Fenrisian Wolves first.
5. Melta Bombs: Mostly a waste of points. A guy in power armour still has Krak Grenades. Termies usually have other, better options against tanks. But if you're running a Termie with no other anti-tank, it might be worth it. Personally, I'd save the points and waste the tank with someone else before it's ever an issue.

*Why do I say it's worth it? Well, less the difference in cost for the weapon, the Termie Armour is only costing you 10 points. But isn't the point to have him die, lest you cede a Kill Point for him? Well, the mechanic of him giving up a KP if he lives is awesome. It's nice to see in-game drawbacks for not playing the character to Fluff. However, this drawback is only applicable in games that use Kill Points. So it's only going to apply about 1/3 of the time. You KNOW this from before deployment and can play towards offing him the entire game. We all know that a Termie will eventually fall if forced to make enough saves. So throw him out in front of all your guys, run him at the enemy as fast as possible, and throw him on their spears! Even if he does survive and cost you a KP, he'll likely earn you a few along the way. Then when you take this guy and draw a non-KP game? You have the extra protection to keep him alive and viable that little bit longer.
**There's currently a great little debate going on regarding Fenrisian Wolves bought as wargear. Side A says they're just wargear upgrades for the character that happen to have models and take up Transport space. Side B says they're models that are automatically attach to the character and form a unit. Sadly, the RaW doesn't clearly support either. Side B has a slight advantage in that their interpretation follows the rule of next closest applicability. However, the "Pack of One" rule would forbid the Lone Wolf from taking Fenrisian Wolves at all, when they're clearly an upgrade option for him. This is what leads me to believe that Side B's stance is incorrect. Hopefully there will soon be an official FAQ to clear this up.
Update: The official Space Wolves FAQ came out and ruled for Side A, as I predicted.

Now let's look at his weapons... how likely is he to hurt someone? All of these are posted as images rather than columnar data to preserve my sanity. (Complex tables in HTML suck...) Click for larger versions. Since we're looking for best-case scenarios, the charge is presumed. The spread looks a little something like this:
Or for those of you who prefer a graphical format:
What does this tell us? That the Frost Blade's the most killy against light to medium targets and that the Power Fist is the best for heavy targets. No real surprises there. Mark of the Wulfen also hangs fairly tough... if you roll well.***

So then let's factor in cost. This is based off just the normal guy in Power Armour:
Or graphical:
What does this tell us? Well,notice how all of those lines follow generally the same general pattern? See how there's not many that consistently rise above or fall below very far? This tells us that the pricing is actually fairly balanced internally...

But are we going to just want a guy in power armour? How do things compare if we pay for the extra protection of Terminator armour? Note that this upgrade removes the additional CCW bonus for most cases, so the spread now looks like this:
Or as a graph:
While the cost-efficiency is...:
And as a graph:
Again, everything tends to be about the same profile. Curse you, internal consistency! Notably, Wolf Claws have taken top marks against low-end targets, though this costs you your shooting and ability to take a Storm Shield. The Power Fist holds supreme for big targets, though a Thunder-Hammer or Chainfist isn't far behind. Their special rules might be worth the extra pittance.

***Mark of the Wulfen (MotW) is an interesting item because of the random factor involved. This causes it to be an outlier for BOTH most and least "killy". It's average performance is also just on the low side of things. Where it gets interesting is when you factor in cost.
The MotW on a guy in power armour is the worst of the lot if you roll a 1. But the average 3.5 roll sits firmly in the middle or even upper reaches of things. Meanwhile the lucky 6 actually outshines almost every other option else in the list. If you're willing to take a small gamble, these are pretty good odds for what you get.
Then the problem with a MotW Termie is that he's paying for the cost of the power weapon too. The way MotW works, it's wasted points. So while you do get d6+1 attacks, Rending and a 2+/5++... you're also paying a premium for it. When you look at the cost efficiencies here, even the lucky 6 attacks struggles to compete with the other options. Even an average roll is typically bottom of the pack. This is why I would not suggest a MotW Termie.

In the final analysis, the Lone Wolf is remarkably balanced internally and externally. It's a fun, Fluffy choice that looks to be very popular. I see three forms of Lone Wolf becoming common on the table. Note that the first two are choices made for cost-efficiency and slyness. I doubt you'll often see them until the new codex syndrome has worn off a bit.
1. The Bezerkergang: Mark of the Wulfen and a whole lot of attitude. He's mainly a speed bump and distraction that banks on getting lucky for quantity of attacks rather than quality. Favorite targets are going to be IG, Orks, Eldar and lesser Tyranids. Fenrisian Wolves optional, but possibly passed for sake of cost. He's a disposable unit design best for smaller points games or board and is just as useful singly or spammed.
2. The Champion: Wolf Claw or Frost Blade, Combi-Melta and Terminator Armour. The upgraded speed bump, I see this version becoming popular as his favorite target is Space Marines and there's backup anti-tank too. He's hits hard enough to be a serious threat and is durable enough to take some opportunistic fire. But he's not an apparent enough threat for most players to dedicate optimal targeting too, so he's that much more likely to get somewhere and do his thing. His biggest advantage is that he's not going to be a common choice, so many opponents will make mistakes on how to best deal with him. This is my preferred choice when you only have slots to take 1 or 2 Lone Wolves.
3. The Giantslayer: Powerfist, Storm Shield and Terminator Armour. This is your guy who goes hunting for enemy characters and big targets. Optionally geared with a Chainfist for more Dreadnaught & tank hunting, or a Thunder Hammer for Monster hunting. Expect to see this build all over the place for a while. But while he's tough, he's almost too much so. If you take only one, a canny opponent will just ignore and avoid or pop him with a mass of light fire before he closes. If you're going to go this route, it's probably worth the investment of points and slots to take 2 or 3.

Cheers for reading this far... hopefully it was worth it.