Tuesday, October 13, 2009

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


  1. I'd honestly rather NOT pay for the ability to hand over d3 KP and/or an objective if you can be bothered to meltagun something.

    The whole 'first turn' schtick is nice, but I'd rather not.

    He's expensive, and not that great. He's fluffy as hell, but...c'mon. Talk about a huge waste of space. I'd rather get 2 dreads for his price, and I could almost pod BOTH OF THE THINGS for what I'd get for Bjorn.

    Maybe the best you could do was get a high-BS lascannon or plasma cannon out of him, but even then at 270 he's way too costly. You should pay LESS for the 'I am a liability' thing, not more.

    I think he's earned the 'barney' pic.

  2. I agree that he is too costly, but his Plasma Cannon blast with a BS of 6 is nice, especially since it allows you to reroll the scatter dice.

    Other than that...not really worth it. I created a list with him as an HQ for fluff reasons, but this article reminds me that I hate doing things for fluff.