Thursday, February 11, 2010

Space Wolves: Canis Wolfborn

In the fine tradition of Romulus, Remus, Tarzan, and Mowgli of "The Jungle Book", the Space Wolves have their very own feral child: Canis Wolfborn. Mounted on a huge wolf named Fangir, packing twin Wolf Claws, and able to snarl in their language... what could be more "Wolfy"?

Canis comes with an impressive laundry list of personal and force modifying abilities. But really, isn't he just an expensive Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a Thunderwolf? There's a number of small differences, but only a few that actually matter.
1. Fenrisian Wolves as Troops. These are a fairly cheap and effective shock troop that's only hampered by using up Fast Attack slots. If you're going to run more than one unit, Canis removes this issue.
2. Rending, Strength 5, & Wolf Claws... all at the same time. Any model given a Thunderwolf upgrade gains Strength 5 and Rending. But they also have a little rider text that says "Rending... with any attack that does not use a special close combat weapon". However, Canis has "Rending" included as a natural part of his ability list and can use it even when hitting with Wolf Claws. This isn't going to be that beneficial against high Toughness oppoents as Rending hits are going to ignore armour anyways, but can make all the difference against Plague Marines, Space Marines, Necrons, and especially Sisters of Battle.
3. He costs 1/2 again as much.
4. He has only 1 upgrade option: up to 2 Fenrisian Wolves.

It's those last 2 items I want you to take a good look at. Generally, a WGBL is going to be cheaper and more purpose built. Canis certainly has unique abilities... but he's really only worth it if you're making use of all of them. Take Canis because he's the choice you want and not just because you're running a Thunderwolf HQ.

But wait! What about his "Wrath of the Savage" where he can get attacks equal to the number of opponents in base to base with him? If you're to the point that your Independent Character is surrounded by six or more opponents, things probably aren't going your way. This is really a "Get Out of Jail" card that may or may not work, but certainly not something you want to build a battle plan on. If you want reliable snowball effect, try a guy with Frostblade, Thunderwolf and Saga of the Warrior Born...

In the final analysis: Canis is a good choice for a large army that wants to run a lot of Fenrisian Wolves and/or Thunderwolf Cavalry. But outside of this narrow role, I'd pass on him for cheaper or more efficient HQ choices. Cheers!

Also, if this auto-post thingy works correctly, there should still be several days left before the end of my "Design me a banner contest". Go there, read the rules, enter, win free stuff! Try it! The bleeding will stop sooner than you'd believe!

***Image grabbed from this distracting blog on human oddities***


  1. I agree on using Canis in Calvary based armies but in a direct analysis of him would highlight his low Ld. A Calvary army led by Canis generally has Ld8/7 across the board and whilst not too much of a problem can be a pain at times.

  2. Oh, good point. I should have mentioned that. I'll add it when I'm a little more coherent.

  3. Canis is a BIG target and unless he is running with Thunderwolves or Fenrisian Wolves he won't last long.

    Canis is very useful if you use him to either Counter Attack or aid nearby units. The 12" charge plus fleet also catches out the opposing player.