Sunday, February 7, 2010

Space Wolves: Fenrisian Wolf Packs

Have you ever wanted to be the leader of the pack? Do you have what it takes to run with the Wolves? I'm sure there's some other cliche I could abuse, but I've always tried to be a lone wolf...

Okay, enough of that, let's look at Fenrisian Wolves. What do they have going for them? They're cheap, they have the basic stats of a Marine and they are Cavalry. Against them? They're never scoring, they don't have power armour and they don't have power armour.

Why that last twice? Because even though they're about 1/2 the cost of a basic Marine, they will only save 1/4 as many shots... presuming they get a save in the first place. This means that unit attrition will be a LOT higher. This can be mitigated by running them through cover, but even that is only a temporary solution.

With no guns, there's no reason not to Fleet. With no guns, there's no reason not to charge. With no Frag Grenades, you probably want to avoid charging enemy in cover.

Still doesn't seem really favorable for the Wolves, does it? Well, it's not. They're a large, cheap, mobile meat shield. That's it. There's nothing really tactical or strategical about them. Simply point at the enemy lines and fire. They're just fast, furry Orks.

But wait! A character can get Saga of the Wolfkin and upgrade them all to Initiative 5 and Leadership 7! Yeah, that's real great, now you'll still be going at Initiative 1 if you have to charge into cover. Anyone worth their salt is going to use this against you. Remember, that effect happens even if you're charging OUT of cover. It's any time that difficult terrain roll is made. So if your normal move and Fleet don't get you clear of the cover, you're going last.

But wait! Add in Canis and you can take them as Troops! The still can't score, it's just as worthle... er... wait... you mean they won't waste those Fast Attack slots? I can fill those up with Thunderwolf Cavalry or something instead? Hunh. We might have something here...

The plan: Operation Furshield. Take 10-45 Fenrisian Wolves. Screen your lines. Charge. Fight. Win! No capes...
Cheap, simple and easy, this is how I see most Wolves getting used. A nice distraction, alpha-strike, speed bump... whatever you want to call it. They run at the enemy and muck up their lines to give the rest of your time to army close.

The second plan: Operation Fuzzy SABOT. See above. Slap on an Independent Character or two on Thunderwolves. Point at enemy. Let furballs eat bolters. Let character wreak havoc. Enjoy.
At 120 points for a unit of Wolves and 200 or so for a decent character, this plan is still pretty cheap. If nothing else, the potential havoc it can cause is one heck of a "shoot here" sign. With a 19-24" move, you're not going to have to worry much about being Rapid Fired to death... at least not until after the first charge.

Fenrisian Wolves are a cute and fluffy idea that make a nice, cheap horde option for supporting your Marines. They're a great way to get a bunch of bodies in front of your more expensive units and screw up the enemy lines with close combat. With a shooting force, they can distract or delay a flank. But they're going to mesh best in a heavily close-combat oriented army that needs a fast shock troop out front. Run them at the from to Screen a Cavalry or Infantry list and be your initial line of impact. Even a mechanized force could probably find a use for them, though they don't fit quite as nicely.

In the final analysis: A single unit isn't critical but might make a nice addition to most any force. I wouldn't bother with multiple units unless you were taking Canis and running a heavy Infantry or Cavalry army.

Cheers and see you next time! (Hey, one week and change left to enter my contest...)

***Image grabbed from this shirt site...***

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