Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wolf Lords, their word is law

The only time I find myself taking Wolf Lords is in games of 2K points.  At 1750 points, I find that the humble Rune Priest is all I need in the HQ slot.  Sometimes, I even take 2 Rune Priests as their psychic powers and psychic protection is too good to pass up on.  So why Wolf Lords?  Well, for one, I think they're one of the most iconic pieces in an old-school Space Wolf army.  Space Wolves, by design and fluff, are Vikings in Space who rely on honor and courage to carry them through the day.  That's why most of my army lists for Space Wolves have little in terms of campy shooting.

Now that I've thrown down that my Space Wolves enjoys the nitty gritty, let's examine my favorite Wolf Lord builds.  He is my physical manifestation on the battlefield:

Wolf Lord
Runic Armor
Frost Blade (or Thunder Hammer), Storm Shield
Wolf Tooth Necklace
Wolf Tail Talisman
Saga of the Warrior Born (or Saga of the Bear)
225 points (or 230 with Thunder Hammer), Thunderwolf Mount for 45 more.

Let's take a look at this build and examine what I like about it.  He has 4 attacks, has 2+ armor and 3++ invul saves, always hits on 3+ vs. anything with a WS with a S5 power weapon and goes ape shit after killing things in melee.  He averages 2 MEQ kills in the first round of combat and that bumps his attacks up to 6 in the next round of combat since he gets +attacks for each model killed in the previous combat.  The Warrior Born Saga is more for fun really, since it allows him to chew through enemies so you can tally up the totals.  Wolf Tail Talisman is one of those neat little gizmos that lets you take a 5+ save against anything that's targeting you or your squad with a psychic power.  If you roll a 5+, you negate the psychic ability outright.  If I could be anyone in 40K, it would probably be this guy.

Why no Terminator Armor?  Because if you want a Storm Shield, you're going to have to pay 15 points more on top of the 40.  Runic Armor is 20, Storm Shield is 30, so for 5 less points, you have the same 2+/3++, can be put in a Rhino, takes up less room in a LR, has the benefits of Runic Armor (5+ invul vs. all wounds caused by psychic attacks) and you keep your frag and krak grenades.  It's a no brainer at this point.  Saga of the Bear makes your Lord immune to instant death because of Eternal Warrior and the Thunder Hammer allows him to deliver crushing force against anything in the game.

What it really comes down to is whether or not you want to put the Lord on a Thunderwolf mount or not.  Personally, Thunderwolves don't make sense to me because marines are riding them.  It's 40K years into the future and as if things couldn't be more ridiculous, marines are now riding ancient battle beasts.  Aside from how ludicrous this may seem, we can't overlook the benefits of a Lord on the Thunderwolf.  True T5 makes him immune to Fists (although not Force Weapons), the extra attack and strength makes him a beast in combat.  The higher strength makes all the weapon options good to have:  The Wolf Claw is cheap and S5 re-roll hits or wounds is fantastic at killing MEQ, S6 Frost Blades are more dangerous to vehicles and S10 Thunder Hammers just rock anything in the game.  With 6 attacks on the charge, the Lord is absolutely fantastic at putting down anything in combat.

Unless you're taking a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf, the WL can be put anywhere you want.  I personally like to put him a LRC with a WGT retinune, but I feel very comfortable putting him in a squad of Grey Hunters.  The great thing about Runic Armor is that it allows the Wolf Lord to travel freely.  If he wants to be in a Rhino, he can, if he doesn't feel like being bogged down by Terminators, he can leave and join something else.  Best of all, the Wolf Lord can run things down once he beats their ass in combat.  For that reason, I like to keep my Wolf Lord as violent as possible.  He is my personal avatar on the field and there's nothing better than seeing him rampage through mutants and aliens in the name of the Allfather.

If you like taking a Wolf Lord too, let me know what config you like traveling with.

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