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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Who Let the Dogs Out? Space Wolves vs. 6th Edition!

Well, it has been a few days now since I got my copy of 6th thanks to the logical cluster by GW but I have been on my toes and reading as well as learning as I go everything I could about the new edition. The Space Wolves blogged some of this overview also, but at some points I disagreed with their comments, granted they did publish first as I was still working on my post. I hope to have an allies concepts developed soon to go up with this...

So, let’s talk about one of my favorites on the table of late the Space Wolves and how things have changed from 5th to 6th Edition.

Starting with the Army Wide Rules:

Counter-Attack: Pretty much the same with a slight twist, it states now that “a” model with Counter-Attack allows a roll, now the +1 bonus on a passed LD test is valid just for the models with Counter-Attack, but is no longer weighed down by those in the unit that may lack the ability (this is pointed towards allies when you mix Space Wolves in).

Acute Senses: Now you reroll when you outflank. So, this ability is junk for most of the army short of the scouts and the Saga of the Hunter (more on both of these later).

‘And They Shall Know No Fear’ has a few interesting twists now. If one model in the unit has it, then the entire unit has the ability. This is huge when Space Wolves ally with Sister’s of Battle or Imperial Guard. It still allows you to rally below 25%, take a 3” move, then a normal move and then you can still assault. So, your basic trooper could in theory move 3+6+2d6 getting anywhere between 11” and 21” threat range on a rally. That 3” rally is nice. If caught in a sweeping advance, you remain locked in combat.

Next up Sagas:

Saga of the Wolfkin: unless you want the Imitative 5, it is easier to just add an IC with a Thunderwolf to the unit to benefit the ATSKNF based on that character’s leadership.

Saga of the Majesty: Struggles now with the Warlord perks as you could end up with a “double down and waste points” Personally if you want a Leadership bubble go for the Warlord Traits.

Saga of the Hunter:  This one got interesting as it grants “outflank” and “stealth”. The second never changed but the first now states this: during deployment, if one model in the unit has this ability you may declare the unit is outflanking. This is a huge change, now the character can confer the ability to the unit. Flanking Grey Hunters, Wolf Guard and other interesting combos opens up now. Bear in mind when you flank, you cannot assault the turn you arrive, so shooting only. Still…a gunslinger Wolf Guard Battle leader with two pistols could slip in and crack off two plasma shots at once…

Saga of the Warrior Born gets boned if you get hit with a challenge as at best you can only kill one model.

Saga of the Iron Wolf: The huge thing here is the adding d3 to the movement (say a Land Raider) that has the “assault” rule that rolls up that extra distance, Thus a Land Raider could plow forward 12”+d3+6” move from the ramp and roll 2d6 to assault! The only sad part is the unit the Iron Priest joins blows…

A look at Warlord Traits:

Command Traits are good if you have what I call a “rolling thunder army” that is an army that is highly offensive lead by a Lord or Battle Leader with several Grey Hunter elements in Rhinos and Thunderwolf units striking fast and hard into the lines. The key is keeping within the 12” bubble to get the most out of this trait is the hallmark you have to keep in mind.

Personal Traits: This is a huge perk for the go forward type list lead by a Lord or Battle Leader, You do have a 1 in 6 change of getting the counter attack option but that is the breaks you get if you want the other advantages and many of them are great such as Feel No Pain (near objectives), Character becomes a scoring unit (yea) among other good things!

Strategic Traits are best kept back for the more timid Space Wolf lists that use Rune Priests with 4 totals in a basic list fewer than 2k and 8 in games starting at 2k could be happen. Even so, this could be rough if you lack elements like a reserve unit (as several of them modify reserves).


Logan Grimnar got a little more worthwhile at 275 points. Now able to pass off USRs to the unit he is with Tank Hunters (reroll armor pen), Relentless (able to move and fire heavy stuff with no penalty), Preferred Enemy (reroll 1’s to hit and wound, this includes shooting) makes Logan a stud for any Long Fangs to be friends with. 5 Plasma Cannons with rerrolls (yes please!), walk and fire Lascannons (yes sir! And don’t forget AP2 is +1 on the roll) or add lovely lascannons to Tank Hunters to crack open a target. Throw in a Rune Priest with Divination or a Wolf Priest to get other rerolls and wow! Don’t forget the Wolf Guard with a Cyclone or just a general wound soaker to go to the front of the line.

Njal got access to any of the psychic abilities but has to pick what he wants to go. He knows all the Space Wolves but gets only gets 2 rolls otherwise from their other options in the psychic powers of the rules. The Tempest power is still based on who goes first so, it still isn’t all that. Still, IMO he is overpriced for what you get.

Blackmane lost his +1 Imitative on the charge, making people want to shy away even more.

Ulrik had no real special changes worth noting…

Canis got interesting in a few areas but still, nothing to write home about due to the high point cost.

Bjorn wow, bummer for him…able to be glanced to death, adds VPs and objective options that could penalize you. Pass!

Wolf Lord/Battle leader: This guy is going to have some combo of either pair of wolf claws and belt of Russ or Frost Blade or Power Claw with a Storm Shield now. Runic armor or Terminator armor is automatic now (depends on how you use him). The Battle Leader can access Saga of the Hunter to bolster his unit to outlflank if you want.

Rune Priests: Runic armor got more worthwhile now as it would bounce weapons that would normally kill him back in 5th. I would be shocked to see a Space Wolf list not have one Rune Priest with the powers from the core rules before dabbling into the book. Short of Divination the most are meh compared to the melody of options in the Codex.

Wolf Priest: At least now his Oath of War applies to shooting, he could join a unit and they could take advantage of the Saga of the Hunter to flank as well as benefit from cover bonuses.


Wolf Guard Pack: What was nice here is they were made “characters” now if they join other units via the “pack leader rule”. Sorry, no wound allocation tricks here boys and girls! What is interesting here is that the changes of AP to weapons could now make Terminators perhaps more viable in the game as they are less likely to get swissed by most power weapons.

Arjac: The most interesting thing if note is you have to accept a challenge, so if you die before you can swing your screwed and easy prey. Worth 170pts? I think not.

Dreadnought: Now that you can be glanced to death, best to setup shop in cover with a twin linked Autocannon. Maybe worth looking at venerable again eh?

Iron Priests can repair hull points now; still they are not that great. Still they have a few nice surprises such as a flamer than is defensive on a charge! D3 hits! I do see one argument pop up soon that will need to be FAQ’d…with pistols you can fire both pistols, so a IP has a bolt pistol, a plasma pistol (on the servo) and a flamer…I can see people try to argue to shoot all three, sadly the plasma shot is because of the servo but it is a hard call.

Wolf Scouts got the finger this time, now you cannot assault the turn you arrive. So, MSU scouts, blow up a vehicle and die like a wolf. My friend and I have been discussing and plan to test scouts in cover with sniper rifles. With BS4 and the new sniper rules this could be a new perk and outlet for the Wolf Scouts. Bear in mind you can even mix a unit with a melt gun to have the choice to outflank or infiltrate. If the situation sucks, don’t flank, setup shop in cover and earn your points another way.

Lone Wolf: They got a sweet deal now, as an character they can challenge and avoid having hits against them. Still, if you pick that fight with the Ork Nob as 29 other boyz look on you may have to face a ton of rerolls….granted if you are lucky enough you could tie up a unit a turn longer than before…challenge the first round, avoid the hits, then sit back in Terminator armor with a storm shield and chainfist and wait it out. Despite FNP going to a 5+ he can still make a save against anything as he can’t be instant killed.


Grey Hunters: Still as reliable as ever…I suspect you will see more  plasma guns appear than flamer sin units. The banner also has more value when to dangerous/difficult terrain tests among the usual to hit, armor saves and to injure rolls. I can also see lots of MSU groups with Razorbacks with Las/Plas (as both can shoot now easier).

Blood Claws: Still not that useful but they could be effective with some right combos and a Land Raider or cover layering (by this I mean having stealth, psychic powers and using good cover)….plus Lukas can now challenge and try to get killed. Makes his high point cost not so bad now. Challenge a unit, kill the champion as a nasty character hides from him, then next turn challenge again, you either kill him or you could bubble him up with your last laugh rule…

Thunderwolf Calvary: The big change is the urge now to take plasma pistols in the unit to pop tanks with the +1 AP bonuses….worth the risk to overheat if you pop a transport and chomp down the goodies inside. Frost Blades or Powerfists for your single trade out later in the options. Same you could not gunslinger with these guys that would be funny!

Swiftclaws got a bit more useful, the 5+ jink and the 4+ cover save flat out is good, not as great as a 3+ but the jink balances it out. Still the BS 3 needs to be twin linked somehow to be useful, add a Wolf Priest on Bike with that Wolf Guard or keep a Divination Psyker on hand near them! Don’t forget your I10 on a single attack also before any swings are done due to Hammer of Wrath.

Skyclaws: Same boat but not as good as the Swiftclaws without the jink but still has the Hamemr of Wrath rules.

Speeders got a bit more useful with the jink option and now squadrons are reasonable again to consider using.

Fenrisian Wolf Packs: Add that TWC IC to the unit to ensure they benefit from the ATSKNF….

Long Fangs have not really changed that much except that Lascannons may be more worthwhile to take. Make sure to put the pack leader and a standard Wolf Guard if you need a few bodies to take up the first early hits.

Predators: No major changes, a cheap gun tank but not as good as a Long Fang Unit.

Whirlwind: No major changes.

Vindicator: With cover saves reduced a trio of these guys could be bad news, but at the expense of your Long Fangs at less than 2k point games.

Land Raiders (all types): Got a bit more popular, tougher and able to assault out of it as well as able to dump huge amounts of firepower. Only downside is high cost and eats into your Long Fangs (granted you can take them with Wolf Guard and have someone else steal their ride).

Drop Pods: Able to snap fire when they land…so you need 6’s but hey who cares! 


  1. I like your analysis a lot better than over at Space Wolves. The Lone Wolf set-up is one I ran at 2K the other day. I actually did the double FOC thing and ran 4 of them..they were brutal. 2 died (2 survived but gave up no VPs..which is possible in the new missions) but they were the stars of the game, constantly tying up units and thumping on Characters in the middle of the board. I won't run 4 again (we were trying to break the FoC for FoB and see what we could come up with), but it'll be hard not to run 2.
    The Vindicator is really nasty now. Little chance of losing your main gun and the blast weapons are a lot better. I know you're a Long Fangs guy, but I'm not, so putting the Vindi back in the list is great for me. The Preds got a bit better imo..being able to move and still shoot everything really helps. You only need 25% cover for the 5+ and it's important since you can be glanced to death, although AV13 is a bit harder. I took the Landraider out of my list. After wiping out both of my opponents LRs by turn 2, it's just too many points to get glanced to death for me. I love the heavy iron but I'm more inclined to add a squadron of Leman Russ then a Land Raider.
    I'm inclined to use IG as allies for a lot of reasons but I'm also considering White Scars. Haven't made up my mind yet. Glad you got your book and are playing!

    1. Thanks, I am a huge Long Fang fan but I also do love and respect the Vindicator. My buddy wants to get 3 for his Blood Angels because they are faster thus better range.

      I have some interesting allies concepts next up to pair up with the Space Wolves like wine and cheese.

      Played my first game, the other guy gave up at the top 3 of three. I got first turn we had the two objective game. By the top of three he had one combat jump squad (5 man), Mephiston and a Baal Predator left...worst case for me was down to Long Fangs and a Rhino and a few Grey Hunters.

      Mid range firepower is huge, much like hot it was in 4th, I plan to update another article about that.


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