This is the current 9th Edition’s Space Wolves tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.
Just like their legendary progenitor, the Primarch Leman Russ, Space Wolves are fierce and aggressive warriors. Though they are not berserkers or madmen (well, OK, maybe some of them are a little crazy) their headstrong personalities and inherent sense of justice means that the Space Wolves are forever waging a war against the evils of the galaxy, fighting with the cunning of a hunting pack rather than the frenzy of a rabid dog. Space Wolves like red meat, strong ale, bawdy songs and good old-fashioned brawls, but most of all, they like to hunt glory upon the battlefield. They see death in battle as a fitting end for a true warrior, and if they leave a long and exciting saga of heroic deeds as their legacy, so much the better.
The Space Wolves are a truly different and unique Space Marine army built around a core of charismatic champions. Each of the Space Wolves is a hero in his own right, and though this means that Space Wolves armies are typically few in number, their individual prowess more than makes up for it. Space Wolves are master of the ferocious assault and their bombastic leaders are amongst the most feared and respected warriors in the 41st Millennium.
- 1 Special Rules
- 2 Crusade Additions
- 3 Secondary Objectives
- 4 Stratagems
- 5 Warlord Traits
- 6 Psychic Powers
- 7 Litanies of Battle
- 8 Wargear
- 9 Unit Analysis
- 10 Building your Army
- 11 Tactics
- You like any of these things: assault, Vikings, runes, wolves, werewolves, wolves, Space Marines, snow, ice, honor, beards, Nordic names, repeating words, wolves, and not wearing helmets. And wolves. Wolves too.
- Your troops units reliably pull their weight. Blood Claws hit impressively hard on the charge, and your Grey Hunters can be more mobile and choppy than Tactical Squads.
- The Space Wolves have access to unique wargear that is generally slightly better than what Codex Astartes Space Marines use.
- Awesome looking exclusive models. Space Wolves are covered in pelts, teeth, talismans, and runes which gives them a Viking-inspired, savage appearance.
- Consequently, an added benefit of playing Space Wolves is that you’ll piss off PETA
- Powerful HQ characters, both special and standard.
- The Tempestas discipline is good for helping you survive shooting long enough to get into combat, comes with some decent damage spells, and allows you to force a Fight Last effect and even get access to the assault doctrine early
- Unique access to Thunderwolf Cavalry and Wulfen means that few armies come close to being as good at assault as the Space Wolves.
- A unique flyer in the Stormwolf which is essentially a flying Land Raider. Packs a 16 troop capacity and half a dozen heavy weapons to back it up.
- Between Prospero Burns, Leman Russ: The Great Wolf, and Horus Heresy Inferno, the fluff is being overhauled to make the Wolves both more serious and more likable.
- Grey Hunters, Blood Claws and Long Fangs can take Wolf Guard who are able to upgrade to Terminator armor. It might not seem like much at first since the rules now state that once a wound is allocated, all the remaining wound must be allocated on the same model until it dies; but that 3 wounds with a 0+ armor (thanks to cover and storm shield) make him last longer. However an extra heavy or power weapon can’t be understated. Cyclone Missile Launchers have enough strength to take out a few wounds on a vehicle/monster or hit hard a larger unit, with more range and doesn’t have to exchange his Storm Bolter.
- Do you like orkz? Space wolves play horde armies better than any other marine army. Simply put your average troop choice can carry 16 marines, which is 32 sv 3+ wounds, alongside a decent punch in melee. Then you go to the fast attack section of the codex and you realize that you can breing 16 assault marines, with their jump packs for an expensive high mobility unit, that can chew through anything or even better 15 bikes for a whooping 45 T 5 Sv 3 wounds. Simply put Space wolves can become a sort of elite horde army that can be unstopable since their dedicated melee units can and should reach the frontlines without losing their combat effectiveness due to being able to absorb a higher ammount of casualties without comprimising the squads punching power.
- No heavy weapons in Grey Hunter or Blood Claw squads (which is compensated by adding Wolf Guard, but not wholly). Blood Angels players will (might) rub it in by mentioning their access to Heavy Flamers.
- You won’t be able to play Space Wolves without people constantly reminding you to Wolf your wolf… seriously its fucking ridiculous on /tg/. With Fenris being in the middle of the Great Rift , “Yiff in Hell” jokes now hit pretty hard. A vocal minority of neckbeards and salty nerds consider Wolves Mary Sues worse than the Ultramarines. Thus the hate is widespread.
- Santa Grimnar jokes will never end. Thanks Games Workshop
- Grumpy old man Bjorn jokes are funny at first, then become annoying after the first ten minutes.
- Also helmets seem to be a precious commodity to the space wolves, so be prepared to rage paint bare bearded space marine heads or buy some off the secondary market.
- While the extra bling looks nice when well painted and can alleviate some of the boredom of painting 30+ troops by focusing on making each one look individual, it also makes things more time consuming. Consider purchasing a few codex marine kits to mix in to reduce the sheer quantities of wolf bling you have to paint. As an added benefit, this is also your best way to get ahold of meltaguns, flamers, one-handed power axes, and combi-weapons.
- Troops gain Objective Secured.
- Chapter Command: Most non-named Characters (i.e. all except Lieutenants and Judicars) can have a Chapter Command upgrade for PL and pts. Each <Chapter> Army can only have one Chapter Command model and some named Characters already have the relevant keyword. Crusade forces cannot start with a non-named Chapter Command model.
- Using <Ultramarines> as an example, your army cannot have Marneus Calgar and an <Ultramarine> Captain upgraded to a Chapter Master in the same army. However, you can have an <Ultramarine> Chapter Master and a <Salamander> Chapter Master in the same army.
- Combat Squads: Can split a single full-sized unit into two smaller units before deployment. Works just like it always has, but more unit types can do it (e.g. Centurions). While MSU is better, it does give Space Marines a unique way to circumvent the Rule of Three or Detachment Limits. Now they just need to have spammable units worth Combat Squadding.
- With the introduction of Shock Assault (See below), there is worth considering the use of some of the older tactics, back when a Tactical Marine was worth more than just a bolter. One such tactic was to put your guns in one squad and your melee in another, using the ranged weapons to soften up a target then the melee (basically a Sergeant either a power weapon or fist) to finish off or better yet to tie up the target unit and finish it off (hopefully) during the opponents turn, denying them a turn at shooting and forcing them to basically waste their melee on chaff. You can also put the Sergeant in the ranged unit with a combi-weapon for a total of three bolters and two special weapons in one squad, and a heavy weapon in the other for a makeshift Devastator Squad.
- Angels of Death: A rule owned by all Space Marine whatever its colour, subdivided into four. Because GW likes to keep it simple.
- And They Shall Know No Fear: When taking Combat Attrition Tests, ignore all modifiers.
- Bolter Discipline: Models using a rapid fire bolt weapon can double their number of shots (i.e. rapid-fire) if at least one of the following conditions is met. They don’t stack, so no triple or quadruple shots if you meet more than one condition. The conditions are:
- The target is within the weapon’s half range (normal rapid fire rules).
- The model is Infantry (excluding Centurions) and every model of its unit remained stationary during the previous Movement Phase. If a Devastator’s Heavy Weapon Marine moves, the Sergeant cannot use Bolter Discipline on his boltgun.
- It gives your Marines the option to commit to those objectives instead of having to get close to the enemy. Factions like T’au may have long ranged small arms, but Space Marines can rapid fire from full range away.
- The firing model is a Terminator or Biker.
- This right here is the good shit. Footslogging Terminators now have a significantly improved threat capacity and Bikers are somehow even more deadly fast than they already were.
- Shock Assault: If a unit with this rule charges, gets charged, or performs a Heroic Intervention, models in the unit gain +1A until the end of the turn (meaning +2A if they can fight twice like with a stratagem).
- Gives the generally lackluster melee of most Primaris Infantry and chainsword Assault Marines a little bit of a boost. Killer on units with power weapons like Terminators. Also means foes have to be a bit more careful about charging at Tacticals and such to tie them up, more so if you use larger units, and that they can assist in a melee in a pinch.
- Remember that this ability is not Infantry exclusive; Dreadnoughts really appreciate the extra attack and even your Transports can hit a little harder in the first round of combat (Space Marines bring a whole new meaning to road rage).
- Combat Doctrine: Feel like it’s 7th edition all over again. Each of the three Combat Doctrines gives an AP-1 buff to different weapon types in your armies (non-cumulative with buffs from other sources). You have to use each Doctrine in order, starting with the Devastator Doctrine, and then must move through each Doctrine. Once you switch there’s no going back, so pay attention to the rhythm of the game. Your army gains this if all units in it have this rule, meaning taking a Guardsman Battalion would prevent the Marine detachment from getting this rule, but allied Marine detachments are okay even from a different <Chapter>.
- On top of that, Chapter Supplements give First Founding Chapters (and their descendants) a Specialist Doctrine that is a bonus active on top of the regular Doctrine. Bringing Chapters with different Specialist Doctrines prevents either Chapter from getting theirs, which encourages you to have a one-Chapter army.
- On Turn 1, your army will always start with the Devastator Doctrine turned on, giving all your heavy and grenade weapons the extra -1 AP so that you can soften entrenched Infantry and cripple enemy Vehicles from afar in preparation for your advance. Remember the first points of AP are the most important ones: AP-2 heavy bolters and assault cannons are more noticeable than AP-4 lascannons. Do keep in mind that the plethora of sniper rifles and heavy flamers (incendium/inferno/flamestorm cannons) are heavy weapons.
- On the 2nd turn you switch to Tactical Doctrine, shifting the boost to your rapid fire and assault weapons. Be it to close the distance to the enemy or because your vehicles are about to give their last, this mostly passes the ranged baton to your Infantry. Storm bolters and auto bolt rifles work wonders here love this.
- On the 3rd or 4th turn you shift to Assault Doctrine (you MUST change to assault on the 4th turn) giving the extra AP to your pistol and melee attacks. Don’t forget your pistol can be fired if you’re in melee with an enemy unit.
- Death From Above/Teleport Strike: Deep Strike in another name, most common on Jump Pack and Terminator models. Set them to side during deployment and set them up 9″ from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
- Concealed Positions: Infiltrate in another name, most common on Scout and Phobos models. Set them up anywhere on field 9″ from enemy deployment zone or models during deployment.
- Outflank: Like Deep Strike, but must be wholly within 6″ of a board edge and 9″ from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
- Martial Legacy (FW): Relic unit rules for certain Forge World models. If your army is battle-forged, each unit with this rule increases the cost of a detachment that includes it by 1CP. Essentially you pay 1CP per Martial Legacy unit in your army.
Chapter Tactics and Unique Rules
- Hunters Unleashed (Chapter Tactics): If a unit with this ability charged, was charged, or made a Heroic Intervention this turn, it gains +1 to hit rolls in the Fight Phase. In addition, all units can perform Heroic Interventions like a Character.
- Similar to the Red Thirst ability that the Blood Angels have and makes the Wolves nearly as potent in melee. +1 to hit is not usually as helpful as +1 to wound, since you’re hitting on 3+ all the time anyway, a +1 to wound is more impactful, especially against T4+. An Angel with a chainsword will be better than a Wolf with a chainsword, but the Wolf will overtake in terms of damage output with powerfists, chainfists, thunder hammers, and any attack that gives you -1 to hit rolls.
- Savage Fury (Specialist Doctrine): While the Assault Doctrine is active, an unmodified roll of 6 to hit in melee will grant an additional hit.
- Lasts a decent amount of time, purely by not being in the Devastator Doctrine. Keep enough units on the board to survive until you outflank Thunderwolves or Deep Strike Terminators in your turn three when the Assault Doctrine can kick in.
- Berserk Charge: One of your two Blood Claw rules, including Skyclaws and Swiftclaws (pg. 45 of the Space Wolf Expansion). If the unit benefits from the Hunters Unleashed Chapter Tactic as a Space Wolf or a Successor, the unit gains +1A if they charge (excluding Wolf Guard).
- Headstrong: Second part of your Blood Claw rules. If the unit doesn’t include a Wolf Guard, it must charge the closest eligible enemy unit.
- Swift Hunters: On your Fenrisian and Thunder Wolves. Can advance and charge, and adds +1″ to pile-in and consolidation moves.
- Successor Chapter Tactics: Yep, Space Wolves are now part of the whole Space Marine Codex, meaning that you can customize a whole Successor Chapter with its own unique tactics.
- Note you do lose access to special characters and Space Wolves Relics (outside of a 1cp stratagem).
- Some Traits worth considering are:
- Whirlwind of Rage is great, it’s benefit is equal to +1 to hit, but it can stack with a variety of other traits here like
- Hungry for battle. +1 to advance and charge Great for any assault army, deepstriking terminators will love this, and Thudercav who can advance and charge will be happy to have it as well.
- Born Heroes: +1 to hit but only if you specifically charged, not as good as SW tactic, but works in conjunction with any of the tactics here, worth considering if you don’t need as much mobility.
- Duelists: 6s to hit auto wound infantry on the charge. Not as good as Whirlwind, but works as an alternative if you plan on having a lot of low strength high AP weaponry.
- Cunning of the Wolf (1 CP):You select one INFANTRY unit to gain the outflank rule. Congratulations, you got outflanking back. Enjoy watching your opponent’s backline melt. For only a single command point to spend on each unit you do that for. Hell yeah! Shenanigans will ensue for armies with similar abilities (aka. Eldar, Blood Angels, Raven Guard etc.), prepare for hilarity.
- The Emperor’s Executioners (1 CP): In the Fight phase, a Space Wolves unit can reroll hit and wound rolls against Thousand Sons unit in melee.
- Savage Strike (1/2 CP): When a Space Wolf unit is selected to fight the turn it changes, add +1 to wound for each time it fights this phase. 1cp of a unit of 5 models or less and 2 for more than 5.
- Healing Balms: Instead of just being a full-on ability to heal like an apothecary, this gives the Wolf Priests their means to restore d3 wounds to the appropriate Space Wolf Infantry, Bikers or cavalry within 3″. A serious nerf since Space Wolves still can’t use apothecaries for actual healing.
- Vicious Executioners (1 CP): One Wolf Guard unit during the fight phase gets to deal a MW on top of any normal damage when they roll a natural 6 to hit.
- Pack Hunters (1 CP): During the Charge phase, pick an enemy currently engaged with a Space Wolf unit, Space Wolf Calvary and Space Wolf Beasts roll 3d6 drop one when charging that enemy, and they reroll their teeth and claw attacks against them.
- Relentless Assault (1 CP): Lets a Space Wolf unit consolidate an extra 3″. Not cumulative with other rules.
- Cloaked by the Storm (2 CP): In the Psychic phase, when Space Wolf psyker manifests a power from the Tempestas discipline, he imposes a -1 penalty for all ranged attacks made against Space Wolves units within 6″ of it until the next Psychic phase. Expensive, but now you can buff your army without ever using a buffing power.
- Deed Worthy of a Saga (1 CP): When a character without a Warlord trait fulfills a requirement listed for a saga, they gain that saga’s aura for the rest of game.
- A Trophy Bestowed (1 CP): Lets a Space Wolf successor chapter take a chapter relic instead of being stuck with just the special-issue wargear list.
- Thane of the Retinue (1 CP): If you have a Space Wolf Warlord, a sergeant or pack leader can take a special-issue wargear.
- Warrior of Legend (1 CP): Put a second WT on your Warlord. This second WT must be from the Space Wolves codex and they gain the associated deed. Worth noting that the first trait could be from the Space Marine codex.
- Bestial Nature (1 CP): In the Command phase, a Space Wolf Space Wolf INFANTRY, Cavalry, or Bike unit is treated as being in the Assault Doctrine. FAQd to mean Savage Fury will apply
- Counter-Charge (1 CP): This allows one unit to perform a Heroic Intervention against an enemy charge, letting them move 6″ to do so. This little gem is useful in protecting more vulnerable forces by throwing more durable (or disposable) forces against the enemy.
- Keen Senses (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the Shooting phase. Choose a SW unit from your army; they suffer NO penalties to hit this phase. Those Alaitoc Shadow Specters will hate your guts. Time to break out the BIG guns. Use this broke-ass stratagem on leviathans, fellblades, and tank destroyers. The more guns the better.
- Importantly, you can ignore ANY and ALL modifiders. So if a Chaplain gives you +1 to hit, choose not to ignore it, but if you move with Heavy weapons and the target has -1 to hit, you can ignore both those modifiers. So outflank 6 Heavy Melta Rifle Eradicators with a Terminator Wolf Priest, they can then come in and hit Mortarian on a 2+ with the Litany of Focus, even if he has Miasma of Pestilence up.
- This stratagem lets you turn your Long Fangs into Dark Reapers, meaning you can have move without suffering any minuses to hit. This makes any unit you wish had Power of the Machine Spirits that much faster.
- Runic Wards (1 CP): When one of your units is within 12″ of an enemy psyker when they successfully manifest a power, spend a CP to give that unit a Deny The Witch roll. Decent trick that can prevent Smite damage to a key unit or prevent your opponent getting an important buff.
Named Characters MUST use their designated Chapter-Specific trait, thus increasing the appeal of taking an unnamed character.
Most of These Warlord traits are selfish by nature, boosting up the ability of the badass, but also supportive later in game. Completing the Deed of Legend (DoL) unlocks an aura that is slightly weaker than the Warlord Trait.
- Beastslayer: Add 1 to hit and wound rolls made against monsters and vehicles and +1 attack when within engagement range with one.
- DoL: Very straightforward, just use the Warlord to slay a Monster or Vehicle. This can be done with the character’s ranged weapons.
- Aura: Space Wolf Core units gain +1 to wound rolls when attacking Monsters and Vehicles in melee.
- Wolfkin: Warlord always counts as having charged for Shock Assault and gains +d3A from it instead of +1. This is Canis Wolfborn’s designated trait.
- DoL: Kill any enemy model in melee with your Warlord. Retardedly easy to complete.
- Aura: Space Wolf Core units within 6″ always count as having charged for Shock Assault.
- Warrior Born: Warlord always fights first in the Fight Phase when in engagement range of enemies. This is Ragnar Blackmane’s and Krom Dragongaze’s designated trait.
- DoL: Kill an enemy Character in melee with your Warlord.
- Aura: Space Wolf Core units within 6″ of this model and within engagement range of enemy units also fight first.
- Hunter: +1 to advancing and charge distances, and Warlord can charge after advancing or falling back. This is Harald Deathwolf’s designated trait.
- DoL: Successfully charge an enemy unit.
- Aura: Space Wolf Core units within 6″ can charge after advancing or falling back.
- Majesty: gains an extra 3″ to all Captain, Lieutenant, Chapter Master, Spiritual Leader, and Litany abilities and auras, to a maximum of 9″. This is Logan Grimnar, Bjorn the Fell-Handed, and Ulrik the Slayers designated trait.
- DoL: Be within range of an objective that is more than 6″ away from your deployment zone.
- Aura: Space Wolf Core units wihtin 6″ automatically pass morale tests.
- Bear: Gain a FnP on a 6+ and enemy attacks can’t reroll wound or damage roll against this warlord. This is Arjac Rockfist’s and Njall Stormcaller’s designated trait.
- DoL: Lose a wound.
- Aura: Space Wolf Core units gain a 6+ FnP.
- Fear Made Manifest (Aura): Enemy units within 6″ suffer -1Ld and -1 to Combat Attrition Tests.
- Can be combined with other Ld debuffs to make a leadership bomb, but even on its own losing people on a 5+ Combat Attrition roll already means losing 1/3rd of the unit, or half of it when understrength.
- The Imperium’s Sword: What Smash Captains are made of. Warlord gains +1S and +1A when he charges or Heroically Intervenes, and rerolls failed charge rolls. The bonus attack stacks with Shock Assault.
- Iron Resolve: What Smashfuckers are made of. Warlord gains +1W, and can ignore wounds on a 6. Not dying is nice, and it’s better the more wounds your character has.
- Champion of Humanity: Warlord gains +1A if an enemy Character is within 1″, and gains +1 to hit and wound rolls against Characters within 1″.
- Remember, you don’t have to attack the Character to gain +1A, you just need to be within 1″.
- Storm of Fire (Aura): Wound rolls of unmodified 6 made by and <Chapter> Core unit within 6″ gains an additional point of AP. This does not stack with Combat Doctrines.
- Since light weapons with high rates of fire are often cheaper than stronger, single-shot ones, this Warlord Trait can allow a detachment to pull its weight even at low point limits. Furthermore, it’s easy for them to synergize with your Warlord because many are Infantry or Transports that can accompany him. While mechanized and Biker lists are shooty, Bolter Discipline means bolt-using units from this list are no longed forced to move into rapid fire range.
- Rites of War (Aura): Friendly <CHAPTER> Core and <CHAPTER> Character units within 6″ gain Objective Secured.
Available only to Phobos characters, aka the tacticool Captain, Lieutenant, and Librarian found in the Shadowspear box. Chaplains can suck it because yelling catechisms isn’t stealthy and Tech Marines haven’t yet learned whatever trick the Helix Adepts are using to fix broken things quietly, so they can suck it, too.
- Shoot and Fade: After one <chapter> phobos unit within 6″ of the warlord shoots, They can move or advance but can’t charge.
- Imperial stealthy Jump-Shoot-Jump baby! Break LoS and avoid retaliation. That way your Infiltrator/Incursor squads can keep up with your Eliminators, the first dashing in and out of LoS while the later shoot without visual contact with complete impunity.
- Lord of Deceit: After both sides deploy, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> Phobos units present on the battlefield or put them into reserve for no CP.
- Results depend on the mental games you can play on your enemy – it’s not going to be a surprise to your opponent, but being able to make corrections after your enemy’s cemented his choice instead of being part of the simultaneous deployment process can be an amazing benefit, and one that Eldar pay 2CP for.
- Bear in mind, this trait now goes off after deployment, which means you haven’t yet rolled off for first turn.
- Master of the Vanguard (Aura): Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6″ of the Warlord gain +1″ to their move, advance, fall back, and charge distances. Useful to Reivers or charging out of Deep Strike, pairs well with the Chapter Tactic Hungry for Battle as well as several characters.
- Stealth Adept: Can’t be targeted by ranged attacks unless he is the closest target. Protects from snipers or if you find yourself with just one of two guys from your accompanying squad left. Often get more mileage on your Phobos Librarian trying to get off their close range power.
- Target Priority: Select a friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 6″ in the Command phase. Until the start of your next Command phase, that unit gets +1 to hit. And he doesn’t have to give up his shooting either. Now all those pointy finger models have found their worth!
- Less helpful for Eliminators now they have BS2+, but could be used to negate cover penalties. Doesn’t affect Infiltrators’ automatic wounds as they only happen on an unmodified 6.
- Marksman Honours: +1D to all of the Warlord’s guns, but not grenades or relics. Completely wasted on a Librarian or Lieutenant, but bumps the Phobos Captain’s Instigator Bolt Carbine to an eye-watering D4.
In addition to Smite, you have access to a faction-specific table of powers. The Librarius Discipline has power for pretty much every situation, but they’re mostly niche enough that it’s difficult deciding upfront which powers to take. The Phobos Librarian-exclusive Obscuration Discipline focusses on messing with movement and dice rolls at the cost of mortal wound output.
Your Space Wolf and Successor specific psychic discipline. Several are must-haves.
- Living Lightning (WC6, Witchfire): Deals 1d3 mortal wounds to the nearest visible enemy unit within 18″. then on another roll of 2+ the closest other enemy unit within 6″ of the target also takes a mortal wound, D3 on a 5+.
- Murderous Hurricane (WC6, Malediction): Target a visible enemy within 18″, until your next Psychic phase, they can’t overwatch unless in terrain and can’t fight until all the Space Wolves finish their rounds.
- Tempest’s Wrath (WC6, Malediction): Until the start of your next Psychic phase, an enemy unit within 24″ has -1 to hit. Copied and pasted from Aversion from the Interromancy discipline, but effectiveness beats originality.
- Instincts Awoken (WC6, Blessing): Until the next psychic phase, a Space Wolf unit within 18″ is treated as being in Assault Doctrine until next Psychic phase, or get a stackable -1 AP on wound rolls of 6 if already in Assault.
- Storm Caller (WC6, Blessing): Until the start of your next Psychic phase all Friendly Space Wolfs within 6″ gain the benefit of being in light cover. A strong buff for an assault army that’s particularly valuable because you can get multiple units under the bubble. Don’t forget to add the Cloaked by the Storm Stratagem to buff them further!
- Jaws of the Wolf World (WC7, Witchfire): Pick an enemy unit within 18″. Roll a D6 for each model, with +1 to rolls if the passed test on a 9+. On a 6+, inflict a mortal wound.
General-use powers for Marines. Depending on your <Chapter> they may not have the greatest synergy but still fairly useful with many melee and close range blessing.
- Veil of Time (WC6, Blessing): Select one <CHAPTER> unit within 18″. Until the start of the next Psychic Phase, that unit re-rolls charge and advance rolls, and always fights first.
- 9″ charges are still below a 50% chance at 47.84%, although you can combine it with a CP re-roll. If you can find a source for +1″ to charge distances, your odds rise to 65.97%.
- Might Of Heroes (WC6, Blessing): Select one <CHAPTER> CORE or CHARACTER model within 12″. That model gains +1S, +1T, and +1A.
- An awesome power for your beatstick models. Dreadnought CHARACTER‘s will love this, as well as Chaplains buffed by Mantra of Strength. Sergeants kitted for melee are also viable models to buff.
- Null Zone (WC7, Blessing): Until the start of your next Psychic Phase, ALL units within 6″ can’t take invulnerable saves, and enemies cut the results of their Psychic Tests in half.
- Obviously most powerful against enemies that depend on their invulnerable saves or psychic powers (Harlequins, Hive Tyrants, Daemons, for example). Less effective against heavily armoured units (Terminators, Wraith Guard, Mega-Nobz). Don’t be afraid to advance into position and let other things do the murder work for you.
- IMPORTANT REMINDER: This affects ALL invulnerable saves on ALL units in range, even yours. Don’t use with your own storm shield units in range.
- Psychic Scourge (WC6, Witchfire): Select one visible enemy unit within 18″ of the caster. The caster and the target unit roll off and add their units Ld to the result. The target suffers d3 mortal wounds if your score is higher, one mortal wound if the score is equal, or nothing if your score is lower.
- Less powerful than smite, but it’s better for sniping Characters since it isn’t restricted to the closest enemy unit. Best used in combination with something that inflicts a Ld penalty to the target or a Leadership bonus to the caster, if you brought any.
- Fury of the Ancients (WC7, Witchfire): Select one visible enemy model within 18″ and draw a line from any part of the casters base to any part of the targets base. the caster to that model. The target unit and each enemy unit this line passes through suffers one mortal wound.
- Psychic Fortress (WC6, Blessing): <CHAPTER> units within 6″ gain a 5++ invulnerable save. Just awesome due to the lack of restrictions allowing even your Land Raiders to gain this buff.
These powers can only be used by Phobos Librarians. They don’t do much damage, but god damn can they fuck with your enemy. They’ll only buff Phobos units, so no combo-ing with Aggressors.
- Shrouding (WC6, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18″. Until the start of the next Psychic Phase, enemies can only shoot that unit if they’re the closest eligible target. Protects from snipers, but not enemy psychic powers.
- Soul Sight (WC6, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18″. Until the start of your next psychic phase, that unit re-rolls all failed hits when using their ranged weapons and their ranged attacks ignore enemy cover save bonuses.
- Mind Raid (WC6, Witchfire):: Select a visible enemy unit within 18″. It takes a mortal wound and if the power targeted a character, roll 3d6. If the result is greater than or equal to the target’s Ld, you get a free Command Point! Remember the limit on 1CP gained per battle round though, not a power to use if you have a Relic or Warlord Trait that also refunds CP.
- Hallucination (WC6, Malediction): Select a visible enemy unit within 18″. They suffer -1Ld and -1 to all hit rolls until your next turn.
- Tenebrous Curse (WC7, Malediction): Select a visible enemy unit within 18″ that does not have the Fly keyword. It takes a mortal wound, their move distance is halved, and suffer -2 to their advance and charge distances. Effectively pin one Death Guard unit in their half of the board.
- Temporal Corridor (WC5, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 6″. It can make a normal move or advance as if it was the Movement Phase, and if it advances it adds 6″ to their move rather than rolling. However, the unit cannot shoot or fight this turn. Great repositioning tool at the cost of damage output.
Litanies of Battle
Litanies happen in your Command Phase, going off on a 3+. Like psychic powers, each litany can only be cast once per turn, no matter how many Chaplains know it. Deep Striking and passenger Chaplains are a touch less-useful on their first turn, as they arrive AFTER their casting window. There is the 2CP Commanding Oratory stratagem that can be used to cast a litany in any phase if the Chaplain has not already cast one this turn.
- Litany of Hate: Default prayer, 6″ aura of re-rolling all melee hit rolls (not just misses) for your <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Stronger now that the Chapter Master’s Aura has been reigned in.
- Litany of Faith: 6″ Aura of ignoring mortal wounds on a 5+ for friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Not cumulative with other rules, as per usual.
- Catechism of Fire: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6″ to gain +1 to the wound rolls when “resolving a shooting attack” against the closest enemy unit, meaning it affects Overwatch, too.
- You’re already accurate, so you’ll get the most out of +1 to wound rolls from units that hit often but not hard; Intercessors with auto bolt rifles, Flamer Veterans, and Aggressors.
- Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6″. They get +1 to their wound rolls in melee. Very strong (unless you’re the Blood Angels of course). This is often worse than the default Litany of Hate. If you’re hitting on a 3+ or worse and wounding on a 4+ or better (e.g. most attacks with fists, hammers, lightning claws, and power weapons), use Litany of Hate. If you’re hitting on a 2+ or wounding on a 5+, use Exhortation of Rage. Of course, a Master of Sanctity can use both.
- Mantra of Strength: The casting Chaplain gains +1S and +1A, and one melee weapon gains +1D.
- Smash Chaplain is a viable build. Combine it with the Benediction of Fury (WS2+, S7, AP-2, D4) or a powerfist (WS3+, S9, AP-3, D3). Add Warlord Traits, stratagems, doctrines, and psychic powers as you can afford and be bothered with.
- Recitation of Focus: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6″ to gain +1 to their hit rolls when shooting.
- While +1 to hit is better than a Captain’s re-roll, this alone isn’t a replacement for it (since it has a 1/3 chance to fail, affects single unit and doesn’t work in melee or when the chaplain doesn’t start on the field). Instead, it’s better used when a unit cares about +1 to hit beyond improving BS by 1. If you just want a second HQ to support a gun-line bring a Lieutenant instead.
- Canticle of Hate: Non-cumulative 6″ aura of +2″ to charge distances and +3″ to pile in and consolidation moves. In all cases, the friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit in question has to be within the aura by the time the move is made – the consolidate move especially will often not happen unless the Chaplain also made his charge.
- Amazing for those who can re-roll charge distances, increasing the odds of a successful 9″ charge up to 85% (58.3% for non-rerolling lads).
- Do keep in mind the Chaplain has to be on the field at the beginning of the battle round to cast his litany. A Jump Pack or Biker Chaplain is fast enough, but if you are patient, you can use an Impulsor or Drop Pod to get him in position in the first turn and use the Litany for your deep strikers in the second turn.
Depending on how you look at it, you either lost your unique frost weapons or everyone gained your frost weapons in the form of 9th ed power weapons. #ThanksGW.
Other than that, you have no unique weapons aside from those given special mention within their specific units (Venerable Dreadnought helfrost cannon or axe and shield, Iron Priest tempest hammer and helfrost pistol, etc).
- Astartes Chainsword: SU, AP-1, D1, +1A. As of 9E, all Space Marine chainswords get AP-1 on top of the extra attack, making them even better against lightly armoured hordes while also giving them a little utility against tougher foes.
- Lightning Claws: SU, AP-2, D1, re-roll failed wound rolls and +1A. This will outperform all other 1 damage melee weapons against any target (except T8-9 with a 2+ or 3+, where the power sword wins, but why are you picking D1 weapons for those). Your best bet for mulching single-wound hordes.
- RAW: “Each time the bearer fights, it makes 1 additional attack with this weapon”. Exactly the same as the Chainsword, this should be interpreted as +1A for one claw, +2A for two claws.
- Power Weapons: Each type of power weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. Unless you have the option for a lightning claw, then you should always take that instead.
- Power Axe: S+2, AP-2, D1. Offers a compromise between the maul’s strength and the sword’s armour penetration.
- Power Maul/Power Lance: S+3, AP-1, D1. This is the one you want to use against lightly armoured units that rely on toughness to shrug off hits. The lance is identical to the maul because of reasons.
- Power Sword: S+1, AP-3, D1. Best against targets that rely on armour saves over toughness to shrug off hits. Except against frail things with good invulnerable saves like Crusaders, who ignore AP anyway.
- Powerfist: Sx2, AP-3, D2, -1 to hit rolls. Good against everything, cost-effective, and very common to find.
- Thunder Hammer: Sx2, AP-2, D3, -1 to hit rolls. A powerfist that trades 1 point of AP for an extra point of damage. The extra damage could mean the difference between one-shotting a Custodian Guard/Aggressor/Terminator or getting a guardian spear/powerfist in the face. When you have a thunder hammer/storm shield-Captain with Jump Pack, every enemy model begins to look like a nail. BUT, at typically twice the cost of a powerfist, it’s not worth ditching up to three extra special or heavy weapons just to squeeze out a few extra points of damage. Still quite viable on everything that isn’t a Character at least, so feel free to spam with Terminators or Vanguards.
- Chainfist: Sx2, AP-4, Dd3, -1 to hit rolls, becomes D3 against Vehicles. A Terminator-only weapon that’s only open to Terminator Veterans and Terminator Captains. Marginally better than a powerfist against other highly-armoured models that lack an invulnerable save, and strictly better against Vehicles. Costs the same as a powerfist, so trading the fist’s reliable damage for better AP could be worth it.
- Relic Blade: S+3, AP-3, D2. Available to Honour Guard, Vanguard Veteran Sergeants, and Captains. It has a good comparison to the powerfist; Ignoring S bonuses or wound-roll buffs, the powerfists bumps you to S8, whereas this takes you to S7. This only matters against T4, T7, and T8 targets, as you go from wounding on a 2+/3+/4+ respectively to a 3+/4+/5+. But it’s also more accurate than a power fist, so if you have a way to get +1 S it’s all-around better.
- Boltgun: You know what a bolter is, but if you somehow forgot it’s 24″, rapid fire 1, S4, AP0, D1.
- Combi-Weapon: A boltgun taped to a special weapon (plasma, flamer, melta, grav). Check below for the special weapon profiles. You can fire one of the weapons at full BS, or both with a -1 to hit rolls. Note that combi-flamers don’t care for no BS.
- Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter: A boltgun taped to another boltgun. Cheap as chips rapid fire 2 boltgun, typically seen on Bikers and Terminators, also available as upgrades on most of your vehicles. Their abundance, the majority of bearers ability to go fast (Bikers) or Deep Strike (Terminators), and Bolter Discipline means you should usually be getting four shots per turn with this weapon.
- Flamer: 12″, assault D6, S4, AP0, D1, automatically hits. 9th edition has been good to all flame weapons, boosting their range from 8″ to 12″. A classic anti-horde option, at least it’s cheap.
- While they DO auto-hit airborne units with Hard-To-Hit, don’t bother; they’re too tough and armoured.
- Meltagun: 12″, assault 1, S8, AP-4, Dd6, +2D if you’re within half range of the target for a potential of 8D (5.5D average). Good against anything with lots of wounds, be they Vehicles, Monsters, or even heavy Infantry. **At 12″ range supercharged plasma is better (but riskier) however, and this gun is more expensive, so you really should try and get into half range. While you can advance to close the gap, it is convenient that the unit’s other weapons are assault weapons as well.
- Grav Gun: 18″, rapid fire 1, S5, AP-3, D1, becomes D2 against targets with Sv3+ or better. Against most Vehicles, MEQ’s, and TEQ’s, this is a safer plasma weapon at the cost of less S and the same amount of pts.
- Plasma Gun: 24″, rapid fire 1, S7, AP-3, D1. Their gimmick is having a safe profile and supercharged profile, which gives them +1S and +1D at the risk of killing the bearer on a hit roll of unmodified 1. Sticking close to a Captain can mitigate this risk.
Pistol weapons are equivalent to their bigger brethren, with different ranges and weapon types. Other than that, S, AP, D, and unique rules are the same.
- Bolt Pistol: 12″ and pistol 1. One of the most common weapons in the Space Marine armoury and available on most things as either an option or as part of their wargear. Just don’t forget it exists and that you can fire it in melee.
- Heavy Bolt Pistol: 18″, pistol 1, S4, AP-1, D1. Primaris-only, as the Firstborn don’t have the wrist strength to hold them.
- Grav Pistol: 12″ and pistol 1.
- Plasma Pistol: 12″ and pistol 1.
- Heavy Bolter: 36″, heavy 3, S5, AP-1, D2. A solid choice for taking down light-medium Infantry, if one that tends to be overshadowed at times by the assault cannon and heavy flamer.
- They can quickly raise the cost of your army due to their huge availability, so be a bit cautious about spamming against armies that are not mainly 2W.
- Hellfire Shell is a unique stratagem that can be used on Infantry-carried heavy bolters; instead of shooting normally, make a single hit roll that deals d3 mortal wounds. Make the most of this with re-roll auras or Devastator Sergeant Signums.
- Heavy Flamer: 12″, heavy d6, S5, AP-1, D1, auto-hits. More effective against armoured targets than its smaller brother, but cannot be fired after advancing. Can be found on Dreadnoughts, Terminators, and Sternguard Veterans.
- Multi-Melta: A 24″ and heavy 2 meltagun, meaning you can’t run with it, but can shoot in melta range out of a deep strike, now fulfilling the role of Drop Pod threat-removal.
- Plasma Cannon: 36″, heavy d3, and blast effectively means the same shots as a plasma gun, but from 36″ away instead of 12″ and better against infantry. You need to be careful when you supercharge, due to the sheer cost of this weapon.
- Grav-Cannon: 30″ range and heavy 4 grav-gun. Akin to a heavier heavy bolter to deal with bigger targets.
- A unit with grav-cannons will become a serious target for your opponent, so consider sticking them in a Transport of any flavour so they can’t be Basilisk’ed off the table turn 1.
- Lascannon: 48″, heavy 1, S9, AP-3, Dd6. Your primary long-range anti-vehicle weapon, and is as common as the heavy bolter.
- Missile Launcher: Can fire either frag missiles (48″ and heavy d6 bolter shots with blast), or a krak missile with (48″, heavy 1, S8, AP-2, Dd6). Not quite as good as an assault cannon, heavy bolter, or lascannon in regards to dealing with Infantry and Monsters/Vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles.
- Similar to heavy bolters, this weapon has a unique stratagem. Flakk Missile deals d3 MW’s as well, but only against Aircraft targets.
- Hunter-Killer Missile: A single-use 72″, heavy 1, S10, AP-2, Dd6 missile for 5pts, just in case you didn’t have enough anti-tank. The vast majority of your ground-based non-Dreadnought Vehicles can have one. Ironclad Dreadnoughts can take two, and Leviathans can have three.
- Assault Cannon: 24″, heavy 6, S6, AP-1, D1. Haha minigun go brrrt. Not hard to find, available as a Terminator heavy weapon and Dreadnought option. Twin-linked variety is on Razorbacks, Land Speeders, Land Raiders, and most Aircraft.
- Onslaught Gatling Cannon: 24″, heavy 8, S5, AP-1, D1. Found on multiple Primaris armoured platforms as a secondary weapon, and puts the hurt on infantry.
- Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon: 30″, heavy 12, S6, AP-1, D1. Mounted on Redemptor Dreadnoughts, Repulsors, and Gladiators, the bigger brother of the onslaught cannon that does everything better.
- Ironhail Heavy Stubber: 36″, heavy 4, S4, AP-1, D1. A weird GW trend of putting stubbers on the hover tanks, but better than a storm bolter or the Imperial Guard heavy stubber.
- Icarus Ironhail Heavy Stubber: As above with +1 to hit Aircraft. Realistically too weak to actually deal damage to Aircraft however.
- Fragstorm Grenade Launcher: 18″, assault d6, S4, AP0, D1, blast. Boltstorm Aggressors come with one, the Redemptor Dreadnought can swap their two storm bolters for two of these, and they can also be found on most of the Primaris tanks (the repulsor can have a whopping five).
- Krakstorm Grenade Launcher Not as fun as it sounds. Shoots a single S6 AP-1 Damage Dd3 shot. Found on Primaris type vehicles.
If your Warlord is a Space Marine Character, you can give one Character a Relic, absolutely free. Weapon Relics can only be taken by a unit that can take the weapon it’s based on and you have to pay for the base weapon (e.g. a Terminator Captain does not have access to a chainsword and thus cannot take the Teeth of Terra). The Relic of the Chapter Stratagem can be used for extra relics, number depending on the size of the game.
Named Characters and vehicles cannot be given a Relic. But only That Guy would try to force a Chaplain Dreadnought into the Armour Indomitus or something like that.
- Armor of Russ: Bearer gains a 2+ armour save, 4+ invulnerable save, and one enemy unit within engagement range of the wearer unable to fight until all other Space Wolves unit in the Fight Phase.
- No restrictions on who can take it, so give it to a Primaris or a Battle Leader since they don’t normally have a way of improving or even gaining an invulnerable save.
- The Wulfen Stone: Friendly Space Wolves Core units within 6″ of the bearer reroll changes and once per battle, as a Space Wolves unit gains Savage Fury and triggers it on a 5+.
- Fireheart: Replaces a plasma pistol. R18″, S9, AP-4, D3, no overheating.
- Black Death: Replaces a power axe or master-crafted power axe. S+2, AP-2, D1, Bearer gains +d6A.
- Makes your character a decent GEQ blender. If you’re giving this to anyone, make sure they’re on a Thunderwolf; the pups additional teeth and claw attacks mean they’ll want to have similar targets. Generally worse than the Teeth of Terra, unless you’re facing targets with -1D or really have your heart set on using a Relic to kill bolter fodder.
- Mountain-Breaker Helm: After the bearer finishes attacking but before consolidating, you can roll a d6 on an enemy within 3″. You deal d3 MWs on a 2+.
- The Storm’s Eye: Librarian only. After using your first Tempest power in a Psychic Phase, roll a d6 for every enemy unit within 12″. They take a mortal wound on a 4+.
- A lovely way of dishing out the MW, RAW this also smacks Characters without the usual -1 modifier most similar powers have. Terminator Librarian with storm shield from Legends is best for this for the Deep Striking to get within range and have the survivability once you get there.
- The Pelt of Balewolf: -1 to hit and wound rolls by enemy melee weapons.
- Adamantine Mantle: When this model loses a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+, the wound isn’t lost. Not that great in an army with access to so many rolls to negate wounds.
- Artificer Armour: Gives a model a 2+ armour save and a 5++ invulnerable save.
- Master-Crafted Weapon: Give a weapon +1D. Good on a thunder hammer for D4 or on weapons with variable damage (force weapons and chainfists) to guarantuee at least 2D.
- Digital Weapons: When you fight, you make one extra attack that scores a mortal wound if it hits. Not terrible, but your Characters are pretty much renown for how hard they punch stuff. It’s better to invest relics in durability or supporting other troops.
- Morkai’s Teeth Bolts: Markerlight, Space Wolf edition. One bearers bolt weapon can make one hit roll and any unit attacking that target re-rolls wound rolls of 1.
- RAW ANY unit gains this buff, not just Space Wolves. Expect this to be FAQ’d.
- Put it on an Eliminator Sergeant with an Instigator Bolt Carbine, letting your characters be built into melee monsters while still having it on a BS 2+ model
- Wolf Tail Talisman: Bearer ignores MW on a 4+ during the Psychic Phase.
- Frost Weapon: Replace all the Frost weapon options. Can give a lighting claw (single or pair), power axe, master-crafted power axe, power sword, or master-crafted power sword +1S and +1D and treat it as a Chapter Relic.
- Lightning claws: Sticking it on these bumps you up to the ever useful S5, so you wound MEQ’s on a 3+ and insta-kill them on account of being D2.
- Power sword: Now this bumps you to S6, thus wounding T3 models on a 2+. Still not as good as frost lightning claws, but this is often your only choice for Primaris characters, who can stack in with the in-built master-crafted bonus to get to D3, making it very good against Custodes, Terminators, and Gravis-armoured units.
- Power axe: Eh, take a something else. S+3 resulting in S7 is an awkward value. Against T5 and below (i.e. most models), you wound on a 2+/3+ but the frost sword gets AP-3. Against T7 and T8 models, you wound on a 4+/5+ but the powerfist wounds on 3+/4+ and doesn’t eat a relic slot.
- Runic Weapon: Librarian only. Gives +1 to Deny the Witch rolls and a force weapon gains +1S and is considered a Chapter Relic.
- Similar to the frost weapon explanations above with regards to strength values, you’ll get a lot of use on force swords getting bumped to S6, but force staves do go to S8 for a diet thunder hammer.
Many units are taken directly out of Space Marines (9E). This page will focus on the small Wargear or Keyword differences that may appear, or if there’s a relevant build that can be pointed out. Otherwise you have access to the entirety of the Space Marine Codex.
- Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf: The melee version of a Biker Captain. While slower at M10″, they can advance and charge in the same turn. The doggy adds 3A at S+1, AP-2, D1.
- Note that if your primary desire is combining mobility with number of attacks, Harald Deathwolf does this better, not least due to having Outflank.
- As this model has the Captain keyword, they can become a Chapter Master and take a storm shield and the Angel Artifice relic (Sv2+, +1T, 4+ invulnerable). Your statline becomes WS2+, BS2+, S4, T6, W8, A4, Ld9, Sv1+/4++. Adding the Imperium’s Sword (+1A and +1S on the charge) or Iron Resolve (+1W) Warlord Traits truly turns you into the Space Wolf Smash Fucker.
- Wolf Guard Battle Leader in Terminator Armour: Finally, a Lieutenant in Terminator Armour,
shame it’s exclusive to the Wolvesthe Lion would like a word. 85pts compared to the power armoured 70pts. Gains a 5+ invulnerable, a storm bolter, and a power sword as default wargear.
- Wolf Guard Battle Leader on Thunderwolf: Lieutenant riding a Wolf. Has all the benefits as the Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf above.
- Librarian/Rune Priest: Mobile cover is still useful, and with the Cloaked By the Storm Stratagem he can buff allies even without Storm Caller.
- Terminator: Can still take Storm Shields through Legends, giving them the staying power to keep up with Arjac and Logan Grimnar. That being said, why aren’t you taking Njall?
- Biker (Legends): Allows them to keep up with Thunderwolf units for buffs, while being more survivable and carrying more dakka than the Jump Pack Librarian.
- Chaplain/Wolf Priest: Your Chaplain that also gets a stratagem that lets him heal like an apothecary. He makes you deadlier with the slew of different litanies he can attempt to invoke and braver (friendly Space Wolves within 6″ use his Ld9), but can also heal wounded models. Makes a natural companion to Wolf Guard Battle Leaders, as their buffs are complementary, and the priest can keep the Wolf Guard alive. Remember to keep in mind that he can’t return slain models back to a unit, unlike our apothecary brethren. Can’t swap his gun for a power fist, unlike the codex version, instead of letting you take a power fist outright, which allows him to keep his pistol.
- Primaris Biker: Benefits from not being in Legends, +1W, and better guns. Lets them keep up effectively with Thunderwolf units.
- Dreadnought (FW Legends): Shares Bjorn’s awesomesauce “ability” of being a 5++, 6+++ dread that can’t be shot at (apart from snipers). Mentioned here as a gentle reminder that you really have the most Dreadnought options from any army.
- Techmarine/Iron Priest: Your Iron Priests have become generic Techmarines. Vehicles may be tougher this edition, but their performance diminishes with wounds, and this guy repairs them for 1d3 Wounds a turn, no roll required! Also in the 2020 codex, Techmarines can now give a vehicle +1 to hit during the command phase (hitting on 2+). Non-Primaris Techmarines that do NOT have a servo-harness can swap their axe and bolt pistol for a 9th edition helfrost pistol that has two fire modes (12″, pistol d3, S4, AP-2, D1, blast or 12″, pistol 1, S6, AP-4, D3) and 9th edition tempest hammer (thunder hammer with AP-3).
- Techmarine on Thunderwolf (Legends): One of two units that can have the 8th edition Iron Priest weapons; helfrost pistol (12″, pistol 1, S8, AP-4, Dd3, models that aren’t killed by this suffer a mortal wound on a 6) and tempest hammer (thunder hammer with the same special rule as the helfrost pistol).
- Techmarine on Bike (Legends): The best Iron Priest to babysit your multitude of Dreadnoughts. The other unit that can have a helfrost pistol (12″, pistol 1, S8, AP-4, Dd3, models that aren’t killed by this suffer a mortal wound on a 6) and tempest hammer (thunder hammer with the same special rule as the helfrost pistol).
- It would be up to you to decide if the two units above can use the weapon profiles featured in the 9th edition expansion or the 8th edition Legends. Arguments for 9th edition profiles would be that this is the most recent datasheet, and arguments for 8th edition would be those are the weapons on the profile and thus RAW.
- Logan Grimnar: Everybody’s favourite Santa returns once more to the HQ slot but he’s no less a killing machine than before. He comes equipped with Terminator armour, a 4++ invulnerable, a storm bolter and a big ol’ axe, and is a venerable mountain of wounds, attacks and MANLINESS. He gained the Chapter Master keyword and ability (one Space Wolf Core unit within 6″ re-rolls all failed hit rolls). He always counts as having completed his Warlord Trait, so his Chapter Master and Captain abilities are extended to 9″, and Space Wolf units within 6″ automatically pass morale tests. The Axe of Morkai now functions as either a thunder hammer without the hit penalty or a S+2, AP-3, D1, make-two-hit-rolls-for-each-attack GEQ blender. All for a neat 155pts.
- Logan Grimnar on Stormrider: For a mere 25pts extra, he can take his sled. Bumping his stats to T6, W14, and M10″/7″/4″. He also gains 6A with the Thunderwolves teeth and claws (S+1, AP-2, D1), because fuck GEQs. He can also advance and charge like other Thunderwolves. Beware though; he swaps Infantry for Chariot, so some rules, abilities, or stratagems may not apply to him.
- Jolly Old Saint Logan can be a fairly cheap murder machine that fills out any list. Conferring a re-rolls to-hit aura to your Thunderwolves or Predator gunline, he is one of the few characters you want riding in front of your army. He soaks a decent amount of firepower with a 4++ invulnerable on 14 wounds and has a MANLY fight phase. He requires good Dakka to bring down and protects the rest of your list for at least a turn from most of the enemy’s multi-wound shots. Great as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX and provides good aura buffs to boot.
- Arjac Rockfist: “
MjolnirFoehammer to me!”*cough* The Anvil of Fenris is your Wolf Guard Battle Leader in Terminator Armour. His standard Lt. aura is mostly a secondary role; his primary one is flattening enemy Characters and Monsters. S5 and A4 puts him on top of other WGBL’s, in conjunction with his buffed thunder hammer which he can YEET at an enemy unit. R12″, assault 1, S10, AP-3, D3, gains +1D against Character or Monsters, with the melee profile being that same S, AP, D, and rules, but also does NOT inflict a -1 hit penalty. His Champion of the Kingsguard rule lets him re-roll failed hit rolls in melee against Characters as well. WS2+, re-rolls hit rolls against Characters, and gains +1 to hit rolls from his Chapter Tactics mean you should really always be making four hits against Characters. He’s also the only Marine so far to have kept an 8th edition storm shield, meaning he also has a 3++ invulnerable save.
- He’s 120pts compared to a Battle Leader Hammernator’s 105pts. For those 15pts, you gain a powerful weapon that outshines most relics, +1S, +1A, a 3++ invulnerable save, and an excellent character smasher. The only reason you’d take a generic Battle Leader is for relics or a Warlord Trait of your choice instead of Arjacs fixed Warlord Trait.
- An absolute auto-include if you’re running an army with Terminators.
- Njal Stormcaller: Sticking the Tempest that Walks inside a suit of Runic Terminator Armour is a no brainer. At 140 pts he’s got an extra wound, 5++ and the ability to deep strike. Along with his improved stat line Njal knows 3 Tempestas powers along with Smite so he can pick and choose which 2 he wants to cast with +1 on he psychic tests. He can also deny 2 enemy powers per turn with a re-roll on all of the attempts, combined with his psychic hood this gives you a damn good chance of denying an opponents powers which really matters with all the Smite spam out there this edition. Nightwing is still underwhelming but Assault 3 strength 3 shots are better than nothing. Play aggressively and drop him with another deep striking unit so he can support them, throw out Powers and shut down enemy casters.
- Bjorn the Fell Handed: Now that Bray’arth got taken out back and shot in the kneecaps by FW, Bjorn is roughly tied for toughest non-Leviathan Dreadnought now. T8, W8, Sv3+, 5+++ ignore wounds rolls, and Character makes him very hard to kill. He’s kept his Captain re-roll 1’s to hit aura and gained Duty Eternal from the Codex, meaning any damage he does suffer is reduced by 1. In melee, he packs five S12, AP-4, Dd6, re-rolling failed wound rolls. For shooting, he comes standard with a heavy flamer and assault cannon, which can be switched for a heavy plasma cannon, multi-melta, twin lascannon, or helfrost cannon. At M6″, he has a fairly nippy power-waddle as well, and he’s only 175pts with the assault cannon.
- He’s an excellent addition to gunline armies compared to a regular Captain. The same aura, better shooting, tougher, and a better deterrent against enemies who get too close.
- Harald Deathwolf: This guy, right here. Exceedingly tough at T5, W7, 3+ armour, storm shield provides +1 to armour saves and a 4++ invulnerable, and his Mantle of the Troll King lowers any damage received by 1 (suck it, Dreadnoughts). He can deploy 9″ from enemies and within 6″ of the board edge through outflank to threaten a charge. His frost axe has undergone yet another change, coming out at S+2, AP-2, D2, wound rolls of UM6 inflict an additional MW.
- For 1CP, one Space Wolf Infantry unit gains outflank (cough, Wulfen, cough). It’s a bit shitty that this can’t be done to another Cavalry unit, but Canis, A Rune Priest on Bike or with Jump Pack, and a Thunderwolf unit should be able to safely get upfield where this guy can safely pop out to join in on the fun.
- Canis Wolfborn: Dog Dogborn has returned as a Thunderwolf Battle Leader with Frost lightning claws (S+1, AP-2, D2, re-roll failed wound rolls). He also fights first against Characters, and his unique aura boosts him to a borderline auto-take if you have a Thunderwolf Deathstar, as he grants +1A with Thunderwolf and Fenrisian Wolf teeth and claws. That being said, he’s a glass cannon at T5, W6, Sv3+, and no invulnerable save.
- Similar to Arjac, it’s possible to outfit a WGBL on Thunderwolf with similar equipment. Again, the only reason you’d take a generic version is for relics or Warlord Traits, and again, the difference is 15pts. You gain +2A (WGBL has 3 base, +1 from two lightning claws), +1S and +1D from Canis’ claws, his anti-character rule, and his wolf aura.
- Krom Dragongaze: A fairly inexpensive but fluffy alternative to a regular footslogging Wolf Lord/Captain. At 90 pts he boasts an extra attack, his Wyrmclaw is a +3 strength, AP-2 D2, and he reduces enemy units’ combat attrition tests within 3″ by 1. Awesome model, and offers something different from the usual Wolf theme. Cheaper than similarly equipped Wolf Lord, making him the budget choice.
- Ragnar Blackmane: Got Primarised in the last edition. As expected he gets the extra wound and attacks (he is A7) that all Primaris have, but more conspicuously he replaces Shock Assault with his old Berserker Rage, giving him 3 attacks when Shock Assault would trigger instead of one. Additionally, he lets nearby Space Wolves within 6″ make a consolidation move of 6″ instead of the usual 3″. And he has a re-roll charge aura for friendly SW non-vehicles within 6”. Get this guy in an Impulsor with either Incursors, Reivers or Veteran Intercessors (Give the Sarge something tasty) and then RIP AND TEAR, UNTIL IT IS DONE! Put short, this guy is a beast, but you’ll probably want an Impulsor to get him where he wants to go, along with some Bladeguard Veterans.
- Ragnar Blackmane (Legends): His non-Primaris form comes in at 100 points, which is starting to hit the pricey side for a footslogging Lord. He’s got an extra attack but has lost his Furious/Berserk charge bonuses of previous editions so isn’t quite the whirlwind of charging death he used to be. His War Howl now grants all units within 6″ re-rolls to failed charge rolls, Insane Bravado doubles his heroic intervention range and his Frost Sword hits at S5 AP-4 D2, chewing through anything without a decent Invulnerable save. If you’re using a number of deep striking units Ragnar’s a decent bet to support them in a pod, allowing anyone around him a better chance of hitting that first turn charge with his re-rolls. More expensive than a Smash Lord, and re-rolling charges is something Wulfen give.
- Ulrik the Slayer: Ulrik’s a named Master of Sanctity with +1 to BS, W, and A, 9″ to his Leadership-boosting ability, and the Slayer’s Oath, which greatly improves his support ability provided he’s managed to kill a Character or Monster (which isn’t terribly likely, especially with his low mobility). Slayers oath now allows all Litanies cast to auto-cast instead of wounding bonuses, so he is more a buffer instead of a beater. Also has an AP-2 Crozius, for an almost relic blade.
- Even though he is footslogging, he has options to get where he is needed, and can seriously buff other units when he gets there. He is currently 30pts above a regular wolf priest.
- Grey Hunters: CORE. Tactical Marines, Space Wolf flavour. However, these guys are geared mostly towards assault. Each and every one can take a chainsword for 1pt each, and 5pts gets them a Wolf Banner, which lets them re-roll 1’s when advancing and charging. They lack the ability to take heavy weapons, instead being able to take one special weapon per five Grey Hunters. Unlike regular Tacticals, your Sergeant is Ld7, and you have to pay extra for the Wolf Guard Pack Leader in either power armour or terminator armour to get Ld8. The Grey Hunter Pack Leader can replace their chainsword with a power axe, sword, or fist, and the WGPL can replace their weapons with any melee weapon, combi-weapon, or storm shield.
- One of the more popular and effective ways of running these guys is a 6-man unit that includes a Wolf Guard Pack Leader with a Combi-Plasma, a marine with a Plasma Pistol, and a marine with a Plasma Gun. That’s 5 Plasma shots and 6 Bolter shots on a 128 pt troops choice. Stick them in a Razorback (Assault Cannons are fun). This setup allows Grey Hunters to reliably hunt MEQs, TEQs, charge weak models with Chainswords, and sit on objectives, making them one of the most versatile troop choices in the game.
- Due to the changes to Blood Claws and the introduction of Assault Intercessors along with Phobos units, the above strategy may be the most reasonable. Like other Tactical Marines, the only pressing use of Grey Hunters is access to assault weapons (they don’t even get heavy weapons). Everybody else is either tougher, faster/sneakier, or more deadly on the charge.
- Blood Claws: CORE. Instead of starting as scouts, Space Wolves start you off as Diet Assault marines. 1A base + 1A from Shock Assault + 1A from Berserk Charge + 1A from chainswords makes them brutal on the charge. they also have a rule where they must charge if they are able. This isn’t an issue most of the time, as that’s where they want to be. However lets’ say the closest unit is somehow a Leman Russ at 11″. You’re forced to charge it and if it’s successful, you end up being stuck in combat where you’ll probably dink off a few wounds by sheer numbers. If your opponent doesn’t fall-back, you have to either spend another turn in combat with half the number of attacks (you haven’t charged, thus you don’t benefit from SA or BC), or you must fall-back and be unable to charge.
- Remember, the whole unit is a Blood Claws unit, so buffs like Lukas or Wulfen resolve against the Wolf Guard model, too.
- You can stuff three 5 man squads with a power-armoured Character into a Land Raider Crusader. Solves troops requirements for battalions, takes up 1 model for deployment rather than 5, and altogether serves as a top-notch horde/chaff removal tool allowing other units to move about more freely. Excellent place to make use of a stalker pack if you have the CP.
- Functionally, these guys are very similar to Assault Intercessors, being 1 point cheaper per model but without heavy bolt pistols and the need for HQ support, yet they can access a much more diverse selection of transports and can take better Wolf Guard options/buffing opportunities. Both units dish out 4 attacks on the charge with Astartes Chainswords, at WS 3+, with 2 wounds.
- Do you like Orks? These guys allow you to play Space Marines as if they were Orks. 16 Blood Claws will provide you 32 power armoured wounds on a single unit, making it difficult for your opponent to claim objective markers and unit killing objectives. Additionally at that size, even if a lot of the pack dies, a bunch will reach melee and make anybody suffer. Take three units of these for way too much wound saturation for your enemy to be able to effectively counter you.
- Something to note is that you only have to declare a charge against the closest enemy unit. You do not have to charge them if there is another enemy unit within charging distance.
- Wolf Scouts/Scout Squad: Not a unit by themselves anymore. You’re a Scout Squad with two Space Wolf-exclusive options; one Scouts boltgun can be swapped for a special weapon instead of a heavy bolter or missile launcher and one Scouts boltgun and bolt pistol can be replace for a bolt pistol and power sword, bolt pistol and power axe, or boltgun and plasma pistol. Not too expensive to Outflank and spray five plasma shots against a target though.
- Hounds of Morkai: For whatever reason, the furries now get a special Reiver squad made to kill Psykers (hardly surprising given the beef against the Thousand Sons and Grey Knights). These guys have a fixed load-out of grapnels, pistols, and combat knives, so no Deep Striking. Either cram them in a Transport or Outflank them with grapnels. They can always target Psykers with shooting, even if they’re Characters, and they gain +1 to hit rolls and +1D against them too. In terms of defence, this unit has a 4+ save against MW’s caused in the Psychic Phase, and casters within 18″ suffer -1 to Psychic Tests, rising to -2 if they’re within 6″. With that said, they’ve lost Terror Troops and Shock Grenades.
- The psychic suppression allows a broken combo; rule of three lets you take up to three units of Hounds. -1 to cast at 18″ of THE unit, not a unit and -2 at under 6″ stacks a written. What else stacks? Sisters of Silence who also have a 18″ -1 modifier to cast or deny that stacks to a maximum of -4. The Culexus causes a further -2. Inquisitor Karamazov has the Supreme Will rule for -1 within 12″. There is also the Galthamor relic which also gives a 18″ bubble of -1. Assuming they stack, that’s a theoretical -4 for the sisters, -2 for the Culexus Culexus, up to -6 for Hounds at short range, -1 for Karamazov and a further -1 and mortal wounds for the relic. That’s an insane potential -14 to cast or a lot table coverage at a lower penalty in a otherwise impractical army. Grey Knights, Thousand Sons and Magnus would be unable to cast against that and it would make Abhor the Witch a near foregone conclusion. Await a FAQ to disallow this, although it’ll fit the some of the fluff of nullifying the Thousand Sons during the burning of Prospero.
- Lone Wolf (Legends): He’s now more expensive than a Primaris Lieutenant, with a worse statline and zero buffing ability. He DOES have better wargear, and rerolls 1s against monsters and characters, but is awkward to transport, expensive when geared up, and he takes up one of the most crowded parts of your FoC. In the past, his utility was found in being cheap enough to be disposable while still being a credible threat to lone characters and monsters, and now with 3 attacks at 75+ points, he’s neither. Hard skip. His one redeeming factor could be his one chucklesome ability to ignore the loss of his last wound, rolled per hit, which makes him acceptably good at tying up high damage, low attack volume models.
- Lone Wolf in Terminator Armour (Legends): He’s less terrible than his PA equivalent, but now costs more than a Wolf Lord. Teleport this bad boy next to the enemy and hope he gets his charge off. If not, your opponent will have to dump a fair bit of firepower into bringing him down, and as a character, that’s only if he’s the closest unit to them.
- Wulfen: One of the best melee units from 8th, the Pack Leader can now swap out their weapons to match their companions. They cannot perform actions, so don’t expect them to help with VP in that way. S5, T5, W2, and a 4+ makes them a little survivable, but not much. Not too much of an issue once they’ve gotten stuck in with melee as they always make an attack before being removed from the field. This unit always counts as being in the Assault Doctrine (thus always benefitting from the extra AP on melee weapons as well as the exploding 6’s with melee attacks if you have an all-Space Wolf army) and as always having charged for Shock Assault. Finally, Space Wolf Infantry, Biker, and Cavalry units within 6″ and Blood Claw units within 1″ always re-roll failed charge rolls. So, 3A base + 1A from always having counted as charged. How are you using those attacks? Wolfen claws only give them AP-1, but frost claws are S+1, AP-2, D1, give +1A and re-roll failed wound rolls, and they only cost 5pts each. So unless you’re lobotomised, the frost claws are effectively the basic weapon. They can be swapped for the MEQ-mulching great frost axe (S+3, AP-3, D2), but we both know you’re here for the thunder hammer and storm shield combo. It does get expensive quickly however, pushing them to 41pts per model. That being said, it is always worth having at least two in your squad, as you’re only sv4+ but become Sv3+/4++ with the inclusion of the shields.
- Dreadnought: Core. Same as the one mentioned in Codex: Space Marines, but you get the option to swap the powerfist (Sx2, AP-3, D3) for a great wolf claw (S+4, AP-2, D3, re-rolling failed wounds).
- Venerable Dreadnought: Core. Again gaining the option to replace a powerfist with a great wolf claw, they also can swap all their assault cannon and powerfist for a Fenrisian great axe and blizzard shield. The blizzard shield provides a tasty 4++ invulnerable save, but the Fenrisian great axe is for when you really want to clear out those swarming ‘Gaunts and then slice a Carnifex in half the next turn. Scythe mode is SU, AP-3, D1, but you get two hit rolls for each A. Cleave mode is S+4, AP-3, Dd3+3, but you suffer -1 to hit rolls.
- Wulfen Dreadnought: The Furioso Dreadnoughts aren’t the only melee specialist dreads now. Only has a single storm bolter or heavy flamer as standard, but its paired axe and wolf claw make it a death machine in melee and it can re-roll failed charges. Going for single-wound infantry? Flamer and axe, since he gets to swing eight times with it. Going for anything else? Flamer and claw, since you re-roll failed wound rolls and always deal 3 damage in melee. Be careful about which armies you pit him against.
- If you take the claw and shield combination, you actually end up with two storm bolters, any of which can be swapped for a heavy flamer. If you decide on the storm bolters, remember he’s only BS5+.
Many units from Codex Space Marines gain Wolf Guard. This is important for certain rules and stratagems that only affect Wolf Guard. They’re listed below;
- Company Champion.
- Ancients of all flavours.
- Company Veterans.
- Intercessor Veterans.
- Bladeguard Veterans.
- Terminator Veterans.
- Terminator Assault Veterans.
- Relic Terminator Veterans.
- Wolf Guard: The Space Wolf equivalent of the various types of Veterans, Wolf Guard lack any sort of bodyguard ability or special weapons. Instead, you have your pick from combi-weapons, melee weapons, plasma pistols, and storm shields (the only caveat is they can only have one combi-weapon each). They also have the option of taking jump packs for 2pts per model.
- Wolf Guard Terminators: Similar to their power-armoured little brothers, Wolf Guard Terminators can mix-and-match close combat and ranged loadouts, and can equip each Terminator with combi-weapons (much like Chaos Terminators). Mixing and matching mean you can protect your assault cannon Wolf Guard with a few storm shield-wearing Wolf Guard.
- One alternate way to look at the Terminator Wolf guard is as an exceedingly tough dakka squad; equip each one with a storm shield and combi-weapon, and you’ve got a 1+/4++, 3W deep striking unit with exceptional ranged output.
- As for melee, mix and match to your hearts content. Lightning claws, hammernators, sword and board, you name it.
- Wolf Guard on Bikes (Legends): One option that fills a similar role to Thunderwolves in a fast moving shock unit, but a bit more geared towards shooting than stabbing. Each model can take a combi weapon and any combination of melee weapons, shield, or bolt/plasma pistol.
- Like the Wolf Guard Terminators, this can become yet another tough dakka squad. Two storm bolters and a couple storm shields mixed with melee weapons makes for a lot of shots with each model pumping out eight bolter shots at 24″. A couple storm shields bump the squad to 2+/4++ and melee weapons help in case they get caught in an enemy charge.
- Lukas the Trickster: WS2+, W5, A5, and a S+1, AP-2, D2, re-roll failed wound rolls melee weapon, he’s no slouch in combat. He also has a plasma pistol, so don’t overcharge it unless you want to risk becoming a cartoonish pair of smoking boots on the ground. He can also never be wounded on a roll of unmodified 1-3, so fear powerfists a little less. He also has a lite version of the old Chapter Master aura, in that Blood, Sky, and Swift Claw units within 6″ can re-roll all failed hit rolls. If he’s killed in melee, both players roll off; if you win, the enemy unit that killed him suffers d6 MW’s. Finally, the bad stuff, he can never have a Warlord Trait and ALL Space Wolf units within 6″ suffer -1Ld.
- Lukas saw a deep discount going into 9th, dropping from 110pts to 80pts.
- You may think cramming Lukas and three five-man Blood Claw Packs into a Crusader is a good way to go. You wouldn’t be wrong per se, but they will easily be one of the most cowardly Marine units at Ld6.
- MURDERFANG: What Bjorn is to Venerable Dreadnoughts, this guy is to Wulfen Dreadnoughts. As a Character with fewer than 10 wounds, Murderfang can only be targeted with ranged weapons if he’s the closest enemy. With a decent screen of infantry and good use of his Murderlust ability, getting him into close combat unharmed is almost too easy. His weapons are the Murderclaws (Sx2, AP-3, D3, re-roll failed wound rolls), a storm bolter, and heavy flamer. Ignore the bolter, you’re BS5+. As a Wulfen, he cannot be your Warlord or perform an action. However he gains a the Duty Eternal ability and +3A from Shock Assault instead of +1, so he’s swinging his claws eight times if he charges.
- Razorback: Good for carting a Grey Hunter + Wolf Guard Pack Leader as a makeshift special weapon squad that has some teeth with melee.
- Dreadnought Drop Pod (FW): C’mon, you know you want to see what happens when you Deep Strike Murderfang into the enemy army.
- Termite Assault Drill (FW): Everything that it does for regular Space Marines, it does better for Space Wolves due to their desire to be stabbin’.
- Impulsor: With Ragnar now being a Primarine, stuffing him and Assault Intercessors or Bladeguard Veterans inside one is a respectable choice.
- Stormwolf: The Stormwolf is the Space Wolves equivalent of a Stormraven Gunship, only it’s a bit more expensive, holds 16 models and no dreadnoughts, and has better guns. The flying refrigerator (wolf snout?) looks a bit doofy, but don’t be fooled: this thing rocks. With the default lascannons/helfrost/heavy bolter loadout, the Stormwolf can handle a variety of threats with ease, and you have the option of dropping the heavy bolters for skyhammer missiles to deal with flyers or two twin multi meltas to kill the bigger stuff (although this option will cost you a whole lot of points). With it’s Flyer mobility you can feel a lot more comfortable sinking points into it though as it can essentially deliver 2 Long Fang squads worth of Heavy Weapons exactly where you want on turn 1. Build your heavy support around this beast and equip it to your needs. The Stormwolf works fairly well on its own, and it might even be preferable to not put infantry inside because it’s already going to be a massive target on the table, but the option is there should you want to stuff a bunch of Blood Claws or Terminators inside.
- Stormfang Gunship: The Stormfang is extremely similar to the Stormwolf and fills pretty much the same role but with a few minor differences. The Stormfang sacrifices most of its transport capacity for a bigger version of the Helfrost Cannon, which lets it shoot once more on Focused mode and D3 more times on Dispersed mode. Dispersed mode is also D 2, unlike regular Helfrost Cannons which gives it huge wound potential against heavier infantry. Additionally, it comes with two Stormstrike missile launchers base, but it can upgrade to two lascannons instead, which you should always do so you can wound basically every vehicle in the game on a 3+. Otherwise, it’s the exact same as the Stormwolf but a measly 2-10 pts more expensive depending on whether or not you took the lascannons. If you weren’t planning on stuffing infantry inside then it might be worth the upgrade if you have the spare points, the extra hits can be very valuable.
- Fenrisian Wolves: Fast and do some damage now that they fight at AP-1, but still die to a stiff breeze (T4, W1, Sv6+). Very cheap FA chaff, they gain more leadership the more wolves you have in a unit, but it’s still pretty crappy. If you want them to get into combat and do some damage you’ll need a Wolf Priest to shepherd them, otherwise, leave them as fodder.
- These guys are basically our only good screening option if you don’t want to ally with another Imperium faction. A unit of 10 or 15 dogs is cheap and makes for a fairly decent screen to help us against smiting and mortal wound spam. Consider taking them if you have a hole to fill in your list. These guys have AWFUL leadership though, and you are very likely to lose just as many models to moral as you are to shooting, which is not what you want from a screen. Don’t expect these to be as effective as a Conscript conga.
- Bike Squad: CORE. Almost standard Space Marine Bikers. 30pts for a M14″, T5, W3 model, with a storm bolter and chainsword (because as Space Wolves, you’re going to swap the bolt pistol for a chainsword). The Sergeant can have a combi-weapon, melee weapon, or pistol weapon instead of the chainsword, and 0-2 Bikers can swap their chainsword for a special weapon or the Space Wolf-exclusive plasma pistol. This gives you the flexibility to be a very fast and tough special weapon unit. Their unit size is a fairly chunky 3-15 models, making them one of the bigger units available to Marines. Page 45 of the Space Wolf Codex has given them the iconic Blood Claw abilities of Headstrong (must charge the closest enemy unit unless the unit contains a wolf Guard… which isn’t an option for Swiftclaws) and Berserk Charge (+1A after charging). GW truly would’ve been better off just giving them their own unit entry in the SW Codex.
- 175pts gets you three Bikers with meltaguns and an Attack Bike with a multi-melta. This has competition with Eradicators, who are 160pts for three models with two melta rifles (24″ assault 1 meltaguns) and one multi-melta. Both are T5, W3 (W4 for the Attack Bike), and Sv3+. The Eradicators can shoot twice at one target if they haven’t advanced, giving them 4-8 attacks with a 24″ range, but the Bikers need to be within 12″ to get their maximum five attacks. Bikers are FAR faster with M14″ and a 6″ advance, can take basic Bikers for ablative wounds, and also have four bolter shots per model to provide some opportunistic D1 firepower. Both are great anti-tank options.
- As far as anti-infantry goes, 150pts gets you three Outriders or five Swiftclaws (or four Swiftclaws with special weapons). Three Outriders give you 12 AP-1 shooting attacks and 18 AP-1 melee attacks after charging (2A base, +2A for charging, +1A for chainsword, +1A for Shock Assault). In the same scenario, five Swiftclaws give you 20 AP0 shooting attacks and 20 AP-1 melee attacks (1A base, +1A for charging, +1A for chainsword, +1A for Shock Assault). Outriders are individually tougher with W4, meaning they need at LEAST two Dd3 attacks to take down, and also do not have to charge the closest enemy unit, but Swiftclaws give you more attacks.
- Skyclaws: CORE. Skyclaws are essentially Blood Claws with jump packs; but their extra attack when charging gives them an edge over other versions of Assault Marines. This means they might just be worth it, especially if babysat by a jump-pack Character.
- RAW; “Up to two Skyclaw and Skyclaw Pack Leaders’ bolt pistols can be replaced with one of the following: one plasma pistol; one weapon from the special weapons list”. It’s up to you to decide whether this grants you two or three special weapons. If it grants you three, these guys quickly rise to one of the best kamikaze units in the Astartes range once you add in a combi-weapon Wolf Guard.
- Thunderwolf Cavalry: CORE. Remained somewhat the same from 8th but now with 4W per model wich is nice. But losing wolf claws is a smidge of a kick in the teeth. The teeth and claws give three extra S5, AP-2, D1 attacks per model, a slight increase from AP-1 last edition. Shove storm shields on them to bump them up to an amazing standard of survivability. Their Swift Hunters rule allows them to charge after advancing, giving them a 13″ – 28″ threat range, and the Wolf Guard Keyword gives you access to some WG-only stratagems and Character Auras.
- By themselves, these guys are pretty good, but they do need to be combo’d to becomes the murder machines of 7th. Harald Deathwolf grants them Ld9, Canis Wolfborn grants them an extra attack with teeth and claws, Wulfen let them re-roll failed charge distances. Wolf Priests and Rune Priests on Bikes give them the usual benefits of those two Characters.
- You could give the Pack Leader a Frost Weapon upgrade for 1CP on two lightning claws; that would give him A6 on the charge with S5, AP-2, D2, hitting on 2’s and full re-rolls to-wound.
- Long Fangs: The Space Wolves version of Devastators, only older and wiser. 9th has boiled away their unique hunter rule, and you’re now just a Devastators all with Ld8 through the whole team and can take a Wolf Guard with or without Terminator armour as an extra weapons platform. The armourium cherub lets one model shoot twice once per game, and the signum lets one model shoot at BS2+ once per turn. The Long Fang Pack Leader can still take a special weapon in place of a boltgun though, so that’s something.
- Combine the cherub and signum. On turn 1, use the signum on a key gun (e.g. lascannon) and then use the cherub to get the extra shot. The signum will apply for the whole phase, meaning 2 powerful shots at BS2+.
- The Wolf Guard does give extra firepower and mass, being able to raise to the pinnacle of Terminator-mounted dakka; storm shield, storm bolter, cyclone missile launcher. It’s a good model to use the signum and cherub on, netting you four BS2+ frag or krak missiles in one turn. This is somewhat expensive though, with this model raising to 63pts.
Lords of War
- Wrath of Mjalnar (Open Play Only, Chapter Approved 2017): The Wolves’ unique take on the Land Raider is inexplicably power level 30 and drops the twin heavy bolters for a twin helfrost cannon (24″, heavy 2d3, S6, AP-2, D1 or 24″, heavy 2, S8, AP-4, Dd6). It’s more flexible, but with heavy bolters being bumped up to D2, it’s fallen behind the 9th edition curve. That being said; as this unit can only be taken in Open Play games, your opponent probably won’t have an issue with you using the much better twin helfrost cannon profile that can be found on the Stormwolf. Oh and this unit can transport five models, if that even matters.
Building your Army
- The UPGRADE HAMMER AND ANVIL: This build simply takes leverage on increasing the number of attacks available to your units. Built around a character (probably a Wolf Lord) with wulfenstone and saga of the wolfkin, along with Arjac Rockfist and 3 units of Wolfguard. They could be outflanked, etc, or deep strike in, if terminator variant (this is the easiest to build, because Arjac is in a termi suit). This will give them +3 attacks on the charge. 15 wolf guard with 5 attacks each (8 on the Pack Leaders) with thunder hammer and storm shields will make your opponent sit up and take notice. You can add a unit of Wulfen for the saga’s less aggressive cousin, giving you the same +1A it grants on the very rare turns where you neither charged nor were charged but are in melee; without the saga, the Wulfen also supply the +1A on turns you were charged. For bonus spice, take along a rune priest with the Armor of Russ; Always Strikes Last will usually let you delete anything you’re in melee with before it gets to swing, even if you didn’t get the charge off, and between Tempest’s Wrath and Storm Caller, you should be incredibly durable.
- Note: This can be done in a variety of combinations, too. You have about 300 points left to play with for as many dogs as you can fit in. You can have 5 units of 10-12 Fenrisian wolves, 3 thunderwolf cavalry, all with an extra attack, hammers and bites, and still have room for 4 x 5 man wolf guard units with frost axes storm shields with arjac and wolf lord all with Jet packs with 4 attacks EACH! What does the opponent shoot. The 70 wolves and cavalry running toward them using cover etc, or the turn 2 deep strike into cover of 4 units of wolf guard.
- If you swap out Saga of the Wolfkin for Saga of the Hunter, and swap Arjac for a Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a bike, along with a Wolf Lord on a bike and a Rune Priest on a bike, you’ll be able to make White Scars drool. Take along plenty of Wolf Guard on Bikes with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields; a minimum unit of them will have 16 attacks within range of the Wulfenstone, and the Saga of the Hunter (just charge with your Warlord first, to turn his trait into an aura buff) will let the entire deathstar (provided it’s within 6″ of the Warlord when it charges) charge after advancing, for 20″ of sweet, sweet melee threat. Of course, you can keep Saga of the Wolfkin – it’s harder to activate, but once it’s up, you’ve traded threat range for quantity of attacks, which is usually going to be better, once you’re in the thick of things.
- Razor Wolves: This is an old classic, and it’s now better than ever. Take a battalion with AT LEAST 4 min Grey Hunter squads and shove them all in assault cannon razorbacks. This is your core, now you can do what you want.
- You’re probably thinking that’s a lot of dakka, and you’re right! that’s why for our HQ slots we are gonna take both a Wolf Lord and a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, put them both on bikes, take storm bolters, and run them up with your Razorbacks to re-roll ALL THE ONES. This is all going to set you back around 900pts.
- -The Support- : This is your empty Stormwolf. Don’t bother using it as a transport, it’s just a gunship with some empty seats, and you don’t want to park this thing to let guys out. The most efficient way to take this is with the Skyhammer missiles, which are actually cheaper than the Heavy Bolters (We have assault cannons, we don’t need HB’s) which give us all the anti vehicle we need at a MUCH lower price than the multi-meltas. They ARE worth the points, but your opponent WILL shoot their entire army at this thing until it goes down if you take them. Don’t expect this vehicle to live to see turn 3 if you take the melta’s. With the points we saved on the flyer, we can safely take a squad of Longfangs with 4 Lascannons without feeling stripped of cash. these 2 units should be all the heavy support you need and this altogether leaves you just under 180 points for a 1500 list. Anything else you add to this list pretty much depends on what points you are playing, if it’s a 1500 point game, just upgrade your everything with plasma’s and power weapons.
- Fluffy List: If you prefer to goof around with big doggies than tanks and bolters, this is the list for you. Take an outrider detatchment, take Logan on his sled as your warlord, take 2 4-5 man units of thunderwolf cavalry and run them up opposite sides of the board with a group of 15 Fenrisian wolves each and then either ally with Astra Militarum or take a load of heavy support. You could take a spearhead for this with a wolf guard on thunderwolf to add to Logans aura buff or a rune priest on bike as your hq, and spam preds, long fangs, dakka dreadnaughts, stormwolfs etc. If you can bear with the awful models, Wulfen would add some value to this list. Not very competitive, but way more fun than it should be.
- Ally with Guard: The 8th ed codex has made Astra militarum REALLY strong, and with the ability to take just heavy supports and a HQ, you can pull off some really gross stuff as allies. Take a Cadian spearhead and 3 heavy support squads with 3 lascannons each, and a company commander as your hq to order them to reroll stuff. This is gonna give you a command point and 9 lascannons for a total of 246 points. You can pretty much put this in any list and get away with it. Feel free to take a few Basilisks or a Manticore while you are at it, or buy 50 conscripts and a commissar to hold your side of the board while all your furries run into the enemy deployment.
- Parking Lot – Wolf Edition: Same principle as the Dark Angels parking lot, but instead using Bjorn and Murderfang as your staple units, basically you take the following Characters and just hide them behind a wall of Razorbacks and Wolf Guard/Grey Hunters for high value ranged damage output and having high melee damage potential while also giving everything some great buffs: Bjorn, Murderfang, Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Rune Priest with Storm Caller, Primaris Ancient. Combine this with one or two distraction units on the flanks and target priory becomes very hard for your opponent while you are able to capitalize on a very strong ranged early game which can in theory protect your two Character Dreadnaughts long enough to get stuck into something big together and easily take down the largest of foes, even if they do go down you should hopefully be able to make very effective use of ONLY IN DEATH DOES DUTY END to take down something with you.
- Cunning of the Wolf: Chapter Approved has given us outflanking, in the form of the ‘Cunning of the Wolf’ stratagem. Grey Hunters can arrive uncomfortably close to your opponents units, pour plasma into them, and then get stuck in close combat. If you get your angles right, you may even be able to target characters. 1 or 2 squads arriving in this fashion is a decent (and fluffy) addition to most armies, but it can also be good bant to build entire lists around this stratagem. Bring 3 or 4 full plasma squads like this, along with chainswords and power/frost weapons, and watch your opponent’s back line melt. Use the rest of the points to compensate for your lack of anti-armour and tougher units – Stormwolfs/fangs, terminator squads, and jump-pack WGBLs synergizes well.
- The Air Pack: Bring 3 Stormwolf’s or Stormfang’s, a Lord w/ Jump Pack, Battle Leader w/ Jump Pack, and Rune Priest w/ Jump pack. The Rune Priest needs to know Storm Caller and you need to spend 3 CP on Cloaked by the Storm. Advance the characters so that they can keep up with the gunships for 1-2 turns. Then move the gunships out of range or put them in hover depending on the opponent. Put some Bloodclaws or Wulfen in those Gunships to help with the assault. This requires positioning, but you can have 3 gunships with re-rolling 1’s to hit and wound, with Cover and -2 to be hit. It is expensive, both in points and CP, but it is a pretty fun list, and your opponents will despair at hitting those -2 and in Cover gunships.