Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Space Wolves and Secondary Objectives

Been playing with some SW ideas. Mainly focused on alternative builds to secure the Secondary Objectives. See, for me, the Secondary's are absolutely essential.
 They can truly make the difference in games such as The Relic, Emperor's Will and even in The Scouring, where you may be subjected to funky valued objectives "lop-siding" the board..one side loaded with 3' and the 4..the other low rent objectives no one wants.
It could be critical as well in games against armies with no Heavies or no Fasts in Scouring and Big Guns.

You guys know this though so I'll stop there. My Wolves (the 1850 version) that claimed victory recently at my first 6th ed tourney have been struggling with securing the secondaries in all missions vs a wide variety of armies.

I want to create a unit/s that can always get those secondaries for me. Now, this may not actually be possible, but we can try right?

Line Breaker:
Drop Pods and Outflank..and OBEL of course are the easiest ways. But these are not always survivable. Certainly Wolf Scouts can dart in from reserve and take the Line Breaker objective, but can they secure it? No. They are too fragile. Could they survive? Perhaps, but not in the traditional role.. what about as Snipers? Come in far away from the enemy, still in or very near their deployment zone and not pose an immediate, melta-based, threat. Come in and get set up in a partially secluded/out of sight position and snipe some stuff. This way you'll not attract as much attention and perhaps survive. In the meatime, have fun sniping at Psycannons/Fists/Meltagunners/Nobz etc.

Drop Pods? Again, they get in there straight away and force action against them. In my list, I just use a 4-man Melta suicide Wolf Guard unit. They drop in and hit a high value target before forcing a response against them. Now, it doesn't take a lot to kill 4 marines, but when they arrive in cover or out of sight to some units, smoke one of the immediate threats on arrival, they WILL require some slight movement and adjustment to plans. That will do for me. Even this slight annoyance distracts from the main thrust of the opponents force and, if they had a high value target..well.. those 100 odd points are well spent on the Suicide Squad.
What about bringing in a second pod full of Grey Hunters? Could be useful. Put pressure on early and get another volley of melta into the enemy deployment zone. They don't want to hang around for that so push up field..into the mouth of the Wolf army. They are Grey Knights and they cast Warp Quake? Either take a 50/50 to stop it with the Rune Priest or just drop out of the zone, you are still going to be where Wolves want to be, which is at least midfield.

Outflank? Conferred from Saga of the Hunter in the case of typical Wolves. Bran Redmaw can do a few funky things, but to play with him, it's too many points off the board in reserve for me. Plus on foot, they have a serious mobility weakness that can be exploited. Dedicated transports get it conferred, but this doesn't help  Wolves. The Outflanking foot wolves are fun, but they definitely have speed issues.
How to get around the speed issue of outflank? The change to charging off of outflank is a biggie, so we need a unit that can really get into a good position.
We can use a Thunderwolf unit here. A Wolf Guard Battle Leader with a Thunderwolf and Saga of the Hunter (which can only be taken by a dude in Power Armour and without a Jump Pack or Bike...no mention  of Thunderwolves) ..now this bitch can outflank. I want to take advatange of a few things here. I want to keep him cheap but have an impact. How about a PAIR of plasma pistols? He hits on 2's...2 x 24" range plasma shots? Not bad at all. Nice way of stripping some hull points hitting accurate side or rear armour.
Now, this little bastard is annoying, but not a huge threat. That's kinda nice for keeping him alive, but it is still pretty easy to kill him..just as easy as the Scouts or Suicide Squad.. Now, to keep him alive, how about putting him with a unit of Thunderwolves? This makes the whole idea a lot more expensive, but also magnifies the threat a great deal.
Individually, the WGBL hits assaults with 7 attacks. 1 from Hammer of Wrath, then 6 from 4 base, 1 charge,  1 pair of weapons. But with a unit of 4 thunderwolf cavalry? These guys also have 7 attacks on the charge, 1 being from Hammer.. so we can hit HARD. The volume of attacks is nice, the strength is nice, the Rending is nice.. Plus, this is a serious threat in the backlines of the enemy. Biggest issue with this unit is the cost. How much does it detract from the effectiveness of the rest of the army? That's the critical element.

Slay the Warlord? 
This bad boy is about survival of your Warlord and death to his. Death to his Warlord can be tough if its Draigo or Lysander, even Calgar. Anyone else is not that tough, Crons and Nids can be Jaws'd, Most Marine stuff is I4 and can be Jaws'd or can be ID'd from Melta. Everything dies..it just depends how much you have to throw at it.
The real problem for me is that the same is also true for MY Warlord! A Rune Priest is an ok choice, but as he needs to be within 24" most of the time, means he can be shot down or slain in combat. Whilst a really, really good HQ choice, they are not all that survivable, even with LoS! rolls.
If I adopt this 'Bravestar' TWC Batte Leader, he could be the Warlord, staying off table, hitting hard with plasma when he comes on, choosing his battles with his speed and having a unit to drop wounds into or hide behind. Hmm...

First blood? 
With Crons, I was happy with this objective all the time, defensive castling deployment for the on board troops and AV13 with cover at extreme range is tough to get first blood on..then the Fliers come on and BOOM! I can comfortably strike out and kill a transport or single unit.
Slight issue...I'm talking about Crons there and Wolves here. Ah. So my Long Fangs are reliable at killing tranports. Sure.. but I have transports of my own. When I go second, I will lose First Blood down to a rhino.  Meh. When I go first, I get the drop pod down to melta something and I can launch a missile salvo to tank a rhino.. But that is nothing more than 50/50. How do I improve that? Deployment, cover that can help..but it doesn't really do it for me, that's not enough.

One possible list then? Ok.. 

Wolf Guard Battle Leader - TWolf, Pair Plasma Pistols, Saga of the Hunter 
4 TWC - 1 Plasma pistol, 1 MBs 
10 Wolf Guard - 9 combi's, 2 x TDA/CML, Drop Pod (this setup leaves 4 CM suicide squad in pod)
3 x 5 Grey Hunters with Melta, Rhino (WG with CM) 
1 x 5 Grey Hunter with Plasmagun (WG with CP) 
2 x 10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns (TDA/CML) 
3 x 5 Long Fangs - 4 Missile Launchers. 

Some very 'core' stuff here, but with the fun, experimental Thunderwolf unit.
What have I lost here? A second Rune Priest, 2 Lone Wolves. Different, not as lean, but could work for sure. I'll let you know..

So I find myself still down to dice in some respects with STW and FB. This pisses me off. I hate relying on dice. I try to build and play without reliance on dice. But then again, they are secondary objectives..not the main objective of the game. How do you guys deal with the Secondaries? Ignore them and hit the win on Primary is my main thought, but I still think about the Secondaries..especially in tight games/missions.. 


  1. I'm at work at the mo so can't check but I'm pretty sure Saga of the Hunter says models on foot only, might be a bit hard pressed to try and pull it off with a guy on a Thunderwolf.

    You don't need to outflank those bad boys anyway as they can be in the enemies deployment zone turn 2 easily, although they'd have to take a round of fire.

    Some good thoughts though dude, I've been really thiking about these secondaries a lot lately too and my current list is based on trying to deny First Blood and Slay the Warlord the best I can, I'm struggling with linebreaker because I'm foot slogging but its not as hard to achieve as you would think.

    I wouldn't drop a Rune Priest, Jaws is just so much batter now we can punk Jump infantry, dem der Wraiths and Destroyer Lords love it.

    The big one is First blood IMO and for me Rhinos are just asking to give them away, right now I can't see any plus sides for taking them. yea you can move faster but your still dead/shaken/stunned/can't assaultt the turn after.

    1. Was originally going to argue with that...but then Andy pointed it out.. Saga has the infantry bit in the first line! Tool!

      First Blood and rhinos. Going second and you are a VP down. But what can you do? Foot is fine, I've been thinking about a foot/pod hybrid..

      But can't get over the GK thing.. guess it depends how many GK we are truly seeing (outside of Draigowing) at tournies, especially in these early days of 6th with Flier Crons so strong.. and with Chaos around the corner..

  2. Thunderwolves are pretty awesome now that they're faster. I'm posting about them tonight.

    Not sure first blood is worth worrying about. If you go first then obviously you'll try and hit something soft. If not then if you worry too much about losing a unit you'll probably end up deploying too conservatively.

    If you were that worried then maybe Coteaz in an allied detachment to help steal perhaps?

    1. They are faster. This defo does make them better.
      Deploying conservatively is the worry bout going second, I usually just say "screw it" and deploy as I need to.

      I'm just not sure SW need to Ally with anyone really... they don't have the weaknesses they need to plug.

      Now GK with some SW allies... savage.

  3. Have to agree with Brad. This issue came up a lot on the SW blog back in the day. Unfortunately, the model has to be on Foot. Otherwise outflaning TWC would be awesome!

    1. Yeah...I've missed the Infantry bit in the Saga entry..D'oh!

  4. There's some nice ideas in your post, but its a little flawed I'm afraid:
    1. Saga of the Hunter is for "Infantry only" (C:SW p64)
    2. A Thunderwolf mount confers the Cavalry type for its rider (C:SW p62)
    So you can't combine SotH and a Thunderwolf mount. I've done it in the past without realising as it isn't the clearest distinction, but when you do go and check, which I had to do when called on it, then its sadly not possible.
    3. BRB p111: Warlord is the HQ choice with the highest leadership. So with the list you've posted you should be OK, but in your post you talk as if your army still contains a Rune Priest (which is pretty crucial in a SW army and still the best Psyker/Psychic defence out there if you ask me), if that's the case, then he will have to be your Warlord as he is Ld10 and a WGBL is only Ld9. If I'm mistaken, then just ignore this bit.

    I think with a little evolution, this could turn into a pretty scary list though.

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  6. Shit.
    @Andy - you are totally right bro. I missed that bit, the first sentence in the pissing Saga entry! Infantry only.

    So... keep them on board then. Save 10 points. Have 4 plasma pistols in the unit instead of the MBs.

    They stil kinda help with Line Breaker and are still a great little unit for soaking wounds and stripping hull points, at 24" and on the charge.

    Bugger. Something so simple catches me out!

    1. Yeah, I turned the air blue when I figured that one out as I'd loved playing it that way. Would have been so cool too, sneaking up on the enemy riding a massive cybernetic wolf - cool.

      You are right though, they can definitely still work really well as a line breaker unit, and will terrify your opponent into reacting to them. Just keep them away from anything that can put out a torrent of fire, as that is the thing that has always killed them for me.

  7. Not sure if any one has mentioned this, but Wolf Scouts wouldn't work for line breaker objective. This only works for scoring units, and Wolf Scouts don't score in any list if I remember right.

    1. Line Breaker is Scoring OR Denial units if I'm correct

    2. Yup, Line Breaker can be a Denial unit..

    3. Dammit; someone told me troops only. Don't live everything the interwebz tells you folks :)