Bjorn The Fell Handed Tactics

 

This was first featured on Space Wolves Blog in 2011 which is now lost to the warp.  In an effort to retain the information we have republished it here.

Bjorn the Fell Handed tactics are fairly straightforward, because he’s a badass venerable Dreadnought with a few extra rules.

But more importantly than that, he’s an HQ choice that encourages you to play in the midfield role which Space Wolves excel at.  I’ll explain how and why Bjorn the Fell Handed works in this way, but first some background.

Bjorn is the oldest warrior in the Imperium, having fought alongside Russ during the Horus Heresy and babysitting Kasper Hawser (see Prospero Burns novel) before Russ had his vision, gathered his best warriors around him and left to pursue an unknown quest. Bjorn was left in charge and became the first Great Wolf before getting torn to shreds by ‘a warp beast with a thousand maws’ and interred into the sarcophagus of a Dreadnought.

Now Bjorn is a living relic from the Great Crusade who is awoken every Century to hold court at The Great Feast and recount elements of his own saga.

Equipment: Assault Cannon/Plasma Cannon/Twin Linked Lascannon, Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon (with Heavy Flamer), Wolf Tail Talisma, Smoke Launchers

Skills: Saga of Majesty, Venerable, Ancient Tactician, Ward of the Primarch, Living Relic

Using Venerable & Living Relic
If Bjorn suffers a glancing or penetrating hit, you can ask your opponent to reroll the damage result. However, you must accept the second roll. So it’s important when to ask for that reroll. Some times it’s worth Bjorn being immobilised than risk being destroyed. Similarly, it may be worth playing it safe and having a weapon torn off.

Other times you may want Bjorn to explode in an Objective based game. So you can encourage rerolls to try and get him killed and use his Living Relic rule to turn his wreckage into extra Objective on your side of the board. It’s a bit cheesy, but what the heck!

Just be careful in an Annihilation mission, because if a friendly model isn’t in contact with Bjorn when the game ends, you lose D3 Kill Points.

Remember that if Bjorn is destroyed all Space Wolves become Fearless for the rest of the game.

Custom Built Dreadnought
Stat wise, Bjorn is even better than a regular Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought. His BS and WS are higher, he has 4 Attacks as standard and Armour 13 to the front. However, the only trade off is that he is Initiative 3, not 4. So you need to be careful who you get in to close combat with.

Choose Your Weapon
Bjorn has a choice of an Assault Cannon, Plasma Cannon or Twin Linked Lascannon which you have to pay extra points for.

Due to his high Ballistic Skill, there isn’t much incentive to take a twin linked lascannon. Similarly, Assault Cannons aren’t quite as devastating as they once were, which leads many people to equip Bjorn with a Plasma Cannon.

I feel that this is the perfect choice because it’s pretty difficult to get a Plasma Cannon in the army as it is. Plus, the Space Wolves need all the high strength, low AP weaponry they can get to deal with enemy Space Marine Terminators. A highly accurate blast weapon is nothing to be sniffed at either!

CONCLUSION
Give Bjorn a Plasma Cannon, stick him in the centre of your formation, near the back and steadily advance, firing.

He’s a great support character and with 4 Attacks basic, plus Armour 13 on the front, he’s everything you could ever want from a Space Wolves Dreadnought, although he can’t ride in a Drop Pod.

Sure, he’s a glorified Dreadnought. One that’s incredibly tough, great in a fight, great at long range, lets you reroll for the first turn and offers a couple of sneaky strategies thanks to his Living Relic ability. He has Saga of Majesty too, which I often forget to use, but it helps to stop any Space Wolves from running away.

Is he worth 270pts? Compared to how cost effective Rune Priests are, no. However, he does appeal to my personal sense of Space Wolves playing style, which is to inhabit the midfield.

Because Bjorn is an all-round fighter like Grey Hunters, he’s ideal in the midfield. And even when he eventually explodes and drops an objective or could give away Kill Points, his proximity to the other midfield units generally makes this an unexpected plus.

So if you’re fed up with fielding Rune Priests and don’t feel that a Wolf Lord is a suitable investment for your points, then Bjorn is a surprising change to the HQ line up.