Combi Plasma Conversion Guide

This tactics guide was first published on the Space Wolves Blog which has since been lost to the warp.  In order to keep Magnus at bay we have brought it back here.

Here’s a break down of the Warlord Traits available to Space Wolves, including which ones to choose when and why.

This includes the Warlord Trait Tables from Codex Space Wolves, Champions of Fenris, the Warhammer 40K rulebook and the Escalation supplement.

After all, which table you may choose to roll on will greatly depend on the HQ choice you have chosen to be your Warlord.

It’s natural to assume that your Warlord will be a Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a Thunderwolf, as this is the most points effective HQ choice.

But I appreciate that this may not always be the case. Some players prefer a Rune Priest, Wolf Priest, Iron Priest or characterful Wolf Lord in Terminator Armour to lead their forces.

So I’ve considered these for each Warlord Traits Table to advise on which would be best for which Characters.

Space Wolves Warlord Traits

D6 Warlord Trait

1. Saga of the Warrior Born:
When fighting in a challenge, the Warlord re-rolls all failed To Hit rolls.

2. Saga of the Wolfkin:
The Warlord, and all friendly units with the Space Wolves Faction consisting entirely of models with either the Beasts or Cavalry unit type, have the Stubborn special rule. In addition, if a friendly unit with the Space Wolves Faction is within 12″ of the Warlord at the start of the Assault phase, all models with either the Beasts or Cavalry unit type in that unit have the Furious Charge special rule until the end of the phase.

3. Saga of the Beastslayer:
The Warlord has the Monster Hunter special rule.

4. Saga of the Bear:
The Warlord, and his unit, have the Feel No Pain (6+) special rule.

5. Saga of the Hunter:
The Warlord has the Outflank and Stealth special rules.

6. Saga of Majesty:
The Warlord, and all friendly units with the Space Wolves Faction within 12″ of him, must re-roll failed Morale checks and Pinning tests.

All of these are massively beneficial for a Space Wolves Character riding a Thunderwolf and leading a pack of Thunderwolf Cavalry.

If your Warlord isn’t a Character riding a Thunderwolf, then Saga of the Beastslayer is great for a Rune Priest casting long ranged Psychic Powers. But you’d have to be lucky enough to roll it and lucky enough to roll some good Psychic Powers or part of a Wyrdstorm Brotherhood formation.

Saga of the Bear is a nice to have. But you really need your Warlord to be leading a unit that’s designed to take a beating to make the most of it. Like Thunderwolf Cavalry or Wolf Guard Terminators with Storm Shields.

But once again, you need some luck to roll this.

Often, the wisest strategy is to look at a Warlord Traits chart as a whole and then choose a Warlord who would be most likely to benefit from most, if not all of the results available.

Champions of Fenris Warlord Traits

D6 Warlord Trait

1. Fire in the Blood:
The Warlord can re-roll a single failed saving throw every turn.

2. Thread-cutter:
When fighting in a challenge, the Warlord re-rolls all failed To Wound rolls.

3. Gatekeeper:
Nominate one weapon carried by your Warlord. That weapon has the Master-crafted special rule. Note, however, that this cannot be applied to any Relics of the Great Wolf.

4. Blessing of the Wolf:
The Warlord and any unit he joins during deployment have the Outflank special rule.

5. Thane to the King:
The Warlord has the Fearless special rule.

6. Deeds Beyond Counting:
The Warlord has the Preferred Enemy special rule.

These are very similar to the Space Wolves Warlord Traits. In some instances they’re not as good, in others they may be better. Either way, they are far more blunt and direct, but can be improved by taking the right weapons and wargear for your Warlord.

Fire in the Blood is brilliant, as it allows you to re-roll a failed saving throw. Make sure you have Runic Armour for a 2+ save and a Storm Shield for a 3+ Invulnerable save. To make the most of this, your Warlord need to be in the thick of it, taking a beating. So Thunderwolf Cavalry of Wolf Guard Terminators should be his retinue.

Thread Cutter, allowing you to re-roll to Wound is amazing if you buy your Warlord the Fellclaw’s Teeth Relic. Then he will be re-rolling to hit and re-roll to wound!

Gatekeeper is also great, but only if you didn’t give your Warlord a Relic weapon. Krakenbone Sword is a very tempting choice for a Wolf Guard Battle Leader or Wolf Lord. But you may want to give them a Thunder Hammer (or Chainfist if in Terminator Armour) if you’re holding out for this Warlord Trait. Otherwise it’s a waste.

Blessing of the Wolf is a bit ‘meh’. Thane to the King is great. Deeds Beyond Counting is awesome too, but can be rather redundant if you bought your Warlord the Fellclaw’s Teeth Relic – which you’re likely to buy to ensure that things go your way, whether you have a close combat Character or a Rune Priest casting Psychic Powers.

Once again, a Warlord riding a Thunderwolf benefits from all of these. Rune Priest and Wolf Priests benefit from a few.

So it would make more sense for Rune Priests and Wolf Priests to roll on the standard Warhammer 40K Warlord Traits, unless there’s a particular trait that you really really want and you’re feeling lucky!

Remember that a Warlord in a Combined Arms Detachment or Company of the Great Wolf Detachment can re-roll their Warlord Trait result.

Escalation Warlord Traits

If one player has a Super Heavy or Gargantuan Creature Lord of War unit and the other does not, the player without can roll on the Escalation Warlord Traits Table and gains +1 to Seize the Initiative.

Considering that Space Wolves are unlikely to take a Lord of War in their army, Escalation Warlord Traits have a certain appeal if you’re facing down a Stormsurge, Warith Knight or some Imperial Knights.

D6 Result

1. Maximise Firepower:
While your Warlord is alive, his ranged weapons and those of his unit, have the Twin-Linked special rule when shooting at a Lords of War unit.

2. Super Heavy Hunter:
Your Warlord has the Preferred Enemy (Lords of War) special rule.

3. Slayer of Giants:
While in close combat with a Lords of War unit, your Warlord’s attacks gain the Armourbane and Fleshbane special rules.

4. Uncanny Defence:
Any rolls made on the Destroyer Weapon Attack Table, the Thunderblitz Table or the Stomp Table against your Warlord and/or the unit he is with suffer a -1 modifier to a minimum of 1.

5. Kill Mission:
While your Warlord is alive, units in your army arriving from Reserves using the Deep Strike special rule will not scatter if they are placed within 6″ of an enemy Lords of War unit.

6. Perfect Volley:
Once us only. Declare your Warlord is using this ability at the start of that Shooting Phaase.
For the duration of that Shooting Phase, any ranged attacks made by your Warlord and.or the unit he is with that target an enemy Lords of War unit have the Rending Special rule and are considered to be AP1.

Maximise Firepower isn’t anything to write home about when Space Wolves do not have units with particularly impressive firepower.

Super Heavy Hunter isn’t as good as other Space Wolves Warlord Traits which are similar.

Slayer of Giants is only effective for Warlords in close combat with a Lord of War. If your Warlord is doing this, he should have a Thunder Hammer anyway. So giving him Armourbane and Fleshbane isn’t an important boost to his attacks.

Uncanny Defence is good for a pack of Thunderwolves who are very likely to take a Destroyer Weapon blast, Thunderblitz or get Stomped. Removing the ‘remove all your models’ 6 result on these charts is incredibly important.

Kill Mission is cool if you have Drop Pod full of Wolf Guard with Combi-Weapons, Wolf Guard Terminators or even Wulfen who will make a mess of that Super Heavy or Gargantuan. It’s even more awesome if you’re fielding a Drop Pod army. Or even better – a Blackmane’s Great Company Formation used to build a Turn 1 Drop Pod army!

However, the issue with this table is that you need most of the results to be good for your Warlord or army. You really want results 5 or 6, but the odds of rolling them are too much of a gamble.

Although I would consider rolling on this chart if your have a Blackmane’s Great Company Drop Pod army, because this force does struggle to deal with Super Heavies and most of these would benefit a Wolf Guard Battle Leader in Terminator Armour with a Storm Shield and a Chainfist.

Warhammer 40K Warlord Traits

While it’s very east to roll on your Warlord Traits from the Space Wolves Codex or Champions of Fenris supplement, sometimes the regular Warhammer 40K Warlord Traits can give you a more strategic edge.

Tactical Warlord Traits

D6 Result

1. Tactical Genius:
While your Warlord is alive, you can discard up to 2 active objective cards instead of only 1.

2. Master of Interference:
One use only at the start of your turn. Your opponent must randomly discard 1 Objective CARD.

3. Well Prepared:
Generate one additional Tactical Objective on your first turn.

4. Forward Planning
After generating Tactical Objectives in your first turn, you may choose to use this Warlord Trait. Discard all your active Tactical Objectives and generate a new Tactical Objective for each one discarded.

5. Master of Fate
While your Warlord is alive, you can re-roll the dice for random numbers of Victory Points generated by Tactical Objectives.

6. Lead by example
If your Warlord and his unit claim any “Secure Tactical Objective X” cards, you gain +1 Victory Point.

Do you suck when it comes to Tactical Objectives?

Or maybe you’re just very unlucky with your draws?

Then this Warlord Traits chart is definitely for you.

I know I’m going to start rolling on it the way my games have been going lately.

Just make sure you choose a Warlord who isn’t likely to get killed before you can use any of these.

Command Warlord Traits

D6 Result

1. Inspiring Presence:
Friendly units within 12″ use your Warlord’s Leadership.

2. Intimidating Presence:
Enemy units within 12″ use their lowest Leadership Value.

3. The Dust of a Thousand Worlds
Your Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ have Move Through Cover.

4. Master of the Vanguard:
Your Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ add +1 to their Run and Charge moves.

5. Target Priority:
Your Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ re-roll to hit rolls of 1 when Shooting.

6. Coordinated Assault:
Your Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ re-roll to hit rolls of 1 in Close Combat.

Basically, your Warlord and ‘friendly’ units within 12″ gets a skill.

I’m liking this for Space Wolves armies with many units which are likely to be huddled together and/or moving around in a large mass.

A Blackmane Great Pack Drop Pod army springs to mind, where you could easily roll on this chart for a Rune Priest or Wolf Priest as your Warlord without having to resort to the typical Wolf Guard Battle Leader.

Obviously, a Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a Thunderwolf would benefit from this table too.

Personal Warlord Traits

D6 Result

1. Master of Defence:
Your Warlord has Counter-Attack.

2. Master of Offense:
Your Warlord has Furious Charge.

3. Master of Maneuver:
Your Warlord has Outflank.

4. Legendary Fighter:
Gain 1 Victor Point for each enemy Character slain by your Warlord in a Challenge.

5. Tenacity:
Your Warlord has Feel No Pain.

6. Immovable Object:
Your Warlord has Fearless and It Will Not Die.

Don’t bother rolling on this and roll on the Space Wolves or Champions of Fenris Warlord Traits instead.

They are much better.

Strategic Warlord Traits

D6 Result

1. Conqueror of Cities:
Your units have Move Through Cover and Stealth in Ruins.

2. Night Attacker:
You can choose to use the Night Fighting rules on Turn 1.
All models in your army have the Night Vision special rule.

3. Master of Ambush:
Your Warlord and 3 non-vehicle units have the Infiltrate special rule.

4. Strategic Genius:
+1 to your Seize The Initiative roll.
Re-roll reserve rolls while your Warlord is alive.

5. Divide to Conquer:
While your Warlord is alive, your opponent has a -1 modifier to their Reserve rolls.

6. Princeps of Deceit:
At the start of your opponent’s first turn, choose 3 of his units. Each of these must take a Pinning test.

This is an excellent Warlord Traits table that you can give to any HQ choice.

Thankfully, this is because your Warlord doesn’t need to be in close combat or close proximity to benefit from any of these.

However, some of these are situational and require you to have a unit in Reserve, being able to benefit from Infiltrating units or that the board has a substantial number of ruins.

But for most Space Wolves armies, this isn’t an issue.


I feel we often overlook warlord traits for our armies when there are so many other components to Warhammer 40K for us to take into account.

It’s also very easy for us to simply roll on the Space Wolves warlord traits and go smash face with a Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a Thunderwolf!

But there are so many better options available to you if you select the right warlord traits table for your army composition. Especially if you have an HQ choice that you do not want to perish in the midst of close combat.

Personally, having had so many issues with Maelstrom missions and unlucky card draws, I’m finding the Tactical Warlord Traits highly appealing.

Which Warlord Traits do you prefer to take?