Space Wolves Wulfen Tactics

 

Space Wolves Wulfen rules have been out for a while.  Before they were released Jordan and Adam from the now defunct Space Wolves Blog discussed tactics for the awesome Wulfen.

No doubt you’ll want to know how to arm them, deliver them into the thick of the fighting and generally get your points worth out of them.

So here’s a complete break down of what they do and why you’d give them various equipment before finding a place for them in your army – and in your battle plan.

Wulfen Rules

5 Wulfen: 150pts

WS:4 BS:2 S:5 T:4 W:2 I:5 A:3 LD:8 SV:4+

Special rules:
Rage
Know no Fear
Curse of the Wulfen
Counter Attack
Acute Senses
Feel No Pain
Bulky

Deathfrenzy: If a model in this unit is killed it can move up and attack at the end of the current initiative step. This even applies if the model already has attacked.

Leaping Bounds: This unit can run and attack. It also rerolls failed charge rolls.

Curse of the Wulfen:
ALL non vehicle models within 6″ affected.
Blood Claws, Skyclaws, Swift Claws affected within 12″
Long Fangs affected with 3″

Wulfen, Servitors and units that start in transports are not affected.

At the start of the player turn, roll a dice for ALL units. The affect lasts until your next player round.

Units outside of combat roll on the Hunt Table.
Units in combat roll on the Kill Table.

Hunt
1-3: re-roll failed charges and get Hammer of Wrath
4-5: +3″ when you move, run or charge.
6: Furious Charge and +D3 attacks when charging, unless they have Rage

Kill:
1-3: +1 Initiative
4-5: Re-roll to wound
6: Death Frenzy (see Wulfen rules)

Options:
May contain up to 5 more Wulfen…. 30p/m
Each model may take a salvo grenade launcher 2p/m
Each model may take one of the following:
Great Frost Axe 8p/m
Two Frost Claws 12p/m
Thunderhammer and Stormshield 20p/m
One Wulfen can be upgraded to Wulfen Pack Leader with two Frost Claws 20p
This unit may take a stormwolf as a dedicated transport

Weapon Rules:
Salvo Grenade Launcher: 12″, S4, AP5, Assault D3, assault grenades in close combat
Frost Claws: +1S, AP2, Shred
Great Frost Axe: +3S, AP2, Unwieldy, Merciless Swing (Strike at normal Initiative when charging)

Wulfen Tactics

Here is a conversation I had with Jordan about the Wulfen unit. Between us we were able to quickly figure out what’s good about them and the tactics we would use to optimise and play them.

If you get bored, skip to the summary at the end. I felt I should include all this as it may give you guys some more ideas that we haven’t thought of yet.

Jordan: I finally kick my wolf problem and now I’ve got to buy Wulfen! The wulfen are positively broken and I love them

Adam: Pack Leader with Frost Claws looks like a bargain for the points!

Jordan: I’ve got to be honest there’s a million ways I want to try to run them. They don’t have fleet so no running straight up a board even though they can run and charge with rerolling charges. I’ll still probably footslog them once or twice to see how it pans out.

Assault units in flyers are dead to me.

I might try dropping a few units in with fast attack pods.

Landraider could be a way to go but that price tag.

These guys are just cheaper Calvary without the movement Calvary have so they’re harder to peg.

I’m gone try a few things. Hammer and shield for 20 points is huge

Adam: That would get around the issue that they only have a 4+ save. Although we don’t know what “Curse of the wulfen” does as a rule yet.

Jordan: I’ll consider that a fair trade for 30 point 2 wound models with FnP built in. Not to mention I’ll likely run a few with shields or attach a character with a better save. They’re still outstanding in combat against anything. Getting to attack when they die wether they have or have not attacked is huge and being elites is also huge. 8 packs of these bad boys with CoF, at only 30 points a model you have as many wounds as grey hunters for similar points and 2X as much destructive cc power! I’m giddy right now thinking about the possibilities.

Also statistically a 3+ Invulnerable and 5+ Feel No Pain is almost as good as a 3+

If a model in this unit is killed it can move up and attack at the end of the current initiative step.
This even applies if the model already has attacked.

Adam: So it actually pays to have them strike at I5.
TH + SS isn’t so good, as they’d strike last and not get 2 rounds of attacks in.

Jordan: Oh yeah? Unless they die at initiative step 4 they pile in and attack.
The hammer won’t have to worry about not getting its attacks before dying. Sure, it won’t attack twice but it’s still getting it.

Adam: But if they are I1 they only get to attack once if they die in earlier steps
I’d want the X2 attacks.

Jordan: That makes it better than any hammer in the game though. A 50 point model that’s always going to get its attacks when it’s in cc is huge. It’s also a T4 model with 2 wounds and FnP so it’s not going to die that often and anything instant killing it is strength 8 and most likely unwieldy anyway. Look, you have 5 attacks each on the charge. If not you have 4. You DO NOT need 8 thunderhammer swings per dude. You’re already almost too good at combat at that point, you’ll abolish whatever you fight and get shot down the next turn.

Adam: I’d give 2 TH+SS, 2 Frost Claws and the Pack Leader with Frost Claws.
Grenade launchers all round if they’re only 2pts each.
They don’t seem to take up a ‘hand’.

Jordan: Yeah, they’re pointless.
I was worried about these guys rules, but they’re pretty scary.
Question is how we actually deliver them.

Adam: Yeah, that’s gonna take some doing.
They can be joined by HQ on Thunderwolves right?
Iron Priests on Thunderwolves with Cyberwolves!

Jordan: OMG you gave me the idea I needed!!!

Adam: I wouldn’t put them in a Stormfang. You’d be waiting for Turn 3 for a charge…

Jordan: DUDE WE CAN SLINGSHOT THEM INTO COMBAT WITH IRONNPRIEST AND WOLVES!

Adam: Oh, you use the extra move/charge of the Thunderwolf to spread your line out and make contact. Then the wulfen pile in with the enemy pile in moves.
Iron Priest can tank with the Cyberwolves at the front
My only concern is that with so much micromanagement, it could go wrong.

Jordan: Yeah. Good turn one option but unless they’re setting you up with a 2″ charge, detach turn 2 before charge. The ironpriest cannot run and charge
Otherwise we’re looking at a Land Raider to get them there.

Adam: How many Wulfen would you run? I think 5 is enough?

Jordan: I’d want to try it a few ways. 30 points is steep but unless they’re getting instant killed it’s like having 2 guys. I’d want to run a bigger squad but I feel like they’ll just be too good at their job and get shot down or be too big of a point sink for a slow unit. They’re competition get with thunderwolves on points which isn’t looking too good for them.

Adam: Great Compulsory Elites choice for Company Of The Great Wolf Formation though 😉
Don’t forget Company Of The Great Wolf Formation character challenge bonuses.

Conclusion

To round up, we both agreed that we would run a unit of 5 Wulfen and that having Feel No Pain will help to keep them in the fight, as they have 2 Wounds, despite having a 4+ save.

However, we would definitely take 2 Wulfen with Thunderhammer and Storm Shield for a 3++ Invulnerable save. Not forgetting that you have 2 Wounds and Feel No Pain with that. Also, the base Strength of 5 means that the Storm Hammer strikes with Strength 10.

Although we wouldn’t take a whole unit of Wulfen armed with Storm Hammer and Storm Shield. Because then you would miss out on their awesome Death Frenzy special rules.

Salvo grenade launchers are totally worth taking at 2pts per model. But we don’t have to take them for everyone. So we will put these on 2 models.

Great Frost Axe is so good for the points and the model looks so nice.

Finally, the Pack Leader with Frost Claws upgrade is an absolute must have. And don’t forget that he gets Challenge related bonuses in a Company Of The Great Wolf Formation with those +1 S, AP2 Frost Claws! He’ll be issuing lots of challenges if you ask me.

That comes to 230pts.

Getting Them Into Combat:
We’ve got our optimised unit. Now we just need to get them across the board and into close combat.

Unless you’re playing Apocalypse, the Stormwolf will only get them into combat on Turn 3 at the earliest. They need to be stuck in by Turn 2!

We feel that you need either a Land Raider, run them forward on foot, or run them forward led by an Iron Priest riding a Thunderwolf with 4 Cyberwolves to soak up incoming firepower, pass invulnerable saves to Wulfen with Storm Shields and slingshot them into combat more quickly (as explained in the conversation above).

But, having see the recent Wulfen Murderpack formation, you may as well simply buy 2 units and run them forward. It would have cost the same points to transport your 1 Wulfen pack in a Stormfang or Land Raider anyway!

Curse of the Wulfen
This should be called ‘blessing of the Wulfen’ or quite simply ‘let’s watch everyone go insane!’.

Blood Angels can eat their hearts out. Space Wolves just became THE crazy close combat Chapter.

Blood Claws, Skyclaws and Swift Claws are the obvious favourites, as they benefit if they’re within 12″. But our power units like Arjac’s Shield Brothers and Thunderwolf Cavalary are most likely to get the best benefits from this. As if they weren’t destructive enough already.

The only downside, is that your opponent is going to pour all his firepower into your Wulfen, because they’re just too damned good. And they make everything around them even more ferocious.