Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will Wolves Be Pretty

Some new rumors about the wolves codex update found their way through warseer to BOLS last week. Taken together with the rumored 5th edition rule updates, they have significant implications for my own wolves army. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Reading Rainbow sound

Running seems to be the biggest rules change of all, but I think it will affect the game in so many different ways it’s hard to consider all the implications without repeated playtesting. It would be useful for the grey hunters or blood claws to keep up forward movement behind cover of the Rhinos once the smoke launchers have been used up.

In the rumored ruleset that I’ve seen, locked models (those outside of 2” from a model in BTB) can still be hit by attacks, even if engaged models are removed before their initiative step. My wolves’ powerfists will still get to attack as long as they were close enough to be engaged at the beginning of the phase, even if noone’s in BTB anymore by the time they get to swing. However, they’ll only get a single attack if charged, two attacks max on the charge themselves. That’s a bummer, but hey, they’re still power fists and counter-attack should make sure they’re always in place to contribute to the fight.

Reduced power fist attacks and blood claws getting furious charge could send at least one if not both of my two blood claw fisters over to a power weapon to simulate a frost blade on the charge. It might even be better to run an IC with them armed with a power fist. Sure, you lose the I5 benefit of a character, but it’s the only way you’re gonna a decent number of power fist attacks anymore, and at WS 5, that means more will hit, too. Of course, the rumor is that the claws’ squad size will be set at a minimum of 10, so an IC won’t be able to ridealong in a rhino if that does indeed come to pass. Some slight shifting will be inevitable. Now, if I’m able to equip characters or wolf guard with double powerfists, then things will really be cooking. Surely Magnar isn’t the only ambidextrous marine in the galaxy.

You no longer have to have a model in BTB to perform a sweeping advance. And now every consolidate is a massacre.

Grenades will work only if the majority of models have them – that means I’ll have to split my HQs from my hunter squads when they assault so they count as two separate units assaulting in order for the ICs to strike simultaneously. That’s assuming I’ll still want to run HQ choices on foot joined up with hunter squads.

Grey hunters will supposedly be equipped with a bolter, a bolt pistol and chainsword, a la chaos marines. It’s a fucking great replacement for true grit if true. This will go a long way to bringing wolves up to speed.

There does not appear to be any morale test modifiers for being outnumbered in CC, only -1 for being below 50% and -1 for every wound by which your unit lost the combat. So either they’re going to have to ditch the “against all odds” special rule from the wolves codex completely, or replace it with something else, maybe something negating one or both of the other two modifiers (the latter would be the better choice).

No WS5/BS5 venerable dreadnought? Yeesh. At least give them WS5 for chrissakes. I thought we were talking about the oldest, most seasoned dreadnoughts in the imperium. If Baal dreadnoughts can have furious charge, then it should be no problem giving wolves WS5 dreads. If they do bring Bjorn back with WS5 and maybe a couple of other cool abilities, I will most likely use him. That being said, I am very much not in love with all these special “named” characters being required (and therefore almost always taken) in order to access decent units or army special rules. It sort of “dates” an army and takes away from the imaginative part of the game. How are you supposed to flesh out a story for a game in your mind when you’re paired against someone fielding the same character? Not to mention many of them are broken as fuck, e.g. Shrike, Eldrad, etc.

I’ve heard rumors about squads of wulfen led by Wolf Priests, like the wolves version of the death company. And yes, I will field this if given the chance. Where wolves? Right behind you.

Long Fangs will remain the same but maybe getting the pistol/ccw/main weapon treatment as well. Whatever, I probably won’t use them anyways. I think they should get tank hunters too, now that it might be included as a USR, and maybe stealth too, while they’re at it. Not for being stealthy as much as able to take advantage of cover well.

Wolf Scouts from any table edge, oh my. Definitely needed to bring them in line with Boss Snikrot. Hopefully I can still give them the same weapon loadout and wolf guard sergeant, but I’m not holding my breath.

If the rumored mission types hold and I don’t make too many major changes to my current list, I should be pretty set as far as troops go with three solid 10-man wolves units able to secure and control objectives on those missions that use them. I think I like the idea of victory points only being used in a draw, but I’m not 100% sure how that will play out. One thing that’s confusing from the rumored ruleset I’ve seen is deployment order. Unless I read it wrong, players take turns deploying their whole force all at once for every deployment type other than dawn of war. I can see how this would definitely balance out the choice of deployment zone (and accompanying cover) versus the benefit of knowing where your opponent is deployed. I thought it was rather clever of them to make the long table edge deployment zones start 12” from the center line rather than from the edge. I’ve played several games where units that should have started 24” away from each other were too close to one another.

Seeing as how I like to use transports for all my infantry (which may change if I can put jump packs on the blood claws more easily and effectively), I’m paying close attention to the rumored changes in vehicle damage and the effects on passengers. One thing I noticed was that dedicated transports appear to double the value of a unit in the annihilation scenarios, regardless of their usually small relative point cost. Smoke launchers appear to be even better; vehicles using them will get where they're going nearly invulnerable to explosions or being pinned. However, melta weapons pose a greater threat now in this department. And I like that you don't have to worry about those ridiculous 1" moves after assaulting a vehicle either. Altogether I'm very curious how it will all play out and it will be a long two months until July. It's perfect timing to shake things up a bit I think.


ubermosher said...

Read some more interesting rumors today on BolS & Dakka...

Rumor has it that all SM will get Stubborn, meaning they use their un-modified leadership. So Against All Odds is no longer special.

Also I read that there will be a assault reaction move in the main rules essentially giving all units countercharge. Furthermore, the countercharge USR will give a +1 Attack to all models reacting... so essentially all SW will get a Wolf Pelt.


Hey Mike, have you considered giving your Wolf Guard squad leaders Fists? 2 Attacks with the fist, plus one on charge/countercharge. Not bad.

bullymike said...

so wolf pelt will be worthless too, huh. that's almost every space wolves special rule reduced to nothing. what's left, acute senses? sigh. oh well. how hard is it to put out the stupid rules in a white dwarf. but now there's going to be at least 6 months where their book is even more outdated than it already is. rrr...

yes i do run fists on my wolf guard. see the previous tournament for my list. both my blood claws and scout leaders have fists as well as tooth necklaces. the necklaces increase the # of hits by 66% (from 2 to 2.66) on the original charge, and 100% (from 1 to 2) in subsequent rounds of combat against WS4 or greater opponents. i've definitely enjoyed the benefit in the past few games I've played with them, especially the scouts' leader.

be careful about wolf guard sgts getting the +1 on the countercharge from the pelt. they have to actually counterattack to receive the benefit, and its somewhat difficult to get charged without the wolf guard being engaged (in BTB or within 2" of a model in the squad in BTB). if they are engaged by the original charge they can't get the counterattack and wolf pelt bonus. characters joined up with the squads are never engaged (only locked) by the original charge unless an enemy gets into BTB with them, so its much easier for the characters to get the counterattack and +1 from the pelt.