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Warhammer Warhammer 40k

Into 9th Edition: Space Wolves

With the new edition of Warhammer 40000 coming later this month, I decided to take a look at the current state of each of my armies at the end of 8th edition and what I’m looking forward to for them in 9th edition.

Space Wolves were my new army for 2020. I started assembling and painting them at the beginning of the year and then managed to get them to a 1500 point painted army thanks to having lots of extra free time during lockdown. With my Fulminators army I went with a pure primaris force, so I decided to make my Space Wolves army a mix of firstborn and primaris marines. I also wanted the army to lean into melee and embrace the theme of being an army or heroes.

Army Overview

Keeping with the theme of heroes, my Space Wolves army has four HQ options. My Warlord is a Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf equipped with a thunder hammer and a storm bolter. He can hit very hard in melee and the storm bolter can be upgraded to the Frostfury relic to make it a fair bit more lethal. My second HQ option is a Primaris Battle Leader with a power axe. The third is a Rune Priest in Phobos Armour. I went with this option when I wanted a Rune Priest because I liked the idea of it being a hunter, but I was disappointed when it lost access to the standard Space Wolves psychic powers in Saga of the Beast. The fourth HQ is Bjorn the Fell-Handed. As a dreadnought, he’s extra durable and hits hard.

For Troops, I have three different types of units. For firstborn units I have both Grey Hunters and Blood Claws. The Grey Hunters have chainswords and boltguns with a plasma gun and a power fist mixed in. They are intended to hold an objective, but can do well if they need to charge in to combat as the battle unfolds. The Blood Claws also have a power fist and plasma pistol added to the unit. They get a lot of attacks in melee, but also can be forced to charge if enemies get close. My third unit of Troops is a squad of primaris Intercessors with bolt rifles. Other than the sergeant’s chainsword they aren’t really equipped for melee, but their base of 2 attacks each still means they are effective in close combat.

My Space Wolves have two Elites units that can both be held in reserves. The first is a unit of Wolf Guard Terminators. The squad’s pack leader has a thunder hammer and storm shield, but the rest of the squad carries shooting weapons – 3 storm bolters and an assault cannon. They can teleport in and unleash a lot of firepower from 9″ then threaten a still effective charge with an abundance of high strength attacks. The other Elites unit is a squad of Reivers with grapnel launchers. When they join the battle they are restricted to showing up near a board edge, but they can then ignore vertical movement which can be interesting when playing with multi-floor terrain.

The Fast Attack portion has a large unit of Thunderwolf Cavalry and a pack of Fenrisian Wolves. The Thunderwolf Cavalry have storm shields, thunder hammers, frost axes, and frost claws to make them both durable and hard-hitting. Then the Fenrisian Wolves can be used as a single pack of 10 or two smaller packs.

The last unit in the army is a Razorback in a Dedicated Transport slot. In an army focused on close combat, it offers some long-range anti-tank shooting with its twin lascannon and hunter-killer missile. It also can transport the Blood Claws up the battlefield so that they can charge into combat to contest an objective.

Into the New Edition

As with a couple of my other armies, I feel like the new detachment rules might put this army at a disadvantage since it is heavy on HQ slots. Since Bjorn grants an extra command point, it won’t be as painful, but still not an ideal spot to be. On the other hand, less overwatch is good for an army focused on charging into glorious battle.

Expansion Possibilities

I’ll definitely be painting up at least one squad of Assault Intercessors to join my Space Wolves. Beyond that unit, I’ll need to see where the army ends up sitting on points once the new values are available. I’ve been thinking it would be nice to add a squad of Incursors to deploy with the Rune Priest. The other thing I’ve considered is buying another Space Wolves Pack box to build a second Grey Hunters squad and then use the other half of the box to add Wolf Guard Pack Leaders to all of my firstborn squads.

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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