|Submitted By: Date: November 1, 2005, 06:58:12 AM Views: 6144|
|Summary: The 13th Great Company of the Space Wolves was lost to the Eye of Terror thousands of years ago. When the Company returned, it pursued forces of Chaos led by Abaddon the Despoiler which fought in the 13th Black Crusade against the Imperium of mankind. This article deals with building a 13th Company army from basic units. It shows ways to configure units and how to use them on the battle field. Based on the configuration of units, several sample army lists are given. Feel free to play test these lists. Have fun playing 40k.|
The Space Wolves is one of the most famous Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. The Space Wolves are mainly close combat specialists excelling at close-quarter fights. However, the 13th Company differs from the mainstream Space Wolves army in several respects.
The 13th Company has two very useful special rules. Firstly, the Scout ability allows deploying the whole army on the board even if some units need to be held in reserves such as in escalation missions. Moreover, each pack (up to Storm Claw Bikers and ICs on bike) gets a free pre-game move which allows approaching the enemy without getting shot. Secondly, the Move through cover ability speeds up the movement of the packs through cover (up to Fenrisian Wolves and Storm Claw Bikers).
Both special abilities allow the packs to close in on the enemy rather than charge headlong towards him. For this reason, the 13th Company cannot take transports, drop pods, and tanks. Furthermore, the 13th Company fights on its own without any allies.
The 13th Company benefits from the Space Marines special rule And they shall know no fear and the Space Wolves special rules of acute senses, blood feud, counter charge, no matter the odds, and true grit. Finally, as any Space Wolves army the 13th Company requires one HQ per 750 points.
The 13th Company is assault oriented as its core troops are highly skilled in close combat. Moreover, the 13th Company is good at short range shooting. While Grey Slayers carry bolters and have access to special weapons, Storm Claws can take plasma pistols. So the 13th Company can dish out severe fire power within 12".
The 13th Company has limited mobility as it has no access to vehicles. This is compensated by the special rules, Scout and Move through cover, the Rune Priest's ability of gating, and the faster Fenrisian Wolves and Storm Claw Bikers. Furthermore, the 13th Company has limited long range fire support as only Long Fangs can carry heavy weapons. Finally, the 13th Company is composed of very expensive models (up to Fenrisian Wolves). This makes the 13th Company a small elite army with low model count.
All missions at the Gamma or Omega level use victory points. Even numbered squad work better at these levels. To see this, compare a 6 men squad with a 7 men squad. If both face three casualties both units are not below half-strength and so both units will score. However, if both units face four casualties both units are below half-strength and so both units will not score. But a 6 men squad is cheaper. Moreover, larger close combat squads work better than smaller ones as larger squads allow to soaking up more wounds.
The 13th Company is assault oriented and good at short range fire fights. These strengths need to be taken into account when it comes to tactics.
The 13th Company has some very fast packs, which are able to engage the enemy early in the game. In particular, Fenrisian Wolves have a charge range in the first turn of 25" to 30" thanks to the Scouts ability, fleet on foot, and 12" charge range. If necessary, the Wolves' charge should be backed up with other fast packs like Storm Claw Bikers and Wulfen. Wulfen have a built-in scariness factor. Many opponents fear them like hell and will shoot them at all cost. This may allow other packs to close in on the enemy unharmed.
If the enemy is very shooty, the lumbering packs such as Grey Slayers and Storm Claws should approach the enemy along the flanks like a pincer. Moreover, a refused flank can be set up by the Rune Priest and a Grey Slayer pack. For this, the Grey Slayer pack to be gated is set up at one flank and the rest of the army is deployed at the other flank. Long Fangs can give long range fire support destroying tank and transports. In particular, popping transports with passengers inside has very high priority as it will entangle and so auto-pin the passengers. This will give the packs one more round to deal with them.
The Wolf Lord is the compulsory choice in each 13th Company war band. The Wolf Lord should carry either frost blade and bolt pistol or lightning claws. The frost blade is slightly better against tougher opponents while the lightning claws will inflict more wounds on toughness 4 enemies. The iron halo will protect him from power armour ignoring weapons. Frags are mandatory, while melta bombs are optional since a Wolf Lord should go up against infantry. Nevertheless, melta bombs provide some sort of (weak) Dreadnought insurance. The Mark of the Wulfen is recommended as the Wolf Lord becomes fearless and is able to dish out D3 additional attacks. In this way, he gets 7 to 9 attacks on the charge and so becomes a real close combat monster able to take on almost any other HQ bar Bloodthirster, Slaneesh Daemon Prince.
Wolf Lord w/ frost blade, bolt pistol, belt of Russ, Mark of the Wulfen, melta bombs, frags.
The Wolf Lord can be accompanied by four Fenrisian Wolves and a retinue of Storm Claws. It is better to keep him an IC as ICs cannot be shot if he is correctly positioned or joining a squad.
Furthermore, the Wolf Lord can also be mounted on a bike and can have a retinue of Storm Claw Bikers. But then he looses the Scout ability and needs to be held in reserves in some missions.
Wolf Lord w/ frost blade, bolt pistol, belt of Russ, bike, Mark of the Wulfen, melta bombs, frags,
The Rune Priest guides his companions through the perils of the Eye of Terror. He has learned how to open small, temporary warp gates, through which he can pass in order to divine the path ahead. For this, the Rune Priest has the psychic power The Gate which allows gating him and a pack of Grey Slayers, Storm Claws, or Long Fangs within 6".
The Rune Priest should be similarly equipped as the Wolf Lord. Besides a frost blade or lightning claws, the Rune Priest has access to a force weapon. Terminator armour will provide the Rune Priest with an invulnerable save. Moreover, the Rune Priest has access to the chooser of the slain. This useful piece of war gear provides an additional attack in close combat and helps to prevents infiltrators. The latter is particularly useful to against dangerous infiltrating units like Genestealers and Chaos units with daemonic icons. Another war gear is the rune staff (psychic hood) which allows to block one psychic power per turn. However, the probability of blocking the power of a psyker with leadership 10 is only 27%.
The Rune Priest can use his gating ability to pop tanks and transports. For this, the Rune Priest should carry a combi-melta. If the Rune Priest gates a pack of Grey Slayers with two meltas, the gated squad has three devastating melta shots. This should be enough to destroy a heavily armoured target or to decimate a tough close combat unit like the Death Company. The Rune Priest needs not join the pack before gating. But then after gating, both the Rune Priest and the gated pack need to roll independently for scattering. Avoid this situation. Moreover, the Mark of the Wulfen will prevent the gated pack from making pinning tests.
Rune Priest w/ frost blade, combi-melta, terminator armour, chooser of the slain, Mark of the Wulfen.
The Wolf Priest is another great leader of the 13th Company. He comes with a power weapon and a 4+ invulnerable save. Moreover, he has access to healing potions and balms which allows to ignore one failed armour save from shooting per turn. In this way, he can keep the pack he joined longer alive when it closes in on the enemy. The Wolf Priest leading a Wulfen pack benefits from the Wulfen's Animal Rage and so makes him the fastest HQ in the 13th Company. Moreover, the Wolf Priest is able to control Animal Rage. In this way, he can prevent the Wulfen from charging tougher opponents like Dreadnoughts, or he can keep the Wulfen pack in cover if it goes against units with higher initiative like Genestealers.
Wolf Priest w/ power weapon, rosarius, bolt pistol, healing potions & balms, melta bombs, frags.
The Wulfen is a totally new troop type in the 40k universe. Wulfen are stronger and more skilled than Marines. A Wulfen pack will reap through most infantry units in the game. In particular, Wulfen are excellent against weaker infantry units as fielded by Orks and Tyranids. Wulfen have Animal Rage which allows them to move faster than normal infantry, that is 6" plus D6". This extra movement ignores difficult terrain but must be made towards the closest enemy unit. This may lead to unpredictable situations on the battle field. While a Wulfen pack can take down tougher units like a Wraithlord, a Dreadnought will quickly end the life of the Wulfen pack. The Wolf Priest can control Animal Rage and so is the ultimate leader of a Wulfen pack. It is suggested to take a large pack of at least 10 Wulfen.
The Storm Claws provide the close combat counterpart of the Wulfen. Storm Claws can dish out lots of power fist attacks and so can take down even the toughest opponents in the 40k universe. Each Storm Claw pack should be led by a Wolf Guard leader with power fist, bolt pistol and the Mark of the Wulfen. Consequently, the pack will be fearless which is quite useful as the pack might draw a lot of fire when it closes in on the enemy. Here is a typical configuration of a Storm Claws pack
Storm Claw pack
9 Storm Claws w/ bolt pistol (x9)
Wolf Guard leader w/ power fist, bolt pistol, Mark of the Wulfen.
Two members of a Storm Claw pack can get power fists. In this way, the pack will have 13 + D3 power fist attacks on the charge, which sounds too good to be true. Practically, however, this will be overkill against most enemy units. Power weapons are an alternative to power fists if the pack is likely to be overrun by the enemy. Moreover, two members of a Storm Claw pack can take plasma pistol, which can be used to soft up the enemy before the pack charges.
The Grey Slayers are the only troop choice of the 13th Company (unless the 13th Company is fielded as Wulfen army with Wulfen as troops). Grey Slayers are equipped with bolters, krak and frag grenades. Grey Slayers have three attacks in close combat thanks to true grit. This makes Grey Slayers the best standard Space Marine in the game. As a downside Grey Slayers are rather expensive.
Each Grey Slayer pack should be led by a Wolf Guard with power fist and bolt pistol. A thunder hammer is only slightly more expensive than a power fist and is worth it against tougher creatures like Carnifex or Daemon Prince. Combine this with the wolf tooth necklace so that the Wolf Guard leader will always hit on 3+. The Mark of the Wulfen is optional and should be reserved for larger games. Two members of a Grey Slayer pack can carry special weapons. Meltas are the best option as they allow to soft up the enemy before the charge or to pop tanks and transports. The meltas may be replaced by flamers if the war band goes against a horde army. Plasma guns are an option, too. However, the plasma gun is a defensive weapon and so is better suited for a defensive army. Here is a typical configuration of a Grey Slayer pack
Grey Slayer pack
9 Grey Slayers w/ bolter (x7), melta (x2)
Wolf Guard leader w/ power fist, bolt pistol
Storm Claw Bikers
Storm Claw Bikers belong to the best bikers in the game. Storm Claws are Skilled riders, have two basic attacks in close combat and are equipped with frag and krak grenades. Moreover, two Storm Claw Bikers per squad have access to special weapons and power weapons/fists. Storm Claw Bikers have two downsides. Firstly, they don't benefit from the Scout ability although there is no consensus about this in the 40k world. Secondly, Storm Claw Biker packs are expensive and small, limited to five models.
Each Storm Claw Biker pack should be led by a Wolf Guard with power fist. The Mark of the Wulfen is optional and should be reserved for larger games. A Storm Claw pack with two meltas is great for tank hunting and a contender for a Rune Priest gating a Grey Slayers pack with two meltas or even a Long Fangs pack with anti tank weapons. On the other hand, a Storm Claw pack with two power fists/weapons excels in close combat. As the pack is rather small it should either go against shooty units or be backed up by another pack, say Fenrisian Wolves. Here are two typical configurations of Storm Claw Bikers.
Tank Hunting Storm Claw Biker pack
4 Storm Claws w/ melta (x2), bolter (x2)
Wolf Guard leader w/ power fist, bolter
CC Storm Claw Biker pack
4 Storm Claws w/ power fist, power weapon, bolter (x4)
Wolf Guard leader w/ power fist, bolter
Fenrisian Wolves are the cavalry in the 13th Company. Fenrisian Wolves are skilled and trained Wolves which share most of special abilities of 13th Company Space Wolves: Scout skill, acute senses, blood feud, counter charger, no matter the odds, and And they shall know no fear.
Fenrisian Wolves increase the mobility of the 13th Company. In particular, Fenrisian Wolves are able to charge in turn one thanks to the Scout ability, fleet on foot, and 12" charge range. Fenrisian Wolves are cheap and should be taken in larger packs of 10 to 15 Wolves. Larger packs are more durable in close combat and increase the total model count of a war band.
Fenrisian Wolves should primarily be used to tie up shooty squads early in the game. This will guarantee that the approaching slower packs will face less casualties. Fenrisian Wolves can also be sent against units that lower the armour save like Orks with choppas or Khorne Bezerkers with chain axes, or against skilled but small units with lower armour save like Tyranid Warriors.
Long Fangs are the hard hitting Space Wolves veterans from the backfield. A Long Fang pack consists of a Wolf Guard leader and two to four Long Fangs. Long Fangs carry assault/rapid fire or heavy weapons so that a Long Fang pack can have up to four assault/rapid fire or heavy weapons.
Long Fangs have the Split fire ability, i.e., a Long Fang pack can shoot at two targets as long as the Wolf Guard leader is alive. Nevertheless, if a Long Fang pack faces the first casualty, the Wolf Guard leader should be removed.
Long Fangs with heavy weapons can provide long range cover fire. Lascannons and missile launchers are anti tank and anti heavy infantry, plasma cannons are anti light tank and anti heavy infantry, and heavy bolters are anti light tank and anti light infantry. As the 13th Company excels in close combat and in short range fire fights, lascannons and missile launchers are the best heavy weapons for Long Fangs. Plasma cannons are useful if the enemy has some deep striking units like Terminators. As a compromise between costs and effectiveness, a Long Fangs pack with two lascannons and two missile launchers is the best overall combo.
Long Fang pack
Long Fangs w/ lascannon (x2), missile launcher (x2)
Wolf Guard leader w/ bolt pistol
Long Fangs can use the Scout ability to get into better firing position or to get into cover. Long Fangs with assault or rapid fire weapons can provide short range fire support, but are less useful as the pack is too small for short range fire fights. Nevertheless, a Long Fang pack with four meltas gated by a Rune Priest can pop two tanks in one round thanks to the Split fire ability. However, the pack might be too small to survive the return fire.
Army List: 1750 pts
The following 13th Company war band is purely assault based emphasizing mobility and short range fire fights. The Fenrisian Wolves quickly engage shooty squads, the Wulfen led by the Wolf Priest quickly close in on the enemy, the Storm Claws either charge infantry or pop tanks, the Rune Priest may gate a Grey Slayers pack to destroy tanks or decimate heavily armoured troops, and the bike mounted Wolf Lord either takes on enemy leaders or fills gaps in the assault.
Two Army Lists : 2000 pts
Here is a balanced 13th Company war band. The army emphasizes mobility, close combat skill, and long range fire support. The Fenrisian Wolves quickly engage shooty squads, the Long Fangs and the Rune Priest gating a Grey Slayer pack pop tanks and transports, and Grey Slayer packs joined by Wolf Lord and Wolf Priest mop up the leftovers.
melta bombs, frags - 157 pts
melta bombs, frags : 128 pts
Total: 1999 pts. Models: 80.
The following 13th Company war band is purely assault based emphasizing mobility and short range fire fights. The Fenrisian Wolves quickly engage shooty squads, the Wulfen pack led by the Wolf Priest quickly close in on the enemy, the Storm Claws either charge infantry or pop tanks, the Rune Priest may gate a Grey Slayers pack to destroy tanks or decimate heavily armoured troops, and the Wolf Lord on bike and his retinue take on heavily armoured troops or enemy leaders.
wolf pelt : 143 pts
wolf pelt, melta bombs, frags : 131 pts
Total: 1999 pts. Models: 71.
I would like to thank 40kOnline for providing a fantastic platform to support Warhammer 40k players. Moreover, I would like to record thanks to my gaming club, Kolosseum, in Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany. In particular, special thanks to go Bastian D., Bastian H., George, Markus, Moritz, and Simon.
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