Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Space Wolves: Second Look at Speeders

When your codex contains arguably some of the best troop and heavy support choices in the game, its easy to overlook things in the rest of the book. My Space Wolf list had been very meat, Grey Hunters, and potatoes, Long Fangs, in the past – to the exclusion of everything else. I wasn’t using anything except those two choices, the only difference in my lists would be whether or not I substituted in three drop pods to get the assault forces in there even faster. Then, as if by fate, I found three old speeders in a box I was sorting through the other day.

Photo Credit: Space Wolves Grey Blog


My standard list had been suffering. While my close in punch was working quite well with squads of Grey hunters mobbing up and the covering fire from Long Fangs was working fairly well – my forces lacked anything with a medium range punch. I was getting out maneuvered by other forces as they moved around the board and killed me with the death of a thousand paper cuts. Looking at the points I determined that for the low price of 180 points I could field three speeders with double heavy bolters. Removing one infantry squad would leave me enough points to buy a second Razorback for the other Long Fang squad.

Shortly after I called in a buddy to get in a test game with Necrons, the speeders performed admirably. Their AP 4 fire combined with 6 shots and capability to move 24” and contest objectives makes them an awesome asset for the space wolf commander. I was absolutely impressed with everything you get for 180 points and if your wolves are anything like mine, you don’t use many fast attack choices – so having three completely independent speeders doesn’t mean they are competing for slots with anything else.

After my test game I participated in a tournament last weekend with this list. I pulled 2x Dark Eldar players and a Mechanized Imperial Guard player. In all three cases the speeders proved to be a valuable asset in both drawing and providing fire support. While the shots are not twin linked you will still get 4 hits per turn fairly reliably and with their medium strength and AP you are in a great position to kill most other infantry units. Against the Dark Eldar the speeders were busy getting penetrating hits on the raiders and then cutting down the troops inside once removed from their comfortable candy shell.

While upgrading to add the speeders cost me an infantry squad, the points bought me an additional Razorback and the 3x speeders. These units really help to fill out my medium rage fire support requirements and give me a much needed boost in maneuverability once the game starts to wind down and the jockeying for objectives begins.

Here is the list I have been using:

Drop Pod:

Rune Priest, Melta Bombs and Wolf Guard with Power Fist and Combi melta with 8 Grey Hunters with Melta gun, Power Sword, Wolf Standard and Drop Pod

Wolf Guard with Power Fist and Combi melta, 9 Grey Hunters with Melta gun, Power Sword, Wolf Standard and Drop Pod

Wolf Guard with Power Fist and Combi melta, 9 Grey Hunters with Melta gun, Power Sword, Wolf Standard and Drop Pod

Mechanized:

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain and Wolf Guard with Power Fist and Combi melta with 8 Grey Hunters with Melta gun, Power Sword, Wolf Standard, Rhino

Dismounted Objective Holders:

Wolf Guard with Power Fist and Combi melta, 7 Grey Hunters with Melta gun, Power Sword

Fast Attack:

3x Speeders with double heavy bolters

Heavy Support:

6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers in Razorback

6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers in Razorback

The one word that comes up over and over with this list is ‘redundancy’. This list designed to operate despite having key portions removed. The speeders follow in this theme by having three totally independent speeders that all have to be removed in order to remove their threat of contesting objectives and the harassing heavy bolter fire. They also add a huge amount of maneuverability to the list that makes it even more dangerous across the board. While I don’t think speeders are a viable solution for everyone I do think they warrant a second look for anyone with a Space Wolf list who might be looking to change things up a bit or find a new way to get some additional high payoff assets in the fight.

next time I will be putting together a small tactics article because I run my speeders much differently from what you typically see with multi-melta's and heavy flamers...

Still practicing_

Tallarn

4 comments:

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  2. nice list, and interesting to see someone bringing bolter speeders. i have not seen a speeder without the melta/flamer config for about 18 months, and you make a good case for them being useful against he current crop of armies. even against marines you are putting down quite a few wounds and have a very nice effective range. food for thought indeed!

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  3. I must have this shoot me, that I may truly understand the power!

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  4. against guard, tau, dark eldar, orks and tyranids you are getting some great kills on troop choices early and often. it forces your opponent to devote something to killing them and if you keep them behind rhinos or razorbacks their cover save makes them hard to kill.

    the added bonus is if you can keep them alive to the end of the game and go for some late objective contesting with them

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