Underplayed & Overlooked: Codex Space Wolves
Welcome back to Underplayed & Overlooked. Today we look at the most wolf flavored of the Emperor's finest: the Space Wolves. Lets begin. Ulrik the Slayer
- Cost: 5
- Offense: 4
- Defense: 3
- Support: 5
Looking at the cost I first had to break him down against other Unique characters of which he is the second cheapest. Then I compared him to a regular Wolf Priest and found that the point difference was more that made up by the difference of stats and abilities. He is a bargain in my opinion.
Offensively he is better than a regular Wolf Priest in every way. +2 WS, +1 BS +1 Initiative and +1 Attack is a significant improvement over the base model. For ranged he packs a Plasma Pistol that will be hitting on a 2+. For close combat he packs a power weapon and if the target is Toughness 5 or more he will be getting to reroll To Hit and To Wound rolls.
Defensively he is identical to a Wolf Priest. He has a 3+ Armor Save and a 4+ Invulnerable Save. This is a place where the base Wolf Priest has an advantage with it's ability to take Terminator Armor or a Bike.
This character has a multiple Support abilities going for it. Lets break it down. For starters the squad he joins gets to reroll To Hit and To Wound against enemies that are Toughness 5 or greater. He also gives one other non Unique character in your army +1 WS (to a max of 6) to represent his substantial training skills.
Additionally like a regular Wolf Priest he provides defense from Psychic Powers negating ones that target the squad on a 5+ as well as making the squad Fearless. Lastly he allows any other Space Wolf unit that can see him to reroll their failed Leadership tests and enemy Independent Characters who want to allocate any attacks against him in Assault must first pass a Leadership check or lose their attacks for the round.
- Cost: 4
- Offense: 4
- Defense: 2
- Support: 2
Starting with his cost he is the third cheapest Unique character in book. Additionally while there is some stat shifting he does wind up ahead in a lot of important areas compared to a Wolf Lord with the same upgrades. So while he is not a completely no brainer choice he is still more than decent for his cost.
Offensively he lacks a ranged attack though he is a literal beast in close combat. He has 5 Attacks Base with Strength 5 at Initiative 5. In addition his twin Wolf Claws are power weapons that allow him to reroll To Hit or To Wound before dice are rolled.
Lastly he has Rending and can choose to exchange his Attack Characteristic from 5 to be the same number of models which are in base to base with him. Given that he comes on a large base I could see this yielding quite a few attacks in certain situations.
Defensively he is two third of the way there. He has a 3+ Armor Save, Toughness 5 and 3 Wounds which is great. But he lacks an Invulnerable Save. This alone means he is just a few power weapon attacks away from becoming some squads new fur rug. That is a pretty big downside in my opinion.
From a Support perspective I think that while he does make Fenrisian Wolves much better by giving them Leadership 8 and Initiative 5 it doesn't make up for him having Leadership 8. That is a pretty low score for any Space Marine character. If Fenrisian Wolves could score or contest an objective he would get a rating of 3 but I just cant quite justify it with what he brings to the table.
- Cost: 2
- Offense: 4
- Defense: 4
- Support: 3
Looking at his cost he is the fourth cheapest Unique character in the book. Though comparing him to other cheaper Unique characters as well as Wolf Guard in general and he comes out being quite expensive in my opinion.
Offensive he is strong. For a ranged attack he can throw his Thunderhammer which is a Strength 10 AP1 shot with 6" range that hits on 2+. If that rings the bell of a vehicle it is not likely to be too happy with the result.
For Close Combat he is armed with a Thunderhammer and Storm Shield operating at Strength 10. Though he also gets an additional bonus Attack on the charge giving him 5 attacks total when he throws himself into the fray. Not bad at all.
Defensively he is almost perfect. 2+ Armor Save, 3+ Invulnerable Save and Eternal Warrior. But he only has 2 Wounds. If he had 3 Wounds or Toughness 5 he would have gotten a rating of 5.
Rounding out Lysander Jr. he is able to join a number of different squads thanks to being a Wolf Guard and to that squad he would bring Leadership 9 with Stubborn. Not to mention his ability to absorb some damage for them.
Lukas the Trickster
- Cost: 1
- Offense: 3
- Defense: 3
- Support: 2
He is the cheapest character in the book and he still isn;t worth his points in my opinion. He can lead a Blood Claw Pack for the low low cost of an entire squad of 10 Blood Claws. Is he 10 Blood Claws worth of awesome? No. Not even close.
Offensively he has a Plasma Pistol for Ranged attacks hitting on 2+. For Close Combat he has a Wolf Claw and 3 Attacks at Strength 4 and Initative 5. This is pretty comparable to other characters in the book and so he nets an Average score.
Defensively he has a 3+ Armor Save and 2 Wounds. In addition in Assault you have to reroll successful To Hit attacks against him which is nice. But he lacks Eternal Warrior or an Invulnerable Save making him just average even taking into account a pack of ablative Blood Claws.
His Last Laugh ability doesn't quite fit in with either Defense of Offense. When he dies you roll a single die against your opponent which means there is a 50/50 chance that if you win the roll all models in base to base with Lukas when he dies are just removed from play.
While this is a really cool and thematic ability you cant depend on it and given that he could be taken out fairly easily by regular infantry there wont be much of a reason for someone to risk an expensive character to go after him. I think his points cost reflects this ability heavily and it just isn't that valuable in my opinion.
Lastly for Support he does make the Blood Claw Pack he is a part of lose its irksome Headstrong ability which is nice. But he caps their Leadership at 8 regardless of who else is in the unit. Additionally he brings in a Wolf Tail Talisman for the 5+ negation of Psychic Powers that target the squad. So he helps and hinders which makes sense for the character but he isn't bringing much else to the table.
Come around and see us next time for my review of Codex: Imperial Guard.
Arjac Rockfist photo credited to Jorvic of Bell of Lost Souls