Wednesday, April 18

Square to Round: Iron Wolves Recap

     I've decided to do a bit of a recap, especially since the list changed a bit since I first started this project.  Having played WHFB for a long time I was looking to get into 40K for various reasons.  Most of my gamer friends are heavily involved in 40K, not so much into the Fantasy side of the game.  I also had hit a 'burn-out' stage when it came to WHFB and was looking for something to get the juices flowing and rekindle my interest in the gaming scene.  I am also waiting for the various 8th edition Army Books to hit a critical mass that will solve some of the competitive problems with WHFB that I believe exist right now.

     So after doing a lot of research into what army I wanted to play, wanted to model/paint, and would 'fit' a style that encompassed the above, I settled on Wolves.  I'm aware of the strengths of various builds and the list I chose doesn't really take advantage of a lot of them.  However, I wanted to do a themed army that would also be reasonably competitive.  As 6th Edition seems to be right around the corner, I also wanted a well-rounded force that could be tailored to fit changes that will come with the new ruleset.  I also have never had a chance to paint armored vehicles and really wanted to try out a bunch of techniques and learn new ways to paint.  After reading the following in the codex:

"The armored assaults of Egil's Company are famous across the Fenris system, typified by great roaming packs of transport vehicles that cut off the prey's escape routes whilst Egil's heavy tanks tear bloody chunks out of the enemy army."

I knew I needed to do a 'Iron Wolves' Great Company build.....

The List and Notes

Rune Priest w Chooser, Saga of Beastslayer - 120 points
Serious mixed emotions on this, I know RPs are considered 'must-have' by many, but I don't know that he really fits the theme.  I'd personally rather have a Battle Leader or even a Wolf Priest leading this army, but not sure I can afford to drop him and be even remotely competitive.
Status:  Have not built a model yet, have some ideas on what i want to do.

Grey Hunter Packs - 1 at 8 figures (RP in here), 2 at 9 Figures: with Melta, Wulfen, Std, Rhino.  
                               All 3 squads have attached Wolf Guard w PF, Combi Melta
                               Rhinos:  Dozer Blades
                               Squad 1 - 190 pts
                               Squad 2,3 - 205 pts
Got to have these guys and I really like the figures and Rhinos.  I keep considering whether to add more, by dropping a unit detailed below.
Status:    Rhinos are done with the exception of the 3 dozer blades from FW being picked up at 
             Adepticon.  Squads are done with following exceptions:
             Standard Bearers:  I've converted them and they're waiting for paint.  Free-hand makes
                                        me nervous, so probably last thing I do.
             Wulfen:  Still deciding how to do these.  Do I do a converted hands/head 'werewolf' look,
                          or something more no helmet/ 2 hand weapons.  All the rest of the
                          Iron Wolves are helmeted to keep what I believe is their background 'fluff'.

Wolf Guard - 3 figures w PF, Combi-Melta (attached to GH Squads)
                    Razorback w Twin-linked Lascannon.
                    204 pts
I know there are 2 schools of thought on GH builds (at least), but I prefer the attached Wolf Guard variety.  So, each squad gets one of these guys and the Razorback sits back and provides some Lascannon support.  This gives me another threat vehicle and fits the build imo.
Status:  Wolfguard are built/primed and next up on the paint list.  All my Wolf Guard 
            have been modeled with wolf skins and other stuff to make them stand-out from the
            Grey Hunters.
            Both Razorbacks are done (see below unit also)

Wolf Guard - 3 figures w Combi-Meltas
                    Razorback w Twin-linked Lascannon
                    144 pts
Ok, this was just my attempt to squeeze another Razorback into the list at the cheapest cost, but still viable.  It is the first thing I keep swapping out when I'm changing/tweaking the list.  Definitely up for review or change.
Status:  Same as above


 Wolf Guard Terminators - 5 figures w Storm Bolter/Power Weapon
                                       Land Raider Crusader
                                       425 pts
I didn't have any Terminators in my initial list, but I love the models and think they definitely fit the Iron Wolves background.  They are just a vanilla build, mainly because I can't squeeze the points unless I start dropping stuff (which is possible and the point of the post!).  The Landraider is a must in the list, but I do keep waffling on what type to build.
Status:  I'm looking at them....but haven't decided how to build this unit out yet. Waiting for 
            FW parts, so I've got some time before I start feeling guilty.  I also ordered a MkIIb 
            Landraider..but thinking about an eventual Horus Heresy army, so leaning away from
            using it here.  I already have the Crusader/Redeemer variant.

Fast Attack

I originally had 3 Land Speeder Typhoons in the build, but have gradually dropped it to one LS w MM.  This is another unit that I keep thinking about dropping.  I just can't decide if they fit the background, and if they should be replaced by a unit of bikes...or even Thunder Wolves!  Anyway, 60 points available here..or I keep the Landspeeder...
Status:  I own the Land Speeder models and some bikes, but am putting off this slot until I decide what to do.

Heavy Support

Predator w Twin-Linked Lascannons and Lascannon sponsons - 165 pts
Predator w Twin-Linked Lascannons and Lascannon sponsons - 165 pts 
A lot of points per, but part of the backbone of the list.  I really like the models , once you add FW extra-armor to them and they are staying in this particular build.
Status:  Both models are completed.


Vindicator w Siege Shield - 125 pts     
Another unit that adds to the armored threat total.  It also fits the Iron Wolves to a tee and is staying in the list.
Status:  Assembled, primed, base-coated and I'm working on it now.  I'm still experimenting with various frisking techniques and plan to write an article about this down the road.  That big Siege shield surface is perfect for stuff like frisking graphics onto.


So, if you've slogged your way through this then you're in perfect position to help me out.  I know I can't put everything I want into a 2k list...but...there are things I wish I could fit and need some help.
My big questions/wish list items are:

     Do I have to have a Rune Priest to be even remotely competitive?
     What would be the best HQ unit to lead Iron Wolves?
     I would love an Iron Priest for obvious reasons. How would you build him?
     I would also love to add a Dreadnought somehow..see any way?
     How to build the Terminator unit?
     Which variant of Landraider to use based on the build?

Ok, that's a lot but you guys know the game a lot better than I do.  Please help me figure this out.  


  1. So, to answer your questions.
    1. No, you don't NEED a RP to be competitive, but you will wish you had one in a lot of situations. I always think the player trumps the list, but RP isn't a bad choice when starting out cause he stops a lot of "bad stuff," from happening. Plus with all those A$$h()L3 Grey Knight players it seven better. Who knows, maybe 6th ed will change things.

    2. I don't know the fluff, so take my suggestion for what it is. You could look at dropping the Landraider and a few other things to pick up Logan and give one of the WG a Cyclone missile launcher. Lately I haven't been that big a fan of the LR, but it all depends on your play style... (I just looked up the fluff, apparently the Wolf Lord rides in his own personal LR, so my suggestion 100% doesn't fit the fluff. Oh well)

    3. A. Iron Priest. Thunderwolf mount, 4 cyber wolves (only good if you end up adding those Thunder Cav)
    B. Iron Priest. Saga of the Iron wolf, mount in LR. (moving a LR an extra D3" isn't bad)

    4. for 125 you could get a riflemen dread (2 TL auto cannons) It is probably a better choice than the Vindicator, but as you said the Vindi is a must have in the list. I suppose you could drop the second Lascannon Razorback with Wolf Guard.

    5. I like the WG terminators as the 10 man plus Logan variety. With people building lists to kill Paladin stars 5 terminators aren't much too worry about.

    6. Redeemer

    The army is looking dead sexy! I can't wait to see it on the table top. I think the list is coming together and you have a lot of thought put into each unit. In all honesty at this point you'll just have to play it and try some different builds to truly refine the list according to your personal play-style.


  2. First reply and it's early..thanks!

    OK, in order:
    1. Kind of what I was thinking..but I'm still wondering if there is another way.
    2. That would completely change the build and make it Loganwing..which implies a lot of Terminaters; Long Fangs, etc..., not what I want right now.
    3. A. I've seriously considered this and still am. Why only with TWs? Remember that Iron Priests are an Elite choice, not HQs and can't join a unit of TWs.
    B. I thought about this too. I would have to take a small unit of WG (give them LR as dedicated in order to keep the rest of the heavy slots), dismount them and then have Iron Priest mount the LR (that just sounds Is this viable?
    4. Definitely a possibility. Takes elite which i have if 2nd WG unit dropped.
    5. Not doing Logan Wing.
    6. Why over the Crusader?

  3. 1. Hard to do, but possible. I'll run some numbers on other hq.

    2. Understandable. After looking at the fluff you're right it ruins the theme

    3. Wow, didn't notice that he isn't an IC, that sucks! I am used to GK techmarines who are IC's the thunderbolt option might be fun, though since he isn't an IC I would want to run 2 of them.

    4. I like the dread more than the TL lascannon, sure it is only s7 but it gives you a possibility of 4 rolls on the damage chart instead of one.

    5. Mark played a lot with WG terminators in a LR with a Bear Lord. I don't know that he was ever supEr impressed, but still try them out

    6. I only use a crusader when I need the extra space. The "ignore cover," is awesome.


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  5. Well, here are some thoughts from another fellow wolf player…

    Rune Priest…without question has value beyond words. The 4+ ability to nullify psychic powers is great. Add Living Lighting and Murderous Hurricane with a chooser. I would drop the Saga. Not worth it for this guy. Also, don’t sell him short, with Living Lighting and Hurricane he can act either as a STR 7 d6 AP4 Razorback (in a rhino of course) or shut down a possible dangerous charge with Murderous Hurricane. I cannot say how many times Murderous Hurricane has thrown a wrench into people’s games. As an alternate choice you could go with the 5+ cover save power for the rhinos which is fitting also.

    I have seen some lists without a Rune Priest and have remained competitive. It comes down to personal taste IMO.

    HQ wise if you don’t go with a Rune Priest I would say a Lord with Runic Armor, Frost Weapon, Saga of the Bear and Storm Shield. A brick if there was ever one.

    Iron Priests are good for the Land Raider with the Saga of the Iron Wolf, if you have space add 4 Cyberwolves. As an alternative you could go with an Iron Priest and 2 Thralls (add some Wolves or an extra thrall for wound soaking) and steal a Rhino (swap from a Razorback to a Rhino for the Wolf Guard) and sit inside the Rhinio as an armored bunker shooting two plasma cannons out.

    For the Grey Hunters my friend and I prefer the power weapon, you have to gamble on a random dice roll, hope you get a rending result among other things. I would buy some werewolf type heads (I know two companies that make them) and go two weapons or no weapons…or if you can make some type of claws instead…

    Speeders are on the fence for my friend and I that both play wolves, they are great when they work but they are so light they tend to die very easy. They are to us a free kill point and a fire and forget unit. Pray they do something before they die. IMO they do fit the fluff as an advance scout for the company.

    Dreadnoughts would be best with two autocannons, and then he can sit back behind the Rhinos and provide fire support.

    To me the Preds load out should be Autocannons on top and lascannons on the side. Cheapens them down and still makes the firepower impressive in any case.

    For a terminator unit, one in a Land Raider to me would be take a few combi-meltas or plasma (since they are relentless) add a cyclone in for ranged option, the rest with storm shields and power weapons. For a few cheaper options the standard power weapon and storm bolter. For the most part you can deal with anything from a MC to a tough armored opponent.

    The Variant on the Land Raider is tough, to me the standard one if the unit size is 5 or less in TA armor. Otherwise I would go Crusader, the big choice is do you need more anti-armor that the standard package gives or the anti-troop option of a Crusader? The answer is there in what your needs are and what you are having problems in game with.

    1. Extremely helpful insight and it's got me

      I think I'll keep the RP for now, I fully intend to add stuff to this army as I go so I'm sure I'll eventually try the Lord build (It was the build I was thinking of anyway).

      I originally built my GH squads with PWs as opposed to Wulfen. I think I'll start out with that build (PW) and see how it goes. It'll also give me some time to decide on the Wulfen models.

      The Iron Priest builds have me thinking about the following:
      What about an Iron Priest on a Bike with 4 Cyberwolves and the Iron Wolf Saga? I'd love to model the guy on a bike (and a big part of this for me is how the army looks and fits the fluff) and it would give him mobility to get around and fix vehicles. The unit would look cool, but would it have any effect?

      My Preds are staying the way they are for now. I magnetized the guns, so swapping out will be easy if needed. I'll try both variants as I play and see what happens.

      I'm going to drop the Speeder(s) if I add either the Iron Priest or the Dread. The recon point is a good one, just can't fit it if I tweak the list.

      The terminators are getting expensive if I add all that. I can add 3 combi-weapons and a Chain Fist or Power Fist if I do the Iron Priest build..otherwise I'll have to seriously tweak stuff to add the other equipment.

      I'm definitely leaning towards the Crusader. The MkIIb I bought is a standard I could always use that down the road if needed.

      Thanks again and please comment on the above.

    2. I think the Iron Priest on the bike would be a bad idea...

      Glad it gave you some food for thought...

      Combos for Terminators should be one of these:
      1) Combi and Power Weapon
      2) Power Weapon and Shield
      3) Standard, storm bolter and power weapon

      Terminators are best if kept lean. Avoid adding too much fat to them.

    3. standards with Terms though.
      Appreciate the comments.
      I may do some things that aren't 'optimal' to most. It served me well in WHFB and I know the 40k community isn't any better at dealing with things they're not used

    4. I would agree, the key is finding that which they are not used to.

      I do hope the thoughts I dropped are helpful, they may not always work for everyone. I have noticed that some people play better with some types of units than others.