Saturday, June 30, 2012

6th ed Space Wolf FAQ is out

Tell me: What has happened to my Axe in 6th ed?
Well, they're actually all out now but the one that I'm most interested in is the Vylka Fenryka (Space Wolves to non-Horus Heresy fans) and what the new rules mean for them. Much of it is bringing things into line with the new rules (ATSKNF for example) and Bikers are now base T5 which is nice for Attack Bikes as they aren't doubled-out by Krak Missiles anymore.

ICs on Bikes are the same making them a more attractive prospect for them now. Doubly so, as you'll get twin-linked bolters, the speed to get into favourable positions to snipe out fancy guys through torrents of firepower and Hammer of Wrath I10 attacks when you assault (with potential re-rolls to hit thanks to Preferred Enemy). Suddenly a Wolf Priest on a Bike is a really attractive prospect. Give him a 2+ save and he can soak up fire all day especially with his 2+ Look Out Sir save to have grunts take damage instead of him.

So let us see what else has changed.

Psychic Powers
Wolves can take Biomancy, Divination and Telekinesis.

I've got to admit that I like some of the powers like the buffs that you can in Divination but I'll have to play with them to see if they can replace the likes of Jaws, Tempest and Hurricane. My gut instinct tells me that I'll be staying with the powers from the book in the long-term but I won't dismiss these powers out of hand yet.

Lone Wolves
They don't give away a VP if they're killed (not a Kill Point)/ they do give away a VP if alive, almost as it was before.

Wolf Priest
Now Oath of War is Preferred Enemy in the book

Iron Priest
Restores a Hull Point or fixes Immobilised/Weapon Destroyed when he repairs something.

His Living Relic rule doesn't change much as he becomes an objective and D3 VPs for destroyed units (KP basically). Now with the Hull Point changes he becomes a huge liability and no amount of Venerable re-rolls are going to save him.

Interesting. He must issue a challenge whenever possible.

His buffs only apply to units from Codex: SW.

He's Mastery Level 2 and has this hilarious change to Vengeful Tornado (a 6 on his Lord of Tempests chart).
Replace this entry with: “At the end of Njal’s Shooting phase, a
single enemy model of your choice within 18” is ravaged by a
tornado, taking D3 S9 hits. Vehicles are hit on their side
armour”. [Emphasis mine]
So now he gets to snipe guys out of units with his power? Class. Even if they do have Look Out Sir rolls (2+ for ICs and 4+ for Sarges) they'll still usually suffer Instant Death if they fail their saves making it an attractive proposition. Precision strikes? Who needs them?

Btw, how do precision strikes work with Murderous Hurricane? If you roll a 6 to hit do you get to allocate some, all or none of those S3 hits onto specific guys?

His buffs only apply to Wolf units and his sword is now AP 3. So they've made him worse...

His buffs only apply to Wolf units and his weapon is now a +1 S and AP3 or a Power Fist as his Axe Morkai can be used as either a Frost Blade or Power Fist. C:SW pg 56. Yes the names are slightly confusing but it is GW we're on about. Besides, its much better as he has the weapons to deal with MEQ at I5 and TEQ at their Initiative. With a 2+ save himself. And a 4+ invul. And Eternal Warrior. And Wolf Banner re-rolls. What?

Frost Weapons
Frost Blades are now +1 S and AP3 while Frost Axes are +2 S and AP2. No I don't get it either: why would you ever use an Axe that fights last when for a few extra points you get to double your S? If Axes were -1 I then they'd be really good but now they'll disappear from sight entirely.

Wolf Guard
As expected these Pack Leaders become Characters so are able to issue Challenges and can make use of Precision Strikes. I really like the thought of sniping guys out of units with a Combi-Plasma and Cyclone Missiles before piling into combat.

Pelt of the Doppegangrel now works in challenges! Its a pity that it doesn't stop Lukas remaining crap though. Oh, and Blood Claws are still far inferior to Grey Hunters. Now that I think of it they've got the horrible situation of being the worst Ragers in the game: even units with Rage don't have to charge if possible.

There are some other minor changes in there but we can gloss over them as they don't change things massively like some of the ones listed above. My initial thoughts on this?

Logan is still class although his buffs have been slightly weakened as Tank Hunter isn't nearly as good as it was while Relentless, while still useful, isn't as valuable as before thanks to Snap Firing with Heavy Weapons (and a Wolf Priest can give them re-rolls depending what they're shooting at for 175 pts less). Thankfully Fearless is much improved, so no longer will your own guys fall over (and cut) themselves when they lose a combat. Logan is still a boss in combat and has the tools to take on pretty much anything so he'll remain a popular choice.

Njal gets a nice little boost with his Vengeful Tornado change and his Runic Weapon seems untouched, and is now massively better than a Psychic Hood or Abhor the Witch. Mastery Level 3 are you? I don't care as its a flat roll.

Runic Weapons on a flat roll within 24"? Nice.

Wolf Guard Pack Leaders becoming Characters and getting Precision strikes and Look Out Sir.

Although it wasn't mentioned here, I find that Wolf Scouts with a re-roll to see which edge they come on from is hilarious.

Bjorn is fairly sucky now for reasons explained above.

Ragnar, the supposed combat monster, will struggle against anything with a 2+ save so he'll be gathering dust for quite a while, especially as nearby units (and the unit he's with) will no longer get an I buff with Furious Charge.

Blood Claws have now shifted from underpowered vs Grey Hunters to plain underpowered. It'll be a long time before they show up in most decent lists again.

Frost Weapons. Now while all Power Swords took a hit by becoming AP 3, Axes took a massive hit by striking at I1 even with AP 2 so you'll probably soon hear the sound of nerdrage as Axes and Halberds are snapped off and replaced with Swords and Fists in short order.

If you've any thoughts or have spotted any mistakes then feel free to comment.


  1. Axes are same points as fists not slightly cheaper so there is really really no use for them, i was expecting some cost changes but there isnt

    1. Axes are cheaper then Fists as the Axes still are under the point cost of Power weapons,also statically axes will get more kills on standard marines then a fist (because of the extra attack) also it still has the ability to kill terms and to more damage to light vehicles so if anything ill be changing many of my Swords to axes

  2. Yeah, I always preferred the sword to the axe as an image but having it as a same price power fist with worse buffs is just...unusual. I can't think of anything good to say about it. Which is a shame.

    1. You get +1 A for having a Bolt Pistol. Yay?

      It's not enough to justify taking the Axe instead of the Fist and I think I can hear the sound of snapping models around the world as people race to replace Axes with Swords & Fists. A pity, as sometimes an axe suits a model more.

    2. Well done, there is the +1 A, but you're still right it's not really worth it. That two handed axe in the wolf pack box is kick ass.

    3. That two-handed axe can be used to count-as a Power Fist, maybe?

      If your opponent gets confused just ask him if he thinks you're stupid because no-one will have them anymore. :P

  3. Well Space Wolves have the best anti psyker stuff in the game.

    While Hoods get nerfed, runic weapons stay the same, add in the 6+ save for deny the witch and wolf tail talismans 5+ SW in effect get 3 goes to stop a power aimed at them..... on a 4+, then a 5+, and a 6+

    1. I've got a question for you.

      The BRB says that whatever the Priest is armed with is his weapon's type i.e. Sword, Axe or Stave. However, it also deals with Unusual Force Weapons which have their own rules beneath it and Runic Weapons have their own rules.

      They function like a normal force weapon but they also wound Daemons on a 2+, so they could be said to fall under the rules for Unusual Force Weapons and become AP 3 weapons.

      As for 3 attempts to stop a power, I reckon it's only 2. Rune Weapons are our Deny the Witch replacement so its always a 4+ while the WTT kicks in if that fails.


  4. The terminator armour with runic axe will be good for Rune Priests.

    1. Runic Armour will be almost as good as it will allow a Priest to issue challenges and potentially tie up characters with AP 3 weapons while his buddies get to work.

      And he can be used to soak up loads of shots and rely on his 2+/2+ LO,S to put Lascannons and Plasma shots on nearby grunts.

    2. runic axe or runic staff it doesnt matter, its an unusual force weapon with AP3 and special rules only. no axe-rules

    3. That seems to be what people are agreeing upon alright. Cheers Mathias.

      Rune Priests are still arguably the best HQ we have with their huge 4+ bubble and opportunity to get 2+ saves to keep them alive and WTTs to further stop psychic powers.

    4. This is a good point, runic armour is looking well worth the points. We might start seeing more Tempest's wrath what with the prevalence of fliers. Or even storm caller, as it's as good as most cover without the downsides.

    5. But Tempest isn't as good as it was because while it affects Skimmers no mention is made of it affecting Flyers, so Allies are looking more and more to be the solution to them assuming that Long Fangs can't fire Flakk rounds from their missiles.

      I think Storm Caller with a Saga of the Hunter Wolf Priest is a good bet to give a unit a 4+ save and Fearless every run, as well as re-rolls on 1's to hit and wound specified enemies.

  5. Wolf Scouts aren't great at all now. Ok you come on and plasma some lads. Wow.

    1. They're not as good but their role has changed. I don't see them hunting Land Raiders as most Raiders will want to rush into midfield with their deadly cargos now, unless they're going to act as a very pricey support platform which means the Scouts will be too far to deal damage with their Meltas. They'll still be handy against other support vehicles but can only tag one per turn now and not a couple like they could before.

      They can be a very good Focus Fire unit used to snipe guys out of squads depending upon their positioning. You move them to within 12" of some carelessly placed fancy guy and unload all of the Plasma into him so that no amount of LO,S will save him.

      They'll have to get a few test games into them though.

  6. One minor thing i think i picked up on which i haven't seen mentioned elsewhere. Acute Senses has now changed completly.
    Where the range a Wolf brother can see during night fighting has now been removed. Whereas the 6th edition FAQ means it hasn't been retro-giving back to Space Wolves. Meaning our night fighting has been reduced to standard Marines (so much for our corruption of the canis helix!) And i will probably argue that SW: Acute Senses rule is now useless as the only unit as far as I can see that can/will use it is Wolf Scouts!

    1. Not quite. A Wolf Priest with Saga of the Hunter can now enable a scoring unit to Outflank and there's a re-roll to see what edge they emerge on. While its a bit gimmicky rather than reliable it does mean that your opponent will have to deal with a unit that can be relied upon to show up in his deployment and score a VP for Linebreaker.

      It seems that the BRB & FAQ have caused lots of confusion which is something I might have to come back to.


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