Sunday, October 31, 2010

Go Lone Ranger or Take the Whole Posse?

My current list uses three separate 1 man Thunderwolf Cav in my fast slots.  I know a lot of people like to run multiple models in a unit to build in some resilience.  Here are my thoughts on the subject.

The lone ranger

If you have a single thunderwolf cav as a unit, he is cheap(ish), expendable, and still capable of wasting entire units on his own.  Expendable doesn't mean he is easy to kill though.  T5 with a 3+, sometimes a 3++, and 2 wounds means he is downright hard to wound.  He is also a true T5, so he can't easily be doubled out by artillery.  I personally always give my thunderwolf cav storm shields because it does make them more surivivable and on my models (modeled to look like knights riding horses) they just look cool.  But why else is the lone ranger a viable option.  On the charge, with WS4, S5, and 5 attacks, this guy will easily whittle down even MEQs (though not TH/SS terminators or other dedicated combat units).  If he doesn't send them running, he will hold them up for quite a while. 

With the ability to take 3 suchs units in a list, you have the option of throwing forward 3 hard to-kill-models that can provide cover for each other and cause your opponent to play very defensively. All for starting out at 50 points. a pop.  That is cheaper than a speeder and we use those all the time as sacrificial units. These guys become mini monstrous creatures. 

I personally run:
1 with thunder hammer/storm shield
1 with wolf claw/storm shield/meltabombs
1 with ccw/storm shield/meltabombs

These are quite a bit more expensive than the 50pt. initial price tag, but they fulfill the above mentioned roles while being extremely dangerous to my opponents.

So, lone thunderwolves are cheap, killy, and resilient allowing you to put down three very aggressive units on the board that your opponent will have to deal with instead of  your troops or tanks. They won't survive as long as a full unit, so you can't shove them up blindly thinking they are invincible.  Nothing in 40k is invincible.  You still have to use tactics. These guys are best used as support to each other or a grey hunter squad and not as actual lone guns.  They can, but they do better when they add their weight to another unit's creating some killy synergy.

The whole posse

There are many who will put together an entire unit or two of 3-5 models with wound allocation shenanigans.  This changes up the dynamic of your army quite a bit. First of all, these units are deathstar units.  For the points of multiple models plus the upgrades needed to create a favorable wound allocation setup, you are looking at multiple hundreds of points per unit (200+ at the least). 

So what is good about this unit?  It is uber-killy.  What a single twolf can do, it does way better to the point of overkill.  This unit will make other units explode when it touches them. With each model having 4-5 attacks and even the guys with out spiffy close combat weapons getting rending, these guys will take out whole units in one go.  This is good and bad.  On the good side, once they get into the thick of it, they will be eating units left and right.  The bad is that they will hardly ever get locked into combat with a unit over more than a single round, so when said unit is dead, the whole army will open up on them.  Imagine IG mech spam with plasma vets and melta vets.  It is not pretty even with wound allocation.  Remember that Twolves are LD 8.  They will eventually fail a morale test if they lose models.  It is a bummer to watch your money maker unit legging 3D6" at a time off the board. 

Wound allocation is huge to this unit kind of like with a tricked out nob squad.  Since the models are 2 wounds, you can give them each different equipment and when wounds are piled on, each model will end up taking the minimal number of wounds possible making them more survivable.  I think this would be the number one reason to take a big unit.  It is extremely hard to kill.  Possibly harder than TH/SS terminators, but definitely harder than nobs.  These guys laugh off krak missiles with happy puppy band-aids.

They are point prohibitive so you will base your army design around them.  This means your army will be less flexible.  If they die, you will have a hard time pulling it out as the remenants of your army will be very, very small.

Really in the end, it depends on how you play your army.  I personally prefer the MSU approach to playing 40k.  If I have twice as many models on the board, I can focus on more of your army at a time than you can on mine.  While my long guns are sitting back and shooting, I can send my twolves alongside grey hunter squads and mop up whole units.

If you prefer smaller elite armies you might try out the wolfstar.  I personally am not a big fan because it isn't my style and I am custom converting all of my twolves.

So, what do you think?  Did I leave anything out?  Do you agree with me?  What would you prefer to play, the lone ranger or the wolfstar?


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