[This article is part of the Codex Review: Space Wolves article series.]
In my last article, Codex Review: Space Wolf Named Characters, the ehh..., I described Lukas the Trickster, Ulrik the Slayer, and Canis Wolfborn and why you probably could better spend your points elsewhere.
In this second article, I am going to describe the decent named characters that may or may not be worth their points, but are generally decent.
Above that, Bjorn comes with Saga of Majesty and wolf tail talisman. This means that he can help keep your models from failing morale if they are within 6" of him.
Bjorn also has a few interesting special rules. Ward of the Primarch gives Bjorn a 5+ invul save. Combined with venerable status and AV13, this guy can be incredibly hard to take down. Ancient Tactician is the rule that really can benefit Space Wolves. This rule gives the player the ability to reroll for the chance to choose who deploys (and consequently who goes first). I think this rule meshes really well with a razorspam list as it gives you a chance to take the first turn and shoot down mech before it has a chance to do the same thing. Of course, this can be countered by an opponent who reserves their army much in the same way drop pod assault is negated.
Bjorn's final rule is also interesting and provides both pros and cons for the player. Living Relic states that should Bjorn die in a game, he makes the entire army fearless. This can be good or bad, but I tend to look at it as good since I play Space Wolves as a counterattack army that whittles down opponents with hails of fire before going in for the kill in combat. It can be bad if you end up having to tkae fearless saves due to lost combats.
Now the quirky part of Living Relic is that Bjorn stays on the table after he dies as an objective in objective games while in kill point games he yields D3 additional kill points unless a Space Wolf model is in contact with him. So, this isn't so fun, but hopefully a smart player will advance Bjorn with the army and be somewhat easy to capture.
So, the big question is whether or not Bjorn is worth his 270pt. This is also why I have listed him as decent. If you build an army around Bjorn and use his advantages to your benefit, then you he can make a pretty mean army. As I mentioned earlier, I think Bjorn meshes really well with a razorspam army with some good counter attack units. However, he costs as much as two riflemen dreads. Also, if you lose him under the wrong circumstances, you are facing an uphill battle. Thus, Bjorn, in my mind, is decent, but not a named character that you want to take all the time or at small points levels.
Arjac is a unit upgrade of a unit of Wolf Guard. He rings in at 170pt. Arjac comes with a significantly improved statline including WS and BS 5, S5, 2W, and 3 attacks base. He wears terminator armor and carried a thunder hammer, the foehammer, and the anvil shield. The foehammer is a thunder hammer that Arjac can throw with a 6" range at S10, AP1, assault 1. The anvil shield is a storm shield that grants Arjac another attack when he assaults. This means that Arjac is walking around with a 2+/3++ save, a S10 hammer and 5 attacks on the assault. Additionally, he is a unit upgrade and so he can't be targetted.
Arjac's is stubborn, has saga of the bear, and has the Grimnar's Champion rule. Saga is great meaning that he can eat one high strength Ap2 or 3 shot without dying due to eternal warrior. Stubborn is also nice for whichever unit he joins. I am not necessarily a fan of Grimnar's Champion, but the guy is tooled out to use it well. If an IC or Mosntrous Creature is in contact with Arjac he has to allocate his attacks at that model. Seeing as how he will usually pulp whatever he hits, it isn't such a big deal, but a canny opponent could use this to hamper his ability to drive up combat res.
Here's the thing about Arjac. This is why he is decent and not awesome. He is the definition of an offensive character. He needs to be in a unit that is making it's way to beat face. This is where the problem occurs. Since Arjac is wearing terminator armor, he is either pedestrian, riding in a land raider, or in a drop pod. This means that additional points have to be allocated in order to make him more efficient. You also have to consider which units he is best utilized with. In my opinion, you want him in either grey hunters or wolf guard. Again, in order to provide a decent beater unit to place him in, you need to invest points. Ultimately, taking Arjac leads to creating a deathstar unit which will wreck many armies, but be totally negated by others.
Arjac has great stats and absolutely beats face in combat, but the costs of taking him efficiently means you have to invest a lot of points in one unit. Ultimately this means that Arjac is decent instead of awesome.
In my next article, I am going to go over the big three. The most awesome named characters in the Space Wolf army. Stay tuned. If you haven't read my previous article, take a look at the link at the top of the page.
Other useful articles:
Codex Review: Black Templar Named HQs
Codex Review: Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard
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Pictures provided thanks to Warhammer 40k Wikia.