Beware, AIRWOLF!



We’ve been playing a lot of Space Wolves lately and I can tell you that there is a new list on the horizon: AIRWOLF!

Check out the Tactics Corner for more great tactics articles!

So, Space Wolves are going to be REALLY good, with lots of excellent lists (we have found a number of them already). However, one stands out as pretty bad ass, and that I believe we will be seeing a lot of: AIRWOLF!

So, what does this consist of?

Stormwolves…lots of them!

The Stormwolf is brutally good. With a solid transport capacity, assault vehicle status and a blistering arsenal of weapons mounted on a durable AV12 hull, this vehicle is no joke.  In our test games only concentrated AA has been able to take them down and they easily nuke ground targets, particularly with PotMS to fire on two targets.

Taking them as a dedicated transport for cheapo Blood Claws is a solid choice, and, they become ObSec while in hover mode. However, even sitting low on their base, you may not be able to get within 3″ of an objective to actually pull it off, but it is possible. The boys inside though, can definitely hop out and get it done. Plus, as an assault vehicle, Blood Claws can jump out after it goes into hove mode and punk a weak unit or get some extra range coming out of it to grab a distant objective.


The key though, is having a reliable anchor unit on the ground to survive until the Stormwolves come in to play.

JY2 had the idea of using a Land Raider Achilles to anchor the list as with immunity to lance and melta, and -1 on the damage table protecting an AV14 chassis, that is about as resilient as you get. Plus, it can house an ObSec unit to give you even more objective grabbing power. It also packs some good firepower with a T-Fire and two, twin-linked Multi Meltas.

Baring that, you could take some T-Cav to give you some assault punch!

At any rate, here is a list we have been considering!

  • T-Lord: Wolf, Shield, Runic, Hammer, 2 Wolves: 236
  • Fenrisian Wolves x 15, Cyberwolf upgrade (need someone to fall on the sword in challenges!): 130
  • Stormwolf: M.Meltas: 235
  • Blood Claws x 5: 60
  • Stormwolf: M.Meltas: 235
  • Blood Claws x 5: 60
  • Stormwolf: M.Meltas: 235
  • Blood Claws x 5: 60
  • Stormwolf: M.Meltas: 235
  • Blood Claws x 5: 60
  • Stormwolf: M.Meltas: 235
  • Blood Claws x 5: 60

That leaves you a few extra points to mess around with.

You keep the Lord and Wolves out of LoS if you need to and simply wait for team AIRWOLF to show up. Then, use your speed to get in their and do work. If you aren’t worried about getting wiped before the flyers show up, you go forward with them aggressively and apply more pressure. When the flyers show up, you unleash a blistering amount of firepower and then play the waiting game for your Blood Claws to either jump into assault where needed to take out weak units or vehicles, or, wait for endgame to take objectives.

Also, you don’t HAVE to load up in the Stormwolves. You can also have the Blood Claws start on the table or go into normal reserves as needed if that is the better course of action.

The strengths of the army are–obviously–lots of mobile, heavy firepower and scoring units. Try to place Objectives off of ground level so that it is easier for your flyers to score them. As that will help a lot.

The weaknesses of the army is facing opponents with high model count armies. While you have high strength shooting, you do not have high volume and a horde can simply wait you out, soaking the damage while earning points during the game and then take end game objectives, winning without worrying too much about actually fighting you. You rely on your Lord and Wolves to clear the riff raff! Also, and again pretty obviously, you will be weak to heavy AA armies. Those though, are relatively rare. If you find yourself facing another air-force army, always try to go second so that you can come on after the other flyers and alpha strike them. And, typically, you will always want to go second as you can deny your opponent a first turn of shooting if your Thunder Lord and Wolves are out of LoS, plus you get the last shot at taking objectives, too.

Always go for the Strategic Warlord trait that allows you to reroll reserve rolls. That will be critical to getting your boys in on time.

Is this a GT winner? Eh, it is an extreme army. It will win big by overwhelming the other guy’s ability to stop you, or it will face it’s hard counter and you will lose big. These types of armies live or die by match-ups and if you get luck and draw good matches all tournament (which, most other lists are a good match for you) you will win. If you do not, or have a game with crappy reserve rolls, you will lose. However, it will probably be a fun army to try!

What AIRWOLF lists are you all thinking about?



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

34 Responses to “Beware, AIRWOLF!”

  1. colin sherlow August 11, 2014 2:45 am #

    Can you deploy a unit on the table and put the units dedicated transport in reserve or visa versa? And where would I find the wording for this in the rules book?

    I’d love to keep my kabalites in reserve, but deploy their venoms

    • Morollan August 11, 2014 4:52 am #

      More importantly, where do you think the rule is that prevents you from doing this? Nothing in the rules says that a unit has to deploy with the dedicated transport.

  2. Simon August 11, 2014 2:47 am #

    I was afraid this might happen…

    Good job half my nids can fly! Aweeeeee little birdies! Shitting all over your windscreens to make you crash your dog faced sky floaters!

    • nimrod451 August 11, 2014 2:50 am #

      I admit it, I laughed..

      I think Dog Face SkyFloaters would make a good band name.. or band an album name. Dogface’s new album Skyfloaters.

  3. nimrod451 August 11, 2014 2:48 am #

    You should get extra points in a tournament if you model the Twolf guy to look like Jan-Michael Vincent..

    ..just saying.

    Also..where’s the Murderface! heh

    Looks like a fun list though in all seriousness!

    • Reecius August 11, 2014 12:54 pm #

      Haha, I know, right? Done deal!

  4. greggles August 11, 2014 3:39 am #

    This is the type of list…that the one ork player who brought nothing but traktor cannons will giggle with glee about.

    One thing that drives me nuts about the SW flyers…the top mounted guns can’t hit jack due to the hull blocking their los. What’s even funnier is when you look at the white dwarf bat rep, and they actually modeled them leaning even further back on the bases.

    I really wish GW would just FAQ or some out with something that says
    “Hey…um, so flyers use the hull for measuring weapon los” or something to that effect.

    I know BAO has faq’d for vertical pivots up and down, but that doesn’t really help when your own hull is blocking the gun barrels.

    • Reecius August 11, 2014 12:56 pm #

      Yeah, Traktor Kannon spam would obliterate this list, haha!

      And the las cannons are in a terribad position, probably have to just say it can shoot through itself to make it fair.

      • Greggles August 11, 2014 1:00 pm #

        Aye…I just wish they would say something like that! Why go to all the trouble about being ultra specific about weapon pivots n jazz, then ignore flyers…greggles state of anger growing! Must embrace calm…

  5. Toranaga August 11, 2014 7:18 am #

    This list won’t be able to decently score tactical objectives until turn three. (2nd turn reserves, then another turn to go into hover mode). What about the deadlock or contact lost mission? 5 man blood claws are weak. Fenrisian wolves will also likely give up first blood if your opponent is skilled and has any decent mobility or barrage weapons. What good is a list like this if it’s only good for half the missions, without even considering opposing lists which are a hard counter? I would be more excited for a more balanced list using 2-3 Stormwolves and more resilient scoring troops in drop pods.

    • Reecius August 11, 2014 8:56 am #

      I played Frankie’s wolves yesterday and I had 2 Wyverns and a Bassilisk, and massive firepower in an AM list, and I like to imagine I have some skill. I didn’t even come close to getting First Blood. He spread out and stayed out of range of some of my weapons.

      And you can always start 5 man units on the ground to grab objectives, too.

      At any rate, sounds like you are not convinced, whcih is fine =) Like I said, this is an extreme list, not a balanced list.

      • Toranaga August 11, 2014 10:26 am #

        Fair enough! I suppose part of the joy of breaking open a new codex is contemplating all the gimmicky combos and testing them out – I guess only time will tell until we see if space wolves are the new airforce or not.

        • Reecius August 11, 2014 12:19 pm #

          Yeah, for sure. I typically prefer balanced lists, myself, I just think that AIRWOLF will be a think that we will see on tabletops.

          • Toranaga August 11, 2014 1:08 pm

            Ha! I’ll admit – it does have a badass ring to it – AIRWOLF

    • Simon August 11, 2014 9:46 am #

      That’s pretty funny, I always find it’s the last few turns that decide the game- not the opposite!

    • IndigoJack August 11, 2014 1:03 pm #

      You can also enter from reserves in hover mode now

      • Greggles August 12, 2014 1:00 pm #

        Wow! I totally missed that change! Thanks for pointing that out!

        • Greggles August 12, 2014 1:02 pm #

          But they still can’t assault out of it right? 🙁

  6. blight August 11, 2014 8:18 am #

    Where in the rules does it talk about measuring vertically?
    I would actually really like to know this because it never seems to talk about measuring anything but straight across a flat plain but everybody seems to think that you measure up a different times. All the different level stuff is gone with 7th ed and they only ever show measuring straight across from above.

    • Reecius August 11, 2014 8:54 am #

      You measure from the hull of the vehicle, which for flyers, obviously includes the 3rd dimension.

      Also, it talks about vertical measurement in relationship to squad coherency in buildings.

      Lastly, the game is played in 3 dimensions, so, it is probably largely assumed that players will instinctively do this.

      • blight August 11, 2014 9:09 am #

        My issue is that you could easily measure from the vehicles hull horizontally to the other object.
        Most of this vertically measuring is purely based on assumptions on the part of players and every club seems to use it differently. At my club driving under a super heavy to cap an objective wouldn’t be allowed but at bio that was fine. Same people also move under flyers then stand on top of buildings and score the objective 3 floors below.
        I would just like this to be supported with rules and the only example given in the book is straight measuring and measuring up floors for coherency.

        • Toranaga August 11, 2014 12:29 pm #

          This is a miniatures game, played on a physical game board. The rulebook states that fact, over and over again, and nowhere does it say ‘measure horizontally’ between models. If everything was measured horizontally, what’s the point of having different sized models and terrain?

          • blight August 11, 2014 12:47 pm

            Well it does use true line of sight?
            So how do you measure ranges from an infantry model to another? Do you measure from its physical base to the other putting it right on the table? Do you place a flame template on the table and angle it up over the models it’s trying to hit?
            In all the time I’ve watched these videos I’ve never seen a consistent method of measurement when it comes to this game. We have developed an entire arbitrary method of measurement with this game that is outside of the rules and it seems weird to state if like it’s a fact that the way flyers are modeled makes it so they can’t score. What was the point in putting a specific section in the rules stating a hovering flyer can score if flyers aren’t modeled to be able to.
            What if I just modeled them all to look like they are banking sharply so their wing is almost touching the ground? It’s all arbitrary.

          • Reecius August 11, 2014 1:01 pm

            I understand what you are saying, but, I think you may be seeing this as more of an issue than it is (or perhaps for you in your experience it is a bigger issue than it has ever been for us). We have always operated in a 3D environment. Everyone may vary a bit, but I have always measured distances in 3D in terms of range, etc. Movement it tells you how to handle it as it is abstracted a bit, but for shooting that is what we’ve always done and what we have encountered in tournaments by and large. The only big exception to this I have encountered was when folks in some areas where not counting vertical movement for things like Jet Packs which would perform a 6″ move horizontally, but jump on top of a 10″ tall building, etc. We had to write FAQs for how to handle that sort of thing.

      • blight August 11, 2014 3:22 pm #

        Well it doesn’t come up much for firing regular weapons but it does get sticky when you use templates. Though the big issue is the one you bring up with flyers and objectives in general. When you rule it like that then modeling for an advantage becomes huge. It also brings up an issue with vehicle vs infantry. Using the same interpretation a morkanaught could hold an objective on the third floor of a building while a trygon or even a heirophant would not since you measure from base and not model.
        It isn’t destroying the game but it is a grey area that bothers me.

  7. bigpig August 11, 2014 9:09 am #

    Rock paper scissor list. While the are powerful against many opponents, I’m not a fan. They just have too much chance to run up against their hard counter in a 5 or 6 round event. I do agree with you that they may become pretty popular, which is ok because it will force a lot of armies to actually start bringing some AA 🙂

    • Reecius August 11, 2014 12:58 pm #

      Yeah, I agree. As stated in the article, over multiple games, this list stands good odds of crapping out due to bad reserves, or hitting a hard counter. It is an extreme list. Wins big most of the time, but loses big when it does lose.

  8. fleetofclaw August 11, 2014 12:04 pm #

    And when your Stormwolves hit the table you are *REQUIRED* to play the Airwolf theme song

  9. Bdub August 11, 2014 5:44 pm #

    I’ll get my traktor kannons ready! X)

    • Reecius August 11, 2014 6:38 pm #

      That would be rough! lol

  10. Gregorius42 August 12, 2014 1:44 am #

    Using Stronghold Assault rules, upgrade Skyshield to have a Hover flyer start game on board for 5 PTs. Tough at armor 12 and a 4++ so can begin on board and start grabbing objectives quickly.

  11. fluger August 12, 2014 8:03 am #

    I can see airwolf being a thing, but I think it more likely that we’ll start seeing them as the default troop units. Two minimum troops in the planes and then goodies elsewhere. Gets more balanced that way. Just my thought.

    • Reecius August 12, 2014 10:51 am #

      Yeah, I think that is certainly the more balanced approach! haha

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