Codex Review: Champions of Fenris

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Hey everyone, Reecius here with a review of the Space Wolves, Champions of Fenris Supplement! For more great reviews, check out the Tactics Corner!

Space Wolves are back in a big way and the very excellent Champions of Fenris supplement takes an already fantastic codex and gives you even more powerful options.

The books is full of beautiful artwork and it gives you a great deal of background on Logan and his Great Company as well as the Wolves in general terms.

In terms of tactical options, the book gives you some really interesting ways to play your Wolves.

The Special Rules

First off, any detachment you make using the Champions of Fenris supplement (the Formations in the book or the Company of the Great Wolf Detachment) are subject to the following special rules:

  1. Sagaborn: Any characters must declare or accept a challenge. Lame. Anyone who has read any of my articles knows I hate this rule with a passion as it takes choice away from the player and makes a lot of characters liabilities instead of assets. Things like this force you into choosing a much more limited selection of wargear and build-outs as in a general takes all comers style list, you have to protect the investments you’ve made in them. You can’t afford to take an expensive character that stands good odds of committing suicide in a hopeless challenge.
  2. First Among Equals: Luckily though, characters in these detachments get Preferred Enemy (Characters) while fighting in a challenge which helps.
  3. Relics of the Great Wolf: Wow! Sanata Logan in his Christmas Sled brought some goodies to his company of Wolves! The Champions of Fenris have access to some absolutely stellar Relics. However, again, it looks like the Space Wolf codex allows only 1 Relic per character while the supplement uses language that indicates that you can take more than one per character. It must be an oversight on GW’s part to have so much inconsistency between books.
    1. Armor of Asvald Stormwrack: An expensive suit of Terminator Armor (10pts over the cost of a stock Terminator) without a power weapon or Storm Bolter, that has a 4++ and grants IWND. Not bad, but, Wolf Lords already have a 4++ so in that regard it is a bit moot, but It is nice for Rune Priests or Wolf Priests. Interestingly, it appears you can hold a bolt pistol in this armor and so pretty easily pick up a second attack without buying a pricey weapon.
    2. Frostfury: A cool gun! Strength 4, AP5, Assault 4, Helfrost. Cheap too, weighing in at a Plasma Gun in cost. At that price point, this is a fun weapon to throw on a character if you have some extra points. It will also occasionally take an enemy model out of play with the Helfrost rule (strength test or be removed from play).
    3. Krakenbane Sword: Strength +1, AP2, Melee, Master-crafted.  Straight forward, good weapon. This is especially good on a Wolf Lord, where they go up to strength 6 with an AP2 weapon that swings at initiative. At only 10pts over a Power Fist in price, it is a good choice.
    4. Morkai’s Claw: Strength +1, AP3, Melee, Rending, Shred, Specialist Weapon with the Maul special rule (+D3 attacks every round of combat). WOW! These are murder machines. Again, on a ThunderLord, this gives you 6-8 attacks on the charge at strength 6, AP3, with shred and preferred enemy in a challenge (due to the First Among Equals rule). That is savage. You will be seeing a lot of these in detachments using these rules. Rend also helps vs. vehicles and AP2 targets. The only downside is the price, at 5pts over a standard Terminator–but–they are easily worth that price.
    5. The Pelt of the Balewolf: This thing is brutal! Cheap as chips (Melta Gun cost) and causes the bearer and his unit to cause Fear, which in and of itself is no big deal, but, Beasts, Cavalry and Monstrous Creatures automatically fail this test. BOOM! That is nuts, as when it works it gives the bearer a massive advantage in a fight. While it is situational, when it works, it is devastating.
    6. Fellclaw’s Teeth: Again, holy crap! This thing is beastly. You get rerolls to all failed to hit rolls in assault at the measly cost of a Plasma Gun. Wow, that is so good. A Lord with a Hammer or Fist and this is so much more efficient in combat that it is crazy. I think this will be the most frequently chosen item from this supplement.
  4. Warlord Traits Table: Some good ones in here.
    1. Fire in the Blood: Warlord rerolls a single failed save every turn. Wowzers, that is excellent! With a character that has a 2+ and/or 3++, this is a huge boost and makes them much more durable. This is the best Warlord Trait in the supplement, IMO.
    2. Thread-cutter: Warlord re-rolls to wound roll sin a challenge. Not bad at all for a book that forces you to challenge!
    3. Gatekeeper: One weapon of the Warlord is Master-crafted, can’t be a relic. Not bad at all. Being more efficient in assault for choppy characters is always a good thing.
    4. Blessing of the Wolf: Outflank. Not bad, not great. It is one of those abilities that you can’t plan for as it occurs randomly and so, if you do get it in the right circumstances it can be amazing, but will often be a trait you re-roll on the table if you can.
    5. Thane of Kings: Fearless. Meh. ATSKNF is pretty awesome and at times, Fearless can be a detriment. Not bad, though, at all.
    6. Deeds Beyond Counting: Preferred Enemy. Niiiiiiice! Yeah, that’s a winner, right there. Making you better at shooting and assault is bad ass. This is another great Warlord trait.
  5. Kingsguard: Pretty awesome special rule that gives all Wolf Guard, Terminators, Pack Leaders, and Thunderwolves +1 WS! Yeah, that is boss. This Special Rule applies to the Company of the Great Wolf Detachment and many of the Formations. They get this in place of ObSec.
Image by Nekhar

Image by Nekhar

Company of the Great Wolf Detachment

A lot of folks were asking how you were supposed to play an all Wolguard army with Wolves now that Logan no longer made them troops. Well, this detachment is the answer to that question.

As stated, the detachment special rules are listed above, and it also allows you to reroll your warlord trait. The big change though, is the FOC itself. Basically, it swaps troops and elites. You must take 1 HQ and 2 Elites, and can take up to 3 HQ, 6 Elites and 0-3 of Troops, Fast and Heavy, 1 LoW or Fortification. Not bad! This allows you to play an entire elite army which gives you some cool options. You can play an all biker army of Wolf Guard, all Terminators, etc. The amount of creativity here is really limitless. You can take all Wolf Guard with jump packs if you wanted to, and have an entire army of WS5, assault veterans! Take that, Raven Guard! You could also go all Wolf Scouts, Dreadnoughts or even all Lone Wolves! It allows for a tremendous amount of creativity in list building which is always fun.

Formations

  • Kingsguad Stormforce: This Formation consists of Logan, 5 Termies in a Land Raider and a Stormfang with all of the supplement special rules (Kingsguard, Sagaborn, First Among Equals). The benefits are pretty cool. So long as Logan is alive, you can choose to pass or fail the reserve rolls for the Stormfang. Also, on a turn the termies assault out of the Land Raider, the unit has Furious Charge and can re-roll the charge roll. Not bad! That makes the Termies super reliable, and with Logan in tow, is a brutal unit. The Stormfang coming in exactly when you want is really solid too, as it means you don’t have worry about luck, and can choose to come in when most beneficial which is especially good against other flyers.
  • Brethren of the Fell-Handed: Bjorn and his funky fresh crew! Bjorn, and 2 other Dreadnoughts. All dreads must be Venerable. They get Adamantium Will and Sagaborn. All other Dreads in the Formaiton within 6″ of Bjorn get a 5++ and while Bjorn is alive, all Dreads get rerolls to hit in assault. Not bad! This is a cool formation and if you plan on using Dreads anyway, this is a solid choice as it beefs up your defense and offense.
  • Wolf Guard Void Claws: I really like this one!It is a simple Formation, consisting of a single unit of 5+ Termies, all of whom must have Wolf Claws with all of the supplement special rules (Kingsguard, Sagaborn, First Among Equals). While any of the unit is alive, you can reroll any reserve rolls. Also, this unit always starts in reserves and automatically Deep-strikes on turn 1, reroll the scatter dice if you choose. This is a great combo unit as you can use it as your anchor unit in a full reserves army such as an Airwolf build (or any flyer list) or Drop Pod army, or outflanking army, etc. You always try to go second, deny your opponent their first round of shooting, Deep-strike the Wolf Guard in and then use them to bring in the rest of your army reliably. I think this Formaiton will get a lot of play time as it is so versatile, easy to get and use, and powerful. Plus, WS5 termies with Wolf Claws are a lawn-mower vs. infantry!
  • Grimnar’s War Council: This is a funny Formation, consisting of Njal, Ulrik, and a Rune and Iron Priest with Fearless, First Among Equals and Sagaborn. You can either use the Formation as all separate models or as a unit that cannot break apart as they lose the IC rule. The only Character that can join this unit is Logan or Arjac. If Logan does join, they replace Fearless with Zealot, which makes them a pretty scary unit!
  • Grimnar’s War Council: An army with this Formation can re-roll the dice to go first, and adds 2 to the Seize roll! Holy crap! Combine that with Bjorn and you have a reroll to go first and a 3+ to seize! Not bad at all. This Formation will make an excellent ally to a heavy shooting army like Astra Militarum, where the characters can also help to buff units, as well.
  • Arjac’s Shield Brothers: Arjac, with a unit of Termies which must all have a Hammer and Shield, mounted in a Land Raider Crusader with all of the supplement special rules (Kingsguard, Sagaborn, First Among Equals). The Formation gains Fearless is Logan is on the table, and Zealot if he dies. Any model in this formation in base with another model (which seems to include the Land Raider, too, which is funny) gains +1 toughness. Any time a model in this formation passes an invul save on a 6 in assault, the unit that made the attack suffers a strength 8, AP2 hit with concussive. WOW. What a killer unit, and with such an awesome buff, too! Essentially a great assault unit with +1 WS, Toughness and a crazy counter-attack bonus for free. What’s not to like?
  • Wolf Guard Thunderstrike: 1 unit of 10 Wolfguard in a Drop Pod, and 1 unit of Terminators with all of the supplement special rules (Kingsguard, Sagaborn, First Among Equals). All units in the Formation must deepstrike, and, they all come in on a single roll. The turn they arrive, they all have twin-linked shooting! Nice! This is a really functional, self-contained disruption force that will fit in to a lot of armies.
  • The Champions of Fenris: This formation contains all of the other formations in a giant army. In addition to other benefits they gain Fearless, cause Fear, and as long as Logan is alive reroll failet to hit roll sin assault, so long as the Iron Priest is alive all vehicles have IWND, so long as Njal is alive everyone has Adamantium Will, and so long as Ulrik is alive, all models have Preferred Enemy. Yeah, OK, this is nuts, haha. The uber-formation has a million bonus rules. It is quite good and would be fun to play so long as you can keep track of everything!

So there you have it! A really cool collection of rules, relics and formations to give you tons of options for your wolf army!

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About Reecius

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

35 Responses to “Codex Review: Champions of Fenris”

  1. Joshhodg August 17, 2014 2:20 am #

    What units are in the Wise Council. I run Astra Militarum so I’m curious if it would be worth picking this up for an allied unit.

    • PrimoFederalist August 18, 2014 8:51 am #

      The “Wise Counsel” is actually one of the rules for the War Council, not it’s own separate formation. Meaning if you take the War Council (Ulrik, Njal, (1) Rune Priest, and (1) Iron Priest). If you take the War Council, you then get to re-roll dice to go first and add two to Seize rolls.

      • PrimoFederalist August 18, 2014 9:01 am #

        I have a question for Reecius or anyone else who has an opinion: seeing as how the Champions of Fenris FOC is a (1) HQ, (2) Elite minimum, does that mean you can take an Elite and HQ as a minimum Allied Detachment?

        I’m thinking of running a typical [but thunderwolf-free] Space Wolves army out of the normal codex with lots of Grey Hunters and Blood Claws (w/ Wolf Priest) to get Objective Secured then adding special-rules Wolf Guard Termies and a Wolf Lord with the hot new Relics. That’s legit, correct?

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 18, 2014 9:16 am #

          No, you cannot take Champions of Fenris as an allied detachment, they specifically only allow their rules in their Detachment or in their Formations.

  2. David August 17, 2014 2:28 am #

    Do not the void claws have even more rules? Do you think all these formations have a place in a competitive list?

  3. Pascal Roggen August 17, 2014 3:14 am #

    wise council is a special rule for grimnars council:)

  4. Isaiah August 17, 2014 5:00 am #

    the the regular codex relics can all be taken on 1 person as far as im concerned, as on pg 47
    if you look at the bottom of the page #6 states that these relics do not replace a weapon which doesn’t prevent you from taking more, so only the bolter, axe and sword have this restriction.

  5. CKuno August 17, 2014 5:06 am #

    I picked up a copy of this from my FLGS and noticed that it didn’t come with a dust jacket. Is that true for anyone else or was there a mistake with mine? I guess it doesn’t really matter, but if they’re not giving out dust jackets with supplements anymore I’ll be mildly disappointed.

    • MrCk August 17, 2014 5:42 am #

      I didn’t get a dust jacket with mine either

  6. Gregorius42 August 17, 2014 6:58 am #

    I played with Harald Deathwolf and 5 wolf lords on thunderwolves yesterday and had a blast! Fast moving, and just wiped units out with thunder hammers and power fists, all at strength 10.

    Need to make sure I take advantage of the outflanking for next time as I forgot but had no bearing on the game as this build wrecked my opponent. As for rest of the list, it did not matter as these wolf lords destroyed troops, vehicles and warlords.

    • dr.insanotron August 17, 2014 9:30 am #

      Why are they Str 10?

      • Gordon August 17, 2014 10:40 am #

        Because 5×2=10 ;).

        • dr.insanotron August 17, 2014 1:58 pm #

          Interesting. Because if a wolf lord takes a power fist and a thunder wolf mount he would only be str 9

          • Zacharius August 17, 2014 9:57 pm
            #

            Nope. Thunderwolf mount confers +1 S/T/A/W

          • scousematt August 18, 2014 4:54 am
            #

            Thunder wolf mount gives +1 to S, T, W and A, to the models actual profile. So it takes a Wolf Lord up to S5 base.

          • dr.insanotron August 18, 2014 5:41 am
            #

            Multipliers always happen before static modifiers thats in the Main rule book. So it would be 4×2+1 = 9

          • Lex August 19, 2014 5:02 am
            #

            The Thunderwolf Mount is a permanent modification. Thunder hammer/PF only occurs while attacking. They aren’t simultaneous modifiers that are resolved according to “Multiple Modifiers”. Besides, it would be kind of silly to resolve your average joe TWC at S 10, but WL at S 9 with same weapons.

          • scousematt August 20, 2014 1:26 am
            #

            Check the entry for thunder wolf cav. Its a permanent stat line change not a bonus.

  7. ZeroWolf August 17, 2014 7:01 am #

    Thanks for the review!

    What do you think of Grimnar, on and off the Dethsled?

  8. jason August 17, 2014 9:56 am #

    Str 5 base, 2x str weapons

  9. Azala August 17, 2014 1:22 pm #

    Yeah I played a couple of games today with a mixed thundercav and white scars list and its pretty brutal, wolf lord with a claw / fist and helm of durafast was just tearing stuff up 7 attacks with reroll hits and all the Str 10 fists on the thundersav. Ran over Necron CCB lords and wraiths like they were hardly even there.

    • dr.insanotron August 17, 2014 6:05 pm #

      Again Im pretty sure according the the rules a wolf lord will only be str 9

      • Leth August 17, 2014 8:08 pm #

        As RAW yes, however it has been FAQed in the past and all the unit entries provide a precedent that it is a permanent change to the base characterisitcs

  10. Umbo August 17, 2014 2:09 pm #

    With all these new detachments, does your current army selection process for BAO and LVO need reconsidering? All these new armies have many new ways of selecting their armies where the old ones under one CAD don’t.

    Its so tough to be a tournament organizer now! I used to do it back in England, glad I dont now.

  11. Greggles August 17, 2014 4:50 pm #

    I think the dread formation works perfectly when taken with orks, and used for deff dreads. 🙂

  12. fluger August 17, 2014 5:59 pm #

    “You can take all Wolf Guard with jump packs if you wanted to, and have an entire army of WS5, assault veterans! Take that, Raven Guard!”

    ::sniff:: ::sniff:: Poor Ravenguard. I wish we could just do a BAO style errata to let them use scout on jumpers.

    • HacksawBuchanan August 18, 2014 7:34 am #

      And those claws, they would be incredible on a “not shrike”.

      Have to see if I can convince someone to let me run some black painted space wolves with bird logos on them once.

      Shrike would be a Cuisinart with all this fun.

      • ZeroWolf August 19, 2014 7:56 pm #

        Go for it. People are doing way worse.

        Just watch for all of the jerks taking SW allies just for a non-dedicated drop pod.

  13. Gregorius42 August 18, 2014 3:22 am #

    It is my understanding that when a weapon is strength x2 it is base strength. Base strength if on a thunder wolf is 5. If it had furious charge it would be strength 6 but base strength would be 5 still.

  14. Wit August 18, 2014 4:24 pm #

    taking only the basic required units in the formation, just how much would the uber-formation Champions of Fenris cost, point wise?

  15. Jeremy Veysseire
    MikhailLenin August 19, 2014 7:24 am #

    Btw Reecius, the reason why that Armour of Asgald is amazing is because its not Terminator Armour. Its listed in the fluff as Terminator Armor but the Rules only state it is 2+/4++, Deep Strike, Relentless, Cannot Sweep, IWND and Bulky. Which I know is the same rules as Terminator ARmour + IWND but it is not by RAW allowing a Wolf Lord to take it and a Thunderwolf mount.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 19, 2014 9:50 am #

      Ah, yes, good catch! Nice.

  16. Oakenhawk August 19, 2014 3:08 pm #

    Are there 2 formations called Bretheren of the Fell Handed…?

  17. onecrazymojo August 20, 2014 8:27 pm #

    So I noticed a crazy result of the mando challenges and the preferred enemy rule:

    So the rule states that while one of the characters is in a challenge, they get preferred enemy. And preferred enemy states that if /any/ model in a unit has PE, then the whole unit benefits from the rerolls. Being in a challenge does not remove you from your original unit. So basically, the whole unit gets extra rowdy when their boss calls out the enemy. The mando challenge requirement might not be that big a deal, since it could easily just be safer for the enemy hero to hide and deny the whole SW unit from having PE and essentially auto-steamrolling the enemy unit. Or even if the challenge is suicide, the rest of the unit will still punch far more consistently in honor of his sacrifice.

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