Space Wolves Tournament List and Tactics


Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of folks asking about Space Wolves in tournament play 40k, with folks asking if they can still cut it. My answer is an emphatic, yes! Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

Space Wolves may not have a fancy “Decurion” Style detachment, free transports or wargear, or 4 attack Dreadnaughts (which GW, PLEASE release an FAQ to fix that!), but they still have the manliest beards in 40k, and grit. Let me tell you, that’s still enough to win games!

My Native American themed army!

My Native American themed army!

Reecius here form Frontline Gaming to break down my specific Space Wolf list that I have been having a lot of success with. Now, I am not saying this is the best Wolf list, of the only way to play them, simply the list I have been using to good effect in a competitive setting. Another very popular Wolf list that has been performing well in events has been the Wolfstar with Grey Knight support, revolving around a unit of Thunderwolves with Storm Shields and Character support, backed by Grey Knights with Daemonolgy to boost them up to a 2++ save. It’s a very effective build, but I do not enjoy playing Deathstars, so I tend towards TAC lists. Here’s mine!

Space Wolves CAD 1850 Pts
Unit Description Size Cost
Wolf Guard Battle Leader Thunder Wolf, Armor of Russ, Fist, Wolf Claw 1 180
Ulrik Warlord 1 145
Blood Claws Flamer 5 65
Stormwolf M.Meltas 1 235
Blood Claws Flamer 5 65
Ironpriest Thunder Wolf, Cyberwolf 2 120
Siege Dread 1 120
Dreadnaught Drop Pod 1 50
Lone Wolf T.Armor, T.Hammer, S.Shield 1 75
Fast Attack
Fenresian Wolves Cyberwolf 15 130
Rhino Dozer 1 40
Heavy Support
Sicaran Schism of Mars, Las Cannons 1 200
Rapiers Heavy Bolters 9 120
Long Fangs M.Launchers x 5 6 165
Assassin Detachment
Culexus 1 140
Totals 51 1850

The list features a few unconventional choices which I will explain. First of all, I take Ulrik the Slayer as my Warlord. He’s a great value for the points, and provides some excellent force multiplication ability. With 3 wounds, he’s fairly durable and I stick him in with the Rapiers to give him T7 vs. shooting with a 6+ FnP (Healing Balms), plus Fearless to make him extremely durable vs. shooting attacks.  With his Monster Hunter Warlord Trait, he makes the Heavy Bolter Rapiers pretty nasty. With 18 twin linked Heavy Bolter shots, they tend to smoke what they shoot at so long as they can hurt it. Infantry units tend to melt (PE really helps increase the averages) andT6 or lower  MCs with a 3+ save usually die in a single volley due to Monster Hunter. Even FMCs have a lot to fear from them with Twin Linked. He also provides a 6″ preferred enemy bubble which I am careful to provide to other shooting units such as the Long Fangs and Sicaran to really increase their efficacy. He also provides a 12″ stubborn bubble which is a great benefit for the shooting core of the army that holds the backfield. Lastly, if something does make it into my backfield, he’s not bad in a fist fight. Mostly, he ensures that I will not give up the Warlord bonus point and he increases the offense and defense of my shooting units.

Thunder Horse, hoooo!

Thunder Horse, hoooo!

The Wolf Guard Battle Leader is a beast! He is almost always an all-star unit for me. For a very reasonable price point, you get a nasty assault unit that is also very fast. The Wolf/Claw combo is just mean, giving you a bonus attack, for a total of 6 attacks on the charge with the option to go at I1 with Str10, AP2 or I5 with Str 6, shred, AP3, Rending attacks. It’s brutal. But, the secret sauce is the Armor of Russ, which grants him a 2+/4++ and a -5 In penalty to your opponent in a challenge. I cannot tell you how many times this has come in handy! Things that swing first can be killed with the Wolf Claw before they normally swing, or you can swing simo with things that you need to smack with your fist.

I run him with the big pack of Fenresian Wolves and the Ironpriest. This unis forms a fast, hard hitting melee unit that often wins me games. The Ironwolf gives another powerful attack with the Hammer, a 2+ save, and brings along a second Cyberwolf. The Cyberwolves are useful in this for taking or issuing challenges I do not want my characters taking. They also hit a wee bit harder and are more durable, which is nice for trying to soak some wounds. This unit typically does the most damage in my army, only suffering from Ld9 as their primary weakness. To mitigate this, I sometimes start them with Ulrik in the unit to provide some morale protection for them.

My Troops section is pretty straightforward. I take 2 units of 5 Blood Claws with a Flamer. Not too exciting, but they are small ObSec units with a 3+, decent melee ability and ATSKNF. They run around jumping on objectives and picking on other units like themselves that perform the same function such as Jetbikes, Scouts, etc. They also provide me with my AA, a Stormwolf which is an excellent flyer and is also ObSec due to being a dedicated transport which can and will win you games in when you drop into hover mode. The Stormwolf is a beast, it routinely drops two other enemy flyers for me the turn it comes in due to PoTMS.

Siege Dread

Siege Dread

In my Elites section, I run the aforementioned Ironwolf, and I take a Siege Dread in a Lucious Drop Pod. That unit is absolutely fantastic. The Siege Dread comes with a Flamestorm cannon (Str6, AP3), Heavy Flamer, and a special rule that lets it hit units inside transports with its Heavy Flamer if it pens them in melee. Pretty awesome! The secret sauce though, is the Lucious, which lets the unit drop in, flame something, then stay in the Drop Pod and jump out later to assault. It keeps the unit safe for a turn and provides a Shrouding bubble to my advancing units as well. So good. This unit nets me First Blood very frequently and provides a serious backfield threat that your opponent must deal with. The Lone Wolf is a bit of an experiment for me, but serves a similar function as the Dread. He drops into the backfield via Deep Strike and causes havoc. He’s a tough little bugger with a 2+/3++, FnP and EW. Plus, with WS5 and a Hammer, he packs a punch. If he does not work out, I will drop him for another unit of Blood Claws.

Heavy Support provides the firepower you need to stay competitive in 7th ed. The Rapiers have been covered, and the Long Fangs are pretty straight forward. Missile Launchers are still a great choice for their versatility with Kraks or Frags and with Mech popping up again all over the place in addition to the plethora of MCs and Knights we see, they most certainly have their place. Lastly, the Sicaran is just a phenomenal tank. Fast, durable, lots of firepower. You can’t ask for much more. The main cannon ignores jink and rends, which is really useful in this edition of Bikes, Skimmers and Flyers. The Schism of Mars upgrade also give him Tank Hunter (Which turns him into a murder-machine vs other tanks and Knights) and a 4+ to ignore Haywire, which is very useful with so many transports popping back up in the meta and Grav Cav, Drop Skitarii and AdMech packing so much Haywire in the game. This tank routinely nets me First Blood and in addition to all that, is a great looking model, too.

In the support role, I have my man, the Culexus Assassin. I can’t say enough good things about this model. He single-handedly levels the playing field vs. psychic heavy armies, particularly deathstars. I run him in a Rhino as I have found it to be far better than  Drop Pod. It keeps him safe from things that often kill him like HoW, or Vector Strikes, gives him mobility and allows him to still shoot his mind bullets. If I run him on foot, I throw a unit of Blood Claws in his ride, instead. I find the Culexus in a Rhino to be an invaluable unit.

So far, I have done very well in competitive settings with this list. Not to say I am a super awesome player or anything, just that a TAC Space Wolf list can do work. At the last tournament I brought these fellas to, I only lost 1 game to the winner of the GT. It’s a list with a lot of synergy, mobility, and versatility.

Hopefully some of these ideas have inspired you to bust your Space Wolves out and give them a go at your next tournament!


About Reecius

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

35 Responses to “Space Wolves Tournament List and Tactics”

  1. Novastar July 22, 2015 12:29 pm #

    Where is your typical DeathStar? You know, the kind you run with your orks 😉 lol

  2. vercingatorix July 22, 2015 2:11 pm #

    Just a comment that you may want to copy and paste into word for a quick spell check.

    capitalized rending
    Extra spaces all over the place
    *It’s heavy flamer”
    I’m pretty sure it’s “lucius” pattern drop pod as well?
    “First Bloos”

    Feel free to delete this comment, I love y’all’s articles and don’t want to come off as nit picky but it but help other people enjoy it more.

    • vercingatorix July 22, 2015 2:12 pm #

      haha, don’t I like foolish.

      • Reecius July 22, 2015 2:49 pm #

        Don’t sweat it, I’m a stickler for grammar, myself. I just didn’t have time to proof read this one as I was in a mega rush to get it done.

      • Jason July 22, 2015 9:40 pm #

        You’re grammer needs some work, there friend.

  3. Deuce11 July 22, 2015 2:13 pm #

    Really cool list. Great article.

    • Reecius July 22, 2015 2:34 pm #

      Thanks, glad you liked it!

  4. Bugpig July 22, 2015 3:35 pm #

    Fun list. Love the culexus. Glad to see outside the box thinking

  5. Lord Krungharr July 22, 2015 3:44 pm #

    This sounds like a really fun way to run the Wolves. I’ll make a search party force that can team up with my XIII Company giant thunderwerewolves (since they lack any units with an AV right now).

    Do you use Bloodclaws over Grey Hunters since they’re cheaper?

    • Reecius July 22, 2015 3:50 pm #

      Glad you like it! And yes, it is good fun to play. I do use Blood Claws because they are cheaper. They’re basically just MSU ObSec units to earn mission points while everything else just focuses on fighting.

  6. Hotsauceman1 July 22, 2015 4:41 pm #

    This is a Reece list. On paper it looks like Gak. but when put into a lucky players hands(Reece Only wins or looses on luck lol) its good.

    • Reecius July 22, 2015 5:07 pm #

      Lol, thanks…I think!

      • Hotsauceman1 July 23, 2015 8:19 pm #

        NP 😛
        Im thinking of ulrik now TBH but in an IG blob 😛

  7. Donzo July 22, 2015 5:06 pm #

    Where re the rules for the bolter rapiers published?

    • Reecius July 22, 2015 5:11 pm #

      IA2 2nd ed, the Space Marine book. They’re really good for the points, plus they’re savage models!

      • abusepuppy July 23, 2015 8:06 am #

        I think you mean IA2, since IA1 is all Guard stuff.

        The HB Rapier is interesting- it does hose down infantry, but I always feel the Laser Destroyer is worth the handful of extra points. MEQs rarely struggle with light infantry, but being able to blast open tanks and MCs is pretty clutch.

        • Reecius July 23, 2015 1:18 pm #

          Ah yes, ty for the correction.

          Yeah, the HB Rapiers have been extremely good for me, so far. With PE and Monster Hunter they just wreck anything they can hurt. I have been very pleased with them.

  8. iNcontroL July 22, 2015 7:08 pm #

    I like articles like this, thanks for writing it <3

    • Reecius July 22, 2015 8:45 pm #

      Happy to! Glad you enjoyed it.

  9. bigpig July 22, 2015 11:31 pm #

    ITC format should consider putting to vote making adjustments to equalize dreads/scouts between power armor codices INCLUDING CSM. Clearly the adjustments to SM codex make them more playable and we all know that GW will not release an FAQ to make the change. I get that doing so may bring up cries of favoritism from non-Imp players, but its just common sense.

    • Reecius July 23, 2015 2:29 pm #

      We can consider that if enough folks feel that that is a reasonable change.

      • Hotsauceman1 July 23, 2015 6:09 pm #

        I personally feel no. Just because others got it, doesnt mean they should. I feel that my ig should get a combi detachments and free transports, but I didnt.

  10. Jon July 23, 2015 1:51 am #

    Reecius I have to say I’m disappointed about the list. When I was listening the podcast yester day I was excited as I am a veteran spacewolves player. This list is basically FW and that doesn’t reflect to me as an all spacewolves list. I can accept the sicaran but the raipers, siege dread, and the assassin. Any chance you could right up a list with just spacewolves units that would be good?

    • Reecius July 23, 2015 2:28 pm #

      Sorry you don’t like it, but the point was to show what has been working for me. This is a list with a lot of practice behind it, not just theoretical. I am also a vet Space Wolf player, but I do not draw any artificial distinction between FW Space Wolves and Space Wolves drawn from any other source such as Krom Dragongaze, etc. They’re all Space Wolves. However, if you choose to limit yourself to the codex, that is your prerogative and totally fine. If you do that, I would suggest going Thunder Wolf heavy as we typically see in tournaments.

  11. rexscarlet July 23, 2015 2:52 am #

    fun article, as most are here, fun stuff is sometimes lost in 40k as of late.
    do you give other websites permission to re-post your articles?

  12. WuTangDamaja July 23, 2015 7:26 am #

    More articles like this please! Good stuff

  13. Nightman July 23, 2015 2:09 pm #

    If you sing Wanted Dead or Alive while you deep strike that lone wolf expect great things. Looking forward to seing the list on the stream!

  14. Tiguriusx July 23, 2015 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for posting this!

    Love the planning that goes into a list and pros/cons as experienced

    Have you experimented with the force org slot of the rhino?

    Could make it obsec but have to gamble with an exposed assassin for a turn (can still hide behind it though)

    • Reecius July 23, 2015 3:51 pm #

      Glad you liked it! I like it in FA because otherwise it can’t move full speed the turn the Assassin embarks and that can be really detrimental for some games.

  15. Caselabomb July 24, 2015 4:33 am #

    Hey Reece, love the article and frontline gaming in general. Just wondring if you have ever considered putting murderface in the pod or does his silly name put you off?

  16. Jerrel August 6, 2015 8:20 am #

    I loved the article. Do you intend to do any more, with different chapters? (hint Imperial Fist)

Leave a Reply to Donzo