Wolf Claw Strike Force Tactics Part 1: Detachment Overview

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Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to review the new Space Wolf “Decurion” style detachment: the Wolf Claw Strike Force! Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews.

The new Space Wolf “Decurion” style detachment is out and it is pretty awesome! Capturing the ferocity and unique style of warfare that defines the Space Wolves, the Wolf Claw Strike Force allows the Space Wolf player a wide variety of powerful and characterful play styles.

Boasting an impressive seven core choices, each styled after the charismatic Wolf Lord that leads it, the Wolf Claw Strike Force provides more options for play-styles than other Decurion choices which is really cool! One of the things that holds some Decurion style detachments back is the poor core choice(s) they have, such as KDK. Not the case with Space Wolves, they are spoiled for choices.

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Overview:

The Wolf Claw Strike force is all about capturing the spirit of the Space Wolves. It gives you a plethora of choices and then amps up the volume of the more aggressive aspects of each choice to capture that legendary Space Wolf ferocity. You can build a wide variety of armies with these tools. They also updated some of the units in the Space Wolf codex to reflect new rules, such as units of Vindicators, Whirlwinds, Land Speeders and Predators gaining the same benefits as their Space Marine brothers when taken in units of 3, and an updated and more powerful profile for the Iron Priest.

Composition:

Command: 0-5

  • Lord of the Fang
    • Logan Grimnar
    • Ulrik the Slayer
    • Njal Stormcaller
    • Bjorn the Fell-Handed
    • Arjac Rockfist
    • Canis Wolfborn
  • Heralds of the Great Wolf
    • Wolf Priest
    • Rune Priest
    • Iron Priest
  • Wyrdstorm Brotherhood

Core: 1+

  • Greatpack
  • Legendary Greatpack
    • The Firehowlers
    • The Ironwolves
    • The Drakeslayers
    • The Deathwolves
    • The Blackmanes
    • The Champions of Fenris

Auxiliary: 1+

  • Spear of Russ
  • Fangs of the Tempest
  • Ancients of the Fang
  • The Curseborn
  • Wulfen Murderpack
  • Wolfkin

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Command Benefits:

  • Counter-charge: units from this detachment can charge enemy units in their assault phase that are engaged with friendly units! Wow, that is very powerful and characterful. You’re charging me? Nah bruh, we’re charging you!
  • The Howl of the Wolves: If your Wolf Claw Strike Force contains two or more Greatpacks, or two of the same Legendary Greatpacks, one with a Wolf Lord the other with Wolf Guard Battle Leader, they become a Great Company. So long as the Wolf Lord is alive, they Great Company gains Fear and Furious Charge.

New Wargear:

  • Helfrost Pistol: Strength 8, Ap1, 12″, requires a Strength test or be removed form play for each unsaved wound.
  • Stormfang Auto-Launcher: Assault Grenades, 12″, Str 4, Ap5, Assault D3
  • Great Frost Axe: Melee, Str +3, Ap2, Two-handed, Reaping Swing: the weapon is normally unwieldy, but swings at initiative on the turn the model charges.
  • Frost Claws: Melee, Str +1, Ap2, Shred, Specialist Weapon
  • Tempest Hammer: Melee, Str x2, Ap2, Concussive, Helfrost, Specialist Weapon, Unwieldy

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I must say, I am a HUGE fan of this detachment! Well done, GW. It highlights the benefits of the Decurion style detachments (characterful, effective ways to play a faction that remain true to their fluff) but avoids some of the weaknesses of the less popular Decurions (avoiding shoehorning them into a mono-build detachment, or being too points bloated). That is a big win in my mind and what I absolutely love though is the huge variety in core formations. They come in a wide array of flavors, which allow for some very creative game play. This means you could field two Wolf Claw Strike Forces that were totally different from one another. That to me, is awesome.

We’ll go into depth with each formation as we progress through this series, but as an overview:

  • The Greatpack is the generic organizational structure, allowing you to play with the most customization, and allowing for some outflanking tricks via formation bonuses.
  • The Firehowlers are an assault oriented formation and while they may be the weakest looking on paper, they also look like a ton of fun to play, focusing on Jump Packs and Bikers and gaining defensive bonuses vs. Overwatch, rerolls to charge and potentially Furious Charge, too.
  • The Ironwolves formation focuses on armored vehicles and has some incredible bonuses, including free upgrades for vehicles, the ability to move further when making a Flat Out move, and the ability to deploy from a vehicle after moving 12″, which is awesome! This is a real gem of a formation.
  • The Drakeslayers gain Stubborn and Monster Hunter (which, depending on your meta, can be incredible) and bonuses for charge moves. While not as glamorous on paper as the Ironwolves, I actually really like this Formation.
  • The Deathwolves are all about Thunderwolves! This will be the core to many a Wolfstar when combined with the incredible Wulfen Murderpack auxiliary formation. They gain stealth when they outflank and may all do so, together.
  • The Blackmanes: Death from Above! This formation gains free Drop Pods as dedicated transports and they all come in automatically on turn 1…oh, and they also gain Fearless and FnP 6+ the turn they come out of their Pods…and while Ragnar is alive, all Blood Claw/Skyclaw/Swiftclaws in the formation reroll failed to hit rolls in melee…wow! This looks like an absolutely awesome formation to play with all of the fun benefits of the detachment such as Counter-charge.
  • The Champions of Fenris are the veterans, and all come with Fearless, stock. Many of them also gain +1WS, and units within 12″ of Logan Grimnar gain the benefits of one of a wide selection of USRs.

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And that’s just the core choices! As you can see, there’s a million ways to play this new Space Wolf detachment, and they all look like a ton of fun, as well as being quite good. They provide a great deal of flexibility in most cases with the unit choices in the formations, such as being able to take Land Speeders instead of Grey Hunters, for example.

And, obviously, the introduction of an entirely new unit–The Wulfen–is quite exciting unto itself. They are a powerful melee unit that also buffs Space Wolf units nearby, sometimes giving them incredible benefits such as moving twice in the same turn! Space Wolves have some effective, characterful options available to them in this new offering from Games Workshop. While they do lose ObSec, the benefits in my mind, are well worth the price of admission. I give this detachment two big thumbs up and look forward to reviewing the component formations in greater depth as we go through this review.

And remember, you can always purchase GW product and pre-orders through Frontline Gaming at up to 25% off, every day!

What do you think of the new Space Wolf detachment?

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About Reecius

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

20 Responses to “Wolf Claw Strike Force Tactics Part 1: Detachment Overview”

  1. Novastar March 2, 2016 7:33 am
    #

    It’s a howling good set of formation, I’m building the Blackmane one right now

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 2, 2016 9:13 am
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      I’ve been seeing battle reports with the Blackmanes popping up, looks to be quite good!

      • Novastar March 2, 2016 3:25 pm
        #

        I’m going to get mine painted in HH colors so I can double dip lol

        • PrimoFederalist March 2, 2016 5:50 pm
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          Same here! That way, when FW HH Book VII comes out, I’ll already have a SW army. I’ll also be giving them a red wolf head for their chapter markings so you can both play HH and say they’re whichever Great Company you want to try.

          FYI: great painting guide on YouTube using GW paints for pre-Heresy Space Wolves (search: Games Workshop Tutorial: How To Paint Horus Heresy Space Wolves).

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 2, 2016 6:03 pm
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          Good idea!

  2. Stilgar March 2, 2016 8:11 am
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    I am a big fan of this book as it gives us more than just TWC spam to play with. Looking forward to the rest of this series!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 2, 2016 9:27 am
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      Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Duh_Ruckus March 2, 2016 10:30 am
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    The wulfen are just great, they are the lovable talking animal side kicks space wolves needed

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 2, 2016 10:35 am
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      Yeah, they look awesome. I haven’t gotten to try them out, yet.

      • Duh_Ruckus March 2, 2016 11:01 am
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        I have been running 3 packs with the heralds of the great wolf star, they are crazy durable with only 2 storm shields last night they easily withstood a full battle convocation shooting salvo, the claws out put crazy amount of damage, and even though they move only a normal six with the run and charge they will be up the field allot quicker than anyone realizes …. I haven’t even experimented with allying or psychic buffs yet cause simply they just don’t need it

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 2, 2016 2:20 pm
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          I’ve been hearing good things about them from a lot of people so far.

  4. westrider March 2, 2016 12:21 pm
    #

    I think I got kinda turned off of these because the “Battle Company” benefit for doubling up on Core Choices is so underwhelming, but if you just run a single GreatPack, there are some pretty cool options here. The DeathWolves, IronWolves, and BlackManes are the ones that appeal most to me, tho that may just be because they’re the ones that fit best with my existing collection.

    I do sort of feel like the IronWolves should have had Swiftclaws as an option. The fluff book lists a couple of Packs of them in the Great Company.

    I also feel like a little bit of ObSec (just the Grey Hunters, maybe?) would kick them up closer to top tier.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 2, 2016 2:22 pm
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      I think the true powerhouse list will be a Wolfstar again, but you never know. The Blackmanes look promising.

      • Leth March 2, 2016 3:06 pm
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        Iron Wolves puts out a crazy amount of fire power for its points.

        Seriously, 4 land speeders as well a the additional movement and redeploy abilities.

        Also the -2 LD tank shock is no joke.

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 2, 2016 4:07 pm
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          Yeah, I just tried that formation and it is cool! I played it poorly and got smoked but I can see the potential.

        • westrider March 2, 2016 6:24 pm
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          Yeah, I overlooked the Land Speeder options at first. 50 Point Typhoons are pretty awesome.

          • Reecius
            Reecius March 2, 2016 6:45 pm
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            Oh shnap, so did I! I totally glossed over that.

  5. Duh_Ruckus March 2, 2016 3:28 pm
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    My only grievance that the death wolves which is supposed to be all about thunderwolf Calvary can only take 1 squad, not like you can afford more with everything else but you would think they would give you the option

    • westrider March 2, 2016 6:26 pm
      #

      I was kind of disappointed by that as well. I think I probably would have done them as 0-1 WG/Termies/TWC, plus 0-1 TWC.

  6. Toney Omara December 9, 2016 9:31 pm
    #

    You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation but I to find this matter to be actually one thing which I think I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely large for me. I am having a look forward on your subsequent publish, I’ll attempt to get the hold of it!