40k List-Tech: The Howl of the Pack

Top Secret

“The Strength of the Pack Is the Wolf, and the Strength of the Wolf Is the Pack”

The list-tech segment is a series of articles designed to focus on unique, competitive lists crafted by players in the community in order to provide new and experienced players with tactics, tips, and tricks to use in the heat of battle.

For more great tactics articles head on over to the Tactics Corner!

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Keep calm and make a list

Today we have the story of a boy and his wolves. It is a tale of comraderie, triumph, and glory spoken over every Hearth in the universe. I of course, am talking about a nerd and his Space Wolf models. More specifically Shayne and the list he made which enabled him to throw off the shackles of heresy that is the White Scar Libararius Conclave and embrace the wyrd. With this list he will don the cloak of the Great Wolf himself and lead his bretheren to glory! Or at least a Best General award at the Contest of Champions.


Sparky and friends (2250pts)

Champions of Fenris

Wolf Guard Battle Leader [2x Fenrisian Wolf, Thunderwolf]
Runic Armour [Power Fist, Storm Shield]

Iron Priest (old) [Bolter, Thunderwolf]

Iron Priest (old) [Bolter, Thunderwolf]

Fast Attack

Drop Pod

Thunderwolf Cavalry
Thunderwolf Cavalry [Bolter, Storm Shield]
Thunderwolf Cavalry [Bolter, Storm Shield]
Thunderwolf Cavalry Pack Leader [Storm Shield, Wolf Claw]

Space Marine Quad Mortar Support Battery

Space Marine Quad Mortar Support Battery

Cerastus Knight-Atrapos

Heralds of the Great Wolf
Iron Priest [Bolter, Tempest Hammer, Thunderwolf, Warlord]
Rune Priest [Bike, Psyker Mastery Level 2, Rune Stave]
Runic Armour [Bolt Pistol]
Wolf Priest [Bike]
Runic Armour [Bolt Pistol]

Wulfen Murderpack
Wulfen [Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield]
Wulfen [Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield]
Wulfen [Great Frost Axe, Stormfrag Auto-Launcher]
Wulfen [Dual Frost Claws]
Wulfen [Dual Frost Claws]
Wulfen [Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield]
Wulfen [Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield]
Wulfen [Great Frost Axe, Stormfrag Auto-Launcher]
Wulfen [Dual Frost Claws]
Wulfen [Dual Frost Claws]
Wulfen [Stormfrag Auto-Launcher, Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield]
Wulfen [Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield]
Wulfen [Great Frost Axe, Stormfrag Auto-Launcher]
Wulfen [Dual Frost Claws]
Wulfen [Dual Frost Claws]


1. Tell us a little bit about your army, why did you go with certain units? Why did you pick this army list in particular? Is there anything special about your army that you want to highlight?

“The Strength of the Pack Is the Wolf, and the Strength of the Wolf Is the Pack”

This is the concept behind the design of my army, every single marine is a force to be reckoned with on his own; through working together with the rest of the army they are a unstoppable force. I have always been a fan of space wolves from the lore, models, and game play perspective. Having a disastrous run at Lvo 2016 with thunderstar and white scar Libby conclave, and coming in second to deadlast it was at this point I decided, I hated relying on psychic powers and would keep them at a minimum when building armies. Coincidentally leaks were pouring in for warzone fenris, and When I saw the pictures for the wulfen (which most people hated), It was puppy love.

When war-zone fenris dropped the book had nothing but fantastic things for space wolves. The formation that really caught my eye and would become the mainstay for my list was the Heralds of the Great Wolf formation which many reviewers disregarded, due to the loss of independent character on the three characters; To me each aspect of the formation is fantastic. It consists of one wolf priest (sw chaplain), one iron priest (sw tech marine), and one Rune priest (sw Libby) that form a single squad. Each priest provides a boon to themselves and the other priests:

-the Wolf Priest gives them IWND from the formation and he provides preferred enemy to a select unit type, fearless, and 6+ fnp to the unit.
-Rune priest formation bonus reduces BS by 1 when enemies target them, while bringing admantuim will, and psychic powers(I prefer Biomancy, telepathy, and librarius in that order).

-The iron priest ability is the most important and powerful. It prevents the first failed save suffered on each herald in each PHASE (one in both yours and your opponents movement, psychic, shooting ,and assault phase), while providing the primary offense of a bunch of str10 ap1 or 2 attacks that have hellfrost.

Besides those bonuses the formation grants +1 to seize the initiative and you get to reroll the dice to see who deploys first which essentially allows you to control who gets first turn.


What ties the squad together is space wolves have a access to a diverse armory, with few important differences from other Chapters. All Heroes can take runic armor which is artificer armor with a 6++, which doesn’t look like much but it guarantees you will always be able to have a save to fail to trigger the formation bonus from the iron priest. They also all can take bikes, and the iron priest can take a Thunderpuppy which gives him that boost to his attacks to a rending str10 hellfrost hammer which makes gargantuan creatures and titans weep. Hellfrost is great because if something survives the iron smackdown, it then must to take a toughness test for each wound suffered or be removed from play. (wraithknights, draigo, and stormsurges love this).

The next part of the list, the Company of the Great Wolf, is a fantastic detachment that allows you to forgo the troop tax and increases all Thunderwolf Calvary riders to WS 5, all characters must challenge for glory which no space wolf is afraid to do, since few characters are a match for a space wolf hero, and just in case you need it characters get preferred enemy in a challenge. From this detachment I bring 2 of the old iron priest on Thunderwolves and attach them to a thunderwolf Calvary squad, this provides me with a very fast Wolfpack with a good blend of saves, attack power, and in the late game I am able to split the iron priests off for objectives. A vital part of the list is the quad mortars, both profiles are excellent compliments to my list allowing the perfect can openers against transports, or providing pinning to pesky ranged units that pick at the wolves.

The Knight-Atropos is not a regular but since CoC was a larger point value tournament it fit nicely with the extra 400 points. His main strength was his threatening presence, Knights tend to get focused due to how powerful they are when left unchecked, but the Atropos packs powerful gadgets in his utility belt, like his ion shield reduces any shooting attacks fired at the shield to reduce the strength by 1 or 2 against blast weapons, his main gun either gets hot, or fires a large str8 ap2 armorbane, concussive blast that has a chance to turn into a D vortex. While providing all the other benefits a knight brings.

The last part of the list is the wulfen murder pack: Wulfen are just amazing, for those who haven’t faced the terror that these werewolf men are, let me break it down. The actual lore Gee Dubba doesn’t want you to know, they are the love child of what happens when a space wolf wolf guard veteran gets a little too drunk and randy after battle, then wanders into the Thunderwolves kennel for the night ;). Their stat line reflects this having base str 5 I5, fnp rage, the ability to run and charge(rerolling failed charge) and the best melee weapons in the game (th/ss, an axe that is +3 str ap2 but attacks at initiative the turn they charge, and a pair of wolf claws, except they are ap2). The best thing about them when they die they pile in and attack at that initiative step and get another full round of attacks. In the formation any 6 they roll to hit generates another attack that can also generate more attacks. Wulfen are great because they provide the curse of a wulfen to other units, which provides a single roll for the entire army that infects all space wolves with a feral ferocity if they are near the wulfen, providing various movement bonuses or offensive abilities if they are already locked in combat.

What makes this list so powerful, is the curse of the wulfen, the other benefit the formation provides for every Wulfen squad beyond the first in the army you add +1 to your curse roll, if the roll is 7 or more you either get a free turn of movement before the the movement phase or a extra attack if engaged. For my two mini-bark bark stars, this means on a roll of a 5, first turn my threat range of 31 inches on average dice. If I roll 2-3, my threat range is still pretty massive with a range of 24 inches on average dice, both instances put me in my foes deployment zone first turn if I deploy on the line.


2. What expectations did you have for the meta? Were there any armies you were worried about? What match-ups did you feel most comfortable with?

With the current meta there are a lot of things to be afraid of, as I fully expect to see scat bike/warpspider/wraithknight eldar, tau triptide and double stormsurge, battle company, 5 knights, flying circus demons, and super friends in both chaos and imperium flavor. And at this tournament they all now have 400 points to bring meaner toys than I was used to. My list doesn’t have any particular hard counters, just some armies that the outcomes tend to come down to chance which is something you don’t want in a dice game. The armies that tend to make me nervous tend to be battle company because wulfen have a preset kill limit. Knowing this Space marines can send wave after wave of their own men at them until the beasts reached their limit and get all tuckered out. Combined with obsec, I will generally lose on the mission or maelstrom mission. Tau can be quite a bother, High volume of strong shots, jet pack moves, and double storm surges can usually cripple the wolves if I don’t get first turn or the wrong curse of the wulfen result the fish men will break me, if not I reach their lines and it’s Germany vs Brazil in the World Cup semi finals. The list that are really annoying to face for my list are Skyhammer since Calvary can actually be pinned and Wulfen have average leadership for expensive models, And I detest psychic heavy lists, such as Libby conclave, seer council, or demons as it seems to be a coin flip, between a unstoppable force and immoveable object, Though I do love to crush them with a first turn assault before they get their psychic powers off, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Some people get scared when they see 5 knights across the table, but I welcome it because they tend to be very quick games. Every unit I bring is equipped with lots of high strength low armor pen attacks and knights large size makes them difficult to maneuver away.


3. How did you prepare yourself and your list for “meta” armies like Eldar varients, Battle company, and Daemon lists? Who did you beat on the way to victory at the tournament?

I am lucky enough that my closest friends are huge 40k nerds as well, and between our group we have access to pretty much all the different armies. So I play a lot of different match ups to prepare for tournaments aiming for 2 a week, But most-importantly, we talk daily about our lists and the meta, and generally argue about what works best and how to deal with certain threats. I also read a lot about the game from every army codex to web articles, and various reviews. One of the best ways to practice is to actually play other armies if you get the chance, that way you get some first hand experience on how they work. An even better to swap armies with a friend so you can try to figure out how to defeat your own list. Also play and lose a lot, I learn more from a loss than a win.

This tournament, round one I had a very close match that came down to the last turn vs a cabal dog star list with a demon tetrad for support Iron armed lash princesses are nasty. Second round I squared off against strike force ultra of the ultramarines, a null deploy list with a host of terminators, in the last round I faced tau with double stormsurge, buffmander bomb and the armor cadre, which on the first turn D’d out the Atropos but I was able to get close enough with my wolves for a first turn charge.


4. Hindsight is 20-20 and looking back on the tournament was there anything you would have changed about your list to better accommodate the meta you experienced?

I have been pretty confident with the 1850 version of the list since I have been working on variations of it for 6 months, but with 2250 points I was in a rush to fill that last gap. So the first thought I had was to put a knight in the list so I tried the knight Acheron, which failed, but I was fortunate enough that InControl lent me his Atropos, which is beautiful and equally amazing rule wise. Unfortunately in this tournament he didn’t do much apart from being a huge “distraction carnifex.” So I would drop the Atropos, and add another wulfen pack (I had an unbuilt box at the time). This would increase the chance for the double movement from 1/3 to 1/2 and wulfen are just amazing. I would also add a stormwolf for AA and the crazy amount of fire power they pack.


5. What are some tips or tricks you have for people who might want to start using your army?

The main trick is that you have to play out two different turns in your head if you are infected with the curse of the wulfen or if not. Since this is an elite army you always have to have your wolves putting in work or you lose tempo and burn out. Another tip is you really need to read understand the fine print of the BRB, and don’t be afraid to argue your point of view on a rule and email your TO ahead of time for clarification. There are so many rules to remember and some aren’t clearly written sometimes. When the curse of the wulfen came out I saw the herald of the great wolf formation, and many argued wether it was one wound for the squad or each herald, and how it was written really didn’t help. I was firm that it was each one, and GW eventually confirmed how it worked. Another tip for playing this army is positioning your wulfen especially ones in the drop pod to make sure you maximize the most out of the curse. And believe in your self.


got a list
Did you just win an ITC event? Is your list dominating everyone it crosses? Did you just recently do well with a unique list at a large event? I want to hear about it! Just send it to
Please do not send your army list in a format such as Army Builder, send them in an easy to read, typed format. Thanks!


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

3 Responses to “40k List-Tech: The Howl of the Pack”

  1. Avatar
    Pascalnz October 2, 2016 12:21 pm #

    quick note on the Atrapos weapon. it isn’t gets hot or fires it’s weapon. the rule isn’t gets hot, you lose a hull point but you can still fire the weapon.
    Nice write up 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Blackferret October 2, 2016 5:06 pm #

    Having played against wulfen and the heralds of the great wolf, the key is to limit their mobility and feed them small inexpensive units. If you can waste their time you can pull ahead.

    • Avatar
      Donzo October 3, 2016 5:01 pm #

      This doesn’t rally work against a stronger player with a list like this, as the wolfstar can break apart into 3 or 4 small hammer units that can easily take out a roadbump each, chewing thru 3, 4, or 5 small units a turn…

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