Space Wolf Fast Attack Review: Stormwolf

Hello fellow followers of the All Father, SaltyJohn here from TFGRadio bringing you the Stormwolf in all its glory! For more reviews, bat reps, tactics discussions, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner!

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The Space Marines of the Vylka Fenryka, more commonly known as Space Wolves, are warriors of great renown. Feared and respected by their enemies and allies alike. They come from the people of Fenris, a watery deathworld. The inhabitants of Fenris ply the oceans and islands of their world which shifts constantly with tectonic hype activity. In their trusty long ships the tribes of Fenris raid, fish, trade, and make a living like the Vikings of ancient Terra. From this hearty stock the Space Wolves draw their initiates, once inducted into the Vylka Fenryka the Space Wovles ply the ocean of stars in their longships of war in the name of the All Father. Their tactics, beliefs, and weaponry reflect their life raiding on the seas of Fenris. The Stormwolf is an excellent example of their home world being reflected in their wars among the stars. As a more technologically advanced Longship it’s role on the battlefields of the 41st millenium is to deliver the warriors of the Space Wolves into the heat of battle safely and offer intensive supporting fire. Does this unit hold up to the fluff on the table top? Does it warrant the hefty price tag of 215 points?

 

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The Stormwolf costs a base of 215 points and can be taken as a Dedicated Transport to multiple units in the Space Wolf codex, it can also be taken as a Fast Attack choice in a Space Wolf detachment. It is an excellent delivery system for units of Space Wolves and because it has the Assault Vehicle rule they can come charging on out into combat. It also carries with it some great weaponry for taking on other flyers and ground targets alike. It is an all around good unit.

Wargear:

  • Vehicle (Flyer with Hover mode, Transport)
  • 16 Model Capacity
  • 2 Twin linked Heavy Bolter (can upgrade to Skyhammer missiles for free or to Twin linked multi-meltas for 20 points)
  • Twin-linked Helfrost Cannon
  • Twin-linked LasCannon
  • Ceramite Plating

Special Rules:

  • Assault Vehicle
  • Power of the Machine Spirti

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Tactics: The Stormwolf is a versatile unit that can compliment several units in a Space Wolves force. It can fit a large number of terminators, Blood Claws, and even Wulfen. In a Great Company detachment like Blackmanes where the Bloodclaws get a big boos in Close Combat having a vehicle that can reliably get Ragnar and his retinue of Blood Claws to the enemy isn’t a bad thing. Generally speaking you’ll want to kit out the Stormwolf for hunting large targets like Vehicles, MCs, GMCs, Super Heavies etc. The Helfrost Cannon and Twin-Linked Las are already suited for this role and can’t be changed out, the best option is to exchange the TL-HB with the TL-MM option. If the Stormwolf itself is going to be hunting big targets than the unit inside should compliment that in one of two ways. 1 be able to mop up what the Stormwolf couldn’t handle or 2 take out a secondary target that could threaten the Stormwolf.

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Ragnar plus Blood Claws is discussed in depth here and here. They are great at chewing through Marine Equivalents and the like, even able to use Furious Charge and the +1 Str on the charge to eat through some tougher units. They would play a great support role to the Stormwolf or as a unit to clear out a few min-max Battle Company or Eldar Jetbike units. Nobody uses those right?

I discussed how to use Wolf Guard Terminators with a Stormwolf here and here. Space Wolves are the only faction I think that can field Terminators effectively at this point. Perhaps the Blood Angels with their formation that assaults after deep strike. The only reason Space Wolves can use Terminators effectively is due to the Stormwolf. Land Raiders are too expensive and die too easily. The Stormwolf, even with MM upgrades cost no less than 20 points less than a Land Raider and can fly; meaning, move faster, jink, and are harder to hit. Once out of the Stormwolf the Terminators are just as squishy as other variants however the ability to mix and match weaponry makes them more versatile.

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One of the most interesting ways to use a Stormwolf to me is as a delivery system for Wulfen. Unlike Terminators Wulfen are a preeminent assault unit, that’s holding it’s own as 7th edition drones on. The biggest weakness of Wulfen is they can be slowly shot down as they cross the board. Many lists have built in buffers for this that use the extra movement generated by the Wulfen Murderpack such as Swiftclaws, Skyclaws, Thunderwolf Cavalry etc. Another way to do this, with adding firepower to the list is Stormwolves. Here is an example.

  • Space Wolf CAD
    • Wolf Lord Runic Armor, Powerfist, Storm Shield
    • 2x Blood Claws in Rhinos
    • Aegis Defense Line with Comms Relay
  • Wulfen Murder Pack
    • 3x 5 Wulfen, Pack Leader, Frostclaws w/ grenades, Axe w/ grenades, 2x TH/SS. Stormwolf with Multimetlas.
  • 1844 points

I’m not saying the above list is amazing, but it is a good way to get some flyers and fire power into a list with Wulfen Murderpack which generally lacks those things.

The Stormwolf is a great model, and a good unit. So why don’t we see it more on the battle fields of the 41st Millennium? Well, there are just too many good builds right now for Space Wolves that simply don’t have a need for the Stormwolf. From Wulfen Murderpack Stars, to Wolftide, Thunderstar, Super Wolf Friends, and Blackmanes you just don’t see a spot in those lists for the Stormwolf. If the Great Companies were a bit less cost prohibitive you may see one show up in a list from time to time. A meta shift in 8th could see a resurgence of these types of units, but until there’s a shift in the meta you won’t see many of these on the table top.

As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.

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About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

2 Responses to “Space Wolf Fast Attack Review: Stormwolf”

  1. Quinn December 26, 2016 12:16 pm #

    Yeah, I have had 3 of these sitting on the shelf for a long time. Wish I could figure out a way to get them on the table with Wulfen that made sense. To me the problem is having to come in from Reserve, just not reliable enough to tie up that many points. Drop Pods just win that argument hands down usually. If someone has an ITC legal build that could manipulate the reserve roll enough, I’m all ears. Eventually I will get around to trying them out, but not in a competitive game.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn December 27, 2016 3:56 pm #

      That’s perfectly fair. There are many instances where being able to deploy flyers on the board in Skimmer/Hover mode would be immensely beneficial to them seeing the table top as a more useful unit.

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