Getting Back On The Horse

Canis Wolfborn from games-workshop.com

Canis Wolfborn from games-workshop.com

Today I made an army list for the first time in over a year.

I’ve been away from the hobby for a long time, mainly due to being on a relatively intense Master’s degree course. I have managed to keep an eye on new releases and was pleased to see two of my armies; High Elves and Tau receive an update, while being distressed at the price of the army books. The £30 army books make me reminisce about when I got started in the hobby and you could pick one up for £12! Safe to say I haven’t bought either of the new army books yet. But this post isn’t meant to be about Games Workshop’s prices, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opportunities in the future for that.

This helped in my decision to use my Space Wolves, but only 700 points of them. A friend and I are combining forces of Ultramarines and Space Wolves against a mix of Imperial Guard and Space Marines. Such a small force was difficult to make with the cost of space marines but it should make coming to terms with the rules again quite easy. Thankfully, we’ll be sticking to 5th Edition for the time being which means I should be able to remember some of what’s supposed to be going on. We’ll be heading to Warhammer World for the battle, which is always a treat thanks to the great gaming tables, miniatures hall and Bugman’s. Taking everything into account it seems quite an easy reintroduction back into the hobby, all I need to do now is find the motivation to pick up the paint brush once again.

I’ll keep my army selection to myself for now, in case my opponent reads this! But perhaps I’ll try to write my first battle report and post it later?

The Emperor and the Wolf

Have a read of The Emperor and the Wolf over on The Shell Case.

The rumour mill has been working over time today with chatter that Forgeworld will be releasing a Horus Heresy supplement in the coming year or so. This is of no surprise to me at all. If anything I’m a little surprised it’s taken them this long to do it. But the clues were there with all the power armour and pre-heresy tank variants coming out.

There’s also rumours of a supplement that, basically, is the early years of the 42nd millennium. The Emperor is dead, and his body is in the hands of the Ultramarines. The Imperiuam has been torn asunder and is now a group smaller empires controlled by the Astartes who are at war with one another. Needless to say the Ultramarines and their successors control the biggest chunk of space. Terra is in the hand of the Imperial Fists and believe the Emperor’s body needs to be laid to rest so he may be reborn. The rumours prattle on at length but the point is that the supplement, if it ever comes to light, would take 40k from 5 to midnight to about quarter past. The commercial sense is clear as the majority of players have Space Marine armies and therefore a high percentage of games are Marine vs Marine and it’s just a ‘training exercise’. This would allow players to legitimately play one another.

Anyway, I wonder how the Heresy supplement will tie in to the books. I’d like to think there’ll be rules for Primarchs and, therefore, models. But more importantly a balance needs to be found between what the Astartes were and what they become, especially in respect of the traitor legions. I’m a little apprehensive if I’m honest as the Horus Heresy novels are doing a fine job of fleshing out the events. An IA book, if allowed to, could run roughshod over everything Dan Abneet, Graham McNeill and the others have cultivated.

The talk of the Horus Heresy supplement got me thinking about, once more, the fluff. Specifically about the Space Wolves as I think they’re probably one of the hardest Legions to capture in game and more so for Warhammer 30,000 (as it’ll inevitably be dubbed) – the chapter of the 41st millennium being fairly different from their Heresy incarnation. More than that I started thinking about the Space Wolves and their relationship with the Emperor.

We know that the Space Wolves were the Emperor’s executioners. His attack dogs. It’s also fair to assume that the other Legions were aware of the the secondary role the Space Wolves had beyond prosecuting the Emperor’s Great Crusade. But the question I’m throwing out there is what was the extent that the Primarchs and the other Legions aware? Did they believe that the Space Wolves were given the task because they were eager to please savages or because they knew the strength that the Space Wolves possess.

Those that had read the Horus Heresy novels will know that the Wolves were unleashed on three separate occasions. Once against each of the lost legions, the third time against the Thousand Sons obviously to great effect. The thing that has always made the Space Wolves more dangerous than the World Eaters was their self control. Their savagery in combat was always tempered by strategy and an awareness of the violence they unleash. It’s almost a grudging acceptance of their savagery. They see a problem and their mind immediately leaps to the most expedient way of dealing with it. Such as throwing a space station at planet. It’s brutal, mind bendingly violent but the undertone of logic is what makes them so terrifying. Whereas the World Eaters would and did descend into mindless slaughter. The World Eaters were content to wreak havoc for havocs sake. To butcher all before them because they liked it.

The Space Wolves were designed to be able to take on any of their brother legions. They’re psychically resistant, their ferocity and lupine heritage makes them difficult to scare and even hard to put down. Their tactics are uncompromising and unpredictable and their savagery tempered by reason and cold logic. It is a terrifying cocktail of traits. And makes me ask the question; to what extent was Leman Russ truly a brother to the other Primarchs?

All the other Primarchs possess obvious facets of the Emperor’s personality. Some even share traits. Roboute Guilliman, it is said, was almost a straight up clone. I’ve always thought that Leman Russ possessed the animal, bestial nature of the Emperor that lurks within all of us. But the more I’ve thought about it the less I’m sure. Considering the task that the Emperor had in mind when he created Leman Russ and the Space Wolves it would make far more sense for Leman Russ to not share the same familial bonds to make his task that much easier. His loyalty had to be, first and foremost to the Emperor.

It tracks as the Legion/Chapter is fiercely loyal to themselves and the Emperor. They had disdain for the bureaucracy of the Imperium as a whole and although close to his brothers Leman Russ never shared the kind of bonds of kinship that, for example, Fulgrim and Ferrus Manus shared. Granted that didn’t end well…

It makes me wonder what the Emperor had in mind for the Space Wolves after the Great Crusade. Or all the Legions for that matter. It makes me suspect that the Emperor intended for the Space Wolves to be a galactic patrol force. A force brutal enough that it would quell insurrection and keep the other Legions in line.

However the far more likely thought is that the Emperor created the Space Wolves because he always suspected something could go wrong, whatever that may be. The Space Wolves were an insurance policy, for want of a better term. But it all comes back to that decisive moment when the Primarchs were scattered denying the Emperor the chance to nurture the Primarchs into what he needed them to be. But I suspect that Leman Russ was created exactly as he was intended to be. He was the Emperor’s greatest creation and most devastating weapon.

It occurs to me of all the loyalist Legions the Space Wolves would have been most feared by the traitors. As not only were they the most capable to bring the fight to the traitors but they already had experience of doing just that. They would have also been fired by a righteous indignation that the Emperor was defied, rather than the hurt of a brothers betrayed.

The funny thing is that the Primarchs spend an awful lot of time not trusting the Space Wolves because of their tribal nature, unkempt appearance and savagery in combat, but of all of the Emperor’s creations they were the only ones that ever acted with wholeheartedly the Imperium’s best interests in mind, the Emperor’s fullest support and his unwavering approval. For all the power games, manipulations and rivalries that went on amongst the other Primarchs, Leman Russ was the most trusted and equally the most loyal of all the Emperor’s sons. This despite Leman Russ never seeking it out or even acknowledging it. If anything I rather feel that Leman Russ, incorrectly, believed the Emperor tolerated him in the same way a father tolerates a dog bought to keep the children safe. A necessity rather than something to be loved.

I suspect the opposite to be true. He loved Leman Russ precisely because he was the immovable rock beneath his feet. He knew that Russ would do what he could not – to protect his children and his subjects, even from themselves, no matter the cost.

Warhammer 40K 1000 Point Battle: Death Worlds

In a previous post I promised a 1000 point battle report when I reached over 100 followers on twitter. The time is approaching when I can meet up with my challenger and his tyranid army. We’ve agreed we’re going to give the Death World scenario a go from White Dwarf issue 388. We’re also going to use the same lists as the battle report featured in the same issue.

So here are the lists:

For me it looks like a difficult battle for the Space Wolves but I’m gonna give it a go and I’ll post a battle report on here.

What do you guys think of the lists and whether it will be a good battle?

 

Warhammer 40,000 Battle Missions: Death Worlds

In issue 388 of White Dwarf Games Workshop have included some scenarios for 40k players. I like the idea of these and I’m going to play a few games using these scenarios as soon as I can.

Here’s a few pages about it:

There’s also a nice battle report between Space Wolves and Nids that I want to recreate with a friend. I’ll share the outcome on here

Bran Redmaw

When The Doom Of Mymeara was released a while back now I was really excited. The idea of another Wolf Lord being released and that Forge World were going to do it blew my mind. The Eldar models to go with the campaing were fantastic and I can’t wait for some Space Wolf things to follow.

Brad’s personal icon is the Bloodied Hunter, which fits him and his Great Company well. Bran and his followers are natural hunters, and Bran has a natural talent for second-guessing his enemies’ moves. He specializes in encircling actions, positioning hisGrey Hunters to lie in wait as his enemy flees in the face of his front-line advance. Once his enemy is trapped, Bran’s Wolves unleash their savagery, and their enemy is literally torn to pieces

I came across a picture of what the Bran Redmaw model might look like from a picture from Games Day UK 2011.

I’m definately going to add this guy to my Space Wolves as soon as he’s available.

1000 Tweets

I’ve declared that once I reach 1000 tweets on twitter I will create a 1000 point Space Wolf list and battle a friend with that army, I’ll post a “battle report” about it and I’m accepting requests, so feel free to let me know your preferences. In addition, I’ll do the same when I reach 100 followers on twitter so make sure you follow me.

2 tweets to go so it will be soon…

Getting back on the Thunderwolf

I’ve been neglecting the hobby recently due to a lot of assignments with deadlines all around the same time. As a result, I’ve got a bit of assembling to do…

My friends got me some High Elf stuff for my birthday, and I’ve made a few small additions to my collection. On the plus side I now have pretty much all I need for my High Elves for now, allowing me to concentrate on the Space Wolves especially with the lovely new releases!

Here’s what I have to assemble:

– Fenrisian Wolves
– 10 Lothern Seaguard
– Repeater Bolt Thrower
– Chariot
– Dragon Princes

I’ll keep you posted on my progress…