Your favorite Blood Claw here, and ready to give you my Post-Tournament Report.
In our local Twin-Linked Tournament, I brought 1000 points of Space Wolves, and Makooma brought 1000 points of Tau. We played three matches, Winning two and losing one (Makooma will cover the BatRep).
So, here is my individual unit breakdown. I wanted to do this because I feel it offers readers an intimate look at how individual units perform with different wargear options.
From my personal experience, the Wolf Priest never disappoints. He supported the Blood Claws in many ways, making them an even greater force to be reckoned with. Preferred Enemy is great. As is the 4++ invulnerable save in the Wolf Amulet. The Saga of the Hunter was a GREAT option for him leading the Claws on foot. I made to sure to remind all my opponents that they would have stealth, and ALL of them at some point were looking rather distraught when reminded of this as I was taking my 3+ cover saves. This alone saved me at least 8 Claws over the course of three games. For 10 points...I'd say that is well worth it. Runic Armor was also a great choice, proving itself after rolling four or five 2's for armor saves. I never had a chance to use the Meltabombs or Wolf Tail Talisman, though I still feel they are good upgrades for the price.
Overall, I feel this was an optimal loadout for the Wolf Priest leading a pack of Claws on foot. It made both him and the Claws more survivable, which is a must when footslogging. The only change I would make is adding a Plasma Pistol. In all three matches I played, I either encountered a situation where I needed some low AP shots to take down some extra MEQ's, or I needed an extra high strength shot to help open up transports to expose its contents. Even with the one or two melta guns with the Claws, their BS3 cannot be relied upon. The plasma pistol could really help with that shortcoming.
The Blood Claws are by far my favorite unit from the codex. With the full 15 Claws on foot, they are a force that must be dealt with. They soaked up lots of fire, which was great whether they survived the storm of bullets or not. This left the other units in the army unscathed for the first few turns, which was even worse for my opponent if they had been reduced at least below half strength. Once they reached combat, their attack numbers (along with preferred enemy) proved to be overwhelming.
The Powerfist is a must, IMO. They are exposed to a multitude of enemy units, and the fist makes them more capable of defending against some of the tougher units. And, three fist attacks on the charge isn't bad. The melta gun was a good addition as well, since I was able to put it to use by killing a few MEQ's, and opening up a Rhino (and it was free). There have been too many times in the past where I choose not to bring a melta gun, and I always regret it. I now always try to fit them in now. The flamer is great too, since there is no worries about the BS3 when using it (this one is free too!).
It wasn’t a surprise that the Hunters performed well. Aside from some inevitable mission constraints, these guys moved into position with their Rhinos and did their jobs controlling/contesting and laying down cover fire for other units.
I am glad that I didn’t go over the top with the Hunter squads’ upgrades, since What they had seemed to be enough. This was the first time I went with the melta-plasma combo. I found it quite useful, have multiple opportunities to use the separately and together. The key here was that I was never in a position where I regretted taking one or the other (which has often been the case in the past). The Wolf Standards performed great as well, never failing to prove itself as one of the best upgrades in the codex. Specifically, in one round of combat where I was rolling 20+ attacks, I managed to roll somewhere around 8 or more 1’s just to hit.
Though it was chosen as a dedicated transport for the Blood Claws, I am mentioning it separately, since I was essentially used as a separated unit.
It is hard to judge its performance, considering how often I failed rolls to hit with it. It was a good lesson is statistics, where in my last match I managed to miss on 4 strait turns. I, too, thought that was virtually impossible…until I saw it myself. Since my reason for bring the Twin-Linked Lascannon vs. the las/plas combo was it reliability, it is now making me consider otherwise. Also, there were a number of occasions where it received a weapon destroyed result, which would not have affected it as much were it a las/plas.
With that being said, I can see it being useful in the future (pending some better rolling on my part). It was fairly cheap, and still managed to contest objectives and drew attention away from other more essential units.
Cheap, lean, and ready to rock and roll. When you roll well…
Single Speeders are always hit or miss for me. I am always counting on the multi-melta, only to have it miss or fail to penetrate. The Heavy flamer is a nice combo for it, though, since both are usually used in the face of the enemy. I think the speeder would have been more effective with a twin beside it for support.
Even though I manage to miss often with my speeders, they almost always manage to soak up loads of firepower from my opponents to take them down. As far as deployment goes, I used deepstrike in two out of the three matches. I did this because I knew my opponents would be camping. This was a very risky tactic, but it seemed to pay off, as I was able to get the speeder exactly where I wanted it. In the match against the Blood Angels, I knew they would be bringing the fight to me. I reserved it to come on the board normally, which worked out well as it came on to explode a Rhino (killing around 6 assault marines in the process).
Overall List Grade: B
I was happy with the list I brought. It supported the partner’s Tau forces well, which was most important for me in the tournament. Looking forward, I would only make minor changes to the list, such as giving the Wolf Priest a plasma pistol and switching the TL Lascannon to a las/plas (or even swapping it for another speeder). The most important thing was that I was able to use my favorite unit, the Blood Claws, and have fun with them.
I hope this review helps others with their ventures. Please, feel free to ask any questions or leave comments. Thanks for tuning in…