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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, February 28, 2011

Taak's 1850pts Expanded Herohammer in the Style of abusepuppy

This week, abusepuppy, posted up a thread about what he defined Herohammer as and provided an army in support of this. In essence, his list makes use of the extra HQ's allowed by the Space Wolves coupled with their Saga's and the flexibility of their Codex. My own version of Herohammer is minimal models, coupled with as many strengths as possible within the context of the small number of models and the flexibility of the Codex. Neither concept is more right or more wrong then the other as has been asserted by many viewers of this blog. The reason being that both have inspired other people to play the lists all around the world. Both provide unique challenges to the competitive minded gamer. That all said, because of the nature of the concept of Herohammer in a much more competitive sense in terms of a non-comp environment which abusepuppy is trying to achieve let's take some of the things he has stated both in the article and in comments all over the place, combined with my own complicated thinking and throw it all into a version of the list which is just as much a clustertruck of ideas and options as my original list, or rather more so. The best way to explain this is by dropping down a list.

Taak's 1850pts Expanded Herohammer in the Style of abusepuppy:

CORE ARMY: 1,070pts

HQ 1a) Logan Grimnar - 275

HQ 1b) Njal Storm Caller, Runic Terminator Armour - 270

Troops 1) 5 WG: 1xTDA+SB+PW+CML, 1xTDA+SS+CF, 2xPA+Combi-Melta+BP, 1xPA+BP+CCW -
Dedicated Transport: Drop Pod w/SB - 225

Troops 2) 5xWG: 1xPA+Bike+1xCombi-Flamer, 2xPA+Bike+Combi-Melta, 1xTDA+PW+Combi-Melta+CML, 1xPA+BP+Combi-Melta
Dedicated Transport: Drop Pod w/SB - 300

EXPANDED ARMY: 780pt section:

Heavy Support 1) 4 LF's, 3xMM, 1xPW+BP
Dedicated Transport: Drop Pod w/SB - 140

HQ 2a) 1 Thunderwolf Lord, Saga of the Bear, TH+SS+Runic Armour+Wolf Tooth Necklace - 270

Fast Attack 1) 2xThunderwolf Cavalry, 1xPower Fist - 125

HQ 2b) 1xWolf Priest, Saga of the Hunter, MB's, Wolftooth Necklace, Wolf Amulet, Crozius Arcanum, Combi-Melta - 135

Elites 1) 5 Wolf Scouts, MB's, 4xSniper Rifle+Bolt Pistol, 1xMissile Launcher+Bolt Pistol - 110

Total = 1,850pts
Models = 28

Okay, so we have a lot of mixed messages in the above list and I expect a good percentage of people to look at it and just dismiss it outright as more of Taak's messed up craziness. That's okay. :)
So, before I move onto a more detailed analysis of the above list, I believe it's important at this point to make a blanket statement that there is no right and wrong way to make a Herohammer list, there are SO many options and variant unit/model/equipment choices that 30 or less models at 1,850pts that any number of iterations can prop up. I couldn't fit in Lone Wolves or Stormshields on the Thunderwolf Cavalry, I couldn't fit in larger units of Wolf Guard and I also considered the merits of taking a unit of Grey Hunters coupled with a Wolf Standard and alot of Combat based characters attached, Ragnar Black Mane or even a Biker Rune Priest and that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of variations and options, each of which bring in differing strengths and weaknesses to the army. At the end of the day, it gets down to how playable the list is in a Competitive sense. Have i done that with the above list? I think so. So lets look at it in more detail.


What we have above is many options which make use of one of the less used strengths of the Space Wolf Codex - Character Assignation Amongst Units. The above list has a great deal of options in this with each one allowing a differing variation of the list. Please note that Wolf Guard also fall into this category of character assignation.

Character Assignation Amongst Units makes this army an interesting one and more importantly, this assignation at the beginning of each game will shape the army in that game based on what you do with the assignation. There are many options for this and they aren't always clear. The obvious combination however, is Logan Grimnar in the Long Fang unit mounted in their Drop Pod so as you can pop Relentless on the first turn. Njal also has space in here and so too does a Terminator Wolf Guard, the more preferable model for this being the WG with TDA+SB+PW+CML from Troops 2) aka the Biker Wolf Guard. This brings us to 10 models in terms of transport Capacity within this Drop Pod. The follow up to this is the WG on foot with combi-melta joining the Wolf Scouts. This then free's up the Biker Wolf Guard to move as a single unit. The Saga of the Hunter Wolf Priest can then attach to the Wolf Scouts to make them that much more interesting (everyone loves an Oath of War with Melta-Bombs against a unit type of Walkers after all, and then you also are looking at twin single shot melta's in the unit for armoured units as well - nothing says sticking it to the man like stunning a Walker then assaulting it and melting it up close and personnal with bombs!).

That's the obvious route and the one which in most cases would be used to my mind. You have an outflanking and stealthed unit of Wolf Scouts with a Wolf Priest and Wolf Guard in the mix, a unit of 3 Bikers whose Pod drops down later on empty but because of its inclusion also allows for the Troops 1) Wolf Guard unit to drop in at the same time as The Logan Fangs. The Bikers have the speed to move up in support or to even hang back and make a rush for late game objective grabbing. They don't have storm shields or fancy close combat attacks, but rather are a mobile support unit, which can also be used, as in my original list, to give a transitory T5 to all 3 independent characters not on Thunderwolf in the list. That makes for a fairly intimidating unit when heavy weaponry cannot be brought to bear on it and even then swapping between 2+/4++ and a 3+ save or 3+/4++ save is quite interesting and acts nicely to increase survivability of the unit considerably, especially when you consider that Logan Grimnar has Saga of the Bear so in effect has 2 ablative wounds himself. The Thunderwolf Lord joins the Thunderwolf Cavalry and brings to the board not as many attacks as a warrior born lord, but certainly more survivability and those strength ten attacks are surprisingly effective against everything.

There are other routes here, in effect you can get up to 5 different units churning out anti-armour firepower against up to 6 different targets depending on how the WG with CML are split (Wolf scouts have Sniper Rifles+Missile Launcher; 2xWG units with CML's, LF's can split their MM fire and Njal, in a separate unit, unleashing living Lightning). You also have the option of Plonking the Combi-melta WG in PA from the bikers in the LF unit and the Wolf Priest in this unit as well, this still allows Logan and Njal to fit into the same Pod and the CML WG to attack to the Wolf Scouts thus turning them into a support unit - the Wolf Scouts are surprisingly flexible as a unit able to deal with tanks up close as well as heavy stuff froma distance and with a cyclone Missile Launcher the ability to churn out 3 Frag or Krak missiles is also really useful and rather interesting. But what if we left the WG in the bikers alone so as they'd get the transitory T5 against shooting? You could keep the CML Terminator in there and stick Njal in the unit as well as keep the PA Combi-Melta WG in the unit...or you could stick that PA WG in the LF's and instead drop the Wolf Priest into the unit as well (still got 3 T 4 and 3 T 5 models so toughness = 5 against shooting) except now the whole unit benefits from stealth so in a 4+ cover position, the unit has a 3+ cover save, mixed armour, toughness 5 and invulnerable saves not to mention high strength firepower or a range of anti-infantry firepower. A surprisingly tough nut to crack. Of course, pushing the PA WG to the WS's or the LF's and sticking Logan in the unit instead means you have one very nasty unit on your hands which is surprisingly resilient. I'm not sure if this counts. but in the open, Njal casting Storm caller plus the Stealth from the Wolf priest would still give them a 4+ cover save and with the ability of all 3 characters to split off at the end of the movement phase allowing 4 separate assaults/ranged attacks, it again provides many ingame options.

This leaves us with only one really predictable unit - The Thunderwolf cavalry+Thunderwolf Lord. They are toughness 5, have mixed armour and good survivability as well as a high damage output. They can split off and hit two armoured targets 19-24" away each with 4-5 strength 10 Powerfist/Thunderhammer attacks. This gives some surprisingly mobile combat suppression to the list, but it will get hit very fast with loads of heavy weapons as it is particularly nasty.

So is this iteration of Herohammer a rock list or not? Or, because of the many options of Character Assignation Amongst Unit options present in the list, does this massive flexibility give us the ability to compensate against some opponents and not others? It doesn't need an answer, the point is, the list is flexible, it mitigates many of the weaknesses of my original concept of Herohammer as does abusepuppy's list, but it also plays differently and can be played differently in almost every different game. It is a highly mobile list and puts units where they are needed from the get go as well as allowinga greater flexibility in what it can do. Like all Herohammer lists though, it is a finesse army through and through. Don't expect to win with any of these styles of lists as soon as you pick them up, you really need to know what the armies can do and the only way to do that is through practice. At the end of the day, herohammer style lists are not for everyone, but for those people who have been inspired to collect a variation of a Herohammer List because of mine or abusepuppy's articles, write in to us and let us know how you are fairing with them as well as your own iterations.

All the best,

Auretious Taak.

P.S. The 1,500pts version of the above list can be done in several ways but one way, for those who want to know, is to drop a combi-flamer on the Bikers, the Thunderwolf Cavalry with Powerfist and the Thunderwolf Lord (5+75+270 = 350pts, which gives us 1,500pts remaining); the TWC still has 5 base strength 5 rending attacks, so whilst not as brutal verse armour, is still quite an interesting option in the list.

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