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Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting the Most Out of Logan Grimnar - Expanding on the Concept of Character Assignation Amongst Units.

A concept I looked at previously with Space Wolves was that of 'Character Assignation Amongst Units'. In summary, Space Wolves have a multitude of tactical and strategical options which affect their overall play style and in-game effectiveness according to what characters, including wolf guard, are assigned to differing units within the army. Furthermore, because these characters as a whole are able to be assigned at the beginning of the game or have the 'Independent Character' rule, the options become very diverse and adaptable. This article will look briefly at Logan Grimnar and ways in which to maximise his contribution to the army as a whole.

Please note that at this point, Logan Grimnar's sheer awesomeness broke the picture button so instead I have this link for you to watch instead:

Logan Grimnar is one of the most flexible powerhouses in the game. This is because unlike similarly priced high end characters like Draigo, Logan's real strength lies in the abilities he gives to his army as a whole. Whilst 'Living Legend' will buff all friendly models within 18" with an extra attack this is the minor of his abilities, rather 'The High King' rule is the business end of things. If you read widely, you'll come across combinations such as Logan, some characters and a bunch of Long Fangs drop podding down and utilising Relentless to unleash point blank dual targetting Multi-Melta death against mech forces backed up with Preferred Enemy use in the opponents turn to provide a close combat counter-attacking unit with serious punch. Other prominent ideas revolve around the use of Tank Hunters in a Long Fang or Wolf Guard unit and these too are great. What most articles don't look at is how 'The High King' ability can benefit your army on a massive scale, and it all comes down to Character Assignation Amongst Units as well as interactions during the movement phases of individual models and units.

The High King

'The High King' rule allows Logan to choose at the beginning of each turn the 'Fearless', 'Tank Hunters', 'Relentless', or 'Preferred Enemy' Universal Special Rule. Logan and any unit he is with have that rule for the duration of that player turn. Using it properly you can have up to 5 units being affected at once by this ability in your player turn. This is because Independent Characters are classed as part of a unit they are attached to and so they gain the ability from Logan at the beginning of the turn just like the unit he is with. The trick here is that in your movement phase each of the IC's including Logan can detach from the parent unit and attach themselves to another unit. Those units don't gain the ability from the IC's unless that IC is Logan, but the IC's don't lose the ability themselves because as per 'The High King' ability they retain the temporary USR until the end of the turn.

WE Like To Fight...EVERYONE!

The two main ways paths which you will use this ability of Logan to buff his units and by extension his supporting characters lie in the shooting phase or the combat phase. The Combat oriented style is 'Preferred Enemy' with Logan's initial unit gaining 'Preferred Enemy' for that turn and the unit he moves to and joins in the movement phase also gaining 'Preferred Enemy' as a whole because it states that any unit he is with has the ability for the duration of the player turn. So once gained, it doesn't disappear and furthermore if Logan joins a second unit in his movement phase that unit gains the ability for the rest of the player turn commencing from when Logan attaches himself to them. For combat based armies, having 20-30 MEQ or better models charging in all with 'Preferred Enemy' and then getting the bonus of 'Living Legend' applied as well sees Logan becoming a force multiplier that with the right units will crippled the attack point of the multiple charges you initiate. The addition of other buffing characters to the units such as Ragnar Blackmane make for a truely fearsome prospect in terms of just how much strength even the basic Grey Hunter of Blood Claw can put out in that turn. It is also an idea to take 'Fearless' instead but with Wolf Guard, Logan and other IC's around with leadership 9 or 10 in a saturated area, taking 'Fearless' over 'Preferred Enemy' is a far inferior option.

The combat application is straightforward, the shooting one is not. However, the shooting path is by far the superior application especially in terms of Gunline/Razorwolf/Alpha Strike style Space Wolf armies. We shall look at three examples to demonstrate the ability.

Logan Alpha Strike Shooters

The first example is that of the Alpha Strike force. Logan in a Land Raider with a unit of Wolf Guard or Grey Hunters with meltaguns supported by rhino borne Grey hunters with meltaguns driving forward towards the enemy lines and on the second turn disembarking and firing meltaguns at the enemy transports, popping them open and allowing a charge to take place from Logan's unit in the land raider and any other mobile supporting units capable of a charge. This approach without dual Land Raiders (widely considered too many eggs in one basket) sees Logan not actively charging on this turn, he is great in combat, but not always necessary especially if his buffing abilities will allow for a far superior application of force from your army. Logan in this case utilises 'Tank Hunters'. At the beginning of the turn the LR unit will be able to disembark with Logan attached and next to this unit a GH unit hops out such that at least one model will be within 2" of Logan. This allows at the end of the Movement Phase for Logan to attach to this rhino borne unit and detach from the Land Raider based unit. Both units have the 'Tank Hunters' ability but the LR unit is also able to still charge.

A more intriguing application of this is a unit of 6 Long Fangs with Multi-Meltas in the supporting Rhino/Razorback. The same trick is pulled except that the 'Relentless' USR is used allowing the Long Fangs to not only move and disembark from their transport but to split fire with 5 Multi-Melta's alongside the LR unit. This is intriguing because it opens up possibilities with Dual Land Raider lists and Space Wolves. Sir_Prometheus has recently been explaining how twin-land raider lists can work when played right, especially alongside the right force composition (it isn't necessarily the most competitive build, but it does open up possibilities to improve your own skill on a micro-managing level of play) and this is no different. The idea would be 2 units of 6 Long Fangs with attached Wolf Guard and an attached IC. The Fang leader can take a Power Weapon and bolt pistol for a quite respectable 4 str 4 power weapon attacks on the charge, the WG with a PW or PFist and the character also adding in combat ability with the Long Fangs packing high end heavy weapons to crack open transports/armour. Logan disembarks alongside the second unit and attaches to that unit (and if done well, you can use his disembarkation to extend the range of the ensuing assault of the new unit - thanks go to Willydstyle for this trick) also giving them relentless. Relentless not only allows heavy weapons to move and fire as if they were stationary but also allows the unit to charge in the ensuing assault phase. In this way you have 2 hammer units able to shoot up to 6 targets at once then assault 4 units in the follow up. These final numbers won't make sense to most of you, so we'll look at the third example to demonstrate the point and then readdress this example.

Enhancing the Gunline/Alpha Strike Like a Boss.

You have 2 units of Long Fangs, standard set ups of 6 LF's with ML's or 3 ML's and 2 Lascannons per unit (I still prefer the latter), Logan Grimnar, and up to 3 Rune priests with Living Lightning plus your remaining army. This approach rewards a first turn aggressive set up. Logan and all the Rune priests set up in the same Long Fang unit and utilise the 'Tank Hunters' USR. In the movement phase Logan moves to within 2" of another Long Fang unit and the 3 Rune Priests also detach off and either join GH or other units, or move to within 2" of a rhino and auto embark allowing for a further 6" movement to space the Rune Priests apart further and open up greater firing arcs. The shooting phase comes around and see's you with up to 3 Rune Priests shooting out strength 7 Tank Hunted Living Lightning (yeah, we had Psyflemen Dread abilities with BS 5 and no twin-linking before Grey Knights ever knew of it!) and 2 units of Tank Hunted Long Fangs targetting up to 4 other units. Living Lightning is an assault based power thus you can move and fire it, and thereby you have a very strong opening gambit which can transition into a well rounded and balanced army follow up assault in the next turn or two. In effect, this tactic drops down 3 separate D6 str 8 shots at BS 4 or 5 (Choosers of the Slain), and up to 10 str 9 or 10 shots from the long fangs split to up to 4 targets (you gain 4 more str 9 shots with attached WG in TDA with CML's as well here heh) against armoured targets in addition to the normal firepower from razorbacks, dreadnoughts, scouts et al that an army can put out. The downside to this is it works for one turn, needs a second turn to return back to a unit able to grant all the IC's the abilities again before a 3rd turn repeat to full effect, but as a whole, the approach for a first turn concentration of force is quite powerful.

Going back to the second example and the use of 'Relentless', We started with 2 units of Long Fangs, Logan and 2 IC's. They disembark such that Logan is within 2" of the other unit, and his unit of 2 IC's + LF's and himself all have 'Relentless', the two IC's shoot different units to the LF's who shoot up to 2 targets each and then all units in the equation charge, therefore up to 6 targets can be shot at and 4 charged from a base of 2 units.

Concluding Thoughts

To end this dissertation, I'd like to just re-emphasise the point that Logan Grimnar's real strength as a character is what he can bring his army as a whole. The obvious direct applications aren't always the best ones and playing a far more accurately managed game on the tabletop can lead to your army as a whole being far more enhanced then with just him and a unit hurling themselves into combat. Grimnar isn't like Draigo and can in many cases benefit you and your games far more as a support element rather than a beat stick that buffs one unit.

All the best,

- Auretious Taak.

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