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Friday, January 6, 2012

How To: Loganwing


A list we mention a lot on 3++ is Loganwing yet we've never really done an article looking at the army. Let's rectify that ^^.

Loganwing is one of the premier foot lists in 5th edition for a number of reasons. The most important is mobile firepower thanks to Terminator based Cyclone Missile Launchers. There are static firepower elements as well (Long Fangs) but the majority of the army is based around units which can move and shoot missiles. This is very important to provide tactical depth to the army and not only allows the heavy weapons to be moved into advantageous positions to fire (i.e. side shots, avoid cover, get Line of Sight) but also pressure and/or react to the opponent's army.

Furthermore, the army itself has a lot of durability going for it. Whilst 50/60+ Marines are easier to take down when not in Rhinos/Razorbacks, it's still a hefty amount of models the opponent has to kill and each model has a very decent statline. The army, like any Space Wolves based list, has good counter-assault options. Even the basic Wolf Guard units are quite handy at putting the hurt on both hordes and small MEQ units. They aren't going to go toe-to-toe with a rock unit very well but against anything else they'll be more than just annoying. Add in the army can bring decent combat options themselves and you've got a very solid shooting force (who's guns are hard to silence) which isn't a pushover in combat.

So, how does one go about making a Loganwing list? The first step is to gobble up Logan...he's kind of mandatory as he unlocks Wolf Guard as Troops. Wolf Guard have a bunch of awesome options whilst also unlocking the important Cyclone Missile Launcher. With options for stormbolters, combi-meltas/plasma, power weapons and melta-bombs, these units can be an excellent swiss-army knife. The important thing is to not overload them with upgrades - a Terminator or two (including the CML) will provide extra durability, stormbolters will provide more ranged anti-infantry and combi-meltas can provide some anti-tank. Other than perhaps some melta-bombs, this is all one should really be putting on their Wolf Guard units (unless going to 10-strong). Remember, the Terminator based models come with power weapons as well and along with 2A base for the whole unit, can effectively deal with MSU MEQ units. More can be done with the Wolf Guard units with all their upgrade options but one needs to be careful not to overspend.

Furthermore, it's important to note that Loganwing is NOT about massing Wolf Guard Terminators. Wolf Guard Terminators are great for two reasons - they are cheap and can be mixed with regular power armored Wolf Guard. This keeps the cost of the units down whilst maximising durability and damage potential. Buying lots of Wolf Guard Terminators reduces their efficiency within the army.

That's the relatively easy part - the core. Six units of Wolf Guard with a Cyclone Missile Launcher and outfitted to taste is going to give you a minimum of 30 MEQ bodies and 12 missiles a turn - pretty good and it's all scoring to boot. The extras one adds to the squad can pump out a bunch of bolter shots as well whilst having some melta as back-up for any tanks which get close (or need to be closed with). The next step for building a Loganwing list is pretty easy as well - adding more firepower and Space Wolves have one of the most efficient firepower units around in Long Fangs. Maximum units of five or six Fangs with Missile Launchers ups the missile shot count by 12-15 and whilst not mobile like the Wolf Guard units, they help with missile saturation and general anti-tank/suppression fire on the cheap. There is scope for including some Lascannons as well, particularly with Logan as part of the army.

The core of each Loganwing list is pretty much the same - maximum Long Fangs and small Wolf Guard units for a minimum of 24 missiles a turn and 45 MEQ+ bodies (not to mention Logan) and this generally doesn't add up to much (~1400 points) and whilst their is some nice firepower and mobility in there, the list itself isn't really complete. It seems doable at 1500 though (drop a Wolf Guard unit or two) and there is certainly scope for scaling. The question becomes - what do you fill the list out with? We've got three force organisation chart openings to work with, HQ, Elites and Fast Attack. Let's look at some of the major choices.

Wolf Scouts -

Wolf Scouts are a nice disruption unit and with Wolf Guard attachments, become a lot better at their job. Taking Logan therefore allows three Wolf Scout units compared to the usual two but there is a certain amount of diminishing returns here. Regardless, one or two units of Wolf Scouts can really help cause disruption in your opponent's backfield and importantly for the slower Loganwing advance, can generate pressure from multiple angles.

Dreadnoughts - 

Normally one would scoff at including token vehicles but remember, at only 1400 points for the core of our army, there is scope for creating a Hybrid-Loganwing. Dreadnoughts can be part of this process and add a mobile and durable platform which contains one-two heavy weapons and can support the Wolf Guard in combat during that eventuality.

Lone Wolves - 

Lone Wolves offer some significant combat potential to Loganwing and are a unit your opponent is going to have to deal with or have up in their face. Whilst slow, Lone Wolves are notoriously difficult to get rid of and with proper use of terrain, can minimise a lot of incoming damage. Expanding the threat profile of the Loganwing army with some combat options certainly isn't a bad thing.

Rune Priests -

Psychic defense and utility are the calling cards of the Rune Priest and nothing changes when used in a Loganwing force. Living Lightning works well in conjunction with the masses of missiles whilst other spells like Tempest and Hurricane are just damn good utility.

Njal - 

Njal as always is a tough pick post-FAQ. When you go first he can be a real sucker punch to your opponent and really cause some massive disruption to your opponent. When going second though...his utility is decreased. He's still an excellent utility piece with full access to every Space Wolves psychic power and a 3+ psychic defense but he's quite expensive.

Thunderwolves -

Thunderwolves fit in very nicely within the foot construct of Loganwing. They are a non-mech unit themselves and thus provide further MEQ foot saturation whilst still having the speed to engage the enemy quickly. Thunderwolves provide Loganwing with a bit more offensive punch in close combat and work well as a counter-assault unit. As always, don't overspend on these units. Their basic statline is often enough by itself to be dangerous to opponents. Wolf Guard Battle Leaders and Wolf Lords on Thunderwolf mounts are options to increase the threat of these units as well.

Land Speeders -

If going the Hybrid route, Land Speeders are another excellent mech addition that adds increased mobility to the army as well as cheap blocking units. Loganwing is famous for the number of missiles they can produce and whilst Typhoons can add to this, having a fast MM platform is highly desirable.

Putting it all together

Like your bog standard Hybrid Wolves, Loganwing's core is going to be very similar from list to list (Logan, Wolf Guard w/CML, Missile Fangs) and what often separates them is how you fit the support units in around them. You can go more aggressive with units like Thunderwolves and Wolf Scouts or go for a Hybrid theme with Speeders, Dreadnoughts and Razorbacks to provide more mobility and firepower. Each unit selection is going to add a different dimension to those discussed initially and it's important to understand how they interact. Keeping the core concepts of the Loganwing list in mind whilst scaling the list will produce a better end result.

We'll look at this in a bit more detail in follow-up posts as we assemble some Loganwing lists.

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