I played against a friend of mine today in preparation for the 1750/2250 tournament at Games of War. Post game, we spent a while talking about his lists and how they could be improved.
Here is the original list that I played against today;
9 x grey hunters w/ fist, melta, motw - rhino w/ extra armour
3 x 5 x grey hunters w/ power sword, melta, motw - lasback
2 x long fangs w/ 2 x las, 2 x plas and missile (models i have)
long fangs w/ 2 x las, 3 x plas (models i have) - lasback
all lasbacks have extra armour
The list performed fairly well today but we both decided thought there were some improvements to be made. It is a fairly standard wolf razorspam but has a few quirks that he likes and finds useful. so let's see if we can improve it by trimming some fat whilst still retaining the quirks he likes.
Njal is in runic armour and hides with the big grey hunters squad in the rhino. With the new FAQ stopping most of his powers happening whilst inside his rhino, a normal rune priest would be more effective for his points.
Then the most obvious thing is the load outs on the fangs, which are the models he has but not the most competitive options. Lascannons on long fangs are fairly expensive but in small numbers can add some significant punch and give an added element of strength against av 12 when compared with all missiles. Then there is the plasma. Ap 2 is not significant in 5th ed because of the prevalence of cover and so plasma is not a cost effective weapon for long fangs, particularly with dirt cheap missile launchers as an alternate.
So the best load out for the fangs for him are 3x missile launcher and 2 x lascannon.
If this were my army, I would be tempted to include some Wolf Guard, but this is not an option so increasing threat saturation is necessary in order to take some heat off the Grey Hunters.
With dropping Njal for a Rune priest and the plasma cannons for missile launchers we have 205 points to play with so what does the army need?
Anti-tank is covered with the long fangs and lasbacks as well as the melta guns on the hunters. Vehicle saturation isn't great but it's alright, with five rhino chassis. Psychic defence is as good as it gets for marines with njal. Combat presence is not great, with the only real threat being the large grey hunter squad but even then, they are only decent at combat. Close range anti-infantry is okay with lots of bolters and lots of attacks being dealt out by the hunters. The only real weakness of the list is long range anti-infantry and threat to backfield units. When the Grey hunters move into midfield they can pose some threat to units hiding at the back, such as devastators, opponents long fangs and other units like ordnance barrage tanks, psyflemen etc, but often there are more pressing dangers that require the Grey Hunters attentions so these backfield threats can go untroubled.
How can we fix that?
Well, wolves have two fantastic options for dealing with backfield infantry and armour. Land speeders or Wolf Scouts.
Speeders being very mobile and reliable where scouts are lass reliable with the chance of not arriving where they're needed but more survivable. With a fully mech army, the speeders fit better, since there would be no obvious target for any anti-infantry the opponent might have, but what flavour speeders?
Multi-melta/heavy flamer speeders have decent duality but would a more specialised speeder such as dual heavy flamers or multi meltas be better? Personally, I would go for two multi-melta/heavy flamer speeders so that all types of backfield units could be handled. these come to 140 points leaving us 65 still to play with.
I would like to get razorbacks for the fangs, but that does not look like it would be possible points wise but we will have a go.
By dropping the fist and the power weapons on the squads, we gain 70 points! The grey hunters should not be in combat if it can be helped, with the small squads unable to compete with competent opponents and the big squad playing bodyguard for the Rune Priest who wants to be shooting as much as possible. In addition, any opponents that they will beat, will be beaten with or without power weapons. Mark of the Wolfen will give the hunters the edge against other MEQs and volume of attacks will take care of the rest. We have 135 points and lasbacks cost 75 points each so we need 15 points to be able to afford two.
LasPlas razors are preferable to lasbacks because of their survivability, but reliability for popping tanks has to go to lasbacks and the final determining factor is the models available and so we will be buying lasbacks.
By dropping a single grey hunter from the large squad we can ensure all of our squads are meched up and this also increases our vehicle count from 5, to 9 (including the two land speeders)
The final list ends up looking like this.
Rune Priest w/ chooser of the slain, living lightning and murderous hurricane
8 x grey hunters w/ melta, Mark of the Wolfen and rhino w/ extra armour
3 x 5 grey hunters w/melta, mark of the wolfen and lasback
3 x 6 Long Fangs with 2 lascannons, 3 missile launchers w/ lasback
landspeeder w/ multi-melta/heavy flamer
landspeeder w/ multi-melta/heavy flamer
So, let me know what you think of my changes to the list. Are there any things you would change?
My Grey Knights review is still underway, busy times at University has left me a little behind schedule on the review so I apologize for this.