Week 8 Challenge and Warzone Fenris Review

Warzone Fenris: Saga Edition

I’m pleased to say that my unit of Wulfen stormed across the battlefield this weekend and caused havoc.  I’ll go into more detail of how they perform and a bit of a review on Warzone Fenris towards the end of this post 🙂

Despite my best efforts I didn’t manage to finish painting the unit of Wulfen, around 9pm on Saturday I decided not to rush the last bit, so still have the brass edging, fur, bone/trinkets and bases to complete.  I am however really happy with how far I’ve managed to get in just a couple of weeks of painting – much further than I’ve got in the past.  I won’t pretend that I couldn’t have done them to a higher standard, but these are for gaming and not a painting competition so I’ve concentrated in a neat paint job, using techniques I’ve used in the past and it’s really paid off.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m up to Warhammer World in Nottingham for a weekend of gaming and have a scarily few days between now and then – just nine evenings in total!  There are a few things I need to sort out such as getting my Warlord Traits onto business cards (this makes it significantly easier to remember them during a game), along with a couple of army lists to write and want to buy a few bits such as a larger KR Multicase and some board markers for things like hull points.  My main focus will be finishing off my Wulfen and getting a coat of varnish onto them for protection.  After that I really would like to get some paint onto another unit of Grey Hunters but know that will be quite a tall order so will make a decision on that depending on how I get on.  I’ve has however parked the crazy idea to paint and assemble another drop pod for the weekend…

This week’s challenge is simply

Finish Wulfen

Try to Base Coat Grey Hunters

Battle

Now that I’ve had a chance to play with Wulfen in game and my brother use the new Daemon Warlord Traits, I feel that I’m in a bit better place to give a review on Warzone Fenris and a few bits from the Saga edition of the rules that I picked up.

Firstly Wulfen walk a very fine line between being excellent and overpowered.  They have a high Strength, Initiative and Attack profile and can be coupled with some amazing wargear.  They’re very much a shock attack unit and excel at wiping other Elite units off the table.  Against Daemons they benefitted from not being shot at, which meant I didn’t really notice their poor armour.  Where they did seem to struggle is when they come against very large units or units with defensive grenades.  A unit of ten Bloodletters got wiped out to a single model in one turn but a unit of twenty Plaguebearers were a really effective tarpit, winning combat by sheer weight of numbers.

To get the most out of them, Wulfen need to be placed within 12″ of any packs of Blood Claws led by a Wolf Priest (preferably full packs of 15).  This is a potentially devastating combination when you roll Curse of the Wulfen, combined with Oath of War and Healing Balms especially when you realise that Blood Claws are insanely difficult to tar pit.

Curse of the Wulfen DiceOne really nice thing in the Saga version of the Warzone Fenris boxed set, is a dozen dice for rolling (and marking) the results of Curse of the Wulfen.  This is a really nice touch and there is a cardboard crib sheet with the dice symbols printed next to the D6 results.  Annoyingly on the back of this crib sheet is a formation rather than rules for the Wulfen!  This crib sheet is the only location you have with Curse of the Wulfen dice symbols too, so you either need to create your own or transport this sheet around.

The actual “curses” are also not particularly painful from a Space Wolves point of view.  They boost your ability in close combat nicely (without being overpowered) but you’re not forced to go feral so it’s pretty simple to ignore them if you don’t want that unit in combat.  Personally I would have liked to see character models exempt from the rules as it doesn’t fit the fluff that a Wolf Priest would be affected, despite the obvious benefit in game.

Space Wolves also benefited from an overhauled Iron Priest and squadrons added to the Vehicle section.  This will allow you to create a really nice mechanised army, but for people with an existing army I don’t think it’s going to make much difference.  The formations added encourage a themed army composition.  I have my usual reservations on formations that give free models away, such as the one for Ragnar Blackmane which gives all eligible units a free dedicated drop pod transport.

Warzone Fenris also revamps some fairly important parts in Codex Daemons.  Each deity has its own full set of Psychic powers and set of Warlord Traits, plus a number of new artefacts.  This along with some (horribly nice) formations has actually boosted the Daemons into a more competitive force again and I don’t understand why Games Workshop hasn’t made more of this as I believe it’s a really big deal.  Sadly this update hasn’t sorted the biggest problem with Daemons in that they have so many rules (and a really poorly laid out Codex) that it really slows the game down, especially when you have to remember the randomly generated rewards and similar.

Following on from this, I don’t understand why Games Workshop doesn’t produce  packs of Warlord Trait cards like the Psychic Power and Tactical Objective cards?  Daemons would also benefit from having all of the Daemonic Rewards on cards too as it’s a pain to roll for them every game and have to write it all down.

I’d still say that Daemons are a little too random for my liking and have far too many abilities for summoning super powerful units such as Greater Daemons.  Although this works on a fluff perspective I do feel that this needs a simpler and more balanced mechanism to control how much can be summoned.

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