A simple way to build a decent Space Wolf or Codex Marine List.

In looking at the different “how to build a list” articles, you find a lot of great advice that talks about redundancy and duality, and the other words that end in “y” – which is certainly great advice. But I think we can simplify the process a bit more for the newer player while the ‘bigger’ concepts sink in. My personal observation is that most folks have NO idea how to build a list and (a) take whatever comes in the Battleforce box (b) read somewhere that x unit is AWESOME so they need one or (c) they try to mimic a “powerbuild” but fail to understand why X build works. So my goal here is to help newer folks get a sense of how to build a decent list without knowing a bunch of theory around list building.

One of the most useful concepts that I’ve managed to pick up is the importance of “torrent of fire”. If you don’t have the ability to pump out a gazillion shots every turn, then you better be awful darn tough because any good list you face will certainly be able to do that to you. I see a lot of guys on the forums post up list advice and all they have is 1 Dreadnought, 1 Predator, and 1 Vindicator which is, in my opinion, a surefire way to lose a game of 40K against a barely competent list. Think about it this way…. If we were playing chess and you start out with half the number of playing pieces that I have, then you’re pretty much hosed right out of the gate. You have to be a genius and I have to be barely competant. In my perfect world, all games should come down to tactical ability and luck… Not “my list owns your list” – which is no fun.

So, the simple advice is to do this: for 2000 points I think you need at least 8-9 things that will pose a medium to long range threat (24″-36″) In addition, they all need to be Str 7 or higher. This lets you pop transports, the big Tyranid bugs, and side armor on pretty much anything. You will also need some melta to get rid of Land Raiders and other things that get too close for comfort. You will need that many items because most good lists will have at least that many facing your army. And once your opponent can overload you with his shooting you’re pretty much done (remember the chess analogy) So the goal is to have enough firepower to put a beating on your opponent’s forces and so that the loss of any one or two things in a turn won’t prevent you from hitting your opponent back. In other words, you gotta be able to give, as well as take, a punch to the face. If you have a glass jaw, then fight’s over. Having only four or five units that can give a punch is setting you up to get KO’d when your opponent has 11.

Thankfully, you’re not really all that rich in choices. So your decision matrix shouldn’t too taxing on the brain. By the very nature of this method, you’re going to fill out some FoC slots. So, out of the Marine Codex at 2K, you’re looking at Razorbacks, Speeders, Rifleman Dreads, AutocLas Predators. For Space Wolves, it’s pretty much the same except that you add Long Fangs and Living Lightning Rune Priests.

As long as you have at least 8-9 (BTW I think more is better) then you should be OK. You may not have a GREAT list… but you won’t get stomped for lack of firepower. To scale this for 1500, I would suggest you have at least 7-8 effective things.

Even with this method, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll build “the perfect list” – but it should ensure that you’ll put up a fight and not get punked.

As an illustration – here’s my 2K All Comers list for my Wolves

  • Rune Priest, 7 Grey Hunters (Melta and Power Weapon), Wolf Guard (melta bombs and Powerweapon) in a Rhino with PMSB
  • Rune Priest, 7 Grey Hunters (Melta and Power Weapon), Wolf Guard (melta bombs and Powerweapon) in a Rhino with PMSB
  • Wolf Guard with Thunderhammer, 8 Grey Hunters (Melta and Power Weapon) in Rhino with PMSB.
  • Long Fang Pack – 5 Missile Launchers, Squad Leader in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • Long Fang Pack – 5 Missile Launchers, Squad Leader in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • Long Fang Pack – 5 Missile Launchers, Squad Leader in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • 5 Grey Hunters (Flamer) in Razorback with TL Lascannon
  • 5 Wolf Scouts (meltagun and melta bombs)
  • Land Speeder Typhoon (ML and Melta)
  • Land Speeder Typhoon (ML and Melta)

Lets count up the threats… 2 from the priests shooting Living Lighting, 3 from the Long Fangs, 3 From their Razorbacks, 1 from the Grey Hunter’s Razorback and 2 from the speeders. For a Grand Total of 11 real threats every round.

Now lets look at another list… I call it the Best Little One Rock Army in the Carolinas – It’s a single rock Codex Marine list I wrote because there are some guys at my local gaming store that just don’t have models to drop a truly competitive list. So I set out to make a list that would put us on a more level playing field by reducing the threat to a limited degree. FYI – Single Rock armies are a BAD IDEA…. This exercise in list building was to take a bad idea and try to minimize it’s inherent weakness (400 points in ONE selection)

  • So here’s the 2K list….
  • Librarian in Terminator Armor
  • Terminator Assault Squad – 4 w/ Thunder hammer, Sgt with LC – In a Land Raider Redeemer with Multi Melta
  • Two 10 man Tactical squads with ML and Flamer in Razorbacks (TL Las)
  • Two Rifleman Dreads
  • Three Typhoons
  • Three Preds (Autocannon and Las sponsons)

Counting up the points, I have a total of 9 threats (I count the 2 ML as only one threat per turn cause one will always miss) – By the “Rule of 9” – it’s OK. Not great mind you, but OK.

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About clt40k

This blog is here to capture my obsession with painting little plastic men... You NEVER really get over being 11...
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One Response to A simple way to build a decent Space Wolf or Codex Marine List.

  1. Excellent article man. {^}

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