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12 September 2011

Real 13th Company Space Wolves?

Nick speaking,

Necrons were my first army, they were very shooty, very durable with their WWB rolls, rubbish in the assault and with hardly any upgrades, easy to play. When it came time to select my second army, I really wanted to get something totally different. I nearly went into Eldar Saim Hann, they were fast and fragile, but I was put off by the vast amount of flying bases which I already had with all my Destroyers, and that was in a time when I new nothing about magnetising.

It was at about this time when GW released the 3rd Edition Eye of Terror Codex, ready for the Eye of Terror 2003 summer campaign. In that said Codex was the Space Wolves 13th Company, found after being missing for 10,000 years! The 13th Company had the dark grey Pre-Heresy colour scheme of the Space Wolves, but much of their armour and weaponry has been replaced with material scavenged from their fallen Chaos foes. Not surprisingly, their Company has almost no heavy equipment such as tanks, Terminators or Dreadnoughts.

The one thing that stuck out for me with these wolf brothers, was the converting potential. They were furious Space Marines with bits of Chaos armour and weapons, and having done no conversions for my Necrons except for my Destroyer Lord, I started to get drawn to these guys. It was in a time when you could buy any bits you needed direct from GW, so I started collecting Space Marine, Space Wolves and Chaos bits ready to make my second army...

There was also one other thing that made me want to do 13th Company other than having an in your face, elite close combat army, that was totally different from my C'rons, Fenrisian Wolves. Not just a couple here and there as body guards, but whole units of up to fifteen of them, which you couldn't get in the normal Space Wolves Codex at that time! I currently own thirty Fenrisians, and I figured if they were lost in the EoT for 10,000 years, a few of them would have been bitten by Chaos...

In the begining I had a lot of fun with my wolf brothers, but after a while things started to change. Then, when the latest Space Wolves Codex hit, and I realised that there was no 13th Company provisions in it, or at least what I expected there to be in it, I was a little disappointed to say the least. Since then I have built up a small collection of vehicles, and have been experimented around with various list ideas, but now I am starting to think about taking all that experience I have gained and actually looking at making a real 13th company army again.

First I wanted to take a look at the units that I had available to me, and work out what special things they had about them that I could translate into the new Codex. I suppose I want to set myself units that I can/want to use to make the army as fluffy as I can, but sort of adding in my own fluff that matches up, to cope with some of the newer units and rules of the current Codex...

I have a feeling this is going to be a long post, so please bear with me as I sort through it all as best as I can. I want to look at each force organisation slot I originally had, along with the special rules they brought, and try to translate them over to the new Codex as best as I can...

Wolf Lord
Wolf Priest
Rune Priest 

There was only three HQ choices to choose from compared to the current ten. There was no Thunderwolf mount back in those days, so the Wolf Lord was either on foot or on a bike, which were the only vehicles available to them. I always found the Lord on a bike was the best options, especially when put with some Storm Claw bikers, but that's for later in the post. Taking a Wolf Lord would also unlock the Elites choice of Wulfen as a troops choice as well

Next was a Wolf Priest, and if your were taking Wulfen, he was pretty essential to have as he would control there 'Animal Rage' rule and stop them from always moving to the nearest target. The last HQ choice, was a Rune Priest that had a nifty psychic power called 'The Gate' where he could teleport himself and a unit around the board.

Now I don't know the full history of all the current HQ choices, but I figured that apart from Bjorn the fell handed, I should be able to take most of the current HQ slots, including any Thunderwolf mounted ones, for reasons I will explain later. I would be happy of course for someone to let me know if there is any fluff reason why I shouldn't choose one of them, as any input on this project would be most welcome.

Next is the Elites section...

Storm Claws

The Wulfen were unique to 13th company, full blooded assault nastiness with WS/S and I five and four attacks on the charge. They also had 'Animal Rage' which was pretty much the equivalent of fleet. I suppose Wolf Guard are the nearest unit in the current Codex to Wulven, who can also be unlocked to be a troops choice by Logan, just like the Wulven could be. 13th Co. do have Terminator armour, but in limited quantities, and I think three Terminators in a unit of ten would be about right.

Storm Claws are the equivalent of Blood Claws, except these guy's were good. They were WS four and had loads of options including a power weapon, powerfist, two plasma pistols and a Wolf Guard. Kind of sounds like the current Grey Hunters doesn't it?

The current Dex also includes Lone Wolves, which I think would be ideal for a 13th Co. army, along with Arjac, especially if I am going to have Wolf Guard in there anyway. Obviously being vehicles of a sort, the Dreads are out, and I would also say no to Wolf Guard on Jump Packs. Last thing would be an Iron Priest, and to be honest, I have no experience with him one way or the other. I think he probably shouldn't be there as there are no vehicles for him to repair?

Wait there, haven't I missed out Scouts? More on Scouts later in the post!

Grey Slayers

Just one option without unlocking Wulven for troops, and that was the Grey Slayer, 13th Companies Grey Hunter equivalent. Grey slayers were leadership nine as standard and had two attacks each with true grit with same usual options for a Wolf Guard upgrade.

The 13th Company were supposed to be overtaken more by the Mark of Wulven than normal Space Wolves, and unlike there unlost brothers, the MoW benefited the whole unit, this was a huge special rule for them to have making the whole unit stubborn and always hitting on three's. They of course, like most 13th Co. units, were more expensive points wise, coming in at 21pts a model!

The only extra thing I would add at this stage about troops, is that I think Lucas the Trickster would be great in a 13th Co. army, he just seems to be crazy enough to be there!

Long Fangs

Only one Heavy choice, Long Fangs! Sounds good doesn't it? But these Long Fangs were expensive compared to the current Dex, coming in at just under 200pts for four missiles and a pack leader with fire control. I think with the current game as it is, only having Long Fangs is no problem, especially with the new points drop and with all the other Heavy options being vehicles, what choice do I have?

Fenrisian Wolf 
Storm Claw Bikers

Last, but not least, fast attack. Two choices were available, starting with Fenrisian Wolves. I love these guys and they weren't much different than now except they were ten points instead of eight, and had a leadership of eight instead of five! There were no Cyberwolves back then, but I figured my Chaos bitten Wolves would make a nice Cyberwolf model.

Storm Claw Bikers, are basically Swiftclaw Bikers, but they are a whole lot better, so great in fact that they were the main delivery system for by bike mounted Wolf Lord. You could only take five bikers in a pack, but with a powerfist, power weapon and a Wolf Guard, they were deadly in the assault. The basic guy's were WS4 with three attacks on the charge, and when coupled with a Wolf Guard and Wolf Lord, they really could do some damage.

The current Swiftclaw Bikers would be a pretty lame equivalent, and that is where the Thunderwolf Cavalry come in. According to Lexicanum, Thunderwolves are a species of Fenrisian wolves, so I think they would fit into a 13th Company army very well and probably would take the place of my Storm Claw Biker role on the battlefield.

The Skyclaw packs and land speeders would be out for obvious reasons, so that pretty much sums up all the units. Other things to consider are, that the 13th Company had army wide 'Scouts' rule, allowing your entire army to deploy regardless of the mission scenario, and a free move to all units at the beginning of the game, except for bikes. This was there to help get across the field quickly with no vehicles. In those days the Scouts special rule did not allow you to infiltrate or indeed, to flank! This is a shame as this single rule would be awesome for army wide flanking under certain circumstances, but sadly that is not the case, and this brings me onto 13th Company Scouts...

I left them out of the Elites section to join them to the last paragraph, but yes in view of not having my army wide Scouts rule, I think I should be allowed Scouts in a 13th Company army. Actually, I think I will have three units of them, just out of principle lol.

I would love to have have army wide 'Move through cover' as before, again to make up for no vehicles but with all the points reductions throughout I can't have everything, and at least they will keep 'Counter Assault' and have a useful Standard bearer!

So now that I have all that laid down, I think it's time for me to start working on a real 13th Company army list. Hopefully someone has found this interesting enough to read all of it, and any comments, thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.


  1. I think lots depends on what sort of 13th Co. army you are looking for. If you want to try and recreate the very elite feel of the EoT Codex, then I think you really need to have Logan as an HQ choice and utilise the ability to take Wolf Guard as troops. Remember that Wolf Guard can be given bikes, so that gives you veteran marines on foot and veteran marines on bikes as your troop choices. That's a very elite style army. The wolf guard on bikes gives you a very nice mobility in scoring units that the army would otherwise lack, and can have some excellent (short ranged) anti-armour ability with combi-meltas. The Thunder Wolves option is perfectly playable too, but if you've already got the biker models, think about making them troops. Given this is a SW army, you can take Logan, accommodate another bike-mounted character to add to the bikers hitting power and still have room for a rune priest.

    With regard to Wulfen, I think you have a few options. The most obvious are dedicated units of wulfen from a wolf guard pack or making sure every unit that can do, does include a model with the mark of the Wulfen. If you go the wolf guard route, think carefully about opponents being confused by the "wulfen" in the army not having the mark of the wulfen rules. Something else to consider is that the Wolf Standard rule for Grey Hunters could be explained by them calling upon the spirit of the wulfen in battle.

  2. Thanks for the ideas, I think you are right about Logan, I have started work on a Logan based list already, but I have to be honest, I didn't think about Wolf Guard Bikers! I really like that idea as I use to to love my Storm Claw bikers, and like you say, it would be nice to have a fast moving scoring unit.


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