Monday, November 11, 2013

Space Wolves - A Re-Think

A few of you may have picked up from previous posts that I am not a great fan of the misguided followers of the corpse-god. Ever since I first played 40k I’ve had a really dislike of Imperium forces (although those with long memories may recall my first army was Black Templars). I started the game when 70% of forces were Power-Armoured and at least 90% of those were loyalist – primarily Dark Angels, Blood Angels and Space Wolves.

Remember Your Flea Collar & Worm Tablets

A lot of my early games were against Hagen Kerr and his Space Wolves. I have lost count of how many times Plaguelord Colthrax and the Noiselord, Challis Drant mercilessly crushed Haakon Ironwolf and his motley pack underfoot. Seriously it must have been hundreds of times. About once in fifty games I’d let Haakon get a narrow victory and that would keep Hagen interested for another year of merciless bashings from the Death Guard and Emperor’s Children. Aaaah, fun times. Oh course it all had to end and the Destroyer in this case was Gav Thorpe and his bastard-child, 4th Ed Codex Chaos Space Marines – more accurately described as Chaos Allsorts.

So the Space Wolves bring back a mix of memories – crushing victories but also mind-numbingly boring stories of how Haakon Ironwolf once made nine 4+ Invulnerable Saves in a row, the dreadful fluff with pseudo-Viking trappings etc. I hadn’t given Space Wolves much thought lately until working through the Horus Heresy series I read “Prospero Burns”. It was okay but I never understood the attraction of large hairy men sitting around in saunas, getting drunk and eating raw meat. And I certainly didn’t want to read chapters of it. Recently I started listening to the audiobook version and I can say that it is the only HH audiobook I have given up on. Translated to audible form it was truly dire and dragged forever.

Given this history you can probably understand my reluctance when I started the latest HH book, “The Unremembered Empire”. Early on a squad of Space Wolves appear and I thought “Oh no, here we go again”. However it got me thinking about the figures that Forgeworld will produce when they get to the Space Wolves. I think they could be quite cool if they follow the description that Dan Abnett has portrayed in the book. No, not enough that I’d ever buy them but enough to at least make me interested in fighting them.

Abnett makes much of their feral nature. They sit on their haunches crunching on bones and whetting their knives. If Forgeworld could capture this aspect rather than the GW Space Vikings it would be great. The squad members are described as wearing laced leather masks, furs and almanner of totems and talismans. However the key would be the posing of the models. It would be great to see a departure from the normal SM poses and have a feral, animalistic force that captures the barely civilised nature of the corpse-god’s attack dogs. Certainly it would be a departure and I believe it is probably a step too far for most loyalist apologists but at least it would make them interesting.

Go on Forgeworld, take a step in the right direction!


  1. He might be a corpse, but he still manages to keep Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh, Tzeentch, Mork, Gork, C'tans, the Eldar Pantheon and whatever the Tau and Tyranids worship at bay. And give them the occassional kick in the nadgers.

    Corpse God rocks! Shame he such an idiot when he was alive.

    1. He is not really keeping the chaos gods at bay, there are passages in the CSM codex that show the chaos gods could win the war in a heart beat but prefer to just mess around

    2. It's dangerous to read too deeply into GW fluff, as that way lies madness, so frequent and deep and huge are the contradictions.

      But I can't see how that can be true, that the Chaos Gods are staying their hand just for teh Lolz. Also, codex fluff is particularly unreliable as it has to make the case that 'THIS IS THE MOST ORSOMIST ARMY!!!' Sorry for shouting.

      Besides, I like the mental image of a cadaverous Steptoe look alike in golden power-armour kicking Khorne in the nuts, headbutting Slaanesh and giving Nurgle a wedgie, before limping back to his throne to have a wee nap.

    3. The Emperor made the Chaos gods shit themselves, Space Wolves are 100% the most dangerous legion, Luna Wolves captain describes them as clinically insane.

  2. Shame all bar three (and that is debatable that it is 3) of the Eldar Pantheon is still alive. Isha, Cegorach and possibly Khaine