View Full Version : superior CC SM codex: SW or BA?

19-07-2010, 03:02
so I've been away from 40k for a while now, and am slowly getting back into things. I have a SM army and a tyranid army, and was excited about the new nid dex as a catalyst (no pun intended) that would get me back into the game. I was disappointed with the nid dex, and so now I'm looking to get enthused about SM again. I've always liked CC themed SM lists, and both SW and BA have come out since I drifted away.

so my question is this: what are the strengths and weaknesses of each? which is the over-all superior codex in your opinion, and which is the superior codex with CC specifically in mind?

I've heard a lot about thunderwolf cavalry (I'm not really clear as to whether they are a pack of giant wolves following a wolf mounted SM or a group of wolf mounted SMs) and I know the SW get extra HQ choices, but I've always had a taste for assault troops, and I know the BA can take them as troops choices.

which is a stronger codex? which is a stronger codex with CC / assault in mind?

thanks for any help.

19-07-2010, 03:25
mephiston, dc, copious amounts of dreadnaughts make them better then sw.

wolves have more shooty capabilities. and terminators they bring die to small arms fire. thos pain in the **** DC dont.

19-07-2010, 03:33
imho, space wolves has the all around best cc units, but blood angels has stronger specific units.

standard grey hunters come with bp,ccw,and bolter. have upgrades like mark of the wulfen, powerfist, power weapons, and wolf banner. plus come with counter attack(this is an army wide special rule), so it doesnt matter if the are assaulted or assault you they will get their 30+ attacks.

thunder wolf cavelry are marines riding giant wolves. can be quite nasty. rending, 4 attacks, strength and toughness 5. a wolflord on one of these has similar statlines to a demon prince.

sw basic wolf gaurd terminators(sb/pw) are good but can get expensive if you try to kit them out like vanilla marines can. you dont have to have all of them in tda either but you can mix and match weaponry as much as you like.

you can have bloodcaws, and bloodclaws with bikes/jumpacks. they receive 2 attacks when charging and can have 15 in a sqaud(thats 60 attacks on the charge). only ten men on the bikes/jumpacks though. they are however ws/bs 3

wolf preists make people fearless and confers favoured enemy special rule.

rune preists arnt nasty in combat but have some of the most feared psychic powers( jaws)

wolf lords can be killing machines if geared up properly, but can get expensive.

as i understand it a lot of khorne players use this codex, so it must be a pretty cc oreintated if khorne is using it.

i'l let the blood angels tell you about theirs, i may give you a biased veiw

Wolf Lord Balrog
19-07-2010, 03:38
I voted neither. Both can be strong in CC, they just do it different ways. Though I think BAs are easier, both to design a list for and to play with.

But then you have to put up with the gay-sparkly-vampire fluff. :D

19-07-2010, 07:28
What do you need to make strong CC armies?

1 - number of attacks
This can be done with either high number of attacks on individual models or just a high number of models in the first place.

2 - Weapons that ignore armor saves
Anything that causes your opponent to roll less dice, is a good thing.

3 - Strength of attack
Obviously, the higher strength the easier it is to wound.

4 - Model initiative
Any time you can kill your opponent before they get to swing, the advantage is yours.

5 - Weapon skill
Obviously anytime your hitting on 3s is better than hitting on 4s.

1 - Both BA and SW have ways of getting many models that have at least base 2 attacks. However to get three attacks the BA have to charge, where SW get three attacks on the charge and when charged. Both armies have HQ options that give bonus attacks to the units they are attached to as well. However in this catagory the tide tuner is that there are three SW units that will get +2 attacks on the charge. Also if you include Mark of the Wolfen where a SW model gets D6 attacks. Its clear that SW win out over the course of the game in making the most attacks.

2 - Both BA and SW can take sargents/wolf guard with power weapons or power fists in every basic unit. BA have one unit where they all have power weapons in Sanguinary Guard. SW can get the same thing with manipulation of wolf guard units. Both armies have HQ that allow wolf guard and sanguinary guard as troops. No winner there. BA have death company, where you get a lot of attacks and they can load up on power weapons. However counter point SW have TWC where each model has base 4 rending attacks. Add that SW can add D6 rending attacks thanks to MOTW and their basic troop units can add in an additional power weapon or fist and you get a lot more weapons that ignore armor saves in a SW army.

However, I think that its important to note the inclusion of blood talons in this section. S6 sustained assault from dreadnoughts (of which BA can field 6 in a single list) can obliterate some units on their own. However, since the cheapest platform they come on is 125 points, you really have to dedicate your list to capitalize on this aspect. One or two walking dreads may or may not do anything since a single immobilized, weapon destroyed, or destroyed result (obviously) removes the ability for sustained assault.

3 - Attack strength. BA obviously have access to furious charge bubbles. Thus on the first turn of assault any BA unit in the bubble will strike at +1 Strength, thus for the most part that means S5 in most cases. However, this bonus is only applied on the first turn of an assault that the BA makes. So while powerful, its not always in effect. The BA has to get the charge to get the bonus. On the SW side of things they have TWC which are base S5, they have wolf guard that can get S5 all the time (with frost blades). Both can get S10 dreads, both have special/named characters that can get or have S10.

4 - Model initiative.
Again thanks to the Furious Charge bubbles, the BA have easy access to +1 Initiative, which again for the most part means I5. The bonus is only momentary and of course relies on getting the charge, but unfortunately for the SW they only have one unit that can have FC with the inclusion of a special character. Neither army as any non HQ units that have a base initiative higher than 4.

5 - Weapon skill. The 16% difference between hitting on a 3 and hitting on 4 is really not that much or that big of a deal. The difference in 12 attacks is only 3 more hits. But it adds up when lots of models have that advantage. Especially if those models have higher strength or armor ignoring weapons. The BA have Death Company, some dreads, and HQs that all have WS 5 or better. The SW only have HQs and ven dreads at WS5 or better, but they have access to a piece of wargear that allows models to always hit on a 3 regardless of difference in weapon skill.

I also feel that I should mention rerolls to hit on this part. Rerolls greatly impact the number of hits a model can have. While both armies have models that can give rerolls to units they lead, SW also have wolf claws where you can choose to reroll your to hits or to wound rolls. Handy if your striking against weak things. The BA sanguinary guard also get master crafted weapons that allow a single reroll of a single missed hit per model.

So in conclusion I feel that the SW have the edge in the categories of number of attacks and armor ignoring weapons. BA clearly have the edge in initiative, and I feel its a bit of a draw in the strength and to hit comparisons. As such I have to give the CC edge to the wolves. Their power is not situational or dependant on getting the charge. They are just as good in the first round of CC as they are on the third. They seem to be able to generate more attacks that ignore armor.

If your going for CC both armies need to load up for CC. In the wolves case that means TWC, somethingCLAWs, and tricked out grey hunters. The BA need death co, sang guard, assault marines, and sang priests.

19-07-2010, 09:05
From my experience playing against BA and SW, my vote goes to SW.

- always having 3 attacks, no matter if you charge or receive a charge is huge. this negates the problem(part) of facing slightly faster units.
- str5 power weapons called frostblades
- mark of the wolfen(D6+1 attacks)
- wolf claws, re-roll to hits or to wounds

BA are good, but I find that SW have the edge.

19-07-2010, 09:12
They're all about equal. It depends on which particular units you want.

Codex marines have the best assault terminators (everyone elses' cost more) and combat dreadnaughts (frags and photons, yeah baby!). Blood angels have the best jump pack units. Wolves are the only ones with cavalry.

Sure, C:SM has worse CC troops, but options to make them better at it anyway. I don't think either of the other codices have access to a bubble like Kantor's or Shrike's fleet.

It really depends on what units you want.

19-07-2010, 17:43
imho, space wolves has the all around best cc units, but blood angels has stronger specific units.
I'd be willing to go with this. As a Chaos player who tries to play non-cult/non-daemon, at least I know basically how to deal with Blood Angels (shoot them on the deep-strike, and then charge). I consistently feel like I have no good options for dealing with Space Wolves - not enough shooty to kill their transports, not enough assault to deal with counter-attack.

Lord Damocles
19-07-2010, 17:49
mephiston, dc, copious amounts of dreadnaughts make them better then sw.

wolves have more shooty capabilities. and terminators they bring die to small arms fire. thos pain in the **** DC dont.
Actually, the chace of a Terminator going down to small arms fire is exactly the same as the chance of a Death Company member going down to small arms fire.

Terminator: Chance of failed save = 1 in 6

Death Company: Chance of failed save = 1 in 3. Half that for Feel No Pain = 1 in 6

19-07-2010, 18:16
Overall I believe that SW are the better CC army. But then again I believe like many others that SW's are OTT as far as codecies go. Most of the argument has been made above already so I won't delve into it more, but then general idea is that BA seem to do what an assault army should do, and that's balance adequate risk and reward, with some flavor thrown in. SW's on the other hand are basically a standard shooty marine army that due to options and rules can switch seamlessly to a CC force with minimal effort, essentially tossing out the risk and keeping the reward.

It should be noted however, that it seems to me at least in watching BA's and SW's line up in competitive play that one on one the BA tend to due quite well against SW's, perhaps just due to general army mechanics, or maybe the BA players i've seen are just more skilled than their SW counterparts.

19-07-2010, 18:39
SW is better us sustained assaults, and when they are assaulted while BA plays a bit more aggressively, and is better when they initiate the assault though lacks the long term assault strength. Which one is better? Well, it depends on how you want to play your army.

Of course chaos marines have access to khorne berzerkers, dual LC khorne champion terminators (expensive, but when they hit home it hurts), daemon princes, grater daemons, marked basic marines, marked raptors and so on.

19-07-2010, 19:03
1. close combat units: Space Wolves are better at this, by far.
2. mobility: Blood Angels, of course.

typicaly, the Space Wolves will have a better close combat element but the Blood Angels will get to pick all the battles they want. I would vote for Blood Angels, if not for some realy good shooty choices they have, that actualy force most their lists to be less assaulty (due to bying stuff like Fast Vindicators). Overall, I'd say Space Wolves is the space marine codex that, in a *typical* list, will have the best combination of needed anti-tank shooting and great close combat, while, for pure close combat, i'd say Black Templars :Prefered Enemy in all units and Furious Charge on elites plus smoke launchers tunring their rhinos unkillable is just nasty, and Neophytes give a very cheap boost in attacks/unit as well as wounds. the difference is... the black templars kinda suffer in anti-tank . as such, ...
the Blood Angels contain too much shooting in a typical list to be called 'close combat', so i vote them OUT, the best cc army is the Black Templars but the codex with the best cc army lists is the Space Wolves.

19-07-2010, 19:17
Black templars...

19-07-2010, 19:35
As a BA player..

Wolves are better in CC.

CCW/boltpistol/ Bolter

Counter attack.

Blood angels hit hard on the charge.. space wolves always hit hard even when charged.

19-07-2010, 19:45
TWC are the hands down best CC unit out there, 5 SS with a 19-24 inch threat range.

Str 10 power fist sniping out HQ's.

To me TWC are the most broken/awesome unit on the table today.

19-07-2010, 19:49
I don't think you can really claim one is superior to the other; both have unique strengths.

In my experience Blood Angels seem to be a much more aggressive style of play, whereas Space Wolves are rewarded by letting you come to them.

Both have the capability to be nasty in melee, or make decent shooting lists.

Pick the one you like best based upon fluff, color scheme, etc.

19-07-2010, 19:52
I had to go for Space Wolves, they are without doubt the better of the 2 codecis. I mostly rated this on the basic troops choices with Grey Hunters having a distinct advantage over Blood Angels and an Assault Squad costing a fair bit more than a regular squad of Grey Hunters that cost next to nothing compared to what you get for your points. Despite my own homebrew chapter being originally based on Blood Angels over 2nd and 3rd edition, I'm tempted to use the Space Wolf codex for them now as it fits their battle field role alot closer to how I envision it.

19-07-2010, 19:57
It depends what sort of assault army you are trying to make. Really both are good in the assault but they work in different ways. I guess you can make a far more pure assault army with BA because you can have properly assault dedicated troop choices but other than that it more comes down to what sort of list you want to run. SW give you cavalry and that has its own ups and down and BA give you JPs and they have their ups and downs too.

19-07-2010, 20:31
TWC are the hands down best CC unit out there, 5 SS with a 19-24 inch threat range.

Str 10 power fist sniping out HQ's.

To me TWC are the most broken/awesome unit on the table today.

Nob Bikers wish to disagree.

I think the Space Wolves are the more potent codex by far, the Blood Angels can potentially hit harder, but is much more dependant on some luck and tactics.

Counter-attack for the Wolves means it matters less on getting the charge, so you can shoot more, causing more damage, while being at no real disadvantage (save giving the enemy a few extra attacks).
The Blood Angels need to get those Blood Talons into combat, which will have every Lascannon pointed at them, and those Furious Charge bubbles do nothing when being counter-charged. Their units are also more expensive, specialised CC units, such as the Sanguinary Guard and Mephiston who are powerful, but expensive and not all too difficult to kill.