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

6651 Views 35 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Grokfog
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 competent. 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 (30"-48") 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
  • Two10 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.

Hope this helps....
Chris W
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You shouldn't be seeing much of TWC at 1750. From wolves you need to fear razorspam more at that level.
Irish Tournament scene is full of Rock armies so TWC in 1750 has a good chance of coming up. Maybe not full TWC but definitely have one large unit of them. BA razor spam both work well against however
so for 3k you would need 9-10 threats? also with tac squads i normally run three of them half stay put and shoot with the heavy gun while the rest walk towards the enemy, instead of this i could get a few razor backs with heavy bolters and run them forwards?
Which edition we playin?

Uhm ok, shoot your opponent to death before they get to you, and if you actually get assaulted, grab your ankles and pray....Am I reading this correctly?
With that many threats there will be nothing left.
Uhm ok, shoot your opponent to death before they get to you, and if you actually get assaulted, grab your ankles and pray....Am I reading this correctly?
Don't forget you still have a good number of troops in a razorspam list... you just have to assault with multiple units.

Also, TARGET PRIORITY is sort of important. My dad used to say that you had to shoot the bear closest to the cave... so I tend to think that IF I'm getting assaulted, I've probably made a big mistake somewhere along the way.
Since this keeps coming up in "hey I'm new" lists, I figured I'd add in this bit of wisdom...

Best in Class choices for Marines

HQ - Librarian is pretty much standard
Elite - Dreads with 2 twin linked autocannons at 125 a pop
Troop - 10 marines combat squadded with a Missile Launcher and a Flamer in a Razorback with an upgraded gun. Also, Tellion and snipers with ML for cheap (135-ish?)
Fast - Speeders (two most popular varieties are Heavy FLamer / Multi Melta and the Typhoon with Multimelta - either are effective choices)
Heavy - Predators with Las cannon sponsons.
Don't forget drop pod ironclads, and sternguards in razors. Also, the key assault element being TH/SS termies, either transported or not.
Hey Ezekiel... While the units you point out are certainly good units... the idea was to find the best and cheapest... For the points cost, a small squad of Sternguard in a Razor (las plas or TL Las) would, IMO not yield the goodness of the Rifleman... and a squad of TH/SS termies are not as effective as two riflemen dreads...

Both have a place, but I would take this approach.

1. Decide you want them in your army list cause they're fun and good.
2. Fill in from the other selections to maxamixe your firepower output.

But, if someone wanted to run Termies, then I would not think to go to Sterns or Ironclads as a way to beef up the other units...
So you don't like vindicators? They are pretty cheap and good at anti horde, as a matter of fact it's really hard to miss some squads, I love your idea though. I personally don't like riflemen dreads but i still see your point (riflemen dread is autocannons on both arms right?)
Ah, I get you CLT40K :)
makes sense really. In that case you may want to do a section where you say best units for a particular role, or nits to expand your army with.

+rep for all the work so far
Vulcan, Rifleman = 2 x autocannons.

The key behind the original post was to make good list through volume of fire. You just get more from the Pred than the Vindicator...

BTW, I love vindicators... But the idea behind the mini list above is to put the selection with the most umph for the buck. Vindicators suffer from only having one weapon and being short/medium range. I'm not saying they aren't good... but they aren't really contributing to the volume of fire (cause it's hard to run from 48")

For a three vindi list I'm running...
2K List
  • Libby
  • 3 Vindicators
  • 3 Typhoon Speeders
  • 3 Rifleman Dreads
  • 2 Full tac squads (ML and Flamer + PW sgt) In TL Las Razorback
  • 2 5 man Tac squads in TL Las Razorback

In the list above, I've put in ten ranged shooters (ie, volume of fire) plus the three vindicators... In the 5-6 times I've brought this list out (vs decent lists, and one pure razorspam list) I've done really well with it (not that internet wins count... but that I didn't see any major flaws in how it works) You can either try to stop the tank breakin from all the las or you can focus on the vindis... but you'll struggle to do both... Which is why I think the list works.

But the main point is that you can pretty much work in ANYTHING you want as long as you have some focus on what Marines do best. Ie, shoot stuff from far away. If I was gonna run three sterguard units, I would drop the Vindis and go with Preds to make sure I kept that ratio of strong shooty vs other stuff.

Same with TH/SS termies... You can run them at 2K, but you have to focus the rest of your list around it so you don't get out shot... So, in the list below, I've had my raider get broke turn one and had to foot slog it. However, since I have lots of shooters in the list to support, I have still been able to compete.

  • Chaplain in Termie Armor (or I could take a libby... but I really like the Chaplain in termie armor model.... but if you want to be more competative, the Libby is a better all round choice for the Psy defense)
  • Term Assault Squad – Thunder hammer, Sgt with LC – In a LR with MM
  • Two basic tac squad with ML and Flamer in Razorbacks (TL las or las plas) one sgt with PW and melta bombs, one just plain)
  • Two Rifleman Dreads
  • Three Typhoons
  • Three Preds (Autocannon and Las sponsons)

Again, you see eleven real shooting threats (11 if I count each ML as 1/2 a real threat) and a big ole deathstar for fun.

However, in the two lists above, I don't think you could run both the deathstar AND the vinds without hurting your ability to survive the shooting game. Though in truth, you could probably make this work since you would still have 8 real shooting threats... but vs a good mech list you should get beat up soundly.

As always, you'll make choices based on what you play on a regular basis. I tend to play vs Marines, Nids, GKs, and the occasional Ork or DE... but my attempt is always to build a list that will do well vs any opponent. Also, you'll make selections based on how you like to play. If you're really into assault, you might take a very different list than if you're into dropping templates... But IMO, the key is still to put in those units from the SM codex that have the most bang for the buck so you can take your 3 whirlwind list and still have a chance of doing well.
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Hang on, there's one thing I just don't get. I thought tactical squads had to be 10-strong before they could take a transport, coz you've got 2 5mans with a razor...

So my six dreadnought GK list (3 normal, 3 venerable, all with two synchronized psibolt autocannons) makes sense, that's a relief. The other threats tend to be plasma servitors with a few knights for defense. If need be I swap a few of the autocannons for plasma.
I can see how this applies to Vanilla and Wolves, and It's very well written and thought out. I'd be interested to see a similar thread for a pure Deathwing army :)
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