Monday, May 18, 2009

Wolf Theory

I'm planning on building an entire Great Company of Space Wolves this time around, but there are a couple of common issues.

How many Space Wolves are there in the Chapter? What makes up a Great Company?

Let's start off with what we know from the fluff. The Space Wolves were never a very large Legion during the Great Crusade. After the Horus Heresy the Wolves were only split once into the ill fated Wolf Brothers.

The Space Wolves do not follow the Codex Astartes. A standard space marine chapter has 10 companies while the Wolves have 12 Great Companies plus the Company of the Great Wolf which is said to be effectively another company.

Each Great Company has its own headquarters and territory within the Space Wolves massive fortress the Fang. With its own Spacecraft, weapons, forges and other facilities. In almost all respects, its a separate, self-sufficient body of Warriors.

It would make sense that the Space Wolves have more marines than a standard chapter. I would also venture a guess that a Great Company is larger than a standard one.

With all this in mind I will be building my Great Company along the lines of the old Epic Space Marine game. Here are the contents of the Space Wolf cards from "Space Marine".

The Great Company data card is the basic element of your army it includes.
1 Wolf Lord
20 Wolf Guard
12 Grey Hunter packs (24 bases of 5)

SO full strength a Great Company includes 140 Space Wolves before adding BC's and LF's.

You can then add up to 5 of the following to make up the rest of the Great Company. (Now keep in mind from a fluff perspective GH should be the most numerous pack in the Great Company.)

30 blood claws (6 bases of 5) or 3 full packs of 10
30 Long Fangs (6 bases of 5) or 3 full packs of 10 (remember this was before the first Wolf dex)
10 BC bikers (5 bases of 2) or 1 full pack
Tank squad of 3 tanks
Speeder squadron of 5 landspeeders

So lets just assume we take one of each the BC's and the LF's. That would put a conservative Great Company around 200 Space Wolves. With the Chapter probably maxing out around 2500 Space Wolves.

The problem in getting numbers is that the Space Wolves are not codex and so don’t follow hard and fast rules for numbers… so the above would be a rough estimate that I will work towards myself, and then add the odd extra pack here or there just for grins.

I would also note that during the research for this post I'm now unsure where in the Space Wolf chapter the Wolf Scouts belong. In the 2nd ed codex they were listed as part of the Company of the Great Wolf, but in the current codex they are not. The scouts are also not mentioned in the description of the Great Company in the current codex either.

Next time I'll be laying out my initial army list and what I'm planning on including in my Great Company as a whole.


  1. hey dude, not a comment about this post but your blog in general: its awesome, i dont know how i havent come across it sooner. Your GS work looks fantastic! Iv always been partial to the space wolves... just think about films like Gladiator - the germanians at the start... Arthur - all those nordic guys in that film. they really have so much character and what you've done so far looks brilliant, a whole Great Company would be fantastic!
    Craig @ cadian8th - now a follower

  2. Not to mention, if I remember correctly, an Index Astartes article on the Space Wolves did mention that how a Great Company is actually organised depends heavily on the stylings & preferences of individual Wolf Lords. I do agree with all the points that you've mentioned in your post.

  3. Thanks Kindly Craig! I'm going for a 13th warrior theme; I'll be using all the Viking names from the movie except Buliwyf. It'll make the only those with the keenest eye spot the reference.

    Thanks to you too HKD! Your input is always great!

  4. Ach, naw...I'm just a windbag...I can't wait to see a Great Company of your wolves.

  5. Well, I believe the new fluff for Wolf Scouts is that they are simply Grey Hunters with a 'tude. So i would go with something around 110 Grey Hunters and 10 Wolf Scouts---ish? Feel free to bend those numbers a bit. I know i probably will. Hope that helps.

  6. I'm pretty sure they have always been Grey Hunters since they became elite troops in 3rd ed.

    Thanks for the comments.

  7. OK, I was just putting it out there, I haven't ever read the old codex. It's only what I've heard online, and it said on a sometimes-but-not-always-very-reliable source that they were what lone wolves are now.



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