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Beginner Space Wolf 500 point Army List: The Viking Raiders

Are you wondering what makes a Space Wolf different from a Space Marine? Do you need another reason to justify gathering the Sons of Russ under your banner? Do you want another way to give character to your army apart from just wolfing your wolf? Then read on, young thane, and make your ancestors proud.

Space Wolves are a very characterful army, that have a unique personality when compared to the other Space Marines chapters. They use the Codex as toilet paper, not because they find it to be bad advice but rather that they don't want to be told what to do by someone who isn't a Wolf.  Unfortunately a lot of writers and players treat the Wolves as a strange blend of frothing beserkers and werewolves, with the addition of Wulfen units not helping them.

In the past, typical wisdom had every Wolf in a drop pod, getting point blank range with the enemy on the first turn. With the changes in 8th Edition, this is no longer as viable, and other armies do Deep Strike Deployment better. Before then, the Wolves had an edge in encircling the enemy and had unique flanking rules. Whilst they do have this on some units, it's no longer the universal army advantage they enjoyed before.

So what unique strategy do the Space Wolves enjoy over the other Chapters now? How can they compete?

With long boats, and being a Viking.

space wolf beginner army list 40K 40k 40000 vikings viking
Might need a bigger boat...

Viking is actually a misused term most of the time, and really referred to a job or activity rather than a culture or people. When a Norse man goes viking, they go raiding. And to do this they would need a boat. A long boat. So a raiding party would all hop aboard a boat, sail across the ocean and attack the easiest target they could.

So our Wolves will need a Long Boat:

space wolf beginner army list 40K 40k 40000 vikings viking
That's better

Space Wolf Patrol Detachment: The Viking Raiders


Wolf Guard Battle Leader

Wargear: Bolt Pistol, Frost Sword
[67 points]


Grey Hunters

Wargear: 8 Boltguns, 2 Flamers, 9 Chainswords, Power Sword on the Leader
[162 points]

Fast Attack

Thunderwolf Cavalry

Wargear: 3 Bolt pistols, 2 Chainswords, 1 Frost Sword
[142 points]



Wargear: Twin Hellfrost canon, 2 Lascanons, 2 x Twin Heavy Bolters
[279 points]

Total: 650 Points (38 Power Levels)

I go with 650 points as that is the usual School League standard. To get it down to 500 points, drop the Thunderwolves and downgrade the Stormwolf's heavy bolters to Skyhammer missiles. You may want to do that anyway if you want axes on your melee weapons instead of swords.

This small army is very, very fast. It also has a surprising amount of firepower behind it, with the tactics all being about claiming the objective early, and staying there. If you want to know the theory behind choosing the units in a general sense, read this handy guide on list building.

The Wolf Guard Battle Leader is perfectly adequate for this force. As there are no over charged plasma units in this army, his aura of re-rolling 1s to Wound is no different from the Wolf Lord's re-rolls a 1 to Hit. He has the Frost sword, combining the really good AP of the power sword with the extra strength of a power axe. He sticks with the Grey Hunters, and moves in to chop up any melee threats.

The Grey Hunters are your Nordic shield wall. Starting off in the Stormwolf, you drop them on an objective in the second turn, and they stay there. Two flamers, and the Battle Leader getting them to re-roll Wound rolls of one make them a nasty prospect for Overwatch, and the fact each Wolf will throw out two attacks each will make pushing them off the objective a very tricky prospect.

The Stormwolf is very much the ace of this army, ferrying the Infantry to the objective, whilst laying down Fire Support. With Power of the Machine Spirit, it can happily fire off all its heavy weapons whilst zipping around the battle field. Once the troops are on the objective, you can kite the enemy all day long, zooming around the map to get the best firing angles. You can even drop into hover mode and charge units, your Toughness 7 helping to keep you alive. The next turn, perform the FLY Fall Back and shoot again.

It will be quite tough for the enemy to deal with, particularly if you are clever about switching in between Fly and Hover modes.

Imagine this as a party of Viking Raiders crashing onto a village beach in a Long Boat, forming up a shield wall and daring the defenders to come at them. This Long Boat happens to have some really huge guns though, and can launch off the beach to attack the enemy in the rear!

The Thunderwolf cavalry are there as a harassing Skirmish unit. They run up to vulnerable units, charging easy targets and tieing up key Fire Support units in combat. They're a little slow compared to Deep Striking jump pack squads, but are tougher and pump out more attacks. The enemy will be a little more distracted by them than an Assault squad, buying more time for your Stormwolf and Hunters to do their job.

All of these models come from the Start Collecting! Space Wolves box, apart from the Stormwolf. In total the army would come to about £100 of models. However, you can get cheaper models by using Wayland Games and Element Games (usually about 20% off). If you were inspired by the post, using the links below will give me a small tip on whatever purchase you make on those sites, and helps me keep my school club in fresh paints!

I'm rather inspired myself, and I may well get this army as a new project for next year. Space Wolves don't have their codex yet, but I think this list is a good way to keep them competitive until they do. And I've been toying with the idea of painting Space Wolves for a while...

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Great list, I'm using this to help me build my new Space Wolves army but I was wondering if you could clarify something for me about the grey hunters and the wolf guard battle leader.

    1. Thanks for commenting! Sorry for the late reply. The week before term starting is always a nightmare. What would you like clarified? This list was pre-Chapter Approved, so there may well need to be some revisions made.


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