It is with a heavy heart that I write this article. This is my ‘Dear John’ letter to one of my greatest loves in the game – the humble wolf scouts.
Man, we had some fun times didn't we? All that rear armour… all those loota’s… you have saved pretty much every unit in the army with your timely arrival on the board edge.
So where did it all go wrong? Why am I dropping the scouts?
- Cost - yea, I know, they are a bargain. BUT to make the effective you need to have an idea what your going to be doing with them. Melta guns are almost obligatory but what about the other options? Pretty much everyone has a Wolf guard leading the scouts – he is another 43 points (as he really needs a fist for those obliterators and a combi melta because the melta scout didn’t get his accuracy badge or cant find anyone to sow it on his sleeve). Want some versatility? How about a MOTW? Or a power weapon? Or both! Plasma pistols? You can go nuts on the scouts. They can end up carrying much more than they will need in any one game. Or they can be cheap and not get the job done. The middle ground is hazy – plus I think someone just erected a tent in it…
- 1’s and 2’s – Everyone knows what I mean. Whenever I have a job that only the wolf scouts can accomplish, I roll the dice. They come on! I roll another dice. YAY! No mans land! <sigh> There is nothing worse! Now I know asking for a rule like snikrot’s is asking for the moon on a stick (or a badge at least) If they screw me over and pitch tent in the only place where they cant do anything at all then it means I have wasted points. Before the scouts I have never liked anything placed in reserve, outflanking or anything else. It just seemed too easy to counter. Of course some things have gotten better (scouts and Baal’s spring to mind!) but I still cant shake the feeling that in a game of chance (like 40k) Anything I cant control is prone to biting me in the arse more than the Scout leaders conviction for stealing puppies from the back of a car.
- The game is up – Wolf scouts are great when the opponent isn’t very good at reading a threat. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet or make you feel foolish but when playing a game vs. the very good players my scouts rarely get the juicy targets at all. The tendency to ‘bubble wrap’ vulnerable units is becoming endemic when your playing with Wolf scouts. By this I mean when an opponent keeps you more than 6 inches from a vulnerable vehicle or spread out along a board edge to stop you from legally entering the board. It takes pretty much no effort to deny the scouts from dealing a telling blow, meaning I waste time trying to kill off the bubble wrappers or just don’t get to do anything with the scouts. This also limits the effectiveness of the scouts. In a competitive event that you aim to do well in. You’re going to be playing decent players who will be able to counter this threat pretty easily so it’s not getting value for points in the game where you need it most!
If anything the scouts have been too successful and not at all subtle – the cat (wolf) is out of the bag leaving me with 10% of my army not pulling its weight when I really need it.
Will it be the big Cyclical re-evolution of the units (who knew that drop pods would be making a come back – but with wolves it makes perfect sense!) What else can do the same job, but with more control? Or it is just time to man up and keep plugging away at the board edge?
How do you run your Scouts? What uses can they perform for you?