A bit late to the party here but things have been busy of late. I thought before Grey Knights hit the scene I would offer some thoughts on the new Space Wolves release. In a few weeks I'll put up a post with my Space Wolf army once I've added a few of the new releases to the roster. For a much better rundown on the Space Wolf release see my Friend Alex's blog HERE and to see the Dark Angels Imperial Knights I've been working on see my other blog HERE.
Overall I'm happy with this release. It seems to tick many boxes in one go. The wolves got a much needed dual build flyer unique to them which looks the part, plus a new dreadnought kit which not only gives them their own kit finally but also covers Bjorn and a new character. In with these sets the wolves got some new toys in the form of helfrost weapons and wolf claws. Finally, Logan got a great makeover and a new toy in the form of the chariot which, IMO, is a great addition both rules wise and for the look of the army. In addition to the various codex formats and books we also got some datacards (seems to be the done thing now) and a supplement as well as a few reboxings, such as the long fangs and skyclaws. Overall a solid release and considering the range was already pretty comprehensive the scale was to be expected.
What we didn't get
There will always be the lamentation over what didn't get a release. No new character or special character models nor a new infantry kit. Some of the models, namely power armour Njal, Ragnar, Ulrik and the Iron Priest are pretty darn old now. To be fair, the paint jobs on the minis help offset their age but it's still a shame they didn't get the Logan treatment. It seems a fair bet that when the next wolf codex or wave of releases comes around, a joint wolf lord/Ragnar kit, Njal/rune priest kit, Ulrik/Wolf priest kit and perhaps generic techmarine and servitor kit with Iron priest head included would be great additions. Still, far from a priority at this stage as GWs policy now seems to be if it doesn't have a model it doesn't get put in the codex, especially as they all have model pics now. An exception to this existed in the form of the Wolf Priest conversion seen both in the book and leaked WD pics, leading to much speculation as to whether a kit would be release. This is quite a unique situation as a model kind of exists in the form of either Ulrik or the ltd GD model, just that GW couldn't really use either of these in the book. I don't think we will see the likes of it happening in any of the other books mind as they've mostly got their existing models in the range covered.
I for one am a fan of the new format. It is more logical and practical and also any additional fluff from the old bestiary entries has now been shunted to the front of the book. Don't get me wrong, I liked the 6th ed format a lot and would be happy with either but I think this format is just a little bit more slick. After all, they are a model company so why not use pictures of your models rather than pay for commission artwork. I especially like that Harald Deathwolfs company gets a lot of attention as it is my company.
Firstly, it's sad to see some of the more fun elements of the army gone, especially the wulfen. However, I think all the changes in points and army structure are for the best and have made the army better as a whole. I mean things such as the wolf guard mechanic, the values for grey hunters and blood claws and the like. Helfrost weapons are a nice addition and although the relics are not overwhelming, I think that the Logan Supplement will more than make up for this. The special characters do seem rather special and powerful and I think it's great that both murderfang and Harald got entries. The psychic powers got more balanced (luckily they're here to stay) and incorporating sagas into warlord traits was a good move. Some guys such as the wolf scouts lost out somewhat but it seems that overall there will now be more than just a couple of decent builds for SW armies which is always a good thing.
As I mentioned before, I think that the new Logan model is a great update of an already legendary model. Some people hate the chariot but I think it fits with the SW mentality quite nicely and will give Logan a ludicrous amount of resilience and mobility on the battlefield. The Stormwolf/fang looks like the castard offspring of a stormtalon and Caestus ram but somehow it works nicely. It looks brutal and utilitarian, just like a SW vehicle should be. I didn't even twig with the wolf head silhouette at first which is a nice touch. When I get ahold of one I will try to magnetise it. The dreadnought too is a nice kit with a few new options and variant builds. I especially like the Bjorn hull details and murderfangs claws. The axe and shield combo looks a bit silly and overpowered but at least they're giving unique options to non-codex chapters.
A solid release in my opinion. With the codexes coming thick and fast at the moment (possibly all updated by the end of this year!) and Grey Knights only a week away, I expect we'll be seeing Blood Angels rather soon and probably with a similar scale of release. Cheers.