As rare is it may be, the space wolves do not ALWAYS come through each fight victorious. As campaigns continue over time the packs of wolves sometimes dwindle down to one. A man without his brother at arms has but one wish: To bring glory back to his fallen pack members and fall in battle to join them!
The fluff surrounding the Lone Wolf is fantastically expressed in the game rules. As the final elite choice to look at we find the Lone Wolf with a large amount of upgrades to choose from and some fun rules.
At 20 points you get:
Feel no Pain
Already we have a bargain beast who's downsides include:
May never join a squad
May not take a transport dedicated
Concedes a kill-point in kill-point games when he survives
Looking at the Lone Wolf this means: He is a close combat monster who needs to get the the enemy. Without transports or the ability to hide in a squad that means hes foot slogging up the field alone. With FnP and Eternal Warrior, he can make it, given you roll decently and the enemy ignores him.
Upgrade for him include:
Power Sword: Cheap, but not the best option
Wolf Claw: A bit more expensive than other claws and best in pairs. Still a good choice
Powerfist: Good for tank hunting or Monster Hunting
Thunder Hammer: Expensive but good
Frost Blade: Good choice over a power weapon
Storm Shield: 3+ Inv = This guy will take a TON of fire
Terminator: 2+/5+, power weap, storm bolter, FnP, Eternal, 45 Points Total. Thats a steal
Other upgrades become cheaper and he gains access to combi weapons which are a decent little thing for him to take.
Good thing to note is that Combi-Melta will have a re-roll vs. any vehicle he shoots at.
He may also take melta-bombs: good + reroll to hit
Up to 2 wolves: Good for wound allocation on that run towards the enemy
Mark of Wulfen: Better choices unless you are JUST taking a power weapon
Lone Wolf Setups:
The "Just try and kill me" Lone Wolf:
First point to make here: This guy is NOT going down. If you are playing annihilation against anything less than orkz or horde nyds, or possibly infantry guard, where you are taking 30 wounds to roll against then you simply will shrug off almost 90% of all wounds taken. With two wolves that first salvo may as well be cut in half as you will be taking 1/3 of the total wounds shot at him. On average we are looking at roughly 24 wounds before this guy goes down (not counting the wolf allocation).
That said: In all games THROW THIS AT THE LARGEST THING ON THE TABLE. What? Gazgull is coming? Here, have a lone wolf to tie him up for 2 turns. Huh? 3 Leman Russ tanks? Good luck getting through that 3+ inv twice before the Chainfist kills 1 or 2.
This is a Lone Wolf variant that if used properly will draw a lot of fire and MAY kill something large in the process. Just make sure you maneuver him properly or he will be sitting off on his lonesome and theres 105 points waisted.
The "throwaway" Lone Wolf
Yes this variant will strike far less fear than the previous version, however it can be equally destructive with S5 and a large number of attacks. If you have 70 Points then throwing one in may be just the thing to take. He can easily tie up something that is 300 points bigger than him (cough Seer Council cough) for a couple turns, and who knows, he may even throw a couple wounds off a Carnifex before the Fex even has a chance to hit him. The wolves are there for allocation as he walks up the field.
Other variations on the Lone Wolf have been seen, double wolf claws, combi-melta + Chainfist, Thunder Hammer / Storm Shield Terminator, etc.. These are all variants on the same thing. Run this guy to the enemy as fast as possible and get him killed. He will in all likelihood bring something down with him, and that is what is important. If he is not drawing fire or tying up an Avatar (I had a THammer/SShield one take down an avatar in CC, it was epic) then he isnt doing his job.
I personally love the Lone Wolf and, given the opportunity, love to field him in my smaller games of 40k. I have yet to test him on a larger field (and now I have something to try next weekend :D) but I suspect he will do well given the wide range of other threats one will likely be fielding.
Lone Wolves just wanna go down in a blaze of glory! I say we let him!