That all important first question to anyone playing Space Wolves:
Who do I take as my troop choice?!
Lets take a look at each basic troop (excluding the wolf guard case) starting with
A basic space marine with lower WS and BS, extra attacks on the charge, and the headstrong ability which forces you to charge if able and prevents shooting. At 15 points a pop and up to 15 per squad this troop can lay down some serious hurt in the form of cheap shock units.
Many people will look at WS 3 and laugh but in 90% of cases you still hit on 4's at I4. Lets say you have 10 guys with no upgrades and you get the charge:
VS Space Marines
between 2 and 5 kills
Lose 1 - 3 claws
7 to 10 kills
Now compared to Grey Hunters, Blood Claws will likely get one or two more kills on the charge, but they are identical getting charged or in consecutive rounds of combat.
Additionally without being accompanied by a Wolf Guard, Headstrong prevents Blood Claws from using things like flamers or meltaguns when you wish to confront units in a vehicle or units in cover.
My preferred way to run Blood Claws is:
15 Blood Claws
Flamer x 2
If you are looking for a really punchy unit this is the way to go. Blood Claws need to be in a larger force and accompanied by a Wolf Guard. The Wolf Priest allows for me to have rerolls on attacks, making this unit very killy, however fragile on the counter-assault being only I4.
Moving on to:
Some have claimed that Grey Hunters are the best single troop choice in the game. At 15 points a pop with Bolter, pistol, close combat weapon, counter-attack, and some cheap upgrades, who can blame people for loving these guys. Grey Hunters are the troop of choice if you desire versatility in your troops. Though less attacks than their Blood Claw brothers, Grey Hunters are able to hold positions or lay down some hurt. The additional bolter makes a big difference in the way you use this troop.
Here is my preferred setup
Grey Hunter x 10
Plasma Gun x 2
Grey Hunter x 6
Grey Hunter x 10
Flamer x 2
Grey Hunters are good at dropping in and causing some damage to, as well as distracting, your enemy. They are equally good at holding their own in smaller bands for holding or assaulting objectives.
SO there you have some basic outlines of the two troops in the Space Wolf army. What it boils down to is the use you have in mind for your troops over the course of the game. Sending 45 Blood Claws at the enemy on foot can be devastating and packing up your Grey Hunters to hold and grab objectives can be effective. It is all in how you choose to use them.
If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free contact me!