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 Dire Wolves...worth their money?

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Imbued84
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PostSubject: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Mon 12 Oct 2009 - 19:37

Hi all!

I'm sitting here thinking about a new Undead warband for our upcoming campaign here in southern Sweden.

In my previous warbands i've always had a starting field looking somewhat like this. 1 vamp, 1 necro, 2-3 dregs, 4 zombies, 3 ghouls and 2 Dire wolves.

The wolves usually acted as a hit em hard/suicide squad accompanying my vamp. Though even wit hsome variation to this tactic they almost always end up ooa or even out of play against most opponents.

Are they worth having from the start? Am I using them wrong? Please share your thoughts on these most lovely of Canines
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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Mon 12 Oct 2009 - 19:49

From what I've seen, Dire Wolves are disastrous at the start. Using others' advice, the best model start is Vampire, Necromancer, 3 Dregs, and 4 Ghouls (each in a separate henchmen group). In our current campaign, I then added the final Ghoul, then invested in Dire Wolves, skipping Zombies entirely. The nice thing about Undead is that you never have to worry about equipping your henchmen, so get some nice things for your heroes, and invest the rest in keeping your Dire Wolves.

In combat, use the Ghouls as blockers (screeners and interceptors), and the Dire Wolves as chargers. On a couple of occasions, I've been able to charge my Ghouls up the middle, and during the same round charge the Dire Wolves around the flanks to the enemy's back line - that's always a shock to them...
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Imbued84
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Mon 12 Oct 2009 - 20:27

I agree.

5 heroes + ghouls seems to be the best start. Zombies almost never seem to get into the thick of it, spending several turns just shambling forward in a desperate snail race to reach the enemy. Only ghouls gain XP, sad though that they cannot use weapons according to the wording in their description. Or was it "do not use" instead of "cannot"?
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Davespaceman
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Tue 13 Oct 2009 - 2:57

Wolves just cost too much for little return in my opinion. Zombies however make your warband bigger for a cheap unstunable 15gc and I had one take out an ogre leader once.
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Matumaros
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Tue 13 Oct 2009 - 4:40

Try using Wyldhunt's tactics... but you shouldn't underestimate zombies!!!

Zombies are the kind of stuff you want to use as screen/interceptors (maybe mixed with ghouls) as they are cheap (many) and can easily block enemies in CC for more than one round (no pain rokcs!).
Of course with zombies low price stands for low quality.

Wolves are high price for high quality (shock troop), but their staying power is ridicolous for their price, so I'm never sending them forward to engage oncoming CC "specialists", much like I do with the cheap chaos hounds or warhounds. Another really ugly thing about wolves is that they cannot climb, making them useless against those pesky shooters on high levels, so that M9 is more a bait than else...
I love to have 1 or 2 in my band (would love to have more), but use them sparingly during the game (later games in campaign), much like an "emergency" troop for later turns, adding to the front line when CC gets too nasty, or charging on the flanks to stop those incoming reinforces.


Cheers!!!
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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Tue 13 Oct 2009 - 5:47

My choice in Dire Wolves over Zombies is for mobility. If Ghouls could use missile weapons, I'd go with Zombies over Dire Wolves. But I consistently have issues trying to only advance 4" per turn with only 4 missiles weapons maximum in my entire warband. I also build my Vampire as a sniper-killer, so my Dire Wolves can stay on the ground level.

Imbued84, different people here have different experiences, so you'll definitely have to experiment and find out what works best for you!

Davespaceman and Matumaros, what are your tactics for using Zombies on the march in? Ghouls to the fore with heroes behind, attempting to close and lock enemies into HtH, then allow the Zombies to countercharge and mop up? Or do you try and find a defensible position where the enemy must close to you?
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Matumaros
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Tue 13 Oct 2009 - 8:15

On most cases, the latter.
While facing heavy shooters with such a band, I don't even try to compete or snatch'em... I just lurk and try to hide. If the mission forces me to move to objectives, I simply know it's gonna be a tough day (or night), and zombies invariably get left behind, hoping their later charges are of any use...

But why I prefer zombies over wolves all the same?
Undeads are a CC oriented band, which usually requires having as many models (meat shields AND quality fighters) as possible.
Sadly this means wolves are not an early game option. For that price (50gc each!!!) I'd rather have 3 zombies (45gc) and a weapon (3/5gc)... I use those few zombies as "guards" for the necromancer (hoping for a ranged spell!) and move ghouls around with the vamp... dregs fit where needed. Most often, I keep the vamp in the back too, using him for counter charges and as a detractor...
Later in games, when CC has already begun, wolves come in very handy for blocking advancing enemies and "patching" holes, but you have to know those (many) money are not coming back easily...
A few ghouls (less expensive) are still more durable for blocking enemies, not to say more effective in wiping'em out, even if they don't charge that insane (and often worthless) 18"...
All in all, to me wolves are the worst troop choice for undead.

Zombies are slow and fight poorly, but their special rules (no pain uber alles) gives them a valuable strategic use through all the campaign, and for the cheapest price. Being that cheap, zombies also help building up numbers, so in my starting band I'm glad to exchange even a ghoul and a weapon (45gc) for 3 zombies (45gc).

Was it not for the awesome (unjustified?) price, I'd quickly change my opinion and tactics, trying to use wolves a lot more.
I like their concept a lot... and look at the latest minies, with rotting flesh and exposed bones!!!

Cheers!!!


Last edited by Matumaros on Tue 13 Oct 2009 - 17:43; edited 1 time in total
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Imbued84
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PostSubject: Re: Dire Wolves...worth their money?   Tue 13 Oct 2009 - 16:41

Thanks for all your thoughts, tactics and answers Wink
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