Space Wolves have the best Incursors of any marine chapter, and today I want to highlight their flexibility and potential power in the Rout. The previews for the Space Wolves have hit like a Thunderwolf charge this past weekend, and many very interesting combos have arisen. For now, I just want to convince all of you that may be waiting for the Prophecy of the Wolf box that you should be building Incursors for your ITC lists.
Incursors have a massive datasheet, and I meet very few players who can say everything they do and get their rules correct. I do recommend a quick read in your codex if you need a refresher, I won’t go into everything in detail here, but here are a few key abilities that we will focus on today:
- They can infiltrate during deployment.
- They have access to smoke grenades.
- They are Primaris that have the Phobos keyword.
- Their paired combat knives generate extra hits on unmodified 6s to hit.
At their core they are a jack of all trades troop choice, and that is a good thing! Their true strength really does lie in their flexibility, coupled with some very key buffs and abilities to turn them into a hammer no one saw coming. I think they are most effective in 10 man squads and will be personally experimenting with two full units. So let’s look at the ways we can use Incursors aggressively, defensively, and as outflanking threats.
The recent changes to ITC deployment and elimination of the seize the initiative roll have really opened up this avenue of play. You can go into deployment with absolute certainty who is going first, and Incursors let you exploit this information.
Aggressive play should be employed in the following situations:
- The enemy has many screens that can easily be surrounded and held in combat. This is referred to as ‘wrapping” or the ‘wrap and trap” in 40k. The ten-man squad helps immensely in this area.
- The enemy army cannot fall back and shoot effectively.
The Incursors role, in this case, is to stall for the rest of your army. You will have Wulfen running up the board or characters with insane kill potential behind them (looking at you Ragnar). This is where Incursors make perfect disruption units.
To help make this an effective strategy we need to introduce the first member of our supporting cast, the humble Wolf Priest.
Saga of the Beast has given Space Wolves access to litanies, which can be very powerful on Incursors, especially in an aggressive play.
“But Wolf priest don’t infiltrate wit the Incurors!” I hear some of you shouting through the internet!
This is where the ten-man squad becomes important once again. Even with 24″ between deployment zones, you can still be 9″ away from the enemy deployment zone and trail a few members to be within 6″ of the Wolf Priest to hear his fiery (or maybe just drunken) words.
The litanies offer a lot of flexibility, as you get to decide them on a game by game basis.
Facing hordes? Use the Exhortation of Rage to generate extra attacks on top of the extra hits on 6s.
If you are facing more a mechanized list, take Tale of the Wolf King and the Lord of the Deeps that I previewed here.
Ragnar Blackmane can also ride up in an Impulsor getting out to provide aura support for them turn 1. They will reroll their 1s to hit and get to consolidate 6″ deeper into enemy lines after they blender screens. Make them fight again and they can move another 9″ to tie up your opponent’s gun lines.
The true power up for Incursors will not happen until turn 3, but you can combo Litany of Hate (reroll hit rolls), Savage Fury (exploding 6s in assault doctrine), and Gene-Wrought Might. There’s a special addendum to the stratagem in Saga of the Beast in that the unmodified 6s to hit generate two automatic wounds if Savage Fury is active. Since you are hitting on 2s due to Hunters Unleashed, you can reroll all hit rolls of 1-5, trying to maximize your 6s. I challenge you to pick up 31 dice (and it is relatively easy to get the Incursors up to 41 attacks total) and try this. Each unmodified 6 generates 3 hits total, 2 of which automatically wound. With AP-1 on their blades in the assault doctrine, they can even take down heavier units through the sheer weight of attacks.
That sounds great and all, but how do I keep my Incursors alive for three rounds?
The Phobos Rune Priest can add some invaluable utility to the Incursor incursion. For starters, he can infiltrate with them, but more importantly, this guy is a collector of shiny things and brings along some cool toys.
Throw The Armor of Russ on him to protect the squad from being counter charged.
This relic is incredibly powerful and gives Space Wolves a huge edge against other assault armies. It was clarified in the FAQ that it does in fact force charging units to fight last! You can easily space your squad members as well so that any charging baddies can be reached by his 6″ heroic intervention.
Against ranged threats the Phobos Rune Priest can also target the squad with Shrouding. The Incursors can remain safe behind another squad, Invictor Warsuits, or Impulsors speeding up the field. With two 10 man Incursor squads, you can have one lock a unit in combat while the other sits safely behind it.
The Rune Priest can also use Cloaked by the Storm after using a power to put out a -1 to hit bubble within 6″ of him or use Stormcaller to put them in cover. The Rune Priest can also use Tempest Wrath on another big enemy unit giving it another -1 to hit. If your Incursors are pushed forward, don’t be afraid to throw that smoke grenade in lieu of shooting if it means they will absorb a lot of fire. This can be very effective against Tau and Guard.
Edit: As of right now the updated data sheet in Saga of the Beast prevents Phobos Rune Priests from taking Tempestas Discipline powers. This is contrary to the ability for Dark Angels and the other supplements still being allowed to take their respective unique disciplines. Hopefully this will be addressed in a future FAQ (although Blood Angel players are waiting for this fix as well).
In the picture above, my Infiltrators are screening for my Incursors, who are Shrouded and the Rune Priest has used Cloaked by the Storm creating a -1 to hit bubble that extends 6″. The infiltrators have also utilized their smoke so are currently at -2 to hit.
The Harlequins are forced to attempt to shift the unit in melee, but the Space Wolf player has moved cleverly making it a tough charge on both units due to the spacing between them.
With good placement once again, the Rune Priest and Incursors were within 6″ to perform Heroic Interventions thanks to the new Counter-Charge stratagem in Saga of the beast.
The Rune Priest is then able to use The Armor of Russ on the interlopers and 10 Incursors will have no problem removing those Harlequins.
I wills also note there that the Phobos Rune Priest can also be powered up offensively as well. Throw the new Wyrdbane on him to give him 5 attacks on the charge at S5 AP-4 DD3 (flat 3 versus psykers) and rerolling the wounds to hit. You can also cast Fury of the Wolf Spirits.
That’s 11 attacks which you can make explode on a 4+ with Touch of the Wild. If you go into the Obscuration Discipline you can throw in other options such as Soul Sight to give the Incursors rerolls to hit in shooting in addition to Shrouding them. Or you can go with Tenebrous Curse, halving a non-flying units movement, advances, and charge rolls. This is very powerful in an objective game and can help prevent units from falling back from your Incursors.
So what do you do when you’re absolutely convinced your Incursors won’t make it to turn 3? You sneak up behind them and stab them in the back, multiple times!
On the Hunt
For 1 CP Space Wolves can outflank an infantry unit, having them arrive from a board edge in subsequent rounds. Anyone who has tried to make 9″ charges from deepstrike can tell you its a dicey option, but luckily Saga of the Beast has us covered, giving us a few options.
Option 1: Just don’t Charge
Incursors actually have a lot of great features built into their guns. You can always bring them on in turn 2 in the tactical doctrine where they will ignore all hit modifiers and modifications to their ballistic skill, ignore cover, and will be AP-1. If they make their charge great, but your basically bringing them on to shoot, and then move and charge in turn 3. This will usually be enough to take out those backfield objective holders and throw a big wrench into your opponent’s plans. Their guns at least guarantee some output from them, even if they fail the charge.
Option 2: Pray for a good Dice Roll
By pray, I mean retell an epic Saga of when you made all your 9″ charges in a game. Wolf priests have access to Canticle of Hate giving +2″ to charge and an extra 3″ to pile-in and consolidation moves. With re-rolls from Ragnar or Wulfen that have outflanked as well you are looking at an 82.6% success rate (for more breakdown of charges you can check the charge sheet of the combat calculator feature in this article here).
Now this depends on making a 3+ roll for the litany to go off, and even with a re-roll, I want some backup options, which brings us to a sneakier play.
Option 3: Become a Master of the Vanguard
Now that Space Wolves can take extra warlord traits with Hero of the Chapter, we can give a Phobos character Master of the Vanguard giving Phobos units +1 to movement, advance rolls, and charges. This will not stack with Canticle of Hate, but it’s a guaranteed effect. You could put this on the Phobos Rune Priest, but I keep a Phobos Battle Leader in my list to make sure the buff is where I need it.
If going this route, I recommend sending two units of Incursors and a unit of Wulfen to outflank. Even if the worst is to happen and your litany fails to go off, your three squads will not be stranded. With +1 to charge and re-rolling, the Incursors are still at a 65.9% to make it. With two Incursor Squads at 8″ charges and 1 Wulfen squad at a 9″, all re-rolling their charge rolls, there’s a 94% chance that at least one of them makes it. Those are odds I can live with.
The Vanguard option also opens up your Wolf Priest to use Litany of Hate which is amazing for the Wulfen, and we already covered how it combos with the Incursors and Gene-wrought Might.
Incursors are incredibly flexible. They can stall for the rest of your army to get into melee, or even be tooled up to be legitimate threats themselves.
I hope I’ve encouraged you to give Incursors a try. I have been a fan of them since their release last October. Expect a full Saga of the Beast breakdown when I get my book in hand as well as a new ITC list I have in the works.
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