Friday, September 10, 2010

Mathhammer: Blood Claws Blah

Stolen from Big Jim on the
Space Wolves Blog.
Stolen from Lexicanum.

So I've been painting recently and just finished up 26 Blood Claws. Now It may be that this has been a waste of time because I just don't think Blood Claws are worth it in the new book which is a switch, because in the old 3rd ed. supplement, I felt the say way about Grey Hunters.

The main reason for taking the Blood Claws in the old 'dex was that they were 3 points cheaper, oh, and GHers had to pay a point to get BP and a CCW, oh, and you can get up to 3 PFs in a squad not counting a Wolf Guard Leader, and you can have up to 15 dudes which mean a lot of ablative wounds for the PFs, OH! and they get 4 attacks on the charge!

In the 5th ed. book, the GHers cost the same, oh, and GHers get Bolter, BP and CCW, so they essentially have A2. Plus they get counterattack so 3 attacks when they assault, or a good chance of 3 attacks when they get assaulted. All for the same cost as the Blood Claws. Oh yeah, did I mention the +1WS, +1BS?

So anywho, I'm just looking around and wondering if I wasted my time on painting these guys up a Blood Claws (in truth, I'd probably use them as Grey Hunters if I really wanted to!)

So how do they stack up mathematically.

So here is our squads
Grey Hunters x 10 150 points.

Blood Claws x 10 150 points.

In close combat, if the Grey Hunters assault they will have 30 attacks. Against MEQ, they will score, on average 15 hits and, on average 7.5 wounds.

The Blood Claws will have 40 attacks. The will score and average of 20 hits and have 10 wounds (thanks to AbusePuppy for reminding me that WS 3 still needs 4+ to hit unless they are attacking WS7).

And this is pretty much the best case scenario for the Blood Claws. If we look at the squad getting assaulted, then the Blood Claws will get three attacks at most so they will average 15 hits and 7.5 wounds while the Grey Hunters stay with 15 and 7.5.

Lets add insult to injury shall we? One of the big benefits that the Space Wolves have is the ability to take two special weapons in a squad, but if the Blood Claws do this, they have to drop their BP and therefore lose a close combat attack to gain a BS 3 shot. The Grey Hunters on the other hand drop their Bolter to get the special weapon, so they retain their extra attack for a BP/CCW.

Even if you look at "buffs" to the unit such as  Ragnar Blackmane with his extra attacks. The unit he joints gains D3 attacks on the charge instead of the normal 1. So Grey Hunters go from 3 attacks on the charge to 3-5, where as the Blood Claws go from 4 garenteed attacks to 3-5 same as the Grey Hunters, and they are still at WS3 BS3.

About the only thing going for Blood Claws is the fact that you can get 15 of them in a single squad, but now that you can only take a single PF makes that not as impressive.

I'm really kinda sad that the Blood Claws are so overshadowed by the Grey Hunters in this edition as they are very fluffy.


  1. Blood Claws should get 20 hits (10 wounds) with 40 attacks, not 13.x; only against WS7+ opponents will they be hitting on 5s, and those aren't common.

    You can still get two Fists in a squad by adding a Wolf Guard, which you'll generally do since you're sticking them in a Raider anyways.

    Blood Claws aren't great by any means, but they're not as bad as you make them out to be here.

  2. You are correct! But while I still believe they ARE that bad, they aren't as bad as I put out there.

    Thanks for catching that!

  3. Leaving the mathhammer aside (I'm not a fan personally, nothing ever comes out average and more dice means a bigger range for deviation) I would tentatively agree that BC lost out in a strict apples to apples comparison. Put in a Wolf Priest to head up that squad though and it's a different story thanks to rerolling To hit rolls. I typically run one or two squads with the new codex (down from the 3 to 4 I used to run) and commonly build out a big squad to ride in a LRC. This still makes them a pretty big brick to the face.

  4. Actually with Ragnar they get +d3 on the charge with a minimum of two (I believe this clarification is in the FAQ) so they either get 4 or 5.

    The big problem with WS3 is that it's easier to get hit so while you're throwing out more wounds than Grey Hunters, you're taking more back.

    I have ran 15 with a Power Fist and a Wolf Priest in a Land Raider Crusader with Extra Armour and a Multimelta with some success. It's very killy but at 625 points it's very expensive too.