Hairy Space Vikings

I've been a Warhammer 40,000 player for some years, but for the last year or so my enthusiasm had lapsed. The game had moved on to a new, significantly updated revision and the rules for the numerous game factions were slowly rolling out at a pace of one every couple of months. Compounding this was the fact that non-updated factions got somewhat left behind while updated factions got new rules and new units to play with meant that some of my gaming group were temporarily less competitive than others. This has finally been addressed.

Of course this means that there are not only updated game rules to learn after an 18-20 month gap in playing but also new rules for each of our individual armies. This isn't an insignificant learning requirement. A few aspects of the game have undergone fairly radical changes since we last played. Armies also need to be tweaked and adapted to account for alterations in rules and new tactics that become available thanks to this and to new units. There's also a hobby (that is modelling and painting) overhead in getting armies battle ready — my group tends to play by an all-painted models standard; no naked plastic on the table.

I have an unashamed and entirely predictable fondness for the Hairy Space Vikings, that is, the Space Wolves. One of numerous genetically engineered super-soldier Space Marine factions that you're likely familiar with if you've paid any attention at all to tabletop gaming (or even computer gaming) in the last couple of decades. This army has changed over time from an infantry based, close-combat, man-on-man affair into a fast paced, armoured vehicle deployed, shock troops and heavy, monstrous cavalry based, highly mobile outfit. What began as rows of 8 foot tall übersoldiers in APCs is now a field of 8 foot tall übersoldiers riding gigantic wolves and wielding massive hammers into battle. It's easily one of the most instantly recognisable forces in the game, and stands out agains the numerous other Space Marine sub-factions in an extremely visual way.

So now that I feel as though I'm back in the game, and have some new toys driving a fresh wave of enthusiasm I have the difficult task of selecting an army list and getting the models table-ready. While I have a sizeable force ready and painted there are a few models I'd like to replace to take advantage of the new options available to me in the rules. While I have most of the spare materials to manufacture these replacements it likely means I have a few weeks lead time while I wield a paint brush getting to a point where I'm happy and confident of being competitive.