I know the Legion of Azgorh list has only been available for a short time but one unit I am constantly hearing negative feedback about are the hobgoblin wolfriders. In this discussion I will be talking about small harassment units of wolf riders and not big combat blocks. So with the small harassment wolfrider units the big problems I see are-
1) Low leadership.
2) Panic tests from shooting and new animosity rules.
3) Poor combat and shooting abilities
4) Count as rare choices
5) Did I mention panic tests?
I agree that these are major issues with the hobbo wolf boys and it does not help that they are also rare choices which I assume reflects the fact that the LoA did not have access to many wolves. However it is not all bad news and they still do have some strengths-
1) Low points cost.
2) Useful early deployment drops.
3) Great redirectors
4) Excellent movement.
5) New rules give them bonuses on the charge.
For me hobbo wolfriders are used for three reasons; to deny scouts close proximity to my expensive and fragile warmachines, to redirect big combat blocks, and probably most importantly to kill war machines. So here are some thoughts on their problems.
Count as rare choices- Not much can be done here, thankfully their low cost means you will in medium/larger games still have points for either a hellcannon or K’Daai Destroyer.
Poor combat and shooting abilities- Compared to many other fast cav units wolfriders are cheap and have more than average movement so you cannot expect them to be great in comb at. That said, in the role of warmachine hunting they are more than capable of killing warmachine crew in hth and might only have some trouble against dwarf warmachine crew (…and hellcannons, don’t send them against hellcannons!) but if armed with spears, a unit of 5 still should be able to win. I would never give them bows as they will basically always hit on a six and str 3 in low number isnt great, rather just give them spears.
Low leadership AND panic tests from shooting and new animosity rules.- This is the real killer IMO and I think if you can get past this problem they can be quite useful. Generally speaking, if wolf riders are going to do their thing its usually by turn 3, otherwise they end up dead or fleeing of the table. So I have devised a strategy that might see wolfriders be workable.
5 Hobgoblin Wolfriders (3 units)
3 Bull Centaurs (1 unit)
- Full Command
- Standard of Slavery
The idea here is to run the four units in a sort of arrowhead formation with the Bull Centaurs in the middle. You move the Wolfriders up 10 inches in the vanguard move then on your first turn you march all four units up the flank making sure that the wolfriders are just within 12 inches of your BC so that they get the immune to psychology for the Standard of Slavery. Making them ItP will negate the panic test downside, allow them to effectively fight warmachines that cause fear (TK skull catapult) and make the wolfriders a lot more controllable. Furthermore the BCs are strong and durable and will give the wolfriders a bit of muscle if they need it. Once you get the charge off staying within range of the Standard of Slavery is not so important and if you’re lucky the enemy has deployed their warmachines in close proximity and you can keep yourself in combat for the next couple of turns. While it’s nice to have the units alive at the games end, their fate in the battle is not of great importance as long as the enemy warmachines are dealt with.
I think this strategy only works if you take a a few units of wolfriders to maximize the use of the standard of slavery and requires good game play to execute properly however I believe that this can really work.
…Or you can just take a hobbo khan on wolf. There is one downside to this however and that is that characters are all deployed at the same time and one reason I use hobbo wolfriders is for the extra deployment drops which I find critical in my overall strategy.
Worth a think about and thanks for reading my rant! :hat off
PS- Magma Cannon = broken