Sunday, 26 May 2013

Something to read.

Breezy afternoon
Light spilling on grave stone  
Sweet smell of cut grass

Thunder clap sounds
Coal red barrel, hefty weight
Coiled vapour rises

Angry words spoken
Meanings obfuscated, why?
Seven minutes lost 

Chemistry post-grad
Ion chromatography
Repeated testing

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Space Wolf Tactics: Thunderwolf cavalry

Unit Name: Thunderwolves
Unit Type: Fast attack, 1-5 model squads of cavalry.
Construction: Using the thunderwolves pack box.
Unit Deployment: In partial cover
Unit in play: Rapid strike assault squad.
Unit is most effective against: Low initiative or horde squads.
General Discussion:
Do you like space wolves riding wolves from space into battle? If so you’ll love thunderwolves. These guys are the secret wing of the wolf guard; nobody talks about them outside of the chapter. Only the strongest of the warriors can tame the monstrous wolves that roam the Asaheim plains, to even attempt this feat you need to be inducted into the wolf guard. Since the release of the models the number of thunderwolf lists has increased but are these monsters still a good choice in your army?
What do you get for your investment?
Thunderwolves come with power armour, bolt pistol, combat weapon, frag and krak grenades. They also come on a large beast that increases their combat efficacy by lending them the rending, fleet and hammer of wrath special rules. The cavalry come with the stat-line of a grey hunter with a few changes. An extra point in strength and toughness as well as baseline 4 attacks makes these beasts something to fear.
So how do cavalry play? They move 12” and have the fleet rule. This means that they can re-roll their run or charge distance. These beasts can cover on average 15.5” a turn and up to 24” the turn they charge. In turn two there should be very little that they cannot assault
Another change is the addition of hammer of wrath. This rule gives you an extra attack at normal strength but at initiative 10. While this isn’t as effective as the models normal attacks it does allow you a chance to soften up an enemy before they get a chance to respond.
Unfortunately there is one change that has some negative aspects; while cavalry aren’t slowed by terrain they do treat difficult terrain as dangerous. This is a bit of a problem since there should be a good spread of terrain on the board. This is a bit of a pain but for the risks involved you will not lose your initiative step due to having frag grenades.

What upgrades should be considered?
The weapons choices for the unit can be interesting. Firstly the idea of choosing mark of the wolfen is out of the question.  You reduce a baseline 5 to D6+1, this averages to 4.5 attacks a turn. While the ability to get 7 attacks a turn sounds great but the truth of it is that you will also have to weather those turns you get 2 attacks. The cost of the upgrade is equal to a power weapon which negates armour to some extent while the real benefit of the upgrade is lost as you already have rending. Focus on reliability not risky pay offs.
Thunderhammers and powerfists are a solid choice for an anti-armour or monster killing. Unfortunately they are expensive and ensure you strike last. The upside is that you are almost guaranteed a penetrating hit on most vehicles but the downside is that most units will be striking ahead of you. Concussive on the thunderhammer is no longer as good as it used to be, while it does mean that anything you wound will strike at initiative 1, it no longer effects vehicles. If you are stripping wounds off of a monster with the thunderhammer then it is unlikely that you care when it hits as you’ve probably lost most of the unit anyway due to the smash rules.
Power weapons offer three different choices, sword, axe, maul and lance. This is the only unit on which the lance is not a waste of time. The strength bonus can really be brought to bear since thunderwolves have the attacks to make use of the first round benefits but unless you can wipe out the enemy in one round you are down to ap4. Power swords are the balanced power weapon, no bonuses to strength but ap 3 and striking at initiative. They can power through marine equivalents and do a decent job of killing most hq units. Mauls are great for monster hunting as they bump you up to strength 7 but hitting with ap4 really limits how effective they can be at cleaving through units. Finally the axe, I think in this squad an axe is not a good choice. The unit is already expensive so an extra few points to go from power axe to power fist is not that crazy as it give you a much better impact.
Frost blades are rather expensive and the added strength is of less impact due to the increased strength of a thunderwolf. I fail to see why it is worth ten points more than a power weapon. A frost axe on the other hand is completely superfluous as every benefit it offers is matched and/or surpassed by a power fist.  Strength is lower than a fist, its ap is the same and you still strike at initiative 1. If you want to use a frost axe buy a power fist.
All in all I think you need to maximise what the unit can do, a powerfist seems to fit this better than any of the other options. The fist is a few points cheaper than a thunderhammer and while you strike last you get to ignore armour and instant kill most units that you will face. When compared to power weapons extra ten points also ensures that you are going to get more wounds from your hits, wounding on 2’s is always going to be better than 3’s or 4’s and the added ability to explode vehicles is a better investment. The fist allows you to make a much better job of an all-round assault unit.
So how would I arm the rest of the squad? Quite simply either put storm shields on the models or nothing at all. 5th edition’s wound shenanigans are gone and I am happy for it. Never again will a thuderwolf be armed with a bolter or a stray meltabomb. With the new wound allocation system you will need some stormshields in the unit but not every model needs to have one. The level of ap2 and 3 weapons that can be found in most armies these days is quite a problem for such an expensive unit. If you are not looking to have these models blasted apart by every single heavy gun the enemy has then you might be best off springing for this upgrade. Yes you will have fewer attacks in combat but the squad’s survival will be increased.
For the remainder of the options the only one worth talking about is the melta bomb. I don’t think this is a necessity but it can be useful to help power through heavy armour. While a powerfist is my pick of the weapons upgrades, this offers you a good shot at squashing monsterous creatures and terminator equivalents which I see as the two biggest dangers in the game these days.
How do thunderwolves behave on the board?
So how should you play these big puppies on the board? In truth it should be plain. These boys are shock troops, slam them across the board at anything and they should take lumps out of it. The only unit I foresee being an issue for thunderwolves is terminator equivalents. The number of attacks the unit can pump out is impressive but even they will find it difficult to cut through a 2+ save. The real power of thunderwolves is harriers, they should be able to break or wipe out any normal troop choice in a turn. The way I would play them is to cut down scoring and fire support units, take out the problem units first before moving on to the tough combat targets.
When it comes to tackling hq choices, this squad can make a great job of it. Since none of them are characters you cannot get challenged so all of the wounds have to be allocated to the opposing squad. While a challenge can limit the attacks going to a character the thunderwolves can pump out enough attacks and have a few different wound types to maximise their impact in combat. To improve the efficacy of a thuderwolf squad you could run them with a thunderwolf lord or battle leader. These models can add some serious bite to your unit. A thunderwolf unit with an attached character can seriously challenge anything on the board. 

In conclusion I love these models. For a combat edge to a space wolves army thunderwolves are a great option, they are the strongest unit in the fast attack section. They are fast, hard hitting and tough. They pump out a high number of attacks, have some good upgrades and can have an invulnerable save on every model. A harder unit in combat you won’t find in the codex. If you play them right they can hammer the enemy into submission. If you hug cover while minimising line of sight and make the most of their speed they shall make you proud. When you count up the kills at the end of the battle be assured that these monsters will have taken an immense tally.

Game review: Game of Thrones

This week I am reviewing the Game of Thrones boardgame from Fantasy Flight Games. This is the second edition of the board game and I really like it. The game has six families from the books and you can take control of their forces and strongholds to stake your claim for the throne of Westeros.

Game summary:
Each of the families has an army of swordsmen, knights, siege towers and boats. You also receive a hand of cards each of which has a power rating and many have special rules associated with them. Each card is a character from that house and its retainers, for example Gregor Clegane adds three swords to the combat which allow you to kill the opponents forces as opposed to forcing them back. The cards generally follow how the characters behave in the books, some are great for combat, others reduce support and a select few do random things that can alter the course of the game totally.

The game is for 3-6 players, it self balances by allowing in certain families in order, the first three are Baratheon, Stark and Lannister. After this it is in order, Greyjoy, Tyrell and Martel. The goal of the game is to control seven castles or the most castles by the end of turn ten.

There are three influence tracks in the game that effect how it plays. The Iron Throne, dictates player order and the highest player on this track holds the Iron Throne counter and gets to decide issues of ties outside of combat.
The second track is Fiefdoms which designates the combat order of the players, if you draw with another player the person higher on the fiefdoms track wins the combat. The person highest on this track holds the Valyrian Steel Blade, this can be used once per turn to add +1 to the combat score of the holder and to add a sword to their combat total.
Finally the last track is the Kings Court track, this track is often overlooked by new players but if vital. Your position on this track dictates how many starred counters you may place as marching orders each turn. These starred orders have special abilities and can improve the outcome for your army. The highest placed on this track holds the Messenger Raven, this allows the holder to look at the top two cards of the Wildling deck and send one to the bottom of the deck while placing the other at the top of the deck. This player may change an order counter when they are revealed each turn.

The game turns begin with the planning phase, each player puts a counter in each of his territories that is occupied by men. This order can be to march, defend, raid, support or consolidate power. March orders move units from one territory to another this is your main means of attack and to re-order your forces. Defend orders add one to your unit's combat score but they may not do anything else this turn. Raids allow you to remove support or consolidate power tokens in adjoining territories. Support allows you to add your combat strength to an army that is in an adjoining territory. While finally consolidate power allows you to pick up influence tokens in territories with crowns.

After everyone places their tokens face down the players flip them over and the tokens are dealt with in order of the Iron Throne tracks beginning with raids, followed by marches and finally with any consolidate power orders. During this time combat may happen and the game deals with this by totaling up the combat score of each side. This is the total of the units value, the order they have placed on them, any support that they receive from their own or other players forces and finally one of the cards from the players hands. When the total is found the units from the loosing side retreat and the victors take the land. If anyone plays a card with a sword or used the Valyrian Blade and they win the combat the looser will loose that number of troop counters. The swords can be countered by cards with towers on them or by just winning.

After the order phase the Westeros phase occurs and the top card from each of the three decks are turned over. These cards have different effects which can lead to gaining troops, changing the supply track, calling for votes on the influence tracks, advancing the Wildlings tracks or causing the Wildlings to attack.
If the Wildlings attack the players must secretly pay influence to equal or beat the value on the Wildlings track or bad things will happen.

Influence is the currency of the game, you use it to hold territories that your troops have exited, to bid on the influence tracks and to spend to defeat the Wildlings. You gain it by playing consolidate power or if the westeros decks allow you to collect it from your controlled territories. While it is not the most important thing in the game it can be very helpful.

How it plays:
The game mechanics are very crisp and I find that the game is easy to pick up. I have played it with a few beginners over the last few weeks and they seemed to get to grips with it quickly and easily. As this is the second edition of the game I also thing that it has been made faster and more balanced than the previous edition.

The game allows for a huge amount of politicking; the Iron Throne allows you to give favour in bids, you can give support to one player in a combat over the other to limit their expansion, deals and deal-breaking are the way to win. It can also be vital to create deals with players to ensure that you don't waste time fighting them while you should be fighting everyone else. The most fun thing about the game is that it can be surprising when a victory comes, especially in larger games. If you don't pay attention to where everyone is positioned and how many castles they control it can be a real shock, it seems that in general the game seems to have a player or two capable of winning in the penultimate round. This makes playing it again so interesting as even if you are winning you don't have it sewn up until the last castle is yours.

The game scales very well from the three player game all up to the six player game, the time taken to play is mostly limited to how well people know the game. I played with four friends who had played it once before and we managed to get it done in two hours. Increasing the number of players doesn't impact the game speed as you are still limited to a maximum of three march orders a turn and most people are snap fire in their march order. This game will take you the labelled times of two to four hours to play but it is a good way to spend the evening. It has become very popular in my local gaming club and unlike the previous edition people actually want to play it.

The game has some optional rules, you can add in a "destiny" deck of combat cards that add more randomness to the combats. These cards can increase the combat number or add sword and towers to your total. This can be very interesting and adds a lot more to the game, it reminds me of the "fate deck" in Warrior Knights. Fantasy Flight make both games so it's probably no surprise. There are some game decks that you can buy to swap out the cards with those belonging to characters important in the newest book but I won't be touching those until I have caught up on all of my Song of Ice and Fire.

This is a game worth playing, it has good mechanics and is easy to pick up. I have played a few games of it with lots of different people and I am yet to have a bad game. There is a lot of replay in the game and each house offers a very different starting position. How you conquer the seven kingdoms is up to you; you can move your forces along the land, take the coast with your boats or storm castles with your siege towers. Every house has it's strengths and can make a reasonable go of taking control of the seven kingdoms. In the end the game boils down to one thing; when you play the game of thrones, you play to win.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Eirtakon games.

It is over. After a long weekend of volunteering Ireland's biggest Anime, Manga, Cosplay and Gaming event is finished. The gaming section was a success and thanks to the great organisation of Sinéad Cawley went off without a hitch. In my little corner of the convention, we ran the four games and held the pokemon ccg event. The games ran well and it appears I was the only GM that killed anyone. The others were either too nice or the players just rolled too well.

My Vampire game ran, it was a lot better than my playtest of the game and the players won. The setting was not your normal nWOD vampire setting, for anyone that remembers Soul Reaver and the other Legacy of Kain games for the pc and playstation welcome to Nosgoth. I set the game in the fledgling vampire nation, Kain had not yet struck out from the sanctuary of the clans to conquer the world. The party of vampires had to work together and use their unique skills to sneak a satchel of information out of a city and to meet the assembled clans. They had to do this within a time frame and to do it without letting people know there were any vampires left.
When I say the guys won, it's a little complicated. One of the party managed to sneak out of the city, avoid the guards and brought all the secret documents. The other guys.. died horribly and the city watch know vampires are back.

I think will run another scenario based on the outcome of this game, a trojan horse type scenario just before the city is raided.

So when it comes to Eirtakon next year I think there will be more games and possibly a few different slot times. What I would love to see is a whole mess of wargamers and 4 rpg slots with the ccg competitions that they have run in the past but that's not my call. Yet....

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Space Wolf Tactics: Skyclaws

Unit Name: Skyclaws
Unit Type: Fast attack Unit, 5-10 man squads of jump infantry.
Construction: Using some space wolf heads, torsos and arms from the space wolf pack sprue and an assault squad or by using jump packs with the space wolf pack sprue.

Unit Deployment: Either in reserve or behind cover.

Unit in play: Fast hitting combat unit.
Unit is most effective against: Low toughness units in close combat.
General Discussion:
Every forum I read says that a Space Wolf army has to be comprised of a limited selection of units from the codex. I don’t think that is a great way to approach building an army, firstly it makes it very easy for opponents to figure out your strategy as it’s the same as every other cookie cutter army out there and secondly it stifles inventiveness in how armies get played. What do I see Skyclaws doing in my army? To answer this question let’s look at what is said about the unit and run through all the bad and good points about it.

What does everyone say about Skyclaws?
Conventional wisdom screams that they are the poor cousin of Blood Angels and Codex Space Marines assault squads. These same voices point out that since they have lower stats for weapon skill they must be so much worse in combat. The final nail in their coffin is that they cannot shoot before charging if they do not have an attached Independent Character.
While there is a discussion to be had about Wolves versus Vanilla Marines I find comparing Blood Angels to either is like comparing apples and oranges. Blood Angels now use their assault squads as the backbone of their army, whereas the other two codices do not allow for the same strategy. The role we look at for assault marines and Skyclaws is that of close combat harriers, they aim for soft targets like troops or heavy support infantry. While they can’t always wipe out weak units in one round of combat they can do enough damage to cause them to fall back. Unfortunately neither of them is designed to deal with close combat monsters or tar pit units like a Mob of Boyz. You should use these flying brawlers not as a hammer to smash opponents but as a feint so you can slam a dirk into their side. 

What do they do badly?
Skyclaws are weak at shooting; this is their supposed fatal flaw. Their Headstrong rule will prevent you peppering the enemy before you charge unless you have an attached Independent character. Even when allowed to have a normal shooting phase the amount of fire that they can bring as a squad is not inspiring, a few pistols shots and a special weapon pack little punch.
Their weak shooting profile would be an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that this is a Space Wolves army and that the amount of heavy firepower you can bring to bear from other units should cover any shortfalls. The unit has the ability to have a single optional weapon, either a flamer, plasma gun or a meltagun. This is one major contrast with a vanilla assault squad, Skyclaws can only ever have one special weapon but they can have a greater range to choose from.
A plasma gun has no place in the squad, if you are in sight of a unit you would be better off running for cover or out of their line of sight then letting off a shot or two. If you choose the flamer you will never get to make use of it as the possible assault range is longer than the template. I would avoid the meltagun entirely, while it would seem like a good choice to take allowing you to pop heavy armour this can be done more effectively by your long fangs as at 6” you will have to forgo your shooting phase. The only way to make real use of the meltagun would be to deepstrike the unit beside a choice target. However this will leave the squad in open and unsupported, power armour is good but it cannot stop everything.
The plasma pistol is the final option and I think it has little merit in the squad due to its limited utility and points cost. So yes a unit that is designed to be all about combat is terrible at shooting and its options for ranged attack should be ignored.

You can get around the headstrong rule but only by joining an Independent Character to the unit, this is a big let-down with the Skyclaws. Bloodclaws may have an attached Wolf Guard to calm them down but despite many FAQs that option has not been extended to Skyclaws. This is a sorely missed option as you have no access to meltabombs, other useful wargear choices and a leadership bump that Wolf Guard could add to the unit.
The only independent characters are in the HQ section so let’s run through those. Wolf Lords or Battle Leaders are a waste as they should be on heavier assault squads as they offer little augmentation to the unit’s performance. Rune Priests are not a close combat unit’s friend as they offer little to improve their abilities and I find that they are hands down the worst combat unit in the army.
The recommended option is to add a Wolf Priest to the squad, this would not only let the squad shoot before charging but it would give them Fearless and Preferred Enemy against a unit type.  While all of those buffs sound great I don’t think this is the best choice for your army as you can fit in seven more Skyclaws for the price of a Wolf Priest. Fearless is now an always useful ability but since the new edition I am not sure it is worth the cost of a priest. Preferred enemy is now a waste of points, since the ranged and close combat attacks you would re-roll are much less than the attacks put out by the second unit of skyclaws you could have bought instead. As I see it take the unit by itself, it may not be fearless but it can still do a good deal of damage.

Is there anything they do well?
The assault phase is when these bad boys shine because they hit hard and get +2 attacks on the charge. Firstly let’s address the elephant in the room, the lower Weapons Skill. It actually doesn’t reduce the efficacy of the unit because you will still be rolling a 4+ to hit in most combats, the drawback is that it makes them easier to hit. The pack will take a pounding in combat against equivalent units. The fact is that by sheer weight of numbers Skyclaws will deal enough damage to the enemy to more than even up the score.
The squad has more options than bloodclaws when it comes to close combat weapons. They can take mark of the wolfen and a power fist or power weapon to improve their death dealing abilities. Mark of the wolfen in this unit is quite an asset; getting 4 to 9 rending attacks on the charge makes it well worth the investment. The other boon of this underprized gem is that it also allows the squad to make a go of taking out a 2+ save model.
The power fist is only good on the first turn as the model is back to his base single attack afterwards. The power weapon has an improved dimension this edition. Since armour is harder to crack putting an axe into a unit has distinct advantages. With an axe you would have 4 attacks on the charge with strength 5 and an ap of 2. This can let you tackle terminators and their like but the rest of the unit would be torn apart doing so. What I think might be the best option is a power maul as it gives you +2 to strength and you strike at initiative.No matter what other options you choose the mark of the wolfen is a mandatory choice.

Skyclaws are the cheapest jump pack troops in power armour you will find. For the price of a tooled out Blood Angel squad you can have 14 Skyclaws throwing out twice the number of attacks. The options they have available are limited but the ones I recommend are great value.  When it comes to jump infantry in general three are some benefits to including them in your army. Then nature of assault charges have changed to be more random, having a unit that can re-roll its charge and get an extra hit in while doing it can be very useful. This can prove important when you need to close down a unit but cannot afford to be caught in the open. The downside is that if you want the hammer of wraith and the re-roll on your charge you can only move like infantry.

The real question is should I even bother with this fast attack choice when I have the option of thunderwolves. Thunderwolves are expensive, they are hard hitting and do a lot of damage for sure but even the smallest monster wolf unit that you see being fielded is more expensive than a fully loaded squad of skyclaws. Thunderwolves fulfil a very different position to that of jump infantry and have very different limitations and abilities. While thunderwolves excel at breaking units, they do have small numbers of troops and are just as vulnerable to power weapons and the like. In general I think for a cheap option with decent points to power ratio the skyclaws are the way to go, if you want to deal with armour and heavy hitters take the thunderwolves.

 So what do I think of skyclaws? They are a decent choice, another aspect of your army and if you use them properly they can fulfil an important role. Leave the shooting to Long Fangs and Grey Hunters, these boys are here to kick ass and take names. I would use them as a reactionary force by keeping them close to the main body of your troops. The claw pack can make the lightening moves, after that they should hold the enemy for a turn which would allow you to move up the rest of your army and really tear them apart. They can also move along cover and dispute objectives in the late game which is incredibly useful considering how many games involve objectives in the current edition. If you meet the guy that brought the skyshield in his army having something that can get on top of it and do some harm is always going to be worth it. So yes I am saying it clearly, Skyclaws are a good unit.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Space Wolf Tactics: Predator Tanks

Unit Name: Predator
Unit Type: Heavy support Unit. Unit consists of one model. Construction: Using the predator kit.

Unit Deployment: Obscured or in a formation of tanks.

Unit in play: Fire support tank
Unit is most effective against: Armour/light infantry.
General Discussion:
Space Wolves recount with pride the tale of Skarath. It is a saga about their flexibility, ingenuity and how they created the annihilator pattern. From long before those lost days the iron priests have dedicated themselves to ensuring that the great companies are armed with the best tanks to crush the enemy. Do these gun carriages offer something to a space Wolf Lord in 6th edition?

What does a predator do?
Predator tanks are a fire support platform, they give you the ability to lay out a large number of shots into troops or seriously damage armour. What is a predator doing in a space wolves list you might ask? While long fangs are an interesting and excellent choice to give you fire support there are a range of situations currently where having a tank can prove advantageous. Due to the increased levels of terrain that the rulebook has tried to shoehorn into the game, having a more mobile fire platform is quite a boon. Due to the new rules a tank can move 12” and still fire all of its weapons as snap shots. In a situation where you have no units in line of sight this can be problematic for long fangs but the tank can overcome it quite easily and still make a go of shooting. Since there is a lot more mandatory night fighting in the rules this creates a boon for any player who brings a tank to the knife fight. With a search light the tank can speed forward and make an attempt at shooting before illuminating a target. If you manage to put the light on the right target in the early game this can cripple an enemy army but this is far too situational to rely on.

What armaments work best?
A predator has limited loadout options but even these options could be made effective. The tank can be built as a destructor armed with an autocannon or an annihilator with twin-linked. Coupled with the turret there are two classes of sponsons to pick from the slug chucking heavy bolters or the armour melting lazcannons. From these builds there are two types of predators, the troop killer or the tank hunter. The tank hunter is generally armed with lazcannon sponsons while the troop kilter is loaded out with the bolters.  There is a third type that should never be seen, an annihilator armed with heavy bolter sponsons. The reason the third type is never spoken of is that it manages to make itself incapable of fulfilling any role.
Since tanks are light on the field bar a few land raidars or Imperial Guard tanks, the need for a tank hunter has severely diminished. What you might think a predator can provide is something to deal with those pesky 2+ armour saves, you would be very wrong. It can punch 3 laz rounds into a terminator squad and you will average 1.5 kills a turn, that drops off rapidly with storm shields or cover saves. The few units that have a 2+ save and don’t come with an invulnerable save aren’t expensive enough to justify the cost of a tank to kill an average of two per turn when it is quite likely the tank won’t last beyond turn two.
When it comes to using the slug throwing weapons, autocannon with heavy bolter sponsons, the preadator does well at chewing light armour. If you get the ability to target a vendetta’s rear arc you can strip off a hull point but beyond armour 10 the tank isn’t impressive. When it comes to chewing through troops the tank doesn’t hit throw out enough hits to justify its cost. Even if the dice come up perfect you can only kill a maximum of 8 models a turn, usually you’ll be much lower. Going up against a squad of space marines will see 1.3 kills per round a pathetic total.

The optional extras
The optional equipment for the tank is not amazing. Extra armour is a complete waste. A hunter killer missile is a poor weapons choice if you are moving it replaces one of your main weapons and if you are stationary you are not  A dozer blade is a superfluous addition as you will never be crashing your tank through terrain to get in close to the enemy. It’s not a Baal predator with flamers and a firestorm so you have your range to work with. Even a storm bolter is a poor investment as if you are getting a weapon destroyed result you have probably gotten another hit or two and are on the verge of the vehicle dying. Save the points there are better ways to spend them, in fact that should be the motto of the day when it comes to predators.

Are tanks even worth taking anymore?
The ability to glance a tank to death has completely undermined their position on the battlefield. Just like in the modern field of warfare the role of tanks is extinct due to portable heavy weapons. The ability to strip hull points off imperial tanks is scarily easy. Even bolter fire has a chance of taking down a predator if it can hit from the rear, this makes them very fragile. Since every unit shall be toting a plasma or melta weapon if they are available to it the chance of surviving a turn up close to enemy infantry is next to impossible.
While in 5th edition you would often have a tank lumbering around after taking numerous crew shaken results this edition leaves a tank able to fire in almost every situation. I don’t see there being many situations where a tank has suffered a penetrating roll without having first suffered a few glancing hits.

So what is a predator to a space wolf, or any other space marine for that matter? Unfortunately in the new edition it is not much. The meta-game has moved away from tanks like a leprous corpse, the tank simply cannot justify its cost and has no place in an army as things stand. Any tank with armour 10 anywhere on its hull is not going to last long in the battles of 6th edition and only av 14 or flyers will be touching the board in a GT list beyond a few guard armies. The number of outflanking units in the game has grown which leaves your flanks terribly weak. I would take the points that you would spend on a predator and use them to take the best heavy support option for the Space Wolves, Long Fangs. For the cost of a “decent” predator you could have a unit of heavy bolter long fangs which can pump out twice the hits and at two targets. Leave the tanks at home and just use men from now on.