I've been thinking a little about the space wolves and the emperors disciples. It all started when the new SW models we're released and I started thinking about the wolves as an army, not a new army but as a replacement for the Imperial Fists based disciples. I had thought about this in the past but had dismissed it as I thought that SW's were a little to unique to really build anything other than a space wolves great company, something I didn't want to do as it does limit you a great deal in what you can do, both in terms of models and paint scheme. However, with the new releases I though I would have another look.
My thoughts revolved around changing the fluff slightly to base the army on the SW codex rather than the vanilla marine codex, now I know that the wolves don't have any successor chapters so it would just be a chapter of unknown origin. Also I would have kept away from all of the units unique to the wolves, such as the thunder wolf Calvary and lone wolves and also from the special characters, such as Ragnar and Bjorn, sticking to the more generic units and hq choices, such as using a Wolf Guard as a Captain.
My interest was originally peaked by the new Blood Claw box of 15 models and all the options in the box, including bolters. Great, I thought, 15 man tac squads with bolters, just what the disciples would love, massed fire power. Ok, so you'd loose bolter drill but you'd gain 5 extra bolters, so I think it would work well, if blood claws can actually take bolters, which according to the codex, they can't. So that was one spanner in the works, the second being that they are only bs3. This means that even with the extra shots, there would be roughly the same number of hits. So, no advantage other than bodies, which, while useful isn't really enough of a reason to change a whole army for.
The other issue was that SW's don't have any form of Sternguard, which form a central part of my force at the moment. They have Vanguard equivalents in the form of Wolf Guard packs, as they are able to take all of the options for melee weapons and also jump packs, but there are no units within the SW codex that can take special ammunition, which is something that I'm not willing to loose.
So the more I looked into the whole SW's thing the more I found that it wasn't really going to work for the Disciples. Sure there were a few good things in there, such as Grey hunters being able to take in extra CCW, always handy for those times you get in to combat, ad also Long Fangs, I means who wouldn't like an extra heavy weapon in a Devastator squad. The fact that you can take them from just a Sgt and one Long Fang is also good, as it gives you a lot of flexibility, more so than combat squading the Dev squads and at a lot less cost. For the Disciples having the option to take smaller teams would mean that I wouldn't have to max out the Las/Plasma Dev squad to split the weapons, I'd just take two units of 3 Long Fangs, and same the rest of the points for other units.
So after some deliberation, by which I mean, the length of time it took me to find the Blood Claws entry and find that their BS3 and cant take bolters, I have decided to continue on with the plan as is. Which is probably not a bad thing.