Assault troops of some sort of other are common to almost every army in Warhammer 40K. The raison d’etre of assault troops is to be simple, easy to deploy fighting machines, with little in the way of complexity or subtlety. They are great for diverting the enemy’s attention away from something devious you are doing on the battlefield; busy them by forcing them to deal with your assault teams and you can get a lot done in the meantime. Oddly, however, a standard assault team appears to be lacking among the Warhammer Space Wolves. The nearest equivalent among the Space Wolves’ ranks are those units known as the Blood Claws.
Unusual among the various chapters in Warhammer 40K is the Space Wolves’ attitude towards younger recruits. According to the chapter’s story, the greenest are simply send into battle as Blood Claws, and as a result you cannot expect them to be elite warriors by any stretch of the imagination. However, the Blood Claws are not about skill or dexterity so much as overwhelming the enemy with a ferocious charge. You can have up to fifteen Blood Claws in a squad and a quick, merciless strike from these is not what any player wants to see heading for them.
The main purpose of the Blood Claws in the game is close-quarters combat. Their shooting range is quite meager, given their armament of bolt pistols, and their accuracy is not stellar either. However, in terms of straightforward melee combat they are hard to beat; getting two attacks on each charge is difficult to argue with, for example.
The Space Wolves can make the most of the Blood Claws, despite their lack of experience, by carefully deploying them where they are most needed and where their advantages will shine through. The correct use of these units can utterly devastate your opponent’s army, and he or she will not likely forget it in a hurry.