Since my UO currently told me enthusiastically about having purchased some wolf cavalry
, I have to get my mind back again on the topic.
Actually the restriction of one unit of 5 is just due to its rarity (according to current lore) and to remove the possibility of seeing a large mounted army.
Edit2: I have changed my mind, adding Thunderwolves as an option is a good way of dealing with them, they may then only take additional assault weapons and/or buy a Stormshield for 10 pts. The wolves cost 37 pts. (3 pts. discount due to having a wasted Bolter).
I also want to keep the Bolter WG come with from wasting 3 pts. and remove the special/heavy weapons option.
I don't see the Bolter being wasted. Why not leave the option for taking special weapons and have a very reliable bike unit on wolves instead of bikes? (No skidturns, no falling off a moving vehicle, no sideeffects if bike blows up etc.)
I wanted to lower the WS to 4 but nothing is finalized as of yet, with I 4 they could get a thematic scent ability (spot hidden models in thrice the I range).
I also think 30 points is too cheap and intend to make it 40, Juggernaut costs 50 and is slower, I know, but with W 3 and especially the Daemonic Aura its will not leave the model on foot so easily. Juggernaut has no dismount penalty and I want to keep it simple, although the idea is quite funny and could lead to one of those typical 2nd Ed. crashes.
The Stormshield is imo fine, since it removes the possibility of A 2 (he still gets it if he attacks after his mount but then he puts it into jeopardy).
Thunderwolves: M 9, WS 4, BS 0, S 5, T 5, W 2, I 4, A 2, LD 6
Costs: 40 pts.
Scent: Spot hidden models in triple I range
That scent ability adds neatly to the fluff.
Pounce: + 2 on WS while charging (maybe lowering WS to 3, although I don't like that)
I don't see why the wolves should get another boon in HtH.
May break from HtH freely if engaged with non monstrous targets/Dreadnoughts, according to standard rules for breaking off (Codex Chaos page 65).
They do not have neither the size nor the bulk of a juggernaut and should, with the exception of Fangris, not be able to pull that trick.
Optional: Rend, attacks deal D3 damage (lower T to 4 to compensate)
That makes them badass charakter-/monsterkillers. I just do not like them being that far better than their riders.
Edit: According to lore, their fur is as strong as steel, maybe they could get a 4+ or 5+ save (not much but it might help).
Yep. 5+ save sounds fine to me.
Final question: Do they count as vehicles or infantry for choosing the target rules? I would say the former.
According to your intention of making them monstrous in HtH, you should count them as monstrous targets when firing at them, too.
If seeing them not as monstrous, since cavalry per se is not a category of its own, we stay with your principle of keeping things simple and categorize them as infantry, adding to their chances of survival when fired at.
(Q): Are Wolf Guards allowed to ride a Thunderwolf and wear Terminator Armour?
(A): No! (SQ)
With all those changes in mind, I'm still thinking of making them cavalry W 1, as I see them more as an alternative for taking bikes rather than monstrous cavalry. This would also solve some issues (Squad coherency when wolf is slain, mount being much better than WG rider etc.), while on the other hand make Carnis Wolfborne and Fangris something special and not being one amongst many.
So, maybe this:
Wolfguards may choose to ride a Thunderwolf at a cost of 32 pts./model
Thunderwolves: M 9, WS 4, BS 0, S 5, T 5, W 1, I 4, A 2, LD 6
Cavalry, Scent (triple I when detecting hidden enemies), Rider may take Stormshield at 10pts., Fear, Ferocious: When charging, Thunderwolves add an additional +1A. (This is to counter the fact, the rider does NOT get a save bonus fro his mount)
This setup increases the already excellent HtH abilities and adds to the speed of the Wolfguard without turning them into a killer unit.