Wolf Scouts are a specialised unit only found within the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter. They are comparable to the Scout Marines of Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters though the ranks of the Wolf Scouts are culled from Veteran Space Wolves not the Neophytes that are commonly used by other Chapters.
They are usually made up of warriors who shun the close-knit and boisterous brotherhood of the Pack (squad) which is not well suited to their personality, for they yearn for the open spaces and isolation of the tundra of Fenris. It is said that these individuals are touched by Lokyar, the Great Lone Wolf. Finding it difficult to abide the trappings of civilisation, these warriors are generally taciturn, fierce and unforgiving.
Fenrisians are usually a very sociable and gregarious lot, but there are those amongst them that find it difficult to live with the trappings of civilisation, even the rough and ready form epitomised by the Space Wolves. They are never truly happy unless they are roaming under the open sky with the scent of prey and the promise of bloodshed hanging heavy in the air. When such individuals are inducted into the brotherhood of the Vlka Fenryka (Space Wolves), they do not easily share in the camaraderie of their fellow warriors. For it is said that the Canis Helix breeds a silent, brooding demeanour and a murderous streak within their cold hearts. Though they are unsuited to the bonds of Astartes brotherhood formed by a traditional Pack, they are nevertheless invaluable, for their sly cunning makes them superlative hunters and trackers of unsurpassed skill. These individuals are grim and individualistic, and possess a disdain for civility and its trappings that makes other Space Wolves appear positively well-mannered in comparison. Those touched in this way are identified by the Wolf Priests and taken from their Veteran Grey Hunter Packs, though many are singled out long before then, and watched from afar until the time is right to mark them out for their special role.
In most Chapters, new Space Marines are initiated into the Scout Company and only once they have proven themselves do they become fully-fledged Astartes. Not so in the Space Wolves, for Wolf Scouts are usually chosen from the ranks of the Veteran Grey Hunters. A Wolf Priest will often spot a potential candidate for the Wolf Scouts long before they cut their teeth in the ranks of the Great Companies, but these young warriors must learn the lessons of warfare just like their contemporaries before being rewarded with the independence of the Wolf Scout.
Only when the individual has proven his worthiness in the Grey Hunters is he granted a place amongst the Wolf Scouts, for there he will need every ounce of the skill he has gained thus far. Alongside others of a like disposition, the Wolf Scout learns the arts of stealth, patience, infiltration, and assassination. Alone or in loose packs, they range ahead of Space Wolves battle forces, tracking the foe, disrupting his movements and reporting strengths and deployments back to the main force. As the strike force closes, the Wolf Scouts strike at the enemy’s rear, cutting off his escape, severing his supply chain and disrupting his ability to react. Thus pinned by the Wolf Scouts, it is the enemy’s fate to be torn asunder by the savage main force of the Space Wolves.
The weapons employed by the Wolf Scouts are deadly bladed combat knives and modified Bolt Pistols with which to slay foes who cannot be despatched stealthily with a blade. Sometimes a Wolf Scout Pack is equipped with rare and priceless Plasma Pistols, enabling them to take out armoured targets. But the true weapons of a Wolf Scout Pack are patience, stamina, cunning and, above all else, stealth. Wolf Scout Packs operate far in advance of the main battlelines of their Battle-Brothers, sniffing out their foes, sneaking into fortified positions and stalking and killing isolated elements of the enemy army. Oftentimes, a foe has underestimated the Space Wolves, expecting a frontal assault when all the while the silent blades of the Wolf Scouts cut off the enemy's escape routes and supply lines.
Occasionally, a Wolf Scout grows so far apart from even his fellow outcasts that he feels the need to wander not miles from his Chapter, but light years from it. He yearns to tread the wild, far-flung places beyond the frontiers of the Imperium, to discover and defeat enemies for which Mankind yet has no name. Fortunately, the Wolf Priests are able to recognise such a condition, and recommend the Wolf Scout for service in the Deathwatch.
Undertaking the Long Watch is an appropriate duty for some Wolf Scouts, for their finely honed tracking skills are well-suited to a Kill-team. In addition, the Wolf Scout’s immediate peers are limited to the handful of Battle-Brothers in his Kill-team, and he rarely has need to interact with others if he chooses not to. Most Wolf Scouts are well able to serve in such conditions, and while they may never display any affection for their peers, they will gladly lay down their lives to protect them.
- Scout Armour - Under most circumstances, Wolf Scouts eschew their Power Armour in favour of the Carapace Armour and duracloth panoply commonly used by Scouts and Neophytes in other Chapters. This armour, known as the "Raiment of the Silent Wolf," is a variant of standard Carapace Armour that offers protection while at the same time is well-suited for stealth and skirmishing. It is both lighter and less-encumbering than the typical Power Armour worn by the Wolf Scouts' fellow Battle-Brothers. However, the rites and rituals of the Deathwatch, and the diverse missions that a Kill-team may be called upon to perform, do sometimes require the potency of standard Astartes warplate. As a result, a Wolf Scout may choose between that and his Scout Armour at the beginning of every mission. In most cases, a Wolf Scout is better suited to roaming ahead of his team, performing reconnaissance, sabotage and assassination work while they engage heavier targets and work to achieve more overt objectives.
- Stalker Pattern Silenced Bolt Pistol - The Bolt Pistols used by Wolf Scouts are a modified version of the common Godwyn Pattern in use by Astartes across the Imperium. Fitted with a suppressor unit to dampen its sound and muzzle flash, and an optical sight to augment the user’s aim, the Stalker Pattern Bolt Pistol is intended for the sort of covert operations performed by Wolf Scouts.
- Astartes Combat Knife - This large knife -- easily the size of a normal human’s sword -- holds a mono-molecular edge that never dulls, even through centuries of service. In some Chapters Combat Knives are passed down through the generations, with the deeds of their owners etched upon them. In others, the forging of metal into blade is simultaneous with the forging of a Neophyte into a Space Marine, and his Combat Knife is laid to rest when he is.
- Close Combat Weapon, choice of Plasma Pistol, Flamer, Meltagun or Power Weapon
- Optional Heavy Weapon, choice of Heavy Bolter or Missile Launcher
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
Notable Wolf Scouts
- Haakon "Blackwing" Gylfasson - Gylfasson was a Wolf Scout of the Space Wolves during the 32nd Millennium. He did not speak like a typical Space Marine, and had none of the overt, bristling threat about him that most Astartes did. His colouring was dark, and his facial hair thick and matted. He was slighter than most Pack members, even when kitted out in his full array of Scout Carapace Armour. He was left behind on void duty in command of the Scout Ship Nauro when the entirety of his Chapter, under the command of Great Wolf Harek Ironhelm, departed to confront the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion on Gangava. When the Thousand Sons appeared in-system with a sizable attack fleet to unleash the First Battle of The Fang, he was ordered to flee the system to bring word to the Great Wolf of the attack on Fenris by the Thousand Sons, and successfully accomplished this mission, thus saving the Space Wolves' homeworld.
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pp. 27, 88
- Codex: Space Wolves (3rd Edition), pg. 9
- Codex: Space Wolves (2nd Edition), pp. 14, 46
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 156, 160
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pp. 59-61