Monday, October 17, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: All the Dreadnoughts

I've always loved dreadnoughts. Space Marine undead fighting beyond their death in an armored sarcophagus bristling with with heavy weapons and massive hth weapons.

From a fluff perspective, they are a little odd in a Raven Guard army. If they are older vets, they are probably Terran and were likely sent off with the Carcharodons or Ashen claws. If they were post Terran purge, they were lost on Istavan V unless they left some on deliverance. If they were post drop site massacre they are a bit of an oddity.

From a tactics perspective, they don't really fit with an infiltrating force but they fit in a drop force or if you are doing an air force.With that in mind, this article won't be an indepth unit review but instead will focus on what I've used or played against and what I think works best for Raven Guard.

Legion Dreadnought Talon:

  • This is the classic boxnaught. Interestingly, they can be taken in squads of 3 that split up and act independently OR you can take a single dread and take a Legion Dread Pod as a dedicated drop pod. Frankly, there is not much reason to take these. They are only 10 points cheaper than the Contemptor-Cortus Class Dread, which does everything better.

Legion Mortis Dreadnought: 
  • This is your rear guard anti air option. The Helical targeting Array opens up skyfire and interceptor. The obvious choice is 2 twin-linked auto cannons and 2 hunter kill missiles with unlimited range. Note that this is more fire power than you can get for a contemptor version and it's cheaper. 

Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought:
  • I really like the 2 twin kheres assault cannons. It's a ton of dakka that threatens just about everything. You could use this as an anti air platform but it really just more expensive and let dakka than the mortis dread alternative. It should be mentioned that you have to use skyfire and interceptor together... so something like multi meltas aren't as interesting as they originally look. This is pretty much the only dread I would recommend that is walking and not anti air. 

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon: 

  • In other legions, these are your rear guard or mid field contemptors. They are resilient, have good armament options and can be good counter charge units. In a Raven Guard list, they are solid in a drop pod. The trick is to take 2 Dread CCWs or a chain fist and replaces the inbuilt twin-linked bolter with graviton guns. Not only are they a way to get some serious hurt on a Spartan Turn 1 they force your opponent to have to deal with something nasty up in there grill. 

Contemptor-Cortus Class Dreadnought Talon: 

  • For 40 pts less you can field a contemptor with one less side armor, atomic shielding in the front only, no 6+ in hth, and 1 less pip of BS and WS. BUT you still can take 2 dread ccws and 2 graviton guns and you pick up move through cover and atomic overcharge. So in short, the cortus is a glass cannon version of the contemptor. Truthfully, it's just nice to have the option when your trying to fit one of these beasts in a smaller list, but in general I try to take the full contemptor version. 

Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought: (Did anyone else think Mad Cat when they released this?)

  • This is your long range contemptor. It has a lot of weapon options that are viable, but at the end of the day Raven Guard are always looking to close the gap on tank hunting. I prefer the stand anvilus autocannon battery over the lascannons. The lascannons are fairly solid, but 50 pts is a lot of extra points  to upgrade an already very good gun. It's also worth mentioning the aiolos missile launcher. While it's not a necessary upgrade, it can fire at it's own unit, so really the question is, would you pay 35 pts for 3 60" S6 Ap3 BS5 shots that ignore intervening obstacles? So yeah... it's usually an auto include.  
Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought Talon: 

  • I bought this bad boy to run when I field Dynat with my infiltrated Raven guard. (booo hisss). In that scenerio, I run a seige drill with the cyclonic melta lance. As a Raven Guard unit, I actually like it with the grav-flux bombard. The Grav-flux is the absolute king of gutting rapier platforms. So if you are running an infantry heavy list, you can rid yourself of a rapier unit turn one and draw a crap ton of fire away from the rest of your army. In all honesty, I haven't decided my favorite build is yet. It does a lot of everything. There is a lot of love for the phosphex launcher as well, which is a worthy upgrade for 15 pt if you are planning on smashing into HTH. The 2 storm cannons, volites and sposphex is a popular build as well, but I feel the hth helps Raven guard out more than other legion. In the past I always preferred 2 contemptors in pods. Now with the increase in pods, that gets quite expensive. All that said, I wish I could upgrade the flamers with grav guns! 


First off, Dreads are pretty good anti air units, so if you are looking to rules the skies, you can often get cheaper more effective, more resilient anti air in the form of a dread than you can out of most aircraft or other options. So they are nice way to make airforce lists better and they are units that start on the board, so you don't auto lost before the birds come on. This is the only time I would ever take dreads not in a Pod. 

That said, my biggest challenge building Raven Guard list is deal with armor. Raven Guard have LOTS of very strong anti infantry options, but when it comes to anti tank we are limited because most anti tank units don't really have much synergy with the Raven Guard rules. 

Dreads fall in this category. As they don't infiltrate, they don't get the benefit that infantry based anti tank gets out of positioning after your enemies deployment. BUT they do have synergy with some Raven Guard army genres, like drop pod heavy decapitation strike or orbital strike. And they can take advantage of reduced scatter from vox's scattered through out your infiltrate units or from something like Alvarex Maun. 

Another distinction is that Raven Guard don't have any way to get mass tank hunter or effects like Dynat, so most of my armies focus on stripping hull points away with grav or the like for tank hunting instead of relying on high strength, low AP weapons. Not that those weapons are ineffective, but other legions do it better... 

On the thread of grav, you need a couple units toting grav for it to be effective and the haywire combo of grav rapiers, breachers, speeders, forgelords, lightnings and dreads can work really well if you invest in the concept. 

It should also be mentioned that Contemptors are spectacular because AV13 is immune to krak grenades. So even if you don't do damage with contemptors, they can tie a lot units up nearly indefinitely. We you mix that concept with Alpha strike, you are basically killing a big chunk of your opponent so they can shoot back and then tying up another big chunk so they can't fight back. This makes Raven Guard as a legion, much more resilient than they would initially look on paper. It also means you can keep a unit locked into a spot so you can hit them with a unit of dark fury or something made for infantry clearing.  

It's also worth mentioning HTH. Raven Guard don;t really have great HTH characters that can go toe to toe with other Legions HTH characters. We generally try to shoot them to death. Dreads on the other hand can often just oblit most characters. While it seems unlikely that you could force this situation, I actually find that it happens often. Consider frying a retnue with flamer mor deythan in the proximity of where you dropped in a dread. It's like the character will be standing in the open ready to be charged.

Finally, with the recent change to drop pods, I would suggest always taking a anvillus pattern dreadclaw drop pod over the legion dreadnought drop pod. It's just better and gives you more options for 15 more points. That said, leviathans are forced to take the standard legion dreadnought drop pods. Beyond pods, you have a couple super heavy options, which is awesome but is definately only viable at huge point costs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Kaedes Nex

Kaedes Nex. The Blood Crow. A condemned infamous murderer, obsessed with the Hunt. Corax pardoned him and invited him to become a Raven Guard Legionary. Still he was seen as an ill-omen by his brethren, even though his murder-honed skills were employed regularly in Corax's shadow wars.

Kaedes was a Moritat-Prime, deployed on Isstvan V. He vanished into the wastes to stalk traitors on his own terms. Nothing has been heard of him since.

War Gear: 

The first thing that should be noticed is that Nex doesn't have Rad grenades... This is a huge loss IMO, but he makes up for it by having a good grenade selection.
  • Two Fulcrum Hand Cannons: 
    • 18" S4, AP4, Pistol, Rending, Concussive
    • At first glance, it's not a great weapon... Sure. It has potential, but it's no melta pistol. That said, one thing often overlooked is the 18" range. Models can only shoot what they can see. So with careful placement, you can pick off one or models a turn off a unit and they can't do anything about it without running your ass down. This is how I usually use Nex. 
  • Grenades: 
    • Frag, Krak, Shroud Bombs, Melta Bombs
    • This is an awesome amount of choice. I will go into most of these later, but remember that if for whatever reason you can't shoot some turn, feel free to throw a krak grenade ;)
  • Armor: 
    • Power armor, refractor field, cameoline
    • In general, this makes Nex pretty resilient to shooting, but remember he only has 2 wounds...

Special Rules:
Sooo many rules! And layers of rules! That said, his rules are actually stronger when you realize what they are NOT. He does not have the Lone Killer rule and is not "infiltrated" (usually). Which opens up a lot of possibilities usually looked over.
  • Raven Guard: 
    • Infiltrate & Fleet - Easily overlooked, but should your opponent not deploy an elite or HQ you can still infiltrate and normal or even outflank. 
  • Counter Attack: 
    • USR
  • Ill-Omened: 
    • Cannot be a warlord or join any unit. 
    • Note: This is not Lone Killer. Nex can benefit from psychic powers or anything else that can give him re-rolls to hit, which is important with Decapitating Strike, since he picks up preferred enemy (independent character). 
  • Gunfighter:
    • Can use the Fulcrum hand Cannons in HTH with the full stats and they count as 2 ccws. This is a nice little pick up for HTH.  
  • Independant Character:
    • I'm at a loss as to why he has this rule... 
  • Chain Fire:
    • Gains the Gunslinger rule, which allows Nex to fire with both pistols at once.
    • For every successful hit, from either pistol, Nex gets an additional shot with that pistol up to a total of 12 combined hits. 
    • You may not charge the turn you use this rule or shoot the next turn (i.e. Player Turn). Which RAW means you cannot overwatch if you are charged next turn, but you can totally Chain Fire in each of your shooting phases. To be fair, I don't think this is what they meant... but thems the rules. 
  • Precision Shot: 
    • Being able to allocated who takes wounds can be a strong rule, especially if you are hunting a specific model. In general though, you usually want to try to make sure you don't get tanked by a artificer armor sgt by thinking your positioning out in the movement phase. 
  • Relentless Stalker: 
    • Select an Elite or HQ a your prey. Deploy WITHIN 18" of this unit, as long as he is out of view. Realize that this IS NOT INFILTRATE!!! So things like Djinn site or auspex don't push you back. It's a hugely powerful rule. It also means, that you can complete turn 1 charge! 
    • Gains Shrouded for turn 1. So with Cameoline, you are pretty much a 2+ in cover. 
  • The Raven's Vengeance:
    • Zealot - Overlooked, but Nex is fearless and re rolls hit on the turn he charges or is charged. It also means that he re rolls to hit with grenades. Good thing to remember with your melta bombs! 
    • IF prey is destroyed AND Nex is either involved in the combat OR has caused a wound on the unit, an additional VP is scored. 
Putting it altogether: 

It's a ton of rules to digest, but basically you can deploy Nex anywhere near an Elite or HQ unit. He is fairly resilient with a 3+/5++ and cover save 2+ to shooting, but pretty vulnerable to being charged. 
  • Shooting Damage Output: You are usually going to be hitting on a 2+ rerollable in the shooting phase. Statistically, that means you should hit the 12 hit cap and with rerolling 1's from preferred enemy, you should see 9 wounds with 2 or 3 rends, a couple of those shots are probably precision hits as well. So basically 4 dead marines... 
  • HTH Damage Output: 5 attacks on the charge with re roll 3+ from Zealot and WS5 means you will likely hit with 4 or 5 attacks, and preferred enemy Strength 4 rending likely gives you 3 wounds and a rend. 
I'm not being very accurate on purpose here, but trying to present a GOOD case scenario to point out that with the 12 hit cap, you really don't have much opportunity to do much damage. 

So is he any good after the nerf???? Well it depends how you use him...

  • Basic Tactics: 
    • HIDE: 
      • As a single model with a 3+/5++ and a 2+ cover, you can usually find spots to put him that he is completely untargetable. So he is actually useful in heavy reserve lists where you need to keep something alive until the reinforcements arrive. Good for Drop pod heavy decap strike or orbital assault lists. 
    • Tarpit: 
      • Nex is not a beast in hth, but he is resilient enough to charge a heavy support squad and keep them from shooting for awhile. 
    • Bait: 
      • In KP missions a single guy is often tempting to try to run down to catch that easy VP, but he's resilient enough to draw a bit of firepower. Also remember, that they have to pass a leadership check to charge you AND you can completely chainfire during overwatch, and you have counter-charge. Altogether, you might convince a unit to come deal with you and tie them up long enough that they don;t make it back to the battle again. 
    • Tank Hunter: 
      • Often overlooked, but a re roll to hit melta bomb can be the real deal. Considering a fair amount of elites are vehicles, you could easily deploy an inch away from a vehicle and pop it with a turn one charge. Hope you are good at roll on the Pen table ;) Also, remember that you don't have to chain fire your guns, you might get lucky on rear armor with rending pistol shot. 
    • Distraction:
      • If you are running a list with a TON of in your face distractions, Nex can add to that madness. I like him in a pride of the legion list I was running with all vets with fearless and melta bombs (before they changed them to stubborn). My enemy would focus so much on Nex, it left my vets less harassed. 
  • Rites of War:
    • Decapitating Strike:
      • Usually it's thrown out there that Decap Strike adds a lot to Kaedes. Yes. Preferred enemy IC is a great rule on top of Chain fire and Rending, but really you aren't truly going to do huge damage. That said, goign first is actually very helpful if you plan to use Nex aggressively. 
    • Liberation Force: 
      • I think this ROW is really where the rubber meets the road. In short, you get D3 VPs for killing your opponent's Warlord in this ROW. So if you manage to wound there warlord with Nex in the same turn you are looking at an additional +1 VP. PLUS you still get the 1 VP for slay the warlord and if it's a KP mission you might get another VP for killing a unit. It's an insane amount of extra KPs to pick up, and is a totally whack fun Head Hunter list to pull out occasionally. To pull this off though, you can't just send in Kaedes alone. You are best off softening up a unit that an HQ is hiding in or killing off an HQ with other units after Nex has wounded it. So he's much more successful with units like mor deythan in rhinos or seekers in drop pods. Or serious tank support to crack open tough transports. 
      • For more on the Liberation Force check out my article on here.  
As a final thought, I have used the callidus assassin for years and years in 40k. She is similar in that she can be very flexible and distracting but is rarely a wrecking ball on her own. To be successful with with this type of model, I suggest you think about it like trading a bishop in chess. The worth of the trade is what you are getting for it. Nex will die if over committed or over exposed. So two ways to get more out of him is to give him support and to chose your moments carefully. 

With Raven Guard, I often Alpha Strike very hard, but by the end of the game, I am left with very few minis holding objectives. Nex is so easy to hide, he can be a great end game spoiler unit near objectives. 

It should also be mentioned, that you don't need to push all your chips in when you use him. I have a lot of success chipping away at units one or two models a turn. If you kill all the models that can see you, they can't shoot you back without moving... 18" is pretty generous range for pistols, and couple minis a turn starts to add up against rear units, that really don't want to move to deal with you. 

Finally, it's sometimes just better to out flank him or just hide him for the entire game. Don't risk his KPs if you are not going to come out ahead in the trade. 

Raven Guard 30K: Alvarex Maun

Bad Ass Strike Captain Alvarex Maun. The Master of Descent for the ENTIRE LEGION and second only to Corax. He single handled deployed the entire legion at the Dropsite Massacre on Istavan V. 

For a long time I thought of him as a cheap praetor, but really he is a delgatus with a special vox and the bleeding edge rule. If you do out the points he's actually costed pretty appropriately, but his rules have such amazing synergy with so many builds he quickly feels like you are underpaying for this guys and he is considerably cheaper than running a praetor. 

So what do you get for 140 points?

War Gear:

Alvarex is not a front line combatant, his stats are that of a consul with a leadership of 10 and his wargear adds only minimal amount of combat ability to a squad. That said, he is an amazing force multiplier and his war gear reflects that. 
  • Artificer Armor
    • 2+ save. This helps against getting sniped out of a squad and it can also be useful for challenging squad seargents or occasionally tanking incoming fire.  
  • Power Sword & bolt Pistol 
    • Again, Not over the top powerful, but he does have 2 ccws and 3 attacks base with WS5. So he can reasonably protect a squad against a power armor unit, just don't think you are going to last long against anything geared up for hand to hand. 
  • Krak & Frag Grenades
  • Night Fall Pattern Strato-Vox
    • No scatter deep strike within 18" of Alvarex
    • Raven Guard deploying from deep striking vehicles gain counter charge
    • Barrage weapons can use Alvarex's line of sight
  • Cameoline:
    • Interestingly, nothing in 30k restricts you from taking legion specific gear for special characters. Camo, extends stealth to any unit he joins. For 5+ I would never leave home without it. 

Dedicated Transport:

I like the idea that Maun basically has a bat cave of vehicles for him to choose from! Before you get over excited about this, from a pure RAW perspective, Maun can't actually bring another squad with him in any of these vehicles... It's one of those 7th ed, someone screwed the pouch when they wrote the rules things... but basically it's very clear that Independent characters can join squads and their dedicated transports, but there is no recipricol rule. In general, most people will be fine with you throw a squad in, but know that in a tourney scenario, you might get called on it. 
  • May take a drop pod, dark wing or storm eagle. The big thing to note on this, that should you be able to take a squad with Maun, this would be one of the only ways to get a mor deythan flamer squad a pod. 
  • He also has / had his own personal Thunderhawk, but sadly it's not a dedicated transport choice! That said, in his fluff he landing the flaming wreck of his Thunderhawk that got shot out of the sky as he tried to rescue Corax. His heroic flying ultimately saved Corax from an early grave. 

Special Rules:

  • Independent Character
    • While Maun has some cool alternative deployment rules, I start him on the board 99% of the time, largely to re roll seize the initiative roles, but also to help with turn 2 reserves and deepstrike scatters. Should you have him in reserves in something other than a turn 1 drop pod, he won't be on the board to help with turn 2 rolls. 
  • Master of the Legion 
    • This is very important. He is basically your praetor or delegatus alternative. I think he pairs best with Decapitating Strike or Orbital Assault, but he shouldn't be over looked in other lists that are flier or deep strike heavy, like Angel's Wrath. 
  • By Wing & By Claw
    • Fleet & Infiltrate - Which is important, so he can attach to other infiltrating squads. 
  • The Bleeding Edge 
    • If in a vehicle with deep strike: Auto Deep strike turn 2
    • If deployed: Re roll Seize the Initiative rolls
  • Co-Ordinate Planet Strike (Warlord Trait)
    • Fliers & Drop pods re roll reserve rolls

While there are a ton of list Alvarex is good in, he basically has two major list builds.

  1. Alpha Strike: Fielding Maun in a decapitating strike list lets you re roll the die for go first & the steal the initiative roll, which basically mean you go first 87% of the time if your opponent doesn't have any "go first" special rules. Combine that with an entire army that can set up with infiltrate after your opponent has deployed and/or with turn drop pods and you have a VERY good chance that you can remove a sizable chunk of your opponents army before they get to shoot back. This is even crazier since Raven Guard can field units like mor deythan with combi flamers that can easily remove 20 man squads of the table with rending, cover ignoring, twin linked flamers. Focus on units that do strong upfront damage and are on the table turn 1 to max out this beast of a list. Every thing from grav rapier platforms. breachers with vigilators, special weapons centric squads in pods, mor deythan in rhinos, deepstrike speeder or contemptors to typhons can be deadly is a list like this. 
  2. Deep Strikers: In short, fliers and drop pods re roll reserves and deepstrikers within 18" of alvarex (i.e. a 36" circle!!!!) don't scatter and units that arrive in deep striking vehicles get counter strike. That's a lot extra control over of some pretty random game rules! You want to go flier crazy? Maun is your man! You want to go drop pod heavy? Maun is your man! You want to go deep striking termi or jump pack heavy? Maun is your Man! Ther are way to many options to basically cover here, but you get the idea.
On a final note, alpha strike lists and deep strike lists don't have to be 2 totally different list types. They actually have a lot of synergy. In fact, most list you see Raven Guard players play are a blend and for good reasons. You basically get to mix different timing signatures. for example, if you go flier heavy, it might make sense to add an alpha strike element that can knock out anti air units turn one so your flier come in unmolested. Maun is perfect for list concepts along those lines. 

I use Maun in almost every competitive list I play. He's that good as a force multiplier, but he also adds to much to so many builds that it's hard not to want to include him. The obvious ROW would be something like a Recon ROW list where a lot of rules are already duplicated or a Angel's wrath list that is jumper heavy where a hth praetor or corax probably makes more sense. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Battle for Terra: The Emperor State - NYC 30K Campaign: Phase 2

The battle rages on for the Battle for Terra: The Emperor State, a 30k summer campaign!

To see Phase I missions visit here.

The Warmongers NYC are currently battling over NYC in the grim dark year of 0014.M30.

Legion lists are currently at 1850 pts. Factions will capture and hold territories giving armies access to dark arsenals, relics, battle boons, prizes, bragging rights and much more!

Battles can be played anywhere you want and it's free to join. Our goal is to build a rabid 30K community of Legions!!!

Sign Up Now!

The Rules


Missions: Phase II


  • Nu Brand Gaming 
  • 194 31st Street
  • Brooklyn, NY

Just off the 36th street stop for the D,N or R train

Battle for Terra: The Emperor State: Raven Guard vs. Thousand Sons: 2000pts

This summer, The NYC Warmonger's Club is running an 30K summer campaign. Awesome rules can be found here.

In this game we fight for the Financial District.

Raven Guard vs. Thousand Sons: 2000 pts.

The mission was War of Lies:
  • 1 VP for each unit killed
  • X VPs for objectives
    • 1 - No VPs
    • 2,3 - 1 VP
    • 4 - 2 VPs
    • 5 - 3 VPs
    • 6 - Subtract D3 VPs
  • 1 VP for slay the warlord

Name: Financial District
Strategic Value: 2

Special Rules:  

Bull / Bear Market - 
At the beginning of every game turn roll a D6.
1-3 = Bear Market! Re Roll all 6's
4-6 = Bull Market! Re Roll all 1's

Raven Guard: Angel's Wrath: 2000 pts
  • Preator, paragon blade, jump pack, iron halo
  • Chaplain, power axes, boarding shield, camo, melta bombs
  • 20 Assault marines, melta bombs, 4 power axes, SGT w. artificer armor and power axe
  • 10 Assault marines 
  • 10 Dark Fury, Chooser with melta bombs
  • 10 Dark Fury, Chooser with melta bombs
  • 3 apothecaries w. jump packs
  • Fire Raptor w. reaper autocannons and hellstrike
  • I decided to try out a jump list, interpreting the Raven Guard rules that jumpers don't get infiltrate. I believe that RAW they do, but it was a friendly game so I wanted to try out the RIA interpretation and see how the army performed.
  • We also are not using the trial 40K FAQs, so melta bomb spams is a viable tank hunting option in this game. 

Thousand Sons: 2000 pts w. universal stubborn rule
  • Siege Breaker 
  • 10 vets in a rhino
  • 10 vets in a rhino
  • 5 plasma tacs
  • land Raider achilles
  • 2 rapier cannons with phosphex and shatte shells 
  • 10 heavy support with missile launchers w flak 
  • Lightning, kraken missiles, +1 armor and strafing run and tank hunter


We rolled search and destroy, which is basically corner deployment with a 18" diameter no deploy one in the middle of the table.
  • The objectives are a hell of a crap shoot in this mission. Thus we both deployed them centrally with the idea that we could grab them if we need them. 
  • Raven Guard deployed first. The board had a fair amount of terrain, I basically deployed as forward as possible with the praetor, chaplain, and an apothecary attached to the big assault squad. The other 2 Dark Fury squads deployed as far as forward as possible each with an apothecary. The fire Raptor and naked jump squad were kept in reserve. 
  •  Thousand Sons deployed there missile launchers in their back corner with the siege breaker. Achilles was deployed centrally with rhino / tac squad support, as were the rapiers. 

Turn 1: Raven Guard
  •  Turn one, I jumped forward. I wanted to see what sort of damage I would take jumping headlong through terrain. I took a bouple wounds but 3+ and a FNP save kept guys from dying. 
  • I also made the bone head decision to run everyone instead of just assaulting. For funsies with rolled it out and I would have made my charges and this game would have ended super quickly... but alas. I ran. 
  • One tactical decision I made was to put a Sgt in the front of the assault squad, the praetor dead middle. In the Dark Fury squads I also put the Sgts in the dead middle. The idea was if he targeted me with  the rapiers, he would go dead center and thus I could tank on the 2+ saves. As for the assault squad, I have to protect against the missile launcher frag grenades, achilles and rapiers. 

Turn 1: Thousand Sons

  • The Thousand Sons shuffled rhino around, but largely just shot the heavy support units into the assault marines with the achilles and the rapiers into the middle Dark Fury Squad. The assault squad took some damage put was able to tank a lot of damage with the 2+ artificer armor troopers. The Dark Furk on the other hand failed his armor save immediately and the phosphex templates killed out 6 guys. 
  • Plasma tacs pile out of the achilles and double tap into the assault marines, but cover and the apothecary help bounce most of the wounds. 

Turn 2: Raven Guard
  •  The naked assault marines deep struck in and almost off the table. I deployed them off to the side so I could protect the kill points and capture objectives if need be. 
  • The melta bomb assault marines multi charged the achilles, plasma tacs and a rhino, easily blowing up all of them.
  • The 2 Dark fury squads both charged the artillery and hid in the cathedral, out of LOS from the heavy support squad.  

Turn 2: Thousand Sons
  •  The thousand sons pile out of their rhino and double tap into the assault marines and the other tac squad fury of the legions into the assault marines killing yet another handful of assault marines. 

Turn 3: Raven Guard
  • Assault marines charged the Missile launcher devs and wiped them out to the man. 
  • The 4 man Dark Fury squad charged and wiped out the centrally deployed tac squad. 
  • The 10 man Dark Fury squad got 4 guys into base with the tac squad that double tapped the assault squad and wiped them to the man.
  • Sorry... I have to get better at taking endgame pictures! You can see me behind the baby titan that the only thing left is the burnt out shells of vehicles and Raven Guard jumpers...

With only a flier left the Thousand Sons forfeit the battle... 
And Violet Storm de Florio eats the corpses... #first30kbattle


Tactically speaking, we both made a ton of mistakes. I failed to realize I could charge first turn and my opponent probably should have deployed further back than he did. That said, it played exactly as if I had used infiltrate rules and charged on the second turn and he had pinned himself in a corner pushing me back 18". 

In general, the 20 man assault squad with melta bombs and power axes, a chaplain and apothecary were absolutely beastly. They sucked up massive fire power and were able to tie up units and pop tanks easily with the reroll to hit melta bombs. Even the Achilles was overkilled by twice it's hull points. I am still trying to decide if you should take combat shields on these guys. It's only 60 points for a 5+i save for the whole squad. I'm think of it as insurance on an investment I have already pumped a crap ton of points into... 

That said, this assault marine squad is truly difficult to completely kill off the table before it reaches it's target(s). And when it reaches it's target, it absolutely melts anything with an AV.  

I also found the Dark Fury are just murder against basic infantry. 4 Dark Fury easily rolled through 10 tacs and an artillery unit. It makes me re think maybe taking 5 man squads, although it seemed like they need the wounds to make it to hth. 

In general, I think the apothecaries all made their point back too and then some. I think they might be a mandatory tax for these heavy point point squads. 

I was also impressed with my opponent's phosphex rapiers. They threw out a crazy amount of wounds and really could have been much worse. 

My final comment, is that this Raven Guard list is interestingly deadly because it has nothing for tank hunting weapons to shoot. Sure they can pick off 30 pt Dark Fury jumpers, but at the end of the day, tank hunting weapons are expensive and inefficient against this list and took points aways from other infantry clearing options. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Raven Guard 30K - ROW: Angels Wrath

Raven Guard. Masters of the jump pack way of war. For years the rules have not supported a competitive builds for such a list... until now.

Several changes in the newest legion rules and legion codex make Raven Guard jumpers lists fun and very competitive. Let's review them!

By Wing & Talon

First off, it's worth mentioning that Raven Guard are one of the few legions that get a bonus that boost assault marines output. Jump Infantry get Furious Charge, making them +1 Strength on the charge. On face value, this looks like a minor free bonus, but it opens up the combo of of taking power axes to make you S6 on the charge, which combos with Rad grenades that reduce the toughness of your opponent by -1 toughness. Now you wound on the charge with an AP2 weapon AND you are now twice their toughness so you oblit multi wound T4 models. This is a strong combo for dealing with Legion specific terminators and other similar units.

Angel's Wrath ROW

Raven Guard actually have a couple Rite of War options for running a jump infantry list. You can go Angel's Wrath or Drop Assault Vanguard or even Recon ROW. I've written a couple reviews on these options (links below), but in general, I think you are best off goign with Angel's Wrath for a pure jumpers list, but it does hugely restrict our unit options.

Angel's Wrath vs. Drop Assault Vanguard
Legion Recon Force


  • Jump Infantry get Hit & Run
  • Units that can take a Rhino can take a Storm Eagle Gunship


  • Only jump infantry, skimmers, jet bikes and units in skimmers and flyers
  • No tanks
  • No Fortifications or Allied Detachment
I can't harp on how powerful Hit & Run is as rule. For one it's very fun to use, but it increases your offensive output by charge over and over again. It also can be used defensively to hide your unit in hth in your opponent's shooting phase. Most importantly though, it drastically increases your speed and you can charge a unit and sling shot out with Hit & Run.



Interestingly, he is the only Primarch you could run with the Angel's of Wrath ROW, without being deployed in a flier. And he looks good doing too.

  • Sire of the Raven Guard: Gives acute senses, which unfortunately adds nothing to the list unless you give a unit an Vigilator. However, it also gives every unit a full 6" if they run, which makes a jumper list absolutely insano fast. So fast it basically means you assault everything and anything you want turn 2. 


This is your beat stick option...

  • Master of the Legion: Unlocks the Angel's of Wrath ROW and unlocks a command squad. 
  • Weapons: So the fluffy choice is obviously twin Raven Talons, but that costs you 20 some points and attack compared to a Dark Fury squad as like 8 points an attack, so it's hugely inefficient but obviously cool. The obvious choice is the paragon blade, since it's a great weapon, but remember that you really can't hang with other other legions Praetors. They can be built tougher and hit harder than anything we can deploy. Finally, you could run the fractal harrow blade, which can be very helpful for breaking a unit, but again it seems like a lot of points for combat resolution. 

Legion Delegatus Consul:

This is your cheapest Warlord choice. That said, you are already paying for a jump pack or jetbikes, so I find it's usually better to just take the Praetor. But if you want to take Delgatus, they get more out of a jet bike than a Praetor does. So taking this guy on a jetbike can be a good rear guard unit.


Yes. There is nothing stopping you from taking a jump pack and the servo arm. Crazy, but I kinda want to model this!!!!

  • Rad Grenades: -1 toughness is great with +1S and AP2 Power Axes. Awesome for oblits T4 termies. 
  • Jetbike & Graviton Gun: Not a jumper, but still works in this list. What is nice about this option is that you pick up the relentless rule, so you can run a graviton gun. Works well with other speeders. 


These guys just have a ton of rules that jump or bike can't get anywhere else. I personally like giving them scout armor and a jump, which gives a unit scout, stealth and move through cover. This this ROW it also opens up outflank, which is interesting with Corax which gives everyone acute sense. Move through cover and stealth let's you bounce your units through cover, or deep strike into it and not die. Plus you get +1 cover save, which is basically like running around with storm shields but in 30K.


Probably my favorite consul choice for an Angel's of Wrath Army. Fearless makes units like Assault Marines wonderful tarpits. Plus the re roll to hit on the first turn of combat is awesome, but it's actually the re roll to hit with melta bombs that makes this guy great. It makes basic assault marines lethal to all tanks. Add these two elements together and you have made your basic jumper REALLY good.


At first glance a moritat doesn't looking a good choice in a jumper list, but he can take a jump pack and has some interesting rules. From a deployment perspective he can deepstrike, scout or outflank. He can also join a destroyer squad, which is cool, but kinda cost prohibitive. Most people focus on the chain fire rule, but what is actually his most powerful element is that fact that he comes with Rad grenades. It's a total sneak attack move that your opponent will completely overlook. Plus it gives him something to do on the turn his guns are cooling down ;)

Primus Medicae

Totally out classed by the new apothecaries.


You will go 2 levels of telepathy with this guy. It offers a lot of stay a live powers, which is kinda what you want with jump infantry. Psychic shriek is also a solid primaris power. If you wanted to mix it up though, you might consider biomancy, as the force weapon can become nasty with a pumped up psycher.


Another weird choice, but he can take a jump pack. He also lets you take phosphex bombs, which are scary as hell. Plus he has a nuncio vox, so units can use him as risk free deepstrike. Finally, he has the tank hunter rule, so give this guy a combi melta and a powerfist. S9 on the charge is the real deal with tank hunter.

Legion Champion:

Not a great unit for this list. Cool as hell, but you really want to get a force multiplier out of a consul if you take a second HQ.

Master of Signal:

Better as a defensive unit, but really doesn't add much to this ROW build other than a pie plate and deepstrike scatter.


A lack luster choice for this ROW. I would also spend the point to upgrade to something specialized. 


Apothecaries are HUGELY better with the new codex. First off, they gained the jump pack option, so now they can run with jump packers. I think the obvious choice is to put these in a big asaault marine squad or a a Dark Fury squad.

Company Command Squad

Company Command Squads are another unit that has come way down in cost compared to the last codex. The unit can only be taken with a model with the master of the legion rule, so you are looking at a praetor or a delegatus
  • Jump packs: At 36 points for 5 of them, they are definitely not your cheapest option for jumpers, but they do come with Artificer armor, 2 attacks and WS5. 
  • Weapons: I like the S9 powerfist option. They can tank hunt. They can kill termies. With 2+ armor they are in a good place to wipeout mass infantry as well. The only other option I would consider is power axes if you are running a forgelord with rad grenades. 


Legion Assault Marines:

The new Legion Astartes Age of Darkness Army List, huge reduces the cost to run assault marines. Assault marines are basically 17.5 pts each for a squad of 10 and 15 pts each for a squad of 20. In this list, these are your troops, so it's important to get as much as you can out of them.

  • Scoring: Ok. Obvious, but unlike most other Raven Guard forces, where you have all sorts of scoring elements in your elite and fast slots, in a jumper force, this will likely be your only objective grabbers. So resilience or redundancy of troops is an important aspect of this build. 
  • Tank Hunting: Assault Marines com with krack grenades and can be upgraded to melta bombs, which is hugely powerful. 20 melta bombs will deal with any tank in the game. When it comes to tank hunting you will have to decide to either do it with assault marines or with skimmers and fliers. While both are viable, I think it's worth noting that Assault marines even hitting at S5 are not especially amazing, but as tank hunters, they are absolutely frightening. In my opinion, using them to tank hunt is how you get the most out your troop section. Also, on a tactical note, remember that multi charging is a powerful option. Sure you lose an attack from disordered charge but you can blow up multiple tanks or more importantly you can charge an infantry unit AND a tank, blow up the tank and be locked in combat during your opponents next turn, which denies that unit from shooting and your assault unit from being shot at. 
  • Power Weapons: One in 5 can take guys can take a power weapon. This is basically where most of your killy power will come from. I like Axes. 12 S6 AP2 attacks on the charge can do some serious damage and as I mentioned earlier, it combos well with Rad Grenades. 
  • Combat Shields: At 3 points, it's an option worth considering, especially if you plan on tar pitting with the unit. This is really a personal choice, but be careful not to go overboard on toys. You are ging to need points elsewhere in this list. 
  • The SGT: The fluff choice is probably a pair of lightning claws or raven talons on your squad leader, but I think the most appropriate choice is probably a powerfist. It adds most tank hunting and killy for a fairly small amount of points. And it's S9 on the charge ;) Artificer armor is also a choice, but I would normally just keep him cheaper. 


Apothecaries can now take jump packs! Awesome. But realise they are a very expensive basic trooper. For 80 pts you get a jump pack, power weapon and artificer armor. Naked they run 60 with a jump pack, which is basically 4 jump pack marines in cost, so they really only make sense in big squads or attached to 10 man Dark Fury units.

Legion Destroyer Squad:

Destroyers  are an odd mix of gunslingers, trained in the use of frowned upon weapons like rad and phosphex munitions. They also have the option of taking jump packs, which makes them relevant to this list.
  • Jump packs: Destroyers suffer from bad rule design. Jump packs cost 75 points for the entire squad. This means a basic destroyer costs 32.5 pts each when you take a full man squad. And for this price you get... Counter attack. Although they are one of the coolest units in the book, I can't see any way to justify these guys at this price. Sure you can take phosphex grenades and rad missile launchers, but why bother. Move along...


Dark Fury Assault Squad: 

Dark Fury are on of the most undercosted and most powerful units in the game and they just received a HUGE upgrade in that they all now have Raven Talons FOR FREE!

  • The SGT: This unit doesn't have much in the way of options other than size or if you take melta bombs on the Chooser of the Slain. In generally, the bigger squads are more efficient and you will lose guys on the way in... So I tend to max them out. 
  • Fateful Decent: 5+ cover on the turn they arrive from deep strike is pretty cool. It lets you lock up units with assault marines and smash them with Dark Fury. It's also a cover save so things like stealth and shrouding stack with it. All that said, if you deepstrike, you are coming in on turn 2 at the soonest and charging turn 3 at the soonest. A couple bad reserve rolls and the game might be over by the time these come in. So consider your options for reserve manipulation as well as helping with deep strike scatter if you plan on using them this way. 
Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron

Javelins also received a large 20 pt price drop. In addition, they picked up strafing run and an awesome rule that gives them -2 to hit in hth when not immobilized. These changes make this unit a lot more desireable. I would pass on the lascannons, but as a long range missile boat, with 2 5pt hunter-killer missiles, a hvy bolter and a twin-linked cyclone missile launcher all for 65 pts. They are not a bad support unit. 

Xiphon Interceptor

The Xiphon is a great anti air fighter. They are very effective at hunting other fliers, and with 2 twin linked cannons and a rotary missile launcher, they aren't bad at tank hunting in general.

Legion Land Speeder Squadron

Land Speeder received a big drop is points in the last codex. For 65 points you can get 

Anvillus Dreadclaw Drop pod

Outside of running the Angel's Wrath ROW or the Recon ROW, this (and the Kbarybdis) is your only other way to bring in everyone in fliers. The anvillus is a great unit. For one, you don't have to get out of the pod when it comes in. You can even shoot out of it when it's in hover mode. Plus it can contest, unlike normal pods, and be reused.This is also the cheap way to deepstrike termies in a Raven Guard list.

Primaris - Lightning Strike Fighter

Lightnings are great little glass canon gun platforms. There are a couple ways to run them cost effectively but most people go with the Xerxes build, which is all about Spartan hunting by loading up with kraken missiles. In an air force list, these guys are most likely your heavy tank hunters. 

Legion Jet Bike Sky Hunter Squadron

In this list, you can take a couple with melta bombs and run it as an HQ bodyguard. Overall though, they don't really pick up much from this ROW. They don't have much hth punch. Melta bombs are the most they add to this list.


Legion Fire Raptor Gunship

A solid choice for this ROW, as you can use it to kill light transports and soften up squads you plan to charge. Point for point it's one of the better costed unit in the codex. All that said though, you should be pretty good as killing infantry with your jumpers, so it's kind of a redundant unit. 

Legion Jetbike Sky Slayer Support Squadron

As a gun platform they are mobile and resilient, however they don't pack as much of a punch as a similarly priced speeder squadron. They are however an interesting alternative to a HQ retinue for something like a forgelord or siegebreaker on a bike. 


Beyond the above mentioned units, anything that can be crammed into an anvilus or other flier can potentially be taken. But you will find that EVERYTHING in this list is pretty expensive and you don't have much room to add flier transports. So if you are taking something that is not a jumper, skimmer or flier it's probably plugging a hole like anti spartan detail.


One of the annoying parts of building this list is having to take a master of the legion. Neither the praetor or delegatus add much to the list other than being a beat stick. And Corax is awesome but obviously cost prohibitive at lower point levels. That said, beyond that there are a ton of good options for a second HQ, but honestly I find it hard not to take a Chaplain in a big assault squad. Re-rolling to hit on melta bombs and adding fearless to such an expensive squad seems almost necessary, and it fills most of your tank hunting needs.

This list largely becomes viable because assault marines got a huge drop in points. However, they are still pretty pricy at a 10 man squad and they don't really hit that hard. Investing in them starts at 305 pt for 20 and they still don't do anything on the table. You still need to add 50 pts for power weapons and/or 100 pts for melta bombs for them to have a purpose. And they still don't win most combats against something elite...

But beyond troops you have great options on Dark Fury squads. These guys mince just about anything. They are awesome if you can get them into hth. They also pick up hit and run which is astoundingly good on these guys.

Fast attack get crowded quick though, as you have no viable tank hunting elite options other than anvilus drop contemptors and the like. If you don't take melta bomb assault squads you will need to look toward options like deepstrike speeder squadrons or lightnings.

In general, I think they way you make this list work is with a lot of elite bodies.

ANGELS OF WRATH - 2000 pts

175 pts - Praetor - Jump pack, paragon blade, iron halo, melta bombs
120 pts - Chaplain - Boarding shield, jump pack, melta bomb, artificer armor
75 pts - Apothecary, jump pack, artificer armor, melta bomb
465 pts - 20 assault marines, 4 power axes, melta bombs, sgt w. Mbs, power axe, artificer armor
175 pts - 10 assault marines
330 pts - 10 Dark Fury, 1 MB
330 pts - 10 Dark Fury, 1 MB
330 pts - 10 Dark Fury, 1 MB

@2250 pts if you swap out the Praetor for Corax.

At first glance this list looks pretty elite, but remember that you can hide in hth because you have hit and run and you should be in hth with your entire army by turn 2.

As a general tactica, your plan should be to multi charge as many tanks and infantry units as possible in turn two with the big assault squad. They are fearless, cause fear and re-roll to hit with melta bombs, have feel no pain. Plus the boarding shield gives them a bit of counter charge protection.

The Dark Fury squads can easily chew through anything you have locked in combat. In general, I would deepstrike the 10 man assault unit. Keep it in reserve as a late round scoring unit. Beyond that, this list should usually start everything on the board, unless you are playing agianst something reserve heavy, like a drop pod force.

If this list has any weakness, it's that it's a little low on scoring units. Potentially, you could jigger the points to swap a Dark Fury squad for 2 more units of 10 assault marines. Finally, it makes a big difference if you go first or second. Starting second means you eat another round of shooting, so depending on terrain, you might opt to reserve a dark fury squad or two.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Raven Guard 30K - Speeders

Speeders of all varieties scream Raven Guard. They are fast, hard hitting, lightly armored reconsinance vehicles. During the Horus Heresy we have two varieties to pick from: Legion Land Speeder Squadrons and Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron.

Legion Land Speeder Squadrons:

Land speeder received a 10 pt decrease in the new codex, which is a HUGE price drop when you are talking about a 40 point model. In addition, hunter killer missile recieved a point drop from 10 points to 5 points. It's an interesting development, since most of the tanks went up in points and Primaris Lightning Strike Fighters Kraken missile went up in points significantly. These changes open the door for land speeders to be one of the most economical tank hunters in the game. So let's review what you get.

  • Deep Strike: This is your tank hunting deployment option. If you equip the speeders with infantry hunting weapons, you might stat them on the board, but in general I think you will trying to set up a combo of deepstriking off an infiltrating unit with a vox to avoid the risks of scattering. 
  • 2 Weapon Mounts: On one mount, you have the options of a heavy bolter, heavy flamer, multi-melta or a volkite culvern. On the other mount, you can add a havok launcher, heavy bolter, plasma cannon or grav cannon. Finally, you have an option to add 2 hunter killer missiles at 5 points each.
  • AV10, fast, skimmer: So this is fairly important. At AV 10 bolters can and will glance you to death. Which usually means any time you take a weapon with under a 30" range you are basically dead. It also means you can jink for that ever useful 4+ cover save. Finally you can move and fire 2 weapons without snap shooting. So either equip your speeders to harrass from range or be suicidal and deadly at short range. 

Legion Javelin Attack Speeder:

Like their speeder cousins, Javelins also received a large 20 pt price drop. In addition, they picked up strafing run and an awesome rule that gives them -2 to hit in hth when not immobilized. These changes make this unit a lot more desireable, but are they worth it? Let's review what else they get. 

  •  Deep Strike and Outflank: I'm not sure how much I would deep strike this unit. In general, you have some pretty long range shooting choices and outflank gives you a reserve option that is much lower risk and lets you hug the board edge. 
  • AV11: Such a big upgrade over AV 10. That said, you probably won't feel it that often as this unit has HUGE range of it's main guns. 
  • Weapons: This unit comes stock with a heavy bolter and a twin-linked cyclone missile launcher. You have the option to upgrade the cyclone to a twin linked lascannon or the hvy bolter to a multi-melta or a heavy flamer, but honestly, I don't see the point. I don't think 1 lascannon is worth 2 krak missiles. Especially, when it costs me an additional 5 points. And this unit doesn't really get a lot out of a heavy flamer or multi-melta. If anything, consider 2 5 pt hunter-killer missiles. This gives you a nasty little first turn 4 missile launcher alpha strike and a heavy bolter for a measly 65 points. 


The price drop makes both speeder variants competitive and viable units. Standard Land Speeders give you one of the point efficient tank hunting units in the game and the Javelins give you a unit that can flexibly threaten infantry and light to medium tanks at range. They have very different roles, but would be great if used together in a Solar An, Nuran Tusk or Souhounou hawk talon which consisted of light vehicles and fliers. 

Preferred Loadouts: 

  • Land Speeder: 65 pts - multi melta and grav cannon. 3 of these takes out most tanks. 5 of them take out almost all tanks. Since kraken missiles just got more expensive, dread drop pods just went up with price and breachers didn't get the price drop they should have, you basically have infiltrating grav cannons and deepstriking land speeders as your best grav gun options against spartans and the like. 
  • Javelin Speeder: 65 pts - cyclone, hvy bolter 2 hunter killer missiles. This unit is a great alpha strike unit that can use range to stay alive and harass your opponent. Consider for a second 15 of them comes in at under 1000 pts and you get 60 s8 ap3 shots, plus remember that you have strafing run. It's an interesting take on how to run a Decapitating strike list with Alvarex Maun to help get you an 87% chance to go first.