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. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Horus Heresy 30K: Legion Astartes Codex Updates

Finally! A New Legion Astartes Age of Darkness Army List. For those of you not that familiar with 30K, this is basically the core Space Marine Codex for all the Legions. 

In this article, I will run through the changes to our core codex and how they impact Raven Guard. 

First off, credit where credit is due, I'm lifting a lot of work from Black Blow Fly at Terminus Est, a fellow friend and blogger.  


  • Infantry become cheaper. The game designers are looking to obviously make armies bigger. In general, a lot of lists will have an additional free 50 to 100 points.
  • Tanks become more expensive. It's obvious, Forge World is looking to move armies towards infantry and away from tanks. I like the change of focus. I feel many of the tank are far more more powerful than their infantry equivalents. This is largely because the tanks are usually priced to exist in 40k, while infantry are much cheaper in 40K. 
  • Core infantry cheaper compared to Legion specific units. The new legion rules recently came out and almost all the units stayed pretty similar in price. So in general, core units have gotten better compared to legion specific units. 
  • Forge World units added. Space Marine Legions picked up a lot of the standard Imperial Guard units. It honestly feels a little bit weird, but as lord of war choices we get a whole codex worth of stuff. 



  • Moritat: Updated chain fire rule include the overheat rules from the FAQ. For us Nex is probably still the go to Moritat if you want to field one, but if you do field a Vanilla Moritat, you will probably be best off running him with volkite and plasma pistols.
  • Legion Command Squads: - 25 pts base and -5 per additional trooper. It's a significant decrease, can makes a viable squad even better. Plus you can do things like attach apothecaries to them now, but more on that later. 
  • Chaplain: Same price, but picks up fear as a freebie. I really think chaplains are one of the better Raven Guard HQ choices, so this is a nice little bump. 

  • Veteran Tactical Squads: -25 pts base and -3 pts per additional trooper. They also kept the other weapon options from the FAQ. More importantly though is their special rule options changed. To note, these changes were made so these rules stacked better with the core rules of other legions. 
    • Resolve: Stubborn. This is a HUGE downgrade from fearless. I almost always ran my Vets with Fearless. That said, with the new price, I'm ok with it. 
    • Weapon Masters: +1 Weapon Skill. As a dedicated HTH unit, this is a doable option. They are basically 26 pts for a WS 5, 4 attack on the charge with power weapons unit, which is OK but really, we have Dark Fury for this role. 
    • Machine Killers: +1 to armor pen rolls. This is REALLY good. For one, it makes missile launcher interesting, but it also opens up a combo of a siege master + combi meltas. It's basically a S9 re rolling to pen, melta unit. Even without the melta it's good against things like Spartans. 
    • Marksmen: Outflank and Sniper. I wish this was scout... but it's a nice combo. You are going to see this used heavily in other legions. For Raven Guard, it's not really a change. That said, sniper bolter, heavy flamers and missile frage are all pretty good and now they are cheaper. 
    • Xeno Bane: Reroll To Wound against Monstrous Creatures and Gargantuan Creatures. So this is a better version of Monster Hunter. It's an odd option, as we don't really have much in the way of Xenos, but this will obviously change soon? In the meantime, I guess it's good against mechanicum. 
  • Techmarines: -10 base. Servo-automata gain heavy bolter, multi melta, and missile launcher options. Welcome to your new heavy support squads. Sure they are BS 3 but they are also 22 pt multi-meltas. You could also opt for missile launchers, but I think I prefer the S8 Ap1 24" inch shots. Missile launchers would be an option if you are baby sitting some tanks or dreads though. 
  • Apothecarium Detachment: Can join other, non terminator or daemon, "Legion Astartes" units of the similar kind and can take Jump Packs and Bikes. These will be great for Outriders, Company Command Squads, Assault Squads, rapier platforms and Dark Fury. 
  • Legion Rapier Squads: Thudd guns get all the new ammo types and make you purchase specific ammo. Phosphex is goign to be especially good for certain legions, although I think the standard grav cannon rapier will be my go too option. 
  • Legion Tactical Squads: -25 pts base. This was a surprise to me. I did think the basic trooper was a little expensive, but dropping their price makes the drops in price of other units less interesting. It's obvious that FW wants to make the game more infantry centric. In any case, Raven Guard really do well with big tac squads, so this is a free 50 points for most Raven Guard lists.  
  • Legion Assault Squads: -75 pts base and -2 pts per additional trooper. 
  • Breacher Squads: -25 pts base and +5 pts per additional trooper. So this change is obviously for encourage breacher in Zone mortalis. Overall, it actually means my 20 man breacher squads went up in cost by 25 pts! 
  •  Legion Tactical Support Squads: Can take additional close combat weapon for 2 pts. This is a great option for us. It actually makes me consider running flamers for objective campers. Finally, rotor cannons and volkite chargers are free upgrades. This really shakes up the unit as other options are pretty good choices now. 
  • Reconnaissance Squad: -25 base. Totally needed it, but honestly I think they need cheaper wargear options as well. 5 pts sniper rifles? 5 pts Camo? Come on... Just make them free and everyone would consider running them. That said, it's a welcome decrease as I have been running the Recon ROW recently, so it's 25 to 75 pts in savings depending on if you run 1 or 3 units. 
  • Legion Dreadnought Drop pods: +35 pts. WHAT?! I think this is a Leviathan nerf... They should have left these alone and made Leviathans take Anvilus dops... Anyway, this is a big hit for those who run drop pod contemptors or dreads. I usually took two units of these in some of my lists, so it's 70 pts gobbled up. 

  • Anvilus Dreadclaw Drop pod: +15 pts and can carry standard and contemptor dread, not Leviathan or Dreadeo. This also picked the the inertia rule, which makes this unit A LOT better. I think you will see all contemptors and box dread using these now. 
  • Seekers: -20 pts base, +5 per additional trooper. Update ammo. Scorpius Ammos is 24" heavy 1, S5, Ap2 now. That is REALLY good. A10 man squad is 255 points compared to a tac support squad, which costs 325 points for 10 plasma guns. It also deals with the stupidity that the squad leader couldn't take a combi weapon... Also since they score, these are GREAT objective campers now. I think you will see most lists be cheap core troops, plus mor deythan and seekers as you add points. 
  • Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighter: +10 pts for Sunfire missiles, +10 pts for Kraken Missiles, - 10 pts for Phosphex bomb cluster, -10 prs for Electromagnetic bomb charges. Most people ran these with Kraken missiles. I don't think this is goign to change. It's still one of the only units able to reliably bring haywire to the table. 
  • Tarantulas: +5 pts each, but they get forward deployment as a built in rule.  I think they belong in fortifications. These will likely to continue to be ignored. 
  • Landspeeders: -10 pts. This is a big drop in points. 65 pts for a fast moving, deepstriking unit with a grav gun & multi melta seems like a pretty good deal. Also to note is hunter killer missile are only 5 pts and you can take 2 of them. With increases in Breachers, drop contemptors and lightnings, these guys have really become a much more viable tank hunting alternative and they work really well with Alvarex Maun and infiltrators with VOX. 
  • Javelins: -20 pts. They gain strafing run and are -2 to hit in hth when not immobilized. They also get the 5 pt hunter killer missiles. They really did A LOT to make this unit more desireable, but are worth it? So 65 pts for 4 krak missile launcher shots then 2 after that? Plus you have a hvy bolter... It's a pretty devastating strike and you might get good opportunities coming out of deep strike or outflank. I'm not sure if I'm sold on them but they are MUCH better than they used to be. From a math perspective they are almost identical in price to heavy support squads at 10 man strong with missile launchers, but you pick up jink, better BS, a extra hvy bolter and cheap hunter killer options, so at a minimum these are better in a lot of scenarios than the the footsloggers. 

  • Legion Jetbike Sky Slayer Support Squadron: A new unit, which is always cool. at 5 bikes you are looking at a price of 51 pts per bike and they all come with a multi melta. They also have a 2+ save and jink and options to take a volkite culvern or a plasma cannon at additional costs. Plasma are tempting until you remember they can't fire if you jink... and Volkites are fine, but we have a lot of similar fire power in other units. It's a pretty good price point. I actually like the multi melta out of the options. They work well deepstriking with infiltrating units with vox or with Maun. Also as jet bike you could attach centurions or use them as a retinue for a HQ. These might be an interesting option for an Angel's of Wrath list. Also remember they get +1 S on the charge. The sgt can be upgraded, but I'm not sure I would bother. 
  • Deathstorm Drop Pods: So these guys got there old rule back. Hopefully they keep it. FW has been trying to get this unit right for a while now... It's a very Raven Guard unit that goes up in value at bigger games. In the right scenario, it can put out a huge amount of firepower. I personally think it's overcosted. I would like to have seen it cheaper and able to be be taken as a 1 to 3 choice and usable to shuffle 1st turn pod units. 
  • Land Raider Phobos: -25 pts. The land raider phobos is a good unit even at the old price. It's not something I have seen used much though. It's either eclipsed by the efficiency of a Spartan being 100 pts cheaper than 2 land raiders, infiltrating being free of having disposable transports of rhinos and drop pods at only 35 pts. BUT it does have an assault ramp so it is great for hard hitting assault units. So it is a solid choice for 5 terminators a 10 man vet squad tooled up for hth and combis is a nasty unit that expensive enough to want a durable ride.  BUT... We do have the Liberation Force ROW. One of the strong ways to run that ROW is to take A LOT of AV 14 between leman russes and land raiders. In that list, the price drop gives to you some points to play with. 
  • Land Raider Proteus: -35 pts. The proteus is basically a an armored Rhinos. Giving it scout is a cool option but at 50 pts it's really expensive. That said, the Proteus is basically a land raider for shooting units. So think Mor Deythan, seekers, tactical support squads, etc. 
  • Land Raider Achilles: Quad launcher picks up the option for incendiary shells, splinter shells and phosphex. All are nice options. For Raven Guard, it is a resilient rear guard unit that can keep a small scoring unit safe, as the rest of the army infiltrates forward. 
  • Vindicator: Now can be taken in squadrons of 1 to 3. This is a hugely powerful option. Both the laser array and demolisher cannon are solid options. They work well with decapitating strike when you can only take a single heavy choice. 
  • Spartan: +10 pts but Laser Destroyers are a free option. The flare shield is also +20 pts, which is probably appropriate but is a serious point expenditure now. Regardless of increases in points, this is still your goto land option for big units. 
  • Sicaran Venator: Gains the option to take a second pintle-mounted weapon, which for a long range tank is not hugely useful. 
  • Sicaran: 30+ pts and can a pintle mounted weapon. The pintle mounted weapon is a nice option to cheaply increase the firepower of the tank. It also opens up an anti infantry route. 3 heavy bolters and the 6 shot auto cannon is 15 shots at 36". That's a fair amount of dakka on a fast, AV 13 tank. 
  • Kharybdis: -25 pts. It still seems overcosted to me, but Raven Guard do have cheap 10 man pods and can infiltrate 20 guys for free. I think the most viable unit in a Raven Guard would be 10 terminators. 
  • Deredeo Dreadnought: Gains a new tank hunting weapon and it's very good. A 48" S10 AP2 weapon with 2 shots is great. But it also has a nifty rule where if you cause an additional pen on a 4+. It makes the weapon a little boom or bust, but I think it is a pretty good option for tank hunting, which is always the problem I'm trying to fix with Raven Guard. That said, it's not as efficient as grav unit IMO. 
  • Whirlwind Scorpius: Can take a pintle-mounted weapon. This is one of those options you take so that your main gun doesn't get blown off as easily, so combi weapon it is!
  • Malcador: -25 pts and a nice addition to the heavy slot. It also has a nifty Battle Speed rule to fire it's main weapon if it moves flat out. It seems weird that they added it to the Legion List... but you will find it's a hugely customizable super heavy in your Hvy slot. And being a super heavy, you can target multiple units, so side sponsons are especially useful. What this tank excels at is taking out small skirmish units and the like. It can also be taken as a 1 to 3 option, so if you really want to milk the 1 heavy slot in decapitating strike ROW this is probably your unit. 
  • Typhon: +45 pts base is a big chunk more expensive, but it was one of the better unit in the game and it seemed a little cheap for the amount of damage it put out. At higher point levels, this is a go to tank in my arsenal. It works very well with lots of haywire to crack open tanks and the typhon clears the infantry. 
  • Falchion: +25 pts. It also picks up the option for a neutron wave capacitor which adds the feedback and shock pulse rules to the volcano cannon, which basically makes a unit that it shot only able to fire snap shots, but if you don't pen with your shot, on a 1 you take a hull point. So basically, you can lock down another supper heavies shooting if you can keep penetrating. 
  • The Engine of Destruction: Basically a cap of 1 unit with 9+ HPs. 
  • War Machine Detachment: 1 or 2 units with 8 or less HPs. These are deployed together but function separately. These units can be chosen for the primary detachment, the Questoris Knights army list, or from the Baneblade, Banehammer, Stormlord, Shadowsword, Stormsword, Macharius variants or Crassus variants. So TONS of options here. 
  • The Great Beast: A cap on 1 unit of 9+ wounds. 
  • Monstrous Horde: 1 or 2 of the same units with 8 wounds or less. 
  • Sub-Orbital Strike wing: 1 to 3 Marauder bombers, Marauder Destroyers, Thunderbolt Heavy fighters or Crusade Avenger Strike Fighters, that arrive together, but then act independently. It's kinda strange you can't take the Legion Astartes fliers this way, but it does open up the option for more varied air force lists. Some of these units are really quite good. 
  • Mighty  Fortification: This the only way to take fortifications of 500 + pts. 
  • Space Marine Crew: +15 pts for BS 4 on any of these super heavy tanks. Sounds like a deal to me. 
  • Battle Servitor Control: +15 points point Option. 


I think Raven Guard get a bigger bump from this codex compared to other legions, because infantry basically got cheaper and all our legion rules are infantry specific. In addition, tanks got more expensive which hurts tank armies. 

Beyond cost, a couple units got considerably better, especially for Raven Guard. 

  • PRO: Apothecaries being able to attach to a lot more unit and being able to take jump packs or bikes is really a big plus for us. Dark Fury can now have feel no pain and cheap add on character. Same with outrider bike squads with a forgelord. I also like the idea of apothecaries in standard Assault squads or in command squads on bikes. 
  • PRO: Assault squads are now only 15 pts each. That is totally at an acceptable level to be fielded, and if you ignore the Pending 40k FAQ, melta bombs could very well turn this into a scary tank hunting unit. It also opens up the Angel's Wrath ROW, which adds the awesome hit and run rule. 
  • CON: One of the huge things Raven Guard had on other Legions was that we could get units across the board cheaply. Now everyone can. To this point, I have largely built my lists to attack slow moving enemies. This unit could single handedly shake up the game as A LOT of legions will take at least one of these guys. 
  • CON: Grav units are more expensive to field. Amazingly, the grav Rapier managed not to get a price hike, but drop podding contemptors with grav guns, breachers and lightnings all received price hikes. However, the humble speed got a price drop.
  • PRO: With the point cost and rise cost of other grav units I think the grav / multi melta speeders are totally a viable option now. 
  • PRO: Dark Fury, with their recent bump to #alltheraventalons,  also get the opportunity to take an apothecary now. It's a very scary and interesting unit now.
  • PRO: Seekers with scorpius ammo a really interesting objective campers now. In general, I have been a fan of special weapon units in rhinos, but this unit is so cheap and scores. I could see lists basically revolving around units of these guys. They really get a lot out of infiltrate. 
  • PRO: Tactical Support Squads getting the option of an extra hth weapons is really an interesting option for Raven Guard. It's a small option but a good one for us. 
  • PRO: Cheaper Tactical Squads. This is a pretty big deal for us, because I feel that raven guard to tac squads better than most. 
  • PRO: Cheaper Recon squads, this one is great for the Recon ROW.
  • CON: Cheaper Recon squads do give other legions a infiltrator push back unit. It's not a concept I see used much in 30K but I know I would take a unit if I played another legion. 
  • PRO: Tech marines with servitors are actually really cheap and solid little devastator options for us and can infiltrate. 
  • PRO: Company Command squad will be used more often. They are pretty cheap for what they bring to the table. I like them for Raven Guard on Bikes with powerfists. 
  • PRO: Vets are really really good now. They are basically 16 point vs tacs (with extra ccws) at 13 pts. If we call fury of the legion vs the vet rules a wash, you basically get a free attack and huge shooting and hth customizability and the ability to melta bombs. The other MAJOR thing to notice is that Vets get combi weapons now. With sniper and flamers they are basically Mor Deythan without the re roll, scout and precision strike. But they are eligible to take drop pods, which is a huge win for drop lists. Plus they can be core troops with a delegatus or with a Pride of the Legion ROW. Finally, unliked fatal strike, these guys can use sniper on their flamers when they get charged, making them especially good objective campers. 
So in general, I think our Legion is stronger than ever and I look forward to running an ALL jumper list. I'm also excited to try out some of the new rules for units I already use and even more excited to try out some units I never really liked before. 

You guys see any other really big changes I missed? 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Bikes & Jet Bikes

When I think bikes, I don't immediately think Raven Guard but maybe you should.

They are part of the of the Raven Guard arsenal and more importantly, unlike most legions, Raven Guard have special rules that make them better.

By Wing and By Talon 

  • Jump Infantry, Bikes, Jetbikes and Infantry in Terminator armor gain furious charge. 
  • +1 to Strength when we charge, means we are better than other legions when charging. 

So what are our Options and how do we get the most out of them?


Seems an odd place to start a tactics review on bikes, but bear with me.

  • Forgelord: Comes with artificer armor and a servo arm
    • Graviton Gun: 15 pts for an 18" haywire weapon is ok. But on a bike you ignore the heavy weapon rules, which turns this option into gold. 
    • Rad Grenades:  10 pts to reduce your opponent's toughness by 1 in hth. Sure that sounds great! But with Raven Guard to are S6 on the charge with a power axe so you are OBLITERATING T4 2W terminators on the charge. 
    • Nuncio Vox: Admittedly a side perk, but they a 12" scouting vox is an especially good combo with drop pods. 
    • Cyber Familiar: Enter the iron halo. 25 pts to give yourself a 4+ Invulnerable save. 
    • Cortex Controller: Opens up some big stompy robots if you wanted to field them. 
  • Suggested Build: 155 pts - Forgelord on a bike, w. rad grenades, grav gun, power axe, artificer armor, and servo arm.
3 Centurions on Bikes:

I've seen some fanfare recently for a 3 centurion bike star. Different consuls can really add a lot to this units. The Primaris Medicae add FNP, a chaplain makes you fearless, librarians can also add some intersting force multipliers. In general, I think other legions do it better than Raven Guard. Furious Charge is better the more attacks you have IMO, but I thought it was worth mentioning as the unit does compare similarly to a command squad. 


These are you basic bikers and at first glance don't really look like much of a deal, but they have a couple hidden gems in their rules if you read between the lines.

  • Wargear: First off, they comes with twin linked bolters AND a pistol AND a CCW and are relentless. So you can double tap your twin linked bolter and charge with 3 attacks, plus your hammer of wrath attack. Which is basically 2 marines with 2 CCWS worth of output. 
  • Scout: A bittersweet rule on this unit. Sure, it's awesome to move your unit up the field or to out flank, but you can't charge the turn you outflank or scout. So you end up forcing the unit to be a late game unit, unless you invest big points into shooting. 
  • Melt Bombs: At 35 points each with melta bombs they are a decent tank hunting unit. I would say really good, but you won't usually get to charge until turn 2 or later. So they aren't great for an alpha strike build list, but good for a beta strike or reserves build. 
  • Twin-Linked Weapons: It's a trap! No. Serious. Way to expensive. Honestly, the 10 pt hand flamers interest me more. At least then I can scout, move, flame, be charged and flame again...
  • Power Weapons: 1 in 3 bikes can get a 10 pt power weapon. AWESOME! No seriously, it's pretty good. Especially, since we already get a +1 strength and they stack. So you can be S6 on the charge!!!!
  • Sergeant: 15 pts for +1 LD an +1 attack... It's not really a great deal, but LD is really important for HTH... I would usually skip this guy and run a IC with them. More on this in a sec. 
  •  Suggested Build: 330 pts - 9 Outriders, 9 Melta bombs, 3 power axes, Sgt w. power axe. 
    • On the Charge: 13 S6 power weapon attacks, 18 s4 attacks, and 18 twin linked bolter shots.
      • Add a Forgelord: Now your 13 s6 power axe attacks, plus the 6 more from the forgelord are obliterating T4 multi wound terminators. One of the few units in the Raven Guard list that can actually do that in HTH! 
      • Reconnaissance ROW: Any unit that scouts first turn starts with shrouding. It's a huge rule for a unit that can already jink for a 4+ cover save. Welcome to a unit that moves starts forward 12" and is in 2+ cover out in the open! Enter the BETA strike list. 

    Attack Bikes: 

    You don't see many attack bikes in 30k. This might be because there isn't really an attack bike model that looks like the 30K bike equivalent... As for the rules, it comes off as a little expensive compared to similar units, and in regards to Raven Guard it doesn't really have much in the way of HTH options. BUT... In the right list, it's actually a sneaky good unit that has a very Raven Guard feel.

    • Base: 2Ws, 2 attacks, a hvy bolter and a twin linked bolter. 
    • Melta Bombs: Melta bombs are always good on a fast unit. 
    • Auto Cannon: An interesting and totally unique option to 30K. Interesting harassing unit. 
    • Multi Melta: Not much in 30K actually has multi meltas. 

    •  Suggested Build: 275 pts - 5 attack bikes, melta bombs, multi melta. 
      • Add Vigilator: A vigilator with scout armor and a jump pack give this unit scout or outflank and move through cover, plus the jump pack lets him keep up. AND he comes with cameoline, so your unit now has a 3+ jink if you need it. 
      • Reconnaissance ROW: Scout the attack bikes first turn and now you are in first turn multi melta range of basically anything and you have a 2+ cover save. 
    Sky Hunter Jetbikes:

    So flying terminators with heavy bolters that spawn lots of dick jokes! What's not to like? Well... A lot actually :(

    • Heavy Weapons: 1 in 3 can upgrade their heavy bolter to a volkite culvern, a multi melta or a plasma cannon. Which sounds like a good option if you jink you can't even fire the plasma cannon and the multi melta is only a single shot. You see a lot of fanfare for the Volkite option in other lists, but honestly we have other way to eradicate infantry and light vehicles. 
    • Melta Bombs: Totally a valid option for these guys! They are fast, can turbo boost into position. 
    • Deep Strike: Works with a lot of Raven Guard lists, think no scatter with Maun. However, you can't really get a lot of multi meltas in the list and the other weapons you might as well start on the board. 
    • Sky Sergeant: So this guys has solid upgrades and he's on a great chassis, but the rest of the squad hits like a wet sock...

    •  Suggested Build: Honestly, I don't really have one. I'm tempted to say a take a couple with melta bombs and run it as an HQ body guard, but even that is done better with a command squad. They can do the same tricks are outrider or attack bikes, but don't really have the HTH teeth of the outriders or the heavy weapon saturation of the attack bikes, so why bother.

    Command Squads:

    Ok, once you get past the burning desire to run your command squad with jet packs you will see that command squads on bikes are really quite good.

    • Squad Members: Extra members to this squad are a good deal, so I always run them as 5 guys. 
    • Artificer Armor: 2+ save! Yay!
    • Jet Bikes: These are 15 points more expensive than regular bikes, which would makes sense but command squads already come with a 2+ save so you don't really get a ton for that 15 points...
    • Bikes: These are a great deal. 5 command squad on bikes are cheaper than 5 outriders AND have a 2+ save, granted no scout... 
    • Melta Bombs: Again a good option on a fast platform. 
    • Combat Shields: 5 pts for a 5+I in hth is a pretty good deal. 
    • Power Weapons: All the power weapons! I mean, All the Power Axes! You can totally run down the Forgelord rad grenade road with this unit. 
    • Power Fists: They are only 15 points... So power axes are great and all, but for 25 points more, the entire squad always obliterates and has a lot of S9 attacks on the charge, so you don't need to buy melta bombs and you don't need to buy a Forgelord... That's a lot of points to spend elsewhere...
    • Combi Weapons: Speaking of which... All 5 guys can take a combi weapon. 10 pts isn't necessarily cheap, but remember you can move and double tap your plasma guns and charge or do that with melta guns and charge the unit in the transport you just killed.  
    • Suggested Build: 390 pts - 5 Command squad, bikes, combi Weapon, power fists, combat shields. artificer armor. 
      • Add Vigilator: Again, a vigilator with scout armor and a jump pack give this unit scout or outflank and move through cover, plus the jump pack lets him keep up. AND he comes with cameoline, so your unit now has a 3+ jink if you need it. Now you are using those combi weapons first turn. 
      • Reconnaissance ROW: Scout the attack bikes first turn and now you are in first turn multi melta range of basically anything and you have a 2+ cover save. 
      • Add Praetor (or delegatus): Totally not necessary, but if you are taking one to open up a ROW (which you probably are) then this is a good place for him to hang out. As for a build concept, consider a praetor on a bike with a halo a, fractal harrow blade, a paragon blade and digi lasers. 
      • Add Primus Medicae: You almost never have a good spot run this guy, but in this unit you basically make them crazy resilient. 2+ armor, 2+ cover first turn, 3+ jink, 5++ in HTH with feel no pain is about as good as it gets. 

    Bring it all together!

    I hope that blew a couple minds! In general, if you are going to run bikes, I think the Recon ROW really gives you some interesting options. 3 outrider squads can put a lot of pressure on the enemy and remember you only need 1 forgelord to drop a units toughness. So you can send 3 bike squads in with one forgelord and absolutely explode most death stars. Add in a unit with a vigilator and now you have 4 scouting units and don't forget that all your infiltrating units are getting shrouding too. So feel free to mix in Mor Deythan and the like. Hell, even dark fury squads with a vigilator scout and pick up the shrouding and stealth first.

    Finally, on paper, you are going to look at your list and go, whao this is small... But your army should have 2+ cover on the first turn and you are going to be in HTH a lot of the game. Plus you are re rolling to go first AND re rolling to seize the initiative, so play aggressively because you can hit really hard both first turn AND second turn, which should reduce how much damage your enemy can throw back at you.

    Battle for Terra: The Emperor State: Raven Guard vs. Word Bearers: 1000pts Rematch!

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

    This game was a grudge match / rematch with the infamous George Money Tsemberlis vs. Pete Happens de Florio.

    Raven Guard vs. Word Bearers: 1000pts, combatant force org chart on a 4X4 table. Word Bearer's desperately want to win this game, as a victory game them +1 psyker level and stopped the loyalists from holding all of central park, which had additional strategic value when you held all of it.

    The mission was Onslaught:
    • 1 VP for each unit killed first Turn
    • 5 VPs for an objective held in your opponent's deployment zone
    • 1 VP for warlord
    • 1 VP for more surviving units

    Name:​ Central Park (Cleopatra’s Needle)

     This Egyptian Obelisk brims with sorcerous magic and psychic mystery. The Imperium uses

     Cleopatra’s Needle to triangulate coordinates across the solar system.

     Strategic Value: ​1 (3 points if your faction holds all central park territories)

     Special Rules:

     Strawberry Fields... OF SLAUGHTER ­ 

    The power of the obelisk accelerates the physics in the surrounding area. Matter reacts explosively when slammed together and animals are filled with

    • All units get 1 hammer of wrath hits on the charge at a models unmodified strength.
    • Models that already get hammer of wrath hits, get an additional hit.

    Faction Boons:

     Arcane Hieroglyphs ­ 

     One character in your army may be upgraded to a level 1 psyker free of
    charge OR add 1 to an existing psyker's mastery level.

    Word Bearers: 1000pts
    • Terminator Delgatus
    • Terminator Chaplain
    • 6 gal vorbak
    • 10 man vet squad with sniper and missile launchers
    • 10 man vet squad in a rhino with furious charge and melta bombs

    Raven Guard: Decapitating Strike: 1000 pts
    • Alvarex Maun, Camo
    • Chaplain, power axes, boarding shield, camo, melta bombs
    • 6 Mor Deytan w. combi flamers in a rhino
    • 17 tacs w. extra CCWS, SGT w. Power Axe and Melta bomb
    • 3 grav cannon rapier


    • Word Bearers place there objective in the north western building and Raven guard place there objective in the north eastern building. Raven Guard choose to set up and go first, but choose to infiltrate everything (obviously)...
    • Word bearers deploy the 2 vet squads near their objective. Characters and Gal Vorbak out flank, using special campaign rules.
    • Raven Guard infiltrate the 20 man tac squad. chaplain and maun centrally behind a building and Mor Deythan deploy in their rhino next to the tac squad. Mostly to not give up 1st turn VPs from the rhino. 
      • Tactically this allowed me to be reactive based on where the Gal Vorbak out flanked too. I could either play aggressively and push them off their objective or defensively and sit on mine. It also meant their scoring vet units would have to go through me to get to my objective.
    • Grav cannons deployed in the south western building. The idea was try to pick up a turn 1 VP from killing their rhino.

    Turn 1: Word Bearers

    • Word Bearer rhino vets move toward grav cannons and shoot from the rhino, Killing none.

    Turn 1: Raven Guard
    • I cautiously move the Mor Deythan rhino forward, but keep it outside of missile fire LOS. I want to be able to bum rush the vets camping on their objective. 
    • Garv cannons hit the Rhino 3 times! But only score 2 haywire wounds... boooo :(

    Turn 2: Word Bearers
    • Gal Vorbak out flank to the south western building. Rhino Vets disembark and get ready to charge the grav cannons. 
    • Missile Vets move to get 2 shots at the rhino.
      • Shit! I forgot about suspensions webs...
      • But alas, the vets fail to crack the rhino.

    Turn 2: Raven Guard
    • Gravs kill off the rhino, leaving the vets to hoof it for the rest of the game, which is important since they are far away fro objectives at this point. 
    • Mor Deythan, floor it to get into position to flame the missile vets.

    Turn 3: Word Bearers
    • Instead of charging the rhino vets (which will no be called melta vets) run toward the Mor Deythan.
    • Gal Vorbak stomp the grav vets into the dust.
    • Vets shoot and eventually charge the Mor Deythan Rhino killing it. 
      • Mor Deythan pass their entanglement ld check but fail the pinning check. NOOOOOOOOO!

    Turn 3: Raven Guard
    • The tac squad moves in and charges the missile vets, beating them in combat. The Word Bearers vets fail their Ld, but the Raven Guard can't catch them and the vets retreat and regroup.

    Turn 4: Word Bearers

    •  Melta vets charge the Mor Deythan and the Mor Deythan fire their combi flamers.
      • Note: They can't make them rending and twin linked outside of the shooting phase. 
    • Melta vets win combat, but the Mor Deythan win the initiative test to run away.
      • But wait! Word Bearers get +1 to sweeping advance! NOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Turn 5: Raven Guard
    • The big Raven Guard tac squad charges the missile vets cowering in the corner and wipe them out and sweeping advance toward the corner.

    Turn 6: Word Bearers
    • The melta vets charge the big Raven Guard tac squad and get mercilessly cut down in hth.
      • Note, this may have been a big tactical decision. To be discussed later
    • Gal Vorbak run toward their objective.

    Turn 6: Raven Guard
    • The Raven Guard fade into the shadow of the building to hold the objective but make a long charge for Gal Vorbak. 

     Turn 7: Word Bearers

    • The Gal Vorbak yell charge in daemonic but to no avail... The charge is failed and Raven Guard wave their private parts at the Word Bearers Aunties. 

    Conclusion: Raven Guard Win 6VPs to 0VPs

    Out Flanking the Gal Vorbak turned out to be a huge risk in the end. Deep Striking them or deploying them and running them up the gut may have proved more prudent and reliable. The Grav cannons, while annoying most likely would have not caused huge damage, but they did they did a good job as a distraction.

    The melta vets also had the option to run towards my objective instead, which would have tied the main objective but won on attrition. That said it would have been a very long shot to get that far with run and difficult terrain rolls.

    If the tables were turned, I probably would have outflanked the rhino vets and left the gal vorbak on the objective.

    That said, the word Bearers did a good job of avoiding the Raven Guard Alpha Strike and if they made the charge at the end of the game, it could have ended very differently.

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Battle for Terra: The Emperor State: Raven Guard & Militia & Alpha Legion vs. Thousand Suns & Word Bearers: 2000pts

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

    As with all Campaigns, you sometimes end up with a couple players itching for a bigger fight. In this situation we also had an uneven group from different factions. Luckily we thought ahead and had a multip play territory available for mutli-play.

    Traitors vs. Loyalist: 2000 pts, 1 full force org chart across all armies on a 4X4 table.

    The mission was Tide of Carnage:
    • 3 VPx for holding your own deployment zone
    • 5 VPs for holding no man's land
    • 8 VPs for holding your opponent's deployment zone
    • Only scoring unit score and contest deployment zones.
    • 1 VP for slay the warlord
    • 1 VP for having the most remaining units
    Name: Times Square *BATTLE ZONE*
    Bright lights mask the murder in the shadows as Legions battle from all directions trying to control cross roads of Manhattan.

    Strategic Value: (4 Points)

    Special Rules: 

    Bloody Square: This battle is always played on a 4’X4’ square board. 
    Battle Zone: More than 2 players must fight for a battle zone. Total points per faction must be equal. The battle is worth 1 win for every 1000 total points in the battle. 

    Faction Boon: 
    When the ball drops - Auld Langs Syne is a short range tactical nuke. At the end of each month, the faction that controls Times Square can eliminate a territory of their choice. This territory becomes a “No Man’s Land”.

    Loyalists: 2000 pts

    Note: For our campaign, we are ignoring the traitor and loyalist restrictions on army selection. 
    • Force Commander - Planetary Overlord (-1 AP to one unit), Warp Cult, Tainted Flesh
    • 8 Mor Deythan w. combi flamers and Rhino
    • 3 Leman Russes
    • 3 X 50 Inducted Levy
    • 5 JetBikes w. Heavy Bolters
    • 3 Sentinels with lascannons
    • Contemptor with ccw and melta cannon
    • Savotaur

    Traitors: 2000 pts
    • Zandu
    • 8 Gal Vorbak
    • 2 X Contemptors with CCW and melta blaster
    • 10 vets with apothecary 
    • 9 support tacs with volkites, rhino apothecary 
    • 10 Ashen Circle 

    • This battle was played on a giant stage for the Broadway play Oklahoma. 
    • Search And Destroy (i.e. table quarters) was our deployment scheme
    • Traitors:
      • Alpha Legion Vets were deployed on the roof of the central building, 2 contemptors were deployed to the east and Gal Volbak with Zardu were deployed to the west. 
      • Ashen Circle and the the Rhino with tac support squad were placed in reserves. 
    • Loyalist: 
      • Leman Russes were deployed on the western board edge and the sentinels were deployed on the southern board edge. 
      • Saboteur was placed on the roof of the western building to snipe and the contemptors we deployed behind the central building. Grav Rapiers were placed on the roof of the most southern building. 
      • The rest of the deployment zone was filled up with 150 inducted levy and the force commander. 
      • Jetbikes were deployed in he north western corner of the board with the support of the Mor Deythan next to them (18" away from  Gal Vorbak). 
    Pre Game Strategy: 
    • The Mor Deythan and Jetbikes are set up as bait to encourage the Gal Vorbak and Zardu to run into the corner away from much of the battle. 
    • Leman russes will soften up the Gal Vorbak so the levies can handle them in hth. 
    • Grav Rapier and Sentinel will focus on contemptors. They are target #1 because they can lock the levy squad in hth for the entire game. To win they must die. 

    Turn 1: Traitors
    • Traitors win first turn and loyalists fail to seize the initiative.
    • The Gal Vorbak take the bait and charge the rhino of Mor Deythan blowing up the tank. The Mor Deythan pass their pinning check. 
    • Vets and Contemptors Kill a couple Levies. 

    Turn 1: Loyalist

    • Mor Deythan rending flame the  bunched up Gal Vorbak and kill half the squad with support from Jet Bike AP3 Heavy Bolters. They are AP3 due to the Militia's warlord trait. 
    • Leman Russes drop shells on the Alpha Legion vets kill a couple marines. 
    • Grav Rapier and Sentinel Lascannons remove 2 hull points from the contemptor and shake it.
    Turn 2: Traitors
    • Ashen Circle Deepstrike onto the middle north edge of the board. 
    • Remaining Gal Vorbak Multi charge the jetbikes and Mor Deythan and kill them to the man. 
    • Vets continue to shoot Levies and Contemptors kill a Sentinel. 
    Turn 2: Loyalists

    • Levies Shift to southern board to southern board edge to protect against out flanking vets. 
    • Grav Rapiers and Lascannons continue to shoot contemptors killing one and removing a hull point of the other. 
    Turn 3: Traitors: 
    • Ashen Circle move forward and Gal Vorbak run into the corner to summon daemons. But their call is unheard in the warp. 

    Turn 3: Loyalists: 
    • Leman Russ line up to shoot the Ashen Circle, removing half the squad. 
    • The contemptor moves forward to act as a deterrent and bait contemptor bait.  
    • Levies continue you to spread out and cover most of the southern part of the board. 

    Turn 4: Traitor
    • Alpha Legion Vet Squad out flanks and kill a sentinel. 
    • Gal Vorbak move towards the Loyalist deployment quarter looking to do some damage. 

    Turn 4: Loyalist
    • Sentinels blow up the rhino and levies clean up the unit inside in hth and sweeping advance toward the Traitor deployment zone. 
    • Central Levy squad moves into no man's land.

    Turn 5: Traitor

    • Zardu FINALLY summons a unit of blood letters on the western board edge. 
    • The Gal Vorbak charge Western levy squad causing so many wounds it results in the combat ceasing to be a combat. 

    Turn 5: Loyalist

    • Leman Russes blast Blood Letters off the board. 
    • The western levy squad charges the Gal Vorbak and kills off the units. 
    • The Eastern leavy squad runs forward to the Traitor deployment zone. 
    • The central levy squad secures no man's land. 
    • The sentinels and grav rapiers kill off the last contemptor. 

    Loyalist Win 15 Vps to 0 Vps

    So everything went pretty much according to our battle plan. Gal Vorbak and Ashen Circle ran towards the corner which basically took them out of the game. The contemptors were also drawn out by delaying the forward progress of the levy squads. This allowed us to kill them with our heavy tank killing units. Bubble wrapping the southern board edge allowed us to deal with the outflanking rhino.

    In hindsight, the traitros could have played a very different game. Contemptors could easily have been hidden out of site and come out late game to tie up levy units before the got to no man's land. In addition, if less psychic dice were thrown at other power more daemon could have been summoned, which would have anchored their deployment zone and possibly won the attrition secondary objective.

    If I were the traitors I would have played for a tie on the primary objective, expecting that both sides would hold their own deployment zones and no man's zone would be contested and tried to flat out win by summoning and hiding daemon unts. Maybe you get lucku with late game reserves on the vets to contest the Loyalist deployment zone.

    As it was they larely played into our hand and lost because of it.

    Always play the mission!

    Battle for Terra: The Emperor State: Raven Guard vs. Word Bearers: 1000pts

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

    My first game in the campaign was for the Central Park Zoo. Raven Guard vs. Word Bearers: 1000pts, combatant force org chart on a 4X4 table.

    The mission was Dominion:

    • 1 VP for each terrain piece
    • D3 for slay the warlord

    • D3 for most units left at the end of the game 

    Name: Central Park (The Zoo of Xenos Megafuana)

    When the Imperium of Man took to the starts, they returned with strange, deadly and beautiful Xenos species from around the galaxy. The largest and most deadly of these were collected in the Central park zoo. The Zoo was largely expanded in the 20,000's and Refractor fields were added to keep the warp pumas from eating the public. 

    Strategic Value: 1 (3 points if your faction holds al central park territories)

    Special Rules: 

    Big Game- 

    The labyrinth levels, ponds, trees and rocks provide natural terrain for Mega Predators to stalk both traitors and loyalists alike. 

    Raven Guard: Decapitating Strike: 1000 pts
    • Alvarex Maun, Camo
    • Chaplain, power axes, boarding shield, camo, melta bombs
    • 6 Mor Deytan w. combi flamers in a rhino
    • 17 tacs w. extra CCWS, SGT w. Power Axe and Melta bomb
    • 3 grav cannon rapier

    Word Bearers: 1000 pts
    • Zandu Layak
    • Chaplain, apistelary, jump pack
    • 20 tactical marines
    • 5 ashen circle
    • 5 Gal Vorbak

    • So first off, all the terrain pieces were objectives and they were all dangerous terrain, which is just an awesome set up for the a mission in the central park zoo. 
    • Word Bearers deploy first and get first turn. George deploys Zandu centrally in tactical squad.
    • Raven Guard Deploy the the Mor Deythan 18" away, targetting the Word bearer HQ and Tac Squad. I deploy the Chaplain and Tactical Squad centrally to so as to be reactive to deep striking Gal Vorbak and Ashen Circle. Grav Rapiers are deployed on top of building for good line of site to the table. 
    • Raven Guard fail to seize the Initiative, but I decide to scout the rhino forward toward the Word Bearer Tactical squad as a bait unit. 

    Turn 1: Word Bearers
    •  Word Bearers tactically move their tac squad away from the Mor Deythan. 

    Turn 1: Raven Guard

    • Raven Guard Tactical squad moves forward and spread out to reduce flamer hit if the ashen circle get brazen, and to be relevant if the Mor Deythan need to be supported. 
    • Mor Deythan move forward, and flame the Word Bearer Tactical squad. The Mor Deythan can an obscene 40 wounds, 10 of which are rending. When the smoke clear on 2 Word Bearers are dead. Apparently, Word Bearer Apothecaries know a little something about burn wounds...

    Turn 2: Word Bearers

    • Gal Vorbak with Chaplain deepstrike in, as do the Ashen Circle. 
    • Zardu summons a unit of plague drones. 
    • The Tac Squad, renewed in their vigor from basically being immune to fire, charge the Mor Deythan and wiping them to the man. 

    Turn 2: Raven Guard
    • The Word Bearer roll a 1 for their sweeping advance thus stay in range of a long charge from the Raven Guard Tactical squad. 
    • I move the Rhino away, keeping an eye on the Attrition Secondary objective. 
    • The Grav Rapiers blast a Big hole in the Ashen Circle squad and make sure they will be taking dangerous terrain checks if they move. 
    • The Chaplain and Raven Guard Tactical squad makes their 9" charge (didn't even need fleet!) and destroys Zardu and the Tactical squad (Die Traitorous Scum!). They sweeping advance away from the Gal Vorbak into cover. 
      • NOTE: We failed to realized Zardu made his unit fearless. That said, they were pretty much wiped to the man. 

    Turn 3: Word Bearers

    • Gal Vorbak move towards the Tactical Squad, but fail to make a long charge into cover. 
    • The Plague Drones charge into cover looking to lock up the tactical squad, making sure they can't run away from the Gal Vorbak.

    Turn 3: Raven Guard

    • The Raven Guard Tactical Marines, JUST BARELY, grind through the plague drones, which actually turns out to be really important. 
    • The Grav Rapiers finish off the ashen circle, which is important as they were a scoring unit. Word Bearers are now playing for the tie. 

    Turn 4: Word Bearers Concede

    • The Gal Vorbak slam into the Raven Guard tac Squad after losing a couple wounds to overwatch. The Tactical Squad, Chaplain and Alvarex Maun are too much to handle for the Gal Vorbak, the daemons possessing the Word Bearers, fade into the warp with their fellow Word Bearer Souls. 

    This game came down to a single 9" charge from the Tactical Squad. They handily chewed through 18 marines, an apothecary, Zardu, a chaplain and 5 Gal Vorbak. Zealot was the major rule coming into play. With the charge and being charged by the plague drones and the Gal Vorbak, the Chaplain let his squad re roll attacks 3 times! The other big piece of wargear was the Boarding Shield on the Chaplain. I know never leave home without it. Removing the extra attacks, on the charge, from both the Gal Vorbak and Plague Drone made a big difference to the squads 

    Friday, June 17, 2016

    Battle for Terra: The Emperor State - Ties!

    Running a campaign is always an interesting exercise in trying to think of EVERY scenario. Our campaign relies on wins to hold objectives. Instead of throwing out battles fought to draw, we felt the pride of of the legion should come down to martial combat!

    No Ties!

    New Rule: Two men enter. One man leaves!

    • If a game ends in a tie, that tie will be broken by trial by combat. 
    • All armies need a Legion Champion (i.e. a legion centurion with the legion champion consul upgrade) with a maximum of 30 points of wargear (i.e. 115 pts in total). 

    • Wargear can be chosen from the legion centurion options, legion specific wargear or from relics won at the MET. (Note: if the relic is taken by the champion it cannot be fielded during the game).

    • Roll off. Winner places an objective anywhere on the board. Create a circle with a 13" radius around the objective with dice. This is your Thunderdome. Neither champion can leave the Thunderdome. 

    • Roll off loser, place their champion first anywhere base to base with the Thunderdome. Their opponent is placed base to base on the opposite side of the Thunderdome. 
    • Roll off for for first turn. 
    • Two men enter. One man leaves!

    • (note: should both Champions join each other in death at the same initiative step, both champions go back to one wound and another round of combat is fought.)