Monday, March 30, 2015

Raven Guard 30K - Legion Tactical Support Squads

Legion Tactical Support squads are the mobile fire-support units of the Legions, and nobody uses them better than Raven Guard. Bristling with short range, hard hitting, specialized fire power the question is not why to use them but how to use them best. Not to mention they are really cheap base coming in only 5 points more than a tac marine.

Raven Guard are unique in that they can choose to infiltrate, out flank, or deepstrike in drop pod (with decapitating strike) Legion Tactical Squads. So you can choose to use them to alpha strike or be more reactive with them.

What weapon you equip them with and how you deploy them defines their role.

The weapons:

  • Flamers - Cheap as chips, but if i'm going to take flamers I'm going to take Mor Deythan for rending flamers. However these may grow in popularity if more armies with chaff troops are released.
  • Rotor Cannons - Let's just say I wish my Mor Deythan could take these. 30" S3 AP6 salvo 3/4 weapons that most people put their nose up to... At S3 they are only good at hunting infantry, and if you do the math you on average kill 3 marines with 40 shots. However you do force a lot more saves so the potential of killing a lot more is there. These are the type of weapons that a Divination librarian can really increase the out on with powers like misfortune. All that said, this a good unit for armies that deploy 24" away from their enemy in a fortification and whittle you down as you cross the table. Which isn't really Raven Guard's style of play. 
  • Volkite Calivers - These are really good. At 30" S6 AP5 Heavy 2 they threaten infantry and light vehicles a like. More importantly they kill on average 4 marines, regardless of if they are in cover or not. 
  • Volkite Chargers - A lot of forums will rave about how they love these. At 15" S5 AP Assault 2 they are ok. IMO, the difference between them and rapid fire bolters is negligible. And at 25/20 pts they are difficult for me to justify. 
  • Plasma Gun - These are you termi killers, but honestly they are wonderful because they threaten almost everything. In general, i am often trying to decide between Mor Deythan Flamer squads, Seekers with plasmas or Plasma support squads almost every time I put together a list. 
  • Melta Gun - I love these. Yeah, people point out out that there is tons of ceremite armor running around 30K, but really there are always targets available. Dreads, transports, sicarians, scorpius, t4 termies with 2 wounds, ICs, castellax? Yeah, I want all those dead and dead and fast. Legion support squads are the cheapest way to do it. 
Squads I use:

  •  10 Volkite Calivers. Simply infiltrate them into a cover or top of a building and plink away. They tend to be a pretty good spot to put Alvarex Maun with cameleoline. Stealth helps them stay alive and they are best not starting in a transport. Good for a central unit for a reserve based list or a litst that is going to max out shooting from cover with stealth. 
  • 5 melta guns, sgt w. melta bomb, in a drop pod. Good for alpha strike or for reserve strike. It's a great unit to hunt heavy infantry or vehicles. 
  • 10 melta guns, sgt w. melta bomb in a drop pod. I've also started fielding larger squads in larger games to deal with the ever popular knight and castellax units. A squad of 10 can really gut any unit if they get caught out of position. Against something like knights I'll use a rhino to make it so I can't scatter more than 6" away. If it works, stay in the pod! Why? See Below.
  • 10 plasma guns, in a drop pod. So in 30k you don't have to get out of your drop pod. You can land and fire at people and can't be shot or charged until they bust open the vehicle. This is especially strong for plasma guns, which rapid fire at 12" and can still shoot even with a bad scatter. Oh and don't forget, if they charge the drop pod you get to overwatch them with the 10 man plasma gun squads. This squad though is better taken in an army with multiple drop pods, as you might not want it to land first turn. It often can do more damage after you crack open a transport, or into rear armor of vehicles that have started moving across the board.  
Siege Breaker Consul:

Whaaaaat? I know. Curve ball but think about it. Tank hunter makes 9 meltas or 9 plasma gun very viable even against units like a spartan or something with ceremite armor. He also brings phosphex grenades, which are great out or a drop pod and allows you to upgrade medusas to phosphex grenades for free, which works really well with Alvarex as a spotter. Plus with the option of 3 Dueces in a squadron, one hvy slot doesn't look that bad. The whole combo together can line up some hellish first turn alpha strikes. 

Plus from a fluff perspective, how cool is a destroyer heavy army with a Siege Breakers and dueces with phosphex grenades!!!

Thoughts, or questions? Do you use other combos?

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