Monday, December 5, 2016

Raven Guard 30K - Power Armor Marks

Throughout the timeline of the Horus Heresy, the Power Armor of the Raven Guard has changed more than any other Legion.

The original Terran born Raven Guard Astartes wore grey armor with black heraldry and were not known as the Raven Guard, only the XIX. They wore MK II & MK III armor.

XIX MK II - Terran Astartes

Mk II - Crusade Pattern

Originally designed with the Great Crusade in mind, Mark II armour was was designed to be a fully enclosed environment more efficient cooling system, which reduced the size of the powerpack from MK I. This allowed space marines to engage in warfare any environment. In addition, unlike MK I Thunder Warrior armor, which only had enhanced strength incorporated in the upper body, MK II leg plates were articulated hoops to increase maneuverability. The enclosed helmet added enhanced sensory equipment and the tech was engineered to interface Astartes black carapace.

The XIX legion fought heavily with the Luna Wolves under the leadership of Arkhas Fal. The majority of the legion during this time frame would have worn MK II armor.

MK III - Carcharodons (Raven Guard Successor Chapter)

Mk III - Iron Pattern 

Mark III armour was introduced by the Squats as modified MK II armor for boarding campaigns. MK III provided better frontal protection for close combat as was the precursor to what would eventually become terminator armor. It was never intended to fully replace MK II, but instead to be used situationally, thus no Legion was every fully equipped in MK III armor. By the time of the Horus Heresy, the Mark III was slowly being phased out and replaced by Terminator armour. However, the brutal aesthetic of MK III appealed to certain legions and sets were kept it for honour guards or spear tip operations even into M41.

Prior to Corax's return, the XIX legion's modus operandi was as a counter-insurgency, repression, and occupation force. Thus much of the imagery and art of the Carcharodons are presented in MK III.

Corax disbanded the Carcharodons as a predation fleet which included Arkhas Fal soon after he joined the legion. That said, many Terran's continued to serve under Corax throughout the Horus Heresy.

Representing them in MKII or MK III armor is a good way to delineate them as Terran born.

MK IV Raven Guard Assault Marine & Recon Marine

Mk IV - Maximus Pattern

MK IV was a major refinement towards modern Marks of power armor.  The helmet was capable of movement and added advanced visual sensors. MK IV stripped down a lot of redundant systems and was lot lighter than MK II yet still offered advancements in protection.

MK IV supply lines were manipulated by Horus, ensuring that Legions planning to be loyal to him were fully equipped with Maximum Armor prior to the Istvaan Massacre. As a result Mark IV was usually reserved for Chapter Masters and senior Captains of the Loyalist Legions.

MK V Raven Guard armor of multiple marks

Mk V - Heresy Pattern

Post Dropsite massacre and into the Horus Heresy, Loyalist and Traitor Legions found replacement parts for damaged power armor hard to acquire. Thus, Legions were forced to combine parts from older Marks with newer marks of Power Armor. While the appearances varied widely from one set of armor to another, the result of its ad hoc nature led to some standardized forms, which became referred to as MK V Heresy Pattern armor. One of the more notable features was the introduction of molecular bonding studs on the left pauldron and both greaves.

Shattered legions and Raven Guard survivors of the Dropsite Massacre would don Mk V armor comprised of armor plates of both loyal and traitor legions improvised together during field repairs.

In addition, the Raptor Ruffs would would be another situation where you would find MK V armor that was customized to accommodate their horns, hoofs, beaks and tails.

MK VI - Raven Guard Corvus Armor

Mk VI - Corvus Pattern

Prior the Dropsite Massacre, the next evolution of MK IV armor was being tested. MK V armor (later to be known as MKVI) was to be tested the Raven Guard against a war in the Scalland Sector despite their recent heavy losses in the Akum-Sothos Cluster. It is speculated Perturabo pushed for the depleted Raven Guard to conduct the field tests in hopes of their failure and thus the cancellation the Mk VI project. Perturabo hoped this failure would spur the development of a new heavy assault variant in its place. Instead, the plan backfired as the Raven Guard with their advanced auto-senses and increased agility used a series of hit-and-run attack to expel the Eldar from the Sector altogether.

As a result of their success, the Mk VI armour was approved for mass production. In the Raven Guard's Primarch Corax's honour, it was dubbed Corvus Armour.

MK VI armor is also known as Beakie armour. Although it offered no additional protection, Mark VI armour was the first to feature a redundant power system and components are slightly interchangeable with those of other marks. MK VI armor is considered even lighter more stealthy than even MK VII armor and the beak of the helmet contained highly advanced sensory equipment.

The Raven Guard received the first (non prototype) shipment after the Dropsite Massacre and the Raptors were gifted the new suits of armor. Later, the next wave of recruits from Deliverance that were to be called the black guard also wore MK VI.

Interestingly, the Raven Guard would also have had a thousand pairs of MK VI prior to the Dropsite Massacre as well.

MK VII Raven Guard - III Company

MkVII - Aquila Pattern 

Mark VII armor was being designed when the Traitor Legions reached the Sol System.  While the final battle for Mars was underway, the Imperium realised the planet would eventually be lost. Rogal Dorn ordered the design teams transferred to Terra to prevent the Traitors from seizing the plans. As Mars fell to Horus, the new armour began reaching the Space Marines on Terra and Luna.

Mark VII featured completely covered chest and arm cabling, a distinct helmet that provided more protection, a high level of compatibility with previous Marks, and also bore the Imperial Aquila on the chest, which was first used there to provide quick identification of the Loyalist Marines during the chaos Siege of Terra.

From a Raven Guard perspective, not many Raven Guard actually fought in the actually Siege of Terra, so MK VII isn't really a fluffy

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Official 40K FAQ

The good, the bad and the ugly. 30K is awesome, but like it or not, it's a derivative game of 40K. As such, changes to the 40K rule set can cause major changes to the 30K universe.

So let's take a look at the 40K rule changes in the most recent Official FAQ that impact 30K and in particular, the XIX legion. 

Let's talk about the BIG one first:

1. Q: Using grenades in the Assault phase. Can every model replace their close combat attacks with a single grenade attack or just one model in the unit? Like in the Shooting phase e.g. a unit of 5 Tau Pathfinders charge a Knight. Do 5 Pathfinders make close combat haywire grenade attacks? 
A: Only one model from the unit can attack with a grenade in the Assault phase. Per Warhammer 40,000: The Rules, ‘Only one grenade (of any type) can be thrown by a unit per phase’.

  • While hate this ruling with a passion, I accepting it. So let's talk about the ramifications. First off, Every infantry unit in the game just got worse at tank hunting and units with melta bombs just got NERFED HARD. It's especially a big deal for Legions that are rewarded for being infantry heavy but don't have any anti tank boosting rules. Raven guard would be one of these legions. So Recons, Vets, Assault Marines, Breachers and everything with a krak grenade should really consider a melta bomb Sgt or Powerfists as a SGT weapons. 

This is the NEW infiltrate rule:


You may choose to deploy units that contain at least one model with this special rule last, after all other units (friend and foe) have been deployed. If both players have such units and choose to do so, the players roll-off and the winner decides who goes first, then alternate deploying these units.

Units that Infiltrate in this way can be set up anywhere on the table that is more than 12" from any enemy unit, as long as no deployed enemy unit can draw line of sight to them. This includes in a building, as long as the building is more than 12" away from any enemy unit. Alternatively, they can be set up anywhere on the table more than 18" from any enemy unit, even in plain sight. 

If a unit with Infiltrate deploys inside a Dedicated Transport, the same rules apply when setting up their Transport.

A unit that deploys using these rules cannot charge on the first turn. 

Having Infiltrate also confers the Outflank special rule to the unit of infiltrators that are kept in reserve. 

  • Honestly, nothing much changed here, but the language is clearer. 18" if they can see you 12" if they can't. 


2. Q: Infiltrate rules state that an Independent Character without Infiltrate cannot join a squad of Infiltrators. Does this mean a squad that is actively Infiltrating or just any unit that has the Infiltrate rule? This matters for things like Outflank (granted freely by the Infiltrate rule) and Infiltrate units that have Deep Strike.
A: An Independent Character without the Infiltrate special rule cannot join a unit of Infiltrators during deployment, whether they are Infiltrating, Deep Striking or Outflanking. They are free to join units as they wish after deployment.
  • GW failed the reading comprehension test on this one... Can an Independent character join a unit with infiltrate if they don't deploy using the rule? It's still unclear. But... read on...
2. Q: Are models with the Infiltrate special rule allowed to not use the rule to deploy and then charge normally in the first turn? 
A: Yes.
  • Interesting. So a unit with infiltrate can chose to not use the rule and deploy normally. Does this mean they are no longer "infiltrators"? Yes? So now I can attack an IC without infiltrate for a squad that didn't infiltrate? Seems reasonable even though it not very clear at all GW...
3. Q: Do Scout redeployment take place before or after the player going second is given the chance to Seize the Initiative? 
A: Before. 
  • So this impacts Mor Deythan. You will be hugely committed in your rhino should you gget seized on. So remember to turn your rhino sideways, so you can hide behind it should it get blown up. Also dozer blades are helpful for scouting through cover, so if you get seized on, at least you have a cover save. 
4. Q: Do weapon special rules that say 'a model equipped with this weapon' or 'this weapon's bearer' take effect even when NOT USED AS THE ATTACKING WEAPON?
A: yes

  • Fringe Case, but this counters for the Fractal Harrow blade should you be using chapter relics

5. Q: How do special rules like Hatred, Preferred Enemy and Monster Hunter work when targeting a mixed unit that contains models your special rule effects as well as models it doesn’t?
A: The rules mentioned are used if any model in the target unit is of the appropriate type.

  • Decapitation Strike just became A LOT better. Raven Guard can now hit retinues and deathstars VERY hard. It's also worth noting this happens in hth, every turn. It's also worth noting that this grants re roll To Hit & To Wound of 1's. So units like Vets with combi flamers are very close to hitting as hard as Mor Deythan when a IC is in a squad. 

6. Gets Hot, Gets Hot and Re-rolls Replace the sentence with the following: ‘If a model has the ability to re-roll its rolls To Hit (including because of BS6+ or the Twin-linked special rule), a Wound is only suffered if the To Hit re-roll is a 1; it may also re-roll Gets Hot results of 1 for weapons that do not roll To Hit.

  • This is great for seekers, plasma guns in decap strike and even plasma pistol Moritats. 

7. Q: Does a flamer firing Overwatch have a maximum range?
A: No.

  • Seems like a fringe case until you start running rending flamer Vets. This happens a lot when they get charged. 

8. Q: If a flyer which is forced to move 18" forwards due to an Immobilized result ends its move over an enemy unit, does it ‘Crash and Burn!’?
A: No. Use the ‘Wobbly Model Syndrome’ rule, clearly indicating where the model’s actual position is on the table.

  • Flier lists rejoice! So you can't kill off fliers by placing models where my flier has to go. Can't wait to drop a bomb on the first person who trys that our dated tactics on me :p

9. Q: Flyers can fire 4 weapons at full Ballistic Skill, can they also fire any additional weapons as Snap Shots like other vehicles?
A: Yes.

  • Interesting, as I was always under the impression you got 4 shots with fliers. Makes my fire raptors and lightnings much more dangerous.

10. Q: Can Super-heavy Flyers Jink?
A: No.

  • What?! Booo. Half the Raven Guard fluff starts with jinking Thunder Hawks...

11. Q: If a Hit & Run roll would take me off the table, do I stop at the table edge?
A: Yes.

  • Nice Clarification as it came up the other day in my angel's wrath list. More importantly, is that you can actually use the table edge to limit the range of your hit and run. 

12. Q: When a model has Furious Charge as well as a power fist, does the 2x Strength modification happen before the +1 Strength modification?
A: Yes.

  • S9 power fists it is on Jumpers. 

13. Q: Does the Preferred Enemy special rule allow you to re-roll Gets Hot rolls of 1 for blast weapons (e.g. a plasma cannon)?
A: Yes.

  • Not sure if there is a scenario for this one, but it would stack with decap strike. 

14. Q: Does a unit that is embarked on a Transport that Jinks also count as having Jinked?
A: No.

  • This will affect us if we miraculously get whisper cutters! :) On a more serious note, this is a very big deal for 40k Raven guard if you use land speeder transports a lot. 

15. Q: Are passengers in Jinking Transports forced to fire Snap Shots?
A: No.

  • See above. 

16. Q: Can a model with both Skyfire and Interceptor shoot at targets that are not Flyers with its full Ballistic Skill when they deploy from Reserve (e.g. Drop Pods)?
A: No.

  • Important rule clarification for mortus dreads and contempotors. You can not shut off Skyfire if you want to use interceptor. It's a big down grade clarification. 

17. Q: Can you clear up exactly which rules stack and how when estimating cover saves? I’m thinking about Stealth, Shrouded, bonuses from cover, units, psychic powers, Venomthropes, Jink, etc.
A: All of the above rules stack with each other (for example, a model with Stealth and Shrouded gains a +3 bonus to their cover saves). The same rule does not stack with itself though (for example, a model that has the Stealth special rule from two sources still only has a +1 modifier to their cover save, and a model that is Jinking and is in cover can only benefit from one of these cover saves).

  • So stick to your stealth + shrouding and you'll be fine ;)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Super-Heavy Tanks

Another guest post! This time from Parker Reed!

Enjoy ;)

Super-heavies in a Raven Guard List

Typically when you think of the Raven Guard, things like Fellblades and Falchions don’t come to mind. However we know that all of the legions had access to all the different weapons of war, unless you’re a Salamander and want to run phosphex. Now there were Raven Guard super-heavy class tanks and there are great ways to make them great additions to a Raven Guard list.

There are some limitations with us running armor, however. With the Flesh over Steel rule we don’t have the capability to run certain armored Rites of War, though I don’t think we need to do that at all. Certain super-heavy tanks fit right into a Decapitation Strike list as well as Corax could, though filling a different role.

It is important to note the inherent benefits of running a super-heavy tank. Super-heavy tanks benefit from being able to ignore terrain, other than impassible. So no more needing to pay 5 points for a dozer blade! Just roll over or through whatever is in your way. In addition, these things have loads of crew and can take on loads of threats at a time, so they get to fire each of their weapons at a different target! So with that fellblade you can open up that Spartan with your quad lascannons, shoot your accelerator cannon at a group of pesky tac marines running towards your lines and then blow the unit of Red Butchers in front of you away with your demolisher cannon!

I won’t touch on every super-heavy tank that the Raven Guard can take, but I will touch on the main few people will be drawn towards and list their pros and cons.

Legion Cerberus Tank Destroyer:

  • One of the coolest looking, and most underwhelming super-heavies you’ll play. 395 points for basically a beefier Sicaran Venator. In addition it doesn’t fire a set number of time per turn, and there is the possibility of taking damage from even just shooting the weapon itself. Now it is longer range than the Venator’s cannon, but I don’t think it’s worth taking in any list for the Raven Guard.
  • Grade: F

Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank:

  • From zero to hero, this is probably point-for-point the best bang for your buck non-primarch LoW out there. 6 hull points, all the benefits of being super heavy, plus a 48” s10ap1 “No cover saves allowed” gun that is a 7” template? YES PLEASE I’LL TAKE 2! This tank is absolutely one of the biggest, “Oh damn I HAVE to kill that thing NOW!” units you can field. It will take heaps of pressure off the rest of your army. I think it pairs extremely well with a mixed alpha strike of drop pods and rhinos in a Decapitation strike RoW. (this is my preferred RG build) This tank also will come in 40 points cheaper than Corax when you throw the heavy bolter sponsons and armored ceramite on it.
  • Grade: A+

Legion Falchion Super-Heavy Tank Destroyer:

  • Everything the Cerberus wishes it was. This is one of the only ways to get D-strength weapons into 30k as well. A 12 hull point monster, this platform screams for the Legion crew upgrade to give it BS4. So starting with that you are at 520 points, which is quite the price tag, to be sure. This thing has 1 job: kill armor and hard targets. 120” gun that is strength D and a 5” template will get the job done most of the time. Hefty price tag that should probably be left for extremely large games at 3500+ points where titans will probably be present. RG typically have better ways to deal with armor than with a super-sized lava gun.
  • Grade: C-

Legion Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank:

  • The super-heavy tank that drew me into loving super-heavy tanks, the Fellblade is sleek and sexy as it is powerful. More guns than a naughty nurse in a Frank Miller graphic novel, this thing is made to shatter enemy lines. Sporting the massive two-barreled Fellbalde Accelerator cannon, a demolisher cannon, two sets of sponson quad-lascannons, a hull mounted twin-linked heavy bolter and a possible pintle mount to make the tank commander feel like he’s making a difference. If every Space Marines were compensating in a vehicle, it’s this one. Unfortunately I think that’s it downfall. Jack-of-all-trades and master of none (think 40k space marines). The accelerator cannon and demolisher cannon bring ways to take out pesky 2-wound terminators with strength 9 and 10 at ap2, but Raven Guard have ways to do that as well.
  • Grade: C+

Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank:

  • So this guy’s gun is like a tank portable lightsaber that stretches out 48” from its turret barrel. A 1” wide area for 48” takes s8ap2 hits with the deflagrate rule from volkite making it extra deadly. Sporting side sponson quad-lascannons to back up its crazy main gun, this thing is a threat to be reckoned with on all levels. Only one massive problem with this tank. It is 625 points. BASE. For this reason I am pretty certain I’m not going to field one. It is crazy cool looking though, cheers if you get one and paint it up Raven Guard style
  • Grade: D+

So there are some winners and losers here in the super-heavy tank category when talking about Raven Guard list construction. I will go through a couple different ways to implement them in a list here to offer some perspective. I am not going to do points, but just throw some units down to show how they will work together in a list.

Typhon – Decapitation strike 2500

  • Siege Breaker – arty, hammer, camo, refractor field
  • 2x10 tacticals, blades, vex, tooled sarge in a pod
  • Plasma support squad, tooled sarge in pod
  • 10 Vets – marksman, 2 heavy bolters, sarge w/ fist in a rhino w/dozer & multi melta
  • 5 Mor Deytan w/combi-flamers in a rhino w/dozer & multi melta
  • 2 quad mortars w/shatter shells
  • Apothecary with augury scanner & arty
  • Heavy support squad w/lascannons and tooled sarge
  • Typhon with heavy bolter sponsons and armored ceramite

I think there are some points left over to change the list around to your style. This list will make good use of the Typhon shot when the siege breaker attached to the lascannons and quad mortars open up the transports for the Typhon to blow the elite units away. Mor Deythan and vets move upfield and mop up whats left while the tacticals pod onto objectives and hunker down for the duration. Solid.

Corax and Typhon – Onslaught 3000+

  • Maun
  • 20 tacticals w/blades, vex, tooled sarge
  • 10 tacticals w/vex
  • 10 vets w/weapon master, power weapons, tooled sarge & darkwing
  • 10 mor deythan w/combi-weapons in a darkwing
  • 2x3 grav cannon rapiers
  • Apothecary w/jump pack
  • 10 Dark furies
  • Sicaran – sponsons, ceramite, dozer
  • Venator – ceramite, dozer
  • Typhon – ceramite, heavy bolter sponsons
  • Corax

Though it sounds incredibly dirty to include a crazy good tank with our primarch, it can be a terrifically efficient way to get firepower and localized close combat support into your list. Maun has 20 buddies to guard him, while the other 10 tacs infiltrate onto an objective and hunker down. The 2 darkwings provide the mid-game firepower that the two sicaran tanks and the typhon provide with the grav-cannon rapiers in the early game. Again I’m sorry if that’s too many points I’m just spitballing.

So the two example lists were with the Typhon, but it is my favorite and I am a tad bit biased towards it. I think the stats speak for themselves that it is the clear choice for effectiveness in the super-heavy tank talk.

What is your favorite super-heavy tank and why? I love tactic talk.

Victoris Aut Mortis.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Mastering the Alpha and Beta Strike

Patton a Fellow Raven, brings you this blog's first guest post! 

Enjoy ;) 

Welcome sons of Deliverance. Today we’re going to look at the way of the Raven Guard: Strike Fast, and Strike Hard. There are two ways to design the Raven Guard to do this: Alpha-strike or Beta-strike. For the rest of this article, we’re going to look at list design to accomplish these goals, including Rites of War and unit choices. For each of these lists, we’re going to cover four types of units needed: anti-Spartan, anti-tank, anti-terminator/primarch, and anti-air.

Alpha Strike

Hit them hard! This strategy works very well with Raven Guard legion rules, giving infiltrate and fleet. There are two options to go with your ROW: Decapitation Strike or Recon ROW.

Alpha Strike—Decapitation Strike

For Decapitation Strike, you will want to take Strike Command Maun as your HQ. His major benefits to this list are the ability to reroll for seize the initiative, allow reroll to drop pod and flyer reserves, and allow no scatter deep-strike within 18”. The goal is to get as many hard-hitting units forward on turn one as possible. This list aims to be everywhere at once, and doesn’t necessarily need a combat unit; however, a unit of dark furies never hurt anybody ;) The list really needs to be able to reliably kill a Spartan turn one to get to the juicy innards with shooting. The list will include pods to get dreadnoughts and special weapons forward, and take an odd number of pods (three is usually good, with the third coming in empty and bought for either a tactical squad or Maun).

Useful Units: Alpha Strike—Decapitation Strike
Grav Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Guns In Pods
Land Speeders With Grav
Infiltrating Lascannon Support Squad With Tank Hunter
Grav Rapiers
Quad Launcher Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Gun In Pod
Attack Bikes
Leviathan With Storm Cannon

Combi-Plasma Seekers
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython
Tactical Support Squad With Plasmas Or Meltas
Infiltrating Lascannon Support Squad
Legion Stormblade
Legion Glave
Leviathan With Grav-Flux Bombard

Fire Raptor
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought

Sample Drop Pod Alpha Strike List at 2.5k: Decapitation Strike ROW
HQ—Strike Captain Maun: 140
Elites: Contemptor Dreadnought: 2xCCW Arm, 2xGrav Gun 205
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225
Elites—7xMor Deython, Rhino with Dozerblade and Multimelta 279
Troops—10xTactical Marines: Rhino with Dozerblade 165
Troops—10xTactical Marines: Drop Pod 160
Fast Attack—Dreadclaw Drop Pod: 115
Fast Attack—8xSeekers, 7xCombi-Plasma, Drop Pod: 320
Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230
Lord of War—Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: Lascannon Sponsons 435

Alpha Strike Recon ROW Style
The second option is the Recon Company ROW. This alpha-strike list will combine infiltrating heavy weapons with scouting assault elements which tear apart infantry and terminators. You will usually take a praetor, delegatus or Corax as your HQ in this as you won’t get as much use out of Strike Commander Maun. There is less of a need to murder a Spartan T1 in this build, as you have a better means of countering nasty terminators in cc.

Useful Units: Alpha Strike Recon ROW Style
Grav Rapiers
Land Speeders With Grav
Contemptor In Pod With Grav Guns
Assault Marines With Meltabombs
Outriders With Meltabombs
Veteran Tacticals With Meltabombs In Dreadclaw
Primaris Lightning

Grav Rapiers
Quad Launcher Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Gun In Pod
Attack  Bikes
Leviathan With Storm Cannon In Pod
Outriders With Meltabombs
Darkwing/Storm Eagle

Combi-Plasma Seekers In Rhino
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython In Rhino
Tactical Support Squad With Plasmas Or Meltas
Legion Stormblade
Legion Glave
Leviathan With Grav-Flux Bombard In Pod
Outriders With Four Power Axes And Forgelord With Rad Grenades
Assault Marines With Power Axes And Forgelord With Rad Grenades

Fire Raptor
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought
Darkwing/Storm Eagle

Sample Recon Company Alpha-Strike List at 2.5k—Recon Company ROW
HQ—Forgelord: Artificer Armor, Power Axe, Bike, Grav Gun, Rad Grenades 155 
HQ—Vigilator: Power Armor, Meltabombs, Jump Pack 110
HQ—Delegatus: Artificer Armor, Bike, Power Axe 115
Elites—1xApothecary, 1xBike 65
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225
Elites—3xQuad Mortars with Scatter Shells: 210
Troops—5xRecon Marines with Bolters 100
Troops—5xRecon Marines with Bolters 100
Troops—5xRecon Marines with Bolters 100
Fast Attack—9xOutrider bikers with Meltabombs, 3xPower Axes, Sergeant with Power Axe 370
Fast Attack—10xDark Furies with Meltabombs on the Sergeant 330
Lord of War—Typhon: 395 

Beta Strike
Flyer-based Beta Strike
In the beta strike, the idea is heavy use of reserves to support a solid infiltrating firebase. The flyer-based beta strike would do well to make use of a ground-based firebase to complement the flyer’s firepower. A solid anti-Spartan option is still a good idea to make those scary deathstars hoof it. A counter-assault unit is probably a good idea. So we are now going to change our fourth category from Anti-air (which I’m taking as a given in a flyer-based list) to be counter-assault instead. Strike Commander Maun fits in well to this style of list, as he insures your flyers arrive on time. However, there is no particular ROW that gives significant benefit to this style of play; you’ll probably want multiple fire raptors. Pride of the Legion is an option as vet tactical squads and terminator squads can take darkwings as dedicated transports

Useful Units: Flyer-based Beta Strike
Grav Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Guns In Pods
Land Speeders With Grav

Grav Rapiers
Quad Launcher Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Gun In Pod
Fire Raptor
Primaris Lightning
Darkwing/Storm Eagle

Infantry With Plasma
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython In Darkwing
Terminators With Power Axe And Forgelord In Darkwing/Storm Eagle/Castus Assault Ram

Dark Fury
Assault Marines

Sample Flyer-based Beta-Strike List at 2.5k: Pride of the Legion ROW
HQ—Strike Commander Maun: 140
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers: 225
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers: 225
Troops—9xVeteran Tactical Squad: 9xPower Axe, Meltabomb Dark Wing 510
Troops—7xVeteran Tactical Squad: 7xCombi-Plasma, Dark Wing 469
Troops—5xTataros Terminators: 5xCombi-Plasma, 1xChainfist; Land Raider Phobos with Dozer Blade, Armored Ceramite 470
Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230
Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230

Drop Pod Beta Strike:
The idea of the Drop Pod beta strike is to open all the vehicles turn one, then drop combi-weapons on the disembarked passengers turn two. This strategy works best with Strike Captain Maun and Decapitation Strike. This strategy works well with an even number of pods to get the maximum number of infantry-killers in on turn 2.
Useful Units: Drop Pod Beta Strike
Grav Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Guns In Pods
Land Speeders With Grav
Infiltrating Lascannons With Tank Hunter
Grav Rapiers
Quad Launcher Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Gun In Pod
Land Speeders With Multimeltas And Grav Guns
Leviathan With Storm Cannon

Combi-Plasma Seekers In Drop Pod
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython In Drop Pod
Tactical Support Squad With Plasmas Or Meltas In Drop Pod
Infiltrating Lascannons
Legion Stormblade
Legion Glave
Leviathan With Grav-Flux Bombard

Fire Raptor
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought

Sample Drop Pod Beta Strike List at 2.5k: Decapitation Strike ROW
HQ—Strike Captain Maun with Drop Pod: 175
Elites: Contemptor Dreadnought: 2xCCW Arm, 2xGrav Gun, Dreadnought Drop Pod 305
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225
Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225
Elites—7xMor Deython, 7xCombi-Flamer, MB 243
Troops—10xTactical Marines: Drop Pod 160
Troops—10xTactical Marines: Rhino, Dozerblade, Multimelta 180
Fast Attack—Dreadclaw Drop Pod: 115
Fast Attack—8xSeekers, 7xCombi-Plasma, Drop Pod: 320
Fast Attack—8xSeekers, 7xCombi-Plasma, Drop Pod: 320
Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230

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.