Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Vigilators

I've always approached Raven Guard as the Black Ops Space Marine Legion. So what consul could be better than the Vigilator, a Captain-sized-super-scout-spy-bad-ass? 

With Independent Characters with infiltrate only being able to infiltrate with units with Infiltrate, Raven Guard have lot of opportunities to add a Vigilator to just about any squad. 

So what do Vigiliators add to a Raven Guard? 

  • Scout: First and foremost your unit picks up scout. In an army, with tons of infiltrate, this can be HUGE. Infiltrate lets your units deploy within 18" in view or 12" out of view. Thus, in most cases, this means your units are 18" away. Scout let's you move of 6" or 12" depending on your unit type. But must stay 12" away from your enemy. From a shooting perspective this means you will easily be in range for melta, graviton guns, double tapping rapid fire weapons like bolters or plasma. 
  • Infiltrate and Move Through Cover: If you drop the Vigilators power armor down to scout armor, the Vigilator will confer Infiltrate and Move Through Cover on the squad. In a Raven Guard list, the Vigilator already has infiltrate in Power Armor, so the real question is if move through cover is worth dropping your save to a 4+. A good example of when this might make sense is if you give your Vigilator a jump pack and run him with a Dark Fury Squad. Now your jump packers auto pass dangerous terrain checks ;) 
  • Special Ammo and Sniper: With Tempest rounds, you have a rapid fire, small blast tempest that always wound on a 4+ and on a 6+ to wound become AP2. The scorpius rounds are also good with precision shot. On a 6+ to hit you can pick out that hvy weapon or serg and add on shred and rending. Another thing to remember is that you get sniper on all your shooting attacks, so feel free to toss your sniper frag grenade on your way into hth ;)
  • Sabotage: On a 2+ you get to inflict D6 S5 AP6 hits (to the weakest front of a vehicle). Not great, but you never know. Note, that you can't pick up first blood before turn one if you are playing that secondary because it must happen in the game turn, although you woul pick up a VP for killing  aunit. 
  • Stealth: Vigilitators come with cameleoline, which conveys stealth to him and his entire squad. This adds to shrouding picked up in the Recon ROW, but it can also be interesting if you have him attached to a squad of bikes and they jink. 
  • War Gear: So you can't take a combi-weapon, boarding shield, power fist, thunder hammer, lightning claws, bike, jet-bike or termi armor. It's actually, kinda of an odd exclusion list, but the important thing to note is that you can take a JUMP PACK. Plus, remember that you can take an infravisor. Finally, for the ultimate cheese, you could always take a void shield relic. 

So on his own, a Viglator doesn't really add a huge amount of offensive fire power. You can tool him up for hth, but really his strength is that he is a force multiplier. 

Below are a couple ways to use a Vigilator:
  • Legion Recon Company ROW: In this ROW, all units that infiltrate or scout start with shrouding on the first turn. Most infantry in the Raven Guard force have infiltrate, but there are few exceptions. A Vigilator adds scout to a unit, which would give a unit shrouding, plus remember you can take cameleoline, so now youa re +3 to cover. So consider taking a Vigilator with a jump pack, scout armor and cameleoline in a dark fury squad. Now your Dark Fury squad starts 12" forward, is +3 to cover and auto passes dangerous terrain tests. You can do similar tactics with attack bikes or jet bikes. For more tips on this ROW, check out this article:
  • Breachers: Breachers are often overlooked as expensive and not very useful in a Raven Guard force, but with a Vigilator, they now scout into 12" range which makes 4 X 18" graviton guns very viable. And you will see if you compare this what you would pay for a tac squad and grav rapiers, you will see that it's not actually that expensive of an option. You can find more tips on Breachers here:
  • Seekers: Combi-Plasma Seekers in particular are especially dangerous with a Vigilator. With BS 5 and preferred enemy, a 10 man Seeker squad shoots 20 shoots that hit and wound of a 2+ and re-roll ones. In addition, seekers now have precision shot, which is good for plucking characters out of the squad. So if you are running Nex and the Liberation Force ROW you could score score 6VPs killing a warlord turn one! For more about the Liberation Force ROW check out this article.
  • Support Squads: When I say support squads, I mean units with assault weapons like support squads, seekers, demolishers, and even units like castellax. Vigiliators let you get with in 12" turn one, which when combined with the Recon Company ROW or the Decapitating Strike ROW combined with Alvarex Maun or a Democlese Rhino, you can set up a VERY powerful alpha strike. 
  • Transports: Scout also confers to a units transport, so you could totally scout landraiders forward with termies bristling with combi weapons or put support squads in scouting rhinos. Or even a unit in a Dark Wing, Thunder Hawk or Storm Eagle on a landing pad and scout it on the platform first turn ;)

Do you guys have any other clever ways to use Vigilators?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Legion Breacher Seige Squads

The Legion Breacher squad is not a squad you would immediately think of when you think of Raven Guard. They are basically heavy infantry tactical squads and they are one of the units in a legion army that don't have a standard 40K equivalent. That said, they do make me think of the pale nomads of the XIX legion before Corax took it over. More importantly, they just look damn cool and the shield gives you all sort of modeling and conversion possibilities.

But are they any good on the battle field for Raven Guard? Well... It depends what you compare them too and how you use them.

The Rules:
  • Boarding Shield: 6++ save vs. shooting & 5++ in close combat. Count as being armed with defensive grenades.
  • Void Hardened Armor: Re-roll failed armor save vs. template and blast weapons and -1" to run, sweeping advance and charge moves.
  • Weapon Access: Melta Bombs, volkite charger, flamer, graviton gun or lascutter
  • Gear Access: Nuncio Vox and Legion Vexila

At first glance, they look like heavily armored, slow Tac marines. You pay 75 pts more than 10 tac marines and you lose fury of the legion. You also lose out on options like CCWs. However, what you gain is a unit that is much harder to move off an objective in hth. Right? Well... is 10 breachers really harder to move off an objective than 17 or 18 marines? Probably not...

So why would I want to field this unit in a Raven Guard army? Well... War Gear in your troop slot.
  • Artificer Armor: On the Sgt. is REALLY powerful against some units with templates. Situational, but it's one of the few 2+ re-rollables in the game. 
  • Nuncio Vox: No scatter within 6" is solid for Raven Guard Deepstrikers
  • Melta Bombs: In most legions, melta bombs are a waste of points, but with Raven Guard you get to infiltrate. So getting to use melta bombs is a huge possibility. It also make breachers a huge area denial unit for a units like land raiders or spartans. That said, assault marines can take them (but can't infiltrate), as can recon squads but they aren't compulsory. So if you want 10 melta bombs, it's a lot cheaper to take a  breacher squad instead of two tacs anf a recon squad with melta bombs. Note, that recons and vets can be taken as compulsory in a lot of ROWs though, so breachers aren't always the best choice for melta bombs. They also have a breacher charge that could be totally devastating or could totally back fire on you... 
  • Special weapons: So let's ignore the volkite chargers, flamers and the abortion of the lascutter. You can take those cheaper in other squads... But graviton guns are AWESOME. Haywire, is one of the best rules in the game and is the best way to deal with a lot of the crazy resilient vehicles in 30K. 18" haywire AP4 3" blast, concussive, grav pulse is sooo good. But it is heavy. 
So how do you use these guys? 4 graviton guns and add a Vigilator...  So now you infiltrate with 18" and scout up 6" and you are very much in the 18" range for your graviton guns.

No. It's not cheap. 20 beachers with 4 gravs is 380 pts! 465pts with the Vigilator. You could get a 10 man termi squad for that...

Then again, 4 rapier grav cannons and a 10 man tac squad is 450pts.  So for 15 pts you've saved an elite slot (+1 mor deythan unit) and you have a unit that has 2o resilient bodies, that scores.


Breachers get a bad rap for being expensive tac marines and it's true for most legions, but with Raven Guard, we can deploy them efficiently without the cost of a transport. In addition, with the Scout Recon Legion or Decapitating Strike ROW, you can use the combo of going first for an alpha strike with vigilators and graviton guns to stop a spartans dead in their tracks before they ever get to move.

In addition, it's important to look at their cost in perspective of the entire list. In general, most armies have the dead weight of 2 X 10 tac marines. Sure tacs can camp out on objective but they probably won't kill anything. With breachers you actually have scoring units that will likely kill a good chunk of points. Plus haywire is a very expensive thing to build into a list. But Breachers with a vigilator really are a competitive alternative to rapier grav cannons or other haywire delivery units.