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.
- 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.
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.