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
Anti-Spartan
Anti-Tank
Grav Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Guns In Pods
Land Speeders With Grav
Medusas
Infiltrating Lascannon Support Squad With Tank Hunter
Grav Rapiers
Quad Launcher Rapiers
Medusas
Contemptor With Grav Gun In Pod
Sicaran
Predators
Attack Bikes
Javelins
Leviathan With Storm Cannon

Anti-Terminator
Anti-Air
Combi-Plasma Seekers
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython
Tactical Support Squad With Plasmas Or Meltas
Medusas
Infiltrating Lascannon Support Squad
Typhon
Hellhammer
Stormsword
Legion Stormblade
Legion Glave
Leviathan With Grav-Flux Bombard

Fire Raptor
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought
Xyphon

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
Anti-Spartan
Anti-Tank
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
Javelins
Leviathan With Storm Cannon In Pod
Outriders With Meltabombs
Darkwing/Storm Eagle

Anti-Terminator
Anti-Air
Combi-Plasma Seekers In Rhino
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython In Rhino
Tactical Support Squad With Plasmas Or Meltas
Typhon
Hellhammer
Stormsword
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
Xyphon
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
Anti-Spartan
Anti-Tank
Grav Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Guns In Pods
Land Speeders With Grav

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

Anti-Terminator
Counter-Assault
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
Outriders
Contemptors
Terminators

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
Anti-Spartan
Anti-Tank
Grav Rapiers
Contemptor With Grav Guns In Pods
Land Speeders With Grav
Medusas
Infiltrating Lascannons With Tank Hunter
Grav Rapiers
Quad Launcher Rapiers
Medusas
Contemptor With Grav Gun In Pod
Sicaran
Predators
Land Speeders With Multimeltas And Grav Guns
Javelins
Leviathan With Storm Cannon

Anti-Terminator
Anti-Air
Combi-Plasma Seekers In Drop Pod
Combi-Flamer Mor Deython In Drop Pod
Tactical Support Squad With Plasmas Or Meltas In Drop Pod
Medusas
Infiltrating Lascannons
Typhon
Hellhammer
Stormsword
Legion Stormblade
Legion Glave
Leviathan With Grav-Flux Bombard

Fire Raptor
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought
Xyphon

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


4 comments:

deFl0 said...

So a couple of thoughts.

I think there is a progression of time signatures in lists depending on units you take. I look at it like this:

Alpha Strike -> Beta Strike -> Counter Strike -> Attrition

Alpha Strike: IMO, you basically win in turn one, hopefully before your opponent even gets a turn. The list needs to do enough damage that the difference of effective points on the board is so different you auto win. So part of the equation is max 1 turn damage spike and the other part of the equation is list efficiency.

So a good example is seekers. Seekers with combi plasmas are a great alpha strike unit in a pod because they do huge up front damage. Plasma tacs are a better beta strike unit because they do strong delayed damage and have a better damage signature over the rest of the game. If you were running an attrition list, naked seekers infiltrating into cover and shooting scorpius bolts are probably you best long term damage per point.

A Beta strike list spikes per unit throughout the game, hopefully at the most opportune time. These lists tend to be reserve heavy, but not exclusively.

A good example would be rending flamers. Mor Deythan with combi flamers do massive damage for one turn, so they are a great Alpha strike unit. Sniper vets with combi flamers, flamers and missile launcher in a rhino, can do constant damage and spike damage heavily in a turn. So it's a great beta strike unit.

Alpha vs. Beta also dictates use of units. Alpha strike list should focus on first turn. So for example, consider speeders. They are very cost effective grav / multi melta delivery devices. In an alph strike list, you would usually deploy that move them forward and try to slag a spartan. In a Beta Strike list, you would deep strike them.

So why is Beta or Alpha strike better?

It comes down to list speeds and timing. Alpha Strike lists tend to cripple units like transports and pin an army into their deployment zone. This is useful for templates, multi charging and ultimately delaying units from getting to a positions where they can be dangerous or able to achieve mission objectives.

Beta list usually work on the opposite approach. As an army moves across the board, fast elements, mid fielders and long range support tend to become further apart. This allows for locational superiority of either fire power or HTH prowess. It also usually means the unit is far less supported by other units, allowing you to pick them off piece meal. But in general, you aggressively go to your opponent.

Counter strike is the same concept but the idea is to wear down your opponent as they come towards you and then punch them hard when their weakened units finally close with you.

Attrition, is complete based on tit for tat. Do you have enough time or enough units to actually chew through my armies resilience.

On a final note, it's fine to think of each unit having one or multiple of these functions and deploying them as such. Approaching you list building this way and then following through with your unit plans is usually how you become a better general.



Relentless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loken said...

Damn! Great artcile. And deF10, awesome comment. Heck, it is an article by itself!

Loken

deFl0 said...

Lol. Thanks. I need to sit down and write out the finer points of counter strike and attrition lists.

They are actually really quite viable list with Raven Guard.

On face value RG look like an alpha strike army, but they are great at attrition warfare, especially with the liberation force ROW and fearless militia