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.


deFl0 said...

Great article Parker. Just thought I would add a little tactical commentary here in the comments.

- Recon ROW doesn't let you start with hvy support on the board, but you can start with super heavies. So building super heavies into a ROW that helps you go first almost 90% of the time? Count me in. Works really well with good alpha strike units. Think grav platforms that crack a spartan, then you hit the unit inside with a typhon.

- The Falchion can upgrade the volcano cannon with a neutron wave capacitor. With the price tag of this and ceremite, you will only be pulling this guy out in big games. BUT if you hit with this monster, other super-heavies are shaken. THIS IS HUGE. Since most super-heavy shot template weapons. Yes, you can get the rule on the cheaper venator, but it's on a Str D weapon with a lot more survivability on the Falchion. Expensive, but you win the super heavy arms race.

- Liberation Force ROW - Bubble wrapping your super heavies is a great way to keep them alive and cheap fearless militia are a great unit to bubble wrap with. Also consider an Imperial Statue out of the fortifications, which make your units fearless. You also can bring tons of cheap AV 1 with militia, so yes AV14 spam can be a real thing.

- Best super heavy choices. I usually approach the topic with two questions.

1. Can it fill a hole in my list?
2. Can it increase an advantage?

As for filling holes, Raven Guard don't get any bonus to tank hunting other than infiltration which gives you positioning if you use something infantry based. So I'm always looking for more ways to kills AV. Especially big AV. Spartans and knights can be a real problem for RG if you didn't put a mega can opener in your list. Enter something like the falchion. It shines at high point levels, where you just might have to deal with multiple super heavies and a titan :)

As for increasing advantage, Raven Guard are especially good at killing infantry in cover, in the shooting phase. Add a Typhon and no you are better at it than everyone... No other other legion can bring as much cover ignoring death. Match it with grav rapiers, or grav speeders, or vindicator laser arrays watch your opponents scurry towards LOS blocking terrain. Playing both sides of the table is how you win this game ;)

Anonymous said...

Small detail. You don't have a MotL in your 2k5 decap list.

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