Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Blog Wars X- Proposed Ravenwing Army

Earlier this year, I attended Blog Wars 9 (run by Alex who runs From the Fang) and had so much fun that I decided to attend Blog Wars X later this year.
Last time round I took my burgeoning White Scars army. I had three great games against three great opponents and decided that this time I would stay with a bike army, but change chapters. I have decided to take my Dark Angels, but not only that, I will be taking an all Ravenwing army! I have really been enjoying the new Dark Angels codex and want to see how the boys in black will perform in a competitive setting.
I've been thinking of taking the Ravenwing for a while, so much so that I contacted Alex to clear up the Ravenwing Strike Force issue. For those of you that don't know, the Ravenwing Strike Force comes with three HQ choices and the ability to re-roll your warlord trait. The only problem is that all models/units in the formation must have the Ravenwing special rule and the only HQ unit with this rule is Sammael (either on his jetbike Corvex or in his landspeeder, Sabreclaw). This means that those inviting two spare HQ slots go to waste and my bike-mounted Librarian has to cry into his pillow at nights as he can no longer ride with the big boys. Although there are ways to field other bike-mounted characters (such as running Unbound, it's not like I needed friends anyway), but no way to get them in an all Ravenwing army.
Alex recently made a ruling on the Ravenwing strike force, which boils down to:
  • Sammael is a compulsory choice for the Strike Force
  • Other characters may be taken. They must take a Space Marine bike and swap the Deathwing rule for the Ravenwing rule.

With these restrictions in mind, I have decided to put together my list for Blog Wars X. At the moment, it will consist of:
Sammael- Corvex
Librarian- Mastery Level 2, Space Marine Bike, Meltabombs, Conversion Field, Auspex
5 Ravenwing Command Squad- Grenade Launcher, Champion, Apothecary, Ravenwing Standard
6 Black Knights- Grenade Launcher
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Plasma guns, sergeant with meltabombs
Dark Talon
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, sergeant with meltabombs
Ravenwing Landspeeder- Multimelta, Typhoon Missile launcher
Darkshroud- Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Landspeeders- Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons
1850 pts, 34 models.
A small, elite army of bikers, but hopefully one that will pack a good punch and with enough speed and mobility to help me grab objectives.

EDIT: It was pointed out to me in the comments below that my army is not actually Blog Wars legal as it features 3 detachments/formations. In order to fix this I will fold either the Attack Squadron or Support Squadron into the Ravenwing Strike Force. I haven't decided which special formation I want to lose yet, I'll need to do some more playtesting before making my final choice, but it'll most likely be the attack squadron being part of the strike force instead. Thanks to Anonymous for pointing this out.
1. Sammael
The warlord for the army, Sammael is a tough character who can do some damage in combat. He comes with toughness 5, eternal warrior and a 4+ invulnerable, so should be able to withstand a fair amount of damage in combat. He also comes armed with an AP2 power sword that strikes at initiative, great for dealing with terminators or other marines. His warlord trait is also valuable, giving him an extra 3" charge distance should help ensure that he gets into combat when required.
2. Librarian
I really like the new Interromancy powers. The librarian has the ability to severely weaken enemy units if he get the right set of powers and giving the Black Knights rage will make them a very powerful combat unit. Mounted on a bike, he should be able to get in range to use his powers as many of them have short ranges.
3. Black Knights
I have taken two units of these elite bikers, one as a command squad. These are the hard hitters of the Ravenwing. Their plasma talons should be able to make a mess of most units and they get a massive 4 attacks on the charge at S5 with rending. They also get re-rollable 3+ cover saves as standard, which should be a nice boost to their durability. The Ravenwing Standard is essential in the army. I seem to have a knack for failing hit and run rolls with characters on a 6.
4. Ravenwing Bikers
I have taken three units of bikers, one armed with grav guns, one armed with plasma guns and one armed with meltaguns. They have good durability and mobility and should hopefully be able to deal with most threats.
5. Dark Talon
This is the unknown element in the army for me. I have never used one before and have just picked up the model. I should hopefully get some practices games in with it before blog wars. On paper, the Dark Talon should be able to deal with just about any unit on the board and its bomb should severely diminish the combat capacity of units that the Black Knights want to charge.
6. Ravenwing Attack Squadron
I have decided to focus on a tank hunting role for the attack squadron, giving the squad two meltaguns and the landspeeder a multimelta and typhoon launcher for tank hunting potential. The detachment gives a nice bonus to hit for the bike squad too. This is nice as there is nothing worse than putting your bike squad right in front of the nasty enemy tank then missing with both meltaguns.
7. Ravenwing Support Squadron
I have only used this once before, but found it very useful. The Ravenshield rule is great, allowing you to shoot extra overwatch at a unit with this much firepower should cause a fair amount of damage. I am concerned about having all the speeders in one unit. This gives them a big footprint on the board and can potentially reduce the capabilities of the Darkshroud by keeping it away from other units. I will play some games where they are in the support squadron and separate to see which I prefer.
I need to get more practice games with the army (I haven't had one yet with it!) in the two months left before blog wars.
Already, there are a few problems that I forsee with the army:
1. Low Model Count
The army is quite small (34 models compared to 54 in my White Scars blog wars army), so the loss of any units will hurt in a game.
2. Reliance on cover saves
Obviously, Jinking is going to give me a huge boost to survivability but will also severely reduced my firepower. If I come up against Tau or another army with lots of ignores cover fire, I will be in big trouble.
3. Imperial Knights
These may give me a problem, though hopefully I have enough high strength and tank-busting firepower to deal with them.
4. Objective Secured
My army does not have this. It was a vital rule for me in the last blog wars games and I may end up missing it this time round. It will be especially important in the modified relic mission that is played in game 2.
There are several changes that I could make to the army based on its performance in the practice games. These are:
  • Dropping the Librarian and taking a Chaplain on a bike (regular or Interrogator). I've not had too much success with Dark Angels psykers in my game, but the Interromancy powers are so inviting. The Chaplain would give me another fearless model and give me some nice re-rolls to hit in combat with the Black Knights.
  • Drop the Support Squadron and either take the Darkshroud and individual units of landspeeders or a Darkshroud and another bike squad or two. This would give me a boost to the numbers in the army and allow me to use the Darkshroud to support one of the Black Knight squads.
If you have any thoughts on the army or suggestions to change it, let me know below.


  1. I've seen your army now, mu, ha, ha! All I can say is I'm following you on Dark Angels advice, but sadly not painted any Ravenwing yet so I can't really comment but that loss of ob-sec may well be the undoing of this army is my only thought.

    1. That's all right, I posted my White Scars army last time for Blog Wars 9 and it didn't seem to do me any harm (maybe that's cause nobody was actually reading this blog back then ;) ). I think it may be a problem in a couple of the missions, I'm not sure the army has enough firepower to effectively cripple the enemy army and stop them from contesting/claiming objectives. I think I'll need to play a lot more games and see.

      I just love the look of the army, so I'll probably still take them, regardless of how effective they will be on the table.

      I've played one practice game with the army so far, I'll be posting the battle report on Thursday, so no spoilers yet.

    2. I've played only one game with mine, battle report tomorrow so no spoilers for me too ;)

  2. I hate to be a party pooper (and I apologize if I'm wrong with how the new dark angel book works) but I believe you're using 3 formations for this list? The strike force, the attack squadron and the support squadron.
    If I remember the army selection stuff Alex has put up on the blog wars page correctly, you're only allowed to use up to 2 detachments/formations.

    If you've already ok'd the list with Alex then please ignore me, but I know I'd hate to spend months practicing and painting a list only to be told last miniute that it's not allowed.

    Otherwise, you've got a nice looking army there.

    1. Ah, my mistake. I thought the restrictions were maximum of two sources, not two detachments. Thank you for correcting me about this.

      It's an easy enough fix, I will just move the attack squadron to the ravenwing strike force. I will no longer get the special rules, but it will be a legal army.