Tuesday 27 October 2015

Blog Wars X- My Ravenwing List

So, for Blog Wars X, I had decided to take an all Ravenwing army to the tournament. With Blog Wars being a friendlier type of tournament with no extreme lists (though that doesn't mean the games are not tough!), I thought I would take a more thematic list down to Stockport. With the new codex and the awesomeness that is Ravenwing, I put together a proposed list and went about playtesting the army to see how it would perform (for my efforts on this, check out my Battle Reports).
After several games testing the army, the list I have decided to go with is:
Sammael- on Corvex
Interrogator-Chaplain- Space Marine Bike, Mace of Redemption, Auspex, Meltabombs
5 Ravenwing Commnad Squad- Ravenwing Company Banner, Apothecary, Grenade Launcher
5 Black Knights- Grenade Launcher, Huntsmaster has Meltabombs
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant has Meltabombs
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 plasma guns, sergeant has Meltabombs
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant has Meltabombs
Dark Talon- Rift Cannon, Two hurricane bolters, stasis bomb
Ravenwing Landspeeder- Multimelta, Typhoon Missile Launcher
Ravenwing Darkshroud- Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Landspeeders- Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons
Total= 1845 pts.
Not too many changes from my original list, only one significant one; swapping the Librarian for the Interrogator-Chaplain.

Let's take a look at the list:
A compulsory choice in the Ravenwing Strike Force (at least for Blog Wars), Sammael is a great looking model and a decent Warlord to take in the army.
He has some decent durability, with T5, 3+/4++ and eternal warrior, he can take some damage and still come out swinging. He has some decent combat potential, with a S4, AP2 power sword that strikes at initiative. I think he is better suited to taking out rand and file units with his plasma cannon and AP2 attacks. At base strength 4, he really struggles to take on tougher characters in combat (T5 or above) as was shown in my combat against Thomas' Nurgle Bike Lord. I love his warlord trait as it helps the Black Knights make some long range charges more reliably.
I will probably throw him into combat when leading the Command Squad, but will most likely try and avoid tougher characters and focus on taking out sergeant level characters and rank and file troopers.
During my practice games, my Ravenwing Librarian was just not performing well. On paper, the Interromancy powers are great, but I could just not use them that effectively during games. Most of the time, my Librarian would be out of range to use his powers, fail to manifest them or kill himself manifesting them. I decided to drop him from the list and replace him with an Interrogator-Chaplain.
He comes armed with a space marine bike, meltabombs (for taking on vehicles) and an Auspex (to decrease the enemy cover save, very useful when combined with Plasma Talons). I also armed him with the Mace of Redemption to give him strength 7, AP3 attacks (as well as Blind and Concussive). I like the crozius Arcanum, but at AP4, it struggles against marines.
The Interrogator-Chaplain has some solid stats, making him a good character in combat. I also like the guaranteed re-rolls in the first turn of combat. Pairing him with a unit of Black Knights makes for a very effective combo, I could even put him with Sammael and the Command Squad for a very hard-hitting unit (albeit one with a big target on them).
Command Squad
The one change I have made to the Command Squad is dropping the Ravenwing Champion. The AP3 sword is nice, but being forced to issue and accept challenges is a big downside in my opinion. Having the Champion accept challenges from a combat character tends to result in more dead Black Knights. It is nice having the option to allow Sammael or the Interrogator-Chaplain to accept challenges allows them to possibly tank wounds that would otherwise kill the command squad.
Black Knights
A solid unit that packs a lot of firepower and some good combat potential. The plasma talons on the unit are amazing and the twin-linked re-rolls helps prevent too many of the Knights from killing themselves.
Ravenwing Bikers
The core of the army is three solid units of Ravenwing Bikers. The bikers have great mobility and durability. I have taken one unit with grav guns, one unit with meltaguns and one unit with plasma guns (its Dark Angels, you must have plasma!).
These units are solid, able to deal with many threats in the enemy army. The units are not great in combat, but with Hit and Run, they should be able to escape from combat when required.
Dark Talon
The most recent addition to my army, I like what the Dark Talon brings to the army. The Rift cannon is great, S10 AP2 Blast is a great weapon and should be able to damage most threats to the army. I have not had it go Vortex yet, so hopefully I am saving all my double rolls for Blog Wars.
I rarely use the stasis bomb though. Most of my games I am trying to get a turn 2 charge with the Black Knight units, so my flyer has to arrive on turn 2 to allow me to use it and I have to move over the enemy unit I wish to assault, so will generally not be able to use my Rift Cannon or Hurricane bolters that turn. It's a pity the flyer does not have some higher strength weaponry that is not blast, as my army suffers from a lack of anti-air firepower.

I also like that it can go into Hover mode, as this allows for some late game objective grabbing. This tactic has helped me before at Blog Wars.

Ravenwing Landspeeder
This is a tank-hunting element in my army. Having the multimelta mounted on a landspeeder means that the unit is fast enough and manoeuvrable enough to get in to range to use it. The Typhoon missile add a little extra firepower for tank hunting or for thinning out hordes with its blast markers.

Ravenwing Support Squadron
A great formation that receives a lot of attention from the enemy to wipe them out as fast as possible. Aside from the Darkshroud being ridiculous when paired with the Black Knights, the ability to overwatch with this unit at any enemy unit is great. Sixteen assault cannon shots and 9 heavy bolter shots have the ability to cause a lot of damage, even if they are snap firing.

I like this squadron. It has a big footprint on the table, but can damage most infantry units and can even occasionally hurt vehicles with the rending assault cannons.
The unit is insanely durable to all but Ignores cover fire, but will fall quickly in combat against most enemies. This is a problem as generally you will want them near your Black Knights to ensure that they don't get overwatched or to give them cover save bonuses.

Interceptor is a very useful rule on the formation, but I haven't got to use it much so far. The assault cannons with interceptor may prove useful for anti-flyer firepower if they can get close enough.

Their durability takes a (very) slight hit at Blog Wars as their 2+ re-rollable cover save becomes 2+/4+ thanks to the tournament rules, but it should still be a pretty durable unit.

Ravenwing Strike Force
I haven't actually got to use too many of the formation's special rules. Being able to Jink in the first turn and not snap fire in the second is a useful ability, but generally I am not wanting to give up a whole shooting phase with most of the army. It may prove useful for a unit or two to get into better positions or to grab objectives, but it will depend on the mission and enemy army.

The biggest annoyance in the formation is "Strike as one". I would like the ability to keep a unit or two in reserve to Outflank to give me a bit more tactical flexibility against certain opponents or missions, but cannot do this with the formation.
In theory, I could deploy only the Ravenwing Support Squadron and keep the entire strike force in reserve to automatically arrive on turn 2. This would be a very risky strategy to try and potentially suicide if the enemy has much in the way of Ignores Cover firepower (so not against Tau). I might try this in a game to see if it is a viable tactic to try. It would probably be of more use in the first or second Blog wars missions that in the maelstrom mission.

Having played quite a few games with the army, there are some obvious strengths to it.

As might be expected from a Ravenwing force, the army is highly mobile. The ability to Scout move is very effective, allowing the army to close with the enemy very quickly. Combine that with a 12" move and turboboost and the army can close with the enemy fast.

Toughness 5 with a re-rollable Jink save makes Ravenwing Bikers a tough unit to deal with. When looking at Black Knights or factoring in a Darkshroud, certain units are insanely durable. This can be very frustrating for your opponent as shot after shot just bounces off of the bikers.

AP2 Firepower
The army has no shortage of AP2 firepower in the form of Plasma Talons, Plasma guns, Grav guns, rending Assault Cannons, Rift Cannon and Melta firepower. I should have no problem dealing with any heavily armoured foes in the enemy army, with only invulnerable saves causing a problem.

Tank Hunting
With a multimelta, lots of plasma and a liberal sprinkling of Meltabombs in the army, tank hunting is actually pretty easy with the army. The high mobility means that I can usually get into combat with an enemy tank by turn 2, where hopefully the krak grenades and Meltabombs can deal with it. I haven't come up against an Imperial Knight or Wraithknight yet, so am unsure how the army may handle them (Riptides were actually dealt with quite easily using the Black Knights).

Over the course of my games, I have actually learnt a lot about the weaknesses of the army as a whole. I probably shouldn't be advertising these, but I think most players will be able to spot them pretty quickly.

AP3 Flamers
I don't think many armies like these, but my Ravenwing especially don't. A lot of the durability of the army comes from higher toughness and Jink saves. AP3 flamers eliminate these bonuses (they generally come with S6 or higher) and a good shot can wipe out a unit per turn. Having faced a Heldrake and XV-109 Y'vahra Battlesuit with the army, these two units are quite problematic for my force. Being able to eliminate a unit per turn is a big deal when I only have 5 bike units in the army (losing the Black Knights hurts a lot).

The army suffers from a lack of anti-air firepower. Even though I have my own flyer (hence, access to Skyfire), it lacks non-blast, high strength weaponry, so would need to rely on the hurricane bolters to take down an enemy flyer. This is great if I am only facing an Ork flyer, but for a lot of other flyers, it is useless.
My army has a high volume of twin-linked fire, so if I get desperate, I can always use the plasma talons to go after flyers (unless I can commandeer my opponent's quad gun).

Objective Secured
A big drawback of the army is the lack of objective secured. Not such a big deal in the first mission (kill points), but could be killer in the second and third missions. I would need to focus on wiping out my opponent's troops choices in these missions, but that could leave me vulnerable to the harder hitting choices in the army. I will just need to play these mission by ear and hope for the best.

So there you have it, my army for Blog Wars X. Let me know what you think below.

I think I did quite well at the last blog wars, I'm not sure how well this army will perform. I think I may be able to do well on the first mission (depending on my opponent), but may struggle in the next two with the relatively small size of the army and lack of objective secured. I'll just need to wait and see how I get on.


  1. Looks like a lean, mean fighting machine :D

  2. Great army! Not one i want to face if I'm honest! Would tear me apart, with fast units and re-rolling cover saves!

    And interceptor! Blurgh

    1. Cheers! I just hope lack of objective secured doesn't undo me in the end.

  3. How do you think the librarian could be more useful? In a conclave?

    1. The conclave is certainly a very powerful option and great for getting the powers off reliably. I have never used it myself, but I have heard good things about it.

      I just don't think I was using him properly- throwing him into combats where he could be easily killed or not using the powers most effectively. I just need more practice with the Librarian, more than I could get before blog wars.