Having picked up the new 7th edition Dark Angels codex at the weekend (love that new codex smell!), I thought I would review one of my favourite armies from the book, the Ravenwing.
I have always loved the Ravenwing, but they suffered a little bit in the 6th edition codex, being outclassed by White Scars chapter tactics in the Space Marine Codex. With the new 7th edition Codices out, the Ravenwing have improved significantly, maybe even being better than their White Scars brethren in some respects. This review will go through the units available to the second company and how they have changed with the new codex.
One big change to the Ravenwing in the new codex is that they now have their own special rule (which causes some problems with the formations, as we will see later). This allows any models bearing this rule to re-roll any failed Jink saves. This is quite a powerful ability, as it means that a Ravenwing biker will pass a Jink save 75% of the time, on average (compared to 67% for the next best thing, White Scars biker).
This ability even applies to the Ravenwing vehicles that can be fielded, giving them a bit more protection from enemy fire, albeit at the expense of their firepower. Not even White Scars skimmers gain this benefit, as the skilled rider bonus applies only to bike squads.
All Ravenwing bikers (Command squads, Black Knights and regular bikers) get Scout and Hit and Run as standard. Scout is a great special rule, allowing your battle line to rapidly redeploy to close with the enemy quickly or change your deployment, and will even allow units to Outflank; very handy for getting to the weaker side or rear armour of enemy vehicles without having to cross the board. Hit and Run is great for getting your bikers out of unfavourable combats or allowing them to charge in once again (after firing at the enemy unit of course). They also come with Teleport Homers as standard; great for your deep striking Deathwing support units, but not so useful in a pure Ravenwing army.