Thursday, 10 November 2016

Battle Report 83- 1500 pts Ravenwing vs Astra Militarum

This week's battle report sees my Ravenwing take on Chris' Astra Militarum force. This was another practice game for Fluffageddon that I managed to fit in the same gaming night as the previous battle report for my first visit to Heaton Games Society.

As we were getting a little short on time, we decided to play an Eternal War rather than maelstrom mission. We played Crusade with 4 objectives.

My army consisted of:
Ravenwing Strike Force
Interrogator-Chaplain- Bike, Meltabombs, Auspex, Mace of Redemption (with CS)
5 Ravenwing Command Squad- Ravenwing Banner, Apothecary, Grenade Launcher (CS)
6 Black Knights- Meltabombs, Grenade Launcher (BK)
6 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Sergeant with Meltabombs and Power Sword (RB1)
6 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant with Meltabombs and Power Fist (RB2 and RB3)
Attack Bike- Heavy Bolter (AB)
Landspeeder- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (L)

Ravenwing Support Squadron
Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (SS)
3 Landspeeders- Assault Cannons, Heavy Bolters

Once again for my Warlord Trait I managed to get Rapid Manoeuvre, giving me an extra 3" on my charge.

Chris' army consisted of:
Company Command Squad- 2 Plasma Guns, Kurov's Aquila (CC1)
Chimera (C1)
Platoon Command Squad (PC)
Infantry Squad- Autocannon, Plasma Gun (IS1)
Infantry Squad- Autocannon, Plasma Gun (IS2)
Infantry Squad- Autocannon, Plasma Gun (IS3, combined squad)
Infantry Squad- Autocannon, Plasma Gun(IS3, combined squad)
Priest (with IS3)
Veteran Squad- Autocannon, Grenade Launcher (V)
Aegis Defence Line

Company Command Squad- 2 Plasma Guns, Volkov's Cane (CC2)
Chimera (C2)
2 Basilisks (B1 and B2)
Manticore (M)
Leman Russ Eradicator- 3 Heavy Bolters (LR)
Sentinel (S)

His warlord trait gave his unit Zealot.
Chris appears to like his Guard similar to mine- a lot of infantry backed up by some tank support. The Basilisks and Manticore would be a problem, forcing me to Jink and fire back a less effectiveness. The Guard should fold quite easily in combat though, so I was not too concerned about that.

Chris won the roll for deployment and chose the side with a bit more cover on it. We didn't roll for who deployed first. I had decided that I wanted Chris to get the first turn, as I wanted to see how the Ravenwing would perform against a shooting force where I did not get first turn.

Chris deployed his artillery on the right flank, backed up by a unit of Veterans. The Leman Russ went towards the centre, while the rest of the infantry went on the left flank behind the Aegis Line.

I decided to pull a refused flank and set up the bulk of my army opposite the artillery. Only the Attack Bike went on the right flank to secure the objective. Seeing Chris' deployment initially, I thought it was a big mistake. The Basilisks and Manticore would fall easily to the Ravenwing without any infantry support. I might have been inclined to bubble wrap them in the rest of the infantry.

My plan was to take out the artillery tanks first as I thought these were the biggest threat. I could then used my mobility to take on the rest of the infantry on his left flank.

I chose not to seize the initiative and Scouted much of my army forward on my left.


On the left flank, the Guard advanced, two squads climbing over the Aegis line to engage the enemy.

The Astra Militarum gun line opened fire on the rapidly approaching Ravenwing. The Command Squad on the right ordered the Manticore to open fire on the Support Squadron (ignoring their cover save in the process). The mighty shell struck the Darkshroud, obliterating it and damaging one of the nearby Landspeeders. They then ordered a Basilisk to fire on the Command Squad, also ignoring their cover. Fortunately for me, the shot scattered off target and caused no harm.

The ability of the Command Squad in the formation to grant the artillery Ignores Cover was going to be deadly for my army and they would need to be dealt with quickly! The second Basilisk fired at the Meltagun bikers, the shot hitting on target, but failing to wound the jinking bikers.

The Leman Russ opened fire on the nearby bikers, its main Eradicator Cannon killing one Black Knight and one Biker. The Heavy Bolters fired at the Bike squad, but failed to cause any damage.

The Veterans opened fire at the squad with the Power Fist, but failed to cause any damage with their weapons.

The Command Squad fired their two Plasma guns from the hatch of the Chimera at the Ravenwing Bike squad, but failed to harm the Jinking bikers.

On the left flank, the infantry squads and Command Squad all opened fire at the Grav Gun bikers in front of them. The massed firepower was sufficient to bring down three of the squad, but the survivors passed their morale test.


The Ravenwing continued their advance on the Guard lines, most of the force moving to engage the Artillery.

The Command Squad fired their Plasma Talons at the Basilisk in front of them, glancing twice and penetrating once. The Aegis Line saved the penetrating hit, allowing the tank to survive. The Ravenwing Landspeeder added its firepower, destroying the enemy tank.

The Black Knights fired at the second Basilisk, also scoring two glancing hits and a penetrating hit. This time the defence line saved all but one glancing hit. The Support Squadron fired at the Basilisk, scoring one penetrating hit that was saved by cover.

The Grav Bikers fired at the Leman Russ, but failed to cause any damage with their snap shots.

The other Bike Squads fired at the Veterans, killing one of the squad with their Bolters even as the unit went to ground.

At the end of turn 1, I had not caused a great deal of damage to the enemy army. I would need to endure one more round of shooting from the Artillery before I could take it out.


The infantry on the left flank continued their advance, while the Command Chimera moved away from the Ravenwing.

The Command Squad ordered the Manticore to ignore cover once more as their single shot struck the Ravenwing Command Squad. The powerful shot failed to get through the armour of the bikers and none were harmed.
They then ordered the Basilisk to ignore cover as the shot struck the two Ravenwing Bike squads, obliterating one squad and killing a biker from the second squad.

On the left flank, the Command Squad ordered the two advancing infantry units to target the Grav gun Bikers. The Plasma guns in both squads were sufficient to obliterate the rest of the squad.

The Leman Russ opened fire on the Black Knights, killing one with its Heavy Bolters. The Company Command followed up with their own firepower. The Plasma guns failed to harm the Jinking bikers, while also killing of the command squad thanks to a plasma overheat.

The furthest infantry squad on the left flank fired their Autocannons at the Support Squadron. Their shots were sufficient to destroy one of the Landspeeders and stun another after I chose not to Jink.

The Chimera fired at the Meltagun squad causing four wounds, but failing to get past the armour of the bikers.

A rather good turn for the Guard, eliminating two of the biker units.


The Command Squad and Black Knights advanced on the remaining artillery, while the Ravenwing Bikers advanced on the Command Chimera.

The Meltagun Bikers fired on the Chimera, blowing it up and killing one of the Veterans. The Command Squad fired at the Manticore, taking two of its hull points with their Plasma Talons.

The Landspeeder fired its Multi-melta at the second Chimera, scoring a penetrating hit and blowing it up, killing one of the Veterans inside. The Support Squadron fired at one of the advancing Guard squads, killing 5 of them.

In the assault phase, the Ravenwing launched their attacks. The Command Squad charged and destroyed the Manticore, while the Black Knights charged and destroyed the Basilisk.

The Ravenwing Bikers assaulted the Company Command Squad from the Chimera that they had destroyed. Their hammer of wrath attacks killed one, while the Bikers wounded the Commander. The Veterans failed to harm the Ravenwing in reply and were cut down as they tried to flee from combat.

At the end of turn 2, the Ravenwing had taken heavy losses, but had finally silence the big guns of the guard.


The Sentinel arrived from reserve, outflanking on the left near the Attack Bike, its advance supported by the Platoon Command Squad. The Company Command moved behind the safety of the ruins as the infantry platoons moved up to cover them.
Sammael masquerading as a Sentinel after Chris left his vehicle at home. 

The Company Command and Infantry squad fired at the Meltagun bikers, but failed to harm the enemy bikers. The Veteran squad then opened fire on them, destroying the unit.

The Leman Russ opened fire on the Black Knights, killing one of the squad. The other Infantry Squads fired their Autocannons at the Landspeeder, destroying it despite the jinking of the pilot.

The Sentinel fired at the Attack Bike, wounding it once.

The Tech Priest attempted to assault the Black Knights, but was easily cut down by the overwatch fire of the Support Squadron.


The Attack Bike moved up on the Platoon Command. In the Guard deployment zone, the Black Knights and Command Squad moved to engage the Veterans.

The Support Squadron fired at the Infantry Squad in front of them, killing two of the Guardsmen.

In the assault phase, the Command Squad and Black Knights charged the Veterans and easily wiped out the squad.

The Attack Bike assaulted the Platoon Command. The Bikers struck at the Guardsmen, but failed to cause any wounds. In reply, the Veterans cut down the bikers to win the combat!


The retreating Company Command ordered the Infantry squads to fire on the Command squad, ignoring their impressive cover saves. The firepower of the squads managed to slay two of the bikers.

The Leman Russ fired at the Black Knights, killing one of the squad. The survivors failed their morale test and fell back 7".


The Command Squad and Black Knights advanced on the Guard, while the remnants of the Support Squadron moved to claim the objective.

The Landspeeders fired at the Guardsmen, killing three of the squad.

The Black Knights and Command Squad charged the Infantry squad in front of them, easily wiping the unit out and advancing further into the Guard lines.


The Guardsmen moved to engage the remaining Ravenwing forces, surrounding the Black Knights.

The Infantry Platoon fired on the Black Knights, killing the squad with their massed firepower.

The Leman Russ fired at the Command Squad, wounding the Interrogator-Chaplain. The Sentinel fired at the squad, killing the Apothecary and leaving the Chaplain on his own.


The Interrogator-Chaplain moved up to target the Infantry squad, killing one with his Bolters as he advanced. The Support Squadron added their firepower, killing another 5 in the squad.

The Chaplain assaulted the Infantry squad, killing four of the squad for no wounds in return. The squad held thanks to the presence of the Priest.

We rolled to see if the game would end there and it did. The final score was:
Astra Militarum- 8 (two objectives, First Blood and Linebreaker)
Ravenwing- 4 (one objective and Linebreaker)
End of the game. 

A win for the Astra Militarum.

Thanks to Chris for a very exciting and enjoyable game. Discussing it before we started playing, we both thought it would be an absolute stomping for the Guard, but that did not turn out to be the case.

I initially thought that Chris' deployment choice was an error, allowing me to target each part of his army in turn and destroy them easily. After seeing how the game played out, I think that he made the right choice. Even though the artillery flank fell very easily to the Ravenwing, it meant that I had to essentially travel across the board to take on the second half of his army, buying him valuable time to whittle down my numbers with his ignores cover plasma shots and massed lasgun fire. Had he deployed in one castled force, I probably would have been able to chain combats together to wipe out his army quite easily.

I had given Chris the first turn to see how my army would fare against the massed firepower of the Guard. I had no idea the formation allowed the artillery tanks to use orders and the Ignores cover order was used very well against me. Turns out I had made the correct decision to try and silence the artillery as soon as possible.

Overall, I think my battleplan was sound, but needed slightly better execution. In turn 3, it was serious overkill sending both the Black Knights and Command Squad after the Veterans. I should have turbo-boosted one of the units after the rest of the Guard army, allowing me to charge different units in the following turn, rather than just the only unit I could reach.

I also should have made the second Company Command Squad a target priority. This would have prevented them from issuing the ignores cover order on the plasma guns and possibly allowed more of my Black Knights to survive the subsequent shooting phases.

It was a really good game and a lot of fun to play. The Ravenwing army is very strong, but not unbeatable by using the right tactics. It was definitely good practice for the upcoming Fluffageddon. 


  1. Like lambs to the slaughter! Looks like your opponent figured very well that you'd be gunning for his tanks and accepted their loss early on, deploying to make the most of their fire - I think he played the game very well!

    Now, anything I can learn from that with the Tau? You know, for the greater good?

    See you Saturday pal!

    1. I imagine that Markerlights will be your friend, hope you have plenty in your list!

      I don't know how many are going to the event, but as apparently two of the filthiest lists there, we might be seeing one another across the table.

  2. Yea. Ignores cover wrecks ravenwing. It's as easy as that. Without the rerolling jink they are just T5 space marines.

    1. Fortunately, a lot of the ignores cover shooting in his army did not ignore my armour save, but the volume of shots did their toll, as did the Plasma guns in all the squads.

  3. Sounds like an amazing game. Looks like he tried to bait you in with the artillery like you said. Being the biggest threat to your army I understand trying to take them out as fast as possible.

    1. Yeah, it was a good tactic. I thought the refused flank would help me, reducing the shots against my army. As it was, all the ignores cover plasma guns did their job in the end.

  4. Cool batrep as always! I too thought that you'd make short work of your opponent. One is so used to seeing Guard getting stomped all the time, it's nice to see them get a win.

    On a related note, my club has finally gotten a long time fantasy player to pick up 40K, and he chose Guard. He's only got the Get Started box and proxies with some High Elves. At first we kinda only put some easy going lists up against him, and attributed his winning streak to beginners luck. But now he's at 9 - 1 going up against the likes of Eldar and Tau, the former with a Scatbike list with D-Flamer support! It's almost comical to watch the disbelief in his opponents eyes when he manages to somehow pull off another unlikely victory! We're always cheering him on, and it's damn fun to watch him play and grow even stronger as a player, and that without a top tier army. I fear the day when he's finished reading the rulebook and gets to know not only his own codex but ours, too :D

    1. Yeah, people always seem to be surprised when guard win these days, but they do have a lot of tools at their disposal.

      You have to have a different mind-set when playing them. A unit getting wiped out for a marine army is a big deal, but with Guard there are generally 5 or 6 more infantry units left to pick up the slack. The orders system is also a big boost for them.

  5. The orders for tanks formation your opponent used is one of very few good things in the mont'ka book (well, for guard anyway) and he used it very well. As a long time guard player, I can say that taking out the command squads is always a high priority. That's one of the reasons I like Yarrick so much - the downside of a command squad is it's a small squad. Yarrick is an IC... you can hide him in a 50 man infantry blob and carry on issuing orders to your hearts content...