Thursday 23 July 2015

Battle Report 13- 1500 pts Dark Angels Ravenwing vs Orks

This week's battle report was 1500 pts of my Dark Angels Ravenwing army facing off against Sebastian's Orks. When I arrived at Dundee Wargames club, I found that our 6'x4' board had been laid out with the foamboard cityfight terrain that I had recently brought to the club, providing plenty of cover for the Orks and some lovely dangerous terrain for all my bikers. We rolled up The Relic as the mission we were going to play.
My army consisted of:
Sammael (in CS)
Librarian- Mastery level 2, Bike (in RB1)
6 Command squad- Champion, Apothecary, Ravenwing standard (CS)
5 Ravenwing bikers- 2 Grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (RB1)
5 Ravenwing bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant with meltabombs (RB3)
5 Ravenwing bikers- Flamer, sergeant with meltabombs (RB2)
5 Ravenwing bikers- Plasma gun, sergeant with meltabombs (RB4)

Darkshroud- Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Landspeeders- Heavy bolters, assault cannons

For this battle, I decided to field an all Ravenwing force. The Ravenwing strike force consisted of Sammael leading a full Ravenwing command squad. I took a Librarian on a bike to lead one of the other bike squad and was keen to see what his powers could do against the Orks (technically not a legal choice in the strike force, but my opponent was kind enough to let me field him). I took 4 bike squads to fill out the strike force, each squad with different special weapons to face whatever the Orks could throw at me. The last choice in the army was a formation I was wanting to test out, the Ravenwing support squadron. I was keen to see how the Ravenshield ability would work out and thought that this was a great chance to test it (the Ravenshield allows the support squadron to fire overwatch at a friendly Ravenwing unit being charged within 24").

My psychic powers were; Mindworm, Seed of Fear and Righteous Repugnance. Seed of Fear would be great against the Orks, forcing them to fail more morale checks would mean more casualties for the mobs. Righteous repugnance would also be very useful for giving the command squad the extra attacks to deal with any large mobs I may come up against.

Sebastian's army consisted of:
1 Mekboy
1 Painboy
3 Deff Dreads- Scorchas
3 Killa Kans- Rokkits
3 Killa Kans- Grotzookas
3 Killa Kans- Big shootas
Dakkajet- 3 TL Super shootas

Oh dear. That was not what I was expecting. This could be a tough fight for the Ravenwing as I didn't have a whole lot of anti-armour firepower in the army. Fortunately, I gave all my sergeants meltabombs, so that may give me some advantage in combat. My best weapons against the walkers would be the plasma talons of the command squad, the volume of shots I could put out would hopefully be able to damage the larger Ork walkers. The other silver lining is that the Deff Dreads were only AV12, so I may get lucky with some krak grenade hits in combat if I get charged. My mobility bonus over the Orks would allow me to quickly grab the objective, but once I had it I would be limited to only 6" a turn, so that bonus would disappear.

Sebastian won the roll for deployment and allowed me to go first.
I placed the Command squad, the Grav gun squad and the flamer squad in the centre, ready to pounce on the relic. The meltagun squad and plasma gun squad went on the right flank and the speeder squadron went on the left flank.

Sebastian set up the Gorkanaut directly opposite the Relic, with the Morkanaut behind it. A couple of Deff dreads and a unit of Kans backed up the large walkers in the centre. The Rokkit Kans went in a set of ruins to the right of the Nauts and one Deff Dread and unit of Kans deployed opposite the bikers on my right flank.
Deployment. The grey arrow represent Scout moves. The Relic is in blue.

The Ravenwing right flank

Ravenwing centre.

The Ravenwing Support squadron.

The Ork centre, plenty of walkers.

The Rokkit Kans in the ruins.

I scouted forward with all but the Command squad, eager to get to grips with the Ork walkers. My plan was to quickly grab the Relic using the speed of one of my bike squads. If I allowed the Morkanaut or Gorkanaut to get it, I would have real trouble getting it off them. Once I had the Relic, I would move away from the Ork line, using my other bike squads to try and kill the walkers or as buffers that would slow them down in combat.
Bikers scout forward.

Overview of the Scout moves.
Sebastian failed to seize and I got first turn.

Turn 1- Ravenwing

The bikers gunned their engines and advances on the Ork mob, the Grav gun squad moving up to claim the Relic in the centre of the board.
Meltagun squad advances on the Kans.

The Speeders move to get sight on the Dread.

The Bikers seize the Relic.

In the shooting phase, the Ravenwing opened fired on the clanking wall of armour, hoping to cause enough damage to stall the advance. The meltagun squad opened fire on the Kans in front of them, one penetrating hit destroying one of the Kan's power claws. The grav guns fired at the Gorkanaut in front of them, if the mighty beast could be immobilised, it would cause chaos in the Ork lines. Despite hitting 5 times, the grav guns could not penetrate the armoured bulk. The Landspeeder squadron fired at the nearest Dread, the mighty assault cannons succeeded in stunning the Ork walker.
The Kan's claw is destroyed.

The librarian and his squad move up to the Relic.

Not a great first turn for the Ravenwing, they had grabbed the Relic, but the lack of anti-armour firepower meant that only one Dread was preventing from moving in the next turn.

Turn 1- Orks

With smoke belching and gears clanking, the Ork mob advanced on the black riders. The Gorkanaut moved towards the grav gun squad, joined by a Dread and a mob of Killa Kans.
The walkers advance.

The Dread leads the Kans against the Ravenwing.

In the shooting phase, the Gorkanaut opened fire on the grav gun squad, it's massed firepower succeeded in killing two of the bikers, despite their best efforts to Jink (it was at this point that I discovered that Walkers can now fire all their weapons in the shooting phase rather than just two as it was previously. I wasn't aware of this as most of my walkers only have 2 weapons anyway). The Rokkit Kans and Grotzooka kans added their firepower to the attack, killing the two grav gun marines in the squad. On the Ork left, the Deff Dread and Killa Kans fired at the meltagun squad, one biker falling to the big shootas of the Kans.
Many Ravenwing bikers die under the hail of fire.

With the shooting done, the assaults began. On the left flank, the Dread assaulted the meltagun bikers, their overwatch fire doing nothing to halt the rampaging beast. The Kans attempted to follow the Dread's lead, but their shorter legs meant that the could not cover the distance as quickly (the Kans failed their charge). The faster bikers launched their grenades at the hulking walker, but could not penetrate its armour. The Dread stumbled as he was harassed and only killed one biker (Sebastian only hit with one of his 5 attacks from the Dread). The Ravenwing withdrew from the combat, moving towards the centre of the board.

In the centre, the Gorkanaut attempted to charge the bikers. With a 7" charge required, Sebastian rolled 2D6 and came up with a 5 and a 1, just short of the required distance. Using the Ork's special rule, he chose to re-roll the 1 and came up with......another 1! The charge had failed! Fortunately, the nearby Dread was able to make his 10" charge and crashed into the two remaining bikers, easily wiping them out in combat to give First Blood to the Orks.
The Dread wipes out the remains of the squad.

Turn 2- Ravenwing

The plasma gun bike squad skirted the flank of the Kans, training their guns on the weaker rear armour of the Ork constructs. In the centre of the board, the remnants of the meltagun squad moved in front of the Gorkanaut to block its advance, while Sammael led the command squad to engage the Deff Dread near the Relic.

The plasma squad fired at the Killa Kans on the right flank. Despite targeting the weaker rear armour, they were unable to harm the vehicles. The meltagun squad fired at the Gorkanaut, easily penetrating the armour at point blank range, immobilising the mighty walker and blowing off the rokkit platform on its torso. The support squadron added their firepower to the onslaught, causing 3 penetrating hits and one glancing hit, taking the last three hull points and wrecking the vehicle.
The command squad fired the Dread in front of them, the mighty plasma weaponry causing 2 penetrating hits and one glancing hit, wrecking the Ork walker.
Sebastian brought some tea-lights and cotton wool to represent the destroyed walkers.

The melta squad take on the Gorkanaut.

The Gorkanaut is destroyed.

In the assault phase, the plasma gun squad assaulted the Killa Kans, causing one glancing hit with their grenades. The Kans manage to miss with all their power claw attacks in return, leaving the Ravenwing bikers unharmed. The sergeant then uses his meltabombs to destroy one of the killa kans, the bikers stay in combat to try and take out the remaining walkers (I failed my hit and run roll to move out of combat).
The Kans come under attack.

Turn 2 went well for the Ravenwing, the Dread about to grab the Relic was destroyed and the Gorkanaut was wrecked, slowing down the Morkanaut behind it and removing one of the big threats to the army.

Turn 2- Orks

In the middle of the board, the Dread and Kans advanced on the meltagun bikers, while the Morkanaut was forced to try and pass the wrecked Gorkanaut. On the left flank, the Deff Dread moved back towards the plasma bikers currently locked in combat with the Kans.
The walkers continue to advance.

The Kans in the centre turned their Grotzookas on the Command squad. The grot weapons scored 11 hits and 7 wounds, but they were all saved by the Jinking black knights. The Rokkit Kans fared a little better, killing one biker from the flamer squad. The Morkanaut fired on the ravenwing support squadron, forcing the skimmers to jink and getting a penetrating hit on the front speeder.

In the assault phase, the Dread on the left flank charged the bikers, the hammer of wrath attack killing the sergeant. The rest of the squad managed to destroy one of the remaining kans, getting one glancing and one penetrating hit. Again, the Dread was unable to finish off the squad, scoring only one hit out of 5 attacks and killing one biker (Sebastian was not having great luck with his Deff Dread rolls), while the remaining Kan was unable to cause any damage. The combat was a draw and I yet again failed to hit and run out of combat.
The Dread crashes in to the bikers.

The Support Squadron takes out the Dread as it charges.

The Dread in the middle of the board attempted to charge the meltagun squad. Thanks to Grim Resolve, one of the meltaguns was able to penetrate the walker and stunned it. Signalling for reinforcements, the bikers activated the Ravenshield. The support squadron added their overwatch firepower to the bikers, their assault cannons easily blowing apart the Dread as it advanced.

Turn 3- Ravenwing

The Command squad moved up to grab the Relic while they signalled the flamer and meltagun bike squads to retreat. The support squadron moved towards the right flank to target the Morkanaut.
The Command Squad move up.

The speeders position to get the shot off.

The Ravenwing firepower was severely diminished this turn thanks to all the Jinking. The landspeeders snap fired at the Morkanaut, but were unable to damage the vehicle. The command squad snap fired at the Killa Kans, scoring one penetrating hit that was saved by the force field from the nearby Morkanaut.
The Ravenwing fight bravely.....

....but are easily slain.

On the right flank, the bikers' grenades were unable to damage the remaining Killa Kan. The Dread finally got its act together and butchered the remaining Ravenwing. Both walkers used their sweeping advance move to gain ground on the Relic.

Turn 3- Orks

The remaining walkers continued to move towards the Command squad who were now in possession of the Relic.
The Kans move to allow the Morkanaut to clear the wreckage.

The Kans turned there grotzookas on them, again scoring a great 12 hits and many wounds. In return, the jinking black knights saved all but one wound and the apothecary took care of the one that got through (I made my feel no pain save). The Morkanaut fired at the command squad as well, its many weapons causing several wounds, all of which were saved by the Jinking bikers.

The Rokkit kans fired at the landspeeders. I chose not to Jink, hoping to use their firepower to full effect next turn. The gamble was successful as no hits were scored.

In the assault phase, the Kans lurched after the command squad. Despite firing snap shots, I managed to score 6 hits out of 12 shots (with the re-roll), destroying one of the Kans. With the lead Killa Kan gone, the remainder of the squad could not make the increased distance and the charge failed.

Turn 4- Ravenwing

With the Relic in hand, the Command Squad moved to the left hand side and the landspeeders moved back to support them. The remainder of the meltagun squad moved in front of the command squad to block the advance of the Orks. On the right hand side, the flamer unit turbo-boosted towards the back of the board.
The command squad move off with the Relic.

The meltagun squad and command squad snap fired at the Kans in front of them, but were unable to damage them. The speeders fired at the Kans in the ruins, but were unable to damage them.
With no assaults this turn, the Ravenwing waited to see if they could hold on to the Relic.

Turn 4- Orks

Belching smoke, the Dakkajet arrived on the field, moving towards the Ravenwing command squad. I chose not to intercept with the Landspeeders as only the heavy bolters were in range and I wanted to use their firepower next turn.
The Dakkajet arrives.

The Morkanaut moves up.

The walkers advanced on the remaining bikers in the middle of the field. The Dakkajet fired at the meltagun bikers, the super shootas causing 4 wounds, but they were all saved by Jinking. The Morkanaut fired at the command squad, but all the wounds were saved by Jinking. The Killa kans fired at the meltagun bikers, but were unable to cause any damage to the bikers.

There were no assaults from the Orks this turn.

Turn 5- Ravenwing

Still holding the relic, the command squad moved away from the Ork advance. The landspeeders moved up into range of the Morkanaut.
The speeder squadron moves to flank the Deff Dread.


On the left flank, the four bikers targeted the flyer and managed to score a glancing hit on the flyer. The meltagun bikers snap fired at the Morkanaut, but were unable to hit the walker. The Ravenwing support squadron fired at the Morkanaut, causing a fantastic 3 penetrating hits and a glancing hit. With some great cover saves, all but one of the penetrating hits was saved. Fortunately, the one penetrating hit that made it through immobilised the vehicle.

Turn 5- Orks

The Kans and Dread advanced on the bikers, the flyer zooming overhead to support them. At the back of the field, the Rokkit Kans moved down from the ruins, firing at the command squad as they moved, but were unable to get past their Jink saves.
The grotzookas fired at the speeders, causing 7 hits with 2 penetrating hits and one glance. However, once again, all hits were saved by the Ravenwing jinking. The Morkanaut added its firepower to the attack on the speeders, casusing two penetrating hits that were once again saved. Working furiously, the Mek inside the Morkanaut was able to repair to damage to the structure, making the walker mobile once again.

A Kan charged the meltagun bikers, but they were able to destroy it with their overwatch fire. A Dread attempted to charge the meltagun bikers and the support squadron overwatch fire giving one penetrating hit that shook the Deff Dread. The walker made an 11" charge with its re-roll, ploughing into the Ravenwing bikers and slaying all three before it could be damaged.
The Dread attempts to charge the command squad....

....but the overwatch fire takes it down.

The end of turn 5 say the Ravenwing still in possession of the Relic, but with their forces severely depleted. Sebastian rolled to see if the game was to end and it came up with another turn to be played.

Turn 6- Ravenwing

With very few units left, the Command squad and support squadron continued to retreat from the Ork advance. They fired their weapons at the nearest Deff Dread, but failed to hit thanks to having jinked last turn.
With that, a very quick turn was over.

Turn 6- Orks

As the dakkajet left the airspace, the remaining Walkers continued their advance on the Ravenwing command squad. The lead Dread fired its scorcha at the command squad, the burning fuel failing to find any cracks in the armour.

The Killa kans fired at the landspeeders, their crude bullets causing 3 penetrating and one glancing hit, all of which were saved by the Jinking speeders. The Morkanaut unleashed a furious hail of fire on the command squad, the standard bearer succumbing to the powerful shots.
The Deff Dread attempted to assault the command squad, but was cut down by the overwatch fire of the plasma weaponry. The Killa Kans attempted to assault the landspeeders. One Kan was cut down in a hail of bullets as they charged and they were forced to halt the assault (the Kans failed their charge move after one was slain by overwatch).

At the end of turn 6, the command squad were still holding the Relic. I rolled to see if the game ended and we came up with another turn.

Turn 7- Ravenwing

The command squad moved out of range of the Ork walkers persuing them, while the Landspeeders stayed put, ready to lay down their lives to allow Sammael to complete his mission. The inaccurate firepower of the speeders was unable to harm the Kan closing in on them.
The Ravenwing command squad escape with the Relic.

Turn 7- Orks

Seeing their prey escape their grasp, the Orks decided to cause as much carnage as possible.

The Rokkit Kans and Dakkajet fired at the command squad, but were yet again unable to take down any of the elite warriors. The Morkanaut and other Kans fired at the Landspeeders, causing several hits, but unable to bring down any of the skimmers.

The Kan charged the Landspeeders, crashing into one skimmer and bringing it to the ground. The gretchin crew were celebrating so much that they forgot to attack the other enemy units (Sebastian managed to miss will all 3 attacks on the charge, only the hammer of wrath caused any damage). The Morkanaut failed it charge, allowing the Command squad and Landspeeders to escape the battlefield.

RAVENWING- 4 Victory points (Relic and Linebreaker)
ORKS- 2 (First Blood and Linebreaker)

That was a close one. Thanks to Sebastian for a very tough game against a fantastic looking army. It's great when you get two fully painted armies battling it out against one another on the table top.

There were several factors that helped contribute to my success in the battle:

1.I think the failed charge of the Gorkanaut on turn 2 was a huge blow for Sebastian. He was very unlucky to fail the charge as he rolled a 1 on one of the die and the re-roll also came up a 1. Had the Gorkanaut made the charge, he would have easily wiped out the biker squad on the relic and I think I would have been hard pressed to shift the walker from the Relic in the subsequent turn. As it was, the Dread was able to make the charge and wipe out the bikers, but I was able to deal with it much easier with the command squad. In addition, the failed charge meant that I could move the meltagun squad up to deal with the Gorkanaut. By wrecking it, I was able to delay the Morkanaut from engaging with the Ravenwing for at least 2 turns as it had to move around the wreck.

2. Jink saves. I have played two games with the new Dark Angels codex and without a doubt, the durability of the Ravenwing has dramatically increased. The Command Squad were able to weather a huge amount of firepower from the Orks thanks to skilled rider and the Jink re-roll. It is a really powerful ability and I think it might be able to make the Ravenwing a very competitive army.

3. The Ravenwing support squadron was very powerful. The Ravenshield rule led to the failure of two charges during the game as they were able to destroy two walkers and increase the charge distance. Their four assault cannons provided some useful additional anti-tank firepower thanks to the Rending rule. For less than 300 pts, the support squadron provides a lot of medium-strength firepower and some very useful special rules in Ravenshield and Interceptor.

4. The other bike squads were useful as a buffer between the enemy and the command squad holding the Relic. These slowed the Orks long enough to allow Sammael to escape with the Relic.

Overall, I think my plan worked well (aided by some poor luck from Sebastion), but there were some things I could change. The Librarian was wasted in the game, dying way too easily for no real benefit to the battle. I could have armed him with some meltabombs and a conversion field to give him an invulnerable save to help against the Dreads and some melta to try and take them out. I'm not sure he would have done much use in the game as his morale powers could not affect most of the enemy army. I should have used a different set of powers to boost the army, I was keen to try out the Interromancy powers, but this was the wrong enemy for it. I still need to test the Interromancy powers more as I think they could be very powerful under the right circumstances.

I've only played two games with the Ravenwing so far, but they are a very powerful force on the battlefield. The durability of the units against shooting is incredible. The Black Knights are the real standouts in the army, the plasma talons can cause a huge amount of damage to most units in the game and the re-rolls to hit mean that you should not lose many to Gets Hot results. They also pack a real punch in combat, with 4 attacks on the charge and Rending weapons. In addition, they have some very powerful formations, the support squadron looks like it will be very powerful against most armies.

Hope you enjoyed the latest report.


  1. Nice to see the boys in black getting the job done!

    I would note that you probably should have Intercepted the Dakkajet with the Support Squadron's Heavy Bolters. Interceptor only limits next Turn's fire with the specific Weapons that were fired during the Opponent's Movement Phase, so you still would have had all the Assault Cannon available to go after the Morkanaut.

    1. Thanks, I didn't realise that only the weapons that fired could not fire next turn. Will remember that for the future.

      I'm glad it worked out so well. I was seriously worried when I saw the dread mob as I did not think I had much in the way of anti-walker firepower on the table, but the plasma talons and assault cannons did the job in the end.

  2. Yeah, that was a very well-played turnaround on a bad matchup.

    Also, a couple of specific tricks on the Relic:
    - The first one's really risky in a situation like this if you get Seized on, but with a 12" Scout Redeployment, you can actually start the Game on the Relic. You still don't pick it up until the end of the first Movement Phase, but that's where the next two tricks come in.
    - You can't Run with the Relic, but other forms of Movement are fine, so long as the Model carrying it doesn't move more than 6" in any one Phase. Specifically, in this case, you can Turbo-Boost with it, as long as the Model holding the Relic doesn't move more than 6" in that Phase.
    - Also remember the options to pass the Relic and drop it. Bikes are fantastic for this with their long Bases. One dude Scouts up onto it. At the end of the Movement Phase, he passes it back to the Biker in BtB behind him, who then drops it an inch behind him. Bam, like 7" of shift in the position of the Relic without the Models carrying it moving at all. I won a Tournament a couple of months ago with my Daemonkin by pulling that move off with some Flesh Hounds and a MaulerFiend.

    1. I guess I am just too nice to my opponent, I read that you could not run with the Relic and assumed this applied to turboboosting as well.

      That's some sneaky tricks for moving the Relic, I'm glad I haven't come up against you in a tournament, would need to be on top form that day!

    2. Well, I wouldn't do that in all situations. But playing against Dark Eldar with two Units of Reavers, commanded by a good general, in the finals, yeah, I'm gonna pull out all the stops, because he would have pulled basically the same thing if I'd let him.

      In the end, what really won it for me was the fact that I had ObSec and he didn't, but I wouldn't have been able to get my Culties into that position without dropping the Relic back 8" on Turn 1.

      And yeah, the Rules for the Relic are kind of sketchy. I've seen a number of TOs edit that one to prohibit Turbo-Boosting, Flat Out moves, or Jetbike/Jetpack Assault Phase Moves while carrying the Relic.

  3. Hi Michael,

    First of all thanks very much for this great Batrep! I really enjoyed reading it and especially playing against such a fair opponent like you. It was nice to recapitulate the game but this time from a different perspective.

    Basically, my strategy was to get into the centre as fast as possible and block access to the relic. Then retreat into as much cover I could find behind the ruins. After having had a really good turn 1 by wiping out your grav weaponry-squad and your Librarian, without great losses myself, I got a bit too self-confident. Problem was, I thought that your shooting wouldn't be a great risk but I totally underestimated your Ravenwing Support Squadron. I also got more and more aware that your jink saves were negating almost all my shooting.
    It took me one turn too long to realise that I should have sacrificed my shooting for running in order to get into close combat - since that was your weak spot. At the point when you got hold on the relic I saw my chances melting away .. haha!

    I hope to have a rematch at one point (maybe this time with my Green Tide, Ork Bikers, or my new Khorne Army)!

    Best, Seb

    1. Hi Seb, glad you like it.

      As I said above, I think the failed charge of the Goraknaut in turn 2 was key and you were really unlucky not to get it. If you had got the Naut on the Relic I really don't think I would have been able to shift it. The only chance I would have had in combat would be the few meltabombs in each squad and the command squad (though their rending attacks would need a 6 to wound followed by a 5 or 6 to glance, so a tall order to try and get). Shooting might have helped me destroy it, but then I would not be able to Jink and would have lost a lot more models each turn.

      The Support squadron performed way better than I was expecting. Even with snap shots, they could still do a lot of damage. The Jink saves for the Ravenwing are insane. No matter what you threw at the command squad, they just would not die. Your best hope was in combat with all the power claws, something you tried to do, but I was fortunate to be able to stop them on overwatch.

      I think if you took the first turn, it would have been a very different battle, I was quite surprised when you gave it to me. What was your reasoning behind that? Was it to have the last game turn to try and grab the Relic?

      Your plan was sound, it was just the dice that let you down in that battle.