Wednesday 18 November 2015

Blog Wars X: Game 2- Ravenwing vs Eldar

Welcome to my second battle report from Blog Wars X. Having won my first game, I found myself at table 4, going up against Tess' Eldar/Dark Eldar army.
The mission was the Emperor's Relic; a modified Relic mission with an immobile Relic in the centre and one objective for each player in their own deployment zone. The Relic was worth 10 pts, your own objective was worth 5 pts and your opponent's was worth 15 pts. Secondary objectives were also in play.
This was one of the missions I was worried about , as I only had one objective secured unit in my list (the tournament rules grant Sammael objective secured for this mission), so would have to completely control any objective I wanted to grab.
As a reminder, my army consisted of:
Sammael- on Corvex (with CS or S)
Interrogator-Chaplain- Space Marine Bike, Mace of Redemption, Auspex, Meltabombs (with CS or IC)
5 Ravenwing Commnad Squad- Ravenwing Company Banner, Apothecary, Grenade Launcher (CS)
5 Black Knights- Grenade Launcher, Huntsmaster has Meltabombs (BK)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant has Meltabombs (RB1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 plasma guns, sergeant has Meltabombs (RB2)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant has Meltabombs (RB3)
Dark Talon- Rift Cannon, Two hurricane bolters, stasis bomb (DT)
Ravenwing Landspeeder- Multimelta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (RL)
Ravenwing Darkshroud- Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Landspeeders- Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons (RSS)

As a note, due to the comp rules of the tournament, a 2+ re-rollable save (cover or invulnerable) became a 2+/4+ save. This reduced the effectiveness of the Darkshroud by a marginal amount. My Warlord trait was set with Sammael, giving me +3" to charge and turboboost moves.

Tess' army consisted of:

Prince Yriel (with FD)
Farseer- Singing Spear (with W)
3 Windriders- Scatter lasers (W1)
3 Windriders- Scatter lasers (W2)
3 Windriders- Scatter lasers (W3)
6 Fire Dragons- Exarch (FD)
5 Wraithguard- D-scythes (W)
7 Warp Spiders- Exarch (WS1)
Wave Serpent- Scatter Lasers (WS2)
5 Dark Reapers- Exarch (DR1)
5 Dark Reapers- Exarch (DR2)
2 Warwalkers- Bright Lances (WW)

Archon- Webway portal, Shadowfield, Haywire Grenades (with W)
5 Kabalite Warriors (KW)
Raider- Nightshield (R)

His warlord trait gave him +1 to seize the initiative and re-rolls on his reserve rolls. His psychic powers were Eldritch Storm, Will of Asuryan and Mind War.

Quite a tough Eldar list to face. The Archon/Wraithguard/Serpent combination meant the unit could deep strike anywhere on the board and D flame a unit of his choice. The Fire Dragons would embark on the Raider to deep strike also. Jetbikes are a pain as they are really fast and can put out a lot of firepower. Dark Reapers are great against Bike armies as they are AP3 and ignore Jink saves, meaning my Ravenwing would be in trouble.
Thanks to the +1 to reserve rolls from the Autarch and the re-rolls to reserves from the warlord trait, the Eldar reserves were practically guaranteed to arrive on turn 2.

I won the roll for table side and chose the side with the Ruins to deny them to Tess. I won the roll for deployment too and elected to go first, hoping to hit the Eldar hard before they could strike. I deployed everything forward, the Ravenwing support squadron covering the Command Squad.

In reply, Tess set up only three units. The Warp Spiders and warwalkers deployed in the rocks to my right, with the Kabalite warriors deploying to the left at the back.
Deployment and Scout moves. The shields represent the objectives.

Seeing what little had deployed, I scouted forward with everything in the army. Based on my last game against the Eldar, I wanted to wipe out the starting contingent as soon as possible and deal with the reserves as they arrived. I would need to focus on the objective secured units first in order to have a chance at winning the game.

Tess didn't attempt to seize and I got the first turn.


The Ravenwing advanced to engage the enemy units. The Command Squad, Black Knights and support squadron moved up the centre of the board. The meltagun bikers and grav gun bikers moved up the right flank to engage the warwalkers.
The plasma gun bikers held back to grab my own objective (if you tabled your opponent in this game, you would only score if you held the objectives. There was a small chance I could wipe out the starting units, so I wanted to cover the bases).

In the shooting phase, the meltagun bikers targeted the warwalkers. Their melta weapons blew up one of the enemy walkers and stunned the other. The grav gun bikers fired at the unit, finishing off the final vehicle.

The Black Knights fired at the Warp Spiders, killing one with their plasma talons as they flicker jumped out of the way. The Support Squadron fired at the Warp Spiders, the assault cannon killing one of the Eldar elite. One heavy bolter still had line of sight after the flicker jump, hitting three times, but then rolling three 1's to hit.

The Command Squad fired at the Kabalite warriors, killing three of the Dark Eldar despite the Eldar going to ground.

All units passed their morale checks, so the Eldar would survive to await their re-inforcements.


The Warp Spiders moved up on the meltagun bike unit. They fired at the unit, killing two despite the Ravenwing Jinking. They then charged the unit, two being slain by overwatch fire by the bikers and one dying from the overwatch of the Support Squadron, leaving only the Exarch alive.

The Exarch made it into combat, but could not damage the bikers. The Ravenwing struck back but could not bring down the Eldar warrior. The Ravenwing hit and ran out of combat (rolling a whole 3" on 3D6).


The Dark Talon arrived, moving to engage the Warp Spiders. The Command Squad, Support squad and Black Knights advanced towards the enemy objective, waiting for the reserves to arrive.

In the shooting phase, the Command squad fired at the Kabalites, wiping the unit out. The Support squadron, Landspeeder and Dark Talon attempted to fire at the Warp Spider Exarch, but the flicker jump kept the elite warrior out of line of sight, so he remained unharmed.

The bike squads decided to finish him off in combat, the grav gun and meltagun unit assaulted the Exarch, killing him with their Hammer of Wrath attacks.
The Exarch is slain....

....and the bikers consolidate.

At the end of my second turn, I had wiped the enemy army off the board, but had to wait for the reserves to arrive.


Two units of Windriders, the two Dark Reaper units, Wave Serpent (carrying the Wraithguard) and Raider (with the Fire Dragons) all arrived. One unit of jetbikes failed to arrive, even with a 2+ re-roll.

The Serpent deep struck beside the Eldar's objective, the Wraithguard, Farseer and Archon disembarking beside the Support Squadron. The Jetbikes and Dark Reapers came in on the Eldar board edge, moving up to engage the Black Knights. The Raider deep struck beside the Ravenwing objective.

At the end of the movement phase, the Support squadron used their Interceptor fire to target the Wraithguard (I did warm Tess that they had Interceptor, but he decided to risk it anyway). Thanks to some great Rending rolls on the assault cannon, three Wraithguard and the Archon were slain before they could fire.

In the psychic phase, the Farseer cast Guide on the Dark Reapers. He then cast Mind War on the Command Squad's apothecary, periling in the process and taking a wound. The power was cast, but the Farseer tied on the leadership roll with the Apothecary and he survived.

In the shooting phase, the Wraithguard fired at the Support Squadron, annihilating the Darkshroud and killing one of the Command Squad. The Farseer launched his Singing Spear at the Command Squad, wounding the Chaplain once (who failed his Jink save). The Wave Serpent fired at the support squadron, penetrating once but the unit passed its Jink save.

One unit of Dark Reapers fired at the Black Knights, easily wiping out the unit. The second unit of Dark Reapers fired at the meltagun bikers, wiping them out too.

The two units of Windriders fired at the Landspeeder. The Jinking vehicle only failed one save, the scatter lasers penetrating the unit and shaking it.

The Raider and Fire Dragons fired at the plasma gun bikers, slaying two of the Ravenwing. The unit failed their morale check and fell back off the board.

The Eldar reserves had shown up and caused a fair amount of damage on the Ravenwing lines.


The Command Squad, Dark Talon and grav gun unit move up on the Eldar reserves, while the remnants of the Support Squadron and the damaged Landspeeder moved away from the Eldar lines.

The Dark Talon fired at the Wraithguard, the Rift Cannon killing one of the Wraith and the Farseer.

The Grav bikers fired at the Dark Reapers, wiping out the Eldar elite. The Command squad shot at the second Reaper squad, but failed to kill any thanks to their snap firing. The Support squadron snap fired at the final Wraithguard, wounding him but failing to penetrate the armour.

The Command Squad charged the unit of Dark Reapers and the two units of Jetbikes (I was hoping the unit would be locked in combat and could not be shot at next turn), suffering no wounds in overwatch. The Ravenwing struck at the Eldar, wiping out all three units for no loss in return, the Chaplain slaying the Dark Reapers and Sammael and the Black Knights taking care of the Windriders.
The Command Squad hammer the Eldar lines....

....wiping out all three units with some great combat rolls.


The final unit of Windriders arrived from reserve, moving to support the Fire Dragons near the Ravenwing deployment zone as the Raider moved to the nearby objective. The Wave Serpent moved flat out away from the Ravenwing as the last Wraithguard advanced on the Command Squad.

The Raider fired at the lone Landspeeder, but was unable to harm the Jinking skimmer. The jetbikes fired at the grav gun bike squad, killing two of the jinking bikers. They passed their morale test and stayed in the fight. The Wraithguard's D-Scythe was just out of range to hit the command squad (by only a few mm).

The Jetbikes used their assault move to retreat from the Ravenwing forces.


The Dark Talon moved off the board, ready to turn around and engage the units in my deployment zone.  The grav gun squad and Command Squad moved to deal with the final Wraithguard, while the Support Squadron went after the Raider.

In the shooting phase, the three Landspeeders in the support squadron fired at the Raider. The assault cannon penetrated twice (despite the Jinking of the Dark Eldar transport) and the heavy bolters took the last hull point. The Fire Dragons spilled out of the unit, being pinned after Tess failed his pinning test on a double 6!
The Fire Dragons are pinned when the Raider is wrecked.

The Command squad easily killed the last Wraithguard with their plasma weaponry.


With very little left, the Eldar began their fourth turn. The Wave Serpent built up speed to ram the Landspeeder, wrecking the Ravenwing vehicle.

The Windriders advanced on the Support squadron, firing at them and taking a hull point off the Jinking bikers before retreating back behind the ruins.

Despite the Eldar having little left, things were still precarious for the Ravenwing. Tess had two objective secured units on the board. If they could survive the next turn, they could grab both my objective and the middle objective and give me a sound beating.


The Dark Talon arrived, moving on to engage the Fire Dragons in my deployment zone. Sammael and the Chaplain detached from the Command Squad to hold the enemy objective, while the Command Squad and grav bikers moved to secure the middle objective (as Sammael was objective secured, I figured he could hold off against the Wave Serpent to claim it. The Chaplain was there to keep him company in case the Wave Serpent tried anything). The Support Squadron moved to engage the Jetbikes.

In the shooting phase, the Dark Talon fired at the Fire Dragons. The Rift Cannon hit the clustered Eldar unit, killing three. The Hurricane bolter then struck, slaying all but Yriel.
The Dark Talon opens fire......

....only Prince Yriel survives.

The Support Squadron fired at the Jetbikes. Despite snap firing, they managed to kill two of the windriders. I would have killed all three, but did not have line of sight to the last member of the squad. It did not matter though, as the survivor failed his morale check and fled from the ruins.
An unlucky morale check means the Jetbike flees.


The Windrider fled off the board as Yriel moved up on the objective. The Wave Serpent moved towards the centre to contest the objective if there was another turn.

The Wave Serpent fired at the support squadron, glancing once, but the speeders' Jinking saved them.

We rolled to see if the game was finished, but we ended up getting another turn.


The Dark Talon went into Hover mode, moving to grab my own objective and target Yriel. The Black Knights advanced on the Wave Serpent, leaving the grav gun bikers to hold the central objective.

In the shooting phase, the Dark Talon fired at Yriel. The Hurricane bolter took three wound from him, the Rift Cannon finishing the job and killing the Eldar warrior. The Support squadron, grav bikers and Command Squad fired at the wave serpent, but could not get past the Jinking of the skimmer.

The Command Squad assaulted the Wave Serpent, easily bringing down the skimmer and wiping the Eldar forces off the board.

End of the game.

RAVENWING- 30 (+ 3 secondary objectives)

First off, thanks to Tess for a very exciting and tense game, it could have gone either way right until the final turns. Even though Tess had lost a lot of his army, at the end of turn 4 he still had 2 objective secured units to my one and could have come away with a victory. However, thanks to some poor luck in the final turns (Yriel and the Fire Dragons getting pinned and failing the morale test with the lone Jetbiker), I ended up tabling the army and getting full points for the game.

This game reminded me very much of my final game against Eldar at Rapid Fire 2015. In both games, most of the Eldar army was kept in reserve, allowing me to deal with the units on the table and wipe them out by turn 2, then deal with the reserves as they came on. Again, I think having so much of the army in reserve meant I did not have so many targets on turn 1 and could advance quickly on the Eldar and gain board control early on.

Had the Wave serpent with the Wraithguard started on the board, I wouldn't have been as bold in Scouting and moving forward for fear of the contents.

Tess said that he made a mistake focusing on his own objective with his reserves in turn 2 and I have to agree. Had the two units of Jetbikes arrived and turbo-boosted to join the Raider at my objective. I doubt I would have been able to wipe out all three units by the end of the game, allowing him to easily grab all three objectives with the fast, objective secured units.

For me, the real stars of the game were the Support Squadron. Using them to Intercept the Wraithguard was key in turn 2. I got lucky with the Rending shots and Tess was unlucky with his saves, resulting in 3 dead Wraithguard and a dead Archon. I did warn him that they had Intercept as the Wraithguard deployed (I would hate to win the game thanks to a hidden special rule and it would have been unsporting to not let him know), but I don't think either of us were expecting for them to do so well. This meant that only two D-scythes could fire at the support squadron and Command Squad, resulting in only a dead Darkshroud and a single dead Black Knight, when it should have been much worse! We both agreed afterwards that this decision probably cost him the game.

I had some bad luck with the plasma gun bike squad failing their morale check and fleeing the board, but everything else seemed to go my way.

The three unit charge with the Command Squad in turn 3 was worth it as I was able to wipe out all three units in a single turn, effectively neutralising the reserves that had just arrived and firmly putting the game under my control. I also needed the sixth turn to finish off the Eldar army and gain full points. Had the game ended on turn 5, it would have been 25-15 to me- still a win, but with a lesser margin.

Tess was a fantastic opponent who was a pleasure to play, even when nothing seemed to be going his way. He also kept me well fed with wine gums throughout the game.

I really was not expected my army to do so well in this game. I thought I would suffer from the lack of objective secured the most in this game, but with a lot of luck (good for me and awful for my opponent), I was able to get the win. With two solid wins, I was eager to see who I would be facing next.


  1. nice report.

    it looks like the ravenwing play similar to the white scars. you played them well in focusing on targets wiping them out and then moving on.

    i don't understand why tournament organisers feel the need to modify rules.

    you can't have a 2+ re rollable jink which you have paid the points for, but he can have a 2+ re rollable reserve roll which allows his army a huge bonus in reliably turning up on turn 2 (2.8% chance of failure)

    well played either way. i have a lot of bikes but not yet bought specific dark angles stuff. may have a look into it after seeing how your army does

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

      The rule was originally introduced to cope with 2+ re-rollable invulnerable saves, but was expanded to include cover saves. I can sort of see the reason for it and the Ravenwing are still incredibly durable even with a 2+/4+. In other respects, I can see how it is unfair, after all, by Jinking you are severely decreasing your firepower for the next turn, so the benefit is balanced (unlike invulnerable saves).

      I am still torn as to which army is better; White Scars or Ravenwing. I like both and play them with slightly different styles.

    2. A re-roll on a 2+ Reserves Roll improves the reliability of your Reserves by ~17%. A re-roll on a 2+ Save forces your Opponent to dump 500% more firepower into the Unit to do the same amount of damage as they would without the re-roll. TOs have been adding that Rules change in for a reason. When used properly, it is genuinely game-breaking.

    3. I agree, even with the save adjustment, the Ravenwing Support squadron and Command Squad were insanely durable. The only time they struggled was against AP3 ignores cover attacks.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Steve. It's always an unknown when I go up against Eldar and I was glad to get the win.

      My games against Eldar are always extreme; either I get wiped off the board or my opponent does. There seems to be no half-measures with them.

  3. Very well done. Frankly I was expecting a loss when I saw all the Eldar reserves coming in Turn 2, especially with the Dark Reapers ignore cover and the Wraithguard D-Scythe flamer weapons which also ignores cover. I was relieved that the RSS had interceptor which mitigated much of the Wraithguard for your command squad to survive. And while the Dark Reapers were brutal, you were equally brutal in your counter attack.

    Seems like the Dark Talon didn't do much, but at least provided you with something the Eldar cannot touch with this list, having little anti air.

    Once again, Bravo/

    1. Thanks.
      The Dark Talon managed to take out another Wraithguard and the Farseer and ended up being instrumental in taking out the Fire Dragons and Yriel (I didn't have anything fast enough to get to them to finish them off in time), so I think it played a big part in this game.

      I wasn't expecting the Command Squad's counter-attack to do so much damage. My reason for multi-charging the units was to keep the command squad locked in combat so that the Wraithguard could not shoot them next turn. I didn't think they would wipe out all three units in one go.