Thursday, 12 October 2017

Battle Report 121- 2000 pts Ravenwing vs Necrons

This week's battle report sees the first outing for my Dark Angels Ravenwing army in 8th edition, taking on Adam's Necrons in a 2000 pts Eternal War mission. 

This game was fought at a tournament at Battle Bunker in Sunderland. I was not planning on attending the tournament, but Justin (who runs Battle Bunker) put out the call on facebook the morning of the tournament. He was one player short and needed someone to make up numbers. Two free games of 40k awaiting, so I showed up for round 2 and was placed at the bottom table as if I had lost the first game. I decided to try out my Ravenwing in 8th edition, so made up a list to test a few units. 

My army consisted of:
Outrider Detachment
Sammael on Corvex (S)
Ravenwing Apothecary (A)
5 Black Knights- Plasma Talons (BK1)
Ravenwing Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (D)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, Chainswords, Power Sword (RB1)

Outrider Detachment
Librarian- Bike, Force Sword, Mind Worm, Aversion (L2)
5 Black Knights- Plasma Talons (BK2)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Plasma Guns, Chainswords, Power Sword (RB2)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Flamer, Chainswords (RB3)
Dark Talon- 2 Hurricane Bolters, Rift Cannon (DT)
Landspeeder- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (L1)

5 Command Points

Two Outrider Detachments allowed me to take an all Ravenwing army. Sammael is a tough character in combat (doubles his strength on the charge) and allows full re-rolls for Ravenwing units. Two units of Black Knights would also be a potent force, as their Plasma Talons and Corvus Hammers would prove to be potent in combat and the shooting phase. 
I then took three units of Bikers, each with different special weapons. I took a Librarian and Apothecary to provide some useful psychic boosts and potentially heal some Black Knights. 

Finally, a rounded out the army with a Darkshroud (who provides -1 to hit against nearby units), a Landspeeder for some tank hunting and a Dark Talon. Two Hurricane Bolters combined with Strafing Run (+1 to hit) should provide a lot of anti-infantry firepower, and the Rift Cannon would also be good for hunting monsters and vehicles. My warlord was Sammael, who took Tenacious Survivor. 

Adam's army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Illuminator Szeras (S)
Overlord- Warscythe (O)
10 Immortals- Tesla Carbines (I1)
10 Immortals- Tesla Carbines (I2)
13 Warriors (W)
Ctan Shard of the Deceiver (D)
Ctan Shard of the Nightbringer (N)
5 Flayed Ones (FO)
6 Canoptek Wraiths (W1)
6 Canoptek Wraiths (W2)
Transcendant Ctan (TC)

6 Command Points

Three Ctans! Having never faced them before in 8th edition, this could be a tricky match up for my army. The other HQs and warriors would also be tricky to take out, especially with the changes to the rules for re-animation protocols. His warlord was Illuminator Szeras with Tenacious Survivor. 

The mission was Retrieval with Hammer and Anvil deployment. The objective placement was pre-determined and was set up as shown below:

I won the roll to choose deployment zones. Foolishly, I forgot to measure the zones and chose the side with no objectives in the deployment zone! Adam began with deployment, the deployment order was as shown below:
  1. Ctan
  2. Meltagun Bikers
  3. Flayed Ones (reserve)
  4. Flamer Bikers
  5. Immortals
  6. Plasma Gun Bikers
  7. Illuminator Szeras
  8. Black Knights
  9. Overlord
  10. Black Knights
  11. Immortals
  12. Apothecary
  13. Wraiths
  14. Sammael
  15. Wraiths
  16. Librarian
  17. Nightbringer
  18. Darkshroud
  19. Transcendent Ctan
  20. Dark Talon
  21. Warriors
  22. Landspeeder
I split my army between the two flanks. The hard hitters went on the right flank- the two units of Black Knights, Darkshroud, Dark Talon, Sammael, Librarian and Apothecary. The three units of Ravenwing Bikers went on the left flank. 

In reply, Adam deployed the two units of Wraiths and the two Ctan on the left flank. The two units of Immortals, Szeras and the Overlord went on the right flank, along with the Warriors and the Shard of the Deceiver. 

Adam chose to take the first turn, but I managed to seize the initiative. Adam then chose to use redeploy his units using the Deceiver's special rules (allowing him to deploy the Ctan and D3 units). He rolled 1 unit, using a command point re-roll to score two units. However, he only chose to re-deploy the Deceiver and the Necron Warriors onto a rock outcrop on his right flank. 


On the left flank, the Ravenwing Bikers moved up on the re-deployed Necron Warriors and Ctan. The Dark Talon sped over the battlefield, moving along the left flank. On the right flank, the rest of the Ravenwing moved up to engage the Wraiths in front of them.

At the end of the phase, the Dark Talon dropped its Stasis Bomb on the Necron Warriors, killing 5 of the Necrons.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian attempted to cast Aversion on the Wraiths, but failed to manifest the power.

In the shooting phase, the Ravenwing Bikers opened fire on the Necron Warriors. The backfield Flamer unit started the volley, but failed to do any damage with their Bolters. Next, the Plasma Gun squad opened fire, killing three with their Bolters and two with their Plasma Guns. The final unit of Ravenwing Bikers opened fire, their Bolters slaying two of the squad, while their Meltaguns finished off the last member of the unit to gain me first blood.

The Dark Talon fired at the Immortals in front of it, wounding them 8 times with the Hurricane Bolters and killing three. The Rift Cannon fired three shots at the nearest unit of Wraiths, only hitting with one of its three shots and wounding them once.

The first unit of Black Knights overcharged their Plasma Talons and fired at the Wraiths, losing one of the squad in the process and wounding them 5 times. Adam failed three saves and one Wraith perished. The second unit of Black Knights did the same, killing one of the Wraiths and wounding another twice.

Sammel fired at the Wraith unit, killing one with his Storm Bolter shots and wounding once with his Plasma Cannon. The Darkshroud fired its Assault Cannon at the Wraiths, wounding them four times. Adam failed three of his invulnerable saves and another Wraith perished.

Finally, the Landspeeder fired on the Wraiths, only hitting and wounding once, but the Wraiths passed their invulnerable save.

In the charge phase, I considered charging the Ctan, but thought the Bikers would be easily overpowered and killed. At least I could do some overwatch fire if I was charged.

A pretty good turn for the Ravenwing. I had killed one unit and seriously dented a unit of Wraiths, with only their invulnerable saves protecting them from utter annihilation.


Two of the Ctans moved towards the Dark Talon, supported by a unit of Immortals as they moved up. The two units of Wraiths moved up towards the Black Knights. One of the Immortals in the wounded unit arose thanks to their re-animation protocols.

The Ctan on the left flank opened fire on the Black Knights. The Ctan's weapon did D6 automatic hits that wounded on a 2+ with -4 AP and D3 damage! Two of the Knights were slain in the attack. That Ctan would need to be dealt with quickly. The Ctan also used his powers to kill another of the Black Knights (if he rolled higher than the number of wounds for a model, it is removed).

Another Ctan used his powers to kill another Black Knight. The Immortals opened fire on the Ravenwing Bikers, wounding them 8 times, but I made all my armour saves. The second unit of Immortals opened fire at the same units, wounding them 11 times. I failed four saves and two Bikers perished. The Illuminator fired at the Dark Talon, but failed to hit.

In the charge phase, one of the Ctans assaulted the Dark Talon. The Hurricane Bolters managed two overwatch hits, but failed to wound. The one shot from the Rift Cannon failed to hit. The Ctan made the charge.
One unit of Wraiths charged a unit of Wraiths, suffering one wound in overwatch, but their invulnerable save protected them. The other wounded unit of Wraiths charged the second unit of Black Knights, the Librarian heroically intervening in the combat.

In the fight phase, the Ctan struck at the Ravenwing flyer, Adam using a single Command Point re-roll to score four hits on the flyer and wounding it twice. The flyer managed to do a single wound on the Ctan, but its save protected it from harm.

I then used two command points to interrupt with the Black Knights, striking at the Wraiths, but only managing to do a single wound. The Wraiths attacked the Black Knights, wounding them 5 times. I failed three armour saves and one more Knight perished.

The other unit of Wraiths attacked the solitary Knight from the second unit, wounding him once. In reply, the Black Knight wounded the Wraiths once. The Librarian managed two wounds on the Wraiths, but both were saved by the invulnerable saves.

Quite a brutal first turn for the Necrons. The incredible powers of the Ctan had decimated the Black Knights and removed much of the strength of my army.


On the left flank, the Ravenwing Bikers retreated, moving out of range of the Ctan and Immortals. My plan was to sit back and go for the objectives on the left flank later in the game.

On the right flank, Sammael and both Speeders moved up to deal with the Nightbringer, while the Dark Talon fell back from combat and moved across to the right flank. The Apothecary moved up to aid the Black Knights, while the Knights stayed in combat. The Apothecary tried to revive one of the Black Knights, but failed to do so.

The Librarian cast Smite, scoring an 11 and doing 5 wounds on the Wraith unit, wiping them out. He then cast Mind Worm on the other unit of Wraiths (to stop Adam from interrupting with Command Points to strike, as mind worm forces you to attack last).

In the shooting phase, the Dark Talon fired its Bolters at the Nightbringer, wounding it 7 times. Adam failed six of his seven 4+ saves! The Rift Cannon fired, but missed. The Black Knight and Librarian fired at the Ctan now that they were freed from combat, but did no damage. Sammael fired on the Nightbringer, killing him with his Storm Bolter shots. He then fired his Plasma Cannon at the Immortals, killing one of them.

The Landspeeder fired two Frag Missiles at the Immortals, killing one of them. The Darkshroud added its firepower, killing another one.

In the charge phase, Sammael charge the Wraiths, along with the Librarian and lone Black Knight.

Sammael struck at the Wraiths, wounding them 5 times. Adam failed only a single save, but one Wraith still fell. The Librarian managed to do a single wound, as did the charging Black Knight. The other unit of Black Knights struck at the Wraiths, wounding once, but failing to get past their armour. The Wraiths split their attacks between the units, killing one Knight in one squad and wounding another in the second squad.

 At the start of his second turn, Adam only passed one of his five 4+ re-animation saves. He also used the abilities of his characters to buff the Immortal units.

One unit of Immortals moved up on the Dark Talon, while the Ctan advanced 3" towards the Ravenwing flyer.

In the shooting phase, the Immortals opened fire on the Dark Talon, wounding it 5 times (they were hitting on a 2+ thanks to the buffs), one of which got through its armour. The Cryptek fired on the Flyer, hitting once but failing to wound. Adam used a Command Point re-roll and took three wounds from it. The second unit of Immortals fired on the Dark Talon, hitting twice but failing to wound. This left the Flyer with only two wounds.

In the fight phase, the Wraiths attacked the Ravenwing Bikers, wiping out one of the units. Sammael struck at the Wraiths, wounding them twice, while the Librarian did another wound.

At the end of turn 2, things were still in the balance. I was holding back with much of my forces on the left flank, but the right flank had been hit hard. In reply, I had taken out a fair bit of the Necron strength as well.


On the right flank, the Ravenwing forces fell back from combat, supported by the Dark Talon as it moved into the protective bubble of the Darkshroud and one unit of Ravenwing Bikers that moved up to re-inforce the lines.

The Librarian cast Smite, killing one of the Wraiths. He then attempted to cast Aversion on them, but failed.

The Dark Talon fired on the Wraiths, wounding them three times with its Hurricane Bolters. The Rift Cannon hit and wounded once, but they made their invulnerable save. Sammael fired on the Wraith unit, wounding three times with his Storm Bolter. His Plasma Cannon wounded twice, but the invulnerable save kept them from harm.

The Apothecary overcharged his Plasma Talon, killing another Wraith. The Ravenwing Bikers targeted the last Wraith in the squad, wounding twice with their Bolters. One Plasma gun wounded, but Adam made his save.

The Landspeeder fired at the unit, wounding them twice, but they made their saves. Finally, the Darkshroud fired at the last Wraith, wounding him three times. Adam failed a single save and the Wraith unit finally perished.


Two Immortals returned to life to the icy depths to continue their assault on the Ravenwing. The two Ctans and one unit of Immortals moved up on the Ravenwing, the Immortals advancing towards the objective (after a lot of deliberation from Adam). The Flayed Ones arrived from reserve, moving into position beside the Ctan on the objective.

The Ctan fired at the Bikers, killing one with its power. The second Ctan fired at the same unit, failing its power. Adam used a command point re-roll, but also failed to roll above a 2+.

In the shooting phase, Szeras fired on the Dark Talon and was able to destroy it.


The Ravenwing decided to launch their attack on the forward Necrons. Sammael led the advance on the Flayed Ones and Ctan holding the objective.

The Librarian cast Smite, killing three of the Flayed Ones. He then cast Aversion on them as well.

The Ravenwing Bikers opened fire on the Flayed Ones, wounding them four times and killing one. Sammael fired on the Flayed Ones, killing the last member of the squad.

Another unit of Ravenwing Bikers fired on the Ctan holding the objective, wounding him once. Their Plasma Gun wounded once, but failed to get past its save. The Darkshroud fired on the Ctan, wounding it again.

Lastly, the Meltagun Bikers fired on the Ctan, but failed to do any damage.


One Immortal returned thanks to the re-animation protocols. One Ctan moved up on the Darkshroud, while the other moved up on the Ravenwing Bikers. The unit of Immortals moved up on the objective. Despite only moving 9 models, Adam's movement phase took around 8 minutes. Given his last movement phase took just as long, I had a feeling he was trying to run out the clock to win the game. I tried to encourage him to go a bit faster during his turn.

The Ctan fired on the Bikers, killing one of them in the Plasma Gun squad.

In the charge phase, the Ctan charged the Bikers, taking two wounds from the overwatch fire,as I lost two Plasma Gunners to overheating rolls. The other Ctan charged the Darkshroud, taking one wound from overwatch fire and made an 11" charge after using another command point re-roll.

The Ctan struck at the Bikers, killing the last of the squad. The other Ctan easily finished off the Darkshroud.

At the end of turn 4, we had a few minutes left. Adam did not want to play another turn (so that he would win), knowing that if the game went to turn 5, I would most likely win. I felt a bit cheated as I felt he had been slow playing on purpose, so we went to the organiser, who allowed us to play an extra turn. He had allowed games to continue up to 15 minutes from the first round, so was happy to let us do so in the second round.


The Ravenwing Bikers and Sammael moved up on the objective, while the Apothecary, Librarian and Landspeeder held the other objective.

The Librarian cast Smite, wounding then Ctan once.

The Bikers fired on the other Ctan, wounding it twice with their Bolters. The Flamer managed to do three more wounds and kill it.

The other unit of Bikers fired at the other Ctan, wounding it four times. The Meltagun from the squad hit and wounded, doing only one damage when the Ctan had only two left! Sammael then fired his Storm Bolters, killing him off.


With the Necrons holding two objectives, there was no moving their forces. With that, the game ended.

Ravenwing- 7 (two objectives and First Blood)
Necrons- 6

Unfortunately, that was a pretty contentious game. It's always tough to call out an opponent on slow playing, especially as it is down to personal opinion.

Adam's third and fourth turn movement phases took around 8 minutes each (there was a countdown clock at the event, so I was able to time them). This was despite only having to move around 15 models in one turn and 9 in another. In addition, the other phases were also taking a long time as he debated each move and shot in length.

Unfortunately, it can sometime be hard to complain about slow playing opponents when you are taking photos and notes for a battle report. However, over the years I have gotten very good at writing fast notes and taking quick photos (hence the poor quality of some of the photos). Any of my readers who have played me before will be able to tell you it does not slow the game down significantly (I hope!). I'm glad we got to play the final turn, I would have felt quite cheated had I lost due to that. When I changed my plan to grab the objectives late in the game, we had plenty of time left to get to at least turn 5 with normal gaming time.

With that unpleasantness aside, let's take a look at how the Ravenwing performed in 8th edition.

Sammael was a great HQ choice for the Ravenwing. He provides full re-rolls to hit for all Ravenwing units within 6", so was great for overcharging the Plasma Talons on the Black Knights with less risk. He also has some pretty potent firepower, with up to 8 Storm Bolter shots and a Plasma Cannon. His combat prowess has also been boosted. His Raven Sword finally gets a strength bonus (S5 normally), going up to S9 on the charge and doing multiple damage per wound.

Black Knights are also equally awesome in 8th edition. The Plasma Talons are very powerful, and are assault weapons so can be fired when advancing, giving them an incredible threat range. You also don't need to worry about being in rapid fire range, as they get two shots up to 18". Their Corvus Hammers are also good, with S5 and D3 damage on a 6 to wound.

The Darkshroud was also a very powerful addition to the army. Getting -1 to hit against your units is a great boost in this edition, and the Darkshroud provides a powerful bubble to protect your units.

I also liked the Dark Talon. Two hurricane Bolters that hit on a 2+ (against infantry) is a lot of potent firepower for infantry units. The Rift Cannon is also well improved, with the chance of doing additional mortal wounds against models it has wounded. Its Stasis Bomb is also great, wounding enemy units with mortal wounds on a 4+ once per game.

The Ravenwing Bikers were decent enough. Getting a 5+ invulnerable when advancing is a nice bonus, but negates their firepower (awesome on the Black Knights who can advance and still fire).

Overall, I am looking forward to using the Ravenwing a lot more in 8th edition.

So over to you, have you ever had or suspected an opponent of slow playing you at a tournament? How have you dealt with it in the past?


  1. I have never really had that experience, but I am thrilled that your Ravenwing are doing well. I have been working on adding them to my army as well, mainly so that I can take down Primaris Marines with plasma talons ;-)

    1. They are a fun army to play and seem to be pretty strong in 8th edition. Overcharging is much safer with Sammael nearby, well worth taking him to support the Knights.

  2. I've been suspected in the past, lucky the TO took my side as I was playing infantry guard with nearly 100 models to move!

    Glad the ravenwing are doing well, there one of the many armies sitting in a box ready for me to paint!

    1. Yeah, a horde army is fair enough.

      I've played a few games with the Ravenwing and they are a lot of fun to use.

  3. I've actually been on the other end of this once where it was suspected I was playing slowly but in that particular game it was down to playing on a table and having to walk around the next table and down the other side because of the difficult deployment.

    Each time an 18' walk and always having to navigate one guy on the adjacent table who was rather big and sat on a chair for the entire game and unwilling to move the chair so I could get past.

    I ended up winning the game but felt bad because my opponent had wanted to speed things up but I literally couldn't because of the situation. I bumped into them a few years later and had to look back in my battle reports to recall how I knew them. The second day of the tournament they came over to chat and they still remembered the situation [without the need to resort to google]. We chatted amiably and I'd play them again no problems but its a shame events beyond my control left a lasting negative impression that they have of me that I might not be able to redress.

    Not saying that's what happened in your case, just my experience. Ravenwing sound good though.