Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ravenwing 1850

Before I finish my battle reports for Caledonian Uprising (just the final game on top tables to decide the tournament to come!), I really want to get some ideas down on here for the new Dark Angels book.

I am a little disappointed in the "green" section of the book, despite being flexible it is also a little dull. However, the Ravenwing and even Deathwing elements are utterly excellent, plus granted allies as well.. Wow, we can have some very 'balanced' armies on the tabletop that look and feel fluffy, representing a combined arms approach to Dark Angel warfare, whilst also being competitive.

I want to share 3 lists today. I want to share the list I've played twice now and enjoyed, my "Combined Arms DA" and then talk through some options for progression.

To start off with, I (like everyone else in the blogosphere!) loved Azrael and saw the potential behind Allied IG blob plus stuff.
Like everyone else I initially thought that the Warlord trait 'hold at any cost!' Granted FNP to friendly units, but the important distinction is between the shorthand version in the reference section and in the main trait table... It only works on DA units.
So Azrael grants 4++ to his unit, but not FNP. Still furious charge etc makes them damn decent.

But these needed time to get into the middle of the board for some orders fun and charges.. So you put pressure on early and keep the opponent pinned back/busy for a couple of turns.

I applied this pressure with Ravenwing and Deathwing entering via DW Asault off of the Teleport Homers on the Ravenwing.
The 12" scout redeploy move combined with 6" for no scatter deep strike is perfect for two deployments, wit only hammer and anvil providing respite for the pressure. Even then, I have been using assault cannons on my DW which as been great. TL on the turn they DWA is very cool and doesn't require them to be too close...but generally, a turn two charge is nice.
The Ravenwing provide support in the form of fast moving MM attack bikes and then TL bolter action. This takes care of a precise infantry strike, using speed to select a section of the army to target.
Anti infantry is shored up with a basic assault squad in free drop pod wielding 2 flamers and a combi flamer.. It's been great fun playing with these.. So cheap.. Even score sometimes too!
In this version, I've not been using the bolter banner, but I do try it out in later lists. I find getting the bikes into rapid fire range is strong, but it puts the bikes too close to the action.. Anyway..improvements after the first list:

Combined Arms DA 1850
Azrael 215
Libbie 65
2* 6 Ravenwing  -2 Plasmaguns & MMABIke =246*2
2* 5 Deathwing w 2 th/ss, Ass Cannon 250*2
10*Tactical Marines 140
5*Assault squad w 2 flamers, combi flamer, drop pod 105
IG CCS w Autocannon 60
PCS 30 w Autocannons
4*10 infantry platoon squads w 3 Autocannons 230

The tactical squad does bugger all in this list. I'm not really sure what I was thinking to be honest. If I was tweaking this list, they'd be the first to go.
I really liked the DW units, the ability to drop, shoot then soak some fire and charge turn 2 is
excellent. Especially as a deterrent to charging the bikes.. With termies around, is it worth doing? It's a dangerous prospect.

I'd also switch Autocannons on blob for Power Axes (to fall in line with more conventional online wisdom)

I would replace the assault squad. Whilst excellent fun, they are selective in their effectiveness. Versus many armies they struggle to impact before dying and whilst I don't care if they die...I need to up their effectiveness .. Rad grenades on their target perhaps...hmm..

 Ravenwing below...

The play testing led me to more shooting. The termies were nice, but didn't put out the shots and didn't actually soak that much fire...we all know it is not that hard to kill ten termies in a turn.
So the marines went, the termies went...the there didn't seem much point in Azrael...except for the blob, but that's another list (below Ravenwing list) enter the Sam-man!

Tech marine, Bike
Ravenwing Command, banner of Devastation , one grenade launcher
4*6 Ravenwing, MM attack bike
1*6 Ravenwing, HB attack bike
6 Black Knights w 5 plasma talons, 1 grenade launcher, 6 Corvus hammers
Dark shroud land speeder

Pretty simple. Use bikes to apply immediate, lethal pressure. We will get one good turn out of the bolter banner, maybe two between tanking the tech marines 2+ save and the Darkshroud
The Mm attack bike can try and slag transports, just needing 4+ on pen rolls to kill a transport, exposing its soft centre for the bolter banner bikes.. By having the mm on a separate unit, we don't have to risk the bike unit, just the one attack bike..
Also versus cron barges,  can get in up close and slag Annihilation Barges. Deployment zone plus 36" to get close range (12" scout, 12" move t1, 12" melta double roll) means almost any target can be reached. They are a great way of getting first blood,but also how to I've up first blood, although hey are only slightly easier than a combat squad of bikes.

I need to play test, but I am not sure if I need the speeder. I would be tempted to drop it for the drop pod assault unit, they can maximise their damage on a unit that has been hit by a Rad charge from one of the grenades.

If one 2+ wound is not enough to keep the comm squad alive, then I could always drop the tech for the drop squad. The BBQ squad.. It'd just take 1 black knight as well, leaving a 5 bike unit. Decent enough. The black knights can't combat squad (which is a massive part of keeping bikes alive in the current meta) so dropping to 5 doesn't impact effectiveness too much.

Best defence is a good offence? Drop the toughness of even marines and wounding on 3's is huge. Hmmm, those flamers could be great..toasting hordes on 2+!
It would be the command squad shooting the rad charge so as to not waste the black knight volume of plasma fire.

I desperately wanted to get an Auspex in here.. But believe it or not, I couldn't find 5 points!! I guess if I dropped the Darkshroud plus 1 Knight for the bbq squad then I'd have the points to give it to the tech marine.. That comm unit then debuffing -1T,-1 cover. The plasma from the talons would have a field day...

Final list gets Azrael back in and the blob..pretty much taking the playtest "starter" list and getting rid of the stuff I didnt like with stuff I do like.. lol easy.

Azrael 215
6* 6 Ravenwing  -TL Bolters, MMABIke =216*6
IG CCS 50 - 4 Snipers - 70 
PCS 30 
4*10 infantry platoon squads w 3 Power Axes, 1 Sniper 235

This is not quite right. The Azrael Blob move sup and causes general havoc.
The Bikes apply extreme pressure early doors.
MM can be a real pita.
Mobility and Scoring is amazing.
Anti infantry is weirdly not as good due to the lack of Bolter Banner.. althought it is still decent enough.
But unless we are talking about Drop Podding or whacking it on a DW unit.. it can't b fitted in without an HQ on a bike.. minimum is Libbie on Bike - 85
Plus 185 for RW Bolter Banner.. 270
Can grab 216 from the 6th and frankly, superfluous, RW squad....
Then 55 from IG to make them bare bones.
Leaves 5 points for the amazing Auspex on the Libbie!
EDITED: To reflect this banter in the list..

SO, what are your thoughts people? 
Fliers - NOPE. 
Demons - combat squad & retaliate 
Necrons - Yes - Wraiths, DLords, Gauss Barges. fine. Fliers - ignore and kill what it drops off, use combat squads so that the 3/4 fliers (UK tournaments are simply not seeing more, why? cause it unbalances) can really only kill a few bikes per turn. 
Nids, hordes yup, flying MCs? Ground them and torrent, Rad'd be nice if it was more than one application, but you can't have everything! lol 
I see Nids being an issue.. but otherwise, the Top 2 builds at present (Crons, Demons) this can handle comfortably.. 
I'm most leaning to the pure Ravenwing - for style points! 
um.. and the plasma to deal with MCs and double out Rad'd Wraiths - fuckers. lol. 


  1. I like list two, list three scoring doesn't look hard enough to kill maybe?

    I've ordered the models for a 2000pt black and green list with a similar base to list two.

    ravenwing command squad with banner of dev
    1 x 6 ravenwing knights
    4 x 6 ravenwing with mix of melta and plasma

    this half is the mobility obviously


    3 x 10 Devastator (plasma, heavy bolter, las cannon)

    These guys are the firebase.

    I am really looking forward to getting to grips with the banner. He is well placed at the back initially making the devastators absolutely devastating with four shot bolters. On a bike it then has the ability to move 24 inches to get alongside a bike squad if required.

    Am I right in thinking that we can get double use from the banner? fire one squad then turbo boost the bikes to another squad and then fire it as well?

    1. Hi dude
      Your scoring is far lighter than mine in list three there buddy.
      Remember that with combat squads we can divide a full RW unit into three scoring units whilst not losing any fire power or mobility. Makes it harder to kill them all off. For example with demons, they can drop and a unit of 9 Flamers will only kill 3 bikes with combat squadding. If you chose, you can then gun em down with return fire, or (if all the flame templates have dropped) could even turbo boost to take them out of the game for the next turn completely.. Similar scenario with many other units that are deadly to smaller units.
      The 40man 4++ blob with Azrael is pretty tough, although it'd only take a couple of turns to kill.. In that time, think
      About the counter offence you'd launch with the RW...

      As for double banner use.. Yeah.. Shoot with some units positioned near it, then turbo boost the unit, get another group of dudes to use it.
      I've got some ideas about positioning which I'm working up in diagram form, I hope to share them later in the week.

  2. Unless I've misread it. The standard of devastation allows the bikes to fire 4 shots at 24" as follows:

    Salvo Weapons pg52
    "If the model has not moved, it can instead fire a greater number of shots at a target up to the weapon's maximum range."

    Relentless pg41
    "Relentless models can shoot with...Salvo...weapons counting as stationary.....They are also allowed to charge"

    Seems to me you can sit at 24" and blast our 4 shots. Keeps you out of danger and allows you to keep your standard safer as well as keeping army together for darkshroud. Obscene!

    1. Huh? We all know that's how it works don't we? Did I say opposite to that mate? Or did u just catch on lol?

      I think they are going to be very decent when played well.. The banner at reasonable range should be safe ish...

    2. "I find getting the bikes into rapid fire range is strong, but it puts the bikes too close to the action"

      I took that to mean you thought getting within 12" is risky? Nevermind.

    3. O right.. That was in play testing before I tweaked to include the banner.. With the Azrael list...

      The banner I think is an include almost auto include for Ravenwing.. Even for just one volley..but it is so weak a platform that it can't be built around.. Sometimes I think rapid fire is going to be the only way!