Monday, April 6, 2009

Tactica Outnumbered!... Ravenwing

Keeper of the Fortress

Hey everyone. I am back and still working on those crusade era Thousand sons! But that's alright. Now its time for my next installment of Tactica Outnumbered! its been a while but I have not forgotten.

Alright the Ravenwing is the second company of the Dark Angels and is a all bike company. I wont go into there fluff because that is not what this is about. They are unique to the standard biker army from the generic codex due to there special rules.

Ravenwing members are all fearless which is great. Why? Because as with the other biker army they are not meant for assault. They can do it but being outnumbered and expensive you want to maximize your shooting. Normally with a small squad size you would have to start taking shooting morale tests quicker then other squads. Even with Space Marine leadership you will eventually fail and you do not want to ever fall back. Also all ravenwing bikes have the scout rule. So they can outflank just like Khan armies or make a free move (unlike khan armies). This is great for getting into better positions or closing the distance on easy assault targets (like Tau).

Aside from special rules there wargear is slightly different. All bikes have a built in Teleport Homer meaning all bikes are mobile teleport homers for deathwing if you were to play a mixed list. This tactica is for pure ravenwing but it is worth mentioning. Also the typhoon missile launcher works like the old rules (heavy 1 blast thing). Ravenwing cannot take scout bikers (as its what is only in the Dark Angels Codex). ravenwing sergeants have a bolt pistol (or chainsword) so if given a powerweapon they get the +1 for two cc weapons. This is nice to think about aside from the standard powerfists everywhere with some sergeants. Also the Ravenwing cannot take a true command squad but can upgrade one squad to have a company standard and/or a apothecary which is really all you need. Also our Apothecary does not grant feel no pain but still works the old way (which I like). Also Sammael has rites of battle (which again is for a mixed army)

Alright one other key difference is that you have to Take Sammael to take a ravenwing army which is fine. He can be a Landspeeder with better front and side armor for shooting attacks only and twin linked heavy bolter and assault cannon or a Jetbike with a plasma cannon, twinlinked stormbolter, bolt pistol, Master crafted powersword, and mantle (to be immune to instant death) and iron halo. Both are BS of 5 and both are good options. It depends on your style and tactic. I like his jetbike as it is a jetbike and can just go over terrain and enemy models and has a plasma cannon which at BS 5 can be very accurate for a blast weapon and it helps deal with higher toughness or units with a good armor save.

Also the ravenwing land speeder support squadron can be a total of 5 strong as opposed to the 3 strong of the generic codex but can only have one weapon upgrade each unlike the generic codex. The troop choice is the attack squadron which total size is 6 bikes one attack bike and a landspeeder. These are the only options you have for a true ravenwing army so you need to make the most of them. And yes there is no attack bike squadron but that is alright you can deal fine as every troop choice can have 1 that deploys on its own.

Alright as with all outnumbered armies your going to have fewer models on the board which means fewer scoring units. The key to the ravenwing is mobility and knowing how and where to go. Being fast is good but you do not want to stretch yourself thin or get somewhere too early. What I mean is that you do not want to be sitting on an objective 3rd turn but move and turbo if necessary on turn 5. This is great because you can safely not hold any objective until the end and just pick apart an enemy that may have to start sitting on objectives early. Even mechanized lists have to get to objectives earlier then biker armies.

So what do you do? Well I suggest making use of both outflanking and scouting depending on mission and enemy of course. But I suggest at least having one unit in reserve to outflank or one unit on the board to scout (remember Sammael cannot scout and land speeder cannot scout). Also use the terrain to your advantage by speeding behind cover to get into position then next turn pushing out into an exposed area. It is important not to split your forces as you will not have the numbers but you can go for that feint as you have the speed to regroup behind the enemy.

I suggest always taking the apothecary upgrade and putting it with a squad that has to plasmaguns thus making them a little safer. As the banner has to go in the same squad I would only take it if you want to run the squad into assault. It is a nice banner but I prefer to keep that squad back shooting with the plasma (Remember bikes have the relentless rule) and moving closer to double tap exposed units to wipe them out. I also suggest that every attack bike that you have should take a multi melta as it costs no additional points for them and for 50 points you can take out land raiders.

Also the landspeeder squadrons should either be taken as one landspeeder with assaultcannon multi melta for take hunting or as a squad keeping the heavy bolter and taking the typhoon missile launcher as well to deal with hordes or as close to full size as possible with multi meltas to take out tanks.

So basically there tactics are similar to generic bikers. They have different strengths and weaknesses but are a very good biker army. Ravenwing armies are a bit smaller then generic biker armies to movement and maximizing your firepower is critical here (as with most outnumbered armies.. seeing a pattern here?).

That is it. eventually this will get a video supplement to help it out. Until then I will do the final installment focusing around the Deathwing. Take care.


eriochrome said...

Nice run down.

Couple Comments: I am not sure if the Apothecary and Banner need to be in the same squad. I will check on that.

A small problem with the Ravenwing troop choice is that the attack bike and speeder are forced to be different units which generates 3(4 if bikes are combat squaded) kill points in the full squad. Since the attack bike must be its own unit it should always have a multimelta since you are not worried about wasting twin link bolters from the bikes while you shoot at tanks.

Only the assault cannon speeder is allowed in the Troop choice which makes it pretty expensive but it is a scoring unit by codex rule.

Keeper of the Fortress said...

Good points. Your right about the landspeeder in the attack squad I just didnt want to write all the little details. I agree with the multi meltas on attack bikes.

The Kill points are a bit high find a real need to combat squad the bikes in a pure ravenwing list. I just combat squad them if I plan to use them for deathwing assault and have only 1 squad.

I am not certain if the speeder in the troop squad can score as it is a vehicle I would have to check on that.