I had a chance to field my first iteration of a Raven Guard list yesterday against Matt, and as is usually the case with test lists, a good portion of it was proxied by Marines from my other armies. The full list and the results of my first game after the break.
Raven Guard – Talon Strike Force – 1850 pts
Battle Demi Company
- Chapter Master w/ artificer armor, jump pack, Swiftstrike & Murder
- Tactical Squad 1 (10 man) w/ plasma gun, Veteran Sergeant, drop pod
- Tactical Squad 2 (10 man) w/ plasma gun, Veteran Sergeant, drop pod
- Tactical Squad 3 (10 man) w/ plasma gun, Veteran Sergeant, drop pod
- Assault Squad (10 man) w/ 2 flamers, Veteran Sergeant w/ power weapon, jump packs
- Devastator Squad (5 man) w/ 2 grav cannons, 2 lascannons, drop pod
- Ironclad Dreadnought w/ 2 heavy flamers, drop pod
Shadowstrike Kill Team
- Scout Squad 1 (5 man) w/ sniper rifles, missile launcher
- Scout Squad 2 (5 man) w/ sniper rifles, missile launcher
- Vanguard Veterans (10 man) w/ power weapons, jump packs
The army is based around getting the alpha strike, relying on the re-roll for deployment order provided by the Talon Strike Force (TSF) to ensure I get the first turn. The TSF also allows me to bring in reserves in Turn One on a 4+, which is crucial since the Shadowstrike Kill Team’s Vanguard Veterans can choose which turn they deploy and can charge in the same turn.
Three of the drop pods come down in the first turn thanks to Drop Pod Assault, with the other two deploying on a 4+ (I forgot that I could do this during the game and it cost me). The Vanguard, deploying without scatter if they’re within 9″ of both Scout Squads, could then get a first-turn charge against the target of my choice. The Assault Marines, accompanied by the Chapter Master, and the Scouts would be the only units deployed on the board to start the game (this allows the Chapter Master to call in the Orbital Strike on his first turn).
The first turn alpha strike was adequate, and I was able to take out two units of Ork bikers, but I can’t help but think that I could and probably should have done more damage than that considering my entire army was built around getting that alpha strike. My Vanguard ended up having to charge a lone Ork biker, for example, when they would have been better off charging both the biker and the nearby Ork mob, especially as Vanguard ignore the penalties for disordered charges. A poor scatter roll meant the Chapter Master’s Orbital Strike did no damage, and fire from the Devastators was largely ineffective.
Other than that, the rest of the army displayed classic Marine staying power, with the Tactical Squads doing a good amount of damage (never underestimate massed bolter fire!) and the Ironclad and Assault Marines doing a good job of tying up my right flank all on their own – the Ironclad managed to take out an Ork dread and was locked in combat with a Morkanaut when we decided to call the game a draw due to the store closing. That being said, I was hanging on by a thread and Matt likely would have swept me off the board in the next turn – calling it a draw flattered the state of my army, but I’ll take it 😛
Some minor changes are coming, particularly to the Vanguard Veterans to give them lightning claws and a powerfist or two, and maybe moving five marines from one of the Tactical Squads to the Devastators to give them some ablative wounds. Either way, it was a fun game considering it was my first time with this list. Looking forward to next week’s game…