The Raven Guard are firmly establishing themselves on my work bench, with a 10 man Assault Squad being my latest completed addition to its ranks. On the board they complete my Demi Battle Company, whilst acting as a bodyguard for my Chapter Master and hopefully getting some kills along the way.
More pics and discussion after the break!
I built the squad using mostly Mark IV bodies to keep with the Mark IV theme of the rest of my Demi Company, and to allow me to get away with using them in 30k if I needed to. Plus, Mark IV is far and away my favorite mark of Space Marine armor, so I didn’t have any hesitation when it came to building and painting another squad of them.
I knew I wanted to give them jump packs, both to fit in with the Raven Guard fluff and to reap the bonuses of their Chapter Tactics (they can be used in both Movement and Assault, and have HoW with re-rolls to wound). I did have to go with Mark VII jump packs, as the Mark IV ones from the Sanguinary Guard boxed set are a little too hard/expensive to come by these days and I wasn’t about to order them from Forge World – I do plan on building my Vanguard Veterans with the Mark IV jump packs if I can track enough of them down, however. I ended up having to use a combination of Vanguard/Blood Angels/standard Assault Marine jump packs for this squad, since those were all I had on hand in my bits box. This resulted in a little more ornate look for Raven Guard, but the look is growing on me and it serves to differentiate them a little from the almost identical Tactical Squads.
I was originally going to give them standard chainswords and bolt pistols, but after some digging around in my bits box I noticed that I had a ton of close combat weapons and pistols from the two Scout boxes I recently built. I absolutely love how they look on the squad and figured if any Chapter were to give their Assault Marines suppressed bolt pistols and fixed blades instead of noisy chainswords, it would be the Raven Guard. I also like how close they look to the combat blades carried by my Tactical Marines – this is worth noting for anyone who wants to build Despoiler Squads for 30k, or wants to have Tactical Marines actually using those blades that are on the Mark IV sprues. Use Scout close combat weapons!
I painted them up using my standard Raven Guard paint scheme, and I continue to be impressed by how great they look, especially at arm’s length. The flaws and inconsistencies in highlighting become more apparent when looking at them up close, but at arm’s length they look fabulous and that’s the distance most people will see them from, anyway.
On the board they will be one of the three units that I’ll have deployed on the board at the start of the game (the other two units being the two Scout Squads as part of the Shadowstrike Kill Team), with everything else in the army deploying via Drop Pod. The Chapter Master will deploy with them and they’ll likely stay put for the first turn while he fires his Orbital Bombardment – from the second turn on they can move to wherever they are needed most, functioning mostly as a bodyguard for the Chapter Master but hopefully also getting some kills of their own. Most people dismiss Assault Marines, but in ten man squads with a couple of flamers and a Veteran Sergeant with a power weapon, they shouldn’t be counted out. And all for just 205 points!
I’ve already painted up my Chapter Master – look for an entry on him in the coming days. 🙂