Game Day – September 11th, 2016: Raven Guard vs. Giant Robots

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Matt was kind enough to invite us to his place for some miniature warfare yesterday, and I jumped at the opportunity to christen my newly painted Raven Guard units in a pair of games against Harry’s battlesuit-heavy Tau list and Matt’s mech Blood Angels list. Two very close games were the result, one a close victory and the other a close loss. I was competitive in both games and didn’t get blown out of the water as in previous games – all in all a decent showing for the sons of Corax!

I didn’t take too many pics (too engrossed in throwing dice), but I do have some general observations of my list and the changes I will likely make to it after the break.

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Firstly, my army list – Raven Guard 1850 pts, Talon Strike Force:

Battle Demi-Company

  • Chapter Master w/ artificer armor, jump pack, Swiftstrike and Murder
  • Tactical Squad (10 man) w/ veteran sergeant, plasma gun, drop pod
  • Tactical Squad (10 man) w/ veteran sergeant, plasma gun, drop pod
  • Tactical Squad (10 man) w/ veteran sergeant, plasma gun, drop pod
  • Assault Squad (10 man) w/ veteran sergeant w/ power weapon, x2 flamer
  • Devastator Squad (5 man) w/ x2 grav cannon, x2 lascannon, drop pod
  • Ironclad Dreadnought w/ seismic hammer, x2 heavy flamer, drop pod

Strike Force Command

  • Chaplain w/ jump pack

Shadowstrike Kill Team

  • Vanguard Veterans (9 man) w/ power weapons
  • Scout Squad (5 man) w/ heavy bolter
  • Scout Squad (5 man) w/ heavy bolter

Overall I thought the army performed quite well. The mobility of the army thanks to the jump packs and the drop pods was certainly one of its strengths, particularly in the Maelstrom of War mission I played against Matt.

The army has some real close combat potential particularly in the Chapter Master (who easily slew a Tau battlesuit team all on his own in a single turn) and the Vanguard Veterans paired with the Chaplain – their ability to drop in at a time of their choosing, then charge on the same turn with power weapons and re-rolls to hit was awesome, even if they did get stomped on by a Stormsurge in my first game (I was counting on them to tie up the Stormsurge to keep it from shooting and was only semi-successful at that).

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The Tacticals and Devastators provide some great shooting as well, with the grav-cannon Devastators in particular taking out vehicles almost at will (I had some good luck getting 6s on the grav shots on vehicles). One grav-gunner in particular, the last survivor of his squad, caused a ridiculous amount of damage in my second game – so much so that he’ll be getting some sort of battle honor painted on him soon 🙂 Everyone tends to count out Tactical Marines, but taken in multiple large squads, they suddenly become pretty threatening.File_001 (2).jpeg

The most glaring weakness of the force is its lack of anti-tank/heavy infantry, which is one of the major concerns I had with it going into the game. The Devastators and Ironclad are really the only sources of heavy firepower in the force and once I had lost both of them I was more or less powerless to stop Harry’s Stormsurge and Matt’s Imperial Knight from running around and erasing my units.

I have a couple of changes in mind, involving giving the Chapter Master and Chaplain meltabombs (so they can detach from their respective retinues to go tank hunting) and perhaps swapping the Devastators’ lascannons out for more grav cannons (and perhaps putting the lascannons in the Tactical Squads). The Chaplain will also be getting a power fist, because his AP4 Crozius just doesn’t cut it against MEUs. I’ll have to do some list tinkering to make it work under the 1850pt budget, but I think it’ll be worth it to have a few more options for dealing with armor.

All in all a fun day – thanks to Matt for hosting and to both Matt and Harry for a great afternoon playing toy soldiers!

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