Guest Editorial on Ravenwing at TSHFT Part 2 by Jeremy Veysseire


TSHFT Open ( is over; I had a great time, and played 5 amazing individual with very different lists.

I want to thank Zen and his volunteer staffs who help host/run the event. It is amazing to see people willing to put their own time, money and sanity towards the hobby and allowing people like me to play outside of my pond. It was also a pleasure to finally meet Reecius and Frankie in person there, always nice to meet extraordinary individuals who champion the hobby. Now before the music plays me off the podium here is a recap of the List, the Event and my thoughts and changes.

First up is the 2,000 point list as per the previous article:

  • HQ – Sammael – Raven Sword, Adamantite Mantle, Corvex, Night Halo.
  • HQ – Librarian – Mastery Level 2, Auspex, Space Marine Bike, Force Staff, Psychic Hood.
  • HQ* – Ravenwing Command Squad – 3x – 2 Corvus Hammer, 2 Plasma Talons, Champion w/ Blade of Caliban, Apothecary w/ Narthecium, Standard Bearer w/ Banner of Devastation & Grenade Launcher.
  • Troops – Ravenwing Attack Squad – 6x + 1x Atk Bike – 2 Plasmaguns, Multimelta.
  • Troops – Ravenwing Attack Squad – 6x + 1x Atk Bike – 2 Flamers, Multimelta.
  • Troops – Ravenwing Attack Squad – 6x + 1x Atk Bike – 2 Meltaguns, Multimelta.
  • Troops – Ravenwing Attack Squad – 6x + 1x Atk Bike – 2 Meltaguns, Multimelta.
  • Troops – Ravenwing Attack Squad – 6x + 1x Atk Bike – 2 Meltaguns, Multimelta.
  • Fast Att – Ravenwing Black Knights – 5x – 4 Plasma Talons, Power Sword, 1 Grenade Launcher.

The army was painted (mostly!) in White Scars as I had to make last minute addition the week before TSHFT but at least everything was at least 3 colors minimum even if they are were mostly white, which meant I knew I was out of the running for TSHFT Champion (Best Overall) but I didn’t care because I got to play my White Scars again! Overall the army functioned over the weekend exactly as I thought they were going to do. They dictated all aspect of confrontation with Hit & Run, Scout meant that they essentially pressure my opponent into corners even before the game starts but before I divulge too much let me briefly recount the games.


Game 1 Scouring/Hammer and Anvil: Tau w/ Eldar Allies

List looked like this:

  • Eldrad
  • Shas’el with Iridium and 2 Shield Drones. (Forgot the Rest)
  • 5x 12 Firewarriors
  • 1x 3 Guardian Jetbike
  • 1x 10 Kroots
  • 2x 2 Broadsides with 2 Drones
  • 1x 1 Broadside with 1 Drone
  • 3x Dark Reapers
  • Fortress of Redemption

I ended up going first and my opponent was smart about deploying as far back as he could and it did avoid getting his Fortress getting shot by Multi-melta within half melta range turn 1 and his Broadsides avoided getting Rapid Fire Plasma Talons. The initial salvo of bolters saw 2 Units of Firewarriors, his Warlord and Kroots and the 1 unit of 1 broadside Shot off. His Reaper Exarch manned the Fortress Krak Missile Battery and took out a few bikers and the combined fire of the rest of the army took out 1 Attack bike and a few more bikers but the momentum kept going. By the end of turn 2 he had only 2 scoring unit left and very little firepower left as the Black Knights were working the left over Broadsides and the Multimelta Attack bikes started dismantling the Fortress. Bad-matchup for him and the game was essentially over by turn 3 but he played through like a gentlemen knowing the onslaught was too much.

White Scars win – 18/20 Points

Game 2 Big Guns Never Tire/Vanguard Strike: CSM w/ Daemon Allies


  • Lucius
  • The Masque
  • 1x 10 Daemonettes
  • 1x 10 Noise Marines with 2 Blastmasters
  • 2x 5 Noise Marines with Doomsiren in Rhinos
  • 1x 6 Havoks with ML
  • 1x 6 Havoks with Autocannons
  • 6x Bikers with 2 Meltaguns & Slanesh Mark + FNP Icon
  • 2x Helldrake with Baleflamer
  • Aegis with Quadgun

Once again going first and my opponent had deployed his Aegis Line in a C shape against his long board edge but in the center of it, as he feared I would outflank. I was especially scared of his list because of all the AP 3 ignore Cover blast. He had deployed right on his deployment line because that’s where his Aegis was and what ended transpiring was essentially a first turn of gore. Rhinos died taking with them a few Noise Marines, each Havok was left with 1 heavy weapon, his big unit of Noise Marines was down to 4 men and 1 of the blast master died to precision hits from 1 sergeant. I had left his bikers untouched. The Masque came down turn 1 to attempt to pull some of the biker squad out of the banner range and closer to the bike squad so they could charge. But it was not enough distance to make the charge. The Doom Siren tried to kill the Command Squad but managed to kill Sammael, the Champion and the Apothecary. On my turn 2, I took over the Quad Gun and shot the rest of the army off. Now it was a waiting game for the Hell drakes and the Daemonettes. Unfortunately the drakes came piecemeal and while they tried to vector strike the Quad gun they failed but took with them a few bikers. The combine fire of all Salvo 4 Bolters firing into rear armor and Quadgun resulted in being too much. My opponent had rolled an obscene amount of failed power armor save on his biker unit which really hurt him. Rad Grenade + Salvo 4 TL Bolters can really stack wounds on MEQ quickly. Had he deployed all the way in the corner and gone first, I think the game would have been much different. He was a true sportsman and I always enjoy playing him.

White Scars win – 18/20 Points (36/40)


Game 3 Purge the Xenos/Dawn of War: Dark Angels w/ Blood Angels Allies


  • Azrael
  • BA Librarian
  • BA Assault Terminators (TH/SS)
  • 2x ~8 DA Sniper Scouts
  • 1x  5 Assault Marine with Meltagun
  • 1x 6 Ravenwing Attack Squadron with 2 Meltaguns
  • 1x 3 Ravenwing Black Knights with Grenade Launcher
  • 1x Whirlwind
  • 1x BA Stormraven with TL Lascannon, TL MM, Hurricane Bolters
  • 1x Nephilim Fighter with Avenger, TL Heavy Bolter
  • 1x Baal Predator with Inferno Cannon
  • 1x 6 Devastator with 4 Missile Launcher
  • Bastion with Icarus.

Once again winning the roll to go first (at this point I felt blessed by the Emperor and was just waiting for someone to seize on me) but my opponent deployed very conservatively. 1 Scout unit in the Bunker in 1 corner of his deployment, the Baal and Whirlwind in the other corner with Azrael and the Devastator hiding behind as far back as he could possibly go. Alas I had spread out my Attack bikes enough on my flanks to get 3 within half melta range of the Bastion turn 1 and the other 2 on the Baal and whirlwind though only 1 Biker squad was in range of the Devastator turn 1. My Attack bikes at the Bastion were unable to destroy it but did end up killing a few of the scouts inside. The other 2 attack bikes were more fortuitous and blew up both the Baal and the Whirlwind which was then followed by a wave of bolter fire that thin out a few of the missile launchers. His return fire was minimal; turn 2 was followed by consolidating my army towards the center but close enough to fire at Azrael’s unit to get ready for the reserves. Once again the 3 attack bikes failed to blow up the Bastion but took out a few more scouts leaving 3 in the unit. Azrael and his Devastator died to combine Multimelta fire and bolters. My opponent played masterfully for the rest of game denying me KP and letting his flyers whittle me down as my Plasma Talons and all my Special Weapons missed the Flyers. I was always keeping my bikers away at least 16-18” away from his Stormraven with Terminators as the last thing I wanted was him grabbing 2 or 3 KP from 1 charge. He kept picking off the Attack Bikes for easy KP and the game would have been a draw by turn 5 but it kept going and I manage to regain a lead and kept it until turn 7. He is one of my favorite players as we are both fellow Europeans and he plays masterfully. Every game we have played as always been deadly close.

White Scars win – 19/20 (55/60)

Game 4 Crusade (4 Objectives)/Vanguard Strike: Imperial Guard w/ Grey Knight Allies


  • Company Command Squad
  • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor w/ Terminator Armour, Nemesis Hammer, Psycannon, Mastery Lvl 1.
  • Marbo
  • 2x 10 Grey Knight Strike Squad w/ 2 Psycannons
  • 2x 10 Veterans
  • 3x Vendetta
  • 1x 2 Griffons
  • 1x 2 Medusa
  • 1x 5 Purgation w/ 4 Psycannons
  • Aegis with Quad Gun

Won dice roll to go first again (Holy Emperor!) and my opponent kept his aegis line about 30” from my line and deployed his Medusa in his quarter and his Griffons in front but they were elevated and the Aegis Line provided no cover and no Night fight. Two of the MM Atk Bikes were too far to help out and the other three were in better position to whittle down the Purgation squad. I had an ace in the whole to try to kill the Griffons before they started to snipe my Banner Standard and that was my Librarian who had been meaningless for almost the entirety of the event when he had rolled Puppet Master. He was barely in range of the closest Medusa behind the Griffon and the command squad decided to target the Medusa Unit knowing that only Puppet Master and Sammael Plasma Cannon was in range. Pupper Master goes off; the Medusa shoots at the Griffon but scatters a few inches and ends up blowing up the Griffon and stripping the Heavy Flamer from the Medusa. Sammael Plasma cannon shot somehow scattered off the Medusa to hit the other Griffon, penetrated it and exploded it. (Faith Protects!) I was stunned by the absolute statistical anomaly that was that result. It was the most convoluted move I have ever done to kill a unit I needed. The rest of the game from my opponent turned sour as the Bolter Salvo tore apart his GK contingent and cleared the Aegis allowing my attack bikes to sit on the objective and man the Quad Gun for the arriving Vendettas. He knew he needed to take first turn to try to kill the Banner or the sheer firepower from the army would be too much. He made the best of a bad match-up.

White Scars win – 20/20 (75/80)


Final Game Emperor’s Will (3 Objective, 1 in Table Center worth 2 VP, other worth 1 VP)/Dawn of War: Tyranids


  • Hive Tyrant with Wings, Dual Devourer, Hive Commander
  • Hive Tyrant with Wings, Dual Devourer
  • Doom of Malan’thai in a Spore Pod
  • 1x ~10 Ymgarls
  • 1x 2 Zoanthrope in a Spore pod
  • 2x 10 Gaunts
  • 2x Tervigons with Poison, Furious Charge (?)
  • 1x ~18 Gargoyles
  • 2x 1 Mawloc

This is the final game against a very aggressive Tyranid list and I managed once again to roll and gain first turn. His deployment was much like my 3rd opponent with placing both his Tyrants and Mawlocs on 1 corner and his Tervigons and Gargoyles on the other. I scout away from the bait aka the Mawlocs and Hive Tyrants and redirect my forces to try to kill at least 1 Tervigon and here comes the moment of truth! My opponent seizes the initiative catching my White Scar Horde on the flank with his Hive Tyrants and now the tables are switched and I am playing on the defensive. His Mawlocs submerge. He managed to Peril on the Hive Tyrant on Iron Arm on his first turn but manages to kill both the Librarian and Banner Standard and put 2 wounds on Sammael from Devourer shots. The rest of the army managed to kill 1 Attack bike. My turn one resulted in a shift of target completely. Now I needed to take out the Hive Tyrants and get away from the Tervigons to both not get charged by Gaunt swarms and also to try to get rid of the +1 on reserve rolls from his Warlord. Luckily I managed to kill both Tyrants on my turn and most of the Gargoyles. On my opponent next turn, his entire reserves came on the table and his Mawlocs resurfaced and ended not scattering and killing a good chunk of Bikers. The Doom managed to only kill 1 Biker and the Zoanthrope killed 1 entire unit. The Ymargls multi charged the left over command squad and a 4 biker squad. They rolled poorly and I manage to Hit & Run both units. At this point, I had lost a bit of firepower but I still had enough to kill the Mawlocs and Ymargls but it was slim. I used my mobility to get away from the doom and reposition. Combined Fire and Charges saw 1 Mawloc die, the other live with 1 wound and the Ymargls getting killed in CC by Sammael. He finished off the Command Squad and Sammael with shooting but for the most part the firepower stayed the same. On my turn, I manage to finish off the Gargoyles and one unit of 2 Bikes managed to charge and kill of the Zoanthrope on my far left flank while I shifted my army down the right to eventually have to break through now the wall of Gaunts that was approaching. The Black Knights managed to Rad Grenade the Doom and Plasma Talon caused to Instant Death it. The Mawloc managed to break free with 1 wound left and burrowed on his turn. At this point my opponent had no real firepower to shoot at the bikes but one of his tervigon was approaching my right flank with Gaunts in tow. He managed to charge my only Biker squad that was left undamaged and by the graces it was my flamer squad. I managed to Hit & Run from the combat and allowed for the unit to cut through his line. On my turn this unit with a turboboost contested his home objective and his tervigons would have to backtrack in they wanted to deal with them. Luckily for me my left over Black Knights managed to put 2 wounds on the Tervigon on my right flank, the Attack Bikes put another wound and on the Charge the Black Knights managed to rend twice and survive combat locking that Tervigon in place. My 2 man biker squad on my left was now holding up a unit of 10 Gaunt and 1 Zoanthrope in combat. On my Opponents’ fifth his Mawloc came back and killed another 2 bikers leaving me with 1 Meltagun in that unit. He shot and charged the unit that was sitting on his objective but from sheer luck I managed to lose no biker from the combined effort. To add insult to injury my little Black Knight squad managed to kill the other Tervigon which I believe at that point settled the win for me. The game went until turn 6 and this is the amount of Models we both had left: He had 19 Gaunts Left, 1 Tervigon with half wounds, and a Zoanthrope with 1 wound. I had 4 Attack Bikes, 3 units of 1 Biker and 1 unit of 3 Bikers.

My Opponent was amazing, a great sportman, had a beautiful tyranid army and was a really smart player. I was glad to finally see the army play in such a tough situation, granted I did have some amazing situational luck but sometimes risky moves have great rewards.

White Scars win – 17/20 (92/100)

I ended with Best General of Class A (The highest Ranking) which was the highest place I could achieve with a not complete painted army and I was very happy with that placement considering the army had a lot of new additions the Tuesday of that week. I considered this event the trial by fire of the list and while I think I had some amazing luck because I kept winning the dice roll to go fist, it was nice to see that it could still recover from getting caught with its pants down. I believe the only changes I would make to the list is dropping the Librarian for a Darkshroud Speeder which would essentially achieve what I was trying to do with the Librarian and allow me to take a 6th Black Knight and unlock another Grenade Launcher or Plasma Talons. While Flyer can be annoying, I find the abundance of Twin Linked Weapons or Special Weapon to be an effective counter to flyers. (Also capturing your opponent’s Aegis Guns doesn’t hurt!)

Thanks for reading this lengthy write up. I am glad to be riding for the Khan (Or the Lion for some) again!

MikhailLenin, French Overlord, Out!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!
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Greg Swanson
Greg Swanson
9 years ago

Great report congratulations. I would have like to seen if you had gone second in any of the games. Nice combo on the IG artillery. Sometimes it is better to be lucky :). I play the last player (Alan) all the time he is an excellent player. I have been putting together a list similar to yours and have been paying with the dark should but less attack bikes. I also like the Libby with telepathy as it has been rammed dwn my throat with two chaos sorceres with telepathy by one of my regular opponents.

9 years ago

How would your feel about a land raider crusader with command squad holding the banner instead of the black knights in your played games? The Raider shoots bolters as well as a bike squad, with the multimelta of the attack bike and assault cannon replacing something like the plasma guns on your plasma ravenwing squad. While it doesnt have the same speed, it has a lot more survivability and can still move 18 inches in a turn to catch up to the scouts.

I see the cost as 365 to add a command squad with LRC. Your plasma bike squad is about 246, so you would need to cut the champion and apoth for 35, as well as 5 black knights from the fast attack squad switching to a 3 man command squad for 90. So not a complete bike army, but with a crusader in place of a troop bike squad for fire power and the banner a lot harder to get to (as well as a larger buff radius), this style of ravenwing army appeals more to me than the exposed banner black knight. Thoughts?

9 years ago
Reply to  DevianID

The problem is that there is the assumption that a) Hurricane Bolters work with the banner and that b) the banner can affect units out of the Crusader which at the moment imo dont work like that.

9 years ago
Reply to  Mikhaillenin

I guess it would make sense that a flag doesn’t do anything if you keep it in a box.

On the other hand, it could just be treated as a bit of wargear that casts an aura… GW will need to FAQ it one way or another. I would have assumed it works like a kustom force field.

9 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

I haven’t read anywhere in the rules where that would be supported.

9 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

I’d never really thought of it, but are there any rules in the BRB about this? I suppose the argument could be made that when in a transport, the model isn’t on the board, and the aura is extended from the model.

9 years ago

I bet the guy with Ordo Malleus Inquisitor w/ Terminator Armour, Nemesis Hammer, Psycannon, Mastery Lvl 1 will be taking 3 servo skulls from now on….

Good gaming 🙂

9 years ago

Would an Interrogator Chaplain on bike make sense for the command squad? 5 points more for an additional wound and all the associated buffs?

The Darkshroud is a compelling optimization though.

9 years ago

Question… I was looking over the codex and I noticed that The “Sacred Standards” are where the Standard of Devastation is listed. The regular Command Sqaud and the Deathwing squad both have “Sacred Standard” options but the Ravenwing Command Squad don’t have that wargear option, there entry says Relic Banners which don’t even exist. Is this one of those famous typos?

9 years ago
Reply to  6thStreetAlan

Indeed, it is just an errata.

It has been corrected in the most recent FAQ document.

Big Blind Bill
Big Blind Bill
9 years ago

Congratulations on the tournament. I’m in the process of making a bike army myself so it was great hearing some of your opinions. I have a few question though,

How do you feel about the special weapons in the bike squads? I’m currently planning on 3/4 squads having plasmaguns & 1/4 with meltas. Are meltas really needed in such large numbers in 6th ed.? What would you change if anything?

How did you feel about using Ravenwing over the standard Marine Codex, losing combat tactics etc. What about including DA allies for the standard along with a SM bike army/?

Thanks for the read, I’m glad to hear that a pure bike army can somewhat deal with flyers without deviating from the list, this was one of my fears in 6th ed with a bike army.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x