Raven Guard Victorus aut Mortis – a tactica by Peter Wisniewski


Hey everyone, Peter again from the NGC40k podcast.  Reece asked that I give a follow up to my first article, which you can read here.  There is only one way to get a rounded opinion on an army.  So I took the fluff list I created and played several games against several armies, each with different tactics required, creating different results. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles.

The first army the Raven Guard faced was a Mech IG list with Black Templar allies.  The list contained several Leman Russ variants, Veterans in Chimeras, Heavy weapon teams, and an Armored Sentinel squad.  The Black Templar allies included a Crusader squad with a Champion and Priest, inside a Land Raider Crusader.

It was the Crusade mission with Vanguard deployment and the terrain was a variety of ruins and random single trees.  I failed to roll night fight, but at least I was going first.  With the army designed solely for close combat and my strongest shooting weapon being a bolt pistol, I knew I had to get across the field quickly.  I lined up on the line and infiltrated all of the scouts.  He deployed in a line and a few inches back from his deployment edge.

Opening round I quickly closed the gap and ran everything, picking targets for the following turn’s assault.  My scouts were within inches of his units due to good run rolls.  He had no choice but to back up to release his volley safely.  I weathered the storm and the following turn nearly every unit was in combat with something.  The Raven Guard made short work of the vehicles with the exception of the Land Raider.  I didn’t have much that could deal with it, so I ignored it.  He deployed his crusader squad and slammed into one of my assault squads.  It was brutal, he slaughtered them without blinking.  I knew the only way I would be able to deal with them was with a mass assault.  I lined up my squads to maximize the hammer of wrath hits he would receive.  I shot at the unit with all of my remaining assault squads to soften them up before the assault, removing four of the sixteen man unit.  Meanwhile my scouts were busy ridding the planet of his veteran guard units.  The hammer hit hard during the assault killing another eight before the swinging began.  Rerolling these hits is just plain mean.  I was able to remove this unit with the loss of an assault marine.  The rest of the game was uneventful as he unfortunately didn’t have much to return with.  More of a mop up.



The Second game was big guns never tire in a hammer and anvil deployment and the terrain was a variety of ruins and pillars.  My opponent was playing a Necron CAD with a Cynoptek Harvest Detachment.  His main CAD had five troop choices, a total of forty warriors divided into ten man units, two of which were in Ghost Arks.  The remaining ten were immortals guarding his Cryptek leader.  He also had eight flayed ones and two Annihilation Barges to round out the CAD.  I have to admit, this list scared me a bit.  I thought if the slaughter were to come, it would be from a Cron list.

He got first turn and again I failed to roll night fight.  He deployed on the line so that his units would be able to fire first round.  He deployed the Harvest just behind the front line, waiting to pounce on the first thing that got close.  I deployed on line as well and infiltrated my scouts with the intent of closing the gap with his warriors right away, but stayed well clear of his Harvest.

Opening round he took out an entire scout squad and damaged some other units and made an assault squad fall back.  I wasn’t deterred, I knew I had to knock out some of his vehicles and get into close combat to save my units from his shooting.  I again pushed forward and was able to get a scout squad in combat with a warrior unit and forced it to fall back.

Second round was another solid volley of fire thinning many of my units.  By this time I lost a good third of my strength and I had to plan my assaults.  I hit every vehicle he had, removing them as threats.  My outflanking Land Speeder Storms came in from his corners and fired at his Spyder.  This proved to be enough of a distraction that he pulled the Spyder and the Scarabs back to deal with them.  Since the two Storms were in separate corners, he had to choose one to attack and as you would figure made short work of it.  His flayed ones arrived along side of my army.  I made short work of them by surrounding them with two assault units and slammed into them.  I removed them before he could swing.  Don’t let my fortunes fool you, every time I dealt with a Necron unit, my Raven Guard were left in the open.  I kept slowly losing squad members each turn, resulting in four two man units running around the table and others at various strengths.

My Scouts tied up his Scarabs while my other Land Speeder harassed his back units.  I hit the immortals with the Cerebus Launcher (due to the Blind special rule).  This is when I learned this is really good versus Necrons.  It’s potential is something I’m still trying to master.  His wraiths moved forward, but my units were at a questionable length for the charge.  I moved in, placed all of my remaining assault units to maximize the hammer of wrath and left him with three wounds left in the squad.  Having Whip Coils, he swung at the same time as my Captain and killed another marine.  The remainder of the hits removed his Wraith unit.  I made this same planned charge going into his Immortals squad.  The game ended turn five.  He won by one point, with both of us claiming an objective, but he had First Blood.  He had his Cryptek with an Immortal in close combat and his Spyder remaining.  I had a solid third of my army left.  We both determined that I should have sent another one of the two man units back to an objective.  Or if the game would have gone to turn six, I would have slayed his warlord, freeing my units and possibly tabling him.  Lesson learned: always plan for the possibility for the game to end on turn five.

My third game was a Crusade mission with Dawn of War deployment.  The Alpine FAT Mat doesn’t get used at our local store very often, due to the lack of winter terrain.  I chose to play on this mat, because I think it looks great.  He had a Red Scorpions CAD with a Storm Wing detachment.  Needless to say it was a slaughter.

To find out what happened, listen to Episode 007 of the NGC40k podcast.

I had fun playing this list.  I can’t wait to fill it out and try making minor variations to keep it fun and fluffy.  Most importantly: all Raven Guard.  I have to give a big thanks to my opponents for letting me proxy models to try this list out.

Until next time, Victorus aut Mortis.

Please check us out at www.ngc40k.com to learn more about our podcast and narrative gaming fun.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

12 Responses to “Raven Guard Victorus aut Mortis – a tactica by Peter Wisniewski”

  1. Maeglin October 2, 2015 10:26 am #

    Great to see someone trying to make fluffy Raven Guard work. I’ve been toying with the idea of using the Skyhammer with my Ravens. Yes it’s not the optimal use of the the rules but it is fluffy!

    • Reecius October 2, 2015 12:09 pm #

      I think it really aligns with Ravenguard fluff, for sure!

  2. Requizen October 2, 2015 12:33 pm #

    Assault Space Marines? But the Internet told me that’s bad! 😀

    Cool to see Raven Guard working well. My favorite chapter by far.

    • Jet October 2, 2015 6:03 pm #

      They are pretty bad, but the hammer of wrath reroll from RG makes them okay. His also seems to be a pretty good general as well.

      • Peter Wisniewski October 2, 2015 7:33 pm #

        I found the hammer of wrath rerolls made them brutal. You swarm a unit and if planned right, they are removed during the opponents assault phase.

    • abusepuppy October 2, 2015 11:08 pm #

      The list has some tricks, but it also has some severe issues if you’re intending to take it to a tournament. One Wraithknight, for example, can basically chew its way through the entire army unhindered- and that’s without benefit of Fortune/Invis/Forewaring.

      Paradoxial as it may seem, I think a lot of the list’s power comes from its Scouts- forty ObSec bodies is nothing to sneeze and can apply a LOT of early pressure. For opponents who can counteract the Scouts (by denying them easy Infiltrate, AP4 Ignores Cover, etc) it is a lot less threatening.

  3. fluger October 2, 2015 1:24 pm #

    Keep it up, I’m working with AP for a Ravenguard/Raptors list that might be good.

  4. W October 2, 2015 3:28 pm #

    Maybe it’s just my reading comprehension being off as I’m tired, but do I read that you got a Scout squad in assault on your first turn against the Necrons?

    • Peter Wisniewski October 2, 2015 7:30 pm #

      All three scout squads were to one side infiltrated and scouted. I could not assault until second round. Much easier to remember the flow of the battle rather than the exact turn things happened.

  5. Peter Wisniewski October 2, 2015 7:39 pm #

    40k is fun, list building can be fun, but this army. . . man I had a lot of fun playing it. If you like Raven Guard, you’ll love the ninja feel of this list. Fast surgical strike from the shadows. So long as you make the night fight rolls, but hey striking with the sun behind you is a cool visual too. Either way, I can’t wait to get my army built for this.

  6. Asmeralda October 4, 2015 9:13 pm #

    I appreciate the fact that you analyzed why you lost the second game with your opponent. Dice can turn on you but you evaluated what you could have done different. I learn more from my losses than wins. Seems like you reflect on your games in a way that makes you a better player going forward. Good to see that fluffy lists can be compete.

  7. Ragnulf October 5, 2015 1:13 pm #

    Under RG tactics, bikes can take advantage of the 1st turn shrouding, so maybe a command squad on bikes can add some shooting punch while still being mobile.

    You are correct to recognize that Raven Guard chapter tactics are uniquely unsuited to the Gladius. Hopefully the old rumors of a Raven Guard box set with Tau will resurface soon, and bring a formation a la the Shield of Baal stuff for Blood Angels. I’ve started to give up hope on it with all of the Tau news and no resurgence of the rumor.

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