Raven Guard Review 7: Raptor Wing

Painted by STC_LogisEngine

Painted by STC_LogisEngine

Victorus aut Mortis! Reecius here, back with another installment of our Raven Guard review! This time, the Raptor Wing! Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

Raptor Wings are deployed in hunter killer pairs of Stormtalons and Land Speeders to destroy targets of opportunity. The units combine to form deadly pairs, with the Speeders marking targets which the Stormtalons then rip apart with coordinated fire!

Overview:

This formation provides you with a simple, fun and effective formation that takes a mediocre unit (Land Speeder) and gives it an awesome force multiplication rule to make respectable Stormtalons even better. That’s what we call a win!

This formation consists of:

  1. 1 unit of Land Speeders
  2. 2 Stormtalon Gunships

Special Rules:

  • Incoming Support: The Stormtalons in this formation automatically come in on turn 2! Wow, that is fantastic.
  • Priority Target Received: Once per shooting phase, the Land Speeder nominates an enemy unit within 18″ to be a priority target. The Stormtalons reroll armor pen and to wound rolls vs. that target until either it is destroyed or another priority target is chosen by the Land Speeder.

raven guard

Tactics:

I really dig this formation! It takes units I already like very much, Stormtalons and Land Speeders, and makes them quite good. Stormtalons automatically coming in on turn 2 is fantastic! That makes this a great formation for any Chapter Tactics of Marines, but especially in the Talon Strike Force, where you start rolling for reserves on turn 1! With a reroll mechanic, such as with Lias Issodon or a Comms Relay, you have a 75% chance of getting the Talons in on turn 1, and 100% on turn 2, nice! That really helps to pack a nasty punch and get the most out of every point spent on the Little Birds, as I like to call them.

The ability to nominate a key target for essentially Tank Hunter or Shred is also extremely good. Stormtalons are very accurate with Strafing Run and often Twin Linked, but with the ability to reroll damage rolls as well, they become hyper efficient. They will take a bight out of any target with these special rules. The Speeder itself though, is fairly fragile and must be used carefully. Nominate the most important target first, as at 18″ range, there are good odds the Speeder won’t survive into another turn. As it doesn’t have to be alive for the ability to persist, be sure to use it as fast as possible and on the most important target so that the Stormtalons can get the most mileage out of it.

Typically, I always opt for the Land Speeder Typhoon as my first choice load-out. Its superior range means it can often stay at a safe distance while pumping out firepower. However, due to the need to close to 18″, Dual Multi Meltas is also a solid choice (it can fire at a different target than it nominates to be the priority target), as is the Assault Cannon with Heavy Bolter. Or, you can simply keep it cheap and go with a single or pair of Heavy Bolters.

Either way, this formation gives you a very reliable, efficient and affordable detachment that will be very useful against a wide variety of targets.

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About Reecius

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

20 Responses to “Raven Guard Review 7: Raptor Wing”

  1. westrider December 9, 2015 1:10 am #

    This is one of my faves from the book. Not just as a component within standard SM Armies, but as a way to relatively easily fit Storm Talons into BA/DA/SW Lists.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that, unlike the Suppression Force, the Raptor Wing has no restriction on the Speeder going Flat Out in the same Turn that it marks a target. I’m thinking of using just a plain HB Speeder, move up 12″, mark a target, Flat Out back behind an LoS blocker or something. Maybe take potshots if I can do so safely on a Turn when I don’t have to mark a target (because the Talons are still pounding the first one, or have left Combat Airspace, perhaps), but basically focus on the Speeder being a Spotter first and a gunship only when convenient.

    Also, I kind of wish there were an easier way to get a Comms Relay or a Damocles or something into a list built around a Talon Strike Force.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 9, 2015 10:29 am #

      Yeah, I dig this one, too. And good catch on the Land Speeder being able to flat out and still use the spotter ability! I missed that.

      • fluger December 9, 2015 10:44 am #

        Yeah, that’s hella tight, WR! Good call on that.

  2. Cooper Waddell December 9, 2015 9:24 am #

    When the storm talons come in automatically on turn 2, are they able to escort on another unit (per their own unit entry in codex space marines) and automatically bring in that unit as well?

    • bigpig December 9, 2015 11:45 am #

      I think they removed that from the unit entry in the new SM codex. It is now a formation specific ability.

  3. Kroll December 9, 2015 9:46 am #

    Sadly Storm Talons don’t have that ability anymore.

  4. fluger December 9, 2015 10:53 am #

    Having anti-air isn’t as big of a priority as it used to be (IMO as a garage gamer), but having it in this formation is really nice. Hitting a wraithknight with the target gives one decent odds at putting some wounds on it with BS5, TL, and rending and effectively MC. Just the Assault Cannons should put two rending wounds on it (from both Talons) before saves. That’s not super great sounding, but it’s decentish. You could also put some hurt on knights, assuming you can get side armor you should be able to. Just the assault cannons should put 2 HP of damage on one (assuming side arc) before saves, and the Skyhammer should put another 3 HP as well. That, coupled with other shooting could drop a Knight pretty quickly. That’s not nothing.

    I really like this formation.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 9, 2015 10:56 am #

      Yeah, agreed. If you’re going to use 2 Stormtalons, take this formation.

      • westrider December 9, 2015 4:22 pm #

        And, IMO, if you’re going to use StormTalons, you should use at least two anyhow, so…

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 9, 2015 4:41 pm #

          Yeah, precisely. I think this is a great way to field them.

        • bigpig December 10, 2015 12:15 am #

          and be able to add them to a BC or TSF without adding an allied detachment or CAD

  5. Vanillr_Thund3r December 10, 2015 3:18 am #

    I’m looking to run this with my Shadowstrike force, should be epic. One question though, it says that you just take one unit of ‘Land Speeders’ does this include the the land speeder storms variant??

    • Maeglin December 10, 2015 9:23 am #

      Nope because they’re different unit entries; Land Speeders (which cam be upgrade to the variants) and Land Speeder Storms.

  6. Jax December 10, 2015 12:42 pm #

    I love this formation absolutely worth considering in any imperial army tbh. Was it allowed to run two of the same formations btw ? e.g. two of these Raptor Wings 😀

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 10, 2015 1:12 pm #

      Yeah, you can run two! That is allowed in normal 40k and the ITC, but not at Adepticon this year.

  7. Runawayscott December 11, 2015 11:51 am #

    Currently building a list using two Raptor Wings with a Pinion Demi Company in an attempt to represent The RG’s 7th Company (7th is a reserve company made up of Speeder and Gunship pilots)

    I love this formation and I’m running it with 2 Landspeeders; one Typhoon and one with dual Heavy Bolters for close defense and support.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 11, 2015 12:05 pm #

      Sounds awesome! And really good, too.

  8. Rob December 18, 2015 4:33 am #

    Great reviews. This and shadowstrike kill team will probably be the favourites for auxillary choices. I hope there is going to be similar review of the white scar formations as it would be interesting to read. 🙂

  9. Alex R September 28, 2016 12:35 am #

    Now with the angels of death and being available to iron hands these are amazing. Power of the machine spirit anyone

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