Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to wax philosophic on the new Raptor Talon formation from the Traitor’s Hate CSM supplement.
So let’s face it: Raptors and Warp Talons are bad. Like, terribad bad. They are so bad, I honestly do not remember the last time I saw them on the tabletop. It’s unfortunate though as they are amazing models, some of the best in the range. And, they have some killer back story, too. In all, it is sad we don’t see them more frequently on tabletops.
So what does the Raptor Talon formation add to these units to give them a boost? It adds a trick that GW is handing out a lot lately to under-powered units: the ability to charge form reserves. And that my friends, is quite the boost.
As someone that plays the Skyhammer Annihilation formation, I can attest to the power of Assault Marines coming in hot from reserves. However, in Skyhammer get some serious boosts with rerolls and taking away overwatch from their Devastator comrades, but the ability to assault in a weak position helps a ton.
Another benefit is taking a Chaos Lord who is actually quite good and comes with Fearless, which is fantastic to mitigate the leadership issues of Chaos Space Marines who certainly know fear. While somewhat cowardly themselves, Raptors also inspire fear in others and their formation rule of granting a -2 to enemy leadership when they assault with two or more units of Raptors, you can easily send non-fearless units packing. Combo this with other leadership debuffs such as that granted by the Heldrake Terror Pack and you can really punish units that are susceptible to morale. Downside here though is the rarity of units that don’t have morale control. Still, there are those high value targets that are not fearless out there like Tau suits, for example. You just have to somehow survive Interceptor and Overwatch fire…
Warp Talons are another unit that goes from fairly awful to useful in this setup. They hit hard with all Lightening Claws (unless, of course, your opponent is in cover where their lack of grenades means they still probably get womped) but with the ability to surgically strike a vulnerable opponent, you can really get some mileage out of these guys. MSU units of Marines, Eldar Jet Bikes, Crisis Suits, Scouts, Tomb Blades, etc. are all easy prey for Warp Talons and we see them frequently as scoring elements in lists these days. These are where Warp Talons will shine as they can quite easily take them out.
Also, taken in the Black Crusade Detachment, you can beef up the Aspiring Champions with free rolls on the Boon Table, most of which benefit melee units. They can become quite powerful with these upgrades and while random and sometimes frustrating, the Boon Table is a fun mechanic.
I’d run this formation MSU style, probably with 2 units of Raptors with dual Melta or Flamers, 1 unit of Warp Talons and the Lord kitted out to taste. Upgrade the Aspiring Champs to have some fun kit such as a Power Axe or Lightening Claw, etc. and have them come in to take out vulnerable enemy assets. Will they be amazing in every game? No, they’re still over priced and under-powered. However, they are infinitely better than they were and will on occasion perform admirably as skirmishing units and give you a reason to blow the dust off of these awesome models!
Thanks for reading! What do you think about the Raptor Talon?