Preview: Sons of Corax

Do you like your Space Marines super stealthy as well as super killy? Chances are you’re a Raven Guard player, and that means you’re in luck! This weekend sees Codex Supplement: Raven Guard up for pre-order, so today we’re taking a quick look inside the sneakiest codex supplement of them all.*

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site. 

Who Are the Raven Guard?

The Raven Guard are a First Founding Chapter, formed from the core survivors of their Primarch’s Legion in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. Corax was foremost among his brothers in the art of stealth warfare,** and he passed these skills on to his gene-sons so that they became unsurpassed in this field. Clad in midnight-black power armour, the Raven Guard are one with the shadows, emerging from the darkness to slaughter the enemies of Mankind with a cold, silent fury.

On the Battlefield

The Raven Guard are incredibly hard to target at range, gaining the benefit of cover against any ranged attacks that originate from more than 12” away, and inflicting a -1 hit penalty against ranged attacks if they’re already in cover.*** This gives the Raven Guard an enormous advantage at range, as their enemy’s firepower will be heavily mitigated while their own remains murderously effective. To stand a chance, your opponent will have to get up-close and personal with your Raven Guard, enabling you to prepare a suitably violent welcome and spring a deadly counter-attack.

An integral part of covert warfare lies in the elimination of the enemy’s command structure – something that the Raven Guard strike forces fight as one to achieve. After all, there’s no fun in sneaking around the place if you can’t pull off a good ol’ fashioned assassination at the end! As such, if you field an army comprised only of Raven Guard units, rather than as an allied Detachment in an Imperium army, you’ll benefit from the Surgical Strikes ability – a powerful bonus that makes the Tactical (Combat) Doctrine brutally effective when engaging enemy Characters.

Characters are well protected when ensconced within their own lines, but Surgical Strikes offer a huge reward if your Raven Guard can isolate and engage them directly – though Eliminators with bolt sniper rifles will certainly help in this regard!

Stealth and Character assassination are far from the only tricks available to the Raven Guard. Let’s take a look at some of the Warlord Traits, Chapter Relics, psychic powers and Stratagems that feature in their codex supplement…

Raven Guard commanders are undisputed experts of stealth warfare, often scouting out the enemy lines on solo recon missions before they commit their forces to battle. Nothing exemplifies the talent to remain unseen more than the Shadowmaster Warlord Trait, enabling your Character to pin down the enemy before you launch a devastating massed charge on them without fear of Overwatch.

You may be concerned that your aforementioned Warlord may fail the charge roll and undo your glorious, game-winning attack before it has even begun. Fear not – the vaults of the Ravenspire, Chapter monastery of the Raven Guard, contain many relics and artefacts of great power earned over more than ten millennia of war. Between the Relics of the Ravenspire and those found in Codex: Space Marines, there’s something for every occasion! In this case, look no further than the masterwork jump pack known as Raven’s Fury. Your Warlord can’t possibly fail a charge with this thing on his back!

The Librarians of the Raven Guard are solitary and aloof shadowmancers that bend the darkness itself to their will. Raven Guard psykers have access to the Umbramancy discipline, enabling them to (further) confound the aim of their foes and travel vast distances in the blink of an eye. If you need to withdraw a vulnerable Character, or provide your units with a handy aura ability, Shadowstep will enable your Librarian to instantly relocate them wherever you need them most. Dead sneaky!

One of the most thematic parts of any codex or codex supplement are the Stratagems available to the army on the battlefield, as they exemplify the tactics they most commonly employ to give them the edge. For the Raven Guard, their Stratagems focus on sowing surprise and confusion among the enemy, such as with False Flight, enabling them to pull back from melee, but still remain 100% combat effective for the rest of the turn. With the ability to fall back, then immediately striking at a more vulnerable target,**** the Raven Guard will be a slippery proposition to face.

There’s loads more in the codex supplement that we haven’t even touched yet! Check out the full contents list…

Suffice it to say that if you’re a true warrior of Corax, this is the book for you. Codex Supplement: Raven Guard will be available to pre-order this weekend, along with their Chapter Master, Kayvaan Shrike, who has just crossed the Rubicon Primaris. We’ll have more on the Master of Shadows later this week, so be sure to check back with us regularly for more lore and rules previews for the Raven Guard as well as some for the Iron Hands. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to emerge from the shadows long enough to pick up your copy of Codex: Space Marines in preparation!

* You may want to read this in the dark to get into character.
** In fact, Corax had the ability to confound the sight of his enemies so as to appear invisible even when in plain sight. No wonder nobody has seen him in a while!
*** Some claim that this is because the Raven Guard paint their armour black, but we can assure you that it’s entirely down to the fact that they’re masters of clandestine warfare. It’s mostly that, anyway…
**** Smirking quietly to yourself while you do so is not mandatory but definitely encouraged.


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About Reecius

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

22 Responses to “Preview: Sons of Corax”

  1. Reecius September 10, 2019 10:10 am #

    Ah yes, my favorites! I don’t think they’ll be the most popular but they are so cool. Can’t wait to play mine!

  2. Dakkath September 10, 2019 12:30 pm #

    Geez, the raven’s fury is strictly superior to the blood angel’s relic that made smash captains a thing.

    • Reecius September 10, 2019 12:42 pm #

      I honestly wouldn’t even bother comparing the new marines to any other MEQ book, they’ll just be found wanting. This is an evolution of Marines and something new entirely in regards to Codexes, etc.

      • BruisedBanana September 10, 2019 5:52 pm #

        I keep telling myself…

        they’re making you wait because the Fists book is best
        they’re making you wait because the Fists book is best
        they’re making you wait because the Fists book is best

        • Reecius September 10, 2019 6:52 pm #

          It’s pretty dang good, lol.

      • Naadhu September 11, 2019 1:35 am #

        This statement is very true indeed. But that means more ways to play Marines besides Guilliman – Repulsor and Blood Angels Smash Captain, which is, a great thing !

        On the same note, even though we know you’re under NDA : Does this “evolution” will make its way to the “lacking flavour” Chaos Space Marines codex along the line ? Or are these changes “locked” to Primaris Space Marines to help distinguish them from the fallen brethren ?

        • Reecius September 11, 2019 7:06 am #

          As you noted, I can’t say much but I’d expect to see success replicated, so if people tell GW that they like this style of Dex, then one could expect them to keep doing it.

  3. Duz_ September 10, 2019 1:41 pm #

    Stoked for my RG some fun Tactical combos seem really likely and more than just the standard overwhelming firepower like the UMs and IHs

    • Reecius September 10, 2019 6:52 pm #

      They’re certainly the thinking man’s chapter, IMO.

  4. John Russell September 10, 2019 7:01 pm #

    A lot of players are going to think think poorly of these Doctrines and traits because they don’t have the point n’click of the IH/UM counterparts. Not knocking those. Its just rerolls and such aren’t exactly hard to find in any army these days. Having a special ability that makes Troop choices like Intercessors a threat to the Big Bads is unique.

    An army with these abilities needs to be built carefully to take advantage of them and the players play style should match. However considering that every Faction depends heavily on Character buffs (some living and dying by them) makes Raven Guard a very deadly enemy in the hands of the right pilot.

    That said I would wish Shadowstep was a tad more reliable.

    • Reecius September 10, 2019 7:59 pm #

      Ravenguard are the most interesting Chapter for me. When everyone gets to see their full repertoire of abilities I think they’ll agree it feels a bit like GSC. They are just ultra flexible and in the hands of a skilled player will be very difficult to deal with. You have so many tricks up your sleeve with them, it’s really cool. For that same reason though, I don’t think they’ll be as popular as some chapters that are more straightforward in what they do. Time will tell of course.

      • NeonKatt September 12, 2019 7:35 pm #

        Its so much better than people taking them just for a -1 superior tactic. now they take them for flavor

  5. Zweischneid September 10, 2019 9:46 pm #

    Raven Guard Chief Librarian: “With the power of my mind, honed through centuries of training, and the ancient techniques of Umbramancy, I will now command the Warp and teleport one guy across the battle field!!”

    Ork Weirdboy: “Impressive, ‘Ummie!”

    White Scars get Space Wolves strats, but strictly better at no additional cost. Raven Guard get Ork spells, but strictly worse with no upside.

    It’s “balance” in the aggregate, I assume, lol.

    • Reecius September 11, 2019 7:08 am #

      Lol, true to a point. But, moving a Character on to an objective can be game winning. Just a difference of scale.

      And trust me, Ravenguard will not be found wanting in the power department, haha.

      • Zweischneid September 11, 2019 8:14 am #

        Sure. Though it‘s not like you cannot use Da Jump on a single character if you feel like it‘ll win you a game.

        • Reecius September 11, 2019 9:00 am #

          For sure, you are right Da Jump is just better. The point I was trying to make is that Ravenguard are going to be more than powerful enough regardless of that comparison. They’re very, very good.

  6. capfa September 11, 2019 5:58 am #

    Acutally hyped. Compainies of Shadow and Strike Force Skrike under The Ravens Panoply kinda screams Mor Deythan and Dark Fury.

    only wished they previewed more unknown stuff.

  7. NinetyNineNo September 11, 2019 8:50 am #

    It’s kinda funny that the best application of their doctrine is likely gonna be shooting tanks and dreads at Knights. Not exactly fluffy, but them’s the breaks. Eh, RG Eliminators are still gonna be money.

    • Reecius September 11, 2019 9:01 am #

      Their Snipers are going to crate a situation where enemy characters simply cannot reveal themselves unless they have some mechanism to shed wounds. It will really screw up enemy plans. The downside is that I fear they gain a reputation for not being fun to play against due to that fact.

  8. sultansean September 11, 2019 9:03 am #

    I would have thought that Surgical Strikes would have been active in the Devastator doctrine since it seems to apply most to Eliminators, sniper scout and Intercessors with Stalker Bolt Rifles and the stratagem, all of which are Heavy weapons.

    I’m not saying that would be a good thing, since I think most Raven Guard armies are going to rather be in Tactical Doctrine, but it just seems a little off.

    Sniper scouts doing mortals on 5+ is pretty nice.

    A chaplain with Canticle of Hate getting Shadowstepped up to your Vangaurd Vets arriving from deep strike sounds really cool, but has a lot of points of failure.

  9. imafrog September 11, 2019 1:06 pm #

    Reecius…where is my lightning claw strat? There’s one in there right?

  10. Brian J September 13, 2019 4:34 am #

    Hey Reecius, with the supplements really making each First Founding chapter very different from the others, will we see them divided into separate “Factions” for ITC Best in Faction rankings? Or will all chapters that aren’t BA, DA, GK, SW, and DW remain in Adeptus Astartes?

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