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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