Hi everyone, Michael here back with my first game in a long, long time! My Ravenwing take on the Raven Guard, speed against sneaky. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
I’m back! So nice to be rolling dice again. Today’s battle report sees my Dark Angels Ravenwing take on Ben’s Raven Guard in a 9th edition battle report. We were playing the Grand Tournament Mission, Rise of the Machine Spirit.
My army consisted of:
Primaris Chaplain on Bike- Master Orator, Warlord, Canticle of Hate, Recitation of Focus
5 Bikers- TL Bolters, 2 Plasma Guns, Power Sword
5 Bikers- TL Bolters, Meltagun, Power Sword
Landspeeder Typhoon- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher
Attack Bike- Multi-melta
Darkshroud- Heavy Bolter
Ravenwing Apothecary- Selfless Healer, Chief Apothecary
5 Black Knights- Corvus Hammers
Talonmaster- Arbiter’s Gaze, TL Heavy Bolters, TL Assault Cannon
3 Bikers- Plasma Gun, TL Bolters
3 Bikers- TL Bolters, Meltagun
3 Bikers- TL Bolters, Grav Gun, Power Fist
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon
With the new codex released, I had the chance to field my all-Ravenwing army once more.
The force was led by a Primaris Chaplain on Bike. I upgraded him to Master Orator and gave him the litanies to get bonus moves to charges, and +1 to hit in shooting. I backed him up with Sammael, who provides powerful re-rolls for the army, as well as being pretty solid in combat. My third HQ unit was the awesome Talonmaster. He has the Arbiter’s Gaze, allowing him to always hit on a 2+, even in overwatch. This provides some very powerful firepower for the army, as well as the Lieutenant buffs to the nearby units.
The bulk of the army is Ravenwing Bikers, with five units of varying size, loaded up with special weapons. In the Outrider detachments, they gain objective secured, making them great for grabbing objectives. I also took a unit of Black Knights, to provide potent firepower and some strong combat ability when armed with the Corvus Hammers. I also added an Attack Bike with Multi-melta for some anti-tank firepower.
I took a Ravenwing Apothecary, as he is an obvious choice. He provides great buffs for the army, bringing back dead bikers. The Ravenwing Champion also gave me some more combat options for taking on enemy units.
The final parts of the force were the speeders. I took a Darkshroud for protecting my Biker units, with its -1 to hit bubble. I took a Typhoon with some potent anti-tank firepower, as well as two Landspeeders with Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannon. These should provide some fast and mobile anti-infantry firepower to the force.
The Ravenwing should be a strong force. Mobile and with a lot of good firepower. Their special rules means they get an invulnerable save from shooting attacks on the move, as well as being able to use their firepower while in the Devastator Doctrine.
Ben’s army consisted of:
Primaris Techmarine- Forge Bolter, Grav-pistol Mechanderite, Servo-arm, Mortis Machina, Iron Resolve, Warlord
5 Intercessors- Assault Bolters
Redemptor Dreadnought- Macro Plasma Incinerator
5 Hellblasters- Assault Plasma Incinerator
Primaris Chaplain- Recitation of Focus
Invictor Warsuit- Clearance Incinerator
Invictor Warsuit- Clearance Incinerator
Gladiator Reaper- 2 Tempest Bolters, Twin Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Ironhail Heavy Stubber
Gladiator Valiant- Twin Las-talon, 2 Multi-meltas
A strong force with song good sniper firepower for taking out my characters. It also included a lot of potent firepower with the tanks and Dreadnoughts, with plenty of troops to grab the objectives.
For secondary objectives, I took Engage on all Fronts, Death on the Wind and Bring it Down. Engage was a given, with the mobility of my army. Death on the wind gives me VP for killing enemy units with my Ravenwing forces, as long as they move far enough. Bring it Down would net me up to 10 VP for taking out the vehicles.
Ben took Engage on all Fronts, Oath of Moments and Assassinate. Engage was also a solid option, with all the infiltrating units he could take. Oath of Moments is a solid choice for a Marine army and is quite easy to achieve in a lot of cases, plus he could easily max out on Assassinate with my army.
We then alternated deployment.
I put the bulk of my forces in the back of my deployment zone, protected by the Darkshroud. My units had the mobility to move very quickly, so there was no issue deploying them at the back. I put both units of 5 Bikers on each flank, ready to move out and grab objectives.
Ben deployed the two tanks at the back of the board, supported by the Chaplain and Techmarine warlord. A unit of Eliminators and the Eradicators went in the ruins at the back of his deployment zone. The Redemptor Dreadnought and Infiltrators deployed in front of the ruins, with the Hellblasters on the left flank.
The Infiltrators, Warsuits and Eliminators went on the right flank.
We rolled off and I won the first turn. Before the game started, I spent 2CP on The Hunt to move the Bike squad on the right flank forward. My plan was to move up and charge the Gladiators. My hope was to tie them both up in combat to reduce their firepower.
TURN 1- RAVENWING
In my command phase, I put Sammael’s re-rolls on the Black Knights. The Chaplain used both litanies, with the +1 to hit on the Black Knights.
The bulk of my forces moved up on the left flank, with only Sammael and the 5-man Bike Squad not advancing to boost their Jink saves. One unit of Bikers moved up on the objective on the right flank, while the 5-man squad moved up on the Gladiator tanks.
In the shooting phase, the Bikers on the right fired at the Infiltrators and the Meltagun at the Redemptor Dreadnought. The Bolters did no damage, but the Meltagun put five wounds on the Redemptor. The Talonmaster split their fire between the Infiltrators on each flank, killing three on the right and two from the ruins in front of him.
The Plasma Gun Bikers fired at the squad in the ruins, killing one. Sammael fired at the squad, but failed to do any damage.
The Landspeeder Typhoon fired at the Invictus Dreadnought at the front. The Multi-melta hit and wounded, doing 8 damage to the Warsuit! Both Missiles then hit and wounded (with a CP re-roll), but I rolled a double 1 for the damage and the Warsuit survived.
I fired the Champion, Apothecary and remaining Bikers at the Warsuit to try and finish it off, managing to take it to three wounds. The Attack Bike fired at the Warsuit, destroying it.
I then used Weapons of the Dark Age on the Black Knights and fired at the second Invictus Warsuit. I managed 9 out of 10 hits and every single hit wounded! The Warsuit was decimated and reduced to slag.
On the right flank, the Bikers fired at the Gladiator, but the Meltagun failed to wound.
In the charge phase, the Bikers assaulted the Gladiator. The tank fired overwatch, killing one of the Bikers. On the left flank, the Bikers assaulted the Infiltrators, while Sammael failed the charge.
The Bikers struck at their foes, but failed to do any damage. The Raven Guard Infiltrator managed to put a wound on one of the Bikers in reply. The lone Infiltrator passed his morale test.
At the end of the turn, I scored Engage on All Fronts (3/15), Bring it Down (4/15) and Death on the Wind (6/15).
TURN 1- RAVEN GUARD
In his command phase, the Techmarine used his Awaken the Machine Spirit rule on the Gladiator in combat. The Chaplain failed his Litany test.
The Hellblasters advanced towards the Bikers holding the objective, as the Eradicators, Dreadnought and Techmarine moved up to support them. The Intercessors moved up to the centre of the battlefield, while the Chaplain moved to deal with the Bike squad.
The Eradicators fired on the Bikers holding the objective, doing four wounds and killing two of the squad. The Gladiator fired at the lone Biker, killing him (it was the only viable target for the tank). The other Gladiator fired at the squad in combat with it, killing three of the Bikers and wounding the Sergeant.
The Hellblasters fired at the Landspeeder, but only managed a single wound, thanks to its Jink save. The Redemptor Dreadnought added its firepower, but only managed to take it down to two wounds after it’s Plasma weaponry proved ineffective.
One squad of Eliminators fired at the Talonmaster, but failed to do any damage. The second squad fired at Sammael, managing to do 2 mortal wounds.
In the assault phase, the Chaplain charged the lone Biker. However, the Raven Guard warrior only managed two hits and two wounds. I failed one save, but managed to pass it with a CP re-roll to keep the Biker alive.
I struck back with the Sergeant, doing one wound on the Chaplain with his Power Sword. I then spent 2CP on Swift Strike to fall back and grab the objective. This was incredibly lucky, as the Biker should not have survived the combat.
The other combat saw both units strike at each other, but causing no damage.
In the morale phase, the lone Biker passed his morale test, allowing him to grab the objective. Ben then used a CP to put a mine on the objective on the left using A Deadly Prize.
At the end of his turn, Ben scored Engage on all Fronts (2/15) and Oath of Moments (3/15).
Raven Guard- 5
A very strong start for the Ravenwing. My first turn firepower had been brutal, and I was in a very strong position on the board. Ben got really unlucky, not killing the lone Biker, as this allowed me to grab the extra objective and get more points for Engage in the next turn.
TURN 2- RAVENWING
In my command phase, Sammael once more put his re-rolls on the Black Knights. The Chaplain used Recitation of Focus on the Black Knights and used Litany of Faith. In my command phase, I also scored 15 primary points (15/45). We both moved on to the Tactical Doctrine.
The two Landspeeders moved up towards the Hellblasters, but stayed out of range of the mined objective. The lone Biker advanced to get his Jink save, while staying out of heroic intervention range of the characters.
On the left flank, the Bikers fell back from combat, while Sammael moved into the ruins. The Black Knights advanced around the ruins to target the enemy vehicle, while the other units moved up to engage the Raven Guard forces, only the Darkshroud advancing to boost its Jink save.
In the shooting phase, I spent my last 2 CP on Weapons of the Dark Age on the Black Knights. They overcharged and fired at the Gladiator Valiant. One Black Knight fell to the overcharge, but they managed to obliterate the enemy vehicle.
The Landspeeders fired at the Hellblasters, managing to kill three of the squad. The Talonmaster split his fire between the Hellblasters and Eliminators (the Assault Cannon was not in range of the Hellblasters). The Heavy Bolters put two wounds on the Hellblasters and Ben failed both saves to lose the squad, while the Eliminators were unharmed.
The Attack Bike fired at the Redemptor Dreadnought, but the Multi-melta only managed a single point of damage on the vehicle.
The rest of the firepower on the left flank targeted the Eliminators and managed to wipe them out.
In the charge phase, Sammael assaulted the lone Infiltrator, easily cutting him down.
At the end of my turn, I scored Engage on all Fronts (6/15), Death on the Wind (12/15) and Bring it Down (6/15).
TURN 2- RAVEN GUARD
In his command phase, the Techmarine used his ability to boost the Redemptor Dreadnought, while also healing the vehicle. The Chaplain failed the Litany of Hate once more. Ben scored no Primary points.
The Infiltrators, Redemptor and Techmarine moved up on the bulk of the Ravenwing forces, while the Eradicators moved towards the two Speeders on the left. The Chaplain moved up on the lone Biker holding the objective.
In the shooting phase, the Eradicators fired at the full health Landspeeder, easily destroying it. The Chaplain fired his Absolver Pistol at the Biker, killing him.
The Techmarine fired at Sammael, doing two wounds on him. The Eliminators fired at Sammael, also doing another two wounds.
The Redemptor fired at Sammael and the 5-man Bike Squad, killing Sammael, but failing to harm the Bikers. The Intercessors fired at the Bikers, but only managed to do a single wound. The Gladiator Reaper fired at the Black Knights, killing two of the squad.
In the charge phase, the Redemptor charged the Attack Bike, making it in with a CP re-roll and easily cutting down the Bikers. Ben then used a Deadly Prize to mine the objective in his deployment zone.
At the end of his turn, Ben scored Assassinate (3/15) and Oath of Moments for 4 points (9/15).
Raven Guard- 12
A strong lead going into turn 3. The Biker surviving the combat on turn 2 allowed me to grab the full 15 primary points, which was a big boost for the army. Ben would need to do some serious work to catch up. We discussed whether he should have used a CP to try and save the Hellblasters. Failing both 3+ saves was a blow. I would have tried, as it would have allowed him to keep the objective and gain 5 primary points. It would still put him behind, but would help with holding objectives as the game went on.
TURN 3- RAVENWING
In my command phase, the Chaplain used the Litany of Hate and Canticle of Hate. I scored 15 more primary points (30/45).
The unit of 3 Bikers advanced on the mined objective, losing one of the squad to secure it. The damaged landspeeder moved up as well. The other unit of Bikers moved over to secure the vacated objective, the Darkshroud advancing to support them.
The Chaplain, Apothecary and Champion moved up on the central squads, while the Black Knights moved up to engage the Techmarine.
The Landspeeder fired at the Eradicators, killing one, despite the use of Transhuman Physiology on the squad. The Talonmaster added its firepower, killing the other two.
The Apothecary and Champion fired at the Redemptor, managing to wound it once. The Bikers fired their Plasma Guns at the Dreadnought and Bolters at the Intercessors, putting one wound on the Redemptor and killing one Intercessor.
The Landspeeder Typhoon fired at the Redemptor, taking it down to 3 wounds. The Black Knights fired on the Techmarine, causing two wounds.
In the charge phase, the Champion charged the Techmarine, making it with a CP re-roll. The Black Knights also charged in to the enemy warlord. The Chaplain and Apothecary assaulted the Intercessors.
The Champion struck at the Techmarine, wounding him twice. He managed to pass one of his Iron Resolve 6+ saves to leave the Techmarine on one wound left! He interrupted combat and the warlord struck at the Black Knights with the Mortis Machina, wiping out the squad, allowing him to survive the combat.
The Chaplain was able to wipe out the remaining Intercessors.
At the end of my turn, I scored four points for Death on the Wind (15/15) and 2 points for Engage on all fronts (8/15).
TURN 3- RAVEN GUARD
In the command phase, the Chaplain was finally able to use the Litany of Hate. Ben scored 5 primary points (5/45).
The Techmarine fell back from combat, while the Redemptor moved back to be healed. The Chaplain moved up on the enemy forces. The Techmarine healed the Dreadnought, back to 5 wounds.
The Eradicators fired at the Ravenwing Champion, doing 6 wounds in total. The Apothecary was able to block 2, leaving the Champion on a single wound remaining. The Chaplain fired his Absolver Bolt Pistol, killing the Champion.
The Gladiator fired at the Chaplain and Apothecary, and was able to kill them both in a hail of fire. The Redemptor fired at the Talonmaster, taking four wound from him.
In the charge phase, the Redemptor Dreadnought charged the Talonmaster, killing him with his powerful attacks.
At the end of his turn, Ben had had a character-killing spree, racking up 12 assassinate points (15/15) and four points for Oath of Moments (13/15).
Raven Guard- 33
Time was running low, so we ended the game there. Despite a great surge in Assassinate points, Ben was still pretty far behind. I would get another 15 points on my fourth turn, maxing out on the primary points and would probably be able to finish off the Redemptor, Techmarine and Chaplain with my remaining firepower.
The overall score was:
Primary Points- 30/45
Engage on all fronts- 8/15
Death on the Wind- 15/15
Bring it Down- 6/15
TOTAL- 69 pts
Primary Points- 5/45
Engage on all Fronts- 2/15
Oath of Moments- 13/15
TOTAL- 45 pts
A win for the Ravenwing.
Thanks to Ben for a fun game, it was great to be playing again after such a long time.
That game couldn’t really have gone better for my Ravenwing. Getting first turn was great, as I was able to not only get into great board position, but was able to activate my boosted Jink saves for most of the army, giving them great resilience to Ben’s firepower. Speed of the Raven is incredible in turn 1, allowing you to still maintain a strong level of firepower, while also getting the protection of the Jink saves.
The limit of -1 to hit is also great with this, as I was negating the -1 to hit with the Raven Guard in most cases, as I was already getting -1 to hit for advancing and shooting anyway. It is a really powerful ability and makes the Ravenwing quite viable.
Had Ben got the first turn, I think I would have been more on the back foot. The two Invictus Warsuits would have got first turn charges on my Bikers. I may still have used The Hunt on the unit of 5 Bikers on my right flank, but pushed them forward slightly to block the moves of the Warsuits and restrict their targets for charges. However, their firepower still would have caused a lot of damage.
Another point of luck was the lone Biker surviving to steal the objective for me on turn 2. This allowed me to get 15 points on the primary, while blocking Ben from getting 5 points for holding it in his turn. Swift Strike is an incredibly stratagem, that can protect your units and get you into position to grab objectives.
Had the Biker died, Ben would have got the 5 primary points for his home objective. He may also have decided to try and use a CP to save the last Hellblaster, to give him 10 primary points. At this stage, we would have drawn for primary points and it might have been a much closer game.
I hadn’t faced the Gladiators before, but they are solid. The Gladiator Reaper puts out a ton of firepower and was able to shred by Bikers every time it could target them. They are also pretty tough at T8, so take a good amount of firepower to put down.
I think the army performed very well. They have a lot of firepower and some strong combat ability. The mobility of the army is incredible, thanks to their guaranteed advance rolls and movement stratagems. I look forward to playing the army more, as I think it can be very strong.