Get your Motor Running- Playing Ravenwing in 9th Edition: Secondaries

Hi everyone, Michael here to take you through the best secondaries for Ravenwing in 9th edition. For more tactics, check out the Tactics Corner.

The release of the new Dark Angels codex has opened up the army options for the 1st Legion, with both the Ravenwing and Deathwing getting new detachment abilities that make running these forces a more enticing prospect than in previous editions of the game.

I frequently used to run an all-Ravenwing army in previous editions of the game, where they got some very strong detachment abilities or could be used as Troops choices in the army list. I was excited to see if the new rules would allow me to run the army once more and if it could be competitive.

This article will take a look at some of the best Secondary options for the Ravenwing in competitive games. I will assume that you are running an all-Ravenwing or Ravenwing-heavy army in your games.


One of the biggest limitations of an all-Ravenwing army is the lack of Infantry models in the army. This can severely limit your secondary options for competitive play. It might be worth running a Patrol detachment with some Intercessors in it, or a Vanguard with some Obsec Terminators to gain access to more secondary options. However, for those wanting a challenge, below is some advice on what secondaries to run in a Ravenwing force.

Death on the Wind (No Mercy, No Respite)

Score 2 Victory points each time an enemy unit is destroyed by an attack made by a Ravenwing model from your army that moved 12″ or more during the movement phase of that turn, or made a charge move this turn.

This is by far one of the best Secondaries you can choose for your Ravenwing army. Getting two points for each enemy unit destroyed is a great way to score points, especially given the firepower that the Ravenwing can put out. This is actually a pretty favourable “kill” secondary, as it is generally easier to score than No Prisoners or Bring it Down. This secondary works particularly well for MSU-style armies, allowing you to quickly wrack up the points with your strong firepower.

I don’t think I have ever failed to max out this secondary any time that I have chosen it. You essentially need to kill 8 enemy units to achieve it. This works well against a number of strong armies, such as Marines and Drukhari, where you will get 2 pts for each Raider or Venom killed, as well as those squishy small squads of Kabalites or Wyches.

Obviously, this is not going to be an auto-include against every army. Going up against Custodes or Knights, or even Adeptus Mechanicus to some degree, makes this a poor choice. However, against most opponents, this is going to be an auto-take secondary, and should be pretty easy to score well on or max out in your games.

Engage on all Fronts (Battlefield Supremacy)

Another very strong secondary for the Ravenwing. Given the high mobility of the army, it is really easy to score well on this one. In the Devastator Doctrine, Ravenwing get +3″ to their move. This allows Bike Squads to advance up to 23″ on the first turn. This gives you enough movement to ensure you can get into all four quarters on the first turn, scoring maximum points from the start.

Running a number of small, Obsec bike squads gives you strong threat range for grabbing the objectives, as well as helping you to score Engage on all Fronts for most of the turns of the game.

This works great for a highly mobile army, that has a good level of durability, thanks to the Bike chassis and bonus of the Jink save.

Stubborn Defiance (Battlefield Supremacy)

In your first command phase, select one objective marker. At the end of your command phase, after the first, if you control an objective marker with a Dark Angels unit with the Obsec ability, score a number of VP based on the number of consecutive Command Phases that you have controlled the objective (2 phases- 2 pts, 3 phases- 3 pts, 4 phases- 5 pts, 5 phases- 5 pts).

This is another strong secondary if you don’t wish to take Engage on all Fronts. For example, if your opponent is running a gunline, or you are worried about the long term survivability of your Bike Squads.

A 3-man Bike squad should be able to sit on your home objective for much of the game, getting a Jink save to help from the worst of the enemy firepower if you cannot hide out of line of sight. This is assuming they are in a Ravenwing Outrider and gain Obsec. Sitting on the same objective for 5 turns of the game will max you out on 15 pts, if you are able to achieve it.

Probably not the one to pick if you are up against a fast, moving, mobile army, such as Drukhari, or even another Ravenwing force, but a very strong choice where you have an objective in your deployment zone.

Deploy Teleport Homers (Shadow Operations)

This secondary was modified to allow you to carry out the action with Bikers. A nice boost for the Ravenwing, as there are few actions they are able to carry out.

However, this is a tricky one to carry out. You need to survive till the end of your next command phase in order to score this. I have no idea why this is the case, as all other Shadow Operations actions are completed at the end of the turn. Even if this was end of the turn scoring, it is still one of the most difficult to achieve. It also means you cannot score it on turn 5, so really limits the number of turns you can try and score it.

If you are going to take this, you probably want to aim for your opponent’s deployment zone, as you are getting four points each time you achieve this. I’ve found that keeping a Bike squad back to try and score this in the last two turns is really useful for scoring you 8 pts if you are struggling for other secondaries to choose.

Not one you are going to use all the time, but can be handy if your opponent is running a force with weak board control, or with reduced firepower.


I would go with Deploy Teleport Homers at a push, but would hopefully have a better option based on my opponent’s army, such as Assassination, Bring it Down, or even the mission objective.

Those are some tips on what secondaries to use when running Ravenwing in 9th edition. Almost all of my games use Behind Enemy Lines and Death on the Wind. I can normally score very high on these, or even max them out with the fast, moving army. The choice of third secondary can actually be pretty tricky in some games, as a Ravenwing force is a bit more limited in which ones it can choose.

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.
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