Friday, 18 May 2012

More Tournaments - BA Lists

I have 2 tournaments lined up, one this weekend and one next. This weekend is a local one – one day 4 games at 1750pts. Next weekend is the Club Challenge at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield, 2 days, 5 games, again at 1750.

After the fun I had at TofS with my Blood Angels I’m going to run them again – but what to take?

I want to run the same list in both tournis for practice. I don’t have nearly as much experience with BA as I do with Tau. The reason I mention this is that there are comp restrictions at the Club Challenge, which will effect my list for Sunday. Broadly the comp restrictions are that you can’t take more than 2 of the same unit, other than troops – so my triple ‘raven list is out!

I’m debating with myself over two basic lists, with a degree of variety in both.

The first is a BA Razorspam list, and the second is a twin Stormraven list.


I have 2 versions of this list. The common parts of each list are

5 ASM with Meltagun, Infernus Pistol, Power Sword in a Razorback with TL Ass Cannon x 4

Sanguinary Priest with Power Sword x2

Devastators with 4 Missile Launchers x2

Baal Predators with Ass Cannons and HB Sponsons x2

The variable parts are broadly in HQ choices and additional troops. The first list has Mephiston as an HQ, the 2nd list has a bog standard Librarian with Shield and Fear the Darkness and a 10 man assault squad with jump packs (the idea is that they stay off the board as long as they can and deep strike in to grab objectives turn 3 or 4).

So the choice is between a combat beast (Mephiston) on the one hand, and a utility player (the Libby) and some extra scoring, on the other.

At the moment, I’m leaning towards the Libby and the extra assault squad. We know there will be only one annihilation game at the Club Challenge, there will be one capture and control, and the other 3 missions will involve 3-5 objectives. But on the other hand the Razorspam list has limited assault potential…!

Before I go on to discuss the twin Raven lists, let me say that I know the Razorspam list is, objectively, the most “competitive”. It has all the things the internet tells you a good list has. It has long range anti light armour (dev squads), short range anti light armour (assault cannons), short range anti heavy armour (assault cannons and melta teams), torrent of fire (Baal Preds), ample scoring,, mobility, redundancy, and adequate (to OK) combat power (the assault squads with priests plus or minus Mephiston). So you might want to stop reading here. But it’s a bit dull….! Hence, why I’m thinking about a twin Raven List.

Twin Ravens

The core of each of the 3 lists is 2 Ravens with Dreadnaughts, but that’s about it - other than that they are quite different.

The main problem with a twin Raven lists at 1750 points is that you have all your eggs in 2 AV 12 baskets. If one (or both) go down before it delivers its pay load, you lose. This is always a problem, but it is particularly a problem if you don’t get first turn. If you start on the board going second, chances are you will lose a Raven in the first round of shooting. Losing one Raven, before it delivers its payload, is a massive blow (god forbid you lose 2!). If at all possible you want both Ravens going flat out across the board at your opponent, blowing up a tank each with their multi meltas, and delivering their payload next turn (hopefully having survived as a result of their flat out cover save).

So you have 2 issues – how do you preserve your Ravens for those first 2 turns, either on the board first turn if you go second, or after they go flat out turn one (or indeed turn 2 if you’re going first)?

Going Second

The question is, how do you survive a first round of shooting? There are a number of ways to do this I guess, but they split into 2 main “catagories”, first by deploying with a bit of thought, and secondly by reserving everything.

At the club challenge I know there will be one Dawn of War deployment, one spearhead, and one “modified” spearhead (both armies are pushed into an “L” shaped area on the board edge of their table quarter i.e. it increases the separation between the armies by about a 12”) . The other 2 will (I assume) be pitched battle.

In DofW deployment, if I go first or second I will need to start everything off the board anyway. My first move will almost always be to flat out both Ravens onto the board. So whether I go first or second doesn’t really matter. In both Spearhead deployments, if I’m going second, I should be able to get the Ravens far enough away to be out of range of most heavy weapons (most are 48” range, with notable exceptions e.g. Railguns, Living Lightening!). So I only need to really worry in pitched battle deployment. Even then, my memory from Caledonian is that the terrain at Maelstrom is pretty good – on some boards I might get cover for my Ravens (in fact if I remember correctly, on some I could even get one of them out of LOS!)

So that cuts the problem down to (with luck) 2 games where I really need to reserve everything if I don’t get first turn.

If I reserve everything there are 3 possible outcomes on turn 2 – either both ravens come in (the ideal outcome), neither Raven comes in (which is also OK, although not ideal) or only one comes in. It is the last option (only one coming in) that’s the big draw back. How do I deal with that? Well each list has its own way of dealing with that, which I’ll discuss when I discuss the lists.

After the first Flat Out Move

Even with a 4+ cover save, 2 AV 12 vehicles are not that difficult to put down. The only things I can come up with is to somehow increase target saturation, or to somehow kill or tie up units that will target the Ravens. Again, all the list have ways to do that, which I’ll discuss after setting out the lists.

So, onto the lists

Version 1

Dante (makes SG troops)

10 Man Assault Squad

Sanguinary Guard, 2 infernus pistols x 2 (one with Chapter Banner)

Brother Corbulo

Furioso Dreads with Blood Talons, and extra armour x2

Storm Raven with Extra Armour and locator beacons x2

The way this list deals with the problem of only one Raven coming in from reserve, is via Corbolo’s “Far Seeing Eye” rule. This allows me to re-roll any one dice. So if one Raven is on, and one off, I can re re-roll the dice for the Raven that’s not coming in, increasing the changes that I will get both in. In addition, if one comes in and the other doesn’t (even with the re-roll) I have a 75% chance of getting both SG squads in using the Descent of Angels re-roll. If I deep strike these units beside the stuff that would be shooting at my Ravens, that will increase target saturation, hopefully taking the heat of my Ravens.

If I get first turn, and flat out towards my opponent, I can use the Skies of Blood special rule to increase my opponents target priority decisions. SofB allows me to deep strike any unit in the Raven onto ground over which the Raven has passed. That’s what the locator beacons are for. This would mean that neither the Furiosos or the SG would scatter. So the plan would be to flat out the Ravens straight at my opponent, jump each Furioso out under one of the Raven’s wings, popping smoke as it falls. Then the SG squad jumps out behind the Dread. So, instead of 2 AV12 targets with cover, my opponent has 2 AV12 targets with a 4+ save (the Ravens), 2 AV13 targets with a 4+ save (the Furiosos) and 2 SG squads with a 2+ save, a 4+ cover save, and a 4+ feel no pain save (from Corbolo who is still in the Raven).

Now this is obviously much better than simply having 2 AV12 targets, but it’s not ideal. The problem is that each target calls for different weapons – i.e. you fire your missile launchers and auto cannons at the Raven, melta guns at the Furioso’s and plasma guns at the Sanguinary Guard!

The other problem with the list is that units doing the heavy lifting (the Sanguinary Guard) are also your scoring units. If they die (more probably when they die) you only have 10 scoring bodies.

Version 2


10 Man Assault Squad, 2 melta guns x2

5 Death Company, with Thunder Hammer, Jump Packs and Lemartes

Death Company Dread with Blood Talons

Furioso Dreads with Blood talons, and extra armour

Storm Raven with Extra Armour and locator beacons x2

This version of the list gets round one of the limitations of Version one – the Assault squads are there to score – your heavy lifters (the Dreads, the DC and Mephiston) can happily die!). However, it does so at the expense of Corbolo, and so does not deal as well with the problem of only one Raven coming in from reserve. Nor does it have as effective “distraction” units (DC only) which can deep strike in on turn 2 to take the heat off my Ravens.

One change I could make is to increase the number of DC, at the expense of the Jump Packs. However the JPs are there to increase the DC’s mobility so they can catch the damn rhino they’re chasing, and so they can catch up if their Raven is downed.

Version 3

Librarian, Jump Pack, Shield and Blood Lance

Honour Guard, 3 melta guns, Blood Champion, Noviate

10 Man Assault Squad, 2 melta guns x2

Sanguinary Priest, Jump Pack, Power sword.

5 Vanguar Veterans, 2 power swords, 2 storm shields, 3 melta bombs

Furioso Dreads with Blood talons, and extra armour x2

Storm Raven with Extra Armour and locator beacons x2

So, still no Corbolo, but, in the event that only one raven comes in, the VV and the Honour Guard can come in using DofA (i.e. 75% chance they come in on turn 2) and nuke 2 things that might be shooting at your ravens. Also it retains the benefit that the heavy lifters (the Dreads, VV and Honour Guard) are not scoring. In addition, the Libby has 2 good support powers in Shield (5+ cover save) and Blood Lance.

Of the 3, I think I like the last one best!




  1. For what it's worth, I play with almost exactly your version 2 Stormraven List. My list usually looks like this:

    Mephiston (in Stormraven #1)

    Sanguinary Priest, JP

    Furioso Dread (In Stormraven #2)

    Death Company (10 marines), Lemartes (Stormraven #2)

    DC Dread (Stormraven #1)

    Assault Squads to fill out whatever points I have left

    It's really nice in that you have a brutally effective CC element, and enough of it that it's hard for your opponent to kill it before it kills them. Meanwhile, your assault squads can go unmolested and score. I find the JPs on the Death Company to be unneeded. I just put them somewhere with heavy target saturation and giggle.

    Anyway, the dual Ravens list with Mephy, DC, and Dreads is a kick in the pants. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks Brad - how do you deal with going second? Do you do anything to protect your ravens after that first turn flat out move?


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  4. I run Razor-Angels and have done for two years now. Your troops need a flamer and power weapon on a unit, these can deal with hordes. Then meltagun and maybe infernus for dedicated anti tank - no need for power weapon in these units. I would also drop the heavy bolters, they are not worth much and don't actually kill much when you work out the odds.

  5. Thanks Mercer - but I've gone for the twin storm raven list, version 1 (with a slight modification). I took version 3 along to the tourni weekend past and won, but i just like the idea of running a sanguinary guard army, so I'm running Dante with 3 SG squads. Nowhere near optimal (15 scoring models!), but i've had the Sanguinary Guard painted for ages, and I hardly ever play them, so thought I would take them out for a spin. Maybe i'll make up for lost battle points in painting scores!

    Reports to follow.