Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Raven Guard List - Post FAQ

If you look back a few posts you’ll see I took a Raven Guard list to LVO and DM3. Both lists were based on a Talon Strike Force, with a Battle Demi Company and Shadowstrike Kill Team. The heavy lifters in both lists were 3 tooled up Vanguard Squads. This relied on the Vanguard’s ability to come in from reserve, any turn I chose (including turn one), and assault out of deep strike. The lists differed in the Vanguard’s delivery mechanism.

The key is landing the Vanguard without scatter so they don’t mishap and are in guaranteed charge range. As part of the formation, you need to take 2-4 units of scouts. If the Vanguard deep strike within 9” of 2 of scout units, they don’t scatter. In the LVO list I had 4 units of scouts in Land Speeders Storms. I infiltrated them, scouted them into position, and deep struck off the LSS’s hulls. However, the problem was, if I wasn’t going first, the scouts needed to survive a turn of fire before I could bring in the Vanguard. Given how fragile Scouts are (even in Land Speeders Storms), first turn was pretty important.

For DM3 I came up with the idea of taking an allied CAD, and a couple of fast attack drop pods. I put the scouts from the Shadowstirke Kill team in those pods. I could then bring in the pods, deploy the scouts from the pods, and deep strike the Vanguard off the deployed scouts (the scouts don’t need to be on the table at the beginning of the turn the Vanguard arrive). This made first turn irrelevant and the list far more flexible.

However, going forward, the problem will be the draft FAQ. If it’s enacted with no change, I can’t put the scouts in allied drop pods, nor can I go back to the LVO list, as the Scot’s “no scatter on deep strike” aura wont work from inside the LSS. I would be left with simply deploying the scouts on their own and hoping for the best. The down side with that is first turn becomes pretty critical again , as scouts are even more fragile outside their LSS.

So back to the drawing board. I still want to run the Talon Strike Force, as it’s a lot of fun, but I need to solve the deep strike scatter problem. I was really scratching my head until this weekend. I want to introduce you to the Ravenguard’s new BFF …. a death-watch Aquila Kill Team.

Why … well because of the Beacon Angelis. This is a relic which allows all friendly units to deep strike within 6” of the bearer, without scattering. Critically, there’s no need for the Beacon to be on the table at the beginning of the turn. So, I can load the Kill Team plus Beacon caddy (probably a Libby) into a drop pod, bring it in turn one, and deep strike the Vanguard off the Beacon on the same turn.

Here’s the list I’m thinking about (a bit rough ‘cause I haven’t found a battlescribe data file for Deathwatch yet).

Talon Strike Force

Demi Company

Cataphracti Terminator Captain

5 man Tac Squad, melta gun, combi melta, Drop Pod
5 man Tac Squad, melta gun, combi melta, Drop Pod
5 man Tac Squad, melta gun, combi melta, Drop Pod

3 Bikes

Devastators, 3 Grav Cannons, Drop Pod

Shadow Strike Kill Team

5 Scouts
5 Scouts

7 Vanguard. 2 with Storm Shields, 2 with Pistol and Chainsword, 3 with Lightening Claw/Power Fist
7 Vanguard. 2 with Storm Shields, 2 with Pistol and Chainsword, 3 with Lightening Claw/Power Fist
7 Vanguard. 2 with Storm Shields, 2 with Pistol and Chainsword, 3 with Twin Lightening Claws

Aquilla Kill Team – Libby with Beacon, 5 Veterans, 2 Frag Cannons, Drop Pod.

Captain goes with the Devs to make the Cannons slow and purposeful. Kill team comes in (whether first turn or not) and brings down the Vanguard with no scatter. Vanguard assault stuff and kill it. Meanwhile the Tac squads can contribute (the Demi Company comes with a Tactical doctrine), or can just snag objectives. The bikes are pure objective grabbers, as are the Scouts, although I could use them to bring down a Vanguard squad if necessary.

If you look at the Vanguard Squads I’ve changed one of them slightly. I’ve swapped LC plus PF for twin LCs on one squad. That was simply to save points.

My only question is on the load out of the Kill Team. Stock they all have special ammo bolters and CCW.  By an odd quirk in their rules, they can swap their CCW for a bolter, and then swap their existing bolter for a special or a heavy weapon. So, you can give them a special or a heavy weapon, and let them keep their special ammo bolters. Odd, but that’s what it says.

So the question is – are the Frag Cannons worth it? Broadly speaking I could swap them for a 4th Grav Cannon on the devs, and have 15pts to play with, leaving the Kill team with “just” their special ammo bolters, or I could swap them for 5 melta guns, or I could put the 3 power fists back on the Vanguard squad and have 20pts left to (help)put Terminator Armour on the Libby.



  1. I like that list a lot! IMO, the Frag Cannons are Worth it since they're quite versatile and allows you to tackle stuff that Gravs won't be able - VSG comes to mind, deamons too. I would also suggest giving Deathwatch Shotguns to the other three members of the team. Boltguns and shotguns with Special Issue ammo should give you plenty of choice on how to tackle almos every threats!

    So yeah, I'd keep the cannons. You got enough meltas and Grav and the Libby should not need that much protection with all the threat overload you're going to drop on the enemy turn 1!

  2. Hmm ... I think I agree. The frag cannons are too good to pass on. Shotguns are a good idea as well for over watch if nothing else. I had hoped to play this tonight at the club, but the key holder forget the key!! I'll let you know ho it goes.