Sunday, December 29, 2013

Raven Guard List Building v.2.0

Now that I've had some time to look back at my collection of Space Marine 1k lists, I've been toying with some differing ideas. Raven Guard strike me as my favorite, and probably one of the ones I'm most likely to run in my theoretical "someday" Space Marine force. Looking specifically at my previous Raven Guard List, I've seen some room for improvement.


For starters, I have two squads of 7, which are large enough to be expensive, but fail to take advantage of Combat Tactics. I also have a Storm Raven, which I don't think adds too much to the list other than a flyer, but is a bit expensive for that.

One concern for Ravenguard is that Inquisitors with Servo Skulls can hinder them pretty absolutely. My first instinct to counter this would be to bring an Inquisitor of my own. However, looking closer at the Servo Skull rules, they do not take into account opposing Servo Skulls in the slightest. So, unless that gets amended, the only option really is to ignore it and hope I wouldn't run into Inquisitors, while also making sure the list doesn't completely rely on Scout moves and infiltration.

That said, it is a key tactic, but can be dealt with if the list still has a good bit of speed. Scout moves then become a tactical redeployment instead of advance.

The list I've come up with this time is a bit smaller, but I think a bit scarier as well.

To lead the force, I chose Shrike. Even though he is one of the more expensive special characters (please, someone explain to me how Tigurius and Khan being cheaper and having army-wide buffs makes sense), he adds a lot of threat to the list by allowing a jump pack squad to infiltrate. Raven Guard's ability to always use the jump packs to assault and re-roll failed wounds form Hammer of Wrath is nothing to be taken lightly.

Next up are the mandatory troops roles. For this, the best choice I think is two 10-man tactical squads in a Rhino. Having the full 10 unlocks a lot of flexibility, and having the special and heavy weapons in the squad add some punch. One squad I gave the traditional flamer/missile launcher combo, while the other got grav/plasma cannon. That said, I could definitely swap out weapons, particularly in the direction of adding some melta or a lascannon to have a way to deal with armor.

Next is where a bunch of my points are going to go, but I need a jump unit to accompany Shrike. Looking at the two options, I see very little reason to take Assault Marines over Vanguard Veterans. For 2 points more a model, I get an extra attack and more equipment options.

I'm going with a full 10 to again give me options during deployment, though I see very few instances where I would want to hold back half the squad from deploying with Shrike. To give the squad some added survivability, I'll equip three guys with Storm Shields, one of whom will be the sergeant, allowing him to accept challenges for Shrike if needed and still have a chance. The sergeant will get a power weapon as well. One other veteran would get a power weapon, while another has a pair of Lightning Claws. The rest will be with standard equipment to keep costs down a bit.

From there, I'll add a pair of Scout Squads. One will have 4 Sniper Rifles and a Heavy Bolter with Hellfire Shells, while the other will take combat blades, and the sergeant will take melta bombs. That will leave me with this list:

Shadow Captain Kayvaan Shrike
10 Vanguard Veterans: 3 Storm Shields, 2 Power Weapons, 1 Pair of Lightning Claws
10 Tactical Marines: Missile Launcher, Flamer, Rhino
10 Tactical Marines: Plasma Cannon, Grav Gun, Rhino
5 Scouts: 4 Sniper Rifles, Heavy Bolter w/Hellfire Shells
5 Scouts: Combat Blades, Sergeant w/Melta Bombs

With combat squads, the army has 4 scoring units. The Vanguard Vets can infiltrate with Shrike and spearhead the assault. They will be backed up by two scouting Rhinos full of Marines. The Sniper Scouts will hold down the backfield while the other Scout squad can stay in reserves and outflank or just come in late for an objective.