Leave a comment

The Raven Guard Evolving at 1850

With the OOTB summer event coming up this weekend, I have decided to post about my most recent variation of the Raven Guard list I have used. Previous incarnations of the army have placed 1st and 2nd Overall at the fall and spring Onslaught events, going 3W-0L-1D at each tournament. This new list has only been tried once, but it did beat TJ’s Best Overall-winning Tyrannic War Veterans (with three each Thunderfire Cannons and Storm Talons), so it has some promise.

This list is back up to 1850, where the Spring Onslaught was 1700. With the extra points, I upgraded the naked Sanguinary Priest to Corbulo, added one more Sternguard and the 10x Assault Marines also drew back in to provide more scoring. Coming out of the list was the Landspeeder Storm and Assault Cannon/Missile Launcher Dread. They performed fairly well, but I don’t know if they were good enough to justify a combined 205 pts…

As a bureaucrat, I am obligated to agree.

As a bureaucrat, I am obligated to agree.

Another odd switch was moving the Sternguard to the Blood Angel side. Pedro’s +1A bubble goes to waste in this version and he can never ride in their transport, but they can gain FNP from Corbulo and the Razorback becomes Fast, allowing you to switch to Las-Plas instead of the previous twin Las setup. Pedro’s rule that makes Sternguard scoring doesn’t specify Codex: SM Sternguard, so it is technically correct (the best kind). Anyway, either setup works about the same, as you are either choosing to get the FNP and Las-Plas, or keep the +1A and allow Pedro to hitch a ride. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Corbulo can’t fit in the Razorback to provide a bigger FNP bubble, but honestly there aren’t many squads that need it and they do tend to stick close together, so it’s usually not a huge problem.

The New List

HQ – Librarian – Level 2, Terminator Armor, Force Axe and Stormshield

Elites – Furioso Dreadnought – Heavy Flamer, Frag Cannon, Drop Pod
Elites – Curbulo
Elites – 6x Sternguard – Heavy Flamer, Combi-Melta, Powerfist, Las-Plas Razorback

Troops – 10x Tactical Squad – Melta Gun, Missile Launcher, Melta Bombs
Troops – 10x Tactical Squad – Melta Gun, Plasma Cannon, Melta Bombs
Troops – 10x Assault Squad – 2x Plasma Pistol, Powerfist

Fast Attack – 1x Hyperios Missile Battery

Allied HQ – Pedro Kantor
Allied Troops – 5x Scouts – Bolters, Melta Bombs
Allied Heavy Support – Mortis Contemptor – Twin Autocannons, Cyclone Missile Launcher

The Plan

Now, let me start by re-stating that this list is certainly not “optimized” fully. While almost everything in the list is scoring, there is a bit more efficiency that could be milked out of the army (like swapping the plasma pistols for meltas in the Assault Squad… better and cheaper but I don’t have them painted). Redundancy is low as well, but somehow this has managed to not bite me in the ass yet.

The general plan for the army is to stick Pedro and the Librarian into one Tactical Squad, often the plasma group. You get a Prescience-guided Orbital Strike and plasma blast marker on turn 1, and then characters can split off as necessary and do whatever needs doing. If he rolls Precognition, the Librarian usually spams this power as well to tank damage and challenges. Re-rolling 2+/3++ with FNP as backup is pretty damn solid, and he has taken down everything from tooled GK characters to Demon Princes with it. He even has a decent chance of not killing himself if you get hit with Mindshackle Scarabs…  Even if you don’t get Precognition, anything except the #6 Divination spell is pretty good.

The Furioso also comes down on turn 1, going for First Blood and hopefully making himself a big distraction in the process. Triple flamer templates will usually get someone’s attention in a hurry, especially if your pair of S6 AP- Rending shots from the Frag Cannon roll any 6’s! AV13 helps him survive a little while in this role, and sometimes he manages to not die before the game ends…

Sternguard and Assault Marines are roving damage output, taking out whatever they need to while the Mortis and Hyperios try to keep the skies clear.

The Optimized List

With a few more tweaks, and some new models painted, I think the list below would be the “optimal” version of the list outlined above.

HQ – Librarian – Level 2, Terminator Armor, Force Axe and Stormshield

Elites – Furioso Dreadnought – Heavy Flamer, Frag Cannon, Drop Pod
Elites – Curbulo

Troops – 10x Tactical Squad – Combi-Plasma, Plasma Gun, Plasma Cannon
Troops – 10x Tactical Squad – Combi-Melta and Melta Bombs, Melta Gun, Missile Launcher
Troops – 10x Assault Squad – 2x Melta Gun, Powerfist

Fast Attack – 2x Hyperios Missile Battery

Allied HQ – Pedro Kantor
Allied Elites – 5x Sternguard – Heavy Flamer, Combi-Melta, Powerfist, Twin Lascannon Razorback
Allied Troops – 5x Scouts – Sniper Rifles
Allied Heavy Support – Mortis Contemptor – Twin Autocannons, Cyclone Missile Launcher

Everything in this variant of the list is just a little bit more efficient at its intended role. Fewer safety nets in the form of melta bombs, but a little more focused melta, a little more focused plasma, and a second Hyperios battery. The only big trade-off is the Razorback being a lot less mobile and the Sternguard losing a squad member, but it is cheaper this way and Pedro can give the Sternguard a decent number of attacks in melee, so it’s still a well-rounded unit that can claim an objective if they don’t get themselves murdered before the game ends.

If I were to take this army list to the Alberta GT Finals in August, I would have to paint the extra Hyperios Launcher, two Sergeants with Combi-weapons (these could also double as more Sternguard later on), two Assault Marines with Meltas and finally the Sniper Scouts. Honestly I don’t mind bolter Scouts, so they might not even need to get done. 5 sniper rifles isn’t exactly game-changing stuff.

I know I ruffled a few feathers by proposing smaller tournament events, so I will be returning to that thought soon. Right now a lot of the guys I’m talking to are attending OOTB this weekend, so they are a little distracted with getting their armies ready and all that good stuff. In the meantime, any feedback on the new Raven Guard list? I’m still amazed that I can resist the temptation to put Terminators in an army. I love them so much, even if every damn xenos model is so good at killing them these days…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: