Twilight Ravens - Vanguard Vets


Warhammer 40,000 – I love Jump Pack Infantry, they’re not always the best choice but man I love moving fast and hitting something. Sadly Assault Marines are really better as a mobile firebase like Chaos Raptors, they’ve gotten a bit better with the advent of Angels of Death but jumping around with melta guns or flamers is still a better role for them. In previous editions I would occasionally run lightning claw equipped Vanguard Vets as a throwback to the unit Shrike used to bring with him back in Third Edition. They were ok but really expensive and rarely made back their points. At the end of Seventh Edition that unit got way better with the Raven Guard formations that allowed for first turn charges but once that went away my clawed maniacs went back to being shot off the table before they could connect.

With the new Space Marine codex Vanguard Vets have the option to take dual chain swords. With a base of two attacks, plus two for the chain swords plus one more for Shock Assault these guys can hit something pretty hard. Once turn three hits and those attacks have an AP value they become a serious threat.

Initially I tried running the full unit with just dual swords. High AP shots kept taking them off the board. By adding in four Storm Shields the lower number of attack models could tank most of those wounds giving me a chance to make combat. Clocking in at about 178 points these guys can dump 47 attacks onto the unit they smash into. Combine that with the Hammer of Wrath Strat to throw in some mortal wounds you can put out some serious hurt.

As my chapter is a custom scheme I tend to bounce around Chapter Tactics based on what works best with the list I’ve built. I’d love to just pick one and stick with it but honestly with my collection being able to change up lists/tactics based on what I want to play on a given day is my preference.

The current build I’ve been messing around with is based loosely on the Carcharodons. I really liked playing them back when they had unique chapter tactics and their lore is very similar to the backstory I created for my own chapter. Unknown founding, prowling the outer reaches answering the call when needed.

Successor Chapters give up access to a ton of traits and stratagems in exchange for being able to mix and match some cool abilities. For right now I’m focusing on Whirlwind of Rage and Master Craftsmen, the first making natural 6’s create additional attacks and the second allowing each unit a free re-roll of one hit roll and one wound roll in each phase. I chose these for a few reasons the fluffy reasons being that the original Cacharodon tactics were close-combat orientated and that a chapter based on the fringes would need to take special care of their wargear especially since they have older marks of armor and weapons. The mechanical reason for my choice is that they are both really good. The number of times I’ve spent CP to re-roll a die and get the same result is ridiculous, with this tactic I get two re-rolls per unit per phase freeing up CP to use on other things.

So now these ten guys are swinging 47 times, generating a bunch of extra hit rolls. How do I improve upon that? Well patrolling far from the Emperor’s Light would require a great deal of faith and devotion, so every list will need to have a chaplain. Flying with the angry vets he can preach one of two litanies allowing everyone within 6” of him to re-roll misses in combat or make natural 6’s to hit generate an additional attack.

This is where it gets complicated. Whirlwind of Rage says natural 6’s to hit generate an additional hit. Based on the recent FAQ the hit created by the natural 6 is also a 6. If the Chaplain is within 6” and has Exhortation of Rage up both of those natural 6’s generate additional attack rolls. While those rolls can’t trigger again off Exhortation they do trigger Whirlwind of Rage if they happen to be natural 6’s. Given the right die rolls these guys are going to chop chop whatever they run into. (Of course in the Fall 19 FAQ, those “extra” hits now have no number associated with them so this is slightly less effective)