Sneaky Space Marines - Playing with Raven Guard Successors

Warhammer 40,000 – I’m super bummed. Space Marines finally get their day in the sun with a glut of new rules and the Internet can’t stop complaining about how over-powered they are. I don’t get it ever since I started playing this game every time a new book came out it took some time to adjust to the new options, although the rapid fire pace books are coming out now makes it hard to adjust as there are just so many things that are good. Which I think is a good thing and heathy for the game. Instead of looking at the marine release as one over-powered army it should instead be looked at as 6+ unique armies with their own play-style, which if any other factions suddenly got six brand new armies I think the impact would be very similar.

Anyway, I’m a fan of Space Marines and always have been. The new books have given every model in my collection a chance to shine and I love building new lists. I do have some favorite units like the Vanguard Vets, Chaplain and Captain so they tend to find their way into more of my lists than not but I’m trying to push each list in a new direction.

Twilight Ravens Fourth Company - Progenitor - Raven Guard • Successor Traits- Master Artisans, Whirlwind of Rage

BATTALION ONE
HQ - Captain: 2x Chainsword, Jump Pack, Warlord Trait: Shadowmaster Relic: Teeth of Terra
HQ - Chaplain: Litany of Hate, Exhortation of Rage, Jump Pack Relic: Master-Crafted Weapon, Plasma pistol Hero of the Chapter: Swift and Deadly
TROOP - Scout Squad: 4x Sniper rifle, Heavy Bolter Camo Cloaks
TROOP - Scout Squad: 4x Sniper rifle, Missle Launcher Camo Cloaks
TROOP - Scout Squad: 5x Astartes shotgun, Power Fist
ELITE- Vanguard Vets - 4x Chainsword & StormShield 6x Dual Chainswords
HEAVY- Mortis Dreadnought - 2x Twin lascannon
DEDICATED TRANSPORT- Land Speeder Storm - Heavy flamer


BATTALION TWO

HQ - Librarian: Enveloping Darkness, Shadowstep, Combi-flamer, Force sword Jump Pack
HQ - Lieutenants: Chainsword, Master-crafted boltgun
TROOP - 10x Intercessors: Auxiliary Grenade Launcher Stalker Bolt Rifle, Chainsword, Korvidari Bolts
TROOP
- 6x Intercessors: Auxiliary Grenade Launcher Stalker Bolt Rifle, Chainsword
TROOP - 7x Scouts: Astartes shotgun
ELITE - Apothecary
ELITE - Eliminators: Bolt sniper rifle, Camo cloak

Raven Guard have a weird Combat Doctrine bonus, being in the Tactical Doctrine gives them +1 to hit and wound rolls against characters. The effect is pretty strong but very situational. My initial thought was to bulk up on snipers, turn one gives you an extra AP to potentially clear threats and turn two moves you into character sniping mode. Popping the Target Sighted stratagem makes that big Primaris unit able to target characters, hitting on 2’s, causing additional mortal wounds on 5-6, which is pretty solid, 3CP is a hefty cost to pay to take out a character but I don’t know that splitting their fire will make sense. Most likely the Lieutenant and Apothecary will camp next to them buffing up the unit. I gave the Sergeant Korvidai Bolts so he can target units 42” away an out of LOS. I don’t know how strong it will be but it feels in theme.

The Scouts and Mortis Dread help to compliment the shooting and provide some additional threats to pull attention away from my other threats. Nothing crazy here more or less just objective holders/campers that can shoot when a target presents itself.

Since the focus of Raven Guard Successors isn’t solely shooting based I worked in another layer of threats with my old stand-by units of a Chaplain, Captain and Vanguard Vets. Added to this mix is a Librarian. The mix of traits, prayers, relics and psychic powers I chose allow them to ignore overwatch, charge after advancing, deep-strike closer to another unit and give a unit -1 to hit makes for a pretty nasty assault element. First turn charges are totally possible the question is what do I go after? From prior experience smashing somebody first turn is great, but if you do to good of a job that assault unit winds up flapping in the breeze in front of a gun-line eager to blast them to oblivion. I imagine I’ll learn the right play with a few games under my belt.

The list above is geared for 1500 point games which have become our weekly standard. In the event that I need to bump up to a 2,000 point list I’m considering adding in the following:

OUTRIDER

HQ - Chaplain in Terminator Armor: Litany of Hate, Recitation of Focus, Combi-flamer
FAST- Assault Marines: 6x Jump Pack, Thunder hammer
FAST- Inceptors]: 6x Assault Bolters
FAST- Land Speeders: Assault cannon, Multi-melta

Of course as with my previous article I may need to bring this down to a 750 point list for a team game if we have an odd number of players on any given week. In that case I’d take the list down to:

BATTALION

HQ - Librarian: Enveloping Darkness, Shadowstep, Combi-flamer, Force sword Jump Pack
HQ - Lieutenants: Chainsword, Master-crafted boltgun
TROOP - 10x Intercessors: Auxiliary Grenade Launcher Stalker Bolt Rifle, Chainsword, Korvidari Bolts
TROOP
- 6x Intercessors: Auxiliary Grenade Launcher Stalker Bolt Rifle, Chainsword
TROOP - 7x Scouts: Astartes shotgun
TROOP - Scout Squad: 4x Sniper rifle, Heavy Bolter Camo Cloaks
ELITE - Apothecary
ELITE - Eliminators: Bolt sniper rifle, Camo cloak

Space Marines - Who's your Daddy?

WIP_TwilightRavens_ChaplainDred.jpg

Warhammer 40,000 – With seven new books Space Marine players have more choices than ever. Way back in third edition I opted to paint my Marines in a unique color scheme, this was in part because I didn’t want another black army (I was playing them as Raven Guard from the old IA article, since Chaos was rampant) and partially because I wanted to future proof the army. Marines being fairly generic can be used like a multi-tool across so man different lists, by picking my own colors and building out options I found interesting I was able to amass a substantial Marine collection. Which means I have a ton of models to try to work into lists.

With the new “build-your-own” successor traits as well as the ancestor mechanic you can specialize your traits to max out the effectiveness of your force. Love the Assault Phase? Then claim White Scars as your ancestor for that sweet extra damage in the Assault Doctrine. Prefer heavy weapons pick the Iron Hands or imperial Fists and start the game with bonuses. Midrange more your speed roll with the Ultramarines or Raven Guard for turn two shenanigans. As a successor you not only get access to the cool Combat Doctrine bonuses but also the Stratagems, Warlord Traits, Relics and Tactical Objectives. Granted the “choose your own traits” are a little weaker on their own being able to mix and max gives you more ability to tailor to exactly how you want to play. The biggest drawback to choosing the successor route is loosing access to special characters (unless they’re from Forge World – more on that later) and having to pay CP to get access to the best relics.

So what’s this Forge World nonsense you speak of? Well in the best set of Imperial Armour Books (The Badab War), Forge World explored the chapters involved in that conflict and introduced characters for each of those chapters. Under the old codex those characters unlocked access to chapter tactics which changed up how your army worked. With the advent of eighth edition that model no longer worked and the Forge World chapters were tweaked in the imperial Armour Index to stand on their own, with the caveat that you could just pick whatever chapter tactics you thought best represented those characters. Cool, right? Well with the 2019 Space Marine book you just got a whole ton of new options, particularly for Chapters that have not been clarified as having a defined Progenitors like the Characadons, Red Scorpions, Exorcists, Angels Revenant, Red Hunters, Star Phantoms, Minotaurs, Fire Hawks, and Astral Claws as not only do you get cool rules from the characters but you can pick a Progenitor and Successor traits to maximize your list or fit your play-style.

Back when my gaming group was playing the Badab War I did a series of articles exploring lists based on each of the Chapters that took place. I’m considering putting together a group to play through a variation of that campaign again. Stay tuned as i’ll post more once I’ve put in some work.

With my Twilight Ravens I’ve gone through a variety or lists and options trying to find the sweet spot that I want to play for an extended period of time. I doubt a settle on anything anytime soon as there are just soooo many variations available. Currently for my groups weeknight gaming sessions we’re stickling with 750/1500 point lists. With a smaller point limit it’s easier to get a game done in a reasonable amount of time when you account for the lackadaisical nature of our game nights.

What I’m currently running for 1500 points is:

Twilight Ravens Third Company - Progenitor: White Scars?
Successor Traits: Long Range Marksmen, Whirlwind of Rage

BATTALION ONE:

HQ - Chaplain Dreadnought (2X Heavy Flamers + Dread Close Combat)
HQ - Lieutenant- Combi-flamer Powerfist
TROOP - Tactical Squad - Combi-flamer + Flamer
TROOP - Tactical Squad - Combi-flamer + Flamer
TROOP - Tactical Squad - Combi-flamer + Flamer
ELITE - Agressors - Flamestorm Gauntlets
FAST- LandSpeeder - 2X Heavy Flamers
Dedicated Transport - Drop Pod -Deathwind Launcher

BATTLION TWO:

HQ - Captain - 2x Chainsword (Teeth of Terra)
HQ - Chaplain - Master Crafted Plasma Pistol
HQ - Lieutenant - Dual Lightning Claws
TROOP - Intercessors - Bolt Rifle, Chainsword
TROOP - Intercessors - Bolt Rifle, Chainsword, Auxillary Grenade Launcher
TROOP - Intercessors - Bolt Rifle, Power Fist
ELITE - Vanguard Vets - 4x Storm Shield Chainsword, 6x Dual Chainsword
FAST - Attack Bike - Multi-melta

I really like this list so far. Being able to outflank with 11” range flamers or deepstrike a unit with flamers and be able to clear and area the turn they arrive has been fun. With Whirlwind of Rage + Exortation of Rage the Vanguard Vets can put a hurt on most units.

In the event I need to jump up to 2000 points I can add in the following:

ELITE - Relic Sicaran Battle Tank - 2x lascannons sponsons
ELITE - Aggressors - Flamstorm Gauntlets
FAST - Attack Bike - Multimelta
Dedicated Transport - Drop Pod - Storm Bolter
Dedicated Transport - Drop Pod - Storm Bolter

This give me even more flexibilty and a few more threats to spilt my opponents attention.

Of course if I need to run as part of a team I can break the list down to this 750 point force.

BATTALION ONE:

HQ - Chaplain Dreadnought (2X Heavy Flamers + Dread Close Combat)
HQ - Captain - 2x Chainsword (Teeth of Terra)
TROOP - Tactical Squad - Combi-flamer + Flamer
TROOP - Tactical Squad - Combi-flamer + Flamer
TROOP - Tactical Squad - Combi-flamer + Flamer
ELITE - Vanguard Vets - 4x Storm Shield Chainsword, 6x Dual Chainsword
FAST- LandSpeeder - 2X Heavy Flamers

Not quite the same impact, but it gets the playstyle across and takes advantage of the traits I’ve chosen for this list. I figure if I call each of my iterations a company I can forge my own narrative as my Chapter is on a Crusade and the companies are spread out over several systems.


Twilight Ravens - Vanguard Vets

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.

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WIP – Genestealer Cult (Hybrid Metamorphs)

GSC_Metamorphs_01.jpg

Warhammer 40,000 - I judge a book by it’s cover, at least when it comes to miniatures. If something looks weird or slightly off with a new release I’ll typically pass. Which means I don’t necessarily look at the codex entry for such models because I pass them off as fugly or overcosted. When the seventh edition GSC book finally dropped I built almost my entire force from two boxes of Death Watch: Overkill that I picked up on discount. When I finally did pick up the five man box of Acolyte/Metamorphs all I built were the special and heavy weapons from the box because Overkill didn’t include any of them.

With the Eighth Edition book I’ve been trying to expand my collection with building block units. Having built a solid core that I’m happy with it’s now time to look at adding some units that might be able to fill a different role or be less CP dependent to pull off the tricks I need them too.

Having some extra bodies left after building all the Rock Saws I needed I decided to take a look at the other options the Acolyte kit could build. Not being familiar with the Tyranid Biomorphs I thought some of them were very odd and didn’t fit the look I was going for. After reading through the entry I settled on giving the unit double talons and a hand flamer on each model. Since the unit is limited to 10, I could easily put them in a truck and drive around dumping 10D6 auto hits on units. Not that strength 3 will wound much but the potential is there. The more impressive stat that these guys have is more Attacks, they start with 3 attacks per dude and 4 on the leader, 31 attacks hitting on 3’s wounding most things on 4’s. Swapping the rending claw for another talon takes the attacks to 5 per dude 6 on the leader bringing us up to 51 attacks and these 51 attacks now hit on 2’s thanks to the talons. That is some serious potential damage output.

If toughness 3 hordes are raining on your parade. This unit can tear things up. Cast Might From Beyond on them and pick the Twisted Helix trait you’re now looking at 61 attacks, hitting on 2’s wounding on 2’s that should mulch through those bodies fairly reliably.

Right now these guys are in a “playable paint stage” my goal with my own stuff it to quickly paint it to a minimal tabletop standard so everything looks cohesive, once I have a lull in commissions I’ll go in and paint these guys to my personal standard and really get the colors to pop on the table.

Navigating Genestealer Cult - Battle Honors Season Two

Navigating Genestealer Cult - Battle Honors Season Two

Warhammer 40,000 – Since the release of the 8th Edition Genestealer Cult Codex I’m been trying to figure out a list that works for me. Initially I looked at doing the Tyranid, Guard and Cult force … but that’s not really where I wanted to go with my force. To me GSC is about hidden mutants and dissidents rising up to overthrow the Fascist Imperial Oppressors. The dark Cthulu-esque nature of a cult from beyond the stars is really where the GSC thrives narratively. For me unless it’s part of a campaign or the later part of an uprising allying with Tyranids doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. I’m sure there’s probably a good way to justify it as you can usually rationalize any story hook.

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The Tale of the Bloody Baron - A bit of lore behind my list

The Tale of the Bloody Baron - A bit of lore behind my list

Warhammer 40,000 – While building competitive lists and winning is fun; I find the most rewarding part of this hobby is coming up with a backstory for your army and seeing it grow and mature over time. While I’ve dedicated the first part of the year to painting and learning my Blood Angels list, I still have several other armies that I continue to think about which inevitably leads to me going off on a tangent and another year of unfinished armies but that’s neither here nor there.

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Cabinet Treasures: Captain Smash and the Robo-Wizard

Warhammer 40,000 – Way back when the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnought kit was released I picked it up along with a Storm Raven and decided I’d run my “Raven Guard” as Blood Angels. The new kits were really cool and the codex seemed to be a slightly better fit for what I wanted to run than what I could build with the “standard marine” codex. Sadly I lost interest before I finished painting any of the list and it found its way back onto my shelf of silent shame … I think at that time I was disappointed with 40k and moved to play Malifaux and other skirmish games as a replacement.

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Unleash the Hounds of Hell – Khorne Fleshhounds

Unleash the Hounds of Hell – Khorne Fleshhounds

Warhammer 40,000 – There are few models more hideous that the metal Fleshhounds of Khorne. Even the new plastics that have been revealed aren’t my cup of tea. Something about the neck frills just doesn’t do it for me. And event though I think a Daemon Prince or Bloodthirster leading a pack of hounds would be cool and effective on the table the look of the models didn’t fit with my army so I never pursued it.

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Furies or Furries ... Proxying a Conversion

Furies or Furries ... Proxying a Conversion

Warhammer 40,000 – For the Escalation Event I plan on attending later this month I needed to add five Chaos Furies. The metal models are just gross, I never cared for them and used to use Dark Elf Harpies with my old Word Bearers force back in the 3.5/4th edition days. While the models weren't much better they fit the rest of my army. Sadly I sold that force off ages ago and haven't stopped kicking myself since. The problem at hand is I need five Furies to fill out my force for this event because Screamers don't fit when playing points (power level is just fine which is my preference at the moment ... but its not my event and 90% of tournaments will use points so whatever).

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A Space Marine Chapter - How I plan to build mine

A Space Marine Chapter - How I plan to build mine

Warhammer 40,000 – One of the things I've been working on since the early 2000's. What started as a bunch of random marines and bits a client traded me for some paint work has blossomed into nearly a full chapter. (Well at least a few companies.) Listening to the Independent Characters recently I realized the latest Space Marine Codex had completely updated how a Company is set up which might change how I lay mine out.

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Blade Runner-esque City Scape

Blade Runner-esque City Scape

Terrain Building – Blade Runner really set the tone for me as to what a dystopian future would look like. Dirty, crowded and dark. Ultimately that's the look I'm going for with my city table. Ideally this terrain will be "useable" across several different rules sets like 40K, Necromunda and Batman as well as any other random "near-future" sci-fi games I might find myself interested in. 

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Necromunda: Cult of the Rusty Claw

Necromunda: Cult of the Rusty Claw

Necromunda – Having played a few games with the gangs that came in the boxed set I decided it was time to branch out and experiment with the Genestealer Cult. I've always been a big fan and while I'm not using my Warhammer 40,000 Genestealer Cult until they get a new codex I can use the models I already own to build a pretty cool gang.

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Deadbolt's Derelict – Getting Ready for Necromunda

Deadbolt's Derelict – Getting Ready for Necromunda

Warhammer 40,000 – Necromunda used to be one of my favorite games. Sadly the awesomeness  the is 8th Edition Warhammer 40,000 has overshadowed the game in my local group. Combined with the "lack of rules" for older gangs it's been a hard sell. However once we wrap up our current escalation league I plan on doing a short Necromunda campaign. 

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Escalation League - Week 5

Escalation League - Week 5

Warhammer 40,000 – For the fifth week of the Agrax Campaign I decided to modify my list a bit. Same models just trying different traits to see what works best. This time around I'm putting Daemon Spark on my Princess to bump up the damage potential from my Flamers. This force might still be to small to take best advantage of the alpha strike. What I've been seeing it while I can hit hard on the first turn I've generally loosing them to return fire, when I am able to put more threats on the table it should help this detachment survive a bit longer. Last week I tried out bulking this out with a battalion, this week I'm trying the same thing but keeping the cultists back as objective grabbers.

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Escalation League - Week 4

Escalation League - Week 4

Warhammer 40,000 – This week I'm going to try out a list I plan on taking to RIW Hobbies Escalation Event. It's an interesting format as you start with 500 points and then add another each round. Essrntially playing a slow grow league in the course of a day. Several other local groups just did escalation leagues so it makes sense to give players a chance to test their mettle in a single day event. 

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Escalation League – Week 3

Escalation League – Week 3

Warhammer 40,000 – This week I played another 2v1 game. Which meant I was running two complete 50PL armies, double what I had prepared for. Luckily with power level its super fast to build a list, I grabbed a Chaos Knight 24PL, a terminator sorcerer 6PL, a dark apostle 6PL and 4 units of cultists 3PL each. Quick and easier. whatever they're carrying is what they're armed with and I'm ready to play.

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Escalation League/Campaign - Session Two

Escalation League/Campaign - Session Two

Warhammer 40,000 – The first session of my clubs escalation league saw me get throughly trounced. I feel like my Raptors never could effectively alpha strike and when I tried they would get wiped off the board in the following turn. If they could have ever took out their points worth that would have been fine, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. 

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Primarily Primaris Space Marines - 100PL/2000Pts

Primarily Primaris Space Marines - 100PL/2000Pts

Warhammer 40,000 – Eighth Edition saw the birth of Primaris Space Marines, part of moving the story forward and adding new "scaled up" Space Marines to the model line. To be honest I was on the fence about them. The bigger models were ok, and some of the designs were unique and cool, but for the most part I didn't see them as being worth the points investment or monetary investment to add them to my existing Space Marine force.

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