Friday, August 25, 2017

Raven Guard - 3rd Company

Raven Guard - 3rd Company

Victoris aut Mortis - Victory or Death

Ahh yes, the Raven Guard.  The XIXth legion of the Adeptus Astartes.

  "The First Axiom of Victory is to be other than where the enemy desire you to be. The First Axiom of Stealth is to be other than where the enemy believes you to be. The First Axiom of Freedom is that justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyranny."

- Corvus Corax, Axioms of the Legiones Astartes, Raven Guard Legion

One of the projects I've been working on throughout 2016 and 2017 and one in which I finished up 1,000 points for ahead of Adepticon this year, the Raven Guard.  The Raven Guard are a legion that fights from the shadows, strikes hard and fast, and excels in the use of Jump Pack and Drop pod insertion.  Following in the footsteps of their primarch, Corvus Corax, the Raven Guard do not execute war as many of their brother legions.  Rather than entering into wars of attrition, or head on attacks, the Raven Guard work to find the quickest and surest way to victory.  This often is at odds with other Imperial armies they fight alongside, and in a lot of the novels I have read, their presence on a planet or in a war is often not even known until they execute their strike.  This is especially portrayed in a recent book I read Sons of Corax which includes the novella Unkindness of Ravens by George Mann.  In the book the Raven Guard are executing a war against the forces of Nurgle alongside the Brazen Minotaurs, but the two Chapters are at odds with the Raven Guard using the Brazen minotaurs and their deaths as a distraction.  It really is a great example of how the RG prosecute a war and leave their "Allies" wondering what the hell is going on.

I fell in love with the Raven Guard for a couple reasons, the first was the color scheme of the 3rd Company and the Veteran squads.  The 3rd company is Red company markings which is my favorite color and combined with the black armor, red lenses in the helmets and finally the Vanguard Veterans with the white arms they really stood out to me.  The second reason is the use of Jump Packs.  I've always loved the idea of the fast moving assault units and the way they look and although they didn't always perform in previous editions of 40k, which was won with long range overwhelming firepower, they were still an immensely fun army to play.

Over the course of a few blog posts I am going to post the pictures of my army as well as some initial thoughts on how they have performed in 7th and moving into 8th edition.

To start I will review my Jump Pack units I've finished including an Assault Squad, a Vanguard Veteran Squad and a Chaplain.

Vanguard Veteran Squad Lonan

Led by Veteran Sergeant Bran Lonan this Vanguard Veteran squad was part of a Shadowstrike Kill Team in 7th edition and really was a shining star in all my games.  Deep striking on turn 1 next to 2 units of scouts and assaulting I almost always was able to eliminate a threat on turn 1.  Sometimes it was a devastator squad in ruins, a dreadnought, a tank, etc.  The unit includes the sergeant with the Stormshield and Thunder Hammer while two of the veterans have paired lightning claws.  The unit was not specialized, but could take on a lot of different units in the game and so was very flexible.  I will say that Lonan was known for consistently failing that 1 3+ invulnerable save that I needed when shot with a Krak Missile, Las Cannon, plasma gun, etc.  In their first match ever I deep struck and was intercepted by a Typhoon Missile launcher.  I had to save 2 wounds and failed my first 3++ which mean two models died and I failed my LD 9 Morale check and fled...  Since then though Lonan and his squad have really been all-stars.

In 8th edition when I have run this unit I have been using them in combination with the Chaplain coming down outside of 9" and many times using a Librarian to give them the re-roll charges or planning on using a command point to ensure I make their first turn charge.  Still providing me a unit that threatens a key element of my opponent's army in the first turn.  In both editions, but more so in 8th, they don't usually live past the first or second round as they become a focus for my opponent.  I still love this unit, and would like to eventually get another unit built that all carry Stormshields and Thunder Hammers to be able to threaten things like Dreadknights, Land Raiders and other high wound, high toughness units.  The straight 3 damage for the Thunder Hammers is really solid.

Assault Squad Torovac Squad #7

Torovac leads this unit of Raven Guard and prefers to set to the battlefield with an orbital insertion similar to Lonan.  However, without the guiding hand of the scouts and the shadowstrike kill team rules this squad would often try to land near a unit that would be best suited to be lit up with the flamer.  Additionally the unit had an Eviscerator and Torovac himself had a lightning claw and combat shield.  

In 7th edition the combat shield and Lng claw was not a great combination, but I followed the rule of cool with this unit and absolutely love the combat shield look.  I often played this unit very risky choosing deep strike points which were highly likely to cause a mishap, but more often than not they stuck and really put a thorn in my opponent's sides.  Similar to the VV unit, they were more of an all comers type unit not excelling at taking on any one type of opponent but trying to be the jack of all trades.

In 8th edition I have been glad I magnetized the eviscerator and wish I had magnetized the flamer.  I bring them down outside of 9" of my opponent as well and so usually the flamer doesn't get used as it is outside of 8".  The eviscerator needs to be on the Sergeant or not taken as with only 1 attack hitting on a 4 it is unreliable and not worth the points investment.  I am working on getting a couple plasma pistol wielding models into this unit so that when I come down outside of 9 I have 2 threatening shots to take before attempting the assault.

Chaplain Veran Vorax

Veran Vorax is the leader of this small contingent of Raven Guard and is built using the Blood Angels Chaplain model.  This model was a more significant conversion than any of the other models as I removed all of the blood insignia in favor of Raven Skulls that I scupted using GS.  These skulls can be seen on his Crozius Arcanum, and on his chest.  Additionally I used a mold to sculpt a further skull on his right knee pad.  A beautiful sculpt and one in which I had a joy painting up.

On the tabletop I usually joined him with the Assault Squad to give them some much needed re-rolls to hit as well as some additional punch.  While I would have liked to join him to the vanguard squad, they were part of the formation and so he couldn't join with them until after they hit the battlefield.  More often than not Vorax led from the front of the Assault squad and too often a failed look out sir and a failed 4+ invulnerable save saw his untimely death.  However, when the unit made it into combat at full strength in the right matchup the results were great.  This chaplain also allowed me to take the Raven Guard specific detachment the Talon Strike force in order to truly play each game like a Raven Guard warlord.

In 8th edition I continue to use him but more often than not now my warlord has been a Primaris Captain in Gravis armor.  I often throw him forward aggressively and lose him so having my warlord in the back with my firebase has been much more useful and keeps me quite a bit more safe from conceding slay the warlord early.  Without the re-roll to charge (as I've often already burned it with the VV) he has often felt underwhelming though leaving a Van Vet within 6" of him for their charge has been critical in making sure I get the re-rolls even if it is at the cost of one model attacking usually.

Finally I leave you with the theme/fluff I wrote up for the army heading in to the 40k Gentlemen's Tourney last year.  You will see on some of the basing that there are ruined blue armor.  This is supposed to be Night Lords and in some future versions you will see the NL insignia.  However, considering the dark color in retrospect I should have chose a brighter Heretic legion to fight as it would have offset the dark armor much better...

3rd Company Strike Force of Chaplain Veran Vorax

Chapter Master Severax has been slain, Shrike has been taken from the 3rd and to deliverance he has gone to fulfill his role as Chapter Master, but the 3rd company must fight on.  Chaplain Veran Vorax has led a strike force to a frigid ice world to answer the call against the Night Lords.  Ever a hated foe of the Raven Guard stretching back to the Horus Heresy and the battle of Istvaan 5, Vorax has a portion of the 3rd as well as a Shadow Strike Kill Team to command and eliminate the threat.  Vorax’ second in command is the Vanguard Veteran Sergeant Bran Lonan.
Vorax has already deployed his scouts to the surface to determine the best location for his drop pod and Vanguard to strike while he and his retinue of Assault Marines will be right behind them to clean up anything the Squad Lonan has failed to cleave through.
Though Vorax only has suspicions as to why the Night Lords have come to this planet, it matters not.  For had they enough information to determine that they posed no threat the signal for the assault would be no less quick.

“Strike swift, strike fast and strike in silence brothers so that it is the Night Lords who feel the grip of terror this night!”


Unknown said...

As a fellow Raven Guard player in the middle of painting my own army, these are amazing you magnificent bastard! A real inspiration in several areas for future projects of my own.

Unknown said...

These are brilliant, I'm starting a raven guard army.. Now!

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