Hello! First of all – I’ve never written an article, so be nice! Let me know what you think, and if it goes well there may be more!

We’re calling it “Weathering the Storm – How to survive in the Meta” (Thanks Pete)


Everyone is talking about Space Marines right now; as each supplement is released, the darker the skies seem for every other army. Especially Iron Hands – Goddamn Iron Hands. They just seem bonkers, which has everybody distracted from their darker, sneaky brethren: the Raven Guard.

 


Iron Hands lends itself to a simple, rewarding, smash-face style play – where you bring all the guns and roll the dice and hope for the best. Whereas Raven Guard are more what’s known as a “toolbox” style playstyle: where every unit has a role, and they hit where it hurts when they need to.  The point is to ‘play’ your opponent, lure them in, and pounce on their mistakes.

First off, let’s look at their Chapter Tactics benefits:

Shadow Masters: When resolved an attack with a ranged weapon with this tactic that is more than 12” away, that unit is treated as having the benefit to it’s saving throw, and if that unit is not a VEHICLE and is entirely on or within a terrain feature, subtract 1 from the hit roll.

 

As you can see, this Chapter Tactic lends itself to an infantry heavy based army. Vehicles like Repulsors and Leviathans obviously benefit from that cover save, which is great! The armies strength, however, lies in the infantry and lurking until the moment is right.

When using a pure Raven Guard army, you’ll also gain the following:

 

Surgical Strikes: Whilst the Tactical Doctrine is active, when resolving an attack made by a model with this ability against a CHARACTER unit, you can add one to the hit rolls and wound rolls.

Now what do you think first off? “Yay my snipers can kill characters much easier now!” Which is obviously correct, those new Eliminators that are finally on the shelf are certainly showing their value at £30 a box. Now you’re hitting and wounding most common characters on 2s! Also you’re hitting mortal wounds on a 5+ to wound across the board! This gives you a huge advantage to Character heavy armies, such as Genestealer Magos’ and Ork Big Meks with Kustom Force Fields.

But what else? What other armies are Character heavy? Imperial or Chaos Knights.

 

Every Knight army is backed up with a farm of CP to be able to equip them with specialised relics and warlord traits to boost their effectiveness. However as they do that, all of your army become more effective in return – hitting on 2+ army wide and wounding them on 5+ with your bolters, you now have units that struggled to shoot them before (Aggressors, Intercessors) that now cant be sniffed, especially with the extra AP. It puts the opponent in a difficult spot, either be wounded easier, or sacrifice the relics/traits and not be as effective in the game.

You’ve also got some strong stratagems that help out with a gunline based army, with the use of “False Flight – 2CP”. This stratagem allows any unit in your army to shoot and re-charge after falling back. Meaning your strong shooting units such as Centurions or even Leviathan Dreadnoughts with they’re horrific amount of shooting attack dice cannot be stopped in the path of mowing down the enemy.

Speaking of Centurions, the Assault Centurions took a huge points drop in the latest Codex. A full unit of 6 with flamers and hurricane bolters rocks in at 312pts. Sounds a lot, but these guys have 72 Bolter Shots, 12D6 Auto-hitting Flamers, and a measly 25 S10 -4 3Damage attacks on the turn they charge/are charged. Not bad right? Tie that in with the newly refreshed “Strike from the Shadows -1CP” you can set these bad boys up at the end of turn 2 onwards 9” away, and you have a 24 wound Block with a 2+ save, that can dish out dakka to little units and charge in. Improve your chances with “The Raven’s Blade – 1CP” to be able to re-roll that charge, to have nearly a 60% success rate – so the odds are in your favour.

The Centurion Warsuit is the sneakiest of armour in the Adeptus Astartes – NO one would expect anyone to wear this and not get noticed, which catches the enemy off-guard.


How do you deal with them if the dice are against you? You’ve deepstruk, failed the charge and now you’re a sitting duck.

Well first off: you’re unchargeable – no one wants to charge 12D6 Flamers that are -1AP (cause you’re bouncing on that Surgical Strikes bonus) AND 72 bolters. Look to “Transhuman Physiology – 2CP” to make them tough enough to withstand a bit of shooting/combat before you hit back with your epic drills of death.


I could talk about these guys all day, there’s loads of tricks you can play with them, and even more if you considered “souping” the chapters together. Whilst it was short and sweet, I hope you enjoyed this – let me know if you like this sort of content and we can start pumping out this sort of tactical content more often.

Cheers!
Mikey

8 Responses

  1. Roman Dulik

    I totally agree with this. Raven Guard are way more interesting than the Iron Hands (and less prone to being nerfed in the future). I am a long time Raven Guard player and i really like this new book. -Victorus aut Mortis!

    • Hellstorm Mikey

      Nice dude – huge buff for current Raven Guard Players and yes, will sweep under the radar under their metallic brothers! 😀

  2. Roman Dulik

    Hey by the way cannot you come out from “Strike from the Shadows” turn 1 if you want? Since it does not say that you put the models into reserve, it kust says that you put them “in ambush” and that you can come out from it at the end of one of your movement phases.

    • Hellstorm Mikey

      It’ll still be restricted from the tactical reserves rule since they aren’t set up on the board 🙁

  3. Lloyd Baker

    Ayyy loved the article Mikey nice work, I was on the receiving end of Raven Guard hell blasters vs my Knight… Oof

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