Generals Corner – Raven Guard Tactics. Part 1- Decapitation Strike Force

I have been playing the Raven Guard since I started playing 30k which was shortly after the release of Betrayal at Calth. The legion specific rules grabbed me straight away as did their reliance on infantry, drop pods, fliers, infiltrators and jump infantry.

I have collected about 9000 points of the mighty XIXth legion and have played many, many games against a variety of opponent’s. I have also used many different rites of war, however my favourite and probably the one I have the most success with is Decapitation Strike Force.

So here we go, this is my view on the rite of war and how I normally use it.

Let’s first take a look at what the rite of war actually does.

Benefits:
For Whom The Bell Tolls: Legion Astartes Raven Guard gain the preferred enemy independent character special rule – THIS RULE IS HUGE! With the new faq ruling that it affects the independent characters unit not just the independent character themselves it makes deathstars a little less scary and plasma guns even more devastating.

Fury From Above: Tactical squads, tactical support squads, heavy support squads and seeker squads can take a drop pod as a dedicated transport. In addition deathstorm drop pods can be taken in elite and heavy support slots – This rule is one of the main reasons we take this rite of war. Podded plasma’s yes please.

Predatory Strike: Rerolling to see who goes/deploys first – this helps tailor the game to our armies play style, if we want to go first then we have more of a chance.

Limitations:
Only one heavy support slot – this is a big one so if you are going to take a heavy support slot make it count. I normally stick in a leviathan, but also sometimes use an infiltrating support squad with lascannons.

Only one consul – this is also a serious drawback as it means you really have to think about what consul your army will benefit the most from. In my opinion you can never go wrong with a Chaplain, but I also love using the dual plasma pistol Moritat.

Cannot take fortifications or allied space marine legion detachments – again this rule sucks but you can still ally with mechanicum, militia or solar.


Lets crack on with my top tips for using Decapitation Strike Force

Tip 1 – to pod or not to pod
Well the main thought I have when making a Decapitation Strike list is whether to use drop pods or not. I know one of the main benefits of taking this rite of war is gaining drop pods as dedicated transports for some units, however in my experience running Decapitation Strike is all about synergy and having a fast paced army that hits before the enemy can unload all of their fire power.

That can 100% be accomplished with an entire drop pod army, raining down from the skies and striking deep in the heart of enemy lines. That being said, I love using jump infantry (they gain furious charge from Astartes Raven Guard and they are fast). I normally run two 15 man assault squads in combination with a two or three drop pods (which normally carry my support squads in). I find that the drop pods coming down turn 1 distracts my opponent from my assault squads just long enough to let them get into combat more or less unscathed. 

What to put in your drop pods?
Well I normally put a 10 man plasma squad in one drop pod, a 5 man melta squad  in another and then a tactical squad in a third.  The basic idea is that the melta team and tactical squad come down first and put pressure on the enemy by either destroying a dreadnought/vehicle without armoured ceremite or claiming a key objective. Then turn two my lightning and plasma team will come into play. The lightning will aim to blow up that pesky enemy spartan and the plasma team will roast what ever is inside. Normally using this tactic, my opponents big deathstar is normally not a threat anymore by turn 3, which leaves my jump infantry free to take on the enemies squishier units.

The other great way to use drop pods is to control the battlefield. Drop pods block line of sight, limit enemy movement and are just a general thorn in your opponents side. I normally try and stick a pod in front of  vehicle to block one of its guns or in front of an objective. Anything just to slow down enemy units and make them play to my game.

That is my main tactic when using drop pods in Decapitation Strike, my aim is literally to Decapitate the enemy force in the opening turns of the game. It relies on a lot of synergy between two or three key units, but the most important thing is how this tactic is supported, which leads me nicely onto tip 2…

Tip 2 – have some boots on the ground
In a list that focuses on the use of drop pods there needs to be some board presence turn one. Maybe something that can lay down some ranged fire power, or some infiltrating units that hug cover to wait for the right moment to make themselves known or just some units deployed normally to move up and support the drop pods when they come down.

This tip might not be for everyone as people like to run all drop pods or put different units in drop pods. If that is the case then you may find that your units are survivable enough without the need for some additional boots on the ground. However in my experience it is always useful to have a couple of units on the board turn 1 to either distract units away from your drop pods as they come down or to weaken the enemy forces so your podded units have an easier time.

There is no right way to do this but I sometimes use a 5 man lascannon team to soften up enemy vehicles as my drop pods are coming in, along with my assault squads which will get into combat quickly and reduce some of the enemies fire power. 

Last point I will add to this, there is no way to express the importance of infiltrating units in drop pod heavy armies. The fact that we can have both drop pods and infiltrators in this rite of war is something no other legion can do. It means we can get key units into position ready for when our drop pods come down which is not to be underestimated. 

It is also funny to go first and then not have deploy a single model because everything is deep striking or infiltrating. That way we can tailor our deployment to counter our opponents and still have the luxury of going first.

Tip 3 – prepare to take a beating
This tip is more of an observation from my experience running Decapitation Strike, but it might not be everyone’s experience.
I have found that I normally get peppered until all my drop pods, fliers and reserves have come on the board. After about turn 2 or 3 that is where I start to make real progress and cause real damage to my opponents army. So don’t be disheartened if your army takes an absolute spanking on turn 1.

Tip 4 – Fliers and speeders are your friends
In my armies, whether I run Decapitation Strike or not, I always take a flier. The reason for this is normally to add a bit of depth to the army but also because I am a big fan of planes. Normally an opponent will bring only one form of anti air which means if I target the threat with my turn 1 drop pods my flier can spend the rest of the game pretty much unhindered.

I normally always take a lightning to fill the role of anti spartan/heavy armour. This for me is key in a drop pod heavy army as most podded anti armour is either short range or will need to snap shoot if it moves.

Speeders whether they are javelins or regular land speeders are also not to be overlooked in a Decapitation Strike army. I find that outflanking Javelins enables me to out manoeuvre enemy light vehicles and help support my army as it gets into position.

My armies fast attack slots are normally filled with a squad of two missile Javelins, a Lightning and a squad of Dark Furies. The combination gives me an incredible amount of mobile fire power that balances well with my combat focused Dark Furies and Assault Squads.

Tip 5 – who should lead my army
In a drop pod heavy army, Strike Captain Alvarex Maun is a must! He is not very survivable or killy but his army wide buffs help bring all of the different units in the Decapitation Strike together and ties the army off with a nice little bow.

The reason he is so good is due to his warlord trait, his Bleeding Edge special rule and his Night Fall Pattern Strato-Vox. 

Warlord Trait (Co-ordinated Planet Strike):
Maun can reroll reserve rolls for fliers and drop pods – This is important as most of our units will either be drop pods or fliers. It just helps get our units on the board as fast and reliably as possibly.

Bleeding Edge:
If Maun starts the game deployed on the board the army can reroll their seize the initiative roll. – This is another important rule that allows us to dictate the flow of the game.
If Maun starts the game in a drop pod or flier with the deep strike special rule then he automatically comes in turn 2. – This rule is less important and I very rarely put him in a vehicle but I can see its uses.

Night Fall Pattern Strato-Vox:
Units arriving via deep strike within 18″ of Maun do not scatter and units arriving via deep striking vehicles gain the counter attack special rule on the turn they arrive. – This lovely piece of equipment allows us to put our pods where we need them and gives them a little bit more punch if they end up getting charged.

Maun is very fragile, with 2+ armour and no invulnerable save he will die quickly if he is on his own.  I normally attach him to a Mor Deythan squad and infiltrate him into a position where his 18″ bubble is most useful.

Tip 6 – target priority
This tip is fairly self explanatory and has been touched on in the previous tips. However I think the two main things to target when taking the Decapitation Strike rite of war are:

  • Anything that has interceptor – so our units don’t get shot off the board as soon as they arrive. I will try to use sniper Mor Deythan to precision shoot apothecaries with augury scanners early on in the game.
  • Anti Air – normally I will use my 5 man melta squad in a drop pod to try to take out any Mortis Dreadnoughts or Deredeos so that my Lightning can come on relatively unchallenged.

As with all other things in a dice game, the whole concept of being able to prioritise targets is somewhat unreliable. So normally I will go for the mentioned targets first and then will try to focus on other threats on the board as they present themselves.  The best thing about playing an alpha strike army whether its using drop pods, infiltrators, fliers or jump pack infantry is that  you will be up in your opponents face really quickly and hopefully that way they will panic and make less tactical decisions as they try and push you back.




There you have it!
My top tips on how to run the Decapitation Strike rite of war.

Happy decapitating!

Tom

Dicing with Death – the Swamps of Voggo

We played a couple of games using some of our new jungle terrain. It blocks line of sight really well and we are working on a lot more pieces to create a really dense board. The jungle pieces mix nicely with the rest of our terrain which is really handy for mixing and matching and giving us more variety.

IMG_20191206_201547

Records show that in early 008.M31 the planet of Voggo declared for the Warmaster and was rewarded with a garrison of veteran Byzant Janizars. The steamy jungles and swamps of this planet housed large raw promethium deposits ripe for mining. Voggo was therefore a strategically important world despite its size and position to the galactic north. It needed to be protected.

Shadow-captain Kraai took his talon to Voggo to distrupt supply lines for the traitors marching on Holy Terra. Their first strike destroyed the astropathic station, rendering the planet unable request help. In a masterful campaign over the next few months the Raven Guard systematically picked apart the Janizar units and forced them into an ever diminishing pocket of control. With no choice left, the commander of the Byzant Janizars decided to force a break out at what he thought was the weakest point in the Raven Guard lines. Little did he know this was all part of their plan…

IMG_20191206_201147

Commander Mahzun ordered his less mobile infrantry and artillery to hold the line whilst the core of his infantry attempted the break out. The Janizars raised their guns and shell after shell landed amongst the Raven Guard lines. Despite the blistering fusillade, many of the shots fell wide of their mark, such was the panic of the men and women firing. 

The Raven Guard moved up in response. Whilst the tacical squads took cover behind disused pipes and began targetting the militia infantry, Honoured Brother Yiraka barrelled through the undergrowth, aiming for the ostentatious plumes of Commander Mahzun. Seeing the metallic giant running toward his lines, Mahzun smiled and uttered a single word in the language of Old Byzant:

“Katletmek”

The Ogryd Arco-Flagellanti with him twitched. Stimm pipes and chem neutralisers in their bodies kicked in and these gaints sprung forward with weapons cracking and mouths frothing. Headless of their own safety, their only objective was to kill anything threatening their master. The six giants slammed into the dreadnought and, although Yiraka was able to kill several beasts, he was brought down by the great power mauls of meteoric steel grafted in place of the hands of some Ogryds.

IMG_20191206_214121

The Janizar’s sense of victory was short lived as the dreadnought Kynaeus mercilessly gunned down the surviving Ogryds with his kheres. Just then the sky overhead seemed to blacken and, with a sound like thunder, the Raven Guard destroyers arrived.

IMG_20191206_231242

Particularly feared on Voggo, these marines had committed several acts of virulent genocide on the workforce of the planet. Before the militia squad could even react to their arrival, the destroyers opened fire. With cold efficiency they unleashed their payload and the Janizars were left a pile of rad-sickened corpses.

Demir Umudu, the Byzant Janizar demolisher, had continued its steady advance, firing shots as it moved that knocked out the Raven Guard javelins and tactical squad. Recognising this vehicle as the real threat, Kraai ordered Kynaeus to take it out. Running forward Kynaeus shoulder barged the tank, flipping it over to expose its weak underside. Gearing up his assault cannons, he shot through the hull until the vehicle exploded in a fireball.

IMG_20191206_223139

Watching his army fall to pieces Mahzun realised the breakout was now impossible and the day was lost. Not wanting to die in ignomy and hoping to take out the enemy leader in a last act of defiance, he lifted his ancestral axe and raised it towards Kraai. The Shadow-captain answered and, with a burst of his jetpack, charged into combat. The supernatural speed of Kraai was impossible for Mahzun to counter and he was brutally cut down in short order.

IMG_20191206_222012

With that the battle was over. Soon after the traitor grip on this planned collapsed when the governor was assassintated by Kraai’s Mor Deythan. The planet’s supply of promethium would now be helping the loyalist cause…

We played the Noose mission from Book 6 with my militia having to escape whilst Tom’s Raven Guard tried to stop us. This was always going to be tricky as my militia are very static and immobile but it was fun watching them be on the offensive and the Raven Guard on the defensive for a change! End result was a clear victory for the Raven Guard but I’ve learned more lessons about how best to play my militia and have a couple of more fast moving reinforcements inbound.

Jamie

The Doom of Ieriche – Battle for Station Alpha-Alpha-0001

Hi everyone! A while back we said we were going to link some of our games together into a campaign to raise the narrative levels of our games. Well we have finally done so! We present to you War Zone: Ieriche

Ieriche Tactical Map

This campaign uses the rules from black book 4, we are using 4 strategic objectives and have 4 reserve points each (so the campaign will run for a total of 8 games). The rules are really simple to use and are great for adding a little extra detail to our games. The whole war zone has the Ferocious Storms special rule whilst each of the strategic objectives have additional rules. There is a risk of going over the top with these rules, so we have been careful to keep the extra stuff to a minimum. If this campaign goes well, we’re considering running one with our gaming group so fingers crossed!

IMG_0653(the tiles are currently wip but we were too excited not to play a game on them!)

On Saturday we played our first game; the Raven Guard won the roll off and chose to fight on Orbital Station Alpha-Alpha 0001. This station was named when the planetary governor was so sure of Ieriche’s post-compliance prosperity that he believed they would need vast numbers of orbital stations and defence platforms. Sadly Ieriche’s history didn’t prove him right, and Alpha-Alpha 0001 was the only station every built. We decided to play 1,500 points of ZM plus a primarch. Here are our armies:

IMG_0651IMG_0652

It was a very intense game, with the Raven Guard choosing to deploy right next to the Emperor’s Children.

IMG_0655

The Emperor’s Children had the first turn, and seized on the opportunity, rushing ahead with all speed whilst the two Contemptors took out the nearby doors. Corax jumped ahead of his men, keen to engage the dreadnoughts and tie them up, blocking the corridor for Fulgrim and his accompanying band of psychopaths. He failed his charge however, leaving him out in the open and in charging distance of he Phoenician. Few palatine blades could make it into the combat but it did not matter as in a single round Fulgrim brought Corax down to 1 wound.

hdrpl

Corax fled the combat and charged in with his dark furies, but they were unable to dent the artificer armour of the palatine blades and were butchered in return.

IMG_0658

With the main combat units of the Raven Guard destroyed all was lost for the loyalists, who were forced to withdraw and cede control of the orbital station to the sons of the Phoenician. Round one of the battle for Ieriche went to the traitors.

hdrpl

It was a really fun game even if the Raven Guard did end up getting tabled, things could have gone very differently if Corax had got his charge off turn one! This was only round one of eight in this campaign so keep an eye out for more games on the horizon.

Ieriche will fall, it just remains to be seen who will be left standing on its ashes…

(the image of the planet is edited from a screenshot taken whilst exploring the Space Engine program, for personal use in this campaign only. See http://spaceengine.org/ )

Dicing with Death – Assault on Lapladia

Just before Christmas we ran an event themed around the forge world of Lapladia, owned by the maverick Magos Dominus S4nt4r. It was a fun event and awesome to get our gaming group together for some drinks and games. Here is some fluff on the event along with some pictures of the games.

qrf

Both Traitors and Loyalists descended upon Laplandia, intent on claiming the planet and it’s resources for their respective sides. The loyalist forces claimed the initial beachead, furiously slaughtering traitor deployment elements, forcing the warmasters forces to a more hazardous dropzone further from the polar city. The Loyalists took the initial advantage.

48390183_510913196064254_2886416690919243776_n

49204406_512218942608784_1833416664150966272_n

As fighting continued, both forces driving towards the polar city, the traitors sought revenge. Their fury was unmatched and the loyalist forces suffered catastrophically.

hdrpl

qrf

Finally, the forces reached the inner polar city. The Iron IVth and betrayed sorcerers of Prospero formed a defensive line on the western flank, and despite the withering attacks of the Fists of Dorn and the Emperors Angels, the traitor line held.

48413178_2192590064315549_4367674959107981312_n

hdrpl

Meanwhile, the Sons of Angron and Emperors Children faced off against the Emperors Wolves, with the losses of previous fighting delaying the main Raven Guard force. The Wolves charged violently into the traitors guns, and a savage trick played out via the Perfect legion, delivering annihilation upon the Emperors Executioners.

The Raven Guard forces arrived in haste, and wrecked havoc upon the traitor lines in furious vengeance but alas, it was too late. Both sides took horrendous losses, however Dorn deemed the loss to great, and ordered his forces to fall back. The Traitors had taken a foothold in the Thirteen Realms and gained a staging point to push forward onto the Loyalist homeworld of Chogoris and Nocturne…

48374002_582750318829648_3175066934483877888_n

Zone Mortalis

Roughly a year ago I got a 3×3 ZM board and its taken a while to get round to painting it! Slowly but surely we’re getting there, with 2×2 done and the rest nearly finished. We were keen to get a couple of games on the board though, and so decided to set the tiles up, add a bit of scatter terrain and then play some games. First we did a three way game with 1000pts each. Here are the forces we used:

IMG_0369

IMG_0368

IMG_0371

It was a fun, fast paced game and very bloody. My poor Emperor’s Children didn’t have a single model left on the board by the end! The Emperor’s Children and Iron Warriors then teamed up against the Raven Guard and we tried the unknown enemy rules. That was a very interesting dynamic, with trying to work out what the various blips were. Here are some photos we took in game. We haven’t written any fluff for these games as it was more of a intro to ZM to see how it plays. The Cold in the Void rules are awesome and make terminators/breachers a lot more survivable.

IMG_0373

 

IMG_9425

IMG_0385

Once all the tiles are finished we’ll be sure to get some fun themed games on them so stay tuned for more!

J

Dicing with Death – Clash of Jakverk Refinery

Taking advantage of the Easter bank holidays, we managed to squeeze another couple of games in. Here are the armies we used in the 2k game (we got a bit carried away and forgot to take a photo of the armies we used in the second game! Both of us used the 2k list and then added a few bits):

IMG_0339

IMG_0338Jakverk had declared for Horus and valuable promethium from the planet was being sent to traitor fleets across the galaxy, aiding their war effort. A detachment of Emperor’s Children had been garrisoned on the planet to protect this resource from any threat. They had quickly grown bored of this task though, and began to use the civilians as their playthings more than guarding the pipelines. A small detachment of Raven Guard, sent behind lines by Corax to destabilise the traitor supply lines, saw Jakverk as a perfect target. A strike team personally led by Shadow Captain Kraai was assembled and descended quickly to the planet. Their aim was to take out the Braat Pipeline, shutting down the transportation of the promethium and stopping Horus’ armies from accessing this valuable resource.IMG_0340The Emperor’s Children reacted quicker than Kraai expected, stealing the initiative and moving aggressively towards the Raven Guard troops on the ground. Little did they imagine what was even now hurtling through the atmosphere from Kraai’s strike cruiser in orbit…SLAM!IMG_0344Two drop pods smashed into the Emperor’s Children deployment zone and squads of Raven Guard burst forward, laying down a hail of fire that crippled the Emperor’s Children. The plasma support squad obliterated the volkite caliver squad, leaving behind only a pile of goo and purple armour. The Land Raider Pursuit of Ecstasy drove forward, locked its lascannons onto Honoured Brother Kynaeus and blew him up. The lighting fighter Zorya’s Claw arrived and unleashed a volley of missiles and shots at the Pursuit of Ecstasy but only managed to immobilise it; the venerable hull withstood every other shot.IMG_0349Hipparch Anthame, commander of the garrison, stepped from the land raider’s ramp and charged with his bodyguard of palatine blades into the Raven Guard assault squad. Fresh from having massacred an Emperor’s Children tactical squad, the assault squad were caught unawares and were butchered by the beautiful blade work of Kreon and his swordsmen.IMG_9390Fuelled by this fresh victory, Anthame and his squad moved against the plasma support squad. Demanding vengeance for Galbeon and his volkite support squad, they cut the Raven Guard down in one swift round of combat.IMG_9391It was too little too late though as the Raven Guard cleaned up the Emperor’s Children’s deployment zone with more tacticals arriving by drop pod and engaging their enemy in brutal hand to hand combat. This turned into a slog as more marines piled into the melee. The Emperor’s Children fought back to back but were eventually slain.IMG_0350Kraai faced down Legion Champion Eurydeon and his skimmer relief force which arrived on the Raven Guard’s flank. Eurydeon had chased the Raven Guard throughout their 98 days on Isstvan V, making use of his sky hunter phalanx to constantly harass the Raven Guard. When Kraai realised that such a hated foe was on the planet, he made an oath that he would kill him. Although he was successful at neutralising the jetbikes, Kraai was knocked out of the combat by a pair of javelin speeders who murdered his unit with krak missiles from their cyclone launchers. IMG_0346The Raven Guard carried the day and took control of the prometheum refinery. The Emperor’s Children withdrew and regrouped with units that were moving up to reinforce the shattered garrison. The Raven Guard, leaving behind units to sabotage Braat Pipeline, pressed their attack on the retreating Emperor’s Children, and battle was met again in a windswept valley a few kilometres away. Kraai was determined to avenge his fallen brothers by killing Eurydeon, no matter the cost, and fulfil his oath.IMG_0352In order to kill his hated foe Kraai deployed the last of his reserves from orbit. Three more drop pods descended quickly and landed across the Emperor’s Children deployment zone. Augury scanners had predicted their precise arrival though and the Emperor’s Children turned to target the new arrivals. Thermal blasts from the volkite squad proved deadly and the entire plasma squad was gunned down before they could fire.IMG_0357Other elements of the Raven Guard army raced up the board, with the lascannon team glancing The Pursuit of Ecstasy on the Emperor’s Children right flank.

Much to Kraai’s frustration, Eurydeon had not appeared on the battlefield yet, and he vented his anger out on the volkite support squad, butchering them to a man in a flurry of blows from the dark furies’ raven talons.f35a201d-0d50-4849-b235-9902cfcd7d1cIt was then that the Emperor’s Children hidden blade appeared and Eurydeon showed himself. Appearing behind the Raven Guard lines, the jetbike squad deleted the lascannon team with shots from their heavy bolters and volkite culverins.IMG_0360Zorya’s Claw zoomed onto the battlefield, locked onto The Pursuit of Ecstacy and wrecked it with its kraken missiles. Anthame and his blade squad were then assaulted by Honoured Brother Yiraka who managed to kill three palatines before being ripped apart by Chaplain Athenion’s power fist.f579a9ad-206a-4530-a175-09b927bfacffShadow Captain Kraai, Hipparch Anthame and their bodyguard units met in the centre of the battlefield for a brutal combat that lasted mere seconds but saw many butchered on both sides. The Raven Guard came out on top, as when the dust settled not one marine in purple armour stood to oppose Kraai and his dark furies.IMG_0364Having suffered greater casualties than he expected, and failing to kill Eurydeon, Kraai ordered his force to withdraw. His attack had also served as a diversion and had given the saboteurs enough time to blow the Braat Pipeline. Kraai brooded over the battle whilst sitting in his personal thunderhawk. He was not one to break an oath and before the war was finished he would have Eurydeon’s head…

We played two games and decided to link them narratively. The first mission was Shatter Strike, representing the Raven Guard trying to take ground and capture the pipeline. The second game was Bad Blood from the shadow war missions. We hadn’t used them in a while but are big fans of the different feel those missions have; they’re much more personal and bitter than the normal missions. All in all was a fun day and a victory each for the Raven Guard and the Emperor’s Children.

J

Dicing with Death – Battle for Sithis Prime.

Following our casual 30k event on the weekend I thought I would write up a story of the battle between World Eaters and the Raven Guard.  It is more of a fluff write up rather than a turn by turn break down.  I have another write up to do so I’ll mix it up in the next one.20180304_112657-1

The battle for Sithis Prime: On the outskirts of the Istvann System lies Sithis Prime, a world ravaged by the civil war, all that stands is the Hive City of Kraventus.  The surviving populace of Sithis Prime have been journeying to Kraventus, the last safe haven, to seek shelter from the war that surrounds them.

Unforntuatley for the populace of Kraventus, a World Eater war ban lead by Kharn the Bloody have had their fill of legion on legion slaughter and have turned their butchery towards the nearest civilisation they can reach.  Spartans filled with raging tactical squads and the sound of roaring thrusters carry across the empty air as the World Eaters advance through the empty ruins putting anyone they come across with a swift and bloody demise.

Luckily for the populace of Kraventus, Shadow Captain Kraai of the XIX Legion, II Btn, VII Chapter, had been perusing the World Eaters fleet since the Drop Site Massacre.  Seeing the slaughter unfolding on the planet’s surface, Kraai decided to intervene and draw the World Eaters away from the city of Kraventus, thus allowing the populace to escape.

The world Eaters advanced across the battlefield mounted in Spartan Assault tanks which shrugged off most of the Raven guard fire power.  Crashing to the surface the dreaded hulk of a Leviathan painted in white and blue stormed into the Raven guard ranks determined to cut the head of the snake and kill Kraai before the battle had even begun.  After many casualties inflicted on his body guard of Dark furies, Kraai decided to withdraw and shelter in some nearby ruins.

Things were look bleak for the Raven guard, until reinforcements arrived.  Drop pods filled with plasma support teams and tactical squads smashed into the dirt of Sithis Prime, lightning’s unloaded their payload into the lead Spartan, obliterating it and leaving its occupants lying face down in the mud.  Seeing this opportunity Kraai broke free from the shelter of the ruin and began slaying all who stood before him.  Impaling two World Eater marines with his mighty paragon blade.

Kharn, enraged by this sudden turn of events charged out of his Spartan at a nearby tactical squad who had recently disembarked from their drop pod.  The onslaught of Kharn was undeniable and the panicked Raven guard tactical squad emptied their bolters to try and cut him down, but to no avail. Just when the tactical squad was about to perish, Kharns body was hit by a plasma round and was projected into a nearby wall. 

Kraai called to his master of signals to evacuate the city of Kraventus, however before he could issue the command his comrade was beset upon by a vindictive assault squad.  Cutting him into pieces and soaking their chain axes in his blood the assault squad laughed and jeered at Kraai.  Kraai left his dark furies to continue their assault and charged into the bloody slaughter to avenge his comrade.  Smashing into the combat with his mighty jump pack, he swiftly cut the blood thirsty World Eaters into pieces.

The remaining world eaters seeing their army butchered and their leaded broken retreated allowing Kraai to signal the evacuation.  Kraai was also bloodied from the battle and regrouped his forces, and withdrew with the citizens of Kraventus.

Hope you enjoyed the write up

~ T

Dicing with Death – Clash on Kardiv Prime

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s a write up of a couple of battles we fought last week. I hope you enjoy!

Kardiv Prime had escaped the worst of the Heresy so far. It was protected with a chain of fortresses around the main hive built by the IV Legion and garrisoned by well drilled army troops. It didn’t possess any great wealth or strategic importance and had hoped the heresy would pass them by. When Corax’s fleet appeared at the edge of the system the garrison at Ga-Phe was put on full alert and requests for aid were sent out to any available traitor forces. It was a surprise to everyone that the Raven Guard didn’t attempt to take the main hive but rather landed in the northern polar ice fields, ignoring all population centres. Old cartographs showed a small research facility there but nothing else. Shortly afterwards, the XXII Millennial of the Emperor’s Children arrived and went straight to the polar caps to confront the Raven Guard.

An initial scouting force was sent under the command of Hipparch Anthame to locate the Raven Guard forces. The skimmers scouted far ahead of the rest of the task force, and operated as a reserve for the infantry.

IMG_0065

They quickly realised they had walked into an ambush set up by Shadow Captain Kraai, who had assembled units of elite troops to delay the Emperor’s Children.

IMG_0067

With his troops deployed either side of the ravine, Kraai had waited for Anthame’s forces to march through the pass before launching their attack. Swift and deadly the tactical marines opened fire, pinning the Emperor’s Children infantry whilst the Dark Furies bounded down into the pass. Brother Kyaneus opened up with his kheres at the back of Honoured Brother Aristogeitus and destroyed the contemptor with one burst of fire.IMG_0070

The Mor Deythan suffered heavy casualties under the firepower of the Emperor’s Children support squad positioned in the bastion; even their ability to blend into their cover couldn’t protect them from the martian death rays.

IMG_0071

The Raven Guard had the upper hand in the fire fight until the skimmers returned to the battlefield. They arrived right behind the Raven Guard lines, crippling Brother Kynaeus with a sustained missile barrage from the Javelins.

IMG_0077

Nothing could stop the Raven Guard plasma gun support squad, who chewed through every unit they came up against. The jetbikes were annihilated by white hot bursts of plasma.

IMG_0073

The Dark Furies made it into combat with the tactical squad to the west of the pass and Shadow Captain Kraai butchered Sergeant Iosephon in personal combat. The rest of the squad quickly died to the claws of the Raven Guard.

IMG_0079

The Emperor’s Children fled, defeated by the sudden strike of the Raven Guard. After this initial skirmish, both sides geared up for a larger battle. When Antigonus, the commander of the Emperor’s Children on Kardiv Prime, realised they now knew the position of the Raven Guard he immediately mobilised his entire Millennial and drove straight for the Raven Guard forces. They were intercepted and battle was met just outside the research facility.

IMG_0086

The Tyrannicide, the Emperor’s Children Glaive, took a heavy toll on the Raven Guard. It decimated the assault squad, Dark Furies and Mor Deythan with its Volkite Carronade. In response a Darkwing storm eagle flew in, dropping off a squad of terminators. They set to work with their chainfists and crippled the venerable super-heavy, knocking it out of the battle.

IMG_0093

Corax’s personal appearance on the battlefield helped rally the Raven Guard, and he set about butchering squads of Emperor’s Children. Lord Legate Antigonus, seeing the primarch and looking for a rematch of their duel on Istvaan V, charged in with his bodyguard. Several members of his Phoenix Guard were cut down by Corax, but even he could not withstand the blows forever and was eventually forced to retreat from the battlefield. IMG_0090

Even though the Raven Guard were outnumbered they fought valiantly. They had managed to delay the advance of the Emperor’s Children long enough for a shuttle to be launched from the research facility. Squads of Raven Guard gave their lives as a rear guard to allow the rest of the XIX legion troops to flee the world. Antigonus could only look on in fury at being denied this chance to destroy the Raven Guard completely and he was left to wonder what it was that the Raven Guard had fought so determinedly to extract from the planet.

The research facility held no clues as to what had been taken, only that it had required a large complex of geothermal generators to run. If this was something that could help the loyalists in their fight against the Warmaster’s cause, then Antigonus would need to stop them. The XXII Millennial relocated back to their cruiser and set off in pursuit of the Raven Guard, determined to stop whatever their plans were…

Dicing with Death – The Cleansing of Krassis IV

Originally designated 27-5, Krassis IV was the fifth planet that Corax’s 27th Expeditionary Fleet brought into compliance. Krassis IV was an old colony of humans, but was currently under the grip of a large ork empire led by ‘Gitstomp da Great’. He was using the humans as slaves to build greater weapons for his boys.

IMG_8121

Upon arrival at the planet, Corax immediately dispatched units to the key population centres with the goal of liberating as many of the humans as they could. Chaplain Deythuri led the II Battalion, VII Chapter to the capital of the planet, landing an initial force of elite troops with the body of the battalion held in reserve in storm eagles.

IMG_8116

Before them was amassed a sea of green. Hundreds of boys backed up by mechanical monstrosities built in mockery of venerable and ancient dreadnoughts. This mass of Greenskins was a formidable sight and came on in large groups, hollering and firing their pistols into the air.

IMG_8120

The groups of civilians in the area were the key targets for the Raven Guard, and they charged forward to meet the Greenskins in order to protect them. Initial gunfire from the Raven Guard was ineffective against the horde of boys, and venerable contemptor Kynaeus even lost an arm to the rocket fire of a tank-hunting mob riding in a collection of scrap metal that looked like some form of truck.

IMG_8122

The Raven Guard were more than up to the task though, and Chaplain Deythuri burst forward with the Dark Furies, counter-charging the bellowing mobs of boyz. Their ravens talons struck with bloody effect, and whole squads disappeared under their shredding claws. It was at this point that a gigantic ork stepped out from his battlewagon, accompanied by a unit of huge, scarred nobz. They charged Deythuri, butchering his squad and leaving Deythuri broken on the ground in his wake, not before they had killed a number of the nobz though.

IMG_8123

Corax realised that this ork must be Gitstomp, the leader of the Greenskins on this planet, and immediately teleported down from his capital ship, Shadow of the Emperor, to face this evil and cut the head off the snake. Gitstomp could not match the fury of a primarch and Corax shredded Gitstomp, ending his live in a staggering series of blows with his talons.

IMG_8124

More marines arrived to secure the battlefield and help protect the humans. Not even the arrival of a strike wing of ork fliers could stop the Raven Guard from cleansing this city. With the Warlord dead, the ork resistance collapsed, and Krassis IV was finally free of the ork masters. The Raven Guard spent 2 weeks clearing out the orks from the hidden corners of the world, ensuring that the Greenskins would never again threaten this planet.

IMG_8126

In preparation for the Great Crusade event we are playing at, we thought it was a good idea to get a couple of games in to see how orks did against legions. We played War of Lies, and having so many troops was pretty useful for the orks as it meant they had better ground cover than the Raven Guard. However, the firepower that legions can put out is just devastating, and they chew through orks like they’re nothing. Walkers also suffer with low initiative; contemptors strike before deff dreads and are well equipped to punch them to death! The final result was 14-10 to the Raven Guard. It was a really fun game, and nice to try something different in Heresy. I’ve learned some lessons though, and reckon I’ll get a few more bits for my orks to try a different style of list. Watch this space…

J

Horus Heresy Doubles List

I thought as a first post I would show off the list that we took to a doubles event over Summer. The goal with this army was to choose a theme that fitted the fighting style of our two legions and would look awesome on the battlefield.

21149420_851758204982919_1878674748888580096_n(1)

We had gone through a couple of different variations of this army in tester games. Initially we had a second Raven Guard storm eagle, but this didn’t work very well and was relatively easy to shut down by forcing the fliers to jink. Eventually we settled on the army you see above which contained:

Raven Guard:

Korvide Deythuri – Legion Chaplain.

Brother Arthies – Apothecary.

Tactical Squad Nassori – 15 marines.

Tactical Squad Taedus – 15 marines.

Brother Kyaneus – Contemptor-Cortus.

Brother Yiraka – Contemptor-Cortus.

Pythian – Storm Eagle.

Velox- 10 Dark Furies.

Emperor’s Children:

Gnaeus Corbulo – Delegatus on Jetbike.

Equites Scutarii – 3 jetbikes.

Equites Clibanarii – 4 jetbikes.

Apergion & Skotonei – javelin land speeders.

Equites Mauri – 3 land speeders.

Equites Lanciarii – 2 land speeders.

Balistarius – Fire Raptor gunship.

Equites Sagittarii – 5 sky slayers with plasma cannons.

img_7447.jpg

I ran the Sky Hunter Phalanx right of war because you don’t see it very often and yet it fits the Emperor’s Children way of fighting perfectly. It took some getting used to playing and I learnt that holding some units in reserve definitely helped. Gaining outflank thanks to the rite of war was awesome, I would move my jetbike heavy support squad off the first turn only for it to arrive in the enemy’s flank turn 2 and open up in the side of our opponent. In one game they managed to destroy both a Sicaran Arcus and a regular Sicaran thanks to this tactic!

IMG_7449

We struggled against an Iron Warriors/Sons of Horus team that had a lot of artillery and intercepting Iron Havocs but had a surprising win against a Space Wolves/Death Guard pairing all in land raiders.  The land speeders with multi-melta and graviton guns proved deadly at opening up the land raiders only to have the Raven Guard mop up the infantry and hold the objectives.

IMG_7460

 

We played 4 games with this army over the course of the tournament, winning 2 and losing 2. As the army was a bit of a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer we were really happy with this result, and is probably a good representation of the army strength. We were also delighted to be voted most sporting team on the day! Overall it was a fantastic event and we are really looking forward to the Great Crusade Weekend in December!

J