Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mastering Raven Guard Alpha and Beta Strike



The Raven Strikes!

This blog first appeared on Pete Happens, a blog dedicated to the Raven Guard.  Guest blogger Patton wrote this excellent article!

From Patton:

Welcome sons of Deliverance. Today we’re going to look at the way of the Raven Guard: Strike Fast, and Strike Hard. There are two ways to design the Raven Guard to do this: Alpha-strike or Beta-strike.

For the rest of this article, we’re going to look at list design to accomplish these goals, including Rites of War and unit choices. For each of these lists, we’re going to cover four types of units needed: anti-Spartan, anti-tank, anti-terminator/primarch, and anti-air.

Alpha Strike

Hit them hard! This strategy works very well with Raven Guard legion rules, giving infiltrate and fleet. There are two options to go with your ROW: Decapitation Strike or Recon ROW.

Alpha Strike—Decapitation Strike

For Decapitation Strike, you will want to take Strike Command Maun as your HQ. His major benefits to this list are the ability to reroll for seize the initiative, allow reroll to drop pod and flyer reserves, and allow no scatter deep-strike within 18”. The goal is to get as many hard-hitting units forward on turn one as possible. This list aims to be everywhere at once, and doesn’t necessarily need a combat unit; however, a unit of dark furies never hurt anybody ;) The list really needs to be able to reliably kill a Spartan turn one to get to the juicy innards with shooting. The list will include pods to get dreadnoughts and special weapons forward, and take an odd number of pods (three is usually good, with the third coming in empty and bought for either a tactical squad or Maun).


Sample Drop Pod Alpha Strike List at 2.5k: Decapitation Strike ROW

HQ—Strike Captain Maun: 140

Elites: Contemptor Dreadnought: 2xCCW Arm, 2xGrav Gun 205

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225

Elites—7xMor Deython, Rhino with Dozerblade and Multimelta 279

Troops—10xTactical Marines: Rhino with Dozerblade 165

Troops—10xTactical Marines: Drop Pod 160

Fast Attack—Dreadclaw Drop Pod: 115

Fast Attack—8xSeekers, 7xCombi-Plasma, Drop Pod: 320

Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230

Lord of War—Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: Lascannon Sponsons 435


Alpha Strike Recon ROW Style

The second option is the Recon Company ROW. This alpha-strike list will combine infiltrating heavy weapons with scouting assault elements which tear apart infantry and terminators. You will usually take a praetor, delegatus or Corax as your HQ in this as you won’t get as much use out of Strike Commander Maun. There is less of a need to murder a Spartan T1 in this build, as you have a better means of countering nasty terminators in cc.


Sample Recon Company Alpha-Strike List at 2.5k—Recon Company ROW

HQ—Forgelord: Artificer Armor, Power Axe, Bike, Grav Gun, Rad Grenades 155

HQ—Vigilator: Power Armor, Meltabombs, Jump Pack 110

HQ—Delegatus: Artificer Armor, Bike, Power Axe 115

Elites—1xApothecary, 1xBike 65

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225

Elites—3xQuad Mortars with Scatter Shells: 210

Troops—5xRecon Marines with Bolters 100

Troops—5xRecon Marines with Bolters 100

Troops—5xRecon Marines with Bolters 100

Fast Attack—9xOutrider bikers with Meltabombs, 3xPower Axes, Sergeant with Power Axe 370

Fast Attack—10xDark Furies with Meltabombs on the Sergeant 330

Lord of War—Typhon: 395


Beta Strike

Flyer-based Beta Strike

In the beta strike, the idea is heavy use of reserves to support a solid infiltrating firebase. The flyer-based beta strike would do well to make use of a ground-based firebase to complement the flyer’s firepower. A solid anti-Spartan option is still a good idea to make those scary deathstars hoof it. A counter-assault unit is probably a good idea. So we are now going to change our fourth category from Anti-air (which I’m taking as a given in a flyer-based list) to be counter-assault instead. Strike Commander Maun fits in well to this style of list, as he insures your flyers arrive on time. However, there is no particular ROW that gives significant benefit to this style of play; you’ll probably want multiple fire raptors. Pride of the Legion is an option as vet tactical squads and terminator squads can take darkwings as dedicated transports


Sample Flyer-based Beta-Strike List at 2.5k: Pride of the Legion ROW

HQ—Strike Commander Maun: 140

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers: 225

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers: 225

Troops—9xVeteran Tactical Squad: 9xPower Axe, Meltabomb Dark Wing 510

Troops—7xVeteran Tactical Squad: 7xCombi-Plasma, Dark Wing 469

Troops—5xTataros Terminators: 5xCombi-Plasma, 1xChainfist; Land Raider Phobos with Dozer Blade, Armored Ceramite 470

Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230

Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230


Drop Pod Beta Strike:

The idea of the Drop Pod beta strike is to open all the vehicles turn one, then drop combi-weapons on the disembarked passengers turn two. This strategy works best with Strike Captain Maun and Decapitation Strike. This strategy works well with an even number of pods to get the maximum number of infantry-killers in on turn 2.


Sample Drop Pod Beta Strike List at 2.5k: Decapitation Strike ROW

HQ—Strike Captain Maun with Drop Pod: 175

Elites: Contemptor Dreadnought: 2xCCW Arm, 2xGrav Gun, Dreadnought Drop Pod 305

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225

Elites—3xGrav Rapiers 225

Elites—7xMor Deython, 7xCombi-Flamer, MB 243

Troops—10xTactical Marines: Drop Pod 160

Troops—10xTactical Marines: Rhino, Dozerblade, Multimelta 180

Fast Attack—Dreadclaw Drop Pod: 115

Fast Attack—8xSeekers, 7xCombi-Plasma, Drop Pod: 320

Fast Attack—8xSeekers, 7xCombi-Plasma, Drop Pod: 320

Heavy Support—Fire Raptor: Hellstrike Missiles, Reaper Autocannons 230


So there you go Ravens!  Thanks again to Patton from Pete Happens for this awesome analysis.  

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