Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dark Angels Review: Ravenwing Command Squad

Sammael and any other bike-mounted HQ will give the Dark Angels player access to the Ravenwing command squad option. Like the Death Wing Command squad, this one also does not occupy a force organization chart slot.

Like a regular ravenwing squad, there's plenty to like here and plenty to choose between.  The twin-linked 18" plasma gun (aka plasma talon) gives the squad valuable ranged low AP firepower.  The corvus hammer grants S+1 and rending to give a valuable close combat option.  And of course, there's the speed of the squad -- as with all ravenwing options this is part of the key.  Further, they get the skilled rider rule to add to their potency over regular squads -- they're actually ravenwing black knights at their heart.

So what optional advantages are there?  Well, they get access to the Dark Angels sacred standards.  Of these, the standard of fortitude stands out for me (re-rolling of pinning and morale, coupled with feel no pain).  But it is hugely expensive in real terms.  To get feel no pain, I think an apothecary biker would be a much better idea for a unit.  Meanwhile, the Ravenwing Company Banner presents an interesting and cheaper option: automatically passing hit and run checks is amazing, as well as rolling an extra die for hit and run distance.  This is really what will make a ravenwing army component shine brightly if used correctly.  The ability to get out of a bad combat, or shoot and redeploy as required (with extra distance) is simply something that no other army has in abundance.

Here's a trio of sample builds:

Ravenwing command squad, ravenwing company standard, 1 ravenwing grenade launcher, 1 ravenwing apothecary (165 points)
A great combination of abilities.  The grenade launcher is a neat addition, particularly for the stasis anomaly grenade that can make a huge difference against fighting other space marine armies in the meta game since it means -1 WS and -1 I for the squad that is hit by it.

Ravenwing command squad, Standard of Fortitude, 1 Ravenwing champion (210 points)
Team up with your HQ and use the standard of fortitude to grant feel no pain to a wide range of nearby squads.  The ravenwing champion is for extra close combat mileage.

Ravenwing command squad, 1 ravenwing grenade launcher, Revered Standard (145 points)
The crusader rule is okay, as is this entire squad.  Go for the first option above instead.  This one is included here only for completeness and only if there are 2 FOCs available.

2 comments:

mathhammer said...

my best build is
1ch Plasma Talon/Apothecary
1ch Plasma Talon/Blade of Caliban
1 Grenade /Banner of Devastation
220 points
- Only characters have plasma weapons for sniping
- Grenade launcher for lowering toughness
- FNP
- Swap banner as you want.

Tristan M said...

I just can't see how this squad is actually any good. 3 models with no option to bump the size is just too few. 30 points for an apothecary who might not even survive the first round of shooting seems a waste. You'd need to attach a bunch of HQ's to make this unit viable I think. I definitely think any of the sacred standards would make this unit target priority #1 and just ensure it gets wiped out first opportunity.

I see more value having the ravenwing standard and no apothecary so it seems like it's not as valuable a target, when the banner really ensures your bikes can hit & run with impunity. Other than that it just seems a waste.

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