Speed of the Raven- 25PL Dark Angels List Development & Gameplay

A few weeks ago, I played my first game of Warhammer 40k at 25PL and came away with a few observations. I was essentially running the combat patrol box and though I was able to make a mess of the enemy warlord in a single turn via the Redemptor’s Micro Plasma incinerator, I just didn’t have enough board presence. Due to this, my opponent was able to simply stay out of line of sight and capture the objectives, obtaining a comfortable win on points. I went back to the drawing board and came away with a revised list which I got to play on Thursday. Here is how it went…

Back to the drawing board

After my defeat on victory points, I decided to put the combat patrol box list to one side and build my own 25pl list with a focus on dominating the objectives. I knew that movement would be crucial and it just so happens the Dark Angels have a toolset which perfectly suits my requirements. Cue the Ravenwing!

For those who don’t know, the Ravenwing are the 2nd company in the Dark Angels chapter and specialise in hunting down the fallen. For this purpose, they make great use of Bikes and land speeders, using speed and cunning to corner their prey before calling in the Deathwing to deliver the killing blow.

After taking a bit of time tinkering with list options and seeing what was available in my collection, I was able to put together a list which I felt had excellent movement as well as good anti-troop/ anti-tank for the power level. Here is what I came up with.

The List

+++ 25 PL Dark Angels Patrol (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [25 PL, 3CP, 570pts] +++

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium - Adeptus Astartes - Dark Angels) ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Battle Size: 1. Combat Patrol (0-50 Total PL / 0-500 Points) 

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

. . Ravenwing Talonmaster: 4-6. Master of Manoeuvre, Arbiter's Gaze, Power sword, Twin assault cannon, Twin heavy bolter, Warlord

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad: Stalker Bolt Rifle
. . 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. . Intercessor Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol, Power sword

+ Elites +

Ravenwing Black Knights
. . Ravenwing Black Knight: Bolt pistol, Corvus Hammer, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma Talon
. . Ravenwing Black Knight: Bolt pistol, Corvus Hammer, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma Talon
. . Ravenwing Huntmaster: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma Talon, Power maul

+ Fast Attack +

Outrider Squad
. . 2x Outrider: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Twin Bolt rifle
. . Outrider Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Twin Bolt rifle

Created with BattleScribe (https://battlescribe.net)

I ended up going with a Patrol detachment as between the limitations in power level as well as my collection, I didn’t have enough units to field an outrider detachment. I also considered which units would be obsec as my collection is heavily geared to greenwing (Primaris). Lacking 1st born marine bikes, I didn’t have a cheap obsec bike option and only have 2 squads of outriders. With these considerations, the Patrol detachment was the only viable option.

Though expensive (Points), I decided to go with the Talon Master as my Warlord. As well as putting out quite a bit of firepower, the talon master grants some nice synergies to my Raven wing units. Coupled with the Arbiters Gaze and the master of manoeuvre warlord trait my thought was he should prove quite formidable.

For my Troops, I went with a squad of intercessors equipped with stalker bolt rifles. These would be parked on my backfield objective and shoot downrange at any units who would break cover, taking advantage of the +1 to hit from Grim Resolve.

My primary goal for making this list was to get to objectives quick and for that the outriders where my first choice. Coupled this with the amount of firepower they can put down and being quite decent in melee, these should also prove fairly adept at killing off enemy troops.

Finally I needed to consider anti-tank. My first choice would have been a squad of Plasma inceptors. Unfortunately as they got increased to PL7 from 6, taking a squad would have put me over my point limit. My only other option then considering my collection was a min squad of black knights. I decided this would be the way to go in the end as they not only have anti-armour capability but also receive the synergies from the talon master.

The Game

Thursday came about and I turned up to club with my new list. It turned out I would be going up against the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex. (Gulp…) We set up the battlefield, rolled off for our game and started playing.

I was able to get 1st turn and I think this really helped. I moved my intercessor squad onto my backfield objective and then making use of Speed of the Raven, I moved the black knights and Talon master up to threaten the opponents front, while swinging the outriders into his flank, threatening his home objective and lining up shots against his troops. The outriders where able to destroy his troops in the first turn and move onto his back field objective during my turn two. After this, my opponent essentially castled up around 1 objective, protecting his Warlord via screening with armour. Unfortunately my black knights where unable to put out enough firepower to destroy his armoured units and by using techpriests/ admech abilities, he was able to keep healing his armour back up to full health.

My talon master went down eventually as well as 2no of my black knights. Knowing the remaining black knight would not be able to deal with the screening units, I was able to disengage and take another objective. After this, my opponent slowly wore me down until the end of his turn 4 where he managed to table me. At this point however, the Dark Angels had accrued a large amount of victory points and so won the game.

Final Thoughts

Overall I’m quite pleased with how the list performed throughout and though I didn’t have enough anti-tank to deal with the opposing armour, the sheer speed of the bikes on the small table sizes meant they where able to get to where they needed to be almost instantly.

The unit which impressed me most was the outriders. They proved incredibly durable and very effective as anti-infantry. I didn’t get to see them in close combat this time, but look forward to testing their C.C capabilities in the future.

I was a bit disappointed with the performance of my black knights during the game, though if going up against an armoured unit which wasn’t healing each turn, then I think they would have been more effective. In order to defeat my opponent I would have simply needed more anti-armour damage output, though at this power level that simply wasn’t an option. Looking ahead towards bigger games, I think I will keep the black knights, though expand them to a 5man squad and back them up with a captain on bike for the reroll 1ns aura ability. I’d also like to use these in tandem with a plasma inceptor squad and think the sheer threat produced by this hammer/ anvil style assault would if nothing else, prove a very dangerous distraction.

I wont be making any additional changed to my list for now as I want to test it against more opponents. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more games in soon and I’ll let you know of any further developments.

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