A group of treacherous rebels had been sighted in a nearby solar system. The leaders potentially knowing valuable leads for the Eternal Hunt attracts the attention of the Harbingers of Repentance Second Company enough for a bypass. Behold the might of the Sons of the Lion.
Finally I found time for a few games after a month of crash (and burn) courses, hard work schedules and rearrangements of living conditions. The two games below would be the first time my Ravenwing faced my bud’s guardsmen, at round 1000 pts. My list, as usual now, looks like this:
Command Squad (5)
Ravenwing Attack Squad (6)
-Multimelta Assault Bike
-Land Speeder Typhoon
Ravenwing Attack Squad (3)
Land Speeder Typhoon
And I was facing, well, Infantry Guard…
A Big Brother Command Squad
A Little Brother Command Squad
A couple of heavy weapon teams (one of mortars, other of Heavy Bolters)
Storm Troopers (5)
A fusillade that could well take down my bikes. I did n0t know if it would be all that bad – but I did know they would wound only 6:es giving bikers the equal resilience of terminators! Also, I knew I had the advantage of knowing my enemy, while my opponent did not, him having not played this type of army before.
Our mission would be the Scouring with a tweak. At the beginning of their own movement phase the players can drop a small, flat piece of paper from 36″ above the table. On the paper a small blast is centered. Any unit(s) hit is (are) teleported to a randomly determined objective (as if disembarking from a vehicle), that is not held by an enemy.
Night fighting would be from the beginning of the first game, and Guards wanted to deploy first. The swift mounted second company would still be be deciding where blow would be struck (seized initiative). The battlefield can be seen below:
After deployment and scout moves (Ratlings infiltrated into the ruins to the right) the situation was this. I decided to focus on taking out one of the large blobs, I should be able to deal a lot of damage to it – maybe even destroying it completely, I thought. The Landspeeder and the command squad would focus on the heavy bolter teams in the building (AV12). On the left-hand side another Landspeeder would have a go at the mortar teams.
Indeed, most of the large unit was destroyed by the bikers fusillade. The remaining two held their ground. The mortar teams were saved by ducking (a comforting strategy while not of tactical value in the long run – as said in the Infantryman’s primer). The Heavy bolter teams were not as good at ducking and was destroyed by the storm of plasma poured into them by the command squad.
The guardsmen’s turn saw little action. A little bit of manoeuvring and a couple of bikers down. The paper piece missed again.
In the following Ravenwing turn the Attack Bike arrived from it’s outflanking position to help harass the flanks of the remaining guardsman line. A warp anomaly sent the remaining large guard unit to the opposite table edge. Combined fire, with the help of a hit with a Rad shell took out the “Big brother” comm squad and the remnants of the depleted guardsmen unit, the last being run down in an assault. A land speeder took out a couple of ratlings and the other, with the attack bike, took out the remaining mortar team.
Help arrived to the guardsmen in the form of Stormtroopers. Yet they failed to do more than a single casualty on the Ravening Command Squad. The redeployed guardsmen did little harm to the Ravenwing neither.
After that it was mostly wrapping up…
So with a rather short game, we tried to do it again. I had again the same list. But the guardsmen saw some changes in their ranks – Only higher ranking veterans were available for the following pin point assault by the Ravenwing. (The Guard player wanted to try something slightly different. Very understandable as our forces were very mismatched. He chose a number of veteran squads with 4+ save to prevent my bolters from eating him up. Stormtroopers were upped to 8. Then some big shot with a voxcaster line directly to a big ass bomber in orbit was present (my gosh). I kept my same list, to help the comparison. I also spread out the terrain a bit more, and to split up the open killing ground in the middle – usually a bot more terrain can help some. ) The scenario would again be the same.
After deployment, deciding that the guards would receive the first turn, and also scout moves the battlefield looked like this. Darkness proved no hinder for shooting. After seeing the quad gun placed I realized I needed little effort to prevent line of sight from any of his models.
Away from sight no damage was done by the guardsmen, who also were badly scattered on the battlefield. The first turn of the biker gang was more devastating, with two charges even. (Meanwhile I learned that 4+ save guardsmen can hold their own against a few bikers, and even take down one of them.)
The secon orbital bombardment hit, and took out two bikers out of three in a combat squad. The remaining sergeant drove away to camp away on a 4 VP objective for the rest of the game – safely out of harms way. The ravenwing continued their rampage while one unit of guardsmen was still far away (soon a few casualties would break their morale and cause them to flee off the table. Stormtroopers with their short range, and in a forest failed to press on hard with their shooting power a bit too far away from the action. Ratlings mostly chilled in the forest.
The pictures give a good picture of the events, I believe. Having broken the men into scattered forces around the battlefield, and having removed the orbital bombardment threat, the small groups could be attacked piecemeal. Soon all scoring guards were removed from the table.
While the lists seemed to be mismatched, and the guardsmen potentially deployed a bit too scattered (especially in the latter case), which resulted in the Ravenwing gaining the upper hand very swiftly in both games, it was very interesting to see what a gang of bikers can do on the tabletop. In the first game also objective placing gave me further benefit – I could place the objectives more or less anywhere and reach them, while the guards needed to foot slog to reach them. Rolling the high values for those in my deployment zone was another nail in the coffin. Both games showed me the strengths of Ravenwing – maneuvrability. If wanted to they can be right in the face of the enemy on turn 1. They lack somewhat in models – but that is nice as I look for them to provide a very different gaming experience in comparison to my ork horde. Also, next time when facing this army I will reconsider the Banner of Devastation.
As for the scenario. It could be really fun in larger games where a larger portion of the battlefield is crowded with models. Also a large blast, instead of a small blast could provide more reliability in hitting , well, something. (we hit once in the two games). But it is fun with new scenarios – big thanks to my opponent for coming up with a good scenario and being a very good sport even though it was not his day.