Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

4,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As someone with over 10,000 points of Raven Guard, I was ecstatic to learn that the 6th Ed Space Marine codex was going to have Chapter-specific rules in it for the First Founding. I thought (and do think) that it was an excellent way to make Space Marine armies less generic and same-ey and encourage diversity in lists. Certainly it is less clunky than the old "You must take Special Character X to unlock Y special rule" such as Vulkan in the 5th Ed book.

However, I do not feel that the Chapter Tactic rules that we received in the Codex correctly represents our Legion, and are in fact clumsy and badly executed. Which is a shame. So I present my concept on how to fix it.

The flavour of the Legion

The Raven Guard are known for a few things:

- Extensive use of the Scout Company
- A focus on rapid strike warfare, with special emphasis on Jump Packs, Drop Pods and Speeders
- A penchant for Stealth
- Not playing well with others

So by extrapolation, we can assume that they are less likely to use units and strategies that do not mesh well with the above. So heavy vehicles, slow infantry, and cumbersome units are to be avoided for the most part.

The rules as they stand

Chapter Tactic: All models that are not Bulky or Very Bulky gain Stealth for the first turn of the game, and also the Scout USR.

Chapter Tactic: All models with Jump Packs may use them in both the Movement and Assault phases, and must reroll all failed Hammer of Wrath wounds.

Shrike: Angel of Death Warlord trait (Him and unit cause Fear). Stealth and Infiltrate. May only join Jump Pack units during deployment.

So, the first Chapter tactic. I like the intent of the rule - to evoke images of ambushes and sneakiness, but it actually doesn't work that way on the tabletop. It doesn't benefit Scout squads at all, because they already have these rules. It doesn't benefit Jump units because they are Bulky, and it doesn't benefit vehicles (aside from Dedicated Transports) because they do not have the Chapter Tactics rule. Ultimately, the only style of play that this rule encourages is to have lots of Tac Marines and Sternguard in Rhinos/Razorbacks (The only models to benefit from this rule), and try to rush the enemy.

The second Chapter Tactic is much better - being able to use the Jump Pack for movement and Assault is very very strong... if Assault Marines and Vanguard were actually decent units, or Command Squads could take Jump Packs. The rerolls to Wound are nice, and not to be sniffed at, but I don't really understand the rationale for this effect to be part of the rule - are Raven Guard super-awesome at smashing their bodies headlong into the enemy? That doesn't seem to gel with their reputation for precise and intellectual ambushes, or their martial art training that was touched on in one of the HH novels. It seems more like something Black Templars or White Scars should have.

Lastly, Shrike. He was mediocre at best last edition, made playable due to being able to Infiltrate a unit of Hammernators, which was certainly never the intent of the model or rules. Even that was a boring 1-trick pony that was easily countered. This edition he is even worse, having a piss poor Warlord Trait that has no basis in fluff, being limited to joining Jump Infantry (rightly so) and having AP3 weapons instead of the old Power Weapon rule of ignoring all armour saves. There is no representation of his extensive experience of fighting behind enemy lines, or Orks specifically.

Proposed tweaks

I don't want to rewrite the codex. Fandexes always end up being pretty bad. However I do think that a couple of small changes can have enough of a ripple effect to make up for the poor showing that Raven Guard received in this codex.

Chapter Tactic: Models in this detachment have the Stealth special rule during the turn in which they arrive from Reserve. Any unit that begins the game deployed on the table instead gains this benefit during the first turn. If Night Fighting is in effect then this bonus stacks with it, for a total of +2 to Cover saves. Models with the Very Bulky special rule cannot benefit from this effect.

A benefit that lasts longer than Turn 1, and rewards the use of Deep Strike throughout the game. Thematic basis of night attacks and dawn raids being used to maximise effect of black armour and stealth training.

Chapter Tactic: Models in this detachment may use their Jump Pack in both the Movement and Assault phases.

Removed the reroll to wound on HoW because I couldn't see the justification for it.

Shrike: Gains Preferred Enemy: Orks, Melta Bombs, and Artificer Armour (I never understood why every Captain and Chapter Master didn't come with it as standard - what Captain walks into battle armoured in the same quality gear as a newly-promoted 9th Company no-name?). Loses Stealth and Infiltrate but retains the requirement to join a Jump Infantry unit. Replace Angel of Death Warlord trait with Master of Ambush from the 7th Edition Rulebook, allowing three units to Infiltrate.

General Changes

- If a unit enters play via Deep Strike within line of sight of a Scout unit that is not Falling Back or Gone to Ground, it may reduce it's Scatter distance by D6 inches. Only one arriving unit can benefit from this effect per Scout Squad, per turn.

- If a Captain with a Jump Pack, Chapter Master with a Jump Pack, or Kayvaan Shrike is included in the Detachment, Assault Marine squads gain the Objective Secured rule.

- Storm Ravens are Fast Attack choices

- A Raven Guard detachment has one less Heavy Support slot, but gains one additional Fast Attack slot.

- All other Imperial Armies are Allies of Convenience instead of Battle Brothers.

So there we have it - what do you think? Anything overpowered? Contra-fluff? Would you be happy if I presented this to you before a game and said "Do you mind if I use these rules"? I'm still not 100% sure on the first Chapter Tactic, if I'm honest. I was wondering about trying to shoehorn some benefit to Land Speeders in there, but couldn't think of a balanced way to do it.

4,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vehicles do not have Chapter Tactics, ergo do not get the benefit from the rule. Centurions and Bikes are things that Raven Guard are not exactly renowned for, so I felt they ought to be excluded from the beneficiaries. I debated Terminators as well, but felt that they didn't require their own seperate prohibition.

I considered writing in a caveat for Stealthed vehicles, but felt that the recent changes to Jink might make it too good for Speeders, Talons and Ravens - despite those being very fluffy choices for a Raven Guard army - 3+ cover saves are very strong for vehicles.

4,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Do not Jump Packs in 7th gain Jump Pack in both phases anyway?
It was a rumour, but never made it into the final book AFAIK. I glanced through it a little while back and think it still says "Pick one..." or words to that effect.

I'd simply give Scout Sergeants the option to bring a Locator Beacon for 10pts or 15pts, it fits in with Scouts' role as infiltrators.

Apart from that, I really like it. Will you be doing other Chapter Tactics or just Raven Guard? I might try my hand at some.
I was just planning to do Raven Guard, really. Since they're my main army and strong contenders for "Weakest set of Tactics in the book" along with Shrike being potentially the worst Special Character.

Regarding the Scouts thing, I wanted to do more than simply have them able to take an extra piece of Wargear to represent their importance, plus I never really liked the whole Locator Beacon mechanic - it would be far better to be able to place a locator beacon in the same way as Servo Skulls for the Inquisition, and reduce Scatter that way. Having to land on top of your own unit to benefit from it seems very unintuitive and clunky.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts