Victorus aut Mortis! Here we go with the 6th installment in the Raven Guard review! This time on deck: Ravenhawk Assault Group. Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles and reviews!
The Ravenhawk Assault Group is deployed to destroy a specific enemy target, and descends on dark wings to strike, just like the chapter's namesake!
Overview: This formation brings together some fun units and gives them a decent little boost so that they pack a respectable punch. It may not be the most competitive choice, but it certainly is a lot of fun! This formation consists of:
  • 1 Sternguard Veteran Squad
  • 1 Dreadnought, Ironclad or Venerable Dreadnought.
  • 1 Stormraven Gunship
Special Rules:
  • Targeted Strike: When the first unit from this formation either deploys or arrives from reserves, nominate an enemy unit to be the target of this formation. Units from this formation reroll to hit rolls against that unit for the rest of the game.
  • Vertical Insertion: The Stormraven Gunship has Deep Strike, and if it does so, arrives in Hover mode.
raven guard 3

Tactics: This is a Formation that consists of units whom are all actually fairly dang useful. Sternguard can be fantastic, Dreads are much improved, particularly the Ironclad, and a Stormraven Gunship, while expensive, is a solid unit. Now, together I would not exactly call them a tournament winning formation, but, they are good enough to be used and every unit in the formation is a lot of fun. The twin-linking ability is awesome, but the downside to it is that unless you're targeting a very durable enemy target, these units will tend to smoke it pretty quick, thereby negating their primary benefit fairly quickly. Now, if that is an important enemy unit then hey, nice! But as formations go, there ability is a bit of a one shot wonder.

If your target is a unit like a Deathstar or LoW however, then you may get a lot of mileage out of this. A Knight, Wraithknight, etc. will certainly have plenty to fear from a unit of 10, twin linked Sternguard with combi weapons. The Ironclad too, with Meltas, can be quite a threat and as the bonus applies to melee as well, you can focus quite a bit of attention on the target unit to maximize your efficiency with these hard hitting units. If you have a tough flyer to be wary of, like a Heldrake or Fire Raptor for example, this bonus gives the Storm Raven quite a benefit, too. Even twin-linked ground fire can be quite effective against a flyer. Any toughness based unit, and Monstrous creatures in particular, will fear reroll to hit Sternguard with 2+ poison shots. They will mulch a unit in short order.

The ability for the Stormraven to Deep Strike into Hover mode is actually pretty bad ass. You come in--possibly on turn 1 in the Talon Strike Force--and deploy the Dread and Sternguard and all three units can light up their target enemy unit before it gets to do squat. Not bad! You then have 3 distinct units on the table to cause havoc and while the Stormraven is a lot more vulnerable in Hover mode, you don't have to worry about everyone dying if it gets shot down and crashes. Note, this also would mean even Interceptor fire won't be as bad for the guys inside, making it a great option for fighting armies like Tau.

While I wouldn't call this a great formation, it is a good and fun formation that can catch some folks off guard. If you like the units included in it, and use it in the Talon Strike Force, it can do some work and let you use some of the cooler units in the Marine dex effectively.
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