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I look at a ravener and I think:
"Wow, it's a big, scary model. That means its going to get shot to smithereens."
"Wow, it's forty points. How many genestealers could i get for that?"
"Damn, its fragile. two wounds and a 5+ save?"
SO WHY ARE RAVENERS USEFUL?
They are just big, ugly genestealers.
But two genestealers are better.
Why would you deep strike something that fragile and costly?
Why would you wait for it to turn up onto the field via deep strike?
I love the models, but the place of big scary speedy monster was taken when genestealers got fleet. I think that raveners should move like bikes, which would give them a better toughness to make them less fragile, and give them a serious place in the army.
And the guns should be taken away, because if you try to make a model multi-functional, it quickly becomes expensive and mediocre at everything, instead of good at one thing.
I wish I could give Raveners Crushing Claws.... How bad-ass would that be!?!:yes:
You realise of course that 2 genestealers are 2 wounds and 5+ save? and that 2 staelers with carapace is the same cost...
I agree, deep-striking them generally isn't good but you have something considerably faster than a genestealer and that makes up for the lack of extended carapace in my mind. Then they do vaguely the same amount of damage in combat.
I love my ravenors because like my large amounts of hormagaunts they can charge first turn.
i wasted my whole life on warhammer so it's a good thing i have 2 wounds and a 2+invul
Here's a thought. deepstrike 3 units of 3 raveners with devourers. thats 18 shots per unit rerolling to wound ( much needed). thats a total of 54 shots. obviously you'd have to deep strike them smartly. hopefully you have killed that basilisk/ any indirect fire tank by then. besides if you have made a nice and scarry list, hopefully the raveners will become the least of thier worries... i.e. genestealers or rediculous amounts of gaunts. i'd figure on losing about half the raveners before combat (on average) so for about 150 to 200 points (in the hole) you distracted your opponent.... scarred the heck out of him/her, shot the living crap out them and gave your other units a free turn of movement without any deaths... or too many deaths i should say. if it fits your playing style i'd say ravs are AWESOME. :yes:
Why not make it 6 raveners in a squad? then a lictor could help bring em in. But they still don't kill many enemies on average, I prefer to just run them across the board with rending.
I've done some experimenting with Ravs (having come from more or less your same line of reasoning).
Thus far I've decided two things.
First: Ravs are good units. They are not the gods of close combat, but they are good at what they do. A rav or two into a heavy support squad (devastators, or Necron Destroyers, or any other heavy weapons platform [except guard, they don't count]) will have a great effect.
Second: they're faster than your opponent realizes. Your opponent may know they have a max charge range of 24 inches, but "knowing" it and seeing it happen on the board are two different things. This means your opponent will almost always be surprised and\or alarmed by just how fast you hit his lines.
Fundamentally the Rav is a fast anti heavy support unit that relies more on psych than on sheer killing power. In a different way than a lictor, it can fill the same role as a surprise and an effective assaulter of specific enemies.
As for how to field it, I would never bring more than two in a squad (makes them too appetizing a target for massed bolters, and is overkill for the targets they should aim for) Bring 3 units of 1 rav each and run them together or with hormies and watch your opponent sweat as he\she must decide what to shoot. They aren't a blunt hammer to smash things with (like gaunts and stealers) they're more of a razor blade, it can do a lot of damage, but it has to be used just right and against the right targets.
~2k of genestealery goodness
~1750points of terminator goodness
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain
more witty remarks to come.
As those who know my posting habits can attest, lengthy ramble on the immense value of Raveners as the best single value in the Nid army incoming when I have time to edit this later today.
Nids & Guard
GMail = MVBrandt
So Raveners with guns should deepstrike, Raveners without should be there on the first turn.
How do you avoid having them blown to pieces by your opponent?
They come across to me as being a specialist unit, and I don't like that, because an army filled with specialists will decimate some and crumble before others.
Apart from lictors. They are so cuddly....
Lets say, purely hypothetically (cough) that i was going to be fighting chaos sometime soon. I realise that a ravener could mince those fullas up in cc (Or at least come out even, have you seen the statlines for some of those daemons?!?!), but then I am apprehensive about trying to send 40pt specialists against an army loaded with S4 AP5 bolters.
think of it this way.....you now have a very fast genestealer that can spray out a lot of lasgun fire before hitting enemy lines. If they gave him a 4+ save it would be extremly good.
True they have a crappy save. Thats why I use my flyrant to block LOS and my gunfexes to block LOS. True you may lose some movement opportunities on the first turn, but with ravener assault range they are excellent as a countercharge unit also.
You should also be playing on a board with lots of area terrain so you can hide and have six inches of terrain between the enemy guns and the raveners.
Another way I tend to use them is as an escort for my termagaunts. They are cheap, numerous, and fearless. Unless your opponent has a lot of firepower pointed at them, it will be difficult to kill all the gaunts. So the best way to take away their fleshborer gun shots is to assault them. (a common tactic with assault marines and such. Exchanging fire with a termagaunt squad hurts with their re-roll to wound and all)
Keeping a ravaner close by will discourage the opponent slightly and tip the favor if CC does occur.
In conclusion, they are a niche unit because there are only certain spots on the field where they can be useful without getting shot to pieces. (watch out for landspeeders)
But if you can work with the terrain, raveners are extremly deadly as the speartip of the assault, weakening numbers down fast enough with their rending and WS. They also function as good single HQ and jetbike retinue hunters. (daemonprinces fear I5, WS5 rending attacks from something that can go so fast. And you can easily get the jump on aggressive assault units like shining spears by killing them with all the devourer shots before cleaning up in assault.....just don't manuever into a position where you can be killed too)
Edit: And to help with your chaos problem....I hope there is terrain on the board. Bolters can only go so many inches and CSM squads usually have a heavy weapon that rather be pointed at your flyrant. use your big guys to draw fire and block LOS. Use gaunts to make them choose between shooting the gaunts and maybe lessening the impact of the swarm or shooting your raveners that just moved into clear LOS to make a move next turn. By forcing them to choose, you can guarantee something is going to hit hard next turn. Either your raveners or your gaunts and thier fleshborers of doom.
Your raveners should reveal themselves in the open. You need to make sure they are hiding like pansies, moving from cover to cover to area terrain to behind your big guys before even showing themselves to enemy guns. By holding your raveners back until situation forces your opponent to make difficult choices, you can get better results then blindly charging them in. (lictors are good for stalling up the squads that threaten a firelane that your raveners might want to get, they can efficiently make cover for you along teh way by blocking LOS with an assault.)
Raven Claws Space Marine Chapter........2500 points
Waagh Rotskrag (in building process)
Member of the Fluffmaster Clan
Alright, time to edumacate.
First, at the end of this I'll try and link the various posts and battle reports I've crafted where Raveners are involved or highlighted.
I consider them to be, for a number of reasons, one of the very best units in the Tyranid army. They are better for your points than genestealers, are phenomenally useful in a deployment sense, and have the best shock and morale affecting value of the army.
There are some initial caveats to using them ...
1) If your raveners are getting shot at by S4AP5 bolters, you suck as a player. No offense, but Tyranids (in my opinion) are heavily dependent on craftily getting into combat. People who rush 'Nid melee swarms across the board haphazardly lose to talented players, and beat nubs. This is about the standard.
2) The key to using them is taking advantage of the fact that they have a MINIMUM CHARGE of 19" (1" longer than a bike), and a MAXIMUM of 24". Their average charge is going to be between 21-22". This is a big deal, and is the most important part of using them.
3) Their charge range ties in with how you move them and deploy them. They are highly dependent on redundancy in fleet rolls, and on keeping them from being shot at before the time is right to charge. This is why they do not do well in "I'M CHARGING ACROSS THE BOARD" type armies, b/c wise opponents will see the big tall critter with 5 rending attacks on the charge, Initiative 5 and WS 5 and a 5+ save and toss a couple bolters its way. Instead, you focus on keeping them behind TREES, Level 3 terrain, and monstrous creatures, and not moving them their max distance the first couple of turns. Use fleets as needed to get them securely behind things, and don't worry about getting them really close fast. If you deploy 12" in, you're 36" from your opponents' board edge. This means as long as you're careful, a turn 3 charge against enemies at the very back of the board. You can't say this about genestealers, which is why I find it so laughable that people compare them. Genestealers - at cheapest - require an investment of 96 points for 6 guys who move 6, fleet 6, charge 6. This means they charge between 13-18". At their most, they charge an inch LESS than a ravener's WORST. More importantly, it is FAR more difficult to keep an opponent from shooting at SIX BASES than it is to keep an opponent from shooting at 1-2 bases (the ideal # to field Raveners in). I field 3 squads of 2 in my army, for 240 points. I never let them sit in the open, preserving 240 points that will kill any equal or even double value enemy they run into provided you're wise about it.
4) Know what to do with raveners. Charging Imperial Guardsmen? NO. Charging terminator squads? Hell yes. The fact is, you can keep your raveners together and should. They provide one big scary as crap punch that will literally light up your opponent, and *WIG HIM OUT*. Genestealers? You see 'em coming. To make sure you get 'em in, you gotta get a lil close before you run out into the open. Raveners, though ... well, all of a sudden that tiny little group of models hiding behind a tree halfway across the board just charged and slaughtered his entire terminator squad before it even got to fight back.
5) When used right - as a one-charge-one-kill unit - raveners out damage genestealers. The trick is what to attack with them. For 40 points you get a 19-24" charge with WS5 and I5 (still plenty high enough to go before anything you should be attacking with them) and 5 attacks on the charge. For 32 points you get a 13-18" charge with 6 attacks on the charge with WS6 and I6, for 40 you get a 4+ save. You get half the wounds. That's genestealers vs. raveneres in the mind of a simpleton. WRONG. You can't get 2 genestealers for 40 points. You've gotta buy 6. They take up a troops choice, meaning a smaller swarm and less cheapy spinegaunt tie-up choices to fill in.
Genestealers are a predictable part of many Tyranid armies. They're slower than raveners, need more room to deploy them, take up a troops slot more expensively than any other Tyranid option, and aren't quite fast enough to reliably hide behind cover and get in there. Not to mention, it's way harder to hide the bulk of your army behind cover than it is to basically advance with your army and hide a few things behind cover waiting for the right moment while your opponent tries to deal with a massive swarm and some monstrous creatures.
Raveners are purely tactical. Used right, they guarantee a points return AND wig the crap out of your opponent. On the other hand, they are fragile to shooting - immensely so - and if you allow your opponent the chance to focus on them and not worry about other stuff, and get them in the open exposed to gunfire, you're right that you don't possess the gaming skill to use them (no offense intended).
As for deep striking - no. They and hormagaunts are the fastest models in the Tyranid army. They can cover half the width of a gaming board in one turn. Why on Earth would you deepstrike them? Their guns are too expensive, and while it can be fun to fire off 6 shots that re-roll wounds, it's at BS3 and S3, so you're not really going to do anything meaningful to the units they are BUILT to kill - MEQs and Terminator equivs.
Any small, pricey type squad with Initiative 4 or less (read: TERMINATORS TERMINATORS MARINES MARINES ETC.) and high armor is Ravener BAIT, begging to get caught unprepared by a charge out of nowhere.
Here's some other things I've posted on them ...
Nids & Guard
GMail = MVBrandt