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Seems that Unit of the Week has gained some more popularity as of late. I will continue the series.
This week it is Raveners and Spore Mines. Mainly Raveners, but Spore Mine Clusters don't deserve a post to themselves so I've just added them here.
Raveners: How many do you take? Do you take them? What upgrades do you give them? How do you like to field them (deployment, tactics etc.)? How successful are they?
Spore Mines: Do you field them? How many do you take? Are they a success to you?
I'll start off. On the rare occasion I field Spore Mines, I have found that they have been pretty much useless. Your opponent just moves around them. And most of the time they just float around in circles. It gets annoying. I always find better things to spend that extra 30 points on nowadays. And as a side comment, they are too much of an easy kill point that can cost you the game in annihilation.
As for Raveners, I use them about 40-50% of the time. When I do I field them in groups of four or five, and I have always had them Deep Striking. I give them thorax-mounted Deathspitters and if I can afford it Rending Claws as well (their WS is good enough to not need full re-rolls to hit). They have often been quite successful, killing off those pesky Lootaz in the corner when they land and then assaulting with five attacks is just lovely. Re-rolling ones to hit and on 6s to wound they rend. For me, Raveners are designed to hunt down those annoying long range units (12" assault range is awesome) and deal with them quickly. They're quite good.
Never really used either one. Now that you pointed out that a spore mine unit will actually give a kill point seems even more of a reason for me not to use them. I usually include biovores in most lists, so they provide more than enough mines on the table. The mines they do create though have cause some headaches for my opponents aka blocking movement/assault paths. Marines usually dont care about them, but anything with a 4+ armor save really thinks twice before moving their squad around one and having it detonate. another little plus is if they want to clear it they have to waste a separate squad shooting.
Raveners seem cool, but i dont have the models and never really have the points to take them. Since most people around me are pretty meched up there is rarely that lone squad to harass.