Friday, 24 June 2011

Turkey Shoot

We all know the real danger with the Stormraven is that it can get some seriously nasty units very closr to your lines very quickly. But looking at the codex entry it's actually laden down with a lot free, rather juicy weapon options, so much so that it can be difficult to know what equates to an “optimum” load-out. So that's what I'm going to talk about here; it should be noted that this related to the Blood Angel's Stormraven so we're not going to mention the fail that is the Grey Knight Stormraven's Missile Payload.

Before we go any further lets go through what you can get for your measly 200pts; bog standard load out is TL Heavy Bolter, TL Assault cannon AND 4x Bloodstrike Missiles. I say “AND” because people have a terrible habit of forgetting about these and forgetting about 4x S8 AP1 shots is frankly criminal. Anyway in it's basic state it looks like a bit of a gunboat, 3x S5 and 4x S6 Rending twin-linked shots (not including the aforementioned missiles). If you are going to run it as an anti-infantry/light armour gunboat I would be tempted to add on the Hurrican Bolters, at 30pts they are expensive and of only limited effectiveness but some people swear by them and who am I to argue, for 230pts you are putting out an obscene amount of anti-infantry firepower.

Probably a good time to mention another luxury that comes as standard, Power of the Machine Spirit, just like the Land Raider power it allows you to target a second unit with a single weapon. Staying with our current “Gunboat” configuration PotMS allows you to pour all your S4 firepower into an infantry squad and take a pop shot at a tank or MC with a Bloodstrike Missile, making the most of all your weaponry.

If you care about an expensive unit in your force “paying for itself” then you may want to look at higher value targets than infantry units for your Stormraven's attention. Enter the “Tankbuster” load-out. For the somewhat steep cost of 0pts you can swap out your twin-linked Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon for a twin-linked Multi-Melta and twin-linked Lascannon, along with your Blood Strike Missiles this adds up to some pretty fearsome anti-tank firepower. Combined with PotMS you can fairly reliably take out two armoured targets per turn which ought to get you your points back fairly quickly. If your meta-game is mech heavy then this is a strong load-out for your 'raven.

Lastly we have what I like to call the “Oh! Hello.” load out (it's late and I couldn't come up with anything cooler). This consists of the twin-linked Multi-Melta combined with the twin-linked Plasma Cannon and not forgetting the Bloodstrike missiles, please don't forget them, you have four … that is all. The idea with this one is that your twin linked Multi-Melta is for heavy armour, your Plasma Cannon is for heavy infantry and your missiles are for either to be honest. If you feel you need more shots rather then a small template then I think it's perfectly valid to leave the Plasma Cannon at home and stick with the Assault Cannon on the turret.

Neither of the last two builds have included the Hurricane Bolters and this is because they are so far away from the target of choice for the rest of your weaponry that for them to be even slightly effective you are going to have to use PotMS to fire them at an appropriate target. This is bad for two reasons, 1) you have limited the effectiveness of your other, free, weaponry: the “Tankbuster” will only be able to target one tank and the “Oh! Hello!” will be using at least one weapon sub-optimally. 2) you'll only be able to fire one sponson with PotMS and 6 twin-linked bolter shots aren't really going to be worthwhile in the long-run.

I should add to all this that I am assuming in the above rambling that your Stormraven will get to fire it's carefully selected weaponry. It's one hell of a target which is very difficult to get into cover, if you don't get first turn you'd better have something more threatening in your army distract at least some of your opponent's firepower. There are ways to protect your Stormraven to ensure it gets to see action but that's for another article.

These are the ramblings of a tired mind so if you see anything you disagree with, or even agree with please let me know in the comments below, I'm always happy to hear from you guys!


  1. It dies to a single devastator missile salvo, but if you want to keep wasting points you can do what ever you want. More easy wins for me.

  2. Well, 3 hits on average, 1 pen and a glance gives a 1/3 chance of destroying it in a single salvo. With a shield of sanguinius your chance goes down to 2/9 and if it's had a chance to turboboost you're down to around 1/6 (very roughly) of destroying it with a single salvo. So once a game ang yes it may happen on the first turn.

    I totally accept it's fragile but I think it's too quickly written off by many people. If you dont kill it on the first turn it can cause a lot of trouble in 1 turn and get it's contents into a very threatening position. I'll take the rough with the smooth!


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