Sell your Ravenwing? Post DA 2012 FAQ

16 January 2012 | 5th Edition

Ravenwing Attack Bike in action
Err, why are we being left on the Battle Barge again exactly?
Model by ellis_esquire.

So the hot and unexpected news this January is that pretty much every 40K Codex got some kind of an official rules update, as did the core Rulebook.

But all I'm going to concern myself with here is the possible gnashing of teeth from just about everyone with a full Ravenwing Attack Squadron.

I'll put up a fuller run-through of the FAQ presently, but the main headline is this: Ravenwing Combat Squads, second paragraph changes to:

Much like Combat squads, the squadron's Attack Bike and Land Speeder are purchased together with the squadron and then deployed at the same time as the squadron's bikes, but from then on, they always operate as completely independent units of one model.

So, RAS speeders are no longer scoring whether taken as part of an RAS squadron in the Troop slot (with Sammael present) or in the Fast Attack slot. And Attack Bikes are now only scoring when part of an RAS squadron in the Troop slot (with Sammael present). RAS Attack Bikes and Speeders in a Fast Attack slot are never scoring anymore.

Implications

Whether this has much of an impact on Unforgiven army builds is open to conjecture and is very much dependent upon the specific build. My gut reaction is that since January 2011 most RAS squadrons lost their speeders to others in the Fast Attack slots toting Typhoon Missile launchers anyway — it being quite rare to see a fully-fledged RAS squadron at all. And prior to that they were seen as expensive at 100 points a piece with the 5th Edition downgraded assault cannon not being the beast it once was in 4th. Plus, that speeder stopped the bikes being able to Outlfank.

The main blow I think falls on the Attack Bike. This is a very popular unit due to its Outlanking or Scouting multi-melta and I just wonder again whether we will see less of them fielded in FA slots? It was always a useful extra scoring unit in a multiwing army without Sammy present where a bike squadron or two supported Belial and Deathwing squads. In armies like these with expensive basic units the loss of one or two additional scoring units will be very keenly felt I think.

Other than that, I seriously doubt many purposely set up their RW to take advantage of these units being able to score so its impact won't be devastating. Ideally in pure Ravenwing armies, the Attack Squadrons should be in the Troop slots and their speeders were rarely taken anyway. But there are always exceptions I guess and some might feel aggrieved by the change.

It was just a nice 'extra' while it was available for sure and it could really annoy an opponent who overlooked that lone Speeder or Attack Bike in the corner eyeing up an objective. But frankly it should have been changed in Jan 2011's FAQ. Maybe GW had a change of heart on this one — after all our Codex is currently 5 years old in March 2012 and has up until now not had this changed despite numerous FAQs. It's an odd decision to make now when there are other differences between the core rulebook and DA Codex (for instance DA bikes still cannot turboboost during their Scout move) that could have been tidied up, plus, there is the likelihood of a new Dark Angel Codex in 2013 anyway.

So no, no reason to sell your Ravenwing quite yet.


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