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1850 Lions Blade + RWSF


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#1
JR-Jack

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Hi there.

I've been slowly building up Dark Angels for the past few years and am hoping to play a couple of tournaments over the next few months (one with ITC FAQ and mission types, the other with ETC FAQ). Last year I had great fun at a couple of tournaments but really struggled to win at all (both through lack of play experience and not great DW+RW lists). I'm happy to have some fun games and place close-to-last again but it would be nice to be a little more competitive.

I've finally managed to pull together a Lion's Blade force with double demi-companies and have the miniatures for the following list:

Ravenwing Strike Force (Primary Detachment)

· Librarian, Space Marine Bike [Warlord]

· Ravenwing Command Squad, 2 Additional Black Knight Bikers, Champion, Apothecary, 2 Ravenwing Grenade Launchers

· Ravenwing Black Knights, Ravenwing Grenade Launcher

· Ravenwing Attack Bike, Multi-melta

· Ravenwing Darkshroud


Lion’s Blade Strike Force
Battle Demi-Company

· Company Master, Combi-flamer, Power Fist

· Tactical Squad, Combi-melta, Melta-gun, Rhino

· Tactical Squad, Multi-Melta, Rhino

· Tactical Squad, Razorback, Twin-linked Lascannon

· Assault Squad, Combi-Flamer, 2 Flamers, Drop Pod

· Devastator Squad, 2 Grav Cannons, Rhino


Battle Demi-Company

· Chaplain, Space Marine Bike, Auspex

· Tactical Squad, Combi-melta, Melta-gun, Rhino

· Tactical Squad, Multi-Melta, Rhino

· Tactical Squad, Razorback, Twin-linked Lascannon

· Assault Squad, Combi-Flamer, 2 Flamers, Drop Pod

· Devastator Squad, 2 Grav Cannons, Rhino


10th Company Support

· Scout Squad


In general, I think that - for the HQs - the Company Master should drop in with one of the Assault Squads to try and flame soft stuff early on while the Chaplain and Librarian would move up with the Ravenwing Command Squad.

However, I'm sure this can be improved a bit! In particular, I have been questioning the merit of the Dark Shroud (which will doubtless be a fire magnet and may not add much to the bikes robustness - where the biggest threat is stuff with ignores cover anyway). If I lose that I have 80 points to spend which I could use in one of the following ways:
  • Two more Ravenwing Black Knights to bring the Black Knight squad up to five dudes
  • Two of the following four options:
  • One additional Black Knight (bringing the squad up to four);
  • Swap the multi-meltas on the relevant tactical squads with meltaguns and combi-meltas; add melta-bombs to the assault squad sergeants, the black knight huntsmaster and chaplain
  • A lascannon in each of the tactical squads currently without a special or heavy weapon (they’d still camp on back field objectives but would now be able to take pot shots in from there)
  • Artificier Armour for the Company Master and swapping out the multi-meltas for melta-guns and combi-meltas as above.

What do you think? Do you have any other views on how I can improve this list?

Edited by JR-Jack, 17 April 2017 - 11:46 PM.


#2
Grand Master Raziel

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For ITC rules, a reroll on a 2+ save only succeeds on a 4+, whereas a 3+ save can be rerolled as a 3+.  This makes negligible the difference between having the Dark Shroud and not having it - you are about 3% more likely to succeed a 2+/4+ than a 3+/3+.  However, it does also provide a bubble of overwatch-denial, and it's a relatively cheap way to fulfill one of your obligatory FA choices in the RWSF.  I'd probably ditch the Attack Bike before the Dark Shroud.  

 

You might consider simply running two squads of Black Knights.  The Apothecary in the RWCS is worth the upgrade cost in a CAD, but in a RWSF, the opportunity cost is not just him, but him and something to fill an obligatory FA slot that you could otherwise fill with a Black Knights squad.  So, you're likely to have to pass 2-3 FNP rolls to make back that opportunity cost.  Also, the Ravenwing Champion is a marginal upgrade.  Sure, it doesn't cost much, and it does give you a character that can eat a challenge for your ICs and Apothecary, but I've never paid the points to field one, and I use a RWCS all the time.  If you ditch the Attack Bike and the Dark Shroud, you should be able to field two squads of 6 Ravenwing Black Knights without much trouble.

 

Also, one more thing - keep it to one grenade launcher per squad.  One GL in the squad isn't bad because the stasis grenade is a handy debuff for a unit you're about to charge with them.  More than that dilutes your plasma talon firepower beyond the worth of the GLs.

 

Your Lion's Blade looks solid.  That said, consider the following tweaks:

 

1: Stock Razorbacks, lascannons in the Tac Squads.  This loses you the reroll on the lascannons, but it gives you an additional 2 heavy weapons, so you can engage 2 more targets per turn.  This is a points-neutral suggestion, so you can try it both ways and see how it works for you.

 

2: Replace the multimeltas in your Tac Squads with lascannons, take stock Razorbacks as their tracks.  I do see where you're going with those units - midfield area denial/objective camping.  However, multimeltas are problematic on foot infantry, with a dropoff in effectiveness outside of 12".  Lascannons have double the range and maintain full effectiveness in their entire threat range.  Plus, you could squeeze in a couple more heavy weapons with the Razorbacks' TLHBs.  That said, you'd have to scare up 20pts for this from somewhere.

 

3: If you can give a jump pack to your Company Master, he can join up with and keep up with a Black Knights squad, giving the squad some extra punch in close combat (not to mention 3 extra wounds).  There's only a 5pt difference between a combi-weapon and a jump pack, so this is feasible.  For another 5pts, giving him a Mace of Remption instead of a power fist, he'd get a bonus attack from the pistol+Mace combo.  With the three characters attached, the BK squad makes a pretty convincing pocket-deathstar - not good enough to take on a full Wolf-star, but certainly good enough to wreck most other units in combat.  That said, if you wanted to go this route, you'd want to reconsider having the RWCS for the Apothecary.  So, it's more along the lines of something to think about and mess with than a definite "You should do this!"


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#3
dtse

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No comments about your list really. My personal opinion is lions blade is not there to kill stuff. Especially in ITC.

Word of advice if you will be playing a lot of ETC. If you are using straight up ITC missions you basically are starting 8 VP automatically in the hole every game. Something that takes a lot of effort to overcome in that scoring differential format. You have been warned. I find that extremely frustrating. Even poor opponents and lists can do well against you because they have a 8 VP head start.

Edited by dtse, 17 April 2017 - 09:27 PM.

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#4
JR-Jack

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Thank you both for your thoughts.

Raziel, you've certainly given me some options to consider. I don't know why I didn't think about not taking a RW command squad! I think I'll certainly look at changing the RWSF detachment to have the Librarian and two squads of six Black Knights, each with a single grenade launcher. I think I have the miniatures (and I know I can't be more than two Black Knights short which is very manageable to paint).

On your other suggestions, I was uncertain about the multi-meltas anyway so I'll certainly look at those squads if I can make the points work. I'll also look at swapping the lascannons onto the tac squads. I like twin linked lascannons so that might be something I have to try both ways and see how it feels! On the chapter master with jump pack, I like the idea but it will take a bit of rejigging. I will bear that in mind next month when i have a bit more time to tweak the list (and paint an alternate Chapter Master!)

DTSE, that's a good point about the kill points (which do appear to make up almost a quarter of the available game points in every game at the tournament using the ITC FAQ). I think I'll just have to try this out and play to the objectives where possible. It should be a good learning experience at least!

Thanks again for the really helpful feedback.

#5
Brother Vod

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DTSE, that's a good point about the kill points (which do appear to make up almost a quarter of the available game points in every game at the tournament using the ITC FAQ).

 

I just finished a similar tournament where kill points was worth up to 4 tournament points each round, with primary and secondary worth up to 7 points and two other tertiary objectives worth a point each. My list (Lions Blade DD + Iron priests Barkstar + ministorum priest) went 3-2, The two games I lost, both were by a single point, with the kill points tertiary swinging the game for my opponent.


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#6
JR-Jack

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I just finished a similar tournament where kill points was worth up to 4 tournament points each round, with primary and secondary worth up to 7 points and two other tertiary objectives worth a point each. My list (Lions Blade DD + Iron priests Barkstar + ministorum priest) went 3-2, The two games I lost, both were by a single point, with the kill points tertiary swinging the game for my opponent.

I'll have to see how it goes this weekend!

 

I've changed the Ravenwing Force to two squads of Black Knights as Raziel helpfully suggested. I was thinking I might line up some of the other tweaks for the second tournament a couple of weeks later. However, I'm uncertain about how much work to do for that given the impending landing of 8th edition which will presumably remove the Lion's Blade Strike Force as an option - at least initially until a new codex comes out! I'll probably focus on other painting projects over the next couple of months while we wait!

 

I'll let you know how it goes in the upcoming tournaments though (presumably they will be among my last games in 7th edition)!



#7
dtse

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i'm pretty sure lions blade (or battle company in general) will be a battallion that takes up most of your army, like some of the big battallions in AOS. but yea, you might wanna hold off splurging on lots of models at this time.


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#8
JR-Jack

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Okay, so I played in an ITC style event at the weekend. I didn't do brilliantly but I did improve compared to where I have been before quite a bit (It was a bigger event than the nearest equivalent tournament run by the same people last year but I was about 20% further up in the final standings even if my position was a higher number!) I won two games, drew one and lost two which I think is an improvement on winning one and losing four as I did last year.

 

Having not managed to have any real practice games (the weekend I'd organised to try the list out with friends has wound up being deferred until the end of May!) the first day was a bit of a learning experience. I'm a little frustrated at drawing and losing the first two games as I made lots of silly mistakes. I may not have won those games but it would have felt better if my failure to win them had been less down to flustered bad decisions on my part! I did win the third game though it was close (particularly because I had given up a lot more kill points than my opponent which counted for a lot as discussed above) and by that point I felt like I was beginning to get a feel for what worked and on top of some of the things I'd been forgetting earlier in the day.

 

I'm fairly happy with my performance on the second day although I lost the first game pretty catastrophically. I was up against three Imperial Knights and a Skyhammer Annihilation Force. While there are things I would do differently were I to face this list again, I did feel like I had the tools to damage his army and I was certainly able to take Maelstrom points. Unfortunately, the dice gods were not with me in the game and, despite a lot of hits, I failed to destroy any Knights and so got steadily decimated as they all continued to shoot and stomp to good effect. The primary objective of the mission required the destruction of the warlord (my opponents was a Knight that was down to 1HP at the end of the game) and killing HQ choices (I had three to his none) so I think this match was always going to be a tough one! 

 

The final game on day two went better and I got a fairly healthy win. I was up against Space Wolves and the Thunderwolves surrounded by wolves and lone wolves were certainly hard work to get through but I felt like I was ultimately able to deal with what he threw at me.

 

Kill points are definitely an issue (they made both my wins closer than they might otherwise have been and, arguably, led to me drawing the first game rather than marginally winning it (I scored a major victory on the primary, he scored a minor victory on the maelstrom so his lead on the tertiary - entirely from kill points - led to an even score)).

 

So I think I'm making good progress and will hopefully have a similarly good time at the next tournament in a couple of weeks.

 

In terms of tweaking the list, a sprinkling of meltabombs might have been helpful against the Knights (though with my luck in that game I suspect they would not have been very helpful!) Two squads of six black knights and no dark shroud was definitely the way to go! I think it might be good to revisit and try and squeeze in a couple more lascannons as Raziel helpfully suggested though I'm not sure where to take the points from at the moment. 

 

I'll see how I get on at the next tournament in a couple of weeks and then review when eight comes out (at the beginning of next month?) and think about developing it further.


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#9
Grand Master Raziel

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Kill points are a weak point of the Lion's Blade - the list has a lot of them, and they're not hard for an opponent to collect.  Knights are tough en mass too.  My list has 4 units with meltagun+combi-melta and varying means of delivery, and I worry about a Knight-heavy list.

 

I think we can all expect 8th to be a whole new ballgame.  Smart money is on formations as we know them being out.  My guess would be that there will be various army configurations, and which one you choose affects how many battle points you get to spend during the game.  My guess would be a list built around Tac, Dev, and Assault squads will probably be a high-battle points list.  Won't be any free transports though.  I guess we'll see if having a lot of battle points makes those units competitive - or if maybe GW buffs them or adjusts their points-cost.


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#10
Brother Vod

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Okay, so I played in an ITC style event at the weekend.

 Was it Echoes of War in Cardiff? I was the other Dark Angels player...


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#11
JR-Jack

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Okay, so I played in an ITC style event at the weekend.

 Was it Echoes of War in Cardiff? I was the other Dark Angels player...

 

Yes it was - I know you did much better than me! I was a great event!



#12
Brother Vod

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Ahh, I know who you are now. We played each other in Seeds of Destruction, I had the RWSF with a Knight Crusader.


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