Gunum Presents: Hear me out, Cyle! A Hog-initiation

A Herd as Strong as its Parts

Hey team! Gunum here and I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to reach out and entice you to expand your minds by using unique units to their maximum potential. We’ve had so many releases over the past couple weeks I haven’t had a chance to even think about my lists, much less to have a chance to focus on tweaking them. The way I’ll do this is that I’ll start with a unit that I think has some real Gold-Star potential that you could bring to any competitive event and have a real shot at doing well, and then build a list around it. Hopefully, through my painful and almost methodical thought process, you’ll be able to glean some insight about how even if some units or even ideas are bad, you can still take a battle plan to an event and see it through. These lists will be primarily Dark Angels focused, but I play a wide variety of armies and will explore this format often.

This will be a list run through the filter of my partner in Hog-crime, Cyle “Naramyth” Thompson. Cyle is one of the best — and most boring — players that I know and he has been suffering through my focus on “Bad” units throughout our entire friendship. Cyle plays very meta-focused lists, sometimes even trying to craft that meta himself. Ideally, by the end of this I’ll be able to pull him over to my side of thinking and sell my list idea as the new meta-list I know it can be.

+++ I do like some of the places Chase has been with his Dark Angels, especially when it was just a marine shell and he was running primarily units that are not in the Codex. But I have a feeling that there will not be a Christmas Miracle and I will suffer this holiday season. +++

It’s time. After a ton of requests this week the unit(s) I will be trying to focus on are…

~Chapter Approved Ravenwing~

The List

Hear Me Out Cyle! - Click to expand

Hear me out, Cyle! [126 PL, 13CP, 2,000pts]

Brigade Detachment +15CP (Imperium – Dark Angels) [126 PL, 2,000pts]
Ravenwing Attack Squadron [-1CP] Extra Relic [-1CP] + HQ +
Ravenwing Talonmaster [9 PL, 188pts] Land Speeder: Twin assault cannon, Twin heavy bolter Talonmaster: Heavenfall Sword

Ravenwing Talonmaster [9 PL, 188pts] Land Speeder: Twin assault cannon, Twin heavy bolter Talonmaster: Slayer of Caliban

Librarian in Phobos Armour  [6 PL, 101pts] WARLORD – Target Priority
Hallucination – Tenebrous Curse (-10 pts)

Ezekiel [7 PL, 110pts] – Aversion, Righteous Repugnance (-25 pts)

Sammael on Bike [7 PL, 140pts] (-43pts)(hnnnnnng)

+ Troops +
5x Scout (Combat Knife) Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] 5x Scout (Combat Knife) Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] 5x Scout (Combat Knife) Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] 5x Scout (Bolter) Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] 5x Scout (Bolter) Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] 5x Scout (Bolter) Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]

+Elites+
Company Veterans x2 [3 PL, 28pts]: Bolt Pistol, Chainsword
Ravenwing Ancient [6 PL, 69pts] (-37 pts)
Ravenwing Apothecary [5 PL, 60pts] (-32 pts)

+ Fast Attack +
Ravenwing Darkshroud [7 PL, 138pts]: Heavy bolter
Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance [7 PL, 100pts]: Heavy bolter (-32 pts)
Ravenwing Black Knights x10 [29 PL, 340] (-4pts per)

+ Heavy Support +
Eliminator Squad [3 PL, 72pts] Eliminator Squad [3 PL, 72pts] Eliminator Squad [3 PL, 72pts]

The Tactics

Okay, so before Chapter Approved came out this list would not have been possible. The Black Knights, Vengeance, and the Ravenwing characters points have all dropped so much it’d be an insult to them not to at least give them a shot. Not only that, Cyle but gaze your laser eyes upon the Land Speeder Vengeance at a  -powerful- 100 pts. The whole idea of this list is to be able to take those savings Chapter Approved provided and apply it to make my list much more powerful. By using the Ravenwing Attack Squadron, I can make use of all these extra command points and invest in the hit and run tactics for my Black Knights. Being able to use Target Priority along with the Signal the Attack Stratagem, I can buff the Talonmasters as well as the Black Knights. That allows my Plasma to hit on 2s and not get hot. Not only that but with all the scouts, I can use the bullet hoses that are the HQs and the Spells provided by having both casters to provide all kinds of pressure. Opening thoughts?

+++Bikes again? Sigh+++

TO BE FAIR, I haven’t done bikes yet. We’ve talked about them a lot, but they haven’t been a focus yet. And at 40pts less for a squad of 10, there is an argument to be made here to play them!

+++I just remember crashing into some bikes you were playing this summer+++

Okay so, with that “expert” feedback. Let’s talk about the unit that I think is the stand out here in this list:

So this was the number one unit I’ve been asked to play, followed closely by the Dark Talon. I have been holding off on them for some time waiting for CA to drop. I thought a full squad at 380 was just way too much to make these guys even a little bit playable. But running a large unit of them together to maximize the point savings, I think now is the time foretold in prophecy. Being able to use their Plasma Talons to dump shots into pretty much anything, Speed of the Raven to keep them sort-of alive with a 4++ and finally using the Darkshroud and spells like Aversion to keep them kicking. I think we can make a lot happen with a large unit of 8. I also have a pretty cool combo I’ve been looking at with them that we may get to see in my test game.

+++2 Wounds, 34 points a model. Can’t be hidden, can’t get invulnerable saves unless you go first. 2 plasma shots per guy are nice along with an OK melee weapon but if you want a plasma delivery system Inceptors are right there.++

Now you’ll notice, here at HMO we aren’t afraid of using unique or terrible units and I’m sure you’re wise eyes have been drawn to the Land Speeder Vengeance. This platform of D6 shots at 36″ can be a real powerhouse, with some decent rolls and support. The gun is always D2, but we can overcharge it to D3 and use Relics of the Dark Age to push it to D4. If this unit is ignored we can do some real damage. One of Cyle’s critiques he’s had in every one of my HMO’s is that I don’t have enough CP to make my plans happen, well with this Brigade its time for the Black Knights and the Vengeance to shine with its white-hot righteous fury. Also, a key part to realize it’s power is to completely ignore that its gun is heavy using the bonuses to hit that we have (Which again, are two different options), and if it ever does Get Hot, the weapon deals 3 Mortal Wounds to the Speeder and we can never use it again. So that’s fine.

+++Now this is something. 100 points for a heavy bolter and d6 Flat 2- or 3- (or 4)-damage plasma shots in the fast attack slot that has 9 wounds is pretty nutty. For context, 2 missiles and a heavy bolter is 87 points and is seeing play over in normal marine land and they only have 6 wounds.+++

The final stand out in this list, of course, the number #3 most asked for a unit for my Hear Me Out series. The Talon Master.

 

Now, this is a unit that I feel is in a line with things like Iron hands and the Doctrines applied to them floating around. Things like being able to ignore heavy on your guns can go a long way with things that have as many shots as these do. When we are looking at this unit, I have been unable to get over their downfalls. Being BS 3+, guns are all heavy, and they don’t have an Invul to keep them safe from the groups of snipers that seem to be all over the place right now. When I was looking at including this unit into my list I wasn’t able to put just a single one in as I feel the threat wasn’t enough, so I had to go with two. I feel in a world where the Stealthy trait is everywhere, having my Bikers and even my Speeders ignore cover will go a long way, at the end of the day.

+++I played Talonmasters to try to steal ITC best Dark Angel before it was cool.  I didn’t get the faction overall, but I was the best Dark Angel at LVO. So really it was about the friends I made along the way.+++

Okay, so how does this list do in an ITC setting? I think right away there are two easy secondaries to pick against me, which is Head Hunter and Butchers Bill. I have a lot of small units and a lot of characters, so it’s easy for people to hunt down my units. My list is going to be strong with Recon and Butchers Bill itself, depending on the matchup. I feel good about most things when it comes to trying to score with these boys.

I think this list has the teeth it needs to do some real damage. Mixing a lot of shots with the close combat potential of the Black Knights, I feel this is a competitive list that could catch some people off guard. Is it Vegas worthy? I don’t know. But is it worth playing a man who is trying to get into my gaming club?!

You can bet your bottom Dangel it is.

+++The Bikes are bad. Not having good elite slots makes the brigade feel like a waste, and I’m not a fan of Ezekiel since the Dark Angel spells are bad. Also not using Sammy in his Speeder is criminal. He went down to a flat 200 points I know this is sort of Bike focused but I can’t do it man.+++

Okay, just real quick. The Dark Angel spells aren’t -bad- per se. Making a model lose a BS, WS and LD can be just devastating against the right unit. I do not care what you say here. Sammy on the bike went down a whopping 40pts. Forty. Four. Zero. Bring him into the realm of playable and your old hat views on his speeder are showing off your stubbornness to change! Or something!

UnChasing Ravenwing

Ravenwing Attack Squadron Brigade

HQ
2x Talonmasters
Sammy in Speeder

Troops
4x 5 Scouts
1x 5 Tactical Marines
1x 5 Intercessors

Elites
3x Autocannon Invictors

Fast Attack
3x Landspeeder Vengeance

Heavy Support
3x 3 Eliminators

Dedicated Transport
2x Rhino

+++The Gameplan is “protect the characters” as hard as possible. Scouts/tac marines in rhinos to provide screening with invictors and 3 9 wounds Landspeeders. The eliminators/Invcitors/Landspeeders should provide enough shooting to put some real damage on targets with the 54 shots coming from the characters to sandpaper them down. Since the Speeders are Ravenwing they will be able to benefit from the +1 hit Ravenwing strat against a specific target and get reroll failed hits and reroll 1s from the characters so they should be able to contribute significant output while being an annoying screening element.+++

I mean, sure. This is a cool list. And I don’t know if going to 3 LS Vengeance is un-chasing this list, or just… leaning more into it. And In a way, I’m deeply into this counter list right now.

+++Am I becoming fun? Or is Chase seeing the light?? Oh dear+++

As always, disregarding Cyles’ advice is the best choice! Extremely Thundercats Voice GUNUM’S LIST HOO-OOOOOOO!

 

The Field Test

So I’m pretty excited about bringing this game to you guys. This is a little glimpse into our simple system for joining the Warhogs while keeping the feel of a true team tryout. The process is essentially that the player who would like the team – in this case, local Chaos player Jeffy – “calls out” a Hog of their choice and attempts to take them to slaughter in a game. If they win, they’re in! We’re straight forward and violent people. For this game, I was the one whose Bacon was to be basted, but I wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

Behold, the Challenger’s List:

Jeffy's Doom Robots

Chaos Knights Super Heavy Detachment +3CP
Knight Despoiler: Iconoclast Household, Thermal cannon x2
Knight Despoiler: Iconoclast Household, Rapid-fire battle cannon x2, Helm of Warpsight, Ironstorm Missle Pod
War Dogs: Iconoclast Household, Meltagun, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

The Flawless Host CSM Battalion Detachment
2x Lords of Discord – One is the Warlord with Ultimate Confidence

1x Cultist
3x CSM w/ Bolt Guns

Chaos Knights Super-Heavy Aux Detachment
Cerastus Knight-Castigator – Castigator bolt cannon, Infernal Household, Tempest warblade

The Pre-Game Show

As we do here at “Hear me out, Cyle!” proper. I like to ask my partner in crime here to give his view of the game, before the game.

Just looking at the lists, how do you think this is going to go?

+++If you can hide the bikes and have them jump out and blow up a knight or two you should be ok. Chaos knights are extremely swingy. However, he also has a couple of disco lords and a lot of your close combat counter punch is also the bikes. I’m skeptical but I’ve also seen you pull out nonsense.+++

Yes, that is very fair. I mean the guy is rolling in 2D guns and my bikes can only go so far. It will rely heavily on the terrain we have on the board. So, in true Gunum style, this battle report is going to be fast and hit the HIGHLIGHTS, the UP’s and the DOWN’s.

Please, my sweet sweet point reductions. Carry all of us to our first victory.

The Mission

JEFFY TURN ONE:

Deployment for this game was a quick lesson in why having a bunch of drops is nice in a game where both players have important units. Mine was the Speeders and my Black Knights, his being his Chaos Knights and his Lords of Discord. I picked sides, so he got to drop first. He was leading with his Cultists and Marines which were matched by my Scouts. Then he needed to drop the important things. The knights, the disco lords, things I needed to hunt down. Once he had those Knights down, I was able to deploy my Black Knights down behind a building, being sure that if he was going to move, he would only be able to see me with Battle Cannon Knight. I deployed my scouts in a big flying V formation to move block his knights

His turn is as annoying as it is was straight forward. He marched his Castigator up into the middle L blocker, locking down it down with its pure terrifying 2 damage presence. He didn’t move his Melta knight up at all and did scootch his battle cannon knight up to get a look at everything I had in my big battle pile at the center 36″ section of the board. I had deployed back and tight, keeping everything within the range of my Dark Shroud, but hidden enough so try and force some bad moves on his part. Then the shooting began. It was… He made some interesting choices, putting all of his knights shooting into my Eliminators, killing all but two. Then, well that was it. My battle pile was unmolested.

His charge phase? Well.

Every brave Mighty Duck Scout, died as they lived. In flying V formation.

+++Plays the back half of We Will Rock You+++

GUNUM TURN ONE:

Two things.

One: Righteous Repugnance on Black Knights is terrorizing to even Imperial Knights.

Second: Weapons of the Dark Age Fucks

My turn was very straight forward, I only had my battle pile left since every scout was dead and if I wasn’t able to kill some knights I wouldn’t be making this Challenge match any kind of challenge at all. So I go on the full offensive. I move my 20″ right up the middle of the table, making a long conga line from North to South alongside the right L blocker in the middle. Once all my guys were in position, with Sammy on his cheap bike and the Ancient within 6, I cast and got my RR off to re-roll all hits and wounds in close combat. With that, I was finally prepared to unleash the Black Knights’ full power.

Shooting went perfect. I used Target Priority and pushed my Land Speeder Vengence to new heights as it shot down into the Castigator and put 6 wounds on it. My Black Knights had 8 of the 10 in range of the Dual MeltaKnight and the final two right next to the Castigator, as I was just within 2″ of both of them. I used Weapons of the Dark Age to turbo-charge the Plasma Talons on the Black Knights and let loos hell on his Melta Knight. Thanks to Sammy’s Rerolls, I only lose one to getting hot and deal 8 wounds to the knight. He rolls his 4++ invulnerable saves and fails… ALL OF THEM. Knights are durable. But when you deal -exactly- 24 damage to them, well… See ya. To add insult to injury, he used his command point re-roll for the phase to try and save his Knight, which he also failed. That’s 9 failed 4++s. I had Cyle do some math.

+++You might say he’s a mightily lucky duck+++

It turns out that it isn’t average.

Not only that, the Knight was so thoroughly ruined, it then exploded, dealing 6 to his Knight and 6 to the nearby Lord of Discord. He did 2 to my Black Knights and that was it. So things were going well, I’d have to say.

Now it was the time for my secret Ace in the Hole combo. killing the one Knight was perfect and I’m sure the Castigator knew the same was coming for him. But the surprise was, it wasn’t just him on the pickaxe chopping block. I declared a charge with my Black Knights against every single unit within 12″. That was his knight, two Lords Discordant, a War Dog and some Chaos Space Marines. He Overwatches and I lose nothing. Perfect. I roll to Charge and get an 11. Purrfect. Every Black Knight is now touching something in his army, and is fully-buffed via Magic and Bonus attacks. Thanks to the pure amount of re-rolls, I bury his Knight in around… 16 sixes for the d3 damage? Again, he rolls his four ups and makes about 5. He then takes 15. Then the rest of the wounds he rolls to save, takes another 7. With the 6 from his first Knight’s death scream, it goes down as well. With another Knight dead, I then spend 2 CP to move my Black Knights using the Ravenwing Hunting Pack Stratagem and placed all my knights just outside of an inch of the mortally-wounded Lord Discordant. The phase clicks to the end of the combat phase, where I spend another 3 CP to fight again with my Black Knights allowing me to Pile in and swing at this soon-to-be murdered Lord Discordant.

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect.

I hit him 33 times, with re-rolls to hit and wound. I deal 21 wounds. He saves…. wait… the axes on these guys are only -1 and the Lord of D has a 2+? That should be fi….

Jeff Makes 19 saves, taking only 4 damage. Leaving the lord of discord at 1 wound left.

Oh no. My … wait this was his warlord? And its Flawless Host? And….. Lords of Discord have one of the best tiering profiles in the game as they only lose movement and a couple of their mounts attacks?

What Have I Done? 

Oh no.

 

So his attacks back were about as good as his poor Knight’s saves. When he was done attacking only 4 Black Knights were dead. I took a small sigh of respite from that. I could be okay.

His turn two was murdering the Black Knights by charging them in the back with his Dual battle Cannon Knight along with rolling much hotter with his dice.

**FAST FORWARDING SOUNDS**

Hours Pass. Days. Our combat has been glorious, epic. Time has passed on the table as if Time was as arbitrarily measured in a term known as “Turns”.  The game was dogged. Time felt like it had crawled to a slow as I tried to outmaneuver his Lords of Discord and this Battle Cannon Knight. It all came down to one moment… The end. The Heroes of the Imperium versus those who would Trample on our good name.

 

GUNUM TURN FIVE:

This was it. There were four models left on my side of the table. He had only his unblemished Battle Cannon Chaos Knight, 5 Chaos Space Marines on his middle Objective and 7 Cultists hiding in his left-hand ruin.

All I had left, was Sammy on his Bike, both Talon Masters and a single Dark Angel Veteran who had been hiding the entire game. To win the game, I had to kill his Knight and table him on 6. If I didn’t, that was it. A new Hog would be born, but no Piglet earns his tusks without some blood.

Behold! 

Okay, so here at Goonhammer you may hear us talk about a little thing called “The Path to Victory.” The steps we need to take to Snatch victory from defeat, to be able to show some tactical prowess at this game. At this juncture, to Jeffy’s eternal surprise I only saw one way to win the game. Go on this adventure with me.

Okay, we are down 4 Kingslayer points, and that Knight is worth every point. Not only is it worth every point, but it is also the only threat left on the table. It is the top of turn 5, we have one more turn to push out or hide. What would you do?

+++Imaginary Audience participation section+++

Okay. Thanks for the handoff, Gunum. Let’s see…..We could shoot the Marines, and get kill a thing and hold. But we won’t get kill more cause it was only one unit. On top of that… How many command points does Jeffy have left?”

Five, other Chase.

“Not great. Okay… Hm. Well, we could hide and just get shot. Use the Marine as a screen for one turn and kinda poke at the Knight with Assault Cannons?”

Sure, try and push for King Slayer I guess? Slowly? Hope he rolls badly… I don’t know… Feels like playing for a draw…

“What’s the score? 20 – 24?

Yeah. Four-point Swing. We still need to get our last two Old School points as well.

…. Not good. So… Run and shoot? Screen for a single and keep poking for points.”

Okay. But Hear me out Chase, what if we just charged the Knight and killed it right now?

Gunum I don…..”

Goddamnit, Gunum.

Okay, Okay wait. Okay….. This is looking good!

We did a total of 20 wounds to it. GG.

~The Winner~

CYLEFOR THE FOURTH TIME AND ALSO JEFFY.

Okay. So. This was a haymaker of a game and man. I tried. I pulled out everything I could and tried to put the pressure on. The game ended up being 32-25 and man, I couldn’t have asked for a more satisfying loss. The Characters felt so -GOOD- at the point drop. Mr. Sammy, if you haven’t tried him on his bike, is just a -monster- at 140. Not only that, but did you see that the Ravenwing Apocthecary is only 10 more points than a regular one? You just get -so- MUCH out of Chapter approved. I’ve built lists that were 2300 points before the change.

The Land Speeder Vengence has been fighting hard to keep a place in my list, and the Black Knights with enough command points can just put out so much DAMAGE. It was just crazy to see. I think what’s going to end up happening is I’ll be cutting 2 Black Knights, changing my Phobos LT to a Phobos Librarian and “Upgrading” Sammy to his speeder. I’m trying to figure out if the 60 pt difference is worth it when I could use those points towards something like a Smash Captain.

Either way, a new Hog is born. Another HMOC has come and gone. And when it comes to my series of games trying out some wild stuff, I’ve still yet to beat an actual person.

++++++RIP Chase, but welcome Jeffy! I’m so sorry you are now in the worst group chat ever.++++++

Good Game.

Got a question, comment, or suggestion for us? Drop us a note in the comments below, or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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