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Author Topic: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven  (Read 5944 times)

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Offline Guildmage Arcas

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Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« on: April 15, 2011, 06:24:19 PM »
The stormraven is a new piece of kit, unlike more established vehicles there is little guidance about it. And its something that adds something not found so often in the Grey Knights... speed. So lets look at the options.

Urban Assault Vehicle

The obvious use, costs less than a land raider, carries about as much plus a dreadnought for good measure. Flying into people's faces and dumping everything is surely worth a giggle. It's increased toughness against melta weaponry is nice in a melta dependant 5th edition world and makes it harder to deal with at close range than a land raider... the flipside is that you're more vulnerable when the odds are more even. Armour 12 is a long way from the confidence that a 14 all around armour value gives you when steaming though enemy firepower.

You're paying twice as much to bring a Stormraven to the party as the IG do for their Valkyrie, and you're not much tougher. On advantage the Grey Knight version has over the Blood Angels is the psychic power to ignore lighter damage, keeping moving and keeping firing is worth every penny. Given the machine spirit will keep you firing when moving at high speed its worth asking yourself why you wouldn't want the cover save when you have a chance to grab it... the extra defence from travelling flat out could keep your Stormraven in the game.

Drive Closer, I want to hit them with my Nemsis Force Sword!

Sure you do! And thats a great plan. But lets put some thought in what you want to carry. Throwing all your eggs in one basket is well known as not being a great plan... generally you want something effective to make it worth using an expensive transport to deliver them its a difficult balance. On top of this you're probably going to want to hold an objective once you arrive... while its perfectly reasonable to simply field a hammer unit whos job it is to go an beat units flat it means you'll need to send someone else to pick up the objective.

Terminators and Purifiers are likely to be good candidates for going it alone, the immense combat power and resilience of Paladins is worth considering although you pay for their skills to be deployed.
A Librarian is a good option, using the Stormraven's speed to push him into position you can summon more squads to his location... this advantage in speed is probably good reason to take a dreadnought along for the ride simply because you can and getting dreadnoughts into the thick of the action where they can punch stuff is real hard without drop pods like the vanilla marines.

If you prefer to keep it cheap, its worth considering an Inquisitor's Henchman unit. With wildly differing abilities and weapons you can set them up to do any job. More anti-tank in the form of meltas, or high combat offence with assassins the only real limit is trying to do everything at once.

Open fire. All weapons!

As an actual gunship the Grey Knight's Stormraven is somewhat lacking, you basically have two main weapons, a few frags with intresting rules and the option for hurricane bolters. Not much point in lamenting over the Blood Angels getting a one off anti-tank punch capable of knocking out a squadron of hydras so lets look at the weapons available.



On the chin? Multi-melta, when it comes down to it, its hard to justify putting anything else in the nose weapon slot. Between the the facts it costs you nothing, is highly accurate and is arguably going to be one of the best anti-tank weapons you'll get your hands on its no contest. The missile launcher isn't exactly a bad weapon bad, its just that its going to struggle to be as good and costs extra.

On the top? All the options are free, and to be honest they're all good options. Its one of the few places you have access to Plasmacannons which is a vote in their favour, on the other hand its also the case that the area you struggle in with anti-tank so the lascannons win out in my book.

Consider that with the machine spirit you can fly 12", fire the multi-meltas at one vehicle and laser another with the computer to try for a cheeky second kill!

Dakka Dakka Dakka? Psybolt ammunition is cheap but turns heavy bolters from being average, into being good, when paired with an assault cannon you're putting out a hail of bullets that people aren't going to like. Hurricane bolters can add to this effectively but here psybolts almost turn into a disadvantage as you end up without the bonus of them being defensive weapons.
The main drawback to using the stormraven in this capacity is that if you have many GK around you're unlikely to need more anti-infantry firepower... if you're tripping stormbolters you don't need to use up the gunship's hardpoints for more of the same.

Although much as I like having effective units, arguably one of the biggest advantages of this weapons set up is the fact you get to make machine guns noises with your aeroplane... I mean, how good is that?  8)


Winning Hearts and Minds? The mindstrike missiles don't strike me as being that hot. Mildly improved frags with longer range... I guess you might as well fire them off should you get the chance, after all you've paid for them and there is no bonus for bringing them back unused.
Their anti-psyker ability is very limited usefulness, unless its an all psyker unit or you can cause enough wounds with them to force some hits to get allocated against the psykers you're probably not going to get to use this rule. That said, if you get your sights on a librarian in a small unit, it could be worth a go!


In summary the Stormraven clocks in largely as an alternative to land raiders, while technically it has more speed I doubt it'll frequently get units into combat quicker. Its both more and less resilient in different ways,  but from first impressions is a good addition to the Grey Knight's motor pool.

I hope some of the ideas here help you with the gunship's use, I'd love to read other people's ideas, tricks and tactics. I may fold this into an article at some point to help flesh out the rather empty Inquisition section, so can I can assure that anyone contributing will be fully credited. :)
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Offline Benis

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 07:23:17 PM »
I think an easy mistake is to try and make too much out of the Stormraven. Yes, you can transport an expensive Terminator unit while at the same time lugging around a Dreadnought and yes, you can also have a lot of fire power but if you load out for both you will have to make sacrifices. I also find that this duality can at some point be confusing and make you a bit blind to what the right option is since you feel that you want to get the most out of the other option. The same is somewhat true of the Land Raider but given the Crusader's/Redeemer's load out it will most likely head for the enemy in any case, this does not have to be the case with the Stormraven.

The dakka variant looks to be quite interesting with a chin mounted heavy bolter you do get to pour out a lot of S5+ shots when travelling 6" or less, it might leave you without cover save but if set up right it should bring quite the destruction to an isolated area. But the Storm Raven as a pure gunship isn't really that hot in my opinion, it costs far too much for such a duty and even with the option for flat out shooting and split fire I would hesitate to field it strictly for such a purpose, even with a cheap scoring unit of Henchmen inside.

So in my opinion the best thing is to make the most out of what you pay for; a fast transport. Load it up with Purifiers/Terminators and perhaps a Librarian, tag a dreadnought along for an additional multi-melta and let it rip. Or use it to reposition some psycannon Purifiers and a Dreadnought with two twin-linked autocannons and psycannon rounds to rip apart side armour. Make sure to make use of one of the features you pay the most for.

Offline dnanoodle

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 09:43:05 PM »
The rules for Mindstrike Missiles says that "psykers hit" by the missiles suffer perils.  I took that to mean that you don't even have to wound them and that it can't be allocated away.  Much in the same way that a "hit" from the Nightspinner tags the unit with difficult/dangerous terrain.  Assuming that's the case I think those missiles are a fantastic way to snipe out Rune Priests and Librarians with hoods so that we can cast more often and especially so we can cast the Shrouding in the opponent's turn.
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Offline DCKeith

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 01:05:01 AM »
Right ow I only see two ways of playing them

1) Melta, Las, with extra armour(Since your paying so much for it I would hate to rely on Fortitude.)
I would use this for transporting mainly.

2)Typhoon, Assult cannon, Hurricane Bolters, Psybolt ammo, Extra armour
I don't think I would ever put anything inside here it would make it a huge target.

Offline Grand Master Rex Nihilo

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2011, 02:25:56 AM »
Nicely done Hymirl, much needed!


Winning Hearts and Minds? The mindstrike missiles don't strike me as being that hot. Mildly improved frags with longer range... I guess you might as well fire them off should you get the chance, after all you've paid for them and there is no bonus for bringing them back unused.
Their anti-psyker ability is very limited usefulness, unless its an all psyker unit or you can cause enough wounds with them to force some hits to get allocated against the psykers you're probably not going to get to use this rule. That said, if you get your sights on a librarian in a small unit, it could be worth a go!


My first impression of these missles was @#$%@!!  Mainly because I was expecting (as others were) the super AT AP1 specials.  But since they are four separate defensive weapons and being one shot each they can all be ripped off at once if needed, or you can savour you anti-psyker pokes if you wish. But it makes a reasonable comparison to a Land Raider Crusader in that you can move at cruising speed and fire it ALL, and with PotMS you can even shoot at two targets!  So upon reflection they are not as bad as my first impression or should I say false expectation led me to believe!

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Offline Martin Chaen

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 07:42:02 AM »
The stormraven is a new piece of kit, unlike more established vehicles there is little guidance about it. And its something that adds something not found so often in the Grey Knights... speed. So lets look at the options.
Excellent breakdown, thanks for writing it up! Having toyed with the idea of returning to the hobby with the release of the new Grey Knights codex, I plan on running two Stormravens. From this thread I certainly got some pointers; the anti-tank capabilities of the Stormraven platform when equipped with lascannons and multi-meltas coupled with the transport capacity of a paladin squad with an attached dreadnought is enough to sell me on it. Add in deep strike capabilities and the ability to fire off four mindstrike missiles (thanks, Grand Master Rex Hihilo!) in a single turn against a psyker squad and you've got a winner in my book.

Thanks again for the article; nicely done.

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Offline High Grandmaster smithmyster666 of the Grey Knights

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 08:46:06 AM »
Having played BA with ravens for the last year and now GK with ravens I have to say this. Plasma cannons are your best friend, not everyone is smart enough to spread their units up, you can end up catching them in bottlenecks and vapourising them very easily, IMO your multimelta should be using PotMS to blast tanks while all your other weapons bust into the nearest threatening unit, I also don't rate going flat out, 6" moves firing off like a mobile bunker is a great way to go, especially with sponson hurricanes and psycannon bolts, you can visibly see your enemies squads dieing and their resolve breaking, yes, they are firemagnets, but all the better, they just ignored your terminator squads which are going to exact some serious retribution on them.
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Offline f.desrochers

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 08:47:26 AM »
One of the things I noticed when tryin got put a list together was the question: 'What am I planning on putting in this thing?'  That made a huge impact on what it was going to be outfitted with.  I play a mixed list (part GK, part Inq) with Coteaz as the sole HQ; since I needed something better for him to do than babysit my servitor/jakaero gun squad, I threw together a CC asssault squad with arco-flagellants, DCA, and two flamer acolytes to soften up the enemy on the charge.  Since these are the guys sitting in the cargo bay, the risk to close encounters with enemy CC specialists by roaming too close to enemy lines with melta and assault cannons made things difficult to validate for my Stormraven.

As such, I've started with the gunship model (typhoon/lascannon).  Since the cargo is 'squishy,' I can afford to hang back, firing long range anti-tank at enemy transports and then picking my targets for Coteaz and crew.  The fact that the machine spirit allows both to fire (at different targets) while moving 12 inches is huge.  Given the remainder of the army's make-up, it fits golden.

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Offline IainC

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 12:07:30 PM »
My plan is to kit the Stormraven out for anti-tank with Multi-Melta and Lascannons then have it transporting a squad of Purgators hauling four incinerators. The idea is that these will land close to some stuff that needs to be made dead and the Stormraven will handle armour while the Purgators handle everything else. There are two free seats in there as well so a Librarian or a Brotherhood Champion could come along for the ride if needed. If the Stormraven is still alive in the next turn then it can also switch on a Teleport Homer to bring more pain down on the heads of anything close by.
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Offline Guildmage Arcas

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 01:56:01 PM »
Thanks for all the comments guys, currently this is mostly a theoryhammer article but I'll be deploying my stormraven next week. And hopefully battletesting some theories properly!
Hopefully this can be the start of a project where we can build up a good collection of articles about a few other various new units in the book.

So in my opinion the best thing is to make the most out of what you pay for; a fast transport.

Yes, one of the best descriptions for land raiders is that you pay about 200 points of it's cost for armour and assault ramps then guns are a matter of cake decoration! To some extent the same is true here.

The rules for Mindstrike Missiles says that "psykers hit" by the missiles suffer perils.  I took that to mean that you don't even have to wound them and that it can't be allocated away.  Much in the same way that a "hit" from the Nightspinner tags the unit with difficult/dangerous terrain.  Assuming that's the case I think those missiles are a fantastic way to snipe out Rune Priests and Librarians with hoods so that we can cast more often and especially so we can cast the Shrouding in the opponent's turn.

I've just been reading the thread in the rules forum about the same topic, I think I've misinterpreted that in a way that makes it much less effective. I'll re-write that section at some point, thanks for the suggestions.

Having played BA with ravens for the last year and now GK with ravens I have to say this. Plasma cannons are your best friend, not everyone is smart enough to spread their units up, you can end up catching them in bottlenecks and vapourising them very easily...

I do rate the plasmacannon very highly, its great against units that deep strike or have disembarked from vehicles as well. The one disadvantage is that the lascannon is also useful... I would say that if you've got psyrifleman dreads and/or lascannon razorbacks around then perhaps going for plasma would be good option... milage varies. I'll add a note about this.

Sorry if I'm not responded direct to anyone, don't have loads time at the moment, I have read them though!
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Offline Boss Zargore

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 11:02:29 PM »
An excellent article! I would love to see more as your time permits.

I might add that after putting together the model for the Raven, I would probably classify it as a "difficult" model kit. Certainly a time consuming one to build! 4 sprues of tiny bits add up!

In addition  I would recommend to anyone considering them to incorporate magnets into the building process for weapon swaps on the turrets and sponsons, so that you have the opportunity to swap out later.

I know this has little to do with the tactics of the unit, but is relevant for anyone considering them in their army!

Offline Guildmage Arcas

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2012, 07:58:57 PM »
I'm reactivating this thread with a view to a rewrite!

Whats different?

Well, it flys. And with it's psychic resilience is probably the most formidable flyer currently in the game outside of shopping at forgeworld.

I'll throw this one out to the inquisition players first, I've yet to deploy my stormraven this edition so I'd really like to hear what people have been doing, how they've been using them and what success if any they've had with them?
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Offline Raktra (So long, I guess)

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2012, 10:49:42 PM »
Big boon for the dakkaravens with the removal of defensive weaponry as a rule. Psybolts are now pretty much a no-brainer for these builds.

Offline Benis

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #13 on: November 1, 2012, 12:19:09 AM »
An important part of being a flyer is also that it gets to be effective against other flyers and the Storm Raven has good capacities to make use of that with both psybolts and power of the machine spirit. Unlike before, when most what you payed for was a solid fast transport, the Storm Raven can be used primarily as an anti-flyer platform with some good late-game scoring potential if a cheap unit is fitted inside. All in all nothing has really become worse for this mean machine, the increased defensive capabilities weigh up the introduction of hull points easily in my opinion.

Offline MortVader83

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #14 on: November 1, 2012, 01:43:47 AM »
 For me, 6th ed has made the SR into an almost must have. In 5th I often refered fo it as the Failraven. Now it's the BAMFraven! Here is why....


Weapons:
 This thing even in stock form carries some great dakka! While zooming it can always fire to full effect, even with sponsons. Even without psybolts it can pump out the pain. Add on Hurrican Bolters and psybolts and all of a sudden it's mowing through those pesky IG blobs that are popping up like roaches. I am really digging full dakka + psybolts. 13 TL'd shots at 24" or 19 at 12" is just mean, and it can still blast flyers out of the sky. On the other hand you can go with LC and MM to make it a mean ass tank/flier hunter, or PC to hunt other elite armies' units(GKT/SangGuard).

 While we can no longer fire off all the missles at once they have become the most potent anti-psyker weapon at range. With the removal of save from PotW it murders anything w/o a ghosthelm. There are a lot more psykers being fielded now too.


Tactics:
 I like to bring mine in from a table corner at roughly 75. This will usually get me into a good firing positio on it's first turn in. With a slight adjustment to the flightpath it's next turn, I can get into the enemies DZ and unload cargo if it has any and still usually have targets to fire. By that time my opponent should have some units mid field and it's time to crank out a 90 turn to go after them. This will keep it on the table for a while if you zig-zag it. Or you can fly off to reposition it better
next turn.

Payload and Support:
 These I'm going to combine because they are sometimes one and the same. Generaly if you are going to put a unit inside you want it to fall into one of two categorirs, Assault or Short-mid range shooty. For henchmen this usually means some DCAs and Crusaders mixed in with a couple of flamer/meltagun Acolytes. These guys can do a lot of damage to anything not in 2+ armor in assaults but will get shot to pieces if left out of CC for too long. Shadowed Skies is rral risky with them, so going into hover is usually a good idea but makes the SR.real vulnerable. The nastier the unit that jumps out, the more likely they will be targeted with priority than the SR. This is what I meant about sipport. Make your opponent fear the guys coming out of tbe SR so it can survive to kill more, but not so nasty that the opponent fires everything into it.

 For the GK side you have more options, and can cover both shooty and assaulty. Purifiers aregolden inside. A ten man unit with 2xPCs and 2xIncinerators will take out huge swathes of enemies and can be combat squaded to double up on Cleansing flame to control multiple large units. Strike squads are just slightly less versatile but with psybolts they can still lay down the hurt. Combat squading should be avoided with them as they don't stand up in asdaults as well, but can be usefull if the plan is to use them to grab or contest objectives late game.
 Terminators/Paladins are pretty much self explanatory.

 The Dreadnought is kind of hit and miss so far with me. Half the time he just gets glanced to death by grenades in CC, or toasted by meltas if the charge fails. I have had better luck with the too expensive Venerable, but only in higher points games. However, having a Rifleman dread in the backfield to take out enemy AA is very handy, as this will prevent them from using interceptor to kill the SR. He can then target the normal transports or whatever and is my favorite way to add support to the entire army.

 
« Last Edit: November 1, 2012, 11:07:44 PM by MortVader83 »
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Offline Guildmage Arcas

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Re: Tactica: Grey Knight Stormraven
« Reply #15 on: November 2, 2012, 07:20:42 PM »
I've had reasonable success with stormtalons in my marine army so I'm trying not to over estimate the ravens potential, mine is armed with multi-melta and lascannons with a view to using it for combat air patrol and interception of big bad stuff, carrying an inquisitor and his plasma retinue keeps the overal cost low for high hitting power.

A couple of 2K games coming up this weekend so ill see if it works on the table! Hopefully it won't be a "died straight away" as that reduces material to write tacticas with!

Edit: I think most important lesson learned was that stormravens are always in reserve and aren't always turning up as early as you might hope. Thankfully I had nothing aboard except a relatively cheap Inquisitor's warband, but based on this experience I would advise against loading them up with too much stuff, unless you're a fan of playing 1750 point games with only about 1000 points on the table... :P
« Last Edit: November 5, 2012, 06:30:25 AM by Hymirl »
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