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Tactica Raptors [Broken HTML & Stats!]

Submitted By: Date: November 30, 2005, 07:36:04 AM Views: 3324
Summary: <p class="body">When I first read the Chaos codex I saw the Raptors, liked their possibilities, but didn't study them carefully. 29 points for a flying Space Marine was just too expensive for my tastes. Then I bought my Chaos army on eBay. It came with a box of 5 raptors. When I unpacked those guys I just fell in love with them. The new design for Raptors was just to good to not field them. I quickly proceeded into buying a second box to have a full squad of 9 Raptors plus an Aspiring Champion. I carefully painted them and then decided to study their possibilities and powers. </p>

<p class="subheader">What do Raptors have to offer?</p>

<p class="body">Let's face it. You are paying twice the cost of a regular Chaos Space Marine for something that has the same basic statistics and which isn't more resilient. Losing a single Raptor is a big loss. There must be something good about them! First, Raptors can fly and move 12". That is a major advantage. Second, they all have Daemonic Visage, which means that squads in close combat with them are at -2 to their leadership for morale tests. That is quite good, if you manage to have them make leadership tests. Raptors also have the hit-and-run ability. This ability is invaluable. ALWAYS use it at the end of your opponent's assault phase. You will then flee combat, leaving your opponent in the open. You can then proceed in shooting at him in your shooting phase and charge him again with your Raptors (with your +1 attack) in your assault phase. NEVER use the hit-and-run ability at the end of your own assault phase. You would then be in the open during your opponent's shooting phase. This means death.
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<p class="body">Raptors also offer other great advantages. The squad can take up to 3 special weapons (melta-guns, plasma-guns, plasma pistols or flamers). Combined with the fact that Raptors can fly you get a squad that can be either a great tank hunting squad (with melta-guns), power-armor killers (with plasma weapons) or hordes killer (with flamers). You can then equip them in very different ways and use them very efficiently depending on what kind of army you are facing. You can also ditch all special weapons and use them only as a close combat squad. They are kind of expensive to throw away in close combat but you never know when you will need to tie-up an enemy squad in close combat during the game.
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<p class="body">Raptors can have Aspiring Champions. The Champion can be equipped with many things just like other champions. A power fist is always a sure bet. Nobody likes to see a power fist that moves 12" per turn and ignores terrain coming their way. Personally I am a fan of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get, a rule that says that you can only equip your model with what he actually has on him) and the Raptor Aspiring Champions comes with claws, which I liked and didn't want to convert into a power fist. You can also equip him with lightning claws. That's very efficient but very expensive. I prefer the much cheaper and much more versatile option of daemonic talons. Daemonic talons are great against power-armored units but can also damage vehicles and high toughness creatures in close combat. Always useful and it only costs 5 points. You can also equip your Champion to fit in with the role of your squad. If your squad is doing tank hunting with melta-guns, then give him a combi-melta. If they have plasma weapons, then give him a plasma pistol. If they have flamers, then give him a combi-flamer. I personally prefer daemonic talons or power fists, but it's your decision.
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<p class="body">Even if Raptors have power armor they are fragile. They can only be fielded in squads of 10 (and usually there will be less of them because a squad of 10 costs a minimum of 290 points). Being a flying menace most opponents will not allow them to survive the game and will shoot them as soon as they are in the open. Keep them hidden or screened by other squads. It is a good tactic to have your Raptors move slowly behind infantry squads for two or more turns and then have them jump out in the open to do their job when the timing is right. It will be tempting to have them move ahead of your army and use their 12" move to the maximum. Bad idea. They are almost guaranteed to die fast. Take it slowly, use their movement to move behind your other squads and be at the exact right place you want them when the time comes. You can also have them move behind vehicles and follow transports toward the enemy. A gaming table with a lot of terrain and ruins is the best place for Raptors to do their job. They will easily move from cover to cover, carefully staying out of sight until the moment is right. Just remember that if they land in difficult terrain they will die on a roll of 1, no saves allowed. For such a precious and small squad it's a good thing to avoid landing in difficult terrain (I speak from experience).
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<p class="body">Raptors can also take veteran skills. Many skills can be useful for them. Infiltrate is incredibly useful when combined with a squad that already moves fast. You are guaranteed that your Raptors will see action early in the game if they can infiltrate. Tank hunter is also very useful if you equip them with melta-guns or plasma weapons. Furious charge is always a popular choice if you plan on using them as a close combat strike force. Other veteran skills can also have their uses but don't use any of them unless you KNOW it's going to be useful against a specific army or in a given mission. Remember that Raptors with Mark of Chaos Undivided (always a smart choice to give them that) can only take one veteran skill. It's not a big problem since giving them more then one makes them way too expensive.
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<p class="body">Raptors need to be used carefully. They are expensive but also very useful because they can be used with specific purposes in mind. Never leave them in the open, take your time to move them and strike at the right moment. Raptors will not disappoint you in those cases. Raptors are a surgical knife in your army, not a hammer. Use them as such and fly on your way to destruction in the name of CHAOS!
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