After returning from ATC we thought it might be interesting to take a look at the most spammed unit there. Today we’re writing our Warhammer Unit Focus: Stormravens! You might have thought they were just transports but it seems ATC players thought they were the perfect spam even if the GW FAQ hit them pretty hard. You can find their rules in Index: Imperium 1. Let’s get to it.
The venerable Stormraven has changed a bit since 7th edition. It now boasts a toughness of 7 which is pretty standard for medium vehicles. It does have that sweet 3+ Space Marine save although it may not be as great with all of the negative AP weapons floating around. Finally on the defensive end it has 14 wounds and does not degrade until it reaches 7 so you should be flying high for more than one lucky lascannon shot. As a Space Marine vehicle it hits on 3+ but has the standard mostly useless melee stats of a flyer.
The first and most obvious part of the flying brick is that it… well it flies. It has the Hard to Hit rule, can go Supersonic, and is Airborne. The difficulty in charging it and the -1 to hit in shooting really round out the Stormraven’s nice defensive capabilities. It can hover if it really wants to giving up all three of those rules.
Like in the previous edition the Stormraven has Blessings of the Machine Spirit. Now this means it doesn’t take the penalty to moving and shooting with heavy weapons. This is huge as the Stormraven is mostly exploited to lessen the number of drops in an army in order to get first turn. Basically a Stormraven doesn’t have to hover and lose the -1 to hit in shooting in order to dish out massive amounts of damage.
Speaking of damage, let’s take a look at the weapon suite on this thing. It starts off with a Twin Assault Cannon, Twin Heavy Bolters, and two specialized missile launchers that are no longer one use only. It can trade out the Twin Assault Cannon for Twin Lascannons or Twin Plasma Cannons giving it a huge variety of roles. Oh it can also trade those Heavy Bolters for Twin Multi-Meltas or Typhoon Missile Launchers just in case you wanted to go after different targets. Look, I’m saying this monster can be kitted to be good against just about anything.
Strategies and Tactics
If you’re at ATC take four. Kit your Stormravens out however you want. Do you think you’re going to fight enemy Knights or vehicles? Take Lascannons and Multi-Meltas. Afraid to fight that conscript or razorwing horde? Keep that Assault Cannon and take Typhoon Missile Launchers. Being able to target multiple units really lets the Stormraven shine even if you didn’t buy the perfect upgrades.
Apparently there’s no rule I’ve seen so far that prevents a unit from disembarking while the Stormraven is flying. Don’t ever make this thing hover unless you wildly mis-positioned it. Put some assault troops in the Stormraven so when it gets close to enemies they can pop out at the beginning of the turn and get charging.
*UPDATE: The new GW FAQ has changed how the Sudden Death rule (tabling an opponent) works. Basically, if you only have Combat Role: Fliers left on the table the game immediately ends and your opponent wins. Does this effectively nerf the exact armies seen at ATC? Yes. Does it address the greater problem? Sort of. I would have liked to see GW do something other than using the combat role. The Space Wolf fliers are heavy support so are we going to see that spammed now? Further, in 8th edition a hovering flyer is basically the same as any other unit. Why did GW not say something like “any models using the supersonic rule instead of hover jets” are not counted towards models on the table for the Sudden Death rule? Overall I think it fixed a problem but could have been done much more eloquently. Just my two cents.*
Stormravens are pretty good if you have them. Do I think they are the future of the meta? Absolutely not. Lascannon Devastators hit on 4s and will bring one down incredibly fast. ITC is also changing up how first turn works so I don’t think controlling the number of drops will be as huge as it was before. Also who the hell has 4 Stormravens lying around? I mean if you need them here they are I guess. Flyers are definitely good but I think the meta is going to shift away from the all flyer lists that were spammed at the outset of this edition. We’ll see where it goes though. Let me know if you disagree!
We’ll be posting a Mathammer Unit Focus: Stormravens soon so keep an eye out. Also let us know what units we should focus on next by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!