Besides the Mad Duke Sliscus probably my favorite unit from the new codex is the Void Raven Bomber. This hefty piece of killy hardware is the pinnacle of Dark Eldar weapons technology. Armed with 2 Void Lances and a void mine. The Void Lance is a strength 9 AP 2 lance. Me thinks this bodes well for future weapons in the Eldar codex when it eventually comes out, before 6th edition I hope. The void mine has the same strength and AP but it is a small blast that can be dropped over anything the Void Raven fly’s over. Combine this with a nice selection of missiles and you have a gunboat from the nightmares of an Imperial tank commander
What I really like about this unit is the options and tactical flexibility it offers. Although it is 40 points more than the Ravager base, I can do more with the Void Raven. It is a multi role bomber capable of dealing with tanks and infantry. Its base weaponry is armor killing at its finest. You can them outfit the Bomber with missiles to help deal with infantry. So lets take a look at the missiles available.
Monoscythe missile- The Monoscythe is a strength 6 AP 5 Large blast with a range of 48 inches. This is the basic missile for both the Void Raven and the Razorwing. With a range of 48 inches this missile can do some real damage to a lightly armored infantry unit.
Necrotoxin missile- This missile is very deadly. It is a 2+ poison weapon with an AP of 5. To top that off it causes pinning. This is also a large blast so pesky high toughness infantry can be really hurt by a salvo of these babies. This may be my favorite missile due to it only costing 10 points. It deals with tough lightly armored units very well.
Shatterfield missile- Next to the necrotoxin missile this is my favorite. This strength 7 missile lets you re roll failed wounds. It is also a large blast. I really like this missile for large groups of high toughness models. You are wounding on 2's and re roll any failed wounds. This forces lots of saves and is a bargain for only 10 points.
Implosion missile- The implosion missile is very deadly and expensive. 30 points is the price for instant death. The small blast template ensures good coverage. This missile uses a wound test. You test versus the wound characteristic printed in the stat line of the model. If it fails it suffers instant death. This missile is nice because it is an AP 2 small blast that could potentially kill a multi wound model outright. Granted you can buy 3 of the other missiles for the cost of one of these.
My typical load out for missiles as of now is 2 shatterfields and 2 necrotoxins. This gives me some very nice killing power for massed groups of infantry. After a turn of long range armor killing I move back to a safe distance for some missile barrages into the exposed troops. This seems to have the best effect.
Given the options for deployment I try to keep the void ravens in reserve unless I am getting the first turn. If I do start them on the board I am adding flicker fields and night shields and deploying them well out of gun range for all but the most long range guns. Since you have a lot of points locked into this one unit you have to play it smart. Although the bombing ability is nice it should be used on target of opportunity. That is targets that are a safe bet. You should not go out of your way to bomb a unit when you will clearly be in a position to get blasted by massed melta fire. I really wish the bomb could be used like a swooping hawk grenade pack or when you go supersonic, but alas you can't. I like to deep strike the Void Raven when I do not have first turn. This allows me to get optimal firing position on artillery and armor that is turtling in the rear. You can't always get optimal firing position when just coming on form the board edge. Also you can shoot all your weapons so why not do it.
Since my force is based on Duke Sliscus the Void Raven fits in with the army theme of deep striking and hard fast moving units. I have been fielding two of them in battles to great effect. I also use one with a screen of 2 ravagers. I will arm one Ravager just with disintegrators to take advantage of the one two punch with the other one. You pop the transport and then hose the occupants. This allows the Void Raven to concentrate on the heavy armor until it is gone. Then it can hit the infantry. This multi role ability is why the Void Raven is worth the 145 points.
SO there ya go, my favorite heavy support choice in the Dark Eldar Codex. If rumors are true we will be seeing a model for this bad boy before June. Cross your fingers. Next time I will be hopefully doing a battle report versus Inquisitor Vogrin and his Imperial Guard army as it has been doing very well at the shop and I need to test my Adepticon list. Also I will maybe have some pictures up of my New Dark Eldar. I picked up a unit of warriors and a Raider. I will be tearing into them this week.
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!