The league will verse the space marine secessionist chapters that joined Huron Black Heart against the loyal chapters the were tasked with destroying the rebels.
The format is as an escalation league. You build, paint, and play 500 points over four stages and end up with a 2000 point army. I have agonized quite a bit over my list, as is usual for me.
I have also spent some time researching the Raptors as well as the secessionist space marine chapters of the Badab War and their special abilities and battle characteristics. I wanted to use that information to develop an in character list that exhibits the traits of the Raptors, remains a well balanced force, and plays to the fluff and strength of how I see the chapter.
The beginning of the Raptor Space Marines is wonderfully depicted in the the Horus Heresy book "Deliverance Lost" by Gav Thorpe. It is a rare depiction of exactly how a new chapter could be formed.
Some Raptor excepts from the Lexicanum :
The Raptors follow their progenitors, the Raven Guard, in adhering to the broad organizational patterns and provisions laid down in the standard Codex Astartes, but as a Chapter, the Raptors see the Codex as a highly effective and proven set of strategic and operational guidelines rather than inviolable dogma to be obeyed without question. As a result, they maintain a high degree of flexibility in their deployments and structures.6
Although ranged hit and run tactics seem to be preferred over close quarters fighting, the encouragement of independent thought within all levels of the Chapter means it is not uncommon for combat methods to differ widely either when operating in isolation or in concert with each other (the former being more common). This independent spirit allows for the most appropriate application of resources and/or tactics for a given mission ranging from the use of warzone specific camouflage to ad hoc unit composition and even working with local forces to ensure success.6
Apart from the equipment found within a typical Astartes armoury the Raptors are known to make extensive use of scouts and also keep a sizeable contingent of all Land Speeder variants.6
Lias Issodon "The Grim" Chapter Master leads them and per IA grants some of the following:
|Chapter Tactics: All units trade combat tactics for Stealth USR.
Cunning Strategist: Enemy reserve rolls are at -1
Infiltrate, Isolate and Destroy: Choose an enemy squad, monstrous creature or vehicle after scout moves are made. If a vehicle is chosen, it takes 1 glancing hit. If a squad or monstrous creature is chosen, it takes d6 ap:- wounds. Save as normal.
He also sports normal chapter master abilities and a power sword with 4+ invul, etc.
After review of the Raptors, I see I MUST include some scouts, some speeders, and to make good use of hit and run tactics and the bonus to cover saves.
This is what I came up with to play to the strength and fluff of the army:
Raptor Space Marines 2000pts:
HQ1: Lias Issodon "The Grim"
HQ2: Solomon Thrak "The Reaper" counts as Kor'sarro Kan on Monndrakkan
E1: Techmarine+servo harness+space marine bike
T1: Scouts #10, 8 sniper rifles, 1missile launcher, Sgt. "Krak" Corwin (counts as Sgt Telion)
T2: Scouts#5, 4 shotguns, 1 hvy bolter w/hellfire shells, sgt with melta bombs and plasma pistol
T3: #3 space marine bikers+Sgt w/combi plas+1 MM attack bike+2plasma guns
T4: #3 space marine bikers+sgt w/combi plas+1 MM attack bike+2plasma guns
FA1: Land Speeder Storm
FA2: Land Speeder Squadron, #3 speeders, 2 w/HB and cylclone, 1 w/2 HB
FA3: #2 Scout Bikes+Sgt on scout bike, 3 grenade launchers, sgt w/melta bombs and combi melta
H1: Thunderfire Cannon
H2: #4 Devastators+1sgt, 4 missile launchers
H3: #4 Devastators+1sgt, 2 HB, 2 Plasma Cannons
The addition of Khan's rules allows bikes as troops to really be able to apply the hit and run tactics. They will keep at 16"+ to pepper targets and move on. Infantry will make use of the the stealth upgrade from Issodon and the two tech marines will bolster defenses...making it tough work to dig the shooty elements out and/or keep them from firing.
The thundefire is also used to slow down assaulting units with its special abilities.
The speeders will work with the bikes to keep to the flanks and never sit still while using range to get side armor etc.
Khan's stand in let's you decide if you want use the better cover save to turbo and hamstring armor or outflank your army and gang up on one element at a time.
This plays very much into the Raptors fluff of making use of any effective tactic, eschewing CC for longer range fighting, hit and run tactics and experts in jungle warfare. Also the only way to get a unit that can hit and run in SM codex is with Khan's rules.
The Techmarine on a bike will bolster one of the two bike squads giving them a PF, flamer, and additional Plasma. I could also join both The Reaper (Khan) and the tecmarine to make a larger hard hitting unit.
The scouts will take targets of opportunity. The can combat squad to give an extra troop choice (total of 5 if needed). The storm fits the wide variety of speeders the Raptors make use of as well as give me an opportunity to late game outflank an objective or suicide an alpha strike.
The scout bikers also harass the flanks, outflank an objective, or alpha strike as well.
The Devastators work with the MM's and Cyclones or together. Both Devastator squads can get dug in with upto a 2+ cover save and beat up on any infantry unlucky enough to be on foot or target light armor.
I've managed to pack in 18 scout equivalents between the troops and scout bikers, 4 speeders of two types, the ability to hit and run and fight from a distance.
This is the way I envision the Raptors fighting.
Hope you enjoyed the wall of text and my list formulation.
Thanks for the read,