Apologies for the later than usual post, life has gotten on top of me a bit recently and I've been finding time hard to squeeze in. This week will mostly be reviews as the hobby work I am fitting in is mostly things for the secret project coming up, though maybe a few sneak pics will appear later this week (if you're all good boys and girls anyway...)
Carrying on from my Leviathan Dreadnought review I'm going to be going over the Fire Raptor Gunship today and all it has to offer you whether 30k or 40k is your main jam.
The fire raptor is a beast of a flyer that sits in the heavy support slot in the force org. It has AV 12 all round and it comes with the land raider standard of 4 hull points, making it an exceptionally survivable flyer all round. In terms of special rules it is a flyer that can hover giving it a degree of versatility lost on other flyers such as the eldar and dark eldar flyers. Coupled with this it has deep strike for a terrifying rapid insertion (I can't say I would ever recommend this as a means of entry into a game, more because I'm a coward than anything!).
The fire raptor also has strafing run, making it a mean bastard against ground targets with the added BS pushing this monster to BS5!! Add in the fact that all of it weapon option bar the missiles are twin linked, that means against ground targets the fire raptor is all but guaranteed to hit.
The fire raptor has a special rule called Independent turret fire that is horrifically good, but I will cover that under the equipment section as it pertains specifically to the ball turrets and their equipment. It also has power of the machine spirit, which when the independent fire rule is explained seems a little superfluous.
The final special rule is only of import to 40k players. The fire raptor is a relic of the armoury and thus you can only field one in your force unless you have additional techmarines or warpsmiths for chaos granting you the ability to take more than one. For 30k players you can go nuts with them!
Overall the fire raptor is already looking like it is kitted out to smash ground targets whilst having a very survivable chassis to keep it going when other flyers would fall. This is more apparent when you consider the weaponry made available to it.
The standard weaponry of the fire raptor is a twin linked avenger bolt cannon mounted on its nose. The ability to hover will make getting line of sight on this gun that bit much easier if you absolutely have to kill something with it. For those that don't know the avenger bolt cannon is a S6 AP3 heavy 7 gun. This is going to make mincemeat of any MEQ squad caught out in the open. Ground target firing with twin linked means you will be very unlucky to miss many if any of these shots, and more forced cover saves in this instant will mean more failed cover saves. They will also double out any T3 models they catch in the sights.
Winged mounted on the model are 4 missiles. As stock these come as tempest rockets that are S6 AP4 but they come with sunder for added ability against any fortifications. However you can upgrade these to hellstrike missiles for 20 points, raising the stakes to S8 AP3 ordinance. If you have the points I strongly recommend this as they are so much more versatile for 5 points a missile.
Now the real juice of this baby. The fire raptor has side mounted ball turrets that come as stock with quad heavy bolters. So that is two of them. Each of these pumps out 6 twin linked S5 AP4 shots. Now that sounds pretty damn sweet. However, you can upgrade them to reaper autocannon batteries that each pump out 4 S7 AP4 shots, again twin linked!
So with the autocannon upgrade you lose 4 shots overall, but gain 2 pips in strength. I think the upgrade is an absolute must personally. You have an extreme rate of fire with the avenger anyway and you can still pump autocannon shots into infantry if required. But the autocannon gives your flyer an incredibly important amount of VERSATILITY. You can now threaten AV 11 reliably and AV 12 and 13 at a pinch. More so when you consider the unexplained rule, Independent Turret Fire.
This special rule allows the ball turrets to, you've guessed it, fire independently of the fire raptor proper without the use of power of the machine spirit. So you can easily position your main avenger cannon at a squad whilst targeting the flanks of light-medium tanks with your autocannons. Wunderbar.
The power of the machine spirit can be used to fire a missile at a different target so that is still handy!
Other none violent equipment includes extra armour a standard to ignore shaken results and it also includes the option to take armoured ceramite and a searchlight. The armoured ceramite will absolutely help the survivability of this flyer, but you have to begin to count the cost of this beast as it will mount up quickly if you take all the goodies.
Overall - the fire raptor is primarily designed for mowing down swathes of infantry. but you can add some much needed versatility to its arsenal at a price as well as up its survivability at cost.
This a pretty easy section after the above one. Point this at infantry you want to die and they will die. You have to be careful of giving the enemy unnecessary cover saves against your otherwise excellent weaponry, but the ability to hover will be key in allowing you take out crucial units despite the risk to yourself. This risk is somewhat mitigated by upgrading to armoured ceramite, but high strength weaponry from knights will always have the ability to blow you clean out of the sky. In the context of 40k, be wary of intercepting and skyfire capable units, by which I man the tau!!
I will personally skimp on the missiles but take the autocannon upgrade and the armoured ceramite also. If I had the points in the list I would probably take the missiles, as the ability to fire off all four in one go is excellent, but it does makes the point sink and therefore the crush of this blown out of the sky that much more bitter!
Expensive in points and in hard cash, these are not to be taken lightly as an investment of either but they have the ability to reap dividends from the enemy. This games involves a lot of luck as much as tactics, so don't be disheartened if it is blown out of the sky. The survivability of the fire raptor should mean that if the worst does occur it will statistically have taken a lot of the enemies fire to bring it down.
I hope you are all enjoying these articles, I know they are quite wordy! I have certain units that I am definitely going to review, but if anyone wants me to do specific units, legions or even other armies like the Solar Auxilia/Mechanicum then leave a comment and I will be happy to oblige :)