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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran




CODEX SUPPLEMENT: BLOOD RAVENS
Guided by their unusually powerful Librarians, the Blood Ravens strike with prescient, calculated wrath, studying their enemy closely and rarely deviating from their carefully forged battle plans. The Blood Ravens are known for their exhaustive analysis of each enemy’s tactics and resources, bolstered by their constant pursuit of ancient lore and new knowledge to add to the Chapter’s vast archives. This methodical combat doctrine attracts derision from some headstrong Chapters, but on the field of battle the Blood Ravens fight with a zeal and fury equal to any other Adeptus Astartes force.

This section presents the rules for fielding an army formed from the Blood Ravens, a Chapter of an unknown founding. With a few notable exceptions, the Blood Ravens take pains to adhere to the Codex Astartes; perhaps, some argue, to deflect attention from the unorthodox nature of the Chapter’s Librarius. As such, the Blood Ravens are considered to be an Ultramarines successor Chapter for all rules purposes. If your army is Battle-forged and includes any BLOOD RAVENS units, the rules in this section can be used in addition to those presented in Codex Supplement: Ultramarines.

Chapter Tactic
Spoiler:
The Chapter Tactic gained by BLOOD RAVENS units is Relentless Seekers.

BLOOD RAVENS: RELENTLESS SEEKERS
The Blood Ravens are unwavering in battle, trusting in the wisdom of strategies devised long before a single shot was fired. The Chapter’s Librarius is instrumental to this mode of war, for its psykers meticulously catalogue millennia of knowledge to prepare the Chapter for threats unknown.
  • Each time an attack is made against a unit with this tactic, an unmodified wound roll of 1 or 2 always fails, irrespective of any abilities that the weapon or the attacker may have. In addition, each time you use the Transhuman Physiology Stratagem, if any units with this tactic are selected, the Command point cost of that Stratagem is 1.
  • Each time a Psychic test or Deny the Witch test is taken for a PSYKER model with this tactic, you can re-roll any or all dice results of 1.

  • Detachment Rules
    Spoiler:
    The ranks of the Blood Ravens boast an unusual number of psykers, though whether this quirk stems from the Chapter’s gene-seed or its obscure recruitment practices is unknown.

    If every unit from your army (excluding UNALIGNED units) has the BLOOD RAVENS keyword, then every LIBRARIAN model that is in a BLOOD RAVENS Detachment gains the following abilities:
  • Ordo Psykana: Each time this model attempts to manifest the Smite psychic power and fails its Psychic test with a result of 5+, the power is successfully manifested instead. When manifested in this way, the Smite power inflicts 1 mortal wound instead of D3, or D3 mortal wounds if the result of the Psychic test was 11+.
  • Secret Masters: If your army is Battle-forged, then for each LIBRARIAN unit included in a Detachment, a second LIBRARIAN unit can be included in that Detachment without taking up an additional Battlefield Role slot.

  • Relics
    Spoiler:
    If your army is led by a BLOOD RAVENS WARLORD, you can, when mustering your army, give one of the following Chapter Relics to a BLOOD RAVENS CHARACTER model from your army. Named characters and VEHICLE models cannot be given any of the following Relics.

    Note that some Relics replace one of the model’s existing items of wargear. Where this is the case, you must, if you are using points values, still pay the cost of the wargear that is being replaced. Write down any Chapter Relics your models have on your army roster.
    Gatekeeper’s Blade
    This archaic, sickle-shaped sword has a history stretching back to at least the 32nd millennium, and is recorded as a gift from “The Master of Titan”. This origin is disputed, however; though the Blood Ravens are among the few permitted knowledge of the secretive Grey Knights, a true exchange of arms seems unthinkable. The blade’s guard sports the image of a twin-faced warrior, a symbol of both vigilance and wisdom.
    Model equipped with a power sword, master-crafted power sword or force sword only. This Relic replaces a power sword, master-crafted power sword or force sword and has the following profile:
  • Gatekeeper’s Blade: Range Melee; Type Melee; Strength +2; AP -3; Damage 3; Abilities: The bearer’s invulnerable save is improved by 1 (to a maximum of 3+). If the bearer does not have an invulnerable save, it instead gains a 5+ invulnerable save.

  • Helm of the Hooded Raven
    Once the psychic hood of Azariah Vidya himself, this potent construct of crimson and gold is etched with sacred glyphs from a long-forgotten script. Unique modifications to the hood’s mental projection circuits allow the wearer to network their mental efforts with those of allied psykers, weaving collective knowledge into a united pattern.
    LIBRARIAN model only. The bearer has the following abilities:
  • Shared Knowledge (Aura): While a friendly BLOOD RAVENS PSYKER model is within 6” of the bearer, the bearer knows all the psychic powers known by that model.
  • Shared Power (Aura): While a friendly BLOOD RAVENS PSYKER model is within 12” of the bearer, each time the bearer successfully manifests a psychic power, you can resolve the power’s range and visibility as though it had been manifested by that model instead of the bearer.

  • Invidia
    This bone-white pistol was once an heirloom of the Dark Angels Chapter, although no records survive to indicate how or why it was gifted to the Blood Ravens. Its archeotech mechanisms spit wild bolts guided by an infused intelligence.
    Model equipped with a bolt pistol, heavy bolt pistol, master-crafted special issue bolt pistol or absolvor bolt pistol only. This Relic replaces a bolt pistol, heavy bolt pistol, master-crafted special issue bolt pistol or absolvor bolt pistol and has the following profile:
  • Invidia: Range 18”; Type Pistol 2; Strength 5; AP -2; Damage 2; Abilities: At the start of the first battle round, before the first turn begins, select one datasheet used by a unit from your opponent’s army. Each time you select a target for this weapon, you can ignore the Look Out, Sir rule to target a unit belonging to the selected datasheet. When resolving an attack made with this weapon against a unit belonging to the selected datasheet, add 1 to the hit roll and add 1 to the wound roll.

  • Warlord Traits
    Spoiler:
    If a BLOOD RAVENS CHARACTER model is your WARLORD, you can use the BLOOD RAVENS Warlord Traits table below to determine what Warlord Trait they have. You can either roll one D3 to randomly generate one, or you can select one.

    D3 Warlord Trait
    1 - Uncanny Foresight (Aura)
    In a galaxy overflowing with madness, this warlord wields certainty like a weapon.
    At the start of each battle round, roll one D6. Set it aside; the number you rolled cannot be modified in any way. Until the end of that battle round, you can substitute that dice for a single individual dice you rolled as part of a hit roll, wound roll, saving throw, Damage roll, Advance roll, charge roll, Psychic test, Deny the Witch test, Morale test or Combat Attrition test made for a friendly BLOOD RAVENS unit within 12” of this WARLORD.

    2 - Epistolary Arcanum
    The Librarians of the Blood Ravens are not set apart, as in other Chapters, but walk among their battle brothers as trusted teachers and valued guides.
    PSYKER only. If you are randomly generating your WARLORD’s Warlord Trait and your Warlord is not a PSYKER, re-roll this result until a different Warlord Trait is generated.

    Each time this WARLORD manifests a Blessing psychic power from the Indomitus discipline in your Psychic phase, select one friendly BLOOD RAVENS unit within 6” of this WARLORD. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, each time a model in that unit makes an attack, add 1 to the hit roll.

    3 - Scholar of War
    The annals of Aurelia contained records of battles fought, battles forgotten, and battles forbidden. This warlord has studied them all.
    In your Command phase, select one friendly BLOOD RAVENS unit within 6" of this WARLORD. Until the start of your next Command phase, that unit is eligible to shoot or declare a charge (but not both) even if it Fell Back this turn.

    Stratagems
    Spoiler:
    If your army includes any BLOOD RAVENS Detachments (excluding Auxiliary Support, Super-heavy Auxiliary or Fortification Network Detachments), you have access to these Stratagems, and can spend CPs to use them.
    Careful Planning (1 CP)
    Blood Ravens – Strategic Ploy Stratagem
    The battle plans of the Blood Ravens are born from careful research and extensive prognostication. Woe betide the commander who abandons them without cause.
    Use this Stratagem at the start of any battle round, before using any other Stratagems. Select one Stratagem. You cannot use the selected Stratagem until the end of this battle round. The first time you use the selected Stratagem to affect a friendly BLOOD RAVENS unit in the next battle round, reduce the Command point cost of that Stratagem by 2 (to a minimum of 0). You can only use this Stratagem once per battle round.

    Forewarned and Forearmed (1 CP)
    Blood Ravens – Battle Tactic Stratagem
    The Blood Ravens wear knowledge like armour, countering the enemy's ploys with total confidence.
    Use this Stratagem at the start of your turn. Select one BLOOD RAVENS unit from your army. Until the start of your next turn, that unit gains either the Forewarned ability or the Forearmed ability, as shown below:
  • Forewarned: When resolving an attack made against this unit, subtract 1 from the hit roll and add 1 to the wound roll.
  • Forearmed: When resolving an attack made against this unit, add 1 to the hit roll and subtract 1 from the wound roll.

  • Legacy of the Great Father (1 CP)
    Blood Ravens – Epic Deed Stratagem
    The greatest among the Blood Ravens’ Librarius treat each battle as an opportunity to teach and learn.
    Use this Stratagem in your Psychic phase, after a BLOOD RAVENS LIBRARIAN unit from your army has manifested a psychic power. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, that unit gains the following ability:
  • Legacy of the Great Father (Aura): While a friendly BLOOD RAVENS LIBRARIAN unit is within 6” of this model, each time a Psychic test or a Deny the Witch test is taken for that unit, add 1 to the total.’
  • This message was edited 16 times. Last update was at 2021/05/29 09:47:04


     
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




    The Blood Ravens are bizarrely neglected for how prominent they are in both the fandom and mainstream knowledge of the game. At the moment they don't even have a supplement; everything that was in their 8e supplement has been made a default option for generic Marines, from their Chapter Tactic to their Stratagem to their Relic. This is the standard range of "White Dwarf" extras - a Chapter Tactic, three Relics, three Warlord Traits, and three Stratagems - but also comes with a new Detachment ability.

    The Chapter Tactic remains Relentless Seekers, with the addition of a slight discount on Transhuman Physiology, since it's redundant with Stalwart. I don't think anyone's a huge fan of the Chapter Tactic, but it's pretty tricky to imagine a unique one that suits the Blood Ravens any better; most of what makes them special happens off the battlefield, or with their psykers. About the only alternative I could come up with was some kind of "focus fire" mechanic to represent their planning, akin to The Purge, but that didn't seem wholly suitable, so I ultimately left it as-is. Stalwart at least encourages the use of infantry, which we do know they like, and Knowledge Is Power is appropriate, it's just... very narrow.

    With that in mind, I've added an indirect buff to Knowledge Is Power, in the form of a new Detachment Rule. This allows you to take double the normal number of LIBRARIANS in a Blood Ravens-only army (just like Lieutenants), and also allows them to keep smiting through the pain; if they'd normally be able to manifest Smite, but would fail due to rising Warp Charge, they manifest a weakened version of it instead, keeping them useful. Overall, this lets you field more psykers than you'd normally have room for or could be effective, getting more of a benefit out of Knowledge Is Power as a result.

    EDIT: This was originally a wholly new set of upgrade options, but I decided it was too complex at the last minute. You can find the original here:
    Spoiler:
    If your army is Battle-forged and includes any BLOOD RAVENS Detachments (excluding Auxiliary Support, Super-heavy Auxiliary and Fortification Network Detachments), then when you are mustering your army, you can upgrade any of the following models in a BLOOD RAVENS Detachment in your army by inducting them into the Ordo Psykana:
  • BLOOD RAVENS LIBRARIAN models
  • BLOOD RAVENS CAPTAIN and LIEUTENANT models
  • BLOOD RAVENS models that have the word ‘Sergeant’ in their profile

  • Each time you upgrade a model, the Power Rating of that model’s unit is increased by 1. If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, then the points value of that model’s unit is also increased by 20 points. Make a note on your army roster each time you upgrade a model using these rules.

    An upgraded model gains the ORDO PSYKANA keyword. If it does not have the PSYKER keyword, it also gains the PSYKER keyword, and can attempt to manifest one psychic power in your Psychic phase and attempt to deny one psychic power in your opponent’s Psychic phase. It knows Smite and one psychic power from the Librarius discipline or Indomitus discipline. If it has the PHOBOS keyword, it instead knows Smite and one psychic power from the Obscuration discipline or Indomitus discipline. In addition:
  • When a BLOOD RAVENS LIBRARIAN model is inducted into the ORDO PSYKANA, it gains the following ability: ‘Secret Master: Once per battle round, after this model attempts to perform a psychic action, it can attempt to manifest one psychic power.'
  • When a BLOOD RAVENS model that is not a CHARACTER is inducted into the ORDO PSYKANA, it gains the following ability: ‘Lexicanium: When this model manifests the Smite psychic power, it inflicts 1 mortal wound instead of D3, or D3 mortal wounds instead of D6 if the Psychic test is more than 10. In addition, when this model attempts to manifest the Smite psychic power, that attempt does not count toward the number of times a unit in your army has attempted to manifest the Smite power in that phase.’

  • You cannot upgrade named characters using these rules. Each model can only be upgraded once. This upgrade is not considered a Relic or Warlord Trait for any rules purposes - this means a CHARACTER model can be a member of the ORDO PSYKANA and still have a Warlord Trait.

    A Crusade force cannot start with any upgraded ORDO PSYKANA models - to include one in a Crusade force, you must use the Ordo Psykana Requisition, below.
    ORDO PSYKANA (1 RP)
    The ranks of the Blood Ravens boast an unusual number of psykers, some of whom discover their talents only after initiation is complete. Whether this quirk stems from the Chapter’s gene-seed or its obscure recruitment practices is unknown.
    Purchase this Requisition when you add one of the following to your Order of Battle, or when one of the following in your Crusade force gains a rank (excluding named characters):
  • BLOOD RAVENS LIBRARIAN models
  • BLOOD RAVENS CAPTAIN or LIEUTENANT models
  • BLOOD RAVENS models that have the word ‘Sergeant’ in their profile

  • That model is inducted into the Ordo Psykana; it gains the ORDO PSYKANA keyword and the benefits described in the Ordo Psykana Detachment ability; increase the unit’s Power Rating by 1 and make a note on its Crusade card of the psychic powers it knows. You cannot purchase this Requisition if doing so would cause your total Power Level to exceed your Crusade force’s Supply Limit.


    The three Relics are the the Gatekeeper's Blade, a solid power sword upgrade that also offers an invulnerable save to a Librarian who might be lacking it (or bumps a Captain up to 3+). Helm of the Hooded Raven takes further advantage of the Blood Raven's many psykers by letting the wearer share powers with them or manifest powers through them. Finally, Invidia is an assassination pistol that rewards planning ahead and choosing a target; it's much less flexible than the Silentus Pistol, its closest equivalent, but more powerful in its niche.

    The three Warlord Traits emphasise planning and foresight; Uncanny Foresight does so by effectively giving you a range-limited Miracle dice each round, though you can use it after the roll. Epistolary Arcanum encourages you to use the three foresight/psyker-themed psychic powers in the Indomitus Discipline, all of which are very appropriate and also pretty damn awful, by letting you buff nearby allies each time you manifest one. Finally, Scholar of War lets you approximate the Ultramarine Chapter Tactic by pulling back one vital unit from combat to shoot or charge again.

    The Stratagems are meant to fully emphasise the "planning ahead" theme, here; Careful Planning effectively allows you to use a 2CP Stratagem for 1CP, but only if you pay for it a round early and don't use it that round. I've considered making it only work if that's the first Stratagem you use next round, as well, to further limit flexibility. Forewarned and Forearmed is a pretty standard -1 to hit, but instead of the "can't make attacks" downside of See, But Remain Unseen, it gives +1 to wound on another allied unit. Pick the unit you're debuffing wisely - and remember that the Blood Ravens Chapter Tactic allows them to effectively ignore some wound modifiers. Legacy of the Great Father is a more straightforward psychic buff aura that's only useful because the Ordo Psykana rules allow you to take a bunch of psykers.

    Feedback is very welcome: let me know your thoughts!

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/25 06:19:18


     
       
    Made in us
    Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord





    In My Lab

    I could make a squad of 10 Intercessors -1 to be hit, and grant the enemy +1 to-wound the Captain they’re guarding.

    That stratagem seems ripe for abuse

    Clocks for the clockmaker! Cogs for the cog throne! 
       
    Made in us
    Veteran Knight Baron in a Crusader





    Maybe make it so that the unit targeted may not benefit from any special rules that make them unable to be shot at? Look out, Sir!, bodyguards, stratagems, etc?
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




     JNAProductions wrote:
    I could make a squad of 10 Intercessors -1 to be hit, and grant the enemy +1 to-wound the Captain they’re guarding.

    That stratagem seems ripe for abuse
    Good point. Swapping the second unit to CORE only, for now. The Stratagem's intended to encourage "abuse" in the form of smart placement and picking the right units, but not in the "you literally can't target this" sense. I'm also considering giving it a range limit from the original unit, e.g. within 6" or 12", to lessen potential abuse further.

    An earlier version of the Stratagem gave -1 to hit and +1 to wound (or +1 to hit and -1 to wound) to the same unit, but that felt like much more of a blunt tool, and likely as not to be mathematically null (Stalwart aside).
       
    Made in ca
    Enginseer with a Wrench






    For the Forewarned and Forearmed stratagem one issue is that I could select the first unit to be one in the thick of fighting while the other could be on the other side of the battlefield feet away from any thing that could harm them. Not exactly in line with the idea of the strat. To fix this maybe stipulate that the second unit has to be within a certain range of the first unit, 12" maybe, or with a certain range of an enemy unit.
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




     KingGarland wrote:
    For the Forewarned and Forearmed stratagem one issue is that I could select the first unit to be one in the thick of fighting while the other could be on the other side of the battlefield feet away from any thing that could harm them. Not exactly in line with the idea of the strat. To fix this maybe stipulate that the second unit has to be within a certain range of the first unit, 12" maybe, or with a certain range of an enemy unit.
    Yeah. Forewarned and Forearmed basically stems from two goals:
  • a) I wanted a Stratagem that rewarded "planning ahead" and made you feel smart for being able to "abuse" it.
  • b) I wanted a Stratagem that used +1 to wound for enemies as a downside, since that combos well with Stalwart, which is otherwise the blandest part of the Blood Raven kit

  • The result is a clunky "sacrifice" mechanic that's left somewhat lacking in flavour, despite my efforts in that area. I'm tempted to return it to an older version, which was:
    Use this Stratagem at the start of your turn. Select one enemy unit and apply one of the effects below:
  • Until the start of your next turn, when resolving an attack made by the selected unit against a BLOOD RAVENS CORE or CHARACTER unit in your army, subtract 1 from the hit roll and add 1 to the wound roll.
  • Until the start of your next turn, when resolving an attack made by the selected unit against a BLOOD RAVENS CORE or CHARACTER unit in your army, add 1 to the hit roll and subtract 1 from the wound roll.
  • Ultimately, though, this isn't going to promote "clever play" so much as it'll just see use for the -1 to hit on a unit with S5+ weapons (since +1 to wound is meaningless, nothing can wound you on 1-2s), or the -1 to wound in the rare instance of an enemy with BS2+ or a native +1 to hit (where it's meaningless again).

    The other alternative was anchored to your unit, rather than an enemy unit; that felt like it gave up too much control, but I guess managing that well would be a suitable test of "cleverness" for using it properly:
    Use this Stratagem at the start of your turn. Select one BLOOD RAVENS unit from your army. Until the start of your next turn, that unit gains either the Forewarned ability or the Forearmed ability, as shown below:
  • Forewarned: When resolving an attack made against this unit, subtract 1 from the hit roll and add 1 to the wound roll.
  • Forearmed: When resolving an attack made against this unit, add 1 to the hit roll and subtract 1 from the wound roll.
  •    
     
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