The Shadow Captain and the Death Company…

An interesting combo that I see, based on the new Space Marine codex and the changes to Chapter Tactics and Shadow Captain Shrike’s special rules, is as follows:

1) Take Shrike as your Warlord from your RG army

2) Take Astorath as an allied Blood Angel HQ (taken from Baal Strike Force detachment)

3) Attach Shrike/Astaroth to a 15 man squad of Death Company before deployment (DC have Jump Packs and power weapons/PFs to taste and are taken from the Baal Strike force Detachment)

4) Deploy the entire unit in a Fortification with an Escape Hatch upgrade, which you position 12″ away from the building toward your opponent’s DZ

5) Turn 1, disembark the entire unit 6″ from the Escape Hatch, then run another D6″ (for a net 19-24″ movement), with the goal of getting to terrain near your opponent’s DZ

6) Shrike gives the whole unit Stealth and Shrouded turn 1. Combined with terrain/cover, that means everyone gets a 2+ cover save, on top of the Death Company’s FNP (for extra survivability) and Fearless for the entire unit (so no way to make them run away). They should be able to absorb a tremendous amount of firepower, especially using LoS! rolls with Shrike and Astorath.

7) Turn 2, use their Jump Packs to charge a target enemy unit and unleash Shrikes WL trait, which causes the enemy to take a Fear test on 3D6. Unless the enemy is Fearless/has ATSKNF, they are quite likely to fail and be reduced to WS1, meaning that the entire squad hits them on 3+s and the enemy only hits Shrike/Blood Angels on 5+s.

Additionally, everyone, including Shrike, get’s re-rolls to Hit from Astorath’s Zealot USR and everyone but Astorath gets re-rolls to Wound (DC from the Liturgies of Blood and Shrike from his Lightning Claws). Astorath and the DC also get +1S from Furious Charge, while the DC also benefit from Rage (for 5 attacks a piece) and and I5 (from the Red Thirst special rule).

That means that 15 DC get 75 x S5 attacks on the charge, all at I5 and will re-rolls to hit and re-rolls to wound (and hitting on 3+s if the enemy failed their Fear test). Shrike gets 5 x S4 AP3 attacks at WS6 and I5, all with re-rolls to Hit and Wound and Rending as well. Finally, Astorath gets 4 x S6 AP2 Unwieldy attacks at WS6 with re-rolls to Hit and Instant Death on any to wound rolls of 6+. FNP should help the unit survive, as should striking before most opponents with massed attacks and massed re-rolls, thus allowing the unit to “rinse and repeat” this tactic on subsequent turns.

As you can see this, is pretty devastating combination, harnessing the advantages of both Shrike/RG Chapter Tactics and Astorath/Death Company rules.


3 comments on “The Shadow Captain and the Death Company…

  1. Tom says:

    Have you seen the Skyhammer Annihilation force rules yet? It’s a web store exclusive that looks very powerful.


  2. ItsPug says:

    Jump Pack equipped units have the bulky special rule, so only 10 could fit in a bastion. Plus the Raven Guard chapter tactic “Strike from the Shadows” only applies to non vehicle models that do not begin the game embarked in a transport vehicle. The rules for buildings say to treat them as a transport vehicle.


    • greysplinter says:

      Hmmm, good point. Well, the alternate method for employing this tactic is to simply move Shrike/DC/Astorath up a normal 12″ + D6″ Run turn 1, use the Stealth/Shrouded to give them a 2+ cover in terrain, then move forward for a charge turn 2. Not quite as great as the net 19-24″ move turn 1, but still a 13-18″ move is pretty good.


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