Unspoken Heroes – The Raven Guard


This will be a bit of a fanboy article, but I don’t care.  The XIXth Legio Astartes, the Raven Guard, are the best Astartes chapter, well…ever.  Full disclosure: I started off as a Dark Angels fan. *insert audible gasp*  I remember getting the OG Space Hulk and Deathwing expansion together at Christmas when I was around 12, and instantly falling in love with both the artwork and the Deathwing story.  These were the days when GW went full cultural appropriation to sell products and the Dark Angels, with the Deathwing in particular, were based on Native American culture.  Looking back on it probably not the best of moves and I’m glad they switched things to the monastic theme, but I digress.

My boy Kayvaan Shrike.  I loved reading his book.  Artist unknown.

Fast forward about 15 years or so and I started reading the Horus Heresy series on a whim.  It was when I reached Fallen Angels that I realized I really wasn’t a Dark Angels fan anymore.  There is/was something about the Lion that just didn’t sit with me and couldn’t really put my finger on it until listening to the defunct podcast After Ullanor.  It was on the drive home from work one day that it hit: I didn’t/don’t like the Lion because he’s kind of a jerk and just can’t relate to anyone.  As much as a super-human being like a Primarch can relate to people, he just doesn’t get it and isn’t someone that inspires me.  It was at this time that the Raven Guard had been percolating in the background and I’d gotten around to reading Deliverance Lost.  I was hooked from the start and couldn’t put the book down.  And it was then that I fell in absolute love with everything about the Raven Guard.  From their training, their combat style, their look, and their attitude surrounding combat, it was the perfect package for me. 

They are a chapter that fully commits to self-sacrifice and the betterment of Imperium, inspiring regular people to higher levels of effort.  Quietly and deadly, they strike from the shadows, complete their mission, and displace before the enemy knows they’ve even been hit.  But most importantly they don’t care how others view them, especially from a visual perspective.  There’s a great section in Deliverance Lost where a squad of Raven Guard and traveling down an elevator in the Ravenspire with a squad of Imperial Fists.  The Fists’ armor is highly polished, and each Marine is standing dress-right with their bolters ready in parade formation.  The Raven Guard?  Sort of milling about, bolters slung, and armor beaten and worn.  But you’d be sorely mistaken if you thought they weren’t just as deadly if not more so than the Fists in formation.  They focus on what’s important and appearance isn’t one of them.  No time for parades or even thanks: get in, do the job, move to the mission.  Couple that with my love of sneaky-sniper game-play in most video games and I have my chapter.

Converted Raptor Assault Terminators.

My Collection

I have a complete battle company for 40K of these cats.  Interesting story: when I started finishing my basement, I decided to go through all my sprue bins and reorganize before beginning work.  I ran into the problem that I think most hobbyists do and that’s collecting more things than you originally intend to paint.  That ended up being the case here.  After digging through the sprues, I had enough models for an entire battle company, two full squads of scouts (ranged and melee), ten Assault Terminators, a Terminator Chaplain, a converted Techmarine, and a Land Speeder.  Honestly, there was probably more but trying to remember all that from nearly ten years ago would make my brain melt.  But as time has passed, I’ve also picked up a few other pieces including Kaayvan Shrike (in Finecast), a Contemptor Dreadnought that I have magnetized, six drop pods, a Land Raider Crusader, and my Primarch Corvus Corax (even though I can’t use him in 40K).

Raptors Hailstrike Storm Speeder

I also went so far as to begin painting a burgeoning Raptors force in 40K.  The Raptors chapter is an off shoot of the Raven Guard and focus even more on stealth and acting as a force multiplier for Imperial armies.  My Raptors are all Primaris and focus on quick reaction and air support.  I have a small, converted Terminator contingent to support them and any heavy weapons must be man portable as they stay in the field for extended duration’s.

Age of Darkness box contents.  Copyright Games Workshop.

The Future

The next ‘phase’ so to speak is expanding my Raven Guard into Heresy, or 30K.  I have a small World Eaters force that I half completed for a Heresy challenge several years back, that I’m in the process of stripping.  This force was a couple of tactical squads, a veteran squad, a Praetor, and a melee Contemptor Dreadnought.  With this as my core, I plan on expanding with the Age of Darkness starter box in the next few months along with a second box of MKVI armor and the special/heavy weapons upgrade box.  And with the Leviathan Dreadnought in plastic, I may add one of those as well.  The specifics I’ll save for a new year new army article later, but I’m definitely looking forward to the surprises this project will bring.

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


A New England transplant that originated from parts westward, Ryan is a bit of a nerd that knows a little bit about a lot of things, all while claiming to know nothing about anything.  Seemingly part Khajit a logistician by trade, he’s the kind of guy that can get you virtually anything if there’s coin to be had a problem to solve.  Ryan began to learn the scrounging arts while serving time in parts east as a Loggie and has been perfecting them steadily over several decades.  He has a problem with continually purchasing models, paints, and terrain that he doesn’t really need but his wife doesn’t seem to mind.

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