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++Thousand Sons Unit of the Week++


++Fire Raptor Gunship++


New codex, new discussions about units! As we already have in other faction sections, this is the Thousand Sons Unit of the Week series, where each week we select and dissect a datasheet found in the book, and discuss how we use the unit in-game, favoured loadouts and combos, essentially how to use these units best. What have you found that works, and what doesnt? Please try to stick to the idea of making the unit in question work, as opposed to pointing out other units that might do a better job - we'll get to those in time!


This week, we will be discussing the Fire Raptor - used on and off through the editions, this is a chunky FW model that many don't have - are you using one, and how?


What are you thoughts, and how best would you use the unit?

  • To compliment a list, or to build a list around?
  • Will you be running multiples?
  • What <GREAT CULT>, loadouts, spell relic and Stratagem support do you prefer and how much does it depend on the above choices?
  • Are you buffing this unit, and if so, how?
  • Are you building as a damage dealer or buff-provider?
  • Uses in Matched, Narrative and Open Play
  • How have they fared for you in-game?

Over to you.


++Thousand Sons Unit of the Week Index Link++

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Ah, my baby. Man, what a ride we've been on. 
I bought my Fire Raptor in response to my friends getting their flyers for Necrons and Custodes. I hate the Ares gunship still.
The raptor in 8th was a useful heavy support platform but a tad expensive. Since the start of 9th or should I say when they gave it back to us after the compendium update, the Fire Raptor has been seeing steady improvements from both our 9th ed codex and the new dataslate update. 
With so much of our codex built around Sorcerers, Rubricae, and the Scarab Occult, we often struggle to field adequate heavy weapon support. This usually forces us to close in for witchfires/smites which then can expose our units to charges on the following turn. 
The Fire Raptor can be an elegant solution to this problem depending on your play style. We have some solid buff psychic powers at our disposal and for the same reason you'd buff a terminator unit to the gills you would do the same for the raptor's shooting capabilities. With the new Armor of Contempt rules in play terminators don't really need our defensive buffs as much. So, if you proscribe to the "hammer and anvil" approach to list building like I do you might be eyeballing the fire raptor about right now as that hammer to the SoT's anvil.

I typically run a raptor with rubrics and 1x10 SoT. The optimal HQ set up i've found is Ahriman, an Exalted Sorcerer (WL w/ prism of echoes on disc), and an Infernal Master.

When buffing I prefer the 4++ and +1 to hit spells. On the turns you kick it into hover you can park it next to the Infernal Master. Then give it the -1 to be hit spell while also allowing for the use of the +1AP strat and removing cover or +1 str to range weapons. Speaking of weapons, I prefer the missiles and heavy bolter racks. In some games I still switch up to the las cannons and go cult of prophecy to wombo the Infernal Master reroll and the prophecy die. Cult of Knowledge also has play, rerolling wounds on a raptor is mighty nice.

9th ed codex gave the raptor a native 5++. Armor of Contempt is a thing now. I haven't gotten to use it but I will probably here in the next two weeks. I'm pretty excited to see the durability of this guy when it's full on kaio ken x10.

If your opponent happens to have enough firepower to take this guy down on turn 1 don't be afraid to spend the CP to put it in reserve. This way you'll get your buffs on it before they can threaten it. I usually then put the terminators on the table and they take the buffs until the raptor arrives. 

I hope my experience with it helps anyone out there thinking of picking one of these guys up. To be honest its been a blast to play with... but be warned. The kit is the most frustrating thing I've ever put together in my life. It was awful. Bent and broken pieces galore. A miscast that had to be swapped out. It was a nightmare. If you buy it I HIGHLY recommend having it assembled and painted by a reputable service. Also if you don't want your plastic mounted twin lascannon bit hmu. lol I need one.
Edited by Xenoscry
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Good write up. I converted one up a few years ago and so far have used it once. I need to dust(hah) it off again and give it a whirl, the only thing preventing me was the heavy points tax, and lack of ability to score. I too favor the bolters, the amount of shots and range make it particularly lethal to light armor, things hiding, and marines....depending on how often you run into -1 damage strats/rules. Maybe worth checking out again. 

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