Thursday, March 3, 2011

Raveners vs. Trygons

So I’ve recently been thinking a bit about my Nids. I’ve been trying to make an 1,850pt list work for a while now since I’d like to run Bugs this year for the big events. I really, really wanna show what Bugs can do so that means I gotta find a way to run them. So that has brought me back again and again to how to get the killing power, speed, and suppressive fire I want into 1,850pt.

Something I’ve been considering is Trygons. I come back again and again at 1,850 to the fact that missile heavy SW’s will make Trygons cry. Lack of ability to get cover and the lack of depth I feel like I have at 1,850 meant that I was having major problems creating a list. Then I took a second look at Raveners. Part of it was some random things drifting around the internet. Part of it was playing with army builder and considering an Eldar army (I know, attention span of a squirrel J). But that second look showed me a few things.

For 210pts you can get a Trygon w/Adrenal Glands or you can get 6 Raveners w/Rending Claws. Let’s take a look at these in regards to threat, damage output, speed, and survivability. In regards to Raveners we’ll be discussing the unit and not individual raveners.

Trygons have 6 wounds at T6 and a 3+ armor save. A Trygon is huge and will rarely see a cover save. So it would take 12 BS4 St8+ AP3 shots to kill a Trygon.  But at BS4 it takes 30+ St4 shots to do a single wound.

Raveners have 18 wounds at T4 and a 5+ armor save. However Raveners will have a cover save 75%+ of the time (realistically between intervening units and area terrain). Now against BS4 St8+ you’d need 24 shots to kill the squad. At BS4 it only takes 18 St4 shots to kill a Ravener (1 Trygon Wound).

So without Catalyst and strictly based on their stats Raveners are twice as survivable against direct fire St8+ firepower but about half as survivable against mass St4 shooting. Trygons are more at higher risk to a bad saving throw run than Raveners are. In the current environment w/the problems I find Nids facing I’d say that Raveners fit the slightest bit better based on survivability without Catalyst. With Catalyst the Trygon moves far  ahead of the Raveners.

Damage Output
Trygons have 7 re-rollable to hit St6 Attacks. They’ll kill 5 MEQ’s on the charge assuming they get to strike. Considering how many attacks are needed based on our survivability above they’ll likely get that number of attacks/kills whether the opponent is in terrain or not. This damage output remains the same until the Trygon is dead.

Raveners have 30 re-roll ½ the misses attacks at St4. They’ll kill 7 MEQ’s on the charge. That damage output drops by 1-2 MEQ’s per wound taken. There is a much higher potential damage output but there is a tipping point when too much damage is taken unlike w/the Trygon.

So for potential output Raveners destroy Trygons on pure stats. But consistent damage output has the Trygon well ahead. This is based on MEQ’s as Raveners will likely heavily outperform Trygons against anything not an MEQ.

Beasts vs. just Fleet. I don’t really feel like I need to even cover this. Raveners have the speed advantage and it leads into the last comparison:

Trygons are big. They have a presence that in my opinion outweighs their actual impact in game. Huge, Quick (for an MC), and deadly. A threat to vehicles, walkers, and any MEQ style unit makes for a solid choice.

Raveners are a little sneakier. Anyone who has ever played with or against Fiends has an understanding of how deadly Raveners can be. Raveners can be a threat to vehicles and infantry. Walkers would need to be avoided since most walkers will instant kill Raveners. The main difference is the ability to threaten multiple units/vehicles.

So which one is right? It’s a decision that is solely based on playstyle and list style. I have to say lately I’m leaning heavily toward Raveners. I feel like they add another threat to the army. They can potentially support infiltrating Genestealers on turn 2 assaults and have the ability to tie down multiple units or hit multiple vehicles. Another thought in my process is that Raveners will also be an excellent performer against Dark Eldar and SW’s which are, in my opinion, two of the worst match-ups for Nids. I’m about building lists that give me the most solid shot against everyone but that focus on having tools for dealing with the big kids. Raveners I feel give me another tool that helps against bad standard match-ups. Not to mention it leaves heavy support open for things like Tyrannofexes which I couldn’t find a place for in my other builds until I started to play with the idea of Raveners.

**I had written the above before running a list with both Trygons and Raveners in a list together. I’m leaning heavily toward both in a list as they are extremely nasty together. But the above points mostly stand as a comparison between the two.**

Take what you want and throw out the rest and  don’t be shy about posting your thoughts on my thoughts J


Erle said...

In the defence of a trygon:

Raveners have 18 wounds at T4 and a 5+ armor save.

As S8+ weaponry ID's them, 11 S8+ shots at BS 4 is enough to make them dead without cover wich is less then you need to take the trygon off.

If to count that trygon has cover 33,3% of a time, raveners - 75% of a time we obtain:
19.25 St8+ shots to take down raveners.
16 ST8+ shots to take down a single trygon.

In close combat trygon is far more survivable.

Lyracian said...

The other thing about Trygon's is they always get their re-rolls and Ravenors ½ re-rolls can drop to ⅓ when they are hitting on 4+.

I do not really see Trygon's getting a cover save from anything other than Venomthropes so I think the Raveners are ahead on survivability.

Lyracian said...

P.S. Raveners are Str 4 not 5 as you typed...

Hulksmash said...


Without cover it takes the exact same amount of St8 AP3 shots to kill a squad of Raveners or a Trygon. But since Raveners are rarely without cover vs. a Trygon that will almost never have cover.


Good catch. Math was based on St4 but I must have gone slightly brain dead :) Fixed it.

Ghostin said...

"That damage output drops by 1-2 MEQ’s per wound taken" - should read "per model lost" since ravs are multi-wound.

Overall - this is a similar conversation to warriors vs. tervigons. It comes down to how you use the brood and what for - my concern here is the disparity in lethality profiles. I would think it more valuable to explore the charge/countercharge vs infantry/transports lethality profile of Ravs vs. the FOCs that have the same lethality profile i.e. hormagaunts, ymgarl, gargs, stealers, and shrikes. While trygons are fast and can be used for charge/countercharge - they have much broader uses, and as you point out, don't fear (as much) walkers/dreads etc..

My takeaway from this and other discussions is that the current methodology of maxing the "best unit in the FOC" might not be applicable across the board for Tyranids, or at least for certain FOCs. I need to ponder that idea a bit I think.

Great post. Thought provoking.

warhammer39999 said...

Good analysis. Perhaps it's time to dust off the raveners and give them another shot...

Chaosheade said...

There are definitely some good points made there but I think this is a difficult comparison to make. Since they occupy different FoC slots the only time you are really forced to choose between ravs and trygons is when you are pressed for points. Nothing will stop you from taking both unless you really want gargoyles, tyrannofexes, carnifex+prime fexstars, etc.

Since they are so radically different, I think the only real conclusion is to say that each have their own individual role in a list and, rather than comparing them to each other, I think it would be more helpful to take a look at what other units you could take in the FoC slots left vacant by the unit you decide not to take.

Hulksmash said...

Actually Chaosheade the reason for the comparison is that our heavy slot has 2 other decent choices in it outside of Trygons. If you wanna fit small Fexstars or Tyrano's then you can't take Trygons. It was a comparison to show how to free up the heavy slots for other units by using something most people don't but that compares well with Trygons for the same points.

Maybe I didn't make that clear in the initial post for which I apologize.

Chaosheade said...

@Hulksmash: Ah, I see now. In that case I completely agree with you.

Raveners are great killy units and the 12" charge can catch people off guard if they haven't seen it before and the FA slot is not generally highly contested like heavy support and elites.

MK said...

I have played several times with one Trygon AND a squad of raveners. To put even more pressure on the adversary I usually add Hormagaunts and infiltrating Genestealers.

Worked nicely against Orks and Daemons and Imperial Guard.

And I noticed that some players have difficulties with target priorities, because the temptation is big to fire your S8-weapons at T4 beasts with 3 wounds (usually in cover) instead of finishing off the big monster. Or is it vice versa ...? ;-)

alex said...

How are you playing Ravs? Their leadership is low, when they run too far ahead, they will most likely get rage. Rage doesn't matter? or do you use the tervigon to boost that 18" synapse?

carmachu said...

Bring both. One trygon 2 rav units. They bring different things to the table, threat wise, speed wise.

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