Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Ravenwing SHOULD have Jetbikes!

Pic from the original White Dwarf article (illustrated by Pete Knifton)
There are rumors out there that the Dark Angels could finally get access to more Jet-bikes. As this rumor spreads throughout the various forums and rumor-mongers push and pull on this topic, I keep seeing readers commenting on how they think the Jet Bike should remain unique to the Master of the Ravenwing Sammael. I disagree, the fact that the Sammael model even exists hints, to me, that this was a step towards restoring the Ravenwing to it's original background.

Say what?

Yup, original. The Space Marine jetbike (the Mk 14 'Bullock' Jet-Cycle) was introduced at the same time and in the same White Dwarf article as the Ravenwing. A particular passage talks about how the Ravenwing Company made a sub-orbital drop with their jetbikes to engage and surprise the enemy in the relief of Rynn's World. In the last Dark Angel Codex, this background was slightly re-tooled and incorporated into the background of Sammael himself (accept now it's just him and him alone, and the 11 drop-ships are now reduced to a single Thunderhawk). This was White Dwarf #96. I want to also say that this was the 1st introduction (with exception to the scraps of info in Rogue Trader itself) to a lot of background elements that would later evolve into the larger story for the Dark Angels and perhaps even the Horus Heresy itself.

GW Catalog page. Note that an original plastic marine from the Imperial Space Marines boxed set was required

Here are the original stats just to blow your mind as to how awesome Rogue Trader was! Granted, it's been so long since I looked at these I can't recall what the 2nd set of stat's are, let alone the meaning of the abbreviations or the rules to use them! But the top row should be easy for you to figure out: the Jet-Cycle was FAST! (Yup, that's 300" a round! Only the Eldar Jetbike was faster!)

So, the Ravenwing were originally a Jetbike Company, and I for one would love to see them return. Not just because of the historical 'full-circle' this would create, but it would give the Dark Angels the edge that they lost when the other Chapters started to get new toys, and when the White Scars trumped them in the biker dept. And it would give me new toys! :) Besides, it seems silly to have the Master of the Ravenwing zipping along the battlefield on a Jetbike while his troops 'tag along' on their ground bikes. "Wait for us boss, we have to determine how to ford this stream! Emperor damit, he's over it and the next hill already..." Not to mention the logic in this from a leadership perspective. If you're the enemy and you wanted to perform a decapitation strike against the Ravenwing, just target the git that's flying around by himself! LOL

The 2nd generation of jetbikes. The pilots were the same as the ones for the ground bikes.
Looking around online, I have found that I'm not alone. There seems to be a small scattering of Marine Jet-Bike cults lurking about out there converting and customizing their own versions. There also seems to be quite a bit of excitement surrounding Forgeworld's Horus Heresy era Space Marine Jetbikes as well.

Original advert. And I used to think these were expensive back then!
I still say the xmas marine with the tankard would make a great Wolf Guard!

So, here's hoping the rumors are true and that we'll have some Dark Age of Technology goodies soon!


Image Copyrights respective to holder (Games Workshop) used without permission and for review purposes only


Da Masta Cheef said...

I just hope they get a better jetbikes. the FW ones are kinda meh, and Sammeal looks like he's straddling a BFG battleship.

neverness said...

LOL. I sort of like the FW ones, they have that "pre-heresy" look that feels right, but I would want to see the Ravenwings ones resemble the Sammael one. 'Sides, does the Sammael one really look too different from the version dipicted in the 2nd catalog pic? It has the forward plow which the BFG ships all have as well.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone with a copy of WD96 see if it shows the original Ravenwing symbol? I believe it was a stylized raven, not the newer winged sword. I'd like to use the old symbol on my pre-heresy DA's.

neverness said...

I am fairly sure it was always a variation of a winged sword. I will have to pull it out (that issue) to be sure however...