Chapter Master MURDERWINGS is an ungodly cheesy Raven Guard character that came about as of one of the newer supplements. While he's not the toughest of characters, he is essentially the Space Marine equivalent of an Eversor Assassin. He can also be considered the Killier, less tough cousin of Chapter Master Smashfucker.
According to the new FAQ, characters may only take a single relic. This is a small nerf to this guy as he can no longer take his cool relic jump pack. So he no longer has his S6 Hammer of Wrath, but he still has up to 12 attacks on the charge, and will horribly murder figuratively everything not in terminator armour.
Warzone Damocles: Kauyon
MURDERWINGS is created when a Raven Guard Chapter Master takes the twin artifacts Swiftstrike and Murder. This grants him 6 attacks on the charge, with a special ability called Flurry of Blows, that allows him to roll to attack again for every hit he inflicts in melee (additional attacks do not generate additional attacks when they hit). That gives him the potential for up to 12 attacks on the charge, which is even greater than the melee potential an Eversor has. On average, this won't happen against any given target, but you only need to hit on 5+ to average 8 attacks (tying the Eversor), and hitting on anything better will improve you, until hitting on 3+ rerollable nets you an average of 11 (actually 11.33) attacks. You are generally best off attaching him to a barebones squad of Jump-Assault marines so as to ablate wounds for him and make sure he gets into melee. A 5-man squad can be used as insurance for when you're hiding him behind a BLOS terrain piece, while a 10-man can get him across the field. Regardless of which squad size you use, MURDERWINGS' sheer killyness will usually ensure that he will kill the enemy so hard, his own assault squad won't even get to participate in the melee. It's not unheard of for MURDERWINGS to slaughter so many enemies on the charge that neither his own squad nor the enemy squad can make base contact for the fight below his initiative, resulting in an auto-win for MURDERWINGS to sweep the entire remaining squad off the board.
Combining this with the fact that 7th Edition made it so that chapter masters can call an orbital bombardment and still assault, MURDERWINGS has quickly built up a reputation on /tg/ as being the go-to chapter master for soloing entire hordes of infantry. And unlike SMASHFUCKER, MURDERWINGS is actually pretty affordable for most armies, as he's clocking in at only 200 points with his full panoply. For your shooting, just use his Orbital Bombardment, since 7th Edition added in a line for the Orbital rule that allows the Chapter Master to assault after firing it. This way you can have an S10 AP1 Large Blast as an assault weapon for your follow-up of 12 S4 AP3 Shred attacks on the charge.
Support Captain MURDERCALL
Okay, so MURDERWINGS has a pair of really obvious and glaring weaknesses that are hard to deal with if you bring him. The first is that he's a squishy glass cannon that can't survive being attacked back, and the second is that his Orbital Bombardment as an Assault Weapon requires that he sits still and then charges. Both of these can be mitigated by taking an assisting character named Captain MURDERCALL.
MURDERCALL is simply a Cataphractii Captain using the Raven's Fury Jump Pack, a Storm Shield, and a Thunder Hammer. MURDERCALL joins MURDERWING's squad, granting them Slow and Purposeful, which will in turn allow MURDERWINGS to both move 12", and still utilize his Orbital Bombardment.
MURDERCALL also has the obvious advantage of having a Tanky-fucker platform, of a 2+/3++(Reroll 1s), so he can easily ablate wounds and tank ID attacks on behalf of MURDERWINGS.
- MURDERCALL is based on one interpretation of this poorly worded rule:
- "A model wearing Cataphractii Terminator armor counts as wearing Terminator Armor for the purposes of embarking within Transport vehicles, the use of teleport homers (see Codex: Space Marines), and for the purposes of formation restrictions."
- There are two interpretations. The one taken here, which also lets him ride a bike:
- The rule serves no purpose unless the armor does not count as Terminator Armor in other circumstances, such as selecting wargear.
- The other, which bans both jump pack and bike:
- The rule is indeed redundant, as Cataphractii Terminator Armor is a kind of Terminator Armor (as seen in the name), so it counts as Terminator Armor for all purposes except where explicitly listed in its entry.
- In traditional fashion, there is no FAQ entry covering this.
How to beat MURDERWINGS
MURDERWINGS is kind of like the antithesis of Chapter Master Smashfucker. While the latter is absurdly tanky and eats elite units like it's his job, the former is more of a glass cannon and specializes in shredding infantry.
MURDERWINGS' ultra-high number of attacks makes him a supremely effective hard-counter to hordes of MEQ or GEQ. While he can indeed solo vast hordes of infantry, his melee attacks are only S4 AP3, and so they can be stopped by two key things. TEQs can simply laugh at his wounds, as he can only statistically kill 1.8 terminators a turn, while they will proceed to instagib him at S8 during the I1 step. He can also be slowed down considerably by T6 or T7 models, while he outright cannot harm anything T8 and above (short of wasting his only orbital bombardment on it). He can still churn out enough attacks to burn through a carnifex in only 2 turns, but the distraction of a high-toughness target can allow other melee units to come in and pile on the attacks to his semi-squishy 2+/4++ body.
Any tarpit with Fearless can also temporarily distract him, if only for a few key turns. For example, Conscripts with a Priest in them can tarpit MURDERWINGS for about 3 turns, more than enough to stop him from doing any real damage to your army. If you spread out your fearless mob to their absolute maximum, it's also possible to intentionally abuse MURDERWINGS's problem of making his own retinue useless, since his I5 attacks can kill 12 Conscripts, but those 12 conscripts should be more than enough to stop his retinue and yourself from making base contact, which forces him out of the melee and resolves sweeping advances (which you're outright immune to thanks to fearless). But, MURDERWINGS in a Raven Guard decurion can then proceed to voluntarily fail his morale check a-la Combat Tactics and bug out of combat to charge someone else, or, when he's taken as part of a Bladewing Assault Brotherhood, do a Baharroth and jump out of combat into Ongoing Reserves, so there's that.
You can also attempt to keep your distance away from him and shoot him to death, or simply not allow him to get the jump on you by avoiding his LOS blockers. Deep striking squads with heavy weapons can also be used to flush him out of his ambush zones, if not outright kill him if he chooses to deploy without ablative wounds. However, with Raven Guard Chapter Tactics allowing him to use his jump pack in both Movement and Assault phases, few units can hope to catch him or run away from him, except vehicles and Jetbikes.
If you're playing a Green Tide, you can also choose to paradoxically bunch up your boys in preparation for getting charged by him. You will probably eat an orbital bombardment in the process, but having your models closer to the melee can stop MURDERWINGS from chewing you out of combat, and thus sweeping your entire 100-man squad off the board in one go. Then again, if you play the Tide without the relic that grants you Fearless you deserve what you get.
8th Edition: Murderwings Converts?
In 8th Ed you can attempt to recreate MURDERWINGS a few different ways. Most versions start with a captain with Lightning Claw and Jumppack.
- Sneakywings: Give wings the Raven Guard Warlord Trait: Silent Stalker to dodge overwatch and the relic jump pack. Give wings a second lightning claw for an extra attack. Sadly the RG Chapter tactic does nothing for Murderwings. But then we get to slashy.
- Slashywings: Start off with Iron Hands tactics and the merciless logic trait to get exploding attacks on 6+. Adding Teeth of Terra will upgrade his prowess by adding a two damage weapon and extra strength on top of d3 extra attacks. Keeping the lightning claw gives you a way to reroll wounds on your four base attacks, but swapping it for a gun to shoot if Wings needs to fall back. The Iron Hands fnp can help Wings survive when his prey attempts to fight back.
- RAGEWINGS: This is a different one than his codex brothers, but still just as killy. First you go to Codex: Blood Angels and pick out a captain and stick him with the Angels Wing relic to re-roll charges and ignore overwatch--gimping half of a charging model's issues in one blow. The next is a bit pricier, but well worth it: Spend a CP to give him the Black Rage for another attack and a built in 6+++, throw on Gift of Foresight and you've got a 5+++ roll and re-rolling ones for his fnp roll. Kit him with the claws for hordes as the Red Thirst will always ensure you'll at least wound anything on a 5+ from a charge. Murderwings gains more attacks with claws to make sure any nasty you're fighting will come down with a sudden onset of terminal existence failure, Plus you can add d3 extra per cp, even more if you're fighting chaos with a different Stratagem. If we're going full hog you could attach a Sanguinary Ancient as he has a jump pack and heirs of Azkaellon for the rerolls to hit around RageWings. Add a Sanguinary Priest for heals and a +1 to str and a jump Librarian to cast Unleash rage on him on him for another attack. With the Lightning Claws, Black Rage, Unleash Rage, Red Rampage(cp), and if fighting chaos: Vengeance for Sanguinius(cp) you can get up to 8-10 exploding attacks on 6+ (4+ if black legion) +1 str with the priest, improved wounds from the Red-Thirst and re-rolls of 1's to hit and re-rolls to wound from the claws with a sweet sweet 5+++ re-rolling ones. He's stupid expensive, points-wise and cp-wise, and his retinue will eat up hq slots like skittles. But goddamn will captain RAGEWINGS kick the shit out of an unsuspecting backline before their collective asses are up around their ears. Giving a support character veritus vitae is always worth shelling out for if you want to see about getting some of those CP's back to actually support your army.
- FistingWings: The Crimson Fists Chapter Tactics means that if you through this lad into any unit with more than 1 model, you'll get be adding 1 to your hit rolls, not that it matters all too much, counters things like the Custodes Vexilla. Their warlord trait Tenacious Opponent adds d3 extra attacks if against 10 or more models. Grab Teeth of Terra and have a Librarian buff you with Might of heroes. Strength 6 ap-2 with somewhere between SEVEN AND ELEVEN ATTACKS! While giving him the respectable toughness of 5. Add a combi-flamer for fall backs and add a lieutenant and apothecary for kicks. Best dedicated as an anti-horde specialist, but if you really wanted to be a dick you could always throw him on a bike...but that's reserved for a different page altogether.
- Note: Sorry folks, no PRIMARIS MURDERWINGS since their wargear is fixed, with little leeway (type of bolter and a sword, or Power Fist and Plasma Pistol)
8th Edition: Murdercall's Return?
The iconic duo is back, maybe? To begin, you're going to want to make this guy from a Lieutenant. Not a Primaris one, but a normal one to get access to a Jump Pack and a Lightning Claw. Déjà vu, eh? You'll mostly be taking this guy just for re-rolls on Wound rolls of 1 for any of the various 'Wings pistols.
- Shredcall: Give Murdercall a Chainsword and a Combi-Flamer, spend a command point to take the Teeth of Terra. Charge this guy after Sneakywings gets into combat, so he isn't insta-gibbed. Against a Horde, this guy will be shredding shit, and taking the heat off of MURDERWINGS. If you need to fall back for whatever reason, stay within 8" and make use of that Combi-Flamer to burn everything before you, and take a pair of extra shots on top. Get charged? Auto-hits during Overwatch.
- The following could make MURDERWINGS less survivable. You have been warned. Make Shredcall your Warlord, (did someone say role reversal?) as a Crimson Fist and have RAGEWINGS but with less on an entourage. RAGEWINGS will charge into a blob and avoid taking Overwatch fire with Angel's Wing, Shredcall charges in and does his thing, gaining 2d3 extra attacks from the Teeth and his Warlord trait.