The Raven is the primary Dark Eldar strike fighter and is armed with two Dark Lances and one long-barrelled Splinter Cannon.
Some Dark Eldar raiding forces have noticed the extreme vulnerability of their light-weight transport skimmers, the Raiders and about damn time they figure out that sometimes a bit of armor actually helps. Therefore they have utilised Raven Fighters to support advancing Raiders by destroying tanks with their dark lances. After all available enemy tanks which might interrupt advancing of Raiders are destroyed, the Raven Fighters start to use their splinter cannons to pound enemy infantry positions in order to soften up their forces.
Despite being heavily armed for a light strike fighter, the Raven is still susceptible to the usual Dark Eldar standard-issue 'Worse than fucking Flak Armor' cardboard plating. So while fucking deadly against tanks and infantry, they start falling like flies when a dedicated anti-air vehicle such as the Hydra Flak Tank is in their line of sight.
In 7th Edition, the Raven Fighter is an old as balls FW Flyer. It predated the major Dark Eldar 5th edition overhaul and it shows. What it has going for it are the strafing run rule and +1 cover on evade (to 3+). It can reroll the scatter if it's within 12" of another skimmer or flyer. Mounts two dark lances and a heavy 10 splinter cannon. Way overpriced at 205 pts (the much better Razorwing will be 195 when fully kitted out), but hey, it's fast attack now, freeing your HS slots - which would mean something if we didn't already have four good-to-great Fast Attack options.
Despite having the strafing run rule, this flyer can actually perform well as an Air-to-Air fighter, especially against flying monstrous creatures - those flying Tyrants and Bloodthirsters would explode from the sheer amount of poisoned and lance shots this bird deliver. Air-to-Air may be its best use, since we're not exactly lacking anti-infantry fire (and Scourges do it much better for only a little bit more).
As of 8th Edition the Raven is seen on the tabletop less and less often; the Forge World kit has been out of production for some time, and the Razorwing Jetfighter and Voidraven Bomber both look better and are arguably more effective in their roles.
|Forces of the Dark Eldar|
|Command:|| Archons - Haemonculi - Kabalite Trueborn |
Lhamaeans - Medusae - Sslyth - Succubi
|Troops:|| Beastmasters - Commorragh Slaves - Grotesques |
Hellions - Incubi - Kabalite Warriors - Mandrakes
Scourges - Wracks - Wyches
|Beasts:||Clawed Fiends - Khymerae - Razorwing Flocks - Ur-Ghuls|
|Pain Engines:||Cronos Parasite Engines - Talos Pain Engines|
|Vehicles:|| Raiders - Raven Fighters - Razorwing Jetfighters |
Reapers - Reaver Jetbikes - Venoms
|Super Heavies:||Ravagers - Tantali - Voidraven Bombers|