So, reflecting on last weeks game I think that while making Deathwing and Ravenwing "Troops" is really nice, the 215 points Azrael costs was just way too much to not hit the table. Yes, I probably played wrong, so I am not totally discounting the usefulness of the Commander... But having Belial hit the table on turn 1/2 exactly where I want him to be? And then fighting for the bulk of the game, or at least until he dies :-) makes more sense to me. Still not 100% sure it is something that will be able to beat things like the Necron Air circus, or the local IG hordes... More specifically, the AV 14 tanks that are becoming popular locally... Drop in, get a side shot maybe, hope for Melta/Multi Melta to survive long enough to matter... Having Terminator armor is nice, but roll enough dice and 1's WILL come up. Looking at fewer than 30 bodies total for the army at 1850, so those will all hurt.
Deathwing Squad (10, 2 CML, several TH/SS, probably at least 4)
Deathwing Squad (5, Heavy Flamer, a few TH/SS)
Deathwing Command Squad (Banner of Devastation, Champion, Heavy Flamer)
LRC (NOT a dedicated Transport, but maybe?, Melta, dozer)
Techmarine (Servo, Power Field)
Tactical Squad (5, ML w/Flak)
Ravenwing Squadron (Attack Bike, MM, Melta in Squadron)
I'm NOT sold on using the DW Command Squad over just a regular one, or even dropping that particular aspect altogether. I'd probably swap out the LRC for a regular LR and hope to roll 6's when shooting at fliers I guess...
I am also kind of building it with the Campaign in mind. I am facing off against several Chaos forces, including my primary enemy. I forget my overall Warlord Trait, but in essence, I am hunting him... Good bonuses for holding territories next to his, and better ones for actually defeating him in a game... Since I just took a Hive City from him last turn, I'm set up fairly well for that. And I have a number of "Bastion" spots, giving me free Bastions in games there... Thinking my small Tac Squad foes there and fires Flak missiles, Heavy Bolters and Quad Gun/Las Cannon at fliers/reserves... Seeing Rambo, I mean "Marbo" a lot these days in IG forces, so having something to potentially shoot him out of existence is a REALLY nice thing for me... Getting out of paying the "Aegis Tax" for not bringing fliers... And since I have yet to actually declare an attack in the Campaign, seems likely someone will try to come and take one of my good spots from me. Plus side, no Planetstorm silliness attacking my Hive City as it incorporates a Shield Generator... I could I guess bring extra Heavies or the like, but really not all that impressed with my choices there.
Kind of riffing off of that, my choices of Fliers is extremely limited overall. Yes, I do have 1+ (the + is the extras I am building as Airships) for the Praetorians, I have a converted Valkyrie to stand in as a Storm Raven for my GK/BA forces... But, honestly feeling that my IG/GK forces would be overpowered and over represented in our local environment. My Fleshtearers are brutal. Not a lot of local players are REALLY prepared for the way I play them. Adding in a Raven to transport my DC DN and probably an Assault Squad? Not sure I'd play it if I were not playing a "I'm making a point" Army and just going out to be a complete dick and destroy the opposition as quickly as possible... So, no, not going to play that force I think... And the DA fliers just look craptastic on paper. NOT saying they needed to be "OMG BROKEN" level to have people play them, but really, 180 points for a very lackluster dog-fighter or 160 for a "ground attack" aircraft that is inferior in every way to the IG Valkyrie/Vendetta? Yes, the IG flier is TOO good, and I don't think they need to make all of them too good, but playing now, I do not often see an army across the table without one of them as an "ally"... Not the only reason to ally with IG of course, but I can erase blobs, even fearless ones easily enough, the filers are just a PITA... The current crop of fliers is overall "Eh"... The Chaos Heldrake is a bit over the top against Powered Armor armies not bringing Transports, but that can be dealt with I think... The DA/Marine fliers are just a bit confusing to me. Overpriced garbage. And limited in which flavor of Marine gets the bloody things? Not the strategy I would have taken as a business trying to sell more models, but...
Speaking of odd business decisions, rumor has a direct only "flier compendium" coming out in a few weeks. Now, I am no longer involved in a game store, but I REALLY would much prefer to purchase through my local store as that is where I play, and the owners are friends. Even without knowing them, the "buy where you play" thing is big for me. some other stores over the years where there was either no or limited play space or where some/all of our game group were "no longer welcome"... Well, then buying online was the way I'd go. If the rumors are correct, barring Dave getting a bunch of orders together and being able to get them in bulk from GW, does not seem that we CAN order through him. That does not even get me started on the whole releasing broken, silly rules and selling expensive "patches" later on like the liquid Green Stuff and "Finecast"... Once upon a time, they released updated online as freely downloadable PDF's... Wouldn't think that would have cost much at all, and would retain a fair number of customers. To say nothing of the ability to release say, an Eldar tank kit with the rules online so they do not have to wait for the next iteration of the Codex... :-) Not that this will happen again... But kind of frustrating as a player not having "legal" access to the rules for things like the last wave of fliers (Marine/Ork ones) without hunting down a back issue of their advertisement/magazine... :-) I guess I am missing the "good old days" a bit, maybe it will all work out...