I just don't get them. I played in the Irish Masters last weekend and I used these in every list. Aa full unit with the attached chieftan. The package comes in at eleven points for the nine models. In most games I deployed them forward in front of my army and ran them forward to jam the objectives and zones. They also form a decent threat. In most games I was down to two or three models by the time I activated them again. The only thing I can think of is that I am using them in a completely bad role for them. Almost everything my opponent puts on their front line can deal easily with the Ravagers. With a standard defence stat they are easily hit and with an average armour they are easily damaged. Eight boxes help for sure but POW 12 weapons are easily able to remove them from the game. For what can I use my medium infantry?
The first thought is to place them out on a flank. It subjects them to less direct firepower in the early turns but allows them to threaten towards the centre. They are not so fast that they really become a threat out there but they can tie up and possibly defeat a lot of other flanking forces. These should leave a few models by the late game to effectively flank the opponent. However for eleven points, basically a fifth of your entire army you really want them to have some dominating prescence on the battlefield. I played a little yesterday and tested this. I found that the Ravagers are very effective against other medium to heavy infantry. These are also often deployed off centre and the advance deployment rule allows you to pick your match up in most cases. Having a MAT of nine when charging means even defence fourteen isn't too hard to hit and with a POW of 15 on the charge even armour twenty models need to be worried. Curse of Shadows gives them an effective POW boost of two meaning that even Khador 'Jacks will go down to a charge.
Having said that is there anything else I would use them for? I am tempted to use them as a second wave. I have no idea if this would be effective at all but it strikes me as a decent possibility. Having advance deployment always makes me think these guys should be up front and in the mix as often as possible. However that has rarely paid off! Putting them behind an annoying tarpit would ensure that the opponent has to commit something decent to remove the tarpit and allows me to countercharge in relative safety. Thinking a little further I am really tempted to use the Ravagers in conjunction with the Skinwalkers. They are a much more effective tarpit and removing them is no easy matter. Having them spread out allows for lanes where the Ravagers can charge into and deal with the engaging models aloowing the Skinwalkers to move up and repeat the tactic. It is expensive but I am really tempted to try it. Has anyone else tried this?