Blood Angels Mark II

Okay, after beating my head against the wall, trying to shake loose a solid Blood Angels list...

...well, I hurt my head.  So I sat down for a bit and thumbed through the Codex for the umpteenth time.  I've been reading blogs and posts all over the net, so I know it's not just me that's having issues.  I finally realized the list isn't going to look the way I expect it to; that, coupled with some advice from friends (like the King's most excellent refutation of my original list) gave me the idea of starting fresh, with some general guidelines to follow.  Let's start with those guidelines:

1)  Our HQ is the Librarian with Jump Pack.  That's psychic defense and killy-goodness rolled into one, for a reasonable price tag of 125pts.
2)  Chaplains get expensive fast, so any list including them is going to be small and hard-hitting.  Why?  Because you'll inevitably build a list to maximize the charge, using the Chaplain with the Sanguinary Priest plus at least 10 Death Company/Terminators/Vanguard or the like.  Frankly, I think perhaps the best use of the Chaplain is to add him like a cherry on the top of another list.  Don't over-think him.  But I'm not using him at this time.
3)  This is going to be an all-infantry force.  I can't crack the hybrid list at this time.

A word on that...  List-Hammer isn't my strength, even after a year of studying it.  I actually started blogging at places like YTTH in order to learn how to build a better army.  My conclusion?  Sometimes a sub par is the best option.  There!  How helpful was that!  Not very?  You obviously don't have my super-awesome-understanding of the Metagame... what?  That doesn't exist?  Okay, I'm confused.

Seriously, my time hasn't been wasted, since I have a better understanding of that side of the game, but I've come to realize I'll never know it as well as Evil Homer, Stelek, Darkwynn, Goatboy, TKE, Chumby... dudes like that.  I'm always going to fiddle, and playtest, and try to make stuff work - that's my strength.  I had to learn when that was appropriate though, since I was famous for changing my list right before a major tournament.  Doing that kind of stupid shit drove my friends nuts.  The Master Manipulator (every store needs one) actually implemented a rule for our latest Army Build Project stating you had to play the 3 event games per month with the same list, simply to encourage me to learn an army better.  He's a benevolent dictator.

Moving on.

4)  No Death Company and no Vanguard.  I need to understand the flow of the army before adding an element like these.

Okay, let's jot down some ideas...

a)  Two Sanguinary Priests.  Yup; necessary, but last time I had both with Jump Packs - is that the right call?  Maybe, since I suspect the key to the Blood Angels now and in the future will be jumping these little blighters from position to position, but for now, since I know I'm going to have both forward and rearguard elements, I'll take one with a Jump Pack and one without.  Also, I know I'm taking a Librarian with a Jump Pack.  That's 75/50/125 for the three, but now I'm done with single-man units.
b)  Next, let's jot down what I want to include and start getting an idea of the numbers.  I want a full-sized Terminators unit with Cyclone Missile Launchers: 460.  Two full-sized Assault Squads with 2x MG and a PF: 470.  Two full-sized Devastator Squads with 4x Missile Launchers and a PF for the Sgt.: also 470.

Now, the general idea is I want the option to combat-squad every unit, depending on who I face.  With big numbers like these, I'm fast running out of points, but I'm desperate for more Troops.  No mech, so Tactical Squads are out.  No Death Company - see #4.  I could fit in another Assault Squad... but how about Scouts?  Do they have a place?  I've played Daemons enough to know the board gets crowded quick; do I want to risk my most expensive unit to a deep-strike mishap?  Locator Beacon.

c)  A full-sized unit of Scouts with Bolters, a PF, and a Locator Beacon: 190.  The idea here is a cheap utility-unit.  I can split it up and hold objectives or place them forward to support an aggressive assault should I need to deep strike the Terminators.  With the Black Rage and/or the Priest within range, not to mention the Power Fist on the Sgt., I have a unit capable of supporting close-combat if necessary... but that's not really their role.  Having this unit gives me options, allowing the Assault Squads to concentrate on the fight.

Okay, I'm down to my last few hundred points.  I've my rearguard: the Devastators are going to combat-squad, so I'll have 4 units of Missiles taking out light mech.  Supported by the Sanguinary Priest, they should be fairly survivable.  Also, they're Blood Angels - they'll be no slouches if the enemy brings the fight to me: that's what the Power Fists are for.  The problem, as I see it, is the phrase 'light mech.'  My army has Melta Guns and Power Fists for taking out heavy mech up close, but I'd rather they didn't have to.  Rereading the 'dex, I saw what the little-used Signum does.  Okay, one weapon gets BS5?  That gave me an idea: I'm going to spend an additional 15pts per squad to upgrade one of the launchers to a Lascannon.  Now, I'll combat squad each unit with 3 Missile Launchers in one 5-man squad and the Sgt. w PF and Lascannon in the other.  The Lascannon can target heavy mech at BS5, leaving my Missile Launchers to soften up Rhinos, Razorbacks, and the like.  Also, if my Sgt. has to move, say to counter-assault, I'm only short one heavy weapon firing.

d)  I'm at 1870.  I'd love another Priest... I spend my last 130 on an Honor Guard with a Company Standard.  Sure, I'd love to add more to this unit - what's that?  Why are you shaking your head?

WHAT?  I'd have to BUY Jump Packs? 

Well hell.  I'm tired of playing.

d, Part II)  Okay, a cherry on the sundae:  a Reclusiarch with a Jump Pack.  I scavenge the extra 25pts by taking the Power Fist from the Scout Sgt. - he didn't need it anyway, he's got to pay attention to the Locator Beacon.

Why a Reclusiarch instead of a Chaplain, HQ instead of Elite?  I think the extra W, I, and A are worth it... plus, I've got a cool model already painted - and he's on a big base. 

Okay, that's my working list, 64 models.  Keep in mind, they're pretty survivable, and they should hit like a ton of bricks.  A potential 12 squads, as needed.

4) Chaplain, Librarian, and Priests
10) Terminators
20) Assault Squads
10) Scout Squad
20) Devastator Squads

The only question is, did I hit the mark?  Am I closer?  No idea!  Take it apart, folks.


Chumbalaya said...

This is a foot list with more shooty instead of punchy. I don't think that's too bad.

I'd advise against the Lascannons. Sure BS5 is nice, but a single lascannon really isn't gonna be doing much. You can also lose the powerfist, you've got Terminators and jump to handle things.

Have you considered Bikes or Attack Bikes? They aren't vehicles, but have a good deal of mobility to buff their meltas and T5 3+ (maybe FNP) is plenty tough. You could take 3 units of 2 Attack Bikes with multi-meltas. That's a lot of melta.

Michael said...

Chumby, as usual, has some good ideas.

Id drop the Devs PF's, totally unnecesary. Maybe a PW, but I think that is even overkill. Also, only 2 lascannons don't feel like they do much, even at BS5. I've run that setup before.

Also, I think attack bikes would be a great addition to this list. give you a little extra mobility and melta punch on the fly. I fell in love with MM attack bikes in BA armies, they are great for popping tanks, and great at tying up sub-par assault units you don't want to have to deal with right away, and they can turbo-boost contest late game. Great units to have around.

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I agree, drop the PF on the scout and dev sgts. They don't need it. If they are in close combat you have bigger problems than a PF will fix.

I don't like the LCs. As those above I feel you will not get enough use out of them to make them worth while. If you insist on that you might think 2 MLs and 2 LCs in one squad.

I just wonder if you are going to have problems with the 5 man devs squads getting torrented out of heavy weapons because of their size. For most mech armies they may be target number one in early turns, and that will hurt.

Brent said...

Thanks all; you've given me a lot to consider. Here was my thought process, though I can certainly see the points. I'll have some changes to make.

Re: the Lascannons - I can certainly understand the sentiment! My concern is I have a lack of shooting that can reasonably affect AV 14... from a distance, I mean. Lascannons being the only effective weapon beyond 12-inches, I thought adding these two at a higher BS was a possible solution, since I can reasonably expect (38% or so) doing _something_ to a Land Raider each turn, between the two guns. The chances of destroying it on a given shooting phase are much slimmer, but add up over the course of the game.

Re: the PF and torrenting fire on the Devs... I'm going to have one of the Priests hang in the back with my fire support, so FNP should help them survive. I always have the option of staying 10-man, if I'm facing some serious firepower. I gave the Sgt. a fist in case I needed the additional assault capability, since I could always split off the Missile Launchers plus one redshirt by themselves and use the Sgt. and 4 Marines - a total of 10 men from the two Dev squads - as additional frontline support.

I've already taken the PF from the Scout Sgt. to pay for the backpack for the Reclusiarch. From Mike's comment though, maybe I should trade him in on 3 Attack Bikes with Multi-Melta.

Thoughts? - Brent

The_King_Elessar said...

This list is a lot more cohesive than with DC inside. Good going. That said, I concur with thw whole 'stop wasting those 50 points' brigade. Honour Guard in a Drop Pod, with 4 Meltas cost less than the Reclusiarch and those PFs.

Brent said...

Actually, that's a really great point. I was about to drop the Reclusiarch for 3 MM Attack Bikes - is that a better buy in this list?

The_King_Elessar said...

Yes, and no. If you own them, playtest them. Without playing them, I can't say if FnP makes them good enough. More ranged Melta is a great boon, especially with 36" threat.

Chumbalaya said...

Attack Bikes don't like S8 and getting torrented, cover takes care of the former and FNP takes care of the latter.

Kirby said...

I don't think ABs really benefit from FNP. They create target priority problems in mech lists as you should be shooting S8+ at them but in a foot/jumper list, well the S8 is going at them anyways then and FNP is ignored.

Bekah: said...

AB were always a distraction unit and a tarpit unit when I used them. They threatened heavy armor at the start, and made my opponent wary of them and avoid them, or over commit to them. Either way, I was in control and not the other guy.

If there was no heavy armor, then they were a great tarpit unit. They last a long time in CC against most nondedicated CC units.

It's all been said before, but I like them a lot. Give them a try in some games and see how they perform for you. You might like them, you moght not, no harm done.

Green Blow Fly said...

I think both Honor Guard & Sanguinary Guard are two of the best units in the codex. With HG you are basically getting a priest bundled into the mix for free. These are both hard hitting assault units that can crush face. While I don't think you need both units one would help. The termies are slow & I think this is their major drawback unless you opt to spend more points for a landraider. The assault terminators are really the way to go and you get a lot more of this unit in close combat, which is what BA are all about.

I would drop the Devs, they are a point sink. It's not like you are fielding two to three squads, which is partially what makes Long Fangs so lethal. The predators are a much better choice.

I am kind of meh on the Librarian. If you are going to spend these kinds of points why not pay a few more and take the Furioso Librarian?? There is no contest between the two as far as I am concerned.

I like the scout squad but if it were me I'd run them with sniper rifles and a heavy bolter so they can do something.

I am a big fan of the new AM unit but I think people are thinking they are more than what they really are. The best thing they have going for them are their special weapons. I was running mine with 2x meltagun, infernus pistol & power fist but now based upon my experience with three games I am going to run flamer, meltagun, infernus pistol & power fist. Don't make the mistake of overestimating their prowess in close combat, even with furious charge they are still quite average. I base this opinion on running a squad in my PDF army... against stuff like Plague Marines, Bloodletters & other better assault units they will not win games for you as they are simply outclassed. Mine typically benefitted from preferred enemy as well (old Dante rule). They are better suited for tanking hunting and beating up on units like Fire Warriors, where they have a huge edge in close combat.

I think you are doing yourself a huge disservice by placing a restriction upon yourself to not field any armor. It's a mistake in my opinion. BA now have some of the best tanks in the game which are reasonably priced as well. Why not bask in some of taht goodness? I have had lots of initial success with the new Stormraven and it will definitely be a staple in any 1850-2000 army I run.

Just my 2c. BTW I was the only BA player present in the Ard Boyz final last year. Welcome to my bandwagon pilgrim. :P


Xaereth said...

Hey there, I've followed this blog a little bit, got a little tired of the drama that was going on (lol, ironically it involved GBF, who just posted) but figured I'd throw you another blog site devoted (right now at least) to finding the right mix with Blood Angels.


It's my own, but I've had success with Blood Angels in the past (took 7th at BoLSCON last year with them). Maybe you already have too many sites you're checking, and that's cool too. Figured I'd throw it out there anyways. It's kinda small, since I haven't really told a lot of people about the blog, but feel free (anyone) to come and comment. Even you Steve. :-P

Brent said...

Thanks GBF - as I've posted, I've been frustrated with Blood Angels; your feedback is really helpful as I go back to the well again.

Xaereth - I got you added, and I've been reading over the posts on your blog. I appreciate you letting me know about your blog - I'm aware of how difficult it is to get started.

It's interesting to hear what turned you away the first time; I remember the time period you're referring to, and it wasn't too long after that I stopped doing what I called the 'drama posts,' from dialogues I got into from other sites. It takes awhile to find your voice on a blog - and while I still have those conversations, I don't feel the need to recreate them here.

Re: GBF, I don't know about him but I've never felt at odds with him. I've had his link up forever, and he's always been welcome to post here.

He did call me out on a crack I made about the WC over on YTTH, and I thought he had a point and apologized. Last year I posted about him playing my boy Big Whit at Hardboyz; Whit thought it was a good game and found GBF to be a fair opponent.

Anyway I'm glad you're giving the site another chance - good luck with your blog - Brent

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