Blood Angels: Trial and Error

(Subtitled: Help a Brother Out!)

I've enjoyed reading all the recent Blood Angels blogs and comments, from Nick and King across the pond to Chumby and others here stateside.  I guess my problem is, I'm still pretty lost.

So, help me out some folks.

Okay, this isn't a deadline sort of project.  I'm going to be taking my Daemons to BoLSCon - and is anyone interested in having a look at that list?  Point is, this isn't an army I have to make any hard decisions on, but I've got the itch to work on Marines so I might as well put that to good use.

I purchased a huge Space Marines army from Evil Homer about a year ago, with the idea of sitting on it until the Codex's release.  Well, now EH is looking like Nostradamus, since the army is chock full of Assault Marines, Honor Guard, Vanguard, Attack Bikes, Baal Predators, and the like, while I've since added my own version of a 10-strong Death Company.  I've also got a number of Rhinos, Devastators, Terminators, and Dreadnoughts, so I can take this army in a number of different directions.

Mmm... maybe I should have just said, I've got a lot of shit.  Point is, I'm lost in all that plastic.  I attempted to build a 2000 point army today.  So, follow along with my train of thought, then maybe you could tell me where I went wrong, because I don't like it.

1)  Okay, I started with a Librarian, and everything is going to have a Jump Pack, so that's 125pts.  I don't see the need yet for two powers a turn, so let's save 50pts.
2)  I want a hard-hitting assault element, so I'll take two Chaplains and two Sanguinary Priests, also both with Jump Packs.  I'm not going to upgrade either, so that's 125pts / Chaplain and 75 / Priest.  Ouch!  But I feel I need that element, the former for the torrenting of wounds I'll need to dish out and the latter for the survivability I'll need to get there then stay there.
3)  Okay, let's take two Assault Squads, each with dual Melta Guns and a Sgt. with a Powerfist.  I'm aware of the Infernus Pistol, but until I've playtested this Codex, I'll stick with what I know and save points where I can.  Okay thats... 235pts each.  Mmm....
4)  I've got two Baal Predators - let's use 'em!  Okay, I want them to act as a mobile element, blocking LoS as needed, so no sponsons.  That also saves points.  Yup - I'm smart I am!  Okay... maybe I got that idea by listening to TKE, Chumby, and JWolf discuss the issue elsewhere, but I'll pretend I knew wtf they were talking about...
5)  I've got some Melta Gun goodness in my Assault Squads, but I've got to be able to knock out Mech if I want to play with the big boys.  Let's take 3 Attack Bikes with Multi-Melta and two Dreadnoughts with the same plus a Heavy Flamer.  That's 150pts for the Bikes and 115pts / Dread, for a total of 380pts.
6)  Did I save enough?  Yes!  Let's take 9 Death Company with Jump Packs, Bolters, and two Thunder Hammers for a total of... that can't be right... let me re-add that.  Okay, 375pts.  Man, they're expensive!  Okay, I'm aware it's going to be controversial for me to advocate for the humble Bolter, giving up an attack each close combat phase, but I don't think it's a bad trade-off.  Relentless let's me lay down the pain at 24-inches while I'm closing the distance, or alternatively take some shots when I'm just not close enough for the assault.  I think it's a good deal - and for the record, not an issue I've seen discussed anywhere, so I'm either right or wrong on my own on this one.  Man, that's an expensive squad.
7)  Okay, problem.  I've got only two Troops choices at 2000pts and only two vehicles, both of which isn't a good thing.  Let's try to solve this.  First, the Blaal Predators are going to be vulnerable to shots from the side, 'cause that's how I'd do it.  We need a screen... can I kill two Gargoyles with one stone?  Let's drop one of the Assault Squads.  Consider, I've got two Chapies and two Priesties... with two Assault Squads and a Death Company, which is the odd squad out?  That's not a huge concern, given that I would have used Combat Squads to divide one of the Assault Squads, but let's try something different.  How about two, 5-man Assault Squads sans Jump Packs, using the 35pt discount to hop in a Razorback?  That's 120pts, so just a bit more than half the cost of the Assault Squad, so two of those doesn't break the bank.  Further, we can run those on each flank of our mech line, protecting the vulnerable side armor of the Baal Preds.

Let's add all that up:
Chaplain x 2
Sanguinary Priest x2
Assault Squad, 10-man
Death Company
Assault Squad, 5-man, in Razorback x2
Baal Predators x2
Attack Bike Squad, 3-man
Dreadnoughts x2

1980... so 20pts left over is a Melta Gun per mini-Assault Squad, bringing us up to 2000pts.

There!  I'm so cool!

Problem is, I'm pretty sure it sucks.  Of the 4 tanks, only two have decent armor going for them, and while the Dreadnoughts should draw some of that fire it doesn't seem like much mech.  In addition, even with three choices from the troops selection, it feels vulnerable in objective missions.  As anyone who uses Attack Bikes knows, these draw fire quick; there is no guarantee they can get into position quickly enough to make good use of their firepower.  In short, the list seems scattered.

Am I being too hard on myself?  Maybe; certainly, the Death Company and Assault Squad will take a lot of killing, but I'm not sure it has the goods to stand up to the big boys... the tough and optimized lists. 

So where do I go from here?  Well, I've been asking around, so I expect others (who are better than I at Listhammer) will have opinions I can (steal) access.  For example, I just saw the email from Fritz regarding Infantry-only Blood Angels - and that idea was going to be my next port of call.

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Insults?


Michael said...

I like the all infantry list. It is a pretty tough nut with all the FNP marines dropping right in on you. I played precisely one game with it, where I mopped up a Tau Farsight bomb list. Granted it's a poor list, but it was just brutal. I tabled him after only 3 turns on the board, actual turn 4.

But I'd advocate dropping the DC. They are just a points sink. The JPs are way too pricey, and a rhino doesn't do them justice. So a LR is the choice, but then again, way pricey. Unless you want a LR rush army, I don't think that is the way to go. You can kit them out just like you like, but the price tag is hefty, you already know that.

An all mech list would be good also. I really think a 6 razorback, 6 predator list would be pretty tough to deal with. It sounds nasty, then add in the fact that they are all fast tanks, and it gets even better.

Those are my .02 cents. Have a year and of Blood Angel experience, but that counts for little with the new codex out.

Good Luck!

Brent said...

Michael -

I added your blog to my links section; I went to take a look and really enjoyed my look around... your blog is like Strictly Average, except with talent.

You're an optometry student? There's something that's been bugging me... the last time I got my eyes checked for contacts, the doctor made me where a gown.

Should I be worried?

Keep it coming guys - Brent

Michael said...

Ball gowns are the norm for most eye-exams. If it was a hospital gown, I'd look into finding another eye doc.

Thanks for the add on your blogroll, and the compliments on my blog. I'm not so sure about the talent part. I fancy myself a decent painter, but certainly no Golden Daemons in my future, lol. And my tactical acumen amounts to my battle reports, that I really need to start taking pictures of.

I just don't feel I can really compare to a blog that can post pics of Corky on it, with some relevance ;)

Keep up the good work!

The_King_Elessar said...

Since I don't think you'll object, lol, I shall take the liberty of giving you the 'Chumby Treatment' tomorrow or Thursday. (Likely the latter, I have plans tomorrow, depends when I wake up...)


Neil Kerr aka Skcuzzlebumm said...

Looking at your list and not wanting to totally re-write 2 things jump out at me:

1. why the second priest? From experience he is a bit of a waste in small 5 man units - too easy to torrent. Otherwise he is not required in the DC.

2. why Dreads? They just stick out like a slow moving sore thumb amongst all that mech.

I would drop one Priest and the Dreads then invest the points in a 4th Bike (2 units of 2) and a pair of Mk1 Preds.

That's my opinion at least.

Fritz said...

Brent, where the heck is your email addy on the blog? I lost it and want to send some bolscon ideas your way!


Brent said...


Funny you mention that - I've had some ideas myself...


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

How many of them involve a single bullet....?

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

Or some homo erotic murder/suicide thing...never mind that was Fritz not Jawa

Gauthic said...

rofl. Slow day at lunch, MM(esno)?

Brent said...

Master Manipulator (every store needs one)...

Re: part the first... I think it'll take a silver bullet for evil such as you, sir.

Re: part the second... Yes.

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

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Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

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