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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Armies in 5th: Blood Angels Part 1: Differences to Marines


So the Blood Angels have finally come out and my first Armies in 5th post about them will highlight a difference I think a lot of people haven’t grasped yet: they are not “better” Vanilla marines. Vanilla marines are very good at dual Raider, Bikers, Mech spam (in the vein of Best Of variants), Dread pods, etc. @ 2k. Whilst BA can do some of these armies (I.e. dual Raider, Mech and Pods) they do them completely differently to SM just like SW do it differently for SM. With that in mind, I think the forums have over-rated BA to a significant degree. Yes they are powerful but they are balanced and certainly aren’t an easy pick over other SM types. What really tickles me pink over this book is the ability to run “fast” MEQ in the vein of Eldar and the fact that it is another book which you can run Mech and foot armies with. The variability of the book is just fantastic and some of the new models are excellent (I’ll be using Sanguinary Guard as my VV) so good job to GW again who seem to have cottoned on to good business lately (though lack of Thunderwolves, Tervigons/T-Fexes, Storm Ravens, plastic Sanguinary Priests, etc. still puzzles me).

So what is this article all about? I’ll be looking at what makes BA different from SW/SM and where their book will excel. It’s in essence a really brief review before I start getting into the meat of things with more specific articles. So what sets BA apart from their counter-parts?

Their vehicles (excluding Land Raiders) are fast. This is great to throw a bunch of 3+/FNP/FC marines into your opponent’s face but also throws you closer into melta range. Unlike Eldar, only the Stormraven doesn’t care about melta range so your Preds, Rhinos, Vindis and Rbacks don’t really want to get too close. You can also throw a bunch of FNP marines into your opponent’s face with Jump Packs/Pods, etc. so that doesn’t seem like a good use of the BA speed, more like taking SW/SM concepts and going “oooo shiny”. The points increase should stop you before you do this. So what does this speed advantage allow you to do with your tanks?

Well Preds can suddenly sit at their optimum range a lot easier being able to move 6” and not care about shooting penalties. You pay for this but the points increase isn’t huge unlike a Vindicator. The ability to take 6 Preds (3 of which can scout) also allows you to make choo-choo trains with AV13 and still move and fire. Thanks Baals. These concepts lead mech BA to generally be better at having their heavier tanks play gunboats (like Eldar) but combines then bum rushing technique with as many Marines and meltas as possible (unlike Eldar). You can maximise such tactics by creating more target problems with Razorback Marines supporting the melta marines all the while those preds provide firepower. Suddenly you’ve got a lot of midfield firepower and a lot of backfield firepower coming at you which is similar to the Best Of approach but plays very differently.

This is also why fast Vindies aren’t that awesome. They get closer to melta and die or get side shots. Who cares if they attract a ton of firepower (this is why a lot of Warseer gives them the thumb up)? As soon as I stop it shooting I move on and when you provide me with easier AV11 options and bring it closer to my melta, that’s more likely to happen. If they don’t die they can land on your Marines (who don’t like it) because BA are designed to have their Troops close. This makes Preds or Dreads in HSupport are much better options.

BA also bring a new army to the table. I’ve mentioned it a couple times before, had it flamed on Warseer, proven it’s worth, still have it flamed on Warseer and have decided to order in the Jump Packs for it…that’s right, the Jumper army we have all wanted is actually competitive now. It has obvious weaknesses (mystics and an Executioner will ruin your day) but can deal with the majority of armies out there. It takes advantage of the FNP/FC bubbles BA can produce and drops a lot of MEQs w/meltas and combat weapons in your opponent’s face. Commence operation firesweep. No other army can do this, thank you GW.

Like SM, BA can do decent Drop armies where Dreads/Marines are split to provide what is needed and when. Unlike SM, BA have multiple Dread options and can field a potential of 11 Dreads (which is unlikely) which each have a different role including the new DC Dread which can tear through squads and the Libby Dread which not only combines the might and armor of a Furioso dread but the psychic might of a librarian. This variability allows you to apply what you need where but reduces some redundancy.

Furthermore, they are the 2nd Imperial army to have a ‘heavy’ skimmer which also brings in a new assault vehicle. This opens up a large amount of options for BA and is their answer to the SM dual raider. Again, it plays very differently to the other book, GW is not stupid (currently). Whilst BA can run dual raider w/TH/SS, the Vanilla one is more efficient in points spent. BA can utilise Termies and coupled with FNP/FC bubbles can be better than the Vanilla variants (but they pay a bit more) but again it becomes a completely different army. If you try to take your exact dual raider models or mech models and turn it into a BA list, you’re going to fit less in. This is the price of BA but when you think outside the box and combine ideas, suddenly you can build different armies that take advantage of the BA’s strengths.

Again this is an overview and will start to get into the thick of it ASAP but all depends on my assignments. Could be tomorrow could be a couple days from now but if anyone has anything to add, comment or e-mail away. Remember, BA are NOT Puppies or Vanilla Marines. They play differently and for good reason.

10 pinkments:

The_King_Elessar said...

Very nice, I'm going to do an article or a few on BA myself - but this provides a good overview.

MagicJuggler said...

I've been experimenting more with the Storm Raven, and have been using it now for the Multimelta+Plasma Cannons.

One thing I am curious though is when it says "Replace the Assault Cannon with", it says Multimelta, or Lascannon(s)...does this mean a pair of TL Lascannons? :D

Chumbalaya said...

Word to that, BA is its own army and any attempt to simply paint your ultrasmurfs red isn't going to end well.

The_King_Elessar said...

@MagicJuggler:
Nice try, but on. lol

Also, note that you can't even swap the AssCans for a MM. ;)

Interestingly, what does a 'Chalice of Blood' do? I know what a 'Blood Chalice' is, but the other I've on idea...lmao.

The_King_Elessar said...

That should say 'no idea'... :(

MagicJuggler said...

Gack...it's swap the Heavy Bolter for Multimelta or Typhoon...

Shame, I would'a enjoyed a pair of Lascannons. At least I'm enjoying the TL Plasmacannon for punishing units for having their transports destroyed.

The_King_Elessar said...

Granted. I may write a StormRaven based list for later...

MagicJuggler said...

I am fine-tuning one for 2500 points. I currently have:

HQ:
100 points: Librarian with Sanguine Shield, and Blood Lance
100 points: Librarian with Sanguine Shield, and Blood Lance

Elites:
190 points: Librarian Furioso Dreadnought with Dreadnought CCWs, Magna-Grapple, Blood Lance, and Might of Heroes
140 points: Furioso Dreadnought with Dreadnought CCW w/ Meltagun, Frag Cannon, Magna-Grapple
140 points: Furioso Dreadnought with Dreadnought CCW w/ Meltagun, Frag Cannon, Magna-Grapple

Troops:
130: 5 Assault Marine, Sergeant
-TL HF Razorback w/ HK Missile
130: 5 Assault Marine, Sergeant
-TL HF Razorback w/ HK Missile
130: 5 Assault Marine, Sergeant
-TL HF Razorback w/ HK Missile
70 points: IST w/ 2 Meltaguns
70 points: IST w/ 2 Meltaguns
70 points: IST w/ 2 Meltaguns

Fast Attack:
180 points: 2 Land Speeders, w/ Typhoon Missile Launchers & Heavy Flamers
180 points: 2 Land Speeders, w/ Typhoon Missile Launchers & Heavy Flamers
180 points: 2 Land Speeders, w/ Typhoon Missile Launchers & Heavy Flamers

Heavy Support:
230: Stormraven, TL Plasma Cannon, TL Multimelta, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon
230: Stormraven, TL Plasma Cannon, TL Multimelta, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon
230: Stormraven, TL Plasma Cannon, TL Multimelta, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon

My main issue is whether to keep Frag Cannons on the regular Furiosos, or dual CCWs. Original versions had the Marines upgraded.

The_King_Elessar said...

I lol'd at Frag Cannon, 1st time I saw it. Can't wait for a model.

If ISTs go in Razors, where do Libbies go?

MagicJuggler said...

The ISTs and Librarians go in the Stormravens. They're meant to be dropped by Skies of Blood. The Librarian Furioso goes in the Stormraven without the Librarians. Basically, it's a bombing run of sorts.

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