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Monday, April 5, 2010

Armies in 5th: Blood Angels Part 2: Army Styles?


We all know how good mech is in 5th and we should all have realised by now the effectiveness of certain foot lists or a combination of both (hybrid) but where do BA’s strengths lie? I think we shall find that BA works much like the Puppies book here. It makes good mech and “foot” lists but the hybrid lists are a bit compromised. Whilst hybrid lists can be utilised by the BA book and be effective, I think pure jumper or mech (or a pod army) is far more effective than hybrid, very much like the SW book. Unlike Tau or IG, the BA army style does not condone itself to hybrid. Let’s see why.

So we’ve talked about Hybrid on this blog a bit, in fact I do believe I’ve ranted over it ^^. Hybrid done properly is a very good army, so let’s look at what it means to be done properly. First though I will link you to my previous rant. Whilst it is ranting, it highlights the problems of hybrid when done incorrectly and I’ll be referring to some of those points throughout. So we know that Tau and IG are the best Hybrid armies out there, both of which use Troops as effective bubble-wrap units, although Tau takes it further with JSJ infantry. Both of these armies are essentially mech gunlines which have a bubble-wrap for defense.

So what are the primary features of these Hybrid armies that don’t feature in BA (or SW) hybrid armies? Their infantry aspect is essentially meant to die; it’s protecting the meat of the army and the Tau or IG player isn’t crying when they eventually fold and die. They are a delay unit, pure and simple. Whilst they can put out some firepower for the IG, everything else does so at a greater rate. BA/SW don’t have this luxury. Their infantry based guys are generally part of the army and need to do something and are thus moving into midfield. This opens them to more firepower and importantly, more firepower that is anti-infantry. Because the IG/Tau players don’t care if their bubble-wraps die, the application of anti-infantry firepower on the bubble-wrap doesn’t bother the player. For BA/SW, it does; particularly since those infantry units are often assault based or part of the meat of the army (I.e. TWC or ASM). So let’s look a bit deeper into this with BA.

Whilst BA hybrid allows anti-infantry and anti-tank guns multiple targets from the get-go that aren’t interchangeable (I.e. it doesn’t become a choice for your opponent of whether or not to shoot the infantry or tanks unlike say Tyranid Warriors and a Hive Tyrant, both of which are ideal targets for S8+ weapons), are there any advantages conferred by this army style? The theory would suggest by moving your Predators and/or Razorbacks/Rhinos forward you will be providing your Jumpers behind with at the minimum cover and the much more likely result of being “hidden” from most conventional weapons (but 40k is full of unconventional). Sounds good, yes? I’m sure in real-life most army infantry would love to have a tank as mobile cover but let’s look at in 40k.

So what happens when those screening vehicles die or when the opponent has other tanks/terrain/tactics that allow them to “see“ over your mech wall? The jumpers are suddenly getting shot quite liberally and they will be bunched up to gain advantage of the mech screen (if they aren’t, why are you running hybrid!?). Suddenly all those anti-infantry blasts are pouring into your jumpers and it seems like you’d of been better off either massing jumpers or bum-rushing with Rhinos as one weapon type doesn’t have the type of target it desires. Why one or the other? You get more saturation of one type and you overwhelm your target. Consider 16 armoured chassis’s or 50+ FNP marines. That’s a tall order for anyone to ping through quickly compared to half of each because every gun is going to have a target essentially from T1.

However, what about a biker equivalent of a Fast’N’Slow list? Now we are getting somewhere! This is where you combine a solid block of jumpers w/FNP bubbles and back it up with cheap suppression fire. Since BA have ‘shooty’ dreads in Heavy Support this leaves HQ, Troops and Elites to create your jumper block (which can include winged Dreads, ooo). I think a Vanilla biker list has the advantage over a Jumper list in this vein as they don’t rely on combat for anti-infantry torrent and are able to get 3xdread/pred/typhoon for suppression fire whilst BA have more of a hammer feel to it.

So, BA seem to be best suited for pure infantry (jumper), mech or podding armies rather than hybrid style armies. The one style I think has some merit is a jumper styled Biker list but again it plays differently with decreased suppression fire availability.

6 pinkments:

The_King_Elessar said...

HALO WARS FTW!!!

Anyone know when HW2 will bed out?

Oh yeah, article...

I want an example BA Fast N Slow before I make any conclusions there - otherwise I concur.

Chumbalaya said...

I <3 Halo Wars, even if it was a bit simplistic.

BA hybrid could be doable, think 6 Preds or 3 Pred/3 Dread combined with your blocks of FNP marines. The same thing that negates FNP also is the only thing that hurts the armor. Sure you can pour tons of fire into the marines, but with 30-40 jumpers sporting FNP it won't make a big enough dent.

The_King_Elessar said...

I think BA Hybrid is too cost-inefficient, and simply too expensive.

I challenge you to write a Hybrid list that doesn't suck, Chumby, at 1750. :)

Chumbalaya said...

I can do 1850

Librarian w/ Jump Pack, Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinius
2 Sanguinary High Priests w/ jump packs, infernus pistols
3x 10 Assault Marines, 2 meltaguns, powerfist
3x Baal Preds w/ TLAC, HB sponsons
3x Preds w/ AC, LC sponsons

6 fast AV13 vehicles, 3 of which scout, 33 jump packers with FNP and reliable cover, plus tons of melta and a fun lance power.

At 2000, swap the Libby for Mephiston (lol)

The_King_Elessar said...

Touche.

Kirby said...

I'll write up a Fast'N'Slow list BA style when I get home. Whilst Chum's Hybrid example is prob the best you're going to get, pure jumpers or mech I believe is better. Whilst most of the guns that really "scare" FNP marines are anti-tank anyways, weight of fire and blast weapons will have a field day with them (and anything with S8+ and AP2- blast...ouch).

Take a look at a guard army with double manticores or an Executioner. Both have some decent duality towards vehicles but they'd much rather shoot at infantry, etc. You're also offering less efficient lists that do run things like plasma better options to shoot at.

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