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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Armies in 5th: Blood Angels Part 3: Red paint & choppy choppy

Well now that we’ve all sunk our teeth into some BA army lists and had some time to digest what BA really do, time to start breaking it down. BA are Space Marines who gave their engines red paint as fuel. This means they go faster (Fast rule except LR). They are also Space Marines which can kick things around in combat; let’s look at what this means.

Space Marines are naturally tough which you pay for (often a lamentation of Vanilla players because their Tacticals “suck”…) but who are easily torrented or hit by power weapons. BA still suffer from allergies to power weapons but are less susceptible to torrenting thanks to FNP/FC bubbles. These bubbles also make the army as a whole effective as combat. This is completely different from Space Marines who are NOT a combat army or from Orks who suck as a combat army. When your basic Troops suddenly become quite decent at combat and good for torrenting, which can be backed up by stronger units, you’ve got a good combat army.

So we know if we apply 6” FNP/FC bubbles correctly, our Blood Angels shrug off small arms and are likely to strike first and wound on 3s/2s when charging. Pretty impressive considering those bubbles cost 50pts. So whilst I can continue to go on about the implications on assault for an MEQ statline, we need to get there first. This is where the BA codex comes into play. You don’t have to rely on Transports (which are notoriously annoying in getting units into combat) as you have quite a few options for BA. You’ve got non-assault ramp transports (Rhino/Rback), assault ramp transports (LR/SR), Drop Pods and Jump Packs. Whilst I’ve said before I think pure mech or pure jumper is better for BA, I will let people attempt to prove me wrong with Rhino based tacticals/Preds and ASM jumpers. I’m waiting!

Since we are focusing on the speed aspect of BA atm we will look at the transport option. Rhinos/Rbacks still suffer from what has been affecting “Rhino rushes” since 3rd edition, you can’t assault out of closed vehicles if they moved. This is less of a problem with FNP marines but you don’t want to deny yourself the charge or get shot up by AP3- weaponry. We can overcome this by using different type of lists but…we want to use the red paint. Enter Tactical Squads and ASM, something I think has been overlooked by a lot of BA players. ASM allow 2 specials + Sarge weapon and exemplify the assault nature of BA which is perfect but as I’ve stated a few times, their midfield presence is less than that of Marines. Being better at assault doesn’t overcome the better shooting ability Tacticals have when both of them have the same staying power.

So the extra speed of the BA allows your Marines to get into your opponent’s face a lot quicker and you can use those Rhinos to block off any tactical you unloads for a first turn melta strike and your ASM stay hidden for counter assaults or bunkering with 2x/mguns. From here you have a choice. Do you mech up the rest of your army in non-assault style (i.e. Preds) or do you start taking Termies/Vanguard/Furioso Dreads/Honor Guard, etc. in Storm Ravens, Jump Packs (potentially DSing) or more Rhinos/Rbacks? This splits off into two different lists and might also alter your original core choices.

When Preds are chosen your army list really becomes a mini-Eldar list w/SM statlines (how many times have I said that so far…) where your speed keeps you away from your opponent but still firing. This can be a problem if you’re taking assault based Troops as your army starts to split up. Remember, BA are faster than most armies but not as fast as Eldar/DE. When you add to your midfield presence with say Honor Guard, Vanguard, Dreads, etc. the speed of BA is to get you into midfield faster and then be able to stay that little bit ahead of your opponent once the battle is joined so to speak.

When you do take advantage of the Rhino/Rback speed to utilise tacs/ASM and assaults you get something unique no other Imperial army offers, the ability to protect your infantry with rhino chassis on turn 1 (i.e. meltagun squad hops out of 12” moving RBack/Rhino and 2 others move 18”) and then be quite capable at assault the next turn thanks to their Marine statlines and FNP/FC bubbles. So BA, above and beyond the other Marine books, are better at combat and faster which makes for COMPLETELY different lists (how many times has that been said, too :P?). Use these differences well.

1 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Great write up, I think it covers the big differences between BA and vanilla quite nicely.

I posted my hybrid in another thread, something like
JP Libby
2x SHP
3x RAS decked out
6x Preds

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