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Monday, April 26, 2010

Armies in 5th: Blood Angels Part 5: The Core



Back with more BA stuff after a nice hiatus (it was very nice really!). I’m onto my last assignment (on freaking information processing models of social anxiety. I hate cognition) so soon I’ll be posting madly again (I hope). Before we do that though the hopefully steady post a day will be coming along. Today we are revisiting the Armies in 5th to take a look at BA Troops (we’ll include Sanguinary Guard in this, too).

You’ve got 4(5) Troops choices for BA which is excellent for choices. Unfortunately, there is a clear stand-out in the ASM. They are quite capable of running by themselves in a Jumper list (tick for competitive foot) but in the realm of 5th ed mech they also come out ahead due to their discount on transports. This opens up a lot of options. Whilst LasPlas Rback spamming is still done better by SM and SW, discounts on Rhinos, Pods and Rbacks open up a wide range of army lists and styles (and yes Land Raiders, too). Combined with the lauded ability to take 2 specials like Grey Hunters (which is the be all and end all according to interweb forums) and a further mini-special on the Vet makes these guys a popular choice. ASM very happily take advantage of FNP/FC bubbles in combat but have less shooting prowess outside of their 2 meltaguns. Their anti-infantry ability is through combat and this can be somewhat problematic for DSing them (particularly since you should be taking meltaguns anyways). However, whilst they are the perfect fit for the BA army in many regards, they often cause people to overlook the other options available to them.

The most obvious of this is the Tactical Squad. The exact same as the SM Tac but with Red Thirst over Combat Tactics and a more expensive but Fast Rhino. What these guys offer over the ASM is more midfield support and thanks to the faster Rhino, can get there faster. Although they aren’t as good in combat they can be an excellent anchor to your BA army and backup to any ASM. If you are running 10 men ASM w/o Jump Packs I’d often recommend the Tacticals w/combi instead. Whilst less combat prowess, their boltguns and heavy weapon combined with the increased speed and FNP bubbles make them better than Vanilla Tacticals in holding midfield (tiny tiny margin though) and certainly better than ASM who want to get into assault. You also therefore save on combat weapons for the Tacticals. Remember again, BA mech is like mini-Eldar but with SM statlines so you want to avoid combat as much as possible here. Again, the ASM are more likely to be used in more lists (lots of mini Rback squads or Jumper lists) but when taking full squads in Rhinos, Tacticals are often your best bet point for point.

Sanguinary Guard are an optional Troop. Dante needs to be taken for this to happen. Dante is an expensive but excellent character and I would only take him in a pure jumper list. You then have a couple of options. Replace the ASM in a standard Jumper list with Sanguinary Guard completely or mix ASM and Sanguinary Guard up. Sanguinary Guard are obviously better in combat, lack numbers and w/FNP bubbles are really only vulnerable to armor ignoring weapons but importantly can’t take meltaguns! In a pure jumper army you need as many meltaguns as possible to take out those tanks ASAP. Whilst Sanguinary Guard are capable of taking a beating from any light arms, they don't really add much on the drop compared to ASM. Whilst taking one squad w/Dante can give you some very accurate pistols, I wouldn't want to take many more as I would dilute my anti-armor too much. I prefer to mix and match if I was taking these guys but would generally prefer ASM overall as you also have to pay for Dante. Once these guys get into combat though, 2+/FNP/FC and MC-Power weapons will go a long way against any non-super units. Against super units though, Jumper armies still rely on combined assaults so they honestly don’t add that much to your army IMO. They do look awesome though.

Our next two Troops are non-scoring which is a pain. These are of course the Death Company and Death Company Dreadnought. We’ll go onto the DC Dread 2nd as you need DC to access them. DC have been nerfed. They no longer have Rending and this is IMO huge. Otherwise they are essentially old school SM Vets (2A) but w/FNP, WS5, FC, relentless and Rage. Rage is the bummer. Make this unit anything remotely scary and they will be dragged around, though this can be mitigated by Rhinos. Jump Packs are still quite expensive for these guys and with only pistol special weapons, aren’t really an ideal choice for a Jumper army. However, without going overboard on close combat weapons, these guys can operate outside of the FNP/FC bubbles BA rely on. Add in a Chaplain (or Lemartes) and they can be a terror in close combat through torrent. Remember though, the more you put into this unit and the more likely they are to have their movement dictated by your opponent as they avoid them. Personally I think the loss of Rending was huge as you now need special combat weapons with them to be good against anything outside of normal infantry.

The real kicker for taking DC however is the DC Dread which comes w/Blood Talons standard. Whilst the Furioso Dread can also take Blood Talons (and with AV13) and don’t have rage, the DC Dread gets to completely ignore Shaken and Stunned results + has fleet. That’s like a 3+ and 5+ invul save on glancing and penetrating hits…ya okay, awesome. Rage certainly is a pain but with Blood Talons there really is nothing the DC Dread isn’t happy to much upon. These guys are obviously best in Pods due to poor long range firepower and if you pod them right can make an opponent dictate Rage harder. However, if done this way I think the army needs to be themed around it, otherwise they are hung out to dry.

Overall, the general consensus on ASM is correct (for once). They offer the majority of BA army styles the meat of the list by providing scoring and numbers (bolstered by FNP/FC bubbles and twin meltaguns). However, the Tactical squad is far often overlooked and in a Predator based army could often be better due to their improved midfield presence. Sanguinary Guard, DC and DC Dreads are all a bit more specific and can dictate the way an army is built. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the Guard or DC, they do bring a different element to the army (I.e. tougher units in Jumper army or not having to rely on FNP bubbles, etc.) which can be utilised to an advantage or for a different flavor to an army list.

5 pinkments:

Anonymous said...

Why is the word 'scout' not used at all in this post?

MasterSlowPoke said...

Scouts are kind of lacking in the BA book. Assault marines are better armed, better armored, and can take transports - at a discount, no less. The only role they fill would be as sniper scouts, but that doesn't really synergize well with any standard blood angels list.

Chumbalaya said...

Shit, BA has Scouts? Never even saw them there :P

Good summary Kirbs <3

Anonymous said...

"Scouts are kind of lacking in the BA book. Assault marines are better armed, better armored, and can take transports - at a discount, no less. The only role they fill would be as sniper scouts, but that doesn't really synergize well with any standard blood angels list."

Scouts.
Pinning units as you advance
Holding objectives while your army advances
Providing beacons for your DS army (can also do on turbo boosting bikes)

I think they are worth a mention

Kirby said...

my reaction was the same as Chumb's to be honest! lol. Will add them in Anon but agreeing with SlowPoke in essence, ASM/Tacs are infinitely better in the army styles BA bring to the table over SM who are quite happy with an objective camper.

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