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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blood Angels Drop Dreads: Re-visited

Right so I know there’s a BA Drop Dread list in the Army List section but it’s not too great IMO. And I can’t find the decent one I’ve actually done on this blog...that’s what I get for not updating my backlinks. Anyway, on Warseer some guy posted a list with 15 DC, 3 Libby Dreads, 3 DC Dreads, 3 Dreads + Reclusiarch for under 1750 points. Looks pretty good but it’s all on foot and has 0. Zero. Nil. Nada. Zilch. Squat. None... crap all scoring. So let’s go about another list building exercise and look at how we would do a Drop Dread list for BA because everyone needs Dreadnoughts in Warhammer 40,000, it's why we play 40k...right?

BA have the lovely advantage of being able to get 11 Dreads but then like the list I mentioned above. You’ve got no scoring. So we’re going to skip on that crazy idea. Otherwise you’ve got the options for four different Dread types. Normal Dreads which are in the Heavy Support slot. DC Dreads which are ace in combat against infantry and ignore stunned and shaken results. Furioso Dreads which have AV13 front AV and come in two forms. Libby Dreads which bring some awesome utility to the table but are expensive and normal Furiosos which are very combat oriented and can either tear through infantry with Blood Talons or mash things up with double DCCW. We’d obviously like as many of these as possible but we don’t want to diversify too much. We’ll flesh out our Pod numbers with ASM/DC/HG which can carry some more melta for tank busting fun and help out with anti-infantry once our Dreads get stuck in. The biggest doozy to this type of list is meltaguns as you’re dropping right into them and MCs who can rip through Dreads with ease.

We’ll start with a Libby and give the guy Blood Lance and Shield. Blood Lance should be obvious in a Drop Pod list and Shield also allows you to deploy aggressively out of Pods (especially for Dreads) and reduces the effectiveness of meltaguns by 33%. He also fills in our mandatory HQ and provides psychic defense. We like this guy. Next we need to decide how many Dreads we are going for. 3 Furioso and 3 normal should be obvious but do we want any DC Dreads? For the moment I’m going to say yes but only one (you’ll see why later). That gives us 7 Pods with Dreads so we really want 6 Pods with Infantry in 2000? Unlikely to happen unless we go bare bones everything. Staying on an even number isn’t bad as well but we want more than 50% of our army to drop T1 so we aren’t at a huge disadvantage.

So, you’re still probably wondering about that one DC Dread right? We’ll let’s set aside the points for him first. 5x DC opens up our access to the DC Dread and they need a pod. Add in the DC Dread and a Pod and we’ve burned 295 points. Is it worth it? Yes and no. It’s a huge psychological factor and can burn through infantry and importantly, simply ignores 1/3 of results against it. The DC are also good infantry munchers and provide some bodies to the list which don’t require a FNP/FC bubble. You don’t get to control them as much as you’d like but you’re happy with them being a distraction. Are these squads necessary? No and if we’re tight on points they will go and we’ll just deal with 6 Dreads. This is also the first place to look for dropping from 2000 to lower point values.

That one DC Dread is pretty scary to infantry so we obviously need a 2nd Dread to do the same job. One Furioso Dread w/Blood Talons please. You lose the DCCW so aren’t very effective against tanks but you’ve now got two Dreads which tear through infantry in combat and one of them is AV13 front armor. We’ll use our other two slots for Libby Dreads in pods. This gives us two more lances to wreck lots of tanks with, overcomes psychic defences and is just awesome. The 2nd power is a bit tricky though. Might of Heroes so they are deadly in combat is a good idea but so is shield to get that 5+ cover we want. For the moment, let’s stick with Might and use our normal Libby to protect us. This means that Libby is coming down T1 so we need to factor this into our list design... We’ve used 975 points so far.

Let’s look at the rest of our Dreads now. Taking these guys bare bones with an MM and Pod sets us back 420 points for three leaving us around 600 points to get our Troops in and not enough for 13 pods (remembering we’d need 5 of them). So this means we’re only dropping in 6 targets on T1 and we’ve already got 4 Dreads and the Libby coming in. This means only one more Pod will be landing T1 and disgorging something. Let’s be ‘tricky’ then. We’ll leave one Dread as is with MM (but give it a HF) and change the other Dreads to Rifledreads. Now they can start on the table if going first, BLoS terrain or the enemy doesn’t have much firepower, reserve normally or Pod in from afar. This costs us an extra 50 points for the Rifledreads and the HF taking us to 1435. Time to work on our scoring bodies.

We need 4 more Pods and the most obvious answer is ASM but an HG squad for mass melta and a FNP/FC bubble is an option, too. Let’s start with 3 small ASM squads and an HG squad and double check my math re Pods...

3x Furiosos
1x DC
1x DC Dread
3x Dread
3x ASM
1x HG

= 12. I fail. We either need to cut an ASM squad or HG squad then and for the moment we will drop the HG. We need scoring and bodies and we’ll just have to buy our FNP/FC bubbles normally.

We’ve got 565 points to play with. So bare bones ASM with a Pod are an easy 100 points and we’ll add in a meltagun and infernous pistol to each taking them to 135 and we’re taking three so 160 left to work with... which means we’ve got enough points to max out one squad (70 left), add a meltagun to it (60 left) and then have points for a Priest (10 left). However, we have no upgrades on the Pods like Locator beacons or Deathwind launchers so they are nearly 385 points of useless.

Let’s scrap the DC and DC Dread concept. The DC Dread is really bloody scary but that’s about it. The Furioso Dread goes back to double DCCW and we’re relying upon our ASM for anti-infantry. We can also potentially make all the normal Dreads MM/HF but again we want to drop 7 pods in on T1 then which might be taxing our points. Let’s do a quick count on how many points we have spare...1130 points used with 6 Dreads in Pods so a lot more free. Let’s go for 13 pods then (7 T1, 6 reserve).

870 points to work with and we’ll start with our ASM again. 135 gets us our basic 5 man squad and 6 of them hits 810 points leaving us at 12 Pods. Doesn’t look like we have the points. We’ll stick with the MM/HF Dread setup and one of these guys just comes in later. 5x5 ASM therefore nets us 675 points or 195 free and if we replace one of those ASM with an HG squad with 3x meltaguns we have 150 to play with. This means we can max out on ASM squad and still have enough points to put upgrades on the Pods which we shall do. Deathwinds add to our anti-infantry which is useful and locators make our 2nd wave more reliable. Useful but not as much when smart use of the board can minimise scatter anyway. Let’s see what we’ve got then...

Libby w/Lance & Shield
HG w/3x meltaguns, Drop Pod
Furioso Dread w/Drop Pod w/Deathwind Launcher
2x Libby Dread w/Might, Lance w/Drop Pod w/Deathwind Launcher
3x 5x ASM w/meltagun, infernous pistol, Drop Pod
10x ASM w/2x meltaguns, Drop Pod
3x Dreadnought w/MM, HF, Drop Pod w/Deathwind Launcher

Totals: 1995 points
6 Dreads + 11 Pods
31 infantry

Bit weak on the infantry side but there are a lot of Dreads and Pods there to occupy your opponent’s attention early on. To get more infantry you can drop the HG for another ASM squad and with the spare points (+ some points from the Deathwinds) can max out another ASM squad. No FNP then. You also have to decide how you want the Libby to come in (with the HG and expose them early? Not at all? With one of the small ASM squads which would likely die? With the big ASM squad and drop them down to 9 men and add back the infernous pistol but lose combat squadding?). Personally I’d bring him in on the 2nd wave and just give the Libby Dreads shield. You lose out in combat a bit but you’ve still got 6 Dreads and backed up by 25 ASM. Other changes can be made like no Libby Dreads, etc.

The list is obviously hell as expensive to buy but would be great fun to run and play with. You’re still limited by mobility as Drop Lists generally are but like a good drop list you can switch in what comes first and have enough pods in reserve to go where you need to.

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