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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sanguine/Nipple and Blood Hammer Re-visited [2000]

We all know Blood Hammer. It's one of the quintessential 40k lists right? We can thank shep for it, wherever he is these days... but basically combines the aspects of a Jumper marine army but replaces VV with Devastators. This does two things: allows flexible deployment options (on table or reserve) and provides important firepower about Jumper lists greatest weaknesses (MCs, Dreadnoughts, really fast armies like Eldar/DE). Whilst it obviously has less combat punch, is harder to fit in a anti-hammer unit and isn't as good on the drop (more subject to bubble-wrap, etc.) the covering of these weaknesses is huge. Against armies like Eldar, DE, BA Mech, Tyranids, Damonezilla/Chaoszilla, Elfzilla, Drop Dreads (SM and BA), etc. a huge weakness has been overcome even though some of those lists weren't competitive to begin with. Whilst Jumper BA is still a good list and competitive, Blood Hammer is that little bit more forgiving and easier to use.

So why are we looking at it again? If we look at my version (still under construction) we'll see a lot of Marines, a lot of firepower, awesome fun but wasted points. Where? The 10x Devs. Now at 2000 points taking min-sized Dev squads is potentially problematic as 5 MEQ aren't too hard to put wounds into, even at 48". Whilst Space Wolves deal with this issue seemingly without issue, Blood Hammer needs the flexibility to deploy in reserve with its Jumpers to take advatange of DoA. Obviously FNP helps alleviate this issue of survivability but one needs to determine how much firepower an opponent can drop on those Devs in the openning turns, especially if the BA player doesn't have the 1st turn. If you do have the first turn or can place them in a safe spot (i.e. out of range and can move into range T2, LoS blocked, or not enough opposing firepower, etc.) Blood Hammer becomes a lot more flexible.

By dropping the excess Marines we save 240 points. Yummy. Now we've got quite a few options from here but what we want to do is increase our combat output. My 1750 version of the list I'm considering for Centurion is able to fit in two SG squads and 25 ASM but no Honor Guard. At 1750 I think this is the way to go for this type of list as Dante isn't really worth it at such low points and the 'disadvantages' of small Dev squads aren't as severe. How to take this to 2000 points then? For the best type of list I think Dante and SG as Troops is actually the best way.

You obviously start with Dante and you want to 'abuse' his speical drop ability. This is great for Sang Guard as their infernous pistol limitations are overcome so we'll take a special unit for him with extra infernous pistols. Otherwise we want at least 4 squads to throw at our enemy. 20 2+/FNP models is bloody hard to remove. 4 squads then each with a PFist so we don't get tied up and double infernous pistols with one squad running around with 4. We then need to take the Devastators for back-up and as we discussed before, 3x5x Devs w/4x ML works fine, especially with SG as Troops as deploying them on the table is a lot more viable. We've got two options from here with 495 points to play with.

1) We need a babysitting Priest as well to mitigate their vulnerability and 2 Priests with JP to make our SG as invulnerable as possible to small arms fire but importantly to get S/I5 on the charge (i.e. I hit and kill you more reliably before you hit me). This leaves us enough points for a Libby and an Honor Guard squad but not enough for any upgrades on the HG squad. Dropping an ML from each Dev squad gives us 40 points so we can put in a bunch of meltaguns and get an extra FNP/FC bubble but not enough for Storm Shields. We could conceivebly drop the extra infernous pistols as well and grab the HG 2x SS and 2x meltaguns (+1 the one from Dante) but I think running it as just a meltagun platform works.

2) Or we could not take Priests but focus on Honor Guard but you lose the Libby (you still take the foot Priest). Taking two bare HG squads leaves you at 115 points so you could take a Libby by dropping some points here or there but we want some meltaguns and SS on those Honor Guard. Again, let's drop an ML from each of the Dev squads and we then have 145 points to allocate in terms of meltaguns and SS onto the Honor Guard.

Personally I prefer option one as the 5+ cover from the Libby is very useful. You could also simply not take the Libby or Honor Guard and run another SG squad though that looks pretty boring ^^. A sample list would look something like...

Libby w/Jump Pack, Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguine
Honor Guard w/Jump Packs, 2x meltaguns, 2x Storm Shields
2x Priest w/Jump Pack, Priest on foot
4x Sanguinary Guard w/2x infernous Pistol, Power Fist
3x 5x Devastators w/3x Missile Launchers

Totals: 2000 points
45 infantry

However, what does this list look like without Dante? Again, I think this list is best run at 2000 points and an ASM/Libby based list is run better at 1750 but for those purists, let's take a peek. 30 ASM is enough scoring at 2000 points so we'll take 3 squads with double meltagun and PFist. The all-purpose ASM unit. Once again, we'll back these guys up with 3x5x Dev squads and a baby-sitting Priest. Taking the standard Shield/Lance Libby gives us castle busting on the drop and cover in the open, both very important aspects for a Jumper list, especially with the reduced survivability compared to the Dante list. This leaves us with the very servicable 730 points. We want to add to our combat potential and we again have three options to do this with.

1) VV
2) SG
3) HG

Rather than making this post excessively long, classroom time :P. What do you think the best options are on how to utilise these extra 730 points? Remember we need to support our ASM up front and provide adequete FNP/FC coverage for whatever we pick and the ASM.

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