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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Follow up: Sanguine/Nipple and Blood Hammer

So a couple weeks ago we re-visted the concepts of Blood Angel Jump Pack armies with Devastators as fire support (ironically as well, someone was complaining about getting beat about my MC lists with Jumper lists on BoLS...hey look; Devs help!). Anyway, our last post looked at minimising the points we spent on Devastators at 2000 points as before we were buying full 10 man squads to be able to combat squad and split fire. Whilst this is valid reasoning it was a lot of points for little gain and by shaving those points we were offered up a lot more options. The conclusions of our post basically had a complete 2000 Sanguinary Guard/Dev list and the ASM based Blood Hammer was probably better done at 1750 points as the Devastators weren't open to as much firepower. So let's finish this off now and see how we can turn a 1750 Blood Hammer list into 2000.

We were working off the following base: Libby w/JP, 3x10x ASM w/double melta, PFist, 3x5x Devs w/4x ML and a singular Priest which totals 1270 points and leaves us 730 to work with for upgrades. We obviously need some combat punch and Priests so we'll start with two Priests with just Jump Packs taking us back 150 points (580 left). A good suggestion by Redfinger was a Scout squad w/Cloaks and ML to make our firebase scoring and even without FNP, these guys are pretty tough. An infiltrator is always nice to have as well (480 left). This will be enough for two squads of combat beasties and we have three main options.

Sanguinary Guard are my staple in this type of list because they are amazing beater units. S5/I5 master-crafted power weapons are just good fun. Although they are little over-costed (honestly they need a 5++!) they are the most efficient offensive threat Blood Angels have in combat that can move 12". With FNP they are also as close to immune to small arms fire as you could possibly want but they are still obviously weak to low AP weapons and units which ignore saves in combat.

Honor Guard are great for getting multiple shooting special weapons but can also take an assortment of combat upgrades. Because of their diverse ability to redefine their roles however, they are generally always a high priority target for your opponents. The unit can take on both tanks and infantry at range, provides a FNP/FC bubble and can be deadly in combat yet are just as survivable as normal ASM w/FNP. For that reason I don't like buffing these guys a lot and would rather have them focus on what they do uniquely on the BA codex which is carry multiple special weapons in small squads. I consider the FNP/FC bubble a bonus to the Priests a list already has.

The final option is VV. These guys can really help this list as it gains more deployment options comparable to Sanguine/Nipple Hammer. The ability to deep-strike and assault means you can run the rest of the army on the table and bring in the VV from reserve. This protects the Devastators some what or you could still bring all of the Jumpers in from reserve and be able to clear bubble-wraps, etc. Although expensive, with 480 points to spend you can outfit these guys to be quite decent at combat and capable of tanking super-units with Stormshields.

In the end I think two seperate lists can be made. One with Sanguinary Guard and one with VV. We'll start with the VV list as I haven't done many Jumper/VV/Dev lists whilst I play a Jumper/Dev list with SG at 1750 personally.

So we have 240 points to spend per unit. A basic unit costs 165 with packs (75 left) and we want to provide some combat punch with a bit of defense as well. Let's add two storm shields to soak up low AP and power weapon hits (35 left). Our VV sarge comes standard with a power weapon which we can upgrade to a Lightning Claw for free. We'll then add a Power Fist so the unit can deal with MCs and potentially tanks in combat (10 left) but we don't have enough points for a third combat weapon which the unit could really use. Rather, let's drop the Power Fist (35 left) and take 3 lightning claws (5 left) and give one model a melta bomb. This reduces the unit's ability to deal with Dreads but with 3 LClaws still scare MCs. This will raise the importance of targeting walkers with our meltaguns and missile launchers though.

Here's what the VV list looks like:

Libby w/Lance, Shield, Jump Pack
2x Sanguinary Priests w/Jump Packs
Sanguinary Priest
5x Scouts w/camo cloaks, Missile Launcher
3x10x Assault Marines w/2x meltagun, PFist
2x5x Vanguard Vets w/3x LClaw, 2x SS, meltabomb
3x5x Devastators w/4x Missile Launchers

Totals: 2000 points
64 infantry (43 jumpers, 21 foot)

This gives a quite versatile force in being able to deploy on the ground, in reserve or mixed. There is a little less combat punch than one would like but the combat ability is spread throughout the army for the most part and can be protected with reserves and the VV's ability to assault after deep striking. The Devs provide fire support as usual and really help against certain matchups such as IG tanks and MC spam. The next list we'll look at is where Sanguinary Guard are used as the beater unit.

This list will have more offensive firepower in combat but less deployment options at 2000. Whilst the full Sanguine/Nipple Hammer at 2000 points is very capable of starting on the board and running hell-mel at the enemy in most situations, this list has that option restricted in more cases due to having less 2+ saves. With the VV style list this was covered as the VV could combine Descent of Angels and Heoric Intervention to protect the ASM (and it's quite fluffy...) but the SG don't help out in that way. This doesn't mean they are a bad choice but I again feel this style of list is just better at 1750 in comparison to other lists. Let's take a look at how we'd take it to 2000 though.

So we've got 480 points to work with and we want two SG squads which means we'll have some spare points. We can do a couple of things with these spare points. Upgrade the Priests to have combat weapons, add pistols to Sarges/ICs such as hand-flamers or infernous pistols or upgrade the foot Priest to Corobulo. I like this option as having a two wound Priest is great. This gives us 425 points to play with which is perfect for two Sanguinary Guard squads with a Power Fist and 5 points left over. Meltabombs for a sarge! This gives us the following list:

Libby w/Lance, Shield, Jump Pack
2x Sanguinary Priests w/Jump Packs
2x5x Sanguinary Guard w/Power Fist
5x Scouts w/camo cloaks, Missile Launcher
2x10x Assault Marines w/2x meltagun, PFist
10x Assault Marines w/2x meltagun, PFist, meltabomb
3x5x Devastators w/4x Missile Launchers

Totals: 2000 points
64 infantry (43 jumpers, 21 foot)

So again, a more combat offensive list which relies on furious charge to allow the Sanguinary Guard to strike before other combat units. Again there is some flexibility in deploying on table and in reserve with the Jumper wing of the list but not as much as the previous lists. Compared to full Sanguine/Nipple Hammer there are a lot more bodies on the board and ability to use melta weapons on the drop but obviously less light-arms resistance and combat punch. At 2000 points I think I prefer the VV version as it provides the best of both worlds with Devs to support and VV to disrupt and again Blood Hammer w/SG as beater units works very well at 1750.

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