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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mechanised Blood Angels - the Razorback

40k Kings

I love me some Blood Angels mech. I mean it's fast and it's Marines - what's not to love? However I don't really see many mech lists for Blood Angels outside of six AV13 tanks (mostly Preds) so why not do a post on them. And I'm tired and cannot be bothered to do something more in-depth such as the Reserves or Tank-shock articles. Bite me =D (and pester VT2 to finish that damn review).

So this post is going to be largely based on my Mech Blood Angels lists which I haven't really posted here before but a few people know. What I enjoy about the list is there are a lot of options in terms of what you can do to support or even change the core of ASM in Razorbacks. And with that, let's look at the core - Assault Marines! in Razorbacks. Unique I know. Now Archnomad has done many posts on this in regards to Razorbacks or Rhinos but I'm doing Razorbacks for a couple of reasons.

First it ups my ranged damage, whether it's short-ranged flamer templates, medium ranged assault cannons or ranged lasplas, it's more weapons and more damage. Second, the meltaguns don't always need to be used and thus having a transport built around the meltaguns hurts the army when the melta isn't as necessary. Third, and this goes hand in hand with number two, only having one real meltagun from the top-hatch is limiting. If I run Sternguard or Honor Guard with multiple melta weapons, Rhinos are my choice but for ASM, I lean towards Razorbacks. Fourth and finally, I have enough tanks out there + FNP to have protection from assaults and decent survivability overall when I hop my ASM out of their shiny boxes.

So with that decided, what Razorback turret do we want? As I mentioned above there are a three different choices I'd prefer to use - Heavy Flamers, Assault Cannons or LasPlas. Let's break each of these down.

Heavy Flamer - Lots of Razorbacks like this is going to make the army look very much like a Flamestorm Blood Angels list which I'm obviously happy with. They are the cheapest option we have and give us some excellent anti-infantry options. Unfortunately this anti-infantry is pretty short ranged so we cannot rely on it too much. Due to the proximity of the Flamerbacks we're also quite happy to take the meltagun/infernous combination but taking six of these could limit out scoring options with all of our Troops being pushed forward.

Assault Cannon - Viable only really because Blood Angels vehicles are fast which means I can move 12" and still shoot with the assault cannon. Whilst statistics tell me the assault cannon is 'just as good as a lascannon' at penning higher AVs, this just doesn't happen in real life. Rather, the mass of assault cannons gives the army some options against higher AV but becomes very good as a whole against lower AVs and due a 12" move, can get into side armors easily enough. The problem with this Razorback is it still suffers from weapon destroyed/immobilised results at quite a large rate but unlike the Flamerback option, the Assback is more expensive.

LasPlas - This is the backfield variant and again works well with the Blood Angel fast status - it can move 6" and fire both of its weapons. If running this variant I'd need more aggressive units elsewhere to clog up midfield and get into my opponent's face and more melta is going to be less useful on the squads inside. I feel like this isn't taking full advantage of the BA special rules so would prefer to only take a couple of these for scoring purposes as a personal preference (or not at all).

So we've got three real choices -

(145) 5x Assault Marines w/meltagun, infernous pistol, Razorback w/TL-heavy flamer
(180) 5x Assault Marines w/meltagun, infernous pistol, Razorback w/TL-assault cannon
(165) 5x Assault Marines w/meltagun, Razorback w/LasPlas

and these dictate a lot of what the rest of the list should look like. Taking LasPlas Razorbacks should result in taking more aggressive units in the rest of our FoC slots or a full shooting force. Flamerbacks want supporting fire such as Typhoons, Vanilla Terminators, Rifledreads, etc to support their aggressive push to midfield. And Assbacks are very much a midfield oriented list which want to maximise the 24" gap between the two armies. In the end this list play quite similarly to Mechdar but with less fail. All of these are viable but is dictated by the type of list you want.

When building a Mech Blood Angels list the MSU Razorback option is an excellent choice as it gives you six scoring Troops in fast platforms which bring heavy weapons, meltaguns and FNP/FC Marine statlines to the board for anywhere between 870 and 1080 points. Not too shabby. There are other options such as full ASM squads in Rhinos but they are significantly more expensive and not as able assault vessels as actual Jumper ASM.

In later articles we'll look at the support options Mechanised Blood Angels lists can bring to the table and how they fit in with the different Razorback variants.

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