Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blood Angels

Well, I finally got a look at the new Blood Angels codex.  It's pretty neat, and though I'm sad that we lost preferred enemy (my way of making the dice 'behave'), there are a lot of great things in the new dex.  I'll give a quick summary of my thoughts, then some 'advice', then my thoughts on a new list:

Sanguinary Priests- Super cheap for what they do.  Seriously, conferring Feel No Pain to the guys around them AND Feel No Pain is AWESOME.  I would have paid the points for them to only give those abilities to the squad they're in.  I'll talk a little more about them in a minute.

Sanguinary Guard- I have mixed feelings.  They're pretty expensive, but they're pretty good.  They're of comparable points to an honor guard w/ power weapons, but these guys have Master Crafted power weapons instead, and a 2+ save.  They're also required to wear jump packs, and they take an elite slot.  Probably going to leave them home, sadly.

All the Rhino-chasis vehicles- have fast.  While it's all well and good for a vindicator to be able to move 12" and still shoot, it seems a little dumb to me.  They're still going to die just as easily to las cannons, and even to melta since you need to be within 24" to be in range with your weapons.  However, in my old lists, the fast rule for rhinos would have been the first thing I added, for virtually any point cost.  It makes the army so much better, and so much more dependable!  I never used over-charged engines before, because if a single rhino stalled, a lot of times, I lost the game.  Pretty good upgrade for 15 points, if you ask me.  I'm not excited about it for any other vehicle than the rhino/razorback though.

Storm Raven- The assault carrier shooty thing of 200 points.  It can carry a dreadnought AND a squad, put out some crazy firepower, let squad assault out of it after it moved 12", and... die, all real easy.  If I have one on the board, people will just shoot it with ML's or LC's and take it out of the fight quick.  It won't survive 2 turns of shooting, for sure.  And you can't even assault out of it if it deepstruck.  Sort of an overpriced vehicle I think.  Plus, nobody knows what the crap they look like, since there's no model and no pictures.

Honor Guard- Pretty cool.  They come with a priest, so that makes them super cheap for veterans.  Add in that you can customize their wargear COMPLETELY, they rock.

Librarians- I think they rock way more than most of the special characters for their points.  I mean, when you can get S10, or preferred enemy for your squad, with FNP and Furious Charge added in, you have a pretty potent squad.  He's a force multiplier, and I'm excited to use one (or maybe even 2).

Special Characters-  Monster stat lines, and (if you ask me) somewhat of a waste of points.  They just won't do enough for you.  Mephiston might be alright in some games, but with the amount of points you're spending to DEPEND on psychic powers to work for him to be good (with all the psychic defense everywhere nowadays), you're going to get shut down in a lot of games.  Not that dependable, for the most part.  Dante... I wish you costed a little less and still had Rites of Battle.  And that the SG weren't a flop.  Then I'd take you. 

Furioso/Librarian Dreadnoughts- at first I was all excited.  Could this be the dreadnought model I've sought for all these years?  4 attacks on the charge w/ WS6 and lightning claws that, if they wound, give you more attacks sounds awesome, right?  Not so much, for a rhino-rush based army that I've always traditionally run.  They can't keep up, especially now that rhinos move 18".  And the cool stuff that made me want to take the normal furiosos you can't take on the Librarian Furioso.  Also, the way it reads is that the Librarian doesn't have the option for extra armor, which is pretty much a 'must have' for a fast bum-rushing army like mine.  It can fly with the psychic power, but.... meh.  Can't even take a melta gun.  I'm pretty bummed about this one.

Death Company- cool, but ultimately not worth it.  They can't be controlled, so aren't dependable.  Yeah, they can put some good hurt into something like... a rhino that your opponent puts closest to your squad so they HAVE to pursue it.  If you can't depend on a squad, why take it?  In a fun game I guess.  But for competitive play, I have to put a thumbs down on them, sadly.

Sternguard/Vanguard- pretty cool.  Vanguard are cheaper AND better somehow in this book.  I'm sure someone will find a way to make them work.  Me, I think I won't use them much.  I have too much on my plate as it is.  Gimmicky squads won't win you tournaments, usually.  Maybe an 'easy' game or two, but you were already going to win those games anyways.  The last guy you play against isn't gonna fall for it, and you're gonna fail.

Devestators- awesome.  You can take 4 missile launchers in a squad for 130 points.  Add in a sanguinary priest to give the bubble protection of FNP to 3 of those squads at once, and nobody is gonna shoot at them, effectively at least.

A few Bits of Advice:

1)  Don't read the 'tactica' garbage on forums about Blood Angels (or any army for that matter). 

I usually read for a few pages, and get pissed and leave.  People don't know what they're talking about most of the time, they just say whatever comes to mind.  No thinking involved.  It's really just disgusting to me.  Don't get me wrong, SOME people there understand what's 'good', but... you lots of times can't tell becasue of the idiots who theory-hammer all day with incomplete information.

Take this example:  in the warseer forums people keep saying 'but I don't like how squishy a 5-man troop squad is, even with Feel No Pain' over and over.  Thing is, when I used to run 5-7 death company in the last codex (the only squad WITH FNP), they were resiliant as hell.  They NEVER got wiped off the board in one turn, and they weren't even in a transport!  A single squad with FNP and a 3+ armor is really very good.  People say that swarms will chew them up but- that's what FNP is FOR.  It makes it almost impossible to get any wounds through.  It gives your squad a 2+ save, essentially.  If you spam FNP everywhere, where is the opponent going to find enough shots to down you?  Yeah, template weapons are alright, but you still get cover saves vs. them.  FNP + 3+ armor save everywhere is why Death Guard have always rocked despite being simply 'meh' at everything else.  Idiots.

2)  Don't assume a monster stat line is going to win you games.

Mephiston and Sanguinor have crazy stat lines, but so does Abbadon, and look at how many competitive lists HE makes it into.  The thing is, to have that many points invested into something that can potentially fail so easily isn't usually a good thing.  Sure, there will be lists out there that make good, efficient use of these characters, but don't expect them to win every game by default.  In my opinion, points spread throughout the army is a better investment.  Also keep in mind that these characters effectiveness goes down the more points are put into an army, while a 'force multiplier' like the Sanguinary Priests only become more valuable.

3)  Please don't make an AV13 spam list w/ 6 razorbacks w/ TLLC.

This last isn't really advice.  It's mostly just me being sad that it exists.  I'm very very tired of reading peoples lists on various blogs and websites talking about razor spam, with 3 vindicators and 3 Baal Preds, and a few furioso dreads mixed in.  That's not what blood angels are.  They want to get into combat, and rip people up.  Dependance on AV13 might win you games, but really... you're just going to annoy your opponent.  Trust me, I have an imperial guard army that does a similar thing.  It annoys people, and that's what guard armies are SUPPOSED to do (have 'armor spam', not annoy people, lol).  We'll see how competitive AV13 lists really are soon enough I suppose.

So, here's the list I'm toying with right now.  Tell me what you think:

Librarian w/ Preferred Enemy Power, and S10 Power
Librarian w/ Preferred Enemy Power, and S10 Power
Honor Guard w/ 4 Power Weapons, Rhino w/ EA
Honor Guard w/ 4 Power Weapons, Rhino w/ EA

Assault Squad w/ Power Fist, Melta Gun, Rhino w/ EA
Assault Squad w/ Power Fist, Melta Gun, Rhino w/ EA
Assault Squad w/ Power Fist, Melta Gun, Rhino w/ EA

Sanguinary Priest
Brother Corbulo (special character Sanguinary Priest)

3 Attack Bikes
Attack Bike
Attack Bike

5 Devestators w/ 4 Missile Launchers
5 Devestators w/ 4 Missile Launchers
5 Devestators w/ 4 Missile Launchers

2000 (ish) points.
20 kill points (ouch!)

And, thats it, folks!

Yeah, only 15 marines with FNP are my only scoring units.  We'll see how useless they are though.  People will want to kill my 12 S8 shots, 5 S8 melta shots, and rhinos with priests and rhinos and power weapons too. 

I have 4 priests (2 'hidden' in honor guard), one of whom will sit out back with the devestators giving them FNP and if someone sneaks around back to fight them... they still get furious charge.

The Librarians will provide preferred enemy to the honor guards, and if they need a powerfist, the librarian will have his S10 power.  And just so people know, I'm using Rhinos instead of razors w/ heavy flamers just because I already have the rhinos and can't really turn them into razors (if you've seen my army, you'd know why, the rhinos have writing all over their top hatches that is cool enough that I'm willing to go without heavy flamer spam).

What is everyone's impressions on the new codex?  How do you like my list?  Let me know what you think!  I'm pretty stoked to start playing this army!


HERO said...

Nice blog dude.

I personally don't like smaller squads, but with FNP they are definitely better than their C:SM counterparts.

Good idea on the Devastators. Three of them with missiles and S. Priest in good cover will be a hard nut to crack.

Not mobile enough for me though.

Xaereth said...

Yeah, I just know the problems I ran into in the last codex with not nearly enough shooting at the beginning of the game, allowing people to kill my rhinos with semi-impunity. I had lots of melta when I got there, but before that it was an uphill battle for sure.

12 missile launchers will shut down at least a few tanks before they can do much, and they'll be pretty perfect vs. everything 'nid, since they ID warriors and kill MC's.

We'll see though- my lists have always been pretty fluid, if the missile don't work, maybe I'll switch to Vindicator spam for a while lol.

Xaereth said...

As for the assault squads, despite what I said earlier about them being super resilient, I still feel a LITTLE nervous about them. 4 troops would be quite a bit better overall. Maybe I'll try to squeeze some scouts in to walk on and sit on objectives on my end of the board. Guess we'll see!

Alex said...

I agree that FNP does give you quite a bit of resiliency on the smaller sqauds, I think the SPs are going to be a prime target and though to protect in this list.

The devestator units are really interesting.

Zac Pauga said...

Nice write up, I disagree with you on a few points though. I have been testing the new codex down at gryphons the last couple of game nights and there are some things that have really been standing out to me.

The death company still wrecks face, especially with Lemartes. They have ran through about everything. Put them in a storm raven so you can control where they go, point and click.

The storm raven is awesome, it can fly 24" and pop off a twin-linked multi melta shot and benefit from the 4+ cover the next turn. If you don't have first turn reserve it and boost on whenever it comes on.

Librarian Dread is awesome, mine has kept up just fine jumping 12 and then running.

Your right about the special characters, 2 librarians will serve you better in almost in situation, but I like the models for sanguinor and mephiston and have been having some fun testing them out.

Xaereth said...

Yeah Zac, I suppose you have more say at this point than I do on how the various things in the codex work. I guess I just don't like the thought of all those points tied up in one AV 12 vehicle. If something unforseen happens... they're just kinda boned.

Hopefully next Thursday I can start getting a good playtest of the codex and see what sorts of things I can do with it. I'm almost certain I won't want this exact list when all is said and done.

shirowfan said...

The Blood Angle assault squads are amazing, 2 meltas (3 if you count OP Infernus Pistol)!

The high cost and not IC status of Mephison and Sangiunor will make them very hard to use effectively.

Tear apart this 1850 list using the Stormraven Lander.

Lib Epi
Lib Epi + term armor

Term Assault squad +2Th/ss
Term Assault squad +2Th/ss
Sang Priest x2 , one with TArmor

Assault squad + Melta +Ipistol+ RB
Assault squad + Melta +Ipistol+RB
Death Co Dread+2Btalon
Death Co Dread+2Btalon

StormRaven +MM+EA
StormRAven +MM+EA

Zac Pauga said...

List looks decent, one problem though is that you can't get death company dreads unless you take death company.

kinda light on scoring units as well, and, this is just my opinion, but if you want termi blocks then the vanilla codex does it a lot better. I know they don't have the fnP and FC but they are cheaper and the only assault option in the dex.

I've been trying to hammer out a fun and competitive Sanguinary guard list, this is what I'm working with.

Dante- 225
2x sanguinary priests with JP- 150

4x sanguinary guard with power fist and infernus pistol- 880

2x Baal pred- 290
2x AC/LCS pred- 270

that leave 35 points, probably through the chapter banner in whatever unit Dante goes in and something silly for the remaining 5 points like melta bombs on a priest. I know there are better lists out there but I think this is decent for an all golden nipple list.

Xaereth said...

Shirow- looks like a reasonable list! Here's the things I'm thinking about that might need looking into:

1) The Ravens are easier to destroy than Land Raiders. It's the 'all the eggs in one basket' sort of thing again I keep talking about. If you like that sort of thing (which it seems like you do!) then the ravens will be fine :P

2) Not many scoring units- it's gonna be hard to win capture and control missions with that few. It might work though, since the termies/ravens/dreads are going to be dominating everyone's attention.

3) Maybe find a way to add in Death company? They cost a lot, but you have to put them in anyways to get the DC dreads. Death Company seem like they would work well in a raven list anyways, since it doesn't matter if you can't control them if they're in the middle of your enemy anyways.

Zac- looks pretty reasonable for a nipple list. I especially like the Baal preds' ability to outflank if they need to. That being said, if someone has a few plasma cannons/rifles, it's gonna be rough on your guys. Also, just to throw it out there- you don't have a ton of anti-tank. The las cannons are reasonable, but not 100% reliable. Same with the infernus pistols.

But yeah, looks fun for sure. One suggestion: maybe throw in another infernus pistol or 2 in one squad and put them with Dante- if you want to pop a tank, you'll get where you want, guaranteed.

If you guys have responses, you should post them in the most recent BA post of mine, since this one is probably going to disappear soon :P

Chumbalaya said...

BA don't have to be assaulty, I like my mech list thank you very much :P

Xaereth said...

Lol, you can like your mech list all you want, it still makes me sad :)