Friday, April 9, 2010

Blood Angels- the new Death Guard

Well, yesterday I got done with my first playtest game with Blood Angels.  It was a planetstrike game, so the rules were a little off, and Jason and me were playing against a TON of heavy vehicles (we were playing vs. Tau and Orks).  A few highlights:

- Dante and Sanguinary Guard w/ Priest ATE a kroot squad, then an Ork Biker Squad, then in turn got chewed on and spit out horribly by Ghazkull and his Mega-Nobz.  In the end, they didn't get nearly their point's worth.

- My meltas missed horribly all game.  The attack bikes made up for it with their assaulting though, and killed all sorts of cool stuff.  The meltas in my assault squads did almost nothing though (they exploded a building at the end of the game because they were grumpy they couldn't get inside it- it served no real purpose other than killing a few of my marines.

- Ghazkull is a mean fellow.  He ate Dante for Breakfast and Vulkan for Lunch.  Then he ate a thunder hammer for dinner and died of indigestion.

Great couple of opponenets, I've always had fun playing against them.  It was a nice, relaxed first playtest for the new Blood Angels.  Here are a few thoughts I'm now having on them.  I'll go unit by unit:

-Sanguinary Guard:  Sanguinary Guard are pretty cool.  With power weapons that reroll a missed hit, on top of 2+ armor and FNP and FC, they can really hurt just about any unit they come across.  However, they also die horribly to AP2, and power weapons, which everyone keeps saying and I keep trying to ignore it.  Even losing one guy in a 5-man squad really hurts their overall effectiveness, and the fact you can't add more to the squad, or take them in a rhino really makes them a little less viable than I wish they were.

-Dante:  Dante is a champ.  He's good at combat, makes an independant character suck a little (which I forgot to use this game), gives hit and run to a squad he's with, and... costs 225 points.  That's a ton of points for a character who doesn't really give any huge benefit to the army as a whole.  Yeah, he can deepstrike without a scatter and the squad he's with can pretty much auto-kill a vehicle of your choice, but he costs a TON.  I like him, and he makes Sanguinary Guard more viable but... I guess we'll see.  He's got to prove his worth a few times before I seriously consider taking him to a tournament.

-Honor Guard w/ single Lightning Claws, chapter banner, and 4 melta guns:  Well, they hit hard.  For like 300 points after the cost of the rhino, they'll remove *almost* any squad from the table in one turn.  They did that to a broadside team this game, and that's about it.  Of couse, they came in late from reserves (turn 3, when reserves are normally rolled turn 1 on a 3+).  I like them so far, though.  Put them with a librarian for preferred enemy, and this squad is pretty darn killy.

-Basic Assault Marine:  Well, they did alright.  With 20 guys, I ended up wiping 2 squads of 12 orks each in a single phase of combat.  I even decided not to shoot before I charged in, so as to get a better grasp on their combat abilities.  And, despite the fact that they murdered those orks I can't say I'm super duper impressed by them.  60 S5 attacks is bound to murder 24 ork boyz, it wasn't really a 'fair' fight.  Let's put it another way:  500+ points of assault marines killed 234 points of orks in a single turn of assault.  Not exactly what I'd call the best judge. 

Still, what I think I liked best about them is Feel No Pain.  With an effective 2+ armor save on a regular marine, it makes them MUCH harder to kill.  There just isn't enough AP2 and 3 in any army to deal with 30+ marines in cover in one turn.  That's how it was with Plague Marines, but they only had 7 in every squad.  7 Plague Marines aren't really great at combat, but they're so hard to kill that they eventually win by attrition. 10 marines takes a lot to wipe a squad (math-wise you have to cause 60 non-power or AP2 wounds to a squad of 10 marines to kill them all, if they have feel no pain)

Corbulo:  haha, he made me laugh.  He killed 4 orks on the charge, and then when I had a wound on him and tried to save, he failed his 3+ THEN his 2+ FNP.  Haha, wow, hope that doesn't happen too often.  Otherwise, I think he's worth the extra points you pay for him over a regular priest just for an extra wound in the squad from shooting, and his combat prowess.  That he lets you reroll one dice in the game is just gravy.

Sanguinary Priests:  Do what they should be doing- lots of FNP and FC.  No complaints at all.

Melta Attack Bikes:  I've loved them forever and probably won't ever take them from this army.  They simply rock, and can deal with everything.  Taking a wound also doesn't cut into their effectiveness- they can still shoot next turn.

So, what direction am I going with the army after this semi-long ramble?  I think a few changes are in order. 

1) Take Dante and the Sanguinary Guard out of the list for a little bit
2  Try some Death Company in a rhino.  Maybe they'll rock it.  But I can't imagine them being worse than Dante/Sanguinary Guard.
3)  Add some scouts, to outflank and kill potential threats sitting in the corner, forcing my opponent to put guys more centrally.  We'll see how it turns out. 

Here's the new list:

Librarian- 100 (100)

Chaplain- 100 (200)

Honor Guard w/ 4 Claws, 4 Meltas, Banner, Rhino w/ EA- 280 (480)

Assault Squad w/ 5 Extra, 2 Melta, Power Fist, Rhino w/ EA- 265 (745)
Assault Squad w/ 5 Extra, 2 Melta, Power Fist- 235 (980)
Assault Squad w/ Melta, Power Fist, Rhino w/ EA- 165 (1145)
Scout Squad w/ Power Fist- 100 (1245)

6 Death Company w/ 2 Power Weapons, Power Fist, Rhino w/ EA- 240 (1485)

1 Sanguinary Priest w/ JP- 75 (1560)
Corbulo- 105 (1665)

5 Attack Bikes- 250 (1915)

That leaves me with 85 points to do what I want with.  I could either add a couple attack bikes, OR, (and it seems more likely that this is what I'll do, at least for right now):

Add 3 Death company for a total of 9 (10 with the chaplain in the squad) and put dozer blades on all the rhinos. 

I think the Chaplain/Death Company combo is going to be a lot more effective than the Dante/ Sanguinary Guard combo.  At the same time, I have 4 scoring units, that I can actually turn into 6 if I want to. 

anyways, this post is getting long.  Let me know what you think!

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