Monday, April 12, 2010

The Hypocricy of Honor Guards

A few days ago, I got game 2 in for the new Blood Angels.  I used the exact list I was talking about in my last post:  4 rhinos, with various cool stuff inside, an assault squad, 5 melta bikes, and an ineffective scout squad.  Here's a few things I learned (or simply affirmed):


-Rhinos don't ONLY have to avoid dying, they also have to avoid being immobilized.  So, when something like a las cannon (Vince had 5) easily pens your rhino, there's a 50/50 shot at him taking that rhino out for the rest of the game.  On some level I knew that, but most armies I use these days don't ONLY depend on Rhinos, hence the fail on my part.

-Melta Bikes rock as always.  I ran 2 squads, and in one turn, popped both of Vince's Land Raiders- and promptly got eaten afterwards.

-Scouts outflanking is a neat idea if anyone decides to put their guys in a corner somewhere.  If they just put them about 12" in though, the scouts will just do nothing the rest of the game.  Next time I'm going to try Baal Predators, who can still shoot after moving 12" on.

-Jump assault marines are money.  In this game (kill points) my single squad earned themselves 5 by themselves... which is good because I only got 9 kill points total to Vince's 9.  Draws in test games are actually pretty satisfying, since neither player is really pissed or annoyed.

-Death Company in a rhino MIGHT be alright.  Still not sure.  Not my favorite thing for them to get charged by TH/SS termies though, that's for sure.  If I could have moved them just a LITTLE bit less forward (like, 2" difference) they would have been fine.  One way or another, I NEED to be able to set them up as a counter-charge unit, not as a 'get charged and still win combat' unit.  Otherwise, they're of no use to me.

-Preferred enemy makes life SO MUCH BETTER.  The power that Librarian gives is pretty awesome.  I'm thinking I might take a few chaplains around my army to give the effect of Preferred Enemy, since it really does make an enormous difference in combat.

-I had no answer for his Las Razorbacks or Las Predator this game.  I used my only real anti-tank to mess up his Raiders, but he shot me with impunity, and in the end it really made a lot of difference.

-Honor Guard are awesome, but it hurts like crazy to even lose one person in the squad.  We'll have to see how it turns out.  I'll talk more about them in a minute.

-If you have sufficient buffs on a squad (i.e. Furious Charge, FNP, Preferred Enemy), you don't need too many 'uber' assaulting units.  In my last list, I had a full 10-man (with chaplain) Death Company, AND a lightning claw honor guard.  In the end, neither squad did jack, but my buffed 10-man assault squad (which costs less than either DC or HG) ended up rocking.  Therefore, I think what I need is less 'elite' and more 'buffing' units.

The Hypocricy of Honor Guards

Alright, here's the reason I named this article what it's named:  During the game, Vince commented on my love for Honor Guard in the BA codex, since I had (a while back) advised him against using them at all in the Codex: Space Marine book.  You can have all the same options in a 'Command Squad'  in that codex (for the same price), yet I really don't think they're the way to go, at least as far as 'uber' assault squads go.  I had no real answer at the time, but decided to think about it- what do I like more about the BA Honor Guard than the SM Command Squad?  Here's what I came up with:

Blood Angels Honor Guard can be buffed, unlike SM Command Squads.  Sure the CS can have FNP, but that's about it, unless you devote a ton more points to them (i.e. adding Khan to provide Furious Charge, etc.)  With Blood Angels, Furious Charge is readily available, and so is:  Preferred Enemy, with a banner that gives everyone an extra attack.  What this means is that you can throw 4 power claw attacks in a turn (after having shot 4 melta guns) and get rerolls to hit AND wound.  On average, that's gonna kill 11 marines on the charge, at I5.  If you have a librarian in there, it's even better.

I guess that's why I like them so much.  They'll most likely remove a single unit from play after one round of combat.  The ability to remove a unit from the table is entirely underestimated in this game.  It kills off the 'meat' of the squad before it even gets to do anything.  Anyways Vince, that's why.  Command Squads can't be as easily buffed, especially with furious charge.  They really COULD rock in a drop pod with 4 meltas, though.  155 points for 4 meltas, especially in a Vulkan list could really be cool.  Or as a plasma squad, for 175... with Feel No pain they could really mess something up.  But, this isn't an article on Command Squads.

Anyways, here's the new list I'm thinking about using:

Librarian w/ S10 and Preferred Enemy
Reclusiarch w/ Jump Pack

Assault Squad w/ 5 Extra, 2 Melta, Power Fist
Assault Squad w/ 5 Extra, 2 Melta, Power Fist
Assault Squad w/ Melta, Power Fist, Rhino w/ EA

Baal Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons
5 Attack Bikes

Corbulo
Sanguinary Priest w/ Jump Pack
Sanguinary Priest

Devestator Squad w/ 4 Missile Launchers
Devestator Squad w/ 4 Missile Launchers, Rhino

I still have 3 Rhinos this way, but 2 assault squads that hang out behind them.  Corbulo adds some punch to the 5-man rhino squad, I have a lot better tank-popping power with the devestators, and the two jump pack squads will have lots of hitting power, with a chaplain and sanguinary priest to trade off between them.

Tell me what you think.  I really want feedback, since I can't play as much as I want to lately.  Thanks for reading!

Edit:  Looks like my list is actually like 100 points or so over.  I'll have to rethink it a little and make it smaller somehow.  Still, tell me what you think, lol.

5 comments:

Zac Pauga said...

That list looks pretty solid,
The devastator units are really awesome no problems there but 5 attack bikes is a ton of melta, maybe too much. Based off what you said your looking for here is my slight reworking of your list.



Librarian w/ S10 and Preferred Enemy

Chaplian w/ Jump pack
Chaplian w/ Jump pack

Assault Squad w/ 5 Extra, 2 Melta, Power Fist
Assault Squad w/ 5 Extra, 2 Melta, Power Fist
Assault Squad w/ Melta, Power Fist, Razorback w/ EA

Baal Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons
3 Attack Bikes ( split into squads of 1 and 2)

Samguinary Priest w/ Jump Pack, power weapon
Sanguinary Priest w/ Jump Pack, power weapon
Sanguinary Priest

Devestator Squad w/ 4 Missile Launchers
Devestator Squad w/ 4 Missile Launchers, Rhino

It's the same basic list but know every unit will have the excellent combo of furious charge, feel no pain, and the chaplain reroll to hits (better than preferred enemy). this makes your assault squads really really nasty, 8 s5i5 power weapon attacks from the chaplain and priest rerolling to hit followed by the rest of the squad.

still have enough melta bikes to make land raiders sweat and devastators for transport popping. What do you think of my list?

Xaereth said...

Heh, do you really think that 5 is too much? I've never accomplished much with only 2 or 3 bikes- they're too easily picked off. 5 or more are a lot harder to take out (obviously), but it also means that people either waste shots at them (not really decreasing their effectiveness).

All that being said- I have mixed feelings about the list. What I like is that yeah for sure, it gives me those awesome buffs to each squad.

The problem, as I see it, is that I don't really have ANY squads that will *remove* a squad in a turn if they charge it. No honor guard makes me rather sad, and only 2 random rhinos (only one of which has anything in it) makes them extremely managable.

It just seems like that army only has 2 real threats. Huge obnoxioius threats, but still... I think it's likely just a reflection on my list in general- I'm trying to keep it roughly the same as it used to be, and it might be that some drastic change is in order, sadly.

Xaereth said...

Thanks for the feedback, I forgot to say that I might just try this list out a few times. How many points is this list, by the way?

Zac Pauga said...

I think it came out to 1835. Its not the most optimized list but I didn't want to change too much of what you already had.

The_King_Elessar said...

I recently did a post primarily on the utility of Baal Sponsons.

Rather than condense it,. here's a link.

http://hobbyinfobythekingelessar.blogspot.com/2010/04/list-analysis-chumbalayas-hybrid-ba-aka.html