Monday, November 15, 2010

Blood Angels: Rediscovering Efficiency

So, it's been a while since I've even thought much about my Blood Angels army, mostly because I've been painting Dark Elves, Orks, Salamanders, and Wolves as fast as I can, which leaves little room for Blood Angels.  My current Blood Angel list certainly isn't super competitive, with lots of inefficient points spent on inefficient units.  I aim to stop that inefficiency, and make the army as competitive as I can.

I suppose I should start off with my current list.  Call it laziness after my sad showing at 'Ard Boyz this year, I just didn't feel like exploring them any more.  So, I made a list with models I owned and has units I sort of liked.

I don't really remember what point level it is, it's somewhere around 1750 or 1850.  Here it goes:


10x Assault Marines w/ 2 Melta, PF, Infernus Pistol (w/ JP)
10x Assault Marines w/ 2 Melta, PF, Infernus Pistol (w/ JP)
5x Assault Marines w/ Melta, PF, Infernus Pistol, Razor w/ HF
5x Assault Marines w/ Melta, PF, Infernus Pistol, Razor w/ HF

Sanguinary Priest w/ JP, Infernus Pistol (goes with JP squad)
Sanguinary Priest w/ JP, Infernus Pistol (goes with JP squad)
Sanguinary Priest w/ Infernus Pistol

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

And that's it.  Not a whole lot to offer, to be honest.  Kind of a bland, bare-bones assault force, with FNP and FC everywhere, and also lots of melta (4 melta in each jump assault squad).  The missiles can be useful, but aren't nearly as cheap as Long Fangs.  Mostly, since I use the same models for both Blood Angels and Space Wolves (cuz I'm obviously just following the Codex Creep, and it's not an issue of money or anything) I have the models for the Devestators, so that's what I'm using.  No real reason other than that.

I think in the end, it's the assault marines that really weigh this army down.  It's just... pretty super-meh.  30 attacks with Furious Charge still only kills like 10 orks (if I'm lucky), or 3 marines.  Not terribad, but then you have to think:  how many points am I spending on that squad?

This is where I hang my head in shame and say... 340 if I include the priest, which is how the list is built.  I can kill 3 or 4 marines on the charge with a 340-point unit that has FNP.  My hitting power vastly diminishes after first turn too.  For 340 points, there are wolf lords who can do any amount of terrible things to an army by himself.  Way more than this squad can do.  Mephiston himself is almost 100 points less!  And if something good charges that squad, it goes poof real quick- the Priest dies so easy too! 

I'm honestly not getting 340 points worth from that squad.  200 points would be more like it.  So, what do I replace it with?  I'm not sure yet.  Everything in the codex is just so damn expensive!

In addition, the devestators are alright, but really, they're just trying to keep up with Longfangs.  They can't do that, and I'd go as far as to say that they are significantly worse than Longfangs, since they can't split fire, and don't have counterattack (which honestly makes a huge difference).  What can I replace them with, that makes my long-range firepower better?  Again, I'm not sure.  Preds stand out as the obvious choice, though I'm not sure how much better a tank sporting an auto cannon and 2 las cannons can be.  Guess I'll have to look closer at it all.

What about Mephiston?  Is he worth it?  Right now I'm convinced that he is, but I'm willing to admit I'm wrong if he proves otherwise.  Maybe he's worth it, but maybe two librarians with jump packs are more worth it.  Or maybe I just need to add another HQ.

So, this isn't a post to show how to easily make Blood Angels work- it's more of an opener thread.  I need to take another look at my Blood Angels, and see what they can do.  I'm going to start doing unit analysis on them, and making changes to my list.  Hopefully soon I'll have the models I want to use finished, and I can start using this army for my Weekly Battle Reports.

Let me know what you think.  Haha, feel free to rip apart my poor excuse for a list if you want- I'm well aware that it is flawed, I won't be too offended. ;-)


zac said...

First off let me say that in a balanced list Mephiston is always worth it. If your doing a gimmicky super land raiders list or storm-raven list where points are tight then a cheap shield libby is better. This is the list that I have been really enjoying.


Sanguinary priest w/ jump pack, lightning claw, infernus pistol

Sanguinary priest w/ lightning claw, infernus pistol

10x Assault squad w/ Jump packs 2x melta guns, power fist, infernus pistol

10x assault squad w/ 2x melta guns, powerfist, infernus pistol, RHino

9x Assault squad w/ melta gun, powerfist, infernus pistol, rhino

Baal Predator w/ Flamestorm Cannon

Baal Predator w/ Twin-linked assault cannon and heavy bolter sponsons

Baal Predator w/ Twin-linked assault cannon and heavy bolter sponsons

Predator w/ Autcannon, Lascannon sponsons

Predator w/ Autcannon, Lascannon sponsons

Black Blow Fly said...

Let's see - 10 Marines on the charge with a power fist plus FC versus MEQ:

7x bolt pistol & chainsword = 21 attacks
2x meltagun = 4 attacks

So 25 S5 attacks, 12 hit and 9 wound - 3 dead MEQ
& 3 S8 attacks, 2 hit and 2 wound - 5 dead MEQ total

Note I haven't included the Priest. 5 wounds versus MEQ is actually pretty good plus you are typically striking first, which helps for combat res. Now what if you were to arm the Priest with a power sword and throw him into the assault...

4 S5 WS5 attacks, 3 hit and 2 wound bringing the total kill count up to 7. Youve just trashed a squad of tactical Marines before they hit back. People who keep the Priest out of combat are losing assaults. He is actually safer in close combat, you just have to place him in b2b contact away from models with weapons that ignore armor saves.

So for just 15 points the squad goes from just kind of meh to be very strong in close combat. Assault Marines can and do hold well in protracted combat due to FNP but they are best used to quickly break through units. This is your best strategy versus units like Grey Hunters since they are so popular now. The I5 strike pretty much neuters their counter charge and they will most likely break.

If you want to really juice the unit then add a Chaplain into the mix. You can run 5 meltas in one unit !!! It's crazy and it's really good. Basically with the extra 4 power weapon attacks and rerolling hits on the charge you'll kill a ten man squad of Marines on the charge. The Chaplain is pricey but suddenly that assault squad becomes fearless as well on top of everything else, plus you've got a 4++ to allocate wounds from plasma.

So it's easy to make the assault a monster but you've got to be willing to pay the points. Plus if you were to exchange Mephiston for the Sanguinor it's possible to get your assault squad into his +1A bubble. It just keeps getting more and more crazy. Basically with BA the sky is the limit.