Sunday, January 23, 2011

Email in: Blood Angels no mech help

Got another email in the other day... I've been thinking about the list for a little bit, figured I'd share here now.  First, here's the email:

Hi there!

I'm just getting back in the hobby after a long absence and have just discovered your blog (very helpful!). I'm looking at starting up BA and was hoping I'd be able to pick your brains a little. I've played around a little
with Imperial Guard and Eldar, but they're not really to my taste. I've also played more with Witch Hunters (sisters), which are better - but a little dated. The group I play with is quite varied: from foot IG and swarms of 'nids, to nurgle deamons and mechanized Marines. We usually play at 1500pts.

First list I came up with:

Reclusiarch +JP (155)

Sang. Priest + JP (x2) (150)

Assault Squad (x3): 10 Marines, 2x melta; sgt: pair lightning claws, melta bombs. (735) 

Scout Squad: 10 Scouts, 4x sniper rifle, 4x combat blades, 1x missile launcher, camo cloaks (180) 

Bike Squad: 7 Bikes, Attack bike (multimelta), 2x flamer, sgt:power fist (275)

total: 1495

Theory: HQ and Priests attach to Assault squads. These can deploy in combat squads (one with 2x melta, other with sgt) if necessary. Annoyingly, you can't do this and deep strike? Annoying. Scouts and bikes deploy as combat squads. Attack bike team aims for landraiders/ big scaries, flamer/sgt squad generally makes a pain of itself, either providing cover or going for lone light infantry squads. Long range scouts (snipers+ missile) sit on home objective, try and snipe advancing deamon princes/ monstrous creatures. Can also take out rhinos if they get lucky. Other combat squad aims to get as far forward as possible to take out anything they can (krak grenades on vehicles, esp transports + artillery). 


Second list:

Reclusiarch +JP (155)

Sang. Priest + JP (75)

Chaplain (100)

Assault Squad (x2): 10 marines, 2x melta; sgt: pair lightning claws, melta bombs. (490) 

Scout Squad: 10 Scouts, 4x sniper rifle, 4x combat blades, 1x missile launcher, camo cloaks, locator beacon (205)

3x (individual) Attack bike, multimeltas (150)

Death Company: 8 Death company, 1 powerfist,1 powerfist+ inferno pistol, 3x power weapon. (270)

Drop Pod, deathwind launchers (55)

Total: 1500

Theory: Somewhat similar, save death company deploy in drop pod right on top of the enemy to keep them occupied, scout sgt's combat squad gets into a nice position for both assault squads to deepstrike, attack bikes go for large tanks etc.

I don't know if this is the most efficient list, but I want to avoid armour (AV) as much as possible - I found you either have to go all or nothing with it. I wanted to do an all jump-pack list, but I don't know if that's going to be at all effective. Lastly, I like bikes and would like to fit them in, but they're really expensive and I'm not sure if they're worth it.

Any pointers you could give me would be great! Keep up the good work.

(anon.)
My response:
Thanks for the email, I'm glad you like the blog :)  There are a few things I would do differently with your lists, assuming you want to go zero mech.  I'll cover your first list first.  Here, I'll post the list again, so people can see it and not have to scroll up and down too much.

First list I came up with:

Reclusiarch +JP (155)

Sang. Priest + JP (x2) (150)

Assault Squad (x3): 10 Marines, 2x melta; sgt: pair lightning claws, melta bombs. (735) 

Scout Squad: 10 Scouts, 4x sniper rifle, 4x combat blades, 1x missile launcher, camo cloaks (180) 
Bike Squad: 7 Bikes, Attack bike (multimelta), 2x flamer, sgt:power fist (275)

total: 1495
You've got a pretty solid core in both of these lists in the assault marines w/ FNP.  Overall, the structures of both of the lists look good.  I think the individual units need some tweaking, however.

So first, the Reclusiarch.  I like chaplains in general, and I think they can add something to a lot of different armies.  Simply put though, a librarian is going to be a better bet.  The librarian can give your squad rerolls to hit every turn, thus making them somewhat effective even when they're the ones being charged.  In addition, he gets one other power, which can be anything- there are plenty of powers out there that can help.  He'd also be cheaper than the Reclusiarch.

Second, the assault squads.  I like the idea of double power claws on dudes- it looks sweet, they get a bucket of attacks, etc.  In this situation however, I think that the assault squad sergeant needs a fist or hammer.  There are just too many situations that a fist or hammer would be useful in the squad, where the claws fall short.  Whereas the claws do ignore armor saves, they still target the same 'audience' that the rest of the squad does- T3-5.  Beyond that, they really have no way to deal with T6 or even Dreadnoughts.  Getting charged by a single Dread is going to make the squad sad.  The extra swings with the hammer/fist will help against vehicles as well, since the single melta bomb is going to miss a lot, and when it does hit, it has roughly the same chance to wreck a vehicle as a single swing of a fist.

I actually think the scouts are a good option, though I think you'll be kidding yourself if you think the snipers are going to do a lot of damage to rhinos.  Sure, they can 'hurt' a monstrous creature, but honestly, snipers + missile launcher aren't too great against anything- they're certainly not what I'd call dependable, with their low BS, etc.  I'd recommend putting combat weapons on all of them, so that when the opportunity to outflank onto a weak objective comes, you can take it and actually be potent in combat.  If not, you can always just walk them onto your own board edge and claim objectives with them, following the army.

The bikes are cool- who doesn't like bikes?  I think that this list needs more melta though.  The single multi-melta shooting at a Land Raider at close range is about 21% to either wreck or immobilize it.  So, it takes quite a bit of luck to get rid of the thing with a single melta gun.  Here's what I think you can do with it though, and keep bikes:  replace the squad with 6 Multi-melta attack bikes, for 300 points.  These guys are going to be good at popping armor, and also good at fighting, since the Priests will give them FNP and FC.  The flamers on the bikes aren't really necessary- with FNP T4 3+ armor troops, you're plenty fine against hordes already- it's way more worrying to face a 12-tank army with your list, and only have 7 total melta, 6 of which need to be super close to deal with it.

Another point I sort of want to add, is that the bikes combat squadding with the sergeant are going to be pretty vulnerable- only 4 total wounds.  This makes the sergeant's likelihood of actually being able to strike at all go down quite a bit, especially when fighting against a 'good' squad and you actually need the fist.  Half the power of a fist is having it 'hidden' in a biggish squad so that you don't have to allocate wounds onto it very often.

Alright, on to list 2 (again, copy/pasted the list to avoid scrolling):


Second list:

Reclusiarch +JP (155)

Sang. Priest + JP (75)

Chaplain (100)

Assault Squad (x2): 10 marines, 2x melta; sgt: pair lightning claws, melta bombs. (490) 

Scout Squad: 10 Scouts, 4x sniper rifle, 4x combat blades, 1x missile launcher, camo cloaks, locator beacon (205)

3x (individual) Attack bike, multimeltas (150)

Death Company: 8 Death company, 1 powerfist,1 powerfist+ inferno pistol, 3x power weapon. (270)

Drop Pod, deathwind launchers (55)

Total: 1500

The chaplains are about the same response from me- librarians can generally do it better, for cheaper.  I'm assuming that the 'elite' chaplain is going to go into the Death Company, who is in the Pod.  I would certainly recommend taking a librarian with them especially, since they'll be exposed and much more likely to be charged than to actually get the charge off themselves.  This makes the Preferred Enemy power much more potent.  Whereas with the Death Company, the chaplains are theoretically cool, a footslogging squad is going to have a lot of problems getting the charges off they want.

The assault squad advice is about the same- you need the fist.  It truly does make the squad much better.  Hammer is fun too, and I often find the 5 extra points spent is well worth the cost- charging Mephiston (in a mirror match game) and getting a second turn to try and finish him off (since it makes him I1) is priceless.  :)

Attack bikes are good- we've already kind of talked about them though.  Perhaps at least consider putting them into one single squad, to avoid having 3 (really easy) kill points in your list.

The Death Company.  heh... they're pretty tough to run well.  You've got them tooled up about how they should be- maybe think about putting a power weapon on all of them that don't, since you're already putting a lot of points into them and it'll make the squad quite a bit better.  I would honestly advise finding the points to put jump packs on all of them.  That way, they arrive a little later in the game (which is good for a squad as squishy as they are), they scatter less wildly than the drop pod would, and they have a much better threat range.  If you did this, having a chaplain would be a much more viable option for them, though I still think that having a librarian is a better choice, since they're already S5.  Perhaps you could put a single lightning claw on them instead of power weapons, so you're always getting rerolls to hit (via libby) and rerolls to wound (via the claw).  Pretty deadly, if you ask me.

A few random notes:

Um... as far as I understand it, the Independent Characters can deepstrike with the combat squads if they want.  Since you have to divide your squad into combat squads during deployment, you can still choose which squad the IC is with.  The main trouble comes when you try to 'standard' deploy a single combat squad, and deepstrike another, which isn't allowed.  You have to either deepstrike them both (and put the IC's in with whichever) or standard deploy them both.  If I'm wrong, someone feel free to speak up.  That's how I currently see it though.

Here are a few links to 'zero mech' Blood Angels lists I've written- they're pretty straightforward, but I think they would do well enough in a competitive setting.

All Assault Marine List
Zero Mech List

I've been thinking about Dante Wing lists lately- I'll hopefully be posting a couple lists up soon, though honestly, I don't see a Dante Wing list doing well at all in a competitive setting- what with the prevalence of razorspam everywhere and all.

Anyways, what do others think?

8 comments:

Zachary said...

i am not sure if i have said this before, but with the mixing of power and normal attacks, you have to cause like 10 wounds (10 man squad of enemy's), my assault squads rarely get 10 or more, i have had a squad with a priest and librarian, get beaten when charging by.... Tactical marines.... wooo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help! Hopefully I can get some test games in in the next few weeks. I've had a bit of a think and this is what I've come up with.

Revised 2nd list:

Librarian, JP, unleash rage, 1 other power. Suggestions? I guess this won't be used much. (125) Goes with Death Co. Doesn't have FNP, unless can link up with assault squads. Potential problem.

Sang Priest, JP. (75) Goes with assault squad 1.

Assault squad 1, 10 marines, 2x melta, sgt: powerfist. (235)

Assault Squad 2, 10 marines, 2x melta, sgt: thunder hammer. (240)

Scout squad, 10 scouts, combat blades, cam cloaks, sgt: locator beacon, powerfist. (220)

Death co., 9 marines, 1x powerfist, 1x powerfist + inferno pistol, 3x power weapon, 2x thunder hammer, 2x chainsword. (455) Can swap thunder hammers for 4x power weapons, but have more options for wound allocation with different weapons (i.e., use the chainsword models to protect other models, whereas can potentially lose all PW marines in one go)

Attack bikes x3, multimeltas (150)

Total: 1500.

Options: can drop 1x death co. marine (with power weapon) for a basic scout bike squad with locator beacon, which should be able to get into a good position to bring down assault squads/ death co. Potentially very fragile, but gives more options when used alongside other scout squad.

Can transform into list 1 by dropping death co. for another assault squads, priest and more bikes. I'll consider this after a few test games.

Other:

Combat squads: According to space marines FAQ, units kept in reserve can't combat squad, unless they deploy by drop pod. Which means assault squads will have to deploy on table if I want to split them. I'm not sure it's a good idea anyway, unless facing mech-heavy list.

Priests: If an IC without descent of angels joins a squad that has the rule, they lose access to it, correct? Which makes getting scouts into good position critical.

Death co. Drop pod vs. jump packs: Death co. don't have descent of angels, so jump packs don't seem to be more accurate than drop pods, also you lose fire support on turn of entry and cover (from drop pod). You also lose the ability to force the enemy to react when you land the DC in their face, which means less fire on your other troops. Jump packs are also more expensive, meaning I might be able to squeeze in a chapain/librarian to help out the assault squads as well. However jump packs do give you more movement, which is critical, and the very expensive unit can be kept from harm for an extra turn or two. I can't really decide which is better, but at the moment the jump packs are winning.

An interesting thought occurred to me. Can you not deploy the drop pod first turn, but keep the death co. inside until the 2nd turn? Then they're somewhat protected from fire, and can assault on the turn that they emerge - assuming the enemy doesn't move away, which is the potential problem. However, if they do move, you should be able to position the pod so that they move in a desirable manner for your follow up assault.

Xaereth said...

Zachary: lol... then you're rolling poorly. Especially if you've got a libby in there with you.

Anon: Glad I can help! One thing, however. It says pretty clearly in the codex that having Jump Packs gives you the DoA special rule, so every marine in the army with a Jump Pack gets it, including ICs and Death Company.

I personally vote for the Assault Marine heavy list, but you should play around with the Death Company one too- at 1500 points, they're going to be pretty tough to deal with. :)

Anonymous said...

That's interesting, has there been an update of the codex? My edition says 'a blood angels unit with this special rule... other units in the blood angels army that can deep strike do so using the normal rules'.

I'd take that to mean DoA only applies to units with the rule in the unit entry, as it doesn't say 'any jetpack unit' or similar.

Xaereth said...

Anon: Um... go to page 62, and look at the Jump Pack rules. It clearly states that they get the Descent of Angels special rule :)

Anonymous said...

Hah, amazing! Thanks!

Zachary said...

yeah, every single game i have had with my blood angles, my rolling has sucked, but that is not the worst, ok: 2 vs 2- IG/BA vs Chaos/BA, my teammate's Abbadon attacking a imobolized devil dog, rolls a 1 for deamon weapon and takes a wound, later he charges into combat with...... 3 (!) guardsmen, rolls a one, makes his save, next turn, another 1, takes a wound, so... the 3 guardsmen beat him in combat, so he takes a fearless save, FAILS IT! By then the four of us are laughing so hard it hurts, next round he kills the 3 guardsmen and some other dudes shoot plasma at him. Abbadon did not make his points back, he lost them! lol

LordFancyPants said...

@ Anon,

You are reading too much into the FAQ ruling. The ruling says...

"A: No, because squads that are placed in reserve may not
break down into combat squads."

All this means is that units cannot break into CS while in reserve. This means you have to roll for all 10 men at once and then deploy all 10 men at once. The CS rules clearly state that you break into CS when you deploy. When you start the game in reserve, you do not deploy until a later turn.

For your interpration to be correct, the FAQ would have to state that... "squads that are placed in reserve may NEVER break down into combat squads."

Hope this clears it up for you!