Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Email in: Blood Angels 2k List Review

Somewhat recently(ish) I got an email asking for my help. I'm always happy to help review lists, and this is no exception.  If anyone wants a list review, feel free to send me an email.  It doesn't only have to be Blood Angels (though it seems that the majority of my 'internets fame' comes from my Blood Angels articles at Jawaball's blog).  It might take me a few days to get it done, but I'll be happy to help, if I can :)  Anyways, on to the email!
The email:

Hey Xaereth, I found you thanks to your posts on jawaballs site. I really dug your articles, you're definitely his greatest guest poster. I was hoping you could take a look at a 2k list I made.
I'm pretty excited about this one, I've been playing 40k for almost two years and this is the first list I made that I think I can actually stick with and only slightly tweek over time, like how most other people play. Up until now I've been making wildly different lists and trying all sorts of combinations with less than 50% success. 

Here is the list, I'm going to write it in color blocks to show what functions with what, as opposed to force organization chart order.

bike squad w/ attack bike
8x bikes
Serg has Pfist

1x attack bike

Sanguinary Priest
lightning claw

Blood Boil (for sergeant sniping, my roommate plays chaos so nothing will make me happier than to kill his Icon bearer on the cheap) and Unleash Rage

attack bike squad
3x attack bikes
2x multi-melta
1x heavy bolter (someone to die first without feeling guity)

Epistolary w/ jp.
The Sanguine Sword and Unleash Rage
10 man Assault Squad
2x Melta and pfist
Priests w/ lightning claw and jumppack

10 man Assault Squad
2x Melta and pfist
Priests w/ lightning claw and jumppack

10 man Assault Squad (probably combat squadded)
2x Melta and pfist

5x Vanguard Vets
jump packs
thunder hammer
power fist
3x lightning claws

The plan is to use the bikes as the vanguard of the force, they will provide cover saves and circle vehicles for instant death disembarking.
The attack bikes will follow behind them and ask as the primary tank poppers.
The assault squads will act as countercharge units.
I want the bikes to multi-charge and take the initial brunt of an assault, with everyone else coming in behind them and cheating their way out of power weapon wounds. With a good multi-charge, I'm hoping I can wipe out a large chunk of the enemy while still staying in combat.
Hopefully I will get the good multi-charge since I can potentially pop six vehicles a turn in the shooting phase.
Lastly, the vets are for Obliterator hunting.
Ideally everything will deploy on the board except the vets.

Something else I really like about the list, is that I can fairly easily swap the two librarians out for the high priced special characters like Mephiston and Sanguinor.

I hope you can find time to give me some feedback, while reading all your old BA articles I found that this list is similar to an assault list you made, one of the big differences being the full squad of bikes on my list.


My response:

Thanks for the email Brokbrok, I'm happy my articles on Jawa's site have helped :)

Anyways, on to the list.  I actually like this list, I think it has some good potential.  I especially like that you chose not to include vehicles in the list itself.  In my experience, you either need pure mech, or pure (lack of) mech.  A mixed list doesn't do much.

Some tweaks are in order, however.  The librarian on the bike should likely have a better power than Blood Boil.  You have to remember that the power only works the way you want it to work if you roll a 5 or less, which is pretty unlikely.  If it was a 7 or less, it would be far more useful.  As it is, killing a random dude is far more likely (since you're going to be lucky to get it to work even once per game as it is).  Instead, I think that perhaps you should tool this guy up like you have the other libby- unleash rage/sanguine sword/epistolary.  That way, when someone crashes into your bike squad in combat (as is your professed plan), you have some good hard-hitting ability.  If one of the libbies has to have Blood Boil, give it to the jump pack guy.

The squad of 3 bikes is good, but honestly... you should either have 2 melta bikes or 3.  The 40 points you're spending on the heavy bolter bike as an essential ablative wound (or two, depending on what shoots it) isn't worth it- spend the extra 10 points to make the squad 50% more effective.

On the bike squad itself, I think the flamer is unwarranted.  You already have 11 Twin-linked boltguns on the squad, but only a couple melta.  I'd give the squad another melta gun, and maybe even a combi-melta to the sergeant.  That gives you what... 5 melta guns?  Maybe it seems like overkill, but it really really isn't against lots of things in the game.  Killing eldar tanks, land raiders, monstrous creatures, insta-deathing nobs, warriors, etc. is going to take true melta spam from this list (since this list is not likely to do well against these things specifically in the assault phase).

Think of it this way- you have 22 rapid-fire (TL) shots + 5 melta shots into something, then a ton of quality close combat attacks when you charge in.  Anything a flamer would be good against, your squad is already good against without it.  Best to make it better against something else more difficult to take down.

The single attack bike is somewhat of a liability.  I'd take him out, despite how much I love MM Attack bikes.  With those points, I'd add the things I mentioned before (like combi-meltas and Multi-melta to the extra attack bike).  If you have extra points, I'd either throw infernus pistols on your sergeants (melta spam FTW) or melta bombs on the three VV that don't have fists.

The Vanguard are good, and will drag something down every game, no doubt.  One thing to keep in mind however, is that without FNP/FC support, that expensive squad is going to die a sad death pretty soon after it drops.  Hunting Oblits will likely mean the death of your squad to the first Oblit squad you assault.  If it's worth it to you, do it.  I like the weapons loadout you gave them.

So, just a few tweaks.  Overall, I really do like this list.

Other thoughts?


urban said...

Hey Xaereth, thanks so much for going over my list. I was about to ask you a bunch of questions regarding the priority of some of your choices, then I went back to look at the list I sent you, the single attack bike is a typo. >_< So there isn't actually 50 points free floating around. I feel so bad taking your time reviewing a typo'd list!

Xaereth said...

Hm, it's all good man. There are still options to lose points, though less good ones perhaps. The most obvious is to simply lose the HB Attack Bike. That gets rid of 50 points point commitment, since you no longer need to buy it a MM, and the model itself is 40 points.

The LCs on the Sanguinary Priests launch them into the 'very expensive for just a single wound' range, and you could do without the LC on one or two, if you needed/wanted.

You could also lose a single bike in the bike squad, since your goal isn't to combat squad them anyways, and they're worth lots of points, without having to lose a special weapon (I think? I don't have army builder on this computer).

urban said...

Ok, by dropping the a bike and the flamer i free up 30 points. Now I have a few options, I think the better one may be to top off the meltas in the bike squad, and upgrade the hbolter to a mm. This leaves ten points for either melta bombs or combi-meltas. I'd probably go bombs. I can also change the bike librarian power to something else, like lance or shield, with unleash rage.

Alternatively, I can drop the hbolter attack bike, which I'm honestly scared to do since he's such a guilt free wound soaker for the squad, and upgrade the librarian to an epistolary for the sword / rage combo.

Based on past priest performance I'm also reluctant to drop their weapons, but this is gonna be my first time running claws instead of pweapons so things may change.

Which do you think I would get more bang out of?

Thanks again for taking your time to help.

urban said...

Sorry for the comment spamming. There's a lot of waiting today at work so I'm just list tooling.

I think this is what I'm going with, same list but with these changes as per your suggestions.

Dropping a bike and replacing the flamer with a melta.
Keeping the hbolter on the attack bike for wound shenanigans in the hope of squeezing out a little more life in the attack bikes.
Giving the bike libby Blood Lance, since he's supposed to be vehicle hunting anyway, and gave the priest on the bike Melta bombs, so he can be useful against a vehicle assault.

Good luck in all you do!