Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Blood Angels List For You

For anyone running the new Blood Angels, you're going to run across a wide variety of list options that are functional.

For those wondering where you might start, here's a sample list to start working from that doesn't have a hard counter out there.

In short, the list - while not perfect - doesn't have any opposing list it will run up against that it simply has no answer for.

Redundancy, effective anti-infantry, effective anti-tank, durability.

HQ (2/2)
Librarian w/ Cover Save + Lance psy powers - 100
Librarian w/ Cover Save + Lance psy powers - 100
Honor Guard w/ 2 x Meltaguns, 2 x Flamers, Mini-sanguinary, Rhino - 195
Honor Guard w/ 2 x Meltaguns, 2 x Flamers, Mini-sanguinary, Rhino - 195
*For those that aren't aware, the Honor Guard are enabled for every HQ you select, and contain a sanguinary priest (for all intents and purposes) that isn't an independent character, but comes with the full 6" aura of FNP/FC

Elites (0/3)

Troops (5/6)
4 x Assault Marines w/ Meltagun + Sarge w/ Power Sword, Infernus Pistol; Rhino - 155
4 x Assault Marines w/ Meltagun + Sarge w/ Power Sword, Infernus Pistol; Rhino - 155
4 x Assault Marines w/ Meltagun + Sarge w/ Power Sword, Infernus Pistol; Rhino - 155
4 x Assault Marines w/ Meltagun + Sarge w/ Power Sword, Infernus Pistol; Rhino - 155
4 x Assault Marines w/ Meltagun + Sarge w/ Power Sword, Infernus Pistol; Rhino - 155

Fast Attack (2/3)
Baal Predator - 115
Baal Predator - 115

Heavy Support (3/3)
Predator w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons - 135
Predator w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons - 135
Predator w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons - 135

Give it a playtest with a friend, or on vassal, or theoryhammer away at it if that's your thing.

- Mike


  1. I like the build but I've got a few concerns. Marines are fast in their rhino, but they get kind of slow without the rhino. i.e. after you get out. This is why I've been trying to do a similar build without rhinos and using jump packs instead.

    I understanding wanting a lot of AV11 all over the board giving people other targets than your preds/baals, but I'm trying to see how much that really matters.

    Additionally, by cutting what, 50 points from somewhere else in your list you can make all of those rhinos razorbacks. Would get them something to do after they drop off the cargo. Not saying you should find 150 and make them all twin lascannson or something, but you can make them twin heavy flamers for some cheaper/better immolator spam, or make them twin heavy bolters.

    Additionally, I'm toying with twin vindicators and a predator as Heavy instead of 3 predators. I know we talked about this and I just wanted to give everyone else a chance to weigh in.


  2. Dave - thanks for the input.

    I think you'll find that if you're spending points on power weapon and melta weapons on your blood angels, you want to run them in rhinos.

    A razorback is best utilized when you're hanging back with loadouts like twin-linked plasmagun + lascannon, or similar. You absolutely do not want to start thinking that they can do things like the sister Immo spam or other behaviors w/ their razorbacks, b/c they can't.

    The lack of a firepoint is the critical component, basically forcing you to get your precious models out in the face of a world full of melta and high strength weaponry if you want to actually pop enemy transports and put those razorbacks to use on them.

    So, if you're running a list like the above where the purpose is to get in an enemy's face, and use hatches to turn your rhinos into de-facto twin-melta razorbacks themselves, you want to do it that way. You actually don't get out until you are FORCED out, meaning either someone blows up your rhino, or game development requires you to get out of your vehicles and punch things. Let people waste their anti-tank/high strength/melta type weaponry prying open your rhinos, so that they can't bring it to bear on your FNP marines. The predators get to sit back and selectively target enemy transports and other things as well, and with fast will often get side armor shots on heavier targets and chimeras. Because of the need to deal with 7 rhinos full of pissed off space vampires, you can expect the preds to be ignored. The vindicators, while arguably more well-rounded in terms of target value, are GOING to be targeted, and your opponent would actually be correct to do so ... plus, at 24" away, it's easier to bring more weapons to bear against them of value. Your preds will be out of range of almost anything, but still able to stay mobile and not at hazard from outflankers and other types of weapons.

    In short, while something like "immo spam" blood angels taking advantage of free twin linked heavy flamers on their razorbacks will be a popular build and seem initially like a great idea, there are numerous "routine" builds out there that will easily crack them apart, and it won't work like sisters immo spam does, where you have 11 immos at times, backed up by guard loaned chimeras with 2melta ISTs in them, and all of the immos toting fire points of their own. Immos are 10 points more expensive, sure, but they do it better, b/c of those subtle keynotes.

  3. I like it. I hadn't seen much on Sanguinary Guard but they look delightfully inexpensive.

    I have been considering something similar.
    Libby w/ Cover, Preferred Enemy, or Lance
    3 SHP w/ inferno pistols
    2 Rifleman Dreads
    2x 9 Assault Marines, melta, powerfist, inferno pistol, Rhino
    8 Assault Marines, melta, powerfist, inferno pistol, Rhino
    3 Baals
    3 AC/LC Preds

    For a supposedly assaulty army, BA can bring the pain at range.

  4. I think you should see the BA as a fast assault army where Matt Ward through total accident realized all marine vehicles are supposed to be fast so they can behave properly.

    My only $.02 for you would be that I think your marines are a tad on the fragile side. I only say this b/c you should compare the "feel" of going up against a CSM army with 3 squads of plague marines w/ 2 meltaguns + pfist in rhino. Are you worried about tackling them? They hit harder and hold up better in combat than your ASM squads. For the Sang w/ Inferno Pistol + 9man ASM in rhino you're spending 320 points. For 10 Plague Marines w/ Fist Champ + 2 Melta in Rhino you're paying 325 points.

    The purpose of the Sanguinaries should be to amplify your assault marines by stretching the FNP/FC love to as many points as possible. I see spending one per squad as defeating the purpose.

    In the list I have posted, just as an example, you're getting - played right - FC and FNP on 7 squads basically for free (115 points for 5 veterans in the honor guard vs. 100 points for 5 ASM only one of which is a veteran in a troop squad .... 15 points for veterans across the board, better equipment options, and a 50 point priest that isn't an IC? yes please).

    Food for thought ... you're spot on when it comes to the Preds. I'd avoid the Riflemen ... those points are better spent elsewhere for the BA IMO. Caveat that Riflemen do not perform well w/in my routine group.

  5. I hadn't checked up on Honor Guard yet, but that looks neat. I may have to consider them now.

    The big difference between BA Assault Marines and Plague Marines is the rest of the army. CSM don't have the kind of firepower BA can, so the AM go from being the big deal to more of a mop up force. Though, I would like to get a good look at Honor Guard to see if I wouldn't be better served with them and Razorbacks.

    As it is, all I have to buy is 3 Baal Preds to convert what I've got into BA. That was the biggest draw to it. Riflemen I'll swear by, between them and the Heavy Preds I can do cazy damage to mech.

    Once I get the actual Codex I'll be looking to figure exactly how I want it.

  6. The list looks pretty nasty. Tons of mech running around and everything is a threat. You got a bunch of squads in light transports packing melta, some fast vehicles that aren't deadly but need to be dealt with, and long range anti-tank. This list reminds me of something....hmm...what could it be....optimized mech IG? Yep that's it. If you want to play a list like that you might as well play IG. Honestly you can do the same thing but better with IG. Yes, IG will suffer more in assualt aspect of the game, that's a given.

    You would def have multiple threats running around but those 5 man squads are not as tough as you think. With so much melta running around that FNP means nothing. A smart opponent will know to target your HG/Lib rhinos first. Make those guys walk and the rest of your army loses that FC/FNP buff. Those librarians will only be getting roughly half of thier psychic powers off in a game.

    Don't get me wrong that list is def competitive, just feels wrong to me. If you get the first turn your opponent is going to have major problems, no suprise there. If you go second lets hope your opponent isn't proficient at popping armor 11.

    My $0.02

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  8. "John said...

    The list looks pretty nasty. Tons of mech running around and everything is a threat. You got a bunch of squads in light transports packing melta, some fast vehicles that aren't deadly but need to be dealt with, and long range anti-tank. This list reminds me of something....hmm...what could it be....optimized mech IG? Yep that's it."

    This actually doesn't play like Mech IG at all. Superficially you've got squads w/ high BS and melta in transports, but the similarities end there.

    For IG, the game is a crawlfest, where you don't "rush" anyone, and you try to utilize 5-firepoint chimeras to have a nigh unassailable wall of metal, coupled with lots of artillery or things like vendettas, and you basically force your opponent to come to you. For your opponent, doing so is lethal b/c of all the melta and what-not hiding on the other side.

    This list doesn't play like that *at all.* Baals much more quickly move up, provide extra threat, and angle for side armor. Angels race up in rhinos and provide enormous pressure, either getting out vs. some opponents, or staying in their rhinos and using their OWN hatches vs. opponents like guard (so that they don't lose the value of FNP to melta, forcing the guardsmen to use their melta on rhinos, and then countercharging the next turn).

    The preds are long range, but they stay with and support the main assault, angling side armor shots whenever possible. Totally different from guard, in all playstyles and respects. Where guard aim to bludgeon you and grab objectives late, this army will table the crap out of you. It's also far superior to the optimized mech guard in practice, as has actually been seen in playtest so far to a fair bit ... but it's in no way at all the same army in playstyle or management.

    Guard aim to protect their lines with melta, and to provide tons of units that *can* hurt you, where your job as an opponent is to approach them in the best order of priority. This angels list is built to come kick your teeth down your throat, stat.

    Also, going first or second isn't a huge deal. If you're going second, nothing prevents you utilizing your 5 AV13 vehicles to ensure that your rhinos at the least have cover, and that's plenty enough. You're going to lose a couple, but not a ton, in 9 out of 10 games, and even if you lose a ton, you're not that bad off. Any that survive are in your opponent's lines with smoke popped by the end of Turn 1. Playtesting ftw ... that extra 6" of rhino movement makes all the difference in the world, and for the angels, fortune favors the bold.

    As for the honor guard lib rhinos, if you are allowing them to be targeted by an opponent when not going first, you're doing something wrong. You have 12 rhino chassis, and there's no reason for those 2 not to be buried behind and in between a bunch of others when your opponent is going to shoot first at you.

    Give it a try, John ... I've heard your mention of the "feels like mech guard" before, and trust me - this doesn't play or act anything even remotely like them. Just ask Ryan, who had to go up against this last Friday, and even had an extra free turn of fire vs. it thanks to Dawn of War.

    - Mike's $.02

  9. The only difference between your BA list and optimized guard is 2 things; 1) This list has to get in your opponents face where guard can sit back 2) when you do get in your opponents face you have a bit more punch in close combat than IG.

    You don't need to explain to me how this army plays on the table, I think I and everyone else reading this gets it. It's pretty obvious how this army plays. The fact that you have to get in your opponents face is a weakness. Anytime you are forced to do something to even be remotely effective that is a weakness. When this army closes on the enemy, because it has to, you are increasing your opponents ability to put the hurt on you. The fact that IG don't have to come driving across the table at you makes them better. Sure they aren't exactly "super" in close combat but Straken helps out with that pretty good.

    If you check most BA forums on the internet this type of list is rare, very rare. Most veteran BA players, many of which are excelent players, style their list towards a BA theme, not an IG theme with red marines.

    You can argue that the current rules of 40K promote that type of list, and yes if that's they way you need to play to be competitive then you should embrace that. However, I believe the reason they came up with the kill points scenario was an attempt to prevent exactly that type of list, they just failed. They failed a second time when they released that Guard codex without any kind of sanity check. If Daemons are the rediculous army in WHFB then Guard are the rediculous army in 40K. Maybe not to the same degree but still rediculous.

    Point for point IG does that type of list much better than BA.

    Oh, I did ask Ryan and his summary of the game wasn't so lopsided as you'd make it sound.

  10. I'm not sure I'm attempting to make Joe v Ryan sound lopsided at all.

    At the end of the game, when it went to turn 6, Ryan had an immobilized chimera w/ no guns, an inquisitor with a bolt pistol, and one of his mystics inside. He had a live chimera in front of most of Joe's army, with a squad of 7 guys outside of it (not in it). He had 2 psykers on foot next to a full BA squad. Joe was about to start top of turn 6.

    Joe had 2 full squads, 2 damaged squads, 1 live librarian+sanguinary squad at full health, 5 of 7 rhinos live but one of them immobilized, all 3 regular preds live, and the baal live.

    Ryan had lost 5 or 6 chimeras, most of his psyker squad, 4.3 of 5 vet squads, his straken squad and librarian, all 3 vendettas, both hydras and a basilisk.

    Joe had lost two rhinos, one baal, and 2.x assault squads.

    I'm not saying that is or isn't lopsided, just that's the appearance of the game at the top of turn 6, with a guy (that I was admittedly helping) who hadn't picked up the BA dex, vs. a very, very talented guard player (who had some bad dice at times).

    If blood angels assault marines with power weapons, rhinos, honor guards and sanguinary priests, backed up by baaal predators and regular predators is like chimeras + veterans w/ triple melta, leman russ demolishers, and vendettas ... I don't know that any army utilizing transports and tanks is any different from each other.

    So, if the solution is to run a bunch of blood angels on foot and use no tanks whatsoever so that they do not ... feel like guard or space marines or orks or dark eldar or eldar or space wolves or sisters or anyone other than tyranid that depend on transports to keep their guys safe in the 5th edition environment ... then go for it. I just think it's an argument that has no defense. It's not that you're claiming this list plays like Guard, just that it plays like 5th edition lists. I guess that's bad?

    Guard sit back and shoot you, and some guard take straken so that they have a counterpunch. BA outmaneuver and assault your ass while utilizing mobile fire support. If you sit back and shoot with them, using their abilities as a counterpunch, that's more guardlike ... not really sure where you go in general.

    As far as weaknesses for having to come at someone, a BA list that was built around backboarding and not having to come at someone would be as anti-thematic as it gets, no? You could go with a "descent of angels" theme alternately.

    If you want no similarities to guard or the entire rest of the 5th edition metagame, then shun transports altogether, and you're good to go.

    What is a BA theme, anyway?

    Last I heard, baal predators, assault marines, sanguinary priests, and the impact of the red thirst on marines, tending to cause them to become furious and feel no painy all added together for a pretty BA theme. Perhaps not?

    I'm not a Stelek, or a BOLS, or anywhere else ... my presence on this blog is not intended to change peoples' opinions about the game of 40k, but I thought I'd share a BA list I'd drummed up. There's no need to be angry at that. I'm certainly not advocating it as the best BA list out there, either ... to quote my original post ...

    "In short, the list - while not perfect - doesn't have any opposing list it will run up against that it simply has no answer for."

  11. Ok easy Seabiscuit. It was not my intention to ruffle feathers, poke the bear, or what have you.

    I was simply saying I think IG can do a better version of this list, not because this list is inferior, but because IG are just that good. The IG version of this list is much more flexible and tactical flexibily is optimum on the battle field.

    Granted the game with Joe and Ryan def makes it seem like the BA put the hurtin on the IG. However, without a complete battle report it would be unwise for anyone to form an opinion about the results without having all the information. Perhaps Ryan had some bad luck, perhaps Joe had some good luck, or perhaps Ryan made errors. Having been the victim of bad luck time and again I know how the dice can influence the game. You have to be honest, you nor Joe rarely suffer from poor dice rolls.

    As far as the BA fluff or theme I can only think of it like this....If you want mexican you can always go to Taco Bell and get lots of food for real cheap. Yes, its "mexican," its cheap so you can get lots of it, and it will fill you up so you are satisfied. Or you can go to an authentic Mexican restaurant, pay a little more, and walk away satisfied. The key difference being one is "mexican" and the other is Mexican.

  12. "You have to be honest, you nor Joe rarely suffer from poor dice rolls."

    I don't know about Mike, but I always claim good kharma on my part.

    Why does everyone laugh when I say that?