Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to win with Blood Angels

Blood Angels intrigue me.  Once upon a time they were an assault-specialized army, and that's what their fluff supports.  The real strength of the army in 5th edition, though, was access to cheap, fast transport vehicles with heavy firepower.  Today vehicles are seeing less play than any time in the past five years and there are multiple power-armored armies whose close combat choices put assault marines to shame.  Where do the sons of Sanguinus fit in?

Maybe the answer is the same thing that made 5th edition Blood Angels so effective: points efficiency and the ability to place intense, unrelenting pressure on your opponent.  

It's time to get prepared for the Golden Throne GT!

The Golden Throne GT 2013 is 2000pts and allows Warhammer 40k-approved Forgeworld units.  Each scenario is straight from the rulebook, with very few tweaks to the basic rules of the game.  Here's the list I've come up with for that tournament:

Blood Angels - Primary Detachment
Librarian, Shield of Sanguinus, Unleash Rage
5 Man Assault Squad with Melta Bombs, Razorback with Twin-Linked Lascannon
5 Man Assault Squad with Melta Bombs, Razorback with Twin-Linked Lascannon
5 Man Assault Squad with Melta Bombs, Razorback with Twin-Linked Lascannon
2 Platform Hyperios Air Defense Battery
2 Platform Hyperios Air Defense Battery

Space Marines - Allied Detachment
Chaplain in Terminator Armor
10 Man Terminator Assault Squad, Thunder Hammers & Storm Shields, Land Raider Redeemer
10 Man Tactical Marine Squad, Lascannon
Stormraven Gunship, Twin-Linked Multi-Melta, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

Aegis Defense Line, Quad Gun

My work-in-progress Imperial Fist assault terminators.

The emphasis of this list is on points economy, something that power-armored armies aren't always very good at.  The Aegis Defense Line, tactical marines and two pairs of Hyperios Platforms are the firebase we'll establish at deployment.  The Three Razorbacks hold our forward-moving, objective-grabbing troop units while augmenting our long-range firepower.  

Those Razorbacks will advance relatively slowly, since the five-man squads inside of them are relatively fragile -- it's important that their boots don't hit the board until late in the game.  Front and center in that advance is the Land Raider Redeemer, boasting a marine-murdering flamer, a combat-squad half of a terminator assault unit and a chaplain in terminator armor.  While long-range fire support is breaking apart tanks, the terminator squad will be decimating any unit that's dismounted from them.  

The final hammer comes from the second combat-squad half of the terminator unit in the Stormraven.  The 'raven can handle any tank or flyer, puts a big hurt on infantry squads and delivers a payload that hits like a brick.  It's scary to put infantry inside of flyers, since they're not allowed armor saves when the flyer wrecks -- but these guys are equipped with storm shields and can handle even a worst-case scenario.

The concept here is to cherry-pick the most points-effective units from each codex (assault terminators are cheaper for Space Marines than Blood Angels), hit all of the list-building areas required in a successful list, and inject the flavor of the Blood Angels into the way the army plays.  How do you think we did?

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