Friday, December 27, 2013


I nabbed a Techmarine off of an Internet auction for my son. I put on a plasma pistol to help remind me if he has a servo-harness on where he gets a twin-linked plasma pistol and flamer. Maybe I should add a scope to remember it's twin-linked too...

Your basic Techmarine comes in at 50 points from the Elites slot. It can fix vehicles on a 5+, bolster a ruin adding +1 to the cover save and has one extra S8 AP1 attack. For 25 points more you can upgrade to a servo-harness to be able to shoot that twin-linked plasma pistol and the flamer (as long as you don't fire with your boltgun or bolt pistol) and you get an extra S8 AP1 attack (2 total) and fix vehicles on a 4+. If the Techmarine came with Feel No Pain or a 5-6+ invulnerable save, I'm sure we would see a lot more of them on the table. If you pull them out of a vehicle, try to not leave them out in the open. Have them blocked to line of sight or in a squad hopefully within the Sanguinary Priest Feel No Pain bubble.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Video Content

Flashgitz made some Space Hulk videos, and they're a little old but new to me.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Return

A quick message to announce that more regular blogging will commence following the Techmarine's prayer's to the machine spirit and the striking of the runes on this machine of war.

For the Emperor and Sanguinius!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blood Angels Digital Codex Launches

Well, nothing to see here.
Ded'ard has the details.
This is good as I think everyone would want a legitimate new codex, not a minor update to delay a reboot.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blood Angels Review by Raw Dogger

Raw Dogger of Frontline Gaming and Kimchi Games dropped on article here.

Let's examine Raw Dogger's analysis in italics.

Mephiston-A lot of players will dramatically alter their deployment to stay away from him and that can set you up for a good game.  He can still lay the smack down with a base strength 6 which can be increased to strength 10 with the use of his psychic power, the Sanguine Sword.  I primarily use him as a monster hunter but watch out because he is still only AP3 with his sword so Riptides should only be assaulted if entirely necessary.  He is also quite fast with a jump pack psychic power (Wings of Sanguinius) and a base Fleet, which means he’ll normally getting into assault turn 2.

Keep in mind that Mephiston comes in at 250 points. You have to decide if you want to invest into one model that cannot join a unit and hide. When looking at his stat line, do not overvalue the weapon skill 7 he has. It only adds a 16% chance to hit for enemies with WS 4-6 compared to a normal Space Marine. A BS of 5 is always welcome, especially with a plasma pistol.His strength 6 (10 with Sanguine Sword) attacks at initiative are nice. His toughness 6 is going to help prevent a lot of strength 4 attacks from going through. Although 5 wounds sounds impressive, the amount of plasma on the table could pose a great danger to him. Mephiston needs to be kept out of sight from units with significant AP 2 weaponry. His initiative 7 is going to allow him to limit the amount of returning wounds in combat he will take as long as he stays away from AP 2 weaponry. This significantly lowers his value and needs to be used with care. His 4 attacks look significantly light without an AP 2 weapon despite having preferred enemy if his power goes off. His points cost seems prohibitive to run him as a force multiplier by swapping his powers for the main rule book ones.   

SternguardIn an edition dominated by high toughness monsters and mobs of cheap troops hiding in cover, Hellfire Rounds (wound on a 2+) and Dragonfire Bolts (ignore cover) are the [good].  Put these guys in a drop pod with a priest (I like Brother Corbulo for his 2+ Feel No Pain wound tank ability) and watch your opponent cry as his models melt off the table. 

One of the biggest drawbacks is that they are never scoring while still being as easy to kill as a regular marine which some have said is the worst armor save in the game for the points. Be careful about going overboard on dropping too many points on them at 25 each. Have a role for them and give them enough to get the job done whether it is more combi-weapons, just more bodies, priests and dedicated transports.

Assault TerminatorsPut them in a Land Raider with a priest and a Librarian (Divination) and point them at the thing you want to die. 

Try and synergize this unit by hiding your Vindicator behind it or a Landspeeder or Razorback with some Death Company inside to be able to punish your opponent for focus firing on trying to stop the Terminators from getting to their target. 

Death CompanyThrow these guys in a drop pod with a Chaplain and a power weapon and power fist and watch your opponent scramble to deal with them.  Oh and guess what?  They’re Relentless.  Take bolters for maximum death.  Each model has 5 strength 5 attacks on the charge (Rage) and with the Chaplain they re-roll all hits and wounds.  Remember that power sword and power fist?  You can’t challenge them away. 

It's true but remember to keep them limited to what they need to do because they are relatively expensive at 20 points each and might actually be better than Sternguard all things considered at this point.

Assault SquadsWhat you SHOULD be doing is taking advantage of their cheap pimp wagons and sitting backfield until the Short Bus Dragons get taken out.  My favorite builds are the 5 mans with a meltagun and power ax (yes, you need to be able to kill stuff) riding in a Razorback with Twin-Linked Lascannons.

Customize your Razorback load out for the job you want it to fulfill. Remember to protect your scoring troops and keep them out of sight as five man squads disappear quickly even in cover. With the 6th Edition changes though, Tacticals are a solid choice. If you go with ten Tacticals, grab a free multi-melta to snapshot with.

RazorbacksDid you know that Blood Angel transports are fast?  Did you know that Fast Vehicles can move 12” and still fire a weapon at full ballistic skill?  Now you know.  Assault Marine Squads have a built in 35 point discount on any transports they take.  DEAL BREAKER. 

It really is the best discount in the codex next to the one you can get for a Land Raider.

Predators Look, the ability to move 6” and fire all of your weapons at full ballistic skill has won me more games than I care to admit.  Being able to re-position your auto cannons/lascannons to get that perfect kill shot is worth the higher point cost you’re paying above the Dark Angels. 

Baal PredatorsAV 13 fast vehicles that also have the ability to Scout (Outflank)?  I’ll take three please.  I normally take the Assault Canons / Heavy Bolters combo and they can REALLY lay down covering fire.  The best thing about these guys is their ability to Outflank.  They can come in from behind you opponent and blast ... a tank or a wimpy back field scoring unit. 

Considering the two types of Predators, you can choose depending upon which category in the Force Organization Choice has more space and provide balance for the two special scoring missions. The question is also whether the Scout rule is something you are looking for. The Predator comes in at a bargain 70 points but considering you should be at range to bring the force of both side sponsons to the enemy, it is probably a good investment to add the heavy bolters (100 point unit) unless you really need to hunt tanks (lascannon sponsons bring the total to 135 points). The Baal Predator starts at 115 points with either the T/L assault cannon or flamestorm cannon. Heavy flamer sponsons bring the total to 140 points or 145 if you choose heavy bolters instead. Again, your load outs come down to what you want to accomplish with them. Just remember that you want to have a balance between back field fire power, midfield support and close combat presence combined with appropriate target prioritizing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

More Than a Year Out

Rumours are swirling about the next release schedule with a possible Blood Angels Codex release in November- 2014. That is if it is not already marked for Sisters of Battle. The good news is that there is time to contact GW and to tell them what you want from the next codex. I will begin wish listing and putting together letters. Maybe you want more supplements beyond Flesh Tearers or you just want to keep your Vanguard Veterans assaulting from Deep Strike, so I strongly encourage you to write GW and maybe you will get what you want! I'll take an Angels Encarmine supplement, please.

Games Workshop
Direct Sales
Willow Road

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sandbag Gun Emplacement

A few months ago I had used some paper clay to make the base of these emplacements and then put on a base coat. I finally got around to touch ups and dry brushing. I primed and gave two base coats separately to the sandbags. I bought a non GW product where there were two sculpts that were quite similar. Next, I super glued the sandbags individually onto the base and then dry brushed them. The super glue hasn't been as good as I had hoped and will try something else if the bags break off. I don't have access to Gorrilla Glue so I will have to experiment a little. 
I know my terrain is not amazing but I feel that its quality is improving, so do not be discouraged from building your own. Your imagination and creativity can do a lot better than looking at the same flimsy terrain put out by GW. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meaningful Extra Armour

Although there were rumours of a potential Vanguard Veterans dedicated transport, perhaps we could come up with a way to give meaningful extra armour to the Rhino/Razorback kit.

Forge World has two kits out just for this.

Follow with me for this as the first is named the dozer blade upgrade that is called a siege shield that you would see on Vindicators. For Vindicators, this automatically passes dangerous terrain tests (for 10 points). This presumably has nothing to do with their front armour surprisingly then. Turning to the Predator entry, it says that "it completely surrenders transport capacity for much improved frontal armour..." (C:BA, 2009, p. 35). Extra armour as used today goes back to the last century where crew stunned results are turned into crew shaken. After your opponent has actually penetrated your vehicle, there is only a 16% chance they will end up with a die roll of 3 to make this work. The Extra Armour cost is a whopping 15 points for the ability to continue moving the next turn. Surely there is a better way to do this or to add armour to vehicle transport that be a bridge between the regular Rhino and the Land Raider.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Having Codex Envy?

If you are not already having codex envy, you probably will with the next Space Marine codex only a short while away. If rumors are true, there could be some significant additions to the game. However, please remember that if the Blood Angels are your first army, do not sell them. Never sell your first army. There is only regret that can come of it unless you never liked the aesthetic in the first place.
You will probably not get as much as you want for your Blood Angels too. The codex was not nerfed but there was so much codex creep that it may be difficult to find a buyer willing to pay what they are really worth after your hard work. Additionally, there are a lot of BA armies waiting to be sold since Grey Knights and Necrons were released. Other players may also find you interesting to play if they do not see your army often unless you are running Mephiston. 
Further, GW has greatly increased its release pace, and it may not be that long before there is a new codex and supplement. Those are some good reasons to not abandon your army and remember you can ally in something in if you must have it. Hopefully, the Blood Angels will get all of the good things to come and not left behind in the separate but equal situation of the Dark Angels.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sanguinary Priest Model Review

The Sanguinary Priest was first offered as a metal blister, and that is what is being reviewed here. It has since been moved to a resin cast model, so keep that in mind.

Here are the pictures GW offer to sell you the model.

The Sanguinary Priest is definitely in a dynamic pose. However, it does not really show just how far forward the model is leaning. It also hides the very bland top of the right hand with the narthecium. Having a bolt pistol is a little generic too. The solution is to grab a nice chainsword from the Death Company kit to make it appear the Priest is in close combat. The double bonus is that you then have a nice stand in model for Corbulo without having to buy him and his cup. Corbulo's chainsword appears to be fairly non-descript anyway on his model and not a particularly efficient purchase unless you have a particular affinity or compulsion to be a completist.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Blog Turns One

The blog has passed the one year mark already. Posting has been irregular and will probably continue to be so.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blood Angel Favorites

Remember how awesome these were?

Many Blood Angels players have mourned the power drop of Lightning Claw Terminators. When Furious Charge also had +1 Initiative, they would at least let you consider taking them instead just SS/TH ones. This is why internal and external balance is so important in a codex. Narrowing down player options hurts the game. No one wants to see the same units across from them on the table all the time. What are your favorite units you use or want to that just do not have the power levels they should?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prescience with Blood Angels

Generally, the Blood Angel psychic powers are good enough to set aside the main rule book powers. The biggest concern is reliability in order for the power to complement your army list design.

The BA book powers have some of the best that were created in 5th edition. Shield of Sanguinius is no longer as good with the reduced requirements for cover. Blood Lance is really a glorified melta shot which is not as good as it was with vehicle rules changes. The Sanguine Sword and Unleash Rage also feel underwhelming with the decrease in value of assault in 6th edition.

6th edition is more of a shooting game now. Prescience has been well recognized as one of the best powers in the rule book due to its reliability and effectiveness:

Primaris Power
Prescience is a blessing that targets a single friendly unit within 12". Whilst the power is in effect, the target unit can re-roll all failed To Hit rolls.

The important thing is to look back at Blessings:

Blessings are manifested at the start of the Psyker's Movement phase. They grant extra abilities to the Psyker's allies, such as characteristic boosts or additional special rules. Blessings can affect units that are locked in close combat and can affect the Psyker himself. ...

How can this power do the most work for your army? It's probably best to not upgrade your Librarian to an Epistolary as that is half the cost for an additional Librarian. The To Hit roll is generally the biggest limiting factor to damage output (the first step and only 66% chance).

What you are going to do is have your Librarian in Rhino / Razorback deployed within 12" of your Devastators. You want to cast it Turn One on them to maximize your chances of putting damage onto your opponent.

You have some flexibility about your approach for what comes next. You can use Sternguard or Death Company (without Chaplain) and go with five and a razorback with Heavy Bolter or Heavy Flamer or a larger squad and a Rhino. Then you can zoom ahead still on Turn One. Do not leave them unsupported or they will die as usual.

You will then apply battlefield tactics like you can see on YTTH to maximize your firing and cover potential. Those re-roll hits will be maximized with those two units as you will pretty much always be shooting with them both and probably end up in hand-to-hand with two attacks. It's best to not waste points on Sternguard power weapons, just have them shoot and move back which will be hard because you want them rapid firing. Remember, you will get re-roll Overwatch Rapid Fire Snap Shots too.

Last, do not forget about your Rhino / Razorback after disembarking. It still can fill useful battlefield roles. Additionally, do not forget that you can give the Prescience blessing to a unit that you are not in, and that unit could already be locked in combat to give them some help.

This could work just as well if you are running a bike squad, just put your Librarian on a bike too. You could also do this with Sanguinary Guard, especially if they are troops too.

You can always double this up with a second Librarian to further harass your opponent.

Using Prescience for your army might be a refreshing way to play your Blood Angels army.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Next Special Character

If GW is able to keep up their torrent pace of releases, it may not be that long before another Blood Angels codex could be produced. It is now known that the physical model is created and corresponding rules and background are developed from it.

The question is where should the next special character come from in the force organization chart?
The HQ section is already loaded with six of them. Only one of them (Commander Dante) actually opens up a non-troops selection. The Elites section only has one (Brother Corbulo). The Troops section has one (Lemartes, Guardian of the Lost).

The easy choice would be either Fast Attack or Heavy Support as they do not have a choice yet.

Where would you like to see the next special character?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blood Angels Blogs Falling Too?

Unfortunately, I have not been able to put in as much time into Blood Angels' Devastators as I would like. However, do not worry. I am not going away and will continue with more content as I can handle various workloads.

It has been sparse out there on the Internet for BA content and other blogs already have gone on unofficial hiatus or have shifted their focus to other armies. You can see almost all of them in the blogroll on the right. Instead, enjoy some Demon slaughter and rising Red Thirst.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Have the Blood Angels Fallen?

Chaos Demons
Dark Angels
Chaos Space Marines
Grey Knights
Imperial Guard
Space Wolves

Our once very balanced codex has taken a real hit now with the increased release schedule. It is now probably in the bottom half in the power rankings- possibly even in the bottom third already and will be by the end of the year.

How will you adjust to keep playing Blood Angels? Perhaps you have already been running them with allies, hopefully not putting them on the shelf. If you have lost MSU efficiency, going the other way and rolling out hero-hammer lists is a fun and interesting way to give a great game to yourself and an opponent.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blood Angel Blog

There is a brand new Blood Angel blog Blood Angels in 6th. We can always grow the grand Blood Angels Alliance, so show JAMOB some welcoming spirit.

You can also hear Snorri from the Bolter and Chainsword on the Deep Strike Radio Podcast.

If you have anything good to add, please do so in the comments.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Assault Quiz

Creative Twilight posted numerous quizzes to help out players. Why not take the Assault Quiz here.

Although the Assault Phase has taken a huge hit in 6th Edition, some players may still want to go against the trends and find a way to surprise gun line armies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sharing the Pain

Blood Angel players, now we can share the same pain as our Black Templar Battle-Brethren. The Land Raider Crusader pattern was first introduced for the Black Templar and then spread to the other chapters. The same has happened to the Storm Raven.

You can see in this paragraph the entire plan that was to come. After the Blood Angel introduction, it would go to the Grey Knights and now GW had the opportunity to give it to all of the other chapters excepting the Space Wolves.

I think the sting would have hurt a lot less if the Blood Angels would have been allowed access to the Stormtalon Gunship or the Land Speeder Storm. It is not a matter of sharing but balance between access and uniqueness. We have our own interesting units, yet it always hurts to give and not get any love back for our noble chapter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blood Rodeo Review

3++ updated the Blood Rodeo for 6th Ed.back in July. Essentially, I have combined three separate articles to be able bring the concepts together into one place rather than ending up disjointed. Set aside a little time to read it through properly and be able to advance this conversation and Blood Angel army build.

First, bikes are improved. That constant Toughness 5 is a huge benefit.It is like strength five and six weapons with multiple shots where it tips from being lucky to wound to being useful and consistent. It also brushes aside instant death from missiles and melta weapons.Blood Angels' Bike Squads only score in one of the missions and cannot be unlocked as Troops Choices.

Here's the final 5th Edition 3++ Blood Rodeo to review:

HQ -
Librarian w/Bike, Blood Lance & Sanguine Sword
Librarian w/Bike, Blood Lance & Sanguine Sword

Elites - 
5x TH/SS Terminators
2x Sanguinary Priest w/Jump Pack, Lightning Claw
Sanguinary Priest w/Jump Pack

Troops -
10x ASM w/2x meltagun, Power Fist, hand flamer
10x ASM w/2x meltagun, Power Fist, hand flamer
5x ASM w/meltagun, infernous pistol, hand flamer, melta bombs

Fast Attack - 
8x Bikes w/2x meltagun, Power Fist, Attack Bike w/MM
8x Bikes w/2x meltagun, Power Fist, Attack Bike w/MM

Blood Rodeo is about using a screen of biker models to protect the FNP/FC Assault Marines of a Blood Angels army for any unwanted assaults/attention and basically ferry them into combat. 
In 5th edition this looked at bringing Bikes from the Blood Angels army who had the benefit of FNP but as we all know, bikes aren't cheap and bikes without combat tactics are bikes stuck in combat, particularly when they are a screening force. The ASM + heavy units (TH/SS, Sanguinary Guard, etc.) were used to try and break that stalemate and the Bikes gave the ASM some extra ranged dakka and the ability to get off charges against their opponents.

There are a couple of things which make this list and concept work. The first one is obviously scoring ASM. Whilst scoring bikes are arguably better, we have scoring ASM which provides the list with the needed mobility, special weapons and combat prowess across multiple units. Whilst ASM aren’t great assault troops they are a sight better than Tactical Marines & Bikes and when combined with the FNP/FC bubbles Blood Angels have access to, they are greatly improved. This brings us to the 2nd point on why this list works. FNP/FC bubbles. FNP makes the whole army (Bikes & ASM) very survivable, especially in combat against anything without power weapons. As stated above, FC makes the ASM ‘good’ assault troops and even makes Bikes on the charge better than terrible but it still doesn’t make the army a good combat army as an entity. This is where the Terminators come in and the major concept of this list, bubble-wrapping. 

This works by ‘wrapping’ the ASM with the combat squadded bikes. The bikes aren’t great in combat even on the charge w/FC and are a higher toughness (which combined with FNP makes them very tough against anything which doesn’t ignore saves) and are therefore better able in this role to accept charges. This protects the ASM from charges and because ASM have jump packs, they are able to jump over the combat and assault the units engaged with the Bikes. Ergo, the Rodeo. This takes advantage of both the FNP and FC aspects of the Blood Chalice to great effect. Furthermore, with the FAQ changes to FNP/FC bubbles it is also easier to get the ASM those benefits by tucking the Sanguinary Priests behind the combat on the bike side (but not engaged in the combat). This is a key part of how the army works and should be practiced as once FNP disappears you‘ve just got a bunch of Marines & Bikes who are mediocre in combat. The obvious alternative is to have the Sanguinary Priests assault with the ASM as you can get an extra special weapon and a higher WS IC involved.
However, there is still the glaring weakness of no real scary combat units in this list and without VV or HG to suck up power weapon hits on storm shields, super combat units which ignore saves can be very problematic for the Blood Rodeo. Enter Stelek’s change: Terminators. Whilst TH/SS terminators don’t benefit from Descent of Angels, deep striking them on the enemy’s side of the engagement line (where the Bikes & ASM are involved in conflict) provides you with a huge rock unit which will beat most other rock units in combat (and anything else besides). This is another key point of the Blood Rodeo, where and when to deep strike these guys. Sometimes it is better to run the Terminators behind the Bike bubble-wrap and assault forward as a gap opens and sometimes it’s better to reserve them and have them walk on. Let’s take a quick look.
Reserve on foot: the only time you really want to do this is when you are playing defensively against armies like Daemons, Jumpers or Drop Pods. Since the enemy is approaching you, by the time your Terminators walk on you have either created a huge “no go” zone for your opponent or will be able to assault something on the turn your arrive.
Reserve: this should be the most common option as you want your Terminators to drop behind the engagement line and be able to wreck face by either threatening more of your opponent’s army or countering super units. The one problem with this is they may turn up later or earlier than you need them.
Walk: this should generally be against shooty lists with a large amount of Ap2+ weaponry. Dropping these guys in will generally have them shot to pieces by such weaponry as your opponent focuses on them. By deploying them on the table, you’ve forced your opponent to make a choice on what to shoot. Furthermore, armies like this such as IG and Tau need to be overwhelmed with targets and don’t really have units the Terminators are designed to counter anyway. It can also be difficult to bull the Terminators through your lines and requires a bit of finesse to do so.
So why Terminators? VV, HG or Sanguinary Guard would fit the theme of Blood Rodeo much better whilst still providing either a strong combat punch or steely combat defences through storm shields. For this however, we want both. This rules out Sanguinary Guard as they are incapable of receiving an invulnerable save. HG and VV are both options then (particularly VV who can benefit from Descent of Angels and Heroic Intervention). However, for the point costs Terminators are flat better as they have both great defences (2+/3++) and can dish out the hurt with 10-15+ TH attacks. Whilst HG and VV can both get combat weapons like LCs and storm shields for defence, that’s 35 points just for the upgrades and the Terminators still have a better armor save and can deal more damage in combat with their Thunder Hammers. Whilst they have less mobility, with the nature of the Blood Rodeo they can generally get to where they are needed one turn after they deep-strike in.
Let’s take a final peek at how the list operates on the table and what its strengths and weaknesses are. In most games the Terminators and 1 combat squad of ASM will reserve via Deep-Strike. This allows the Blood Rodeo to land units behind the engagement line and expand the threat zone. Whilst Blood Rodeo is a very mobile army, it is susceptible to being bogged down in combat due to the lack of raw power by the ASM and bikes. The majority of the time the ASM and Bike squads should therefore be combat squadded. Whilst this gives you a potential ~15 Kill Points, meh, still less than mech lists and it gives you a lot more flexibility and mobility. The bikers then run as a screen for the ASM and will generally turbo-boost T1 for a 3+ cover with the ASM moving and running behind them. This gets the whole army (minus what’s in reserve) in your face very quickly and once the Bikes are engaged in combat, the ASM can jump over them and assault the units behind. It’s important to attempt to focus the PFists squads on a unit you want dead which the Terminators are unable to get to. The army also has a large amount of melta and flamer weapons with which to tackle both infantry and tank based armies and it’s important to try and de-mech your opponent ASAP so your ASM can benefit on the charge. Remember, the Bikes are there to accept charges and die whilst the real damage in combat comes from mass ASM attacks and the Terminators.

Here's the 6th Edition Version of the 3++ Blood Rodeo.
Librarian w/Bike, Shield of Sanguine, Unleash Rage

2x Priest w/Jump Pack, Power Weapon

3x10x ASM w/meltaguns, PFist


HQ Captain w/Bike, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer, Artificer Armor
Command Squad, Bikes, 4x Storm Shields, 4x Power Axes8x Bikes w/2x meltaguns, Attack Bike w/MM

5x Bikes w/2x meltaguns, Attack Bike w/MM

195 points gives us the basic squad with Bikes & FNP, so only 60 points left. Yikes. They cannot get any armor upgrades so storm shields to avoid death to power weapons is pretty important. There goes all 60 points. A Lightning Claw is what was used previously and they are still probably a good bet as the storm shield takes away the advantages of the power weapon for getting +1A. The Librarian is also giving them Unleash Rage which will be helpful in making sure those hits count. I'd stick with Lightning Claws at this point - without the +1A you're not going to benefit at all with power weapons, Lances without Hit & Run are risky, particularly with the fearless units abound, Axes you're just better off getting the Thunderhammer or Powerfist for and Mauls will have issue punching through Marine armor though could be usable for simple torrent. However, this unit is being run to deal with Terminators and the like in combat so running mass Power Axes might be a good idea - leave the anti-infantry/Marines up to the ASM.

Regardless, I'd pay the extra 15 points per model for a power weapon of some type - if you end up using all Lightning Claws change the 4th one to a Thunderhammer/PFist and if you end up using Power Axes, you can forego the last (but grab some melta bombs in combat). Command Squad, Bikes, 4x Storm Shields, 4x Power Axes. At a minimum this puts you 60 points over. Time to shave some points and we'd also like to buff our Captain a bit. We want to keep our ASM core - 30 ASM is the minimum you really need to break things open and that's only the case because we have some other scoring units + the Command squad. We'll look to trim from one of the Bike squads then and turn one full squad into a half squad. A full squad costs 280 whilst a half squad costs 205 giving us the 60 extra we needed for the Command Squad and 15 to play with. Perfect...

We can drop a final Bike from the small squad (still five strong with AB so counts as a Troops unit) to get some extras here and there on the characters or Command Squad (like plasma weapons, melta-bombs, etc.). Otherwise, that's Blood Rodeo taken to 6th edition.

There's still a bit of inefficiency with the Priests + ASM and potentially running this with the Marines as the parent list with attached ASM and then some Hybridity with Dreadnoughts/Predators running around wouldn't go amiss.

The theory still works and as we looked at before with Jumpers in general, they should fare fine in 6th edition. Bikers as a pure army probably aren't going to work any longer - low model count with reduced cover hurts, particularly with more AP2 weapons out there but should still work fine as a Hybrid army - as is the case here. There are 50+ T4/5/3+ models out there and most of them have FNP, so even mass plasma isn't going to chew through them. All platforms are fast so mass melta is still an excellent option, particularly as they are looking to engage the enemy though some Plasma might not got amiss on the Bike platforms. Impact hits from both units can help raise the damage in combat but it's still important to take down MCs/Dreads before engaging them, particularly with the ASM who do not have combat tactics. Flyers will be an issue and you could replace something on the Libby for Blood Lance but even then, that's only one option and this lack combined with a general increase in power for 2+ saves in combat will probably see this specific Jumper build be less viable than it was in 5th. Anti-infantry is again mostly combat related outside of the Bikes bolters and with large fearless units coming to play, this may end up being an issue for such armies in 6th.

The updated Blood Rodeo is better. Although it has lost some durability, it has significantly increased its objective scoring power significantly. It is also more mobile losing the Assault Terminators. Without needing to deepstrike the Assault Terminators, it allows more of your army on the table immediately. As Stelek has already mentioned, Turn 2 is the new Alpha Strike. There are serious problems with leaving too much of your army in reserve with the decrease in cover and increase in power of overall shooting. 

It is also nice for your opponent to see an interesting army being put across the table from them and that isn't Ravenwing. Please post your thoughts and ideas to improve this list in the comments.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Special Weapon Review from 3++

3++ did a special weapon review at the beginning of 6th Edition. Let's see how it is holding up now after some more time. Of course, we will only look at this from the Blood Angel perspective.

Special weapons were a little less varried than heavies in 5th edition. Meltaguns was generally the first and last option people reached for - it was the best way to drop tanks and dirt cheap.

Things haven't really changed with the meltagun itself. It's still the most potent anti-tank vehicle when everything works in it's favor; it still bypasses most armor values at close range and has a 50% chance to destroy a vehicle when it penetrates and it's still dirt cheap. Chuck in a general reduction in cover (specifically, man-made cover like smoke launchers) and meltaguns are arugably better than they were. Unfortunately though, the most common platform for them, infantry inside transports, have had their threat ranges reduced by ~3" thanks to the new disembarkation rules. This threat range loss is of course gained only at the extreme and often would put such infantry in a place to get blasted to bits next turn (aka over-extension) but this option is now hindered just that bit more. Furthermore, the 3" lost still leaves the current infantry squad exposed as they must disembark and then move 6" - you can no longer move the transport 12" and disembark behind it to gain some protection. Expect to see these mostly on mobile units (i.e. jump infantry, bikes, etc.) though taking them in transports isn't bad, it's just not as flexible as in the previous edition. 
Infernous pistols, also for Blood Angels, are like the meltagun but hit more by the threat range reduction. Again, expect to see them mostly on Jumper units.

The biggest drive is need. The need for meltaguns has significantly decreased. You need to deal with a wide variety of targets now (tough infantry, Helldrakes, flyers, blobs) and vehicles are now in trouble when you get to grenade them. Don't forget your meltabombs and flamers.

The big change of 6th edition is of course the potential for the plasma gun to become much more popular. With a reduction in cover and changes to rapid fire weapons, the low AP of the plasma gun can come into play more often (forcing multiple 5+ cover saves is a lot better than multiple 4+ cover saves) whilst the rapid fire changes allow the plasma gun to have an effective 30" threat range. The addition of hull points to vehicles also make plasma volleys a scarier proposition - consider them a more power autocannon volley at short range. They can take off hull points of lower AVs but thanks to their AP2, they are also a little bit better at actually causing Explodes! results on any penetration they do generate. They are expensive though, but their increased rate of fire makes them effective at both anti-vehicle and anti-infantry duty (though obviously they are inefficient against horde like units). For units replacing their meltaguns with something else, the plasma gun is generally what people will be reaching for. 
The plasma pistol has everyone jumping up and down currently as well but really, it's the same cost as most plasma guns yet only gets one shot and only at 12". Yes you can take two with gunslinger to effectively have an old rapid-firing plasma gun but it's +30 points. It can certainly be useful as it gets you more raw firepower in a unit already maxed out but it's not exactly efficient.

Losing the ability to assault after firing that plasma gun shouldn't be underestimated either for Blood Angels players. Good work blowing up that transport- you can't assault the contents now though and you are left out in the wind for your opponents next turn of devastating shooting. Don't forget that those sweet heavy flamers are also assault weapons too.

The flamer hasn't changed much - it's always been a bit of a niche weapon on infantry. Like the meltagun it really suffers from the new disembarkation rules and the general weakness of tanks. Throwing a tank forward for some tank shock "I get to move your models" fun is riskier than it used to be and not always worth doing to drop some templates on individuals. That being said, a couple of them in a squad can be killers on Overwatch duty against lightly armed units. Any unit of Orks or Termagants or Guardsmen, etc. isn't going to want to charge (or multi-charge) a squad with a couple flamers in their midst. They're still generally dirt cheap and having a couple in your army for clearing infantry or charge defenses isn't a bad thing but they aren't going to be popping up everywhere. 
 Hand-flamers for Blood Angels though will likely see a bit more use - like flamers they are a niche role but the free Overwatch hits is a pretty decent buy.

I just don't see the utility in taking a hand flamer yet from the available choices in the BA codex. The regular flamer is not bad, but it is not that great either at S4 AP5. You don't hit that sweet spot until the Heavy Flamer at S5 AP4 or the Flamestorm Cannon at S6 AP3 for extra crisp traitors. Use what the codex options give you rather than forcing them into your list for improved effectiveness. Remember, you need to be close enough to use them, which you should think about with the improvement to rapid fire and especially plasma guns.

Special weapons are where we are more likely to see a turnaround. Meltaguns are still good but the gap between melta and plasma has closed dramatically and in an edition where AP2 and number of shots matter, the plasma gun is ticking both of those boxes. Expect to see more but not as much as we saw in the LasPlas days of 4th edition.

This last sentence is backwards and leads in the wrong direction. It's not what will you see, it is what will you bring? You are trying to build a balanced list, not trying to list tailor. Your special weapons should be basically something you fill in at the end. Your list should already have long range firepower, counter-assault, mobility, anti-tank, anti-infantry already checked off your list mostly because relying upon troops like assault squads or tac squads to do the heavy lifting is asking too much of them. Every opponent is geared toward killing marines, so they just don't have the staying power that they should.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Play Blood Angels

Combing through the Bolter and Chainsword thread about why play Blood Angels, I composed a Top 10 list.

I also composed a list of worst reasons too.

6. Chainswords.
5. Easy to paint.
4. They’re red.
3. They are a close combat army.
2. If there were any chapter closest to the orks. The boyz in red would have 
to be it.
1. Angel vampires IN SPACE

Let's get to the best reasons.

11. Everything can have a jump pack. No, not every unit, but you can actually 
      field an entire army wearing jump packs.

10. We have a true hero Primarch that died in the service of the Emperor.

9.  Who doesn't like getting stuck into close combat? Assault Marines as Troop 
     choices all the way!

8. Blood Angels are basically space ninjas in red...

7. This cover.

6. Sanguinius' sacrifice and the origins of the Black Rage, and how each and 
every Blood Angel, while being the most noble of Space Marines, constantly 
had to fight a battle for control within himself. That in itself was tragic, but I 
also appreciated the irony of how the Blood Angels' weakness provided the means for them to obtain strength in the battlefield, while simultaneously gifting them with humility and an understanding of their mortality. 

5. They are red; the color of blood and violence.

4. When I started back in 2nd ed. it was the Angels of Death codex and all of the tragic dark fluff behind Mephiston and Tycho. Then I read about Sanguinius' titanic battle at the Eternity Gate, holding it singlehandedly against a mighty daemon of Chaos and I was hooked. 

3. I like the tragic Death Company a lot - brave Marines who could hold out no longer and fell to the curse, and who go out fighting rather than fade away to madness and insanity.

2.  I read the story of the death of Tycho at Armageddon, and it was awesome, it summed up the curse the angels carry on a daily basis, showing a flawed hero always appeals to me, flawlessness makes things too easy.

1. The person that finally convinced me was the Blood Angel's Primarch, the great Sanguinius. The Angel Primarch who stood on the walls of the Emperor's Palace, leading his Marines in person to defy the forces of Chaos to the bitter end. The Primarch who slew the greatest Bloodthirster ever in single combat, high above the Eternity Gate. And the Primarch who performed the ultimate sacrifice, defying Horus and staying loyal to the Emperor to the last. Sanguinius never gave up, going down fighting to his last breath. Truly an inspiring figure, and an example of honour, courage, tenacity and loyalty worthy of emulation even in real life, outside the world of tabletop gaming. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3++ Heavy Weapon Review

3++ did a weapon review at the beginning of 6th Edition. Let's see how it is holding up now after some more time. Of course, we will only look at this from the Blood Angel perspective.

The article started out with autocannons:

The autocannon brought rate of fire and a good medium strength combination - this allowed for easier suppression against vehicles. ...Have things changed?

Yes and no. Autocannons are still an excellent choice, especially in they can be twin-linked like... Space Marine Dreadnoughts. They were suppression machines before, now they are hull point eating machines. They're going to struggle against the higher AVs but they still take a hull point off 33% of the time - not bad considering you get two shots per weapon. For comparison, a missile launcher only takes a hull point off 50% of the time - and has half the rate of fire. Chuck in the twin-linking options and they're not bad at dropping flyers either - takes a lot of them to do so but lots of shots and re-rolling all dice for 6's is about the best you can do without flyers of your own. Autocannons also get the most out of snap firing due to their increased rate of fire...

Unfortunately, there are only two places to get autocannons in the Blood Angels codex- the Predator tank and the Dreadnought entry. Also, you need to either make the Dreadnought autocannon arms from Aegis Defense Line parts, other re-purposed from other gaming systems or drop some hard earned cash on ForgeWorld. However, both of these options are efficient codex choices which is always nice.

The Predator is a fast vehicle which is a positive and a negative. Although it has a 13AV front, it is only 11 on the sides and 10 rear armour. Its best place could be just sitting in the board corners of your deployment zone. Since you have paid the points for the fast vehicle, you should probably try to enhance its use as best you can. If the mission is Big Guns Never Tire, your Predators are scoring. Keep in mind that you can move 12" in the movement phase and then still move Flat Out another 12" which might come in really handy at the end of the game when your opponent thinks you are safely out of range of that objective. In two turns, you could be 48" across the board if you needed it. The real benefit is being able to move and keep up your rate of fire. You can move 12" and fire two weapons. You have your autocannon shot and use one of your side sponsons at full ballistic skill. Choosing heavy bolters or lascannons is up to what you want to use your Predator for. Are you going to be going for infantry / heavy infantry or vehicle hunting? That will give you the answer to which option to choose. Keep in mind that there is a blind spot where the sponsons cannot shoot that is directly in front of the tank. Before dismissing the heavy bolters, remember that they could help out in knocking out light armour in addition to infantry.

Heavy bolters have seen improvement in being more capable of destroying vehicles thanks to hull points but they still aren't a heavy weapon of choice. Just the occasional times you have heavy bolters (i.e. Dakka Preds, hullmounts, Typhoons, etc.) they are more useful.

There are many places in the codex to choose heavy bolters: Servitors, Tactical Squad, Scout Squad, Razorback, Land Raider, Land Speeder, Baal Predator, Attack Bike, Dreadnought, Stormraven Gunship, Predator and Devastator Squad. Heavy bolters suffer from not having a low enough AP or a high enough strength. It's benefit is that it is cheap and often just comes standard with the unit. Lead vehicles expected to be focus fired on probably are not worth upgrading with the amount of points necessary to make it more effective. It will definitely be a matter of refining your list to decide where to invest your points if you want to make it more competitive and should be made to fit in with your overall strategy. You also have to decide if the enemy will accept your sacrificial or bait unit, but zooming that Razorback out in front will be a tempting target and would at least provide a cover save to vehicles hiding behind it. Your opponent now has poorer choices to decide upon.

Missile Launchers are still the jack of all trades with their small blast and high strength single shot but with the changes to the vehicle damage chart and missile launchers being a single shot, AP3 weapon, they are no longer as effective at destroying vehicles. They are still decent at suppression due to their higher strength and when push comes to shove, they can pack some wounds on infantry as well but their general utility as an anti-vehicle weapon has gone down. However, if in the future an FAQ comes to play allowing some (or all) missile launchers across armies having Flakk  missiles (a missile which has Skyfire), missiles will re-emphasis their jack of all trades card and still be a good middle ground choice which can do a little bit of everything.

Actually, they are more effective at destroying vehicles than ever before. Lascannons and plasma just had larger increases. There are hull points and the damage chart is not the all protecting force it was before either and decreased cover saves. Missile launchers are also fantastic because of their range. Shooting and neutralizing opponent shooting is so important now, so 48" is a huge consideration. More competitive lists just cannot afford to have many lascannons in it, so missile launchers are a nice compromise that let's you also deal death to hordes. Missile launchers are available with: Terminator Squads, Sternguard Veteran Squad, Tactical Squad, Scout Squad, Rhino, Razorback, Land Raider(+ Crusader and Redeemer), Land Speeder Squadron, Baal Predator, Dreadnought, Stormraven Gunship, Predator, Devastator Squad, Vindicator and Whirlwind. Some of these are hunter-killer missiles but have the same S8 AP3 stat line.

The lascannon is the next obvious choice - generally maligned in the past for being too expensive and not gaining anything of particular note against vehicles, Lascannons are now an improved option RELATIVELY speaking compared to other weapons thanks to AP2. This basically keeps the lascannon on par with what its damage capacity was before but with reduced cover saves it becomes slightly more effective. 

This also ignores the importance of having that 48" range. The most advanced strategists generally agree that this is mostly a shooting game at this point. You need to be able to neutralize the opponent's glass cannon. You can get lascannons on Sternguard, Tactical Squad, Razorback, Land Raider, Dreadnought, Stormraven Gunship, Predator and Devastator Squad.

Plasma cannons like-wise got a two-fold buff, they are better at dropping vehicles than before (blasts always count as full strength) and taking off hull points whilst the AP2 blast has to contend with lower cover in general. 

Plasma cannons (and anything scattering with the small blast marker) are usually an all or nothing situation. Everything can go wrong with that Gets Hot! roll. Then you have to roll for scatter. When things go right, they can be devastating though. You can get Plasma Cannons on Servitors, Sternguard, Tactical Squad, Dreadnought, Stormraven Gunship and Devastator Squad.

Multi-meltas are still the star of the show when it comes to taking down tanks and have really lost nothing in their application - when on vehicles or relentless platforms (i.e. Attack Bikes, Speeders, etc.). Multi-meltas on infantry models are far less an appetising proposal and really only fit in certain units (i.e. MM Rhino Bunkers) and snap fire helps them be a little more useful on the turns they need to move. Still a fantastic weapon on other platforms though.

That says it all about Multi-Meltas above. You can get them with Servitors, Sternguard Veteran Squad, Tactical Squad, Land Raider (+ Crusader and Redeemer), Land Speeder, Attack Bike, Dreadnought, Stormraven Gunship and Devastator Squad. 

I should also throw in the Heavy Flamer

S5 AP4 and it is an assault weapon! It might come in handy some time. It is not going to be terribly effective against marines, but it should be good fun. You can get it on the Furioso Dreadnought, Terminator Squad, Sternguard Veteran Squad, Death Company Dreadnought, Razorback, Land Speeder, Baal Predator and Dreadnought. If you really like it, you will probably love the Flamestorm Cannon.


Flamestorm Cannons are only on vehicles and are S6 AP3 that will create some carnage on the battlefield. It would be nice if Dreadnoughts could take them as a primary weapon too. You can find them only on the Land Raider Reedemer and Baal Predator, unfortunately.

The three major heavy weapons (autocannon, missile launcher, lascannon) are all still decent choices though I'd say if you had the option for an autocannon, I'd be leaning to them every day of the week over missile launchers. Unless missile launchers do get that skyfire option for an additional cost, well then each of those three heavy weapons does something a little better than the other but neither one is completely over-shadowing the other when compared to their points cost and options where they can be taken.

Why not try out some of the other options and see what works best for you rather than just use Autocannons because they are perhaps the best choice for general all around use. Also, you need to consider the twin-linked opportunities that are presented in various options. Twin-linked weapons are so valuable because of their reliability. If you can't get the weapon you want twin-linked on a certain weapons platform, consider one of the less usual options to add variety to your list and even surprise your heretical opponent.