Archive for the ‘Blood Angels’ Category

Chapter Preview – Blood Angels

Blood Angels is out to pre-order later this week so Warhammer Community has started its previews. We already know that BA are getting Primaris Marines (along with all the other Marine toys such as Flyers and different Terminator armors) – not a big deal until they started getting price drops every time a new document was released (we will be looking at the shortly).

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Blood Angels and Space Marine Leaks

More leaks: Blood Angels and Space Marines

Get your hype on, because this release is going to be HUGE*

 

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Blood Angels Rumor Summary (…finally)

Taken from DED’ARD (thank you Harrower) – my comments in pink:

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Optimising Allies: Imperials and Guard

“What I cannot crush with Marines I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!”

As part of the mini-series on Imperial Guard as Allies I received some army building requests which I’ll be tackling before moving on to the rest of the Force Organisation Chart.

The first batch are Imperial, namely Space Wolves, two Blood Angel builds and finally a rebuilt pure Guard army. Watch this space for Guard and Orks in the very near future. Read more »

Blood Angels – What now Chuck?

I’ve had a couple of emails in relation to Blood Angels lately so I think it’s time to look at them in the 6th edition scope again. A lot of these questions have basically been of a form of “how can I use them effectively in 6th?” A more permissive question is really – “Should I be using them at all?” With the changes to FNP and Furious Charge, the concept of the scoring Assault Marine has taken a lot of the shine off the Blood Angel army for a lot of people so let’s look at in things in-depth.

First, why take Blood Angels? There are several answers here…

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Combat Squads in 6th edition

We shall continue discussing under-appreciated abilities I guess… Combat squads is something introduced way back when but is a concept which really started showing up at the beginning of 5th edition with Space Marines, Blood Angels and then Grey Knights. The obvious lack here is Space Wolves and I expect we’ll see Dark Angels with this option and Black Templars without when they are re-done (though who knows). This is much more a consideration of what Space Wolves don’t have but it’s an overlooked concept within the other armies as well. Read more »

Imperial Plasma and you: a Primer on how to kill your own soldiers

Reach out and touch somebody.

Greetings, Imperial Citizens! Thank you for purchashing this Primer on superior Imperium Plasma technology with your hard earned throne gelts. In this handy little book you can learn the proper application of your Plasma Gun, when to fire a full salvo with little risk of being detonated and perhaps you may learn to drop your weapon before it blows up.

Most likely however, you will just blow yourself up.

With the transition to 6th edition still well underway people are still uncertain about how the new metagame is forming. It’s understandable just like when a block rotates out of Magic: The Gathering and a new set of cards or some reprints come through; new strategies must be made, old ones must be adjusted and entirely different decks are made in a few months. Magic is quite incredible in the regard of people able to adapt to an entirely new metagame in a short space of time and figure out what works.

We’re still stuck deciding if we want transports. I guess that’s the difference between the competitive communities, if one has a larger fan base.

And doesn’t have Warseer.

One of the big things that seems to be popular is that with hull points making tanks more reliable to kill that people are shifting more towards anti-infantry options to deal with things no longer in metal boxes. People are sometimes ditching tanks in general but many people are making hybrid lists.

What amazes me is that everyone has now got the idea in their head that because of this, their list needs as much anti-infantry as possible and thus take every weapon slot as either a plasma pistol, plasma gun or plasma cannon. Space Marine Captains dual wielding plasma pistols, the new meta!

This is not only a terrible thing to do but also goes against the entire idea of a balanced list, one that 3++ is the new black and myself at Melta Martini advocate. Whilst plasma has by definition got better due to the simple fact that there will be more infantry to use it on, I feel the need to tell people how to use plasma, when to use plasma and how to incorperate it into a decent, balanced list.

Let’s discuss the key features of plasma first. Plasma weapons are usually 12-36″ range assault weapons, with strength 7 and AP2. Plasma pistols are pistols by nature with a 12″ range. Plasma guns are rapid fire and have a nice range of 24″. The Plasma cannon is a heavy blast weapon with a mighty range of 36″. All Plasma weapons have the Gets Hot! rule, which means if you roll a 1 to hit with them, you take a wound and need to pass an armour save or die.

Now we know what plasma is, what is plasma useful for? The obvious reason you’d want to use plasma is because of the AP2. AP2 basically means you never get an armour save under any circumstances, as a 2+ is the highest you can go. This means that you have a good chance of scoring more wounds (or the same amount of wounds on more durable targets) on higher armour targets, the higher the better. The 7 strength also means that we usually either wound on a 2+ or, if in some cases a monstrous creature comes around, a 3+ or a 4+. It still means you most likely wound anything you hit with it if it doesn’t have a good invulnerable save. AP2 took a buff as well through the vehicle damage chart and strength 7 means you can threaten light armour (AV10-11) quite easily with your plasma weapons, either stripping hull points or using that AP2 on a penetrate.

Plasma isn’t all rainbows and sunshine though, so what are the bad points? The main thing is the Gets Hot! rule. Whenever you fire a plasma weapon you have a chance of killing your own dude. You’re granted an armour save (which is unusual for a weapon that ignores armour) but in the end, you’re firing a risky gun that may kill your own men. The men handling these weapons are either characters, heavy weapons teams or something in a normal squad that had the opportunity to take a new gun; you’re squandering not only your own men but what those men could have been if you didn’t blow them up. Hope that you don’t roll a one. The other minor thing is the lack of volume of fire, and many people agree that weight of fire is usually better than single, stronger shots.

Going over all that, what is plasma bad at doing or is simply outperformed by something else? Plasma is generally not good at killing light infantry. A plasma cannon can turn Boyz into melted goo but it can’t be fired when you move, because Blast weapons aren’t allowed to be snap shots and manueverability is important when it comes to Orks. When the same shot can wound a Boy on a 2+ with no armour save and do the same to a Sanguinary Guard, you’re better off firing at something else. On top of this, you might be able to threaten light armour but that doesn’t mean you’re going to use plasma as anti-light armour. Plasma should be used to kill heavy infantry but can also be used to threaten light armour if you really need it.

When you look at it this way, think of plasma like the inverse of a missile launcher. A missile launcher is an anti-light armour tool that can be used in a pinch against heavy or light infantry. Plasma on the other hand should be used as a tool to deal with heavy infantry but can also be used to kill light infantry or light armour in a pinch. Another cute thing is that Plasma is actually better when your own model has a higher armour save to absorb the Gets Hot! wounds (and also worse, because that model will cost more so if it does die, you lost a greater investment.) It’s a shame however that terminators generally don’t get plasma weapons and the only thing you can get with them is possibly a combi-plasma. Funny, that the best and potentially worst platform for plasma can’t get it.

To summarise then: Plasma is great at killing heavy infantry and monstrous creatures. It can kill light infantry and threaten light vehicles but should not be taken for either of those reasons, just that you have the option to do so if your primary target is not available. Plasma compliments missile launchers very well. Plasma can also kill your own men so don’t spam it in your units. Bring enough plasma so that you have redundancy but not enough that you’ve forsaken everything else. You want balance, not overwhelming the enemy with your own bodies.

I hope this post has helped you to decide if you really want that extra plasma gun or you want 3×5 devastators with 4 plasma cannons or not. Know what plasma can do, what it can’t do and make sure that your list is balanced.

Three 1750 no Ally lists for tournament

I have a 1750 no Allies tournament coming up – good old Australia, so am trying to decide between a couple of lists. We’ve got ye good old stand-bys, Tyranids, Blood Angels and Grey Knights.

Tyranids:

2x Tyranid Prime w/Lash Whip, Bonesword, STalons, Toxin, Regen
3x2x Hive Guard
2x Tervigon w/Catalyst, Toxin, Adrenal
2x10x Termagants
2x10x Genestealers w/Toxin
2x Dakkafex

1740 points

Would like to get some extra points here and there to grab a Broodlord for each of the Genestealers for some more psychic flexibility.

Blood Angels:

Mephiston
2x Priest w/Jump Pack
2x10x Assault Marines w/2x Meltaguns, PFist
2x10x Assault Marines w/2x Plasmaguns, PFist
2x Stormraven

1760 points

Not really sure about this one. 40 Jumpers is nice but not as durable as last edition as they drop from a 3+/4+ or 4+/4+ or a straight 4+ to 3+/5+ or 5+/5+. Mephiston is going to be hard to hide as well and my only ranged shooting is the Stormravens and some plasma weaponry…

Grey Knights:

Inquisitor Coteaz
Inquisitor w/Psychic Power
2x10x Strikes w/2x Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, MC Hammer, Rhino
2x5x Strikes w/Psycannon, Psyback
2x8x Psykers, Acolyte, Chimera w/Searchlight
3x Psyfledread

More vehicles here but we’ve also got 50 infantry, 48 of which scores (and 16 of which tries to fry itself). The vehicles overall aren’t expensive outside of the Dreads so not a huge loss there and having the larger Strikes gives me more durability there.

Anyway, discuss. Tyranids are fully painted, BA + GK will require extra painting at this point but isn’t that always the way?

ATC Wrap-up & Game Breakdowns

Again, sorry for no pics and full battle reports but I’m sure people would rather read about 6th by now, yes? Anyway, enjoy the Team picture. Go team! So last 5th edition games I shall ever play and we’ll see how the oddyetsomehowdoingwell Blood Angel list goes!

Bolded details give game number, army opponent and state opponent and mission along with whether or not I was matched (our team choose the game) or put-up (opponent choose the game) and what type of match-up the game was (Red = bad; Yellow = neutral; Green = good).

Game 1 vs Dark Eldar, South Australia, Capture & Control, Pitched Battle

Put-up, Yellow

Opponent won roll-off and elected to go first. He was using a Venomspam list and deployed his objective centrally with all his Wracks sitting on top of it – mine was in the back left corner. Ravagers deployed opposite from my objective and his Venoms in between the Ravagers and his objective. I have fire support on objectives and RBacks + Bikes pushing up through midfield with Mephy in tow. The game went like this – I stopped the Ravagers from shooting and would engage infantry units behind my Razorbacks so Venoms couldn’t shoot them. When they did get shot they had 3+/FNP so didn’t fall over from mass poison. The end result was my opponent having two Venoms & a Ravager left with a couple small units engaging my ASM near his objective with Mephy coming over. Time was called on Turn 4 so there was another shooting phase for me to try to down the two Venoms and push my ASM onto his objective, which contrary to what I just posted, was unfortunate for the team as we drew by one point -could have used that extra turn but nothing to say I still would have won the game!

This will be a theme for most Dark Eldar players at the ATC, particularly since they wanted to play against me, but three Ravagers + blasters is not enough to drop even medium mech armies.

Game 2 vs Necrons, Queensland, Kill Points, Dawn of War

Put-up, Green

Re-match with Pat from last year. Different armies though with Pat using AV13 Cronwall. Opponent won roll-off and gave me first so I didn’t deploy, he deployed two Immortal + Crypteks. I moved everything on to what I thought was just outside of his 24″ shooting range for Barges and the like and didn’t bother with smoke because of this. Preds led in the middle for AV13 against Crypteks, Attack Bikes + Mephy behind with the Dread offering fire support and the Scouts in reserve. Crons come on and I’m just inside 24″ against a few targets – woops. Luckily no significant damage is endured – the Bargelords are flanking on my left. Next turn I push up again – that’s over 30″ movement towards the Necrons, and pop some smokes. My shooting fails to do anything significant. Bargelords continue to move around my flank and the Necron firepower attritions down some of my vehicles giving Pat a 2-0 KP edge. I continue to move forward however and now have assault units _ melta in range. Although the Necron firepower continues to pip things here and there and the Bargelords wreck my backline, there’s more KP for me available from the Necron army (my backfield was, at worst, four KP to him – he only got two). Game ended Turn 5 with a 7-6 KP advantage to me though there were two Immortal units + two Barges against melta for me to take with only really one easy KP left for Pat.

All in all a great game and one I was glad wasn’t 6th! I think Pat should have kept a Bargelord with his army though as it gave him little to really smack my main army with once his Stalkers went down in terms of actually dropping my vehicles and as I said above, I was happy to leave them be and trade my backfield KP for the rest of his army (10 KP).

Game 3 vs Dark Eldar, New Zealand, 5 Objectives, Spearhead

Put-up, Yellow

Another Dark Eldar list with Venoms though this time there is a large Hellion blob and more Blasters. I win roll-off and to my opponent’s surprise, give him first turn. This allows me the most options in terms of holding objectives on last turn and since he has minimal Dark Lances, he’s not likely to explode my army Turn 1. He chooses the corner with four objectives in it which is, IMO, a poor choice. It allows me to push towards him and when I get there, have his army and four objectives to be nearby. If he had picked the opposite corner, to push towards my opponent’s army would have moved away from objectives.

Opening shooting doesn’t see much damage done and once again the Blood Angels move forward and start dropping DE vehicles. My mech column gets stalled in midfield – right between three objectives, from shooting but suffers no lasting damage and Mephiston engages the Hellions…who survive! Some nice rolling and they leave him all alone (he later dies) with Hit & Run and start making havoc in the middle of the field. I’m able to keep pushing DE squads and vehicles off though and the Hellions attempt to clear me out of midfield at the end of Turn 5 but don’t which allows me to drop two flame templates on them and kill over half the unit. Game ends there though 2-0 my way as I move up to contest any objectives he still has – though there is little firepower left for the DE to actually drop my vehicles – mostly splinter fire left.

Again, we see the lack of Darklight weaponry outside of Blasters/Ravagers being very hurtful and although the Hellions continued through the game, only needing a Ld test on 7 kept them alive helped that a lot which allowed Haydn to claw back some Victory Points and make the game closer. Good game overall and the best one against DE all weekend.

Game 4 vs Tyranids, Western Australia, Capture & Control, Dawn of War

Matched, Yellow

This was my only chosen match on behalf of the team and it was based on the other match-ups available for the team. Workable though, particularly in this mission as the Tyranids would have a tough time holding their objective and grabbing mine depending upon placement. He knew this and thus put his in a far off corner where he could protect it and force a draw. I put mine centrally in ruins to protect from Genestealers and plopped my Scouts on top. Everything else moved on and pointed itself towards the Tyranid objective (he won roll-off btw and gave me first). Tyranids all came on around the objective except one Hive Guard unit so I blasted it off the table and continued moving onto their objective.

This then began a dogpile around the Tyranid objective with the Genestealers coming on there as well. Although ASM were being attritioned away they weren’t disappearing quickly whilst lots of Termagants, Genestealers and some MCs had been dropped. Importantly, I was bringing up my Predators to tank shock onto objective. Mephiston was also carving up a line through the back and ended up landing on top of the objective and time was called despite having a Turn 6.

The game was called a draw despite the Scouts on the objective due to tournament rulings and some back & forth. Doesn’t take away from a good and enjoyable game with my opponent however and kudos to him for trying to hold off the BA + Mephiston for so long. With hindsight of the tournament rulings and objectives, the placement of his objective on top of a three story building was good – I would have otherwise suggested putting it in the corner and layering up as many squads there whilst looking to stop my vehicles. As it was though, good placement as my vehicles could never contest.

Game 5 vs Dark Eldar, Tasmania, Kill Points, Spearhead

Put-up, Yellow

Final Dark Eldar for the day thankfully, this one with a lot of Night Shields and more Dark Lances, so probably the best list of the bunch to take me on. He wins roll-off and deploys rather aggressively with Ravagers on the flanks for side shots. There is barely any terrain for me to take advantage of with vehicles so I leave a couple RBacks out to snuff it and layer up behind them. I fail to seize and he does some fairly decent damage to me Turn 1 – but importantly, no kills. He also moved towards me with Ravagers rather than laterally which means I can get meltaguns in range despite his Night Shields. I do so and drop two Ravagers. This is basically the way the entire game goes – he does superficial damage to me whilst I continue to wreck him thanks to +1/+2 on damge rolls. My opponent really needed to move backwards and not bring his Blasters into range and use all his Dark Lances (14 of them iirc) until my Predators + Dread + Attack Bikes were out of action. And then played keep away all game and stayed ahead in Kill Points.

In the end I nearly tabled him (one large squad left) whilst he only had a handful of Kill Points. Unfortunate his dice were poor overall but this was compounded by the wrong strategic choice by not maximising his Night Shields against me and engaging in a shooting war. Great opponent though who smiled through all the pain!

Game 6 vs Space Wolves, Australian Capital Territory, 3 Objectives, Pitched Battle

Champion, Green

I was put up as Champion here which meant my match was determined before the process began – but our opponents didn’t know this and we didn’t know who I was playing. Ended up against Space Wolves which I had as a Green army since he only had three Grey Hunter units in Pods. Three objectives were placed more towards one side and I won roll-off and kept it for this game and choose that side. This allows me to move up with my guys and sit on objectives and force him to Pod around the objectives rather than upon them. Even if he seizes, he still has to Pod away from the objectives or have my whole army turn around and smack him in the face. This is what happened… he seized and dropped two Grey Hunter units with plasma + Priests right in front of me. This + Fang & RBack support did a number on my Razorbacks but my ASM, Mephy & Dread turned around and creamed the Grey Hunters + Priests with the Attack Bikes taking care of the Pods.

The game was basically over at this point unfortunately as there was very little the Wolves could now do. Mephy ran around and killed two of the Fang units and the other Pod with Grey Hunters tried to knock over my Scouts but only killed three. All my shooting + two ASMs in assault later and the Wolves were left with only a Fang squad left. He kept shooting at Mephy to try and kill him until the game ended Turn 7.

By podding right in front of me, and me being in transports, there wasn’t much damage to my actual army going on and I was able to walk up and smack the Grey Hunters in the face. And that’s without my twin-linked heavy flamers being operational. Using supporting squads also allowed Mephy to just go nuts. At least dropping them in the centre would have drawn out the game and allowed all three Grey Hunter units to work together rather than me dealing with the first two right off the bat. Either way, enjoyable game with some good banter and a nice way to finish 5th ed and the ATC.

Conclusion

Some good games overall though having three Dark Eldar players try to take me on was amusing :P. I did have these as yellows though as lots of Darklight weaponry + Splinter is enough to cut through the 3+/FNP armor I was relying upon and I had minimal shooting vehicles to make the lack of Dark Lances in the armies pay. I.e. if I was running a Assback list, these would have been greens. I think the best list for it was the Tasmania list which had more Dark Lances and Night Shields but movement nullified these advantages.

Either way, consistently winning against yellows was good for the team though I was in the position where the team required me to to get wins and not draws and as we saw, when I got draws, we drew as a team. Anyway, good last hurrah for this list in 5th edition and perhaps I have learned my lesson with Blood Angel Razorbacks – keep moving forward. Anyway, onwards to 5th!

40k Metrics: Building a Better Devastator in 6th Edition

Hi, Nikephoros again.  In 5th Edition, if someone said they were bringing Long Fangs, Devastators or Havoks you could safely assume that they were going to be armed with missiles.  It was a no brainer for the most part because they were simply the most points efficient weapon available.  Does this hold true in 6th?  The way we go about killing vehicles, and to a lesser extent Monstrous Creatures, has changed quite a bit.  The old paradigm might not hold true at all anymore.

It’s all about the numbers
A long while ago, I put forward some 40k theory that said it’s better your unit does something, at any cost, than doing nothing for cheap.  For example, if your only Troops choices were the following two units:

5 Space Marines with bolters for 50 points or

10 Space Marines with two lascannons for 225 points

What would you bring?  If those were your only two choices, the answer would be to bring the 10 marines with two lascannons by a mile.  The first unit, while extremely points efficient, does nothing.  It will not advance your position in the game one bit.  The second unit, while way overcosted, at least does something.  It has a chance to impact the game.

We have established that you would, and should, spend extra points when necessary to bring a unit that will actually be effective rather than one that is points efficient but doesn’t help you win the game.

Let’s look at some easy to compare units then, Long Fangs, Devastators, Havoks.  First we will look at them with the old standard loadout, 4x Missile Launchers.

Unit Cost

Fangs: 115
SM Devs: 150
BA Devs: 130
Havs: 155

Results:

Units
Kills
AV10
AV11
AV12
AV13
AV14
4x missile
Ave. by HP
3.4913
1.876
1.4349
0.9523
0.1684
Ave. by Insta
0.5651
0.6725
0.4751
0.2559
0
Ave. Total
4.056
2.549
1.91
1.208
0.168

This will be our baseline.  Clearly Havocs are so inefficient as to be unplayable.  I know said before that you can play inefficient units, but there has to be a reason to.  Obliterators and Predators and Vindicators are pretty efficient so there is no reason to bring a pretty trashy Havoc unit.  Same for vanillas.  Blood Angels are definitely playable, but Wolves are clearly undercosted.  Let’s see what Lascannons are up to…

Unit Cost

Fangs: 175
SM Devs: 230
BA Devs: 190
Havs: 215


4x Lascannon
Kills
AV10
AV11
AV12
AV13
AV14
Ave. by HP
3.3045
1.7604
1.483
1.1879
0.4706
Ave. by Insta
1.2985
1.6758
1.3515
0.9667
0.6054
Ave. Total
4.603
3.436
2.835
2.155
1.076


Wow those are expensive.  But look at those stats, they pack a punch.  Against AV11 and 12 they are almost a full dead tank better per game, which is a huge difference.  But the real selling point is how strong they are against AV13.  2 dead AV13 per game is no joke, if you team can drop two Predators per game you are pulling your weight.  These will definitely attract enemy attention, which is why I would say that BA Devs do these the best thanks to a FNP priest nearby.  Point for point, the SW are probably better off with Missiles.  Vanilla marines shouldn’t bother with these.

Lastly, how about a reason to take Havocs at all?  Glad you asked…

Havocs: 155

4x Autocannon
Kills
AV10
AV11
AV12
AV13
AV14
Ave. by HP
4.1082
2.6421
1.9382
1.0677
0
Ave. by Insta
0.6033
0.7494
0.4334
0
0
Ave. Total
4.712
3.392
2.372
1.068
0

Yep you are reading those stats properly.  They are better than missile devs at every light mech killing task.  Almost a full Rhino per game ahead.  Almost half a Chimera ahead.  That is big game, and a reason for this unit to exist.  While not as cheap as a Long Fang unit, these actually do more, and like I said above, paying more points for something is fine if you get more value from it.  If you’re playing Chaos Marines you could do a lot worse than bringing these.  Where I see these shining, though, is as an ally for Daemons.  Daemons want can openers, these are can openers.

Conclusions?  Space Marines should be playing AV13 heavy support units, or Rifleman Dreads via MotF.  Space Wolves can spend an extra 50% points on their unit to upgrade to lascannons to gain around 50% value, so it’s debatable which to bring.  Blood Angels gain more than they spend to upgrade to lascannon Devs, so it bears serious consideration.  And Chaos?  If 4x autocannons are a joke, I’m not laughing.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?