Blood Angels: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Part 3 of 3: Fast Attack, Heavy Support and LoW

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Hey everyone, Reecius here to finish this review! In this final installment, we’ll cover Fast Attack, Heavy Support and Lords of War choices. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!

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The Good

Rhinos

It’s a Rhino, but faster! Not much to say beyond the fact that it does what a Rhino does for 10pts more, but at turbo speed. Considering that the new Tactical Squads are so solid, and units like Sternguard love the old trusty, Rhino, it’s a great choice. Lastly, a potentially ObSec unit that can cover this much ground is never a bad investment. As for upgrades, possibly Dozer Blades, or the cheap, extra Storm Bolter as being a fast vehicle, the Rhino will always be able to shoot both at full BS so long as it doesn’t go flat out.  Baring that I would keep ’em cheap. Also as a fast choice, you can opt to take a Rhino on its own, which doesn’t do a lot for Blood Angels themselves, it does open up a lot of wonky combos with allies. Might not be a bad ride for your Culexus assassin!

Razorbacks

As above, they’re the vehicle we know and love, but faster at an increased price. Being able to move 12″ and still fire is a nice little bonus for the Razorback. The load-out that takes maximum advantage of this is the Las-Cannon with Twin Plasma gun, although any of the other options can have a place. I have always loved the Twin Assault Cannon.  Raozrbacks aren’t what they were in 5th ed by any means, and will lose a shoot-out with MC’s or Wave Serpents (stupid Serpent Sheidl, lol!), but with Knights so prevalent  fast Razorbacks flying around the flanks as harassing units can help to take those big buggers down. Again, if they are ObSec (dedicated transport for an ObSec unit, or have an ObSec unit inside), they can also win you the game. They also provide a nice way to get the very appealing 5 man, dual Melta Assault Squads around the table. Same concepts apply to the fast attack Razorback as to the Rhino.

Drop Pod

A Drop Pod in the fast slot is good fun. As with the Rhino, the crazier aspects of it really show when used with allies. Centurions in a Drop Pod, or IG Command Squads with 4 special weapons, Ogryn/Bullgryn, Sisters of Battle, etc. Let your imagination go wild!

As a transport for Blood Angels, they’re fantastic as Blood Angels can min/max like crazy. You can take 2 meltas in an Assault Squad riding in a pod for a song. These units are excellent for killing Knights. Drop down so that each melta gun is in a different arc of the Knight’s armor and you are sure to bypass the Ion Shield with at least one of the guns. Plus, again, if the unit is ObSec, it can be great for holding or contesting objectives (although, even non-ObSec versions can do this, too, of course). Blood Angels can make a great Drop Pod army between all of the tools they have available to them. Death Company, Sternguard, Tactical Marines, Dreadnaughts and Assault marines will form the core of this, but there are a great deal of options available when taking Drop Pods.

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Assault Squads

No, they are not troops anymore, but as Blood Angels are a codex standard chapter, it was always kind of weird that they were. However, there are detachments now that let you take them en masse, so, for all of you out there with loads of them, hopefully you don’t feel too put off. Assault Marines are cheap which is their main strength, and they come stock with Furious Charge, which is obviously helpful in melee. With the potential +1 Initiative from the BA Detachment and some of the Formations, they can be fairly good in assault. However, the real strength they provide (IMO) is the ability to pack in 2 Melta Guns or Plasma Guns in a 5 man unit (I guess none of the other chapters have mastered the skill or holding something besides a Flamer with a jump pack yet, lol). This means you can min/max these guys like crazy for a cheap price point, pack ’em in a pod or keep them standard with Jump Packs and you have a solid little unit. As with any MSU list, everything counts in large amounts, so taking 3 units of these will give you some powerful options for battling armor and Knights.

Bike Squad

They’re not White Scars, but, they do what all Biker units do: provide you with mobility and fire-power on the cheap. A unit of 3 with twin melta/grav/plas/flamer are all good. Toss in a M.Melta Attack Bike and for a low price point you get a lot of punch. Furious Charge is just icing on the cake.

Attack Bike Squad

As above: speed and firepower. Heavy Bolters or Multi-Meltas have a place. Heavy Boltes+Twin Bolters on a speedy unit are solid for hunting MSU scoring units like Eldar Jetbikes, Scout squads, etc. or for hunting light transports. With Furious Charge, they can go into melee against small units like that and do quite well. The Multi-Melta version is obviously nice for hunting heavier units, particularly armor. In all, these often overlooked units are quite useful.

Stormraven Gunship

At 200pts base, the Stormaraven gives you a lot of utility. It’s mobile, fairly durable, packs solid firepower, and can transport valuable units around the tabletop. As it is a heavy slot choice, it isn’t competing with those valuable fast attack choices. I always prefer the twin Assault Cannon and twin Multi-Melta load out for versatility. I tend to pass on the Hurricane Bolters as they are quite pricey, but they are certainly not a bad choice and when they are good, they’re really good. As units inside can opt to disembark even if the Stormraven has moved over 6,” you have the ability to put them nearly anywhere on the table to snatch up objectives or strike at enemy targets. Just be careful with what you put in the vehicle, as flying transports that eat it tend to kill their passengers. The locator Beacon is a solid choice here for ensuring your cargo lands where you want them. Lastly, and obviously, the Stormraven provides some solid AA vs. FMCs or Flyers.

Devastator Squad

Same old unit you know and love. They’re cheap, and pack solid firepower. The Furious Charge is a bit wasted here, but oh well. Many Chapter Tactics are lost on Devs. What they do is provide solid firepower at a very reasonable price point on an Infantry body that is easily protected with cover.

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Predator

Predators haven’t been good in ages, but, a fast predator makes all the difference. Unlike the Baal Pred, which must get close to fire its main weapons and thus expose it’s vulnerable flanks and rear armor, the Predator Annihilator can stay back at maximum range, protecting it’s weak sides, and put 3 Las Cannon shots downrange while staying mobile for the same price point as a 5 man Dev squad with 4 las cannons. Or, you can opt for the old trusty Auto-Cannon/Las-Cannon load out to save points and still provide some valuable firepower on the move. The Predator Destructor load out though, still simply lacks the firepower to contribute a whole lot. Not bad, but you can get more for less in other units.

Commander Dante

Eternal Warrior on one of the oldest Space Marines in the game…finally! Oh, and this I6 model’s axe is no longer Unwieldy, lols. Glad they fixed that. Commander Dante is a very solid choice. He provides a lot of utility, hits hard, is fast, beefs up your army, is fairly durable, and gives his unit Hit and Run.  Not bad at all. His Warlord Trait allows you to play your Blood Angels largely as you did last edition, with rerolls to reserves and only a D6″ scatter for Jump, Flyer and Skimmer units. He can go up to Strength 7, AP2 on the charge with 6 attacks, and if you beef him up with psychic buffs, can get 10 attacks on the carge! I would run him with Death Company, personally, or Sanguinary Guard, and let him do his thing. In a Descent of Angels style list, you pretty much have to take Dante to get the most out of him. In all, a great LoW for a Blood Angels Player.

the bad

The Bad

Gabriel Seth

Le sigh. I love Seth’s model, dig his fluff but his rules fall flat. With just a few changes here or there, he’d be all right, but as is there isn’t much reason to take him. As a LoW, you have to take another HQ, so why bother with Seth outside of fluff reasons? He does chop-chop vehicles really well with his Strength x2 + Furious Charge, Rending melee weapon. However, so do a lot of other things! He has mediocre defense (3+/4++, T4, 4 wounds, no EW), mediocre offense (AP4), and he’s slow to boot. He does have Rage, can have Rampage if he is the Warlord, and in the right circumstances could do some work, but in general terms he falls just shy of the mark in too many categories to warrant taking him outside of a Flesh Tearers themed list.

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The Ugly

Land Speeder Squadrons

They just aren’t what they used to be. They are not bad at all, but in a meta of ultra durable targets like FMCs in cover, etc. a unit that is fairly pricey that can get smoked in a single shot vs. targets which cannot, tends to be a liability. They still can function well as a flanking/harassing unit, though. I prefer the Typhoon load-out as range is often the Land Speeder’s best asset for staying alive. That said, they do tend to give up First Blood/Kill Points quite easily, and suffer to anything that is fast and hit’s decently hard: Ie. flyers.

Scout Bikers

I want to love these guys so much! However, they are just a bit too weak for what they do. If they had even a 3+, it would tip them over into the good category. Sure, Scouts have a 4+ as a theme of sorts, but even Guardian Jetbikes get a 3+! Anyway, they don’t hit very hard, even with the Astartes Grenade Launchers due to their low BS, but with a Locator Beacon, Scouts and Infiltrate, there is a lot of room for combos in there if you can pull it off. In an MSU list they could be used to bring in Drop Pods or other Deep Striking units (including out of a Stormraven). With Furious Charge, they hit OK in melee. But in general, these guys may look cool, but they just don’t contribute that much to a list.

Baal Predator

This was a tough call, as they do provide some solid firepower, but, for 30pts over a Razorback which can do dang near the same thing, the Baal Pred really only has his AV13 front armor to justify this points increase. Considering the massive firepower of many things in the game now, and the speed which flyers and FMCs can bypass that front arc on a vehicle that has to get within 24″ to fire, it really isn’t that hot. Yes, at times it will be awesome, but for my money I’d rather have a Razorback that can also transport a unit. Heavy Bolters do help the damage output which is nice, but bring this unit up to a hefty price point. The Flamestorm cannon has never worked on this vehicle, IME, so I don’t put much stock in it, particularly now that the vehicle can’t Scout/Outflank which were the only times I found that it got to fire even once.

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Vindicator

In an edition of things that laugh at a single strength 10 shot on a relatively fragile predator chassis, the Blood Angels version being able to move 12″ and fire with Overcharged Engines saves this vehicle from going into the Bad category. It is still not amazing due to its potential inaccuracy on a vehicle that often only ever gets to fire once, but the extra speed helps a lot. It makes me sad that a weapon like the mighty Demolisher cannon can feel so underpowered. I’d like to see variable wound weapons back in the game, but hey, that is wish-listing. In reality a Vindicator will occasionally have a good game, but will typically disappoint. Edit: if you take the Legacy of Keylek relic from IA2 2nd Ed, it gives the Vindie Ignores Cover, which obviously makes it a great deal scarier for 35pts.

Whirlwind

Well, it’s what you get for barrage! As always, the Whirlwind is solid for hunting weak units which we see a lot in the game now for objective taking in both mission styles, but it really doesn’t hit that hard, can often miss and is easy to destroy. Not bad, but not great, either.

Land Raiders

They’re a mainstay unit of the game and represent the classic big risk/big reward unit. They can be amazing, providing solid firepower on the move while delivering a powerful unit into melee. They can also get blown up on the first shot, leaving you 250+pts poorer and your nasty assault unit with a long walk into enemy guns ahead of it. Some folks love Land Raiders, some don’t. I have 3, personally, but tend to leave them at home in tournament games in favor of more reliable, less risky, cheaper alternatives. However, when they do work, they work in a big way. I just find that in a multi-round event, your odds of drawing an army that can easily destroy a Land Raider at range are high enough to make them just too risky to invest points into. YMMV, and I know a lot of folks that swear by them.

Well, that’s a wrap! We’ll provide more coverage on BA detachments and formations at a later date. For now, what types of Blood Angels lists are you thinking about taking?

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

26 Responses to “Blood Angels: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Part 3 of 3: Fast Attack, Heavy Support and LoW”

  1. Evil Space Elves December 31, 2014 12:43 am
    #

    Great review, but you forgot the ugliest of ugly: Land Raiders can no longer deep strike!

    I’m kidding of course, I saw that happen in a game exactly ZERO times with the last codex 😉

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 31, 2014 10:00 am
      #

      Hahaha, so true, i should have at least mentioned that!

  2. Lardus December 31, 2014 3:21 am
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    Thinking of BA anti-armour drop pods combined with a Nemesis Strike Force with 1 or 2 Dread Knights with flamers/teleporterd, 1 Libby/GM with 5 Termies. Still working on the BA part of the list, but the plan is to get in turn 1 and flame/melta some fools – especially if I can go first!

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 31, 2014 10:18 am
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      Yeah, that would be really good!

  3. Nightman December 31, 2014 7:46 am
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    Deepstriking Land Speeders seems pretty good if you bring Dante. Cheap unit with reserve re-roll and 2 multi-melta. (Dante gives skimmers re-rolls on deepstrike i belive) That way they can’t be shot at turn one and will be annoying distractions turn two and 3.

    Alhough the assault marines in a pod are probably better, it’s does still look strong.

    Thanks for the review and happy new year!

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 31, 2014 10:49 am
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      Glad you liked it and Happy New Year to you, too!

  4. MaximumSkosh December 31, 2014 8:05 am
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    “No, they are not troops anymore, but as Blood Angels are a codex standard chapter, it was always kind of weird that they were.”

    Why? I don’t get this reasoning. Scouts are troops, but in a codex-standard chapter, there are no scouts in battle companies (the most frequently deployed unit). Any tactical marine can fight as an assault marine if the captain so desires (which in a BA company they frequently would) but you can’t make a tactical marine back into a scout since the stats are fundamentally different, not just the wargear. So a full strength battle company could, no sweat, put 80 assault marines on the ground without any external augmentation of the company. They could field precisely zero scouts.

    Even if you feel that tactical marines forget how to use a jump pack and heavy weapons the second they pick up a bolter, there are still, at a minimum, twice as many assault marines as scouts in any codex standard chapter. But scouts are troops and assault marines aren’t. And nobody thinks that is weird.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 31, 2014 10:22 am
      #

      I am not saying you have to play a battle company. I see your point that if you were playing an assault company it would totally make sense and you can go that route with some of the specialized detachments. That said, I was just expressing an opinion on the matter, no more. You are free to disagree, of course.

      • AbusePuppy December 31, 2014 7:27 pm
        #

        I think the “well BA is a codex chapter” excuse that gets used a lot is the problem. It’s being used as a justification for the codex being radically changed, but the reality is that most BA players don’t give a shit- a lot of them, maybe even most of them, started playing the army because it was distinct from the SM codex and could do things that SM couldn’t.

        Now that those things have been removed from the book, it really doesn’t matter what the rationale is. You can say it’s because BA is a codex chapter or because they suffered terrible losses to their ASM companies during the 3rd Armageddon War or because Space Ninjas came and still all of the jump packs from the chapter- no one gives a shit. The practical outfalling is that what was once unique about the army has been removed, and people are unhappy about that. I imagine SW players would be pretty pissed if their Grey Hunters were replaced with Tactical Marines, too.

  5. Garrett Mulroney December 31, 2014 8:58 am
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    I thought the predators and vindicators lost their overcharged engines. They aren’t fast anymore like they were.

  6. iNcontroL December 31, 2014 10:00 am
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    Nice review! Excited to see if some cool BA stuff shows up at the tables

  7. Km December 31, 2014 10:56 am
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    Totally disagree with the vindicator review, the fact that its a large blast means that you can destroy large swathes of elite infantry or troops even if it only has one shot with its main gun, however av 13 with 3 hull points is still fairly durable if played well.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 31, 2014 11:32 am
      #

      If you get them to work, then that is awesome! Mine, sadly, never perform. Yes, they CAN kill a unit of heavy infantry in theory, I just rarely see it happen in practice. They can miss, the other guy has cover saves, etc. If you slap the ignores cover relic on it though, it can get pretty scary. I should have actually mentioned that kit in the article, now that I think about it.

      • AbusePuppy December 31, 2014 7:28 pm
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        In early 6E, Vindicators were actually pretty legit. The problem is that there are WAY too many fast skimmers and other shenanigans (including S6+ Barrage) that let you hit the weak side armor of the Vindicator. And pretty much as soon as a penetrating hit goes through, the Vindicator is useless- every single one of the vehicle damage table results is something that is temporarily or permanently crippling to a Vindicator.

  8. Novastar December 31, 2014 11:14 am
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    If you add the legacy of Keyes( iirc the name) giving the Vindicators large blast ignores cover is nice

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 31, 2014 11:32 am
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      Yeah, I will add that to the article. That makes a big difference.

      • dr.insanotron December 31, 2014 11:47 am
        #

        I think that upgrade is better in a wirlwind scorpion

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 31, 2014 12:56 pm
          #

          Yeah, no doubt. The Scorpious is a beast with ignores cover.

          • Novastar December 31, 2014 3:14 pm
            #

            Must resist purchase!

          • Dr.insanotron December 31, 2014 3:40 pm
            #

            Resistance is futile

          • Reecius
            Reecius December 31, 2014 3:56 pm
            #

            Goonies never say die, bruh! =)

  9. th3maninblak January 1, 2015 6:56 pm
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    Even as a person who started playing BA for the all jumper shenanigans, Im pretty ok with assault marines no longer being troops. We got so much other cool stuff that the loss of obsec assault boys isnt keenly felt. Plus with the baal strike force theres no reason to take more than minimum troops. Finally, our assault marines are arguably the best in the game.

    Sad to see the Baal Pred in the ugly category =(. I have 2, and i love them, and ill continue using them in certain lists, but theyre just not performing as well this book.

  10. NassirAmit January 29, 2015 3:08 pm
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    I think, solution for Gabriel Seth’s meh rules is following: Take sanguinary priest some vanguard veterans with storm shields in a drop pod MORE drop pods with them turn 1 these guys should be packing flamers and meltas iron hands allies, and SE/TH OR LC/TH Gorgons chain chapter master to soak up challenges, works well for me, and vs armies such as orks the AP4 will be a godsend

  11. Paqman March 10, 2015 7:40 am
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    Lets not forget, for the assault marines that the saergent can take 2 melta pistols and shoot them with the Gunslinger rule. With the 2 melta guns, this makes 4 melta shot out of a drop pod deployment for appoximately 130pts.

    Can really kill that enemy vehicle you want off the table.