Warhammer 40k Blood Angels: Tactica 1, army list

Hmmm, Tactics... where to begin??? I have been meaning to do some posts on tactics lately, but wanted to wait until I had a decent idea of what the hell I was talking about before I started shooting off my mouth... In this day and age it would be nice if more people did the world this courtesy. :) But I have been on a winning streak with my Blood Angels lately so I wanted to discuss a few tactics that seem to be working for me.

First of all, army list is key. We all love those toys and want to get as many of our beloved models on the table as possible. But we have to just settle on the fact that some units just are not practical. An army of cobbled together, expensive units with no synergy will get owned and you will not have fun. We all want to win no matter what people say. This brings me to selecting the right units for your force, which will be the focus of my first tactic post.

First of all, avoid point sinks! The new Space Marine codex is FULL of point sink units. Sternguard Vets are one huge example. Plopping them on the table inside a Land Raider Redeemer is an extreme example that can be ruined by a single 50 point attack bike. Avoid building your army around that one kick ass unit inside that one kick ass transport. In my opinion, rather then taking that 600 point+ combo, it would be better to pick up say... three tactical squads. In some cases, it is quantity, not quality that matters.

But if you are going to go, go strong! If you want to play your Sternguard, commit to them. Take the commander that makes them all scoring units, take as many Sternguard as you can get on the table, and get em in Rhinos. (more on the value of the rhino in another post) If you want Land Raiders, play two. Vindicators? Play three! At least take more then one tank if you are going to take a tank at all. I play my Vindicator and Baal Pred together. They make a great team, especially when supported by an attack bike and speeder. This forces my opponent to make choices. Putting just one tank on the table is probably a waste of points. People will single out that lone vindicator and pop it like a virgin on prom night. This is especially sucky if that tank was your lone anti tank unit...

The same goes for transports. Taking just one rhino will probably result in that one rhino getting whacked by turn two every game. People will see it and think there is something special inside, (and there probably is) and zone in on it. If you are going to go transports, go multiple. Make your opponent make choices and if one goes down, you will not feel the loss so strongly.

5th edition has sort of turned the focus of 40k towards lots of troops choices. In the past you saw armies taking just two small tactical squads and loading up on Veterans and elites. I personally feel this shift is a good thing. My army has evolved from two to four troop choices. But seriously, there is something to be said for 40 space marines with bolters and plasma guns who have zoomed up to an objective in a rhino and deployed in cover. That little tactic will run you around 900 points and force your opponent to have to deal with 4 tough little nuts to crack. Again this sort of gets me back to my, "If you are gona go, go strong" mind set. Go with the 4 ten man tacticals in Rhinos, hell add two more in drop pods. Attach a cheap but solid commander some place, and spend the rest on a few speeders with Multi Melta and Heavy Flamer and you are well on your way to winning games without even putting a real thought into strategy. Some people find just 10 space marines in cover hard to kill, try 60.

Summary: Put some real thought into your army list. Do some research and make decisions before you put a lot of time into modeling an army that you are going to be unhappy with down the road. Take units that compliment each other and avoid taking hugely expensive point hog units as the core of your army. Sure a squad of 10 assault terminators lead by a chaplain and commander will tear things up... but what happens when they are stranded on one half of the table with nothing left to kill?? It is good to take multiples of things. 1 Speeder is nice but 3 are better. One Rhino is a lascannon magnet, 4 are a bewilderment and confusing. Your opponent will hesitate and not know which one to shoot. Make your opponent make decisions. Taking just one Vindicator makes his choice easy and will probably result in the throwing away of 125 points. Taking 3 will make him panic. Play that up and go with it!

More to come on choosing an army list in the next post.


Old Shatter Hands said...

Good post, Jawaballs. I say, encourage more creativity with lists! Instead of three vindicators (we all know they are great and 3 of them are even better) but that tends to lead to boring lists filled with mulitples of identical units.

I would agree that if you are going to field one tank, you should field 3. But put a creative touch to it, make each tank different.

I generally categorize things into roles and then take mulitples of a certain category. For example, my blood angels list includes, 2 land speeders with multi-melta, and a squad of attack bikes with multi-melta. Both units fill the same roles as mobile tank hunters. The bikes have the advantage of being able to assault and lay down some bolter fire, while the speeders differ in being able to fly over things. It also leads to a more interesting list.

I also decided I wanted tactical squads in rhinos but I chose to arm them differntly for flavor. One squad has a powerfist, flamer and missile launcher. The other is my plasma squad; plasma pistol, plasmagun and plasma cannon.

I think by making the choice not to field identical units you end up with a more flexible list in the end and one that is more fun to play.

jawaballs said...

Very true. :) You are jumping the gun on me! I personally love the one two punch of Vindicator and Baal Pred. Your Tac squads will be a nightmare in cover. Especially if you can zoom them up to an objective so they can sit on it and score. All them plasma shots will give frights to your opponent if the squad is entrenched in the middle of the table... and you can use your rhino as a mobile wall to block line of sight from undesirable angles.

Redundancy is the way to go for sure. I liken it back to the old Starcraft strategy. Sending out 2 tanks is a waste of resources. Send 20 instead. :)

Old Shatter Hands said...

Exactly! I actually looked at your stuff and I was like, hey, he doesn't have 3 vindicators, he has 1 and 1 Baal Predator. My mistake.

I noticed you take Corbulo in a Death Company squad for his ability to lead them, but wait, I thought, why waste the furious charge rule on them when they already have it. Wouldn't a regular chaplan do the trick?

Both cost 100 I believe, but the chaplain has a powerweapon and 4+ invulnerable save. any reason?

Maybe you just have Corbulo painted and like him instead of a plain chaplan.

jawaballs said...

My "3 Vindicator" example is just to illustrate a point for beginners, whom the post is directed at. I will be getting into more refined tactics with later posts and especially the Baal/Vindi combo.

Corbulo? How bout Initiative 5 Death Company Furioso Dreadnoughts? I try to keep my assault elements close together, the DC, the two furioso dreads and dante. This gives my Furiosos up to 7 attacks on a charge, reroll misses, initiative 5. If Dante is close enough for his deathmask to work, they will usually hit on 3's. I use my assault to stifle my opponents advance. And I dont send Corbulo into assault. I let him stand within 6" of the Death Company and Dante, and if one should take a wound that Corbs can negate... perfect! If I have to, I pile him on in the 2nd or 3rd round of assault to help with the kill. With all that assault power, I just dont need an extra chaplain in there. If I need some extra punch, I move up one of my assault squads to support the assault... Fist or Sword depending on what I am hitting. The DC rhino either tank shocks, or helps funnel the enemy advance into my dreads, or blocks their charge so I can counter charge.

jawaballs said...

For those that don't know, Dante grants Preferred Enemy to units within 12" of him, and Corbulo grants Furious Charge to units within 12". Pretty nasty.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Aha! It all makes sense now. Good lord that is one nasty combo. Corbulo and Dante could any BA unit a mean little CC monster.

You ever use Mephiston? I bought the model but haven't brought it out to play yet. At 225 points, I think I'll reserve him for larger games.

jawaballs said...

Yah, the combo is deadly and catches guys off guard. I used Mephiston once, but he got hit with a Str 10 shot and died. No Invul save. Every gimp terminator in the imperium has an invul save, but not one of the most powerful psychers in the galaxy. Also he gets shut down by Eldar Trickery. He is just too expensive, and with so much assaulty power, for cheaper, (I can get two Furioso Dreads for his cost and make one of them Death Company) it is not worth it to take him.

christian said...

Hey i noticed you always use Dante and Corbulo and i was wondering if any of the other Blood Angel characters are good or not and how you would use them compared to Corbulo and Dante

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