How to Win Warhammer 40k: Blood Angels Tactics

Hey Folks! So, after working on this blog and developing my army and tactics for about 9 months, I have started to turn into some sort of expert on Blood Angels. There simply are not many sources for info on them. The result of this is that the Blood Angels have been rendered down to a low tier in the 40k world. Well BS on that! I have made it my mission to squash that squig starting NOW! Here is the first post of many on Blood Angels tactics, that will teach you how to play warhammer 40k, and how to win warhammer 40k.

I will begin with a question from a reader.

Oh hey, Jawa, quick question, I just got my Dante, primed and ready to paint. I'm bringing him to a game on Sunday, wanted to know how you field him. Attached to a unit or alone hiding behind stuff, ready to pounce? I am thinking of attaching him to a 5-man jump pack assault squad (troops)? I'm going to two games, could be either against Necrons, Orks or Chaos Marines Noise Marine spam. Thoughts?

How do you play Dante? Do you field him at all? First of all, a resounding YES. Play him. He is expensive, but worth every point. If you are playing 1750, Dante should be on the table. Dont bother with some generic captain with weapons... spend the extra 50 points, and get the MAN.

I want to begin by saying that this Dante guide is assuming he is being granted Furious Charge from Corbulo. If you are taking Dante, take Corbulo. Get him into a Rhino, and keep the Rhino close to Dante. You give him FC, you can heal him, and you can unload the Death Company to help him if he needs it. All from inside the Rhino too! More on Corbulo in another post.

Dante's Gear:

Perdition Pistol. God Pistol. Pimp Pistol. It is a meltagun that counts as a pistol in Close Combat. Enough said.

6 attacks on the charge.

Axe of Mortalis. Master Crafted Power Weapon.

Artificer armor 2+ save!

4+ Invulnerable save.

Death Mask of Sanguinius... -1 Bs and Ws to all enemies within 6". That means he will pretty much always hit on 3.

Jump pack!

And the Creme de la Creme... all Blood Angels within 12" of Dante get Preferred Enemy... which lets them reroll misses in Close Combat. To hell with a Chaplain... Dante gives Litanies to EVERY ONE, EVERY TURN. (Within 12") But if you are playing your Bloods right, that will not be a problem.


First of all, do NOT attach Dante to a squad. Keep him close to one or all of them, but do not attach him. Why? Because you can hide him. Advance your Baal Preds, and yes every BA army should have Multiple ones, keep him right behind it, and jump him out when the time is right. Or, advance him behind a rhino filled with assault troops, and same thing. If you attach him to a squad, it is nere impossible to hide the whole thing. Therefore the squad will be targeted, and shot with every thing on the table that can reach. Of course no single shot at a squad will kill it, but it is the multiple hits that add up. And with enough shots fired at a squad he is attached to, he will have to make saves eventually, and battle cannon templates will be able to hit him. Keep him hidden, and unattached.

Once you have gotten him into range to attack, consider him expendable. Now that he is up in the lines running a-muck, it is time to advance the rest of your army, and win the game. Rounds 1 and 2 should be getting him up into range, and he should be assaulting in round 2. Idealy, he assaults at the bottom of the turn, but does not kill the squad. Then in your opponents assault phase you finish off the squad, and massacre, then move and assault a new squad on your next turn. Plan your assault. Do not finish off squads too quickly, leaving him stranded and open in the middle of the terrain. That means you have to measure how much you shoot at the squad he is assaulting, if at all.

Follow this guide for determining whether to shoot at Dante's target.
A. Measurement. It very well may be that he will be on the outside edge of 6" away. If it is possible that your opponent can pull off the one guy that leaves the squad in range to assault, DO NOT shoot at it. Even if the squad is large.

B. Number. If the squad is full. 10 or more... fire away. The magic number is seven. Dante can and probably will kill 4 to 6 normal marines a turn. Lesser beings will be more. Ideally, you want to allow for poor rolling, and leave him with just 2 or 3 to kill (half of his attacks) on your opponents assault phase. Assaulting a squad of 7 is the perfect number. 6 might mean you wipe them out completely, leaving him stranded. 7 means that you will probably be left with 2 or 3. Less then 6? Do not shoot the squad at all.

So now we go on to what else to do with Dante.

While he is on the table, there is a 2 FOOT diameter circle centered on him where every squad with a model within that circle at the start of their assault phase will get preferred enemy. I cannot tell you how huge this is! I believe the BEST use of this is with a Death Company Furioso Dreadnought. Keep Dante as close as possible to the Furioso and Corbs. Use them to cut out your opponents heart! How about 7 attacks from a Furioso, hitting on 3, and rerolling misses at initiative 5! Bring on those Carnifexes and Ironclads! Through luck, I once managed to get my furioso base to base with two Ironclads on the charge... I split the attacks... 3 to one and 4 to the other... destroyed them both! They didnt even get a swing in.

So here is the minimum deal. Put your DC and Corbs in a Rhino. Advance the rhino, supported by at least one Baal, follow it with Dante well hidden behind the tank. Use the tanks to give your Furioso a cover save. Send them right at your enemies heart. If used properly, Dante can kill 3 or 4 squads or vehicles on his own. In a game against some Tau recently, Dante killed a squad of Fire warriors, then a squad of suits, then a squad of Broad Sides, then finished up with that fire warrior squads transports! He is that insane. Once your army is in the thick of it, risk Dante. Be aggressive. Try to pop tanks. Send him into large squads. Don't forget to subtract 1 from the BS and WS of any enemy model within 6".

If you think he needs a little help, it is ok to keep an assault squad near by to join him. But DO NOT join him with that squad until it is time to go to assault. That is simply done by making sure they are within 2" of each other at the end of their movement phase. I almost never join him to a squad, but I may use him to support assault squads. I will send him into a weak squad, and my assault squad into a stronger one, he wipes up the weak one, then next turn assaults the other one, finishing them off and freeing up the weak squad.

Always if possible, make sure that he will NOT wipe out the squad he attacks until your OPPONENTS assault phase. Don't send him against very weak squads on your turn and leave him hanging in the open.

Remember, while it is ok to be aggressive with your Dante, it may pay to keep him back as well... I know, contradictory... but true. That preferred enemy is invaluable. It is all situational.

Get him into assault turn 2. Dont fear jumping into large squads... just make sure you get him some help if he needs it. He is best used taking out squads that are holding objectives and enemy commanders.

If you can get him base to base with an IC... do so and take advantage of Furious Charge from Corbs. That will probably give you the drop on all but the most powerful commanders.

Ok, that is a lot of info. Digest it, let me reread it, and I will edit it as needed. This is a work in progress. JB.


Simakov said...

I always use my Dante with Honour Guard (2x flamers, Power Weapon, Power Fist, Company champion and the Chapter Banner)
and I do not understand how may Dante fight alone? A foe will try to kill Dante by big templates or if a foe may see any part of Dante he will try to kill him by an one fortunate shot.
My question: Did you lose Dante by enemy shooting?

Old Shatter Hands said...

Jawa, you just got me so pysched for my games on Sunday. I got Corbs, but I was on the fence about fielding him. You've convinced me. Question, can Corbs control Death Company, grant FC and heal from inside a Rhino?

jawaballs said...

Yes, Yes and yes. At least I do, and have never had a problem. Frankly if some ork player is going to give his entire army shields by putting a mek boy in a battle wagon and putting a single ork from each squad under the umbrella, then Corbs is going to heal! Just to keep the complaints down, I am thinking about opening the doors of the rhino and having him standing up so people can visualize that it is actually an open vehicle.

jawaballs said...

I found that Dante's HG was not worth the points. I bought an assault squad instead and used the extra points beefing up my tanks with extra armor. The trick is keeping him hidden. I have many tanks on the table, and use terrain well so that no one gets a shot at him unless he is stuck in the open, which is what happened in this last game I played. Dante stuck in the open after failing to kill a razorback in the assault and not getting a massacre roll. Burt moved up some melta guns and zapped him. (He was the only model I lost that game...)

Dante usually dies every game. I consider him expendable after turn 3 or so and march him around drawing fire. Frankly, after turn 3 I want people shooting at him with his 50% chance at living then taking down my Rhinos that are charging for objectives.

The HG is just over kill. He does not need an extra attack from the banner, and if you really want to give him help, just take a normal assault squad with a fist. That way you can take and hold objectives.

Plus, if you have him attached to a 5 man squad, he is vulnerable because he will then be targeted by volume of fire and templates. It is almost impossible to hide 6 men. I actually lost Dante once just that way. He was hidden but a Vindicator got the shot off because they could see one of the HG. The shot scattered a little, taking the whole squad out.

Almost always if I lose Dante it is during turn 4, because I assault a squad, and they fail leadership, run, and I wipe them out, leaving myself exposed.

Simakov said...

I see
But I play a mech BA (1 Rhino, 2 Razors, 2 Vindicators, 2 land speeders and other) and I need a good assault power :)

And I played a lot of games against Orks
They have nob warbikers or two nod mobs and only an overwhelming first attack may kill they after a good shooting of course

but Dante is our primary choice any way

jawaballs said...

Nob Bike cheat squads are tough no matter what you do. Vindicators work well... though you will probably only get one shot. Furioso dreads work great, IF you get the charge.

My whole army is mechanized. I am now running 5 Rhinos and 3 Baal Preds... supported by dante and a furioso. I will be posting more tactics soon.

Simakov said...

We will wait!

Old Shatter Hands said...

I've been reading this blog for some time and I must say that I've really feel like I have witnessed a top-tier army-list evolve. I remember back to one of the Youtube Vids where Jawa was taking on Fritz, in the beginning of the vid, Jawa expounds on how he has "finally honed" his list enough to take on Fritz's "cheating" eldar. It was hilarious in retrospect as Fritz proceeded to methodically dismantle the Blood Angels army piece by piece. The amusing part is, we all now know that Jawa had a long way to go in honing his list but I think now he has done it. Congratulations, now go back and take on those cheating eldar!

jawaballs said...

Oh yes, I remember that game well. That was long ago. :) After my badgering him for weeks, I think I have finally nailed him down. We are going to play next sunday, April 5. We are working on ways to broadcast the game live. The major hold up has not been him ducking me like I have been jesting... we have been looking for a way to make it a good event. But we now have a date, and a time, around 1pm EST. That should allow the most people possible to view it. More to come as we develop the plans!

Anonymous said...


I am about to take Dante into my first game with him and I am little fuzzy on some of his rules:

Does he give himself preferred enemy?


Since I don't think he does, his master-crafted power weapon lets him re-roll one failed to-hit role, correct?


jawaballs said...

He does. His master crafted ax is only used when striking something that does not have a weapon skill. It will come in useful if you assault a rhino with Furious Charge. You will get to reroll one of your misses.

Anonymous said...


Brother Spiros said...

yes all of these tactics seem great but what can you do when you have to do with swarm armys like the orks when they also have Thraka and his waaagh in the army list, every time i get outnumbered, would this tactic work?
Or do you have any other tactic about mass armys?

theirontower said...

No thread Necromancy! Dante doesn't even have those stats anymore. Date checks FTW.

Jawaballs said...

Hmmm... the last post on this article was a year and a half ago.. Necro!

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