How to Win Warhammer 40k: Blood Angels Tactics 2. Brother Corbulo

Welcome to segment 2 of How to win Warhammer 40k. I could not post a tutorial on using Dante without posting about my other HQ choice, Brother Corbulo. Also, I want the reader to bear in mind that these tactic posts are designed with the standard missions in mind from the Warhammer 40k Rulebook. Of course, at tournaments, tactics and mission objectives will change. Hopefully, you will be able to adapt what I present to you here and use it to win games. You might not be able to win against some of the uber cheat armies, and people might consider my army a little cheezy as well. But the one major distinction is that my army follows the fluff and history of the Blood Angels. Every thing in my army is encouraged for use by Blood Angels lists. A fine example of a contrasting list. The Two Warboss/Nob Biker list. Absolutely not would two equal Strength Ork Warbosses team up. It defies the nature of chaos, orks and the universe. It is a simple accepted truth that the two war bosses would first fight each other to see who is stronger, and then one would be the warboss, the other would be a big freaking nob, or dead. Yet we see more and more of these armies on the table. Plus, we see players very sneakily diversifying each nobs gear in the squad, for the sole purpose of exploiting the Wound Allocation rule. Great job ork boys.

So, my point is that my tactics are designed to help you win against most non uber cheezed armies, playing the standard 5th edition missions. Having said that, I welcome any and all arguements to my posts. With one rule. Keep it clean of rude language, and back up your statements with fact. It is amazing how hard people find those two simple rules. If you think I am wrong with something I have said, that is fine. Explain why, and support your statement with page numbers and rules quotations. If you cannot do that, please do not post.

OOOKKKKKKK! Time for the Bro.

If you are taking Dante, you have to Take Corbulo. Lets talk about his gear first.

Chain sword. What the hell? One of the highest ranking Apothecaries in the Imperium canot afford a power sword? I would gladly pay 25 more points for this model to have a PW.

Sanguinator. Standard apothecary gear. This allows him to negate one wound per turn within 6" of him. The wound cannot have been caused by any attack that denies armor saves or instant death. Unlike new codex apothecaries, he does NOT grant a squad he has joined Feel No Pain.

Corbulo can lead the Death Company. A DC squad not within 6" of Corbulo or a Chaplain must move as far as it can towards the nearest enemy model during the movement phase.

The Holy Grail...
This thing has TWO effects. First of all, it grants Corbs a 4+ Invul. But most importantly, and the reason why this is AWESOME, it grants all Blood Angels within 12" Furious Charge. This does apply to Dante, all troops and my Furioso Dreadnought! Yes, that is right, my dreadnought charges at initiative 5, and Dante charges at initiative 6 with Str 5. For this reason alone, Corbs is mandatory.

How to use him:

Attach him to the DC, and buy them a rhino. I do NOT use jump packs for my DC. Doing so necessitates taking Lesmartes, and he is not worth it. Nope, I load them up in a Rhino with Extra Armor, all painted black and covered with skulls. People fear it. The reason why you put him in a rhino is not only to let him keep up with Dante, but because his powers work from inside it! (Please correct me if I am wrong, with facts, quotes and page numbers.) I am not interested in opinion on this one. So, Corbs can lead the DC, negate wounds, and grant FC from in his rhino.

Move the rhino up, it is perfect for blocking Line of Sight for Dante too. Charge it up to Dante's target and park/pop smoke. Keep the DC inside. Jump Dante up into assault range. Send him him! Make sure he is within 6" of the hull of the Rhino. If Dante takes a wound, negate it. Next turn, if you have taken a bite too big to chew, unload the DC, and charge them in!

If you are forced to disembark Corbulo, do NOT put him into assault. At the end of the movement phase, make sure he is 2" away from the DC, and preferably out of LoS from enemy guns. Send in the DC and watch the mayhem. If you absolutely MUST send him into assault, it is ok. I have used him to charge in and finish off squads when needed. But it is almost always better to keep him out of CC. Simply because he is able to heal, but NOT while in CC. If you used your heal on your opponents turn, and can not use one on your turn, and the squad you are fighting is close to death, charge him in to finish it off. you might also want to get him into CC just to allocate wounds on to him. Especially later in the game. He has an Invul, and only cost 100 points. He is a much more expendible model then Dante. If it is getting close to the end, and you need Dante to live, get Corbs in there and put the wounds on him.

When to use his heal:
Save it for Dante, Death Company, Himself, Power Weapon/Fist in that order. Do not use it on normal infantry unless it is the very last wound of the turn and all attacks have been dealt. It is always better to allow an infantry man to die and save it for a DC model or Dante then to use it on a grunt, then watch a DC go down from the next round of shots.

And there you have it! Corbulo is invaluable to your Blood Angels army. If you are playing a small force, he is the ONLY choice. At 100 points, he is the strongest, cheapest commander available. He should pretty much always be in your army. Get him in a Rhino, and keep him safe. Move the rhino up with your assault forces, and grant every one you can that bubble of Furious Charge. Unload him only if you have to. Assault with him even less. Sacrifice him to save Dante. Keep his rhino within 6" of your main assault forces for heals. He CAN heal guys locked in assault, so long as he is not locked in himself. You need him to control the DC, and if you are using a DC Furioso, that as well. Keep the Dread close to his Rhino until it no longer matters. You will know when that point arrives. Just about when your opponent starts squirming and whining. Enjoy!



eriochrome said...

Looks like you have your tactics tooled to the max. What would happen if you were forced to play your army without unique characters? I have wondered what a rule like that would do for the new space marine codex(totally neuter I am guessing).

Also you comment about putting wounds on Corbulo. I am assuming you are not talking about in close combat since I would think Corbulo is an Independent character and hence your opponent is either using specific models in B2B to attack him or directing the attacks at the rest of the unit that they are also in B2B with.

jawaballs said...

Great point Chrome about the wounds. That would really only apply if I thought the squad was going to come under fire... for example, if I think I am probably going to wipe out a squad, then be left exposed to heavy weapon shots, I could get him and Dante into the squad before the charge, and slap the wounds on him when they take fire after. You cant allocate wounds to IC in CC that have been dealt to a squad they have joined. In CC they are no longer part of the squad when it comes to wounds.

To redefine, IF you think Dante might come under fire, and you have the opportunity, attempt to get them into squads and place the wounds on Corbs. THe point is that he is more expendable. The opportunities will be more obvious in games. I will go in and edit the post. Thanks for the heads up!

As far as disallowing IC... I think that rule is rediculous. Without named IC, you are taking away a huge portion of what was intended to balance the power between the SM and the Orks for example. I have never played in a tournament that disallows them, or against an opponent that refuses them, and honestly would not commit to spending a weekend in a tournament that would do that. Bottom line is that Space Marine IC are necessary. Some more then others. Take away the Blood Angels IC, and you make them a generic space marine army, without the options and upgrades that generic space marines have. Over Charged Engines and the Baal predator are not enough.

eriochrome said...

I was asking about the unique characters since I personally do not like being forced to take named characters in my Codex SM force. Unfortunately I essentially find myself taking one for any game above 1K or my list is just weak and since Codex marines are not especially strong (forgiving of mistakes probably) and often the focus of many anti marine lists having a weak lisy without a character is a lossing effort.

jawaballs said...

Exactlly right. 5th edition marine armies are pretty much required to have named characters in order to be competitive. Plus, it is silly to take a generic one, because once you are done gearing him up, he costs just about as much as a named character, who has way more abilities. Whats worse, is I have seen tournaments that allowed special characters, but penalized you on army comp points. A guy would have won the whole thing but lost points for taking Vulcan, and he didnt even do it in a cheesy way. His army was strong but NOT cheezed out. The judge simply had an issue with Vulcan in a list.

If I had to play w/o named characters, I would spend 100 points I use on Corbs on a basic chaplain to control the DC and Furioso, then spend the 200 points I use on Dante on another Furioso and a couple more DC. I might just try that some day... :)

Old Shatter Hands said...

I love unique characters and I glad GW has put the enphasis on them. Looking at a business stand point, in the past they trouble selling UCs and they seem to have geared recent codexes to make them more appealing and sell better.

about the tactics, you've outlined, SO awesome. you are the only blood angels expert on the web.

I've got my Death Company with Jump Packs now so I have to go with it for this upcoming tourney. I think I can adjust my tactics to make best use of Corbs and Dante even with some of my army's flaws.

Here's my tentative list:
1) Assault Force
Lord Dante, advances alone behind a Rhino.
Brother Corbulo in a Rhino, extra armor with a 5 man Assault Squad with 1 power weapon, 1 plasma pistol. (also serves as an objective grabber)
Baal Predator
5 Death Company Marines with Jump Packs (controlled by Corbulo) advances behind Corb's Rhino.
2 land Speeders with Multi-Melta, 1 heavy flamer
4 Bikes with Melta, Power Weapon, Plasma Gun

2) Fire Support
1 Land Speeder with Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon
Devastator Squad with 4 Missile Launchers
Combat Squad (Tactical) with Plasma Cannon, Plasma Gun
Combat Squad (Tactical) with Lascannon

3) Objective Grabbers
1 Rhino, extra armor with Combat Squad (tactical) Bolters only and the Sargeant with Powerfist
1 Rhino, extra armor with Combat Squad (tactical) 1 Flamer and Sargeant with nothing special
5 man Assault squad with Jump Packs, Power Weapon
Note: the Assault Squad in rhino will be taking objectives as well.

jawaballs said...

The best part about troops in rhinos is that you can just roll them up onto objectives, and hang. It keeps them alive much more then say... a 5 man jump squad. They will get gunned down for sure, while your opponent might not shoot the Rhino... Bolters cant hurt it and they may want to use long range heavy guns on more dangerous stuff. And as far as the DC in a rhino... I liken it to a ticking time bomb that you roll up on a dude. The psychological factor is incredible. Not only does he have to deal with Dante and what ever fire power you have on him... he sees that DC Rhino coming. Once you park it... he sees it sitting there... I'm telling you man, it throws off even the best players tactics... knowing that you can just unload those monsters and assault next turn. They will either run away, or redirect all of their shots at it to try to take it out... neglecting the true threat... your troops rhinos moving up on objectives...

I will post this stuff all in my 3rd "How to Win" installment... Rhinos.

jawaballs said...

Oh, and if you want my opinion, drop the Devs, get a couple of Baal Preds.

grimsnikk said...

I've been using Corbulo to great effect by keeping him in a Tac squad in a rhino, with dante and honour guard and the DC flying nearby. You don't need the chaplain at that point to control the DC, and all his abilities still work within the rhino.

The turn dante and the DC will assault the tac squad hops out and rapid fires and the combined double charge kills like EVERYTHING.

jawaballs said...

Grim, cool man! But do you find that you overkill the squad and your dudes end up taking shots next turn? I suggest you spread your guys out a bit more, and use a little bit less overwhelming force... you dont need that much, you want the assault to end on your opponents turn with a massacre roll, so that on your turn you are ready to jump into the next squad. Unloading and rapid fireing on a squad will mow them down for sure... but a little refining might make you even more devastating!

Wienas said...

If the Holy Grail power is anything like the Ork Kustom Force Field, it is projected from the edges of the vehicle that he rides in. Very nice.

Another interesting (and super cheesy) point about his exsanguinator. It does not nullify a wound, but allows you to ignore the first failed save. You may think that these are the same thing, but a vehicle may get a save, if it has cover. According to the wording, his exsanguinator allows this failed save to be ignored.

Pull this nugget out the next time you play against two Ork warbosses.

daniel s said...

I have been playing BA for ten years now. The last list i had was Ard Boys when I first found this combo (Danta and Corb) I also found that an 8 man vet squad with P-fist and P-sword cost about the same as a 10 man assault sq. look at the number of attacks vs. the ability to grab objectives. To see how I balanced it all out look at this list: (doing it from memory the best I can.)

Assault element

Dante with command squad, medic and standard.
2x 8 man vet w/ p-sword and p-fist
dc about 8 man w/jp
furioso dread w/dc upgrade

Land Grab

3x tac sq w/melta or plasma
2x rhinos w/SB
1 razorback TL las and SB

Defensive Line

10 man dev w/ 2 HVbolters and 2 plasma cannons

baal pred

I split at least one tac sq into combat squads, leaving one on the rear Objective and put the other into the Razorback with Corb, and the DC and Furioso running behind on a flank. Danta running near Corb and the middle with the Vet sq running a screening pattern on the other side.

Two Rhinos ,one with just a combat squad and the Baal run objectives and supporting the Assault element by blocking enemy LOS. (I am glad Over charged engines do not explode any more!!) Last is to put the dev SQ in the rear split into combat SQ to get better LOS and on Objectives.

That is the jest of it. I guess I may have to get my list to be more specific. The diffrence between our tactics is I have DC with JP and Corb running behind them with five guys to take wounds on. I have to watch my battle line and not pack all the Assault elements on a few units (Try to assault two or more units at once) as with Corb and Dante leading everything dies.

Jwolf said...

I think your tactics are exactly the correct general tactics to use for Dante and Corbulo, obviously requiring modification based on the enemy force. That said, I stand by my claim that the basic nature of the Blood Angels list makes you ball up into a tight knot of destruction that invites blasts to rip you apart or sacrifice a significant portion of your strength in order to stay alive. Your tactica are excellent support for my argument.

jawaballs said...


Thanks for stopping in! I'm happy you read my comment. But take the time to watch my vids, (jawaballs on youtube) and truely absorb my tactics. The only thing balled up in my army is Dante and the Furioso. I keep them, usually, very close. Corbulo, tends to stay within that 12" zone as well to take advantage of that obvious strength you pointed out.

However, if my opponent focuses on that small area of the table, the better for me! The true strength of my army is the advancing Baal Preds, and Rhinos that swoop in to claim objectives and win me games.

I write battle reports and/or post videos for every game I play. I go to major tournaments in the NYC area, and I am in contention for the top spots every time.

True: Blood Angels cannot compete in games playing the style of games I see that you play down there. If I try to play a slugfest, hack and slash army I am going to lose. BA are too expensive and a generic SM army can get more models on the table, for less points, that perform better. I accepted that and have moved on.

That is why I exploit two major advantages of the BA. Over-Charged Engines, and the Baal Predator. I move my superb power onto the table, take one or two objectives, then go contest all of my opponents.

So if I were trying to play Blood Angels like I initially started playing when they released the new codex, or how most people try to play them today, they are mediocre and deserving of your rating. But the way I play, with the list I use, I would only consider two armies superior. Double warboss ork nob bikers, and super nidzilla lists. Double chaos Lash maybe, but that remains to be seen. They should definitely be ranked higher then normal generic SM, and Eldar!!! ELDAR!!!! Guh. Xenos Scum.

I'm not just boasting, I am talking from documented proof.

I will have a club table at Gamesday Baltimore, come check it out! :)


Michael said...

Heya Jawaballs,

First time to comment on the blog, I have been reading it for awhile now, and it is one of the reasons I am glad I chose BA when I began collecting models and playing not too long ago.

Anyways, about the exsanguinator, it says in the BA codex that it can't be used against Instant Death or close combat attacks that can't be saved. That seems to go against your prioritization of saves from the thing, Dante, Corbs, DC, power sword/fist. Granted it says that you can ignore a failed save, but the wordeing makes me think that invul saves are not included in that.

Maybe I misunderstood what you were referring to, but that I think is more in line with what an exsanguinator should actually be able to do.

Anyways, keep up the good work, anc check out my new blog if you don't mind, I would like your opinion on what you see.

cheers buddy

Simakov said...

I sent a letter to GW about our Exsanguinator
There are they answers

Q:May I use Exsanguinator to ignore failed cover saves or invulnerable saves?

Q:May I use Exsanguinator to ignore failed armor saves If an enemy shoots with AP2 and a target have an armor save 3+ or 2+?

It's awesome!!!

jawaballs said...

For infantry models, it only works against normal wounds. Power weapon attacks, monstrous creatures, rending, and shooting attacks that are AP 1 or 2 will not be affected by the Exanguinator. But that post was about assigning value to your targets. Sort of like assigning priority to your chess pieces so you know which to sacrifice. I really didnt even have to include Dante in there. It does without saying, if he takes a wound that is negatable, to do so. The point of that comment was to save your save. Don't use it on grunts. Dante, DC and your powers are way more important, and it should be saved until the end of a turn just in case.

jawaballs said...

Sim, I guess you are right! The rules in the BA Codex give only two instances where it cannot be used. Wounds that cause Instant Death, and wounds that are caused in Close Combat that get no armor save. I dont know where I got that AP 1 or 2 stuff. Maybe a hold over from 4th edition?

But here is the question. What are some cases where that matters? Sure, I can use it against wounds caused by a failed invulnerable, even if that was cuased by an AP 1 or 2 weapon. But every AP 1 or 2 weapon I can think of will cause Instant Death, thus negating the Exsanguinator. A Tau Plasma Rifle is AP 2 I think... but that is only Str 6 right? Perhaps that is one that I might not have taken the Exsan save on thinking it was not allowed. What other shooting attacks will this be useful against?

Wienas said...

The part about not saving AP 1 & 2 shots is part of the rules in the new SM Codex. It's another example of wargear that doesn't suit across Codices (ie. storm shields, power of the machine spirit, smoke launchers, etc.)

Plasma weapons are the main thing the the Blood Angels exsanguinator saves you from that the SM narthecium does not. It's not a huge difference, but most armies have a good number of plasma weapons in them. Every little advantage helps, even if it is hard to remember who has which version of what wargear.

Simakov said...

If we read BA codex:

Exsanguinator: Once per player turn, a friendly model within 6" of a model with an Exsanguinator may ignore a failed save as long as the bearer is not Falling Back, in close combat, or Pinned.

Do you understand? We may ignore failed cover saves for vehicle! :)

But I will try to ask GW ( about it, I think it's a wrong wording.

But if that is a truth, I will take 2-3 Exsanguinators in my army :)

jawaballs said...

You are spot on Simakov. Based on the wording, vehicles that fail cover saves benefit from the power. At a major tournament, the judge will say go by what the codex says, and the codex says exactlly that. The wording cannot be denied. It can be argued that the Exsanguinator is a way more powerful item then the Codex Marine version. Maybe not mroe powerful since the Codex Marine grants FNP to the squad. Equally powerful. Now that I think about it... with the new codex marines getting FNP from their apothecaries, I will definitely use that if I get the chance from mine.

Simakov said...

it's not my idea
Thanks a lot comrade Wienas!

daniel s said...

Hey what are your thoughts on vet assault squads? It is a trade for a scoring unit but look at it this way. An eight man vet assault squad with P-fist and P-sword is at the same point level (265) as a ten man assault squad with one P-fist. You get seven more base attacks and a P-sword for the loss of a scoring unit. Toss that unit with Dante and Corbulo and it kills.

SynnerG said...

I know this is from forever ago, but I just read the FAQ from the Adepticon tournament rules which is the same team that makes the GW FAQs and it says this:

BA.06L.03 – Q: Can an Exsanguinator be used to ignore a vehicle’s failed cover save?
A: No [rules change].


jawaballs said...

Yah, I came to that conclusion a while ago. Thanks for the heads up though!

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