Q and A. Question from a youtube subscriber, posted with his permission.

I received this email from one of my youtube subscribers, and I asked him if he would mind if I posted the response here since it is information that all could benefit from. He didn't mind. So, here we go!


no offence but i dont see many prime units that are pretty much needed in a blood angels army. first i dont see atermie squad they are primo choices for the army your going for. 2 shots with storm bolter. base 2 attacks + 1 for the power fist. and add an assult cannon for a lot of good shots at enemy units with just 1 model. add in some chain fists make your chances of penetrating a tank better. you think that power fist in your assult squad can pop open a landraider?
another thing is you are using a rhino transport for a 5 man squad. double them up or get razorbacks to get that much more shots on the field. what happens when a rhino blows up. you roll a number of dice to see who lives. rolling only 5 dice gives you a good chance of living. rolling 5 dice gives you a good chance at dying too. they may not have over charged engines but you only get that 6 inches by chance. and you have all thos assult squads but took them off their jump packs yet you want a fast moving army. its good to have a fast moving army but it's even better to have a fast moving army with a lot of shots. baal preds get over-charged engines and you can put them with assult cannons and 2 heavy bolters. thats 10 shots coming from a single tank.

Let me begin by saying, my army is optimized for speed and torrent of fire. After hours of play testing, I have come up with the strongest Blood Angels army I can that exploits the 5th edition rules. Simply put, the game is about taking or contesting objectives, not about killing your enemy 66.6666 % of the time. The other 33.333% of the time is about simply ending up with one more kill point then your opponent, which is only benefited by fast moving vehicles and torrent of fire.

Having said that, allow me to discuss some of your must have Blood Angels choices. A Terminator squad is a great choice. The 2+ save is spectacular and their possible fire power can lay down the law. However, lets look at points. For 230 points, I can put a 5 man terminator squad on the table with an Assault Cannon. (+1 death company, more on my thoughts about DC later) Counting points, that is 12 shots possible, including 4 STR 6 rending shots all at 24" range. A single Baal Predator can move 6" and unload 12 shots, half of which are at 36", almost all of which are STR 5 and above. Not to mash the numbers, but a Baal Predator can unload better fire power then a terminator squad, but can move faster, and has better range. Sure, a single shot can kill a BP, but a single Vindicator shot can knock out a Terminator squad (So can a Baal Pred)!

Lets take it a step further. Take a jacked Baal Predator from my list at 150 points, and add a Land Speeder. For just about the same cost as that Terminator squad, you now have a Baal Predator and a Land Speeder with a Multi Melta and Heavy Flamer. Two very fast moving units that could possibly land 22+ shots, almost all of which will wound on 2 or 3+ and about 25% of them possibly denying saves. Oh, and at the end of the game, they can move 18-24 inches and contest enemy objectives. Those pesky objectives again. If you take a Terminator squad without a Land Raider, the minute they are out of cover, they will be hit with every AP shot on the table, and die. Throughout a game, they might get as far as a BP/Speeder combo can go in one turn, and will maybe drop their fire power once or twice. Bottom line: Terminators have no place in a Fast Attack army.

Yet another step further. If you are going to take terminators in any army, they should take advantage of a maximized squad riding in a Land Raider, and use Space Marine Storm Shields for the 3+ Invul. But wait, Blood Angels Terms cannot do either. The BA LR can only hold 5 terms. BA terms cannot take Storm Shields with the 3+. Sadly, other Space Marine armies can do the terminator thing better. Nobody plays Terminators without CCW and a LR any more. For that 580 points, I can get so much more then what they can offer. OH and power fist never gives an additional attack as far as I know. Terminators are looking at a base 2 attacks, +1 on the charge all at 1 initiative. Dante and a single assault squad will eat a 5 man Term squad for breakfast.

The power fist in my assault squad is not meant to pop Land Raiders. It is meant for Monstrous Creatures and/ore Dreadnoughts. I drive that Rhino at such enemies and if I have to, unload them and punch the crap out of them. But I rarely have to.

In fact, when it comes to enemy Land Raiders, I simply ignore them, unless I can charge my Furioso at them. Plus, I have enough Melta shots to deal with them... Additionally... based on Mathhammer, TL assault cannons are better at dealing with Land Raiders then TL Lascannons... With 3 Baal Preds, I fear no Land Raider. Last time I faced one, I exploded it with a Baal Pred.

Assault squads in Rhinos vs squads in Razorbacks. To put a squad on the table in a Razorback, I need to spend 165 points and I get no extra armor, and a Rhino with a Heavy bolter that cannot move more then 12" but only holds 5 guys who have bolters. For 170 points I get a Rhino that can move up to 18" with extra armor, and contains an assault squad with a power weapon. Is the loss of that power weapon and fast movement worth a few extra shots? I run 3 assault squads in Rhinos, and I move them up on to objectives, WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, and park them. To get at them, the enemy has to first pop the rhino, then kill 5 space marines who are now taking cover in the destroyed rhino. 5 Assault marines with Jump Packs are a target, who can pretty much be shot at by any gun on the table and wittled down to nothing by round 3. The odds of hiding them behind something, while advancing are pretty much nil. Putting them in a Rhino gives them more mobility, and survivability. That is based on fact, proven and tried. Before I added my rhinos, my assault squads were cut down by arbitrary gunfire from grunts that would not even hurt a rhino. Now, they almost always survive the entire game. In 5th edition, the game is about taking and holding objectives. Jump packs simply are inferior to a rhino at this role. OH, and there is the Tank Shock ability. A Rhino with Extra Armor can tank shock from 18" with a 50% chance of survival! That is fantastic! I Tank Shock every chance I get. Move your rhino 18", tank shock... if your tank shock is successful, the squad falls back and you follow them off the table. If the tank shock fails, your squad gets out and goes into assault next turn, probably killing any thing not in power armor.

These tactics have been explored in depth in other posts on my blog, so I will not get into them much more. But to lay it out, assault squads in Rhinos are simply faster, and tougher then assault squads with Jump Packs. I do not rely on my assault squads to do any thing but take and hold objectives, something that they are better then jump packs troops at. I rely on Dante, my Death company, Furioso, Speeder and Baal Preds to do my killing. The fact that I can unload an assault squad and charge a squad with a reasonable chance of killing it is a bonus.

Simply put, the army you are talking about is more easily fielded by codex marines then Blood Angels. If you try to compete with them, you will lose. Blood Angels are strongest using speed, and torrent of fire, coupled with precision assault power where needed. Leave the overwhelming force to the Ultravenamanderfistiscars.



Lord said...

Very nice, how would you play Vanilla marines? would you use a similar force, or would you do a gunline, or drop pod, or triple LR, or what?

I only wish my force had that type of cohesion!

mrjashuajanes said...

I am putting together a similar army, but with ten-man-tactical squads in the rhinos instead of assault squads. This way my rhinos, once on top of objectives, can put out some melta fire. I guess this is burning up points, but then if the rhino gets popped I have ten bodies. Also, if I need to, I can pop them out and do some rapid firing.

What do you think about having tacticals instead of assault marines?

Old Shatter Hands said...

Well put Jawa, you've just convinced me to drop my jump pack assault squad from my list. I did notice that they do next to nothing in a game but fly around and get shot at. I frequently hav to micro-manage the crap out of them to keep them alive. My three rhinos on the other hand do a great job of protecting my troops and serving as blockers. I think their ability to block lines of sight is one of their main advantages as well.

jawaballs said...

MrJash: I think you will find that you end up not having enough units on the table. A 10 man Tac costs around 210 points, add to that a Rhino and you are looking at 250 give or take. That is quite a point investment! Perhaps one or two will be good. Charge them forward, unload in cover and blast the crap out of people with your plasma and melta on round two. But for the sake of holding objectives, (at least for Blood Angels I mean) a 5 man assault squad is superior. With my 3 Baal Preds I dont really nead the fire power of a Tactical squad, and people tend to ignore the Rhinos to take out the more dangerous threats in my army. My assault squads count as troops by the way.

Shatter: Yah, you are dead on. My assault squads with jump packs are immediately identified as squishy but dangerous threats and killed. It is almost impossible to hide them, and opponents know that if they get close, it is over. Putting them in Rhinos tends to hide them from more then line of sight. It is like, out of sight, out of mind. They seriously get ignored a lot, because the guys assume there is just a tactical squad in there or something, like you typically see deployed in a Razorback... But then I move that sucker 18" and pop smoke with it parked on an objective... preferably, I move two of them together... Then next turn, if I have to, the guys get out and go nuts. Or they sit there all game and hold the objective from the safety of their Rhino.

Yes, they can get singled out, destroyed and the squad can get mowed down. There are only 5 guys. But frankly, if my opponent has the leisure to focus enough fire power onto my Rhino to do that, then I got bigger problems and the game is going to end badly for me any way.

They have to decide. Pump shots into those non scary looking rhinos sitting in the corner or near objectives... or shoot at the 3 Baal Preds advancing on them with Dante, a Furioso, and the Death Company in a very scary looking black rhino with skulls on it right behind.

Docrailgun said...

Vanilla Marines in Combat Squads with Razorbacks (one option is the Baal turret... TL Assault Cannons) are pretty decent (especially if one is using Khan and can outflank). But as mentioned... not so much with the BA Codex.

I agree with most everything... Terminators aren't worth taking without newCodex Storm Shields (though a couple of LC guys mixed in aren't a bad idea). BA Landraiders are sub-par (though they're Fast in the new Apoc formation for the BA).

Early in 5th ed., static BA with lots of heavy weapons was decent, but with all the cover saves, I think JB has the way to play BA. Well... it'd probably still work, at least until the Guard Codex comes out.

lordmagyar said...

I agree with jawaball's with regards too question, why in jawa's list does he not take LR or terminators, or other so called elite squad's, baal predators simple answer if codex space marines could take this vehicle there would simple point's and weapon's it's a hard too come up with a better tank.Baal predators are the elite do it all unit, move relative fast, gun down troop's pop tank's transports.terminators are really affective on mass, in your face deep strike straight at the enemy, if there   not deployed this way you can outmaneuver them, and then what's the point in spending so many point's on a slow moving unit.

Tyran said...

off topic but have you read the death company minidex i sent you on your profile adress?

jawaballs said...

I checked it out, but am not really interested in any thing that is not offical GW release. I play in a lot of tournaments and need things by the books. Thanks though!

Old Shatter Hands said...

Just came back from a 2k game at the Bunker. I had three rhinos each 5 guys in them. I had actually split two tactical squads so that on foot were the shooty elements (5 guys, plasma cannon, plasma gun) and in the rhinos were just 5 bolter guys. 1 rhino had a 5 man assault squad. Objective based game. I took three objectives by moving onto them in turn 5 then popping smoke. It was awesome and a true testament to Jawa's tactics. I then contested his objectives with Land Speeders.

The Assault Squad with jump packs was held in reserve (not deep striking but reg. reserve) and still only made it out with 3 guys left. The squad is just a bullet magnet. Although, I must say they did take out 1 squad of striking scorpions, 1 squad of Hawks, and 1 squad of guardians. (isn't saying much coz they were weakling eldar).

This was the first time I used a Baal too. It rocked! Get one of you don't already.

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