Posted by Jawaballs at 6:06 PM
A reader sent me an email presenting his list and asked me for advice on improving it and tactics. He has read my blog, based it on my own list, and given me something to work with. Soo, here we go Scott!
Here is his email:
Hey I have been reading your blog for a while, Its freaking awesome btw. I have been playing SM for a while and have been wanting to switch to BA after the new codex came out because damn I love Assault Marines. I finally have the cash to switch my army over. This is my current list if you don't mind taking a look at it. I am kinda confused about how to play Dante+Honor Guard, i mean it seems like with the Perdition Pistol and the Melta+Powerfist gear that the Honor Guard can take that they would be a brutal tank hunting group. However I have seen you use him in the vids more as a distraction/house-wrecker unit.
Any help is greatly appretiated.
+5 Honor Guard
2 Power Weps
1 Melta or 2 Flamers??
5 Death Company
5 Assault Squad
Serg - Power Wep
5 Assault Squad
Serg - Power Wep
5 Assault Squad
Serg - Power Wep
10 Tactical Squad
I already spoke about Dante formerly, and I will expand on that here. I will preface this with this: Dante's true strength is his Preferred Enemy, and then his distraction value.
Let me explain. First of all, forget the flamer and go with the Melta. Your army is weak on true tank killing power. Horde Orks should not present too much trouble with your Baal Preds softening up your targets. The melta gives you one more tank killer, though wasting your honor guard by shooting a tank is a sign of being desperate. You have juicier targets for them to kill.
But you ask about Honor Guard and Dante. The reason I fly solo with Dante is that he simply does not need the help. The last thing you want to do is attach Dante to an HG, assault a squad, and wipe it out on your turn. You want the squad locked into combat until your opponents turn, and you want to finish it then. Dante can kill a space marine 10 man tactical squad in two turns... charge on yours, and finish it on his. If you give him 5 veterans bristling with power fists and swords, they will definitely wipe it out on your turn. Then Dante and the HG will be absolutely nuked next turn without a doubt. If I forsee Dante needing help, I line up my Death Company or a Dread to go with him. He is almost never far from them. Remember preferred enemy...
Now, about that HG. Do you need it? No. It is not worth the points. 150 points for 5 vets with jump packs. Now upgrade the Standard Bearer with the Chapter Banner to get the bonus attack... 25 more points. Add a PS and a PF and you are spending 40 more. Throw in a melta and that is 10 more. Now you are up to 225 points for 5 guys... They are jacked for sure, but do you need them? If you really want to give Dante friends, go on the cheap side, buy a troop assault squad and give them a power sword. 155 vs 225. Save 70 points. But now you have a unit that can claim objectives. If Dante is with them, will they be any less effective at slaughtering that 10 man tactical squad then him and the HG? Nope. But now you have 70 points to buy a Speeder with Multimelta to go zap tanks that you were going to use that HG melta for. Make sense? They surely do not need the Chapter Banner. They all get Dante's 10 leadership and an extra attack is just overkill. You can go out and slaughter defenders holding an objective. Now, Dante can leave the survivors from the troop squad to hold it, and he is free to go wreak havoc.
Dante as a distraction:
He excels at this. Your opponent knows you have him and he fears the Dante. He will deploy with Dante in mind. I will often deploy Dante on the right third of the board with the rest of my forces deployed on the left half or in the middle. My opponent will put every thing on the left half to escape Dante! Then all I do is jump dante over to my troops and give them all preferred enemy, and enjoy the fact that my opponent did me the service of bunching all of his stuff up on half the table. Is is such a powerful force on the table that your opponent HAS to deal with him. He will throw away his strategy, and put considerable fire power into killing Dante. This is especially so if Dante has managed to slaughter a squad or pop a tank. Most guys simply cannot resist the urge to come kill Dante. So, I will flaunt him, then hide him behind terrain or something, forcing my opponent to expose his tanks to my firepower. He will almost always move those speeders with multi meltas to an angle to pop Dante, inadvertantly exposing them to fire, rather then letting them do their tank killing job. It is even more great when Dante shrugs off the melta with his Iron Halo and I destroy the speeder with my Baal Preds heavy bolters. Sure, I make a show about how he got me... I was not expecting him to move his speeder to try to kill Dante... etc etc. In the end, every shot fired at Dante is one less fired at my Baal Predators and furioso dreads, which are methodically wiping out his units turn by turn.
You only need Dante until turn 3. By then, most of your guys have gotten into assault and with preferred enemy and Corbs giving them Furious Charge, are in complete control of the situation. Turn 4 you are free to send him out as bait or to kill tanks. Be aggressive... it is ok if you lose him. Take chances. Your Baal Preds are more valuable now... they can move 18" and tank shock to contest opponents objectives, or knock him off them completely. You can afford to sacrifice your queen to win the game if you still got all of your Bishops and Rooks.
Plus, here is a little secret. You can slaughter a guy, but so long as he got to kill Dante, he will love you for it. You cannot discount the power of good will. I can crush a guy in a tournament, then at the end I 'accidently' leave Dante exposed and he pops him... I react appropriately angry, he ends the game feeling good, "You killed me but at least I got Dante!" "Yah, good move man..." He gives me full sportsmanship points... I move on to the next round! Dante rarely survives my games, simply because it feels so good for my opponent to kill him! :)
I say forget the help for Dante completely. Drop that squad, go with 4 DC, and buy a 3rd Baal Pred. Give them all the Storm bolter. Hell in a 5 turn game that is 30 more shots! Not giving your squads rhinos is fine, just be careful not to leave them exposed. It will kind of limit what I have found to be the strength of the Blood Angels, rhino mobility. You will have 2 troops in rhinos instead of 4, and a severely limited chance of turn 5 contesting of objectives... which I have found to be the single biggest improvement to my tactics.