Mail Call! New Blood Angels player


I get a lot of these emails and I wish I could respond to them all. Dino here did a nice job flattering me, as well as coming up with some research on his own, and telling me what sort of army he wants to play and why. (Joking bout the flattery!) :) Seriously though, I do get a lot of requests for help on lists, several every day. I answer as many as I can. If you would like me to help you on your list, start by reading my blog. As far as I can tell, I am playing the only consistently successful Blood Angels list. Any other lists trys to outplay the generic codex at what it does better. So reading my tips and tactics is a good place to begin. Dino based his army on mine, but tweaked it to meet his own interests. So, here we go!

Hi there, my name is Dino. I'm relatively new to 40k and I decided I wanted to play blood angels, naturally when I tried to look up resources I stumbled upon your website. Needless to say after reviewing the codex and listening to your battle reports as well as reading tactical suggestions I modeled my first list in a way I thought was similar to yours. Now I know its not identical and its not designed to be optimal since I wont be playing many tournaments to start, but I did want a functional list.

200 Dante

100 Corbulo



170- 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

170 - 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

220 - 10 Tac, Flamer, Heavy Bolter

40 - Rhino

235 - 5 Terminators AC Chainfist

240 - Vets Squad 6 Vets, 2 Melta guns, 3 Power weps

55 - Rhino for the DC, Plating

65 - Speeder - Multimelta

That's what I came up with, the main differences I think are the use of Terminators and Veterans, but these models are the Space Hulk terminators and both these and the veterans are what inspired me to begin blood angels, so I kind of have my heart set on keeping them. I was wondering if you have time if you could critique my approach to the army and what whether you think this will work. I plan on testing the list more extensively through proxies and right now anti armor is a big concern as you can see I decided to compensate for the lack of attack bikes with a Speeder and Adding Meltas to my vets. The other concern is only 3 troop choices. Anyway before I finish purchasing this army I was hoping for a little help once again if you have time. Perhaps I can also increase the points to add things that would patch weaknesses in the list, this is currently at 1500 points as I did not want to be overwhelmed to start. I'd also like to thank you in advance and say that I think it's great that you have the blog set up to show new players the way of the BA as well as offering a great example of a really beautiful army on the table top.

- Dino


You have a pretty strong list at 1500. But I have to say that what makes my use of Rhinos work is my three Baal Predators working together. Removing them from the equation will possibly throw a wrench in there. What do I suggest you do? Sadly, drop Dante. Also, I am a firm believer in Attack Bikes now. Drop the speeder, find the points to get two bikes instead.

Try this, it will keep the bulk of your army intact:

Corbulo

100 Corbulo

170- 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

170 - 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

220 - 10 Tac, Flamer, Heavy Bolter

40 - Rhino

235 - 5 Terminators AC Chainfist

240 - Vets Squad 6 Vets, 2 Melta guns, 3 Power weps

55 - Rhino for the DC, Plating

265? Land Raider Crusader

50 Attack Bike

Not sure on the point total there, but that might give you more of a chance. Keep that bike hidden behind your LRC.

My only problem is your terminators. Sadly, SH does not have 5 termies with Lightning Claws. With BA lacking the good Storm Shields, there is no reason to take them. If I was going to play termies, and belive me, I am thinking about building a list around a LRC, Mephiston, Corbulo and 5 LC Terminators, I would play all Claws. Rely on overpowering slaughter rather then shields to keep them alive.

Why drop the speeder? I played a lot of games trying to make them work. Bolters swat them down and people suffer them not to live. You cannot hide them, so even behind your land raider you are going to be taking shots and at best making 10 cover saves a turn. You will almost never get to use both the Flamer and Melta, and if you do, you gotta get close, so kiss the speeder bye bye. Nah, get that bike nestled into the ass crack of your LRC. Pop him out on the safe side, to lend another tank popping shot to crack what ever nutt you need the termies to chomp on. Then get him hidden again. Or get him into assault so he cannot be shot back at... etc. I guess thats the biggest issue. Speeders cannot assault. You will be surprized at how effective bikes going into assault can be... not to have them be killy, but to have them survive a round! Pile them into an assault that you know you are going to win on your opponents turn... then on your turn he is free again!

There you have it! TO get to 1750 add a Baal and find a way to get Dante in there and you are good to go. Dont worry about 3 troops. Thats all I use and it works fine. Plus you can CS your tacticals. I do worry about your lack of a PW in the tactical. I used to roll with that, and you do feel its loss when those boys get into assault and cant kill shit.

Hope that helps!

Jawaballs

24 comments:

Ash said...

Great advice, I agree about the LRC Termys are only effective coming out of a LR unless they have all those sheilds. 5 Termys with Claws are nasty. of course I also run mine with the Mark of Khorne.

"Skulls for the Skull Throne!"

Ash

Tyler said...

Jawa- I was just wondering why you have become a firm believer of the attack bike? Just why the bike over the speeder? I know that on paper their roles are very similar, but when it comes to the tabletop I have found the speeder to be good at even more things than I have intended when I wrote the list. The number one thing: blocking enemy movement. You place your speeder between two pieces of terrain on your opponents side of the table, forcing him to either go around the speeder, wasting movement, or shoot the speeder with a disproportionate amount of shots to make sure it is wrecked, but even then it counts as difficult terrain, still hindering him. This is just a little technique on the tabletop that puts the speeder over the attack bike. If something can be brought to light as to why you choose the bike instead, that'd be great :]

jawaballs said...

Let me rephrase this a little. First of all, bikes are in my opinion MORE effective then speeders for a few reasons.

They both excell at killing tanks with Multi Meltas. They can both move 12" and fire the gun. But the speeder can move 12" and only fire 1 gun. The bike can move 12" and fire all, so a TL bolter and a MM. The bike can move 12", rapid fire bolter and fire the melta, so take 3 shots, then assault. The speeder can move 12", fire its MM, then it's fate is determined by your opponent. The bike can decide its own fate by assaulting. And yes, you can assault after shooting a rapid fire bolter on a bike.

You can hide them behind tanks to leap them out when you need them to shoot. Speeders, with their flying stand, will almost never be able to block LoS.

They have two wounds. One single heavy bolter shot can kill a speeder. It takes at least two to kill a bike.

Yes, speeders can block approaches to objectives while bikes cannot. But for all the reasons I just listed, plus more, the bike is better! I smell a new blog post!

JB

Dino87 said...

Thanks a lot for the advice Chris I am sold on the bikes, after much theorizing I am gonna be testing them tomorrow. The other thing that I suspected was indeed that the reason your rhinos work so well is the presence of multiple tanks. How do you feel about individual Baal predators? And at the same time I am leaning towards beefing up one assault squad to 10 and having them jump pack instead, since I really am trying to build an assault list with fire support. Sadly I have come to the conclusion that my SH terminators may have to remain SH purpose only.

jawaballs said...

Dino,

1 Baal is good, 3 is killer. And a 10 man assault squad with jump packs? I would cut them down before they got a chance to do any thing with my preds. Why? You cant hide them. 10 is a lot of guys and odds are you will almost never get them fully blocked from any LoS. That means they are going to get shot up by every battle cannon, heavy bolter and you name it on the table. They are too dangerous to let live. It seems to me that 5 man squad manages to live longer, wether in a rhino or not. It can hide behind a tank, and being only 5 men my opponent places it low on the priority chart. A 10 man squad becomes target priority. I've written droves about the topic, read my archives!

Tyler said...

I think the ability to assault is as much as an advantage as it is a disadvantage when it comes to the speeder vs. attack bike debate. An attack bike or two isnt going to do much against anything, and will at most hold guardsmen or tau. I understand that preventing these units from shooting is great, they are the two best ranged armies in the game, but against pretty much everyone else, you will just get run over, and give your opponent an extra D6 for the consolidation roll after killing said attack bike. But with the speeder, the opponent usually wont even bother to attack in close combat because you should almost always be moving fast enough to force him to hit on sixes. So he has to kill the speeder with shooting. You did mention how it does just take one heavy bolter shot to kill a speeder, but have you looked at the statistics for this happening? 1/3 of the damage table results in wrecked. Thats three shots. 1/6 of a heavy bolters shots will penetrate. Thats 18 so far. And assuming a marine is firing 2/3 will hit. Thats statistically on average 24 shots to down a speeder. I know that the other results on the table will lessen the speeders effectiveness, but if you have more uses for it other than just blowing up tanks, you just want the speeder alive. Lets also look at the statistics for the heavy bolter versus attack bike. You fail 1/3 of your saves. 3 Shots so far. The heavy bolter wounds half the time. Thats 6. And if a marine is firing thats 9 shots. You have two wounds for a total of 18 shots to down the biker. There are other scenarios, like the biker being instant killed, but you can turboboost for 3+ cover save. The speeder vs melta obviously doesnt fare so well, but just like the bike, can move flat out. I think that the argument about the bike being able to shoot a twin linked bolter in addition to the melta isn't that great because the bolter and melta results in unit confusion. Obviously shooting a melta at troops isnt that efficient, and 1 twin linked bolter isnt going to do much. But a heavy flamer on the speeder on the other hand... very effective. THIS is why I love 40k. Because of all the little intricacies that you can think about and delve into, and this is a comparison between what is on the surface two very similar units.

jawaballs said...

Tyler, in my post I mentioned running my bikes into assault WITH the terminators. This will probably keep them out of trouble. If the combat is a massacre, the bikes get to move again, out of LoS. If it is not, it will probably be at the end of your opponents turn, so your bikes will be able to go shoot on yours. Of course you would not charge them into assault solo against as quad of lightning claw terminators. But pop a Devilfish full of Fire Warriors, and run your squad of bikes in!

But also, a single bike shooting its TL bolters and MM at a squad is nothing. But 3 squads of 2 bikes each is a squad killer! Get em into assault range and that is 12 bolter shots and 6MM shots. Then they can assault whatever lives! Now we are talking power.

But this definitely deserves it's very own post!

Tyler said...

I apologize, I didnt see where you mentioned that you would charge them in with the terminators. But to do that you must shoot the attack bikes at the unit your charging, giving your opponent the opportunity to pull off models closest to you, and then foiling your plans of assault. Either that or you just roll the unit in one round, leaving both your termies and attacks bikes out in the wind to get shot at next turn anyway.

And with a total of 6 attack bikes shooting and assaulting something, of course its a unit killer! You're concentrating 300 points of your army on one unit. And don't the 6 multi meltas have something better to shoot at? And even if they didn't, you have the option of shooting 4 heavy flamers (300 pts for 6 attack bikes, 280 for 4 speeders) if you go with the speeders instead. I personally wouldnt concentrate so much at one unit, but I thought I'd throw it out there for purpose of debate. After all of this... I think I have come to the conclusion that if you are looking for just straight up killing power against marines (the heavy flamer is much better than anything the attack bike has against 4+ save or less) and tanks, the attack bikes have more potential. But if you are looking to fit more than just that role, like movement blocking, late game objective contesting, providing cover for your units, and so on, the speeder provides much more in that department. I personally don't need just the straight killing power in my list (My list has vulkan, 10 th/ss termies, and 4 raiders in addition to the speeders), I need more of the on the table tactical advantages.

jawaballs said...

Here is an example of what I meant:

My landraider with LC terminators moves up on another Land Raider full of Tactical Marines. The terminators deploy at the end of movement and get ready for assault. Then my bike moves up as well, within 6" to get a possible charge. The bike explodes the LR, Leaving the tacticals sitting in the open. My terminators charge them, and my bikes jump in for the hell of it! Sure it will probably be a slaughter, but the bikes will hopefully get a massacre roll to get them back next to my LR and safe.

I wrote a recent batrep on a necron game where my bikes had nothing to shoot but troops. (No sense in shooting them at the monoliths) Piling them into assault against his scarabs helped a lot. Then I played a Wulfen army who had no tanks at all. My 3 squads of 2 bikes laid the smack down on his charging troops. And when they finally got close enough, I just sacrificed one of my bike squads and got the others out of reach.

Tyler said...

I'm sorry, but that isn't such a good example. Lol. Who puts tac squads in raiders? Lol. And even so, wouldn't they just disembark using the side hatch to be far away from you so you can't assault? And if you explode the raider, again then deploy far away and now you have to trudge through difficult terrain too. If they have terms in the raiders (much more likely) they disembark close to the attack bikes,possibly forcing your terms out of range, and either way hope you assault with the bikes, and give them some easy kills. With the speeders you have 4" coherency, allowing you to block two of the access points forcing where he has to disembark, pushing him close to your terms, and you can't assault, and not giving him easy kills. See what I mean by little tactical thing you can do on the tabletop with speeders and not attack bikes?

Tyler said...

And against the crons and wulfen lists (armies already lacking in mobility) mobile flamers and later difficult terrain is better in my opinion. Stopping the meltas from getting to your tanks, and blocking where the monoliths can go, or blocking their teleporty access point is great.

jawaballs said...

Ugh, ok,this gives me a headache. It is granted, the ability speeders have to block lanes of travel is valuable. I even used it once to win a game. But No matter what I say, you will have an answer. I make a simple example, you have to harp on something else. Yes, I have encountered Land Raiders full of Power Armor Marines, Of course you have to take the minute details you mention into account when planning an assault. If I really wanted to get bikes into assault, I would make sure they were close enough before popping the tank.

I listed off a bunch of examples why bikes are better, including the big one, you can hide them. Assault is a minor one.

Bottom line. "Hide A Bike" beats "Speeder Wall". You cannot hide speeders. Speeders can be taken out from across the table by bolter fire minimally, and easily with Lascannons. Bikes can remain hidden nestled nicely behind tanks until I need them. That is reason enough. I have kept bikes hidden behind tanks or structures, and had opponents forget about them. It is classic when they pop out!

I have up to 8 tanks on the table. I don't need any more help blocking movement. I need fire power, when and where I want it. In all the games I played, I found my speeder becoming a target, and getting gunned down. Maybe once a game, it might get into range to use its flamer, then it dies.

Also, point wise, I can get 4 Blood Angels Speeders for the price of 6 Bikes.

Kevinmcd28 said...

arent crusaders like 400 points, i need to look at my list since i run one

Dino87 said...

No lol definitely not, that is a Crusader with Armor upgrade and the cost is right.

Additionally I am considering what to do with my 5 man assault squads, take Power fists or weapons. I think the PW are better since the attacks are precious for 5 man squads and I plan to you them to hunt objectives where PW will most likely be more helpful then a fist.

Tyler said...

I dont want to go through the statistics of a bolter downing a speeder, the odds of it are pretty much negligible. And if my opponent is shooting lascannons at my speeders instead of other things, I dont have much a problem with that. I'm not going to bother with the "speeder wall" vs "hide a bike" because we're on complete opposite sides with that one.
And I do know that for blood angels its exactly 4 speeders to 6 bikes. Again, I personally would still take the speeders. I don't think there is much more either one of us can say at this point.
I'm sorry if I get a little over-argumentative, but I just think that things like this are better if they are intelligently debated rather than just left unsaid. All of these things and more are what needs to be taken into account both when building a list and playing a game, and I hope that for a least the few people that have witnessed our banter it gave them something to think about. Of course I have an answer for everything you say, because I firmly believe that the speeders are better, and you obviously believe that the bikes are better. Did we change one another's mind on the subject? I guess not, but I do hope that I brought some things to light for both you and others, and I know that you did bring up points of your own.

jawaballs said...

The problem is that you discount and ignore the chief advantage of a bike, the fact that it can remain hidden and safe, saying that the ability of a speeder to block the movement of enemy units, which the bike cannot do, is a better advantage.

The primary role of both of them is tank killing. They are equal at this, with the speeder getting a little bonus due to its ability to fly over impassable terrain. But that is minimal since both can move 12" and only have to get close enough to slice through armor any way. Back armor is not a huge factor.

The secondary role is anti-infantry. In a 1v1 comparison, speeders can be better at this with Heavy Flamers. However, if you commit your speeder to doing this, you will almost certainly lose it the following turn.

In their third role, as we have defined here as Assault for the Bike and Road Block for the speeder, I have to give the nod to the Bike. If your game has gone such a way that you are forced to use your speeder to block lanes of travel for enemy tanks, you are in trouble any way and are grasping. Plus, if you have to do this, that means you are leaving it in the open, and you are probably not fast moving it, (Though you may bring it from across the table.) At any rate, it is vulnerable and will probably be destroyed in the next shooting or assault phase.

Bikes assaulting, when done right, can stall enemy assaults, or actually serve to keep them alive after they have done their job in the shooting phase. When their primary job is no longer needed, piling your bikes into key assaults may be all the edge you need to win. With their movement you can get them around the back of an assault and keep them away from power weapons. If done right, you can get bikes into assault, and not lose them.

That is what it all comes down to. Which unit can stay alive long enough to do their primary job? And when looking at that, both can turbo boost to gain a cover save in open ground, but only the bike can remain hidden until you need it behind your advancing tanks.

And notice how I have not even touched the statistical end of this as you keep referring to. If it can happen, it will. Saying that bolters downing speeders probably wont happen is true. Stats say it is an improbability. Tell that to the dice gods. I can refer to countless times a few strength four weapons have shaken or immobilized my speeders due to long range bolter fire.

There is no mathhammering this. If you can see a speeder, you can shoot it, and destroy it. If you cannot see a bike, you cannot shoot it. I think the nod has to go to the bike for that reason alone.

As for shooting Lascannons at speeders, in my opinion, they are the third best choice for a Lascannon shot, after Transports, and solo commanders. Let your speeders/bikes kill tanks, focus your Lascannon on soft units that you can reach out and touch... like speeders trying to hide behind tanks.

jawaballs said...

And you are right, this is good natured debate. It will make a great post all on it's own! That is my job today.

Tyler said...

Okay. The reason why I don't find the ability to hide the bike behind my tanks an advantage over using the size of the speeder the other way around and giving my tanks cover instead is because of the other things in our army. You have 5 Rhinos and 3 Predators. I have 2 Crusaders and 2 regular Land Raiders. Moving flat out from behind my land raiders to the front of them, giving both of them a cover save at the beginning of the game, allowing me to save my smoke until the next turn is a better advantage. My land raiders are obviously much more of a points investment than your rhinos and baal preds are. Where I have 4 tanks to protect, you have 8 tanks to hide behind. And like you said yourself, there is another effect of this, you don't need help controlling movement because you have many cheap rhinos to tank shock and control movement, and I have land raiders that I do not want to just throw at my opponent, who often has meltas, and so I use the speeders for this. I know that when I do this I am not "grasping" or "in trouble" this is the battle plan from the getgo. Stalling my opponent for just one turn so that I can drop my TH/SS terminator payload, and then move away is good enough for me. I use it in much the same manner that you use assault with your bikes to stall. Furthermore, it isn't a desperate maneuver for me either because their only role isn't just killing things, and when it comes to that, I can both block lanes of fire and movement for my opponent while putting out my own firepower from them, and even when they do die (which I expect them to) they still leave a crater or wreck behind.

For my speeders this is their objectives: First turn- move flat out, give my land raiders a cover save as well. 2nd- move flat out again to block enemy movement, preventing him/her from bringing more of their army to bear upon my crusaders. 3rd turn- if they are still alive, blow up tanks and fry infantry considering the speeder does both equally well. If you have killed the speeders before the third turn that means you haven't shot enough long range at the land raiders to slow them down at all, which means by this time they are at your doorstep, delivering Vulkan and his buddies. If the speeders are still alive then I can start killing things.

You also stated that you need the bikes for the firepower where and when you need it and not help with the other things. In my list I usually have adequate firepower and combined assault ability, and I need the speeders for the other things that they can do that the bike cannot. I unfortunately feel as if there isn't much more we can cover, because I think I now see the reason that we differ so much in our opinion is because of the differing roles that we wish the speeder/bike to fulfill in our individual armies. How about we just agree to disagree, and now that all the evidence has been brought to light, let the readers decide?

jawaballs said...

Ahh I see, you contend that speeders work better in your list. Using them the way you do, I would probably agree. Though I don't know how a speeder can block 50% of the front of a Land Raider.. you use two for that?

I am focusing on the differences between bikes and speeders in general and how they can apply to any list. I reference my list because it is what I know, but you can substitute any mech space marine list in there and it is the same. So are the tactics. And no, 4 Land Raiders do not fall into the standard list.I reference Rhinos and Preds, that use the same chasis. But I don't think you can hide a speeder behind a Land Raider either.

When you describe your tactics, there is really no comparison at all. You don't even use your speeders as tank killers. You use them for entirely different roles that the bikes cannot fill. Of course you feel speeders are better at doing that and I agree! Hell, I would even say your speeders are better off being armed with Heavy Bolters, since bye the time you can shoot them, they will probably be better used against troops.

But that is not fair to the speeder vs bike comparison. Saying speeders are better because they fill your special, unique roll better is not just. They are better for you.

I say Bikes are better because they are better tank killers, based on their survivability. We have pointed out strengths and weaknesses, but the issue remains. Speeders vs Bikes as tank killers. Bikes are better because they have the ability to not get shot, more likely allowing them to do their jobs. Tertiary roles do not have much impact on this discussion because they all differ in our unique armies.

Tyler said...

If you place the speeder sideways, and right in front of the raider, it covers more like 90% of it :D

and I will give it to you then that yes, on just the basis of tank killing, the bikes are superior, but I think the tactics I employ can be used in any list. The differences between the two are units are subtle, and I think that most of the time people look at a speeder and only see "mobile multi melta", something an attack bike does better. But hopefully I brought to light how much more they can do. My other list is much more balanced, and I used 6 speeders in it over the bikes for similar reasons, except for using them to prevent meltas to getting to my beatstick unit, I prevent the beatstick unit from getting to me, again, somethig the bikes can't do for me.

Tyler said...

I just think that when selecting a unit you have to look at more than just their primary role, ask "what else can they do for me?"

jawaballs said...

And that my friend, is one of the best tidbits of info any one should take from this post. Wether it is a speeder or bike, how else is it going to help you.

Tyler said...

Ahah. Thank you for the intelligent debate. Are there any other units that we could possibly cover for the benefit of your readers? Lol

jawaballs said...

I wrote this up as a nice pros and cons post on Bell of Lost Souls, it should be coming out soon. :)

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