Blood Angels Tactics: Sanguinary Priest

One of the biggest upgrades in the new codex is the Sanguinary Priest. 65 points buys you an even better sergeant for your squad packing another power weapon that grants Feen No Pain and Furious Charge to any one within 6".

Now at first glance, you may be inclined to leave him in a transport and send out the squad to assault, gaining his benefit from inside the tank, but there is so much more to him than that! Allow me to explain.

2 or 3 priests must be in every Blood Angels army. They grant a huge bonus. I'm sure there is a phrase for it, but I will call it "Force Multiplier". This force multiplier varies in strength based on how you use him. The concept is simple. How can you multiply the effectiveness of your army? Giving your sergeant a power weapon and plasma pistol makes a squad a lot more dangerous. You have multiplied the effectiveness of the force. These numbers have no factual bearing, but I would say that if a PW and Plasma Pistol multiply an RAS effectiveness x2, then giving them a priest will multiply it x10. The most immediate benefit is that you can get "more for less". A 5 man RAS with a PW and a priest with a PW are now superior to a 10 man ras without. In fact, the priest elevates this normal troops squad into the Elite ranks. I would charge them against 10 man vet squads for example. Basicly, adding a priest to each of your 5 man squads makes them the equivalent of a 10 man squad or more. More for Less! How do we get the most for least? That is what I am all about.

First of all, a priest in a Razorback with an RAS:

Perhaps the single most game changing element of the Blood Angels codex. For 245 points you can get a Razorback with an Assault Cannon, carrying 6 marines (7 wounds), two power weapons, and a meltagun. I think you will be hard pressed to find any better deal in the game point for point. Just the razorback with Asscan alone is worth it's weight in gold. It can move 12", forcing enemy assaults to hit on 6, and still shoot it's gun. That is devastating, especially to armies like tyranids who rely on assaulting to do their damage. Bye bye genestealers! But then you have the guys inside. If they get the charge, those 6 marines are easily the equal of any 10 man power armor squad in the game. Khorne berzerkers, Plague marines, Vanguard Vets, you name it. This squad will even give Storm shield terminators frights. Every one oohs and aahs at Sanguinary Guard, but the truth is, you just don't need em. Once you are done upgrading the SG, they cost more then this RAS option, are subject to being shot down before they get into assault, and while they get more PW shots, do they really need them?

Now, you can't just go wasting this little gem. Remember, they are just regular space marines in power armor. Plasma will slaughter them, and for all their strength, they are just 6 men. But I must say, I have been using them to devastating effect. Make a few FNP rolls, and your opponent just gives up shooting at them!

Add in the fact that the priest grants his abilities in a bubble, and you are golden. A single priest can enhance 2 or 3 five man squads, making a brutal assault force.

Force multiplier!

Priest hiding in a transport:
The knee jerk tactic that people will immediately go with is to put the priest in a transport with a squad, disembark the squad and assault, while keeping the unupgraded priest inside, granting his abilities from the safety of armor. Yes, this is a sound tactic, but when you look at the importance of Force Multiplication in the new BA dex, this tactic pales. Taking a priest with PW out of the squad makes that 5 man squad merely mortal. You take out the vicious teeth and heavily reduce the effectiveness, or force multiplication benefit.

Sure the priest will live longer if he is not in assault, especially since he can be targeted with PWs and fists. But what happens if your squads charge takes them further then 6" Away from the transport? So much for FNP! Now you have a 50 point upgrade sitting in a tank doing nothing, and a 5 man squad that I would not count on to do half of what I spoke about in the first part of this post. If you have a load of extra points, this is a decent option, especially in terms of redundancy, but I suggest you go with the upgrades, and get him into assault.

Priest in Termy armor:

Having spoken about giving the priest the PW and joining him to a squad, I attached one to an assault terminator squad in a Land Raider Crusader. But then looking at the points, I noticed that for 20 points more he could have terminator armor! What a no brainer! Sure, you lose an attack cause he loses the pistol. But he gains Terminator armor! The terminator armor upgrade with Power Weapon for 35 points is probably one of the best upgrades I could imagine for an already sweet unit. If you are going to run a termy/LRC type of army, it pretty much screams for a priest in TA.

Priest with Jump Pack:

I am currently against jump pack units in the face of cheap Razorback units. But if I were to run a jump squad, I would certainly give them a JP priest. Talk about force multiplication... how about a priest joined to a Sanguinary Guard squad! (I know I mentioned that you don't need them earlier, but that does not mean that they are not cool!)

Priest on bike:

Ok, in case you missed it, you can now field lots of bikes in a Blood Angels army. As the dex makes it's rounds, and people work out the uber lists, I have a feeling that we will see many more bike squads to come. Toughness 5 and turbo boosting cover saves. Enough said. If you want to make sure your vital assaulters get the benefits of a priest, give the priest a bike! He can be all over the table, zooming in at the crucial times to grant the charge. There are probably better ways to do this, but the option exists, and I think the priest biker will definitely come into it's own once the dex has had a good thorough shake down.

Ok, fingers are sore and I have to get some work done. But now that I have quite a few games under my belt with the new dex, expect to see lots more new Jawa-tactic posts!


Give him the PW upgrade.


Michael said...

I ran a game over the weekend with some Priests in termy armor and a Reclusiarch in termy armor attached to 2x Termy Assault squads. It was silly. I got a combined charge of the two units vs Vulkan and his termies, and it was a mess for the other guy. Vulkan ate it quick and the other termies fell soon after. His last termy had 9 invul saves to make, and suffice it to say he didn't survive.

But the 2+ save, FNP and FC makes other armies cry.

Buzz Killington said...

Stupid question coming your way, what does the R in RAS stand for? I assume the AS part is assault squad.


Michael said...

For some it stands for Regular, from back in the day when we could take Veteran Assault squads.

Ususally it stands for Razorback nowadays with the new dex out.

commanderduskstorm said...

Alot of posts are saying Corbulo isn't worth the points, but I think he's worth it for the simple fact he's more survivable than the regular SP's. He has a STR 5 Rending chainsword, his Red Grail makes any FNP roll made by Corbulo successful on a 2+ rather than a 4+, and he grants the army wide ability to reroll ANY ONE roll, ANY roll. All this for 105 pts., and the reason I hear most people don't take him is you can't upgrade him. What's to upgrade? He has an awesome weapon and most people are gonna run him with a RAS so there's no need to give him a jumppack. Yes SP's are awesome, but don't just pass on Corbulo, I think he has potential.

Mobious said...

"6 models (7 wounds)"

I am pretty sure the Priest only has 1 wound.

As for the meat of the article I personally do not like Priests for Razorback Squads. They are much more terrifying with 10 man squads where you really get your money's worth.

Think about it like this. if you pay 50 points to give 5 models FnP and FC, you are essentially adding a 10 point cost per model. But if you do the same for 10 models, you are paying 5 points per model to make them stronger. See what I am getting at?

Plus I don't really think of RAS as an assaulting unit. Fill them up to ten in a Rhino or with Jump packs and now they have some serious assault punch.

suneokun said...

I'm only guessing RAS is Razorback Assault Squad... please can you preface your acronyms, Jawaballs. The tactica's great, but half of its a guessing game due to the acronyms...

We don't all run BA armies ... and we don't all populate BA forums.

(But we still like your blog)

jawaballs said...

Woops youre right, one wound. And RAS stands for Regular assault squad. It has been used for a few years now, and is something I have explained myself dozens of times! At what point can I not have to define it when I post?

Nagamo said...

Sanguinary Priests are one of the best things the codex has to offer and are maybe the best force multiplier in the whole game. Nevertheless, they have their weeknesses that balance them. As a one wound independed character they can be killed in close combat easily, that´s why some players prefer to let them sit in the transport. I would like to have this possibility if I would use Priests with 5 man RAS squads, so I can choise according to the situation what to do, either support the assault unit or have a fast moving FnP/FC bubble. In my current list I gave ´em a Jump Pack and attached them to a 10 man RAS unit with Jump Packs, so it´s harder to single them out in CC and still have the mobility. They deepstrike to vital places on the board where them can pop tanks and support other units, so it becomes less foreseeable for my opponent where the party starts. I also use an Honour Guard with JP and 4 Melta and they haven´t failed me jet...

mathhammer said...

Sanguinary Priests

Also give furious charge to your dreadnaughts.

jawaballs said...

That I do know and cant wait to use it in Hard Boys! Thanks for the reminder. I forgot! I used it a lot with Corbs in the old dex.

Once hard boys is over, and I have rebuilt my core army, I will begin experimenting with alternative lists again like my PDF 3 Ven Dread list.

Gonewild said...

A small suggestion in regards to all of the acronyms would be to create a glossary of terms linked somewhere on your blog, Jawa.

I have been reading your blog for almost a year, now, so I'm familiar with most of your acronyms (and those acronyms that are relevant to 40K). However, I remember how lost I felt trying to follow entries in your blog (or 40K articles in general) when acronyms were used without explanation in layman's terms.

It would be helpful if you or someone posted a glossary of terms somewhere and linked it so that people new to 40K or new to this blog or the Blood Angels (BA) scene have a sense of what it all means.

You and Fritz (through your relative blogs and bat-reps) rekindled my interest in this game after a 20 year hiatus! You don't owe me, or anyone else anything- however, a lot of players (such as myself) do rely on you for information and guidance.

Keep up the good work! Can't wait for the live broadcast tomorrow.

Alex said...

That picture of the terminator priest is well good! how did you make it? is it a conversion of the chaplain termi? wheres the cup from?

Crosser Modelling said...

Chaplain termi, space hulk objective marker grail, death company powersword i think...

Pavonis said...

Wow! Where did you get the chalice in the mini above? It looks rocking!

benboylsston said...

Because of the way multi combats work, I keep my the priests just 1 inch behind the base to base combat. This way the priest gets to contribute all of his attacks and can't be singled out because the attackers must choose the group they are in base to base with or the one in base to base 1 inch away.

Jason said...

Not quite. Priests are IC and must be in base-to-base contact to be able to attack in CC.

benboylsston said...

Oh. I never read that. Thanks for the Clarification.

copyright1983 said...

I use priests all the time. One of my favorite setups is : A.Sq.(5), P.Fist, P.Pistol (2); Priest, P.Wpn, P.Pistol in a Razorback.

A Reclusiarch with P.Fist, Priest with P.Wpn, A.Sq.(10) with P.Fist and M.Gun (2) all with jump packs...some serious *sskickin' there =)

I also like using Astorath a lot. This opens up the following option : Two Drop Pods (with Beacons) with Death Company for Turn 1 to mess up the enemy's fire base. They can take a punch, and they will. Then another Drop Pod (with Deathwind Launcher ?) with a Death Company Dreadnought in Reserve. You can Deep Strike anything you like very quickly and very close to the enemy this way (reroll Reserves with Descent of Angels).

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