Blood Angels Unit Review: Assault Terminators

Today I want to talk about Blood Angels Terminators, more specifically, Assault Terminators.  The most glaring and stupid failure of the Blood Angels PDF was the refusal to give them the 3+ storm shields that are used in the Space Marine codex, saying that some chapters would use different wargear as an excuse for laziness.  The updated PDF came out after Codex: Space Marines and would have taken no time at all to fix. Instead, the BA were left with a 4+ storm shield that only worked in close combat while generic marines used 3+ storm shields that worked vs close combat and shooting attacks.  What a crock!  Why would the most assaulty Space Marine chapter use inferior assault gear?  

Well thankfully that was fixed with the new BA codex.  I had always maintained that if they ever switched the shields over, I would play a terminator squad coming out of a Land Raider Crusader. Well Happy Birthday Jawaballs!  

Why do I like terminators? Well, without a doubt, the army that has repeatedly given me the most trouble has been one packing T hammer termies.  They are simply hard to kill.  Put them into a LRC with a couple of buffing Independent Characters and blammo... Death Star!  But it's not just effectiveness. Terminators are some of the coolest Space Marine models to play. I like Land Raiders too.  All of this made the decision a no brainer.  I finally just primed and started painting the LRC and Termy squad I bought over a year ago!  

Above you can see one of my terminators Work in Progreess.  

Terminators in the BA codex are an Elite choice that do cost a bit more then their generic brethren. The unit costs the same, but you have to pay 5 points a piece for the storm shields.  The unit I am using consists of 4 th/ss and 1 lightning claw.   Why so many storm shields? Well in combat they are way over redundant. Plus the TH reduces them down to Initiative 1.  Normally this would result in bad things for a squad consisting most of th/ss, but not so in my case. I have attached 3 independent characters to the squad, all of whom attack in I 5 and 6 on the charge.  The ICs and lightning claw termy give enough high initiative attacks to kill just about any squad they charge before they even get to strike back. Then the hammers finish off any survivors.  But why so many hammers over claws?

Well, it is my experience that the Land Raider gets immobilized or knocked out early.  People hate them and know that they have to stop it.  With so many speeders, bikes, and other melta units, it is hard to keep em alive.  More often than not, the termies end up hoofing it, and taking LOTS of AP1 and 2 heavy weapons fire.  That is where the storm shields come in.  With so many ICs to deliver high initiative attacks, the shields are there to make sure the squad survives to get across the table.  

Now here is some useful stuff.  

Play against lots of Eldar? Have no idea how to take down fast moving vehicles? Well assault the crap out of them!  "But Jawa, you need a 6 to hit vehicles that moved 12". Sure you do.  That is why I have a chaplain packed into my squad.  For 130 points taking up an HQ slot, the reclusiarch is the way to go. With so many attacks, you are guaranteed a few 6s, and the best part is that the Chaplain reroll works against vehicles.  So take all those non6s and roll them again!  Now all of your regular attacks are wounding on a 5 or 6, and the hammers are auto glancing on 1.  (I have a priest in the squad who gives furious charge.)  I'm not sure but the lightning claw may even work on failed rolls to wound!  Eldar players like to put their transport access points up against the edge of the board or other tanks too, that means it is easier to trap the occupants. I pulled it off in Hard Boys!  Ohh so satisfying. 

In actual close combat, the shields are a boon.  Most squads in assault are usually packing at least a power weapon or fist.  If you are good, you can use the storm shield guys to suck up those shots. Going up against a squad with ICs attached? Throw the shields up against the enemy ICs while your own ICs assault and slaughter the unit.  Odds are your termies will make most of the dangerous saves from the IC while your characters kill the squad and do not have to make any saves themselves.  Then, if the enemy IC survives the hammers, he still has to make a leadership test for losing combat, or take saves from being fearless.  He will probably go down too under the weight of the assault.  

The rest is pretty straight forward for terminators. They have some weaknesses. They are larger models, on big bases, so are hard to hide. That means they will almost always be taking shots if they are caught on the table and not in combat. It also means they have a hard time maneuvering around the table.  Once the sheet hits the fan, the table becomes cluttered with difficult and dangerous terrain. You are pretty much assured that your terminators will be assaulting through terrain.  Their lack of Frag grenades hurts them, leaving even the lightning claws attacking last.  But wait... I only have one LC terminator in my squad... Ahhh Ha! Welcome to the last reason why I take 4 hammer termies.  Unless they are assaulting out of a Land Raider, all terminators go last no matter what if attacking through terrain.  Since you are going last, might as well have most of your boys packing big boom sticks!  

For more on how my terminators perform, check out this article!

More to come...



Anonymous said...

Sounds awesome

Michael Hogan said...

I hope Storm Shields and Nemesis force weapons become an option in the upcoming (hopefully) Grey Knight codex. Take the best of both worlds! High initiative, decent strength, and a 3++ save. Sounds god-like to me!

Michael Hogan said...

Also, I don't believe Lightning Claws allow you to reroll for penetrating armor. It isn't really defined as a roll "to wound".

Anonymous said...

Would you ever foot slog your termies? I normally play 1500-1850 points, and I just can justify a 475 point unit at that value... I know most people do, but I think the BAs have better point effective units at that cost (but dont get me wrong, when I played C:SMs I always ran them (fleet with Shrike)).

Pavonis said...

With the way you use your termies, would running Vanguard Vets with JP's and lightning claw/storm shield function as well or better? You have FNP to compensate for the 3+ vs. 2+ armor save, and the 3+ Invuln for the shield. And also attacking on the 5 initiative re-rolling wounds for LC's, hit's for chappy. Plus you can Descent of Angels and even Heroic Intervention if you wish. I like to run this with Dante for Hit and Run. I also have atough time paying for the land raider.

Anonymous said...

Also, why not run a lib in termy armor with unleashed rage. Provides preferred enemy and gives a hood...

Nikkin said...

Other impact unit like the terminator are the honor guard and the vanguard veteran, both can have lightning claw/storm shield combo and can equip jump pack, but in this way they cost more than 5 terminator; also heroic intervention rule cannot be used if a indipendet character has joined the vanguard veteran

Michael said...

Unleashed Rage can be shut down by hoods, Runes, etc. And like Jawa pointed out, the Chaplain allows rerolls vs vehicles, while preferred enemy doesn't.

Unleashed rage can be used on the opposing turn which is nice, but if you are in a tournament, I would bet you have psychic defense across the table, unless of course you are up against Tau or a similar army that has none.

I've run both, and I think the Chaplain is the better bet for a Terminator squad. The Reclusiarch hits like a ton of bricks, while the Librarian leaves something to be desired for me.

Jawaballs said...

My squad does contain a Librarian... I just didn't mention it. Here is the squad:

Libby in Termy with Storm shield
priest in termy with PW
4 th/ss
1 lc

Libby has Lance and Preferred enemy.

VS Eldar there is little point in even discussing his psychic powers. Not only will they almost always fail, but he will probably perils. In all three of my hardboys games I think I cast maybe one or two psychic powers, and only after the farseers were dead.

But yes, I would use the preferred enemy on my opponent's turn in close combat.

The libby's main purpose is to try to disrupt enemy powers. The shield keeps him alive. Against Eldar it is most important... a council with fortune is pretty hard to kill.

DK said...

I just Ran Assault Terminators for the first time last night, and was quite happy with the results. I had 7 terminators (3 SS/TH), Corbulo, and a Librairan, All in a big box with EA.

After a game of cat and mouse with my opponent's LR (Chasos Terminator Champions with lightning claws) and his two Princes, I popped his LR with a random lascannon shot, and ate his assaulted him. We both had I5, but he was rolled, but we got locked in, and marched through the rest of his army for the rest of the game.

A good experience for my first Deathstar Unit.( I redesigned the exhaust port)

I think another TH/SS would be good. Oblits really hurt me when i was not in combat, but with the librarian and corbulo having two wounds was nice for that.

Kyle said...

Wait wait wait hold the phone! I didn't know u can put more than IC in a squad! Wuhahaha!

DK said...

You can make a whole squad of ICs...

Vharing said...

so is my codex typo-ed, because it says that a storm shield gives a 3+ invulnerable save.

Jawaballs said...

It does give a 3+ invul. That is the point of this post!

Valhallan42nd said...

DK, actually, you have to have at least a squad of two in there, as it does state that IC's cannot join a unit composed of just one model.

Jawaballs said...

Valhallan, check page 48. You will see in the first paragraph that they cannot join units that ALWAYS consist of a single unit, like The Avatar, Mephiston, Carnifex's and Wraithlords. They are single model units, and have no way to change that. So ICs cannot join them.

The paragraph then goes on to say that "They can join other independent characters though, to form a powerful multi-character unit!"

The rule Independent Character allows that model to be a unit of one, or to change that status. So models with that rule may join each other.

Anonymous said...

Carnifexs are now squads so yes an IC can join them, muhahahah

Jawaballs said...

Very interesting! Can you elaborate on the wording for them?

Anonymous said...

TYR pg 94
Composition: 1-3 Carnifexs.

The real restrictions are listed here.
BRB Pg 48 Col 1 Line 3
- Cannot join vehicle squadrons
- Units that are always one model.
- Can join other ICs to form a unit.

Now instead of a Carnifex a Trygon (which can only have on in it's unit) is a better example.

Note: Most of this is mute since there is only 2 ICs in the Tyranid codex. (Tyranid Prime, The Parasite of Mortrex) Also as far as I know there are no other armies that have units of monsterous creatures.

40k Junkie said...

acouple weeks ago I played a list with a termie squad similar to that.

Team Death Star: Terminator Assault Squad (x4 Lightning Claws, x1 Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield, Land Raider Crusader w/ EA)

+Sanguinary Priest(TA), + Librarian(TA; Might of Heroes; Smite; Storm Shield), + Reclusiarch(TA)

x3 Baal Predator(Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter)
x2 Assault Squads(Flamer; Razorback w/ TL AC)
x1 Assault Squad (Meltagun; Power Weapon; Razorback w/ TL AC) +1 Priest (PA w/ Melta Bombs)

My opponent(Grey Hunter Rhino Rush)was so busy with the Raider that he let my other tanks pepper his light armor. He got my raider but not before it was too late. Death Star got out and spent the rest of the game in chained CC. They getting average 14 wounds every charge. He did the smart thing and kept targeting my priest, who of course did not live forever, but by then it was all but over for him.

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