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Blood Angels Unit Review: Librarian



Finally, there is a reason to take a Librarian in your army... and every army.  Previously, with the BAPDF, the librarian was over priced at 120 points, under strengthed with a 9 leadership and under powered with 2 measly psychic powers, the wings of sanguinius and might of heroes.  I can't imagine any reason any one would have taken one in their PDF list, except for the LD 9 Psychic Hood that covered the whole table.  Good luck stopping powers when most all other casters are LD 10.

So lets talk the here and now!  100 points buys you a LD 10, two wound model with a 24" range psysic hood, force weapon, power armor and your choice of any two great powers.  For 45 more points you can put him in Terminator armor and give him a Storm Shield!  Yes, that's right. Mephiston and Tigurus, the two most powerful psychers in the imperium after the Emperor himself, do NOT have an invulnerable save.  (Unless Tig has terminator armor... not sure.. but you get the point.)  In a time when squads of guardsmen are running around with 4 melta/plasma guns, and any lowly company captain gets an Iron Halo, it is finally refreshing to see a Librarian get a chance to have a save.  Thank you storm shield, thank you.

The libby in termy armor with shield is an absolute steal.  Take him. Build your 1750 or 1850 list around him.  Forget Mephiston, Dante and Sanguinor. Spend half the points and take the libby.  While in the PDF it was my position that any army over 1750 should have Dante, it is my absolute rule that ANY new codex Blood Angels army should take at least the 100 point Libby.  For the points, he is the best HQ in the book.

Lets discuss a few of his powers.

Shield of Sanguinius: Grants any model in range a 5+ cover save.  Pretty damn sweet, especially since you can cast this while sitting inside a Land Raider, give the LR cover, and grant the power measured from it's hull.  A squad need only have a single model within range to get the whole squad the benefit.

Wings of Sanguinius:  Lets the librarian move as if he has a jump pack.  12" move!  Give him the power, or save the power and give him the 25 point upgrade.

Blood Lance: Str 8, AP 1 Lance weapon 4d6 range.  First of all, this is an auto hit on every unit in a line. Against a ten man squad, it is one auto hit. Against an Eldar Wave Serpent, it is one auto hit.  The key here is the AP1.  That adds a +1 to the damage roll. Crucial against Eldar tanks with their trickery! In games where IG mech armies are lining up 4 or 5 tanks side by side, you can catch a lot of armor with this.  Blood Lance is one of the best choices in the book.

Fear of the Darkness:  Another great power, but I'm not sure if it is worth taking over Blood Lance. In reality, a Librarian will probably only get off one or two psychic shooting attacks in the game.  Being a shooting attack, I believe that the squad the libby is attached to has to assault the squad he "shoots". So, it simply will not do to have him get out, Fear of the Darkness a squad they are about to assault, then have it fall back...

But that does not mean it is not a great power!  It forces a leadership test at -2.  To a single unit in range.  This can be devastating to low leadership armies.  Especially at the end of the game when you are trying to get to a squad on an objective that you just cant reach, but have to get it off to win. Fear them and watch them run!  In a recent Hard Boys game, I forgot to take this power, and at the end of the game my opponent had an objective and all I had that could shoot them was my libby.  It was crucial that they be taken off the objective, had I had Fear of the Darkness instead of Blood Lance, I would have probably knocked them off and won the game, instead I got a draw and took second in the tournament.

Two other powers of note:
Unleash Rage: Which grants Preferred Enemy to he and his squad
The Sanguine Sword: Grants Strength 10 to all of the close combat attacks

Both of those powers have their obvious advantages.

The gaggle of great powers alone makes the Librarian a huge upgrade from the PDF. But add to that terminator armor and a Storm Shield 3+ invul save and WHAMMO we are in business.

I have to say that in my Hard Boys list I was running a libby in termy with shield, but also added in Mephiston. That left me with a lot of points spent in a couple of models, and I needed an upgrade to one of my razorbacks, so I dropped the termy armor off the libby, taking just the 100 point version. I toyed with the idea of dropping the libby completely, but simply could not give him up for being such a steal at 100 points.

So again, just about any army should have the 100 point libby as it's HQ. There really is no reason not to!

Jawaballs

19 comments:

CJ said...

Jawwa you made a slight writing error the shield of sanguinius is every UNIT within 6". The way you wrote it a single model within 6"wouldn't get a cover save.

Nice write up nevertheless.

Jawaballs said...

I said every model. Which is true, and I also said a squad with a single model in range gets the whole squad the benefit...

tymbrimi said...

There's been some discussion about whether the Blood Lance is affected by the first tank acting as cover for all of the other subsequent units. What is your view on that ruling?

Jawaballs said...

Until it is FAQed I would say yes, blood lance grants cover saves. It is a blast of energy coming from the psyker.

b1akstar said...

I'm going to say no, the very nature of the Blood Lance suggests that it is somewhat of a laser beam that is uneffected by any matter in its path as it simply dances over or around them, therefore ginoring cover saves otherwise allowed by a unit being sheltered behind a tank r wreckage.

Jason said...

Fear of the Darkness works best for BA librarians in the same way it helped 4rth ed SM: when you deepstrike and can't assault that turn.

BloodLance has no rules that suggest it ignores cover saves in general or Obscured Target specifically.

Jason said...

...and I think everybody and their brother (including me) started making that exact same conversion when they saw how amazing the BA psychic powers were.

Jawaballs said...

But did every body and their mother use the Space Hulk model? :)

That is a great use for the Fear the Darkness. I never deep strike or pod my boys so hadnt thought about that! But what a sweet use. It wont save them from all of the shots, but can scare away the worst of them!

Robert said...

What's your take on blood boil? I find it to be one of the best powers when used against things like single models and in a pinch large units. it destroys Daemon princes pretty easily and always has that chance to take out that "hidden" powefist

Jason said...

"But did every body and their mother use the Space Hulk model? :)"


I definitely did :)

Jason said...

Blood Boil SEEMS like an awesome power; Hidden powerfists, IC on their last wounds, Chaos banner bearers, models with Meltaguns/heavy weapons, etc.


BUT; it only does one wound, that allows Inv saves and you only get to allocate it 27% of the time (5 or lower on the psychic test.) For a power you may only use once or twice in a game it doesn't seem as reliable as some of the other abilities. If you end up zapping a single bolter armed marine twice, you would have been better off taking the standard Smite ability.

Jason said...

The real oddity of BA Psychic Powers is the Shackle Soul ability. In the same vein as the ThunderFire cannon and the new Eldar Night Spinner, it forces a Ld check to move, shoot, run and assault.

Against a lower leadership enemy this can be great, but just like pinning, you really can't depend on it at all. The -2 to Ld in the Fear of Darkness power is the key to making it reliable (and consequently strong.)

Robert said...

shackle soul is werd alright. it seems like it's trying to copy magic from fantasy but not working quite as well.

Blood boil has been good to me anyway so far :) has taken out a lash prince and a half in one game :)

Jason said...

That's an interesting point that I had missed; high toughness, single model units. Especially ones without a Inv save like the Wraithlord

Jawaballs said...

Mephiston is a great target for Boil Blood!

Zannal said...

You can have the libby run around with a tac squad or sternguard when he does fear of the darkness. Shoot and cast fear on the same unit and watch them run 4d6 away!
When you cast fear of the darkness they take the test imediently. Then at the end of the phase they have to take another leadership test if they lost 25%. Because they are falling back they auto-fail all leadership tests

Da Warboss said...

I'm using two librarians in my ard boyz list. One with unleash and Sword, teh other with Sword and Fear. I hope I get to see those Morale 8 (6 or less w/Fear)cheese Thunder wolves flee the board round 1 when i Fear them.

Lox said...

Yeah, Fear of Darkness is a great power. If you left your libby as an indy character and deployed him behind a tac squad for cover, he could help out a lot. For example, with this set up and two or more enemy units storming at you, you could Fear of Darkness one of the two units, and make them fall back and then assault the other unit instead of fighting both of them at once.

Also, you could Fear them right off the board... that would be painful first turn!

Jake Macangus said...

Did u Break the power axe Cuz it looks like it's bent to 1 side

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