In the last part of this series, I talked about the Librarians. While the Librarian can add quite a bit of versatility to your lists, the real conundrum is what exactly to do with the scoring units. They're definitely an integral part for any list you make, and people have lots of different takes on exactly what to do with them.
It's a somewhat difficult discussion, because the assault squad can be used to fill so many different roles in the Blood Angels army. Lots of somewhat obvious considerations about them, so I'll list them quickly in a fun bullet-point format and then get into the meat of the topic.
- Can have 2 special weapons
- Can take cheap (fast!) transports
- Take cheap razorbacks
- Reasonable at assault, but not really 'elite'
- Bullet point format is pretty awesome, see?
What I see in a unit like that is simply this: they're paying 165 for a scoring Las Cannon/plasma gun. The troops inside will likely never get out, despite the fact that they're paying 110 points for them. Sure, the Las Cannon/plasma gun are worth 55 points. The troops don't want to get out, because they die incredibly easily, to almost anything substantial. The idea people have though, is that spam/redundancy is a good thing. Two las cannons are better than one, right?
I'm not going to tell you it's a waste of points to get a single razorback to hold objectives in the back. But I will say that razorspam isn't the answer to the Blood Angels problem. Wolves play that style much better than Blood Angels, since their troops are better in assault (in a vacuum), and cheaper. It simply does not lend itself to the strengths of the army: fast, resiliant, hard hard-hitters.
Blood Angels have a lot of ways to go about using their Assault Squads. I'll now go over general 'templates' of how I see Assault Squads potentially being most useful. Please note that these can be mix and matched to best effect- it doesn't need to be a 'spam' army.
Remember, there are likely other ways to play them, but these are the ones I find to be the most useful, since I want to use every point I spend to threaten my enemy's army. Assault marines don't really shoot very well, and therefore, should be used to do something combat-oriented.
Template #1: Jump Troops
10x Assault Marines w/ 2 Melta Guns, Power Fist, Infernus Pistol
This is probably the most obvious one, since it's the 'default' option. This squad is going to need some access to Feel No Pain to be effective, or they'll simply get shot off the board. The nice thing about jump troops with FNP is that they take the opposition's high-strength weaponry and force them to choose between your tanks or your jump troops, since most armies won't have enough to get through your essential 2+ save on 10 guys. They get harder and harder to deal with by taking more and more jump troops. I'm not for sure advocating an all jump marine list, but I think it's for sure doable.
People sometimes take flamers with assault marines, which I feel is somewhat counter-intuitive. Assault Marines with FC and FNP are going to do pretty well in combat, which is the 'ultimate' form of anti-troop anyways. I could go on about flamers, but I'll leave it at that for now. The meltas help to keep this squad versatile, since you're paying about 250 points for it. The same goes for the fist. If you're wondering about maybe bringing a power weapon for the squad to keep it 'cheaper', please read this. Fists help in both combat and in killing tanks you encounter.
One other quick note: It's usually going to be more cost-effective to simply buy a full 10-man squad rather than two 5-man squads. The cost is around the same, and if needed, you can always split the two into combat squads, with the added benefit of choosing where your meltas/sergeant is. The only reason you should go for a 5-man squad that I can see is if you really want another sergeant. /shrug
Template #2: Rhino-borne
10x Assault Marines w/ 2x Melta Guns, Power Fist, Infernus Pistol, Rhino, Dozer Blades
These guys are excellent in getting in someone's face quick. A tau gunline needs to go first against them in order to stop the rhino, or it's too late. People sometimes think that a rhino prohibits an assault army from getting into assault quickly, but if you play your rhinos in the correct manner, it really isn't a step backward from using Jump Marines, just a little different. They aren't as exposed, but can be stopped by a single shot.
The dozer blade on an 'in your face quickly' assault army is a must. If you immobilize yourself before you get to where you need to be, it's a sad day for you. Trust me, 5 points is worth it on these guys.
Template #3: Razor-borne
5x Assault Marines w/ Melta Gun, Infernus Pistol, Power Weapon/Claw, Razorback w/ TL Heavy Flamer
This one is an interesting option. Basically it goes along behind (or in front of, your call) your jump marines, and provides that FNP bubble, as well as mobile scoring. The Heavy Flamer is much more of an 'in your face' kind of loadout for a razorback, and it's cheap like crazy! The marines inside don't have a fist, so that it doesn't tempt you into charging into anything big with them. Rather, they can be used to threaten other tanks by moving 12", turning around and disembarking the squad and melta-ing the target. Another option is to give the sergeant a power weapon, since he's likely to have FC.
This squad is a mobile support bunker, capable of threatening troops (HF, close combat troops w/ FNP/FC), threatening tanks (two melta weapons) and keeping the other guys around your army supplied with sweet FNP (you can also swap the librarian in and out of here to provide cover saves, etc.). Total (priest included) cost is 210. Very affordable for the flexibility it affords your army.
So, those are the templates I feel are likely to be the best for this army. There are lots of options of course, and like I said, a single razorback sitting in the backfield shooting away with its Las Cannon might not be a total waste of points- even Blood Angels need to hold objectives in Capture and Control.
What do you think? Does this make sense? Are there other 'templates' I missed with assault marines? Please let me know, I want to hear from you!
Until next time!
P.S. I hope you didn't mind that I brought my razorspam for this article. lol, sorry... once I thought of it, it had to be done.
Haha! X shooting down my list on my own blog. :) He is right though, and the key to doing well with my razorspam list is knowing when to use your precious troops inside. It's all good! Jawaballs