Email Friday! Blood Angels list help

I have about 35 minutes before 29 7th graders trundle into my room like a bunch of drooling nurglings and I feel like writing... But what to write?


Here is a doozy of an email I got last night. I have not even finished reading it yet. I will do so now.


First, thanks for putting up an email address where people can reach you. I have been playing GW games since 1989, and so am no stranger to the painting desk or gaming table - I do, however, have some questions to ask if you don't mind. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and for whatever reason you feel the need to post this/your answers, I don't mind at all. 

As mentioned I've been playing for quite some time, but never really 'competitive' - I attend the occasional GW or LGS tournament, and even won quite a few, but nothing to strenuous. Recently I've been looking through "the internets" regarding competitive Warhammer 40k, and I will admit, much of it is confusing to me. While I see how cramming the best guns you can into every force organization slot -could- win you the game, I don't see how it can cover all the eventualities you might encounter in a tournament. I set a personal goal for 2012 - I want to attend 5 GT's and -try- to place progressively better at each one. My other goal is a Best Painted/Player's Choice type award, as my hobbying is much more important to me than my win/loss record. 

With that goal in mind - I looked at the 'competitive' armies vs the armies I own - I own Space Wolves, but it is an entirely foot-based Pre-Heresy force made from Forgeworld kits, and I only play that in a friendly or campaign environment (it has 2 melta guns...and 1 weapon that fires further than 24"). I have some Grey Knights, but after reading their codex I found it hard to create a list that did not include 10+ Psycannons, and therefore fall into "spamming the best gun" category. I'd like your help with an army that has units I can convert/paint to a winning standard, plus perform adequately on table: 

I set this list for 1850pts, which lets me find a middle between 1500-2000pts (I guess most GT's are 1750-1850?)


Mephiston – 250pts


5 Assault Marines – 175pts
                Melta Gun, No Jump Packs
                Razorback with Twin-Linked Plasma Gun and Lascannon, Hunter-Killer Missile
5 Assault Marines – 175pts
                Melta Gun, No Jump Packs
                Razorback with Twin-Linked Plasma Gun and Lascannon, Hunter-Killer Missile
9 Assault Marines – 232pts
                Sgt. with Powerfist, Melta Gun, No Jump Packs
                Rhino with Hunter-Killer Missile


5 Assault Terminators – 220pts
                4x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, 1x Lightning Claws
2 Sanguinary Priests – 150pts
                1x Terminator Armor (Power Sword Included)
                1x Power Sword

Fast Attack:

Baal Predator – 115pts
Baal Predator – 115pts
Baal Predator – 115pts
                Flamestorm Cannon

This obviously is less than 1850pts - it is 1547, giving me 303pts to add, or 333pts if I drop all the Hunter-Killer Missiles. I am trying to think of counters to what 'the internets' say as tournament standards - 

Mephiston should demolish Paladins, Scouting/Flamestorm Baal Predators should destroy Grey Knights/Long Fangs, Baal Preds with Assault Cannons and the Las/Plas Razorbacks can suppress av11-av12 transports. 

My general deployment plan is Mephiston on one flank opposite the 'slow' enemy flank, and the FNP Terminators on the other flank, opposite the 'fast' or assault oriented enemy units. The Las/Plas squads will backline, and the larger FNP Assault Squad in their Rhino is the counter charge element. 

Here are my concerns: 

1) No real 'fast' anti-tank - I do have the models for a 4 Melta/Jump Pack Honor Guard squad, but costing 200pts+ that eats into my 300~ left over quite a bit. My only other thought was to drop a Baal Predator and get a 2x MM Attack Bikes, but I don't really want to lose an av13 fast hull. 
2) I'd like at least one more scoring unit - If I scrape, I can do the Honor Guard + Unit of Sniper Scouts with a Missile Launcher and Camo Cloaks. I could squat them in cover and not do much all game for not very much cost. 
3) Terminators are slow - I do have a Redeemer that I can paint up, but with that point cost I couldn't afford the fast Melta Honor Guard. Primarily, the Terminators are then fairly defensive, or just an area-denial weapon. 
4) I've only got 6 armor hulls on the board - is that a lot/little? 
5) I feel like against a IG tank wall, I will have to over-rely on Mephiston's speed and tank killing ability since everything else is....average on their own. 
6) While awesome as a model and something I'd like to paint, I'm not sure what a Librarian Furioso/Furioso in general would get me. 

Obviously, your thoughts are appreciated - on the list, how to spend the points, ideas to use them together, or getting into GT's in general. We are relatively in the same area (middle East Coast), so I look forward to catching you on the tables for a friendly game. 

Thanks for the help, and I look forward to seeing your response. 


I will try to answer this as I read.  First of all.  NEVER go to a GT with player's choice as a goal.  The last time I went to a GT that offered that elusive award, I had high hopes and a sweet presentation. But the award went to a guy with a rough looking Tau army that kept shouting "Can a brotha get a six!".  The point is you never know.  Now, Best Painted is a different story, especially if there is a printed rubric before hand.  If you know how you are going to be judged, you can paint your army to the rubric, like teaching to the test.  This will give you a chance.  But still, be prepared for much more disappointment than success.  Paint judging is tough business.  Want tips? Non-metallic metal.  Come up with a way to do NMM silver and use it on EVERY gun in your army.  Guys will notice. Also, no decals.  Hand paint your details, numbers and words.  Paint every single detail on every single model, drill every barrel, and clean every mold line.  Those last few have nothing to do with your painting ability, but when you are up against 4 other armies equally well painted, the judges will be looking for little things that set you apart.  Extreme attention to detail is the easiest way to grab an edge.  
You are a hobby man, and it seems that you don't really care much about what you play. So if you are building an army with the goal of Best Painted, go with the best models.  Blood Angels are king in that department as far as Space Marines go.  GKs are new but lack the pretty details that the BA have.  Wolves, well, wolf fur pelts look silly in my opinion.  All of their fetishes pose a painting challenge.  But well painted wolves vs equally well painted BA can have an edge because you simply see less of them.  After all, many wolf players are just flavor of the monthers just throwing together a poorly drybrushed army to get it GT legal.  
As for paint scheme, red, painted well, is impressive.  But red painted well is hard to do.  Greens and blues have an easier go at it. If I painted a Salamanders army to the same level that I painted a BA army, without a doubt people would say the Salies were better painted. The color combos simply speak to genetic human taste more.  Like insects being attracted to certain shades. 
I have plans on doing an entirely NMM GK army.  I think that is what it will take to top my current BA army.  Something to consider!
As for current "competitive" GT armies?  The GT meta recently has devolved back into a late 4th ed "go first and shoot" gun battle. At the end of 4th ed, 40k pretty much came down to a single die roll. He who went first won.  Guys lined up their armies, and blasted away.  Worse, the Tyranid Genestealer army was simply wrecking every one.  At the first GW GT I went to in Baltimore, something like 12 of the top 15 armies were the same Genestealer army.  Pretty stupid.  But that was the game then.  
The competitive game today is in the hands of the Grey Knights, Imperial Guard, and Dark Eldar.  The DE might not win as a much as the others, but what they do is put a hurting on the armies that have a shot at the GK and IG.  Following close on their heals is the Space Wolves, then Blood Angels.  Any other codex can just forget it.  I am not saying you wont see an occasional Codex: Space Marine win, or whatever, I'm sure I will get lots of comments like "Well Space Marines won such and such GT."  But I am speaking generally.  Battle for Salvation case in point.  The two armies playing for the win? GK and IG.  The armies rounding out the top 10? Without looking at the results, but walking through the final round tables, was mostly DE, GK and IG.  
So, today's current meta revolves around a few things:
1. Putting out a lot of dakka.  One thing most of the top armies have in common is lots and lots and lots of high strength shots with 36"+ range.  If you don't have 15 to 20+ str8 and higher guns, you are kicking yourself in the balls.  But not only high str shots matter. Winning DE armies can put down over 200 shots a round.  GK and IG can lay down loads of STR 5 and 6 shots at medium range with psy bolts and multi lazers. The current game is a shooting game. Period.
2. An overwhelming defensive assault unit is important.  The GK have it with assassins coming out of land raiders with GK termies with cheat grenades. DE have it with incubi and some nasty IC upgrades and chicks with nets. IG can even do it with their cheap character upgrades making their loads of dudes less fun to assault than one would think.  You have to be able to deal with your opponents assault forces that will make it through your wall of lead.  You don't however need a lot, since most enemy assault forces that make it to your lines will be greatly depleted.
3. Most importantly, effective troops.  Or cheap troops. Ideally both.  GK have the ultimate score in this department by being able to fill out all 6 of their troops choices for what, 120 points total using acolytes?  They just keep em in reserve then run them onto the table into safe spots or dive them into razorbacks. This frees up lots of points to put into killy elite stuff.  IG previously held the troops title with Melta Vets in Chimeras. Not necessarily a cheap troops, but uber effective and survivable. You can pile em into Vendettas and put down a lot of melta wherever you need it. SW have fairly cheap but highly effective troops as well.  DE troops can lay down massive Dakka for a relatively cheap investment. This is the factor that leaves Blood Angels lagging behind.  Their troops are expensive in an expensive army, and not all that effective.  The single reason why you don't see many BA GT victories. 
When I won my last GT, I played an army built on that very premise. Lots and lots of shots, one single killy assault unit, and loads of redundant troops. But I barely won, mostly due to the fact that my troops, once their las cannon was taken off their razorbacks, were useless.  
So, what I am saying is that if you want to play an army that looks good on the table, and can compete, play Blood Angels.  Just be ready to have your ass handed to you. 
You seem to have the right idea.
This brings me to your list.  Not too bad.  Truly competitive BA lists are centered around razorbacks since they are the best BA have to offer for troops choices.  But if you are playing them, and trying to play a squad with their packs still on, you run the risk of that squad getting singled out and wiped.  Your stuff is so expensive that you cannot afford to have one fast moving assault squad separated from the rest of your army. So break em up and put em in razors too.  I do suggest a scout squad with fist and combi melta.  In my last two GTs, my scout squad did very well.  When used right, they are a cheap and effective troops choice in a codex that has few.
Most importantly, your termies.  Blood Aangels biggest advantage is in their speed.  Furious Charge is boss when playing other marines.  If you want to play hammer termies, play Codex: Space Marines. Switch out your termies to x4 claws and 1 hammer.  And get them mounted in a land raider crusader with extra armor and multi melta.  Go the extra step and give them a chaplain and priest and you have your defending death star. 
Your predators can be effective, or they can whiff.  I perfer autocanon/las preds. But for the cost you could do worse than your Baals.  What they will do is bunch up your opponent in the center especially when using the melta/fist scouts, where you can focus on them with your death star followed by Mephiston.  
Reading your summary, I see I already addressed most of your points. Don't worry about your lack of stuff. You will almost always have less.  Get meltaguns into your razorbacks. Against IG mech wall, full attack. Send every thing.  One or two assault marines can wipe out a squad of melta vets. Not a bad idea vs GK either. Send every thing. Take your losses, then assault.  Of course that is situational, and not the only tactic, but it beats sitting back and trying to out shoot and getting torn up by venerable psy dreads.  
I have written a lot about how to use this army.  Take a look in my archives!  Good luck.



Finger Cut said...

FIRST! Ha. Nice post btw.

Dameon Green said...

Great post Chris,

but don't sell the guy with "rough looking Tau army" short.. It was a fully painted and converted "Planet of the Ape's" Tau army and you know better then most that painting is subjective.

In my short tenure with the hobby I have learned player's choice has less to do with the amazing display board and well painted army, more to do with the whole presentation including the hobbist him or herself.

Just my thoughts.

Oh and for what it's worth, "Can a brotha get a six!" is a friend of mine.

Jawaballs said...

Thanks Dameon,

I know you guys are crew. I definitely was not bashing him. He was a really nice guy and fun to talk to. I don't know what his paint score was, but I'm guessing it was not top 10. I don't remember what he had for a presentation board, I don't think there was one at all? From what I remember, it simply needed more work. Like he pulled that army out one GT too early. Know what I mean?

My point was that while not a contender for best painted with his army, he got players choice based on personality. And there is nothing wrong with that at all.

I think we can all agree that The Colonial was a shining example of paint scoring gone wrong and I have been trying to black it out of my memory since.

Jawaballs said...

Oh and I hope guys take the time to read the entire article. I actually got to some good stuff in this one. :)

Psybilliah said...

Paint scoring at Colonial was a complete debacle.

I think you are spot on about paint scoring in genearal. At the colonial for example, they were looking for your extreme highlighting and bright/vibrant colors. They also were big on theme - somehow the choice of characters and units to create a theme factored into the "bonus" paint score points they could award.

The last tourney I went to at a FLGS didnt care about extreme highlighting or NMM, but instead was looking for handpainted details and basing much more then colonial.

As far as players choice, Jawas example goes to show it is many times more about attitude, theme, playstyle, conversions, etc... rather than paint score or display boards... or in his case a giant blood angels banner.

Jawa, I actually thing the fact that you are so viewable on the internet actually waters down what you bring to the tourneys because people expect it and are already familiar with what you will bring.

My thoughts!

Jawaballs said...

Ugh I'm having colonial nightmare flashbacks. I was actually physically sick for a week about my paint score. I'm not sure what made me more sick though, the fact that I only scored 2 out of 9 points on a category called "Theme and Extras" or the fact that one of the judges was allegedly involved with facebook hate pages against me and owned the youtube account where a hate video was posted about me. :(

dorelas said...

Hallo Jawaballs and everybody. Bad to hear that beloved Blood Angels (my undying obsession with them starting thanks to SPACE HULK boardgame) are not the competetive army. Worse even, i did't know there is only a handful of ones. i guess not participating in the tournaments takes its toll. i always thought each army is balanced. What percentages are we talking here when considering DK iG DE armies winning? assuming 50/50% is what normally should be expected from balanced armies going head on.

i have a question about Blood ANgels honour guard. Please help. i am totally confused about wording in the codex. The models in the honour guard can NOT have 2 upgrades , right? so as much as i would like it, the honour guard can only be equipped with power weapon OR plasma pistol but not with power weapon AND plasma pistol? How about a storm shield AND meltagun or any other upgrade? am i limited here to one choice of equipment per trooper or many? And how come somebody ended up with Blood Chanpion sporting TWO lightning claws is beyond me :D please help , im really confused about this stuff.


Jawaballs said...

It says any honor guard can replace his bolt pistol or boltgun, AND chainsword with any of the upgrades. That means yes, any HG can take any of the listed upgrades. Like, Power Weapon and Plasma Pistol. And Blood Angels are still competitive, but it is my opinion that their weaker troops choice leaves them behind the top three.

dorelas said...

thanky you 2xvery much. And if i may bath in the benevolent light of your wisdom, what would be the best weapons for Stormraven gunship? i remember you mentioning some time ago that in the newest wh40k edition plasma weapons are not as effective as the multiple-shots ones. Does it mean i should go for the assault cannons on the turret? Thanks in advance.

superturtle806 said...

what about stormravens jawa? they are pretty good for sticking those assault termies in with a termie liby. give him might of heroes, unleash rage, and the epistolary upgrade, and you have up to around 50 attacks with rerolls and instant death strikes from the libby.:)

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