Blood Angels Vindicators? 2k list help.

Hey folks, I recently got an email from a reader asking about a list:

I'm relatively new to Warhammer 40K and right from the beginning I was drawn to the Blood Angels. I was actually wondering if you might be able to give me some pointers on my list.
2000 pts. list
Captain - Combi Melta - 110 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
Fast Attack
Baal Predator - TLAS, EA, HKM - 140 pts.
Baal Predator - TLAS, EA, HKM - 140 pts.
Baal Predator - TLAS, EA, HKM - 140 pts.
Heavy Support
Vindicator - Siege Shield, EA - 170 pts.
Vindicator - Siege Shield, EA -170 pts.
Vindicator - Siege Shield, EA -170 pts.

Total – 1940 pts.
 My response?  My first reaction was to tell him to simply swap out the captain for a Librarian and go with it. There is NO reason, other than fluff, to play a BA Captain.  Not when you can get a Librarian for the same price who is incredibly more effective. The rest of his list is not bad. Razorspam is still effective. Baal Predators can be very effective, though I suggest he changes out the HK missiles and give them heavy bolters to help do their jobs and mow down infantry.  
But the glaring problem? The Vindicators. Especially his kitted out at 170 points a piece.
The Vindicator, probably more than any other 40k unit, is suffering from 4th ed over rating. Not that this reader would know, I think he is newer to the game and does not really know about the Vindicator of old, but  the Vindicator is just not that scary. 
In 4th Ed the vindicator was one of the most feared tanks in the game.  Cover saves were hard to come by and AP 2 was not as readily available. (Nowadays it is not uncommon to see over 20 plasma guns in a guard army.)  But most important, was the Ordinance Damage Chart.  In 4th Edition there were three damage tables.  Glancing Hits, Penetrating Hits, and Ordinance.  Vindicators rolled on the ordinance chart which pretty much meant that a hit was a kill. But not only that, a 6 on the ordinance chart was a fantastic explosion that not only obliterated the transport you were shooting at, but all of the troops inside.  
Holy Crap! They were truly feared. Some of the strongest Marine lists, including the one played by Danny Internets, had three of them.  The Vindicator made people pee their pants.
Fast Forward to the new BA Codex and 5th Ed.  Among the top five whining complaints about the book was FAST VINDICATORS!  Matt Ward must be insane right?  But who cares about fast vindicators now?  The consolidation of the damage charts into one single chart with modifiers effectively neutered the feared Vindicator. Gone was the threat of exploding entire squads at a time while they hid in their rhino.  Easy to get cover saves finished them off.  The first time I dropped a vindicator pie plate on a squad of orks I figured it out.  I must have gotten 19 orks under that circle, but only about 4 died.  The guy had wrapped the rest around a low rising crater, effectively obscuring, at least partially, 50% of the bases.  
Welcome to 5th Edition, and So long Vindicator!  But I still see it popping up here and there. 
If you are going to play one, only Blood Angels should because of it's movement.  But why bother?  They are more expensive. They don't come with a Storm Bolter.  (I don't believe they do, I don't remember off hand and don't have my codex here.)  So they are a single weapon destroyed away from becoming an expensive battering ram.  
Siege Shield? Waste of points.  If you are playing a BAV, you should be taking advantage of it's strength, fast movement. So that thing should never be moving less than 12".  I am speaking in generalities here and there will always be circumstances that contradict what I am saying, but for the most part here is how a vindicator breaks down in combat. On Turn One you move it 12" and hopefully get into range.  (Siege Shield only works if you move up to 6")  Maybe you get a turn one shot. Then you should be in range of something, and if you moved it right, should be in range the rest of the game. This means that you don't really need to move more than a few inches again, so your siege shield is useful right?  
Not really. It is worth the risk to not spend the points.  Odds are that if you DO get immobilized, you are still going to be in range of something for the rest of the game after that first movement.  But that brings me back to the 12" thing.  If you are in range to shoot your vindi gun, you are probably in range to get assaulted by something nasty.  You really should be moving that thing at least 7" to force your opponent to hit on a 6 in the assault.  (No shield)  So if you spend the points on the shield, you will likely only get a chance to use it once but should probably not use it at all.  (Again, there are always circumstances that will defy this, I am speaking generally.)  
Extra armor is a good investment.  I always support taking it.
But getting back to Vindicator range, it's short range necessitates exposing it to melta fire.  You have to play them aggressively, this means that they die quick. Plus, getting back to their over rated fear factor, they really die quick because they previously made people pee their pants.  That fear lingers.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this can help force battlefield control. Just don't count on your vindicator getting off more than one or two shots.
The Auto/Las pred of course.  You don't need extra armor because you probably won't move them far from where you deployed them.  Being able to move if stunned really matters little in this case. But the advantage to these is the four high strength shots.  The vindicator gives you one single shot, IF you manage to not scatter the hole off the top of the tank.  The Predator is a transport killer, is effective at least at silencing other predators, and can even take down land raiders.  I played a 7 land raider redeemer list at Hardboys and proceeded to blast him off the table with my predators.  
With Vindicator scatter, I imagine the average number of models you are going to get under the pie plate is around 4 when shooting at a well placed 10 man squad.  (Again, generalities, this is not based on proof, just experience.)  Give them cover saves and the number of dead is cut in half.  Cover saves apply to auto/las preds too, but the average of shots you can place on a well placed 10 man squad of marines?  4.  The predator can be just as effective as the Vindi at anti troop.  
Of course we only ever hear about those big blasts that kill 10 man squads of marines in a single shot.  The truth is, this just does not happen much.  
|When I play against them, I ignore them.  Sure I have to play smart, but I let them hang until I feel like dealing with them.  If I go up against an opponent who has spent 25% of his points on three vindicators in a tournament, I would just smile.

My final advice for this list? Take auto/las preds instead, use all the extra points to turn you Captain into Mephiston.  Drop the HK missiles, and give a couple power weapons to squads. Try to squeeze in a priest.  Have fun! :)


ajefferism said...

Have to agree about the Captain and swapping it with a Librarian/Mephiston. Psychic defense is clutch with all these Grey Knight armies proliferatin'!

FluffyPanda said...

Doesn't a siege shield just allow you to ignore dangerous terrain? Didn't think there was a movement limit on it...

Dave and Owen said...

Panda is correct about the siege shield.

It seems to be a solid list but he will not enjoy playing it. It is a net list, cut and dried. Perhaps if he wrote a list that he thought would be cool to play, and then built and painted it, tweaking it along the way.

Besides, 2k for a new player is a huge investment and it is likely that he will not get the most out of the hobby.

my 2 cents,


FluffyPanda said...

I didn't pick Blood Angels so I could play with a dozen red boxes, which is why I like to have lots of variety in my army (and jump packs - BA without marine models on the table feels boring).

But if you care more about winning, or just really like the Rhino chassis, then why not play all Razorback / Pred / Vindi? Could be a lot more more fun for some people to play this kind of list.

Jawaballs said...

Without checking my codex, I believe the shield only works if you move the vehicle up to 6". However, I could be mistakenly confusing the PDF with the new book. Can any one confirm before I get home?

As for the net list talk, my blog has always been about two things, the artistry behind 40k, and beating face. :) Net lists are totally encouraged, mostly because I am partly responsible for creating them!

Dave you make a good point about picking models you like and starting with that, but there is nothing wrong with a new player starting with something competitive to begin with.

Massawyrm said...

There are a number of problems here.

1) Assault squads with TLLC RBs cost 165pts, not 180.

2) Vindicators WITH siege shields cost 155, not 170. Dropping the shields - which I agree with - drops the points to 145.

By correcting the costs, dropping siege shields, swapping over the Baals to full shooty and swapping the Captain for a Librarian, we end up with 1795.

I've run a 3 Vindi/3 Baal list back when the codex first came out and I had to shelve it because people hated it. You're right about vindis when you're talking about one - overrated and near worthless. Three, on the other hand, are a different story. The power of this list isn't in playing traditionally, but what it can do in reserve. Outflanking Baals people know how to deal with now, but Vindis that run in off the board to be able to hit anything 36" from the board edge scare the crap out of people - forcing them into cover. Those that don't stay in cover lose a unit of marines a turn. Even Paladins can't take that much fire.

In the above list I would recommend one of two changes. The first would be to take the extra points and swap a TLLC RB for a Godhammer Land Raider. Twice the TLLC, an additional HB and an extra piece of hard to kill armor on the board. The second, my personally preferred list, is to drop an entire RB squad and run two Godhammers - for four total assault units.

General Oadius said...

Massawyrm...EA = Extra Armor which we all know is 15pts per vehicle. See the above comments where they talk about all the Extra Armor points...

Now for the list..

General Oadius says there are worse first lists written but it needs work.

I agree with Jawaballs that the captain is worthless fluff but tend to lean towards a reclusirach instead of the two wound no invulnerable librarian.

My second point is that there are too many razorbacks and no rhinos full of troops. I'd slap a reclusiarch and a sanguinary priest in one rhino with a melta and a power fist.

The TLLC need to be modified into Las Cannon & Twin Linked Plasma Gun, which we all learned from Jawaballs a long time ago means you get two weapon destroyed results and two weapons capable of firing at once under the right conditions.

I love the concept of the Baal Predator as much as the next Blood Angel general does, but the reality is that used properly their range of fire means they are almost always exposing the weak armor 11 to the enemy. This does not work out well. I feel the Baal can be justified outflanking the enemy with it's flame template weapons or having one to scout ahead and use searchlighting. I do not however advise on having 3..I'd say 2 max.

The vindicators....I say with the potential Necron Scarab Swarms you may see from now on, a vindicator may be just the thing. But not 3 and not kitted out to the max. They DO have a standard stormbolter but they are still one weapon destroyed result from being anything but a contest monkey. Again I feel that 3 is too many and more than 1 is probably a waste. Replace those points with 2 auto cannon, las cannon sponson predators.

If you didn't want to take a rhino then I think you absolutely need Mephiston.


General Oadius said...

godhammers blow.

Massawyrm said...

Doh! I read EA as each.


Kevinmcd28 said...

General Oadius.....Godhammers do not blow

GDMNW said...

Great conversation though. I'm busy list building for NOVA next year and it's a nightmare trying to work out what will work for me...

Vindicators still have something to offer and AV13 infantry tank-shocking, tank ramming rhinos aren't terrible once they've lost their main gun. They're also a terrific fire magnet, stick 'em in 50% cover and let your opponent hammer at them while you try your luck with large templates.

Do Ordnance weapons still roll twice on the damage chart?

Jawaballs said...

I was wrong about Siege Shields. The 6" thing must have been a holdover from the PDF. They infact do ignore terrain. Still not worth it. Save the points and take the gamble. It's fun!

Jawaballs said...

And yes you roll two dice and take the highest.

Jawaballs said...

Nice conversation by the way every one. It is amazing what happens when a site is properly moderated. The douchebags just stay away and good communication happens.

FluffyPanda said...

One other thing, what's wrong with the Captain? I quite like him as a cheap way to fill your HQ slot. You get a lot of options with him too.

I've never actually played with one, because I just like the special HQs so very much, but on paper he seems interesting.

WS6, 3W, 3A, I5, 3+/4++ with a power sword / lightning claw and jump pack seems like it could be quite nice at the head of an assault squad with priest. And only 140 points... can't see much wrong with that. Find another 8 for a storm bolter and melta bombs (or 10 for an infernus pistol if you took the PS) and you've got a cheap leader that can challenge pretty much anything.

Eric said...

Panda, the problem with the Captain is not actually a problem with the Captain himself. The problem is that for the same (or much less depending on wargear) you can have a Librarian who is a far superior choice.

The captain can be equipped to be decent in cc, (but if you want a cc HQ take one of the special characters instead.)Meanwhile the Librarian is a force multiplier who makes our army better. The psychic hood alone is worth it, but then you add in powers like Shield of Sanguinius (almost mandatory in an all mech list, btw!), Unleash Rage or Fear of the Darkness and they just add soo much more to an army than a captain ever can, no matter how you equip him!

FluffyPanda said...

Hmm... suppose that makes sense. I think that I'm coming from a slightly different gaming scene maybe. I play in a fair few low point (500 - 1000) games at my local store because the floor space is limited and when they hold competitions they need individual tables to be freed up quite quickly (only one full sized table available!)

From that perspective, a captain allows me to take an HQ that doesn't limit the rest of my army selection as much as Meph or the Sanguinor. I could have a libby for about the same cost, but I've always found psychic powers unreliable and the libby looks a little fragile on paper. No invuln, 2W T4.

If I'm spending 1/4 to 1/5 of my points on a model I need him to be reliable and a captain can't be made useless by Tyranids, a Psychic Hood, instant death with no save by Battle Cannon, etc...

All theory from me though, since I've never taken a non-special HQ I don't think :-)

But yeah, when he works the Libby could be very nice. Maybe I should take one alongside the Sanguinor in my next 1750 game and see how he does.

Generalissimo_Fred said...

The Vindicator still has a place on the tabletop. I'm not sure about taking three of them however. You are right in that the change to the damage table reduced the Vindy's effectiveness, but it still can perform a unique roll.

1). It is a great fire magnet. In most people's mind the Vindicator holds a higher degree of damage output than it should. In a diversified army list, the Vindy's target priority will be high. Almost as high as a Land Raider full of terminators. When paired together, the Vindicator can increase the survivability of the Land Raider.

2). It is good at ranged anti-armor 14 fire. The prevailing wisdom to kill a Land Raider is to get meta weapons close. Sometimes for expensive marine armies this isn't always the best option. A Vindicator can be a threat to an enemy Land Raider earlier than a melta toting mounted unit. A Vindicators template weapon will hit the large Land Raider more often and it's High strength will be a threat to it.

3). The Vindicators demolisher cannon can threaten certain multiple-wound units into doing things they don't want to do. Thunder wolf Cav, Paladins, Nob Bikers, etc.... Those units will work to protect themselves from a damaging demolisher cannon hit, but sometimes the game situation will prevent those units from having optimal protection from the effects of the instant killing demolisher cannon. The Vindicator might have one chance to do maximum damage, but a chance is all you need. Sometimes the enemy will even change their plans to avoid exposing themselves to a Vindicator shot. This alone can be a benefit to the Vindicator owner.

Three Vindicators can be excessive and their usefulness doesn't always increase with numbers, however there can be a place for a single Vindicator in today's play environment.

Drathmere said...

Isn't a Librarian key with current meta. I took a librarian almost as an after though at the NOVA open, and that one model protected me against dozens and dozens of grey knight psychic rolls. When he wasn't doing that he was giving my vehicles a 5+ invulnerable save when I was racing them forward.

I love vindicators, and more is well.. more. If you play with a lot of terrain I would keep the siege shield. Being able to ignore terrain is a great ability.

One of the questions I have for a list like this is what type of game a person is interesting in having with someone else. If I bring an optimized net list to a GW store, and my oponent is more interested in a friendly game between new acquaintances, then a brutal list might not be fun for both players.

redday said...

panda- the psychic power "The Sanguine Sword" alone makes Libraians a much better pick over a chaptin. If you make your role it last the rest of the game! if you can find the points to field Mephiston(even better then the Sanguinor IMO) and don't take him then shame on you! you say that you are only playing in a small area so you can only have a small army... that guy is an army unto him self, i cant even think of anything that can go toe to toe with him atm.. if anyone else can think of something then please let me know.

now keep this in mind when not waning to field the Libraian... would it be better to have something with 3A @S4 or 2A @ S10?

FluffyPanda said...

Heh, I brought the Sanguinor to a 750 point game once and watched him wipe out almost the entire 750 of my opponent's Chaos. Ditto Meph against Orks.

They're my preferred choices by a long shot, but they do limit my ability to have fun with the design of the rest of my list. I actually have about 4000 points of BA last time I checked, so if I don't mix things up a lot of models will never be used.

I think a cheap Necron Lord with Mindshackle Scarabs will put Mephiston down in CC about 70% of the time. There are plenty of high strength shooting units out there that could do the same thanks to his lack of invuln save. But yeah, he normally doesn't struggle to make his points back with interest.

p.s. Sanguine Sword doesn't last forever, you need to make the test every assault phase. I also find that Meph occasionally (frequently if the opponent has psychic defense) fails his Wings roll and loses a turn of mobility, so I prefer the real jump pack the Sanguinor has.

redday said...

no you don't need to make it ever turn look how it reads. it has no end in it like say unleash rage i.e. "until the end of turn" I even called GW to ask them about it "sanguine sword is made at the start of an assault phase. the librarian's cc attacks are made at S10." see how it does not say "end of turn/phase". This means you only have to pass the test one time and for the rest of the game your hitting like a god!
i have found that if you have a question then just give them a call ... just try not to be on the phone with them to long cause the can talk and talk and talk and BOOM its time for diner and your GF is giving you "I'm about to kill this guy" eyes and ......

Jawaballs said...

GW is notorious for giving you one answer on the phone, then giving another answer to the same question to the next guy. It happened to me, I called and asked the same question twice and got different answers both time. But that is interesting about the Sanguine Sword. I will have to read that one.

FluffyPanda said...

It doesn't mention an end to the power, that's true. I think it's pretty cheap to try to pull this on an opponent though.

Here's the complete rule text:

"This power is used at the start of either player's assault phase. The Librarian's close combat attacks are made at strength 10"

It doesn't specify when it ends, but it does directly reference a phase in the text. I really think that it should say either: "for the rest of the game" or "until the end of the phase", but then 40k codices are full of silly wording omissions like this (especially those of Mr Mat Ward Esquire) and sometimes you have to just take the most likely meaning.

I can't think of a single other psychic power that lasts forever, and those that last multiple turns always spell it out. So I think we should reasonably assume that it was intended to last only for the phase in which it was activated.

Let's just say that doing this to my opponent would leave a bad taste in my mouth. As would pulling the new Necron Codex out and exploiting the slack wording of the Death Ray. There are many rules loopholes in 40k. Trying to actively abuse them isn't in the spirit of friendly play.

redday said...

i cant think of one other power in any other codex that does not say something along the lines "till end of turn", this power only has an "on" switch to it ive called GW 3 times to ask them about it because there is nothing about it not lasting in the errata.

is it cheap? maybe.. do I like it? YES YES YES!
a win is a win brother and why would you not use all means in order to win? besides to me.. its not a cheap as grand master mordrak of the GK being able to DS any place he wants to with the unit that he is in on turn 1(also why I have him in me GK list).

as for "deathray's" wording 3D6 out side of range im guessing.. still its necron... BA need not worry about them they will be put down like anything else that stands in the way of Honor for the sons of Sanguinius

FluffyPanda said...

Winning at all cost... not for me. I like my opponent to have as much fun as I do.

I don't read it as an "on switch". I read it as a power that doesn't state it's duration at all. It's an oversight. I wouldn't assume that given an absence of duration they must have intended it to last forever. And a call (or three) with some GW employee doesn't convince me. Unless it's published information that all players have access to it isn't an official ruling.

This is probably the wrong place to discuss it, but the Death Ray has two equally valid interpretations at the moment:

1) Between the line each unit takes a number of S10 AP1 hits equal to the number of models *under the line*.

2) Between the line each unit takes a number of S10 AP1 hits equal to the number of models *in the unit*.

The second option is insanely overpowered and really unlikely to be the correct option. You could wipe out three BA Assault Squads by clipping a model from each, or a pair of 30 Ork Boy mobs!

The wording of the rule permits it, but it's a sucky thing to pull on your opponent. Ditto for perma-sanguine sword. Since it isn't spelled out one way or the other I think you should at least agree with your opponent first. The sportsman in me says you should just use the less powerful and more likely version regardless.

redday said...

death ray is I think clear "every model takes a hit for every model that is in the unit said model is in" i.e. if the line hits an assault marine that is in a unit of ten then that one model takes ten S10 hits. as the death ray only hits models that are under the line both friendly and foe.. i say the line is a thick as say a pen or pencil, so say it cuts in the middle of a unit of 30 ork boys passing through 7 of them then these 7 ork boys are going to get hit 30 times each at S10
still nothing to really worry about when one melta blast will take out its feeble 11 armour.

on a side note i meant to tell you that i love the "fluffypanda" name.. every time I read it i smile

Jawaballs said...

So you contend that if a death ray hits a single ork who happens to be in a squad of 30, than the death ray gets 30 chances to wound it, and only it? And you also say that the line has thickness? How bout one of those kidnergarten pencils that are super fat? I want one of those!

Bottom line vs any necron players until the FAQ is out is that in a tournament hopefully there will be a tournament FAQ, and if it is a pickup game at a mall vs a stranger I will ask him how he intends to play it.

The only way I see it being played is every model under the line takes a hit, just like Jaws. Any other way and I won't play him.

redday said...

only the models that the line passes through yes. so the whole point in it is to fire it at the biggest unit and make the line pas through as many models(in a straight line).. im going with a no.2 pencils over a no.5 cause I don't know anyone in kindergarten that plays this(good thing cause then they would kill us all just like they do on Xbox!)and the fact that they just say a line so yeah how think would that be?? a line can be 6'' wide if we want it be right?.. still waiting for any errata on that anyway, at lest that's what I get out of it....had to type it out to understand it better=
nominate point on table within weapon's range,then nominate 2nd point within 3D6 of first
draw stright line(with JB's kidnergarten pencil, lol).
every unit(friend or foe) underneath the line suffers a number of hits equal to the number
of models in the unit underneath the line.
so yes if its fired at a unit of 30 and the line only passes through 7 models in the unit then all 7 are going to get hit 30 time... so there dead cause other then having loaded dice how is anyone going to be able to make 30 saves in a row?

FluffyPanda said...

"Every unit underneath the line takes a number of hits" - Unit, not model, so your interpretation is definitely wrong.

The contentious section is:

"Number of models in the unit underneath the line"

Which could be either:

Number of models (in the unit) underneath the line - meaning 1 hit per model in the unit which fall under the line


Number of models in the unit (underneath the line) - meaning 1 hit per model in the entire unit

Once you have this total (which, for a unit of 30 boys with only 2 under the line could be either 2 or 30) you apply these as S10 AP1 hits, distributed as per normal wound allocation.

The first one is a powerful weapon which could break open multiple rhinos on turn 2 quite easily. The second would be insane, wiping out huge chunks of army. People would win tournaments with three of them and little else.

Your interpretation... I honestly don't know where you got that. Never heard it before.

Grovel said...

Pop a transport and drop the vindi blast on the troops that jump out - 'tis the best way to make use of their blast I think.

If you don't manage to pop a transport within range (why?) then a s10 ordnance blast will probably be able to do that job for you.

Not saying Vindicators are the be all and end all, but closely packed troops still rightly fear a Vindicator - half of anything under the big pie plate are, so it's a matter of controlling the battlefield to give more bunched up targets.

redday said...

no your right, i had to read it a few more times I think i was getting hung up with the line drawing part but still it only has a inch range to start with and can be taken out by just about anything cause of its 11 armour even if it is fast it still going to be taken out faster then it will more likely then not get its shot off. and if you assault it just to keep it locked that will work too. I don't think anyone around here is fielding them anyway, like most things in the necron codex just get in CC with them and take away there OP range advantage away

ming from b&c said...

Vindicators, like any other unit, can be awesome when used right.

And Jawa...or the person making pretend they the codex...

Jawaballs said...

I cleared up my mistake like 13 comments ago. :)

Ajudicator said...

Regardless of the chances and down sides I think vindicators are fun to play I mean in friendly games I love seeing my buddies face as I blow away a whole squad of terminators :) I think people should field vindicators just for the fun of it I mean if you only field things to win your missing the point of 40k! 40k is a game for guys and girls to have fun! So field what you like :)

Ajudicator said...

Oh also what do you think of this list? It didn't show on my last post so I'll try again; 1750 Points list.


10 man Tactical squad=180

5 man Assault squad=125
Melta gun 
Power sword

5 man Assault squad=125
Melta gun 
Power sword

5 manAssault squad=115
Power sword

Baal predator=145
Heavy bolter

Baal predator=145
Heavy bolter 

Baal predator=145
Heavy bolter

Furioso dreadnought=165
Blood talons 
Heavy flamer
Magna grapple
Extra armour 

Furioso dreadnought=165
Blood talons 
Heavy flamer
Magna grapple
Extra armour 


65 points left
Sanguinary Priest!?!
Sanguinary priest=50

For 1800 
Add devastator squad=165 
X3 lascannons  (Instead of the priest! ) 

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