Thursday, December 27, 2012

Drink Deep of Victory: a Vanguard Veteran Historia

"Drink deep of victory and remember the fallen."
                            -Inscription over the archway leading to the Sepulchre of Heroes on Baal Secondus

This post will review the historical entries of the current Blood Angel Vanguard Veterans.  Let's go back to their first mention in the Rick Priestly and Jervis Johnson created Angels of Death Codex (I guess it will be the Dark Angels' turn in the sun now after too much time in the chambers with the Interrogator Chaplains.) "The members of the Blood Angels 1st Company fight as assault troops when not equipped as Terminators" (p. 48). Here they are labelled as a Veteran Assault Squad. Also in the entry "A single Battle squad of Blood Angels Veterans forms the personal honour guard of the Chapter's commander" (p.48) Interestingly they could split the purchasing of jump packs between combat squads that meant you could take 10 and have five of them with jump packs and five without if you wanted. The stat line had them at weapon skill 5, ballistic skill 5 and initiative 5. I would sure like to see that come back because veterans should be able to take down a regular marine more easily than just having an extra attack. It would also add some more difference between them rather than simply an extra attack and additional war gear options (Why bother? I guess it's just another thing to blame Gav Thorpe for then in the 3rd Edition BA codex.).

Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition) had the Veteran Assault squad moving from the now defunct Squads section to the Elites section. Unfortunately, they also dropped their WS, BS and I back to 4. They also had limitations put on the amount of Wargear they could take "Even amongst these supreme fighters, there are those whose martial skills put them above their battle-brothers.These remarkable individuals are accepted into the First Company and form hard-hitting shock squads that can tear the heart out of an enemy army." Well, I guess they used to be like that but dropping the stats sure knocks the wind out of that quote.

Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition) by Jervis Johnson still had the Veteran Assault squad in the elites section which look very similar to what the excellent Assault squad is in the 5th Edition Blood Angels codex. They already had jump packs attached but could take them off for a free transport. They kept the same stat line they had in the 3rd Edition codex.

Last, we come to Ward's 5th Edition version of Codex: Blood Angels. They have now changed their name to Vanguard Veterans and moved them to the fast attack slot (in line with the previously made Codex: Space Marines). They lost some options for shooting weapons but gained more close combat ones. They also gained the Heroic Intervention rule as the space marine codex but combined with the Descent of Angels rule made it somewhat more powerful. Although they are better than their Codex: Space Marine brethren, they still suffer from being over-costed in comparison to the scoring unit of the Assault squad. Let's hope for the next codex that they will be given a stat boost or more special rules to make them exciting choices to take.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Elites Section and Blood Angels [Strategical Exploration]

The Elites section of the Blood Angels book was a real favorite in 5th Edition with more nice units than you can take in the slot. You have single models like: Chaplains, Furioso Dreadnoughts, Furioso Librarians, Techmarines, Sanguinary Priests and Corbulo.  Then there are interesting units like Sternguard Veteran Squads,  Sanguinary Guard, Terminator Squad and Terminator Assault Squad.

 The Elites section has now taken a hit in 6th Edition. The Sanguinary Priest's Furious Charge bonus lost its +1 Initiative and the Feel No Pain rule has been modified (though arguably better). Lightning Claws becoming AP3 took a hit too which means that Lightning Claw Terminators are now a much less viable option than they were. This is quite unfortunate due to how awesome they look as a model and on the table. Blood Angel players should now weigh the importance of their Elites choices versus the scoring possibilities in some missions of the Fast Attack and Heavy sections.Essentially, the Elites section is the only one in the book (other than Death Company, Honour Guard and second HQ choices) that can never possibly score objectives. Have you been treating the above as you do your Elite choices? Maybe not.

Why take them is a legitimate question to explore.

Chaplains, in addition to their own stat line abilities allows re-rolls to hit on the charge. You really want them though for beefing up your small Death Company Squad though because of the extra re-rolls to wound he gives only them. You may consider just using Lemartes anyway though.

The change in the Deep Strike table has made it more friendly for Terminators to drop in. You will want a priest around to get invulnerable re-rolls on those plasma shots they will end up taking or focused firing volume of shots. You might consider taking one Lightning Claw Terminator for manipulating where he will charge into combat or even as the Sergeant for precision attacks to try to take out AP 2 piercing weapons before they can strike at your squad.

Corbulo is a real nice character to have right now with that fantastic 2+ Feel No Pain save of his. He's flexible where you can attach him to any unit that needs toughening up. This might be Sternguard Veterans or maybe an Assault Squad in a Razorback you want to send to claim an enemy objective. Also, a Sanguinary Priest on a bike is a sure handy character to redeploy elsewhere.

Using Divination powers with a Furioso Librarian has some interesting possibilities. Sternguard has already been covered previously here with relevant info here.

On and on and on...You can find purpose for Elites units, but does this actually outweigh the benefits of having more fast attack and heavy support units when they can be scoring? There's a 16% chance for each of Heavy Support or Fast Attack being scoring units even if they are vehicles but not immobilized. There's a 33% chance that one of them will be picked, so you better have at least something from those slots. There's good reason to not load up too many points into your Elites section; however, there's no need to worry about going to the section to pull out something you want or need from it.

When list building for 6th, you should also keep an eye on the percentage of points you are dedicating to each slot. If it is swinging too far in one direction, come up with some creativity to keep you balanced and in the fight. It also means that you better keep your HQ and Elite slots relatively light and your troops survivable enough (one way or anther) to be effective.Your Fast Attack and Heavy Support are going to need to fill multiple roles (scoring, firing support, mobile melta, etc.) yet not lose effectiveness. Perhaps when going about list building, build your troops first, then heavies, fast attack and HQ, then elites last. If you are choosing Elites earlier, you may end up building around Terminators or Sternguard when this is not going to help you win the missions.

Please add your thoughts too in the comment section!

Monday, December 10, 2012

10,000+ Page Views

Thank you, everyone who has come by and visited to get Blood Angels material. I will continue to do my best to keep Blood Angels content coming to you. The bigger we can grow this blog, the more reach there will be to bring in the best ideas and content around the world on the Blood Angels that can be brought to you.

Special Thanks to everyone already following the blog:

Codicier Ignatius
Nic E
Nicholas Sacco
Niels Peter Lindemann

Much Love Everyone

Friday, December 7, 2012

Terrain Variety with Rivers, Lakes and Pools [Tactical Exploration]

Sixth edition has opened up various new ways to explore the game. Let's get into the rule book about Rivers, Lakes and Pools terrain (Rule Book p. 103) and how we can increase the amount of variety and best utilize terrain to help your Blood Angels.

BA jumpers are already behind when rivers, lakes and pools are automatically at least difficult terrain which means dangerous for jump pack marines. You might as well insist that you use the Mysterious River Table because you might be able to squeeze some benefit from it.

D6 Roll
1- no change
2- loss of warp charge points and no Deny the Witch rolls
3- add the Feel No Pain rule but need to pass a leadership test to move or shoot
4- dangerous terrain, vehicles immobilized is automatically wrecked
5- 5+ cover save, going to ground is a dangerous gambit
6- dangerous terrain, re-roll failed armour saves

Essentially, there is no downside to using Mysterious Rivers when using jumpers. Mechanized lists have really little to gain, though. Think about getting some river terrain into your games to balance out with the buildings and blast craters; it might turn the battle in your favor.

Jumpers treat difficult terrain as dangerous terrain (Rule Book p.47). You have to roll a 1 to trigger it though  (Rule Book p.90). Then you still get armour saves and a Feel No Pain roll too. Dangerous Terrain is far less risky now. Remember, your jumpers can also land on impassable terrain if they physically fit and they treat it as dangerous terrain (Rule Book p.47). This may come in very handy for Deep Striking and jumping onto unusual terrain features, etc.

If anyone has great ideas or experiences, always add them in the comments to help Blood Angels players.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Vanguard Veterans [Tactical Exploration]

Vanguard Veterans are probably the best of the overlooked units in the Blood Angels codex.

Let me say that again: Vanguard Veterans are probably the best of the overlooked units in the Blood Angels codex. In the Space Marine codex they came out over-priced. This view carried over to many non-Blood Angel analysts when Codex: Blood Angels was released. 6th Edition has quietly made them a unique and useful choice although it was not as loud as for the Death Company and the Rage rule being changed.The points cost has kept Space Marine codex players from using them more. The Blood Angel Assault Squad is also so good (+ point reduction for a dedicated transport) along with somewhat overlapping roles while still scoring all of the time. We will look at points costs too, but they can also do what other units cannot.

In the Eternal War missions (the 6th Edition standard rule book missions), they act as denial units. In the fourth mission, The Scouring, they are scoring units. You should decide on what role you want them to do on the battlefield. You might want them to be denial units, jumping in to tie up the blasphemous enemy troops to not allow them to score objectives. You may also want them to come in like a scalpel and earn a crushing victory by wiping out a critical enemy unit.

Figure 1: Chances of Arrival 

It's also underrated in that you can take ten models. You can combat or not combat squad them. Having one unit of Vanguard Veterans is going to force your opponent to think about what they are leaving in their backfield unsupported. In The Scouring, you also have to consider that they are worth a kill point, so it may or may not push your choice toward creating combat squads. By getting them tied up in combat, you can hope that they will stay on the table longer to survive to claim or deny objectives. Keeping war gear light is pretty important despite however much you want them to be resplendent deliverers of the Emperor's Justice. Essentially, you actually don't want them chewing through opponents in the first charge or you will be blown off the table the next player turn.

Figure 2: Chances of Scatter

The most important thing is choice. You always get to choose where you are going to drop in and who you are going to attack. This choice is well worth the cost in points that are lost from a more point efficient unit. It is up to you to use it properly to give yourself the best chance to win.

Remember when dropping your Vanguard in, you have to keep in mind that the shooting phase follows before you can come to blows. Don't block your own line of sight if possible for your shooty units. Don't shoot yourself out of a charge by making the enemy take too many wounds and pulling further and further away in the hopes of your charge coming up short and getting off snap shots at you on the way in. This means for example that you can drop in behind an enemy and still shoot at it with other units from different directions which will weaken the force yet not increase your charge distance hopefully.

Get a Sanguinary Priest in the area to support them. Having a priest around is probably more efficient than dropping 20 points down for each Storm Shield. You have a very high chance of coming in on Turn 2 (see Figure 1) so you need to find a way for your unit to survive longer if you need it to. The Priest will have to get to them by Turn 3 usually. This will allow them to continue on after finishing off the first enemy unit in the opponent's assault phase.

Other than acting as opponent Troop killers or a surgical strike against an enemy high value target, what about having the option to use it for defensive purposes? If you are coming in on Turn 2, there might not be much opportunity to use them like this. However, you might be able to head off a brutal attack you are not prepared to meet. Instead of trying to send out an Assault Squad as a speed bump, you could send your veterans to preserve scoring units. Taking on a leading unit could slow down other units by making them go around. Taking on a larger unit could make the opponent hesitate to go on without their support. Be creative with what you want to do with them because your opponent will probably not be expecting that their unit will suddenly be tied up in close combat.

Remember what I said about points before...right.

Our Vanguard Veterans start base at 115 points. Unfortunately, that does not include their jump packs which are ten more points for each model. We end up with 165 points for Assault Squad marines with one extra attack and a sergeant with a Glaive Encarmine. That's not great efficiency; however, there are still war gear options. Give one veteran a power sword or axe (15 points) and another veteran a melta bomb (5 points). Now they are lightly armed to take on opponent Troop choices to fulfill its role. If you have extra points, you can always add another veteran to add a little more resiliency to the unit, but the point is to keep it out of the way of opponent firing. Remember, you are not paying the extra points for efficiency, you are paying for it's specialized battlefield role.

Please add any experiences that you have had with Vanguard Veterans in the comments and build this conversation.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Critique of BoLS: Why it is holding you back.

Ah, yes, that title could be misconstrued. If you can read, then you will know this is a critique and not a hit piece to belittle the various authors that contribute to BoLS. It is not like that.

Before getting started, please just go and read a lot of different 40k sites on the Internet. Yes, there are more than you have enough time for. Yes, there are a bunch of excellent podcasts. My favorite stuff is all in the sidebar on the right, but I love visiting around even if it's just once to check out someone else's living room so to speak.

What did you notice from those sites?
Take a minute and think of at least three things.


What I noticed was that these blogs specialize and are close to their creators' hearts. BoLS predominantly has a bunch of mixed authors that import articles from their blogs. Ideas build up over time and develop. Ripping these articles out of their context in their home blogs make them appear shallow and incomplete because they are put in a new surrounding. Essentially, things are going to look out of place and disjointed when they are haphazardly put together without consideration to the overall picture. There is little to no discussion that carries over from one author's considerations to another- this means they are not developing ideas further and considering things from another perspective. The feedback loop maybe only runs through the comments if at all.

Which brings us to the next idea of  putting out unedited pieces. This has long been a complaint in the comment section that has fallen on deaf ears. Whether it is simple grammar errors or more important information screwed up or illegal tactics, there needs to be some sort of minimal peer review.

Another annoyance for readers is the scraping for content by some authors (This is the article?) and how many times the authors just lay it out for the comment section to put all of the thought into the article: The floor is yours generals...because we got nothin'!" Then there are the articles that are thinly veiled advertisements to sell armies. The site is also plastered with advertisements which puts clicks at a premium where "articles" essentially take you to their forums so you can click some more. The scheduled and controlled post release to ensure content is always there is not a problem in and of itself, rather it is that there is a back up to ensure that content will be continued if there are delays. However, information there lags behind other places. Their rumor posts were improved by bringing Natfka aboard; however, it's so much better to just go and visit his own site to get the information, comments and more.

Hobby articles are well liked in the comment section. Some of them are useful, yet others are questionable in aesthetic and bits needed to be used by what commenters have put forth. I have heard that Goatboy is tremendous in person, but his articles during 5th Edition were upsetting to a lot of people. His "counts as" armies were thought of mostly as unacceptable power codex jumping and incredibly full of spam. Thomas would spend time refining his lists for getting stuff packed into them instead of advancing in thought his lists like Stelek at YTTH is known for. Thomas has come around a lot in his writing of lists and the way he thinks about the game since the change to 6th Edition. I think he has a lot of growth potential to become an excellent 40k article writer.

BoLSCon is fine as their thing. However, that pushes aside a lot of coverage of other tournaments where the top players are performing their most refined tactics. It's narrowing the knowledge base. There is also a conflict of interest where they want to promote themselves as excellent winning gamers, yet if they want to stay that way, it doesn't benefit them to drop their most important tactical ideas onto the site to raise the level of competitiveness of the player base and thinking more deeply about what the game is about. Essentially, we should have players thinking about this game on higher levels.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stelek and YTTH Community on Rhinos

Go read his Community Quiz: Why do YOU bring Rhinos? and the comment section at yesthetruthhurts.

Let's adapt this for our Blood Angels armies with Rhinos and where applicable Razorbacks too. If you missed the earlier post on Rhino Schematics click away.


Let's visit the Rule Book FAQ (1.0a) on Page 5:

Q: If a unit disembarks from a destroyed vehicle during the enemy turn, can it Charge in the Assault phase of its own turn? (p80)
A: No, unless the vehicle in question was an Assault Vehicle.

6th Edition Rule Book page 80:
Wrecked. The passengers must immediately disembark in the usual manner (see page 79), save that they must end their move wholly within 3" rather than 6". If, even by performing an emergency disembarkation, some models are unable to disembark then any models that cannot disembark are removed as casualties. This does not prevent the rest of the unit from disembarking, The unit must then take a pinning test. After this, the vehicle becomes a wreck.

Explodes! The unit suffers a number of Strength 4, AP- hits equal to the number of models embarked. Resolve these as for shooting hits, except that the controlling player allocates any Wounds caused. Surviving passengers are placed where the vehicle used to be; any models that cannot be placed are removed as casualties. The unit then takes a Pinning test.

Here's a video for some of these ideas in action. Go ahead and click on it.

Let's cover the other ideas (numbers converted for Blood Angels) covered in the comments too.
1. You can get your models 24" closer to the enemy.
2. Provide line of sight blocking terrain.
3. Clog firing lanes for your opponents.
4. Bait assault units to assault the wrong units.
5. To take the middle of the field.
6. Cause psychological stress in your opponent so they have to think about dealing with
7. Mobile bunker with two firing points for special / heavy weapons.
8. An additional layer of defense for a small cost.
9. You can Combat Squad from them.
10. After delivering their troop payload, they can keep moving to create blocking to
     opponent charges (and the aforementioned shooting).
11. Rhinos turn into terrain after getting wrecked.
12. Let's you put melta threats midfield to zone enemy vehicles, especially high AV.
13. Mobile cover.
14. To take away shooting from troop choices and screen units behind them.
15. Use them as movement blockers. One or two sideways Rhino chassis can really take
      a lot of movement off other units.
16. Park them right in front of a shooty squad and essentially negate their shooting.
17. Force Anti-Tank fire away from expensive stuff.
18. To have a chance to reach a distant objective.
19. Lighting up enemies in Night Fight.
20. If destroyed, allows you to move in the enemies shooting phase.
21. Assault protection: if the Rhino explodes, you can move up to 3" to crowd at the rear
      of the crater and force a difficult terrain roll in the assault phase.

Let's just leave Stelek's comments to stand for themselves:

Why do *I* bring Rhinos, you wonder? I bring them for many of the reasons given.
Notably, I play them about the same as I used to in 5th.
You’ve read the rapid fire and disembark rules, right?
What did everyone give their ground troops? Plasma guns?
Please tell me how exactly you are firing your plasma guns and charging me.
I’ll give it to you plain and simple, so you really understand why you bring mech.
In most CCGs, there is always a way you can gain a phase for yourself.
Lowinor is the only one I noticed mentioning the free move after you blow up my ride. Oh no, I can’t charge with my…rapid fire weapon equipped unit.
Gee. I can’t anyway. This is an inherent bonus in the rules system for Marines. You get this bonus for free, you know.
So we can see I can generate an extra phase for myself (movement). This is really nice to have when the other guy just rapid fired his plasmaguns to kill my Rhino, guess his guys standing in the open can’t charge me after all, so who cares?
Well, I can always let another squad disembark and fire on said squad, then embark on that other squads Rhino (especially nice if I’m stuck and unable to do anything but snap shot) and then run forward 12″ (if I want to snap shot).
Now think about what I just did. I not only gained a phase for myself, I denied a phase for my opponent (his CC phase, since he cannot charge me).
This might not seem like much, but the +1/-1 adds up over time. You have to LET your opponent make those choices, and then capitalize on them, but if you set up the bowling pins…eventually, the other guy IS going to knock some of them down. That’s where you come in.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Making a Blast Crater

Making your own blast crater is a nice project to get away from painting the minute details on your Blood Angels. Get yourself some paper clay that will dry itself and you are pretty much ready to go.

Open up your pack of paper clay and get shaping. Design how you want your crater or anything and let it dry. This may take a day or two or three depending on humidity.

Next, lightly mix some water with your acrylic paint and cover your crater.

The next step can by done in a myriad of ways but I prefer to just mix your main paint color for your crater (I used red brown here) with white glue and small gravel pieces with a sprinkling of sand too. This is "textured paint" for our purposes here.

Last, dry brush the colours you want. It's easy but just requires the patience to keep the right amount of paint on your brush. I did too many layers of dry brushing but it still didn't take that much longer. I used black, then grey, then white/grey/brown bone color, then red, then another layer of red and finally an orange red to make it pop more.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Terrain Variety with Mysterious Forests [Tactical Exploration]

Sixth edition has opened up various new ways to explore the game. Let's get into the rule book about terrain and how we can increase the amount of variety and best utilize terrain to help your Blood Angels.

First, play with a lot of varied terrain. Not just ruins, hills and empty craters. As a codex that has a general speed advantage, terrain variability will help out. Isn't terrain going to be equal for both sides is the first question you should ask? Of course, the principle is correct but Blood Angels will be able to avoid, bypass or just plow through it more easily than other armies.The over reliance on ruins gives undue advantage to armies like Space Wolves with maximum Long Fang units blasting from the tops of ruins and hiding Rhinos full of Grey Hunters waiting to counter attack.

Forests, Jungles and Woods (Rule Book p.102)

Dropping a Mysterious Forest onto the board is a good idea. Although it does not actually help your army as  a boost, it probably will have an increased negative effect on the army you are playing against- especially filthy Xenos ones. Blood Angels have their 3+ save but also Feel No Pain. This makes the dangers of forests more acceptable and may gain you additional tactical advantages if the enemy is hesitant to enter it or suffers penalties for passing through it.

Mysterious Forest Effects Summary
1- just difficult terrain
2- 3D6 leadership. If failed, a random squad member inflicts D6 automatic hits with his weapons
3- D3 automatic hits S5 AP- / vehicles use rear armour
4- 3+ cover saves
5- 2+ cover saves on grenades
6- 4+ on the difficult terrain test means D6 S3 AP- hits with Rending / vehicles use rear armour

Jumpers treat difficult terrain as dangerous terrain (Rule Book p.47). You have to roll a 1 to trigger it though  (Rule Book p.90). Then you still get armour saves and a Feel No Pain roll too. Dangerous Terrain is far less risky now. Remember, your jumpers can also land on impassable terrain if they physically fit and they treat it as dangerous terrain (Rule Book p.47). This may come in very handy for Deep Striking and jumping onto buildings, etc.

As the Blood Angels codex continues to age, you will need to become less risk averse in your games to gain tactical superiority. It could also blow up in your face but there is little choice against superior points effectiveness armies at times. This codex was never able to push Imperial Guard or Space Wolves aside for most competitive and now it is getting buried. Stick with your Blood Angels army and know it inside out and how to get the most out of the new rules. Tony Kopach did this with his Space Wolves for 5th Edition and you can become a better player too with a solid list, knowing your opponent's army and knowing what your Blood Angels army can do. Opponents will be seeing Blood Angels' armies with less frequency and will be glad to play you and will be less familiar with all of the changes the 6th Edition has caused to it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Deep Strike Radio

More Blood Angels content in podcast form from Deep Strike Radio. It starts at 27 minutes. Link Here


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Techmarines [Tactical Exploration]

Welcome to the first [Tactical Exploration]. I would like this to be wide open to new ideas on how to use different units even if they aren't utilized heavily at the moment.

Let's explore the Blood Angel Techmarines together. They are definitely an underused unit on the table because of points cost, Elite slot competition, unusual army role, amount of utility versus an enemy may be somewhat unpredictable, etc.

Stats: The Techmarine has the standard Marine line except he has a 2+ save.
Special Rules: They are not independent characters. Although you can run Servitors (without mind-lock) with them. Bolster Defences actually got better considering that cover saves have generally been lightened. Blessing of the Omnissiah is basically the reason for a Techmarine's battlefield existence.
Wargear:  Servo-arm- this allows you to fix your vehicles on a 5+ roll. You need to be in base contact and roll to fix during the shooting phase. If fixing a weapon destroyed, it will be able to fire immediately. The Servo-arm allows you an extra close combat attack at Strength 8 Initiative 1 but ignores Armour Saves. That's pretty valuable in a challenge. If you have a servo-harness, you can fix a vehicle on a 4+ roll, get two Servo-arm attacks, and a twin-linked plasma pistol and a flamer that can both be fired in the same shooting phase.

From the Blood Angels FAQ:
“Blessing of the Omnissiah: In each of your Shooting phases,
instead of firing his weapons, a Techmarine may choose to
repair a single friendly vehicle that he is in base contact with or
embarked upon."

Q: Can a Techmarine that is in base contact with multiple damaged vehicles attempt to repair them all?
A: No. A Techmarine can only ever make one repair attempt per turn.
If you want your Techmarine to be effective, you have to get those repair rolls chances in your favor.

On the whole, the new edition is friendly to the Blood Angels' version of the Techmarine. He has a nice 2+ save and his shooting repairs are now enacted immediately. The Servo-harness is a nice upgrade although that needs to be balanced by only having one wound.

If you take the Servo-harness, you might as well take a plain Servitor or two as an ablative wound and to help fulfill its main function of battlefield mechanic. Fulfilling this role will require a lot of movement, so despite  the increase in power of the Plasma Cannon, it will still be hard to actually get shots off and it can't fire snap shots either. However, you shouldn't receive too much early fire from your opponent as your Techmarine will be lower on their target priority which will allow you to get premium positioning. Use this to your advantage. Remember, the Techmarine doesn't have the option of taking a dedicated transport, so they will have to borrow one. You'll have to think about how he will get around. Will it be on foot or will it be an assault squad razorback with twin-linked assault cannons or maybe twin-linked lascannon?

Your other main choice is then for your Techmarine to become like a Devastator squad. In this instance leave your Techmarine minimally armed to just absorb wounds and load up your servitors with Plasma Cannons to drop tons of damage on your opponent. This unit will serve as a distraction to your opponent because between two and four plasma cannon shots a turn will be hard to ignore. If you want to play more defensively, make sure they have a nice firing lane to where you think the enemy will be advancing into mid-field. If they make it there, they will pay for taking the advantage dearly.

What about unusual choices?
Landraiders- Well you could pack them inside of one, but it would make more sense to follow it in a razorback so you can keep your assaulty units tucked away inside of it instead. You can jump out and still get in base to base to fix it and then embark onto it after. If you have two Land's Raiders then you may want to dump them in quickly and let them zoom ahead first drawing fire.

Techmarine in a razorback with Death Company within a following razorback would be a major distraction to your opponent and allow a greater chance of getting to enemy lines.

Please add any great ideas you've used or seen for Techmarines in the comments.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Easy Terrain

Once you have some of your Blood Angels painted up, it's time to think about the terrain they will be playing on. The problem is that with all of the fantastic terrain and probably coming terrain, it is very hard to mix in scratch built stuff because it will not look right. One way to blend is to have two different scenes on the table like jungle transitioning into a ruined edge of a city from the main rule book.

I am going to show a bridge from the How to Make Wargames Terrain book.

The popsicle sticks are cut, aligned and then glued. We want the bridge to look more Imperial than the example though.

Final cuts and then paint them lightly with your favorite brown. Remember, you can make more cuts to show the effects of the ravages of total war or even collapse the middle of the bridge.

Super glue on the support legs and paint on details like mud. I stamped on the aquilla symbols. You can also use a lighter and create burn marks effectively to give the impression that a flamer was used previously. 

Last, remember to have fun making terrain pieces and if you don't like the results at first, try it again later or experiment on it with more damage so none of your efforts are wasted.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11th Company Podcast

This week we are in luck again with another podcast episode devoted to Blood Angels. This time, it is the 11th Company bringing magic to your ears. Link here.

Scoot on up to one hour and seventeen minutes to get started on it.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Open Blood Angels List Builder

The Blood Angels open list builder is here. If anyone sees something to update it, tell me or fix it yourself  and send it back to me and I will re-post it.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Strike From the Sky, Brothers?

Let's try to simplify a little the choice about making your charge or trying to get off a Hammer of Wrath attack.

Well, 3++ already worked out that your average charge range is 7".
We know that 8" out is a guarantee.
We know that a 14" is a guarantee using a jump pack movement.

After that, you will have to balance your chances of being damaged on Overwatch and left in the open for the opponent's round of shooting. However, if the enemy will have a hard time reaching you with firepower, it could be well worth the risk to try to land that assault. The re-roll on an assault  charge is only worth 1-2" on average compared to no re-roll.
Well, Plague Marine worked out the jump pack assault percentages. I re-made the table to help be able to in making decisions before moving after measuring how far your xenos filth of a target is away. The Emperor protects!

Total            6"%               12"%

9"              >99%              100%
10"              99%              100%
11"              97%              100%
12"              92%              100%
13"              83%              100%
14"              66%              100%
15"              48%                97%
16"              31%                92%
17"              16%                83%
18"                5%                72%
19"                                     58%
20"                                     42%
21"                                     28%
22"                                     17%
23"                                       8%
24"                                       3%              

If you move 6" your average re-roll charge range will be 8"-9" "(Total 14"-15") . You should feel (66%) confident if you start 14" away to get off Hammer of Wrath. If you really wanted to gamble on the furthest target away to make an assault, move your full jump pack move and hope you roll big up to a maximum 24" move and charge. You have about a 28% chance of grabbing 21" to deliver a punishing assault on the enemies of the Imperium. The heretic playing across the board from you might feel too comfortable leaving a delicate unit 19 or 20 inches away. This might be a nice opportunity to turn a difficult battle around for the Emperor's finest.


The Reclusiarch is the final HQ choice to get reviewed.
From the Angels of Death codex:

The first Space Marine Chapters were founded centuries before the development of the Imperial cult and the dominion of the Adeptus Ministorum. As a result every Space Marine Chapter has its own cult practices and its own priests, known as Chaplains. Whereas the Adeptus Ministorum has gradually extended its influence over all the many thousands of individual cults that once existed throughout the galaxy, it has never been able to influence the Space Marine cults which remain as stubbornly individualistic today as they ever were. Other civilian cults are denounced as heresy, and their adherents rooted out by the Ministorum's troops, but the Space Marine Chaplains care nothing for the ravings of the Ecclesiarchy and ignore the dictates of the Imperial cult in favour of their own ancient traditions.

The Chaplains administer the rites of their Chapter, performing the ancient ceremonies of Initiation and Vindication, as well as leading their brethren through the prayers of faith and sacred psalms of the Emperor. It must not be forgotten that Space Marines are devout warriors. Their faith in the divinity of the Emperor is as vital to them as their skills at arms, and their spiritual life is deep and complex. The Chaplains accompany their brothers into war, chanting the liturgies of battle as they lead the way into the ultimate consummation of battle and death.

Blood Angels are fortunate to have an upgraded Chaplain as an HQ option as well as regular Chaplains in the Elite section. The Reclusiarch is a small force multiplier but is mostly a legitimate close combat threat. Let's peak at the stats:

Reclusiarch WS5 BS5 W3 I5 A3  3+4+ saves
Chaplain     WS5 BS4 W2 I4 A2  3+4+ saves

Seeing that nice BS5, it is worth upgrading his gun to a storm bolter or if you have the points, a plasma or inferno pistol because you will be hitting on a 2+. Anyone using Devastator squads know how powerful that signum is when you need to hit to take out those target priorities. If you're not upgrading to a power fist, you might want to think about melta bombs to make sure you can wreck any armour you may end up against especially because your Reclusiarch may end up outlasting the rest of his unit and need to switch roles. Since the Reclusiarch only has a power maul, it might be better to keep him as flexible as possible.

The Reclusiarch's special rules include Honour of the Chapter (makes units fearless), and Liturgies of Blood (this is post FAQ):

On a turn in which he charges, a Chaplain and all members of any unit chosen from Codex: Blood Angels the he has joined re-roll failed rolls To Hit. Models in a Death Company can also re-roll failed rolls To Wound (their rage makes them particularly susceptible to the Chaplain's fiery oratory).

Mr. Black:
We all know the real Captains of the Blood Angels, and it isn't the weenie that can't take Artificer Armor.

So here we are at the Reclusiarch, who on initial impression got knocked down a peg due to having a Power Maul; but really, is that so bad? I mean, he hits like a brick, sure he doesn't auto-ignore armor, but usually the combined wrath of him and the unit he's leading (never mind Death Company) are enough to mitigate that. But that seems to be all I've heard about him from people: "Power Maul, Power Maul, Power Maul"... Did those people forget he can also take a Power Fist for almost no points?

That's honestly how I've been running him, Fist and Maul. That way he has the option of hitting with whatever he deems best while still being the excellent combatant that he's always been!

Adding onto that he still confers Fearless, which as I mentioned way way back at the start is actually slightly worse than And They Shall Know No Fear but... Well, it varies per situation. Overall, however, he is still a great addition to the army for his combat prowess, variety of weapon options (and bikes! Don't forget bikes!), and utility he adds to the army. Basically, I would take a Reclusiarch and a Librarian, sending the Reclusiarch into the thick of things to hammer down some justice while allowing the Librarian to move around the board as needed, doing his Librarian buffing and debuffing.

Jack of all trades, master of none situation here in my mind. He is a potent melee force with a good amount of variety to him, and seeing as how characters will be living longer this edition he might actually get to see use of his skills, rather than just Wham, Bam, Dead like the olden days.

Reclusiarch. He’s fearless and can get a power fist.

BA Devastators:
Reclusiarchs are a fine choice that is a decent second to the Librarian. If your elites are filled up and you want to buff your Death Company, then he is a nice choice if you want a different weapon loadout than what Lemartes has. However, if you are looking at the Death Company as a distraction unit, its reputation should let you get away without needing to put a chaplain in to save points and invest them elsewhere.

A Reclusiarch or chaplain can also be a nice addition to small units like Honour Guard or the Sanguinary Guard to make them fearless and add something that they don't bring in having multiple wounds and an invulnerable save.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Power Weapon Profiles

In the rush of beloved armchair theoryhammerists to get information out quickly after FAQ's or other releases, they are not able to provide the level of detailed analysis needed to make the right  choices for specific codices, especially one ours (because it's the best, right?).


Our Red Thirst blessings:

Deep within the psyche of every Blood Angel is a destructive yearning, a battle fury and blood-hunger that must be held in abeyance in every waking moment. Few Battle-Brothers can hold this Red Thirst in check unceasingly- it is far from unknown for Blood Angels to temporarily succumb to its lure at the height of battle.

Red Thirst provides the Fearless and Furious Charge rules to replace And They Shall Know No Fear. For today, we only want to look at the Furious Charge rules:

Furious Charge
In a turn in which a model with this special rule charges into combat, it adds +1 to its Strength characteristic until the end of the phase. A model that has made a disordered charge that turn receives no benefit from Furious Charge.

You will have to balance different kinds of reliabilities. Do you want to reliably strike, or do you reliably want to kill? Do you mix your weapon types up to provide balance to your squad or will you take one type and specialize?

A really durable unit like Death Company it might be advantageous to take Power axes because you have a good chance at surviving to strike at initiative one. However, your Sergeants might be interested in a Power sword, lance or maul to make sure they get a chance to swing at enemies.

Let's look again at the list if we are getting a Furious Charge off (remember, no multi-charges or you lose the bonus).

Power sword      S+1 AP3
Power axe          S+2 AP2 initiative one
Power maul        S+3 AP4 concussive
Power lance       S+2/User AP3/4

Looking at the To Wound Chart

we know it is just like our blessed bolters- Strength four is generally adequate and you need to be prepared to bring something stronger when the vile horde/xenos/traitor scum bring something tough.

Strength five and six are nice sweet spots to be hitting if you hitting at initiative and cutting through 3+ armour. That makes your regular Power sword a nice weapon to have if your enemy makes it to the second round. The Power lance really isn't enough of a buff to go back to AP4 for subsequent rounds when there is so much 3+ power armour running around. Taking a Power axe and Power maul are going to be for specific reasons which will be for a later post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Fiftieth Post

I would just like to thank everyone who has stopped by for a visit and especially those who have left comments. If I wasn't getting the kind of readership I am, it would be much harder to keep the constant search for content continuing. Let's build this Blood Angels community together to be the envy of the 40K world.



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blood Angels Blog

What do you want to read about from a Blood Angels blog?

I want to hear from you in the comments.

What I want is to see more content when there is no one talking about it anymore. How can we connect the older Rogue Trader players to the new ones just starting the game? A forum like the Bolter and Chainsword is nice, but it is inundated with talk about weapon loadouts and works in progress. When there is a new codex, FAQ or new edition, the armchair theoryhammerists pick apart the codex for power shifts and unit combinations. What's left after that? That's where blogs can come in and provide hopefully excellent commentary and perspective. I do hope that the growing Blood Angel blogosphere can come together and provide the players and especially new players everything they could need and dream of (except left handed devastators).

Please put your thoughts below.

Credit : David Galagher

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blood Angel Librarians

For many BA players, the Librarian was a default choice to take in 5th Edition for psychic defense and the Shield of Sanguinius if running armour. Blood Angel Librarians go back to the Angels of  Death codex:

The Apothecaries of every Chapter test its initiates' physical gene-structure whilst the psychic potential o fthe young candidates is examined by the Chapter's Librarians.

Librarians are powerful psykers. They are responsible for all interstellar communication with the power to project their minds through warp space. They are also adjudicators of the Chapter's psychic population, dividing psychic mutants into those whose powers are dangerous and those whose powers may be used by the Imperium...

Space Marine Librarians are trained to use their powers in battle: to unleash energy blasts, to sense the enemy's movements, and to predict the fortunes of battle. They learn how to read the Emperor's tarot and to sense the subtle movements of daemons and other extra-real entities through warp space. A Librarian can feel the psychic shock waves that herald the arrival of a spacecraft, or the turmoil that ships leave in their wake as they depart. All these powers and more make the Librarians the ultimate Warrior mystics, endowed with abilities which set them aside from their brother Space Marines. 

                                                                                                                                                   Credit: Codex: Angels of Death

Let's get to the stats:

WS5  W2  A2 and a 3+ save and don't forget about the Force weapon.

Which makes for a very vulnerable HQ character that you need to figure out how to protect.

Librarian. Still a staple. BA powers are still strong, giving you a 5+ cover save on turn 1. Nice to have. Fear of the Darkness has lost some power but if you can double tap a squad they will often run off the board anyway. Note that despite going last, a Librarian with a force axe is AP2 and with S10 up, can put the hurt on.

Mr. Black:
Well, you certainly changed a bit, didn't you?

Honestly, I'm probably going to do another article just focused on the changes to Psykers in this edition, and it's quite a lot to put down in just a paragraph. Basically, I think Librarians came out one of the top winners in sixth due to the sheer number of options you can give them. I know I have been enjoying my Terminator Epistolary (Divination) leading a large group of Bolter Death Company, and I've seen some great things done with a Biker Librarian (Telekinesis).

Overall the field for psykers changed radically, so you really can't just look at them like normal Special Characters anymore. Sure, they have all the same benefits, such as Look Out Sir, Challenges, and all the rest, but they're so much more than that now- now they are a real force to be reckoned with on the battlefield, able to both buff and destroy enemy units at a whim.

Of course, not to neglect our own brand of psychic powers: Blood Lance became an amazing anti-flyer tool, and Unleash Rage is just as good as ever. Fear the Darkness? Well, you can't escort units away anymore, but combine it with some of the new powers and some truly dangerous combinations begin to appear.

In the end psykers are now a huge deal, and I feel they deserve more than just the cursory talk this article will give. We'll speak later over the complex changes and differences psykers make this edition.

-Our libbies got both boosted and nerfed all at the same time. Boosted in that opposing libbies can't stop our powers that help our own units (Shield, Wings, etc), nerfed because our hoods got nerfed too. Mephiston and Libby Dreads are much more reliable now. That said, fudgemuiffin Wolves and Eldar still have their great psy defence, so it's not all roses.

BA Devastators:
If you are not sure which HQ to take, a Librarian is a good all-around choice. You can give him various weapon loadouts along with a choice of psychic powers. You can't really go wrong for that kind of smaller points investment. You just need to make sure he is protected in a unit or even better in a vehicle.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Podcast on Blood Angels

Getting fresh Blood Angel content will get harder and harder until it's their turn for a new codex, so enjoy the first of two parts from the Heroic 28's. Link here.

Go forward, brothers!
Credit: Heretics Codex

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rapid Fire

Before being able to move beyond on the Sternguard, the Rapid Fire section of the 6th Edition rulebook needs to examined. How often do Blood Angels even rapid fire anyway?

Let's go right to the source Warhammer 40,000:

Let's review what this means for your Sternguard, 1st Company Veteran Heroes of the Imperium. 

1. You can move, and then you can still shoot up to the maximum range of the weapon.

2. If your unit is divided between ranges, you just measure to see who can still Rapid Fire.

3. Vengeance Rounds will Rapid Fire at only 9", while Kraken bolts can reach 15" to Rapid Fire.

4. If you shoot with a Rapid Fire weapon, you may not assault.

5. If you want to assault, you need to use your standard issue bolt pistols, upgraded pistols or
    assault weapons like meltaguns. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Company Tactical Veterans

1st Company Tactical Veterans are more commonly known to everyone as Sternguard or Sternguard Squad or Sternguard Veterans. It is a new option for the 5th Edition Codex: Blood Angels that was essentially identical to the Codex: Space Marines one released beforehand. Sternguard are like a swiss army knife in comparison to the blunt force trauma of Assault Terminators who share the same really valuable Elite slot in the army. Sternguard are like Tactical marines except with one greater close combat attack. Their value lies in being able to take Special Issue Ammunition:

Name                              Range                  Strength            AP        Type

Dragonfire Bolts                24"                         4                    5          Rapid Fire, Ignores Cover

Vengeance Rounds           18"                         4                     3          Rapid Fire, Gets Hot!

Kraken Bolts                     30"                          4                    4          Rapid Fire

Hellfire Rounds                 24"                          1 (FAQ)         5          Rapid Fire, Poisoned (2+)
                                                                                          Against targets with a toughness value, hits
                                                                                  from hellfire rounds will always wound on a roll of 2+

 (Table from Codex: Blood Angels)

Please especially take note of hellfire rounds as they are going to put wounds on models that are difficult to do otherwise. Four choices of shots allow you to try to put the most damage onto the abominations that your heroic veterans are facing.

Sternguard are one hundred twenty-five points at base in a valuable Elites slot compared to only ninety for a Tactical Squad that is scoring. However, in the options section, there are significant discounts on special ranged weapons and you can arm yourself with standard close combat death dealing choices. Please note that you lose your special ammunition if you select a storm bolter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blood Angels Popularity

I was quite taken aback when I saw the finished poll from 3++

There we are, #4 on that list. However, Space Marines is the catch-all beginning player army that represents more chapters than any other codex generally. I am quite surprised to see Eldar doing so strongly, but that may be due to 4th Edition popularity and people didn't want to part with their lovingly painted models. The Blood Angels' twin from second edition, Dark Angels, are far behind in popularity yet may shoot up again once their new codex drops shortly and through new players buying the starter pack (well played, GW). I'm not going to lie and say I'm not shocked to see Tau ahead of Orks, but maybe Ork players are more dedicated to them and play them more as a main army.
I've read before that the Blood Angels are the most popular single chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. Having a red army helps, but I think there is something about having Assault Squads as troops and Death Company that really drives interest in this chapter along with a focus on close combat. We can all imagine hurtling ourselves through the air with our jump packs to come crashing down with Thunder Hammer to smash our opponent or Lightning Claws to rip them to shreds. Every army needs some fire support though, and Devastators are an excellent choice to neutralize threats. Jumpers and Devastators make a fun combination to play on the table and interesting to customize and paint.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Blood Angels Captain

After creating the useful Captain in the Space Marines codex, Mat Ward took most of the useful upgrades away from the Blood Angels Captain. This included increasing the points cost of the Storm Shield, no Relic Blade, no Artificer armour and doesn't make marine bikes scoring if the Captain has one. This is a significant downgrade of the Captain and doesn't make him very useful to lead your army. This is important because there isn't much customization available on the other characters or none at all. I don't think opponents want to see only Librarians, Dante or Mephiston across from them every time they play Blood Angels.

Credit: Angels of Death codex

He has the standard statline: WS6  BS5  W3  I5  A3 and a 3+ 4++ save.

He doesn't really have that much going for him with the amount of powerful characters in the game.

Mr. Black:

I did an entire article on the Odd Man Out himself the Blood Angels Captain, and how he really doesn't have a true place in the codex. I really did hope for 6th to change that, and while it certainly helped him, it also made him even further overshadowed by his Codex: Space Marine brethren.

When we look at the Blood Angels Captain we see that he can't take any fancy Relic Blades, no Artificer Armor, just knockoffs of that gear... And then we look at the Reclusiarch and he is just overshadowed completely. Hell, even now Tycho is overshadowing him! But that is not to say he does not have his merits... You can put him on a Bike, give him a Power Fist and Storm Shield and have him go hunting Characters (except Codex: Space Marines does it better). You can center him in with some Honor Guard and give the unit a bigger punch (except a Reclusiarch does it better). You can just ignore him and take a Space Marine Captain and a unit of Sniper Scouts and get Bikes as Troops or a 2+/3++ Relic Blade.... And... ...Hell, that's just better, isn't it?

I really feel bad here, I like Captains, I do, but our Blood Angel's ones just fall short of what they could be... And it's just a few small wargear complaints really, but its ones that our Codex: Space Marine brothers don't have and thus, don't have to deal with. Sadly, I feel that while the Captain did get better this edition, another rule (allies) completely mitigates those facts and sends him right back into obscurity.

Captains. +1 WS and init and attack really isn’t worth losing access to psychic powers.

-Captains still lolbad. Worse off than other Captains due to having no access to 2+ saves.

BA Devastators:
I think the best use of a Captain is if you want to be able to insert yourself into the game as the leader of your force. Maybe you want to have that jump pack and dual Lightning Claws or maybe hard hitting Thunker Hammer. However, why not do that as a Sergeant instead or as part of the Honour Guard or Sanguinary Guard- even Death Company.