Friday, February 10, 2017

40K Friday: Blood Angels Lessons Learned and Future Plans

I had a lot of fun with these guys playing 4 games in one week. It's been a while since I've built a new marine army and gotten it out on the table. The Blood Angels are not considered a "power codex" in 7th edition but they have a lot of units that are just fun to play. I decided early on to go light on vehicles with this one and focus on more of a drop pod and jump pack army for speed.

Things I really like:
  • Furioso dreads
  • Mephiston
  • Being just a little bit faster and stronger in assault than other marine armies
  • Grav bikers
  • Drop pods
  • Heavy flamers
Things I am pondering
  • Troops choices: The Baal Strike Force requires two of them , just like a standard CAD. 
    • The two minimum tac squads did alright in the last battle and a heavy weapon lets them contribute to the fight. I'd like to get more out of them though.
    • A bigger tac squad with maximum flamers is a candidate for the 4th or 5th drop pod if I add more
    • Scouts! The cheapest option is a pair of minimum scout squads. They aren't all that strong but they do have infiltrate and outflank options which makes them more interesting than "five guys sitting in a ruin". Fitted for close combat that's potentially 15 attacks at S5 I5 on the charge, plenty to hurt a minimum tac squad or backfield heavy weapon squad.
  •  Elites: 2 Death Company and a Furioso are definitely a regular part of the force. The question is at slot #4
    • The sternguard are great but they do come with a cost. For small to medium fights I may have to use something else, but I am building a 10-man squad of them regardless.
    • Death Company - I will be building these out to two 10-man squads. 
    • Sergeant Nameless' Assault Squad might get promoted to Vanguard Vets. For a smallish price bump they go to 2 attacks each over a regular assault squad. I'm not looking at storm shields and all of that for them - just another speedy melee squad to back up everything else.
    • Command Squad - these would be Mephiston's "other" bodyguard unit - 5 guys in a drop pod. It's mandatory to take one of them as the company champion which is not something I would take on my own but he does relieve Meph of having to accept challenges. I would also include a medic which gives Meph Feel No Pain - very important considering his lack of an invulnerable save. The other three guys will have plasma guns. This unit isn't quite as versatile as the sternguard but they are still pretty mean (7 plasma shots if inside of 12") when shooting and in melee (with Meph of course) and help keep him alive with FNP and Look Out Sir options. These guys are under construction right now.
    • I have a blast cannon Furioso, a regular assault cannon dread, and a flexible confiuguration Furioso all finished with a librarian, a regular lascannon, and an undecided furioso/DC dread all waiting. One of these would go in the "other" of the 4th or 5th drop pod.
    • Terminators: I have some, I'm just not sure I see a need for them right now. Back burner.

The pod assault melta squad under construction. The sergeant's in a rather "Josey Wales" pose and that's not an accident.  
  • Fast Attack: This section is getting crowded!
    • The melta vets in a pod are solid and won't be going anywhere. I am building a squad configured exactly how I want it right now.
    • I built a jump melta squad too, just in case
    • The bikes really crowd things up here: 6 grav bikes and two MMAB's mean I have two or 3 slots filled as I've been thinking about breaking the attack bikes off into their own 2-bike unit. These are all built or being built right now.
    • I have 2 other "traditional" assault squads with swords and pistols. I don't know how much action they will see as this slot is already so crowded. They're already built and painted so it's no extra work.
    • I haven't even tried to fit landspeeders in here but I could make some.  They'll have to wait for now.
  • Heavy Support:
    • I have a Baal predator. It's painted and done. I thought I wanted more but I'm just not sure it fits into how I see this force working
    • I have old-style over-the shoulder missile launchers, lascannons, and heavy bolters I have already set aside for this army. I don't know how much use they will see as devastators but they also give me options to swap in for the heavy weapon on some of those tactical squads I am pondering. 
    • Land raiders, vindicators, whirlwinds, etc - maybe next year will be "build the Blood Angel tank army" year but I don't see it happening this year. 
Beyond adding two more drop pods I do have one other angle I am thinking about trying out. With BA Rhino's being fast vehicles they could do a 24" move on Turn 1 and pop smoke. That should be enough to get say a heavy flamer tac squad onto an objective or into the fight, -OR- it would be enough to get a devastator squad with say two multi-meltas into range to threaten some stuff on Turn 2.  

Bikes and parts everywhere!

Final complication: I also decided to bump up the army to the current standard 32mm bases for full-on marines in power armor (meaning "not the scouts"). It's some extra work and a little bit of extra expense but since I'm just now building them why not make the change? If I like it I may do it to the Dark Angels as well since they are in a similar state of construction. Right now I'm planning to go with some green static grass and some gray rocks to give a little contrast with the red/white/black/gold on so many of the figures.

So there's the "state of the army" for the BA's for 2017. Once it's all painted up I'll have 3000+ points which should make for plenty of choice in games for the rest of this year. Lots of building, lots of painting, lots of "bits" being purchased to finish these things out too, so thank goodness for eBay. 

More to come!

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