Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Vindicator

The vindicator is a tank that I see being used in a great deal of space marine armies. There is no denying how effective this unit can be, the strength 10 AP 2 ord blast is going to annihilate pretty much anything you shoot at, providing you don't scatter too terribly. The versatility and devastating effectiveness of the demolisher cannon makes the vindicator your opponent's worst nightmare, and therefore biggest concern.

Almost every army I see that uses the vindicator will field only one. Most times, one vindicator is not going to work which leads players to believe that the tank is underwhelming and not worth it. The reason for this is that your opponent is going to want to knock out that vindicator with everything he's got, because he knows it's going to smash him up hard if it's not taken care of immediately. All it takes is a weapon destroyed OR even immobilized (since the demolisher cannon is a fixed *and* short range weapon) to really knock it out of the game.

If you want to maximize the potential of your vindicator, you should field at least two. This way, your opponent will have to make some choices when choosing target priorities. Throw in a third vindicator or land raider and that will really make your opponent think about what to do. I would personally field three vindicators if my devastator squad was not so critical for my army's synergy.

For Blood Angels in particular, the vindicator is certainly one of the hidden jems of codex. Now that it's a fast vehicle for BA exclusively, you can use these bad boys at an effective range of 3 feet as they can move 12" before firing. Where regular marine players are forced to use their vindicators defensively (if they are playing them effectively), Blood Angels can actually use the vindicator as an extremely potent first turn alpha-strike weapon. No more hiding behind big buildings with a siege shield and waiting for the enemy army to come towards you. Sure, you could -force- advances by deploying key objectives directly in front of a defensive vindicator, but any general worth his salt is going to see through this trap and use proper countermeasures. And if you play your BA vindicator in a static role, then you're wasting the premium cost you pay for it to be a fast vehicle.

This also brings up the question as to whether the siege shield is now obsolete for Blood Angels. As you can see from my 2 vindicators pictured above, I am of the opinion that the siege shield is worthless. I know quite a few players who swear by the siege shield, but I see it as a waste of points when you can move 12" which is easily enough to move around whatever you may be choosing to hide behind. Yes, you'll lose range by going around, but probably not much. Regardless, I am not going to play my vindicators in a defensive role anyway. Since BA players already have to pay the extra 30 points for the fast profile, tacking on more points begins to turn your vindicators into a liability instead of a cheap hammer.

In short, the BA vindicator seems to me like it's the premier heavy support choice in the codex. It would be unfortunate for a Blood Angels player not to take advantage of this game-changing wonder weapon.

An introduction to the Blood Dragons

Whenever you go to RT's, clubs, or whatever to play a pickup game, one of the first questions a stranger might ask is what army you play. Unfortunately, I have to swallow a bit of pride and say "Blood Angels." I write this because Blood Angels players in general have it pretty bad with negative prejudice these days. The new BA codex is viewed by many as being cheesy and overpowered. I'll be the first one to admit, the codex is probably a little bit too good. But my "Blood Angels" army isn't your typical Blood Angels army, and I can proudly say that I jumped on the BA bandwagon before the "cheesy" new codex was released.

The reason I consider my army to be unique for a BA force is not because I made my own chapter that looks very similar to Flesh Tearers, but rather the unit composition.

No Jumppacks, no razorbacks or rhinos, no special characters. So what could I possibly be playing that is able to win a good amount of games?

Lots of bodies is the idea. 4x footslogging 10 man tactical marine squads is the core of my army, which I field in 1500+ pt games. They need to be footslogging to keep the points down. Sure, Blood Angels tac marines might not be the best troops choice around, but few armies can contend with that much power armor. On top of that, I've got a devastator squad with 4 lascannons, 2 baal predators and 2 vindicators. I'll go into more detail about each unit in seperate blog posts, and how they have synergy with the rest of the army.

Hobby wise, my Blood Dragons are loosely based off of a faction from the PC game Freelancer which was released in 2003. Freelancer is my favorite PC game of all time and I still play it to this day. Some of the motifs of the army include samurai themed (eldar) banners with the faction emblems from the game on the sergeants and captain. I wanted these guys to have a gritty feel compared to my other clean armies, so I did my best to paint an abundance of battle damage and weathering. I am happy with how this army has turned out, both visually and performance-wise on the tabletop.

My next few posts will be about individual unit tactics and how they fit into the "idea" behind this army. Perhaps I will be able to get in a few battle reports aswell.

Welcome to my blog

Well, this is my introduction post. On this blog I will talk about my opinions regarding the Warhammer 40,000 game and hobby. I'm not a great player but over the years I've now reached the point where I'm winning more pickup games than losing which is why I thought it was about time I'd start blogging. Still, what I write on this blog should be taken with a large grain of salt as I am certainly not the best tactician around.

Some background info: I'm 19 years old, soon-to-be-20, and I started playing 40k when I was about 14. My first army was Imperial Guard with a mix of Daemonhunters and my second army was Alaitoc themed Eldar. Both of these armies are around 1750 pts worth, but when I built the armies they were simply whatever models I liked at the time and not meant to be competitive. Up until a couple years ago I would seldom go to gaming clubs and play pickup games against random opponents, so my battles were fought mainly against friends using the same armies all the time. Therefore I didn't have much diversity in battles which led to repetitive metagaming, and made me want a change of pace.

So in the summer of 2008 I decided I wanted to get more involved with the gaming aspect of 40k. I figured it was about time to build an army that I could bring to clubs and stand a chance with instead of losing all the time against more competitive players using one of my "grab-bag" style armies. Earlier this year, I finished up the army after a long break of 40k playing and got back into the game now using the new Blood Angels codex.

Time to get started.