Friday, March 18, 2011

Blood Dragons army review

So I thought it was about time to make a review for all the units I have been using in my first Blood Angels army. I have gotten quite a bit of games in with these guys, lost count a long while ago. They have gone through some changes since I first conceptualized the force.

Originally, I planned my self-made chapter to be heavily focused on foot slogging. Back in the BA PDF days when I built the bulk of the army, Baal Predators were heavy support so I wasn't able to focus on bringing a lot of battle tanks to the table. My 3rd heavy slot was filled in by much needed anti tank devastators, and my tacticals were loaded out with one meltagun each. (Not to mention... Bolt pistol / Powerfist sergeants anyone?). Hangovers from a long gone edition and PDF.

Oh how things have changed.

While Tactical Squads are still the mainstay of my army, I am gradually leaning towards getting more meched and less and less on foot. In my most recent tournament with these guys I had nobody out of a vehicle. I am also (slowly) trying to phase out all of the bolt pistols on my sergeants for two-handers. Combi-Meltas are optimal, to give the squad a respectable 2x melta shot as only one is unreliable at best. Powerfists are still a must in my opinion. 25 points is hefty, but they really do have their uses and make the squad that much more threatening.

I used to be a Rhino hater big time. AV 11 seemed paper thin, but as time has passed and games have been played, I now respect how difficult it can be (and often is) to bring down a vehicle regardless of its armor value. They're cheap and they do protect the squad well. Even if they're blown up the occupants (MEQ anyway) won't get too beat up.

 My original HQ

People aren't too happy with Captains in the BA codex. To be honest, neither am I. They're simply overcosted making them one of the worst HQ's available in the book, and it totally sucks that I was being stubborn and using one up until quite recently. 

Now I have jumped on the bandwagon of using the almighty Librarian. What a difference it makes! He is a dramatic improvement over the captain. It's disappointing really, because I do like my Captain model and wish it had better rules. Mark my words though, no matter how WAAC the direction this army takes - I won't be caught dead using some cheesy special character. Yes, Mephiston is overpowered. No amount of arguing will change my opinion on that. No amount of arguing is also going to convince me there is "no such thing as overpowered" in 40k either. That's just a stupid thing to say when clearly there are points balancing issues (cough Long Fangs, Vendettas). I don't want to go off on a tirade here so I'll just leave it at that.

 Now here is the reason I started Blood Angels! Baal Predators are probably my favorite tank, and maybe even favorite unit in the game. They aren't super amazing, but like I have said so many times before they are a reliable choice. Assault Cannons are awesome! I will never phase the Baals out of the army unless they get a serious nerf whenever the next codex is released. And even still, they look too darn cool so it would be a tough call even if that were the case.

I jumped on the Vindicators right when the BA codex dropped and Baals were no longer filling Heavy slots. I probably should have spent a little more thought on it or done some playtesting, as it now looks like auto-las is the name of the game. However, vindi's arent bad. They're nice and fast and I have had enough success with them to keep them in my all-comers lists. At the very least - while their demolisher cannons might not be reliable - you can bet your ass that the tank will reliably be a fire magnet (which is a good thing). I've found tt's very easy to generate cover saves off of tanks with the Vindicator in a castle formation and if 4+ AV13 is what my opponent is pumping all his firepower into, well by all means go ahead and do so.

I made my auto las pred for the qualifier tournament about a month back when I decided I wanted to go big (full mech) or go home. When I first looked over this tank I really wasn't enthused with paying extra points for the fast profile that *I thought* would be near useless short of desperate endgame contesting. Turns out, the 6" move and fire is really useful on the predator. The tank is still never going to be fabulous, but it's decent and certainly has a place in an all comers list.

I wrote an article on the Redeemer a ways back and to this day I pretty much stand by the opinions I expressed in it. Flamestorms are still ownage and it's still better than the Crusader. (Oh snap! internet rage incoming... if anyone read this blog =D) 
Lastly... The Devastators. I like to go either 7 man (if I am low on points) or 10 man, as a 5 man squad with 4x lascannons is incredibly NOT resilient. Extra bodies to cover my 100 pts worth of heavy weapons is a small insurance policy and a much needed one considering people will jump at the opportunity to cut down a nearly 200 pt 5 man squad of marines. That being said, Lascannons will always be my favorite AT gun and I don't think I'll ever be sold on the popularity of the Missile Launcher. Quality over quantity is generally how I roll...

That about wraps up this post. Next up - Dragons backstory perhaps? BAT REP? More to come!

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