Monday, 24 January 2011

Super Secret 1750 Blood Angels – List & Tactics

Here it is… my test list and ideas for use for the X Legion 1750 tournament in Feb. A little while back I posted this dilemma of sorts…since then I have been play testing various options against a variety of opponents from Mechdar to IG to Loganwing Space Wolves to Dark Eldar….need to take on some Orks and Nids and I’ll have a good idea of how this force works and where it is weak across a wide spread of archetypal armies…this is how I part of how I playtest anyway.

The army is:

Librarian – Force Weapon, Hood, Fear of the Darkness, Shield of Sanguinius
Librarian – Force Weapon, Hood, Fear of the Darkness, Shield of Sanguinius

DropCannon Dread(TM bitches!) Dread – Frag Cannon, Meltagun, Fist, Drop Pod

RAS – Meltagun, Razorback – LasPlas
RAS – Meltagun, Razorback – LasPlas
RAS – Meltagun, Razorback – LasPlas
RAS – Flamer, Razorback – LasPlas

2 x Multimelta Attack Bikes
Baal Pred – TLAC, HKM
Baal Pred – TLAC, HKM

Predator – Autocannon, Lascannon sponsons, HKM
Predator – Autocannon, Lascannon sponsons, HKM
Predator – Autocannon, Lascannon sponsons, HKM

This clocks in at 1750 on the nose and works very nicely. The wall of AV13 moves and protects the bikes and Razors, whilst the whole army moves and shoots.

The key difference to me between say IG and BA is that there is a huge amount of suppression fire in a typical IG tournament army. You can easily expect to see plenty of chimera’s with Multilasers and Autocannons (whether on Hydra’s – which there will be, or in Vets squads)…both of which are fantastic weapons and I use as many of each (weighing more heavily on the S7 Autocannon side) as possible in my IG.

On the otherhand we have the Blood Angels…the return of the Lascannon was hailed back when the codex hit…cheap, fast vehicles being able to bring the mighty weapon to bear. The prevalence of melta in every list meant that the lascannon was needed to remove the mobility of the melta. The melta’s short range meant that it had to be delivered. We kill the vehicle, we negate the impact of the melta.

Using a high strength, high quality weapon like the lascannon allows us to not just suppress, but destroy a target.

The perfect example is the Predator…this guy can wield 2 lascannons, 2 S7 Autocannon shots, 1 S8 missile shot for 145 points on an AV13 fast platform.

Sweet. And very likely to kill its target up to AV12. Further up the armour values and the likelihood decreases massively.

What am I trying to get at with this point? Whilst the IG can suppress you and kill you over a couple of turns, the idea behind the BA is that they have a real chance of killing you each turn. This, to me, is one of the key differences.

Of course, the other is mobility.

Test gaming with Blood Angels 1750:

I thought I’d share some deployment ideas and early game movement and application of firepower through target priority etc using my Blood Angels (list here)

This is from a test game versus my 1750 Imperial Guard. The mission is Annihilation and Spearhead. Blood Angels rolled up first turn, after scout moves, IG failed to Seize the Initiative.


The BA take to the field, using the Baals and 2 Preds as the ‘bookends’ to the BA line. In this case, we have a large, partially LOS blocking piece of terrain. Whilst it can be seen through, it is high enough to hide the razorbacks behind for cover first turn.
The DropCannon Dread is, of course, awaiting Drop Pod Assault…
The Baals will scout towards the bottom left of the image, hopefully scouting first to stop any alpha striking or at least to diminish the Vendetta’s ability to threaten side armour. Of course, I’m pretty safe from alpha strike as I am going first, but I need to make sure I’m neutralising the Vendetta’s, or I may leave myself open to it. So for turn 1, they are the number one priority.

The Demolisher will, of course, be bloody high on my priority, but this is partially cos I’m scared shitless by it. It will kill a vehicle per turn if it hits me, with the ‘lumbering behemoth’ rule meaning it can fire both the Demolisher cannon and the hull lascannon.
Finally, priority 3 is the Hellhound…it has a fast Multimelta and the flame cannon has the range and strength to threaten multiple razorbacks if I’m stupid enough to leave them too close – ‘parking lot’ style. Hopefully I’m not that dopey.

Scout moves: 

BA get the first move, with a Baal pushing across almost 18”, making sure to keep 12” away from the IG. In this manner, it can push 12” across to the right, into the corner of the table, putting side armour shots into the troop transports. Why the APC’s? Well, they are 2 separate threat vectors each, with the chimera multilaser and the Autocannon vets inside. Stunning and shaking it will remove the number of targets available to return fire. The Baals move also pins back the Vendetta from threatening side armour as I said earlier.

The first IG scout move is to bring the left hand Vendetta over to the right hand side, this provides it with a 4+ flat out save against incoming fire whilst leaving the other to either scout behind the middle terrain piece, or to swing backwards behind the ruin in the corner of the table…

The second Baal pushes up with its counter part, whilst this does leave the attack bikes out in the open (ordinarily I’d leave them hidden completely behind a Predator or Razor hull until they can lash out and melta a high value target) but in this case, going first, I want to hammer the IG line hard.

Both Baals have of course popped smoke, as ridiculous as it is, they’ll get cover saves in the next enemy shooting phase….that’d be after they move and fire. Seriously, wtf? But I’m still going to take it…
The second Vendetta takes the easy option, and moves flat out to behind the central terrain piece, picking up its cover save whilst leaving it in position to redeploy to wherever its firepower is needed.

At the end of turn one, the DropCannon Dread has toasted not 1 but 2 chimera’s carrying the CCS and one plasma vet squad. The meltagun completely whiffed, but the frag cannon smashed them into pieces of twisted metal. However, with a 4 meltagun (TL’d of course!) squad inches from the Dread and not being pinned…well, its not a pretty end for the venerable battle brother.
The Hellhound is melta’d by the attack bike squadron, and both vendetta’s cannot move or shoot…saved of course by their extra armour leaving them with their fantastic mobility still…The rest of the Imperial Guard fire was ineffective against AV13, however, the Demolisher did plough forward and would have exploded the Pred opposite it if it were not for the Shield of Sanguinius…5+ cover ftw!

The overview shows us that despite the Vendetta on the left not being able to shoot, it can still cause real problems just through its sheer mobility and the threat of 3 TL lascannons next turn… although this dude is only rocking two right now as it got one shot off by an Autocannon.

Throughout the game, the Vendetta’s will get their firepower suppressed whilst causing major problems with their movement…by constantly threatening side or rear armour they force their position at the top of the target priority list… they are both eventually downed, one from plasma fire, the other from lascannon fire. They would have fallen sooner in retrospect but by constantly moving flat out, they increase their survivability…worth pondering…is a Vendetta more survivable moving flat out or firing to reduce the number of incoming shots…the answer is of course firing… aggressive defence…it is a pissing war game after all.

The Baals continue their push up the left hand board edge, peppering squad and chimera alike with fire..

The Librarians do a sterling job of providing cover for the two ‘battle groups’ and also punishing the puny humans with Fear of the Darkness…causing 3 separate units to fall back though out the game, making a huge difference to the return fire… as planned they have fantastic range with a 12” fast Razor still firing its lascannon or plasma and disembarking just the librarian 2”+base then we have an auto-hitting 24” range power…almost 37”. With two of them, I can have an excellent chance of removing one immediate threat, or with average Leadership (see Imperial Guard…lol) a good shot at 2 separate units…

An additional thought…if a unit is falling back already…don’t they automagically fail any LD check required to make? If a FearOTD victim does not regroup…lets just hit them again!!

Anyway, we finished up with it being a decisive Blood Angel victory… 14 – 8 on KP’s… with over half the BA army left and in good order. Astartes blood is not cheaply sold…

More insights to come on the army… in the meantime, you guys have any ideas or tweaks that you would make?


  1. I do like the army.

    How have the HKM's been working out? I found them underwhelming in my games to the point that I dropped them (which gave me points for dozers on my razorbacks which as already saved a key imob roll or 2).

    I think I've missed the wording on why the baals get smoke still throughout T1 from the scout move? Not that I ever make 4++ cover saves on my tanks but I am sure there was times even vs Andy that I could/should have been rolling that if it were the case.

    Good to see a report - should get some more up.

  2. hmm, interesting list. i like elements of it, like the two libbys (i hate those bastards), but not others. i dont like HKM's either, but mainly i feel that you have too few troops. in the games i've played both in Kensington and Leicester stores against various BA armies i have always found that 4 squads of 5 assault marines tend to evaporate very very quickly. even if they dont actually die, its so simple for the enemy to take out or even simply stall the advance of 4 razorbacks that the troops inside become virtually imobile. this renders them unable to take any objectives, and they become pretty useless.

    additionally, threat vectors. i dont count baals because no matter what anyone says, i have yet to see them perform at anything other than a mediocre level of effectiveness. this leaves 4 av11 vehicles with only a 2/3 chance to hit, one (awesome choice) attack bike squadron and 3 preds which, although effective, can only shoot three things per turn. in our game, this is what hurt Bully. he didnt have enough threat vectors to successfully destroy or stun enough of my shooting.

    i have yet to be convinced by the drop dread as well, but having only seen it once i will genuiniely reserve judgement on it. i just hate ap- weapons, regardless of rending, that -1 on the chart sucks.

    i have no doubt whatsoever that this army will wipe the floor with at least 66% of what we will see in Feb, but i worry about it against fully meched guard and wolves, and if it goes 2nd vs other BA.

  3. I can't agrue with 'few troops'...I do only have a few marines. But I am unwilling to argue the toss over how many is enough. Shit, tournament winning armies only sport 2 - 3 5-man RAS squads in 'Backs... if you are blowing up my Razorbacks through a wall of AV13...well, I've ballsed up in game.
    As for 2/3 of the time hitting...thats not strictly true as each has a plasma gun thats TL and S7... and a S8 for the first shot (potentially) of the game...these combined add up to far greater than 66.6%... even forgetting the 30" plasma...
    Threat can't discount a 4 shot, TL, Rending S6 weapon... X. 2. Scout, fast, side shots...fuck off Chimera-hull vehicle.
    Atreides...pot calling kettle black...notice how in no way have I marginalised the effective suppression fire of S6 or S7 from the typical IG list you and I commonly espouse....this BA list does not care how many Chimera's you have, nor how many Autocannons (or plasma) in practical terms... only how many lascannons you have and how much Melta you can bring to priority bro... So my oh so limited number of realistic threat vectors is:
    2x Baal, 3x Pred, Bikes, Dread (2xRending S6 and a meltagun in side armour?), 4 x Las/HKM,TL-Plas Backs... that makes 11. All quality when applied in the correct manner...all against whatever delivery mechanism the enemy may have for melta troops or lascannons (primarily Vendetta's lol) ...then we have the 37-39" inch FOTD x2 from Libbies against foot squads...

    Lets think about this... Wolves will be fine as they do not sport anywhere near enough firepower over S8...missiles don't cut it when they are running off the board from average morale rolls or when they have been shredded with Fragcannon action... Fully mech IG...well...vs what I was going to take if I took Guard... this list is more than holding its own...with honours on the BA side to date...

    Let's throw down the glove for Thursday shall we bro? Pre-tournament test...If you beat me soundly, I'll make whatever changes you think best..

  4. That will be a damn good game.

    @Andy have you settled on the ST list? The more I think about it the more I like that version.

    Also I think its interesting you mention about the low number of troops - I remember we had a word back after one of my 1500 games and you mentioned that, yet at 1750 I've not felt under trooped with 4 - I really thought I would.

  5. @Atreides are you back in Cambs on Thurs then?! Look forward 2 seeing u mate

    I personally like the list and can see the direction you are going with it. Lots of melta and Las. Also with the AV13 there really is no way a Autocannon heavy list can actually seriously hurt it without pouring fire at it. Definitely not a list I'd want 2 meet in a dark alley ;)

  6. I'm not sure on the single Pod and Bikers, though Bikers aren't too bad. Reason on the Dread it will come down maybe pop a tank and that's it. Could be a pain in the arse to take out, might not be with av13 depends.

  7. I love the Dread, but I am working on an alternative that I think offers a bit more synergy...the poor dude does come down, shred a tank or unit...then die to clsoe range melta...not really worth 165 points... in friendly games it is cool...but for competitive tournament games I'm thinking more and more it is out of place.. I'm thinking of Honour Guard w. 3 x Melta in a TLHF some sweet models built up from kit bashing DC/SG/tac marines... the alternative would be to squeeze in a Furioso Librarian for more Fear...