Death Company pair a Veteran statline with Rage and Feel No Pain for a decent point cost. They’ve got Relentless too, if you really want to arm them all with bolters and rapid fire before assaulting (I usually pair bolters with power fists and thunder hammers for the extra shot; there’s no downside). Any Death Company Marine can take power weapons, power fists, thunder hammers, and hand flamers, inferno pistols, or plasma pistols. The squad can take the standard Dedicated Transports, but I prefer jump packs as they will generally get them into assault faster. Even so, a large squad of Death Company in a Drop Pod landing Turn 1 would be something the enemy would absolutely have to deal with.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
The Command squad has changed a bit since last codex. First, it’s no longer called an Honor Guard. I guess having a Space Marine Honor Guard with completely different equipment was too confusing. It is no longer unlocked by taking a character, and it now takes up an Elite slot. The Command squad still comes with a Sanguinary Novititiate, but it now also includes a Company Champion. While this does limit the squad’s flexibility a bit, it is a free upgrade (relative to the Space Marine Command squad). You start with a base squad with Feel No Pain, a WS 5 Marine with a power sword and combat shield, and 3 Veterans that you can arm however you want.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Scouts are our other Troops choice, and they can carry a more diverse armament than even Tactical squads. With Scout and Infiltrate, they can get into the position to engage the enemy in the first turn, or assault in the second turn. They’ve got a weaker statline than full Marines, but they’re quite cheap by way of compensation.
Monday, February 16, 2015
The Blood Angels Tactical squad is very similar to the standard Space Marine Tactical squad, and will use most of the same unit configurations and tactics. There are three major differences. The first is that they have Furious Charge; this makes them better in close-combat than standard Tacticals when they charge, but only then. If you play Tactical Marines often, you know they don’t often do much in assault. They’ll kill off an respectable numbers of Fire Warriors and Imperial Guardsmen, but they’ll flounder against any harder targets. The same applies to Blood Angels Tactical squads, except that they’ll have the edge against other Tactical squads. They still won’t be up to taking on Grey Hunters or Chaos Space Marines that take an extra close combat weapon, much less any dedicated assault squad.
Second, Blood Angels Tactical squads can take a heavy flamer as their heavy weapon. This is pretty huge, as it eliminates the duality of the Tactical squad. The special weapon and bolter always do their best work when close to the enemy and mobile, but the heavy weapon wants to stay still and, preferably, far away. Combat Squads was introduced so that these weapons could end up in different squads, but this doesn’t help much if you want to be aggressive with your Tactical squads. Space Marine players have long lamented their inability to take two special weapons. Blood Angels can sidestep this by taking a heavy flamer, which synergizes well with bolters and special weapons despite being called heavy. It is an extremely obvious choice for any Tactical squad riding in a Rhino or Drop Pod, as it will be fully effective when they disembark. I prefer to pair it with another flamer (and possibly a combi-flamer on the sergeant) so my Tacticals are really good at dealing with infantry and have excellent Overwatch, but you can pair it with any special weapon thanks to the magic that is Combat Squads. The most important thing is that, when your Rhino roars up to the enemy lines, ten Marines jump out and fire to full effect.
Friday, February 13, 2015
It took me a while, but I finally finished some of my new Blood Angels. I'm away from home until early summer, and it's amazing all of the things I take for granted that help me do my painting. I brought one of my lamps with me, but I really miss my desk and chair (wooden chairs are not designed for sitting in for hours on end). I thought I brought all of the paints I would need, but I seem to have missed a few important ones, forcing me to mix some highlight colors. All together, it meant that five Tactical Marines took far longer than usual. I suppose my new job contributed a bit as well...
Monday, February 9, 2015
Techmarines now take up an HQ slot, meaning that I doubt you’ll ever see one again. Their statline hasn’t improved at all, and they have the same artificer armor and servo-arm, with the option to take a full servo-harness or a jump pack. He can choose from most of the armory, though he does not have access to relics. He can take a retinue of Servitors, who can either help him fix vehicles or provide some firepower. He can also improve the cover save of any single piece of terrain in your deployment zone. I found this rule great for my Executioners, but I suspect it will be less useful with an army as aggressive as Blood Angels. I don’t expect to take many units that will hang out in cover in my deployment zone.
Honestly, I don’t see much point in the Techmarine. He is the cheapest HQ choice, but the Sanguinary Priest and a Librarian are just slightly more expensive and will bring much more to your army. You could take a Techmarine with a servo-harness and stick him inside a Stormraven to keep it in the air, but that’s a substantial amount of points to add to an already expensive vehicle for a modest increase in survivability.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Unfortunately, we lost our special Reclusiarch, while the standard Chaplain has been moved from Elites to HQ. He still has all the Chaplain abilities we know and love, coming with Zealot, a power maul, and a 4+ invulnerable save. He no longer has the Litanies of Blood from last edition; only Astorath kept that. He has the same statline as the Librarian and Priest, i.e. not bad but nothing to be excited about.