Friday, December 30, 2011

Tournament Wrap-up

In the end, I think I came about middle of the pack with a loss, a minor loss, and a minor win as well as an assortment of bonus points. I say I think because there were 20 players but I only saw 13 of the scores. I think the tournament organizer stopped adding them up once he realized no one could catch the leaders. Of those 13, I came 7th.

Anyway, it was a fun day and I think I did alright given my limited tournament experience. I think I can improve my list. As I mentioned in the reports, I need some more survivable scoring presence. I also realized that I'm very vulnerable to night fight, but I can't think of anyway to fix that without adding vehicles. I'd rather keep my all infantry approach, as my first two opponents both remarked on how they weren't using all their anti-tank weapons to full effect (my last opponent didn't care because Obliterators can take out anything).

I'm thinking that some Scouts would be a cheap way to get survivable scoring into the list, but a Tactical squad would also be a more expensive possibility. As for night fight, I think I just need to suck it up and move in fast against Necrons.

Anyone have any ideas? You've seen the games, and I'd appreciate some feedback.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tournament Game 3

My last game was a match up against Chaos Space Marines. His list was something along these lines.


Summoned Greater Daemon

8 Chosen w/ 4 meltaguns

9 Thousand Sons w/ bolt of change, Rhino w/ Havoc Launcher

9 Thousand Sons w/ bolt of change, Rhino w/ Havoc Launcher

7 Plague Marines w/ 2 plasma guns, Rhino (not sure if they had a power fist)

3 Obliterators

3 Obliterators

Land Raider w/ daemonic possession

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tournament Game 2

My second game was against a mostly mechanized Tau player. I didn't stop to take as many pictures this time, so please bear with me. His list was along these lines.

Commander Shadowsun

3 Crisis Suits w/ 3 plasma rifles, 2 flamers, and a missile pod

3 Crisis Suits w/ 3 plasma rifles, 2 flamers, and a missile pod

12 Fire Warriors w/ carbines

12 Fire Warriors w/ rifles

10 Kroot

8 Pathfinders w/ Devilfish w/ sensor spines, disruption pods, 2 seeker missiles

8 Pathfinders w/ Devilfish w/ sensor spines, disruption pods, 2 seeker missiles

2 Piranhas w/ fusion blasters, 1 seeker missile each

Hammerhead w/ railgun, disruption pods

Skyray w/ disruption pods

Broadside w/ advanced stabilization system, shield drone

Deployment was pitched battle with 5 objectives. I tried to cluster the objectives in the open on the left side of the battlefield, resulting in 4 over there with one sitting in craters on the right.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tournament Game 1

Well, the tournament last weekend has come and gone. In summary, it was a great time. There were 20 participants with a good spread of armies (no Grey Knights!). The tables were great, with tons of very detailed, themed terrain. I remembered to bring my cameras and take some pictures this time. However, I have to rely on memory for my battle reports. Since the games were timed, I wasn't able to take notes and some of the pictures aren't the greatest. Again, I'm not going to do a full turn-by-turn breakdown but more of a narrative hitting the major points.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blood Angels 1,850 List Breakdown

Next weekend, there will be a 1,850 point, three game tournament at my FLGS, and I’m planning on attending. I thought this would be a good time to talk about my 1,850 Blood Angels list and how I build it. First, this isn’t the most efficient list I could probably make. This is a trade-off between efficiency and what I have painted. I’m taking a fully painted army, and I want to be a contender for best painted. I’m not sure how competitive I’ll be in the games (though I’m planning on taking it seriously), but I think I’ve got a good shot at best painted.

Here’s the list.

Reclusiarch w/ jump pack

Librarian w/ Terminator armor, storm bolter, Blood Lance, Unleash Rage

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

5 Assault Terminators w/ 5 pairs of thunder hammers and storm shields

Sanguinary Priest w/ power sword, jump pack

Sanguinary Priest w/ power sword, jump pack

Brother Corbulo

5 Devastators w/ 4 missile launchers

6 Devastators w/ 2 plasma cannons, 2 lascannons

Total: 1,846

This lists functions as three separate yet interdependent wings. First, the Devastator squads and Corbulo deploy in cover. Their main goal is to take out any tanks that can threaten my Assault squads (anything with AP3- blasts) and destroy transports so my Assault squads have infantry to assault when they land. These perform a vital role, as they force the enemy to take cover so they can’t just castle up to receive my deep strikers. The Devastators break up their castle and soften them up for the Assault squads. Corbulo provides them with durability, some resistance to assault, and performs a vital role for the Terminators.

The Assault Terminators and the Librarian drop in aggressively. Their job is to act as an anchor for my Assault squads. The main weakness I have found for the Assault marines is if they get assaulted after they deep strike. It robs them of their hitting power and mobility. The Assault Terminators block for the Assault squads, putting themselves in the way of enemy assaulters. No one wants to charge into THSS Terminators, especially when there are Assault squads waiting to counter-assault. The Librarian gives me some psychic defense, gives the squad some shooting power when it deep strikes with Blood Lance, and increases their hitting power with Unleash Rage. Corbulo allows me to re-roll a poor reserve roll or scatter roll for these squads, making this squad much more reliable.

The final piece, and the one that really deals the damage, is the Assault squads, joined by two Priests and the Reclusiarch. Thirty furious charging, feel no pain Assault marines, ten of which also re-roll failed “to hits” on the charge, will hit like a freight train. The key here is to guarantee that they get the charge and keep their momentum. The other two wings of this army are dedicated to making sure this happens.
Well, that’s the theory. I’ll let you all know how it works out.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cheap and Easy Area Terrain

I was at a Petsmart and noticed some aquarium plants on the clearance rack. I picked them up to make a few pieces of area terrain. I've made quite a few buildings and bunkers in the past, but I don't have any area terrain. In particular, I wanted to be able to remove the plants when a squad moved through it. As I do for so many problems, I turned to magnets to do this.

For a base, I tried something called craft plywood. It was cheaper than balsa and seemed much stronger. In the past, I've used foamcore for bases, but it always seems to warp when I paint it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Executioners Sternguard

Here are the first of my Forgeworld Marines, being the first half of my first Sternguard squad. I decided that this squad would be from the First Company (Executioners also have one Sternguard squad in each Battle Company, replacing a Devastator squad) because 6 of the 8 members are wearing MkIV armor, which is the best mark of power armor. This half of the squad includes the special weapons, two combi-meltas and two heavy flamers.

 Finally, there's this guy. He's not one of the current Forgeworld MkIV. I got the torso and head in a bulk bitz purchase and I'm not sure where it's from. Maybe an older Forgeworld model. Wherever he's from, he's the last model I needed to make two even squads of eight. Since he was more of a kitbash than the others, I decided to give him one of the Deathwatch shoulder pads I've accumulated.

I tried to follow the Veteran color scheme from Imperial Armour as closely as possible. This means golden backpacks and face plates. I thought it might look kind of goofy on actual models, but I like how it came out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Neuter a Wolf by D. Gargant

I felt as though my previous post lacked the gravity to really be worthy of the readers.  It was merely an attempt to explain my background before launching into deeper matters.  So now I will make a real post.  Today we will talk about an army that is very common on the tournament scene and is commonly decried as being overpowered.  This army is, of course, the Space Wolves.

The Space Wolf codex is renowned for its cheap (but really great) troops, good psychic powers, and all around points effectiveness.  Space Wolf lists come in several common flavors, most notably Thunderwolf, various Loganwing iterations, and what I like to refer to as “fundamental” lists.  The most competitive of these in my opinion is the fundamental list and this will be the one that the article will be centered on today. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Introducing a New Author: Dardreg Gargant

Hi All. I'm very pleased to welcome a new author to the Librarium. He's an old friend of mine that started playing 40K at the same time I did, back in 1998. I hope he'll be writing regularly, and I'll put his articles in green so readers know it's him. I'll let him introduce himself.

To all who read these words, I bid greetings.  My name for the purposes of the internet shall be Dardreg Gargant.  I will be occasionally writing a post or two for the Codicier from time to time to help him keep up numbers and reader interest while he operates within his own time constraints.  To that end, let me tell you about myself and my gaming life.  Mainly I play 40k with some dips into fantasy, Warmahordes, Necromunda, and Mordheim. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

High Executioner Tytos Solomon Background

Following the self-imposed exile of Chapter Master Arkash Hakkon at the start of the Badab War, the position of High Executioner remained vacant and Lord Speaker of the Dead Thulsa Kane held command of the chapter. At the conclusion of the Badab War, the Executioners were placed on a one-hundred year penitent crusade.

Having fulfilled their oath to the Astral Claws and received their punishment for their role in the rebellion, Thulsa Kane declared that the time had come for a new High Executioner. By tradition, the position was open to any company Captain and would be determined by combat. The Captain of the second company, Donalt Arkhan, was the first to declare his claim, and he was quickly followed by the eighth company Captain, Hamon Thoth-Kapara,  immediately declared their intention to fight for the title. Next to speak was Tytos Solomon, Captain of the fourth company. After the grim declaration by the black-cloaked Astartes, no further claimants came forward.

Monday, November 21, 2011

High Executioner Tytos Solomon

I know I haven't posted anything about my Executioners in a few weeks, but they are being worked on. Here, I present my conversion for High Executioner Tytos Solomon. He will act as a counts as Pedro Kantor for my Executioners, and I expect to use him quite a bit (I really like Sternguard).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Necron HQs

Necron Overlord

The basic Necron leader is the Overlord. He comes with a very solid statline (except for initiative 2), as well as a decent short-ranged gun. First, he can be upgraded to a Phaeron, which gives any unit he joins Relentless. This would be a great upgrade to any unit armed with rapid-fire weapons, particularly Immortals with Gauss Blasters. In addition, expect the Overlord to carry a warscythe, a strength 7 power weapon that rolls 2D6 for armor penetration. Basically, watch out for any model carrying warscythe. They’ll usually go last but they’ll take out whatever they hit.

Overlords can also take a variety of gear, ranging from increasing their durability to buffing their unit to hurting the enemy. Resurrection Orbs increase their unit’s resurrection roll to a 4+, making them really tough to take out. Also of note are Mindshackle Scarabs, which have a pretty good chance of making an enemy model attack its own unit. Since you can have multiple Mindshackle Scarabs in your Royal Court, these scarabs can be tremendously dangerous in assault. Finally, the Tachyon Arrow gives the Overlord a one-use S10 AP1 unlimited range shot. It’s expensive, but it gives the Overlord a good chance to take out a vehicle left out of cover. A fast moving Overlord, using either a Command Barge or Veil of Darkness, can try and get side shots or shots bypassing cover.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Necrons: Fluff

Due to a bit of traveling and a somewhat brutal increase of my workload this week, I've been lax with my posting as well as my gaming and painting. Pretty much all of aspects my hobby. However, I did manage to get my hands on a copy of the Necron Codex. Like just about every other blogger on the net, I'll be writing up my thoughts on the new codex. I'll primarily be discussing Necrons from the enemy point of view: units, abilities, and combinations to watch out for, particularly anything threatening to Space Marines. However, several aspects of the new Necrons have piqued my interest, so this will also be an examination if I can maintain enough interest to start an army.

I wanted to start off talking about the revised fluff. I actually loved the fluff from the 3rd Edition codex. It was totally Lovecraftian, even more so than the background for the Chaos gods. The C'tan were an evil totally beyond human comprehension, yet completely a product of the material universe. The very knowledge of their existence and humanity's place in their universe was enough to drive mortals mad. It makes for great reading and a really threatening villain.

As much as I loved the old background, I think the new background is better for a playable army within the game. As great an antagonist as the old Necrons were, an army has to be the protagonist for the person playing it. A player wants to identify with their army, to lead them to victory, and to personalize their own incarnation of that army. No one can do that with an inscrutable galactic -scale evil. While Cthulhu is a great monster for the hero to run from, no one has ever written a book or made a game (a good one at least) from Cthulhu's perspective. The new Necrons are still a galaxy spanning evil, but they have understandable motivations and goals. Some of them are even noble or humorous.

I also have to say that I love how Necron technology is handled in this version. In 40K, technology is distrusted and is generally a relic of better times while psychic powers and witchcraft are comparatively common and accepted. The Necrons turn this on its head, possessing technology so advanced that species that use witchcraft view Necron technology as sorcery. In a futuristic galaxy, Necrons are technologically so far ahead of every one else that they're playing a different game.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Space Hulk Librarian

I finally got around to painting my Terminator Librarian from Space Hulk, mostly because I decided to add a Terminator Librarian with my Terminator Assault squad. I think he came out fairly well.

Refurbishing Old Models

In the past, I've noticed that gamers tend to be very reluctant to do anything else to a model once they've decided that it's finished. I had the same problem; still do, sometimes. Once a model is done and you feel comfortable putting it on the table, there's an understandable reluctance to re-visit the model.

However, there is still the problem that painting levels evolve. As my squads look better, I started to feel uncomfortable using my older models. At the very least, they made my army look uneven. Eventually, I started going back over models that were already finished. My original models were painted very flatly, with no shading or highlighting. In addition, I hadn't really discovered thinning my paints yet or working to clear, even coats.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Executioners Characters: Darnath Lysander

Lysander is the final option for a character that grants the army Stubborn and thus is most fitting of the Executioner’s background. Lysander costs 25 more points than the other options, but has a significantly better statline and superior wargear. He has the standard Captain stats, but gains an additional wound. Combined with Eternal Warrior, terminator army, and a storm shield, this makes him exceedingly hard to kill. He combines this with a strength 10 thunder hammer that gets a bonus when hitting vehicles. He doesn’t throw out many attacks, but what he hits, he destroys.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

101st Post!

I just realized that my post about magnetizing the standard Predator was my 100th post, which is a bit of a milestone. The blog is almost a year old now, and I think it's still going well.

I wanted to take this opportunity to ask anyone who cares to comment (it sounds pretentious to address "my readers") if there's anything they'd like to see more of on the blog. I'll keep putting up my completed models, but those posts are limited by how quickly I paint. I'll also keep putting up tutorials as I come up with them, but now that I've finished the magnetization tutorials, I'm out of ideas on that front. I'm open to suggestions. If you see something I've done that you'd like to know how to do, let me know in the comments.

Beyond those, there's a lot of room to expand. I have a few ideas for future topics that I'd like to hear feedback. First, I'd be interested in writing a more in depth tactica for Codex: Space Marines (similar to what I wrote for Blood Angels) if there is interest in it. Another option would be breakdowns of other top codices to discuss how best to play against them. Finally, I'm thinking about writing a series about how to make a solid army list. This would be mostly looking at lists that I play, but I would like if readers would submit lists or list ideas that I could work through.

Anyway, if you have any ideas or inclinations, please let me know in the comments.

As a final note, I wanted to mention that I won a contest run by the Deep Strike Radio Podcast. The contest was to build the best, fluffy infantry-heavy Sisters of Battle list. I'm not sure if anyone else entered, but they picked mine and I should be receiving some bits from I'll be doing reviews of them once I get them. As an aside, if you're interested in the 40K background and how to implement it on the tabletop, I would highly suggest listening to Deep Strike Radio. They just did an episode on the Age of Apostasy that was particularly good.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Magnetizing a Predator

Magnetizing a standard Predator actually turns out to be a lot easier than a Baal Predator. I set it up to switch between both turret weapons and both sets of sponson weapons. I ran out of magnets before I could set it up to run without sponsons, but that could be done the same way as on the Baal Predator.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Magnetizing a Baal Predator

I just magnetized two Baal Predators, so I decided to write a short tutorial based on the second one (the first was more of a learning experience). The instructions below will let you switch the turret weapons, as well as add and remove heavy bolter sponsons. I didn't bother with the heavy flamer sponsons as (A) they would be a difficult switch, and (B) I don't expect to ever use heavy flamer sponsons.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rhinos with Insignia

I'm continuing my assembly of models, so not too much interesting to show at the moment. I've assembled 15 Sternguard so far, and I'm working on magnetizing two Baal Predators and a Predator for the Executioners. I'm also assembling a Land Raider Crusader for the Blood Angels.

I'm trying to get everything assembled so that I can prime it before the weather gets too cold. This is my yearly ritual to ensure that I have enough to paint over the winter.

Anyway, I got bored of gluing magnets to my fingers and decided to paint the Executioners chapter insignia on my Rhinos. I based the placement on one of the illustrations in Imperial Armour 10.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Game Recap

I ended up playing against another Blood Angels player, using roughly the following list:

Librarian w/ jump pack

10 Assault Marines w/ power weapon, 2 flamers

6 Death Company w/ 1 thunder hammer riding in Land Raider Crusader

Chaplain (leading DC, of course)

Corbulo, riding w/
5 Assault Marines w/ power fist, flamer, in Heavy Flamer Razorback

10 Scouts with bolt pistols and swords, 1 shotgun

5 Scouts with sniper rifles and missile launcher

Death Company Dreadnought w/ magna-grapples and blood talons in Drop Pod

2 x 2 Attack Bikes with multi-meltas

I think that's everything. That should be a 1,750 point list, so I cut 100 points of gear from my list to match. The game was Dawn of War Annihilation. The table was fairly open with lots of hedges and craters giving cover and a large forest on the right side of my opponent's deployment zone. I'm not going to provide a full battle report, just a general run down with some thoughts at the end. Sorry for the lack of pictures; I forgot to bring my camera.

Monday, October 10, 2011

General Update

Apologies for my lack of post last Friday. I spent the end of last week traveling and then had a lot of catch-up to play this weekend. Sadly, this means I don't have much in the way of content to post.

I have assembled my MkIV Sternguard marines, and I've started with the MkII's. While the Forgeworld pieces have great detail and I didn't see any problems with them when I first went over them, close inspection has revealed quite a few tiny bubbles and chips which require a bit of green stuff work to fix. There has also been a bit of filing to get sharp edges on armor plates. While nothing has been really complex, it takes a lot longer to assemble the Forgeworld marines than a standard squad. Thankfully, their look is worth it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Executioners Characters: Pedro Kantor

Kantor is our second option for a character that grants Stubborn, and thus fits well into an Executioners force. He a Chapter Master, with the standard statline, Orbital Bombardment, and the option for a Honor Guard squad. He carries a power fist as well as a very fast firing storm bolter. He’s a solid close-combat character, though striking last with only a 4+ invulnerable save and no Eternal Warrior means he can’t stand up against real assault specialists.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Executioners Scouts

I now present my next Executioners squad, Scout squad Balthus. Equipped with sniper rifles, a missile launcher, and camo cloaks, the squad has proven excellent at holding a backfield objective and even kills something every once in a while. As a cheap and survivable scoring unit, they've proven pretty excellent.

Monday, September 26, 2011

High Exemplar Kreoss

I normally keep a character model on my painting table while I'm working on squads. Whenever I get bored of assembly line painting, I can spend a while working on them. While I'm painting my Executioners, I have even more time as I wait for washes to dry. Using this strategy, I finished my first Warcaster, High Reclaimer Kreoss.

Once again, I tried to minimize the gold (even on a Warcaster). I'm happy with his paintjob, though the robes aren't my best work. I've done a fair amount of robes before between my Eldar and a squad of robed Vanguard Veterans, but the robes on this models are sculpted differently. They seem to have more folds that are smaller and not quite as deep. My layering technique didn't work as smoothly here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Executioners Characters: Thulsa Kane

Thulsa Kane is the official special character for the Executioners, and one of three characters granting Stubborn. He is by far the best Chaplain available to Space Marines, with the statline of a Captain (minus one point of initiative) matched with the special rules of a Chaplain. While other Chaplains are far better at complimenting their squad than inflicting damage on their own, Thulsa Kane has the statline to inflict a few casualties himself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birthday Post

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Honestly, not much happened but I did discover that my girlfriend has actually been paying attention while I've been working on the Executioners and staring endlessly at the Forgeworld site. When I got home from work, she generously gave me the following:

That's the Imperial Armor Volume 9 and 10, along with a set of Mark 2, 3, and 4 Marines and a set of Mark 2 and 5 Assault Marines, along with an assortment of weapons for them. My plan is to make the standard marines into Sternguard for the Executioners while the Assault Marines will form a new Assault squad for the Blood Angels.

I can't wait to get started on these guys. I'm working on a squad of sniper Scouts right now, but these will be a priority as soon as I finish them. I've got to plan some Executioners lists that use Sternguard now...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Executioners Rhinos

Having finished my squad of Devastators for the Blood Angels, I turned to my Executioners and the Rhinos for my Tactical squads. They were painted in the same way as the the Tactical Marines, though I had to thin the wash 1:1 with water in order to get even coverage on such large, flat plates. Even so, it came out splotchy in a few places. I was able to hide this by stippling Boltgun Metal over the offending areas.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blood Angels Devastators Part 2

It took a while, but I've finished painting the rest of the Devastators from Tenth Squad, Fourth Company. I particularly enjoyed these guys as I was able to go crazy with all the backpacks and bolters that I had left over from my Death Company boxes. These guys have tons of Blood Angels detail that I've never had the chance to use before. In addition, I am not officially finished painting all 100 marines in the Fourth Company. I think I initially decided to collect a full company in 1998, so it's been a long time coming.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


One of the biggest advantages of the Space Marine codex is the large number of special characters that can change how your army plays. All of these characters work best with armies tailored to their strengths. I’ll probably discuss the other characters later, but I want to start out with the characters that give the army Stubborn, the official chapter trait of the Imperial Fists and all of their successors, including the Executioners.

First, I want to discuss Stubborn. Essentially, it allows you to ignore negative modifiers to your leadership. Stubborn is bets used when you need to tie up enemy units despite taking heavy casualties. It works best when there are a few models with killing power in a large squad. The best example of this is the Imperial Guard blob squad with Commissar. It has the numbers to soak up wounds and multiple power weapon wielding sergeants. Even though they will lose every combat, they will eventually wipe out smaller numbers of elite troops.

You may be thinking that this doesn’t sound much like Space Marines. With a maximum squad size of 10 marines, any squad that can inflict enough casualties to make Stubborn useful will just rip through a marine squad. It may keep your power fist wielding sergeant in combat an extra turn, but that’s it. In most circumstances, Stubborn is inferior to Combat Tactics. Fortunately, all of the Fist characters come with other advantages to make up for their weak Chapter Tactic.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spacecurves Battle Report

I imagine most people read BOLS regularly and so have already seen this, but there's an article there that's very interesting to those of us still playing standard Marines.

Ben Mohlie is the captain of the American ETC as well as a high level tournament player that still uses Codex Marines and still wins with them. I try to read all of his articles to pick up tips and tricks, and they're always interesting and useful.

Here we have a battle report against Space Wolves against the captain of the Danish ETC team. I still find Space Wolves to be a really tough match up with my Blood Angels, and I imagine it will stay the same once I start seriously playing my Executioners.  If you haven't read it yet, I really suggest it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tutorial: 10th Squad Insignia

Today, I thought that I would take a break from writing tactics and army lists (which have been my dominant posts lately since I haven't had much time to paint). This will be a quick tutorial on free-handing the squad insignia for the 10th squad of a Blood Angels Company. Of course, it will also work for the 9th squad if you reverse the colors.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Army List Help: Imperial Fists

Recently Warflake from asked me to look over his lists for the Imperial Fist army that he’s building. I started putting this into the comments on his blog, but it rapidly became too large and I thought it would be best to make a blog post about it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 5: Librarians

Librarians are a common HQ choice in Space Marine armies, as well as Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Grey Knights armies. The first reason for this is that they have psychic hoods, which provide the only psychic defense marines can access. Given the prevalence of psychic powers and how dangerous they are some of the newer codices, any chance to thwart enemy psykers is worth it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 4: Sternguard Veterans

I already wrote a bit about Sternguard when I was writing the Blood Angel Tactica. I concluded they were an excellent unit, but that there are generally better choices for Elite slots in Blood Angel armies. Sternguard specialize in close-range firefights, and Blood Angels generally deal with the enemy more efficiently in assault. However, that dynamic really shifts when you don’t have access to masses of furious charging Assault marines.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Experimenting with Honor Guard

I've been playing quite a few 1,000 point games lately, both solo and team games. My standard list includes a unit of Assault Terminators, who act as the anchor to my force and take on any enemy units that I don't want to assault. I've previously discussed using Assault Terminators in a Descent of Angels armies, but they have some issues at 1,000 points. Mainly, it's that I don't have the points to include Corbulo, so the Terminators aren't very reliable. If they scatter poorly or don't show up until turn 4 or 5, it can easily cost me the game.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 3: Assault Terminators

Space Marines as a whole aren’t very good at assault compared to the other marine codices. There are only a couple Space Marine units that can really dish it out in close-combat, and they tend to be expensive. Command Squads can be kitted out as a seriously assault threat, as can Vanguard Veterans, but both take a ton of points to make them dangerous. However, Space Marines do have one option that allows them to compete in the assault phase.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 2: Firepower

In my last post, I discussed what I see as the biggest drawback of Codex: Space Marines, its weak Troops choices. Now I’d like to discuss what I think is the biggest advantage of Space Marines: the large amount of relatively cheap firepower they can put on the field.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blood Angels Devastators

This is the first half of my new Devastator squad for my Blood Angels. I guess this would be considered the business end of the squad with all of the heavy weapons. I'll be doing the five bolter marines next. This squad is the last squad of my Fourth Company, so five more marines and I will have completed all 100.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 1: Troops

I've been doing a lot of product reviews and posts showing off painting, so I thought I'd start a new series on tactics and army selection. Of course, it will be interspersed between other posts on painting and reviews on hobby supplies. I'm trying to be a well rounded blogger.

I will be playing my Executioners using Codex: Space Marines, and I’ve gotten quite a few stunned looks when I tell people this. There is a widely held belief that Space Marines are inferior on the table-top compared to the Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Grey Knight, and even compared to the older Dark Angels and Black Templar. While I do believe that Codex: Space Marines is showing its age and the fact that it was the first 5th Edition Codex, it still has quite a few advantages over the newer codices. I’m not going to go over C:SM quite as thoroughly as I did the Blood Angels, just because I think I only have one 30 page codex review in me per edition, but I will discuss what I see as the high points.

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Protectorate of Menoth Warjacks

I've been planning to start a Protectorate of Menoth army for a while, and had picked up two light warjacks, the Revenger and the Vigilant. A friend also gave me the warcaster High Exemplar Kreoss. I started painting the jacks while painting my Executioners Tactical Marines, mostly to have something to do while waiting for washes to dry.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Product Review: Secret Weapon Washes

Games Workshops current line of washes is a great product line, useful for most painters and making shading really easy to do. However, with only 8 colors available and some of the rarely used (I'm looking at you, Leviathan Purple), they're pretty limited.

Secret Weapon miniatures has their own line of washes, and they currently have 30 different colors to choose from. With that sort of variety, I had to try them out, so I picked up 9 of their original 20 washes that I thought would be useful for me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Last of the Executioners Tactical Marines!

I've finished painting the last of my twenty Tactical Marines for the Executioners. I think this batch came out the best of the bunch.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Product Review: Exectioners Rhino Doors

When it comes to custom parts for different chapters, these are generally limited to very popular chapters. Forgeworld has done a good job of supplying bits for most first founding chapters, and a few other like the Red Scorpions and Astral Claws. For the moment, Executioners have to fend for themselves.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tutorial: Slate Bases

I've had a few questions about how I make the bases for my Executioners, and I even had one person think they were resin bases and ask me where I bought them. I figured it would be a good idea to write up a quick tutorial on how I made them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

More Executioners Tactical Marines

I've finished another batch of Tactical marines. I think I've finally got the painting techniques I'm using down and I can finally avoid splotchy armor. This squad was assembled with as many unusual shoulder pads as I could find, primarily studded pads and pads from company champions. Like the helmets, I think it gives them a bit more medieval, barbaric look.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What Codex to Use for Executioners?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about what codex is best to run Executioners under. I figured I would write up my thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of each. Let’s start off with what we know about the Executioner’s on the battlefield.

First, they prefer to fight up close, either with short-ranged shooting or in assault. Second, they field a large number of Chaplains so that they can record the deeds of each warrior. Third, they rely heavily on Sternguard, going so far as to replace a Devastator squad in each battle company with a Sternguard squad. Because of this, we can infer they field less Devastators than most Chapters. Fourth, they dislike the use of bikes and prefer Land Speeders. Also, they use heavy armor whenever possible, meaning Predators, Vindicators, and Land Raiders should be common. Finally, they’re stubborn like all Fists and refuse to fall back from battle.

I’m going to examine how best to represent these in the Space Marine, Space Wolf, and Blood Angel codices. I’m leaving out the Dark Angels, Black Templar, and Grey Knights because they don’t seem to fit at all. The Black Templars will be a promising option once they are redone, but their current list is best played really shooty and doesn’t really fit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Executioners First Squad, Fourth Company

I've finished painting my first Executioners Tactical (not that that's much of a surprise to you since I've put 6 of the 10 model up here already). Here are the remaining 3 standard marines.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Magnetizing Arms

I have found it tremendously useful to magnetize the arms of characters and sergeants within my armies. It allows me to switch options within the squad without having spare models for each possible configuration, so it allows a great deal of flexibility without spending any additional money. I know it sounds daunting at first, but it really is very simple.

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Executioners Tactical Marines

The excitement at work has died down a bit, so I had some time to work on my Executioners. I finished four more Tactical marines, including the special weapons for this squad.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Real Life Post

This blog is dedicated to my gaming, but I wanted to have a post dedicated to an exciting event in my real life. I'm a graduate student, and my adviser and I just published a study on learning behavior in lizards. I guess it has a lot of general interest, because it got a LOT of media coverage this morning. Like, and absolutely unforeseen amount of coverage.

The Economist

Science News

New Scientist



National Geographic

Cosmos Magazine



UK Daily Mail


The Epoch Times

Those are all the stories I could find this morning, but I'm told there are more that are just not published yet, including the NY Times and The Economist. I never really expected any media buzz generated on any of my research, so this is pretty exciting for me.

Okay, enough real life. Next post will go back to 40K

Sunday, July 10, 2011

High Chaplain Thulsa Kane

So I sat down yesterday intending to paint four more Executioner Tactical Marines. It only made sense. I've finished two Tactical Marines so far, so I really should finish a squad. Plus, I always like to paint a good base of troops first.

A few hours later, when the painting haze cleared, I had made it as far as washing the power armor of the Tactical Marines. Mysteriously, I had also finished painting my conversion of Thulsa Kane. Not really sure where I lost control of the situation. Anyway, I think he came out quite well.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Executioners Inspiration

One of the main reasons why I chose to make an Executioners army is the background. I liked the idea of an honorable yet barbaric chapter, combined with a grim outlook. The Space Wolves have always been the flagship for barbaric space marines, but their drunken carousing doesn't really appeal to me much.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Reliable Deepstriking Terminators?

As I've written before, my Assault Terminators perform an important role in all of my primarily jump infantry armies. They can take on enemy units that Assault squads can't. With the proliferation of units with lots of power weapon or power fists attacks, we need a unit with invulnerable saves to take them on. Vanguard are great at tying them up, but become really expensive if you give them storm shields and power weapons. Terminators have massive survivability and hitting power, allowing them to take on almost any enemy hammer unit.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My 1,850 Point List

With the completion of my Sanguinary Priests, my 1,850 point all jump pack list is completed. I've been working toward this since the release of the latest codex.

Reclusiarch w/ jump pack

2 x Sanguinary Priests w/ jump packs and power weapons

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

5 Assault Marines w/ power fist, infernus pistol, meltagun

5 Assault Terminators, all w/ thunder hammer and storm shields

5 Vanguard Veterans w/ jump packs, thunder hammer, 2 lightning claws

5 Vanguard Veterans w/ jump packs, thunder hammer, 2 lightning claws

5 Sanguinary Guard w/ 2 infernus pistols, Chapter Banner

I've played this list a few times so far, before I finished painting it. It works well with lots of anti-infantry assault, anti-tank from the meltaguns, and enough Feel No Pain marines to survive against a lot of firepower. Of course, the Assault Terminators still provide a great anchor for the rest of the force to operate around.

I have some other plans for 1,850 lists, which I'll discuss more once I finish painting them and start playing them. One thing that I've been missing with this list is some long-range firepower, which I'll be adding soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tribute to a friend, and some miniatures

This post has a bit if a story behind it. In the summer of 2002, I was working at college. I had just finished Freshman year, and I was working in a lab. I had been playing the Blood Angels for four years by that time, but I can't say I was very serious about it. My painting was pretty poor, my army lists were a random smattering of whatever I owned, and my tactics were pretty much jump into Rhinos and charge forward.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

So What Next?

I've reached the end of my planned articles about Blood Angels army lists and tactics. I will of course keep writing about them, but articles will have to wait until I get further inspiration. If you have any topics you'd like me to write about, please let me know in the comments or by email.

In the mean time, I'm just starting on two projects. First, I'm starting to play Warmachine, building a Protectorate of Menoth army. Right now, I'm just learning about the game and the army. So far, I've acquired a High Exemplar Kreoss, a Revenger, and a Vigilant. Kreoss and the Revenger seem really useful, but I'm not sure about the Vigilant. I'm looking forward to starting painting them.

The second project is a new 40K army. I really like playing my Blood Angels, but they play very differently from the way I've been used to for two editions. Up until the current codex, Blood Angels were essentially standard marines with faster but unreliable transports. While I love being able to field an all jump infantry army, I miss using Rhinos and Tactical squads. This combined with the release of the Imperial Armor: Badab War book to inspire me to make an Executioners army. So far, I've made two test marines and converted their special character, Chaplain Thulsa Kane. They will be my next painting project.

Monday, June 13, 2011

To Go First or Second?

I’ve noticed that many players seem to always prefer to go first, no matter what the circumstances. The standard reasoning is that whoever goes first gets to open fire first, taking out enemy units before they ever get to act. This reasoning applies well to armies with lots of shooting but little mobility, but not to many other armies.

In general, armies capable of avoiding enemy fire and shooting to full effect benefit from going second. This mostly applies to armies composed of fast vehicles and armies that arrive entirely from reserve. These armies are able to simultaneously benefit from all the advantages of going first and second. Their mobility enables them to open fire before the enemy, the main advantage of going first. At the same time, there are many benefits to going second.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Deep Strike Model Placement

The rules for deep striking require you to place the first model according to your scatter die, then circle the remaining models around it in concentric rings. Depending on the number of models in the squad, that gives your varying levels of control over how you place your models. This means that partial rings are the most flexible, as they give you the most choice in how to place your models.

Let’s start out talking about five strong squads. These are your most flexible squads when deep striking. Let’s assume you’re deep striking the squad with the intent to meltagun a tank, so you drop it 4” away, as shown in the last article on deep striking. You scatter 3” toward the tank. If this were a seven strong squad, you’d have no option but to place models within 1” of the tank, but a five strong squad can be placed like this:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Commander Dante: Finecast Review

I know raging about the new finecast miniatures is in right now, but I've been reading pretty mixed reviews so far. Some people claim that the models that they buy look great, while others complain that that malformations, particularly bubbles, make their models unusable without significant repairs. I decided I wanted to see for myself, and I've been thinking about running an 1,850 point list with Dante, so I decided to pick up one of the new Dante miniatures.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Deep Strike Placement

Deciding exactly where to drop deep strikers is tricky. Even with Descent of Angels, there’s a significant amount of randomness is where the squad will land. There are two main concerns when determining where to deep strike: how far the squad can scatter and what you need the squad to do.

The first concern is pretty easy to understand. If the squad has a jump pack, it will only scatter D6”, while I squad without will scatter 2D6”.  Obviously, this allows you to be much more aggressive when deep striking jump packers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Assault squad and Sanguinary Guard Squad

I thought I'd take a break from some of the tactical writing to post pictures of my latest two squads. The first is an Assault squad made by combining standard Assault squad and Death Company parts. The squad is painted as the 4th squad of the 8th Company, as I've already painted both Assault squads from my 4th Company. I'm trying to keep the squad markings accurate, no matter how little sense codex organization makes with our current army list. The sergeant's arms are magnetized so he can switch out weapons.

Monday, May 23, 2011

1,750 DoA List Request

I was asked for some help building a 1,750 point list for a tournament. The list is supposed to be a DoA list, but is restricted because his area doesn’t allow squads to combat squad when they enter from reserve (a very harsh reading of the current BA FAQ). He has the following models.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Deep Striking or Deploying

When playing a Descent of Angels army, the first decision you have to make is whether to deploy normally or deep strike. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and should be used in certain circumstances.

The biggest advantage of regular deployment is its reliability. You know that you’ll have all of your units from the beginning of the game, with no chance of any squads staying off the field until the fifth turn. You also have the advantage of being able to place your squads exactly where you want, within the confines of your deployment zone. This is the biggest downside to deploying normally: it forces you to cross the table at normal speed. Even for jump packers, this can leave you vulnerable to lots of enemy firepower.

Friday, May 13, 2011

1,000 Point List

I think this is a good point to present a sample list. I'm going to start with a 1,000 point list that I've been using a lot lately, as small lists are easier to explain.

Reclusiarch w/ jump pack, infernus pistol

Sanguinary Priest w/ jump pack, power weapon

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

5 Assault Marines w/ power fist, infernus pistol, meltagun

5 Assault Terminators w/ thunder hammers, storm shields

5 Devastators w/ 4 missile launchers

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Support Units

While it is entirely possible to make an all jump packer army, it does have some weaknesses that are better filled by other units. Its main problem is a lack of long range fire. In my experience, this leads to three problems.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Descent of Angels Armies

A strict Descent of Angels army has a fairly limited choice of units that it can take. These units have some difficulty fulfilling all the roles found in a balanced army, but they compensate by reliably arriving from reserves and precision deep striking. Once they arrive, they maintain impressive mobility. What follows is a short discussion of the units that you can take in an all Descent of Angels army and what roles they fill.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Holding Objectives

Holding objectives is vital in two-thirds of games. This must be done by a Troops squad (or in some cases, other squads that gain Scoring status due to some special rule). I generally classify objectives as either backfield or forward objectives.

Backfield objectives are those within your deployment zone or very near it.H This makes them easy to take control of early in the game, and allows you to quickly establish a defensible firebase to guard the objective. This works best when you have Troops with long-ranged weapons, allowing them to remain in the backfield and still damage the enemy.

Forward objectives are generally anything in your opponent’s half of the table. They’re too far from your deployment zone for you to easily move firepower units to them, and they would lose too much firepower trekking across the battlefield. Forward objectives are best taken by fast moving units, generally assault-oriented ones. You’ll often have to clear enemy units from them, so having some assault hitting power helps.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Destroy Enemy Transports

While transports aren’t high priority targets in and of themselves, they provide a massive bonus to squads riding in them. Transports increase the mobility of a squad as well as protecting them from anti-infantry firepower. Therefore, they both help the squad fulfill its objectives and prevent you from damaging the squad. This makes transports much higher priority than their points cost and armament warrants.

While lascannons and missile launchers have difficulty destroying heavy tanks, they reliably penetrate most transports. The first priority of any unit carrying this type of firepower should be to destroy enemy transports, robbing their units of mobility and leaving them vulnerable to your anti-infantry firepower and assault. These weapons are much more desirable than destroying transports using short ranged firepower or in assault. Either of these will leave your squad near the disembarked enemy unit, vulnerable to rapid fire or counter-assault. Use your long range weapons to destroy the transports, then move in to assault their contents.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Destroying Heavy Tanks

The second major class of targets that I always consider is enemy heavy tanks. In my mind, this includes any vehicle with AV12 or higher with significantly threatening weaponry.

There are two things you need to consider when dealing with enemy tanks. The simplest and most straightforward is destroying them. Though lascannons and missile launchers have the capacity to take out heavy tanks at range, they cannot do so reliably. In general, this will require your units to get close and engage the tanks with melta weapons or in assault. While this is your ultimate objective, it often is not feasible until late game.

While you’re waiting for your chance to destroy enemy tanks, you need to minimize the damage they do to your army. For Blood Angels, this often means using speed to stay out of their lines of fire. However, it is important to be able to suppress enemy tanks to grant your troops freedom to move through their field of fire. This is generally done with large amount of medium strength firepower, such as that provided by autocannons. Your goal here is to inflict any damage result which will prevent the tank from firing. Once you stun or shake a tank, switch your firepower to targeting the next one. Suppressing fire is only concerned with preventing the maximum number of tanks from firing in the next turn.

When prioritizing targets, always be sure to think about the damage each tank will be able to do in the next shooting phase, not just its overall potential to deal damage. In other words, target priority must take into account not only what guns the tank has but what it can shoot at. No matter how dangerous a tank is, it’s low priority if it doesn’t have any target to shoot at.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Army Building

I’ve finally finished my unit reviews, so I can move on to discussing how to build and use a Blood Angels army. For the time being, I’m going to be concentrating on armies that are predominantly jump infantry. While there are other types of Blood Angels armies that work very well, I started playing Blood Angels because of Assault marines. For me, Blood Angels armies will always be dominated by jump troops.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Brother Corbulo

Brother Corbulo is a special character that can be purchased in place of a standard Sanguinary Priest. While he’s more expensive (though not too much more expensive than a Priest with jump pack and power weapon, my most usual build), he has a significantly better statline, some good equipment, and a very useful special rule.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Locator Beacons and Teleport Homers

I want to discuss the locator beacon and teleport homer separately from the units they can be deployed with. Both options increase the accuracy of your deep strikes (the locator beacons for all deep strikes, while the teleport homer only works with Terminators) if you deep strike near them.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Land Raiders

Land Raiders are the ultimate assault tank, heavily armored, packing tremendous firepower, and able to deliver squads directly into assault. All of this comes with a significant price tag, though, so you have to be careful with them. Land Raiders are generally pretty safe from enemy fire, as long as you keep them away from lance and melta-weapons. They are best used aggressively to deliver assault units, usually Terminators, into the enemy line. Once there, they can use their weapons to support your assault. Power of the Machine Spirit allows the Land Raider to always fire an extra weapon, and to fire it at a different target, so it can stay pretty mobile while engaging multiple targets.

Drop Pods

The Drop Pod allows a unit that otherwise couldn’t to deep strike. This can be an great way of getting slower units into combat reliably. I won’t discuss specific units, as those that really benefit from a Drop Pod were mentioned in their own entries. Here, I’ll concentrate more on how to use a Drop Pod within an army.


The Razorback is similar to the Rhino, sacrificing some of its transport capacity in exchange for a heavy weapon. Razorbacks can be a cheap way to add more firepower to your list, regardless of force organization choices.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The Rhino is usually referred to as ubiquitous, and with good reason. It’s almost a required upgrade for every powered armored squad in the game. Ours is very similar to the standard Rhino, but it’s fast. This is an excellent upgrade, whether the Rhino carries a shooty or assaulty squad.

Honor Guard

Note: I wrote this back when I was doing the HQ section, but I forgot to post it, so it's a bit out of order.

The Honor Guard is without a doubt our most flexible unit. It can take a full range of close combat equipment as well as special weapons. In addition, it comes with a Sanguinary Priest built into it. This means he can’t be picked out in close combat, making him much less vulnerable than the Elite Sanguinary Priest.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The Whirlwind is a mobile artillery piece, and it isn’t too common in any Space Marine army. It can indirectly fire a large blast heavy bolter or a large blast bolter that ignores cover. This works best against medium to light infantry, which most Space Marines don’t have much trouble with due to having lots of bolters. In addition, the Whirlwind has very little capacity to damage vehicles. Predators and Baal Predators can provide lots of more reliable anti-infantry firepower in a more survivable tank that can also engage vehicles. In addition, we pay extra for our Whirlwinds because they’re fast, an advantage that they will rarely if ever use.

I’ve seen Whirlwinds used to good effect in certain Codex Marine armies, but I’ve yet to find a good use for Whirlwinds in a Blood Angels army. Between our Assault marines and Predators, Blood Angels rarely have problems with massed light infantry.


Vindicators are a blunt instrument, packing one extremely powerful gun onto a reasonably tough chassis. Our Vindicators, like our other vehicles, are fast, making it even harder for your enemy to avoid the Vindicator’s fire and overcoming the Vindicator’s biggest weakness, the short range of the demolisher cannon.

The Vindicator is very destructive, but it does have some drawbacks that must be considered. First, it only has a single gun, meaning that any “Weapon Destroyed” results neuter it. Second, the demolisher cannon is so dangerous that the Vindicator is guaranteed to attract a lot of firepower. This can often keep a single Vindicator from firing a single shot all game. Finally, the demolisher cannon is lethally dangerous to our own marines if it scatters on them. This makes the Vindicator dangerous to include in armies with lots of Assault troops, as they’ll often be very close to the enemy squads that it will want to target.

The Vindicator can make a strong addition to mechanized, shooty Blood Angels armies. In general, it’s best to take two or three of them to make them harder to suppress. In more assault-based armies, such as jump pack heavy armies, they don’t fit as well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Devastator Squads

Devastator squads provide a great deal of firepower combined with the durability of an infantry squad. Codex Marine Devastators pay a premium for their heavy weapons, but our Devastators pay the same as Tactical Marines. This means that our Devastators provide the cheapest, most durable firepower that we have access to. However, they’re totally immobile when they fire.


The standard Predator is a great asset to most Space Marine armies, providing excellent anti-infantry or anti-vehicle firepower with good durability and mobility, for very reasonable points. Blood Angels Predators are a bit different, in their rules and points as well as their role in the army.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stormraven Gunships

The Stormraven Gunship is the flashiest addition to our Fifth Edition Codex. It’s an impressive unit, being a fast skimmer mounting a variety of weapons, able to transport two units, one of them a Dreadnought. Melta weapons don’t get an extra penetration die against it, and the Power of the Machine Spirit allows it to fire an extra weapon, even when moving flat out. However, it’s easy to confuse its role in your army.


Dreadnoughts are a solid, flexible unit that fit well into a variety of armies. They’re essentially a crippled Marine encased in a gigantic suit of Terminator armor, and they can be fielded with a large variety of weapon options. In general, they are fielded to fill three roles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scout Bike Squads

Scout Bikers are an extremely niche unit. They’re just as fast as any other bikers, and they have unparalleled deployment options with both Infiltrate and a 24” Scout move. However, they’re very expensive for an upgraded Scout, complete with low weapon and ballistic skill and a 4+ save. This renders them pretty easy to kill.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bike Squadrons

Bike squads are a rarity in Blood Angel armies, but they can fulfill important roles in certain list builds. In general, you can think of Bikes as really good Tactical squads. They’re faster and tougher, and they can carry two special weapons as well as a heavy weapon that can fire while moving. However, our Bikes fight in combat just as well as our Tactical Marines. This means they won’t kill much, but they are great at holding up enemy units. If you combine their toughness 5 with Feel No Pain from a Priest, a Blood Angels Bike squad will tie up all but the most dangerous enemy squads.

Attack Bike Squads

Attack Bike squads fill a similar role to Land Speeder squadrons. They provide hard-hitting but very mobile firepower. Attack Bikes cannot mount the number or range of weapons that the Speeder can, but they can take either heavy bolters or multi-meltas, allowing them to engage either infantry or vehicles.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Baal Predators

The Baal Predator is a unique unit to the Blood Angels, and one of the first unique units we received, in the 3rd Edition Codex. While other Predators target armor or are generalists, the Baal Predator specializes in wiping out infantry. It generally has two load-outs, one that wipes out light to medium infantry and one that takes out power armor.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Land Speeder Squadrons

Land Speeders provide fast and hard hitting firepower to Space Marine armies, and Blood Angels are no exception. Two loadouts stand above the others.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Vanguard Veterans

Our Vanguard Veterans are very similar to their Codex Marine equivalents. They’re a tiny bit cheaper, and they have the option to give the sergeant a glaive encarmine rather than a relic blade. While standard Vanguard Veterans are widely considered to be one of the most over-priced units in the Marine Codex, ours are amazing and worth every point because of one army-wide special rule: Descent of Angels.

Sternguard Veterans

Our Sternguard veterans are the same as for standard Marines. They provide excellent close-ranged shooting, and they can carry multiple heavy weapons in small squads. Sternguard are our most flexible shooting unit, and they also are a rare opportunity to take heavy flamers on infantry. The heavy flamers are a good option if the squad is mounted, as it greatly accentuates their short-ranged firepower. Finally, the squad can take multiple combi-weapons, allowing them specialized firepower while maintaining their specialized bolters.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Assault Terminator Squad

Assault Terminators tend to be a better fit in Blood Angels army than Tactical Terminators. They sacrifice their shooting for better close-combat weapons. This actually helps them fit in a mobile, aggressive army, as Blood Angels armies tend to be. Since they have no shooting, they don’t sacrifice anything by being kept off the table initially. This allows them to deploy by deep strike or in a transport, either a Land Raider or Stormraven, without sacrificing their influence on the battle. 

Terminator Squad

Blood Angels Terminators are no different than the standard Codex equivalents. They provide fairly mobile firepower (either anti-infantry with the assault cannon or anti-vehicle with the cyclone missile launcher) while being durable and pretty good in combat. While they won’t measure up to Assault Terminators in close-combat, they all have armor-ignoring weapons and will tear apart any enemy squad that’s not packing lots of power weapons.

Furioso Dreadnought

The Furioso Dreadnought is a close-combat monster. Its high armor value means that it can shrug off most incoming fire and, most importantly, it’s very difficult to hurt with power fists in close-combat. Unless the squad you’re fighting has a chainfist or S9+ attacks, the Furioso can munch through it with fairly little fear of taking damage. In addition, the Furioso has a truly bewildering array of options that allow you to tailor it for any opponent. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sanguinary Guard

Sanguinary Guard are an elite assault squad, essentially the jump pack equivalent of Terminators. They cost the same and have the same 2+ save, but sacrifice their invulnerable save in exchange for a jump pack. Every Sanguinary Guard is armed with a glaive encarmine, which is a master-crafted two-handed power weapon, and an angelus boltgun, which is essentially a short-range but higher AP storm bolter.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sanguinary Priests

Sanguinary Priests are the heart of most Blood Angel armies. They give every squad within 6” the furious charge and feel no pain special rules, so they are an incredible force multiplier. This increases both the killing power and durability of any squad, so almost any squad will greatly benefit from having a Priest around. They have the statline of a veteran sergeant with an extra point of weapon skill, so they are pretty fragile for an independent character. You have to take this into account to get the most out of them.


The Techmarine is a choice that simply doesn’t know what role it wants to fill. This is a problem he shares with his counterparts in other marine codices. He can be easily equipped for close-combat, but he can’t join another squad and his servitor bodyguard is better at shooting. However, but his servitors are far too easy to kill to be trusted with heavy weapons or power fists. He can repair vehicles, but he only does it well when equipped with a servo-harness and servitor bodyguard, which mean he’s too slow to keep up with our vehicles.

The best use I’ve seen for the Techmarine is as relatively cheap, reliable melta delivery. Give him a combi-melta and jump pack and he’ll put one melta shot exactly where you want it before dying horribly next turn. I generally prefer a Land Speeder for deep striking melta (as it’s more likely to survive and continue to contribute in subsequent turns), but the Techmarine gives you the option for deep striking melta in Elite slots.


This is the same Chaplain that standard marines have as an HQ choice. He has significantly less hitting power and durability than the Reclusiarch, but otherwise he fulfills the same role. He is a great support character for the Death Company, as he grants the same re-rolls as the Reclusiarch, and he grants re-rolls to hit to any squad he joins. There’s not much more to say about the Chaplain; he’s a Reclusiarch lite.

In general, it’s worth paying the points to take a Reclusiarch instead of a Chaplain. The main purpose of the Chaplain is as support for a squad after you’ve already filled your HQ slots.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Captain Tycho

Captain Tycho can be taken as either of two versions, standard and Death Company. I’ll discuss the standard version first, then the Death Company version. Tycho has a standard Captain’s statline. He’s apparently been raiding a Codex Chapter’s armory, as he has artificer armor, digital weapons, and a combi-melta with Sternguard special ammunition, none of which our standard Captains have access to. In addition, his attacks count as a monstrous creature’s attacks. Finally, he passes his leadership onto the rest of the army, which is a nice bonus. Also, he has Preferred Enemy: Orks, which has essentially no affect on anything at all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mephiston, Lord of Death

Mephiston is a wrecking ball. He has a statline that would be more fitting on a monstrous creature and psychic powers to augment his already fearsome close-combat abilities. Like the Sanguinor, he is not an independent character. However, the small size of his model makes him easy to screen with both vehicles and infantry.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Infernus Pistol vs Hand Flamer

I'm going to take a break from my Tactica series to address an article that appeared on BOLS today (which can be found here). The author compares infernus pistols and hand flamers not so much to each other, but to meltaguns and flamers, respectively. He reaches the conclusion that the special weapons are always a better option than their pistol equivalents. I agree with this conclusion, but it's a specious comparison.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Sanguinor, Exemplar of the Host

The Sanguinor is one of our characters that isn’t an independent character. Thus, he can never join a squad and be protected from shooting and he can’t enter a transport that has another squad in it. However, he has the statline and rules to stand on his own. He comes with a jump pack, so he’s one of our HQs that fits well into a primarily jump packer list.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Astorath the Grim

Astorath is our head Chaplain, and he fights just as well as any Reclusiarch (though he has an extra point of weapon skill compared to them). He has the same abilities to augment the Death Company as the other Chaplains, and he has an excellent axe that is a strength 6 power weapon that forces enemy models to re-roll successful invulnerable saves. He comes with a jump pack, so he fits into any jumper heavy list very well. However, these factors alone don’t come close to being worth Astorath’s significant points cost.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chapter Master Gabriel Seth

Gabriel Seth is a surprisingly useful HQ choice, but he can’t take a jump pack. This limits him to a mechanized or hybrid army. Rather than a power weapon, Seth carries Blood Reaver, a gigantic, strength 8, rending chainsword. In addition, he can sacrifice his normal attacks to inflict one automatic hit on every model in base contact. Finally, he get to inflict a free hit (though without the benefit of Blood Reaver) on any enemy model that rolls a 1 to hit him. All of these are backed up by a statline almost as good as Dante’s, lacking only one point of initiative.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Commander Dante

Dante is a fairly flexible HQ choice that works best with a primarily jump pack army. He’s a bit better than a Captain in assault, and he packs an infernus pistol, so he’s a useful addition to any squad that will be seeing assault. Still, Dante isn’t that impressive on his own. Most of his worth lies in special rules that affect your army.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Frankly, the Captain is more of a fluff choice than anything else. He’s cheaper than the Reclusiarch and slightly harder hitting with an extra point of weapon skill. His main appeal is that you can customize his armament much more than the other choices. However, the most dangerous weapon he can take is a thunder hammer or lightning claw. He lacks access to anything at the level of a relic blade, so he can’t actually hit as hard as a Codex Marine Captain. In addition, he doesn’t add anything to the rest of your army beyond what he kills himself.

The Captain is a great choice if you want to theme your army or if you want a really customized character to represent you on the battlefield. However, he’s not the most competitive choice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This is my alternative choice for HQ, taken when I’m looking for a harder hitting HQ that can survive multiple assaults. He’s got any extra wound and attack compared to the Librarian. Combined with his 4+ invulnerable save, this means that he is much harder to kill and hits harder as well. His BS5 also means that he’s an excellent model to give an infernus pistol.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The Librarian is my default choice for an HQ. Of the choices available, he’s the best at supporting the rest of the army. He’s our cheapest option when correctly equipped, and several of his powers provide tremendous utility for the rest of our units.

Generally, I give my Librarian a jump pack, and that’s it. A special pistol can be handy for him, but only if you have some extra points lying around. The Epistolary upgrade can be handy if you want a seriously dangerous Librarian in assault, but it’s expensive. As we’ll see, you can have a standard Librarian that can use both of his powers to the fullest extent.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Death Company and Death Company Dreadnoughts

Death Company are something of a conundrum. They are a Troops choice that doesn’t score but have a better statline than Veterans and always have furious charge and feel no pain. The downside is that they also suffer from rage. In addition, a Chaplain allows the Death Company to re-roll failed to hit and to wound rolls.

All of this power actually comes at a bargain price as long as the Death Company don’t take jump packs, which are prohibitively expensive. A reasonably large squad of Death Company with a few power fists and a Rhino is not too expensive, and the Rhino allows you to control the squad until they disembark. A drop pod can also be useful, allowing you to drop directly into the enemy army, where rage won’t be much of a problem. Make sure to disembark the Death Company aggressively, in a place where the enemy can’t lead them around with a fast unit.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Scout Squads

Scouts have lost a point of weapon skill and ballistic skill since our last codex, but they still can perform an important role in our armies. Previously, Scouts were most useful as an assault oriented Troop. However, Assault marines are Troops and perform much better in assault, as well as carrying special weapons. In addition, Scouts being able to infiltrate or outflank is not a big deal considering how accurate our deep striking units are.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tactical Squads

The Tactical squad is the undisputed foundation of any Codex Marine army, and it has long been the foundation of Blood Angels armies. In our 5th Edition codex, our Tactical squads got a significant upgrade with free or discounted special and heavy weapons, and access to combi-weapons on the sergeant. Even so, they are generally supplanted by Assault squads in the current codex.

Assault squads can take a special weapon at 5 marines, and can take two when at full size, giving them superior firepower on the move at all sizes. In addition, Assault squads get a discount on their transports, while Tactical squads have to pay full price. This means that Assault squads fill many roles better than Tacticals. However, Tacticals do one thing that no other squad in our army does: it’s a resilient scoring unit that can hold an objective and provide reliable firepower. This is something Blood Angels lists often lack.

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