Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blood Angels in 6th: Troops

Assault Squads:

 Assault squads have been the stand-out choice among Blood Angels Troops for the last edition, but they’ve taken a pretty serious hit in this edition. Jump infantry became a bit more effective in general, but Assault marines don’t do much damage on their own. Their sergeant deals most of the damage, and he can be pulled out of the combat with challenges. Losing the extra initiative from Furious Charge really hurt them too, as they can’t kill off enemy marines before they can strike back. Finally, Assault squads really need attached characters (mostly Priests and Chaplains) to take on most enemy squads. These characters are now harder to kill in combat, which is great, but this really hurts their ability to deep strike as each character counts as a separate unit.

As far as Assault squads in Rhinos, this has been hurt because they can never assault when disembarking from them. Given the changes to rapid fire and heavy weapons, Tactical squads are a much better option for a Rhino mounted squad.

Assault squads are still valuable to adding bodies to an assault and carrying fast special weapons, but they can no longer just hurl themselves at the enemy and rely their initial charge to push the combat in their favor. Rather than masses Assault marines, I expect most assault forces to include a squad or two backed by heavier assault units.

Death Company:

Speaking of heavy assault units, the Death Company is an excellent one in our own Troops slot. Though pretty expensive, the changes to Rage make them extremely dangerous in combat and very reliable. They can operate without support from a Priest since they naturally have Furious Charge and Feel No Pain, but they really benefit from a Chaplain. On the charge with a Chaplain, each basic Death Company Marine averages almost 4 wounds against marines. These guys are a meat grinder.

They also have the ability to take power weapons and fists on standard models, so they can’t be called out in challenges. Lemartes allows the squad to gain all the benefits of a Chaplain while only counting as a single squad for deep striking. He is a very expensive upgrade character, and in smaller games you’re probably better off taking a Reclusiarch to lead the squad and fill your mandatory HQ slot.

The previously popular Death Company in a Rhino have once again lost some appeal because they can no longer assault from the Rhino in any circumstances. I’ve really enjoyed using Death Company with jump packs so far, as the speed and ability to deep strike means the enemy can’t really avoid them. However, a Land Raider makes for a great delivery system as well.

Tactical Squads:

 As for standard Space Marines, Blood Angels Tactical squads became better. Their reach was greatly extended between the changes to rapid fire and heavy weapons, and they can maintain pretty decent firepower while on the move. They make a good unit for holding mid-field objectives and providing supporting firepower for you assault forces.

As far as upgrades, I think they work best with plasma guns and whatever heavy weapons you need. Flamers and meltaguns are simply too short-ranged to be of much use. I lean toward lascannons or plasma cannons, as they’re relatively cheap on Tactical squads and very useful this edition. Power weapons and fists aren’t really worth it any more; the sergeant can easily be isolated in combat and a Tactical squad shouldn’t be launching many charges. Given the longer range of their weapons on the move, Tacticals also really don’t need Rhinos any more. Taken together, this makes an effective Tactical squad much cheaper than in last edition.


Scouts have taken a bit of a hit since 4+ cover saves aren’t as prevalent, but they work just fine as cheap objective holders. Snipers work best for this, but bolter Scouts are a good choice for maintaining fire on the move.

Death Company Dreadnought:

This is one unit I’m not sure about, as I have very little experience with it on the table either in 5th or 6th Edition. Since Death Company are now an attractive choice, it is much easier to fulfill the requirements to take a Death Company Dreadnought. With Fleet and Rage, the DC Dreadnought is more likely to reach combat and hits harder than a standard Furioso Dreadnought. However, it’s only front armor 12, meaning it can be glanced by krak grenades. I know from experience that this doesn’t happen too often, but it’s something to consider. Blood claws will tear through most infantry, while blood fists now have a niche dealing with Terminators.

However you take the DC Dreadnought, I think it needs a Drop Pod to get it close enough to the enemy to be a threat. Otherwise, it will just be destroyed by long range firepower.

What are your experiences so far in 6th? How do they match up against mine?

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