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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blood Angels in 6th: Elites



Chaplain:



The Elite Chaplain is still a good choice for a squad support character, but is overshadowed by the Reclusiarch. The Chaplain fulfills the same role but takes up an Elite slot rather than an HQ slot and is somewhat least durable and hard-hitting. I expect the Chaplain will only see use in large games where your HQ slots are full but you need extra characters to support your squads.


Sanguinary Guard:



The Sanguinary Guard became extremely useful in this edition. Though they lack an invulnerable save, that’s not too big a deal now that power swords won’t penetrate their artificer armor. As long as they avoid squads with lots of power fists or axes, Sanguinary Guard will chop through any enemy squads you put them up against. The first time I played them in 6th Edition, I was overjoyed to see power swords bounce off their armor. In addition, Sanguinary Guard don’t have any characters so that they can’t be hindered by challenge shenanigans.

While they cost as much as Terminators, their jump packs make up for their lack of an invulnerable save. I generally think they are best taken with three power swords and two power axes or fists (for taking out enemy characters wearing artificer armor). One or two infernus pistols are always a welcome addition if you have the points, though I feel that they’re less necessary now that vehicles are easier to kill without melta. I strongly suggest taking a Chapter Banner with your first squad, as it’s very worth the points for 5 extra power weapon attacks. In addition, if you plan or running any characters with the Sanguinary Guard (such as Dante or a Sanguinary Priest), make sure to attach them to the squad with the banner as they also get an extra attack.

Furioso Dreadnought:


Like the Death Company Dreadnought, I’m still not sure how best to play the Furioso. It’s still a close-combat vehicle, meaning it has to come within easy melta range and is very susceptible to grenades in assault. However, the Furioso has a major advantage in that it is front armor 13, making it immune to common krak grenades. Meltabombs are still a threat, but they’re not nearly as common.

Beyond that, a blood talon equipped Furioso is still a terror in close-combat, and one armed with blood fists is a reliable unit for tearing through Terminators. For dealing with light infantry, the heavy flamer and frag cannon are ideal.

One potentially extremely useful variant is the Furioso Librarian. The ability to choose powers from the Divination, Biomancy, Telepathy, or Telekinesis disciplines means that the Furioso Librarian can act as durable psychic support for infantry while hanging around as a decent counter-assault unit.

Terminators:



Like the Sanguinary Guard, standard Terminators have also become more useful now that they don’t have to worry about power weapons. Their large amount of anti-infantry firepower has also became more useful given how infantry heavy the game seems to be now. I expect to see more standard Terminators on the table now (though this will be countered by increasing amounts of plasma). Interestingly, even standard Terminators will tear through Grey Knight Terminators and Paladins unless they take lots of demon hammers. The Grey Knights will have difficulty piercing our Terminator armor, while our power fists will have no trouble going through theirs (and inflicting instant death on the Paladins).

At the moment, I’m thinking that assault cannons will be the preferred heavy weapons for Terminators, given their ability to tear through infantry and put large numbers of damaging hits on vehicles. Cyclone missile launchers are of course still useful, but I doubt that the missile spam we saw last edition will be as important this edition.

Assault Terminators:


Terminators with thunder hammers and storm shields are still the premier unit for soaking up wounds from elite assault units and taking out any unit they go up against. However, their storm shields are less required now that power swords don’t penetrate their armor. Thunder hammer Terminators still have a niche for taking on other Terminators and monstrous creatures, or pretty much any unit with AP2 close-combat attacks. In addition, their shields will help them soak up plasma wounds.

The lightning claw armed Assault Terminators have a somewhat opposite role, in that they are very capable of killing swathes of power armored or lighter infantry, but can’t really take on Terminators. However, I feel Sanguinary Guard are now better in this role.

Techmarines:

I still don’t see much use for Techmarines. They no longer are useful for disposable deep striking melta since we’re restricted in the number of deep striking units we can have.

Sternguard Veterans:

Sternguard have always been a great choice for laying down firepower, but I generally don’t see them in Blood Angels lists. I think this is because they don’t fit well into the aggressive style of armies that Blood Angels typically run. However, now that we can’t deep strike our whole armies, Sternguard are a good infantry unit to start on the table.

In general, I feel like the most efficient load out for Sternguard is a pair of heavy weapons or plasma guns along with a load of bolters. They have the options to engage any type of target.

Sanguinary Priests:



Sanguinary Priests are one of the hallmarks of Blood Angels armies, and I don’t expect that to change this edition. On the downside, Furious Charge is not as good as it was without the extra initiative and that Feel No Pain is only a 5+ instead of a 4+.  While the change to Furious Charge certainly hurts, Feel No Pain has improved in that it now works against any weapons that don’t inflict instant death (so it helps against power swords and plasma guns). In my mind, Feel No Pain has stayed pretty useful.

On the positive side, it is much easier to keep Priests alive now. With careful placement, they are difficult to kill in shooting and they get a 2+ Look Out, Sir. In assault, the enemy can’t allocate attacks directly to the Priest and he still gets his 2+ Look Out, Sir if any wounds happen to land on him. Since power sword wounds can’t be stacked on models any more, Priests with power weapons can make a great contribution to their squad, essentially adding another sergeant with better WS.

Overall, Sanguinary Priests are still very useful additions to Blood Angels. They add extra hitting power on the charge (which our Assault squads desperately need) and some extra durability (which every model in our army can use).

Brother Corbulo:


Brother Corbulo is our head Sanguinary Priest, and is notable for his extra wound and attack, as well as his special rules. While he grants Feel No Pain and Furious Charge to the squads around him just like normal Priests, he himself has 2+ Feel No Pain. This makes him a tremendous wound sink, able to stand at the front of a squad and absorb tons of enemy firepower (just be sure to Look Out, Sir any instant death wounds onto other members of the squad). In addition, Corbulo allows you to re-roll any single die over the course of the game. While this can be useful in almost any situation, it really helps Corbulo in his new role as a bullet magnet, as he can re-roll a failed Look Out, Sir or his final Feel No Pain roll in order to stay standing.

In addition, he’s not too shabby in close-combat with a S5 rending chainsword. If you need a Priest on foot, I would think seriously about Corbulo.

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