Wednesday, October 31, 2012

6th Edition Descent of Angel Pt 2

A Human Moment by Andrew Dobell
Happy Halloween!

In the last post, I described the problems I've been having playing DoA Blood Angels. In summary, I can't dedicate enough points to the deep striking portion of my list in order for it threaten the enemy. I was looking for ways to reduce the cost of the units that need to deploy on the table, but nothing really stood out. Even minimum strength Scout squads became expensive when I took enough to allow a decent deep striking force.

I was shamelessly complaining about this to Dardreg one day, and we eventually came to the conclusion that allies were the answer. I've been resistant to the idea of allies since the release of 6th, primarily because I wanted to learn how my armies function in isolation first. However, allies seem like the best option for making a Descent of Angels army work.

This is because the rules specify that half of an army's units may be kept in reserve, regardless of detachment. In addition, it's based purely on the number of units. Therefore, if I can deploy a large number of cheap allied units on the table, I can deep strike an equal number of more expensive Blood Angels units.

One of the limitations of this approach is that the allied detachment is very limited, so most armies won't allow me to add many units, even if they have access to cheap units. Therefore, I'm looking for an army that can field multiple cheap units in a single Force Organization slot. As I'm sure most of you have figured out, this means Imperial Guard.

The Imperial Guard Infantry Platoon allows me to deploy up to 14 units as a single Troops choice. These squads are cheap so I can easily deploy enough to counter-balance my deep striking Blood Angels. They're also numerous and scoring, meaning that they can absorb early game fire and hold my backfield objectives (something I've always struggled with with my Blood Angels). With Heavy Weapons Squads, they can also add a great deal of firepower to my deployed force, more than I can get from the Blood Angels. The downside is that units lack the quality of the Blood Angels, both in ballistic skill and survivability. Even so, it's totally worth it. The survivability problem can be improved by adding a cheap Aegis Defense Line.

I know Veterans are considered the competitive Troops choice for IG, and for good reason. They have better stats and carry a frankly absurd number of special weapons. That said, my main priority for this list is to pack in a large number of cheap units. Veterans are more expensive than Infantry Squads and each take their own FOC slot. A Veteran Squad could work as a second Troops choice, but the first really needs to be an Infantry Platoon.

There are also several Imperial Guard units in other slots that are cheap enough to work for this. Single Sentinels, Hydras, and Griffons are all cheap unit capable of dealing solid damage. I personally like the Griffon because it can deploy out of sight, stay safe, and bombard the crowds of infantry that are now on the table.

When it comes down to it, I've only found one downside to the Blood Angel/Imperial Guard alliance. The Rulebook FAQ states that reserve altering abilities only affect their parent detachment, meaning that the Imperial Guard Astropath won't make my Blood Angels arrive on a 2+ with a re-roll. I was really hoping that would work...

Anyway, there's my overall idea. I'll be playing with my Executioners for the near future as I build and paint an Imperial Guard detachment. The detachment will be made using the Wargames Factory Greatcoat Troopers that I reviewed earlier, painted and modeled as Armageddon Steel Legion. This will all be themed on the Second War of Armageddon, where the Blood Angels dropped directly into the Ork Horde to support the defenders of Hive Acheron.


  1. I've kicked the same idea around, and been resistant to it for the same reasons. Can you give me an idea of what list you'd be building towards? I'm curious.

  2. My next post will be about the two lists that I've planned so far. It's too much to go into the comments, but the IG detachment is based around a Company Command Squad and an Infantry Platoon. It's the best way to fit in lots of cheap units that should actually contribute to the battle.


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