Monday, October 29, 2012

6th Edition Descent of Angels Pt 1

A Human Moment by Andrew Dobell

As I've written before, playing a pure (or even predominantly) DoA list with Blood Angels really doesn't work any more. I've been trying to for a while, and it suffers from one fatal flaw. Only half of your units can deep strike, so half must start on the table. Those who start on the table fall into two categories:

1) Numerous and scoring. This includes Tactical Marines and Scouts. They are resilient enough to stand up to the fire that will come across the table before the deep strikers arrive. However, they generally don't have too much firepower.

2) Strong shooting units, such as Predators and Devastators. These will be able to deal damage to the enemy, but are prime targets and will usually take most of the enemy shooting early in the game.

Both of these units types have trouble supporting your drop units. Tacticals in Rhinos can help, but if they try to advance too early, they will get shot off the board. In order for this to half of the army to hold objectives, survive enemy fire, and deal damage to the enemy, it needs a fairly even blend of resilient and shooting units. So far, so good.

My experience (based mostly on 1,850 point games) is that if I split the army evenly, both halves are too weak to deal with the enemy. The units that start on the board take heavy casualties from any enemy with dedicated firepower, and the drop units don't have the numbers to take on the whole enemy army when they arrive.

The only way I can see to deal with this problem is to bias toward one side or the other. The obvious solution is to take more units that start on the board; after all, that's the half of the army that has a minimum requirement. Doing so results in a relatively shooty army supported by specialized deep strikers. In this case, I see Death Company (for their sheer killing power and resiliency), Vanguard Veterans (for their ability to take out hard to reach targets) and Honor Guard (for their massive number of special weapons), as best units to deep strike. This is a fine way to play the army, and I am painting up two more Baal Predators for this style list.

However, I have the Executioners if I want to play a relatively shooty Space Marine list. Sure they're not as fast and they don't have any super accurate deep strikers, but the strategy is fairly similar. I don't really want to play two Marine armies with only slight differences. I also have over 100 jump pack Blood Angels of various types that don't like the idea of staying on the shelf all the time (surprisingly, my 6 Blood Angel Tacticals squads don't seem to mind so much). Therefore, I've been looking for a way to bring more jump packers.

One option I've tried is just taking tons of Assault marines and starting them on the board. This actually works surprisingly well against some armies. I often was able to charge in the second turn, which is impossible for deep strikers. The main problem was that it was really obvious where my assault is going to land, and my opponent can set up a strong counter-attack. This can be mitigated with some deep strikers to keep some surprise factor, but overall the army is too predictable and easily countered for my taste.

 This is getting a bit long, so I'm going to cut it here.  Check back on Wednesday for my (so far untested) idea for circumventing these problems.


  1. You could trade your jump-packs for drop pods. They FAQ'd it so the drop pod lists can still be played. I could be wrong, but it says that units that MUST be deployed in reserve do not count against the number of units held in reserve.

    At 1850 though, you'd have to take at least 7 drop pods to allow 4 units on the board first turn so you don't completely get wiped out.


  2. Drop Pod lists do still seem quite viable, but my Blood Angels collection really isn't built to take advantage of them. I am planning on getting enough pods to play my Executioners as a drop podding force, as their large number of Tactical Marines and Sternguard should work well. I'll also need to pick up some Dreadnoughts, but I was planning to anyway. The idea of an Executioner Ironclad just really appeals to me.


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