Monday, October 8, 2012

Blood Angels in 6th: Heavy Support


The standard Dreadnought is still a fine fire support unit. Its front armor 12 is respectable at range, and it avoids the main pitfall of assault walkers in 6th Edition, being easy to hit with grenades. The standard loadout of double twin-linked autocannons is still a solid all-around choice, stripping hull points from light vehicles and putting consistent wounds on infantry. It also averages just over 1 hit a round against fliers, which is great for a platform without skyfire. The twin-linked lascannon is also a choice that deserves consideration, as it has become better at killing vehicles thanks to being AP2. With the higher number of heavy tanks I’ve been seeing in 6th, it may be worth taking.

Stormraven Gunship:

The Stormraven was released in 5th Edition, so it had to be survivable and useful even when acting as a fast skimmer. Since it’s become a flier, the Stormraven is pretty amazing for its points. Its high armor makes it extremely hard to kill, and it packs an impressive arsenal of weapons, allowing it to engage tanks or infantry. Finally, it can deliver any squad reliably into assault. Frankly, the Stormraven is head and shoulders above the more recent fliers, which were designed for 6th Edition’s rules. Only the Vendetta brings more to the table for its points than the Stormraven.


Our Predator is the same as the standard Space Marine Predator, but with the Fast rule for a few extra points. Our Predators are great sources of mobile, high strength firepower, and their high front armor generally means that they’re pretty safe at range. I prefer to take an autocannon turret with lascannon sponsons for busting vehicles, as the Baal Predator kills infantry better. If deployed out of sight, our Predators can usually swing out and alpha strike enemy tanks thanks to their ability to move 6” and fire all weapons.

One concern with Predators (and all tanks really) is that fliers are quite adept at getting side armor shots on them. While it’s relatively easy to keep their front armor facing the enemy army, there’s not much you can do about fliers. Just try to get your Predators shots in before fliers blow them up, and cluster your tanks so that a single flier can’t take out multiple tanks on a single pass.  


Our Devastators, with their reasonably priced heavy weapons, are a solid, if relatively immobile, addition to most lists. They remain our most durable source of heavy firepower. Missile launchers are still a solid choice, though lascannons are good for engaging heavy tanks and plasma cannons will chew through the Terminators that seem to be showing up lately.


Our Vindicator also benefits from being Fast, meaning that it will reliably be able to fire it short-ranged demolisher cannon. The demolisher cannon will crush just about any squad of infantry, and has improved against vehicles now that the template only has to touch a vehicle to hit it at full strength. The Vindicator can engage any target, but you have to be careful to keep it out of range of melta weapons and assault.


The Whirlwind really hasn’t changed at all in 6th Edition. It can still put a fairly large number of wounds on most infantry, but it lacks the AP to really hurt marines. It will, however, annihilate squads of Eldar, Necron Warriors, Orcs, and smaller Tyranids. Given infantry’s expanded role in 6th Edition, the Whirlwind may see a rise in popularity. It’s quite cheap pointswise, but it has trouble competing with the other Heavy Support choices.


  1. The biggest weakness of the Blood Angels vindicator is that it fails to fill a distinct role. The Blood Angels can already count on a lot of excellent 12'' to 36'' firepower, not to mention good close combat. We struggle in the 36'' to 48'' range, and the vindicator is no help there. Most of our good fire support models are Heavy Support choices, so the vindicator seems to lose out by comparison. If the vindicator were Fast Attack, or if our other categories had more long range weapons, the vindicator would be more useful.

  2. I personally agree. The Vindicator blows pretty much everything up at short range, but I tend not to have trouble with that. My preferred Heavy Support choices are Devastators and Predators because I need that longer range firepower.

    That said, I know quite a few players that really like our fast Vindicators, so I do think they work well in some lists. These are primarily aggressive mechanized lists, which have become a bit more rare in 6th Edition. However, I didn't want to sell the Vindicator short because it doesn't fit with my playstyle.

  3. On the flip side, the ST 10 AP 2 template is far more effective than ever before. It comes down to personal preference IMO.


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