Friday, January 9, 2015

First Thoughts on Blood Angels

I'm sure some of you have noticed that I haven't been posting as often as usual. The holidays are part of it, but I'm also getting prepared to move for a semester. I'll be teaching my own university class, and getting ready has been taking up a bunch of my time. Once I've moved and gotten a few lectures done, I should have more time to post.

I played a tournament with my Eldar to cap off my time with them, and I'll get that report up as soon as I'm able. After that, I'll be concentrating on my Blood Angels. I have a battle report of my first game with the new Blood Angels that I'll be writing up, as well as starting my unit reviews for the new codex. As far as painting goes, I've got quite a list of models to work on, as I picked up one of the new Tactical squads and the Deathstorm box, and I've still got a few things left over from when 6th Edition broke my heart.

Anyway, here are a few thoughts I have on the new Blood Angel codex.

1) I hear a lot of people complaining that Assault squads aren't Troops anymore. They were only Troops in our last codex (as well as the White Dwarf codex that briefly preceded it).  Before that, Assault squads were always Fast Attack. While I am a little bummed that I have 4 Assault squads and I can't field more than 3 in most detachments, it's not a huge deal. I wasn't taking anything else in my Fast Attack slots, and I'll be running the Baal Strike Force for most games. This gives Troops no extra benefits, but brings back my old Furious Charge. Most armies I've been playing have two Troops choices and then are filled out with more interesting squads. I actually find it very liberating.

2) Heavy flamers in Tactical squads are awesome. I've been experimenting with squads that have a flamer and heavy flamer (and sometimes a combi-flamer) in a Rhino. They do a great job of thinning infantry and holding an area (nobody wants to charge that many flamers).

3) Death Company, Sanguinary Guard, and Vanguard Veterans all got a pretty heavy points reduction. While I agree with most people that Death Company are probably the most efficient choice, the other two are both very viable choices. I'll be experimenting with all of them in the future.

4) I'm applying my love of Combat squads that I learned with my Executioners to my Blood Angels. It's been working well so far, but it does limit the effectiveness of characters that buff a single unit. A Chaplain or Sanguinary Priest doesn't bring much to a squad of 5 Assault Marines. This has made me more interested in Captains, as their killing power is maintained no matter what squad they join.

5) Have I mentioned how much I love +1 Initiative on the charge?

Overall, I'm very happy with the new book, and I love that my army can actually assault again. I'm really looking forward to relearning the ins-and-outs of the Blood Angels. My first battle report will show you just how much I've forgotten about running an assault army...

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