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Friday, April 3, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Heavy Support: Baal Predators, Predators, Vindicators, Whirlwinds



I'm going to finish off the Blood Angels Heavy Support here. Blood Angels Devastators are similar enough to standard Devastators that I don't really have anything extra to say about them. The same goes for Blood Angel Land Raiders since they lost their ability to deep strike (not that I ever used that ability before). 

Baal Predator


The Baal Predator lost a bit of mobility with the loss of Scout, but otherwise remained mostly the same. They still come standard with a twin-linked assault cannon or flamestorm cannon turret, and can take heavy bolter or heavy flamer sponsons. Baal Predators come stock with overcharged engines, so they’re Fast tanks.

Baal Predators can work in two configurations, both dedicated to anti-infantry. First is the longer-ranged version with assault cannons and heavy bolters. This version throws out a lot of shots at 24” and can move 6” a turn and maintain full firepower. This is my preferred configuration, and is easy to use and keep relatively safe.



The second configuration uses the flamestorm cannon and needs to get close to the enemy to flame them. You can take heavy flamer sponsons with these for extra killing power. You’ll almost never fire both heavy flamers at the same time, as you can only fire the turret and a single heavy flamer when moving 12”. However, it is pretty easy to get good coverage on a unit to one side of the tank with the flamestorm and one sponson, so you’ll want to line up broadsides on the enemy. This configuration is very susceptible to melta weapons and assault because it has to get so close to the enemy and expose its side armor.

I really like Baal Predators, as they put a large amount of firepower downfield for a reasonable amount of points. However, they are really vulnerable to flyers as they can’t hug the table edge. Their relatively short range means that they have to advance and flyers will have little trouble getting shots on their rear armor. I’ve lost a lot of Baal Predators to flying Hive Tyrants. Keep this in mind and don’t commit your tanks until enemy flyers have been shot down.

Predators


The Blood Angels Predator is almost the exact same as the Space Marine Predator, but it can take overcharged engines for a few extra points. I wouldn’t take a Predator for anti-infantry just because the Baal Predator does a better job. However, a vehicle hunting Predator with lascannon sponsons and either a turret twin-linked lascannon or autocannon (to keep things cheaper) is quite serviceable. I would always give these overcharged engines so they can reposition 6” each turn to pick up clear shots.

Vindicators

Blood Angel Vindicators are again the same as Space Marine Vindicators with the option to take overcharged engines and become Fast. This is very handy for Vindicators as it allows them to bring their excellent but short-range demolisher cannon to bear early in the game, and it makes the Vindicator much more likely to be able to fire before it is destroyed.

Vindicators have the same vulnerability to flyers as Baal Predators, and they will expose their side and rear armor. They generally won’t last that long, so make sure to get a shot off at a high value target as early as possible.

Whirlwind

The Blood Angel Whirlwinds are the same as Space Marine Whirlwinds with the option for overcharged engines. Unlike the tanks I previously discussed, I have a hard time thinking of a situation when a Fast Whirlwind would be advantageous. I guess you could use it for tank shocking squads at the end of the game, but you probably have other tanks that would do that job better.

The Whirlwind is a decent artillery platform, made more attractive for Blood Angels because we don’t have access to the superior Thunderfire cannon. It just doesn’t need to be Fast.

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