Monday, May 11, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Blooded Demi-Company, Strike Force Mortalis, Dante's Avenging Host

Blooded Demi-Company

The Blooded Demi-Company is half of the Blood Angels 2nd Company, and contains a Captain or Chaplain, three Tactical squads, an Assault squad, a Devastator squad, a Dreadnought, and a Command Squad or Furioso depending on whether you took a Captain or Chaplain, respectively.

This is a pretty restricted but well-rounded Formation, but it only gets the standard benefits that the Baal Strike Force gets. Since the Baal Strike Force is so much more flexible, the Blooded Demi-Company doesn’t really have a place outside of narrative games in the Shield of Baal campaign.

Stike Force Mortalis

The Strike Force Mortalis is the Formation for players that can’t get enough Death Company. Let’s be honest. If you have a Blood Angels army, there’s a good chance that Death Company are your favorite unit in the game. The question is whether this Formation is a useful way to run large amounts of these black armored madmen.

Strike Force Mortalis contains a Chaplain, three Death Company squads, two Death Company Dreadnoughts, and a Stormraven Gunship. All fairly good units, and there are no restrictions on how you can equip each one. If you want to keep the points down, one Death Company squad and a Dreadnought can ride in the Stormraven while the other two squads get jump packs and the last Dreadnought takes a Drop Pod. For a few more points, I would Drop Pod both Dreadnoughts, deploy all of the Death Company on the table with jump packs, and just use the Stormraven as air support.

As benefits, the Formation gets Crusader, which is handy for assault units as it helps them cross the field faster and destroy enemy units in assault. The Formation also gets Fury of the Forlorn, which is basically Rampage light. When outnumbered in assault, all models get an extra attack. This really works well with small Death Company squads, which you’ll notice is how I prefer to play them.

This is a solid Formation with some decent benefits and not too restrictive requirements. It once again has the downside that it’s an assault Formation that doesn’t benefit from Red Thirst. I can really understand why GW is moving toward compound Detachments where all of the included Formations receive the benefit of the Detachment as a whole. It feels very strange that such a quintessentially Blood Angels Formation doesn’t get Red Thirst. Even so, it’s worth taking if you want to play with a lot of Death Company.

Dante’s Avenging Host

This is one of those enormous Formations that would probably be better off in a game of Apocalypse. It contains Dante, Mephiston, a Librarian, a Sanguinary Priest, a unit of Sanguinary Guard, the Blooded Demi-Company (the version containing the Chaplain), and three Stormraven Gunships. All units must have jump packs, be embarked on the Stormravens, or take Drop Pods.

The Blooded Demi-Company retains all of its rules, and all non-vehicle units in the Avenging Host get Objective Secured. The Formation also has Storm of Angels, which allows you to re-roll Reserve rolls for units with Deep Strike as well as reduce their scatter by D6”. Dante’s Warlord Trait basically already does this for the units with jump packs and the Stormravens, but this will help out your Drop Pods a bit (not that they care much about scatter).

Despite its substantial expense, the Avenging host has a few things going for it. It is the cheapest way to take units with both Objective Secured and Red  Thirst, and it is an extremely reliable deep striking force. It also includes all of the necessary parts for a serious Sanguinary Guard death star, led by Dante, a Librarian, and a Sanguinary Priest. Unfortunately, this death star won’t have Red Thirst, but should still hit very hard without it.

Overall, I like Dante’s Avenging Host. It makes the Blooded Demi-Company actually useful, as well as adding in some scary units in the form of a Sanguinary Guard death star, Mephiston, and three Stormravens. It is a shame that they didn’t extend Red Thirst to include the Sanguinary Guard and Characters, but I’m sure they’re dangerous enough to manage without it.

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