Pages

Friday, October 30, 2015

Do Tactical Sergeants Need Power Weapons, and other Questions Concerening Blood Angels

I chose to play Blood Angels in our campaign because I wanted to put them on the tabletop again. I figured that there wouldn't be too many changes compared to my Executioners, who I've gotten pretty comfortable with. After all, Marines are Marines, right? That's what all the xenos players say anyway.


The first question that I want to discuss is Tactical squads, specifically how to arm the sergeants. With Codex: Space Marines, I never charged my Tactical Marines into combat. They would always do more damage with shooting. Conversely, I find that I keep charging Blood Angels Tactical squads into assault. Two obvious reasons for this are that their flamers mean that they end up closer to the enemy, and they are better in assault than their Codex counterparts due to Furious Charge and Red Thirst.

However, I don't think this is the biggest reason. The reason that my Blood Angels keep charging is that assault precludes shooting, but shooting does not preclude assault. Once you decide to deal with an enemy unit with assault, your units are stuck in assault until one side is wiped out or falls back. Until then, none of the combatants can be shot. This is why assault armies will soften up enemies with shooting, but shooting armies don't need assault units. Their best case scenario is a quick assault, where their unit is wiped out and the enemy is quickly exposed to more firepower. As long as the assault continues, shooting units are powerless to affect it.

Where my Executioners are designed to deal with most threats through shooting, my Blood Angels need to assault them. Once I've assaulted an enemy unit, the only way I can support that assault is by throwing more troops into it. It doesn't matter how good my Tactical squads' shooting is if they can't target the enemy I need to kill.

My games tend to go along these lines. My Rhinos advance to screen my jump packers. Once the enemy get in range, the Tactical squads jump out of their Rhinos and shoot/flame the unit I need to destroy. Then the jump packers assault past them, into the enemy. Next turn, my Tactical squads will shoot another target if there's one available, but will assault in to help the jump packers if the assault has lost momentum. This is usually the case against tough enemy units (like the Wraiths from my last battle report).

This has made me reconsider my stance on power weapons for Tactical squad Sergeants. I never missed them on my Executioners, but I find myself missing them on my Blood Angels almost every battle. This means a minimum 25 point investment in the Sergeant, as I still think that the Veteran Sergeant upgrade is mandatory if you're going to take a power weapon or fist. For the moment, I'll be using power swords since they'll still take advantage of the initiative bonus from Red Thirst. I'd like to try out some power mauls, but I haven't found any good bits for them. I have been happy with the hitting power on my Chaplains, though. If I still find myself missing hitting power, I'll escalate to power fists.


This leads to a question of firepower. Blood Angels are simply not good enough in assault to take on some armies without softening them up with shooting first. I've tried Devastators a few times, with mixed results. If they have a good place to deploy, they work okay. If not, they don't do much at all (see my recent battle report against Tyranids). In search of some more mobile shooting, I've been trying Predators. They work well, though they don't do as much damage as Devastators for the points. Unfortunately, Predators are very vulnerable to flyers getting shots on their side and rear armor. Once that happens, they die very quickly. I haven't tried Vindicators, but I imagine they'll have the same problem.

I've finally fallen back on Stormravens. They pack about as much firepower as a Predator, are faster, and are much more durable due to being flyers. As an added bonus, they can deal with enemy flyers, which Blood Angels otherwise have a lot of problems with. Unfortunately, they're by far the most expensive option. Also unfortunately, I don't have any Stormravens painted for my Blood Angels. They'll be borrowing my Executioners' Stormraven until I have time to paint a couple specifically for my Blood Angels.

So what are your thoughts on these questions? Do your Tactical Sergeants get power weapons or do you keep them cheap? Where do you get your firepower for your Blood Angels? Have you figured out a way to survive without it?

5 comments:

  1. lol, my SM captain is gonna have just a good ol' CCW. I've done that in the past and got the expected mediocre results, usually the best part about it is the incredulous look on an opponent's face when you tell them what your captain is armed with!

    As for Power mauls, I've ordered this bit a time or two:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/40K-Dark-Angels-Veterans-Power-Mace-Bits-/201355075030?hash=item2ee1b29dd6:g:4c4AAOSwl8NVX5an

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know, the DA power maul is about the only one you can get. personally I haven't found another one, so I had to copy/green stuff and convert some other parts to get some more for my DC.

      As for power weapons on Tac Sgts, I don't bother, maybe a power fist here and there, but on the whole I think they are better as support for the better combat units, namely Vanguard and DC.

      As for power weapons in general, I've always found that using power mauls is best for taking down mosterous creatures or vehicles, especially so with BA, as you get S7 hits on the charge, which is capable of wounding pretty much anything and also at initiative as their not unwieldy. Against MEQ's there not as useful as power swords, as the ap3 is a lot more useful that the S bonus.

      Delete
  2. Yeah, I've used the DA power maul a few times. Getting rid of the DA symbol on the wrist is a pain though.

    I find the power maul amazing for fighting xenos or taking out vehicles, but it definitely falls short against Marines. However, it's nice to have some options.

    I definitely agree that Tactical squads are not assault units themselves, and are at their best supporting out better assault units. However, I keep finding myself supporting them by assaulting in to help them, where I feel like the power weapon will really be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I would go with the standard power sword or a power axe for a bit more killing power. The axe is a risk, but it gives you a bit of punch without the extra expense of a powerfist.

      Delete
  3. My blood angels like power swords in small squads and fists or axes in larger squads. +1S on the charge is clutch. I'm not big on flames, but that is really because my local meta yields better results with melta or infernous.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...