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Unit of the Week: Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels Unit of the Week series Blood Angels tactica

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#1
Jolemai

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Welcome to the Blood Angels Unit of the Week Series!

Following the release of the 8th edition Codex, there is no better time to discuss all the unique units we have access to. Each week a different unit will appear, with the idea being that we discuss how best to use that model on the battlefield.

Note, this isn't to lament any nerfs, etc, from previous editions; the rules are as they are so try to unlock its potential for those who wish to use them all the same.

Without further ado, here's this week's entry:

sml_gallery_62972_10568_1098.jpg Sanguinary Guard
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Sanguinary Guard, Booley


What are you thoughts here folks? How best would you use the Sanguinary Guard?

To compliment a list, or to build a list around? Are you running themed lists this edition?
Footslog/transport? What type of transport?
What weapon choice are you using this edition? Still employing the 1-in-5 upgrade rule?
What buffs (from spells or characters) would you employ?
Stratagems?

Over to you

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#2
Xerxus

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A 10-man drop with DoA and Sanguinor+Unleash Rage buffs is going to deal with just about any multiwound models. Swords and fists are roughly equivalent with different strengths, axes are overpriced and should be one pt more at most. Relatively survivable at their current cost. As is I don't think that the Standard of Sacrifice can be used to support these guys properly. Sitting in cover for a turn so the Ancient can keep up is counter-productive. You want the immediate charge in order to reduce incoming damage and actually deal with the opponent's threats.
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#3
Arkaniss

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Yeah DoA with the Sanguinor is pretty spectacular. If possible I like to have the Sanguinor already on the field so I can bring in the Sanguinary Guard to him for DoA. I've tried two small squads and one larger but I can't say that one is better than the other. They both have their benefits and drawbacks depending on what you plan when list building.

 

For the SG themselves 2W and a 2+ save is fantastic however you do pay the points for it. They can weather small arms well and it goes without saying to keep them away from high AP weapons. I'm not a fan of Inferno Pistols on SG, a Plasma Pistol or two helps add ranged firepower but their focus should be getting into melee and killing something big. Power Fists aren't a hindrance to hit when you run with your Warlord for re-rolls.

 

I've found tagging a Sanguinary Priest along with them hit and miss so I'm undecided on if it's an effective use of a Priest. On the one hand they can keep the squad going and bringing back an expensive model will drive your opponents mad, but on the other I've also found them struggling to make much of a difference when you get too much damage as you have to heal a squad member before you can bring one back. With a 1W model high damage output squad it's more efficient.

 

When I field SG I tend to go all in, so my list will be built around supporting them. Which brings me to my last comment - they look amazing and they will be the centrepiece of any list I make with them in!


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#4
Explorer1

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I feel that SG are one of my great unrequited loves - I really want them to be good.....but I just dont see it. The problem is the DC (while not nearly as survivable) are just better at dealing damage. To get the SG to deal equivalent damage you need to invest in too much support (Sanguninor Unleash rage libby). IMO, the equivalent points of DC with a bunch of Hammer is just better.



#5
Calistarius

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I love the models. Probably my favorite of the BA range, if I’m honest. They have done well for me on the table this edition. I like sending them at MEQ units with various roles. They’re great for clearing out pesky devastators and long fangs. I wish they had better synergy with Dante. His WL trait with their special rule is just shameful. I don’t like putting fists on mine, but it’s only because I dislike hitting on a 4+. Sure, the rerolls help, but you can’t reroll those 3s. Does anyone ever buy the death masks?

Overall, I like the unit. I tend to get carried away with them and they become a massive points sink for me. I have managed to stop putting pistols on them to save some points, but it doesn’t matter much when you field 15-20 of them.
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#6
Thoridon

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I've used them in various games with the new edition. In smaller groups of 4-5 they've generally been ineffective, either alone or with a Priest. They just don't have the weight of attacks as a small group and get taken down before too long.

 

The first time I ran a group of 10 with The Sanguinor, a Priest and Dante, the group as a whole performed brilliantly. When they're getting +1S on the basic swords, +1A and the warlord is close for hit rerolls, that's a lot of damage output. It is a case of a lot of eggs in one basket but the HQ units buff each other nicely too and it forces the opponent to make some tough choices in where to direct their attacks.

 

I'm a big fan of swords, especially with a priest, and the pistols have been hit or miss for me. I don't like plasma on these guys as there are cheaper platforms to risk blowing up. If I was going to 'deep strike' them in I'd stick to Angelus all round but when starting on the board I like a couple of inferno pistols mixed in. If you get in good positions, being able to move in close and fire some melta at a key target before a charge can be quite fun.

 

I think if I was to try being more points efficient I'd drop Dante from the combo and just run the Sanguinor as warlord but I'm certainly going to stick to a big group + Sanguinor + Priest at least when I run SG. I'm sure Dante will still make appearances too, depending on the game size.


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#7
BluejayJunior

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Mine have been pretty effective against Rubrick Marines. One of my common opponents plays Thousand Sons. The encarmine weapons really help against those stubborn troops. I think they are most effective at dealing with heavy infantry.

I stopped using death masks, but that's mostly because I always forget about them. I've only got 4 painted, so I haven't used them in larger groups yet, but I'm looking forward to it. 


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#8
Bremon

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I use at least 6, sometimes 8. All fists. They are consistently the most feared unit in my army. Librarian warlord drops in with them, they get +1 attack generally thanks to Unleash Rage. Fairly points efficient, and they devastate anything they touch. They’re usually one and done because they get focused on, but with clever positioning I can usually keep the librarian out of harms way and then use Wings of Fire to get him to safety. I’ve used an SGA with relic banner as warlord for durability but i prefer spending those points buffing them to hit harder rather than stay longer.
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#9
Indefragable

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Best unit in the Codex, IMO.

 

I--contrary to many Fraters--have been disappointed with Death Company overall this edition, even after the Codex dropped.

 

Sanguinary Guard, on the other hand, are pound-for-pound extremely effective. Especially with the 5+++ from the Standard of Sacrifice, they are hardier than their lack of invulnerable would imply. I like to run them with a Sang Priest as well so that they are both getting back up after being slain and wounding T4 on 2's in melee (not bad at all). In fact, with Sang Priest support, using swords they wound everything on the game outside of FW stuff on no worse than 4's. Not bad.

 

Couple overall thoughts:

-without a native invuln, their survivability in many ways depends on the size of the unit. 20W in a 10man unit is march hardier than it seems

 

-unless Captain Slamguinius is just too good to pass up, you can get creative with them by having them off on a flank on their own with a Sang Priest or Ancient as WL, thus spreading around the re-roll's with their Heirs of Azkaellon ability. I personally like to make The Sanguinor my WL so he can run with the SG, boosting them considerably, while also being a bit of a Distraction Carnifex: Old Goldy (The Sanguinor) provides amazing buffs to them, but is not as crucial to my army's success as the enemy may think.

 

-especially if you're not going for max resiliency (10man unit, Standard, Sang Priest, etc...), you do need a plan to keep them alive since they will draw fire. Most people opt for the Descent of Angels way to keep them completely out of harm's way until the time of their choosing. However, don't forget the Classic tactic of using Rhinos to block LoS while they jump up the board.

 

Builds:

 

A. MSU

still fantastic MSU hunters. 4man unit is fantastic at chopping up everything that doesn't want to be in combat, including multi-wound Hellblaster and equiv.

 

B. The LVO (since this seems to be the most popular tournament build)

Hidden Content

 

C. All-In (my preferred choice)

Hidden Content


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Call me Indy. It's less syllables.

 

 

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#10
Paladin777

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Against MEQ with no rerolls the swords edge out the fists by a paltry .05 unsaved wounds per guard, per attack on the first round of combat. With any rerolls the fists edge out the swords, but once again just barely.. The more applied rerolls, the more the fists pull ahead. Any subsequent rounds, the fists pull further and further ahead. Against T5 and greater, they are neck and neck on the charge, but once again the fists win in subsequent rounds.

Against t3 howeve, the swords are significantly more damaging regardless of most other factors.

TL;DR. The fists seem to be superior in a wider variety situations and the higher the target’s toughness the more the fist pulls away. However, the sword pulls ahead in common enough situations that I think running half and half is likely the way to go, especially since they cost the same. Just my .02$

Edit: plus the swords look SO much cooler so there’s that!

Edited by Paladin777, 14 March 2018 - 11:30 AM.


#11
Silverson

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I'm really interested in these guys as they are my favourite non character unit in the blood angels army, I have played them in every game of 8th and think that the two best ways of going with them are.

 

  • 4x man units to go hunting your enemies back field units like devastators etc.. just swords and boltguns here as they are meant to be a cheap killy unit aimed at making my opponent screen from all sides or setup in a way that they wouldn't normally do so is I didn't have a threat from deepstrike.
  • 10x man all in monster masher with swords and fists with the Sanguinor and a jump librarian to support,  I haven't tried it yet as i'm a fluff player but the probable best choice for warlord in this scenario would be the librarian with wings and unleash rage psychic power to give the better choice of making the re-roll aura to the sanguinary guard work.

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Blood Angels codex p6/w3/d0/32<p>Ad Mech codex p2/w2/d0/l0


#12
Paladin777

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I haven’t thought about using a warlord sorc to accompany them into combat, that’s a pretty good idea!

#13
Bremon

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They get their reroll regardless of the librarian making it to combat or not; 32mm bases means the daisychaining required is practically nonexistent. It is nice having a relic JP libby buffing the SG with unleash rage and himself with quickening; with w+3 to his charge roll and an average of 7 attacks (red rampage) he can help smash stuff; plus he can eat overwatch.

#14
Xerxus

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They get their reroll regardless of the librarian making it to combat or not; 32mm bases means the daisychaining required is practically nonexistent. It is nice having a relic JP libby buffing the SG with unleash rage and himself with quickening; with w+3 to his charge roll and an average of 7 attacks (red rampage) he can help smash stuff; plus he can eat overwatch.

 

Heirs of Azkaellon only works on each Sanguiniary Guard separately since the model needs to be within 6''.


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#15
Bremon

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They get their reroll regardless of the librarian making it to combat or not; 32mm bases means the daisychaining required is practically nonexistent. It is nice having a relic JP libby buffing the SG with unleash rage and himself with quickening; with w+3 to his charge roll and an average of 7 attacks (red rampage) he can help smash stuff; plus he can eat overwatch.


Heirs of Azkaellon only works on each Sanguiniary Guard separately since the model needs to be within 6''.
Oh my god. Facepalm. Thanks for pointing that out to me Xerxus. My regular opponent will be pleased that my libby JP warlord is even more crucial to SG success than before.

#16
Paladin777

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I’ve been planning on jumping in my buff characters (sanguinary ancient w/ SoS, Libby, maybe cap’n smash or the blender) in with my inceptors and dropping my sanguinary guard the next turn so the characters have an opportunity to jump up and be more likely to make the charge while the SG can use DoA.

#17
Brother Crimson

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One of my favourite elite in the codex.

They are great unit and I like to build around them. I know there is such a thing as too many buffs but priest and reroll from a nearby warlord or a chaplain is pretty good. Adding a chaplain brings a good level of redundancy and means the warlord does not need to be as close to them. Also Sanguinor, Librarian, Ancient all work very well and i think this is the unit that can benefit the more from buffs in our codex. (DC is great too but comes at 2nd place)

As far as loadout is considered fist are awesome as mentioned but the swords are also a good reliable all rounder with a priest. A fully buffed unit with sword is a lot better vs t4, similar vs t5 and have about 80% efficiency of the power fist for t6/8. I am very tempted to just run 50/50 as their cost is the same and they can deal with both heavy armour and elite infantry.

I don’t bother much with special pistols anymore for sake of simplicity and also because angelus bolter is not that bad.

For list building you need to complement them with volume of attack type units. DC work well as a first line in that manner, also the hq I use to buff DC (sanguinor, priest, chaplain) will alsobuff DC so you maximize their efficiency.

Overall a solid elite choice, expensive and harder to run at small point level (under 2000) but very good in most matched play environment.

#18
Metzombie

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Against MEQ with no rerolls the swords edge out the fists by a paltry .05 unsaved wounds per guard, per attack on the first round of combat. With any rerolls the fists edge out the swords, but once again just barely.

 

I think you made an error. Did you reroll all the missed hits with the fists?


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#19
Paladin777

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Where do you think the error is? With no rerolls the swords are slightly superior against T4, with rerolls of ones to hit, ones to wound, or all rerolls to hit, the fists pull ahead. I can give actual numbers later if you like?

Edit, only with full rerolls to hit do the fists pull ahead, my apologies!

Edited by Paladin777, 15 March 2018 - 04:25 PM.


#20
The Unseen

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He's talking about the fact that you don't get to reroll 3s Paladin, thanks to (awful) way rerolls and negatives to hit interact.

I look at Sanguinary Guard, and all I can think is, that's a 35 pt model with 2 attacks.
Why.
I mean, sure, if you throw unleash rage and the Sanguinor on then they kill things, but you can do the same with almost any unit.
With the prevalence of high AP multidamage shooting going around, they don't survive well enough to warrant their price, and their damage output stock is meh.

If you like building stuff that resembles old school deathstars their a good candidate I guess.

Edited by The Unseen, 15 March 2018 - 04:28 PM.

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#21
Paladin777

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Oh yeah... I forgot about that...

#22
Calistarius

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He's talking about the fact that you don't get to reroll 3s Paladin, thanks to (awful) way rerolls and negatives to hit interact.
I look at Sanguinary Guard, and all I can think is, that's a 35 pt model with 2 attacks.
Why.
I mean, sure, if you throw unleash rage and the Sanguinor on then they kill things, but you can do the same with almost any unit.
With the prevalence of high AP multidamage shooting going around, they don't survive well enough to warrant their price, and their damage output stock is meh.
If you like building stuff that resembles old school deathstars their a good candidate I guess.


I totally agree. It’s like they thought making them D d3 would balance out the 2 attacks, but it falls short. I don’t like that they’re LD 8 either. Granted, most characters will confer some form of LD buff, but it just irks me.

I think they have a place in certain list types. I love the unit. They have a really strong thematic presence as well. They just had potential to be a real danger on the table that I feel was missed.

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#23
Bremon

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D3 instead of flat 3 damage means DC with a chaplain are a strictly superior glass cannon. Also funny is that if you consider SG overcosted (which I believe they slightly are) then terminators are a true waste of points.

#24
toaae

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D3 instead of flat 3 damage means DC with a chaplain are a strictly superior glass cannon. Also funny is that if you consider SG overcosted (which I believe they slightly are) then terminators are a true waste of points.

 

But you give up so much more for that glass cannon. With Lemartes, you can only afford (compared to 10 SG) 6 DC with thunder hammers, or a normal chaplain can bump that up to 7. Sure, that 6 (or 7) gets you 18 (or 21) Thunder Hammer attacks on the charge, with re-rolls to hit and charge (not charge with chaplain), and if Lemartes (or chaplain) can get their charge off, that will his punch in. Compared to the 20 power fist attacks SG get, the DC are definitely a stronger hitter on the charge. But then have less wounds (per model and in total), worse saves, no shooting attack, and inferior leadership. I'm not sure I'd say TH DC are as valuable as SG.


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#25
Paladin777

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I think these two units have very different roles despite their similar way of doing their thing. Chainsword DC are largely a suicide missile, a bunker buster (chaff killer) if you will. The sanguinary guard are what you use to destroy those things inside the bunker after breaking in. TH DC are also a missile, but more like the one you use to sink the enemy battle ship.

As always, your mileage may vary, but this is how I see them.





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