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Awesomeness of BA devastators

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  • 224 posts
BA Devastator squads are quite usable; anyone poo-pooing them is out of their minds. Especially when armed with Missiles they are a cheap and effective way to bring firepower to a list that needs it and, as pointed out already, running a Sanguinary Priest with them vastly improves their durability (especially against the torrent shooting that is traditionally the weakness of such a unit.) Of course, to make that worthwhile you need to be running at least two and more often three units of them, but that isn't a huge problem.

Combat Squads can also be useful in large games to allow you to split into two units of five bodies with two Missiles each; these can split fire and are harder to bring down than the usual five bodies, four guns setup. However, it's only really worthwhile if you're using up all your HS slots and still need some extra flexibility/durability.

I don't generally hold with splitting weapon types, even the Las/Missile split I see fairly often. Yes, you can give the Signum bonus to the Lascannon, but it can force some weird target priority issues (like when shooting at a 2+ save model) and I don't feel the additional points for the Lascannon are worth the small boost in performance it gets against most targets. We have abundant Meltaguns, LasPlas Razorbacks, and AutoLas Predators all as good ways to destroy heavier vehicles and infantry units; I don't think sinking the extra points for Devastators with Lascannons is a particularly effective plan.

Simply discounting them as "not mobile" is silly though. Mobility isn't as much as an issue if your threat range extends to every corner of the board.

The concern being, however, that terrain can block LOS or give cover against the Dev's target, whereas our other platform performing similar fire-support roles could maneuver around it. As a static unit, they are also unable to stave for time against enemy melee and are unusually vulnerable to backfield assaults (from Ymgarl, Wolf Scouts, Kommandos, DSing units, etc.)

It doesn't make them bad, it's just a balancing factor- Devastators are your best firepower-per-point buy in the codex, but they have weaknesses of their own that must be considered, just like all units do.




  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 14,220 posts
Not sure if anyones mentioned yet, but what I find a really good strategy to use with Devs is including astorath in your army.
The 50% chance of fearless is a great boon for them!
Gamist, cheesy, beardy or broken; If Games Workshop put it in the book I'll gladly play against it, or with it. - Mort
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Corbulo Tactica




  • 2,400 posts
If points allow I will almost always take at least one Dev squad, usually with 2 MLs and 2 LCS in one squad and 2 MLs and 2 PCs in the other. Either squad can deal with infantry and light armour and they both have at least a chance against heavier armour.




  • 31 posts
I've been thinking about including a unit of 4x missile launcher Devastators in my list, but unsure whether it makes more sense to give them a sanguinary priest for FNP or a razorback for the ability to deploy more effectively during dawn of war deployment missions, general mobility and possible tank shocking against close in threats. Does anyone have experience with giving the squad a ride?




  • 2,879 posts
I've never given Devs a ride but there is a local guy who does for just that reason. He doesn't give them a Priest because he means to keep them cheap for their firepower and the 50 points is too much just to give five guys FNP.

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  • 726 posts
This is a question I have been asking myself as well, my analysis is as follows:

Pros for Devs:
- Very Hard to suppress
- Lots of AP3 shots and possibility of firing frags
- 8 STR very important for insta-kills
- Hard to remove when a SP tags along
- All of the enemy anti-tank will be more or less wasted as my army composition will be tank free.
Cons for Devs:
- Not guaranteed to get to a good firing position in Night fight scenarios (I think this is the biggy, that’s 1/3 of the games!)
- Susceptible to close combat
- When the rest of the army deep strikes they are left alone on the field to endure of the enemy shooting.
- Very high chance to be ineffective if they are forced to be placed in reserve.

Pros for Preds:
- Mobile while shooting
- May use it’s full potential when it comes from reserves.
- 2 AP2 STR 9 shots
- May used to contest objectives/tank shock at the later stages of the game.
- (not ideal but) May be used as mobile cover for the jumpers if needed.
- Immune to small arms fire
Cons for Preds:
- Easily (compared to devs) suppressed (this is the biggy the preds)
- 2 AP 4 STR 7 shots
- May generate cover to targets as the sponsons are positioned low.

Price tag wise the devs come up a little more pricey because of the inlusion of the SP. 3 units + SP for 440pts while the preds are 405pts. I think this difference is more or less negligable :)

So far I have opted for Predators, but now I will be trying devs just for the sake of it ;)
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Venerable Jazzman

Venerable Jazzman


  • 2,862 posts
I tend to use 2 units of 5, rather than combat squadding them, as you get the extra point of BS for the Sarge.
And I've got a lot of Sarge models.

One has 2x plasma cannons, the other has 3x missiles. I normally stick a Priest in next to them, especially useful for the plasma overheats, and if I've got the shooty half of a Tactical squad they'll go there too.

It's very rare that they don't get their points back.

Aesthetics will naturally weed out the bad choices.


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  • 1,410 posts
Blood Angels are considered an Assault army that gets into melee as fast as possible and wrecks face. We are resilient with Sanguinary Priests hanging around as well as our 3+ armor save. All the army special rules revolve around this central idea. Vehicles are fast, Descent of Angels, Assault Squads as troops, all the Special Characters help you get into combat quicker, we have dreads that are AV 13, and we have one that ignores Stunned/Shaken. We can get Furious Charge very easily, and Fearless for free (just gotta roll well enough... LOL).

Devastators... are slow, as in if they move, they don't shoot. They can't score, though they can contest. They have great heavy weapons, but LOS and Cover Saves are very liberal in this edition of the game. It's very easy for your opponent to see where your devastators are at and avoid them. If they get into close combat, they are SOL, as they are basically just a Space Marine unless you have a SP with them, and then the hopes of the entire squad rests with how much wargear you gave the SP. Unless you have a 10 man squad, every failed Armor Save/FNP is a big blow to the Devastators, cutting their efficiency and effectiveness by 25% (because really, only the heavy weapons matter in this squad, right?).

It's not that Devastators are bad, it's that they don't fit into the "typical" Blood Angels army. To field them is to ignore the strengths of the Blood Angels. You can field them, and they can be effective, but they require the right kind of support (like a Librarian and the SP), and having those models "in the rear with the gear" is not using their close combat abilities to the full potential of the model.

Use them, but realize it's not playing to your strengths- overwhelming your opponent in close combat with superior assault units. If the Devastators help you do this, then great!

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Freman Bloodglaive

Freman Bloodglaive


  • 3,144 posts
If you're fielding a mech based army with assault squads in Razorbacks then take Predators or Dreadnoughts. They increase the armour saturation and reduce the number of targets that enemy anti-infantry weapons can target.

On the other hand, if you're going for a descent of angels list with maximum infantry then take the devastators because it means there's nothing for enemy anti-tank to target.

I would take two squads of 5 men with 4 missile launchers, and a Sanguinary Priest in the backfield to keep them in the fight while the assault squads get stuck in on the other side of the board.
"They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self aggrandisement. They will be bright stars in the firmament of battle, Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of man. So shall it be for a thousand times a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh."
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Codex Astares




  • 1,904 posts

.....Use them, but realize it's not playing to your strengths- overwhelming your opponent in close combat with superior assault units. If the Devastators help you do this, then great!

Strongly disagree with this. BA struggle to deal with fast(er) opponents, mech lists or superior assault lists without fire support.
Fast Preds are great in this role, but of course don't work in jumper lists as it's fairly easy for a good list to supress three tanks. Which is where Devs come in.




  • 6,310 posts
cant see how 2 squads (when combat squaded) with 2 missles each for 210 points can be considered a bad unit :ermm:

they provide LONG RANGE firepower, something the rest of the list lacks otherwise. yes melta is mobile on most platforms. its also short ranged...

S8 and S4 frag missles can be a boon for pretty much any army. They can pop light to medium tanks, take wounds of MC's without endangering your infantry to assaults and they can instant kill MEQ's.

Theyre a great unit to be honest and I find that people should use them more ;)

last time i used one myself was back in the pdf days though... people whom i told defenitly thought i was crazy :sweat:

like so many other units though it depends on what the rest of your army make up is, and if they fill a niche that isent already covered by other units. MM AB's can fulfill the AT role equally well (better if they get within 12 inches) if you dont mind exposing them to return fire. most of our armies however have other dangerous units (assault squads with added characters, mephi, etc) that make the top of our opponents priority list that we can do it fairly risk free... I think thats why devies hardly if ever make a BA list...

Devastators are maybe not for everyone but theyre far from bad :blush:

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  • 43 posts

....they are a cheap and effective way to bring firepower to a list that needs it...

Thats my whole issue with them. Depending on the list I use, I have way better options for firepower. I LOVE the look of those guys, the concept of heavy weapons on already elite warriors like the Space Marines are, but I dunno... But on the other hand I play a Dreadnought list. :(
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IK Viper

IK Viper


  • 338 posts
Inexperienced BA player with a possibly naive suggestion. If you are already planning on DS a bunch on normal terminators 2 CML will run you 60 points extra and gives you a mobile fire base. Though using it as anti-tank wastes your SB shots, unless your shooting rear armour.

I am in the proccess of building a 10 man term squad with a TASP and TA Libb. points heavy yes but 4 missiles or AC and blood lance followed by a whole bunch of unleach rage PF is bad news. I digress

Point is, 4 missiles can add reach to your army without leaving ppl behind and at a 60 point cost. assuming there isnt a really good reason to take AC's on the Terms (+4 saves and light mech :-) )




  • 38 posts
I always run a 6x man squad: 1x sgt, 1x bolter dude and 4x missile addicts. I find them to be one of the best economical BA units in terms of pts cost, choice of firepower flexibility and especially range. Add a TLLC razor with a HK missile and you have a highly mobile heavy support unit that can hit from afar. Deployment is basic: get 'em in cover where they co-ordinate fire with their razor every turn. This has dramatically added to their destructive capability almost every game that I've ever played with emphasis against Chaos and Tau armies.

I started using this setup against my buddy's Tau list (which fielded more crisis and broadside suits than I care to remember). The Str 8 kraks insta-killed a lot of his 2 wound suits due to doubling up on his Toughness value of 4...provided the dice gods were kind to my hit and wound rolls and whether or not I was aiming at suits kitted with shield drones.

In the end, 4x kraks and 1x TLLC (with an additional HK ML if the target is a vehicle) is a lot of firepower to leverage against any unit from almost any Codex.





  • 4,780 posts
2 missile/2 lascannon units are very good if you play a mobile shooting army. Remember they cannot be stun-locked like Razorbacks and Predators, so against Grey Knights for example where massed rending Psycannon can play havoc with mech-based firepower they are very effective.

It is ironic that the BA have a wealth of good Heavy Support choices.
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Sigismund's Fury

Sigismund's Fury


  • 68 posts
I run 3 5m with 3ML each and its seemed to work out so far. I think the priest is a trap since it encourges you to depoly them all in a bunch, leaving them open to back field assaults. In my games they usually dont last the whole battle intact but they provide some great pressure to my oppenent.