So, here's the list I intend to use, with explanations of why each unit's been chosen:
HQ: Librarian, Jump Pack, Epistolary - 175 points
Going to attempt to try out the new rulebook powers, as well as see what 6th ed. has done to the old ones. The idea is to use each discipline we have access to in 2 games, and use the BA powers from the remaining two
Sanguinary Priest - 50 points
I normally run 2, the other one having a jump pack and power weapon, but with the furious charge nerf and feel no pain not being as relevant, I dropped one to give more stuff a try. We'll know if two is still good depending on how much I miss the other one
10 strong assault squad with a thunder hammer - 220 points
Fairly standard unit for me. Large, mobile scoring unit, kept on the comparatively cheap side.
9 man assault squad, flamer, fist, rhino, searchlight - 218 points
Priest rides here. Need to see whether mech squads are better than, worse than, or about the same as jump pack assaulters. Cost is about the same.
10 man tactical squad, meltagun, fist, missile launcher, rhino, searchlight - 251 points
Another of my mainstay units. I know people don't like tacs as much in BA armies generally speaking, but its another scoring unit, and has no real weak areas.
7 man death company squad, fist, drop pod - 200 points
Not tried these guys out much since the new book, but 5 WS5 S5 attacks apiece on the charge is too good to pass up. None of mine have jump packs, and rhinos aren't as good, so it has to be a pod.
3 man bike squad, meltabombs, power axe - 110 points
Fast attack choice for The Scouring, and I've always wanted to give them a try.
Baal Predator with T-l assault cannon and heavy bolters - 145 points
Fast vehicle with lots of shots? Where do I sign. Can murder lightly armoured infantry units, and has a reasonable shot of popping a transport.
5 man devastator squad, 4 missile launchers - 130 points
A unit for Big Guns Never Tire, and adds some ranged punch to an army that was otherwise lacking.
Army total: 1499 (though in retrospect I could use my final point to stick a searchlight on the Baal)
I originally wanted to get an attack bike as well, but it was the casualty when trying to trim my list down to 1500 and I was 40 points over. I've got one of each of the 4 main units (tactical, assault, devastator, death company), and a bit of added BA seasoning.
I got game 1 in this afternoon, and those who have read previous battle reports of mine will be pleased to know I actually got pictures for this one . Game 1 to follow as soon as I figure out how to get the pictures off my phone....
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POST 10 GAME CHALLENGE THOUGHTS:
Ok, here we go. Now that I've done all 10 games, I'll post thoughts on the list overall, followed by some more general musings. I'll start at the top and work down.
Librarian: Never has a 50 point upgrade swung so much. The Epistolary upgrade is now a never-leave-home-without, especially since it allows you to pick from Telekinesis and Telepathy without having dead powers in the lore (the warp charge 2 ones, which you won't be able to use without an Epistolary). I may have failed in my intent to use the BA book powers, but that's because with the nerf to preferred enemy, prescience is just a strictly better unleash rage most of the time, and its a power you can guarantee. I'd still take powers on the list, as sometimes that cover save from Shield will be very important, but I think the rulebook powers just have that little bit more to offer (caveat: Mephiston should probably take codex powers otherwise he's going to be slow as tar, unless you stick him in a stormraven/rhino taxi, in which case Biomancy is painful, but it just feels a little unnecessary).
On that note, psychic powers: Big winners are Divination and Biomancy a close second. Telepathy and Telekinesis are too situational to guarantee getting the ones you would need or want, whereas Divination and Biomancy will always throw something useful. I noticed in the games where I had Telekinesis and Telepathy I wasn't casting nearly as much. My personal recommendation would be to roll up two powers from Div and Bio in whichever combination best suits the mission and opponent at hand (sometimes the re-rolls etc from divination won't be as useful...sometimes you're going to get spanked no matter how much you tool the librarian up with biomancy). Bio seems tailor-made for nids though, so if your opponent has them then that's what I'd expect.
The feel no pain bubble is on balance about the same as it was before. We get it against AP1 and AP2, and power weapons, but not a huge amount has that and isn't double toughness, the big one being plasma. However, I don't think running two is necessary as long as you're careful where you place the one you have, but if you take one alone make sure he has some degree of mobility and can cover most of the army.
Assault squad (jump packs)
An all-star. Yes, you'll find that random charge range can screw you on occasion, but we did technically get a slight boost to our charge range. Being able to use Hammer of Wrath and get a charge re-roll is also nice, if you're close enough (i.e. within 13" of your target)... 6" move, then needing a 7 on 2 dice with a re-roll should see you right. Any more than 14", and I wouldn't risk it. Mobile, which is what we need, fast, and fairly hard hitting.
Assault squad (rhino)
The ultimate low point. Not being able to charge on the turn you disembark is huge, and I found this out to my cost. They were always slow to get into the fight, and spent more time objective hugging than anything else. Frankly, a tactical squad would do this better as it gets the ranged shots. Their finest hour was either binning the Lone Wolf in game 4, or grabbing the relic in Game 2 and then legging it. Transports may still be a viable option in the form of land raiders or storm ravens (anything they can assault out of), possibly in razorbacks to get them cheap (even though they can't score from them anymore), but their place is definitely not in a rhino. Save that for...
Still solid. Being able to move 6 and still fire a single shot is useful. I'd be strongly tempted to take a squad in every list for a little added range support, and objective camping whilst our combat units take the fight to the enemy. A strong choice, but overall beaten out by the jump packed assault squad.
Not as bad as some might think. Being able to turbo 12" means we can be right in the enemy's face on turn 1, but we can't assault out of it unless they're kind enough to break the rhino for us. Add the disadvantage of only being able to disembark after its moved 6", no further, and its not as good for shock troops. However, for taking tactical squads around as a taxi, its more than fine, and we can take advantage of our 12" move in the shooting phase to open and then close lines of sight to our ranged weaponry, which is probably the best use for them.
Right... with Rage, DC now get 5 WS5 S5 attacks each on the charge. That's painful. However, if they -receive- a charge, that's only 3 WS5 S4 attacks each, which is a lot less impressive. So, in order to get the best use out of them, we need to get the charge. Looking over the games, they only got the charge at full strength in 3 of the 10. In 6 games they either got shot to bits, reduced by half or more, or charged first, and in one game they got stuck in terrain and never made it at all. This makes me feel that whilst a drop pod will get them into the face of the enemy, they're quite likely to be removed or have their teeth pulled before they get the chance to do much. An enormous distraction, but is that really the best use for a 200-odd point unit? It can buy a little bit more time, but I'm not sure its worth it. My vote for how to run DC would be Assault Transports>Jump Packs>Drop Pod>Rhino/Razor>Foot, with assault transports winning because JPs are so expensive, and a raider/storm raven is good on its own. I'm prepared to be wrong on that one though.
Perma-toughness 5 and FnP against anything S9 or under is great now. Hammer of Wrath, Relentless and Jink are all good selling points as well, and yet they seemed to underperform in all my games. The problem: numbers. 3 just isn't enough to get the job done. By all means run them because they're a great irritation unit, a decent scout, a reliable way to get linebreaker, and they're scoring 1/6th of the time, but I wouldn't run less than 5. I was never disappointed by them, but I always wished I had more.
I can't speak for the flamestorm variant (I know there's a thread going around, so we'll keep the discussion there), but the dakka version is cool. 6" move and fire all guns, or 12" move, fire 2, and snap-fire the third is excellent. It can chew through 4+ save units, and is great for popping transports. Outflank is riskier in some missions than others (specifically, Vanguard Strike, where the enemy forces are more likely to be on one side than the other), but in Hammer and Anvil its amazing, as you'll be able to reach something worth shooting at no matter which side it comes on. A solid choice. It got removed in 2 games before doing anything (I like to think I was unlucky in the Necron game, and in the Tau one I was just careless), but in the other 8 it more than made its presence felt, and the speed with which it made its way up my opponents' "to kill" list makes it a solid choice.
Last, but not least, the humble 4 Missile Launcher devastator squad. Game against infantry and light-medium tanks. A solid choice, the only time its ever going to let you down is against an all-2+ save army (deathwing and sanguinary guard), redeemed a little bit against Paladins since a failed save will one-shot them. I'd be tempted to add a plasma cannon or two to the mix to help deal with the 2+ save issue, but when in doubt and for an all-comers list, the quad-ML set up is better against an unknown field.
BA as a whole
There's a hotly debated nerf/buff to FnP dependent on how you look at it. Razorspam seems viable, but Space Wolves can probably do it better. The furious charge nerf hurts us, as not going ahead of MEQ if we charge takes away a lot of our sting. I'm reminded heavily of a quote in the Codex - "Caution is not the Blood Angels way, and it cannot be yours". We're not going to win battles through combat superiority any more, because we don't have it. What we do have, however, is the second fastest marine army in the game, coming in just behind biker armies (Ravenwing or Codex Marines, take your pick). Before we could rely on furious charge to do the damage for us, but now we need to use our jump infantry troops, combined with 24" range rhinos, to get us where we need to be, and when we need to be there. Descent Of Angels also helps, as we can take our enemy to just one turn of shooting before we get to attack, and that won't always be enough.
Crusade, Purge the Alien, and The Emperor's Will we all have coming out of our ears from 5th, so I'll leave those be to focus on the new ones. (If you're new to the game, then I apologise, but they're a lot more straightforward than the other 3, and don't require as much finesse).
Big Guns Never Tire - target the enemy heavy support choices first. They're normally threatening as it is, but now that they give up extra VPs then they're definitely worth a shot, especially if someone leaves them holding an objective. If you run devastators, be prepared for your opponent to bump them to the top of his target priority list if they're anywhere near an objective. Storm Ravens got a boost from this too. Also, remember that the vehicle can't take an objective if its immobilised, so if they have a land raider or something sat on an objective and you immobilise it, there's no need to waste your time and army trying to finish it off.
The Scouring - Overly complicated, in my opinion. Simply prioritise the high-scoring objectives. If chance screws you by giving the opponent easy access to the higher scoring markers, we've got the speed to mitigate that factor. Again, target fast attack first, especially since they're generally lightly armoured (land speeders, piranhas, other codices' assault marines which are generally only taken in small numbers) compared to the rest of the army.
The Relic - Bleh. Unbalanced, thy name is the Relic. First turn has a HUGE advantage, since the relic can only be picked up in the movement phase. Even if the second player makes the first player drop it, the first player gets first opportunity to pick it back up. Add first blood to that, and its an uphill battle. Since most of our troops choices can get it on turn 1, and we're fast enough to get it away quickly and put up roadblocks, this mission favours us. If you have a fast build, and first turn, its practically an auto-win, especially if you get the first kill (pick a really easy target, even if its not threatening. Rhino, land speeder, those 5 scouts that were just there because they had 80 spare points, anything). It may be horribly unbalanced, but we've got the edge, so take it if you can.
Secondary Objectives - First Blood makes turn 1 more important (though I've seen games where first blood didn't happen until the bottom of turn 2). And since it can't be claimed by both players, this matters more than any other. Slay The Warlord - matchup dependent. If they've got something hard as nails (Draigo, Ghaz, Bystander, Calgar) then don't bother. Especially painful if we're using support HQs (librarians are annoyingly easy to kill, and with Slay the Warlord in the mix people will be gunning for him). Linebreaker is a cool idea, and I like it. We should get it more often than not. There'll be a lot fewer draws with these around, and I like that they're only 1 VP each (specifically designed as tiebreakers, I imagine).
Warlord Traits - Not a fan. They're unbalanced. Some are really really good (an aforementioned combat monster getting an extra VP for characters killed in a challenge? Insane), whilst some are literally useless depending on your army and your opponents (what good is -1 to reserves if they have no reserves, or princeps of deceit if you're deploying second anyway?). The chance that one army could get a really potent one, whilst the other player gets one that has no bearing on the game, just seems to unbalance things to me.
Mysterious Objectives - Same with these guys. One side has guys camping with shooty units on an objective in a ruin with +1 to their cover save, whilst the poor scouts holding the other one have to put up with it periodically going boom. They're not as bad as the warlord traits, but add a bit of unnecessary complexity to the game, as its just one more thing to remember.
And that's about it, I guess. I'd like to offer my thanks to all my opponents for being so accommodating with me taking pictures and scribbling stuff down between turns, and for providing me with a wide variety of armies to play against (never played the same faction more than twice, and deliberately kept it 50/50 between power armour and non-power armour). I also thank everyone that's put up with reading the thread for the last few weeks, and everyone that's offered advice, queries, and constructive comments on the reports and list. If there's anything I've missed out, or if anyone has some specific queries, I'm perfectly happy to answer them. I hope this has been a useful thread, and its been of benefit to my fellow Blood Angel players.
Thanks for reading, may you all go out and bring the forum glory - for Sanguinius and the Emperor!
Edited by Morticon, 21 July 2012 - 09:28 PM.