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How do you find Blood Angels in 6th


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#1
Jorre

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6th edition has been out a while now and I'd like to start a discussion on how everyone is currently running Blood Angels. I consider myself a competitive but casual player. As well as the endless refreshing and reading every post in the BA forum here and a few other places I have about 20 games under my belt since 6th started. Which isn't very much, but it's enough for me to tell what works and notice trends in my game play!

Here are my thoughts and I'd love to see what others think about them!

Shooting is king now. Tactical squads are way more effective and sternguard even more so. Almost every list I write has one of each in it.

Divination librarians really boost a shooty army. Prescience gives you rerolls in shooting and hth! Adding a Libby to a squad armed with bolters is way more effective than assault marines with bolt pistol and chainsword. Here's why! First you are rapid firing with rerolls. Then you are over watching with rerolls! Then you fight what ever is left over in hth with rerolls!

I am finding in my games that I almost never instigate an assault! Because I am almost alway rapid firing! The rerolls make assaulting even a simple tactical squad a really dangerous prospect!

The only time I have had any success with assault marines is when run 2-3 full 10 man squads. 1 just does not cut it.

I guess the whole purpose of this post is for me to vent my frustration! I am disappointed with Blood Angels in 6th. They just do not feel like a close combat orientated force, and that has always been my favorite part of being a blood angel.

6th has completely changed the way we play our BA and even though I will always consider them my primary army, however I am not so impressed by the lack of effective hand to hand units!

Would love to hear other people's thoughts on how you think BA have changed in 6th and weather or not you like the changes

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#2
Brother Noah

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Sadly, I agree with you for the most part. I am still using 10 man assault squads, but I am truly finding it much harder to succeed in hand to hand consistently nowadays. Shooting got a pretty good boost this edition, and with us no longer having a higher initiative from furious charge, I feel like things are a bit tougher. We can claim hammer of wrath, but that is only when we don't use our jump packs to move...which to me seems to be not very often.

Edited by Brother Noah, 22 October 2012 - 04:48 AM.


#3
Jorre

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Maybe the key to adding some close combat flavor to my list without loosing firepower effectiveness is hidden in the death company!

I'm thinking 1 divination Libby with axe, 9 death company with 1 fist and 1 axe in a drop pod. That would still give me 18 rerolled bolter shots and since they are relentless you can still assault afterwards! Well except for the turn they disembark.

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#4
appiah5

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Prescience Librarian + Bolter DC + a couple of Power Fists = Pure Win.

Edited by appiah5, 22 October 2012 - 05:21 AM.

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#5
TheHarrower

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Would love to hear other people's thoughts on how you think BA have changed in 6th and weather or not you like the changes


I've sadly come to the same conclusion. Most of my lists now are shooty and I have Assault Squads in there as more of a counter punch. I've been pretty frustrated with Blood Angels too. Not because they got worse, but because the tactics changed and evolved them into a play style I don't like as much. The changes with assault and furious charge really tipped the balance IMO. We can still do close combat, it just can't be a sole focus anymore (at least I can't get it to work).

My hope is that the new Space Marine Codex will introduce a new assault vehicle that we'll be able to use that'll be cheaper than the Land Raider. There was a "Land Avenger" listed on the leaked release list for the summer and I'm hoping that's what it does. I'll gladly pay 125 points for something like that. For now, I'm shooting a lot more and assaulting a lot less. I don't like it, but there aren't any other armies out there that appeal to me at the moment and I don't want to turn my back on the Blood Angels.

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#6
Jorre

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Would love to hear other people's thoughts on how you think BA have changed in 6th and weather or not you like the changes


I've sadly come to the same conclusion. Most of my lists now are shooty and I have Assault Squads in there as more of a counter punch. I've been pretty frustrated with Blood Angels too. Not because they got worse, but because the tactics changed and evolved them into a play style I don't like as much. The changes with assault and furious charge really tipped the balance IMO. We can still do close combat, it just can't be a sole focus anymore (at least I can't get it to work).

My hope is that the new Space Marine Codex will introduce a new assault vehicle that we'll be able to use that'll be cheaper than the Land Raider. There was a "Land Avenger" listed on the leaked release list for the summer and I'm hoping that's what it does. I'll gladly pay 125 points for something like that. For now, I'm shooting a lot more and assaulting a lot less. I don't like it, but there aren't any other armies out there that appeal to me at the moment and I don't want to turn my back on the Blood Angels.


It's nice to know others feel the same way. I also agree, changing armies is simply not an option!

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#7
NICS

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I feel BA went the other way.

I ran a full razorspam in 5th and have started moving to 10 man assault marine squads with Preds and a stormraven to back them up. It's not that i am not keen on razorback's anymore as much rather the way the perform in 6th. It's the 5 man squads that I am struggling with. Changes to FNP really helps now too. Thanks to the reduction in melta and rockets in favour of plasma and autocannons you get to roll it more often. The 3+ for reserves that we get to re roll helps me to get's bodies on the table faster too.

I think hybrid armies got a massive boost which is the way BA should be played anyway.

#8
Drunken Angel

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Would love to hear other people's thoughts on how you think BA have changed in 6th and weather or not you like the changes


I've sadly come to the same conclusion. Most of my lists now are shooty and I have Assault Squads in there as more of a counter punch. I've been pretty frustrated with Blood Angels too. Not because they got worse, but because the tactics changed and evolved them into a play style I don't like as much. The changes with assault and furious charge really tipped the balance IMO. We can still do close combat, it just can't be a sole focus anymore (at least I can't get it to work).

My hope is that the new Space Marine Codex will introduce a new assault vehicle that we'll be able to use that'll be cheaper than the Land Raider. There was a "Land Avenger" listed on the leaked release list for the summer and I'm hoping that's what it does. I'll gladly pay 125 points for something like that. For now, I'm shooting a lot more and assaulting a lot less. I don't like it, but there aren't any other armies out there that appeal to me at the moment and I don't want to turn my back on the Blood Angels.


It's nice to know others feel the same way. I also agree, changing armies is simply not an option!


With you on that one, I will not change armies, my 5th ed DOA assault army list is gone burger, assault is still vital but less so than it was. In a recent tourney I played in the 2 bottom armies were both assault orientated. I have increased my shooting and reduced my assault. I run one at the most two priests now. Divination librarian and death company are a powerful unit. I only keep one counter charge unit, usually 6-8 DC with jump packs they are awesome. I virtually am always using 2 storm ravens and holding back till they come in then jump down the board literally kicking butt all the way to the other end. I am still using assault marines but they have less work these days they dont have to do the heavy lifting they used to do they just clean up and hold objectives.
Baals and storm ravens are really nasty I am using scouts (or 3 DC cheap at 60 pts) on an aegis defence line with coms relay to ensure a devastating 2nd turn strike. 2 baals and 2 ravens usually entering play with a suicide doublemelta suicide squad dropping is working for me. Attack bikes are also awesomesauce still.
Death company are the go to for my counter charge unit. I want to try more Sang guard games they seem a good option too. The silence from vanguard and honour guard is deafening.

#9
Chaplain Admetus

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Shooting is definitely king this edition. I think its very much adapt or die for the Blood Angels now, especially since we can't rely on first strike in an assault without the furious charge initiative bump. Against I4 shooting armies we struggle, as we get whittled down and then fight at the same time. I'm just back from Throne of Skulls, and its pretty telling that there were only 10 Blood Angels players (out of 140-odd), and I was the only one that managed three wins; someone else got two and a draw, and nobody else took more than two.

There was only one especially shooty BA army that I saw and I played against it - 3 5 man assault squads in HB razors, 1 5 man assault squad in a land raider (all squads with a melta), librarian with shield and fear, 3 assault cannon Baals, 2 preds, 1 with lascannon sponsons 1 with HB sponsons, and a whirlwind. But then, that suffers from a very low number of scoring models, and they have to come out of their metal boxes at some point to win the game.

I'm currently running something of a mixed list, with 2 assault squads, 1 tac squad, pod-sternguard, 5 devastators, a priest and a raven. Quite hybrid; but if I'm honest the list focus is on mobility instead of combat. I think it might be worthwhile to play a shooting based army as we can do it just as well as other marines, with some nasty counter-assault units like DC for things that get close, and an assault squad to go ranging for outfield objectives.
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#10
Jorre

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I've tried jump pack honour guard with plasmas.... But they are really to expensive, I cringe a little every time one dies.

I havnt tried vanguard in 6th but I think they may still have their uses. Especially since they now come in on a 3+ with rerolls. It would be much easier to drop a priest close by for furious charge and fnp bubble, maybe in a 5 man assault squad. You'd be pretty unlucky if they didn't both come in on turn 2.

I guess there are still plenty of things I can try to get some hth flavor into my BA list, but is it really going to be competative?

I really do love sternguard ATM though. Nothing like watching my mates reaction as they slaughter a squad of genestealers!

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#11
CitadelArmyGuy

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Hybrid is the way. Melee is 1/3 of the game. There is the Movement Phase, the Shooting Phase, and the Assault Phase. Armies that choose to win the game in only one phase are generally poor lists. Pure-Shooting lists can sometimes get away with it if properly written and optimized, but are unimaginative and may have weaknesses.

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#12
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I am running scouts + aegis + coms relay to sit on one objective they cost 160 to 170 pts but give one objective plus 2nd turn rerolls for 2 baals and 2 ravens to come on supporting the RAS

#13
Jorre

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Hybrid is the way. Melee is 1/3 of the game. There is the Movement Phase, the Shooting Phase, and the Assault Phase. Armies that choose to win the game in only one phase are generally poor lists. Pure-Shooting lists can sometimes get away with it if properly written and optimized, but are unimaginative and may have weaknesses.


This is good advise, I think movement and shooting are clearly where the game is won though. If you dominate the shooting phase and have a good mobile force you are probably going to win.

Sadly at the moment I don't think winning the assault phase is to important ATM. You need to be able to tie up or distract hardcore enemy close combat units, but having your own is just not needed

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#14
appiah5

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This is good advise, I think movement and shooting are clearly where the game is won though. If you dominate the shooting phase and have a good mobile force you are probably going to win.

Sadly at the moment I don't think winning the assault phase is to important ATM. You need to be able to tie up or distract hardcore enemy close combat units, but having your own is just not needed


Actually, no, you need a decent assault element if only to remove the enemy troops from the table.

That is why the Librarian + Bolter DC is so good. You can reliably drop them behind enemy lines, destroy troops and completely throw the enemy movement off balance.

EDIT: I find a Librarian with Fear and Shield works just as well as a Prescience Librarian for this role. Shooting enemy troops and forcing them off the table with Fear is golden, and Shield can really help survivability.

Edited by appiah5, 22 October 2012 - 08:01 AM.

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#15
SnorriSnorrison

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I can't completely agree with you, Jorre. While 6th has brought up some major changes in the gameplay, I don't think that our BA have lost their ways.

Shooting is king, at least rapid fire weapons got a big boost. Heavy weapons benefit from snap fire, and some might argue that Assault squads are not worth it anymore. I do disagree.

In the 10-ish games I played so far, my 10 men assault squad performed stellar. They once were charged by two(!) big units of Hagashin(the Dark Eldar gladiators) and mowed them down in close combat. The defending assault squad mowed them down. Why? FnP is still our saviour and of course the new wound allocation system.

When I was fighting wolves, my assault squad lasted too long against Grey Hunters with Rune Priest, the FnP rescued my Marines against both power- and runic weapons alike, to the frustration of my opponent.


What I'm trying to say is that our RAS is still good, with a Priest they become great, with a Divination Libby they become godly. Again, it's all about synergy.

I'm also using a Tactical squad in every game. Now, the rapid firing bolters are just plain awesome, their shooting no longer suffers from movement and they've become the backbone in a SM army they're supposed to be.
Sternguard I never use, I've got a different approach for my elite units. Sanguinary Guard. Death Company. Furioso Dreadnoughts. Maybe a Stormraven to give them a ride.


The point is, that only you decide how you want to play your BA. Loading up on Sternguard and more Tactical squads obviously reduces your fighting strength in close combat, so why not drop the Sterns and load up on some DC? Or Vanguards, as you suggested. The points you'll have got left without the Sternguard can get you one or two other units. Maybe, next to the Vanguards, a small Scout Sniper squad? The new rules for sniper rifles are finally true to their background, even with BS3. Just some suggestions. :D



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#16
CitadelArmyGuy

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What I'm trying to say is that our RAS is still good, with a Priest they become great, with a Divination Libby they become godly. Again, it's all about synergy.

This is the clutch statement right here. Assault Phase is all about Force Multiplication. We lost Initiative 5 but we gained Prescience.

Now I understand your comments Jorre-- I'm going to take a stab and guess you probably play against Space Wolves a lot? That's the codex which really hurts my Blood Angel pride. Their standard Troop has excellent shooting while at the same time they have just as many melee attacks (even being charged... ugh) and can also take a Prescience Runepriest (who has ability to block our Librarians... for free). Feel No Pain is our only edge and since we are more expensive points-wise, it is not much of an edge since they can outnumber us.

I play against Space Wolves a lot too. For me, the winning principle is Concentration. Winning assault is entirely about stacking the deck and making each fight as one-sided as possible. A tad difficult to explain properly how to achieve this effectively without being counter-charged into oblivion, but it involves a mixture of Diversions, Screens and/or Fixes. Done properly it will still win games, but 6th Edition certainly made it harder, I will not disagree with you Jorre.

Edited by CitadelArmyGuy, 22 October 2012 - 08:31 AM.

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#17
appiah5

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What I'm trying to say is that our RAS is still good, with a Priest they become great, with a Divination Libby they become godly. Again, it's all about synergy.

This is the clutch statement right here. Assault Phase is all about Force Multiplication. We lost Initiative 5 but we gained Prescience.


You miss a point, a big point.

Previously what it took to make RAS decent in melee was a 50 pt Priest to give them FNP and FC. Now that investment does not make them decent in melee, only above average. To make them decent you also need a 100 pt Librarian.

Ok.. Well, no. Let me break it down:

For 150 pts you give a squad that's :D in shooting and poor in combat FNP, FC and Prescience (which doesn't do ^_^ for shooting because the squad has pew pew guns).

If you add the 100 pt Librarian to a Death Company, you now have a unit that's beastly in melee and decent in shooting.

Hell, I'd go so far as to say the Prescience Librarian in a Tactical Squad is more useful than one in a RAS.

Basically, if you need a Librarian to make the RAS worthwhile, then it's :cuss. That Librarian is wasted in a RAS.

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#18
Demoulius

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Im also moving slightly off from my 5th edition lists...

Assauling feels more like a hazard then anything else... By the time you will have closed the distance you will have a few marines. Then you can lose men to the stupid overwatch adn then hit them at I4 because we lost the I5 boost from FC :D

hitting at 6's aside units get a free turn of shooting that they normally wouldnt get... If you mutli charge its even worse as all squads (potentialy) charged get to fire overwatch :cuss

Mind ive killed things with my assault squads when I dident get the charge myself (damn random charge lengths! ^_^ ) as a meltagun on overwatch hurts :lol:

Overall though its a huge boost to shooting and a great deal of nerfing in the combat area.... Fluffwise Blood angels are a codex chapter with heavy assault elements so perhaps its time to play it as such? ^_^

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#19
Jorre

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What I'm trying to say is that our RAS is still good, with a Priest they become great, with a Divination Libby they become godly. Again, it's all about synergy.

This is the clutch statement right here. Assault Phase is all about Force Multiplication. We lost Initiative 5 but we gained Prescience.

Now I understand your comments Jorre-- I'm going to take a stab and guess you probably play against Space Wolves a lot? That's the codex which really hurts my Blood Angel pride. Their standard Troop has excellent shooting while at the same time they have just as many melee attacks and can take a Prescience Runepriest (who also has ability to block our Librarians [for free]). Feel No Pain is our only edge and since we are more expensive points-wise, it is not much of an edge since they can outnumber us.

I play against Space Wolves a lot too. For me, the winning principle is Concentration. Winning assault is entirely about stacking the deck and making each fight as one-sided as possible. A tad difficult to explain properly how to achieve this effectively without being counter-charged into oblivion, but it involves a mixture of Diversions, Screens and/or Fixes. Done properly it will still win games; but 6th Edition certainly made it harder, I will not disagree with you Jorre.


My 2 most regular opponents are Chaos Demons and Tyranids, I do play against space wolves a bit to so I know what you are talking about there. My regular opponents especially the demons are very Hand to hand focused. Against 90% of demons you are better of sitting in cover with rapid fire, over watching and then wearing the assault through cover. Even a simple tactical squad is going to do some damage if it is over watching(With rerolls) then striking first with rerolls! With a little luck any heavy assault unit is going to take enough casualties that it is no longer combat effective or at least slightly less combat effective.


Snorri I am not at all saying that an assault squad with divination Libby and priest is a bad choice, it just seems less effective to me than a tactical squad. I think the rerolls benifit the tacticals much more since they take advantage more often. Shooting, overwatch and during assault. If your assault squads are firing overwatch you are probably in big trouble!

I still love assault marines, I think they work really well as a counter assault unit for when my tacticals are in trouble, but when ever I use them aggresively they are always whittled down to a combat ineffective size before they get into combat.

I have a 2000 point game planed vs demons on Friday. I am going to give the Death company a go. Either in a Landraider crusader or a drop pod!

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#20
SamaNagol

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6th has made movement more important than eve. And the Movement phase is where BA have always excelled. We never really won assaults through direct heads on smashing deathstar units. It was always through supported assaults and bringing weight of numbers to overwhelm specific points on the table.

Admittedly transports have been significantly nerfed, and Furious Charge has been nerfed so our 'lightning strikes' against other MEQ armies are less effective. But you can still employ such tactics. BA seem to be more a force of mobile resilience now.
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#21
SnorriSnorrison

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What I'm trying to say is that our RAS is still good, with a Priest they become great, with a Divination Libby they become godly. Again, it's all about synergy.

This is the clutch statement right here. Assault Phase is all about Force Multiplication. We lost Initiative 5 but we gained Prescience.


You miss a point, a big point.


As well as you do, to be frank.

The Librarian is not to be seen as an upgrade character for the RAS, it's always there, at least(my estimation) 80% of BA players use a Librarian anyway.
His powers are not solely used for one squad, but can reach others as well. He is a force multiplyer in any phase, but not for only one unit.

Then, what is often overlooked is that the Assault Squad is also a great melta-carrier, and has more than the Tactical Squad a good chance of getting close enough for that extra D6.
The Tactical Squad is good against horde units with crappy armour saves where the Bolters make the most damage and chainswords are not as good in comparison.
Against Marines, however, I find it much more valuable to wound on 3's when already re-rolling to hit's. Bolters lack the strength to deal sufficient wounds in shooting, you need the special weapons in there.


Snorri I am not at all saying that an assault squad with divination Libby and priest is a bad choice, it just seems less effective to me than a tactical squad. I think the rerolls benifit the tacticals much more since they take advantage more often. Shooting, overwatch and during assault. If your assault squads are firing overwatch you are probably in big trouble!


Well, you could also argue that without a Divination Librarian, the Tactical Squad is crappy against Marines, where the Assault Squad can easily charge, get Hammer of Wrath and S5, even without re-rolls it's a lot better.
Then, how do you play your Tactical Squad(s)? Let them home-sit on an objective with a Librarian is a waste of that HQ choice. Letting them walk with both a Priest and a Librarian is a waste of both an Elite- and a HQ choice. They're support units. Backbone-units, yes, but they're supporters.
They soften targets for our assault squads, deliver some plasma- or lascannon fire where needed, but they're simply not fast or strong enough to deal out the real pain.


Regarding their use on the battlefield:
put them in a Drop pod, and DS them into the middle of the battlefield, near a ruin to get them some cover. In your following turns, they'll be in bolter and maybe rapid-fire range, distracting enemy units until your counter-assault elements arrive, such as DC, Terminators, SG or the RAS. If there's nothing for you to assault, grant them Prescience from your Libby, and have fun with it. Are assault targets in range, let the CC-dedicated units take over. I've been doing that in many games and it worked(even without Prescience in 5th...). :P



Snorri

#22
appiah5

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Then, what is often overlooked is that the Assault Squad is also a great melta-carrier, and has more than the Tactical Squad a good chance of getting close enough for that extra D6.
The Tactical Squad is good against horde units with crappy armour saves where the Bolters make the most damage and chainswords are not as good in comparison.
Against Marines, however, I find it much more valuable to wound on 3's when already re-rolling to hit's. Bolters lack the strength to deal sufficient wounds in shooting, you need the special weapons in there.


I don't have time to respond fully (I will, later) but let me just point out that a Tactical Squad can have more Melta than a RAS squad (Combi, Assault, Heavy)

Besides, my regular Tactical squad loadout (Combi Plasma, Plasmagun, Multi Melta) can make more use out of Prescience than your double Meltagun RAS can, with much greater range.

RAS are not the only boys who can be upgraded with guns. Please note that Tactical Squads can be upgraded with more guns than RAS.

Edited by appiah5, 22 October 2012 - 10:40 AM.

"Death before dishonor, nothing before coffee!"

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#23
SnorriSnorrison

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Then, what is often overlooked is that the Assault Squad is also a great melta-carrier, and has more than the Tactical Squad a good chance of getting close enough for that extra D6.
The Tactical Squad is good against horde units with crappy armour saves where the Bolters make the most damage and chainswords are not as good in comparison.
Against Marines, however, I find it much more valuable to wound on 3's when already re-rolling to hit's. Bolters lack the strength to deal sufficient wounds in shooting, you need the special weapons in there.


I don't have time to respond fully (I will, later) but let me just point out that a Tactical Squad can have more Melta than a RAS squad (Combi, Assault, Heavy)

Besides, my regular Tactical squad loadout (Combi Plasma, Plasmagun, Multi Melta) can make more use out of Prescience than your double Meltagun RAS can, with much greater range.

RAS are not the only boys who can be upgraded with guns. Please note that Tactical Squads can be upgraded with more guns than RAS.


Please note the often overlooked Infernus Pistol. That's three meltas as well.
The range is not the problem here, since the jump packs allow the assault squad to move swiftly over the battlefield, as well as deepstrike with much greater accuracy than the Tactical squad ever could. The meltagun in a Tac squad I find often useless, and upgrade to plasma instead.
Also, your regular Tactical Squad needs Prescience because of 'Gets hot!' rolls. Without a Priest, the Prescience is indeed needed to make sure they're not killing themselves off.

The last point is true, Tactical Squads have a greater range of weapons to choose from, indeed. That's why they are called tactical, because they're supposed to have a weapon for every situation. My tactical squad is often Powerfist, Plasmagun and either a rocket launcher or plasmacannon in a drop pod. The rocket launcher is often my favourite choice because of frag/krak rockets, just so versatile against a lot of opponents.
In time the opponent has come close, my Priest with assault squad will be there to countercharge what's left. Works fine for me! :P



Snorri

#24
Ushtarador

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In my opinion, a hybrid approach is still the best option for BA. Our superior mobility enables us to concentrate our force on a small area, leaving the enemy unable to respond fast enough. The goal should be to engineer engagements where you about double the opponents points and crush the target with superior numbers. Combine this with midfield shooting units to split the enemy's forces and draw his attention from your main plans, and you have a good chance of winning.
BA were never really strong in close combat even in 5th, the problem just got accentuated now. Also, FnP is sooooo good now, you can now win fights you would have lost instantly in 5th, it also makes charging a lot easier in some ways.

Edited by Ushtarador, 22 October 2012 - 11:12 AM.


#25
DominicJ

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Blood angels are not a sledge hammer.
If you slam point for point into orks they can, will and should crush you.

Mobility not thuggery

Killing it with fire since Angels of Death