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I'm wondering whether transports without the Assault Vehicle special rules can be used as well as transports with the special rule.
I'm basically wondering about the Rhino-variants versus the Land Raider and the Stormraven Gunship.
As Blood Angels, we have access to Assault Squads as a Troop choice - something that sets our Codex apart from Vanilla Marines. That's something that I've come round to thinking should be used to our advantage.
However, is it not the case that Assault Squads' greatest strength is in assaulting, rather than in either firing or withstanding assaults? If this is the case, then surely we want our Assault Squads in vehicles that actually allow them to assault?
I guess another viewpoint is that Assault Squads give you access to cheap support vehicles. You can take a Razorback with Lascannon which meets your Troop criteria for 155 points.
But my question is this: would you ever take Assault Squads in a Rhino-variant with the view to disembarking and assaulting?
It's not necessarily a problem. BA rhino's are fast vehicles, which means that 18" movement range will give them a ton of mobility. You move flat out on turn 1, pop smoke, and next turn if you're within 12" of an enemy, you jump out, run up, and punch them. Otherwise, you keep on driving until you are.
Turn 1: Move Flat Out with your Rhinos. You get 18" forward.
Turn 2: If you're in charge range, disembark your Assault Squad. You get some shooting in - Bolt Pistols and possibly a Meltagun.
Turn 3: If your opponent is so utterly retarded that he hasn't either charged your Assault Marines or simply moved out of your range, you get a charge in.
The Assault Vehicle special rule changes this turn sequence such that you get a charge on Turn 2. My feeling is that, knowing you're not charging until the second turn anyway, you should move more carefully and use your smoke. Using Land Raiders or Stormraven Gunships, this would allow the following turn sequence:
[LR] Turn 1: Move 12". Pop smoke.
[LR] Turn 2: Move 12". If you're in charge range, disembark your Assault Squad. You get some shooting in - Bolt Pistols and possibly a Meltagun. Assault the squad you shot at.
[SRGS]: Turn 1: Move 24". Pop smoke.
[SRGS]: Turn 2: If you're in charge range, disembark your Assault Squad. You get some shooting in - Bolt Pistols and possibly a Meltagun. Assault the squad you shot at.
Note that the Stormraven Gunship not only allows you to assault a turn earlier than Rhino-variants, but it allows you to lay down full covering-fire when you do so, as it won't have moved in the turn you assault. You also get to pop smoke on the Stormraven Gunship, which gives you a significantly better chance of surviving.
But, regardless of the extra weapon-firing of the Stormraven Gunship, the point I'm making is that Assault Vehicles allow you to charge one full turn earlier than otherwise.
All in all, I think Blood Angels work better as a balanced army, with a good amount of infantry, vehicles, shooting, and assault power. In a way, they've become the new 'standard' Space Marine army, because of their superior CC power, and are best played with a balanced approach.
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