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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

With my guard army nearing completion, I'm giving some thought to revisiting my Blood Angels. I want to make an effective DoA army that is not just three or four cookie-cutter assault squads dropping down on the enemy. I'm curious to know, for those who have managed to play DoA effectively, what do you do that works?

I'm really keen on including Sanguinor in my lists, but the one time that I used him, I found him to be incredibly fragile. Yes, he had eternal warrior, FnP thanks to a nearby priest, and the 3+ invuln, but he still went down to massed bolter / plasma fire. Has anyone been able to use him effectively? My typical opponent plays Ultramarines, and I really could use something to counter his deathstar unit (Calgar and five thunder hammer / storm shield terminators). So far, all I can think of is Sanguinor with his own squad of TH/SS terminators. I'm considering the Sanguinor/Dante combo special, but that's one hefty points sink. I've seen a lot of lists that don't use any named characters and instead take one or more librarians, but they are so squishy and so easily shut down by enemy psychic hoods.

Also, I've seen two trends of thought regarding priests. Some say that you should keep them out of combat at all costs while others say to just launch them into the fray. Which do you prefer and why? I'm not quite sure how I would keep a priest safe. Keeping him out of combat would avoid the hidden power fists, but at the same time, would leave him completely exposed to all sorts of enemy fire, unless I attached him to a tactical squad or something.
 

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for those who have managed to play DoA effectively, what do you do that works?
How much supporting fire do you bring? That's the most common error by DOA players; the purist approach doesn't work nearly as well as including a couple Riflemen Dreads or something.

The only DoA list that has ever given my IG or Marines trouble fielded both Sanguinor and Mephiston as a tag team. It always forces me to kill either the hard targets or the scoring squishy targets...can't really do both.

Here's an idea that will help you both counter Deathstars and improve a DoA list's general performance. Bring a Land Raider containing a lightning-claw Terminator squad, a Termie Chaplain and a priest. (The latter doesn't need upgrades.) The LR guarantees a charge with about 25 power weapon attacks with high initiative and rerolls to both hitting and wounding. Not even storm shields will protect from that. The priest can be kept safe by remaining inside the Land Raider.

That tactic is doubly effective because Land Raider-enabled charges usually take place on turn 2, which is when your DoA squads arrive. This means an Assault squad can land, shoot up a target, let the Land Raider's passengers make the charge and then be relatively safe from being charged themselves in the opponent's turn. Also, Land Raiders are big enough that an assault squad (or Sanguinor) can safely advance behind it.

Alternatively to Land Raiders, use a couple small Vanguards with jump packs. The DoA rule makes them mostly reliable even without a locator beacon on the table. If they're coming to the rescue of a priest then they'll probably pick up his bonus along the way.


The best way I've found to keep a priest alive is to attach him to units that aren't really expected to face CC. My current favorite is an Assault Bike squad with biker priest; he gives them good leadership and protects them from small arms. The ABs' short range means he's frequently around my other units as well. Shooty Terminators with priest is good, too, and fluff-compatible with the DoA concept.

Hope this gives you some ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Intrepid. I don't really bring any fire support at all. In the past I've just sort of hoped that my massed meltaguns would eliminate most armored threats.

What HQs do you normally take? I kind of wanted to avoid the Land Raider approach, as I've had my fill of mech armies thanks to my guard, but I do like the idea of the assault bikes. I may have to see if I can include a similar unit in my list.

Also, what do you think of including a TH/SS squad of my own? I feel like this, teleporting in alongside my other units, would draw fire away from pricey but semi-fragile units like the Sanguinor.
 

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You have a lot of options to mix up your DoA list actually:

-Sanguinary Priests: Use them. That is all.

-Vanguard Veterans: With DoA, Heroic Intervention suddenly becomes viable. VV can now be relied upon to instantly engage whatever unit you want in combat. I use them primarily to hunt for Devastators/equivalents. The flip side to VV is that they can get expensive quick, especially since you have to pay extra for their jump packs (stupid, I know). A 5-man squad with a Power Weapon or two and Power Fist should work nicely though.

-Death Company: One of my absolute favorites. I use DC as my Honour Guard really, since my most used HQ is the Reclusiarch. A 5-man squad with Power Weapons galore(maybe a Power Fist or Thunder Hammer mixed in) can be an amazing kill unit if used properly. DC need the charge, once you have it that squad is throwing out 25 Power Weapon attacks at WS5, S5, I5(6 for Reclusiarch) and re-rolling to hit AND to wound. Few things you need to consider when using DC is how you are going to move them across the table, and how you are going to give them the charge. You really don't want to DoA these guys, as it just gives you opponent an opportunity to manipulate their Rage USR right off the bat. For the particular squad I just laid out you can buy a Las-Plas Razorback with extra armour and still get away for 50 points less than the Calgar/Termie squad. Keep them in the Razorback until you are within assault range of the unit you want to kill and the Rage USR becomes a moot point. Going with the Razorback means you are going to want to re-evaluate a straight DoA list however, as you are going to want more units on the table to start with than just one Razorback. Other transport options include Land Raiders and Stormravens, both cost significantly more points but both give you the option of deep striking.

-Sanguinary Guard/Honour Guard: I'm lumping these units together because the only time I use either one is as a squad attached to Dante, and both are viable options to be honest. Sanguinary Guard start off with great wargear, and Honour Guard start getting very expensive when you bring them up to their standard. On the flip side, Honour Guard have a Sanguinary Priest already attached, which gives the whole squad Furious Charge and Feel No Pain. Infernus Pistols and Power Fists are cheap upgrades for Sanguinary Guard, and the Honour Guard can load up on either ranged or CC weapons. Paired with Dante's Surgical Strike and Tactical Precision this is another good choice for throwing at Calgar, especially with the Death Mask of Sanguinius doing it's thing.

-Dreadnoughts: Simply put, Blood Angels have an awesome assortment of Dreadnoughts to choose from. Furiosos can either be their typical CC monsters, or you can go with a Frag Cannon/Heavy Flamer combo for some close range fire support. 3 template shots with high strength is not something your opponent wants any of their infantry to face, and this unit is a prime opportunity to start looking at a few Drop Pods if you are so inclined. Death Company Dreadnoughts on the other hand can be hit or miss. It is an incredibly potent killing machine, but you have less options to manage it's Rage USR than you do with regular DC troops. It's special rules help boost it's usefulness, giving it the same Furious Charge as regular DC as well as None Can Stay My Wrath, allowing it to ignore 'crew shaken' and 'crew stunned' results at no extra points cost. That, combined with it's wargear options and there isn't much this thing can't kill.

-Predators: While both Predators are actually quite amazing in a Blood Angels list, if you are set on DoA list then I would recommend the Baal. Either start it on the table and scout, or keep it in reserve and outflank. I always go with the Assault Cannon on these, as I feel the Flamestorm cannon brings them too close to the action. I also never go with less than two, but that is certainly up to you. If you have decided to go with more of a DoA/mech blend, then regular Predators are still great for the Blood Angels. Fast vehicle means moving 6" and still being able to fire ALL of your weapons.

-Stormravens: Versatile vehicle with a lot of weapon options, and it gives you the ability to transport jump infantry and Dreadnoughts. While it can be a great Heavy Support unit on it's own, transporting units in this brings the risk of putting too many points into one unit. While it can transport infantry squads and Dreadnoughts simultaneously, I wouldn't recommend having it do both at the same time as it just becomes too big of a target. That being said, it is an assault transport, it is a fast skimmer, it is immune to the Melta rule, and it has Power of the Machine Spirit allowing it to move Flat Out and still fire a weapon, so use it however you like.
*A bonus to bringing the Baal Predators along with a Stormraven is that the Baal's can pop smoke during their Scout move, giving the Stormraven an early cover save.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Orblivion. What do you think of a 5 man Death Company squad with Lemartes? It's definitely a points sink and a huge target is painted on their backs, but I could see an advantage between making the enemy choose from shooting DoA Sanguinus, DoA Death Company, and a drop podding Furioso with blood talons.
 

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I've just sort of hoped that my massed meltaguns would eliminate most armored threats.
Problem here: blast templates. When your squads deepstrike, they are forced to be placed in base-to-base contact, right? Well, if they then use their meltaguns then they're still packed in when the enemy's turn comes. If the enemy has any template weapons at all then those squads are going to take incredible amounts of damage. Against such players, your DoA troops will need to use their shooting phase to spread out...and to compensate for that possibility, you need support fire in your list.

Another problem: big unit sizes. Even with the DoA rule, it's very risky to deepstrike a 10- or 12-Marine unit within half-melta range of an enemy Land Raider or something. Have a backup plan for killing heavy armor.

(This is how my Russ-&-blob IG list autowins against DoA. My infantry blobs stop you from deepstriking within 6" of a Russ, then the Russ fires its battle cannon over the men. With a direct hit, the cannon will kill every last Marine on a 2+. Well, I guess the Chaplain has an inv. save so he might live to get charged by 30 GEQs. Him and a random buddy.)

What HQs do you normally take?
Bear in mind that I play a Drop Pod BA list instead of DoA. (Pods are safer, let me spread my men out during the movement phase, provide cover, contest objectives and block roads.) Because it's hard to put characters in BA Pods, I usually bring an Assault Squad with jump packs, on-table deployment, and give them a Reclusiarch (or Astorath, in big games). They're my troubleshooting reinforcements. I also have a Termie Librarian with storm shield. I frequently use a 5-man Scout squad with locator beacon to set up my Turn 1 Drop; when the Libbie deepstrikes, he lands near the locator beacon and is then joined by the Scouts. Poof, Libbie with scoring retinue!

My next HQ will be Seth with an Honor Guard in a Drop Pod. He's just cool. A Libbie on Bike will eventually happen; with Shroud of Sanguinius, my bikes can shoot AND have a cover save against enemy fire! The AP2 shooting attack will be his other power; it'll be a good complement to a trio of multimeltas or whatever.

what do you think of including a TH/SS squad of my own?
Their stats are great as always but they don't work in a DoA list. If they deepstrike, the soonest they can possibly do anything is on Turn 3. That's not effective when you already have so many deepstrikers that are also scoring, quicker to arrive and less likely to mishap.

By contrast, shooty Terminators are an awesome complement to DoA. Start them on the table (assume they just teleported in, for fluff's sake), give them cyclones or assault cannons and you've got a very well-rounded, non-vehicle support unit. Even without the SS, they're also capable of taking on targets that your Assault Squads will struggle against, like Monstrous Creatures. Give them a Priest and they're nigh-invincible.

If you field the Sanguinor then just throw him in with the other DoA guys. If the enemy focuses on him then your ordinary Marines will suffer many fewer casualties. Come to think of it, deepstrike him behind an ordinary Assault squad. The rules require a unit to charge whatever they shot at in the previous phase; you can use this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
By contrast, shooty Terminators are an awesome complement to DoA. Start them on the table (assume they just teleported in, for fluff's sake), give them cyclones or assault cannons and you've got a very well-rounded, non-vehicle support unit. Even without the SS, they're also capable of taking on targets that your Assault Squads will struggle against, like Monstrous Creatures. Give them a Priest and they're nigh-invincible.
Would you recommend foot slogging these guys, or pouring out some points for a Land Raider?

Come to think of it, deepstrike him behind an ordinary Assault squad. The rules require a unit to charge whatever they shot at in the previous phase; you can use this.
This right here is genius. It's so simple yet it did not occur to me.
 

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Always footslog shooty Termies. They can't fire from inside a Land Raider or while deepstriking and their main role in a DoA list is supporting fire rather than CC. They should be okay starting on the table by themselves; most players use short-ranged plasmas and meltas to kill Terminators. Their longer-ranged autocannons and such will be ineffective.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wouldn't it be difficult for them to do anything until late game though? It'll probably take some time before they're in storm bolter range and one lone assault cannon isn't going to make too much of a hole in the enemy.
 

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Between standard deployment and first turn's movement, the storm bolters will likely be in range right away (though still marginal if facing a heavy-mech list). I'd go with the cyclone launcher rather than AC; it's better against the vehicles that are so prevalent these days and will ensure no range difficulties.
 

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Between standard deployment and first turn's movement, the storm bolters will likely be in range right away (though still marginal if facing a heavy-mech list). I'd go with the cyclone launcher rather than AC; it's better against the vehicles that are so prevalent these days and will ensure no range difficulties.
I ran the math a while back - the CML is only better against AV10 (and at long range) - against everything else you're still better off with a pair of assault cannons.
 
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