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Monday, 5 April 2010

Blood Angels Do Things Differently: Part One - Land Raiders

One option that simply doesn't exist in the Vanilla Marine Codex is the capacity to take a metric fuckton of AV14 bastions that rumble up the table turning Infantry into paste.

Arguably, the Nilla Marines do a fab turn in Crusader Armies, when you take Vulkan and MC Hammer - but that's not really a balanced list, by any stretch of the imagination.

The Chaos Codex has the possibility of a LR-based army, but it frankly sucks, because it's full of Chaos units.  The costing for the Chaos Land Raider is pretty good (well done Gav, no-one really ever gives you any credit regarding the Codex, because it's crap, but that was one thing you did just right!) but you can only possibly take 6, they have to be Godhammers, and you need Chaos Terminators to take them.  Far from ideal.

The BA Dex, though, has the intruiging concepts of :
a) Dedicated Land Raiders in Troops
b) Deep Striking Land Raiders

Now, while the second is Epic Fail in most circumstances, it does remain valid, simply because it's free.  Yes, that's correct, you pay nothing for the option.  Y'know, like Vectored Engines should be! (Hint hint nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more)  The first option is promising, but the simple expedient of cost makes it unlikely that the list would be anything approaching viable at under 2000 points.

With that in mind...Army Building Experiment, I Choose You!

Er...
Right.

Well, since we have such expensive Transports, let's start with Troops.

Since the Vehicle is an Assault Vehicle, the possibility exists to grab an Assault Squad, or DC, and slap them in.  DC though, would make enemy target priority easy, or else require Astorath.  Since AstroBoy costs 220 points, that's an option I'll provisionally rule out (as cool as a DC Raider would be!)  Scouts remain a possibility, but they only exist in most SM armies for the sake of Telion.  Telion isn't an option here, so we're comparing (5) Assault Scouts at WS3, 3A each on the charge, 3 PF attacks (WS4) for 100 points to 25 points more for WS4 Base attacks, and Jump Packs.  Oh, and the fact that the Scouts can't choose a Dedicated Transport of any flavour.  Tough shit, shitty Scouts, you're out.
Tacticals can't get a Meltagun at 5 men, and for this crapness they're 10 points less than Assault Marines? Really??  Stick a bastard in it you crap.

So, Assault Marines are the only decent option.  Removing JPs gives a 35 point discount to a Transport also, which is awesome news, as it bring the LRs down to roughly Chaos cost.  Funny how that worked out.  Have I said how much I like Matt Ward?  Anyway - for now, let's work on the principle that we're taking 3 Troops.  They all have to be the same, for symmetry - so 3 of the following:

Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, TH/SS Serg, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 390

Now, you're probably wondering where the arse I got a TH/SS from.  Simples.  I looked at the squad, and reasoned that weight of fire would prevent a Fist being effective.  Despite this, the ability to smash a Tank's face with my hands is useful, and valuable in a list that's going to seriously lack supporting fire due to 400-point Troops.  I wanted to improve survivability enough to pose a serious threat, and hit stuff hard enough to beat the crap out of it.  Bear in mind this may well change, after all - 50 points for that combined Wargear is more than TDA would cost, were it an option.

To maintain symmetry, (and not auto-Die) we now need Sanguinary Priests, 1 per Raider:

Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol, Melta Bombs - 70

Three of those guys would work, but let's look at other options.  TDA for a Sang Priest makes them 85, but has no option for a Fist.  Fist in Power Armour would work, but it has an issue with being easy to pick out of the unit.  Power Weapon or LC addition would push our guys up to 85 each, still less than the JP guys in the last list, but we're taking 3, not 2.  I think I'll stick with what I got above, for now.

Thus far, we've spent 210 on Elites, and 1170 on Troops, for 1380 Total.  Time to get an HQ? Why not?

How about Seth?  160 points of S8 Rending attacks, I4, 4A, 4W, WS6, Iron Halo...oh, wait.  3+ Armour, T4, no Furious Charge.  Hmmm.  Not rubbish, but not incredible.

Okay, who else can get into a Raider? A 150 point Reclusiarch with Infernus pistol and Melta Bombs??  Seems a little pricey to me.  Tycho? 175 points of Preferred Enemy: Orks?  I jest, Tycho isn't awful.  But he's not really great either.  That leaves the Captain, and the Librarian.  I could lie to you, and say I'm picking a Libby because I used a Captain last list.  I could be vague, and simply say the Libby is more competitive than the Captain (he is.)  Instead, I refer you to page 63, to read Shield of Sanguinius.  In layman's terms, I'm driving my Land Raiders up the table behind a 3" tall hedge.  Sweet.

Librarian; w/ Infernus pistol, Shield of Sanguinius, The Blood Lance. - 115

Two of those then.  To take him in TDA with a SS, fyi, is 145.  That's a bit steep for me, I dunno about you guys, but I can't risk that investment in a 2W T4 character lightly.

Overall, that takes me to 1610, and I only have 3 Raiders - no more than a regular army could manage.  My guys are Scoring, and better than Troops in a SM version...but so far the FnP and Libby are the only real changes.

Well, let's make the list more balanced, see where that takes us.  Fast Attack.  As usual for Mehreens, Speeders are the default here.  2 Squadrons of 2 should provide a lot of punch, and the extra anti-horde and anti-tank duality is never a bad thing.

Land Speeder Squadron: -140
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.

Two of those choices is 280, which added to my total is...1890.  :(  Only 110 points left to get Elites AND Heavy Support?  Not good.  Not good at all.

Okay, what if we go back to Troops then.  Are those TH necesary? Are the Storm Shields, more importantly?  Should we treat RAS as super-DAVU in this list?  The short answer, is yes, but.  The long answer is No, except [sentence fragment, consider revising].  Let's scrap the crap, and see what happens.


Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 340

Three of those is another 150 points to play with, giving me 260.  A lot? Shit no.  But it'll have to do.  A squad of 5 Devastators with 4 Multi-Meltas is 130.  Is it good? No.  Is it dangerous? Well, yes actually.  They're no Long Fangs, but they could certainly do a job on MCs.  They'd rape enemy armour within 24", and within 12? Fugeddaboudit.  That said, they don't fill the holes in the army quite right, round peg in a larger square hole - they'll be able to get in, but they leave a space around the edges, and you're fresh out of Green Stuff.

Riflemen Dreads cost the BA 120 points.  Two of these? A Deep-Striking Terminator Squad? A Drop pod of Sternguard?  Drop a Librarian and take 2 Libby Dreads?  Wait, what? Sternguard?

Sternguard; w/ 5 Combi-Meltas, Drop Pod - 185

Oh.  That's waaaayyy short.  Okay, Add 3 guys at 30 points each = +90 = 275.  Ooops.  Okay, 2 guys, and we're 15 points shy, so a Lightning Claw for the Sarge.  Why not a PW? Well, he replaces his pistol for this option, or he replaces his Combi-Weapon, which costs me a Meltagun.  With no Pistol, no +1A whichever I pick, so no contest.  Is that good? Well, it's okay.

How about I actually focus on what the list's lacking though?  Suppression fire from the back.  To cover this, ideally, 2x AC/LC Preds.  That's 270.  So I need to scavenge 10 more points.  Drop the Melta Bombs! Yep, it hurts, but it's required to make this list 'balanced'.

So, the finished article:

Librarian; w/ Infernus pistol, Shield of Sanguinius, The Blood Lance. - 115
Librarian; w/ Infernus pistol, Shield of Sanguinius, The Blood Lance. - 115

Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol - 65
Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol - 65
Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol - 65

Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 340
Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 340
Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 340

Land Speeder Squadron: -140
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.

Land Speeder Squadron: -140
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.

Predator; w/ Lascannon Sponsons - 135
Predator; w/ Lascannon Sponsons - 135

TOTAL: 1995

Thoughts?

PS - Dropping the Libby for a 'Rock' army works thusly.

Librarian; w/ Infernus pistol, Shield of Sanguinius, The Blood Lance. - 115

Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol, Melta Bombs - 70
Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol, Melta Bombs - 70
Sanguinary Priest; w/ Infernus pistol, Melta Bombs - 70

Furioso Dreadnoought; w/ Librarian Upgrade [Wings of Sanguinius, Shield of Sanguinius] - 175
Furioso Dreadnoought; w/ Librarian Upgrade [Wings of Sanguinius, Shield of Sanguinius] - 175

Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Melta Bombs, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 345
Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Melta Bombs, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 345
Assault Squad; w/ Meltagun, Melta Bombs, Land Raider Redeemer [Multi-Melta, Extra Armour] - 345

Land Speeder Squadron: -140
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.

Land Speeder Squadron: -140
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.
Land Speeder; w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta.

TOTAL : 2k on the button.

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