Thursday, 13 October 2011

Armies In Focus: TKE'S Blood Angels; HQ

Welcome to part two.
This one will be relatively short - the HQ Choices in my list pretty much explain themselves.
If you have any questions, please add them in the comments.

Ok, the choices I have plumped for are both Librarians, armed with Infernus Pistols.  First, let's talk about HQ as a slot.

HQ Choices are often a chance to create a variant build of army, through FoC manipulation.  Where this is not the case, they are primarily either a beefcake designed for combat, or a support character.

Blood Angels are fortunate in that their Librarian, primarily a support character, gets a plethora of assault-based options, ranging from a Jump Pack, to Preferred Enemy, and from extra attacks to a Melta pistol.

With this being the case, the character is in some respects the best of both - crossing the divide by providing the army with elements of both.

By taking two, I aim to spread their influence over a wider area of the tabletop.

You will notice that Shield of Sanguinius is one of the powers I listed - this creates an AoE bubble of free cover that allows me, somewhat, to dispense with the necessity to hide, although it does also encourage me to clump my vehicles together...but this is certainly no hardship at Deployment, when my vehicles are Fast and generally have Dozer Blades to enable me to (largely) ignore terrain too.

With that picked, (to my mind, almost a default option in a Mechanised Blood Angel list, particularly when you can have two overlapping such bubbles to make it possible to screen the whole army, or at least most of it if you manage to fail a Psychic Test,) I still had to choose a second power.  One of the problems Blood Angel librarians have is that they have a fearsome array of short-ranged powers that either boost their combat prowess, or deal some shot-range shooting damage.  This is on itself, is obviously a good thing, but the fact that it's impossible to take all the powers forces a degree of specialisation even in such a deliberately generalist unit.

As you can see, I have opted for Sanguine Sword.  The reasons for this are actually many;

  • S10 attacks scare things that otherwise would happily charge in and eat your face, such as Thunderwolf Cavalry, or Paladins [who will, of course, still strike before you, and probably win. :) ] while also serving to teach people the folly of rubbish units like Wraithlords.
  • S10 attacks mean that people cannot tie you up with Walkers, especially ones without DCCWs.
  • The threat of a 4A S10 PW guy wailing on his MSU MEQs is sufficient to create a kind of exclusion zone similar to that created by a Tactical Squad's Multi-Melta, albeit on a totally different scale, and to a different target-type.
  • The prospect of such easy Instant Death minimises the odds of enemy characters coming to assassinate you.
  • I have an Infernus Pistol.

Let's talk about that last one.

Taking an Infernus Pistol allows me to effectively ignore the other main contender for a power choice, Blood Lance, because I already have the chance to Melta a tank, albeit from not very far away.  Combined with the Meltagun possessed by the ASM he rides with, however, it creates a Double-Melta unit (albeit a slightly unreliable one, by usual standards) and this more than doubles their effectiveness when trying to eliminate enemy Transports.  By having an additional shot, I make hitting more likely, penetrating more likely, and, perhaps most importantly, I vastly increase the likelihood that I will penetrate a Cover Save and thereby actually get a roll on the Damage Chart - which, at AP1, has a 50% chance of destroying them, and even if I fail, a good shot at Immobilising and allowing the S10 Attacks to do their work.

The fact that it's a Pistol, rather than a Combi-melta, synergises excellently with the Force Weapon, as it keeps me at 4A on the charge rather than 3 - something vitally important if SS doesn't work this turn, or for instance if fighting something I'd rather Force Weapon than S10 (unlikely) also helps me to micromanage combat more efficiently - I can simply NOT cast Sanguine Sword if I'd rather win the combat next round than this one.

One further advantage of the loadout is that I have created options in every phase.

While missing out on Wings, I have a Fast Transport, and so Movement is set.  I have an Infernus for the Shooting Phase, and I have Sanguine Sword for Assault.  Most of all, of course, I take advantage of the distinction between Player and Game Turns, and have a power to use in each player's go, forcing my opponent to be reactive even in their own turn.  This level of battlefield control is an important component in my typical strategies - simple put, the more pressure I can put my opponent under, the more mistakes they will make.

Any questions?

I think I've covered that fairly comprehensively...
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