Merv over at Touched By Greatness, has asked me to put down my thoughts on mech Blood Angels since I have a bit of experience with them. Also involved in this in-depth look at Blood Angels is "Little Dave", who has his own blog over at The Red Thirst, who has been running Jumper DoA lists and will be writing on them. Merv will fill in gaps in between on his own blog and between us we hope to cover new and old ways of getting the best out of the Codex for use in 6th Ed.
So for the last two years I have been running Mech BA. This all started off mainly because I had the toys and not enough Jump Packs to play the list I wanted. I did however play IG for a weekend and from this experience the penny dropped on how to use multiple tanks.
The army was quite straight forward and worked on redundancy of fire power from multiple fast moving transports, hiding behind solid armour walls.
Libby, Shield, Fear
2 x 5 Marines, Razorback, Dozer, Heavy Flamer
4 x 5 Marines, Razorback, Dozer(x3), Twin Linked Lascannon
3 x Baal Predators, Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolters, Dozer
3 x Predators, Autocannon, Lascannon
This was a formidable list. Though I never won any tournaments with it, I was consistently in the top 5, which I was very happy with. The main problems it came up against at tournaments was mass S6, which considering the amount of Necron out there at present does not bode well for it in 6th Ed. Having said that I feel that it can still be a good list, though it does need some tweaking considering the change in the meta. Though I can only really comment on the Irish scene.
The last list I ran was straight forward enough:
Priest, Power Axe
10 Assault Marines, 2 Melta, Land Raider Crusader
2 x 5 Assault Marines, Land Raider
2 x Baal, Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Dozer
2 x Predator, Autocannon, Lascannon
I had a lot of fun with this. Seth is a beast. The main problems I faced were Necron with Haywire guns and Guard with 8 Lascannon and Prescience thanks to Space Wolf help. This should not have gone as badly as it did though, with 2 Lone Wolves soaking up the entire gun line fire power for four turns unscathed and every Lascannon managing 5's and 6's against my Armour.
Not that I am bitter or anything!!
While effective, they are still a point sink and losing them hurt a lot, especially since we play with Victory Points brackets determining a large part of the end score. (8 for primary, 6 for secondary(3 secondary worth 2 each is the norm) and 6 split for VP's)
With more and more infantry on the board, the amount of lascannon is overkill. In 5th Ed, a lot of people tried to convince me that I should have taken Las/Plas but my argument is that I would rather have moved 12" away from something and guarantee the hit, than risk closing in to get off a second shot.
Nowadays, it's all about the Assault Cannon.
4 Twin Linked S6, Rending shots is scary, even for flyers. Admittedly the rend is as big a deal since it is not AP2 vs vehicles, but the extra dice makes it more likely to Pen a Land Raider than a Lascannon given the extra dice rolled and the twin linkage.
The only thing better than an Assault Cannon, is a load of them. You could go full spam here and take 6 Assault Cannon Razorbacks and 3 Baals, and still have a lot of points left over for a lot of things. 9 Assault Cannon is likely to terrify a lot of things, but the range can become an issue here, especially in Hammer and Anvil, even with a swing of 36" (move 12"
I think you need to go with the Predator Annihilator for the fire support. It also means that you can dedicate fire power from the back lines on the stuff is should be killing, before risking the Assault Cannon shots that could be better served shredding infantry. Taking away the choice of targets can help focus the mind on the chalenge. This is a good lesson for target priority, but I should save that for a different post.
Interestingly this means that you end up with even more points, since they run cheaper than their Fast Attack counterparts.
When I looked at this today I noticed that despite the fact that I had a lot of potential AP2 shots, they were not guaranteed. What I would really like to do here is get more of the good things in the Codex into the list. The first of these is FnP. Remember that these tanks are mostly holding 5 Assault Marines. FnP is baus now, since it takes S8+ to stop you getting it.
Rather than put in more Kill points into a list that is already saturated in them, I think you might be better off with something that can also give out a fair amount of firepower and also bring my favourite version of the Razorback in this Codex into the fight. The BA Heavy Flamer upgrade for the Razorback is free! I honestly think that this is too good not to take.
Into this tank I would put Honour Guard. Since this one priest will not have enough of a bubble to affect all of those other Marines, I would take a second unit. This also means taking a second Librarian, but I also think this is a clever thing to do for the following reasons.
One of these Librarians is your Warlord. He stays back field where he makes it difficult to give up a Secondary Objective and gives Shield to the Preds and hangs out with a squad that will claim the home objective. He also takes fear of Darkness since he can force units that take concentrated fire power back into the main part of your army, where it can be either shot or charged, or indeed avoided.
The second Librarian takes Divination and goes forward. The buff from this is just incredible. He can also take Shield too allowing your tanks to survive longer and either S10 to crack tanks or T5 lads, or Lance to hurt stuff your Assault Cannon are finding difficult to pierce.
Equipping the Honour Guard with Plasma gives me the guaranteed AP2 I think I need. Each squad gets 3 Plasma Guns. The plan would be for these to rush forward under cover or taking turns to pop Smoke and hide each other. They also can cover the rest of the Razorbacks. The list ends up like this.
Libby, Shield, Fear, Divination, Warlord
Libby, Shield, Blood Lance, Divination
2 x Honour Guard, 3 Plasma Guns, Razorback, Dozer, Heavy Flamer
5 x 5 Assault Marines, Razorback, Dozer, Assault Cannon
3 x Predator, Autocannon, Lascannon
I would love to hear your thoughts on these lists. The still exist the possibility of running 3 Vindicators, which could be very effective, but I am not convinced they will stay alive very long since they have to advance to facilitate the short range of the gun (24") leaving their side armour open for return fire.