Ok, here we are at part number 3 of the Blood Angel review. It feels like the last post too forever to write and my finger are still sore so lets hope that the Heavy Support and their Wargear aren't bogged down with things that will make my list. On with the show!
|Go ahead, think that I keep spelling Baal wrong on accident.|
Yeah, the Ball Predator is on my list. The main reason is it's hefty price tag of 115 points. For that all you get is twin linked assault cannons and super charged engines. A regular Predator is 75 points and super charged engines is a 10 point upgrade, that leaves 30 points to upgrade the auto cannon to a twin linked assault cannon. That is BS, the assault cannon is good, but I can get 3 razor backs that are also transports for the same points as 2 Ball Predators. Sure they have a lower front armour, but I'm getting 50% more firepower, and if you put any kind of upgrades on the Ball it just makes them more expensive.
All is not lost though as you can upgrade that Assault cannon to a Flamestorm cannon. Now for those of you who have no clue what that is, I won't hold that against you but to put it in simple terms, that is what the Heldrake is armed with...sort of. This version doesn't have the torrent special rule, but it does have a 360 deg fire arc cause the damn thing is mounted on a turret, and it has a 13 AV front armour.
If you were wanting to go all out with the assault cannons play Astartes Battle Company. A mere 20 point cost to upgrade your free Razorback and you can get 10 of them in your army. Unless your going super-heated promethium spewing tank spear head, I'd stick to the normal predator and leave the Ball Predator to Chris Hansen. Look it up, it's funny, I swear.
The wargear is largely the same as the Astartes, but as they have their own book they must have some unique weapons, that are terrible enough for me to talk about.
The Frag cannon actually is kind of cool. Its a template weapon, so it has a limited range, but it is S6 and has Rending. Oh, and it can only be taken by Dreadnoughts. I don't know why, I thought it would have been an awesome upgrade to the Heavy bolters on a Razorback, or even a great substitute for losing the Grav-Cannon. Instead they put it on one of the units that will almost never see the table top.
If you were to take one, it would go well in a drop pod and another flamer template like a heavy flamer. Give the pod a deathwind launcher and watch as light infantry melt away before your eyes.
Blood talons are largely unimportant, unless you can roll 1's like it's going out of style or face a lot of things that are T9 or 10, as they are a Dreadnought close combat weapon that gives him Sx2 and Shred. Even the mighty Wraithknight is only T8. The only creatures that this is likely to come in use against is a Great Unclean one with Iron Arm.
So for those time where you are going to run into a Daemon prince with Iron Arm, or anything S6 or higher, the Furioso Force Halberd can take care of it. This bad boy is a Sx2 force weapon, and when the guy holding it is a S6 Dreadnought, this means trouble for a lot of models.
Glaives Encarmine, well, we all remember the little rant I had in the last episode. The weapons themselves are no better than your typical power weapon. They are the same stats for a sword and axe, but with the combination of the master crafted rule and the 2-handed rule they kind of negate each other.
One of the most useless relics the Blood Angels have to offer is the Crown Angelic. It's not very expensive, but it gives the wearer Fear, with a -2Ld. This effect only comes into effect in close combat and it will only be effective against something that you probably aren't scared of in the first place, other wise you probably wouldn't have charged into it.
The last piece of equipment I'm going to talk about is the Fury of Baal, which is a plasma pistol that doesn't get hot and is master crafted. Except that if it's master crafted, the odds of it getting hot are greatly diminished almost to the point of it not needing to get rid of the rule. At 25 points, it looks like they have charged you a tax for both removing gets hot and giving it master crafted. 25 points for a plasma pistol is too many points, even with the upgrades.
But there is good news. I believe that the Blood Angels are not without their strengths.
Lets go back, all the way back to the HQ choices. A psychic Dreadnought is a crazy powerful thing, especially when nearly all the powers it has access to make it extremely powerful, the Blood Angel primaris power being possibly the greatest power. True it's only +D3, but it's a guaranteed power. And with AV13 on the front, a force weapon, and S10, it makes this beast extremely dangerous. It's true that Psychic powers are a tricky thing to use, and unless you go heavy on them, there is a good chance that your opponent will be able to nullify them. But there are many strong armies out there that don't rely on, or even have psychic powers, Tau and Necrons coming to mind.
As for the marines, there are a hand full of differences between the Blood Angels codex and the Astartes one that actually benefits them. First off, the ability for the Assault Marines to get access to a variety of special weapons is immense, and that they can get a drop pod for a straight up swap for their jump packs makes sure they land on target. 3 Melta shots on turn 1 makes for a pretty strong alpha strike vs a clutch vehicle, and for a mere 115 points.
Another weapon change is the Heavy Flamer as a general heavy weapon selection. This is a swap for the Grav-Cannon, but as the army can get grav elsewhere, the Command and bike squad come to mind, it can be used to great effect. A unit of Devastators in a drop pod can land and throw down 4 heavy flamer templates for 140 points. Or you can boost that unit up to combat squad it and have 2 heavy flamers each. The heavy flamer also comes in handy with the lowly Tactical squad. 115 pts for 2 Objective secure units, one of which is an AV12 vehicle, the other has a heavy flamer.
Speaking of objective secure vehicles, Blood Angles Rhinos and Razorbacks are fast vehicles. This means that the Razorback and move 12" and still shoot their turret weapon to full effect. This ability costs 10 points, but it's well worth it. This can also be bought for Predators and Vindicators, which can ensure they remain mobile while unleashing their payload.
Finally, I feel that I must comment on the Death Company. These guys can seriously put out some pain, and thanks having FNP built in, they can take some punishment and survive. A mere 20 pts a model, they can be upgraded to take a variety of weaponry and with their 5 attacks on the charge, they will be able to deal with any type of threat that your opponent may throw at you.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully you don't feel too bad about having a huge and beautifully painted Blood Angle army that sucks balls. As you can see, they still have a couple tricks up their sleeve.
Until next time, keep them dice rollin.