Goatboy’s 40K – Blood Angels Death Company Rocket Punch

I think the Blood Angel Book is actually a pretty decent army, and here’s just one scary example of why.

Goatboy here again and instead of reviewing all the nitty and gritty parts of the Blood Angels I want to instead look at a list idea I whipped up with Abe this past Friday.  I think the Blood Angel Book – while kinda boring as it is just more Marines – is actually a pretty decent army.  It might not be the flashy list but it is full of such aggressive Stratagems, Units, and builds that I think it will be an army we all should be prepared for.  I don’t know how well it will “win” the updated missions but if you want something that plays fast, hits hard, and lets you feel a true bloodthirsty army (this army should be how World Eaters play too) then the Blood Angels are the list for you.

Putting Together the List

First of all – let’s look at the pieces that make this army tick.  We have a few Stratagems that will see most Blood Angels players use, activate, and murderate the enemies units.  The first one is Forlorn Fury.  It is a 2 CP stratagem that lets you pick a Death Company Infantry unit and lets it move and advance before the game begins.  If you have a properly configured Death Company – these guys are going 24+d6 inches on the first turn.  Then they get to Assault you with whatever weapons they brought along with them.  The other amazing thing on this is that the scout blockers and other units won’t be able to stop these guys.  They can move, get close and be prepared to butcher or burinate the bubble wrap.

The next Stratagem that is also pretty dang sweet is Upon Wings of Fire.  It is a 1 CP stratagem that lets you pick up a Blood Angels Jump Pack unit off of the table and then place them on the field more then 9″ away from an enemy unit.  This can be a great way to ensure you get multiple Deep Strikes without the pesky issue of not having enough on the table top.  You can build lists that don’t need this – but I see this as also a great way to go after your enemy in later turns as you finish your initial charge.  Mix this with a special character and some other Stratagems gives you almost 2 Guaranteed first turn charges if you need them.  The other Stratagem that combos with this is Descent of Angels at 2 CP.  It lets you pick a Blood Angels Jump Pack unit and let them roll 3d6 for their charge range.  Of course you are still limited to only being able to charge if you are within 12″ – but with some crazy movement abilities and other options you can easily hop over another unit and then hopefully get the unit you jumped over locked in with some specific Assault movement tricks.

There is a double assault Stratagem as well – but at 3 CP it is expensive and most likely not needed as you can easily hit with 2-3 units of 15 man strong Death Company – which should be more then enough to murder what you need too.  Beyond this you should probably take The Veritas Vitae relic to try and regain a CP or two as this army will burn a ton on the first turn.  From there you want to mix in some characters that help beef up the Death Company, get some troops to fill out a Battalion, and profit on the constant buzzing of the Chainswords and Powerswords powering up.

Let’s look at the initial list and while it is very extreme (45 Death Company) I think it is easy to make a pretty decent shell of an army out of this crazy example.  I think a lot of 8th edition is all about applying pressure in ways to force the game to “finish” in the first few turns.  Sure there are lists that can Survive – but finding a way to hit, kill important parts, and force your opponent to react is going to be a very strong way to win some of these games.  The Death Company units Below are kind of expensive and I am sure you can cut some things here and there to help generate another Helblaster unit or something else to give you some ranged firepower.  Alright enough of this – lets get on with the army – some explanation on choices and discussion on how it isn’t an expensive army to build.

Death Company HO!

Blood Angels Battalion – 3CP
HQ: Sanguinor – Warlord (Using his trait to let the Death Company not have to pass Morale.  This can be good as it just means they have to kill the buggers)
HQ: Librarian with Jump Pack – Force Sword – (The Force Sword on a Blood Angel Librarian is going to be pretty gnarly – +1 too wound is just brutal on a -3 AP weapon)
HQ: Lieutenant, Jump Pack, Power Sword, Vitaes Artifact (Reroll 1’s to wound seems pretty good when you wound some things on a 2+-5+)
Troops: Intercessors X 5, Chain Sword (Strangely enough the Sarge for BA Primarius can’t take Power swords…)
Troops: Intercessors X 5, Chain Sword
Troops: Intercessors X 5, Chain Sword
Heavy: Hellblasters X 5, Plasma Incinerator, Chain Sword

Vanguard Detachment – 1CP
HQ: Lemartes (This guy lets you reroll charges, reroll hits, and gives the DC his Leadership.  Plus he hits pretty dang hard)
Elite: Death Company w/Jump Packs X 15, Chainsword/Hand Flamer (These are the unit that moves first.  The ability to throw out 15d3 auto hits with hand flamers is just nutty and a good way to clear out some bubble wrap to allow your other units areas to jump over and get mixed in with the enemy.  You could dump in some power weapons but this is the sacrificial unit designed to get close, get in the way and be a pain in the butt.)
Elite: Death Company w/Jump Packs X 15, Chainsword X 12, Power Weapon X 7, Bolt Pistol X 8, Powerfist X 3 (The Toki unit)
Elite: Death Company w/Jump Packs X 15, Chainsword X 12, Power Weapon X 7, Bolt Pistol X 8, Powerfist X 3 (The Skwisgaar unit)

Using the List

Units on the Table
Flamer Death Company
Toki Death Company
3 Units of Intercessor
1 Helblaster Unit

Off the table
All the Characters and one unit of Death Company.

This hits right under 2000 pts and seems pretty dang rough to deal with if you don’t have Bubble Wrap, answers to murderous turkeys, and has decent counter assault.  The big thing to remember if you do have the Wrap – is leave 6 inch gaps if you can between your layers.  The rough ability to jump over, get involved, and hopefully tying as many things up as as you can will be important for this army.  But the big question – is this type of army any good?  I think so as it does a lot of what I like about the game right now.  Tons of Board Control, fast movement, and the ability to punish incorrect deployments.

As this is just a straight Marine army it shouldn’t be too hard to get something like this together.  The Dark Imperium gives you a good chunk of Primarius and then you just really need marines, jump packs, and the Sanguinor.  Lemartes can be easily substituted with that cool Chaplain from BA and with some decent grinds through the discount marine lot that is Ebay I think you can easily put this together.  Plus – the majority of the army is just black painted marines so heck it shouldn’t be too hard. This army feels like the World Eaters army but will have to wait for the future to come to get them.

Either way – be prepared to be hit by the Blood Angel freight train.

~ Do you think it can take on the game’s heavy hitters?

  • euansmith

    First Turn Charges 🙁 Whatever happened to fire and maneuver being the object of a tabletop wargame. 40k seems to have been “list building and deployment” for the longest time.

    • Punisher

      Well…. If you want the lore to be accurate then jumppack infantry literally crash into their foes when descending from their flyer transports. So maybe we need the old interceptor rule back from 6th edition. That could be interresting but i think you should be able to drop a droppod right in the middle of an enemy units since they do that in the lore…. I love 40k lore. I want to see the lore reflected as much as possible on the tabletop.

      • euansmith

        Indeed, that would be cool. Though, as you say, they should be all sorts of crap going on as air mobile troops hit the field. I think it would fluff appropriate for any flyers to take 1d6-3 Mortal Wounds per turn as they get targeted by stuff that isn’t on the tabletop

        But then, I also think that most super heavies should be ignoring anything on the table that isn’t an enemy super heavy, and should have their own objectives to score. Have super heavies duke it out among themselves, provide mobile LoS Blocking Terrain and maybe buff units with in 6″ with something appropriate (+1LD, re-roll “1s” to Hit, or something appropriate to the super heavy in question).

      • vlad78

        Well you skip the part where blood angels use actual tactics to reach a good attack position (even the DC lead by its chaplains). This is not reflected in the game.

        • Punisher

          Well that is changing with the new codex a bit. DC with jumppacks can make first turn assault with strategems. 2 different units can easy charge in if you build right and use CP to do so. My biggest butthurt is the fact that Dante still does not give CP….. Calgar gives 2 CP. He gave command to Dante at the 2nd war of Armageddon. Even Calgar recognized Dante as the more experienced and better battlefield commander……. GW…. READ your own fluff when making tabletop rules please!

          And Mephiston…. The STRONGEST psyker in the imperium. Does not even get a +1 to psychic power tests….. Njal does. I have no beaf with that. Only problem with it i have is that Mephiston gets NO rules that reflecks his psychic might. Sooo sad….

    • markdawg

      You’ll have to Play a game like Armada to get an experience like that.

    • Aled Mathias

      The game is already majorly biased towards shooting armies. This is the only way melee units stand a chance in this environments and even then its very hit and miss.

      • euansmith

        But when rules effectively bring a game down to the result of one die roll (who goes first), you might as well not bother with all that faffing around with list building, terrain and minis, and spend your hobby cash at the craps table instead 😉

        • marxlives

          Or really boss dice.

        • Drpx

          They tried to cram the square peg that was 40k with 7 editions worth of armies and unit rules, into the round hole that was the Sigmar rules which had been built fresh from the ground up.

          End result, a giant dps race heavily influenced by who swings first.

      • Drpx

        Or they hit the wall of fodder.

    • ChubToad

      I think that question has nothing to do with the current game. BA have been one of the worst armies in 40k for three editions in a row exactly because a melee oriented army could not do exactly what they were supposed to do, which is charge. The rules now allow you to do so, with enough probabilities to actually fail. With these stratagems BA are now allowed a fair chance of winning the game against camping armies and shooty lists too. This brings balance to a game that has been shooty heavy for a long time.

      Fire and manouver is quite easy to shooty lists, specially for those with great movement. And in this game, assault armies could not compete. With this Codex, BA have an edge against these kind of armies, and shooty lists will have to learn that in War, not only camping and running away from your opponent is the way to win. Which in return brings more flavor to the game.

      • euansmith

        Thanks for the insight. I guess this comes down to the all or nothing effect of an I-Go-U-Go system.

      • Drpx

        “one of the worst armies in 40k for three editions”

        “one of the worst space marine armies in 40k for three editions”

        Fixed.

    • Spacefrisian

      Bring those charges i say, shooting is overrated anyway.

      • euansmith

        The big guns never tire… and the small ones can be reloaded.

    • That’s what you do after you’ve kill most of the other army that charged you. Don’t want their uncommitted units to win them the game after all. haha.

    • Erich Schoenholtz

      40k is degenerating into a card game. But if I wanted to play a card game, I’d just play a card game. All the strategy is now based on command points (mana, Force, etc) to make your units work. Boring.

  • Frank O’Donnell

    So you want to win the game in a couple of turns ? did you not post a while back complaining about armies doing this ?

    • euansmith

      That was my response too 😉 Though I think that the other article was by a different author.

    • marxlives

      As my friends in the hood once said “Don’t blame the player, blame the game”. Not trashing GW, if the game is built around going first to win, then you build around that. Why would you hamstring yourself within the confines of game system when you can play to it? Basic game development 101.

      • Frank O’Donnell

        I’m not blaming him for for playing to win a fast as he can, my point was if I remember correctly a while back he was complain about AM tabling people in a turn or two, saying how this kind of thing was bad for the game.

        • marxlives

          That is true, if he did do so, then the disparaging of a system that encourages first turn wins and advising people how to play within that system to win is not contingent on one another. Two things can be true at once. He can be someone who doesn’t like the 1st turn win being encouraged by the DNA of the game at the same time he wants to advise people how to win within that system and not encourage failing methods of play.

          It is like people who didn’t like the prevalence of dunking in the NBA because they felt it stressed too much on athleticism and not skill. It is really too late to turn back, it is a part of the game, so while you might disparage that facet of the NBA, as a coach you wouldn’t discourage your players from learning how to dunk and setting them up for failure.

  • defensive

    Seems good, till you run into a list with more than a single tank, and have no way of dealing with them reasonably. Hellblasters are ok, but 5 are never gonna kill any vehicle in one turn.

    Apart from that, I’d drop the hand flamers and lieutenant, and pick up a death company dread.
    Hand flamers hardly do enough damage to justify their 8pt cost, and death company don’t need much help chewing through infantry. Consider giving them power swords instead.

    • Bakvrad

      I love the hand flamers now. Automatic hits, any time, you can use em in combat, if something survives the first turn. People usually think twice, if they should charge the death company. Now they simply don’t ^^

      • defensive

        They can be a good deterrent, sure, but 8pts…
        I find it hard to justify for myself, when you could take plasma pistols for cheaper, or replace the 15 of them for 6 more death company which is more bodies, more bolt pistols, and potentially 24 combat attacks a turn.

        • Nick “SaXoN” Bowman

          Hand flamers are now 1pt in the codex and inferno pistols are 9pts

          • el_tigre

            My brain insists that can’t be true, but my grubby little mitts are already pawing through my bits box

          • 40KstillRulesTheTT

            for 1d3 strengh 3 hits (if I recall well) that seems about right. Or is my memory failing me ?

  • I’m not seeing how this defeats a well deployed foot horde. 120 well deployed Ork boys should be far too much for this to handle. imagine if that’s just behind a large Grot screen. Haha. Your small little army is doomed. I think you need to worry more about objectives to be honest.

    • Drpx

      It doesn’t. A month after this drops BA players will be back to crying that they’re the worst army in 40k right beside chaos marine players.

      • In the end a more rounded list will do better after the gimmicks have all been squished.

      • Marco Marantz

        At least chaos players are justified in their position. Being able to DS and charge 3 units is OP. In GWs desperation to give each chapter/faction a flavor they are breaking stuff.

  • ChubToad

    I don´t like hellblasters, their damage output is just too low. Better take some devs with grav or lascannons. Now that the BA have access to the Stormtalon I think they can be used to great advantage as a long range support unit.

  • Deacon Ix

    I hate Special Characters.