... was the first 1000pts. Anything less than 1,000 struck as boring at the time, so I tried to get 1,000 pts together quick as I could. Suffice it to say, a terminator squad was absolutely necessary. This is what I used for my very first game of 5th ed 40k:
1 Reclusiarch with Infernus pistol
9 Death Company with 2 power weapons and 1 Infernus pistol
1 Drop pod
5 Terminators with 1 assault cannon and a chainfist
10 Tactical marines with a flamer, missile launcher meltabombs on the Sgt
10 Tactical marines with a plasma gun and plasma cannon
That's 1,000pts on the nose. Worked a charm during my first game against Imperial Guard, with the Death Company dropping right behind the obligatory Leman Russ, blowing it up with Infernus pistol rudeness, then proceeding to chew up every other thing within reach (which, in this case, comprised 2 Heavy Weapon squads, 1 Banewolf and 1 Infantry squad). Still, it felt somewhat lacking.
Experienced playes will probably note this list lacks mobility. Now, looking back, it seems an absurd way to play Blood Angels but hey, that's what I had available to me at the time, and I was kinda pleased with the paintjob. Well, at least with the elements that were painted at the time...
Umm... And that's it, really. I've been procrastinating horribly with my Death Company. I mean, they're in black armour! Anyways, the 2 units above were painted using the same technique, though the tacticals obviously have nicer bases. It is EXTREMELY time-consuming. 7 games and much plastic kitbashing later, I've settled on a more efficient list and a more efficient way to paint.
Blood Angels have quite a few traits which set them apart from the usual Space Marine army, 2 of which were conspicuously absent in this first list. First is their unparalleled expertise with jump packs, i.e. the Descent of Angels rule. The other is their armoury of fast Rhino-type vehicles.
After much digging around on the net and getting killed with half-arsed army lists, I soon came to realise I don't like jump packs. They're a pain to paint, they make the models annoyingly bulky (I use a Citadel figure case) and I once lost 235 pts worth of marines in a 1,000pts game due to an improbable Deep Strike mishap. I also found, I really, really like assault cannons, especially after an insanely lucky shot from my terminators managed to blow up a Land Raider Crusader full of Grey Knights.
Now, the current metagame has split the world of Blood Angels into 2 types of army: Jump packs or Mechanized. It was an easy decision to make, and off I went collecting Razorbacks and eBaying for more lovely assault cannons...
I suppose it's worth noting at this point there are a few principles I like to follow in building my army. One is that I won't take special characters. I swear, every time I see a special character in a codex, it seems to me that they're just made ludicrously powerful for the sole purpose of selling overpriced models. And if the model isn't available, then they're a conversion project, making them even more expensive to produce (for most, anyway). Anyway, having so much power concentrated in a single special character just seems silly to me, so I'm not having any of it.
Another is spam. I'm not much of a fan of that. I could turn towards a mechanized list of as many copies of the same unit as possible, looking to get as many twin-linked assault cannons scooting around the battlefield as possible, but no thanks. Why? Coz it's BORING. I like having many options with which to brutalize my opponents, even if it means my army is a little less efficient. So these days, my must-take units are some Death Company and Sternguard. I have to confess, the Sternguard are there mostly coz I like my kitbashed plastic Sternguard (work in progress):
Oh, and the last factor I take into consideration is plastic. Coz I like bitz and mixing and matching and churning out new marines and cool poses and stuff.
Next up, a word on painting...