In the meantime, I'd been racking my brains for weeks trying to figure out how to field my dear Blood Angels in the messed up world of 6th ed. In the past, my mechanized Angels proved singularly brutal in 5th, combining brutal firepower, speed, maneuverability and a vicious close combat punch in a tremendously flexible package. A big part of that was being able to move my 3 Razorback squads 12", then disembark 2" and move 6" to shoot, allowing me to very suddenly bring 6 melta weapons and 3 twin-linked plasmaguns to bear in support of the list's other elements. Disembarking after moving 12" also meant a huge threat range for my Furioso Dreadnought, and my Terminator deathstar. With the change to the disembarking rules in 6th, my trusty old Double Deathstar list has been effectively neutered.
What's a Blood Angel player to do? The 5th ed way of mechanized warfare has been brought to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, the new reserve rules have made a mockery of the Descent of Angels list - no more keeping the whole army in reserve to storm onto the board in the 2nd turn. So, I'd been brainstorming all manner of strategies around which to base my 6th ed Blood Angels, and I hit upon the idea of pairing them up with my fledgeling Grey Knight force. I threw together a list and gave it a whirl...
10 Paladins with Brotherhood Banner, 3 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, Warding Stave, Apothecary with a mix of Nemesis force weapons
2 Solodins each with master Nemesis force halberds
Librarian with jump pack, force staff, Blood Lance and Shield of Sanguinius
2 x 10-man squads of assault marines, each with 2 meltaguns and a sergeant with 2 Infernus pistols
Quite a simple idea, really. The Paladins march across the board and hopefully don't take too many casualties in turn 1. Turn 2, combat squads of Blood Angels drop from the sky with their characteristic DoA accuracy and kill any big guns which could seriously threaten the Paladins. Frankly, I had no idea how well it'd work, but I figured I'd take my Warmachine approach to learning and just hurl the thing into combat and watch closely what works and what doesn't....
Louis' Thousand Sons:
Sorcerer in Terminator Armour with the Mark of Tzeentch and a combiweapon
5 Chaos Terminators, led a Champion, with an icon of Tzeentch, 4 combiweapons and heavy flamer
2 x 7-man squads of Thousand Sons, including the sorcerer, in a Rhino
10-man squad of Chaos Marines, including a champion with powerfist, 2 plasmaguns, in a Rhino
Chaos Land Raider
Note: This is the list as I remember it. As I was writing up the batrep, I noticed it's about 100 pts shy of 1750.
Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll-off and deployed first.
I split the 10-man Paladin squad into 2 combat squads. One carried the 3 psycannons and would slowly advance, shooting up any tasty targets and providing fire support to the other squad, which had all the close combat nastiness, including Drago, the Brotherhood Banner, the apothecary, and 2 Daemon Hammers. On the Blood Angels' side, one squad split into combat squads, with 2 meltaguns in one squad and the infernus gunslinging sergeant in the other. The other squad would drop in with the Librarian. The stage was set - here's how it went...
Chaos: They stole the initiative! The entire Chaos force trundled forward 6" and blasted away with whatever they could. A bit of mixed fortunes here. One of the plasmagunners blew himself up, but Ahriman managed to cast Terrify on Drago's squad, who promptly failed their morale check and buggered off 6"! The Land Raider managed to nuke one solodin with it's lascannons.
K&A: The Grey Knights all advanced, guns blazing. I think I managed to blat one or two terminators and wound Ahriman.
Chaos: Another turn of steadily advancing and shooting. To my right, the other Thousand Son squad disembarked.
This time, the psycannon squad took a casualty, but since I had cunningly placed the 3 psycannons to the back of the squad, my firepower was very much undiminished. Psychic attacks were made, but mostly failed. Shooting from the Thousand Sons was useless against Terminator armour...
K&A: The Angels arrive! The two small combat squads dropped behind the Land Raider, while the Librarian and gang dropped in front of the Chaos Marines. Meanwhile, the Grey Knights continued their steady advance.
The Shooting phase saw the Land Raider shaken by a melta to the rear. Gunishment from the other combat squad and the psycannons whittled down the Terminators to just the Sorcerer and the Champion. The Librarian and his squad blasted away at the Chaos Marines, taking down 3, with the Blood Lance also immobilizing the Rhino behind. Drago's squad fired on Ahriman's squad, wounding him and killing a Thousand Son.
Chaos: The unscathed Thousand Son squad headed back to put those mean-ass bolters to good use on my cheeky assault marines. The Terminators followed suit, heading back to sort out the sergeant with the infernus pistols before he could seriously hurt someone. The Chaos Marines attempted to make a break for the relic.
The Shooting phase saw the meltagun combat squad mauled down to 2 members by the Thousand Sons, 1 of whom still had a meltagun handy. The Terminators let rip with their combi-plasmas, killing 1, no thanks to bad rolls, but it didn't matter, as the hapless squad of Blood Angels were quickly smashed into pulp in assault. Ahriman managed to cast Puppet Master on Drago's squad, and the apothecary was compelled to take a potshot at the psycannons, but rolled snake eyes to wound.
K&A: Drago's squad moved up, securing the relic. The surviving meltagun took another shot at the Land Raider, this time blowing it up. Ahriman's squad takes yet another salvo from Drago's squad and the psycannon squad. This time the sheer volume of fire was enough to get past even the Look Out Sir! rolls. Ahriman went down. With Drago holding the relic, and Chaos lacking any means of stopping them from sauntering off unhindered, we decided this was the time for epic handshake and afterthoughts.
Afterthoughts: That went rather well! That having been said, the odds really were stacked in my favour. Louis' army was practically perfectly suited to getting smashed by my Knights and Angels. Let's look at it point-by-point:
1) Only 1 threatening vehicle, the Land Raider - His one and only source of consistently lethal anti-Paladin firepower could easily be dealt with and concentrated on by my Blood Angels. So easily, in fact, that my squad with the Librarian was free to jump about and harass his forces some more as necessary.
2) Thousand Sons - Nasty against power armour, true, but nearly useless against the business end of my army, stomping around in Terminator armour.
3) Power armour - Between my psybolt and psycannon shots, I put out a tremendous volume of wounds, easily enough to shred the Thousand Sons and Ahriman before they could even get within charge range.
Long story short, it was a horribly mismatched fight. However, I did try this army against another later in the day. A Doublewing army. Most interesting to see. If I recall correctly, my opponent had 3 squads of Terminators, a Landraider Crusader and some bikes and speeders. How did it go? Interestingly enough, my Knights & Angels were practically wiped out. It would appear that I simply don't have enough firepower to deal with that many Terminators! Back to the drawing board, I think. As of the time of writing, I've put together a new, pure Blood Angel list. I've no idea how well it will work, but I figure one can't go too far wrong with 2 Stormravens, eh? We'll see. Until next time, happy wargaming...