My Blood Angels FTO list:
Furioso Dreadnought with frag cannon and heavy flamer
10 Death Company with a power sword, a power axe and a thunder hammer
Land Raider Redeemer with multimelta and extra armour
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
5 Devastators with 4 plasma cannons
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon and hurricane bolters
2 Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons
2 Land Speeder Typhoons
This is a variant of the list I'd fielded against Ian, with a little change in overall strategy. Basically, I've decided to ignore all this objective-taking silliness and just go for maximum killing power. Hence, FTO (F*** the Objectives). The 2 dreadnoughts and the Death Company would come in on the Stormravens, of course, and do their thing, charging where it hurts most. I was most interested to see if the sheer volume of attacks from the Death Company would be enough to overwhelm Louis' Assault Terminators. At I4, I was hitting with 35 S5 attacks with rerolls to hit and wound on the charge, and a power axe and thunder hammer still waiting to go. Other than a serious Tyrantstar, I can think of very few things in the game that can withstand that kind of abuse. Let's put it to the test...
Louis' Black Templars:
Reclusiarch with Thunder hammer and 2 cenobyte servitors, one with a Holy Relic
Reclusiarch with Thunder Hammer and jump pack
Venerable Dreadnought with Assault Cannons and Tank Hunter
5 Sword Brethren Terminators with 2 Assault Cannons and Tank Hunters
7 Sword Brethren Assault Terminators with 4 Lightning Claws, 3 shields & hammers and Furious Charge
8 Initiates and 3 Neophtes all with bolt pistols and close combat weapons, 2 Initiates with flamers
8 Initiates and 3 Neophtes all with bolt pistols and close combat weapons, 2 Initiates with meltaguns
10-man Assault squad with 2 flamers and 1 power fist, all with meltabombs
Land Raider Crusader
Vow: Accept any challenge, no matter the cost (Preferred Enemy)
This is as much of Louis' list as I could remember at the time of writing. I tried to look up what's what and tally up the points with my copy of the BT codex, but man, that thing is such a pain to read! I noted 2 mistakes with the army composition on preparing this batrep:
1) One cannot have 2 Reclusiarchs, since the Emperor's Champion is a compulsory HQ choice.
2) A Holy Relic may not be borne by a cenobyte servitor. It has to come with a Standard Bearer in a Command Squad.
I'm not sure if there are any more such errors, or even if the points tally up. My eyes hurt to even look upon that abomination of a codex...
Mission: Crusade. 4 objectives.
Deployment: Vanguard Strike. I won the roll-off and deployed first. Nightfighting was active for the first turn.
My cunning plan was simple enough. I have no scoring units, therefore everything on the table not in red armour must DIE. How? Like this:
1) Turn 1: Shoot, shoot, shoot!
2) Turn 2: Stormravens! Shoot, shoot, shoot!
3) Turn 3: DEATH COMPANY!! GRAAAARRRGGGHH!!! Shoot, shoot, shoot!
4) Turn 4 and above: Why are you still on my table?! CHARGE! SHOOT! KILL!!!
And that's the plan. All Louis had to do was get an objective and stay alive. Our tasks were exceedingly simple in theory. As for how the story played out, read on...
BA: I shuffled my units about and took potshots where they could. The Devastators and Baal Predator on my left of course fired a salvo into the Terminators, killing 1. The rest of the army scooched a little to the right, shooting at the Assault Squad, downing 3 of them. Black Templars being the raging psychotics that they are, they promptly darted forward under the influence of Righteous Zeal.
*Spotted a mistake here with Righteous Zeal. According to the most recent FAQ it only affects Infantry, NOT Jump Infantry. Ah, that could have saved my poor Land Raider some grief... Dammit, Cheng, read the FAQ BEFORE going into battle next time... *
BT: The Black Templars marched forth. Most notably, the Assault Squad leapt forward, landing about 8" from the front of my LR Redeemer. Ooh, not good... The Terminators and LR Crusader fired ineffective salvos at my Baal Predator and Redeemer, respectively. Then came the nasty bit: The Assault Squad charged the Redeemer, closing with it and slapping 5 meltabombs on, blowing it up. Cheeky little blighters didn't even have the decency to take a couple of casualties from the resulting explosion... First blood to the Black Templars!
|The table just after the Assault Squad had moved.|
BA: The Stormraven carrying the Furioso (Furyraven) arrived, positioning itself right in front of the approaching LR Crusader. Elsewhere around the battlefield, the Baal Predator on my left backed away to shoot at the Terminators some more and the right flank shifted a little to bring their guns to bear on the Assault Squad.
The shooting phase brought mixed fortunes. On the left, the Baal Predator and Devastators finished wiping out the Terminators. The Furyraven blazed away at the squad behind the Crusader and let the Machine Spirit fire the multimelta at the Crusader. The fusillade left a Neophyte and 4 Initiates as bloody ruins and took a hull point off the Crusader. On the right, the combined firepower of the Baal Predator and the Typhoons (a twin-linked assault cannon, 4 heavy bolters and 4 krak missiles) resulted, rather pathetically, in only 3 casualties.
The arrival of the Furyraven was all too much for the squad of Initiates it mauled, and they fell back 10".
BT: Here, it seemed to me the Black Templar army lost cohesion. The Initiates with the Reclusiarch broke to my left, skirting around the ruins to avoid the guns of my Baal Predator and Devastators (ah, plasma cannons...). The depleted squad of Initiates headed to my right, again using the ruins as cover. Meanwhile, the Venerable Dreadnought plodded ahead and the Crusader moved around the Furyraven, disgorging the Assault Terminators, who moved up to support the Assault Squad.
The Black Templar's few guns were turned on the Furyraven, but none struck a telling blow. Or did any damage whatsoever, really. The squads of Templars that didn't shoot ran.
Assault brought more success, as the Assault Terminators and Assault Squad charged and put a messy end to the rest of my right flank.
BA: The Stormraven full of Death Company goodness (DCRaven) arrived! It zoomed onto the table just behind the Furyraven, which in turn zoomed right behind the Reclusiarch's squad of Initiates.
I swear, I'm starting to love the shooting phase a little too much in 6th ed. DCRaven blasted at the Crusader, but caused no damage. The Furyraven harassed the Reclusiarch's squad, gunning down about 2 each of Initiates, Neophytes and servitors. From my left, a salvo of plasma cannon fire slammed into the bunched up Assault Terminators, but the storm shields proved their worth, and only 1 fell. The Baal Predator took a pot shot at the Venerable Dreadnought, but the shells just pinged off its armour.
BT: The Black Templars must have raged most mightily, as there was nothing for them to assault, whilst about their heads, Stormravens rained death from above. The Assault Terminators and Assault Squad headed over to my left flank, looking to silence the plasma cannons. Meanwhile, the Reclusiarch's squad of Initiates shuffled deeper into the ruin, towards the objective within. The other Initiate squad sat tight, waiting for their moment to nip out and claim an objective.
Shooting saw a little success. The Venerable Dreadnought and Crusader blasted away at the DCRaven and managed to take off a hull point, despite its attempts to evade.
BA: Right, the time had come to get to business! The Furyraven went into hover mode, turning round to face the Venerable Dreadnought's weak rear armour. The Furioso Dreadnought hopped off and stomped toward the Reclusiarch and the Initiates. The Death Company disembarked, getting as close as they could to the Assault Terminators, and the Death Company Dreadnought thundered towards the Assault Squad.
Shooting was mostly a case of softening things up for assault. The Furioso let rip with its mighty frag cannon and heavy flamer, covering the Black Templars in flame and shrapnel. When the dust settled, only the Reclusiarch and a lone Initiate remained standing. Man, I love that dreadnought. The Furyraven opened up on the Venerable Dreadnought, wrecking it easily. The DCRaven's luck wasn't so good, and it fired ineffectually at the Crusader. The Death Company managed to bring down one Terminator with their bolt pistols. The Baal Predator and Devastators blasted away at the Assault Squad, leaving the other Reclusiarch to stand alone against the monstrous wrath of a Death Company Dreadnought.
Assault! The Death Company charged into the fray! The Assault Terminators with lightning claws got to strike at the same time as my Death Company, bringing down one of them. Unfortunately for the Terminators, my huge mass of attacks was enough to take down 4 of them before they could bring their thunder hammers to bear. Only 1 Assault Terminator with lightning claws was left to face my power axe and thunder hammer, which went predictably badly for him... A short distance away, the Death Company Dreadnought came down on the Reclusiarch with 6 S6 lightning claw attacks, reducing the hapless chaplain to bloody rags before he could swing his thunder hammer.
BT: The situation wasn't as bad as it looked for Louis, seeing as we had a victory point each, and I had no scoring units to sit on any objectives. The Reclusiarch split off to try and hold off the Furioso Dreadnought, while the Initiate sat on the objective, which, unfortunately for him, was by a window, in full view of my Baal Predator and Devastators. The other Initiates decided now was the time to try and capture an objective, and they moved up, behind the cover of the Crusader.
The Crusader fired at the DCRaven again, but it managed to jink away.
The Reclusiarch charged, and the Furioso once again unleashed the fury of his frag cannon and heavy flamer, blasting the zealot to mush before he could even get close.
BA: Gotta kill 'em all, gotta kill 'em all! This turn went quickly enough. On the left, the lone Initiate was pulped by a blizzard of shells from the Baal Predator. To the right, a little firepower whittled down the Initiates to a mere 5, though the Emperor's Champion stood among them. That didn't matter much, though, as the Death Company made short work of them. All that was left was the Crusader...
BT: Once again, the Crusader fired to no effect. We rolled for turn 6 and played on...
BA: The Stormravens converged and nuked the LR Crusader. The Black Templars had been wiped out to a man. Victory to the Blood Angels!
Well, that was suitably violent. So far, I've fielded Death Company and 2 Stormravens 3 times and each time, they got the job done. The Stormraven would come hurtling onto the board, the entire opposing army would try to bring it down and fail, then out popped the Death Company and they would simply tear out the heart of the enemy army. Funnily enough, this often involved the enemy challenging the Reclusiarch to single combat and, rather unheroically, the Reclusiarch would give an embarrassed cough and step back while the Death Company reduced the enemy (including whatever affronted champion issued the challenge) to a fine paste.
Make no mistake, the Death Company with a Reclusiarch are truly terrifying in close combat. but what makes them even more terrifying is the Stormraven's unsurpassed ability to make sure they can land the charge where it's needed most.
|It's a dangerous universe out there. Blood Angels of the world, take this with you...|
These past few games I've noticed how drastically Hull Points has altered the game. As has been mentioned on several other blogs, killing a vehicle in one shot is now a lot harder. The ability to reliably cause several glancing hits is now at least as good as dealing one solid penetrating hit. In 5th ed, glancing something to death was far less reliable. As such, the ability to unleash a large volume of shots is useful for any army, as it handles infantry, vehicles and, in a pinch, the dreaded flyers.
The other big thing I've noticed is this: Since glancing hits cause no ill effects other than the loss of a hull point, the Extra Armour upgrade is suddenly a lot less useful, and I daresay that in 6th ed, those 15 pts could be put to much better use elsewhere.
Regarding this battle, I'm pretty confident that this could have gone even worse for Louis, as without that extra movement from a misplaced Righteous Zeal on the Assault Squad, the Redeemer would have survived to deal even more damage. Be that as it may, this list has performed most admirably, and I look forward to whittling it down to 1750 pts and having a couple more scraps with it.
Until next time, happy wargaming...