Monday, July 1, 2013

This Angel and that Angel...

This weekend, I decided to dust off some old, old models who haven't seen action since... September last year, by my reckoning...

So, out they came, and I banged together a happy little list, with some allies to spice things up:

Librarian with jump pack
Honour Guard; one with thunder hammer and meltagun; 2 with lightning claws (one each) and meltaguns; one with storm shield; all with jump packs
2 Sanguinary Priests with jump packs
10 man Assault Squad with 2 meltaguns and power fist for the sergeant
10 man Assault Squad with 2 meltaguns and power fist for the sergeant
10 man Assault Squad with 2 flamers and power sword and meltabombs for the sergeant
Stormraven with hurricane bolters

Lord Commissar
10 Veterans with 3 grenade launchers
Vendetta gunship

I was initially thinking of a 2nd Stormraven and moar wargear instead of the Guard contingent, but I figured it might be a good idea to have a scoring unit about while the Blood Angels go and beat people up. And, of course, is there a better use of 130 pts than a Vendetta?

I tried this in 2 games...

Game 1 vs CK's Iron Warriors
I like hurling my lists against those Iron Warriors. It's a nice, well-rounded list that I find to be a decent test of whether my list is killy enough. It was a Crusade scenario, so I decided to go straight for the throat, targeting CK's 2 scoring units. I managed to kill one, which has advanced too far ahead without support, and paid dearly for it, getting wiped out when 2 of my Assault squads pounced on it. Meanwhile, his Raptors and Lord snuck up behind my lines and split up. The Raptors attacked another of my unengaged Assault squads, got bogged down and then wiped out when another of my Assault squads, which had been involved in an earlier melee, came back to support their brethren. The Lord leapt into the midst of my Veteran Guardsmen and got stuck in combat long enough for the Assault squad which had wiped out the Raptors to come back and slay him with sheer numbers.

Quite an informative game, as I got to see just what a huge difference Veterans of the Long War and Feel No Pain make between 2 nearly evenly matched foes. I'm pretty sure that if those Raptors had had Veterans of the Long War, that would have made all the difference.

Game 2 vs David's Ravenwing
Oh, man, Ravenwing... You know the type: Lotsa bikes and the Banner of Devastation. And if that weren't enough anti-infantry dakka, he also had a squadron of 5 Land Speeder Tornadoes, each with 2 heavy bolters. And a Librarian with Prescience, of course. 30 twin-linked heavy bolter shots - seriously, that'll even mess up the Crimson King and his Guard....

Deployment was an ugly prospect for me. With the bulk of my army in the form of jump infantry, I had to close and smash him in close combat before losing too many marines to his insane amount of bolter shots. If I split my forces, that just meant he could focus all that firepower on parts of my army. If I put everything on the board, they'd still be exposed, but at least I could hope to get close enough to assault.

In the end, I elected to just have the Librarian and the Honour Guard in reserve, in the hopes I'd have a nice target of oppurtunity. As it turned out, it was pointless. 12 marines went down in the first round of shooting, resulting in 2 squads falling back! I managed to shred one squad of 6 bikers and 2 Land Speeders, but there was still so, so many bolter shots... By the end of the 2nd turn, all of my squads of Assault Marines were down to half strength or less and the Librarian stood alone and wounded.

There was nothing at all I could do to claw my way back into the fight, so I was forced to concede.

And now we know, bikes > jump packs. In all fairness, though, Ravenwing really does make the biker list rock, between the Banner of Devastation, Hit and Run, Black Knights and their lovely cheap Land Speeders (75 pts for a Typhoon!). The long and short of it is, the odds were stacked horribly against me this battle. With nothing to protect my Assault Marines from the ungodly amount of shots David's army was churning out, victory was pretty much impossible for me.

So, is there a way to defeat Ravenwing, with this incarnation of the Descent of Angels list? I say no. Not without a series of small miracles happening, like an insane streak of hot armour save rolls. Could I take on Ravenwing with another of my armies? I don't see why not, but the long and short of it is, I'm well impressed with the way Ravenwing works. It has gunishment, mobility, numbers, excellent objective control and can't be tied down by melee combat.

The Verdict
Anyway, the conclusion is this: This list I've banged together seems more or less versatile enough. It has enough bodies to make assault pretty fierce, it has the right guns to cut straight through some armour if necessary. It will, however have difficulty with:

  1. Infantry erasers, like Ravenwing or Dark Eldar.
  2. Elite spam, like Grey Knights or Deathwing, maybe even an Iyanden-themed Wraithlist.

 Off the top of my head, those are the major list types I can think of that'll wipe my jumping Angels off the board with little trouble. Come to think of it, the more I look at it, the less I like it. I mean, seriously, when you've wielded the sheer unspeakable killing power of the FTO list in its current incarnation, it's difficult to match that kind of satisfaction.

Back to the drawing board, I think. I don't know. I really want to make those Assault Marines work. I've got 30 of them and I really don't want to eBay the poor devils off...

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