Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Unkindness...

... of Stormravens! So, I've been slinging this list around a bit:

Librarian with plasma pistol
10 Sternguard Veterans, 2 with heavy flamers, 2 with combi flamers, 3 with combi plasma and 3 with combi melta
Furioso Dreadnought with Frag Cannon and heavy flamer in a Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines with meltagun and Infernus Pistol, in a Razorback with Lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun
5 Assault Marines with meltagun and Infernus Pistol, in a Razorback with Lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun
5 Scouts with camo cloaks, sniper rifles and a missile launcher
Stormraven Gunship with twin-linked assault cannon, twin-linked multimelta and hurricane bolters
Stormraven Gunship with twin-linked assault cannon, twin-linked multimelta and hurricane bolters
Stormraven Gunship with twin-linked assault cannon, twin-linked multimelta and hurricane bolters

This comes to 1,747 pts, because poor old Blood Angels still have to pay to install searchlights. Sheesh. This is a list that plays to the Blood Angel's strengths, notably:
  • Cheap combi-weapons for Sternguard. The 10 Sternguard come to 310 pts, compared to 335 for an identical loadout for Space Marines in the current codex.
  • Librarians with Divination. Prescience just goes far too well with combi-plasma and Vengeance rounds.
  • Stormravens with Bloodstrike missiles. Hurray for AP 1!
  • The Furioso Dreadnought. Because sometimes you just need a good, cheap-ish infantry eraser. 
  • Assault Squads in Fast Razorbacks, getting the most out of the Lascannon + twin-linked plasmagun configuration.
I have inflicted this list in three games thus far. Here's a brief overview of how those games went:
Game 1 - Purge the Alien vs Tyranids: 
This was the first outing of the freshly painted, lovely new Sternguard. The Sternguard are split in the configuration shown in the picture above. The Librarian, of course, travels with the squad wielding 3 combi-plasmas, to make good use of Prescience when the squad pops out to maul whatever needs some AP 2 love. That was the plan, anyway. I don't remember much about this scrap other than the fact that I managed a win, despite losing the Stormraven carrying the Sternguard squad with the Librarian. The Librarian miraculously survived the crash, only to get shot to pieces by a swarm of Termagants with Devourers. Oh, and the Tyranids, aged as they are, seem to have trouble with Flyer-heavy lists like the current incarnation of my Blood Angels. Don't fret, Nid players - when December 7th rolls by...

Game 2 - The Relic vs Chaos Marines: 
A pretty close game, actually. A huge mob of 35 cultists swarmed the Relic, and funnily enough, they were holding the Relic at the end of Turn 5. My resources were tied up killing a whole mess of other threats (not least of which was a rampaging Maulerfiend), so the Cultists reached the Relic surprisingly unscathed. Unfortunately for my opponent, the game went into Turn 6, and the Cultists suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of 2 Stormravens at close range. In the ensuing carnage, the Cultists dropped the Relic and the survivors were left cowering in a nearby crater. 

Elsewhere, the Sternguard performed magnificently. The squad with the plasma weapons blew away a Warpsmith and his entourage of Chaos Marines. Meanwhile, the squad with the flame weapons incinerated the Warlord on a Juggernaut and his 3 Biker friends. 

Game 3 - Big Guns Never Tire vs Orks:
This was a refreshingly straightforward game. Of course it would be - it's against Orks! Absurdly tame, too. Not a single Ork pushed the wrong button in their Looted Wagons. No Blood Angels succumbed to the Red Thirst. The Weirdboy managed to get off just one power without a hitch, teleporting flawlessly behind a Stormraven. No cut and thrust of cunning tactics and brilliant maneuvers. Just 3 Ravens swooping about the battlefield pouring horrific amounts of firepower into huge mobs of Orks, trying to kill enough to prevent the green buggers from scoring. 

Cool little events of note:
  • Knowing what Lootas can do to Flyers, I dropped the Furioso behind them and blew them away. 1 survived to blast away ineffectively, trying to hit a Stormraven.
  • A mob of 20 Slugga Boyz took one salvo from the Flame Sternguard and a Stormraven, which was quite enough to reduce them to 2 members. 
  • The Warboss, stomping about in his mega-armour found himself isolated and blown apart from the combined firepower of 2 Stormravens and a Razorback. 
In the end, it was down to the fact that Heavy Support choices could claim objectives. My 3 Stormravens hovered over the 3 objectives, raining down bolter shells on anything unlucky or foolhardy enough to come into rapid fire range. 

This list actually performed far beyond my expectations. With 3 Stormravens, I can consistently inflict a palpable airborne threat in the 2nd Turn, with enough firepower to destroy or cripple nearly any target of my choosing. On top of that, thanks to the Stormraven's excellent all-round armour (for a Flyer), odds are, they'll get at least a couple of turns of decent shooting before they get taken down, or better yet, they'll fulfill their mission of delivering a squad of Sternguard where they can cause the most damage. 

I have to say, though, this list isn't quite as outright killy as 3 Stormravens would suggest. In all three games, victory came at a pretty narrow margin, and we fought to the very end of the game. All in all, this list is heaps of fun, and frankly, it just pleases me that Blood Angels are still a force to be reckoned with in 6th. The only problem is transporting these guys can't be good for my back... 

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