Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Power of The Jump !!!
Black Blow Fly here with a new article on Blood Angels jump infantry. A big shout to brother Al for kindly letting me contribute.
I have been playing Blood Angels for many a year now and the Sons of Sanguinius are by far my favorite army. I started to play them seriously during the very beginning of fourth edition when transports suddenly became burning metal coffins on threads. I thought that by combining drop pod units (tactical Marines and dreadnaughts) with jump infantry the army could be revitalized yet again... Turned out I was right. I only ever lost three games with that army out of hundreds played. I can still remember the three games I lost - one to skimmer heavy dark eldar, one to eldar (aaaaarghhhhh !!!) and one to Speed Freak orks. I played against both the dark eldar army and eldar army again and spanked them both in the rematches. I never had the opportunity to replay the KoS and that match the mission was really against me. All three of three of these armies had something going that took my surprise - they could all match my speed and even out distance my army. Except for the PDF codex (black days) Blood Angels have always been one of the fastest armies in the game. I learned that speed can indeed kill, combine that with the inherent uber choppiness of Blood Angels (Death Company, Honor Guard, now Vanguard veterans and the basic assault Marines) all make for one killer combination. All this has been brought back to the table with the release of the new 5ed codex! It's exciting times for sure. The new rules of Descent of Angels (DoA) and the ubiquitous Stormraven amongst other things has yet again revitalized this army and I can play with my original style which I dub the High Flying Blood Angels.
To me the new Blood Angels are definitely the best assault army. I know a lot of my furry friends will disagree - sure Thunderwolves are the utter sickness - but through much play testing I have learned how to beat Fenrisian Marines on a consistent basis. Every army has it's weaknesses that can be exploited. You must learn how to identify the chinks in their armor and exploit them. Thunderwolves are very fast, you can't get around that too much but they do have a few soft spots such as any S10 attack... That's why my Epistolary rocks the Sanguine Sword and my dreads have Blood Fists. I can't generate enough serious volume of shooting to plink them to death so I have to kill them the good ole fashioned way - my favorite, close combat. Hit them very hard at a higher initiative with a lot of attacks and they will fold. It's much like a chess game with BA jump infantry versus Thunderwolves - you must make sure you charge them. The Stormraven is a big help here as it can outrange Thunderwolves (barely but even just a smidgeon is enough).
The other great nemesis is still the much hated parking lot IG - for me this is not as nearly a tough matchup - hold your entire army in reserve then start deep striking on turn 2 - with the reroll for failed reserves (DoA) 75 percent of your army or even more should arrive on turn 2 then you start blasting the parking lot with all your many many meltas. Burning guardsmen fall out and then you aet them alive. It's very much a Blood Angels-esque approach to rolling guard. Often I read batreps where the Blood Angels player is not comfortable deepstriking his army so they deploy the bulk of their army on the table content to jump across open ground relying upon intervening terrain and the psychic cover save from their Librarians to reach the enemy line - I always find myself shaking my head when I read this type of batrep - DoA is the best thing jump units have going plus you only scatter 1d6"! It's almost too good to be true and has brought a new mechanic to the game. So I say try deepstrking, don't be a sissy, you might just like it. I think it's a whole better than flying across the table exposing yourself to lots of enemy shooting and really how good is a 5+++ save from your Librarians? A five plus plus plus (cover save) means that on the odds two out of every three Marines will die to high strength low AP pie plates. The Shield of Sanguinius is okay but nothing more - any unit that utilizes the 5+++ cover save is going to lose two thirds of their jump infantry if they have nothing better to hide behind - and while that might be somewhat a gross oversimplification it still holds true to a strong degree. If you opt to deepstrike you naturally stand a much better chance to smash mechanized armies.
There we have it for my first article here - I salute you all.