Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Blood Angels codex review - Elite units

Next up are the elite squads, those units that consist of more than one model.

Sanguinary Guard

These are one of the iconic Blood Angles units, the golden clad warriors with there winged jump packs. Now, while they maybe an iconic unit, there stats on the table top are not exceptional, as they they still have the standard marine profile with just one extra wound and a slightly better save. There weapons are not particularly good either, mostly being just gaining d3 damage rather than the standard 1. That being said, there is something about the sanguinary guard that I like and if you keep them close to the warlord you get to re-roll hits as well. I will be looking at fielding some of these in the future but that's more for fluff then for there usefulness on the table top.

Aggressor Squad

A primaris unit, dedicated to close support. These guys are brutal up close, with powerful weapons both in shooting and melee but they are slow and getting them in to range can be difficult. As much as I like this unit, I won't be taking them as there primaris marines and I don't use them right now. If you do though, this is a good unit to have, especially as a counter charge or charge denial unit.

Death Company

Another iconic Blood Angles unit, the death company can be a very powerful assault unit. I really like these guys and run 15 of them, maxing out the squad size and while they tend not to do very well for me, I still love them. Granted I think the fault is how I'm using them and not the units itself. While the wargear options are limited, there are still some good options. Thunder hammers are good, but could do with some extra damage and inferno pistols are great, as you will be getting up close and personal with these guys. I'd stay away from hand flamers, as there are pretty useless unless your facing tau or guard. If you are going to run these guys, bigger certainly seems better, as they are not very resilient and will die quite easily.

Servitors

Er, yeah, servitors............

Ok, sensibly, these guys are cheap, 14 points standard and 12 at there cheapest but with bs\ws of 5+, they aren't hitting much. Even with an attendant techmarine there only going to hit half the time. I'd leave these on the shelf to be honest.

Company Veterans

With the loss of the command squad and the removal of sanguinary novitiate, champion and ancients from the squad, these boys are a little bit lost. They don't really bring much to the table, especially in the basic 2 man squads. I think if they changed the bodyguards rule slightly, it might make a difference. As it is, this is a very versatile squad, with options to take a lot of different kit but it is neither a combat specialist or a long range killing machine. There are other squads out there which can do better then this squad at the various rolls, only bring this unit if you really want the bodyguards rule.

Reiver Squad

The second and last of the primaris elite squads. There is no doubt that reviers are good, but they are primaris marines, so I'll not be using them. Tooled up for combat, these guys can make a mess of many light infantry and even MEQ's.

Terminator Squad

The good old terminator squad, while still lacking, is a lot better than previously. It should still have an extra point of toughness I think, but that's just my opinion. These guys can be a right pain to an enemy, dropping down late in the game and going to work on the back field. Even just keeping them in reserve can cause an opponent issues. I would look to upgrade to chain fists, as there slightly better in my opinion. As it is though, the Knights will not be running terminators, as there just too slow for the fluff but they are still a useful unit to have.

Terminator Assault squad

The assault variants of the terminators suffer the same issue as their long range brethren but are still formidable. I would generally go for hammers and go monster or character hunting with these guys, lightning claws are good, but you'll get bogged down in bodies before you can do what you want to do. I think of the two terminator units this is the best and the one I would run, if I was going to run a unit. 

I'll also mention the Cataphractii and tartaros terminator squad quickly. These are variants of the terminator squads, with there own quirks. Personally, I don't see much reason to take these over the normal terminators, yes there are certain advantages but nothing that says that one of these is that much better you have to take that unit as a must. Unless you have a spare squad of either lying around, I'd stick to the standard terminators.

Vanguard Veteran squad

This is another of the squads that seems to still be needing a proper role. Yes there really supposed to be for close combat and they do well with many good options, they are not quite the combat monster they should be, mostly due to the fact that they are, like a lot of the MEQ units, hit very hard by the new ap system. Against the right units, these guys can cause a lot of damage and I am still thinking about adding a second unit but you have to be careful with there use. They work well in support or counter charge, but they are just not resilient enough to go it alone. Well worth thinking about though, as you can tool them up for specific rolls very easily but just watch the points, they can rack up very quickly!

Sternguard Veteran squad

The last of the elites and a good one. These guys are like your standard marine stats wise but there bolters are better. They do struggle a bit against primaris marines, who can match or even surpass them in many ways but the ap -2 bolters are still good. Use them to target specific units or characters and they can do a lot of damage. I wouldn't bother with combi weapons or  the heavy flamers here, as BA tactical squads get that option, stick with the bolters all round. Keep them back and select your targets carefully and these will deliver.


Friday, 13 July 2018

Completed Hildasay PDF Heavy weapons

After a long period of procrastination I finally took the plunge and brought some basic material for my birthday and these were the first units completed. Now, I just guessed as to which basing material to get, as there are so many options out there these days. It appears that I struck it pretty lucky with my choice, as the colour match is pretty good, despite the fact that this was the first time I had actually seen the basing placed onto my mat.

The completed heavy weapons squads assembled for parade.

From back to front, two heavy bolter teams, a missile squad and a mortar squad.

On this side, there are two lascannon squads, the second missile squad and finally the second mortar squad.

Top down shot of some of the bigger bases. You can see here that the bases are not a perfect match to the table but they are not bad at all. I think that if I had based them with a gray paint rather than the brown, they might have matched better.

Another shot of the assembled forces.

This is all of the heavy weapons squads that I own now completed and these will form the bulk of the Hildasay PDF force, alongside a couple of squads of vets, which will be sorted out further down the line. Next on the paint table are the remaining Hjaltland LI forces.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Blood Angels codex review - Elite Characters

Next up we have the Elite units and as per usual in the marine codices there are quite a lot of them. As such I have decided to break them down in to two posts, first up will be the Characters or single models units and the second post will follow with the Elite units and multi-model units. So without further ado, the characters....

Terminator Ancient
The first of the banner bearers and I think the banner with the best rules. The banner in question is the Archangel Standard, which give a leadership bonus but more importantly gives re-rolls to hit in the fight phase. Drop this guy in with a bunch of assault terminators or even vanguards and watch things die. If I was taking terminators, then I would take this guy but alas, i'm not taking terminators in this force and so I shall not be taking this unit either.

Company Ancient
The Company Ancient is the banner bearer, the guardian of the colours. The Company version carries the Astartes Banner, which gives the option for marines who are killed to fire or fight one last time. While this ability can be strong, especially when combined with certain units, its also unreliable, requiring a 4+ dice roll to do so. This means that some games it will do very little but in others it will be vital. I would prefer it to have a little more reliability to the ability but it is a good option to have and is not overly expensive. My real gripe with the unit is its in ability to take more than one weapon, I get that he's holding the banner but I don't see why he cant have a pistol and a combat weapon? I have a model for this in my collection, although he only has one arm at the moment, having had his pistol arm removed and I will play him at some point, probably when I get my other devastator squad finished. Overall, I think this is a unit that should be considered but just be careful what units you put him near, as he does better with some than others.

Primaris Ancient

Well, here is the first of the Primaris entries and the first I shall skip over with just a brief analysis. This model is an exact copy of the standard ancient above, except its Primaris stat line. If your playing Primaris marines, take this version, if not, take the Company Ancient. I'll be taking the Company Ancient.

Company Champion

The Champion to me is a bit of a funny unit. It seems to be a hang over from the 7th edition command squad and doesn't seem to have a proper purpose. Its not really a combat monster, with only a couple of attacks and his weapon is nothing special, just a slightly better power sword. He has no special rules that make up for any of this, only the ability to make heroic interventions and re-roll hits against characters. Personally I don't think he is worth taking, as he really doesn't bring anything special and despite the fact I have two, one with a jump pack, I don't see myself fielding them very often at all.

Sanguinary Novitiate

A lesser version of the Sanguinary Priest but still just as useful. While he doesn't have the Blood Chalice, he does have Narthecium, which is always good. Stick him in with an important unit, such as vanguard vets or Sanguinary guard and help them to stay alive a bit longer. Granted, the ability is triggered on a 4+, so it can be a little hit and miss but just like the Ancient, put them with the right units and they can work wonders. The only downside to this unit is the removal of the jump pack as an option from the codex. This limits there mobility significantly, meaning that they will struggle to keep up with many of the units who could really use there abilities. I have a couple of these in my collection, although I don't field them as often as I probably should.


Sanguainary Ancient


The Sanguaniary ancient is pretty much like a all ancient. It gives out various bonus' to units around including the standard leadership bonus. In this case it also give re-roll to wound, the same as the Lieutenant. If you like the Sanguainary guard then take this guy, but I really don't see the point of this guy, you might as well take a Lieutenant, as you only get a slightly better save and give out a -1 leadership bubble. Personally I'll be taking a Lieutenant.

Primaris Apothecary

This is the Primaris version of the Sanguinary Novitiate and follows alone the same lines as all the rest of the Primaris models. It has the Primaris stat line as standard and on this occasion carries Narthecium, following the same rules as the Priest and  Novitiate and yet again, if your running Primaris marines, take this version, if like me your not, take the Priest or Novitiate.


Dreadnought


So now we come to the big boys, the Dreads. This is the standard dread, which follows the standard marine dread common to all the marine forces. Its had some what of a resurgence in 8th and sees to be a good solid unit to take. It has some impressive stats and can dish out a fair bit of punishment but I just don't have any love for them. For me, they don't fit the feel of my army and so I wont be taking any but if your running a more gunline army, definitely consider these.
Furioso Dreadnought

The first of the Blood Angles pattern dreadnoughts. These are subtly different from the normal dread in that they can be equipped with different weapons. The frag cannon is basically a super flamer and will decimate light infantry like almost nothing else (except an assault cannon) and the Blood Talons and Furioso Fists will wreck most things in close combat. This is one of the only dreads I would run, most likely with either two fists or two talons. As it is though, I don't own the model and I'm not planning on getting one either.

Death Company Dreadnought

The second Blood Angles dread and the one that is probably the most iconic. While I like this unit for it fluff, on the table top it really isn't much different from the Furioso, with the exception that you cant take the frag cannon. Of the two versions, this is the better. The frag cannon is good at short range, but if your going to be at that range, you want fists or talons, and with the extra special rules this thing has, this is the better close combat vehicle. Given the choice of this or the Furioso, then I would be running one of these, probably with fists and getting up close and personal with every thing I could.

Contemptor Dreadnought

The Contemptor is a relic of ages gone by and by that I mean the Horus Heresy. While there is no doubt that this is a good dread, better maybe that all the others apart from the very newest version, it still doesn't do enough to make me want to take it over the two Blood Angles only versions. A good unit but if your going for good units over fluff, then you'd take the next unit.

Redemptor Dreadnought


The Primaris dread and one that is just as over the top, in there one-up-manship, as the rest of the Primaris marines. As this counts as a Primaris unit, I would be fielding one anytime soon but there is no doubt that this is a very good unit. It has a number of good weapons, in the form of the gatling cannons and plasma guns but it looks ridiculous. Really, if your looking to take a dreadnought, then this is the obvious choice, as its better armed, tougher and stronger then all the rest, its also quite a bit more expensive. I wont be taking one but definitely should be considered if you do want a new dread.


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Blood Angels codex review - Troops

This post will cover two sections of the Codex, the Troops section and also the Dedicated Transport section, as although the transports can be used with a number of different units, they are most commonly associated with the troops, plus it’s a small section of the codex, leaving lots of space on the post!

Troops

Tactical Squad

For a long time, these have been the staple of every marine list but with the arrival of Primaris marines they have been somewhat neglected. However, they are in my opinion very much still relevant and that’s not just because of the irrational dislike of Primaris Marines. The standard marine is still highly adaptable and customisable, being able to take a variety of heavy and special weapons, something Intercessor squads are, as yet, unable to do. These units in my armies’ form part of the support elements, although in a close support form, carrying numerous flamers. With the changes to combi weapons, they can be even more dangerous than they previously could. I still think that at the very least these make very good objective takers and holders, I would always look at taking a unit or two in an army, tooled up as close support units for other units.

Intercessor Squad

The Primaris troop choice and aside from not taking Primaris units in the army, I feel that these are rolled for a very specific role, that of anti-infantry, with no options to speak of, they are not very customisable. This is where I think the Tactical Squads have the big advantage, although there is no doubt that as anti-infantry units the Intercessor Squads are very efficient, being able to take out most threats before they can themselves be targeted.  I have yet to face these across the table, but I am not looking forward to the day that I have to!

Scout Squad

Scout squads are still a very popular choice these days, although their role has changed somewhat. Gone are the days that these were used to fill out the required troop slots as cheaply as possible, now they are taken on actual ability, although it really seems that its only one ability that counts. While scouts can take bolters, shotguns or pistols and knives, its is there ability to take snipe rifles that has seen them become possibly the number one troop choice. Sniper rifles really have come in to there own this edition, performing the role that they really should always have had. While I do see some Scout units used to camp on objectives in the centre of the board, most of the time they are armed with sniper rifles and targeted at the buffing characters. This is a very good use for them and can cause an opponent a lot of trouble and is something that I have looked at adding to my army on more than one occasion.  I would recommend Scouts as an option to anyone, but I would also suggest looking beyond arming them with sniper rifles.

Dedicated Transport

The options for transport have changed little over the last few editions, with only the addition of the Primaris Repulsor transport to the list, however, there has been significant changes to the transports roles, even if the actual transports themselves has changed little.

Rhino

The classic Rhino, little changed for numerous editions. These are the most basic marine transport and still have a place in most armies. It is always worth having a few of these vehicles around as you never know when your going to need to shift around a squad or two. With the changes to vehicles, even these are now durable, although their efficiency drops rapidly once they become damaged. I will eventually have a couple of these machines in my force and I have no doubt that when they are fielded they will prove there worth.

Razorback

Very similar to the Rhino, just with more guns and less transport. The overall profile of these is identical to the Rhino, the only decision that you need to make is whether you want transport space or more fire power. For general units, such as Tactical and Devastator squad, transport space is usually my priority but for elite units such as Sternguard or Company Veterans, then the added fire power is better. Take care what weapons you take though, as each has a specific role and they should be, in my opinion, complimentary to the squads’ mission. What I mean by that, is that if your running a bunch of Company Vets with melta guns, look at running the Razorback with either heavy bolters or Assault cannons. Alternately, if your running Sternguard Vets, then Lascannons would be a good choice. This means that your units will always has the support should they get caught out against the wrong target, afterall, melta guns are useless against a horde of infantry, but Assaut cannons work just fine!

Drop Pod

These are probably the unit hit hardest by the changes from 7th to 8th. The have shot up in price, effectively gone down in toughness and lost the ability to become objective secured, thus removing one of its key uses in the game. In addition to this, the changes to the reserve rules mean that you can no longer use it to deliver your units reliably where and when you want them, as deep strike is now not a gamble and no matter what you need to be 9 inches away from your enemy. So realistically, drop pods are, on the whole, no longer required. That being said there is nothing quite seeing drop pods crashing down on to the battle field and for certain units, like those that don't have the option to deep strike, using a drop pod can be quicker and easier than trundling across the field in a Rhino or Razorback. Yes, it cant relocate and it has very limited fire support, but it will get you there quickly. I still like pods and I would like to own a couple, mostly for my sternguard, but I don't see me getting any anytime soon.

Land Speeder Storm

The dedicated transport for scout squads and only scout squads. Like all of the land speeder varieties it has had a significant boost to survivability over the pervious edition. The Storm is a useful vehicle although it is very restricted in use, being as it can only transport scouts and only 5 at that rate. Scouts still seem to hold the position of being used to produce command points by filling out slots in battalion and brigade detachments. As such they tend to be run fairly cheaply or with sniper rifles and therefore storms are not needed or add addition cost which could be better spent else where. A good vehicle but to niche to really be of much use. 

Repulsor

The only transport that can transport primaris marines, and while it can take gravis armour, it cant take any other types of units. Which is silly in my opinion. Why cant Primaris marines get in a Land Raider or a normal tactical marines get in a Repulsor? Anyway, the Repulsor is a (un)holy union of a Land Speeder, Land Raider and Preditor, looks silly and over the top. As good as it is, ill not be fielding Primaris marines anytime soon, so I wont be fielding these either.