Friday, 11 February 2011

Blood Hammer

Bloody Hammer by skeats

The wonderful thing about my "current" (when I get the models...) Blood Angels list is that it can easily change to a whole different kind of beastie with just a few tweaks. The main roster is based almost entirely in close combat. Sure, I got a few meltaguns in there, but they function mainly as can openers so that the Marines can get their hands on the squishy stuff inside their transports. But what would happened if a swifted the balance a little bit and introduced some more ranged firepower elements to the list? Enter the Blood Hammer!

Basically, the Blood Hammer is your standard DoA jumpers list with a good measure of Devastators for fire support. As you may know, Red Devs are very cost effective. A hundred and thirty points for a Signum and four Missile Launchers? Yes, please! Okay, still not as good as Longfangs but still much better than their Vanilla counterparts and all around excellent for their given job. Add in the fact that you can make them a lot more survivable than any other MEQ race out there and their value proliferates. But more on that little bit later.

Let's see my first draft of the list (again, found here):

Librarian, Jump Pack, The Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinius
2 x Sanguinary Priest, Jumpack, Lightning Claw, Meltabombs
Sanguinary Guard, Power First, Inferus Pistol
10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltagun, Sergeant (Infernus Pistol, Lightning Claw)
10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltagun, Sergeant (Power Fist)
5 Assault Marines, Meltagun
3 x 10 Devastators, 4 Missile Launchers

Not too bad I guess. I had 10 Marines in each Devastator squad on the ground that they could be split into combat squads and thus be able to shoot at 6 different targets. I also added the small 5 man Assault Squad for scoring purposes and also to add that extra oomph I might need.

However, I still wasn't sure of the list's worth. Spending 240 points for a meat shield, which would otherwise be useless, wasn't a wise stratagem. Furthermore the added benefits of being able to target more enemy units suddenly didn't seem much if you consider that 2 Missiles usually do diddly squat. After looking in my favourite place for list building ideas (which is 3++ and not White Dwarf, contrary to popular belief) I came up with some changes:

Librarian, Jump Pack, The Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinius 
Honour Guard, Jumpacks, 4 Meltaguns, Meltabombs
Sanguinary Priest, Jumpack, Lightning Claw 
Sanguinary Priest 
Sanguinary Guard, Power First, 2 Infernus Pistol 
Techmarine, Jump Pack, Combi Melta 
2 x 10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant (Power Fist, Melta Bombs) 
5 Scouts, Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles, 1 Missile Launcher 
3 x 5 Devastators, 4 Missile Launchers 

There are a few key concepts in this list. First of all, the Techmarine will fortify a large piece of terrain for your Devs  and Scouts (unupgraded priest can join them) to sit inside. Now they will get a 3+ cover save (2+ for the scouts!) and Feel No Pain. I don't think they could  get any more survivable than that! Okay, maybe inside a Land Raider but then they couldn't fire their weapons. With the addition of the scouts, the firebase  is now scoring. Well dug in and able to contest an objective. Pretty neat.

After that, the Techmarine still is a pretty good suicide melta unit. He could kill you a vehicle and make his points back, so why not? He gets a Jumpack for free (he exchanges it with his servo arm) and with a combi melta he ends up costing a very reasonable 60 points. With BS 4 it's a hit or miss thing but then again you don't have much to lose deepstriking him close to an enemy vehicle. Additionally, if he survives (he has a 2+ save you know) that initial suicide attack, he could be a big nuisance to your opponent. He could tie up small shooty units or stay hidden behind LoS blocking terrain and pop out in the last turn and deny your enemy an objective. Quite nifty.

All in all, there are 8 Meltaguns, 2 Infernus Pistols, one combi Melta and 6 Meltabombs in the army. Enough to stress out even a Land Raider spammer. Keep in mind that they are all in models with DoA that makes them even more accurate as to when they arrive on the table and how close to the target they are going to land. Together with the 12 Missile shots from the Dev they form a formidable force against mech, MC spam and MEQ opponents alike.

Furthermore, the list retains it's close combat punch. You still got 3 Feel no Pain/Furious Charge bubbles and 3 capable close combat units (Sanguinary Guard and the Assault Marines). Even if the Devs/Scouts get hard pressed from an incoming enemy they could launch a desperate charge which could be effective, against some enemies, with all those S5 attacks. Anyway, one of the assault units could be placed close enough in order to protect the firebase.

And the most beautiful thing about it? I only got to have a couple of units (Scouts, Tactical Marines) and the list would be almost ready. Fortunately, I got a lot of unused Missile Launchers from my Imperial Guard heavy weapon teams which can easily be converted to fit the Devs. I've also acquired a couple of Black Reach Missile Launchers models and I even still got this guy:
Nicked it from my mate Al. Then again he doesn't play much warhams.
So, I will be set for all my Missile Launcher needs. Otherwise some hollow plasticard tube would do the job, it's really not that hard scratch building them. I only need to play some games with it now and tell you how it goes!

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