Friday, 8 February 2013

Email In: Blood Angels List Analysis

Hello Sir#67 here,

Earlier on in the week I received this email from a player at me local store:

"Been pouring out the Blood Angels for your up and coming tournament, still figuring out their place in 6th Ed.
From what I see they haven't changed very much, everything minus has a plus to counter it, Like DC lost the initiative bonus of FC but gained an attack, so they are just as kill-y, also can't be kited about.

Been looking at Sanguinary Guard, Since 2+ Armour units just cant be swatted off the table by a random Sergeant's Power Sword or Lightning Claw, big downfall of Sanguinary Guard.

I've come up with this list I'd like your feedback on it


This is the list he sent in:


Honour Guard: Jump Packs and 4 Plasma guns

10 Assault Marines: Meltagun x2, sergeant with Lightning Claw and Storm Shield

10 Assault Marines: Meltagun x2, sergeant with Lightning Claw and Storm Shield

Sanguinary Guard: Death Masks and Glaive Encarmines (Power Swords)

Sanguinary Guard: Death Masks, Chapter Banner and Glaive Encarmines (Power Axes)

Baal Predator: Flamestorm Cannon

Baal Predator: Flamestorm Cannon

2 Attack Bikes: 2 Multimeltas

Looking at the list I can see that Nathan wants to play quite aggressively. I think the longest range of any gun in this list is 24"!. Sanguinary Guard are obviously important and Dante has been included to make them scoring, a good move in my opinion. He's also added a squad of plasma gun toting Honour Guard to take advantage of Dante's precision deep strike.

The two Baal preds add a bit of anti infantry firepower and could provide the assault marines/sang guard with some mobile cover while they jump up the field. The various meltaguns in the list look like Nathans answer to heavy armour.

Disclaimer: When I review lists I like to keep the core of the list as similar to the original as possible and change things around the edges. The only time I'd totally rewrite a list is if its way off the mark eg. If a Codex Space Marine List contained Vulkan but had only minimal flamer/melta weapons I'd suggest a full revision.


There are a few things that stand out for me in this list. First are the Baals. Only having 2 vehicles in the list means the majority of your opponents anti tank fire will focus on them. Using them as cover for the marines could lead you to giving up a relatively easy first blood. I'm also not sure the flamestorm Baal is the way to go in this edition. To use the flamestorm effectively you have to get really close and with the 6th ed rules on vehicle assault I think as soon as you get one shot off the Baal will be assaulted and glanced to death.

Another standout for me is the Sang Guard squads. Death Masks are not really worth the points you pay for them. They're also not cumulative so if Dante joins one of the sang squads then the points are wasted. The chapter banner is something else I'm not sure on. It's a lot of points on something that can't be picked up by another squad member. With the changes to shooting I can see this guy getting singled out quite often. The extra attacks also make it more likely that the Sang Guard are going to win combat in the first round exposing them to retaliatory shooting attacks.

In terms of armament I'd also like to see a mix of axes and swords in the two squads. I've found that 3 Swords, 2 Axes works best. The swords are your front line, they make their attacks and are also the first casualties if any are caused. The axes then step up in their initiative step and make their attacks.
A mix also means you've got a bit of flexibility in each squad. Mixing the weapons also means both units will have a similar threat status. At the moment most opponents would focus on the all axe squad as that is clearly the most dangerous. If they were both armed similarly then although both are slightly weaker threats the threat is spread over a larger area and thus creates more of an issue. (I understand this might sound quite abstract. I'll try to do a post on how I visualise level of threat across an army and how it changes the way I play my games)

The final thing I'm not sure on is that by making the list very aggressive your sacrificing the ability to hold backfield objectives efficiently. You could always combat squad and leave 5 assault marines back there but they wont be doing anything other than camping one objective and that's a waste of points in my opinion.

My Version:

After changing a few units/load outs but still sticking with the overall theme of Nathan's list I've come up with the following:


Honour Guard: Jump Packs and 4 Plasma guns

Sanguinary Priest: Jump Pack, Lightning Claw

10 Assault Marines: Meltagun x2, sergeant with Lightning Claw and Storm Shield

10 Assault Marines: Plasma Gun x2, sergeant with Lightning Claw

Sanguinary Guard: Glaive Encarmines (mix of swords and axes)

Sanguinary Guard: Glaive Encarmines (mix of swords and axes)

2 Attack Bikes: 2 Multimeltas

2 Attack Bikes: 2 Multimeltas

Devistator Squad: 4 Missile Launchers

I've swapped out the Baals for another 2 attack bikes and a devistator squad. Both units will add to the lists long range firepower and allow for some extra scoring units in Big Guns and the Scouring. They also increase the chances of you gaining first blood.

I've changed the assault squad load outs so that one squad can hang back slightly but still contribute with their plasma guns. If your playing a game with alot of objectives then this squad could combat squad and still contribute to the game overall.

The sang guard are now just 2 bare bones units. They still provide a decent threat that needs to be dealt with but at a significantly reduced points cost.

In fact I've saved so may points that I was able to fit in a Sanguinary Priest. The idea is he joins the Meltagun assault squad and provides a bit of protection from small arms fire, plasma etc. The reason I've got him joining the assault squad and not the sang guard can be summed up in one word: Challenges. Sang guard units don't contain any characters so cant usually be challenged. If the priest was with them then he would always be the one accepting/refusing and therefore would probably get himself killed or wasted his WS5 lightning claw attacks.

In the assault squad the Sergent answers any challenges, hopefully taking any hits on his storm shield, leaving the priest to get a few extra wounds in with his own weapon. The assault squad also needs his buffs more. The sang guard are armed with master crafted power weapons, some of which will give a +1 S bonus anyway. Its the kind of thing a lowly assault marine can only dream of.

To be honest I'm not sure if the priest adds enough to be worth his points. As he is he costs as much as a scout squad with cammo claoks which would be another scoring unit to sit on an objective or outflank onto one late game. I don't think the decision is that clear cut it's the kind of this that only playtesting will tell for sure.

I think this list will perform better and more consistently than Nathan's original. It still requires a skilled hand to use well but should be alot of fun to play.

If anyone else has a list they'd like reviewing drop me an email at

Until next time



  1. My 2p worth.

    I'm toying with an all out S Guard list myself, trying to get my BA to make sense in 6th. My thinking is that you need to make the most of Dante if your running him. To my mind that means an all out Guard list (I appreciate this is a major change and you didn't want to do that). It also gives you an answer to heldrakes with bale flamers, which are truly horrible now after the recent FAQ. A double helldrake list will just toast anything not in 2+ armour or riding in a vehicle (trust me, a guy at the non-club runs one and its bad enough).

    Love the idea of MM attack bikes though, never thought of that as support to a jumper list. And I agree about the 3 sword, to 2 axe ratio. However, I would take a banner - one of the problems with SG is while they hit hard, they do not have volume of attacks. Also might invest in a few infernus pistols.

    Not sure about the devistators. Too static in a very mobile list. I would trade them in for more attack bikes.

    Finally, priests are pretty essential IMHO. I would run one with a pack with the Guard, and another on a bike with the attack bikes.

    Problem of course is there is no anti flyer at all.


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