Teaching Blood Angels

I had a game against a new player who was learning the Blood Angels.  I knew that he was a new player and built what was, to me, an old fashioned Death Guard list.  I didn’t take any Daemons, vehicles or flyers.  Instead I took a horde of Poxwalkers and two full squads of Plague Marines.

My opponent had some Bolt Rifle equipped Primaris Marines, some Hellblaster Primaris Marines, some characters and two squads of Deep Striking Assault Marines.

Pretty much like the game that I had teaching the Tau I had never really stopped to think how Space Marine armies were meant to work, I’d never faced the Blood Angels before so there was also going to be a whole lot of stuff I’d never seen before.

The player didn’t want to use any stratagems yet so I didn’t use any for my side either.

So, how did it go?  Well he was pretty much wiped out.  Unlike the game against the Tau we didn’t have time for a second match to apply some of the lessons that had come out of the first game, I regret that, it’s nice to see how just learning a few things makes such a difference in how your army performs.

Anyhow a few of the important lessons were:

  • He was playing an army with a few deep striking assault units, really learn the stratagems that can help get them into combat.  Deep striking 9″ away still leaves getting that charge off as a pretty iffy proposition.  As it turned out a quick scan of the book showed that there is a stratagem to help, Descent of Angels.  This then lead to a discussion about the benefits of taking larger units as then the stratagem can get the most value at the cost of flexibility.
  • The importance of spotting your buffs and manoeuvring units so that the buffs can be applied where you want them.  He had one character that could cause units to re-roll 1’s to hit and another that could cause units to re-roll 1’s to wound.  Getting both of those to apply is a considerable boon.
  • Don’t hurl low attack high damage units at single wound models.  When his deep striking assault Marines appeared he took on the Poxwalkers.  Sure they do look scary.  But when the Marines were equipped with thunder hammers or some such that caused 2 or 3 points of damage per wound they’re waster.  3 points of damage kills a Poxwalker no better than 1 point of damage does (Disgustingly Resilient is a whole wrinkle here though).  It’s much better to get that damage applies to big units like the Helbrute.  Work out what a unit is good for and use it for that.