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Blood Angels List Development Thread

 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:16 am 
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Way off topic, but
Xenocidal Maniac wrote:
However, perhaps due to my degree in political science, I tend to weight empirical data more heavily than theory or anecdotal evidence.
This made me laugh out loud.

I've seen far too may political statements based on statistics which mean nothing at all. Good on you XM.

I'd also recommend listening to words of wisdom as they have resolved more issues for me than created problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:07 pm 
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From a passerby of another SM Chapter....

Blood Angel Assault Marines get Teleport?!?!?

I feel this is much more suited for Raven Guard IF ever add or it SHOULD be open to ALL lists. BA don't have awesome jumppack skills like RG last time I checked.

Just dropping 2 cents....

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:41 am 
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Alright, guys. Time to really grab the bull by the horns, here.

I just got finished playing a game with teleporting assault marines at an additional 50 points. The game was against Iron Warriors. I got tabled. This is the first time anyone in the Los Angeles Epic group has been tabled. It's maybe the second time in a very long gaming career that I personally have been tabled, in any game. Ever. I will write up a batrep later.

First, I'm going to put this out there - I find it frustrating when people here assume that I have no skill at the game. I see some of the snide and sarcastic comments that even manage to make their way into other threads that have nothing at all to do with Blood Angels. While it is true that I don't have a huge amount of Epic experience, I'm known locally as a pretty strong gamer. I've won every league for every game I've ever entered and I've won several local 40k tournaments. Serious tournament gamers often request games against me for practice, even in games I don't play regularly. So, certainly while much of the blame for my poor performance with the BA list could have to do with me, I have a hard time beleiving that *all* of it is attributable to that.

I genuinely am not trying to brag or imply that I am infallible - The point I am trying to make is that this list in not in the hands of some yankee doodle dummy, and I'd love if I did not have to operate under that cloud of suspicion.

The issue, as it stands, is that close combat units, especially close combat units that do not have a shooting attack, are at a major disadvantage under the Epic rules. They have a harder time reaching assault, cannot set up crossfires, and cannot lay blast markers. This is a big deal. Perhaps a batrep of my latest trouncing can help to illustrate this.

It could be that teleporting ASM is not the answer to the list's problems. It honestly didn't help much in the last two games I used them in. That, coupled with all of the resistance to the idea makes me think that it is possible that I am not moving in the right direction with this.

If I root around in the BA lore, I am sure I can make a strong enough fluff case for it, but, I would agree that the fluff would not seem to necessarily mandate the inclusion of teleporting assault marines. In my mind, its inclusion was / is more of a game balance mechanic.

I am thinking that the answer to the list's problems has been staring us in the face all along. Perhaps we needn't reinvent the wheel, here.

Simply give Blood Angels access to Predator Annihilators and Land Raider formations. Simple.

So Blood Angels give up access to titans and vindicators and are saddled with the Frenzied liability. In return, we gain access to Stormravens, Baal Predators, Sanguinary Guard, and more assault marines. There you go. No more acrobatics to make the list work. And it brings everything in line with the current 40k Blood Angel codex.

The fact of the matter is, Blood Angels are not a particularly codex divergent chapter. In fact, they are relatively strict adherents of Codex Astartes. They have poor relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus due to their refusal to share their Lucifer pattern engine technology. Makes sense they would not have access to titans. But, other than that, they are really just Space Marines with a couple of extra toys. Furthermore, the 40k BA codex specifically states that it is not that BA have more assault marines than other chapters - simply that they prioritize allocation of resources and casualty replenishment towards strengthening their assault elements. And they have an affinity for flight due to Sanguinius' gene seed.

Therefore, if I am going to concede that there is no fluff justification for teleporting assault marines, then I need the concession that there is no fluff justification for the absence of predator annihilators, vindicators, and land raider formations in return. Nowhere is it stated that the Blood Angels have any less access to those tools than other marine chapters. I am assuming that their exclusion from the list was an attempt at making the list thematic and geared towards assault, just as my inclusion of teleporting ASM was.

In summary - we are at a crossroads with this list. As it stands, it is evident through playtesting that the list doesn't work. We have two choices: continue down the teleporting ASM path and all of the rigorous playtesting that entails, or simply give the Blood Angels the long range tools that they need to win games.

We can't have our cake and eat it, too, here. Either we make this list thematic from a gameplay standpoint - teleporting marines / no anti-tank - or we make it accurate from a fluff standpoint - no teleporting assault marines / access to anti-tank.

I believe that we are a lot closer to getting the list approved with the addition of predator annihilators and land raiders than we are with teleporting assault marines. For the record, I think I can make teleporting ASM work, but it will require more tweaking.

Please discuss and debate. But please keep all comments constructive. If you are going to comment on what you dislike, please suggest an alternative.

I am committed to making this list fun, balanced, and fair, and I intend to get it approved in 2014. Help me out! Let's make a list worthy of the Blood Angel name. Let's brainstorm. I'm listening.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:01 am 
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Xenocidal Maniac wrote:
The issue, as it stands, is that close combat units, especially close combat units that do not have a shooting attack, are at a major disadvantage under the Epic rules. They have a harder time reaching assault, cannot set up crossfires, and cannot lay blast markers. This is a big deal. Perhaps a batrep of my latest trouncing can help to illustrate this.


CC units can be used to gain crossfire as you don't need to be in range, just have a line of fire

From 1.11
Quote:
The friendly unit that the crossfire line is drawn to must
have a line of fire to a unit from the target formation, but
does not have to be in range with any of its weapons

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:55 pm 
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I think you're on the right path with including land raiders and standard preds.

Will you keep the option on adding 2 assault marines to the 6 man strong assault marine units?
I really like the idea of massed AM assaults.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:43 pm 
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MephistonAG wrote:
Xenocidal Maniac wrote:
The issue, as it stands, is that close combat units, especially close combat units that do not have a shooting attack, are at a major disadvantage under the Epic rules. They have a harder time reaching assault, cannot set up crossfires, and cannot lay blast markers. This is a big deal. Perhaps a batrep of my latest trouncing can help to illustrate this.


CC units can be used to gain crossfire as you don't need to be in range, just have a line of fire

From 1.11
Quote:
The friendly unit that the crossfire line is drawn to must
have a line of fire to a unit from the target formation, but
does not have to be in range with any of its weapons


You are right, and I am sorry I was unclear - what I meant was that they cannot shoot at something and claim the crossfire, being as they have no ranged weapons. Thanks for pointing this out.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:27 pm 
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mordoten wrote:
I think you're on the right path with including land raiders and standard preds.

Will you keep the option on adding 2 assault marines to the 6 man strong assault marine units?
I really like the idea of massed AM assaults.


Yes, if I go the more direct route, I would still include the option of 8-stand assault formations.

I'm toying with a lot of ideas at the moment. Going to try to have something posted later today.

The pace of change for this list might be rapid for a little while, but it is only because I am trying to get it approved as soon as I possibly can.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:33 pm 
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'Themed' lists are always a little harder to set up because you are trying to direct people down a narrower path than available in the main list, while the theme itself has to be balanced. Few people want to play with a list that always loses, and fewer want to play against a list that is totally overpowered. Here, you are saying that the BA 'theme' is not entirely practical, not least because of the poor interaction between Assault Marines and the game mechanics (needing something to lay BMs, provide additional support etc). Drop pods are not sufficiently reliable / predictable, and the ASM have no intrinsic shooting attack.

In this case, I wonder if we might approach this problem by splitting the BA list / chapter in two; one part having the "assault" heavy theme you have already suggested, while the other part provides the "support and exploitation" elements. It is all very well winning the front-line assaults, but if you cannot exploit the successes (break through and gain objectives etc) then the assaults are a strategic waste of time, men and material - and you are apparently suffering this. By retaining the AV elements it starts to sound like the allied plan from operation 'Market Garden', the assault on Arnhem.

So, perhaps we might make the BA list work in the same way, using the BA approach presented so far to be one part of the list,
  • The "assault" section (to provide the "BA tactics" that you have already described)
    Consists of Assault Marines, Terminators, Tacticals and Assault bikes.
    They have access to Dreadnoughts, THawks and Strike Cruiser / Drop Pods - but nothing else!
    Everything in this section *must* start off-table.

  • The "Support" section
    This has Tacticals, Devastators, Landspeeders and Scouts with 'mobility upgrades' (Storm Ravens etc), and access to the normal Marine armour - Predators, Land Raiders (possibly upgrades only), Vindicators, Whirlwinds etc.
    Everything in this section *must* start on-table, and may not garrison.

  • I like the Sanguinary Guard, but suggest that they may be either in assault or support, which will enforce slightly different transport options.

  • In the usual 'air third' you provide the usual Strike Cruiser, Marauders and TBolts as before. However there are no other points restrictions, allowing the player to decide the make-up of the "Assault" and "Support" sections.

Note,
- No Titans (which seems part of the intended theme),
- No Landing Craft, to force the supports to be ground-pounders.

You might allow 0-1 THawk transports to move some supports into position, but if so I prefer the weaker THawk armour to reinforce the theme (but that is a different debate).

But following on from this, we might try to find a way of allowing the Vindicator upgrade to the assault marines (a THawk variant that carries 4x marines and 1x Rhino based tank, or even the THawk transporter . . .)


Last edited by Ginger on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Just wanted to give some encouragement to XM for that post, I think you are astute in realising that the teleporting ASM route is a bit "forced", divisive and not necessarily the answer. And that the logical path is a simple one - ie not try too hard to make the list fundamentally different to codex, just give it a blood angel fluff feeling so people have options to use the iconically units. In short, give them baals etc, and take away titans. Exactly as you laid it out, I would support.

The truth is, the codex list is already a very flexible list compared to some races which have very focused play styles, so there is not the need to force a list down that path. I believe most of the chapter variants should be very simple, only exchanging a few units and representing the major differences.

Yes, CC just isn't a strong function by itself, that is just the reality. So if the scope is set less tightly than a "CC list" I think that would be a good thing, and is perfectly justified both in game terms and fluff. Because actually, having big units of assault formations (6-8) is still an interesting proposition that addresses a problem they traditionally have (ie what can 4 units realistically achieve?), it just doesn't have to be what the whole army revolves around. And at the same time, baals can be good FF units.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:46 pm 
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So just to chime in here, being the IW player who "tabled" Xeno, I can say from experience having played against other finesse type armies, that BA do indeed have a lack of AT that very much puts this specific marine list in the zone of death or glory type of play. That long range, flexible, support weapon choice is really just not there. You take an astartes list that is already harder to play from the beginning, and then you take away certain choices, sprinkle in some close ranged replacements and its "BA". But, like xeno said, according to fluff, they should be able to take certain AT choices that are not there currently. Those choices are taken away, in addition to titan options, simply because they had bad relationships with Mars. Ok. On an actual GAME side of things that lack of AT has him in my face turn one because he really has to, and if he doesn't destroy my mainstays on that initial all or nothing type of maneuver then it's a completely uphill battle from there. And it was. It's just not as fun an army to play as it should be.

I think adding the preds and LRs is a good starting point to the list. I'm not set on teleporting for assault marines, but if the fluff is to take away all the other transport options what would they get in replacement? Playtesting is being done, with a points cost right now, but that does take away the points for those extra zippy units we're talking about. Otherwise you just set up all your AM on your side, I go on overwatch and wait. Not very fun. But not knowing all the differences between normal astartes and BA I won't attest to what should or shouldnt definitely be in the list. BUT, i can say as an opponent I was not afraid of being shot to death, at all. Xeno taught me how to play, organizes our 12 player Los Angeles league, and really does want to make an impact in a fluffy, fun way to the list. no showboating here. Teleporting is not an end all be all, infact you are really really hoping on good rolls for turns and activations when you stick your neck out there with so many units. Tradeoffs. I don't mind seeing it being playtested and worked out.
He's taking all feedback into account, it's all I heard all game =) Takes a LONG time to batrep, type up and organize this stuff. Playtest, feedback, changes. For the community, let's see where it goes. Eldar can break every rule in the game to go from squishy to beardy, but "omfg assualt marines from the skiess......NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NEVEERRRRR." The Internet lulz.

-V

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:43 am 
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Ginger and Kyrt, thanks for the feedback. Really valuable. I'd like to address your points in more detail a little bit later.

Volrath, thanks for the backup. I appreciate it, in spite of the ass-kicking you handed out to me yesterday. Once I get this list up and running, you will rue the day!! :)

I've got a lot of ideas I'd like to run by everyone, but I'd love some more feedback to my lengthy post above before I do so. Any other thoughts or comments?

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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:13 am 
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XM,

I like where you head is going mate. I have read through your post further up and concur on removing the restriction on ranged armour formations. I also like the suggestion that the list is divided into sections made by Ginger. You can look at this in the similar light to the way Dobbsy has approached the SW list.

Have your core choices and then allow a up to two Support choices per Core Formation from the Support Formation selection. If you hold onto the assault focus in your core formations then you will maintain the theme you are looking for. For my liking I think you could retain theses as core units:

Core Formations
Assault
Bike
Death Company - does not grant up to twp Support choice though
Land Speeders
Tactical

Support Formations:
Devastator
Landing Craft
Land Raider - 4 choice of either or mix of Land Raider and Redeemer/Crusader
Predator - make your changes, 4 of either or mix of Annihilator/Baal
Scout
Storm Raven
Stike Cruiser
Terminator
Thunderhawk
Whirlwind

I would leave the current upgrades as they are, I think you can make some great formations from what is there at the moment.

I have a suggestion for a new unit. I have been playtesting Fattdex's Legion 30K list. The other day I made extensive use of air assault with 7 of my 11 formations off the board. I used the Storm Eagle for the first time and found it to be an excellent delivery unit. It had the punch and range in turn one to place BM on targets and then was able to make its way through flak with RA armour to make the assault on turn 2. In turn three it was able to provide good support to the ground units.

It is currently stat'd like so

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship AC/WE Fighter Bomber 5+ 6+ 5+ Vengeance Launcher 45cm 2BP FF
Tempest Rockets 60cm AP5/AT6 FF
Twin Linked HB 30cm AP4/AA5 FF

Planetfall, RA, Transport: (May carry 4 of the following Tac, Asslt, Dev, Scout, Term 2 Spaces)

The is some fluff to support it making its way into a list in the 40K verse. It would make a good addition to this list and give it some serious punch.

The other thing I would suggest is to add the Thunderhawk Transporter to this list. Again allowing people to carry hard hitting formations into the heart of things with their supporting armour. It works for your assault theme.

I will get a test in once the current round of SW testing is complete.

Cheers
Aaron


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 Post subject: Re: Blood Angels List Development Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:23 am 
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Xenocidal Maniac wrote:
Any other thoughts or comments?

I'd think use of the BA in Air Assaults (both Landing Craft and Thunderhawks) should be extensively played and tested. I'm not sure how much testing you did with this format XM, so it would be good to get your opinion on it first before major changes.


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