Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Blood Angels In 6th Edition: Good And Bad

by SandWyrm

Time to see how the Blood Angels are likely to be affected by the rules in the 6th Edition 'Leak'.

(Note: For the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to assume that the 'Leak' document is real. Though it could be anything from a fan-made fake to an outdated test document. Be that as it may, let's not get caught up whether it's real or not. I'm more interested in the changes it would bring to the game if it is real.)

  1. Land Raiders can move and fire 3 weapons. PotMS doesn't add to this or let you fire at another target by itself (the multi-targeting rules handle this), but it still lets you fire once if you're shaken or stunned.
  2. Land Raiders (being a tank) have a -1 modifier to the vehicle damage chart.
  3. Hurricane Bolters are a 'gun battery' (considered one weapon for all 3 twin-linked bolters).
  4. Librarians have Psychic Mastery (2)
  5. Mephiston has Psychic Mastery (3)
  6. Models in an 'Armor Group' (all have the same combination of saves) can be allocated a wound for each wound they have remaining. So you can allocate 2 wounds to a 2-wound model with a Storm Shield before moving onto the next group. Or you could allocate 4 wounds to Dante before moving on to the other models in his unit.
  7. ATSKNF makes Marines immune to being auto-destroyed if they're fleeing within 12" of an enemy at the start of their turn.
  8. But since DOA armies are wearing Jump Packs, it should be very easy to take advantage of this rule!
  9. ATSKNF also makes Marines immune (as always) to being destroyed if they're swept in an assault.
  10. Vehicles and their passengers are much more vulnerable to close-combat attacks. See Dodger's comments to my Imperial Guard rundown for details. 
  11. Assault comes before Shooting, so you can pop a transport with a Power Fist and then gun down the survivors afterwards. If they make it out alive (see above).
  12. A unit in a moving transport gets the Relentless special rule (but note the downsides to firing from transports further below).
  13. Reserves come on much more reliably. You get one reserve die per unit in reserve, and up to 3 of these can be used to roll for one unit. You need a 4+ on any die to bring reserves on turn 2, It's 3+ for turn 3. From turn 4 on, all reserves arrive automatically. You cannot hold reserves back voluntarily.
  14. Units placed in reserve can be organized into strike forces of multiple units. A strike force generates just one reserve die and if the roll is successful (-1 modifier), every unit in the strike force will enter play at the same time.
  15. Decent of Angels still lets you re-roll failed reserve rolls for deep striking. So a Blood Angels player is all but assured of getting the unit he wants when he wants it. Put all but one reserve unit in a strike force and you'll get two re-rollable dice for everything in that strike force to enter play together on turn 2. That's massive.
  16. Deep Striking units will not scatter if placed more than 18" from an enemy unit.
  17. Deep Striking units that try to land within 18" of an enemy will scatter, though for Blood Angles this will only be D6 inches. :)
  18. No more mishaps! A deep striking unit that would have mishaped in 5th will only be stunned instead. The models are moved the minimum distance (like a drop pod) needed to prevent the mishap.
  19. All scout moves are 12" now. But you don't count as having moved.
  20. Rapid Fire weapons (Bolters) can always fire one shot out to their maximum range.
  21. Any model with a power weapon now has a 5+ Invulnerable save in Close Combat. Go Sanguinary Guard! 
  22. Squad Leaders and Characters can decide which enemy models they're attacking. As Dodger noted, there's NO REASON AT ALL to take Power Fists anymore.
  23. And finally... Units with Master Crafted Weapons (Sang Guard) get to reroll one miss for every model in the unit, no matter what each model rolled. NICE!!! That pretty much makes up for not getting an extra pistol attack.
  24. (Added...) Pistols can now be used in close combat! Infernus Pistols become S8 AP5 close combat weapons!
  25. (Added...) You can't assault (double move) after you land from a deep-strike, but you can do an 'engage' move. Which is basically an assault move made at your normal movement value. HUGE boost for the Blood Angels!
  1. Wound allocation is now based on 'Armor Groups'. So no more shenanigans based on having unique equipment for each model.
  2. Vehicles and their passengers are much more vulnerable to close-combat attacks. See Dodger's comments to my Imperial Guard rundown for details.
  3. Passengers in a transport can only see out 18"
  4. A unit in a moving transport can only fire ONE weapon out.
  5. Anti-MEQ blast weapons of all types (Battle Cannons, Plasma Cannons, etc.) are going to be much more accurate. They hit on straight BS and multiple shot blast weapons can walk their templates back to wherever they want from where the first one scatters (if it scatters).
  6. Standard cover is only 5+ when you're being shot at by those blast weapons.
  7. Psykers inside a transport can not counter enemy psychic powers.
  8. Any enemy Psyker can stop your Psychic powers on a 5+ roll.
  9. If you are deep-striking within 12" of one or more enemy units, those units may shoot at you using the Defensive Fire rule!
That's a nice list of Positives!

The Blood Angels have been mildly disappointing in 5th. They have power, but have not been at the very top of the competitive books. Especially if you wanted to run a themed DOA force instead of simple Rhino/Razor spam. These rules would nerf the Rhino/Razor builds, but push the DOA armies right up into the top tier. I'm cackling with delight for my Sanguinary Guard army's prospects in 6th.



  1. you missed out how rage has changed, it makes DC AMAAAZING!!! also giving dc power weapons , while expensive does make them more survivable.

    also, having lemartes and a librarian in the same dc unit means they will hit on 2's with rerolls if the libby casts prefered enemy on the charge and then they can rapid fire, most likely hitting on twos with their bolters after ripping the enemy a new one.

    I'm a bit sad Mephi is only psy level 3, he's the most powerful psyker in the imperium. but then apparantly eldrad is only mastery level 2.

    who gets 4, for heavans sakes?

  2. The Space Wolves of Course! (ducking)

  3. well another thing with strike forces is to put everything into one giant strike force, and with the -1 penalty, you could just sit back till turn 3 and everything comes in at once. Not sure how great it would be, but it would be an option.

    And while I say Sang guard need and deserve the 5++, I wouldn't count on it just yet. It could only be generic power weapons "Power Swords", while the Sanguard have the special two handed glaive what-not, and so may not benefit from that rule. But who knows.

    I agree though, DoA armies look like they would be awesome under these conditions.

  4. The Glaves that the Sang Guard carry are 2-handed master-crafted power weapons in the codex. The new rules specifically say that Master-Crafted doesn't nullify Parry.

    But... The updated Glave profile in the update PDF doesn't explicitly say they are power weapons, though they are listed as being AP2. Curious...

  5. It's the Two-handed rule I'd worry about as far as nullifying the 5++ for Glaives Encarmine. It never said it has to be a POSITIVE special rule, and only Master-crafted is given an exception.

    And people keep suggesting this "just stay in Reserve in a giant strike force and come in on turn 4, derp" thing, but that's a 5th Edition mindset. Objectives are cumulative in the leak pdf, so intentionally staying in reserve for multiple turns means you're coming into what is essentially an unwinnable game at that point.

  6. If jump packs become 8" instead of 12" as some have rumored (only 2" more than walking is bullshit) then I will be quitting blood angels with 100% certainty.

  7. The thing I'm most excited about for my flying BA is the charge-by-chance or defensive-fire if you destroy a transport while blocking one of its exits. Now if you toast the transport, you can either get into cc with its occupants (without FC, unfortunately) almost for sure; this is very difficult with the current disembarking ruleset with multiple exits. Alternatively, if the transport houses death cult assassins, you can get a round of shooting off against them, which is huge.

    Dalinair, yes, I think this a fairly big issue. Delivering melta on the ground is going to be a lot harder, as you now only have a 8" move +6" melta range, although of course you can run 16" in the turns preceding the delivery. Delivering it by deepstrike seems like the best solution: you can move after you deepstrike, so can be almost assured of getting into melta range while also blocking an exit of a transport. Of course, you have to wear defensive fire in the process, but if you can ensure all your stuff dropping at once as per the comments above, the net influence on any one unit is likely to be minimal. Plus, it's only units within 12" of your deepstrikers that get to shoot at you.

    I don't know that CC-ing vehicles becomes that more feasible: hitting on 5+ in CC is a lot harder than hitting on 2+ at range. Plus CC weapons don't have AP1 or 2d6 pen, melta bombs aside, which only give one attack. That being said, it is great that infernus pistols can now be used as s8 close combat weapons! CC-ing vehicles seems useful mainly if a vehicle is between 9" and 16" away, so that you can reach one of its exits with a charge, but not with your regular move.

    I think my standard kit-out for my sergeants will now be power weapon + infernus pistol. Or maybe even a hand-flamer, the new template rules are fantastic. Either way, these rules explain why pistols are currently costed so high.

    I want to believe in these rules so hard.

  8. @Dalinair

    Movement works differently than in 5th, so you have to adjust your thinking to that.

    In 5th, you get to move 12" and then assault 6" into an enemy unit during another phase of the game.

    In these rules, ALL movement is done in the Movement Phase. Your base move is 9". But you double that when running or assaulting. So it ends up being exactly the same for assaulting and quite a bit MORE mobile for simply running around.

  9. @Oz

    Movement for Jump Infantry is 9", not 8".

    I see nothing that allows Deep Striking Units to move after hitting the ground. The only exception would be Vanguard Vets, as usual.

    Wow. I missed the part about Pistols in close combat!

  10. @SandWyrm, my belief that you can move after deep striking is based on
    `the unit may perform no other Move action than Turn, Combat move and Engage in this turn.'
    on p119. As such, I think you can engage into combat, or combat move and shoot. Vanguard vets get deep strike (heroic), which means they can't be targeted by defensive fire. I can't see vv's having their ability to assault after dropping removed, which supports my interpretation. As such, vvs are certainly useful, but probably not enough to make me take them.

    On p104, jump infantry are listed as moving 8, on p99, it says 9. I took the more conservative option, but either way, getting a melta shot off after being deployed on-table became much harder.

  11. @Oz

    There's also a table where Standard Marines get a 2+ save. :)

    You might be right on the charging after landing. Or not. It's VERY poorly worded!

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. @DuendE

    I'll let you spam your blog like that once, but not twice. Please contribute something next time.

  14. Think we could get a Tau version of this? Hm? Pwetty pwease?

  15. I'll work on it, but I'm not an experienced Tau player.

  16. Do you think Lemartes counts as the Squad Leader of a unit of Death Company?

    Also, playing around with a few DoA lists makes me see how balanced/deep these rules are. Sure, you can engage in combat out of a deep strike, but you (i) get Defensive Fire'd, and (ii) don't Charge, so you don't get Furious Charge. I like that it's a tough choice now, makes tactical decisions actually challenging. Maybe a sign of actual playtesting?

  17. I misread that second part - it looks like you do get Furious Charge even if you just Engage... right? So assault out of Deep Strike looks better.

    Also, I really want to know if Sanguinary Guard get their 5++. The codex update doesn't say that Glaive Encarmines are power weapons anymore. They're still good at Alpha Strike, I guess.

    (we played one game with the new rules, and whoever said that the game isn't that different was right. We had some minor quibbles with ICs and directed hits in combat, but I think we have it figured out)


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