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Blood Angels- Hammers and Anvils

By TPM | July 20th, 2010 | Categories: Army Construction, Blood Angels, TPM, Warhammer 40k

In my early testing I was so enamored with fast moving troop squads that I didn’t pay a lot of attention to some of the more expensive units in the codex.

After the love fest with 60 assault marines wore off (and really what isn’t there to love?) I started to tool around with honor guard and the Sanguinary Guard. They have a lot of options and can deliver quite a large amount of pain right where you need it and can help support those awesome troop/hq choices.

Let’s take a look at the Sanguinary Guard first. These guys have a lot going on. They look cool, can get access to a lot of special equipment and can also be fielded as a troop choice if you include Dante in your army.

Dante is no slouch. He’s got a great stat line, an invul save and gives you a pretty reliable hit and run ability. This is on top of his ‘precise’ deep striking. You don’t have to take Dante to make the SG effective though. He just allows you to take ‘more’ of them and gives a good reason to. There is something cool about deep striking an army of golden angels onto the table all with power fists and melta pistols.

The glaive encarmine is nice. It allows you to re-roll a miss in hand to hand. The ability to upgrade to a power fist for 10 points is also nice – and in a unit of SG I have found myself taking two.

You can also upgrade their guns to Infernus Pistols for 10 points. I also take two of these. Jump troops can always get up close and personal so the decreased range of these pistols is rarely an issue. I have trouble spending 15 points on these but 10 seems to be just the right price. These guys can jump up, pop a hard transport and then charge in for assault. At two (2) attacks base with power weapons that is no joke.

If I plan to have a character running with them, like Dante, a priest or a Librarian, it’s nice to go ahead and include the Chapter Banner for the plus 1 attack. It is the final piece of the puzzle that turns this unit into a real hammer. (besides including the Sanguinor for his attack bubble)

You, bar none, always want to have a priest with these guys. The priest doesn’t have to be joined with the unit but it also doesn’t hurt them to be so. This makes the SG incredibly difficult to kill without gratuitous use of AP 2 or better fire due to feel no pain. I know it’s out there, but if you’re smart where you put these guys then you should always be getting the drop on your enemy or at least in or behind cover. (even if that cover is your own assault squads standing in front of these dudes).

The priest gives them, and any other character that you might have running with the unit, furious charge as well. What’s not to like?

The SG unit I just described is only 270 points without the characters, 240 without the chapter banner if you decide it’s not for you.

Next up is the Blood Angels Honor Guard.

I like these more than the Sanguinary Guard for the simple fact that you have a built in priest. This unit can fill that critical ‘3rd priest aura’ issue that some lists seem to suffer from.

I originally started to filed the HG as a screen/cover save for Mephiston. He can fit inside a nice little pocket they make standing around him and the priest gives him FnP. I outfitted them with a few melta gunners and the Blood Champion because I thought the 20 points for a combat shield and power weapon was a good buy. The combat shield actually paid off a couple of times – but it’s a long shot. Something that is less of a long shot is the Storm Shield.

The BA Honor Guard can get 4 of them for 20 points each. Recently I’ve been running them with 2 power fists, 2 melta guns and 4 storm shields. This creates a unit that your enemy basically has to deal with in some way or another. They are also small and maneuverable enough to flank charge long lines of nob bikers or thunderwolves and come out on top – especially when supported by an HQ unit. It’s expensive but worth it.

When not taking Mephiston I like to include both a Chaplain and a Librarian with jump packs. This adds an amazing amount of offense to this unit. The Chaplain for re-rolling misses and fearlessness and the Lib for his str 10 power (re-rolling misses). In a budget pinch you can also get the re-rolling misses power for the Lib. The chapter banner the HG can take gives both of these guys an extra attack. The unit I described above is a whopping 345 points without the characters but ever bit as worth it and fill so many more roles on the battle field that a Regular Assault Squad can’t do. (that 345 points is exactly what a naked priest would cost in extra points to run with the above SG.. I think that makes the HG and ultimately better choice)

Like the SG above the Honor Guard are both a hammer and an anvil with 2 attacks base, access to many special weapons/power-type weapons. You can’t go wrong with their built in ‘phantom’ priest. If you aren’t including other IC models then the Chapter Banner is probably a little too much. Without it the unit is only 315 points and still just as worth it. This unit will put pain on anything it touches. The unit is also small enough to be able to hide behind line of sight blocking terrain or vehicles. I see a lot of mech lists run one jump squad to hide behind their sideways rhinos as they advance – maybe take one of these units instead next time.

What do you think? -TPM Blood Angel

About the Author: TPM

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