Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tactica Blood Angels: Archangels Orbital Intervention Force

Since you have had to put up with Discordian bloggign about Xenos so much lately, lets talk about what really matters: BLOOD ANGELS! And what is best about them right now? THE ARCHANGEL'S ORBITAL INTERVENTION FORCE!

Hopefully you can use this before 8th drops.

First and foremost let me say any way you run this formation it is good. Deep Striking and Assault Terminators are just GOOD. Period. This is the single best formation Blood Angels have (nevermind it is one of like three usable ones) and quite possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread... or maybe just the Rhino Rush. IDK. But lets continue.
What is best in life?
Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
That is what an Archangel's Orbital Intervention Force does.

What is the Archangel's Orbital Intervention Force?
Well for those of you who don't know, it is a formation of 3 Blood Angel Terminator Squads. Either type is fine, though 99% of people are taking Assault Terminators. What the formation allows you to do is to 1- Shoot Twice the turn you arrive for normal terminators OR 2- Assault the turn you arrive for Assault Terminators. This counts as a disordered charge though so no +1A or Furious Charge bonus. The whole formation must deep strike and comes in together or not at all (1 d6 roll for everything).
I wish they had made the rule "You may either shoot twice OR assault the turn you arrive" instead of breaking it up by type. Sure assault terminators would never choose the "shoot twice" option, but I feel like this could have given people with normal terminators a reason to play them and would have given some much needed umpf to that unit choice.
"Why are they Archangels?" you may ask. Well, that is the name of the Blood Angels first Company. Makes sense for a bunch of orbitally descending gods of battle.
What should my formation consist of?
So this article is focusing on using the formation to its maximum potential. As such, no standard termies. Sorry guys, back in the case.
Here is what I run in nearly EVERY list I use these days

Archangles Orbital Intervention Force- 665
Terminator Assault Squad (5)- 225: 5 x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
Terminator Assault Squad (5)- 225: 5 x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
Terminator Assault Squad (5)- 215: 3 x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, 2 x Pair of Lightning Claws

Now most people are spending that extra ten points to get those last two TH&SS guys. There is nothing wrong with that, but you are doing yourself a disservice, and here is why.

How to use the AOIF
It is going to be really really tempting to throw 15 guys armed with Storm Shields and Thunder Hammers at big stuff. Wraith Knights, Imperial Knights, Stormsurges, etc. etc. And to an extent this is true. I often use 10 of these guys versus a WK, especially when fielding my own Knight Atrapos.

So two things that brings up: Why not send all 15 at them and why not send your own big thing at their big thing. Lets address the 1st point there

There is little in the game that 15 terminators armed with TH&SS can kill that 10 can't. If I am using my AOIF in this manner I send my two units of all TH&SS after the big thing and they, unless the person gets extraordinarily lucky stomps, never manage to kill all ten. To ensure you don't die horribly to stomps, make sure you are clustering your Terminators as little as possible and attempt to deep strike on two separate sides of your intended target, in order to get the maximum amount of spacing.

This gives the added benefit of the combat typically not ending in my turn, but rather my opponents turn, limit his time to shoot the terminators.

If you don't have something big to crush, split these units up on the battlefield and take out scoring units and Warlords. A lot of instant death potential in the squads, and they require an inordinate amount of firepower to remove for the most part
With the remaining unit of Terminators (the one with LC), I chase softer targets. Model placement is key in this unit, and you want to ensure the units most likely to shoot you will draw LoS to a Thunder Hammer guy first and the Lightning Claw guys second. The order which you remove casualties from this squad plays into their Efficiency. Always take a TH first, LC second if possible. Usually I do that alternation again (forcing it by putting the model I can afford to loose next closer) unless a situation I am trying to achieve calls for a different approach (IE I need all THs to kill some big heavy things, or I am facing lots of weak stuff and weak shooting, so I want my LCs to survive for max attacks). Sometimes I kill off 2 TH first and preserve the LC until the end. It is all just really situational. Do you need more attacks that are reliable or fewer, stronger, attacks?

Bottom line is that Lightning Claw guys are still terminators and that 2+/5+ Inv isn't bad and still repulses most shooting in the game.

What the LC bring to the table is the ability to gut scoring units. They get 3 attacks in that deep strike charge and 4 in any subsequent charge. At S4 or S5. And reroll to wound. Two of them regularly clear out Eldar units on their own for me. And they do it all at initiative which is key, especially against other Marines.

Futurmore, if I really did need to charge at 3 units at one target, then the difference between 15 and 13 TH is nearly negligible. So I save 10 points I get to spend else where, primarily on Relics.

And remember, on subsequent charges, you get normal charge bonuses, so your LC become S5, AP3, Shred with 4 attacks on the charge. That's pretty nice.

Too Long Didn't Read
Replace two of your TH&SS guys with Lightning Claws. You will be better off for it.

I probably had more to say when I started typing this, but the 8th ed announcements really took center stage. Not long to put this to use, but I imagine some of the principles will stay the same. Best of luck and may Sanguinius guide your hand.