League Game – Blood Angels vs. Ghazkull’s Orks – An Epic Armageddon Battle Report

The Mighty Blood Angels take on Da Blue Bandit’s War Horde in the latest Epic 2014 League game.

The Blood Angel list

DEATH COMPANY [450] 
Chaplain, 4 Assault Death Company Units, 2 Furioso Dreadnought

THUNDERHAWK [200] 

ASSAULT DETACHMENT [375] 
6 Assault Units, 2 Assault Units, Chaplain

THUNDERHAWK [200] 

PREDATORS [375] 
4 Baal Predator, Blood Angels Hunter

DEVASTATOR DETACHMENT [400] 
4 Devastators, 2 Land Raider

TACTICAL DETACHMENT [675] 
6 Tacticals, Supreme Commander, 3 Stormraven Gunship, Blood Angels Hunter

LAND SPEEDERS [200] 
5 Land Speeder

THUNDERBOLT FIGHTERS [175] 
2 Thunderbolts

The Ork list

BLITZ BRIGADE [150] 
2 Flakwagon, 2 Gunwagon

BLITZ BRIGADE [150] 
2 Flakwagon, 2 Gunwagon

BLITZ BRIGADE [150] 
2 Flakwagon, 2 Gunwagon

MEKBOY STOMPAMOB [670] 
3 Stompa, 4 Killa Kan, 2 Dreadnought, Supa Stompa

WARBAND [250] 
2 Nobz, 6 Boyz, 2 Grotz, 2 Boyz + Grotz

FIGHTA SKWADRON [300] 
6 Fighta Bomba

LANDA [200] 

WARBAND (BIG) [630] 
4 Nobz, 12 Boyz, 4 Grotz, 8 Battlewagon

KULT OF SPEED [200] 
8 Warbuggy

BLITZ BRIGADE [150] 
4 Gunwagon

BLITZ BRIGADE [150] 
4 Gunwagon

Da Blue Bandit’s Kustom Landa
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Da Blue Bandit’s Big Stompy Toys
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The Battlefield
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Ork objectives
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Blood Angel objectives (the gold coins)
The Blood Angels set up strong left
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The Ork deployment
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The Orks win the roll and elect to go first
The Big Mob moves forward and occupies some ruins
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The Thunderbolts go on Combat Air Patrol
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An Ork Blitz Brigade doubles, gleefully firing their guns in the air
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The Devastators double and occupy the Imperial Building.  They open fire on the Big Mob, but fail to do any damage
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Anuvva Blitz Brigade doubles!
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Blood Angel Land Speeders march over to the right flank in an act of deception (and activation burning)
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Another Blitz Brigade advances…
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Baal Predators advance and take cover, another Blitz Brigade moves (top right), and the Blood Angel command squad flies forward and opens fire on a Blitz Brigade, doing no damage
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Aaaaand yet another Blitz Brigade advances, fires, but does no damage
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Thunderhawk assault on the right flank
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The marines easily mop up the small Blitz Brigade and consolidate
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The Mekboy Stompa Mob doubles and shoots at the Blood Angel command squad,
laying down two blast markers but otherwise doing no damage
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An intimidating (and loud and smelly!) Ork presence in the center of the field
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Ork Warbuggies zoom up and shoot, doing no damage but putting another blast marker down
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And the Fighta Skwadron flies in and wipes out all of the Stormravens
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In a bold (foolish?) move, Da Blue Bandit sends his Landa on a strafing run against Blood Angel command. The Thunderbolts intercept and shoot it down, killing the warband inside
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End of Turn 1
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The Marines win the initiative roll and the Assault Marines engage a Blitz Brigade, wiping it out
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The Marines retain the initiative and the Devastators go on overwatch
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The Ork Warbuggies move into flanking position and open fire, but do no damage
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“I GOTZ A KUNNIN PLAN”, says the Blue Bandit.  “YOUZ BOYZ IZ GUNNA CROSSFIRE DEM BEAKIES”  The Orks retain, the Blitz Brigade doubles and opens fire, killing two stands and breaking the squad “AN’ DATZ WHY I’Z IZ DA BOSS!”, proclaims the Bandit.  “NOW MY ‘EAD ‘URTS THO”
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Blood Angel command beats an, ahem, tactical retreat to the cover of the AA umbrella
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The Thunderbolts fail to activate and stay in the box of shame!
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The Mekboy Stompa Mob takes a risk on an advance order and succeeds.  The mob occupies the ruins in the center and blast away at Blood Angels command, killing two stands.  The BA Devastators took overwatch fire, but did no damage
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The Baals advance to within 15cm of the Stompa Mob, laying down a blast marker and taking down a shield from the Supa Stompa
(Note – this was a semi-pivotal point in the game.  The idea was I would retain the initiative and Thunderhawk assault with the Death Company.  However, I discovered here that the Supa Stompa was a 3DC War Engine, and that changed the math of the already risky assault enough to dissuade me from doing it, and left my Baals in poor position)

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A Blitz Brigade doubles and shoots at BA command, but does no damage
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Land Speeders fly up to threaten Ork objectives
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The Big Warband doubles and destroys two Baal Predators
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The Ork Fightas fly in and finish of Blood Angel command, earning the Break Their Spirit objective

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END OF TURN 2

Turn 3, the Marines go first.  Baal predators advance and destroy a gun wagon.  Marines retain, and the Devastators abandon their position in the building and take cover behind it.  They open fire and break the Warbuggies
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The Supa Stompa shoots at the Land Speeders, but only manages to put down blast markers
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The empty Thunderhawk strafes the Blitz Brigade, breaking it
The Blood Angels are desperately trying to destroy Ork objective grabbing units
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The Assault squad moves to capture an Ork objective
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The Big Warband reacts, contesting the objective and killing a stand of Marines
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Thunderbolts strafe the Stompa Mob with the idea of putting down blast markers for a last-ditch Death Company assault to capture BTS
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Realizing that isn’t likely, the Death Company lands on the Blood Angel’s blitz objective, in case any of the broken Ork units rally on top of it
End of Turn 3
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End of Turn 3 Status
Orks – Break Their Spirit
Blood Angels – They Shall Not Pass

Unfortunately, the game store was closing and we had to declare the match a tie.

Post-game thoughts:

Hoo-boy.  Where to begin.  Well, it was an exciting and closely contested match.  The Ork player is relatively new to Epic, but he is learning very quickly.  It was a fun and very close game.

Blood Angels Playtesting Thoughts:

Eight-stand Assault Marine Squads – in the past, I have stated that this unit is useless or close to it.  I stand corrected.  They can be useful under certain circumstances.  For coming in via Thunderhawk and mopping up isolated small units and grabbing backfield objectives, they can be useful.  However, a Thunderhawk is absolutely required for this unit to be effective, making it a pretty hefty investment at 575 points.  I’m not sure it’s 575 points useful.

Baal Predators – While I had success with this unit the first time I ran it, I am becoming less and less impressed the more I use it.  I absolutely can’t see what justifies a 300 point price tag for these.  The problem is that they are only useful against infantry, but most infantry stays cooped up inside of their transports, and Blood Angels don’t have a lot of tools for cracking those transports.  So, most of the time, the Baals end up firing on armor, a task for which they are ill-suited.  This unit should be 250 points maximum in my opinion, particularly in the context of the Blood Angel list.

The list as a whole still feels woefully under-powered to me, especially against armor, in spite of the fact that I took Stormravens and more Land Raiders.  The Stormravens are simply too fragile to start on the table with, however, because all of the other Blood Angel units are so expensive, the 200 points that it costs to planetfall them is too much.  I was already very light on activations for this match even without burning another 200 on a spacecraft.  I almost feel as though Stormravens should be 50 points apiece, especially in light of the AT missile nerf.

675 points is an absurd cost for my command squad consisting of six stands of tactical marines, three Stormravens, and a Hunter.  Just too much.  I never want to take that unit again.

The Devastator squad with two Land Raiders performed decently and I will take that unit again.  However, it’s a unit that any Space Marine list can take.

Due to the lack of AT weaponry in the Blood Angel list, the BTS objective is effectively off the table in every game.  There was simply no way I could have destroyed that Stompa Mob through shooting, and I would have had to dedicate at least three or four units to assaulting it in order to win decisively and break it (which still would not have earned me the BTS).  The Death Company with Furioso dreadnoughts, while powerful, just doesn’t pack the punch it needs to reliably break units like this.  As a result, the Blood Angels enter nearly every game with a one-objective handicap.

Even being gifted with the Ork commander’s poor decisions – the Landa strafing run and then the poor placement of the Big Warband (giving me TSNP objective), I only managed a tie.  Had the game gone to turn four, I am nearly certain I would have lost.

I should also note that I was running the Furioso Dreadnoughts at a 50 point cost.

I love the Blood Angels, but I can’t help but feel that justice is not being done for this venerable chapter with the army list as it stands.

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