Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blood Angel Assault Squads and Mixed Special Weapons

As I have worked towards getting the modelling done for my Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard army, I have been doing a bit of net perusal for interesting articles on BA descent of angels lists and their tactics.  As many of you know by my writing, I'm a big fan of 3++.  Kirby has some really good ideas on how things should work.  However, the newest blog to catch my eye is Terminus Est.  It's a blog written by Black Blow Fly who happens to be a contributing writer over at Bell of Lost Souls.  There is some great stuff on his site.  I encourage you to check it out. 

To the point, I have noticed that BBF often likes to use assault squads with both a meltagun and a flamer as their special weapon choices.  Now, I have been steeped in the tactical tradition that doubling up on special weapons is the only way to go. So, if you are taking meltas, take two. If flamers, then two of those.  However, I like what BBF is doing with his squads as he has a great way of providing more duality in his units.  His other reason for doing this is that he usually takes a character with an infernus pistol in the unit as well. 

This got me thinking about my own army.  All of my Sanguinary Guard units have 2 infernus pistols.  My assault squad has two meltas and is usually joined by Dante so that they can deepstrike in and slag something with fair certainty.  So, I am wondering if I could get away with going BBF's route and taking the meltagun/flamer setup due to the fact that Dante is joining that unit. 

What do you think?  Is it a smart move?  I think in isolation it probably isn't, but since I am adding an additional melta weapon into the unit and giving that unit the ability to deepstrike so that it is always within melta range of both weapons, it might be okay.  It will also provide me with a way of dealing more damage to infantry, namely horde units.  Give me some feedback. What do you think?

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1 comment:

AbusePuppy said...

I would have to say that it is a very poor choice in most all cases. There are times that you can take a mix of special weapons in a squad- BA Honor Guard and IG Command Squads can both manage this in slightly different ways. However, the reason this works for them is that they have the option to take a large number of said weapons and/or have ways to make them more effective.

An Assault Squad, with only two (potentially three, with the sarge) does not have this luxury- in splitting their special weapons between two roles, you only make yourself extremely unreliable at both of them. Even with BS4, a single Meltagun is not likely to kill a tank- 1/3 of the time you'll simply miss, and then there's the chance to penetrate and then the damage table- quite a lot of chances to roll poorly and fail to do anything meaningful. Consistency is critical, because if you move that squad into place, you want them to be able to do the job you sent them there for.

Having Dante around is irrelevant. Three of a weapon is, as a rule, what you want to be aiming for in order to regularly accomplish a job, assuming you are BS4. That means with Dante along the squad is just barely meeting the benchmark- you don't have room to go off chasing other jobs as well.

On top of all that, Flamers are largely unnecessary for a jumpers army. You already have a fantastic way to deal with hordes by simply assaulting them, so Flamers only really add much if you need to take out a lightly-armored squad on the drop; otherwise, if you can fire a Flamer, you're also in range to assault and kill that unit. That isn't to say there's never a reason to take Flamers, but they aren't a gun that does something you are desperately looking for.

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