Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Angel's Blade Review Part 3: More Formations and Detachments!

Here we are again! In yesterday's post I went over the Command and Core formations from the new book. Today it's the Auxiliaries and the Detachments. Let's crack on shall we?


Archangels Orbital Intervention Force

The Archangels Orbital Intervention Force or 'AOIF' (which I like to think will be the noise your opponent might make when this arrives) is a potentially powerful little (600pts minimum - not so little) formation that gives a nice special rule that benefits shooty and hitty Terminators. The formation is 3 Terminator squads in any combination you like. Assault Terminators get the same disordered charge when they arrive, like the Golden Host, but coupled with this is the ability for regular Termie units to shoot twice on the turn they arrive, and at different targets if they like. Game wise I'll wait and see how this fares, but Terminators teleporting in and going crazy with guns, or immediately charging the enemy is seriously cool. They also all arrive on a single reserve roll which is nice. They have to be kept in Deep Strike Reserve but why would you want to take this one any orther way? Another one I will try and squeeze in when I can.

10th Company Ambush Force

Basically the 10th Company Task Force from Codex: Space Marines. 3-5 squads of Scouts or Scout Bikes (which have to take mines). Infiltrating units get Stealth if they haven't already (until they do anything but shoot) and everyone gets precision shots in the first turn. Could be handy if you want to force special weapons models to have to make saves and definitely handy if you combine it with Night Fighting and sit them in ruins. Anything with Ignores Cover will just ruin this formation but then it possibly would anyway. Could be good for snatching objectives quickly at the start of the game or sitting on an objective from setup.

Lucifer Armoured Task Force

This guy. This. Guy. I really want to play with this one. Tech Marine, 3-5 units of Baal or Regular Predators and 1-3 Land Raiders in your favourite flavour. Everything gets Scout and all the tanks (ALL THE TANKS) get Overcharged Engines for free. Fast Land Raiders. The possibilites for this one are immense. That gives your Land Raider Redeemer an 18" move up to the first turn and can still fire both Flamestorm Cannons and the Assault Cannon at full BS (thank you Power of the Machine Spirit)! You also have the speed to get those Predators into position for for the long shots in the first turn, or get those Baal Predators into range. It has potential this one, even if it is quite pricey in points. There is even more to this one as well. All will become clearer in the Detachments part...

Stormraven Squadron

Despite the name, there is nothing that suggests the Stormravens in this formation are a squadron as we know it in the rest of the game. This is just 2-4 Stormravens that have a nice one-per-game special rule which could be useful. At the start of a turn you nominate a target and any Stormraven that is in range and has line of sight fires all of it's remaining Stormstrike missiles at the target. Each one can then move and shoot their other weapons as normal in the same turn. Could be useful for taking out a Wraithknight or at least shaving off wounds. Combine this with the rules from Death From The Skies and this could be vicious. One bone of contention (or not, really) will be when exactly you can use this strike. It says at the beginning of your turn so really they can't do this in the second turn because moving on from reserves comes first. I am pretty sure this is a 3rd turn onwards ability. What is nice is if you have used a few of your missiles you can then save this to make sure a particular vehicle/Monstrous or Gargantuan Creature at a crucial point. It does mean you are risking those ravens being blown out of the sky before they get chance to contribute, but, c'est la vie. If you are going to take a couple of ravens anyway, this is worth it for the extra shots.

Rapid Assault Force

1-3 of your fast movers: Assault Squad, Bike Squad, Attack Bike Squad or Land Speeder Squadron. No special rules for this one. Both this and the Fire Support Force are Auxiliary fillers basically but they are excellent for filling that slot for very little points, allowing you to max out the big powerful formations. I think these will come in very useful for that reason.

Fire Support Force

Similar to the above but this is your hard hitters. 1-3 Devastator Squads, Vindicator Squadrons or Whirlwind Squadrons. The Vindicators getting the big blast might mean this gets taken as the Auxiliary a fair bit by people. If I ever get 3 of them, I will be trying that.


Moving on to the Detachments, there are 2 in Angel's Blade. Similar to codices that have come through in the last year or two, these are the Blood Angel's 'Decurion' detachments.

Angel's Blade Strike Force

The first of the detachments is for use with the mainstream of the Blood Angels. Minimum is 1 Core and 1 Auxiliary with an optional upto 5 Command formations. The Death Company Strike Force is an Auxiliary for this one. If you fill that, you get a trait re-roll (as always) and Red Thirst for the whole force. This is actually better than the Baal Strike Force etc, because it gives Red Thirst with more flexibility. The Archangels Demi-Company, for instance, never had Red Thirst. It's a shame that the Battle Demi-Company doesn't get a unique special rule but it does mean you can take it on it's own and still have Red Thirst. I actually think the lack of transports is probably a sensible choice because of the overcharged engines. Those Razorbacks and Rhinos would be even better than the C:SM and we simply can't have that! Objective Secured would have been nice but I think this book is trying to drive BAs towards what they should be doing, fluffwise. Smashing skulls. You don't need ObSec if you are doing a good job of assaulting squads off objectives. That's my theory anyway. It will need some serious hours play testing but I don't see this being up their with the best 'Decurions' available at the moment. This detachment also get's Zealot for any squads that drop below half their starting number. So you are going to want to be taking 10 man squads in that Demi-Company to make this even remotely useful.

Lost Brotherhood Strike Force

This is the second detachment and this is the Death Company focused one. It has it's own Command formation which is 1-3 of Astorath, Lemartes or a Death Company Chaplain. Not really worth mentioning in the formations yesterday, as it's just a way to get those guys into your force. The detachment has a minimum of 1 Core and 1 Command with an optional upto 5 Auxiliary which can be chosen from the Archangels Orbital Intervention Force, 10th Company Ambush Force, Lucifer Armoured Task Force, Stormraven Squadron or Rapid Assault Force. This also gives the trait re-roll and Red Thirst but also confers a free 6" move that isn't a Scout, immediately after setup. I think this is another rule that is potentially very powerful as it is now giving your Death Company with jump packs a potential of 30" in the first turn with a charge or 24" with a re-rollable charge! This is giving them the chance to do what they do best. Rip 'n' tear. But wait. There's more. That move applies to every unit in the force including, you guessed it, your scouting fast tanks! So your Land Raiders are potentially half way across the table before the first turn even begins. You now can cross the table 24" and fire 3 weapons at full BS. It's incredibly strong for a Land Raider Redeemer as you can get them where they can burn stuff in the first turn. Or your bike squads or Land Speeders or many other things. Doesn't apply to anything arriving from reserve unfortunately but there are big possibilities with this one all the same.

Well, that's all the formations and both detachments. Check out the next post when I will talk about new Warlord Traits, Relics and my general thoughts about a couple of lists I want to try.

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