Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You'll Have to Use Your Imagination

I never watched Spongebob, but Google says this is 'imagination.'
I'm switching gears in an attempt to get the hobby motor going again by fixing some of the more glaring points of my Blood Angels army.  Two of the missile launcher Devastators are Dark Angels green, something I've been meaning to rectify for a while now.  While pulling them out of my case I also grabbed a handful of other Devastators to work on.  The GW red primer that I used on my older crop of BAs is much redder than the Duplicolor I used on the recent assault squad, so I want to reprime the batch before starting.  I doubt it would be a big difference between the two, but since I need to base the lot as well I decided to get two birds at once.  A new Devastators sergeant has appeared as well, a kitbash from the DC and Command Squad boxes with a prominent auspex.  I've been using a helmetless marine as the sergeant, but I don't really like the bare-headed marines.  I'm letting the glue dry for a bit because I didn't realize I hadn't drilled out the bolter until I had already glued the mini together.  I took some pictures of the new model plus the difference between the two primers, but the different cord I'm using to download the pictures doesn't want to play and I don't have an alternate handy, so you'll have to imagine what they look like.  I'll put them in the next post.

I also did some army list work last night and came up with a minor tweak that I hope will help in the fight against the Plague Marines.  Normally I wouldn't telegraph my punches like this, especially in a place that EV frequents, but since I'm changing my list up to counter his it only seems fair to give him a heads-up.  He could swap the Obliterators for a clutch of Vindicators, which would screw me pretty good, but I'm not too concerned.  In fact while typing this another variant occurred to me which could shore up a possible weakness, but I'll consider that one for a bit.  This list is much the same as the one I've been running, but the few changes also bring a different strategy for the army in general.  First, the list:

125 - Librarian w/ Jump Pack, Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinias
230 - Sanguinary Guard w/ Chapter Banner
180 - 2 Sanguinary Priests w/ Jump Pack, Power Weapon
  50 - Sanguinary Priest
705 - 3 x Assault Squad w/ 2 Plasmaguns, Power Fist
430 - 2 x Devastator Squad w/ 3 Missile Launchers, Plasmacannon

The Sanguinary Guard gets stripped of all wargear except the banner.  While this means the squad is all but helpless against armor they could still take down a Rhino in a pinch which is the only vehicle I'm likely to face.  The squad is meant to wipe out infantry anyway, so if they're engaged with a vehicle I have bigger problems.  This change also means I get more use out of what makes the SG unique, namely Glaives Encarmine and Angelus boltguns.  The built-in rerolls mean I can also swap Unleash Rage for Blood Lance, which will help the squad with armor if needed.

Imagine the Giant as a Plague Marine.
The points from SG wargear go into converting from melta to plasma.  Plasma kills Plague Marines just as dead as melta and does it from further away or with twice as many shots.  It should also pop a Rhino just fine if needed.  Using melta on a Rhino is overkill anyway.  I also swap a missile launcher for a plasmacannon in each Dev squad.  I'll put the cannon in the squad with the sergeant, then use the +1 BS from the auspex to make for a more predictable scatter.  Losing a foot in range isn't a great thing, but 36" should (hopefully) still give me two turns of shooting, which is all I can really hope for anyway.  I'll be looking to drop the templates on Plague Marines when possible to catch multiple targets with one shot.

All of these changes in gear lead to a change in strategy.  Since I can fire a plasmagun and not get assaulted in the following turn, as opposed to the "If I shoot you you're in range to assault me" meltagun, I'll be looking to keep my distance and soften things up as much as possible.  If I combat squad the assault squads into fist and plasma groups I can hold the shooting parts back while using the fisting parts to screen my guns and mop up small squads or pin squads for the SG to charge.  The Devs and plasmaguns should each be able to pop some transport, kill/cripple a squad, or put a serious hurt on a Daemon Prince each shooting phase, provided the dice cooperate.  My biggest concern is durability.  Having lots of little 5 man squads is great for tactical flexibility, but the losses add up quickly.  More groups also means less groups in the various bubbles, either Libby or SP, that are so important to the army. Hopefully the shooting does enough to make things manageable.

While this change is a shift in philosophy from my current list, it's not a major departure.  I have a reasonable hope for success with it.  Unfortunately I don't have the plasmagunners ready to go, or even the pieces to make them, I doubt EV will object to me proxying for a game or two to see how things work out.  While I would like to have all options available for all squads, or at least a reasonable selection of them, I'm not quite there yet.  Considering that my BA expansion fund has become my new video card fund it may take a bit longer to makes changes than it would have a few days ago.  For now it's back to basing and priming.

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