So this time I'm going to start talking about the Elites section.
First up is, probably, the most important choice in the elites section, the Sanguinary Priest.
|Pictured here in Terminator Armor|
So there have been some significant changes to the priests, or rather to the abilities they bring to the table. First off is the Change to Feel no Pain. It used to provide a 4+ chance to ignore a wound so long as it wasn't caused by ap1-2 weapons or attacks that doubled the models toughness value. Now it provides a 5+ chance to negate any wound that doesn't cause instant death. This has both its ups and downs. First off it's nice to now get FNP vs. power weapons and things like plasma guns and such, but only being a 5+ means against all the things that it worked against before it's now far less reliable. I'm not much of a math guy so I can't give you the mathematical breakdown of which is better/worse, but my experience on the tables is that Feel no Pain is simply not as reliable as it used to be.
The next major change to these guys was the change to furious charge. It now only provides a +1 bonus to your strength and no longer gives +1 initiative. This is a HUGE nerf in my opinion. One of the main reasons Blood Angels were better in assault than most other MEQ's was simply that they dealt damage first. Wounding on 3's was nice but what really mattered was doing damage first so that the amount of damage coming back at you was reduced. Now that we strike simultaneously with other marines and after many of the xenos assault units we lose a bit of survivability. Couple this with the change to FNP and I really begin to question if priests are worth the points at all. I used to spend 180-270pts on them. I'm thinking now of leaving them on the shelf and just taking another squad or so of troops.
We're going to skip Chaplains as we basically covered them already when we talked about Reclusiarch's last time.
Sanguinary Guard saw a bit of a boost with the change of power weapons becoming mostly ap3. This means they aren't as afraid of some of the other cc units out there. Of course anything ap2 is still death to them. Even with feel no pain you will still lose the model 2/3's of the time. At 40pts I still think they are a bit over-costed for what they bring. They are beautiful models though and I do still run them from time to time for that reason alone. There is also a bit of a question concerning their Glaive Encarmines. First I'm still a bit miffed that these are the only two handed weapon int the game (that I'm aware of) that don't grant some sort of strength bonus. That aside, the question is in how to treat them. Does being master crafted and two handed make them unique enough to qualify as 'unusual power weapons' and thus ap3 and strike at users initiative and strength or do we treat them as the type of weapon that's on the model. As you can see in the picture I have two with swords and two with axes. I have thus far been treating them as the type of weapons modeled so the axes are +1 strength ap2 and unwieldy while the swords are only ap3. I actually like having them strike at the different initiative steps and such, but I would be willing to play it either way if my opponent had strong objections to that.
Assault Terminators saw the same bonus as Sanguinary Guard in that they no longer need really fear normal power weapons anymore with their 2+ armor save and the chance at making a feel no pain against them. They however are just as bad if not worse against torrent of fire then they ever were. Overall though I think they got a bit stronger, but they still fall a bit short of their Space Marine counterparts just because the BA ones need to pay extra for their Storm Shields and Thunderhammers. I still won't probably use them a whole lot as they are a slow unit in an otherwise pretty fast army. They just never seemed to synergize well with the rest of the army and that really hasn't changed.
Though I never really used them much I am going to briefly mention the Furioso and Furioso Librarian Dreadnoughts. I really think that as far as it goes close combat dreads took a bit of a hit overall (regardless of army) due to the 'our weapons are useless' rule and melta-bombs gaining ap1. But if you want a cc dread then these aren't bad at all. Armor 13 can make all the difference against krak grenades and is still tough for power fists to get through. They also don't need fear overwatch as much as av12 dreads. Overall though I'd say avoid these guys. If you want dreads take shooty ones as support units.
Sternguard Veterans are another unit that I didn't use much. I do have a squad of 10, but I haven't yet painted them up so no picture. These guys saw a nice boost with the improvement to rapid fire weapons. I always had trouble fitting these guys into lists as they competed with some other very nice units but since 6th (in my opinion) is a much more shooting focused game they may see some more play time in favor of some of the more combat oriented units.
To round out the section I'll briefly mention the last tow choices in the elites slot.
Techmarines. Never took 'em before don't really see a good reason to now. Maybe if they were independent characters, but since they can't join units and share a ride they just seem pretty terrible to me.
Shooty Terminators. These guys seem to have gained all the benefits of Assault Terminators and Sanguinary Guard. Being that I think this edition leans even more heavily to shooting than any edition before I think I may have to invest in a squad of them. Plus a Librarian with Prescience with Divination could really make this unit scary good.
Well I think that's gonna do it for this installment. What do you guys think? Have you used any of these units so far in 6th and if so what has your experience been like. What do you think of the changes to Feel No Pain and Furious Charge? Personally I think those two changes have dealt a major blow to the Blood Angels codex in general. I'm interested in what other BA players think.