Friday, May 31, 2013

New Eldar Codex: things you need to know.

I spent several hours with some friends poring over the ACTUAL codex I was able to find a copy of (confirmed it was real).

Here are 18 things you will find EXCITING about Eldar if you have been one of its many dust covered army owners:

1.  Shuriken Weapons rend (but not against vehicles)

2.  Eldar can shoot AND run or RUN and shoot.  Wowa.  FAST

3.  Warwalkers cost twice as much but are pre-fitted with standard Shuriken Cannons.  They get all the same cool movement and do all the same things as before.  Weapon options cost less but overall the unit is slightly more in the end.  The interesting Twin-link mechanic the Scatter Lasers have makes them somewhat attractive.

4.  One Standout unit was the Crimson Hunter Fighter.  It can get an Exarch as a pilot to raise your BS to 5 for 20 points.  4 STR 8 shots, and has an especially NASTY ability to take out anti-air:  re-rolls on failed penetration rolls!  It is AV10 all around, so even more fragile than the Tau Fighters.  However, the Crimson Hunter is a good counter to WraithKnights.  It and the Hemlock both have VECTOR DANCER!

5.  Wraith Knights are 240-300 points depending on options.  Took us a WHILE to figure out why you'd take the Suncannon, but finally it dawned on us.  If you fire a Scatter Laser, and it hits, it twin-links the models second weapon.  In this case, the SunCannon.  Handy but very expensive combination.  The Wraithknight itself is a Toughness EIGHT beast with 4 attacks AND JUMP INFANTRY.  Fast and deadly.  Hope you got a fearless tarpit for him to munch on. Twould be a good thing to have against it.  Three of them, while ridiculously expensive, would be difficult kills.  Gotta kill 'em fast.

6.  D-Cannons are still awesome.  Only now they are more awesome.  STR 10 AP 2.  Yahoo!  Also has the distortion quality.  Distortions is the new rule that makes it cause Instant death on a 6 to wound.

7.  Bikes are still troops.  They cost a LOT less and they will see FREQUENT use as allies.  Like 6 points per bike less.

8.  Guardians cost MORE...But...EVERY Guardian and indeed everything in the codex is BS 4 AND WS 4 now or better!  The guardians also get Plasma Grenades.  Obviously they have shuriken weapons and thusly again mini-rending.  All in all a FAR more potent short range solution but not cheaper.

9.  Illic, the new special assassin type character makes a unit of Pathfinders into sniping monsters.  All that units shots are precision shots, as hers always are.  She also ignores the 12"/18" infiltrating restriction.  A unit of Pathfinders can DS within 6" of her without scatter.  Way cool character if she can stay alive.  She's pretty good in melee too (str 3, but a lot of attacks).

10.  HEMLOCK FIGHTERS ARE FEROCIOUSLY AND DECEPTIVELY DANGEROUS.  Hemlocks force Re-rolls on Leadership within 12".  This coupled with their STR 4 AP 2 blasts PLUS they get the Terrify psychic power.  So in a turn they can make you take two LD saves and have to re-roll successes!  Imagine the potential bubble they can create and how that would affect a sniper heavy force.  The Hemlock was VERY interesting.  There is another power that can drop LD by 3 which can be taken by other Psykers in the army, creating a very scary synergy with the Hemlock.

11.  Mandiblasters got downgraded to their 3rd Edition equivalent, firing a STR 3 attack at INIT 10.  It does mean the Exarch will get to pile in on INIT 10, which could matter once in a while.  Overall the unit got better.  The Scorpions Claw is a powerfist that doesn't go last.  Yahoo!  Karandras carries this weapon...

12.  Shining Spears got a lot better.  They pack a shooting whallop and they dropped the cost by 10 points a model which was really significant.   Their hit and run will be very painful to enemies as their short range 6" shot is nasty.  By and large they got better and cost less.   I'd definitely take them now.

13.  Warp Spiders are fast, and can now CHOOSE to Warp or choose to move back as normal Jetpacks.  The net result is that you add 6" to the Jetpack move at the risk of losing a guy to the warp like before.  Cost went down 3 points a model too.  They gained fleet which is a big deal i nthis new codex because of the Shoot and Run mechanic called Battle Focus which a vast majority of units have

14.  Vipers are 5 points more and come with the standard weapon the Shuriken Cannon but upgraded weapons are less than before, considerably.   The INSANE overall price of the Vipers is much better in this edition and people might ACTUALLY field them now if they're not fond of the Fighters and perhaps have managed other means of Aerial Defense.

15.  Swooping hawks are way cheaper, their gun fires THREE times now and the grenade packs are kinda interesting.  They show it in a bad format in the codex so you kind of have to read a little, but basically they drop EITHER a small blast or a large blast weapon, now only 24" range, when they deep strike and this is determined by the number of Hawks in the unit.  Makes sense!  They are tank killers as before with Haywire grenades standard.  Overall a FAR more impressive unit and FAR less than their generally accepted overpriced current status.

16.  The Avatar is indeed more powerful.  BS 10 is BACK, and it now has five wounds and 5 attacks.  His 3+ save comes also wit hte Daemon Rule.  Otherwise it is extremely similar and didn't change much.  He is more expensive but you get more.  He's a VERY viable and lower cost alternative to a WraithKnight, though the WraithKnight is obviously faster and tougher.  Still, if you're squeezing points and need the hammer, you could do much, much worse and the Avatar isn't 300 points decked out.  The Avatar IS able to take some upgrades but none of them looked incredibly necessary to make the monster work.  Still, a couple of nice little options to add to him if you want to.

17.  The Psyker powers available are crazy.  Too many to go over here but man...  A lot of Psyker firepower available.  The biggest thing to note is that the Warlocks from the Seer Council can be handed out to other units as was advertised but it can only be to, essentially, Guardian based units like Guardians and Heavy Weapons Batteris (or Vauls Wrath Batteries as they soon will be called).

18.  Autarchs are about the same, but notable is the access he has to "Remnants of glory" which is the name of the Special Issue Wargear the army has for its upgradable leaders.  There are two incredibly useful items I would watch out for.  The Faouchaos Wing (I forget its first name, but it kinda sounds like that) is just an awesome end game tool that lets you sacrifice shooting for a 48" teleport.  The other is one that can bring your leader back to life and makes him dangerous to kill By dropping a large blast template on him when he dies.  If it causes any unsaved wounds o nthe enemy, he comes back to life with one wound!  I was blown away by that one.  Kinda like an explosive St. Celestine.

Please post other observations you have made about them here as well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eldar Avatars...There and Back Again

As we look to the future of Eldar, I have sitting in front of me three codex's, all bearing the name Eldar at the top.  The first is dated 1994, 19 years ago.  It is fun to flip through the tome and see the differences that have come before the dawn of this newest incarnation being released June 1 2013.

It speaks of the Exodites and pirate fleets in its fluff and even calls Wraithlords "Dreadnoughts" which I found an interesting reminder.

The seminal figure in the original codex and even now must be The Avatar.  It is fun to read how he worked in the beginning.  He was a BEAST.  WS and BS were 10 (consider what that would mean now!), STR and Tough 8, a whopping SEVEN wounds and 5 attacks.  The wailing doom did D3 wounds and negated Daemon saves!!!  He was ALWAYS the leader of any Eldar force he was taken in.  His molten immunities (and 2+ save, never worse than 4+) from the 1994 edition were very similar to the current "5E" codex.  That's noteworthy because he lost those immunities to fire in the intervening 3rd Edition codex.

Therefore the original Kaila Mensha Khaine reminds me of how much 2nd Edition was about Hero-Hammer.  Thinking back I recall how derisive some players of other systems were of Warhammer 40,000, speaking the words "Hero Hammer" as if they were spitting it.  Those who have played for a while will recognize the irony in how UNtrue that has become in 5E and 6E, a primarily troops based Editions.  And of course LIKE Warhammer Fantasy has forever, 40,000 used the terror mechanic and the 2nd Edition Avatar had that too.  Truly this 1994 version of the Avatar is the mightiest and none have even approached its awesome power.  It was 300 points compared to its far lesser 3rd Edition version.

Speaking of the 3rd Edition Avatar, he was no pushover.  Whereas the second edition Eldar codex claims perhaps the most devastating leader of all time, the 3rd Edition featured perhaps the best deal of all time.  3E Avatars had no ballistic skill at all, were STR6 and Tough 6, with 4 wounds and only THREE attacks.  Making matters worse, the Wailing Doom had vanished utterly as a ranged attack!  Oh how the mighty are fallen.  If you were an Eldar player, you were throwing FITS at this point and likely telling everyone you knew that you were "done with Warhammer", the sky was falling and if they even had Ebay back then, you might have sold your army on the spot in protest over having to buy more models to play.  See how little things change?  But this Avatar was a mere 80 points!  He was a value buy as leader went and there were FEW leaders as mean for the points as he was.  His 5+ save was nothing compared to before but if he got to you, it was 80 points to end a unit of 300 points at times.  His usefulness was greater because he allowed you to have an army around him that was more impressive thanks to the points savings.  As in current day, there were those who didn't really "appreciate" the opportunity to buy more models, but this was a break through in game design because it really set the stage for later 3E codex's and how they too would be priced.  Hero Hammers hey day was about to end.

The Eldar got an update and the Avatar rose from the ashes as he ever has.  As he rose, he brought the Wailing Doom with him.  Yet again he was changed, BS of 5 added.  Finally he was given a 4th Attack as well as his old invulnerability to fire and such.  Most significantly, he got a 3+ save, almost as good as the original (though better in some ways since the original could be modified by the weapon hitting him) and a 4+ invulnerable added as well.  This is the version we all know best now.  This ascension of power bodes ill for his enemies in the new Codex and it is with frightening dread that we await his return to full power.  Even his aura of inspiration returned in the current edition!  And now that 6E has returned the Fear special rule to use, it is quite likely we will see that rule applied to him assuming they are making an attempt to remember some of the ghosts of the past.  Will this newest edition show us the true Kaila Mensha Khaine, aspect of the Bloody Handed God?  You are mere hours away now from knowing that.  The cost of this behemoth went up to 150 points in the current codex.  I eagerly await the unveiling of his latest host.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What's the Price of a Mile?

So I am in discussions on various forums, and as always, I am on the side of finding solutions rather than pretending like nothing but problems exist.  The negative tone on some threads is oppressive.  One of those threads got me thinking thoughts.

The subject matter is units like Draigo Paladins, FarSun bombs, and the deathstars of 40K in general.  In addition, certain matchups.  I have been hearing that Necrons are struggling to fight Tau using their typical tactica of croissants, croissants and more croissants!

Most people who like to use Deathstar units extol their virtues to the rafters and make grandiose statements about how brain dead you'd have to be to lose with them because because because becuase BECAAAAAAAUSE....Because of the wonderful things they does.  When you tell them how they could be beaten, or even do it to them to illustrate the point, they act as if you've never played the game before, instead of acknowledging the wisdom of the now proven counter strategy.  Le sigh.

And so to my point:

As in trench warfare in World War I (and to a lesser extent World War II), there is the vast gulf between your starting position and the enemies.  Betwixt them lies a veritable killing field upon which you DO NOT want to be caught without cover.  It was called No Mans Land.

That distance grows with each casualty.  Getting across to a Deathstar, en masse and fast is the key.  The question for Generals then, and Generals in 40K now, will always be:  At what cost?  What's the price of a mile and can we pay it?

I would like to say that when you are planning your tactics for the terrain at hand, and especially when a Deathstar is present or soon on its way, a head for math will really help you.  A person who can do math quickly will be able to estimate his losses across that span and know what is an acceptable loss, foreseeing the stages of those losses.  But lets assume you are not a math savant.  How then must you gauge threats like the Farsun bomb? 

My answer?  Treat it like they do WarMachine Casters:  singlemindedly destroy them, even with less appropriate weapons.

Figure out how many points the biggest baddest thing is, and expend at LEAST that much in killing it without hesitation.  Fair fights be damned, you want to bring overwhelming force against the most overwhelming thing.  You must make future rounds far less productive for the enemy.  The "Elite" armies (40 models or less with uber models in those numbers) and those that are just generally good have the achilles heel that they lose their hitting power more quickly.  Many times their movement is so cumbrsome that they cannot quickly react and are more easily "kited" (pardon the W.O.W. reference, a game I've never actually played).

Hastening that attrition process, even at cost to you, is worthwhile.  You didn't see Red-5 concentrating his efforts on a bunch of Tie Fighters.  Thats what his escorts were for.  He was there to kill himself a titanic ball of bad news and that's preciesely what you gotta do when cheeky players bring 900+ points of Ha-ha-neener neener to the table.  Bring the house and bring it fast.  Don't let up, sacrifice a unit if you have to but GET RID of the Monster.  Over time, such units can devastate worlds.

The Three biggest mistakes that people with Deathstars make are:

1.  Putting them in a corner to start the game, possibly to protect them or use them for a flank sweep.  Whether it's a shooting unit or not, this means that it has made it hard on itself to reach the further parts of the board with shooting OR assaults.  It has also made itself susceptible to motion oriented armies that can simply move away or corner it.  Even FAST deathstars suffer when you do this.  So many times a flank attack is the best kind of attack in general terms.  If the enemy stuffs that unit over there, surround it and kill it from the center inwards so that his only avenue of escape is towards you at all times.  Alternatively if you're fast enough (meaning to avoid its most effctive attck form, charging or shooting), then you can devalue the enemy unit by moving away and acrificing units at the very end to keep the Deathstars relevance low.  You'll take losses, either way, but not ones that matter like his does.

2.  Being impatient.  I was told imperiously that only a foolish cur would ever reserve such deathstars.  They proudly plant their flag in the ground and say "I'm coming", practically daring you to kill them.  What these impatient sorts dont seem to recognize about 40K is that the enemy grows weaker as the game goes on, because the full hammer strength of the two forces is at its zenith.  It is THEN that such Deathstars are the greatest liabiliy and of least usefulness, giving the enemy all kinds of time to kill them that they wouldn't normally have with firepower they wouldn't have had later.  What you need to know about Warhammer is that it is not where you start nor what you kill in the No Mans Land that wins the games generally.  It is what you can bring to bear late and what you can effectively CUT OFF (see my blog entry on blockers in 40K).  If I have my strongest units at full strength at the end, and the enemy no longer does, advantage me.  If I only kill three things with a deathstar instead of five, yet I am still alive and able to effectively block or contest anything I want, then it does not matter the kills.  The net effect is in my favor.  Impatience is an enemy you should be mindful of.  KNOWING what the enemy plan is before you strike is so fundamentally a good thing that the British famously said "time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted" in both World Wars and I will tell you that its true now.  British Pathfinders were a great asset to the allies.  They'd rather know the enemy and lose less men.  So should you.  Commit your forces where they will be the least fair to the opponent instead of announcing yourself with the clashing of sword on shield only to be cut don for your efforts by an overwhelmingly powerful unit!

3.  Underestimating a Storm Bolter.  I don't mean literally a Storm Bolter but we often laugh about how bolters do all the killing in 40K in my circle.  That small arms fire adds up and those who use Deathstars tend to scoff at such peasantry. for they are ANTs before the might of their Deathstar.  But did you know that the most feared crature in many parts of Africa are the ants?  Any one of them is no match, but then...they never come in they?  Those who enjoy playing Deathstars can be rudely awakened by the Storm Bolters of the 40K universe.  In all their analyis, you hear Deathstar players saying "and when I get hit with 72 STR 5 shots, here's why I dont care".  Palpatine aid something similar know... 
I have news for you sirs.  You should care about "Storm Bolters".  Averages, for those who dont knwo, are essentially never true.  They represent what happens at least 50% of the time!  THINK about that!  The most commonly occuring number will be X...  yet...  If I charted out for you how many "failed attempts" you need to reach the successes they quote, well...  you'd be a lot more uneasy than you are now about your Deathstar.  Enemies are well advised to try and use their least powerful units to affect the Deathstar first.  Think about it:  The less you need your powerhouses to do, the more effective THEY become.  So dont be afriad to fire lasguns at a DreadKnight before you start in with the Lascannon groups.  Might free them up in a couple turns to do damage elsewhere.

To take the mile your General needs, you will pay a toll when facing Deathstars and that price should be unflinchingly equal to the threat bfore you.  Overloading such threats means you also are going to overload the next one in line.  Swarm the deathstar and dont let it get off the mat.  Give it as little time to live as you can.

Another piece of advice.  Grey Knights have proven that a Deathstar can be a decoy.  This general advice assumes they are not, and assumes you can tell the difference on your own when you see that it is.  However, when you see 6 units of 3 guys running around, well...  make sure to count the rounds and ensure that you can cut off the little wasps buzzing around.  Obviously if your list isn't able to do this, Deathstars are going to work against you more easily.  I wont turn this into a list building seminar too much, but just be aware of this proviso.  I have been known to sucker a few people into bad movement using scary units just to create the void I need a turn later for the scoring elements.  Be aware that itty bitty scoring units like that kindof Grey Kight army are a little deceptive in where the threat really lies.

I'll wrap up with this:  This isn't a points driven victory systm anymore, so why do I refer to points?  Well because they are the easy way to gauge an "amount of strength" the army has in a general way.  As we are not sitting in front of a map nor with army lists in hand., this advice is abstract.  It still requires you to determine the threat and eliminate it.  If you DEPLOY in order to kill that Deathstar, some will try to preserve their units too often at the expense of not ever killing that which is killing them.  Look at Markerlights.  People focus on them because the internet says so.  But have you ever seen a Markerlight wound anyone?  Nope.  The things doing the KILLING still roll dice.  And those dice may well say "Dont need any help, Mr. Markerlight, but thanks for the assist" and hit anyways many times.  So by focusing on the Markerlights, you might cut your own throat and might not be hlping yourself at all.  Focus on the Deathstar thats being made to benefit first.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blasts, blasts and more blasts!

It may or may not have gone unnoticed by readers that barrages and blasts have become increasingly excellent weapons choices.

Reasons I have been seeing are:

1.  Higher model counts being squeezed into the same terrain.  Net result:  less spread.
2.  Ranges on many blasts are improved as the new codex's roll out.
3.  Proliferation of more blasts than ever being available in codex;s.  Slaanesh blast masters, Dark Eldar now feature several blasts, the Ion weapons of Tau, the greater number of speeders in DA armies and so on.
4.  The massive increase in the value of barrages as snipers
5.  The way the indirect fire rules now work penalizes them much less when minimum ranges are concerned
6.  Ballistic skill doesn't matter as much when firing Blasts so low BS armies are benefited
7.  Blasts no longer need their center to be over the enemy models!

This is a REALLY big list of reasons why 6E is friendly as hell to blast happy armies.

...Yet...I don't see a lot of these around.  And that's my question really.  Why not?  One could easily see Imperial Guard turning more to this and in fact I have recently faced two artillery heavy Imperial Guardsman armies but this does not seem to be as widespread as one would think.

A Tau army built for blasts can feature three Bombers (or 3 units of Pathfinders bearing 9 Ion Rifles), 3 Hammerheads with Submunitions, 3 Riptides with Ion Accelerators all for about 1697 (or less) points with an Ethereal leading them before you bought the troops.  Now I am not suggesting you go out and do this.  I am simply observing that it can be done!  Woe betide nearly anyone who should be saddled with the job of facing that.

Eldar can field similarly large numbers of blasts and large blasts but they typically don't have nearly as many as they could.  Look at UltraMarines with their death dealing cannons!  I saw them do well at the top table of a tournament in recent memory.

I just wonder aloud here why you don't see these kinds of things more often.  Anyone have an army that's blast heavy that's having success?  Anyone try it and fail?  Insight on this would be interesting to me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Tau Maelstrom In Its Frightening Glory

Okay so I have been in (not so) silent meditation on this list I constructed, and thought about what I have learned from how it plays in actual fact it played in my mind or on paper.  It is 9-0 now and it is time to make positive changes.

Here is the newest version of my list. I feel it is going to be slightly more versatile. By versatile I mean it will have more choices available to it, namely in the places I can put my markers, the confidence I can have in placing units in harms way, and also in the value to the enemy of focusing on the Markerlights now that the Command suit need no longer be the Warlord.

This version offers me my favorite of the Tau Warlord Traits as standard for the list (Exemplar of the Selfless Cause) which allows me to lift units who went to ground back onto their feet once per game!  This is such a cool ability bcause it means the Tau can make the last desperate push at the end, then go to ground and yet, still be able to move and run again! 

It also leaves Riptides, who are potent (albeit expensive) safer from morale checks. MUCH safer, because now they will have a re-rollable morale check and will not have to roll for losing just one drone.  I have preached for a long time that morale is the best thing to attack if the enemy force is vulnerable to it. That colors my own perception of the value of defending it. The Kroot in particular are going to be big beneficiaries, as they are in harms way constantly and their morale is likely to break without some help. This re-rollable morale/Pinning/Regroup etc...  ability will especially improve them in all phases.

None of the units are weakened meaningfully by the changes which was a goal since the list has performed so well in the first place.  In fact the only real downside to all these positive changes is that I now will have 4 less missiles to fire and a few more sniper shots; and as the Shielded Missile Drones are often fired at BS 6 with Markerlight help, that is indeed a loss to First Blood opportunities...  But I'm getting so much in return.

Without further ado ('cause that was a lot of ado), here are the newest improvements to force composition for the 3rd Sphere Expansion, as commanded by the Undying Spirit himself:

84pts 3 FireSight Marksman + 3 Sniper Drones

150pts 10 Kroot +3 Hounds+3 Krootox
150pts 10 Kroot +3 Hounds+3 Krootox

90pts 10 FireWarriors
90pts 10 FireWarriors

181pts 6 Pathfinders (3 x Rail rifles, Recon, Grav and Pulse Drones, EMP)
95pts Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

181pts 6 Pathfinders (3 x Rail rifles, Recon, Grav and Pulse Drones, EMP)
95pts Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

98pts 7 Marker Drones

125pts Commander (Flamer, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Drone Controller, Command and Control Node, Neuroweb System Jammer, Onager Gauntlet)

100pts Aun'Va

210pts Riptide battlesuit (Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override)

210pts Riptide battlesuit (Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override)

139pts 3 Crisis Suits (TL Fusion Blaster, Flamer)

Models: 98
Kill Points: 15

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How do I make Blood Angels work again?

My friend Matt was inconsolable when 6E came out and he had gotten a few games in.  He really did NOT like the impact of random charge distances (never mind that many impossible charges were now possible).  He also thought for sure that Snap Firing on the defensive was simply making this more impossible. 

It wasn't until we really sat down and worked on his list that the light started to come back. 

Now this was a guy who had such a zealous love of the game that we would talk for hours literally about Warhammer.  His passion for it was the equal of mine and that's saying a lot, because I've poured a lot of love into it.

So with that in mind, I thought I would address the question of how Blood angles can survive in the post Tau era.

The Ties that Bind
Sanguinary Priests are mandatory as a way to reduce losses to snap firing.  They are good for all kinds of reasons of course, BUT most important perhaps now is their positive impact in eliminating the sparse but sometimes dangerous snap fire you will face.  This is accentuated with the new Tau Dex out.  It just is no longer an option any more.  Any assault unit needs to be near one.  Corbulo is the hardest of the hard when it comes to these and he is easily one of the best assets you can add and probably the best upgrade of all time!  He's fantastic in every game I have witnessed, and I can't recommend him enough when you go into the maw of the enemy.

Death from Above
Barrage weaponry is now more important than ever.  I never thought I would say this, but Whirlwinds are one of the cheapest counters to Tau, Necron Swarms, large Chaos Daemon groups, IG ADL Gunlines and so on.  The Vortex (which is what I call a cluster of Fire warriors arranged so they can all be close enough to the Ethereal) can be destroyed or disrupted using the lowly Whirlwind.  This "vortex"will be one of the chief threats worth disrupting if you plan to assault!  Fortunately Whirlwinds are relatively low cost, and it may well hurt some crusty unchangable vets of the game to even consider the Whirlwind, but as the new armies have come out, barrage weaponry has looked better and better.  With the advent of allies into Marine lists, the possibility of Marine forces having squishier components has increased as well making whirlwinds useful against the allies of the Imperium.  Pinning is an excellent reason to take Whirlwinds as well but really, it is the ability they have to break up and disrupt the enemy that will be valuable to an assault based army that are typically hurt by castling.  Castles are a real problem for Blood Angels in 6E.

Fill the Grid Square With Spent Uranium.
6E is about shooting.  Modern warfare is, why wouldn't 40K be?  Yet the strength of the Blood Angels is melee.  Knowing that the enemy must now be whittled before assaulting, the army must allocate more resources to this vital duty. 
The reliable and doughty Baal Predator has never failed to be a serious Dakka machine.  155 points gets you a hefty 10 shots a round on the MOVE, plus a Hunter Killer Missile for seeking first blood.  These are a must have in the Blood Angel arsenal so that charge distances, when reached, will not be met with as much Snap Fire resistance.  In addition, a full set of these will take down a Land Raider without the need for lower ROF weapons, leaving you less vulnerable to armies that DON'T have AV 14.  12 TL Rending Assault Cannon shots is a load.  That equates to around 2 rends a round on the average with much better range than a Meltagun.  Melta bombs will help your men compensate when and if the cannons fail but better to start early on those hulls.

Boots on the Ground...or Chutes in The Air
No more bloated units.  6E is no longer tolerant of bulked up units.  Scoring units need to remain cheap, survivable above all else and mobile.  Since Blood Angel offenses often start and end with Assault Squads, you need all of them you can afford.
To that end my recommendation here is to take the Power axe+ Meltabomb option but stick to the Flamers as weapons, which compliments the role of assault unit.  Let other units handle the load on killing tanks or just use grenades.  Grenades are MUCH more effective against vehicles now.  Specialists are needed for the specialist work.  So get as many boots on the ground or chutes in the air as you can, no less than three scoring units, and load up your support units for what they do best:  support.

Fear is the Mind Killer
There is nothing I can think of that strikes more fear into someone than the approach of a pair of AV13 Furioso Buzzsaws taking cover behind their pods and ready to strike.  Nothing says "wah crap" like they do.  They will take immense pressure off the rest of the army as the enemy single mindedly allows its well deserved fear of what is to come consume them, turning every gun that matters at the Furiosos.  Naturally they may succeed!  But the extra round of movement they afford you could be the deciding factor in the end.  I've never seen a force happy to see one, let alone two.  So bring the fear and let their trepidation protect your more important elements (or pay the inevitable price of hubris!).  The more time you can whittle the enemy, the better off the Assault Squads will be when they make their move.

Keeping Warlords and major components alive is important but don't forget to use them!  Psykers will help protect your men from the powerful Psychic attacks the enemy can bring.  Having a Psyker hood nearby really helps.  A librarian is a very good leader for Blood Angels.  Mephiston is clearly the scariest, but is expensive. When pinched for points, a normal one WILL do.  I'd consider them as excellent first choices for HQ's, whichever version of Witch you go with.

Allies are not to be forgotten here.  Eldar can make a great addition to the army, as can the Rangers.  with a unit of Rangers and a Farseer, your Blood angels HQ can be QUITE inexpensive.  Shutting down Tyranid Psykers in particular is HIGHLY advisable, as most recent successful tourney builds for them feature it PROMINENTLY, and other factions have made no less impressive use of the many disciplines available.  Chaos in particular could be quite affected by your choice of Eldar Allies of Convenience.

A List You Can Use
So here is a list you can use to implement these ideas and turn what was once a very hard charging army into a hard charging army again!  The only difference is, we're not going to charge first last and always.  We are going to let our dispensable fellow units do some ground and pound work first.

WhirlWind (Hunter Killer Missile)

WhirlWind (Hunter Killer Missile)

Baal Predator (Heavy Bolter Sponsons)

Baal Predator (Heavy Bolter Sponsons)

Baal Predator (Hunter Killer Missile, Heavy Bolter Sponsons)

8 Assault Marines on foot (Flamer, Power Axe+Meltabomb)
Drop Pod

10 Assault marines with JumpPacks (2 x Flamers, Power Axe+Meltabomb)

10 Assault marines with JumpPacks (2 x Flamers, Power Axe+Meltabomb)

JumpPack Priest with MeltaBomb

JumpPack Priest with MeltaBomb

Brother Corbulo

Furioso Dreadnought (Blood Talons, heavy Flamer, MagnaGrapple)

Furioso Dreadnought (Blood Talons, Heavy Flamer, MagnaGrapple)
Drop Pod

Librarian in Power Armor

How To Use The List

In the Relic, the Drop Pods form an immediate barrier between the enemy and the Relic and two Seriously fierce guardians to protect it while the troops arrive.  All units come forward to blockade the enemy and drag the Relic back behind the wall of steel.  No enemy can castle against you and win once you've done this.  Threats from barrage and DS units will be your only concern, but fortunately Corbulo and his unit can form a very tenacious blocker unit, and the tanks do as well.  It's a lot of steel to get through.

5 objectives:
This is where the pounding effect of all your shooting will have a noticeable effect.  As neither side will immediately snatch and grab, the point of the mission will be First Blood and then Troop obliteration.  Corbulo, who is nearly impossible to kill can go get Line Breaker while the rest of the force hangs back.  Furiosos will drop to BRACKET the battlefield and keep everything going to the center where your stream of led can do the most good.  Jump Assault Troops will be tasked with snatching whichever flank objective makes the most sense.  Pinning enemies in place later in the game could have a catastrophic effect on the enemies game, so Whirlwinds may have a bigger part to play than it seems here.  concentrate them on the troop units closest to the objective they can most EASILY take with a single move+run. 

Big Guns Never Tire:
in that mission, you have well hidden scoring barrage makers, given cover by the girth of buildings, hills and of course your own armored hulls.  In this mission you are especially well off because the enemy has to REEEEALY come out of their trees and hunt you.  Here again patience will pay better than aggression as you have speed on your side.  So long as you keep all your units within striking distance of objectives near the end and concentrate firepower on targets at a time, the enemy will have no choice but to go all out at your back line possibly sacrificing shooting to do so.  Whirlwinds staying alive in this mission may even be more important than the lives of the Assault Squads, because the Assault Squads can be tied in melee but the Whirlwinds cant.  Keeping them frosty and mobile to steal objectives is probably a good idea. let the assault squads get butchered and do some butchering.  the extra kill points makes this all the more true.  The Furiosos should also be able to assist in keeping them free.  Enemy shooting will be the main threat so deploy carefully and plan your endgame with the Whirlwinds in mind as your game winners.

Scouring Mission
The Scouring is tough because your Baals are going to be priorities in ALL your missions.  they just do a lot of damage when focused on a target and an enemy could lose an entire troop choice per round if they don't handle it.  So they will.  The outflanking ability of the Baal's may be tested here.  it will keep them off the board if that seems wise UNTIL you can get first blood.  In anticipation of this mission, I put two of the HK missiles on the Whirlwinds instead of the Baal's.
Line Breaker may come from Assault marines, Furiosos or the outflanking Baal's, but you are going to have to play for time on this mission until your full arsenal is available.
First Blood can come from the Whirlwinds or the Furioso MagnaGrapples.  Either way it will be dicier to get so in this one, you are going to want to be thinking about that.  You are exposed more in this mission but also have an enormous amount of scoring units available.  Take just one more objective than the enemy and the loss of all 3 Baal's will not trouble you so if the enemy is built such that you think you can get away with it, go ahead and just overwhelm the enemy with scoring units they must kill but remember:  by making shots in round 1, you're exposed in round one when the enemy is strongest; and if not going first I would most definitely outflank them and play the long game.

Kill Points
This army is TOUGH.  Armour and FnP everywhere you look, AV 12 is the worst you have and that's going to be on them fast.  At 14 KP's you're average in number, not too high.  So the give and take should not be a disadvantage for you.  Not that it needs to be said but...kill the soft units first, attack from one side to limit return fire and do not relent or split up your effort.  Attack like a swarm.  speed is on your side.  They can't run for long.  Form an armoured wall the Assault marines can assault from behind and remember:  enemies can only hit what they can see on snap fire.  Use the Furioso's to cut off escape on their other side.

Objectives(3) +KP (1)
I would play this much like the Kill Points mission.  by attacking from a flank you effectively cut the enemy off from objectives behind you.  This will require the Dreadnoughts to drop in a slightly different way.  Instead of on the opposite flank, they will need to be more centered, to cut off enemies who swing out ward to gain outside objectives. You dont want them jetting down the unprotected middle from you.

Final Thoughts
Obviously we could read and write here all night to cover every contingency but this may help some Blood Angels look at their lists a little differently.

I did not include the Farseer + Rangers in the list but those are totally viable defensive options that would take the place of a troops choice, but leave you precariously perched as far as scoring units goes in some missions. 

A Space Wolf Rune Priest is a Battle Brother and less expensive than a Farseer, plus their troops can be used as scoring to the rear.  For 300 Points you can have a Primaris Psyker, meltavets and a Vendetta if anti-aircraft is of concern (though the assault cannons are not bad anti-aircraft and they can knock a plane out of the sky).  Having another Force Weapon never hurts ones feelings when dealing with Tyranids.

A Dark Angels Librarian is very good compared the the Blood Angels one and adds more possible powers to the mix.  Added bonus:  their troops can take a skyfire missile, which makes them a very attractive option to replace Corbulos bodyguard...however...  they cant mount up in the pod, so it would change your strategy to do this.  Nonetheless in the name of exploring options, I mention it here.\

Good luck Blood Angel players.  I literally hate playing against Blood Angles (well...Mephiston specifically)more than any other force (that's a compliment) and hope that this will help my blood Angel buddies.  Just a little paradigm shifting to be done.  =)

More About Melee Oriented Armies