The angels of death. The Adeptus Astartes. The fist of the god-emperor of mankind and the chosen sons of the fallen angel Sanguinius. Quirky titles for a race of vampiric superman in armor-like armor and the right way to approach the mighty Blood Angels of Baal. You also happen to play in Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector.
Armed and armored with the best of humanity, the Blood Angels are the first and last line of defense against the Tyranid threat. Whether you’re sending the death company or holding back and letting go of hell with the aptly named Hell Blasters, there are plenty of tricks you can do with the guys in red.
10 You have no limits
Blood Angels are the epitome of universality. Although they have a few hyper-specialized units, most of their cadres are more than capable of tackling multiple threats. Your opponent can’t just attack at random when even your simplest force can wipe out hordes of enemies.
That makes playing the Blood Angels incredibly forgiving. A devastating unit like the Furioso Dreadnought is more than capable of being on par with gigantic Bio-Titans, eliminating hordes of smaller enemies and shooting down medium-sized Mooks. Sure, the Tyranids have units arguably better at a given area, but you have access to a menagerie of ammo that can kill anything.
9 Do not know fear
For the most part, Blood Angel units are much harder to kill than their Tyranid counterparts. Thanks to thick armor and powerful health reserves, it takes a lot to defeat an Astartes. This extra layer of protection allows you to play a little more aggressively. That doesn’t mean you should walk in with no plan, and you definitely don’t want your expensive units to be wiped out by an enemy exocrine, but you do have quite a bit of leeway and space to go wrong.
You may be tough and well equipped, but without a vision you are nothing more than a man-shaped fish in a barrel. This is an area where the Blood Angels suffer as the army simply lacks options when it comes to effective scouts.
Your only real option would be Land Speeders, which, as the name suggests, are damn bubbly. You can move them up, find an enemy, and then move them back. Land Speeders are also quite resilient, so they’re unlikely to fall Overwatch.
Scouting gives you details on enemy positioning, movements and army composition. Each is worth more than the points and actions spent on getting them.
7th Target priority and weapon management
You will be outnumbered when you face the crush. This can get pretty overwhelming when suddenly hordes of guys crash into your lines. The main thing to remember when a fight starts is target priority.
Every unit has armor value and every weapon has pervasive value. You want to use the right weapon against the right target. It may seem tempting to unleash a volley of hot plasma on an invading unit of hormagaunts, but when you have a balanced list you should be able to do something effective.
When your Hell Blaster shoots small gribbles, their larger units run free. Something similar can be said when it comes to the waste of small arms fire. There is very little point in throwing grenades and bolters at a large, smelly Tyrannofex when the same weapons can be used to slaughter entire squads of smaller enemies.
6th Don’t clump together
It is very tempting for Blood Angels to clump together and form a wall of ceramic. This is rarely a good idea, especially if your enemy is a legion. The last thing you want is for your troops to be flanked or ambushed.
To avoid this, you will need to use units to defend your flanks even in a game of Exterminatus. Have a few units of Marines ready to hinder your opponent’s gambit, as well as some Land Speeders. In an objective game, this is what you have to do to generally win. If you are racing in the center of the map, do not take the auxiliary targets aside. This is more or less an automatic loss.
5 Ignore the bait
The Blood Angels aren’t exactly nimble when it comes to moving outside of some units. This means that you are very susceptible to being baited. This is especially true when trying to take out an enemy Hive Tyrant.
These things are fast, they are tough, and they do a lot of damage. Of course, they are public enemy number one. However, don’t be tempted to run after one. A competent Tyranid player will use their faster units to make hit-and-run attacks and if you run after them you’ll lose your position and an army of bugs stare at you.
Using Overwatch effectively and focusing on other threats are almost always your best bet.
4th Plan your army
The composition of the army is arguably the most important step in Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector. If you screw it up here, your troops will likely end up dead in a Baalavian trench. Fortunately, building an army with Blood Angels is pretty straightforward, as their units are usually universal.
That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you’re a fan of the incredibly powerful Furioso or Librarian dreadnoughts and you’ve brought a few with you – you might consider a Tech Marine to keep them alive. Even if you have expensive infantry, a pharmacist can do a lot to keep them alive.
You can’t go wrong with Hell Blaster either. The most dangerous units in a Tyranid army are often the big things. Hellblasters are tailor-made to punch holes in their armor, so it only makes sense to pocket a few units.
It may be tempting to ignore intercessors because they’re damned simple, but they’re priceless. Not only can they be used to shield your more valuable units, but they also come with long range, a weapon that can crush smaller enemies, and access to grenades that remove troops. They also add a little bulk to your force and give you more map coverage.
3 Heroes of the Blood Angels
The Blood Angels have access to a few characters, all of whom are fantastic. They can heal units, improve their skills, and act as a general power multiplier. A good unit can turn out to be great with the guidance of the right hero.
Since Blood Angels are pretty strong fighters, it might be tempting to throw a character into the fray and use them as a beatstick. Hit a Thunder Hammer and swing yourself. This is a terrible idea because Blood Angel Heroes are the main targets of assassination.
When it comes to winning the game – especially in Exterminatus – you don’t want your expensive characters killed. This is a huge point swing for your opponent and you could easily lose the game. Even the most bulky characters can go to the ground with just a few shots, and if you leave your guys exposed, your opponent will take them.
As a rule of thumb, you want your heroes to be surrounded by the units they are supposed to support. This makes them harder to target, which will keep them alive much longer.
2 Don’t rush in
It’s rarely a good idea to get started without a plan – but it’s arguably worse to start with a plan that you’ve been impatiently fiddled with. The fog of war harbors many dangers, and rolling into it only leads to ruin. If your opponent has units in Overwatch, the last thing you want to do is make them flash one of your units.
You never want to move your units the full distance with one click – it’s just too risky. You want to move them one tile at a time and slowly remove the fog of war. That way, instead of getting stuck in a dead sprint and getting out of position, you can react to the changing battlefield.
This is true even when the fight is in full swing. The accuracy in the battle sector can change from tile to tile. Taking a step in the right direction can make all the difference between meeting an enemy and falsifying it. Each step opens up new possibilities, and rushing will only mean you will miss it.
1 Overwatch, Overwatch, Overwatch
Overwatch should always be a consideration. It doesn’t matter whether you’re setting up a shooting range or moving in the open field, you need to be constantly aware that it exists.
If you don’t monitor effectively, the enemy can easily move around your lines and land flanks. This can be devastating if they get a bead on one of your powerful support or damage pieces.
You don’t want to go into the fire without further ado. This has already been covered, but the fact that it is mentioned again should show the importance of keeping this in mind. At no point do you want your incredibly expensive Hell Blasters to be hit with atomic bombs by an exocrine in the distance.
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