Tactica Tuesday: Blood Angels ITC Tactica

This week for our Tactica Tuesday, we revisit a discussion from Janurary. On State of the Meta episode 09, Shawn and Jeremy discussed a Blood Angels list submitted by Matt Taverna for critique. Matt’s goal? To become the number 1 ranked Blood Angels player in the 2017 ITC season. You can find the episode here: http://menzagaming.net/podcast/state-of-the-meta-episode-009/

Jeremy promised to write up a list including his critiques, and finally, here it is. With no further ado, Jeremy’s thoughts are presented below.

Blood Angels Tactica follow-up:

As promised in our review of Matthew Taverna’s Blood Angels 2+ FNP list, Jeremy has provided his own version of Matt’s 2+ FNP list. While similar to Matthew’s, Jeremy has made some important changes which are listed below the list in the rationale section. Thank you so much for submitting your list, Matt!

Here is Matt’s original list for reference:

Death Company Decurion
DC Chaplain W Gilded Crozius
DC Chaplain W Veritas Vitae, M-Bombs
DC Dread W Talons, Pod
8 DC W JPs, 2 Fists
5 DC W JPs
5 DC W JPsIron Hands Decurion
Lvl 2 Libby W JP
Lvl 2 Libby W JP
Lvl 1 Libby W JP
Captain W Bike, Fist, Gorgon’s Chain
5 Tacs
5 Tacs
5 Tacs
5 Devs
1 Attack Bike W M-Melta
Dreadnought W 2 Twin Autocannons

 ‘We feel no pain’ – 1850 ITC tournament list.

Death Company Strike Force (first detachment)

DC Chaplain (comes with jump pack and inferno pistol) with Gilded Crozius – 150

5 Death Company with jump packs – 115

5 Death Company in pod – 135

8 Death Company with jump packs, 2 fists – 234

DC dread in pod – 160

Blood Angels Allied detachment (second detachment)

Sang priest with jump pack and extra close combat weapon – 76

Scouts – 55
Fist of Medusa Strike Force (third detachment)

Command: Captain on bike, gorgon’s chain, power axe, artificer armour (WARLORD) – 190

Command: Librarius Conclave —

Libby (level 2) on bike with force axe – 110

Libby (level 2) on bike and force axe and melta bombs – 115

Libby (level 1) with jump pack and mind forged stave – 95

Core: Armoured task force —

Techmarine on bike – 85

Whirlwind – 65

Whirlwind – 65

Whirlwind – 65

Honoured Ancients auxiliary:
Dreadnought with multi-melta in pod – 135

Total Costs:

Blood Angels — 925
Iron Hands — 925
Note: My understanding is that in the case of a tie, the player may choose with faction to ‘belong to’ for ITC purposes. Should this be incorrect, minor tweaks can be done to push either faction to majority.


Sanguinary Priest inclusion — As noted in the podcast, the Sanguinary Priests is of paramount importance for insuring FnP is native to the Iron Hands characters. This hedges against an alpha strike and also in the scenarios that the librarians miss endurance. It’s also worth noting that with the Captain as Warlord, he has a chance to roll up the ‘All Flesh is Weakness’ warlord trait which gives him a passive 2+ re-rollable FNP.

3 drop pods — I made significant sacrifices to ensure that both dreadnoughts could come on turn 1 in drop pods. While they both only AV12, as a duo they complement each other’s survivability. They can be dropped on objectives or more aggressively to ‘herd’ the opponent towards the death star. They also allow for a solid shot at the ‘First Strike’ objective with the meltagun and multi-melta.

Armoured Task Force as core —  This decision seems pretty solid overall, from both a ‘cost effectiveness’ perspective and gameplay perspective. The techmarine is hardly a tax in this formation. Bringing more high strength AP2 to the star, he also becomes a powerful ‘secondary’ tank that can protect death company models from directional attacks.

The whirlwinds themselves provide additional chances at ‘First Strike’ and are not terrible fire-support for their points. They will contribute a lot more during the game than naked tactical squads. Furthermore, they can actually move 12” and fire their weapon if within 12” of an IC from the First of Medusa Strike Force. This makes them a lot more relevant in early turns against a turtling opponent.

The loss of obsec does hurt, which does put a bit of added pressure on the BA scout squad to hold a back field objective. This squad can sit in a bolstered objective and perhaps be supported by one of the smaller DC units if necessary.

Why is the 3rd Librarian still level 1?

It’s always good to squeeze in the psyker-level upgrades if possible, especially in this army, but  between our 5 potential rolls for endurance and warlord trait our Captain has a 79% chance at that 2+ re-rollable save. The extra psyker ugprade would make it an 86% chance.

While that is a significant difference, finding those points means dropping some important wargear. However, dropping the mindforge stave, meltabombs and downgrading one of the libbies to a jump pack (instead of a bike)  does free up the necessary 25 points required for this upgrade.

I consider that an optional adjustment. However, do not underestimate the importance of high-strength ‘answers’ in a meta with so many super-heavy Walkers and GMCs.


Overall I feel this list is very powerful and has the potential to totally ruin many lists. The captain is pretty much immune to small arms fire with his 2+ armour save and potential 2+ re-rollable FNP. S10 shooting can still be tanked with his invulnerable save or palmed off to cheap DC bodies to absorb.

The unit has a sizable footprint (8 DC + 7 ICs) and is reasonable well insulated from directional fire, even the librarians come with a base 3+ save and 4+ fnp rerolling 1s. The army does lack a robust backfield, but it certainly has enough scoring units to capture maelstrom while putting heavy pressure on any opponent from the outset.

While this list may still struggle against some of the ‘big boys’ of the ITC meta, I also feel it has the capability to make certain lists shed some salty tears once the 2+ rerollable FNP comes into play.

I hope you all enjoyed our BA tactica and follow-up review Matt Taverna’s BA list. It’s these very in-depth, ‘interrogative’ analyses that we love to be involved in at State of the Meta. Please continue to send us messages if you would like us to review a codex or even something more specific like your own army list.

See you next time!


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