Blood Angels vs Imperial Knights and Astra Militarum: Post September FAQ Battle Report

Hi all. If you read my previous post you know that I've been trying out the changes from the September 2018 FAQ in my Blood Angels list. The last game went well for the Angels, but I wanted to try the army out against something a bit more "meta." Not that Thousand Sons or Daemons aren't prominent in the meta these days, but I wanted to give the army a shot against what I feel is one of its tougher matchups; Imperial Knights and Astra Militarum.

Before the September FAQ, Knights/AM/Blood Angels lists were all the rage, and for good reason. Smash captains presented a valuable melee threat, Castellans are amazing, and Astra Militarum provided valuable bodies, command point regeneration, and CP to pull out all the awesome tricks.

Now, that list has effectively been nerfed into the ground, but there is still some value to it and I feel that it is still going to have a strong place in the meta. Simply remove the Blood Angels from that list and fill in with more AM or Knights choices and while it might not function exactly the same way, it is still brutal and will be dominant in the meta.

If you read my last battle report then you are familiar with the army I'm running, but if not here it is:

Battalion - Blood Angels

The Sanguinor (Warlord: Heroic Bearing)

Scouts, Bolters
Tacticals x2

Vanguard - Blood Angels

Captain, Jump Pack, Inferno Pistol, Thunderhammer (Relic: Angel's Wings)
Chaplain, Jump Pack, Inferno Pistol, Crozius

8x Sanguinary Guard
8x Sanguinary Guard
Sanguinary Ancient (Relic: Standard of Sacrifice)
Relic Sicaran Battle Tank
Relic Sicaran Battle Tank

Now the list I was up against:

Battalion - Astra Militarum - Cadia
Company Commander (Relic: Kurov's Aquilla)
Company Commander

Infantry squad w/ Mortar x3

Super Heavy Detachment - Taranis
Knight Gallant (Character: Landstrider, Relic: Sanctuary)
Knight Gallant
Knight Crusader (Character: Warlord: Knight of Mars, Relic: Endless Fury)

Super Heavy Auxiliary - Raven
Knight Castellan (Character: Ion Bulwark, Relic: Cawl's Wrath)

This list comes in at 14 CP to start with, but after purchasing relics and using Exalted Court, it starts the game at 7 CP.  Regenerating CP on a 5+ when the opponent uses a stratagem. The warlord is the Crusader, who has the Knight of Mars warlord trait allowing the AP of his weapons to increase by 1 when he rolls a 6 to wound. This combines quite nicely with Endless Fury which is proccing extra hits on 6s also with 14 shots.  House Taranis would give the option to ignore wounds on a 6+ (except mortal wounds of course) and allow access to Our Darkest Hour which would let a Knight stand up once it dies (barring explosion of course).

Naturally, the Castellan is separate here and is House Raven for the re-roll 1s strat.  The increase in CP for these powerful Knights stratagems would indeed be felt in this game.

Mission and Deployment

As I said in my last batrep, I am prepping for Warzone: Atlanta 2018 and thus have been testing out the missions in that packet. This one is called Take Everything II which is 6 objectives all in each 2x2 square on the map. Starting on battle round 2, you score 1 victory point (vp) for controlling 1 objective, 2 vp if you control more than the opponent, and 3 vp if you control two more than your opponent.  The secondary is a race to 6 kill points using the Warzone kill point system.  The tertiaries are Alternative First Blood, Slay the Warlord, and Linebreaker.

A note about the terrain: The center pieces were deemed impassable line of sight blockers 9" high. all the others were deemed multi-level ruins with enclosed walls on the first level.

The deployment rolled up was Hammer and Anvil. After deployment the Knights finished first of course, but even with a +1 failed to get turn one and did not seize.

Blood Angels Turn 1

I deployed fairly defensively in turn 1 as I was expecting to go 2nd in the game and wanted to limit what the Castellan could actually see to kill. The stupid missile was a concern and I knew target priority 1 would be my Captain as that stood the best chance of doing damage quickly to the Castellan. I had both my tactical squads tucked safely into ruins meaning they'd essentially be immune to anything in the army except the mortars and even then would have a 2+ cover. This I felt gave me a big advantage in ensuring I could keep up with the objective game. The key to victory would be controlling the center markers, as the Knights army also had infantry squads hidden in ruins.

In my turn 1 I shifted my razorback to form a wall on the top of the map and jumped my Sanguinor supported SG squad over behind it. The other razorback moved to try and shield the 2nd SG squad with the chaplain. It would be key for me to ensure survivability and to hit first on the gallants who would be trying to crash my lines. I shifted by Sicarans and Captain over a bit to prevent the Castellan and Crusader from seeing them and popped some shots into the Gallant with Sanctuary, only scoring a paltry two wounds (thanks to the 6+ feel no pain ability of the knights).

Knights Turn 1

Turn 1 for the Knights was mostly just moving and placement. The Gallant with Sanctuary moved and advanced gaining lots of ground thanks to Landstrider. The other Gallant moved up to secure the center objective at the top of the map, followed closely behind by an Infantry Squad. The Castellan simply moved up to start getting into position. My ability to hide and use line of sight terrain on turn 1 to block the Castellan would buy me some time.

In shooting, the Crusader moved up and just barely had line of sight onto my SG behind the Razorback. After shooting Endless Fury at them he managed to kill 3 of them. The battlecannon only managed a single wound to my Razorback. Meanwhile the Castellan dropped 3 CP to try and take out the Captain with the missile and even after using a CP reroll on the wound, still rolled another 1. Whew! Caught a lucky break there as it most certainly could have dropped him right off the bat, ensuring First Blood was secured for Knights.

As it were, nothing died at all on turn 1 on either side.

Blood Angels Turn 2

At the start of battle round 2 I scored 1 VP for controlling an objective. Again, I was going to have to neutralize the center threats and get those objectives if I was going to have a chance in this game. I disembarked Mephiston out of the razorback heading towards the Sanctuary Gallant on the bottom of the map, along with the SG, Chaplain and the Scouts.

At the top of the map, the SG with Sanguinor hopped over to attempt to charge the other Gallant. At the end of my movement, I used Upon Wings of Fire to hop my Captain over behind the Castellan, which would in-turn allow the Knights to get a CP back from the Aquilla relic.

Mephiston successfully cast Quickening and Unleash Rage onto the SG in psychic.

In shooting my Sicarans focused most of their fire into the Gallant who made quite a few 6+ feel no pain rolls but still took some wounds.

In the charge phase I used Descent of Angels on the smash captain to get in on the Castellan. In hindsight I should have just went after the guard squad first. Being safely hidden in that ruin would have allowed me to clear out those Guardsmen there on that objective without fear of retribution from the other knights. But I got greedy here and went for the jugular. The other SG squads all charged into Gallants along with Sanguinor and Mephiston and my Scout squad.

In the fight phase, Sanguinor and his SG unit managed to put 17 wounds onto the Gallant at the top of the map. Meanwhile the combined fighting of all the SG, Mephiston and the Scouts dropped the Sanctuary Gallant down to 3 wounds (thanks to rotate ion shields he had a 4++ in combat). This would hurt as I expected to kill the Sanctuary Gallant to earn First Blood as well, but it was not to be.

The smash captain didn't have enough CP to trigger Red Rampage, as the 2 for Upon Wings of Fire, and 2 to use Descent of Angels meant I'd have only 2 CP remaining, and I needed that to fight again when he died.  So, I rolled up my 5 attacks and only managed to do 3 damage to the Castellan. He did, in turn, kill my Captain and I spent the 2 CP to swing again doing yet again...only 3 damage. Womp, womp womp.

In retaliation, because I had whittled the Gallants down so much they did not do much. I only lost a couple of SG in return, mostly because they used a couple of attacks to quickly kill characters with the Gauntlets which whiffed.

Most importantly I had my Scouts within range of one of the center objectives meaning I had control of it and the Knights would have to shoot them off in turn 2.

Knights Turn 2

In turn 2, the Knights scored their point for controlling an objective but did not control more than the Blood Angels (thanks to the Scouts) so only picked up 1 VP making the score tied on the primary.  The Gallant with 3 wounds wisely backed out of combat, meanwhile the Crusader moved up. The Castellan remained stationary. The guard squad at the top of the map moved and advanced over to the center objective at the top of the map, but the Gallant stayed in combat as he had no room to move.

In shooting between the Crusader shooting Endless Fury and the battle cannon, as well as the heavy flamer, he killed all the SG and Scouts. Meanwhile the Castellan fired the volcano lance into the Razorback at the top of the map but only got 1 shot with it and whiffed on the wound roll. Cawl's Wrath made short work of the other Razorback however. The Crusader then charged into Mephiston and the Chaplain, killing the Chaplain in combat and leaving Mephiston with a couple of wounds remaining.

At the top of the map, the SG managed to finish off the Gallant, who did not explode. The knights then spent 3 CP to stand the knight back up, but needing a 4+ to do it, failed rolling a 3. Now, the Knights were out of CP along with the Blood Angels.

At this point, the Knights had successfully reached 6 Warzone kill points before the Blood Angels thus securing the 9 Battle Points for the Secondary.

Blood Angels Turn 3

In this turn, I made a fatal mistake. I should have sent the SG over to the back field to clear out those Guardsmen in assault and take that objective, but I did not do it. Instead I brought them over to take out the Gallant and/or the Crusader.

I moved one of the Sicarans up to the objective in my deployment zone at the top of the map and started to move my tacticals out, but got a poor roll on the advance so they did not move far. This would allow me to get shots in from the Sicaran and the Razorback into the Infantry squad in the center top of the map, which I did killing them down to 1 man.

The remaining Sicaran at the bottom of the map was able to take out the last remaining wounds on the Sanctuary Gallant who in turn exploded! This was bad as it did enough mortal wounds to kill Mephiston, and plink off some SG I had moved down there as well as take a couple of wounds off of the Ancient and Sanguinor who survived thankfully due to the Standard of Sacrifice. This was a pretty devastating hit but could have been worse.

In the charge phase I charged into the Crusader with the squad keeping a straggler back to remain in the 6" aura of the Ancient for re-rolls to wound and the Sanguinor for +1 attacks, however I was out of range for re-rolling hits and the 5+ FNP from the banner on all but one SG model. Not having the re-rolls to hit hurt but still managed to bring the Crusader down to 4 wounds remaining.

Knights Turn 3

In turn 3 the Knights again scored on the primary keeping us tied up 2-2. The Crusader fell back 6" to shoot at the SG squad meanwhile the Castellan remained stationary. The plan here was to kill the SG with shooting, making it so that the characters would be closest for the Castellan to shoot. But as with all of the best laid plans it did not work that way.

The Razorback was threatening to score the top neutral zone objective so would have to be eliminated. The Crusader dumped Endless Fury, the Heavy Flamer, Heavy Stubber and the Battle Cannon into the SG, but hitting on 5s meant it did not score enough to wipe them leaving a single SG left with 1 wound remaining. The Castellan, in turn fired Cawl's Wrath into the Sicaran at the top of the map, as he just had a line of sight to it but only dealt 2 wounds. Meanwhile, the Volcano Lance melted the Razorback.

In the charge phase, the Crusader charged back into the lone SG and was able to stomp him out.

Blood Angels Turn 4

I score another point here on the primary making it 3-2 but it's getting down to the wire and I know if I am going to win this game I'm going to have to pull the primary out. This shifted my priority and I sent the Sanguinor and the Ancient up behind the building in the center to get a turn 5 charge off on the Infantry squad at the top right of the map in the ruin.I repositioned the Sicaran and moved the tacticals back into the ruin where they would be safe.

In shooting the Sicrans both fired into the Crusader managing to knock the last 4 remaining wounds off getting Slay the Warlord!

Knights Turn 4

With only the Castellan and 2 Infantry squads remaining, the options were limited. The Castellan moved up towards the center objective at the bottom of the map and fired everything into the Sicaran at the bottom of the map who was just barely peeking behind the ruin bringing it down to 4 wounds remaining.

Blood Angels Turn 5

On turn 5 I go up on the primary 4-3 and  now and I need to pull away to have a shot at victory.  That means the Sanguinor needs to take that back objective. I moved the Ancient and jumped him into the building at the top center of the map, wheeled my Sicaran around towards that same objective and moved the other one up to see the Castellan. The Sanguinor jumps into the ruin in the back lines.

I manage to take the Castellan down a few more wounds but it still has 18 remaining at this point.

The Sanguinor throws a frag grenade getting 6 hits! But it only manages to kill one guardsmen.  He then charges into the guardsmen taking a wound in overwatch. Despite 6 attacks hitting on 2s and killing on 2s he only kills 3 models. The remaining guardsmen pile in and fight back. Thanks to the explosion earlier of the Gallant the Sanguinor has 1 wound remaining and the Guardsmen are able to plink it off killing him and earning Slay the Warlord.

This was important as I felt if I killed the Guardsmen not only would I take the objective but I'd prevent Slay the Warlord for my opponent AND get linebreaker, which would be a huge swing in the game. If he makes that save that probably happens and could have won the game for me. Alas, the dice gods are fickle and it was not to be.  Instead, I do not take the objective, and split the warlord tertiary and don't have a unit in for linebreaker.

Knights Turn 5

It was mostly cleanup at this point, but the score is now tied on the primary 4-4. On turn 5 the Castellan moves up and manages to finish off the Sicaran with 4 wounds left which did not explode (thankfully).  At this point we roll and the game goes onto turn 6!

Blood Angels Turn 6

At this point I take the lead on primary 5-4 but I know it won't last. I need to get that Sicaran up and into the backfield to take the linebreaker point, but roll a measly 1 on the advance roll. Leaving my Sicaran in perfect position to be wrecked by the Castellan next turn.

Knights Turn 6

Once again the score is tied 5-5 here on the primary and the Castellan moves up and shoots the Sicaran, finishing it off. All that remains are a couple of Tactical squads and the Ancient hidden. We roll and the game ends on turn 6.

Final Score: Blood Angels 14 Knights 19

This game ended up being tight until the end. Since we tied the primary it resulted in 7 Battle Points each, The Knights got to 6 kill points first, thus earning the 9 Battle Points there while Blood Angels got 6 Battle Points for the Secondary.  Warlord was split to 1 Battle Point each and the Knights had First Blood for 2 Battle Points. Neither army had Linebreaker.

The Sanguinor dying to the guardsmen really put the game away and was the swing. If that doesn't happen, then we don't split the warlord point, Sanguinor is safely tucked away for Linebreaker as well hidden in the ruin from the Castellan's firepower. It also means Blood Angels pull out with a one point win on the Primary securing 10 Battle Points to 5 for Knights based on the victory point differential in the Warzone: Atlanta scoring which would have made the score Blood Angels 20 and Knights 16.

All in all a good, close game. Knights are still terrors on the table top but not being able to constantly regenerate CP coupled with the increase to the cost of the stratagems means they can only get one or two big stratagems off per game.  They are still incredibly devastating to deal with however.
Blood Angels vs Imperial Knights and Astra Militarum: Post September FAQ Battle Report Blood Angels vs Imperial Knights and Astra Militarum: Post September FAQ Battle Report Reviewed by RobChandler on 8:50:00 AM Rating: 5

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