cHey, I figured since nobody else is talking about the new Blood Angels Codex, I'll offer my thoughts and put up a test list.
Blood Angels have lots of cool stuff going their way, particularly in the way of characters, mobile mech, awesome jump pack units, new Dreads, and bunch of funky new rules. All this combines to make a strong, flexible list with a lot of options but still keeping its own unique flavor and not stepping on any other marine armies' toes (except Dark Angels of course, but nobody like us anyway, grumble, grumble).
In my continuing quest to find the cheapest army possible, my marines are a twitter with joy at having a new ruleset for them to play with. I don't own any jump packers (I thought I was so clever too, never buying any, well joke's on me now), so I'm going to be meching it up.
BA Rhinos and Rhino-based vehicles all have Fast now, so that opens up a lot of options for mobility. To top it all off, they get the perfect Troops choice to ride in them. Assault Squads can get 1 special weapon per 5 men, sport pistols and chainswords to maybe poke somebody with, and if they forgo jump packs they get a 35 point discount on any dedicated transport they bring. This helps take the sting out of the across the board price increase on all Rhino-based vehicles to pay for Fast.
On top of that, BA get Predators in Fast Attack and Heavy Support slots. Baal Preds are Scouts on top of it all! Unfortunately, normal Dreads get bumped to Heavy so my beloved Riflemen are actively contesting the new hotness of AC/LC Preds (for only 15 points more). What Riflemen lose in front AV, AP2, tank shock and maximum speed, they make up for in twin-linking, lower cost, not being potentially hampered by sponsons (try finding LoS with 10 vehicles crowding the board), better mobility in terrain, and even the odd chance of getting Furious Charge and squashing somebody flat (lol).
When building my BA army, I obviously need to look at the basics. 1 HQ and 2 Troops. BA have a lot of nice HQ choices, but for a mech army I need more points for tanks and less for flash. A Librarian is always a good standby thanks to his hood and powers. With Blood Lance and Shield of Sanguinius he can knock out enemy vehicles that get too close (or T4 multi-wounders like Tyranid Warriors, or anything that gets hurt by S8 AP1, so everything) or provide cover to a good chunk of my army beyond smoke launchers.
100 points, easy peasy.
BA have lots of good Troop options too. DC can be very smashy and hard to kill, but they're pricey and don't fit in a pure mech force. Tactical Squads are a good standby, but Assault Squads give me mobile special weapons and discounted transports. That's what I like to see, versatile troops with an overall lower cost. Scouts are always handy for holding home objectives, but I'll hold off on them to grab more essentials. Initially I wanted 5 Assault Marines in a las/plas Razor. With Fast it can move and fire both guns, giving me reach and mobility. However, the marines inside won't be doing much and the unit can get pricey if I throw in upgrades. Hold up, check out the Heavy Flamer turret. It's free. I like free, and I like flamers. 5 Assault Marines with 1 melta, 1 infernus and the burnyback costs only a paltry 145 points. Similar to the Immospam Sisters are so fond of, BA can zoom 12" and burninate things while still having 2 meltas inside the armored shell. 4 of those is a good start and sets me back 580.
680 Total for the basics, handy.
Time for the good stuff. So far I've got a Lance, 8 meltas, and 4 Flamers in Fast tanks. That's going to want to get close, so I should pick up support elements that can deal with enemies from afar so I don't go for a walk.
Rifleman Dreads (dual TLACs) dropped in cost? Awesome! 3 of those is 360, almost a no brainer pick. They can sit back and plink away, going after light armor and anything that needs 4 S7 shots in its face.
1040, a little over halfway.
I have range, I have up close, melta and anti-light armor. What else do I need?
Well, 20 marines aren't the toughest cookies in the jar. If only BA had something that could make them more survivable...Hey, what's this in the Elites section? Sanguinary High Priests, 1-3 ICs per slot that give FNP and Furious Charge to all units within 6". Hell yes! Lucky me my Razors have an extra seat, so in they go. FNP keeps those marines alive longer (twice as long to be precise), and FC will help significantly if they need to run mop up (they're still Assault Marines after all). Compare 5 normally to 5 with FC (against MEQs, 15 attacks, 7.5 hits, 3.75 vs 5 wounds, 1.25 vs. 1.67 kills) across multiple units and it adds up (better against weaker stuff, natch).
Fast Attack is always important for marines. Normally I'd take Speeders, but it's hard to pass up Baal Preds. It's a Fast, Scouting Predator with turret twin-linked Assault Cannon. That along is rocking. The Flamestorm cannon is not so much, considering you have to get into melta range to use it, so much for AV13 (it's as good as a Rhino on the side and rear). For sponsons, there's heavy bolters and heavy flamers. The former give me extra firepower to whittle down hordes and plink away at light armor, while the latter suffers from the same problems as the Flamestorm cannon. 3 Baals with TLAC and HBs runs 435.
Well, what's left? 2 Elites, 1 HQ, 2 Troops. I've got plenty of mobility, a wide variety of dakka at range and up close, passable mop up HtH, but what else. I like midfield with this army, a lot, and what better to rampage through it than a big stompy robot? BA have some new Dread options to peruse, namely the Furioso and Librarian. WS6, AV13, and psychic powers for the Libby version. Looking at the powers, Blood Lance is always a good pick, Might of Heroes helps bypass the Dread's normally low number of attacks, and Wings of Sanguinius would help them reach the enemy sooner and keep up with my armor. I'll take 2 with Wings and the Lance. 350 for the pair.
I'm at 1925 and there isn't much room left. Time for toys.
I could fit in that Scout Squad, but with all my mobile armor and resilient Troops I should be ok. I find myself drawn to Corbulo. For a little more than double the price of a normal SHP, Corby gets an extra wound, attack, BS and I. On top of that he sports a S5 rending chainsword and he gets to make his FNP on a 2+! This guy is basically immune to anything that isn't S8+, AP1/2, or ignores armor in HtH. Wow. On top of it all, he gives me 1 re-roll per game. That may not sound like much, but that re-roll could mean the difference between a Land Raider exploding or gettings its paint scratched, a botched psychic hood roll, one bad difficult terrain test, or a ton of other things that can have a huge impact on the game.
But, Corby is just a toy. Instead I could have infernus pistols on both SHP, extra armor on both Furiosos, and a smattering of melta bombs. It's a trade off, but I like what Corby brings to the table.
That brings me up to 1980. For the last 20 points I can pick up melta bombs for everybody or an infernus for my SHP. Infernus it is, plus melta bombs on a random Sergeant.
So, the final list is:
Librarian w/ Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinius
2x Librarian Furiosos w/ Blood Lance, Wings of Sanguinius
Corbulo, 1 SHP w/ infernus pistol
3x 5-man Assault Squads, 1 meltagun, Sgt w/ infernus pistol, Razorback w/ TL Heavy Flamers
5-man Assault Squads, 1 meltagun, Sgt w/ infernus pistol, melta bombs, Razorback w/ TL Heavy Flamers
3x Baal Preds w/ TLAC, HBs
3x Rifleman Dreads
So, there's my list and the process I took to get it. It's a first draft and I'm going to be testing it out, so I'm open to any criticism or thoughts people may have.
Have at you.