Posted by Jawaballs at 9:33 AM
One of the biggest upgrades in the new codex is the Sanguinary Priest. 65 points buys you an even better sergeant for your squad packing another power weapon that grants Feen No Pain and Furious Charge to any one within 6".
Now at first glance, you may be inclined to leave him in a transport and send out the squad to assault, gaining his benefit from inside the tank, but there is so much more to him than that! Allow me to explain.
2 or 3 priests must be in every Blood Angels army. They grant a huge bonus. I'm sure there is a phrase for it, but I will call it "Force Multiplier". This force multiplier varies in strength based on how you use him. The concept is simple. How can you multiply the effectiveness of your army? Giving your sergeant a power weapon and plasma pistol makes a squad a lot more dangerous. You have multiplied the effectiveness of the force. These numbers have no factual bearing, but I would say that if a PW and Plasma Pistol multiply an RAS effectiveness x2, then giving them a priest will multiply it x10. The most immediate benefit is that you can get "more for less". A 5 man RAS with a PW and a priest with a PW are now superior to a 10 man ras without. In fact, the priest elevates this normal troops squad into the Elite ranks. I would charge them against 10 man vet squads for example. Basicly, adding a priest to each of your 5 man squads makes them the equivalent of a 10 man squad or more. More for Less! How do we get the most for least? That is what I am all about.
First of all, a priest in a Razorback with an RAS:
Perhaps the single most game changing element of the Blood Angels codex. For 245 points you can get a Razorback with an Assault Cannon, carrying 6 marines (7 wounds), two power weapons, and a meltagun. I think you will be hard pressed to find any better deal in the game point for point. Just the razorback with Asscan alone is worth it's weight in gold. It can move 12", forcing enemy assaults to hit on 6, and still shoot it's gun. That is devastating, especially to armies like tyranids who rely on assaulting to do their damage. Bye bye genestealers! But then you have the guys inside. If they get the charge, those 6 marines are easily the equal of any 10 man power armor squad in the game. Khorne berzerkers, Plague marines, Vanguard Vets, you name it. This squad will even give Storm shield terminators frights. Every one oohs and aahs at Sanguinary Guard, but the truth is, you just don't need em. Once you are done upgrading the SG, they cost more then this RAS option, are subject to being shot down before they get into assault, and while they get more PW shots, do they really need them?
Now, you can't just go wasting this little gem. Remember, they are just regular space marines in power armor. Plasma will slaughter them, and for all their strength, they are just 6 men. But I must say, I have been using them to devastating effect. Make a few FNP rolls, and your opponent just gives up shooting at them!
Add in the fact that the priest grants his abilities in a bubble, and you are golden. A single priest can enhance 2 or 3 five man squads, making a brutal assault force.
Priest hiding in a transport:
The knee jerk tactic that people will immediately go with is to put the priest in a transport with a squad, disembark the squad and assault, while keeping the unupgraded priest inside, granting his abilities from the safety of armor. Yes, this is a sound tactic, but when you look at the importance of Force Multiplication in the new BA dex, this tactic pales. Taking a priest with PW out of the squad makes that 5 man squad merely mortal. You take out the vicious teeth and heavily reduce the effectiveness, or force multiplication benefit.
Sure the priest will live longer if he is not in assault, especially since he can be targeted with PWs and fists. But what happens if your squads charge takes them further then 6" Away from the transport? So much for FNP! Now you have a 50 point upgrade sitting in a tank doing nothing, and a 5 man squad that I would not count on to do half of what I spoke about in the first part of this post. If you have a load of extra points, this is a decent option, especially in terms of redundancy, but I suggest you go with the upgrades, and get him into assault.
Priest in Termy armor:
Having spoken about giving the priest the PW and joining him to a squad, I attached one to an assault terminator squad in a Land Raider Crusader. But then looking at the points, I noticed that for 20 points more he could have terminator armor! What a no brainer! Sure, you lose an attack cause he loses the pistol. But he gains Terminator armor! The terminator armor upgrade with Power Weapon for 35 points is probably one of the best upgrades I could imagine for an already sweet unit. If you are going to run a termy/LRC type of army, it pretty much screams for a priest in TA.
Priest with Jump Pack:
I am currently against jump pack units in the face of cheap Razorback units. But if I were to run a jump squad, I would certainly give them a JP priest. Talk about force multiplication... how about a priest joined to a Sanguinary Guard squad! (I know I mentioned that you don't need them earlier, but that does not mean that they are not cool!)
Priest on bike:
Ok, in case you missed it, you can now field lots of bikes in a Blood Angels army. As the dex makes it's rounds, and people work out the uber lists, I have a feeling that we will see many more bike squads to come. Toughness 5 and turbo boosting cover saves. Enough said. If you want to make sure your vital assaulters get the benefits of a priest, give the priest a bike! He can be all over the table, zooming in at the crucial times to grant the charge. There are probably better ways to do this, but the option exists, and I think the priest biker will definitely come into it's own once the dex has had a good thorough shake down.
Ok, fingers are sore and I have to get some work done. But now that I have quite a few games under my belt with the new dex, expect to see lots more new Jawa-tactic posts!
Give him the PW upgrade.