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Sanguinary Guard in 8th


Thoridon
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With 8th almost here I've been looking at my SG and thinking about their role.

 

In 7th I ran with the Banner and a Priest for FnP to support Dante. He was the focal point, they buffed his damage output, added some extra damage with Fist / Axes and the Swords ran up front to take wounds. It was a powerful unit that could kill quite nasty things on the charge.

 

In 8th the Banner is separate from the unit and changed to rerolling wound rolls of 1 plus morale immunity, and a BA warlord will now buff the SG with rerolls to hit. They gained an extra wound and the encarmine weapons gained D3 damage which sounds great at first glance, but how do they fit in? Compared to Death Company they should be our more durable elite assault units, with weapons geared for multi-wound targets, but how effective are they at that?

 

Anti-"MC"?

At first glance it looks like they should be hunting big creatures, such as ex-MCs. The 3 weapon options all deal multiple damage (or chance of) per successful wound, so they would feel wasted against single wound targets.

 

2W looks great combined with a 2+ save for that but with no immunity save consider that most of those targets would be hitting back at high strength with -3 AP (typically) and D3 - D6 damage on successful wounds. That 2+ save is going to end up as a 6+ against those hits, and with the multiple damage each wound that lands is likely going to kill a model outright. In that situation they might as well have 1W (unless you get lucky and the opponent likes to roll 1s).

 

In this role you'd be utilising the extra damage but the extra wound is likely to be bypassed. In terms of shooting both the Inferno and Overcharged Plasma add extra wounds to tough targets, though the Plasma would really want a warlord with them to limit the blowing up risk.

 

Anti-horde?

The main thing here is that the extra damage would be lost against single wound targets. Though they'll kill things the SG aren't cheap compared to more dedicated anti-horde units, and only have the 2 base attacks to work with. On the other hand the 2W would come into play the vast majority of fights, along with the 2+ armour save being reduced less against most horde weaponry. They'd be extremely durable but being a small, expensive unit the damage output would be limited compared to options such as chainsword-wielding DC which would far surpass the damage output for the same points against weak mobs.

 

Anti-MEQ/TEQ?

This might be their best fit. By targeting mid-toughness targets they'll still get to use the 2W a lot of the time, though things like upgraded weapons on sergeants or nearby characters will still negate that extra wound. On the attacking side the multiple damage might be wasted against things like single wound Marines but come in very handy if the opponent does have characters in support. The mobility of jump packs should allow them to get the charge and kill a bunch of Terminators before they get a chance to hit back with their fists or hammers. If facing something like Primaris or Tyranid Warriors (lower toughness but multiple wounds) the Encarmine blades will really get a chance to shine.

 

I'm including the numbers I ran:

 

http://i.imgur.com/7oW23KC.jpg

 

http://i.imgur.com/g1v8NaU.jpg

 

For hunting tough targets it looks like Fist + Inferno Pistol is the way to go, but it's

  • Very expensive
  • Unable to shoot the Inferno after deep striking
  • Going to die as fast as if 1W against those big targets

You can switch the Inferno to Plasma for near the same points efficiency when overcharged but then you are relying on a character with rerolls to avoid expensive model deaths.


 

For reference, here's how the DC fare with their extra attack on the charge:

 

http://i.imgur.com/0Yx5Voi.jpg

 

DC with a Hammer blow SG out of the water when it comes to monster hunting, and their 1W is irrelevant there.

 

DC also blow SG away when it comes to anti-horde, being much cheaper with a chainsword and the extra attacks.

 

So if DC are better as both anti-BigThings and anti-SmallThings the only niche I really see for SG is anti-Middle things - targets like the Tyranid Warriors or Primaris marines that might allow the 2nd wound to come into play and let the encarmine weapons hit things they're effective against. You can then pair them with either the Angelus, which adds a little horde shooting capability, or the Plasma to save a couple of points and be more effective against most targets even without overcharging. You'd then have the overcharge capability as a backup in case something big and annoying does get in their way.

 

Am I mad thinking SG are sort of stuck in the middle?

 

Yes, you can add things like the banner for wound rerolls, a Librarian giving Unleash rage and such but those can also be given to the DC which makes them even stronger.

Edited by Jolemai
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So SG are best at bullying PA and small elite units, DC are better at hordes, and Vanguard are probably better at MC hunting same as editions 5 through 7? :D

 

Nice report, though. Don't forget that SG are easier to buff with characters, so gain more from being near the warlord than other units.

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Absolutely. Having them with your warlord makes a ton of sense fluff-wise and buffs SG in-game. I think I'll be using them to charge multiple wound mid-toughness targets mostly, their equipment seems overkill against models with one wound each.
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nice comparison dude, kinda takes away what i have been kidding myself in thinking that sanguinary guard are a premier unit this edition. i'm gonna keep using them because i like the models but looks like i'll have to look back into other units as well. damn rose tinted glasses every time i look at their shiny armour.

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nice comparison dude, kinda takes away what i have been kidding myself in thinking that sanguinary guard are a premier unit this edition. i'm gonna keep using them because i like the models but looks like i'll have to look back into other units as well. damn rose tinted glasses every time i look at their shiny armour.

 

Hear ya there bro, loud and clear. SG are the most beautiful models in the game, or certainly among them.

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Ya I think this is going to be the edition of Sanguinary Guard-at least moreso than the last edition. The more optimal setup in previous editions was to focus on Death Company. But now Death Company have been toned down and Sanguinary Guard have been toned up!

 

A list concept I wanna try out for larger games is to have a large unit of Sanguinary Guard, a Sanguinary Guard Ancient, a Sanguinary Priest and the Sanguinor (as the warlord) work in concert as a large assault force. All those units have auras that benefit each other and such and its really thematic. Good rules and fluffy choices is all what its about for me

Edited by Brother_Mike
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I think suicide DC units (huh! What a concept!) carelessly throwing themselvs at MC's could be effective. They will probably get hurt bad, but the potential reward can really pay off.

 

Based on your analysis, Sanguinary Guard may retain their 7th Ed role of a "bully" unit "best" used to beat up enemy MEQ.

 

However, I can't help but wonder if they may prove to be a bit of an anti-Elite option for us, specifically going after the likes of Honor Guard, Deathwing Knights, Wolfguard, etc... With highmobility, the ability to re-roll 1's To Wound (are there any other units we know of that can do that) with the Banner, and a 4++/+1A from Libbies, they may prove quite worth it for taking down multi-wound Elite units.

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I think suicide DC units (huh! What a concept!) carelessly throwing themselvs at MC's could be effective. They will probably get hurt bad, but the potential reward can really pay off.

...

 

Not aimed at you but I didn't really like this concept in 7th edition and having to do the same thing in 8th to everything not a dreadnought doesn't sound terribly fun to me.

 

Ask me about the time that I threw damn near 50 attacks at a wolf lord on thunderwolf and only had 2 wounds make it through. :down:

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I think you have found their "role".  Great analysis overall.  I would be surprised if our flying terminators tore up the meta.  Too many points for too few wounds in my humble opinion.  Probably the fluffiest unit in our list and they have such a lovely table presence.  Wish I owned a few!

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Thanks for your excellent number crunching!

 

I am left wondering tho if we are throwing out a baby with the bath water as there is more to consider besides offensive output (admittedly important tho).

Your analysis mentions that too, but...

 

They are still really worthy of consideration because of 2+ save and 2 wounds I think. They should be able to pick their fights quite a bit so there is that.

 

Somebody has to try and get into CQC with those TAU triple flamer suits (x5) for instance. Or I believe the role exists anyhow.

Would VV with storm shields be better? I dunno, I am leaning towards the Sanguinary guard for being fire eaters many times vs many weapons. Maybe just wave assault with bodies of 3+ saves instead and enough will survive and get them locked up so somebady can kill them in combat before they bail, but I think assault marines alone might struggle to kill them so I am back to using the golden guard again.  Man they are pricey... Hmmmmm.

 

I suppose it is a mistake to look at a unit solely by itself and in a vacuum. I can't help but think they will be great on the table but not as SPAM. They are finesse elite units. I am planning to use SG in moderation as they probably should be.

 

Anyhow, Flying 2+ saves are not terribly common to my knowledge in 8th. Somebody has to get the overwatch to the face...

Better bring along a priest prolly.

 

Also; and perhaps most importantly, (as mentioned) they are perhaps the best looking unit models in the entire game.

Edited by Crimson Ghost IX
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Defensively I just worry that the 2 wounds will be negated a lot. Any big monster types out there will be dealing D3 or D6 damage per wound scored, along with anything running Fists/Hammers, meaning just 1 wound landing on a model will (most often) be a kill. As the unit cost includes the 2nd wound that's being 'wasted'. It's different for characters with 4-5 wounds as they can take a few before going down, depending on the rolls, plus they tend to have inbuilt invul saves, but 2 wounds with no invul will not be much different from 1 wound against multiple-D weapons.

 

Where the 2nd wound and 2+ base save will shine is against single-D weapons. Even against power swords/axes, which will reduce our armour save a lot, they still need to land 2 successful wounds per model - that effectively doubles the unit's 'health' from a defensive point of view. The downside there is that we're paying extra for encarmine swords with multiple-D profiles which would again be 'wasted' if focused against single wound targets.

 

That said, SG might just have that versatilty all round.

 

vs Horde: Won't kill as fast as DC but defensively great with 2W and 2+ save.

vs MEQ: Won't kill as fast as tDC but defensively good with 2W and 2+ save (might be negated by hidden fists / following characters).

vs Monsters: Won't kill as fast as DC, or be as durable as VV with Shields (for the 3++), but will sit somewhere in between both.

 

DC are our highest damage output, hands down, whether vs horde or monsters. It just depends how they're geared.

VV, with the ability to use shields, should be our most durable against monsters with that 3++ outweighing a 2nd wound that's largely irrelevant in that situation.

SG should shine defensively when thrown against targets with single-D weapon profiles, and then the encarmine blades with the D3 give a boost if/when you do run into multiple wound enemies.

 

I'm thinking I might leave mine with Swords/Axes but give them all a Plasma Pistol and have a JP Captain following. With their movement they could jump in close to different targets, fire a wave of overcharged plasma at a Monster-type to cut wounds down that way before charging a weaker unit where the 2nd wound and 2+ are effective. Possibly the most versatile use for them. My JP Priest would also be handy for the extra strength (which would benefit the swords/axes) and revive potential. If I also have a JP Librarian there's the potential to give either 4++ or +1A but I think I'd focus that on the DC.

 

I'm just not sure I'd want to have Dante with them, which feels unfluffy. I want to point him towards the biggest, nastiest enemies so I might well have him tagging along with Hammer DC for the damage output or VV with SS to provide the damage soaking while Dante dishes out the damage.

Edited by Thoridon
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, the plan to replace my Angelus Boltguns with Plasma Pistols hit a stumbling block when I went through the sprues and realised each box only gets 1 wrist-mounted plasma. Argh. I do have a load from other kits I could chop up to convert, but not sure if that would look terrible.

 

I guess I'll just leave the Angelus on. Plasma would've been nice but to be honest it's only when overcharged that it stands out, and that would risk killing a mult-wound model at twice the cost of other plasma options even if they run with a Captain/Dante to minimise that risk. I can keep plasma on other units (eg. Assault / Vets) where less points are lost if one blows up. Inferno pistols are good damage but they make the model very expensive when the melee weapon already costs a fair bit.

 

I think they'll stay built the same as 7th: a mix of Swords and Axes and hunt multi-wound lower toughness units. The angelus can be used just fine on lower toughness targets. I'll just leave the big game hunting to DC with Hammers or Vets with Hammer+SS.

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Well, the plan to replace my Angelus Boltguns with Plasma Pistols hit a stumbling block when I went through the sprues and realised each box only gets 1 wrist-mounted plasma. Argh. I do have a load from other kits I could chop up to convert, but not sure if that would look terrible.

 

I guess I'll just leave the Angelus on. Plasma would've been nice but to be honest it's only when overcharged that it stands out, and that would risk killing a mult-wound model at twice the cost of other plasma options even if they run with a Captain/Dante to minimise that risk. I can keep plasma on other units (eg. Assault / Vets) where less points are lost if one blows up. Inferno pistols are good damage but they make the model very expensive when the melee weapon already costs a fair bit.

 

I think they'll stay built the same as 7th: a mix of Swords and Axes and hunt multi-wound lower toughness units. The angelus can be used just fine on lower toughness targets. I'll just leave the big game hunting to DC with Hammers or Vets with Hammer+SS.

That's what I've been using mine for. I wanted them to have all swords, but I tried 2 swords 2 axes with 1 plasma and 3 angelus and so far, they've been doing great. I tend to throw them at fliers and other medium toughness units and they've been murder tastic (ignoring the fact that they're usually buffed with unleashed rage and/or shield :) )

 

they're doing their job well at least. for the really tough things that I want to wall through, I have an assault termi unit and for hordes, my death company have been doing great against them. 

 

I'm really loving the design philosophy of every unit can be made to have a function and do that function well.

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So I have been searching for a good place for sanguinary guard since we found out the new rules for them and here's what are my thoughts,

 

vanguard vets 10 guys with 5 plasma pistols jumping down next to Dante is a very strong combo (obviously you bring more than one unit) but they are tied to Dante for full re-rolls, sanguinary guard get the same benefit from any blood angels warlord (I use the sanguinor as he's a favourite of mine)

 

Next with the same unit setups vanguard veterans are not affected by multi damage weapons but have a 3+ save where sanguinary guard deep striking create a smaller footprint with a 2+ save, and the obvious fault of multi damage being a real problem for them.

 

As a beat stick units vanguard vets just outclass sg with the equipment available to each unit but with just their basic load outs above with sanguinary guard with axes or swords and the vanguard vets with chain swords and a few power weapons it's a much closer call.

 

Sadly the main downfall of sg is in their other shooting weapons in the inferno pistol and especially the angelus bolt gun. They are just to much.

 

In my experience they are quite even with vanguard vets in the role that I see them having their highest potential (deep striking plasma pistols to cause a lot of damage when they arrive while still being a threat while the rest of your army runs up the field)

 

And I don't see them as a vanguard vets or sg but more of a side by side of bring vanguard vets with Dante and drop them down in one location while dropping down sg with another hq(the warlord) and getting re-rolls in another location for the ability to shoot from two angels for better options.

 

I have been using this tactic with aggressive assault units (death company mostly) charging up they field and getting turn two charges and giving my opponent a lot of decisions of what to shoot at.

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I think I prefer Company Vets to VVs as they can intercept wounds on Dante in close combat where he can otherwise be singled out. I know the smaller squad size reduces the killiness of the squad but 10 VVs with custom gear would probably only be viable in 2000+ points anyway.

 

As for a Warlord to lead the SG, I think the Sanguinary Ancient fits pretty well. The rerolls of 1 to wound are handy, even if he lacks an invulnerable save. 4 SG, and Ancient and a Priest with Jump Pack can fit in a Storm Raven for protection from Turn 1 shooting which is quite handy. Dante and the Company Vets can either follow up behind or DS at a useful moment. This comes to about 900 points (depending on loadout) which leaves plenty of points to back them up with.

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I think I prefer Company Vets to VVs as they can intercept wounds on Dante in close combat where he can otherwise be singled out. I know the smaller squad size reduces the killiness of the squad but 10 VVs with custom gear would probably only be viable in 2000+ points anyway.

 

As for a Warlord to lead the SG, I think the Sanguinary Ancient fits pretty well. The rerolls of 1 to wound are handy, even if he lacks an invulnerable save. 4 SG, and Ancient and a Priest with Jump Pack can fit in a Storm Raven for protection from Turn 1 shooting which is quite handy. Dante and the Company Vets can either follow up behind or DS at a useful moment. This comes to about 900 points (depending on loadout) which leaves plenty of points to back them up with.

 

Using ancient as warlord is a great idea, gives them tons of force multipliers without breaking the bank. They synergize pretty well with mech/other multi-wound models, if you can give opponent a decent amount of multi-wound targets, that should also help. Libby Dread or Mephiston also have good synergies with the option of giving them or other units 4++. Stormraven/Fire Raptor are usually priority targets, that should give them some breathing room. 

 

If your facing a list with a lot of ap1 cover is extremly useful. Remember when you charge with them, you can move them exactly where you want to (or pretty close to it).

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I was thinking of picking the Sanguinary Priest as a warlord but I suppose the Ancient works as well.

I was planning to stick both in the unit and the Ancient has the better save. Also it means the Ancient grants himself rerolls thanks to the "Heirs of Azkellon" rule which I find highly amusing.

 

I have a mental image od the Sanguinary Ancient looking at his reflection in his golden armour and thinking "I am one inspiring dude!" :biggrin.:

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