The next installment in our Blood Angels codex review for 6th is truly a critical one - Troops are what wins or loses you games, and will determine the overall style of the list. Make sure to check the HQs review and
Elites review if you haven't yet!
The top contenders
Assault Marines (Jump packs): The poster boy of the codex and staple unit of the army. Their descent of angels (DOA) rule is excellent, boosting the reliability of the unit when entering via deep strike. And they now get Hammer of Fury which is nice. However full DOA armies are not viable anymore and therefore they will see more usage starting from the board, hugging for cover and always within 6" of a Sang priest for the much needed FNP. It's not a bad idea to keep a Libby with Shield nearby. How many do you need? for larger games (1850-2000) I wouldn't take less than 40 ASM, and probably another unit to take on the home objectives.
Tactical Marines: Very similar to their vanilla counterparts, with the main difference of being able to get FNP via a babysitting Sanguinary Priest. We mainly want them to sit on our objective and make it alive to the end of the game. Is this an expensive proposal? well we could get some scouts for cheaper but they are certainly not very durable. With their ability to combat squad and hold two objectives, shoot a heavy weapon (a plasma cannon seems the best bet if you're facing lots of MEQs) and reasonably defend their objective, I think they are decent.
Another option is to drop pod them but that is in the context of a list with more pods (for example, sternguards and a furioso). While not a great option, I believe troops with rapid-fire bolter at an advantage over those with pistols like ASM.
The situational choices
|Put them in ruins and go to ground like there's no tomorrow|
Sanguinary Guard (with Dante): aka Dantewing or Nipple wing. 2+ save, precision energy weapons and a sort of short range storm bolter make this army a sort of Deathwing on jump packs. They lack an invulnerable save, though they can get FNP with a priest which in many cases is alike to a 5++. I guess their biggest drawback is in their short numbers so you will still have to take a couple of ASM or tactical marines to ensure you have enough scoring bodies.
Best leave at home
Scouts: the bog standard scouts are expensive, not very durable and their damage output is, well, inexistent. Don't expect them to survive if shot at or in CC with most things of the 40k universe. Even if you are running Storm Ravens and just want a cheap unit to drop T5 over an objective, why not invest 25 points more and get 5 ASM instead?
ConclusionSimiliar to most Marine codexes, the Troops options are rather narrow - take either ASM or Tacticals, and do it in large numbers. I would be inclined to run 4 o 5 ten ASM squads, supported by a Libby and Sanguinary Priest, and perhaps have a cheap scoring unit to leave in the backfield. These are highly mobile troops with a decent resistance (3+/FNP or 5+cover/FNP) and decent damage output when charging. But 40K is a shooty game more than ever and they will need to be supported while they foot slog the board or will die in droves. This is where other elements of the army (preds, furiosos, LS, SRs...) need to provide a threat that distracts firepower from the ASM.
Tactical marines are the second logical option. They can perform a backfield role, although not for cheap, or be drop-podded along with other units. The scouts seem subpar when considering their value/cost, and Death Company are not scoring so remain out of the question.