Angel’s Blade Tactica: Orbital Intervention Force

I have been taking a closer look at the Orbital Intervention Force (OIF) from the new Angels Blade Supplement and I think there are actually lots of tactical applications for this formation. First, let’s take a look the two different options within the formation itself, Tactical Terminators and Assault Terminators:

I – Tactical Terminators – While most would agree that Tactical Terminators are not the most competitive right now, if used properly, I think they still have a place in the game. The Orbital Intervention Force provides a significant bonus for them, allowing each Tactical Terminator to shoot twice on the turn that they arrive by Deep Strike. This is particularly effective with the Terminator Heavy Weapons, allowing a 5 man squad to shoot its Heavy Flamer, Assault Cannon, or CML twice. Alternately, you can max out the squad with 10 Terminators and 2 Heavy Weapons… combine that with Misfortune from the Divination discipline and a Tactical Terminator squad can put out 32 Storm Bolter shots and either 4 Heavy Flamer Templates, 16 Assault Cannon Shots, or 8 CML shots (either Krak or Frag missiles), all with Rending against a specified target on the turn they arrive. Obviously, in subsequent turns, they revert back to “normal” Terminators, but in that initial arrival strike, they can potentially make a decisive impact on the game if target against the right unit.

II – Assault Terminators – This is the real gem of this formation, I think. and probably the reason most people take it. Whether using dual LCs, with S5 on the charge (and I5, if they are part of a Detachment with the Red Thirst), or using the classic TH/SS “Hammernator” load-out, (which still competes for the gold standard of assault units in terms of durability and hitting power) the ability to assault on the same turn as they Deep Strike takes them from “solid” to “outstanding,” even if they have a Disordered Charge when they do this. Not only can they contribute to the fight as early as Turn 2, unlike a lot of other close combat focused units, but they are overall quite survivable and effective once they do get into combat. Alternately, Assault Terminators from this formation can make for a tremendous “counter-assault” unit to protect your more shooty units from enemy charges. Finally, you can enhance their abilities even more if you Drop Pod in Corbulo nearby (for +1WS to all hands and +1I for the Dual LC TDA models) and/or bring in Sanguinor for +1A to all hands, which helps make up for the penalty of having to do a Disordered Charge.

In terms of synergy potential, here are some ways I think the Orbital Strike Force can be effectively combined with other allied units to make a solid battle group:

 

[1] GK Interceptor Squads – With the ability to make a 30” Shunt move (+D6” Run) Turn 1, plus take a Teleporter Homer on the mandatory Justicar, GK Interceptors can make for an ideal “pathfinder” unit to get exactly where you need them and then bring in the OIF Terminators in on Turn 2 for massed shooting and/or assault.

[2] Inquisitorial Henchmen Warbands – With the ability to take a Mystic in each and every squad (basically a 2 MB cost Locator Beacon), plus access to a wide variety of Dedicated Transports, a Henchman Warband can, for example, load up in a DT Land Raider Redeemer and attach an Inquisitor with the Relic that grants a free Scout move if the pass a Ld test successfully. This gives them a 12” Scout move before the game begins, then another 12” move and 6” Flat Out Turn 1, setting up a Turn 2 arrival with no scatter/charge deep in the enemy DZ by up to 3 squads of Assault Terminators, which can obviously be extremely potent (not to mention any supporting fire from the Henchman themselves and their LRR’s Flamestorm Cannons).

[3] Ravenwing Black Knights/Darkshrouds – While obviously designed to bring in Deathwing, the fact that every Ravenwing Biker/Black Knight has a Teleporter Homer built into his Bike makes them exceptional for vectoring in an Archangel OIF. This is especially true of Black Knights combined with a nearby Dark Shroud, since they all have Scout (for a free 12” move before the game even starts) and can get a re-rollable 2++ cover save to survive enemy shooting Turn 1 (i.e. Jink + Skilled Rider + Stealth from the Dark Shroud + re-rolls to Jink saves because of the Ravenwing special rule). Black Knights are already highly effective shooting and close combat units in their own right, but combined with the ability to precisely bring in three squads of Tactical Terminators/Assault Terminators on Turn 2+ (all of whom can either shoot twice or charge that same turn) takes them from a serious threat to an absolutely un-ignorable one for almost any enemy force.

[4] Blackmane Great Pack with massed Drop Pods – With access to free Drop Pods and guaranteed Turn 1 arrival for all of them, the Blackmanes can saturate the table like almost no other force (except maybe a Space Marine Battle Company or an AM mechanized infantry force). More importantly with regard to the OIF, every one of these Drop Pods can be equipped with Locator Beacons, allowing you to bring in the Archangel Terminators anywhere within 6” of these Pods with no scatter before they shoot or charge. This should combine very effectively with all the combat power (both shooting and in assault) that the Blackmanes can bring to the fight in and of themselves, putting the enemy on the horns of a dilemma on how to counter this.

[5] Astra Militarum/Militarum Tempestus Mechanized Armies – As I discussed in the earlier article about the Golden Host formation, basically all AM vehicles (and MT vehicles too) except Flyers can upgrade with an Augur Array, which is basically this faction’s version of a Locator Beacon. Given that both AM and MT tend to focus heavily on shooting and are vulnerable to enemy assault, having the ability to precisely bring in a “counter-assault” force in the form of the OIF, using the Augur Arrays on their vehicles, improves the survivability and shooting efficiency of both of these factions significantly, as well as potentially surprising your opponent with the psychological “shock” of having their assault forces charged before they can even get to your battle lines.

[6] Khan/White Scar Mechanized Battle Company – The Khan list using lots of Scouting Rhinos/Razorbacks, all carrying MSU Tactical, Devastator, and Assault squads with max Grav Cannons and Flamers is already pretty well known for its success on the tournament scene. One of the few weaknesses of this list is typically dealing with powerful enemy close combat units that can come to grips with lots of its units in the Assault Phase. Since Tactical Squads can take Teleporter Homers on the Sergeants/Veteran Sergeants (for only a MB a piece), you can have up to 6 mobile, AV11/11/10 bunkers projecting 6” No Scatter bubbles around them throughout the entire battle space, giving you LOTS of options for bringing in the OIF Terminators with no scatter exactly where you need them to “reinforce the line” against critical enemy threats. All of this combines quite well with the massed Grav and Flamer shooting of Khan’s Battle Company I think, creating for a balanced and dangerous overall task force.

[7] Raven Guard 10th Company Task Force – The 10th Company Task Force formation obviously combines very well with the Archangels Orbital Intervention Force, with its ability to Infiltrate multiple units equipped with either Teleporter Homers or Locator Beacons. Raven Guard Chapter tactics make this even more effective, with added durability in the early game via free Shrouding Turn 1 on any units that don’t start the game in a transport. Whether using Infiltrating Scouts on foot, Infiltrating Scout Bikers (with a 2+ Cover save in the open from Jink + Shrouding), or even Scouts in a LS Storm moving 30” across the tabletop from Move + Flat Out (obviously they don’t get access to free Shrouding), this formation provides multiple ways to efficiently bring in the OIF exactly where it needs to be for shooting and/or charging on Turn 2+.

[8] Lias Issodon and Centurion Battle Group – Another powerful build in its own right, Issodon’s ability to Infiltrate himself and three other units is very potent and can overwhelm your opponent quickly. Combine this with the Locator Beacon that is part of his War Gear and any Teleporter Homers that the Infiltrated units are carrying and you have a very solid task force that can both pressure the enemy with shooting (especially if using multiple Grav Centurion squads) and still provide a real close combat threat via the OIF Terminators.

[9] Deathwatch Veteran Squad – Since every Watch Sergeant (who himself is a free upgrade) can take a DW Teleporter Homer, the Deathwatch are already well-equipped for vectoring in the Archangel OIF reinforcements. On top of this, DW Veteran squads can easily get in position via their Rhino, Razorback, Drop Pod, or Corvus Blackstar DTs (the last two can take Locator Beacons of their own, if you want). DW Veterans can also bring more firepower, “pound for pound,” than almost any other unit in the game, but they are also somewhat fragile for their points cost and can be vulnerable in close combat, so they combine very well with Assault Terminators coming in from DS and charging enemy units to take the pressure off them while they continue to employ their remarkable firepower to its maximum potential.

[10] Shadowstrike Kill Team – If you really want to double-down on the whole “assault from Deep Strike” concept, then you can take an allied Shadowstrike Kill Team. The mandatory Scouts can deploy forward with Teleporter Beacons turn 1, then Turn 2 you can bring in both the Vanguard Vets and OIF Assault Terminators with no scatter, potentially overwhelming the enemy battle lines with multiple powerful assault units getting stuck into combat simultaneously. Alternately, you can use the Vanguard Veterans for assault and take Tactical Terminators with Heavy Weapons to support them with lots of Flamer Templates, Assault Cannons Shots, or CML volleys as required.

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18 comments on “Angel’s Blade Tactica: Orbital Intervention Force

  1. mika says:

    You forgot about the best option. Take a blood angels cad or fleshtearers strike force and take 3 empty pods plus 2 with something else (so you got five overall) alongside this formation.
    And you have 3 assault terminator units charging in turn one after deep strike and with an extra 6″ disembark move.

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    • greysplinter says:

      I don’t think there is any way for the Terminators to charge turn 1… they have to be in DS reserve and, unlike the Archangels Demi-Company, they do not get to begin rolling for their arrival from reserves until Turn 2.

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      • mika says:

        Yes, thats why you take drop pods for them. They do not roll for reserve, but they are in deep strike reserve, and they will come together, so the formation restrictions are fullfiled. It doesn’t sa, they have to come in round two.

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        • greysplinter says:

          It is an awesome idea and I wish it could work. Unfortunately, Drop Pods do not have the Assault Vehicle rule, so even though the OIF Terminators are allowed to assault after DSing because of their special rules (i.e. over riding the normal restriction on this), they would still not be able to assault Turn 1 because they are disembarking from a vehivlcle without the Assault Vehicle rule (if they were coming out of a DSing Storm Raven somehow, like the one from the Ravenhawk Assault Group, then this could work)

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          • mika says:

            Oh my stars! Check the rulebook bro 🙂
            Drop Pod is an open topped vehicle. Every open topped vehicle is automatically an assault vehicle 😀

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          • greysplinter says:

            Wow, I stand corrected! 🙂 What a great tactic… nice catch!

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          • Brottor says:

            Well, I still think u can not assault from a Drop Pod, even being an open-topped vehicle. The rulebook says u can assault “unless the vehcile arrived from DS last turn”. In fact, I still don’t understand why the hell GW gave the oppen-topped quality to Drop Pods, because it’s only application is getting +1 to vehicle damage.
            However, it’s true that this rule crashes with the new terminator rules. Maybe GW could faq this.

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          • greysplinter says:

            Very interesting… so maybe the Terminators assaulting out of a Drop Pod does not work after all… too bad : (…. well, learning quite a bit here, which is quite useful.

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          • mika says:

            People please. The formation rules say you can assault after arriving from reserves, a unit that disembarks from a pod is arriving from reserve, ergo they can assault. Special rules override the core rules, thats why they are special.

            If we go with your way of thinking Brotton then :

            – formation allows assault after deep strike
            – but the core rules dissallow this

            ergo you cannot assault.

            really?

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          • greysplinter says:

            mika, you are clearly an intelligent and innovative player and I think your idea has some great merit here… thanks for your contributions! I also believe you might be correct, as Special Rules do override generic rules.

            That said, if you can’t refrain from throwing in sarcasm e.g. “people please” or “read the rules” type statements in your comments, then I will delete them. This blog is a place for learning, discussion, and even correcting each other, but in a respectful way. Constructive critique and correction is welcome, attempts to belittle in aid of your argument is not.

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          • Brottor says:

            Yes, I was only giving my oppinion. Really don’t know if I’m right, that’s why I suggested that GW should faq this issue. Anyway, I agree with you about special rules override the core rules, but the rule I’m talking about is referred to open-topped rule (pg. 88). I don’t think that special rules override this one because this new special rule is referred to assault after DS, not about open-topped vehicles.
            Hey! As a blood angel’s player, I’m willing that this strategy could be legal. I just say I’m not sure about it. 🙂

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          • mika says:

            Oh, sorry. It’s just the way I talk, and all my friends seem to accept that, so I do not really notice it, and really I don’t mean to offend anyone.

            I’ll try to refrain from those type of comments in the future.

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          • greysplinter says:

            No problem, appreciate all your valuable insights 🙂

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    • folldelturo says:

      I think this is not possible with the new faq, correct me if I’m wrong but the formation and the cad (or fleashtearers strike force) are battle brothers, then in cannot embark in each other transports.

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  2. greysplinter says:

    One more ally that I think would work well is Sicarian infiltrators from the Skitarii Codex. While they don’t have any Teleporter Homers or special type of War Gear to mitigate Archangel OIF scattering, they do have the ability to Infiltrate and their “Neurostatic Aura” debuffs nearby enemy with 1- WS/BS/I/Ld… these combines quite well with Blood Angel Hammernators, as it basically improves their chances to hit against WS4 enemies, reduces the enemy initiative to make Lightning Claws more like to strike first, and even improves the chance of an enemy unit failing a morale check.

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  3. WestRider says:

    Definitely want some sort of re-roll on their Reserves Roll. That’s a ton of Points to have not show up til Turn 4.

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  4. I have done so much reading on this formation and If you folks did not know already this is worth sharing…..Furious Charge and the Red thirst do not work when making disordered charges : (

    Like

    • greysplinter says:

      Scott,

      Good point there, as that definitely does take some of the “bite” out of this unit. I think the best way to deal with that is to run majority (or all) TH/SS Terminators, who don’t benefit from Red Thirst anyway, and have enough S8 AP2 attacks to make up for the loss of the charge bonus (if you can work in some way to improve their rolls to Hit, like Prescience from a nearby Librarian or a nearby Corbulo to make them WS5, then that can help too).

      Like

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