The following is a guest article from a legionaire known as Hector the Mightily Bestowed. He had some issues with my power rankings from 6th edition, specifically Dark Angels and Blood Angels. Here is his response.
Hopefully the title has your undivided attention. There is no way the Dark Angels can put up much of a fight for the Best Army, they dont have grav-guns, Centurions, Stormravens, strong magic (or anti magic), and their flyers are simply worse than everyone else (ok maybe the tau are worse). The cant out shoot anyone, and their dedicated close combat troops (Deathwing knights) are only good on one turn out of the game… maybe…
What they do have (and 7th edition made WAY more important) is access to the most varied troops choices of ANY codex. Most space marines have 2 choices (tactical squads and scouts). Dark Angels have the standard 2, but can easily add Terminators and/or Ravenwing bike squads.
A 1600 point army can have Azreal, a thunder hammer/storm shield assault terminator squad with Land raider crusader dedicated transport, terminator shooty squad with assault cannon, 2 full Ravenwing bike squads with attack multi-melta bikes and veteran sergeants with melta bombs, and a 5 man tactical squad with a lascannon razorback dedicated transport. That is NINE different Objective Securing units (combat squad the Ravenwing and 2 dedicated transports). Azreal cruses around in the razorback with the tactical marines, the bikes are all stubborn and terminators are inner circle (will never run). The bikes can easily cover the battlefield to secure or contest any objective, at any point.
Toss that up to 2000 points and add in some magic (Ezekiel is no Tigarius, but he is no slouch), and a techpriest with powerfield generator, and maybe a lascannon predator or some other anti armor unit (or just give the other terminator squad a dedicated God hammer land raider), and you have a solid force, capable of crossing the battlefield several times chasing down objectives, and in the case of the terminators, hold them until the end.
No other army in all Warhammer has this flexibility in it Objective Secure Troops choices. They can take fast bikes, the toughest infantry and the heaviest vehicles, all with objective secured. These models can take out any target (minus flyers) on the battlefield.
A standard tactical squad (10 space marines, flamer and missile launcher) with a rhino is roughly 200 points (195). Taking 6 of them, in combat squads gives you 18 OS troops, but there is no flexibility at all here. A 5 man tactical squad with flamer and upgraded razor back is 150 points (6 takes us to 900 points), for 12 OS troops, with more flexibility, but still nothing compared to the Dark Angels (who can still take rhinos and razorbacks).
Is Objective Secured the deciding factor for best army? No, absolutely not, but it is A factor, and that factor goes to the Dark Angles, without question.
On a different though, what factors also contribute to “best army”? Magic, Shooting, Assault, Leadership, sure. Mobility? eh some armies (AM) movement is less important. Points, Durability, and I’m sure other factors play in…
Next up: Why the Blood Angels are the best army in 40k…