Sunday, December 4, 2011

How do Blood Angels work?

So lately I've been discussing some Blood Angels theory on Reecius's blog, Frontline Gaming. It might be a bit late in the game for this article, but some people still seem to misunderstand where the strengths of the current Blood Angels codex lie, and that's okay because I'd like to share my thoughts.

Well first there's the obviousness point that Blood Angels' Rhino-chassis vehicles are Fast. Being able to move "flat-out" up to 18" with Rhinos, Razorbacks, Predators, Vindicators, and yes even Whirlwinds is huge. They can move up to 6" and fire everything they've got, or move up to 12" and fire one main weapon and all defensive weapons. Mobility is king in 5th Edition, especially mechanized-mobility, and Blood Angels have that in spades.

Next up we have Special Characters. Blood Angels have always had a couple of gems in their codexes like Dante and Mephiston, and in this book they've doubled the awesomeness. Dante, Mephiston, The Sanguinor, Tycho, and Astorath are some pretty awesome characters that do some pretty amazing things. Most of us know what they do by now so I won't bother listing it all out, but again I think currently they're the new versions of the older characters are better than they've ever been, and the new characters are amazing.

But finally, the real strength of the codex comes via re-rolls. There's a Psychic Power that the 100 pt Librarian can take called Unleash Rage that gives himself and the unit he's with Preferred Enemy. There's also an HQ Chaplain called a Reclusiarch (who obviously has Litanies of Hate), and they've moved the standard 100 pt Chaplain to Elites which allows you take three of them (and again, they all have Litanies of Hate). Finally, there's the Sanguinary Priest who is also in Elites, but can be taken in threes as a single Elites slot. They grant the unit they join (plus all Blood Angels units in 6") Furious Charge and Feel no Pain. Oh, and you can also get a mini-Sang Priest by taking an Honor Guard. He's called a Sanguinary Novitiate, but he still grants those buffs to any unit within 6" of them. Another interesting thing to have happen is The Sanguinor can grant +1 Attack to all Blood Angels units within 6" of him AND the Honor Guard's Company Banner grants their own unit +1 Attack, so that's an extra two attacks with Furious Charge (due to the Sanguinary Novitiate) not including any re-rolls from Librarians or Chaplains, coming from that Honor Guard. They're expensive which is their drawback, but for that many attacks with Power Weapons, Lightning Claws, Power Fists, or whatever else you want in that unit, they're totally worth it.

With that amount of re-rolling (Chaplains, Librarians, FnP) it mitigates bad die rolls which I'm a huge fan of, and gets a ton of extra hits and wounds. Depending on the unit the Chaplains and/or Librarians are with, it can go a long way to mopping up enemy units. Being able to roll your armor save and then a 4+ Feel no Pain roll basically adds 50% more survivability to a unit too.

We even have more ranged-weapon re-rolls than ever before as well. We've always had the Twin-Linked Assault Cannon on our Baal Predators, Land Speeder Tornadoes, and Land Raider Crusaders, but now we also have Twin-Linked Plasmaguns on our Razorbacks and a myriad of Twin-Linked weaponry on our brand new Stormraven Gunship. It's a lot, and when you put it all together it starts to show what really helps Blood Angels shine on the tabletop.

So, this time around, the gimmick seems to be all about re-rolling with Blood Angels and being extremely mobile with a majority of their vehicles (especially their HOT new Stormraven Gunship). The re-rolls help them have that combat punch, and the mobile vehicles keeps with the fluff as well, and is a nod to prior editions where entire lists were centered around Rhinos flooring it across the field to drop off very angry Marines. :)


  1. Hey, New to Blood Angels and just found your blog. I must say I like your thoughts on Honor Guard and the power of re-rolling. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.

  2. Thanks a bunch for reading!

    I'll be sure to continue to post Blood Angels-related things as often as possible, but I'd like to ask, what do you want to see? Battle Reports via my YouTube channel? Thoughts on tactics and units? Reviews of units and codexes? Reviews of other games?

    Let me know!