Blood Angels is out to pre-order later this week so Warhammer Community has started its previews. We already know that BA are getting Primaris Marines (along with all the other Marine toys such as Flyers and different Terminator armors) – not a big deal until they started getting price drops every time a new document was released (we will be looking at the shortly).
With their new book comes a single Chapter Trait – unsurprising they way they did Grey Knights but a tiny bit disappointing. Blood Angel models with the Red Thirst get +1 to wound rolls in a turn it charged, was charged or completed a Heroic Intervention (one assumes this is Dreadnoughts and Infantry / Bikers only again). This is obviously a combat trait, something Marines generally struggle with so it will be fair to ponder if the actual combat units of Blood Angels hold weight (it is rumoured Death Company get to attack twice like Bezerkers, if so – pondering completed).
We also get to see three Stratagems. No Primaris Models may be Death Company it seems – either the Flaw has been solved or they are just too young to have succumbed. Regardless, you can give a Character the Black Rage (which we believe is the double attack and some sort of FNP+++ save) but does not lose Red Thirst. For 1CP if this allows them to attack twice, this could turn assault characters into terrifying monsters. Strike of the Archangels is expensive at 2CP for re-rolls on a single Terminator unit, particularly if they fail to get a charge off (it is re-roll hit rolls so shooting, combat, overwatch, etc.). Upon Wings of Fire is the classic pick up a unit and place it somewhere else which are always great to have in an objective based game, particularly at 1CP.
Wings as a psychic power is still around and at WC5, is pretty easy to cast. A flying Libby Dread may be a thing again but it also has a hugely extended threat range given it gets to move again during the psychic phase and the movement bonus lasts until the next psychic phase. Icing on the cake? Gets the Fly keyword. Artisan of War is always a nice Relic depending upon the weapon being used – can turn a Thunder Hammer into straight D4 or minimise the dice skew of D6 damage weapons. Gift of Foresight makes me think Black Rage gives a 6+++ to Death Company which is no where near as good as it used to be but a 5+++ on your combat character is always handy.
The Veratas Vitae is an ability we are seeing everywhere these days – whether it’s when your opponent uses a stratagem or you do, getting more CP on a 5+ is not bad but not to be relied upon. Likewise the Standard is helpful at increasing durability of nearby models but its a models based aura rather than units. Unlike the Marines Relic banner which allows dying models to shoot / fight again on a 3+, you really want to get large amounts of models packed into this 6″ bubble which can be hard. Depending on how Priests work, may not be worth it.
If the Death Company rumours are true, I think Blood Angels could finally be a decent combat army backed up by normal Marine shooting effectiveness (though it just makes me wonder why not BA combat army and then Salamanders shooting?) but we will wait and see. Copy / paste below.
Chapter Focus: The Blood Angels
The Blood Angels are among the most distinct of the Space Marine Chapters, and their new codex reflects this with a vast suite of new rules, units, Stratagems and more designed to reflect the fast-paced, aggressive style of war favoured by the sons of Sanguinius.
Firstly, Blood Angels are fittingly blessed with a melee-focused army wide special rule, the Red Thirst:
The Red Thirst gives all Blood Angels units +1 to wound when they charge, are charged or make a Heroic Intervention. With the new wound roll chart, this makes getting 2+ to wound that much easier, as well as helping your smaller units damage even your enemies’ toughest monsters and vehicles with ease. Just imagine a unit of Reivers dropping in with this! All Blood Angels successors use the Red Thirst and other Blood Angels rules too – as if Gabriel Seth needed to get even deadlier…
The Blood Angels codex is also absolutely packed with new units. As you’d expect, Blood Angels now have access to the entire Primaris Space Marines arsenal, but what you might not know is that this codex also broadens the Blood Angels range of traditional Space Marines weapons and units.
You’ll now be able to escort your flyers into battle alongside the Stormhawk Interceptor, transport scouts into the heart of battle aboard Land Speeder Storms, or unleash the might of ancient technologies from the Horus Heresy, like the Contemptor Dreadnought as well as Cataphractii and Tartaros pattern Terminators.
As you’d expect, there are loads of Stratagems to use with your Blood Angels army. These have been designed to open up new and thematic ways to structure and use your army. Death Visions of Sanguinius, for instance, lets you give one Captain, Lieutenant or Chaplain the dubious blessings of the Black Rage:
Strike of the Archangels is great for gunning down squads of massed infantry, and is especially deadly if you make the charge on the turn you arrive.
Upon Wings of Fire is a great way to grab an objective at the last minute, pull an at-risk squad out of combat or get a particularly deadly unit into position for a devastating charge.
There are new psychic powers, too. You may remember Wings of Sanguinius from the previous edition. This power is back and just as dangerous as it was before when used with the Librarian Dreadnought.
Indeed, Librarian Dreadnoughts, and the rest of your characters, are now eligible for many powerful Warlord Traits and Relics. Artisan of War is a superb way to build deadly characters, and combined with a Primaris Captain can give you an auto bolt rifle that does 3 damage a shot! Gift of Foresight, on the other hand, provides some extra durability:
For Relics, you’ll be able to choose between lethal, master-crafted weapons of the Chapter and more tactical options. We love the Veritas Vitae, providing you with a great way to maximise your Command Points, while the Standard of Sacrifice combined with the Sanguinary Ancient to create a fantastic lynchpin for the rest of your forces.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Blood Angels or you’re looking for a new army, the new codex has something for you. You’ll be able to pre-order your copy this Saturday.
If you’re still hungry to learn more, worry not – we’ll be taking a look at the new units in the new codex later in the week, while if you’ve got any questions or want to see some more rules previews there’s an in-depth preview on Warhammer Live on Friday at 5:00 pm on Twitch.