Thursday, 30 November 2017

Codex: Blood Angels - Chapter Focus

Hello again. You find me in a heightened state of excitement. As you probably know, Codex: Blood Angels is up for pre-order on Saturday, and as you also know if you have been with me for any amount of time, Blood Angels are my guys. Games Workshop have released a few snippets of the new rules for the Baal badasses and I am going to review them here. Strap in folks, this will be a bit of a long one. Get ready for some serious positivity!

The Red Thirst

This is better than I had hoped it would be. When a unit with The Red Thirst charges, is charged, or makes a heroic intervention, they get +1 to wound in the Fight Phase. So in effect the BAs benefit from what they do best, assault, but they also benefit if the opponent charges and if a character joins the fight. Basically when they get into combat, they get pumped.

I expected this to be +1 Strength when they charge but this is far better. For regular BAs with chainswords against T3, 4 and 5, this is the same as it would have been for charging in 7th, wounding on 2s, 3s and 4s respectively. Against T6 and 7, they are still wounding on 4s which is going to prove pretty strong against medium to heavy vehicles and monsters. Against T8 they are wounding on 5s! With enough attacks, this will at least prove a headache for the toughest units, and could potentially provide a nasty reduction in wounds and therefore power.

But that's just regular strength weapons. Powerfists and Thunderhammers are wounding T8 on 3s and everything lower on 2s. Even better, if the Sanguinary Priests keep their +1 Strength aura, that's 2s on absolutely everything! Those fisticuffs Dreadnoughts are wounding absolutely everything on 2s regardless!

All this hinges on being in combat, but as you'll see below, we already have some fun toys to use to make that happen!


Death Visions of Sanguinius - 1 Command Point

This is going to prove a useful stratagem, if you have enough to spare. Gives a BA Captain, Chaplain or Lieutenant the Death Company keyword and the Black Rage ability for the battle. We don't know the full details of what Black Rage will mean in the codex, but it currently gives +1 Attack on the charge and a 6+ damage ignore. There is a warlord trait that will synergise well with this as you will see below. Cannot be used on Primaris models (weirdly, as Lieutenants are Primaris as far as I am aware) or named characters, which makes sense. Terminator Captain with this? Scary.

Strike of the Archangels - 2 Command Points

Gives a BA Terminator unit re-rolls to hit until the start of the next turn from when they are deployed. This is clearly more useful, and aimed at, deep striking termies. Drop those termies in 9" away, rapid fire all of the Storm bolters, re-rolling *all* of the misses, then charge and re-roll all of those misses as well. Okay so the 9" charge is a rare beast, but if you pull it off, it's going to cause havoc the turn they arrive. We're getting access to Tartaros and Cataphractii termies as well. I'll just leave that there.

Upon Wings of Fire - 1 Command Point

In your movement phase, remove a BA Jump Pack unit and redeploy it at the end of the phase 9" or more from enemy units. Easy objective grabber and a way to clear out of a hot area of the table or target a more suitable unit for a possible charge. Immensely useful in many situations I think you'll agree. Best of all, this will apply to JP Characters as well, so use it to get Dante or that Sanguinary Priest out of danger, or close to another unit for buffing or repositioning that Librarian for precision smiting!. You can also use this on a unit in combat (although I assume the same rules for charging afterward would apply). I love this one.

Psychic Powers

Wings of Sanguinius - Warp Charge 5

The Wings are back! Immediately move the Librarian upto 12" and gains Fly. On top of that, you get to re-roll failed charge rolls that turn. Just think about it for a minute. Librarian Dreadnought with a a 30" maximum range in a turn, moving over terrain and units and being able to charge Flyers, with a re-roll to charge. It's deliciously horrific. Now think of Mephiston with a 31" max range with that Sanguine Sword. As you immediately move the Librarian, this could be a handy way to position for a Smite. I can't wait to see how the other powers turn out.

Warlord Traits

Artisan of War

One of your Warlord's weapons adds 1 to it's Damage (not relics). Upto 8 damage with a Storm bolter? 4 damage Thunder hammer? Not a bad trait to take if you plan on getting your Warlord dishing out the hurts (which you should, they're Blood Angels!).

Gift of Foresight

Your Warlord ignores lost wounds on a 6, re-rolling ones. Pretty decent at that. If your Warlord has the Black Rage ability (see? Synergy!) this becomes a 5+ but they can't use the Black Rage ability as well, so just one, albeit improved over BR alone. Cataphractii Terminator Captain (we're getting the termies, so we'll probably get the captain) will be looking at a 2+/3++/5+ re-rolling 1s and an extra attack on the charge in that situation. That is a tough captain.


The Veritas Vitae

Quite different from 7th this one. Used to give an extra Warlord Trait back then, now returns a Command Point on a 5+ while the bearer is on the battlefield, giving the average Battalion 8 Command points for single CP stratagems. Not too bad but possibly better options for an army with expensive units and generally not as many CP.

Standard of Sacrifice

Gives an Ancient their normal banner buff, plus a 6" 5+ wound ignore bubble. Doesn't affect any unit with Black Rage (I am intrigued to see what they have done with Death Company as they seem to be avoiding giving them an extra 'Feel No Pain'). This is so powerful it's unreal. Keep it in the vicinity of your Sanguinary Guard in the hands of an SG Aincient and keep them very much alive to make use of that Red Thirst, as well as being immune to morale and re-rolling 1s to wound. So much power.

That's all we have for now, officially. I am very impressed with all of this; GW seem to be getting our BAs back to how they should be, killing things in combat. I can't wait to see what else comes out of the new Codex. Drop a comment below and let me know what you think of these snippets! Come back on Friday and read my thoughts on the Twitch live stream, where GW will be talking more about the new book.

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