Blood Angels Suck! Part 2

Does this apply to Gothic space vampires?

Raw Dogger is back with another Blood Angels piece.

I would like to begin this article with a clarification.  The intent of this series isn’t to point out that the Blood Angels are a horrible army.  That is far from the truth.  These articles are merely written to ask a question.  Why do so many people take Blood Angels to tournaments?  Certain readers of the previous article made some passionate (and potentially valid) arguments that Blood Angels are NOT the majority army taken to tournaments.  While this may be true in whatever town said readers live in, it is not the consensus of the tournaments we at Team Zero Comp go to (all over California) or the major tournament reports given by such sites as Blood of Kitten or BOLS.  If there is one thing I want to impose in this little prelude to the article, is that I not saying that Blood Angels are a terrible army.  In fact, I think they are actually quite mediocre, at their best! This is an army that does not have the tools it takes to win major tournaments.  Are there exceptions to the rule?  Sure!  If you take a well tooled Blood Angels list to a tournament comprised of Noobs, fluff bunnies, or Eldar players, you are more than likely going to win.  If you want to point out that win in the comments section below, feel free!  Just remember the immortal words of Julius Caesar, “hate the game not the player.”

Without further adieu, here are the unique characters of the Blood Angels and why they STINK!


Commander Dante:  Reputed to be one of the oldest Space Marines alive, Dante has been kicking ass and taking names for more than 1,000 years.

Pros: Dante lets you nerf an opposing character to the tune of -1 WS/W/I/A which can be a benefit if you are facing an army lead by a real buff guy..with no shirt on..doing pushups..mmmm.  He also lets a squad he is accompanying deep strike without scattering and confers the hit and run rule, both being valuable tools to employ.  Dante is no slouch in combat, boasting 6 weapon skill 6 attacks on the charge with a master-crafted power weapon. He also has a death mask or something stupid like that.

Cons:  The oldest Space Marine in the galaxy who is NOT an eternal warrior and is NOT fearless? FAIL.  The dude is toughness 4, so I hope you can take a punch!  A powerfist punch, that is.  He is also strength 4, which means you need to have a priest around (more on them later) to get up to strength 5, and that is only on the charge.  I don’t know how many times this dude and his squad lost combat, fell back, and were run off the table by a rhino.  I’ve also had Dante being the lone survivor of a combat, fall back, and then get hit by a krak missile, instantly killing him.  Fine work there, Lou!


Chapter Master Seth:  Chapter Master of the Flesh Terrors, Seth works hard to bolster the reputation of his blood thirsty band of merry men.

Pros: Who cares, no one plays Seth.

Cons:  See above.


Astorath the Grim:  The High Chaplain of getting high, this dude flies around the galaxy on his righteous wings, chopping the heads off of those who succumb to THE BLACK RAGE (read this in a deep, spooky voice).

Pros:  You get the Red Thirst on a roll of 3 or less, making an assault army just that much more awesome.  He makes the 0-1 Death Company restriction disappear. He also has all of the normal Chaplain things such as making his unit Fearless and letting them reroll hits on the turn they charge.  He has a wicked weapon that goes by the name of The Executioner’s Axe, which is an electric guitar that takes away invulnerable saves, which is pretty cool.

Cons:  He is expensive, coming in at 220 points.  Yes, he makes it so that the Death Company can be taken in more than one unit, but the Death Company suck, so who cares? (See Death Company in next article)  The main problem with Astorath is that he costs so many points that you can’t take any of the other, better, expensive characters, such as..

It's good to back in Chicago, yeah!!!

The Sanguinor:  Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  Is it Sanguinius’ righteous rage incarnate?  Who cares!  All we know is that he’s a dude, he’s gold, and he kicks a lot of ass!

Pros:  Much like Dante’s nerfing power, The Sanguinor has a buffing power.  He gives a random sergeant in your army +1 WS/W/I/A.  I don’t know about you, but having a two wound Sergeant with a Thunder Hammer IS pretty sweet.  He also calls out an opponent’s Independent Character before the fight begins and gets to re-roll all to hit and two wound rolls, much like when Macho Man Randy Savage called out Hulk Hogan on his hit rap song “Be a Man (Hulk Hogan)”.  He also gives +1 attack to anyone within 6”, has a cool sword, and a 3+ invulnerable save and is an Eternal Warrior.

Cons:  He is a 275 point, 3 wound, toughness 4 NON-INDEPENDENT CHARACTER.  Unless you are playing an opponent that lets you pretend The Sanguinor is invisible, he is going to get shot by 20 lasguns and roll 3 ones on the second turn.  Should have had a V8, punk!


Mephiston, Lord of Death:  Here he is folks, the man you’ve all been waiting for. Surely, Raw Dogger can have nothing bad to say about THIS guy!  He’s THE LORD OF DEATH for cris’sakes!  He is the only Blood Angel who succumbed to the Black Rage and said, “no thanks, I won’t be having any of that today!”   And do you know what, I almost agree with you.  NOT!

Pros:  This dude is a walking tank; he is a toughness 6, 5 wound model who, when combined with Feel No Pain (again with the Priests?), presents a credible threat to an opponent’s army.  He is extremely fast, has a psychic power that lets him move like jump infantry, has fleet of balls, and in combat he is unsurpassed with multiple psychic power buffs on top of his already incredible weapon skill 7, strength 6, Initiative 7.  Basically, this is a Space Marine on God Mode.

Cons:  My word, where to begin?  Take a deep breath, Raw Dogger, there are children present.

To start with, the dude is not an independent character, meaning on top of his hefty 250 points you need to invest in some sort of protective ride, usually a 200-245 point Storm Raven, which means your investment in looking cool now costs around 500 points.  Congratulations, that is 25-40% of your total point allowance depending on how many points you play.  Why does he need a transport if he is toughness 6 and has 5 wounds?  Just have him hug cover.  Really?   I never thought of that.  FALSE.  While he is a bad ass, he runs into the same problems as The Sanguinor, the fact being that he WILL fail 2+ wounds.  And if your opponent is any kind of a player, he is going to shoot the shit out of that model with everything he has.  Try and make 60+ saves, dork!  Torrent of fire will get you every.single.time.  Oh, btw, he doesn’t have an invulnerable save.  ORLY?  Yes, really.  I should just stop there and let that fact soak in.

A 250 point model that does not have an invulnerable save.  Seriously.  But I won’t, because there is one more little thing that makes this guy go from hero to zero faster than a Brock Lesner at a victory party.  Mephiston’s entire premise, his whole reason for being on the table in the first place, is entirely reliant on his psychic powers.  He is countered by any competent psychically defensive race you will encounter.  Also, the odds of periling when rolling for three psychic powers per player turn is fairly high, which will lead to a fairly high incidence of Blood Angel player whining and crying, which is not fun for anybody.  Back to the drawing board!


Captain Tycho:  Once the flyest b-boy on the block, Tycho took an arrow to the knee and was never the same.  He’s also dead.

Pros:  Tycho has two different stat-lines.  The first is when he still led his company as a Blood Angel Captain.  He has the cool thing that Black Templar Marshals have where anyone on the battlefield can use his leadership 10, but with the majority of the leaderships being 9-10 anyways, it just doesn’t really matter.  He also has a cool master crafted karate chop attack that ignores armor saves.  As the insane, Death Company Captain, Tycho loses leadership and gets fleet, as well as the normal Death Company stuff.  At 175 points, he is the cheapest of the Blood Angel named characters so might not be a bad dude to take, if you have the points. Plus, angry Black Tycho can’t join a squad….nuff said.

Cons:  Yawn.  While Tycho does have some cool fluff behind him and might be the only character in the game to have two different statlines, he is still just a Space Marine Captain with a cool gun and a Michael Jackson glove.


Next Up?  The rest of the unique Blood Angel units and why you..I mean they…stink!

What do you guys think about Raw Dogger’s latest BA thoughts?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

30 Responses to “Blood Angels Suck! Part 2”

  1. Paul Q December 28, 2011 2:11 am #

    You sir have made me laugh in a good way :0) you’ve told it how it is so I can respect that

  2. Pascal Roggen December 28, 2011 4:20 am #

    you have a style which makes me want to comment:).
    Just a little on dante. I’ve had him die to powerfists.. and it’s balls.
    however, I’ve never had his unit[ usually sanguard with banner, priest and a librarian, yay cover and re rolls in combat+psychihc defense] lose a combat. maybe it’s just that I choose good targets but holy cow does his unit blend… sometimes the final standing nob will pf to death and I’ll cry.. manly manly tears;P. but that unit will have won combat and his curse will still be in effect.. also hit and run is hilarious.. no getting tarpitted thanks:)

    Also… while I tottally agree on mephiston hating psychic defense and I once had him die to 16 guardsmen lasgunning him to death.. 32 shots… sigh. getting 60+ wounds on him is… hard.

    Just a quick stint into math hammer here. bs3 guardsmen hit half the time, need 6’s to wound , mephiston to roll ones and thenhopefully FNP on a 4+.
    each wound on average takes 144 guardsmen lasgun shots with fnp.1/2 to 1/12 to 1/72 to 1/144.

    he’s also easy to hide, really really easy.

    The reason I don’t use him anymore though?
    no more retries on psych powers if you fail a check… bloody bloody faq.
    If you can’t ensure that str10 power you can’t really go walker hunting, if you can’t ensure wings of sanguinius hiding behind tanks etc just slowed you right down.

    also on nitpick land astoroth’s axe is a str6 which makes enemies reroll invuls.

    can’t wait to read how terrible 30inch threat range DC dreads out of stormravens are:)

    • Raw Dogger December 28, 2011 3:28 pm #

      I’m glad you like the style Kasil. I actually wasn’t aware that the Axe was an actual axe, I guess you learn something everyday 😉

      • Raw Dogger December 28, 2011 3:32 pm #

        Oops! That’s to Pascal, even though I guess I am saying thanks to Kasil for taking the article seriously. I intend to present this to the Warhammer Tactical Board as my thesis. Lighten up, Francis!

        • Pascal Roggen December 28, 2011 5:26 pm #

          ohh tactical board, do you usually present ideas to the gaming table? 😛

          • Raw Dogger December 29, 2011 9:05 am

            Is that where I am yelling at my family, drunk? FOR THE EMPEROR!

  3. Kasil December 28, 2011 10:50 am #

    Raw Dogger – I still, despite your “clarification,” don’t really get the purpose of your article. Is this a backwards way to say the game is not balanced? Are you getting at small areas where GW screws up units that could have been good/fair/balanced (i.e. Dante’s non-eternal warrior)? Are you really just this bothered by the fact that too many people bring BA to tournaments? Are you making an assumption that they are all there to win, that they play BA because they think they are a tier 1 ‘dex?? Are you bothered by the fact that anybody would bring an army that is not Grey Knights, Space Wolves or Imperial Guard?

    I can’t speak for the others. but I don’t play BA because they are an OP dex, I play them because they fit my play-style.

    Anyway, if you really feel the need to write this series then lets hear about some comparisons to units that don’t “stink,” afterall “stink” is a relative term… Then at least you can get to the real point, overall game balance.

    • Reecius December 28, 2011 4:47 pm #

      I think he was just trying to be funny, Kasil. He is ultra sarcastic in real life, too.

      I see your points, but I must admit, I laughed at the article. Probably because I could hear him talking while I read it! haha.

      • Kasil December 29, 2011 8:41 am #

        If this is a piece based on his personality and humor, then I get it and can have fun with it. I write like I am a stick in the mud, but I am not that bad.

        Although, I do find this style to be a clever way to get at balance.

        • Reecius December 29, 2011 12:32 pm #

          Yeah, exactly. He loves the fluff and the game, but he gets pissed at what he sees as imbalance in the game.

  4. The Dave December 28, 2011 11:01 am #

    Wow, I don’t know where to begin.

    As a Blood Angels player I am shocked with Mr. “Raw Dogger”s take. Am I really supposed to believe this stuff? Should I erase my years of experience with the army, or the hundreds of games I’ve played with this codex alone because Mr. Dogger says otherwise? Nah. I can’t help but feel that this entire “series” (not looking forward to the rest) is going to be based on his opinion of games where it sounds like he got destroyed.

    So yet again Mr. Dogger has been allowed to post highly opinionated drivel to the otherwise informative and objective blog, and yet again he is giving out information that is based on bad games, conjecture, and anecdotal evidence at best. Full of strong-arm tactics and mostly just useless opinion, Mr. Dog has decided to tell you exactly what to think. Want another opinion? If you really want some solid advice on running Blood Angels competitively, I would recommend looking elsewhere (Jawaballs, DZero, etc)

    Let’s start by going over his introduction to this baseless rant.

    He starts by telling us that he thinks Blood Angels are not a bad army at all, though the article is called “vampires suck”. That’s just back-pedaling.

    Next, he attempts to debase a fact that was pointed out to him: that just about every major tournament in the country is in fact NOT dominated with Blood Angels armies (he suggests that most armies that show up at a major tournament are Blood Angels). In reality, ‘Ard Boyz, Adepticon, Wargames Con, Mechanicon, the Nova Open, The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, Da Boyz GT, the Necronomicon, Genghiscon, Tacticon, and Beakycon all have seen strong mixes of armies with a vast majority of them being Space Wolves, IG, Blood Angels, and Space marines, and then random numbers of the remaining races. Space Wolves definitely take the cake though. Adepticon had 44/48 Counts As requests for Space Wolves, and that doesn’t include people actually running the actual army. I’ve followed blogs on the major sites related to these cons, and blogs belonging to people like Darkwynn, Goatboy, Synaps3, Stelek, Jawaballs, Irondog, Brent, Kirby, DZero, and countless others, and they all report the same. Wolves have it, everything else is random and anecdotal.

    He also proclaims Blood Angels can’t win major tournaments. Look up a guy named Chris Dubuque, and you’ll see he won Mechanicon last year with Mech Blood Angels as well as a few other tournaments pretty handily. He’s dedicated to the hobby and the army, and he’s the best Blood Angels player in the country. Look up a guy nick-named DZero. Read his blog post about raping at his nearby Majors and how he’s just gotten better and better with them. I’ll take the word (and advice) of accomplished vets over a random angry dude.

    When he gets to Gabriel Seth he just skips him because he says “no one runs him”. Cool, so the reason he “sucks” is because he believes no one takes him. Really? That’s the reason his stats/wargear doesn’t work and why he has no synergy with anything? Interesting.

    As for Astorath, he tells us that taking Death Company suck so Astorath is useless, and he forgets what Astorath’s Axe actually does in his “review”. I have to ask if this guy even read the codex. He’s now skipping units and just saying “this sucks, that sucks, who cares about that unit” as your end-all answer for how these units work or why they “suck” (the title of the article).

    Now, in regards to the slander Mr. Dogg has said about my buddy Mephiston, I can’t stand by and watch it happen. To put things politely, I think he’s way off base and simply doesn’t have enough experience to be explaining how effective this guy really is. I have run him in over 100 games (several of them were tournament games) and I can tell you he
    cleans NO LESS than three units off the board before he dies from wound attrition. No character in the game is invincible, and once they see how much damage I’m doing with him aside from the near board control psychological effect he has, they tend to target him quickly. Don’t be dumb with a 250-point, no invul-toting Special Character. Give him cover, give him other units to hang out near for target saturation, etc. I’ve never had a problem with him, and as for the psychic power balogne, I’ve never killed him with failed Psychic tests in those 100+ games too (WAY MORE if we go back through other editions). The odds of failing a single test is 1-in-12. Three powers is a 25% chance to suffer Perils that turn. It’s not really that scary. No invul? He doesn’t need it; Initiative 7 is his Invulnerable Save (Initiative 8 if there happens to be a priest nearby when he charges). Again, despite the claims, Mephiston’s whole point is not his psychic powers, it’s 6 I7 (or I8) attacks at WS7 S6 (or S7). He’ll mop up a majority of a unit on his own, and take minimal casualties back. He can rape vehicles by himself, and dominate a table, and psych-out your opponent.

    The review for Captain Tycho is equally lacking, as he’s forgetting more stuff that makes Tycho a beast (Special Ammo bolter + Combi-Melta, his “power glove” gets +1D6 vs armor AND is a digital weapon, AND he has Preferred Enemy: Orks which is super Fluffy and REALLY COOL). He’s cheaper than an equivalent Captain considering the extra wargear/rules he’s getting. Sure, his Death Company version is actually weak (mainly due to Rage, and that’s about it), but “Captain Tycho” is surely a boon to any Blood Angels force, and I think he’s often overlooked.

    • Raw Dogger December 28, 2011 2:33 pm #

      I suspect there are a lot of things you “don’t get” The Dave, the first being humor. Warhammer 40k is serious business, after all. I appreciate that you took time off from your job editing the swears out of Blockbuster videos to write such a passionate response. These articles are meant to humorously point out the problems that I see with the Blood Angel codex as a whole, and is something I will do with any army that I play. If these articles offend your delicate sensibilites, I apologize, and ask you to read them for what they are. These are not, and will never be, meant to be tactical discussions about the units in the codex. I also did not come up with the title, mine was much more offensive.

      • Reecius December 28, 2011 4:46 pm #

        Just remember to keep it clean and above the belt, guys. This is a family friendly website!

      • Son of Dorn December 31, 2011 1:14 pm #

        I think everyone’s problem was that it was difficult to tell where your were being sarcastic. Perhaps you could continue your series using italics when making especially sarcastic remarks so we can all laugh along with you. We’re just a bunch of dudes from the web and don’t have a reference point for your sense of humor. Having a way to read into your tone would allow everyone to enjoy them a lot more. 🙂 (I overuse emotes for that very reason.)

  5. Rantimus December 29, 2011 8:08 am #

    I have to agree with the Dave, if you play them smart then you can get the lads in the right places to seriously destroy most enemies piece by piece
    I play in Australia and blood angels are by far not very popular in tournaments or in general as they are hard to play with, but we are different down here (if a guy likes your sister and buys you a drink you let them go for it rather than try to shoot them, so life if different from the states)
    But the BA are tactical and assault based for example using a stormraven full of thunderhammer termies and a furioso ploughing up the field and using mephestion as ninja jumping forward around the side you can smash armies but taking them apart piece by piece with both moving up, it has worked 100’s of times for me, make the furioso a librarian and give him wings of sangunius and support you guyes where they need it.
    I have Tabled players using a death company w/ DC dreadnought in a stormraven with Astrograth or a reclusiarc leading the charge,
    but (as with most armies) if you do not get your guyes into the fight (they work as a assault based codex I find the best) and get caught with your wiener in the wind you will get smashed, you have all your eggs in one basket (especially in a stormraven) but use it as a transport (its supposed to be) and turbo your guyes in the fight. Every game I lose my stormraven but if it deploys my termies and furioso into the enemy lines (or assult range) then only if the gods of the dice frown on me I usually win.
    Long story short the BA are awesome and I thoroughly enjoy playing with them and I think really if you think they suck that much play a different army, maybe Tau?

  6. Sasori December 29, 2011 3:14 pm #

    When I come to Frontline Gaming, It’s for the well thought out Articles, The exciting battle reports, and up to date news and thoughts on various hobbies. This article lacks any of that and is not up to the high standards I’ve come to expect, and enjoy, from Frontline gaming. I understand that it’s a “Humor” piece, but this reads like something that would be posted on a personal blog, rather than a website for a business that is quickly becoming one of the best sources for excellent articles and various hobby content. Raw Dogger’s response to The Dave was also very unprofessional.

    • Raw Dogger December 29, 2011 6:18 pm #

      Sasori, Im sorry that I lacked the acumen you are used to. We should be talking about the tactical aspects of the Blood Angels.

      • Reecius December 29, 2011 7:28 pm #

        Again, guys, keep it clean. No reason to get snarky for no reason.

        • The Dave December 30, 2011 3:56 am #

          Seems I’m not the only person who wishes for content by you, Luis, and Frankie, not Fail Dogger.

          • Italiaplaya December 30, 2011 9:33 am

            Hey, hey. forgettting about me too haha.

          • Reecius December 31, 2011 1:53 pm

            I hope you don’t take his comments personally, he doesn’t mean them that way, honestly.

  7. The Overlord December 30, 2011 8:33 am #

    I am not a BA player, but I enjoy articles like this. I know many players disagree with Raw Dogger, and even as I look through the BA book I noticed a lot of things I wish my army had, but in the end… Raw Dogger has the right to nit pick his codex to death (and post it to his blog).

    We are all gamers and we sit around and stew on our army lists and tactics and such for so many hours that we arrive at these generalized consensuses which are often times not quite accurate. Truth is we have our own opinions on what units work and what combinations are best. My point is this…

    Whether or not you agree with Raw Dogger, it doesn’t matter. He has a right to publish whatever he wants on the blog (as long as Frontline ok’s it – I assume), and if you dont agree.. wonderful! Then we can have useful dialogue and stimulating conversation…. but instead we devolve into animals picking at each other over what is in all honesty… OPINION!

    Anyways, I enjoyed the post… and the comments afterwards. 40k4life!

    • Reecius December 31, 2011 1:54 pm #

      Yeah, it was meant as a both a critique of the the book and as a humor piece. It is easy to miss humor on the internet though when you aren’t face to face.

      • TheDave January 1, 2012 5:48 pm #

        Agreed, Reece. I bet it would be hilarious to listen to in person, but unfortunately as you said, tone and humor have no conveyance over the interwebs.

  8. Fearspect January 11, 2012 1:48 pm #

    Here is my prediction for Blood Angels Suck! Part 3:

    1) Raw Dogger whines for a few pages about how bad his army list is, once again using anecdotes that show he has no concept of a good list or or what tactical play looks like.

    2) Reecius spends the next few days individually appologizing to readers who see the article for what it is, claiming he was joking, “You just don’t get his humor”.

    3) Raw Dogger replies to critique of his article with Ad Hominem attacks.

    4) Reecius spends more time appologizing for Raw Dogger’s replies.

    There, I saved you the trouble of letting him write for you again.

    • Reecius January 11, 2012 2:55 pm #

      It’s satire. Some people get it, some people don’t. I don’t know what else to say. As for Raw Dogger’s skill as a player, he is good. He’s just very snarky, as Dane Cook would say it. I am not claiming he was joking, I know he is, he is my roommate, I was laughing while he wrote half the stuff.

      Anyway, you’re free to see things how you like.

      • Fearspect January 11, 2012 3:29 pm #

        Disguising a bad article as satire is a little bit of a stretch. You are claiming then that there was a lesson to be taught, or perhaps that it was a comment on society? If that is the case, where is the consistency in the message (e.g. he still called known bad units bad)?

        Maybe it was a stretch for me to assume that he has no concept of a good list or what tactical play looks like, but if he does, he certainly has shown a lacking ability to express that knowledge.

        • Reecius January 12, 2012 1:04 pm #

          Look, you obviously didn’t get the joke or didn’t think it was funny. Digging into the semantics of it doesn’t change the original intent: to make people laugh.

          Not really much more to debate on the subject.

  9. Bri Bri May 26, 2013 8:19 pm #

    Obviously this is an old article, but having stumbled upon it, I feel the need to reply.

    Yes, most of our characters are terrible and a waste of points. That does not make BA’s a bad or even mediocre army (i.e.: if special characters/ HQ’s were the only thing that defined armies, Chaos would probably win every time).

    Second, you made no mention of Brother Corbulo, who is a gem.

    Third, I disagree with your analysis of Mephy. He can get 5+ cover save and a 5 + FnP save as he advances on top of T 6. If the enemy shoots everything they possibly have at him and kills him before I can get him into CC (possible, but hard to do), then that means the rest of my army is looking pretty healthy and he paid off – the enemy spent 2 turns of shooting at him (i.e. in a 2,000 pt game, assuming it goes 6 turns, that is 666 pts trying to take out a 250 pt model… a weird analysis, but I think it paints a good picture).

    Maybe the BA’s you are playing against use 1,000 points on Dante, Mephiston, a bunch of Sang Guard and Death Company, etc. But a balanced BA army is generally pretty potent. I think AM’s are better than tactical marines (especially when supported by a Sang Preist and Librarian) and don’t see why BA’s would be anything but better than SM’s.

    And, at the end of the day, I think they are more fun and generally win with my builds.

    • Reecius May 27, 2013 9:07 am #

      This article was also written as humor too, a lot of folks seemed to miss the author’s intent.

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