Rawdogger hear to talk about an old school unit that still kicks a lot of ass and takes very few names (because they are too busy kicking asses) the classic Death Company.
Now, a lot can be said regarding the overall Blood Angels codex release about a year ago. Some people might say it’s ridiculously underpowered. Others may say it is the worst codex to come out since Chaos Space Marines 5th-7th edition. Still more probably say that the Blood Angel codex is about as useless as bringing a Blood Angels list to a competitive 40k tournament. One thing that we can all agree on is that Blood Angels codex is a real piece of shit. It breaks my heart to write that, truly it does. I’ve been a Blood Angel fan and player for most of my Warhammer 40k career. I own three Baal Predators. THREE! Since they are now a heavy support choice for some reason they’ve been unceremoniously binned with the wtf fast attack Assault Marines. Who else owns a metal Captain Tycho, HUH? CAN YOU TELL ME THAT? While there is almost nothing good I can say about the overall Blood Angels codex release, there are a FEW exceptions that can be made. One of those would be the Death Company.
Who doesn’t love these guys?
Let’s start with some of their stats. They have the basic Space Marine stat line except they have an additional base attack. They actually went down in WS in the new edition but it’s not that big of a deal since they also went down in point cost. A unit of 5 costs 100 pts and you have the option to add 10 more at 20 pts per model.
Let’s look at their swag.
- Power Armor
- Bolt Pistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
The unit has the option to ditch their bolt pistol for bolt guns at no extra cost but I wouldn’t do that since the bolt pistol and chainsword combo gets you base 3 attacks. Any model can take a melee weapon but that can add up quick. I generally give one guy a power fist and another a power sword and call it a day. There are no characters in the Death Company so you don’t have to worry about your melee weapon dudes getting singled out in CC by a Chaos Space Marine sergeant. SNAP! The best piece of wargear that the Death Company can take is the Jump Pack, which costs 3 points per model. I think it’s almost an auto take for this unit since you’ll want to get them engaged in close combat as soon as possible.
How about them special rules now?
- Fearless – Kind of cool against leadership debuf shenanigans we are seeing a bit. And They Shall Know Know Fear is better in most every case but Fearless is ok.
- Feel No Pain – Generally FNP on a toughness 4 model isn’t much to talk about, especially since FNP moved to a 5+ in 7th edition but hey anything that will save a couple 20 point dudes is ok in my book.
- Furious Charge – This is fantastic for the murder machine Death Company. Strength 5 on the charge? PLEASE THANKS MAN
- Rage – The secret sauce that makes that ass kicking burger taste DELICIOUS. +2 attacks on the charge brings you to 5 attacks from each Death Company member. With a power fist and power sword being rocked, NO cocks will be safe.
- Relentless – Meh, good if you take bolters on the dudes but why would you ever do that?
So now that we’ve gone over what makes these guys tick, here are a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of your psychopathic Space Marines.
- Remember that they are 20 pt Space Marines. No matter how buff and berserk these guys are, they will still die from poor dice rolling, albeit a bit slower thanks to the Feel No Pain. Each guy you lose on the way to combat will cost you potentially 5 attacks on the charge.
- Take them with a Chaplain. This may be a no brainer but so is learning how to read and ask Frankie how that turned out. The Chaplain allows you to re-roll those attacks on the charge. With strength 5 and power fists thrown in for good measure you won’t have any issues wounding whatever you hit but that will all go to shit if you miss half your to hit rolls. Trust me, I know all about rolling really poorly.
- Take Astorath if you can afford his high point cost. He is the only way to get the old school re-roll to hit and to wound with the Death Company. If you are near full strength and you have old Astorath rolling dirty with your squad you will evaporate ANYTHING you hit.
- Keep them cheap. It will be tempting to load out the squad with numerous power fists and power weapons and infernus pistols and what have you but you need to remember that at 20 points base and another 3 points for a jump pack, they are already super expensive and they aren’t THAT hard to take out.
- They work REALLY well in the three Storm Raven formation that lets anyone coming in from Deep Strike reserve assault the turn they arrive if they come in within 12” of at least two of the Storm Ravens. Yes they can’t do this turn 1 but there is a chance you’re ravens won’t come in turn 1 either and a smart opponent will just null deploy anyways.
- My favorite way to run them is 10 Death Company with jump packs with Astorath and a Sanguinary Priest with the Angels Wing relic. What that is is a jump pack that that allows the bearer and it’s unit to re-roll their scatter the turn they come in from Deep Strike and allow you to re-roll on the mishap table when you scatter twice onto your opponent. The best part about this 25 pt relic is that any unit with the Interceptor special rule only snap fires at the bearer and its unit the turn they Deep Strike. Take that TAU YOU BUTTHOLES.
So there you have it. The proverbial diamond in the turd that is the Blood Angels codex. I hope this article shed some light on one of the most classic and underrated units in the game.
What are some of your favorite ways of running your Death Company Squad?