Blood Angels, Hot or Not? HQ Part 1

Phat J here in my first installment of Blood Angels, Hot or Not? In this series we’re going to take an in depth look at the much maligned codex and figure out which units are worthless and which ones are worth taking a second look.  This week we’ll be looking some of the Blood Angels HQ choices.

Ah the Blood Angels.  Once feared across the 5th edition battlefields for their fast moving, MSU style LasPlas Razorback spam, the Blood Angels have now been relegated to providing Drop Pods for allied Battle Brothers that don’t belong in them and providing the ‘x’ factor in arguments such as, “well you think that army is bad, at least they aren’t as bad as ‘x’”.  Unfortunately, the latest Blood Angels codex was released during the flaccid period of codex release time which consisted of the Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Grey Knights, and Ork releases.  During this time, the codices were toned down in power levels for reasons unknown.  With the advent of 7th edition and the Necron codex, the power levels reached threat level midnight and the previously well balanced codices were shoved aside by the much more muscular and handsome ‘Decurion’ style releases.  It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as there are some really good units contained in the codex.  Today, we’ll be looking at the first set of your HQ options to determine which ones are hot and which ones are not.

Bloodline

Captain – Your garden variety Space Marine Captain, boasting all the typical stats, the Blood Angels Captain is as about as remarkable as a typical Space Marine Captain.  This Captain comes with Furious Charge, however, so he’ll be slightly more dangerous on the charge with a power weapon.  Just like regular Space Marine Captains, he’s not remarkably good in combat and doesn’t bring any unit buffs to the table.  If you REALLY want to take a Captain with your Blood Angel army I would stick him with a Storm Shield and Terminator Armor into a unit of Assault Terminators to add 3 WS 6 attacks to the unit, which is cheaper than adding 3x more Terminators to the squad.

Verdict – NOT

Blood_Angel_Librarian

Librarian – Your standard Librarian but with Furious Charge and access to the Sanguinary psychic discipline.  The Blood Angel Librarian works really well as a unit buff for a close combat unit from the codex.  The Sanguinary psychic discipline is all about turning your characters up to 11 with a low warp charge tax.   Honestly, for the points cost I think the Librarian is the way to go 9 times out of 10 with a Blood Angels army.  You stick him in with a unit of assault Terminators or Sanguinary Guard and just demolish your opponent with extra attacks and initiative from his psychic powers.  The downside with the Librarian is that you are most likely going to have a small amount of warp charge dice unless you bring multiples of them, and even then you’re look at an additional 4 Warp Charges per turn. If you go against Daemons or Grey Knights expect your  powers to be shut down for the game.

Verdict – HOT

Tycho

Late 90’s backpack banner and Goblin Green base. Nice

Captain Tycho – A Space Marine Captain with Artificer Armor, Tycho costs almost double the points cost of a regular Blood Angels Captain.  For these extra points you get a combi-Melta, Digital Weapons you can use for his 3 S4 attacks, and Hatred (Orks).  Like all Blood Angels Tycho has Furious Charge so he can be S5 on his charge, though for reasons he doesn’t have a CCW and cannot take one from the wargear section.  His Warlord Trait gives him Rampage so he can continue to pummel his opponents with his S4 attacks.  Tyco might be the worst named character in all of Warhammer 40k at the moment, but also has a late 90’s smaller than an guardsman model, so he has that going for him which is nice.

Verdict – NOT

Death Tycho

Tycho the Lost – Blood Angels players are spoiled for terrible HQ choices and Tycho the Lost doesn’t disappoint, though the Death Company version of Tycho is infinitely better than the regular version and is a little like Peter Parker in Spiderman 3 after he finds the Venom symbiote and becomes edgy.   He has one more attack, Rage, and Feel No Pain, but can only join Death Company units. This version of Tycho also doesn’t have a CCW or access to one which makes him almost completely useless since he is geared towards close combat in this version.  I don’t really understand why Tycho’s Dead Man’s Hand was left out of this codex but man is it sorely missed.

Verdict – NOT

Flying Dreadnought

Fly Away with meeeee! On a magical adventuuuuuuure!

Librarian Dreadnought – One of the coolest, most unique units in the Blood Angels codex has the unfortunate luck of being a Dreadnought in the age of Grav weaponry and 1 shot D weapons.  With access to the Sanguinary Psychic Discipline it’s fun to think of the Dreadnought flying around on Psychic wings going all ham and shit at Initiative 7 but the sad truth is he is just one 6 away from being immobilized or a drop melta gun shot away from exploding on turn 1.  Yes, there are delivery methods such as putting him in a Stormraven but then you’re tacking on another 200 points and it might be a full 3 turns before it even comes onto the board, or you play a Tau player and their entire army intercepts the flier and you take a S10 hit on your back armor after its wrecked. OUCH!

Verdict – NOT

Mephiston

Mephiston –  At first glance Mephiston seems to have a lot going on for him.  Strength and Toughness 5 with a 2+ Armor Save, a psychic power that makes him S10, vampire eyes, Fleet, Furious Charge, the Lord of Death has the makings of a real tabletop hero.  When you start digging a little deeper, though, the truth of the matter is revealed.  Mephiston is a shockingly bad choice for a Blood Angels player.   Though he is titled the Lord of Death, Mephiston comes with no invulnerable save, meaning 3 wounds from plasma, grav, or melta will end his 150 years of existence.  Hell, even 3 6’s from an Eldar Guardian squad is enough to do him away.  Did I mention that he only has 3 wounds?  That stinks too.  To be fair he is at least now and Independent Character, so you can hide him in a squad of extra wounds with potentially Feel No Pain from a Priest, but at this point you’re adding on 200+ points to make him work for you.   Mephiston was a huge miss for Games Workshop. Not only could they have re-done his late 90’s model, but he could have been made into a real beast with an invul save, Eternal Warrior (the dude is the only one to have bested the Flaw) and kept his strength and toughness 6.  Unfortunately, he was caught in the GW toning down period and would have been a top dog if it wasn’t for the power of the post Necron era of 7th edition.  It pains me to have to say this, but ultimately Mephiston just doesn’t rank up.

Verdict – NOT

So there you have it, part 1 of 2 HQ choices reviewed. It’s not a promising start for the Blood Angels, with 6/7 choices getting a ‘Not’ rating, though I’m not terribly surprised by the results.  This is, of course, my own rating of the units and you might disagree with me, which is your right and I would die to protect that right. But you would be wrong for doing so. 

Next week, Blood Angels Hot or Not? HQ Part 2!

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About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

32 Responses to “Blood Angels, Hot or Not? HQ Part 1”

  1. Hotsauceman1 January 7, 2016 10:17 am
    #

    Mephiston should have been made a flying monstrous creature. That would be so cool.
    And the silliest thing about Tycho 2.0 is he can join a Death Company, but not Jump Pack?

  2. Mike January 7, 2016 11:19 am
    #

    I agree on Mephy, with additional reasons:
    -his t5 doesn’t come into play because he’s in a squad of marines.

    -his fleet doesn’t come into play because he’s in a squad of marines.

    -his warlord trait is awful: extremely situational, and still only barely useful in the ungodly rare situation where someone tries to actually throw a power against you instead of just using one of the game’s dozen broken blessings on themselves.

    -He has a named sword from the heresy era blessed by his primarch personally. In game it isn’t even master-crafted.

    -I’ve never seen the gaze effect work.

    -He STILL gets rocked by anyone in 2+ armor

    -Not being able to get hired on in a Libby conclave or similar effect makes casting really unreliable and prone to perils.

    • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 2:11 pm
      #

      I think Mephy is a bit better than the article gives him credit for, though he’s hardly a blowout; at the end of the day, he’s still a ML3 Librarian in Artificer Armor, which is nothing to sniff at, and he comes for a relatively reasonable cost. His one fixed power is REALLY good in certain situations (such as against Knights, Wraithknights, and 3+ armor MCs), but even ignoring that you’ve still got two solid rolls on Divination or whatever with him, which is as good as a normal Librarian can manage. And since Sword is a non-discipline power, it doesn’t count against you for Psychic Focus, either.

      Thinking of him like he was last edition, where he was a combat monster, is a mistake. He’s now a toned-up support psyker with decent-to-good fighting prowess who also happens to have the ability to absolutely punk out certain types of units. If you’re looking for a solution to some of the Lords of War out there- and many armies, including BA, are- he’s a relatively solid choice.

  3. Chaplain Sam January 7, 2016 11:39 am
    #

    I think Mephiston is better than you give him credit for. Yes he was toned down in the most recent codex, but he also received a pretty substantial decrease in cost (I think it was ~75 points?). I’ve seen him used well with Centurions in a pod when you already have or passed up on Loth/Tiggy. He’s a serviceable ML3/beat stick combo in my opinion.

    • Jason
      Jason January 7, 2016 11:46 am
      #

      Sure, if you add him to units from other codices he is much better. This series reviews the units in the vacuum of the Blood Angel Codex alone.

  4. Nightman January 7, 2016 1:42 pm
    #

    I’m suprised on the Captain rating. I’d put him on a solid third place behind Priest and Libby. We have no HQ’s with eternal warrior and he can atleast take a bike and a stormshield, good for protecting nipple boys and DC. I’m not saying his amazing, but it’s nice we get to decide what gear he has. Don’t see any reason putting him in a terminator squad, seems redundant. Priest gives feel no pain and WS5 to the unit for half the points, and should result in more dmg overall in a termie squad.

    Looking forward to the the next writeup!

    • Mike January 7, 2016 1:57 pm
      #

      I’d rather take a chappy than cap’n (assuming I didn’t have any more priests or libbies.) DC and sanguine guard are plenty killy, and don’t really need a beatstick character babysitter. They perform much more efficiently with a support HQ carrying some squad buff like zealot, fnp, or psychic blessings.

      The only unit that really goes well with a captain is a basic squad that would otherwise be regularly outmuscled like tacticals or regular ASM, and if it’s a full squad, the priest and Libby armed with weapons are probably still better AND cheaper.

      • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 2:06 pm
        #

        Sadly, Captains serve virtually no purpose in a Space Marine (or variant chapter) army because there’s nothing they do that another character doesn’t typically do better. They are marginally better in a fight than the Libby/Chappy, but at a consequently higher cost and their only material advantage over them most of the time is Init 5.

        Captains really need something like the old SM Rites of Battle or GK Grand Strategy, or even just the Autarch’s Path of Command- something that gives them an actual _ability_ rather than just having marginally higher stats (but not good enough to be an actual beatstick.)

        • Hotsauceman1 January 7, 2016 3:03 pm
          #

          Captains have always been So So because they have not place in an army
          Want a cheap HQ? Take a librarion or chaplain?
          Want a Beatstick? Take a Chapter MAster or a Named Character.
          Want a support? Take a Priest, Librarian or anything else.
          he is a generic HQ and he suffers for it.

          • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 4:05 pm
            #

            True, but that’s not the case for all of the other factions’ Captain-type HQs; Necron Overlords, Eldar Autarchs, DE Archons, and Ork Warbosses all fill important roles within their codices because they actually bring something to the table that other HQs don’t. The Captain’s problem is that he has nothing unique.

      • Nightman January 7, 2016 3:12 pm
        #

        SG already have master crafted and are very killy. Chaplain feels redundant and is a lot more squishy. Their main drawback is no invul and high model cost, so anything with ap2 ranged or even in melee will one round pretty much the whole unit.

        I tried with running them with a priest as well, but the main issue there is the stuff that counters them is either str8+ or mass grav so the priest really does bring that much. It felt really strong on paper, just not in practice. A Captain on a bike with a shield 125 points and gives the unit much more staying power.

        Chaplain and Astorath are supposed to be good with DC, but since they are better in 5 man squads none of em really have a home.

        Priest has good synergi with terminators, but terminators are kinda weak, other than that the Priest really only shines with allies.

    • Jason
      Jason January 7, 2016 2:02 pm
      #

      Thanks! I was actually struggling to find a squad that I would put him in if I actually ever took a Captain and I could only come up with a Terminator Assault Squad, haha. Thanks for reading!

  5. Reecius
    Reecius January 7, 2016 2:58 pm
    #

    I actually really dig Mephiston! He’s muy caliente! I think he’s a solid HQ, personally.

    • Nightman January 7, 2016 3:23 pm
      #

      +1 He is awesome in allied units, just not too many great places to put him in mono BA builds. I think he could do some work with 40 conscripts and an IG priest!

      He really does a number on Necron Decurion lists, str 10 with high volume of attacks makes him still relevant. Wings of Sanguinous on a big blob has some nice mobility potential as well, shield too. A re-rolling 5++ in close combat on 3pts models is pretty damn efficient. Lots of fun synergi with Meph and IG.

      • Reecius
        Reecius January 7, 2016 9:39 pm
        #

        Yeah, I agree. He’s not what he was but still excellent for his points, IMO.

        • fleetofclaw January 7, 2016 11:21 pm
          #

          His biggest crime is he’s slow… in an army that wants to book it. At least the way I want to play BA :/. And Wings of Sanguinius is just a terrible, poor man’s Gate.

          • Nightman January 8, 2016 2:37 am
            #

            Good for a blob, you can’t really deep strike 40 models.

  6. Hiveminded January 7, 2016 4:02 pm
    #

    Librarian dreadnought in a Lucius Pattern droppod…AV13 and turn two assaults with 3+d3 WS5 S10 AP2 force attacks at init 4+d3 is totally hot.

    • Lord Krungharrr January 7, 2016 4:17 pm
      #

      Hot blooded, check it and see. Got armor of a 1 and a 3.

  7. iNcontroL January 7, 2016 4:33 pm
    #

    love your articles jason 🙂

  8. General Oadius January 7, 2016 5:17 pm
    #

    Sanguinary Priest with the jump pack relic is 85 points and the verdict is = SUPER HOT

    FNP IC + reroll deepstrike, reroll mishap and force interceptor shots at BS1…..

    it’s a very anti-Tau unit, throw him in with some hammerinators and watch the broadsides squirm when they come down within a few inches.

    • Jason
      Jason January 7, 2016 9:50 pm
      #

      Right! I’ll definitely touch on that when I cover the Priests and the Relics of Baal options.

      • fleetofclaw January 7, 2016 11:22 pm
        #

        Yeah, Priest with Angel’s Wings all day every day! Great article Jason, can’t wait to see the rest!

  9. Asmeralda January 7, 2016 7:38 pm
    #

    I use Mephiston with a squad of Thunder hammer storm shield terminators. I bring them in an assault vehicle and go to work. He can tank wounds with the 2+ or look out sir to the 2/+/3++ guys in the unit. Add priest for feel no pain. I understand your looking at things in a vacuum but 40K is not played in a vacuum. Part of list building is to build units which coordinate well together to get maximum effect. No different than death star tactics. Good article and I look forward to reading your next one.

    • Jason
      Jason January 7, 2016 9:43 pm
      #

      Yeah, I can definitely see ways to make him into a beatstick, but the point costs for him along with the assault unit and a priest, not to mention the 200+ point assault vehicle that can be taken out by a single 6 from a Grav weapon just make it not worth taking. That’s just my take, mind you. I tend to look at how easily a unit can be taken out vs how much it costs in points when determining what to put in my lists. Thanks for reading, though!

      • Dakkath January 7, 2016 10:09 pm
        #

        “I tend to look at how easily a unit can be taken out vs how much it costs in points when determining what to put in my lists.”
        -by that criteria, grave renders pretty much every unit in the game that costs over a certain number of points as bad.

        • Jason
          Jason January 7, 2016 11:00 pm
          #

          Lol I agree with that statement

    • fleetofclaw January 7, 2016 11:25 pm
      #

      But… that’s still trying to make Assault Terminators work, and I assume by “assault vehicle” you mean a Land Raider(?), so we’re already off to a point inefficient start that Mephiston isn’t gonna dig us out of in a top level competitive context.

  10. Morollan January 8, 2016 3:33 am
    #

    As the SM Codex retained the ability for their Captains to make bike squads troops, would it really have hurt to let BA Captains make assault squads troops? It might make them more attractive to use!

  11. General Oadius January 8, 2016 12:50 pm
    #

    conscript for 3 points a model is best anti-grav unit in game(5+ save).

    8p

  12. Mike January 14, 2016 11:27 am
    #

    The codex has only one independent character with eternal warrior (Dante). No way else to get the perk beyond rolling for endurance on biomancy. Cant access telepathy for psy scream, shrouding, or invis. Can’t even take a bike command squad (no toughness 5). No centurions. No storm talons. Expensive dreads with less attacks. Can’t use SM formations.This codex is a failed abortion that mixes ineffective gimmicks and distorted fluff. Scouts are at the old bs. Not even a deep striking land raider anymore… Should I continue?

  13. jarrod hill September 8, 2016 8:40 am
    #

    We got fucked over so bad. Fuck you GW you have been fucking us over for years and I’m beginning to resent you. That being said termis still kill things death comp still kill things and my devs with 4 plasma cans still kill things. Fast vehicles bla bla bla Blood Angels still playable.