Hi there folks, Pascal from New Zealand here, I’ve been playing blood angels since before the original angels of death codex, I love this army and play them just about every week. I’ve even won local tournaments [including a couple of six rounders] with them and lost two games with them in two years at the LVO:)
I was very happily surprised when this book dropped out of the blue and a few caveats aside it does a pretty great job spicing up Blood Angels. I’ll run through the base formations and then add any combos that come to mind.
Angels blade strike force.
- 1 core + 1aux mandatory.
- Red thirst[+1 initiative on the charge]
- Zealot on units reduced to half
As a Super formation, it’s…. ok?the red thirst granting +1 initiative on a non disordered charge is good and the zealot rule after losing half a squad is decent.
The fearless part of zealot is nice near the end game when you don’t want to run off an objective, but not being able to go to ground or being stuck in a combat you don’t want to be in ain’t that great.
The hatred part could add some punch to a unit and surprise people late game. even 5 tacticals charging with 10 rerolled attacks at strength 5 and initiative 5 could do some work. Its certainly not reliable though… you could already be in combat and get nothing.
- The Battle Demi-company
The demi company is officially the only core choice for a super formation that grants no bonuses whatsoever [actually maybe orcs have this issue as well?]… this leads me to believe there must be a typo. Objective secured maybe?
The formation itself requires:
- 1 chaplain[with a Furioso Dreadnought]/1captain[with a command squad].
- 3 tactical squads
- 1 devastator squad
- 1 dreadnought
- 1 choice of an assault squad/attack bike/land speeder/bike squad
And it grants red thirst and lets you re roll blood angel warlord traits, just like the angels blade formation, nope… they don’t stack.
It’s really hard to make an argument of this formation. It’s cheaper than the other option, but is full of mediocre units and no bonus rules.
Thank goodness there is another core choice!
The Archangels demi-company.
While an expensive core choice it has some lovely bonuses.
- Reserves in the formation start coming in on turn one.
- Reserves get to re roll to arrive and have 1d6 less scatter.
- Re roll blood angel warlord traits
- 1 terminator captain
- 2 furioso dreadnoughts
- 5 of your choice from terminators, assault terminators, veteran vanguards and stern guard veterans
It’s possible to have an all reserves army including drop pods arrive turn one if you so desire. Choose the drop pods outside of the core formation as the initial drop pod assault on turn one then simply roll for everything that remains inside the formation… on 2d6:)
[Odd combo, taking the angelic host with Dante as warlord in the angels blade formation would allow scatterless deep strikes with Veteran vanguard from turn one…. maybe good?]
Archangels orbital intervention force.
- Auxiliary choice
- Charging [disorderd] terminators from deep strike? sign me up!!
- This formation is probably going to be on a lot of imperial players allied formation lists.
- The formation comprises of
- 3 units of terminators[assault or shooty].
- They must be in deep strike reserves, you roll once for them and they all come on at once. Regular terminators get to shoot in the shooting phase and can target two separate units.
- Assault terminators get to make a disordered charge after deep striking…!
Please don’t forget the wonderful option of taking the archangels banner from the Shield of Baal supplement, it grants preferred enemy to unit but replaces a storm shield or lightning claw.
Assaulting thunder hammer terminators after deep striking will make many lick their lips. There are a couple of things to consider however.
There is no innate reserve manipulation to the formation and nothing to help deal with scattering.
Having Captain Karlean for his guaranteed warlord trait to re roll reserves, a comms relay or damocles rhino is fairly important to get them in. teleport homers or servo skulls in a pinch are also pretty important so they land where needed.
You have to spend a fair few points to make this formation at all reliable and most of the ways to do that still have issues like homers being destroyed or pie plate interceptor:)
There is one [albeit not cheap] solution to almost all the issues in this formation.
It requires 3 empty drop pods and at least 2[ but probably more] pods either with units or also empty. Nothing in the rules for this formation prohibit placing the units inside drop pods and the rule for assaulting is simply that the can on the turn they arrive from reserves.
They are in deep strike reserves and will all arrive at once on the first turn if you wish. this solves the timing and scattering issue, bumps up the possible assault to turn one and helps with the interceptor templates as you can exit the pod spread well apart.
It might require a FAQ but until that time nothing is stopping you spending 210 points on pods plus the requisite troop and HQ in a flesh tearers detachment to make this formation a lot more scary.
Lucifer armoured Task force
- Auxiliary choice
- 1 Tech marine
- 1-3 land raiders of any kind
- 3-5 units of Baal or regular predators.
- All vehicles gain lucifer pattern engines for free[making them fast] and every unit gains scout.
I’m not usually a big fan of tanks in the blood angels [barring the awesome forge world Sicaran] and I think most people realize how sub par Land raiders are, especially redeemers and predators are pretty meh overall.
This formation however [especially in the death company super formation which grants everything in it a free 6 inch non scout move after they deploy..more on that later] does a fine job in making these units feasible again.
The entire formation could be 18 inches up the board before the first turn.
Following that, in turn one they can move another 12 inches and shoot! that’s 30 inches movement plus, very easily, 4 flame storm templates str6 ap3.
I think this formation really redeems:P the land raider redeemer. Being being able to move 12 inches and fire both it’s flame storms at different targets finally makes it possibly worth taking.
You might not get the first turn however… If you are going to heavily invest in this formation[up to 3 land raiders and …15 predators] I’d suggest taking Captain Karlean with his guaranteed warlord trait granting 5+ to seize and also Coteaz for his re roll to seize. Karlean is very easy to take. He is an HQ choice for the arch angels detachment which requires only one hq and 1 elite, so him and a unit of thunder hammer terminators in that very land raider perhaps?
It’s also very easy to hide infantry models behind land raiders, they could be a wonderful shield wall to jumping death company behind them as well as actually transporting things like terminators.
The Golden Host
- Command choice
- 2-5 units of sanguinary guard
- Either Commander Dante or the Sanguinor.
- After they deep strike they may make a disordered charge.
- They get to re roll the scatter for deep striking
- From turn two onwards you can choose for them to arrive with no dice rolls. The whole formation must arrive at once.
What a fantastic self contained formation, presuming Dante is your warlord.
His warlord trait grants 1d6 less scatter on deep striking units with the jump or skimmer type. You can happily place these guys anywhere on the board with very little fear of a deep strike mishap and be close enough to targets to assault easily and also make use of the melta pistols in the squad.
Sanguinary guard have always had pretty models but it’s always been a little difficult to use them with their lack of an invulnerable save. Being able to shoot and charge on any turn after the first is an incredible boon. you effectively remove all the attrition that jumping up the table or regular deep striking in affords.
If you are playing against Eldar, it’s an easy way of taking out warp spiders or jet bikes. vs sky hammer annihilation you can simply choose to go after they come in and if there is anything that sanguinary guard are very good at doing it’s butchering marines in power armour
Having the charge be disordered sounds bad at first, but when you realise you probably want to multi assault if possible or at least not wipe a unit and stay in combat it sounds pretty fantastic. If you really want extra attacks the Banner that grants 1 extra attack for each member of the unit is pretty fantastic. Dante being able to hit and run with his unit also ensures massive mobility and good choices for attack.
Equipping the squads is more interesting than it used to be. In a five man squad you could actually take 4 melta pistols with good reason. Popping transports is pretty darn important and with an elite force vs something like a standard space marine gladius you really want to hurt them in every phase possible. Why take 4 melta pistols? you will almost definitely miss with one, but the other three should probably do at least 3 hull points even if they don’t explode the vehicle. You really really don’t want to have to use another unit to finish off the job.
A power fist in a squad is also fairly mandatory, being able to hurt things like walkers if things get a bit rough and it’s very cheap for a fist[so cheap it basically makes taking the axe option meaningless]. Being fearless also means they can’t escape from something they can’t hurt.
You could make a mini death star with dante and ten sanguinary guard, 4 melta pistols 2 fists and a banner.
Last but quite possibly least. you could take the Sanguinor instead of dante… I guess. He’s still just terrible, but charging from assault does make him a lot better.
He’s also mandatory if you want to field two of these formations. So if you want deep striking sang guard on different turns you could take him, but that’s a pretty specialist army and the deep strike assaulting terminators from the orbital intervention force is probably a better coupling.
[Interesting note? there is nothing that says deep striking uses up your jump pack move… as far as I can find, so you could get to re roll charge distances and get hammer of wrath hits, please correct me if I’m wrong with a page number, thanks:)]
- Command choice
- 3-5 dreadnoughts/Furioso dreadnoughts /Librarian Dreadnoughts
- Well timed blow
At the start of any turn you can choose to sacrifice the movement of as many dreadnoughts as you wish and either take a pile in move and attack in close combat without the enemy attacking back or Take an extra round of shooting. Neither of these choices stop them from either shooting or assaulting in phases later in the turn. Each dreadnought can only do this once in the game and they can choose which turn and which bonus individually.
Well, from being the 2 base attack red headed step child of the imperial dreadnought community GW has tried really hard to make Blood angel dreadnoughts work in the last couple of months.
I adore dreadnoughts, they are so quintessentially grim dark. Frag canon armed Furioso dreads in lucius pattern pods have been a staple in my lists for years But I’ve always found it hard to put in Librarian dreadnoughts and my regular dreads just sit on display.
The free out of phase round of assault or shooting is fantastic. The ability for a dreadnought to churn it’s way out of a combat it doesn’t want to be locked in so it can shoot and possibly assault something else in your turn is fantastic. It’s entirely possible it could grant a librarian dreadnought another 7 attacks making use of the blood angel primaris psychic power.
The bonus shooting combined with a lucius pattern drop pod[a forge world drop pod for dreadnoughts that allows them to stay embarked] could mean double frag canon goodness for those hard to remove targets, the possibility of blowing up two vehicles with melta gun shots. Furiosos with frag canons were already a decent alpha strike component and this makes them extremely efficient….as long as the pod drops well:)
It even makes basic dreadnoughts a possible choice. No longer taking up a heavy slot you could have them in the back field armed for ranged combat or drop them in pods. are they better than furiosos?… still probably not but if you skimping for points a basic multi melta/ heavy flamer fist dread could be a useful replacement.
Combo. Taking the angels blade detachment with the archangel demi company as a core
The red thirsts +1 initiative on the charge is a real boon for dreadnoughts that don’t charge through terrain into fresh combats. Striking before opposing walkers like Imperial knights or even at the same time as wraith knights greatly increases their choice of viable targets.
Taking the Archangel demi company as a core also increases the dreadnought saturation and grants the ability to have a null deployment list that can possibly all arrive on turn one. the lack of inherent mobility after the fact is somewhat negated by the ability to trap the opponent in their own deployment zone. Taking an inquisitor with servo skulls could be a wise investment to stop scouting or infiltrating armies spreading across the board too much.
Storm Raven Squadron
- Auxiliary choice
- 2-4 storm ravens
- Annihilation Strike
So at the start of one of your turns you nominate an enemy unit and all Storm ravens fire all their remaining storm strike missiles a the unit…as long as the have line of sight. This round of shooting is done just as if it were a shooting phase but it has no bearing during the actual shooting phase for targets or number of weapons fired
As reserves are done at the start of the turn I’m presuming you can have your ravens turn up and then pick a target to annihilate as the players who’s turn it is chooses the order of things that occur at the same time.
This is a great tool for alpha striking as it negates [and possibly destroys:)] interceptor by shooting before units with that rule get to. If you don’t think there is a target that warrants multiple ravens missile allocations just face the units you don’t want to fire out of line of sight of the target to save their missiles. It’s not always possible but it’s always worth thinking about.
Overall if you don’t use ravens, this formation might not be enough for you to try them, but for those that do the ability to kill that intercepting riptide before it fires will make them very happy.
Like so many things in this book this really exemplifies the blood angels fluff for hard hitting, fast attack, jump on your opponents molars and keep hitting them till they die style of combat. Wether or not the books formations and rules are super powerful it’s great to see GW really trying to bring to life the combat style of this chapter.
10th company ambush force
- 3-5 units of either scouts or scout bikers
- scout bikers must take cluster mines
- Concealed positions: anyone that deploys with the infiltrate special gets stealth if they don’t already have it. and they keep it until the move.
- The trap is sprung: all units gain precision strike in the first game turn
Well they are scouts without objective secured so lets see how we can leverage the rules here.
You could go with bikes and work that precision shot with the twin linked bolters and take advantage of 3+ jink in the first turn if you don’t move?
Units of snipers with a missile launcher are pretty cool, the stealth while not moving is fine and the option of precision striking missile launchers could ruin someones day in the first turn.
Handing out teleport homers for things like the orbital intervention force is one way to get them to arrive safely.
The benefits from having them in the Angels blade super formation means you might want close combat scouts, 3 I5 S5 attacks each on the charge coupled with hatred later on is actually pretty nasty for such a cheap unit. You could even take bike units of four and give the unit a veteran sergeant a power sword to try and make good use of buffs. fearless is much less of a hindrance to Bike units as it doesn’t stop them from jinking.
Leaders of the angelic host
- 1 terminator captain, regular captain, mephiston, Librarian, Corbulo, sanguinary priest or Tycho
- 0-1Command squad
- 0-1 storm raven gunship
- Pretty standard HQ selection for super formations. and you can have up to 5.
The main point of interest is the ability to finally take a lot of sanguinary priests again. Sadly there’s not that many places to put them in the nastier formations as the GW faqs probably won’t be allowing IC’s to join formations that assault out of deep strike and still allow them to deep strike.
You could try and get around that problem by mounting them in a scout bike squad and screaming up the table turn one then joining a unit from the golden host or Orbital intervention force and assaulting with them. which could be a little hard to realise. Or you could drop corbulo in a drop pod as his aura adds +1 initiative and ws within 6 inches, and works all the time, even disordered charges. you might want to give him a body guard to survive the next turn however.
Or you can just use the formation as easy bonus slots while running a standard CAD.
Rapid assault force
- 1-3 units in any combination form Assault squad, Bike squad attack, bike squad Land speeder squadron.
- It’s a plain formation that is a mercifully cheap aux choice. It could be the basis for an all assault marine army If that is what floats your boat, maybe throwing in a bunch of sanguinary priests for that 5th ed feel?
- Fire Support Force
- 1-3 unit s in any combination from devastators, vindicators or whirlwinds.
Another plain formation. All the choices have updated rules however, shred on units of three whirlwinds that mega blast from three vindicators, the cherub and Grav canons for devastators.
They all have there uses and it’s nice to see the upgrade, the only Unique one is the option of fast vindicators which makes them… slightly better than before, the are still only one penetrating hit away from losing the massive blast ability most of the time and they really don’t mix well with an assault oriented army, any scatters will not be kind! 🙂
Death company Strike force
- Auxiliary [Core for the Lost brotherhood strike force super formation]
- 1-3 units of death company dreadnoughts
- 3 units of death company
- 1Death company chaplain
- Black Rage: all models in death company squads from this formation add 1 to their attacks while they are within 12inches of their formation death company chaplain.
- Any squad may take a storm raven as a dedicated transport.
As an Aux choice for the Angels blade detachment this formation doesn’t do much except put some death company on the board. The extra attack is very nice and it means if the unit gets charged they can still dish out some damage and they won’t mind multi assaulting as much.
As a core choice for the lost brotherhood they are pretty fantastic…and very mandatory.
being able to start an extra 6 inches up the board will usually mean it’ll only be one movement phase before they are with strike range… or if you are lucky you can nab a turn one assault with the almost mandatory jump packs on the squad.
The DC chaplain is pretty sweet granting re rolls to death company on to hit rolls and to wound rolls on the charge plus the extra attack of course.
Put the mandatory dc dreadnought in a lucius pod or storm raven. with eight strength ten [probably shred] attacks on the charge at i5 [in either super formation] they can be extremely scary.
Lost brotherhood super formation
- 1 Death company command [1-3 either Astorath, Lemartes or death company chaplain….no regular chaplains though]
- 1+ Death company strike force as core.
- Auxiliaris chosen from
- Archangels orbital intervention force
- 10th company support[3-5 scout or scout biker units]
- Lucifer armoured Task force
- Storm raven squadron
- Rapid assault force.
- Red thirst: +1 initiative on non disordered charges
- Unleashed upon the foe: immediately after setting up a unit from this detachment during deployment, you may move the unit 6 inches as if they were making a move in the movement phase[the unit can not run] Units that arrive from reserve do not receive this bonus move.
- Angels virtue: re roll warlord traits in either this book or codex blood angels
Well, red thirst and a free 6 inch non scout move in deployment is pretty excellent. We haven’t really seen a special rule like this in 40k yet. But I’m pretty sure having an entire army of blood thirsty maniacs closer to your opponent is probably a good thing.
The lucifer armoured task force will really enjoy the added 6 inches of movement on their possible scout moves with fast vehicles and flame storm canons.
As the move is just a normal move it will mess up servo skull placement somewhat and also annoy infiltrators.
There are some glaring things that are missing from the force as a whole however.
Being able to take a normal chaplain, being able to take a sanguinary priest[pretty sure they still want there geneseed back]
The formation also comes with it’s own relics, warlord traits and maelstrom deck and I’ll dive into some of the weird and wacky of this section of the book
There are some great relics here but GW has seriously dropped the ball in the execution of them.
As it stands the only character that can wield any of them is the DC chaplain and the wording in the book really implies that these relic were meant for more than just him.
It goes into detail about how any characters that can normally take relics of baal may also take the death company relics as long as that character is part of a lost brother hood or death company strike force. The only non named characters available are a tech marine and the death company chaplain… and the tech marine can’t take relics.
One of the relic choices themselves, the gilded crozius, states “death company chaplain only” implying the other choices could be for other characters.
Hopefully GW may FAQ this so that any army that includes a lost brotherhood or death company strike force could choose them….or maybe just include regular chaplains as part of the command choice.
On to the relics themselves:
- The reliquary armour: for slightly more than two marines you can get artificer armour that grants crusader and adamantium will. Pretty nice. faster moving death company that are more resistant to psychic powers and have a 2+ armour character to tank thing s a bit… not bad.
- The Guardians Blade: Or as I like to call it , the weapon the sanguinor should have. Same price as the armour. It strikes at initiative has AP2 ,armour bane, master crafted and is two handed. yet another weapon that is ap2 and strikes at initiative in the blood angels armoury. It can also take out vehicles or even walkers in a pinch. As these relics don’t say you replace your weapons you could always choose to use either this weapon or the crozious when one is better than the other. This would also be a great pick for an actual captain with a storm shield…maybe next faq.
- The blood shard: Also slightly over 2 marines in cost. Here GW have messed up again. This grants the bearer the counter attack special rule. And while the fluff for the item implies it affects all the death company in the unit… the actual rule for counter attack only works for the guy with the rule. The wording for the actual rule is completely clear but until the last few words looks exactly like a rule that would be granted to the unit. Confusing yourselves GW ..well done.
- Baals Vengeance: 4 melta bombs. it’s a flamer template pistol with AP 6 and 4+ poison.
- Fyrestorm: 5 melta bombs: it’s a mastercrafted melta gun.. that is also a pistol. pretty cool, but as the death company chaplain comes stock with a melta pistol it might seem a little redundant, but at least as these relics don’t replace weapons you get to use both in the shooting phase.
- The gilded Crozius: 5 melta bombs. It’s an AP 3 crozius with master crafted and grants the unit re rolls of one for feel no pain rolls. great for making your big unit of death company tougher. But if you really want to make awesome use out of it. you could ally in a Clan rerun chapter master with the gorgons chain and have a priest in the unit as well. the chapter master would have a 3+ feel no pain re rolling ones…. pretty fine tank right there.
1 Blood augur. once per game turn re roll a single dice, this could be a single dice in a leadership check a to hit roll saving throw etc etc.
HOT DAMN. this is amazing and makes Corbulo very sad. BA can get a mini fateweaver, just wow
2.Beacon of Rage. Your warlord and any death company within 12inches get the fleet special rule when they declare a charge. Solid stuff for an assault army there
3.Caged fury. Your warlord and any unit he joins has the rampage special rule. coupled with the DC chaplains innate +1 attack for dc within 12, this could be a truly awesome amount of attacks. A basic charging DC member vs a larger unit could get 9 attacks with re rolls to hit and wound str5 I5.
4. Infectious tenacity: your warlord gets feel no pain, if he already has it it gets increased by +1. Could be very nice.
5.Black fury: your warlord gets rage… meh
6.Visions of heresy: your warlord and all friendly death company squads within 12 inches have hatred chaos space marines and chaos demons. Pretty terrible
These are pretty well themed and achievable.
- You can gain a point by killing an enemy character in a challenge, if it was an IC you get 2 points.
- Kill a monstrous creature or vehicle and get a point
- Score d3 if every unit in your army that could, declared a charge.
- Score 1 if at least one character or your warlord was slain
- Score 1 point for each enemy unit destroyed during the assault phase, maximum of six points.
- Score 2 points if you control an objective marker your opponent chooses inside their table half.
A pretty nice selection especially considering there’s a good chance you won’t have any objective secured inside your army.
New Data Slates.
This is now the same as the Space marines slate with the added bonus of infernus pistols and melta guns.
the base points are lower to start but they no longer come with jump packs and can’t trade out their jump packs for a free rhino or drop pod.
It’s nice to have the option of eviscerators but now getting little meltacide squads cost 20 points more. If you want to run oldschool all assault marines they are better equipped now and if you can keep the eviscerators alive charging with hatred is pretty cool.
This is now exactly the same as the SM version. Hurrah for Grav canon options for blood angels.
the problem with both the devastator and assault marine slates is that they don’t have a skyhammer annihilation formation to go into and make the best use out of them.
One cheeky combo [GW FAQ dependant] would be to take the techmarine from the Lucifer armoured task force, put him in the unit of devastators and scout the unit up so they could be where they need to be, in midfield.
Death company chaplain.
Same stats as a regular chaplain but comes with mandatory jump pack and melta pistol.
Gains rites of blood special rule which grants re rolls to would for death company on the charge.
It’s a little bit of a shame that the DC chaplains have such a restrictive armament. Being able to get into a land raider might have been nice.
If you like the equipment, however, 5 points for rite of blood is a steal and the +1 attack bonus in 12 inches for the death company strike force is well worth it.
Comes armed with a storm bolter and thunder Hammer which can be upgraded to a master crafted thunder hammer for 5 points and the use of the relic slot.
He costs exactly the same as an upgraded captain with this gear. One large problem… hopefully oversight, is that he can’t get a storm shield or chain fist. You need to swap the power weapon out to get either of them and he has no power weapon to swap[captains that have been upgraded to terminator armour come with a power weapon]
Hopefully this will be faq’d [Bit of trend with this book sadly] so that this slate isn’t strictly worse than a regular captain.
Missed opportunities Datalslate.
Veteran vanguards. They still pay an exorbitant fee for there power weapons compared to there space marine brothers…for some reason.
Vehicle squadrons. Yay, BA get access to vehicle squadrons for Predators, Baal Predators,Land speeders, Vindicators and whirlwinds.
- Predators get monsterhunter/tank hunter.
- Baal predators get to re roll 1’s to wound.
- Whirlwinds get shred
- Vindicators get an apocalyptic blast with ignores cover if all three sacrifice their regular shots.
- Land speeders get an extra 6 inches going flat out.
So, identical to the space marine squadrons with the notable exception of fast engines.
The vindicator squadron has always been troublesome, the special ability is so easily negated with damage results and the range is so short. At least now the range issue sin’t as big:)
It’s nice that baal predators have a squadron and re rolling ones to wound is pretty great on assault canon/heavy bolters or firestorm canons/ heavy flamers. It’s still only really worth taking them as part of a lucifer armoured task force so actually taking a squadron is going to make investment into that formation pretty hefty.
Being able to move predators 6 inches and still fire all the guns is a nice upgrade, though you do pay for it[except in the lucifer task force where it is free].
Whirlwinds being in a squadron and gaining shred actually lets them compete with thunderer canons…a bit.
Well, that’s all the new crunchy stuff from the Angels blade. There are some great ideas in there and some are well executed, the orbital intervention force, the golden host, the lucifer armoured task force.
There are also some shockingly bad decisions/misprints/Lack of their own rule knowledge
The blood angel demi company granting no bonuses, the very strange death company relics section and the terminator captain losing access to some standard equipment being obvious ones.
Finally there is one glaring formation missing from the book. A librarius conclave. Surely one of the most psychic chapters with one of the most powerful psykers [Mephiston] would have a conclave, when all the other chapters do?
I do really like this book and it’s given me many ideas for new army selections and has greatly increased my”what to paint next pile” which, I think i what you want from a book.
I think we will see a lot more blood angels on the tables at tournaments but probably as allies. Terminators charging from deep strike can solve a lot of problems:).
Thanks for reading and I hope you found something interesting in all of this.