40k 8th Edition Blood Angels First Impressions

As everyone gets their head around 8th Edition, Blood Angel Players have seen their new army and I for one, Like it a lot! Let’s dive in and see what the Blood Angels can do! Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

Hey guys and gals, BigVik here with my first impressions on Blood Angels in 8th Edition. I’m going to try to keep this to 1 article, as my AM one turned into a mini dissertation on list design. So I’ll be breaking this up into 2 sections, Support Characters, and Package Assembly. I’ll leave the final list builds to you guys in the comments section!

Support Characters

Space Marine Ports


As with everything Blood Angels, Librarians in Blood Angels are for 1 of two things, nuking your opponent’s units, or buffing your units for maximum fist to face. Each librarian gets to choose 2 powers, I would go +1 attack and 4+ invulnerable save. This allows you to have an anvil unit for taking over-watch shots, and a hammer unit for hitting all the harder in assault.

Company Ancient

This guy is best for shooty units because of the language of the standard’s ability. A full set of shots is usually far better than one swing, along with the necessitated lesser control of unit placing during assault.

Rhino Primaris

This guy is cool, he repairs, he gives +1 to hit for shooting, and a morale buff, all that being said, Blood Angels are a very assault based faction, but I could see a shooting support base using this guy and a captain quite well.

Blood Angels

Commander Dante

The Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, he gives re-rolls to hits, and is character assassin in assault. You want a captain staying behind to give re-roll 1’s? Go with a Captain. You want buff character who gets in there and gets his own head count? Dante is your man!

Librarian Dreadnought

What else do I have to say, he’s a dreadnought, he’s a librarian, he can have a gun and force weapon, he hits like a brick, and he buffs. He’s not massively points efficient, and if he’s your primary vehicle, then he’s probably dead, but I can definitely see a place for Librarian Dreads.

Chief Librarian Mephiston

Lord Dracula in the 41st Millennium, for 15 points over a librarian with a jump pack (38 over a stock Librarian with staff) he gains a toughness, a wound, an attack, 1 better save, has 5+ super feel no pain, and knows the entire sanguinary discipline and casts an extra power, which makes him a supreme tool box. I love Mephy, stack him in a Razorback to get him where he needs to go, and you get some great Dracula action in!

Astorath the Grim

The super chaplain of the Blood Angels, he makes death company functionally fearless, gives re-rolls to hit in combat, and has a once per game “mini-feat” where he predominantly gives +1 to hit, with some attached risk, but its Blood Angels, what’s a little risk when you’re throwing flying black clad blood crazed vampires with thunder hammers at your opponent’s face? His combat prowess is also noticeable.

The Sanguinor

What is most probably the warp manifestation of Sanguinius’ soul, he is another buff bot who gives +1 attack with a death mask to debuff in combat, and hits like a ton of bricks in combat.

Sanguinary Priest

The super apothecary of the Blood Angels, they heal or bring a model back on a 4+, but for a small charge of 15 points, you get a strength buff in close combat too!

Brother Corbulo.

If the Sanguinary Priest wasn’t enough, Corbulo is one step more, for an additional 25 points over the sanguinary priest, he gains an exploding 6’s mechanic for hit rolls in combat to gain EVEN MOAR  attacks to ensure the death of everything your opponent loves once you get into combat.

Sanguinary Guard Ancient

The Sanguinary Guard Ancient has a really unique standard, in addition to the typical standard stuff, he gives an aura of re-roll 1’s to wound in combat. Granted this guy is pretty expensive for a mini-character, but this is great dice mitigation that few other space marine armies, short of Row Boat armies, gain.

Lemartes Guardian of the Lost

The Death Company Chaplain, he, in addition to giving re-rolls to hit in combat, and a leadership buff for Death Company, he also gives a re-roll to charge rolls, which is all the dice mitigation, something that this army truly lives on as we move forward.

Flesh Tearers

Chapter Master Gabriel Seth

The Chapter Master of the super uber pissed off vampires, in addition to re-roll to hit rolls,  he makes each unit which consolidates to within 6” of him roll a d6,on a 6 they immediately fight again… which is good for fighty msu, though you lose all of the exclusive BA units, so I’m not sure how much he’ll be seen on the table.

Package Assembly

Dante’s Sanguinary Bomb



Brother Corbulo



Sanguinary Ancient

All the Sangunary Guard

Razorbacks and Storm Ravens to taste

Suggested Sanguinary Guard unit build

I think the trick here is that Dante gives re-rolls, and the Sanguinary Guard gain it when near their warlord, so the other character should probably be your warlord.

I don’t see a point for the Encarmine Axe due to it being more points, for less ap and the sword being best for killing marines, though there will be times when the math goes the other way.

Furthermore the fist is almost superfluous due to the sword and axe doing d3 wounds as well, and hit better in combat.

All the Death Company


Astorath the Grim

Lemartes Guardian of the Lost

Brother Corbulo

Chief Librarian Mephiston


Sangunary Ancient

All the Death Company

Razorbacks and Storm Ravens to taste

Suggested Death Company builds

Death Company, in my opinion should all be fielded with jump packs, and bolter/chainsword, with 1-2 thunder hammers in the unit to allow for monster hunting. This puts a 10 man unit at 220-240 points, though not super points efficient, this allows for 4-6 units to drop in turn 1 or 2 to box your opponent in with super scary assault units, that will very hard

Wrap up

Sanguinary Guard and Death Company are really dual sides of the same coin. Sangunary Guard are 2 wounds with 2+ armor and super ap multi-wound weaponry, making them very powerful power armor slayers.

Death Company are less than half the price per model, with similar threat to single wound targets and 6+ super feel no pain, with the capacity to take the very scary Thunder hammer in this edition of high-wound models, though the lack of multiple wounds on the mildly expensive Death Company is it’s own weakness.

What things do you guys think I missed, what other units do you think could work as a primary deliverable? Tell me in the comments below!

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells gaming goodies at a discount, every day!

Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!



About BigVik

A gaming magpie, BigVik currently maintains perpetual noob status, playing Menoth and Khador in Warmachine, and Imperial Guard in 40k. He works as a professional coach and process consultant in his professional life, and loves bringing this into his gaming and writing.

22 Responses to “40k 8th Edition Blood Angels First Impressions”

  1. Avatar
    Flourescent Alpaca July 21, 2017 8:32 am #

    Death Company are super cool

    Sanguinary Guard can take a plasma pistol for cheaper than their special bolter

    And a librarian Dreadnought is a character I do believe so he can hide, which makes him pretty baller

  2. Avatar
    Bullwar July 21, 2017 9:19 am #

    I’ve been having a blast with my Angels since 8th edition dropped.

    Death company with a liberal sprinkling of power weapons have been absolutely monstrous.

    Ignore fists though, go for Thunder hammers every time.

    • BigVik
      BigVik July 23, 2017 1:45 pm #

      I’ve been loving bolter and chain sword since you get more shooting and more melee at the same time, with 1-2 thunder hammers to hunt big targets.

      I agree on the fists, they seem to be over costed relative to other options for most melee armies this edition.

  3. Avatar
    Stimjam July 21, 2017 10:37 am #

    Outside of Stormraven spam, what do your successful lists look like?

    • Avatar
      highwind July 21, 2017 4:23 pm #

      Reduce the Stormravens to any number that doesnt qualify as “spam” for you and fill up the free points with Xiphon Interceptors and/or Fire Raptors

      • Avatar
        Stimjam July 22, 2017 8:01 am #

        Anything outside of flyers good?

  4. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 21, 2017 11:04 am #

    Any time soon you will address the damned whirlwind maybe?

    For some fun reading on it check out the comment section, its embarassing by now calling this piece of crap “sooo goood”.

    You really need to look at useless units, after all “everything” is supposed to be want to be taken and used in 8th.


    • Avatar
      Flourescent Alpaca July 21, 2017 11:58 am #

      First of all, different areas will yield metas which could produce different good units, so it’s possible that they are “really” good in some areas and not in others

      Second, as Reece and Frankie point out all the time, It is impossible to perfectly balance any game, especially one as complex as 40K. Some units will be better than others, that’s a fact. But whirlwinds are maybe better then they used to be, given that no one ever played them. Something being “usable” doesn’t mean that it belongs in every competivite list, but simply that if you like the model, you’re not completely up a creek if you want to try and use it

      Third, Given their roles as play testers R&F are further along in the game that the rest of the communty in terms of games played and playing time. So maybe things they have found to be good, we won’t figure out are good until October

      Fourth. Isn’t the SM codex coming out soon? So maybe they will get cheaper in points?

      • Avatar
        highwind July 21, 2017 3:33 pm #

        1. A totally overcosted and simply bad unit isnt good in any meta
        2. So because it isnt possible to “perfectly balance” this game the customers get rules which arent even remotely balanced?
        3. Whirlwinds are no way better than they were last editon… I used them as the Aux-choice for my Gladius Strike Force and they were atleast “ok” vs light infantery in cover… with 8th they are totally worthless versus EVERYTHING!
        Same goes for the Landspeeder
        4. Lets bet a 100 bucks that the Whirlwind will still be exactly the same with the “new” codex – and lets bet another 100 bucks that the Whirlwind will still be exactly the same in January 2018

        This whole “edition extensively playtestest for balance” is a ridculous joke!
        After reading through the Indices there were already a dozen units and combinations which jump into ones face screaming “I am blanty OP!” without having played even a single game, like that blue/brimstone-horror b*llsh*t

      • Avatar
        highwind July 21, 2017 4:15 pm #

        And by the way:

        2W6 shots averages in 7 shots
        7 shots hitting on 3+ averages in 4,662 hits
        4,662 wounding on 2+ averages in 3,883 wounds
        3,883 amor saves on 5+ averages in 2,563 lost hit points

        12 shots hitting hitting on 3+ averages in 8 hits
        8 hits wouding on 2+ averages in 6,664 wounds
        6,664 armor saves on 6+ averages in 5,551 los hit points

        So, a pure artillery tank für 115 points doesnt even kill half as many guardsman as dedidcated transport(!) for 100 points which is even from the same faction!

        It does not take a single second of “play-testing” but just 1 minute a basic math to see how obviously unbalanced this is!

        Want more?

        Comparison of a Razorback with a Baal Predator:
        Both models are nearly identical, the only difference being the Razorback having a transport capacity of 6 models and the Baal Predator having 1 more hit point (and a next to useless special rule for advancing) – you should expect them to cost very similar points:
        the Razorback is 65 points while the the Baal Predator is 107 points!!!
        A difference of 42 points for virtually nothing!

        • Avatar
          Zero-charisma July 21, 2017 5:41 pm #

          Umm..id love to see you get those assault cannons into a Bobby g gun line…ill take my hiding whirlwind all day.

        • Avatar
          Fluorescent Alpaca July 21, 2017 8:52 pm #

          I completely agree, and yeh that math shakes out that way, I was simply making the case that the edition is a month old and it may take a hot second to fix some things.

          We don’t know what goes into the play testing process and probably never will, but its obvious that they missed the mark across the board on the points costs of vehicles, for which there are stand out examples that are “too cheap” ie Ass-Backs and Stormravens and then some that are way too expensive like Vindicators, and you make the case for whirlwinds.

          Its unclear how much they evaluated the math that goes into each units shooting or assault abilities (or why assault cannons now have 6 shots)

          Do you guys (Dom T + Highwind) just feel Whirlwinds are way too overhyped or do you actually want them to be better then they are?

  5. Avatar
    Dakkath July 21, 2017 12:58 pm #

    One for-funsies list I always make for BA is all-dreadnoughts. Libb dread hq, other dreads in elite or heavy. Maybe add in Bjorn because why not. Thanks to all the new detachments this is easier than ever.

    • BigVik
      BigVik July 23, 2017 1:43 pm #

      that sounds SUPER fun!

  6. Avatar
    GeekmasterK July 21, 2017 1:20 pm #

    I currently have a take-all-comers ITC list that I’m working on that has Death Company as the core, plus Lemartes as the warlord to buff them. Throw in a couple Sanguinary Priests, some sniper scouts, and some Devastators, and you have a recipe for pain! I can’t wait to finish building it so I can try it on the table! Blood Angels were my first army, and I love seeing them not suck now!

    In Palpatine voice: Yeeesss! Let the Black Rage flow through you!

  7. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 21, 2017 5:41 pm #


    I´ll be damned, FINALLY someone else that gets it!

    How embarrassingly math deficient do one have to be to call a whirlwind “good” is simply put beyond me.

    8th is better then 7th yes but why all this pathetic refusal to even acknowledge the useless units that are scattered all over the place still?

    I´m slowly starting to suspect that the playtesters are so embarrassed over these kindergarden mistakes that they go with the tried and tested the head-in-sand approach instead of having an active debate about how to improve a good edition even more.

    I dont want to see yet another edition of shelved units (example this very time being the whirlwind) just because someone thinks that a tank at 115 points is supposed to kill 3 guardsmen a turn or have some sort of utterly mysterious use on the tabletop that nobody else knows about.

    Then when you mention this you are called ignorant by these people or something along these lines.

    It´s quite frankly getting a tad irritating by now.

    • Avatar
      AngryPanda July 21, 2017 6:33 pm #

      They might just be gagged. I fully believe they went in with the best intentions. But with a power difference this far GW is less the 800-pound gorilla and more King Kong and even if they don’t have full blown gag contracts in place they could just squeeze hard if they don’t tow the line of the release hype.

      • Avatar
        Marius Xerxes July 21, 2017 9:27 pm #

        They could always choose to not speak at all. NOVA and Adepticon members were also mentioned by GW as being testers. I don’t hear either of those camps speaking to 40k at all the way Frontline is.

        The biggest difference is that NOVA/Adepticon are once a year events. Frontline, being a GW product selling webstore, has a vested interest to be as vocal and reasonably positive about the game as a whole in order to make money.

        That said, I DO NOT think they would say something is good, knowing it was really bad, just to try and sell a model. I do, however, think it is reasonable that if a model is mediocre and someone wants to run one, they would encourage them to buy/try one and see if it can work for that person. Its better business doing that then only trying to push what the internet says is good.

        • Avatar
          AngryPanda July 21, 2017 11:39 pm #

          Well yeah, it’s different if people buying or not means you get to eat so I wouldn’t really compare it. I miss the brutal honesty from the past but the chance to be involved in trying to drag the game out of the mud is not something to easily pass up. The thing is I don’t know how long GW can keep putting on the pressure to make respected voices into sock puppets until they used that up and it’s taken as serious as their general vague hype. But then if they knew there’s a problem with their own approach they might have worked on that long ago.

  8. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 21, 2017 9:46 pm #

    Just saw the whirlwind strategem in the new SM codex, datalink telemetry.

    EVEN with this strategem paid for constantly the WW is not worth taking. Talk about model-damage-pointcost miss.
    You have to actually use a lookout landspeeder AND pay a command point to make this 115 points piece of useless dung kill a whooping 3.5 orks.

    There are seldom such sad misses to be seen in the 40k game.

  9. Avatar
    Nightman July 23, 2017 10:24 am #

    Having tried DC and SG in multiple games i’m having more success with company vets and vanguard vets. Same with Dreads, the generic SM dreads have been doing better than DC/furioso. Libby dread is pretty strong tho!

    • BigVik
      BigVik July 23, 2017 1:47 pm #

      Sounds like a solid build, I’ll definitely have to look into that!

      I’m looking at a lot of this from the “personality” of Blood Angels, so jump packs, and fist to face.

      I totally agree that shooty dreads are generally the way to go, though!

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