Blood Angels List and Tactics

Reecius here to give an example Blood Angels list and explain how to use it, too. As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles and ideas.

So first of all, you may want to check out the Codex review I wrote to understand some of what I am talking about. Follow the links for Part 1 and Part 2 of that article series.

That out of the way, here’s the basic concept: a list that can hit very hard in melee, is mobile, can counter enemy tricks and can win missions. Now, this is also what works for me. I am not saying it is the greatest list in the world or the “best” way to play Blood Angels or anything like that, but that in my games it was effective and fun to play, too. So without further ado, here’s the list:

Unit Force Org Cost # Total Weapons Cost # Total Total
Brigade         Command Points 9
Captain with J.Pack HQ 93 1 93 Thunder Hammer 21 1 21
0 Inferno Pistol 9 1 9
Lemartes HQ 129 1 129 0
Sanguinor HQ 170 1 170 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Death Company with Jump Packs Elites 20 15 300 Power Sword 4 5 20
Sanguinary Ancient Elites 84 1 84 Encarmine Sword 12 1 12
0 Angelus Boltgun 3 1 3
Sanguinary Guard Elites 20 10 200 Encarmine Sword 12 10 120
0 Angelus Boltgun 3 10 30
Scout Bikers Fast 23 3 69 Storm Bolter 2 4 8
Scout Bikers Fast 23 3 69 Storm Bolter 2 4 8
Scout Bikers Fast 23 3 69 Storm Bolter 2 4 8
Devastator Squad Heavy 13 5 65 Heavy Bolter 10 1 10
Devastator Squad Heavy 13 5 65 Heavy Bolter 10 1 10
Devastator Squad Heavy 13 5 65 Heavy Bolter 10 1 10
Totals     83 1708       269 1977
Command Points: 12       Detachments: 3

So, a Brigade which is my favorite way to play but also a great way to play Blood Angels. The reason being that they really want a lot of CP to do their tricks. You will burn through most of them on the first two turns, much like with a hard hitting Chaos list. In order to do that, you need to fill out the troops, fast and heavy slots. For me, the best (and cheapest) option are Scouts and Scout Bikers as they are so gosh dang useful. The Scouts give you incredible utility and board control and with Red Thirst can hit pretty hard in melee, too. Scout Bikers have absurd damage output for their points, are crazy fast and have a fun stratagem, too. These are two of my favorite units in 8th ed 40k right now.

The Devastator Squads are there to fill the heavy slots cheaply, block out your backfield and hold objectives. Three units of five 32mm based models like Devs, can fairly effectively block out nearly all of your deployment zone from enemy outflankers and deep-strikers if you spread them out. Plus, in cover camping an objective, they’re pretty tough to take out. I do this same thing with my Tactical Squads all the time, and the Heavy Bolter is there to put some pitter-patter shots downrange at targets of opportunity at BS 2+ thanks to the Signum. These guys aren’t there to really kill anything, they are there for board control and defense, freeing up your aggressive units to concentrate on doing their thing.

The HQ selections are there for a very specific purpose. It’s a tough call with Blood Angels as they have so many awesome choices, but for me I want maximum force multiplication for the least points, or utility. To that end I go with the Sanguinor first as he hits very hard, has good defense and his incredible +1 attack buff cannot be stopped via Deny the Witch, etc. Plus, if you make him your Warlord, he has a fearless aura and triggers the Heirs of Azkaellon rule on the Sanguinary Guard, giving them a full re-roll on shooting and melee. The Fearless aura is actually quite good for them as the Death Company take heavy casualties and it saves you from burning 2 CP to keep them from losing models to morale. I also take Lemartes to give the re-roll charges and attacks aura to the Death Company to increase the odds of making that all important charge from out of reserves. He’s also a bad ass in melee, too!

Lastly, my main man: Captain Smashface! So you all have heard me sing his praises in a Space Marines army where he is often my MVP and the same basic principles apply here except that in Blood Angels he’s pure offense whereas the Space Marines version is about durability and damage output. By giving him the Death Visions of Sanguinius strat and all of the multitude of ways to increase their attacks, he hits like a Mack truck. Also, the sneaky part is that he can use the Forlorn Fury stratagem to move up the field before the game begins. This puts him in position to assault with the units coming in from reserves and cause all kinds of disruption. He can take out a Super Heavy Tank by himself in one fight phase if you pump enough resources into him! Also, he can take a variety of relics on the fly such as the Hammer of Baal or the Angel’s Wings as you need them to help counter what your opponent has. The Angel’s Wings especially are great when you need to get the Death Company into a unit that has very powerful overwatch as he can go in first and stop them from shooting. It also helps loads when taking out things like Fire Raptors or Storm Ravens (which is absolutely wrecks, by the way). If you opt for him to be the Warlord he opens up a lot of options with the opportunity to get an increased FnP save through Gift of Foresight, more damage with Artisan of War, or the Fearless aura if you need it, too. If he is your Warlord though, you want to try to keep him near the Sanguinary Guard if possible but often he ends up going off on his own. You always have Lemartes to give them re-rolls in melee, too, if needs be. In all, this single model can do so much for you, and adapt on the fly, he is too good to pass up on. Just don’t expect him to last too long if your opponent really wants him dead. If you play smart with him he can cause massive disruption but if your opponent can get a bead on him, he goes down pretty quick.

The Sanguinary Ancient fills the last Elites slot but also gives you +1 to your leadership which is great with the larger units in this army as well as the awesome re-rolls of 1 to wound in melee aura that will really increase your damage output. It also gives you the opportunity to take the Standard of Sacrifice, which helps a ton to protect your squishy assault force with a 5+ FnP style save. Lastly, he is no slouch in combat and as he is one of the only Banner Bearers with a Jump Pack, he fits in with the rest of the force extremely well as he keeps up and can Deep-Strike with his buddies.

Death Company are there to plow the road. They are your first wave of attack and will typically drop down and go in with the Descent of Angels strat+Lemartes. They go for maximum damage! You want to use their Bolters to clear a gap behind your opponents first screen if at all possible, and then assault over the first screen and into any gaps behind them that you can exploit and engage as many enemy units as you safely can, calculating how much overwatch and counter attack you can endure with enough of your Death Company to hit again with. It is also important to make sure to stay in the Ancient, Sanguinor and Lemartes’ auras for maximum bloodshed! Your objective is to clear the road as much as is possible and you will almost certainly be using the Honour the Chapter stratagem to go at it, again. You are going to take a lot of damage in the process and it is a rare game the Death Company survive. However, if they die dropping your opponent’s ability to stop the rest of your attack and then draw a boatload of fire in their turn while dying, then they did their job. It is good to note that the Scout Bikers are also excellent at clearing chaff and if you need them to assist the Death Company in their job, they will do so with flying colors. Pro Tip: you don’t always have to deep strike. It is important to know when to use that and when to use Forlorn Fury to move up the field and when to just start on the table. It will depend on what you opponent has but if they don’t have a lot of ranged firepower you are worried about, just start on the table and save the CP.

Wave 2, and equally as deadly (if not more so) are the Sanguinary Guard. If they make it in to combat turn 1? Great. But don’t count on it. They can drop down next to the Ancient for the 5+ FnP aura, or sometimes better, you drop them down turn 2 after the Death Company have done their thing and then use Descent of Angels again to come in with another wave of Blood Angels assault power into hopefully the guts of your opponent’s army as the Death Company dropped their defenses. The Sanguinary Guard are better for attacking vehicles, monsters, characters, etc. as they deal staggering damage. The Sanguinor is their buddy and again, they want to be near the Warlord who will buff them to high heaven.

While all of this is going on, your Scouts and Scout Bikers are grabbing objectives, blocking enemy movement, applying pressure and controlling the board. They can jump in where needed to combat, etc. and generally focus on winning the mission while your assault force smashes face (and often dies in the process). By the time your opponent can recover, you’ve probably already won the game. And the Devs quietly hold the backfield and occasionally go pew-pew with their Heavy Bolters and if they get really lucky, might pop off a Hellfire stratagem to do some Mortal Wounds. Yay!

You could also mix quite a few things up, like taking Meph instead of the Captain, or a jump Sanguinary Priest, etc. The great thing about Blood Angels is they have so many dang options. What would you change in this list?

So there you go! This is a Blood Angels army that has worked for me and is a lot of fun and is comically good at chopping Flyers out of the sky in melee, which always puts a big smile on my face. Hopefully it helps give you some ideas and helps you on your way to kicking butt with Blood Angels. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section!


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About Reecius

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

35 Responses to “Blood Angels List and Tactics”

  1. Avatar
    GhostValley December 7, 2017 6:13 pm #

    Thanks for posting the list, it helps to see the numbers in black and white so I can temper my enthusiasm a bit. There is just no way to get everything in there. In your play experience has the 12 command points been crucial – and what is the lowest amount you think an all BA list could manage with?

    • Avatar
      GhostValley December 7, 2017 6:16 pm #

      Meaning : I know you are using all your command points up, but do you think you could have matched your success with less ( still won, overkill situations etc)?

      • Reecius
        Reecius December 8, 2017 10:07 am #

        I find BA suck up CPs like mad, you blow through most of them in the first turn, pretty much dried up by turn 2. You can play without them but it’s really holding you back.

  2. Avatar
    abusepuppy December 7, 2017 6:17 pm #

    I find it really interesting that GW decreased the cost of Inferno Pistols, but increased the cost of Meltaguns. Not necessarily contradictory per se, but seems like a rather odd game of tug-of-war.

    Is Sanguinor’s aura one that works on units, rather than models, now? That certainly helps him out, although I’m still a bit skeptical of the dude- +1A is great, but you’re paying a pretty hefty price for it. But as you say, they have access to a lot of other good buff characters, so it’s not as though you can’t swap him out for a Sang Priest, etc, to get some work done.

    Do you run your Scouts with Bolters or Pistol/CCW in this version? I typically feel like Bolters do the most work, but BA have cause to actually try and make use of the extra melee attacks if you’re going highly aggressive.

    I definitely feel like those Devs need some extra weapons. Even just like a second HB in each squad would do a lot to improve their relevance to the board.

    The Captain with Jump Pack is definitely a beast, although at the end of the day he’s pretty fragile, so I would be leery of sinking 2-4CP into throwing buffs on him. It doesn’t take many Plasma or Thunder Hammer hits for that guy to sink beneath the waves, so you gotta be careful with him (and guys like him.) Ignoring overwatch is huge, tho, and seeing him smash a flyer out of the sky is always hilarious.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2017 10:11 am #

      The Sanguinor stands on his own merit, though. He hits really hard and does well, the +1 attack is what takes him over the top for me. However, you could easily run Meph instead.

      Scouts you can honestly play whatever you want. We’ve tried melee, shotguns, bolters, they’re all good.

      You could scuttle a few Sanguinary Guard for more heavy weapons I just find you don’t need it, honestly.

      You do very much have to be careful with the Captain. He dies very easily, the Shield Eternal is crazy good on the SM version, the BA flavor of him hits way harder but dies quickly. He has to kill what he attacks as he can’t take much of a counter punch.

  3. Avatar
    Dbiesto December 7, 2017 6:23 pm #

    That is quite a heavy infiltration denial list lol. I like it!

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2017 10:11 am #

      Scouts are stupid good.

  4. Avatar
    Akaiyou December 7, 2017 7:53 pm #

    Anyone else notice that he referred to the Death Company as “Death Guard”? ….Nurgle has clearly been whispering in your ear my friend, fight the lure of chaos! Remember the Primarch!

    • Avatar
      Dirtydeeds December 8, 2017 7:33 am #

      I saw it as well!

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2017 10:11 am #

      Lol, oops!

  5. Avatar
    Chandler December 7, 2017 9:11 pm #

    I guess I’m missing something. How are the scout bikers getting 4 storm bolters? The profile says the Sgt can replace his bolt pistol with an item off the sgt equipment list so you could take one storm bolter…where are the other 3 coming from?

    • Avatar
      Erastil December 7, 2017 10:04 pm #

      They are in fact twin-bolters, on the bikes, I think.

    • Avatar
      Blight1 December 7, 2017 11:14 pm #

      The bikes have twin linked bolters which are the same as storm bolters now.

      • Avatar
        Chandler December 7, 2017 11:18 pm #

        Oh I see. Just his way of accounting for points in the list. Makes sense.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 8, 2017 10:00 am #

          Yeah, I just wrote them as Storm Bolters. Same thing in all but name.

  6. Avatar
    Horton December 8, 2017 4:24 am #

    Superb article. Some of my friends have been very negative about BA, but I have maintained that I think they look great. Your list looks like something I might make myself and I think is a great example of one of the many great armies that BA can make.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2017 10:14 am #

      Thank you! Yeah, BA kick serious ass. You just have to play all out aggressive with them as they die quickly. The Sanguinary Guard are pretty tough but fall prey to Plasma Guns and such. You have to deal a killing blow when you attack as you don’t have a lot of endurance.

  7. Avatar
    Clem December 8, 2017 7:46 am #

    What does everyone think about 3 5 man Reiver Squads coming in from deep strike with their combat knife and +1 to wound in CC?

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2017 10:14 am #

      BA Reivers are awesome! Very, very good.

  8. Avatar
    GeekmasterK December 8, 2017 8:51 am #

    I like this list a lot! I’d like to find a way to fit a Librarian Dreadnought in there somehow, though. I don’t know how practical that would be in a brigade, but I like that model. If not the Libby Dread, maybe Mephiston? If nothing else, I get nervous about not having enough psychic defense, based on experience with index Blood Angels.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2017 10:15 am #

      You could totally take a Libby Dread! You could swap out the Captain or even the Sanguinor, honestly.

      I don’t always rely on psykers in my armies as they have several failure points but they can be tremendously effective.

  9. Avatar
    Clem December 8, 2017 11:04 am #

    Would you go with a DC unit maxed for 300 points to take advantage of more stratagems or 3 Reiver units at the same point cost?

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 10, 2017 5:06 pm #

      Either is a good choice.3 units of Reivers would give you more flexibility but the Death Company give you that brutal punch from reserves.

  10. Avatar
    Ceawolf December 9, 2017 6:52 am #

    Reece are two big squads of DC, one using each stratagem, a crazy idea for a massive turn one assault? I have 45 painted up DC haha so excited to get these guys on the board!

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 10, 2017 5:06 pm #

      Not at all, just a bit first turn dependent.

  11. Avatar
    Erastil December 10, 2017 7:52 am #

    Anyone else noticed that scout biker seargents dont have the option for stormbolters anymore? Obviously I know that you can still play them because of the index faq, but strange no the less.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 10, 2017 5:07 pm #

      Yeah, that is weird.

    • Avatar
      WestRider December 11, 2017 12:03 pm #

      With a few exceptions (Tactical/Sternguard Heavy Weapons, for instance), the rule these days is pretty much that if it doesn’t come in the box, it doesn’t go in the Codex. No Storm Bolter bit in the Scout Biker box, no Storm Bolter option in the Codex.

  12. Avatar
    rivercity_gaming December 10, 2017 4:06 pm #

    Two Questions:

    1) Are you taking Death Masks for the Sanguinary Guard?
    2) Do the negative modifiers for Death Masks stack per model?

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 10, 2017 5:08 pm #

      1.) No.
      2.) No, it says “Any Models With…”

      • Avatar
        rivercity_gaming December 11, 2017 6:47 am #

        Is it that you don’t think it holds a lot of value with -1 LD if you’re not getting Night Lords level of negative modifiers?

  13. Avatar
    Jimmy J December 11, 2017 7:52 pm #

    Are you running bolt guns or bolt pistols on your death company?

    I like the idea of having the extra shot if I get stuck in CC, but with the jump packs it seems like dropping back and getting the extra range and, if close the extra shot, is an equally attractive option.

    • Avatar
      Jimmy J December 12, 2017 6:12 am #

      Never mind. I just re-red your codex review and see its bolt guns 🙂

  14. Avatar
    Ronga December 14, 2017 7:36 pm #

    What would you have focus on vehicles? The sanguinary guard or death company?

  15. Avatar
    Ronga December 14, 2017 8:46 pm #

    Would you use the death company or the sanguinary guard to take our vehicles with a list like this?

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