Faction Focus: Blood Angels

The Warhammer-community page brings us a faction focus article on the Blood Angels in 9th ed 40k!

Warhammer 40,000 is about to become a whole lot more stylish and well-groomed, as it’s time to see how the Blood Angels will be taking to the battlefield in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. Let’s crack on.

Who Are They?

The Blood Angels are the purest exemplars of what it means to be the Emperor’s Angels of Death. Upon wings of fire they descend into battle and tear the beating heart from those who would dare oppose the will of the Master of Mankind. Though noble and regal in appearance, having inherited elements of their Primarch’s beatific visage, they are fierce and terrible to behold once the battle fury is upon them, for a darkness lies within the heart of each of Sanguinius’ sons…

A psychic imprint permanently tainted the gene-seed of the Blood Angels after their Primarch’s death at the hands of the Arch-Traitor Horus. Echoes of this ancestral memory can cause Blood Angels warriors to relive this traumatic moment on the eve of battle, sending them into a trance-like frenzy from which only Mephiston has shown the mental fortitude to emerge in their long history. As a mercy to those afflicted by this curse, they are gathered together to form the Death Company – a forlorn hope of black-armoured berserkers whose sole purpose is to channel their barely controlled rage into one last apocalyptic rampage into enemy lines.

How They Play in the New Edition

Many of the points made in the Space Wolves Faction Focus article will apply to assault-oriented Blood Angels armies in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. The smaller recommended battlefield sizes will lend themselves to forces getting stuck into each other, while the new terrain rules can be used to protect your small, valuable units from enemy weapons fire.

Blood Angels benefit from a host of special rules when they make a charge, are charged or perform a Heroic Intervention – they receive 1 Attack from the Shock Assault ability common to all Adeptus Astartes and gain a +1 bonus to their wound rolls due to the Red Thirst ability. This is already a powerful combination, but when the Assault Doctrine is active (which it can be from the third battle round onwards), they also receive an extra Attack from their Savage Echoes ability too!

Although the terrifying charge of the sons of Sanguinius is a majestic thing to behold (especially with a lot less Overwatch in the galaxy), it’s important to use the rules to your advantage rather than recklessly throw your Blood Angels into combat. For example, using Strategic Reserves will not only shelter your fiercest melee units from enemy firepower, but will also buy you time for the Assault Doctrine and Savage Echoes to kick in, so they’ll be at their ultra-violent best when they arrive on the battlefield.

As some of the foremost Defenders of Mankind in terms of martial skill, your Blood Angels should be looking to make the most of Heroic Interventions once the enemy charges in…

It’s worth noting that those who perform Heroic Interventions can now be targeted in the ensuing Fight phase, but can an intervention truly be said to be heroic if there isn’t a little danger?

The Unbridled Ardour Stratagem not only allows a Heroic Intervention to be performed in the enemy Charge phase if an enemy unit is within 6″ of a Blood Angels Character (rather than 3″), it also can be used on ANY Blood Angels unit. Smaller board sizes may cause your opponents to run out of room to evade a surprise 6″ counter-charge. However, as mentioned above, units performing Heroic Interventions do open themselves up to enemy attacks, and as charging units fight first, they may be subjected to at least some part of the charging unit’s wrath, so be prepared. Using durable units such as Bladeguard Veterans or Terminators will help to mitigate the risk.

The Blood Angels are rightfully famed for their aerial assaults, and the mobility granted by jump pack-borne units will be a great asset in the new edition. The Jump Pack Assault ability allows such units to deploy in the Reinforcements step of any Movement phase, more than 9″ away from any enemy models, and the Blood Angels’ Red Thirst ability allows them all to add 1 to their charge rolls. When your charge hits home, consider the Hammer of Wrath Stratagem on your larger units earlier in the game before casualties make them less effective.

Key Units

As with the Deathwatch and Space Wolves we covered in Faction Focuses earlier this week, the Blood Angels will also be able to wield the might of the new Primaris units from Indomitus. On that note, check out our first nomination of top units for the Blood Angels in the new edition…

Assault Intercessor Squad

The Assault Intercessor Squad is a Troops choice, meaning even the smallest Blood Angels force (or one of their successor Chapters) can be built around a unit that plays to all the strengths of the Scions of Sanguinius. Every model has at least 3 Attacks using their Astartes chainswords (with a tasty -1 AP modifier) before any modifiers for being Blood Angels kick in. Capture objectives with them and dare the enemy to charge in and clear them off, with the threat of your Heroic Intervention always 6″ away.

Sanguinary Guard

The Sanguinary Guard exemplify the Blood Angels’ propensity for jump pack troops, and benefit from a host of Stratagems in Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal. Visage of the Damned combined with Unbridled Ardour allows a unit of Sanguinary Guard to heroically intervene, force a penalty to hit on the charging enemy’s attacks, then cut them down with their D3 Damage encarmine weapons.

Chaplain with Jump Pack

The Chaplain’s Litanies allow him to influence a number of different units and phases of the game, and his jump pack’s mobility allows him to be wherever he’s needed – useful if you want him to get in position to assist other jump units with his Litanies when they arrive. The Canticle of Hate adds 2 instead of 1 to the charge rolls of Blood Angels units within 6”, greatly improving the chances of accompanying jump pack-equipped troops making that all-important 9” charge roll after dropping onto the battlefield from above.

Will you be adding the awesome new miniatures from the Indomitus set to your Blood Angels host, or using it as the foundation of a new collection? What other Blood Angels units are you looking forward to unleashing in the new edition? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook pageInstagram and on Twitter using #New40K.

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