Narrative Review – Blood Angels

We are finally at the last Space Marine supplement to review! The Sons of Sanguinius are a proud bunch. Let’s see how this supplement tried to work that into their crusade rules:

Army Specific Rules:
The special rules for the Blood Angels revolve around the Black Rage. A very important part of their lore, the Black Rage will punish you getting into melee and has some long-term effects. At the end of each battle you roll a test for every unit. If you roll equal to, or under, the number of units it destroyed in close combat that game, the unit earns a “Flaw Point”. After you get three of these Flaw Points you take a leadership test on 3D6. If this roll equals or beats your leadership that unit or character has fallen to the Black Rage. The exact effects vary from unit to unit depending on what type they are. Non-Captains or Lieutenants that fall can be replaced by a Death Company lieutenant, dreadnoughts are replaced with Death Company Dreadnoughts and other units take a battle scar or lose 2D6 experience and 1 Flaw Point. Death Company units don’t gain experience or scars, instead you pick one battle trait and the unit gains that honor every battle. If a primaris unit falls to the black rage then a unit of Death Company Intercessors gain two honors for the next battle, the same system works for regular Death Company and dreadnoughts. Death Company characters ad dreadnoughts suffer similar restrictions and, if they fail an Out of Action Test, are removed from your roster.

Agendas and Relics:
The Blood Angels get four agendas to pick between. An Honorable Death allows you to nominate a Death Company unit. If it dies in battle all other units in your army gain one Exp and you get a requisition point, although it is then removed from your roster. If it doesn’t you don’t get anything unless you have Astorath in which case you get 1 RP, meh. Purity through Bloodshed is quite good awarding 1 exp for every unit killed in melee. Also, if you pass your Black Rage test after the battle, you lose 1 flaw point. Valor of the Angels gives a character 1 exp every time it heroically intervenes, kills a warlord, character or monster in melee, or is destroyed. You can also remove the model from your order of battle at the end of the battle, if it’s destroyed, to give all other unit in your army +1 exp. Finally, Search for the Cure is a special action apothecaries can do within 3″ of an objective. If they do this three times then every apothecary gains 3 exp.

For relics the angels receive a lot of options. Their three basic relics include a Sx2 AP-3 D3 sword that re-rolls hits against characters, an auto-hitting bolt rifle, and a psychic hood that allows you to ignore negative modifiers and increases the range of your hood to 18″. The Antiquity relics include a buffed crozius that imposes a -1 penalty for each model lost in a unit until the end of the turn, great for leadership shenanigans. You also can get a upgrade for Sanguinary Priests giving their Blood Chalice ability to 9″. Lastly, you can get a jump pack that shuts off overwatch and gives you the ability to re-roll charges. I feel the legendary relic is a little lackluster. It is an improved power sword granting +2S, AP-4 and D3 as well as doing 2 mortals for every unmodified 6 to wound. It’s a good weapon just a little lacking for a legendary relic.

Army Traits and Requisitions:
Interestingly the Blood Angels don’t get any custom army traits, maybe because they were one of the earliest supplements released? Their honorifics are mostly copied from the Space Marine book but the Master of Sieges is a good choice giving you D3 command points or 3 if your opponent has a fortification.They do get four requisitions though. One option allows you to spend 1 RP to move a character into the Death Company even if they only have 2 Flaw points. Custodian of the Lost is a 1 RP upgrade for a chaplain that levels up. Once you have the upgrade you can re-roll 1 failed Black Rage test. Noble Heritage gives you a bonus battle trait if you have a character with 71+ experience, or a psychic fortitude if it’s a psycher. Lastly, Blood Cleansing is a 2 RP option that each unit can buy once per campaign. It lowers the unit’s number of flaw points by 1.

Conclusion:
The Blood Angels seem a little uninspiring. Their crusade rules largely revolve around giving them access to certain units they can already include in their army. It’s a good way to give characters a narrative arc, although it mostly seems to be a way to risk perma-deathing your own units. I wish the requisition was applicable multiple times, maybe costing +1 RP each time it is used for the same unit? Granted you still have access to all the other Space Marine tables agendas, etc. but I was hoping for more for the Blood Angels.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

secondhandhsop

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Bob
Bob
16 days ago

but I was hoping for more for the Blood Angels.” same girl, same.

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