|Battle Cry||By the Blood Of Sanguinius! or For The Emperor and Sanguinius!|
|Successor Chapters||Angels Encarmine, Angels Sanguine, Angels Vermillion, Blood Drinkers, Exsanguinators, Flesh Eaters, Flesh Tearers, Knights of Blood, Knights Sanguine, Lamenters, Blood Swords (Claimed otherwise in Codex: Blood Angels 5th ed.), Blood Legion, Red Wings|
The Blood Angels were the 9th Space Marine legion (not the 9th chapter) created by the Empra and also known as the most batshit insane loyalist chapter in the Imperium. They're also all Bishonen. No srsly, all of them...
Oh and Hive Fleet Leviathan is coming to devour their homeworld along with a Khornate army lead by their ancient enemy Ka'bandha. But since these guys aren't pussies like the Ultramarines, this isn't that big a deal.
Also they one of the only chapters (other than the Dark Angels--for obvious reasons--and the Ultramarines) that can call on it's successor chapters even the ones that don't like them all that well. Which in this case is justified as all Blood Angel descendants are united by the twin curses/blessings of Sanguinius. So you mess with one of them too much you might just get an entire legion attacking you. Or in the case of the Time of Ending, uniting to defend their ancestral home.
Their Primarch is named Sanguinius, a Primarch who has angel-like wings that mutated out of his back either due to radiation on his home world, Baal, or he came like that out of his birthing pod. No one is sure. Many of the Blood Angels emulate this by focusing on jump pack assaults. Their current Chapter Master is a Dante, the oldest non-Dreadnought interred loyalist Space Marine in history.
They had a brotherly rivalry against the World Eaters (if only the Imperial Fists/Iron Warriors and Ultramarines/Alpha Legion managed that) that degenerated into full blown hatred when the Horus Heresy started.
Although they don't have as strong of a motif as the Space Wolves do, the Blood Angels commonly fly (with jump packs), are eternally youthful, drink blood, and sleep in coffins. Just sayin'...
In times of dire need, they are aided by the Sanguinor, a guy who seems to be a Blood Angel except more literally so. Maybe he's some psychic manifestation of the Chapter. Maybe he's a ghost of Sanguinius. Nobody knows. The important thing is that he enjoys piledriving Bloodthirsters from space, killing Eldar Avatars, and Killing a bunch of Orks during boarding actions. In recent Black Library tales he appeared to lead Blood Angels brethren in a heroic last stand against Hive Fleet Leviathan, where the squad sergeant punched a hole in a Carnifex's chest after being impaled, allowing the rest of his squad to live. He took off after that, but not after he managed to renew the Astartes' faith in humanity.
Blood Angels Legion took the implementation of the Codex Astartes with notably less bitching than other chapters due to the death of their Primarch and the onset of the Black Rage. They took the news of the Codex as stoically as they could and follow the strictures of the codex as much as they see wisdom in it--i.e. the division of the legion into chapters, companies, and squads. Like their brethren in the Raven Guard they have a natural predilection for jump packs and using their brains (as opposed to blindly following the codex)but due to their chapter's curse have had to tweak things a bit. Once they get out of scout training they immediately go into Assault squads rather than devastators per the Codex (Ala Space Wolves) though not strictly because of the brash youth of the newly raised marines. This variation allows the new marine to become accustomed to the nature of his jump pack (he'll be using one a lot) and to take note of those who are best able to keep tabs on their fury and those who are most likely to give in. Devastators are usually reserved for brethren able to keep tabs on the Red thirst better. As ADHD fire support isn't really the most useful in any situation.
The Red Thirst, The Black Rage and You!
The Red Thirst is what makes them space vampires, and if they don't drink enough blood they become psychos who get locked away.
The Red Thirst has always been a part of the Blood Angels and during the Great Crusade, Sanguinius went to great lengths to hide it from the Emperor for fear of being erased, although odds are that the Emperor might have already known. They even introduced Chaplains to the Legion before the Edict of Nikaea, not just to monitor psykers, but to look out for brothers who might be giving into their bloodlusts.
On the tabletop this has the odd consequence of occasionally making your units Fearless and Furious Chargers if they give into the temptation. Though independent characters have enough control over themselves that they are immune to its effects.
- Like the Black Rage, GW continually change their minds over how the rules for the Thirst should be represented, in the 3rd Edition the Red Thirst made a bit more sense and was something to actually be wary of, as your units had a potential to lose control at the thought of blood and move out of position towards the enemy, which wasn't fun, especially if your devastator squads spoiled their chance at shooting.
As with the Black Rage, some chapters are more susceptible than others: The originally named "Blood Drinkers" are notorious (but not yet confirmed) amongst their allies for leaving exsanguinated corpses wherever they show up and are the only chapter who have a tangible rules benefit/penalty to suffering the Red Thirst, where if they have recently sated themselves, they gain a boost to WS and suffer penalties to social checks if they refrain from feeding.
On the other hand, the Black Rage is where they see themselves as Sanguinius battling Horus in his battle barge which has the unfortunate side-effect of making them completely lose touch with reality, fighting a battle that they can never ever win since the outcome of the hallucinations has already occurred. On the plus side though, their disconnection with what is going on around them turns them into immensely powerful warriors, since each and every one of them believe that they are Sanguinius.
Long story short a marine afflicted with "Black Rage" will be almost as angry as an Angry Marine except that they can't control themselves. If this happens in a warzone they will be quietly directed into small groups and paint their armour black by a chaplain before the worst of the hallucinations take over. If they aren't somehow killed, Astorath will come and execute them on the battlefield since no other Blood Angel has the stomach to kill his own battle brothers. If this happens off the battlefield, these unfortunates will be locked away in the Tower of the Lost so they can spend the rest of their days drooling and howling under the care of the Chaplains unless Astorath pays them a visit.
Therefore the Death Company is a group of Blood Angels on the battlefield who are afflicted by the Black Rage, each force of Blood Angels and their successors has one since the hallucinations could pop up at any time and they can't exactly plan for losing valuable battle brothers at opportune moments. Though some are more susceptible than others, which makes those chapter's responses to the occurrence of Black Rage quite varied.
On the tabletop this allows you to bring a squad of Berserkers sans-Khorne, but with more RAGE and customisation options. You can also take several squads if Astorath has shown up, as he always seems to know where and when his brothers will succumb.
- GW keep changing the rules with these guys; nowadays you can purchase units of Death Company as part of your army at a not-insignificant cost, though in ancient times it used to happen spontaneously for free where you had to roll for squads at the start of battle, potentially losing members to bulk up your Death Company, which made fluff-sense, but
could annoy you if you lost a sergeant or special weapons guy that you paid the points for.Except that it didn't, since you chose which model to take off, and sending a veteran sergeant to the Death Company was the only way of giving power weapon/fists (excluding the chaplain) to the squad. Loosing a termie or tooled-up honour guard made you cry though...
- Don't forget Drop-Podding Blood-Taloned Death Company Dreadnoughts, since the Black Rage can overcome any battle-brother, even those locked in Dreadnoughts. Fuck. I need a cigarette after that ass-raping
In short, by 6th Edition both of the Blood Angels curses have been made super duper and can only benefit your army when they spring on you. By contrast, they used to historically work in a manner far more appropriate to the fluff, though could certainly mess with your day if you were playing Blood Angels... which is something any Blood Angels commander in the fluff would actually have to deal with anyway.
Speaking of 6th Edition...
With the advent of 6th ed Blood Angels fell from their former spot of broken, cheese-tastic rape-machine to just plain broke. First off, CQC is pretty much dead--random charge distances will muck up your charge every time. Changes to Furious Charge mean no more auto-attacking before your opponent knows what hit him. Furioso's aren't as gloriously nasty as they used to be with power weapons having AP values now--so now they're not just a fire and forget death blender. And you end up paying out the nose for things that C:SM can get for many times cheaper. And (like C:DA) you lose out on a lot of toys that the other guys get. Also for some reason Mephiston can rip open Land Raiders with his bare hands and level monstrous creatures to nothing but cinders...but his sword bounces off of Terminators. Stormravens can't deep-strike anymore, what with new flier rules and all and Sanguinary priests aren't as awesome due to the new 5+ FNP. Dante's stupid high initiative is rendered moot cuz his axe is unwieldy. And Astaroth has a pretty high chance of eating it as soon as combat starts. And there's basically only two lists now that are anywhere near competitive.
It isn't all bad though. All Artificer/Terminator armour was made better so Sanguinary Guard can laugh off most things a MEQ will throw at them (unless they get plasma'd to death)and despite the downgrade to the priests they also, kind of, got an upgrade in that FNP will resist all but instant death. And Blood Angels don't make a particularly bad Shooty army, they have the same BS as regular marine armies...they just pay more for it. And they did manage to keep all the fast vehicles to themselves, though that upgrade has been around since 3rd ed Chapter Approved.
The true bummer about Blood Angels is a lot of their cool and unique toys got taken away from them. The Stormraven got shipped in with C:SM and they didn't even get the Stormtalon as a return favor. Forge World started putting out predator variants so you can basically "build your own Baal!" just without the FA force organization and Lucifer pattern engines.
All in all, 6th ed turned a brutally nasty army into something that is still playable. Just not a brainless assault army like it used to be.
UPDATE: As of the 6th edition rulebook, Blood Angels and Necrons can form an "Unholy Alliance". For reference, Necrons can form the exact same alliance with the Black Templars. This implies that the whole scenario with the Necrons and the 'Nids was part of the then-upcoming Necron fluff change wherein the Necrons went from omnicidal kill bots to an actual empire capable of politics and forming alliances
Daily rituals of the Blood Angels
0400 - Reveille - The Blood Angels are roused from their coffins to start the day.
0410 - Grooming - The Blood Angels take the time to comb their hair and brush their teeth. Special attention is given to the fangs.
0430 - Morning meal - A light meal is prepared by the chapter serfs for the Blood Angels. Consuming a chapter serf is explicitly prohibited.
0500 - Morning prayer.
0600 - Morning firing rituals - The Blood Angels assemble for target practice. The Blood Angels have an unusually large amount of a heretical series of books from the ancient days of Terra called the Twilight Saga, which they use for target practice by the thousands.
0700 - Battle practice - The Blood Angels begin practice in the battle cages. Frequently, the Blood Angels will forgo their Bolters for melee weapons.
1200 - Midday meal - The Blood Angels consume a light meal made for them by the chapter serfs. The chapter serfs are still explicitly off the menu.
1300 - Deep strike training - The Blood Angels practice their deep strike maneuvers.
1600 - Evening firing rituals.
1700 - Staring contests - Fools brave enough to challenge Mephiston to a staring contest do so now. Usually its just the neophytes who don't know any better.
1715 - Round up - Staring contests are over, and those who went mad while staring into Mephiston's eyes must be tracked down and dragged from the walls of the fortress-monastery.
1730 - Evening prayer.
1900 - Evening meal - A feast is prepared by the chapter serfs, usually of animals who were killed during the Deep Strike training. The chapter serfs may be consumed depending on how good the first two meals were. Using the Red Grail in drinking contests is explicitly prohibited by order of the Sanguinary Priests.
2000 - Free Time - The Blood Angels are allowed to engage in free time. Some reflect on their duty to the Emperor. Others play video games. Some just pose moodily and bare-chested in front of a mirror. Still others will engage in artistic activities. A good vampire movie is often shown for the Blood Angels entertainment.
0000 - Rest - The Blood Angels retire to their coffins for the evening.
Notable Members of the Blood Angels
- Sanguinius - Primarch
- Dante - Current Chapter Master. Dude's mad old and prefers not to mention anything about having a Necron's cell phone number.
- Mephiston - Chief Librarian and resident named rape train.
- Corbulo - High Sanguinary Priest.
- Astorath - Keeper of Sanctity and the dude who kills Death Company nutjobs.
- Erasmus Tycho - Captain, proof that Your dudes has a reason to exist.
- Moriar the Chosen - Matt Ward's excuse for making generic Death Company Dreads a thing.
- Sanguinor - May be or may be not Sanguinius reborn...or Azkaellon...or a Warp Entity made by the desires of the Blood Angels...or all three together...DAMMIT!, IT'S COMPLICATED.
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A pre-heresy Blood Angel