|Battle Cry||"By the Blood Of Sanguinius!"
"For The Emperor and Sanguinius!"
|Successor Chapters||Angels Encarmine
Blood Swords (Claimed otherwise in Codex: Blood Angels 5th ed.)
Knights of Blood
|Colours||Red with black detailing|
Oh and Hive Fleet Leviathan is coming to devour their homeworld Baal while also getting attacked by 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 are one of the only chapters that can call on it's successor chapters and reasonably expect more than just a call back. Even the ones that don't like them all that well. The only other ones than we can find that can do that is the Dark Angels (for obvious reasons) and the Ultramarines. This is pretty justified for the Blood Angels, 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 if it were during the Time of Ending, getting them to unite to defend their ancestral homeworld Baal.
Their Primarch was Sanguinius, a Primarch who was best known for being a good-looking nice guy with a bad temper that made him look like satan. He also had angel-like wings that either due to radiation on Baal, or he just came like that out of his birthing pod, no one is sure, although current dex states that villagers nearly killed him due to his possession of wings when he was found at the site now known as Angel's Fall, implying that he came out of his birthing pod with them. (just be sure not to use the "M" word around the Bangles). In reality it's likely that Sanguinius himself was touched by the Chaos Gods who are actually responsible for dispersing all the Primarchs in the first place, and this would be the reason for his obvious mutation and the subsequent mutations and flaws of his Legion. Many of the Blood Angels emulate those wings by focusing on jump pack assaults, so the Blood Angels and successor chapter forces doctrinally see a lot more Assault Squads than the typical Space Marine strike force. Their current Chapter Master is 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 could have managed to get that... It turned out pretty messy when the Horus Heresy started.
Although they don't have as strong of a motif as the Space Wolves do The Blood Angels are quite obviously drawn from vampire, catholic, and faustian references (duh, Vampyr is a curse word in Baalite for Emprah's sake--Rafen makes note of it when Arkio mutates] 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 in a more literal sense. 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 Night Lords, saving Dante's life in the process as it was otherwise a textbook suicide mission, a redemptive one, to be specific. 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 ability to choose (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 the Devastator Squads per the Codex (ala the 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 they'll be using 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 fire support functionally afflicted by ADD isn't really the most useful in any situation.
The Red Thirst, The Black Rage, and You!
The Blood Angels and successors have a genetic defect in their gene-seed known most commonly as "The Flaw". It seems to have much more representation in the fluff than in the crunch, but that's standard fare for a life-threatening, damnation-courting mutation that pop up at any time.
The Red Thirst is what makes them space vampires(team Edward), 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 from the records, 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 bloodlust.
In the lore the general effect is that the Red Thirst makes a Blood Angel thirst for actual goddamn blood. Thus most Blood Angels Chaplains require certification for anger management therapy before they get the job. Interestingly, that logically makes the Red Thirst harder to deal with than the Black Rage, since their treatment for a permanent psychotic episode is to give their armor a new lick of paint and point them at the enemy.
Some chapters are more susceptible than others: The originally named "Blood Drinkers" are notorious amongst their allies for allegedly leaving exsanguinated corpses wherever they show up. On the upside they are the one of the few chapters who have tangible rules regarding how they handle 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 tabletop this has historically been changed in every single incarnation of the rules as GW continually changed their minds over how the Thirst should be represented; Here in 7th Edition, they just give the flat bonus of Furious Charge to everything (including dreadnoughts), but if you get a bunch of Blood Angels together in the correct FOC or formation then they also get +1 to Initiative when charging ala old-school Furious Charge, which is a very strong advantage. In 6th it had 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 mostly immune with a few exceptions. Going further back into 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. This which really wasn't fun, especially if your devastator squads didn't pull that critical round of shooting.
On the other hand, the Black Rage is the Red Thirst's angrier, more troublesome brother. The one who dresses in black all the time, and that shows up at random times to complicate your life. It's a terminal state, where the battle brother has completely succumbs to the Red Thirst, willingly or not, and has psychotic break. Or if you're feeling particularly poetic it's the psychic scream of a dying demi-god stuck in his progeny.
Battle brothers who succumb to Black Rage are overcome with visions Blood Angel battles all around the Horus Heresy, and for the few who are the most "blessed": see themselves as Sanguinius battling Horus on his battle barge. This 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 killed and get off the leash somehow, Astorath will come and execute them on the battlefield since no other Blood Angel has the stomach (Or outright skill) 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 inopportune moments. Though some are more susceptible than others, which makes those chapter's responses to the occurrence of Black Rage quite varied. The aforementioned Flesh Tearers and the renegade Knights of Blood chapters both have an uncanny predilection for all out balls to the walls assault--hoping to die in battle honourably before the rage takes them. In the latter's case they fought with the zeal of the Black Templars, the Fury of the World Eaters, and the Excess of the Marines Malevolent in such a perfect way the they got kicked out of the cool kids club and branded renegades for their excess collateral damage against allied forces.
How the Flesh Tearers stayed off the shit list is anyone's guess
On the tabletop this allows you to bring a squad of Berserkers sans-Khorne, but with more RAGE and customization 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. Like the Rest Thirst GW keep changing the rules with these guys; nowadays you can purchase units of Death Company as Elites choices for your army at a not-insignificant cost, whilst in 6th they were Troops, but were so far down the path of drooling lunatics they wouldn't be able to hold objectives, and you could only have one squad unless Astorath was watching. 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 of squads you already paid for to bulk up your Death Company, which made fluff-sense. But at least 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. Losing a Termie or tooled-up honour guard made you cry though...
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
UPDATE ver 2.0: As of 7th edition the Blood Angel Necron "Unholy Alliance" has been rightfully removed from the game. The entire allies matrix was re-written and this and other alliances were changed.
UPDATE ver 3.0 BLOOD ANGELS ARE THE NEXT FOR A CODEX UPDATE! Stay tuned kids, expected all the special characters to get "fixed", and a whole bunch of point balances. Hopefully, this will mean new Assault Marine sprues.
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. The First Company continually practice how to descend from the skies like their chapter's namesake. Pretending to fly like a bat is heresy.
1600 - Evening firing rituals. During this time, several Blood Angels also practice the shooting style of a legendary terran gunslinger known as "Nosferatu Alucard".
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. Scariest motherfucker this side of the Eye of Terror.
- Corbulo - High Sanguinary Priest.
- Astorath - Keeper of Sanctity and the dude who kills Death Company nutjobs.
- Karlaen - 1st Company captain and total bro. Has a model thanks to 7E's Deathstorm Box.
- Donatos Aphael- 2nd company captain
- Erasmus Tycho - 3rd company 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.
- Rafen - Longest living Blood Angel Mook in any of the Blood Angel Book series.
- 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.