Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Blood Angels(8E)
- 1 Why Play Blood Angels
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Stratagems
- 4 Tactical Objectives
- 5 Psychic Powers
- 6 Litanies of Battle
- 7 Warlord Traits
- 8 Space Marine Armoury
- 9 Unit Analysis
- 10 Building Your Army
- 11 Tactics
Why Play Blood Angels
The Space Marines are the steadfast heroes of the Imperium. By their martial prowess and valor is Mankind preserved from extinction at the hands of a galaxy filled with unimaginable terrors. As one of the oldest and most revered of all Space Marine Chapters, the Blood Angels have stood at the forefront of humanity's defense for over ten thousand years. With bolter and chainsword they hold the foes of Mankind at bay in an unending battle for survival. Yet the Blood Angels are touched by a terrible flaw that threatens to undo their endless centuries of heroism, a dark madness that only strength of will can hope to contain.
The Blood Angels are the masters of war in all its forms, but they excel in the savage arena of close assault above all others. Every Battle-Brother feels the lure of hand-to-hand combat boiling in his blood - only eye-to-eye and blade-to-blade with the foe can the dark beast within the Chapter's collective soul be given full reign. Caution is not the Blood Angels' way, and it cannot be yours. Assault Squads, Death Company, Sanguinary Guard - these are the spearhead of your host, but the rest of the army must follow close behind. Stormraven Gunships roar over the battlefield, bringing fresh troops into the maelstrom. Tactical Squads make their implacable advance, heavy weapons fire scouring the bastions of the foe, and tanks spur forward to spit death at the enemy from point blank range. The Blood Angels are an army fit only for the boldest of generals. Do you have what it takes to lead them to victory?
- Currently considered one of the best melee factions in 8th edition.
- With the universal Astartes updates, Blood Angels now not only hit hard (thanks to Red Thirst), but also hit often - whilst the Assault Doctrine is active.
- You like any of these things: The colors red, gold, white and black, jump packs, assault, angels, vampires, blood, flamers, melta weapons, and going fast.
- The Blood Angels have a really strong alpha strike.
- Lots of ways to actually get into melee.
- The vast majority of squads and vehicles that were previously not available to Blood Angels now are. Only a select few, such as Centurions remain unavailable. This means you can refine your armies even more.
- We can also take jump packs on a few units that codex chapters can't.
- Death Masks now can reduce enemy to hit by 1 in close combat via stratagem.
- Furioso and Death Company Dreads are cool
- Great characters who give multiple bonuses, such as re-rolling charges, extra attacks, and allowing the Death Company to ignore morale.
- Red Thirst giving us flat +1 to wound in close combat when charging/charged/intervened as well as +1 to advance and charge distance is one of the best army-traits.
- You will be hard pressed to find better allies for other imperial armies. Brigades with lots of imperial guard infantry, maybe a few tanks here and there, and a ton of command points will give you all the support you need.
- Unique artificer style nipple armor
- The new Primaris Mephiston model is even more op
- Nothing to get to Assault Doctrine faster.
- Vulnerable to opponents with strong overwatch.
- Vulnerable to opponents capable of denying your charge.
- Sanguinius is one of two loyalist Primarchs along with Ferrus to have been confirmed dead. So unless GW pulls some BS Deus ex Machina, BA will be the only Astartes codex without a Primarch of their own.
- You're still Space Marines and just as vulnerable to anything that can counter your vanilla counterparts.
- Your army relies on a lot of internal synergy, thus losing effectiveness after taking losses very fast.
- You're going to have idiots complain about how it's "completely underpowered still" as well as opponents complain how it's "absolutely broken now".
- Wringing out the most of your units is important as opposed to head on charges.
- As with any assault-focused army, your strengths in assault often run counter to the mission you are playing. You're basically a one-trick pony, if you're not maneuvering to assault then you're not playing to any of your strengths.
- The enemy expects you to rush in and charge so they have the advantage of preparing for it.
- Despite the fluff, you can't ally with Necrons.
- Black Rage: Add 1 to the Attacks of a model with this rule that charged in the preceding Charge Phase. In addition, roll a D6 after every wound, on a 6 the damage is ignored. Rip and tear indeed.
- Jump Pack Assault: Allows you to deploy any models with a jump pack at the end of any movement phase, provided you stay at least 9" away from the nearest enemy model. (Combine with Lemartes for great alpha-strike)
- The Red Thirst: The iconic Blood Angel trait and one of their strongest rules has only gotten better thanks to the recent release of Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal. In any turn in which a unit with this ability charged, was charged, or made a Heroic Intervention, you may add 1 to its wound rolls in the fight phase. In addition, units with this special rule may add 1 to their advance and charge rolls.
- The flat +1 bonus to wound rolls means you'll be wounding T4 on 3s or possibly wounding T4 on 2s if you manage to get +1 Strength from a buff (such as a Blood Chalice). This also means that if you charge or are charged, you'll wound anything in the game on a 5+. ANYTHING. Simply put, this chapter tactic is extremely good at making a Space Marine army very choppy. Our red marines won't do as many attacks as a Khorne Berzerker but we hit way harder.
- This makes power axes, and especially power swords, more relevant. Fists, mauls, and hammers are no longer the only way to reliably wound things. A power sword under the Red Thirst will never wound worse than a 5+, whilst having AP-3, all for 4 points. Remember ABC, “always be charging.”
- Who needs Lascannons when you have the wrath of a demigod pumping through your veins?
- The bonus to charge distances helps guarantee your melee units reach their targets without wasting precious command points. An absolute gift for terminators and Jump infantry arriving from deep strike.
- This seems to pair with the Phobos style Master of the Vanguard warlord trait, giving all Phobos units +2 to advance and charge, making Reivers a very appealing option with Infiltrators tucked away in cover. Since we don't get AP-1 and bonus attacks on the shooters and choppers until turn 3, increased movement will always help. Other chapters can do this like the Raptors and customized chapters with the Hungry for Battle tactic, but nobody else except only Berzerkers can bring an equal amount of melee output (Space Wolves get very close, White Scars still the fastest).
- Fury Within: A variant of Red Thirst specifically for the Flesh Tearers. In addition to the +1 to wound rolls of the Red Thirst, unmodified 6s to wound with a melee weapon improve that weapon's AP by 1 (e.g. AP0 becomes AP-1).
- Flesh Tearers are not as fast as their parent chapter, but can hit harder. Sadly, this does not seem to stack with the bonuses from Assault Doctrine, though it does not require Assault Doctrine to be active.
- Defenders of Humanity Same "ObSec with the serial numbers filed off" that every other Space Marine codex has. All troops with the keyword Blood Angels control the objective within three inches regardless of how many enemy models are within the same distance.
- Angels of Death: A shorthand rule for datasheets combining And They Shall Know No Fear, Bolter Discipline, Shock Assault and Combat Doctrines.
- And They Shall Know No Fear: Re-roll failed morale tests. Great for when your close combat goes awry.
- Shock Assault: A new rule which is introduced in the BA Codex in the wake of the 2019 Codex: Space Marines - if a unit with this rule charges, gets charged, or performs a Heroic Intervention, models in the unit gain +1A until the end of the turn. All Astartes warriors will enjoy this new rule, though Blood Angels may wring the most use out of it as it complements our already highly melee-focused army. Shock Assault provides a healthy increase in the volume of attacks while The Red Thirst makes them all hit harder - all you need is a power sword and fairly cheap Veterans or Death Company will hack down everything.
- Bolter Discipline: We 2nd Edition now. Astartes and Heretic Astartes models using a Rapid-fire bolt weapon can take double the normal attacks (2 for bolters, 4 for storm bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
- Target is in half range
- The firing model didn't move during the previous Movement Phase
- The firing model is a Terminator, Biker, Centurion, Dreadnought.
- This can help a gunline, but why do you care about shooting things? That said, it's useful if you take Intercessors, Scouts or Tactical Squads for baby-sitting objectives, and also decent on shooty Terminators.
- Combat Doctrine: Feel like it's 7th edition all over again, and Blood Angels can join in. Each of the three Combat Doctrines gives an AP-1 buff to different weapon types in your armies (non-cumulative with buffs from other sources). You have to use each Doctrine in order, starting with the Devastator Doctrine, and once you switch there's no going back, so pay attention to the rhythm of the game. Your army gains this if all units in it have this rule, meaning taking a Guardsman Battalion or even a single Assassin CP'd in right before the battle would prevent the SM detachment from getting this rule, but allied SM detachments are ok even from a different chapter.
- On top of that, Chapter supplements give First Founding Chapters (and their descendants) a Specialist doctrine that is a bonus active on top of the regular doctrine. Bringing chapters with different specialist doctrines prevents either from getting theirs.
- These nifty rules will make your marines more efficient killers, but their rotation makes them predictable - devastate -> advance -> assault. Savvy opponents may try to break LoS to force movement penalties on your heavy weapons, rush for melee while you're still under the ranged doctrines, then fall back when you're finally under the assault one, scale buildings, etc. As such, don't be predictable yourself. Remember, you don't need to switch doctrines on the same turn they become available: surprise drop pod a target turn one or advance your infantry under cover of Devastation while your enemy remains confined to their hiding spots turn 3, what have you. The doctrines are as follows:
- On Turn 1, your army will always start with the Devastator Doctrine turned on, giving all your Heavy and Grenade weapons the extra -1 AP so that you can soften entrenched infantry and cripple enemy vehicles from afar in preparation for your advance. Remember the first points of AP are the most important ones: AP-2 Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannons are more noticeable than AP-4 Lascannons. Do keep in mind the plethora of sniper rifles and Heavy Flamers (Incendium/Inferno/Flamestorm cannons) are Heavy Weapons too. The boost to Grenades matters only to Intercessors for the most part.
- On turn 2, you can switch to Tactical Doctrine, shifting the boost to your Rapid Fire and Assault weapons. Be it to close the distance to the enemy or because your vehicles are about to give their last, this mostly passes the ranged baton to your infantry. And a bolt rifle going from AP-1 to AP-2 is more noticeable than a lascannon going from AP-3 to AP-4. Storm bolters and plasma guns work wonders here.
- On any turn after that (i.e. turn 3 minimum, or 2 with one CP, the perfect time for your Jumpacks), you can shift to Assault Doctrine, giving the extra AP to your Pistol and Melee attacks. Don't. Forget. Your. Pistol. The first point of AP is the most important one - chainsword/CCWs benefit the most, while AP-4 on a sword can become excessive.
- As of the 27/02/2020 FAQ, you must change from Devastator to Tactical on turn 2, and then you can either stay in Tactical for turn 3 or immediately switch to Assault. Since you're playing Blood Angels, this probably isn't going to change how you play that much.
- Savage Echoes: While the Assault Doctrine is active, add 1 to the Attacks of models that charged, were charged, or Heroically Intervened. Yes, this does stack with Black Rage and Shock Assault, so your Death Companies will be able to spit out a disproportionately high number of attacks for their unit size. Don't forget the regular marines: Scouts, assault troopers, and intercessors are rocking 4 attacks, 3 on tacticals. Makes for some added punch in the later stages of games when your scrapping over objectives with smaller squads and/or a single sergeant.
- Turn 3 charges are absurd this time around. Hang back in LR crusaders or use Jump Packs and let loose turn three; frankly, it's like 7th when trying to add up and account for all the modifiers and +1s your marines will be under, but when you get it right, you will crush everything. If your not tabled by turn 3, your deep strikers will utterly change the game if you combo everything perfectly.
To access the complete list of Blood Angel Stratagems, you will need The Blood Angel Codex and Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal. Please note that Blood of Baal does not invalidate existing stratagems the way that Codex Space Marine 2019 did, at least not until we get a FAQ saying otherwise.
Codex Blood Angels
Codex Space Marines 2017 Copypastes
- Armour of Contempt (1 CP): Gives a vehicle a 5+ save vs Mortal Wounds for a phase, used right before a vehicle would take a Mortal Wound.
- Auspex Scan (2 CP): Allows a single friendly unit to fire on an enemy unit within 12″ of one of your Infantry units when it is set up on the battlefield with a -1 to-hit modifier. Basically, the return of the Interceptor rule.
- Cluster Mines (1 CP): Used when a Scout Biker unit falls back from combat. On a 2+, they deal D3 Mortal Wounds to a unit within 1″ before they leave combat.
- Datalink Telemetery (1 CP): This stratagem is used when a Whirlwind fires on an enemy target within 12″ of one of your Land Speeders. The Whirlwind’s attacks automatically hit the target.
- Empyric Channeling (1 CP): Used at the start of the psychic phase if a Blood Angels Psyker is within 6″ of at least 2 other Blood Angels Psykers. The Psyker can immediately attempt to manifest one additional power and when he does so, adds +2 to the test.
- Hilariously awful and so incredibly situational as to be practically useless - between 3 Librarians you can literally cast every available power anyway (and if they're within 6" of each other then its not like they're going to be out of range of their target), and a single model can't cast Smite more than once (and even if they could it'd be at a -3 penalty).
- Flakk Missile (1 CP): Used when a Blood Angels Infantry model with a Missile Launcher fires at an enemy unit with the Fly keyword. Add +1 to the hit roll, and if the target is hit, you deal D3 Mortal Wounds instead of the normal damage.
- Hellfire Shells (1 CP): Used when firing an Infantry model’s Heavy Bolter. Instead of firing normally, fire one shot and on a successful hit you deal D3 Mortal Wounds to the target. Use this to get past tough units like Daemons, damaged vehicles, and units with a good Invuln save.
- Honour the Chapter (3 CP): Select a Blood Angels Infantry or Biker unit to fight for a second time at the end of the Fight phase.
- Expensive but awfully useful. BA are a calculating army, and you almost always don't want to get bogged down in combat. Finish off the first target and move on to the next, and plan your consolidations in advance. We also have tough as nails characters, this helps them finish of other characters with invuln saves and what not. The more active your army is the better.
- Killshot (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the shooting phase if a Predator is within 6″ two other Predators. Add 1 to the wound rolls and damage of all of the attacks of each Predator if they target a Vehicle or Monster.
- Now only effects baseline Predators, not Baal or Deimos patterns. Because we're just not allowed to have fun, are we?
- Linebreaker Bombardment (1 CP): Used in the shooting phase if a Blood Angels Vindicator is within 6″ of at least two other Vindicators. Instead of firing normally, they pick a point within 24″ of all three tanks and every unit within 3″ of that point takes 3D3 Mortal Wounds on a 4+ adding +1 if they contain 10 or more models and subtracting 1 if they are a character.
- Masterful Marksmanship (1 CP): This stratagem is used when a unit of Sternguard with Special Issue Boltguns shoots. They add 1 to their wound rolls in that shooting phase.
- Only in Death Does Duty End (2 CP): Use this strat when a Character in your army dies, before removing the model they can either shoot as if it were the shooting phase or fight as if it were the fight phase.
- Orbital Bombardment (3 CP): This stratagem is used once per battle, if your Warlord doesn’t move or fire their weapon normally, they may select a point on the battlefield visible to him. Every enemy units within D6″ of that points takes D3 Mortal Wounds on the roll of a 4+. Characters are hit on a 5+.
- Tactical Flexibility (1 CP): Allows you to Combat Squad a unit of 10 Blood Angels that have the rule, splitting them up in to two 5 man units.
- Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): Gives a Blood Angels Dreadnought a Captain's 6" re-roll 1s to-hit aura for that phase.
- This includes your Chaplain and Librarian dreads. Very good for Libby dreads in the combat phase since it lacks a huge amount of shooting. Also works on a Redemptor, which is handy for when you need to overcharge a Macro Plasma Incinerator.
Codex: Blood Angels Exclusive
- Armoury of Baal (1/3 CP): The “extra Relics” stratagem. Your relics are all solid choices (well, aside from the Archangel's Shard), so the 3 CP version may actually be a good choice this time.
- Behold the Golden Host (1 CP): Used after a Blood Angels unit with a Death Mask is set up on the battlefield; until the start of your next turn, the range of their Death Mask ability is increased to 12″. Very situational, but can be a real threat. Best used if you have some units in close combat or shooting that are guaranteed to make a good amount of damage. Deep strike a unit of Sanguinary Guard and activate this Stratagem to make the following Morale Tests extra painful for several units at once.
- Death Visions of Sanguinius (1 CP): Use when mustering your army. Select any non-Primaris generic Captain, Chaplain, or Lieutenant; they gain the Death Company keyword and the Black Rage ability that comes with it. This can be a nice way to make your character even more killy and durable by giving him the Black Rage bonuses.
- Combine with gift of foresight warlord trait, and you have 5+++ rerolling 1s.
- Descent of Angels (2 CP): Used in the Charge phase for a Blood Angels Jump Pack unit that has been set up on the battlefield that turn. They roll 3D6 for their charge instead of 2D6. This is an ability that is not to be taken lightly. Getting off charges the turn you arrive from deep strike is key, you can figuratively break your opponents with well timed charges. Now, keep in mind, this doesn't apply to terminators, who also can't benefit from Lemartes' re-roll for charges, so sanguinary guard/vanguards/death company are your focus. Keep the terminators in a land raider.
- This brings your odds of pulling off a deep strike charge up to 74%, but you can't use this stratagem on multiple units in the same phase; Lemartes can help fix this for Death Company, bringing your odds up to 93.28%. Combine with Upon Wings of Fire, below, for maximum shenanigans.
- Also makes it much easier to launch a long distance charge. So, if you brought a 15 man squad of death company, you can potentially tie up whole portions of your opponents army by simply getting one model stuck in
- Forlorn Fury (2 CP): Used before the first Battle Round, but after the game begins; a unit of Death Company Infantry may move and advance as if it were the Movement phase. A Round 0 move will work wonders in getting them into charging distance. Especially useful for a Jump Pack unit, meaning 13-18" extra movement in turn 0.
- 2 Command points is taxing indeed, so use this strategy as a backup plan. Leaving a single MSU unit of DC with a hammer or two, maybe swords but preferably completely stock, will keep your opponent honest and will give you the easy option of a quick kill. Can also clog up choke points on the battlefield and/or tie up important footslogging blobs allowing your own army room to position. Consider the unit entirely expendable as chaplains/Lemartes can't tag along but this stratagem can surprise people.
- Lucifer-Pattern Engines (1 CP): Use this stratagem after declaring an advance with a Blood Angels Vehicle (other than a Dreadnought or a vehicle that can Fly). Increase its movement by 6″, rather than rolling. If the unit is a Baal Predator, increase their movement by 6+D6″. Would be a lot better if you had more ground vehicles with assault weapons, since it turns a vehicle into a temporary bike.
- Why hello Relic Sicarian...did you know red ones go faster? *primes red spray paint*
- Red Rampage (1 CP): Used in the fight phase to give a Blood Angels Character that charged in the charge phase 1d3 additional attacks for the duration of the fight phase. Given that charging will cause Red Thirst to kick in, this means your character will be able to throw out even more attacks that wound on nothing worse than a 5+, but it's obviously best on characters that hit a lot already.
- Mephiston with Quickening and this adds 2d3 extra s10 ap-3 d3 damage attacks that wound everything up to toughness 9 on 2s...holy shit it won't matter if there can be only one, there's gonna be nothing left!
- Anyone in your HQ section will enjoy this for 1 CP, even the techmarines riding next to your BAAL predators. This is part of the combo which allows Jump Pack characters to kill greater demons!
- Strike of the Archangels (2 CP): On the turn you set up a Blood Angels Terminator, it can re-roll all failed rolls to hit. A bit pricey for 2 CP, because either you are taking a shooty unit of Terminators to make guaranteed use of this Stratagem (meaning you're burning a lot of CP on mostly storm bolters, and not using your chapter tactic), or hitty ones, and due to the difficulties you'll have getting your Terminators to pull off a charge, one has to ask why you're not employing a Terminator Ancient or Chaplain instead. Because it costs 2 CP, not really worth it to buff a single character, either. Seemingly replaced by Fury of the First with PA (not Pennsylvania).
- Upon Wings of Fire (2 CP): Use in the movement phase before moving a Blood Angels unit with a jump pack. You can remove it from the battlefield and deep strike it elsewhere, with the typical limitations. Awesome, because this gives you so much flexibility! Reacting to an enemy deep striking unit? Done. Shifting over to a critical objective in the last moment? Done. Redistributing buffs? Done. Astorath can trigger his Mass of Doom, then redeploy to give his other bonuses to another group of units. The only limit is your imagination when you soar UPON WINGS OF FIRE.
- Vengeance for Sanguinius (1 CP): Used in the Fight phase when one of your units fights a Heretic Astartes. For each hit roll of a 6+, you generate one additional attack. If fighting against Black Legion units, you generate additional attacks on a 4+. The extra attacks cannot also trigger extra attacks.
- Hilariously and fittingly, this includes Abbadon. That armless failure can't catch a break.
- Combine this with Astorath's Mass of Doom to generate the attacks on 5+ and 3+, respectively, provided you aren't using Power Fists or Thunder Hammers.
- Conversely, never combine this with a unit of hammers or fists without the Mass against not-Black Legion; you'll be incapable of rolling the 6s you need.
Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal Exclusives
Codex: Space Marine 2019 Copypastes
- Duty Eternal (1 CP): When a Dreadnought is chosen as the target for an attack, until the end of the phase, it reduces all damage taken by 1 to a minimum of 1. You'll likely be needing it more than most because you want your dreads knee-deep in bodies. Great on a librarian warlord dread with Gift of Foresight, especially when using invuln psychic power, making them super durable to all forms of attacks (Invuln save, FNP, damage reduction, character protection).
- Masterful Marksmanship (1 CP): When a Sternguard Squad shoots, it adds 1 to wound rolls with its special issue boltguns.
- +1/6 to wound on a BS3 unit equals +0.11 wounds per shot, regardless of the target. At most this is 10 Sternguard at 15" do +2.2 wounds the enemy might still save. While not that much, Sternguards are a solidly fun unit and a few couple extra casualties could make the difference when attacking a priority target, like Berzerkers going your way. Just don't expect them to solo a Leman Russ, is what we're saying.
- This can stack with Catechism of Fire, which can provide a minimum of 4+ to wound for a unit of Sternguard. Combined with the Tactical Doctrine to get AP-3, this can be the bane of other Marines and even serve to poke vehicles.
- Fury of the First (1 CP): A Terminator unit gains +1 to hit until the end of that phase. Now TH/SS doesn't NEED to be babysat by a Chaplain, and Tactical termies can use it in their shooting phase as well.
- Hunter-slayer Missile (1 CP): A variation on the flakk Missile Stratagem for dealing mortal wounds to big targets. Target an enemy vehicle or monster within 48" of a Repulsor and not within 1" of an ally. Roll a dice. If it is equal to or greater than the Repulsor's Ballistic Skill (meaning it ignores modifiers to hit), the enemy unit takes d3 mortal wounds. One use per Repulsor.
- Bolt Storm (2 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of Intercessors. Until the end of the phase, that squad's Auto bolt rifles automatically hit if they target an enemy within half range.
- Effectively multiplies your Intercessors' shooting by 1.5x, but most importantly it completely negates BS penalties and it's nice extra damage before melee.
- Rapid Fire (2 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of Intercessors. Until the end of the phase, that squad's Bolt rifles become Rapid Fire 2.
- Better 2x multiplier than the Auto Bolt Rifle's Bolt Storm's 1.5x from further away and with better AP. If you run a squad of 10, you are looking at 40 S4 AP-1 shots at 15", or AP-2 at 30" with Bolter Discipline and Tactical Doctrine, as the codex demands. That is some good dakka.
- Target Sighted (3 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of Intercessors. Until the end of the phase, that squad's stalker bolt rifles gain the ability to snipe Characters and cause mortal wounds on a wound roll of 6+. Costs 2 more than the Specialist Detachment version of the same name, however no longer requires the veteran upgrade meaning you don't need to lock in 1 CP before the battle.
- Rather expensive for something Eliminators do better (S5)...on the other hand, Eliminators can't really be spammed and the ludicrous firepower of 10 Stalker Intercessors can drop a Lieutenant. If with 3CP you can kill a character your enemy relies on then, by all means, go ahead.
- Big Guns Never Tire (1 CP): Select a Vehicle; until the end of the phase, that unit does not suffer the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons.
- Transhuman Physiology (2 CP): Select something with the Adeptus Astartes keyword that is not a Vehicle or Servitor, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made against that unit, an unmodified wound roll below a 4+ always fails, irrespective of the abilities the weapon or model may have. S10 attack? Effective T10 marines aw yee.
- Vengeance of the Machine Spirit (2 CP): If a Land Raider, Stormraven, or Repulsor is destroyed, it can either auto-explode, shoot one last time, or attack in melee one last time. In the latter two cases, it acts as if it was at the top bracket of its damage chart.
- Steady Advance (1 CP): Move an Infantry unit and Bolter Discipline will be applied as if they remained stationary.
- Hammer of Wrath (1CP): Jump pack models within a unit that successfully end a charge move within 1" of an enemy unit cause mortal wounds on a 5+. Makes your big units of assault marines/VV punch much harder.
- Gene Wrought Might (1 CP): When a Primaris Infantry unit from your army has chosen to fight, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon a hit roll of 6+ automatically hits and wounds.
- Veteran Intercessors (1/2 CP): AKA that specialist detachment stratagem from Vigilus part one. +1 attack, +1 leadership to a unit of Intercessors. Costs 1 for a 5 man unit, and 2 for a unit of 6 or more.
- Compared to the Indomitus Crusaders version of these stratagems, they're more expensive but they don't need to pay entry CP, which does matter when spammed (20 Vets cost 3CP vs 4CP), and their bolt-variant strats aren't restricted to Veterans. Until GW retcons that formation away, of course.
- Hero of the Chapter (1 CP): Select a Character from your army that's not your warlord and determine a warlord trait for it.
Blood Angel Exclusives
- Visage of the Damned (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase on a Blood Angels unit that has the Death Mask ability. Until the end of the phase, units that attack that unit get -1 to hit. This is important! This gives Sang Guard much needed durability.
- Refusal to Die (1 CP): Use in any phase after the Death Company are targeted with an attack. Until the end of the phase, when they take a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+, that wound isn’t lost. You can only use this once per turn. Return to previous levels of refusing to feel pain. You can even use it on Slamguinius if you chose Artisan of War over Gift of Foresight, but still want to weather some blows.
- Death on the Wind (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase. Pick a Sanguinary Guard unit. Until the end of the phase, when you resolve an attack for a model in that unit, damage results of 1 become 2s. They are wielding some of the greatest power weapons ever forged, after all.
- Unbridled Ardour (1 CP): Use in the Charge phase to let a Blood Angels unit Heroically Intervene as though it were a character and move up to 6” when doing so.
- Explosive Judgment (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase to give a unit of Sanguinary Guard re-rolls to wound with Angelus boltguns for a phase and their targets don’t get the benefit of cover. Helps keep the squad cheap by temporarily upgrading the cheapest guns.
- Chalice Overflowing (1 CP): Use in your Movement phase to let a Sanguinary Priest use his Narthecium ability an extra time and you can double up targeting a unit with Narthecium in a turn. Pourin out the good stuff for the fallen homies. Aggressors will never die, bring the banner to ensure!
- Honoured by Baal (1 CP): Lets you give a Blood Angels relic to a successor. A copypaste in form, if not in name.
- Savage Destruction (2 CP): Flesh Tearers only. Target one enemy unit during the fight phase. Every time you kill a model in that unit, that kill counts as two for the sake of morale. If you already have an edge over the enemy, this might just let you wipe them entirely.
- Aggressive Onslaught (1 CP): Flesh Tearers only. Select one Flesh Tearers Infantry during the fight phase and give them 6" pile-in distance. Quite helpful as this will guarantee that all your troops are in the heat of battle rather than standing around gormlessly and getting shot. 15 man DC will use this often and to great affect.
- 11 - Valour of the Angels
- 1 VP for killing an enemy Character in the Fight Phase, d3 VP if the model that did the killing was a Character.
- 12 - Aerial Assault
- 1 VP for destroying an enemy unit that turn when the last model in the unit was removed by an attack made by a unit that has the FLY keyword. d3 VP if the unit in question arrived as reserves on the turn it got the kill.
- 13 - Purity Through Bloodshed
- 1 VP if you destroyed an enemy unit in the Fight Phase and the killing attack was made by a Blood Angels unit. If 3 or more units were destroyed, it's d3 VP, and if 6 or more units were destroyed it becomes d3+3 VP.
- 14 - Decapitating Strike
- When drawing the objective, determine which of your opponent's characters has the highest Power Rating; if there's a tie between multiple characters, choose one of them. If that character is slain on the turn you get the objective, gain 1 VP.
- 15 - Swift Advance
- 1 VP if 3 or more of your units Advanced this turn. Easy.
- 16 - Noble Self-Sacrifice
- 1 VP for each of your characters that is slain this turn. Ask yourself a question: is losing your beatstick or a vital support character worth the VP you get in exchange? On the flip side keeping this in your hand can make your opponent feel like they fucked up if they kill one of your characters, or better yet can psych out a timid opponent (or one who's too clever for their own good) into avoiding them altogether - either way you win.
- This can also turn a game around really quickly if you just feed your opponent weaker supporting characters - go ahead and Banzaii that mob of Orks with nothing but a gaggle of techmarines.
In addition to Smite, Blood Angels get access to the Sanguinary Discipline.
Sanguinary This contains 2 worse-than-Smite Mortal Wounds powers, 2 buffs for a target Blood Angels unit within 12", and 2 buffs that are self-only, meaning you shouldn't ever need more than one librarian for buffing and one for being its own beatstick.
- Quickening: WC 7. Add 3 to the advance and charge rolls made by the Psyker, and make d3 additional attacks in the fight phase, until your next psychic phase. Remember, psychic is after movement, so this won't make you advance faster until the following turn; accordingly, a lot more useful for buffing a charge you're about to make, but still of somewhat limited use, since it's self only. Cast this and Wings on your librarian dreadnought and watch him zoom across the board to smack something. Highlander references optional. Never forget the attacks!!!!
- Unleash Rage: WC 6. Select a Blood Angels unit within 12", and they gain +1 Attack. Oh joy! Better with larger squads. Extra cheesy now with the new Shock Assault special rule - Death Company with chainswords will chuck out 7 attacks each on the charge. A 15 man blob of DC kitted out like this will churn out 90 attacks in a single round of combat. Who says we can’t deal with hordes? You won’t even need to fire your pistols.
- Shield of Sanguinius: WC 6. Select a Blood Angels unit within 12" and gift them a 5++ until the next Psychic Phase. Death Company with 5++? Yes, please! Also useful on any and all vehicles; Librarian Dreadnoughts especially benefit from an decent invuln.
- Blood Boil: WC 6. Select an enemy unit within 6" and roll 2d6, comparing against the highest toughness value in the unit. If the roll exceeds that value, the unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds. If the total is more than double, the mortal wounds become an automatic 3. Like most non-Smite powers, significantly worse than Smite in the vast majority of cases, especially since its ultra short range means you generally can't use it to murder something Smite would ignore; after accounting for its worse chance to be cast, this only beats Smite against T2 or T1 targets, although it's only slightly worse against T3.
- Blood Lance: WC 6: Select a visible enemy model within 12". Draw a line between the psyker and the model. Roll a d6 for each model (friend or foe) the line crosses; on a 5+, the model's unit suffers a mortal wound. This can potentially hit a unit multiple times, so it's best used on hordes with lots of models in them. Don't forget, you can draw the line from any part of your base to any part of the target's, so draw from opposite sides to maximize coverage, as a general rule. Because the line is defined as between the two models, and it seems unlikely the power is intended to hurt the caster, this can't hurt the target; because it is harder to cast than Smite, you need to draw the line over at least 8 models to probably do at least as well as Smite would have done, although 7 models isn't drastically worse than Smite.
- Wings of Sanguinius: WC 5. Praise the Angel, it is back! The psyker can immediately move as if it were your movement phase, but his Move characteristic is also increased to 12" (this is RAW, so it's not clear what happens if his Move was already greater than 12; since you don't have access to librarian bikers, this is unlikely to come up) and he gains the fly keyword until the start of your next Psychic phase (this also means he can shoot if he Fell Back in his Movement phase, of course, since he'll have fly in the Shooting phase). In addition, whilst this power is in effect, you can re-roll failed charge rolls for the psyker. Awesome, now your flying Librarian Dreadnoughts are actual flyers! Just watch out for those anti-air weapons, though. Combining this with a jump pack librarian will allow you to deep strike in, then move within 3" of the opponent for an inferno pistol shot, then charging with near perfect odds. Remember to cast Unleash Rage before hand along with Red Rampage CT for 4 + D3 attacks. Don't even bother with quickening. You can even load up on other Gimmicks such as the Angels Wing relic, Slamguinius Build, and Descent of Angels to maximize charging and killing potential.
These powers can only be used by Vanguard Librarians (Librarian in Phobos Armour). They don't do much damage, but god damn can they fuck with your enemy. Tenebrous Curse and Mind Raid are easy to cast and excellent for damaging and trapping or even finishing off enemy characters - free choice of targets (unlike Smite), 1MW each, and either halve all movement or generate CP in the process. Considering most regular HQs clock in at 5W, a successful psychic phase with only one Phobos Libby means they're down to 3W and too slow to pull away. And no one tries to rush down the center with a beatstick that's half dead and moving at a snail's pace, making this a good deterrent.
- Temporal Corridor (WC6): Pick a friendly Adeptus Astartes Phobos unit within 3". It can move as if it was the movement phase; it must advance and cannot fall back, but when advancing it rolls 3d6 and picks the highest for the distance it advances. Cannot be used on a given unit more than once per psychic phase. HELLO Reivers!
- Slightly more situational than Warptime, but no less amazing for it.
- Soul Sight (WC6): Pick a friendly Adeptus Astartes Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of your next psychic phase, that unit re-rolls all failed hits when using their ranged weapons. Also allows attacks from ranged weapons to ignore cover.
- Shrouding (WC6): Pick a friendly Adeptus Astartes Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of the next psychic phase, enemies can only shoot that unit if they're the closest target as if the unit was a Character.
- Hallucination (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". Its Ld is reduced by 1. The opponent must also roll 2d6, and if the result is higher than the unit's Ld all its hit rolls take a -1 penalty.
- Tenebrous Curse (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18" that does not have the Fly keyword. It takes a mortal wound. Additionally, its Movement stat is halved, as is all of its advance and charge rolls.
- Mind Raid (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". It takes a Mortal Wound. If your army is Battle-Forged and the power targeted a character, roll 3d6. If the result is greater than or equal to the target's Ld, you get a free Command Point! Will make Conscript Spammers and Renegades and Heretics Players scream in fury as the rerolling dread destroys their mindraided infantry horde.
Litanies of Battle
Now litanies are like the Dark Apostle's prayers, going off on a 3+. Before the game starts, generate the litanies your chaplain knows and start with Litany of Hate + Chapter Litany. Like psychic powers, you cannot spam the same litany even if several chaplains know it, but they are chanted at the beginning of the battle round and remain active until the end of it. This also means a Chaplain won't have an active litany on the turn he deepstrikes, as he can't chant while not on the table. The same rules apply if he rides a transport, so you'll need to come up with other ways to make him fast, like putting him on a bike.
- Litany of Hate: Default prayer, 6" aura of re-rolling all melee hit rolls (not just misses) for your chapter.
- Invocation of Destruction: Your chapter-exclusive Litany. Lets one unit of Blood Angels who roll a nat 6+ to wound in melee get AP-4. This is bloody hilarious when you pull it off, but since this doesn't factor in any modifiers you'll probably not use it much unless you get a Master of Sanctity.
- Litany of Faith: 6" aura of FnP 5+++ vs mortal wounds for friendly Blood Angels units. Not cumulative with other rules, as per usual (but stated regardless).
- Extra protection vs witchery. Will help with whatever goes through the Librarian. Also makes your plasma vehicles more durable when firing plasma, and your company vets more durable when bodyguarding. A 2/3 chance of a 1/3 chance to ignore damage is equal to 2/9, so this is slightly (4/3) better than a 6+++ FnP, with the caveat that it only works on Mortal Wounds.
- Catechism of Fire: Select a friendly Blood Angels unit within 6". +1 to the wound roll when "resolving a shooting attack" against the closest enemy unit, meaning it affects Overwatch, too.
- Nasty with flamer Vets/Aggressors - generally better the less the gun relies on S or range to get work done. "Of Fire", get it? Deepstrike/transport them next to a chaplain who was already on the field.
- Combine with Masterful Marksmanship (and careful target selection) to let your Sternguard wound MEQ on a 2+. It also lets sniper rifles proc Mortal Wounds on 5+ to wound, but only when targeting the nearest foe.
- Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly Blood Angels unit within 6". Their unmodified 6s to hit in melee generate another attack with that weapon, which cannot proc extra attacks itself. Good when you already have a Captain/CM/second Chaplain giving you a re-roll and their aura would overlap with the Chaplain's.
- If you're already betting on exploding 6s, use it alongside Death to the Traitors or even Gene-wrought Might.
- Mantra of Strength: He'll show you how it's done. +1A +1S to the Chaplain, and +1D to his melee weapons. D3 Crozius!
- Smash Chaplain: Combine it with the 'Benediction of Fury' relic crozius (WS2+ S7 AP-2 D4) to kill characters, or a Master-crafted Power Fist for (S+1)X2 = WS3+ S10 AP-3 D2+1d3 (which is basically a better S10 D4 avg Thunder Hammer, which chaplains can't usually equip) to kill heavy infantry and bigger targets, like vehicles. To this you may add Warlord traits, stratagems, doctrines, and psychic powers as you can afford and be bothered with.
- Recitation of Focus: Select a friendly chapter unit within 6". +1 to their hit rolls when shooting. Even during overwatch, meaning you should answer enemy charges with supercharges. Safe plasma!
- If you don't have a special interaction with getting +1 to hit, this generally makes your Chaplain a worse Captain: a 2/3 chance to improve BS3+ to BS2+ is mathematically identical to (and will stack with) re-rolling 1 to hit, but this Litany only hits 1 target, so even ignoring all the other caveats (inactive when you ride a transport/deep strike, doesn't work on both shooting and melee, etc) this alone will make your Chaplain a waste of points. He'll only earn his keep when you have a deathstar unit going that cares about +1 to hit beyond improving BS by 1. This is good for a plasma unit; if you want to support a gunline bring a Lieutenant instead.
- Canticle of Hate: Non-cumulative 6" aura of +2 to charge rolls, as well as +3" to pile in and consolidation moves. In all cases, the friendly <chapter> unit in question has to be within the aura at the time the move is made - the consolidate move especially will often not happen unless the Chaplain also made his charge.
- Do keep in mind the chaplain has to be on the field at the beginning of the battle round. Not even the Impulsor's broken disembark rules would help here, only a Jump Pack / Turboboosting Biker Manlet would have a chance.
A solid 4 or 5/6 of our Warlord Traits are superb, and even our worst one is not egregiously bad. As is tradition, named characters have their traits statically assigned.
- Speed of the Primarch: Your warlord always strikes first, even if he didn't charge, unless the enemy charged or has a similar trait (Emperor's Children, Space Wolves with their version of this trait, etc.)
- Pretty nice if you choose to build a Blood Angels MURDERWINGS with Black Rage. You do have the relic jump pack and plenty of ways to increase attacks and make them explode.
- Mephiston has this trait.
- Artisan of War: One of your Warlord's weapons does 1 extra damage (this does not apply to Relics). Power Swords become master-crafted (D2), Thunder Hammers and Furioso weapons get D4. Pretty rad on a beatstick, but obviously not as good as providing more support for your army. On the other hand, if you're not building the slam boi (perhaps because of a future nerf) it's a nice trait to slap on a storm bolter or combi weapon. Combi flamers come to mind as they would be 2 + d6 S4 D2 hits. A potential of 16 damage from an 8 point weapon isn't half bad even if it is only s4.
- Soulwarden: You can attempt to Deny the Witch with your Warlord; if they already can, you can do it an additional time. One of the better options, simulating the Ultramarines relic (which is one of the best in their Codex), and providing potentially a lot of battlefield support against psyker heavy armies.
- Astorath and Lemartes have this trait.
- Heroic Bearing: All friendly BLOOD ANGELS units withing 6" autopass morale tests. Absolutely phenomenal if you have a large Death Company ball you want to keep on the table without relying on Astorath.
- Dante and the Sanguinor have this trait.
- Gift of Foresight: FnP 6+++, re-rolling 1s. If your Warlord has the Black Rage, increase the FnP to a 5+++ re-rolling 1s, but the Black Rage doesn't provide another FnP on top of that. Definitely has its uses, like on a Librarian Dreadnought you want to make sure won't die. Want to stack bodies on a budget? Take a captain with a power sword, give him this warlord trait, Death Visions of Sanguinius stratagem before the battle, and Red Rampage before he charges... that's 78 points and two command points and you have 7-9 attacks, WS2+ re-rolling 1s, S4/+1 to wound, and AP-3 with a 4++ and 5+++. Want one of the best HQs in the game? Chapter Master Slamguinius has heard your prayers! Copy that stratagem setup but with a Jump Pack Captain with a Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield and the Angel's Wings relic so he can charge without getting overwatched and re-roll his charge if he fails; this durable, hard-hitting jerk will thus lock a unit in combat, allowing your nearby assaulty unit to also charge without getting overwatched, because they're already engaged. Then, because he's got a jump pack, he won't be stuck walking after the turn he charges.fuck it. Might as well cast Unleash Rage for 7-9 attacks - did you bring a Librarian buddy? Now have fun remembering this process.
- Corbulo has this trait.
- Selfless Valour: Your Warlord can heroically intervene at 6″ instead of 3″. Not great, but not worthless, as you can set up for a quick one-two punch from your bodyguard and then your Warlord.
- Both versions of Tycho have this trait.
- Honestly if you're really looking to do this go play space wolves, you're more likely slamming your warlord into charges than being on the receiving end
Vanguard Space Marines
Available only to Phobos characters, aka the tacticool Captain, Lieutenant and Librarian found in the Shadowspear box. Chaplains can suck it because yelling catechisms isn't stealthy.
- Shoot and Fade: Immediately after doing a shooting attack (except Overwatch), this warlord can move. If he does, he also has to advance.
- Imperial stealthy Jump-Shoot-Jump baby! There are better things to do than to play with ONE model's positioning, but this trait does enable your buff characters to be at many places at once, repositioning at max speed: be near one unit, those guys shoot, your captain shoots, then he dashes over to buff another unit's shooting. Can also enable him to get back behind his troops/break LoS and avoid retaliation.
- Lord of Deceit: At the start of the first round but before the first turn begins, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> phobos units present on the battlefield.
- Master of the Vanguard: Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6" of the warlord gain +1" to both their move, advance AND charge rolls.
- Seems to stack with the Red Thirst, helps Reivers and Incursors charge out of deep strike or infiltration.
- Stealth Adept: -1 from hit rolls that target the warlord. Not just at range so he can prove he's the better sniper around, but it also works in melee; useful since the warlord lacks an invuln save.
- Target Priority: The Warlord can skip shooting in the shooting phase to select a <chapter> phobos unit within 3" and a visible enemy. The selected unit gets +1 to hit against the enemy in question until the end of the phase.
- Can help with those -1 to hit enemies, as well to improve your snipers' chances of eliminating that troublesome enemy character.
- Marksman Honours: +1D to all of the warlord's guns, and he can reroll all failed hit and wound rolls for ranged attacks. Doesn't apply to grenades, but it DOES apply to Chapter relics. Of which they can take none.
- Merciless Butcher: Gabriel Seth has this. Your warlord gets to make an additional attack for every 5 models within 3" of him in melee, up to a max of 3. Don't expect to get much from this one unless you face mob armies. Makes a damn good secondary warlord -- Hurl this guy at a horde with 5 bone stock DC and the fancy relic chainsword and you WILL see blood spilt. Let your main warlord perform his standard duties and survive the game.
- Of Wrath and Rage: Every 6+ to hit in melee grants you a bonus attack with the weapon you used. The fact that it needs a die roll of 6 to trigger it makes it harder to pull off, but when you do it's gonna be worth it.
- Cretacian Born: No Overwatch on the Warlord. WAT. You are now the uncontested rape-lord that ever raped. Take this. NOW. Again makes a great secondary warlord, hurl him at the enemy and multi charge gun lines (looking at you Tau pussies) to nullify any deterrent your other units might normally worry about.
Space Marine Armoury
These are sorted by profile similarity, so you can compare apples to apples.
- Chainsword - Now actually has a use! Still the basic CCW profile, but allows for one extra attack. It's free and a good weapon for clearing out hordes.
- Power Weapons - Each type of Power Weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. All Power Weapons have a damage value of 1:
- Power Maul/Power Lance - S+2, AP-1. This is the one you want to use against lightly armored units that rely on toughness to shrug off hits.
- Power Sword - S User AP-3. Your best bet for dealing with MEQs and TEQs. A bit better on higher Toughness targets than it is for vanilla Marines since you can wound T4 units on a 3+ with Red Thirst.
- Power Axe - S+1 AP-2. A good enough compromise between the Sword's armor negation and the Maul's brute force. You can wound T3 and T4 on 2s, provided you can trigger Red Thirst.
- Force Weapons - Librarians come with these. Identical to their Power Weapon counterparts (with Force Staves filling in for the Power Maul), but deal D3 damage instead of 1 damage, for twice the cost - slightly less efficient, since they'll do less than twice as well against W2 or W1 targets, but nice and hitty.
- Encarmine Weapons - Comes in Sword and Axe form, but basically just overcosted (the sword costs half again as much, the axe 60% again as much) Force weapons of the same name.
- A case can be made that red thirst works better with the encarmine swords, but the axes become inferior to the fist except lacking a -1 to hit.
- After Chapter Approved 2019 encarmine weapons have had their costs slashed. Axes are down to 9 points and swords are down to 8, making them a viable alternative to power fists. In fact the axe version costs less than the Force Axe that it is, so Axes are a steal in theory. Fists are still good to use against monsters, but axes can now take over their role against MEQ.
- Relic Blade - Available to Vanguard Veteran Sergeants and Captains. At S+2 AP-3 D1d3 (combining a force maul with a force sword), now at only 9 points viable for taking on your captain if you don't want a 40-point hammer, and good on your veteran sergeant as well.
- With the Red Thirst they perform almost the same as a power fist (up to T5), with no hit penalty. Above T6 they'll still wound on a 4+ against most things you'd reasonably expect to run into.
- Lightning Claws - SUser AP-2 D1. Allows you re-rolls to wound and gain an extra attack if you have two of them; one of them costs twice as much as a power sword, and two of them cost triple, so needless to say, always bring them along in pairs - thanks to the Red Thirst, one claw will seriously struggle to be worth it compared to a power sword.
- Power Fist - Sx2 AP-3 D1d3. Unwieldy has been replaced with a -1 penalty on to hit rolls, which can be annoying, but does mean you're no longer screwed by being forced to attack last all the time.
- Now being a 9 point weapon (almost half the cost of a thunder hammer for non-characters) they're now a viable option over a thunder hammer if you're looking just to have some heavy hitters and don't care as much about damage, this is a must take
- Chainfist - Like a Power Fist, but AP-4 and a fixed 2 damage, both of which are upgrades (the latter makes you better against W2 targets, and the former is obvious), now only 11 points and only 2 points more than a power fist making this an actual viable option for dealing with higher armor 2W models. Sadly only available to Terminators.
- Eviscerator - A chainfist (at the same cost, too!) that deals 1d3 damage instead of 2 (i.e. it's worse against W2 targets), this is strictly worse than a chainfist, and you have only yourself to blame if you waste points on one.
- Thunder Hammer - Like a Power Fist, but deals 3 Damage instead of d3. All the strengths (and the -1 to hit modifier) of the Power Fist, with none of the random damage. Costs 16 points vs. the power fist's 9 points for an average of half again the damage. 24 points more for Characters means over 4x the cost for 1.5x the damage. The extra reliability could mean the difference between whether or not you can one-shot Aggressors (or combined with Artisan of War, Centurions) but likely only worth its 40-point cost on a single, dedicated Smash Captain.
Dreadnought Melee Weapons
- Blood Talons - S+4 AP-2 D3, re-rolling both failed hits and wounds, and only comes in pairs (meaning you can't combine them with a frag cannon); as of chapter approved these slashers only cost you 35 points, and pair of Furioso fists cost 40, meaning you're paying 5 points less and losing 1 point of AP and 2 of S to re-roll failed wounds. Since both weapons will wound T9 or less on a 2+, thanks to the Red Thirst, the fists actually hurt anything with a 4+ or better save more than the Talons do, and applying a lieutenant or sanguinary ancient for situations where you want that re-roll. Better now than the Index version, but still a little disappointing. Re-rolls for hitting and wounding helps though, especially when combined with Red Thirst.
- Dreadnought Combat Weapon - Sx2 AP-3 D3, now for 20 points as of CA 2019.
- Furioso Fist - Sx2 AP-3 D3, re-rolling failed hits when you take a pair; the second one only costs 10 more points. As a pair, far better than Blood Talons; as a single, completely identical to a Dreadnought Combat Weapon.
- Furioso Force Halberd - S+4 AP-4 D3, and only available on librarian dreadnoughts, who have to take a fist as well; the halberd will almost always be far better, due to the Red Thirst. Thankfully free.
- Boltgun - You know what a Bolter is. 24" Rapid Fire S4 AP-0 1 D. The loss of AP hurts, but if your opponent has a brain he'll be keeping his 5+/6+ units in cover anyway.
- Bolt Rifle Primaris version of the Boltgun, with -1AP and 30" range.
- Auto Bolt Rifle Assault version of the Bolt Rifle. 24" Assault 3, AP 0.
- Stalker Bolt Rifle 36" Heavy 1, S4, AP-2, D2.
- Combi-Weapon - Now infinite use, can be fired independently of the Bolter or at the same time. Firing both the Bolter and the special weapon causes a -1 to hit. Special mention to Combi-Flamers, since the flamer part auto-hits.
- Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter - Cheap as chips Rapid Fire 2 Boltgun. Typically seen on Terminators, decent midrange Characters but otherwise should only be taken if you don't want to spend the points on anything better.
- Angelus Boltgun - 12" Assault 2 S4 AP-1 1 D weapon. Better now due to how AP works. It is now a free-gun, and has a strategem in Blood of Baal. Still not a pistol, but eh perfection is Slaanesh's thing anyway.
Special note that many BA units have options to Paired Pistols.
- Bolt Pistol - It's a Bolter Pistol. Like other pistols, has a shorter range but can be fired when locked in close combat so it's useful enough for choppy units.
- whenever you are choosing between a Bolt pistol or a chainsword and another S4 attack, take the chainsword because of red thirst.
- Plasma Pistol - Fairly effective against MEQs when fired normally, and when supercharged it hits harder and deals more damage but kills the user on a roll of 1 to hit. Cheaper and more effective than the Grav-Pistol against units with high toughness, but the warning about supercharging applies here too- you do not want to get your expensive character killed just because of one bad roll. That said, given that a Captain lets Marines around him, including himself, re-roll those bad 1s To Hit away, don't be too worried. 1/36 chance of killing yourself are acceptable odds.
- At a very reasonable 5 points, throwing these on units like sanguinary guard or death company is a viable option.
- Grav-Pistol - Deals more damage against targets with an armor save of 3+ or higher, but it's not quite as good as it used to be, especially since immobilization spamming is out.
- Paired Grav Pistols have more shots than a Gravgun at 12" of range and cost only +1pts.
- Inferno Pistol - in terms of close combat, this is the best pistol, period. S8 AP-4 D D6 means this is effective against most targets. You take these because Blood Angels don't really get the most use out of Devastators. This pistol lets you damage high toughness, multi-wound targets while still being able to use the Red Thirst. Not good for deep-striking troops, but what the hell Rhinos are assault vehicles now!
- Now 9 points as of CA 2019, still 6 less than a Combi-Melta and on the pistol list rather than Combi list. Fine on characters to pop wounds off vehicles or other heavy targets before charging in, just don't go crazy.
- Always take one in your squads because you want to be close up and in combat meaning you will have plenty of chances to shoot the pistol for a huge amount of damage. With clever positioning in close combat you can get a nice shot at enemy characters.
- You cannot shoot them arriving pistol deep-strike, but if you survive combat it acts as a cheaper one-hit power fist rather than a pistol. Just be aware to fire it in CC you have to survive through your opponent's fight phase as well. Most models that can use this are 1-wound with a mere 3+. Though if you could build a lieutenant Moritat with dual inferno pistols that'd be cool.
- Hand Flamer - Pistol that auto-hit D6 times with S3 AP-0 Range 6" and got cheaper now. D6 auto-hits against T3 wounds on a 4+ or T4 on a 5+ and you can fire it in close combat. Great pistol for anti-horde melee troops, but really really useless on anything deep-striking.
- The Hand Flamer has the combination of being able to shoot in melee range and hitting automatically going for it. It will certainly not blow through tanks and characters as well as a Plasma Pistol, but a couple of them most definitely help with fighting your way through hordes. Those 3 hits on average will add up fast, especially when combined with a bunch of Chainswords. Additionally, the auto-hits will help a lot with getting past To Hit modifiers like Venomthropes.
- At 1 point in the Codex, replacing some bolt pistols with these is a much more attractive option.
- Three on average strength 3 shots is better than one strength 4 shot. That combined with the fact you're auto-hitting both during the shooting phase and during overwatch makes this a clear winner if you got a handful of points to spare.
- Bear in mind hand-flamers don't get red thirst and chainswords are free. Hand flamers are still awesome but limited.
- Three on average strength 3 shots is better than one strength 4 shot. That combined with the fact you're auto-hitting both during the shooting phase and during overwatch makes this a clear winner if you got a handful of points to spare.
- Note before you look at these, all their point values have dropped so if you were iffy on some weapons not doing enough for their cost, worry no more
- Flamer - An 8" Assault D6 S4 AP-0 1 D which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. The changes to how Flamers work give them a bit of effectiveness against small, lightly armored units as well- the number of hits they can score means that a single unit can be hit more than once. They are a surprisingly decent AA option too, given they auto-hit even Hard to Hit models. Keep in mind that this weapon is pretty poor value against non CQC armies, as by itself its not fantastic due to high cost. The main kicker is the auto-hit on overwatch, which only happens if you get charged. Also, you can Advance and shoot the Flamer, at the cost of not being able to charge.
- seriously this is only 6 points! If you're not using these against blobs of guys what is wrong with you.
- Or you could just take our cheaper 1-point hand-flamer and a chainsword and end that blob rightly.
- seriously this is only 6 points! If you're not using these against blobs of guys what is wrong with you.
- Grav-gun - 18" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-3 1 D. The loss of the ability to wound on a roll equal to the target's armor save is a big nerf to the former game-breaker of 7e, to say nothing of its meh strength and range compared to the now-safer Plasma Gun. However, it does D3 damage when it wounds an enemy with an armor save of 3+ or higher so it can still be decent against heavy infantry. Don't bother against vehicles, though- S5 isn't enough to dent most tanks now, and immobilization spam is no longer a thing anyway. But they're mostly here to kill 2-wound models now.
- Since it fires 2 shots just outside melta-range it can knock off more wounds than you might think. Just not as good as the melta, or the cannon version. Mostly held back by its piss-poor range.
- To be clear this gun is for rhino-riding marines to kill enemies with 2-wounds. Don't deep-strike with this gun, buy plasma guns for that.
- Meltagun - 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D6 D, best used with Drop Pods. (Don't use drop pods try infernum, inferno?, razorbacks or bikes) If within half its range (so 6" or closer) it rolls 2D6 D and selects the higher number, so it's good against Monsters as well as vehicles now. It's worth noting that Drop Pods and its passengers cannot disembark closer than 9" from an enemy, so you won't be in Melta range on the drop. Try Multi-meltas for that.
- Plasma gun - The plasma gun works differently from its earlier incarnations- for a start, it now has two firing profiles, both of which share Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. In its normal mode, it's S7 AP-3 1 D so it's basically a flat upgrade from a Bolter that does a good job of taking out MEQs and TEQs. In its supercharged mode, it has one extra point of Strength and Damage that lets it one-shot Terminators. But be careful: firing the supercharged mode triggers the new version of Gets Hot!, and this time it just kills a model with no saves on a to hit roll of 1. So only fire the supercharged mode when the boosts are worth the risk of killing the user on the spot.
- Grav-cannon with grav-amp- Identical to the Grav-gun, but with Heavy 4. Compared to the Plasma Cannon, it fires more shots but suffers from all the nerfs that the Grav-gun has gotten. It's now effectively a souped up Heavy Bolter.
- The most expensive heavy here, but the safest and highest ROF weapon for dealing with TEQ. Not bad against vehicles either since you can afford to miss one or two shots, unlike the lascannon. Killing one terminator pays for the cannon so give it a thought.
- Strength 5 sounds bad but so few vehicles are toughness 10 that you still have 1/3 chance to hurt a vehicle for d3 wounds. Still, consider bringing lieutenants for your grav-cannons.
- Heavy Bolter- 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 1 D. Good against hordes at long range due to its high number of attacks, and not too bad against lighter vehicles either. It is also extremely cheap.
- hellfire shells stratagem can deal out a startling amount of mortal wounds
- Heavy Flamer- A flamer with an extra point of Strength and AP-1. More effective against almost everything than its smaller brother.
- Lascannon- 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D6 D. Your primary anti-vehicle weapon.
- The best range here. Hence has that advantage over the more expensive grav-cannon. Works better with accuracy buffs than wounding buffs.
- Twin-Lascannon- Gives you two lascannons for 10 points less
- This makes tanks that can carry these an actually good idea as they can take as many lascannons for cheaper weapons cost and a tougher body than a devastator squad
- Seriously a normal Landraider will only cost you 277 points for 4 lascannons, two heavy bolters, T8, lots of wounds, and can transport models. Consider this when you're choosing your army
- Missile Launcher- Can fire either Frag Missiles that act like D6 Bolter shots, or a Krak Missile with S8 AP-2 D6 D. Not quite as good as Heavy Bolter or a Lascannon in regards to dealing with infantry and vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles. With its D6 D AP-2 it can still make a nasty surprise for a HQ caught in the open. Costs 5 points less than a Lascannon, so its only worth taking if you KNOW you will be shooting infantry with them at some point.
- Multi-melta- A 24" Heavy 1 Meltagun. Cooks vehicles from a slightly safer range than the regular Meltagun, but unlike the Meltagun you can't advance and then shoot with this. The Multi-melta can fulfill a role previously filled by the Meltagun: Drop Pod threat removal. Due to its 12" Melta range, that means your D6 D will be more reliable on the turn you come in, at the price of a 16% decrease in accuracy. To offset that you have the Armorium Cherub and the Sergeant's Signum.
- Now being only 22 points per gun (cheaper than a lascannon mind you) and drop pods dropping 20 points, deep strike drop pod bomb is a good idea that will cost you less than it used to
- Twin Multi-Melta- two shots for 40 points
- Plasma cannon- Identical to the Plasma gun, but has a 36" range and is Heavy D3. The larger number of shots it has the potential to fire make it more useful against larger groups of enemies than the regular plasma gun.
- The penalties for moving and firing are steep here, so use extreme caution overcharging. In fact you might leave this gun at home. If you desperately need this cannon get it on a relic predator who uses a safer variant. Carry a lascannon or heavy bolter instead, or shell out for the grav-cannon for 2-wound thickies.
- Frag Cannon- Double Heavy Flamer on steroids with 8" 2D6 S6 AP-1 1 D auto-hits. Hordes beware. Also an assault gun on a very fast model so you can advance and roast.
- Typhoon Missile launcher- Two missile launchers for 2 points less
- Assault Cannon- 22pts for 6 shots, S6, AP-1. good for dealing with hordes at range
- Twin-Assault Cannon- double cost, double shots
- Now costs 4 points more than a Twin-lascannon
- Frag Grenade - It explodes, 6" D6 S3 AP-0 1 D, good against GEQs.
- Krak Grenade - It explodes even harder, albeit only one shot at range 6" S6 AP-1 D3 D, always remember to throw one , because now it can one-shot (small chance, but...) multi-wound enemies.
- Melta Bomb - Now can be thrown at 4" with S8 AP-4 D6 D, which is brilliant, and in 8 edition there are no restrictions on using it, so it's perfectly viable to throw Melta Bombs at enemy characters, as well as usual targets, like vehicles and bigger enemies.
- Combat Shield - Grants the model a 5++ Invulnerable save.
- If you waste your points on equipping these on your assault sergeants, shame on you
- Storm Shield - Grants the model a 3++ Invulnerable save.
- 10 points on your characters, 2 points on all other models. Now so cheap you should consider anything that can take them.
- Camo Cloak - If every model in a unit has a camo cloak you can add 2 to saving throws made for models in the unit when they receive the benefits of cover, instead of 1.
- Death Mask - Reduces enemy leadership by 1 while they are within 3" which helps in the Morale Phase.
- Honestly if you're taking lots of sanguinary guard ignore them, if you're taking a few or a sanguinary ancient take it
- Stacks with the Reiver Terror Troops ability (abilities with different names stack modifiers). No BA advantages to reducing leadership, but useful for allies, like the GK Purge Soul Psychic Power.
- Blood of Baal has introduced a new stratagem that requires Death Masks to use, still situational
- Magna-grapple - You add 2" to your charge rolls if charging a vehicle, which helps your choppy dreads reach combat, especially when they already move faster than vanilla ones.
- Once Foreworld drops the Lucifer Patterned Drop-Pod this will be great to take
It's been a long time coming, but holy shit, was it worth it. Most of our Relics are fucking rad! Be careful here, many a command point was spent in test games just to cap out on all 3 relics, they're just that good.
- Archangel's Shard: Replaces a power sword or master-crafted power sword. If the target is a monster, the damage is 1d3; if it's a daemon monster, it's 1d6. Otherwise, it's a power sword. Not really good, and since you can only take so many relics this will probably stay on the shelf. A master-crafted power sword has better stats in the first place, so that further limits what you want to replace. Only really worth even considering if your opponent has a daemon monster; against normal monsters, this is ever so slightly worse than upgrading a standard power sword to a master-crafted one, making this relic "worth" maybe 6 points if you're feeling generous - very meh.
- Angel's Wing: Jump Pack only. Re-roll failed charge rolls, and cannot be overwatched. EXCUSE YOU!? This one is probably an easy best, edging out Veritas Vitae only by just how it's way easier for every other army to get CP back than to spend a relic for it; lets you make a downright terrifying Blood Angel Banshee or MURDERWINGS. Put this on a Jump Librarian with Quickening, Unleash Rage, and a Force Sword, and toss at whatever offends you, or commit like you mean it, and put it on a Death Company Jump Captain with a Thunder Hammer (see above).
- Gallian's Staff: Force staff that gives a +1 to manifesting smite; not terrible, as Smite is always useful for Mortal Wounds, but inferior to the White Scars relic that does the same thing, as theirs doesn't force you to carry a force staff - because this one does, you can't put it on a Primaris Librarian or a Librarian Dreadnought.
- Hammer of Baal: Thunder hammer with no penalty to hit. For Sx2 AP-3 D3 with no penalties to hit, this is a surprisingly killy relic. S8 (S10 if there's a Blood Chalice nearby; consult the Designers' Commentary, Question 1, if you're wondering why), with the Red Thirst improving your wound rolls by +1, will ensure that you can wound almost anything without much difficulty. Hardly an auto-include, especially since the base hammer costs 40 points (since only a character can carry a relic) and a captain especially doesn't mind the base to-hit penalty enough to really warrant a relic slot, but fairly punchy.
- Standard of Sacrifice: Ancients only. Grants FnP 5+++ to non-Death Company Bikers and Infantry within 6" of the bearer. Solid choice, especially if paired with Hammernators, Sanguinary Guard, or a Primaris gunline; it can make for a terrifyingly durable unit that can mulch through anything with the banner's re-rolls. Who says they got rid of Death Stars? Stacks with Gift of Foresight, although the latter won't let you re-roll 1s for the former. (Note you can't stack it with Gift of Foresight and Death Vision of Sanguinius since it gives you the Death Company keyword.)Unfortunately only benefits each model within 6", not each unit. So no giving your entire gunline a 5++ FNP. Still, a 6" bubble covers a LOT of models, especially if you're using a Primaris Ancient mounted on a 40mm base. Also remember you get to choose which models you allocate wounds towards - so obviously pick the ones that are protected by the Standard.
- Veritas Vitae: When using a Stratagem, roll a d6; you gain a CP on a 5+. Yes, even your Stratagems have Feel no Pain. Easily the best of the bunch; a 33.33% chance to get a CP back after you spend 1-3 on a Stratagem by merely existing on the field makes the one of the best Relics in the whole game. The only relic a librarian dreadnought can take besides Biomantic Sarcophagus. If you're using the multi-relic Stratagem and are taking this relic, make sure you've defined with your opponent what "before the battle" means - you can't recover CP with this until the model carrying it is deployed, so any CP spent prior to deployment are lost. Also, be careful of armies with strictly superior variants of the same rule; the Imperial Guard, for example, have a Warlord Trait which does this on a per-CP basis, while yours only recovers 1 CP, no matter how expensive the Stratagem. So no IG or Eldar shenanigans.
- Always stick this on someone. BA have some of the best relics and Warlord traits around - you are going to burn through CP like no other, might as well squeeze a few free ones in, you will need them.
Blood of Baal Relics
- Decimator: Replaces a master-crafted auto-bolt rifle and bumps you up to S5, AP-2, D2, and you don’t take a penalty to hit when Advancing and firing.
- Wrath of Baal: Sanguinary Ancient banner. At the start of your Movement phase, add 2 to the Move of friendly Blood Angels Jump Pack units within 6”. Bonus lasts until end of turn.
- Biomantic Sarcophagus: For a Librarian Dreadnought. Adds 6” to the range of the model’s psychic powers and once per turn, when you take a psychic or deny the witch test with this model, you can re-roll one of the dice. Possibly the best relic of Blood of Baal, as the value of all the re-rolls can really add up.
- Figure of Death: Replaces a Crozius with one that’s S+1, AP-2 D2 and when you make a successful wound roll the target unit gets -2 to its Ld for the rest of the turn.
- Gleaming Pinions: Jump Pack model only. The bearer can charge in a turn in which it fell back, and it gets +1 to its charge distances. This allows you to reactivate all of your charge bonuses, allowing SS Captains to keep swinging at full potential each turn. This is great because such a Captain can receive 3 or possibly more attacks on the charge depending on how you build them up.
- Consider this for a Smash Captain instead of Angel's Wing, since if you use Death Visions on him, he can be buffed by Lemartes and re-roll charges that way, and the Pinions will ensure he'll get his +2 bonus attacks for charging every time.
Special Issue Wargear
- A quick Note on Blood Angel Successors: If your Warlord is from a Successor Chapter, you are limited in what relics you can take. In addition to the nearly worthless Archangel's Shard from the codex, you can also choose from among the Special Issue Wargear included below or use the Honored by Baal stratagem.
- Adamantine Mantle: When this model loses a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+, the wound isn’t lost. Not that great in an army with access to so many rolls to negate wounds.
- Artificer Armour: Gives a model a 2+ save and a 5+ invulnerable save. This can allow your characters to survive much more, especially librarians which need to sacrifice a cast to get an invuln. Best put on a model with a decent amount of wounds but no invuln, such as Primaris Librarians/Lieutenants.
- Quake Bolts: The Blood Angels special bolter ammo. Give this to someone and you can choose to shoot with these bolts instead when firing a bolt weapon. When you shoot with these, make only one attack, but if you hit, the target is “felled” until the end of the turn and the attack continues. When you attack a felled unit in melee, add 1 to the hit roll.
- Good to amplify the damage dealt by your melee units, especially if said units bring hammers or fists. The higher your chances to hit the better so slapping it on a character with nice BS or access to rerolls makes it do more work. Notice you can only make 1 attack per shooting phase with these so you won't get better result by slapping them on a character with a storm bolter.
- Did you know that bolt pistols are the greatest pistols? These unique rounds are proof. On a captain (who can re roll his single shot), these will help you get another 1 or 2 hits with a power fist. When paired with the onslaught of death company who already have the normal +1 to wound, its gonna hurt!
- Master-Crafted Weapon: Give a weapon +1 damage and it’s considered to be a Relic of Baal. Now you can have an Artisan War TH and a Master Crafted TH on two captains!!! Both attacking the same unit!!! on the same turn!!!! All at D4!!!!!!
- Digital Weapons: When you fight, you make 1 extra attack using the “close combat weapon profile” and if you hit, you score a mortal wound. Meh. Not terrible but your charcters are pretty much renown for how hard they punch sruff: it's better to invest relics in durability, supporting other troops or making charges easier.
- Fleshrender Grenades: Replaces frag grenades with some that are type Grenade 3, S5, AP-3 2 Damage and the target doesn’t get the benefit of cover. More like Terminator-render grenades.
- Icon of the Angel: When you make charge rolls for friendly Blood Angels/successors within 3” of this model, you can re-roll any of the dice. Seriously?! Fuck YES!! You can take this and have Lemartes off with other DC and have a multi directional charge all with re-rolls.
Flesh Tearers Relics
- Severer of Threads: Replaces a chainsword with a slightly deadlier chainsword with S+1 AP-1. The big draw is the +d3 additional attacks, which is quite crazy. On top of this, if you use fight an Infantry unit and score a 6+ to wound, you also deal a mortal wound on top of everything else. If nothing else, this makes it very economical to grab. Combined with the Warlord Traits Merciless Butcher or Of Wrath and Rage this can allow a Captain or Primaris Captain to potentially put out a hilariously frightening number of attacks.
- Sorrow's Genesis: Replaces Narthecium. This super-Narthecium lets your Sanguinary Priest rez a model on a 2+ and restore up to 3 wounds, making it amazing for a primaris force.
- Captain: The most basic version of the Captain is the no-frills HQ choice: access to a variety of wargear, good overall stats, and grants all nearby friendly BLOOD ANGELS units the ability to re-roll a result of 1 to hit, which you should use to keep your plasma weapons from killing you as this lets you roll those lethal 1s away (do note vehicles have the BLOOD ANGELS keyword too. Enjoy your semi-twinlinked Land Raider Crusader). His master-crafted boltgun is AP-1 and deals 2 damage, but a shooty Captain might be better suited to using a Combi-Weapon. The storm shield isn't a must-have, since he comes with a 4++ by default, but it's there if you want it.
- Captain with Jump-Pack: You're playing Blood Angels for the Sauce, and here it is, boyo. This build is affectionately titled Chapter Master Slamguinius and it earned it for a FUCKING REASON! Although giving your captain a jump pack doesn't give him the durability of a bike, it does give him the advantage of a very special rule, Fly, and by the God-Emprah, isn't that what being a Son of Sanguinius is all about?! This might seem standard to all you 7th edition players, but being able to jump over combats and fights to get all your veterans stuck in can change a fight from a battle of attrition to outright wiping out the enemy squad, either during the Fight Phase itself or the Morale Phase after it. 8th edition makes this doubly important due to the new rules allowing an engaged unit to Fall Back from close combat during the opponent's Movement Phase, which subsequently exposes your fighters to enemy shooting from other units, which means enemy heavy shooters will often be screened by chaff exactly for this purpose. Bikes are still vulnerable to this tactic despite their speed, whereas jump troops with Fly can simply jump over the screening units and proceed to beat the snot out of the valuable and dangerous enemy shooters hiding at the back. He also gains the ability to Charge and Fight against FLYERS, which can be interesting if a foe is mistaken enough to let your jump Captains get too close to their Flyers. Fly also gives you the ability to shoot after Falling Back from a fight, so if you get in over your head you can still fire off a smattering of Boltgun or (combi-weapon!) shots as you get away. All that aside, don't forget that it also makes you vulnerable to anti-air weaponry, so watch for anything that gains bonuses against flyers. Use Honor the Chapter, and Only in Death Does Duty End, and keep this dude going for as long as you can, consider him expendable and perhaps not the warlord, use these two stratagems and he can take on anything. So, when a daemon primarch starts his spiel on how the corpse emperor is a dick but his legions were much stronger than today's Marines, politely explain him the virtues of present day Blood Angels... and then beat his chest like a bongo. This might cost a bunch of CP on top of what you paid to kit the captain but killing a 600+ pts centerpiece unit almost guarantee by turn 2 is basically always worth it.
- Primaris Captain: Comes stock with a bolt pistol and a master-crafted auto bolt rifle like the Lieutenants, but can also take a Power Sword or switch the auto bolt rifle out for a master-crafted stalker Bolt Rifle (which is Heavy 1, but gets a 36" range and AP-2). Apart from the extra wound and attack that come with the Primaris statline, he's more or less the same as a vanilla Captain but with fewer wargear choices. Since the Primaris Captain can only footslog if you don't pay up for a Repulsor, give him the Stalker and put him near the objective to snipe at targets with either Devastators, Cent-Devs, and Company Vets without transports or Hellblasters with Heavy Plasma Incinerators to make the most of their ranged weapons. For 92 points you can take a power fist and plasma pistol, making him perhaps the most well rounded of all captains along with crazy Tycho.
- Captain in Gravis Armour: Has a 5" move, and the same 3+/4++ save as the regular Primaris Captain, but the Gravis Armor pushes him to T5 and W7, making him very hard to kill with small arms. Unlike the other Captain versions, his wargear is fixed; specifically, to a master-crafted power sword that deals one more point of damage compared to the regular power sword, and the Boltstorm Gauntlet (a combined 3-shot bolt pistol and power fist). Cheaper and differently resilient than the Terminator Captain, but not as flexible.
- Primaris Captain in Phobos Armour: A Primaris Captain with a combat knife (+1A), and a sniper rifle equivalent (30", Heavy 1, S4, AP-2, D2, can target characters, but does NOT cause mortal wounds on a wound roll of 6). Also has a camo-cloak (+2 to saves when in cover instead of +1), an omni-scrambler (no enemy deepstrikes within 12"), and concealed positions (deep strike, but before first turn). You'll want him to give his re-rolls to your Eliminator teams or Infiltrator squads. Like the Lieutenant, this guy is really nothing more than an old, cranky primaris marine...and overcosted to boot.
- Captain in Terminator Armour: Your bread and butter HQ, good at everything, great at nothing, now in Terminator Armour. Must buy at least a Power Sword and Storm Bolter, can take items from Terminator Combi-Weapons and Terminator Melee Weapons lists, and if he takes a Power Fist, can take a wrist mounted grenade launcher. May also buy a Storm Shield. A decent fighting unit, he comes stock with a 4++ thanks to his Iron Halo. Provides a 6" bubble that provides re-rolls of 1's to hit to friendly Blood Angels. Can become pretty killy if you kit him out to be, the codex was fairly nice to us. It's worth noting that chainfists are straight-up garbage, at a point more than a hammer in exchange for less damage (the better AP wouldn't be enough to make chainfists good even at Thunder Hammer prices). None of the weapon choices you can't access as a Terminator, like a Power Axe, are a big problem, due to the same weapon advice applying from the regular Captain, above - you should be choosing from the Power Sword, Power Fist, and Thunder Hammer. The Power Fist gets special mention, though, because of the grenade launcher, which is the only way to get a second gun onto this guy, which can be a pretty big deal on the turn you deep strike in. Don't go double lightning claw - you don't have the necessary mobility to go without any guns at all.For your ranged weapon, the Storm Bolter really can't be beat, although a Combi-Flamer can be good on Overwatch if your opponent is idiotic enough to charge you. The other options don't pair well with you - you don't want to risk overcharging plasma on a piece this costly, and the melta's limited range combines very poorly with your limited mobility.
- The armor provides a decent save, and he'll always have the 4++ to fall back on. If you drop a CP to give him the Black Rage, you can give him all the benefits that apply, namely +1 attack and 6+++ FNP. Pretty much all of the warlord traits will give you a boost: Soulwarden will allow you that clutch defense of Psychic powers, Speed of the Primarch will ensure you actually manage to fight, Heroic Bearing will buff your bodyguard (you are dropping him down with a Terminator escort, right?) and make sure they can just flat out ignore Morale, Artisan of War is ok - but an extra bit of damage on a ranged or melee weapon is nothing to sneer at. Gift of Foresight is one of the best for a beatstick, if you did drop a CP for Black Rage his FNP roll is 5+++ and re-rolls all ones. Honestly you really can't go wrong with any of the Warlord Traits except maybe Selfless Valour. If it doesn't work for Black Templars it won't work for us. As for Relics, if you want a beatstick, the Hammer of Baal is your go-to choice, as you're unable to take The Angel's Wing - mitigated in that you can just teleport down. S8 AP-3 D3 with a +1 to wound roll from the red thirst is just brutal, and an extra attack from the Black Rage can make or break a fight phase. Paired with the above Veritas Vitae gamble (on a different character of course), you might even get that point back and be all the better for it.
- Captain in Cataphractii Armor: Compared to basic Terminator armor, your movement is even worse, at only 4", and when you Advance you have to halve your result, so you can only move 7" per turn at most (usually 1.75"), but your invuln is boosted to 3++ without consuming a weapon slot, although you do pay more than you theoretically would for a Storm Shield. With a Storm Bolter stock and the ability to replace it with Combi-weapons (except for combi-grav, but that's a worthless piece of shit anyway), this is going to be a Deep-strike reliant character, which is not a bad thing, considering what army we're talking about. Also pretty good in melee, thanks to that boosted invulnerable save and the fact that you don't need to give up the possibility of bringing along a decent gun or lightning claw pair for a storm shield. Keep in mind, however, that with such astronomically high saves, you pretty much invite the opponent to focus mortal wounds on him, against which he has precisely no built-in protection unless he's around the Standard of Sacrifice or you gave him the Death Visions of Sanguinius for that sweet sweet FNP. More limited than the other Terminator Captain because his Power Fist can't take a grenade launcher, so you're almost certainly going to keep the Storm Bolter to maximize your ability to shoot things while waddling slowly around the battlefield. Much of the equipment advice from the standard Terminator Captain applies here. This models is now a much more viable option as it dropped 31 points and only costs 95 points without equipment (now only 118 points with Thunder Hammer and storm-bolter)
- Captain on Bike (Legends): The bike gives you +1 Toughness, an extra wound, 14" movement, and the Turbo-Boost ability, and costs less than the Gravis Captain. Apart from that, everything that can be said about the regular Captain goes for this guy, too. If you were thinking of taking a regular captain without a Jump Pack and not alpha strike (for whatever ungodly reason you'd do that in a Blood Angel army, you luddite), take this guy instead. He's better in almost every conceivable way. He can cross the board quicker, while keeping pace with your vehicles, he's shootier by a wide margin, and he's infinitely more survivable if someone does try to hit him, while being just as killy when things get personal. Kitted out with the Hammer of Baal, Speed of the Primarch, and an inferno pistol makes this guy an even scarier version of Smashfucker. Moral of the story, if you're going to take a non-terminator captain, always put him on a bike, or with a jump pack.
- Lieutenant: 60 points gets you a Marine Captain-equivalent with -1 BS and Ld, but with the re-rolling 1s to hit replaced by wound re-rolling. Good if you want to re-roll wounds instead of hits and/or are on a budget, as they're only 60 points each if bought individually and come with far more customisability over their Primaris counterparts. They have to be set up at the same time, but don't need to be in unit coherency and are treated as separate units. However, the Primaris versions may be worth the 10 points more, unless you're planning on transporting them in a non-Repulsor vehicle, running a pure mini-marines army or REALLY need that 10 points. Add a Captain for re-roll hits of 1, and you've got yourself a mean gun line or assault group. If you have to choose one or the other, rerolling 1's to wound is mathematically equivalent to rerolling 1's to hit unless the weapon does something different on specific rolls. Lieutenants' reroll to wound is better with flamers and sniper Scouts, and Captains' reroll to hit is better with overcharged plasma or with stratagems that trigger on a 6+ to hit, but the rest of the time, their auras are equivalent. Remember, you can take 2 in one slot for twice the re-rolling action. No bikes sadly, but fortunately they're allowed their jump-pack to keep up with the units they're buffing.
- Re-rolling 1s to hit or to wound are mathematically identical in terms of the effect on your damage output - both increase the overall number of wounds inflicted by 16.7% (alternatively, think of it as multiplying it by a factor of 7/6). If you have to choose between one or the other, go with reroll 1s to hit because it helps you avoid plasma guns blowing up in your face, but what you really want is both: if you already have a captain, grab a lieutenant for your next HQ slot (or vice versa). The two auras complement each other very nicely, and wherever possible you should try and keep your units in range of both.
- Primaris Lieutenant: Like the standard versions, but Primaris, with +1 A and W. They're armed with Assault 3 Bolters (that do 2 damage) which can and probably should be swapped for Power Swords for the better chance to hit. Like the standard Lieutenants, they also allow friendly BLOOD ANGELS units re-roll to wound rolls of 1. As is the case with all Primaris Marines, they're rather inflexible but are tougher than their counterparts to compensate. Now that the codex is out they have a few more options one of the best is giving them the Mastercraft Stalker Pattern Bolter and teaming them up with a Devastator or Centurion camping squad.
- Lieutenant in Phobos Armor: Another Primaris variant, this one has a D2 boltgun that ignores cover and the standard Lt. bonus. Also has deep strike and a unique Knife Fighter ability; unmodified hit rolls of 6 count as 2 hits instead of 1. Not like it'll matter much because he only has a basic CCW.
- Chaplain: Cheap HQ with his stock wargear, great in assault army like Blood Angels. He lets same Chapter units in 6" use his leadership and re-roll all failed hits in melee (which isn't any better than re-rolling 1s on WS2+ models, don't forget). A good support choice to back a choppy squad. Particularly useful helping Thunder Hammer Vanguard/Company Vets mitigate their -1 to hit, or a Death Company squad to buff more fighters and help with their higher morale vulnerability. Comes stock with a bolt pistol and Crozius, which is now somewhere between a power axe and maul at S+1 AP-1 D2. Can take a power fist (which is a terrible waste of points, since you've got Red Thirst and already paid for the Crozius), swap his bolt pistol for something from the pistol list, and can strap on a jump pack, which you should probably do. Honestly with a newer beautiful model and how BA are a very assault based army, he's an amazing choice as an HQ.
- Chaplain in Terminator Armour: As above, but with 5" movement, one more wound, and 2+ armor. Note that you can only swap the storm bolter for a combi-weapon, so actually slightly less effective in melee against armored opponents, as you have no way to take a power fist, but you shouldn't have been considering that anyway; you should really keep the storm bolter, as well. Assuming you listen to reason, the meaningful comparison here is that he costs 12 more points than a Jump Chaplain with base wargear, but has much better ranged output and durability, in exchange for drastically hampered mobility and an inability to fall back and shoot.
- Chaplain on Bike (Legends): For 7 points more than a Jump Chaplain, 14" movement, +1 T and Wound, and ability to Turbo-boost, plus a compulsory Storm Bolter. Good for keeping up with your jump pack cc oriented squads, also tougher than a jump pack chaplain. Can swap his bolt pistol for a second storm bolter for even more dakka
- Note that unlike the rest of the chaplains, these guys won't be likely to get the fancy new litanies due to being in the Legends list. While this is nice since you won't need to worry about constantly rolling to keep the buff up, you won't get the chance for anything else.
- Primaris Chaplain:They get the usual Primaris buffs (+1 A/W) and the usual points hike (only 5 points, in this case). Comes with the same litanies/morale buffs and the crozius, but also packs a new toy: the Absolvor pistol, a 16" S5 AP-1 Pistol. Like most Primaris HQs, his wargear is fixed and cannot be changed. Without the option of a Bike/Jump Pack, you can only footslog him or put him in one of the Primaris grav tanks.
- (Forge World) Chaplain in a Goddamn Dreadnought: NOW AN HQ CHOICE CHARACTER. The Chaplain Dreadnought is the go-to answer for players wishing to run an All-dreadnought army. This is one of the best models space marines can currently use in 8th arguably the best outside of special characters. It's a character that can't be shot at unless it's by snipers (which it'll shrug of anyway) or it's the closest model, a dreadnought that CANNOT BE SHOT AT. It possess a 5++ save and also buffs the strength of friendly models fighting the same unit as the dreadnought, has heroic intervention and every wound it takes it gets to make a roll, on a 6 it ignores the wound. It's also reasonably priced considering it's many advantages, 204 points vanilla but can be cheaper or more expensive depending on wargear choices (taking an assault cannon makes it cost 183 as an example). Despite it's strengths ultimately it's buff is weak; more a bonus than something your army can rely on, if you want a HQ that buffs than the Chaplain Dreadnought is a bad choice, however, if you were planning to bring a dreadnought and/or want a tough and killy HQ then the Chaplain is a fantastic option that also saves you an elite or heavy support slot. Although it is buff weak, the Chaplain Dread does give an alternate source of bonus Strength to nearby units, meaning when combined with the Sanguinary Priest your basic troops will be Strength 6 and anyone with a TH or Fist will be Strength 12 and thus able to wound anything that isn't a Lord of War on 2s.
- Librarian: Flexible buff unit and source of mortal wounds, thanks to Smite. His Psychic Hood adds 1 to Deny the Witch tests against Psykers within 12". Equipped with a force stave/sword/axe (you should keep the sword, for the same reason most of your army prefers power swords - the Red Thirst), frag and krak grenades, and swappable bolt pistol. Can take a jump pack. Use him to buff your melee squads with +1A, or anything at all with a 5++.
- Primaris Librarian:Can only use a Force Sword and Bolt Pistol, but gains the extra attack and wound that all Primaris Marines get. Also fairly cheap compared to other upgraded Librarian versions, at only 5 points more than a stock Librarian. It's carrying your best sword option and probably best pistol option already (as why would you invest points in a better pistol on a non-jump librarian?), so if you're going to footslog a librarian (the Primaris can't get in most of your transports, but Wings of Sanguinius works just fine on him), definitely a good choice.
- Librarian in Phobos Armour: Primaris Librarian with a camo-cloak (+2 to saves when in cover instead of +1) that makes him extra durable in cover, and concealed positions lets him deploy with your other sneaky marines. Has access to a special psychic discipline focusing on stealth, of which he knows two and can cast two. (Including one that's basically Warptime!) Comes stock with psychic hood, force sword, and bolt pistol.
- Frankly, this option seems to be the only Vanguard HQ worth the points. The others look cool, but neither has a single melee attack with an AP value, and the captain has a single bolter shot at AP-2!?! This guy can genuinely hurt people with smite and his force weapon while providing tactical viability.
- Librarian Dreadnought: Our super special dreadnoughts have definitely seen an improvement. Now at 142 points for storm bolter, or 154 with melta/heavy flamer, this unit is just tooooo good to pass up since he's cheaper than Mephiston. Their stats are the same as every other dreadnought barring their WS2+ and character keyword, making them hard to shoot, since they have W8 like your other basic dreads. Their force halberd means they will be hitting at S10 AP-4 D3; coupled with the Red Thirst, you'll never actually use that Furioso Fist you had to pay for, so it's a good thing the Halberd is free. Has the same psyker stats as your other unnamed librarians, even the psychic hood. The Storm Bolter is a pretty reasonable choice, but the Meltagun will hit on a 4+ on the Advance, if you were rushing into position to cast, while the Heavy Flamer is best for using Wings of Sanguinius to Fall Back and Shoot. Sadly, can't drop his smoke launchers for a magna grapple, no matter how entertaining it would be. This model can be your warlord, and makes a FINE candidate for Artisan of War when applied to the Force Halberd. Doing this reduces the need for the awesome yet constraining combos you see below, allowing you to use them anyway, or apply powers and CP elsewhere. Regardless though, much like Slamguinius, Smashnought will pulverize literally anything without an invuln save; it all depends on whether you want to dish out 6-8 wounds or 12 or more. Finally, remember returning fire... Once the dread hacks apart its first victim, its a safe bet to assume some big guns are going to wind up pointing in his direction and he will likely be out of his character bubble. Perhaps not the best warlord? As a character with only 8 wounds, the Librarian Dreadnought can only be shot at in the Shooting phase if it is the closest unit.Since he has the CHARACTER keyword, use the Red Rampage Stratagem on this guy should successfully charge into melee for and extra D3 attacks. It will please you. When equipped with a meltagun, this guy becomes a brutally effective monster hunter. Consider: smite in the psychic phase, melta in the shooting phase, then charge and finish off what's left with the halberd. This guy is one of your prime candidates for Quickening+Wings of Sanguinius, giving you a net movement speed of 12", then a re-rollable charge with +3" to boost, then getting into melee with an unbelievably good melee weapon for typically 5 attacks; the only other Librarian you can field with a melee weapon on par with that Force Halberd is Mephiston. However, with no invulnerable save, don't be surprised when this thing disappears after a couple of effortless swings from any melee weapon that does multiple damage with AP-3 or better.
- Biomantic Sarcophagus is a must-take with this guy. The amount of free re-rolls makes a huge difference.
- Librarian in Terminator Armour: Your more combat oriented Psyker. Must buy at least a Force Stave and Storm Bolter, and can replace the Storm Bolter with a Storm Shield (via the Index) or an item from the Terminator Combi-Weapons list, and may replace his Force Stave with either a Sword or Axe (you want the Sword). Comes stock with a 5++ for his Crux Terminatus, and thanks to his Psychic Hood adds 1 to Deny the Witch tests for Psykers within 12". Can manifest two powers in the Psychic Phase. Occupies a nice balance between a combat character and a buff unit. Have him Teleport into battle behind your Death Company before they get into combat, throw your magic at them, and let loose with the charges. 10 points less for the Terminator Suit over a Jump Pack, but is your only access to a built-in invulnerable save for your Librarian.
- Librarian on Bike (Legends): 14" movement, +1 T and W, and ability to Turbo-boost (and a compulsory Twin Boltgun) compared to a normal librarian; can swap his pistol for a combi-weapon, which you should only be considering a Storm Bolter for, or another pistol, which is less compelling. Good for keeping up with your jump pack melee oriented squads or other bikes. Costs a point less than his Terminator cousin (before you pay for a second Storm Bolter), but can't Deep Strike or ride a Transport.
- Sanguinary Priest: Your standard unit modifier and helpful in all situations to any BA unit. Comes with a bolt pistol, chainsword, frag and krak grenades. Most of his extra weapon options, as well as his biker version, have been moved to Legends, sadly. Blood of Baal returns his Jump Pack option though, or you can throw him into a Stormraven if he shows up without it. Buffs your blood angels Infantry and Bikers by offering a 6" bubble of +1 Strength, as well as healing a multi-wound Infantry or Biker model within 3", or bringing a fallen model back to life on a 4+ - the bringing back from the dead is on a d6 roll of 4+ and if failed he does nothing for the rest of the turn. Works well with more expensive models like Terminators and Sanguinary Guard, keeping their health up as they make their way towards the enemy.
- Sanguinary Priest with Jump Pack (Index/Blood of Baal): 12" movement, JUMP PACK, and FLY, and Jump Pack Assault, for only 10 more points. Pairs well with Sanguinary Guard, Vanguard Vets, Death Company, etc. The codex doesn't feature the option to equip with a jump pack, so refer to the index/Blood of Baal for this one.
- Sanguinary Priest on Bike (Legends): 14" movement, +1 T and W, and ability to Turbo-boost (and a compulsory Storm Bolter) compared to normal priest - as well as becoming a BIKER - for 25 more points. Sanguinary Priests, both regular and biker varieties, work amazingly with units armed with Power Swords. S5 AP-3 is a nasty profile that can put wounds on most things reliably, particularly since you will reliably have the Red Thirst up - you'll wound T4 or less on 2s! The +1S is particularly nice because, per the Designer's Commentary, Strength buffs happen before a melee weapon's Strength is calculated - so e.g. Power Fists and Thunder Hammers go to S10. The synergy with Red Thirst is strange because Red Thirst is a flat +1 to wound but +1 or even +2S only sometimes helps - for example, Blood Angels Thunder Hammers will wound T6 on 2s without the Priest's help - but you'll still get better results combining the priest with multiplicative melee weapons, for a net +2.
- Techmarine: At the end of movement phase can (now without roll) restore one blood angels vehicle model within 1" for 1d3 lost wounds. Equipped with a servo-arm and power axe by default. Can take a jump pack, servo-harness, and can swap out his pistol for another pistol or a combi-weapon (the storm bolter is the big draw here). Most importantly, you can swap out the Power Axe for a Chainsword to get one of the cheapest HQ options there is (45 points). Blood Angels has some great HQ options, but the Techmarine is a good way to pay an HQ tax. Hand him a Veritas Vitae and park him near some artillery.
- Techmarine on Bike (Legends): 14" movement, +1 T and W, and ability to Turbo-boost (and a compulsory Storm Bolter) compared to a normal Techmarine, but pays 25 points for the bike (not including the Storm Bolter attached to it); the mobility is excellent for keeping up with what he wants to repair, but be aware the bike isn't free. Same advice applies about his other wargear.
- Techmarine with Jump Pack (Legends): Badly overcosted, at more than double the cost of the footslogging Techmarine before wargear - has neither a servo-arm nor a conversion beamer, which is the only way in the game to make that happen, but the jump pack costs so much you're actually far better off just shelling out for a bike. Can still repair vehicles just fine, mind you. There's a rules explosion if you take both a servo-harness and a jump pack (which is not banned); until it's FAQ'ed, both will resolve, and the jump pack will take your servo-arms away, leaving you with a jump pack, flamer, and plasma cutter. Theoretically, the same thing will happen if you swap your servo-arm for a conversion beamer "before" taking a jump pack, but the RAI on that seems clearer. Discuss any rules clusterfucks with your opponent before you exploit them.
- Rhino Primaris (Legends): One half of the Command Tank duo, the Rhino Primaris distinguishes itself from the basic Rhino by 3 things: its twin plasma gun, the ability to call an orbital bombardment (a single blast that can deal d3 Mortal Wounds to all enemies within d6" of a targeted point and doesn't need line of sight, but can only be fired once per game), and its servo-skull hub. The hub allows the Rhino Primaris to buff allies within 12" with either a +1 to hit, a -1 to morale tests, or healing a wound (for vehicles only). It only has room to transport 6 units, though that's just enough for a Captain and his Veteran Squad.
- Never fire the plasma gun on overcharged mode; the risk of destroying the Rhino Primaris isn't worth the extra damage.
- Land Raider Excelsior (Legends): The other half of the Command Tank duo, which comes with a 5+ invulnerable save, the Captain's ability to grant re-rolls for hit results of 1 for units within 6" of it, a pair of twin lascannons, and a grav-cannon/grav-amp combo. If you take it, take the Rhino Primaris too - it'll gain a +1 to hit for all shooting attacks if it stays within 24" of the Rhino Primaris. Apart from that, it's fairly similar to the vanilla LR, albeit better able to take on heavy infantry thanks to the grav-cannon.
- As is the case for the Rhino Primaris, do not overcharge the plasma gun part of the combi-plasma. Your lascannons do everything that an overcharged plasma gun shot can do, without the risk of killing yourself in the process!
- (Forge World) Damocles Command Rhino: Costing almost twice as much as normal Rhino, but with one transport place for character, this gives you one-use Orbital bombardment, which on 4+ hit every unit in 6" from point on a battlefield you choose ( -1 for Characters) and deals D3 mortal wounds. Second ability is generating 1 CP per turn if your warlord is embarked and roll less than his LD. This is helpful, but most Blood Angels potential Warlords doesn't fit Rhino (jump pack, terminator armour, Dreadnought)
- This vehicle is useful against cheap horde armies, which probably have more Command Points than you.
- Astorath: Astorath has gained some fun special rules. His axe is now basically a relic blade, which on a 6+ to wound is a flat 3 damage. All BA within 6" re-roll hits in the fight phase and can use his leadership for morale tests; death company instead become fearless. Astorath now gains the very cool rule Mass of Doom, which you may activate once per game at the start of your turn. Roll 1D6 for each friendly BA infantry unit within 6". On a 1, the unit takes 1 mortal wound. On a 2-5, add 1 to all hit rolls made in the fight phase. On a 6, same as above but the unit also gains a 4++ invuln until the end of your turn. So, just before your big 15 man death company charges, you can probably give them 2+ re-rollable attacks for maximum rape, and you only kill one of them with odds 5/36, since they can FNP the mortal wound from the Mass. Combine this with Librarians, Sanguinary Priests, and Ancients to get the maximum bang for your berserker buck.
- Mass of Doom is no joke. Whatever Astorath says takes your Death Company WAY beyond enraged. Enjoy your renewed title as the premier alpha strike combo. Combined with the Red Thirst, your DC will become incredibly efficient in melee armed with power swords [which are now cheap as chips]. Against other MEQ, you're hitting and wounding on 2s and 3s with re-rolls and AP-3. With a priest or sanguinor (who also has deep strike), the buffs just keep building and building and building... there is really no comparison. Be careful, though, as you're going to wind up the same way as many iterations before, completely butchering the first target and getting left alone and likely facing lots of retributive firepower the next turn. Go play ultramarines if you want to be cool, calm, and collected.
- Unfortunately Astorath is shadowed by Lemartes ability. The ability to re-roll charges is too crucial for a Death Company list and its just too expensive and redundant to realistically run them both. Unless you're re-enacting the Diamor campaign. FOR SANGUINIUS!
- Double unfortunately, Mass of doom and Litanies of Battle need to be used at the beginning of your movement phase, but the deep strike happens at the end of the movement phase, so you can't use it on a unit that is deep striking this turn, nor can you use it while deep striking Astorath himself.
- Only 105 pts to run this Angel of Death.
- Thanks to Blood of Baal, Astorath has gained a serious buff in the form of the Master of Sanctity keyword. This brings with it the ability to take 3 Litanies of Battle and use 2 each turn.
- Unfortunately bumped down to only knowing 2 litanies from the Litanies of Battle as of the 01/06/20 FAQ, but can still use 2 each turn.
- Brother Corbulo: Corbulo is a buffed Sanguinary Priest with some cool wargear. 14 points buys you the standard lack of ability to choose different wargear for a named character, but +1 BS with his Bolt Pistol and Grenades, +1W, and his melee gains +1S and -1AP due to him gaining +1A but swapping out his chainsword for Heaven's Teeth, resulting in no net change to attack volume. His Blood Chalice grants 6+ exploding hit dice during the Fight phase to infantry and biker units within 6" (including himself, naturally). He also has the Far-Seeing Eye, which grants a single re-roll on anything for Corbulo 1/turn, which you will generally want to apply to his Narthecium, either to heal more wounds (bringing his average healing up from 2 to 2.33) or increase his odds of raising the dead from 50% to 75%, but it's worth noting his re-roll is Cawl grade, not just on failures, so you can use it to guarantee his bolt pistol or krak grenade hits or wounds, or to raise his krak grenade's average damage from 2 to 2.33. He has no jump pack. Like other priests, he is cheap and a genuinely good option.
- Like Mephiston and Tycho, this dude prefers to rock and roll without a jump pack. He does complement vanguard vets and death company rolling around in transports very well, as they can simply conga line to leave someone close enough to Corbulo to pick up the buff. His explosions work on all blood angels units, so you can apply him to dreadnoughts, or even Stormravens if you're feeling silly. He's also amazing paired with a Company Ancient, as his explosions happen during the Fight phase regardless of weapon type, giving you access to shenanigans like exploding the dice for inferno pistols.
- Makes a fine support unit for Aggressors. Makes them tougher, hit harder, and hit more often. Aggressors are well suited to foot slogging so no worry over transportation issues.
- Captain Tycho: Tycho changed a bit with the codex. Like usual, he is a captain with a master-crafted boltgun like other captains, but it has a meltagun strapped to it, and he has a 2+ save and doesn't like orks, gaining 1d3 attacks against them. He also got back Dead Man's Hand for Melee purposes: S User AP-2 D1, which is a lightning claw that doesn't re-roll wounds/a power sword with 1 worse AP/a power axe with 1 worse S. Meh.
- Like his psycho version, his greatest advantage is a low points cost, paired with a durability upgrade; actually building him from a Captain is impossible, but his melee weapon is approximately as good as a chainsword (it's worse against anything with 0 or 1 penetrable save, such as Storm Shield MEQs or Genestealers, but better against anything with 2 or better, so is approximately a wash), and his ranged weapon is indisputably better than a combi-melta (a Captain with a Combi-Melta will run you 2 more points than Tycho), so if you were going to field a footslogging combi-melta no-melee-upgrades Captain, this is the way to go, but why would you do that? His severe lack of mobility fails to impress.
- Tycho the Lost: Edgy Tycho now doesn't help his friends. He loses his re-roll aura (making him less accurate without external support), but gains the Black Rage for a 6+++ and +1A on the charge, and drops 25 points in cost - but why would you do that? If your goal is paying HQ taxes cheaply, you can take a Sanguinary Priest for 1 point less, a Techmarine for 8 points less, or a Lieutenant for 10 points less, all of whom provide actual utility - and the Black Rage doesn't really impress on a model carrying a weapon that shabby. With the red thirst, black rage, and AP-2, he will surprise you. If you assault the same model you shot with your melta gun in the shooting phase you stand a good chance of killing it, unless its a vehicle or MC of course.
- Tycho the lost is a bargain no matter how you add things up; the problem is his questionable purpose in a BA army. Don’t use him as a frontline HQ or melee powerhouse, load him in a stormraven and place him behind your enemy or in an inconvient position. He will take dedicated effort for your opponent to remove him and will hamper their main effort. He’s great at snatching far off objectives. Also does a great job of preying on vehicles or other weaker units. He’s also a great distraction. Get creative with him.
- Chief Librarian Mephiston: The only named Primaris character for BA's, Mephiston is similar to last edition, with 6 Wounds and 5s for S, T, and A instead of 6s like the days of yore (or 4s for a standard librarian), but he makes up for it in other ways. His Sanguine Sword is now a Power Fist with no to-hit penalty; his other benefits include M7 (although he has no jump pack), BS2+ with his Plasma Pistol, a 2+ save, a 5+++ FNP, Denying 2 powers instead of 1, and knowing 3 powers instead of 2, but that last is particularly lackluster, as he can still only cast 2; you'll probably want to take Unleash Rage (or Quickening, if you want him to buff himself better since THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE MEPHISTON!), Shield of Sanguinius, and Wings of Sanguinius on him, then only cast the third power when you really need to get him into position. All of those benefits will cost you 57 points over a normal Librarian, or 52 more than a Primaris Librarian (which has the same W and A as him).
- Mephiston has an excellent statline, lots of melee power (combined with a Sanguinary Priest, he can hit at S12!), can buff himself and/or others well, and is priced decently. He makes a good HQ (although his warlord trait is lackluster). His only weaknesses are no way to generate anything better than a 5++, allowing basic power swords to hurt him, and no means to deep strike with other choppy units. otherwise, he can perform any HQ role quite well. He's in direct competition with a librarian dreadnought, given how much of his special character oomph was directed into making him beatstickier.
- Chief Librarian Mephiston (Legends): The now-outdated, non-Primaris version of Mephiston. No point taking him even if allowed, as the new Mephiston is better and cheaper, unless you want to put him in an older transport.
- Commander Dante: Despite being the "I'm too old for this shit" character, Dante is still a beatstick. Coming in with the classic wargear of The Axe Mortalis (a relic blade that re-rolls failed wounds against characters) and an Inferno Pistol, 2+, 4++, and a jump pack, Dante hasn't really changed much, but does have W6 and A6. A lucky lascannon can still kill him, but he is a whole bunch tougher against small or even medium arms fire. Dante loses out on his cool tactical and jump pack warlord rules and now has a 6" bubble of re-rolls of all failed to hits, which is... alright. But you're not taking him for those, you're taking him for the 6 inch bubble of giving morale rolls the middle finger from his built in Warlord Trait - meaning that whoever you select as his bodyguard won't break for shit - although it's worth noting you can put that trait on any unnamed Warlord you like.
- Unleash Rage and Red rampage. 10 Attacks. Nice
- For vanguards and assault marines, this is great, but since the most commonly used Dante bodyguard, Sanguinary Guard, get re-rolls to hit within 6" of your warlord already, this is kind of shit, so you probably don't want to take them - instead, take Company Veterans with Jump Packs, for the same job, or don't make Dante your Warlord.
- This boy is 25 pts cheaper as of Chapter Approved 2019 now only costing 150pts! He is not and should not be used like Calgar, Abbadon, a hive tyrant, an Avatar, etc. Dante's main draw is his exceptional alpha strike potential. For best results, consider not deep striking him. Instead work up the board normally using your character status as protection, or jump out of a stormraven. You need to damage your opponent as much as possible in one turn, that means getting very close in the movement phase, inferno pistol in shooting phase, successful charge in assault phase with those juicy 6 attacks and ideally red rampage for D3 more. Lower their damage bracket so they cant strike back as hard. If everything goes as planned, he is a top notch character assassin. Otherwise, Dante just doesn't have the staying power of other models in his weight class.
- Take a vanguard detachment with Dante and back him up with three standard dreads packing lascannons w/ fist/storm bolter (heavy flamer if you must). March them up the board, they will take a beating and will protect Dante, likewise they will throw out a lot of dakka thanks to re-roll all hits. Once you get close Dante can jump ahead, or swing around to slay the most opportune target, and dreads will dish out some hurt with all their re roll fists hits.
- Alternatively, he's a great buff for a gun-line. Have him sit back with several lascannons and pop enemy vehicles, re-rolling all misses, and let Lemartes and DC charge in and wipe out everything else.
- Lemartes: Lemartes is still the mad-capped berserker that we all know and love, with some differences in this edition. Gone is his crazy approach to getting wounded and getting angrier, but his wounds have gone from 2 to 4, and his base attacks are a respectable 5. As Death Company are no longer fearless (disappointing), you do have the option to use Lemartes’ Leadership of 9 (immunity until 4 models drop) if within 6”, should your crazy marines need to take a leadership test; note that Lemartes can't buff non-Death Company, unlike Astorath or normal Chaplains. The best thing here, though, is that Lemartes allows re-rolls of failed charges for Death Company, on top of providing them with re-rolls to hit in the Fight phase (which, again, he can't provide to non-Death Company). Quite handy when Jump Pack assaults will be at least 9” away to start with. At only 100 points, this Death Company deep strike bomber is a bargain.
- Blood of Baal changes things up a bit. He still has Black Rage due to an FAQ put out on 01/06/20 and now knows Litany of Hate/1 Litany of Battle/Invocation of Destruction and can recite 1 each turn, on top of his natural aura to re-roll DC charges and melee hits. Consider taking Mantra of strength to turn him into even more of a beatstick.
- The Sanguinor: Our special snowflake is now a very pointy snowflake. Basically a copy of Dante for 20 points less now (since he dropped 20 and Dante dropped 25), with -1 wound (he is affected by his own aura, so his attacks match Dante's unless they're together, in which case Dante pulls ahead by 1), but his weapon is AP-4 vs Dante's AP-3 (and doesn't re-roll wounds against anything), and he retains his aura of fervour, granting +1 attack to BA infantry units within 6" (but doesn't grant re-rolling misses, making him better at buffing melee but worse at buffing ranged), making him a natural fit with Sanguinary Guard/Jump Company Veterans/Vanguard Veterans as warlord. He may also fall back from combat and still charge that turn, and is wearing a Death Mask. All this for noticeably less than Dante. So yeah, if you want a slightly less tough, more/differently buffy guy, pick the Sanguinor; otherwise, if you want a more focused killer, Dante is your man.
- Pretty solid warlord, and will make power fist sanguinary guard quite gnarly. A better take over Dante unless you really want an inferno pistol and/or improved 1v1 combat ability
- He does very well with Sanguinary guard... but also makes death company alarmingly good. With +1 A, they will hit 6 times with chainswords, or 5 times with power swords OR thunder hammers. Hey, where is the chaplain?
- Don't forget to throw his grenades, its not like they will kill much, but i`d be a shame to waste his awesome ballistic skill.
- Gabriel Seth (Flesh Tearers): Thankfully moved from the LoW section, Gabriel is a Captain with +1W and the usual Chapter Master aura of re-rolling all failed hits (which doesn't matter for 2+ models, but is twice as good for 3+ models); his melee weapon is a Thunder Hammer with +1AP and +1WS (that is, no inaccuracy penalty, but only AP-2), and he carries a Bolt Pistol. His aura also lets Flesh Tearers (including himself, as always) who finish a consolidate within it roll a d6, and on a 6+, it can fight again. RAW, technically if this happens the unit can never Fight again, but it seems clear the RAI is simply that the second Fight's consolidate doesn't get to roll (the rule actually says the unit fights for a final time, but "probably" means a final time that phase). He also has a personal rule that a 6+ to hit in the Fight phase for him inflicts an additional hit without rolling. At only 135 points, he's pretty ok - since he's A4 base, his total expected attacks that hit are 5.83 after accounting for his automatic hitting and re-roll aura, up to 6.81 after his very low chance to do the entire thing a second time; a strictly theoretical Primaris Captain (to match Seth's Wounds count) with a Thunder Hammer would cost you 108 points, hitting at -1AP, and actually connecting only 3.89 times, and both would behave the same way at range. Cheap re-rolls like Seth cannot be overstated, seriously its like deathwatch watch masters.
- The biggest problem with him is that he cuts off your access to the good relics if he or any of his chapter are your Warlord, forcing you to make do with an only slightly upgraded power sword that's usually not even as good as a master-crafted power sword. His aura is good, but it's not losing access to the Veritas Vitae or Standard of Sacrifice good; ultimately, his melee weapon is the Hammer of Baal at 1 worse AP, and his aura effectively combines Dante's with Corbulo's, so he doesn't bring much unique to the table, unfortunately.
- All that being said, if you're a Flesh Tearers player, you're used to getting fucked over. RIP AND TEAR
- Combine him with three lascannon/fist dreadnoughts in a vanguard detachment. He is a great way to bring a re-roll for all hits and makes three normal dreadnoughts brutal. They get re-rolls hits with the fists as if they had two, and your lascannons are re rolling hits as you slowly march up the field, plus 24 T7 wounds is a great bodyguard for a character/warlord. Add in reivers or Vang Vets deep striking to handle any hordes and you have a solid base for your army.
- For 110 points he does give re-rolls to all hits. Ironically, this makes him an affordable way to significantly boost a gun line, which you will send in counter charges and deep strikers overhead once the enemy breaks the final protective line. Playing BA reactively is difficult, but can work really well, who knew this dude is a prime candidate for the commander? Perhaps the flesh tearers are remodeling their combat doctrine... or perhaps not.
- The biggest problem with him is that he cuts off your access to the good relics if he or any of his chapter are your Warlord, forcing you to make do with an only slightly upgraded power sword that's usually not even as good as a master-crafted power sword. His aura is good, but it's not losing access to the Veritas Vitae or Standard of Sacrifice good; ultimately, his melee weapon is the Hammer of Baal at 1 worse AP, and his aura effectively combines Dante's with Corbulo's, so he doesn't bring much unique to the table, unfortunately.
- Malakim Phoros (Lamenters, Forgeworld): 115 Points for a +1W & A Captain and re-roll wounds, with a relic blade equivalent and 12" inferno pistol?????? THAT. IS. DAMN. GOOD. The Lamenters shit days are over with these guy. Simply plant him next to all the dakka you can muster and let rip! Perhaps not as scary as his 7th edition stats, the Lord of Ruin still dishes out the pain with the best of them. His pistol, Catechist, is still a 12" Inferno Pistol, and his Glaive of Lamentation is a Power Fist with -1S -1AP, which is practically speaking better without a Sanguinary Priest on hand, due to the Red Thirst; with one, you're actually at -2S relative to the Fist, which is a bit more noticeable, but nothing to get worked up over. His special rule, "The Lord of Ruin", turns him into a super-Lieutenant, allowing all Lamenters infantry, dreadnoughts, and bikers (i.e. all of your Red Thirst units) within 6" of him to re-roll all failed wound rolls, which is drastically better than re-rolling all failed hits, in practice. Due to how well the Red Thirst already buffs your melee wounding, if you use Malakim to buff melee wounding as well, you'll want to bring weaker but cheaper melee weapons, like power swords - he won't really help your Thunder Hammers more than a Lieutenant would, but your Power Sword infantry will go from wounding Land Raiders 58.33% of the time with both a Priest and Lieutenant on hand to 75% of the time with Phoros and a Priest - and they cost a lot less. Combine him with a Captain on anything that has a 2+ to hit to functionally achieve re-rolling all failed hits and all failed wounds, or for melee, with a Chaplain or Terminator Ancient.
- There are basically two good ways to use Malakim.
- You can stuff him in a Stormraven to speed him up; his buff won't help anyone until he gets out, but you can more easily get him where he needs to go this way.
- This is the only practical way to get him to buff melee combat; the best fellow buffer he can have for that is generally a Sanguinary Priest for +1S. A Librarian for Unleash Rage can also help, but buffs a single target, rather than employing an aura, on top of being able to fail the buff. You should put a Dread on board and as many Company Veterans as you can, but, of course, be aware that melee units that can't FLY may have trouble deleting units that can only be charged by models with FLY; instead, since Phoros and the Priest are both auras, you may want to dump them somewhere, then deep strike in many small units of Jump melee troops to try and ensure charges get through. If you want more room on board for more chargers, remember Priests, Librarians, and Captains can all take Jump Packs, and get to where they need to be themselves.
- You can also field this ranged style (see below), or mix the two; Sanguinary Guard can FLY, carry both a melee weapon and a gun, and, near Phoros, re-roll all failed hits and wounds; give them plasma pistols, a Company Ancient, and a Sanguinary Priest, then combine the lot of it near something you want dead for deeply satisfactory plasma spam. Not remotely as good with inferno pistols, due to short range and Malakim being slow, or angelus bolters, which have the range, but are insanely overcosted.
- You can, instead, just walk him up the field, like how Codex Marines field Guilliman. This is clearly best with ranged; since Phoros can't buff most vehicles, you're looking to field Devastators, Hellblasters, and dakka Dreads (especially Leviathan Dreads), essentially. Note that this is perfectly fieldable on a Stormraven - you can stuff Phoros, 2 Heavy Flamer Devastators squads, and a Leviathan Dreadnought on a Stormraven, with room to spare for an additional buffer if you want one on board. You can't stuff Hellblasters on one, so for them, make sure you bring a Company Ancient to let them shoot twice when they die, and a Priest is still a good idea to stand them back up, on top of the Captain you'll definitely want.
- You can stuff him in a Stormraven to speed him up; his buff won't help anyone until he gets out, but you can more easily get him where he needs to go this way.
- Since we're already using Forgeworld, remember that we can make use of Chaplain Dreadnoughts. The +1S buff from the Chaplain Dread stacks with the +1S from a Sanguinary Priest, which stacks with any x2 melee weapon for a net +4S on top of the weapon's buff (i.e. net +8, or S12, for all of those S4 guys you were bringing); between that and the Red Thirst, you can easily get Malakim up to wounding Land Raiders on a 2+ (he'll be at S9), and your S12 punchers will wound even the incredibly rare T9 and T10 targets out there on a 2+.
- Potentially Hilarious Idea: Put Malakim in a Vanguard Detachment with 3 Furioso Dreads armed with Heavy Flamers and Frag Cannons for self-contained 9D6 auto-hits, re-rolling wounds. Really who even needs Chapter Master?
- You guys are looking at things the wrong way. Phoros and Aggressors (a full vanguard with 3 squads should suffice, maxed out even better!) are a match made in heaven. His very unique wounds re roll works better and better as volume increases. 6 mans squads of aggressors can pump 100 or more shots a turn, assuming 2/3s of those hit, re rolling the wounds allows you to engage anything from T4 to T8 and up. Basically, aggressors work wonders on hordes by themselves. Throw in re rolls to wounds and they can take on any target. Plus you have power fists to finish off T8... Aggressors like to hug cover and let the enemy come to them, a perfect match since Phoros is only 1" faster. Phoros makes a great unit (Aggressors are easily one of the best if not the best infantry in all of the Astartes codex) phenomenal.
- Potentially Hilarious Idea: Put Malakim in a Vanguard Detachment with 3 Furioso Dreads armed with Heavy Flamers and Frag Cannons for self-contained 9D6 auto-hits, re-rolling wounds. Really who even needs Chapter Master?
- There are basically two good ways to use Malakim.
- Scout Squad: The Scout special rule Concealed Deployment may be the best troop rule space marines have. Since they deploy during the deployment phase, you can cut off huge swaths of the board from enemy deep strikes early in the game, and they count as deployed on the table for the purpose of legally holding all your Jump stuff back to Deep Strike. They have both a shooty build and a close combat build, and offensive wise are just as good as Tactical Marines at shooting and Assault Marines at assaulting. They can create early pre-screens so horde armies can't get a full move right off the bat. Worried about a Tyranid army getting a 30" move on turn one? Scouts make a fine speed bump. Camo Cloaks actually make Scouts cost more than Tactical Marines on a model by model basis, so skip them. The Combat Knives look like a good idea, but they aren't - your Scouts hit harder in melee than they do at range, but after their deployment step, they're not particularly mobile at getting into charge range; remember, the primary reason you're bringing these guys is for Objective Secured. The shotguns have a similar problem of needing more mobility than you have to shine (contrast with Scout Bikes, where the shotguns are amazing). Your best bets for the "mook" scouts are bolters to keep them cheap, but effective at range, or snipers if your meta has a lot of weak support characters running around - just be wary, as this makes the scout more than a third again as expensive. The Sergeant is another matter entirely, due to his second attack and superior equipment access, particularly if you're deploying your Scouts in a Land Speeder Storm; a Power Sword on him costs as much as that sniper rifle would have, but murders more things more easily, and doesn't make him drop his bolter.
- Alternate take on combat knives: Scouts with knives are significantly more dangerous in melee than more expensive normal SM units and scouts with combat blades show up in Blood Angel lists that win tournaments (and play more than a few BA HQ units, the most successful lists are still Slamguinus, Mephiston, another Captain with the Hammer of Baal and a Guard Brigade. BA Battalions with Blade Scouts are a thing that do place though, more than some armies place at all), often the Sarge has a storm bolter and combat knife. Sniper scouts are not terribly competitive, they do not mesh with the BA advantages (which gravitate to melee), nor the scout advantages (being a cheap unit).
- Tactical Squad: You know how these guys work. Squad size of 5-10, armed with Boltguns, Bolt Pistols, and Frag and Krak Grenades. As before, you can take one Heavy or one Special Weapon at five models, and one of each at ten, but because you're blood angels, the heavy can be a heavy flamer. Your Sergeant may take items from the Sergeant Equipment List by dropping both his bolter and pistol; your strongest choices here will be a storm bolter and a power sword or thunder hammer (be aware, this will more than double this cost). Combat squads are still a thing, working much the same as they always have. They now have the Red Thirst that makes them better in melee, and when combined with other synergy units in the codex they can become surprisingly good melee units (though they will never become amazing in melee, so don't get any ideas - combat knife scouts will readily butcher them). Look, these guys are bread and butter, great at nothing, good at everything. They are neither as cheap and tricksy as Scouts or as Tough and effectively specialized as Intercessors, but are a reliable middle-ground between these two options, as they always have been.
- 5 man squads in Twin Assault Cannon Razorbacks are pretty certainly your best bet; a Storm Bolter/Thunder Hammer Sergeant, 3 mooks, and a guy carrying your favorite of a Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, or Lascannon will do a shockingly reasonable amount of work.
- Intercessors: The Primaris addition to the Blood Angel infantry. Essentially a Tactical marine with an extra attack and wound, and packs Bolt Rifles for free (bolters at +6" range and -1AP), Auto Bolt Rifles for 1 point (Assault 3 bolters, for when mobility is needed), or Stalker Bolt Rifles for 0 points (36" Heavy 1 AP-2 2D Bolter). One squad member can take an auxiliary grenade launcher for 1 point to have 30" grenades, which is at least entertaining. Intercessors are better in close combat than their Tactical marine brethen, however this is not the reason you take them (you have better options in this Codex, though they aren't pushovers either). What you want from them is good good mid-field objective grabbers and frontal assualt fighters. They've got good range, -1AP over Tacticals, and good staying power. While Tacticals may have more diverse weapon options (for now) Intercessors are better suited for contesting and holding objectives and dragging out fights with tougher adversaries that Tactical and Scout squads would prefer to avoid. Along with stock Intercessors being good at objective grabbing another effective loadout this has found is 10 of these guys with Auto Bolt Rifles (which are not entirely worse than regular Bolt Rifles, outputting more damage outside of 15") or any variant really and a Lieutenant can make for a very effective mobile anti-infantry platform. Remember to play to their strengths, Tactical Squads (for now anyway, Intercessors will probably get their chance) are the ones who want to be the Jack-of-all-Trades Infantry that can do a little of everything, Intercessors job is geared toward anti-infantry and holding-the-line or contesting, be that against infantry, monsters or vehicle chargers (much easier now too thanks to Red Thirst, wounding Carnifexs on fours anyone?).
- Intercessor sergeants can now take a chain sword, power sword, a hand flamer (instead of a rifle, fluffy perhaps but keep the rifle for serious play,) a power fist, or a thunder hammer. Keep in mind you need to get intercessors INTO melee to use these. No reason not to take a chainsword, but the rest depends on how you are using them. Auto-rifle wielding intercessors could do well with a sword or fist, acting as a back-up if your squishier melee units (lookin at you, Death Company) die before making back their points.
- The other rifles recieved a buff from Codex Space Marines, and they're actually pretty good now. Having assault 3 bolters is never a bad thing, and increase the speed of the Primaris, something they lack a bit of with no cheap transports. Stalker rifles upgrade Intercessors with budget autocannons. Yes, they're only stregth 4, but D2 only occurs on a few guns in any SM codex. These rifles are definitely made for popping Nobs, Immortals, and Tyranid Warriors. (Or Primaris, interestingly enough.) (Side note that these rifles also have just enough AP to make cataphractii terminators use an invuln-save instead of armor.)
- Infiltrator Squad: Same statline as Intercessors, but with +1Ld. Standard unit of one Sergeant and four Bodies, but unique in that it can take an additional four bodies and one Apothecary-Cadet that can only heal a model from this unit, or revive one on a 5+. Marksman bolt carbines are exactly the same as boltguns, but unmodified hit rolls of 6 automatically hits and wounds, but your opponent still gets a save. Their smoke grenades work exactly as vehicle smoke launchers; sacrifice a round of shooting for a -1 hit modifier against opponents shooting attacks. They can deploy when setting up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9" from an enemy unit or your opponent’s own deployment zone: this is during set-up only, not during any of your other turns. Finally, enemy units cannot arrive as reinforcements within 12" of this unit, making them excellent at area denial.
- Sadly, at 22 points a model (and 32 points for the Helix Adept), much of this needs to be judged against the flexibility of the Tactical Squad, the solidity of firepower from an Intercessor squad, and the cheapness of the Scout Squad. Bad? Maybe not. Overcosted? The jury is still out...but the verdict is likely yes.
- While they do cost as much as Reivers with grapple guns and grav shutes, they do deny deep strikes within 12" of them meaning the majority of rapid fire weapons can't rapid fire upon arriving and more importantly enemy units can't charge you out of deepstrike (crippling to armies and players that rely on it and makes their ability much more valuable against Orks, 1K Sons & GSC.) spread them about to maximize that bubble and watch them draw fire from your opponent (assuming their army relies on this tactic) possibly saving other key units. So weigh this against their staggering cost (230 for 9 plus a Hellix Adept) for a troops choice.
- Incursor Squad: These models come in the infiltrator box set and have some nice benefits. Firstly, their shots ignore cover so you can feel like an Imperial Fist as a Blood Angel. Second, they ignore all negative modifiers to hit (eat your hearts out eldar and thousand sons). They start at 19 points per model and can take a haywire land mine for an additional 10 points.
- These guys you should take if you're playing an objective based game, once they throw down their land mine enemy units now can't get near an objective without taking D3 mortal wounds
- Their Paired Combat Knives synergize with the Blood Angels better than most other chapters, since the +1 to wound rolls helps ameliorate their relatively low Strength (never wound at less that 5+!), and exploding 6s to hit means that the 16 attacks from a five man squad on the charge (2 per base, +1 per from Shock Assault, +1 on the Sarge) will statistically become 18-19, so you'll have lots of chances for that +1 to make a difference. Leave backfield objective holding to the Infiltrators with their 12-inch anti-deepstrike bubble—these guys are probably better off using Concealed Positions to start close to entrenched enemy units, where their ability to ignore cover and other penalties will help make up for their S4 AP0 shooting, and then moving in for a Charge. AP-1 from the Assault Doctrine can also help make them viable.
- Company Ancient: The old banner bearer, now an independent Character. The banner adds +1L to any same Chapter Infantry (sorry, bikers!) units within 6". If a model from the Chapter dies within 6", you get a 4+ chance for them to get off one more round of shooting (with one ranged weapon) or one more close combat attack, before your opponent can move on to something else. Note that this only affects models in the bubble, not units, so be mindful when picking who dies. Comes with a bolt pistol that you can swap for a different pistol, combi, or melee weapon. When you proc his ability on a plasma gun wielder, remember to overcharge it. Unfortunately, drastically better supporting guns (since you get the gun's full rate of fire) than melee (since any attacks above 1 are wasted), even though you're a melee focused army.
- Company Ancient with Jump Pack: Give him a Jump Pack for 9 points, which also lets him Deep Strike. This guy right here is a poster boy for carrying the Standard of Sacrifice into battle, as he'll provide a 5+++ FNP and then a 4+ attack one more time, drastically spiking the output of what he's supporting, and the Jump Pack will help him guarantee the bubble is where you need it to be.
- Primaris Ancient: Same as a Company Ancient, but with +1W 1+A. Comes with a bolt rifle in addition to the pistol, and like most Primaris characters, cannot swap his war gear.
- Best used to support an Aggressor gunline, which can benefit from either the extra shooting or melee attacks. While certainly not a replacement for a Sanguinary Ancient, the larger base, better bolt rifle, additional attack and two wounds for a five point increase is nothing to snub at.
- Sanguinary Ancient: A single Sanguinary Guard character holding a banner that grants +1 Ld and re-rolling of wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase to all nearby Blood Angels. You have to ask yourself one question, "Is it viable for me to spend 63 points for a character that allows me to re-roll wound rolls of one and buffs my leadership, and gives the option for 5+++ fnp with the relic banner, resulting in that whoever he is with becoming more killy and more durable?" With right tools, this is a massive force multiplier, more so than jump lieutenant and jump ancient combined in a single package. This thing is meant to join with priests and what have you to make horribly dangerous armies that use the synergy of BA to the logical limitations that are offered.
- This model is the cheapest source of the Death Mask de-buff in the codex, should you be trying to stack negative leadership penalties.
- Terminator Ancient: Can wield a Storm Bolter, Lightning Claw, or Thunder Hammer on top of the banner he wields - of which the correct choice is probably the Storm Bolter, so he doesn't get too close to the enemy and die, losing you your buff. His banner, like the Sanguinary Guard one, simulates a Chaplain's accuracy buff, re-rolling all failed to-hits in the Fight phase within 6", as well as providing +1 Ld.
- Company Champion: Another former Command Squad guy now on his own. He has to make a Heroic Intervention if possible, and can re-rolls misses against Characters. Comes with a master-crafted power sword, bolt pistol, frag and krak grenades, and combat shield for a 5++, but no other wargear options. Because his accuracy self-buff is so negligible, you'll usually be far better served shelling out the points for a buffing character instead of some sort - he's only 18 points shy of a Chaplain, for example. Best stay away.
- Company Champion with Jump Pack: Same as above, just able to keep up with all your other jump units.
- Company Veterans: More or less the Command Squad from earlier editions, minus the Apothecary, (Company) Champion, and banner bearer (now a Company Ancient), which are all split off as independent Characters. You can still kit between 2 and 5 of them out however you like (except no special weapons on the Sergeant). They possess an ability similar to the old "Look out, Sir!" rule which lets them intercept a wound from a CHARACTER on a 2+ in exchange for taking a mortal wound, so they're good bodyguards, especially with something nearby to give them FNP, like the Banner of Sacrifice.
- These are the veterans you really want to take. Why so? They are exactly the same as vanguard vets but have access to ranged weaponry. For 105 points you have 5 vets all with chainswords, stormbolters, and jump packs. This is a great option to counter all forms of infantry and hordes considering red thirst. And as Bodyguards can protect any character, including Librarian Dreadnoughts. The Jump Packs are a compelling choice here, the only downside is the Sergeant's hampered equipment choices (he can't have a Storm Shield or a Special Weapon), but you can just let his mook buddy carry a Storm Shield and overcommit to giving him output gear, like a Storm Bolter and Thunder Hammer.
- Death Company: Death Company function as your high output melee assaulters. 15 points get you 4 attacks on the charge and a 6+ FNP along with the Black Rage keyword, though with LD 7 and full squads of 15. They can all take (should take) boltguns or plasma/inferno pistols alongside fists and power weapons. For the heavy hitting duties they can also take two handed thunder hammers, out swinging hammernators. Keeping chainswords and adding Savage Echoes brings you up to 6 attacks, which will be at a minimum of AP-1 along with your typical +1 to wound from Red Thirst. However, for all this offense they are fairly vulnerable compared to other elites choices and require dedicated HQ support as they will remain LD7. They have lost some of the durability and fearlessness compared to previous editions, but they are by no means any less deadly. DC now seem to rely on support more than before specifically for morale. This does make some sense fluff-wise, mainly because these guys would be counter-productive and simply a hazard on the battle field without proper guidance.
- Tried and true play styles will still work: Sanguinary Priests will bring your attacks to S5, and Chaplains will allow for re-rolls to hit. Remember that, unless taking a Thunder Hammer, you can instead swap your Bolt Pistol for any of the available Power Weapons. Keep your chainsword! Hand flamers are an option for 1 point, but remember a bolter is also a free upgrade to your bolt pistol. Jump packs are always a good idea as these boys gain bonuses only when charging (or being charged) and you need maneuverability for that charge. However, you may forgo equipping them with jump packs in order to save points. Try a 5 man squad with a Chaplain in Razorback. Altogether these three can take on any foe and will last fairly long with the right weapons loadout. Thunder Hammers on these guys is incredible, with Sanguinary support, they're swinging at S10 (S4+1×2), which will reliably injure absolutely anything.
- DC and Lemartes will win you games. Dont puss around though... Take 15 with bolters and as many power weapons/fists/hammers as you can afford. Remember the jet packs and all of this gets re-rolls on charges. I'm telling you little can stand up against them. Of course, deep striking 15 guys can get cumbersome due to screens and other soft ass bullshit requiring you to place your models roughly 12" away sometimes, but that's why you have the Descent of Angels stratagem for 3D6" re-rolled fucking charges baby. Blood Angels have always been the kings of deep strike assault, let it be known, and let our wrath go unquestioned.
- Compared to Vanguard and Company veterans, who are your main competition, for one point you gain 1A and 6+++ though you become LD7. This makes DC your deathball super unit rocking up with HQs. All of your other elites with the exception of Sang Guard are perfectly fine working independently in smaller skirmishes.
- DC, like Chaos Berserkers, have to worry about overkill. When you can generate 90 total attacks, you may find that most of the attacks are completely wasted. Try multi-charging, though be sure to mitigate overwatch whenever possible.
- Death Company Intercessors: Apparently, Primaris Marines CAN fall to the Black Rage. Thanks a lot, Cawl. Essentially Intercessors that trade Combat Squads for the Black Rage. They also lose their Sergeant, but one marine in the squad can be equipped like one, ditching their rifle for a Chainsword or Hand Flamer and adding a Chainsword, Power Sword, Power Fist or Thunder Hammer (no double Chainsword). To be honest, they are probably of limited value for an extra point over normal Intercessors. Their main problem is redundancy. Normal DC with jump packs are an infinitely more versatile and customizable CC unit for the same base points cost, and normal Intercessors will help get you command points, something you'll be needing for all the fancy stratagems we have now. Our Elites slot is crowded enough already and these guys, at least in their current form, don't seem to make the grade.
- You could stick 8 in a Repulsor with an Apothecary and Ancient. Thats 18 wounds all with a 6+++ chance to dodge any D2 weapon hits, plus 37 attacks with all the usual BA enhancements (Red Thirst, Savage Echoes, Doctrines). Certainly a big overall combo, but should work well centered on the board taking on the brunt of your opponent while everyone else gets into position for charges.
- DC now have a stratagem to up their FNP to 5+++, which on a 2 wound 18 point model, becomes pretty damn tanky.
- Death Company Dreadnought: Your normal Furioso but angry. 2 fists/talons, black rage, and can consolidate 6". No one will expect this dreadnought to be as fast as it is. With an 8" move, a good charge roll, and increased consolidation after he murders the first group; your opponent will likely fail to answer the threat before it's too late. IF these guys do get Shock Assault, they are gonna demand serious attention with 6 attacks!
- A hidden gem here. At its cheapest they are 126 points (138 with double flamer). Kept at your front lines they should be rushed headlong at the biggest, nastiest enemy you can find and expect them to put in work with 6 attacks, on the charge, re rolls, and +1 to wound. The interesting part is their ability to survive a decent round of shooting when you combine smoke launchers, Duty Eternal stratagem, and black rage 6+++ making the run up the board bearable. They should work well in pairs, being well priced and requiring your opponent to devote a majority of his shooting at them or else they will hurt his units.
- Dreadnought: This bad boy has received major improvements. At S6 T7 W8 A4 and 3+ Sv, the dreadnought is a durable elite choice. Its S6 assault cannon will mow down any T3 infantry, and will deal quite well with T4 too. Its melee weapon is something to be feared as well, at S12(!!!) AP-3 and 3 damage the dreadnought will smash through most things put in front of it, should you get it into melee combat. It can also equip a heavy flamer for the incredible D6 S5 AP-1 auto-hits on overwatch. Your opponent should think twice before charging ol' dred.
- Contemptor Dreadnought: Mentioned in the Warhammer Community as arriving for Blood Angels. Not as badass as a Relic Contemptor, but definitely a lot cheaper. Comes with the iconic Kheres Assault Cannon or a Multi-Melta.
- This guy can be a better idea than normal dreadnoughts or even furioso dreads considering 9" movement, 10W and 2+ WS and BS and 5++ Invulnerable save to if lucky ignore those dread poppers and get him close without escort
- Furioso Dreadnought: Although a 2+ to hit would be nice, as well as more than T7 toughness to differentiate from all other dreads (these guys were front armor 13 before...) typical frag cannon loadout is still somewhat viable. Frag cannons are now 2D6 auto hit. Combined with S6 the frag cannon can tear up hordes, multi wound models, and light vehicles equally well. Pair with a heavy flamer and make sure to assault with your giant fist to guarantee entire squads get removed each turn.
- The Furioso is perhaps the most flexible unit in the game for Blood Angels, especially considering his 8" move and can be transported in a damn stormraven. This unit can move quickly and reliably, can bring both anti horde and tank dakka, and can do work in the shooting and fight phases, plus it is decently tough. Also possibly our best support unit. As mentioned it can shoot many different targets, move around quickly, carry many types of weapons, resist damage, and lend much needed heavy hitting melee support. Jack of all trades units are typically underwhelming, Furiosos, on the other hand, are genuinely dangerous all throughout the game and combine shooting and melee potential without sacrificing either. And 10pts cheaper now since Chapter Approved 2019!
- Redemptor Dreadnought: The vanilla dread's Jock roommate. With nearly twice the wounds of a vanilla dreadnought (and degrading stats to accompany the increased durability), the redemptor dreadnought is a solid heavy weapons platform, capable of holding the anti-horde Onslaught Gatling Cannon or the armor-melting Macro Plasma Incinerator, and the anti-air Icarus Rocket Pod as well as a pair of storm bolters or fragstorm grenade launchers. However, it is a heavy points investment, and much of its anti-armor potential might be better handled by specialized units like Devastators, Hellblastors, or Predator variants. Instead, anti-horde fire support appears to be its most effective niche, potentially able to put out a withering volley of mid-strength shooting that will take a significant chunk out of GEQ or weaker units and then follow up with a smack from its CCW, which is d6 damage compared to the normal Dreadnought CCW's d3. But even if it takes the Macro plasma Incinerator, the CCW can still swap its heavy flamer for an Onslaught Gatling Cannon to retain effectiveness against hordes.
- Equip it with a Plasma incinerator, use the Wisdom of the Ancients strategem and a big unit of Hellblasters and you can re-roll all those overcharges that might blow you to high heaven.
- Invictor Tactical Warsuit: Dreadnought Lite—all the bulk, half the
caloriespoints. T6 and W13 helps keep it on the board, and it doesn’t degrade until it’s down to 6 wounds. For firepower, it can take either an Incendium Cannon that’s basically a souped up Heavy Flamer (12” Heavy 2d6 auto-hit S5 AP-1 D1), or a Twin Ironhail Autocannon (48” Heavy 6 S7 AP-1 D2) for shooting up heavy infantry. Backup weapons are a standard Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, a pair of Heavy Stubbers, and a Heavy Bolter that switches to Pistol 3 when enemies are within 1”. The only real way to take on vehicles (or, say, the occasional Bloodthirster) is with its Power Fist, which does 4 attacks at S14, AP-3, and D3. Finally, to get in position, it has the same Concealed Positions ability as Infiltrators and Incursors.
- Best use of this is probably to give it the flamer option and use Concealed Positions to start it within 12” of some enemy infantry. Further, this unit packs 5 S14 Ap-3 D3 hits on the charge or when charged, and careful positioning will hamper monsters and vehicles running towards your infantry, which is just another reason to get it as close to the enemy as possible.
- You could also give it the Autocannons and either leave it in your backfield for long range fire support, or use Concealed Positions to put it where it can pop shots off at targets who tried to hide and block line of sight. However, the rest of its weapons are oriented towards close range infantry mulching, leading to the same issues as with the laser version of the Repulsor Executioner.
- The Red Thirst is probably a little excessive on a S14 attack, but feel free to punch out most things smaller than a Lord of War. Thankfully, though, this Power Fist lacks the usual -1 to hit penalty, so you at least won't be wishing that you were a furry instead.
- Imperial Space Marine (Legends): Now a character rather than just something you can substitute any Space Marine model for, which is thankful because he's gotten much nastier since last edition. Compared to an average Tactical, he's gained 3 extra wounds, 2 more attacks, and one extra Ld point. But it's his disintegrator combi-gun and disintegrator pistol you should watch out for. They're only 18" Rapid Fire 1 and 9" Pistol 1 (respectively), but with S5, AP-3, and d6 damage (basically a higher damage combi-grav and grav pistol) they have the potential to fuck up a lot of units if it manages to wound them. Fun idea: surprise an enemy who thinks being only armed with a CCW will leave you weak in an assault with that pistol of yours.
- Sanguinary Guard: The latest iteration of Sanguinary Guard are 28 points in their cheapest form, which amounts to 112 points stock. They posses 2W, 2A, a 2+ save, and jump packs along with free Angelus Boltguns and access to power fists and force weapon equivalents. They are now genuinely cheaper and more cost effect than Terminators and only lack a 5++ and access to heavy weapons, Thunder Hammers, or Storm Shields. This places them into a niche role as a mid-weight, fast paced anti TEQs hunting squad ideally working in unison with your warlord. Vets and DC should form the bulk of your assaulting forces, Terminators and Aggressors serve as your heavy hitters, Sang Guard are your elite scalpels meant to take on other elite/scalpel type units in ruthless deep strike assaults.
- Sanguinary Guard cost 3 more than Jump Vanguard Vets before any other options; you lose the Sergeant, so they're relative cowards and lose an attack per unit, but you gain both +1W and +1Sv (i.e. 2+), which is incredible for the cost. Stock, they come with a free Angelus Boltgun, (12" Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D1), so there's a case to be made for swapping out to a pistol (plasma pistols aren't nearly as stupid on them as they look, provided you can trigger Heirs of Azkaellon - more on this in a moment), and their stock weapon is an 8 point Encarmine Sword, which they can swap out for an Encarmine axe or Power fist for 9 points. Finally, you can take Death Masks - although unfortunately(?) you have to take it on all or none, which shouldn't be too much of an issue because of the morale shenanigans you can pull off for all of them being in 3 inch range- all for just 2 points per model. Morale Shenanigans abound.
- Heirs of Azkaellon is the real the game-changer for these guys - i.e. they don't need a Chaplain or Captain (or Chapter Master) to help them with rolling to hit if they're near your Warlord, so you can build a Sanguinary Guard list around assuming you haven't got one, because they get re-rolls of all failed to-hits while near your Warlord. Combined with a Jump Lieutenant and a Jump Sanguinary Priest, for example, either of whom can be the Warlord proper, they'll practically speaking have full re-rolls to hit and wound in melee with power fists, and have full re-rolls to hit with re-rolling 1s to wound with their Inferno Pistols.
- Fists and Plasma Pistols is still 34 points a model, and frankly with Heirs of Azkaellon is one of the best TEQ busting units you can ask for, just remember the unit's effectiveness will drastically suffer if you ever leave the buffs of your warlord.
- The boltguns might serve you if you try to fly them across the board instead of deep-striking, since the extra wound and save make them more durable than most choices. With a jump-pack Librarian to unleash their rage you might have a stronger unit than you think.
- New rules have offered the Guard new stratagems. Taking masks can provide a -1 to hit against them in the Fight phase along with the -1 LD modifier, Angelus boltguns can now gain re rolls to wound and ignore cover, and a roll of 1 for damage can become 2. All are each 1 CP and make them far tougher and killier.
- Sanguinary Novitiate (Apothecary with optional Jump Pack): Now a Character running on his own. Doesn't give out Feel No Pain, but if he's within 3" of a same chapter Infantry/Biker unit at the end of the Movement phase, he can heal D3 wounds on one model in it. If no-one's wounded, he gets a 4+ chance to bring 1 dead model back to life with a single wound, but if he fails, he can't do anything else that turn. Can't swap out his weapons, so he's stuck with a bolt pistol and chainsword. Combines great with high end infantry, shooty or assaulty. Combine with a Company Ancient to make a trade in death, although you might prefer the proper priest, both for the +1S and to help pay an HQ tax. You should definitely shell out the 5 points for the Jump Pack if you take a Novitiate, though - his healing happens at the end of Movement, regardless of whether he moved and/or advanced, so he's far, far better with doubled movement so you can get him where he needs to be to heal.
- Servitors: Now that they can be taken independently of a Techmarine, you could use them as a cheap way of adding more plasma cannons to your force, but with WS/BS 5+, Ld6, and only a 4+ armor save, they'll have trouble actually hitting things, die easily, and are likely to be lost to morale checks. Having a Techmarine nearby mitigates this a little by boosting them to Ld 9 and WS/BS 4+, but even then there are much better things you could be doing with your Elites slot. That said, a squad with servo arms is only 20 points, meaning 3 squads to fill out a brigade or a single to provide a close combat posse for a techmarine.
- Sternguard Veteran Squad: Sadly, the special ammunition is gone- but on the bright side the Sternguard's bolters are 30" and come with built in AP-2 so they can threaten heavier armor without having to splurge on combi-weapons or special/heavy weapons, and the AP is now ALWAYS relevant since standard bolters don't ignore 6+ anymore. Speaking of which, since combi-weapons aren't one use only anymore there's no good reason to buy the special weapons- stick with the heavy weapons or the heavy flamer if you don't want to buy the combi-weapons, and remember that if you do you lose the -2 AP. The combi-weapons are always standard bolters. Apart from that, they're still just as flexible as ever.
- These guys are a MAJOR hidden gem... if used properly. One 5 man squad can take two heavy flamers, combi flamer on the sarge, and a power axe/sword. Now thats 126 points for 5 guys without jump packs and only 1 wound each, but this unit can deal a ton of damage. Place them in a transport, preferably a stormraven, and get them close to your enemies flanks. Let rip with all your guns, then charge. This author (got a little lucky admittedly) used tactic this to remove 9 immortals, then the last robot fled and prevented reanimation protocols. Great Success! and the Red Thirst is the sweet sauce on top. You have to be careful with a unit like this but if you can focus all your shooting on one enemy, than charge them first on the same turn... results will impress both players.
- Terminator Squad: Terminators still have to worry about high-AP weaponry, but since very few weapons have anything better than AP-4 they'll almost always be able to use the resulting 6+ armor save (though you could just use the 5++ instead); it's not much, but it helps. 5" movement means they're most effective when deep striking, but footslogging can still work if your opponent's lacking in anti-armor weaponry. Although Storm Bolters are still kind of iffy, the Assault Cannon is the clear winner for your heavy option, since even when moving you'll average the same number of hits as a Heavy Flamer at 3x the range and higher Strength, since you can't advance and fire the flamer anyway. Cyclone seems good but is overcosted as it's twice the price of a standard ML for less than twice the stats so only take it if you're really hurting for long range punch.
- Terminator Assault Squad: Still the gold standard of heavy assault troops (though we do have Death Company as competition, they've become less survivable), especially with the extra wound they've gained. The hammernator setup is still great for smashing in vehicles and heavy infantry alike while taking little damage yourself, but the -1 to hit can be a problem at times. Take a Chaplain along to mitigate the lower hit rate. Lightning claws are more reliable and more effective against horde armies, so it may be a better idea than before to stick with them. But if you are taking lightning claws you may as well be taking Sanguinary Guard. Nah but for real though the changes in 8th means that if your enemy doesn't have mortal wounds, TH/SS Terminators will survive just about anything, and will delete what ever they come up against in the assault. I've had these motherfuckers take 1500 points of combined Eldar shooting for a turn and lost 1 model. Put a chaplain near them for re-rolling failed hits and a librarian for additional attacks and nothing is safe.
- Cataphractii Terminator Squad: Mentioned in the Warhammer Community as arriving for Blood Angels. They probably will play like standard Cataphractii Terminators but with Red Rage. Not quite as useful here, however, due to the existence of Shield of Sanguinius (Which only gives a 5++ now). Even better for their Deep Strike charges thanks to the Red Thirst making their Twin Lightning Claws wounding average models on 3+ re-rolling failed.
- Really slow. Needs Deep Strike or transport in order to reach range (or opponent that comes to you).
- Getting amazing new Forgeworld models so if you're looking for a unit of these guys wait for these guys wait for them to drop.
- Tartaros Terminator Squad: Mentioned in the Warhammer Community as arriving for Blood Angels. With Shield of Sanguinius, treat them as fast Cataphractii with better options. Including a reaper autocannon.The Sergeant gets a plasma blaster. He can deep-strike and still fire it at full BS. #deepstrikeresponsibly. Look at the strike of the archangels and back to me. Look at this squads weapon choices and back to me. Twin-linked reaper cannon and plasma blaster. Now look back to me. I am on a horse. Given that they can't move after deep striking, deep striking this unit means losing one of the main advantages that this armor grants. Tartaros Terminators are the best Terminator option for footslogging to the opponent. Not always a great plan, but that is where they excel. A hidden plus with these guys are point to point equivalent to your regular terminators so you can get some cool looking models that do the same job, for the same cost with 6" speed instead of 5" which can make a difference
- Vanguard Veteran Squad: Praise to the Emperor! Vanguard Veterans are finally good. They now occupy a new role. Instead of being disappointing elite assault troops they are now more like straight upgrades over normal assault marines, gaining an additional attack and access to cool wargear.
- One of the best loadouts for these models using the Blood Angels +1 to wound is a 10-man squad. 5 SS, Power Axe and 5 Twin Lightning Claw. Stick these with a chaplain with no overwatch relic. Charge the chaplain first then the squad. Your opponent cannot overwatch you. Swing with the Vanguards and watch as the 16 (sergeant) lightning claws rerolling hits, wounds and with +1 to wound. The power axe marines also add some melee ability but mainly are there so that even when your opponent can fire powerful weapons at this unit you still have a 3+ save. Always allocate wounds to power axe, storm shield models. If you want add an apothecary to try and keep up. When the Storm Shields are spent fly them back to him and heal some up. It may not last very long but it will punch a hole through just about any gunline you can think of allowing other troops to reach the enemy while they shoot at the vanguards.
- Primaris Reivers: These guys look great and are fairly versatile on the board, but are primarily assault troops, which fits right in with the whole Blood Angels theme. Sporting 2 wounds each and 2 attacks base (3 if equipped with the Crocodile Dundee knife) and the Sgt's 3 attacks base and 1 more for the knife (acts like a chainsword), you can deal a lot of attacks. Deployment is also varied and allows for grav chutes or grapnel launchers. Grav chutes allow typical jump pack deep striking with the cursory >9" minimum distance from enemy models. Grapnel launchers allow up to 6" deployment from any board edge but must be >9" from the enemy. They also negate vertical movement, which means (in theory) you could move into the bottom floor of a building and then shift your entire squad to the top floor without any penalty. Heavy bolt pistols are better than the standard bolt pistol due to -1 AP. A typical 10 man squad, with knives will chuck out 31 attacks. Lastly, Reivers cause -1 Ld for all enemy within 3", and can throw stun grenades. If you successfully hit, the enemy can no longer overwatch and suffer -1 to hit in combat. Reivers deserve major consideration, especially when compared to assault marines and vanguard vets. They are 18 points compared to Vang Vets 16, but have 1 more wound and same attacks with da choppy knives. Grav chutes are 2 points for each model, as with jump packs, and give deep strike but do not grant a 12" movement. They don't get power weapons or assault weapons, but do have upgraded bolt pistols, modify morale, and stun grenades. With a 10 man squad with grav chutes being exactly 200 points and with each model being two wounds you get a lot of bang and staying power for your buck. Tougher melee units that still have a lot of offensive potential are crucial to the blood angels maintaining momentum and surviving return fire. A ten man squad with shield of sanguinius can easily take out a squad of MEQ or GEQ on the charge and survive to do it again. Not to mention being able to survive failing a charge on the turn you come which can be just as valuable. Unfortunately they're only slightly better than Intercessors in melee (or not at all without knifes) while Intercessors also fill your valuable Troop slots, have ObSec and are still useful on their way into melee (if you really want to have them there). The lack of deep strike is not as bad as one might think considering deep strike for non-Jump Pack units (so we can't use our Stratagem) who want to get into melee is not that great anyway (9" charges are very unlikely even with re-rolls).
- Aggressor Squad: Gonna say this now these dudes are a saving grace for BA, read on. The goofy-looking lovechild of a Terminator and a Centurion. They come stock with auto boltstorm gauntlets (so assault instead of pistol) and a frag grenade launcher or you can trade all that in for Firebat pattern flamestorm gauntlets, which is a pair of flamers. Either you're going for 18 inches of 6+D6 (average: 9.5 shots, 6.33 of which hit) S4 or 8 inches of 2D6 (average: 7) auto hitting S4, and either way it allows them to put out a lot of short-range firepower, with power fists in melee. They've got Gravis armor, which makes them T5, move 5", and take up two slots in a Repulsor. Then there is the special rules: Fire Storm, which lets you shoot twice if you don't move (including in Overwatch, which is just plain scary when combined with the flamestorm gauntlets), and Relentless Advance, which lets you advance and fire assault weapons without penalty (this has no effect on the flamers, as they autohit anyway). This makes them surprisingly fast since all their guns are assault. Run and gun for the Emperor! Aggressors are also strong at the front of your army for discouraging/punishing Deep Strikers. If you go 2nd, and someone deep strikes nearby, the Aggressors will count as having not moved. Pop the Auspex Scan so you can shoot the deep strikers, and shoot them twice due to Fire Storm special rule.
- These guys make a GREAT anchor for your army. Take as many as you can (18 in 3 six-man squads) plant them in front with Brother Corbulo and a Terminator Ancient wielding the Banner of Sacrifice, and let them clear the damn board of chaff and bullshit hordes. This setup is tough as nails and disturbingly cheap for its damage output. Later, let loose with lascannons mounted on basic buffed dreadnoughts and then drop in 15 DC and 10 Sang Guard (DC with power swords, SG with fists) to punish anything with more than 2 wounds or a decent armor save. Its an army template this author is using with exceedingly satisfying results. Aggressors are legit, and they play very well to the needs of a Blood Angels force. Plus we can buff them through the damn roof in terms of durability enabling us to extract incredible amounts of both firepower and melee output. Too good to pass up, now that they have 3 wounds!!!!
- Relic Contemptor Dreadnought: For just a modest points increase over a standard Dreadnought, the Contemptor packs 3 extra inches of movement, 2 extra wounds, +1 strength, the same WS/BS as the Venerable Dreadnought and a 2+/5++. His Contemptor CCW is also guaranteed 3 wounds instead of D3, which makes him considerably more capable of ruining the afternoon of a whole host of multi-wound models. Generally speaking, the Contemptor is a goddamn steal for what he costs now. The extra-fast movement speed means he can get into any position he needs to be in very short order, and reach melee combat with almost complete certainty. Generally speaking, here's a look at the new weapon options:
- Kheres Assault Cannon: Exactly as it was before, your go-to anti-infantry loadout.
- Fist Weapon Options: We get access to Meltaguns, Plasma Blasters, and Grav Guns now. Generally speaking, the Meltagun is probably the best option out of all of them, since it allows your Contemptor to do some outright crippling damage to enemy monsters or tanks just before charging. In one game, this editor has a Contemptor with a meltagun-chainfist-Kheres take 7 wounds off a Swarmlord in shooting, and then finish him off in two rounds of melee after it was critically weakened.
- Chainfists: Contemptor Chainfists gain +1 Rend, and +1 damage over a normal DCCW. Overall a solid upgrade that lets them do terrible damage to both vehicles and monsters. It's a must-take for all purposes.
- C-Beam Cannon: The new Heavy Conversion Beamer is a single-shot weapon that starts at S6 AP-3 that does D3 damage. It also gains +2 points of strength and +D3 damage after each 24" bracket of distance, totaling S10 AP-3 3D3 Damage at anything over 48" range. If a model is removed from play as a result of wounds caused it will then automatically trigger 2D6 extra auto-hits on the target unit at S6 AP-0 D1. Generally speaking, this weapon suffers the exact same problem as the Vindicare Assassin, with a crippling downside that the Contemptor MUST remain stationary for the entire turn in order to use it. It cannot be stressed enough that this thing really NEEDS the range, though firing it at infantry squads has a good chance of killing a random mook and triggering an average of seven further S6 hits, which is still better than a twin heavy bolter. At full range, the initial hit will likely knock the crap out of any target, wounding it on a 2+ or 3+ depending on its toughness and generally reducing its save to 5+ or worse but those additional hits will likely be wasted.
- Twin Heavy Bolters: Don't bother. The Kheres does everything it can, but better.
- Twin Autocannon: Identical to the one on the normal Dread. Not bad, but you didn't take one of these to field something other Dreads could take.
- Twin Lascannon: Pop vehicles open without having to get into melta range. Probably better on the Contemptor Mortis, though.
- Heavy Plasma Cannon: Might be a little better against multi-wound units, and unlike the Contemptor Mortis you can always try to negate the mortal wound you get if you roll a 1.
- Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: The end-all solution to your dakka-Dread needs, for when even the Contemptor Mortis won't cut it. Its armor save is slightly worse than the Contemptor's at only a 3+, but to compensate it has 2 more wounds and its invulnerable save rises to 4++ in the Fight phase on top of the built-in smoke launchers. For guns, you have the Anvilus Autocannons (8 36" autocannon shots at S+1) for mulching infantry, the Hellfire Plasma Carronade (5 overcharged plasma gunshots which deal 3 damage each but cause mortal wounds on a 1) as the generalist option, and the Arachnus Lascannon Battery (2 S10 AP-4 D6 Damage shots that deal an extra mortal wound on 6s) for taking out vehicles, and also chest-mounted heavy bolters/heavy flamers. Don't bother upgrading to heavy flamers. While auto-hits are good, the Deredeo should be as far away as possible to make the most of its firepower. It can supplement all of that with either an Aiolos Missile Launcher for extra fire support or an Automatic Pavaise to give everyone within 6" of itself a 5++ invulnerable save. The latter works great with Devastators or other long-ranged units that can help support the Deredeo's firepower.
- Deimos Pattern Relic Predator: Take a Predator, give it an extra wound, and slap a Plasma Destroyer as its turret weapon, and you have one of these tanks. The Plasma Destroyer itself can't be overcharged, but with the same number of shots as the basic Predator Autocannon and 2 damage, it doesn't really need to be. While it can swap out the Plasma Destroyer for the standard Predator guns, that's a waste of its options. Instead, you should use its unique options: the Conversion Beam cannon to make it a hard-hitting artillery unit, the Magna-Melta for close-range anti-vehicle firepower, and the Infernus cannon for a double dose of heavy flamer goodness.
- Relic Sicarian Battle Tank: The Sicaran's cannon looks weaker than the Pred's with 1 less point of damage, but it's the special rules that make it shine. First off, it has no penalties when attacking flyers, which makes it a useful anti-air unit in a pinch while keeping its well-known ability to counter skimmers. Second, a to-wound roll of 6 makes the cannon AP-3 for that hit. And since it's an Assault 8 gun, you have way more shots while getting rid of that penalty to fire on the move (and also there's the ability to fire while advancing too). Finally, it's got 2 more wounds so it can stay in the fight that much longer.
- Relic Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer: The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; even if a tank survives the Neutron Pulse Cannon's S12 AP-4 D6 damage hits (all 3 of them), it'll have all its shooting rolls reduced by 1 for the turn, which can make life very difficult for vehicles like Executioners or Tau vehicles with Ion Cannons. Additionally, it doesn't get penalties for moving and firing its heavy weapons.
- Relic Sicaran Punisher Assault Tank: A new flavor of Sicaran, its draw is the Punisher Rotary Cannon- 18 Heavy Bolter shots guaranteed to make any hordes within 36" hate life. And if you don't move or advance that turn, it re-rolls all to-hit rolls of 1. Enjoy deleting Orks and Tyranids.
- Relic Javelin Attack Speeder: The poor Deodorant Tanks got a huge nerf in 8th edition. For the most part, these fulfill the same role as before, that of a Heavy Land Speeder. But they lost the twin-linked rule on their Missile Launchers(WTF), as well as losing the ability to take racks of hunter-killer missiles. They even lost their trademark Outflank ability. Overall this took what was already a mediocre relic slot item at best, into a shitty tool that's worse off than a generic land speeder.
- Relic Whirlwind Scorpius: Relic Whirlwind Scorpius: The Scorpius is set apart from the basic Whirlwind by its Scorpius Launcher (and its occupation of an Elites slot, not a Heavy one) - while it has only half the range of either of the Whirlwind's rocket types, 3d3 S6 AP-2 D2 shots is still plenty to threaten hordes and light vehicles alike. And as an added bonus, it can fire twice in a shooting phase if the Scorpius hasn't moved in the movement phase.
- Relic Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank: Another Sicaran variant, this one is armed with a rotary missile launcher. Though 24" is a bit short-ranged for a vehicle weapon, it's still Heavy 2d6 with S5 AP-2 D1. And not only does it negate cover saves, but it also deals an extra mortal wound to INFANTRY units on a 6+ to wound. If you're forced to fight an extra-large horde, it can switch its weapon profile to Heavy 4d6 at the expense of not being able to fire its missiles until after the end of the next turn. As a result, taking the heavy bolters/lascannons and the storm bolter is a good idea to ensure it doesn't render itself defenseless after a missile massacre.
- Rhino: 10 Wounds and a 3+ make the old METAL BOXES harder to crack open than ever before, and it comes with a mean new trick- at the start of the turn, you roll a d6, and on a 6+ the Rhino restores a lost wound. It might not seem like much, but it can make the difference between moving 12" and 6" if it moves you back a step on the damage table.
- Razorback: Transports that produce offensive output, like a Razorback, are VERY strong this edition. 8 lascannons fired by devastators will not destroy a Razorback in one turn on average. That is a lot of Dakka to absorb. If you run them with Heavy Flamers, then no matter how injured your Razorback is, it will still always autohit, until said Razorback is dead.
- Drop Pod: Grants a Power Armor unit deepstrike. Tactical Marines can use it to capture objectives, and hamper enemy movement. Melta units can get in close for a hard strike. Assault units can charge out of it if you can make 9 on 2D6. No longer scatters and arrives at the turn you chose. He's now cheaper than a rhino as of Chapter Approved
- You may think these guys aren't good, here where you're wrong. These models are cheaper and now being the only unit in the entire game that can do this, but drop pods can now deep strike turn 1 and don't count towards your maximum tactical reserves
- Get a bunch of assault marines without jump packs, shove a librarian into one pod with them, drop turn one and Wings of Sanguinius your way into your enemies lines and smash whatever important guns he has hiding.
- Land Speeder Storm: The scout-only pimp-mobile is not a straw box. But on the other hand it is a lot shootier than the Rhino. Also open-topped so you can have the scouts add their fire. Better than a Rhino for scouts since it doesn't degrade and won't auto-die when a lascannon looks at it. Should you want to deploy it, give the scouts inside a heavy bolter so you can shoot two.
- Repulsor: Holds 10 Primaris Marines (models with Gravis armor count as 2) and carries a fair number of anti-tank or anti-horde weapons to protect its passengers. While it can be built to be a veritable battle tank in its own right, it is a heavy point sink and requires support to get the most out of its statline. As most of its anti-tank damage comes from having the potential to equip the equivalent of four lascannons, it might be best to aim for a mixed build to capitalize on its potential to melt hordes and severely damage vehicles. However, its costs can rack up quickly, so unless you plan to field a lot of Primaris Marines you're probably better off taking a Land Raider variant. It also has the FLY keyword with all of it's dis-/advantages. Take it with a squad of 8 Reivers, a Primaris Chaplain and Apothecary for a rather mean, if expensive assault/harassing Unit. Just hope it survives the onslaught of AT weapons long enough to get them in position.
- If you're just looking for lots of lascannons or horde-clearing weaponry, there are probably cheaper - if somewhat slower - means of getting them on the table, like a Devastator Squad or Redemptor Dreadnought. Anti-armor setups in particular have the issue that the las-talon has only half the range of the twin lascannons, which means it'll only be able to unleash half its anti-armor firepower at its farthest range. At that matter, most of it's other weapons struggle with an equally short range compared to most vehicle-mounted weapons, so it will likely need support when dealing with long-ranged attackers. Defensively, it's nearly identical to a Land Raider; although its armor is only a 3+, it has the same number of wounds as a LR and does a good job at discouraging charges with its Repulsor Field rule (-2 from any charge rolls). The optional Auto Launchers supplement this with an extra -1 to hit on opponent shooting rolls if the Repulsor doesn't shoot.
- Impulsor: The dedicated primaris transport we've all been waiting for. As it stands, minimum 79 points (which is including its 2 storm bolters) with a 14" flying movement (so, ignore terrain and Fall Back at will), holds up to 6 models (but can't transport Gravis Armor models), and as long as it didn't advance that turn it can disembark models after moving. However, said models can't charge that turn, so it still won't help you pull off a first turn charge. The unit can still shoot, though, so loading this up with Hellblasters and a Captain is a good way to get right up in your enemies face and start deleting something expensive.
- This model can also be equipped with a few special gear options: a pair of anti-air heavy stubbers that are pretty underwhelming, a frag/krak/flakk missile launcher if you're desperate for some more firepower, a 4++ invulnerable that will keep your boys safe if your opponent gets to go first, and a one-use orbital bombardment that can't be spammed but should let you get in a mortal wound or two.
- Infernum Pattern Razorback: Razorback with multi melta. That's all.
- Lucius Pattern Drop Pod: Costs 80 points, but worth it, especially when normal drop pods lost the ability to transport Dreads and you can charge out of it.
- Remember, that Lemartes gives re-rollable charge also to DC dreads, so you can create one of the strongest alpha-strikes with waves of Death Company backed up with dreads, re-rolling charges, and deep striking without scattering.
- Termite Assault Drill: It's neither a drop pod or a rhino, but something of both. Like a drop pod, the Termite can be deployed at the end of a movement phase close to the enemy. Once deployed, however, the termite acts like a very slow Rhino. At 8 inches, this thing isn't going anywhere fast. Not to mention the melta cutter is so short-range its only real use is to fight back if it happens to be caught in the melee. So why bother? Well, the termite has some neat little things going for it. First is the transport capacity. At 12 standard marines(Not terminator, jump pack, or primaris) this little drill is quite the metal box. Add in that deployment and who cares if this thing only moves 8 inches a turn. Then there is the subject of weapons. Storm Bolters are the way to go most of the time due to the range and fire output. Heavy flamers are meh, though the increase in the movement has helped make the weapon somewhat more viable. Volkite chargers are iffy. They have more range and damage than the flamer but have a negative 1 to hit on the move. Honestly, the Storm Bolters are your best bet. The termite also has a decent melee game, though this is more for protection than anything. That being said, the drill makes for a nasty anti tank melee weapon. Now for the bad news. This thing is expensive points-wise, way more so than the drop pod.
- Much, much better at blocking LOS for a squad than a Drop Pod. Consider using one to attack an exposed enemy, with the disembarking squad attacking and the Termite covering for them. With luck, you'll eliminate the target and leave your guys blocked off from retaliation.
- Stormhawk Interceptor: The Anti-Flying Flyer. Gets a +1 to hit any target with the Fly keyword, to mitigate the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons. Comes stock with 2 Assault Cannons, 2 Heavy Bolters, and an Icarus Stormcannon. The bolters can be swapped with Skyhammers for more anti-flying or a Typhoon against ground targets, while the Icarus can be swapped for an anti-vehicle laser. Cannot hover unfortunately, but does get to re-roll any 1's for saves and has the normal Hard to Hit.
- A good choice if you are going up against Tau or Dark Eldar, due to the prevalence of Fly. Especially the icarus/skyhammer combo as it lets you hit anything with Fly on a 2+; with the drawback of hitting everything else only on a 5+.
- Stormtalon Gunship: This brand new addition to the blood angels arsenal is certainly intriguing. For 171 you get twin heavy bolters and a twin assault cannon on a T6 10W body with a 3+ save along with the standard rules and bonuses fliers get. Mobility is paramount to Blood Angels strategy as is fire power to support your units and this thing has both. When compared to a Predator armed with four lascannons to a Stormtalon armed with two lascannons and a twin assault cannon, the Stormtalon is 14 points more expensive, loses a point of toughness (tho toughness 7 isn't the biggest deal) and has one less wound. However the Stormtalon has a -1 to hit when not hovering (far more important than a point of toughness) and carries a more diverse loadout that can be split fired as you wish. The choice is yours but a Stormraven and two Stormtalons while close to 800 points will give you all the mobile firepower you could ask for while being very mobile and able to engage both infantry and all kinds of multi-wound models. While also fitting very snugly in an Air-Wing detachment providing +1 command Points.
- Don't forget to consider the fact that unlike the Predator, the Stormtalon does have a rule that technically counteracts the usual shooting penalties to Heavy through Strafing Run. Stopped in place, perhaps through Hover Jet, this means the Stormtalon has a 2+ to hit with its weapons.
- Stormraven Gunship: One of the many Space Marine units that have seen a big buff due to the changes to Twin-Linked, the Stormraven is now a gunship to be feared due having several sets of high power twinlinked weapons. Close to a flying Land Raider. T7 means S4 weapons can wound it on a 5+ compared to the Raider's T8, 2 fewer wounds, and a 3+ save instead of a 2+, but it's much faster and has -1 to be hit when zipping around. It's also a bit cheaper than a Land Raider, depending on what you arm it with. In addition to the -1 to hit it, it has the new normal flyer rules: can't charge, can only be charged/attacked by FLY units and has to move at least 20" in a straight line with 1 up to 90 degree turn before moving. It can shift into hover mode if it wants to move less then 20", turn more, or ram something (to Fly away and shoot normally the next turn), but then it can be charged and attacked normally, and it loses the -1 Hard to Hit modifier. Comes stock with a twin assault cannon, twin heavy bolter, and two stormstrike launchers (72" heavy 1 S8 AP-3 3 damage). Can swap the assault cannon for a twin lascannon or twin heavy plasma (that only causes 1 mortal wound for a 1 to hit when supercharged instead of straight killing it). Can swap the heavy bolter for a twin multi-melta or typhoon missile launcher. It can also strap on a couple of hurricane bolter (Games Workshop fucked up, Hurricane Bolters are only 4 points. You can literally add 12 boltguns to your Stormraven for 8 points). It has the same Power of the Machine Spirit as a Land Raider, so it can shoot heavy weapons on the move at no penalty. Can carry 12 Infantry (and can carry Jump Infantry and Terminators but they take extra space) and 1 Dreadnought. With a 45" max normal move (up to 65" if you advance), you can get right in the face of something, then have an almost guaranteed charge the next turn. There's no restrictions on disembarking from it, so you don't even have to drop to hover if you don't want to. It starts on the board, and can't fly off of it. All in all, the Stormraven has gone from a sizeable points investment for a decent payoff, to a sizeable points investment for some of the most dakka you will see on a single model.
- Xiphon Interceptor: A high-speed interceptor, the Xiphon is a heavily armed flyer that channels a strong Battlestar Galactica vibe. It sports a respectable BS3+, T7, 11 wounds and a 3+ save. It's armed with 2 Twin Lascannons as well as a Xiphon Missile Battery - Heavy 3 S6 AP-2 D3. It also adds 1 to all hit rolls when targeting units with the "FLY" keyword thus negating the effects of "Hard to Hit" and since a lot of units with "FLY" don't have the "Hard to Hit" bonus it will hit them on a 2+. With a huge 50" move and 4 lascannon and 3 missile shots, it'll put some major hurt on flyers and ground targets alike.
- Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: The big brother of the Storm Raven that vanilla marines know and love, this elongated flying brick of a hover jet boasts a transport capacity of 20 and some increased firepower along with some additional wounds. It can transport jump infantry and terminators, but not bikes or primaris marines. Altogether, better than the Stormraven for a small price increase. Only take a stormraven if you want to transport a dreadnought (a feasible desire indeed), or you just don't have the models for this wild ride (also a legitimate reason for the raven).
- Fire Raptor Assault Gunship: For starters, its Twin Avenger Bolter fires 10 shots at S6 AP-2 and 2 damage. It has two quad heavy bolters throwing out 12 Heavy Bolter shots EACH and two twin Hellstrike launchers (no more limited use missiles) two S8 AP-3 Dam3 missiles each. Now that's a LOT of firepowers. It also has Power of the Machine Spirit just like Land Raiders do, so it never suffers ballistic skill penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons. This thing is a pure hurricane of dakka that will cause carnage no matter what you point it at. Do Not Understate This Models Firepower, its an A-10 Warthog on crack and steroids.
- Note: "The Big April FAQ" made this flyer so expensive that it will most likely heat your shelf for the next 2 years. Don't expect to see this anywhere near a table this edition.
- Ceastus Assault Ram: A flyer designed to ram starships/buildings and disgorge Space Marines into the breach, the Caestus Assault Ram is armed with a number of powerful weapons and abilities. The Caestus is quite survivable with T7, 14 wounds, and a 2+ save. With the removal of the vehicle facing in 8th, the Caestus lost its 5++ against shooting from the front and is no longer outright immune to small arms fire, but it's much more durable against heavy weapons. It's armed with a Caestus Ram - a melee weapon that hits at S User(8) AP-3, D6D, and increases to a +3 to hit (from its usual 5+) in melee against buildings when it charges. It's Airborne Ram ability restricts it to declaring charges against and being charged and attacked in melee by units with FLY, but only while it's in not in hover mode. It is also armed with 2 Firefury Missile Batteries, each Heavy 4 S6 AP-1 1D. It is further armed with a Twin Magna-Melta - Heavy 2D3 S10 AP-4 D6D (with the Melta rule), meaning this thing can lay the hurt on medium enemy infantry and enemy armor alike. With its 50" movement (70" if you advance) and PotMS, it can reach out and touch people on turn one. For 370 points (post- Chapter Approved, for the hull and the Melta; missile batteries are free) it's pricey, but given Hard to Hit, its toughness, its wounds, and a 2+ save, it WILL deliver its cargo. It's unique troop bays can carry 10 infantry models in terminator armor or power armor, as well as scouts, with terminators taking up a single space instead of the usual 2. The Caestus helps overcome the low movement of Cataphractii Terminators, in particular, potentially delivering them closer than the 9" away they're required to teleport in, and enabling them to redeploy.
- Assault Squad: The baseline alternative to the versatile Vanguards, your psychotic Death Company, and your elite Sanguinary Guard. This selection of jump infantry means you'll always have the right tool for the job, but you must know what you are coming up against. Assault marines will not best other dedicated assault units in combat. They don't have the weight of attacks the DC have, or the special equipment of the Vanguards or SG. Assault marines should be used as threat removal of enemy support elements. 2 attacks each doesn't sound like much, but up against the right targets you only need to inflict enough casualties to make them run in the morale phase. Just like the old days, these dudes can pack heat if you so desire. Double up on melta guns or plasma guns, with the matching pistol on the sergeant for roughly 100 points. Jump packs get you right into rapid fire range, but won't deep strike you close enough for melta bonuses or the inferno pistol, which sucks. Nevertheless, scrap the jet packs and ride in a razorback with a complimenting weapons loadout and you've got some serious close-range firepower. Choosing between a decent harassment unit that can wreck infantry without spending TOO many points or a powerful gun-jumping squad is a little tricky. Assault Marines slightly above half the cost of an Inceptor Squad at equivalent strength, but are a bit more expendable. They won't take down dead 'ard enemy units or outfight top tier assault specialists, but what they *can* do is to tie up and mop up squishy shooters, and do it on the cheap. As of Chapter approved assault marines with jump packs are now a point cheaper as well as all the cheaper gear makes them an affordable and quick gear carriers
- Scout Bike Squad: Scout bikes got very interesting this edition. They lost scout but gained a second wound and a lot of firepower. Every rider comes loaded for bear. Each one has a combat blade, a shotgun and a bolt pistol plus the usual grenades. Add that to the twin bolter on the bike and that's every non-heavy weapon available to ground pounder Scouts. This also makes for SIX S4 shots at 12" two of which become S5 at 6". This is good cause the grenade launcher got nerfed in the rate of fire, now Assault 1 instead of rapid fire. On the bright side, you can fire it plus the shotguns if you advance.
- Bike Squad: Bikes got buffed this edition. They move 14" and advance 6" without random rolling, can put out twice the damage of normal a boltgun, and gained an extra wound. The cost of this increased speed, doubled firepower and doubled wounds? At 21 points. Not bad but wait there's more. You can still swap out your bolt pistol for a chainsword. Double attacks on a biker! Goes a long way to mitigating the trouble they used to have in combat. Two bikers can instead trade those pistols for special weapons. Special mention for meltaguns as your speed can close to half distance easier than nearly any other unit. Don't forget you can target the special weapon and the twin-bolter at separate targets.
- Then there's the attack bike which likewise got buffed and more expensive. Its heavy weapons aren't as accurate as before so a MM may not be the best choice, especially with meltaguns available.
- A Biker Priest riding around with a squad or two of Bikes is a unique Blood Angels combo that works surprisingly well. Used as a flanking unit your opponent will be forced to devote heavy firepower towards them in order to remove any models, all the while you will be restoring each hard-earned kill. Attack bikes work even well in this manner by possessing 4 wounds apiece.
- Attack Bike Squad: The attack bike got buffed and more expensive. Its heavy weapons aren't as accurate as before so a MM may not be the best choice, especially with meltaguns available. Cheapest FA unit available.
- This is a promising yet often ignored unit. For 37 points you've got 4 wounds, T5, 14" movement with 6" advance, along with a heavy bolter and 4 S4 shots at 24". That's cheaper and tougher than Aggressors and Inceptors while being faster yet shooty. Provides some excellent fast close range dakka on a remarkably tough platform, just what BA needs.
- Inceptor Squad: The confused offspring of an Assault Squad and a Seraphim Squad. The mortal wound caused by their pseudo-HoW might look good on paper, but when you only have 3 models in the unit and no melee weapons whatsoever the last place you want to be is in combat. Instead, take a page from the Seraphim's book and use your improved maneuverability to fire off strafing runs, courtesy of your Assault Bolters- effectively Assault 3 Heavy Bolters. As Big game hunters Assault bolsters are the shit, these guys will crank out 18 S5 shots every turn. S5 fills a magical sweet spot in 8th, wounding toughness 6-9 on 5s and up. You can reliably use these guys to blast HQ units, Monstrous creatures, and some vehicles. With only -1 to armor, avoid 2+ saves though. This will require some skill and careful positioning, even though they are tough and fast they might get overwhelmed in CC with only 3 models. Used smartly, this tactic can whittle down the big nasty monsters out there and wound them to the point where they are critically wounded and are either slow or can't hit shit in CC and you can kill very dangerous enemies without taking much damage. If you have the spare points these guys in an outrider detachment are an excellent complement to the Blood Angels play style. Three squads of three will give you 54 S5 -1AP 1D shots on a highly mobile and reasonably tough platform. This kind of mobile close-range firepower is exactly what the Blood Angels need to pin down enemies while your melee units chew through squads.
- Plasma Exterminators are really expensive in terms of points and are only truly effective when fielded in a squad of 6. Yep, that's right. I said 6. So you're looking at 500+ points for the squad and £60 in Sterling. That being said, 6 guys throwing out (D3) a potential 36 plasma shots (optimistically) with an average of 12-24 shots per turn at -1 AP. That's a lot of hurt. Couple with their improved survivability over regular assault troops due to 2 wounds, 10" move and FLY, they're pretty effective. But each model lost is felt. Especially if you overcharge, you crazy bastard. Though it's slightly mitigated if you overcharge near a captain, like usual.
- Suppressor Squad: Three-man squad only, functionally a long-ranged version of an Inceptor since they come with AP-2 autocannons. Can FLY and Deep Strike but lack the Inceptor's T5 or mortal-wounds-when-charging. They can, however, chuck out smoke grenades, and if they make a kill in the shooting phase, that unit cannot fire overwatch in your charge phase. This unit is all but purpose-built to wreck Tau face, allowing you to shut down they are obnoxious For the Greater Good rule and flood their gunlines with Assault Marines, Terminators, and melee Dreads, as the Emperor fully fucking intended.
- Land Speeders: Zoom Zoom. fast and a whole lot tougher, but loses jink shenanigans. Though now base cost of 50 points without wargear it does its job for pretty cheap.
- Only T5 with 6W so taking hits is not meant for this guy, so use that speed to avoid harmful line of sight and fly to pop out suddenly to lay the hurt down. If you want maximum mobility and firepower out of this model, take three in one unit which increases their speed to 20" and equips two with heavy bolter assault cannon, and one multi-melta and typhoon missile launcher.
- Land Speeder Tempest: A tiny drop in movement (well, sort of; see below) from the vanilla type, but has better T and Ld (not that the latter usually matters). Each one is equipped with an Assault Cannon and two Tempest Salvo Launchers (36" Heavy 1d3 S6 AP-3 D2; at only 10 points each, drastically better as a pair than a Typhoon Missile Launcher against anything at all, but the Tempest itself is a good deal more expensive than vanilla). When Advancing, they must move between 20" and 35"; they also impose a -1 to hit against them in the next Shooting phase and prevents units without the FLY keyword from charging (or being charged by) them.
- Relative movement: These guys don't have Anti-grav Upwash, so a unit of 3 of them is 5" slower than a unit of 3 vanillas, rather than 1", when not Advancing. When Advancing, they are much faster, regardless of unit size, since they can go their choice of 20-35" (no need to roll), instead of 16-21 for a small unit or 21-26 for a large unit of vanillas. Unfortunately, there's no option to take Assault weapons on them of any stripe.
- Tarantula Sentry Gun: Whoooo boy, these suckers got a huge buff in 8th edition. They ended up gaining a whopping +1 BS, along with Toughness 5 and 4 wounds, which makes them fairly sturdy for a 20 point model before guns. In addition, they also now all count as separate units once deployed, so they can serve as some obnoxious MSU tools. Tarantulas can be equipped with the following loadouts:
- Twin Heavy Bolters: These are the default weapons. Good against infantry, but comes with the Caveat that it MUST target the nearest infantry model. 37 points each
- Twin Lascannons: The other default, good against tanks. Also comes with a restriction that it MUST target the nearest enemy tank. 70 points each
- Twin Assault Cannons: Arguably the best option. Tarantulas with Dual-assault cannons lose their targeting restrictions and gain a whopping 12 shots each. 64 points each
- Multi-melta: Same deal as the Lascannons, but mathematically worse. However it does unlock your targeting restrictions, so a multi-melta equipped tarantula can fire at anything you want. 47 points each
- Tarantula Air Defence Battery: As above, but stuck with S8 AP-2 D3 D anti-air missiles that get +1 to hit against flyers and -1 against everything else. MUST target the nearest enemy flyer, and otherwise the nearest enemy non-flyer, but you were probably already planning to do that when you took this unit.
- Deathstorm Drop Pod: A Drop Pod full of automated guns; it can choose either an 18" 2-shot gun with S8 AP-2 D3 D or a 12" 6-shot S6 AP-1 1 D gun. In either case, it must make 1 full shooting attack against anything in range (except for CHARACTERS, who still can only be shot at if they're the closest unit in range).
- Predator: The Predator Annihilator has seen a decent buff with the changes to twin linked but now the autocannons are the real hero. Normal autocannons are better than ever and the predator's autocannons now fire 2d3 shots, amping up the firepower a lot. Expect autocannon with lascannon sponsons all round. base costs are cheaper and now autocannon and twin lascannon are the point to point equivalent
- Baal Predator: You thought Twin-Linked Assault Cannons were good before, now get ready for 12 shots! The dakka loadout of AC and heavy bolters now spits out 18 shots a turn. The flame version is okay. Overcharged engines are now better advancing, but you want to be shooting, so eh. Make no mistake this tank is FAST and likely faster than what your opponent expects. If you use lucifer pattern engines, your total movement is at a minimum 18" and at most 24', but also count as advancing per the recent errata. Cheaper now too as of Chapter approved.
- Devastator Squad: Due to everyone getting Split-Fire, you can feel free to mix and match weapons however you like; that said, it's still a good idea to use weapons with similar ranges in case you need to focus your shots on a single opponent. Be sure to keep whoever has the best gun within 3" to the Sergeant, since his Signum will let that guy hit on a 2+. Finally, the Armorium Cherub has received a big buff- you can use it once per game to effectively give one model in the squad a second shooting phase. It's also an ablative wound for 5 points. Needless to say, you should always take the cherub. Unlike other Chapters, you can take Heavy Flamers on your Devastators (meaning the Sergeant will usually end up using his Signum on himself), turning them into close range specialists. Alternatively, give the sergeant a combi-flamer and pack the squad in rhino as a mobile flamer squad. Devastating against hordes such as Tyranids and Orks. Using the Signum on a Heavy Bolter Marine along with the armorium cherub and 1CP for hellfire shells will net you 2d3 mortal wounds hitting on a 2+. Per the new Faq, you can no longer do this. sad times.
- Hellblaster Squad: Some pretty wicked dakka right here. Their Plasma Incinerators are 30" S7 AP -4 1 D normally, with the same boost as other plasma weapons if supercharged- more than enough to wipe out any TEQs they encounter. Run with any character giving re-rolls to hit (e.g. any of the Captain variations) to make these things a monster/tank killer if they get into rapid-fire range. But with the same inability to use transports as other Primaris Marines, that'll be a difficult task in itself.
- Distinct from every other Chapter's Hellblasters in that they are not completely useless once they get locked in melee, thanks to the Red Thirst. Consider running a bubble of Hellblasters protected by the Standard of Sacrifice - you can fit close to 30x 32mm bases within a Primaris Ancient's 6" aura. Buff them with a Sanguinary Priest to make them even more stupidly durable (and wound MEQs that charge you on 2+...not a bad gunline for an assault-focused army).
- Eliminator Squad: The Primaris scalpel compared to the Primaris sledgehammer that is the Hellblasters. They have the same +2-for-being-in-cover camo-cloaks that Scouts get, and their bolt sniper rifles get three different ammo to use: Executioners will be your go-to (AP-2, Dd3, mortal wound in addition to normal damage on a wound roll of 6), Mortis because fuck your stealth units (AP-1, D1, ignores line of sight, ignores cover, gains +2 to hit-rolls), and Hyperfrag for overwatch (AP0, D1, but are heavy d3). All ammo types can target characters without them needing to be the closest units.
- Consider a squad of 3 costing you 72 points. That gives you three shots that have the potential to put down the majority of characters in the game, and on average dice will kill a Commissar or Lord-Commissar (and equivalents) every turn.
- While sniper scouts may outperform them en masse regarding overall mortal wound generation, these guys appear to have some nasty stratagems. Take a single unit, be patient, then blow a hole in someone's head come turn 3. Then hug an objective and clap your hands :)
- When comparing them and Scout Snipers, two things weigh in an Eliminator's favor offensively: Their Executioner round has AP-2 and does D3 damage. Added with their two wounds, easy ability to get a 2+ even against AP-1 firepower, and a variety of rounds that enable them to find use in almost any targeting situation, they are better in this role than Scouts.
- Also, a single unit has 6 T4 wounds on a 3+ with +2 on cover saves. This makes for a remarkably tough little nugget, and quite possibly some easy bait for long-range dakka. leave your opponent wondering if he should target your Land Raiders full of nasty bruisers, or your heavily dug in snipers which can kill his nasty bruisers. If they waste their heavy firepower on a 72 point unit while your terminators got all the closer, you should be in a good position.
- As of the new codex release their base weapon now sits at S5 which increases your wound potential significantly. You also have access to Las-fusils which is a 36" range Thunder hammer as each shot sits at S8 AP-3 3 damage.
- This sergeant just got craftier as well as he can now forgo his shooting to add +1 to hit and to wound for the squad as well as after firing overwatch allow the squad to move before being charged which honestly if you're getting charged you did something wrong.
- Land Raider: Now that the vanilla Land Raider isn't forced to fire all its guns at the same target, it's gone from schizophrenic to an effective all-rounder. For example, you could use its lascannons to pop a vehicle and then follow up with the heavy bolters to wipe out an infantry squad. This is assisted further by the new Power of the Machine Spirit, which lets it ignore the normal penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons. While its transport capacity is still rather small compared to the other Land Raider variants, it still has just enough room to drop a 5-man squad of Assault Terminators. And with T8, 16 wounds, and a 2+ armor save it'll be a tough nut to crack even with anti-armor weaponry.
- 277 points now with base gear after Chapter Approved 2019.
- Land Raider Crusader: As ever, the Hurricane Bolters will shred any infantry within 12" - you practically have two Tactical Squads' worth of bolter shots at that range, thanks to Rapid Fire. The Frag Assault Launchers also help in regards to transporting and supporting its cargo, since it causes D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ if it finishes a charge within 1" of an opponent. But whatever you do, take the multi-melta. Neither the assault cannons nor the hurricane bolters have enough AP to significantly reduce a MEQ's armor save, and anything with T7 or more (e.g. other vehicles) won't even get their paint scratched. It carries 16 models, so it's still your best choice for transporting Terminators and other larger units. Costs 264 points after Chapter Approved
- Land Raider Redeemer: Similar to the Crusader, but trades off the hurricane bolters' volume of shots for the flamestorm cannon's greater strength, higher AP, and improved damage per shot. While you'll have to get in close to make the most of it, the Frag Assault Launchers let you use this to your advantage as you burn down the heavier infantry. Though the flamestorm cannons can threaten lighter vehicles, you should still add the multi-melta to be on the safe side. Carries 12 models. Like all Land Raiders, the Redeemer has one massive Achilles heel - tarpits. Of course, anything that wants to charge this beast is going to get BBQ'd, but a canny player has many ways to avoid overwatch entirely (charging from out of LOS, consolidating into melee, etc). Costs 284 points after Chapter Approved.
- Repulsor Executioner: Jury's out on this on. 6 Capacity with some big guns. 284/293 Base depending on the gun, +12 points with the two options. Steep price, but it fires the main gun twice (when you move 0-under half current M Value). One is a Heavy 2 72" Monster at S10 AP -4 3-6 damage on a D6 cannon and the other is what you'd expect from plasma, but with D6 shots and starts at S8 AP -4 (pumping up to S9). This baby also gets a heavy onslaught Gatling cannon stock as well as a few other guns you sometimes forget to fire (seriously, there are a lot), including a Twin Heavy Bolter. It can also be upgraded with an Ironhail Heavy Stubber and Icarus Launcher if you feel inclined to do so. It has 18 S5 AP-1 shots and a metric ton of various S4 shots, some S7 as well, allowing it to reliably mulch opposing infantry. The Heavy Laser Destroyer can tear through enemy armour reliably and the Macro Plasma can remove medium and heavy infantry.
- Properly supported, this thing can annihilate swathes of the enemy army. A Captain (better yet, a Chapter Master) and Lieutenant will never be a bad idea. And if you bring two of them, they can quickly turn the tides of conflict. However, it is a major investment in points and dollars. You need to maximize your opportunities to get the most out of it. If you can, then an Executioner or two is the sort of heavy fire support the army craves. If you can't... Well, Marines are used to losing in 8th anyway-Don't be stupid, get the Lieutenant and bring a Techmarine!!!!
- Whenever you make such an investment on big units, you must consider everything you are paying for. While the Heavy Laser Destroyer is a very potent weapon which will serve you well, this particular weapon loadout will require a play style that ignores most of the other benefits of the unit by hanging back and remaining fairly static. Taking the Plasma loadout, however, saves points and requires closer positioning of the tank. That may seem foolhardy, but this vehicle is loaded with close/mid-range weaponry that complements the plasma very well, while still being able to deliver a 6 man Primaris infantry unit on top of repulsor fields. Thus, this writer regards the Executioner as a very gun laden Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), not a true battle tank. You can take a battle tank's weapons loadout, and certainly, that may be necessary at times, but this tanks true calling is in direct support of infantry. The executioner is really just a beefed up standard repulsor and really should be used in a similar fashion. Its slow-moving double shooting rule is perfect for sitting behind a wall of aggressors marching up the board as both units extract maximum firepower potential from hardy buffing characters.
- Vindicator: Changes to blast have hit vindicates hard. Very hard. Yes it still does a lot of damage, but gone are the days of playing "how much of your army will I be removing today."
- Whirlwind: Despite the changes that have hit the vindicator so hard, the whirlwind is improved, losing out on weight of hits and gaining improved strength and penetration.
- Hunter: Shoots flyers with a potent missile weapon.
- Stalker: Shoots flyers with 2 tri-barreled autocannons.
- (Forge World) Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer: This thing brings to the battlefield the unique Laser Volley Cannon, which is a 2 shots Lascannon with a few twists: they only have a range of 36" instead of 48, they do a fixed 3 damages (so a little less than the average you do with 1D6) and can be overcharged to go to S10 AP-5 with a fixed 6 damages. The trade-off is that if they shoot that way, they take 3 mortal wounds on each rolls of 1. If it does not move, however, it can shoot twice, but not in overcharged mode. Also, note that it gets +1T and +1 wound compared to a predator but moves 2" less. All in one, this tank is kind of odd. It costs roughly the same as a classic predator with a full lascannon setup and can pump 4 shoots if it stands still, for an average amount of wounds slightly lower. Its overcharged mode might give you an edge on T5/T9-10 opponents or target with extremely high armor saves, so what you lose in range you get it back in versatility, at price: 2 shots against 4 and the risk of wounding yourself. Between increased durability, shorter range and movement, and varying fire modes, it is hard to draw a clear line between the Predator Annihilitor and the Vindicator Laser destroyer in term of battlefield role, but the latter being clearly less efficient while on the move, you might want to invest your money in other Forge World models.
- (Forge World) Relic Land Raider Proteus: The Proteus has two twin Lascannons like the vanilla LR, but it can choose to take a multi-melta or twin heavy flamer instead of a twin heavy bolter. (There's also an option for a single heavy bolter, but why would you even use that?) But its main draw is the Explorator Augury Web; taking it reduces the Proteus' transport Capacity to 6, but it prevents anyone from deep striking within 12" of the Proteus. Conveniently enough, that happens to be melta range for the multi-melta so suicide melta squads won't be able to get near it.
- (Forge World) Land Raider Helios: Also has twin lascannons, but it brings along a Helios Launcher- a Heavy weapon that fires 2d6 autocannon-equivalent shots (albeit only 1 damage) that can fire without LoS. A decent combo of the Whirlwind's different missile types, and it can transport 6 models too.
- (Forge World) Land Raider Prometheus: A fun toy for your Warlord- if he's embarked within it, one of the Stratagems played on your turn costs 1 less CP to use. It doesn't reduce the cost below 1, but it helps. As an added bonus, its attacks all ignore cover saves, which make its 24!!!!!! heavy bolter shots absolutely terrifying to light infantry. Carries 10 models.
- This is tantalizing, as the Blood Angels rely on unleashing many stratagems in the beginning of the game, while your terminator captain is cruizin up to the bad guys with his favorite blend of CC killers.
- (Forge World) Land Raider Achilles: The rage-inducing and expensive Achilles is back in a big way in 8th ed. T8 with 19 wounds, a 2+ save, and a 4++ Invuln save for good measure makes this raider insanely tough. The Achilles is armed with a hull-mounted Quad Launcher and 2 sponson-mounted TWIN Multi-Meltas (Heavy 2). The Quad Launcher can fire Shatter shells at Heavy 4 S8 AP-2 3 Damage, or Thunderfire shells at Heavy 4D3 S5 AP0 1 Damage (and can target units not visible to the Achilles). It can also grab a hunter-killer missile and a Storm Bolter for a little extra dakka. This weirdness is compounded by a transport capacity of 6, including terminators and jump pack models. Seriously, go look up a picture of this thing.
- (Forge World) Mortis Dreadnought: Your go to dakka dread. It costs 5 points more than a standard dreadnought, with the exact same profile, but it brings the option to double down on weapons the regular dread cant. You can take a pair of twin bolters, autocannons, or lascannons, or a pair of regular missile launchers, assault cannons, multi-meltas, or heavy plasma cannons. All good choices for laying down firepower, with the best guns depending on what you plan to shoot and how many points you can spare.
- For the classic twin autocannon rifleman setup, you're usually better off with a regular dread. They have the same stats for a few points less, and it's the only gun the normal dread can double upon. Only take an autocannon Mortis if you really need heavy support instead of an elite. Unlike the Contemptor version, it has no degrading stats.
- (Forge World) Siege Dreadnought: This Dread specializes in short-range firepower, coming stock with an Inferno Cannon that acts as a souped-up heavy flamer (but costs more than a twin heavy flamer, for reasons) and a seismic hammer with built-in meltagun that suffers from a -1 to hit but will wreck anything that gets hit. With the ability to re-roll all to wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase when targeting a BUILDING or a unit with a movement stat of 0", its niche as a building killer should be obvious.
- (Forge World) Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought: Better than the standard Mortis in every way, from the BS 2+ to the 5++. Apart from that, it can do everything the regular Mortis can, only better.
- Since the v1.1 FAQ/Update, Contemptor Mortises can once again take Cyclone Missile Launchers. The downside is, like their Terminator counterparts, they're still 50 fucking points for either Heavy 2D3 S4 AP0 D1 OR Heavy 2 S8 AP-2 D6D. With this in mind, however, it could be decent now that EVERYTHING has Split-Fire, and you're no longer hitting Flyers on 6s, but only 3+(!!) with at least 6W or more. Churn out some dakka with your two Kheres Assault Cannons (which, keep in mind, can ALSO fire at two different targets, as they are considered 'two identical weapons', and then slam a couple of Krak missiles at a Flyer that screams overhead. Or a tank, I guess, if that's your thing.
- The Contemortis (for short) with cyclone launcher and lascannons is basically superior to the Deredeo with its lascannon battery, costs less, and fires more shots. And a Predator annihilator, for that matter. But that's against vehicles, it's pretty much the same.
- (Forge World) Relic Leviathan Dreadnought: I AM THE DESTROYER OF ALL THAT EXISTS, THE ANATHAEMA OF LIFE, HATRED AND WRATH GIVEN PHYSICAL FORM, I AM THE FUCKING LEVIATHAN DREADNOUGHT. POINT ME AT ANYTHING, AND IT WILL DIE, FROM THE LOWEST OF GUARDSMEN TO THE BIGGEST OF TITANS. ahem, enough of that nonsense! But Mr. Leviathan does have a few good points. The Leviathan Dreadnought is easily one of the deadliest single models in the entire game, barring actual Titans, packing a series of quite frighteningly powerful weapons that can make short work of virtually anything. For Defenses, it packs a Strength and Toughness of 8, with a 2+/4++ saves the line, and a whopping 14 wounds. In addition, it actually received a fairly decent points decrease in 8th edition, having dropped in cost by 50 whole points even after all wargear is accounted for. A few things were lost though, as the Leviathan no longer has his frag-launchers or his rack of hunter-killers, but in exchange, his whole loadout has gotten huge buffs.
- The Cyclone Melta is capable of destroying a Land Raider in a single volley, while being able to shave off 15 wounds from a Knight(Leaving it sufficiently weakened that it will no doubt then die to being slammed with 15 additional wounds in melee).
- The Storm Cannon now has a whopping 10 shots, which do 2 damage each. While not quite as horrifyingly deadly against vehicles as the Cyclone Melta, it exchanges sheer output for more reliability. This can be useful since 2-wound weapons occupy a fair niche in the current meta, for their ability to 1-shot the numerous amount of Multi-wound models, without suffering from Overkill. This makes it the perfect weapon for dealing with models like Terminators.
- The Grav-Flux Bombard: Now your dedicated horde killer. It deals 1d3 shots and gains an additional 1d3 shots for every 5 models present in the target unit. Which means the Leviathan can get a whopping 11d3 shots when targeting a mob of Conscripts, or 22d3 if equipped with two of these. This essentially means that the grav bombard is your designated weapon loadout if you expect to go up against Infantry Blobs, as it can fry an entire 50 man squad each and every turn. Fair to note, however, being strength 9, and dealing 5 damage to vehicles and monsters, and no armor save is gonna be stopping it. So it functions quite well against large targets AND blobs.
- (Forge World) Whirlwind Hyperios: While it's still best used against aircraft because of its +1 to hit against flyers (and -1 against everything else), Heavy 2d3 S8 AP-2 D3 D isn't something to take lightly.
- (Forge World) Rapier Carrier: A dirt-cheap source of heavy bolter fire, which can also be used as a cheap counter to "light" superheavies like Knights if taken with Laser Destroyers or act as artillery if you use the Quad Launchers (added in the FAQ). Now coming stock with a 12-shot quad bolter at 3/4 of what you pay for a devastator squad armed with same, on a fairly sturdy chassis. Fills out the heavy support requirements of a Spearhead detachment really nice, but keep the gunners safe or it gets auto-removed just like the Thunderfire Cannon.
Quad Heavy Bolters are terrible, costing more than 2 twin heavy bolters for the same guns.
- The average damage from a laser destroyer is less than its weight in lascannons - 183.33% of the damage for 240% of the price; the difference in strength will never matter against practical targets, while the improvement to AP will come up and won't make up the difference.
- As a result, hands down your best bet is always going to be the Quad Launcher.
- In Shatter mode this will, for 45 points, outdo two lascannons for 50 points, as losing a point each in strength and AP is more than made up for in doubling its attacks, and the difference in damage is not only slight, it also deals predictable damage, making it invaluable in many contexts, such as shooting Quantum Shielding.
- In Thunderfire mode, this will shoot what amounts to 8 heavy bolter shots, losing a point of AP in exchange for indirect targeting and improved range. This is inferior to the Quad Heavy Bolter option, so you should regard it as a bonus to the Shatter mode, rather than a good gun in its own right, and take this gun for the purpose of killing off enemy heavies, not massacring enemy lights.
- Castellum Stronghold: In case you want to play an army comprised of buildings instead of tanks and soldiers. 3 bunkers and a bigger bunker, with T9 and a total of 56 wounds (3x12 and 20). This realm of battle tile (yes, its 2' by 2') is fairly indestructible and can pack up to 5 heavy weapons, from anti-tank guns to AA or troop mulchers. The tacticus bunker has transport space for 30 guys, and the bunkers for 12 each. Up to 15 and 10 models can shoot out of each of the bunkers. If your army doesn't fit inside completely, they can man the battlements for a cover save. And untill the big bunker is destroyed all infantry, bike and dreadnoughts get a 4++ against shooting attacks while inside the stronghold. Oh, and one stratagem per turn costs 1 less CP if your warlord is embarked. At 550 points without guns this is something of an apocalypse thing.
Lords of War
- Angel Infernus (Open Play Only): Because it could always be MORE on fire. Pretty much a Land Raider Redeemer that swaps some of it's transport capacity in order to take a pair of Heavy Flamers and uses a Lord of War slot instead of Heavy Support. Use it in the same way as a Redeemer and cackle at 4D6 white-hot autohits directed at anyone stupid enough to charge anywhere near it.
- Land Raider Terminus Ultra (Open Play only): For 600 pts it will do a spectacular job of wrecking vehicles thanks to its 8 (!) lascannon shots per turn. 3 to hit rolls of 1 in one turn will cause you to take 6 mortal wounds, but the chances of that are so small that it's unlikely to be an issue. Even if it does happen, it won't be enough to decrease your base stats until you drop to 8 wounds or below, and with the toughness and armor save that comes with being a Land Raider variant that's probably not going to be an issue. Just be sure to watch out for massed infantry- for this reason you should probably take a storm bolter over the multi-melta since any vehicle close enough to be in melta range is going to become a smoldering wreck either way.
Forgeworld FAQ updates the relic rule for LoW, effectively you can get one with no pre-requisites but further ones will still require the 'non-relic' tax. On the other hand, who would even need to bring 4 Lords of War into a game?
- Relic Spartan Assault Tank: The Spartan has always been a bigger nastier Land Raider at heart, and this edition just makes it even meaner. A relic from the Legion days, it boasts an impressive BS3+, S8, T8, W20, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It comes stock with hull-mounted Twin heavy bolters (which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers), 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (that's a total of 8(!) lascannons), and anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. And with a WS5+ and 8 attacks, it has a better chance than most tanks of actually hitting with them. If 8 lascannons don't do the trick, they can be swapped for Laser Destroyers to give it the role of blowing superheavies to pieces; its basic profile of S12 AP-4 DD6 is nasty enough as it is, but any time it inflicts damage, you roll a d6. On a 3-5, its damage rises to 2d6, and on a 6 it becomes a staggering 3d6 damage! If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, the Spartan has an enormous 25 transport capacity, including Terminators, and Jump Pack Infantry(but not Primaris), so fill it up with Death Company squads! If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
- Relic Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: The Vindicator's big brother on steroids is a fierce siege engine, boasting BS3+, S8, T9(!), W22, and a 2+ Save. The Dreadhammer siege cannon taking up the entirety of the vehicle drops Heavy 2D6 S10 AP-5 3D shots at 24" or 48" if it holds still. Losing the enormous blast template from the previous edition, the Dreadhammer can now put serious hurt on vehicles and monsters with it's 2D6 high strength high AP shots. In addition to the main gun it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it (except for it's Dreadhammer siege cannon, which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
- Relic Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer: An insane Titan-class laser weapon mounted on a Spartan chassis, boasting BS3+, S8, T9, W22, and a 2+ Save. The Heavy neutron pulse array kicks out Heavy 3 S14 AP-4 3+D6D shots at 72", and causes a -1 to-hit penalty to the shooting attacks of vehicles wounded by this weapon. In addition to the main gun it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it (except for it's Heavy neutron pulse array which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 5+ thanks to its Unstable Reactor), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
- Relic Fellblade Superheavy Tank: The Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin. Absolutely bristling with guns, it has a massively impressive statline of BS3+, S9, T9, W26, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. It's enormous and versatile Fellblade accelerator cannon sports two shell types: HE shells are Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 2D shots and allow re-rolls for the number of shots when targeting a unit with more than 5 models. AE shells are Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 6D shots that work wonders on tanks. It comes stock with a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter (which can be replaced with a Twin heavy flamer) and 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (which can be swapped for the amazing Laser destroyers like the Spartan). Like the Baneblade it also has a hull-mounted Demolisher cannon. If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with 9 WS5+ attacks from its Crushing tracks, which are S9 AP-2 DD3. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. If you need a LOT of dakka on a tough as nails platform, you can't go wrong with the Fellblade.
- Relic Falchion Superheavy Tank Destroyer: A Fellblade variant which shares the same statline and special rules but mounts the unbelievably deadly Twin volcano cannon in place of the Fellblade cannon and Demolisher cannon. The Twin volcano cannon can annihilate targets 120" away with Heavy 2D6 S16 AP-5 D2D6 (re-rolling wounds against Titanic units). Just like the Fellblade it comes stock with two Quad lascannon sponsons which can be replaced with Laser destroyers. Given its ability to take the laser destroyers, it's objectively better at destroying superheavies than its Shadowsword counterpart in practically every way. It also sports a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers, and you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta if you crave even more dakka.
- Relic Mastodon Super-heavy Siege Transport: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's re-roll to kick in.
- Thunderhawk Assault Gunship: The standard air support and transportation workhouse of the Space Marines. This monstrous flyer will cost you an arm and a leg (in both points and real $) but has some seriously impressive rules. It has a big 20-50" move in Supersonic mode and can hover. Its has BS2+, S10, T9, 30W, a 3+ Save and PoTMS so it can shoot on the move. Its Void-hardened Hull grants it a 5++ save for extra durability. The Thunderhawk Assault Gunship is armed with a Thunderhawk heavy cannon - 48" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D6D, which can be swapped for the monstrously powerful Turbo-laser destructor - 96" Heavy D3 S16 AP-4 2D6D (6's to wound inflict an additional D3 Mortal Wounds). For secondary weapons it sports 4 Twin heavy bolters and 2 Lascannons at various points on the hull, as well as a choice of Thunderhawk Cluster Bombs or a Hellstrike missile battery. The Cluster bombs can drop once per game on a single unit you flew over, rolling up to 12D6 times (3D6 for ever VEHICLE or MONSTER and 1D6 for other models). Each 5+ result deals a Mortal Wound to the unit, though units consisting only of characters cannot be targeted. The Hellstrike battery is 72" Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3. It's Colossal Flyer rule forces your opponent to -1 from shooting attacks against the Thunderhawk, but also forces them to measure from where it's hull wound be if it was at ground level and add 12" to that measurement (which is an attempt to account for the custom flying bases you need to hold this heavy ass brick of resin up). It also means that a lot of guns flat out cannot shoot at it while it's Supersonic. Finally, the Thunderhawk has an impressive transport capacity of 30, including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, AND BIKERS. It is also one of the only vehicles that can transport PRIMARIS models, with each counting for 2 spaces, although you cannot mix them with non-PRIMARIS units.
- Thunderhawk Transporter: A thunder hawk optimized to carry land raiders OR two rhino variant tanks, lacks major offensive weaponry
- Deep strike Land Raiders
- Sokar Pattern Stormbird: Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points (651... not too bad) and tangible money alike, it can ferry entire demi companies onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. The void shields can extend and overlap nearby troops 8" away that jumped out if it has hovered. Has 40 wounds, T9, a 5++ after the void shields.
- Astraeus Super Heavy Tank: This tank is a beast, 24 wounds, Toughness 8, 2+ Armour, Power of the Machine Spirit and Steel Behemoth are already bad enough, but then you look at its gear. Firstly, the Void Shield. Just like the titans, it's a degenerating shield that can block off any wound, mortal or not, and does not care about AP value. However, it cannot protect you from overheating Plasma Eradicators or melee attacks, so watch out for Knight Gallants and other heavy-hitting melee units that somehow get by the Enhanced Repulsor Fields. Said Enhanced Repulsor Fields not only reduce enemy charge rolls by 3", but are also its form of close combat attack. Considering the fields give -2 AP and deals D3 damage per wound, this is surprisingly vicious, especially considering the 8 Strength 9 attacks the tank gets (albeit only at WS 5+, although it still benefits from auras like Litanies of Hate and Rites of Battle). Obviously, however, you're here for the guns and... oh boy. Its twin macro-accelerator cannon is a vicious Heavy 12, S8, AP-2, Damage 3 that ignores all abilities that impose negative hit modifiers when targeting anything with the FLY keyword. Its other default weapons don't seem that threatening at first, however. The two las-rippers are slightly weaker las-talons with a new name, the twin heavy bolter is somewhat useful against infantry, and the storm bolter and ironhail heavy stubber can be augmented with another ironhail heavy stubber. However, the twin heavy bolter can be replaced by a twin Lascannon, and the las-rippers can be replaced by the new Plasma Eradicator, a +1 Strength, AP-4 Plasma Cannon that uniquely only causes one mortal wound per 1 to hit on Supercharge. 90% of the time the Eradicators are the better choice. Not only are they cheaper than Las-Rippers, but they have more range. Being within 24" will put the Astraeus in danger of being chopped up by enemy Knights and makes it a prime target for most Plasma weapons. The lone Storm Bolter won't be doing much of anything regardless.
- Compared to the Fellblade, its main gun is lacking in terms of pure power but has a more reliable number of shots which will be more effective against light to medium vehicles (especially flyers), as well as 3-wound infantry such as Tyranid Warriors, Grey Knight Paladins, and Custodes. The secondary armament is clearly inferior with the eight Lascannons and Demolisher Cannon of the Fellblade outgunning the Accelerator Cannon itself. In melee it is a mixed picture, the Enhanced Repulsor Fields make the Astraeus harder to engage and hit but it lacks the option to mount any flamer for point defense; the Fellblade can mount up to 3 heavy flamers which will inflict significant overwatch casualties on attacking infantry. The Void Shield gives it an important defensive tool that the Fellblade and most superheavy tanks lack, albeit on a more fragile (T8 not 9), less durable (2 wounds less at 24W) chassis. Most importantly, it's much cheaper than the Fellblade, and since it's not a Relic you can use it as a "non-Relic" tax in the unlikely chance you really want a full Super-Heavy Detachment as a Space Marine army.
Building Your Army
So you've decided the Boys from Baal are the army for you, but you're not sure where to start?
- Your first purchase should be the Start Collecting! Blood Angels box set. In days of yore the Battleforces were the way to go for a new army, but for savings, this is the best stop. With a decent discount (by GW standards) this will net you a Captain in Terminator Armour, ten Tactical Marines, and a Baal Predator. This sets you up off the bat with a Patrol Detachment, at either 25 or 26 Power depending on whether you chose one Tactical Squad of ten, or two of five. One squad of ten is probably best, since you only need one Troops choice, for a Patrol Detachment, and you can combat squad them anyway.
- The Start Collecting! box is decent value for money (£60). To buy the contents separately (Captain, tactical squad, Baal Pred) would cost £81. Combine with the Space Marine Start Collecting! box for an additional tactical squad another Terminator Captain and a standard Dreadnought (as we can't use venerable dreds).
- Devastator Squad. Okay, so heavy weapons aren't really our style, but they still have their place. Each Devastator boxed set comes with multiple options for heavy weapons. If you have spare bodies, you can actually make two 5-man devastator squads with one box. They won't all be armed with the same heavy weapons, but with split fire now a regular thing in 8th it's not such a problem now when mixing heavy weapons. Just try to use weapons with matching range, for example Missile Launchers+Lascannons, Heavy Bolters and Plasma Cannons or Heavy Grav Cannons and Multimeltas.
- Sanguinary Guard. These guys are relatively cheap to obtain compared to their in-game capabilities. GW is currently selling a 5-man squad for £25.
- If you're looking to buy Rhinos, don't bother. Spend a few more shekels for a Razorback, so you can swap between the Razorback and Rhino option. Obviously, don't glue the roof hatch in place. The boxed set comes with a choice of twin heavy bolters or twin lascannons. For added impact and versatility, if you already have a Land Raider Crusader armed with twin assault cannons, ensure you don't glue it in place, giving you the option to use it on your Razorback when not fielding the Land Raider.
- Your next step should be to find any or all of the following box sets, if they are still available.
Blood Angels Death Company Strike Force: Includes a Chaplain with Jump Pack, three 5-man Death Company units, and a Death Company Dreadnought. Now we're talking!
Blood Angels Orbital Intervention Force: Includes two five man Assault Terminator Squads, and one Terminator Squad. This is probably the least preferable kit to go for, as Terminators are a huge pointsink. If you do choose this, you'll have enough for a Vanguard Detachment, and the extra Command Point that brings, but may Sanguinius have mercy on your soul.
Golden Host: If the Sanguinary Guard is your thing, this is definitely the box for you. Includes three 5-man units and the Sanguinor.
Blood Angels Chapter Ancients: Includes three Blood Angels Dreadnoughts, any combination of Furioso, Furioso Librarian, and Death Company. If you go with this option consider building one of each, or two Furiosos and one Death Company. This and your Start Collecting! box gives you a Vanguard Detachment, for an extra Command Point. This set now appears to be available again on the GW webstore, so don't pay 75 dollars over its retail price on ebay (or do, I don't want to tell you how to live your life).
Blood Angels Crimson Spear Strike Force: Still on sale as of mid 2020 and is a pretty good buy as you get both a Sanguinary Guard unit, 5 Death Company, the extra Blood Angel special Jump Pack Chaplain and a Terminator Captain. Along with a Baal Predator and a squad of Intercessors. This is well enough to form a pretty powerful Vanguard Detachment if you paint your Intercessors as some angry Death Company. But most importantly, 2 whole upgrade sprues and the Holy Blood Angel Transfer Sheet. As it is on GW for £110, buying all the things individually would clock in round about £180.50 so you are saving a good £75.50
Lastly, magnetize the backs of your HQs. Yes, you're often told to magnetize parts of your models, but this time we really, really mean it. Don't worry, backs and backpacks are a lot simpler than weapons. Why bother? Between the Index and Codex, almost all of your Character models can take multiple backpack options. From the plain backpack to the fluffy jump pack to the myriad of weapons available to Techmarine, you'll want to be able to swap them as your list du jour demands.
Playing with Blood Angels can be a double-edged sword. Move too aggressively and you'll find some of your squads isolated and overwhelmed. Move too slowly and you'll struggle to make an impact. Here are some useful tactics to use in 8th edition. With Red Thirst returning we can pretty much ruin anything we face. Even a scout will wound Magnus on a 4+. How d'you like them apples? There's only really one tactic you need to know when playing Blood Angels, ABC "Always Be Charging." You don't play BA to sit back and shoot, there are other Chapters that do it much better than we do. Blood Angels are at their best on the charge, so to that end, you should design your force with an emphasis on close combat and speed.
- Sword and Shield: This tactic relies on combining decent firepower to pin an enemy force (or elements of that force) in place whilst your attacking squads advance and seize the objective or destroy other enemy squads and vehicles. This tactic is useful against highly mobile opponents, such as Ravenwing or Eldar. One or more squads or vehicles with heavy weaponry act as a stationary firing platform to prevent the enemy from exploiting that flank, while the remainder of the Blood Angels force advances. This tactic is less useful against hordes. Imagine a warrior holding a shield (that's the heavy weapons on the flank) and the sword, ready to thrust (that's the attacking force). Also useful for pinning enemy elements in place before assault.
- Hammer and Anvil: Compose an army with supporting troops such as sniper scouts or tacticals with heavy bolters, intercessors if you can spare points. Keep the troops on objectives and form a backline. Add in good amounts of durable high volume anti-horde ability such as inceptors, aggressors, terminators, or fragnoughts. These are your Anvil and should clear out the weaker foes. Then strap up and focus on four units: JP Captain with thunder hammer and Angels Wing, Sanguinary Guard with power fists and angelus boltguns, Lemartes, Death company with a 1:1 mix of thunder hammers and bolter chainsword marines. These are your Hammer's. The beauty of this army is that you can tackle early screens and hordes well, claim objectives and provide covering fire, while all of your deep striking units have a means of increasing your chances of charging from deep strike. Captain uses Angels Wing for re rolls, Sanguinary Guard use Descent of Angels, Lemartes and the Death Company all have re rolls on the charge.
- Steel and Flame: A tactic used specifically for hordes such as Tyranids or Orks. This calls upon the Blood Angels commander to field squads, vehicles and characters that specialise in killing scores of enemy troops. If used correctly, a seasoned commander will deploy with overlapping fields of fire, good line of sight and defensive positions designed to slow the enemy advance. Baal Predator tanks, Whirlwinds, flamers, rapid-fire weapons and characters that improve accuracy or penetration are best employed here. Each squad or vehicle should be able to both advance and retreat under covering fire from other supporting troops or vehicles. Deployment is key here. Position your forces too far forward and your squads will be overrun. Pull back too far and your range will be limited and you'll have nowhere to fall back to when things get hairy. Razorbacks armed with twin assault cannons should not be overlooked here, and each squad, vehicle or character must support and be supported by other elements. In this scenario, an isolated squad is a dead squad. It should be noted that this is primarily a defensive tactic, but counter-attacks can swing the outcome of the battle here. One example would be to utilise a Land Raider Crusader (with assault troops/terminators/Death Company inside) as a mobile shredding platform, continually pulling back as the enemy advances, keeping it out of range of assault. If the enemy get too close, and you have nowhere to move, that's when you counter-attack with whatever is inside the vehicle.
To really blitz fuck your enemy and win the game in 3 turns or less, you need to be thinking about the charge after the charge. Essentially you need to anticipate where your models will be after you carefully win your first combat. Ideally, you want them to be in a position to get off another charge, or better yet an immediate consolidation. Try to take advantage of the DC Dreads 6" consolidation move, heroic interventions, jump packs 12" movement, and the Upon Wings of Fire stratagem. All of these will position your models well for more rounds of close combat; key here is repeating close combat often which triggers the Red Thirst repeatedly. Also consider units like terminators or dreadnoughts over softer 1 wound models for a charge that may result in prolonged combat. These units will last longer in the second turn of fighting. Utilize fully supported and buffed death company or sanguinary guard to wipe out entire units in one round. (And to be badass, its doesn't get much better in 40k than marching 15 Death Company Marines down your opponents throat with Astorath up front literally giving the most mind bending pep talk in the galaxy). Remember three things when your opponent attempts to counter you: 1) The more often you charge, the more often your are getting many important bonuses. 2) The more turns you spend in combat, the less firepower you take. 3) Avoid getting shot at in between and after combats when possible, and plan complex charges to mitigate or avoid overwatch altogether.
With all this sexy talk about close combat, never forget fire support. Warfare typically revolves around a cycle of applying fire and movement. One option for the savvy son of Sanguinius is to tie up large portions of the enemy with carefully planned charges, not cumbersome frontal assaults; and utilize mobile medium ranged fire power to neutralize any models out of reach of your assault. As the game progresses use air support and your armies impressive mobility to adjust. Maneuver your firepower to avoid return fire, then remaining assault units switch to protecting your firepower. Units like razorbacks and baal predators do this well and can move very fast when needed, land raiders provide good anchors for your army. Stormravens have a gun for any target, and nearly your entire army has options for jump packs. Sometimes its best to sit back a turn or two, blast your opponent to shit, *cough Imperial Guard, then clean up in combat with very opportune and convenient charges.
Pretty sick army right here which has nearly tabled Orks and Nids:
- Slamguinius, Artisan of War, JP, Angels Wing, Thunder Hammer (shield optional but helpful)
- X3 sniper scouts
- X3 maxed out Bolter Aggressor squads
- 15 DC, power swords, boltguns
- 10 Sang Guard, fists, angelus bolters
- Company Ancient, Standard of Sacrifice
- This list will usually leave your army or your opponents nearly wiped. Problem is, it all depends on landing 4 drop charges. Luckily each deep striking unit has a means of boosting the charge after dropping in all on turn two. Lemartes and his re-roll for DC. Slamguinus has Angels Wing, and Sang Guard have Descent of Angels.
- Everyone else (Scouts, Aggs, Ancient, Corbulo) simply kick back and unload the sweet sweet dakka. Enjoy.
- Ideally the scouts hug objectives and pop sniper mortal wounds on important things, Corbulo and the Ancient along with your ~18 aggressors form a big ball and demand your opponent to prioritize them. Even if the aggressors get shot up, the buffs make them very tough and they will unleash powerful return fire killing hordes. Finally everyone else drops in on turns 2 or 3 and kills the big stuff hanging around in the back or anything that couldn't be mowed down by the Aggressors.
- If you desire more command points, reduce DC to 10 men and remove 1 or 2 aggressors and turn the vanguard into a battalion with basic bolter scouts (maybe a HB for some hellfire mortal wounds).
- Keep Sang Guard cheap with angelus bolt gun and fists, they do very well with fists being cheaper than swords. If you have points and need a little more ranged dakka, give them plasma pistols and keep near warlord and they can easily kill tanks with a charge afterwards.
- This list makes for quick games; you will win or loose in spectacular fashion! I have found the key being to save the ancient and about 3-6 Aggressors. Otherwise you will loose board presence, scouts will get picked off somehow, and your deep strikers won't be able to win it all back. If you work patiently with the Aggressor ball and don't get them killed immediately, they can hold down the board and let other units focus on specific fights they can easily win.
Vanguard Death Ball 10 vanguard Vets with storm shields and power swords and 2x 10 man squads of vets with 5x shield/chainsword, 4x double chainsword and the Sargent with power sword/chainsword. Shove a Chaplin/priest/banner with 5+++ and the sanguinor in the middle of your ball of fun and fly up the table in a orgy of death. You will be surprisingly survivable with the invuls and FNPs and with the benefit of being infantry you just hide in handy buildings before you charge in. Your looking at 1k points for this so in a 2k game you can still have a decent fire-base and support also.
- A good all rounder Melee Unit is 12 Death Company with either Chainsword and Bolter or Power Fist and Inferno Pistol, with a ratio of 9:3. The Fist and Inferno Marines can easily deal with a Leman Russ or equivalent each turn, while the Chainsword and Bolter Marines can clear out any tarpits.
- Death company have access to thunder hammers, which for 7 points more significantly increase your damage output over power fists. This is perhaps the best delivery method for hammers.
- For mobility, consider either Jump Packs or a Stormraven.
- As Death Company rely on support, consider replacing some Marines with a Chaplain, Sanguinary Priest, Lieutenant, Librarian, or Librarian Dread (who can keep up with Jump Packers) for buffs. If in a Stormraven, you may also consider a Chaplain Dread for more buffs and anti-tank.
- Death Company vs Vanguard Vets: Death Company seem to have a one up over Vanguard vets vs hordes (and with the Black Rage fnp they really do), but on the charge they do almost every job cheaper. VV can take double chainswords, allowing 4 attacks regardless of charge. DC can take bolters along with chainswords, allowing decent shooting and surprising flexibility.
- Some off the cuff math says that Death Company kill vehicles with thunder hammers better and more cheaply than TH/SS Vanguard. But in that case VVs are a lot harder, in case 30-ish damage from DC doesn't kill a target.
- As an aside, I've rated the units of normarines (as in non-primaris) from least to most expensive: Vanguard Vets, Death Company, Sanguinary Guard (with encarmine swords they cost roughly the same as terminators, but with one less man base they occupy middle-ground), Terminators, then TH/SS Terminators.
- Terminators and Sanguinary Guard are of similar durability, weapons (since SG power fists are a free swap) and deep-strike potential. But with Stratagems and Deathmasks SG kinda win the comparison.
- Reivers are also 2 wounds and while they aren't quite as durable you get a lot more for your points while still putting out a very respectable number of attacks. Something to consider when shopping for your more durable troops to accompany VVs and Death Company.
- Terminators and Sanguinary Guard are of similar durability, weapons (since SG power fists are a free swap) and deep-strike potential. But with Stratagems and Deathmasks SG kinda win the comparison.
- BRING BATTALIONS! Even if you are focusing on the fast attack and elite slots. A battalion gives you 6 elite slots for DC or whatever and 3 extra cp so you can soar on wings of fire! Plus you need at least some troops to hold ground, and they let you bring extra HQs like chaplains, librarian or Priests. On this point, you can bring some effective Troop choices to the field while staying lean on points. Five Intercessors come in under a hundred points, and are great at running around and grabbing mid-field objectives. Consider five Scouts with a power sword too, even cheaper and put out a surprising amount of damage in close combat.
- Counterpoint: Battalions, and all large formations, are quite expensive to field for marines of all kinds. It's harder to just "sprinkle in" troops and HQs (around 25-40 power for just a "basic" battalion). You may still want anchors for all the deep-striking jump-pack-users in your army and battalions give the best CP investment without building a brigade, but it's still a meaty investment for an average game and has to be weighed against other options. A Vanguard Detachment is a decent alternative if you want to focus on a cheaper force.
- Counter-Counterpoint: Taking your support HQs and Scouts in a battalion is relatively cheap (clocking in around 400 points) and lets you spend the rest on all those big, flashy, and choppy units that entices every Blood Angels player. With our red lads being so CP hungry, it's absolutely worth starting with a Battalion.
- Counterpoint: Battalions, and all large formations, are quite expensive to field for marines of all kinds. It's harder to just "sprinkle in" troops and HQs (around 25-40 power for just a "basic" battalion). You may still want anchors for all the deep-striking jump-pack-users in your army and battalions give the best CP investment without building a brigade, but it's still a meaty investment for an average game and has to be weighed against other options. A Vanguard Detachment is a decent alternative if you want to focus on a cheaper force.
- Scouts. Don't underestimate these fuckers. An entire essay can be penned about how useful they are! Keep them cheap, kitted out with boltguns and a chainsword on the sergeant, and have them pop in how you need them. The flexibility of this kit is a fantastic tool to have in any commander's arsenal. If your opponent is bringing a large assault force, you can have them sneak in and form a barrier in front of where your Death Company are dropping in and getting you some pretty nasty counter charges. If they are running their Cultists or other cheap screening unit up the board, use scouts to stop them from taking up the board by forcing them to get in a shootout right outside their deployment zone. Enemy is running a lot of things with Deep Strike, like expensive Terminators? Scout in your boys all spread out and give them no room to set up their unit. At a fairly cheap 55 points for 5, being so useful, and also being able to keep up with the fast strikes that Blood Angels like to be performing, Scouts are absolutely a fantastic choice to start a list with.
- Sniper Rifles. Need More? Okay, a Heavy Bolter and four rifles? Boltguns and a rocket launcher? Using the auspex in particular will help if you opponent can fit in a deep-strike. They're also useful if your choppy marines want to fall back from a bad fight to shoot the unit.
- Keeping scouts exactly 17-18" away from your other forces prevents deep-striking.
- Red thirst really makes them shine with or without bolters. Gives them just enough extra punch to threaten normal MEQ and other units typically regarded as stronger than them.
- ALLIES BABY! Imperial Guard have all the answers: Cheap bodies, Over powered tanks, And the best flyers around. Try two Leman Russ Annihilators with Lascannons and hull Lascannons and two punishers with punisher gatling cannons and 3 heavy bolters. Thats 696 points, and you've got 10 lascannon shots with re roll 1s (Cadian doctrine) and 80 S5 shots and 18 S5 AP-1 all on very durable platforms! Seriously you cant go wrong with these two models. Let the Guard shoot everything while you handle the face to face confrontations.
- These two armies are a classic combo. Everything that one is lacking the other has twofold. Fluff wise, there is tons of room for narrative setups and sweet scenarios. There is nothing more a guardsman could ask for than Commander Dante himself swooping down to save his sorry ass. Or perhaps Flesh Tearers, who might kill the guardsman afterwards... Sounds interesting!!!!!
- Also, guard are the undisputed kings of command point accrual and abuse. We like that cuz guardsmen are our little buddies. Fill out brigades with mortar heavy weapons squads and bare bones infantry squads (maybe a heavy weapon or assault weapon here and there just to be cute) and use your best stratagems turn after turn after turn after turn after turn.
- Scions and Scion Command Squads provide a shit load of assault weapon spam at the same BS of 3+ as you, they can also deep strike to keep pace and shoot the right unit at the right time. They are only T3 of course, but are cheaper and provide denser firepower per squad compared to assault marines. As mentioned before, Blood Angels handle melee, Guard shoots everything to pieces. Goes together like potatoes and gravy. And let me tell you, the Emperor fucking loves potatoes and gravy.
- The better option may be meltaguns, as you need the tempestor primes for re-roll safety and access to command squads which are basically an additional tax considering what you're using the units for.
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