Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Blood Angels (9E)
- 1 Why Play Blood Angels
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Crusade Additions
- 4 Secondary Objectives
- 5 Stratagems
- 6 Warlord Traits
- 7 Psychic Powers
- 8 Litanies of Battle
- 9 Space Marine Armoury
- 10 Unit Analysis
- 11 Building Your Army
- 12 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.
This flaw has visited all of the sons of Sanguinius, yet it has effected them in different ways. The second founding chapter of Flesh Tearers fight with a savagery few forces in the Imperium can even attempt to match; whereas the Lamenters are afflicted by a deep melancholy which spurs them to countless acts of sacrifice on the battlefield. The Blood Angels and their successors are perhaps the most passionate of all Astartes lineages. Whether a commander can reign in this burning rage will spell victory or defeat.
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. Terminators, 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 9th 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.
- We can also take jump packs on a few units that codex chapters can't.
- Death Masks now reduce enemy to hit by 1 in close combat!
- 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.
- Unique artificer style nipple armor
- The Sanguinor can now heroically intervene out of reserve! Holy shit indeed!
- It is smiled
frownedupon, and considered acceptable to drink your opponents blood if they cannot provide tears.
- Not at their full potential till Assault Doctrine (T3). Sanguinary Priests and Corbulo now get around this but you're not going to cover the majority of the board.
- Vulnerable to opponents with strong overwatch. Now much less of an issue, however, tau and other factions with stratagems can still double tap you.
- Vulnerable to opponents capable of denying your charge (Less true too considering you can negate charge modifiers with a cheap stratagem).
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 alongside Grey Knights and Deathwatch, an Astartes codex without a Primarch of their own (Though it's not like GW is really into releasing primarchs lately...).The Emperor will bring about resurrection! (In all likelihood, if the Blood Angels ever receive a Primarch-tier character, it will be a buffed-to-the-gills-absolute-beatstick Sanguinor.)
- Your army relies on a lot of internal synergy, thus losing effectiveness after taking losses very fast. Additionally, this army relies on HQs and Characters more than other chapters who already rely on lynchpin models heavily.
- 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 army leans very heavily on its non-Primaris exclusive units. It’s very tempting to just take three units of Sanguinary Guard in every list because they are so good you almost don’t need anything else. As BA are assault-focused, you don’t get much out of vehicles or ranged units and the lists tend to be infantry heavy.
- Troops gain Objective Secured.
- Company Command: Can only have one Captain and two Lieutenant per Detachment. Aka fuck you to homebrew chapters that have a non-Codex organisation ...or even canon ones like the Space Wolves.
- Chapter Command: Most non-named Characters (i.e. all except Lieutenants and Judicars) can have a Chapter Command upgrade for PL and pts. Each <Chapter> Army can only have one of each type of Chapter Command model and some named Characters already have the relevant keyword. Crusade forces cannot start with a non-named Chapter Command model.
- Several Blood Angel Characters already have Chapter Command Keywords; Command Dante and Gabriel Seth (Chapter Master), Brother Corbulo (Chief Apothecary), Mephiston (Chief Librarian), and Astorath the Grim (Master of Sanctity).
- Blood Angels cannot upgrade an Ancient to a Chapter Ancient, as you already have the Sanguinary Ancient.
- Using <Ultramarines> as an example, your army cannot have Marneus Calgar and an <Ultramarine> Captain upgraded to a Chapter Master in the same army. However, you can have an <Ultramarine> Chapter Master and a <Salamander> Chapter Master in the same army.
- Combat Squads: Can split a single full-sized unit into two smaller units before deployment. Works just like it always has, but more unit types can do it (e.g. Centurions). While MSU is better, it does give Space Marines a unique way to circumvent the Rule of Three or Detachment Limits. Now they just need to have spammable units worth Combat Squadding.
- With the introduction of Shock Assault (See below), there is worth considering the use of some of the older tactics, back when a Tactical Marine was worth more than just a bolter. One such tactic was to put your guns in one squad and your melee in another, using the ranged weapons to soften up a target then the melee (basically a Sergeant either a power weapon or fist) to finish off or better yet to tie up the target unit and finish it off (hopefully) during the opponents turn, denying them a turn at shooting and forcing them to basically waste their melee on chaff. You can also put the Sergeant in the ranged unit with a combi-weapon for a total of three bolters and two special weapons in one squad, and a heavy weapon in the other for a makeshift Devastator Squad.
- Angels of Death: A rule owned by all Space Marine whatever its colour, subdivided into four. Because GW likes to keep it simple.
- And They Shall Know No Fear: When taking Combat Attrition Tests, ignore all modifiers.
- Bolter Discipline: Models using a rapid fire bolt weapon can double their number of shots (i.e. rapid-fire) if at least one of the following conditions is met. They don't stack, so no triple or quadruple shots if you meet more than one condition. The conditions are:
- The target is within the weapon's half range (normal rapid fire rules).
- The model is Infantry (excluding Centurions) and every model of its unit remained stationary during the previous Movement Phase. If a Devastator's Heavy Weapon Marine moves, the Sergeant cannot use Bolter Discipline on his boltgun.
- It gives your Marines the option to commit to those objectives instead of having to get close to the enemy. Factions like T'au may have long ranged small arms, but Space Marines can rapid fire from full range away.
- The firing model is a Terminator or Biker.
- This right here is the good shit. Footslogging Terminators now have a significantly improved threat capacity and Bikers are somehow even more deadly fast than they already were.
- Shock Assault: 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 (meaning +2A if they can fight twice like with a stratagem).
- Gives the generally lackluster melee of most Primaris Infantry and chainsword Assault Marines a little bit of a boost. Killer on units with power weapons like Terminators. Also means foes have to be a bit more careful about charging at Tacticals and such to tie them up, more so if you use larger units, and that they can assist in a melee in a pinch.
- Remember that this ability is not Infantry exclusive; Dreadnoughts really appreciate the extra attack and even your Transports can hit a little harder in the first round of combat (Space Marines bring a whole new meaning to road rage).
- Combat Doctrine: Feel like it's 7th edition all over again. 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 then must move through each Doctrine. 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 would prevent the Marine detachment from getting this rule, but allied Marine detachments are okay 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 Chapter from getting theirs, which encourages you to have a one-Chapter army.
- 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 that the plethora of sniper rifles and heavy flamers (incendium/inferno/flamestorm cannons) are heavy weapons.
- On the 2nd turn you 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. Storm bolters and auto bolt rifles work wonders here love this.
- On the 3rd or 4th turn you shift to Assault Doctrine (you MUST change to assault on the 4th turn) giving the extra AP to your pistol and melee attacks. Don't forget your pistol can be fired if you're in melee with an enemy unit.
- Death From Above/Teleport Strike: Deep Strike in another name, most common on Jump Pack and Terminator models. Set them to side during deployment and set them up 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
- Concealed Positions: Infiltrate in another name, most common on Scout and Phobos models. Set them up anywhere on field 9" from enemy deployment zone or models during deployment.
- Outflank: Like Deep Strike, but must be wholly within 6" of a board edge and 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
- Martial Legacy (FW): Relic unit rules for certain Forge World models. If your army is battle-forged, each unit with this rule increases the cost of a detachment that includes it by 1CP. Essentially you pay 1CP per Martial Legacy unit in your army.
Chapter Tactics and Unique Rules
- The Red Thirst (Chapter Tactics): 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 3's or possibly wounding T4 on 2's if you manage to get +1S from a buff. This also means that if you charge or are charged, you'll wound ANYTHING in the game on a 5+ at the least. 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 or hit as accurately as our furry brothers, but we hit way harder.
- This makes power weapons much more relevant. Power swords are your most useful bet, wounding the common T3 and T4 models on a 2+ and only being 5pts.
- The bonus to charge distances helps guarantee your melee units reach their targets without wasting precious CP. 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, the 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 frankly are very much as dominant as everyone else).
- Fury Within (Chapter Tactics): A variant of Red Thirst specifically for the Flesh Tearers. Retains the +1 to wound rolls of the Red Thirst and joined with unmodified 6's to wound with a melee weapon improve that weapon's AP by 1 (e.g. AP0 becomes AP-1). The second half is explicitly stated to stack with Combat Doctrines.
- You trade more reliable charges for more damage. Suddenly Chaplains with Canticle of Hate have a lot of value because they give +2 to charging, which doesn’t stack with Red Thirst. You lose out on some special characters but you can still make some incredibly scary characters with FT warlord traits. An FT chaplain or librarian can be buffed to obscene levels of butchery.
- FT care less about power weapons as buffing a power sword to AP-4 is rarely ever going to matter, but buffing an Astartes chainsword to AP-3 is a huge deal. Plus, you save on upgrades.
- Savage Echoes (Specialist Doctrine): During the Assault Doctrine, units that benefit from this Doctrine gain +1A if they charge, were charged, or Heroically Intervened. One of the most powerful Specialist doctrines available to Marines.
- The Lost: Upgrades up to one Captain (+1PL and +20pts) and two Lieutenants (+1PL and +10pts each) to the Death Company. Those units gain Black Rage and Death Visions, cannot be your Warlord, cannot be upgraded to Chapter Command, are excluded from the Company Command limits, and their Rites of Battle (Captain Aura) and Tactical Precision (Lieutenant Aura) only affect Death Company Core units instead of Blood Angel Core units.
- Black Rage: Rip and tear indeed, but does have it's pros and cons. Pros include gaining an additional +1A if they charge and ignoring lost wounds on a 6. Cons are that the unit cannot Fall Back or Perform Actions.
- The pros are pretty much earlier editions Black Rage, with the Cons adding some fluff. After all, your frothing-at-the-mouth melee-murderers don't give a shit about running away or typing on a computer (but they WILL run away due to morale).
- Death Visions: Once per battle, when this model is selected to fight, it can use one of the Death Visions listed below. The same Death Vision cannot be used more than once per battle.
- The visions themselves are separate from the death visions rule and Lemartes can access them through a stratagem without having the death visions rule.
- On the Bridge of the Vengeful Spirit: A model can only use this DV if any enemy Infantry Character or Monster Character units are visible to it. If a model uses this DV, that model gains +1A for every five enemy models that are within 6" of it and can re-roll failed hit rolls until the end of the turn.
- Best on a Lieutenant, both since the additional attacks are more noticeable the fewer you start with, and since it will stack with his re-roll aura much better than it will with the Captain's.
- The Grace of the Angel: A model can only use this DV if any enemy Infantry Character or Monster Character units are within engagement range of it. If a model uses this DV, that model gains a 3++ invulnerable save until the end of the turn. Best used on a Lieutenant who lacks any invulnerable saves to begin with.
- To Slay the Warmaster: A model can only use this DV if any enemy Infantry Character or Monster Character units are within engagement range of it. If a model uses this DV, it cannot make any attacks for that fight, but both players roll off. If you win, select one of those enemy models; that model suffers d3+3 Mortal wounds.
- This has a 15/36 (41.67%) chance of successfully dealing any mortal wounds, and then, on average, deals 5, for a net result of slightly more than 2 mortal wounds, on average. Unless you fucked up and the guy using this DV isn't carrying a melee weapon worth a damn, this should be less than what you can deal by just attacking, so don't use it.
- An Honourable Death in Battle - Select one Death Company unit from your army, excluding named characters (namely, Lemartes):
- If it found its honourable death during the battle - all other Blood Angels units from your army recieve 1 Exp point and you gain 1 additional Requisition Point.
- If it is still alive at the end of the battle and Astorath happens to be absent in your Crusade Army - you do not gain 1 Requisition after the battle.
- A particularly scummy way to farm Requesition and Experience every battle, by always fielding a unit with jump packs and then using the On Wings of Fire stratagem on it on the last turn to kill them off.
- Purity through Bloodshed - Select one Blood Angels unit from your army (excluding Death Company) and keep a tally of units it destroyes with melee weapons:
- At the end of the battle it gains Exp equal to its Tally (to a maximum of 5 Exp);
- If it passes Black Rage Test at the end of the battle and its Tally at least 2 or more it also loses 1 Flaw point.
- Valour of the Angels - Keep a Valour of Angels Tally for each unit. Units gain Exp points equal to their Tally, which is increased by:
- Performing Heroic Interventions;
- Destroying an enemy Vehicle, Monster or Character with melee weapon;
- Being destroyed by enemy unit (if that unit was a non-named Blood Angels Character you can choose to remove it from your Order of battle. If you do so, all other units gain 1 extra Exp).
- Search for the Cure - WIP
- Descent into Madness (1 RP) - WIP
- Custodian of the Lost (1 RP) - Purchase when Blood Angels Chaplain gains Battle-hardened Rank. Increase his Crusade Points total by 1 and he gains Custodian of the Lost ability, that allowes you to re-roll one failed Black Rage test if that Chaplain was part of your Crusade Army.
- Noble Heritage (1 RP) - Pick Blood Angels Character unit with 71+ Exp (excluding Death Company) - he gains one additional Battle Trait
- Blood Cleansing (2 RP) - Purchase at any time, unit of your choise (excluding Death Company) with 1 or more Flaw points loses 1 Flaw point. Can be used only once per unit.
As Blood Angels structure not neccessarily is codex compliant, they have their own Honorifics which replace some of those from Codex Adeptus Astartes.
- Shield of Baal (1st Company) - replaces Master of the Keep and allowes to use one Battle Tactic Stratagem twice during the same phase once per battle if Captain with this Honorific is on the battlefield;
- Master of Sacrifice (3rd Company) - replaces Master of the Arsenal:
- Allowes to use Angel's Sacrifice Stratagem once per battle for free if Captain with this Honorific is on the battlefield;
- Each time your unit fails Out of Action test it also loses 1 Flaw point if it's bearer was part of your Crusade Army;
- Lord Adjudicator (4th Company) - replaces Master of the Fleet, allowes to use an Adeptus Astartes Wargear Stratagem for 0 CP if Captain with this Honorific is on the battlefield;
- Caller of Fires (6th Company) - replaces Master of the Rites:
- Allowes to use Red Rampage Stratagem for free if Captain with this Honorific is on the battlefield;
- If Captain with this Honorific is part of your Crusade Army, each time you do Black Rage test you can add 1 to the result;
- Lord of Skyfall (8th Company) - replaces Lord Executioner:
- Allowes to use either Descent of Angels or Upon the Wings of Fire Stratagem once per battle for free if Captain with this Honorific is on the battlefield;
- If part of your Crusade Force, allowes to use Resupply and Rearm and Recuperate Requisitions for free on the Aircraft units from the same Chapter.
- Master of Sieges (9th Company) - replaces Master of the Relics, and gives you D3 additional CP when you're an Attacker (or flat 3 if he happens to bring any Fortifications) if part of your Crusade Army.
- Artificer Relics - Can be taken by Blood Angels Character.
- Blade of Judgement - x2 -3 3 8th Edition Thunder Hammer in the form of the sword (aside from not having -1 to hit malus) that rerolls all hits against Characters. Can replace Power Sword, normal or MC, Relic Blade or Executioner Relic Blade;
- Decimator - Moved from PA3: Blood of Baal stright into Crusade relics, still an MC Auto Bolt Rifle with additional S and AP (Assault 3 5 -1 2), bar now it also autohits;
- Hood of Baal - Again, old PA relic, but now can be used on all Librarian models, not only on dreadnoughts. +6" to Psychic Hood ability and can ignore any or all modifiers to your Psychic Tests;
- Antiquity Relics - Can be taken by Heroic or higher ranked Blood Angels Character and increases their Crusade Points by 1 (to a total of 2 if you account Battle Honour).
- Figure of Death - Old PA (notice the pattern here?) relic Crozius for your Chaplains, +2 -2 2 and substracts -1 from targeted unit Leadership upon taking a casualty from it.
- Chalice of Baal - Can be given to one of your Sanguinary Priests and extends his Blood Chalice ability to 9".
- The Angels Wing - To break the pattern, our old Codex relic stayed exactly the same - the bearer still can't be Overwatched and can re-roll Charge rolls.
- Legendary Relics - Can be taken by Legendary ranked Blood Angels Character and increases their Crusade Points by 2 (to a total of 3 if you account Battle Honour).
- The Encarmine Warblade - +2 -4 3 murder sword that on an unmodified roll of 6 to wound inflicts 2 mortal wounds in addition to any other damage. As with Blade of Judgement, can replace Power Sword, normal or MC, Relic Blade or Executioner Relic Blade.
- Purge The Enemy
- Blade Of Sanguinius: At the start of your first command phase chose one of your Blood Angels Character models to issue a challenge. Your opponent must select one of their character models to accept the challenge. Score 5 victory points for each of the following conditions:
- The model that accepted the challenge is destroyed
- The model that accepted was destroyed by a melee attack
- The model that accepted was destroyed by a melee attack by your character that issued the challenge.
- Blade Of Sanguinius: At the start of your first command phase chose one of your Blood Angels Character models to issue a challenge. Your opponent must select one of their character models to accept the challenge. Score 5 victory points for each of the following conditions:
- No Mercy, No Respite
- Fury of the Lost: Gain 3VP if one or more enemy units were killed by a Death Company unit this turn.
- Death From Above: Score 2VP at the end of your turn if any enemy units were destroyed by a Blood Angels unit that entered the battlefield during your reinforcements step this turn. If any of those units were a character, gain 3VP instead.
- Battlefield Supremacy
- Relentless assault: Score 4VP at the end of your turn if you have more units in the enemy deployment zone than your own deployment zone. This one is very easy to score, especially at smaller point value games.
The new stratagems are nice but unfortunately BA lost a few flavourful ones.
- Descent of Angels (1 CP): Used at the end of your Movement phase, select one Blood Angels Core Jump Pack unit that has been set up on the battlefield that turn. Until the end of the turn, each time a charge roll is made for that unit, ignore any or all modifiers to that charge roll (Note - key word here is any because you can choose which modifiers to ignore). Each time a model in that unit makes an attack, add 1 to the hit roll for that attack's hit roll (Note - it doesn't specify melee, which means shooting and melee are both affected). Useful for charging units with some sort of negative modifier to charges. The real nice part is the +1 to hit rolls. Death Company/Sanguinary Guard/Vanguard Vets are your focus. Death company/Vanguard Vets with power fists/Hammers will go back to hitting on 3's. Sanguinary Guard can be placed away from your warlord and next to a captain to hit on 2's, rerolling 1's. Also good for shooting with Plasma Inceptors on 2's.
- Vengeance for Sanguinius (1 CP): Used in the Fight phase when one of your Blood Angels units is selected to fight. Until the end of the phase, each time a model in that unit makes an attack against Black Legion unit, you can reroll that attack's hit roll and that attack's wound roll. Really good when fighting against Black Legion, otherwise useless. Good thing its only worth 1 CP.
- Hilariously and fittingly, this includes Abbadon. That armless failure can't catch a break.
- Refusal to Die (1 CP/2 CP): Use in any phase after the Death Company are selected as the target of 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 (So can be used twice per battle round). Costs 1 CP if your squad contains 5 or fewer models; 2 CP otherwise. Nice for making a DC unit slightly more resilient. Best used to counter damage 2 weapons. Be careful on which phase you chose to use it.
- Aggressive Onslaught (1 CP): Flesh Tearers only. Select one Flesh Tearers Infantry during the fight phase and give them a 6" pile-in and consolidation 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.
- Angel's Sacrifice (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the Fight phase. Select one of your Blood Angels Character units. Until the end of the phase, each time an enemy unit is selected to fight, if it is in engagement range of that Character unit when your opponent is selecting targets for its attacks, those attacks can only target that Character unit. Super useful to throw a bunch of attacks on a beefy character rather then something else of value. Librarian dreadnoughts and terminator captains should be your focus.
- Spiritual Might (1 CP): Use this stratagem in your Psychic phase. Select one of your Blood Angels Psyker. You can attempt to manifest one additional power with that unit this phase. If you Psyker knows more than two powers then this could be useful. Otherwise its just to get smite in addition to your other two powers.
- Visions of Sanguinius (1 CP): Use this when a DC Character model from your army is selected to fight. That model can do one of the following:
- If that model has already used a Death Vision, it can use another Death vision this phase (this cannot be one that you have already used during this battle).
- If that model has not already used a Death Vision, it can use 2 different Death visions this phase (neither can be one you have already used during this battle).
Useful to get a little bit more out of your DC Character. The second bullet also enables a death company character that did not have the death visions rule to use death visions (the only DC character without death visions is lemartes
- Angel Exemplar (1 CP): Use this stratagem to give a your (non-named character) warlord an additional warlord trait and it must come from the traits in the BA book (Flesh Terrors must draw from their traits). Each trait must be unique. This stratagem can only be used once. Really good for Flesh Terrors. You are better off saving this CP for bring extra traits from the Space Marine codex or extra relics. (Alternate take this is really powerful. It lets you artisan of war for a mastercrafted weapon on a beatstick that still gets a warlord trait and a relic. Or lets you throw gift of foresight on a beatstick with imperiums sword)
- Angel Ascendant (1 CP): Use this stratagem before the battle to give a Sergeant model one of the following Special-issue Wargear Relics: Master-craft weapon; Digital Weapons; Fleshrender Grenades; Quake Bolts. Each relic in the army must be unique and this cannot be used to give a model two relics. This stratagem can only be used once. Broken add quake bolts to a Sgt and have your vanguard or assault intercessors hitting on 2's
- Lucifer-Pattern Engines (1 CP): Use this stratagem before the battle. Select one Blood Angels Vehicle (other than a Dreadnought or a vehicle that can Fly). It gains an ability that instead of making an Advance roll, it adds flat 6" to the Move characteristic. Would be a lot better if you had more ground vehicles with assault weapons, since it turns a vehicle into a temporary bike. Did you know red ones go faster? *primes red spray paint*
- Honoured by the Arx Angelicum (1 CP): Basically allows a Blood Angels Successor to take a relic from the Blood Angels instead of a Special-issue wargear. And of course its Blood Angels keyword is replaced with your chapter keyword. This stratagem can only be used once. If you play as a successor, use this to take Icon of the Angel. period.
- Red Rampage (1 CP): Use this in your Command phase if the Assault Doctrine is active. Until your next Command phase, each time a Blood Angels model from your army makes an attack with a pistol or melee weapon, on an unmodified wound roll of 6, the AP of that attack is improved by 1. This bonus is cumulative with Combat Doctrines. This stratagem can only be used once. Limited to only being useable turn 3 onwards, this is kind of on the line between good and bad. If a significant amount of your army can charge and the enemy units don't have invulnerable saves, then this could be good. Taking away saves with AP -3 chainswords, AP -4 lightning claws/hammers, or AP -5 power fists means potentially taking away saves from most infantry all the way up to vehicles/monsters. Still, its only triggered on 6's. (It should be noted that if your hitting on 2's rerolling ones and reroll wounds (say if your a lightning claw that almost 1/3 of attacks).
- Unbridled Ardour (1 CP): Use in the enemy's Charge phase to let a Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard unit Heroically Intervene 6" by 5" as though it were a character. This got nerfed as it now only affects Sanguinary Guard but don't forget this, if the situation arises you could release a potent counter-charge.
- Forlorn Fury (1 CP/2 CP): one use only. Used at the start of the first Battle Round, but before the first turn begins; a unit of Death Company may make a Normal move up to 12" and must end more than 9" away from any enemy models. If that unit is a Dreadnought, this stratagem costs 2 CP; Otherwise 1 CP. This is perfect for a 10-man DC unit with jump packs. Or a DC jump pack character on a suicide mission. A Round 0 move is always nice for repositioning some units or getting closer to the enemy units. Just remember not to over extend and leave your characters and their precious reroll abilities behind. 2 CP to move a dreadnought 6" is not worth it.
- Upon Wings of Fire (1 CP): Use in the movement phase. Select a Blood Angels Core Jump Pack unit. You can remove it from the battlefield and deep strike it elsewhere next turn. If the unit is not on the battlefield by the end of the game, it is destroyed. Super great stratagem because this gives you so much flexibility and its only 1 CP! 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. Realistically, it can used like this (usage is in bold):
- Up turn 1, Down turn 2, up turn 3, down turn 4.
- Up turn 2, down turn 3, up turn 4, down turn 5.
In the first method, going up turn 1 and down turn 2 can be redundant since you could just put the unit in deepstrike anyway. (It lets you get round reserve limitations as that 300pt Sanguinary guard unit would be on the table t1)
- Savage Destruction (1 CP): Flesh Tearers only. Use this in the Morale phase, when a Morale test is failed for an enemy unit that is within Engagement Range of any Flesh Tearers units. Until the end of the turn, that enemy unit subtracts 1 from Combat Attrition tests. Very fluffy, though somewhat situational. When used right can trigger lots of value, though in all honesty if you should be finishing the job in the fight phase already.
- Chalice Overflowing (1 CP): Use in your Command phase to let a Sanguinary Priest use his Blood Chalice ability an additional time. A good turn 2 stratagem to get extra AP and attack. Pick two units that you expect to get a charge off and watch as they rip the enemies of the Imperium to apart. If your opponent moves his units aggressively close, then DC or Sanguinary Guard can ruin their day turn 1 (just make sure you have all your precious rerolls)!
Available to Blood Angels and their Successors (Flesh Tearers have their own table and cannot take BA traits).
- Speed of the Primarch: Your Warlord always strikes first is he's within 1" of an enemy unit. This is unless the enemy has a similar trait (Emperor's Children, Space Wolves with their version of this trait, etc.) or ability (Howling Banshees, etc). Mephiston's fixed trait.
- 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.
- Artisan of War: Your Warlord can be given one of the following; Adamantine Mantle, Artificer Armor, Master-Crafted Weapon, Digital Weapons. This is in addition to any other Relics they may have, and each Relic must be unique (so no doubling up on Master-Crafted).
- Very strong take with Angel Exemplar Warlord to Master-Craft your weapon and still take Imperium's Sword and a Relic on another Character.
- Soul Warden (Aura): Friendly Blood Angels units within 6" of this Warlord ignore against mortal wounds on a 5+. Astorath's and Lemarte's fixed trait.
- Thousand Sons and Grey Knights are the chief mortal wound spammers of this game, with Death Guard also having a plethora of ways to dish them out.
- Heroic Bearing: Add 3" to the range of this Warlord's Rites of Battle, Tactical Precision, Chapter Master and Spiritual Leaders abilities (to a maximum of 9"). This Warlord also gains the ability where friendly Blood Angels Core units within 9" again +1Ld. Commander Dante and Sanguinor have this trait.
- Gift of Foresight: In each turn, you can re-roll one hit roll, one wound roll, and one saving throw for this Warlord. Corbulo's fixed trait.
- Arguably, this is the best of the the traits that Blood Angels can take. Three free re-rolls per turn is a huge bonus, especially since those re-rolls are not limited to re-rolling 1's.
- Selfless Valour: This Warlord heroically intervene enemy units within 6" horizontally and when doing so can move up to 6" instead of 3". All other rules for Heroic Interventions still apply. Captain Tycho's and Tycho the Lost's fixed trait.
- Merciless Butcher: Each time this Warlord is selected to fight, make 1 additional attack with one of its melee weapons for every five enemy models within 3" of it (to a maximum of 3 additional attacks) Gabriel Seth's fixed trait.
- Note the same trait name in codex SM has different wording both are equally valid. The SM wording gives you D3 A if their are 5 enemy models within 3" which given the small range is probably stronger.
- Of Wrath and Rage: Each time this Warlord makes a melee attack, an unmodified hit roll of 6 scores 1 additional hit.
- Cretacian Born: Enemy units cannot Overwatch against this Warlord or Set to Defend against that charge. This Warlord can reroll charge rolls.
- Fear Made Manifest (Aura): Enemy units within 6" suffer -1Ld and -1 to Combat Attrition Tests.
- Can be combined with other Ld debuffs to make a leadership bomb, but even on its own losing people on a 5+ Combat Attrition roll already means losing 1/3rd of the unit, or half of it when understrength.
- The Imperium's Sword: What Smash Captains are made of. Warlord gains +1S and +1A when he charges or Heroically Intervenes, and rerolls failed charge rolls. The bonus attack stacks with Shock Assault.
- Iron Resolve: What Smashfuckers are made of. Warlord gains +1W, and can ignore wounds on a 6. Not dying is nice, and it's better the more wounds your character has.
- Champion of Humanity: Warlord gains +1A if an enemy Character is within 1", and gains +1 to hit and wound rolls against Characters within 1".
- Remember, you don't have to attack the Character to gain +1A, you just need to be within 1". Remember modifiers are capped at +1 to wound.
- Storm of Fire (Aura): Wound rolls of unmodified 6 made by and <Chapter> Core unit within 6" gains an additional point of AP. This does not stack with Combat Doctrines.
- Since light weapons with high rates of fire are often cheaper than stronger, single-shot ones, this Warlord Trait can allow a detachment to pull its weight even at low point limits. Furthermore, it's easy for them to synergize with your Warlord because many are Infantry or Transports that can accompany him. While mechanized and Biker lists are shooty, Bolter Discipline means bolt-using units from this list are no longed forced to move into rapid fire range.
- Rites of War (Aura): Friendly <CHAPTER> Core and <CHAPTER> Character units within 6" gain Objective Secured.
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 and Tech Marines haven't yet learned whatever trick the Helix Adepts are using to fix broken things quietly, so they can suck it, too.
- Shoot and Fade: After one <chapter> phobos unit within 6" of the warlord shoots, They can move or advance but can't charge.
- Imperial stealthy Jump-Shoot-Jump baby! Break LoS and avoid retaliation. That way your Infiltrator/Incursor squads can keep up with your Eliminators, the first dashing in and out of LoS while the later shoot without visual contact with complete impunity.
- Lord of Deceit: After both sides deploy, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> Phobos units present on the battlefield or put them into reserve for no CP.
- Results depend on the mental games you can play on your enemy - it's not going to be a surprise to your opponent, but being able to make corrections after your enemy's cemented his choice instead of being part of the simultaneous deployment process can be an amazing benefit, and one that Eldar pay 2CP for.
- Bear in mind, this trait now goes off after deployment, which means you haven't yet rolled off for first turn.
- Master of the Vanguard (Aura): Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6" of the Warlord gain +1" to their move, advance, fall back, and charge distances. Useful to Reivers or charging out of Deep Strike, pairs well with the Chapter Tactic Hungry for Battle as well as several characters.
- Stealth Adept: Can't be targeted by ranged attacks unless he is the closest target. Protects from snipers or if you find yourself with just one of two guys from your accompanying squad left. Often get more mileage on your Phobos Librarian trying to get off their close range power.
- Target Priority: Select a friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 6" in the Command phase. Until the start of your next Command phase, that unit gets +1 to hit. And he doesn't have to give up his shooting either. Now all those pointy finger models have found their worth!
- Less helpful for Eliminators now they have BS2+, but could be used to negate cover penalties. Doesn't affect Infiltrators' automatic wounds as they only happen on an unmodified 6.
- Marksman Honours: +1D to all of the Warlord's guns, but not grenades or relics. Completely wasted on a Librarian or Lieutenant, but bumps the Phobos Captain's Instigator Bolt Carbine to an eye-watering D4.
In addition to Smite, you have access to a faction-specific table of powers. The Librarius Discipline has power for pretty much every situation, but they're mostly niche enough that it's difficult deciding upfront which powers to take. The Phobos Librarian-exclusive Obscuration Discipline focusses on messing with movement and dice rolls at the cost of mortal wound output.
Your Blood Angel and Successor specific psychic discipline. Several are must-haves.
- Quickening (WC6, Blessing): Caster gains +d3A, and rerolls advance and charge rolls.
- A small buff for making a charge potentially more likely to succeed and still of somewhat limited use, since it's self only, but extra attacks are always nice. This and Wings of Sanguinius on your Librarian Dreadnought was a classic combination in the last couple editions and is only slightly less deadly this edition due to the furioso halberd nerf.
- Unleash Rage (WC6, Blessing): Select one Blood Angels Core unit within 12". Until your next Psychic Phase, unmodified hit rolls of 6 with melee weapons count as two hits.
- Nice on smaller squads to try and get them a few extra hits, super-nice on larger squads when they are not benefiting from the super doctrine ability. Just don't put this power on a unit if it's going to be overkill, like Sanguinary Guard against a MEQ Squad. Pair this power with a unit of ten Death Company Assault Intercessors; you get 6A on each guy, and on average should roll at least one 6 per model, effectively making it 7A. Obviously you can possibly wind up casting this on a unit that actually rolls no 6s, thus wasting it.
- Shield of Sanguinius (WC6, Blessing): One Blood Angel unit within 18" gains a 5++ invulnerable until your next Psychic Phase. Not limited to Core units, so Librarian Dreadnoughts and Death Company will appreciate it.
- Blood Boil (WC6, Witchfire): Select a visible enemy unit within 18" and roll 2d6, comparing against the highest T value in the unit. If the roll exceeds that value, the unit suffers d3 mortal wounds. If the total is more than double, the mortal wounds become an automatic 3.
- Works wonders on T3 units and has an okay-chance at getting that double-or-more result against T4.
- Blood Lance (WC6, Witchfire): Select a visible enemy model within 18". Draw the shortest possible line between the Caster's base and the target model's base. Roll a d6 for each model (friend or foe) the line crosses over; on a 5+, the model's unit suffers a mortal wound.
- Direct competition with Fury of the Ancients Librarius power. That guarantees one mortal wound per unit the line is drawn over, whereas this has a 1/3 chance of dealing a mortal wound per model this line is drawn over.
- Wings of Sanguinius (WC6, Blessing): The caster can immediately make a normal move or fall back as if it were your Movement Phase, but this model becomes M12" and gains the Fly keyword until the start of your next Psychic Phase.
Objectively this is the best power. Combining this with a Jump Pack Librarian will allow you to Deep Strike in, then move within 1" of the opponent for an inferno pistol shot, then charging with near perfect oddsYou can't do this as you cannot move by any mean after arriving as reinforcement except for making a charge move. Your Librarian Dreadnoughts can jump up and smack enemy Flyers with this however.
General-use powers for Marines. Depending on your <Chapter> they may not have the greatest synergy but still fairly useful with many melee and close range blessing.
- Veil of Time (WC6, Blessing): Select one <CHAPTER> unit within 18". Until the start of the next Psychic Phase, that unit re-rolls charge and advance rolls, and always fights first.
- 9" charges are still below a 50% chance at 47.84%, although you can combine it with a CP re-roll. If you can find a source for +1" to charge distances, your odds rise to 65.97%.
- Might Of Heroes (WC6, Blessing): Select one <CHAPTER> CORE or CHARACTER model within 12". That model gains +1S, +1T, and +1A.
- An awesome power for your beatstick models. Dreadnought CHARACTER's will love this, as well as Chaplains buffed by Mantra of Strength. Sergeants kitted for melee are also viable models to buff.
- Null Zone (WC7, Blessing): Until the start of your next Psychic Phase, ALL units within 6" can't take invulnerable saves, and enemies cut the results of their Psychic Tests in half.
- Obviously most powerful against enemies that depend on their invulnerable saves or psychic powers (Harlequins, Hive Tyrants, Daemons, for example). Less effective against heavily armoured units (Terminators, Wraith Guard, Mega-Nobz). Don't be afraid to advance into position and let other things do the murder work for you.
- IMPORTANT REMINDER: This affects ALL invulnerable saves on ALL units in range, even yours. Don't use with your own storm shield units in range.
- Psychic Scourge (WC6, Witchfire): Select one visible enemy unit within 18" of the caster. The caster and the target unit roll off and add their units Ld to the result. The target suffers d3 mortal wounds if your score is higher, one mortal wound if the score is equal, or nothing if your score is lower.
- Less powerful than smite, but it's better for sniping Characters since it isn't restricted to the closest enemy unit. Best used in combination with something that inflicts a Ld penalty to the target or a Leadership bonus to the caster, if you brought any.
- Fury of the Ancients (WC7, Witchfire): Select one visible enemy model within 18" and draw a line from any part of the casters base to any part of the targets base. the caster to that model. The target unit and each enemy unit this line passes through suffers one mortal wound.
- Psychic Fortress (WC6, Blessing): <CHAPTER> units within 6" gain a 5++ invulnerable save. Just awesome due to the lack of restrictions allowing even your Land Raiders to gain this buff.
These powers can only be used by Phobos Librarians. They don't do much damage, but god damn can they fuck with your enemy. They'll only buff Phobos units, so no combo-ing with Aggressors.
- Shrouding (WC6, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of the next Psychic Phase, enemies can only shoot that unit if they're the closest eligible target. Protects from snipers, but not enemy psychic powers.
- Soul Sight (WC6, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of your next psychic phase, that unit re-rolls all failed hits when using their ranged weapons and their ranged attacks ignore enemy cover save bonuses.
- Mind Raid (WC6, Witchfire):: Select a visible enemy unit within 18". It takes a mortal wound and if 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! Remember the limit on 1CP gained per battle round though, not a power to use if you have a Relic or Warlord Trait that also refunds CP.
- Hallucination (WC6, Malediction): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". They suffer -1Ld and -1 to all hit rolls until your next turn.
- Tenebrous Curse (WC7, Malediction): Select a visible enemy unit within 18" that does not have the Fly keyword. It takes a mortal wound, their move distance is halved, and suffer -2 to their advance and charge distances. Effectively pin one Death Guard unit in their half of the board.
- Temporal Corridor (WC5, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 6". It can make a normal move or advance as if it was the Movement Phase, and if it advances it adds 6" to their move rather than rolling. However, the unit cannot shoot or fight this turn. Great repositioning tool at the cost of damage output.
Litanies of Battle
Litanies happen in your Command Phase, going off on a 3+. Like psychic powers, each litany can only be cast once per turn, no matter how many Chaplains know it. Deep Striking and passenger Chaplains are a touch less-useful on their first turn, as they arrive AFTER their casting window. There is the 2CP Commanding Oratory stratagem that can be used to cast a litany in any phase if the Chaplain has not already cast one this turn.
Litany of Hate: Default prayer, 6" aura of re-rolling all melee hit rolls (not just misses) for your <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Stronger now that the Chapter Master's Aura has been reigned in.
- Litany of Faith: 6" Aura of ignoring mortal wounds on a 5+ for friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Not cumulative with other rules, as per usual.
- Catechism of Fire: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6" to gain +1 to the wound rolls when "resolving a shooting attack" against the closest enemy unit, meaning it affects Overwatch, too.
- You're already accurate, so you'll get the most out of +1 to wound rolls from units that hit often but not hard; Intercessors with auto bolt rifles, Flamer Veterans, and Aggressors.
- Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6". They get +1 to their wound rolls in melee. Very strong (unless you're the Blood Angels of course). This is often worse than the default Litany of Hate. If you're hitting on a 3+ or worse and wounding on a 4+ or better (e.g. most attacks with fists, hammers, lightning claws, and power weapons), use Litany of Hate. If you're hitting on a 2+ or wounding on a 5+, use Exhortation of Rage. Of course, a Master of Sanctity can use both.
- Mantra of Strength: The casting Chaplain gains +1S and +1A, and one melee weapon gains +1D.
- Smash Chaplain is a viable build. Combine it with the Benediction of Fury (WS2+, S7, AP-2, D4) or a powerfist (WS3+, S9, AP-3, D3). Add Warlord Traits, stratagems, doctrines, and psychic powers as you can afford and be bothered with.
- Recitation of Focus: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6" to gain +1 to their hit rolls when shooting.
- While +1 to hit is better than a Captain's re-roll, this alone isn't a replacement for it (since it has a 1/3 chance to fail, affects single unit and doesn't work in melee or when the chaplain doesn't start on the field). Instead, it's better used when a unit cares about +1 to hit beyond improving BS by 1. If you just want a second HQ to support a gun-line bring a Lieutenant instead.
- Canticle of Hate: Non-cumulative 6" aura of +2" to charge distances and +3" to pile in and consolidation moves. In all cases, the friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit in question has to be within the aura by the time the move is made - the consolidate move especially will often not happen unless the Chaplain also made his charge.
- Amazing for those who can re-roll charge distances, increasing the odds of a successful 9" charge up to 85% (58.3% for non-rerolling lads).
- Do keep in mind the Chaplain has to be on the field at the beginning of the battle round to cast his litany. A Jump Pack or Biker Chaplain is fast enough, but if you are patient, you can use an Impulsor or Drop Pod to get him in position in the first turn and use the Litany for your deep strikers in the second turn.
- Alternatively, if you're willing to throw the command points for it, you can use Commanding Oratory after deepstriking to ensure it goes off. This saves you the cost of paying for a transport or risking your chaplain being targeted by some nasty character sniper while trying to get into position or just screwing up the litany. However, if your chaplain is upgraded to Master of Sanctity, you do lose out on the extra Litany, so this is prefferable with non-upgraded chaplains. Then again, that stratagem only costs 1 CP with the Wise Orator warlord trait, so it's up to prefference.
Space Marine Armoury
- Astartes Chainsword: SU, AP-1, D1, +1A. As of 9E, all Space Marine chainswords get AP-1 on top of the extra attack, making them even better against lightly armoured hordes while also giving them a little utility against tougher foes.
- Lightning Claws: SU, AP-2, D1, re-roll failed wound rolls and +1A. This will outperform all other 1 damage melee weapons against any target (except T9 with a 2+ or 3+ and no invul, where the power sword wins, but why are you picking D1 weapons for those). Your best bet for mulching single-wound hordes.
- RAW: "Each time the bearer fights, it makes 1 additional attack with this weapon". Exactly the same as the Chainsword, this should be interpreted as +1A for one claw, +2A for two claws. (Could make one master crafted for a D2 weapon)
- Power Weapons: Each type of power weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. Unless you have the option for a lightning claw, then you should always take that instead.
- Power Axe: S+2, AP-2, D1. Offers a compromise between the maul's strength and the sword's armour penetration.
- Power Maul/Power Lance: S+3, AP-1, D1. This is the one you want to use against lightly armoured units that rely on toughness to shrug off hits. The lance is identical to the maul because of reasons.
- Power Sword: S+1, AP-3, D1. Best against targets that rely on armour saves over toughness to shrug off hits. Except against frail things with good invulnerable saves like Crusaders, who ignore AP anyway.
- Powerfist: Sx2, AP-3, D2, -1 to hit rolls. Good against everything, cost-effective, and very common to find.
- Thunder Hammer: Sx2, AP-2, D3, -1 to hit rolls. A powerfist that trades 1 point of AP for an extra point of damage. The extra damage could mean the difference between one-shotting a Custodian Guard/Aggressor/Terminator or getting a guardian spear/powerfist in the face. When you have a thunder hammer/storm shield-Captain with Jump Pack, every enemy model begins to look like a nail. BUT, at typically twice the cost of a powerfist, it's not worth ditching up to three extra special or heavy weapons just to squeeze out a few extra points of damage. Still quite viable on everything that isn't a Character at least, so feel free to spam with Terminators or Vanguards.
- Chainfist: Sx2, AP-4, Dd3, -1 to hit rolls, becomes D3 against Vehicles. A Terminator-only weapon that's only open to Terminator Veterans and Terminator Captains. Marginally better than a powerfist against other highly-armoured models that lack an invulnerable save, and strictly better against Vehicles. Costs the same as a powerfist, so trading the fist's reliable damage for better AP could be worth it.
- Relic Blade: S+3, AP-3, D2. Available to Honour Guard, Vanguard Veteran Sergeants, and Captains. It has a good comparison to the powerfist; Ignoring S bonuses or wound-roll buffs, the powerfists bumps you to S8, whereas this takes you to S7. This only matters against T4, T7, and T8 targets, as you go from wounding on a 2+/3+/4+ respectively to a 3+/4+/5+.
- Boltgun: You know what a bolter is, but if you somehow forgot it's 24", rapid fire 1, S4, AP0, D1.
- Combi-Weapon: A boltgun taped to a special weapon (plasma, flamer, melta, grav). Check below for the special weapon profiles. You can fire one of the weapons at full BS, or both with a -1 to hit rolls. Note that combi-flamers don't care for no BS.
- Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter: A boltgun taped to another boltgun. Cheap as chips rapid fire 2 boltgun, typically seen on Bikers and Terminators, also available as upgrades on most of your vehicles. Their abundance, the majority of bearers ability to go fast (Bikers) or Deep Strike (Terminators), and Bolter Discipline means you should usually be getting four shots per turn with this weapon.
- Flamer: 12", assault D6, S4, AP0, D1, automatically hits. 9th edition has been good to all flame weapons, boosting their range from 8" to 12". A classic anti-horde option, at least it's cheap.
- While they DO auto-hit airborne units with Hard-To-Hit, don't bother; they're too tough and armoured.
- Meltagun: 12", assault 1, S8, AP-4, Dd6, +2D if you're within half range of the target for a potential of 8D (5.5D average). Good against anything with lots of wounds, be they Vehicles, Monsters, or even heavy Infantry. **At 12" range supercharged plasma is better (but riskier) however, and this gun is more expensive, so you really should try and get into half range. While you can advance to close the gap, it is convenient that the unit's other weapons are assault weapons as well.
- Grav Gun: 18", rapid fire 1, S5, AP-3, D1, becomes D2 against targets with Sv3+ or better. Against most Vehicles, MEQ's, and TEQ's, this is a safer plasma weapon at the cost of less S and the same amount of pts.
- Plasma Gun: 24", rapid fire 1, S7, AP-3, D1. Their gimmick is having a safe profile and supercharged profile, which gives them +1S and +1D at the risk of killing the bearer on a hit roll of unmodified 1. Sticking close to a Captain can mitigate this risk.
Pistol weapons are equivalent to their bigger brethren, with different ranges and weapon types.
- Bolt Pistol: 12" and pistol 1. One of the most common weapons in the Space Marine armoury and available on most things as either an option or as part of their wargear. Just don't forget it exists and that you can fire it in melee.
- Heavy Bolt Pistol: 18", pistol 1, S4, AP-1, D1. Primaris-only, as the Firstborn don't have the wrist strength to hold them.
- Hand Flamer: A Deathwatch and Blood Angel only weapon. 12", S3, and pistol d6 allows for good hit spamming and self-immolation in melee, but the low S does hurt it the most.
- Not worth the cost, matching an actual flamer in cost and the units that cannot take the flamer aren't going to care about a pistol.
- Inferno Pistol: The second Deathwatch and Blood Angel only weapon. Pistol 1 with 6" range. The range puts you in close enough to spit on your target if you're trying to use it for melta, but you should be maximising the pistol aspect to pull a General Kenobi or Indiana Jones on your opponent and finish the swordfight with a pistol shot.
- Just to be clear, you are spending five points for a weapon that you may not even get to fire in melee. Your pistols are fired in your shooting phase. If you charged on your turn, the unit with this will fight and be hit back two times before this comes up. In casual games this might come up, but again most units that can take will lack invulns so it's of dubious use.
- Grav Pistol: 12", pistol 1, S5, AP-3, D1, becomes D2 against Sv3+ or better.
- A shame our Sanguinary Guard can't take this since it would match their glaives pretty well. It has a niche of killing a marine before you charge them, but like all pistols it tends to lag behind melee weaponry in utility.
- Plasma Pistol: 12", pistol 1, S7, AP-3, D1, can become S8 and D2 but kills the user on a hit roll of UM1.
- IMO, even more worthless than the other three. Supercharged, it'll one-shot MEQ's... Which the grav-pistol does without the possibility of killing the user. Not supercharged, it has good strength and AP to show for itself, but is a measly D1. Against things tougher than T5 (Custodes, Death Guard, Nobs, etc.) it has an edge, but it's doubtful to actually kill them anyway.
- Heavy Bolter: 36", heavy 3, S5, AP-1, D2. A solid choice for taking down light-medium Infantry, if one that tends to be overshadowed at times by the assault cannon and heavy flamer.
- They can quickly raise the cost of your army due to their huge availability, so be a bit cautious about spamming against armies that are not mainly 2W.
- Hellfire Shell is a unique stratagem that can be used on Infantry-carried heavy bolters; instead of shooting normally, make a single hit roll that deals d3 mortal wounds. Make the most of this with re-roll auras or Devastator Sergeant Signums.
- Heavy Flamer: 12", heavy d6, S5, AP-1, D1, auto-hits. More effective against armoured targets than its smaller brother, but cannot be fired after advancing. Can be found on Dreadnoughts, Terminators, and Sternguard Veterans.
- Unique to you, this heavy weapon is also available to any model that can pick from the heavy weapons list (which is just Tactical Squads and Devastator Squads).
- Multi-Melta: A 24" and heavy 2 meltagun, meaning you can't run with it, but can shoot in melta range out of a deep strike, now fulfilling the role of Drop Pod threat-removal.
- Plasma Cannon: 36", heavy d3, and blast effectively means the same shots as a plasma gun, but from 36" away instead of 12" and better against infantry. You need to be careful when you supercharge, due to the sheer cost of this weapon.
- Grav-Cannon: 30" range and heavy 4 grav-gun. Akin to a heavier heavy bolter to deal with bigger targets.
- A unit with grav-cannons will become a serious target for your opponent, so consider sticking them in a Transport of any flavour so they can't be Basilisk'ed off the table turn 1.
- Lascannon: 48", heavy 1, S9, AP-3, Dd6. Your primary long-range anti-vehicle weapon, and is as common as the heavy bolter.
- Missile Launcher: Can fire either frag missiles (48" and heavy d6 bolter shots with blast), or a krak missile with (48", heavy 1, S8, AP-2, Dd6). Not quite as good as an assault cannon, heavy bolter, or lascannon in regards to dealing with Infantry and Monsters/Vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles.
- Similar to heavy bolters, this weapon has a unique stratagem. Flakk Missile deals d3 MW's as well, but only against Aircraft targets.
- Hunter-Killer Missile: A single-use 72", heavy 1, S10, AP-2, Dd6 missile for 5pts, just in case you didn't have enough anti-tank. The vast majority of your ground-based non-Dreadnought Vehicles can have one. Ironclad Dreadnoughts can take two, and Leviathans can have three.
- Assault Cannon: 24", heavy 6, S6, AP-1, D1. Haha minigun go brrrt. Not hard to find, available as a Terminator heavy weapon and Dreadnought option. Twin-linked variety is on Razorbacks, Land Speeders, Land Raiders, and most Aircraft.
- Onslaught Gatling Cannon: 24", heavy 8, S5, AP-1, D1. Found on multiple Primaris armoured platforms as a secondary weapon, and puts the hurt on infantry.
- Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon: 30", heavy 12, S6, AP-1, D1. Mounted on Redemptor Dreadnoughts, Repulsors, and Gladiators, the bigger brother of the onslaught cannon that does everything better.
- Ironhail Heavy Stubber: 36", heavy 4, S4, AP-1, D1. A weird GW trend of putting stubbers on the hover tanks, but better than a storm bolter or the Imperial Guard heavy stubber.
- Icarus Ironhail Heavy Stubber: As above with +1 to hit Aircraft. Realistically too weak to actually deal damage to Aircraft however.
- Fragstorm Grenade Launcher: 18", assault d6, S4, AP0, D1, blast. Boltstorm Aggressors come with one, the Redemptor Dreadnought can swap their two storm bolters for two of these, and they can also be found on most of the Primaris tanks (the repulsor can have a whopping five).
If your Warlord is a Space Marine Character, you can give one Character a Relic, absolutely free. Weapon Relics can only be taken by a unit that can take the weapon it's based on and you have to pay for the base weapon (e.g. a Terminator Captain does not have access to a chainsword and thus cannot take the Teeth of Terra). The Relic of the Chapter Stratagem can be used for extra relics, number depending on the size of the game.
Named Characters and vehicles cannot be given a Relic. Significant if you're banking on a Librarian Dreadnought. (Note the cheif librarian relic is the only relic that is not restricted against vehicles and so is available to the librarian dread)
- BA and their no flesh tearers successor cannot take flesh tearer relics even with the successor strat
- The rules for flesh tearers and relics are garbled as written flesh tearers can take their own and BA relics but it is questionable as to whether they can change the wording of relics with auras from blood angel keyword to flesh tearers keyword without using the 1cp successor stratagem. Some people feel it was the intention flesh tearers only take from there own relics but this is not congruent with the RAW and it is so garbled that intention is unclear with all three options (2 relics,5 (+2 relics that don't work & 7 relics) being viable intention options.
- Gallian's Staff: Replaces a force staff. S+3, AP2, Dd3, with +1 to manifesting Sanguinary discipline powers. It may not see that much play as most of our Psykers (Primaris) can't take it but it's pretty solid.
- Hammer of Baal: Replaces a thunder hammer. Sx2, AP-3, D3, no hit penalty. S8 with the Red Thirst improving your wound rolls by +1, will ensure that you can wound almost anything without much difficulty.
- A decent pick now that hammers are cheaper, though a Captain especially doesn't mind the base hit penalty enough to really warrant a Relic slot. Master-Crafting your thunder hammer will increase effectiveness more and there are plenty of sources of +1 to hit in the codex. It should be noted that it keeps the old AP-3, where as standard Thunder Hammers are AP -2. While this is less relevant due to combat doctrines and the Red Rampage strategem, it is still something to keep in mind.
- Wrath of Baal: Sanguinary Ancient only. An Aura that grants Blood Angel Jump Pack units within 6" gain +2" to their move, advance, and fall back distances.
- Visage of Death: Enemy units suffer -1 to their hit rolls against the user in melee and a 3" Aura that removes enemy units Objective Secured ability. Seems potentially powerful but it has some stiff competition.
- Icon of the Angel: An Aura allowing Blood Angel units within 6" to re-roll charge rolls. Basically a must-have.
If you have a Blood Angel Successor Chapter, these are the only Blood Angel "Relics" you have access to without a Stratagem (unless you're playing Flesh Tearers).
- 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+ armour save and a 5++ invulnerable save. This can allow your Characters to survive much more, especially Librarians which need to sacrifice a cast and a power slot to get a 5+ invulnerable. Best put on a model with a decent amount of wounds but no invulnerable (Librarians, Lieutenants, Ancients, and Sanguinary Priests).
- Master-Crafted Weapon: Give a weapon +1D. Good on a thunder hammer for D4 or on weapons with variable damage (force weapons and chainfists) to guarantuee at least 2D. Can be taken on Artisan of War on your second WL trait if you want another relic. Do not underestimate a Blood Angels Captain with a master crafted power sword or axe, which will be hitting and wounding T4/5 on 2s. Remember Valour's Edge?
- Digital Weapons: When you fight, you make one extra attack that scores a mortal wound if it hits. Not terrible, but your Characters are pretty much renown for how hard they punch stuff. It's better to invest relics in durability or supporting other troops.
- Archangel's Shard: Replaces a power sword or master-crafted power sword. S+2, AP-4, D2, becomes D3 against Chaos targets and D4 against Chaos Monster targets.
- A good upgrade on a master-crafted power sword, but may not be enough to justify your free relic take unless you're going against Chaos.
- 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.
- This can be given to a Sergeant models. Popular candidates are Devastator Sergeants (their Signum gives them BS2+), Eliminator Sergeants (BS2+ and excellent base range on their bolt weapon), and Infiltrator or Incursor Sergeants (units that typically infiltrate closer to their targets and getting around the 24" range limitation). That being said, you only get one shot, so you won't go wrong by slapping it on a Character with good BS. Lieutenants and Captains in your gunline (if you even have that as a Blood Angel player) are your best choices; 36" range guns and BS2+.
- That being said, almost every model in your army has a bolt pistol. Sergeants, Characters, doesn't matter, those babies can fire Quake Bolts. When paired with the onslaught of Death Company who already have the normal +1 to wound, its gonna hurt!
- Fleshrender Grenades: Replaces frag grenades with some that are 6", grenade 3, S5, AP-3, D2, ignores cover. More like Marine-render Grenades.
- Gleaming Pinions: The bearer can re-roll charges and can charge after falling back.
- Has competition with Icon of the Angel, this will see better use in smaller games where you don't have as much to buff with the Icon. Falling back and charging ensures you gain +1A from Shock Assault and fight first because you charged.
- Severer: Replaces a chainsword with a slightly deadlier chainsword. S+2, AP-2, D2, wound rolls of 5+ inflict an additional mortal wound. In competition with the Teeth of Terra and probably takes second place.
- The Crimson plate: Terminator only. Bearer gains +1"M, can charge after advancing, and can pile-in and consolidate up to 4". Of very questionable value given you don't want to be footslogging a Terminator Character.
- Librarian Dreadnought: A Librarian in an Emperor-damned Dreadnought. Still has a Psychic Hood (+1 to dent the witch tests against enemy Psykers within 12") and now has Duty Eternal (enemy attacks suffer -1D against this model). A fixed load-out of a Furioso Fist (Sx2, AP-3, D3) and a new Furioso Halberd (S+2, AP-3, D3+d3, you can make one additional attack with this weapon and can attack no more than once per phase with it). The halberd grants you a single D4-6 attack, which is a hell of a shame, but should be enough to gib most enemy Infantry Characters and fist is not bad at all. You can also bolt a storm bolter, heavy flamer, or meltagun underneath the fist.
- Keywords; this model is still a Librarian and can thus be upgraded with the Chief Librarian Chapter Command upgrade. As a Character, they can also take any Warlord Trait.
- Powers; Quickening + Wings of Sanguinius lets you move fast and hit often. 6" base move, followed by 12" Fly move, re-rollable charge distances, and a total of EIGHT fist attacks and one halberd stab.
- By RAW cannot take SM powers and cannot take any relics
- Sanguinary Priest: Your standard unit modifier and helpful in all situations to any BA unit. Rather reworked in 9th edition, and will perform differently with certain units. 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. He does retain a Jump Pack option or you can throw him into a Stormraven if he shows up without it. During the Command Phase, allows a single Blood Angel Core or Character unit within 6" counts as being in the assault doctrine regardless of whichever doctrine is currently in play. Like other Apothecaries, CANNOT bring a fallen model back to life without a Stratagem, but can restore d3 wounds to a living model and provides a 3" 6+ FNP for infantry and biker units. Works well with more expensive models like Terminators and Sanguinary Guard, keeping their health up as they make their way towards the enemy, as well as with Death Company and Assault Intercessors.
- In a similar vein to the Librarian Dreadnought above, this model has the Apothecary Keyword, and can thus be upgraded to a Chief Apothecary Chapter Command model.
- 30pts gets you a Jump Pack, with a 12" Fly move and Deep Strike. It also lets him keep up with the units that desperately want to be in the Assault Doctrine 24/7; Sanguinary Guard and Death Company.
- You are thinking turn 1 Assault Doctrine aren't you??? Unless someone can clarify this he needs to be on the battlefield during the command phase and not inside of a Land Raider or Drop Pod to use the Blood Chalice ability. Thus you are stuck with turn two Assault Doctrine at best.
- Sanguinary Priest on Bike (Legends): 25pts nets you M14", T5, and W5, a storm bolter, Turbo-boost (advance 6" instead of d6"), and swaps the INFANTRY keyword for BIKER (notable for stratagems, powers, rules, etc). As this is an 8th edition datasheet, this model has access to the entire suite of combi, pistol, and melee weapons, as well as the old Blood Chalice Aura (BA Infantry and Bikers within 6" gain +1S), and their Narthecium works harder by both healing d3W to one model and reviving one on a 4+.
- Commander Dante: Despite being the "I'm too old for this shit" character, Dante is still a beatstick. 175pts for a Jump Pack Chapter Master with W6, A6, and Sv2+. Still retains Iron Halo, Chapter Master, and Rites of Battle. His unique Death Mask of Sanguinius makes ANY attack against this model suffer -1 to their hit rolls. He's also good for a couple extra CP, granting you +1CP if he's your Warlord and he can use one free Epic Deed stratagem (as long as that stratagem is used on HIM). He comes with a regular inferno pistol, but his Axe Mortalis is great at S+3, AP-3, D2. With the +1 to wound rolls from his Chapter Tactics, he effectively has a powerfist that does not suffer -1 to hit rolls.
- He is not and should not be used like Calgar, Abbadon, Hive Tyrant, Avatar of Khaine, 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 Storm Raven. 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 the Shooting Phase, and a successful charge in the Assault Phase with those juicy 8A, on turn three. If everything goes as planned, he is a top notch Character/Warlord assassin, befitting his extraordinary fluff. Otherwise, Dante just doesn't have the staying power of other models in his weight class.
- Captain Tycho: A Captain with Sv2+ and a combi-melta with the boltgun being master-crafted. Dead Man's Hand is an old school power sword, at SU, AP-3, D1, but gains +1S and +1D against Orks.
- His greatest advantage is a low points cost (95pts) and he's only really good if you're fighting Orks. Otherwise build a better model from the regular Captain.
- Tycho the Lost: Tycho, but in Death Company black. Loses Rites of Battle, gains Black Rage, Death Visions, and the Forlorn Hero aura (Blood Angel Death Company Core units within 9" re-roll hit rolls of 1).
- He's only 100pts, but you can absolutely build a better Death Company Character.
- The Sanguinor: Our special snowflake is now a very pointy snowflake. W5 and A5, he still has a 2+/4++. A unique Encarmine Broadsword hits at S+2, AP-4, D2, and wound rolls of unmodified 6 inflict an additional mortal wound. His Aura of Fervour Aura makes BA Core and Character units within 6" gain +1A, but this is not cumulative with Shock Assault. Angelic Visage means enemy MELEE attacks suffer -1 to their hit rolls (unlike Dante's angel face that affects all attacks). Avenging Angel allows this model to charge after falling back and make a 6" Heroic Intervention. Miraculous Saviour is his most interesting ability, allowing him to Deep Strike to within 1" of an enemy unit after that unit has charged to within 1" of a Blood Angel unit. He counts as having made a Heroic Intervention, but holy shit.
- His Aura works best with tough units that do not quite spit out enough damage to fully wipe out their target in one turn and cannot fall back and charge; Terminators, Bikers, Aggressors, Centurions, etc.
- A minor note, but he does have grenades. Don't forget to chuck them if you can, he is BS2+ after all.
- His rules are really cool, but you want him in critical places adding his aura and mortal wound attacks. Thus, it is still best to intentionally place him where needed instead of waiting around to intervene.
- Now, with this in mind, you can attempt mind games with your opponent as they will be extra careful when charging your marines knowing he can pop up and make heads roll fairly easily. This can allow you to play reactive BA: Hugging cover/shooting/claiming objectives for a turn or two, then cleaning house with late game charges at full output turn three.
- Astorath: Master of Sanctity with Jump pack. His axe is now S+2, AP-3, D3, and he has the basic Chaplain Ld aura and 4++ Rosarius. Comes with an additional aura that makes Blood Angel Death Company units within 6" automatically pass morale tests. He knows four Litanies (Litany of Hate, Mass of Doom, and two Litanies of Battle) and can cast two on a 3+ in your Command Phase. Mass of Doom is his unique Litany and got some change in 9th edition. If it's inspiring, pick one Blood Angel Core or Blood Angel Character within 6" of him and roll 1D6. On a 1, a model in that unit is destroyed and the rest gain 1+ to all hit rolls made in the fight phase. 2-5 is the same as above, minus losing a model. 6's result in the same as 2-5, but the unit also gains a 4++ invulnerable save.
- Like Astorath, he is a top notch buff character, though you can always cast Mantra of Strength on him to beat the tar out of some uppity HQ unit your opponent thinks highly of. As a named character make someone else your Warlord, though when he drops down with the other DC hurl him right at their warlord and let the heads roll.
- Mass of Doom is no joke. Whatever Astorath says takes everybody 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 with AP-3. With a Sanguinary Priest or Sanguinor (who also has Deep Strike), the buffs and the points costs just keep building and building and building. 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.
- While you can use Mass of Doom on your Character, it is risky. A roll of 1 states that "one model in that unit is destroyed", meaning you straight up give your Character a rage haemorrhage. Ask yourself if +1 to hit roll in fight phase is worth 1/6 chance to loss said Character.
- Astorath is overshadowed by Lemartes. His ability to re-roll charge distances is too crucial for a Death Company list and its just too expensive/redundant to run them both. Additionally, Litanies (including Mass of Doom) need to be used in your Command Phase, but Deep Striking happens at the end of the Movement Phase, so you can't use it on a unit that is arriving by Deep Strike this turn, nor can you use it while Deep Striking Astorath himself.
- Lemartes: Lemartes is still the mad-capped berserker-cum-Death Company Babysitter that we all know and love. A Jump Pack Chaplain with A4 and Black Rage, his Blood Crozius is S+2, AP-2, D2. Blood Angel Death Company Core and Character units within 6" can re-roll charge distances. His Spiritual Leader Aura and ALL Litanies he casts only affects Death Company units. To make up for that, he knows Litany of Hate and two other Litanies, and can cast two Litanies in your Command Phase. **Unlike other Chaplains he can cast Litanies that other Chaplains have already cast**. At 120pts (as of 2021 points rebalance), this Death Company Deep Strike bomber is a bargain. It is also important to note that while he is a Death Company Character, he does not have the Death Visions rule but the Visions of Sanguinius Stratagem can be used to let him use them.
- Chief Librarian Mephiston: The only named Primaris Character for BA's, Mephiston is similar to last edition. A very impressive statline at M7", WS2+, BS2+, S5, T5, W6, A5, Ld9, and Sv2+. He has a plasma pistol (overcharge at your own peril) and a Sx2 force sword. He ignores lost wounds on a 5+ and as a Chief Librarian he casts and denies two powers per turn and knows smite + three Sanguinary powers, with no option to take Librarius powers.
- Something to consider is that Mephiston is 155pts and a Librarian Dreadnought with heavy flamer or meltagun is also 155pts. If you want a Psychic whacking stick, take the Dreadnought. If you want a psychic support Character moving up with your Primaris Marines, take Mephiston.
- Chief Librarian Mephiston (Legends): Exactly the same as above, but with W5 and A4 that is standard for Firstborn stats. He's in Legends now, and the only reason you'd take him is for Transports that cannot take Primaris.
- Brother Corbulo: Your named Chief Apothecary/Sanguinary Priest with some cool wargear. Heavens Teeth is a harder-hitting chainsword (S+1, AP-2, D1) but does not grant +1A. Has the 9th edition Narthecium Aura (BA Infantry and Biker units within 3" ignore lost wounds on a 6) and Combat Restorative rule (can heal a model within 3" up to d2 lost wounds). Being a Chief Apothecary, he can use Combat Restoratives twice per turn. His unique Red Grail Aura lets BA Core or Character units within 6" count as being in the Assault Doctrine.
- Works best as a support unit for the tough shooting squads; Mk. X Gravis models and Centurions. Makes them harder to kill and harder to keep down.
- Gabriel Seth (Flesh Tearers): Also known as Imperial Kharn. A 160 point Chapter Master that is a +1W and +1A Captain statline. Keeps the Iron Halo, Rites of Battle Aura, and Chapter Master rules. Whirlwind of Gore lets him fight again at the end of the fight phase if any enemy models are still within 1", and Lord of Slaughter is a 6" aura that grants +1D to Flesh Tearer melee attacks that make a wound roll of unmodified 6. Blood Reaver is a thunder hammer that does not suffer the -1 to hit penalty. Oh, and he has a bolt pistol and grenades.
- A maximum of 14A that hit on 2+ at S8, AP-2, and D3 should see you finishing off most enemy units in one turn.
- Seth, a model that lets you re-roll wound rolls, a Librarian or Chaplain Dreadnought, and Death Company crammed into a Storm Raven will be a quick way to tear a huge chunk out of your opponents army and an equally huge chunk out of your points limit. This is cool and all, but do you trust T7 versus your entire enemies shooting phase?
- Malakim Phoros (Lamenters, Forgeworld Legends): Yeeted into Forgeworld Legends, this guy is a 145 point Chapter Master with the usual 4++ Iron Halo, Captain Rites of Battle Aura, and updated Chapter Master ability. His statline is that of a Captains with +1A and +1W. Lord of Ruin rules lets him re-roll any wound roll of 1 and Rage Unto Death lets him fall back and charge. He has a 12" range inferno pistol, and the Glaive of Lamentation; S+3, AP-4, D3, -1 to hit rolls.
- The Dec 2020 FAQ saw the removal of his Stealth-Armour rule, so he's no longer an angry Raven Guard wannabe. All his rules are for you to Rip and Tear, so cram him into a transport that allows him to do that.
- Lost his totally absurd aura of 6" re roll wounds... Now he plays well for what he is worth, though he is reasonably nerfed.
- Tactical Squad: You know how these guys work. Squad size of 5-10, armed with boltguns, bolt pistols, and grenades. Because you're Blood Angels, you have access to a heavy flamer as a heavy weapon, and your Sergeant gets hand flamer or inferno pistol access. Frankly, you can always take bare bones squads with a Lascannon. Adds a decent shot per turn on a 10 wound unit, making them useful while sitting on objectives as literally everyone else in your army is diving into CC. It's a tough job but somebody gotta do it.
- Intercessors Standard Primaris unit offering an additional attack and upgraded bolt weapons compared to Tacticals and nothing else.
- Assault Intercessors: Intercessors with heavy bolt pistols and Marine chainswords for cutting. Obviously benefits the most from the Blood Angel Chapter Tactics, but please consider this before you start spamming these guys; you have access to units that do the same thing but better. Use standard/heavy intercessors on your own objectives, and Assault to take your opponent's.
- Heavy Intercessors The biggest boys in Gravis armour. Gravis makes them very durable, giving them T5 and W3, on top of a higher damage output. These are T5, 3W troops with S5 bolt weapons for under 30 points per model. If you wanted an anchor (and BA are always looking for an anchor that can contribute to the fight, aside from holding objectives) these are worth a look, they can also take decent heavy weapons like Tacticals for bolstered shooting.
- Infiltrators Sneaky Primaris units who can deploy anywhere like a Scout and provide excellent area denial along with higher output bolt weapons, so useful in those odd situations where your opponent is actually faster than you with superior alpha strike options (Nids, various Eldar). Otherwise, usually too expensive.
- Incursors Slightly cheaper sneaky Primaris skilled in attacking hardened targets. Game wise they offer the ability to throw D3 mortal wounds (3 versus vehicles) once per game, AP-1 knives, and their bolters ignore cover. Somewhat well priced considering their deployment abilities and brawling status, though like always, troops are usually best holding ground with dakka.
- Legends Wargear: A butt-load of models have additional wargear options available to them, but they're in the Legends PDF.
- Company Ancient: +1 power level gets you M12", Fly, and Jump Pack. No points cost, but this anon recommends tacking 10pts onto a regular Company Ancient.
- Company Champion: +1 power level gets you M12", Fly, and Jump Pack. No points cost, but this anon recommends tacking 10pts onto a regular Company Champion.
- Company Veterans:+1 power level gets you M12", Fly, and Jump Pack. No points cost, but this anon recommends tacking 2pts per model (same as Vanguard Veterans) onto regular Company Veterans.
- Vanguard Veterans: Mentioned here to point out the hand flamer and inferno pistol access. A squad of five with inferno pistols + thunder hammers ought to kill you a Knight in a turn, and hand flamer + lightning claws will wipe out W1 units like no ones business.
- Elite killing is done better by Sanguinary guard, whilst horde killing is (mostly) done better by DC. If you're buying into Vanguard then you're getting them for storm shields (which makes them the tankiest of the three against attacks) and/or lightning claws (which gives you the best horde killer at the cost of survivability if you go all in).
- A quick note that Vanguard have one other trick that Sanguinary Guard cannot perform: dual wielding pistols. Whether you wish to use dual grav, plasma, flame or inferno, Vanguard can wield two and avoid needing to charge at all. But if you're on this page you likely don't care about that; BA do want to be punching things after all.
- Sanguinary Ancient: You can only have one of this model per army. A 125pts mash of Sanguinary Guard and Chapter Ancient. From the Ancient, the Astartes Banner Aura makes Blood Angel Core units within 6" gain +1Ld and can make one melee or shooting attack before being removed from play if they die and Chapter Banner gives one Blood Angel Core unit +1 to hit rolls with melee weapons. From the Sanguinary Guard, Angelic Visage makes enemy melee attacks against this model suffer -1 to hit rolls and Heirs of Azkaellon grants this model +1 to hit rolls if they're within 6" of your Blood Angel Warlord. Unlike most Ancients, this guy remembered he has two hands for weapons (ignore the fact that the gun is wrist-mounted). He has an angelus boltgun (18", assault 2, S4, AP-1, D1) which can be swapped for an inferno pistol (6" and pistol 1 meltagun) or plasma pistol. His encarmine sword (a D2 power sword) can be swapped for an encarmine axe (D2 power axe) or a powerfist.
- Worth remembering that Blood Angel Ancients cannot be upgraded to Chapter Ancients. So far, this has not been FAQ'd to extend to Blood Angel Successors. With the way this is worded in the Blood Angels Codex, you can nominate any unit to be from a BA Successor and it replaces the Blood Angels Keyword with the name of your Successor. You play as BA for the purposes of stratagems, detachment abilities, and datasheets. The only downside is that Named Characters can not be nominated (which means their abilities will only affect BA units and not your successor's) and if you want to take relics from Relics of Baal, you have to pay an extra CP via the Honoured By Baal stratagem.
- Sanguinary Guard Core: The latest iteration of Sanguinary Guard are 30pts in their cheapest form, which amounts to 120pts stock for the minimum unit. They posses 2W, 3A, Sv2+, and Jump Packs. Each model has Angelic Visage, Heirs of Azkaellon, and the same weapon options as the Sanguinary Ancient.
- They are now genuinely cheaper and more cost effective than Terminators, and only lack an invulnerable save, and access to heavy weapons and thunder hammers.
- As far as your Elite Jump Pack options go, they fill in a niche of being MEQ-hunting monsters. Your Lightning Claw Vanguards Veterans and Death Company are there for turning W1 models into soup and Vanguard Veterans should be taken with storm shields or thrown in the bin.
- 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 a +1 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 +1 to hit rolls 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.
- Always remember they now get a -1 to hit in melee for defensive purposes, functionally reducing roughly 15% of all melee attacks that hit them depending on the skill of the attacker.
- They lack thunder hammers, so throwing them at TEQ units can be a bit of a mixed bag. Also unlike Death Company they hit a cap at 5 attacks so while their glaives and fists are good, they swing less often with them.
- Death Company Core: 9th edition has been kind, blessing them with 2W. Death Company function as your high-output melee assaulters and the main users of Black Rage (as a recap; cannot fall back or perform Actions, gains +1A if they heroically intervene or charge, and ignore lost wounds on a 6). 22pts with bolt pistol and chainsword, +3pts for Jump Pack, makes them somewhat cheap but definitely worth the cost. Any number of models can swap their chainswords for power swords, mauls, axes, or fists, and any model can swap their bolt pistol for a hand flamer, inferno pistol, or plasma pistol. Finally, any model can swap BOTH weapons for a thunder hammer.
- Staggering amount of attack power, but they don't have the Sv2+/Ld9 of the Sanguinary Guard or the storm shield access/Ld8 of the Vanguard Veterans. Chaplains fix the Ld issue and a Sanguinary Priest helps their durability. This is a key point to remember with Death Company; they get exponentially better when you start stacking other abilities onto them. Otherwise they remain as the glass cannons they are.
- Compared to the previous edition, they've lost their fearlessness and boltgun access, and they're now capped at 10 models instead of 15.
- Death Company Intercessors Core: Apparently, Primaris Marines CAN fall to the Black Rage. Thanks a lot, Cawl. Intercessors with 3A and Black Rage, the entire squad can swap their bolt rifles for auto bolt rifles (which you should at least think about if you're footslogging), stalker bolt rifles (which you should at least think about if you're lobotomised), or a heavy bolt pistol and chainsword (which you should consider the default choice for this unit since it grants +1 attacks per model and AP-1 on all their melee attacks in exchange for slightly reduced shooting). For some reason, GW has to word Wargear options in the most fucking retarded way; one model has access to the Intercessor Sergeant weapon options and one additional model that has a heavy bolt pistol can swap it for a hand flamer or plasma pistol.
- You could stick 8 in a Repulsor with an Apothecary and Ancient. That's 16 wounds all with a 6+++ chance to dodge any D2 weapon hits, plus up to 56 attacks on the charge including Assault Doctrine plus usual BA enhancements (Red Thirst, Savage Echoes, etc). 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 24 point model, becomes pretty damn tanky.
- Death Company Dreadnought: Your normal Dreadnought but ANGRY (and too angry for being Core I guess). +1A, -1Ld, but gains Black Rage. Two Furioso fists (Sx2, AP-3, D3 (the exact same as a Dreadnought combat arm)) or two blood talons (S+4, AP-2, D3, re-roll failed wound rolls). No mixing fists and talons though. As far as your wrist weapons go, you can have any mix of heavy flamers, meltaguns (maximum 1), or storm bolters (maximum 1). They can swap their Smokescreen Keyword for Magna-Grapples, which has seen a slight change; enemy non-Aircraft Vehicles cannot fall back if you roll 2d6 and score equal to or above their S. At their cheapest, they're 130pts.
- Roughly speaking, Fists work better than Talons on 4+ saves or higher, but Talons are better on all T7+ after the first fight phase. Which is best overall is down to your local meta.
- These beasts dish out 7 attacks on the charge, 8 on turn three, with dread fists. Considering they can take two heavy flamers and have a 6+++ plus Duty Eternal you realize these are pretty damn good. HOWEVER, they are back to M6" so getting them into combat is always tricky and your opponent will probably blast them with everything they have, thus significantly reducing their usefulness outside of some type of distraction unit.
- Furioso Dreadnought: Sadly not Core for no discernible reason. They're a regular Dreadnought that's built for melee as they gain +1A if they have two fists or talons. The same weapon/Smokescreen or magna grapple options as the Death Company Dreadnought, but if they have two Furioso fists, they can swap one for a heavy frag cannon (18", heavy 2d3, S7, AP-1, D2, blast).
- If you're going melee, you may as well spring for Death Company for the charge bonus and 6+++. The only real draw is the frag cannon which can help pip marines and light vehicles, but can't be fired in melee. If you're looking into shootier dreads then Venerable or Ironclad may be the better choice, if more expensive.
- Company Champion: Not to be slept on, this is a unit many Blood Angels players will have overlooked in the transition to supplement, but which deserves special attention in this army. At his basic profile, he's a not-quite Captain with 4W, 4A, WS2+, a not-quite Storm Shield (5++, +1sv), a master crafted power sword, and some special rules that make him quite formidable in combat- He can heroically intervene within 6" instead of 3", and always fights first. For only 55pts. But wait- There's more. Upgrade him to Chapter Champion for a mere 15pts, and he gains -1 to hit from melee attacks, wound re-rolls against enemy characters, and an extra attack. At this point, you may wonder how many more rules we could possibly dump onto a character cheaper than a Lieutenant. How about giving him a warlord trait that grants a 6" re-roll charges aura?
- This guy couldn't be a better support character for melee footsloggers like Bladeguard, when your Sanguinary Priest and Icon of the Angel carriers are already going to be busy babysitting something else. He's crazy cheap for what he does and occupies an Elite slot, which is very helpful in the restrictive detachment system of 9th.
- Devastator Squad: CORE. You want maximum flame? You want to make Salamanders erect with jealousy? Four heavy flamers and two hand flamers on the Sergeant. Slap down a Drop Pod with that and a five-man Tactical Squad (who also be packing flames) on an objective, and dare your opponent to try and budge you.
- Baal Predator: A more expensive Razorback that swapped transport for +1W, 6" advances instead of d6", and the option for more dakka. Main gun options include twin assault cannons (24", heavy 12, S6, AP-1, D1) or the mighty Baal flamestorm cannon (18", heavy d6, S6, AP-2, D2, automatically hits). The 18" range is a much-welcome boon compared to last edition. Sponsons are limited to two heavy bolters or two heavy flamers. If you want anti-tank, too bad.
- Two heavy flamers and a flamestorm is unique in that it doesn't give a damn about degrading ballistic skill. Either variant provides good anti-infantry for a decent cost, but the Baal Predator suffers for being in an army with plenty of good anti-infantry.
- If you want to use the assault cannon option you should give some thought to the Redemptor Dread or the Gladiator Reaper. That being said, mixing heavy bolter sponsors with the flame cannon may not be as insane as some might think due to the abundant D2.
Lords of War
- Angel Infernus (Open Play Only): Because you want to make the Salamanders jealous. Pretty much a Land Raider Redeemer that swaps some of its 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 auto hits directed at anyone stupid enough to charge anywhere near it.
Building Your Army
So you've decided the Boys from Baal are the army for you, but you're not sure where to start?
Have a think about the army you want to build from the start. Typically death company or non-death company.
This distinction is really important because of a lot of our factions strength is in special characters that are keyworded to only buff one type either CORE or Death Company so if you're just starting out its easy to focus on one build or the other rather than blending the two.
This represents the CORE of a build not the entirety. A more competitive build will probably want some shooting components to support and hold the back objectives
Death Company Build: Dealing damage with Death company Squads isn't an issue; keeping them alive is. The units below all make up for their innate shortcomings.
- Lemartes: The Death Company Chaplain is clearly the obvious choice for Death Company Support. They can use his Ld9 (important when they're Ld7), they re-roll failed charge rolls, and he raps two Litanies per turn. Litany candidates include Canticle of Hate for +2" to charge and consolidation distances.
- Lieutenant: Can't go wrong with re-rolling wounds. You'll be grateful for taking one if you've kept them cheap with chainswords. Perhaps that cool-looking one with the storm shield?
- Sanguinary Priest/Corbulo: Healing half damaged models is always good, but it does get much better when you have a Chief Apothecary upgrade so you can bring one model back most turns.
- Librarian: Shield of Sanguinius to give them a 5++ invulnerable save and Unleash Rage to let hit rolls of UM6 score an additional hit.
- Any Ancient: Gives them +1Ld and if you've kitted them with the more expensive weapons (fists and hammers), getting one last attack on a 4+ before they die is really going to help make their points back.
Non-Death Company builds
- HQ 2-3 of;
- Commander Dante or Captain without.
- Sanguinary priest with jump pack or Corbulo.
- Astorath the Grim or Primaris Chaplain on bike.
- The real choice here depends on if you want pure objective holders or units that can double in assault or act as counter-chargers. Assault Intercessors can clear objectives, Heavy Intercessors can hold them, and Infiltrators/Incursors can capture them early, and Incursors have some melee ability.
- Vanguard Veterans with Jump Packs or Company Veterans with Jump Packs (Legends).
- Company Veterans - Objectively better than Vanguard without Jump Pack due to their Bodyguard rule.
- Company Champion - Already melee orientated, the Blood Angel Chapter Tactics only make them better. Bumping to Chapter Champion shoves him even further. Legends gives him a Jump Pack to keep up with Sanguinary Guard.
- Sanguinary Guard - What more needs to be said?
Death Company, Sanguinary Guard or Vanguard Veterans: All three are elite jump pack killers, but which one slots into your army the best?
- Death Company Very good horde mulchers with middling survivability thanks to 6+++. Can become good TEQ poppers with thunder hammers. They have a couple of excellent stratagems and a Secondary Objective that you can build around.
- Sanguinary Guard The best MEQ killers with damage two weapons. The most survivable when in melee. Good synergy with your warlord if you can keep them around him.
- Vanguard Veteran The most survivable against high AP with Storm Shields, but the least survivable without them. Can be the best horde mulchers with lightning claws or the best against vehicles with thunder hammers and inferno pistols.
(9th Edition tactics)
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 9th edition. With Red Thirst, we can pretty much ruin anything we face. Even a scout will wound Magnus on a 4+. How d'you like them apples? Blood Angels perform their best on the charge but close to friendly characters in order to get the maximum efficiency out of their close combat. So to that end, you should design your force with an emphasis on close combat, character buffs, and speed. However, charging at every opportunity can lead to some units being out of range of character abilities/auras. Not to mention that your characters can lose their much needed "Look out, sir!" protection.
- ABC - Always Be Charging: 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.
- Play the Objectives: We might be the kings of melee but don't forget you need something on the backfield objectives too. ATV, intercessors, eradicators, bladeguard, inceptors and hellblasters all perform this role
- Build to the Secondaries: We have some good secondary options that support our strategies but some need a skewed list to work really well work out what secondary you want and optimise your list to them
- Synergy: While Lemartes can buff DS death company squads or a single forlorn fury DC unit are viable can both be viable in a non-death company army. The more you mix death company and non-death company units the less synergy you have - e.g. Captains' auras don't buff death company and the lost captains don't buff non-death company. So you often want to focus one or the other more strongly. A rookie will often look at the units and determine that non-Death Company is the more effective melee force and this is largely true (but there isn't much difference). However, fury of the lost is an auto 15VP secondary for Death Company armies and gives them a big boost in performance.
- BRING BATTALIONS! Battalions maximise your elite slots while refunding your CP for having your HQ in it. You're unlikely to have the points for a brigade and a vanguard detachment doesn't refund your CP. This means that most BA lists will be capped at 3HQ and 6 Elite with a mandatory 3 Troops. In addition, the current points cost of characters mean taking more is probably a bad decision anyway
- Rerolling Charges: Lemartes and Death Company, Icon of the Angel, Chapter champion with martial supremacy. Individual character buffs like imperiums sword. Remember the "always be charging" rule, one of the big things that can go wrong is failed charges. Rerolls double your odds of making that charge and luckily we have a lot of options.
- Squad sizes : Quake bolts, Fury of the first we have a lot of ways to hit on 2's, assault intercessors fighting twice. We have a lot of really strong melee buffs and this often incentivises larger units compared to other chapters MSU builds.
- Positioning and auras Remember those 9" auras their more valuable than you think - if you want to always be charging, you're going to move around the board a lot positioning correctly so that you still benefit from auras is one of the most important things for a rookie to learn after terrain.
- Optimizing targets You're going to want fewer damage 2 weapons but the ones you have really want to be hitting vehicles, using reserves and deep-striking units is a great way of getting the right models to the right part of the battlefield. However you can only do that to half your army - drop pods - work
Example list: Sweet Law’s Blood Angels, as presented by GoonHammer
2x Extra Relic, 2x Extra Trait
Captain, storm shield, Teeth of Terra, The Imperium’s Sword 95
Primaris Bike Chaplain, Iron Resolve, Benediction of Fury (litany not listed, but I assume Mantra of Strength) 115
Sangunary Priest, Jump Pack, Warlord, The Armour Indomitus, Rites of War 120
Vindicare Assassin 100
5 Assault Intercessors, Power Sword 100
5 Assault Intercessors, Power Sword 100
5 Assault Intercessors, Power Sword 100
Elites 9 Sanguinary Guard, power fists 315
3 Bladeguard 105
3 Bladeguard 105
7 Devastators, 4 multi-meltas, cherub 211
3 Eradicators 120
3 Eradicators 120
Drop Pod 70 ____________
Vanguard Death Ball: 1-3 units of 10 vanguard Vets with 5xthunder hammer/storm shields and 5xdual lightning claws or dual chainswords. Shove a Chaplain (with the strat to auto pass the +2 to charge litany when coming from DS) or Priest with JP and Icon of the Angel (for the 6+++ and RR charge) 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. Two veteran units, priest and chaplain cost around 900 pts so in a 2000 pts game you can still have a decent fire-base and support.
- Death Company seem to have been left in the dust by VVs and SG after losing the ability to take bolters.
- A Death Company Marine with JP and power sword costs 30 pts, the same as a Sanguinary Guard with an encarmine sword. This is an extremely bad thing, as the SG does 2D instead of 1D, can easily get buffed with +1 to hit rolls and gives enemies -1 to hit rolls. The same goes for power fists. Take Death Company either with the free chainsword or a thunder hammer!
- Another thing to remember is that for 25 pts you can either get one DC with bolt pistol and chainsword or one VV with dual lightning claws. Both get 5 attacks on the charge but the VV has one extra AP but no FNP.
- For mobility, consider either Jump Packs or a Stormraven. Start with them on the board next to the Stormraven and depending on the enemy deployment either run them ahead or embark them immediately and fly.
- As Death Company rely on support, consider taking Lemartes, Sanguinary Priest with JP or Librarian with JP for buffs. If in a Stormraven, you may also consider a Librarian Dread for Null Zone and anti-tank smacking.
- Some off the cuff math says that Death Company kill vehicles with thunder hammers better and more cheaply than TH/SS Vanguard although the VVs are harder to kill, especially when supported by a Priest.
- As an aside, I've ordered non primaris assault units from most to least expensive: Terminators (43pts for TH/SS), Death Company (40 pts for TH), Vanguard Vets (35 pts for TH/SS), Sanguinary Guard (30 pts for sword/axe), Death Company (25 pts bolt pistol, chainsword), Vanguard Vets (2 LC).
Alternate take. While on a PT for PT comparison of above stats the above analysis is largely correct pt for pt DC are weaker. However, because of lemartes ability to reroll charges as deep strikers 2 units combined with lemartes can drop in and are twice as likely to get into combat. Sanguinary guard are a choppier unit but a choppier unit that fails the charge is still a sitting duck and not chopping. Now there are only a few other ways in the codex to get round this (librarian single unit), CP reroll, Company champion (foot model), Icon of the angel, Chaplain adding 2" to your charge with Litanies, can only be buffing one part of the battlefield. A single unit with forlorn fury can move 24" T1 and charge if you want something to smash your enemys screens and neither VV or SG can do that.
On unit comparisons death company are probably weaker, but if your going ultra competitive a mix offers significant advantages and a pure death company list can be just as viable when played the right way.
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