Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dante by Analysis

Let's move on to Dante. Commander Dante is a special character that has been with the Blood Angels from the 2nd Edition codex. Let's read:

Commander Dante is one of the most experienced and able Space Marine Commanders. In no small part this is due to the quite extraordinary longevity of the Blood Angels, which has meant that he has ruled the Chapter for over 1,100 years! He is held in awe by the leaders of most other Chapters, who can remember him being a famous Commander when they were still in the Scout Company. Because of his reputation, when it came to choosing a leader for the Armageddon intervention, the Masters of the other two Chapters taking part (the Ultramarines and the Salamanders) unanimously asked for him to be placed in command.

Let's check his statline. A nice WS 6, BS 5 for that infernus pistol, W 4, A 4, I 6, 2+ and  4++ save. You might as well keep that high initiative so he only has AP3 on his weapon. The real bonus is opening up the Sanguinary Guard as troops choices - thereby making them scoring and freeing up more space for other elites.


Still overpriced, like all the rest.

Mr. Black:

Dante, I feel, came out the Codex Winner this edition. I loved running this guy before, but always knew that his life would come to an end when a random Power Fist decided to punch him in the abs Harry Houdini style - but now? Now that won't be happening as much because, again, wound allocation. In fact, I'm just going to get this out of the way now: 6th Edition is the Herohammer edition. I say that because now your ICs and whatnot will have a much harder time being instantly taken out by, well, Instant Death, as well as just ablative wounds... But that's a whole 'nother article in itself, so we won't bog this down with that speech.

Anyway, Dante... What did he gain this edition? Well Hit and Run is just as good as ever, and his Surgical Strike remains pretty much unchanged... So what changed about him? Well his Axe got...Ermm...Different... For those that are not aware a big debate has been running about whether or not his Axe Mortis qualifies as a "Unique Power Weapon" or a "Power Axe", and while the debate is long running I'm not going to get into it, I'm just going to state my opinion: It's an Axe, I do not believe Master-Crafted is enough of a stigma to make it "unique"... If you want to change it to a Sword, then by the same rules I go by, that's fine, model it how you want- the name is just a fluff thing titling a set of rules, if you want the bottom line. On that note, however, his Initiative: 6 lost a bit of bite (ok, a lot), but the added Strength bonus (now 6 on the charge) makes up for it in my mind. Plus, it gives a unit (traditionally Honour Guard or Sanguinary Guard) that has issue with Terminator Armor the ability to deal with it.

Speaking of Terminators, Dante also allows us access to our own brand of flying Terminators the Sanguinary Guard as Troops, who got a huge boost this edition with the advent of, once again, 2+ being a huge deal. I can already picture a combined Dantewing and Deathwing army storming across the battlefield... It is a glorious sight... Not that I want my precious Blood Angels tainted by Dark Angels.

Sons of Sanguinius:

A bit underused in 5th but probably more due to Meph being king. Was always pretty good especially for DoA armies and a nice character but not a must have.

Again Dante has been severely hampered by 6th. Like Meph 2+ is a good save. However the problem lies in the fact that the Axe Mortalis is a "Mastercrafted power weapon" And from the weapon title we must infer that the type of power weapon specifically is a power axe. Oh. So the lovely initiative 6 on his profile is worthless as he will in fact be striking at Initiative 1, at least he'll be strength 6.. -.- the only positive is that it's AP2.. but I'm still not convinced that makes him worthwhile at 225pts. Probably still kinda nice for DoA but not convinced at all especially as he might not even get to strike if challenged and dies before swinging...


-I can see Dante becoming more popular now that Sang Guard aren't a joke. His axe nerf is unfortunate. Guess getting old makes you slow even if you are a space marines, huh?

BA Devastators:

Well, you do need to pick an HQ. If we are running only Blood Angels, then you may want to try something different and have a unit or two  of Sanguinary Guard scoring troops. Don't forget to give him a Personal Warlord Trait too.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Astorath Community Breakdown

Link Here

Mr. Black put up an article on BoLS about Blood Angel Headquarters choices. Generally, his opinions were quite different than Stelek's YTTH breakdown. Let's add a few more voices to compare and contrast with.

Astorath the Grim is a new HQ character that came out with the 5th Edition codex. He is the High Chaplain and the Redeemer of the Lost. He executes members that have been lost to the Black Rage.
Statline: He's has WS 6, W 3, I 5, A3 and a 2+ 4++ save.
He comes with a jump pack, he let's his unit re-roll ones to hit, but also let's Death Company re-roll 1's to wound. He has The Executioner's Axe which let's him strike at initiative and at strength 6 AP3  and makes enemies re-roll successful invulnerable saves.

Astorath. You fear Terminators? Allright, chop them up with him. I don’t think he’s worth 220 points though.

(How is he going to chop them up?)

Mr. Black:
Astorath got a bit more pissed off in 6th with the changes to both Death Company and Fearless- Now he is one of the best HQs in the entire book for the world of benefits he gives. First, let's get this out of the way, his weapon:  The Executioners Axe, which has a two-fold benefit of having dodged the "Power Axe" issue by having its own unique rules as well as avoided being labeled a "Power Maul", which in my mind sets him far above any other Chaplain.

He causes our marines to become Fearless half the time which, while it looks like a straight win on the surface, is actually worse now than And They Shall Know No Fear, barring certain circumstances. To me this is a wash, as it's scenario driven: There are times you'll wish you could fall back (from shooting, for example), or wish you could Go To Ground, and Fearless nixes all that for a benefit that would actually do the same (but without the drawbacks) in 90% of the same scenarios. Give and take, I suppose...

 And of course the mainstay for him: He allows Death Company to be fielded en mass. The new Rage rules make this a very scary concept, as before you ran the risk of having your entire army led around on a leash. But now... Well now you just have an army of hyper-aggressive pissed off marines that will shred ANYTHING that gets in their way.

I'll speak more on the benefits of this when we talk about the Death Company, but for now I'll just say that while in 5th this ability was a nice novelty to open up a likewise novel army, now it's a valid ploy to open up the option for some serious firepower!

Lastly, Astorath is one of the few options in our book to boast a 2+ save, which as we all have read is the thing to have in 6th. But is it really that good? Yes. Yes it is. A large percentile of weapons will just ping off him, and with a Feel No Pain bubble nearby the chances of him getting hurt are slim- factor in how wound allocation now works and Astorath (as well as many other Special Characters) will be hanging around till the end of the game, avoiding those hidden Power Fists that slew them so many times in 5th.

Sons of Sanguinius:
Right time to be less negative. Firstly 2+ save, good. We know in 6th 2+ are going to be far better than 3+ moreso than in either of the last 2 editions at least. Now the executioners axe is a funny one. It doesn't actually count as an axe. As it has it's own special rules it is treated as AP3 which isn't great but it does mean he can strike at his normal initiative while still gaining a strength boost. The fact that he forces rerolls to invulnerables also makes him that little bit more effective for challenges. Far less chance of tarpitting him with a Storm Shield. Also he gets all of the chaplain buffs.. and more chance to gain fearless for your army (which is far less harsh in 6th..) yeah pretty good I'd say.

Astorath more useful now that DC are much better. His axe is AP3 now, which makes it special rule sorta useless – how many units have good invulnerable saves (read: at least 4++) and not have a 2+ save as well?

(Exactly, 3++!)

BA Devastators:
Opportunity cost is the big thing here. Do you want access to psychic powers? How many Death Company can you afford to pack into your army without losing too much support? How will he fit into your army- what is his role and will he fill it are answers you need before deciding to take him. The best reason to take Astaroth is essentially if you want to unlock the restrictions on your Death Company.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Let's have a look at Insanguination - or is that Exsanguination?

The 2nd Ed. Codex: Angels of Death (Rick Priestly & Jervis Johnson) gives the first look at this:

All Space Marine Chapters use gene-seed to trigger and control the processes that transform an ordinary mortal into a Space Marine. The gene-seed is encoded with all the information needed to reshape ordinary cell clusters into the special organs Space Marines possess, and it contains viral machines which rebuild the body to the template contained within the gene-seed. However, from the beginning there was no set way to activate the gene-seed.

Indeed, at the time when the Chapters of the First Founding were created, the process was still highly experimental and many different ways of controlling and managing the change were tried. This led to the Space Wolves using the ritual known as Blooding, the Imperial Fists using the process known as the Hand of Faith and the Blood Angels using Insanguination.

The Process was originally triggered by injecting the Aspirants with tiny samples of their Primarch's own blood. This practice of course ended with the death of Sanguinius. However, some of his blood was kept and preserved in the Red Grail. The living blood could not be kept this way for long and it was injected into the veins of the Sanguinary Priests. In this way they became living hosts to the power of Sanguinius. To this day, drinking the collected blood of the assembled Sanguinary Priests fromt the Red Grail is part of the ritual of creation of all Blood Angels Priests.

Looking at Adeptus Astartes for the Blood Angels by Phil Kelly, he adds numerous details to the history of the Blood Angels:

At the time when the First Founding Chapters were created, the Emperor himself oversaw the process of transferring gene-seed from Primarch to Space Marine. However, since the Emperor's interment in the Golden Throne, each Chapter has had a different method of controlling and managing the change. The Blood Angels originally practised Exsanguination, a process initially triggered by injecting aspirants with tiny samples of the Primarch's blood. Alas, this process ground to a halt after Sanguinius's death, but fortuitously some of his blood was kept in the relic known as the Red Grail. This living blood, even possessed of such incredible power, could not last for long in an unprotected state. Thus it was that the vitae of their dead Primarch was injected into the veins of the Sanguinary Priests. They became living hosts to the power of their Primarch. Even today, drinking the blood of the assembled Sanguinary Priests from the Red Grail is part of the ritual used in inducting new Blood Angels Priests. In turn, it is from these custodians of the pure lineage that the blood given to aspirants is taken.

The Phil Kelly fluff doesn't actually use the word Insanguination. It describes what happens to new Blood Angels recruits but doesn't use the word. The Priestly and Johnson fluff use Insanguination to denote all ways of the BA gene-seed being activated, while the Kelly fluff only uses Exsanguination to denote the activation of BA gene-seed taken directly from Sanguinius.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

3++ has the New Blood Rodeo

Link Here

It's interesting that Kirby was surprised when he said that he had received more e-mails about the Blood Rodeo than any other build. I'm not. Bikers are Toughness 5 all of the time. They can get 5+ Feel No Pain on just about everything. If they get into hand-to-hand and can't hurt the enemy, they can disengage.

If you will ally them with the boys in blue, you can make them scoring. Kirby goes into all of the details right down to weapon upgrades.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Movement and Shooting Quiz for 6th

Link Here

Thor is doing some nice work on this, so visit his site and make sure you know the basics.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

R-H-1-N-0 Schematics

You can get a look at the Rhino's engine from Imperial Armour 2. Of course, the Blood Angels have turbo-charged engines, and I have no idea how they would look or be modified in detail. Knowing the ins and outs of your vehicle is more important than ever because of the way line of sight works in 6th Edition.

Sanguinius' Honour Restored

Han Solo shot Sanguinius attacked first.

5th Ed. Codex: Blood Angels:

Thus rejected, Horus flew into a rage and attacked. Even at the peak of his powers Sanguinius could not have hoped to prevail against the monster Horus had become, and the Primarch was weary and wounded from his travails on Terra.

2nd Ed. Codex: Angels of Death:

While he was still alone he chanced upon Horus and, although he knew it would almost certainly spell his doom, he immediately attacked the Warmaster. But Sanguinius was no match for Horus at the height of his daemon-provided power, and was slain by the Warmaster with contemptuous ease.

Blood Angels' Codex Timelines

The 2nd Edition codex came out in 1996.

The 3rd Edition codex came out in 1998.

The 4th Edition codex came out in 2007.

The 5th Edition codex came out in 2010.

We are now over two years into this book and it has proven to be a pretty balanced book. However, I wonder how long until we will be looking at a new book.

Although they have had a codex every edition, this pattern might end. Templars, Dark Angels and Space Wolves have all missed an edition previously. I doubt they will let the Space Marine / Ultramarine codex miss an edition, so it could be the Blood Angels' turn to sit one out or be released with 7th Edition in mind. Let's hope that GW increases the pace of codex releases so the Blood Angels don't end up left behind like Templars or Dark Angels or even worse - Xenos codices!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Poll Results

It doesn't actually take that large of a sample size to results to normalize. Let's see how the poll worked out.

DC Tycho (no votes)

I think Blood Angels players seem to understand the strength of the characters pretty well. DC Tycho really needs a boost to be considered again as viable. Everyone knows the Captain has weaknesses and no access to artificer armour. Dante, Seth, Lemartes and the Sanguinor are all weaker now in 6th Ed. The librarian is pretty much the default choice with access to psychic powers and ability to customize. Astaroth and Corbulo are relatively better compared most of the other special characters. Corbulo might almost be as an auto include as the librarian with the Feel No Pain rule.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stelek Issues BA Primer


Stelek, I think, pretty much nails the HQ section. You want psychic abilities in your armies. I do think he was too harsh on Tycho. His abilities to ignore armor and strike at Initiative 5 while having the 2+ 4++ saves are pretty much what you are looking for in a leader to give / accept Challenges.  How many other marines can do this now? I think he's a nice addition in an army, as long as he fits in it properly and not just rammed in.


Honour Guard




Captain Tycho (over costed)
Captains (better choices)
Astorath (over costed)
Mephiston (vulnerable)
Dante (over costed)
Sanguinor (vulnerable)
Seth (nerfed)

Now, for the Elites slot. Stelek overlooked that Techmarines can repair hull points, so his estimation of  the unit may change. He also skipped over Assault Terminators which we would assume goes in the yes category.


Terminator Squad
Assault Terminator Squad
Sanguinary Priest with Power Fist
Sanguinary Guard


Furioso Librarian
Furioso Dreadnought
Chaplain (depends on list)
Techmarine (until analyzed again)



Troops are overshadowed by allied troops.



Tactical Squad
Assault Squad
Death Company
Death Company Dreadnought (Blood Fists)

Scout Squad

Fast Attack




Attack bikes (I think Stelek is under rating them)


Scout Bikers
Bike Squad (I think Stelek is under rating them)
Baal Predator
Vanguard Veterans (unreliable)

Heavy Support







Wound Allocation and Rules Quiz

Wound Allocation for Dummies

The chart seems like it never ends!

Rules Quiz

Five Questions to get you started on 6th Edition.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stelek Drops New R-H-1-N-0 Tactica

Link Here

Stelek has imparted a few ways to run your Rhino squad. Let's examine:

He says you can use it with Tactical squads or Assault squads. These will be ten man squads that are already made into combat squads (before deployment) yet are using the same transport.

Plasma Variant - Stelek has the Sergeant utilizing the Gunslinger rule taking two plasma pistols and meltabombs leading one combat squad. The other combat squad keeps both special weapons (plasmaguns). His intention is to use these to target opposing Rhinos or Dreadnoughts.

Melta / Plasma Variant - This will replace the plasmaguns with meltaguns and the rest remains the same.

Stelek concludes that plasma pistols are to be used over infernus pistols due to the increased range. Infernus pistols are more suitable for Assault squad jumpers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Horus' Offer

In examining the 2nd Edition Codex: Angels of Death, we are looking for differences to enjoy.

In the 5th Ed. codex, it reads, "In evil cunning, the Warmaster offered Sanguinius one final chance to renounce the Emperor, to join with Horus' inevitable victory - yet the Primarch of the Blood Angels held true, and refused."

In the 2nd Ed. codex, we instead are treated to, "Although Horus  offered him a throne by his side and the pick of human worlds to rule, Sanguinius refused, even though he knew such a refusal would seal his own doom."

Let's actually examine this:

The Emperor is on his way and I am about to win. Sanguinius is here, let's offer him something that is a pittance compared to being the undisputed ruler of the universe. His additional help will make sure I can defeat the Emperor. Horus has nothing to lose by making an offer, essentially. Horus has a lot to gain if Sanguinius would turn to the forces of Chaos.

Does Sanguinius not already have a privileged place as one of the primarchs at the side of the Emperor? Does he not already have a homeworld with two moons also? However, with his prescience it really is a question of life in heresy or death in honour. Could it also have been a gamble that he could hold off Horus long enough for the Emperor to enter Horus' sanctum to prevent his death? The 5th Ed. version has the Emperor immediately arriving after Sanguinius' death. The 2nd leaves no mention of how long it took the Emperor to arrive.

Knowing that the Emperor is on board the ship with you would have to be incredibly fortifying and encouraging before the biggest test of your life, I would have to say that Horus should have given a much improved offer to provide a greater temptation. The great Warmaster and tactical genius failed at the most critical time twice and ended up paying for it. Of course, letting his shields down was a failure made from personal character. Not swaying Sanguinius to his side shows his limitations.

Blood Angels - 2nd Edition

For all newer Blood Angels players, you may have an interest in seeing what has come before. There are numerous resources which shouldn't be missed out on because the materials are basically unobtainable.

Just look at that Chaplain! "Behold my awesomeness!"

A lot of the fluff has been recycled over the codices, so we won't need to cover that- you've read the BA 5th Ed. Codex cover-to-cover and lovingly pored over and over the army building section figuring out how you want to arm and model your units. Instead, we are going to examine differences and small pieces of interesting information from the past.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Moving Units Directly Toward s.

The B & C had a primer on how to move your units in 5th Ed. for the Rage rule. All you had to do was move the front models to stretch to the maximum of your movement to satisify this.

The 6th Ed. BRB Page 4:

It's interesting that it still uses the word unit, but this time the meaning is much clearer than the Rage rule from 5th Ed.:

Units must always move as fast as possible towards the closest visible enemy.

Of course, the Rage rule is completely different now.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Stuff!

2nd Edition is here! Blood Angels (Angels of Death) Codex arrived to my computer by the power of the Emperor. Oh, and I bought 6th Ed. too now that copies have arrived in Korea.

3++ Takes on Wound Allocation


Finished reading it? Good. It seems like it would really speed up rolling, but removing the models all at once will be somewhat anticlimactic, I think. You already know they are being removed, you now just need to pick over the corpses- which is fine for Tyranids. I enjoy the "Will the marine shrug off this shot?" tension. I hate just removing models when they are instantly killed or have no save. It's harder to picture in my mind "the cinematic" (in 5th Ed.) when I'm just calculating who is coming off the board.

I'm definitely going to try both types (the rule book and 3++ speed rolling) and then see how I feel about it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sending a Letter to Games Workshop

Well, I figure it's time to write my first letter to Games Workshop. With all of the confusion to the weapon profiles, I thought it was a perfect excuses to do so!

Blood Angels' Fluff

Please comment on your favorite pieces of Blood Angels' fluff that you want to share or tell new players about (and where it's from). You can also comment on what you want to know more about the Blood Angels and maybe someone can help you.

Favorite BA fluff:
It's definitely Death Company. "The warriors of the Death Company seek only one thing - death in battle - and they are sent forth to their final fight with great honour."

I find it very interesting to see how part of your marine force is just set aside in very stark color contrast to the red of your force (excepting successor chapters that may vary color schemes).

From the 5th Ed. Codex: Blood Angels

Those few members of the Death Company that survive the battle perish shortly afterwards, either of their fearsome wounds or through the mercy of the Redeemer of the Lost, whose duty it is to end their suffering. It is better this way, for those who do survive almost always fall victim to the Red Thirst, turning into creatures no better than wild beasts craving flesh and blood. Better by far to die cleanly and quickly than to suffer such ignoble fate...

BA fluff I want to know more about:

What type of symbols or iconography and styles they use on their communications or internal documents?

Image from: Dragonrealm

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ceremony of Commissioning

Let's examine Imperial Armour to see what happens to a rhino. According to the Lexicanum, Rhinos were called RH-1-N-0.  It is a Standard Template Construction (STC) vehicle. It's armour is made from bonded ceramite over plasteel. The current engines are four thermic combustor reactor engines.

From Imperial Armour:

There are many rituals surrounding the construction, maintenance and use of Rhinos. They must be cared for using the correct liturgies of maintenance, divined from the runes of engineering and the Machine-Spirit must be blessed to protect both the vehicle and its occupants in battle.

When armoured panels are made, they are inscribed with protective sigils:

The Techmarine builder calls upon the Spirit of the Machine God to invest the Rhino with power. Three- times the Runes of Activation are hammered onto the engine block; the engine is fired as the third blow is struck. If it roars into life first time then it is a good omen, the vehicle will live a long and useful life.

We all know the importance of naming your vehicle:

The final blessing is the Naming Ritual. A new vehicle must have a battle name worthy of the Chapter's great history. This name is recorded, and some Chapters choose to paint or engrave it onto the Rhino.

Monday, July 2, 2012