Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Blood angels codex review - overall army impressions

Overall I am pretty impressed with the release. Obviously new codex means change and some people are very resistant to change, usually when it involves an overpowered unit they've been exploiting being toned down and made more reasonable. I for one welcome change as thesedays it usually means balance and progression. Over the week I will be reviewing the codex and highlighting what's new and what the implications may be. 


One thing that struck me about the new book is that in terms of slot placement and organisation, the Blood Angels are now more codex adherent. They also pack grav weapons and relic blades in addition to their own armoury weapons. However (and this is a good thing), they did not get any of the new toys available to codex marines and actually gained next to nothing overall much like Dark Eldar and Grey Knights (except we didn't lose much either). Many people were hoping for stormtalons and the like, but that would take away from the space marine codex too much in my opinion. We have our toys, they have theirs. We probably only got grav and relic blades as they were present in the sternguard and vanguard sets. Other people were disappointed with assault squads not being as abundantly available and all drop armies not being viable. We may well get a detachment or formation in Exterminatus so all is not lost. In any case, we should be happy with things as they are. For everything else there's unbound, formations, multiple detachments and allies.


Red thirst, being fluffy but a bit tedious, is no more. Universal furious charge lives on in its place! I can live without the fearless (ATSKNF is good enough most of the time) to ensure 100% rather than 16.6% or my army has furious charge. Descent of Angels is also sadly gone and lives on as a warlord trait instead. There may well be a detachment further down the line that brings it back however.
Frag cannon - same
Angelus boltgun - same
Stormstrike missiles replace bloodstrike
Blood talons become specialist weapons that are Sx2, AP2, shred and are a power fist upgrade.
The Librarian dreadnought gained the furioso force halberd, a Sx2 Ap2 force weapon!
Glaives encarmine remained the same but are cleanly divided into axe and sword now.
Relic blades became available for captains and vanguard sergeants.
Blood chalice - adds +1 to the weapon skill of that unit.
Death mask - unit gains fear.
Overcharged engines - vehicle gains fast unit type.
(all else same as codex space marines / rulebook / previous edition)


We only lost smite and shackle soul from the old powers and only Mephiston retained Sanguine Sword.

Primaris - Quickening (WC1) - blessing targetting the psyker or unit in 12" - gain fleet and D3 I + A. This could be huge on characters such as Mephiston and Dante. Effectively a better version of the old might of heroes.

1 - Fear of the Darkness (WC1) - malediction targetting enemy in 12" - morale check with -2 Ld. Again, could be a great power under the right circumstances for making otherwise tough units run of the board edge or an objective. Similar to before but with less range.

2 - Unleash rage (WC1) - blessing on a friendly unit in 18" - gives the unit rage or if they have rage gives them +1 attack. Great for making already devastating assault units unstoppable.

3 - Shield of Sanguinius (WC1) - Psyker and unit have 5++. Great if cast on say sanguinary guard and a vast improvement on the old 5+ cover save.

4 - Blood boil (WC2) - focussed witchfire 18" target takes 2 toughness tests and each failed loses a wound (no saves allowed) and if removed, place a large blast s4/AP5 ignore cover over. An improvement on the old one in my opinion, which already incorporated the focussed witchfire mechanic.

5. Blood lance (WC2) - 12" beam, S8 AP1 lance. Pretty much same as before and still nasty!

6 - Wings of sanguinius (WC2) - blessing on friendly unit in 12". Move unit 12" immediately - cannot then assault. Better and worse than before. It now targets a whole unit in the psychic phase which could be useful in objective missions or to get in/out of range of a target or harm. On the other hand, no more jump pack Mephiston. 


1 - Red rampage (Tycho; Tycho the lost; Seth) - Warlord has rage.

2 - Speed of the Primarch (Corbulo) - Warlord has +1 I.

3 - Artisan of war - one Warlord weapon (non-relic) is master-crafted.

4 - Soulwarden (Astorath; Mephiston) - Warlord has admantium will

5 - Descent of Angels (Dante) - Jump/flyer/skimmer can reroll reserve rolls and scatter D6" less than 

6 - Heroic bearing (Sanguinor) - Imperial armies in 12" have fearless


Angels wing (25) - jump pack can reroll deep strike scatter dice and mishap rolls. Interceptors can only snap shot against the model and its unit. Potentially great Vs Tau Riptide interceptor large blasts.

Crown Angelic (10) - Has fear and enemy takes Ld test at -2. Potentially good against non-fearless/ATSKNF armies such as Orks CSM and Eldar.

Veritas Vitae (15) - Warlord generates additional strategic warlord trait.

Gallian's staff (10 - Librarian only) - same as a force staff but can reroll 1s on psychic test - if reroll is a 1 take a wound with no saves.

Fury of Baal (25) - Master-crafted plasma pistol that doesn't get hot

Valour's edge (20) - AP2 power sword - very nice considering the S and I bonuses in the army.

1 - valour of the Angels - score 1VP if you issued a challenge

2 - Aerial assault - score 1VP if a BA skimmer, jump or flyer unit destroys an enemy unit (D3 if it 
was the turn the BA unit arrived)

3 - Purity through bloodshed - score 1VP if if an enemy unit destroyed in you assault phase (3-5 = D3, 6+ = D3+3).

4 - Decapitating strike - score 1VP if enemy warlord slain.

5 - Swift advance - opponent selects 2 objectives - 1VP if you control 1 at end of turn, D3 if both.

6 - Noble self-sacrifice - 1VP if your warlord removed as a casualty. Discard if your Warlord refuses a challenge.


Baal strike force - same as CAD except Elites 1-4. Can reroll warlord trait and all models add 1 to their initiative when they charge unless it was disordered (in other words, old furious charge is back!).


  1. so if you get Dante you have automatic descent of angels warlord trait? wow, finally i can convince myself to buy and paint one ;)

  2. I can't believe how many formations and dataslates they are getting...Loving all the new options...Their second CAD is ridiculous...14 elites???

    1. guess it's their way to let you know that they would really love if you get loads of death co. ;)

    2. There are some spectacular ones in WD for free this week.