The once proud chapter called Blood Angels has fallen on some hard times.
These are the top three things I think would help them get back on top again. As a bonus I am going to include two more things so this should really be a top 5ish? But top 3 sounds better. Please let me know what you think in the comments.
Blood Angels harbor a dark secret and are on the verge of Inquisition sanction. They have blood rituals and are subject to two disorders – the Black Rage and the Red Thirst.
The first bonus thing that I think should change are these two afflictions (as if). They have been reduced to basically meaning nothing outside of the odd formation or just adding a couple of very common special rules to unit entries. These things used to really mean something, and I am not just referring to the fact that we used to get free death company members in previous editions.
I am not asking for over the top rules here but a +1 initiative isn’t going to make anyone even blink in our current competitive environment. We could even add a detriment here forcing BA players to have to take a LD check to see if they can sweeping advance a unit they have wiped out in close combat. Because… you know maybe they are taking a moment to make sure their hair is combed back into position or they need to drink the blood of the fallen. You decide.
The Black Rage was something that overtook Blood Angels on the eve or morning of battle. It was uncontrollable and the only relief was to let the poor unfortunate soul die in battle.
Now, it barely mentioned in the codex. I get it, we have two things here that could functional be the same thing but to US they are radically different. I’d like to see the Black Rage moved to a special formation or a warlord trait that, if rolled, affects the army in both a positive and negative way.
With that out of the way let’s get to the top 3!
- A better Psychic Power chart. Half the powers on this chart are Warp Charge 2. To add insult to injury these WC 2 powers have a very high chance of not doing anything even if they are successfully cast. The entire chart is limited in use and scope with the exception of Fear of the Darkness (ld test at neg 2). This should be moved to the Primaris slot and the range should be increased to 18-24 inches.
Quickening is a fine power but it should also boost Strength. Mephiston isn’t going to Lord of Death on his own anymore – he needs his powers. The Blood Angels were one of the founding legions of the Librarius for crying out loud!
- Open access to Artificer Armor. The BA models themselves are beautifully sculpted with some of the best looking power armor available. The Sanguinary guard is an excellent example here and point to a good amount of 2+ armor, and the knowledge to maintain it, available in the chapter. Even the successor chapters maintain units of Sanguinary Guard.
Having figures in squads that can take Artificer Armor is subtle but it goes a LONG way to helping the BA be effective in close combat but still not just be a Space Wolf wannabe. They become a codex chapter (which they are and why the Black Rage and Red Thirsts are a secret) that can grind out their equals in close combat without having to heap special rules or flashy weapons on them.
- Fix the named characters. They are weird hold overs from the previous Ward Edition and lack synergy with the list in its current format. You just never ‘want’ take any of them and Dante and Seth being in the Lord of War slots with their current stats compared to the rest of the game is lame. You can make a small case for Dante because he is powerful, but so much out there just nullifies part of his effectiveness and you will rarely ever use him for his Warlord Trait.
Without getting too much into specifics here I think good special character design would dictate that they would be in line with what the army wants to be doing and what the army wants to do should be supported by the rules of the game.
The game right now is heavily slanted against deep strikers that don’t assault on the turn they arrive, close combat in general and armies with expensive taxes to unlock their ‘power units.’
The last bonus thing is sort of a key off of the number 1 change the Blood Angels need. The codex needs a complete overhaul to bring it in line with even the most recent Space Marine dex. This goes without saying so I didn’t include it in the top 3 things I would change immediately. Letting this book exist the way it does for so long is a huge disservice to a fan base that has supported the game since the beginning.
The codex needs affordable wargear and formations that provide the same level of free upgrades and game winning utility that many of the armies are benefiting from now. If I ever thought that would go away I would be advocating that everyone loses it but unfortunately I think formations of free stuff are here to stay.
So.. What do you think the BA need to get back up to the top?
Please let us know!