40k Flashback: The FIRST Angels of Death Codex -1993



Jump into the Cat Tub Time Machine, we’re going back and taking a look at the 2nd edition Angels of Death Codex, not the supplement!

Of course, back in 1993/1994, the Angels of Death Codex contained both Blood Angels and Dark Angels. It was a bit of a marketing thing to see if people actually cared about the Angels; turns out they do. So in 3rd edition they each got their own separate book.



It’s not in the best of conditions, little Robbie B wasn’t nice with his stuff but regardless, we got it here with us still. This is the red period,  or the spikey period as some folks called it stangely enough.

One of the things I did love about the red period was the all the diorama scenery. Model Wizard Mike McVey, himself went hard in the hobby paint with a chapel on the Rock with stained glass- all scratch built but in the early 90’s. I can’t even do that today – this was, and still is amazing over 20 years later.



The inside is mostly black and white, it’s got a color section that Games Workshop hoped to get you into the hobby aspect of the game. Nowadays, we expect a fluffy section that wasn’t quite as prevalent in his codex. You’ll notice there wasn’t Troops, HQ, elites, etc. We had Characters, Squads, and support and then Special Characters (which even up until a little while ago people couldn’t quite handle playing against).  It’s funny how the 40k boogey man has progressed over the years; I don’t even know where we go from her now in 2016.

But back then, 2nd edition was hero hammer- it took all afternoon, and these special characters would just mop the floor with your opponent.



The line art is amazing; Gibbons and Blanche just went to town and made some amazing, amazing art.



The color section is a bit weak comparatively. Now I look back at some of those models and say, “Man, that’s classic! But I’m so glad I don’t have to play with that stuff any more.”



You’ll notice this is the first time they printed up the story about the Lion and the Wolf fight!



There’s a wargear section but in the starter box they had all the cards which had all the information on them; which, on my god, games workshop PLEASE make us some psychical cards like Private Press does with their unit cards. I will KILL for some of these… I would totally buy that. It’s so much easier to keep track of things. I’m a visual guy. I like visual aids.



You can see there’s not much fluff, they just try to cram as much information onto each page as they possibly could.



There’s also a bits section with the codes that let you buy each particular piece. They haven’t sold bits in awhile and I don’t think they’re going back to that any time soon.



If you want to deep dive into the book, with all my crazy stories, check out the video below!

Angels of Death 2nd Edition Codex 40k Flashback 



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  • LeroyJenkinss

    Wait… Women can vote?!?!?

    • daonemdt

      At least theres still seperation of the classes though……right?

      • I smelled a pleb today as I passed by in my carriage. I almost spat up.

  • LordKrungharr

    Boy I love that old art! Great stuff. Just looks more fun than modern books. Though I can’t speak about the rules back then, my first codex was the fourth edition chaos.

    • Seienchin

      Rules and playflow in 40k and fantasy where quite different back then and its super hard to tell how they would do in the present. I mean I love going back and playing older editions but if the rules came back with the whole scene and tournament guys getting their claws at them then I doubt they would do well in the age of internet.

    • Locke

      Totally agree it’s so vibrant and in your face. It’s 40k remembering that it’s actually a fun game about crazy sci-fi battles between Space Marines and aliens. The new stuff looks rather dark and soulless by comparison not that it’s all bad.

  • Zingbaby

    Sadly none of the Blood Angels hero models have been updated since then. This was a fun book even though I remember only losing games with it!

    • Joka

      I always felt they seemed a little too much …old stile.
      And that’s why Corbulo is worse looking than a basic Sanguinary priest.

  • ZeeLobby

    I miss the old fiction. Used to be real gritty. Now BA and Necrons are bros. It’s a sad universe we live in 😕.

    • daonemdt

      Yea theres too much mutual rational alliances in 40k nowadays. I miss the stupidly absurd hatred of 2nd ed days.

      • ZeeLobby

        Amen. Necrons as mindless killing machines were so much more interesting then robots with feelings.

        • daonemdt

          I second that. I mean i think insane homicidal robots are good but cold blooded logical yet mindless robots seems far more terrifying.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean there’s already a ton of homicidal races in the galaxy. Cold calculating machines were at least different. The original Necron fiction was some of the best. Records pieced together from corrupted vox recordings at what looked like abandoned outposts. Some of my favorite codexes were the ones written from the imperial perspective concerning Tyranids and necrons. Some of the white dwarf shorts of Tyranids spores raining down on farming colonies were truly terrifying.

          • daonemdt

            yep i got the white dwarf that first featured the necrons circa 1998, with that same outpost report style finding. They used converted pieces of the original necron pewter model to show pict captures of it disintegrating after being destroyed. Cool stuff they did in white dwarf in mid to late nineties.

          • ZeeLobby

            Hah. I still have that one as well. I go back and reread them every once in a while.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            they’ve really lost the knack of writing that sort of thing. In one of the Realm of Chaos books theres a short about a daemonically posessed desk that corrupts a planetary governor! And its brilliant!

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Reminds me of the late nineties when we came up with a vampire piece of a home called the Methuselah door! Which corrupt people and trap them into the room until they cut themselves and covered the door. Oh the days when we refused to make our Vampire games Grim Dark!

        • Tox

          The Ciaphas Cain novels showed how great the old style Necrons were. They were excellent villains, enigmatic, ruthless and cold, slaughtering to feed their demigod masters. Now they are armies of unthinking robots lead by metal versions of the backstabbing Administratum bureaucrats.

        • Heinz Fiction

          While i really liked the old necron fluff, I have to agree with that guy at GW who said they were basically metal Tyranids. So yeah I guess I can live with Space Tomb Kings instead. Reminds me of Star Gate a little, which is not a bad thing.

          • deris87

            Plus, there’s nothing preventing your particular Necron army from being simple mindless killing machines with no personality at any level.

          • ZeeLobby

            They were and they weren’t though. I mean the hive mind is sentient. Necrons are really just pre-programmed automatons. I also think there’s a nice distinction between fleshy and hard metal. That said, I can understand why some people like the new Necrons, they just don’t embody the dread that the originals did. A lot of that is due to their new found emotions, but some of it is definitely the overly detailed codex they now have. It was more interesting when there was more unknown about them.

    • Ronin

      Blame allies rules lol.

  • Ira Clements

    Sadly NONE of those special character would mop the floor with any opponent. Pretty much the same with all the Marine books in 2e. Now the 2e Eldar was just absurd. The one thing I remember mostly from1993 was sitting in the bar while the news came on that Kurt Cobain and killed himself.

    • Andreas Peahc

      We all now a certain woman killed him.

      • Pascalnz

        and it was 94

        • Beyond Boredom

          The power of the shot blasted him into the future.

  • daonemdt

    That dark angels diorama of the rock is one my earliest and favourite memories of 40k. I still have the WD issue that featured how they made it.

  • trn

    Hehe, horrible memories of being trounced by this codex. Mind you, I was using 2nd edition Codex Orks which was the equivalent of ‘Carry On Dakka’.

  • Παναγιώτης Λύρης

    i bought this codex from the first payment i ever got from a job, back in 1995, i was playing blood angels (and still do) then, i even took the book with me when i was in service in the navy, eventually i learned all the points costs by heart and could write an army list (no army list builders back then) without even opening the codex.

  • Ben_S

    Was this really ’93? Could have sworn it was later (having been a Blood Angels player in 2nd edition).

    • sjap98

      Yes, it’s from 1996

    • Andrew Howell

      I was working in a gamestore when it came out in 1996.

  • Nasty

    Dante, Mephiston, Corbulo and Tycho, still the same miniatures!

  • SilentPony

    Woof. This just goes to show how dated a lot of the Character models are.