It’s a whole new ballgame, kids, so how do the Blood Angels fair in 6th?
Mr. Black here, dear readers, and after a long (ok, a bit longer than long…) hiatus I’m back to speak about 40K. Now, I know for a lot of people we were just sort of waiting for 5th to die before we snatched up that sweet sweet Life Insurance and picked up 6th Edition, who is not only younger but also more vivid and wild than that old crone 5th.
In this the whole landscape has changed and regardless of what anyone thinks we just don’t know what is going to solidify as the new “meta”. With that I turn to look at my humble Blood Angels- Where once I was saddened my Death Company force just wasn’t that playable and bikes, however cool, were just impractical, I now see a shining new world of possibilities and tactics just waiting to be tried.
That being said, we’re going to run down Codex: Blood Angels and see just how 6th has changed them (for better and worse). Of course, this is all opinion and subjective, because as I said before- no one really knows what 6th is going to shape into, but as a similar group once said “Knowing is Half the Battle”
So let’s jump right in and start by looking at our Chapter Leaders and Figureheads: The HQs!
Astorath the Grim
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.
Blood Angels Captain
I did an entire article on the Odd Man Out himself the Blood Angels Captain, and how he really doesn’t have a true place in the codex. I really did hope for 6th to change that, and while it certainly helped him, it also made him even further overshadowed by his Codex: Space Marine brethren.
When we look at the Blood Angels Captain we see that he can’t take any fancy Relic Blades, no Artificer Armor, just knockoffs of that gear… And then we look at the Reclusiarch and he is just overshadowed completely. Hell, even now Tycho is overshadowing him! But that is not to say he does not have his merits… You can put him on a Bike, give him a Power Fist and Storm Shield and have him go hunting Characters (except Codex: Space Marines does it better). You can center him in with some Honor Guard and give the unit a bigger punch (except a Reclusiarch does it better). You can just ignore him and take a Space Marine Captain and a unit of Sniper Scouts and get Bikes as Troops or a 2+/3++ Relic Blade…. And… …Hell, that’s just better, isn’t it?
I really feel bad here, I like Captains, I do, but our Blood Angel’s ones just fall short of what they could be… And it’s just a few small wargear complaints really, but its ones that our Codex: Space Marine brothers don’t have and thus, don’t have to deal with. Sadly, I feel that while the Captain did get better this edition, another rule (allies) completely mitigates those facts and sends him right back into obscurity.
Blood Angels Librarian
Well, you certainly changed a bit, didn’t you?
Honestly, I’m probably going to do another article just focused on the changes to Psykers in this edition, and it’s quite a lot to put down in just a paragraph. Basically, I think Librarians came out one of the top winners in sixth due to the sheer number of options you can give them. I know I have been enjoying my Terminator Epistolary (Divination) leading a large group of Bolter Death Company, and I’ve seen some great things done with a Biker Librarian (Telekinesis).
Overall the field for psykers changed radically, so you really can’t just look at them like normal Special Characters anymore. Sure, they have all the same benefits, such as Look Out Sir, Challenges, and all the rest, but they’re so much more than that now- now they are a real force to be reckoned with on the battlefield, able to both buff and destroy enemy units at a whim.
Of course, not to neglect our own brand of psychic powers: Blood Lance became an amazing anti-flyer tool, and Unleash Rage is just as good as ever. Fear the Darkness? Well, you can’t escort units away anymore, but combine it with some of the new powers and some truly dangerous combinations begin to appear.
In the end psykers are now a huge deal, and I feel they deserve more than just the cursory talk this article will give. We’ll speak later over the complex changes and differences psykers make this edition.
We all know the real Captains of the Blood Angels, and it isn’t the weenie that can’t take Artificer Armor.
So here we are at the Reclusiarch, who on initial impression got knocked down a peg due to having a Power Maul; but really, is that so bad? I mean, he hits like a brick, sure he doesn’t auto-ignore armor, but usually the combined wrath of him and the unit he’s leading (never mind Death Company) are enough to mitigate that. But that seems to be all I’ve heard about him from people: “Power Maul, Power Maul, Power Maul”… Did those people forget he can also take a Power Fist for almost no points?
That’s honestly how I’ve been running him, Fist and Maul. That way he has the option of hitting with whatever he deems best while still being the excellent combatant that he’s always been!