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Codex Blood Angels VS Dark Angels – Who’s the Best?

4 Minute Read
Dec 13 2017

We’ve had two chapters get codexes back to back – but who’s looking to come out on top?

We’ve been playing with both codexes over the last couple weeks and think GW did a solid job giving each chapter their defining traits and playstyle. It’s hard to say which is the hands down best – as both codexes clock in with a fairly similar power level.

Instead, let’s look at certain traits and weigh both books up:

Chapter Traits:

The big defining traits are Red Thirst and Grim Resolve

Both are great representations of the Chapters, but I think Red Thirst is the winner. It’s more generically useful, and increases the potency of the entire Blood Angel infanty range across the board.  Grim Resolve is solid, but more situational and not as game-changing.



I think the big comparisons here will be between the Blood Angels ability to get an alpha strike 1st turn charge via Forlorn Fury and the Dark Angels blowing things off the table with Weapons From the Dark Age.


I’m actually going to give this one to the Dark Angels.  I really, really like the potential for Hellblasters mowing down just about anything with this strategem. It also plays well with Grim Resolve. The Death Company Turn 1 Assaults are potentially shattering, but are a bit one-dimensional and can be countered with canny deployment.

New Units

The Talonmaster wins hands down. No contest compared to the Sanguinary Novitiate.

Such a great jack of all trades units. It’s FAST, a Character, heavy firepower, good in assault, beefy.  The only thing it can’t do is be put in a transport. (Come on, you know you want to see 3 of these detaching from a Thunderhawk Transporter – just for style points…)

Psychics & Relics

I think the Dark Angels got the short end of the stick in both categories.  While very characterful, the Dark Angels abilities are a bit underwhelming. Again the Blood Angels get some key items that are generically useful and very easy to use. The Standard of Sacrifice is a superb banner to stiffen your infantry line, while the Sanguinary discipline directly works in concert into the Blood Angels play-style. The Dark Angels psykers are bit of loners who kind of do their own thing, or are generic smite-machines.


Overall Verdict

I think the Blood Angels take the prize over the Unforgiven, but only by a smidge and for an unusual reason.  Certainly the Dark Angels can bring the pain and this edition really ups the power of the Deathwing and Ravenwing. You will see some cool combos and even some plasma shenanigans (GO Hellblasters!), but overall I have a feeling that there are a smaller number of ways to build a “good” Dark Angels army. There are a higher number of Unforgiven units in the book that I feel will never leave their cases.

The Blood Angels also have some obvious combos (mainly centered around the Death Company), but their codex seems more generically useful and well costed.  I think we will see more experimentation and a wider variety of armies out there on the tabletop – and in my book that makes for a stronger codex – by a hair.

~ I can’t wait to see what the Space Wolves will bring to the party…

Author: Larry Vela
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