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BREAKING NEWS: Blood Angel Chapter Tactics, Traits and Stratagems Analysis!





The Blood Angels Chapter tactics, stratagems and relics dropped yesterday, and I'm really pleased with what's been added!


Chapter tactic





Wow... that's huge. Let's talk about the good, the complication and the not so good.


The excellent is the straight melee damage buff to the Blood Angels. With this even your tacticals will be hitting as hard as T'au Pulse Rifles, and will be effectively wounding elder and Guard on 2s. They level the playing field somewhat against Plague Marines, making this a really solid tactic.


It also means they have a 1-in-3 chance of wounding big monsters, Imperial Knights and Land Raiders. That doesn't sound like much, but it's double the wounds coming from other Space Marines in melee... and these will be your regular dudes. Not only that, but they have a really strong possibility of punching Dreadnoughts to death! They wound those half the time!


The Death Company, with this rule, have suddenly catapulted ahead of most of the melee specialists out there. The Black Rage gives them an extra attack on the charge, and if armed with nothing more than a Chainsword can pump out 4 attacks each. With a Chaplain leading their way, all those would be re-rolled, and then will have a much better chance of wounding the enemy. And assuming the Blood Angels get the standard Space Marine double attack stratagem, that would be more than 40 highly wounding attacks on the charge for no weapon upgrades!


Warhammer Community mentioned something about Reivers being good for Blood Angels, and I entirely agree. This is the only time I would recommend taking combat knives over bolter carbines, although I'm still dubious as to whether that extra attack is worth the loss of flexibility.


The complication is when you have thunder hammer wielding Terminators, who would be hitting on 2s anyway. I think the rule book says that a roll of 1 is always a fail, but I can't say for sure. If someone could dig out the FAQ where this is covered I would be grateful.


I think the best bet is to side-step the issue though, and really make use of Lieutenants. Re-rolling that 1 away is going to make your tacticals and Intercessors even more hard hitting!


The not-so-good is going back to the Blood Angels ABCs: Always Be Charging.


Whilst not a bad thing, it does mean the BAngels are a bit of a trickier army to play. You have to get your charge ranges right, and you have to do significant damage in the first round of combat. Otherwise all you're left with is a Space Marine and his one strength 4 attack. That's not bad, but it's not great either.


I still think the Blood Angels are more of an all rounder army with a lean towards offense, and this doesn't change my mind about it. Since they lack any way of getting reliable charges (such as a Mark of Khorne or the Black Templar chapter tactic), they will still need to use a combination of firepower units and skirmishers to get their troops to the front line.


Blood Angels certainly have an edge with highly destructive and distracting skirmisher units, as this chapter tactic only makes breaking their charges an even higher priority for the enemy. I don't think they'll have the momentum or long term melee power to win outright through combat. Their Troops will also be some of the most effective Objective sweepers in the game, and will be happy to charge in to an objective to kick (literally!) the enemy off it.


Stratagems

Some good ones here:


 

Nice and fluffy, this can turn your leader into more of a melee power house. The Black Rage confers an extra attack on the charge and offers a 6+ Feel No Pain, making him tougher and more hard hitting for a single command point. It depends how many points you want to sink into your commander, but odds are they will be getting into melee through Heroic Intervention at some point anyway. And Feel No Pain is always welcome!


Pretty good, and has most of it's mileage on standard storm bolter and fist Terminators. Popping this means they will hit harder with their shooting weapons even if they don't make their charges, and if they do make their charge then those power fists will wreck pretty much everything!


Put it this way... they will wound an Imperial Knight on 3s. And hit 3/4 of the time. That's huge.


Sadly cannot be paired with combi-plasmas for ultimate cheese, but this is still pretty good if risky.




I can't be the only one still hoping for Troop choice Assault Marines, but this is still a strong ability. This can get your melta-Assault Marines or plasma Inceptors where they need to be each turn, letting you get the most out of your points investment. Like I said, Blood Angles are some of the best skirmishers in the game, and this just supports that idea.

Psychic Powers



Limited use really, but the use is just so good! Flying Blood Angel Dreadnoughts are the stuff of legend, and have the same ridiculously awesome feel as White Scar Biker Dreadnoughts. I only hope that one day those Biker dreadnoughts become as much of a reality as Flying Dreadnoughts. In terms of use, taking a Librarian Dreadnought now gives you a truly scary distraction skirmisher, that ii tough, hits very hard (adding +1 to wound remember), and now flies stupid fast. And also re-rolls charge rolls.


The only other model this would be terrifying on is Mephiston, but he doesn't quite have the staying power of a Dreadnought.


Warlord Traits


Nothing much to mention here, and these are all about making your Warlord a personal power house. Great if you want to play Hero-hammer. Obvious synergy is to pair Gift of Foresight with the Black Rage Stratagem.


Relics




The relics give you the army bonuses your warlord traits don't. It's going to be very hard to pick your favourite from these two, but I highly recommend the Standard of Sacrifice on a Sanguinary Guard Ancient. Dropping in with Terminators and other jump pack troops, your skirmish screen just became that much tougher to shift!


It feels good to get back to the news cycle... it makes me feel like a kid again, getting into nerdy discussions about the latest releases for things!


Until next time.



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