Friday 17 July 2015

Blood Angels - Are we that Bad? Part 5 - LoW, Relics, Psychic powers and formations

Hi readers!

Today I am going to cover Blood Angel Specific relics, warlord traits, psychic powers, Lords of War and then a whole (angelic) host of detachments and formations. WARNING It's going to be a  long one but I hope you stick with it as some of the best bits of the whole blood angels codex and expansions sit in this meaty mess! On we go.


The Angels Wing - Jump pack? Check. Re-roll scatter? Check. Re-roll on mishap table? Check. interceptor units can only snap fire at you? Oh mother flipping check all over that. For 25 points in can really help your beat stick HQ getto grips with a force. This in combination with other scatter reducing abilities from formations can make some good little precision drops.

The crown angelic - causes fear and the test has to be taken at -2 leadership. brilliant against some armies rubbish against most. At 10 points I'd skip unless your tailoring between friends.

Veritas Vitae - an absolute steal for 15 points. Allows you to roll a second warlord trait from the strategic table. Very competitively priced indeed.

Valours Edge - A users strength at initiative AP2 power sword for 20 points. Combined with furious charge and either the quickening or a baal strike force detachment (see below for both) this is actually really good value for a cheap beat stick style HQ.

Gallians staff - re-roll ones on failed psychic rolls but then loses a wound with no saves allowed for each re-roll that is also a one. Its also a +2 strength AP4 force weapon. Costs 10 points as an upgrade for a librarian, too risky for me personally.

Fury of Baal - 25 points for a 12 inch, strength 7 ap2 master crafted plasma pistol without gets hot. For 10 points more than an actual plasma pistol its OK, but in general I don't see it being all that useful and better cheaper options elsewhere.

Warlord Traits

These are fairly meh altogether, with the mediocre ones granting either Rampage, Adamantium Will and a single mastercrafted weapon on your warlord (though it can't be one of the relics!). The next tier up are one that grants fearless to all friendly imperium units within 12 inches. Great if you are running your angels as allies for imperial guard but you can't guarantee your character getting this but helpful if so. 

Then there is a trait that grants + 1 intiative to your warlord, this coupled with the Baal Strike force detachment which grants + 1 initiative on the charge could be the difference between winning a challenge and being a bloody smear on a boot! 

The final and best trait, which is Dante's fixed trait as I mention below, is Descent of Angels which grant re-roll of failed reserve rolls for jump, flyer and skimmer units and allows jump and skimmer units to only scatter D6. This is awesome, but if you really want to theme your force around jump units and your gaming group allows lords of war. Just take Dante, as you'll read below he is the boss.

Psychic Powers

The Quickening - My favourite power here is the primaris so a guaranteed get. it grants +D3 attacks and initiative to a character. Potentially you could have Dante, on the charge, throwing out NINE strength 7, initiative 10 AP2 attacks that could be Weapon skills 7 with a sanguinary priest in tow. Wowzers. This power can be a key game changing moment if you used wisely.

Fear of Darkness - targets a single enemy unit within 12 inches and morale check taken at -2. OK but most armies have a counter to morale shenanigans

Unleash Rage - Grants rage to friendly unit in 18 inches or + 1 attack if they already have. Nice on a Death company squad!

Shield of Sanguinius - grants a 5+ invulnerable to librarian unit. Jump pack libby in death company ahoy!

Blood Boil - 18 inch witchfire - target takes 2 toughness tests and if failed takes a wound no saves allowed. For each unsaved wound a large blast marker is placed on models and all underneath it take a S5 AP4 ignores cover hit. Great Against guardsmen and OK against others.

The Blood Lance - a strength 8 AP2 lance beam with a 12 inch range. OK, an extra 6 inches of range would have done it wonders mind.

Wings of Sangunius - the only warp charge 2 power on the list. Allows a unit within 12 inches that isn't locked in combat to be moved up to 12 inches ignoring intervening terrain but normal rules for landing area. Counts as moving for shooting purposes. Can't charge. This would be a lot better if you could charge or not count as moving for shooting. And wouldn't I think be too op compared to some things we are seeing now. As is it is useful for catching an imperial knight in a melta crossfire
on two front with a total 18 inch move possible.

Lords of War

Commander Dante - he is as he rightly should be, an absolute beast. Not only as an indpendent force that can maraud and wreck face (which he can) but also as a potent force multiplier for certain play styles. Firstly lets look at his stats and load out. He has a chapter masters stats, but has eternal warrior and furious charge making him strength 5 on the charge, but he also has the axe mortalis which grants him +2 strength making him S7 on the charge AND still striking at his high initiative of 6 and weapons skill of 6. If taken as part of the the Baal Strike force Detachment and in a squad with a sanguinary priest you are looking at SIX (4 base +1 for charge and + 1 for 2 x CCW) strength 7, initiative 7 (+1 from red thirst), weapon skill 7 (+1 from blood chalice) AP2 attacks on a toughness 4 2+/4++ 5+ FNP (from the priests nartheciums) eternal warrior frame. As much of a badass as he should be? I think so! But ladies and gents that is not all, oh no sir-ee! 

He also gets Descent of Angels as his automatic warlord trait, this sweet trait grants re-roll of failed reserve rolls for jump, flyer and skimmer units AND reduces scatter to D6 for jump and skimmer units that are deep striking, allowing for near perfect tactical precision drops on a jump heavy force. But there is more! In a tactical objectives mission he also get to roll on the tactical traits table in addition to having descent of angels! Perfect in maelstrom! Oh and he also has a mask that causes fear and all enemy units locked in combat within 6 of Dante must pass a fear test at the beginning of 
the fight sub phase even if they are not locked in combat with Dante, which is cool but situational.

Dante has got everything he needs to really ruin a persons day and all for an exceptionally well priced 220 points. He is the last word in chapter master awesome sauce special characterness to me.

Gabriel Seth - basically take everything I lauded on Dante and imagine the opposite. Flesh tearer fans got a real bad deal with Seth taking up a lord of war slot, he just isn't at the same calibre as any other Lord of War that crosses my mind, even with his cheaper price tag of 155 points. Ok he has a chapter masters stats but only a 3+/4++ and no eternal warrior so any S8 hit will insta gibb him, so a dark lance shot or a power fisting character would leave him with a 50:50 chance of living if he was caught on his own for example, relying entirely on his iron halo 4++. Seth will have 6 attacks 
on the charge (4 base + 2 from rage) that are S9 (4 x 2 from his blood reaver eviscerator and + 1 from furious charge) That are AP2 and rending. To hit rolls of 6 also cause a single additional hit each. he is a brilliant horde smasher but you want to keep him out of the way of anything nasty! Plus for his cost you can get 2 sanguinary priest with jump packs and have 5 points to spare (off the top of my head... correct me if I'm wrong) or thereabouts anyway. Sadly there are better options if not in a themed force. He should either have been beefed or not be a Lord of War, with my preference being the latter particularly given the status of Helbrecht or Pedro Kantor for example. Bah humbug!


Baal Strike force - This detachment requires 1 HQ, 2 Troops and 1 Elites and grant an additional elite slot for 4 in total. In addition to that you can re-roll your warlord trait if rolling on the blood angel specific traits which is a bit meh but will hopefully stop you getting stuck with a shit one. Its real benefit beyond the extra elite slot is the Red Thirst.

The Red Thirst grants you that all important +1 initiative on the charge (lost if disordered charge). This is all important with putting blood angels above their brethren as it means you will strike first and strike hard against them reducing the attacks that come back with you. And as mentioned above for certain characters and with certain buffs like the quickening this can result in real serious beatstick characters.

I personally will be taking this with my Death Company as it give me the option of the 4 elites, and its a close combat orientated army so initiative is key here and so is a benefit I cannot turn down.

Archangel Detachments and formation

I'm now going to detail my favourite formations from the shield of baal expansion. I'm not going to go over all of them, just my favourite that are actually likely to see competitive play or come with some excellent bonuses that could be utilised in a fluffy but semi competitive list. I won't be covering the White Dwarf exclusive formations as I don't have them and have very limited knowledge of them.

Archangels Strike Force

This is a detachment whereas the other blood angels ones below are formations. This Detachment has a minimum requirement of 1 HQ and 2 Elites. The HQ has to be a captain, librarian or chaplain and they all have to have terminator armour. Captain Karlaen can be taken if desired. Oh and there is an optional HQ and FOURTEEN elites.

These have to be drawn from Terminators, Vanguard/Sternguard Veterans and Furioso Dreadnoughts. With no more than 10 of the infantry units and 6 of the Dreadnoughts. The command benefits of this detachment are a re-roll on the Archangels warlord table if you use it (don't, its shit) and something called Storm of Angels. This allows you to re-roll failed reserve rolls for any deep striking unit and any deep striking unit only scatters D6 inches. I am unsure whether this effects Drop Pods, as in the BRB it does state drop pod assault means they must arrive from deep strike reserves so as I read it, drop pods also benefit from the reduced scatter and reserve shenanigans.

With a few units of sternguard or dreadnoughts in drop pods to come in turn one you can then pretty reliably deep strike the rest of your army in on turn 2, turn 3 if your rolls are really bad. I love this detachment and I am using it for my none death company portion of my blood angels army. This means that I won't actually have any troop units per se in my entire collection of blood angels... As my troops for my death company are Raphen's death company and Cassor the Damned... Woohoo!

This detachment has many a weakness with flyers being prime among them, but if used well it could wreck a lot of armies days. I don't expect I will use it well, but I KNOW that it is possible.

Archangels Sanguine Wing

This formation consists of two 10 man units of vanguard veterans with jump packs and one 10 man unit of sternguard in a Storm Raven. The sternguard must start aboard the Raven and all units must start in deep strike reserve. A single re-rollable reserve roll is made for all units.

Doesn't sound spectacular, BUT, for each vanguard veteran you can take a single free power weapon or lightening claw, that is for each veteran, therefore if you lightening claw up all 20 that would save you 300 points of upgrades! And for the sternguard you can get a free combi weapon for each sternguard member. That doesn't save you as much but its still 100 points, so a total of 400!

Its funny the internet didn't go as crazy about this compared to the space marine Gladius formation or whatever its called, but its a not dissimilar amount of points. You will have to base your army on this formation due to the, correctly I feel, enforced squad sizes but if you develop a solid static holding gun line with some other form of reserve manipulation perhaps then this would work well as a screaming hammer from the sky.

Cool yeah?

The Archangels

DISCLAIMER: This is not a formation for competitive play. However it is a fun fluffy formation that does technically fit into 1850 points... You HAVE to take:

A captain and a chaplain

4 Furioso Dreadnought

and 10 (yes TEN) elites from sternguard, vanguard, or either terminator types.

This guys have stubborn, roll for reserves from the first turn, re-roll trait on the archangels warlord table and deep striking units only scatter D6 (and if you aren't deep striking here,, clue - you're doing it wrong). Here follows a stupid stupid list I drew up that fits in 1850 points and would get beaten by many many armies but I think it would be so much bloody fun to play and I genuinely think it would do OK in the right hands.


Captain with Valours Edge, Bolt Pistol and Jump pack
Chaplain with Jump pack

4 X furioso Dreadnoughts with heavy flamer and storm bolter fists plus magna grapple

4 x 5 man vanguard veteran squads all armed with bolt pistol and chain sword, sergeants each have a melta bomb

6 x 5 man vanguard veteran squads all armed with bolt pistol and chain sword

That is 50 vanguard veterans, 4 furioso dreadnought a chaplain and a captain, 1850 points bang on the nose.

Dreadnought start on board in cover or holding objective, anything gets to close they flame and punch it to death. The vanguard vets start dropping turn one accurate as you like and drown anything in attacks that is there, melta bomb sergeants cover anything that is armour 13 or higher, with furious charge attacks taking care of AV 11 and lower and grenades taking care of armour 12.

Oh I wish I had the models I really really do...

Archangels Orbital Intervention Force 

3 terminator squads assault or regular. All arrive from deep strike reserve on one roll, include some reserve shenanigans in list to guarantee arrival when needed. These guys can run and then shoot when they arrive from deep strike. Its only really useful to normal terminators but if you have them and want to take them then this gives you some pseudo deathwing termies all dressed up in red.


I thought I should go over these guys special detachment too very quickly then this post will finally be done! Its probably far too long now but hey ho...

Fleshtearers Strike Force

A compulsory 1 HQ, 1 Troop and 1 Fast Attack with an optional 3 troops and 5 fast attacks as well as the usual others. FIVE fast attacks! People can make great use out of this and their assault squads of old. They also have the added benefit of if they roll over 10 on their charge range (not needing to use all of it to get the benefit) that unit gains rage for that assault phase. Delicious.

The End...

Right, that all folks, I know  said this would go up Sunday but I'm hoping to have some Templars painted and ready for use next week to show you this weekend so I thought I would get this written during my 26 hours of work over Thursday and Friday!

I hope someone made it through the whole way... I may go back and split it up if it really looks too long...

Peace out



  1. Fury of Baal is a decent upgrade cost over a regular Plasma Pistol, but regular Plasma Pistols are already badly overpriced :P

    The reason the Sanguine Wing never really took off is that they all need to start in Reserves, and even with the free gear, that's a huge chunk of Points to leave in Reserves. And even more so since about half of it is tied up in the Vanguard Vets, which aren't going to be able to actually affect the Game until Turn 3 at best.

    The other thing I like about the Fleshtearers Strike Force is that it only has one required Troops Unit, so I can fill that with Cassor, and combine it with a Company of the Great Wolf for a list that consists of nothing but Dreads and Drop Pods XD

    1. Yeah the base cost of the plasma pistol is the real issue here, its ridiculous! Most pistol options are in general I think over costed. The inferno pistol isn't too bad actually though you do have to have your face smeared against a tank to make use of its melta rule...

      If I were to run the Sanguine wing it would definitely be with someone like Captain Karlaen as an anchor on the ground to grant reserve shenanigans and therefore the best chance of it coming on in turn 2. I would also probably run the vanguard vets as naked with only the single free upgrade used per vet to keep the cost down, the sternguard and storm raven are a great threat here and I would utilise them as a potent distraction to give the vanguard some cover.

      Definitely not an optimal choice but I think it could be handled really well.

      Oooh I had not considered that!!! Hmmm, all dread arm indeed!! Good shout my man, good shout indeed ;)