Old Man Brad here to tell you younguns a thing or two about Blood Angels. So, you feel the Black Rage building up inside you, and you’re ready to put that onto your opponent, but what should you field? Let’s get to list building and let OMB tell you what you should take and why! Baby, I’ve got the medication to heal what is ailing you.
Let’s talk about basic Blood Angels traits and what they bring to the party: plus one to wound rolls in close combat and plus one inch to charge rolls. That’s pretty freaking good and shouldn’t be underestimated in any battle. We’re talking 16% more wounds and some sort of math more on the charge. The bonus for being pure Blood Angels is plus one attack when in Assault Doctrine. Since the update, that will happen semi-automatically on turn three. It’s a fast and crazy powerful force multiplier. I’m getting all the Black Rage just thinking about the list potential, so let’s start with what is the basis for every Blood Angels list: a supreme command!
Blood angels HQ
First and foremost, this is why everyone just throws in a Blood Angels supreme command: their HQ’s are crazy good and will put the beats on everyone they get their hands on.
Chief Librarian Mephiston: If you don’t like Mephiston you should check yourself into the Betty Ford clinic because you are clearly on some mind-altering drug. He’s now a Primaris Marine, which means he can ride in those sweet, sweet impulsors, he’s strength 10, he can cast two psychic powers a turn, (don’t forget one of those will be Wings of Sanguinius) has a 2+ save and a 5+++ feel no pain. He is a badass that jumps out of a ride and puts the beats on your opponent’s army. If you don’t like Mephiston, you don’t like fun and kick puppies.
Librarian Dreadnought: Okay, if I have to tell you why a psychic dreadnought that can cast Wings of Sanguinius to move 12 and fly is a top-notch choice, well, you are definitely anti-fun. Please understand that punching people in the face with S10 ap 3 and 3 flat damage is freaking amazing. Also, remember that with the innate +1 to wound, there is nothing in the game he does not wound on a 2+ in combat. As a bonus, they are 8 wounds, so they can be hidden as a character. Also, at toughness 7, they are harder to snipe then most. Take one of these already. It’s just crazy if you don’t. I will show up at your game and mock you if you don’t.
Okay, now let’s talk about the tasty HQ’s that, if you are going all Blood Angels (like a real man should), enable you to get the most out of your force multipliers. Also, we will discuss those that miss the mark.
The Sanguinor: If you are taking pure Blood Angels, this is the model you need to have! Plus one attack in 6″ radius, a 2+ save, and a 4++? Yes, please. Oh, he can charge even if he fell back as a random bonus to his stat line? Okay, that’s cool. This guy offers incredible and should be taken in all pure Blood Angels armies. You heard me. Take the damn model! He’s crazy good!
Gabriel Seth: Kick sand, you chump. You’re totally worse than every single Blood Angels character. Seriously, why is this bum included in the codex? It makes me mad to read his entry.
Commander Dante: Sorry, kids, I got all upset about Seth and missed out on how point efficient Commander Dante is. Full Chapter Master rerolls, with 6 attacks, and a jump pack, and a 2+ save. Oh forgot to mention his 4 ++ save and his ap 3 axe that strikes at strength 6. Kind of baller if I may so myself.
Astorath: Casting two litanies, with a jump pack, 2+ and 4++ saves, and applying a once a game buff to everyone in 6″ of him… okay, I’m in. Oh, as a bonus, all Death Company within 6″ auto pass morale.
Saving my favorite HQ for last: Smash Cap with the wings of Sanguinius relic. This guy is half the reason a Blood Angels Supreme Command is such a popular choice in Imperium armies. No overwatch, the ability to deepstrike, a stratagem be picked up from the board and put into deep strike even on turn one, plus a second stratagem that gives a 3d6 charge out of said deep strike. Well, children, this is one HQ that’s going in all my Blood Angels armies. He hits at S8 with a Thunder Hammer, and, like his friend the Dreadnought, he will wound most things in the game on a 2+ or 3+ at worst.
HQ’s are great Brad, but let’s talk about what I bring with the rest of the army. Okay, you doubting Thomas, I have the answer to what you need.
Intercessors in an impulsor. Yeah, you heard me. Stick six intercessors with a Thunder Hammer on the sergeant in a ride that has 11 wounds at toughness 7 with a 4++ invulnerable. This unit is getting to the party, and with the Sanguinor and Dante flying right behind, they are getting plus one attack and full rerolls with plus one to wound. Sound good? Yeah, I thought it would. The Blood Angels troops make short work of most Scouts, other Intercessors, Incursors, or whatever is holding the midfield objectives with their bonuses and their rerolls from their amazing HQs.
Death Company Intercessors: Remember all the stuff I said about Blood Angels Intercessors? Well, just go ahead and add on one attack, and every time you would lose a wound, go ahead and take a 6+++ feel no pain on that wound. The Death Company Intercessors move to the Elite slot, which makes them a bit less of a choice because they are not troops, but makes them a fantastic unit to take in your supreme command when you want a place to put Mephiston and you have an open spot in the Death Company Impulsor. Come in; we’ve got room for ya, big guy!
Scouts with combat knives: If you’re playing a pure Blood Angels army, these guys can hit surprisingly hard and often. With the natural plus 1 to wound, synergies with characters for extra attacks, and a bonus attack in the Assault Doctrine, these can take care of soft targets consistently well in the late game and often go overlooked.
Special note about Impulsors: I don’t know why, but people have fallen out of love with this amazing transport. Toughness 7, 11 wounds, and a 4++. Remember kids, always buy the shield generator; the 4++ is always worth it. This tank is possibly the best thing since a wave serpent on how to deliver the wrath of Sanguinius to your opponents. Seriously, have you tried to kill one of these lately? It’s brutal, and if your opponent gets even remotely lucky with his 4 ++ save, you are in a world of hurt in the oncoming turn. This transport gives your Blood Angels a much better chance of being alive on turn three when they hit full power.
Wait, Brad, I heard of this bad@$$ unit called Sanguinary Guard. What do you think of those bros? Well, they are crazy badasses, yes, and their name is Sanguinary Guard, so also yes. I hear they can move 12″, and they have a 2+ save? Yep, and they have an assault 2 gun that is ap -1. Brad, is there anything else they can do? Well, the fact that their weapon is ap 3 and they have 3 attacks on the charge is pretty good, but wait there’s more! Each Sanguinary Guard can replace his sword (str 4 ap 3 d3 damage) with either an Encarmine Axe (str 5 ap 2 d3 damage) or a Powerfist (str 8 ap 3 d3 damage), so you can equip the unit for the exact loadout to fill out any battlefield role you might need in your army. This is an excellent fast-moving unit that has a great save, multi damage, and the option to be brought in as a reserve from deep strike.
Hey OMB, before we go, are there any crazy pregame tricks we should know about? Why, yes, and hold onto your hats, 40K fans, because the Death Company with jump packs is about to blow your mind! Forlorn Fury is a stratagem that allows for a 12 plus d6 pregame move. Also, with the current ITC missions, you have no seize roll, so you can deploy aggressively with your Smash Captain (don’t forget you need to buy him the Death Company keyword Death Visions of Sanguinius). Or, if you are going second, you can choose the best mid-board cover and set up for a perfect counter charge moment. Any model in the actual Death Company unit may take a special melee weapon, the unit gets a 6+++ feel no pain, and with 4 attacks on the charge, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Upon Wings of Fire lets you pick up a Blood Angels jump pack unit already on the board and set it up anywhere more than 9″ away. You couple this with Descent of Angels, which lets you roll 3d6 for the charge for a jump pack unit that was set up on the board that turn, and you’ve got yourself a powerhouse of a midgame redeploy. This combo alone can swing a game in your favor.
Unbridled Ardour is probably my favorite sneaky stratagem because it allows a Blood Angels unit to make a 6″ heroic intervention as if they were a character. That extra 3″ is huge when you take or contest an objective from an opponent that thought they were only fighting the remnants of a unit they had previously fought. You get movement in your opponent’s turn and have thrown a wrench into their plan for the round.
Blood Angels come with the standard loadout of favorite stratagems as well, from Duty Eternal to Transhuman Physiology, which gives them the same tactical versatility as all their fellow brothers chosen by the Emperor.
Let’s talk about some must-have relics and a few of the psychics for our boys in red.
The Angels Wing: No overwatch and reroll charges. Take it, and make your Smash Cap proud.
Standard of Sacrifice is a great addition to your pure Blood Angels army, giving a 6″ aura of ignoring wounds on a 5+.
Gleaming Pinions is another sneaky item because they give you the ability to charge on the turn you fell back and, as a bonus, gives you +1 to charge.
Now for an important public service announcement:
Wings of Sanguinius: Wow!! A 5 to cast, and you can make an immediate 12″ move, and you gain the fly keyword until your next psychic phase. That means your big boy libby Dreadnought can move 12″ in the movement phase and then cast it again in the next psychic phase for a crazy 24″ move that turn. You feeble Xenos thought you were safe hiding in your holes, but not with the Angels in hot pursuit. Unleash Rage and Quickening are both great for adding even more lethality to your psychic badassery. Unleash Rage adds 1 to your attacks, and Quickening adds 3 to advance and charge rolls and d3 more attacks until your next psychic phase.
The best thing about Blood Angels is the flexibility they provide when you are making lists. Need a little counter assault to flesh out your shooting army? Well, a supreme command of Blood Angels makes for a great addition. Pure Blood Angels have multiple builds as well with Sanguinary Guard armies, Impulsor heavy armies with troops and HQs inside, to a more balanced blend of all the units that make this army sing.