The Jawaballs wishlist for a new Blood Angels codex

Rumors have it that the new Blood Angels codex could be a fall 2014 release, or maybe all the way into January 2015.


I guess it is not too early to start wishing?

First, what are the issues?  Well, for one, the book was written with the strengths of 5th edition in mind.  It was a very good 5th edition codex. It certainly wasn't over powered, but it was strong, and there were multiple competitive lists as opposed to some of the newer mono build books out now.

Now, on a competitive level, the Blood Angels are sitting near the bottom of the list.

Why?  Well first, what made them powerful in 5th was Furious Charge and NFP on a 4+.  Both were huge, as going before all other space marine, and most other models was a major advantage.  In addition, a 50% chance to ignore most small arms fire sent them over the top.

But with 6th edition came major changes. First we lost the +1 bonus to initiative on Furious Charge.  Then FNP had a minor change, it now only works on a 5+ but works against more shots that previously ignored it.

The only problem is that the Blood Angels were written to balance out those huge 5th ed advantages. One of their major weaknesses is the absence of affordable fire power. It was not a huge problem in 5th because there were not many armies that could put down hundreds of mid strength shots.  But nowadays a single round of Tau shooting can easily wipe out any army I ever won a tournament with in 5th.  So the loss of their advantages coupled with the "balancing" lack of dakka left them fluttering in the wind!  And no, the Baal Predator does not help.  At best it can pump out 12 shots, but has to be within 24" to do so, and will certainly die the following turn if it does.

But that is old news and has been covered to death, and is not the only thing that killed the Blood Angels.

Next came the 6th edition rule set in general.  As we all know, 6th ed is the shooting edition.  The newer books allow for an unprecedented amount of mid to long range, mid strength shooting.  It used to be that rapid fire bolters were one of the best solutions to mowing down lots of troops.  Now 20 shots is pretty much the norm from any shooty unit.

Also comes Overwatch and Interceptor.

As if the Blood Angels needed even more disadvantages...  Assault a squad of 12 pathfinders with a Blood Angels assault squad is a terrible joke.  First they are going to have to make at least 2 or 3 saves from that squads overwatch, but every other unit within 6" also gets to pepper them.  We all know how that works by now.

Interceptor?  So much for deep striking/drop podding Blood Angels. I believe they were the first to have some sort of "Skies of Blood" rule.  Good luck deep striking any where on the table with riptides ignoring cover and getting a reroll on the scatter!

Again, all of this has been beaten to death.

My old pappy always said, don't complain unless you have a solution to fix your problem!

So here we go.

The Jawaballs Wishlist for the new Blood Angels Codex.

First, open up all Space Marine toys.  Access to Thunder Fire Cannons will be a welcome blessing.  I have not tried them yet but the ability to use the new marine units would also be nice.  Besides, Marines have one of the things that made BA unique in 5th ed, the Storm Raven but Blood Angels still can't use Scout Speeders or Storm Talons...

Second, bring the points cost in line with the current marine books.  I pointed out an army using Codex: Blood Angels, then did the same army using Codex: Space Marines, and got something like 14 more models on the table, including Thunder Fires, and only really gave up Blood Claws on a dread and the FNP bubble..  Blood Angels units like Vanguard Vets and Death Company have to pay a crazy amount of points for Jump Packs as compared to current marines.  And Blood Angels are supposed to be the Jump Pack army!  Blood Angels are simply not worth the old points any more. We all know that and this will certainly be addressed.

Third, return their ability to assault.  Furious Charge is a universal special rule so they aint never getting back that bonus to initiative.  But at least give them a chance to make it into assault!  They need a special power, like "Blood Curdling Charge", that scares their opponents so badly that they cannot overwatch. Or at least forces them to make a leadership with an appropriate minus.  That alone would give them a chance.

Fourth, give them a chance in open terrain.  In order to use their new assault abilities, they still have to make it across the table and with the distance between deployment zones in some of the 6th ed mission, that is increasingly difficult. In 5th edition they got a Librarian power that gave them a cover save. Well, new armies can easily ignore cover now... How to do this? Give them tech... like air dropped barriers placed by the Thunderhawks that can provide lanes of protection as they advance.  They can be little force field thingies that only last for a turn and is placed with Deep Strike rules, using Void Shield technology. What a cool tactical element to add to the game!

Fifth, new models? Blood Angels already have some of the best Marine models. The Death Company and Sanguinary Guard box sets are fantastic for creating assault themed armies.  There are so many well crafted and beautiful bits that they simply don't need new models for infantry.  In fact, the only thing they really need are a few new Characters. Corbs, Mephiston and Tycho are showing their age.  A Sanguinary Priest upgrade sprue, in the same vein as the Commander box set would be sweet.  Create a set that includes all of his options plus options for Corbs!  Speakign of Corbs, return him to his HQ status, or create a Sang Priest HQ option like they have for the Reclusiarch.  

Maybe a new variant to the Thunderfire... or other heavy support artillery options that any assault army would definitely have to support their advancing assault troops!  Supressing artillery guns... (Dont you dare say Whirlwind)

So there you go folks. What do you think would return our beloved boys in red back to the top tables?


Oh by the way I do have Comment Moderation in place still.  Please be civil!


Anonymous said...

I'm keen on the idea of an all assault Space Marine force so I've been considering Blood Angels. Though it would be nice to see a Storm Talon added, I'd rather have a unique BA flyer instead. Land Speeder Storm would also be a welcome addition.

As for how to make BA better against the Overwatch, here is a rule which I'm sure I've heard before: When Blood Angels charge, they get to make their attacks BEFORE removing casualities due to overwatch.

Jawaballs said...

I kind of like that, they take their mortal hits, but with their last gasps of determination wade in and get in their whacks.

As for Storm Talon, you can now take them using the Dataslate, but still, would be nice to have them in the codex.

TheGraveMind said...

I'm sure they will get something like raven guard where they can use their jumppacks multiple phases. May even give them a bonus to hammer of wrath hits. And automatic rage as well.

I don't think they'll make it any easier to get into combat, but make it more devastating when they do.

Jeremiah Morgan said...

Even though 6th edition hit them hard, I found that they were still someone competitive until the rapid fire release of Daemons, Tau, Eldar, then Space Marines. I still find some use for them as allies to my other armies because 1D6 scatter re-roll reserves deep striking double-melta is still something no one else can bring. Except against Tau.

An across the board points drop that mirrors what was seen in the DA and SM book will help for Librarians, Chaplains, Tacticals, Snipers, bikes, devastators, assault marines, sternguard, vanguard, and land speeders.

Red thirst needs to be completely rewritten. Compared to what SM get for chapter tactics, RT is a joke. Maybe everyone gets furios charge or fleet and different units get different bonuses on a 1 - assault squads get rage, tacs get split fire, devs get relentless for a turn.

We also need an artificer armor option for the captain and it would be nice to get the glaive encarmine

Death company and ICs (including priests) need cheaper jumpacks.

The Baal needs side armor 12, but I don't think that will happen. Otherwise, it needs a 20pt drop in the base price plus a 10-15pt drop in the sponson price costs.

Although GW has moved away from it more force org swaps help to make unique armies. Astorath could make DC scoring or a terminator captain could make a single terminator squad scoring.

I would like to see the stormtalon and TFC. Often overlooked is that the techmarine can now bolster any piece of terrain (not just ruins), which will at least give us a better chance against an alpha strike.

Since every codex has switched to rolling for psychic powers, we will as well. Blood Boil, Shackle Soul, and Smite are all covered by the BRB powers. Which one is chosen as the primaris power will be key and I really think it needs to be shield of sanguinius (although I expect it to switch to a blessing). This would leave Lance, Sword, Might, and Fear of the darkness as rollable options. Librarian dreadnoughts were only good if they got wings, so they should have fixed with the option of rolling.

For warlord traits, I could see a no-scatter option (Dante gets automatically), fear, a challenge based one, a leadership option, maybe rage/furious charge/fleet for a turn, and something else underwhelming.

breng77 said...

What I would really like to see is rules similar to Ravenguard for Assault Marines...They need to be able to use their packs to both move and assault (adds Hammer of Wrath, to their attacks.) and some kind of buff to Hammer of wrath (either +1 S like Furious Charge, or re-roll to wound like the Raven Guard). It really makes Assault marines a lot scarier in the assault. Especially for counter assault.

I'd Also like to see bolters as an option on Assault marines.

I'd Actually prefer they not get the same stuff as other marines....and I doubt they will. They need to be made viable in their own right...maybe some way to mess with overwatch and/or interceptor. Some sort of flakk launcher or something.

I'd also like to see a way to deepstrike into close combat (not Deepstrike and charge) where you risk taking casaulties, to drop right into the assault with jump packs. Something like place your initial model in base contact with an enemy unit and roll to scatter. If you hit, your unit counts as charging. If you scatter away from the target unit, as long as you end up in base contact when you place the unit you are ok...if not you may not act again this turn (perhaps even let target overwatch if you completely miss). If you scatter onto the unit, roll as D6

1.) Horrible Accident -unit is removed from play.
2 or 3 ) Rough Landing - unit takes D6 S6 Ap3 hits with ignores cover- but still are in combat
4-5) Disoriented - Unit takes D3 S4 Ap - hits with the blind special rule - but still are in combat.
6.) Unit gets +1 S to their hammer of Wrath hits this turn

pbagosy said...

I want 4+ FNP back. Blood Angels practically invented the concept of FNP, so why shouldn't they be better than everyone else? Salamanders have a guy who can hand out 4+, why don't the Blood Angels have 20 guys that can do it?

And from a power standpoint, it's really not all that "broken" if you think about it. The aforementioned Tau overwatch-spam, plus their ability to completely ignore cover, is a far more devastating game effect than a 6" 4+ FNP bubble.

Havik110 said...

We need to decide what this book it the book of fast vehicles and over charged engines? is it a Jump pack deep striking book? Is it an assault book?

Personally I want it to be an assault army.

Here are my changes
1. You have to buy an assault squad for every other unit you buy. This takes us back to old rules but it makes it clear what the army is about. Assault

2. A cover save when we skies of blood deep strike in. At least 4+, maybe stealth + shrouded so if you decide to risk jumping into a piece of terrain you get a better cover save...Think of Ork bikes that generate their own cover save by kicking up dust, well I'm pretty sure that men in 1 ton armor coming down and hitting the ground is going to kick up a lot of dust, and throw their enemy into confusion...

3. Speaking of those 1 ton men falling from the skies, skies of blood needs to allow me to drop some sort of template of damage on people as I jump on them. think a hammer of wrath but with an AP value...Jumping out of a thunderhawk is going to give a lot more oomph to that HoW attack. this leads me to the next rule

Havik110 said...

4. The ability to assault out of deepstrike on a 6, and give some modifiers for different things...Vanguards get +3 to this roll, HQs get another modifier, priests give another modifier...

(A side note, I HATE NO ASSAULT ON the turn you reserve in...Yes this is the edition of shooting but they have made it too powerful as any genestealer player will tell you...It is the least fun rule in this edition...lets face it, its time to break the castles, if you want to stay on the back table edge than you deserve to has ruined characters like snikrock, dark eldar portals, and any unit that can come in from a different table edge...

the 2nd dumbest rule in the edition is waiting outside your tank a turn to assault, its as if the person the wrote the book played tau...)

so back to rule 4...a modified roll of a 6 lets you forgo your shooting and assault if you can make it, if you land on the target and dont make the roll you are placed 1 inch away in deep strike formation and cannot run or shoot (its a gamble, if you dont want to gamble dont attempt the charge) you would still retain your deep striking APx hammer of wrath attack. If you choose not to attempt the assault, you are moved 1 inch away, receive your deep striking cover save, and run or shoot as normal.

4a. Obviously you need a downside to landing on the opponent so you would 1st have to roll a d6, on a 1 you go to the mishap table...then jumping on people should,t be hard but jumping on a tank probably hurts a lot, mishap on a 1 or a 2 and then you roll of dangerous terrain

5. this should be obvious but the 3 characters that are not ICs become ICs with restrictions...DC tycho can go by himself but can also go with DC...The sanguinar can go with sanguinary guard and he makes them troops, not daunte...Mephiston can go where ever he wants but he makes people nervous so you have to pass a leadership check every turn and if it fails he has to leave or his unit cannot move...

6. Daunte is the oldest living marine, he has seen everything (I really liked the fake BA dex that came out before the real one last time), he gets to remove a special rule during the game as part of his curse...jumping in on tau, no interceptor for you...think creed with no hat...i still want his curse, and mask...and fix his damed axe...his I is 5, let him swing it at 5...adjust points appropriately...
6a. other fixes could be like making him a GK grand master and letting him assign special rules...
6b. remember he is the leader of leaders of the space marines and all chapters treat him as such, he would roll like asurmen on the warlord chart and he must be your warlord.
6c. We could always give him his old bubble back...

7. Mephiston is a CC monster, he is not supposed to be rolling on telepathy...IF the BA get their own powers he can roll on those, otherwise he gets his own standard powers, maybe even 4 powers and he chooses what to use...
7a. Mephiston is weird, even in the world of 40k...he makes other psychers a little worried...add 1 to their roll if he is withing 12 inches to see if their powers go off...this doesnt cause perils...

8. They need a piece of wargear like Chaos land raiders have that allow them to shut down overwatch...

9. Add more chapters to the book...different chapter masters have different chapter rules like the SM book...BA have fearless and FC on a roll of a 6 for theirs, Flesh tearers have x, knights of blood have y...

FluffyPanda said...

I don't want a new BA codex at all... I want them to release BA as a supplement. There's really no reason that the list changes and special characters that BA have couldn't be tacked on to the basic Space Marine codex and that way you get an instant upgrade when the next SM codex hits. None of this playing second fiddle for a year or more that happens between the different SM codexes.

Brian said...

I agree with you FluffyPanda; no new book, just a supplement to C:SM. That would give access immediately to the core SM tool box of units.

Jawaballs said...

You know what, I agree too. It is time to bring all the Astartes home. Just put out a SM codex then add supplements for flavor.

Dempsey said...

My ideas for Blood Angels are:
1) make Descent of Angels in par with DeathWing assault - all BA units with jump packs don't count for reserve limit and half of them (rounding up) can descent on 1st turn (with reduced scater as per current rule)
2) make Astramael (Furioso Dreadnought) special character allowing you to take dreadnoughts (furioso, librarian, death company, regular) as scoring (maybe except for death company dreads ;-) ) and if he is your warlord then limit of death company dreadnoughts (1 per 5 death company marines) is void - so you can have all dread army ;-)

tireironman said...

Furioso Librarian as an HQ choice would be neat

chasman51 said...

Dante to able to strike on initiative would be nice, after all he has been swinging it around for a long time. Also eternal warrior would be nice to.

chasman51 said...

Dante striking on initiative would be nice and Eternal warrior after all he's been around for over 1100 yrs.

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