Saturday, January 29, 2011

Captain Tycho

Captain Tycho can be taken as either of two versions, standard and Death Company. I’ll discuss the standard version first, then the Death Company version. Tycho has a standard Captain’s statline. He’s apparently been raiding a Codex Chapter’s armory, as he has artificer armor, digital weapons, and a combi-melta with Sternguard special ammunition, none of which our standard Captains have access to. In addition, his attacks count as a monstrous creature’s attacks. Finally, he passes his leadership onto the rest of the army, which is a nice bonus. Also, he has Preferred Enemy: Orks, which has essentially no affect on anything at all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mephiston, Lord of Death

Mephiston is a wrecking ball. He has a statline that would be more fitting on a monstrous creature and psychic powers to augment his already fearsome close-combat abilities. Like the Sanguinor, he is not an independent character. However, the small size of his model makes him easy to screen with both vehicles and infantry.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Infernus Pistol vs Hand Flamer

I'm going to take a break from my Tactica series to address an article that appeared on BOLS today (which can be found here). The author compares infernus pistols and hand flamers not so much to each other, but to meltaguns and flamers, respectively. He reaches the conclusion that the special weapons are always a better option than their pistol equivalents. I agree with this conclusion, but it's a specious comparison.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Sanguinor, Exemplar of the Host

The Sanguinor is one of our characters that isn’t an independent character. Thus, he can never join a squad and be protected from shooting and he can’t enter a transport that has another squad in it. However, he has the statline and rules to stand on his own. He comes with a jump pack, so he’s one of our HQs that fits well into a primarily jump packer list.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Astorath the Grim

Astorath is our head Chaplain, and he fights just as well as any Reclusiarch (though he has an extra point of weapon skill compared to them). He has the same abilities to augment the Death Company as the other Chaplains, and he has an excellent axe that is a strength 6 power weapon that forces enemy models to re-roll successful invulnerable saves. He comes with a jump pack, so he fits into any jumper heavy list very well. However, these factors alone don’t come close to being worth Astorath’s significant points cost.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chapter Master Gabriel Seth

Gabriel Seth is a surprisingly useful HQ choice, but he can’t take a jump pack. This limits him to a mechanized or hybrid army. Rather than a power weapon, Seth carries Blood Reaver, a gigantic, strength 8, rending chainsword. In addition, he can sacrifice his normal attacks to inflict one automatic hit on every model in base contact. Finally, he get to inflict a free hit (though without the benefit of Blood Reaver) on any enemy model that rolls a 1 to hit him. All of these are backed up by a statline almost as good as Dante’s, lacking only one point of initiative.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Commander Dante

Dante is a fairly flexible HQ choice that works best with a primarily jump pack army. He’s a bit better than a Captain in assault, and he packs an infernus pistol, so he’s a useful addition to any squad that will be seeing assault. Still, Dante isn’t that impressive on his own. Most of his worth lies in special rules that affect your army.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Frankly, the Captain is more of a fluff choice than anything else. He’s cheaper than the Reclusiarch and slightly harder hitting with an extra point of weapon skill. His main appeal is that you can customize his armament much more than the other choices. However, the most dangerous weapon he can take is a thunder hammer or lightning claw. He lacks access to anything at the level of a relic blade, so he can’t actually hit as hard as a Codex Marine Captain. In addition, he doesn’t add anything to the rest of your army beyond what he kills himself.

The Captain is a great choice if you want to theme your army or if you want a really customized character to represent you on the battlefield. However, he’s not the most competitive choice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This is my alternative choice for HQ, taken when I’m looking for a harder hitting HQ that can survive multiple assaults. He’s got any extra wound and attack compared to the Librarian. Combined with his 4+ invulnerable save, this means that he is much harder to kill and hits harder as well. His BS5 also means that he’s an excellent model to give an infernus pistol.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The Librarian is my default choice for an HQ. Of the choices available, he’s the best at supporting the rest of the army. He’s our cheapest option when correctly equipped, and several of his powers provide tremendous utility for the rest of our units.

Generally, I give my Librarian a jump pack, and that’s it. A special pistol can be handy for him, but only if you have some extra points lying around. The Epistolary upgrade can be handy if you want a seriously dangerous Librarian in assault, but it’s expensive. As we’ll see, you can have a standard Librarian that can use both of his powers to the fullest extent.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Death Company and Death Company Dreadnoughts

Death Company are something of a conundrum. They are a Troops choice that doesn’t score but have a better statline than Veterans and always have furious charge and feel no pain. The downside is that they also suffer from rage. In addition, a Chaplain allows the Death Company to re-roll failed to hit and to wound rolls.

All of this power actually comes at a bargain price as long as the Death Company don’t take jump packs, which are prohibitively expensive. A reasonably large squad of Death Company with a few power fists and a Rhino is not too expensive, and the Rhino allows you to control the squad until they disembark. A drop pod can also be useful, allowing you to drop directly into the enemy army, where rage won’t be much of a problem. Make sure to disembark the Death Company aggressively, in a place where the enemy can’t lead them around with a fast unit.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Scout Squads

Scouts have lost a point of weapon skill and ballistic skill since our last codex, but they still can perform an important role in our armies. Previously, Scouts were most useful as an assault oriented Troop. However, Assault marines are Troops and perform much better in assault, as well as carrying special weapons. In addition, Scouts being able to infiltrate or outflank is not a big deal considering how accurate our deep striking units are.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tactical Squads

The Tactical squad is the undisputed foundation of any Codex Marine army, and it has long been the foundation of Blood Angels armies. In our 5th Edition codex, our Tactical squads got a significant upgrade with free or discounted special and heavy weapons, and access to combi-weapons on the sergeant. Even so, they are generally supplanted by Assault squads in the current codex.

Assault squads can take a special weapon at 5 marines, and can take two when at full size, giving them superior firepower on the move at all sizes. In addition, Assault squads get a discount on their transports, while Tactical squads have to pay full price. This means that Assault squads fill many roles better than Tacticals. However, Tacticals do one thing that no other squad in our army does: it’s a resilient scoring unit that can hold an objective and provide reliable firepower. This is something Blood Angels lists often lack.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Assault Squads

The Assault squad is the most popular Troop choice in a Blood Angels army, and with good reason. On the surface, they are very similar to the generally unpopular Space Marine Assault squad, but a few extra options make a tremendous difference.

First, Blood Angels Assault squads are Troops. Even with none of the other added options, I imagine most Codex Marine players would love to have a mobile Troops choice that is reliably capable of taking objectives by assault. In addition, our Assault squads have access to meltaguns and plasma guns. Meltaguns are a particularly big deal, as it means that your squads can reliably destroy tanks in addition taking on infantry. Finally, our sergeants have access to infernus pistols and hand flamers, giving our squads even more firepower. A full Assault squad can carry three melta or template weapons.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Welcome to the Fourth Company Librarium. I just wanted to introduce myself and give everyone an idea what this blog is about. I've been playing Blood Angels since 1998, and I've collected almost the entire Fourth Company in that time, as well as half of the First Company. I also have a Eldar army, though it is currently on hold.

This blog will cover how to design and use a Blood Angels army, with particularly emphasis on primarily jump pack forces. This will start out with unit reviews, but I will enthusiastically answer any questions on tactics or army design. I'm not a tournament player, but I play a fair amount against some very intelligent opponents.

I'll also cover modeling, painting, and background for Blood Angels and their successors.

Anyway, that's my intro. For anyone that finds my blog this early, I hope you enjoy it.
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