Friday, January 23, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Warlord Table and Relics

Before I get into the individual units, I wanted to cover the Blood Angels Warlord Table and Relics. These have a great amount of bearing on the HQ choices. In general, the Blood Angels follow the trend of 7th Edition. The Warlord traits range from situational to awesome, while the Relics provide some extra flexibility to a few important characters. 

Warlord Table

The Blood Angels Warlord Traits are okay, ranging from buffing the Warlord’s assault ability to helping out the entire army.

Red Rampage: This simply gives your Warlord Rampage. Not flashy, but pretty handy for an assault oriented character as it grants him extra attacks.

Speed of the Primarch: This grants the Warlord an extra point of Initiative, meaning that a Captain can strike at I7 on the charge, rivaling Eldar characters.

Artisan of War: This makes one of your Warlord’s weapons (which can not be a Relic of Baal) master-crafted. While useful if he has an inferno pistol or something along those lines, almost every assault-oriented Warlord will be carrying Valour’s Edge, which will limit the usefulness of this trait.

Soul Warden: This gives your Warlord Adamantium Will, which is a bit of defense against the many psykers out there. Nice when it comes up but not terribly useful.   

Descent of Angels: This is probably my favorite trait. It allows you to re-roll reserve rolls for all jump, flyer, or skimmer units in the Warlord’s detachment. If these units arrive from Deep Strike, they scatter D6” less than normal. This makes deep strikers and flyers massively more reliable.

Heroic Bearing: This is my other favorite trait. All friendly units from the Armies of the Imperium within 12” of your Warlord are Fearless. This really works well with the MSU approach that I’ve been using lately, as it keeps the many small units from falling back or being pinned.

Relics of Baal:

The Angel’s Wing is a jump pack that allows the unit containing it to re-roll the scatter dice when Deep Striking and re-roll Deep Strike Mishaps. In addition, Interceptor units firing at the unit can only fire Snap Shots at the unit. This (particularly if you can combine it with Descent of Angels) makes a single unit very reliable when deep striking, and will go a long way to foiling Interceptors (which really only comes up when fighting against Tau). While the Angel’s Wing isn’t much more expensive than a standard jump pack, I would only take this if you have a lynchpin unit that you need to deep strike reliably, perhaps a Command Squad with meltaguns for anti-armor or a close-combat squad designed to harass the enemy backlines.

The Crown Angelic grants the model wearing it Fear and inflicts a -2 LD on units taking said test. While most people tend to discount Fear as a useful ability, it can really limit the attack against your unit. While this item doesn’t help against Fearless or ATSKNF opponents, it does make higher LD opponents much more likely to fail their Fear checks. Not bad for a very cheap relic.

The Veritas Vitae allows your Warlord to generate an extra Warlord trait on the Strategic Table, which is widely considered to be the strongest. There’s little not to like about this, and its cost is very reasonable. I would take it on just about any generic character acting as my Warlord as long as I had the spare points.

Gallian’s Staff is a force staff available to Blood Angels Librarians for a small cost. The only difference between it and a standard force staff is that the user can re-roll any 1’s when making a psychic test. If the re-rolls are another 1, then the Librarian takes a wound with no saves allowed. Despite the slight risk involved, this is a good way to make your Librarian into a bit more reliable caster. It’s such an obvious upgrade that I already built a Librarian with a staff.

The Fury of Baal is a master-crafter plasma pistol that doesn’t overheat. Not a bad option, though I tend to prefer an inferno pistol. If you want the extra 6” range, the Fury of Baal isn’t a bad choice.

Valour’s Edge will see use in almost every Blood Angels list on the best combat character. It’s simply an AP2 power sword, but that makes a world of difference. The ability to chew through 2+ saves at Initiative is too much to pass up for the pittance of points that Valour’s Edge costs over a normal power sword. This relic alone makes the Artisan of War Warlord Trait redundant, since it can’t master-craft a Relic.

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