Monday, February 2, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: HQ: Sanguinary Priests and Brother Corbulo

Sanguinary Priest

The Sanguinary Priest is now an HQ choice, and only one can be taken per slot. This does greatly limit the number of Priests that we can take relative to the last codex, though I would argue that we don’t need as many of them now. Before, they were a lynchpin for the army, granting all important bubbles of Furious Charge and Feel No Pain. Now, everybody has Furious Charge. The Priest now augments one very important unit, giving it an extra point of Weapon Skill and Feel No Pain. He still gives both an offensive and defensive buff, just to a single squad. If you consider this in combination with Furious Charge (and +1 Initiative from the Baal Strike Force), a squad led by a Sanguinary Priest is better than it has ever been.

The Priest gained an extra wound and point of Leadership, giving him the same statline as a Librarian or Chaplain. His point cost went up a bit, but the cost of a jump pack decreased by the same amount, so the very common jump Priest still costs the same. For some reason, you have to pay an extra point so the Priest can have a bolt pistol. Odd, but not a big deal and something you should always do.

Though Sanguinary Priests are not the auto-takes that they used to be, they are still valuable for augmenting particularly important assault units. They seem to work particularly well with Sanguinary Guard (imagine that), making them even more durable and reducing their number of misses in assault to the point that their master-crafted weapons should be able to re-roll the majority of their misses.
Of course, they are most efficient when joining a larger unit.

Brother Corbulo, Keeper of the Red Grail

Like the other Sanguinary Priests, Brother Corbulo is now an HQ choice instead of an Elite choice. He costs a bit more than he used to, but gained a wound and point of Leadership. Sadly, he lost his 2+ Feel No Pain (we all had to see that coming), but his chainsword got a bit better because it now benefits from Furious Charge rather than having a set Strength of 5. Far-seeing Eye still does basically the same thing, but it has been clarified. It can now be used to re-roll the die to Seize the Initiative, see if a unit arrives from Reserve, a single scatter dice, or any single dice used in a To Hit, To Wound, or saving roll. While this is only a single die over the course of the game, it can have a huge effect by saving you from a poor roll during a critical moment. Anyone that has played against Fateweaver knows how annoying this is for your opponent.

The big reason you take Corbulo is for his support abilities. He only gives Feel No Pain to unit he joins, but he is the only Sanguinary Priest to maintain an aura effect. He grants every Blood Angels unit within 6” an extra point of Weapon Skill and Initiative. This can’t be combined with the bonus from a standard Sanguinary Priest, but it is cumulative with the bonus from the Baal Strike Force. This will give your units I6 on the charge, which will only really be a big deal for against Eldar and some Tyranids. The bigger affect will be that Corbulo will make surrounding squads I5 even when they didn’t charge, which is a big advantage. In keeping with his love of increasing Initiative, Corbulo’s Warlord Trait is Speed of the Primarch, meaning that he will strike at I8 on the charge is he is the Warlord of a Baal Strike Force.

The biggest downside for Corbulo is that he is on foot. He will have trouble staying close enough to your assault troops for his bonuses to affect them. I think Corbulo is at his best in a Land Raider, which will allow him to safely stay on the front lines, with the bonus of greatly increasing his aura’s range.  

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