Monday, October 17, 2016

Angels Blade: Overall

Angel's Blade has been out for a few weeks, and it's given Blood Angels some options that they were sorely lacking. It remains to be seen if Angel's Blade will raise the Blood Angels out of the lower tier of 40K armies.

First off, it has some fun fluff. The Blood Angels take on the Crimson Slaughter, Black Legion, and a horde of Khorne Berzerkers led by Kharn the Betrayer. There are some cliched moments (for 40K fluff at least), including far too much of the Blood Angels force falling to the Black Rage and the Sanguinor destroying way more than he possibly could on the table (I wish his rules matched his fluff). At least the Black Rage epidemic has a reason beyond "they just got really angry" and the Death Company slap the Crimson Slaughter around like grots. Blood Angels are like Bruce Banner; making them angry is never a good idea, but villains can't seem to resist making it part of their plan.

Rules wise, all of the tanks as well as Land Speeders gained the ability to be taken in squadrons as well as bonuses for having three in a squad. These are all the same as those for Space Marines, but Baal Predators gained Wall of Firepower, which allows them to re-roll to wound rolls of 1 with all of their weapons. This is solid but not super interesting; I suspect it was the only rule they could come up with that worked equally well for all of the weapons the Baals can be armed with.

There are also updated dataslates for Terminator Captains (making it easier to field the Karlaen model), Assault squads (allowing eviscerators), and Devastator squads (allowing them and only them to take grav-cannons). The latest Chaplain model is now officially a Death Company Chaplain. This guy has no wargear options, so he has to take a jump pack and inferno pistol (which seems pretty unnecessary as far as restrictions go), but he allows Death Company he leads to re-roll failed wounds on the charge, just like Astorath, so that's pretty handy.

Unfortunately, they didn't include updated dataslates for Scouts or Dreadnoughts, so we'll have to carry around the FAQ to prove that their stats were upgraded to Space Marine levels. Perhaps more unfortunate is the lack of updated datasheets for Terminators and Vanguard Veterans, both of which desperately need the points decrease found in Codex: Space Marines.

A more positive inclusion are the rules for the Librarius, Technomancy, Fulmination, and Geokinesis psychic disciplines. If you didn't pick up Angels of Death (and why would you if you only play Blood Angels), then this allows you to use these very handy lores.

As far as rules go, the big change for Blood Angels is the introduction of the composite detachments Angel's Blade Strike Force and Lost Brotherhood Strike Force, as well as the Formations that make them up. Of course, these are the most complicated changes so I'll be discussing them on their own in my next several articles.

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