Monday, April 5, 2010

40K: Thoughts on the new BA Codex; Model Inventory

My History with the Blood Angels

I started playing Warhammer 40,000 some time during high school (1992-1996). Despite using a vanilla Marine army at the time, I was really struck by some of the fluff scattered throughout the three books that came in the 2nd edition box set (Rulebook, Wargear, Codex Imperialis) - particularly that of the Blood Angels.

Upon graduating and heading off to college, I fell out of the hobby - though I kept all my old models at home. Sometime in or around 2000, I picked up the Blood Angels Supplement to the Space Marines Codex that had been released in 1998. I wasn't crazy (pardon the pun) with the new rules for the Red Thirst and Black Rage, as I felt that it sort of tarnished the noble image of the Chapter in my mind - but perhaps that was the point? However, I was still a fan and loved the bright red color scheme that just jumped up in an opponent's face and said "Hey! I'm right here and I'm coming for you!"

When the 2007 'Codex' came out in White Dwarf, I had since shelved the Blood Angels and had been focused on painting and playing Dark Eldar, determined to hone both my army and myself into notable presence at my local game store. I got it, of course, and even printed the whole thing out, but the codex felt incomplete. There really weren't any new models aside from the Baal Predator. Besides, I was having too much fun being the only DE player in the area - even managed a nice little win streak for a while - certainly winning more than I had trying to play the Blood Angels as an inexperienced on-again/off-again wargamer.

So now, still playing DE and trying to get an Ork army painted up, the Blood Angels have a new Codex. I got it the first day it hit the shelves and am in the process of putting the whole thing into a spreadsheet (screw Army Builder and their ridiculous licensing!). Having read it, I can honestly say that, despite a few issues, I missed these crimson-clad, blood-craving maniacs and am now thinking of putting my poor Orks aside to once again fight for the Emperor.

Thoughts on the Codex

There are countless other sites with people more experienced in the game to read about the stats and specific rule changes in the new codex and how they affect the chapter. These quick thoughts (gripes?) are more concerned with fluff and the Blood Angels as a whole:

Hate the cover. Why didn't the use the art on page 4 instead? It's much nicer.

Tycho is dead. Let him go, or at least put him in a Dreadnought. Did Leman Russ show up in the most recent Space Wolves Codex - have their players moved on yet?

Speaking of named Dreadnoughts: Moriar is mentioned in the fluff, but no stats are given this time.

Did they really have to ret-con the history of the Imperium (where BA are concerned) in order to shoehorn in as many references to the new Stormraven as possible? At some point, I think it's okay to say "They developed a new vehicle." The Dark Age of Technology can't realistically last forever - not if the Imperium is going to have any chance at staying alive.

What exactly is the Sanguinor? He's not the Primarch, or the Chapter's Master. He kinda reminds me of Rafen's brother Arkio from the Blood Angel novels by James Swallow - only, y'know, not twisted into a daemonic parody of their Primarch.

Seems like we now have 4 groups of "the most experienced/accomplished/elite" Marines in the chapter: Terminators, Veterans, Honor Guard, and Sanguinary Guard. Gonna run out of superlatives by next edition.

Concerning Successor chapters (all on page 54): The Flesh-Tearers are "divorced" from the rest of Mankind; the Angels Vermillion "shun all contact with the Brother Chapters"; the Angels Sanguine "never remove their helms save in the privacy of their fortress monastery"; the Lamenters "barely survived the repercussions of aligning themselves with the Astral Claws during the Badab War"; and the Knights of Blood have been declared rogue by the High Lords of Terra, being "unwelcome allies at best." How is it that the Imperium hasn't tried to kill them all by now?

The winged Jump Packs will take some getting used to. Also, the Sanguinary Masks are uncomfortably similar to the old Lemartes model and the Angelus Bolters sit a little high for my liking. I bet the next versions of these models will be awesome.

If the Blood Angels are vampires, the Space Wolves are werewolves, and the Necrons are (sort of) mummies . . . does that make the Adeptus Mechanicus Frankenstein's Monster? What about the Fishman? Tau, perhaps.

Current Inventory of BA models

Still in Box (Un-assembled/Unpainted)
1 x Land Raider Crusader
3 x 5-man Assault Marine Combat Squads
1 x Captain (Black Reach)
1 x 10-man Tactical Squad (Black Reach)

Assembled, but Unpainted
1 x 5-man Terminator Squad
1 x Dreadnaught

Assembled & Basecoated
1 x Vindicator
2 x 10-man Tactical Squads

Table-ready (more or less)
1 x 6-man Scout Squad (4 x Sniper Rifles, 1 x HB, 1 x Sgt.)
11 Death Company (Jump Packs) w/Chaplain (Plasma Pistol, Jump Pack)
1 x 5-man Terminator Squad (1 x AC, 1 x Cyclone ML)
1 5-man Combat Squad (Bolters, Helmets painted as Heavy Support)
1 x Furioso Dreadnaught (metal, no base)
1 x Landspeeder (HB)
2 x Landspeeder Tornado (1 x HB, 1 x AC each)
1 x Librarian (Power Weapon, Plasma Pistol)
4 x Honor Guard (2 x Power weapons, 1 x Meltagun, 1 x Chainsword)
1 x Apothecary (Power Weapon)
1 x Razorback (1 x TL Lascannon or HB; old model)
3 x Rhinos (old models)
1 x Predator Annihilator (1 x Autocannon [turret], 2 x Lascannon [sponsons]; old model)
1 x Veteran Sgt. (Power Fist, Plasma Pistol; metal)
1 x Tactical Marine w/Missile Launcher

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