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Blood Angel Lore vs. Gameplay Identity

Blood Angels Fluff 8th Edition rules

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#1
TheHarrower

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We've touched on this topic in various threads before, but it came up on Dakka and I wanted to hear what you guys thought.

 

There is a lot of debate on how the Blood Angels should play and what special rules we'll have when our Codex drops. I think part of the issue is that we suffer from an identity crisis more than any other army in 40K. People have various opinions. We're a jump pack army, we're a Codex marines army with a few special units, we're a fast mechanized army, we're a close combat army, etc. So which is it? According to the fluff in the 8th Edition Rulebook Blood Angels are:

 

Spoiler
 
So the one common thread we get is that we're an aggressive army. That can mean a lot of things: faster movement, faster in combat, more attacks, stronger attacks, closer deep strike distance, more shots, reroll charges, longer chargers, longer consolidate, etc. Most of that stuff GW has toyed with in one way or another throughout the editions. It's obvious they don't know what the rules should be for Blood Angels either.
 
What do you guys think? How should a Blood Angels army play? What rules should we have when our Codex finally drops?

 


Edited by TheHarrower, 23 August 2017 - 04:27 PM.

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#2
sfPanzer

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I'm one of those who thinks that Blood Angels essentially should be played like a regular codex compliant chapter with the additional quirk that they prefer to be close and personal which is represented in being able to take more flamer than others, having fast tanks and having more kinds of Jump Pack units.

Unless of course you play one of those successor chapters who, willingly or not, fight more in line with the Red Thirst. Like Flesh Tearers and Knights of Blood for example. For those I'd reduce the shooty units (Devastators with long ranged weapon, Sternguards, Lascannon tanks, etc.) to a minimum and focus even more on melee units.


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#3
Arkangilos

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I would like to see some of third edition rules come back, where on a one we are forced to advance whatever unit rolled it :P

But make up for it with a positive bonus

Edited by Arkangilos, 23 August 2017 - 04:37 PM.

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#4
sfPanzer

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What kind of rules I'd like to see? That's really hard to say. I honestly wouldn't know where to begin but I think any "Chapter tactic" etc. that forces us too much into one specific kind of fighting would be wrong. Blood Angels are versatile and can cover pretty much all aspects of warfare (and do so regularly).

Maybe a rule that adds +2" to all movements for Infantry, Bikes and Dreadnoughts if they move towards the enemy? Making it more attractive for the player to make decisions that would end up him moving his units closer to the enemy......so basically representing the effects of the Red Thirst (abandoning the position to get to the enemy) without actually forcing us to do anything we don't want to.


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#5
Panda_Saurus_Rex

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I'd like it if our tactic is "can charge after advancing" to better represent the aggression and speed.


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#6
Blindhamster

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Honestly I think that would be good too. Thought it doesn't make us any better when we get there, which would be a shame. It still works nicely as a tactic.
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"Because I did not see it as glorious Captain Castigon, a bunch of effete over privileged nobles who barely know which direction to point a weapon? Where's the challenge in that? Look at your armour, not a scratch on you is there?" 

Blood Angels 3rd Company Wins 25 Draws 5 Losses 13

Heresy Blood Angels: Wins 4 Draws 0 Losses 2
Blood Angels 4th company: Wins 10 Draws 3 Losses 4


#7
Indefragable

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What timing. I was working on a blog post with a similar idea.

Of course I can't find the link to the photo, but FW had a slide on the IX Legion during their Angelus preview a while back (I did not personally attend).
Hidden Content


I will probably return to this post and make it 1000 times bigger, but since it's lunch break at work, I'll cut it down.

Of all the Chapters on both sides of the Eye of Terror, I think the BA are conceptually the hardest to turn into fair, balanced, table top rules. In part because I think the IX Legion's style of warfare was the "never fight fair" type of blitzkrieg. Think of it this way...to do the fluff justice, BA would be able to do the following on the tabletop:

-Turn 1 no scatter DS within inferno pistol range
-re-rollable charges from deep strike
-high-Initiative, hard-hitting melee
-consolidating towards enemies after combat, possibly getting to attack them as well
-Morale buffs to friendliest and debuffs to opponents

I mean, geez, is that's the cheesiest OP Alpha Strike formula right there. So right away you have to rework things/scale it back.

I do agree that we have an identity crisis on the tabletop: if we are supposed to be vanilla +, then we should have everything in the SM book. If we are supposed to be more distinct, then we need rules, units, and capabilities that equal or exceed what vanilla SM gets (which we all can agree we do not right now). Compare to DA and SW regarding distinct but equal.

More later...

#8
Arkangilos

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Just because we would be vanilla+ doesn't mean we need access to everything they have. There actually are units that do not fit the character of the chapter (centurions, for example).

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#9
sockwithaticket

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+1 attack on the charge and more accurate deep strike would be fine.

A little something extra/instead for the main successors (Angels Encarmine, Sanguine and Vermillion; Blood Drinkers, Carmine Blades[I guess], Flesh Tearers) would be cool but highly unlikely.

Something like making a charge after destroying an enemy unit for the FTs for example

 


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#10
Arkangilos

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See I want a genetic quirk for all of the blood line, and then chapter tactics and/or strategems for the chapters themselves.

So something where on a roll of one or whatever you have to move towards the nearest enemy (but you can advance and charge), and all the successors and prime Chapter get that, and then chapter tactics on top of that. Descent of Angels as a tactic, or strategem for the BA. Rerollable charges for Flesh Tearers as a tactic or strategem. Etc.

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#11
Blindhamster

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If they did the above we wouldn't have atsknf. Not sure if want a trade like that!

"Because I did not see it as glorious Captain Castigon, a bunch of effete over privileged nobles who barely know which direction to point a weapon? Where's the challenge in that? Look at your armour, not a scratch on you is there?" 

Blood Angels 3rd Company Wins 25 Draws 5 Losses 13

Heresy Blood Angels: Wins 4 Draws 0 Losses 2
Blood Angels 4th company: Wins 10 Draws 3 Losses 4


#12
The Unseen

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+1 attack on the charge is still pretty terrible with our available options. That isn't nearly enough extra "oomph" to make any of our units, or any marine unit really, worth it over the far better shooting options we have available, bar the very tiny number of exceptions, namely TH/SS termies, and Sanguinary Guard if they stop having to pay over 20 pts for a mediocre power weapon and an assault 2 bolter. +1 attack with berzerkers as troops is a solid buff to the armies core, +1 attack with tactical marines/scouts still leaves them pathetically mediocre in melee. The 30k Legion Tactic of +1 to wound rolls in combat flat might, and I can't stress that might enough, might be enough to make a melee list viable with what we have at this point.

 

But if GW wants to go with the more 'close-ranged' firefight/shock and awe stuff with a deep strike stratagem, I'm down, but their going to have to be some hefty buffs to make us even on par with the Ultra's, who get to be up close with those same guns, and not get locked into combat forever.

 

Basically, we used to have a lot of options in one army, Deep Strike Shock and Awe, Death Company/Assault Marines Jump Tide, and Mechanized Close Combat/Firefight have all been "Blood Angels" at one time or another. (And in the "glory" days of 5th edition, we could do all 3 out of one book and they were all decent).

 

But GW gave everyone ridiculously good deep strike, Death Company and Assault Marines are jokes of melee units unless you shove every named character in the book behind them, and several of the vanilla chapters have fantastic tactics for close ranged focused armies already, namely Ultra's and Sallies. And the closest to a "melee" faction in the new codex, Black Templars, got shafted pretty hard. Re-roll charges doesn't help mediocre combat units, like crusader squads, actually do much when you get there.


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#13
Arkangilos

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If they did the above we wouldn't have atsknf. Not sure if want a trade like that!


Who said that?

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#14
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To echo what Unseen said, there's a whole other layer between what we should have based on fluff and what we need to have to actually be viable on the table.

Again, this is where it gets tricky with BA, especially since so many of our traditional buffs have been spread out to the core mechanics of the game. Not to mention that the designers seem to be not sure how to differentiate us from SW in a lot of ways (Wulfen and D.C. for example).

I'm a broken record, but I do love Encarmine Fury.

#15
Blindhamster

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If they did the above we wouldn't have atsknf. Not sure if want a trade like that!

Who said that?

There's no way we would get ataknf, advance and charge and another benefit. How would that be balanced compared to regular marines?

"Because I did not see it as glorious Captain Castigon, a bunch of effete over privileged nobles who barely know which direction to point a weapon? Where's the challenge in that? Look at your armour, not a scratch on you is there?" 

Blood Angels 3rd Company Wins 25 Draws 5 Losses 13

Heresy Blood Angels: Wins 4 Draws 0 Losses 2
Blood Angels 4th company: Wins 10 Draws 3 Losses 4


#16
The Unseen

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If they did the above we wouldn't have atsknf. Not sure if want a trade like that!

Who said that?

There's no way we would get ataknf, advance and charge and another benefit. How would that be balanced compared to regular marines?

 

 

Ultra's with +1 Leadership, Fall Back and Shoot at a -1, and ATSKNF would like a word?


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#17
Arkangilos

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If they did the above we wouldn't have atsknf. Not sure if want a trade like that!

Who said that?
There's no way we would get ataknf, advance and charge and another benefit. How would that be balanced compared to regular marines?

Besides the forced movement? Points. Nothing says we have to cost the same. Also the advance and charge I am suggesting is only on a roll of one, the same roll that forces you to move towards the enemy, potentially out of a better position. It's a trade off.
Imagine it like this, you move your unit towards a good position to blast the enemy with a heavy weapon. You are one turn away. The next turn you roll a one, and your unit changes direction and moves. It throws off your whole plan. So now you decide to advance, you are in range, now you charge.
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#18
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I don't like the word aggressive as a descriptor. All warriors should be aggressive. I think being an "offensive" or "defensive" minded army is a better descriptor.

 

I never want to regress to throwing dice before game to make my DC, nor do I want to charge forward on the roll of a 1.

 

I think our identity comes from the lore, as well as our unique units. We're a noble army that lost our primarch who sacrificed himself for the good of the Imperium. We are a close-quarters army that's offensively minded. We can bring the pain in close with access to meltacide squads, heavy flamer devs, etc. We have fast moving tanks, JP infantry, and quick dreadnoughts. 

 

I hope they fix up some point issues and give us good stratagems that coincide with our special units.

 

Oh, also, first post! I came here from Dakka and like the vibe. Carry on brothers!

 

Edit: I'll post a greeting soon in the appropriate forum.


Edited by brother_b, 23 August 2017 - 08:21 PM.

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#19
sockwithaticket

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If they did the above we wouldn't have atsknf. Not sure if want a trade like that!

Who said that?
There's no way we would get ataknf, advance and charge and another benefit. How would that be balanced compared to regular marines?

Besides the forced movement? Points. Nothing says we have to cost the same. Also the advance and charge I am suggesting is only on a roll of one, the same roll that forces you to move towards the enemy, potentially out of a better position. It's a trade off.
Imagine it like this, you move your unit towards a good position to blast the enemy with a heavy weapon. You are one turn away. The next turn you roll a one, and your unit changes direction and moves. It throws off your whole plan. So now you decide to advance, you are in range, now you charge.

 

Yes I -ahem- 'fondly' remember my Devastators, spending most of 3rd ed advancing towards the enemy having decided that their long range anti-tank weapons were actually elaborate clubs...


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#20
Arkangilos

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At least now you can still use them :P

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#21
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I think our unique units stick with the lore and fluff.
We need a CT and stratagems to represent well red thirst and our JP and fast moving armor reputation. Maybe black rage should save our DC on 5+ ...
Then it's just about adjusting the point value of our units & weapons.
It's no heresy to play shooty BA, we fight to prevail and sometimes, doing that we succumb to the red thirst and go a bit turbulent...
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#22
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For me the "aggressive tactics, close combat and the use of jump packs" part suits how I envision blood angels

Aggressive tactics being mostly our deployment be that jump packs, bikes, storm Ravens drop pods or fast rhinos
Close combat being actually better than other chapters in close combat
Jump packs...... well ya know.

As to how this should play out in the rules I think giving us extra moment/ deep strike landing closer than 9" etc.... are just not what it's about, a jump packed marine should not be able to moved possibly 18" and then charge
Deep striking in closer is such a weak game mechanic and would shoehorn blood angels way to much in one direction.
I actually think that +1 attack across the board would suit us well. 5 assault marines making 5 extra swings with chain swords seems ok and not game breaking and same with death company, it also helps give a bit more more punch when we finally get into combat, especially against other close combat armies.

I think that the problem is that when we get into close combat we just aren't effective against anything and it's made even more obvious when we get into combat with another close combat army and we look rubbish.

I think stratagems are where it's at for things like advance and charge, re-roll charge distance and accurate deepstrikes.

A quick note on the "on a roll of a 1 you must move towards the nearest enemy" effect. This is really bad as a mechanic to me because it makes the game longer for what perpose? It just makes long ranged units less useful being forced to move out of cover for sniper scouts or devistators could have devastating effects and in a game that uses dice to give randomness could just crippple units.
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#23
TheHarrower

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On the surface +1 attack sounds amazing, but when you really look at it The Unseen is right. It just isn't that great with what we have. It's crazy that you have to play our army with a ton of auras to make assault viable. To really make assault work we need to be able to do more damage. +1 Strength across the board in the Fight Phase (which will never happen), inflicting additional casualties in combat (like Death Masks for everyone), or being just more effective in melee with additional attacks or activations.

 

We also need to be more survivable and to be able to get to melee range. If Genestealers can get an invulnerable save, Sanguinary Guard should too. 5+ please. Death Company need to go back to a 5+ Feel No Pain so it isn't useless. Maybe the ability to either lock a unit in close combat or give all of our units a 6" consolidation move like the Death Company Dreadnought. Someone also mentioned adding 2" to our movement which would be ace. Bring back Wings of Sanguinius and give us another move in the movement phase. Deep Strike within 7" would be cool too.

 

The biggest issues I see with assault for armies like marines is you don't do enough damage, and you don't live long enough to get there. I know we won't get a fraction of the above, but at least some of those things would help. It might be cool to have some sort of situational bonus. Something like on a roll of 8 or higher when charging we give into the Red Thrist and can reroll failed to wound rolls until the units next phase.

 

Who knows what they'll decide, but I hope the FLG guys don't have too much influence on where we go as an army. Every time they talk about Blood Angels, they talk like we are the penultimate assault army. I just don't get it and it's not like they back it up either. They never play Blood Angels on their channel. I think they're great guys that do a lot for the hobby, but when it comes to how our army is supposed to work I just don't have any faith.

 

Not sure if anyone noticed, but it appears that Sanguinus is on the end papers in the 40K Rulebook. Someone posted this on Facebook recently and it reminded me of it. If the Great Angel rises from the ashes like a phoenix, he could definitely help boost us to new heights. The model would be pretty amazing too. Here's a pic.

 

sanguinius.jpg


Edited by TheHarrower, 24 August 2017 - 02:53 AM.

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#24
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Is that actually Sanguinius? I mean, the wings, duh. I've heard people say it's everything from the Sanguinor, to one of the Emperor's light-ghost thingies, to just a symoblic depiction (like the snake vs eagle on "the" warhammer on the cover, etc...


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#25
TheHarrower

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Is that actually Sanguinius? I mean, the wings, duh. I've heard people say it's everything from the Sanguinor, to one of the Emperor's light-ghost thingies, to just a symoblic depiction (like the snake vs eagle on "the" warhammer on the cover, etc...

 

I think so. It's not the Sanguinor. He has a Jump Pack, not actual wings. The figure looks like it's wearing a death shroud and Sanguinis has always been like a Christ figure. I don't know, but I'd like to think it is. Honestly fluff wise I would be annoyed, but the model would be so amazing I wouldn't care. Plus, I've seen how ridiculous Bobby G. is on more than one occasion. I'd love to field a flying version of him.


Edited by TheHarrower, 24 August 2017 - 02:48 AM.

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