Tuesday, January 31, 2017

PETA: You done messed up (Humor/Open Letter)

I am sure everyone has seen that PETA has asked GW to remove furs from their line. It is everywhere. And I am here to tell PETA, on behalf of Mr. Rountree*, Games Workshop**, thousands of hobbyists around the globe*** and our spiritual liege, Matt Ward****...

PETA- YOU DONE MESSED UP

*Okay, unofficially on behalf of him
**Them too
***I guess all of you as well
****May a flayed one wear yours and Cato Sicarius' skin

For those who live under a rock (I guess with a cuddly furry creature), here is the letter from PETA to GW

Now lets first break this down. First of all, you forgot to include a thought for the day and a whole line of "++++++++++++++++++++++" across the top of your letter. You are trying to talk warhammer after all. Secondly, that is WARMASTER Rountree to you. Or "Celestant-Prime" Rountree if you are into that whole Age of Sigmar thing, and I don't even think you guys are THAT bad.

Next you ask our glorious keeper of the plastic crack to remove "fur" from Warhammer characters at the next opportunity. Now there are several issues with that, and they all imply you didn't know the HELL what you were talking about (some of this will actually be serious talking points guys. Look Out!)
1- What about all the lizard skins? Do only mammals count? Do you not hate Snake Skin boots and Crocodile handbags? If you still do, which I am pretty sure you do, may I kindly point you in the direction of the: Salamanders, Dark Eldar, Dark Elves, etc. etc. Plenty of lizardy death as well.
2- What about HUMAN SKIN!!!! THERE ARE PEOPLE LITERALLY WEARING PEOPLE (Fashion by Soylent Green).
3- At the next opportunity... HA. HA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Do you know how long Ragnar Blackmane has been waiting for a resculpt. Like over 10 years! The next oppotunity for some of these characters to be redone isn't within this decade. You clearly do not understand the process of model design and release which is backed up by...
4- Are you going to pay for new molds PETA? Some of these things are high quality injection molded plastics. Like to change the design of a kit is tens of thousands of dollars, and on top of that, they are losing their current investment in their current mold since that is supposed to last X years by you asking them to terminate it prematurely. For them to do this across the entire range would probably have a net cost in the millions of dollars given the number of furs and animal skins on models.

Next from "Leman Russ and Horus Lupercal to Chaos Warriors and Sisters of Silence"- try grouping like games. Mixing examples up is debating rookie mistake #1. Go watch a few middle schoolers on your local debate team for some pointers.

Next you are saying it doesn't add up that they wear pelts... because it is not a symbol of their Martial Prowess. First of all, it isn't just that, it is bad ass imagery to go along with an obvious namesake examples. Imagine WHFB High Elf White Lions without... you know, LIONS, or Space Wolves without... well wolf pelts. Though it makes me wonder, why don't Carcharodons have awesome shark cloaks! Don't worry PETA, they'd be Space Sharks, and no one wants those. Watch Sharknado or the trailer for Sky Sharks... you will agree.

But that second point... what? These things are all typically from Death Worlds. Click that to get some learning in you. But to general sum it up, there are planets where the effing flowers will kill you. I imagine an animal pelt from a beast that kills the likes of a Space Marine WITH CONTEMPTUOUS EASE is actually an act of martial prowess... why don't you ask this guy his thoughts on it.
I don't even want to think of a Calabite Lion or a Nocture Drake (animals slain by the likes of Leman Russ and Horus Lupercal... animals that literally required a demi-god with magic powers to kill)

You could also just visit Catachan. I hear it is nice NEVER.
Next you say nothing in warhammer matches the cruelty of the Fur Trade (both commercial and trapping) and while yes, this is fiction (which begs WHY did you bother again?) and what you are talking about is reality, if you ARE going to criticize fiction YOU HAD BEST UNDERSTAND IT

This is literally the WORST of all possible worlds. Like your average citizen WOULD RATHER BE STUCK IN SAID BONE CRUSHING STEEL JAW TRAPS AND SKINNED ALIVE... Furthermore, those are actually distinct possibilities in the lore itself. FLAYED ONES YAY!
Seriously, crack open the start of any of our 40k books and you find this!

It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.

Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse.

To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

"It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable." "Only and eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of the thirsting gods." "Carrion lord...for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed EVERY DAY".

But yeah, nothing "could" match what those animals go through.
Finally, in response to your letter directly, to suggest that the year 40,000 it would be just as unacceptable to wear fur as in 2017...
1- SO I guess Fantasy gets a pass.
2- You clearly once more, do not understand the regressive nature of Warhammer 40k. Like, at all. Ill refer you back to the text above from a novel for an idea of that. Seriously, it takes them like 2,000 years to approve a new design of a Tank, AND THEY FREAKING LOVE TANKS! You think they care about societal issues AT ALL?

But now, with all that out of the way, I want to discuss how you REALLY REALLY MESSED UP. You clearly did not understand the subject matter your were dealing with as evidenced above. But you most certainly did not understand the fan-base you were messing with.

First of all, willful ignorance and irreverence are built into the game and fluff. And A LOT of us identify with that. Like 99.99% of us. There is a reason the genre is called "Grim Dark". This is literally a setting where entire worlds are destroyed at the whim of a single individual based on their prejudices. Seriously take your moral issues elsewhere.

Secondly, you are looking at the fan base that continually LAUGHS OFF SEXISM, RACISM AND FASCISM. Just laughs it away. Three WAY more serious issues and actual problems in society. Don't get me wrong. We hobbyists ARE NOT those things. There may be individuals, as in any group (and even amongst your supporters)  who are, but for the most part we are not. I will physically punch someone who derides a fellow enthusiast based on gender, religion, race, etc. etc. We are all in it for the love of the hobby, and no one deserves to be alienated from it for such stupid reasons. What I am saying, is that when we get called those things, we LAUGH IT AWAY. You think your "Fur is Murder" issue in the current political climate even stand a chance against us? No. I made a meme today on facebook about this. In 12 hours I had 40,000 views. And not a single negative facebook reaction or comment. ZERO.
You underestimated us. And if anything, you alienated middle to upper class individuals with a lot of free time and high levels of disposable income. I guarantee you someone who plays Warhammer bought an ACTUAL fur or leather jacket today because of this. I know a few thousand of us ate burgers, for sure. And NONE of us donated to PETA. Not. A. Single. One.

Why? Because it is asinine to attack a silly little game set in a dystopian world because a fake person, made of plastic, is wearing the representation of "fur". Don't ruin our passion, especially without any competent knowledge of it. Because we are all fanatical zealots for something. And when one group is fanatically zealous about fanatical zealots, it is probably best to leave them alone.

3 burgers were consumed in the writing of this article. I made sure to go buy them wearing a leather jacket, shoes and belt. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The 5 things I would do to fix Blood Angels TODAY

1- A useful Decurion- So you can really get my feelings on the Angel's Blade in this post, but to sum that up, what we have now is pretty terrible. I keep trying to make it work. I really do. But list wise it is just too expensive. Any of the great combos push you well over 2k OR there are just too many madatory things (2 Furiosos in a 1st Co demi-co, a Dread and a Furioso or Command squad in a regular demi-co). And what do we get for it? The same benefit as the Demi-Co itself and the most useless benefit ever, Zealot on squads reduced below 1/2 Strength.... wooo. Did I mention I can get the +1 I benefit that the Demi-Co/Angel's Blade have with a Regular Old Baal Strike Force? SO the Angel's Blade is completely redundant and useless, clogged with too many mandatory units. Also, outside of the Demi-Co and DC SF there is no way to take a Chaplain.
Now I am not saying I want free transports. Far from it. That has been done. What should be done is
-Leave the +1 I on the Demi-Co
-Remove all the mandatory dreads
-Add a cool regular assault marine formation with some sweet benefits
-Make it so two demi-co give you Obsec and Rage (or +1A if you already have Rage)
2- A "Conclave"- Librarian, Chaplain or Sanguinary Priest. Every thing else has these trios going on, particularly with the new Triumvirates. While a Librarius conclave would be most appreciated, this is an awesome opportunity for something unique. I am not sure what a Chaplain or SP conclave/triumvirate/brotherhood would do or be, but some stat or USR sprinkling, improved FNPs, things like that would be welcome and new. If a librarius one, I would hope Mephiston isn't mandatory. Still, some sort of small character super squad with stacking buffs  is the way of the future, and BA currently are in the past and keep needing to borrow loners from SM. Now that Chapter Tactics cannot stack at all, this is even worse for the codex.

3- Another flyer- Either one someone else has or a new design. For being Angels, we sure have little in the ways of Air Support and could use some more, especially after everyone else stole ours. I mostly would like the Storm Talon, however some new form of Gunship or Assault Craft would be nice. If you want to read me wax poetic on the subject, read this salty post.
4- Assault Marine Troops- Why is this not a thing. Why? AND DON'T YOU DARE SAY "THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH! That is the worst argument ever? Why- well they have more assault marines than Scouts! Troops is a battlefield "Role" not a battlefield quota anyway. It is about employment of the unit. Its why Dark Angels can take Terminators and Bikes as troops and why White Scars (or any chapter with characters on bikes I guess) can take bike as troops. And that is what is the worst about this: any SM faction outside BA can do fancy troop manipulation, getting some sort of better, fluffy characteristic unit into that slot. When ever I make a list, I feel like I am just wasting points on tacticals and scouts. BA are an in your face assault army. Why oh why am I wasting my time with boring non-assaulty units? A better decurion could go a long way to fixing this. Anything to make the troops more assaulty. But the fact few BA actually take assault marines is pretty sad. Especially since they are the truth in 30k.

5- Land speeder storm- This is kinda a personal wish list thing, but it would be great to have. If I am going to be forced to repeatedly take scouts, at least give me an open-topped vehicle that they can assault from! This would instantly make our scouts the best scouts there are and a decent troops choice. Especially when you equip locator beacons/teleport homers...

Honorable Mention- Beef up Mephiston, make him a LoW. Downgrade Seth to an HQ as is. Just my 2 cents. Better reflects their fluff power as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My top 10 kits that need to move from FW to plastic

There have been a lot of models over the years moved from Forge World to GW Plastic- The Wave Serpent, Valkyrie, Baneblade and Drop Pod to name but a few. All of these moves have greatly benefited the game and hobbyists, and it is a trend that should not stop. Below is a list of the 10 kits that I believe would over all do the most for the hobby and hobbyists. Note, this is not just a Space Marine lovefest either. Plenty of (heretical) Xenos kits made the cut.

Space Marine Deimos Pattern Rhino- This would go a very long way to making warhammer 30k viable as a game everyone has access to. With Burning of Prospero and Betrayal at Calth we have a good core, but those vehicles still come at a premium cost. I understand the rest staying with Forge World, but making this would really bridge the gap from "Desire" to "Realtiy" for alot of potential 30k players. I am banking on it so much I am ever so slowly starting a 30k Dusk Raider army myself. But very slowly to ensure I eventually get this kit. It just makes too much sense, esepcially since it is also still entirely useable for 40k.
Imperial Navy Thunderbolt Fighter- The Valkyrie/Vendetta are cool and all, but some sort of Strike Fighter capacity would be excellent for the Guard. This is a classic model and very easy to make in plastic IMO. Could potentially be made available to all Armies of the Imperium. A workhorse of the skies that should be used in more games. I have a Forgeworld one I need to refinish. If they came out with plastic ones, I'd buy 2 more no questions asked and run a flyer wing for sure.
Space Marine Storm Eagle/Fire Raptor- Another 30k/40k crossover potential. While a plastic Thunderhawk would be amazing, it is probably never going to happen (a Titan would happen first). BUT This is pretty close. It can me made into 3 different units (Fire Raptor, Storm Eagle and ROC pattern storm eagle) and is a great looking model to boot that already uses several plastic Storm Raven Parts. Plus, the usual warping people have to deal with with the model would be a thing of the past.
Ork Squiggoth- Orks don't get enough love, especially since the Stompa is one of the worst LoW for its points in the game. A brand new, more dynamic sculpt along with some new cool rules and you will see it fly off the shelves for sure. A usable Gargantuan creature with endless conversion possibilities on it. I guarantee you everyone who plays 40k would love to see this, whether they play orks or not. Given that Orks also have no true answer to the Knight, this would be a smart move IMO.
Tyranid Heirodule- Another beasty for the game. If anyone should have more plastic gargantuans it is Tyranids, and the Heirodule perfectly fits the bill. It is the right size, playable in normal games and comes in two flavours. New rules once again and you'd have something highly effective and desired by players, especially if it is made to be their answer to Imperial Knights.
Imperial Guard (DKK, Elysians, etc.)- This should follow the Horus Heresy model of late. But it would be really awesome to get 1-2 core sets of various guard regiments that I can they upgrade with Forgeworld parts or kitbashing. Everyone LOVES DKK, but they are the most cost prohibitive army in the game. Having a plastic infantry box of them would be amazing, add variety, and have many many uses (IG, Chaos, Renegades)
Necron Pylon- YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS. Another Xenos force without a lot of attention recently. This kit is super simple and yet has 3 profiles I believe! Really great potential for a cross over to plastic and something that I am sure a lot of Necron players would love to see. Given that IG has like 70 versions of the baneblade and Imperial now have Knights, there is no reason why Crons can't have another LoW, particularly one in the price range of Knights.
Eldar Hornet- I keep seeing these. A lot. They just are really popular right now. Really that is the extent to my logic of making them plastic. They are a fun little kit with some good rules. Index it in price right between a Vyper and a Wave Serpent and I sure it would sell in droves.
Space Marine/Imperial Guard/Solar Auxilia/Renegade Rapier Batteries- Why isn't this a thing already? Seriously, it is one chassis design that can mount like 54 different weapons to it. It is usable in 30k and 40k. It is usable by SM, IG and Renegades. I mean COME ON! It screams "MAKE ME IN PLASTIC". Heck, you could even combo in the thunderfire cannon with it if you tried hard enough. It is such a useful kit, but so expensive right now. In plastic it would fly off the shelves and has great magnetization potential for sure. The only problem would be "What crew do we sell it with?"
Space Marine/Imperial Guard/Solar Auxilia/Renegade Malcador- Last but not least, yet another 30k to 40k vehicle, And unlike the rapiers, the crew problem is really easy- just put 1 space marine on the sprue and 1 human with 3 heads (1 IG, 1 Solar Aux and 1 chaos). BAM, you have a "Warhammer 40,000" generic kit. Its numerous profiles in 40k and options in 30k make it a great combo kit once again. Plus it just looks plain cool.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Blood Angels list I would take to LVO (if I was going)

I am not going to LVO, but if I were, here is what I would bring (and who knows... planning on NOVA...)
BA CAD- 825
HQ: Brother Corbulo- 120
HQ: Techmarine- 95: Servo Arm, Auspex, Servitor (Servo Arm), Servitor (Plasma Cannon) (WARLORD)
Troops: Tactical Squad(5): 135- Multi-Melta, Teleport Homer, Rhino
Troops: Tactical Squad(5): 135- Melta-gun, Teleport Homer, Rhino
Troops: Tactical Squad(5): 140- Grav-gun, Teleport Homer, Rhino
Heavy Support: Relic Sicaran: 200- Lascannons, LoG Schism of Mars

ARCHANGELS ORBITAL INTERVENTION FORCE- 665
Terminator Assault Squad(5): 225- TH&SS
Terminator Assault Squad(5): 225- TH&SS
Terminator Assault Squad(5): 215- 3xTH&SS, 2x LC

CHAPTER ANCIENTS- 360
Dreadnought: 120- 2 x TL Auto-cannon
Dreadnought: 120- 2 x TL Auto-cannon
Dreadnought: 120- 2 x TL Auto-cannon

Lets break this list down. Scoring block with obsec of the 3 tactical squads and rhinos. Fast Rhinos to get them where I want them with a Teleport Homer in each. This is to bring in my Terminator Assault Squads as reliably as possible, because they are the main damage causers in the list. To further boost this reliability is Corbulo (who either sticks with the TM or rides with a Tac squad). This is because his once per-game reroll, which I would use for the Terminators reserve roll.

I think the Terminators are self explanatory. DS and Assault with alot of hitting power. Once squad has 2 LC as a personal quick of mine. I find it more useful to have one of the squads be a little flexible, especially since two is usually enough to kill anything on their own.

The Chapter Ancients are Dakka Spam. On the turn I get to activate their power, they can shoot 8 auto-cannon shots each. I mean, their normal 12 total is nice, but 24! I can easily pop all the transports in a Battle-Co or eliminate a bunch of Scat-bikes with them. Plus TL makes them decent anti-air platforms. And then they are still dreads and can handle a pesky backfield assault decently IMO.

Then there is the Sicaran. I love this thing. It does the Lord's work. Some people would prefer to run two with no upgrades. Who knows, maybe I would too if I owned two! But in all seriousness, since I have one I make it deadly. Lascannons and LoG Schism of Mars. This LoG gives it tank hunters on its already fearsome weapon (S7 AP4 Twin Linked Heavy 6 Rending, and Rapid Tracking to ignore Jink) and add to that lascannons now and you can kill any vehicle in a single salvo, including flyers. PLUS It gives you +1 BS against Daemonforged vehicles AND a 4++ against haywire. Bonus, particularly the invuln. Saved me a few times.

Now to go with this and the dreads in the back field is my Techmarine. He is the Warlord so that I can roll instead of being stuck with Corbulo's +1. He also just has a better save. Basically he is there to keep the Sicaran and dreads alive. The servitors are wound buffers and one has a plasma cannon just to give him some range. Add to it an Auspex, and he should aide greatly in keeping the back field clear (remeber -1 to cover is also -1 to jink, so any bikes/jetbikes encroaching are perfect auspex targets).

This list wouldn't take me anywhere. I would be stuck in the middle to bottom half for sure, but I wouldn't lose every game and it would be pure Blood Angels, which I can assure you almost no one is going to run. I'd be happy with that and that is about as much as I could ask for.

Lets hope Blood Angels get something more before NOVA though... because Angel's Blade did not stack up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Angel's Blade Review (finally): A book of missed opportunities (Rant)

So, it has been months since Angel's Blade came out. I feel I have broken enough salt off of my keyboard to actually say something about it here, and in light of newer releases, better illustrate the failure that it is. But be warned, this is a full on Rant post.
Also, please don't come in with "Well X, Y and Z have it worse," or "Why not just play Vanilla then?" First of all I likely know x, y and z have it worse (sorry Orks) HOWEVER they didn't have to pay $60 for this book ON TOP OF $60 for Sheild of Baal ON TOP OF $10 on ebay for Deathstorm ON TOP OF a $60 codex. Also, as a customer, every release I have to pay for should be usable and decent. Just because your codex is worse doesn't mean I should get crapped on with a release. "Fairness" isn't a thing when I am spending money. As for playing SM... No. I play Blood Angels. I always have and always will. They are my army. I shouldn't have to abandon what I have done for 15 years because GW can't write rules.

I will open with what I liked about the book in this short list
1- Great fluff. No really worries on that front. Cool story, decent writing, go little vignettes and action throughout.
2- Archangels Orbital Intervention Force- This formation is the truth. Forget the normal terminators in it. It is all about Assault Terminators. Being able to deep strike and assault is amazing with TH&SS. Best way to remove those super threats like Wraith Knights and Stormsurges. I run two squads with all TH&SS and one squad with 3 TH&SS and 2 Lightning Claws. I find have two guys that can strike at initiative can be really useful. AP3 and shred is a nice boon too. The fact that it is a disordered charge as well means these two guys are useful increasing the number of attacks the unit has, as they still get +1 for having two CCW. The problem is, as a formation, they are free and open as a detachment to EVERYONE. Anyone wanting to run TH&SS Termies will just take this and run it with their White Scars or something. Once again, BA are relegated to just being useful as allies. At least it is for killing potential now instead of drop-pod taxi-service.
3- Golden Host- Also pretty good. Not as amazing as above, but very fun and fluffy. I am sitting on a bunch of sanguinary guard to build to do this.
4- Chapter Ancients- Three dreads is fun I guess. Decent rules too. I have a concept I want to test of 3 dual auto cannons and drop pods. Drop in and get 8 S7 Twin Linked shots each (4 at two separate targets). Basically take out and entire gladius' worth of transports in one turn. Alternatively, frag cannons can be really really nice.
5- Reprinting the psychic disciplines from Angels of Death. Saves you from having to go out and buy the book. Very Un-GW like IMO.
6- Ability to play an all DC army. Not very good IMO, but potential for CRAZY FUN! And a super fluffy list to boot. Also useful potential for playing some obscure chapters (seems like a cool way to possibly do a Carcharodons chapter.
7- Fixed terminator captain, assault squad and devastator squad. Profiles and gear now in line with codex SM.

Okay, now I recommend you go get some water. It is about to get really REALLY SALTY
Start off easy with a minor annoyance. The colour plates. You know those static diagrams of marines and vehicles throughout. They are terrible. Way too cartoony and way too bright. WAY TOO BRIGHT. The GW graphic guys need to go take some lessons from Forge World or historical uniform societies. These are just cheesy and no where near as good as what is in the BA codex itself. Please please PLEASE go back to the old style of artwork for all future books. PLEASE. I can't stand to look at these.

Lets dig into the meat and potatoes of it all though. First off, this is, in its simplest form, just a Shield of Baal reprint. Several of the formations are copy-pasted out of SoB with one rule added (even the Archangel Orbital Intervention Force). The whole thing just smacks of laziness. A lot of laziness. No one seemed bothered to come up with anything useful AND new or critically think about what was bad about pre-Angel's Blade BA.

PRE-ANGEL'S BLADE
1- Super expensive underperforming formations
2- Too many mandatory units in some formations (demi-co)
3- Limited to no OBSEC (CAD/Allied det only. OR Take a super massive formation that can't be used in typical games because of cost)
4- No Decurion

POST-ANGEL'S BLADE
1- Super expensive underperforming formations
2- Too many mandatory units in some formations (demi-co)
3- Limited to no OBSEC (CAD/Allied det only. OR Take a super massive formation that can't be used in typical games because of cost)
4- Useless Decurion

See the difference? So lets start with that. The Decurion is useless. First of all, the USEFUL bonus for the decurion EXACTLY matches the Demi-Co. EXACTLY. +1 Initiative on the charge. Oh, but wait, that is also what I get for using a Baal Strike Force in the codex, which doesn't have a million and one useless requirements to take it. Oh, I also get to reroll my warlord trait when using BA or Angel's blade traits. You know... just like a Baal SF.

I am not saying I needed or wanted free transports. In all honestly, I didn't. But I did want something new and useful. Getting zealot for being  reduced to 50% or under is USELESS. First of all, it only applies to the first round of combat in which I charge. Secondly, the BA player is relying on their opponent being bad at math to allow it. Say I have 2 squads in charge distance of 5 marines each. To get the Zealot bonus, I have to loose 3 marines. Say he shoots a squad and kills 2 marines. Well now instead of shooting them, he will shoot the other and kill 2 marines there. Now I have 6 marines in 2 squads charging without Zealot. BUT Even had they chosen to shoot the one squad and kill 4 marines, I would be left with ONE MARINE with Zealot... ooooh so scary... Another thing, this stresses you buying even numbers of marines, since to get Zealot on a squad of 6 would be the same as a squad of 5. Same for 7/8 and 9/10. Which ultimately will make the formations MORE expensive than they already are.
Speaking of expensive, lets look at the Demi-Co. Mandatory Dreadnoughts and Honour Guards! WHAT! Not other SM demi-co has this AND THEY GET FREE TRANSPORTS AND OBSEC. Dark Angels get their AMAZINGBALLS Grim Resolve to boot! Remember, BA trasports are also already 10 points more than their SM equivalent (for fast) Once more, I am not saying I needed free stuff, but BA have to PAY MORE FOR A FORMATION WITH LESS RULES AND STUFF?!?!?! FOR THAT CRAPPY ZEALOT RULE?!?! Maybe GW could have done some cool disordered charge out of a Rhino/Razorback instead as the bonus for taking an Angel's blade or two demi-co. That would have been useful, fun AND fluffy without being overtly broken IMO.

Now lets talk about the other Demi-co, the Archangels. Not nearly as bad. At least they have some useful rules (can come in from reserves turn 1, which if you are clever with drop pods, can mean they all show up). But then again it too has TWO MANDATORY DREADS! I love dreads, but GW is killing me. This already requires FIVE ELITE CHOICES. It isn't cheap at all! For a cherry on top there is no way outside of including an entire DC strike force to get a chaplain in the first company.
Now lets look at ALL THE OTHER missed opportunities of the books
1- No Contemptor or Cataphractii Terminators. I don't get why these are Vanilla only. Why? Wouldn't GW sell more is ALL chapters (particularly 1st Founding BA, DA and SW) had access to them? I mean, GW printed a new terminator captain and the psychic powers again. What would two more pages have been?
2- Did not fix Vanguard Veterans. Ours are still the most expensive ones out there weapon-wise. SM pay 5 points for power weapons. We pay 15. That's right, the assault chapter once again has to pay more... but that really doesn't matter because...
3- No real jump pack formations. Really disappointed that there was no Vanguard/Assault Marine formations in the book. Those are signature BA things. Furthermore, instead of the Zealot rule this would have been the PERFECT opportunity to bring back Jump Pack troops. Make the angel's blade Obsec and instead of the Zealot rule, have assault marines count as troops and we would have had something. I mean, SM can do it with bikes (and White Scars bikes at that). DA too. Why not make Jump Packs great again?
4- A reason to take demi-co's/battle co's. I don't think I need to rehash this, you should be able to deduct my thoughts on the matter from all the above.
5- For as much of a Shield of Baal reprint this was, GW should have put Cassor and Rafen's DC in here. Particularly Cassor since he is ONLY in SoB Deathstorm, which isn't available anymore. Or you could have made Moriar (with the same rules? I wouldn't have cared). Also, by leaving them out, they can't be used in the ALL DEATH CO DETACHMENT! How dumb...
6- No librarius conclave. I get it, I am asking for ANOTHER vanilla marine thing. But Psychic powers are a big part of the game now. Something would have been cool. Conclave or not, there should have been something that allowed for some psychic manipulation.
7- A flyer. It could have been new. It could have been something SM have. For "owning the skies" BA sure have the fewest flyers. Did you know BA don't even have access to all the FW flyers (Storm Eagle and Caestus Assault Ram for instance). This is a hold-over from when BA had the Storm Raven and no one else did... but that's not true anymore is it GW? I have spoken on this a before... it just doesn't make sense for BA to ONLY have the Storm Raven. And they, we don't even have any really useful formations for them!!!
In comparison to all the Chaos releases of late, even Traitor's Hate, and especially the new Imperial Fall of Cadia stuff, this was a terrible release. I essentially paid $60 for printed access to the Archangels Orbital Intervention Force. I miss the days of my only complaint being a Necron fist bump... and with Fall of Cadia, I bet I will eventually have to suffer that again.