Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The 10 things I would like to see changed in Blood Angels as a result of the new SM Codex

Well, I would say Codex Blood Angels is quite possibly the biggest loser in comparison to the new Space Marine Codex.
He is executing Codex BA right off the cover to the left.
There are just a lot of improvements to squads and units easily translatable to the Blood Angels codex that now leave the 9th Legion in the dust. Additionally, there are still a few things that are "unique" to SM that BA do not have access to that would help redress this discrepancy.
1- Stormtalon Gunships- This is something I still don't understand WHY?!?! So Blood Angels originally were the only ones with the Storm Raven (back when it was still a skimmer even) and that was cool... then Grey knights got it. Okay, that isn't terrible. Then GW realized they could sell A LOT more if they just gave it to Codex SM as well. Sure SW and DA don't have it, but they have their own specialist flyers. The Nephilim and Dark Talon for DA (which I am sure will improve with the next book based on the price adjustments of the Storm Talon in codex SM) and the Stormfang/Stormwolf for SW. As well, the BA, as a hold over from the days when they only had the Stormraven, STILL don't have access to all the FW flyers (though this is slowly changing it seems, finally). So, unless they pull another flyer out of no where to be BA specific, they should just give BA the Stormtalon. It makes the most sense for them anyways!

2- Improved Scouts- Do the Ultramarines have a better training regime? Is that it? That is the only possible explanation for the return of their scouts to WS4 BS4 at the same 55pt entry cost. This really hurts BA, as a lot of people consider that they must pay a "Scout Tax" in order to get to their preferred Assault Squads. What is mind blowing here is the lower WS in the chapter dedicated to Close Combat.

3- Landspeeder Storms- An option I still REALLY REALLY WANT. Especially if the Scouts of Blood Angels are fixed to the higher WS and BS. There is not fluff reason to prevent the BA from possessing this speeder variant. I can see the game concern of a scout squad furious charging out of an open topped vehicle, but they are relatively fragile (a AV10 vehicle, 2HP delivery system for 5x 4+ save troops...). It would be a throw away unit, but an effective one. AND it makes sense once more in an army dedicated to the art of running up to someone and punching them. Plus, as a whole it is not a widely taken choice, so I think GW would shift some stock if they sold it to BA players as well (you did this for the stormraven already GW).
4- Cheaper Terminators- I know the TH&SS terminators still cost 45pts like mine do, but I am more concerned with regular terminators, and more importantly for me, the Lightning Claw Terminators. This are great in the new BA codex and I love to take them. To know the SM take the same squad for 35 points less is disheartening. Same for the regular terminators. I am sure DA will get the favourable point treatment, but that leaves us, SW and CSM out in the cold and lacking a significant edge in the elites department comparatively.
5- Grav-cannon Devastators- So I don't need this in the Tactical Squads. I already get heavy flamers there (which I wish I also got in DEV squads, but that is a separate issue). HOWEVER I would really like, and see no reason why I should not be able to get, Grav-cannons in my devastator squads. Once again they make A LOT of sense for BA, seeing as they are Salvo-weapons. This way, my Devs could move and advance with an Assault force. Additionally, since I don't have access to Centurion Devastators either, I have no way to get this weapon.
6- Assault Centurions- Speaking of Centurions, I would at least like Assault Centurions. Giving BA Devastator ones wouldn't make too much sense and could be unbalanced. However, Assault Centurions PERFECTLY fit into the Blood Angels. AND I would say make them a Heavy Support choice. WHAT? Assault in Heavy Support. YES. If anyone should be able to do that it is Blood Angels. Several non-Imperial armies already have this. Tyranids, Daemons, Orks, etc. The Imperium should have one army where this is possible too, and BA should be it. It would also leave the already super crowded Elite slot a little more open and add some versatility to an otherwise simple Heavy Support section, and allow a BA player to make an army 100% dedicated to assault if they so choose to do so.

7- Vehicle and Dreadnought Squadrons- This is just plain obvious. If one SM codex gets to take up to 3 vehicles in a squadron, they all should. No justification for this not happening.

8- Stalkers and/or Hunters- Revisiting the lack of the Stormtalon, why also must BA suffer not having the anti-air tanks. If you counter this with the Baal Predator, then may I remind you that the SM have access to the Sicarin (better than a Baal), Mortis Dreads, Mortis Contemptors, and 3 variants of Dreads and a Thunderfire cannon (not all of that is anti-air, but neither is the Baal). AND nothing BA have, other than the Flakk missiles or fortifications that everyone can get, have Skyfire or Interceptor.
Not my army, but this is what BA should appear as.
9- Assault Squad Troops- While this is something not in the SM codex, bike troopers are. And you don't even have to be White Scars to unlock them. You just need a character on a bike. Dark Angels are likely to get this too, along with Terminator Troops, and it has been long established that Grey Hunters are better than tactical squads (at least in assault). So with all these force variants, why was the signature BA troop choice removed? If it is because of fluff, let me point out that there are more Assault Marine squads in EVERY CHAPTER than scout squads. Additionally, the Blood Angels use their assault squads for front line dirty work, not just support.

10- Character changes- First, Gabriel Seth is a LoW and Pedro Kantor isn't? Why? Really, why GW? Seth shouldn't be one. He is the lowest power level of any LoW in the game. I didn't used to mind this so much, but in games with LoW restrictions, if you really want him, you are possibly loosing your chance to include something like A KNIGHT!!!
MORE IMPORTANTLY THOUGH is Astorath the Grim and his executioner's axe. It is only +1S and strikes at I1, and is 2 handed. On a wound of a 6 it autowounds and has instant death. Now go look at the Emperor's Champion. He has an +2S, AP2 Mastercrafted weapon that also has instant death on a to wound of a 6 (okay, the instant death is only in a challenge. However he must ALWAYS give or take challenges). Just seems that Astorath is at a serious disadvantage here. And his I5 is entirely wasted. The executioner axe has no reason to be unweildy. Or Astorath should have Eternal Warrior to survive to use it against the things he is clearly designed to be used against.

4 ATTACK DREADNOUGHTS- All the SM Dreads are 4A base compared to the 2 of the BA dreads. Even the Death Company Dread is only 3 Attacks! How are the close combat dreadnoughts of Blood Angels WORSE than those of every other chapter? This is something that needs an expeditious remedy.

So hopefully a new codex, a reprint, or a significant Errata/FAQ gets done soon for some of these things. Unfortunately, like the days of a I1 Commander Dante, I don't think GW cares.