It sure was time for the Blood Angels to came out, now we don't have to talk about those Nids from back in January as much anymore. After getting my codex on Friday and having looked through it quite a few times I thought I'd write up what my Picks are for each of the Force Org Chart slots. It might be different then what you think is the best choice, and that's ok as I'll say right now, I've not gone out and play tested these units at all, but this is purely what I'm seeing right off the pages.
For starters I have to start off with the Troops FOC, it is still the most important part of the army list to get right as they are required in 2/3s of all the normal games you will play. Now at a beautiful 18pts a pop, just 2 more points then standard marines you give up the bolter and add a CC weapon and Jetback. These guys are going to be the mainstay of every BA army I think. Now being able to actually capture objectives, and the possible normal movement of 18" (move + run) These guys can last minute grab like the best of the Eldar Tanks.
The 2 CC weapons will come in very handy as you dive face first into enemy lines. I'm seeing these guys run in squads of no less then 6 guys, and will probably be running full 10 man squads. They have the Combat Squads special rules, but I'm not sure you will often run into a setting where you want to shrink your assault squad down to 5 men. As it is I think you'll see 2-3 squads of these guys in most BA Armies.
You might ask why I didn't have the Death Company Dreadnought or the Death Company as my pick, well it came down to one simple thing, they can't hold objectives. So unless you plan on wiping your opponent off the board each time, if all you did was field those two, then the best you could do is tie.
Astorath the Grim is my HQ pick, not only is his model top rate (I'd convert the pose a little myself) but I think he is going to add that extra punch to the BA. Even though he is a rather expensive model, coming in at a bit over 200 pts, the ability to give everyone The Red Thirst on a 1-3 instead of a 1 will come in very handy. As I see it you'll want your Assault Troops to have Furious Charge as this allows them to strike first, and wounding marines on a 3+ is never a bad thing.
With a 2+ 4++ armor save he is sure to live for a while, and with a WS of 6 and Str 6 Power weapon that causes opponents to re-roll invulnerable saves he should do very well in close combat.
I'm not sure if Astorath will fit every ones army and play style, but I'll be keeping an eye out for him.
Now for Elites is was a tough call, you've got the Terminators that all marines get, and then you have some Golden Angels, but I'm all about army synergy and having units build off each other (see Astorath) so choosing Sanguary Priests as my elite pick just seemed like the right call.
These guys are going to annoy quite a lot of players out there. You can purchase up to 3 of them as an Elite choice for a modest amount of points, and because each one is an IC you can then plop them in a couple of units. The thing that is awesome or down right mean depending on which side of the table you're on is that they give all units within 6" of them the Furious Charge and Feel no Pain USR. So if you're planning on running a couple of these guys, you don't need Astorath anymore for the Blood Rage ability because these guys hand it out like candy.
The Baal Predator is one of the best Fast Attack slot units I've seen in a while. With the new Codex all Vehicles became fast at a modest 15pt increase meaning they all can move 18" fire a weapon at 12" and fire all weapons at 6". This is a huge thing for predators seeing as everytime I've played them with side sponsons I was never using them because my opponent would simply move a little out of view. Now I can move 6" and still blast away with everything.
The other great things about the Baal is that it has scout. This means that it can be setup last after you and your opponent have deployed and still move if you'd like. And with the amount of guns you can place on it, you can make sure to be within the 24" range during your turn to let loose with all of them.
And Last of all the mighty Heavy Support choice, the Stormraven. I know we've all seen rumors of this flying around, and seeing those rumors, reading them, and now having the codex it's still a little hard to imagine it exists. Not that it's a bad thing, but without actually playing against it yet, it sure does scream Over Powered on paper.
But as far as I can see it, this thing is going to be a great unit, plane and simple. The ability to transport your assault troops around the board is going to do a lot of things. Not only will it add some speed, but it should keep there unit strength at 100% until you want to release the hounds. And if all you want to do is fly around, you can move 24" and still fire a weapon, and if you're wondering what to fire, trade in for the free Multi-Melta and Lascannon so that you can pop vehicles and be ready to assault the next turn.
I think in the right hands, and played the right way it's going to be a power house, but it still has the same weakness that all other vehicles have, and that's a single lucky shot can pop it out of the sky.
Well that's it for today, and my first take on the Blood Angels Codex. I think that overall it came out very nice and should change the field of battle quite drastically.