Monday, 2 July 2012

6th Ed and what it means for Blood Angels Special Characters

Sorry, I can't hear you over my awesomeness
Well hello! Its been a while!! In this article I'm going to be discussing my take on how the new edition has affected the blood angels special characters. We all know that blood angels players love their special characters (mainly because normal characters suck right?) but 6th ed and a few of the rules have for me noticeably changed the power shift in which characters are good/bad.


Well what can I say? Probably the most utilised special characters for blood angels in 5th if not of any army. The amount of lists that I saw without him were few and far between (or maybe that's cos Ven has a major hard on for him... lol) ahem anyway.. 6th seems to have changed things a bit.

Lets get on with it shall we?

So 2+ save is good especially in the new edition with PW being AP3.. Plasma Pistol at AP2 is definitely a bonus due to the likely prevalence in 2+ saves due to the above rule change. Now here's where things get.. iffy. Psychic hood straight away the effectiveness of this has dropped. No straight up shutdown and no long range.. 6" range and less effective at stopping psychic powers is not so great. but don't worry he's still a beast in combat and can fell all before him.. oh wait. No he can't. With the new rules his force sword is still only AP3. Ok great at killing marines. No in fact great at killing 1 marine at a time. Period. With the new challenge rules and Mephistons lack of joining units ability he can only kill one marine a turn in a challenge, and if the opposing sergeant happens to have a storm shield or is a special character with a 2+ save. Big Meph is now seriously struggling to layeth the smack down. A 10 man unit of marines will now hold him up for at least 4 Assault Phases if they pass their Morale checks!! Seriously reducing his impact on the overall game, and for 250pts probably not really such an auto include.


A bit underused in 5th but probably more due to Meph being king. Was always pretty good especially for DoA armies and a nice character but not a must have.

Again Dante has been severely hampered by 6th. Like Meph 2+ is a good save. However the problem lies in the fact that the Axe Mortalis is a "Mastercrafted power weapon" And from the weapon title we must infer that the type of power weapon specifically is a power axe. Oh. So the lovely initiative 6 on his profile is worthless as he will in fact be striking at Initiative 1, at least he'll be strength 6.. -.- the only positive is that it's AP2.. but I'm still not convinced that makes him worthwhile at 225pts. Probably still kinda nice for DoA but not convinced at all especially as he might not even get to strike if challenged and dies before swinging...

The Sanguinor

Yeah we all know this guy was a bit meh in 5th and to be honest, he's only got worse in 6th. The glaive encarmine is now AP3 meaning the essence of sanguinius himself simply bounces off terminators... really. Yeah keep him for fun games but at 275pts don't expect him to be anything more than average. The only thing I can think of which is useful for him to do is buff your units and go around challenging characters with his 3++. But he's still nothing special.


Not bad, he still has all of the benefits that a regular old chaplain gives you, still is nice for the DoA Death Company however with the nerf for Croziuses (sp?) he won't be worrying MEQ armies anytime soon at AP4, no more MEQ bashing however strength 6 and concussive maybe a retool for vehicle hunting? I dunno I'm kinda clutching at straws here.. oh and I have even mentioned the downgrade for FNP...


He has had a slight nerf especially as a buffing character, as FNP is less effective now.. but still as a support character he's almost definitely worth his points. His 2+ FNP which now can be used against power weapons and the like is also not to be sniffed at. Heavens teeth is also virtually identical to 5th and a good chance to get some AP2 into the force. So overall as a character he's probably improved himself but reduced in effectiveness at buffing the rest of your force.


Right time to be less negative. Firstly 2+ save, good. We know in 6th 2+ are going to be far better than 3+ moreso than in either of the last 2 editions at least. Now the executioners axe is a funny one. It doesn't actually count as an axe. As it has it's own special rules it is treated as AP3 which isn't great but it does mean he can strike at his normal initiative while still gaining a strength boost. The fact that he forces rerolls to invulnerables also makes him that little bit more effective for challenges. Far less chance of tarpitting him with a Storm Shield. Also he gets all of the chaplain buffs.. and more chance to gain fearless for your army (which is far less harsh in 6th..) yeah pretty good I'd say.


This guy has been basically unaffected by the new edition. However he has probably gone up in ranking among the characters in the codex. Strength 8 rending causing instant death to any toughness 4 or less I can see as being kind of a big deal, considering how hard 2+ saves are going to be to bypass. Definitely making people think twice about challenging him and allowing him to worry both characters and vehicles in combat. Still a very solid choice and relatively cheap to boot!


Now here's our big winner in all this. I'd say expect to see alot more of Tycho in 6th. Why? Well the combi melta with special issue ammo is great as you can use the special issue ammo to effectively pick out certain troops due to the way wound allocation now works. Big plus as it's much harder/impossible to "eat" wounds using wound allocation. 2+ save, check, Iron halo check. So he's pretty survivable and in challenges he's likely to swing as he's at initiative 5. So all good? And it only gets better. Rites of Battle is even more useful now as it means your squads can resist psychic powers at leadership 10. Now comes the game changer... The Dead Man's Hand. Not only does he have digital weapons giving a reroll to wound the hand isn't a power weapon. It just straight out ignores armour saves. Full stop. Fuck this AP3 bullshit Tycho doesn't give a fuck what you're wearing he's gonna pimp slap you into oblivion. Terminators, Artificer Armour whatever, invulnerables only. Terminators (which I think we'll be seeing more of soon) will be running scared of the awesomeness of Tycho.

So there's my brief run down. Let me know what you think, this is all theory as I'm yet to get a game in (see you Wednesday Ven ;) ) so shout me down and say it doesn't work if you want ( I'll go back to my corner and shut up lol) so yeah. Discuss :D

Stargazer out.


  1. Only characters challenge. Right that Meph may be held up by a goon serg for a turn, but then there is no one left to challenge and he'll eat a squad. Good thinking though.

    I'm not sure I am that bothered about power weapons only being AP3. You still kill marines and worse with it.
    Terminators are expensive and relatively few in number, as always. Just shoot them to death as standard. Imperial armies especially have plenty of plasma (with lovely range now) to deal with it.
    I don't see the PW thing as a massive issue at all.

    Dante. No mention at all of the Sang Guard unlock?

    Other characters were always a bit meh and over priced. Nothing changes.

    Tycho. No. Well, maybe, but expensive just to get the Dead Mans Hand. I'd rather take a unit of dudes with plasmaguns?

    I think so many other changes in the game have impacted BA than their SC's.
    Reserves for example. DOA all reserve is a no go with 50% reserve rule.
    Massive issue. Far more than Power Weapons..

    No charging from a transport even if it didn't move?
    On the other, more positive hand, fast vehicles do truly move fast if you want to..

    Dunno man, think that there is a lot of interesting things for Team Edward right now, but not sure the SCs are that big a deal.. great little break down though mate..

    And glad to see you post something! Wednesday game time bitch!

  2. I dunno mate, I think there will be a shift to more 2+ saves as they aren't so easily negated anymore. So the AP3 is going to be a big deal...

    I know that only characters challenge but he can't just eat squads anymore.. yes he'll still kill them but it could take up to 3 phases realistically which is a big deal as that's 2 turns.

    Yeah forgot the Sang Guard unlock, true that's nice but as you said the no DoA full army really hurt and I can't forgive the fact he strikes at I1 that's just a killer.

    Not a fan of Tycho? I reckon with wound allocation the way it is special ammo might make a difference and no armour really is nice. Great for clearing out Wolf Guard termies in challenges as well...

    I deliberately steered clear of the whole army run down as I want to play a bit more first, but my full pod list definitely looks more viable now with the 50% reserve rule..

    Cheers for the feedback and Wednesday it's on! U get my email on the campaign?

  3. Dante will strike at i6 mate. the rule that states you look at the weapon to see what it does states, if the power weapon has "NO OTHER ABILITIES" look to see what it's like. His has master crafted, so it doesn't follow those rules, the only other weapon in the codex identical to it, got errated [lemartes' crozius] glaive encarmines and the axe mortalis are ap3 str and ini weapons. I know in the other section it says unique abilities, but that phrase hasn't been used anywhere else so it's meaning is a bit fuzzy for 40k. the clinchers by far though is that anything extra stops you "just looking" at the mini.

  4. Not the way myself or anyone else has read it, I read it that it means if it has specific rules rather than USRs then yes you would be correct (Astaroths Axe) but as it's just a master-crafted power weapon, it's a power weapon that gets 1 reroll, that's it. As it's an Axe it must be classed as so stats wise and therefore strikes at Initiative 1. The crozius got errata'd because a "crozius" is no longer a weapon type.

  5. B & C had a huge thread about Dante and the Sanguinary Guard. It's impossible to be sure of GW's intentions because they don't follow logical patterns across codices and have different people write FAQ's.

  6. Is the I1 on axes so bad though? especially if as for me, DE are a common army in the gaming environment. With the dropping of the +1I on furious charge my BA army is not really capable of stricking at the same time anymore, whilst the +2S means I will be instakilling everything apart from wracks/grotesques/heamonculi. Additionally, I get an extra attack with a pistol/extra ccw which I will no longer get with my powerfists (unless I buy two powerfists, urg). A power axe is now basicly a cut rate powerfist at a cut rate price; it has a different use from a powersword/maul.

    1. This is a good assessment however on a character with a base initiative of 6 it kinda sucks a bit to then have to strike at I1.

    2. Dante's initiative is not just about striking in combat though - his granted ability of Hit and Run to him and his unit is based around a high enough initiative to escape from combat.

      Personally I don't think him striking at I1 is a big deal. Like you say, all power weapons are ap3 now which means Dante will be making his saves, and if you have a priest nearby he will be getting a (admittedly 5+) FnP on the odd occasion he does fail his save. 2+ followed by a 5+ reroll would be the same as a character firing a gun with BS7! And then when Dante does make his attacks, he will be S7 if he charged, and even if he didnt he will be doubling out any T3 models (helpfully negating the Dark Eldar's FnP roll as it will be insta-death). On top of that its AP2, meaning he will be tearing through vehicles and termies and their equivalents!

      Moving on to Mephiston though - Don't count your chickens yet... As you say, 2+ is a lot better now, and if for example he was partnered with Corbulo who has a 2+ FnP along with Lookout sir! and Meph's inability to be doubled out you have two models who will either make their save/fnp and be able to shift the wound to the other on a 2+. Shooting plasma at Meph? Corb can lookout sir and pass it on his 2+ FnP. Powerfist to the face? give it to Meph who can take it on and possibly pass it on his 5+ FnP (because it isn't insta-death for him). Of course for the rare occasion that a woud gets through, once per game you are allowed a single re-roll due to Corbulo's Far-Seeing Eye. For 355 pts you can have an almost indestructable duo :)

    3. This was a really great review of all the characters, really enjoyed it. I just wished they would re FAQ the whole power weapon issue of Dante / Sang Guard soon though...

      Mephiston cannot gain the advantage of a 'Look Out Sir' because he is not IC, thus he cannot join a unit, thus he will sadly miss out though... Corbulo on the other hand, can now easily help eat up AP1/AP2 fire on the unit he joined with the more powerful FNP save of 2+. Definitely want to add him to my list now!!

    4. You are right, he is not an IC, but he is most definatley a Character, so can still call Look Out Sir! (iirc they actually mention mephiston by name at the start of the character section). The only thing he needs is an IC to join him, hence Corbulo :)

    5. Meph cannot have anyone with him, I've played several games in 6th with him and he is NOT as good as 5th by far.

      As far as Commander Dante - he is a beast straight up. Best IC in the game still. He is better at init1 ap2 than init 6 ap3, per the Nova FAQ he will be init1 ap2 for expect that whenever GW releases their FAQ to address the vaugeness of their rules.

      ICs rule the battlefield now, LoS is overpowered. Get as many ICs as you can. My Nova list, I just dropped Meph for an terminator capt with shield/claw and another terminator priest.

      Feel no Pain is better than it used to be, and Corbulo is straight up broken in 6th edition.

    6. Hit and Run is off of base init, so Dante still hits and runs at init 6

      Axes are only +1 str

      Sang Guard are awesome with Dante and a priest

    7. Oh yeah...


      At least 3 of you assume he can, there is a reason he cannot or he would be broken.

    8. You always had to have 2 Power Fists, Lightning Claws, and Thunderhammers to get +1 for close combat weapons, fyi, they were classified that way in both 5th ed and 6th ed. So someone was cheating by giving their units +1 attack when wielding only one of those special weapons.

  7. I have had a couple of play tests against my son's 'Draigo-wing' army since last weekend. I've only just recently started using Danté with a sanguinary guard unit; I've been nothing but impressed with the changes for them.

    Treating Danté's weapon as a power axe and having another 3 axes in my SG unit they are ripping through his otherwise hard to kill paladins. It's an expensive combination but with two inferno pistols and also a powerfist, only the one sword gives them their 2+ save. Best bit is, because they all still have Halberds and Swords my SG unit have become incredibly survivable, even against elites.

    I'm expecting to see a trend of all terminators scrapping most powerswords/Lightening claws...etc in exchange for Hammers. It's worth receiving the first hits with a 2+ and then dishing it out at I1 AP2. Especially with the concussive rule dropping the unit to WS1 in the following assault phase if one wound gets through from 5 terminators.

  8. who's Astaroth?

  9. You could always make the argument that Dante's Axe Mortalis is a unique power weapon by the fact it has a unique name, so you can get the I6 back

    If the rules specificaly argue against this, i don't know and please tell me

    either way he can be good if you use him right

  10. Check the FAQ. Both the Axe Mortalis and The Executioner's Axe now count as power axes, and thus strike at I1.