Book Review: Blood Angels Codex

Review

Nice background section, some well painted models in the gallery sections, clear unit lists and some amazing artwork.  This is a must for all Blood Angel or successor chapter players.

Moaning

Why oh why do you need a full codex for Blood Angles?  That goes for EVERY chapter with the exception of (maybe) Space Wolves in my books.  Space Wolves have a unique organisation with Wolf Guard units/unit leaders that make it slightly more likely they need a codex to themselves.  Grey Knights don’t count and as they have too few units and should be put in the Daemon Hunters codex.

Why the moaning then?  Furiso Dreadnoughts – aren’t they essentially normal dreadnoughts with an extra CCW and no Multi Melta?  Baal Predators – some ancient technical data was uncovered allowing them to strap an Assault Cannon onto a Predator and now the Mechanicus are annoyed because this technology is not theirs – but they can make Razorbacks with Assault Cannons?

Don’t even get me started on the Storm Raven – a piece of kit used by only a few Chapters, or that they have so many Land Raiders that they are used as common transport vehicles.  Surely (here is the real rub of it for me) the Ultramarines would have pretty much everything – friendly with Mars, adopting new technologies (Razorbacks and Land Raider Redeemers) etc.

The Sanguinor gets his own paragraph here due to him irritating me.  An excellent model, awesome statline and one of the best potential NMM paint jobs i’ve seen are in the plus side.  A character who no one knows, and just appears out of thin air to kick arse and then disappear sounds familiar – oh, thats it, Legion of the Damned – is pushing it too far for me.  The Legion of the Damned can do this due to their unique place in the background of the Hobby, a single character not of the legion sounds a bit silly to me.

Don’t get me wrong the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard are good additions and are Blood Angel only (as they should be) as per the very good background.  The Characters are colourful and interesting (except the Sanquinor who is crazy) and again deserve a space.

Solution

Unless GW really bulk up the background sections of these books I feel that (for Space Marines) the way to go would be to release 1 monster sized codex with loads of background, a force selection chart and an awesome gallery.

In the force selection chart there would be a few page for each Chapter (+ successors).  The 1st page would include all rule changes and alterations to the force organisation chart, followed by Characters and Units – maybe 10 pages for Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Black Templars and 5 for White Scars, Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists, Salamanders etc.

This would allow each Chapter to get Special Characters, Units and Rules, but ‘typical’ units and vehicles would be available to all and would be updated across the board all in one hit.

Example 1 – Blood Angels Fast Vehicles – +?? points per vehicle

Example 2 – Blood Angels – Instead of Combat Tactics all units have Red Thirst

GW are doing a great job with their Special Characters altering the armies – why not allow the armies to do it in their own section of the space marine codex?

I’d love to hear all your opinions – however please don’t comment on the Money GW are making by having the Codex separate – everyone understands that it is a way of a) constantly updating armies, b) making people buy the latest army and c) making people buy multiple Codex.

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3 Responses to Book Review: Blood Angels Codex

  1. 7eAL says:

    Not to mention that the Blood Angels 250 points for Land Raiders that do not occupy force organization slots, and thus do not compete against other choices, and can Deep Strike. Leaving aside the fact that the army can potentially take 14 Land Raiders and still have other Heavy Support, these things effectively cost less than in any other Marine codex. It’s one serious indicator that the codex is not points-balanced with other armies and that these details weren’t properly thought out when it was written.

  2. Luten Hans says:

    I use to work for the company and I can tell you this latest codex is about one thing: GW making money, and lots of it. The retail staff use to get harrassed and threatened with the sack for poor sales figures despite the fact that the majority of potential customers were unwilling to pay so much money for the products despite being interested in the hobby. My job was even threatened when I suggested we push sales of the game-related novels back in 1996 when local parents were convinced the company was responsible for the children failing literacy standards at school due to spending to much time with such a ‘violent’ hobby.

    As for this latest codex, it has stayed true to par with its ability to outperform every other army and completely ignore anything even related to balance, both in terms of game-play and background literature. Let’s be honest for a minute: there are only seven races and yet there are five current Space marine army lists alone, not including the Chaos Space Marines one! If every race had a divergent codex for its various Septs, Craftworlds (including Dark Eldar variants), Regiments, Clans, Traitor Legions, or wotnot, there would be a lot more pointless rules and army lists.

    The company appears to be filled with money-grubbing legal teams with no interest or understanding of the hobby or what makes it work. The codex series should be limited to one per race with some options for fielding divergent chapters, regiments, etc, so the focus can be placed on balancing what already exists and adding new races to the 40K universe. Imperial Guard players waited over five years to get current while the Space Marines saw several new codex releases in the space of a couple of years. Even then the IG codex suffers some irksome entries that are designed to, you guessed it, make GW money.

    Units in most army lists must now be taken in maximum size as standard or in order to use models with special weapons, a must have if you want a competitive game. Some vehicles now have the Fast rules despite this option requiring a number of ‘hard-points’ on board to house the ‘over-charged engines’ to provide such an ability, and yet they can still transport the same number of models as the standard transport. If this can be done, why isn’t it a standard upgrade option in the standard SM codex or even the IG and other codexes? Why are swo many apothecaries available in the BA codex and yet Space Wolves apparently don’t see a need for them at all?

    Have you ever noticed that each time you get your army sorted a new set of rules comes out that means you need to buy new models to make it work again? There is now so much information that quite often the rules change between each new release so that a codex is suddenly obsolete or can no longer compete without a new release. Have you ever noticed that White Dwarf battle reports are no longer about random fun games but feature the latest release codex totally annihilating another army?

    That’s right folks, the hobby is now about making GW money and if you could see how little it costs to produce the things you pay so much for, well, the old XBox 360 and PS2 are starting to look a lot more entertaining and less high-maintenance by comparison. 2nd edition may be long gone but the problems were nowhere near as bad as the complexity of the hobby nowadays. And yes, I am aware that the GW sycophants will be howling for my blood at this point, demanding I leave the hobby because I’m not wanted and blah, blah, blah, hiss, spit, foam at the mouth and call the paramedics to get them out of their mum’s basement and take them to the nearest coronary care unit in the usual manner of cowardly bullies all around the world.

    But lets be honest for just a moment: the hobby is meant to be about having fun in a well balanced game that people can all participate in without having to sell a kidney to pay for the products required. It’s a lot easier to see the problems and fix them when one’s head isn’t firmly wedged in the company stooge’s colon, though it does explain some of the strange photos of GW senior management (kind of smug and semi-aroused but uncomfortably constipated). The sad fact is that eventually only those involved in the hobby that like to use GW management backsides for a nose warmer will be paying for such rubbish and the company will go belly-up unless someone has the stones to step-up and get back to basics.

    Someone needs to sit down and really address the flaws in the 40K rules, reduce the codexes to one per army with general rules that can be used to select units to make Chapter/Regiment/Craftworld/Sept/etc armies (eg, Death Company, Legion of the Damned, Wulfen, etc, could all use the same basic rules), allow minimum squad sizes with special and heavy weapon options with 1-5 etc squad member upgrades, and reduce the retail price and (therefore) profit margins to expand the market base, and do it all within a couple of years so that the hobby can focus on new races, models and scenarios/campaigns.

    Oh, and bring back Chapter Approved as a testing ground and stop enabling GW-fanboyz to bully potential enthusiasts out of the hobby by doing nothing to stop such anti-social behavior. The number of times I have seen somebody flamed for asking a question (a process most people use to attain an answer to a problem to which they currently don’t have an answer) or expressing an idea is rediculous, especially when that same idea later appears in an official codex or army list under the name of some other GW staffer or GW brown-noser. I should know, among many of the things I suggested or supported (aside from promoting GW novels) were Space Marines with hip-held heavy bolters and autocannons, IG war-buggy equivalents, Tau Stealth Teams with special weapon options, and heavy sentinels with two weapon systems, to name just a few.

    Now GW is closing down any site containing new ideas or that doesn’t promote happy-happy thoughts for the company. Apparently anything that remotely mentions a word or image GW has copywrited is their property, including somebody elses ideas. This is how GW makes new stuff now: they steal your ideas and sell them back to you because the GW games development team are useless and too busy burrowing into the lower intestinal tract of management to create anything useful or functional. I am pretty sure there’s a fable about this kind of behaviour; something about a goose laying golden eggs or some silly French tart telling people to eat cake …

    In conclusion, got to say I love some of the ideas in the new BA codex, just not the format. It’s all about making GW money now and until enthusiasts start voting with their dollars, that’s not about to change. And yes, I am in the thirty-something bracket that started way back around the time of Rogue Trader when it was all about fun and creativity rather than the stagnation of the current GW Imperial Administration. Most of the folks I started with have left the hobby now and those that are left suffer the arrogance of newbs who claim to know everything and drive off anybody that doesn’t think what GW tells them. Congratulations GW, unless you act now, this is the limited future of the hobby.

  3. brent says:

    First point, I think GW wants to make the chapters increasingly divergent, so having different codexes are a good thing going forward.
    Second point, I think GW should give the Ultras their own codex and put all of the other special characters into another bin.
    I would prefer if they would reverse their policy of not updating codexes (they will only put out a new one). Then they could do things like increase the cost of TH/SS Terminators in C:SM without everyone having to wait for it. They could also start to put out a lot of different codexes for Chaos and other Marine Chapters.

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