Ambush on Teritarius Secundus

Mephiston, Lord of Death

Equipped with Dante's order to find and retrieve the Ruby of Millennia, the Red Heavens rapid strike vessel entered the Teritarius system. If the scriptures were correct, Mephiston should find the relic on Teritarius Secundus, but where? The data slate held by the Servitor only showed derelict land and ruins of civilizations long gone. As he was still pondering over the map, to his irritation Mephiston received a faint psychic signal from the planet's surface. Quickly he assembled his troops for planet fall to investigate this mysterious hint.

Welcome to my battle report where Blood Angels fought it out with Sven Emmert's Chaos Daemons (both 1'500pts). It was my first game in 40K 7th Edition after remaining abstinent to 40K for three years.

I drew Unleash Rage and Wings of Sanguinius for mephistons psychic powers plus got Quickenning on top of them since I drew them all from the same discipline.

The Blood Angels at the location of the psychic signal after planet fall. Unfortunately, they had to realize the signal came from Chaos Daemons lingering in the ruins. Were they after the relic as well?

The Scouts quickly moved and occupied the mission objective (MO) in the central ruined building.

The Baal Predator Guarding the right flank took a first hit from that daemon engine (or whatever the hell (literally) it was).

The Death Company and Lemartes jumped over the building to meet the incoming Juggernaut. The dice said that the Furioso was out of charge range.

The Herald of Khorne issued a challenge to Lemartes who was buffed with all of Mephiston's spells. What a fool!

After the Death Company was done and my turn was over, the table looked almost clean again. ^^

The beginning of Sven's turn saw dozens of deep striking daemons...

...as all his units arrived from reserves.

To make matters worse, this winged greater daemon came in on the left flank with me only hitting it on Snap Fire.

The Baal on the right flank got attacked by the daemon engine and lost its last Hull Point (HP).

The daemons ran and flew to my right flank committing pretty much all their forces there to crush Mephiston and his Tactical Squad.

Back in my turn, the Furioso charged the daemon engine and put an end to it.

Although they were between hammer and anvil, Mephiston pushed his Tactical Squad forward to the green MO on the right flank nearby to deny the daemons from having it. Bolter fire erupted and killed three daemons in the process - way too few. The Death Company moved to the MO in the center of the table...

...and to also take care of that warp gate repeatedly spawning daemons who could run unchecked and take posession of MOs.

Because of fortunate missions and clever tactics, I was able to pull a substantial lead, albeit being heavily outnumbered and probably dead on turn 4 latest.

On the Daemons' turn 3 they simply charged and a huge mess resulted. Not learning from his comrade, this Herald of Khorne challenged Mephiston to another duel. In an epic showdown, Mephiston stabbed him in his chest with the fully charged force weapon while the daemon crashed down his axe for a final decapitating blow.

On the left flank, the Tactical Squad got charged by the remaining daemons to deny possession of the MO on the very left. The Veteran Sergeant disappeared in the resulting challenge before he could swing his Powerfist.

The only true asset still in my hands were these Scouts high atop their battlefield in their ruin.

The start of my turn 3 saw me committing the full Death Company to this single daemon. It was an overkill, sure, but I don't wanna run into the risk of losing valuable victory points (VP) there. I considered splitting Lemartes off the main host, but I still didn't like the idea. In the end it was shots from three Bolt Pistols that killed this monstrosity of Khorne.

On the right flank, the Furioso charged into the daemons and started to grind his way through them. While the Furioso itself didn't take any damage and provided a solid stopper, the daemon killing cadence was way too slow.

The daemons in turn 4 decided to charge the Scouts in the ruined building, but the Scouts defensive fire killed enough daemons to make their charge fall short!

The daemon host that ran unchecked on the left took firm possession of the MO there.

By now,  Sven and I were totally equal on VP with both clocking in at nine counters.

Turn 5 saw all these monstrosities killing the hardy Scouts...

...while the Death Company killed another two daemons emerging from the warp gate bringing me valuable VP.

A dice roll of 1 announced that the game wasn't to continue beyond turn five so I narrowly won with 13 to 10 VPs.


I haven't had such a blast in a game for a long time. The new Maelstrom Mission heavily changed the character of 40K, the game is much more fluid now and the risk of simply having to run my assault units into a static gun line are smaller. After complaining about GW's product strategy for the last three years, I got to try and experience a new 40K that indeed is fit for friendly fluff games. Sven's list played a large role in this one, too, of course, but the constant tight margin of VPs showed that I could keep up despite being heavily outnumbered. In the end, both Sven and I won this game four having entertaining four hours on a dreary Saturday.

Fluffwise I am not as happy as the Death Company survived while everyone else died on the battle field, in other words exactly the opposite of what I was aiming for! The MVPs in this battle clearly were the hardy Scouts and the Furioso. Scouts usually are throw away units who sometimes don't even make it through turn 1 (I am looking at you, Goatboy), but this time they simply held to the bitter end. The Furioso didn't listen to the chatter in forums of how bad Dreadnoughts have become in the last two editions and simply killed one daemon after the other. The Furioso's only issue was speed as it was footslogging around the battle field. Getting that Librarian Dreadnought back from last edition with Wings of Sanguinius that allow it to charge would be sweet. However, in the end it's a good feeling that two "bad" units turned out to be the game winners for me, so I guess that serves as another hint that 7th Edition has become better for casual gaming.

When Mephiston opened his eyes again, he looked into a blurry skull filling his entire field of vision. "Where am I?" he whispered. "You are on the Red Heavens. Rest, brother," answered Lemartes muffled voice, "Astorath has been sent for."


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Lord Commander Dante

(Update: it wasn't until now (2014-12-23) that I became aware of an article with the same title on BoLS. It's an excellent article geared more towards tournament players whereas mine is more focused on fluff players. No rip off intended.)

Everyone and their mother is doing a review of the new Codex: Blood Angels these days, but mine definitely packs the best soundtrack:

The Good

For me, the most striking point clearly is the beauty of the Codex as a book. I gazed at the pictures of the Blood Angels ever since the White Dwarf 36 (December 1998, German Numbering) and I own all Blood Angels Codices up from 3rd Edition, but the current Codex definitely is the most beautiful Codex ever.
Mind you, as I am short on cash I only purchased the regular edition of the Codex and not the Sanguinary Guard Edition, but the regular Codex already is a beauty and I could glance at its pages forever. For me, the print and design alone are its money worth.

GW products are pricier than ever before, but I am happy with their quality. Yet this still means I heavily limit my spending.

Another big plus is the way the successor chapters are being presented. No longer they receive a meager tile in a table, but each of the notable Blood Angels successor gets its full page with extremely well drawn and colored depictions of each chapters Space Marines.

Another big plus is that Mephiston, Lord of Death, has the Independent Character rule again. In the previous Codex he was a monster with the stat line of a greater daemon fighting on his own, but I prefer to have him as a support character taking care of the soldiers in the field with him. If you have him sit on mission objectives in the backfield with two Tactical Squads, any enemy will find a challenge. On the downside he still hasn't an Invulnerable Save (like every lowly Captain does) despite going down from T6 to T5, which means Instant Death now can be an issue due to also lacking Eternal Warrior. The lacking Invulnerable Save can be compensated, though, if you're lucky enough to draw the  Shield of Sanguinius power. Overall I think Mephiston is solid for the price tag he has now and considering he used to cost the equivalent of a Land raider in the former Codex.

Chaplain Lemartes - I am still running the old ugly model with the duster in his right hand, but it's a classic.

From my point of view, a final plus is the HQ section as it is a good mix of old and new. All the named characters are there, the Librarian Dreadnought is a nice addition, and I am glad to see the Brother Techmarine be back as a HQ choice because I think it fits his rank. The bitter pill here is Chaplain Lemartes being an Elite Choice when the Elite slots are already crowded. I liked having him as a HQ in 4th edition where he was an auto-include for me.

Death Company - saving the day when no hope is left.

Last but not least Death Company having Jump Packs for 3pts is a steal. The good old days when the DC was storming across the field with Jump Packs and tying down the enemy in close combat are finally back!

The Bad

The hardest sting for me clearly is the Sanguinary Priest not allowed to wear Terminator Armor anymore. While this was new in 5th Edition and therefore rather short lived, it was a wonderful option and trove for conversions. GW itself sports a wonderful conversion of a Sanguinary Priest in WD #172 (April 2010, German numbering) on page 91, which inspired me to do mine. Alas,that model won't get to see play time anymore unless we can houserule it.

Blood Angels 2nd Company, 6th Squad.

However, the place where BA players really got kicked into their gut is Assault squads occupying Fast Attack slots now. This may make sense from the point of a Codex adherent Ultramarine, but fluff wise it makes more sense that Blood Angels are equally effective with the Jump pack as they are on foot, so I always imagined their Tactical Squads to pick their war gear based on their type of mission. So, Assault Squads are basically out as scoring units as they don't get the Objective Secured rule plus I currently don't see any Detachment or Formation which would give them this rule back.

The Ugly

According to fluff, Blood Angels sleep now in Sarcophagi. Also, one of the bare heads in the new Tactical Squad sprues now shows pointy teeth. All that is a little too much of the obvious for my taste. I preferred it when it was just the Blood Rituals described in the previous editions and the Angels Sanguine refusing to take off their helmets, leaving everything else to your very own imagination and speculation.

Veteran Assault Squad with yellow helmets. See that Stormshield? It's now illegal, too.

Also, GW has undergone a complete recoloring of the Blood Angels helmets. The color of a Blood Angel's helmet denotes the squad type he serves in. According to that logic, Tactical Squads and Tactical Terminator Squads have red helmets, Assault Squads, Veteran Assault Squads (Vanguard Veteran Squad for younger players), and Assault Terminators sport yellow helmets.
In this context, golden helmets were reserved to the Honor Guard only, but GW dropped the Honor Guard in the new Codex completely and replaced it with the Command Squad instead. plus now all veteran units come with golden helmets - except for Terminators, which doesn't make sense as Terminators are the most honored veterans in the Chapter. In other words, I am not going to repaint my helmets and stick to the traditional logic, thank you.

Dante is classiest with his very own Honor Guard. The now illegal techpriest is at the very center in the back.

Also the fact that GW dropped the Honor Guard, one of the signature units in 3rd and 4th edition, but replaced it with the Command Squad, makes this entry stand in the Ugly section and not in Bad. The two units or more or less compatible with the Techpriest being the only model you can't play in a Command squad anymore.


The latest Codex is a push back from the 5th Edition Codex where everything was able to fly that could possibly made so - including deep striking Land Raiders. In 5th Edition, I therefore started to build an army exclusively made out of Jump Troops and flyers (Land Speeders and Stormravens). This blueprint for a Blood Angels army is gone now.

Instead, in the future your auto-includes are two Tactical Squads plus a Death Company Squad with Lemartes, pretty much what we used to play in 3rd Edition. (Sarcasm: I assume the design of these rules has absolutely nothing to do with GW's desire to sell the specific Death Company and the new tactical Squad plastic kits.) Tanks and ranged firepower over raw close combat madness will become more significant again.

It is odd: the 5th edition Codex was designed to see everything fly, but competitive players spammed Assault Squads in Razorbacks instead. The 7th edition Codex brings back a focus on Tactical Squads in Rhinos and Razorbacks, but at the same time makes Death Company with Jump Packs viable again, too.

While writing this blog post I have been flipping through the various Blood Angels Codices I won from 3rd to 7th Edition. Evidently, rules existing in the 7th Edition already existed in 3rd, the name and the mechanics were just slightly different. In the end, GW changes rules for the sake of change so they can sell books and miniatures, which isn't an approach I particularly like. However, in the big picture and over decades everything stays the same adhering to the authentic character the army has. I guess the only thing one can do is to not throw any models away and hope they become legal one day again.