Exterminatus is Here: Review Part 1

It's time to exterminatus!
Shield of Baal: Exterminatus has arrived and with it, some very potent additions for both Blood Angels and Necrons.  Exterminatus is the 3rd and final volume in the Shield of Baal series which began in the Deathstorm box set, continued on in Leviathan campaign supplement, and now comes to a glorious conclusion.  

Note: This review won't focus much on the fluff, but more on what Exterminatus brings to the table...the actual table I mean.  First and foremost, the supplement is loaded with content that will bring much versatility to your games of 40k, especially if you're a Blood Angels or Necron player.  There is a massive amount of content in this volume. It features 7 unique Blood Angels formations, relics, and a warlord trait table as well as a new detachment, the Archangels Strike Force, which allows you to field a 1st Company veteran detachment.  The Flesh Tearers, one of the most popular successors to the Blood Angels (and my personal Blood Angels army), has it's own unique detachment as well as 4 unique formations, relics, and a warlord trait table.  Finally we get to Necrons and the Mephrit Dynasty, featuring a unique detachment along with 4 formations as well as relics and a warlord trait table.

Let's start with the Blood Angels.  The relics included are pretty useful, albeit primarily so against Tyranids (the antagonist of the Shield of Baal series).  First up is the Banner of the Archangel Host.  It costs the same as a Thunderhammer and may be carried by a terminator assault squad in the place of the company standard.  It allows re-rolls of morale and pinning tests and confers preferred enemy (everything) to the unit.  Up next is the Archangel's Edge.  Same cost as a melta bomb, one terminator sergeant can take this weapon in the place of his power sword.  It has the same profile as a power sword with a special rule which results in instant death to a monstrous creature on a roll of 6 to wound.  Pretty strong, especially when you can combo it with that banner.  Up next is the Executioner's Hood.  Same price as the Edge, it can be taken by any librarian and negates the effects of shadows of the warp.  A tyranid specific relic, but still nice for merely 5 points.  Overall these relics for the Archangels are pretty solid.  I can see the Edge being fielded on a regular basis.

Archangel warlord traits are also pretty stout.  The first gives your warlord fearless.  The next gives your warlord and his unit counter-attack.  Another allows your warlord to re-roll all failed to hit rolls in a challenge.  Most interesting is the trait that gives your warlord and his unit Objective Secured. The next one allows you to re-roll failed morale and pinning tests within 12" of the warlord.  And the last one confers preferred enemy to the warlord.  Overall, these traits are solid, with the most important (at least in my opinion) being the one that lets your warlord get objective secured.  Objective secured terminators are sure to make your opponents cringe.

The Archangels Strike Force detachment allows you to field only HQ and elites (and their dedicated transports) and is designed to allow you to make a detachment fully composed of 1st company veterans.  The detachment allows you to re-roll your warlord trait on the Archangels table and also lets you re-roll reserves for units with deep strike and lets you scatter 1d6.  Terminators everywhere scattering only 1d6 on the deep strike is huge.

As to the formations, they are as follows:

Archangels Orbital Intervention Force
3 terminator squads

Must be held in deep strike reserve. They all come in on a single reserve roll.  When they arrive they may run and shoot on the turn they arrive

Archangels Sanguine Wing
2 vanguard veteran squads
1 sternguard squad
1 stormraven

All vets must be in 10 man squads.  Sternguard begin on the stormraven. Vanguard vets must be in deep strike reserve. They all come in on a single reserve roll which can be re-rolled.  The real winner here is that the vanguard vets may take a single power weapon or lightning claw per model for FREE.  The sternguards can all take combi-weapons for free as well.

Archangels Demi-Company
1 captain (or Captain Karlaen) or 1 chaplain
2 furioso dreads
5 squads chosen from terminators, terminators assault squad, sternguard, vanguard vets. The captain or chaplain must be in terminator armor.  All units are stubborn.  You can re-roll the warlord trait on the Archangels table.  Re-roll failed reserve rolls for units deep striking in the formation and scatter 1d6 on the deep strike.

The Archangels
1 captain (or Captain Karlaen)
1 chaplain
4 furioso dreads
10 squads chosen from the following: terminators, terminators assault squad, sternguard, vanguard vets

All units are stubborn.  You can make reserve rolls starting on the 1st turn.  Re-roll warlord traits on Archangels table.  Re-roll failed reserve rolls for units in the formation and they scatter 1d6.

Blooded Demi-Company
1 captain or chaplain
1 command squad (only for a captain)
3 tactical squads
1 assault squad
1 devastator squad
1 dread
1 furioso dread (only if a chaplain is taken)

Re-roll warlord traits from the Blood Angels codex.  And standard Red Thirst from the codex.

Strike Force Mortalis
1 chaplain
3 death company
2 death company dreads
1 stormraven

Crusader. If a death company squad is outnumbered in a combat, they all get +1 attacks.

Dante's Avenging Host
1 librarian
1 sanguinary priest
1 sanguinary guard
Blooded Demi-Company
3 stormravens

All non-vehicle units have objective secured. Re-roll failed reserve rolls and deep striking units scatter 1d6.

Happy to see me, heretic?!
Some of these formations are just going to be way too expensive to run in standard games of 40k.  Dante's Avenging Host is one example.  Although having every unit in the formation having objective secured is amazing, this would only see play in a large game.  The obvious winner here is the Archangels Sanguine Wing. Being able to take a ton of power weapons and combi-weapons for free is amazing.  This one will likely see a lot of play on the table. Strike Force Mortalis also offers a lot of potential especially when fielding minimum sized squads. And yes, 7 blood talon attacks from a death company dread on the charge is devastating.  Many of the terminator formations are great as well primarily because they allow you to scatter 1d6.  Blood Angels opponents bemoaned assault marines in the old codex only scattering 1d6.  The ability for thunderhammer stormshield terminators to scatter only 1d6 is incredibly strong.

Overall, the Blood Angels got some major boosts in Exterminatus. These formations can be game changers and I'm excited to both see them on the table, and give them a try myself.

Next up in Part 2: The Flesh Tearers
Exterminatus is Here: Review Part 1 Exterminatus is Here: Review Part 1 Reviewed by Robert Chandler on 10:27:00 PM Rating: 5

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