Blood Angels Codex Review Part 1: HQ
After now having quite a few games under my belt with the new codex I'm going to list out what I feel works best with this new iteration of the beloved Blood Angels.
Let me preface this review by saying, like pretty much all the 7th edition codex releases, the codex alone is fairly bland. It really starts to shine when you look at some of the formations, however, be it from White Dwarf of Shield of Baal Exterminatus. Formations make this army tick and when it gets going it's pretty hard to stop. So, here's a quic rundown.
Rather than do a detailed rundown on each option, I'm just going to highlight what I find is best with each and what I have found is the best overall choice.
Captains - The backbone of any imperial army, captains make for really great HQ options, but once you start stacking wargear that makes them such, they begin to creep up in points. That said, for about 160 points you can have a character running around with a 2+/3++, jump pack, and a strong power weapon. As far as beatsticks go, the captain is more than capable of filling that role, however there are better options for the army overall.
Librarians - These guys are pretty solid options as they have been for years now. Cheap and effective, witht access to some pretty good powers. I've ran them with Sanguinary, Divination, and Pyromancy and all have their own pros and cons. Divination is probably the best way to go with these overall and Gallan's Staff (re-rolling 1s on tests) is a must if you run these guys.
Chaplains - Cheap and effective especially in a unit of Death Company. No, they don't let them re-roll to wounds, but giving them hatred (regardless of if they are charged or not) is pretty strong. And with a 3+/4++ they can hang in there for a while.
Techmarine - Cheap. That's pretty much the only benefit of ever running a techmarine as an HQ slot.
Sanguinary Priest - Probably the best HQ option in the codex. Giving a unit FNP as well as WS 5 with the furious charge bonus (and the initiative bonus if you take the Baal Strike Force Detachment) can suddenly make a basic unit into a force to be reckoned with. Toss one of these along with a librarian into an assault squad and it becomes a whirling dervish of death.
Astorath the Grim - No long as expensive as he was in the old codex, but still packs quite a punch. Not only does he give your unit Hatred, but he also lets death company re-roll to wound rolls when charging. Pretty solid. Also his axe confers instant death on any roll of a 6 to wound, regardless of toughness. That's going to be enough to scare off most opponents from every challenging him out.
Captain Tycho - No power weapon anymore. Stay away from this guy. There is no reason he should ever show up in your lists...ever. Maybe if you're playing Orks...even then unlikely
Sanguinor - Still not an IC and now only has a 4++ save. With only 3 wounds and a toughness of 4, this guy will be shot and killed by turn 2 every game. He confers a nice boost to your army, but he is not survivable enough for his points. Back to the shelf for you. Maybe in 5 more years we'll get to see you on the table.
Mephiston - Quite a reduction in points, but also quite a statline reduction. The fact that he is an IC is nice, but without any real mobility to speak of, it makes it hard to run him effectively. Not to mention that in order for him to be effective at all, he needs to get at least 2-3 powers off a turn. With no re-rolls to cast his powers, it makes it hard. Overall, he's a situational character. Good if you're going against a lot of monstrous creatures and the like. I'd avoid him in an all-comers list however.
Corbulo - Not terribly expensive with a str 5 (str 6 on the charge) rending chainsword, a +1 WS boost in a 6" bubble, and FNP for his unit, not to mention the once per game reroll, he brings a LOT to your army. The only issue is, like Mephiston, he lacks the mobility to really let you use his abilities. Put him in with a tactical squad in a drop pod, however, and he can hold his own. Suddenly everyone around him being WS 5 is a big big deal.
Captain Karlean - No, he's not in the codex, but he is still a playable HQ from Deathstorm. a 2+/4++ with an amazing warlord trait. He's not terribly expensive and gives you +1 to seize the initiative and re-roll reserves. Stick him with some Thunderhammer/storm shield termies.
Best HQ choices: Sanguinary Priest, Chaplain, Librarian, Corbulo
Worst HQ choices: Captain Tycho, Techmarine, Sanguinor
The best bang for your buck is the standard Sanguinary Priest. For 75 points you have an HQ with a jump pack, 2 wounds confering +1 WS to a unit along with FNP. He's cheap, and effective and can turn a unit of assault marines into a pretty strong force on the table. In every game I've played, this guy has always paid off. I can honestly say, with most HQ choices it's been a mixed bag, with the exception of the Sanguinary Priest. For the points you pay, he is consistent and beastly.
Combine him with a chaplain running with a death company squad and suddenly there are a lot of threats on the table your opponent has to deal with.
The HQ selection in Codex Blood Angels is pretty decent overall. Pretty typical as a normal space marine chapter, but the Sanguinary Priest offers a lot of utility at a bargain price.