Here's the last post in Matt's review of the new Blood Angels codex. Here he'll talk about the Lords of War (there are two unlike other books) and round everything up with a summary.
Dante is easily the best character in the codex. In close combat he is an absolute monster (as he should be, being one of the oldest living space marines and leader of the Space Marine chapter that excels in close combat). On the charge Dante puts out 6 strength 7 AP2 attacks at initiative 7, with his axe also being Master Crafted, this is enough to slay many other dedicated close combat characters (and units) before they even have chance to strike back. Don't forget that he can be made even deadlier by casting the Blood Angel primaris power on him with a Librarian, for a maximum of 9 strength 7 AP2 attacks at initiative 10!! He's also not too shabby defensively with 2+ and a 4++ and Eternal Warrior, which allows you to tank him on the front of squads without the fear of him getting blasted apart by a lascannon. Obviously there are more ways to buff him further such as putting him in a squad with a chapter banner and/or giving him Feel No Pain from a priest etc.
However, his personal prowess is not the only reason to run Dante, he's also got a few special rules that help out his fellow Blood Angels. Firstly he has Hit and Run, an excellent special rule that allows him to escape combats that aren't favourable or just disengage in order to charge back in again for the charge bonus, or even just to engage something else/claim an objective. Also he has the best Blood Angel warlord trait, this allows all flyers, skimmers and jump units to re-roll reserve rolls, excellent for getting your Stormraven in earlier. But it doesn't stop there, additionally if you are playing a Maelstrom game then Dante also gets to roll on the Tactical traits table and gets that warlord trait in addition to Descent of Angels, this can be a great help in winning Maelstrom games.
The Death Mask of Sanguinius is a bit rubbish as generally no-one cares about Fear and even when they do it is forgotten about. I think that this is mainly because the units that suffer from Fear are generally rubbish in combat anyway!
I would say he is pretty much an auto take in any pure Blood Angel army if Lords of War are permitted.
I have never used Seth before, but I wanted him to be good this time around so that I could start giving him a whirl (pun intended). However he isn't that great really, mainly because he is essentially a close combat character who insists on hefting a massive chainsword rather than any sort of power weapon. However, at strength 8 AP4, the sword is pretty good against some things such as vehicles, multi wound models and low armour save units, but a bit rubbish against 3+ or better (except for multi wound T4 or less of course). On the charge he gets 6 attacks because of Rage and his attacks are strength 9 due to Furious Charge, he would also strike at Initiative 6 in a Baal detachment and any 6's to hit generate extra attacks, so like I said, this is great against vehicles and multi wound things that may fail their saves and get insta-gibbed. But the thing is, he doesn't bring any sort of other buffs or bonuses to other units in the army, therefore if you are looking for a close combat monster you are better of looking elsewhere, Mephiston is only 20 points more for example….
I have enjoyed writing this series, mainly because it has really made me think about the different options available in this codex and it has made me consider units that I probably would have just overlooked in favour of others before.
Overall I do believe that the codex on its own does have some competitive builds in there, but I don’t think you would ever be able to create a top tier list that could take on all comers. Obviously it relies heavily on close combat and so against a dedicated shooting army like Tau or some Eldar builds it will struggle, I think it would perform best against a balanced army with some shooting and some assault units as the Blood Angels should be able to tackle most assault units from other armies, there are exceptions of course.
The other thing to consider is allies. They would ally well with an army that can provide a lot of supporting long range firepower as this is what they lack. I also think that they would ally well with other armies that can provide further buffs, such as Grey Knights and their Santic psychic powers or Space Marines and their access to different wargear and reliable psykers such as Tigurius.
I hope you have enjoyed reading