Posted by: Turkadactyl | April 22, 2016

Angels Of Death- First Impressions

The release of the new psychic powers is what got me all excited about this release.  I enjoy fielding Librarians and the new powers can help my foot slogging army immensely.  This is my first impressions of the supplement.

White Scars and Raven Guard got some extra love with the War Zone Damocles release.  Iron Hands, Salamanders and Imperial Fists players have reason to rejoice now.  All five aforementioned chapters have a section dedicated to them.  Each have a unique detachment, similar to the Gladius Strike Force in Codex: Space Marine, that unlocks unique rules fluffy to those chapters.

Each chapter also has access to their own warlord traits and relics.  For warlord traits each chapter had two cross your fingers and hope you roll it, two average, and two you hope you don’t roll it.  I found it was the same for the relics as well.  For competitive gaming there are some auto include relics for lists.  Here are the ones I like.

Warlord Traits

White Scars– +1 or -1 to reserve rolls; monster hunter and tank hunter; and +1 to Str and A while fighting in a challenge with re-rolls to failed to hits when fighting enemy warlord

Imperial Fists– It Will Not Die; +1 or -1 to reserve rolls; and orbital strike

Crimson Fists– Feel No Pain; and Eternal Warrior

Black Templars– +1 WS and A; and re-roll failed charge rolls

Iron Hands– Blessing of the Omnissiah (if he already has this rule may re-roll failed attempts to repair); +1 Feel No Pain; and warlord and unit joined re-roll to hit rolls of 1 in the shooting phase

Salamanders– can re-roll all failed to hit rolls with any master crafted weapon instead of re-rolling only one; and It Will Not Die

Relics

White Scars– +1BS for ranged weapon and it gains the ignores cover special rule.  When that model joins the unit that units ranged weapons ignore cover as well.

Imperial Fists– Librarian generates an additional warp charge point and re-rolls failed psychic tests.

Imperial Fists– targeted unit has its cover save reduced by one.

Iron Hands– tanks and walkers within 6″ pass It Will Not Die rolls on 4+.  If a 6 is rolled a weapon destroyed or immobilised result id repaired.

Iron Hands

  • 0 wounds suffered- bearer has 3+, +1 Feel No Pain, Eternal Warrior
  • 1 wound suffered- 3 ++, Eternal Warrior
  • 2 wounds suffered- 3 ++
  • 3 wounds suffered- 4++

Iron Hands– all friendly units within 24″ can use bearers leadership for morale tests.  Nominate a friendly unit within 12″ at the start of the shooting phase.  That unit can re-roll all to hit rolls of 1 that shooting phase.

Salamanders– Str x2 AP 2 thunderhammer that can switch all attacks for a single strike at Str D.

Salamanders– Eternal Warrior

Raven Guard– Okay, I guess I lied.  Raven Guard have so-so relics.  Nothing really stands out as a must.

Detachments

White Scars- re-roll failed hit and run rolls; vehicles that move flat-out and bikes that turbo boost can move an extra D6; and unit gains Hammer of Wrath if it charges more than 8″ (re-roll failed HoW if it already had the HoW rule).

These bonuses magnify what the White Scars already do.  Really good for claiming objectives.

Imperial Fists– Stubborn, re-roll all failed to hit rolls from bolters, bolt pistols, storm bolters and heavy bolters; and +1 to armour penetration rolls against buildings.

I wish I could re-roll all failed bolter shots.  I have a reputation of being a bad roller.  One paper these look like meh bonuses but take it from a person who rolls bad, these bonuses are fantastic.

Iron Hands– generate a second warlord trait from tactical or strategic; models in the detachment add 1 to Feel No Pain within 12″ of any independent character from the same detachment; and vehicles gain Power of the Machine Spirit whilst within 12″ of an independent character from this detachment

The Iron Hands detachment can take 0-3 command choices from the Strike Force Command, Reclusiam Command Squad and/or Librarius Conclave.  The Strike Force Command consists of one of the following: Terminator Captain, Captain, Chaplain or Venerable Dreadnought.  The Reclusiam Command Squad comes with one Chaplain.  The Librarius Conclave can take up to five Librarians.  This detachment can load up on independent characters.

For the 1-2 core options Iron Hands can choose from Codex Space Marines Battle Demi-Company, Armoured Task Force or Angels of Death Stormlance Demi-Company (more on this later).  Auxiliary options ar 1+ with loads of options available from both books.  I like the combination of the Librarius Conclave with the new Technomancy powers giving FNP and POTMS bonuses to the army.  This detachment is a winner.

Salamanders– generate a second warlord trait from personal; +1 Str to all flamer weapons; and units gain Fearless that turn if they remain stationary in the movement phase.

I’m not sold on the bonuses with this detachment.  I find these underwhelming compared to the others.

Raven Guard– can re-roll mission table result, can re-roll result for deployment zone, can re-roll result for who deploys first; units in reserve can choose to make a reserve roll on the first turn; and can choose to fail morale checks.

Being able to bring reserves in turn one is great.  That applies a lot of pressure.  Raven Guard like to strike with speed and this certainly does that.  These bonuses are at the mercy of the random dice roll so come with a buyer beware tag.

Formations

Angels of Death include two variations to the Battle Demi-Company formation- the Stormlance Battle Demi-Company and Pinion Battle Demi-Company.  Both have the same composition with some extras.

With the Stormlance all units not equipped with bikes or jump packs must start the game in a Rhino or Razorback.  They lose objective secured and the tactical doctrine but gain re-rolling failed hits in the shooting phase when targeting enemy units holding objectives and gain an extra D6″ movement after shooting.  I like this one.  I find a lot of the time objective secured doesn’t really come into effect.  The opportunity to re-roll to move a unit of an objective is too good to pass up.

Pinion requires 1-5 Scout and/or Scout bike squads to be added to the Battle Demi-Company.  Scout units can spot another unit in the formation that is within 9″.  Weapons for the unit gain Ignores Cover.  Scout squads in reserve can also lead another unit kept in reserve onto the battlefield.  The unit will arrive with the Scouts and can outflank with the Scouts even if it normally can’t do so.  The unit also gains Scout for that turn if it is within 9″ of the Scout squad leading it.  Pair the Scout squad up with a Devastator Squad and you have a deadly combination.  really, I only see the Scouts benefiting the Devastators.  I don’t like the idea of walking Tactical Marines on with the Scouts because bad reserve rolls ensures that two units per failed roll stay off the board and that can set a person back tremendously.

I’m not going to go into too much detail with the other formations.  Space Marines have a lot of formations to choose from and this adds more into a fully stocked cupboard.  Most of the formations in Angels of Death involve bikes, Land Speeders and Scouts.  I do not own any of those models.  I am not a fan of the bikes and Land Speeders and do not plan on adding any to my army.  I may add some Scouts when I have all my Carcharodons painted.  I am not a fan of the current range.  My hope is when my Carcharodons are painted the Scout models will have their much-needed update.

Angels of Death has the Skyhammer Annihilation Force.  For those of you who do not know this formation, it hits hard.  It contains two Devastator squads in Drop Pods and two Assault Marine squads.  They can arrive from reserve turn one.  The Devastators gain Relentless the turn they arrive and the Assault Marines can charge from deep strike.  I’ve been on the receiving end of this and it hurts.

Datasheets

There are three datasheets and they involve the Terminator Captain, Cataphractii Terminators and the Contemptor Dreadnought from Betrayal at Calth.  YEAH!  My models have been sitting on sprues.  I wanted to wait for some 40K official rules and they arrived.  I love Terminators and the Cataphractii look awesome.  The models are now assembled.  I like the rules.  The 4++ is great.  Look for these models to appear in battle reports sometime in the next twelve months.

Psychic Powers

I showed up on Saturday with a 1250 point list.  I brought models I was entering in the painting categories and three Librarians.  I wanted to try out the new powers.  Before I knew who I was up against I chose Fulmination, Geokinesis and Technomancy.  I played against a Necron army with two Monoliths.  I’m glad I chose Technomancy.

Fulmination– Fulmination is a lightning based attack.  There are two witchfire powers and one haywire power.  I don’t think they are anything special.  I had the two witchfire powers for my game and they didn’t do much.  There is also a blessing that adds +1 to Str and A.

The two I wanted was granting a 3++ to the psyker and moving the psyker and unit with another unit within 24″.   Moved units are allowed to charge after.  My Carcharodons lack transport so the opportunity to warp across the table and also bring an enemy unit into my lines is huge.  There are only two powers that interest me and I will probably roll Fulmination a lot for the unit movement power.  That power is a huge benefit to my army and it is worth taking a chance rolling mediocore to average powers to get that stellar one.

Geokinesis– This school has more useful powers.  I rolled Earth Blood and Scorched Earth.  Earth Blood is great.  It is a blessing that targets a friendly model within 18″  That model regains D3 wounds and will gain It Will Not Die for that turn.  Pair this up with the Iron Hands relic I mentioned, that has bonuses determined by the number of wounds, and you have a tough model to remove from play.  Scorched Earth is meh.  All units within 6″ of a point take a single Str 5 AP 4 ignores cover wound.  This will not cause too much damage.

The Primaris forces a unit to take a dangerous terrain test with no armour saves allowed.  This can be a great way to attack a unit with a high model count and low armour save.  Phase Form grants a friendly unit Move Through Cover and Ignores Cover.  I like this.  Warp Quake can come in handy.  It can target a building and potentially penetrate it.  If a ruin is targeted any unit inside can potentially take damage.  The last power allows the psyker to move terrain around the board.  This power has my attention.  Those pesky Tau who hide in some terrain can now be transported to my front lines and quickly dispatched in close combat.

Librarius– The primaris power is a Str 5 AP 3 blast.  It is useful for the plethora of power armour out there.  Veil of Time is fantastic allowing the psyker and unit to re-roll all failed saving throws.  I roll out a lot of Terminators and also enjoy using Honour Guard.  I also roll a lot of 1’s.  Veil of Time is power number one so I have a good chance rolling this one.

There’s a beam attack and a power that grants Adamantium Will with a 4++ against witchfire that I would consider average to meh.

There is an alternative Iron Arm granting +2 to Str, T, I and A.  Very nice.  There is also a power, Psychic Scourge, that attacks psykers.  If you are going against a psyker heavy force then roll on Librarius.  Otherwise this power is useless.  The last power is Null Zone, which reduces invulnerable saves by 2 to a minimum of 6++.

This school seems to be a default choice if going against a pysker heavy army.

Technomancy– This school is fantastic.  The primaris can allow the psyker to take over a vehicle and fire one weapon against its own army.  I turned the particle whip onto a unit of Immortals.  There is a blessing that ignores crew stunned and crew shaken and gives Power of the Machine Spirit.  I rolled the blessing that restores a lost hull point or repairs a destroyed weapon or immobilised vehicle.  That vehicle also gains It Will Not Die for the turn.  The last blessing improves the armour on all facings by one.  If this power targets a non-vehicle unit all models improve their toughness by one.

The three witchfires can only affect vehicles.  There is a focussed witchfire where the target vehicle suffers D3 haywire attacks.  There is a beam of 18″ with the haywire rule.  I rolled Machine Flense where the target vehicle loses D3 hull points.  For each hull point lost target a unit within 12″ with D6 Str 4 AP 6 rending hits.  A different unit can be targeted for each hull point lost.

I made use of all three Technomancy powers throughout the game.  The Monoliths are not so tough with Technomancy around.  What I liked about this school is all the powers are useful.  While the other schools have some duds, Technomancy shines from start to finish.  So shiny, so chrome.

Altar of War

I haven’t even read them yet but I’m sure the missions will be fun to play.

Final Thoughts

Here are my cons with the release.  The book is paperback form.  I was surprised and disappointed.  I am used to hardcover now and I prefer the hardcover format.  I don’t mind spending the extra money as I find hardcover can take more of a beating.  I also like the ability to open the book up and leave it open on a page for quick reference.  GW has released hardcovers with a similar quantity of pages in the past so I think they could have offered a hardcover.  My other con is the quality of the cards.  The quality of the paper is not as good as the main psychic card deck.  I also like the hard boxes all the past card sets have come in.  The new powers come in a cheap paper box that is going to get easily destroyed.  I paid more compared to the original psychic deck for a lower quality product that has less cards than the original.  That’s a head shaker.

If you play any of the chapters I mentioned above or successor I recommend buying this book.  It will open up a new play style for your army.  You can access new formations, relics, warlord traits and a chapter specific detachment.  If you just want the psychic powers just buy the cards.  If you’re looking for just the Betrayal at Calth datasheets or one or two formations bug a friend to read their copy.  I have no regrets buying this book.  My hope is Forge World follows suit with an updated release of Imperial Armour vol 9 and 10.  I’ll be like a fly on stink if the Carcharodons get their own detachment, warlord traits and relics.

After I played my game on Saturday I was asked what I thought about the new powers.  My response, “I want more Librarians.”  I bought the Space Marines Heroes box and now I have four Librarians.  I also bought the Company Command set with the Solaq Captain.  I’ll be painting Three Shark Moon (inspired by Three Wolf Moon) on that banner.  That will be fun.

April 20 was a big day for my family.  My wife and I have tried to start a family and have had no success.  My younger sister and her husband have had their fair share of frustration as well.  My sister was able to get pregnant and I now have a nephew, Anson Joseph.  My wife and I posed with Anson who was 24 hours old in the picture.  He’s three weeks early so he’s a wee bit on the smaller side.  What a cute grot.  I’ll teach him to play 40K in ten years time.

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Responses

  1. A brilliant write-up; some interesting items in there. Venerable Dreadnoughts for a command choice is cool, a fluffy choice indeed. Some of the powers in there sound the business; will need to order this book.

    Also, congrats to your sister and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Iron Hands had one of the better representations in this book. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats for your family.
    I love the Electrokeneisis power where you transfer yor Libby and Squad with another squad… Boom, Death Star swap with scout squad, suddenly in your face!
    Liking the Formations, bike one looks good.
    Love Cat Termie armour, slow and purposeful is the trade off but a Lightning Claw squad with a heavy Flamer and chainfist supporting trooper and serg with grenade harness is very Carcharadons I reckon!

    Like

    • Slow and Purposeful is a decent trade-off for a 4++ and assault grenades. I think Tyberos will be a good addition to the Cataphractii. They can’t run so I can use orbital bombardment and not worry about losing a run roll. The look of the lightning claws are ace. Or should I say meow?

      Like


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