So we start off this codex review in the usual place, at the top of the tree, with the HQ options. As with most of the Marine codices there are a large number of named characters to go through. The big difference to the main marine codex is that these are mostly all Blood Angles characters, all of them in fact apart from Gabriel Seth, who is the Flesh Tearers Chapter Master.
I have said previously that as I am running a successor chapter, I wouldn’t be using any of the BA named characters, as for the most part it is not really practical that there would be equivalents in other chapters and with some of the characters, it is explicitly stated that they operate across chapters in there BA form, such as Astorath. I will go through them all briefly though, but I will not spend much time on any of the characters, or for that fact units, that I do not use. I will instead concentrate on the units I do use or intend to use.
Commander of the Blood Angles and possibly the oldest living Space Marine not interned within a dreadnought. While he is a good force on the table top, able to hold his own in most situations, there really is only one Dante and so there really is no way I could field him on the table top.
What can be said about Seth that hasn’t already been said? I really like him though, in the novels he is really quite a character and he isn’t to keen on the Primaris marines, which is another thing to his credit in my books! However, he is the chapter master of the Flesh Tearers, and I don’t play Flesh Tearers.
The Sanguimor is another one of those characters who cannot be replicated as they (he??) can appear anywhere and anytime that a son of Sanguinius is in need of help or at least that’s how its told. So in theory, I could run the Sanguinor as he is, although I would have to do so in something like a Supreme Command Detachment. While I don’t plan on running him at the moment, that may change at a later date, and I will probably run him with Astorath and maybe Mephiston as a BA master class.
This is one of the few named character that I would actually consider running under a different guise, if my opponent allows, as technically you can’t replace the Blood Angles key word. The reason I say this is that he is named because he is the Sanguinary High Priest and carries the Red Grail. It is therefore feasible that there would be a similar character to him in successor chapters, as there is a Sanguinary Priesthood in most of them. It is not impossible that a similar relic such as the Red Grail will exist within these chapters as well and Heaven Teeth is really just a master crafted chain sword. While I have not yet created a Brother Corbulo proxy, I have though about it on many occasions.
The Priest himself is not a bad character, having a good BS and WS of 2+ and 5 wounds. He has a standard profile apart from that and he carries all of the usual Priestly abilities, with Narthecium and the Red Grail being similar to the Blood Chalice carries by normal priests but giving friendly BA units the ability to generate extra attacks. One of the reason that I have yet to make a proxy for Corbulo is that I am still unsure if he is worth the extra over a standard Priest. If I was to use him, then I would be using him in exactly the same fashion as a regular priest and putting him with either a death company squad for the extra strength or with a unit of vanguard vets for the same reason. The only issue that really exists with him is an inability to take a jump pack, which means that he will struggle to keep up with the units he is supposed to accompany. I could place him with a regular tactical squad, but he would not make use of the best ability, the extra strength. Alternatively he could accompany the captain and lieutenant in to battle to help keep them alive for longer.
Chief Librarian Mephiston
The Lord of Death and possibly the most powerful Psyker in the imperium and the only Blood Angle known to have recovered from the Black Rage. This man is a living weapon, or rather he is in the lore. On the table top I really don’t think he is that good. He is not really much better than a regular librarian in my view. The main reason that I wont field him however is the simple fact that he is Mephiston, chief librarian of the Blood Angles and although there are other powerful psykers, none are supposed to be as powerful as he is and so other chapters will just have normal Librarians as there chief librarians and not a super psyker like Mephiston.
Astorath the Grim, the Redeemer of the Lost. There can only ever be one Astorath, it even says so in the fluff “Whilst officially bound to the Blood Angles, Astorath’s task carries him far and wide amongst the Chapters successors.” So, that answers that one, there is only one Astorath and he's a Blood Angle, although he might just turn up at your chapters battle barge one day. If I ever field him it would be with the Sanguinor, as I said above but I wouldn’t hold your breath, you could be in for a long wait.
Now here is the anomaly within the named characters, as I do field Lemartes in my armies. Why? Well, it’s a very similar reason to Brother Corbulo. Lemartes is just a chaplain who fell to the Black Rage, which could happen to any chaplain and he’s just sane enough to stick in to stasis at the end of every battle, ready for the next one. This could happen to another chaplain from another chapter and they could just stick him back in to stasis, exactly the same. It all sound pretty plausible to me anyway, so that’s why I use him. This of course relies on my opponent being ok about me fudging the rules slightly, but if not then I can just run him as a normal Chaplain and use the Death Visions of Sanguinius stratagem! Either way he will be fielded with the death company squads, usually in the middle of them to make use of the aura abilities. The main squad that he will always be in range of will be the hammer equipped squad, as with the -1 to hit, these need all the help they can get and considering how hard they can hit, I want to give it to them as well!
Tycho the Lost + Captain Tycho
The last-named character in the book takes two forms, Tychos, Captain of the 3rd company and Tycho the Lost, the Fallen Star. Now, to me this is another character that can’t be replicated, as he has such a back story and lore to him, but in reality you probably could proxy him, as there will be other company captains that will have fallen to the Black Rage at some point or another. I won’t be and I know that sounds strange after the justifications I made for using Lemartes. In reality Tycho is just a regular captain with an extra special rule based around Orks and so I should feel free to proxy him but I just can’t seem to justify it to myself. So I wont be using him in any of my armies.