AKA "The Stormraven Retcon"
I got the Blood Angel book over the weekend. It's all sorts of crazy. As fellow DFIR poster MJ did with the missions book, I'm going to avoid reviewing it since you can find reviews all over the web.
What I would like to talk about is the background.
I want to start this off by talking about the Stormraven. Here's this brand-new invention so new that there isn't even a sketch of it in the book, yet it is pretty much shoved down our throats in the background sections. The poor Thunderhawk is mentioned about 10% as often as this new flyer. Nearly every story in the book talks about the Stormraven. The Land Raider, which the book mentions that the Blood Angels have in excess, is hardly ever used in a story. Their Land Raiders CAN DEEP STRIKE and yet there was no noteworthy occurrence of this maneuver ever being performed.
"Maybe I'm just being forgetful," I thought. I grabbed my 1996 "Angels of Death" codex off of the shelf. This is the book that first really introduced us to the Blood Angels and Dark Angels as we know them now. The above Dante miniature was put out for this book as were Mephiston and most of the other special characters. I read through the BA section and you know what? No mention of the Stormraven anywhere.
So it's obvious that the new flyer is so exciting that every story written for this book is going to include it as the transport mode of choice. I was feeling quite frustrated about this until I thought about the timeline that is in the codex. It starts at 746.M41 and goes until 999.M41. That's 253 years. Dante probably has t-shirts older than that. I like to read these time lines to get a sense of the history of a chapter, but 253 years is more like current events. Yes, in that time there have been two Armageddon wars and the whole Cadian Gate-Eye of Terror conflict but the chapter has been a codex chapter for almost 10,000 years. Nothing else exciting happened before then?
Now I feel less disappointed about the Stormraven being shoved into the background (it truly is the newest and fanciest thing that the chapter has had for the past 250 years) and am feeling the loss of the depth of the background of the chapter as a whole.
What do you guys think?
For the codex itself, it reads a lot like a fan-made codex. There are so many exceptions to the rule(s). They've got their own avatar (without the Daemon special rule). Their Jump Pack squads don't scatter like everyone else's. Their Land Raiders can Deep Strike. All Rhino-chassis tanks are Fast. It's seriously powerful. I'm just glad that they didn't go the extra step and give the Land Raiders and Stormravens the Drop Pod "adjusted scatter" rule for Deep Striking.
Here's going to be a fun argument: The Stormraven's ability to drop units off while moving says that they don't have to roll for Dangerous Terrain unless they actually land in Dangerous Terrain. The trick is that they should roll Dangerous Terrain if they land in Difficult Terrain, since it is a Deep Strike. How many players are going to tell you that they are immune to that test?