With the hulking form of Brother Sergeant Rafen dominating the cover of this months White Dwarf, you can be in no doubt that the Son's of Sanguinius have once again seized control of GW printing press. The artwork by the excellent Clint Langley, is from James Swallows Blood Angels Omnibus, the only bit of the book worth having IMHO, but thats another story.
I was half expecting the cover to feature a Stormraven or a Dreadnought due to the hype and expectation surrounding their February release; but fear not, there is plenty of both inside. The pages are awash with the sort of quality photos of stunningly painted studio models that White Dwarf has a reputation for; the stuff that keeps me subscribed despite the magazines subversion into (at times) little more than a house catalogue, but that's the pre 100's reader in me mourning things long past.
So what's inside? Here's a skim read guide...
In the new release section there are 7 pages of pictures, including some great close ups of the new models; then there is a good design notes feature where Mat Ward is interviewed about his thoughts and ideas behind the Blood Angels ethos and how the Stormraven and Furioso variants fit within it. Guess what? I don't think he mentions the Ultramarines once, by Throne Mr Ward, you are learning. Also the mini designers Dale Stringer and the legendary Jes Goodwin share their creative views about the process of developing the two new kits; I found Jes's comparison of the Stormraven's shape with an outstretched fist, very interesting.
The Stormraven's rules and points cost are included as had been widely speculated along with some short pieces of fluff about it's use, but not a hint that other Marine Chapters other than the Grey Knights will be getting them, sorry guys and gals. The article suggests that Aprils issue of White Dwarf will contain news on the Grey Knights and their kit.
There is a sample 2000 point Blood Angel strike force including two Ravens and a couple of Dreads and also a Battle Mission entitled 'The Blood of Martyrs' specific to BA's and their successors where you have to withdraw your Marines from the centre of the battlefield using Martyr Squads to fight a rearguard action.
The Red Thirst continues with a Liber Apocalyptica article featuring a page of fluff about a BA campaign against the forces of Chaos on a world named Orana and then Apocalypse data sheets for the Death Company, Dante and the Sanguinary Guard, a Stormraven Strikeforce and an Armoured Strikeforce with Land Raider and Baal Predators.
The Black Rage is unleashed with an 18 page Battle Report, Blood Angles v's Dark Eldar 1750 points.
To finish off this crimson tide, two of the studio team Nick Bayton and Duncan Rhodes present an 8 page painting workshop using the new BA Battle Force, to showcase their different styles and techniques for painting Blood Angels, including masking and weathering.
Phew...so if you're not a BA fan, come on what's wrong with you? This months issue is going to be a slightly light read, there are still some 40k related articles which may grab your interest. An interview with Black Library Author Gav Thorpe about portraying Astartes in books, Jervis Johnson talks campaigns and the Third War for Armageddon is back with GW's studio team launching a Planetary Empires campaign set around one of 40k's most iconic conflicts; they're promising lots of background related articles online for this one.
See all that talk of Yarrick last post was very timely.
To sum up, for me at least being a Blood Drinker player, this is a bumper issue with a wealth of stuff that should give me ample reading material for when I'm sat in the Recloosiam...Oh I'm wasted in my day job.
Pictures featured 'Brother Sergeant Rafen' by Clint Langley, Blood Angel Battleforce, copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2011