The Blood Angels are an army in the table-top war game Warhammer 40,000 by Games Workshop. They are one of nine First Founding chapters used by Space Marines players in the tabletop game and have received several updates to their background through published works by both games workshop and the Black Library.

Basic Background

The Blood angels are one of the first founding chapters of the Space Marine Legions and have been in service to the Imperium of man for approximately 10,000 years. Their most defining feature is their widely opposing nature, for whilst they are the longest lived of all Space Marines and have the most refined aesthetic sense, they are also know for their bloodthirsty rages and battle madness that can grip them prior to combat.


Another defining feature of the Blood Angels is their Blood Red armour. It is pure red for most marines, with black boarders to their shoulder pads and black or gold chest emblems. The main symbol for all Blood Angels is the winged blood drop, a symbol repeated thought both their art and their armour. They will also use a single blood drop is some cases, especially when signifying unit or Company. This differs for specialist members of the Armies. Sergeants will have black shoulder pads bordered by red, Assault marines Helmets will be yellow, devastator squads will have blue and Veteran marines will have gold helmets. There are also specialist troop Armours such as the Sanguine Guard or the Death Company whose armours are gold and black respectively.


The Blood Angels Primarch, Sanguinius, like all the other Primarchs, was spirited away shortly after being created, by the forces of Chaos where they attempted to corrupt them. Sanguinius is said to have been more deeply touched by the taint of chaos than the others as when he returned from the warp, he had grown wings.

After returning from the warp he landed on the planet of Baal, a desolate place ravaged by civil war and radiation. Many of the population were mutated and had resorted to cannibalism due to the lack of food. However, Sanguinius was found by one of the few remaining human tribes, the Folk of Pure Blood. His life was nearly cut short as the infant was called a mutant due to the tiny vestigial wings on his back. Sanguinius grew faster than normal children and at the age of one could kill giant fire scorpions with nothing but his bare hands.

As he grew older he also led a military campaign to rid the planet of mutants to make the planet safe for his people. Before long Sanguinius was worshipped as a deity.

It is said that many of the Primarchs refused to accept the Emperor and even fought him. However, Sanguinius immediately recognised the Emperor as his genetic father and agreed to join his campaign, taking with him the best warriors from the Folk of Pure Blood and making them into the Blood Angels Legion. They then fought as an honour guard to the Emperor until the time of the Horus Heresy.

When Horus betrayed the Emperor, Sanguinius immediately took on the role of Warmaster to the Imperial forces. However, they were soon beaten back to Terra by the Chaos legions, where they defended the Emperor's palace alongside the Imperial Fists and White Scars. It was at this point that a desperate gambit was planned and the Emperor, along with contingents from the Blood Angels and Imperial Fists teleported aboard Horus' battle barge where Horus attempted to corrupt Sanguinius. When he failed, Horus flew into a rage and killed Sanguinius.

The Emperor then found Horus standing over Sanguinius' broken form and the two then battled. Horus was finally slain and the Emperor mortally wounded. Shortly afterwards the forces of Chaos were beaten back to the Eye of Terror and Roboute Guilleman of the Ultramarines created the Codex Astartes, breaking up the legions and limiting them to chapters of roughly a thousand space marines each. The Blood Angels legion was divided into the Blood Angels chapter and several 'successor chapters', such as Flesh Tearers, Angels Encarmine and Blood Drinkers.

Playing with the Blood Angels Army

The Blood Angels are a space marine army, meaning that they are a small force with a better than average stat line. However, a Blood Angels force is typically smaller than a regular space marine force due to several units exclusive to the Blood Angels. They are also a force that favours close assaults even more than regular space marines. Assault marines are classed as troops choices rather than fast attack and all vehicles using the Rhino chassis are fast vehicles, meaning they can move up to 18".

The army also includes the fearsome Death Company, Blood Angels that have succumbed to the Black Rage.The Sanguinary Guard are elite warriors armed with two-handed master crafted power glaives, as well as artificer armour, wrist-mounted Angelus Bolters and winged jump packs. They can take out all but the most powerful enemies.

The army also includes three specialist dreadnoughts:

  • Death Company: Focused on close combat, with the furious charge, fleet and rage special rules, as well as 'None Shall Stay My Wrath' which allows it to ignore crew shaken and stunned damage results.
  • Furioso: armed with two power fists or blood talons as well as a storm bolter or meltagun.
  • Furioso Librarian: can have two psychic powers including the Wings of Sanguinius, meaning that it can move twelve inches.

As well as having these Dreadnoughts, the chapter also uses Stormraven Gunships - these can transport up to 12 marines and a single Dreadnought as well as wielding a twin-linked weapon (usually these are an Assault Cannon, Plasma Cannon or Lascannon) with weapons just above the access ramp (these can be Multi-Meltas or Heavy Bolters.) This configuration is very versatile and deadly as it gives the Chapter the ability to reduce enemy numbers and support them with a Dreadnought and a Stormraven. There is no limitation as to which unit can ride in it so a squad of Death Company can disembark and be supported by a Death Company Angels it:Angeli Sanguinari pl:Blood Angels

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