|Space Hulk Assault Terminator Conversion|
In the Troops section we'll discuss the Death Company whose characteristics (non-scoring, full of USRs and tremendously killy) make them strong contenders for the Elite section. In FA a similar case could be argued for Vanguard Vets. In HQs we had the choice of getting an Honour Guard that when tooled up has a great damage output.
This means the BA 'dex effectively allows for very aggressive builds, with 3 elite choices (that in some cases you could combat squad, like the Terminators) and a 3-4 disguised options in other slots. And this is before we get onto double-FOC shaenigans. I'm not implying by any means that this is a good thing to do, just pointing out it's a possibility the Codex offers. So without further ado let's get onto the review:
The Top ContendersSanguinary Priests: The staple unit of 5th Ed BA armies, and I forget about them :p Up to 3 can be taken under one slot (and from there on act as ICs) and provide a 6" FNP/FC aura goodness. FNP is only 5+ but now works with power weapons and plasma so it's not that bad, but FC no longer boosts Initiative and this is massive. Add in overwatch and RCL and assault is a lot less attractive that it used to be *shrugs*
Tactical Terminators: These are the same as their vanilla counterparts but with the ability to get FNP, which in most cases means they are either taking 2+/FNP or 5++/FNP saves against plasma, making them fairly survivable. Their biggest caveat is perhaps their reduced speed compared to the rest of the army, which is likely to be moving 12" via jump packs or 12"+6" if in fast vehicles. And have the additional pleasure of showcasing your Space Hulk models :)
Assault Terminators: The usual suspects for Death Stars. Great damage potential and survivability but it might be problematic to deliver them to the enemy lines, and here lies the issue: you either fork out 200+ points in a Storm Raven or Land Raider, or risk Deep Striking them. The first option is usually taken and such an investment will heavily influence the rest of your list. In other words, this is one of the options that determine the army style, and will not fit well onto them all.
The situational choices
Furioso Librarian: This is essentially a Furioso Dread with a force weapon and a L1 psychic mastery level. Being able to get the powers from the same pools as the bog standard librarian means you can take Wings and essentially make the Furioso Librarian an AV13 Dread with a jump pack (thanks Matt Ward). At 175 is not cheap and will be a top target for your opponent, but could fit well in some army styles (razorspam anyone?).
Sternguard Veterans: These are the shooting specialists in an otherwise assault-centered codex, and could rise in importance if the meta really shifts towards more hordes and foot-slogging marines. As they stand, their considerable damage output is offset by their fragility, so use them well. Some interesting options are the combi-weapons that still allow you to use the special issue ammo, but I wouldn't take heavy weapons as this removes that special ammo.
Best leave at home:
Chaplains: Nothing wrong with the good old Chaplain as it stands, but there are certainly better options in the Elites section. Plus if you want a Chaplain there are good alternatives: a Reclusiarch costs 30 more points, gets +1W and fulfills your HQ requirements; a Libby with Unleash Rage provides Preferred Enemy to a unit, or even Lemartes who doesn't take any FOC slot if you want the Chaplain to lead the DC.
Techmarine: Now this is the odd choice. At 50 points is not breaking the bank but there's no reason why you'd take him. He boosts a ruin's cover yes, but let's not forget that's the same price as an Aegis line. He has the chance to repair a HP from a vehicle, and to be decent at that you need to dish out some more points, making the Techmarine an expensive car insurance.
Conclusion:The Blood Angels Codex has a great variety of Elite options, both in the Elites section itself but also has units in other sections whose characteristics fit the Elites bill perfectly. Death Company, the DC Dread and a tooled up Honor Guard come to mind.
Terminators of both flavours are great options, but have their own issues (speed and transport), and other choices like Sanguinary Guard, Furioso Dreads or Sternguard Vets will fit very well in determined army styles. More often than not you'll feel constrained about being limited to take only 3 units, as they are really good. Not all the Marine armies have this luxury!