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So reading through Devestation of Baal, and a few weird questions:

1. Am I supposed to know who the Knights of Blood are, or why they are so hated? There seem to be several factions/sub chapters that have "We don't talk about them" signs.
2. Are we supposed to care about all the "famed" champions of the BA who get killed in a single page? Baleraphon, all the guys on the ships, etc. It seem like if you spend a chapter or two on a single character you expect them to be somewhat special. I had no idea who they were and their deaths were meh.
3. Are the flesh Tearers good guys or bad? They are one of the "We don't talk to them" crowd from point 1, and I don't understand the enmity.
4. Is the red thirst controllable? Like can they turn it off and on? Before he dies trying to 1v1 a carnifex, the captain of the flagship seems to go insane and just turn it on. I thought it was something they couldn't control?
5. Is Mephiston evil? He seems evil. Don't spoil anything but he reminds me of the character in books that always goes "Anakin Skywalker" and becomes evil. The book makes him out to be sufficiently evil at times. The alien in the basement place says he's "hiding a darker secret" than he is.
6. Do BA shun the use of vehicles? It seems like aside from the Battlebarges and 1 Land Raider, no one uses tanks or any type of vehicle at all.
7. Is there a good artist's rendition of what Baal looks like?
   
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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
So reading through Devestation of Baal, and a few weird questions:

1. Am I supposed to know who the Knights of Blood are, or why they are so hated? There seem to be several factions/sub chapters that have "We don't talk about them" signs.
2. Are we supposed to care about all the "famed" champions of the BA who get killed in a single page? Baleraphon, all the guys on the ships, etc. It seem like if you spend a chapter or two on a single character you expect them to be somewhat special. I had no idea who they were and their deaths were meh.
3. Are the flesh Tearers good guys or bad? They are one of the "We don't talk to them" crowd from point 1, and I don't understand the enmity.
4. Is the red thirst controllable? Like can they turn it off and on? Before he dies trying to 1v1 a carnifex, the captain of the flagship seems to go insane and just turn it on. I thought it was something they couldn't control?
5. Is Mephiston evil? He seems evil. Don't spoil anything but he reminds me of the character in books that always goes "Anakin Skywalker" and becomes evil. The book makes him out to be sufficiently evil at times. The alien in the basement place says he's "hiding a darker secret" than he is.
6. Do BA shun the use of vehicles? It seems like aside from the Battlebarges and 1 Land Raider, no one uses tanks or any type of vehicle at all.
7. Is there a good artist's rendition of what Baal looks like?


not sure on most of them, but i can answer a few:

3) the Flesh Tearers are Bad, mainly because they have a fearsome reputation for killing almost everything they fight with or alongside. they are kings of bloodthristy collateral damage, effectively they are the savage side of the Blood Angels set loose without the redeeming "Knightly" side to level it. most of the BA sucessors see them as a grim reminder of what they could become...

4) the Red Thirst is...mostly controllable. it can break though in the heat of battle, and sometimes a BA might willingly give in to it if they feel it might help (espically if they dont think they will survive whatever they are about to try)

5) I dont know that much, but i think they are deliberatly cultivating a "cultured vampire" feel with him, so....yhea. evil, if heroically evil.

6) Offically? no, they make as much use of them as any codex chapter. However, given thier meele oriented lore their tanks get shoved into the background.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
So reading through Devestation of Baal, and a few weird questions:

1. Am I supposed to know who the Knights of Blood are, or why they are so hated? There seem to be several factions/sub chapters that have "We don't talk about them" signs.

Presumably they had their own book or story... somewhere. They don't really add to the narrative, so no.
They do, however, matter at the end as part of the overall horrendous casualty rate that the BA and successors suffered. (Before the epilogue influx of Primaris rendered that all moot)

2. Are we supposed to care about all the "famed" champions of the BA who get killed in a single page? Baleraphon, all the guys on the ships, etc. It seem like if you spend a chapter or two on a single character you expect them to be somewhat special. I had no idea who they were and their deaths were meh.

Again, there's probably backstory on at least some of them. But in the DoB narrative... not really. Presumably <named> people dying matters more than unnamed people dying.

3. Are the flesh Tearers good guys or bad? They are one of the "We don't talk to them" crowd from point 1, and I don't understand the enmity.

They're the 'collateral damage is fine' chapter (in terms of 'defending an imperial city,' if the Flesh Tearers are in charge, most of the civilians will end up dead). From the context of the book, they've been getting better, but mostly they're there to give the grognard point of view on primaris at the end.

4. Is the red thirst controllable? Like can they turn it off and on? Before he dies trying to 1v1 a carnifex, the captain of the flagship seems to go insane and just turn it on. I thought it was something they couldn't control?

They can't turn it off and on. They can, to some extent, just give into it. And knowing it doesn't matter if they can pull out of it (because they'll be overrun) is probably useful motivation.

5. Is Mephiston evil? He seems evil. Don't spoil anything but he reminds me of the character in books that always goes "Anakin Skywalker" and becomes evil. The book makes him out to be sufficiently evil at times. The alien in the basement place says he's "hiding a darker secret" than he is.

Meh. He's a vampire space marine psyker. Of course he's evil.

6. Do BA shun the use of vehicles? It seems like aside from the Battlebarges and 1 Land Raider, no one uses tanks or any type of vehicle at all

They have vehicles, but the focal point of the narrative is a defensive siege. Haley dumped everything else into the background and also ended up skipping over the battle's climax because he ran out of page count.

7. Is there a good artist's rendition of what Baal looks like?

Its basically the wastelands from Judge Dredd outside the megacities (so comics or the Stallone movie version). Or the wasteland from the Fallout games.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/03/06 21:36:46


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It amuses me that most of these questions could also be asked of the previous 'Blood Angels are doooomed!' narratives, Shield of Baal and Red Fury.
   
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Most of these questions can be answered by reading a copy of Codex: Blood Angels from any of the last four editions. Devastation of Baal was written with the assumption that the reader is at least familiar with one of these core works. For instance, the Knights of Blood are a well-known Blood Angels successor chapter that went renegade. Baleraphon has been a commanding officer in the Blood Angels since 5th edition. Flesh Tearers are the most famous Blood Angels successor and arguably on par with the Black Templars for successor notoriety among the community.
   
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To answer your questions:
1) The Knights of Blood are a BA successor that fully gives into the Red Thirst. As they explain in the book they saw it as their birthright and only now after horrendous losses to the Thirst do they realise it for the curse it is.
2) If you are a BA player then yes you probably would know. If you aren't (like me) then they're just names who die but should still add to the grievous losses the chapters of the Blood take.
3) Yes. The Flesh Tearers are the murderous psychos of the BA lineage. Many Imperials refuse to fight alongside them. But, their arc in the book is that they realise they can't just submit to the Thirst and the Rage because as seen with the Knights it leads nowhere good.
4) The Thirst is controllable depending on the Astartes. Dante notes he hasn't drunk blood in something like 5 years and he starts to notice the effects of withdrawal.
5) Mephiston is a "good guy". He beat the Black Rage and is hated because of this and his powerful psychic powers.
6) Baal was a pretty big battle. It's better narratively to focus on characters and infantry because it's more personal and more likely to get up close and visceral.
7) Not really, which is surprising tbh. It's pretty much just a big radiated desert so play Fallout and you'll get a rough idea.

As with any chapter-specific book, basic knowledge is assumed so it's not expected for you to get every reference.
   
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The Dante book that Guy Haley wrote gives a pretty decent ground-level view of Baal, from the perspective of a pre-aspirant Dante.

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This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
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Dante just decribes it as essentially Arakas from Dune. Constant radiation filled desert due to rampant atomics use in a generations gone war. I honestly just want to see the capitol that the BA call a palace. Apparently it's not as big as a hive, but fits an entire legion of Astartes? How?
   
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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
Dante just decribes it as essentially Arakas from Dune. Constant radiation filled desert due to rampant atomics use in a generations gone war. I honestly just want to see the capitol that the BA call a palace. Apparently it's not as big as a hive, but fits an entire legion of Astartes? How?


Most of the Legions were about 100,000-150,000 or so. The biggest 250,000. You don't need a hive city for that
The BA 'legion' was about 120,000- that's about the population of Hartford, Connecticut or Athens, Ga; definitely C-tier modern cities. Triple that pop for chapter/legion serfs, and you're talking Colorado Springs or not quite Miami. LA or NYC would be able to house all the legions (though maybe not all the serfs)

And no, Dune isn't radiation-filled at all.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/03/07 05:34:54


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As a kid Baal seemed to me to be a mix of stuff from the Cursed Earth in Judge Dredd to Nu Earth from Rogue Trooper.

Modern conceptions probably include some fallout inspired bits.

Baal and the nature of Blood Angels recruitment was definitely the most interesting thing about the chapter to me when I started in 2e. Sad to hear that they've sort of trashed all of that in the new version of the game.

   
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How have they trashed the BA recruitment or Baal?
If anything Baal is now even more dangerous because Nids' stay around like Orks after an invasion. It's also now cut off from the wider Imperium.
The recruitment stays the same AFAIK. You still have to beat the initiate challenges to become an aspirant. There's one instance where the cripple in Devastation gets picked but that's a case of necessity after 20 odd chapters get brought to near extinction. Not all new recruits have to be Primaris but the majority are because a Primaris Marine is better than a firstborn.
   
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My understanding of the Red Thirst is that it's a bit like addiction in real life. Like how a smoker can control whether they have a cigarette, but it's much harder to control wanting a cigarette.

The Flesh Tearers are "bad" because when they fight they tend to kill and kill and kill and collateral damage is high.

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 Gert wrote:
How have they trashed the BA recruitment or Baal?


One of the moons (Baal Prime) is now entirely depopulated. The nids over-ran it, and then Ka'Bandha and his goons randomly showed up and wiped them all out and made a giant rune out of their skulls (which was then blasted from orbit).
Baal itself and Baal Secundus aren't in great shape either.

But AFAIK, all new recruits will be Primaris. There isn't any reason not to, and Roboute left them new pods just for that purpose.

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Robute made Dante the lord of dark half of the Galaxy or something. Basically he made Dante a second Gman and now Gman can make imperial decrees and run his part of the universe how he sees fit. All for being just such a aww gee shucks nice vampire space monster with a metal face. Guy Haley kinda dropped the ball on the ending with this book. It was great up until the final third and then he must have realized he had a character limit and was just "And they all lived happily ever after, the END".

Not enough Furioso Dreadnaughts or Baal Predators, 3/10.
   
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Spoiler:
Voss wrote:
 Gert wrote:
How have they trashed the BA recruitment or Baal?


One of the moons (Baal Prime) is now entirely depopulated. The nids over-ran it, and then Ka'Bandha and his goons randomly showed up and wiped them all out and made a giant rune out of their skulls (which was then blasted from orbit).
Baal itself and Baal Secundus aren't in great shape either.

But AFAIK, all new recruits will be Primaris. There isn't any reason not to, and Roboute left them new pods just for that purpose.


I wouldn't say randomly, big warp storm and the potential end of the lineage of Sanguinius at another being's hands (claws? talons?). Kabanda ain't gonna let no bug break his toys.
   
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I would like to add that back in 2nd Ed Mephiston had the same exact stats as a Warhammer Fantasy Vampire Lord, which at the time in 40k were almost demigod-like. Make of that what you will.

And from what I've read the Knights of Blood are an Excommunicated Chapter that, through the Red Thirst, may have fallen to Chaos. They supposedly answered Dante's call to defend the home-world and were accepted as allies of convenience.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/10 13:33:07


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FezzikDaBullgryn wrote:
Robute made Dante the lord of dark half of the Galaxy or something. Basically he made Dante a second Gman and now Gman can make imperial decrees and run his part of the universe how he sees fit. All for being just such a aww gee shucks nice vampire space monster with a metal face. Guy Haley kinda dropped the ball on the ending with this book. It was great up until the final third and then he must have realized he had a character limit and was just "And they all lived happily ever after, the END".

Not enough Furioso Dreadnaughts or Baal Predators, 3/10.


Haven't read the Dante book but this seems like a simplification. Dante is the longest-serving Chapter Master and basically the most revered and well-respected Space Marine even among other Space Marines. He was given overall command on Armageddon as soon as he showed up, for example. Seems like a pretty good choice as regent.

The fortress monastery wouldn't be hive city sized at all. It's probably a reasonable assumption that the entire Legion would never have occupied the place at once so it's not necessary to be big enough to house the whole Legion. It's undoubtedly big but SM aren't exactly big on personal space. At best, a regular SM gets a cell of their own to sleep in and store their basic gear.

As for your first questions:

1. Sounds like the book assumed a bit too much knowledge. The Knights of Blood aren't really that important or prominent as a chapter. They're a representation of what happens if the BA give in to the Red Thirst completely.
2. Nobody really cares about non-special characters, TBH.
3. Flesh Tearers are...unfriendly. They're the "ends justify the means" chapter and the "collateral damage" chapter. They also tend not to play well with others, so their PR is kind of bad.
4. The Red Thirst is controllable. It's basically battle lust and is something all BA suffer from. The Black Rage is the thing that turns you into a Death Company marine and is not controllable unless your name is Mephiston.
5. Yes, Mephiston is likely evil in some fashion. I suspect he struck some sort of bargain to overcome the Black Rage. Even if he didn't he's a super-powered amoral psychic death machine, so probably not anywhere on the "bright, shining chapmion" scale.
6. BA were the Rhino rush chapter in 3rd edition and famous for their overcharged engines on their vehicles - mainly transports. I suspect the reason it appears they shun vehicles in the newer books is because the Primaris line of models has fewer vehicles than the old range and all newer novels are at least partially about pushing the model ranges.
7. Oddly, no, not as far as I'm aware.
   
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 Gert wrote:
Spoiler:
Voss wrote:
 Gert wrote:
How have they trashed the BA recruitment or Baal?


One of the moons (Baal Prime) is now entirely depopulated. The nids over-ran it, and then Ka'Bandha and his goons randomly showed up and wiped them all out and made a giant rune out of their skulls (which was then blasted from orbit).
Baal itself and Baal Secundus aren't in great shape either.

But AFAIK, all new recruits will be Primaris. There isn't any reason not to, and Roboute left them new pods just for that purpose.


I wouldn't say randomly, big warp storm and the potential end of the lineage of Sanguinius at another being's hands (claws? talons?). Kabanda ain't gonna let no bug break his toys.


Its random in terms of the book's narrative. Its hyper focused on Dante, a few token others, and the tyranids, then suddenly at the utter climax of the battle everything fades to black and Kabanda pops in, wipes the board and leaves, then Roboute shows up. Its very bizarre.

Every single aspect of this massive invasion is wrapped up with a bow off camera- if Kabanda is important, you'd think he would have some interaction or screen time, not just be the mop cleaning the set while Dante is unconscious.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/10 15:11:28


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It's not just Gman that shows up, it's like a cavalcade of every Mary sue in 40k history that shows up. The sanguinor, the Legion of the Damned, Cato Sicarrius, 4 legions of Primaris marines, then then Gman, but he doesn't show up in the battle just at the very end of the book. Like, how many lore legends are needed just to fight off Leviathan? It really brings home just how dangerous the Nids are. To beat them it took:

- multiple worlds put to Exterminatus, whole sectors even.
- Every chapter and sub chapter of the BA to gather on three planets even an excommunicated chapter
- The Legion of the damned
- The literal prince herald of Khorne leading a daemon army of bloodletters and khorne daemons
- The entire subsector's battle fleets and imperial navy
- Indomitus Crusade fleet
- Gman and Cato S



And they didn't even win, they just made the Hive Mind go: ok, it's a draw. We'll be back.

The entire chapter and most of the sub chapters are dead, or un-recoverable. But hey, that Feather is safe!
   
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Oh good, we're still using "mary sue".
The Legion of the Damned had been showing up all over the Imperium because it was basically The End Times 40k, that bit has been around for ages. The Sanguinor didn't show up until the last second to save Dante so Dante could chat with Sanguinius. The Sanguinor shows up at the Blood Angels darkest moments, that's his whole deal. The Primaris, Guilliman, and the already returning portions of the Blood Angels show up because the book needed to be tied into the new story. That will have been the brief for the novel, finish your story but tie it into the new stuff. Let's not forget the climax of the book has the Great Rift explode into being which summons Kabanda, rips a hole in the Tyranid fleet cutting them off from the Hive Mind, and in that instant, I believe a decade of real-time passes. Guilliman and Karlean say how it took them years to reach Baal because of the Rift and Karlean feels awful because he thinks he could have saved more of his brothers.
The book pretty much resolves the problems Gabriel Seth had with Dante as well but the addition of the Primaris brings new difficulties and arguments between the two. Yes, many Chapters of the Blood are wiped out but new ones have been created through the Primaris project and some more were added that either couldn't reach Baal in time or chose to abandon their parent chapter.
Blood of Baal goes on to show that despite all the sacrifices made by the Chapters of the Blood, Leviathan is still going strong, Kabanda is out there waiting and the Great Rift makes reinforcements all but impossible.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/10 17:33:06


 
   
 
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