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Warhammer 40K Lore: The Blood Angels – Vampires Of The Imperium

warhammer lore

The Blood Angels stand as a chapter of noble Space Marines with a dark and tragic history. These warrior-monks, known for their nobility and aesthetic sensibility, are cursed with the genetic flaw of the Red Thirst and the Black Rage, which drives them to both greatness and madness.

Origins and Primarch

The Blood Angels are one of the first founding chapters of the Space Marines, created from the genetic template of the Emperor of Mankind himself. Their Primarch, Sanguinius, was a noble and angelic figure, known for his beauty and compassion. Sanguinius was a paragon of virtue and honour and inspired fierce loyalty and admiration in his sons.

The Blood Angels are known for their deep connection to their Primarch, whose memory and legacy they revere. His angelic wings and virtuous character serve as an enduring symbol of hope and nobility within the chapter.

Homeworld and Fortress-Monastery

The Blood Angels’ homeworld is the planet Baal, a harsh and unforgiving world filled with deserts and savage creatures. Despite the harsh environment, the Blood Angels have developed a strong sense of camaraderie and determination, which reflects their Primarch’s legacy.

Their fortress-monastery is known as the Tower of Amareo, a magnificent structure that serves as both a symbol of their aesthetic sensibility and their martial prowess. The chapter’s recruitment and training processes are deeply tied to Baal, with aspirants facing gruelling challenges and trials to prove their worth.

The Flaw and the Black Rage

One of the defining characteristics of the Blood Angels is their genetic flaw, known as the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. The Red Thirst is a thirst for blood that often afflicts Blood Angels and can lead them to act with great aggression and a desire for combat. The Black Rage is a far more severe condition, which causes Blood Angels to relive the last moments of their Primarch, Sanguinius, as he fought against the arch-traitor Horus during the Horus Heresy.

Those who suffer from the Black Rage are consumed by visions of that fateful battle and are driven to madness. They believe they are Sanguinius in the final moments of the Siege of Terra, and they often charge into battle with a frenzy that is both awe-inspiring and horrifying.

Successor Chapters

The Blood Angels have several successor chapters, which share their genetic lineage and some of their characteristics. These chapters also face the genetic flaw of the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. Some of the most notable successor chapters include the Flesh Tearers, the Angels Encarmine, and the Angels Vermillion.

Each of these chapters has its unique character, traditions, and approach to combat. Some, like the Flesh Tearers, are known for their uncontrollable rage in battle, while others, like the Angels Encarmine, maintain close ties to the Blood Angels and their Primarch’s legacy.

Combat Doctrine

The Blood Angels are renowned for their aggressive and assault-focused combat doctrine. They are masters of swift and deadly assaults. They often deploy in drop pods or jump packs, allowing them to close the distance with their enemies rapidly.

Their use of jump packs and fast-moving vehicles, such as the iconic Baal Predator tank, reflects their aggressive nature. Their preferred melee weapons are chainswords and power weapons, and they are experts in the use of flamers and other short-range firepower.

The Sanguinary Guard

One of the most iconic units within the Blood Angels is the Sanguinary Guard. These warriors are chosen from the chapter’s most exceptional veterans and equipped with ornate golden armour, wings, and power weapons. They serve as the honour guard of the chapter and are often at the forefront of the Blood Angels’ most critical battles.

The Sanguinary Guard are revered for their bravery and skill, and their golden armour and angelic wings symbolise their connection to Sanguinius. Their presence on the battlefield inspires other Blood Angels and instills fear in their enemies.

Librarians and Psychic Abilities

The Blood Angels have a strong tradition of Librarians, Space Marine psykers who channel their psychic abilities to enhance their combat effectiveness. These Librarians are often instrumental in countering the effects of the Black Rage and providing guidance to their battle-brothers.

One of the most famous Blood Angels Librarians is Mephiston, who has overcome the Black Rage and become one of the most powerful psykers in the Imperium. His story is a testament to the Blood Angels’ determination and resilience.

Dante and Leadership

One of the most iconic figures within the Blood Angels is Chapter Master Dante. Dante is one of the longest-serving Space Marine commanders in the Imperium, having led the chapter for over a millennium. He is a symbol of the Blood Angels’ resilience and nobility, serving as both a warrior and a wise leader.

Dante is known for his commitment to the defence of Baal and the Imperium as a whole. His leadership and wisdom are crucial in guiding the Blood Angels through their trials and challenges, as they face threats both internal and external.

Enemies and Conflicts

The Blood Angels face numerous enemies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The Tyranids, a ravenous and destructive species, have repeatedly threatened Baal and the Blood Angels’ homeworld. The Orks, with their crude but overwhelming numbers, are a constant menace. The Blood Angels also face the forces of Chaos, including Chaos Space Marines and daemonic entities born of the Warp.

The Devastation of Baal

In one of the most significant events in the Blood Angels’ history, the chapter faced an unprecedented threat when the Tyranids launched a massive invasion of Baal. The conflict, known as the Devastation of Baal, saw the Blood Angels, their successors, and other Imperial forces united in a desperate battle for survival.

The Blood Angels, under the leadership of Dante, fought with unparalleled heroism to repel the Tyranid menace and protect their homeworld. The conflict was marked by intense and brutal combat, as well as the resurgence of the Black Rage within the chapter.

In-Game Representation

The Blood Angels are a popular and distinct faction in the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop wargame. Players can field armies composed of Blood Angel Space Marines, including Tactical Marines, Assault Marines, and Sanguinary Guard, among others.

Their playstyle is characterised by aggressive close combat tactics, rapid assaults, and a deep narrative connection to their Primarch and the struggle against the genetic flaws. Blood Angel players often embrace the challenges of managing these unique traits on the tabletop, making for intense and memorable games.


In the grim and war-torn galaxy of Warhammer 40,000, the Blood Angels represent a tragic and noble chapter of Space Marines, driven by their desire to protect humanity and redeem their flawed legacy. Their devotion to Sanguinius, their aggressive combat doctrine, and their struggle against their own inner demons make them a compelling and enduring presence within the grimdark setting.