I originally intended him to be an ordinary Sanguinary Guard, battling Enemies of the Imperium in a set piece for a painting competition. Halfway through painting, I realised that Sanguinary Guards could not wield Thunderhammers! I really liked the Hammertime! pose though, so I went on painting. It’s more or less complete now, and I’ll be doing the rest of the piece before integrating him for the final touch-up.
Still, it bothered me a little that Sanguinary Guards can’t have hammers. So I got the idea to do my own Optional Rules (opponent permission required) for one. But what approach to take to ‘legalise’ this miniature? Should I just allow Sanguinary Guards to take a hammer for 10 points? Or something else?
Looking at other codices, I realised that the new marine ones have ‘upgradeable’ named characters for certain squads – Telion for Ultramarines, Ajax for Space Wolves, Thawn for Grey Knights – but the Blood Angels don’t!
Some people may argue that The Sanguinor’s Blessing is like a sort of ‘upgrade’ to the squad Sergeant. But it’s random, and the dude HAS NO NAME.
And so Brother Raphael was born. I envision him as a unique upgrade character for Sanguinary Guards. Short Background: Raphael was the Sergeant of Assault Squad Angelus in the disastrous boarding action of the derelict mining facility of Asteroid A729 of the Entrax System. The facility turned out to be the secret hideout of a renegade space marine warband, The Ebony Knights. Raphael’s entire squad was killed to the man, save for him. He ultimately managed to cleanse the place, and returned alone with the prize, a valuable STC template, and took the renegade leader’s weapon, the mastercrafted thunderhammer Rayden, as trophy. It was rumoured that he had help – a golden man-shaped ‘meteor’ was sighted hitting asteroid A729 shortly after Squad Angelus arrived… Raphael himself is tight-lipped about what really took place, but he was a changed man from then on. He had taken on a somewhat mystical persona from the experience, and after a century of exemplary service, was elevated to the Sanguinary Guard with the exceptional right to wield Rayden, because of his awe-inspiring skill with it, instead of the usual glaive. He has been nicknamed ‘The Exalted’ for seemingly being blessed by the Primarch himself with good fortune, and extraordinary good judgement calls…
The stats for those interested:
BROTHER RAPHAEL……………………………………+75 points
One Sanguinary Guard squad can upgrade one of its members to Raphael the Exalted
Brother Raphael WS5 BS4 S4 T4 W2 I5 A3 Ld10 Sv2+
Unit Composition: 1 (Unique)
Unit Type: Jump Infantry (character)
Wargear: Artificer armour, Plasma pistol, Rayden (mastercrafted thunderhammer), Frag and krak grenades, Jump pack
Special Rules: Descent of Angels, Fearless, The Red Thirst
Blessed of the Exemplar: +1 to WS, W, I and A, included in profile.
Speed of Thunder: Raphael’s skill with Rayden is legendary, and the speed with which he wields it is beyond belief. He strikes at the usual Initiative order, ignoring thunderhammer Initiative restrictions. In addition, only in the turn in which he charged into assault, he strikes at Strength and Initiative 10.
Foresight: Inheriting the Primarch’s gift of prophesy, though less potent, Raphael can predict attacks that would have killed him, by divining the method to avoid or overcome them beforehand. He has a 4+ invulnerable save, and once per game, can ignore one failed save of any sort.