My first honest reaction to the new BA codex was utter sadness and frustration.
The cynic in me looked at the changes of tactical marines (and scouts) as the only troops choices as a clear money grab by GW to push their new BA tactical marine box set. GW full and well knows that many 5th Ed BA players competitively stacked their lists with the former Assault Marines as troops, whether in a jump packing army or mechanized list.
However, this change was only the tip of the iceberg for me. Baal Predators moved to Heavy. Land Raiders moved from Dedicated Transports to Heavy for all but terminators. Sanguinary Priests are now HQ, and can no longer take Terminator armor (that makes my 2 sanguinary priests in Terminator armor unplayable).
This completely screwed over my Lamenters army, which now has no troops choices to field nor ability to use my Sanguinary Priests.
It also crushed my Blood Dragons army, which cannot field half the tanks it used to. With 2 vindicators, predator destructor, 2 baal predators, and land raider redeemer all competing for the 3 heavy support slots. The icing on the cake; my 4x plasma gun honor guard squad is no longer legitimate.
I was furious.
But then after giving it a few weeks to think about, I have to say I do enjoy this new codex even if GW was indeed going for a money grab to push new models.
...Because the new codex is genuinely back to BA's core roots. Baal Predators used to be heavy support. Rhino wall rushes with Tactical marines used to be BA's bread and butter. And now they are once more.
I think in terms of power, the codex is spot on. Yes I'm upset I have less tanks to field for my Blood Dragons, and will have to paint up new tactical marines for my Lamenters, but when I update my armies I'll be happy.
Because we're getting 140 point (bare bones) 10 man marine squads with free furious charge, and a free +1 initiative for following the Baal detachment org. 185 points with the fast rhino included. This is a serious improvement, as the same unit would have costed 35 more points in the 5th ed codex and without the free abilities to boot. Other down-costed, mainstay units: predators, baal predators (5 point storm bolters anyone?)... Cheaper librarians, vastly improved captains. Valours edge and artificer armor? Hell to the yes. It goes on and on.
So for all the doom and gloom that came with the new codex, I am actually excited to tweak my armies for the new codex and get BA on the table again. It's like classic blood angels but on steroids.