I have had a chance to finally read the new codex and I have to say I'm very happy. It is really a big improvement over the PDF codex & there are the potential for several competitive builds. I want to design a new army that I feel is in line with the Blood Angels' background, which is heavy assault. I see the ability to build an army that can deliver a hard hitting alpha strike versus the popular mech armies, primarily IG, CSM & SM. Here are some of my initial observations:
• Assault squads are going to be an excellent troop choice. You can pack two meltaguns & an infernus pistol. The Descent of Angels special rule means that any jump infantry squad rolls only 1d6 when deepstriking plus you can reroll for reserves. If you take the three melta weapons it will be easy to pop enemy armor pulling a turn 2 alpha strike dropping several units.
• The Storm Raven can be kitted with extra armor, twin linked lascannon & twin linked multi-melta for 215 points. You can fire two weapons when deep striking the Storm Raven since it has Power of the Machine Spirit. Also the Storm Raven has four Bloodstrike Missiles (S8 AP1 R 72"). The way the rules read for Descent of Angels if you mount a jump infantry squad in the Storm Raven it also benefits from this special rule. So suppose you take a squad of five assault Marines (meltagun, infernus pistol & power fist) and join them with a Sanguinary Priest (jump pack, infernus pistol, lightning claw). Also attach a Furioso dreadnaught (built in meltagun). When the Storm Raven arrives via deep strike you can fire it's twin linked multi-melta and the Bloodstrike missiles at two separate targets. The assault squad can disembark and fire their melta weapons at a third target. The Sanguinary Priest can disembark from the other side of the Storm Raven and fire his infernus pistol at a fourth target and finally the dreadnaught disembarks out the back of the Storm Raven firing at a fifth separate target. If you take two of these combined units that's 10 individual targets with overlapping fields of fire. It's insane and I think this will change the metagame if it catches on. Now if you were to attach the Librarian Furiosos with Blood Lance it just ups the number of potential targets!
• There are lots of special characters to choose from in the codex. In my opinion several of them are eye candy, they look very strong and are but there are better choices. My three top special characters are Astorath the Grim, Captain Tycho (non DC version) & Corbulo. While Astorath is intended for running large numbers of Death Company Marines I think he will actually work better with other units such as assault squads, Honor Guard & Sanguinary Guard. Basically one half of your army will benefit from the Red Thirst special rule; furious charge & Fearless built in is very powerful. Astorath is also very good in close combat with the S6 power axe that forces enemy models to reroll successful invulnerable saves. Captain Tycho seems like the perfect choice for a mechanized list and he has been buffed in a big way. Corbulo seems like an automatic choice as well for mech lists and his ability to reroll one dice will be great to either win the roll for the first turn or reroll for an extra turn following the fifth turn.
• I think scout squads mounted in Storm Ravens will also be quite strong plus they are really cheap!
Like I said above I believe the new Blood Angels will redefine the current metagame. While daemons are another powerful all deepstriking army for whatever reason they are not popular which will not be the case with the new Blood Angels. I expect to see more IG armies fielding Hydra squadrons, starting the bulk of their army in reserve and using the Astropath for improved reserve rolls. Space Wolves will really need their Long Fangs more than ever. Possibly the Khan (Space Marines) will also become more popular since he allows bike squadrons to outflank.
So those are some of my initial thoughts in regard to the new Blood Angels. I'm very excited about starting a new army and probably I will build two, one an alpha strike version revolving around Storm Ravens, jump infantry and dreadnaughts while the other will be a mechanized list revolving around Captain Tycho & Corbulo.