Dark Angel HQ Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault Waepons

In this section we will look at the tactics related to the Dark Angel HQ choices. To makes sense of these notes you will need the Warhammer 40k Rulebook and the Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Codex.

Named Dark Angel HQ Choices

The Dark Angel Space Marine chapter has a number of named characters that have special rules. Be careful of special rule character. Their point values will have been increase to cover these special rule, so if you take these characters and do not use the special rules, then you will be throwing your points away.

Azrael, Supreme Grand Master Tactics

Where is Azrael’s Tactics? I hear you ask ( I don’t, but I can imagine it), well in the 2015 Dark Angel Codex Azrael has moved to the Dark Angel Lords of War section.

Belial, Master of Deathwing Tactics

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Company Master BelialBelial is the master of the Deathwing, and as such his stats are nearly as good as Azrael’s ( 1 less wound ). He does have fewer special rules so the points cost is notably lower. This means that Belial can make a great substitution if you are needing a hard hitting character but you are needing to budget your points.

Deathwing Army

You use to have to have Belial in your army to play a Terminator army list, however on page 141 we now have a formation that allows you to have a full Terminator formation complete with the Deathwing Assault special rule.

Belial’s Strength And Weapons

Belial comes with the usual Space Marine Terminator armour and Storm Bolter. In addition to this Belial comes with a master crafted AP3 power sword, called the Sword Of Silence. This is a great weapon to slice through Space Marine and Chaos Marine power armour. It also is a Master Crafted weapon. This means that Belial gets to re-roll one missed close combat attack each assault phase ( both yours and you opponents).

The Sword of Silence is a great close combat weapon against Power Armour, but it will struggle against tanks, and have too few attackers to handle massed troops like Guardsmen, Smaller Tyranids and Orks. If you know that you are facing armies like this then the Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer weapon choice will be a better option against tanks, and the Lightning Claw option against horde armies.

Belial’s Toughness and Special Rules

Belial comes with Terminator armour. This gives him a good amount of protection from both close assault and ranged weapon fire. The Iron Halo that he comes with improves his invulnerable save down to 4+ too. However all this armour does not make him totally invulnerable. Enough anti-tank or psychic attacks will hack him down. This is why teaming Belial up with a Terminator Command Squad or attached to a regular Deathwing Terminator Squad is a good idea.

Tactical Precision

This special rule makes Belial a superb assassin. He can drop in on turn two to any point on the table, without scattering, with a squad of Terminators, Terminator Knights. All you have to work out is how to extract them again before the enemy can counter strike ( where is a Land Raider when you need one! ).

Deathwing Special rule

It’s no surprise that Belial gets the Deathwing Special Rule. After all he is the leader of the Dark Angel Deathwing.  Having this special rule does mean that he will be extra stubborn and extra useful against Chaos Space Marines.

Grim Resolve

Beilal gets the, Grim Resolve special rule. This is the special rule that gives the Dark Angels their legendary stubbornness. With this special rule you know that Belial will stay stuck in combat to the bitter end, even if you don’t want him to!

Grim Resolve also means that Belial will resolve overwatch shots at BS2. This means that you will hit units charging him 1 in 3 times ( 33% ). If he is with a unit that also has this special rule your opponents will think twice before assaulting you.

Sammael, Master of Ravenwing Tactics

Sammael is the Master of the Ravenwing, the bike and land speeder arm of the Dark Angel army. Because of this, Sammael is one of the few character in the Warhammer 40k game that come with transport attached (instead of being an optional extra).

Sammael has two modes of transport he had choose from, A Land Speeder, or a Jet Bike. Yes that is correct, Sammael is the only Space Marine that can have a Eldar like Jet Bike.

On Sammael On Jetbike Corvex

The Dark Angels have a number of pre-heresy equipment. Sammael’s Jetbike Corvex is one of these relics.

Even though Games workshop have tried to simplify the rules by placing all you need to know on one page per unit, Sammael on the jetbike Corvex is a special rules fest. You need to know all the special rules for jetbikes and all the rules for Sammael, and some of these incorporate several special rules too.

Jetbikes have a number of special rules. The +1 toughness has been added to Sammael’s stat line already, so don’t try to get him even thougher! Jetbikes have a 12″ basic move that can hop over obstacles. They can also turbo-boost 12″ instead of shooting. That’s a massive 24″ move each turn.

If you do shoot then they are relentless. This mean that they fire as if you did not move, great for the Plasma Cannon on Corvex. Also on most jetbikes you can only fire one weapon per rider however Sammael’s special rules say that he can fire two weapons per turn. This means you can fire any combination of the bolt pistol, Storm Bolter, Plasma Cannon, or throw a grenade each turn.

Assaulting on Corvex gives you the Jetbikes hammer of wrath attacks, hatred for Chaos Marines, Sammael’s AP2 master crafted power sword, an Iron Halo for 4+ invulrenable save, and the hit and run special rule to get him out of combat if you need to.

Sammael on jetbike is an independent character. This is important because it allows Sammael to join, and hide in. Without this skill Sammael would be a sitting duck. The trick though is to join a squad that can keep up with him. There are no jetbike squads in the Dark Angel army, so top suggestions are bike squads, jet pack squads, or Landspeeder squads.

Sammael and Sableclaw Landspeeder

If you are looking to give Sammael a bit more punch, you can field Sammael in his souped up Landspeeder Sableclaw.

Sableclaw is a standard Landspeeder with twin linked Heavy Bolter and Twin linked Assault Cannons. As these fire with Sammael’s ballistic skill 5, you will be confident that most shots will strike home.

Sableclaw does not have the ‘Independent Character’ special rule so Sammael will be a single target. Because Sammael will make a tempting target get ready to use those jinks saves, Ravenwing cover save re-rolls, and Iron Halo 4+ invulvenrable saves (no re-rolls available for this).

  • House Rule: In the past Sammael had been able to be joined by a squad of Landspeaders, so we have a house rule that Sammael in Sableclaw can join Landspeeder squadrons like a special type of Independent Character. Remember that you need your opponents OK for this at the beginning of the game to use this rule.

Ezekiel, Grand Master Librarians

Librarians are much more useful since the 6th Edition of Warhammer 40000 than they have for several update of the rules ( 2nd edition really ). Because the Librarians are now much more of a games changer you may want to make sure you have one in your army.

The most powerful psyker in the Dark Angel army is Ezekiel, the Grand Master Librarian. Ezekiel come at quite a points cost though. This means that having a game plan for Ezekiel is important. If you do not know who you are facing, for example in a tournament, then you will need to plan several strategies so that you can pre-empt as many possibilities and have a pre-prepaid response.

Strength and Weapons

Ezekiel gets a master crafted bolt pistol and a master crafted force sword. This would make you think that Ezekiel is designed to be a close combat character. Ezekiel has a BS and WS 5. This means that you should get most shots and attacks to hit.

Beware because Ezekiel does not have any invulnerable saves so you may want to team him up with a command squad or a Chaplain to take up any challenges.

Ezekiel’s other great strength are in is his psychic abilities.

Asmodai Interrogator-Chaplain Tactics

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Chaplain AsmodaiAsmodai is the chief chaplain of the Dark Angel army. He was missing from the 2006 Dark Angel codex but makes a return in the 2013 Dark Angel Codex.

Asmodai is an Interrogator-Chaplin with a few additional rules at a add 30 points cost. As long as you remember to use the additional special rules, Asmodai works out as a good deal!

Warlord Trait

Asmodai gets one fixed warlord trait from the Dark Angel codex, ‘ The Hunt ‘. This means that you will want Asmodai to be present when you assault the enemy’s warlord’s unit.

Inner Circle & Zealot

Asmodai has two overlapping special rules. The Inner Circle spacial rule gives the Fearless & Preferred Enemy ( Chaos Space Marines ) and the Zealot spacial rule which gives the fearless and Hatred () special rules. The Hatred special allows Asmodai and the unit he is with to re-roll misses in the first round of combat. However the Hatred special rule usually states which enemy is hated. What is not clear in the Dark Angel Codex or the FAQ for the Dark Angel Codex, is if the Preferred Enemy ( Chaos Space Marine ) passes this preference to the Hatred special rule too. As this is not clear in the rules, you will need to agree before you start the game because this greatly changes the value of Asmodia if you are playing any army other than Chaos Space Marines.

Dark Angel Company Master Tactics

The Company Master is the standard HQ choice for the Dark Angel Army.

The Company Master is comparable with the Generic Space Marine Captain, and costs the same points. The difference is that The Dark Angel Company Master has one less point of weapon skill, but is fearless, and gains something far more valuable, the ‘Rights of Battle’ special rule.

Dark Angel Chaplain Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Chaplain on Space Marine BikeThe Dark Angel Chaplain is comparable to the regular Codex: Space Marine Chaplain. One item to note here is that the Dark Angel Chaplains are not part of the Inner Circle, so they do not have the same leadership based special rules. They do get the ‘Zelot’ special rule though which is just about the same.

Dark Angel Librarian Tactics

The Librarians are the Psyker of the Space Marine Army. The Dark Angel Space Marine Librarians work in a very similar way to the Standard Space Marine Librarian. The main difference is that they have different psychic powers.

In the Warhammer 40k 6th edition rules the Psykers have become much more useful. Now Psykers get one ( Level 1 psykers ) or two ( Level 2 psykers ) powers from a selection. The Dark Angel Librarians get to choose between the Divination, Pyromancy, Telepathy, or Telekinesis lists. These psychic power lists can be found in the main Warhammer 40k rulebook. If you are new to the Warhammer 40k psychic powers, I would recommend getting use to one list, and expanding to the other lists over time.

Dark Angel Techmarine Tactics

40k-Space-Marine-Tech-Marine-150If you take one or more HQ Characters then you may have the same number of Techmarines in your army. The Dark Angel Techmarines are different from the ‘Codex’ Techmarines in several ways.

One difference between the Dark Angel Techmarine and the Codex Space Marine Techmarine is that it appears in the HQ section instead of the Elite section. This is mainly because the Dark Angels do not have a ‘ Master of the Forge ‘ option. It should be noticed that there is not a Thundercannon option for the Dark Angel army either.

Blessing of the Ommissiah

Dark Angel Techmarines are now as good at repairing Tanks as their Codex counter parts. Dark Angel Techmarines now only need a 5+. Also the Dark Angel Techmarine Servo Harness now adds 1 on to the dice roll like the Codex Space Marine too. Add a couple of Servitors with servo arms and you can think about repairing a sizable number of Tank Hull points on a 2+ .

Does not use a HQ Slot

As noted in the introduction, the Dark Angel Techmarines do not use up a HQ slot even though they are elite troops. This means that you can have two H:Q choices and extra Techmarines on top. You do have to have none-dedicated Vehicles in you army to have Techmarines. The rules are unclear as to if a Dreadnought counts as a vehicle. If it doesn’t I can not understand the rule that you can have one Techmarine for each vehicle in the Elite section as there are no other choices. This might have to be decided by house rules!

Note: Just to add to the mix, no vehicles are truly dedicated any more as transport can be used for any friendly squad.


Servitors are helpers for the Techmarines. They come in two broad types. The first type have servo-arms that help Techmarines fix tanks and have powerfist close combat attacks. The second type are upgraded with heavy weapons. As you can have up to four servitors per Techmarine, this could be a hard hitting close combat unit, or a close support fire base. I do notice that the Plasma Cannons for the Sevitors are 5 pints more than the Devastator squads, so for best value keep to the Heavy-Bolter or Multi-Melta options.


Dark Vengeance Missions for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance Box set

In this section we will have a look at the missions found in the Dark Vengeance box set and how to win them.

Mission One: Rampage

The Rampage mission is more about control than overt destruction. The mission overview and battle tactics paragraph at the end of the mission notes cover this elegantly. One main feature of this mission is that you have a good idea about how your opponent is going to act. This means that you can plan your actions a few steps ahead.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at how we can use the Helbrute’s actions in our favour.

The Movement Phase

The Helbrute will move, and later shoot at the nearest unit. As the mission tactic section suggest you are advised to make sure that this is your cheapest, most expendable unit. For the Chaos army this will be the Cultists ( please note that in all real word cults and religions this is the case too. The leadership care about the Cultists right up to the point where they are threatened, and then the Cultists become expendable).

As the Chosen weapons are the best tools to take a wound/ hull point off the Helbrute, then you will want to draw the Helbrute away from the Chosen so that they can get a good shot at the Helbrute’s back where the armour is thinner. However you should note that several of the Chosen’s weapons have a 12″ range. Using these weapons will place you within assault range of the Helbrute.

Another option will be to have the Cultists with the heavy stubber behind the Helbrute. This has 3 shots a turn with a 36″ range and will glance the Helbrute’s armour on a 6. As half of the shots are expected to miss you are in no fear of killing the Helbrute.

The Shooting Phase

The Helbrute will always shoot at the nearest unit. This should be the one that it was just movingtowards, so probably the Cultists. The size of the playing area means that the Helbrute will always be in range of the bait (Cultists?) in the first round.

If you arrange the Cultists carefully you can minimize the casualties received from the Helbrute’s flamer.

The Helbrute’s Assault phase

The Helbrute will be rolling 2D6 (average of 7) for the assault movement distance. On a 2′ ( 60cm) playing area that will mean that it is very likely that the Helbrute will get into assault.

When the Helbrute has finished dishing out the punishment you probably want to use the ‘ our weapons are useless ‘ rule ( Page 26) to fall back leaving the Helbrute free from combat letting the other units shoot at the un engaged target.

How to make the mission easier

Although this is the first mission in the book, it is not an easy one to complete. If you want to make the mission easier to start off with try the mission on a larger playing area of 3 foot by 3 foot. This will give your troops more space to maneuver in and a better chance of staying out of assault range from the Helbrute.

Mission Two : The long and Winding Road

The first thing you need to be aware of is that the second mission is not about getting your bikes to the end of the course as much as it is about leadership and the effects of moral on weaker units. First you will need to find the Cultists characteristics on Page 16 of the How To Play book, and the bikers statistics on page 134 of the small rule book in the Codex Dark Angels section.

If you have a look at the Cultists stats you will see that they have a leadership score of 7 and 8 for the champion ( Tatchvar and Anarkus ). As the Ravenwing bikes have bolters that will cut though the Cultists, and the Cultists are in small groups of 5 Cultists per unit, it will not take much to cause 25% casualties ( 2 kills per unit of Cultists). And when you do you will see that units with a leadership of 7 will break and run 50# of the time and units with leadership 8 will break a little less often.

While we are looking at the Space Marine bike weapons notice that you will out range most of the Cultists. The Autopistols have a 12 ” range, and the Auto guns can only fire one shot when you are between 12″ and 24″ away. This means that if you keep between 24 and 18 inches away from the Cultists you will be able to get some pot shots without fear of much return fire. You will want to be careful of the Heavy stubber. This has a longer range and quite a kick!

As the playing area is only two feet ( 24 inch) wide, the Cultists will have no problem catching up with you as pass. If you have thinned out the Cultists units before they assault you should cut through them with ease. What you want to avoid is having two or more units of Cultists assault you at the same time.

Engagement One

In engagement one you may find that using the turbo boost to shoot past the Cultists. In turn the Cultists will have one or 2 turns where they can get some shots at you, however the chance that they will
cause a wound is very low ( approx 15 shots 50% hitting – 1 in 6 or 16% of these wounding, and 2 in 6 or 33# of those are not saved. So 50# * 16# * 33# comes to 2.6# or two and a half wounds for every 100 shots)

Engagement Two

Cultists with close combat weapons are not likely to wound Space Marines bikers any more easily than Cultists with autoguns. However if the Cultists get into combat they will slow you down, so taking a round two kill a few Cultists and hopefully causing the Cultists to run.

Engagement Three

This is the most difficult of the 3 engagements as you will be facing 20 Cultists, some with heavy weapons and the Cultists leaders too.


40k Character Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In Warhammer 40k Characters are an important part of the army. Not only they are they usually better fighters, but they usually have a better leadership too. The leadership score is important to keep the foot troops from running away.

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Characters and Independent Characters

Warhammer 40k Orc WarbossCharacters in Warhammer 40k come in two broad types. Characters are usually regular troops that have been upgraded to a Sergeant, veteran sergeant, or what ever the equivalent is in a none-imperial army. In most cases characters have access to more equipment.  This equipment comes at an additional points cost, so make sure that you make use of the equipment that you purchase.

The other type of character is an Independent Character. These are usually found in the HQ section of the army list. Independent characters often have much better stats than the regular troops and they usually have extra special rules too. When you pick a special character for your army it is a good idea to make sure that you know the special rules. If this is the first time you have used this character you may want to write notes on the army list, or take some queue cards to the game to remind yourself of the characters special rules.

You can find the rules for characters on page 100 of the 40k Rulebook.

Psykers and Psychic Powers

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus Psyker

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus Psyker. These days I use him as a Imperial Guard Psyker.

Psykers have been given a boost in the 6th edition of 40k. Now they are allowed to choose from a number of psychic classes from the rule book, or use powers listed in their own Codexes.

Deny the Witch

The ‘Deny the Witch’ rules have been improved so the you can have a chance to cancel any psychic power use,, and not just powers that affect your units. However if you have a unit that has a psyker in it, you do get bonuses that make psychic attacks easier to repel. This means that adding a psyker in your high value units, like HQ units, does make a lot of sense!

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40k Monstrous Creature Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Eldar Waithlord

Monstrous Creatures are by definition monsters and that stride across the Warhammer 40k battle field crushing everything before them. But they are not invulnerable, There are many tank busting weapons out there that will blow a big hole in your big guys.

Take Cover!

Your Monstrous Creature will be a prize target in your army that will draw a lot of attention and in coming fire from your opponent. You can use this to your advantage by drawing fire away from smaller weaker specialist units that have a specific job to do ( Gain an objective, blow up a tank & etc ). However with this expected in coming fire you will want to place you monstrous creature in a location where it can move, but will have some cover that will keep it alive longer. Being big, there probably not be too many choices available. This in turn means that you may want to place your Monstrous Creature down first when you are setting up, so that you do not clutter up the best spots with smaller models that can be placed elsewhere or around the base of your Monstrous Creature.

Special rules

All monstrous Creatures have a number of special rules. These are Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Move Through Cover, Relentless, and Smash.

Monstrous Creatures can shoot two weapons

This rule gives the monstrous Creatures the ability to become a walking gun platforms specially as many of the Monstrous Creatures have access to big guns, many of these are long range weapons too.

Now if you add in the Relentless Special Rule (p41) that allows you to move, fire heavy weapons, and assault on the same turn, you can see that you can get quite a bit of usability from your Monstrous  Creatures each turn.

Monstrous Creature Movement

Monstrous Creatures get the Move Through Cover special rule. This can catch your opponant by surprise if you are lucky. Otherwise Monstrous Creatures move as normal. If you are moving up the table, keep an eye on the larger pieces of terrain that you can hide behind and gain some useful cover save from.

Cause Fear

Monstrous Creatures automatically fear. This is useful if you are in close combat with an army with lower leadership scores like Orks and Imperial Guard. Not much to this one other than remembering that you have this special rule when you get in to close combat and factor in a possible higher kill rate when calculating which units you are going to use to assault which units.

Slow in combat

The Cause Fear special rule is important to a monstrous creature because they tend to be slow in combat. If you can slow the enemy down too, then you will have a chance to cause damage before your enemy has chance to strike you, or at least get the chance to strike at the same time. If you do not get the chance to slow down your opponent, here are some other options.

Assault smaller units

Monstrous Creatures usually have a high toughness value and a few wounds, this means that they will be able absorb an amount of punishment while it is waiting for it’s initiative round. However this ability has it’s limits so you want to minimize the risk where you can. Assaulting smaller units that do not have monster killing special weapons is a good example of this. Chose targets that you can beat where you can, and use an y heavy weaponry to thin out the ranks of larger units from a distance before you assault.

Get a Little help from your friends

Close assault always goes better if you assault a smaller force with a larger one. One way to do this is to team up with other units to assault a single target. This will mean that you have to focus a percentage of your forces to the one task, so make sure that removing this enemy unit is in line with your mission objectives. This will require the ability to step back mentally ( and physically if it helps), and have a look at the bigger picture before you dive in. Also it may take a turn or two to get the right units within striking range, so a bit of forethought may be needed too.

Flying Monstrous Creatures

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsSome armies have Flying Monstrous Creatures instead of aircraft. I tend to think that Aircraft work better on larger tables and larger pointed games, however Winged Monstrous Creatures can act as jump pack troops too. This means that they can deep strike and move  quickly around the table.


40k Sneaky Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

“Ha! All the Boyz have turned up and those puny hummies hardly got a mods worth together!”

“Look boss! There are some more of ‘um are sneaking in at the back! ”

“That’s no bovver. They’re too far off to make a difference.”

*Hang on boss, there are some more coming in from over there too! ”

“Well let ‘um come. It’ll save us running to them.”

“And there are more dropping down from the sky!” That’s it, I’m off! “

In this section we will look at the Warhammer 40k sneaky tactics. Sneaky tactics include Infiltration, Deep Strike, Reserves, and Outflanking.

Why Be Sneaky?


There are several reasons that you want to be sneaky, but the all revolve around the desire to carry out a task without being killed!

Examples of tasks you may want to perform are; getting close combat troops in to assault, getting demolition teams in to position, capturing an objective or strategic location, and getting out of trouble.

Reserves Tactics

The Reserves rule is a Mission Special Rule (page 94 of the Rulebook). Because it is a mission rule you may be able to use if in some missions and not others. It is best to check the rules of that mission.

The Reserves rule allows you to bring units on the table after start of the game. At first this may look like a disadvantage, and in some missions that is how it is used, forcing a bulk of your army to come in on reserves means that they are not there, shooting, assaulting from the start.

Reserves do not usually come in on the first turn. Some units have special rules that does allow first turn entry. The Space Marine Droppods are an example of this.

Remember that if you end a turn with no models on the table you automatically lose, even if you have reserves or on-going reserves. This means that if you place all your army in reserve you will loose at the end of your first turn!

If you do not have Outflank or Deepstrike then the reserve unit comes in on your board edge. This means that without either lf these additional rules the only advantage reserves get is that they can not be shot at on the first turn, and when they do come on you should know where your opponents units are!

Outflanking Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Bike SquadOutflanking is the second sneaky mission rule. This rule allows units to come on the table from the sides.

Outflanking units come on as Reserves, and so they have to make the Reserves roll to come on the table. This means that they will not come on at the start of the game, and may not turn up for a few turns. This may leave you out numbered at the beginning of the game. Also note that if a mission does not have the Reserves special rule then you cannot outflank. In this case you will need to set up your outflank units with your other units.

Outflanking units come in from the sides and they have to roll for which side they come in on. There is a 2 in 3 chance that they will come in on the side that you want then to, and a 1 in 3 chance that they will come in on the other side. This is a high enough probability for you to need to think about contingency plans if the roll goes against you.

Units that outflank can not assault on the same turn they turn up. This means that you will be on the table for a turn and possibly open to enemy fire and counter assault before you can assault yourself, so be careful where you come in from. Be close enough to the action to be useful, but far away enough ( or behind some cover ) to be safe.

Most games are played on a 6×4 foot tables. This may mean that flanking troops could have further to travel to reach their targets than the rest of the army. On 4×4 tables flanking troops have a major advantage. Bear this in mind when you are planning your army.

Infiltration Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer BroodInfiltration Tactics are one of the universal special rules. This means that you get this special rule all the time and is not mission specific.

Deep Strike Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tau Gun DronesDeep Striking allows you to appear anywhere. The downside is that they turn up randomly. First they can not turn up in round one. This gives your opponent time to be ready for your deep striking troops. Secondly you have to roll to see if they turn up. This means that your forces could be turning up in small number each turn, allowing your opponent to kill them off before the next wave turns up. And third, when your troops do turn up they can scatter off course, or even have a mishap!

Deep Striking does need the reserves special rule. So like the Outflank rule, if the mission does not have reserves, then you cannot Deep Strike! Check the mission rules.

If you do Deep Strike you will arrive in a clump, with all the bases of the arriving models touching. This will be a very tempting target for blast marker weapons. As you do not get a chance to disperse in the movement phase, it is highly recommended that you use the shooting phase to run. This will give you a chance to spread out so that blast marker weapons only hit a few of your models on arrival and not the
whole squad.

Quad guns are popular if you know that you are facing opponents that will deep strike on to the table. If you are facing an opponent with quad guns, you may want to target and destroy them before your forces arrive.

Scouts Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Scout Squad

Space Marine Scout Squad with bolters and sniper rifles.

Scouts get a special turn at the start of the game. This can be used to grab a strategic point (building or high ground. You can not use this rule to get in to assault in this special turn, and it will be rare that you get in to combat on the first turn as the games are designed to keep the to sides too far apart at the start.

To get some extra speed if your scouts have a transport option, then you can use it to hurl your troops forward!

Scouts also have the Outflanking special rule. I have covered this above.


40k Close Assault Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Space Marine unit with jet packs

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Assault Squad

Close Assault is where the two armies clash in hand to hand fighting. In this section we will look at the tactics that can be applied in Close Combat.

As with most of the Warhammer 40k game, the sooner you plan for an event the better it will turn out. Here is a plan of action.

In the army list design phase, design your army to have the right size of assault squad or squads, with the best weapons for the job.

In the game, split the enemy up so you attack small numbers troops with large squads.

Make use of assault weapons as you assault. The assault weapon type will not slow you down, and may thin out the target unit. One exception to this would be if there is a danger that you take out all the target unit. If you do this, you have nothing to assault, and may be left stranded in the open.

Assault in a formation that will give the best results.

Have an exit plan. Where are the assault squads going if they with the assault?

What Makes A Good Assault Squad?

There are certain characteristics that make up a good assault squad. In this section we will look at what they are.


Speed is an important factor in Assault Squad design. This can be split in to two parts, the Movement distance and the Assault distance.

If your squad can move across the table quickly then your opponent will have less chances to shoot at them. I include Infiltration and Deep Strike in this bracket.

Warhammer 40k Tyranid GargoyleA squad that has good Assault distance will not be as effective as a squad that has a good Movement distance. This is because you only use the Assault distance when you are in assault range. For example Tyranid Gargoyles (12″ move + Fleet of Wing + 6″ assault) will normally get in to combat before Tyranid Horagaunts (6″ Move + Fleet of Foot + 12″ Assault). Please note that a 12″ assault range ( plus your normal movement) is usually enough to ‘leap over’ rapid fire and flamer ‘kill zones’.


Ok, you could jump in to a close assault unarmed, but as we are on a tactics website, we’ll look at the smart options.

Assault Weapons

Before you close in on the enemy you should have one chance to fire your close assault weapons. Different armies have different assault weapons, some armies like the Tyranids only have assault weapons. When always have your opponent in mind choosing your assault weapons.

Close Combat Weapons

Power weapons are good for heavy armoured foot troops (ie. Space marines), Power fists are good for big tough targets.

Heavy Weapons

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Deathwing SquadYes, some Close assault troops come with heavy weapons. This makes this type of assault squad a very flexible unit.

Assaulting to Enemy to reduce your casualties

When you assault the enemy you will want to do maximum damage to them and the minimum damage to yourself. This can be achieved by picking the right target, and picking the right angle to assault from.

Choosing the right assault target

The best targets to choose for an assault are those units that have a lower initiative value that you do.

Assaulting from the Right Angle.

By assaulting in to the flank of the target unit you will find that you can get more hits in than the target unit can reply with.


Remember that units in assault can not fire overwatch. This means that if you are going to assault with two units, then assault with the unit that can take the heat first ( tough armour, big units etc ), and follow up with your other elite units.


Warhammer 40k Missions for WH40k 7th Ed

In this section we will have a look at the missions printed in the Warhammer 40k Rulebook. The Warhammer 40k Rulebook comes with 36 missions. There are 12 different mission types, and 3 different Deployment Maps.

It is well worth studying the Warhammer 40k Rulebook missions. If you play at a Wargame convections then these are the mission you will be playing 95% of the time.

These missions appear in the hard cover Warhammer 40k Rulebook, and the cut down 40k Rulebook that comes with the starter box set. The mission rule start at page 129.

The Deployment Maps

There are three deployment maps in the rule book, The Dawn of War, Hammer and Anvil, and Vanguard.

The Dawn of War that deploys along the long edge. This will give you the widest deployment area and the shortest maximum distance between deployed armies.

Hammer and Anvil that deploys along the short table edge ( so no different if you are playing on a square table ). However is is possible for a defensive army to set up on the back table edge. This will create a larger distance between the two deployed armies. This is great if you want to create a static gun line as assaulting armies will need to travel further to attack you.

Vanguard Strike that deploys from corner to corner. Small defensive armies can really pull back in to the corners, however larger armies will quickly run out of deployment space. If you can not deploy units when you set up your army then they will be held in reserve. This means that you will not be at full strength on turn 1 and may put you at an disadvantage.

Out of all the Deployment Maps in a convention you normally play along the long edge as it is easier for Wargame conventions where you may have rows of tables.

Maelstrom Of War Missions

The 2nd 6 missions use the Tactical  Objectives list. You can find this list on p137 of the rule book. Personally I like what Games Workshop have done here as it has given the players a reason to get off the gun lines and move around the board.

The best way to play a 40k game with the Tactical Objectives is to purchase the Tactical Objectives card pack from GW. One pack per player works best. One pack between platers works nearly as well.

If you do not have the means to get the Tactical Objectives cards, or you left home without them, you can roll against the D66 table on the rule book. The down side of this is that you could roll for the same objective twice or more ( so re-roll). Another option would be to use a pack of playing cards, remove the aces and face cards and assign an objective to each card. This work specially well if you are just tying out the use of Tactical Objectives in a game before you invest in the GW printed cards.

Playing Card – Result – Type

The following list is for personal use only. All right belong to Games Workshop.

2  – Secure Objective 1 – Capture & Control
3  – Secure Objective 2 – Capture & Control
4  – Secure Objective 3 – Capture & Control
5  – Secure Objective 4 – Capture & Control
6  – Secure Objective 5 – Capture & Control
7  – Secure Objective 6 – Capture & Control
8  – Secure Objective 1 – Take & Hold
9  – Secure Objective 2 – Take & Hold
10 – Secure Objective 3 – Take & Hold

2  – Secure Objective 4 – Take & Hold
3  – Secure Objective 5 – Take & Hold
4  – Secure Objective 6 – Take & Hold
5  – Secure Objective 1 – Storm & Defend
6  – Secure Objective 2 – Storm & Defend
7  – Secure Objective 3 – Storm & Defend
8  – Secure Objective 4 – Storm & Defend
9  – Secure Objective 5 – Storm & Defend
10 – Secure Objective 6 – Storm & Defend

2  – Recon – Seize Ground
3  – Behind Enemy Lines – Seize Ground
4  – Hold The Line – Seize Ground
5  – Ascendency – Seize Ground
6  – Supremacy – Seize Ground
7  – Domination – Seize Ground
8  – Overwhelming Firepower – Purge
9  – Blood and Guts – Purge
10 – No Prisoners – Purge

2  – Hungry for Glory – Purge
3  – Psychological Warfare – Purge
4  – Harness the Warp – Purge
5  – Kingslayer – Annihilation
6  – Witch Hunter – Annihilation
7  – Scour the Skies – Annihilation
8  – Assassinate – Annihilation
9  – Demolitions – Annihilation
10 – Big Game Hunter – Annihilation

Strategic Markers and Objectives

The Meastrom of war makes extensive use of Strategic Markers. these are tokens that are placed on the gaming table. As these are usually placed on the gaming table after you have set out the terrain, and before the players decide on deployment type, it is recommended that the objectives are placed around the centre of the battlefield. This will give you the best chance of snatching objectives as required regardless of deployment type, or which side you end up with.

Ifyou do find that the objective markers are being placed in the centre of the gaming table, then this changes the dynamics of the game considerably, this is because the center of the table becomes much more valuable and it becomes more important to design army lists that can capture, control and hold central objectives.

House Rules

In the 7th edition of Warhammer 40000, just about any unit can hold objectives. In earlier versions of the Rulebook only Troop choices could hold objectives. Only allowing Troop choice units objectives created a need for much more rounded ( less cheesy ) armies. If you are setting rules for up coming games, then I highly recommend keeping the ‘only Troops can hold objectives ( unless the units special rules say otherwise)’ rule.

The Dark Vengeance Box Set Missions

Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance Box set

The Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance starter box set

In the Dark Vengeance box set there are two missions to get new players in to the game.

These are smaller missions using a limited set of the models from the Dark Vengeance box set to help new players get use to the Warhammer 40000 rules. Despite the smaller scale of the missions, the two Dark Vengeance Missions are still challenging. The also include solo play options that help if you are practising using the Warhammer 40k rules on your own.

I have also added an additional scenario ‘ Secure the Helbrute ‘ written by myself in the same style as the two Dark Vengeance box set missions.



Dark Angel Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In The Dark Angels are a dark and forbidding Chapter of the Emporium. They where the first chapter to be created and they have a terrible secret that they absolutely must hide. A result of this the Dark Angels display traits not seen in other chapters. The main one is their  legendary stubbornness.

When you face a Dark Angel force you know that they will fight to the last man. This army is perfect for the more calculating clinical player. Because of this the Dark Angels are considered as boring by the more flamboyant players. Do not be put off by this, if you keep an even head then you will win more games than all the other chapters put together.

The Dark Angel codex is the complete rules to use the Dark Angel Space Marine army. You need the main rule book, but it is not an add-on to the main Space Marine Codex as it has been in the past.

If you are playing a Dark Angel Space Marine army on a regular basis I highly recommend getting the printed version of the Codex. It is far easier to zip back and forth through printed pages then it is to use bookmarks in an e-reader.

Coming Soon: More Dark Angel Formations

General Dark Angel Tactics

An army is not just a collection of individual units. To get the best results you will need to know how to use different combinations of units, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and how the use them together to build an unstoppable force.

Codex Overview

The 2015 Codex sees the Dark Angel units presented as datasheets. This means that more of the spacial rules are presented on the same page as the points cost and stats. The Data Sheet pages also come with a dramatic picture of the unit and a block of background about that unit too. This makes building army list so much easier!

A big change in the army formation is that Command Squads are nor separate Elite choices. This means that you could take multiple command squads, and that HQ units can now move out of the command squad during the game. Do not let this fool you though. The Dark Angel chapter more than any other Space Marine chapter rely on the Space Marine Tactical units as the core of the army.

The Hunt For The Fallen

WH40k Fallen Dark Angel Cypher

The Chaos Space Marine, and Fallen Dark Angel Cypher

The Dark Angels feature in new Warhammer 40k box set along with a Chaos Space Marine army. It is no surprise then that the new Dark Angel Codex includes a number of special rules that give  you an advantage if you are fighting a Chaos Space Marine army. The most obvious of these is that most of the HQ have the Preferred Enemy ( Chaos Space Marines ) special rule.

Legendary Stubbornness

Warhammer 40k Space Marine

Warhammer 40000 Tactical Space Marine in Dark Angel colours.

Dark Angel Space Marines have always been famous for their stubbornness. In the 2015 Codex you will find that most units have the ‘Grim Resolve’ special rule. This rule gives the Dark Angels the Stubborn special rule in addition to the ‘ They Know No Fear ‘ special rule. The bonus of this stubbornness is that the Dark Angels will fight to the last man. This means that the Dark Angel Space Marine will kill more of the enemy per model than the other Space Marine Chapters will. This is specially noticeable if you use the Combat Squads option for you Tactical squads. When you are using Combat squads, the units are reduced to 5 men units. When you have smaller units that the Dark Angle Stubbornness really starts to show. However the downside is that they will not back down from close combat even when there is no hope of winning.

The Grim Resolve special rule also gives the Dark Angel units twice the chance of hitting when firing Overwatch. This is great when you are bracing for and assault.

One key issue with the Dark Angel special rules is that you need to get to the objectives before your opponent and brace for the counter assault. The best ways to do this is to deep strike in, or zip forward on bikes or in Rhinos. It’s usually all rights sending a small force forward as long as you can get some reserves there in 1 or 2 turns.

Also buy: Discount Space Marine Dark Angel Supplies from Element Games


Space Marine Heavy Support Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

The Space Marines have a selection of Heavy Support choices. Many of the tanks are found in this section.

The Dark Angel Army has historically done very well as a heavy support heavy army as the stubbornness of the army works well with the stand and shoot nature of heavy weapons. This may be a tactic that you will want to consider.

Devastator Squad

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Devastator SquadDevastator Squads are squads of Tactical Space Marines that have specialised in the use of heavy weapons. You can have up to four heavy weapons in a squad.

Cheapest Heavy Support Choice for Beginners

If you are just starting to collect a Space Marine Army, or you are collecting on a budget, then the Devastator Squad is the cheapest option ( in cash terms).

Weapon Choices

The Devastator Squads can take a selection of heavy weapons. These can be four of the same weapon, or a mix of weapons.

Devastators with no Heavy Weapons

Yes you can have a devastator squad with no heavy weapons! This may be useful if the want to field more troops that the standard six troop choices will allow (also see command squads and assault squads with no back packs).

In the past you take turns placing squads, and heavy support squads where placed first. It this situation a cheap heavy weapon squad could be placed forward so the opponent had to start 12″ to 24″ further back. This gives you a better ‘Kill Zone’ against horde & close combat armies.

Heavy Bolter

The Heavy bolter is a good weapon against troops and light vehicles (Skimmers and Armour 10 ). It has three shots per shooting phase, so you would expect two to hit. It’s relatively long range means that you can place your Devastator at the back of the table, some where they have a good line of sight.


The Multi-Melta is a great tank busting weapon. It works well on big tough creatures too.

The Multi-Melta is a relatively short ranged weapon, so you will want to set up your Devastators closer to the enemy, or load them in to a Razorback and move to a statistic location to set-up a trap for the enemy.

Missile Launcher

The Space Marine Missile Launcher is a great multi-purpose weapon. It can fire Frag missiles at soft troops, especially if they are grouped up ( Orks, Guard, etc), or it can fire Krack missiles that can kill tough

Plasma Cannon

Plasma Cannons are excellent anti-marine and Chaos Space Marine killers, with an AP2 it knocks out Terminator Armour too. It works better if the marines are bunched up, so do what you can to pen them in to a small area.


Lascannons are the most powerful weapon available to the Space Marine Devastator Squads. Its’ the most expensive (in points cost ) too.

Lascannons have a range of 48″ so you can keep them well back, in cover if you can. Yes I know the space Marines have 3+ armour save, but a bit of cover will help against al those AP 1,2,& 3 weapons.

The Lascannon is S9 so it will cut through T14 tank armour glancing on a 5 and penetrating on a 6. Lighter armour will be cut through more easily.

Thunderfire Cannon

The Thunderfire Cannon is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. It comes as a Techmarine gun platform set and works like with the artillery rules when shot at.

The Thunderfire Cannon has a choice of four rounds it can fire each turn. Remember that you can only fire one type of round per turn, but you may pick and choose which type of round you fire each turn, you have enough of each type of ammunition to last the whole battle.

The Thunderfire has a very long range but it needs line of sight. Its best to place in on a hill at the back of the table.

The Thunderfire fires four rounds per turn. Using the v5 blast marker hit rules you should expect to cover a fair area with blast markers.

Surface Detonation

This is the normal round to fire. It has the highest strength and AP value.

Air burst

The Air burst round has a lower strength but ignores cover saves. Use this against troops with a low armour value. Guards and Tyranids hiding in cover make good targets. Don’t bother using it against tougher armoured troops, like Space Marine Scouts, as their armour save will be better than the cover save!

Subterranean Blast

This ammunition has the lowest strength but a nice affect against vehicles.

Land Raider Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderThe Land Raider is an iconic Space Marine tank. It is very tough. With armour 14 all round it is a hard nut to crack, even in close combat.

Land Raider Special Rules

The Land Raider has a number of special rules that you will want to be familiar with.

Machine Spirit

This special rule allows the tank to do basic operations if the crew are busy or stunned.

Assault Vehicle

The Land Raider is one of the few vehicles that you can disembark and assault from in the same turn. The idea is that you drive straight up to the enemy, protecting your specialist close assault troops all the way, and then they can leap out and assault without being shot at.

Modelling Tip

Build your Land Raider with the weapons on the forward side access points. This will give you and extra 4″ range and also give you the greatest range of embarking / disembarking points for your troops.

Land Raider Crusader

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderThe Land Raider Crusader swaps lighter weapons for extra troop space and some useful frag grenade launchers. The Crusader has lost some of it’s value now the normal Land Raider can carry 6 Terminators ( one squad plus a HQ character).

Land Raider Redeemer

The Land Raider Redeemer is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. It has the same transport capacity as the standard Land Raider, but it is armed with the fearsome “Firestorm Cannon”. The Firestorm cannon is a S6 template weapon, so the Redeemer works best in close combat situation. To help with this the Land Raider Redeemer keeps the Frag Grenade launchers and the twin linked Assault Cannons of the Land Crusader. Together these improvements make the Land Raider Redeemer the best choice for an assault vehicle.


Warhanner 40k Space Marine VindicatorThe Predator is the Space Marines multi-purpose tank. It can be armed for anti-tank (and big things). This was called a Predator Annihilator. The Predator can also be armed to mow down hoards of troops. This was called a Predator Destructor. It is possible to mixed weapon to do a bit of each. This would have been a Predator Annihilator or Destructor depending on the main weapon.

Predator with anti-tank weapons

The Predator can be armed with twin linked Lascannons on the turret and Lascannons on the sponsons. This makes the Predator a very good tank hunter. It is pretty good monstrous creature killer too.

Predator with anti-troop weapons

A Predator armed with turret mounted autocannons, and heavy bolter sponsons can produce a lot of S4 and S5 fire power.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine WhirlwindThe Space Marine Whirlwind is the long range artillery option for the Space Marine army. It is fairly cheap in points cost, but for an ordnance weapon the Whirlwind has quite a short maximum range of 48″ (and 12″ minimum range).

The Whirlwind has an option of two different ammunition types, the Vengeance missile and the Castellan missile. Both of these use the larger ordinance blast template, can be fired without line of sight, and can cause pinning. This means that you are fairly sure to hit even if the missile scatters.

Vengeance Missile

This is the normal missile fired. It is S5 so works OK against troops, but not well against vehicles.

Castellan Missiles

The Whirlwind Castellan missiles are weaker than the Vengeance missile but they ignore cover. Only bother with them if the enemy has light armour. Imperial Guard and Tyranids in cover generally make good targets.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine VindicatorThe Space Marine Vindicator is armed with the Demolisher Cannon. This is a 24″ ordinance weapon. This makes the Vindicator quite a short range compared to the other tanks. This is made up for by the demolisher’s high strength. The Vindicator does work well in semi-densely covered battle tables (city fight and jungle fight etc.).


Space Marine Fast Attack Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack Tactics

In this section we will look at the Space Marine Fast Attack choices

The idea of the Fast Attack options is to get there fast! But get where?

Attack Weak Spots

The main advantage of fast attack squads, is that they can out run most other troops, and most vehicles. This means that Fast Attack squads are gear at attacking heavy weapon squads and sweeping behind tanks to hit their week points.

Support your Front Line Troops

By keeping your fast attack slight behind the front line troops, they are in a good position to counter attack. This works best when your tactics are holding a gun line.

Hold Strategic Points

Some times there is a strategic point in No-mans land that, if taken, will give the holder a great deal of leverage. Fast attack units are great at dashing forward to these strategic points, and holding them until heaver, slower, units can back them up.


Sometimes you have to waive a piece of bait if front of the enemy to get them to move in to a bigger trap. Fast attack units are great at this because they are high value units, that are often away from the main force, and (in a way that is good for you) they are able to get out of trouble as quick as they got in to in the first place!

Assault Squad Tactics

Space Marine unit with jet packsThe Assault Squad has what it takes to be the perfect Fast Attack option. They are fast, flexible, armed close combat weapons.

Assault Squads usually come with Jetpacks. However you can elect to drop the Jetpacks and load your Assault Squads in to Rhinos instead.

Special Rule: Deep Strike

Assault Squads with Jetpacks have the Deep Strike special rule. This means that you can bring them in as reserves and drop them in to the thick of the battle.

Remember that Deep Striking units can not assault on the turn that they turn up. This means that if you land them in the wrong place they could get a lot of incoming fire before they have a chance to assault, so be careful!

Vanguard Veteran Squad

The Veteran squads are very similar to the Space Marine Assault Squads, but made from squads of veterans.

Land Speeder Squadron Tactics

As we have seen, fast attack troops do not have the luxury of heavy weapons. Special weapons sometimes do not have enough punch. It the situations where fast troops need heavy weapon support, the Land Speeder has the speed and punch to back them up.

Land Speeder Storm Tactics

The Land Speeder Storm is the ‘Black Hawk’ of the Space Marines. Designed to get your special ops troops in to strategic locations. This could be any of the roles above.

The Special ops troops in this case are 5 Space Marine Scouts. This means that you not have enough mussel to tack on an army, but you will have the speed and equipment to do assassination runs if an enemy General is caught out in the open!

Space Marine Bike Squad Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Bike SquadSpace Marine Bike Squads have three thing going in there favour, they are fast, they are though, and they have fire power. Space Marine Bike Squads are expensive though. This means that you will not have many of them available, and this means that you will need to plan how to use them for maximum effect.

Space Marine Bikes work well in games where there is a lot of space in the table. Apocalypse games on big tables with a moderate number of models is a good example of this. The space allows the Space Marine Bike Squads to move about at speed.

Space Marine Biker Squad Special Rules

Space Marine Bike Squads have the usual ‘And they shall know no fear’, ‘Chapter Tactics’, and ‘Combat Squads’. Also because they are unit type ‘Bike’ they have the Bike special rules too:

  • Bikes can move 12″ in the movement phase
  • Plus 1 to toughness
  • 3D6″ fallback moves
  • Hammer of Wrath
  • Jink
  • Relentless
  • Very Bulky
  • Turbo Boost

Attack Bike Squad Tactics

Space Marine Attack Bike Squads are noticeably more expensive than a regular bike squads, but they carry a lot more fire power.

As the main weapon is has a longer range you do not need to get so close to the action. A better choice would be to hold back and move around seeking any vulnerabilities that may open up as the game flows. For example has the HQ character or heavy support units left themselves exposed from one angle? Has a tactical location been abandoned unexpectedly? If you see situations like this, this could be a good time for the Attack bike to jump in and give a kidney punch that could swing the game.

Attack Bike Strengths and Weapons

The Space Marine Attack Bike has two shooting weapons, a twin-linked bolter and a heavy weapon. The heavy weapon can be either a Heavy Bolter, or a Multi-Melter. You will need to pick which weapon you are going to use before you pick your army list, and probably when you decide how to build the model.

Scout Bike Squad Tactics

Instead of scaling up a bike squad to be an Attack Bikes, you can down scale them to be Space Marine Scout Bike Squads. For the cheaper points cost, you loose a degree of fire power accuracy, and weapon skill. You do gain the scouts ability to infiltrate and scout.