Fallen Dark Angel Cypher Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Cypher - Chaos Space Marine and Fallen Dark Angel

Cypher – Chaos Space Marine and Fallen Dark Angel

There was one obvious omission from the 2013 Dark Angel Codex and the 2013 Chaos Space Marine Codex, and that was the character called Cypher. Cypher is considered to be one of the most wanted of the fallen Dark Angels that disappeared in to the warp during the fall of Caliban. Since then the whole of the Dark Angel army and their successor chapters have been obsessed with capturing or killing Cypher.

The last time we saw any Warhammer 40k rules for Cypher was in the 1999 Chaos Space Marine Codex. However the Games Workshop servitors have been busy and created the ‘Dataslate: Cypher‘ e-book that is available on the Black Library web site and available for most e-readers.

The Dataslate e-book is about 200 pages long (depending on the read text size) and covers a good deal of background background on Cypher and the rules needed to play him in a Warhammer 40000 game or a Warhammer Apocalypse game.

In addition to the background material and the rules, the Dataslate e-book also contains 6 new battle missions based on Cypher.

If you are looking for a compatible ebook reader, I can recommend the Caliber Ebook Reader. It’s so good I even donated some funds to the project! For Android devices the ‘ Cool Reader ‘ app works well. You can find this in the Google Play app store. Apple users are on your own as I do not have any Apple devices.

If you have the Cypher model, or you are looking to add some spice in to your Dark Angel vs Chaos battles, for example if you have the 2012 box set, then you will find that this e-book addition is well worth the £10.

Cyphers Profile Stats

There are 2 things that jump out at you as you have a first look at Cyphers Profile stats. the first is that at 190 points he does not come cheep! The second thing that jumps out at you is that there are some very high stat scores in the profile. It is these profile scores that indicate how Cypher should be used.

Cypher the Gun-slinger!

Cypher in akin to the old west gun-slinger. He has a BS score of 10 and initiative 8. This makes him fast and accurate by any measure. Add these scores to the fact that he carries two pistol weapons and then add in is ‘ Blazing Weapons ‘ special rule that allows him to use the pistols as close combat weapons and you can see that Cypher is designed to be in the thick of the action on the battle field.

How does BS10 work?

It may be that you have not seen a profile with BS10 before as they are very rare. How they work is that if you roll a 2+ to hit,then you hit ( just like a BS5 profile ). However the roll of 1’s do not automatically miss. If you roll a 1 then you re-roll that dice and on a 2+ on the 2nd roll you hit too. This means that characters with BS10 will hit 35 out of 36 tries. That is 97.22% of the time!

Basically if you manage to miss one roll in a game you are exceedingly unlucky!

How Sneaky is Cypher?

Cypher is very Sneaky. First off Cypher gets Fleet of foot so he can re-roll run and assault rolls.

Cypher also gets Hit and Run so you can try and split out of a close combat mile. I do recommend that you try this at the end of the combat in the opponents round. This gives you the chance to run off or re-assault in your following turn.

Cypher gets the infiltrate special rule. And remember that the infiltrate rule also gives Cypher the Outflank rule too. This means that you have a number of options when it comes to when and where Cypher can start the game.

Cypher also gets a couple of sneaky rules curtsey of the unsheathed sword that he carries. These are the shrouded rule that gives you a +2 to your cover save. This is good as Cypher does not get an invulrenable save. So hug any cover you can and watch out for flamer weapons.

The sword also gives Cypher the Eternal Warrior special rule. This means that Lascannons and other heavy weapons do not wipe out Cypher with one shot.


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 Tank Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderIn this article we will have a look at tank tactics in Warhammer 40000.

Adding a tank or two to your army makes a big difference. As always, don’t over do it. Tanks that are not supported by friendly infantry are vulnerable to enemy infantry. Tank are most useful when there is less scenery, their weapons tend to be longer ranged and line of sight is needed.

Weapon Choice

Tanks often have several weapon choices. Sometimes this is the choice of the main weapon, often it is the choice of secondary weapons. This choice will have to be made at the time you build the tank. Think carefully when building your model, and think about ways to leave the weapon choice as flexible as possible. For example, can you fix the weapons on by Blutac, clips, or magnets so you can swap the weapons as needed?

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderAlso while you are thinking about what weapons to add to your tank, have a think about where they are placed too. Some tanks can have the guns forward or further back. As the range of the weapons are measured from the guns themselves I highly recommend placing them as far forward as possible.

Also buy: Discount Space Marine Land Raiders from Wayland Games

One Target

If you take a tank with several weapon remember that they all have to shoot at the same target. Decide if the tank will have a anti-tank or an anti-personnel role and equip accordingly. A tank with mixed weapons will be more flexible, but one set of weapons will be redundant each turn. If you are unsure take two tanks, one armed for each role.

Ordinance Weapons

Warhammer Imperial Guard BasiliskIn Warhammer 40k many tanks come with an Ordinance Weapon. These are great for making big holes in your opponents ranks, but make the tank less mobile. If you decide to take a Ordinance Weapon make sure that you set up your tank where it a has good field of view.

5″ Blast Marker

Most Ordinance Weapons use the nice large 5 inch blast template. This makes nice large holes in swarm armies.

Move and Shooting Ordinance

You can move and shoot ordinance weapons with the usual penalties.

Ordinance Damage Table

When rolling for damage you get two dice and get to pick the highest. This means that you will get a vehicle destroyed (roll 5 or 6 ) on a glancing hit 20in36 times simplified to 5in9 chances. This means that for every nine attempts you will destroy the enemy five times. When you get a penetrating hit this increases to 24 in 36 chances simplified to 2 in 3 chances.

Tank Formations

As Tanks are big and can block movement and line of sight, how you place your models can make a big difference in the outcome of the battle.

Tanks As Cover

Tanks block the line of sight. This means that if you hide your troops behind a tank they can not get shot (guess and template weapons, excepted). This is great if you want to do a ‘sneaking advance’, i.e. one of the slower armies (Imperial Guard, Salamanders, etc.) need to advance. The counter tactic to this is to use guess weapons that do not need a line of sight. Placed correctly the blast template would hit the weakest tank armour at the rear.

The down side of using tanks as cover is that they blocks the line of sight for your troops too. Also advancing tanks are susceptible to assault by Power-Fists and melta bomb welding maniacs.

Tank cause tank shock

This can be used to scatter your opponents formations just before your tactical squads assault. Yesterday I saw one player tank shock another Space Maine squad that was on the table edge. The squad failed it’s leadership test and ran clean off the table!

Transport Vehicle Tactics

Warhammer 40k Eldar Falcon Troop carrying tankWhen you are using transport vehicles, you should be asking yourself, ‘Why am I transporting these troops?’ and ‘Where do then need to go?’. If you realised that you do not need to move the troops, don’t bother with transporters and use the points for something else.

Common uses for transport Vehicles are for speeding up and protecting assault troops, rapid deployment reserves, ‘hit and run tactics’, and as bait for traps (see below).

Transport Vehicles can also be used as mobile bunkers as half the occupants can shoot from in side. Please note that if the Vehicle moves then the troops count as moving so they can not fire a heavy weapon.

Most Transport Vehicles have quite light armour as tanks go. Bolter’s can glance the Armour where the Armour Value is 10, and a Heavy Bolters and Heavy Flamers can cause glancing hits where the Armour Value is 11.

Also buy: Discount Eldar Grav Tanks from Wayland Games

Blocking Line of Sight

All Vehicles block line of sight. This is great if you want to advance your troops forward. Move the Vehicle ahead of your troops and your opponent will have limited targets to shoot at.

Most Transport Vehicles can be armed with weapons. Imperial Guard and Marine transport can be upgraded to have a Plintle Mounted Storm Bolter too. These weapon upgrades are recommended as they give a use to your Transport Vehicle once your troops have been delivered.

Move your vehicle around to the back of an assault, or through a squad that you are about to assault. If you can cause tank shock along the way, you have the chance to catch that squad in cross fire and wipe then all out.

Keep your Transport Vehicle in the general area of it’s assigned troops so they can pop back in to it and cause mayhem else where as a moments notice.

Bait & Run

Troops with a Transport Vehicle make excellent bait for traps. If you make the target look vulnerable your opponent may well move forward to attack it. At this point you could either withdraw just enough for him to follow you and then counter attack from an unexpected quarter.

If you are playing tactical objectives tanks and transported troops can race in and grab objectives.


Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Chimera troop transpoterSince version 5 rules of Warhammer 40k, transport vehicles can pick-up and drop off other squads (if they can fit in). They can only carry one squad at a time, but it does mean that by investing points in one transporter, you can increase the effectiveness and value of several squads.


Chaos Space Marine Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

Spread Chaos and Mayhem across the Galaxy!

The Chaos Space Marine Army are warped and twisted versions of the Imperial Space Marines. Seduced by favours and powers that the Chaos powers promise. In this section we will have a look at the Chaos Marine Army and the Chaos tactics.

To make sense of these notes or to play a Chaos Space Marine you will need a copy of the main Warhammer 40k rules and a copy of the Chaos Space Marine Codex.

The new 2012 Codex: Chaos Space Marines has been released, and these pages have been updated to reflect the new codes and the 7th Edition of the Warhammer 40000 Rule Book.

General Chaos Space Marine Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine has a number of options and special rules. With an army this complex it is a good idea to get some over all tactics.

Chaos Space Marines and the 7th Edition

The 7th edition of the Warhammer 40k rules have favoured the Chaos Space Marines. The Maelstrom of War missions are forcing the gun line armies to come out from behind their bunkers and give close combat armies like the Chaos Space Marines a chance. Another strong area that the Chaos Marines can take advantage of is the use of psychic powers.

Marks of Chaos

Across many of the Chaos Space Marine units you will see that you can take different Mark of Chaos upgrades. These upgrades are not prices of equipment, but skills bestowed from the Chaos god that the Chaos Space Marines follow. In many cases you do not have to take a Mark of Chaos. They are totally optional. However they do not come free. Each mark will have a points cost associated with it, and you can only have a maximum of one mark per unit. If you are new to Warhammer 40k then I would suggest that you leave the Mark of Chaos skills for now and revisit them after you have played a few games.

If you are looking to use these upgrades in your army list make sure that you know what benefits the Mark of Chaos give your units and choose a Mark that fits in with your over all game tactics.

A suggestion that may help here is to write out the units details on a 4×3 index card, using one card per unit, so that you can refer to the units stats and skills quickly during the game. This will mean that you will be more likely to remember any special rules the units have and this in turn will mean that you will not be waiting points on upgrades that you do not use.

One thing that you do need to be aware of is that characters with one mark of chaos can not join a unit with a different mark. So for example a Tzeench Chaos Lord can not join a unit of Khorne Berserks. This is important because it limits the ability of a character to hide it a unit of troops if the units have the ‘wrong mark of chaos’.

Get up close and personal

There is no doubt about it. The Chaos Space Marines are configured to be a close combat army. What you will be looking to do is get in to close combat as quickly as possible. However remember that some of the armies out there are even better at close combat than you are, so having a plan that can adapt will be the best option.

No Command Squads

One difference between the Chaos HQ choices and the Imperial Space Marine HQ choices is that the Chaos HQ units do not get command squads and transport options. Banner bearers are replaced by personal banners that the Chaos HQ can take. The apothecary is missing though, so I hope you are not needing first aid!

Chaos Marine Unit Specific Tactics

In the following sections you can find tactics for specific Chaos Marine units.