Dark Angel Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Edition

Warhammer 40000 Dark Angle Space Marine Deathwing Knight

In this section we will have a look at the Warhammer 40000 Dark Angel army, the successor chapters and how to win more games using them.

To use the information in this section you will need the main Warhammer 4000 Rule Book and the 2017 Codex: Dark Angles or regular access to them.

Introduction to the Dark Angels

Ok, let’s get something out of the way up-front. Even though the Dark Angel army looks like the generic Adeptus Astartes Ultra Marine army, they are not the same and have quite a different style of play. If you play your Dark Angle army in the way that you play standard Space Marines, you will loose!

The next major point is that the Dark Angel army is not one army, but three. There in the Battle Line army with your tactical Space Marines, there is the Ravenwing with the fast strike force units, and there is the Deathwing with the Terminator armoured close combat troops. To win games you will need all three, and you will need then in the right balance.

In the 2017 Codex: Dark Angels you can find the army specific rules starting on page 134.

Dark Angle Chapter Tactics

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel in pre-heresy colours

On page 134 of the Codex: Dark Angles we are introduced to the Dark Angel Chapter Tactics. These are two special rules that you can use if you have a detachment that is battle forged and only contains Dark Angel units. You can find the rules for battle forged detachments in the main rule book on page 240. Basically the Chapter Tactics are rewards for playing a well formed detachment using only Dark Angles ( or successor chapters ). If you can create a battle forged army then the extra rules certainly may it worth while!

Defenders of Humanity

This is a special rule that we have seen (by other names in all the 8th edition codexes. In 7th ed this rule was called objective secured and worked in a similar way. Basically it means that it is easier to capture and hold objectives if you have a Dark Angle only detachment. Not all battle have objectives and objective marker, but since their introduction in the 7th edition of WH40k they are very popular as they force the game to be more dynamic. Before objective marker player use to just form barricaded battle lines and shoot at each other from a distance.

With this rule if you have a TROOPS unit contesting an objective you will win it even if your opponent has more models contesting that objective. As most armies that you will face will be battle forged too this rule does tend to cancel it’s self out. However if you are not playing a battle forged detachment you will be at a disadvantage.

Notice that this ability only effects TROOPS units, not HQ, ELITE, HEAVY SUPPORT, FAST ATTACK, or any other unit type. For the Space Marines it means that it’s effect is limited to Tactical Squads, Intercessor Squads, and Scout Squads. So if you are contesting an objective and you have one Tactical Squad in 3″ of the marker, and your opponent has three ELITE Terminator Squad and a HQ Captain there, you still will the objective even though you seem to be outnumbered!

The Defenders of Humanity special rule boosts the value of TROOPS units way above the actual points cost. If winning games is what you are after, you need to see that you need to place the TROOPS units at the centre of your strategy. In a Space Marine army you will be helped with the ‘Combat Squads’ special rule and Dedicated Transport units. More about those later!

Grim Resolve

This is a uniquely Dark Angel special rule. The Grim Resolve special rule has two parts. The first represents the Dark Angel superb defensive fire control, and the second part represents the legendary Dark Angle stubbornness.

Strict Fire Discipline

Dark Angel Battle Forged Detachments can re-roll 1’s to hit in the shooting phase, if they did not move in the previous movement phase. As I understand it, coming in from reserves counts as moving, so new arrivals do not get this bonus when they arrive.

This bonus is slightly different from the Company Masters ‘Rights of Battle’ special rule. The Rights of Battle allow re-rolls of 1 for units withing 6″ of the Master, and works in the Fight phase as well as the Shooting and Overwatch phases. The Rights of Battle also works even the unit has moved. The Strict Fire Discipline only affects Infantry, Bike, and Dreadnought.

The effect of the Strict Fire Discipline is that it encourages your Battle Line troops to get in to position fast and stay there. The result of this special rule is that stationary units will hit 7 out of 9 times. This is up from 6 out of 9 for standard Space Marines. This is great except that Tactical Objective based games favour armies that are more fluid. The way around this is to have units who’s objective is to hold the line and some units that will go forth and grab objectives under the covering fire provided and some units that specialise in close combat. Enter the Ravenwing and Deathwing!

Dark Angle Stratagems

On page 135 of the 2017 Codex: Dark Angels you can find 26 stratagems for the Dark Angel army. This a good number of stratagems for a single army.

Battle Line Dark Angel Units

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault WaeponsYou won’t find references to Battle Line Units in the Codex. Battle Line Units is a phrase I use to identify the rank and file units of the 3rd to 9th Companies. The battle line units will be the core your army.

In the Battle Line section you will find most of the Dark Angle units. Dark Angel Battle Line Units include:

  • Azrael: Leader of the Dark Angels: Lots of toys including a combo-bolted and an area effect 4++ force field.
  • Belial: Head of Deathwing: A terminator armour clad character that boosts nearby Deathwing units to hit rolls.
  • Asmodai: Named chaplain character with lots of toys. He is a member of Deathwing too.
  • Interrogator-Chaplain in power or terminator armour: Beefed up Chaplin. What to use Asmodai if you do not want a named character. Also a Deathwing member.
  • Chaplain, Primaris Chaplain: Your basic chaplain. Not part of Deathwing.
  • Ezekiel: Named librarian character. Part of Deathwing and has lots of close combat toys.
  • Librarian, Primaris Librarian: Basic librarian with Deathwing rules.
  • Master in Power, Cataphractii, or Terminator armour: Senior Dark Angle leaders. Members of Deathwing.
  • Master in Primaris or Gravis armour: Senior Primaris leader, but not a member of Deathwing.
  • Lieutenants, Primaris Lieutenants: The de-facto standard leader for Dark Angel armies.
  • Techmarine: The go to guy to get your tanks fixed. His Servo arm gives an extra Power Fist attack in close combat.
  • Tactical Squads: The all round tactical units that should be at the hart of every Dark Angel force.
  • Intercessor Squads: Bolt Rifle only marines with Primaris armour.
  • Scout Squads, Scout Bike Squads: Light armored that can sneak forward. Scout bikes are where you go if you want two wheels without Ravenwing.
  • Apothecary, Primaris Apothecary: Medic! These characters where part of the command squad. Now they are independent Elite units.
  • Chapter Ancients, Ancients in Primaris armour: The armies Battle Standard Bearer (BSB). Was part of the command squad but is now are independent Elite characters. One last push lads!
  • Company Champion: Veteran Dark Angel with a really big sword and shield. Good in close combat. Useless in a fire fight.
  • Company Veterans: The Elite version of the Tactical Squad. This unit can be tooled up with heavy and special weapons. With careful configuration, these guys are very useful.
  • Dreadnoughts, Venerable Dreadnought, Redemptor Dreadnought: Big walking machines. Can be given big guns or close combat weapons. A mix of each normally works out best.
  • Devastator Squads: Marines with big guns. These units are designed to take the high ground and shoot at anything that moves!
  • Hell blaster Squads
  • Predator
  • Stalkers, Hunters, and Whirlwinds
  • Land Raider, Crusader, Redeemer and Repulsor
  • Stromraven Gunship

Deathwing Dark Angel Units

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Deathwing Squad

Dark Angel Deathwing Terminator Squad

Deathwing Terminator armoured units can be tactical, backed up with Land Raiders they can even be fast, however they are too expensive to field in enough number to win games. For this reason they are best used as close combat troops, and as close combat troops they are awesome!

Dark Angel Deathwing Units include:

  • Masters in Terminator or Cataphractii Armour
  • Chaplains and Interrogator Chaplains in Terminator Armour
  • Librarians in Terminator Armour
  • Deathwing Apothecary
  • Deathwing Ancient
  • Deathwing Champion
  • Deathwing Terminator Squads
  • Deathwing Knights
  • Deathwing Cataphractii Terminator Squads
  • Deathwing Tartaros Terminator Squads

Venerable Dreadnoughts use to be Deathwing too, but this seems to have been dropped.

Ravenwing Dark Angel Units

When there is a need for speed the Dark Angles go to the Ravenwing. Like the Deathwing the Ravenwing could operate as an independent army, and on a large open battle field they would work well. However in the more close confines of the regular wh40k battle table the Ravenwing need to call upon the regular battle line and Deathwing units to go where they can not (up stairs!).

  • Sammael on Corvex or Sableclaw: Fast moving leader of Ravenwing: Boosts to hit for both Ravenwing and other Dark Angles nearby.
  • Ravenwing Talon Master
  • Ravenwing Apothecary
  • Ravenwing Ancient
  • Ravenwing Champion
  • Ravenwing Bike Squad
  • Ravenwing Attack Bike Squad
  • Ravenwing Land Speeders
  • Ravenwing Darkshroud
  • Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance
  • Ravenwing Black Knights
  • Ravenwing Dark Tallon
  • Nephilim Jetfighter
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Dark Angle Codex Released

Warhammer 40000 Dark Angle Space Marine Deathwing Knight

The new Dark Angle Codex has been released just in time for Christmas!

Since the release of Warhammer 40000 8th Edition Games Workshop have been pumping out the Codex army rule books. Now it is the turn of one of my favourite armies, the Dark Angle Space Marines.

In the codex you get the usual fluff and backstories about the army.

“Codex: Dark Angels contains a wealth of background and rules – the definitive book for Dark Angels collectors. Within, you’ll find:

– The First Legion: the origins of the Dark Angels – one of the most famously secretive Chapters – their homeworld, and the dark stain on their history that motivates their crusade of vengeance;
– A guide to the Dark Angels’ Chapter organisation, with an explanation of their constant, obsessive hunt for the Fallen, along with their heraldries and Chapter markings;
– An overview of the Ravenwing and the Deathwing, specialist companies unique to the Dark Angels;
– Detailed colour schemes and heraldries of 8 successor Chapters: Angels of Redemption, Angels of Absolution, Angels of Vengeance, Blades of Vengeance, Consecrators, Disciples of Caliban, Angels of Defiance, and Guardians of the Covenant;
– In the Name of Absolution: a timeline of significant events and battles in the history of the Dark Angels;
– Background and details on each character and unit available to a Blood Angels [Dark Angel] army;
– A showcase of beautifully painted Citadel miniatures, with example armies featuring everything from individual images of models to battle scenes on terrain.”  – WarhammerDigital.Com

Here at WargameTactics.com we are far more interested in the gaming side of the hobby so:

“Everything you need to get a Dark Angels army primed for games of Warhammer 40,000 is in here:

– 76 datasheets containing rules for every Dark Angels unit and miniature;
– Army abilities reflecting the Dark Angels’ methods of war on the tabletop;
– Armoury of the Rock: wargear both ranged and close-combat for use by Dark Angels armies;
– Points values for all miniatures, weapons and wargear for use in Matched Play games;
– Angels of Death: rules for Battle-forged armies, including:
– 6 unique Warlord Traits available for any Dark Angels commander;
– 26 unique Stratagems;
– Relics of Caliban: a selection of 6 rare weapons and artefacts unique to Dark Angels armies;
– Interromancy Discipline: 6 psychic powers available to any Dark Angels model with the Psyker keyword;
– 6 unique Tactical Objectives.” – WarhammerDigital.Com

With the latest Dark Angle Codex the Dark Angles are getting access to all the classic Dark Angle units like the Deathwing and Ravenwing plus the new Gravis Armoured units that we saw in the Index: Imperium 1. On top of this we see that some of the nice generic Space Marine toys have been made available like the Stormraven Gunships and the Stalker & Hunter battle tanks.

There are a lot of good things found withing the pages of the Dark Angel Codex, and I am exited to see how the changes pan out and how effective the Dark Angles are against the other WH40k armies now that they are armed with their own codex.

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Dark Angel Demi-squad Complete

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault Waepons

Just finished stripping, remodelling, and repainting the last core unit to create a new Dark Angel Demi-squad for the Angels of Redemption formation.

The last unit I needed was an Assault Squad, but as I did not really want an Assault Squad in this formation I went with a very minimal unit with just 5 men and no Jet-packs or dedicated transport. As a result I have a 80 point unit armed mostly with bolt pistols. I will probably play this unit as a reserves unit, keeping them at the back of the army until I know where the opponent will strike hardest, and then move them forward to bolster that section.

As the Angels of Redemption can now be deployed as a demi squad they will get the Dark Angel Demi-squad special rules and fire at BS3 on Overwatch. With a 50% hit rate when my units are assaulted most players think twice before launching assaults!

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Dark Angels Librarius Concave for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Terminator Librarian

Space Marine Librarian Psyker in Terminator Armour.

Ezekiel and the Dark Angel Librarius Concave, it sounds like a 1960’s psychedelic pop group to me, and if you think the same you may not be far wrong!

However the Dark Angel Librarius Concave is a Dark Angel formation found on the Games Workshop Black Library site. The ebook it’s self is a small publication that has the formations special rules and not much else. You could print it out on one side of A4 (letter sized) sheet of paper.

The Dark Angel Librarius Concave Formation

The Formation consists of Ezekiel and a small number of Dark Angel Librarians. This means that the formation will fit nicely along side a battle forged formation or a Demi company formation. And you may be able to do this in 1500 points with careful points cost planning. Fitting the Concave in to a 2k game should be easy.

The Dark Angel Librarius Concave Special rules

“On the other side of the Battlefield I could sense Brother Ezekiel and Brother Paul mind link to perform a psychic blast. Now it was the turn of Brother David and I to use our skills.

Brother David was with Squad Delius a few feet in front of me. I was with squad vintners. They where glad of the extra protection my psychic hood gave them. the either was heavy with the screams from the void. So heavy even not psychics could sense it.

I sensed Brother David pick out a leader of the fallen to interrogate. Linking to my mind I opened up my skills to perform the Mind Worm, a skill I knew well but Brother David did not. With this access he reached out to the fallen but the fallen was too far away. At that moment I added my psychic energy to his to boost the range and we locked on to the mind of the fallen. While Brother David when to work opening the mind of the fallen I sensed a ripple in the warp. I was able to synchronizes with the ripple and the Mind Worm held. Brother David continued to unlock the fallen’s mind but then the link broke. The fallen had fended off our link this time and mentally numbed from the effort we needed to rest our minds a few minutes before trying both again. Time to see what a few bolter shells will do. ”

Apart from letting you field more Librarians per game, with all their extra psychic power dice, the Librarius Concave comes with a single special rule that has 3 parts basically you can pick a Dark Angel Librarian from the formation and he can form a temporary mind link with the other Librarians from the same formation within 12″. This gives this Librarian extra powers, but the other Librarians in the mind group can not do anything that psychic phase. This means that you may want to buddy up your Librarians in pairs. This will give you all the special rule bonuses with the greatest efficiency.

Conclusion

If you like to field psykers, and you have a mode to represent Ezekiel, plus another 2 psykers, then you may want to get this Data slate and give your opponent a headache!

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Dark Angels vs Orks Battle Report

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault Waepons

Battle Report – Orks vs Dark Angels

7th Edition 40k, with the 2015 Dark Angel Codex.

The two armies glared at each other on over the city ruins. The once fabulous city sited at the crossroads of profitable trade routes now lays at the front line of the Ork expansion and the refuge of humanity. Holding this front line The Dark Angels stand alone.

Today I had the chance to face my old nemesis Ork Boss Hogan in his bunker where he had created a splendid 6 x 4 city terrain war gaming table. We came with 2k armies and decided to play the Maelstrom of War scenario. The roll off selected the ‘Contact Lost’ Mission.

Richard had his newly formed speed freak army with a mighty custom built articulated battle wagon. There was a Mad Max theme running through the whole army and this just was the crowning glory. Also in the Orky line up was a second battle wagon, several wartrukks, a Nob Bike mob, and some buggies.

For myself I brought a newly painted Dark Angel army made main from the Dark Vengeance box set painted in pre- heresy colours. To this core force I had added a unit of two Dreadnoughts, two Lascannon welding Predators, two more 5 Marine squads, an extra 3 man bike squad, and a Nephlim jet fighter.

During the placement of the objectives I noticed that they where slightly offset to the Northern long edge of the table. As luck would have it I rolled high for first set-up and choose that side of the board. Splitting my forces in two meant that there where two objectives That I could reach at the end of the first turn, and possibly a third objective that a bike squad could reach.

Richard failed to claim the initiative and I went first.

From then on the battle was pretty much decided. I claimed three objectives at the end of the first turn. Deep Strike Terminators landed on a fourth objective in the 2nd turn thanks to the Ravenwing homer’s, and my General and Librarian climbed a tesseract to claim a fifth undefended fifth objective.

Richards Orks did a valiant job of mauling the Dark Angels and retook an objective of the Ravenwing bikes and holding back supporting Dreadnoughts Preditors and Tactical Marines. However with the overwhelming numbers of objectives held and the stubbornness of the 5 man Dark Angel squads refusing to relinquish the objectives until the last man fell meant that  I racked up points faster than he could.

Over all I was impressed with the Dark Angel stubbornness and the improved BS2 overwatch. I was going to field a Dark Angel Demi Company with a BS3 overwatch but it does not allow for the amount of heavy support choices that I expect that I would have needed.

All in all a good game and a lesson on keeping your eyes on the mission objectives from the start!

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Dark Angels Codex 2015 Released

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine
Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Chapter Master Azrael

Dark Angel Supreme Commander Azrael.

Ok, here we go again! The 2015 release of Codex Dark Angels is out and I will be updating the Wargame Tactics Dark Angels Tactics web pages, starting with the Dark Angels HQ Tactics as these have received the most changes, including the promotion of Azrael from the HQ section to being one of the ‘Lords of War‘.

Other changes are that a number of Forations have been added to the codex. The formations are now where youcan find the Deathwin and Ravenwing armies, plus a number of other interesting formations, each with thier own special rules!

 

 

 

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Dark Angel Lords of War for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Chapter Master Azrael

The 2015 Dark Angel Codex introduces the new Lords of War category and Azrael has been promoted from the HQ section to be the only Dark Angel Lords of War choice.

In the Warhammer 7th edition rules you can see Lords of War referred to on page 119. On page 122 you can see how the Lords of War fit in to the Combined Arms / Battle Forged army list.

Azrael, Supreme Grand Master Tactics

Dark Angel Lords of War and Chapter Master Azrael

Azrael, Dark Angel Supreme Grand Master and only Dark Angel Lords of War option.

Azrael is the most senior Dark Angel leader. Because of this he is the most expensive character available, and has the most special rules. Unlike most Chapter Masters Azrael‘s special rules are as much about empowering the unit he is in as it is about giving Azrael more punch. This is quite different from the other Space Marine Chapter Masters and Special characters.

Azrael’s Wargear

Azrael has some wargear. His Combi-Bolter, Plasma Gun is master crafted so the one shot plasma gun a better chance of hitting and not over heating. Azrael‘s

Power Sword is S6 AP3. This means that you should be able to slice through standard Space Marine and Chaos Marine power armour, bur it will bounce off Terminator armour.

Azrael has Artificer armour that gives a 2+ save and the Feel No Pain special rule on a 5+. These are fairly standard and not worth the high points cost. The last war gear item is special. The Lion Helm gives his whole unit 4+ invulnerable saves.

All this means that Azrael is more able to survive a fire fight than a close combat fight. This means that you may want to hold back on Azrael until you have thinned out the enemy with fire power and use close combat specialists like Terminators to mop up.

Azrael’s Special Rules

Grand Master Azrael has a number of special rules. Some of these special rules bestow other special rules on Azrael, so you need to make sure you know what you have!

Deathwing Special Rule

The Deathwing special rule shows that Azrael is, or has been promoted from the Dark Angel 1st company, the Deathwing. This special rule gives Azrael the Fearless special rule and hatred to Chaos Space Marines.

The fearless special rule means that Areal, and any unit he joins do not have to take fear, pinning and moral checks. This spacial rule should mean that pinning weapons have far less effect against Areal and his unit. The downside of fearlessness is that Azrael and company will not be able exit an assault if thing do not go well by opting to fail a moral check. All this means that you will want to pick and choose the fight that Azrael get in to carefully.

One sneaky tactic would be to have an Imperial Guard detachment as an allied detachment. This will allow you to have Azrael join a unit of 30 conscripts. Doing this will create a nearly un-shiftable fearless unit with 4+ invulnerable save and Ld10. Set out in a Congo line, that would create a unit 3 men deep and 33″ wide ( nearly 3 feet wide) or a single line 6 feet wide. Definitely an obstacle to any enemy advance! 

Warlord Trait

If you field Azrael then he will automatically become your warlord. As such you will need to roll against the Warlord table, however Azrael can only one of the Dark Angel warlord traits in the Codex, however you do have the option to pick which one. This means that you can factor in Azrael’s warlord trait in to your tactics before you arrive at the game. Other armies will have to react to the trait rolled at the start of each game.

Summary

As we have seen, Azrael is a tactician and not street fighter. Use him to empower the rest of the army and you will see that he is truly worth of the the title of Dark Angel Lords of War!

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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.

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Dark Angel Ravenwing Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack TacticsThe Ravenwing is the Dark Angel Chapter Bike section. In the 2012 Dark Angel Codex the Ravenwing section has been expanded so that you can field an army that is made purely from Ravenwing units.

To Field a Ravenwing army you need to have either Azrael or Sammael heading up your army. If you have either of these characters in your HQ you can field Ravenwing Attack Squadrons as troop choices.

Ravenwing General Tactics

If you are wanting to play a Ravenwing army you are going to need to be very comfortable with using bikes and landspeeders in Warhammer 40k battles. Bikes have some definite differences to regular Space Marines and you are advised to try out some single player scenarios first to get use to them.

You can find the main rules for Bikes on P45 of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook. Some particular differences you will find:

  • Bikes are fast. They move up to 12″ in a normal movement phase, but you can ‘turbo boost’ to move up to 24″ per turn. On a standard 6×4 foot table, that is a big chunk of table per move!
  • Bikes are relentless. This means Bikes can move & still fire their bolter at full range. Added to the 12″ basic move, this means that any target in 36″ of your starting point is fair game! Attack Bikes are relentless too, this means that with a heavy bolter you have an effective range of 48″.
  • Bikes are tougher than regular Space Marines. They have the same basic armour value, but they are T5. This means that bolters wound of 5’s and lasguns have to roll a 6 to wound.
  • Bikes on the move also get a 5+ invulnerable ‘ Jink’ save. Stationary bikes do not have this extra save, so keep your biles moving! If you go flat out the save increases to 4+, useful if you are charging a heavy weapon position  ( did anyone say ‘ Charge of the Light Brigade ‘? ).
  • Bikes get the ‘Hammer of Wrath’ I10, S4, AP- attacks if they charge in to an assault. Note that this only applies to the bikes that get to touch an opponent, and not to the 2nd row of bikers in a big squad, but it is in addition to the usual +1 attack you get for charging in. You can see the ‘ Hammer of Wrath’ special rule details on p37 of the main rulebook.

Ravenwing Biles get a few additional special rules that basic Space Marine bike squads do not get. Specifically:

  • Grim Resolve & Stubborn. These special rules are shared with many of the Dark Angel units. The Grim Resolve is not good for a unit that you need to keep on the move. You can find the Stubborn special rule details on p43 of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook. Just as well they get the ‘ Hit and Run ‘ special rule too!
  • Hit and Run. You can find the Hit and Run special rule details on p38 of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook. Basically this special rule means that the Ravenwing Bike squads have a change of getting out of combat if they are out numbered.
  • Ravenwing Combat squads. This is like a regular combat squad except that units of 6 bikers can split in to two units of 3 bikers. This means that you can field more bike squads using the basic organization chart.
  • Scouts & Outflank. You can find these special rules on p41 and p40 of the Warhammer 40k rulebook. These rules mean that either youcan see how your opponent deploys his forces before you set your Ravenwing Bikers up, or you can swoop in from a table edge part way through the game.

However Bikes do have weaknesses too!:

  • Bikes do not like difficult terrain. Difficult terrain does not slow bikes down, but they do have to take Dangerous Terrain tests ( p90). This means that too much rough riding will cause casualties! Note that if you assault units behind cover you need to take a difficult terrain test too.
  • Bikes are often out numbered.  A basic Ravenwing biker is 27 points. You can get two basic Space Marines for 28 points, so they get nearly a 2:1 advantage as far a pure numbers go. The main areas thias effects are pure fire power, the number of attacks in an assault, and the ability to capture objectives. The more units  you have the easier it is to spread out!

Ravenwing HQ Tactics

Like any Warhammer 40k army your Ravenwing force will need a leader or two. One of these leaders needs to be either Azrael or Sammael. This is so that you can have Ravenwing Attack Squadrons as troop choices. As Azrael does not come with transport, Sammael is the obvious choice as a leader.

Azrael Tactics

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Chapter Master AzraelAzrael is the Grand Master of the Dark Angels. Because of this you can take Ravenwing Attack Squadrons ( and Terminator Squads ) as troop choices.

Azrael does not come with any transport, and also he works better when he is backed up by a squad of marines or two. This means that if you are going to use him in a Ravenwing army you will need to draw your opponent to him instead of going after them. This may be fairly easy as a high point value character he will attract trouble. However if you place him near a strategic landmark.

Once trouble does come his way, be sure to have a squad of bikers to hand to counter assault.

Sammael Tactics

Sammael is the natural choice as a leader for your Ravenwing army. Better still, he comes with a choice of two different transport options. You can either place Sammael on his Jet Bike, or he can ride his landspeader.

Other HQ choices

Ravenwing Command Squad Tactics

Ravenwing Elite Tactics

There are no Ravenwing options available in the Elite section. The best option will be to take a Ravenwing Command Squad with your HQ, or a Ravenwing Black Knights squad from the Fast Attack section to fulfil this role.

If you are playing a scenario that needs an Elite unit, consult with your opponent to see if they let you take a Ravenwing Black Knights squadron as al Elite choice.

Ravenwing Troop Tactics

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack TacticsIf you have either Azrael or Sammael as a HQ choice then you can have Ravenwing Attack Squadrons as Troop choices. This is the only really practical solution if you want to field a pure Ravenwing army.

Ravenwing Attack Squadrons

The Ravenwing Attack Squadrons where designed to be ‘ an army in a single unit’. Because of this they are surprisingly adaptable and very useful.

Ravenwing Fast Attack Tactics

The Ravenwing have quite a choice of units they can have as Fast Attack options.

Ravenwing Darkshroud

Ravenwing Support Squadrons

Ravenwing Black Knights

Nephlim Jetfighter

Ravenwing Dark Talon

Ravenwing Heavy Support Tactics

Land Speeder Vengeance

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Dark Angel Deathwing Redemption Force for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Terminator Squad

If you want to field a Dark Angel Deathwing army you will want to create a Dark Angel Deathwing Redemption Force. However if you want to field a force of Deathwing in addition to a regular Dark Angel detachment then you can field a Deathwing Strike Force. You can find the Deathwing Strike Force on page 158 of the 2015 Dark Angel Codex.

Deathwing Strike Force Organization Chart

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Command Squad

Space Marine Command Squad

The Dark Angel Deathwing Strike Force has 1 to 3 HQ units and 2 to 12 Elite units. Each unit needs to be either to have the Deathwing special rule or be in a dedicated transport. There is no mention that troops need to have Terminator Armour. This means that the options are open to the Veteran Squads and Command Squads too as long as you stuff them in a Rhino, Razerback, Drop Pod, or Land Raider. Dreadnoughts and Venerable Dreadnoughts need to be in Drop Pods too.

Why field a Deathwing Redemption Force?

The main reason to field a Deathwing Redemption Force is to get a load more Elite units, and specially Deathwing Terminators. Also if you are able to field a Terminator Redemption Force then you get a couple of extra special rules too. The first is that if you team this detachment with a  Ravenwing detachment then you can choose when your deep-striking units come in ( from round two onwards). The second special rules is that Deep Strike troops can run and shoot ( or shoot and then run) when they arrive on the table.

The rules say that all units must be held in Deep Strike reserve. However Elite units like Command Squads and Veteran Squads do not get Deep Strike, so as a house rule we say that all units that can Deep Strike, must.

 

 

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