Dark Angel Heavy Support Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In this section we will look at the Dark Angel Space Marine armies heavy support choices.

The Troop Choices may be the glory boys that claim objectives and win the games, however they do need covering fire to thin out the enemy ranks and take out the tanks and Monstrous creatures. This is specially true if you are splitting your units in to smaller combat squads.

General Tactics

The legendary stubbornness of the Dark Angel army has made them excellent heavy support army. For example it is not unusual to see a single heavy weapon Dark Angel Devastator standing alone passing leadership test after leadership test adding covering fire for the rest of the army long after other Space Marines would have run.

Dark Angel Devastator Squad Tactics

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Devastator SquadI do tend to use the Dark Angel Devastator Squads frequently in my Dark Angel armies. This is because I tend to having more static shooting tactics when playing the Dark Angels. The Dark Angel Devastator Squads add a big punch for the points cost.

The missile launchers can be upgraded to have the flakk skyfire missiles. This is recommended if you are expecting to be facing flyers. Four missile launchers with skyfire missiles make a good anti-aircraft battery and will give your opponent something to think about.

Gun Lines

One popular tactic for the Dark Angel army is to form a Gun Line, or massed long ranged fire infantry men entrenched waiting for the enemy to appear. The idea is to think the advancing enemy down to nothing before they can launch an assault.

Dark Angel Land Raider Tactics

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Land RaiderMy Dark Angel Land Raider tactics centre around one word – ‘Taxi!’. As the Dark Angel Land Raider is not attacked to any squad, you can use it to transport any squad that can fit in and ferry them across the battle field safely, or come and rescue squads that are getting in to difficulties.

The Land Raider has an armour value of 14 all around. This means that you do not have to be so careful about the direction your Land Raider is facing during the game.

Dark Angel Land Raider Crusader Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderThe Land Raider Crusader trades fire power for capacity. This makes the Land Raider Crusader the only reasonable choice for a HQ transport if you have a Terminator armoured squad. Be aware that the Dark Angel Land Raider works out slightly cheaper than the standard Space Marine Land Raider, as the multi-melter is included in the Dark Angel version, and an extra onthe Codex Space Marine Land Raider.

Dark Angel Predator Tactics

Warhanner 40k Space Marine Preditor TankThe Space Marine Predator can be configured either as a anti-tank / monstrous creatures killing tank, as a anti-personnel / swarm army killing tank, or as a mix of the two.

As the configuration of the Predator tank is flexible you will benefit from knowing as much about the opponent as possible before you write up your army list. Usually I go for one of the two special list configurations rather than trying to cover two many bases, to the point where I would take two different Predators over taking one mixed role Predator.

Dark Angel Whirlwind Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine WhirlwindThe Dark Angel Whirlwind is very similar to the standard Space Marine Whirlwind. That is to say that the Whirlwind is an ordinance weapon and uses the 5″ blast template. The missiles that the Whirlwind fires are strength four or five. These do not usually have enough punch to take out armour do you will want to target troops and softer targets.

If you are facing Imperial Guard or Tau gun-lines hiding behind trench lines, then the Whirlwinds are useful tools soften the target before your assault troops wade in.

Note that the armour on the Whirlwind is thinner than the Predator and Vindicator so you may want to take advantage of the Barrage special rule and keep the Whirlwind behind cover as far as possible.

Dark Angel Vindicator Tactics

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.).

The Vindicator is another useful tool to break up gun lines. You do need to get it close to the enemy first, but once it is in position it can wreak havoc in the densely packed formations.


Dark Angel Fast Attack Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack Tactics

In this section we will look at the Dark Angel Fast Attack choices and the Fast Attack tactics.

The Dark Angel Space Marine Fast Attack come in 4 broad groups, the Ravenwing bikes and Landspeeders, the Assault Squads, Jet fighters, and in the 2015 Codex Dedicated Vehicles can now be taken as Fast Attack choices in their own right and with no attached troop units.

Ravenwing units are better on larger tables or with smaller units in a regular 6×4 table.

Assault Squads are good for dropping in behind the enemy lines or to hit units weakened from heavy weapons fire. Like a hit squad.

The Jet Fighter and the Ravenwing Dark Talon are designed as anti-aircraft fighters. These work better in Apocalypse game.

Dark Angel Assault Squad Tactics

Space Marine unit with jet packs

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Assault Squad

The Dark Angel Assault Squad are regular Dark Angel Tactical Marines that have specialised in close assault. This means that they have all the same special rules that the Tactical Marines do, plus they have the option to take jump packs too.

Dark Angel Assault Squads and Jump Packs

The usual configuration for the Dark Angel Assault Squad is to have jump packs attached. This allows them to Deep Strike in to the battle field during the game to wreak havoc where ever the enemy is weakest. I usually play the Dark Angel army as a heavy weapon heavy army. With this type of army you want to soften up the opponent with a couple of rounds of heavy weapons fire before dropping your Dark Angel Assault Squad in to the action.

The jump packs on the Dark Angel Assault Squads are not as accurate as the Deathwing deep strike as the Ravenwing homing devices do not work for the Dark Angel Assault Squads.

One role that is popular for the Dark Angel Assault Squads are to drop them in behind tanks and other armoured vehicles to take them out using the special weapons that the Dark Angel Assault Squads can have, and then finish the vehicles off in close combat.

One issue you will have if you use the Dark Angel Assault Squads deep into the battlefield is that they will be relatively unsupported. This and the fact that they are usually few in number means that they can be easy pickings for the enemy. The way around this is to assault at the edges of the enemy force picking smaller bite sized targets. This may not be as glamorous as doing a death or glory assault on the main force but it will keep your Assault Squad Marines alive longer, and the effect of whittling down the straggling units should not be underestimated specially if they are holding an objective.

Dark Angel Assault Squads Without Jump Packs

WH40k Dark Angel Assault Marines without Jump PacksAnother option is to create a very cheap Assault Squad. You may wish to do this if you have filled all your troop slots and want more foot solders on the table. Another reason is that you can have two flamers or plasma guns ( on top of what ever you give the Sargent ) in a 5 man squad. This can create a cheep kill squad. The main reason I do this though is because I want to field a Demi-squad and for this you must have an Assault squad in the line-up, but jump troops do not fit in with my general strategy.

Assault Marines without jump packs can be given Dedicated transport. A drop pod is an option but jetpacks are better for deep striking and fast movement later in the game. I favourite dedicated transport are Razorbacks for 5 man squads and Rhinos for 10 man squads. The heavy weapon on the Razorback is great for infantry support.

Ravenwing Attack Bike Squadron

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack TacticsThe Dark Angel Attack Squadron consists of a number of Dark Angel Space Marine Bikes, up to one Attack Bike and if you max out the Space Marine bikes, you can take a Land Speeder too. This means that you can have a full task force in one Fast Attack option.

The Dark Angel Space Marine bikes are similar to Codex Space Marine bikes in the way that they work best when there a fair amount of clear space on the gaming table. If the table is too cramped, they foot slogging troops will be able to pen in and take down your pricey bike squadron.

If you do get the space then you want use the Attack Squadron to harass the edges of the enemy forces or if possible take some pot shots at the back of some enemy tanks where the armour is weakest, specially if the Attack Bike Squadron are packing some special weapons.

Attack Squadron strength and weapons

Attack Squadron bikers pack twin linked bolters on the bikes and a bolt pistol as a side arm. The bolt pistol can be traded in for a chain sword, as the bolt pistol can be used as an AP3 assault weapon too, this looks like a poor trade.

Ravenwing Attack Squadrons as troop choices

Ravenwing Bike Squads can no longer be taken as troop choices, however if you wish to field a Ravenwing only army you can be fielding a Ravenwing Attack formation ( page 142 ) or a Ravenwing Strike Force ( page 159).

Ravenwing Support Squadron

Fast Attack and scouting units frequently need some heavy support. In the Dark Angel Army, this is the role best suited to the Land Speeder.

The land speeder can be equipped with a number of different weapon options. What will be the best option will depend on the enemy that you face.

Ravenwing Black Knight Tactics

Ravenwing Black Knights are elite Ravenwing Bike Squads.

Ravenwing Darkshroud

The Ravenwing Dark Shroud is a skimmer that provides moving cover for the units around it.

Nephlim Jetfighter

Since the 7th edition of the Warhammer 40k rulebook. All flyers now get the Skyfire special rule. This means that the Dark Talon has become quite respectable as a anti-flyer & flying monstrous creature fighter

Nephlim Jetfighters are flyers so they are they are difficult to shoot down unless someone has skyfire special rules and then they get vulnerable quickly.

Flyers without the skimmer special rule are difficult to control over a 6 x 4 foot table. If you are not familiar with how flyers move, then you may want to get some flying hours  in before your first big battle using one.

Ravenwing Dark Talon

The Dark Angel Ravenwing Dark Talon is a new addition to the 2013 Dark Angel codex. Designed to by a anti-infantry flyer the Dark Talon is armed with Heavy Bolters and Rift Cannon.

Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rhino

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rhino troop transporter.

Rhino APCs are very basic 10 man personnel carriers. Armed with nothing more than a Storm Bolter, the Rhino is a taxi to ferry your tactical squads in to, and out of danger.

As tanks go the Rhino has thin armour. Don’t expect them to stand up to too much anti-tank fire.  While it is around the Rhino can act as line of sight cover for units down range.

 Razerback Armoured Personnel Carrier

If you want to trade carrying capacity for fire power then the Razerback APC could be the vehicle for you. Razerback can carry a squad of 5 Marines and a HQ character in power armour. This makes Command Squads spring to mind. Other options could be a six man tactical squad. My favourite is to use the Razerbacks to ferry 5 man Assault teams into action and back them up with some close infantry support.

Also buy: Discount Space Marine Razerback APC Tanks from Element Games


Dark Angel Troop Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault Waepons

In this section we will look at the Dark Angel troop choices an their tactics. Now don’t get too exited by the choice of troop choices, there are only two – the Dark Angel Tactical Squad, and the Dark Angel Scout Squad!

The advantage of only having two troop choices is that it is really easy to pick and choose what units you want in your lineup. If you want infiltrating units to capture forward objectives, choose the scout squads. For everything else choose the tactical squads!

Dark Angel Tactical Squad

The tactical squads are the Dark Angel army. This is because they are both resilient and tactically flexible. With the 2013 the tactical squads have become more tactically flexible than they have been for a long time.

The first and most radical return to previous Codexes is the ability to have heavy weapons in a 5 man squad again. As Dark Angels are so stubborn they work as 5 man squads much better than other Space Marine chapters.

The next big change over the 2007 Dark Angel codex is that you can have any number of marines in a Tactical squad from 5 to 10. This is the same way that the Codex Ultramarines Space Marine Tactical units can. This means that you have much more control over the unit size you field.

The case for 10 man units and Combat Squads

10 man Dark Angel Tactical Squads can be split in to two 5 man squads at he start of the game. What works well is the split the Veteran Sargent and close combat weapon in to one group, and the heavy weapon in to the second group. This gives you two specialist squads.

You split up the Combat Squad as you deploy the units. This is to allow you to place one combat squad in reserve at the start of the game and the other on the table. This means that you can set the heavy weapon half of the squad is a strategic location. Have the close combat half come in later maybe in a Rhino to allow the unit to move around the table quickly.

The cost of individual marines is one point cheaper than the Codex Space Marines. However you need to payfor the special weapons and heavy weapons separately. The end result is that a 10 man squad with Missile Launcher and Flamer and veteran sergeant both come to the same points cost.

The Case for a 5 man Tactical Squads

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault WaeponsThe 5 man Dark Angel squad can have a veteran sergeant and a heavy weapon. Also the veteran sergeant has access to a wider range of weapons from the Dark Angel armoury. This means that if you arm the veteran sergeant with a storm bolter, you have the chance to field a large amount of fire power per squad. If there are no large mast marker weapons around, you can form your units in to a blistering amount ranged weapon fire.

Tactical Squad Special Rule: Grim Resolve

Other than the usual Space Maine special rule, ‘ .. And they know no fear ‘ and ‘ Combat Squads ‘ the Dark Angel Tactical Squads also have the ‘ Grim Resolve ‘ special rules.

The ‘ Grim Resolve ‘ special rule gives the Dark Angel Tactical squad Stubborn special rule and an inability to fail moral tests. The inability to fail moral tests means that you will need to be careful which fights you pick for close combat. If you end up fighting a creature or Dreadnought that you can not beat, or only have a slim chance of beating. This is specially true if you are using smaller squads or combat squads.

The flip side of this special rule is that the Dark Angel Tactical squad gets the ‘ Stubborn ‘ special rule. This means that if you loose a close combat round you will still roll against the Tactical Squad’s full leadership of Ld8 or Ld9. This is turn means that the Dark Angel Tactical Squads will hang around in the fight longer even if they are out numbered.

The other ability that the Grim Resolve special rule gives is the ability to fire weapons at BS5 on overwatch. This means that you will be hitting and killing twice as many incoming close combat attackers than most other forces. This will give you quite an advantage if you can get the enemy to come to you, for example if you are sitting on an objective marker. Be careful though, Dark Angels are ok in close combat, but not close
combat specialists. This means that you will want to thin out the enemy ranks before they get to you!

Tactical Squad Transport options

The Dark Angel Tactical Squad has three transport options that can be assigned to the squad, and the option to use a Land Raider that can be assigned to a separate Heavy Support choice.

Dark Angel Scout Squad Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Scout SquadScouts are trainee Tactical Marines, only being a couple of hundred of years old. What they are missing in the Power Armour that the Tactical Marines, this means that they are not able to shrug off incoming fire and close combat attacks.

The lighter armour does mean that they do benefit from being in cover much more than the Dark Angel Tactical Marines so when you are setting up, or selecting your objectives, is a good idea to keep this in mind.


On larger gaming tables getting your troops in to strategic locations as fast as you can. In these situations giving the troop squads transport makes them many time more useful that the squads points cost would suggest.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine RhinoThe Rhino is the usual transport of choice for most Space Marine Chapters, the Dark Angels are no different. This is because they are fairly tough, they can be repaired and Rhinos are cheap. If you are wanting to move a unit of 10 around the table then the Rhino is highly recommended.

I highly recommend upgrading the Rhino to have a Plintle Mounted Storm Bolter too. This will give your Rhino 2 Storm Bolters in total, with can offer some useful fire support for your troops.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine RTazorback

Space Marine Razorback

If you have squads of 6 or less, frequently a 5 man squad with a HQ character, then the Razor back may be a better option. This is because the Razor back can offer some heavy weapon fire power supporting fire to the squad they are transporting.

Razorback APC’s ( Armoured Personnel Carrier ) have the save thin armour that the Rhino has, and does not have the self repair special rule.

Drop Pod

Drop Pods are a good way of dropping squads in the battle field near to strategic locations. If your squad is a heavy weapons squad, then this may be near the high ground where they can dominate the battle field. If the squad is a close combat squad, then landing near the enemy unit that is their main objective.


Dark Angel Elite Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Terminator Squad

In this section we will be looking at the Dark Angel Elite Choices available to the Space Marine Dark Angel army, and their tactics.

The Dark Angel army is one of the most elitist of the Space Marine armies. By this I mean that the Dark Angels are able to use a smaller number of more skilled troops. You do not need to play the Dark Angel army in this way. You can keep to a minimal amount of Elite units and more Tactical Squad troop choices. I would suggest trying both and see which you prefer.

Like most Elite army list option, you do not get many slots available for Elite choices, and they tend to be pricey in points. This means that the more you know about our opposition, the you will be able to tailor this section of the army list.

Dark Angel Deathwing Terminator Squad

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Deathwing SquadIf you want a stubborn Troop choice then the Dark Angel Deathwing Terminators show how its done! They are fearless, have are Ld9, and they have the Terminator Armour that is the toughest nonetheless armour available! Also as they are members of the inner circle, they have hatred for Chaos Marines.

They do come with a high cost. At 40 points each basic, you could almost get three Dark Angel Tactical Space Marines or three and two thirds Dark Angel Scouts for the points.

Dark Angel Deathwing Terminators Special Rules

The Dark Angel Deathwing Terminators special rules are different from the Codex Terminators.


The Deathwing Terminators have the ‘Deathwing’ special rule that gives them the ‘Fearless’ special rule. No not worry about passing moral checks, they do it automatically! It does not matter how many screaming Orks they face, or if the HQ is on the table or not, these models will fight to the last man.

Because the Deathwing Terminators Fight to the last man means that they are very good at holding up advancing assault squads. This should give you time to counter strike or clear a killing ground if the
Terminators don’t finish the job on their own.

Hatred (Chaos Space Marines)

The Deathwing Special rule also gives the Deathwing Hatred for Chaos Space Marines.

Deep Strike with Deathwing

The Dark Angel Deathwing Terminators have the option to enter the battle using the ‘Deep Strike’ special rules. This can be combined with the Ravenwing teleport homers to make devastating surgical assaults on key objectives.

The most popular method of getting Deathwing Terminators on to the battlefield is to use the Deep Strike special rule. Deep Strike will allow you to drop your Deathwing units right into the middle of the action. Be careful though because doing this is not without perils!

Mixed Weapons

This is not a special rule pre-say but with Dark Angel Deathwing Terminators there are no distinctions between close combat Space Marine Terminators and tactical Space Marine Terminator squads. You can make any squad one or the other or a mixture of both by choosing the weapons they take. This means that you can have a squad with Assault Cannons, Chain Fists, Lightning Claws and Thunder Hammers. This makes you choices very flexible. As usual keep your opponent in mind when designing your army list. If you are unsure, keep the squad flexible with some close combat weapons and some heavy tank busting weapons.

Deathwing Knights

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Dark Angel Deathwing Knight

Dark Angel Deathwing Knight in Pre-heresy / Angels of Vengeance colours

Deathwing Knights are a new troop type for the 2013 Dark Angel Codex. Deathwing Knights are a close combat squad of terminators. They have a new close combat weapon ‘ Flail of the Unforgiven ‘, Storm Shields and they have one point better weapon skill, and the Deathwing Knight character, the ‘ Knight Master ‘, gets one extra attack too.

Dark Angel Deathwing Knight Weapons

The Deathwing Knights only have one weapon choice the ‘ Mace Of Absolution ‘. This gives the Deathwing Knights a S6 AP3 close combat mace. This means that normal Space Marines will be wounded on a 2+, with no armour save. However the Deathwing Knights are designed as daemon prince killers. To help them do this they have the Hammer of Wrath, Concussive, and Precision Strikes special rules. This means that you can pick out your target when you roll a 6 to hit, and if you do wound then the target falls to I1 immediately and until the end of the next close combat round.

The Deathwing Knight’s Mace does have the ability for a once per game ‘ Smite Mode ‘ attack. This gives each Deathwing Knight one S8, AP2 close combat attack. This may be worth keeping back for killing a prime objective. This may be a Monstrous Creature, Tank, or a character that you can catch on their own.

The Deathwing Knight character, the ‘ Knight Master ‘, gets a souped up Mace called the ‘ Flail Of The Unforgiven ‘. This hits as normal but wounds on a 2+ regardless of toughness. It is also concussive like the Mace of Absolution. However there’s no smite mode for the Flail so so you will have to leave Tank and Dreadnought tin opening to the regular Knights!

Storm Shield

The Dark Angel Deathwing Knights get Storm Shields as well as the Terminator Armour. This means that the Deathwing’s Knights get a 3+ invulnerable save as well as basic 2+ save. This in turn means that cover will not give you much of an advantage other than blocking the line of sight from any heavy weapons.

The Dark Angel Deathwing Knights have another trick up their sleeves too. This is that if a Knight is in base to base with 2 other Knights they get +1 to their toughness. Remember that they get this bonus from all directions. So if you are stuck out in the open it will give a bit more survivability.

One downside of the ‘ Wall Of Shields ‘ formation is that it makes the Deathwing Knight unit a prime target for blast weapons. If a Demolisher Cannon ( S10, AP2, Large Blast) gets you in it’s sights, then the Deathwing Knights will be needing those 3+ invulnerable saves!

Dark Angel Dreadnought Tactics

Space Marine Dreadnought TacticsThe 2013 Dark Angel codex has brought the points cost of the Dreadnought back in line with the Codex Space Marine Dreadnought, previously this was enough for me to drop the Dreadnoughts from my Dark Angel army lists. Now both the Codex Space Marine Dreadnought and the Dark Angel Dreadnought come with a Multi-Melta as standard. If you wish to upgrade the weapons on the Dreadnought the upgrade points cost are comparable too. As far as I am concerned this has been enough for me to bring the Dreadnoughts back in to the fold as far as my army list go.

Venerable Dreadnoughts

The Dark Angel Venerable is a bargain as far as points go against the Codex Venerable Dreadnought. This works out at 20 points or more cheaper. If you have the points, then this is worth considering.

It is worth noting that now armour points have been introduced with the 6th Edition Warhammer 40k Rulebook, that the value of being able to re-roll damage table rolls has been reduced, not altogether removed.

Tactical uses for Dreadnoughts

Dreadnoughts are very tactical units. By that I mean that they are flexible and can be used as heavy support units from a distance, or as a close combat unit in a fist fight. This means they are great units to step in if something unexpected happens, or if an opportunity opens up.

If Dreadnoughts have a downside, its that they are slow. If you are wanting to move a Dreadnought from one side of the table to the other, you may find that you run out of turns before the Dreadnought gets there. This means that you need to be careful with where you place the Dreadnought when you are setting up, and if possible you need to bring the fight to the Dreadnought. You can do this by placing the Dreadnought near objectives that your opponent needs to capture.

There is a Drop Pod upgrade option for the Dreadnought. The upgrade only costs 35 points and gives the Dreadnought deep strike capabilities. Now deep strike does come with some risk, however the ability to drop in this amount of hardware where you need it is very tempting.

Dark Angel Company Veterans Squad Tactics

Veteran Space Marines are Tactical Space Marines Sergeants that have proved them selves to deserve a promotion. Some Veterans stay with the Tactical Marines as Veteran Sergeants, and some leave the tactical squads to form Company Veteran Squads. One effect of this is that the Company Veteran Squads have the same special rules that the tactical squads have. They are +not+ inner circle members so they do not get the special hatred rules.

What the Company Veteran Squads do get is access to a greater range and number of special weapons, and the whole squad has LD9. This means that the squad will stick around a bit longer than you may otherwise expect.


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 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.


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