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

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 Angel Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

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

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

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

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

Coming Soon: More Dark Angel Formations

General Dark Angel Tactics

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

Codex Overview

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

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

The Hunt For The Fallen

WH40k Fallen Dark Angel Cypher

The Chaos Space Marine, and Fallen Dark Angel Cypher

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

Legendary Stubbornness

Warhammer 40k Space Marine

Warhammer 40000 Tactical Space Marine in Dark Angel colours.

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

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

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

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


Space Marine Heavy Support Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

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

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

Devastator Squad

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

Cheapest Heavy Support Choice for Beginners

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

Weapon Choices

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

Devastators with no Heavy Weapons

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

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

Heavy Bolter

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


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

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

Missile Launcher

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

Plasma Cannon

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


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

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

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

Thunderfire Cannon

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

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

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

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

Surface Detonation

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

Air burst

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

Subterranean Blast

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

Land Raider Tactics

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

Land Raider Special Rules

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

Machine Spirit

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

Assault Vehicle

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

Modelling Tip

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

Land Raider Crusader

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

Land Raider Redeemer

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


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

Predator with anti-tank weapons

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

Predator with anti-troop weapons

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


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

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

Vengeance Missile

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

Castellan Missiles

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


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


Space Marine Fast Attack Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack Tactics

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

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

Attack Weak Spots

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

Support your Front Line Troops

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

Hold Strategic Points

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


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

Assault Squad Tactics

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

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

Special Rule: Deep Strike

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

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

Vanguard Veteran Squad

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

Land Speeder Squadron Tactics

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

Land Speeder Storm Tactics

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

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

Space Marine Bike Squad Tactics

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

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

Space Marine Biker Squad Special Rules

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

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

Attack Bike Squad Tactics

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

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

Attack Bike Strengths and Weapons

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

Scout Bike Squad Tactics

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


Space Marine Troop Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In this section we will look at the Space Marine Troop choices and their tactics.

With the Space Marine army it looks like you are short changed when it comes to troop choices. Most Space Marine Chapters have two Space Marine troop choices, the Tactical units, and the Scout units. Where as if you are taking a Black Templars army then this drops down two just one option, the Black Templars tactical unit.

Is it a problem that there are so few options? In my mind there is not. The reason for this is that the Tactical Squad is tactical! Tactical means that they can adapt to just about any situation.  You can read all about the weapon options and the best way to tool up your squads to beat any foe!

Space Marine Tactical Squad Tactics

A WH40k Space Marine Tactical Squad

A Warhammer 40k Space Marine Tactical squad

The Space Marine Tactical Squad is the basic troop of the Space Marine army. It is made up of 5 to 10 Space Marines. Ten Space Marines is the optimal number as this allows you to have heavy and special weapons in the squad, and allows you to use the ‘Combat Squads’ special rule.

The 2015 Space Marine Codex has been released. For the Space Marine Troop units this means greater access to Gravgun special weapons and Gravcannon heavy weapons.


Space Marine Tactical Squad come with power armour, frag & krak grenades, bolt pistol and a bolt gun as standard. You do not have to pay any extra points to get these options. This is one way that the new Codex Space Marines makes life easier, and the Space Marines a few points cheaper than in the previous Codex’s

Space Marine Boltgun

The Boltgun (or bolter) is a good standard weapon. It has a 24″ range strength 4 and AP5. This means that a standard marine can take down most tanks by shooting at the rear armour.

Space Marine Bolt Pistol

The Bolt Pistol is not normally shown on the Space Marine model but it is important that you remember that you have it. If you are assaulting, The bolt pistol is a 12″ assault 1 weapon. This allows you a pot shot at the target before you get in to close combat.

Number per Squad

You can have between 5 and 10 Marines per squad. So what is the best number of Marines to have in squad?

The case for a 5 man Tactical Squad

5 is the minimum number of Space Marines you have in a quad. This means that it is the cheapest option. Two 5 man squads fulfil your minimum troop choices. This is a bit more expensive in points than two Space Marine Scout squads, but you will find that tactical squads are much more flexible. Cheap troops squads means that you have more points to spend on HQ or Heavy Support choices to create a specialized (cheesier) army list.

A 5 man Space Marine Tactical Squad with a tooled up Sargent make for an effective assault squad. Add a Razorback to give the squad some extra speed and fire power.

The case for a 6 man Tactical Squad

If you play tournament rules, you get victory points for reducing a squad to below half strength. If you have a five man squad, that is achieved by killing three models. With a six man squad, four Space Marines will have to die to get the points. Other than this all the benefits of a 5 man squad apply.

The case for 7 to 9 man Tactical Squads

Extra Space Marines in the squad adds resilience to the squad. I think that the extra points would be better spent on having two 5 men squads or one 10 man squad.

The case for 10 man Tactical Squads

The 10 man Space Marine Tactical Squad is by far the most flexible squad formation. It not only gives you access to heavy and assault weapons, but you get to use the Combat Squads special rule too.

Combat Squad Tactics

Space Marine Tactical Squads can split up in to ‘tactical squads’. This means that you can split your 10 man Space Marine Tactical squads in to two 5 man units. A common usage for this is to have the heavy weapon and 4 other Space Marines in one unit, and have the Sargent, armed with close combat weapons, a Space Marine armed with an assault weapon, and two other Space Marines in a second unit.

The bonus of splitting the squad like this is that you have two units that now have a definite roles, one as a heavy weapons team, and one as an assault team. The downside of splitting the Tactical Squad like this is that both teams are now quite small. Smaller units, it is easier to kill off.

Tactical Squad Transport Options

Tactics often require that the right troops are in the right location when you need them. Giving your troops transport will mean that you can ferry them around the table quicker and capture those all important objectives.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rhino

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rhino troop transporter.

The Space Marine Rhino is the most basic and cheapest of the transport options. At 35 points for a 10 man APC ( armoured personnel carrier ) it is a steal. Usually to keep the points cost down I keep the upgrades down to a minimum too. Usually this means that I only add a plintal mounted storm bolter ( so it has two storm bolters ), and nothing else.

The Rhino is so basic that is comes with a ‘ Repair ‘ special rule. This means that if you do not shoot there is a 1 in 6 chance that it can recover from a immobilized damage. This does not happen often as the Rhinos are usually destroyed before they get a chance to recover, but when it does work, it is very useful!


If you have a 5 man squad, the Razorback offers some close support as well as troop transportation. It is not so good if you like to keep to 10 man squads though. However if you have a 5 man squad ( using up points? ) or if you like to split your squads in to 5 man combat squads. then the Razorback could be well worth considering.

Space Marine Drop Pod

Space Marine Drop Pods are making a big come back in the 7th edition of Warhammer 40000. The need to move around the table quickly to claim tactical objectives that change through the game means that being able to start in the right place gives the Space Marines a significant advantage.

Space Marine Land Raider

Tactical Squads can have a Land Raider as a transport option, however this is usually over kill. Keep the Land Raiders for the Terminator assault squads that can make best use of the Assault Vehicle feature of the Land Raider.

Scout Squads

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Scout Squad

Space Marine Scout Squad with bolters and sniper rifles.

Space Marine Scouts are trainee Tactical Space Marines. As such they are cheaper in points, have less access to weapons, and don’t have such good stats or armour.  They do have some good skills though, they light armour means that they can infiltrate and slip through terrain easier.

 Space Marine Scouts are usually used in one of two roles, either as light assault troops, or as more heavily armed troops used to hold a position. The role you choose for them will depend on the mission and the terrain. Again, the more you know about the match ahead of time the better.

Light Assault Troops

Armed with close combat weapons (replace bolter with 2nd close combat weapon), Space Marine Scouts make very good assault squads.

Hold the Ground

Using the infiltrate rule, Space Marine Scouts are very good at being placed ahead of the main battle lines to hold a strategic location. This may be a marker or a building with a good line of sight etc.

If you want to have the scouts holding the ground then you want to arm them with heavy weapons, bolters, and/or sniper rifles, depending on the opponent.

Special Rules

Space Marine Scouts have special rules, so you get infiltrate and flanking special rules. These have been covered in the section above.

Crusader Unit

If you are thinking of taking a Black Templars army then you only have the Crusader Unit as a troop choice. However the Crusader Unit is very flexible. The reason for this is that you can mix cheaper (10 point ) scout / Neophyte with squads of full Space Marines ( Initiates ). The main benefit is that you can lace the Neophytes at the front, soaking up wounds, leaving your more expensive troops to like for later in the battle.

Another big bonus is that you can have a heavy weapon  +and+ a special weapon in a 5 man squad. That’s a lot of firepower in a small space!

If you want to add Crusader units to your army then just paint standard tactical and scout marines in Black Templar colours.



Space Marine Elite Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Space Marine Dreadnought Tactics

There are a great number of Space Marine Elite choices that you can pick from. This is not a major problem for an unbound army, but if you want to keep to a battle forged army list you will only have 3 Elite slots available to you. This means that in a battle forged army you will need to be decisive about your plans and which units will best fulfil those objectives.

Space Marine Command Squads

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Command Squad

Space Marine Command Squad

Having your hero out on his own presents a great target for your opponent. A better option is to buy a Command Squad for him. These are veteran space marines that have been detailed to be a bodyguard for your expensive HQ characters.

Previously you could only get a Command Squad as an upgrade for an independent character, and once you did this the character ceased to be independent and had to stick with the command squad for the rest of the game. With the 2015 Space Marine Codex the Command Squad has become an Elite unit, which makes way for many more interesting options ( 3 Command Squads in a battle forged army?).

Command squads Space Marines have a number of weapon and special upgrade options, like apothecaries and standard bearers. Have a think about the role you have in mind for your Command Squads, like close combat experts, or as close support for your troops. When you have decided on a role tool up your Command Squad with that role in mind. The advantage of a command squad is that they have access to a number of special weapons. This means that you can configure them for specific roles.

Command Squads can take a Drop Pod, Rhino or Razor back as an additional transport too. Having a troop carrier will make your command squad much more flexible. You could also consider using a Land Raider as a troop transporter too.

Space Marine Honour Guard

Space Marine Honour Guards use to be the preserve of the The Chapter Master. Now they can be found in the Space Marine Elite section.

The Space Marines of the Honour Guard have similar stats as the regular Command Squad and veteran marines. The difference is that they have better weapons, 1 point better leadership and Artificer armour. This makes the veterans tough nuts to crack.

Even though the Honour Guard superficially look like a Command Squad in fancy dress, the Honour Guard does have a different role in the Space Marine army. The difference can best be seen in what the Honour Guard lack that the Command Squads have. These include special character ‘Apothecary’ and the Honour Guards do not have access to special weapons like meltas and flamers. Also the Honour Guard has to have a Chapter Champion where a Champion is optional in the Command Squads.

If you are looking to take a Honour Guard then you will be advised to take some transport. This will allow us to get your mega-expensive unit to the optimum place on the table quicker. Unlike the Command Squads, the Honour Guards have access to Land Raiders as dedicated transport. This will allow then to use the Assault Vehicle special rules of the Land Raider. The can charge up to your target in the Land Raider and then jump out and assault in the same turn.

One of the Honour Guard will be the Chapter Champion. The Chapter Champion has a special rule where they have to attack a character during close combat. However if there are two characters you can pick the which character you wish to assault. My advice would be to pick on the weakest as this should reduce the number of return attacks.

One of the Honour Guard can also have the Chapter Banner. This is recommended for the benefits that it bestows on the Honour Guard unit and other friendly units in the area. This does mean that will benefit you if you have your Honour Guard in the centre of any units that have a lower leadership. With the new 6th & 7th Edition rules and aligned forces, this could be low leadership Imperial Guard units.

Space Marine Terminators Tactics

40k-Space-Marine-Terminator-Cyclone-100Space Marine Terminator are designed for close proximity fighting. They first appeared in the Space Hulk games where their thicker armour and assault weapons where a great advantage in the space ship corridors. The Space Marine Terminators still excel in these conditions. They are not fast, you need to load them it to Space Marine Land Raiders if you want to ferry them about. Smaller troop transporters will just not be big enough for the job.

The Space Marine Terminators armour is some of the toughest armour in the game. You should be careful of those rare AP1 and AP2 weapons. These will cause you to fall back on the fairly weak invulnerable saves.

Space Marine Terminator Weapons

Space Marine Terminators are armed with general purpose close quarter fighting weapons, the Storm Bolter and Power fist. Upgrades to heavy weapons is available.

The Stormbolter is a medium ranged assault weapon. This means that you can close in on your opponents and be shooting along the way. You can not run and shoot at the same time, but you can shoot and assault in the same turn. You will need to decide between shooting and running each turn.

The Power Fist is the default Terminator close combat weapon. It (almost) always strikes last at initiative 1, but when it wounds you will instant kill most creatures. This is because the Power Fist doubles the Space Marines strength to S8, enough to instant kill most mortals.

The Sergeant gets a Power Sword instead of a Power Fist. This means that he will strike in the usual initiative order. The Power Sword is AP3 ( 6th edition rules ), so the tougher Power Armour and bigger creatures are good targets. Place him toe to toe with and power weapon character. Terminator is a bit vulnerable to power weapons, and you may have a change to kill the character before they do damage to the squad.

One Space Marine Terminator heavy weapon upgrades is the Heavy Flamer. A Heavy Flamer is a good weapon to choose if you are fighting in close cover like jungle fighting, or City Fight rules.

Heavy Flamers are S5. This means that you will wound other Space Marines on a 3+ and Imperial Guard and Eldar are wounded on a 2+.

The Assault Cannon is a great weapon for the Space Marine Terminators. It can fire four rounds per turn which is good against horde armies, specially with the Space Marines Ballistic skill, and it’s a rendering weapon so it has a chance to crack open tanks and hard targets too. Assault Cannons only have a 24″ range, but considering that Space Marine Terminators work better in built up areas, this is not a problem.

Cyclone Missile Launchers add a bit of long range fire power to the Space Marine Terminators. It’s stats are the same as a regular Marine missile launcher. The Cyclone Missile launcher fires the same Frag and Krak missiles too, so you should be familiar with them. The one difference is that the Cyclone missile launcher can be fired in the same turn as the Space Marine Terminator’s Storm Bolter. This is a bonus against lighter targets.

Where Can I Get Space Marine Terminator Models?

There are a number of options available when it comes to adding Terminator Squads at the moment. The first is the basic Terminator box. This will give you all the bits you need to build a 5 man squad. Alternatively there is the Horus Heresy Warhammer 30k Terminators too. In the WH40k fluff there are plenty examples of older armour still being used in the new age.

Space Marine Terminator Assault Squad Tactics

Space Marine Terminator Assault Squads are more specialised variant of the usual Space Marine Terminator Squad. They give up their shooting ability for more specialised close combat weapons.

Terminator Assault Squads are armed with either Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, or a pair of Lightning Claws. As the squads description suggests, these are close assault weapons so you will want to get in to combat as soon as possible.

Space Marine Terminator Assault Squad Weapons

Lightning Claws are great at chopping through hordes of smaller creatures. Because you get a pair of Lightning Claws you still get the 2nd weapon attack bonus, and the Terminators strike at their normal initiative order.

Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields are the tools of choice against larger foe. The shields will protect your Terminators from high AP attacks while the Thunder Hammers stun the enemy so they do not strike back next turn.

Space Marine Sternguard Veteran Squad Tactics

The Space Marine Sternguard Veteran Squad is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. The Space Marine Sternguard by their name show that they are designed to be rear guard troops. The classic use of rearguards is to protect the army from sneaky attacks from the rear, and to hold strategic ground to allow the rest of the army escape if they need to run. The Space Marine Sternguard are designed to bolster the regular Space Marines.

Sternguard as Heavy Weapon Troops

The Space Marine Sternguard make an excellent addition to a shooty Space Marine army or an assault army that want some support at the rear. Up to two Space Marine Sternguard can upgrade to heavy weapons. This is an expensive alternative to the regular Devastator squads, but provides option if all your heavy support slots have been filled.

Sternguard as Shock Troops

All the Space Marine Sternguard are veterans. This means that they have the extra leadership and attack that veterans get. These veteran skills added to the special ammunition available to them means that you can have 5 to 10 Space Marine Sternguard that can pack a surprising punch in the shooting phase and then can follow it up with a decent close combat attack.

Space Marine Dreadnought Tactics

Space Marine Dreadnought TacticsThe Space Marine Dreadnoughts are part man and part vehicle. The are classed as ‘Walkers’ in the Warhammer 40k rules.Being a hybrid of man and machine the Space Marine Dreadnought brings the best of both. It has an armour value so anti-tank weapons are needed to damage it, but it has a weapon skill value so it can fight in close combat. The Dreadnought can have carry heavy weapons too, and like a vehicle in can move and shoot in the same turn. The Dreadnought can also assault in the same turn it moved and fired.

The Space Marine Dreadnought moves in the same way foot troops do so it will move 6″ in the movement phase, and needs to take difficult terrain tests. The Dreadnought is too big to fit into any transport vehicle, this makes it a lot slower at moving around the table. Plan where you are going to need the Dreadnought when you set up. If you are playing on a large table, think about having a drop pod to deep strike the Dreadnought to a strategic location.

Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought

Space Marine Venerable Dreadnoughts are the oldest of the Space Marine Dreadnoughts. In game terms they are very similar. The difference is that the Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought gets an extra point of BS & WS, and the ‘venerable’ special rule. These upgrades cost an extra 60points. Worth it? I’ll let you decide.

The extra BS skill will allow the Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought to hit on 2’s (or 5 times out of 6). This means that all the ranged  weapons are better value for the points. The extra WS point will aide any close combat fights against WS4 & WS5 opponents. If you normally fight other Space Marines or Chaos Space Marines you could find this useful. If you normally fight WS3 opponents (Guard & etc), then this upgrade will have no effect. The “Venerable” special rule gives the Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought some extra survivability. The ability to re-roll 5’s & 6’s on the damage table will frustrate your opponent!

Ironclad Dreadnought

A new addition to the Space Marine Dreadnought ‘family’ is the Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought.

The Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought has been designed to fight in built up areas. It comes with two close combat weapons by default, with attached special weapons. This is a formidable combination that gives you an extra close combat attack. The down side is if you don’t get in to combat then the Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought could end up a waste of points.

You can replace the Seismic Hammer with a Chain Sword. The Chain Sword will cut through tank armour much easier with an extra D6 penetration, but causes less damage when you do glance or penetrate. Because of this I recommend the Chain Sword when facing tougher tanks.

If you want some shooty weapons on your Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought then you can replace the standard close combat arm with hurricane bolters. Hurricane bolters are mid range weapons (same range as a bolter), but can lay down a lot of twin linked bolter fire per turn. This is great against swarm armies (Orks, Tyranids, Guard & etc).

Legion of the Dammed Squad

The Legion of the Damned are not like other Space Marines, they are not part of a known chapter, and can be added to any chapter’s army list. You do not have to attach them as using the attachment rules.

The 2nd difference with the Legion of the Damned is that they always Deep Strike in to the game. What is more is that they get to re-roll the scatter dice if yo wish. This means that yo have a 4 in 6 chance of rolling a ‘ hit ‘ on the scatter dice. What is not clear is if you get to re-roll the scatter distance dice too. If you can, this can be used to improve the Deep Strike accuracy too.

Ok now we know who they are, and how they arrive, the question is ‘ what are they good for? ‘. The answer to this can be found in their spacial rules. The first clue is that their bolters fire cover ignoring bolter shots, the next is that they are slow and purposeful, and the last clue is the 3+ invulnerable saves they get.

So what can you use the Legion of the Damned squads for? Well my suggestion would be as a squad to route out dug in tough to shift units, or as a hit squad armed with melta weapons to take out tanks or monstrous creatures placed behind the front line. The Flaming projectiles are great for camo cloaked snipers that have gone to ground behind Ageas lines. The slow and purposeful rule lets them advance and fire heavy weapons, and the 3+ invulnerable save will keep them alive a bit longer against returned incoming fire and counter assaults.

It you do use the Damned Legionnaires deep behind the enemy lines then you will be best taking a full squad of 10. This will give you an effective force even if you do not have other units to provide support. Just don’t bite off more that you can chew. Aim for smaller targets. This will give you more return from your squads points cost.

Slow and Purposeful

The Legion of the Damned have the ‘ Slow and Purposeful ‘ rule, however in the 6th edition this does not mean that your units are slow, it just means that they cannot run or shoot using Over-watch. What you can do though is move up to 6” during the movement phase and still shoot heavy weapons in the shooting phase, and still assault in the assault phase. Used correctly this means that your Legionnaires are quite fast moving heavy weapons teams. Option Weapon Upgrades

So what is the best spacial weapon to take? Again this will depend on your opponent. The usual choice will be either the Flamer, for Larger numbers of smaller troops tucked in to cover, or the Meltagun, for taking out tanks and monstrous creatures.

In a similar way to the the heavy weapon choices are usually the Heavy flamer or the Mult-melta. Sometimes the Missile launcher is an option if you are expecting a lot or enemy air support, however you will probably find that Devastator Squads or other heavy support options are a better bet for this.

The last weapon upgrade option is the Veteran Sargent. For these a Combi-weapon and melee weapon combination is popular.

Flaming Projectiles

Ok, now we know that you can move with some pace around the battle field, you may want to review the Flaming Projectiles special rule again. To summarise all ranged attacks ignore cover. This is usually seen as bolter shots, it covers all shooting weapons ( so not flamers, which get this rule any way, or close combat weapons that do not need this rule). Use this rule correctly and it will really rattle your enemy!

Causes Fear

The Legion of the Damned causes fear. This is a special rule that can be useful in close combat by reducing the the opponent initiative to 1 if they loose a leadership test. However I find that this is not as useful as it sounds. This is because in Warhammer 40k the leadership of most units tends to be quite high, and those that have a lower leadership score usually have a way of avoiding leadership tests, for example Tyranid Gaunts that are fearless within Hive Mind influence, or Orks that can mob up to improve their leadership, and any units that are left to the mercies of fear usually have a lower initiative score than the Legionnaires anyway, so this rule has little or no effect.

Where Can I Get Legion Of The Dammed Models?

The best option for getting Legion of the Dammed models is the Games Workshop website. Another option is that Element Games have 3rd party Space Marine like heads and backpacks. These can be used to create exotic Legion of the Dammed style Space Marines.