The 2015 Dark Angel Codex introduces the new Lords of War category and Azrael has been promoted from the HQ section to be the only Dark Angel Lords of War choice.
In the Warhammer 7th edition rules you can see Lords of War referred to on page 119. On page 122 you can see how the Lords of War fit in to the Combined Arms / Battle Forged army list.
Azrael is the most senior Dark Angel leader. Because of this he is the most expensive character available, and has the most special rules. Unlike most Chapter Masters Azrael‘s special rules are as much about empowering the unit he is in as it is about giving Azrael more punch. This is quite different from the other Space Marine Chapter Masters and Special characters.
Azrael has some wargear. His Combi-Bolter, Plasma Gun is master crafted so the one shot plasma gun a better chance of hitting and not over heating. Azrael‘s
Power Sword is S6 AP3. This means that you should be able to slice through standard Space Marine and Chaos Marine power armour, bur it will bounce off Terminator armour.
Azrael has Artificer armour that gives a 2+ save and the Feel No Pain special rule on a 5+. These are fairly standard and not worth the high points cost. The last war gear item is special. The Lion Helm gives his whole unit 4+ invulnerable saves.
All this means that Azrael is more able to survive a fire fight than a close combat fight. This means that you may want to hold back on Azrael until you have thinned out the enemy with fire power and use close combat specialists like Terminators to mop up.
Azrael’s Special Rules
Grand Master Azrael has a number of special rules. Some of these special rules bestow other special rules on Azrael, so you need to make sure you know what you have!
Deathwing Special Rule
The Deathwing special rule shows that Azrael is, or has been promoted from the Dark Angel 1st company, the Deathwing. This special rule gives Azrael the Fearless special rule and hatred to Chaos Space Marines.
The fearless special rule means that Areal, and any unit he joins do not have to take fear, pinning and moral checks. This spacial rule should mean that pinning weapons have far less effect against Areal and his unit. The downside of fearlessness is that Azrael and company will not be able exit an assault if thing do not go well by opting to fail a moral check. All this means that you will want to pick and choose the fight that Azrael get in to carefully.
One sneaky tactic would be to have an Imperial Guard detachment as an allied detachment. This will allow you to have Azrael join a unit of 30 conscripts. Doing this will create a nearly un-shiftable fearless unit with 4+ invulnerable save and Ld10. Set out in a Congo line, that would create a unit 3 men deep and 33″ wide ( nearly 3 feet wide) or a single line 6 feet wide. Definitely an obstacle to any enemy advance!
If you field Azrael then he will automatically become your warlord. As such you will need to roll against the Warlord table, however Azrael can only one of the Dark Angel warlord traits in the Codex, however you do have the option to pick which one. This means that you can factor in Azrael’s warlord trait in to your tactics before you arrive at the game. Other armies will have to react to the trait rolled at the start of each game.
As we have seen, Azrael is a tactician and not street fighter. Use him to empower the rest of the army and you will see that he is truly worth of the the title of Dark Angel Lords of War!