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!
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
The 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.
Scouts 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.
The 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.
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 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.
- Also See: Warhammer 40k Sneaky Tactics
- Also buy: Discount Space Marine Drop Pods from Element Games