Saturday, 12 January 2013

Dark Angel Codex - Run down and Knee Jerk Thoughts

Ok - you know the score - ill review the book with initial thoughts and any combo's that come to mind. I wont cover all the items but ill note ones that seem to be pretty good and usable.

One caveat -  I hear there is an faq already in the works for monday as the 11th hour amendments didn't go in and so there are a few odd things in there - so if I rage or skip past something important its probably due to be changed.

Any way on with the show:

So first things first. The book looks lovely. Its been a joy to read and look at. I really like the new look codex that 6th edition has brought. 2 thumbs up. I didn't begrudge paying £30 (that much ) even though not much has really been added to their background it does feel very much better written than their last one - they do seem much more than "Secret Green Marines".

Generic Rules:

Combat squad - nothing new here

Grim resolve - Everything is stubborn with no option to voluntary fall back (anything in green or black armour). Not bad actually, but id prefer combat tactics

Inner Circle -Fearless with preferred enemy: chaos marines (most characters and deathwing) - Nice!

Unforgiven specific warlord traits - a nice table, no real duff ones. I cant see why you'd not roll on it as a Dark Angel player. Though "courage of the lion" is probably the worst - especially if you have alot of fearless stuff already.


Stand out items:

Auspex - minus one cover save for an enemy unit within 12 inches/- 5pts? Go on then.

Infravisor - gives the character and his unit "Night Vision" !!

Conversion field - 4++ with a chance to blind nearby units! - one thing you I do note is that there is alot of ways to mess with enemy models stats and also other items that make them take characteristic tests. Blind is an initiative test or you suffer a decrease to your ws/bs - there seems to be alot to consider with these wargear combos.

Power field - 4++ on character, unit and anyone within 3 inches (friend or foe) - expect to see this item helping blob guard allies!!!

Lions roar - a master crafted combi plasma that fires an assault one blast template rather than the usual plasma shot.

Standard of Fortitude -12 inch feel no pain bubble! - pricey at 85 points though

Standard of Devastation - bolters in units within 6 inches get salvo 2/4. Loving this item, but I need to find a list that protects the banner enough while still being central to get the most out of it.

Relic of the unforgiven - basically a watcher in the dark - give the unit or character "adamantine will" and "fear" - not bad if you have a few points kicking about.

Now- on to the good stuff :)


Azrael - standard chapter master choppy stats, s6 mastercrafted power weapon, fnp on a 6, 4++ save to him and his  unit, rites of battle, maser crafted combi plas with the blind rule. His signature rule though will be his ability to chose his warlord trait from the unforgiven list and allows both ravenwing and deathwing to be taken as troops. This is veeery very good I think - you can use him to run Dual Wing without spending loads on 2 characters as well as take a warlord trait that that will always be of some use. 2+ armour save and 4 wounds means he is a very resilient warlord too.  For 215pts hes a steal if you build the army to his strengths.

Ezekiel - level 3 psyker with access to divination. Has a much better stat line than normal Libbys; 3 wounds and a 2+ save. Gives a +1ws bubble at 6 inches (dark angel only). Has the Mind worm psy power. D3 shots with ap 2. Any model wounded gets minus 3 ws,bs,initiative and ld!.  At less than 150 points hes worth  it- again if you build your army accordingly.

Asmodai - Reclusarch stat chaplain. Has fear and a no ap weapon that can cause instant death. Avoid I think. If yo want a chaplain then just get a cheap one with useful wargear.

Belial - Stats pretty much as he was- gets an iron halo now though too. Can still take claws or thunder hammer but his basic wargear is much better now. Master crafted power sword that always wounds on 2's!. Shooting can precision strike on 5's (so might get put on the odd quad gun lol ). Him and his squad dont scatter either. Makes Deathwing Troops. Deathwing is always popular and they now have a worthy character to lead them. Hes pretty good and once again works well in a army built round him (seeing a pattern here?)

Sammael - Same as he always was- good stats on a jetbike with a plasma cannon. Gets skilled rider, scouts and hit and run. Ap2 power weapon and eternal warrior. 4++ save that is also given to his Land Speeder if you take it ( but  wouldn't- its a bit pants). Makes raven wing troops so again; very viable if you build the army round him.

Company master - pretty much same as the other marine books - choppy statline with access to all the wargear (except a bike). As Dark Angels have alot to offer in the wargear dept i can see him being used more than say a Blood Angel one but the big 3 (Az, Sam and Belial) would do anything he can do but better.

Interrogatr Chaplain - Reclusiarch level Chaplain. Like asmodai without the semi useless rules and cheaper. Im not sure how viable chaplains are in todays game but if you want one then hes there.

Chaplain - as above but cheaper - normal chaplain that you see in other books.

Librarian - Here we go...a real winner. No psychic power chart but has access to all but Biomancy powers from the main book. Level one is 65 pts, level 2 is 100 pts. Cheap as chips!! has access to all wargear. So let me run this by you....Level 1 divination (so prescience) with a powerfield and infragoggles sitting in a Guard blob squad..Fearless, rerolls for combat and shooting and a 4+ invulnerable save + ignoring night fighting. For 100 points?!?! scared much?

Techmarine - same as he ever was but cheaper, has IC status (unlike others) but you can only have one per other hq's but doesn't take up a hq slot. Isn't inner circle so is Stubborn rather than fearless.

Command Squad: Standard command squad stuff - multiple special and combat weapon options, apothecary if you want it and all the transports. Main use will be access to the sacred standards. Will need o be protected though if you use them as they are pricey.

Deathwing command squad -  Minimum sized deathwing squad with all the normal options and access to feel no pain and the funky banners again. Ill talk about terminators more later. Not bad.

Ravenwing command squad - Same as above but with bike's. One thing though is that these are a squad of three (the min size for bikes) and like the other command squads cant have extra members. This alone make them too fragile. Sorry but im not paying for 3 bikes to go round on their own no matter what wargear they get. Avoid.


Tacticals - Love em. 14 points each and all the normal marine stuff (+ grim resolve). The thing here is that they are so versatile. Its like Easy Jet. You have to pay for everything but only if you want it. So very much like chaos marines but You dont even have to have a veteran serg if you dont want to. Plus you get a special OR heavy at five marines and then the other at ten. You dont get any "free" weapons like you do in vanilla marines but with the cheap price then it means similar built squads are the same price. Personally im loving just 10 bolter marines for 140 point hanging about a standard of devastation to pump out 40 shots a turn...whats bad about that? Has flak missiles as an option, pricey but its there.

Scouts - Same thing as the tacticals. Cheap and customizable. 12 points each and only 2 points for camo now. Dont have grim resolve which intestingly I think gives them a place in the list i think with some thought. Has all the usual scout rules too. Very Solid.


Veterans - 18 points with usual vet stats. The problem here is that they are not stern guard nor vanguard. So they dont really do much. You can make them KIND OF choppy or KIND OF shooty but not enough of either to want to take them and lose out on scorers that can do it almost as well or other options that just do it better. Avoid.

Deathwing terminators - Right well, almost the signature unit from the last book. A touch more expensive but they (as well as everything in terminator armor ) get twin linked weapons on the turn they deep strike. Nice. Combine with mixed units much like before and split fire usr and you can have some nice units. Deathwing assault is much better now with the ability to turn up automatically on turn one or 2. If you could combat squad they would be much better. As is they are "just" pretty good. Combat squads would have made them awsome.

Deathwing knights - ws 5 terminators with precision strike and maces + storm shields. Can be toughness 5 if they clump together to help with small arms fire. With the smite ability ( to be s10 ap 2 once per game) i can see these being a useful terror weapon. Totally screw over chaos marines as all their ap's drop by one when fighting them. A bit pricey. Not sold on them myself but  they aint bad.

Dreadnought - same as ever. The Venerable upgrade however is alot cheaper than it would have been last edition due to hull points, but also has the benefit of giving it preferred enemy chaos (who really do seem to be getting the shaft by Dangles lol)


Rhino - same as ever

Drop pod - ditto (carry's ten)

Razorback - Wierd one here. Base cost is higher but the upgrades are cheaper. Basically this means  all load outs stay the same in cost except the heavy bolter that becomes more expensive... Od but there you go. With tacticals able to take 5 man special or heavy weapon squads I wonder if msu would be feasible??

Fast Attack:

Ravenwing attack squadron - Another winner from the book. Comes with the ravenwing standards (for this book) - teleport homers, hit and run, scout. Squads of 3 to 6 which you can then add a attack bike too as well. Can combat squad down into 3 man squads. 2 special weapons irregardless of size. Can also add a landspeeder to the squad!! No explanation of how it works though. Is it seperate? Is it somehow part of the unit? Not sure but the squad is a solid one. For less than 200 hundred points you can get some hit and running bikes with 2 melta and an axe in your face turn one.

Landspeeder squadrons - Can take 5 per unit!! all similar costs and options... but 5!! Personally id be looking at double heavy bolters- 300 points for 30 shots. Boom.

Black Knights - Ok, ill own up here. I'm not sure if these are good good or if i just have a soft spot for them. But I love these guys. All the usual basic ravenwing rules but skilled rider  and 18 inch plasma guns too. They are pricey but they do come with 2 attacks and s5 rending hammers too. They can be 10 men strong and also..importantly..can have grenade launchers at one for every three models. There are krak, frag, rad and stasis. Rad and stasis are 12 inch range but amazing. Rad reduces toughness (ready for your gun line to open up) and stasis minus one from the enemys ws and initiative  (ready for the assault or that allied Rune Priest to Jaws the crap out of everything :) )

Darkshroud - 80 pt speeder with a 3 + cover save due to shrouding (or maybe 2+, it depends if it has stealth too as some entry's show it having it and others dont), scout and giving stealth and +1 combat res to everything in radius. I like em. With Skilled riders you can give Black Knights a 2 + cover save when they turbo and then help with the assault too.

Assault Squad - Same as they ever was. No melta gun or plasma gun option still which is a shame.

Nephilim Fighter - Right. Not sure. Expensive and doesn't seem to really do its job well. Has the Missile Lock rule but no blast weapons to take advantage of it (faq?) So you can put enough wounds out to kill infantry especially with the Mega Bolter but bar the one las cannon the weaponry isnt really strong enough to hunt vehicles - which is what its supposed to do.  Oddly if the missile's get the blast rule (which I think they should otherwise whats the point) then it becomes an even better infantry killer and worse vehicle killer cos the missile then cant shoot flyers. It seems a confused vehicle. At least its 3 hull points. Avoid I think unless it gets an faq Monday.

Dark Talon - Same chassis as the Nephilim. Cheaper. Seems designed to go for infantry but just seems a bit underwhealming. The stasis bomb is nice, especially if you have a plan to capitalize on the big whack of stat reduction if gives (im looking at you again allied Rune Priest)

Heavy Support:

Devastators - The trend of cheap heavy weapon squads continues. Dirt cheap if you want and able to throw down some serious dakka. Flakk missiles once again a bit steep. Id rather see the odd one in tacticals rather than all concentrated in one easy to kill unit. Keep em cheap and throwaway here is the key. They have the "Easy Jet" thing going on again, you can buy the veteran serg if you want or just save the points.

Predator - Same as ever - Base cost is now higher for some reason and the options are cheaper. Oddly it means some configurations are slightly higher and some lower...for no good reason that i can see. But its not by enough to really bother me.

Whirlwind - Cheaper, Yay!! No anti aircraft missiles as rumored...Boo!!

Vindicator - Same as same as but a touch more expensive.

Landraiders - All types all the same. Can have a deathwing upgrade to give them venerable and preferred enemy chaos (same as the dreadnought) but its a pricey upgrade.

Vengance - The shooty landspeeder. Can pump out a nice big blast but at 2 hull points and av 10 at 140 points and taking up a heavy slot....avoid.


Do I think its a good codex? Yes. Yes I do. I think there is enough in there to keep fluff bunnies and list tweekers happy. Thats a win.

I dont think its broken, it wont be the new power codex, but thats fine by me. There is a wealth of synergies to explore though which will be fun.

Gripes? Well the flyers are a bit naff so once again I think it will be another army relying on fortifications/forge world and allies for their anti air. Also I have a sneeking suspicion there will be alot of Dark Angels allied forces (either primary or secondary) as there are some things that can really benefit other army's (Power fields in guard army's for example). There are some other things that may become staple tactics too.....but i want to try them out first :P

I do like the theme that seems to run through the list of stat suppression too, I think im going to enjoy working out combos and lists trying to work out the right balance between messing with a unit in inappropriate ways and then giving them a knockout punch while they feel all vulnerable, lol.

Till next time.


  1. Excellent rundown of codex and some useful insights...blob with 4++ ouch.

  2. I'm in the process of writing down my thoughts but have to say they're pretty similar. Seems a shame that after two year codex development (or whatever) that they messed up the flyers but overall seems an interesting book to write lists with.

    Also, you were asking how the speeders work. See Ravenwing Combat Squad rule on pg 47

  3. 4++ save to unit seems like a delightful little piece of war gear to buff weaker units such as an allied guard blob..unless of course it goes the way of many codex specific items in FAQ process and only works on C:DA units. Bt as it stands, guard blob troop allies seem a no brainer.
    I like spattering flak around to tacticals , vets, scouts etc...but from a functional point of view I always personally stay away from relying on a single shot.. That bs4 let's you down more than you think on one shot, to hit..then pen on one die each time is too unreliable for me.

    My biggest disappointment is the fliers. I am happy to throw out loads of bolter dudes and guard blob ..then spend the points on whilst the Neph seems very expensive, I can see that I have the choice to accommodate that cost.. But it simply isn't functional .. If the avenger mega bolter had 7/8 shots or was S7 I could deal with it.. Or the missiles perhaps... Bt as it is it is just too weak...meh..

    So it looks like once again, my DA minis will sit on a shelf whilst I play Deathwing. Or Tau.

  4. Nice run down mate, i think i will be looking at azreal to go in my blob for the 4++ so i can still max out on deathwing as troops. Just so many diferent ways to run the army now is what intrests me. I can see alot of competative builds coming.

    1. Good points Rich,

      Also the fact that two different characters unlock two "elite / unique" units as troops just screams flexibility for allies and builds. Azreal looks like a real champ, can see a lot of people looking to find nice ways to incorp him + some of the more unique parts of the 'dex.

  5. Good review dude.

    While I am pleasantly surprised by the book, coming out of retirement I was kind of hoping for the "stupid OP bat" from GW on this one. I'll prob wait and see what the book plays out like a bit before I actually invest in anything.

    Least the special characters are good. Except Asmodi, weird how the supposedly best Chaplin in the universe is less than spectacular.

    With all that said, I am half tempted to run just "stupid deathstar" army with Ezekial (prob my favorite SC) and Azreal and go banana's on the seals at the LGS and steer clear of Atreides and his plasma'd up gunlines.

    1. you will find significantly fewer seals nowadays. we really did our job well, and in the time i was away those guys really upped their game!

    2. And perhaps you muppets forgot how to play?!?! How is the gaming going Andy?