Guide to Dark Angels
Sons of the Lion
Spoiler: Special RulesAnd They Shall Know No Fear: You can re-roll Morale Tests. This is basically nothing for Dark Angels, as you should nearly always have Grim Resolve instead, and models that don't benefit from Grim Resolve, will nearly always have Inner Circle, instead.
Jink: Get a 4++ if you Advance. Since any unit that is moving, isn't benefitting from Grim Resolve, this shores up that gap. Good enough.
Inner Circle: Auto-Pass Morale tests (ATSNKF and Grim Resolve do nothing, yay!), and, in addition, if anybody in your meta is using <Fallen> (or, at least Cypher), you get to re-roll To Hit in the Fight phase against them.
Dark Angels Detachments
Defenders of Humanity: Your Troops will always hold an Objective regardless of how many enemy models are also around the Objective. If both units have this rule, then default back to most models. This rule...For Space Marines, really isn't anything to write home about, unless you're running Scouts, which you kind of should be. Nearly always, you should want (Points/500)+1 units' worth of DoH/ObSec in any game you play. However, this may change depending how how survivable the units in question are, and whether or not you need more or less. Remember, this is across your army, it isn't Dark Angels specific.
Grim Resolve: This. This 'Chapter Tactics' is why you're playing Dark Angels instead of any other Space Marine Chapter. If you don't move in your Movement phase, get re-roll 1s To Hit in the Shooting phase. Since Space Marines are nearly always fairly static (with few exceptions), this rule is doing exactly what you want it to do, as it boosts the playstyle you're already trying to do - if you're playing Space Marines correctly. Models that move around a lot will typically have Jink (above), instead.
So, when building your Dark Angels' Detachment, follow these 3 steps - in descending order of importance;
1. Will it benefit from Grim Resolve? If not,
2. Will it benefit from Jink? If not,
3. Will it be in reasonable Charge range on Turn 1? If not,
...It doesn't belong in your Detachment*. That's it.
* Detachment, not army. You can still have the units you like, but don't make them Dark Angels if you don't have to...Which you don't. 'Space Marine Soup' is where you take a bunch of different Space Marine Chapter Detachments, all cherry-picked to use the best - and only the best - units for that Chapter. You still end up using all the same models, and paying the same points. It's just that by painting certain units, certain colours, they become better. True story.
Relics of the Rock; Start of Game. Get extra Relics. Next.
Linebreaker Bombardment; Pay a CP to make three Vindicators, worse.
Deathwing Assault; If you have a <Deathwing> unit that arrived from Teleport Strike that turn, pay 2 or 3 CPs to shoot twice. 2 CPs just isn't worth it, and 3 is right out. If this was 1 CP, it would very much be worth it, since it isn't, it isn't.
Stasis Shell; If a <Ravenwing> unit shoots a <Character> with a Ravenwing Grenade Launcher, if it hits - with +1 To Hit - do D3 Mortal Wounds. This is literally the only reason to take a Ravenwing Grenade Launcher over a Plasma Talon. And, since you can only use a Stratagem once per phase, you will only ever need one, two maximum, in your entire army, and that's only because one might die early.
Hellfire Shells; An <Infantry> Heavy Bolter can do Mortal Wounds. It's not strong. But, if you can manage to target a <Character> with it, it's pretty good. But you can always miss. So maybe sometimes it's not worth it?
Orbital Bombardment; Pay 3 CPs to fail.
Wisdom of the Ancients; Turn your <Dreadnought> into a Captain for a phase. Another 'desperation' Stratagem that you'd only ever use if you have no other option.
Tactical Flexibility; Combat Squads is a bad Ability. I have no idea why you'd pay a CP to do it, when you could...Not.
The Armour of Contempt; Protect against Smite-spam against one of your Vehicles. Doesn't matter.
Only in Death Does Duty End; Pay 2 CPs for a <Character> to act as if they died in range of an Astartes Banner. It's not good...Except when it is.
Cluster Mines; When a unit of Scout Bikes Fall Back, do Mortal Wounds...Except you wont be using Scout Bikes.
Flakk Missile; Use if you're desperate.
Auspex Scan; One of the best Stratagems that you'll ever use. Have it handy at all times. Either your opponent drops in <12" and you blast them to bits with your Plasma-spam. Or, you make them afraid of Auspex Scan, and 'board control' them into dropping from over 12" away, potentially removing their Rapid Fire range and certain other Abilities/Debuffs that you generally don't want.
Never Forgive, Never Forget!; Gain extra attacks against <Heretic Astartes> and <Fallen> in the Fight phase...Sometimes.
The Lion and the Wolf; Start of Game. Choose a Dark Angel <Infantry> model in your army, and a Space Wolf <Infantry> model in your army. Roll a dice for each model. On a 4+, that model suffers a Mortal Wound. After this process, if they're still alive - whether they recieved a Mortal Wound or not - give each of them +1WS, +1S, +1A and +1Ld for the rest of the battle. Other than that, if you go first, you can get use out of your Apothecary models on Turn 1. Neat. This is also a Stratagem that actively encourages Space Marine Soup.
It's interesting that this process doesn't specificy <Characters>, only that your proposed fighters be <Infantry>. Remember that you have a Warlord Trait Stubborn Tenacity, that allows you to ignore Mortal Wounds. If you don't know anything about Space Wolves, Wulfen are <Infantry> with 2 Wounds each, and the ability to ignore Mortal Wounds.
Hunt the Fallen; Start of Game. Pick an enemy <Infantry Character> and give it +1 Attack. All of your units get to re-roll To Hit in the Fight phase against that model. In addition <Deathwing> and <Ravenwing> units get to re-roll Charges against it. For 1 CP? Yes please.
Datalink Telemetry; One of your Whirlwinds in LoS of a Land Speeder automatically hits its target. Sammael in Sableclaw and Ravenwing Talonmasters both count as <Land Speeders>. So...That's really good. As normally, Land Speeders are really bad and you want to avoid them as much as possible. But, in case you haven't learned by now, Dark Angels aren't like Codex Marines.
Weapons from the Dark Age; 1 CP to increase an entire units' worth of Plasma weapons' Damage by 1. That means you can do 2 Damage without Supercharging, or 3 if you do. Plasma Guns have Rapid Fire, which means that a Plasma Gun has the potential to do 6 Damage per turn, each. Holy ****. Of course, you have to Hit, first, and you also have to Wound. I wonder if there is a way you can do that? One of the best Stratagems - if not the best - in your arsenal.
Intractable; 2 CPs to Fall Back and shoot in the same turn. 2 CPs? Really? To be fair, you shouldn't really be in Melee anyway, at least, not with a unit that can shoot.
Empyric Channelling; If you have three <Psykers> together, one of them can manifest an extra Power with +2 to manifest. None of your Powers cost more than 7. But, this is useful for when you want to manifest your third Smite for the turn, or trying to shoot for the 'big' Trephination.
Speed of the Raven; One of your <Ravenwing> units can Advance, Shoot and Charge in the same turn. It's Black Knights. This Stratagem means that you will always - yes, always, you read that right, right? - have a unit of Black Knights in your army.
Secret Agenda; Start of Game. You can conceal your Tactical Objectives from your opponent. Every Mission is Cloak and Shadows for a CP! Some games it's useful. Some games it wont be. But, you'll only know if it was worth it after you've drawn your cards. So, c'est la vie.
Honour the Chapter; Not quite as good as Weapons from the Dark Age (because HtC costs 3 CPs!), but, it's pretty close. At the end of the Fight phase, pick another of your units to Fight again. This requires that your unit survive the actual Fight phase relatively intact...But, that's what Deathwing Knights are for, right? Which leads us to the next point...
Fortress of Shields; A <Deathwing> unit with 3 or more Storm Shields can give their opposing unit -1 To Wound in the Fight phase. Weren't we just talking about how to get Melee units to survive?
Killshot; x3 Predators together get +1 To Wound against <Monsters> and <Vehicles> for the phase. This is an extremely strong Stratagem...If you use Predators...Which you probably don't because Razorbacks are just as good - if not better.
Inner Circle; Start of Game. Pick a <Master>, <Dreadnought> or <Land Raider> in your army, give it the <Deathwing> Keyword and Inner Circle ability. But, what benefit does this actually give? We've already established that Inner Circle doesn't really do anything. But how does being <Deathwing> benefit your model?
- 'Deathwing Assault'? Don't bother.
- Benefit from 'Hunt the Fallen'? Yeah, maybe.
- 'Fortress of Shields'? On your unit of one model? Nice try.
- Full buff from Belial? ...Yeah, now we're getting somewhere.
- +1 Attack from the Deathwing Company Banner?
...Is that it? This is one of those fluffy Stratagems that you get tricked into wasting your CPs for.
1. If your Warlord is engaged in combat, friendly models within 6" gain +1 Strength on the first round of combat. Hard pass.
2. Dark Angels auto-pass Morale tests within 12". If you aren't benfitting from Grim Resolve and/or Inner Circle, what are you doing?
3. Gain a bunch re-rolls during the game, and gain a CP back on a 5+ every time you use a Stratagem. Easily the best one.
4. Gain 'Sniper', and your Warlord must always pile in and perform Heroic Interventions towards the closest enemy <Characters>.
5. Re-roll Advances and Charges within 6" of your Warlord. Strong. Especially for Deathwing. Unfortunately...Belial doesn't have this one.
6. 6+ FNP. 5+ FNP if he didn't move during his last Movement phase.
Relics - If your Warlord is a Dark Angel, get one.
Heavenfall Blade; Power Sword or MC Power Sword. Almost always one of the best Melee picks you can pick up for any Character.
Foe-Smiter; Storm Bolter. Not as good as a Combi-Plasma, unfortunately. Still, a Storm Bolter is 2 Points, while a Combi-Plamsa is 15.
Shroud of Heroes; Your opponent is -1 To Hit your Character. That's pretty solid. Combine with a Darkshroud for -2. Remember than Ravenwing Talonmasters are <Characters>, and thus can take Relics.
Mace of Redemption; Not as good as a Heavenfall Blade...Unless you're playing against <Heretic Astartes>, in which case it's a lot better.
Lion's Roar; An Assault 2 Combi-Plasma with less range. Just...No. The only time you'll get any real use out of it is if you waste your Warlord Trait to pick up #4 to combo.
The Eye of the Unseen; Enemy units get -1 Leadership, and enemy <Characters> near your Relic, Always Strikes Last in the Fight phase, even if they Charged. Pretty solid. But not really what you want to be doing.
1. WC6. Enemy model takes a Mortal Wound and Always Strikes Last in the following Fight phase.
2. WC6. Target unit gets -1 To Hit until your next Psychic phase.
3. WC7. Target <Dark Angels> unit gets re-rolls To Hit and To Wound with Melee weapons until your next Psychic phase.
4. WC7. Roll 2d6 (+2 if the Psychic test was 10<), the closest enemy unit takes a number of Mortal Wounds equal to the difference from their Leadership. This has the potential to be very good. But, it lacks the ability to target Characters (just like Smite). Making it very situational.
5. WC6. Enemy units taking a Morale test within 6" of the Librarian roll 2d6 and take the highest. This would be so much better if it forced a Morale test straight after the manifestation. But it doesn't. So you have to get your Librarian within range, then you have to force a Morale test...Somehow, and you actually have to make it matter. I'm sure most players would simply settle for picking a different Power, and any unit taking a Morale test, should've already been destroyed during the rest of the turn.
6. WC7. Dice off plus Leadership. If you win, your opponent's model gets -1 WS, BS and Ld permanently. It is stackable over multiple turns.
Nothing here stands out as aburdly stupid. But, none of it is actually bad, either (except #5). So, yeah. Take Dark Angel Librarians if you want to. #6 can be brutal. But it does require a 7, and then a dice-off. So it's not always going to work...
Leadership Debuffs (for Psychic Powers #4, #5 and #6)
-1 from one or more Interrogator-Chaplains
-1 from one or more Reiver Squads
-1 from Eye of the Unseen
Tactical Objectives - If your Warlord is a Dark Angel, these aren't optional
11. Choose one, two or three turns (secretly). Gain a ****-ton of VPs if you don't fail a single Morale test for the amount of turns you picked. Between ATSKNF, Grim Resolve and Inner Circle, if you fail a Morale test as Dark Angels, you fail as Dark Angels. The alternative to failing Morale tests, is being dead and not having to take them in the first place. However, you aren't allowed to Fall Back, either. Still, VPs are VPs, and 'removing your opponents models' actually isn't the win condition for the game.
12. Detroy a unit controlling an Objective Marker. You're already doing this.
13. An <Interrogator-Chaplain> has to kill an enemy model in the Fight phase, or, manifest an Interromancy Power. Either you're already doing this, or it's a free discard. Your choice.
14. Destroy <Characters> using <Dark Angels> units. Fair enough.
15. Score a VP if a <Deathwing> unit uses Teleport Strike. Is...Is that it? No! Score D3 (!) VPs if a <Deathwing> unit arrives 6" away from a <Ravenwing> unit...It's that easy. Do exactly what you were planning to do and win the game for it. Flawless.
16. Score a VP if a <Dark Angels> unit Charges an enemy unit with a higher Power Rating...
Who the **** gives a **** about ****ing Power Rating!?
GW is forcing you to pay attention to a mechanic that you don't like...So that they can justify their mechanic existing at all? Power Rating is dumb.
Regarding #15, throughout the whole Guide, you'll notice that many (Most? All?) of the best units in the Codex are <Ravenwing> tagged, so that part of the Objective should never be a problem.
Spoiler: HQAzrael: Straight out the gate with your Chapter Master for a reasonable points cost. Azrael comes with twin Auras that are really important;
- All models re-roll To Hit. Yep. Solid. Especially with Plasma weapons and your opponent spamming -1 To Hits all the time, this'll come in real handy.
- All DA <Infantry> and <Biker> models get a 4++ Save.
Azrael in a Drop Pod with Company Veterans with Plasma Guns just throwing them out. Add an Apothecary, throw in an Ancient. That actually leaves two slots left in the Drop Pod...Which could be another squad of x2 Company Veterans. But, that's just an example. There are lots of things you can do with those twin Auras (e.g; Lots of Razorbacks). But, overall, there is really only one good reason to not take Azrael, and we'll get to that.
In addition, if Azrael is your Warlord, you get +1 CP, and, Azrael also comes stock with one of the better Warlord Traits. His Combi-Plasma isn't anything to write home about, but, he's pretty decent in combat, so that's where you should kind of try and get him, if you can. If you can't get Azrael into combat, you're falling back on those twin Auras to make him worth his points cost - and he will be.
Azrael also has the <Deathwing> Keyword.
Belial: Belial is a Terminator Master, that also gives re-roll To Hits to all <Deathwing> units. His Sword is...Decent, and your opponent gets -1 To Hit him in the Fight phase. Should you take Belial over Azrael? Well, the answer to that is pretty simple...Are you going to use Teleport Strike or not? And how many <Deathwing> units are you going to run?
Sammael: Sammael is a Master, that also gives re-roll To Hits to all <Ravenwing> units, and basically is your only real reason to not use Azrael as your Warlord. Sammael's Warlord Trait, is re-roll Charges for all <Dark Angels> units near him. Which is extremely important if you plan on using Deathwing Teleport Strike, as otherwise they're going to have to make a 9" Charge without re-rolls, which is really hard and really dumb.
- ...on Corvex: It's a Jetbike! When Sammael Advances, he rolls 2D6, which he can re-roll thanks to his Warlord Trait - he also has Jink. His Plasma Cannon isn't good. His Raven Sword is decent, but the other version of Sammael gets that, too.
- ...in Sableclaw: Still keeps the Raven Sword. Still has five Attacks at WS2+. So the best bit about Sammael, you still keep. But, in addition he gains 2" of Movement, and comes with a Twin Assault Cannon, and Twin Heavy Bolter for some enormous amounts firepower.
If you don't plan on using <Deathwing> units, Sableclaw is still extremely strong in a gunline. In fact, probably stronger, as Sammael wont be moving, letting him keep his BS2+ rr1s. Since he's not going to be able to keep up with Black Knights after Turn 1, anyway. Either way you take him, he's extremely strong and a contender to Azrael in many Dark Angel Detachments...Especially if you're leaning hard into <Ravenwing>, which isn't even a bad option.
Ravenwing Talonmaster: A Space Marine Lieutenant, that also gives <Ravenwing> units the ability to ignore Cover. Comes stock with Twin Assault Cannon, a Twin Heavy Bolter, and also a Power Sword when you get desperate. There is never a reason not to run one of these guys, and they are arguable the best/most important unit in your entire Codex. And, really, you should be endevouring to run as many as you reasonably can. Azrael/Sammael gives them re-roll all To Hits (which is important as you're BS3+), and a Darkshroud - more on those, later - gives your opponent -1 To Hit.
Interestingly, a Talonmaster is a <Character>, giving you the option to give it Relics (especially as your Warlord is Azrael or Sammael, and you can't give them Relics). You can swap the Power Sword to a Heavenfall Blade, which is a nice idea. But, the better idea is simply the Shroud of Heroes, which gives your opponents -1 To Hit, combined with the Darkshroud that you definitely have for -2. Excellent.
Interrogator-Chaplain: Unlike other Chaplains, he has access to the full range of wargear, and carries the Aura of Dread, your opponents' models get -1 Leadership while he's around. Unfortunately, his Crozius can't ever be swapped out, so you may as well have Infantry-killing covered. Your other options are a Power Fist or Thunder Hammer... A Power Fist is cheaper, a Thunder Hammer is better. There isn't a wrong answer. Interrogator-Chaplains also have the <Deathwing> Keyword, which means you can grab them an extra attack off of the Deathwing Ancient if you really need it - you don't.
- ...in Terminator Armour:
- Lose all your wargear choices and a 2+ Save which doesn't even really help you.
- ...with Jump Pack: You still get the SUA of the Terminator Armour, but you keep all your wargear options. Always bring the Jump Pack, unless you're really strapped for points.
Chaplain: Aura of Dread doesn't really do that much anyway. The only real loss to an Interrogator-Chaplain is you lose a Wound (not even an attack, the thing you're most afraid of losing), you lose the <Deathwing> Keyword which doesn't even matter, and you lose access to all the wargear. But, the only wargear you really need is a Power Fist...
- ...with Jump Pack: ...and a Jump Pack. Which allows you to SUA with your <Deathwing> without having to pay extra for Terminator Armour that doesn't even do anything.
- Primaris: If you're interested in a Primaris Chaplain, I suggest you Space Marine Soup your way over to Blood Angels or Black Templars.
Ezekiel: A Librarian with an Invulnerable save! And a good one, too! Ezekiel's real benefit is that he also acts as a pseudo-Astartes Banner in the Fight phase, and his Force Sword is a bit stronger than normal - especially against <Psykers>. He also has WS/BS2+. He's a decent Melee-support Character, especially when you add in all the Melee-support Psychic Powers that Interromancy brings. Ezekiel - and all Librarians, as a matter of fact - have the <Deathwing> Keyword, so he'll benefit from the usual Ancient, and Belial. The problem with Ezekiel is that he, himself, doesn't really have a way of getting himself into Melee - use a Drop Pod or a Land Raider.
Librarian: Librarians know one less Power than Ezekiel, but they both manifest the same amount. Any Librarian you can bring is strictly worse than Ezekiel in Melee. But, the reason that you would bring a regular Librarian over Ezekiel - and his Book - is for...
- ...in Terminator Armour: Unlike Chaplains who come stock with a Rosarius, a Terminator Armour'd Librarian actually does need the measly 5++...Kind of.
- ...with Jump Pack: This is never the wrong answer. But, it isn't always the right answer.
- Primaris: ...
Remember that you have a Tactical Objective that requires you to have an Interrogator-Chaplain or Dark Angels Librarian in your army (or both). The Interrogator-Chaplain is the better model for general play. But the Librarian achieves the Objective far easier when you actually draw it.
Master: No surprises here. If you haven't already used your Relic slot, a Heavenfall Blade is still by far your best choice, and then the Mace of Redemption. Unfortunately, if you've already used your Relic, say, on Shroud of Heroes, then your only real choices are a Thunder Hammer or Power Fist. Pick up the Storm Shield, or don't. Your Masters aren't really that important, unless they're Belial or Sammael. Which, unfortunately goes back to Grim Resolve and how it affects your entire army. Models that stay still in the Movement phase, are already re-rolling 1s To Hit on their Shooting attacks. You simply don't 'babysitting' Masters on your shooting squads. Which leaves squads that move forwards, perhaps intending to rock out in the Fight phase? In which case Interrogator-Chaplains throw out re-roll all To Hits in the Fight phase, which is simply straight up better than rr1s. Given that an Interrogator-Chaplain has access to all of the same wargear that a Master has (excluding Relic Blades and Storm Shields), an Interrogator Chaplain is simply the better choice, if you want that sort of thing (i.e; Lots of <Deathwing>-Melee units), and are otherwise playing Dark Angels how they're intended (i.e; Stand-and-Shoot). If your intent is to play a highly-mobile Chapter with strong mid-range firepower...You're playing the wrong Chapter and you're better off looking at other Codecies. Even a Librarian or Ezekiel is pretty much a better choice, all things considered. As aforementioned, Chaplains are just Interrogator-Chaplains that cost less...Less than a Master.
- ...in Terminator Armour: Add the <Deathwing> Keyword and wish you had an Interrogator-Chaplain instead.
- ...in Cataphractii Armour: Save on the Storm Shield that you don't have to buy...And then ditto.
- ...in Gravis Armour: The only reason to bring one, is if you have one, and have no other options, money-wise, to get something else. Coming with mandatory Master-Crafted Power Sword and a Power Fist was a disaster from the start. Don't touch this model after you get any kind of alternative.
- ...with Jump Pack: Even regular Chaplains can pick up a Jump Pack.
- Primaris: Whose idea was it to give Characters Auto Bolt Rifles with no AP? Doesn't matter what you give one, because you aren't taking one anyway. Wrong Chapter. Grim Resolve is a thing.
Lieutenants: Two-to-a-Slot. Buy a box of Dark Angel Veterans and make sure you paint in the helmet stripe. Boom. Five DA Lieutenants (you'll only ever really use a maximum of 4). Power Mauls/Swords are cheap and get the job done. A Power Fist is about the tip of your Melee-Lieutenant, as with Thunder Hammers, they'll get expensive, which is unreasonable once you start having more than one, which you should, because you certainly aren't running any Masters, right? As for gunline options, you're best off with a Storm Bolter or Combi-Plasma. Remembering that you're still a Dark Angel, and you're still rr1s To Hit.
- ...with Jump Pack: Your Leiutenant's job isn't to do anything except stand around handing out his Aura. That said, he can jump around the board while the rest of your army stays still, handing out his Aura as-needed. That said, a Talonmaster does the same job, sooo much better.
- Primaris: Again with the Auto Bolt Rifle, which apparently costs 4 Points. Which is the same cost as the Power Sword which replaces it, which is actually way better. First, you wont miss two extra attacks per turn that don't even have an AP, even if Dark Angels are the Shooty Chapter. Second, the Power Sword is the same points as the Auto Bolt Rifle (and you must have one or the other), except a Lieutenant has more, better attacks with the Power Sword. Just in case your opponent can drop in a Melee unit behind/around your gunline-wall. The Primaris Lieutenant can Heroic Intervention in and get it done. While a regular Lieutenant could do the same thing for less points, it actually kind of has better things to do (like have a Combi-Plasma). A Primaris Lieutenant has no other choice, so that's what it's role, is.
Techmarine: Stand behind Sammael/Talonmasters or Dreadnought, and fix them.
Spoiler: TroopsTactical Squad:
Always bring a Plasma Gun and Combi-Plasma on the Sergeant.Except remember how you're Dark Angels, and a Tactical Squads' typical role is to move around the battlefield grabbing Objectives, and thus, squandering your 'Chapter Tactics'? That's right. A Dark Angels' Tactical Squad role is to stay still and do nothing. Which means that your only real choice is a Heavy Bolter (for the range over a Grav-Cannon, because you aren't moving) or perhaps a Plasma Cannon. Your Tactical Squads aren't interested in single-shot weapons, so you aren't going to be running Missile Launchers or Lascannons. So don't even worry about that. You're Dark Angels! Which means that your Tactical Squads are just bad Intercessors...
Intercessors: ...Speaking of which. 30" range. AP-1. 2 Wounds each. A 5-man squad in Cover will easily have a 2+ Save for most of the game and you can generally do nothing all game and not even feel bad about it. What else is there to say? ...Oh, you do want to move your Troops around?
Scout Squad: Cheaper than Tactical Marines, and thus they are more expendable. This unit can also SUA during Deployment, which means that they can start the game on a mid-field Objective, and also never move for the rest of the game, keeping their Grim Resolve for as long as they need it. Remember how the only worthwhile Heavy weapon in the Tactical Squad is the Heavy Bolter? Scouts can take those, too! But, due to also potentially starting the game in Rapid Fire range, Scout Sergeants also like having Combi-Plasmas as well (free rr1s and everything). If you want a 'sit back and shoot' kind of unit, like Intercessors, well, you can't really go wrong with Sniper Rifles... And, you certainly will want at least 10 of them in your army. One squad of 10? Two squads of 5? It doesn't really matter how you have them (and you may want 15 just to be safe), however many you need to put the hurt on <Characters> before they figure out to stay out of LoS.
A Lieutenant with a Jump Pack can get to Scouts' position really easily. Alternatively, Talonmasters are huge support units that will definitely take the heat off of your Objective-holding Scouts.
Spoiler: ElitesApothecary: Heal an <Infantry> or <Biker> model. You're going to want your Apothecary to stand next to any Character model that matters (specifically, Azrael), or behind any Primaris Marine or Terminator unit. If you can't heal a model, you can instead bring one back from the dead, 50% of the time. Revived models come back with 1 Wound left (and can't be healed, by another, separate Apothecary in the same turn). You'll want to bring back any model with a Plasma weapon since those models have a tendency to kill themselves - even in a Dark Angels' Detachment.
- Deathwing: Somehow has less attacks than the normal one? But, yeah. For +20 Points, give your Apothecary an extra Wound, 2+/5++ and the ability to SUA.
- Primaris: Does exactly the same as a regular Apothecary, but costs more. But less than the <Deathwing> one...But also isn't as good.
- Ravenwing: An Apothecary with a 4++ (abuse Jink), that occasionally might shoot its Plasma Talon. But seriously though, a Ravenwing Apothecary's job is to keep up with the other <Ravenwing>, and specifically Sammael, if he's on Corvex.
Ancient: Ancients carry Astartes Banners. If your models die within the Aura, 50% of the time, your model can make a free attack. This is extremely useful for a Chapter that likes to spam Plasma weapons, as killing your own model by Supercharging, counts, which gives you another set of shooting attacks. It works in the Fight phase, too. But you're Dark Angels and you really don't care about that.
- Chapter Ancient: When you 'do the thing' with the Banner, the dying model resolves its attacks at WS/BS2+ instead of whatever it is normally. Is that worth 22 Points, though?
- Deathwing Ancient: Lose the Astartes Banner, and pick up Deathwing Company Banner instead, as well as the Terminator Armour that comes with it. Instead of the Astartes Banner that doesn't even work half the time, <Deathwing> units in the aura gain +1 Attack, which works all the time. A Deathwing Ancient even has access to a Storm Shield for extra survivability.
- Primaris: Like a regular Ancient, but costs more.
- Ravenwing Ancient: Same as the Deathwing Banner, but apply the +1 Attack to <Ravenwing> units instead. Pick up a 4++ or a Plasma Talon attack, whichever seems more appropriate at the time (it should always be the 4++, because your Ancient is a 'keystone' piece to your army, which means you don't want it to be dead).
Company Champion: A bad model.
- Deathwing Champion: A better model.
- Ravenwing Champion: A model on a Bike that actually has the movement to get where it needs to be.
Company Veterans: Since you can't block <Characters> with other <Characters>, these are the cheapest non-Servitor models you can throw in front of your Character to give them two extra Wounds for 16 Points each. Since their job, really, is to die, there isn't a great of point in giving them anything other than Chainswords and Storm Bolters, which are the cheapest things you've got. If you're feeling generous, you might feel like giving them Power Mauls or Swords. But, if you're giving your Veterans anything more than that, you're better off shelling out for the Lieutenant. Azrael and five of these dudes in a Drop Pod, all with Plasma Guns, is a pretty solid investment if your opponent can't interrupt your turn when they set up.
Deathwing Terminator Squad: First thing you're going to want to do is pick up an Assault Cannon. One of the things that Deathwing have, over their Codex counterparts, is the ability to mix up their Terminator Squads. So, if you want a Terminator Assault Squad with an Assault Cannon, you take it. If you want to front up against some of the heavier targets in the game, you'll want to pick up a Plasma Cannon and Thunder Hammers...But, even with Storm Bolters, all your models are going to end up taking Power Fists anyway. So the issue with the Thunder Hammers is fairly simple, do you want to pay an extra 9 Points, per model, for Thunder Hammers*? Keeping in mind that even with SUA (9") you have to make those 9" Charge moves. If you read 'Deathwing Knights' below, you'll find that Melee Deathwing Terminators are fairly pointless, and that you should really bank on your Storm Bolters and Assault Cannons. Which stacks pretty nicely with Deathwing Assault Stratagem, which allows you to shoot twice on the turn you show up. After the turn where you shoot twice and your Heavy weapon takes a -1 To Hit, you should spend the rest of the game in that position, with re-roll 1s To Hit and no negs on the Assault Cannon.
How to Re-roll your Charge
- Sammael's Warlord Trait includes a re-roll Charge Aura.
- The Hunt the Fallen Stratagem allows <Deathwing> units to re-roll Charges against specific Characters. If you declare a Charge against multiple units, one of which is a Character, can you re-roll your Charge, and Charge the closer unit, just by having declared against the Character (and giving them their allowed Overwatch)?
- Command Re-roll
- Codex: Space Marines Librarians have a Power that targets <Adeptus Astartes> units - which includes Dark Angels - that allows the target unit to re-roll their Charge.
* P.S. Don't bother taking Deathwing Terminators with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields.
Deathwing Knights: For 2 Points under a regular Deathwing Terminator, you get Terminators with 1 less AP, but don't take the -1 To Hit from the Thunder Hammer. In addition, you pick up a Sergeant which can 'sweep' with his weapon, where the amount of Damage he deals always equals the number of Wounds dealt out - as opposed to dealing 3 Wounds to a 1 Wound model and 'losing' 2 Wounds into the ether. Deathwing Terminators with Lightning Claws are strictly better than Deathwing Knights, but fall apart at the heavier end. Whereas Deathwing Knights are 'resonably good' against basically everything. Ideally, you want Belial and a Deathwing Ancient behind them. But, if the Deathwing Knights make their 9" Charge, you have to remember to conga line the unit back a few inches to remain inside their auras. Alternatively, have Belial and the Ancient make the Charge with them...Hope you brought your re-rolls.
Deathwing Cataphractii Terminator Squad: Like regular Deathwing, but instead have a 4++, and can't take Assault Cannons.
Deathwing Tartaros Terminator Squad: Like regular Deathwing, but trade their Assault Cannon for a Reaper Autocannon for no reason, which is worse, and a lot worse on the turn that the Deathwing Teleport Strike in.
Remember that you have a Tactical Objective in your deck that requires you to use Teleport Strike. With <Ravenwing> on the board. But, if you don't have any <Deathwing> units in your army in the first place (or it's long past Turn 3 and you have no Reserves left), then chances are your meta might just treat it as a free Discard. But, for an Objective that's so piss-easy to do that essentially amounts to a 'free' D3 VPs, why not take a Terminator Squad? ...Though your cheapest option for it is a Deathwing Apothecary if you're only taking the unit on the off chance that you might have to complete one Objective every other game. Other than that, your best options are Librarians or Interrogator-Chaplains in Terminator Armour (either of which you're already taking for another Objective...That's two birds with the same stone!).
Dreadnought: There's really no need to take them. The following are only 20 Points more and so much better...
Venerable Dreadnought: WS/BS2+ and FNP (6). Yes please. Ideally, you want an Assault Cannon. But, you're Dark Angels, remember? And your Troops are probably going be either Intercessors or Scouts, so you're going to need all the Heavy weapon help you can get... Which means Devastators or Hellblasters. The best weapon on a Dreadnought, is the Assault Cannon, and it's just not that useful to Dark Angels, which means, for the purposes of Dark Angels...It's just not that useful. Next.
Contemptor Dreadnought: Worse than the Venerable, and still has the same problems that Dark Angels don't even need them, and unlike Venerables, Contemptors degrade with Wounds. Hard pass. Always.
Aggressor Squad: Holy ****! THESE GUYS ARE AWESOME...For a Chapter that isn't Dark Angels. Next.
Servitors: No. If you want Heavy Bolters, get them from Devastators (or Intercessors, kind of). If you want Plasma Cannons, get them from...Anywhere else? The only reason to run Servitors, pretty much ever is because you're trying to min-max a Brigade Detachment.
Reiver Squad: These guys have two things going for them. The first; Board control. Except that Scouts do that cheaper and ealier/better, with Defenders of Humanity on. The second thing is that Reivers have a -1 Leadership aura, which is handy for some of your Interromancy Powers. But Reivers are 100 Points for five, and is that really worth -1 Leadership? No. Absolutely not.
Spoiler: Fast AttackScout Bike Squad: Woudn't you rather almost any <Ravenwing> Bike Squad, instead?
Assault Squad: Wrong Chapter...And they're not even good in the Chapters that they're good in.
Inceptor Squad: Wrong Chapter.
Ravenwing Attack Bike Squad: You need to back them up with Sammael, otherwise they're just moving Heavy weapons, which never works well.
Ravenwing Bike Squad: 14" Move with an auto-6" Advance (giving them their Jink bonus). This 20" Move should put them ~2" inside of double D6 Melta range. You'll take the -1 To Hit for Advancing and Shooting. But you're not using Plasma weapons, so that's not a problem, and in a 3-Biker squad you can have two Meltaguns and a Combi-Melta, which is actually three shots, rather than 1. Either way, that's how you use them. 3-Biker Melta teams. It's not great. But if you've got the Bikes for it, it's not bad.
Ravenwing Land Speeders: No.
Ravenwing Darkshroud: Yes. One of the most important units in the entire book. Take the cheaper Heavy Bolter over the Assault, since you'll never be firing it, since your job as a Darkshroud is to Advance-in-place to get the Jink invulnerable save. You will want...Enough of them.
Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance: NO.
Ravenwing Black Knights: The best or second-best unit in the entire Codex. As per usual for <Ravenwing Bikers>, these guys automatically go 6" whenever they Advance, giving them a 20" Move, and a 4++ against Shooting, nearly all the time. Plasma Talons are Assault 2 weapons, so Advancing isn't really a concern, as you should remember that Supercharging is a choice, and for when you do want to Supercharge, you'll want Sammael hugging them from behind. Ravenwing Apothecaries are helpful but not entirely neccessary, and Ravenwing Ancients barely do anything. Ravenwing Champions coming up behind them are sometimes useful, but, at the end of the day, every 'Command' Ravenwing model you build, is one less Black Knight that you didn't build, because, simply put, you can only use the Speed of the Raven Stratagem once per phase, which means using it on the biggest unit of Black Knights that you possibly can. A full unit of 10 Black Knights is 460 Points. That's...A lot. But if you go first and use Speed of the Raven, that 460 Point is going to do a lot of damage. Or, you know...You could be happy with 'only' six Black Knights (two boxes). But, it's up to you. You know, now, that the bigger unit of Black Knights is, the better it is, as the Stratagem affects more models.
Spoiler: Heavy SupportDevastator Squad: Heavy Bolters for economy, Missile Launchers for those 'good against anything' attacks, or Lascannons for punching through Vehicles. Always bring the Armorium Cherub. Never move. Re-roll the 1s. Put a Lieutenant (or Talonmaster) behind them for a few re-rolls To Wound as well. You're going to swap between these and...
Hellblaster Squad: Another one of the best units in the book. Spamming Plasma is for winners, and especially for Dark Angels and Weapons from the Dark Age. Add a Lieutenant to re-roll some Wounds, and make sure you never roll 1s on those Supercharges. Their Rapid Fire range is 15", as opposed to 12", so you can ruin people outside their Rapid Fire range, and never forget about Auspex Scan. Your opponents probably wont.
Predator: +20 Points over a Razorback for...+1 Wound. You also have access to more weapons, but you're also paying for those, too. They're not included as part of the Predator's points cost. So what are you taking Predators over Razorbacks for? The Killshot Stratagem? For +60 Points, before weapons? ...No.
Hunter: The classic example of 1 shot weapons being bad.
Stalker: What the Hunter wishes it was.
Whirlwind: Dark Angel Whirlwinds are actually quite good, by virtue of the Datalink Telemetry Stratagem. But, don't Codex Marines also have that Stratagem, too? Yes, they do. But their Land Speeders are really bad. But aren't Dark Angel Land Speeders exactly the same? No. Because the Stratagem actually says <Land Speeders>, not Land Speeders. See the difference? That means that Dark Angels can use Sammael in Sableclaw, Ravenwing Talonmasters and Ravenwing Darkshrouds. Those three <Land Speeders>, actually represent three of the better units in the Codex, and at least one mandatory one (i.e; Darkshrouds). So using Whirlwinds is actually really good, because in the Dark Angels Codex, there is no tax for using the Stratagem. Awesome.
Land Raider: Vehicles don't get Grim Resolve, and you can actually get x10 Devastators, with eight Lascannons, with Cherubs...For less Points. Vehicles also don't benefit from Azrael's 4++ Aura.
Land Raider Crusader: Load up with Deathwing Knights (i.e; Things that don't care about Grim Resolve) and a Librarian/Chaplain or two.
Land Raider Redeemer: Not great.
Spoiler: Dedicated TransportsRhino: Your Chapter has Grim Resolve. Every turn you're inside a Transport, and even the turn when you get out, is a turn you're not shooting.
Razorback: Castle a bunch of them with Twin Assault Cannons around Azrael, a Talonmaster and a Darkshroud. The benefits of Razorbacks over Talonmasters, is that you can spam them without resorting to Supreme Command Detachments, which your meta may or may not frown upon.
Drop Pod: Gets your units into Rapid Fire range early. For your purposes, that means Storm Bolters and/or Plasma Guns. You could also use a unit of Devastators with Multi-Meltas and Azrael. Or, you might want to put a full squad of Tactical Marines down on an Objective on Turn 1, and have them stay there - it's not like the Drop Pod can move them - but that's just an expensive version of Scouts Concealed Positions-ing before the 1st turn.
Land Speeder Storm: Land Speeder Storms force Scouts to give up their board control, in favour of extra survivability. The thing moves 18", so it's not you can't regain board control if you want it. But it does cost extra points. Points you could use to get...More Scouts. It's weapon armament consists of two-and-a-half Boltguns, and a Heavy Bolter...Which all of your Scouts could have, if they wanted to.
Repulsor: ...It transports Inquisitors and their Acolytes?
Spoiler: FliersRavenwing Dark Talon: A Flier with all the good stuff - including Hover Jet. It can Strafe ground targets, and, since it's a Dark Angel, it's Hard to Hit bonus can stack with a Darkshroud for a total of -2 To Hit a Flier. Real fair. In any case, its role is to fly up to non-<Fly> single models (including Characters) and drop a Rift Cannon on them. Then, in a pinch, a Dark Talon also carries around a Hurricane Bolter to deal with some of <10-model squads.
Nephilim Jetfighter: A Flier without Hover Jet, which means that it's always going to take -1 To Hit on all of its weapons, which kind of sucks. But, it still gets to Strafe ground targets, which makes for that - barely. A Razorback would do a better job. Every Nephilim you have is a Dark Talon you don't have.
Stormraven Gunship: One of the best models in the game, and even better in the Dark Angels Codex because Darkshrouds. Never trade the Twin Assault Cannon - even at 44 Points - and always take the Hurricane Bolters for +20. The nose-mounted weapon can be anything you want, but the Twin Heavy Bolter is the cheapest. Similar to the Land Raider Crusader, what you want to do is load up the Stormraven(s) with the Melee fraction of the Codex that you actually care about; Deathwing Knights, and a Librarian/Chaplain or two.