Let’s talk about the new Dark Angels and what they mean for the future of the game.
Reecius here from Frontline Gaming here to talk about what our boys in green mean for the future of MEQ armies and 40K in general.
The Dark Angels have always been a bit of an odd man out in 40K. They were my first army back in 2nd edition when they shared a codex with the Blood Angels. My friend and I split the book to save money and both starter collecting our marines, mine green, his red. But beyond the very simple color difference, I noticed a very distinct difference in the rules, too.
It seemed like the Blood Angels were better at everything than my Dark Angels. As a young guy, this really irked me. I didn’t understand why that would be. Of course as I got older I came to understand the inequities that are inherent in game balance.
Over the editions though, not much has changed. Dark Angels have always lagged a bit behind their brothers. The last version of the book may have well have been called Codex: Deathwing/Ravenwing. In all the years the book was out, in all the games I played, I met two, and only two, players that regularly used anything but the aforementioned aspects of the codex. You could have honestly wondered if Dark Angels even had power armored marines had you not read the codex. That’s not to say more gamers didn’t use them, of course, but it was rare and that was because the other units in the book were overcosted for what you got. The Dark Angels were GW’s version of a beta test for the upcoming Space Marine Codex. Why they don’t do an actual beta and avoid all of the trouble is a topic for another day.
With this new edition of the venerable Dark Angels, it seems like we’re going to finally be getting a book that does the first Legion justice. From what I have gathered so far, they will have a wide variety of powerful and flavorful units, which to me, is the key to a good book. Now it will obviously all be dependent upon points costs, but what we’re seeing so far is good. Tactical Marines sound like they’re getting the option for a Heavy Flamer. Boom! I love that. So long as it isn’t prohibitively expensive (looking at you, Flakk missiles!) it will be an excellent choice. Speaking of Flakk missiles, Tac Marines will be getting them as well, further adding to their flexibility.
Another interesting point I took from what we’ve seen of the codex so far, is that there seems to be quite a bit of Warmachine influence. Aesthetically, the new Deathwing Knights look like Menoth style miniatures and they have rules like a Warmachine unit too, witgh a once per game “mini-feat” allowing them to increase their attacks to Strength 10, AP 2. I like that, personally. Anything that gives players tactical choices increases player engagement in the game for me, personally. It means you have to think about when to best use your ability. Compare this to Hammerhand, for example, which is essentially an at will ability, with only an outside chance of it not being there when the controlling player needs it. I hope to see more of these types of mechanics work their way into 40K.
In the past, as go the Dark Angels, so goes MEQs. If this pattern holds true, we will get an idea for the relative power level and feel for the most popular armies in 40K. I for one, am very excited to see what we get!
And, as a shameless plug, pre-orders go up on the 5th of January, and we here at Frontline Gaming offer 25% off retail and cheap shipping for any pre-orders. If you would like to take advantage of this, please email us your order at: orders@FrontlineGaming.org and we’d be happy to help you out!