Dark Angels Early Build Ideas!

My very first 40K miniature! The paint job's not bad considering how young I was.

My very first 40K miniature! The paint job’s not bad considering how young I was.

Let’s do this! What builds are jumping out at you all so far? I have a LOT I am liking but want to hear some feedback, I might be missing some of the cool stuff you all are seeing!

So, what jumps out at me right away are Cheapy McCheaperson Dark Angel Tac Marines with the Banner of Bolter Death!!! The amount of small arms firepower that these cheap, awesome troops can put out is staggering! 40 shots per 10 marines at 140pts (plus the cost of the banner and command squad), is bananas! The banner is expensive, and vulnerable to sniping, but if you can get it out of LOS, in a ruin that covers him from barrage sniping, you’re good to go.

Combo that with some divination Libbys, and you are going to smash infantry with massed Bolter fire.

The obligatory Aegis compliments these gents very well, and in the above format, makes for an excellent fire base. Tac Marines are also great for taking objectives. Lacking Combat Tactics is  bit of a bummer as it means they can get tar pitted quite easily, but that is something you will just have to avoid with on-table tactics.

Typhoons at 75 points is gross, that is just amazing. They are a good value at 90 points, 75 is really, really good. I am thinking of 2 units of 2.

Black Knights jump out at me as a fantastic unit. Plasma death, funky grenades of debuffing, and very good assault, plus speed means these guys can be a great Free Safety unit. They can get where you need them rapidly and handle almost any threat.

I love Whrilwinds this edition, and at the new, lower points cost, good night. Auto-include for me. A Predator with Las Cannons at 140, again behind an Aegis, is going to be a great AT solution at a bargain price.

I like the Deathwing Knights for an assault unit as well. They can handle a wide variety of targets, and with Deathwing Assault, are dependable and mobile.

I think the key is going to be to strike a balance between cheap, reliable units, and the pricier, harder hitting units.

There are just a million ideas bouncing around my skull, here. What combos and units are jumping out at you all so far?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

57 Responses to “Dark Angels Early Build Ideas!”

  1. Nick Wenker January 13, 2013 12:57 am #

    (I didn’t know you would make a separate thread for this, so I posted this in your codex review. I’ll re-post it here since it seems like a better place for this type of discussion):

    Hi Reecius,

    Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, so sorry if anything I bring up was already mentioned by you guys.

    I just got the codex today and not surprisingly it wrecked that Space Wolves + Dark Angels army that worked so well for me last year…who would have thought that they would take a TH/SS terminator HQ above 130 points and that 5x TH/SS fearless scoring terminators with a cyclone who go above 235 points 😉 I’m bummed even if I expected it.

    Belial is now overpriced and you need him to be the primary detachment, and normal terminators with TH/SS got much more expensive and can’t take an apothecary anymore…which got me thinking: Is there any way I can make Belial and TH/SS deathwing squads still viable?

    This is the list that has been swimming in my head since I saw the codex:

    2k, double DA detachments
    1x belial
    1x librarian in terminator armor, divination
    5x deathwing command squad, 4 TH/SS, 1 chainfist, 1 cyclone launcher, FNP standard

    5x deathwing terminator troops, 4 TH/SS, 1 chainfist, 1 cyclone launcher
    5x deathwing terminator troops, 4 TH/SS, 1 chainfist, 1 cyclone launcher
    5x tactical marine, rocket launcher with flakk missiles
    5x tactical marine, rocket launcher with flakk missiles
    5x tactical marine, rocket launcher with flakk missiles
    5x tactical marine, rocket launcher with flakk missiles

    2x whirlwinds
    2x predators with all lascannons

    Comes up to about 1970 or so

    You can start on the board with 17 FNP fearless terminators, 10 rockets, 4 lascannons, 2 twin-linked lascannons, and 2 whirlwind templates.

    If you need mobility, you bring in belial turn 1, bring in the other 2 squads with teleport homer turn 2, no scattering on anyone, lots of twin-linked cyclone goodness. Now the opponent has to deal with a FNP army of terminators in the back. Librarian provides some Deny the Witch coverage and tosses re-roll hits on the HQ unit. If you want, you can merge the two Deathwing units and bring the librarian down with them instead, re-rolling hits on 11 guys in that squad instead of 7 in the command squad with belial. In any event, I feel like I would hate this list either as a gunline army or as a CC army (what CC army wants to wade through that many FNP terminators?)

    Just my initial thoughts
    -Nick W.

    • fulcrum January 14, 2013 4:57 pm #

      I’d swap the whirlwinds & preds. Mebe take devastators w/ 4 ML+flak or 4 Las & take a techmarine with a infravisor to ignore night fighting. Also giving your libby Auspex is a MUST.

  2. The voice January 13, 2013 3:28 am #

    Level 1 libby, goggles, auspex

    command squad, rhino, 2 melta, standard of devastation

    Rune priest, combi melta

    10 tacs with a flakk missile

    10 tacs with a flakk missile

    10 tacs with a flakk missile

    8 greyhunters, melta, wulfen, totem, pod

    Aegis- quad

    6 black knights – 2 grenade launchers, melta bomb

    5 speeders, double heavy bolters

    5 devastators – 4 heavy bolters

    • Reecius January 13, 2013 10:37 am #

      I like it! I would take the Typhoons though, over the heavy bolters. Typhoons are absolutely awesome, I used them all 5th and never, ever was disappointed with them.

  3. Tangentical January 13, 2013 3:39 am #

    Struggling to see how useful the knights rad shells are as majority toughness rules will most likely mean the debug won’t take effect on shooting (I guess useful for cc).

    Ravenwing look awesome through and having used it with beasts + Baron hit and run can be supremely useful.

    One comment is that this codex makes chaos (non hell drake cheese) lists even less enticing as half of the DA rules make them stronger against Chaos Marines with ATSKNF marines nearly the same price as Chaos dudes.

    Want to see how they fare against Grey Knights on the table in shooty vs shooty, the banners could make it interesting.

    • Reecius January 13, 2013 10:43 am #

      Hmm, do the Rad Grenades only affect models and not the unit? Let me check, Ah, it does! Nice catch, I didn’t read that bit. OK yeah, unless it is a small unit, that is a bit of a dumb piece of kit.

      Chaos also gets hatred Space marines, so they can hate each other equally, but yeah, the Marines are inherently better due to ATSKNF, etc.

      Hit and Run is awesome! I think Ravenwing is going to be the new it thing. Biker armies kick ass in 6th, and the ability to disengage form combat is incredibly useful.

      • fulcrum January 14, 2013 5:01 pm #

        It clearly says every model in a UNIT, if it were only the models they would have just said “every model hit”. Otherwise the wording would just be superfluous.

  4. Jegsar January 13, 2013 8:00 am #

    Typing on phone, sorry.

    Almost the same points as chaos except cheaper for min/max because you don’t need vet sergeants… Oh and not only atsknf but every unit is stubborn or fearless…

    One thing i noticed…. I don’t think any bikes have 2 close combat weapons including sarge. Oh and venerable land raiders… FNP ws 5 T5 stormshield termies.. That auto deepstrike without scatter on first turn… Followed by normal terms second with twin linked weapons.

    Having said all this, i have a feeling daemons will be the death of DA. Might be a further reason to take daemon allys.

    yet some how people complain about 4++ chaos terms with a 3++ sorc…

    Combat tactics hardly matters when you can take a flak missile in a 5 man squad!
    Rad nades hit the entire unit, not just wounded model so it won’t effect the knights shooting but any one else that shoots it will be affected.
    I have to say that almost everything in this codex is very powerful in comp to chaos, however as a chaos player that bothers me isn’t the anti chaos rules, it’s the face that my codex isn’t breakable (aside from 6 heldrakes which isn’t exactly fun) but within a half hour i came up with unit, with night vision, with 4 plasma cannons/missles, with a 2+ cover, and a signum.
    Or that the command squad champ has a ap2 at initiative, power maul….

    • Reecius January 13, 2013 10:45 am #

      I agree with your analysis. DA just seem to be a step up over Chaos in so many ways. Chaos struggles with so many limitations. Not enough HQ slots, required HQ for troops, have to challenge, etc. DA is more permissive and synergistic with less limitations and more, useful units and gear.

    • Tangentical January 13, 2013 12:20 pm #

      Rad grenade entries states ‘every model in a unit hit by…suffers -1 toughness’ not the unit. Next unit comes to shoot the unit hit by the rad grenades if say 2 of 5 were hit suffering -1T the average would still be rounded up to the initial toughness value.

      It is therefore useless for shooting unless over 50% of the unit are hit by the rad grenades.

      If it meant the entire unit surely it would say or any unit hit by rad shells the entire unit suffers -1T.

      The lack of a comma after the word model means it does not currently refer to the entire unit taking the effect, it would however if it were worded ‘every model, from a unit hit by rad shells, suffers -1T.

      This could however just be bad drafting but rules as written it only impacts on individual models due to lack of punctuation.

      • Vidar January 14, 2013 1:36 am #

        I believe it causes the whole unit to drop T. British English doesnt always utilize commas the same way American English does. We use commas to emphasize more than they do. My papers in grad school in England were always being red-marked for comma usage. This comma debate has happened before in GW when interpreted by Americans.

        • Tangentical January 14, 2013 3:39 am #

          Um, I am British and a tax consultant… commas are very important in how to read rules as written (at least if you are going up against HMRC).

  5. The voice January 13, 2013 1:10 pm #

    I really dont think it does. It reads fine as at is. The comma doesnt do jack. The whole unit gets the debuff.

    But i must admit id be using it for the stasis and then jaws’ing stuff

    • Reecius January 13, 2013 2:11 pm #

      Actually it is quite explicit that it is model, not the unit. To make this thing work you’d need to fire multiple rad charges and hit 50% or more of a unit. Not very reliable.

      • Reecius January 14, 2013 12:28 pm #

        Although, to further make this annoyingly unclear, you can certainly read it the other way that “all of the models in a unit hit by a…” and it would still be grammatically accurate.

        GW, HIRE A DAMN TECHNICAL WRITER! hahaha, or even just contract one out for dexes, it seriously isn’t hard to do.

    • Tangentical January 14, 2013 3:49 am #

      I find rules as written vs rules as intended within wargaming a really interesting way to consider its wider application in tax law. Here is a link to a short discussion article I wrote recently on the very topic from a UK tax perspective where I mention my wargaming past (though shamefully not my present for credibility in certain circles).


      Thought you might find it interesting that the debate of RAW vs RAI has huge significance to our economies (e.g. Starbucks getting away with dodging tax in the UK) as well as our gaming!

      • Reecius January 14, 2013 11:30 am #

        Excellent article! That is very interesting. It applies to law as well, we have lawyers and judges for a reason. If language was precise, we would only have to write a good rule once, and then it would be as easy as following it’s application, like in an equation.

    • Mark January 14, 2013 6:26 am #

      All models in a unit hit by it means if I hit the unit, all the models in the unit get -1T.
      — That’s how our local group will play it until it gets FAQ’d (which I imagine it will)

      • Reecius January 14, 2013 11:39 am #

        You can definitely read it both ways, but grammatically, it is certainly unclear.

        • fulcrum January 14, 2013 5:05 pm #

          Why would they even put the word “unit” in that sentence if it didn’t effect the entire unit? Why not just say “every model hit”? Makes no sense any other way.

          • Reecius January 14, 2013 8:45 pm

            It does make sense the other way, actually. That is where the conflict comes from, in this case. You can read it both ways grammatically and be correct, it is very ambivalent. Plus, read the entry for the stasis bomb right after it where it very clearly indicates the entire unit. I hope they correct it quickly.

  6. jay January 13, 2013 4:51 pm #

    I think its the whole unit too. It says and this is from the codex “every model in a unit hit by one or more rad shells suffers a -1 penalty to their toughness until the end of the turn”. So if the unit is hit every model suffers the effect. I think if they meant it to be per model they would of left out unit.

  7. Tarrasq January 13, 2013 7:30 pm #

    Azrael + IG super blob

    4++ for all!

    • Tarrasq January 13, 2013 7:32 pm #

      and fearless cant forget that.

      • Tangentical January 14, 2013 2:05 pm #

        But no go to ground behind Aegis as the unit will be fearless… Not sure what’s better but it is certainly even when FAQ’d it’s a big boon for power armour vs daemons and those Bale flamers.

    • Reecius January 14, 2013 11:02 am #

      I think that was an oversight, I hope they FAQ it to only be units from Dark Angels, but for now, yeah, it is ANY unit he joins.

      • winterman January 15, 2013 2:50 pm #

        He’s been able to give 4++ to blobs since 6ed started though. I wouldn’t be surprised either way though.

        • Reecius January 15, 2013 3:05 pm #

          True, but the old rules were written for 4th.

          I don’t think this was intended as pretty much every power like this is written to only affect units from that book, but I could be wrong.

  8. The Voice January 14, 2013 1:27 pm #

    Well heres another little thing getting my group excited. Land raider crusaders with the standard of Devastation.

    Each Raider is now pumping out 24 twin linked bolter shots plus all the other stuff. line three abreast with the standard in the middle one and a character with a power field too and they are pumping out some serious shots and all have a 4++ save to boot

    • Reecius January 14, 2013 1:31 pm #

      Nice one! That is pretty crazy….really crazy, actually! Good combo.

  9. The Voice January 14, 2013 1:51 pm #

    Heres what i used today:

    Lvl 1 Libby – powerfield and ax
    command squad with dakka banner

    10 tacs with a melta
    10 tacs with a melta
    5 tacs with flak missile
    5 tacs with flak missile
    5 tacs with flak missile
    aegis with quad

    4 bikes, melta bomb and combi melta

    crusader with melta
    crusader with melta
    crusader with melta

  10. Devianid January 14, 2013 1:54 pm #

    It says “every model in a unit.” If you read this as every model (in a unit) then that grammatical interpretation a single model not in a unit would not be effected, and only the models hit in a unit would be effected.

    If you instead read it as “a unit (every model)” then it works on units, so on everything including models not in a unit.

    To me it can only be read as hitting units, as the reading that individuals not in a unit can be effected does not make any sense.

    • Tangentical January 14, 2013 2:14 pm #

      Yeah, but it says ‘every model in a unit hit suffers etc etc’ the issue is to what the word hit attaches.

      If it attaches to the word unit then as you say the unit is affected.

      If it attaches to the word model then it is only the model that is affected.

      I agree that in version 2 the words ‘in a unit’ are superfluous which points to version 1 being correct as all entries in an army lists in 40k come under the overarching classification as units as described in win conditions for the kill point mission.

      It is clear to me that version 1 is as intended but due to poor drafting it can (and I’m sure in a tournament setting will) be interpreted as per version 2.

      In a friendly game I’d always go for affecting the whole unit but would seek clarification if playing competitively.

    • Reecius January 14, 2013 8:43 pm #

      To even further complicate it, read the entry for the stasis bonmbs right next to them where it specifically mentions the unit, and the rad charges seem to indicate models in a unit. It is very unclear.

      • Tangentical January 15, 2013 1:14 am #

        And the Vast Stasis Anomaly the Dark Talon has just says unit with no reference to models which would (if using Inductive reasoning) suggest that it must be version 2 for the grenades as why else have a different wording for a similar effect delivery system elsewhere in the codex.

        It is this sort of reasoning which wins cases when HMRC (UK tax authorities) have tried to claim misinterpretation as they either have to admit to inconsistency (which pretty much at least gets you off of penalties) or error.

  11. fulcrum January 14, 2013 4:49 pm #

    @Reecius Just listened to your review. A couple things you missed, tho you may have noticed it by now:

    The DW Knights ability can be used to give T5 to indy characters &/or other DW via b2b contact. I’m thinking Azrael &/or a libby with a squad of knights & a command squad with the FNP bubble. Line them up with the ends curled to maintain T5 throughout. Could be a nasty deathstar.

    Also you poopoo’d the RW BK’s grenade launcher, but I think you are wrong, there is great synergy there. Being able to give -1T, WS, & Init to a unit for a turn sets up nicely for a charge. Even better to combine that -1T with TL salvo 2/4 boltguns (RW com squad w/banner + lots o RW bikes). All those bolt shotsre-rolling to hit & wounding on 3’s. I’ll have some of that.

  12. fulcrum January 14, 2013 6:03 pm #

    God this dex is chock full of typos & contradictory/vague rules. Any1 have an opinion in if the Darkshroud(aka space church) has both stealth & shrouded, or just shrouded?

    I’m just frustrated that GW made some awesome flyer models (albeit way overpriced) & then gave them mediocre to terrible stats(depending on opinion) based on their points cost. They would be decent is either the points cost was dropped pretty significantly or if the weapons were just higher strength (S7 AP4?); ie the missiles, mega bolter, & the rift cannon which is a joke. The stats do not = the fluff on these at all.

    Lastly the plasma speeder is terrible, I assumed it would at least have the range of a plasma cannon & so be useful in situations. Bottom line AV10, 24″ range, 2 HP, & IT GET’S HOT?!?!

    • Reecius January 14, 2013 8:46 pm #

      I agree the only mistake about this book, or I should say, set back, is the typos and such. I otherwise like it a lot. I also agree that the Plasma Speeder is crummy.

  13. fulcrum January 14, 2013 6:22 pm #

    So it looks like the fold out in the back has totally different wording for “Fortress of Shields”, meaning your pdf is wrong.

    pg. 45 :
    “Fortress of Shields: Any model with the Inner Circle special rule that is in base contact with two or more models with this special rule has +1 Toughness.”

    “If in base contact with at least two other models with this special rule, the model has Toughness 5.”

    Pretty huge difference there.

    • Reecius January 14, 2013 8:47 pm #

      We were reading right out of the book, not a PDF. And yes, that is a huge difference, another of many in this book.

      • Fulcrum January 15, 2013 2:20 am #

        Right sorry I was thinking of the PDF over on BoK.

  14. jay January 14, 2013 7:53 pm #

    I still think its the whole unit. Its difficult to explain by writing

  15. Nick Wenker January 14, 2013 10:41 pm #

    The more I think about it, the more I think Ravenwing bikers/knights are bad. If you want to throw points at a “gamble” unit and hope that clever positioning, scouting, and turbo-boosting will keep them out of trouble, then that’s one thing I guess. But they die just as easily as any other bikes, but are more expensive than chaos bikers but a long shot. Anyone with a good amount of shooting in the army can take them out.

    In order to make Ravenwing worthwhile, my feeling is that you need the following:

    -keep them cheap
    -make good use of the teleport homer and scouting
    -give them some ability to threaten armor
    -make them scoring

    That’s why I keep being drawn to Azrael…he just seems amazingly flexible for 215 points. Besides making ravenwing and deathwing scoring, he basically adds Feel No Points and 4++ to whatever unit he joins (assuming you place your objective(s) intelligently).

    I’m leaning towards this:

    1x Azrael
    5x command squad veterans with bolters, apothecary, standard of devastation
    10x deathwing terminators, 2 TH/SS, 1 chainfist, 7 lightning claw, 2 CML
    6x ravenwing bikers, 2 meltaguns, 1 meltaboms
    6x ravenwing bikers, 2 meltaguns, 1 meltaboms
    10x tactical marines
    10x tactical marines
    1x predator, all lascannons
    1x predator, all lascannons
    1x whirlwind
    aegis line with quad gun

    1999 points

    Everything in the army is LD 10. You have 5-9 scoring units. You have 2-4 scoring units that scout, turbo-boost, etc. to teleport homer 10 terminators into the backfield first turn that will wreck armor or infantry. You have a wide variety of shooting and melee to handle light vehicles or heavy armor. If you don’t teleport, you can add Azrael to the terminators to give them all FNP and 4++ for the lightning claw guys for a super annoying scoring unit. You have 25 marines that sit behind an aegis line in the middle of the board and drop 100 bolter shots a turn behind amazing cover.

    If you’re the opponent, what do you do? Shoot all the bikes running around with melta guns? Attack the 10 terminators in your backfield? Get rid of the veteran squad with the standard? Attack the 2 predators putting out all the lascannon shots?

    • Nick Wenker January 14, 2013 10:41 pm #

      Feel no pain rather, hah

    • Reecius January 15, 2013 3:14 pm #

      I think that while the Knights are very expensive, they pack in such a large amount of hitting power that they are worth it, but not taken en mass. A unit of them is the answer to a lot of issues like MCs, Termies, etc. Otherwise I agree with your analysis.

  16. Tarrasq January 15, 2013 1:43 am #

    It has to be read as affecting the whole unit mostly because you can’t “hit” the models in a unit you can only hit a unit (unless it was a single model unit). You don’t do anything to individual models until allocation and by then you’re way beyond hitting. It would have to say “models under the template” for it to affect the individual models in a unit.

    As for the functional differences between the Fortress of Shields rules, the fold-out doesn’t require Inner Circle and T5+ doesn’t benefit.

    • Fulcrum January 15, 2013 2:23 am #

      What do you mean? The point is it gives T5 to any models with Inner Circle not just models with Wall o Shields(other DW, azrael, belial, etc.)

      • Fulcrum January 15, 2013 2:25 am #

        The fold-out wording would require a model to have Wall o Shields to get the T5 as its worded.

        • Tarrasq January 15, 2013 8:26 pm #

          I’ll admit I missed that “other models there”

    • Tangentical January 15, 2013 3:46 am #

      I think this is the best argument yet and is consistent with the wording in blast wound allocation. I would say this clears it up for me…thanks!

      Effectively the words ‘every model in’ in the codex are redundant and merely open the rules to debate such as this.

      Simply stating ‘a unit containing at least one model hit by rad shells suffers -1T etc etc” would be tighter.

    • Tangentical January 15, 2013 3:49 am #

      On a lighter note I’m looking forward to seeing that bad scatter that ends with the marine squad reducing their own toughness.

      Also could be fun double tapping this by also enfeebling the target unit… I assume it stacks.

    • Reecius January 15, 2013 3:12 pm #

      Actually you can hit units. Focus fire, precision strikes, barrage weapons, etc.

      • Tarrasq January 15, 2013 8:24 pm #

        None of those hit models, they restrict or define allocation to the unit. Even precision shots still roll against majority toughness and force allocation onto a model (and really don’t matter here because they don’t apply to blasts).

        Only focused witchfire has the ability to single out a model before allocation but fat chance (only 27.78%) of doing so.

  17. Fulcrum January 15, 2013 2:30 am #

    Had a squad of DW Knights with a chaplain wipe a squad of Paladins & some gk character (not sure which 1, he didnt have eternal warrior tho) without taking a wound tonight.

  18. Andy January 17, 2013 3:31 am #

    Hi Reeceius

    great site and blog thanks

    loving tornado speeders too, so some thoughts……….

    kept wondering about the darkshroud and I think that it can really take speeders up a step from being fart fodder

    The DS can always flat out gaining it a 2+ permanent jink save which is a nice distraction target it just stays in range speeders, easy move

    It gives speeders a 4+ jink whilst shooting and 3+ flat out if it gets too hot and you have to run.

    survivability has improved AND you can make one basic vanilla speeder the “tank speeder ” (by moving that one flat out giving it a 3+ whilst the others move and fire as per squadron rules)

    so from 1 speeder firing with a 5+ we go to 4 firing with a 3+ up front

    in addition you now have all the benefits of squadron rules, loose a HP from a speeder send him to the back, need 2 speeders with 3+ save flat out 2 of them

    behind cover or a defense line they are all getting 3+ with DS on tow

    perhaps not the stuff of tournaments, it costs, but way more durable/viable than before

    Question could Sammael in his speeder join a unit of them?

    • Reecius January 17, 2013 7:57 am #

      Hey Andy, those are some really good ideas. I had not even thought about going flat out with the dark shroud every turn, although now that you say it it is clearly the smart play. That really increases durability. Using a speeder to tank shots is a bit pricey, but it could help with durability. Only issue is if he goes down in one shot, you paid a premium for not much defense. I find that I’d rather just pay the extra points for more offense on the unit, but ymmv.

      Can sammael join a unit of speeders…..off the cuff I’d say no, but I am on the road and don’t have my books with me, have to look that one up.

      Fart fodder, hahaha, I’ll be using that one again!

Leave a Reply