Dark Angels First Impressions

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Hey everybody, Reecius here to talk about the newest codex and the first army I ever owned: Dark Angels! Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great reviews.

The first legion is here and for once, they aren’t getting left out in the cold. Huzzah!

The book is a vast improvement over the last one, and should leave most Dark Angels players feeling very positive about their army. It gives you a ton of options to take on any other player and has some really fun formations and detachments to add some versatility and punch to a list.

This is an overview, not a comprehensive review. These are my first impressions based on personal opinion. Feel free to disagree!

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The Good

There’s a lot to love in this book. Dark Angels have some awesome options in the form of reliable troops, powerful formations and detachments, and some very heavy hitting units such as the outstanding Black Knights. The Dark Angels improved nearly across the board. Their “Chapter Tactics,” so to speak, are expressed in several rules that apply to various units: Deathwing, Ravenwing and Grim Resolve. These provide some really cool special abilities to the Dark Angels that give them an edge. Also important to note, is that Dark Angels don’t actually have Chapter Tactics, and as such the restriction on Space Marines being unable to mix Chapter Tactics within a unit does not apply to them. You will be seeing many an Iron Hands Chapter Master on a bike riding with Black Knights, mark my words.

ezekiel

The only HQ that really jumps out at me at this point as solid, is Ezekiel. Previously, he’s typically been overcosted, but now he weighs in at a very reasonable 145pts. He’s mastery level 3 with 3 wounds (so good for avoiding death by Perils), comes with a 12″ Fearless bubble Warlord Trait and a 6″, +1 attack bubble. Not bad! Plus, the Dark Angels psychic powers are excellent, so this plus his access to many of the others is quite solid. His only limiter is being on foot with no ability to Deep Strike, which can be a bummer.

The generic Libby is a decent choice, too, just because he’s cheap and he is one of the few HQs in the book that can take Terminator armor or a Bike.

Speaking of which, Dark Angels psychic powers are incredible. Called Interromancy, the discipline has some extremely powerful debuffs that can make enemies more susceptible to morale effects, or simply nerf the crap out of their stats. There’s some powerful ones in there, for sure! GW is really cranking up the power of some of the pyschic disciplines.

raven guard scout

In the troops department, you will be seeing lots of Scouts–which have become the defacto Space Marine troop choice in many lists–as they have Grim Resolve, which makes them even better for holding objectives. Grim Resolve gives them Stubborn and increases their BS on Overwatch, which is a solid ability. This combined with their already amazing mobility and deployment flexibility means you can build a great army for most missions with Scouts at the core. The Tactical Marines are also a solid choice if you opt to go with their Demi or Battle Company which further increases their BS for overwatch and can give you free transports as with their Space marine brothers.

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The Elites slot has some great choices, too. First and foremost, the Ravenwing Command Squad, which is comprised of Black Knights. This is, IMO, the best unit in this book. They’re a typical biker in terms of stats apart form 2 attacks over 1. They have a twin Plasma Talon (18″ plasma gun), Teleport Homer, and a Corvus Hammer which is a +1S, Rending, Melee weapon. These are impressive weapons on their own, but when you factor in Skilled Rider, Scouts, Hit and Run, and the Ravenwing rule, you get a savagely potent unit. Ravenwing allows them to reroll failed cover saves when they jink, which means they have a 3+ reroll jink save, possibly a 2+ if near a Darkshroud. That’s, obviously, extremely good. They can upgrade one member of the squad to be an Apothecary, too, to increase their durability further. They’re a pricey unit, but worth every point and I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of them form the core of many deathstars.

Their Dreadnoughts also got the huge improvement of 4 attacks as did their Marine equivalents, and have Grim Resolve which is awesome, particularly in a Demi or Battle Company. Command Squads will also get some playtime as they are in line with their equally awesome Space marine brothers, now. Plop them in a Drop Pod with 4-5 special weapons and do work.

We’ve also got the now ubiquitous empty transports in Fast Attack. Drop Pods, Rhinos and Razorbacks, oh my! These make Dark Angels a fantastic ally, and they with Skitarii, Astra Militarum, Sisters, or other Marine Chapters will be very prevalent. Attack Bikes and Land Speeders will also have a bit of a Renaissance, I think, as with the Ravenwing rule and Scouts (on the bike), they have so many options to be relatively durable, cheap, objective grabbers which is super useful in this edition. The Darkshroud is also quite attractive as its 6″ bubble grants some seriously awesome benefits (Fear, Stealth, no Overwatch) and it become infinitely more durable with an extra hull point and the ability to reroll its Jink save for a 2+ reroll. Weapons that don’t ignore cover will really struggle, and melee will be the only real concern.

the bad

The Bad

While Dark Angels are dramatically improved in general terms, there are still a few stinkers in there. Most of the HQs, for example, are a bit lackluster. Belial is still way overpriced, and GW didn’t want to give many of the others access to either Bikes or Terminator armor, for some reason, and as such it gets wonky to try and write a list for some of the formations and detachments. You can kind of fake it a bit by slapping a Jump Pack on a character and having him jump around with a Bike squad, but it isn’t nearly as good. Also, there’s the obvious oversight of new characters getting Ravenwing besides Sammael (who is still overpriced), so that is funny but lame.

Ravenwing are solid, but no Skilled Rider makes them strictly inferior to White Scars whom can also be ObSec. Again, some of the Formations and Detachments make up for this, but I’d almost always want to take Black Knights instead.

The Nephilim is better, for sure, but still not good. For his middling firepower, his price point should have gone down quite a bit more, IMO. It just doesn’t hit hard enough, and I doubt we will start seeing many of them. Same story with the Vengeance Speeder. While much better with the Ravenwing rule and an extra HP, it still tends to commit suicide shooting its main weapon….so, yeah. It’s expensive and while it hits hard, it just dies so easily and if you jink, it’s not shooting. Still not going to get much table time, IMO.

Also, Dark Angels Vets…still extremely mediocre. No Sternguard or Vanguard special rules, just a unit of Veterans with nothing special about them. You’d never take them over a Command Squad outside of fluff reasons.

ugly

The Ugly

There’s a lot of meh units in this book. Not bad, but not great. All of the standard predator chassis vehicles, whirlwinds, Land Raiders, etc. fall into this category for reasons we’ve covered a million times before. Yeah, you can buff them by taking them in units, but that is pretty negligible. Some folks are excited about the Hammer of Caliban formation that combines them all into one super unit with a Techmarine, but my feelings are that it will occasionally have a big game but is a ton of vulnerable eggs in one basket. Haywire units dropping in, such as we’ll be seeing with Skitarii, and Melee units, will be very dangerous to this. However, it does make some of the less popular vehicles at least worth considering.

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Deathwing, while better, are still too pricey. Terminators just don’t warrant their price point, anymore. Some of the Formations and Detachments help a ton, but you still aren’t likely to see many armies choose lots of them outside of fluff reasons. I will say though, that the Deathwing Knights got a lot better. Still too pricey, but, significantly improved and with character support you could make a fun, powerful melee unit. With WS5, base AP3, and Smite, these guys can take a bite out of a lot of other units in the game, but still die like dogs to small arms fire as all terminators tend to. A tank character is almost a necessity.

The Dark Talon is certainly greatly improved, with its funky Rift Cannon that can shoot out a persistent Strength D Vortex if doubles are rolled on the scatter (1/6 odds), and is still a strength 10, AP2, blast otherwise, with strafing run to boot. Not bad. It also has Hurricane Bolters but that is a bit silly as those two weapons typically don’t want to be fired at the same target, but, it is nice when they can both be used. It also comes with a sort of cool Stasis Bomb which can remove models form play if it happens to wound them (unlikely in most cases at St4) and they fail an Initiative test, but, it does cause a unit hit by it to have their WS and In reduced by 3 until the end of the turn which is cool if you are in position to charge that unit in the ensuing assault phase. This is not a bad unit at all, just sort of middling.

Formations and Detachments

I separated this out as it bears special attention. This is where the Dark Angels get their magic. The Lion’s Blade Strike Force is OK. It gives you increases to Grim Resolve, which is cool and can be awesome vs. the right army, but not nearly as good as Combat Doctrines with Space Marines. You have to take a middling Assault and Devastator Squad too, which are not bad per se, but fall short compared to the options Marines get. A Dark Angels CAD I think, is the better choice unless you go for the full Battle Company in which case Dark Angels can be quite good as their Auxiliary Formations are awesome and are cheaper than the Marine options, meaning it is easier to min/max the battle company and shoehorn something else into the list, too.

Deathwing

Deathwing

The Deathwing Redemption Force Formation and Deathwing Strike Force Detachment are not bad. They give you some really useful reserve manipulation mechanics in being able to either choose the turn the Deathwing units come in before the game or during if you have Ravenwing support (who also come with Teleport Homers) means you can really counter some of the nasty Alpha Strike lists that we’re seeing in the meta at present such as Drop Pod Skitarii, which really rely on that initial punch to win the game. This combined with being Twin-Linked on the deep strike, and being able to shoot and run or run and shoot that turn, really helps to give the Deathwing that extra oomph they need to actually win a game. It will be a thinking man’s army, but that is not a bad thing. These detachments also allow you to take Deathwing in another army without fooling around with units you may not want to take.

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Likewise, the Ravewing offer up some awesome Formations and their Detachment, the Ravenwing Strike Force, while flawed in the HQ section, is still quite good. The Strike Force allows you to take an all Ravenwing army if you choose, and give you some slick benefits, too. For one, the first turn they are on the board, they can all turbo boost or flat out count as jinking but shoot in the next phase at normal BS. Nice! This combos excellently with their next special ability which is to choose to have the entire force come in automatically on turn 2, no roll required. This is super powerful as it allows you to counter those Alpha Strike armies as with the Deathwing formations, above, and then come onto the table with some impressive defense, too. Not bad!

The Ravenwing Attack Squadron is a cool, cheap little Formation that consists of a single Speeder and a unit of Attack Bikes or stock Ravenwing. If the Speeder shoots and hits a unit, the Bikes get BS5. Also, Deathwing units arriving within 12″ don’t scatter. Not bad! It’s cheap, effective and BS5 Attack Bikes can do work with either Heavy Bolters or M.Meltas and the unit then provides a great way to get Deathwing where you want them.

However, the real money maker is the Ravenwing Support Squadron. This is an excellent Formation and one I think we will see frequently. It Consists of a unit of 3-5 Speeders and a Darkshroud or Vengeance. The Darkshroud is what you will see in it, every time, though, and here’s why. All the vehicles go into a single unit which gains Scouts (from the Nightshroud), Grim Resolve, Interceptor and Strafing Run…Wow! Interceptor on this unit is savage! Plus, the Nightshroud gives everyone Stealth, and has Shrouding, itself. That means they Jink at a 3+ or 2+ with a reroll. That is pretty savage. Interceptor is also incredible on this unit to help counter reserve tactics and Strafing Run is just icing on the cake. Lastly, the unit gains the ability to overwatch vs. an enemy unit that assaults a Ravenwing unit within 24″…again, Wow! That’s really powerful on a unit that shoots as much as this one can. This also means, it gets to overwatch for itself, too, at a minimum of BS2 no less. Not bad at all.

Lastly, the Silence Squadron is pretty meh, IMO. It consists of 2 Nephilim and a Dark Talon. They all come on a single reserves roll, and the Dark Talon’s Satsis Bomb doesn’t scatter and gets a bonus if you manage to slay the Warlord with it. Eh. Nothing special, IMO.

So there you have it! The Dark Angels have got a lot to be stoked about. There are a ton of ways to play them and they have vastly improved, on the whole.

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53 Responses to “Dark Angels First Impressions”

  1. Nightman July 1, 2015 2:35 am
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    Kinda butthurt with the Overwatch buff, it’s not really relevant against top tier lists, but will push lower tier assault armies even further into the ground. Great review regardless!

    • Punchymango July 1, 2015 7:02 am
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      Gotta keep those chaos assault troops from overrunning the board!

    • fluger July 1, 2015 7:26 am
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      Yeah, my already outclassed horde Ork army is very sad about this…

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 9:22 am
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      Eh, a lot of powerful armies use assault at present, actually. Knights, Eldar, Necrons, Daemons, etc. I think it will be more prevalent than you may think. That said, I won’t make the argument that it is better than Combat Doctrines, because it isn’t.

      • fluger July 1, 2015 9:25 am
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        I guess I hadn’t considered the silliness of full BS overwatch with a meltagun and multimelta against a Knight. That would suck, especially since, IIRC, the shield only works in the shooting phase.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 1, 2015 2:49 pm
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          The shield lasts until the next turn, but, yeah it’s powerful and pretty easy to force a Knight player to put it on his side or rear to avoid having it in the front for Overwatch.

          • abusepuppy July 1, 2015 4:04 pm
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            That can work, but it’s worth remembering that it’s perfectly legal to charge sideways with a Knight, provided the target is in LOS for for a weapon.

  2. Michael Corr
    corrm July 1, 2015 3:02 am
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    Nice overview of the codex, I agreed with you on most points in my own reviews ( http://standwargaming.blogspot.co.uk/ ).

    The only point I would argue with is most HQ’s not having access to terminator armour or bikes. Company masters, librarians and interrogator chaplains can all take terminator armour and librarians and interrogator chaplains can both take bikes. Only a few unnamed characters and the special characters cannot get these upgrades and this is pretty common in most codices.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 9:29 am
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      True, but not many can take either, which is why it gets weird writing a list with some of the restrictions put in place by the various detachments.

  3. abusepuppy July 1, 2015 3:29 am
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    It’s worth noting that the basic Ravenwing Bikes are actually quite comparable to White Scars bikes- WS have the advantage of Skilled Rider, obviously, which allows them to completely ignore terrain of all types, and are a few points cheaper per model. On the other hand, RW Bikeshave a better overall Jink (4+ rerollable vs. 3+), have Scout innately with no need for an added character, and come with Teleport Homerson everyone, not to mention BS2 overwatch. They’re actually a lot closer than people think, though I would still give the edge for a pure-bike army to WS in terms of raw hitting power.

    • Michael Corr
      corrm July 1, 2015 3:37 am
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      The +1S to hammer of wrath should result in a few more wounds for the White Scars, but I think the biggest winner for them is having access to Objective Secured.
      The Ravenwing also gets stubborn, which helps mitigate combat losses over the White Scars, though with ATSKNF, losing combat is not a huge deal for the White Scars. If losing combat prevented Hit and Run, losing combat might be more of a big deal for both biker units.

      • abusepuppy July 1, 2015 12:51 pm
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        +1Str HoW is a nice trick, to be sure, but I’d rank it well below the other factors. Being ObSec is part of the detachment bonus- and while RW obviously can’t get it, they do get other things in return from their detachments.

    • wellspokenman July 1, 2015 4:05 am
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      BS2 overwatch with Twin Linked weapons are going to give some people a nasty surprise. That’s more than a 50% hit rate.

      It’s also worth noting that Ravenwing Bike split in to 3 units instead of 2 when they combat squad. This gives you a good option when you are facing an opponent with a lot of Ignores Cover.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 9:24 am
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      Good points, but for me, Skilled Rider is the clencher for the ignores dangerous terrain penalty as that can lose you the game when it rears its ugly head at the wrong time. Plus, ObSec is HUGE for WS, and they are cheaper, too. But, they are fairly close to one another, I agree, but in a strict efficiency comparison, WS all day.

      • abusepuppy July 1, 2015 12:52 pm
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        Oh, believe me, I know how big a deal Skilled Rider is- I saw bikes played without it during the 5E era. But RW do get some very significant buffs in return, so I don’t really think it’s right to say that one is necessarily better than the other.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 1, 2015 2:55 pm
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          Fair enough, YMMV, but in my eyes, it is a fairly clear choice but that is of course, my opinion. I just don’t think I would ever opt to take normal Ravenwing over Black Knights, ever. You add in two special weapons to a normal RW squad and now there’s no real reason not to just up-jump to the vastly better Black Knights.

          • abusepuppy July 1, 2015 4:06 pm
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            Yeah, Knights are a really good buy this time around thanks to the Ravenwing rule. Regular bikes are good for filling out a force more cheaply (because, even though they’re good, BK are really expensive) and for a small inclusion to guide down some Terminators.

            I wouldn’t build a RW army that tries to do what WS do, but that’s something that goes both ways.

  4. xsquidz July 1, 2015 3:58 am
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    My issue with RW vs WS bikes is that there is still a point differential that is too big. RW vs regular bikes I can see the points increase maybe being ok but being WS adds too much with no points increase. It means you get 5 RW for 1 point less than 6 WS bikes.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 9:25 am
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      Very good point. If you use Deathwing, the Teleport Homers do come into play, but if not, then it is a big difference.

      • abusepuppy July 1, 2015 12:54 pm
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        Sure, but you could also argue that unless you take Khan, WS bikes are significantly inferior because they lack Scout. However, realistically anyone using WS will take Khan and anyone using RW will be using Darkshrouds and/or Deathwing to maximize the advantages of their guys.

  5. Ghost Valley July 1, 2015 4:42 am
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    I think you are going to see Sammael everywhere. Not only for getting his skilled rider into a ravenwing command squad , but as pretty much an auto include for super friends.

    I’ve played against ravenwing a ton as my regular opponent as played them for years, and black knights and reroll jink and scout and boosted overwatch are the truth.

    • Dom July 1, 2015 5:03 am
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      Ravenwing Command already has Skilled Rider though.
      Personally I think we’re gonna house rule and give Ravenwing to characters upgraded with bikes, with the exception of a techmarine maybe.

      • Ghost Valley July 1, 2015 6:29 am
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        Seems reasonable. It feels to me like this was just an oversite and not intentional.

        • wellspokenman July 1, 2015 7:35 am
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          but will they fix it or let it stand. I was waiting for 2.5 years for GW to get around to fixing the oversites in the last codex like the DW Sarge and Apothecaries. They never bothered fixing the rules, they just played around with where you could hide your PFG.

          • Ghost Valley July 1, 2015 7:57 am
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            I’ll be surprised if they ever faq something again. Even errata seems to only be happening in the digital books.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 9:25 am
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      For me, I’d rather have an Auspex than Samael’s Eternal Warrior, personally.

      • Ghost Valley July 1, 2015 9:42 am
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        Fair point. I just see him being around as all his special rules make him perfect for a mixed beat squad and if you are playing a mobile army and DA are a part of it, the ravenwing rule is enough for me to take him as my DA hq needed so I can unlock black knights and the RWCS. He is a lot of points for a compulsory HQ, but the EW mixed in with an iron hands chapter master on bike , fnp command squad, and librarius conclave give a lot of options for look out sir and challenge shenanigans

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 1, 2015 10:18 am
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          Yeah, all good points. He is incredibly durable with EW and the reroll jink. Doesn’t hit too hard, and is pricey, but oh well.

          • Ghost Valley July 1, 2015 10:27 am
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            The str 4 isn’t great. The ap2 good. He needs friends with him for sure. Hqs aren’t my favorite in this book though. Still sad for Belial

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 1, 2015 2:58 pm
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            Yeah, Belial stinks =( But, Samael’s WL trait is pretty boss, though, definitely another nice perk.

  6. IndigoJack July 1, 2015 7:12 am
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    I agree that the RWCS is something you’re going to see a lot of. Lots of rending attacks (2 + 1 for extra CC weapon), decent shooting, auto H&R… add in a iron hands librarius conclave and now you have survivable psychic support too.

    I see the RW attack squad as being pretty good as well. grav guns bikers hitting on a 2+ is pretty nasty.

    The RWSF only having 1 HQ option despite the 3 slots is kind of a mind boggler, but I imagine the RW restriction was put in place to prevent the abuse of the FA slot, and forgetting to add the RW rule to other HQs was an oversight. Hopefully one that will be remedied via FAQ (perhaps an ITC FAQ?)

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 9:29 am
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      Yeah, I agree that that must be an obvious oversight, hopefully one that they fix.

  7. Sueppchen July 1, 2015 8:55 am
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    One thing that makes Sammael much better than before is his warlordtrait.
    The combination of Scout, Ravenwing, his jetbike, Hit and Run, + 3″ on Run and Charge Moves makes him very good tank for Deathwing Knights. Maybe even in combination with a Darkshroud. If you add in a Librarian or Chaplain on a Bike, that is a reliable charge in Turn 2 to tie up or kill a unit that is too strong for Black Knights. Close-Combat Terminators suffer from high volume of fire and their pathetic movement. He can fixes both issues and gives the Hit and Run. That relativises his price tag.

    Lately we discussed one issue with he jink save of Ravenwing Bikers. RAW you have to use the best save available. If you see both the save and the reroll as one event, there is no issue. But if you have a 3+ armour and a 4+ rerollable save, one could argue that the 3+ is better. The Reroll comes into play when the save is failed.

    I think you rate that Ravenwing support formation a bit too high. I mean it is quite good, but I doubt that the benefits make up one big disadvantage: If you don’t jink, it is incredible vulnerable to shooting. If you do jink, the firepower of a 250 point+ unit is almost useless. It may be good gainst lists that rely on assaults, but that is not the weak side of the book anyway. It will even struggle against a lot of Droppod armies. If you want to play Landspeeders, I’d guess they work much better in a MSU-context.

    That is why I think Black Knights are by far he best unit in the book. They can jink and still do their thing if they assault weak units. In case they don’t, they shoot just as good as Landspeeders or Grav-Bikers. The only thing I do not like about them is how sloppy they changed the rad grenades. It is ok if they want to change it. But as it is now, there is absolutly no target in the 40k universe where that profile is the best of the 4 available. When you are within 12 inch of your target and want to cause damage, you can rapd fire frag or krak grenades instead.

    • wellspokenman July 1, 2015 9:25 am
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      If you do it right, the Speeders are going to get a cover save from something being in front of them, probably bikes, and that is going to give them a 3+ cover save without having to jink. The Darkshoud itself will probably tank a couple of shots, and once it is gone, the unit will fall back and lob BS5 missiles at it’s opponents from 48″ away.

      Drop pods aren’t a huge concern, because 1 unit is going to get clobbered by BS5 Interceptor fire. After that it doesn’t matter if the speeders jink because the Interceptor shots have already used their next turn of shooting. So they don’t really lose anything.

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 1, 2015 9:31 am
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        Agreed. As a looooong time Speeder player, I can tell you the best defense of the unit is range. Stay at 36″-48″ and dance away from opponents. With their mega Jink, few folks will bother shooting at them. They also provide so many other buffs, it’s awesome. I really dig this unit a lot.

        • Remigio July 2, 2015 2:17 am
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          Wouldn’t they have +2 save under cover? The darkshourd have shrouded and the land speeders stealth. Together they give a +3 to cover save.

          • wellspokenman July 2, 2015 9:41 am
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            RAI: They are one unit, and the Icon of Old Caliban says it does not affect the Darkshoud itself. If the Darkshroud specifically can’t give itself Stealth, why would it confer it to a unit it joined and gain it any way. This isn’t the only interpetation, but until se get a FAQ or errata I am playing it conservative.

            RAW: yes, I would say it gets a 2+ cover save.

    • IndigoJack July 1, 2015 10:21 am
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      Another thing about the support squadron is with interceptor they can fire at incoming drop pods, then jink against what’s left.

  8. happy_inquisitor July 1, 2015 10:36 am
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    The Vengeance has one thing going for it – and it is a really big thing. If you take it in the support formation you now have yourself a S7 AP2 pie-plate of interceptor death. Anyone who knows what interceptor riptides do will know just how to make use of this. If your local meta is drop-pod heavy this thing is a little gem in the codex. Its supporting fire overwatch at BS2 is not bad either and will remind opponents of the other reason they have been raging against riptides since 6th. Just put Prescience on it at every opportunity.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 3:00 pm
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      Good point, but if you jink you can’t fire the Vengeance, FWIW.

      • Nova star July 1, 2015 4:31 pm
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        It still can fire 3 S7 Ap2 shots

      • Nic July 1, 2015 9:58 pm
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        Overwatch is unaffected by jink and if you fired interceptor you were not shooting next turn anyway – and the jink effect ends in time to fire interceptor shots again the following turn.

        Against a drop pod army the vengeance should be intercepting/over watching for the first 2-3 turns so jink penalties just do not matter.

        • WestRider July 2, 2015 12:15 am
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          The DA benefits to Overwatch are affected by Jinking, tho. They can still fire it, but it’s going to be at BS1 (or maybe 2, the basic Grim Resolve bonus might still work), but they’re not getting the full BS4 Overwatch while Jinking.

          • Nic July 2, 2015 2:41 am
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            Overwatch is already snap shooting, jinking does not alter that in any way. Any special rule conferring a better BS to overwatch clearly applies to snapshots and functions normally unless the wording specifically says otherwise.

            BS 2 overwatch is still pretty useful on AP2 shots – especially with Prescience.

            I am not saying that this is some sort of super-unit but I think it is a strong counter to one of the more popular list types out there. If drop pods (or deep strike in general) are common in your meta this works well. Without interceptor and overwatch from the formation all the problems of jinking come back and I really doubt if the vengeance has a useful role.

          • westrider July 2, 2015 6:21 am
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            Yes. And my point is that the DA Detachment Rules do specify that the bonuses to their Overwatch don’t apply while Jinking.

          • abusepuppy July 2, 2015 8:11 am
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            Grim Resolve explicitly says you don’t get the bonus if you are Jinking.

  9. Sueppchen July 1, 2015 10:46 am
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    Hmm. I still think there very many bad matchups out there for that formation. Eldar Bikes, Dark Reapers, Necron Bikes with Ignores Cover, Tau, Sicaran, a lot of free Razorbacks from SM-Formations, barrage weapons with or without Ignores Cover… You basically make a shooty list that will have a hard time against most other lists that rely on shooting. Black Knights basically have the same weak spot, but they are a bit more resilient against shooting that inores cover and have less problems when your opponent gets close.

    The formation will be a significant part of your firesupport and the dark shroud is a key asset in any list that has one. The formation will be the top target for any opponent who has assets to bring it down.

    If you really want Land speeders as firesupport anyway, I still think it is better to field the darkshroud and as many as you want separatly. You may sacrifice some firepower and have a few more killpoints, but that Ravenwing special rule works much better with MSU. If you have to use the Ravenwing special rule, 4 separate Speeders will eventually have more Firepower than the formation.

    I did not mean that the formation is bad against Droppod lists, it is obviously meant to be the direct counter to them. But don’t forget that your opponent will decide which of his units will get clobbered.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 1, 2015 3:00 pm
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      I’m not trying to make the argument that that formation is unbeatable or what have you, just that it is very good, and adds a lot of force multiplication to the army.

  10. Punchymango July 1, 2015 3:50 pm
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    Sounds like it’s still functionally Codex: Ravenwing to me.

  11. pascalnz July 1, 2015 4:52 pm
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    so…, white scars character granting skilled rider to ravening units?:P

    • wellspokenman July 2, 2015 9:48 am
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      I’ve heard people tossing around the idea of running a White Scar Librarius Conclave. Personally, I don’t think any characters bring quite enough to a unit to justify their costs. You are looking at 85 pts minimum to gain Skilled Rider for 25 pt bikes. You’d probably be better off just taking 2 more Black Knights instead.

  12. Cypher623 July 2, 2015 5:13 pm
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    Reese,

    I love your articles. You always seem to hit the nail right on the head. I played the Ravenwing Detachment last night along with the landspeeder detachment. 14 knights, two lvl 2 libby’s and Interrogator Chaplain, 5 sets of three bikes with gravguns, two attack bikes with MM, three speeders with AC and a Darkshroud.

    The list is absolute murder. I killed three Wraithknights turn one. The range on the army is incredible.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 2, 2015 9:17 pm
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      Yeah, Black Knights and the RW Support Formation is utterly devastating! Just played a NASTY Taudar army with Seer Council and went right through them. Dark Angels are BACK.