Dark Angels Review: Formations: Deathwing Redemption Force


Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of another of the Deathwing formations for the Dark Angels, the Deathwing Redemption Force. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.


The Deathwing Redemption Force is the second formation available to the Deathwing to allow them to be fielded in large numbers. Much like the Deathwing Strike Force, this formation provides a great degree of reserves manipulation. This formation can be taken as part of the Lion’s Blade Strike Force, providing the Deathwing Redemption Force with the bonuses for the Dark Angels detachment.



The formation consists of:

  • One model consisting of Belial, Company Master, Interrogator-Chaplain or Librarian (must have Terminator Armour).
  • 2-5 Units of Deathwing Terminators
  • 0-1 Deathwing Command Squad
  • 0-1 Deathwing Knights
  • 0-1 Venerable Dreadnought (unit consists of only one model and must take a Drop Pod as a Dedicated Transport).

Special Rules:

  • Preferred Enemy (Chaos Space Marines)
  • Deathwing Assault- All units in the formation must start in Deep Strike Reserve. Immediately after determining Warlord Traits, you must make a secret not of which turn you want the Deathwing Redemption Force to arrive (turn 2, 3 or 4). All units automatically arrive by Deep Strike at the start of the chosen turn. A Venerable Dreadnought in a Drop Pod arrives at the start of the chosen turn, ignoring the normal rules for Drop Pod deployment.
  • Take the Fight to the Enemy- Units in the formation can shoot and then run or run and then shoot on the turn that they arrive by Deep Strike.



The Deathwing Redemption Force and Deathwing Strike Force are both ways of fielding Deathwing Terminators in increased numbers, but both function in different ways.

The Deathwing Strike Force allows you to choose when each unit in the formation will arrive, but only when used in conjunction with a Ravenwing Strike Force or Ravenwing Attack Squadron. The Deathwing Redemption Force allows you to choose when all units in the formation will arrive, but this must be done before deployment.


Most of the time, you will probably want the formation to be arriving on turn 2. The minimum cost for the formation is around 500 points, so you probably want this much of your army arriving fairly quickly. However, there may be some situations where it is better to delay them for a couple of turns to better suit your battle plan. For example, you may want to hold off with the Deathwing to swamp the objectives on the later turns of the game if you are going to be facing an army with a lot of AP2 firepower. That way, your opponent will get fewer turns of shooting at your Terminators, but again, this is a very expensive formation to hold off in reserve for several turns.

The formation units also get a pseudo-battle focus move the turn that they arrive from Deep Strike reserve. This can be useful if your unit finds itself out of position and want to close with the enemy, or to spread out the unit to protect them from Blast or Template weapons. Don’t forget, the Terminator units also get twin-linked shooting attacks on the turn that they arrive from Deep Strike, helping to boost their damage output on the turn that they strike.


Unfortunately, this formation cannot be used to make a pure Deathwing army, as the earliest any unit will arrive is turn 2. It must be used in conjunction with other forces in the Dark Angels army, but this is generally where it works best anyway. Ravenwing units are a great unit for synergy with the Deathwing. All Ravenwing Bikes come with Teleport Homers, allowing you to Deep Strike your Deathwing Terminators with great accuracy. The Deathwing Redemption Force also works very well with a static gunline army of Dark Angels. The reserves manipulation allows you to bring the Deathwing units down when you predict they will be needed and can give you the mobility to go after objectives and enemy units that are out of range of your gunline.

Belial actually makes a decent character to lead the formation. Belial and his unit will not scatter on Deep Striking, allowing you to place the unit exactly where you want them with no risk of mishapping. A Librarian in Terminator Armour is also a useful option. Many of the Interromancy psychic powers are short ranged, so having the Librarian deep strike in to the effective range of the powers can be a useful tactic. In addition, many of the powers are useful for de-buffing the enemy units or buffing the Terminator units before you launch an attack.


One bonus of the Deathwing Redemption Force over the Deathwing Strike Forces is that the Redemption Force can be taken as part of the Lion’s Blade Strike Force. This allows the Terminators and Dreadnoughts in the formation to fire overwatch at full Ballistic Skill. Given that these units will generally be charged before getting to charge (thanks to Deep Striking), the chance to put extra wounds on the enemy before they make it into combat is a good bonus for the formation.


Otherwise, I think that the Deathwing Strike Force is the superior detachment if you wish to field larger numbers of Deathwing units. It has to be used in conjunction with the Ravenwing Strike Force or Ravenwing Attack Squadron to be most effective, but this is not really a disadvantage, as these are both very useful in a Dark Angels army. The better reserves manipulation allows you to choose when your units will arrive tactically as the game progresses, rather than having to predict when will be the optimal time for them to arrive. In addition, you are not forced to take two units of Deathwing Terminators in the Deathwing Strike Force. Instead, you are able to populate the detachment with Deathwing Knights or Deathwing Command Squads if you wish. In addition, you get the same psuedo-battle focus rule in both formations.


Overall, the Deathwing Redemption Force is a decent option if you wish to field larger numbers of Deathwing units in your army. If you wish to take Terminators in the Lion’s Blade Strike Force, it is generally the superior option, giving you good reserves manipulation for the units in the Redemption Force. It should be an awesome formation for striking at the heart of the enemy army, but unfortunately, Terminator Squads are just not competitive in the current meta.

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

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