Faction Focus: Dark Angels

Here’s the Dark Angels faction focus for 9th ed 40k courtesy of the Warhammer-community team.

It’s time for a Faction Focus on some of our favourite robed Space Marines, the Dark Angels! To aid us in finding out what the Dark Angels have locked away for the new edition, we’re joined by playtester Jesse Sell. But first, let’s see just what the sons of the Lion are about.

Who Are They?

The Dark Angels are the most insular of all the Space Marines. Though a noble and storied Chapter, their deeds are ever tainted by a secret, treacherous past when nearly half their original Legion turned traitor during the Horus Heresy.* This indelible slight upon their honour will only be cleansed once all of these Fallen have been killed or broken by the Interrogator-Chaplains. To that end, the Dark Angels maintain two bespoke Companies with which to hunt their ancient, perfidious kin: the bike-mounted Ravenwing and the Chapter’s mighty inner circle, the Deathwing. Whether in battle with the Fallen or against those who would foolishly seek to deny the sons of the Lion their prize, the Dark Angels are implacable foes, whose discipline and battle craft are of the very highest calibre, even among the Adeptus Astartes.

How They Play in the New Edition

For this bit, we’ll hand you over to playtester and gaming guru Jesse Sell, who has the scoop on how the Dark Angels will be looking to purge their enemies in the new edition…

Jesse: Hi all, Jesse here, one of the Warhammer 40,000 playtesters from sunny California with a Dark Angels preview for the new edition! Whenever I’m feeling a bit chaotic, I like to calm down with some completely and totally loyal Dark Angels. Now that the new edition is almost here, let’s see what you’ll be proving your unerring devotion to the Emperor with!

Many Dark Angels players can get trapped by playing too aggressively and overestimating the survivability of their force. With your expensive units or Flyers in particular, you need to be conscious of positioning and to make sure you don’t get caught out when taking advantage of your fun and potentially devastating Stratagems, such as Combined Assault. With the new cap to hit modifiers, your Darkshroud gives your whole force the best level of defence it can have to blunt overly aggressive forces. Utilise the speed and resilience of your Ravenwing and pick your targets carefully, then drop the hammer with your Deathwing units by Teleport Strike.

It’s tough to pin down a Dark Angels force, as they’ve got more flexibility and manoeuvrability than many armies out there. Keep in mind that playing the mission is more important than destroying your opponent’s force. To make sure you’re doing that, use your fast units to provide advantageous positioning and corral your opponent while your slower, hardier units get into position to hold objectives or perform actions.

However, if you’re looking to dominate the field with stalwart, lethal units, you’ll be bringing plenty of Deathwing Knights and Ravenwing Black Knights. With Combined Assault, you can use your Ravenwing units to position a Deathwing unit where it’s most dangerous. Both units are quite hard to kill while putting out a serious amount of damage. Coupled with a Chaplain’s litanies, you can mitigate your losses from supercharged plasma weaponry or give yourself insanely high odds to make that all-important Morale check.

Key Units

Jesse also has some ideas on a few essential units that will likely play crucial roles in Dark Angels armies in the new edition…

Ravenwing Talonmaster

Jesse: Ravenwing Talonmasters went from scary to outright terrifying. With the ability to move and shoot without penalty, along with firing their weapons in close combat, this already deadly unit just got some staying power over multiple rounds of combat! The Talonmaster’s two aura abilities also make it a formidable force multiplier for nearby Ravenwing units. I like upgrading one of my Talonmasters to wield a Heavenfall Blade as well for some considerable added punch.

Ravenwing Dark Talon

Jesse: One of the staples of Ravenwing lists is their iconic aircraft, the Dark Talon. With the ability to fly off the board and return later as Strategic Reserves, you can leave straight away, saving Command points while keeping it handy for later in the game, where it can swoop into battle and bring its deadly rift cannon (which is now a Blast weapon!) to bear.

Deathwing Knights

As Jesse mentioned, if you’re looking for a Dark Angels unit to wreck face, no questions asked, accept nothing less than the Deathwing Knights to get the job done. Not only can they teleport right where you need them, but they come with storm shields for unyielding protection and some brutally effective melee weapons that are unique to their order.

Thanks again, Jesse! How are you planning to hunt the Fallen in the new edition? For those of you Dark Angels fans looking to order Indomitus on the 11th, we can confirm that the Outriders will be able to gain the ‘Ravenwing’ keyword and the Bladeguard Veterans are fully inducted members of the Deathwing.

Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook pageInstagram and on Twitter using #New40K.

* Which half is still a matter of some debate among fans.

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