Dark Angels Codex Supplement Review- Detachment Abilities

Hi everyone, Michael here to take a look at the Detachment abilities for the Dark Angels. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

General Abilities


Models in the unit have a 5+ invulnerable save against ranged attacks. In your movement phase, if the unit remains stationary, it loses the save until the start of the next movement phase. If the unit advances, they gain a 4+ invulnerable save. 

Ravenwing units in a Dark Angels detachment gain the Jink ability if they do not already have it. 

This is a big boost for the mobile units in the army. In the index version, only selected Ravenwing (non-codex) units got this ability, but it has been expanded to include all Ravenwing units. This includes Bikes, Outriders, Attack Bikes and Landspeeders, to name a few. This gives the Ravenwing units a big bonus to durability to shooting attacks for no increased points cost, which is a pretty good deal! 

The Jink ability is also improved over previous versions, as you get it even if you don’t get the first turn (a downside of the rule previously). This gives your Ravenwing unit added protection against enemy firepower, helping to survive the initial turn. 

A great rule, which has been improved further with the codex. 

Sons of the Lion

Your army gains this ability if every unit has the Dark Angels keyword (excluding Agents of the Imperium and Unaligned units). This gains them doctrine bonuses. Each version of the “Wing” gains special abilities based on which doctrine is active. 

Speed of the Raven– When the Devastator doctrine is active, Ravenwing units add 3″ to their move characteristic. Ravenwing units are eligible to shoot in a turn that they advanced, subtracting one from the hit roll, as if they were Assault weapons. 

Another great rule for the Ravenwing. This gives you a move of 17″ on your Bikes, and 19″ on your Landspeeders. Being able to advance and still fire with your army on the first turn is fantastic, greatly boosting their firepower while providing a 4+ invulnerable save against enemy firepower. This is a big boost for your mobility and durability, as well as allowing you to keep up a decent level of firepower. A very strong ability, that is a great for your mobile units. 

Fire Discipline– While the Tactical Doctrine is active, infantry units in your army (excluding Deathwing) can make attacks with Rapid Fire and Assault weapons (excluding Blast) while in engagement range of an enemy unit. They must fire at a unit in engagement range and have BS 5+ while they do so. 

A great bonus for shooting into combat with your troops. If this stacks with the +1 to hit for remaining stationary in the movement phase that forms a part of the Chapter Tactic, getting to shoot in combat and hitting on a 4+ is a huge bonus for the infantry in the army. Makes it very difficult to shut down their firepower in combat. A pity this does not allow Ravenwing to do the same! Blasting their twin bolters at point blank range after crashing into combat would be great for you Bikers. 

I think this is going to be a very powerful ability for the Dark Angels. Being able to shoot and fight in combat in your own turn is a significant bonus for protracted combats. It also stops enemy units from “tagging” one of your units to stop them from shooting in your turn, but does limit the targets. 

Implacable-While the Assault Doctrine is active, each time a Deathwing Infantry or Deathwing Dreadnought model makes a melee attack against a Character unit or unit containing any models with a wound characteristic of 8 or more, you can re-roll the wound roll. 

A strong bonus for your characters, Terminators and Dreadnoughts when fighting against enemy characters, monsters or vehicles. Given that most are armed with powerful melee weapons, this increases the chance of doing more damage with your attacks. Paired with Fury of the First for +1 to hit, this will make your Deathwing units very powerful against enemy vehicles and characters. 

1st and 2nd Company

These are two special rules that give a lot of flavour to the Dark Angels army. 

The first company rule means that any Deathwing Terminator Squad, Terminator Squad, Terminator Assault Squad and Relic Terminator squads gain the Objective secured rule if they are in a Vanguard detachment entirely composed of models with the Deathwing and Inner Circle keywords. You also get back the CP cost of the detachement if your warlord is in it. 

The second company rule gives Ravenwing Bike Squads and Outrider Squads the objective secured rule when in an Outrider Detachment in which every model has the Ravenwing keyword. You also get back the CP cost of the detachement if your warlord is in it. 

These rules are great for running thematic armies, such as all Ravenwing or all Deathwing forces. This gives you a few units which gain objective secured, allowing you to actually compete in the missions, which have a strong focus on controlling the objectives. 

In a mixed army, this is also a strong way to run Terminators and Bikers. A unit of Deathwing Terminators are really tough to shift from an objective if they have objective secured. The Inner circle rule, meaning they can only be wounded on a 4+, along with a 2+ armour save is a pretty tough combination to get through. 


The Dark Angels have access to some fantastic detachment abilities. The fact that each different Wing gets different doctrine bonuses is really strong, meaning that your Biker and Terminator units are not wasted with abilities that they cannot use. 

The ability to run different detachments for your wings is also really strong, particularly if you want to run a themed force. You are not suffering a CP penalty for taking an Outrider or Vanguard if your warlord is in it, as well as gaining the great objective secured ability. 

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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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