Narrative Review – Dark Angels

Hi All,
I am still digesting the new Knight codexes so I thought I would continue on in my review of some of the past space marine supplements. The Deathwatch rules provided some much-needed support for the lackluster space marine core rules, let’s see if the Dark Angels also get some fun options.

Special Rules:
For the special rules the Dark Angels they need to acquire Unforgiven Points. These are obtained after every battle, and through certain other mechanics. Once you get 20 of these points you can try to capture one of the Fallen in a mission. You follow your chosen mission as normal, but your opponent receives a special model they must protect. If you destroy the Fallen model it unlocks a series of upgrades and options for you to select, but has not other affect. For you opponent, if they protect the Fallen model they can get extra experience and requisition points. In addition the Dark Angels get a number of new Honorifics to select. Some of these will automatically be applied to certain named characters, but these aren’t the strongest. One of my favorite choices is the Master of Watchers which gives you D3 Unforgiven points at the end of every battle. These honorifics are also automatically applied to Sammael (as master of the Ravenwing) and Belial (as master of the Death Wing) so they are even more enticing options for a Dark Angels crusade force.

Agendas and Relics:
For agendas, the Dark Angels get a six additional options to consider. All of these options are usable which is great, but also frustrating as you are usually limited to just one from your book. The agendas tend to favor Inner Circle and Deathwing units but can easily provide units with 3-4 experience points per game. Some, such as Mental Interrogation, are interesting as they revolve around psychic actions but do not give you experience points but Unforgiven points instead. When you get to the Fallen battle you have to take “Capture the Fallen” which awards 3 exp to the unit that destroys the fallen unit and an additional 3 exp to your warlord if this occurs. These selections compete with some good core Space Marine agendas so it will make you decide between some hard options.

For relics, the Dark Angels also have some cool selections. The artificer relics include a relic plasma gun which is decent and a relic that ignores all negative, to-hit, and movement penalties. I feel the first of these is worth considering, while the second is too situational. The two Antiquity relics are better, one is an improved relic blade giving you +1 to wound against vehicles or monsters, the other replaces a storm shield and provides a 3+ invuln. Finally, the Legendary relic is really good giving you +1 M,S,T,W and Attacks. Additionally, once per battle, all core units within 6″ get +1 to hit in melee.

Army Traits and Requisitions:
The Dark Angel traits waver between absurdly good and just usable. The Inner Circle Character table has one option that allows you to decrease the attacks of a enemy model by D3 for every phase, and if you roll higher then the model’s attack characteristic you get +1 attack. The other option gives you an extra exp and Unforgiven point if you roll a 4+. The Ravenwing aircraft table is decent giving you the ability to use the 4+ invuln save strat each phase for free, but this is will be a wasted ability if two units get it. Non-Character Death Wing units can regen a wound per turn, or use their watchers twice per game. Raven Wing bikes or speeders can get the Jink ability even if they do not advance or ignore any hit-roll modifiers. Non-Deathwing infantry can get a 5+++ or the ability to perform Heroic interventions. The last two tables are restricted to only being used once per model and are for chaplains and librarians. These are unlocked using a 0RP requisition after a battle in which you destroyed a fallen unit. If you roll a 2-9 on 2D6 you can select either a librarian or chaplain to get an upgrade, if you roll a 10+ you can select both. The Chaplain table expands his aura range, allows him to know an extra litany or cast the litany of hate alongside other litanies for free. The Librarian gets +1 to cast Interomancy powers, re-roll deny attempts or add +1 wound for mortal wounds caused by Interomancy powers.

Your other requisition options include the ability to upgrade experienced units into Inner-Circle units which is a nice leveling option if you are short on Requisitions to increase your supply limit. There is another option which allows you to give any other character the Inner Circle option too which is also fluffy, everyone is learning secrets in this campaign! Finally there is the odd, and very niche “The lion and the Wolf”. This gives a character +1 attack and makes him get bonuses in combat vs. Space Wolves. All of these are solid, if a little situational. It does mean that your army won’t be very Requisition point hungry.

I think these rules are pretty solid, as far as crusade rules go. They provide a decent objective for players to pursue for their battles while also giving you a variety of fun agendas, though you are limited by the core rules here. The Dark Angels have some really good crusade relics and they have a solid array of traits available that fit the lore. While these upgrades won’t give you as much utility as the Deathwatch it is a fair trade off for more characterful rules.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



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8 days ago

Oh i’ve not tried Crusade rules yet! They look cool though!

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