Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Dark Angels Codex Thoughts Part 2: The Elites!

Old School here to continue the talk I started yesterday concerning the new Dark Angels codex. We talked about HQs and my initial thoughts and today we will continue with the Elites section. No discussion about Dark Angels Elites would be complete without talking about the Death Wing. Since the Terminator army was one of my first and certainly one of my favorites, we will start there:

Death Wing Terminators

The Death Wing Terminator Squad once weighed in at 215 points, but with an adjustment per basic terminator of just one point, you arrive at the new DW, which, like many units in the new book, has recieved a new suite of special rules. Fearless is an old stand by for the DW, but the Inner Circle also gives them Adamantium Will, which isn't too bad either. The Deathwing also gained a very cool new take on Death Wing Assault, allowing them to come in automatically on either turn one or two - which is how DW assault always should have been.

- Now here is where the big weenie comes in for those of you who played DW through 5th edition and have a bunch of TH/SS termies hanging around - The TH/SS costs 5 points, bringing a DW TH/SS model to 49pts, which, if you ask me, is too much even for that many special rules. In 6th edition, dakka rules the roost and the weight of dice care not for storm shields.

The good news is they also gained a rule that allows them to have twinlinked ranged weapons the turn they land! Suddenly, I don't miss my storm shields so much. In fact, with the ability to split fire and most of my weapons being 24", I want to deep strike all the time, bringing weapons like the cyclone missile launcher or the newly discounted assault cannon to bear against vehicles, while my storm bolters work on those blobs out there!

Speaking of Split Fire, a lot of folks have said it is very nice because we can take 10 man squads. Well ... yeah, but you also can't combat squad and you really need more than 2 10 man squads of anything in an objectives game, so I would stick to the five man squads and just use split fire as described above.

Death Wing Knights

Death Wing Knights are the new unit people love to hate. Whether they cry that it is over powered or that it cannot kill Marines, the unit is the subject of contraversy. The bottom line to me is that I don't like to pay points for elite, dedicated combat units in an edition I characterize as shooty and horde oriented. By now most of you know their rules. I would like to look at these guys a little more in depth and get some playtesting in before I officially write them off. I also want to try them is a pure Deathwing setting to see how they add to the fight, if at all.


The Dark Angels Dreadnought is an interesting vehicle in the armoury and perhaps a look into the future of Dreads as we know them. The dread is designed in such a way that the basic dread is more expensive than the C:SM book, but at the same time, the weapon upgrades are cheaper to the degree that a lascannon/ missile dread here will cost the same there ... except, the once loved Rifleman Dread enjoys a slight discount in this book at 120pts, which is still a value for the firepower in my opinion. Venerable status is cheaper here than ever before, but honestly, considering that dreads tend to get glanced to death and penetrating hits still take a HP, the venerable trait is much less useful than it once was and I would leave it home to keep any dread I took cheap and cheerful.

Company Veterans

These guys are the chosen of the DA codex. They run at the same cost per model as their CSM equivilents, while falling short of the cost and capability of Stearnguard. The squad can be kitted out to take a host of combi, special and heavy weapons OR can be kitted with items like power weapons, claws or even storm shields. Honestly, by the time you pay the cost for the combat version of this squad, it isn't efficient or worthwhile at all. There may be some merit to taking the shooty version, but I have a laundry list of units that I want to try first that can take on some of the same tasks (like Black Knights, ect).

That's as far as I go today! I would like to preserve my wrists and eyes for diving into the rest of the book this week! With that said, I think I covered my intitial feelings here, but certainly left some ground to cover so I would certainly love to hear what everyone thinks of the elite section of this book!


  1. The Knights are situational at best. They will be awesome for one round, but then be bogged down the rest of the game. Unless they go against CSM, where they will wreck faces.

    I can see a use for the Dreads as back field anti-tank. Using them to pop transports, and having the DW deep strike down to pepper the infantry inside of the transport.

    I just have a hard time finding a spot for the Vets. As you said, by the time you kit them out, it would probably just be a better choice to use DW.

    I don't mind the price increase of the DW, I do like the point adjustment for the heavy weapons and the ability to split fire. I am looking forward to seeing more variety instead of the wall of storm shields.

  2. I have to agree with Josh on the Knights; they are situational, and that's fine if youlike your games casual.

    DW termies are awesome, and I wish the thing my codex does for Troops (assault marines) did them as well. Split-fire is crazy good, and you have deathwing assault and homers.

    I would use the Company Veterans the same way I use Sternguard in my BA lists: more guns once I've used up my heavy slots.

    1. Yeah, it's shooty termies all the way now. If the added cost of the Th/SS didn't seal the deal, vengeful strike sure as hell did!

  3. Inner circle doesn't give Adamantium Will, It gives fearless and preferred enemey chaos marines. Adamantium Will is from a watcher aka perfidious relic.

    I like the Deathwing knights, they are cheaper than DW terminators with all SS/TH. The sarge's weapon is still AP3, and Ws5 and S6 will still kill a few marines a turn.

    If you want to run a special weapon Vet squad, you are probably better off with a command squad, who can take multiples of each weapon. The only thing the Vet squad really has over them, is that their SS are Cheaper.

    1. My bad on the relic. I can see where you are coming from on the knights and agree that they will kill more than what kills them unless they are really swamped by hordes, I just don't really buy into elite assault units at all anymore, including my own beloved TH/SS termies.

  4. Well, 49 pts for th/ss termie isn't that much compared to sw which neatly lies around 63 pts. Not fearless, just counter- charge.

    1. Which is also too much ... And also why I was able to buy Th/ ss bits so cheap. Thanks wolves.

  5. I love these articles, Old School! Keep them coming.

    I'm excited since I've been running the trusty 'conventional' termies with Assault Cannons all over. I retired the army just as Storm Shields became obvious. But now... Oh yes...

    And I agree. I want the Knights just to add to this ridiculously-sized army already, but I'm not sure I want to spend that much money on a unit that won't really be fun to play. See also Sanguinary Guard last edition...

  6. One thing for the dreads I think you are forgetting is the access to a guaranteed 4+ invul from a powerfield.

    Now a lot of them is much more durable than before even without cover.

    Techmarine that you can get it on can also repair so that is nice as well.

  7. I'm a fan of vets in a pod. 3 combo melta and a meltagun are pretty close to the poor mans sternguard. In a book that doesn't have the cheap and easy way to get multiple (not multi) melta shots (unless you're spamming speeders and/or attack bikes) these guys are the getter' done unit in my opinion.