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I am thinking of starting one of those two armies. Before I buy the codex, I wanted to hear some opinions on them. Maybe some strengths, weaknesses, etc. Thank you!
Both are very very weak in their current incarnations, I would suggest painting the models the colours of your choice and just using the vanilla codex.
BT = Psycho zealots (who refuse to follow the Codex Astartes because their original chapter master thought he knew better than a primarch)
DA = Whiny emo self-loathers (who refuse to admit they have a problem to anyone else)
On the plus side you get force-wide preferred enemy against everything (from the champion/vow), a slightly odd 'fall back towards the enemy' rule, furious charging assault terminators, landraiders that ignore the lance rule, the option to bulk out squads with cheap(er) bodies, cheap-ish venerable dreadnoughts, Ld10 across the board with rites of battle, glance-only smoke launchers, and the very cool holy hand grenades.
There is also the question of zeal breaking 'gone to ground' status, which gets ruled both ways (go to ground, gain saves, take zeal test, break from GtG).
Plus a squad of allied GK terminators doesn't look at all out of place with them, and can provide an anti-psyker element while remaining true to the theme of the army.
Dark Angels - a newer book, most of the core units are similar to what you'll find in the C:SM but lacking _all_ of the new toys and units.
What you do get are fearless scoring bikes and scoring terminators - provided you pay for them and the special character in question. And scoring landspeeders (which you would think breaks a whole host of rules).
In short the dark angels are, quirks aside, a very limited variation of the normal codex. The templars on the other hand are significantly different.
None of them follow the greater good so they are both very weak.
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A.T. pretty much summed it up, Black Templars are a powerful assault oriented force, while Dark Angels are more standard codex chapter with some cool differences.
They also have different overtones to them when it comes to looks, although there are similarities. The Dark Angels and Black Templars both have a knightly overtone to their looks, but in different ways. The Dark Angels follow are more monastic, secretive knightly order type of theme (ironically, they are more similar to the actual historical Knights Templar), and are usually seen with really archaic armor styles, lots of purity seals, robes, tabards, and rope. The Black Templars are modelled after the holy crusades of history. They are seen with lots of script, coat of arms, tabards, chains, and maltese cross style imagery.
Fluffwise they are pretty different as well. The Dark Angels have a big "atonement for past sins" type of quest and they are out to hunt the Fallen Angels. I think this part of their fluff gets greatly exaggerated though. They are still Space Marines and they still fight for the Imperium in various wars, with bolter and blade, earning honor and glory. They especially have a hatred for aliens. They are the 1st legion, so they maintain particularly ancient weapons and armor. Contrary to popular belief, they do not wallow around in self pity chasing shadows, though they do capture Fallen Angels and torture them to get them to repent, if they hear of a solid lead to finding some Fallen Angels, they will pursue it the first chance they get, perhaps even forsaking other imperials in the process. Who knows what they are up to or what they will do to achieve their goals? This is a particularly dark aspect of them.
The Black Templars are much less secretive, though all Space Marines tend to keep others out of their affairs. Pure and simple, they are in the process of a huge war that can be likened more to the days of the pre-heresy great crusade. They made a vow to find and kill all the enemies of mankind, and so maintain a huge amount chapter strength that is grossly in violation of the codex astartes, though this large amount of marines is spread throughout the segmentum solar. They wage an eternal struggle against all foes that would stand before the Emperor, and do what Space Marines were born to do with no pity, no remorse, and no fear. And that is to spread through the stars and conquer in the Emperor's name.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it." -Anon
Black Templars = assault-oriented crusaders. Dark Angels = ranged combat monks.
Neither codex is especially powerful since they've been outstripped by the Space Wolves and Blood Angels codices. They're still playable and competitive, and even have benefits (the Black Templars still use 4th edition Armoury rules, which some people like) but it's harder to win than it is with those newer armies.
If I had to choose I'd pick Black Templars over Dark Angels. DA got shafted; they got all of the annoyingly weak changes to 5e space marines with none of the fancy goodies introduced in the actual 5e SM codex. It's not a case of them sucking horribly; it's more like they have no real strengths that aren't done better by other SM lists.
BT, on the other hand, retain a solid horde-assault ideology (a little outdated, but it still works) and a number of goodies like the adamantine mantle, the Holy Orb, some pretty decent special characters and veterans with USRs. Plus, they benefit massively from the Preferred Enemy buff - their entire army can basically be twin-linked in combat for a piddly points cost.
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