Codex: Dark Angels - First Impressions - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Always Fabulous NiteRabbit's Avatar
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    Codex: Dark Angels - First Impressions

    I was at Games Workshop today and managed to sneak a peek at the new edition of Codex: Dark Angels, as well as having some amusing chats with the staff, who hadn't heard that horrible joke about the Dark Angels' "shameful secret". Since this is my first ever rumours topic, please feel free to correct me on anything that I probably shouldn't be posting at the moment and I will edit it as swiftly as I am able.

    Now then, what rumours I can confirm, I will. The original rumours thread can be found here.

    Codex Organisation
    The layout is exactly the same as the Eldar codex with fluff kept separate from rules in order to make things a bit clearer. There is a wealth of information regarding the history of the Chapter, combat doctrine, and famous engagements, as well as separate pages dedicated to the Ravenwing and Deathwing and even a section on the six most well-known Dark Angels successor chapters, colour schemes, and a history of each. I wasn't able to determine whether the three new chapters mentioned were actually Unforgiven or if it was just a typo on the part of Jervis and the gang.

    Special Rules
    The combat squads rule is confirmed. Squads are purchased in increments of 5 with a Veteran Sergeant, and special weapons can be divided amongst squads. Stubborn, Intractable, and Hunt the Fallen are nowhere to be found though this is not to say that the Fallen are irrelevant in the new rules. All other rules from the standard Space Marine codex apply. All power-armoured Marines are equipped with Bolt Pistols, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades in addition to their other equipment. Ravenwing jink save has been revoked.

    [Addendum: It is not known whether Marines can be split into two combat squads and mounted in a Drop Pod, as this is decided during the deployment phase. However, if this is possible, Dark Angels Drop Pod armies will become even more brutal and flexible than normal.]

    Special Characters
    As Brimstone has mentioned over at the Warseer forums, little as actually changed about the Dark Angels special characters, except that the Masters of the Ravenwing and Deathwing are named and given their own detailed backgrounds. See the Dark Angels Rumour Round-up for more details; it is more or less on the mark. Particularly of note is Sammael's Imperial Jetbike, which is armed with a twin-linked Heavy Bolter, a twin-linked Assault Cannon, and a Plasma Cannon which can all be fired at once. He can, if he wishes, use his Land Speeder, which features the upgraded Shield of Night. Little has changed for Ezekiel, except that he now possesses the new Dark Angels Librarian powers.

    Standard HQ
    The Dark Angels are, sadly, restricted to Company Masters and Epistolary Librarians while only the higher tier Chaplains hold the title of Interrogator-Chaplain. I didn't get a very good look at the benefits that an Interrogator-Chaplain might confer but they most certainly benefit from the Honour of the Chapter and Litanies of Hate special rules that all other Chaplains get. The base cost of these characters has also increased due to the extra gear they get by default. Company Masters are equipped by default with a Bolt Pistol, Chainsword, Frag & Krak Grenades, Terminator Honours, and an Iron Halo while Librarians receive the Force Barrier and Hellfire (or Mindworm) psychic powers. They can replace or upgrade their equipment as the situation dictates, similar to the Farseer and Autarch from the recent Eldar codex.

    Elites
    Little has changed in this regard. Choices are still Deathwing Terminators, Company Veterans, and Dark Angels Scouts. Veterans and Scouts have the Combat Squad rule. I could not confirm the Deathwing's heavy weapon allotment.

    Troops
    Tactical Marines, plus the respective standard squads for Ravenwing and Deathwing. Tactical Marines benefit from the Combat Squads rule and are lead by a Veteran Sergeant by default.

    Fast Attack
    See Brimstone's comments on Fast Attack.

    Heavy Support
    See Brimstone's comments on Heavy Support. Rules clarifications from the latest Space Marine FAQ have been included (so Drop Pods do count as being immobilised when they land and cannot be repaired). Most vehicle costs remain the same.

    So, there you have it. The Codex also includes pictures of the new models, most of which have already been leaked or seen on the Games Workshop website, and it is rumoured that the Dark Angels will play a starring role in the next Dark Stars campaign.

    EDIT:

    Addendum: NiteRabbit's Tactical/Fluffy Comments
    Based on my impressions, the Dark Angels are very much still a codex chapter. The key difference lies, as it always has, in the fluff and in the variant armies that can be made using the Dark Angels army list. The Combat Squads rule makes the Dark Angels unique in a way that Stubborn and Intractable did not and emphasises the solitary and secretive nature of the Chapter rather than their unwillingness to retreat, even when faced with overwhelming odds. Their combat doctrine places more value on grand strategy, with lots of units acting independently and to be effective, Dark Angels players will now need to make a lot of decisions regarding coordination and target-picking, as individual combat squads will get blown out of the water. Having said this, it is still perfectly viable to play 10-man Tactical Squads but this does not necessarily utilise the Dark Angels to their full potential as an army.

    The nature of the Combat Squad rule is such that it presents an interesting question for dedicated transports. On one hand, the transport is dedicated to the unit entry and can carry a certain amount of models, but with the Combat Squads rule, you can split an individual squad into two independent scoring units. Conventional wisdom says that because the rules specify models rather than units, you can mount two Combat Squads in a Rhino or Drop Pod, but it is equally possible that one squad may have to walk if you choose to deploy them separately. If you can mount two Combat Squads in a transport, players used to using mechanised infantry will have an interesting time with this list.

    The Deathwing plays similar to the way it did in the previous edition, and the Ravenwing has been made a lot more viable as an army with the addition of Ravenwing Combat Squads. While still a challenging army, the amount of Land Speeder Tornados operating independently gives the Ravenwing the potential to be one of the harshest armies in the game to date and will chew through light infantry like a hot knife through butter. Admittedly this is balanced by the fact that they have little in the way of anti-tank options, but Ravenwing Attack Bikes with Multi Meltas certainly count for something.

    Last edited by NiteRabbit; January 31st, 2007 at 19:30.

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  3. #2
    Illustrator Extraordinair Adrian MalSeraph's Avatar
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    Awesome news!

    I'm definitely picking up this codex.

    Hooray!

  4. #3
    Member Brother_Kendo's Avatar
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    Even better news. I am picking up the codex too!!!!!!!!!

    Kendo's DA's, Eldar, and stuff WIP
    Dark Angels: W-22 D-4 L-5 High Elves W-8 L-1

  5. #4
    Member g3n3s1s's Avatar
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    Maybe I struggle a bit with the different language, but I can't completely understand the Combat Squads rules. Does it mean that I can take a 10man tac-squad and split it into 2 units of five ? I can't really see the benefit, maybe I'm missing something from the translation ç___ç As far as I can understand (I'm probably wrong), that ability seems like this: " Hey ,look at my troops! I could have taken 2 units of 5 Space Marines, with a plasma cannon and a plasma rifle in each squad, BUT my special ability allows me to buy a single 10man squad, with a single plasma cannon and a single plasma rifle...and split them in 2 units !!!1!1 " The only benefit I can see is for transports, deepstrikes and drop pods...I hope I misunderstood the rule, could anyone explain it to me pls ? :°(

    Actually Playing:
    40k : Necron ,Chaos, Space Orks ,Eldar ,Dark Angels, 'Nyds
    WHFB : Orks & Gobbos, Vampire Counts

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  6. #5
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    Cool cool. Think I shall pick it up as well. Yeah, I'm really not getting the combat squad rule at all either. if what was said above by "g3n3s1s" is true, what would the point of that be? Wouldnt it be better by buying two tactical squads or something?

  7. #6
    Member avihai's Avatar
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    The bonus to the combat squads I can see it that you gain two indipendently moving scoring units, also you can have a little leaneancy with unit coherency. I like these changes alot. I'm definatly picking this codex up, but dammit, I need the WH IG and this now... arge money!

    I especially like the deathwing... but I hope the plastic droppondds are comming out so i can do the DW droppod army I wanted to do.... OH DEAR GOD, I hope I can do an all DW army, no info has come out about that!
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  8. #7
    Illustrator Extraordinair Adrian MalSeraph's Avatar
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    Is there any info on the Allies rule?

    Can Dark Angels now take allies?

  9. #8
    Too Sexy For My Whirlwind Sabe's Avatar
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    g3n3s1s:

    DA cannot get a heavy weapon in their tac squads unless they have 10 men in them. This means you can't have two tac squads of 5 with a plasma gun and a plasma cannon in each.

    The reason the combat squads rule is so valuable is because it allows your squads to split into twice as many scoring units as they were before. True, both these new squads will be much easier to make un-scoring than the original, but the enemy will have to split his fire more and take more target priority tests.

    Furthermore it allows you to split up the heavy weapon and the special weapon in the squad, letting you fire two good weapons at two different targets. This princaple is carried over to the rest of the squad as well. If both pieces of the squad are near a particular target, one half can shoot at it to see if they can take it out, and if they fail the other half can help out. But if they succeed the second half and whatever alternative weapons they may be carrying can find a different target.

    All in all, the combat squads just make your army more efficeint, with less wasted shots whilst making it more difficult for your enemy to take you apart.

    EDIT: Adrian, I haven't seen any info on the allies rule either, and i'm kinda psyched. Really hoping that I can finally bust out my eversor assasin with my DA.
    Peace
    Nevermore Chapter: 6200 pts; 97/49/11; Longest Streak: 9 Wins/4 Losses; Nearing Completion

  10. #9
    Senior Member Legionnaire's Avatar
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    Yea this is one of those SM chapters i don't like. Like Blood Angles and Black Templars, they will have rules like "Stand on your foot and sing a Gregorian chant on Wednesday, and you get an extra D6 Strength 5 attacks."

    New models? Ok.
    New Fluff? Ok.
    Some variations from normal SM's? Ok.
    Doing what they did with Black Templars? No.

    The bottom line is, chapter codecies (plural?) should be like "expansion packs" for armies, not completely different with their own weak-fluff cheesy rules.

    Were are my Orks GW? Your only a few editions late, so there is no rush, just keep churning out these SM chapters.
    "In dedicato imperatum ultra articulo mortis"

  11. #10
    Member xtc-alec's Avatar
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    Good to see the new codex is out! my DA playing friend will be happy with this. :yes:
    *The token German*

    Torn between Emperors Children, Blood angels and space wolves now

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