The largest of all the Wings at the time of the Heresy, the members of the Wing were drilled to specialize in close combat and set-piece battles, unshakable on the defense and resolute on attack. Its veterans were capable of conducting complex maneuvers under heavy enemy fire. When the Legion took to the field of battle the veterans of the Stormwing stood in the front ranks, serving to steel the resolve of their battle-brothers and oversee the execution of orders in the chaos of war.
Initially described by BOTH Black Library books and the Warhammer Community Website as a boarding specialist formation comprised exclusively of shield-wielding units, it was later retconned by Forge World into a no-speciality wing where boarding units barely even get mentioned. One could argue that since every member of the Dark Angels Legion was also a member of one of the wings, this meant that there had to be a -wing to represent the faceless masses... until you remember that the wings were meant to be specialist formations laid on top of the Principia Bellicosa, and all members of the First Legion could already fight as members of the faceless masses as their standard mode of operation.
Forge World dropped the ball on this one.
The Stormwing incorporated line infantry, mobile ordnance and training battalions. Valued more for their discipline and massed firepower on the open battlefield rather than their skill at arms. The Stormwing functions as the thinking mans wing, focussing on the application of Strategy, tactics as well as logistics upon the battlefield. This may not seem like the most exciting thing, but its function is of vital importance in the wider legion.
Therefore the Stormwing had a high number of veteran officer Marshals for directing the men, and many Apothecaries for dealing with the wounded and were integral to massed infantry assaults for which the Stormwing was famous. Indeed, the first Master of the Stormwing also held the title of Chief Apothecary; and given the physical state of their later voted-Lieutenant, it would appear that they were highly adept at wars of attrition, given the large numbers of Apothecary's running around patching up the wounded so that they can fight on longer then they would normally be able to.
The Stormwing was especially valued for their skill at reading the subtle shift of war when it came to the massed ranks of both friend and foe. The ability to change your approach at a moments notice was a highly prized skill, as adaptability and flexibility were key tenets of this wing. The Inner Circles of the Stormwing were notoriously difficult to gain entry to, with rigorous trials for those seeking to assume a higher rank such as Marshal. Only veterans of the largest engagements were awarded this badge of honor.
As of M41, the formation no longer technically exists, though if the Stormwing sounds like the standard Battle Companies aka 40k Green Wing before they existed, that's because it probably is where they went.
Though the Stormwing are mentioned to have hybrid Breacher/Assault squads (they seem to be an odd mix of the two, maybe like their
successors the Astral Claws Retaliators?) armed with power halberds (the Dark Angels version of the Ultramarines Invictus Suzerain Squads?). This unit has not appeared anywhere in the rules, but the Stormwing are not represented on the tabletop by any unique units or characters so far, so this has the potential to change in future publications.
For the moment, any unit using the Scions of the Stormwing rule gains the ability to snap fire at Ballistic Skill 2, which is a handy boost for Heavy Weapon squads who want to stay mobile or any unit attempting overwatch.
Their unique Rite of War, called the Storm of War allows Tactical Squads and Assault squads to take a vanilla Centurion as part of their squad loadout, so long as the squad is at the maximum size of twenty. This Centurion cannot be a Consul, but he can issue orders to his attached unit as if he were an Imperial Guard Officer.
Unfortunately, these squads also happen to be a tax. The force must include MORE units of Tactical or Assault troops than ALL OTHER units combined, meaning you your army will never comprise more than 11 units:
- Six of which can only be Tactical/Assault squads
- One HQ/Character (plus optional Deathwing bodyguard that occupy the same slot and form one unit) in order to actually use the Rite of War
- Four remaining spaces for the units you actually want to take, though you'll have to use these spaces on more HQ Centurions if you want to issue orders to your non-Compulsory Troops squads.
- Calloson - Voted-Lieutenant of the Stormwing, had been declared dead no less than three times. Continued surviving as a mass of scar tissue, augmetics, and muscle grafts.