Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Dark Angels(8E)

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Why Play Dark Angels[edit]


You like:

1. Recognising that Loyalty is it's own reward.
2. Secrets,shady organizations, and hate outsider curiosity
3. Cool looking models and rules.
4. Seven choices to play: Greenwing, Ravenwing, Deathwing, all three at once, or a combination of any two of them.
5. Colors green, black, bone white, all in perfect coordination.
6. Hunting the Fallen Angels
7. Plasma. A lot.
8. Some of the best fluff of any Adeptus Astartes chapter.
9. Full shooting and little to no weakness in melee.
10. Exclusive army models with unique wargear, like Company Veterans, Plasma bikes, Plasma Land Speeders, Plasma JETBIKE,   flyers, Deathwing Knights and Terminators with unique wargear.
11. Probably the fanciest helmets in the whole Imperium.
12. Like other chapters of Adeptus Astartes - Angels of Death, they will be Jack-of-all-trades-Master-at-none.
Don't mess with the first.


  • You essentially have three different Chapter Tactics in your force, so if you like combined arms, Dark Angels are your kind of marines.
    • Deathwing Terminators that can mix-match gear, never need to take morale checks and gain bonuses against the Fallen.
    • Ravenwing bikes and Lands Speeders with cool gear, and can provide blanket buffs.
    • "Greenwing" benefit from Grim Resolve meaning your units rarely suffer at all from Morale, and can form gun-lines without requiring Company Masters.
  • As Grim Resolve implies, Dark Angels are slightly more geared towards shooting, but there are enough options for assaulting your enemies after you're through putting holes in them.
  • Plasma! Plasma Terminators (though their usefulness is debatable when you have Cyclones), plasma Bikers, plasma Land Speeder, plasma Dreadnoughts, with +1 damage to that plasma too for 1 CP, which for a 10 man squad of Hellblasters is one of the better Vehicle busters in the game.
  • Almost all of the gear that normal marines get, with a few exceptions. But you get a number of cool special units that nobody else gets, like Black Knights, Talonmasters, Deathwing knights, Deathwing Ancients, Darkshroud and Land speeder Vengeance and two unique planes which are both pretty good.
  • Primaris Dark Angels are great, as they combine well with either Grim Resolve or the 'Weapons from the Dark Age' stratagem.
  • Lots of different overlapping bubbles that buff your units and debuff your enemy.
    • Consider the unholy combinations of Azrael, Ezekiel, Asmodai, Darkshroud, Talonmasters and multiple different Standard Bearer blankets!
  • Mathhammer wise, Deathwing Knights are still the best duelists during the Assault phase. Just remember to let everyone else take on infantry blobs.
  • Everything still looks awesome. Dark Angels have some of the best looking models.
  • Ravenwing Black Knights are the baddest bikegang in 40k. They look cool AND their rules are good.
  • Interromancy is quite good, with psychic powers that let you mess with your opponents minds, handing out de-buffs and mortal wounds.
  • Good Relics, good warlord traits, a few good stratagems and very good named characters that are quite different from the other Space Marine chapters.


  • Deathwing/Ravenwing buffs have little to no benefit for Primaris/Greenwing units, meaning your force will have to synergise based on their own merits rather than relying on stackable buffs.
  • Your Terminators may have twice as many wounds, but most anti-terminator weapons now do twice as much damage. As cool as all-terminator Deathwing armies sound, they are not very effective at the moment.
  • Lots of people still think implying the Dark Angels are traitors is the height of comedy, and they will be sure to remind you every other turn. Using the Photoshopped picture of Gav Thorpe as evidence.
  • You still get trolled by the Fallen. And they still haven't caught Cypher.
  • Speaking of Fallen, while Dark Angels have cool bonuses against them and hunt them relentlessly, actually finding an opponent who's going to field Fallen against Dark Angels will be harder than capturing Cypher.
  • The lack of quality control is apparent in the Dark Angels codex. Not only is the Inner Circle rule cut off at the last paragraph in digital versions, a "Chapter Champion" has points but no rules. Which is stupid because the Chapter Champion is the Deathwing Champion. Oh, and don't forget how the Chapter Ancient is not part of the Inner Circle despite carrying the most sacred of The Rock's fancy flags. And how you can now have MULTIPLE Chapter, Deathwing, and Ravenwing Banners when the Chapter only has a single one of each. Not bad in game, but aren't Dark Angels all about the backstory? (*cough cough* where's the FAQ? *cough*...)
  • While you do get most of the toys normal marines have, Dark Angels miss out on some units like centurions, vanguard veterans, the thunderfire cannon, and most notably an interceptor aircraft. The Xiphon is an option, but get a second job as it's a Forge World model.
  • Just like the other Space Marine armies. Your Elite Slot is bloated. So consider bringing an extra Vanguard Detachment. For Dark Angels the Ravenwing elite characters are the best options due to their Plasma Talons, Corvus Hammers and 14" movement. Even more than last edition. I mean, you can never have enough Deathwing but with so many Elite slots and very few Heavy Support units, quite unbalanced for Dark Angels.
  • Everything that troubles codex marines applies here. Namely, detachments are hard to fill cheaply so CP will lower and marines are the most popular flavor of army, so every opponent will have some tools to deal with what you bring.

Special Rules[edit]

  • And They Shall Know No Fear: Reroll failed morale tests. Not going to come into play that much given your generally good Ld scores as well as Grim Resolve and Inner Circle, but it can be helpful.The best part is you don't have to think. There are only two results from your morale tests: you lose a model or you don't lose any model. If you have the first result reroll, if you have the second one, don't do it.
  • Grim Resolve: Re-roll ones to hit when it shoots (including Overwatch) if model didn't move in its own previous movement phase, and units with this rule can never lose more than one model as a result of a failed morale test. Basically, pre-nerf Commissars for all (except Deathwing who are already Fearless), and no more Company Master Babysitting needed, add Lieutenants + plasma overcharge for more Fluffy purging. Not bad. But seriously though, what happened to 5+ overwatch???.
    • Using pistols while locked in melee got a little bit more vicious, so long as you remain engaged you'll always re-roll ones in successive turns when shooting your opponent point blank in the face. Don't forget this - Cypher didn't.
    • Naturally, the profusion of Plasma weaponry available to the Dark Angels just adores the free rerolls to 1s. Overcharging has never been more reliable.
  • Inner Circle: Renamed from Unforgiven. Given to all Deathwing units, Ravenwing Black Knights, and several high-ranking characters, they automatically pass morale checks and may reroll fails to-hit against anything with the FALLEN keyword. This is why the latter effect of Grim Resolve doesn't apply to Deathwing. Only Primaris unit that gets this is the Librarian because what's the use of keeping secrets from a mind reader?.
  • Jink: Your Ravenwing units (bikers, speeders, and aircraft) all gain a 4+ invulnerable save against shooting, as long as they advance in the movement phase. Remember, you can still fire assault weapons after advancing at a -1 BS penalty. Unfortunately, very few Ravenwing units have assault weapons as standard, and the save is no longer re-rollable as it was in 7th.
  • Defenders of Humanity: Objective Secured on all Troop Choices in a detachment comprised entirely of Dark Angels . If a unit with this rule is within 3" of an objective, they count as holding it regardless of how many enemy models are within 3" unless the enemy models have a similar rule.


Codex Space Marine copy-pastes[edit]

  • Armour of Contempt (1CP): used whenever a Dark Angels Vehicle suffers a mortal wound. Roll a D6 for that mortal wound, and any other mortal wounds suffered by that vehicle for the rest of the phase. Those wounds are ignored on a 5+.
  • Auspex Scan (2CP): Used when an enemy unit arrives from Tactical Reserves within 12" of one of your Infantry units. That unit may fire on the enemy unit that arrived with a -1 to-hit penalty. Basically gives you interceptor back.
  • Cluster Mines (1 CP): Use when a Scout Bike squad falls back. On a 2+, one unit you fell back from takes D3 mortal wounds.
  • Datalink Telemetry (1 CP): When shooting with a Whirlwind, if you have a Land Speeder within 12" of the target, the Whirlwind's shots automatically hit.
  • Empyric Channelling (1 CP): If you have a Dark Angels Psyker within 6" of 2 other Dark Angels Psykers), it can manifest an extra power and you can add 2 to the roll.
    • Interromancy powers cost a lot of WCs, so they can use the boosts to Psychic Tests. Also good for Spectacular Smite Spam, which requires a test score of 11+.
  • Flakk Missile (1CP): Used when a Dark Angels Infantry model with a Missile Launcher fires at an enemy unit with the Fly keyword. Add +1 to the hit roll, and if the target is hit, you deal D3 Mortal Wounds in addition to normal damage.
  • Hellfire Shells (1CP): Used when firing an Infantry model’s Heavy Bolter. Instead of firing normally, fire one shot and on a successful hit you deal D3 Mortal Wounds to the target. Use this to get past tough units like Daemons, damaged vehicles, and units with a good Invuln save.
  • Honour the Chapter (3CP): Used at the end of the fight phase. Select an Infantry or Biker unit that had already fought. That unit may fight a second time. Use this on Deathwing Knights sitting next to a DW Ancient and/or Asmodai to absolutely crush anything they're in close combat with.
  • Killshot (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase if you have a Predator within 6" of two other Predators. Add 1 to the wound and damage for all of the trio's attacks against Monsters and Vehicles. Unlike the Vindicator stratagem, boosting the weapons themselves depends on BS and, by extension, moving & damage table. Unlike that stratagem, however, it doesn't restrict your targets to a single spot on the table, so Split fire those 12 Lascannons away, and remember to buy those Hunter Killer missiles.
  • Linebreaker Bombardment (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase if you have a Vindicator within 6" of two other Vindicators. Instead of shooting their Demolisher Cannons, pick a spot within 24" of all three and roll a d6 for each unit within 3" of it (+1 if the unit has 10+ models, -1 if it's a Character). On a 4+, the unit takes 3d3 mortal wounds.
  • Only in Death Does Duty End (2 CP): When one of your Characters dies, it can shoot or fight again. Doesn't combo with the Banner abilities on Ancients.
  • Orbital Bombardment (3 CP): One use only. If your warlord is a Space Marine (this could be your secondary detachment) and didn't move, you can use this stratagem in the shooting phase instead of having him shoot any weapons. Pick any spot on the battlefield that the warlord can see, and roll a D6 for every unit within D6" of it (subtract 1 if it's rolling for a Character). On a 4+, it takes D3 mortal wounds.
  • Tactical Flexibility (1 CP): At the start of your movement phase, pick a 10 model unit with the Combat Squads rule and split it into two 5 model units as if they had been deployed as two Combat Squads.
  • Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): At the start of any phase, pick a Dreadnought. Any Dark Angels units within 6" can re-roll hits of 1 that phase, including itself.

Dark Angels Exclusive[edit]

  • Deathwing Assault (2/3CP): Used when a friendly Deathwing unit is set up on the board from Teleport Strike. If the unit contains 5 or less models it costs 2CP, if it contains 6 or more it costs 3CP, so most cost effective on 10-man deathwing squads. This unit can immediately make an out-of-phase shooting attack that does not count toward the Shooting Phase. A bit overcosted priced considering Deathwing can really only bring five storm bolters and an assault cannon or cyclone missile launcher, but it can be useful for clearing out some bubblewrap if you get the jump on someone. Save this for Reaper armed Tartaros Terminators, or possibly if you want to spam plasma Terminators for some reason. Strategy: A 5 or 10 man Deathwing teleport in, clearing the bubblewrap, for other units can deepstriking closer to the main targets IN THE SAME TURN.
    • I'd say that overpriced is a situational comment depending on how much chaff you want your Terminators to reap. At the very least at 9" a 5-man unit is putting out 20 shots when they arrive and then another 20 shots in their Shooting phase. Double that for a 10-man squad for some "rapid-fire doubled my shots at under half range, guv'nor" 30k-esque 80 shots from one unit in a turn LOLery. Obviously the numbers will vary by up to 10% if you bring weapons that don't fire four shots at once at 9" like heavy flamers or plasma cannons.
  • Fortress of Shields (1CP): Used at the start of the fight phase. If a Deathwing unit contains at least 3 Storm Shields, all attacks suffer a -1 to wound modifier against that unit. This is better than what the Deathwing Knights had as -1 to wound affects more Strengths. Imperial Knight with a Reaper Chainsword? Wounding on 3+. MEQs without Strength boosting melee weapons? Wounding on 5+. With this, you're never wounded on a 2+ (unless the enemy has a way to add a positive wound modifier) and you'd have to throw at least a S8 weapon to be wounding on a 3+. This is Awesome, but becomes pricey if you want to use this for 3 or 4 consecutive combat rounds. Very good considering that the best weapons against storm shield termies are massed attacks like Orks or Gaunts, with S3-4. Generally best used against huge numbers of attacks since the Deathwing Knights usually survive and kill whatever they're against in combat and they have 3+ Invulns to stop small but big attacks.
  • Hunt the Fallen (1CP): Used before the battle starts. Pick an enemy Character; it gains +1 Attack but all Dark Angel units re-roll all failed hits in Close Combat against them. In addition, all Deathwing and Ravenwing units re-roll all failed charge rolls against that character. May wanna be careful who you give to. Someone such as Ghazghkull would love an extra attack, so this is best used on a character that is a pain in the ass to deal with, but isn't so good in combat as the other boosts are awesome. Tricky, because the characters against which you actually need this bonus are exactly the characters that you don't want to get an extra attack.
  • Inner Circle (1CP): Use this before the start of the game; target a Dark Angels Master, Dark Angels Dreadnought or Dark Angels Land Raider. They gain the Deathwing (important for interacting with characters and banners) and Inner Circle keywords. Ven Dreads do exist, but it could always be used on a Redemptor or a Contemptor. As for Land Raiders, they don't like combat, so ancient abilities don't really affect them, and as for shooting, Belial already gives a re-roll 1s aura, but full re-roll for models with the Deathwing keyword, which is pretty great for Land Raiders, especially the Crusader, and Contemptors. Oddly enough, Venerable Dreadnoughts and Company Masters already get this in the index, but not the codex unless we spend a CP. WHY???
    • Also can be used to give a generic or Primaris Master the Deathwing keyword, as unfluffy as that may be right now.
  • Intractable (2CP): Used when a Dark Angels unit has fallen back. They can still shoot this turn. Two things: never use this with units that can fly (Sammael, Talonmasters, Land Speeders, or the Repulsor) since they can already shoot after falling back, and we have to pay CP for stuff Imperial Guard and Ultramarines can basically get for free (Orders and Chapter Tactics). It's not all bad, though. Black Knights still get Plasma shooting after falling back and if your Predators stuck in combat, move them out and get some Lascannon shots off. In short, it is overpriced for basic units, but letting a Land Raider fire after falling back can well be worth 2CP.
  • Never Forgive, Never Forget (1CP): Whenever a Dark Angels unit is chosen to attack in the Fight phase you can activated this ability. Whenever that unit rolls a 6+ to hit against Heretic Astartes they make an additional attack against the same target using the same weapon. If you use this stratagem on a Deathwing unit, then the extra attacks are generated on a 4+ when targeting Fallen unit. Essentially the Dark Angels version of the vanilla SM Stratagem Death to the Traitors.
  • Relics of the Rock (1/3CP): That typical "take 1 extra relic for 1CP or 2 extra relics for 3CP" stratagem that all armies with Codices get. Dark Angel relics are alright so using multiples of them isn't that bad. With the Shroud of Heroes, the Heavenfall Blade and maybe the Foe-Smiter? Then a CP is certainly worth it.
  • Secret Agenda (1CP): When playing Maelstrom of War missions, before the game begins you can spend one command point to make your tactical objectives secret, and you only reveal them when scoring victory points. In Maelstrom of War, this is amazing as your opponents will never know what you're trying to achieve and therefore be less able to interfere with your ability to complete those objectives. Pretty awesome, if a bit situational as if you're not playing Maelstrom of War, then it does absolutely nothing.
  • Speed of the Raven (1CP): Used when a Ravenwing unit has advanced this turn. That unit may still shoot and charge this turn. The recent FAQ on the Warhammer Community site also sez that the unit does not suffer the -1 to hit penalty for firing assault weapons. Combine that with the 4+ Invulnerable and some Black Knight Plasma Talons? Yes please ? Darktalon with -1 hard-to-hit and 4+ Invulnerable save? YES!!!. This also works on Land Speeders, so a pack of three or more speeders can hit a unit 29" to 34" from where they started with heavy flamers.
  • Stasis Shells (1CP): Used when a Ravenwing model fires its Grenade Launcher at an enemy Character. Make a single hit roll with +1 to hit, and if it scores a hit the target takes d3 Mortal Wounds. OK, does anyone use Ravenwing Grenade Launchers? No? Yeah. Plasma Talons are so much better but this stratagem isn't that bad for them though. But those command points though...
  • Weapons From the Dark Age (1CP): Used when a unit's weapons fire. Increase the damage characteristic of all Plasma weapons (plasma pistol, plasma gun, plasma cannon, plasma incinerator, and plasma talon) by 1. Super-charged plasma that can 1-shot 3-wound thickies like Paladins, Custodes, and Warriors? Yes please. Hellblasters in particular will be able to erase entire TEQ squads and wreck vehicles. Don't forget black knights or the Land Speeder Vengeance either. Damage 4 Plasma? (And possible blowing yourself up?) Yes PLEASE!!!


  • The Lion and the Wolf (1CP): Use before the battle begins if your army contains any Space Wolves units. These must be taken in a different detachment, else you can't use Dark Angel stratagems. Choose one Dark Angels Infantry model and one Space Wolves Infantry model and roll a D6 for each. On a 4+ those models take a mortal wound. Each model that survives then receives +1 Weapon Skill, Strength, Attack and Leadership for the duration of the battle. This is simultaneously considered one of the best and one of the worst Stratagems out there, as most Dark Angel Players don't field Space Wolves (for good reason, see below), but it's also easy to abuse:
    • Gives you a crunchy excuse to field these two famous rivals together. The combinations are phenomenal, particularly since there seems to be no limit on who can be your champions. HQ choices and named characters can comfortably soak a 50% chance of a wound before the battle begins if it means getting extra attacks and strength for the whole battle. Get an apothecary on the job and restore that wound so it barely even matters.
    • If you want to use Mind Wipe, use this stratagem for the +1 Ld. Among the other bonuses turns your librarian into a fearsome character. Target your Interrogator chaplain with this and keep your librarian within 6" to also gain the Ld 10 for Mind Wipe.
    • This Stratagem is a bit of a pain in the ass. Allies must be taken in detachments to get the best use out of them. Space Wolves don't have a Codex yet and only one relic. Any unit that Dark Angels have an equivalent of are out, for example taking SW Hellblasters means they don't benefit from any re-rolls your DA characters grant and can't benefit from stratagems like 'weapons from the dark age'. SW and Dark Angels don't benefit from each others bonusses, nor can they repair each others vehicles or heal each others units. You can't use DA stratagems on SW.
    • Best option is an auxilliary detachment with just one character, but it will cost you an extra CP. Good options are: Lucas the Trickster or Krom Dragongaze, who can combine with interrogator chaplains, reivers and the 'eye of the unseen' for leadership fuckery. Arjac Rockfist is a good character-hunter with deep strike, that benefits from S12 and 6 attacks with re-rolls against characters with this stratagem. A rune priest can manifest Tempest's Wrath, which is basically Aversion with a different name so good if you plan on using Darkshrouds, shroud of heroes and/or Aversion for to-hit fuckery anyway. Good against enemy hellblaster units or primarchs.
    • Remember that you can choose any infantry model. Use a wulfen pack leader as your champion. Suddenly he fights with WS 2+ and has 6 F7 AP-2 attacks, rerolling failed wound rolls. Yes, there are a 33% possibilities he lose one of his two wounds, but he has four friends to protect him. Throw them at the enemy and watch the butchery, while you win the battle.
    • A Supreme Command or Spearhead detachment are the most points efficient way to use this stratagem without losing a command point, and would look nicely thematic. A supreme command detachment of three Space Wolves HQ's can cost as little as a few hundred points, and gives you a few different targets for the strategem.
    • If you do want to take a bigger detachment of SW, go for a decent space wolf detachment and look at the SW tactics page for advice on how to build a SW army, you closet wolf. Though you might as well just make it an IMPERIUM detachment for all the stratagems and relics SW have at the moment.
    • Or, in alternative, field an Outrider Detachment, with a Wolf Priest with Jump Pack, two units of Skyclaws and a Cyberwolf. For the Fluff, you have a detachment led by a grizzled old hunter with his jetpack, leading a braying herd of ragedrunk youngsters into war, accompanied by his loyal pet and two reluctant Wolf Guard, which is Awesome in itself. For the crunch, well, a lot of plasma and hard knocks that sinergize well with a lot of the strategies offered by Grim resolve and Darkshroud-supported assault. When fully kitted, a unit of Skyclaws can deliver a solid deepstrike plasma punch directly into enemy lines, given the high ratio of plasma gun this unit can deploy (3 plus a Wolf Guard Babysitter plasma pistol.) Trust me when i say this little company of srocketwolves can throw a significative lupine wrench in any plan. Bit of a shame for the lone cyberwolf, but think of this, you can have him fishing for cover-offering objectives. This is, all in all, a strange and unusual detachment to follow, but situationally you might want to test the full might of a Brigade of Dark Angels (think three techmarines, three scout squads, three tactical, pepper elites as you wish but put at least one Redemptor, two bike squads and a darkshroud, and then a couple hunters and a whirlwind) and still field some wolves to use this stratagem properly and buff some otherwise incospicuous characters to serious threats! All in all, this little pack of skyhowlers is your precious little plasma gem. Be careful though, Gets Hot! decimates this band of brothers REALLY fast.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Not One Step Back
When generated, decide which turn you want this to trigger: the next turn, the next two turns, or the next three turns. If the Objective is still active after that time, gain 1/d3/d3+3 VP, respectively. The objective will be discarded if the battle ends before that time or if you ever Fall Back or fail a Morale test.
12 - No Forgiveness
1 VP for destroying any enemy unit controlling an objective.
13 - Confess!
1 VP if an Interrogator-Chaplain got a kill in the Fight phase, or if an Interromancy power was manifested successfully.
14 - Seize and Interrogate
1 VP if an enemy character was slain in the Fight phase by a Dark Angels unit. d3 VP if it was the opponent's Warlord.
15 - Swift Advance
1 VP for deep striking Deathwing Terminators within 12" of an enemy unit. If they're also within 6" of a friendly Ravenwing unit, this is upped to d3 VP.
16 - The Path of Redemption
Score 1 VP for charging a unit whose Power Level is higher than what it's being charged by. Try to make it something that the charging unit won't regret being in melee with.

Warlord Traits[edit]

Solid choices overall with Brilliant Strategist and Master of Maneuver being the stand outs.

  1. Fury of the Lion: Any time your Warlord charges, was charged, or performed a heroic intervention this turn, friendly Dark Angels within 6" add 1 to their strength for that fight phase. Not bad. Asmodai has this trait if he's your warlord.
  2. Courage of the First Legion: All friendly Dark Angels within 12" of the Warlord automatically pass Morale tests. Considering Morale isn't an issue at all for Dark Angels, you may give this one a pass. Ezekiel has this if he's your warlord.
  3. Brilliant Strategist: Once per game, you can re-roll a single failed hit, wound, or saving throw roll, if your warlord is alive. In addition, if your army is battleforged, roll a d6 each time you use a stratagem. On a 5+, you gain a command point. You can never go wrong with more CP. Azrael starts with this one, naturally.
  4. Huntsman: Your Warlord can fire Pistols, Assault, Rapid Fire, and Grenades (but not Heavy) at enemy characters even if they aren't the closest model. In addition, when he piles in or performs a Heroic Intervention, he can move towards the closest enemy Character instead of the closest enemy model. No hiding behind meatshields for your foes' characters now! Belial starts with this one. This is almost useless, as the chances of taking out a character with the guns available is very slim. Characters have 4 or more wounds generally, and your only real options are a combi-melta or plasma talons/lion's roar relic. With needing to hit, to wound and get past invulnerable saves your chances are very slim of actually killing a character with this. Has some merit against support characters, such as apothecaries or tau ethereals.
  5. Master of Maneuver: Re-roll the dice to determine how far a Dark Angels unit advances and CHARGES when they're within 6" of the Warlord. As with last edition, Sammael starts with this one. Kind of pointless on him since biker units automatically advance 6", and you're not using Sammy correctly if he's not next to Bikes and/or Land Speeders. That second bonus is top notch though, as it basically turns your Dangles into Ork Boyz. Give this to a Chaplain in Terminator armor and deepstrike in with your Deathwing Knights. You'll make that 9" charge roughly 47% of the time now.
  6. Stubborn Tenacity: Roll a die each time your warlord loses a wound. Add 1 to the result if the Warlord did not move during his last movement phase. On a 6, that wound is ignored. Never take the BBB one, as this does exactly the same with a flat upgrade.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Like all 8E factions, in addition to Smite you have access to a faction-specific table of powers.


  1. Mind Worm: WC 6. An enemy unit within 12" of the Psyker takes a mortal wound, just like that. In addition, the targeted unit is forced to fight last in the following Fight Phase and must wait until all other units have taken their turn. Not bad.
  2. Aversion: WC 6. An enemy unit within 24" must subtract 1 from all their To-Hit rolls until the next psychic phase. Stacks nicely with other penalties, like the powerfist/powerklaw, the hard-to-hit rule on your flyers, or the Darkshroud's aura, but because it debuffs an enemy instead of buffing an ally, best used to help shut down a big incoming threat.
  3. Engulfing Fear:WC 6. Doesn't do anything overt by itself. However, any enemy unit within 6" of the Psyker that takes a morale check must roll two dice and discard the lowest result, which is only slightly worse than a +1 penalty, making this power deeply underwhelming.
  4. Mind Wipe: WC 7. Choose a visible enemy model within 18" of the psyker; both players roll a d6, adding their leaderships. If you tie or your opponent beats your roll, nothing happens. If you win, that model must subtract 1 from WS, BS, and Ld for the rest of the game, which stacks with itself. Note that this lets you single models out of units, letting you do things like debuff just the special weapons guy in a target unit.
  5. Trephination: WC 7. Roll 2d6, add the result together; if you roll a 10 or higher add another 2 to the roll. The closest visible enemy unit to the psyker takes mortal wounds from the difference of their leadership and your roll. Mind Wipe can help you push that difference up higher for more mortal wounds, and remember that Imperial armies of all types have plenty of Ld debuffs to stack up in order to make the final difference ridiculously large, but without said help, this power won't do nearly as well as Smite.
  6. Righteous Repugnance. WC 7. Select a DARK ANGELS unit within 12" of the psyker; they now re-roll all failed hits and wounds in melee. WOW. Deathwing Knights will love you for putting this on them. Anybody carrying simple power swords becomes far more deadly; especially in squads, say like veterans of some sort?

Space Marine Armoury[edit]

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Chainsword - Now actually has a use! Still the basic CCW profile, but allows for one extra attack. Cost nothing and good at clearing out hordes.
  • Power Weapons - Each type of Power Weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. All Power Weapons have a damage value of 1:
    • Power Maul/Power Lance: S+2, AP-1. This is the one you want to use against lightly armored units that rely on toughness to shrug off hits.
    • Power Sword: S User AP-3. No direct boosts to Strength, but good enough against SoBs and other T3 units with good armor saves.
    • Power Axe: S+1 AP-2. A good enough compromise between the Sword's armor negation and the Maul's brute force.Your best bet for dealing with MEQs and TEQs.
  • Relic Blade - Available to Captains. A S+2 AP-3 weapon that deals d3 damage per attack, you can think of them as bare-bones Heavenfall Blades. Company Champions get superior Blades of Caliban (see below) but Captains can at least choose something else if they want to. Relic Blades fall somewhere between fists and claws in effectiveness as it's good at fighting both infantry and vehicles/monsters, though not to the point of weapons designed for that specific task. Notice that Captains can no longer use the Relic Blade/Storm Shield combo (unless they're in terminator armour). This weapon is notably best used with Challenger characters: It's solid combination of High-strength, High-rend, High-Damage with no penalty to swinging makes it outright deadly to characters that rely on large numbers of wounds to stay in combat.
    • Alternate take: You should absolutely NEVER take one of these as for a mere 4 points, compared to the Relic Blade's 25, your Captain/Lieutenant can just upgrade to a Heavenfall Blade for free or 1CP, and get the same profile with +1A. However you can only take one Heavenfall in your entire army. As the rest are owned by named characters.
  • Blade of Caliban: Available to Company Champions and Ravenwing Champions in place of the Master Crafted Power Sword. Good, because these masterpiece weapons are S+3, AP-3 and d3 damage, making them superior to every basic power weapon and are better even than Relic Blades. While they are a little less reliable than the MC sword's flat 2 damage, but wound everything up to toughness six on a 3+. It keeps this edge up to T13 (still wounding on 5+), the cost of the blade is now free, and comes built in to the cost of the Champion.
  • Corvus Hammer: S+1 AP-1 damage 1. Equipped by Black Knights and Ravenwing officers. At first glance it looks like a poor man's Power Axe or Maul, slightly inferior to both, though remember that the whole unit gets access to this and now strikes at S5 and drop power armour saves back to 50%. Furthermore, if you roll a 6+ to wound then the wound becomes damage d3 instead of 1. For some strange reason now, the Ravenwing Apothecary/Ancient don't have this unlike the index rules, and the Black Knights can optionally take one (might as well as they cost absolutely nothing). Huh.
  • Lightning Claws: S User AP-2 D1. Allows you rerolls to wound and gain an extra attack if you have two of them. Needless to say, always bring them along in pairs. Which they won't because Deathwing players will take DW Knights for melee instead. Unless they're idiots and want to miss out on Cyclones and Plasma Cannons. As even Cataphractii will cost three points less than a Deathwing Knight.
  • Power Fist - Sx2 AP-3 d3 damage. Unwieldy has been replaced with a -1 penalty on to hit rolls, which can be annoying but does mean you're no longer screwed by being forced to attack last all the time. As with last edition bringing a lightning claw is still a viable option, using the claw for shredding lightly armoured units without the -1 to hit, however the -1 to hit is also the reason that this isn’t needed any more, as you aren’t screwed by attacking last any more. In short it’s a situational upgrade where you value quantity of hits over quality of hits. Which in this blob heavy edition is worth considering.
  • Thunder Hammer - Like a Power Fist, but deals 3 damage instead of d3. All the strengths (and the -1 to hit modifier) of the Power Fist, with none of the random damage but more points, damn it. Cheapskates will take Deathwing Knights for free Maces of Absolution instead.
  • Chainfist - Like a Power Fist, but AP-4 and a fixed 2 damage. Better at punching through armour, but less swingy with the damage. You also pay a hefty tax for the extra reliability because the Power Fists dropped to 12 points but the Chainfist didn't change in price at all.
  • Eviscerator - Unlike his baby brother, this heavy chainsaw sword is a two-handed chainfist: Sx2 (S8 for Marines) AP-4 D3 damage -1 to hit which actually makes it a less reliable but potentially more damaging Chainfist. Since the option in the Assault Squad states that any one in five models may equip it, you can give it to the Sergeant who has 2A to get better use from the expensive weapon.
  • Force Weapons - Librarians come with these. Identical to their Power Weapon counterparts (with Force Staves filling in for the Power Maul), but deal d3 damage instead of 1 damage.

Note: Power weapons aside from PF and TH are very cheap now and with the ability to charge after firing it isn't a bad idea to give Sergeants a melee weapon if they're going to be close to the front i.e. Tactical squad in rhino, Ravenwing squad, etc.

Ranged Weaponry[edit]

  • Boltgun - You know what a bolter is. S4 AP-0 Dmg 1 24" Rapid Fire 1. The loss of AP hurts, but if your opponent has a brain he'll be keeping his 5+/6+ units in cover anyway.
  • Bolt Pistol - It's a bolter pistol. Like other pistols, has a shorter range but can be fired when locked in close combat, so it's useful enough for choppy units.
  • Combi-Weapon - Now infinite use, can be fired independently of the bolter or at the same time. Firing both the bolter and the special weapon causes a -1 to hit. Special mention to Combi-flamers, since the flamer part auto-hits.
  • Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter - Cheap as chips Rapid Fire 2 boltgun. Typically seen on Terminators. The new change in weapon type means that a whole squad of these can fire a buttload of bullets at close range, nearly guaranteeing wounds somewhere. Characters should only take it if you don't want to spend the points on anything better.
  • Plasma Pistol - Fairly effective against MEQs when fired normally, and when supercharged it hits harder and deals more damage but kills the user on a roll of 1 to hit. Cheaper and more effective than the Grav-Pistol against units with high toughness, but the warning about supercharging applies here too- you do not want to get your expensive character killed just because of one bad roll. That said, given that a Captain lets Marines around him, including himself reroll those bad 1s To Hit away, don't be too worried. 1/36 chance of killing yourself are acceptable odds.
  • Grav Pistol - Deals more damage against targets with an armor save of 3+ or higher, but it's not quite as good as it used to be, especially since immobilization spamming is out.
  • Plasma Talon - An Assault 2 Plasma gun with 18". Comes standard on the Ravenwing Black Knights as well as the Apothecary, Champion, and Ancient. You can still fire this thing after advancing (albeit at -1 to hit) and claim the 4++ invuln from jinking.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer - An S4 AP-0 1 D Assault d6 weapon with 8" range which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. The changes to how Flamers work give them a bit of effectiveness against small, lightly armored units as well- the number of hits they can score means that a single unit can be hit more than once. They are a surprisingly decent AA option too, given they auto-hit even Hard to Hit models.
  • Grav-gun S5 AP-3 1 D, with 18" range and Rapid Fire 1. The loss of the ability to wound on a roll equal to the target's armour save is a big nerf to the former game-breaker of 7e, to say nothing of its poor strength and range compared to the now-safer plasma gun. However, it does d3 damage when it wounds an enemy with an armor save of 3+ or higher so it can still be decent against heavy infantry. Don't bother against vehicles, though- s5 isn't enough to dent most tanks now, and immobilization spam is no longer a thing anyway.
    • Grav-gun still has it's niche due to the fact it does D3 damage to 3+Sv and with the prevalence of MANY elite units coming with two wounds or more the D3 damage certainly works and without worrying of having to roll ones. Not game breaking as in 7th but still has it's use.
  • Meltagun - S8 AP-4 d6 Dam Assault 1 with 12" range, best used with Drop Pods. If within half its range (so 6" or closer) it rolls 2D6 for damage and selects the higher number, so it's good against Monsters as well as vehicles now. It's worth noting that Drop Pods and its passengers cannot disembark closer than 9" from an enemy, so you won't be in Melta range on the drop. Try Multimeltas for that.
  • Plasma gun - The plasma gun works differently from its earlier incarnations- for a start, it now has two firing profiles, both of which share Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. In its normal mode, it's S7 AP-3 1 Dam so it's basically a flat upgrade from a bolter that does a good job of taking out MEQs and TEQs. In its supercharged mode, it has one extra point of Strength and Damage that lets it one-shot Terminators. But be careful: firing the supercharged mode triggers the new version of Gets Hot!, and this time it just kills a model with no saves on a to hit roll of 1. So only fire the supercharged mode when the boosts are worth the risk of killing the user on the spot.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

  • Heavy Bolter- S5 AP-1 Dam 1 with Heavy 3 and 36" range. Good against hordes at long range due to its high number of attacks, and not too bad against lighter vehicles either.
  • Heavy Flamer- A flamer with an extra point of Strength and AP -1. It's a Heavy type weapon, though the -1 to-hit penalty is irrelevant since it always hits, it just can't be used after advancing like its smaller brother can. Though with its better profile it will generate more damage.
    • Best used on land speeders thanks to their large movement distance so you can get them where they need to be, whereas Terminators find have to teleport outside of its range on top of moving a little slower this edition so they might struggle to get as much use other than for overwatch protection.
  • Assault Cannon: like a bigger meaner Heavy Bolter but a 24" range. Fires six shots at S6 AP-1 dam 1. It synergises well with Terminator Storm Bolters but can be used for plinking wounds off of vehicles thanks to its high rate of fire.
  • Grav-cannon with grav-amp- Identical to the Grav-gun, but with Heavy 4. Compared to the Plasma Cannon, it fires more shots but suffers from all the nerfs that the grav-gun has gotten. It's now effectively a souped up Heavy Bolter.
    • Math might beg to differ. Despite S5 making Grav-Gun a non-choice when it comes to Vehicles thanks to its 1 shot at 18" and 2 at 9", Grav-Cannon has all 4 shots at full range. Let's compare it to a Lascannon. First we disregard the to-hit rolls and saves because they're the same for both weapons. Then we have Lascannon wounding on a 3+ (2/3 of hits) and a Grav Cannon wounding on a 5+ (1/3 of hits). In essense, when 2 Lascannon to-wound rolls go through, only one does for the Grav Cannon. That's 2d6 Damage vs d3 Damage, 7 vs 2. Only then do we remember that the Grav Cannon has 4 shots, meaning 7 vs 2 becomes 7 vs 8 and the Grav Cannon wins. Two caveats: the target must have a 3+ or better save for this to work (come on) and you should be mindful of the 24" range difference between the two. It is a very good versatile choice, don't overlook the Grav Cannon this Edition just because it isn't as much of an auto-choice as it used to be.
      • It's worth noting however that in smaller games the command re-roll stratagem makes the lascannon the better choice. For example, a devastator squad with four lascannons has a decent chance to roll a 1 or 2 for damage, which a command point can convert into a 3 or 4 on average. Pair this with the lascannon's extra 24" of range and you ought to easily make up the 14% damage increase from the Grav-cannon with grav-amp.
      • The thing that kills the Grav Cannon compared to the Lascannon is Range. Given the Grav Cannon only has a 24 inch Range, you're either going to be constantly repositioning to try and get your targets into range (giving you -1 to hit, missing out on the rerolls of 1 and probably pulling you out of cover) or just taking pot shots at whoever wanders into your Grav Cannon's range. The Lascannon can, with good positioning, aim at basically anything on the field, and is therefore a much better choice if you care at all about what you're shooting at.
  • Lascannon- S9 AP-3 d6 D, with Heavy 1 and a range of 48". Your primary anti-vehicle weapon.
  • Missile Launcher- Can fire either Frag Missiles that act like d6 bolter shots, or a Krak Missile with S8 AP-2 d6 D. Not quite as good as a heavy bolter or a lascannon in regards to dealing with infantry and vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles. With its D6 damage and AP-2 it can still make a nasty surprise for a HQ caught in the open.
  • Multi-Melta- A meltagun, but with Heavy 1 and 24" range. Cooks vehicles from a slightly safer range than the regular meltagun, but unlike the meltagun you can't advance and then shoot with this unless it's on an attack bike and you use the Speed of the Raven strategem. The Multi-melta can fulfill a role previously filled by the Meltagun: Drop Pod threat removal due to the new 9" arrival restriction. Thanks to the Multi-Melts's 12" Melta range, your D6 damage dice will be more reliable on the turn you come in, at the price of a 16% decrease in accuracy. To offset that you have the Armorium Cherub and the Sergeant's Signum.
  • Plasma cannon- Identical to the Plasma gun, but has a 36" range and is Heavy d3. The larger number of shots it has the potential to fire make it more useful against larger groups of enemies than other heavy weapons like missile launchers or Lascannons, while remaining effective against harder targets thanks to its high strength and armour penetration.
    • Bear in mind the -1 on to-hit rolls if you move prior to firing heavy weapons, meaning you will suffer instant death on a 1 or 2 when you overcharge plasma.
    • Though Terminators can take this, you are almost always better served these days by taking a Cyclone Missile Launcher, since having two S8 shots plus a storm bolter for another 2-4 S4 shots is MUCH more reliable than just D3 S7 shots.

Primaris Weapons[edit]

A category to themselves because as of right now unit that have them don't have any choice but to keep them, so there are no Special/Heavy distinctions. No other army (so far) has access to them either, so where there is no difference between a human-scaled Boltgun and a regular Astartes Boltgun; Primaris weapons are always improved in some way.

  • Bolt Rifle: the bigger brother to the standard Boltgun (or Bolter if you prefer), comes as standard on Intercessors. Has a 30" range, S4 and AP-1 it more appropriately represents what an armour-piercing gyrojet rocket should behave like, compared to something like a weaker lasgun or short ranged shuriken weapon. There is nothing inherently wrong with the weapon itself, it's just that the units that have them cannot swap for Special or Heavy weapons so you get a slightly better Tactical Space Marine using Boltgun, but the Rifle can be swapped out depending on the role of your Intercessor squad.
    • Auto Bolt Rifle: 24" ranged Assault 2 bolter with AP0. For units that you want moving.
    • Stalker Bolt Rifle: 36" Heavy 1 AP-2, and probably one of the better choices for a static gunline.
  • Assault Bolter: Assault 3 -1 AP 18" so basically a hand held heavy bolter. Only guys who get this are Inceptor squads. Nothing much to say besides they tear up hordes.
  • Plasma Exterminator: The Inceptor's alternative to the Assault Bolter, essentially a half-ranged plasma cannon, much fluffier than the bolter anyway but because it's on a fast unit, you aren't likely to gain much benefit from your built in rules.
  • Plasma Incinerator: 30" S7/8 -4AP Rapid Fire 1 Super duper plasma gun. Exclusive to Hellblaster squads, pretty much a half and half weapon. You move forwards? fire it in regular mode; if you stand still? OVERCHARGE.
    • Assault Plasma Incinerator: Shorter ranged 24" S6/7 Assault 2 version, probably of less use to Dark Angels because you'd rather have your gun-line standing still to gain the benefit of Grim Resolve and it will only wound MEQs on 3+ regardless of the mode. This one probably deserves a pass in Dark Angels lists.
    • Heavy Plasma Incinerator: 36" S8/9 Heavy 1 version. While it has half of the shots of the other two versions, it will always be wounding MEQs on a 2+ no matter what mode you fire it on. Because it's Heavy you really don't want to be moving it, which is fine because by standing still you get to reroll ones anyway, and with the longest range you have less need to move it.


8th Edition gives Relics back to the Dark Angels. Now, relics just replace an equivalent weapon, making them functionally free. However, only 1 Relic may be taken per army unless you spend command points, and the weapon relics still require you to pay for the weapon that the relic will replace. Note that characters in the Elite slots can only take Relic weaponry if they start with or purchase the weapon to be upgraded. As they have less options compared to HQs who have access to just about everything.

  • Lion's Roar- Replaces a Combi-Plasma. The rules state right out state it is a Combi-Plasma blaster. This turns the Plasma gun into an 18" Assault 2 weapon, giving up some of its max range and rapid fire synergy with the Bolter part for a higher number of shots in the 13-18" range and the ability to fire it while advancing. It's also a nice way to give a Ravenwing HQ an equivalent to the Plasma Talon. As the biker HQs in the Index don't have them. However, its usefulness is debatable as it isn't too different from an original Combi-Plasma. This gun is only really usefull if you plan to take the 'Huntmaster' warlord trait as this and a combi-melta are the only guns that can actually snipe enemy characters dead, and it's still not likely to succeed.
  • Foe Smiter - Replaces a Storm Bolter. 24" S4 AP-1 D2 Rapid Fire 2. Straight upgrade from a Storm Bolter thanks to AP-1 and 2 damage.
    • The Lion's Roar and Foe Smiter have a bit of an overlap in their roles. Foe Smiter has slightly more options such as replacing the Storm Bolter of the Chaplain Dreadnought. Typically players would have the super Storm Bolter IC support a short ranged gunslinger squad. Such as Heavy Flamer/Assault Cannon Deathwing, Melee Vets or Ravenwing. While the Lion's Roar roar with it's somewhat longer range. Will go to character buffing a Plasma squad. Such as Devastators, Plasma Vets, Black Knights, Plasma Cannon Deathwing or Tartaros. There is also nothing stopping you from using the "Relics of the Rock" Stratagem. Taking both on different ICs and have them a share an LR Crusader with a six member Deathwing squad. You could also use them as "the 11+ squad members" to buff a Ravenwing or Deathwing unit.
  • Mace of Redemption - Replaces a Power Maul. S+3 AP-3 D1d3, re-roll all failed wounds against units with the Heretic Astartes keyword. Good on any Dark Angel's character that can give rerolls to hit. Pity Interrogators can't take it. They would make the most sense anyway.
  • The Eye of the Unseen - Enemy units within 3" of the bearer subtract 1 from their Leadership value, and any enemy Characters within 3" of the bearer that are chosen to attack in the fight phase must fight after all other eligible units have fought, even if they charged in the Charge Phase. Basically slaps enemy Characters with Always Strikes last. They really want you to go character hunting. Good on an Interrogator chaplain, then combo with Ezekiel or a Librarian for all the negative leadership, then blow their minds up with Interromancy.
  • Shroud of Heroes - All attacks allocated against the bearer have -1 to-hit. Nice protection if your warlord's gonna get down and dirty in the fight phase, but if you're using this when the enemy's shooting at you, you've fucked up royally. However, combos well with Aversion (psychic power) and the Ravenwing Dark Shroud.
  • Heavenfall Blade - Replaces a Power Sword or Master Crafted Power Sword with a S+2 AP-3 D1d3 weapon. Gives +1 attack like a Chainsword. The much better successor to the missing Monster Slayer of Caliban. You could put it on a Power Armor Captain to make Balthazar or a Termi-Captain to get into charge range. It would be better served on a Ravening Talonmaster, to take advantage of his 16" movement, which is much cheaper than fielding Sableclaw.
    • Between the Heavenfall Blade and the Mace of Redemption. The Heavenfall is better on Ravenwing units and will be useful fighting just about everything. While the Mace works better against Chaos Marines. It's also easier to take the Heavenfall Blade as more units get a Power Sword compared to a Power Maul.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Master: Not to worry, your Company Masters haven't gone anywhere - unfortunately Grim Resolve doesn't do anything for him since he already has a built-in reroll aura. Hitting on 2+ re-rolling 1's with 5 wounds 4 attacks and all the build-a-fighter options we've always loved, and now comes default with a Master-crafted Bolter (AP:-1 D:2). Relic blades are pretty cool too, with S:+2 AP:-3 D:D3 (note: if you're not taking any other capital-R Relics, give him a power sword and swap it for the Heavenfall Blade for all the flavor of a relic blade at a 16 point discount). Sadly no option to take Artificer armor anymore, but you'll be taking your Iron Halo save most of the time anyway. You can also give him a jump pack to go hopping along with some assault marines, but his Rites of Battle ability which allows 1's on hit re-rolls means you probably want to keep him near your deadliest shooting unit. For Assault Marine support, look to the chaplain instead for all failed hit re-rolls. Unfortunately your Company Master does not have the Inner Circle rule or the Deathwing keyword by default and neither do the Primaris variants (because the Chapter doesn't trust them). While Inner Circle doesn't offer much to an independent character on its own, the lack of the key word means that the Master cannot benefit from several of the chapter buffs. In all, honestly very meh. Grim Resolve is very nearly army-wide Rites of Battle, and if you're footslogging, you really may as well just spring for Azrael.
    • Master in Terminator Armour: Has the Deathwing key word and the Inner Circle special rule. Your move drops to 5" and your save jumps to 2+, and you can Deep Strike. Can also take Combi-weapons and a Power Fist mounted Grenade Launcher, so make the most of it. The launcher's range is short but Assault D3 makes for some decent additional hits during Overwatch. Again, with Rites of Battle the Captain wants to support your shooty units, like 5 land speeder typhoons. If you're looking to support your teleporting terminators, go for a chaplain and/or ancient. Take Belial instead if you don't wish to spend points on a relic caddie.
      • Alternate Option: If you're running Primaris marines with Dark Angels (Why? Cuz Dark Angel Hellblasters are awesome), he can work decently with his extra point of T and A. He works well as a counter attack unit or simply moving and advancing up the map while supporting other nearby units. With his extra attack he can target small, elite units rather well just watch out for those with good invulnerable saves or 3+ wounds.
    • Master in Cataphractii Armour: Yes, some actual retro-tech for the Dark Angels. Like the regular Terminator Master, he also comes with the Deathwing key word and the Inner Circle rule. The change in armour unfortunately reduces his movement all the way down to 4" and it also halves advance rolls, but at least you can still Teleport and hang out with your Deathwing bros. Best part is that it provides a whopping 3+ Invuln without having to take up an arm slot,. Starts with a power sword and combi-bolter, but unlike the Gravis Captain you can swap these out for some cool goodies.
    • Primaris Master: As with all Primaris marines, he comes with a extra A and W. However, he is poor in melee with his only melee option being a power sword. Not saying he can't bully other units like tactical squads or anything that's poor in melee and can be cut down quickly by him. What he does do well is being a long range character as he can snag a Master Crafted Stalker Rifle which lets him stay useful while supporting other units in the back field.
    • Primaris Master in Gravis Armour: You're losing 1" of Move to gain 1 point of Toughness and 1 Attack. For wargear all you can take is Boltstorm Gauntlet (power fist that can also count as three bolt pistols for shooting attacks) and a master-crafted power sword. Fits the theme of the rest of the Primaris Marines: powerful but inflexible. A close range fighter, so make the most of him. He doesn't provide much benefit to Deathwing or Ravenwing themed armies, he doesn't Deep Strike and as a Primaris Marine he doesn't fit into any of their transports save for the Repulsor so he can be difficult to get into support distance with the Dark Angels special units. So you would be better off taking a Terminator or Bike HQ instead or better yet Belial or Sammael.
      • Using this guy with the Relic sword, he's very capable as a bodyguard for Aggressors. Load up in a Repulsor with an Apothecary and have fun.
  • Librarian: Like the previous edition, the Librarian is not the combat master that the captain is, but he's no slouch. His Force-weapon is just a basic power weapon (axe, sword or stave) that deals D3 wounds. More expensive than the chaplain and without any direct bonuses for nearby troops you will only take this guy for the psychic powers and deny-the-witch rolls. His psychic hood gives him +1 to deny the witch, and he can deny up to 2 powers so no need to take more than 1 librarian unless facing Eldar or sick fuck IG players. Give him a jump pack to make sure you can target SMITE or Mind Worm properly or make maximum use of Engulfing Fear with its 6" bubble.
    • Librarian in Terminator Armour: an extra wound, a 2+ save and a 5++ will keep this guy alive longer, but since Force Weapons no longer auto-kill OR completely negate saving throws there is less reason to get your librarian stuck in combat with something dangerous in the first place. It does give him Teleport Assault, which is nice but for psychic mayhem you're better off with a more mobile librarian. Only worth taking over Ezekiel if you need something better than his dinky pistol if the enemy unit can somehow survive after a cast of both SMITE, Mindworm & the Deathwing have used up all their attacks or to fill up a Land Raider slot.
    • Librarian on Bike: (Index Only) A 14" move, +1 T and +1 W. The extra wound could come in handy when suffering Perils attacks, since at 5 wounds he can on average survive 2 perils of the warp. Probably the best combination of maneuverability and protection in the current edition. No, he cannot take a force-lance, cool as that would be. Especially useful for directing SMITE or using Mind Worm as you'll need to get close to the enemy to use it.
    • Primaris Librarian: It's a librarian, but a head taller, so +1 wound. Most notable for being the only primaris marine inducted into the INNER CIRCLE.
  • Chaplain: A good support choice to back a choppy squad. He lets same Chapter units in 6" use his leadership and reroll all failed hits in melee. Particularly useful helping hammernators mitigate their -1 to hit, or to buff melee fighters and help with their higher morale vulnerability. Comes stock with a bolt pistol and Crozius, which is now somewhere between a power axe and maul at +1S and -1, but 2D. Can swap his bolt pistol for a bolter, fist, pistol, of combi-weapon, and can strap on a jump pack.
    • Chaplain on Bike: (Index only) It's a Chaplain. On a bike.
    • Chaplain Dreadnought (Forgeworld) . The Chaplain Dreadnought is the go-to answer for players wishing to run an All-dreadnought army. This is one of the best models space marines can currently use in 8th, and arguably the best outside of special characters. This is because, as a character with less then 10 wounds. It can't be shot at unless it's by snipers (which it'll shrug of anyway) or it's the closest model. Think about it. A dreadnought that CANNOT BE SHOT AT. It possess a 5++ save and also adds +1 to the strength of friendly models fighting the same unit as the dreadnought. This means that your Deathwing Knights can how wound enemy Land Raiders on 3+, and enemy bikes on 2+!. The Chaplain Dreadnought has heroic intervention, and the Venerable special rule, which means that every wound it takes it ignores on the roll of a 6 on 1 D6. The Chaplain Dreadnought is also rather reasonably priced considering its many advantages. 204 points buys you a vanilla Chap, but it can be cheaper or more expensive depending on your wargear choices (taking an assault cannon makes it cost 183 as an example). Despite its strengths, ultimately it's buff may be considered somewhat weak for lists that aren't heavily melee based. The strength increase provided by the Dreadnought is more of a bonus than something your entire army can rely on. If you want an HQ that buffs, than the Chaplain Dreadnought may not be your first choice. However, if you were planning to bring a dreadnought and/or want a tough and killy HQ, then the Chaplain Venerable Dreadnough is a fantastic option that also saves you an elite or heavy support slot.
      • Until it's FAQd. There is nothing stopping you from equipping the Chaplain Dreadnought with a relic. He can either replace a Storm Bolter with Foe Smitter, or take the Eye of the Unseen or the Shroud of Heroes.
    • Primaris Chaplain: Oh boy you get 1 extra wound and an AP-1 Bolt pistol.
  • Interrogator Chaplain: The basic Interrogator is much like before; an upgraded Chaplain. He gets an extra wound over his lower ranked brother, and comes with the ability to reduce the leadership of any enemy within 6" of him by one point, which is actually a very good boost this edition since losing men by morale is much more commonplace. His weapon and wargear options differ, too. Firstly, he may take a Power Fist without having to swap his Bolt Pistol for it, so you can rock around with a Crozius and a Fist and a Pistol if you really want to (although this is extremely inefficient). Also, you may swap that pistol for a weapon on the melee weapons list, something regular chaplains are unable to do, though this is rather redundant unless you are looking for something very specific, like a sword or hammer, since simply adding more weapons does not grant you any more attacks; if you want to swap it, buy a better pistol.
    • Interrogator Chaplain on Bike: (Index only) It is an Interrogator Chaplain. On a bike. As of the errata of July 2, 2017, this guy can now turbo-boost.
    • Interrogator Chaplain in Terminator Armour: Your regular Chaplains cannot get Terminator Armour but your Interrogators can. That means you get a model with six wounds and a 2+/4++ save. They can only switch out their storm bolter for a combi-weapon. As this boy is made for close combat and close combat support this is of dubious usefullness, but does give the option for the Lion's Roar relic.
  • Lieutenants: They allow friendly Dark Angels units re-roll to wound rolls of 1. This is significant because most other HQ characters grant to-hit rerolls and don't benefit from overlap meaning you'll receive little to no benefit from them supporting each other. You can have two Lieutenants for one HQ slot and both have to be set up at the same time, but don't need to be in unit coherency and are treated as separate units, great for small games as warlords and good support for bigger ones, considering that with Grim Resolve you don't need more than one Company Master you could fill the spaces with lieutenants instead. PRO-TIP: for a little more money instead of buying Primaris lieutenant Zakariah buy the company veterans and make your own cool loyal Officers. It might cost a bit, the best use for them is giving them a Combi-Weapon, a Jump Pack and a Power Weapon. The Jump Pack will free up valuable transport space and allows them to keep up with Ravenwing and Interceptors.
    • Primaris Lieutenants: For slightly less than 2 vanilla Captains you can get up to two Primaris Marine officers with -1 BS and Ld compared to a vanilla Captain, but one extra attack and wound over a regular lieutenant meaning they are a beefier officer (The Ld drop is largely irrelevant on on a single model unit) They're armed with Assault 2 bolters that do 2 damage which can and probably should be swapped for Power Swords for the better chance to hit and as is the case with all Primaris Marines, they're rather inflexible but are good enough at passing out buffs since they're effectively two Characters in a single FOC slot.
      • Can now take a plasma pistol either by replacing their Bolt Pistol or just simply taking the Plasma Pistol along with the other wargear.
      • Alternate Option: With only a 6" move and no transport capacity a good way to use them is equipping the Stalker Boltgun and chilling in the back with shooty Dangles. Especially Devastators, Aggressors, and Predators. Can do okay in melee but watch out as he has no invulnerable save and only has a normal power sword. Works either in a counter attack role or moving and advancing up the field, camping a fortification or riding in a Repulsor.
  • Talonmaster: One day in the Rock, the Dark Angels were thinking: "If Blood Angels can have Librarians in Dreadnoughts, WHY CAN'T WE HAVE LIEUTENANTS IN LAND SPEEDERS?" And thus, the Talonmaster was born out of the 8e Codex. These are Lieutenants who fly in Land Speeders with a Twin Assault Cannon and a Twin Heavy Bolter, much like Sableclaw. 18 AP-1 rolls is nothing to sneeze at. In addition to the re-roll 1s to wound aura, all friendly RAVENWING units ignore an opponent's cover saves within that same aura, particularly nasty with Black Knight Plasma Talons, who are now practically guaranteed to wound and ignore saves. They are also characters, meaning despite the fact they are vehicles, with only six wounds they cannot be shot at in the shooting phase unless they are the closest target.
    • Note: The Huntmaster Warlord trait only affects pistol, rapid fire, and grenade weapons. Talonmasters carry two twin heavy weapons and won't benefit from that Warlord Trait. Give them either the Brilliant Strategist (if running lots of Ravenwing) or Master of Maneuver (if babysitting infantry) for recycling command points or making footsloggers around you faster, if you want a Talonmaster Warlord.
    • As a character armed with a Power Sword, they can take Relics of Caliban if you want something similar to Sammael-lite. He can replace the sword with a Heavenfall Blade, giving him five attacks at S6 (actually better than Sammael if he wasn't charging) or a Shroud of Heroes to partly make up for the fact that they don't have an invulnerable save, which might be the better option if the Talonmaster is your only HQ choice. Your relic caddie Talonmaster will buff the rest the Ravenwing. Pairing well with Dark Talons, Nephilims and Land Speeders. While Sammael and his Black Knights are free to spam Plasma and smash heads in.
    • The Talonmaster carries more firepower and melee punch than 2 landspeeder tornadoes, for fewer points. You do give up on survivability as you have fewer wounds, but Sammael in landspeeder and 3 talonmasters are a serious unit-eraser. Against conscript spam, orcs or other horde armies, unleashing 60 S5/6 shots at AP-1, with re-rolls to hit, re-roll 1's to wound and no cover saves is bound to erase blobs. And then you charge.
  • Techmarine: The cheapest HQ you have. The Techmarine is a mediocre character with a good ballistic skill of 2+. He can take a servo harness which gives an additional servo arm plus the mandatory plasma cutter and flamer. He comes with a power axe and a servo arm, which gives him a power fist for 1 of his attacks. The Techmarine has become more useful now that the Blessing of the Omnissiah repairs D3 wounds AND vehicles rarely go from 11 to 0 wounds in 1 turn. He does have to be within 1" though, so mobility or careful deployment is key. Each vehicle can only be repaired once per turn so multiple Techmarines are only useful if you have a lot of vehicles. The servo harness does give this boy some great close-range firepower, but then you can't repair shit.
    • The codex doesn't allow the Conversion Beamer anymore, if you still want to use one you'll have to use the Index entry. If you take this, due to how shooting works he can fire any non pistol weapon in the same phase. So the first thing you want to do is replace his Bolt Pistol. However there really aren't any option that matches the Beamer's range. So a Combi-Flamer would be good against those who charge him and any vehicle he shares with another unit. If you pick the Servo Harness, pairing it with Combi-Plasma gives him three plasma shots. Since Grim Resolve allows him to reroll 1s if he doesn't move. It's really not that much of a risk. The Flamer won't come into play all that often. Anything that somehow gets within eight inches of his transport and fellow Astartes is probably going to be tabled in the next overwatch regardless.
    • Techmarine on Bike: (Index only) +1T and +1W the bike grants a little more survivability, but more importantly it grants enough movement to race to the rescue of damaged vehicles. You can still strap a Conversion Beamer or Servo-harness to his back for doc-oc-on-wheels. Sadly he doesn't get a Plasma Talon so his bike is stuck with twin linked Boltguns. Though you can replace his bolt pistol with a Combi-Plasma and upgrade to the Lion's Roar to make up for it, but you might want to spend your relic on something more usefull. This guy is a great option for following landspeeders, talonmasters and/or sammael around and repairing them.
  • Rhino Primaris: (Index Only, Warhammer World Model) An expensive rhino with a lot of antennea on top that can call down an orbital strike once per game. It also comes equipped with a twin plasma gun. Where it becomes brilliant is with it's buff, which can grant a single unit within 12" a +1 to hit with shooting. Combine this with your plasma-toting primaris marines or black knights and you can always shoot supercharged plasma as the 'on a 1 to hit' counts AFTER modifiers, so you have no chance of overheating your plasma weaponry. Great against 'nids or other armies that spam 2-wound models like other primaris marines or terminators. Combine with a chapter master and/or Primaris Lieutenant re-rolls for extra fun. It does have 2 other options for buffs you could use, Repair Skull lets a vehicle within 12" regain a wound, and Vox Skull you a bonus to nearby morale tests which is practically useless with ATSKNF and Unforgiven.
  • Land Raider Excelsior:(Index Only, Warhammer World Model) The other HQ tank. A basic land raider with the heavy bolters replaced with a grav cannon, a 5++, the master's Rites of Battle rule and it gets a +1 to hit if you have a rhino primaris within 24". Expensive, so only really useful if you were planning on fielding a land raider anyway and really want the rites of battle bonus, for example because you are transporting 5 company veterans with combi-meltas or something. While the 5++ may seem great on a Land Raider, the normal 2+ save means you already save against lascannons on a 5+, so it's only usefull against AP-4 weapons which are a little more scarce.
      • Alternate Option: Take this, give it the Shroud of Heroes and run a Darkshroud and Talonmaster alongside it. That's a -2 to hit for everything in the game.
  • Damocles Command Rhino: Another expensive rhino with satellite television on board. Can call down 1 orbital strike per game, transport 1 model (supposedly the commander). If your warlord is embarked in it, you can roll 2d6 at the start of your turn and if you roll UNDER his leadership, you gain a command point. Not bad, but you might want to make your commander a cheap-as-dirt company champion or master without equipment, if all you want him for is generating 3 or 4 command points. No, this tank is not worth the effort most likely, even though the concept is cool.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Azrael: Went from being one of the poorest Chapter Masters in melee, to being able to slug it out with the best of them, primarily because of the improvements to core rule mechanics. His Sword of Secrets now gets five attacks that strike on a re-rollable (see below) 2+ at S6 AP-3 D1d3, which is a huge step up for him; now he can threaten terminators and the like instead of bouncing off. The sword also does an additional Mortal Wound each time any to-wound roll results in a 6+, meaning those opponents who thought they had reliable invulnerable saves need to be wary of him. Other base improvements include the fact that the Lion's Wrath can now be fired in both modes endlessly and at the same time, without overheating if you don't overcharge it (which you should refrain from doing anyway), only causing him a -1 to hit if you do decide to fire both; so that'll be a 3+ then, re-rolling 1s. The bolter portion, being master crafted, now causes 2 damage and has a one point AP improvement over a normal bolter. The fact he has a pistol is just the cherry on the cake now that he can shoot a guy in the face with it at point blank range even while within 1" of an opponent (read: melee), when other "bigger" characters tend to wear terminator armour or carry paired weapons and leave their sidearms at home. So now both Azrael's shooting and combat phases measure up quite comfortably to other special characters who usually tend to focus on one or the other.
    • As Chapter Master, he gives his army +1 command point if they are battle forged and he is the warlord, and grants a re-roll to all Dark Angels units within 6", including himself, of course, and speaking of auras, the lion helm is still there, granting a 4++ invulnerable save to every Dark Angels infantry and biker model within 6", which is a slight change to how it used to apply to only his squadmates (and sadly does not include guardsman blobs, but you can get a lot of Tactical Marines inside a 6" bubble). Since you cannot attach him any more, just hug him to a couple of units you need to keep safe and create a bubble of protection. As of the Codex, vehicles do not benefit from his 4++ invuln anymore. RIP the Las Predator bubble of unkillable death. Because he no longer gives as much of a benefit to vehicles anymore, this is an opportunity to take advantage of new potential strategies, such as running Azrael up the board with a squad of Hellblasters.
  • Belial: Still geared towards being an excellent duelist this edition. The Sword of Silence still wounds non-vehicles on a 2+, but also gained a point of strength which means hes gets to wound those T8-T9 vehicles on a 5+. The Sword has the stats AP:-3 Damage:2 so its role has a TEQ slayer has come to the fore, where it simply failed in the past, and it also reduces the WS of any attacks coming his way by 1, a handy little buff considering that all those guys with Fists and Hammers already reduced their WS by another 1. Combine with Aversion on a TH/PF terminator unit, pr PK toting Meganobs, and watch them trying to hit you on 6+ instead of 3+. Belial should now really only choose the claws if he has no intention of fighting characters and needs to focus on large groups, while the Thunder Hammer should be taken if you really need the 3+ invulnerable save from the Storm Shield, since it even the sword beats it for wounding potential against Toughness 5 or higher, thanks to a the new wounding table. Also bear in mind you can't still him in a squad any more, so having a Storm Bolter (now improved to Rapid Fire 2, so shoots four shots at half range) gives him a little bit of ranged bit and Overwatch protection if someone tries to charge at him.
    • Belial also buffs his army a little bit: Dark Angels units within 6 inches re-roll to-hit rolls of 1, or all failed to-hit rolls if they're part of the Deathwing. However, since his other big draw, not scattering on Deep Striking, is universal throughout the game now, he's lost that cool feature.
    • As of the codex, Belial no longer has access to the TH/SS or Lightning Claw combinations; you'll have to use his entry in the Index if you want that. It's worth noting since the "Parrying Blade" rule in the codex makes no reference to the Sword of Silence, since it assumes he always uses it, whereas the index specifically mentions that it applies to the Sword and not his other options. Since you have to use his codex datasheet with his index wargear, this means you get the rule on his index equipment like you always wanted.
  • Sammael on Corvex: Sammael is most definitely the fastest and shootiest hero in the Dark Angels army and is a very comfortable melee combatant too. On his Jetbike he can fire off a magnificent EIGHT bolter shots at half range every turn AND 1d3 plasma cannon shots all on rerollable 2+, meaning he can throw out more reliable firepower than a five man tactical squad all by himself. In melee: he has a bolt pistol for point blank shooting and can swing the Raven Sword five times on a rerollable 2+, which acts like a +1 strength master crafted power sword (so S+1, AP-3, D2) that has the additional effect of increasing his strength to eight any time he charges and wounding those MEQs on a 2+. Also, for the fact of being on a jetbike he can move 14" and gains toughness 6. Yes he has poor old power armour but with a 4+ iron halo it's not a huge deal. Also, the Corvex is still sexy AF, so go ahead as you wish!
    • The plasma cannon is rather sucky in 8th, as there are no longer any templates and you can only overcharge it when standing still (or straight up DIE in a to- hit roll of 1 or 2, with only the 1 being rerollable. If you can spare the points, take Sableclaw.
    • Sammael on Sableclaw: A bit more expensive than the Jetbike, but comes with a lot more dakka: a twin Heavy Bolter and a Twin Assault Cannon for 6/12 shots respectively. He also still fights just as well with the Raven Sword if he gets engaged. Enemies can no longer shoot at him even if he is not the closest target, as he has 7 wounds now, and still has the 4++ invulnerable save to protect himself with. The primary issue he has is that the weapons he fires are all Heavy, so if he moves he drops down to hitting on a re-rollable 3+ (and with the FAQ to re-rolls, he can't re-roll 2's to hit when moving), and he cannot advance and shoot (unless you use the Strategem), so he doesn't have the same reach as Corvex.
      • Sammael in either form grants a re-roll failed to-hit aura to any RAVENWING unit within 6", and grants the ability to re-roll 1s to regular DARK ANGELS within 6", too. Even if you don't take much Ravenwing, he puts out so much hurt by himself and is so comparatively resilient that it might be worth taking him in any army.
    • When compared to Kor'sarro Khan, Sammael is now slightly inferior in a straight up fight, due to Khan's double strength modifier allowing him to wound Sammael on a 3+, but Sammy's extra attack pulls him back up, so the difference between them adds up to a 0.16 wound/turn difference, assuming Khan rolls average damage. This is not a true test though, since Sammael has more than twice the shooting potential of Khan (and pretty much any other character in the game too), does better against the "average" mook, and can FLY.
    • Often overlooked but stated above, Sammael has the FLY keyword, meaning he can cruise over enemy units and to get to weaker units and fuck up enemy flyers as nearly almost all of them are T7 and below. Not to mention to fall back and unload his range arsenal on some heretics. Thanks to him flying he has some great utility that is nearly always forgotten.
  • Asmodai: As an individual, the Master of Repentance still has problems finding his place. The Blades of Reason still suck, doing D6 damage for each unsaved wound, but still only strike at S:User and AP:0, so you are better served using the Crozius, unless you are doing something crazy, like going mano-e-mano with Imperial Knights or heavy tanks, where the Crozius' strength bonus and armour penetration doesn't really matter as much, and you're fighting with luck and sheer balls, rather than anything else. Asmodai does have one trick up his sleeve in this edition: the Litanies of Hate that Chaplains usually get has been replaced with Exemplar of Hate, which still grants the reroll to-hit bubble within 6", but also grants Dark Angels within that bubble an extra attack. When coupled with his aura of dread, Asmodai acts as real force multiplier in assault, rather than doing anything useful himself.
    • The Blades of Reason aren't as bad as they seem. They are, on average, better than the crozius against anything that is t3, t6 or t7, doesn't have 2+ armor, and, obviously, has more than two wounds. They are also better against anything with an invuln matching the armour. This includes many vehicles (because Asmodai is so batshit sadistic that he'll manage to torture a rhino to death), basically all greater demons and demon princes, and many of the vile Xenos.
  • Ezekiel: Even better than last edition and the same points cost as well. He no longer gives friendly Dark Angels within 6" +1 attack. Instead, if a friendly Dark Angel dies in the fight phase while they are within 6" of Ezekiel, they get to make a single attack (this is especially funny as aura abilities now target the characters who have them, so if Ezekiel dies in melee, he can go down swinging. Another good use of this power is on Deathwing Knights). He got himself a 4++, while also getting weapon upgrades. His sword, Traitor's Bane, is S+1 AP-3 D1d3, but against psykers it has +1 damage. Then his pistol, The Deliverer, got an upgrade: it's a bolt pistol with AP-1 and D2, which is not too shabby. Finally, he can cast 2 psychic powers a turn from interromancy, of which he knows 3 powers; the new powers are amazing, and he can try to deny the witch 2 times a turn. This pairs well with his psychic hood. Overall, not the psychic powerhouse that the ultramarines or space wolves have, but he is great in his own right, he is great in combat too, has an invulnerable save unlike the aforementioned (although one can get one for some points, while this guy comes stock with it) and has some sturdy psychic potential of his own.


  • Tactical Squad: The same jack-of-all-trades as always. The changes to core rules allow them to charge after firing, although with only one attack each and no close combat weapons on anyone other than the sergeant this should only be used to tie up a unit that might hit you back hard if you can't kill it. Other changes allow you to fire your heavy/special weapon at a different target from anyone else, turning them into a genuine "tactical" unit that can deal with multiple threats at once. This also means there is less need to combat squad, since taking the heavy weapon doesn't force his companions to waste their fire on things they can't hurt. They now benefit from cover, upping their save to a strong 2+. While they are not particularly great at any one role, they can fill in any gaps in your army that might need to be addressed and while some FOCs don't require troops slots any more, some of the larger ones still do, so these guys are solid choices, particularly when accompanied by characters granting various retools.
    • Similar to how Blood Angels can have three flamers, in a 10 man squad you can have three plasma weapons. A Combi-Plasma on the sergeant, a plasma gun, and a plasma cannon.
  • Scout Squad: The Scout special rule Concealed Deployment may be the best troop rule space marines have. Since they deploy during the deployment phase, you can cut off huge swaths of the board from enemy deep strikes early in the game. They have both a shooty build and a close combat build, and offensive wise are just as good as Tactical Marines at shooting and Assault Marines at assaulting. They can create early pre-screens so horde armies can't get a full move right off the bat. Worried about a Tyranid army getting a 30" move on turn one? Scouts make a fine speed bump. Camo Cloaks actually make Scouts cost more than Tactical Marines on a model by model basis.
    • With the new codex. Your Dark Angel Scouts now have the option of taking a Land Speeder Storm. Opening up some new strategies. Such as taking two Land Speeder Storms and a full squad. Rather you could also Combat Squad them, have half the squad leg it to the nearest objective while the other half goes for the next one. The Heavy Bolter also offers synergy with your other heavy weapons. Allowing dirty tactics such as arming eight with sniper rifles. Give half Camo Cloaks and Sniper Rifles. Load the other half with a heavy weapon. Give the Sergent two Plasma Pistols and three others with either Shotguns, Boltguns or SRs. Split them up with Combat Squad for long range campers and use the other as a mobile attack squad. The latter with three heavy weapons (including the Storm's own Heavy Bolter and Cerberus Launcher) and two Plasma shots.
  • Intercessor Squad: The Primaris counterpart to the Tactical Marine with an extra attack and wound per model and packs some variant on a Bolt Rifle with longer range and better AP than the standard Bolter. At first glance this makes them look like a flat upgrade over the basic Tacticals, but if you look closely you start to see a few problems. First, a minimum sized Intercessor squad costs 25 points over a minimum-sized Tactical Squad for the same number of S4 bolt shots (with the range and AP boost mentioned earlier) but least the Tacticals get to bring along a heavy or special weapon at that size and Tactical squads can be put in a cheap Rhino/Razorback for objective grabbing, while Intercessors would have to fork out for a floating Land Raider to do the same job. While Intercessors are capable of securing objectives, they simply aren't as efficient as aggressive objective grabbers because they have no inherent rules advantage for moving forward and no significant heavy/special weapons to deal with unexpected vehicles or really tough models. What Intercessors do really well in Dark Angels lists is form gun lines using their increased range to let other squads advance up the table, pretty much everything the updated Codex Astartes suggests they are for. With longer range and more wounds than a tactical squad, they can easily be set up on objectives in their own deployment zone, taking advantage of Grim Resolve to just stand and shoot while Ravenwing or Deathwing do the heavy lifting. If you're looking purely for bolter shots then compared to Tactical Marines the Intercessors seem better on paper.
    • Deciding whether to use the regular bolt rifle, or the auto-bolt or stalker variants really depends on the size of the table and how far back you intend to keep them.
    • The Regular Bolt Rifle is probably the best bet. For a basic Troops choice armament it has increased range compared to the "standard" 24" boltgun or lasgun that most other armies make do with so you can start firing (and rapid firing) from earlier in the game with greater effectiveness than most opponents thanks to -1 AP. When things get closer you can then rely on the enhanced durability of Primaris to keep them standing. If you aren't sure what to do with Intercessors, then the basic load-out works just fine.
    • Auto-Bolt Rifles offer a mobility upgrade for 1 point per model and the loss of AP. For six points more than a regular Tactical marine you fire double the number of shots at 12"-24" though those advantages diminish up the closer the Auto-Rifles get to their opponent, since they fire the same number of shots as a regular boltgun at ranges of less than 12" and are worse at shooting at ranges of less than 15" compared to a Primaris bolt rifle. This means your min-sized 95 point Auto-Bolt squad falls between a 90 point regular Intercessor squad and a 65 point Tactical Squad in terms of shooting effectiveness depending on range. The trick to Auto-Bolt rifles is to go cheap with them and take advantage of the ability to advance and still shoot to maintain that sweet spot of 12"-24", or play mop up to other units by dashing into mutual weapons range and taking out the few remaining stragglers. Though by doing this you are losing the benefit of Grim Resolve and are mostly playing with a vanilla squad.
    • Stalker Bolt Rifles offer some long range armor penetrating shots at the cost of 2 points per model. This makes them great for sitting back and camping an objective while forcing wounds on high armor units with its -2 AP. Greatly benefits from Grim Resolve increasing accuracy by 11% of the unit. Even so, its output lacks much to be desired however with just 5 shots for 100 points when the other basic weapons can force double the number of saves at shorter ranges. Take Stalkers if you absolutely need the additional range or you are certain they will be shooting high value targets, anything else is generally a poor expenditure of points.
    • Auxiliary Grenade Launchers are the Intercessors "special weapons" in that one in five models may take one for a single point each. They extend the grenade range to 30 inches. This means that you have the choice between one S6 AP-1 D1d3 damage or d6 S3 AP0 D1 shots. For 1 point it's hardly a bad deal and can add some capability to your squad with the Krak grenade being usually better unless you're shooting at low toughness/low save units.



  • Aggressor Squad: You get access to these and can stand in for the Centurions you don't get. They come stock with auto boltstorm gauntlets and a frag grenade launcher, or you can trade all that in for Firebat pattern flamestorm gauntlets, which is a pair of flamers. Combine either with the Fire Storm special rule which lets you shoot twice, re-rolling ones, if you don't move (including in Overwatch, which is just plain scary when combined with the flamestorm gauntlets) and put out a lot of short-ranged firepower; a minimum sized three man squad throws out 36+6D6 S4 bullets or 12D6 S4 flame autohits in a single round of shooting if they don't move. They've got Gravis armor, which makes them T5, move 5", take up two spaces in a Repulsor and come with Power Fists for when they get close. Then there's Relentless Advance which lets you advance and fire assault weapons without penalty (this has no effect on the flamers, as they autohit anyway). This means when you do decide to move them you might as well run as far as you can since all of their guns are assault. Run and gun for the Lion!
    • Aggressors are also strong at the front of your army for discouraging/punishing Deep Strikers. If you go 2nd, and someone deep strikes nearby, the Aggressors will count as having not moved. Pop the Auspex Scan so you can shoot the deep strikers, and shoot them twice due to Fire Storm special rule.
    • The default bolter/frag loadout receives the most benefits from the built-in rules, especially Grim Resolve. As mentioned earlier, flamers hit automatically so there is no gain from advancing; but conversely, with such a short range you are likely to be moving most turns so there are fewer opportunities to double your shooting output.
  • Apothecary: Now a Character running on his own. Doesn't give out Feel No Pain, but if he's within 3" of a same chapter Infantry/Bike at the end of the Movement phase, he can heal D3 wounds on a model. If no-one's wounded, he gets a 4+ chance to bring 1 dead model back to life with a single wound, but if he fails, he can't do anything else that turn. Can't swap out his weapons, so he's stuck with a bolt pistol and chainsword, but that means they can hit his melee opponent about five times across several phases if you need him to.
    • Primaris Apothecary: 13 points for +1W and improved pistols: the reductor pistol, which is a 3" S4 AP-3 D2 pistol, and the Absolvor Pistol, which is 16" S5 AP-1 D1. He's meaner than the Deathwing Apothecary because he can use those pistols in combat in addition to his attacks though he still has no business being in combat. He'll do just fine popping off shots with his pistol and keeping nearby units alive.
      • Probably the least useful Apothecary to Dark Angels, due to his limited deployment options: he can’t fit in any transport other than a Repulsor. He also can’t Deep Strike (either as a Terminator or in a Drop Pod) or move quickly (with a Bike) all meaning that if you take him, he’s probably going to be clinging to your other Primaris Marines, potentially far away from your Deathwing/Ravenwing or your special characters and veteran squads who would benefit from him more.
  • Company Ancient: The old banner bearer, now an independent Character. The banner adds +1Ld to any Dark Angels Infantry units in 6". If a model from the Chapter dies in 6", you get a 4+ chance for them to get off one more round of shooting or close combat right there and then, before your opponent can move on to something else. Note that this only affects models in the bubble, not units, so be mindful when picking who dies. It also sadly doesn't affect bikes. Note that this is a similar ability to what Ezekiel has, although the Chief Librarian's one works automatically but only in the Fight Phase, whereas this works half the time, but in either phase. The Ancient comes with a bolt pistol that you can swap for a different pistol, combi, or melee weapon. Out of phase shooting is great, especially if it lets you put two fingers up to the guy that killed you. ML/Grav/Las/Multi Melta Devastators can still earn back their points with a lucky shot, also vets with combi-plasma that killed themselves due to overcharge can fire again; combined with weapons of old age, bye bye Fallen.
    • Chapter Ancient: Dark Angels have now been given access to the Sacred Standards again, which is basically an upgraded version of the regular company standard, doing everything that a Company Ancient can do but granting those marines WS 2+ or BS 2+ when they get their free attacks before they die. This is still a power armoured marine, so he is allowed to swap his bolt pistol from a weapon from the regular lists.
    • Primaris Ancient: Same as a Company Ancient, but with +1W 1+A. Comes with a bolt rifle in addition to the pistol, and can't ride anything other than a Repulsor or swap his wargear.
  • Company Champion: Like the champions of vanilla Marine chapters, you can buy a combat shield to have access to a terminator-level invulnerable save, and unlike them, you get the superior Blade of Caliban. His price is a mere 44 points (the Blade of Caliban is free, the only extra cost is the Combat Shield). Compared to the other DA champions, you can have multiple of them in your army, and you can ride in most of the transports, taking up only a single space. The other choices might beat you in mobility (teleport strike, or the bike's sheer speed), and the Ravenwing champion is also superior at ranged combat, but he is the most cost effective way of including a character mulcher in your army. In fact, for 44 points, this is point-for-point the most effective model in the codex. A real bargain.
    • In an example of GW failure, the Codex does include points values for a "Chapter Champion", although the datasheet doesn't exist... but clearly someone in the design team uses a lot of CTRL-C, CTRL-V without paying attention. This is FAQed; you can ignore the chapter champion.
  • Company Veterans: Your most flexible unit, as they can be configured any way you want. Besides that, the squad can be equipped pretty much any way you want, just bear in mind that Storm Shields won't help against mortal wounds. Every veteran has access to the Melee, Pistols, Combi-weapons and Special weapons list if they swap their standard bolt pistol or chainsword and one can take a heavy weapon (FAQ). Though with the changes to combi weapons firing infinitely for only 2 points more than the base weapon, there will never be any need to choose a regular special weapon anymore, EVER. These guys can do the old "Look out, Sir!" rule which lets them intercept a wound from a character within 3" on a roll of 2+ in exchange for taking a mortal wound.
    • What's interesting about the Dark Angels version of Company Veterans is that they may also take Combat Shields (for 4 points each) granting them a 5+ invulnerable save on top of their regular gear, rather than having to swap out their chainsword or bolt pistol. So it can be a good way of granting them a modicum of additional protection without sacrificing any combat effectiveness.
    • In a nice touch from the FAQ, one Dark Angels Veteran may take a weapon from the Heavy Weapons list, something other chapters can't. Note they can still take other options, so stick a flak board on that that Grav Cannon and get an invulnerable save.
    • If you found the Black Templars' las-plas Crusader spam tempting, go nuts with 2-men Veteran squads, toting both a heavy AND a special weapon. Besides detachment restrictions, there is no reason to take a 4-man squad instead of two 2-man squads. You get an extra attack from the sergeant and enemies will either have to split fire or risk wasting wounds by causing more wounds than you have models in the unit.
    • Dark Angels never had access to Sternguard/Vanguard, and now there is practically no loss. The individual veteran costs exactly the same in all cases, but if a Sternguard swaps his Special Issue Bolter he loses the benefit of his ammunition. Where the Vanguard just get access to Jump Packs and one Relic Blade. But with access to more options for yourself, Dark Angels no longer have to feel like they missed out on something.
  • Imperial Space Marine: (Index only) Dark Angels finally get access to this newly lone wolf killer that was restricted to us before 8th. Compared to an average Tactical, he's gained 3 extra wounds, 2 more attacks, and one extra Ld point. But it's his disintegrator combi-gun and disintegrator pistol you should watch out for. They're only 18" Rapid Fire 1 and 9" Pistol 1 (respectively), but with S5, AP-3, and D1d6 (basically a higher damage combi-grav and grav pistol), they have the potential to fuck up a lot of units if it manages to wound them. Fun idea: surprise an enemy who thinks being only armed with a CCW will leave you weak in assault with that pistol of yours. He is absent in the codex, but using units from the Index is still allowed per FAQs.
  • Reiver Squad: They have a heavy bolt pistol with -1 AP compared to a normal one and a combat blade that functions identically to a chainsword and can be traded for a bolt carbine, but their main draw is their Shock Grenades. They're Grenade d3 weapons that don't deal direct damage, but instead disable the Overwatch of INFANTRY they hit in addition to penalizing their hit rolls by 1. This added advantage in the Fight phase works well with the Reivers' Terror Troops rule, which reduces the Ld of all enemy units within 3" of any model in the Reiver Squad by 1. As a result, they can debuff the Ld of units they're not actually in combat with, which can lead to a nasty chain reaction if they're stationed near units that are already likely to break in the Morale phase. They're also the cheapest of the Primaris Marines Elites so far by a long shot as well. They can also buy grav chutes which lets them deep strike anywhere more than 9" away from the enemy. Alternatively, you can buy grapnel launchers, which negate vertical movement when calculating how far Reivers can move and allows for them to Outflank.
    • The batman melee specialists of the Primaris Marines have some steep competition in the Dark Angels slot and are unfortunately beaten in almost every regard due to them not really benefiting from any special rules inherent to Dark Angels and the fact that you will almost certainly be taking something else because you are playing Dark Angels. Yes, they are a melee unit that can Deepstrike/Outflank, but you have Deathwing for that. Yes, they are kitted out for mobility, but they won't really benefit from Grim Resolve, and you have Ravenwing for outmaneuvering your opponent. However, Reivers do make excellent shock troops for supporting something else. Their Leadership debuff stacks with the Eye of the Unseen and interrogator chaplains, and will assist with several of your Interromancy psychic powers, while their ability to nerf overwatch will allow consequence free charging of enemies with other heavier units.
  • Servitors: Cheapest model in the game, at 2 points. WS5+ and BS5+, or 4+ on both if a techmarine is nearby. They no longer help you repair stuff and at T3 they will fall over in a stiff breeze. They come standard with a Power fist, so without a techmarine they hit on 6's in melee. Hurray. 2 of them can take a heavy weapon, but since you're paying space marine prices on the weapons this gets expensive fast. A unit of 4 with 2 heavy bolters is still fairly cheap at a little over 50 points, but consider the fact that you need a techmarine close by AND need to stand still to hit anything AND your opponent can now split fire a few guns to take them out quickly that's just 50 wasted points. To bad you can't leave the servo-arms at home as the 2 servo arms cost almost half the points of the unit. With that in mind. You have better things in the Elite Slot if you pine for walking death machines. With that in mind, keep your eyes peeled for the sections below this one.


  • Deathwing Terminators: Elite Terminators with the ability to customise their loadout to suit your needs. So you can have a combination of ranged guys with melee dudes and have a squad for all occasions and being Inner Circle they thankfully pass all morale checks they are required to make, so they don't have to worry about losing extra guys as a result of a poor leadership check. What's more is that even the basic guy is the same points cost as a normal "codex" terminator (26 points before wargear, 40 with the standard Bolter/Fist combo). However, they don't have the ability to deploy Teleport Homers to the battlefield and leap to it in an "emergency" like vanilla Terminators do; but the benefits available to Deathwing outweigh any lost rules from core Terminators. Thanks to the codex they can now combat squad, so you can essentially have Terminator Assault squad and a regular Terminator squad in the same slot if you like, although any Watcher in the Dark has to be assigned to one unit or the other.
    • The changes to power weapon rules means that the Sergeant may actually want to keep his sword in this edition, rather than it being a useless hunk of crap. It is worth giving him LC to make use of his 3 attack base or giving him a TH/SS combo.
    • One dude in every five can take a heavy weapon as normal, but their list also includes the Plasma Cannon, which doesn't overheat in this edition unless you overcharge it. Option wise though: Don't take the Heavy Flamer. If you're Deep Striking these guys (which you really should!) then having an 8" range isn't helpful if you have to be more than 9" away. For the Plasma Cannon, it's drastically better than taking a Cyclone Missile Launcher, due to being half the cost, and thanks to Grim Resolve, you have easy access to re-rolling 1s to help keep him alive, or you can supply a captain, Azrael, or Belial to help solve the problem while being mobile, such as when you deep strike him. However, if you have the points, then taking a Cyclone would be better since you still get a Storm Bolter too (best used with the Deathwing Assault Stratagem). The Assault Cannon is also a good choice, at only 1 point pricier than the Cannon, excelling at cutting through hordes, which the rest of the squad is forced to equip itself to fight, with their storm bolters.
    • Note that by taking a 5 man Terminator Assault Squad and 5 man Terminator Squad as a Combat Squaded 10 man squad, the Terminator Squad will be able to take an additional Heavy Weapon, courtesy of the five models in the Assault Squad.
    • Deathwing Terminators can take a Watcher in the Dark, allowing them to negate an incoming psychic power on a 3+ once per game. It's pretty cheap for only 5 points and it can really be useful against armies that excel in psychic such as 'Nids or Chaos. However, it's pretty useless against armies with little to no psychic such as Tau or Necrons.
  • Deathwing Cataphractii Terminator Squad: A cross between the dakka of normal terminators and the defensiveness of Storm Shields, these Deathwing Terminators bear a 4+ Invulnerable save, but are stuck with a 4" move and must halve all advance rolls. Either keep them in a Land Raider/Stormraven or Deep Strike them to get anywhere, never footslog these guys. Sadly can only take a Heavy Flamer as a Special weapon, but the Sergeant can have a Grenade Harness, and they can all take a pair of Lightning Claws or swap their Power Fists for Chainfists.
  • Deathwing Tartaros Terminator Squad: This time the Deathwing get an all-important extra inch of movement. However, your weapon options have changed and you're stuck with a 5++. You can only take a Heavy Flamer and Reaper Autocannon for a special weapon. One in five can have a grenade harness without replacing a Storm Bolter, and the entire squad can take Chainfists, or single or doubled up Lightning Claws, but the Sarge gets access to a Volkite Charger(which can't do extra damage on a 6+ like Admech or Forgeworld Volkites) or a Plasma Blaster for busting caps in other TEQs. Effectively giving you five special weapons in a squad of ten. To get the most out of their firepower, it's best to Teleport Strike your Tartaros or load them into a Storm Eagle.
  • Deathwing Knights: They lost a whole bunch of special rules this edition but Deathwing Knights are still excellent melee specialists. They lost their Fortress of Shields ability, but they gained an extra wound for being Terminators. Their Maces of Absolution are still scary, striking at S8 AP-2 and doing THREE damage each, basically losing out to Power Fists by a point of armour penetration but with no drawbacks to accuracy. This means a squad of these guys can theoretically take out any high value target in one turn of combat. The problem is their mediocre number of attacks and since damage does not carry over from dead models it means they are liable to become swamped by hordes. What they really need is back up from external abilities that grant rerolls, dice modifiers or additional attacks. Strangely enough compared to last edition these bad ass Knights aren't effective as hordes as they use to be. Let their brothers deal with chaff and let these guys deal with the heavy stuff.
    • The Knight Master's Flail of the Unforgiven is an exception to the normal rule, excess wounds inflicted on one model do carry over to the rest of the unit, and with his base value of 3 attacks at S6 AP-3 and 2 damage, he has the potential to take out six guys all by himself; making him the guy to deal with hordes while the rest of his unit knock lumps out the biggest thing in front of them.
    • Deathwing Knights also get a Watcher in the Dark for the ability to nullify a psychic power affecting them once per game. The same tactics for the watcher applies here as well.
    • An argument could be made as to whether a squad of Knights is any better than squad of TH/SS Terminators in the long run, now that Thunder Hammers no longer need to strike last: They both have the same basic profiles and a 2+/3++ save and hit at S8 and do three damage. A squad of Deathwing Terminators generally hits harder due to the increased armour penetration and can also customise itself to varying purposes, such as by adding a Cyclone Missile Launcher. Deathwing Knights do have the advantage of accuracy; being able to hit on 3+ and cost one point less per man (the Mace & Flails are free, so that's 45 points per man plus 5 for the storm shield, where Hammernators cost 26 point per man, plus 25 for the hammer and shield) Maces do absolutely fine against enemies with either poor regular saves or good invulnerable saves, as the increased penetration of the Hammer is lost against anything with a save of 5 or worse OR an invulnerable save of 4+ or better, so in those cases the Deathwing Knights are undoubtedly better.
    • These guys are great, but do need some support from characters. An Interrogator-Chaplain will make them even more deadly with his rerolls and if you don't mind the investment, you could get a Deathwing Ancient to follow them too. All of the above can teleport in together, or you could fit them in a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer or a Storm Raven for more mobility and firepower support.
      • Now that we have a codex, consider running a Librarian (terminator armour or otherwise) with the knights. Righteous Repugnance gives you re-roll to hit AND to wound, which is actually better than the chaplain's aura! Just remember, casting isn't guaranteed to succeed (unlike the aura, which is always on) and even if you pass, your opponent can attempt to deny the power with a psyker of their own.
  • Deathwing Champion: The 1st Company Champion is still here, and capable of cutting guys in half with that halberd of his, though his rules have turned him into a bit of an inconsistent oddball, so his focus has changed. He strikes three times at S7 AP-4 and does D3 damage, that S7 means he wounds T4 on a 3+ (rather than a 2+ back in 7th). He can reroll failed to-hit rolls against Characters, but his halberd grants him D3 extra attacks if his target unit contains 5 or more models, so it's as if he can't decide whether he wants to take on single opponents in honourable combat, or get stuck into bodyguards. But he's pretty good at both though.
    • Deathwing Champions are a one-per-army deal, so you can't have multiples.
    • In terms of close combat damage against lone characters, the three Champions fall pretty close to each other. The Deathwing Champion has one higher AP, but often a character has some form of invulnerable save, that will make AP less of a concern beyond 3+. The deciding factor will be mainly their prices and the rest of the army; you can field almost 2 Company champs for the price of a single RW/DW champion. However it would be a waste of a Rhino/Razorback trying to keep up with a RW HQ and pairing the Greenwing champion in with guys in Termi-armor would just look retarded.
    • If for some reason you -really- want his 2+ to wound against MEQs again, pair him with a Chaplain Dreadnought. Be mindful of the cost, though.
  • Deathwing Apothecary: So somehow being a member of the 1st Company makes Deathwing Apothecaries inferior. They may have gained a better save and an extra wound, but they lost an attack somewhere while putting on that suit of terminator armour and this is still the case in the latest codex. This coupled with the fact that they have no melee weapon at all means these guys just suck in close combat. But that just means you aren't temped to do anything that an apothecary shouldn't be doing in the first place, his job is to heal allies, not get stuck in with the beatsticks.
    • Unlike Champions, you can have as many Deathwing Apothecaries in your army as points/slots allow.
    • The Deathwing Apothecary does have some advantages over other Apothecaries. While the movement is much slower, it can Deep Strike, has a more reliable Invulnerable save and more importantly, has a 2+ save rather than a 3+.He also has a stormbolter, letting him add some ranged firepower to whatever unit he's supporting.
  • Deathwing Ancient: In addition to the traditional banner bearers, you get Deathwing and Ravenwing standard bearers. So comparatively, the Deathwing version is equipped with Terminator Armour, granting him an extra wound, 2+/5++ saves and the ability to Teleport Strike as well as coming with a Storm Bolter & Power Fist as standard, but is able to swap his gear for a pair of lightning claws or Thunder Hammer / Storm Shield combination. Note that the codex Chapter Ancient only comes with a Power Sword and some grenades, so immediately the Deathwing Ancient is more threatening and more customisable, however this obviously comes at a greater cost. Furthermore, the Deathwing Standard has a more specific purpose; granting +1 attack to all Deathwing unit within 6" of himself, so if you play with a few squads of Deathwing Terminators or Knights you'll definitely want this guy to hover around in the background. Weapon wise, keep him with his stock Power Fist/Storm Bolter. The chainfist is 10 points more expensive and isn't really worth the ten points and then the LC/TH+SS takes away your shooting which is quite important, especially if you stick him next to some Deathwing Knights who don't have any shooting anyway. Yes, it's only a Storm Bolter but it's better than nothing.
    • When moving into charge range it can be a challenge to keep your units inside his buff-bubble. When your unit goes charging off and this guy doesn't make the charge you may find your unit suddenly out of his banner range. Take care.
      • A way to avoid leaving his buff bubble is to play with pile-ins. Remember, you only need one guy from the squad in base-to-base. As long as all the other members are within 1" of him, they can attack as well. Use this to your advantage to stay in range of the banner and still get all your attacks!
    • Note all major characters (except Sammael and traditional Chaplains) have the Deathwing keyword, so they'll benefit from the extra attack as well.


  • Ravenwing Apothecary: Hands down the best Apothecary available to any space marine army. You get the ultimate rapid response warrior-medic, capable of moving 20" (by advancing) to heal wounds where required, getting a 4+ invulnerable save from jinking, while still able to shoot someone with an 18" plasma gun. Yeah, always take the Plasma Talon with this guy, never the Grenade Launcher; even with Stasis Shells. What's best about this edition is that there is no Black Knight tax for taking them, which is a relief since they are 97 points a pop, though that's pretty good for a T5 model with 5 wounds. Apparently, the Codex says they don't have Corvus Hammers, but the Index does.
  • Ravenwing Champion: The do-it-all champion. He gets the same Blade of Caliban that the regular champion gets, so wounds everything up to T6 on a 3+, slightly inferior to the Deathwing Champion overall but still does exactly the same job against marine-or-lower level opponents which are most common. He also comes with the Black Knight bike for a 14" move and armed with the Plasma Talon which can still be fired after Advancing unlike the twin bolters that other bikes get. With a higher toughness and better armament than most HQ characters get, the only problem with the Ravening Champion is that he doesn't have an invulnerable save the same as the Company/Deathwing Champions do in, putting him at a disadvantage compared to them against anything with AP-2 or better. Though in a straight fight against a standard <Codex> Company Champion on a bike, the Ravenwing Champion still does more wounds overall, simply because of his increased chance of wounding thanks to his higher strength and toughness.
  • Ravenwing Ancient:The Ravenwing version of the Deathwing Ancient. Grants +1 attack to Ravenwing units in 6". Not as useful as the Deathwing Ancient since the majority of Ravenwing are more shooty than fighty although it's great for keeping near black knights as he comes with plasma talons and corvus hammer as well. As with all assault bubbles, the trick is to make sure that he is still in 6" range after charges, so keep him REALLY close to the unit you want in combat or you'll have to leave some black knights behind to make sure the unit still gets the benefit. His 20" move means you can quickly move his bubble around if you want those extra attacks somewhere else. Stick him near Sammael for 6 S8 (on the charge) attacks at Ap-3 D3 hitting on 2+ rerolling. A Heavenfall Blade Talonmaster works too. That's fun. Again, the Codex says they don't have the Corvus Hammer but that doesn't stop you. Also, similar to the Ravenwing Apothecary, always have Plasma Talon and not Grenade Launcher.


  • Dreadnought: You know them, you love them, but Dreadnoughts sure do love the changes! Being at 8 Wounds and Toughness 7 makes them more bulky than what they were last edition and they still pack a punch. 4 S12 ATTACKS WITH NO -1 TO HIT MODIFIER! They also enjoy the changes to Twin-Linked Weapons, now being able to fire possibly up to 8 Autocannon shots, 2 lascannon shots or 3D6 Heavy Flamer shots. Now the classic dreadnought may see more light on the table as it will enjoy kicking ass. One of the few downsides of them is now you can't deep strike them in normal drop pods now, only in the Lucius pattern FW drop pod, but I'll take the buffs he got.
    • Weapon wise, despite losing most of its weapons in the codex, it can still use the Index. The Multi Melta and the Plasma Cannon are basically budget Twin Lascannons as the Lascannons are generally better, the Twin Heavy Bolter is usually inferior to the Assault Cannon, the Twin Heavy Flamer isn't so useful since you have to get down and dirty and could have 1 Heavy flamer underneath your fist and the Autocannons are again, budget Lascannons. So, take Lascannon or Assault Cannon for main weapon if you have the points. Heavy Flamer under Power Fist is useful as well, assuming you have the points (you could keep the Storm bolter is you wished). And finally, Missile? Cheaper than the Fist but isn't great t be honest.
  • Venerable Dreadnought: Similar to a classic dreadnought but with WS2+ and BS2+ and a new rule where it can ignore unsaved wounds on a 6+. Not too shabby. Apparently, something went wrong in the Codex where the Ven Dreadnoughts got demoted and they're only Deathwing and Inner Circle if we spend a CP. Sigh. But otherwise you get all this for only a slightly higher price tag. Oh, Yeah. Weapon options for the regular Dreadnought apply here too.
  • Redemptor Dreadnought: See GW redemptor dreadnought store page, DA can take the primaris redemptor dreadnought. DA have plenty of solid dakka options, but this bad boy could actually be more effective for a few reasons. The Macro Plasma Incinerator is actually pretty awesome as you only take a Mortal Wound on failed Supercharged attempts and you have high Strength and AP. Issue is that Strength 9 isn't much more useful than Strength 8. On the other hand, you have the Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon which is essentially 4 Heavy Bolters strapped together to form a weapon. Great for shredding Infantry. Also has 13 motherfuckin' wounds so he's a pretty sturdy Dreadnought. Nice One.
  • Contemptor Dreadnought: As per the new Codex, Contemptors are also an option for DA. They are an overall better regular dreadnought with a 5+ Invulnerable save, a stat line of 2+ WS and BS, more wounds, an extra point of strength and are overall faster until it takes damage, which will cause it to have the stats of a regular Dreadnought. By the time it reaches its lowest profile, the regular Dread would be dead so its stats get an increase no matter what. The only downside is that it has fewer weapon options (Multi Melta and +1 Strength assault cannon as its only shooting weapons) and no option for a Missile Launcher or Autocannon on other arm.

Forge World[edit]

  • Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts (Forge World): While Dark Angels now have access to the "standard" Contemptor Dreadnought. It lacks the options of the relic version. Two more wounds compared to the standard Contemptor, ignores wounds received on a 6+ AND has a 2+ save, but Attacks also degrade with damage now. You also get access to way more options than any other Dreadnought. For your convenience, they're all listed below:
    • Fist Weapon Options: We get access to Storm Bolters, Heavy Flamers, Plasma Blastguns, and Graviton Blasters now. Plasma Blasters are Assault 2 plasma guns, and the graviton blaster is just a grav-gun with a different name. It's also worth mentioning that Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts have the Unstoppable Fury rule, while allows them to reroll 1s to-hit if they are armed with two melee weapons, but doesn't specify in which phase. So you have less concern about overcharging your plasma weapons now that you hit on a rerollable 2+.
    • Chainfists: Contemptor Chainfists gain +1 Rend, and +1 damage over a normal DCCW. Overall a solid upgrade that lets them do terrible damage to both vehicles and monsters. It's a must-take for all purposes. Better yet, give it 2, because it re-rolls to hit rolls of 1 whenever it has 2 melee weapons. So much for Blood Angels getting a monopoly on double-fisting Dreads, huh?
    • C-Beam Cannon: The new Heavy Conversion Beamer is a single shot weapon that starts at S6 AP-3 that does D3 damage. It also gains +2 points of strength and +D3 damage after each 24" bracket of distance, totaling S10 AP-3 3d3 Damage at anything over 48" range. If a model is removed from play as a result of wounds caused it will then automatically trigger 2d6 extra auto-hits on the target unit at S6 AP0 D1. Generally speaking, this weapon suffers the exact same problem as the Vindicare Assassin, with a crippling downside that the Contemptor MUST remain stationary for the entire turn in order to use it. It cannot be stressed enough that this thing really NEEDS the range, though firing it at infantry squads has a good chance of killing a random mook and triggering an average of seven further S6 hits, which is still better than a twin heavy bolter. Against single model units (like vehicles) at full range the initial hit will likely knock the crap out it, wounding it on a 2+ or 3+ depending on its toughness and generally reducing its save to 5+ or worse but since you've now killed the model, those additional hits will be wasted. Since it won't be going anywhere in a hurry. You may as well take two of them.
    • Twin Heavy Bolters: Don't bother. The Kheres does everything it can, but better, albeit at shorter range.
    • Kheres Assault Cannon: Six shots at S7 AP-1, so is better than the twin heavy bolter at virtually anything. Its only real limitation is its 24" range.
    • Twin Autocannon: Identical to the one on the normal Dread. Not bad, but you didn't take one of these to field something other Dreads could take.
    • Twin Lascannon: Pop vehicles open without having to get into melta range. Probably better on the Contemptor Mortis, though.
    • Heavy Plasma Cannon: Might be a little better against multi-wound units, and unlike the Contemptor Mortis you can always try to negate the mortal wound you get if you roll a 1.
    • Cyclone Missile Launcher:Per the FAQ, can take one of these, but it's 50 points for two missile launchers at only 36" range - two actual missile launchers would cost you 50, and have 48" range and the ability to split fire if you wanted. But it doesn't replace an arm option. It pairs best with dual Plasma Blasters, two Assault Cannons or twin Autocanons.
  • Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: The end-all solution to your dakka-Dread needs, for when even the Contemptor Mortis won't cut it. Its armor save is slightly worse than the Contemptor's at only a 3+, but to compensate it has 2 more wounds and its invulnerable save rises to 4+ in the Fight phase (but why are you in melee in the first place?) on top of the built-in smoke launchers. For guns, you have the Anvilus Autocannons (8 36" autocannon shots with +1 S) for mulching infantry, the Hellfire Plasma Carronade (5 overcharged plasma gun shots which deal 3 damage each but cause mortal wounds on a 1) as the generalist option, and the Arachnus Lascannon Battery (2 S10 AP-4 D6 Damage shots that deal an extra mortal wound on 6s) for taking out vehicles, and also chest-mounted heavy bolters/heavy flamers. Don't bother upgrading to heavy flamers. While auto-hits are good, the Deredeo should be as far away as possible. It should be shooting things, not tied up in melee. It can supplement the main weapon with either an Aiolos Missile Launcher for extra fire support or an Atomantic Pavaise to give everyone within 6" of itself a 5+ invulnerable save. The latter works great with Devastators or other long-ranged units that can help support the Deredeo's firepower. 8th edition is kind of a mixed bag for the Deredeo. While 8 shots at BS2+/3+ on the move with the Anvillus sure are are great, the 12" range reduction is very painful, especially for the plasma carronade. 24" max means it will be in range of most weapons in addition to the risk of losing wounds which is very probable at 5 shots per turn. So it is advised to have a reroll/repair character nearby should you go for the plasma option.
    • Combining the Hellfire Plasma Carronade with the stratagem Weapons from the Dark Age means that those 5 shots that were doing 3 damage, are now doing 4 damage a shot. It's to the point where this thing effectively causes Land Raiders to shit themselves as a good turn of shooting (Bring the Lieutenants for those re-rolls to wound, Grim Resolve helps with the To-Hits.) could take them out with a single volley. There's no longer any reason to select the other weapon options as the stratagem will easily outclass their best results.
  • Deimos Pattern Relic Predator: Take a Predator, give it an extra wound, and slap a Plasma Destroyer on it as its turret weapon, and you have one of these tanks. The Plasma Destroyer itself can't be overcharged, but with the same number of shots as the basic Predator Autocannon and 2 Damage it doesn't really need to be. While it can swap out the plasma destroyer for the standard Predator guns, that's a waste of its options. Instead, you should use its unique options: the Conversion Beam cannon to make it a hard-hitting artillery unit, the Magna-Melta for close-range anti-vehicle firepower, and the Infernus cannon for a double dose of heavy flamer goodness.
  • Relic Javelin Attack Speeder: The poor Deodorant Tanks got a huge nerf in 8th edition. For the most part these fulfill the same role as before, that of a Heavy Land Speeder. But they lost the twin-linked rule on their Missile Launchers(WTF). They even lost their trademark Outflank ability. Overall this turned what was already a mediocre relic slot item, at best, into a shitty tool that's worse off than a generic land speeder.
  • Relic Sicaran Battle Tank: The Sicaran has transitioned smoothly into 8th ed, retaining its status a high-speed menace. With a big 14" move, T7, 14 wounds, and 3+ Save it falls in between a Predator and a Land Raider in terms of size and durability. It's armed with a nasty twin accelerator autocannon which has a couple neat tricks. It fires at 48" Assault 8 S7 AP-1 D2, suffers no penalties to its hit rolls when attacking flyers, and a to-wound roll of 6 increases the AP of that hit to -3. It's also armed with a single Heavy Bolter, and can grab 2 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons, a hunter-killer missile, and a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter if you crave more dakka. The Sicaran is a useful anti-air unit in a pinch and is well known for its ability to counter skimmers. Make good use of the Assault rule on its main gun by zipping around and firing while advancing.
  • Relic Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer: The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; even if a tank survives the Neutron Pulse Cannon's S12 AP-4 D6 damage hits (all 3 of them), it'll have all its shooting rolls reduced by 1 for the turn, which can make life very difficult for vehicles like Executioners or Tau vehicles with Ion Cannons. Additionally, it doesn't get penalties for moving and firing its heavy weapons.
  • Relic Sicaran Punisher Assault Tank: A new flavor of Sicaran, its draw is the Punisher Rotary Cannon- 18 Heavy Bolter shots guaranteed to make any hordes within 36" hate life. And if you don't move that turn, it re-rolls all to-hit rolls of 1. Enjoy making Orks and Tyranids cry.
  • Relic Whirlwind Scorpius: The Scorpius is set apart from the basic Whirlwind by its Scorpius Launcher (and its occupation of an Elites slot, not a Heavy one) - while it has only half the range of either of the Whirlwind's rocket types, 3d3 S6 AP-2 D2 shots is still plenty to threaten hordes and light vehicles alike. And as an added bonus, it can fire twice in a shooting phase if the Scorpius hasn't moved in the movement phase.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Rhino: Your standard transport. As vehicles now take some dedicated effort to get rid of them it is now viable to park it in front of the enemy loaded with assault troops and weather a turn of shooting before charging out. Just don't forget to fire those smoke launchers! It repairs itself every turn, which is nice. A good CC unit to troll enemy shooting units once it is empty as they will need to spend a turn falling back instead of shooting or stay in combat and put effort into destroying it. If you can, take the Razorback since it has much more firepower for little extra cost. A side note on characters, since transports can now have multiple units inside them it may seem like a nice idea to put Azrael in the same rhino as his company veterans, but if a transport is destroyed you roll a dice for every model inside and on a 1 that model is SLAIN, no saves, so be very careful of putting characters in transports. (This is not quite correct, you roll a dice for each model in the transport but you are free to assign wounds to whichever model you want. As long as Azrael isn't in there on his own then everything should be ok.) Be careful about getting your transport mobbed. The disembarking unit has to be placed before the transport is removed so if the Rhino is destroyed whilst completely surrounded then everyone dies. You also can't just drive out of trouble any more.
  • Razorback: Your transport for small units, but mostly just fire support as it is a cheap platform for a twin heavy bolter. As any unit can now use any transport you can use this to 'save' a depleted assault unit or ferry a unit to an objective. 10 assault Marines without jumppacks down to 3 guys? Rush the Razorback in and fall back inside the transport to keep them safe from destruction. And rush out the next turn! The same warning about characters applies here also.
    • What you really want a Razorbacks for are its guns. Replace the twin Heavy Bolters to support the squad you put in it. Plasma Company Veteran squad? Pick the Twin Plasma gun+LC for a total of fourteen plasma bursts and one extra S9 shot. Need to support your Plasma Cannon/Las/Grav Devastators? Twin Lascannons/Twin Assault Cannons can lay down the fury. Add a Storm Bolter and a Hunter Killer missile to aid in your alpha strike. Give the sixth spot to a Techmarine for a Conversion Beamer or a Servo Harness to make sure your Razorback lasts more than one turn. If anyone complains remind them that GW said that a transport can hold one than one unit.
  • Drop Pod: It grants a unit deep strike. That's it basically. No longer allows you to air-drop dreadnoughts, so you'll have to use the FW Lucius Pattern pod for that. It does allow mixing of units in 1 drop pod, so you can put 5 assault marines, 4 company veterans and a chaplain inside a single drop pod. You disembark immediately, so no risk of dying when the drop pod is destroyed. You an add a deathwind launcher for some added short-range firepower but as you deploy 9" from the enemy with a 12" range weapon you may have a hard time finding targets after the first shot. Also, the Storm Bolter gives you 4 shots at 12" so D6 shots at +1 Strength is probably not worth it. You cannot embark again unfortunately. It seems a little expensive at 85 points (for Storm Bolter, 87 for Deathwind Missile Launcher), but just drop it on an objective on turn 1, probably without cargo.
  • Land Speeder Storm: Now you can taxi your Scouts and get them out of hot zones, reposition to more tactical places or just support an Alpha Strike with Scouts and Bikes. It doesn't have the Jink rule like your other Land Speeders. However you are not taking it for that. The Land Speeder Storm's purpose is supporting your Scouts. Such as carting them to the objective or driving Shotgunners into range for maximum damage.
  • Repulsor: Holds 10 Primaris Marines (models with Gravis armor count as 2) and carries a fair number of anti-tank or anti-horde weapons to protect its passengers. While it can be built to be a veritable battle tank in its own right, it is a heavy point sink and requires support to get the most out of its statline. As most of its anti-tank damage comes from having the potential to equip the equivalent of four lascannons, it might be best to aim for a mixed build to capitalize on its potential to melt hordes and severely damage vehicles. However, its costs can rack up quickly, so unless you plan to field a lot of Primaris Marines you're probably better off taking a Land Raider variant. It also has the FLY keyword with all of it's dis-/advantages (Advantages. Let's not kid ourselves. Next to no one invests in anti-air. It's really not worth it in 8th Edition.) Using the "Weapons from the Dark Age" stratagem, the Repulsor can transport (10) Hellblasters, and easily drop them off within rapid-fire range, dealing absurd amounts of damage, especially if supercharged. That's (20) S8 -4AP 3D shots at 15". Also consider substituting a couple Hellblasters for the Gravis Captain and/or Primaris Lieutenant for rerolls of 1 for hits, wounds, or both. Scary.

Forge World[edit]

  • Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod: It's a drop pod...for dreadnoughts. Good for delivering dreads right into multi-melta range or putting Leviathans into a good position for a charge.
  • Infernum Pattern Razorback: A Razorback with a Multi-Melta. Don't forget it gets -1 to hit when it moves.


8th Edition brings our vehicles in line with the other Codex-adherent armies.

  • Nephilim Jetfighter: The Nephilim moved away from being an general purpose aircraft to a solid ground-attack fighter. In previous editions this was pretty much your primary source of anti-aircraft, although thankfully that's not such a huge problem these days. The Nephilim got a nice little buff to its Blacksword missiles this edition; they are no longer one-use items, now exist as launchers which never run out, and fire a pair of S7 AP-3 D2 shots each turn. However, ALL of its weapons are Heavy, so the Nephilim suffers a -1 for firing them while moving, and it cannot cease moving. On the plus side, it still has Strafing Run granting it +1 on to-hit rolls against anything which doesn't FLY, meaning it essentially negates the Heavy penalty on to-hit against ground targets, firing on a 3+ at the start of the game. Of course as a member of the Ravenwing it has the ability to Jink, for that 4+ invulnerable save so long as it advances in the movement phase, though it cannot then fire any weapons at all, However if you use the Speed of the Raven Stratagem, then it can still shoot normally. Other slight changes tend to come from the surrounding meta than anything else; it has three attacks in the close combat phase (you know, just in case another flyer decides to have a go) but these do not diminish as the vehicle takes wounds like they do with other flyers, for whatever that is worth, and the Avenger Mega Bolter now behaves like a longer ranged Assault Cannon with 10 shots, since the latter weapon lost any ability to Rend. Or you could swap that for a Twin Lascannon for some vehicle hunting. All of this wrapped in a solid flyer statline with T6 and 10W with a 3+ save and Hard to Hit, which forces enemies to shoot with -1 to hit, means that the Nephilim is still a fine support unit with plenty of reach on the battlefield.
    • Additional Note: The Darkshroud can add a further -1 to hit, meaning this thing will mostly be hit on a 5+/6+ as long as the base is touching that 6in radius. Got to be care of movement, though.
  • Dark Talon: The Dark Talon got an interesting set of changes to its unit in 8th, with the dropping of templates the fundamentals of the Rift Cannon and Stasis Bomb completely change. The former is now a Heavy D3 (Heavy forces you to -1 to hit while moving, but is negated against ground targets by the Strafing Run rule.) S10 AP-3 Dam3, and any damage causes a roll on the Rift Vortex chart (Degrading with wounds) and on a 3+/4+/5+ you'll inflict D3 Mortal Wounds which is much more reliable than getting doubles on scatter and then luckily scattering onto an enemy. The end of templates now allows you to fire at enemy flyers with the Rift Cannon, although the Dark Talon does not gain any hit bonuses for fighting Flyers. The one-use Stasis Bomb activates as you fly over a unit, then you roll a D6 for each model in the unit, Up to a MAXIMUM of 10. on a 4+ the target unit suffers a mortal wound. (Not each model as the wounds have to be allocated to one model until it dies, then you choose another.) The average being 5 Mortal wounds on a single unit is a big deal. The Dark Talon also has two Hurricane Bolters which means 24 SHOTS at close range!!! While just the standard Bolter profile they are still excellent for clearing out light infantry units, and are no longer useless against the vehicles the Dark Talon often hunts. The Hover Jet special rule will prevent the Dark Talon from flying off the board and allow you to bring it back into the fight after flying off away from the fight. The BIG FAQ 1 2018 nerfed the Dark Talon hard, increasing its base point cost to 180 points, 200 points with wargear. This is a 20 point increase to our flyer. God forbid the Dark Angels actually had one good unit. Screw you GW.
    • It wasn't nerfed Hard, but 180 was a better balance point for it; 200 points is a bit too much when a devastator squad does better work at fewer points.
  • Stormraven Gunship FINALLY!!! Ahem... Dark Angels get access to one of the better supporting unit that Space Marines have had for a while now. Some interesting combos can be transporting plasma vets and a lieutenant for more punishment were you need it. Also Terminators can be deposited to their destinations extremely quickly, where before you could only rely on Forgeworld vehicles to do this (see the Storm Eagle below); this goes double for your new Cataphracti Terminators who really benefit from a fast transport vehicle, though surgical charges from Deathwing Knights can be devastating. Unfortunately no Inner Circle or Ravenwing rules for this vehicle, guess they can't trust the Techmarine pilot (cool little fluff bit, the Dark Angels don't trust techmarines with their secrets due to their pledge to the Omnissiah). The transport capacity; being able to transport 12 regular guys (or 6 terminator, 1 squad and 1 TA character) AND a Dreadnought meaning you can now pop that thing where you wish now, rather that it walking a long distance.
    • Weapon wise, the Twin Multi Melta is generally your better lower option. The Twin Heavy Bolter isn't that useful since more stuff gets Heavy Bolters than Multi-Meltas and compared to the Typhoon, for 4 points more, you're halving its range (no big deal for a flyer) while making its AP stronger by 2 and having a chance of higher damage. Upper wise, Assault Cannons are for taking out Infantry, Lascannons for Monsters/Vehicles and Plasma Cannons for somewhere in the middle. Supercharging them also doesn't insta-kill you, which is a nice bonus.

Forge World[edit]

  • Storm Eagle Gunship (Forge World): It's a transport gunship armed with a Vengeance Launcher amongst other wing and nose mounted weaponry. The Vengeance Launcher this edition is practically a Heavy Bolter that fires 2D6 shots and is the only thing you cannot change about the weapon loadout. The nose can have either a twin heavy bolter, twin multi-melta or a Typhoon Missile Launcher, allowing you to customise for ground clearance, vehicle hunting or a combination of both. While the wings are armed with with either Hellstrike Launchers or Twin Lascannons. The whole thing has a transport capacity of 20 so is one of the only transports that can carry a full Deathwing Squad, so makes for a great alternative to teleporting to battle since you can get right in the enemy's face before disembarking. The Eagle also has the Power from the Machine Spirit rule, so does not suffer penalties to hit when moving, great considering all the heavy weapons it is packing.
    • Unlike the previous edition the Vengeance Launcher can now target other aircraft though with S5 it might not cause a whole bunch of wounds, either way considering it's other armaments, the Storm Eagle makes for a pretty good interceptor once it has delivered it's transport payload.
    • Hellstrike Missiles in the wings might be worth keeping this edition. They used to be limited-use Ordnance which meant they hindered all of your other shooting, but now they are unlimited weapons that sit between Lascannons and Krak missiles in effectiveness: they have a longer range of 72" so can reach further over the table and they also do fixed 3 points of damage which means you can more comfortably rely on them, rather than risking the higher strength Lascannon fluffing a critical shot and doing 1-2 damage.
    • The ROC pattern has the Minotaurs key word, so isn't for us. It can't transport our men anyway.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship (Forge World): A flyer that pointedly puts out more than double what the Nephilim is capable of. For starters, the Twin Avenger Bolter fires 10 shots at S6 just like the Nephilim Avenger Bolter, but is AP-2 and 2 damage. It has two quad heavy bolters throwing out 12 Heavy Bolter shots EACH and two twin Hellstrike launchers (no more limited use missiles) that are better than Blacksword launchers by firing two S8 AP-3 Dam3 missiles each. Now that's a LOT of firepower. It also has Power of the Machine Spirit just like Land Raiders do, so it never suffers ballistic skill penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons. This thing is a pure hurricane of dakka that will cause carnage no matter what you point it at. It also can't get the Ravenwing key word, so you can't get the full benefit of Sammael's rerolls or the Jink rule.
    • It probably won't be a massive shock to find out that before you spaff ropes of nerdy jism all over the place that this pointedly puts out more than double the dakka of the Nephilim unit pointedly costs more than double the points. About a hundred more than double, in default loadout. Pew!
  • Xiphon Interceptor (Forge World): The essential anti-aircraft interceptor. Thankfully changes to the rules this edition means that the Nephilim and the Xiphon do not stand on each others toes as much. Firstly, for shooting, the Xiphon does not suffer penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons and gains +1 when shooting at other flyers: So hits aircraft on a 3+ even after you factor Hard to Hit. It's two twin Lascannons now fire four shots altogether and it's rotary missile launcher fires three shots that are weaker than black sword missiles; S6 means it can only wound most other vehicles on a 4+ or worse, but can do three damage if they inflict unsaved wounds. So the Xiphon is really built for taking out high value targets whether on the ground or air, where the Nephilim can deal with hordes or double down if it takes the lascannon and go after bigger targets, but generally only on the ground. Secondly, in some strange reversal, the Xiphon is actually more resilient than the Nephilim, having T7 and 11 wounds. It is not Ravenwing so it cannot benefit from certain auras or the Jink ability. But Jinking is hardly as useful this edition as in previous, so that's not actually a problem. The Xiphon really has its place in Dark Angels lists because the Nephilim is a general purpose flyer and they don't have their own interceptor like the Stormhawk. Sure, Stormhawks are more customisable, but the Xiphon really does stick to its job of high damage.
  • Caestus Assault Ram: The Caestus is a bizarre cookie this edition. Though it does exactly what it sets out to do. It transports ten infantry men, irrespective of bulkiness (no Jump Packs though) and if a building needs assaulted, then this flyer will take men there. The Ram itself is S8 AP-3 D6 and hits buildings multiple times on a 2+, so has a decent chance of punching a hole in a wall for your disembarked troops to assault through. But all of this happens in the assault phase (rather than being a "Ram" action like before) so your men disembark and you both have to charge your targets at the same time and even if your Caestus does destroy the building, any survivors can crawl away and need not necessarily be engaged any more. Leaving your close-assault troops standing around for a while.
    • For ranged weapons, it has the twin magna-melta which will likely punch the crap out of its target, doing 2D3 shots (average 4) at S10 AP-4 and a rerollable D6 worth of damage. This is what will pop open those buildings for your troopers to get a go at. It also has a pair of Firefury Missile Launchers, which are no longer one-use and now behave like a four shot assault cannon (remember you have two, so eight shots altogether). So can be good for clearing out hordes of infantry around your landing zone.
    • Note the Caestus gets no bonus to hit against vehicles -only buildings- which means it only gets four attacks that hit on a 5+, So it doesn't really do so well as a bludgeoning tool for knocking other flyers out if the sky, save your ranged weapons for that.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Assault Squad: With the overall reduction in army wide special rules, Dark Angels assault squads are no different from vanilla marines. They are extremely unlikely to gain the benefit of Grim Resolve unless they are stuck in a protracted combat, so you've got less need to take them when you can have Ravenwing except for the fact they are cheaper. For their part, they come with traditional gear for the same 13 points as a tactical marine, so you get a bolt pistol and chainsword which means they can perform comfortably at close ranges. The chainsword means each marine gets two attacks each hitting at 3+, making them equivalent to a rapid firing bolter to the face. When considering the change of edition, this can actually be an improvement in some cases since they used to hit equal WS opponents on a 4+. Meaning you have become more accurate, but have lost an extra attack on the charge (you strike first on the charge now) However, now that bolt pistols can shoot at enemies within the 1" range, so if they were already engaged in combat on their turn then they can shoot their opponent in the face before the Charge/Fight phases begin, which allows you to charge something else if you can free the unit up. Also with Grim Resolve if you are locked in combat you technically have not moved in the movement phase so you can reroll those ones to hit with your pistols, handy if you have plasma pistols in the squad.
    • Jump Packs are an optional extra at 3 points per marine and increase your move distance to 12" while granting the ability to Deep Strike unerringly so long as you are outside of 9" of the enemy, as well as the FLY key word, meaning you can assault aircraft and ignore terrain. (no more dangerous terrain checks either!) However there is no free transport if you choose not to take them and in fact it is now MUCH cheaper to buy jump packs for your squad than a transport.
      • When taking jump packs (which you will, I know you've glued those on already) stay away from AAA units, at they get a bonus to hit your flying guys now. Icarus autocannons, hydra's, hunter/stalker, you name it, AND flyers can suddenly assault them as well.
      • RAW means that Jump Pack Marines can take Land Raiders as Dedicated Transports. However LRs are around 240 points each. Something to consider for a high points game. Otherwise too expensive.
  • Inceptor Squad: The confused offspring of an Assault Squad and a Seraphim Squad. The mortal wound caused by their pseudo-HoW might look good on paper, but when you only have 3 models in the unit and no melee weapons whatsoever the last place you want to be is in combat. Instead, take a page from the Seraphim's book and use your improved maneuverability to fire off strafing runs, courtesy of your Assault Bolters- effectively Assault 3 Heavy Bolters. Also remember that the assault bolters are the assault type so if you got to move in a hurry you can advance and still put out a good number of shots. Like Assault Marines with Jump Packs, Inceptors have the FLY keyword, with all the strengths and weaknesses that entails. (On the other hand, that does mean you can be a very good distraction if you force an enemy flyer into melee...) They won't get much benefit from Grim Resolve on your turn, but they're scary during Overwatch.
    • Plasma Exterminators are a hard sell; you average 2 fewer shots per Inceptor in exchange for higher strength and AP. But the real problem is overcharging: they will almost certainly kill themselves along with their target. Having Sammael nearby definitely helps out.
    • Conversely, assaulting with this unit can be a strategic choice. Charging a unit that is weak in CC will allow the Inceptors to avoid getting shot or to tie up the enemy unit for the next turn. Since the Inceptors have the FLY key word, they can disengage next turn with no penalty and resume shooting. This is a tactical decision and will vary greatly depending on the enemy army.
    • Inceptors are excellent fire support for Ravenwing given their weapons are assault meaning unlike a heavy bolter land speeder or HB bike squad they won't suffer for moving at the trade off for shorter range and not having the ravenwing key word. Still re-rolling ones from Sammael is good enough and the fact they can deepstrike and mobility alleviates their short range weaponry. Run a pair of them to help support your ravenwing anywhere on the table by taking out hordes or weakening heavier units with plasma. Hell they can even work with Deathwing as they can deepstrike with them and gun down hordes while the Deathwing take on the bigger units. A great unit for all three wings with the price reduction they received. 135 points is a good price point for what they bring.
  • Scout Bike Squad:* Dark Angels now get access to Scout Bikes after never having them although having them or not, they are pretty much nothing special. Might be useful for cluster mines or something but just take the Ravenwing if you want Bikes. Or you want to clear bubblewrap since a 3-man unit have 12 Bolter shots and 6 Shotgun shots (3 Bolt Pistol shots and 7 CC attacks in melee) moving at 16" for just 75 points.
  • Ravenwing Bike Squad: Typically the first thing that Dark Angels players look at when deciding on Fast Attack choices. Bikes got upgrades in general this edition as they have a move distance of 14", which the ability to advance another 6" (without rolling) and grant an extra wound as well as toughness 5. Their twin boltguns also have twice the damage potential as regular boltguns, firing an impressive four shots each up to 12". They are quicker and beefier than assault marines, although at 25 27 points per bike (twin bolters are 2pts) you can get a jump pack Assault marine for 16. As Ravenwing you gain the Jink rule, granting a 4+ invulnerable save against shooting attacks if you advance in the movement phase, and also if you advance you cannot shoot those bolters in your following shooting phase though with the Speed of the Raven stratagem you can shoot and assault.
    • As for close combat, any member can have chainswords for free - trading your bolt pistol for a CC attack with exactly the same profile. It is still advised to make this change, even though bikers are not really made for getting bogged down in close combat. If the enemy gets you with a charge, you'll still get to fight back with the survivors' 2 attacks. If you land a charge, you probably don't want to stay for turn 2 either.
    • When going to use the Jink to its maximum efficiency, add 2 Flamers and a combi flamer to a minimum unit, and enjoy delivering 3D6 auto-hitting attacks up to 28" away.
    • When going melta, equip 2 melta-guns a combi-melta on the sarge and attach an attack bike with multi-melta for maximum output. It is best to soften up your target or have some heavy weapon support on standby as a single bad roll can leave that enemy dreadnought or carnifex just alive enough to eat you. The Attack Bike is still constrained by the Heavy rule and thus would also hit 50% of the time and cannot shoot when advancing
      • ALAS, TWICE NAY! In another Sneaky McSneakerly move, GW have binned Ravenwing's access to the Sarge Weapons List so the Ravenwing Sarge can only choose from Melee Weapons & Pistols. Booooo!
  • Ravenwing Attack Bike Squad: Now at 4 wounds, these bikes are still amazing to use. Just pop 2 or 3 together with Multi-Meltas and watch three S8 AP-4 D1d6 shots take down your opponent's precious monsters in no time at all. Just be careful about the bike's placement, as they suck in melee, and the meltas, while amazing, are only 1 shot each, hitting on a 4+ after moving, because there is no more Relentless mitigation this edition. This is easy to work around, but it does require an HQ, such as Sammael, to help them out, but taking down an opponent's Hive Tyrant or Dreadknight with meltas is very satisfying, albeit statistically unlikely, unfortunately. Even with an under half range re-roll, with 2 hits out of 3 you're going to struggle to inflict 10 wounds. Soften up your targets and send these in to finish them off.
  • Ravenwing Black Knights: These guys are in a constant battle with the White Scars for the crown of best bikers in the Imperium - well, in the fluff, anyway; in 8E, Ultramarines are the best Codex marines at bikes, so that's the comparison that it makes sense to draw: Ultramarines bikes can Fall Back from melee and still let loose with their guns. Now Deathwatch is also in the running as their bikes get access to special ammunition. Ravenwing Black Knights are roughly on the same level. Let's start with the bike: they come equipped with Plasma Talons, which are Assault 2 plasma guns that fire at 18" range that will only overheat if you decide to overcharge the weapon. Being an Assault weapon means they can advance in the movement phase and still fire their weapons at -1 to hit, so no having to choose between moving fast or shooting, Black Knights can do both while also gaining the 4+ invulnerable save that Ravenwing get. In close combat, they are no slouch, either: being a form of veteran, they have two attacks each, and strike with Corvus Hammers, which are S+1 AP-1 D1 weapons that cause d3 damage on a wound roll of 6+, so they can quite happily punch apart heavy targets up close and personal if they need to; this is on top of the fact that they also carry a bolt pistol, so where other bikers have the choice between a pistol OR a close combat weapon, Black Knights can have both, and can shoot their opponent at point blank range after tearing them apart with those pick-hammers. Bizarrely, the Corvus Hammer is an optional upgrade, but it's free so there is no point in not taking them. - just remember, you can't advance and charge, so don't try to go TOO fast. Also, the Huntsmaster can take a Meltabomb. Given its rarity, you'll probably never wanna spare on that 5 points. Black Knights are also members of the Inner Circle now as well, meaning they are now completely immune to morale issues and re-roll fails to hit against Fallen.
    • One in three Black Knights can take a grenade launcher instead of their Plasma Talon. This has less usefulness than in previous editions because of the loss of stasis grenades (guess they eventually ran out of irreplaceable ammunition). HOWEVER, there is a Stratagem that allows a Ravenwing Grenade Launcher that can cause D3 Mortal wounds to an enemy, similar to Hellfire Shells although it probably isn't worth it as the Plasma Talon is overall better. The grenades still have some utility, since Frag grenades can hit d6 target allowing you to attempt to tackle low toughness/armour hordes, while Krak does d3 damage per wound allowing you to take down big enemies even more quickly. Both grenades can also fire out to a range of 24", which is important to remember if you find yourself out of range of the plasma talons, or better yet, decide to shoot some grenades off at a different target more suitable to the weapon. As of the codex, Plasma Talons and Grenade launchers are free; built into the cost of the Black Knight.
    • If you really want to supercharge your Plasma Talons (for the extra damage most likely), make sure you keep a Rhino Primaris within 12" to prevent any of your precious black knights blowing themselves up. For a unit of 5, that's 10 S8 AP-3 D2 shots that hit on 2's. Make a unit of 10 for extra hilarity and add the plasma stratagem for even more damage. Have fun.
      • Presumably the hilarity comes into play when you realise that you just spent ~630pts on 22 plasma shots?
    • These guys are 16 points more per model compared to your regular Ravenwing bikers, for which they are more versatile and dangerous at both ranged and melee combat. Though it doesn't seem much, it can add up really quickly, and knowing their threat, the enemy will direct more firepower against them, as they would do against regular Ravenwing bikers.
    • A Ravenwing bike squad with two plasma guns is 37 points cheaper but without the added weapons, extra attacks or the point of leadership, so bottom line is Black Knights are better for MSU spam and elite unit hunting with their plasma talons and corvus hammers, while Ravenwing bike squads are more along the line of distracting and harassing such units and targeting hordes with their twin linked bolters and chain swords.
  • Ravenwing Land Speeders:Just like regular land speeders, they lost deep striking, but gain the Jink rule that gives you a 4++ if you advance instead of shooting, as all of their weapons are Heavy. You can take 5 in a unit, and get the anti-grav upwash rule from 3, giving you a Movement of 20". You can go nuts and field 5 with a captain or Sammael and a rhino primaris to be nearby for almost auto-hits. Please note that a unit with 3 typhoons, 2 assault cannons and 5 heavy bolters, with re-roll 1's to hit from a captain, will still on average only score about 6 wounds on a rhino in a single shooting phase, and cost over 700 points, or 13,4 conscripts in cover. They are no longer the cheapest way to get lots of heavy weapons, especially with the awesome but expensive typhoon missile launcher. Can also be equipped with double heavy flamers for short range auto-hit trolling. 10D6 S5 AP-1 hits? Great for clearing up GEQ units like conscripts or even hurt characters if you can get them to be the closest target. Not anymore! At T5 they are quite easy to destroy with infantry weapons like lasguns or bolters, so the long-range fire support option of heavy bolter/typhoon is probably your best bet. But honestly, these are a bit overpriced at the moment. A 150 points for a typhoon landspeeder, I'd spent another 50 points and get that fully equipped predator instead.
    • The absence of Relentless USR hurts these guys real bad. Despite their large movement radius and potential reach with their guns, everything is a "Heavy" type weapon and will only hit on a 4+ when you move (except for Flamers). Due to their speed it may not be possible to get a captain's re-roll aura to cover them at all times, particularly if they're chasing something. If it's just heavy weapons you want it would be cheaper to consider Devastators or even Razorbacks.
    • These guys are also heavily contested by the Attack Bikes. For +2 wound and +2" movement you'll pay 38 points more apiece at the cost of losing Grim Resolve (If you want to REALLY stay still) and losing out on things that don't affect vehicles such as with Apothecary healing. A unit of 3 Land Speeder with stock heavy bolter is as expensive as 5 attack bikes with the same load-out (plus the 5 TL bolter on them).
    • Oddly enough, Land Speeders are your most accurate non-walker vehicles, hitting on 3+ with their S4. 2 attack apiece is not much, but if it is all you've got to remove that last Conscript from an objective, why not go for it?
    • With the new Speed of the Ravenwing strategem letting you pay 1cp to Advance and Shoot, a full size squad can gain the benefits of the 4++ and still get to shoot. For 1 CP. Probably your best target for it if you loaded up a full size squad of Land Speeders to give them a 'free' invuln save. Probably best on Heavy Bolter(97 per model) or Multi-Melta(114 per model)/Heavy Flamer models due to the Flamers negating part of the movement penalty which makes it quite an expensive unit at 485 - 570 points.
    • NATCH, THERE IS A TRAP! You min/maxes out there who rushed out to spam Speeders with double weapons might have to get your clippers out; there's no overlap between gunner and underslung weapons anymore. In some sneaky-bastardly move from Index to Codex, GW binned heavy flamers from the top-mount plus heavy bolters & multi-meltas from underneath. HB/MM up top only, AS/HF/TML down low only and it wasn't just us who got this. Booooo!
  • Ravenwing Darkshroud: Pretty much mandatory due to the exclusion of both Ravenwing and Deathwing Command Squads. Why is it mandatory? because A) guys in Power Armor protecting an HQ in Terminator Armor or on a bike looks stupid. B) It's cheaper and a lot more fluffy. A bigger, tougher Land Speeder like in the old days. Not much in the way of offensive potential with its Heavy Bolter or Assault Cannon, but the main draw is the Icon of old Caliban rule, which gives enemies a -1 to hit when shooting at Dark Angel units within 6" of it, including the Darkshroud itself. Prevents Enemies from supercharging their plasma weapons, which will then overheat on a 1 or 2 (or 1-2-3, if it is a heavy weapon, and used after moving). Put it on a high flying stand so you can fit Azrael under it for 'double-bubble' fun. Add other bubble-characters like Ezekiel and Asmodai for old-fashioned prefix-star shenanigans. Works well with Aversion for a -2 modifier for a single unit. Unfortunately, no 2+ re-rollable jink this edition but that doesn't matter too much when you're always hitting it at -1.
    • Now Errata'd, the 'Icon of old Caliban' rule does not stack, so no -4 to-hit if you take 4 of these babies.
  • Ravenwing Landspeeder Vengeance:This is Fast Attack now. At T6 and 9 wounds this is more survivable than the basic land speeder, as anti-infantry weapons only wound it on a 5+/6+. The plasma storm battery is a Heavy D6 Plasma cannon with 2 damage (or 3 on supercharge) which you can supercharge at the risk of suffering 3 mortal wounds and burning out the weapon for the rest of the game. This is probably the one plasma weapon you want to overcharge regularly so getting some re-rolls nearby might be a good idea. Very good for hurting big multi-wound models. The Land Speeder Vengeance also lasts longer with the 8th edition vehicle changes, as its own weapon no longer has a good chance to kill itself (unless you move and supercharge it). But the Ravenwing Support Squadron shall be missed and mourned. RIP

Forge World[edit]

  • Tarantula Sentry Guns: Whoooo boy, these suckers got a huge buff in 8th edition. They ended up gaining a whopping +1 BS, along with Toughness 5 and 4 wounds, which makes them fairly sturdy for a 30 point model. In addition, they also now all count as separate units once deployed, so they can serve as some obnoxious MSU tools. Tarantulas can be equipped with the following loadouts:
    • Twin Heavy Bolters: These are the default weapons. Good against infantry, but comes with the Caveat that it MUST target the nearest infantry model
    • Twin Lascannons: The other default, good against tanks. Also comes with a restriction that it MUST target the nearest enemy tank.
    • Twin Assault Cannons: Arguably the best option. Tarantulas with Dual-assault cannons lose their targeting restrictions, and gain a whopping 12 shots each at only a measly 45 points per model. These can be a goddamn steal for what they do, and can be considered practically mandatory.
    • Multi-melta: Same deal as the Lascannons, but mathematically worse. However it does unlock your targeting restrictions, so a multi-melta equipped tarantula can fire at anything you want... on the incredibly rare occasions that you wouldn't want your multi-meltas firing at the closest enemy vehicle, such as when fighting tyranids or daemons.
  • Tarantula Air Defense Battery: As above, but stuck with S8 AP-2 D3 D anti-air missiles that get +1 to hit against flyers and -1 against everything else. MUST target the nearest enemy flyer, but you were probably already planning to do that when you took this unit.
  • Land Speeder Tempest: A tiny drop in movement from the vanilla type, but has better toughness and Ld. Each one is equipped with an Assault Cannon and two Tempest Salvo Launchers (36", Heavy d3, S6 AP-3 2 D; shorter ranged and not as hard-hitting as a krak missile but more likely to get past armor saves). When Advancing, they must move between 20" and 35"; they also impose a -1 to hit against them in the next Shooting phase and prevents units without the FLY keyword from charging (or being charged by) them.
  • Deathstorm Drop Pod: A Drop Pod full of automated guns; it can choose either an 18" 2-shot gun with S8 AP-2 D3 D or a 12" 6-shot S6 AP-1 1 D gun. In either case, it must make 1 full shooting attack against anything in range (except for CHARACTERS, who still can only be shot at if they're the closest unit in range).

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Devastator Squad: Are whom you want in your Razorback. Good for plunking on a objective and raining death from afar. While not wholly the best option due to the changes of being able to split fire everything in the game, they have become slightly weakened by regular Tacticals and Company Veterans who can add a heavy weapon and not stress about choosing targets. Devastators do still have their place though; while mix and matching can work it is still generally best to all go with the same weapon and concentrate your firepower where you think you need it most. Grim Resolve helps them greatly, because a Devastator squad doesn't want to be moving during the game.
    • A couple of notes regarding extra gear this edition. The Sergeant has a signum which grants +1 on shooting hit rolls to a model in the unit within 3", which is ideal when used on a Plasma weapon as it then becomes impossible to commit suicide by overcharge. It also means that one weapon is incredibly likely to hit thanks to Grim Resolve (2s can't be rerolled, but become 3s anyway). The Signum no longer precludes his own shooting either, so feel free to give the Sergeant a Combi-Weapon and join in with whatever the squad is doing.
      • Note that you do have to choose the model to buff before shooting - you can't roll and then decide.
    • Armorium Cherubs now behave differently: They can allow one model in the unit to fire twice in the shooting phase as long as you remove the cherub afterward. However, this might be best saved as a last resort, seeing as the cherub itself is now an squad member with a stat line rather than being just a marker, if you tend to go minimum sized units then this flying baby can be an ablative wound that can save you from losing one of your heavy weapons, and can be removed without any resulting hindrance to your morale, not that Dark Angels had any problems with that in the first place.
    • Despite the fact that they now share a slot with Hellblasters, Devastators still come out on top in plasma-based MSU: A minimum sized squad of Devastasors with four Plasma Cannons and Combi-Plasma comes out one point cheaper than five regular Hellblasters, but Devastators have more range, the same number or more shots (depending on range), more accuracy (thanks to the Signum), and can fit into a larger variety of transport options. Primaris Marines can fall back on their increased longevity, improved melee and depending on the weapon loadout can have more mobility. The difference also starts going sharply the other way when Hellblaster squads get bigger, since very few squads in the entire game have the ability to throw out 20 S8 shots, where Devastators can only add more bolter-bros.
      • Since Devastators benefits less from an HQ that allows them to reroll hits. Any character that enhances their firepower or longevity is a better choice in the sixth Razorback slot rather than another Bolter. A Techmarine has more utility than a Librarian. As the longest range attack Interromancy has is 18 inches. Take the Conversion Beamer and Twin Lascannons over the Servo Harness and the other Razorback options unless your running them with Multi-Meltas.
  • Hellblaster Squad: For murdering high armor units accept no other as these fuckers come with -4AP super plasma guns. These guys will shit on anything that relies on armor saves. Only units that can be a challenge are T8 units but even then get close enough and/or use supercharge mode they can disintegrate most targets. Just don't waste them on hordes and have other units covering them from melee. Now they can be ferried about in T8 16W Sv3+ comfort thanks to the Repulsor transport! Combine this with plasma incinerators or the assault version and have your very own Fish of Fury but without the Tau-player stigma! Rejoice! Also one of the best units for your 'Weapons of the Dark Age' stratagem, for when you really need something dead.
    • Foot slogging can be a issue but with their 30 inch guns they can do some work as long as they're super charged and supported with re-rolls to hit. Be surprised how much of a difference three inches comes into play with rapid fire too.
  • Whirlwind:Not great, not bad, but fairly cheap. The real toss-up is what launcher to put on it. 2D3 S7 AP-1 D2 shots, or 2D6 S6 AP0 D1 shots. As you are wounding on 3+ vs T3-5 or 4/5+ vs T7 anyway it's probably better to go for the the average 7 shots instead of average 4, and it is cheaper too. But it all depends on what you are facing. Not much damage potential, but sticking it behind a big rock it can lend a few hits where ever you want them and stay safe. If you're planning to take the vengeance launcher for the extra damage, consider the vindicator instead.
    • Stating that the Whirlwind is the cheapest way to get anti horde on the table. Supported by a long range character and in pairs they can knock down hordes rather quickly and decently. The Vengeance launcher shouldn't be underestimated as D:2 and -1 AP allows it to reach far and knock out medium to light infantry units hiding way in the back like Guard weapon teams or wear down a unit in the open.
  • Predator:Your basic battle tank. Its Predator Autocannon has gone from mediocre to great in one swoop. With 2D3 shots at S7 AP-1 and 3 D this is arguably better than the twin lascannon turret since it will fire twice as many shots on average. The low AP is a handicap VS 2+ save units though, but against units with good invulnerable saves that doesn't matter. The Predator autocannon is the PERFECT weapon against Rowboat Girlscout or custodes with storm shields. Srsly. Take cheap heavy bolter side sponsons for anti-horde or two lascannons for vehicle destruction. Note that it is not much more survivable than a rhino since its only T7 and a 3+ save, so keep it in cover or out of range of dedicated anti-tank weapons. Or just take three with lascannons to mess with anyone fielding Imperial Knights or titans, especially with the Kill-shot stratagem to help. It is more expensive than devastators, but it is a lot more survivable even without being able to use cover much.
  • Vindicator: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE VINDICATOR? The changes made to blast weapons this edition means that they don't fire as many shots on average against hordes and the said hordes have an overall better chance of surviving a vindicator than before. They also lost their apocalyptic blast pie plate that you could drop on a unit and possibly wipe out the entire unit, as they can't be taken in squadrons anymore.. It's not all bad though, as they have a better chance of dealing more damage to monsters or vehicles now with its damage output but 8th edition was not kind to the vindicator. When fielding the Vindicator, save your command points to re-roll the number of shots as a few bad rolls will screw you over with this one. Especially with the D6 shots against bigger units. Good for taking out units of 5+ multi-wound models. Not many of those around unfortunately. At T8 it is quite resilient, S4 bolters only wound on 6's and missile launchers and autocannons wound on 4+ and 5+ which is quite an improvement over the T7 other rhino variants.
  • Hunter: Finally the Dark Angels get access to a dedicated anti-aircraft weapon without having to resort to Forgeworld. Unfortunately it came an edition too late and shooting at aircraft no longer requires dedicated weaponry. In any case this weapon delivers a high strength hit equal to a lascannon, gaining +1 to hit against targets that can FLY (including skimmers and/or jump infantry), though this bonus is largely irrelevant considering that it re-rolls missed hits whether the model is flying or not, but you are otherwise guaranteed to hit things hard with this vehicle, until it starts taking damage and becomes less accurate. As it has a 60 inch range, no penalty when firing on ground targets, and respectful firepower, it can also act as long range anti-tank artillery.
  • Stalker: The other dedicated anti-aircraft weapon; though Stalker has more dedication to anti-aircraft since it suffers a -1 to hit against non-fliers on the flip side to its +1 against flyers. For a Stalker to be worth taking, it likely needs to be buffed by an HQ to make it more accurate, otherwise other weapon systems on other vehicles are more productive.
    • The Stalker could be valuable in other roles as well, providing a 48" range and 2 Damage with 6 shots at plasma strength and a Heavy Bolter's AP. The poor AP is mitigated by the Damage done per shot. The tank is tougher than its own weapon, a rare T8 Rhino chassis. However, the weapon is comparable to a Whirlwind Vengeance Launcher, which has longer range for the same strength, AP and damage profile, albeit with a random of shots, but considering the Vengeance launcher is more accurate and doesn't actually need to see its target, the Whirlwind may be a better all-round tank if that's all you need.
  • Land Raider: The classic Land Raider turned from an outclassed fortress to a fortress that gets shit done. With a total of 4 lascannon shots, 6 heavy bolter shots on top of 16 WOUNDS, and a 2+ save. Add a multi melta on top of that for even more firepower. Vehicle changes make some vehicles move from obscurity to being a force to be reckoned with, and the regular land raider is no exception. Remember, it doesn't suffer the -1 penalty for moving and firing its heavy weapons. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a "Deathwing" Land Raider this edition, so you can't have venerable tanks any more. Still, the Land Raider makes itself become a force to be reckoned with with its sheer amount of firepower and long lasting ability. Still has its transport of 10 models to zip guys to wherever you want. So, use it how you want!
    • Land Raider Crusader: Just like the regular, the Crusader version gains all of the cool bonuses of before but now has the ability to fire up to 24 Bolter shots when in rapid-fire range. Still works well as a Terminator transport especially as those guys lost an inch of movement. Great for horde killing and Termie transporting. Go nuts.
    • Land Raider Redeemer: Still isn't a bad unit but a LRC may be a bit better. While the flame storm cannons are good and all you have to roll D6 each time meaning it can fuck you over when you need a good hit. The Crusader puts out a ton more shots and at longer range AND it has greater transport capacity. Although the flame storm cannons are auto-hit and have higher strength and AP but a much shorter range and much less shots. Certainly not a bad unit but the crusader may be better, especially with a larger transport capacity; very important for a terminator army. Also, much like the heavy flamer, the flamestorm cannons are not Assault weapons either, so you cannot shoot after you advanced.
      • Math Hammer: 24 bolters vs 2 Flamestorms, a surprisingly close match in certain cases. Less so in others. Vs normal, 1 wound, T4, 3+ MEQs, the Flamestorm's very slightly win out (3.11 to 2.88 wounds), but obviously have far less range. However, things start to perk up at T5, and multi-wounds. Against TEQs (T4, 2+, 2W), Hurricane Bolters only do 1.33 wounds. Flamestorms do 2.33x2 (or 4.6). Against bikers (T5, 3+, 2W), it's a similar result. Bolters doing 1.77, while Flamestorms do 3.11x2 (or 6.22) wounds on average. If you expect elites, go Redeemer, but in an edition all about the horde, the Crusader will tend to win out. It does still have it's niche.
    • Land Raider Solemnus Aggressor (Chapter Approved): For when two Hurricane Bolters just aren't enough. It's a Crusader pattern that drops its transport capacity to 11 in exchange for getting two Heavy Bolters on top of its normal armaments. Currently restricted to Open Play only.

Forge World[edit]

  • Whirlwind Hyperios: While it's still best used against aircraft because of its +1 to hit against flyers (and -1 against everything else), Heavy 2d3 S8 AP-2 D3 D isn't something to take lightly. Combine with 'Data Link Telemetry' and RW land speeders (of all types) to automatically hit ground targets once you have scoured the skies.
  • Rapier Carrier: A dirt-cheap source of heavy bolter fire, which can also be used as a cheap counter to "light" superheavies like Knights if taken with Laser Destroyers or act as artillery if you use the Quad Launchers (added in the FAQ). Now coming stock with a 12-shot quad bolter at 3/4 of what you pay for a devastator squad armed with same, on a fairly sturdy chassis. Fills out the heavy support requirements of a Spearhead detachment real nice, but keep the gunners safe or it gets auto-removed just like the Thunderfire Cannon.
    • Quad Heavy Bolters are terrible, costing more than 2 twin heavy bolters for the same guns.
    • The average damage from a laser destroyer is less than its weight in lascannons - 183.33% of the damage for 240% of the price; the difference in strength will never matter against practical targets, while the improvement to AP will come up and won't make up the difference.
    • As a result, hands down your best bet is always going to be the Quad Launcher.
      • In Shatter mode this will, for 45 points, outdo two lascannons for 50 points, as losing a point each in strength and AP is more than made up for in doubling its attacks, and the difference in damage is not only slight, it also deals predictable damage, making it invaluable in many contexts, such as shooting Quantum Shielding.
    • In Thunderfire mode, this will shoot what amounts to 8 heavy bolter shots, losing a point of AP in exchange for indirect targeting and improved range. This is inferior to the Quad Heavy Bolter option, so you should regard it as a bonus to the Shatter mode, rather than a good gun in its own right, and take this gun for the purpose of killing off enemy heavies, not massacring enemy lights.
  • Mortis Dreadnought: Your go-to dakka dread. It costs 5 points more than a standard dreadnought, with the exact same profile, but it brings the option to double up on weapons the regular dread cant. You can take a pair of twin bolters, autocannons, or lascannons, or a pair of regular missile launchers, assault cannons, Multi-Meltas, or heavy plasma cannons. All good choices for laying down firepower, with the best guns depending on what you plan to shoot and how many points you can spare.
    • For the classic twin Autocannon rifleman setup, you're usually better off with a regular dread. They have the same stats for a few points less, and it's the only gun the normal dread can double up on. Only take an Autocannon Mortis if you really need a heavy support instead of an elite. As the Relic Deredeo can do the same job.
  • Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought: It can do everything the regular Mortis could but is superior in just about every way, with BS 2+ and Atomantic Shielding. It can also take a Cyclone Missile launcher just like the Relic Contemptor. Making twin Heavy Plasma Cannons a little redundant. So always take Cyclones if you have the leftover points. Unless running with Multi-Meltas. As it won't benefit as much from the extra shots if the Contemptor Mortis is within twelve inches of the target.
    • One of these with a pair of twin Heavy Bolters (yes, that's 4 Heavy Bolters total) will, by and large, outperform its weight in Heavy Bolter Devastators, which is very rare in the vehicle world. The Contemptor Mortis is serious contender in a Dreadnought-heavy army for the non-relic slot you're using to let you bring a Leviathan or Relic Land Raiders (see below).
  • Siege Dreadnought: This Dread specializes in short-range firepower, coming stock with an Inferno Cannon that acts as a souped up heavy flamer and a seismic hammer with built-in Meltagun that suffers from a -1 to hit but will wreck anything that gets hit. With the ability to re-roll all to wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase when targeting a BUILDING or a unit with a movement stat of 0", its niche as a building killer should be obvious.
  • Relic Leviathan Dreadnought:The Leviathan Dreadnought is easily one of the deadliest single models in the entire game, barring actual Titans, packing a series of quite frighteningly powerful weapons that can make short work of virtually anything. It packs a Strength and Toughness of 8, with a 2+/4++ saves line, and a whopping 14 wounds. In addition, it actually received a fairly decent points decrease in 8th edition, having dropped in cost by 50 whole points even after all wargear is accounted for. A few things were lost though, as the Leviathan no longer has his frag-launchers, or his rack of hunter killers, but in exchange his whole loadout has gotten huge buffs. Mix this up with a company master / chaplain to boost those hits. It comes stock with 2 Heavy flamers and 2 Leviathan Siege Claws (Sx2 AP-3 D3 Re-roll failed wounds against Infantry) with in-built meltaguns stock.
    • The Claws can be swapped out (without losing the meltaguns) for Drills, which up the AP and D to -4 and 4, but you stop re-rolling failed wounds against Infantry.
    • The Claws can also be swapped out along with their meltaguns for:
      • Cyclonic Melta Lance: Capable of destroying a Land Raider in a single volley, while being able to shave off 15 wounds from a Knight (leaving it sufficiently weakened that it will no doubt then die to being slammed with 15 additional wounds in melee).
        • Note that this actually has worse AP than the Bombard (although it will usually only matter against Land Raiders and the like, as against any Invuln save at all or a 3+ save or worse they'll tend to equal out), with better rate of fire against 4 or fewer model units and worse damage against Monster/Vehicle/Titanic models but better damage otherwise. A Leviathan with 2x Bombards costs 275, while 2x Lances costs 325, which means that against a Land Raider, the Lances are only better inside melta range. The Lance will do better against vehicles where the difference in AP doesn't matter, regardless of range (such as any 3+ vehicle, or a 2+ vehicle with an invuln), provided the target unit has 4 or fewer models. It will also do better against infantry units of 4 or fewer models, but as soon as the target unit has 5 or more models in it, the Bombard will simply take over.
      • Storm Cannon Array: Has a whopping 10 shots, which do 2 damage each. While not quite as horrifyingly deadly against vehicles as the Cyclone Melta, it exchanges sheer output for more reliability. This can be useful since 2-wound weapons occupy a fair niche in the current meta, for their ability to 1-shot the numerous amount of multi-wound models, without suffering from overkill. This makes it the perfect weapon for dealing with models like Terminators.
        • This is basically a seriously up-gunned heavy plasma cannon, with quintuple the usual shot volume and one worse AP in exchange for one better D, and an inability to Overcharge. Costs 5/6 the amount two of the cannons would cost you, though. It is far and away the most efficient gun you can take against most targets of 4 models or less - it will actually outdamage both the Bombard and the Lance against anything T6 or less and T7 Sv 4+ or worse, and that's assuming the target has enough wounds left that no damage gets wasted.
          • For serious, take this gun seriously. It is far and away the most generally useful of the lot; a pair of them will murder most anything foolish enough to get in your way.
      • Grav-Flux Bombard: Now your dedicated horde killer. It deals 1d3 shots, and gains an additional 1d3 shots for every 5 models present in the target unit, which means the Leviathan can get a whopping 7d3 shots when targeting a mob of Conscripts, or 14d3 if equipped with two of these. This essentially means that the grav bombard is your designated weapon loadout if you expect to go up against Infantry Blobs, as it can fry an entire 50 man squad each and every turn. It also does more damage (5, rather than 2) against Vehicles, Buildings, and Titans, making it more useful than the Lance in many cases.
        • A pair of these is the way to go for horde scrubbing - 2d3 shots every 5 models in the target means you average 4 shots for every 5 targets. The gun is only 18" and you'll take a BS penalty (typically down to 3+) for moving and shooting with it, taking you to 3 1/3 and 2 2/3 hits for every 5 targets, respectively. At S9 AP-5 D2, usually one wound per target is all it will take; assuming you're up against T4 or less without an invuln save, you're looking at 2 7/9 or 2 2/9 (after moving) dead for every 5 models in the target, or around 50% casualties. Hopefully Morale will do the rest of the work for you, or you can just bring two of these things.
  • Deimos Vindicator Laser Destroyer: This thing brings to the battlefield the unique Laser Volley Cannon, which is a 2 shots Lascannon with a few twists: they only have a range of 36" instead of 48, they do a fixed 3 damages (so a little less than the average you do with 1D6) and can be overcharged to go to S10 AP-5 with a fixed 6 damages. Trade-off being that if they shoot that way, they take 3 mortal wounds on each rolls of 1. If it does not move, however, it can shoot twice, but not in overcharged mode. Also note that it gets +1T and +1 wound compared to a predator, but moves 2" less. All in one, this tank is kind of odd. It costs roughly the same as a classic predator with a full Lascannon setup, and can pump 4 shoots if it stands still, for an average amount of wounds slighty lower. Its overcharged mode might give you an edge on T5/T9-10 opponents or target with extremely high armor saves, so what you lose in range you get it back in versatility, at price: 2 shots against 4 and the risk of wounding yourself. Between increased durability, shorter range and movement, and varying fire modes, it is hard to draw a clear line between the Predator Annihilitor and the Vindicator Laser destroyer in term of battlefield role, but the later being clearly less efficient while on the move, you might want to invest your money in other Forge World models.
  • Relic Land Raider Proteus: The old school Land Raider. This is actually the first of the "pure dakka" Land Raiders. It's small amount of internal space means that it performs poorly as a transport. Rather you take the Proteus as "the leader" of your armored spearhead. Comes standard with two Twin Lascannons. It's weapon upgrades are: a Heavy Bolter, Multi-Melta, Twin Heavy Bolter and Twin Heavy Flamers. Take either the Multi-Melta or the Heavy Flamers. As the Heaver Bolters lack the damage output of the other weapon options. Equipment enhancement are Heavy Armor or the Explorator Augury Web. Reducing its space to six models. Still enough room for a Devastator Squad or Pseudo-Sternguard Company Vets and the HQ to buff them or the Proteus. The Augury Web is better as it prevents enemy units from deploying from within 12 inches of the Proteus.
  • Land Raider Helios: Also has twin lascannons, but it brings along a Helios Launcher- a Heavy weapon that fires 2d6 autocannon-equivalent shots (albeit only 1 damage) that can fire without LoS. A decent combo of the Whirlwind's different missile types, and it can transport 6 models too.
  • Land Raider Prometheus: A fun toy for your Warlord- if he's embarked within it, one of the Stratagems played on your turn costs 1 less CP to use. It doesn't reduce the cost below 1, but it helps. As an added bonus, its attacks all ignore cover saves, which make its 12 heavy bolter shots absolutely terrifying to light infantry. Carries 10 models.
  • Land Raider Achilles: The rage-inducing and expensive Achilles is back in a big way in 8th ed. T8 with 19 wounds, a 2+ save, and a 4++ Invuln save for good measure makes this raider insanely tough. The Achilles is armed with a hull-mounted Quad Launcher and 2 sponson-mounted TWIN Multi-Meltas (Heavy 2). The Quad Launcher can fire Shatter shells at Heavy 4 S8 AP-2 3 Damage, or Thunderfire shells at Heavy 4D3 S5 AP0 1 Damage (and can target units not visible to the Achilles). It can also grab a hunter-killer missile and a Storm Bolter for a little extra dakka. This weirdness is compounded by a transport capacity of 6, including terminators and jump pack models. Seriously, go look up a picture of this thing.


  • Castellum Stronghold: In case you want to play an army comprised of buildings instead of tanks and soldiers. 3 bunkers and a bigger bunker, with T9 and a total of 56 wounds (3x12 and 20). This realm of battle tile (yes, its 2' by 2') is fairly indestructable and can pack up to 5 heavy weapons, from anti-tank guns to AA or troop mulchers. The tacticus bunker has transport space for 30 guys, and the bunkers for 12 each. Up to 15 and 10 models can shoot out of each of the bunkers. If your army doesn't fit inside completely, they can man the battlements for a cover save. And untill the big bunker is destroyed all infantry, bike and dreadnoughts get a 4++ against shooting attacks while inside the stronghold. Oh, and one stratagem per turn costs 1 less CP if your warlord is embarked. At 550 points without guns this is something of an apocalypse thing.
  • Fortress of Redemption: Still expensive as fuck, but at Toughness 10 and 30 Wounds, it's a very sturdy fortress. With a Twin Icarus Cannon, a Redemption Missile Silo and up to 4 Heavy Bolters, make it have some good firepower. Also, its transport capacity is Awesome at 30 models. Hide some units in here so your opponent gets filled with Rage as they try and kill them. Also, half of the models inside can shoot. Unfortunately, its BS is only 5+, which gets worse over damage, and as mentioned, its price tag is that of 8 units of Black Knights. So, yeah, only use the fortress in bigger games, as while useful, very expensive. However with Grim Resolve the guys inside will be putting put some serious hurt. When before there was no way to buff them.

Lords of War[edit]

  • Solemnus Aggressor (Open Play Only): Because the Land Raider Crusader still isn't enough dakka, your Angels slapped a couple of Heavy Bolters on for good measure. Still has enough room to transport a single 10 man Squad of your choice plus a character to escort, and it will brutally punish anyone who dares to deploy light infantry against you.
  • Land Raider Terminus Ultra (Open Play only): For 600 pts it will do a spectacular job of wrecking vehicles thanks to its 8 (!) lascannon shots per turn. 3 to hit rolls of 1 in one turn will cause you to take 6 mortal wounds, but the chances of that are so small that it's unlikely to be an issue. Even if it does happen, it won't be enough to decrease your base stats until you drop to 8 wounds or below, and with the toughness and armor save that comes with being a Land Raider variant that's probably not going to be an issue. Just be sure to watch out for massed infantry- for this reason you should probably take a storm bolter over the multi-melta since any vehicle close enough to be in melta range is going to become a smoldering wreck either way.

Forge World[edit]

Forgeworld FAQ[1] updates the relic rule for LoW, effectively you can get one with no pre-requisites but further ones will still require the 'non-relic' tax. On the other hand, who would even need to bring 4 Lords of War into a game?

  • Relic Spartan Assault Tank: The Spartan has always been a bigger nastier Land Raider at heart, and this edition just makes it even meaner. A relic from the Legion days, it boasts an impressive BS3+, S8, T8, W20, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It comes stock with hull-mounted Twin heavy bolters (which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers), 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (that's a total of 8(!) lascannons), and anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. And with a WS5+ and 8 attacks, it has a better chance than most tanks of actually hitting with them. If 8 lascannons don't do the trick, they can be swapped for Laser Destroyers to give it the role of blowing superheavies to pieces; its basic profile of S12 AP-4 DD6 is nasty enough as it is, but any time it inflicts damage, you roll a d6. On a 3-5, its damage rises to 2d6, and on a 6 it becomes a staggering 3d6 damage! If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, the Spartan has an enormous 25 transport capacity, including Terminators, and Jump Pack Infantry (but not Primaris). If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: The Vindicator's big brother on steroids is a fierce siege engine, boasting BS3+, S8, T9(!), W22, and a 2+ Save. The Dreadhammer siege cannon taking up the entirety of the vehicle drops Heavy 2D6 S10 AP-5 3D shots at 24" or 48" if it holds still. Losing the enormous blast template from the previous edition, the Dreadhammer can now put serious hurt on vehicles and monsters with it's 2D6 high strength high AP shots. In addition to the main gun it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it (except for it's Dreadhammer siege cannon, which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer: An insane Titan-class laser weapon mounted on a Spartan chassis, boasting BS3+, S8, T9, W22, and a 2+ Save. The Heavy neutron pulse array kicks out Heavy 3 S14 AP-4 3+D6D shots at 72", and causes a -1 to-hit penalty to the shooting attacks of vehicles wounded by this weapon. In addition to the main gun it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it (except for it's Heavy neutron pulse array which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 5+ thanks to its Unstable Reactor), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Fellblade Superheavy Tank: The Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin. Absolutely bristling with guns, it has a massively impressive statline of BS3+, S9, T9, W26, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. It's enormous and versatile Fellblade accelerator cannon sports two shell types: HE shells are Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 2D shots and allow rerolls for the number of shots when targeting a unit with more than 5 models. AE shells are Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 6D shots that work wonders on tanks. It comes stock with a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter (which can be replaced with a Twin heavy flamer) and 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (which can be swapped for the amazing Laser destroyers like the Spartan). Like the Baneblade it also has a hull-mounted Demolisher cannon. If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with 9 WS5+ attacks from its Crushing tracks, which are S9 AP-2 DD3. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. If you need a LOT of dakka on a tough as nails platform, you can't go wrong with the Fellblade.
  • Relic Falchion Superheavy Tank Destroyer: A Fellblade variant which shares the same statline and special rules but mounts the unbelievably deadly Twin volcano cannon in place of the Fellblade cannon and Demolisher cannon. The Twin volcano cannon can annihilate targets 120" away with Heavy 2D6 S16 AP-5 D2D6 (re-rolling wounds against Titanic units). Just like the Fellblade it comes stock with two Quad lascannon sponsons which can be replaced with Laser destroyers. Given its ability to take the laser destroyers, it's objectively better at destroying superheavies than its Shadowsword counterpart in practically every way. It also sports a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers, and you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta if you crave even more dakka.
  • Relic Mastodon Super-heavy Siege Transport: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's reroll to kick in.
  • Astraeus Super Heavy Tank: This beast of a tank now has its rules released... and it's frankly more nasty than anyone gave it credit for. 24 wounds, Toughness 9, 2+ Armour, Power of the Machine Spirit and Steel Behemoth are already bad enough, but then you look at its gear. Firstly, the Void Shield. Just like the titans, it's a degenerating shield that can block off any wound, mortal or not, and does not care about AP value. However, it cannot protect you from overheating Plasma Eradicators or melee attacks, so watch out for Knight Gallants and other heavy-hitting melee units that somehow get by the Enhanced Repulsor Fields. Said Enhanced Repulsor Fields not only reduce enemy charge rolls by 3", but are also its form of close combat attack. Considering the fields give -2 AP and deals D3 damage per wound, this is surprisingly vicious, especially considering the 8 Strength 9 attacks the tank gets. Obviously, however, you're here for the guns and... oh boy. Its twin macro-accelerator cannon is a vicious Heavy 12, S8, AP-2, Damage 3 that ignores all abilities that impose negative hit modifiers when targeting flyers. Its other default weapons don't seem that threatening at first, however. The two las-rippers are slightly weaker las-talons with a new name, the twin heavy bolter is somewhat useful against infantry, and the storm bolter and ironhail heavy stubber can be augmented with another ironhail heavy stubber. However, the twin heavy bolter can be replaced by a twin Lascannon, and the las-rippers can be replaced by the new Plasma Eradicator, a +1 Strength, AP-4 Plasma Cannon that uniquely only causes one mortal wound per 1 to hit on Supercharge. 90% of the time the Eradicators are the better choice. Not only are they cheaper than Las-Rippers but they have more range. Being within 24" will put the Astraeus in danger of being chopped up by enemy Knights and a prime target for most Plasma weapons. The lone Storm Bolter won't be doing much of anything regardless. The base vehicle is 705 points and a whopping $291 USD, so while it's expensive as hell the the durability it boasts when compared to any Imperial vehicle short of a Titan is second to none.
  • Thunderhawk Assault Gunship: The standard air support and transportation workhouse of the Space Marines. This monstrous flyer will cost you an arm and a leg (in both points and real $) but has some seriously impressive rules. It has a big 20-50" move in Supersonic mode and can hover. Its has BS2+, S10, T9, 30W, a 3+ Save and PoTMS so it can shoot on the move. Its Void-hardened Hull grants it a 5++ save for extra durability. The Thunderhawk Assault Gunship is armed with a Thunderhawk heavy cannon - 48" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D6D, which can be swapped for the monstrously powerful Turbo-laser destructor - 96" Heavy D3 S16 AP-4 2D6D (6's to wound inflict an additional D3 Mortal Wounds). For secondary weapons it sports 4 Twin heavy bolters and 2 Lascannons at various points on the hull, as well as a choice of Thunderhawk Cluster Bombs or a Hellstrike missile battery. The Cluster bombs can drop once per game on a single unit you flew over, rolling up to 12D6 times (3D6 for ever VEHICLE or MONSTER and 1D6 for other models). Each 5+ result deals a Mortal Wound to the unit, though units consisting only of characters cannot be targeted. The Hellstrike battery is 72" Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3. It's Colossal Flyer rule forces your opponent to -1 from shooting attacks against the Thunderhawk, but also forces them to measure from where it's hull wound be if it was at ground level and add 12" to that measurement (which is an attempt to account for the custom flying bases you need to hold this heavy ass brick of resin up). It also means that a lot of guns flat out cannot shoot at it while it's Supersonic. Finally, the Thunderhawk has an impressive transport capacity of 30, including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, AND BIKERS. It is also one of the only vehicles that can transport PRIMARIS models, with each counting for 2 spaces, although you cannot mix them with non-PRIMARIS units.
  • Thunderhawk Transporter: A Thunderhawk variant designed for airlifting tanks, this unusual vehicle shares the statline of the Thunderhawk (with the exception of 26W - 4 fewer than the Gunship). In addition to 15 models including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, and BIKES, it can hoist vehicles into battle in one of the following configurations:
    • 1 model with the LAND RAIDER or SPARTAN ASSAULT TANK keyword.

These vehicles act exactly like other passengers and are subject to the usual restrictions for embarking and disembarking, meaning they can detach while in Supersonic mode at the end of the movement phase. Transported vehicles can carry units at no additional transport cost to the Thunderhawk, so feel free to deep strike 25 dudes in a Spartan PLUS 15 dudes in the Thunderhawk itself. The cost of this unusual ability is the loss of ranged firepower - the Thunderhawk Transporter is armed with 'only' 4 Twin heavy bolters and a Hellstrike missile battery. It's much cheaper than the Thunderhawk Gunship, but its usefulness is somewhat questionable, cool as it may be.

  • Sokar Pattern Stormbird: Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points (2000 in Chapter Approved, before wargear, yikes.) and tangible money alike, it can ferry entire demi companies onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. The void shields can extend and overlap nearby troops 8" away that jumped out if it has hovered. Has 40 wounds, T9, a 5++ after the void shields.


Placed here separately, because:
1. They're Dark Angels, whether or not they have the key word.
2. Because Deathwing units and characters get bonuses against them.
3. Because there is actually nothing stopping you from taking Fallen in your army any more, since they have IMPERIUM keyword.

This is actually not as heinously abusive of the fluff as it sounds, bear in mind that Cypher and the occasional Fallen (cough - Astelan) have been let out of their cells to go on missions with the Dark Angels from time to time, though usually under excessively heavy guard and threat of death and torture if they step out of line. Cypher even shows up to offer sarky pointers every now and then.

  • HQ - Cypher Yes, this most loyal servant of The Emperor and oldest living Dark Angel can now be fielded with a Dark Angel army. While not sharing the Dark Angel keyword, he does have the Imperium faction keyword so no reason not to take him for massive amounts of RAGE and fun. Just so you know. Take him with a squad of ANCIENT LOST DARK ANGELS WHOSE LOYALTY WAS NEVER IN QUESTION for extra heresy. Effectively he's not worth it. He can shoot 5 pistol shots per turn, 2 of which are plasma, but his range is very short and in combat he can't hurt a fly.
    • Alternate opinion: The above is true if you do not build a list around him. Play an aggressive list meant to get up in the opponents face and take heat off of the advancing Fallen lines. For the first couple of turns, Cyphers role is to make the Fallen's shots more dangerous. It won't be until around turn 3 that he gets to work on his own. 5 shots coming out of 1 dude is scary, especially when he most likely will not miss. Throw him into combat with stuff that likely won't kill him just to tie them up as he can fall back with no penalty anyway. Then when/if he dies, laugh as he grants no victory points (in the cases where that is relevant".
    • Basically, if you're playing a whole army of Fallen, he's your commander.
    • Because of his failings. You are taking him and his Fallen for more Plasma spam while holding onto objectives and fortifications. As Cypher and his retinue can't take transports. This means he and the Fallen have to foot slog it. While Ravenwing get to ride around on bikes and Deathwing get Teleport Strikes and Land Raiders. Which begs the question, why bring these guys when you could have a squad of Plasma Cannon Devastators in a Razorback?
    • You could also bring an Inquisitor to buff Cypher and his squad of Fire Warrior wannabes Plasma Gun ferrying suckers further. You may as well pay full price for the Terminator Malleus Inquisitor to get 'Teleport Strike'. Dragging their feet through the mud is what they have Explicators (the FNGs) for. Though if your taking him just to boost a Plasma squad and Cypher. One could save both money and points by choosing a squad of Acolytes instead or rather cut off the Inquisition entirely by taking Cawl with Skitarii Vanguard .(The latter are more useful.) It still beats being called a Furfag. Wait for a Codex or FAQ buff if you want to bring Cypher and his posse outside of casual games.
  • ELITES - Fallen - Basically Chaos Chosen with the IMPERIUM keyword and costing 2 points less (and, notably, only 1 point more than vanilla Chaos Space Marines,) PLUS they get to reroll 1s in the Shooting phase if they didn't move in the Movement phase, and can never lose more than 1 model to a failed Morale test (I guess they have an invisible Commissar?) Otherwise, they are identical to Chosen in both stats and options. In a vacuum, they are objectively better than Chosen in every way. Unfortunately, they lack the HERETIC ASTARTES/ADEPTUS ASTARTES keywords and the <LEGION>/<CHAPTER> keywords, meaning they can't use transports from either faction, and the only HQs and psychic buffs they can benefit from are from Cypher (whose bonus is redundant in the Shooting phase if they didn't move, but still good if they did move or if they're in close combat) and, weirdly, Inquisitors, thanks to their IMPERIUM keyword. Lacking transports and non-Cypher/Inquisitor HQ buffs completely ruins the option of using them just like Chosen, but there is still one thing they are absolutely fantastic at: a plasma gunline. Plasma guns give them the extra range they need since they're stuck on foot, and if they don't move they can reroll 1s if they're supercharging them. This also makes them really good at hanging out in back with a Lascannon, as their one shot with it will only fail on a 2 without having to waste an HQ hanging out in back with them (and thanks to everyone having Split Fire now, you can do both with the same unit!) Hilariously, the Sargent, who can otherwise not take anything but melee weapons and pistols, can actually be a fanboy and take a Plasma Pistol and Bolt Pistol at the same time. Fluff demands that you kitbash a Terminator Malleus Inquisitor with Interrogator Chaplain and/or Termi-Liberian bits than paint the model Deathwing bone white. You have two ways of explaining to That Guy how they managed to "acquire" Psycannons and Nemesis Daemon Hammers . Mine! *BLAM!* DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, OR YOU WILL BE ASSIGNED "FUN TIME" WITH Asmodai. ANY CLAIMS THE WEAPONS WERE STOLEN ARE LIES AND SLANDER! THEY ARE SACRED RELICS FROM THE TIMES OF THE LION AND THE EMPEROR! As for the Fallen. Buy a second Dark Angels Company Vet Squad and paint them in Ravenwing colors or just use that Tactical Support Squad you bought a while back. Invest in some magnets to make changing their weapons less of a hassle. THEY ARE FOOTSLOGGING BECAUSE THEIR RIDES WERE TORN UP! DEATHWING OFFICERS HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH "HELPING OUT A FELLOW BATTLE BROTHER"! DON'T BE A BUSTA! Unlike other chapters. The First isn't dumb enough to expose their heretical practices to the Inquisition or piss off a Primarch who isn't confirmed dead.
    • Cypher and Fallen-spam in a Vanguard Detachment is both effective and cheap, and can be used to supplement both Chaos and Imperium armies without changing a single thing about it. (Hilarious side note: there is no longer any rule preventing you from taking Dark Angels and Fallen in the same army, if you want to be a heretic on par with bringing Sorcerers with World Eaters.)
      • The new FAQ gives him a the rule "No Ones Puppet". Preventing him from summoning Daemons. So Cypher and his band of Fallen have less meat options for meat shields now. Something that you can use Acolytes and Deamonhosts for. The xeno-monky is less useful as cannon fodder. He should be buffing your Termi-Inquistor and shooting at targets that somehow survive the Plasma Spam from The Fallen and Acolytes.
        • Both the Chaos Marine and Dark Angels codex are out. Still no transports for Cypher or the Fallen. FAQ won't be out for a while. One hopes that the focus on Chaos in 8th edition and the Inner Circle rules means they "might" get a supplement or their own codex.
          • Until The Fallen are fixed to use transports. Your are better off playing the Fallen with Legion of the Dammed rules. As they can Deep Strike, come with a 3+ invulnerable save, and their ranged weapons ignore enemy cover. Cypher however is SOL.


While essentially space marines with a twist, the Dark Angels do have some different tactics, mainly because of the ravenwing and the named characters. Look for this section to be updated with the Codex.

  • General tactics Dark Angels are space marines first, so anything that goes for normal marines applies more or less to Dark Angels. What makes Dark Angels different are a few of their unique units and their stratagems. Dark Angels are great all-rounders, not being focused on either shooting or close combat. They have great options for either, and a few options for both. When playing Dark Angels, it it therefore usually better not to focus on just one aspect (like Ravenwing or Deathwing) but to see which units complement each other. You will want to include, in varying degrees, enough anti-infantry firepower, enough anti-tank firepower, and enough close combat power. How you balance these three aspects, and what units you use depends on personal preference and the local META. I think a few units deserve special mention for Dark Angel tactics:
    • Talonmaster: a lot of anti-infantry firepower on mobile chassis, and a decent close combat character, especially if equipped with the relic Heavenfall Blade.
    • Sammael: like the Talonmaster, but better. Also combines well with a Talonmaster.
    • Company champion: Very cheap close combat character.
    • Black knights: expensive, but they are good all-rounders with their plasma weapons and decent attacks. They also combine well with a few stratagems and with Sammael.
    • Deathwing: expensive, and unlike every other infantry unit in the game terminators are vulnerable to certain weaponry like overcharged plasma, but they do pack a punch. Combine well with chaplains, Deathwing ancients and Land Raiders.
    • Assault squads: These I mention because they are NOT that great for Dark Angels. They don't have a lot of attacks, nor high strength or AP. They are fine for taking down smaller light infantry squads, but will struggle against tougher opponents. Don't expect too much from them. Unlike Blood Angels or normal marines, who have access to things like Red Thirst or veteran jump pack assault marines, Dark Angel Assault marines or very basic. If you need a good punch, company veterans in a transport will do much more damage. Or Deathwing.
    • Company Veterans: as mentioned above, if you need a close combat punch, these guys are great as they can also have a few combi-weapons to boost shooting power. Add power weapons and a company champion and you have a dangerous but fairly cheap hitting machine.

Use the above mentioned units and some of the Dark Angel named characters to enhance your army, but don't rely on just the Dark Angel only units. A predator, intercessor squad, normal lieutenant or dreadnought is still a great unit and will serve you well.

  • Character buffing: Dark Angels have a few tricks for massive bubble-wrapping (by which I mean stuffing as many units in as many buff-bubbles as possible. Azrael is the most obvious first choice because of his 2 bubbles, namely the 4++ save bubble and the re-roll hits bubble. Expect to see him used a lot. Second on the list is the primaris lieutenant with his re-roll 1's to wound bubble. Great when using high-strength weapons.
    • Make sure if you bring Belial or Sammael to bring Deathwing and Ravenwing respectively to make the most out of their re-rolls to hit for their respective DW and RW brothers. Sammael is a special case as he is far more shooty than Belial, has great mobility, and excellent close combat ability meaning he can perform well in nearly any Dark Angel list.
  • The ass-hole 1500: A past favorite for trolling players that don't use the 'LOTS OF INFANTRY' tactic has been taken down a peg due to the Codex, but can still be effective. Take Azrael, a primaris lieutenant and a Darkshroud for the 6" bubble and stuff a dreadnought with assault cannon, 4 predators with full lascannons or autocannons and 2 techmarines in the bubble for massive damage output. Knights, terminators, squadrons of tanks and infantry units will vaporize every turn. Anything comes close, the dread and azrael can cut it to pieces. This is a spearhead and supreme command detachment, plus Azrael for 6 command points. Don't use against your friends, as you won't have many left after. As of the new Codex, this mound of cheese is not as potent as it was in the Index. As per Azrael's new rules, his 4+ invuln bubble only works on Infantry and Biker models. While all of your vehicles still benefit from his full rerolls, gone are the days where you can have an entire gunline of 4+ invuln tanks and dreads. Not only that, but Grim Resolve making models that stand still reroll hit rolls of 1 have made characters with a reroll bubble less important for static gunlines. It is still recommended to bring your Primaris Lieutenant to reroll wound rolls of 1 though.
  • Flexibility is key: If you're playing DA be sure to make use of all three of your Wings as needed: Deathwing, Ravenwing, and Greenwing. Pure Deathwing armies are going to struggle like pre-Matt Ward Grey Knights, since Termies as a whole just aren't quite pulling their weight in 8th edition. Less is more. Unless your willing to shell out extra cash for Forge World Dreadnoughts, Land Raiders and Flyers. Which everyone and their mother have by now. Keep in mind you can only give Inner Cricle to no more than one choice. Ravenwing are faster and more coldly vicious than ever, and Greenwing have lots of Ultramarine-flavored toys to help out with their plasma gunline. Pick one and flavor with the others as needed, keep your opponent on their toes. No matter which style army you pick, make sure to provide them with the meat shields or long range fire support they will need to survive.
  • Ravenwing & Deathwing: With the buffs to Terminators and Bikes DW and RW have outright double their small arms survivability but weapons do now cause damage beyond one so it evens out. Make sure to focus down those high damage dealing weapons as both RW & DW have the capability to deal with hordes with SB and TWB being fierce against hordes with the right buffs. Let Deathwing & DW Knights and Ravenwing Black knights deal with heavy units or elite units while Ravenwing Bikes, attack bikes, and land speeders deal with chaff (TWBs, HB, Flamers + HF, and Chainswords) or weaken heavier units (melta guns). Saying that both lack long range weapons in good quantity or for cost effectiveness so make sure you have predators, whirlwinds, Dreadnoughts, flyers etc. to help support.
  • Belial the Unsmackable: Are you about to rush the Grand Master of the Deathwing into combat, and want to pretty much guarantee that he never gets hit by anything but the best CC? Well, here's how you pull that off. With the Sword of Silence, Belial causes those he fights in the Fight Phase to be at -1 to hit. Next, grab a Librarian, and have them cast Aversion on the target of your aggression. If you make the required rolls, your unlucky opponent is now at -2 to hit. Now, in an ideal world, having an enemy be at -2 to hit is just fine, but remember that opponents with Power Fists / Thunder Hammers usually suffer an inherent -1 on top of all that, totaling a -3 in these cases, meaning he can just wade into squad of Terminators and only be hit on a 6+. Just remember that many characters have auras that provide rerolls to hit, which are little to no use against Belial in many cases. Thanks to the skubtastic FAQ/errata that stated that re-rolling happens before you apply modifiers, some characters will simply not be able to hit Belial on 2s or 3s.
    • This also works with any non-named character equipped with the Shroud of Heroes relic.
    • If you're thinking about using a Darkshroud, Belial doesn't get anything special, just the normal awesome bonus. Darkshrouds only work against shooting attacks, while the Parrying Blade rule only works in close combat. You should probably use the Darkshroud anyways. Than pull it back to cover a Vengeance or something once he reaches base contact. As Uncle Roboute, Moloc and any other shooty character with a decent melee weapon will bust a few caps in Belail's ass. Knocking a few wounds off before the charge if the other player isn't a moron. You would think he would have something better than a standard issue Storm Bolter by now. Nor does his conflicting rules in the Codex and Index help matters either.
  • Personally I recommend checking out the old 6th edition page here on Dark Angel tactics as the page contains still relevant information on list building and tactics that still work today. Here is the link: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/6th_Edition_Tactics/Dark_Angels#Building_your_army
Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics