Warhammer 40,000/9th Edition Tactics/Dark Angels

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This is the current 9th Edition's Dark Angels tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Dark Angels[edit]


You like:

1. Recognising that Loyalty is its 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 and access to unique gear, never need to take morale checks and very durable.
    • 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 with high accuracy.
  • As Grim Resolve implies, Dark Angels are slightly more geared towards standing still and shooting or counter-charging in melee, but there are enough options for assaulting your enemies after you're through putting holes in them.
  • Plasma! Plasma Bikers, plasma Land Speeder, plasma Dreadnoughts, with +1 damage to that plasma too for 2 CP, which for a 10 man squad of Hellblasters is one of the better Vehicle busters in the game.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Decent Relics, decent warlord traits, a few good stratagems and very good named characters that are quite different from the other Space Marine chapters.
  • For 9th Edition Dark Angels will be included in the Space Marine Codex and given a Supplement similar to the 2019 First founding Supplements instead of their own codex. This gives the Unforgiven access to *almost* the entire Space Marine unit range as well as more timely updates.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You miss out on Vanguard and Sternguard Veterans. This notification is here purely as a relic acknowledgement that we used to miss out on quite a few other units as well. Deathwing are better than Stern/Van guard anyways.
  • Everything that troubles codex marines applies here. Marines are the most popular flavor of army, so every opponent will have some tools to deal with what you bring.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Troops gain Objective Secured.
  • Company Command: Can only have one Captain and two Lieutenant per Detachment. Aka fuck you to homebrew chapters that have a non-Codex organisation ...or even canon ones like the Space Wolves.
      • The Supplement lists a separate rule that says you may only have one Deathwing Captain and one Ravenwing Captain from the same chapter. RAI, 2 captains - one from each - is the maximum. RAW, you have to pick one captain from one of the two, or the greenwing.
  • Chapter Command: Most non-named Characters (i.e. all except Lieutenants and Judiciars) can have a Chapter Command upgrade for PL and pts. Each <Chapter> Army can only have one Chapter Command model and some named Characters already have the relevant keyword. Crusade forces cannot start with a non-named Chapter Command model.
    • A couple Dark Angel Characters already have Chapter Command Keywords; Azrael (Chapter Master) and Ezekiel (Chief Librarian). Deathwing and Ravenwing Command Squad Characters as well as the Interrogator Chaplain are all upgradeable.
    • Using <Ultramarines> as an example, your army cannot have Marneus Calgar and an <Ultramarine> Captain upgraded to a Chapter Master in the same army. However, you can have an <Ultramarine> Chapter Master and a <Salamander> Chapter Master in the same army.
  • Combat Squads: Can split a single full-sized unit into two smaller units before deployment. Works just like it always has, but more unit types can do it (e.g. Centurions). While MSU is better, it does give Space Marines a unique way to circumvent the Rule of Three or Detachment Limits. Now they just need to have spammable units worth Combat Squadding.
    • With the introduction of Shock Assault (See below), there is worth considering the use of some of the older tactics, back when a Tactical Marine was worth more than just a bolter. One such tactic was to put your guns in one squad and your melee in another, using the ranged weapons to soften up a target then the melee (basically a Sergeant either a power weapon or fist) to finish off or better yet to tie up the target unit and finish it off (hopefully) during the opponents turn, denying them a turn at shooting and forcing them to basically waste their melee on chaff. You can also put the Sergeant in the ranged unit with a combi-weapon for a total of three bolters and two special weapons in one squad, and a heavy weapon in the other for a makeshift Devastator Squad.
  • Angels of Death: A rule owned by all Space Marine whatever its colour, subdivided into four. Because GW likes to keep it simple.
    • And They Shall Know No Fear: When taking Combat Attrition Tests, ignore all modifiers.
    • Bolter Discipline: Models using a rapid fire bolt weapon can double their number of shots (i.e. rapid-fire) if at least one of the following conditions is met. They don't stack, so no triple or quadruple shots if you meet more than one condition. The conditions are:
      • The target is within the weapon's half range (normal rapid fire rules).
      • The model is Infantry (excluding Centurions) and every model of its unit remained stationary during the previous Movement Phase. If a Devastator's Heavy Weapon Marine moves, the Sergeant cannot use Bolter Discipline on his boltgun.
        • It gives your Marines the option to commit to those objectives instead of having to get close to the enemy. Factions like T'au may have long ranged small arms, but Space Marines can rapid fire from full range away.
      • The firing model is a Terminator or Biker.
        • This right here is the good shit. Footslogging Terminators now have a significantly improved threat capacity and Bikers are somehow even more deadly fast than they already were.
    • Shock Assault: If a unit with this rule charges, gets charged, or performs a Heroic Intervention, models in the unit gain +1A until the end of the turn (meaning +2A if they can fight twice like with a stratagem).
      • Gives the generally lackluster melee of most Primaris Infantry and chainsword Assault Marines a little bit of a boost. Killer on units with power weapons like Terminators. Also means foes have to be a bit more careful about charging at Tacticals and such to tie them up, more so if you use larger units, and that they can assist in a melee in a pinch.
      • Remember that this ability is not Infantry exclusive; Dreadnoughts really appreciate the extra attack and even your Transports can hit a little harder in the first round of combat (Space Marines bring a whole new meaning to road rage).
    • Combat Doctrine: Feel like it's 7th edition all over again. Each of the three Combat Doctrines gives an AP-1 buff to different weapon types in your armies (non-cumulative with buffs from other sources). You have to use each Doctrine in order, starting with the Devastator Doctrine, and then must move through each Doctrine. Once you switch there's no going back, so pay attention to the rhythm of the game. Your army gains this if all units in it have this rule, meaning taking a Guardsman Battalion would prevent the Marine detachment from getting this rule, but allied Marine detachments are okay even from a different <Chapter>.
      • On top of that, Chapter Supplements give First Founding Chapters (and their descendants) a Specialist Doctrine that is a bonus active on top of the regular Doctrine. Bringing Chapters with different Specialist Doctrines prevents either Chapter from getting theirs, which encourages you to have a one-Chapter army.
      1. On Turn 1, your army will always start with the Devastator Doctrine turned on, giving all your heavy and grenade weapons the extra -1 AP so that you can soften entrenched Infantry and cripple enemy Vehicles from afar in preparation for your advance. Remember the first points of AP are the most important ones: AP-2 heavy bolters and assault cannons are more noticeable than AP-4 lascannons. Do keep in mind that the plethora of sniper rifles and heavy flamers (incendium/inferno/flamestorm cannons) are heavy weapons.
      2. On the 2nd turn you switch to Tactical Doctrine, shifting the boost to your rapid fire and assault weapons. Be it to close the distance to the enemy or because your vehicles are about to give their last, this mostly passes the ranged baton to your Infantry. Storm bolters and auto bolt rifles work wonders here love this.
      3. On the 3rd or 4th turn you shift to Assault Doctrine (you MUST change to assault on the 4th turn) giving the extra AP to your pistol and melee attacks. Don't forget your pistol can be fired if you're in melee with an enemy unit.
  • Death From Above/Teleport Strike: Deep Strike in another name, most common on Jump Pack and Terminator models. Set them to side during deployment and set them up 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
  • Concealed Positions: Infiltrate in another name, most common on Scout and Phobos models. Set them up anywhere on field 9" from enemy deployment zone or models during deployment.
  • Outflank: Like Deep Strike, but must be wholly within 6" of a board edge and 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
  • Martial Legacy (FW): Relic unit rules for certain Forge World models. If your army is battle-forged, each unit with this rule increases the cost of a detachment that includes it by 1CP. Essentially you pay 1CP per Martial Legacy unit in your army.

Chapter Tactics and Unique Rules[edit]

  • Grim Resolve (Chapter Tactics): Adds to your reputation as a stoic gunline army. If this unit doesn't move this turn (excluding Pile-in and Consolidation moves), add +1 to hit rolls for both shooting and melee attacks. In addition, units auto-pass Combat Attrition Tests.
    • Way better than what it was before. Not that a re-roll of 1 is bad or anything, especially on an army that loves plasma so much, although the +1 to hit essentially makes it that everyone's shooting weapons hit on a 2+ if you don't move. Also, sticking some Company Masters or Named Characters near your guys to still get the re-roll of 1 meaning you basically can't miss any of your shots (unless you're really unlucky).
  • Sons of the Lion (Specialist Doctrine): We have not one, not two, but three Specialist Doctrines!
    • Speed of the Raven: While the Devastator Doctrine is active for your army, Ravenwing units get +3" to their move characteristic, and Ravenwing units can shoot after advancing. Naturally, they suffer the penalty as if they were advancing and firing Assault weapons (no word on Assault weapons ignoring -1 to hit unlike the previous versions of this ability).
    • Fire Discipline: While in the Tactical Doctrine, INFANTRY models from your army (excluding DEATHWING models) can make attacks with Rapid Fire and Assault weapons (excluding Blast Weapons) while within Engagement range of enemy units but must target an enemy unit that is within Engagement Range of its own unit when doing so. When they fire in this manner, their ballistic skill is 5+. Which of course is almost always 4+ because you won't have moved.
    • Implacable: While the Assault Doctrine is Active, each time a DEATHWING INFANTRY/DREADNOUGHT model from your army makes a melee attack against a CHARACTER unit or unit with a wound characteristic of 8 or more, you can re-roll the wound roll.
  • Inner Circle: Given to all units if the unit makes use of Grim Resolve. It gives several abilities, which have pros and cons. Pros include automatically passing Morale Tests and if this unit has the Infantry keyword, a wound roll of 1, 2, or 3 always fails against them. Cons include units being unable to Fall Back if in combat with a unit with a Fallen unit and in other cases this unit must do a Leadership test by rolling 2d6 in order to Fall Back (unless the unit has Vehicle, Ravenwing or Chapter Master as a keyword).
    • The con isn't a huge con. Very few players will use Fallen and you typically have good Ld anyway if you wanted to Fall Back.
    • The new supplement gives all Deathwing units, including those outside of the Dark Angels codex, this ability; and characters, Dreadnoughts and Terminator-bearing vehicles can purchase this rule. Wasn't there a particularly deadly close combat unit that was already surprisingly sturdy and brutal that was hyped up to be Deathwing?
    • Rites of Initiation: For 1 CP/ some points, you can buy the Deathwing keyword for a select few models: Captains, Primaris Lieutenants with Storm Shields, Dreadnoughts, Land Raiders, Repulsors, and any other vehicles capable of bearing Terminators.( For the most part, this is wasted on vehicles as they don't get anything from this unless you're using DW Vanguard.) The Captain and Lieutenant might only benefit from this if you also grab Azrael or another Chapter Master to buff them.
      • Gravis armor Captains get the most out of this. As they can not only plink at enemy targets with their guns. They are now much harder to remove during assaults as ICs who have a Powerfist as their standard gear. I guess we now know where the Aggressor who was promoted to the Deathwing went.
      • For the very low price of an additional 5 points. Storm Eagles, Spartans, Leviathan Dreads, Deredeo Dreadnaughts, Thunderhawks and other Forge World vehicles can be taken in the 1st Company detachment without losing Battleforged. Repulsors are next to worthless as a Deathwing vehicle. As Blade Guard don't benefit from the extra firepower as their a melee unit without any access to Sx2 weapons.(ie Powerfist variants). It might good for a Gravus Captain leading an Aggressor or Heavy Intercessor squad but otherwise don't bother.
  • Jink: ALL of your Ravenwing units (Bikers, Speeders, and Aircraft) gains a 5++ invulnerable save if they were not stationary in the previous movement phase, rising to a 4++ invulnerable save if they Advance.
    • Remember, you can still fire assault weapons after advancing at a -1BS penalty. Good for meltaguns, flamers, and all Bikes with plasma talons.
    • It is very important to note that although Jink is an ability that is listed on a units data sheet, it is now automatically bestowed to a unit that has the Ravenwing keyword as per the DA Codex.

Specialist Detachments[edit]

NOTE: This section should be reserved for casual play only, as the Monster Slayer of Caliban exists in the Supplement as a Crusade Relic.

Attack Squadron: All Ravenwing units in a Dark Angel detachment gains the Attack Squadron keyword.

  • Stratagem - Swift Strike (2CP): Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase after an Attack Squadron unit from your army has fought. That unit can immediately make a move and advance as if it were the Movement Phase. If there are any enemy units within 1," it can Fall Back instead.
  • Stratagem - Signal the Attack (1CP): Use this Stratagem after an Attack Squadron unit from your army has attacked an enemy unit in the Shooting Phase and the attack resulted in the enemy unit losing one or more wounds. Add 1 to hit rolls for attacks made by other Attack Squadron units from your army that target the same enemy unit in this phase.
  • Warlord Trait - Lighting-Fast Reactions: You can always choose your Warlord to fight first in the Fight Phase, even if they didn't charge. If the enemy has units that have charged or that have similar abilities, then alternate choosing units to fight with, starting with the player whose turn is taking place.
  • Relic - Monster Slayer of Caliban: Replaces bearers power sword. S+2, AP-3, D2. +1 to wound rolls for attacks that target Monster or Vehicle units. Only a few units can take this, best nominations are a Ravenwing Captain or Talonmaster.

Crusade Additions[edit]

  • Hunting the Fallen: This is the undertone of the entire set of crusade rules. After every battle, you gain an unforgiven point. Certain agendas in the crusade rules also grant a number of unforgiven points. When you reach 20 or more unforgiven points, you may enact a capture mission to capture a fallen agent.
    • You enact the mission by spending all your Unforgiven points. You opponent will add a Fallen agent to their roster, which will function in the same manner as an agent of the inquisition does for a normal Imperium list. This fallen agent can be either a space marine captain or a space marine librarian. Cypher can no longer be used due to lacking the Imperium keyword. The captain cannot use rites of battle, the librarian knows only smite. If that model is still on the table at the end of the battle, the enemy warlord gains 3xp.
  • Requisition: These are DA-specific requisitions that can be purchased for Requisition Points.
    • Interrogation: 0RP - After a battle in which any unit from your army destroyed a Fallen unit, select up to two units with the INTERROGATOR-CHAPLAIN or DEATHWING LIBRARIAN keywords. Roll 2d6; if you roll 2-9, one of the units get an upgrade. If you roll 10+, both units get an upgrade. Any given unit may have only one of the upgrades available in the appropriate table. Increase the unit's crusade point cost by 1.
      • Interrogator-Chaplain Table: You may choose to: add 3" to the range of the unit's aura ability (Max 12"); learn one additional litany; in your command phase, if this model is on the battlefield and the litany of hate has not been recited by a friendly model, this model may recite the Litany of Hate in addition to any other litanies it may recite.
      • Deathwing-Librarian Table: Add on to psychic tests when attempting to manifest an interromancy power; Each time this model manifests a witchfire power, add one to the mortal wounds inflicted; You can re-roll deny the witch tests for this model.
    • Inauguration: 1RP. Select a unit from your army that destroyed a fallen unit in the preceeding battle. You may replace that unit with an outrider squad or bladeguard veteran squad if it is Primaris, or with a Terminator squad, Relic Terminator Squad, Deathwing Terminator Squad, Terminator Assault Squad, attack bike squad, or bike squad if it is a non-Primaris unit. The new unit must be from the same chapter, cannot be exchanged if the exchange would cause your total power level to exceed your Supply Limit. The Unit, exchanged or not, gains the Inner Circle keyword, and if exchanged, has the same experience as the previous unit and gains battle honours appropriate to it's rank.
    • Inner Circle: 1RP. Purchase this requisition when a Dark Angels unit gains a rank (other than the blooded rank). That unit gains Inner Circle and increases its power level. You may not purchase this requisition if it would increase your force's power level to exceed your supply limit.
    • The Lion and the Wolf: 1RP. Purchase this requisition at any time. Select one Dark Angels Biker or Infantry unit model that is not a character. That model gains 1 attack and gains "Victory over the Sons of the Wolf": Each time this model makes a melee attack against a Space Wolves unit, add 1 to that attack's hit roll and wound roll.
  • Agendas:
    • Capture the Fallen: Keep a Capture the Fallen tally for each unit from your Army. Each time a unit from your army destroys a Fallen unit, add one to their tally. Each unit gins 3xp for each tally mark on their sheet. At the end of the battle, your Warlord gains 3xp if any unit has killed a Fallen unit in that battle.
    • None must Know: At the beginning of deployment, your opponent must select 5 units from those involved in the battle - excluding Dark Angels units. If 5 units cannot be selected, then your opponent must select all eligible units. You gain 1 Unforgiven point for each selected unit that was destroyed during the battle.
    • Mental Interrogation: Keep a tally for each Dark Angels Librarian in your army roster. Each time it completes the following mental action, add 1 to the tally (3 if the psychic test is 11+):
      • Mental Interrogation - WC 4. You may attempt this psychic action if you have a Dark Angels Librarian within 12" of an Enemy Character. At the end of the battle, each unit with a mental interrogation tally gains 1xp for each mark on that tally. If the total of all tallies is 4-7, gain 3 unforgiven points. If it is 8+, gain 6 unforgiven points instead.
    • Dark Rumor: If the Enemy Warlord was destroyed by an attack from a Deadwing, Ravenwing, or Inner Circle unit, that unit gains 3xp and you gain 3 unforgiven points. If that attack was a melee attack, gain 5xp and 5 unforgiven points instead.
    • Encircle the Foe: At the end of the battle, you may select either 3 or 4 Ravenwing units (excluding Aircraft). Each of the selected units must be wholly within 9" of a different corner of the battlefield. Each selected unit gains 2xp.
    • The Deathwing Cometh: If a Deathwing Unit destroys any enemy units on the turn it arrives using Teleport Strike, that unit gains 2xp. If a character was destroyed, that unit gains 3xp instead.
  • Honorifics: Dark Angels Captains cannot be given Master of the Keep, Master of the Watch, Master of the Marches, Master of the Victuals. Instead you may choose from the following Honorifics:
    • Master of the Deathwing: Belial or Terminator Captain only. Once per battle, if you use the Deathwing Assault strategem, it costs 0cp if this unit is on the battlefield
    • Master of the Ravenwing: Sammael or Biker Captain only. Once per battle, the Swift Strike Strategem costs 0cp if this unit is on the battlefield.
    • Keeper of the Unseen Ritual: Once per battle, if this unit is on the battlefield, one Battle Tactics Strategem costs 0cp.
    • Master of the Watchers: If this unit is part of your crusade army, gain D3 unforgiven points.
    • Lion's Roar: Combi-Plasma Blaster - Boltgun is a standard boltgun, Plasmagun is assault 2 18' range s8 AP-3 D2. The Boltgun benefits from Bolter Discipline and both get Grim Resolve. So there is little reason for its bearer to move to twelve inches. Give it to either a GreenWing, Deathwing or a Techmarine HQ attached to a Plasma Squad and blast everything to slag at 18 inches.
      • The Lion's Roar used to be the better choice between Foe-Smiter and itself. However with the restrictions that requires a Space Marine HQ in your opponents army. Foe-Smiter comes off looking better in 9th. As Bolter Discipline & Grim Resolve gives it greater synergy with more units along with a longer standoff range. 18 inches will eventually have your Hellblaster squad be charged from a position they shouldn't be in. The only time time it isn't a waste if its attached model is a Terminator, has Artificer armor(i.e. a Techmarine or Master) or an Iron Halo on Independent Characters.
    • Raven's Eyes: Ravenwing model only. This model can ignore any modifiers to move, advance, and charge. Each time the bearer makes a range attack, ignore any or all ballistic skill modifiers.

These may only be given to models with Heroic rank or better.

    • Standard of Retribution: Damage allocated to Dark Angels core units within 6" is reduced by one to minimum 1.
    • Standard of Fortitude: In the shooting phase, dark angels core units within 6" of the banner-bearer count as having remained still.
    • Standard of Devastation: While a dark angels core unit is within 6" of this banner, attacks targetted at the nearest unit generate an additional hit on the roll of a six.
    • Monster Slayer of Caliban: Replaces power sword, MC power sword, relic blade, or executioner's relic blade. S+2, AP-3, D2. Add 1 to attack rolls targetting a vehicle or monster unit.
    • Shield of Calloson: Replaces storm shield, combat shield, or relic shield. Bearer has a 3+ invul save, and add 1 to armor saves made by this model.

These may only be given to models of Legendary Rank.

    • Mantle of the Seneschal: Add one to the move, strength, toughness, wounds and attacks characteristics. Once per battle, the model may use Savagery of Caliban in your command phase. All core units within 6" gain +1 to hit rolls on melee attack until your next command phase.

Secondary Objectives[edit]

Purge the Enemy[edit]

  • Martial Interdiction (Endgame Objective): After both armies have deployed but before the game begins, the opponent must select one character in their army (if no characters are present it must be the Warlord). Score victory points at the end of the battle as follows:
    • Score 6 VP if the selected enemy model was destroyed by a Dark Angels model in your army.
    • Score 3 additional VP if the selected model was destroyed by an Inner Circle or Deathwing model from your army.
    • Score 6 additional VP if the Dark Angels model's unit itself was not destroyed.
      • Extremely high risk, but very high reward if you're able to pull it off. Hope you brought chaff cleaners and drop your Deathwing Knights in close for the kill.

No Mercy, No Respite[edit]

  • Death on the Wind (Progressive Objective): Score 2 VP each time an enemy unit is destroyed by an attack made by a Ravenwing model in your army that moved 12" or more during the movement phase that turn, or made a charge roll that turn.

Battlefield Supremacy[edit]

  • Stubborn Defiance (Progressive Objective): In your first Command phase, select 1 Objective marker. At the end of each Command phase after your first, if you control that objective with a DA unit from your army that has ObSec, score a number of VP based on the consecutive number of your command phases that you have controlled that objective marker with that unit as follows: (2 turns = 2VP, 3 turns = 3 VP, 4 turns = 5 VP, 5 turns = 5VP).


Codex Space Marine copy-pastes[edit]

GW is still tip-toeing around "Primaris aren't gonna replace the first-gens." Some of stratagems that used to work for them no longer do so, but some only work on pre-Primaris units, so there's technically something for everyone.

  • Death to the Traitors! (1 CP): When one unit is attacking a Heretic Astartes unit in the fight phase, re-roll any hit roll.
  • Honour the Chapter (2 CP): An assault intercessor squad can fight again in the fight phase. What a load of shit that it's been ripped away from all the other units.
  • Fury of the First (1 CP): Select a Terminator unit during either the shooting or fight phase. This unit adds +1 to their hit rolls. Now your termies won't need a chaplain to babysit them.
  • Transhuman Physiology (1/2 CP): Costs 1 CP for a unit with less than 5 models, 2 for units above 5 models. Select something with the Primaris keyword, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made against that unit, an unmodified wound roll below a 4+ always fails, regardless of the abilities the weapon or model may have. Use this on your Outriders and ATV's for an extra bit of protection from S6+ attacks.
  • Gene Wrought Might (1 CP): When a Primaris unit from your army has chosen to fight, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon a hit roll of 6+ automatically hits and wounds.
  • Rapid Fire (2 CP): At the end of the shooting phase, pick a squad of standard or veteran Intercessors. They can shoot again. While a bit of a shame that it won't work for heavies, now it's a guarantee that their guns will fire again.
  • Unyielding in the Face of Death (1 CP): Whenever a Mk X Gravis unit is hit by a weapon with a Damage trait of 1, then they can add 1 to their saves. This won't totally blunt the high AP stuff, but it can diminish heavy bolters and plasma guns.
  • Only in Death Does Duty End (2 CP): When one of your Characters dies during the Combat Phase,it can fight if it hasn't done it yet. Doesn't combo with the Banner abilities on Ancients. Makes your characters too dangerous to deal with in melee, as not even killing them prevents them from hitting back, and most of them have melee boosts on top of being already good fighters..
  • Armour of Contempt (1 CP): When one of your vehicles takes a mortal wound, for the rest of the phase, you get a 5+ to ignore mortal wounds, and can use it on the one you just took. Doesn't work on regular wounds.
  • Power of the Machine Spirit (2 CP): Select a vehicle unit during command phase. Until the start of your next command phase, that unit acts as it has full wounds. Worried that your tank's about to go up in smoke? Now you can extend the middle finger to them and blast them to bits.
  • Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): At the start of any phase, pick a Dreadnought to turn into a 1-phase Captain or Lieutenant. Any <Chapter> Core units within 6" can reroll either hits or wounds of 1 that phase.
  • Commanding Oratory (2 CP): Your chaplain can automatically inspire with their litany, though you can't double dip with a litany that's already been used.
  • Combat Revival (1 CP): Your apothecary can automatically resurrect a single model in a <Chapter> Core or <Chapter> Biker unit at full wounds. Expect to use this a LOT more with a chief apothecary.
  • Hero of the Chapter (1 CP): One use only for Incursion sized games, Two use only for Strike Force games, Three use only for Onslaught sized games. Select a Character from your army that's not your warlord and determine a warlord trait for it, all warlord traits must be different.
  • Relics of the Chapter (1 CP): Use before the start of the battle. One use only for Incursion sized games, Two use only for Strike Force games, Three use only for Onslaught sized games. You can have an extra Chapter Relic for 1 CP. You can't take two of the same relic, and all the Relics have to go to different Characters.
  • Hit-and-Run Warfare (1 CP): During movement phase, you can have one Biker, Storm Speeder or Land Speeder unit shoot even though they fell back.
  • Hammer of Wrath (1CP): Jump pack models within a unit that successfully end a charge move within 1" of an enemy unit cause mortal wounds on a d6 roll that exceeds enemy Toughness. Makes your big units of assault marines/VV punch much harder, but it suffers against tanks and monsters.
  • Skilled Riders (1 CP): The return of 7th edition jink rules. Use on a biker, storm speeder or land speeder unit that advanced. Enemies targeting them take a -1 to hit them for this turn.
  • Uncompromising Fire (2 CP): An infantry unit can shoot while also accomplishing another action - really only useful with a specific objective.
  • Steady Advance (2 CP): An Infantry can make a normal move while acting as if they don't move. Absolutely necessary if you have a heavy gunline or want to max out bolterspam.
  • Adaptive Strategy (2 CP): As long as the warlord is alive, a <chapter> core unit can pick which doctrine is active for them without regard to what turn it is.
  • Suppression Fire (2 CP): Use in your shooting phase. A Whirlwind that did not move may fire a second time, but it can only shoot with weapons that can target units out of the firer's sight. So basically, their main weapon; nothing says it can ONLY fire at targets out of sight.
  • Terror Troops (2 CP): One Reiver unit has their aura now deny enemies from capping an objective at all. In addition, if an enemy unit move within and they end up 3" of the enemy, they need to roll a 2d6; if the roll is below their Leadership score, then the enemy can't move.
  • Guerilla Tactics (2 CP): A Phobos unit that's more than 6" away from any enemies can jump right back into strategic reserves. Expect to use this a lot more with Reivers.
  • Orbital Bombardment (3 CP, Single Use): 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, +1 if the unit's within 3" of the point). On a 4+, it takes D3 mortal wounds. RIP Linebreaker.
  • Auspex Scan (2 CP): When an enemy unit comes in from reserves within 12" of one of your Infantry units, your unit can shoot at it but with a -1BS penalty. It might pay off to keep Devastators/Hellblasters around, as deepstriking Termies can survive hurried bolter fire, and this "emergency" strat can be an unforeseen expense for your relatively-small army.
  • Tremor Shells (1 CP): At the start of your shooting phase, when a Thunderfire cannon shoots, subtract 1 from the wound rolls, but as long as it hits, the target unit gets half move, advance, and charge distances their next turn. Doesn't affect Fly or Titanic units.
  • Shock and Awe (1 CP): When a Land Speeder Storm or a unit with shock grenades shoots, you either force an enemy within 6" to take a -1 to any attacks that turn or be unable to shoot overwatch or set up defense.
  • Assault Launchers (1 CP): When a unit with assault launchers charges, an enemy within 9" either suffers d3 MWs or takes -1 to hit for the turn and be unable to fire overwatch or set to defend.
  • Melta Bomb (1 CP): During the fight phase against a Vehicle, one model with a melta bomb can sacrifice their attacks to make one hit roll. If it hits, that vehicle takes 2d3 MWs.
  • Grav Pulse (1 CP): Only usable to units with a Repulsor Field with one of two options: If your unit fell back, they can still shoot. If the unit is charged by an enemy, they suffer a -2 to their charge roll.
  • Hellfire Shells (1 CP): Instead of shooting normally, a Space Marine Infantry model (with a heavy bolter) rolls only once to hit. If it hits, it does D3 mortal wounds, maxing out against a monster. Try to get +BS or rerolls and stand still so that you don't miss the shot.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): When an Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Aircraft, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do D3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Like Hellfire Shells, Salamanders can get some extra mileage from this with the free re-roll, though it no longer seems to have a use against tau battlesuits or jump packs.
  • Smokescreen (1 CP): If a unit with a smokescreen is shot, they can pop their smoke and force the enemy targeting them to take a -1 to hit them.

Dark Angels Exclusive[edit]

With the incoming Supplement, Dark Angels now have new stratagems for 9th Edition.

  • Wrath of the Lion (2CP): Used in the Command Phase if a combat doctrine's active in your army. Until your next Command Phase, each time a Dark Angels unit in your army makes an attack with a weapon specified by the active doctrine, unmodified wound rolls of 6 improve the AP characteristic of that weapon by 1 (for example, a 6 to wound makes a Bolt Rifle AP-3 in the Tactical Doctrine). Bit pricy, a bit situational and a bit unreliable for consistent use, unfortunately.
  • Intractable (2CP): Use this Stratagem in the Movement Phase when a Dark Angels unit is selected to fall back. Until the end of the turn, that unit is eligible to shoot. In addition, if they're Inner Circle they automatically pass the Ld test to fall back. Good for big stuff that has no place in combat, such as a Land Raider.
  • Deathwing Assault (1CP): Used in the Shooting Phase. If a Deathwing Unit was set up on the Battlefield that turn, add 1 to wound rolls with attacks made with ranged weapons. Well, RIP shooting twice, although now your standard Storm Bolters are now wounding other T4 Infantry on 3s and anything less that T8 on 4s. Pretty solid overall.
  • Full Throttle (1/2CP): Used in the Movement phase when a Ravenwing unit advances. It make a Normal Move of up to 12" but cannot shoot or declare a charge that turn. Costs 1CP with a unit of 5 models or fewer, 2CP with 6+ models. Useful to grab last minute objectives if there's nothing good to shoot at.
  • Line Unbreakable (1CP): Use this Stratagem at the start of the Fight Phase. Select one Dark Angels Infantry unit from your army. Until the end of that phase, that unit can only be selected as a target for melee attacks if the attacking model is within Engagement Range of the unit. This one's interesting. It forces only models in base contact to attack, can't get attacks from the second line of an assault. Use this to stymie hordes of Tyranids, Daemons, and Orks.
  • High-Speed Focus (1CP): Use this Stratagem in your opponent's Shooting phase when you allocate a ranged attack to a Ravenwing Vehicle model in your army. Until the start of your next turn, that model has a 4+ invuln against ranged attacks. Makes your Ravenwing like Knights. Great use on something such as the Darkshroud to help keep it alive and doing its whack stuff.
  • No Foe Too Great to Subdue (2CP): Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase, when a Deathwing Knight unit is chosen to fight. Add 1 to the attack's wound roll and improve the AP by 1 when targeting enemy vehicles or Monsters.
  • Marked for Command (1CP): Use this Stratagem before the Battle. Select one Ravenwing Huntmaster or Knight Master model or a Dark Angels model in your army that has the word Sergeant in their profile. That model can have the Master-crafted Weapon, Digital Weapons, Atonement or Bolts of Judgement relic. Each relic must be unique, and you cannot use this stratagem to give a model two relics. You can only use this Stratagem once. Give a Sergeant with a Power Fist Master-crafted Weapon for a "budget" Thunderhammer. Or, give a Knight Master's Flail of the Unforgiven flat 3 damage that can overspill.
  • Paragon of the chapter (1CP): Obligatory extra Warlord Trait stratagem for a single non-named character in your army. This stratagem can only be used once.
  • Honoured by the Rock (1CP): Obligatory "give a Successor Chapter access to a Dark Angels relic" stratagem. Can only be used once.
  • Tactical Appraisal (1CP): Used in the Command Phase. Pick a single Dark Angels unit within 6" of your warlord. Change that unit's combat doctrine to any one of your choice for that turn.
  • The Hunt (2/3CP): Use this Stratagem at the start of the first battle round, but before the first turn begins. Select one Ravenwing unit from your army. That unit can make a Normal move as if it were your Movement phase, but cannot end that move within 9" of an enemy unit. 2CP if the unit contains 5 or fewer models, 3CP for a unit of 6+ models.
  • Targeting Guidance (2CP): Used in the shooting phase. Select a single enemy unit within 18" of a Ravenwing Land Speeder or Ravenwing Storm Speeder unit in your army. Until the end of the phase, friendly Dark Angels units in your army get +1 to hit rolls when targeting that unit. Strictly weaker than its past incarnation which let you re-roll hit rolls period against it.
  • Swift Strike (2/3CP): Use this Stratagem in the Fight Phase after a Ravenwing unit from your army has fought. If that unit is within Engagement range of an enemy unit, it may immediately make a Fall Back move as if they were in the movement phase. Otherwise they make make a normal move as if it were the Movement phase. 2CP for a unit of 5 or fewer models, 3CP for a unit of 6+ models. Really milking the speed of the Ravenwing here, and just like ther other ones, it certainly has its usefulness.
  • Secret Agenda (1CP): Use this Stratagem after selecting Secondary Objectives or Agendas. Do not reveal one of your selections to your opponent. The first time you score VP or experience points for it, reveal it to your opponent. Note that you must still have a record of YOUR objectives.
  • Stasis Shell (2CP): Use this stratagem in the Shooting Phase when a Ravenwing model in your army shoots with its Ravenwing Grenade Launcher. You can only make 1 attack with that weapon. If it hits, the target is caught in stasis and until the start of your next turn. While a unit (excluding vehicle and Monster units) is caught in stasis, it cannot fall back. This is critical for locking units in with your Deathwing.
  • Weapons From The Dark Age (2CP): Use this stratagem in the shooting phase. Add 1 to the damage characteristic of a unit's plasma weapons. Bit more expensive that its previous incarnation but still as useful as ever. Black Knights, Hellblasters, even the Vengeance, juts be careful of its CP cost if you overuse it.

Warlord Traits[edit]

We now have six unique warlord traits.

  1. Brilliant Strategist: During command phase, select one DARK ANGELS unit within 6" of the warlord. Until the next command phase, this unit now acts as if it's in the Devastator Doctrine (if you're in Tactical Doctrine) or the Tactical Doctrine (if you're in the Assault Doctrine) when making attacks.
  2. Fury of the Lion (Aura): When a friendly DARK ANGELS unit within 6" of the Warlord makes a charge move, is charged, or heroically intervenes, add 1 to the strength characteristic of that unit.
  3. Calibanite Knight: Each time the Warlord makes a melee attack against an INFANTRY or BIKER unit, an unmodified wound roll of 2+ is always successful. Move over Blood Angels, we got a new Smash Captain here.
  4. Stubborn Tenacity: Once per battle if the warlord loses their final wound, they are immediately set back up with one wound until the start of the next turn or the end of the battle (whichever comes first). Any excess wounds they receive when they should have lost their final wound are lost.
  5. Decisive Tactician (Aura): When a friendly DARK ANGELS CORE unit is within 6" of the warlord, add 1 to advance and charge rolls made for that unit.
  6. Honour of the First Legion: The Warlord may Heroically Intervene if it's within 6" horizontally and 5" vertically of an enemy unit.
  1. Watched: Once per battle in the psychic phase, the warlord can automatically deny a single enemy power regardless of whether or not he's in 24" denial range. Pretty good overall WT when facing psychic heavy armies like Chaos Daemons, Grey Knights and Tyranids. The unlimited range allows you to deny crucial powers like miasma of pestilence on Mortarion, or more critically delay the Psychic Ritual secondary objective.
  2. Inexorable: Each time an attack is allocated to the Warlord, subtract 1 from the Damage characteristic (to a minimum of 1) for that attack. Belial starts with this one. A warlord that can only be wounded on a 4+, subtracting 1 from the damage characteristic of attacks coming his way? Throw the shroud of heroes on a Terminator Captain with Relic Blade for a budget version of Belial the Unsmackable.
  1. Lightning-Fast Reactions: Each time an attack is made against this Warlord, subtract 1 from that attack's hit roll. Decent protection, but the Shroud of Heroes does the exact same thing.
  2. Master of Manoeuvre: This Warlord is eligible to shoot OR charge the turn it falls back. Sammael starts with this one. Harsh downgrade from its 6th-8th edition incarnation that was a 6" re-roll run/advance and charge aura. Interestingly it lets Sammael pull off his old falling back and shooting trick that the Fly keyword granted him in 8th edition.
  1. Fear Made Manifest (Aura): Enemy units within 6" suffer -1Ld and -1 to Combat Attrition Tests.
    • Can be combined with other Ld debuffs to make a leadership bomb, but even on its own losing people on a 5+ Combat Attrition roll already means losing 1/3rd of the unit, or half of it when understrength.
  2. The Imperium's Sword: What Smash Captains are made of. Warlord gains +1S and +1A when he charges or Heroically Intervenes, and rerolls failed charge rolls. The bonus attack stacks with Shock Assault.
  3. Iron Resolve: What Smashfuckers are made of. Warlord gains +1W, and can ignore wounds on a 6. Not dying is nice, and it's better the more wounds your character has.
  4. Champion of Humanity: Warlord gains +1A if an enemy Character is within 1", and gains +1 to hit and wound rolls against Characters within 1".
    • Remember, you don't have to attack the Character to gain +1A, you just need to be within 1".
  5. Storm of Fire (Aura): Wound rolls of unmodified 6 made by and <Chapter> Core unit within 6" gains an additional point of AP. This does not stack with Combat Doctrines.
    • Since light weapons with high rates of fire are often cheaper than stronger, single-shot ones, this Warlord Trait can allow a detachment to pull its weight even at low point limits. Furthermore, it's easy for them to synergize with your Warlord because many are Infantry or Transports that can accompany him. While mechanized and Biker lists are shooty, Bolter Discipline means bolt-using units from this list are no longed forced to move into rapid fire range.
  6. Rites of War (Aura): Friendly <CHAPTER> Core and <CHAPTER> Character units within 6" gain Objective Secured.

Available only to Phobos characters, aka the tacticool Captain, Lieutenant, and Librarian found in the Shadowspear box. Chaplains can suck it because yelling catechisms isn't stealthy and Tech Marines haven't yet learned whatever trick the Helix Adepts are using to fix broken things quietly, so they can suck it, too.

  1. Shoot and Fade: After one <chapter> phobos unit within 6" of the warlord shoots, They can move or advance but can't charge.
    • Imperial stealthy Jump-Shoot-Jump baby! Break LoS and avoid retaliation. That way your Infiltrator/Incursor squads can keep up with your Eliminators, the first dashing in and out of LoS while the later shoot without visual contact with complete impunity.
  2. Lord of Deceit: After both sides deploy, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> Phobos units present on the battlefield or put them into reserve for no CP.
    • Results depend on the mental games you can play on your enemy - it's not going to be a surprise to your opponent, but being able to make corrections after your enemy's cemented his choice instead of being part of the simultaneous deployment process can be an amazing benefit, and one that Eldar pay 2CP for.
    • Bear in mind, this trait now goes off after deployment, which means you haven't yet rolled off for first turn.
  3. Master of the Vanguard (Aura): Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6" of the Warlord gain +1" to their move, advance, fall back, and charge distances. Useful to Reivers or charging out of Deep Strike, pairs well with the Chapter Tactic Hungry for Battle as well as several characters.
  4. Stealth Adept: Can't be targeted by ranged attacks unless he is the closest target. Protects from snipers or if you find yourself with just one of two guys from your accompanying squad left. Often get more mileage on your Phobos Librarian trying to get off their close range power.
  5. Target Priority: Select a friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 6" in the Command phase. Until the start of your next Command phase, that unit gets +1 to hit. And he doesn't have to give up his shooting either. Now all those pointy finger models have found their worth!
    • Less helpful for Eliminators now they have BS2+, but could be used to negate cover penalties. Doesn't affect Infiltrators' automatic wounds as they only happen on an unmodified 6.
  6. Marksman Honours: +1D to all of the Warlord's guns, but not grenades or relics. Completely wasted on a Librarian or Lieutenant, but bumps the Phobos Captain's Instigator Bolt Carbine to an eye-watering D4.

Psychic Powers[edit]

In addition to Smite, you have access to a faction-specific table of powers. The Librarius Discipline has power for pretty much every situation, but they're mostly niche enough that it's difficult deciding upfront which powers to take. The Phobos Librarian-exclusive Obscuration Discipline focusses on messing with movement and dice rolls at the cost of mortal wound output.

Your Dark Angel and Successor specific psychic discipline.

  1. Mind Worm (WC6): An enemy unit within 12" of the Psyker takes a mortal wound and is forced to fight last until your next Psychic phase and must wait until all other units have taken their turn. Not bad.
  2. Aversion (WC6): An enemy unit within 24" must subtract 1 from all their To-Hit rolls until the next psychic phase. In addition, if that unitnis within 6" of the psyker who cast this power, models in that unit also suffer -1 to their attacks characteristic. Argubly their best power before and it got buffed in the edition transition. Unfortunately, gone are the days of pairing this with the Darkshroud but a -1 to hit on the opponent is never a bad thing.
  3. Righteous Repugnance (WC7): 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? Works wonderfully with the +1S warlord trait, and it lasts until your next psychic phase.
  4. Trephination (WC5): The closest enemy unit within 18" and line of sight of the Psyker suffers D3 mortal wounds. If the result of the psychic test was greater than the leadership of the enemy unit, that unit suffers 3 mortal wounds instead. Better Smite essentially. When you already get smite as a standard power, it does raise the question as to whether it's worth taking this over other really great powers although if you need a way to rack up mortal wounds, then this gets the job done.
  5. Engulfing Fear (WC7): Be careful who you call ugly in middle school. Select one enemy unit within 24" of the Psyker. Until your next psychic phase, it takes -1 to its Leadership characteristic, loses any ObSec abilities it has, and if the result of the psychic test was equal to or above the unit's Leadership characteristic, it cannot perform actions and auto-fails any current actions it's performing. Way better than the total joke it was before and now actually has really good use for shutting down units in objective games
  6. Mind Wipe (WC7): If manifested, select one enemy unit within 18" of the Psyker and select one aura ability that unit has. Until the start of your next psychic phase, that unit loses that ability. Great against units that heavily rely on their aura, especially defensive ones, giving you an easier time to deal with them later in your turn.

General-use powers for Marines. Depending on your <Chapter> they may not have the greatest synergy but still fairly useful with many melee and close range blessing.

  1. Veil of Time (WC6, Blessing): Select one <CHAPTER> unit within 18". Until the start of the next Psychic Phase, that unit re-rolls charge and advance rolls, and always fights first.
    • 9" charges are still below a 50% chance at 47.84%, although you can combine it with a CP re-roll. If you can find a source for +1" to charge distances, your odds rise to 65.97%.
  2. Might Of Heroes (WC6, Blessing): Select one <CHAPTER> CORE or CHARACTER model within 12". That model gains +1S, +1T, and +1A.
    • An awesome power for your beatstick models. Dreadnought CHARACTER's will love this, as well as Chaplains buffed by Mantra of Strength. Sergeants kitted for melee are also viable models to buff.
  3. Null Zone (WC7, Blessing): Until the start of your next Psychic Phase, ALL units within 6" can't take invulnerable saves, and enemies cut the results of their Psychic Tests in half.
    • Obviously most powerful against enemies that depend on their invulnerable saves or psychic powers (Harlequins, Hive Tyrants, Daemons, for example). Less effective against heavily armoured units (Terminators, Wraith Guard, Mega-Nobz). Don't be afraid to advance into position and let other things do the murder work for you.
    • IMPORTANT REMINDER: This affects ALL invulnerable saves on ALL units in range, even yours. Don't use with your own storm shield units in range.
  4. Psychic Scourge (WC6, Witchfire): Select one visible enemy unit within 18" of the caster. The caster and the target unit roll off and add their units Ld to the result. The target suffers d3 mortal wounds if your score is higher, one mortal wound if the score is equal, or nothing if your score is lower.
    • Less powerful than smite, but it's better for sniping Characters since it isn't restricted to the closest enemy unit. Best used in combination with something that inflicts a Ld penalty to the target or a Leadership bonus to the caster, if you brought any.
  5. Fury of the Ancients (WC7, Witchfire): Select one visible enemy model within 18" and draw a line from any part of the casters base to any part of the targets base. the caster to that model. The target unit and each enemy unit this line passes through suffers one mortal wound.
  6. Psychic Fortress (WC6, Blessing): <CHAPTER> units within 6" gain a 5++ invulnerable save. Just awesome due to the lack of restrictions allowing even your Land Raiders to gain this buff.

These powers can only be used by Phobos Librarians. They don't do much damage, but god damn can they fuck with your enemy. They'll only buff Phobos units, so no combo-ing with Aggressors.

  1. Shrouding (WC6, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of the next Psychic Phase, enemies can only shoot that unit if they're the closest eligible target. Protects from snipers, but not enemy psychic powers.
  2. Soul Sight (WC6, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of your next psychic phase, that unit re-rolls all failed hits when using their ranged weapons and their ranged attacks ignore enemy cover save bonuses.
  3. Mind Raid (WC6, Witchfire):: Select a visible enemy unit within 18". It takes a mortal wound and if the power targeted a character, roll 3d6. If the result is greater than or equal to the target's Ld, you get a free Command Point! Remember the limit on 1CP gained per battle round though, not a power to use if you have a Relic or Warlord Trait that also refunds CP.
  4. Hallucination (WC6, Malediction): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". They suffer -1Ld and -1 to all hit rolls until your next turn.
  5. Tenebrous Curse (WC7, Malediction): Select a visible enemy unit within 18" that does not have the Fly keyword. It takes a mortal wound, their move distance is halved, and suffer -2 to their advance and charge distances. Effectively pin one Death Guard unit in their half of the board.
  6. Temporal Corridor (WC5, Blessing): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 6". It can make a normal move or advance as if it was the Movement Phase, and if it advances it adds 6" to their move rather than rolling. However, the unit cannot shoot or fight this turn. Great repositioning tool at the cost of damage output.

Litanies of Battle[edit]

Litanies happen in your Command Phase, going off on a 3+. Like psychic powers, each litany can only be cast once per turn, no matter how many Chaplains know it. Deep Striking and passenger Chaplains are a touch less-useful on their first turn, as they arrive AFTER their casting window. There is the 2CP Commanding Oratory stratagem that can be used to cast a litany in any phase if the Chaplain has not already cast one this turn.

Litany of Hate: Default prayer, 6" aura of re-rolling all melee hit rolls (not just misses) for your <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Stronger now that the Chapter Master's Aura has been reigned in.

  1. Litany of Faith: 6" Aura of ignoring mortal wounds on a 5+ for friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Not cumulative with other rules, as per usual.
  2. Catechism of Fire: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6" to gain +1 to the wound rolls when "resolving a shooting attack" against the closest enemy unit, meaning it affects Overwatch, too.
    • You're already accurate, so you'll get the most out of +1 to wound rolls from units that hit often but not hard; Intercessors with auto bolt rifles, Flamer Veterans, and Aggressors.
  3. Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6". They get +1 to their wound rolls in melee. Very strong (unless you're the Blood Angels of course). This is often worse than the default Litany of Hate. If you're hitting on a 3+ or worse and wounding on a 4+ or better (e.g. most attacks with fists, hammers, lightning claws, and power weapons), use Litany of Hate. If you're hitting on a 2+ or wounding on a 5+, use Exhortation of Rage. Of course, a Master of Sanctity can use both.
  4. Mantra of Strength: The casting Chaplain gains +1S and +1A, and one melee weapon gains +1D.
    • Smash Chaplain is a viable build. Combine it with the Benediction of Fury (WS2+, S7, AP-2, D4) or a powerfist (WS3+, S9, AP-3, D3). Add Warlord Traits, stratagems, doctrines, and psychic powers as you can afford and be bothered with.
  5. Recitation of Focus: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6" to gain +1 to their hit rolls when shooting.
    • While +1 to hit is better than a Captain's re-roll, this alone isn't a replacement for it (since it has a 1/3 chance to fail, affects single unit and doesn't work in melee or when the chaplain doesn't start on the field). Instead, it's better used when a unit cares about +1 to hit beyond improving BS by 1. If you just want a second HQ to support a gun-line bring a Lieutenant instead.
  6. Canticle of Hate: Non-cumulative 6" aura of +2" to charge distances and +3" to pile in and consolidation moves. In all cases, the friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit in question has to be within the aura by the time the move is made - the consolidate move especially will often not happen unless the Chaplain also made his charge.
    • Amazing for those who can re-roll charge distances, increasing the odds of a successful 9" charge up to 85% (58.3% for non-rerolling lads).
    • Do keep in mind the Chaplain has to be on the field at the beginning of the battle round to cast his litany. A Jump Pack or Biker Chaplain is fast enough, but if you are patient, you can use an Impulsor or Drop Pod to get him in position in the first turn and use the Litany for your deep strikers in the second turn.

Space Marine Armoury[edit]

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Astartes Chainsword: SU, AP-1, D1, +1A. As of 9E, all Space Marine chainswords get AP-1 on top of the extra attack, making them even better against lightly armoured hordes while also giving them a little utility against tougher foes.
  • Lightning Claws: SU, AP-2, D1, re-roll failed wound rolls and +1A. This will outperform all other 1 damage melee weapons against any target (except T8-9 with a 2+ or 3+, where the power sword wins, but why are you picking D1 weapons for those). Your best bet for mulching single-wound hordes.
    • RAW: "Each time the bearer fights, it makes 1 additional attack with this weapon". Exactly the same as the Chainsword, this should be interpreted as +1A for one claw, +2A for two claws.
  • Power Weapons: Each type of power weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. Unless you have the option for a lightning claw, then you should always take that instead.
    • Power Axe: S+2, AP-2, D1. Offers a compromise between the maul's strength and the sword's armour penetration.
    • Power Maul/Power Lance: S+3, AP-1, D1. This is the one you want to use against lightly armoured units that rely on toughness to shrug off hits. The lance is identical to the maul because of reasons.
    • Power Sword: S+1, AP-3, D1. Best against targets that rely on armour saves over toughness to shrug off hits. Except against frail things with good invulnerable saves like Crusaders, who ignore AP anyway.
  • Powerfist: Sx2, AP-3, D2, -1 to hit rolls. Good against everything, cost-effective, and very common to find.
  • Thunder Hammer: Sx2, AP-2, D3, -1 to hit rolls. A powerfist that trades 1 point of AP for an extra point of damage. The extra damage could mean the difference between one-shotting a Custodian Guard/Aggressor/Terminator or getting a guardian spear/powerfist in the face. When you have a thunder hammer/storm shield-Captain with Jump Pack, every enemy model begins to look like a nail. BUT, at typically twice the cost of a powerfist, it's not worth ditching up to three extra special or heavy weapons just to squeeze out a few extra points of damage. Still quite viable on everything that isn't a Character at least, so feel free to spam with Terminators or Vanguards.
  • Chainfist: Sx2, AP-4, Dd3, -1 to hit rolls, becomes D3 against Vehicles. A Terminator-only weapon. Marginally better than a powerfist against other highly-armoured models that lack an invulnerable save, and strictly better against Vehicles. Costs the same as a powerfist, so trading the fist's reliable damage for better AP could be worth it.
  • Relic Blade: S+3, AP-3, D2. Available to Company Masters. It has a good comparison to the powerfist; Ignoring S bonuses or wound-roll buffs, the powerfists bumps you to S8, whereas this takes you to S7. This only matters against T4, T7, and T8 targets, as you go from wounding on a 2+/3+/4+ respectively to a 3+/4+/5+. A decent option if you have no extra CP for melee relics.


  • Boltgun: You know what a bolter is, but if you somehow forgot it's 24", rapid fire 1, S4, AP0, D1.
    • Combi-Weapon: A boltgun taped to a special weapon (plasma, flamer, melta, grav). Check below for the special weapon profiles. You can fire one of the weapons at full BS, or both with a -1 to hit rolls. Note that combi-flamers don't care for no BS.
    • Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter: A boltgun taped to another boltgun. Cheap as chips rapid fire 2 boltgun, typically seen on Bikers and Terminators, also available as upgrades on most of your vehicles. Their abundance, the majority of bearers ability to go fast (Bikers) or Deep Strike (Terminators), and Bolter Discipline means you should usually be getting four shots per turn with this weapon.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer: 12", assault D6, S4, AP0, D1, automatically hits. 9th edition has been good to all flame weapons, boosting their range from 8" to 12". A classic anti-horde option, at least it's cheap.
    • While they DO auto-hit airborne units with Hard-To-Hit, don't bother; they're too tough and armoured.
  • Meltagun: 12", assault 1, S8, AP-4, Dd6, +2D if you're within half range of the target for a potential of 8D (5.5D average). Good against anything with lots of wounds, be they Vehicles, Monsters, or even heavy Infantry. **At 12" range supercharged plasma is better (but riskier) however, and this gun is more expensive, so you really should try and get into half range. While you can advance to close the gap, it is convenient that the unit's other weapons are assault weapons as well.
  • Grav Gun: 18", rapid fire 1, S5, AP-3, D1, becomes D2 against targets with Sv3+ or better. Against most Vehicles, MEQ's, and TEQ's, this is a safer plasma weapon at the cost of less S and the same amount of pts.
  • Plasma Gun: 24", rapid fire 1, S7, AP-3, D1. Their gimmick is having a safe profile and supercharged profile, which gives them +1S and +1D at the risk of killing the bearer on a hit roll of unmodified 1. Sticking close to a Captain can mitigate this risk.

Pistol Weapons[edit]

Pistol weapons are equivalent to their bigger brethren, with different ranges and weapon types. Other than that, S, AP, D, and unique rules are the same.

  • Bolt Pistol: 12" and pistol 1. One of the most common weapons in the Space Marine armoury and available on most things as either an option or as part of their wargear. Just don't forget it exists and that you can fire it in melee.
    • Heavy Bolt Pistol: 18", pistol 1, S4, AP-1, D1. Primaris-only, as the Firstborn don't have the wrist strength to hold them.
  • Grav Pistol: 12" and pistol 1.
  • Plasma Pistol: 12" and pistol 1.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

  • Heavy Bolter: 36", heavy 3, S5, AP-1, D2. A solid choice for taking down light-medium Infantry, if one that tends to be overshadowed at times by the assault cannon and heavy flamer.
    • They can quickly raise the cost of your army due to their huge availability, so be a bit cautious about spamming against armies that are not mainly 2W.
    • Hellfire Shell is a unique stratagem that can be used on Infantry-carried heavy bolters; instead of shooting normally, make a single hit roll that deals d3 mortal wounds. Make the most of this with re-roll auras or Devastator Sergeant Signums.
  • Heavy Flamer: 12", heavy d6, S5, AP-1, D1, auto-hits. More effective against armoured targets than its smaller brother, but cannot be fired after advancing. Can be found on Dreadnoughts, Terminators, and Sternguard Veterans.
  • Multi-Melta: A 24" and heavy 2 meltagun, meaning you can't run with it, but can shoot in melta range out of a deep strike, now fulfilling the role of Drop Pod threat-removal.
  • Plasma Cannon: 36", heavy d3, and blast effectively means the same shots as a plasma gun, but from 36" away instead of 12" and better against infantry. You need to be careful when you supercharge, due to the sheer cost of this weapon.
  • Grav-Cannon: 30" range and heavy 4 grav-gun. Akin to a heavier heavy bolter to deal with bigger targets.
    • A unit with grav-cannons will become a serious target for your opponent, so consider sticking them in a Transport of any flavour so they can't be Basilisk'ed off the table turn 1.
  • Lascannon: 48", heavy 1, S9, AP-3, Dd6. Your primary long-range anti-vehicle weapon, and is as common as the heavy bolter.
  • Missile Launcher: Can fire either frag missiles (48" and heavy d6 bolter shots with blast), or a krak missile with (48", heavy 1, S8, AP-2, Dd6). Not quite as good as an assault cannon, heavy bolter, or lascannon in regards to dealing with Infantry and Monsters/Vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles.
    • Similar to heavy bolters, this weapon has a unique stratagem. Flakk Missile deals d3 MW's as well, but only against Aircraft targets.
    • Hunter-Killer Missile: A single-use 72", heavy 1, S10, AP-2, Dd6 missile for 5pts, just in case you didn't have enough anti-tank. The vast majority of your ground-based non-Dreadnought Vehicles can have one. Ironclad Dreadnoughts can take two, and Leviathans can have three.
  • Assault Cannon: 24", heavy 6, S6, AP-1, D1. Haha minigun go brrrt. Not hard to find, available as a Terminator heavy weapon and Dreadnought option. Twin-linked variety is on Razorbacks, Land Speeders, Land Raiders, and most Aircraft.
    • Onslaught Gatling Cannon: 24", heavy 8, S5, AP-1, D1. Found on multiple Primaris armoured platforms as a secondary weapon, and puts the hurt on infantry.
    • Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon: 30", heavy 12, S6, AP-1, D1. Mounted on Redemptor Dreadnoughts, Repulsors, and Gladiators, the bigger brother of the onslaught cannon that does everything better.
  • Ironhail Heavy Stubber: 36", heavy 4, S4, AP-1, D1. A weird GW trend of putting stubbers on the hover tanks, but better than a storm bolter or the Imperial Guard heavy stubber.
    • Icarus Ironhail Heavy Stubber: As above with +1 to hit Aircraft. Realistically too weak to actually deal damage to Aircraft however.
  • Fragstorm Grenade Launcher: 18", assault d6, S4, AP0, D1, blast. Boltstorm Aggressors come with one, the Redemptor Dreadnought can swap their two storm bolters for two of these, and they can also be found on most of the Primaris tanks (the repulsor can have a whopping five).


If your Warlord is a Space Marine Character, you can give one Character a Relic, absolutely free. Weapon Relics can only be taken by a unit that can take the weapon it's based on and you have to pay for the base weapon (e.g. a Terminator Captain does not have access to a chainsword and thus cannot take the Teeth of Terra). The Relic of the Chapter Stratagem can be used for extra relics, number depending on the size of the game.

Named Characters and vehicles cannot be given a Relic. But, if you're banking on a Ravenwing Talonmaster the Supplement specifies whether or not the Talonmaster can take a given relic.

  • Mace of Redemption: Replaces a Power Maul or Crozius Arcanum. Sx2, AP-3, D2. Each time an attack is made against HERETICUS ASTARTES or FALLEN units, unmodified wound rolls of 4+ inflict 2 Mortal Wounds and the attack sequence ends.
    • Now it can be taken on all Chaplains thanks to it being eligible to replace a Crozius for.
    • S9 with Fury of the Lion WLT, according to pg 203 of the rulebook under "Modifying Characteristics": multiplication is applied BEFORE addition. But you're taking Imperiums Sword WLT for a Smashlain, with Mantra of Strength for S10 AP-3 D3.
  • The Eye of the Unseen: Gives the unit the Fear (Aura) ability. Enemy units within 6" suffer -1 to their leadership characteristic. And if an Enemy Character is within Engagement Range of the bearer, they are not eligible to fight until all other units from your army have done so. Talonmasters are eligible to take this relic.
  • Shroud of Heroes: All attacks against the bearer suffer -1 to hit rolls. Talonmasters are not eligible to take this relic. However, Biker Captains are legal in Ravenwing lists now. Go ahead, take this relic on him with a Power Sword and Calibanite Knight warlord trait to make Captain MurderRavenwing.
    • This doesn't stack with Ravenwing Darkshrouds. If you can afford a Darkshroud and are a Ravenwing main, use that instead.
  • Foe-Smiter: Replaces a Storm Bolter. 24" Assault 4 S5 AP-1 D2. While there are less units that can take Foe-Smiter, its superior to the Primarchs Wrath because it doesn't need Bolter Discipline to do full damage at range. Also a better choice than Lion's Roar, as that has to be at 18 to get the most out of it and comes with a crap load of army restrictions.(i.e. no Fallen cannon fodder). Like other relic weapons Foe-Smiter does get boosts from Grim Resolve. Best used on a Deathwing character or Techmarine with a Servo Harness.
  • Pennant of Remembrance: Deathwing Ancient only. Select a single friendly Deathwing Infantry within 6" of the bearer during the Command Phase. Subtract 1 from the Damage Characteristic of attacks allocated to that unit.
    • The loss of the aura specification and the FNP is painful, but enemies will have to throw attacks that do 4 points of damage to reliably kill Deathwing Terminators. Throw in a Deathwing Chief Apothecary if you want the FNP shenanigans.
  • Reliquary of the Repentant: Ravenwing Biker only. An Aura ability that forces enemy units with 4++ or better within 3" to have 5++ instead. This makes it great against units with good Invuln Saves (Absolute fun against Archon and Guilliman with their 3++), while doing nothing to those who already have 5++ or worse.
  • Cup of Retribution: A new relic for 9th. Chaplain model only. Once per battle, the Chaplain can recite the Feast of Malediction Litany instead of reciting a Litany that it knows. Do not roll to see if it's inspiring, it is automatically inspiring.
    • Feast of Malediction: While a friendly DARK ANGELS CORE unit is within 6" of the PRIEST, add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of that unit.

If you have a Dark Angel Successor Chapter, these are the only Dark Angel "Relics" you have access to without a stratagem.

  • Adamantine Mantle: When this model loses a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+, the wound isn’t lost. Not that great in an army with access to so many rolls to negate wounds.
  • Artificer Armour: Gives a model a 2+ armour save and a 5++ invulnerable save. This can allow your Characters to survive much more, especially Librarians which need to sacrifice a cast and a power slot to get a 5+ invulnerable. Best put on a model with a decent amount of wounds but no invulnerable (Librarians, Lieutenants, and Ancients).
  • Master-Crafted Weapon: Give a weapon +1D. Good on a thunder hammer for D4 or on weapons with variable damage (force weapons and chainfists) to guarantee at least 2D.
  • Digital Weapons: When you fight, you make one extra attack that scores a mortal wound if it hits. Not terrible, but your Characters are pretty much renown for how hard they punch stuff. It's better to invest relics in durability or supporting other troops. Can be given to a Ravenwing Talonmaster, even though they're a Vehicle.
  • Heavenfall Blade: Replaces a Power Sword, Master crafted Power Sword, Relic Blade, or Executioner's relic Blade. S+2 AP-4 D2, and models armed with the Heavenfall Blade can make an additional attack with the weapon Chainsword style. Talonmasters are eligible to take this relic, and honestly? They should probably take it.
  • Arbiter's Gaze: Bearers attacks always hits on a 2+ including overwatch. Can be given to a Ravenwing Talonmaster, even though they're a Vehicle. Toss-up between this and the Heavenfall Blade above for the TM's best relic.
  • Atonement: Replaces a Plasma Pistol. 18" S9 AP-4 D3. Doesn't overheat. You have better relic options, even if it never overheats and does a flat 3 damage.
  • Bolts of Judgement: The Dark Angel special bolt ammo. Make a single hit roll with a bolt weapon at AP-2 and D3, that wounds on a 2+ (6s required for vehicles and monsters). Can be given to a Ravenwing Talonmaster, even though they're a Vehicle.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Primaris Captain: Unique to the Dark Angels, your Primaris Captain has the option to swap their master-crafted auto bolt rifle for a special issue carbine (24", assault 2, S4, AP-2, D2), which is a great in-between of the MC auto bolter and the MC stalker bolter. You lose the optional master-crafted power sword, (no you don’t) but you can take a regular powerfist instead if you like.
  • Terminator Captain: Gains the Deathwing keyword.
  • Captain on Bike: Gains the Ravenwing keyword.
  • Primaris Lieutenant: Another Dark Angel specific weapon option, you can replace his stock bolt pistol for a plasma pistol. Give you a bit more oomph if you're going for the sword and sidearm gear, but why haven't you taken the MC power sword, storm shield, and volkite pistol?
  • Librarian: All flavours of Librarian gain the Deathwing keyword. Doesn't matter if they're the sneaky beaky Phobos or the curb-stomping Terminator.
  • Terminator Chaplain: Gains the Deathwing keyword.
  • Primaris Chaplain on Bike: Gains the Ravenwing keyword. This can be used for some real neat tricks, namely using the +1 BS modifier on Black Knights to make full use of their Plasma Talons and the Stasis Shell strategy, or making sure your charges go off as planned with the Canticle of Hate. The Jink rule is rather useless on him, sadly. Make him the Master of Sanctity, have him know Canticle of Hate and either Mantra of Strength or Exhortation of Rage - Recitation of Focus is also viable. Very good with Outriders if you're able to charge with the Exhortation of Rage, and even stronger with Litany of Hate on top of that - who doesn't want 16 attacks rerolling to hit and adding +1 to their to wound? With a bunch of Black Knights with Corvus Hammers, those rerolls to hit will help maximize the amount of MEQ you mulch on the charge.
  • Interrogator-Chaplain: Has all the usual Chaplain things; Rosarius, Crozius, Spiritual Leader, and Litanies. Costs 5pts more, but that gets you the Inner Circle rule and Keyword, the Deathwing Keyword, A4, W5, and Aura of Dread (enemy units within 6" count as being below half strength).

Wargear-wise, you can swap your bolt pistol for a weapon on the pistol, combi-weapon, or melee weapon lists, AND take an additional powerfist. This really only sees merit if you're taking a relic (Teeth or Terra + Mantra of Strength). He can still take a Jump Pack, to give him a chance of keeping up with Ravenwing if you're in a game that doesn't allow Legends units for the Biker.

As above, but with Deep Strike, M5", W6, and Sv2+. Some of the rules-writers dribble got past their bib and their datasheet lists them as an Elites choice instead of a HQ like their points has them. This will be FAQ'd, so the rules are here to save them being copy-pasted from the Elite section at a later date.

  • Legends does allow this model to swap their storm bolter for a powerfist, lightning claw, thunder hammer, or storm shield. With storm shields now being +1 to armour saves and a 4++ invulnerable, this option is of dubious use considering you already have a 4++. Consider if the points cost are worth losing four bolter shots per turn for +1 to armour saves only.
  • Debatably the worst of all the chaplains, as with the new Litanies not working out of Deep Strike (for whatever stupid reason, why he can't just chant to the guys in the teleportarium next to him is anyone's guess) means that he can't do anything until round 3 by which point the guys you dropped him with have either charged or taken casualties making him much less effective than a power-armoured Jump Pack/Bike/Drop Pod version who can get into position turn 1 (or 2 at the latest) and still chant.

A beefy Biker Chaplain, and most useful if you want a Biker Deathwing Character. Standard fare is a twin boltgun, crozius, and bolt pistol. the bolt pistol can be swapped for a boltgun, combi-weapon, pistol, or melee weapon. They can also grab an additional powerfist; additional, it does not replace one of their stock weapons. He doesn't have the 8.5 edition Litanies, and instead has the old Litany of Hate Aura, allowing Dark Angels within 6" to re-roll failed hit rolls with melee weapons. His Aura of Dread also makes enemy units within 6" suffer -1Ld.

  • Deathwing Strikemaster: Deathwing Lieutenants, equipped with Terminator armour. Inner Circle, Tactical Precision (6" re-roll wound rolls of 1 aura), and Company Heroes as per the usual Lieutenant fare. Crux Terminatus gives them a 5++ invulnerable, making them one of the few Lieutenants with a built-in invulnerable. Weapons are a plain storm bolter and power sword (neither are master-crafted). Both are swappable for twin lightning claws, the bolter can be swapped for a master-crafted power sword, thunder hammer, or mace of absolution (Sx2, AP-2, D3, pretty much renders the thunder hammer pointless), and the sword can be swapped for a storm shield (4++ invulnerable and +1 to armour saves), chainfist, or storm bolter (one per model)... It's such a retarded way of wording the options.
    • The master-crafted power sword should be the MINIMUM upgrade if you're not swapping for a Relic sword. The storm shield is not a bad choice for this model either, effectively negating AP-1 and boosting the 5++ to a 4++.
  • Ravenwing Talonmaster: Ravenwing Lieutenants, equipped with a Land Speeder. Heavily-armed with a power sword, twin assault cannon, and twin heavy bolter. T6, W8, Sv3+, and Jink gives them good staying power. As for special rules, they have the Inner Circle keyword and rules, and have the typical Lieutenant friendly-<Chapter>-Core-units-within-6"-re-oll-hit-rolls-of-1 aura and Company Heroes to allow any two Lieutenants in one HQ slot. They also have the No Escape Aura, allowing you to pick one visible enemy unit and friendly Ravenwing Core units within 6" gain Ignores Cover against that unit.
    • Eighteen shots with BS2+ and AP-1 will put down most GEQ and MEQ squads in one turn. Heavy bolters being bumped to D2 makes them far more effective against Marines and Bikers, as well as light Vehicles and Monsters.
    • Warlord Traits: A lot of good candidates. From the 9th edition Index, Impeccable Mobility lets your Ravenwing units within 6" advance and shoot assault weapons, Tactically Flexible lets your Ravenwing units within 6" choose which Doctrine to be in, and Outrider even has use in smaller games to let this model and one Ravenwing unit move 12" after deployment and before the first turn.
    • Relics: As a Vehicle, you've only got a limited selection of Relics available to you. Heavenfall Blade and Arbiter's Gaze are your best two bets.

Special Characters[edit]

Note Successor chapters (including custom successor chapters) lack access to special characters as explained on page 74 of the DA codex. Interestingly though, if you include Belial and Sammael in their own supreme command detachment (with say, a jump pack Librarian or beat stick Master) then their Grandmaster abilities still affect the custom chapters Deathwing and Ravenwing as you only replace the Dark Angels keyword in creating successors. This means you can use them to boss around their successors first and second companies at the chapter master level as well as having their fighting prowess (assuming there's been no FaQ), very fluffy.

  • Azrael: Azzy is no slouch in melee and with Sv2+/4++ can slug it out with all but the best of the enemy combatants. WS2+ and 5A base with his Sword of Secrets (S+2, AP-4, D2, wound rolls of unmodified 6 inflict an additional MW) will put down a lot of Characters. Lions Wrath is a master-crafted boltgun (24", rapid fire 1, S4, AP-1, D2) welded to a master-crafted plasma gun (24", rapid fire 1, S8, AP-3, D2, no overcharge). For support, he has the Captain's Rites of Battle aura (Dark Angel Core units within 6" re-roll hit rolls of 1) and the Chapter Masters rule (one Dark Angel Core or Character unit can re-roll all failed hit rolls). Supreme Tactician gives you +2CP if he's your Warlord and Watcher in the Dark means you can attempt to deny one enemy psychic power per game and you can re-roll the dice if it was a Chaos model. His most useful rule is the Lion Helm, which gives Dark Angel Infantry and Biker units within 6" a 4++ invulnerable save against ranged attacks.
    • He can't Deep Strike with Deathwing or keep up with Ravenwing. He either pulls babysitting duty with Infantry gunlines (Eradicators and Hellblasters with their heavy versions of their guns are excellent ranged choices, otherwise their assault versions make for a good mobile death star), or pile him into a Drop Pod or Land Raider with an appropriate retinue.
    • Azrael (Primaris): As mentioned above, Azrael was always an awkward fit for both the Deathwing and Ravenwing. But as a Primaris, he's perfect for accompanying a squad of Hellblasters or Desolators on a Repulsor. Along with the standard Primaris stat boosts, the Sword of Secrets has been bumped up to S+3 AP-4 and the plasma component of the Lion's Wrath has gotten the same AP enhancement, making him a force to be reckoned with against TEQs.
  • Belial: The Captain of the Deathwing still an excellent duellist; enemy melee attacks suffer -1 to their hit rolls against him and the Sword of Silence is S+2, AP-4, D3, and always wounds non-Vehicles on a 2+ (the non-Vehicle part is not a huge deal, as you wound T7 Vehicles on a 5+ anyway). He also comes with a master-crafted storm bolter (24", rapid fire 2, S4, AP-1, D2) which fires four shots at all ranges due to the Terminator and Bolter Discipline combination and a more specific Chapter Master ability that only affects Deathwing. To top him off, he also has Rites of Battle and an Iron Halo.
    • His diet Chapter Master ability isn't limited to Dark Angel Deathwing units, only Deathwing. RAW, it also affects Dark Angel Successors as long as they're Deathwing. This is awesome and very fluffy.
    • Legends gives Belial the option to swap his Sword of Silence and storm bolter for two lightning claws or a thunder hammer and storm shield. You should really only choose the lightning 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 +1Sv from the storm shield, since it even the sword beats the hammer for damage output.
  • Sammael: Worryingly only has one profile in the 9th ed. Index. One of the fastest and shootiest Characters in the Imperium, and a very comfortable melee combatant too. A plasma cannon and twin storm bolters (which always fire eight shots due to Biker + Bolter Discipline) means he can throw out the same firepower as a five man tactical squad all by himself. In melee, he gets A5 with the Raven Sword; S+2 (Sx2 if he charged), AP-4, D2. He gets an Iron Halo, Rites of Battle, and Turbo-Boost, on top of a Ravenwing-specific Chapter Master ability. T5, W8, Sv3+/4++ makes him very hardy as a cherry on top.
    • Similar to Belial, his diet Chapter Master ability isn't limited to Dark Angel Ravenwing units, only Ravenwing. RAW, it also affects Dark Angel Successors as long as they're Ravenwing. Again, this is awesome and very fluffy.
  • Sammael on Sableclaw: 8th ed. Codex only. A bit more expensive than the Jetbike, but comes with a lot more dakka: a twin heavy bolter and 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 are still meh, making only one additional hit roll at SU, SP-1, D2d3. Rosarius, Crozius, and Spiritual Leader are his leftovers as a Chaplain, and he retains Aura of Dread, Inner Circle, and Deathwing from being an Interrogator-Chaplain. Exemplar of Hate turbo-boosts his Litany of Hate, being able to cast it on a 2+ and with a 9" range.
  • Ezekiel: The Dark Angels Chief Librarian now gains the Chief Librarian Keyword, with the ability to cast and deny two powers per turn and knows smite and three Interromancy powers. He also comes with the Deathwing and Inner Circle Keywords, a Psychic Hood (+1 to Deny the Witch tests against powers cast within 12"), and +1 when casting an Interromancy power. His best ability is the Book of Salvation Aura, which grants Dark Angel Characters and Core units within 6" +1A; note that this explicitly does NOT stack with Shock Assault. Unlike other Librarians, he's more than happy to get stuck in with WS2+, BS2+, A3, and Sv2+/4++. For weapons, he has the bolt pistol The Deliverer (12", pistol 1, S4, AP-1, D2) and the force sword Traitors Bane (S+2, AP-3, Dd3, becomes D3 against Fallen or Heretic Astartes).
  • Master Lazarus: While his fluff is complete dog shite, his model is good and his rules are great against Psyker-heavy armies. Inner Circle, Iron Halo, and Rites of Battle are the standard affair. The Spiritshield Helm gives Dark Angel units within 6" a 5+ save against mortal wounds (it gives him a 4+ save) and Intractable Will lets him fight after he's been killed (does not stack with the Astartes Banner ability or Only In Death Stratagem). For weapons, he has a bolt pistol and Enmity's Edge (S+2, AP-4, D2, becomes D4 against Psykers). Obviously he sucks at ranged combat, so you should buy him a transport and a retinue of Choppy/Smashy Primaris to get the best out of his five attacks.


The Dark Angels don't have any unique Troop choices or anything that particularly stands out in 9th. What does matter is how you use your Troop units with their Chapter Tactics.

  • You gain +1 to hit rolls with units that have not moved, very much encouraging you to squat your units on an objective or in cover.
  • You automatically pass Combat Attrition Tests, so taking maximum-sized units isn't a huge deal with regards to morale.
  • Fire Discipline means that if you survive the charge, you can make the enemy pay dearly when you have Tactical Doctrine active - You can shoot back at the enemy in the shooting phase with your rapid fire or assault weapons, hitting on a 5+. Quite funny when your dice are hot and you wipe an enemy unit off the board and off your objective - or when you charge on in and are stuck in combat with a big tarpit of a unit.

The best Troops depends on how well they synchronize with Grim Resolve. Which means their best use besides camping objectives is long range shooting. It's important to remember that Terminators and Bikes can gain Objective Secured, limiting the uses of troops if you just wanted them for taking the objective. So rather than a full tactical section for each, troops are ranked for their usefulness instead.

  1. Heavy Intercessors: Heavy Intercessors benefit from Grim Resolve and Bolter Discipline the most out any of the troop options. So unlike Codex Marines and supplements DA Heavy Intercessors are best used with the vanilla loadout of Heavy Bolt Rifles and good old Heavy Bolters. Arguments could be made though for the heavy options if you REALLY want your 42" shots.
  2. Intercessors: Stalker Bolter Intercessors have enough firepower sit on the objective and table what they shoot at. Grim Resolve allows them to shoot from the backline with little fear of retaliation. Also the only Primaris troops that benefit from a Repulser & should also be kitted out for long range sniping. Alternately, both the standard bolt rifle and auto-bolt rifle are viable options, allowing you to make Bolter Discipline and Grim Resolve, or maximize your Fire Discipline ability to allow you to be surprisingly decent on the assault and combines nicely with some stratagems.
  3. Tactical Marines: The best use of Tacticals is giving them a heavy weapon. Take a Razorback instead of a Rhino and pick a Multi-Melta or another weapon that has a longer range. The Sergeant's Combi-Bolter should either be a Combi-Flamer or Combi-Plasma .
  4. Infiltrator Squad: The closest thing to the old Scouts. However since Grim Resolve and Bolter Discipline stack. Infiltrators end up being redundant. If for whatever reason you're running a Phobos heavy list, these guys can actually get rather nasty. Fire Discipline applies to them, and Marksman Bolt Carbines autowound on sixes. Combine that with the comms array for rerolling 1's, and anything within 24" is going to be eating a lot of bolter shots every turn.
  5. Incursor Squad: Has the same problem as Infiltrators. While Occulus bolt carbines stack with both Grim Resolve and Bolter Discipline and get rerolls with their Paired Combat Blades. They are still inferior to both Deathwing Knights, Ravenwing Black Knights and DW Terminators with Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield Combos. Alternate take, they're ideal for taking objectives and being hard to shift. Fire Discipline applies to them!
  6. Assault Intercessors: Same problem as Infiltrator and Incursor as they are lacking compared to Objective Secured Termis and Ravenwing. They may get more chances to reroll however Chainswords are not that great compared to Power Fist variants and the pain Deathwing Knights can inflict. Don't take them.


In addition to the Death and Ravenwings. Dark Angels can any take elites with the exception of Sternguard and Vanguard Veterans. Honor Guard are now Ultramarine exclusive, while non RW Biker ICs and Biker Vets can't be given the Inner Circle rule.

The best Greenwing options are Company Vets for more Plasma or situational Combi-Weapons, more dakka from Aggressor Squads (according to White Dwarf fluff they should have the "Deathwing" keyword), or all out destruction from Invector Warsuits and Dreadnoughts. Ignore the reguler Contemptor in favor of the Relic version with more options. With Rites of Initiation you can upgrade near death Space Marines to be members of the Deathwing. Now don't you have to repaint or keep your old Venerable Dreads on the shelf.


Your Deathwing Characters have the Command Squad rule as well, meaning they don't take up a Battlefield Role (Force Organisation) Slot if you have at least one unit of Deathwing Command Squad.

  • Bladeguard Ancient: Gains the Deathwing keyword.
  • Bladeguard Veteran Squad: Gains the Deathwing Keyword. Anti-MEQ and below only, as their lack of upgrade options and Sx2 makes them inferior to other Deathwing. Decent space filler if you need to complete a Vanguard Detachment but that's about it.
  • Terminator Ancient: Gains the Deathwing keyword. He has unique wargear options; He comes standard with a storm bolter and powerfist, but the powerfist can be swapped for a chainfist or both weapons can be swapped for two lightning claws or a thunder hammer and storm shield so he can pull his weight in a fight.
  • Terminator Squad: Gains the Deathwing Keyword. Though they lack the flexible loadout of the exclusive Deathwing Termies, you keep the Teleport Homer, allowing you to suddenly-grab objectives if you run a mono-DW detachment. Though they lack plasma cannons, you can still park them somewhere for a sudden snag.
  • Terminator Assault Squad: Gains the Deathwing Keyword. Though they lack the flexible loadout of the exclusive Deathwing Termies, you keep the Teleport Homer, allowing you to suddenly-grab objectives if you run a mono-DW detachment. Unless you really need the Homer, just use the Deathwing Knights instead to be honest.
  • Relic Terminator Squad: Gains the Deathwing Keyword. Grim Resolve, Inner Circle, and Objective Secured makes them competitive to the DW termies, with the addition of holding equipment that you can't replicate elsewhere.
  • Deathwing Terminators: Elite Terminators with Inner Circle and the ability to customize their loadout to suit your needs, all while being as expensive as assaults. Starts off with the standard Terminator wargear (Storm Bolter and sword for the Sergeant, fists for the Terminators). Any Powerfist can be replaced with a Chainfist (Sx2, AP-4, Dd3, becomes D3 against Vehicles), and 1 in 5 Terminators can swap their storm bolter for an Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer, or Plasma Cannon, or take a cyclone missile launcher. Where they differ from the regular Terminator Squad is the ability for ANY number of models to swap their Bolter and melee weapon for two Lightning Claws or a Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield. Finally, they can take a Watcher in the Dark to gain a once-per-battle Deny the Witch chance as if they were a Psyker. They do not have the Teleporter Homer available to vanilla Terminators, but their cost makes them an ideal competitor for troops.
    • Starting with a ten-man squad, you can then combat squad them into a five-man Assault Squad and a Five-man Terminator Squad with two heavy weapons.
    • Assault Cannon vs Plasma Cannon vs Cyclone Missile Launcher: Both Cannons now cost the same for Deathwing Termis. While Cyclones are the most expensive option, their versatility makes them the better choice. Assault Cannons will always have the same damage output regardless of how many targets their shooting at. While Plasma Cannons get their full amount of shots if they're used against squads of 6 or more. Frankly, Plasma Cannons are better used elsewhere in the army when you needn't spend CP to make them hit at full BS. Cyclones with their two profiles get the best of both. Krak Missiles are close enough to overcharged Plasma Cannons that you will hardly miss them. Nor do you lose out on Bolter Discipline as they get to keep their Storm Bolters.
  • Deathwing Command Squad: Those same dudes written above, but with three main differences; unit size of one Sergeant and 1-4 Terminators, one squad can be taken without using an Elite slot if the detachment also has a Dark Angels Captain, and Dark Angel Characters with nine or less wounds (i.e. all of them) within 3" cannot be targeted by ranged attacks.
    • This is a quite interesting unit, that with the new way of how Look Out, Sir! and Bodyguard work, they can help you characters to survive longer, even just one single model of this squad can protect them in any possible case. And if you do not use Characters near them, it is still a possibility to add a small number of Terminators (they cost a little more, but obviously even a 4 men squad is cheaper than a 5 man squad, with a difference of just 2ppm).
  • Deathwing Knights: The premiere Terminator Assault Squad. One Master and 4-9 Knights all with storm shields and WS2+. The Master has the unique flail of the unforgiven, striking at S+2, AP-3, D2, and any excess damage is carried over between models in the target unit. So rather than killing three W1 models at most, you can now go up to six. The Knights mace of absolution is also brilliant, Sx2, AP-2, D3. That's it. It's a thunder hammer sacrificing a point of AP in order to avoid the hit roll penalty. The unit can also take a Watcher in the Dark, allowing you to attempt to deny a psychic power once per battle, and re-roll the deny the witch test if the caster is a Chaos model.
    • 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. Once they're in combat, they're almost certain to kill anything in front of them but getting there first can be a tad difficult by themselves.
    • Consider running a Librarian 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, but a wee bit schizophrenic. The typical Martial Superiority (fights first against Characters) and Honour or Death (6" heroic intervention towards Characters) is well and good, but their unique halberd of Caliban wants to fight blobs; S+3, AP-3, D2. The Halberd gives the champ 3 extra attacks as long as an enemy unit with 10+ models is in engagement range- those attacks must target that unit of 10+ models. Still, as a Company Champion, he has WS2+, A4, a 0-1 per-army limit, and he can still have the Chapter Champion upgrade but cannot have the Blade of Triumph.
    • 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 ridiculous.
    • 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.
    • Does face a bit of competition from other Deathwing characters (despite being a similar point price) and without actually being an HQ. The lack of any shooty weapon also hurts (admittedly shooting isn't the Deathwing's main job but a Storm Bolter couldn't have hurt to have).
  • Deathwing Apothecary: It's an Apothecary in Terminator armour, need more be said? Yes? Fine. Combat Restoratives heals one friendly Dark Angel Infantry or Biker unit up to d3 lost wounds and the Narthecium gives you a 6" ignores-lost-wounds-on-a-6 aura. Reviving one fallen model has been shunted to a stratagem, but he's still an Apothecary model and the Chief Apothecary upgrade is rather excellent. He comes with a storm bolter for four bolter shots at 24" range, but has no melee weapon meaning he really doesn't want to be there.
    • The challenge to viability is that he doesn't heal anymore than a regular Apothecary, yet costs more, and since the cost of the Apothecary limits your inclusion of other models (because you could buy them instead), he has to heal a lot more to justify himself. That cost does buy him more durability though since the 2+/5++ is way better than what a standard apothecary has in addition to more wounds.
    • The problem for this chap is that the Ravenwing Apothecary is just better, it's faster, more shooty and is arguably more durable. He also has Inner Circle, so you can take him in a DW Vanguard detachment with no penalty.


For main guns, plasma talons will be the standard, with a profile of 18", assault 2, S7, AP-3, D1, may gain +1S and +1D but hit rolls of unmodified 1 kill the user. All of the Characters and 1 in 3 Black Knights can swap for a Ravenwing grenade launcher. Frag profile is 30", assault d6, S3, AP0, D1, blast, and krak profile is 30", assault 1, S6, AP-1, Dd3. It may be worth taking one model with a grenade launcher for the Stasis Shell stratagem, but otherwise the plasma talon will be your best weapon as the mid-range is offset by the long move and advance distance afforded to the Ravenwing.

Your Ravenwing Characters have the Command Squad rule as well, meaning they don't take up a Battlefield Role (Force Organisation) Slot if you have at least one unit of Ravenwing Black Knights.

  • Ravenwing Apothecary: Hands down the best Apothecary available to any Space Marine army. M14" and an advance of 6" ensures he's always where he needs to be, and not being limited to one-per-army like the Champion means you can have plenty of these guys zipping around the field. T5, W5, Sv3+/5++ (4++ if he advanced), gives him plenty of staying power as well. New Narthecium rules provide an ignore-lost-wounds-on-a-6 aura (which for him is 6" and not 3" like all other Marine Apothecaries) and Combat Restoratives heals d3 lost wounds to one model (very useful to your W3 Ravenwing and Deathwing). Reviving a model has been moved to stratagem though. Being an Apothecary, they can still be upgraded to the awesome Chief Apothecary rules. He has no melee weapon though, so don't get fooled into getting him stuck in.
  • Ravenwing Champion: The do-it-all Champion. No longer gets a Blade of Caliban, instead having a master-crafted power sword (S+1, AP-3, D2) like all regular Champions get. No combat shield for a 2+/5++ though, so enjoy your 5++/4++ from moving/advancing while you can. Unlike your other Ravenwing Characters, he has WS2+ and A4. Like other Champions, he has Martial Superiority (always fights first against Characters) and Honour or Death (Heroically Intervene up to 6" towards Characters). The Chapter Champion upgrade has very good abilities, Warlord Trait, and Relic available to them.
  • Ravenwing Ancient: The Ravenwing version of the Deathwing Ancient. Astartes Banner gives Dark Angel Core models within 6" gain +1Ld and can make one shooting attack or one melee attack on a 4+ when they die. He has no melee weapon though, so don't get fooled into getting him stuck in.
  • Ravenwing Black Knights: Competes with Hellblasters for best Imperial plasma spammer. Moved to the Elites slot as of the 9th ed. Dark Angel Index. A maximum of ten T5, W3, Sv3+/5++ (or 4++ but suffer -1 to hit rolls) models with two plasma shots each are going to ruin someone's day. They have no special rules of their own, aside from Inner Circle, Jink, and Turbo-Boost. For 5pts each, they can all be equipped with corvus hammers (S+1, AP-1, D2) for beating in the now-W2 Fallen. The Huntmaster (Sergeant) also has the option for a power sword or power maul for the same points. Each of them also comes with a bolt pistol that can be fired in melee. They also have the Melta Bomb Keyword for some surprise mortal wounds.
    • While Inceptors might seem better than these guys due to their 2D3 blast plasma, The 4++ invuln you get from advancing and an actual melee weapon make these guy more likely to survive in the short ranges that their guns have.


9th Edition brings our vehicles in line with the other Codex-adherent armies.

  • Nephilim Jetfighter: The Nephilim is still flying high after its much-needed buffs last edition, keeping most of its damage output against ground targets while gaining even more against enemy aircraft. Blacksword Missile Launchers fire a pair of S7 AP-3 D2 shots each turn, and count as D4 against enemy Aircraft. It swapped Strafing Run for Air Superiority, giving it +1 against aircraft. Of course as a member of the Ravenwing it has the ability to Jink, giving it a 5+ invuln every time it moves (it must always move) or 4+ if it advances. The Avenger Mega Bolter still chews up things with Heavy10 S5 AP-1 D2, or you could swap that for a Twin Lascannon for some vehicle hunting. Also another unit that appreciates the extra damage point for Heavy Bolters. All of this wrapped in a solid flyer statline with T6 and 11W 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, too bad those don't stack in 9th edition anymore.
  • Dark Talon: The Dark Talon has been tweaked once again, and is still a great source of mortal wounds. Rift Cannon is now a Heavy D3 Blast S12 weapon. It has no AP or Damage, because the target instantly takes 3 mortal wounds per successful to-wound roll, making it somewhat more reliable than the jankiness of the old Rift Vortex chart. Stasis Bomb has its damage nerfed to d3 mortal wounds, but prevents anything (except Vehicles or Monsters) from falling back during its next turn. Great for screwing up T'au plans. 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 entering reserves, allowing you to bring it back into the fight after flying off away from the fight. Now a total 210 points.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Bike Squad: Gains the Ravenwing keyword. Gains objective secured with an all-Ravenwing Outrider Detachment, as well as benefiting from the Speed of the Raven doctrine, allowing for a Squad of these to threaten mid-field objectives. Equipping these guys with Flamers allows for very respectable Horde clearing with a 35' threat range. Meltaguns also make a fairly deadly alpha strike option, especially with a squad with a multi-melta attack bike. Plasma guns will cost you the same as a Black Knight without the Corvus Hammer, trading the Black Knight's assault plasma talons for a bit of range and the bike's boltguns. However, you'll almost always want to advance for that 4++ jink save.
  • Attack Bike Squad: Gains the Ravenwing keyword.
  • Land Speeders (all flavours): Gains the Ravenwing keyword.
  • Primaris Outrider Squad: Gains the Ravenwing keyword. Gains objective secured in an all-Ravenwing Outrider Detachment. Since these guys lack any other weapons but carry chainswords and deal extra hits on the charge as well as being tougher than the firstborn bikers, you'll be needing them to lead the way. They may only be able to charge on turn two, pulling Full Throttle on turn one will guarantee that you'll clear that distance quickly - especially if you have a warlord that can keep up use Brilliant Tactician or Tactical Appraisal to maintain Devastator doctrine for a bit longer.
  • Invader ATV Squad: Gains the Ravenwing keyword.
  • Storm Speeders (all flavours): Gains the Ravenwing keyword.
  • Ravenwing Darkshroud: A souped-up Land Speeder, having +1T and +3W over the regular ones. Its main shlick is the Icon of old Caliban rule, that provides a -1 to-hit aura for Dark Angel units within 6" against shooting - including the Darkshroud itself. You'll pay minimum 138 points to get almost the same defensive bonus that several sub-factions get by default, but hey, it's still better than nothing. Plus it's damn fluffy. Not much in the way of offensive potential though; it comes with a stock heavy bolter, which is almost never worth to upgrade to an assault cannon. Most of the time you'll want to advance for the 4++ save anyway, and since its 12" speed makes it a tad bit slower than the RW bikers, Knights and Land Speeders it supposed to protect. Unfortunately thanks to 9th edition, it no longer stacks with other -1 to hit penalties such as the Shroud of Heroes, Aversion or Hard to Hit as examples, in addition to itself, meaning that you'd still only be -1 to hit with multipple of them. Additionally, watch out for long range guns that hit on fix numbers (Dark Reapers), or those who get bonus against models with the FLY keyword (Onager Dunecrawlers with the Icarus array)- your Darkshroud will be a primary target for them, or any number of shooting weapons, especially if the -1 to hit bubble is being abused a lot. Still worth taking one though for anti-shooting, even with the nerfs to stacking the debuffs.
  • Ravenwing Land Speeder 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 2D3 at S8 -3AP 2D standard and S9 -3AP 3D supercharge with Blast and 1 mortal wound per overheat. So now you only take a small penalty for a failed overcharge as opposed to having a near useless flying rock with only 2/3 of its base wounds. This is probably the one plasma weapon you want to overcharge regularly, but all easily accessible sources of re-rolls don't work on it anymore since it lacks the core keyword, grab a Techmarine or Master of the Forge for +1 to hit on the move and maybe spare a command point for a re-roll. Very good for hurting big multi-wound models. Although tempting, not the best target for WoTDA due to the random number of shots and having to declare you're using the stratagem before you fire, however 6 S9 -3AP D4 shots if you roll well is sure to ruin anyone's day.

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.


While essentially space marines with a twist, the Dark Angels do have some different tactics, mainly because of the Ravenwing, the Deathwing and the named characters.

  • Army Construction 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 spectacular shooters, and pretty good close-combatants as well. They have great options for either, and a few options for both. When playing Dark Angels, it is 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 proper relics.
    • Sammael: like the Talonmaster, but better for Ravenwing and often worse for everything else. 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. With combat doctrine and new stratagem can beat the shit out of enemy on turn1 and fall back IN THE SAME TURN
    • Deathwing: none of them can be wounded on 1-3 (plasma, powerfists, thunder hammers get rekted). all of them has nice support characters. DW knights hit with hammers on 2+. DW classic termies can gain obsec, at the cost of not including anything else but Deathwing in a Vanguard Detachment.
    • Company Veterans: at first: buy them for sexy bits, then, 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.
    • Dark talon: This plane is EVIL. For the low price of 210 points, you get a S12 cannon that goes through every save in the game, dealing 3 mortal wounds per successful wound roll. Fantastic unit.

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 4++ save bubble. Expect to see him used a lot. Second on the list is the Lieutenant with his reroll ones to wound.
    • 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.
  • General Notes:
    • Plasma overcharge: This tip is valid for other marine chapters as well, but since Dark Angels use more plasma than an other Astartes force it should be mentioned here. If your unit is equipped with 2 or more plasma weapons that will fire multiple shots, always remember to roll them separately on overcharge, a model at a time. This can be quite time consuming for plasma-equipped Inceptors with their separate 2D3 shots, but can mean the difference between losing a whole unit, or just a single model.
      • Also remember that Plasma weapons kill the wielder after the weapon fires all of its shots; this means a model firing overcharged plasma from a plasma gun at 12" gets to fire both shots even if 1 of them rolls a 1, and it will die afterward. However, the same model firing 2 plasma pistols has to shoot one at a time, and if the first pistol kills the model, the second pistol does not fire. In general, for the same amount of plasma shots, you want to try and use as few distinct guns as possible, so the math on this will be as forgiving as possible.
      • Example: you're within rapid-fire range with your 3 remaining Hellblasters and go for overcharge. You roll 1,1,3,3,5,6. If you didn't roll separately, your opponent can assume that the two 1s were rolled for 2 separate models, meaning you'll lose 2 figures. If you roll separately, you'll see if 2 models had a 1 in their shot, or only one of them rolled two 1s, saving your other Hellblaster.
  • Battle Strategy:
    • Ravenwing Alpha-Strike: There is scarcely unit in the game that can keep pace with your Ravenwing on turn 1 AND be able to fire all their weapons. This is particularly important for Invader ATVs, Land speeders of all kinds, and attack bikes. These models are eligible to fire their heavy weapons if they advance, on turn ONE only - barring shenanigans with Brilliant Strategist or the Tactical Appraisal Strategem. The maneuverability this grants to all Ravenwing units is exceptionally powerful, and you should use it to strike as hard as you can at a key position in your opponent's lines as much as possible. In particular, you can use the Targeting Guidance strategem to mitigate the penalty for advancing and firing weapons. You may also wish to accompany a unit intending to Alpha-strike in this manner with a Primaris Chaplain on bike, reciting Recitation of Focus. The +1 to hit from Targeting Guidance will cancel out the -1 to hit from advancing, and then you will get +1 more to hit from the Chaplain - hitting your target in a 2+. Bring Sammaael for truly disgisting shenanigans.
    • Ravenwing Utility: In the mid-to-late game, your bikers and speeders can put the hurt on the enemy in a different fashion. The ability to flip your Ravenwing into the devastator doctrine with the aforementioned abilities means that you can move and advance them into your enemy's rear lines with relative ease. This permits you to strike an unexpected location and either remove an irritating enemy unit, or steal an objective from them; frequently you'll wind up doing both.
    • Deathwing Melee: Your Deathwing Knights, Lightning-claw or thunderhammer squads, and Bladeguard all fall into this category. First, don't bring a Thunderhammer squad, because your DW Knights do it better. Second, with the loss of Combined Assault, Deathwing can no longer be landed on the table at the 6" mark - we are back to needing 9" charges like everyone else. This means that you either need to find a way to buff their charge range (Canticle of Hate from a Primaris Biker Chaplain) OR you have to find a way to get them across the field in one piece. The first option is self-explanatory; the second option is to take an appropriately sized landraider for the first two melee DW varieties, or an equivalent Repulsor for the third example. If you're feeling particularly brave, you could also mount the Bladeguard in an Impulsor and send them up the field to anchor your Ravenwing. Note that currently there is no way to deep-strike your Bladeguard. If you want them to show up on a flank, you're spending CP for that privilege.
    • Deathwing Ranged: The Deathwing at range are a truly frightening tool for your army, and have some fantastic tricks you can perform as well. Both your relic termie squads and your standard termie squads can combat squad when the game begins. If you choose, you may bring 10-model squads with 2 heavy weapons, and then split the squads such that 2 heavy weapons are in a five-model squad. In this manner, you may double-down on the amount of force you apply to a single area of the battlefield. 2 Reaper Autocannons and a Plasma Blaster/Volkite charger is a somewhat daunting problem for an enemy to address. Equally daunting, a pair of assault cannons or cyclone missile launchers will definitively mess with your opponent's day. The plasma cannon, while an attractive option under specific circumstances, does not have the flexibility of the cyclone missile launcher nor the damage potential of the assault cannon - simply due to volume of shooting. Needing to fire at a unit of 6 or more to get 3 shots simply isn't worth it against a guaranteed 6 shots or a pair of S8 shots. Additionally, always save 2 CP in order to use Deathwing Assault - regardless of your target, +1 to-wound will make your day that much better, and your opponent's day that much worse. Combo with Fury of the First for Dreadwing-level decimation.
    • Greenwing: This section includes everything that is not explicitly Deathwing or Ravenwing. What you bring from your battle brothers who are... less read-in than your Inner Circle should complement and support whatever you have selected from your specialized wings. Unless you're running primary Greenwing, in which case the opposite is true. For example, if you intend to bring a strong force of Ravenwing, consider units that can provide close support - Infiltrators, Incursors, Invictus Tactical suits, and other units that can get up close to aid your biking brethren. Since most of the Heavy Support slot is included in the Greenwing, always remember that having a unit or two that can reach out and obliterate an troublesome enemy unit is valuable. Devastators, Predators, and Vindicators excel in this role.
      • Dreadnoughts: Dreadnoughts are heavy weapon platforms that can support an infantry advance without suffering a loss of firepower, due to the change for heavy weapons for non-infantry in 9th. Thus, these ancient giants should be used to anchor an infantry line where one is present. Regardless of the type of Dreadnought, there is no way to deep-strike them (ummm FW Dreadnought Drop pod says Hi) and as such they will cost CP to get up the field via strategic reserve.
      • Repulsors and Gladiators: These will frequently be fire magnets. The Gladiator tanks are, like many Primaris options, inflexible. They exist purely to destroy a certain type of unit, and outside that role will struggle to earn their points back. The Repulsors, conversely, can be outfitted to be jacks-of-all-trades, enabling them to be a flexible, hardy centerpiece for your battleline. If they are to truly excel, they should be transporting *something* forward up the battlefield. Often this will be a unit that is either short-ranged, or needs a turn of protection before being unleashed to raise hell. Aggressors, Hellblasters, and Eradicators are all units that should start in a Repulsor in case the opponent gets the first turn and tries to blow that unit off the field. While Repulsors do hit very hard, they do not hit as hard as those units do when applied to the appropriate target.
      • Specialists: As mentioned above the Dark Angels have access to the same Primaris specialists as all other Space marine Chapters, as well as new access to thunderfire cannons, Centurions, and some other fun toys previously unavailable. Each of these units, much like the Gladiator tank variants, has a specific role to play - bring them to play that role in your army. Don't bring a centurion assault squad to walk across the field and expect it to be useful - shove it in a land raider.
      • Land raiders: These may look like main battle tanks; they are not. They are heavily armored troop carriers, with a pile of weapons on the sides to discourage enemies blocking their ramps and to punch holes in enemy battle lines. They should be used in this fashion. If you intend to bring a land raider, put something in it that can do work up front in the middle of the carnage. If this payload is not Terminators, then Company veterans are a good choice - bring them with a full compliment of meltaguns or plasmaguns, or armed to the teeth with swords and boards with a bolter tactical squad. Such a squad will in most cases give the opponent a hearty headache front and center, especially if you shove a character inside to buff the squad you're preparing to disgorge.
      • Artillery: Your artillery needs to play nicely with the rest of your army. Every unit that can be considered artillery will benefit immensely from STANDING STILL. You get +1 to-hit when you do so, so bring artillery that can afford to do so. In order to accomplish this, you need your artillery to have range, or have a good way to get around the battlefield so that it can stay the hell put whenever possible. So if you want to bring Grav-devastators, make sure they have a rhino or razorback. Plasma, Heavy Bolter, and Lascannon devastators don't have that problem. Predators can reach out and blow something to smithereens - Vindicators can't, and need to get up the field quickly in order to smash their targets. The other thing about artillery is that your opponent WILL try to avoid it, in the same manner you should be trying to avoid theirs. Make this as difficult as you can, OR use this to your advantage and station your artillery with clear firing lines to places they want to be. If your heavy bolter or Gravcannon Devastators spend the whole game overlooking an objective your opponent NEEDS to have, then they've done their job by killing things off that objective or attracting inordinate amounts of firepower that could have gone onto your objective scorers.
    • Deployment and Movement: There's a neat trick you can play on your opponent. During deployment, you may wish to position your Alpha-striking Ravenwing at the forefront of your army - because turn order is now a blank roll-off with no advantage to either player that requires the winner to take first turn, your opponent does need to react to the forward deployment of an Alpha-strike unit. However, regardless of their reaction to such a deployment, you have access to The Hunt for 2cp. This Strategem permits a single Ravenwing unit to make a normal move after deployment but before the first turn. Thus, you can use this to counter whatever your opponent's reaction is. If they've hidden your target, then jump forward or to the side to reacquire it. If they've won first turn and can now assail your unit, run away with it. While saves are almost never worth a cp re-roll, that 255pt unit of ATVs or landspeeders is very likely worth your 2cp to hide and save for after you've been shot. Note that the Warlord trait from Ritual of the Damned is no longer available to achieve this effect.
    • Fight Phase: DO NOT FORGET GRIM RESOLVE. If you are charged, you will not have moved that turn and as such, you will get +1 to-hit. Use this to your advantage every chance you get! 2CP to interrupt a dangerous enemy and thin their numbers is a good price, especially when you can hit first with your Deathwing Knights against an equal unit and clobber them at a better to-hit.

Matchups and Counterplay[edit]

This section has been removed due to non-completion, repetition, and irrelevance to tournament play. You do not get to tailor your list in a tournament, so advice on "what units to bring against X faction" is unhelpful. Feel free to reinstate the section with specific tactics that are valuable against various factions.

  • Against Hordes, you'd do well to take advantage of the Dark Angels-specific stratagems to fall back with a key dakka unit and light them up. Think about Intractable.
  • Against tougher, more elite armies, you are known for spamming Plasma, you shouldn't have too much trouble here.
  • As a general rule, Apothecaries are invaluable no matter what kind of list you skew towards. Be it the Firstborn, Primaris, Ravenwing, or Deathwing variant, the ability to revive fallen models and have access to one of few FNP abilities in 9th Edition is critical.
  • Another Blue Chip unit is the Ravenwing Talon Master. His fire support, durability, Tactical Precision aura ability, and his ability to occupy the same slot with a different Lieutenant equivalent give him a home in almost any "Take All Comers" Dark Angels list outside of a thematic army.


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 snarky pointers every now and then.

Now as of Vigilus Ablaze, your edgy older brothers have gotten a much needed buff, in the form of the Fallen Angels Specialist Detachment. Sorcerers and Chaos Rhinos that are part of an exclusively Fallen Vanguard detachment lose their HERETIC ASTARTES, LEGION and CULT keywords, as well as the Sorcerer's Death to the False Emperor rule and gain the IMPERIUM and FALLEN keywords and the Sorcerer gains the Fallen Angels rule. Now that Fallen have been removed from the Chaos Marine codex. The supplement is the only way to play them and Cypher can no longer be taken due to losing the Imperium keyword.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Fallen Angels: Though they lack the keyword to allow for the Dark Angel's Grim Resolve, this is basically same thing. You know what this does: reroll 1s in the Shooting phase if you held still in the previous movement phase and you can never lose more then 1 model to a failed Morale check. The only difference is that it's directly attached to your datasheets.
  • Agent of Discord: A special rule Cypher gains if he is part of a Fallen Angel Specialist Vanguard Detachment. Enemies withing 12" of Cypher may not benefit from any rule that allows them to gain, recycle or refund CP for your opponent. The range of this ability jumps to 18" if there are at least 10 friendly Fallen Angel models are within it's area of effect and up to 24" if there are at least 20. Note this is NOT a warlord trait, Cypher simply gains it automatically.


  • Without a Trace (1 CP): At the start of the enemy's Shooting phase, a selected FALLEN ANGEL unit entirely on or within a terrain feature inflicts a -1 penalty on any Shooting attacks targeting them. This lends more to the Fallen's old strategy of backline camping in cover, but it's still nice to have Raven Guard tactics on tap when needed.
  • Ancient Enmity (1 CP): When a FALLEN ANGEL unit fights, they may reroll Wound rolls made against DARK ANGELS. Fluffy, but obviously super situational. If you're actually playing Fallen against Dark Angels, give yourself a pat on the back, you wonderful madman, you. While Fallen can be built to be a very competent melee squad, don't think for a second this will let you go toe-to-toe with Deathwing Terminators and come out on top. This will, however, let you cheekily punk an out of position unit that wasn't expecting your plasma gunners to suddenly charge them.


  • Caliban Steel Blade: A Force Sword whose damage increases from D3 to D6 on a To Wound roll of 6+. It's ass, but if you are playing a game with just Fallen, it's your only option.



  • 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, he gives them re-rolls To Hit of 1 anyways. He can shoot 5 pistol shots per turn; 3 are AP-1 Bolt Pistol shots and 2 are plasma that is always overcharged with no risk of blowing up on a 1, and combined with his brand new Agent of Discord rule, he's really encouraged to lead a pack of Fallen from the front. 5 shots coming out of 1 dude is scary, especially when he most likely will not miss. He lacks a melee weapon, but throwing him into combat with stuff that likely won't kill him can tie them up without issue, 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). Quick reminder that despite being a CHAOS CHARACTER, he specifically cannot use Daemonic Ritual. And while he's almost certainly going to be your Warlord if you are playing a pure Fallen list, remember that he specifically cannot take a Warlord trait, though between Agent of Discord and Mysterious Protection, you can be forgiven for not noticing. If you are running a pure Fallen list, however, you may wish to look to the next entry if you are hankering for a trait.
  • Sorcerer: A fresh face to the roster, giving the Fallen a boost in the form of Psyker support. Functionally identical to a Librarian, except for his wargear. He is forced to take a Force Weapon of some kind (Sword is the default if you want your crumby free relic, but if you want an Axe or Stave then it's no real loss), but notably his Bolt Pistol can not only be dropped for the usual Plasma Pistol or Combi-weapon, but also a Chainsword, Chainaxe or any Power Weapon (which notably grants access to the murder sword and black mace) , including a Thunder Hammer! Thanks, Index! He can even take a Jump Pack, if that's something you want to do. He can also be your warlord if you so choose, but since he lacks the HERETIC ASTARTES keyword, he'll only be able to select from the stock 3 Warlord Traits

With that being said, this means that you can (when applicable) take any relics/warlord traits/use stratagems from the codex etc, as long as all of the other prerequisites for using said features are met. With all of that opening the door for the Fallen sorcerer, the best warlord traits for him are with the "daemonkin" codex in shadowspear. Warp lord and Daemon-Bound Power are probably the best bets; making the Steel Blade of Caliban slightly better with the former and just making a better sorcerer with the latter. Sadly the Vigilus Ablaze FAQ no longer allows you to take the Fallen sorcerer with imperials, because the fallen aren't already the abused step-children of space marine rules.

    • Infernal Gaze (Warp Charge 5): Pick an enemy unit within 18" and roll 3 dice; any results of a 4+ cause a mortal wound. This will probably be your Power of choice most of the time, alongside Smite. It's easy to cast and can target a CHARACTER hiding behind a blob. And honestly, there's nothing wrong with then having this guy be a Mortal Wound spewer.
    • Death Hex (Warp Charge 8): Target an enemy unit within 12"; they cannot take invulnerable saves. A bit difficult to get off, but considering that you'll be running a pile of Plasma as the Fallen, this can be a death knell for units that rely on their invuln saves. Eat shit, Knights of Absolution! We don't give a fuck about your storm shields!
    • Gift of Chaos (Warp Charge 6): Target an enemy unit within 6" and roll a D6. If you roll higher than the unit's highest toughness, it suffers d3+3 mortal wounds. If a Character is slain, add a Chaos gribbly to your army. A bit of an odd one, especially since its a little hazy if Imperial armies can even reserve points for the beasties (25 each, if you were wondering). Can be devastating against GEQs, but very swingly, since even then its a 50% chance to do fuck all. Not a bad choice if you're running against an army with few good targets for Death Hex.
    • Daemonic Ritual: While Cypher may not summon Daemons, this guy has no such stipulations. If you didn't move your loyal-ish heretic this turn, you may roll up to 3D6 and summon that many Power Levels worth of daemons, limited by your points reserve. Rolling doubles deals a Mortal Wound to the summoner, rolling triples deals D3 of them. A pretty solid option if you're playing straight Fallen; a small squad of Bloodletters or a couple of Fiends of Slaanesh can provide a useful burst of utility to tie up troublesome squads. If you are running an Imperial Soup mix, however, this might cause... issues. Check with your opponent on this and be very, very careful about bringing such madness to something more competitive. Be very cautious with rolling all 3 dice if your sorcerer is your only character capable of using Daemons, since there is no way to heal him. In casual games if you use them as cannon fodder. Most won't care except That_Guy. At least you now have a use for those otherwise worthless Servitor models.


  • Fallen: Basically Chaos Chosen with the IMPERIUM keyword and built-in Dark Angel tactics. 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 lack a lot of synergy with either army and the only buffs they can benefit from are Cypher (whose bonus can be redundant if you didn't move), Inquisitors (shared Ld 10, a bit meh due to Fallen Angels' Morale buff and exceptional existing Leadership) and the Custodes' Vexilla Defensor (an actually pretty solid 5++ bubble.) As per usual for Dark Angels, Plasma is your Fallen's best friend. Up to four plus the Champion can take Combi-plasmas and an additional one can take a regular Plasma Gun. They can, however, be built in a wide variety of ways. The whole squad can ditch their boltguns for chainswords, if you so wish. Four members can build themselves in a variety of different ways, such as adding a melee weapon, replacing their bolt pistol with a plasma pistol, their bolter with a combi-weapon or special weapon or ditching everything for a pair of lightning claws. A fifth squaddie can take either a special or a heavy weapon (choices include a Autocannon, Heavy Bolter, Lascannon or Missile Launcher. No Chaincannon for some stupid reason.) and the Champ can be built in most any way you see fit. Now that they've been given something to ride in, their usefulness as something other then a backline coverhumper has skyrocketed, and can be used as close ranged blasters or even as assault troops! They won't carry the game for you, but they are solid unit and will serve you well in most any task you put them to. Due to being Elites instead of troops, even in battle-forged list they don't have ObSec.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Chaos Rhino: The saving grace for the Fallen; now they can actually make it across the board in good time! Note that this is the CHAOS Rhino, not the loyalist version, so it packs a better wargear selection. Instead of a Hunter-Killer Missile, for the same price, it can carry Havoc Launcher, a Heavy D6 S5 AP-0 D1 rocket rack. In addition, aside from the usual combi-bolter, it can take a combi-flamer, plasma or melta, lending some potentially much needed firepower to a small force. Generally though, a Havoc Launcher and a pair of Combi-bolters will cost a cool 80 points and lend some very efficient anti-hoard firepower (Doubly so if you're using the Bolter Discipline Beta Rule), allowing the Fallen it just dropped off to blast away at heavier targets. A discount Razorback that still haul 10 marines, if you will.


  • 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. On a 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.
  • While their new ability to take Rhinos have granted them much improved mobility, Fallen can still serve you well as a backline anchor. 5 Combi-plasma and a Lascannon will give most units pause, more so if you stick them in an Imperial Bastion or something similar.
  • Other than hanging out on a gunline bastion. Fallen can be treated as expendable meatshields. Though unlike other options you won't miss them if they get a bad role on their Plasma guns or Power weapons. You may as well go all in and kit the Chaos Rhino out as well. So that it will be an pain in the ass after it's cargo are killed by their own weapons or shot off the table.
  • While the Fallen unit itself can't take Reaper Chaincannons. There is nothing that says anything with the <Fallen> keyword can't. This allows you to give them to a squad of Havocs Heavy Support Marines. However, this makes them a one trick pony only effective against MEQ's and weaker. Maybe Terminators if you get lucky with the dice. Once the opponent loses one of his units to them your Fallen will be eating long range autohits like any other Distraction Carnifex squad.