The First Legion has new Dark Angels Tactics. Grab the new Codex Supplement to work with Codex Space Marines in Warhammer 40K 9th Edition. This “Loyalist” chapter brings unique ways to play unseen previously in this edition. Consider the “friendly?” rivalry with Space Wolves some may be howling “No Contest” because Dark Angels Tactics are that good.
Table of Contents
- Warlord Traits
Dark Angels Tactics – Stratagems
Battle Tactic Stratagems
Wrath of the Lion – 2CP
This stratagem can have its uses at times but won’t be a crucial backbone to your success. The best time to use this would be while in the Assault Doctrine. Bring in units with high volume melee attacks such as Deathwing Knights or Assault Intercessors. Due to this buffing mechanic, this is best used against models/units with a quality armour save but no invulnerable save.
Intractable – Cost: 2CP
This stratagem is incredible for Plasma Inceptors, Redemptors or any units that have blast weapons. Take a Redemptor Dreadnought with Macro Plasma Incinerator and charge into enemy units knowing you’ll survive into the next shooting phase. Since they can be equipped with up to three blast weapons, they are perfect for this tactic.
Deathwing Assault – Cost: 1CP
I like Deathwing Terminators with storm bolters for this stratagem. Teleport them within rapid fire range to get the most out of it. Since they get four shots per model, the amount of wound rolls will increase significantly.
Full Throttle – Cost: 1CP/2CP
This is best used with a Ravenwing squad. It lets youtube to different areas on the board or move block a dangerous unit such as a Keeper of Secrets. I like this best when used on a unit of five or fewer models to save command points.
Line Unbreakable – Cost: 1CP
This is great against larger/horde units. A big example is when going up against a horde of Ork Boyz. Use this when a large unit charges in. They will not be able to pile in enough models within base contact to truly hurt your units.
Epic Deed Stratagems
High-Speed Focus – Cost: 1CP
A Ravenwing Talon Master can be a crucial unit on the Tabletop for a Dark Angel force. Its main weakness is its durability. With this stratagem, its durability gets increased tenfold from ranged weaponry that could normally pick this unit out when misplaced and unprotected.
No Foe to Great to Subdue – Cost: 2CP
Equip your Deathwing Knights with a Mace of Absolution. Monster units such as Greater Deamons are becoming more prominent in the meta. This will allow you to get the job done in combat with these Maces.
Marked for Command – Cost: 1CP
A common stratagem across all flavours of Marines. This allows you to upgrade a Sergeant’s weapon even though they are not a character within a Dark Angel Infantry unit. Depending on your strategy and what you find most viable for your force, the right relic in the right hands can go a long way!
Paragon of the Chapter – Cost: 1CP
Giving a non-named character two warlord traits (as your warlord) is a massive ability! Take two warlord traits such as Calibanite Knight and Honour of the First Legion which compliment each other. This lets you plug gaps in your army and make choices that compliment your playstyle.
Honoured by the Rock – Cost: 1CP
Give a custom Dark Angel Successor the ability to benefit from relics within this supplement or from Codex: Space marines. This is a very viable option for a successor chapter due to the strength of these options at your disposal.
Strategic Ploy Stratagems
Tactical Appraisal – Cost: 1CP
This stratagem can definitely see use every game if not multiple times per game. The ability to change or adjust your combat doctrine at any given time is extremely powerful and a versatile option which can see a ton of use. Even when firing Intercessors, adding additional AP on their weapons can really increase your potency and bring down any targets they fire at.
The Hunt – Cost: 2CP/3CP
Best used with a Ravenwing Black Knight unit. Whether used with a smaller or larger sized unit, there is a ton of play with this ability. Pre-game movement is super potent in 9th edition. This allows you to apply early pressure and establish a greater board presence.
Targeting Guidance – Cost: 2CP
Storm Speeders are looking even better with this ability. Increasing efficiency from all shooting across the board into a unit you need to bring down. Some heavy weapons that land serious blows have a hard time hitting their marks at that is where this stratagem comes into play.
Swift Strike – Cost: 2CP/3CP
Definitely the best stratagem in this codex. A big unit of Ravenwing Black Knights is able to hit and run like never before. Be sure to equip this unit with some lethal melee weapons to hit hard and then pull the parachute before your opponent swings back.
Secret Agenda – Cost: 1CP
I really like this ability and it is extremely unique. Picking secondary objectives is already a difficult task at times. Even harder than that will now be for your opponent to not know one of them until it may be too late, for them at least!
Stasis Shell – Cost: 2CP
An astartes grenade launcher becomes extremely useful with this stratagem. The ability to tie up dangerous shooting units or to protect your important units, keeping the enemy in combat can be really important. If able to tag a Basilisk with a unit of Ravenwing bikes, this ensures that unit is not only unable to shoot but also you cannot be shot at by all the other tanks around you.
Weapons from the Dark Age – Cost: 2CP
A unit of Plasma Inceptors or Plasma Redemptor Dreadnoughts can become even stronger with their damage output. These are easily two of the best units to use this with. Units are becoming able to negate damage, such as the entire new Death Guard codex. This not only counters that but also gives you a great edge over other armies.
Dark Angels Tactics Warlord Traits
This is great for your most devastating shooting units like Eradicators or Plasma Inceptors. The ability to adapt your doctrine is massive when attempting to delete units. Additional bonuses can go a long way with devastating fire power.
Fury of the Lion
This is best on any beatstick character such as a Deathwing Strikemaster. This allows the character to wound larger targets easier. More reliability is key when needing to bring down the toughest of foes.
This is best on a Captain with the Teeth of Terra relic. You need a character with a ton of attacks to get the most out of this. This Captain automatically becomes a horde slayer with this relic and warlord trait combined.
This is great for a Ravenwing Talonmaster. This allows them to still fight before being removed or stop units from consolidating into other important units. It is harder to kill a Talonmaster to begin with so every bit of use from them is crucial.
Slower Units really benefit from this such as Deathwing Knights/Terminators. Bonuses to movement are crucial in the new edition of 40k. Blood Angels have this at their disposal and it now gives your Dark Angels a similar delivery system.
Honour of the First Legion
This is really great on a Smash Captain. Heroic Interventions are super important when protecting objectives or interfering with charging units. A big reason for its quality is by making your opponent think twice. A Captain with this much mobility in your opponent’s phase is deadly.
Ravenwing Warlord Traits
Use this on a Ravenwing Talonmaster. Built-in modifiers are key to increase this unit’s durability. Talonmasters are tough units that really benefit from added layers such as this one. Units that can target characters will have a hard time hitting and wounding this character over the course of a battle.
Master of Manoeuvre
My favourite way of using this ability is with Sammael. The ability to never be stalled is crucial for this powerhouse. With dangerous weapons in shooting and melee, you need him active at all times. This allows you to tie up units and still be threatening every turn afterward.
Deathwing Warlord Traits
This is my favourite Warlord Trait in this Supplement. Denying crucial powers at the right time can literally be game changing. Some armies such as Grey Knights and Thousand Sons heavily rely on powers succeeding at the right times. Deny a crucial Warp Time or Gate of Infinity at your command with this ability.
I like this best with Belial. He is an important character to your army and mitigating damage is crucial for his survival. Being that he is equipped with the Sword of Silence, you will want to play him aggressively.
Dark Angels Tactics Interromancy Discipline
Mind Worm – WC(6)
This is best used before charging into a deadly unit. This ability stops your opponent from interrupting combat. I would charge into a tough unit with multiple units of your own after casting this.
Aversion – WC(6)
This is best used on an opponent’s melee threat. This can cut their efficiency in half. This also is best to use when knowing a dangerous unit is preparing a charge into your units next turn.
Righteous Repugnance – WC(7)
This is my favourite power to cast on Deathwing Knights. This is an ability which grants maximum efficiency to hit and wound. The best part is that you can use this power on them while giving Chapter Master re-rolls to a different unit in the same turn.
Interromancy – First rate powers for the First
Trephination – WC(5)
This is great to have on a psyker in your army. A Chief Librarian can take this extra power to have when needing to deal out mortal wounds. This is best to have when up against tough units that are hard to take down. C’Tans are difficult to remove and this gives you a solid chance at killing them in one turn.
Engulfing Fear – WC(7)
Definitely one of the most powerful abilities in the game against any army. This power is an auto include. Abilities such as this are few and far inbetween and negating the Objective Secured ability/Stopping Actions is incredible. Moving an Intercessor on an objective occupied by thirty ork boyz is actually possible to deny them points now.
Mind Wipe – WC(7)
Many units rely on Auras. Auras buff your opponents units in multiple ways which can hurt your important units such as Ravenwing Bikes. If an enemy unit has re-rolls of any kind versus your Ravenwing Knights, you can deny them from benefiting from that aura. Decreased efficiency from your opponent increases your units survivability.
Dark Angels Tactics for Relics of the Rock
Mace of Redemption
I like this best on a Deathwing Knight – Knight Master. This takes your sergeant in the squad to the next level with amazing damage output against Heretic Astartes. This is more of a meta call decision for sure.
Pennant of Remembrance
This is an auto include for a Deathwing Ancient. This relic alone is a great reason to include this Ancient in your army. Select a unit of Deathwing Knights in the front line to benefit from this relic and literally cut a ton of damage inflicted away.
Shroud of Heroes
This is not the strongest option at your disposal. This is mainly a secondary or tertiary choice if you really feel the need to make a character more difficult to hit. The positive for this relic is that you will benefit against ranged and melee attacks
Nullzone can fail you but not this Relic:
Reliquary of the Repentant
This relic is excellent on a Ravenwing Biker. Preferably on a Ravenwing Ancient. This ancient will most likely be included in your force for utility already. This relic on top of its innate abilities will really make this a crucial unit for your gameplan. Advance in front of the toughest of units your opponent has and easily destroy these units such as Primarchs or high invulnerable save units.
This isn’t a must have in your army. It is only a nice piece of tech if you were to place this on a Deathwing Terminator Sergeant with Storm Bolter.
Eye of Unseen
This can see some solid play when creating a character hunter. A Captain with Thunder Hammer or Teeth of Terra Relic can really have a better chance at killing characters almost guaranteeing two chances to fight in back to back fights. This also negates your opponent from swinging first when they charge in which is great to deter your opponents from rushing into your units.
Cup of Retribution
This is great on an Interrogator Chaplain. This can literally turn your heavy melee units such as Deathwing Knights or Bladeguard into monsters in combat. Use this at a time when you need that bit of extra volume required in order to get the most extreme efficiency.
Dark Angels Tactics for Special-Issue Wargear
This is best when keeping an important captain or buffing character alive. An added layer of durability is beneficial but in most cases not necessary. This may be best on a character that does not have an invulnerable save such as a Primaris Lieutenant.
This relic is not really necessary because most of your go to characters are in terminator armour. This makes them already get this buff across the board. This essentially is only best on a character without an invulnerable save such as a standard lieutenant or standard ancient.
This can be an okay option when taking a captain with a thunder hammer or power fist. Extra damage can go a long way especially when taking on the newly improved Death Guard with a built in minus one damage trait.
This is not the greatest relic and very situational. I would not recommend using this relic as spots are very tight already on what to bring. This is definitely a tough exception to make on this one, even for the additional mortal wound output.
Dark Angels Unique Special-issue Wargear:
I really like this on a Ravenwing Talonmaster. Vehicles usually never get to take relics and this is a fantastic exception. Upgrading your Talonmaster’s sword to this weapon is great when taking on more elite infantry. It also increases efficiency through volume, strength, armour penetration and damage.
This is really great on a Ravenwing Talonmaster. A really great relic to have the most efficient overwatching unit in the book. Ignoring modifiers is always great and this is best when firing at units with modifiers built in or Aeldari factions that are hard to hit.
A plasma pistol on a captain is a great option. Upgrading to this ability is really impressive when shooting elite infantry. The best part is that there is no risk of losing your model like overcharging other plasma weapons. Shoot Gravis armoured marines and other elite units.
Bolts of Judgement
This is best on a Ravenwing Talonmaster. The twin heavy bolter is great against units with more models but this relic gives you this option against other units. This is best against higher wound models especially if they have a good armour save.
Dark Angel Tactic – Chapter Approved Rules
Purge the Enemy: Martial Interdiction
Purge the Enemy has a few tough choices depending on matchups. This is a solid alternative as you will want to be moving forward destroying units. To get the most out of this secondary, include Inner Circle and Deathwing units. The biggest key to take all these points is using a tough unit that is hard to remove once they have completed killing the character.
No Mercy, No Respite: Death on the Wind
This is a must take if taking a Ravenwing heavy army. Ravenwing models want to be moving full speed at all times. Move at full speed and destroy easier targets to consistently pick up points each turn.
Battlefield Supremacy: Stubborn Defiance
No matter what army you make, this secondary is a must. You will be looking at an easy ten points at minimum. This is best when taking a first company detachment and Deathwing units are given the objective secured ability. Their durability makes the difference to achieve the most points from this secondary.
Dark Angels Tactics – Datasheets
I really like Azrael leading a Deathwing army. He is able to move forward at the same pace as every other unit. He is great for buffing your most lethal units with his Chapter Master ability. Just for including him, you gain extra resources and a bunch of toolbox abilities.
Essentially a secondary Chapter Master. Azrael and Belial do not need to both be included in your force. Both can be with Azrael being more for buffs and Belial as more of a combat master.
When taking a heavy Ravenwing army, you have to include Sammael. He helps all surrounding units as a Chapter Master and Captain simultaneously. He has extreme mobility which is key to be where you need him at the right times. Best used as a late game bully to clean up areas or take over objectives.
Definitely the best psyker available to the Dark Angels. As a Chief Librarian, he can cast and deny multiple powers. With the great new powers in the psychic discipline, Ezekiel becomes an auto-include with plusses to cast powers innately.
Asmodai is a solid character to include in your force. When requiring a Chaplain, he does exactly what a priest needs to do. Take Asmodai as a support character for combat due to his special ability Exemplar of Hate. In combat he is solid, striking with his crozius multiple times and the Blade of Reason once.
The First Primaris in the Inner Circle:
Lazarus is definitely a unit that should be featured in your Deathwing forces. The Intractable Will ability is awesome to always have to fall back on when going into dangerous combats. His best buff against armies that produce tons of mortal wounds is his The Spiritshield Helm ability. This is super powerful to protect all surrounding units when taking on heavy psychic armies or Necron C’Tans that spit out absurd amounts of mortal wounds.
I don’t believe an Interrogator-Chaplain is necessary. Being that Asmodai is available, he is the better option in most ways. The best way to make this chaplain work is when given a jump pack and relic – Cup of Retribution. This creates a fast Character with buffing abilities to combat units when charging into any enemy units.
This is a must take for a Ravenwing based force. The Talonmaster offers high-speed support for Ravenwing units. Increased efficiency as an active lieutenant is key for your army with ranged and melee attacks. Due to his durability, use him as a late game unit that can capitalize with speed.
This character is best when wanting to run a heavy terminator force. He is not the most needed compared to all the other characters available. Having the Inner Circle keyword, he has solid durability and is best used when in the heat of the battle amongst your ranks.
Interrogator-Chaplain (in Terminator Armour)
Very similar to the Interrogator-Chaplain but with Terminator Armour. He can be given exactly the same buffs but is best in a Deathwing heavy army. Due to his speed, he keeps up with the rest of the force while still buffing other Terminator units to charge into middle areas of the board.
Dark Angels Tactics for Elite Units
The Apothecary has become an auto-include in every Space Marine army. This is no exception here and is crucial to include. He is best taken upgraded to a Chief Apothecary with the Selfless Healer Warlord Trait. He is best amongst your ranks within range of multiple units to increase durability. The best quality which can add up over a game is healing models flat three wounds twice per turn and reviving whole Deathwing Knights if lost.
A Deathwing Champion is not required when Elite slots are so hotly contested. The main reason to take this elite character is when added to a Command Squad and more for flavour. They are there as a deterrent for more important characters with the ability Honour or Death.
Deathwing Terminator Squad
This unit does get overshadowed by the Deathwing Knights. Its best quality is the versatility of Weapon options. Take a squad of 5 Terminators with all storm bolters. Have them arrive to the battle via deepstrike and use the stratagem – Deathwing Assault. This increases efficiency and is best used to clear just about any light screens in the game.
This is the best infantry unit in the supplement. They are super durable with Inner Circle and Storm Shields. They are one dimensional but are so good at taking objectives outside of your deployment zone. Buff this unit with Chapter Master re-rolls and have an Apothecary within three inches. They are the most durable unit available and are tough for any armies to remove.
Deathwing Kept Permanent Transhuman
Deathwing Command Squad
This unit is more viable than ever. They are best taken as a two man squad. Use them to do actions, come out of reserve for free, and they can fulfill many tasks. They are also efficient and protecting characters with the Bodyguard rule. Being terminators they are durable and best kept cheap with Storm Bolter and Power Fist.
When taking a heavy Ravenwing Bike army, you must take this unit. Apothecaries can really make a massive difference throughout a game reviving and protecting models. Upgrade to a Chief Apothecary to revive a lost model for free every turn. When included in a heavy bike army, he keeps up with every unit and can be in the right place at the right time.
Not the most important unit to take. They are best used for their Heroic Intervention ability. They can deter opponents from charging in knowing they can intervene so are best positioned in an area where they can jump in from six inches away. Equipped with a Master-crafter power sword, he is excellent at shredding infantry and two wound models.
A Ravenwing Ancient isn’t the most useful unit at your disposal. Although tough to kill, there are better ways to spend your points. If you were to make him work, it would be used in a very central location to multiple bike units. This is to take advantage of his Astartes Banner ability.
Don’t forget the Reliquary of the Repentant
Ravenwing Black Knights
The main reason to take a 2nd Company detachment is for multiple Ravenwing Black Knights. They will get the Objective Secured ability. Your Warlord in the Outrider detachment refunds you the three command points. It is an overall solid build to threaten armies with speed and precision. These bikes are versatile with shooting and combat. They are best used when taking on infantry supported by Redemptors or Eradicators to deal with bigger targets.
A Darkshroud is more viable than ever. It offers more durability to surrounding Dark Angel units. Added layers really help Deathwing Knights make their way up the board. This unit is best used to support multiple other units and still being a solid gun platform. Shoot light infantry and clear screens in order to get through to the juicier targets.
Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance
I really believe this unit is a very solid option. It has solid speed which moves well with the rest of your Ravenwing force. It is best used as a moving gun platform shooting its Plasma Storm Battery. Besides shooting at larger targets with its plasma, it is well suited to shoot light infantry and clear screens with its other weapon.
Dark Angels Tactics for Flyers
Ravenwing Dark Talon
Flyers in general are not the most necessary for the Dark Angels. The best way to use the Dark Talon is by dropping a Stasis Bomb early and shooting the Rift Cannon at the same unit for a potential of twelve mortal wounds. The Rift Cannon is great to shoot at tougher units with better invulnerable saves as mortal wounds will be inflicted no matter what their armour value is.
This is overall the better option for consistency. Equipped with multiple weapons, it can clear screens with ease and even whittle away elite infantry. Shoot units on objectives that are hard for the rest of your army to get to. Moving up to fifty inches is its best quality while also being hard to hit as an Aircraft.
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