Hello readers, Devin here today to talk about a Dark Angels’ combo or 3 in 9th edition. Particularly, the nasty new combos that they can pull off. The Dark Angels have been big winners as of late. The received a good Psychic Awakening update in Ritual of the Damned, made out well with the new points changes, and had a few interesting FAQ rulings. This is a Space Marine chapter that thrives off of its combos. More so than many other chapters like the Salamander Indomitus Tactics. Let’s dive in and see what some of these combos are.
Dark Angels’ Combo- Talonmaster Assassin
Way back when the Dark Angels codex first came out there was a combo that I always wished worked but didn’t. The Talonmaster Assassin. This is to combine the Huntsman warlord trait with a Ravenwing Talonmaster to make a deadly character hunter. The Huntsman trait lets the model with it shoot characters with their pistol, assault, rapid-fire, and grenade weapons. Note the lack of heavy weapons on that list. Sadly, because the Twin Assault Cannon and Twin Heavy Bolter are heavy, this trait didn’t work for the Talonmaster. But this is no more. In the 9th edition FAQ for Ritual of the Damned, there was a change to the Ravenwing warlord trait Impeccable Mobility. Previously this trait allowed Ravenwing units within 6” of the warlord to move and fire heavy weapons and advance and fire assault weapons without penalty.
Now it allows Ravenwing units to advance and fire heavy weapons as if they were assault weapons (emphasis mine). They also do not suffer the advance and shoot penalty for assault weapons. This turns the guns on the Talonmaster into assault weapons. Now they meet the requirements for the Huntsman warlord trait. Use the Hero of the Chapter stratagem to get the second warlord trait. You could also add the Corvus Oculus relic to get 6” of extra range on your guns and +1 to hit. Reliquary of The Repentant can be used to worsen Invulnerable saves. The other neat thing is that your Talonmasters (because you want to take 3 of these guys) get a 4+ invulnerable save from the Jink special rule with none of the usual downsides.
The Talonmaster Castle
You may be able to tell I like Talonmasters. These guys, along with Sammael, got off rather easy on the points hikes. The grouping of Sammael of Sableclaw and three Talonmasters isn’t anything new for a Dark Angels’ combo but it has gotten better in 9th. There are a few things here that make this work well. First is the change to heavy weapons. The Talonmasters can now move and fire their heavy guns without penalty. They can even advance and fire with the Impeccable Advance warlord trait (also used for the above assassin combo).
The big change here came with character targeting. In 9th a character has to both be not the closest visible unit and not be within 3” of a unit of three or more models or a monster or vehicle. Talonmasters (and Sammael on Sableclaw) are vehicles. This means that they get to ignore the second part of the new Look Out, Sir rule so long as they are within 3” of each other. While other characters now have a harder time getting protection the Talonmasters effectively have the old 8th edition character protection rule. Now there is a caveat that this may have been an oversight on GW’s part and it may get FAQ’d. However, as it stands now this is the way it works.
Dark Angels’ Combo – Deathwing Bomb
Terminators of all stripes were big winners in 9th edition. This is because of the mission changes that favour durable units of infantry and that their points largely remained unchanged or went down. The one exception to the points part is Deathwing Knights, who went up 10 points per model. Thankfully all the other Deathwing units got the same points as their brethren from other chapters. Terminators both shoot and fight well but are vulnerable to a few counter-strategies. They can be screened out from their deep strikes. They can be intercepted by stratagems such as Forewarned and Auspex Scan.
Dark Angels have the perfect way to mitigate these problems and to reliably get their terminators into combat where they excel. The first part of the combo is a Ravenwing biker unit. I would recommend a character such as the Ravenwing Apothecary or Ravenwing Champion as they can get protection easily from the Talonmasters. Outriders would also fill this purpose as they are incredibly durable with four wounds per model. The second unit you will need is a Chaplain. This is for the Canticle of Hate litany.
The third is one or ideally two units of Deathwing Terminators (Tartaros or Cataphractii are good too). The combo starts by getting your Ravenwing character and Chaplain as close as possible to the enemy units that you wish to charge and getting the Canticle of Hate up. Second, you will deep strike the first unit of Deathwing Terminators and use the Deathwing Assault stratagem on them. Deathwing Assault allows the unit that just set up to immediately shoot as if it were the shooting phase. This does three things. You get an extra round of shooting. Clear screens before your second unit arrives. You can also shoot before intercept abilities are triggered, saving yourself from taking that extra damage.
Once the first unit is done you can then bring in the second. For this, you will want to use the Combined Assault stratagem. This allows you to set up 6” away from the enemy instead of 9” so long as you are within 6” of a Ravenwing biker unit. After all your deep strikers are set up you are free to shoot and charge whatever you want to. Your charges will be at +2 due to the Canticle of Hate from your Chaplain. So you will have a 4” and a 7” charge from your two terminator units. I would use this combo to set up and deliver a decapitating strike to your opponent’s army.
There you have it, three amazing Dark Angels combos courtesy of 9th edition and Ritual of the Damned. I feel that with strong combos such as these as well as the points changes that the Dark Angels are well placed to do very well in 9th edition. I hope all you Dark Angels players out there find success with these combos and take the sons of the Lion onwards to victory.
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