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BREAKING NEWS: 8th Edition Dark Angels Chapter Tactics and Stratagems analysis!

By the Golden Throne... did the Dark Angels ever come back stronger?! The codex teasers have been revealed over on Warhammer Community, and it's time to see how the 1st Legion have fared in the shift to 8th Edition.

They've done quite well...

I'm going to break this into three shorter posts, as there is a great deal to get through. The Chapter Tactic alone is going to be a huge game changer for most Space Marine players, and needs a lot more in-depth analysis.

Chapter Tactic


Not only is this an incredibly strong offensive tactic, it's also a very strong defensive one. It's even a strong leadership tactic, making it so much more useful than the Blood Angels and equivalent Codex Marine tactics it's not even funny.

I'll start with the down side, which is not even that much of an issue. You'll need to be stationary to enact this tactic fully. Note the wording; "so long as it did not move in its prior Movement phase", meaning to fire overwatch re-rolling ones, you'll need to keep your models still.

However, by staying still you gain both an offensive shooting buff, and a defensive Overwatch buff. Re-rolling 1s for regular bolter fire is not that impressive, but you must remember the Dark Angel love affair with plasma weaponry. They are the only chapter whose Hellblasters can quite happily overcharge their guns into a charging unit, doing significant damage to whatever comes.

It also means the Dark Angels are less reliant on baby-sitting Captains. Once in position, their troops can quite happily plink away with over-charged plasma without needing their Company Master to tell them how to not let the gun explode in their face. A significant savings, provided you can get into position early.

Grim resolve also gives them a significant buff in terms of leadership. You'll already be high leadership because of your sergeants, and you'll already be able to re-roll failed Morale tests because of And They Shall Know No Fear. With this, removing a single model in any failed morale test, you might as well just skip the Morale phase altogether.

This chapter tactic makes the Dark Angels exactly what they want to be: Intractable. Once in position they'll be extremely difficult to shift. Whilst they're moving into those positions, or assaulting objectives, they won't be as strong as other chapters (the Blood Angels will have them fairly well beaten there), but as long as they can keep their boots on the ground they will be... well, resolute.

There is a fairly hefty limitation on non-standard deployments, remembering that disembarked and deep striking reinforcements still count as having moved. So the Ultramarines retain their premier status as the best hot-dropped overcharged plasma Inceptors (using their stratagem to re-roll 1s). Or do they...


Obviously this turns your Hellblasters into wondrous engines of destruction (without the aid of a Captain or other Stratagem!), hitting a maximum potential of 30 damage from a fresh squad nailing all their hits and wounds. A really good option for all the army, as it applies to DARK ANGELS not DARK ANGELS INFANTRY. Your Land Speeder Vengeance can spit out 4 damage per hit on the overcharge, enough to ruin any vehicle without the aid of a lascannon!

The neat trick you can do is pop this Stratagem with your Inceptors as they Deep Strike in. You can happily treat your plasma weapons as overcharged weapons by popping this Stratagem, and then continue to overcharge safely (relatively!) from your well chosen position. This puts them into the same league as Ultramarine alpha striking Inceptors, although if you're happy to keep spending the Command Points on their unique Stratagem the Sons of Guilliman pull ahead.

Excellent stratagem, at least in melee. A neat way to cancel out melee centric armies, and acts as a straight block to the Blood Angels Chapter Tactic. A little boring to build a strategy around though, and really more of a "nice to pop up if you have Command points to spare" Stratagem.

Ooh, nice and fluffy Stratagem. Almost good enough to build a game around, and I would certainly pick this up for any mission where you need to assassinate a character. Adds flavour, and a non-competitive objective: nice.


It would be fair to say I'm interested in the potential of this rather than the actual Stratagem itself. Paying a command point to add a keyword to a unit opens the door to some weird and wonderful synergies.

The problem I have is that it penalises a Deathwing only army. Remember these will only ever be Vanguard Detachments, so the combination with Ancients and Belial will certainly have to be worth it. I just don't know if there is much mileage in a Land Raider having a keyword in common with units that typically only buff INFANTRY key worded models.

But the idea where you might be able to change an intrinsic part of the model by paying a few command points is interesting. I would like to see such a Stratagem being used to give a unit Objective secured, meaning that the specialist Detachments can compete with the generalist ones.

Tomorrow I'll look at the relic and psychic powers, as well as a brand new unit in the Dark Angel Codex.

Until next time!

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