Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Dark Angels: Making the most of what we've got

It is no secret that the Dark Angel's codex suffers from major gear/unit redundancy since Codex Space Marines hit the shelves. It is hard to see any benefit of using the book outside of: Death Wing and Ravenwing, two lists that require more attention to play but are non the less phasing out with every  new 5th Ed Space Marine army release. Despite better judgement, I have opted to stick with my Dark Angels Codex, for better or for worse and to top it all off it's "Greenwing" (normal Space Marines). 

"Where are my upgraded Stormshields?!"

Now what I have is not competitive in any form and to say so would have me tarred and feathered, but despite this I am adamant to stick with what made me choose Dark Angels in the first place: The dark unrelenting Space Marine who walks through hell's fire to deliver death by sword and bolt gun and never run. Two elements are featured in this list: mech, as dictated by the current 5th Ed gaming meta and Ezekiel; the over costed and considered most useless Special character in 40K...
Dark Angels Ezekiel List 1500pts

Ezekiel – 170

Company Veteran Squad – 100
Bolt pistol & Chain sword
Power weapon + 15
Razorback + 50, twin-linked lascannon + 30
Total: 195

Company Veteran Squad – 100
Bolt pistol & Chain sword
Extra Veteran + 20, Power weapon + 15, Combat shield + 5
Razorback + 50, twin-linked lascannon + 30
Total: 220

Tactical Squad – 90
5 additional Space Marines + 75
Flamer + 5, Missile launcher + 10
Rhino Apc + 35
Total: 215

Tactical Squad – 90
5 additional Space Marines + 75
Meltagun + 10, Missile launcher + 10
Rhino Apc + 35
Total: 220

Tactical Squad – 90
5 additional Space marines + 75
Meltagun + 10, Missile launcher + 10
Rhino Apc + 35
Total: 220

Predator – 70
Lascannon side sponsons + 60
Total: 130
Predator – 70
Lascannon side sponsons + 60
Total: 130

The list can work around combat squads; half in tank for advance duty, the other half holding position to create multiple waves and target saturation. The Veterans weapon load out is to personal taste but the items can be swapped out for a variety of gear based on your opponent's army. The bulk of the army is not something new and something that can be done better in Codex Space Marines for less points. The concept however remains the same: stay in the tanks. For static/dedicated fire support with have two "Autolas" (Auto-cannon turret/Lascannon sponson) Predators, this is backed up by mobile anti-tank from two Lascannon razorbacks. It should be noted that the Rhinos can contribute to both anti-tank and horde due to the troop payload. This setup should provide enough firepower to cover Av14 and light/medium tank. 

Ok so what the deal with with Ezekiel and my Veteran's load out?

The answer: Annoyance factor

Ezekiel creates a Fearless bubble. Fearless is viewed as very risky due to the introductions of additional wounds for combat losses and this is not something I can or intend to bypass. What I have considered though is the area effect I can dictate on the battlefield. Inside my bubble shooting won't make me run,  but outside that bubble I can use "And they shall no no fear" and remove myself from potentially troublesome melee attacks. The ability to control crowd in this way gives a very fluid battle-line that I can use to control and react to...much in the same way as Warcaster control dictates ability in Warmachine. 


Ezekiel is also a fairly good character under the hood (pun intended). he is considered over costed if used primarily as a Librarian however his weapon load out and stats dictate a much more aggressive use. His presence will add to; what is a already melee centric unit of Veterans more melee power at higher initiative that can bypass armour. On a charge this unit can be devastating and with fearless on your side any objective you decide to contest will stay contested until you are wiped out. Ezekiel's spell list are a little 'eccentric' and are fun if you pull them off but on the other hand, you do have a table control psychic hood to try and neuter sniping psykers etc. The list is very spartan in what it brings, but does the job for a competitive price, I have not tried to bring the Death star units or the superior gear as it just won't compete. Ezekiel can be replaced with any character/unit that provides Fearless as an area affect such as the Command Squad with Standard (must included Chaplain). What this list does is the following, taken the few current 5th Ed game trends and brought the units into line with the Dark Angels passive abilities and not the wargear. Dark Angels have a great command structure which bring Stubborn and Fearless on a army scale, it can be used in more ways beyond forming a gun-line, it is control...or at least a measure of it.

I am content to work with my Dark Angel's Codex for another reason, with so many poster child Space Marine armies (Blood Angels, Space Wolves Black Templars), the Dark Angels run the risk of being game redundant and not having a set of rules created in the future. I like to think that the 1st Legion would not be homogenised in this way but it would not be the first time a army filled with flavour and ideas has been struck down into something so diluted it lost it's flavour completely (Codex Chaos Space Marines). 

Hoping to share pictures soon of the army. 

Thanks for reading,

DiStudios
The 14th Legion

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