The wait is over, the new Dark Angels codex is here. And it is good! I’m not going to go on about typos etc, yes there are some, but I’m going to talk about the meat of the codex. If you want a Games Workshop whinge (and I’m sure many do!), look elsewhere. I will do an overview of the changes, and what I have found that works well.
First, the book, artwork and presentation are excellent. They are all of a superb quality that one would expect from a premium game. Full colour all the way through, a bit of an expansion on the fluff, and plenty of gorgeous new paintings and models to drool over.
Now, onto the rules.
First and foremost: choice. There are so many options to upgrade nearly all characters, units and vehicles. From equipment to weapons to relics. Yes, you can choose some very exciting Dark Angels relics – master crafted uber-weapons – to give to your marines. A nice way to personalize this codex. Like the Chaos codex, this isn’t aimed at spoon feeding the player with super-awesome bacon-fuelled superman units, but rather leaves it up to you to tactically equip your guys to deal with whatever you are fighting. Customisation is key.
Speaking tactically, tactical squads got brought in-line with Codex: Space Marines a bit. They are now 140 points for 10 (previously 165), with options for more weapons, flakk missiles (a nice idea if a little expensive) and equipment. You now start with a 5-man squad and add up to 10 for 14 points each. We used to be limited to 5 or 10 only. This makes it much easier to trim those pesky few points to accommodate that nice relic weapon!
Scouts are now troops, albeit with BS3 where it was BS4. But these make a nice objective holder, you can’t really argue with 10 sniper rifles in camo cloaks scoring 3 victory points for you! Also, stick a Librarian with them (now only 65 points!! That’s right, 65 points!) to give them Prescience (makes your weapons twin-linked). That’s a total of 205 points for 10 snipers, in camo cloaks, with twin-linked weapons and a Librarian to hold an objective and give you some great precision shooting!
The Librarian. Now my favourite HQ for the Dark Angels. At only 65 points he is a steal. And you can have more than one as he isn’t a unique character. He is useful with any unit, but I think best with Scouts, on a bike with Ravenwing, with Devastators – which I will move on to now:
Wow. A 5-man Devastator squad with 4 lascannons used to be 190, now only 150 points! That’s 215 with a Librarian, giving you 4 twin-linked lascannons in power armour! Only 110 points for 4 multi-meltas or heavy bolters! Devastators have suddenly become a very viable unit for the Dark Angels. They were left out of many lists because of their insanely high points cost, but not any more. The Angels can now bring the pain!
The almighty Land Raider gets an upgrade 4 times over:
1. Now a dedicated transport. About time, ’nuff said.
2. Redeemer now available.
3. Put a dozer blade on it. First loyalist Land Raider to get this I think?
4. Deathwing Land Raider. All LRs took as dedicated for Deathwing must take this upgrade. At 30 points it makes your LR 280 points, but means all rolls on the damage table from penetrating rolls can be re-rolled at your request! Venerable Land Raiders! This makes the LR all but invincible, meaning glancing it to death is your only option (don’t take versus Necrons!).
These are just some of the changes, I will cover more as and when I discover them (These are pros and cons that I am figuring out from playing, not just copying from other sites). My next post will be about the Deathwing, then I will cover the Ravenwing, once I’ve had the opportunity to test them fully.