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By Daniel Custodio ( Chaplain Lucifer )
This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the author.  It's use here is not intended as a challenge to the original authors copyright and is reproduced here for the sole purpose of enhancing the Dark Angel spirit and the warhammer 40,000 experience

I started picking up some ideas here and there, with some of my own and decided to elaborate a document containing some "pearls of wisdom" that may come in handy for veterans and newcomers alike. So without further ado I present to thee the Tactica Angelus Tenebrae!


Headquarters Unit

Grand Master: Sporting three wounds, this character should be used primarily for close combat. Equiped with a Sword of Secrets, Bolt Pistol and Iron Halo, he can fight through almost anything, Wraithlords(!) included. He is a bargain for his points.
Aditional useful wargear: Jump pack or bike when not mounted on a rhino. His high BS makes his a good marksman too, so Plasma pistols and storm bolter are useful aditions. When in terminator armour and accompanied by brother terminators the GM is a force to be reckoned with. The higher initiative from the Grand Master eliminates threats to the Terminators who do the moping up.

Master: Sporting 2 wounds, the Master should be armed as a compromise between Close Combat and Shooting. Power sword, plasma pistol and Iron Halo provide a cheap and sturdy character.
Aditional useful Wargear : Meltabombs. A master equipped with terminator armour and lightning claws packs a nasty punch in combat by a mere 105 points!

Leader: With only one wound he's like a Veteran Sgt with more attacks. Not worth the points unless you have a devious scheme in mind.

Interrogator Chaplain: Compared to the Master you get the same stats but at a lower price because the Chaplain already comes with the invulnerable save and power weapon for free. With bolt pistol/plasma pistol and blades of reason he's one of the best cost/effectiveness characters out there.
Additional useful wargear: Jump pack to tag along with assault squad. Meltabombs.

Librarian: This character can give you an extra feature most armies don't have, a choice of psyker power! Use "weaken resolve" against non-fearless armies and smite against the fearless ones. The force sword should only be used when the price can be justified, i.e. an army with many multi-wound creatures like Orks Nobz, Tyranid warriors or Tau suits. Smite can be useful against fearless armies like World eaters, where the weaken resolve wouldn't be effective. A bolt pistol and power weapon should be the standard issue most of times.
Additional useful wargear: plasma pistol, force weapon, iron halo or storm shield, meltabombs.

Command squad: Dark Angel characters use regular tactical squads as their command squads. They are cheaper than their loyalist counterparts and have almost all their gadgets but it is the standard bearer that makes the difference.
Additional useful wargear: Equipped with Standard of Devastation, a Dark Angel squad near the standard can unleashed a volley of fire before they or their comrades are assaulted. With the Standard of Fortitude a squad can move and rapid fire as if they were stationary. To optimise these standards you should get a fair number of rapid fire weapons like plasma guns and combi-plasmas for characters. This tactic is employed with great success by many Dark Angels players.

Another option is to gear up the squad for close combat, upgrading squad members to non-independent characters and giving them power weapons and close combat weapons transforming them in a sort of honour guard. Add to this the Standard of Retribution and you'll unleash a devastating charge, re-rolling failed to hit rolls, it's like having a one shot Sanguinary High Priest around! Of the three standards above mentioned I prefer the Standard of Fortitude, because it's more in Dark Angel style (and cinematic too!) to shoot the enemy to pieces while moving.

Sneaky trick I: I'm sure a lot of you have seen the White Dwarf report of Dark Angels vs Necrons where our esteemed Owen Rees uses Weaken Resolve and a Land Speeder to crossfire a squad of Necron Warriors that suffered a tank shock. Well, a Librarian, a Standard of Fortitude, some plasma weapons and a Land Speeder might pull the same trick. Use the Standard, shoot to inflict 25% casualties and watch them fall back into the crossfire provided by the Land Speeder. Be warned this is not easy to pull, but can be rewarding!

Sneaky trick II: Arm a command squad with the Standard of Devastation and as much of storm bolters as you can (using characters), or have a terminator squad with storm bolters and assault cannons close by. Any orks, hormagaunts or howling banshees trying to assault a squad of yours will truly regret it!

Dark Angel Knights (Deathwatch): With the event of CA2003 all chapters were allowed to field Deathwatch units in their midst. We Dark Angels players didn't feel very comfortable using inquisition related models, so the Dark Angels Knights were thus created. They follow the standard Deathwatch rules and options but they were updated to DA character and so instead of hunting aliens they hunt the Fallen of our Legion. In a certain way then can fill a lack in our sacred Codex, they can act like veterans in power armour but with grade-A equipment. For starters they have true grit, being good at close combat and they can receive upgrades like power fists and lightning claws. They can also use different types of ammunition and two heavy bolters, if you like a more shooty approach.

Emperor's Champion: Aside from Imperial Fists and their successor Chapters, perhaps Dark Angels are the Chapter where an Emperor's Champion makes more sense. After all we are the first of the Emperor's praetorian legions, that is a solid link that binds us and the Emperor. The EC is a solid HQ with good close combat abilities and the thing that makes him "hated" by everyone: the Challenge. He can choose to challenge a character from the same close combat and fight with him, deciding who wins based on the results of that challenge. Perhaps it is not as efficient in DA as in their Black Templar counterpart because BT do get their vows.

Elite Units:

Dreadnoughts: Huge behemoths of old, the dreadnoughts combine good armour with decent firepower on the move and good close combat abilities. Of the several weapons available the most efficient in my opinion are the twin lascannon which provides good anti tank fire, the twin autocannon which is good against light/medium vehicles and infantry, and the plasma cannon which is anti infantry but packs a punch against light vehicles. The Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon (DCCW) can be upgraded to a missile launcher to add more firepower. I prefer using the DCCW instead because it keeps my options open, a S10 weapon is a S10 weapon after all. Most people (myself included!) don't go near a dreadnought equipped with a DCCW without a good backup plan. There's also the possibility to upgrade the storm bolter to heavy flamer, but in most cases the extra ranged firepower provided by the storm bolter is a better option. Heavy flamer has really limited uses, being only effective with the new 4th ed. Assault rules were you can fire into a close combat. Extra armour is essential, because it keeps the dreadnought mobile.

Deathwing Terminators: Dark Angel veterans always take the field of battle wearing terminator armour. Although expensive these vets have a good armour save, good firepower, good melee skills and are stubborn to boot. In a standard DA army they should take assault cannons and eschew the Cyclones. The reason being there are cheaper ways to get heavy weapons squad. In a standard army the terminators should fulfil an attack/counter attack role.. Armed with cyclones you'll lose two power fists, while with assault cannons, you'll retain some anti tank capacity and a good melee performance. Other factor is that the armies that Terminators are more effective against (because the lack of AP2 weapons) will be more vulnerable to the assault cannons. Against Necrons you should ask yourself if you would like two more cyclone missile shots or four more power fist attacks, both have their pros and cons.

A special mention on the ability of Deathwing terminator squads capacity to mix heavy weapons with assault weapons. For instance a five-men terminator squad with two assault cannons and two pairs of lightning claws keeps a good firepower and has excellent close combat ability.
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