Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Image courtesy of 40k Dark Angels Web

Brother C here,

After a fantastic match at 40kday for June, I have some thoughts about the viability of playing Dark Angels. I very much think they are still a competitive race. And it is my goal to prove it, however, this may mean people will not be able to play DA the way they may want to play DA.

The most striking difference between the 4th edition DA codex and 5th edition SM codex is unit cost vs. effectiveness (I will refer to this as unit efficiency). Units are cheaper, cheaper to upgrade, and thus one can field more, however, their effectiveness remains the same; per unit. Now this puts the DA at a disadvantage right from the start, thus, when putting together a DA list its all about damage control. If your opponent is going to be using efficient units, you need to do the same. Which means staying away from the glamorous or ‘cool looking’ units for which DA has become famous for. I have been tweaking my list to accomplish this goal and I have found it to be highly effective. There are still some nice perks to using an old codex. (librarian with old physic hood, techmarine not using up force org charts, etc.) and these need to be exploited as much as possible.

The one unit I have been struggling with has been the ravenwing. Now, I’m a pretty stubborn person and I’ve been including my RW in my army builds since day 1. They are one of the best looking models GW has made, and on paper they complement the rest of my forces very well. Scout move, outflanks, fearless, + AB, + LS, can be taken as troops with Sammael. Why would someone not take these? In matches however, they have underperformed; being able to only have flamers, plasma or melta, means I’m getting within assault range to really be effective; and only having 1 attack per model is suicide in melee. Being forced to turbo to receive a cover save is also frustrating (ork cloud of dust jealous at max). not to mention… 43pts a model for reasonable upgrade is just inefficient digress…

After much consideration, they just don’t seem to ‘fit’ with the current state of Warhammer40k. Much like the Deathwing at 43 pts a model, they need to be minimized or removed from anyone running a competitive DA list. I’m only running 1 RW squad in my most current list and I’m hard pressed to use those points elsewhere, to maximum my unit efficiency. They are one of my favorite models, and I’m not sure I’ve really exhausted my training with experimenting with them, however logic does get the best of me.

I was wondering if anyone (even reads this blog, haha) has any advice or similar awakenings with their lists, or with RW especially. Have you found them more effective then I? Or are they just an attractive expense? Advice?


  1. We're having similar difficulty fitting bikers into working CSM lists, much to our chagrin. On paper they look great, but in games... they under-perform. There must be a trick to it, some way to get more out of these guys.

  2. I read! and yes I am in total agreement with you. My Chaos Marines codex feels the same pain.

    My units are good on paper, until you look at their cost per model.

    I am just like you too, I am so stubborn that I want to play a nice fluffy army, but in doing so, I pretty much throw away any chances of actually winning :P

  3. I am going to try running a list without my ravenwing for my next few matches and see how it does. I've been thinking about putting them in reserve at the start and praying they don't end up coming in until say turn 3 or 4. I feel like they are more of a late game player. Once all the shit has hit the fan. If my opponent sees squishy expensive bikes, of course he'll go right for them, which has been their downfall. I'm thinking.. let the battle unfold for a few rounds, then like the ravenwing come in pick off some weaker targets, like that pred left all alone in the back. or those oblits.