Monday, April 22, 2013

My Standard Dark Angels List

Yes there have been no posts for quite a while here; are the Dark Angels not a most taciturn and secretive chapter?

I've finally gotten some steam behind playing 6th edition with the new Dark Angels codex. After the jump you will find list that I've come up which will act as my "standard" army list. It may change from time to time but in the few full 1850-point games I've gotten in, it's fared very well, even against my most hated foe - Blood Angels. In addition to the usual Army Builder format, I'm adding a few extra pieces of data I thought might be handy.

HQ: Azrael

Elite: Venerable Dreadnought (Plasma Cannon; Heavy Flamer)
      1 Drop Pod

Troops: Deathwing Terminator Squad
      5 Deathwing Terminator Squad (Chainfist x1; Lightning Claws (pair) x1; Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield x1; Cyclone Missile Launcher x1)
         1 Deathwing Terminator Sergeant (Power Sword; Storm Bolter)

Troops: Tactical Squad
   9 Tactical Squad (Flamer; Missile Launcher; Flakk Missiles)
      1 Sergeant (Melta Bombs; Chainsword; Plasma Pistol)
      1 Rhino

Troops: Tactical Squad
      9 Tactical Squad (Plasma gun; Missile Launcher; Flakk Missiles)
         1 Sergeant (Melta Bombs; Power Sword; Plasma Pistol)
      1 Rhino

Troops: Ravenwing Attack Squadron
      5 Ravenwing Biker (Plasma gun x2)
         1 Ravenwing Veteran Sergeant (Power Fist)
      1 Ravenwing Attack Bike (Multi-melta)
      1 Land Speeder (Multi-melta; Typhoon Missile Launcher)

Fast Attack: Nephilim Jetfighter (Twin-Linked Lascannon)

Heavy Support: Vindicator (Siege Shield)

Composition Report:

Kill Points: 13 (up to 16 if using Combat Squads)

Hull Points: 17 (20 if including the drop pod)

Scoring units: 4 (up to 8 if using Combat Squads)

Denial units: 5 (still trying to wrap my head around what counts as a denial unit...)

Total Roster Cost: 1850


The composition report includes little tidbits that I typically don't think about much until the game starts. I find that after a hiatus of almost a year without any regular gaming, I have to retrain myself to think in terms not only of how many objectives I can control, but how many I can contest, how many kill points there are in my list and how many I am likely to have to give up.

When it comes to kill points, I don't consider things like warlord traits or secondary objectives, though these can be deciding factors.

My reasoning for including the total number of hull points is as follows: upon the release of 6th edition, the internet was ringing with cries of "Mech is dead! Mech is dead!" That has turned out not to be the case.

What is dead is the mono-vehicle build; the triple land raider list (12 HP total), while still very punchy, has to be much more cautious with all the S8+ weapons out there able to glance it to death, and likewise the parking lot lists full of cheap vehicles are drying up (though I suspect that had more to do with vehicles losing the ability to contest objectives than anything else).

In my opinion, at least, the key to using vehicles now lies in providing diverse vehicle targets for your opponent, since - as Fritz always says - the key to winning games is forcing your opponent to make as many decisions as possible. What do you shoot at? The flyer is a high priority target, but then so is that Vindicator. What about the drop pod dread who appeared behind your lines and is now thrashing around?

Having lots of hull points alone is probably not enough; you need to provide as many varied threats as possible so that the target priority decision is more difficult.

What I like about this list is that it really is an all-comers list. After filling out all the compulsory slots, I've got a bit of anti-aircraft, a bit of anti-tank, some interesting deployment and alpha strike options and an HQ that has performed far better than I ever had reason to expect.

Note: Sticking Azrael in a tactical squad creates an incredibly resilient unit capable of staving off most attacks. In one case Azrael and co. held off and finally defeated a squad of 4-5 TH/SS terminators, taking minimal casualties along the way. Wow! After 10+ years of playing Eldar, color me impressed!

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