25 Jan 21

Discover new Dark Angels rules and relics to dominate close combat

With their new codex supplement available for pre-order on Saturday, we’re taking a look at a smattering of the things you can expect from this wonderful tome of secrets.* Whether it’s psychic powers, Stratagems, or shiny Relics, there’s definitely something to look forward to for every budding commander of the Unforgiven.


To aid their Interrogator-Chaplains in ripping secrets from the brains of their enemies, Librarians of the Dark Angels tap into their own mind-warping variety of psychic power to assault, distract, and befuddle. This means you’ll have a newly improved arsenal of psychic abilities to choose from when selecting your forces, so we’re going to give you a sneaky preview of a couple of our absolute favourites.

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For many, powerful aura abilities are a cornerstone of their army and allow even the most mundane of troops to perform above and beyond their limits. Being able to shut down those abilities at will is a powerful tool for any Librarian looking to give their own forces a leg up over their opponent, and it’s especially deadly in the hands of Master Interromancer Ezekiel who casts it easier than anyone else.

While many Psykers are content to use their mind-altering powers to merely shake the morale of their opponents, the master mental manipulators of the Dark Angels are able to shape their enemies’ fears into far more debilitating forms.

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Taking objectives and performing actions is important for many mission types. For those times when the enemy cannot be allowed to score crucial victory points, a Librarian can wipe a unit of their Objective Secured rule or even prevent them from taking actions entirely. Perfect for elbowing into an important objective at a critical time.

Relics of the Rock

Ancient relics of the Chapter are stored within the deep vaults of the Rock, available to the First Legion’s greatest champions in times of war. Those who are particularly fond of bludgeoning their enemies with heavy, blunt objects** will be glad to know a Relic has been requisitioned just for them. The Mace of Redemption is particularly good for piling on the mortal wounds, especially if you have a Librarian on hand to help you re-roll wound rolls.

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Even Ravenwing Talonmasters in their specialised Land Speeders might want to give something a cheeky poke once in a while, so it’s a good job the Heavenfall blade can be taken by them, even though this unit is classed as a vehicle. With plenty of Wounds on hand to soak up damage, equipping the Talonmaster with an upgraded power sword makes it a fearsome close combat Character indeed.

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Stratagems of the First

The new codex supplement has 17 stratagems for the Dark Angels and their successors to use, making it a difficult proposition to choose just one or two to show you. Alas, as Master Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai himself said, “There is no salvation without suffering”,*** so we present to you a carefully selected couple to tantalise your tactical minds.

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Befitting their fame as stalwart (some would say stubborn) defenders and cool-headed combatants at close range, the Dark Angels have a duo of Stratagems ideally suited to confronting large mobs of enemy troops. 

Line Unbreakable allows them to blunt the force of a massed assault, permitting only the front line of fighters to take a swing. For enemies that rely on numbers and sheer volume of attacks to wear down the Emperor’s finest, it’s sure to cause quite a pause.

Once the attack has been stymied, the old favourite Intractable returns to create much-needed space between the baying hordes of enemy monstrosities and the First Legion’s boltgun barrels. 

But what if there’s nowhere to retreat to or your Marines are hotly contesting a vital objective and can’t afford to move? In the maelstrom of close-quarters combat, none are as adept at leveraging their firepower as the Dark Angels.

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As one part**** of the new doctrine ability Sons of the Lion, Fire Discipline allows your units armed with Rapid Fire and Assault weapons to shoot even if they’re engaged in close combat, almost as if those weapons were pistols. With a veritable storm of fire ready to greet those that choose to engage them in a melee brawl, your foes will be forgiven for wanting to keep the Dark Angels at arm’s length.

That’s quite a lot already, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of the plethora of rules in the book. We’ll be digging deeper into the new codex supplement this week with a closer look at both the Ravenwing and Deathwing companies coming up. Make sure to keep an eye on warhammer-community.com and don’t forget to pre-order all of the Dark Angels goodies on Saturday.

* If you’re wondering whether this makes you part of the Inner Circle, it does! Or it doesn’t, and you’re about to hear a plasma gun charging up.
** Chaplains, we’re looking at you.
*** Cheerful fellow, isn’t he?
**** One part? Find out more later this week.