Friday, 31 May 2013

Where to start with Dark Angels

Since this is the first proper article on the blog I think it makes sense to start at the beginning, so while the majority of articles will be focused to existing players, today we're gonna talk about how to start your Dark Angels army...

So what is the best way to start your army? Well take a look at the picture above!

If you are new to the Dark Angels or even new to Warhammer 40k, the first thing which you need to buy is the Dark Vengeance boxset. The set comes with everything you need to get playing 40k/Dark Angels - the rules, nice selection of models, measuring and dice. You can flog all the Chaos models on eBay if you want making the box even cheaper! The models you get allow you to have a play around with the different play-styles of the army. You get each of the 3 main elements of the army, a Deathwing Terminator Squad, Ravenwing Bike Squad and the obligatory squad of Tactical Marines. I'd recommend playing a few small games with the DV box models and seeing which bit of the army you like the best; you might think you're all set on having a Ravenwing army, but after playing a few games you may begin to love the solid hitting power of the Deathwing. After you've chosen which 'wing' you'd like to focus on I'd recommend the following purchases...


If you want a Deathwing army, the best thing you can do it just stock up on Deathwing Command Squad sets. This box lets you make the Command Squad (obviously!), the Deathwing Terminators and the Deathwing Knights. These are the only real units you'll need in a Deathwing army so this one box provides all your needs. How you build these kits is up to you, however, I would be careful to make sure that you have at least a 1:1 ratio of Deathwing Terminators to Deathwing Command Squad/Deathwing Knights. The standard terminators will be the bread and butter of your army, you need them as a stable core rather than just having all the special variants of the Deathwing. You can add other units like Dreadnoughts or some of the flyers, but I'd just stick with getting a few boxs of the Deathwing to get started with, you can always add more later.


If you think you're a fan of the Ravenwing then the next thing you should buy should be a Dark Angels Battleforce. This might as well be called a Ravenwing battleforce, it contains only ravenwing units and is a great addition to the DV starter set. This quickly lets you get up to a playable force with the ravenwing as well as providing some variety to your list (a landspeeder and an attack bike). Unlike the options for the Deathwing, the Ravenwing forces are a little less costly, so rather than just buying the battleforce I'd also be really tempted to buy a Ravenwing command squad, a flier or two and the land speeder vengeance. You've now got a mean Ravenwing force with as few purchases as possible, yet still room for a lot of customisation (why not add some more deathwing in?!)

By now you have a copy of the rules, everything you need to play, and a mid sized Dark Angels force (anywhere between 1000-2000 points depending on what you bought and how you equipped those models) focussed on one of the two wings. While this won't be the most optimised force guaranteed to win  you tournaments, it will be pretty balanced (thanks to the rounded selection of models in the starter set) and pack a punch (since you decided to either go for the quick and hard hitting Ravenwing or the solid Deathwing which considerable staying power).

One last quick note, I wouldn't recommend that you buy any of the above from GamesWorkshop directly, there prices are often 20%-30% more expensive than almost all of the internet retailers out there. If you want to buy and Wargaming models or supplies cheaply, I suggest you pay a visit Wayland Games (just click on any of the banners on this blog or the banner below)



  1. I have a question: is there a point in making a non-Wing DA army ? I'm planning on getting a DV set to get into the game after a few years of just following it and while I like both wings, I see them as elite detachments and would prefer them to simply support my Tactical Marines. One of reasons I'm interested in the DA is that I heard they're more shooty than fighty and I would like to use mostly Tacticals with plenty of plasma and a ranged Company Master.

    1. Its definitely feasible to have a 'green' wing supported by the other elements of the army. Its just that the wings are better than their green counterparts (a lot of the best shooting can be found among the Deathwing and the Ravenwing).

      In reality unless you are playing pure deathwing or ravenwing, your army would have a fair few normal dark angels space marines supported by large amounts of wing troops.

      Basically the non-wing troops are more than capable of providing a shooty army and winning games, however, I can't emphasise enough how important having some wing element in your army is!

  2. Hi guys,

    I'm just starting out with DAs!

    If we no longer can have terminators or bike squads as troops from the respective Master does that mean we must still take 2 normal troop choices?
    What about if we play a Deathwing redemption force? Would we still need troops?
    I assume we do but I thought best to check!



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