First Take on the First Legion
The Dark Angels are looking to rebound from once being an unplayable faction into one with longer teeth. With their new special combat doctrine from Ritual of the Damned, Relentless Hunt, all weapons in a Dark Angels force is improved with better range when the Devastator doctrine is in effect. It is being touted as one of the most all encompassing specialized doctrines, but is truly powerful? When paired with the Unforgiven’s Chapter Tactic, Grim Resolve (assuming their Chapter Tactic will be updated to now benefit all units), not only will units benefit longer range, but will be able to reroll Hit rolls of 1’s when stationary. Let’s take a look to see what weapons and units Relentless Hunt immediately improves for the Dark Angels and see how this will affect their meta.
- Flamers- No one wants to be Overwatched by auto-hitting flamers, now it’s practically impossible to avoid it against the Dark Angels.
- Assault Cannons- With range being its biggest disadvantage, Dark Angels are able to rely on this weapon to produce dakka with further reach.
- Melta weapons- The biggest challenge with melta weapons is getting them in range, but more specifically within half range in order to benefit their damage ability. This greatly improves Melta Cannons while giving some much needed extra reach to meltaguns.
- Plasma Weapons- Space marine plasma weapons have generally always toed the line as mid-range and long-range weapons. Now heavy plasma weapons can now sit back at long range while rapid fire and assault plasma weapons are solid mid-range weapons.
- Bolt Weapons- As the backbone of a Space Marine arsenal, bolt weapons now make troop choices an even better value in a Dark Angels force, especially Intercessors.
The best troop choice for Dark Angels has drastically shifted from the economic Scout squad to the Intercessor. It is arguable which weapon is better suited, but both the Stalker Bolt Rifle and standard Bolt Rifle synergize well with Grim Resolve and Relentless Hunt to allow for rerolls to hit of 1’s when stationary. The longer range improves the reach of the Stalker, while also making it easier to double tap with the rapid fire trait of the Bolt Rifle (either while remaining stationary or shooting within half range).
Auto Bolt Rifles- 27”
Bolt Rifles- 36”
Stalker Bolt Rifles- 42”
Land Raider Crusader:
Benefitting from both doctrines and Chapter tactic, Crusaders see a much needed boost to all of its ranged weaponry. Now a Land Raider Crusader will be able to have some flexibility during deployment rather than always being on the frontline and moving without penalty (Power of the Machine Spirit) to reach and maximize their shooting output.
Assault Cannons- 30” range
Melta Cannons- 30”, 15” half range
Hurricane Bolters: 30” range
Once a favorite of many players, the Vindicator has seen drastic changes of late. Now with D6 shots and a 30” range for Dark Angels Players, this tank will make Knight players think twice about aggressive deployment and failed charges. Keep them hidden in the event you go second and enjoy a nasty counter punch. Take three is a relatively economic Spearhead Detachment to threaten monster and vehicle heavy armies.
Demolisher Cannon- 30”
In recent years, The First Legion has played like a traditional gunline faction. With the anticipated updates from Ritual of the Damned, it looks like they will get benefits to emphasize this battlefield role, while also giving them tactical flexibility across the board. With an army wide buff to ranged weapons, they are able to sit further back and even outdistance other gunline factions. This makes them a tough opponent to face if they get first turn, but also help them pack an energized counter punch if they survive going second.
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