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.
Perched above the uproar of the bedlam below, Thade watched as one of the dimwits relieved himself with drunken merriment from the next level down. His efforts left a steaming puddle expanding on the roof of their drinking hole. The Van Saar Cantina of the Rictus Grins. As the first of the intruders forced their way into their establishment, Thade slipped out the back and scaled up the side of the bar, leaving behind his plasma rifle in order to lift himself up the three stories with a small measure of grace. For a man of his age and in two layers of armour, he made the climb efficiently. He worked to steady his breath as he surveyed the scene below.
Two of the big ogres were tearing apart the refreshment servitor as they guzzled its supply of Wild Snake. Two members of the Grins approached from behind, power knife and shock baton ignited and held ready in unsteady hands. At the entrance, he could see the biggest of the furnace feeders squared off, a massive power hammer resting on his shoulder. The leader of the Grins, Vaulter Woechek, barred his path with an energy shield lit with purpose.
As the champion of the Rictus Grins, he had no choice. He wouldn’t allow the thugs from Goliath to have their fill of fun on his turf. He pulled the shock stave from its sling around his shoulder. Thade stood directly above the Goliath oaf fumbling with his pants as he ignited his shock stave. It crackled with electricity as he dropped down upon his unsuspecting prey.
Hiver on the Roof
With the element of surprise, Thade of the Van Saar’s charges Nox the Ripper. Though he is slightly intoxicated, he manages to drop down from above successfully and uninjured. He swings his shock stave and the electrical force causes two automatic wounds, resulting in a growing lump on the hulking fighter’s skull. Nox barley gets his trousers up as he is attacked, but he gathers himself and his spud-jacker makes short work of the Van Saar Champion; leaving him knocked back toward the ledge of the platform and crumpled on the ground.
Pious Pieter (Van Saar), having more refined vices other than drink, passes his Intoxication Check and charges Brakk. He rushes his blindside and stabs his power knife into the back of his enemy. The blade fails to land, but he avoids taking any damage in return. Kruger (Goliath) had a big meal before his gang’s night out, thus he passes his Intoxication Check. He rushes to the aid of Brakk and charges Pieter, swinging his brute cleaver with no success, but he is able to bat away Pieter’s defensive knife work.
Lonse (Van Saar) takes the opportunity to down the remnants of his flask, tossing it aside as he charges Kruger. He swings his shock baton and the overcharged mallet connects with skull, taking his opponent Out of Action. Brakk is too wasted and masculine to care about Kruger, but distractedly fails to land a blow against Pieter and takes no return damage. Vaulter’s (Van Saar) confidence reeks of Amasec and he foolishly charges big bad Skullshank. He fails his charge and in turn Skullshank, though inebriated, counter charges. He leads with his power hammer, smashing Vaulter’s energy shield wide and bludgeoning the Van Saar leader out of commission.
With the sneaky old man writhing on the ground, Nox performs a Coup de Grace on Thade, leaving his spud-jacker drenched in blood. Lonse harnesses his snake courage and charges Brakk, but fails to land a blow with his shock baton. Brakk, slowed from the liquor he chugged like water, is unable to respond to his attacker or find an offensive rhythm. Pious Pieter, ever sober, carves into a drunk Brakk with his power knife, leaving his cauterised bulk prone on the bar floor. Skullshank, drunk on snake and blood, charges up the stairs to enact revenge for his gang. He lands an overhead chop on Pieter, crumpling him instantly like a human nail.
In his current state, Lonse is able to settle his nerves after witnessing Pieter and his leader being struck down like vermin. He looks upon Skullshank and they begin to fray anew.
Lonse Versus Goliaths
Now outnumbered, fear cleanses Lonse’s system of Wild Snake. With his liquid courage having run its course, he relies on the good old fashioned kind. He manages to pass his Bottle Test and charges Skullshank. He lands a strike from his shock baton and he hears the crunch of breaking ribs as it lands against Skullshank’s abdomen. Skullshank nurses his right side and misses with his responding attacks. He grits though the pain and launches his own sloppy offensive. Lonse is able to dodge the first few swings, but an unexpected reverse follow through catches Lonse at the legs, leaving him fighting for consciousness. Further above, Nox tosses Thade’s body off the building and climbs down an access ladder to either help Skullshank or grab another drink at the bar.
Lonse picks himself up, seeing a small window for self preservation if he can flee before he’s trapped between two mounds of muscle.
Time to Not Be Nice
Lonse senses the other Goliath ganger drop from the ladder and he resigns to make a good account of himself. He swings his shock baton at Skullshank and manages to break a few more ribs in the process. He fights for his life, parrying a return blow from the Goliath leader. Skullshank now has clarity with the pain. He launches a devastating fury of chops that Lonse is unable to avoid. He is knocked down and struggles to rise. Nox sees that their enemy is down and he vows to prove his worth in front of Skullshank. He charges the last of the Van Saar crew, but is unable to reach him before Lonse succumbs to his injuries.
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With the release of Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury, the forces of Chaos received an update to some of their most renowned and reviled Legions. The most notable winners of the Traitor Legions include the Night Lords, Alpha Legion, and Iron Warriors. Let’s review some of their best Warlord Traits, Stratagems, and Relics to see why they came out “winners”.
To mirror the updates granted to loyalist Space Marines, Chaos Marines were given their own rules of Malicious Volleys (see Bolter Discipline) and Hateful Assault (see Shock Assault) to upgrade the standard bolter effectiveness and increase melee output. Pair these perks with a few of the new daemon weapons and you’ll have a character that is a big threat on the tabletop.
The Rapacious Talons (Slaanesh): Rapacious Talons replaces two lightning claws or two sets of malific talons on a Slaanesh marked model. Though the stats are slightly better than regular lightning claws (Str User, -2 AP, D2), its ability makes the owner a winner. Basically as long as you pass the daemon weapon test on a 2+, you add the number rolled to the models attack characteristic while also being able to reroll wound rolls with the standard lightning claw rules. This would make a Chaos Lord have 4+1+ (2-6) attacks for potentially a max of 11 attacks in conjunction with the Hateful Assault rule before any other buffs come into play. For a unit that costs a little over 100 points, it is a horde killer and more importantly Primaris kryptonite with its Damage 2 value.
Fist of Decay (Nurgle): The Nurgle relic replaces a powerfist and has quite a more potent profile to the standard fisticuff. Delivering a flat Damage of 3, it also has the ability to always wound on an unmodified wound roll of 2+, making it especially powerful versus monsters and vehicles. Though it does have the usual -1 to hit for powerfists, a Chaos Lord’s has the ability to reroll 1’s to hit. Thus, it improves their chance to land with all 5 attacks by hitting on 3+ (rerolling 1’s) and then wounding on 2+.
The Sons of the Night Haunter have a great combination of Warlord Traits, Stratagems, and Artefacts that can build some terrifying combinations in collaboration with their Legion trait. Night Lord stratagems come at a reasonable cost, with many of their Legion specific Stratagems costing only 1 Command Point, allowing you to use them over multiple rounds. These Stratagems focus on buffing Night Lord units while the enemy is weak and denying the enemy certain abilities i.e. falling back or surviving morale tests. It helps that an Outrider Detachment of a single Chaos Lord and 3 minimal units of Warp Talons costs less than 400 points, allowing a Night Lords player to take multiple Battalion Detachments to farm Command Points while still having a hard hitting detachment that will enact and maximize their Terror Tactics ability once they arrive from reserves or close the gap to the enemy.
If you’re interested in building a Warlord that is a whirling dervish of a death; take the Killing Fury Trait (+D3 attacks) and pair it with the Talons of the Night Terror (Model that can Fly only, +D3 attacks or +D6 attacks on the Charge/Heroic Intervention) for all the attack bonuses. The Jump Lord will have 4+1+D3+D6 attacks on the charge for a maximum of 14 attacks at Str 5, -1 AP and D1. He will wipe hordes with ease and overwhelm tougher targets through sheer volume of attacks. As a backup, arm him with a powerfist in the event he gets into melee with a vehicle or character for a maximum of 8 attacks with the powerfist profile.
As the ultimate masters of the shell game, the Alpha Legion have traits and abilities that make them super shifty, sabotage-centric, and tenacious thorugh misdirection. A few of their Warlord Traits are practical applications of their playstyle. The Master of Diversion trait allows the player to redeploy 3 units on the battlefield at the start of the First Battle Round. By redeploying 3 units, an Alpha Legion player is able to adapt to their enemies deployment, prevent or fix their own flawed deployment, and dictate an aggressive first turn or posture defensively. Faceless Commander is a once per battle Stratagem that allows you to remove your Warlord from the battlefield and set them up again with 3” of a friendly infantry unit and more than 9” away from the enemy. It guarantees that your Warlord gets into melee in no time, continuing to earn their points with kills.
The majority of the Alpha Legion specific Stratagems are modestly priced and prove that the Sons of the Hydra are playing with a loaded deck. Sabotaged Armoury costs 1 Command Point and can be used in any phase, but before an opponent’s roll to add 3 to a roll when testing if a vehicle explodes (on a 6+ it does). Remascent Infiltration allows an infantry unit to be placed back in reserves and brought back in via the standard reserves rules for only 1 point, allowing units to fight and fade in the early stages of the game.
The best of the Artefacts (Mindveil and Hydra’s Wail) don’t even take the form of weapons. Mindveil allows a model to roll 3d6 as their movement value, grants them the ability to move through units and terrain as if they weren’t there, and charge on a turn in which they fell back. An Alpha Legion Character would have no trouble getting into combat with this enhanced “jump pack” and perform hit and runs to prevent becoming a target in the enemy’s Shooting phase. Hydra’s Wail is a once per battle Relic, but forces an opponent to spend an extra command point on a 4+ (for the remainder of the battle round) in order to use their intended Stratagems. This is a great ability to use, especially in the later battle rounds, to ensure an opponent isn’t able to shift the momentum to their advantage and forces an opponent to budget additional command points with the knowledge that the Hydra’s Wail is on the playlist.
The Iron Warriors are renowned as siege specialists dedicated to heavy weaponry and the daemon engines that ravage their foes. With their new rules, the Iron Warriors are nearly impervious to low AP weapons, excellent vehicle killers, and brutes in melee. Of all the Warlord Traits, Stoic Advance is the most practical as it allows Iron Warriors within 6” of the Warlord to ignore the penalty for moving and firing a heavy weapon. Units will always have a target in sight and the proper angle on their victims without suffering penalties to hit. If you’re looking to add iron within, the Bastion trait pairs with the Dour Duty Stratagem to allow a targeted Iron Warrior unit within 6” of their Warlord to negate AP -2 weapons to AP 0, making them missile proof (or Riptide proof).
Iron Warrior Stratagems are some of the best in the book, with only one being situational due to applying only when playing against Imperial Fists (Bitter Enmity). A solid combination is to use Tank Hunters (1 CP) and Methodical Annihilation (1 CP) in the shooting phase to kill vehicles by re-rolling the wounds and rerolling the damage. Now a unit of Iron Warrior Havocs with lascannons can make short work of a Knight with those buffs without worrying about 1’s or spending command points to guarantee a fatal attack lands.
Artifacts of the Iron Warriors come as a mixed bag, but two stand out above the rest. The Cranium Malevolus is used in the Shooting phase instead of the bearer shooting. Instead, roll a D6 for every enemy vehicle within 9” of the model, on a 4-5 the unit takes D3 mortal wounds and on a 6 the unit suffers 3 mortal wounds. Find the ideal opportunity via prime reserve entry to deep strike a character in to affect multiple enemy vehicles and get your credits worth. An alternative relic choice would be to arm a Daemon Prince with the Axe of the Forgemaster to have a powerful melee character able to wreck vehicles with a Str 10 weapon that does D3 mortal wounds on a wound roll of 5+ in addition to its normal 2 damage.
If you are interested in adding some heretical Warlords and corrupt Daemon Engines to your forces, check out our webstore to see which Chaos models we have game-ready and available or checkout our Rental program to test some new reinforcements during your next game!
Today we are taking a look at the deadliest Drukhari to have ever appeared in the Dark City: Drazhar! With the recent release of Blood of the Phoenix, his model was given an amazing update along with his ruthless retinue of Incubi. Sadly, even with new models and updated rules, you probably won’t see these miniatures on the tabletop (unless you’re playing a casual game at your FLGS or at home). Let’s change that and take a look at Drazhar the Living Sword’s rules and see just how good he can be.
Looking at his stats, he has a similar statline as before with the exception of now having 6 Wounds. This enhances his durability with a 2+ save, 5++ invulnerable save, and 6+ FNP from his Faction’s Power through Pain rule.
A vital stat for his offensive capabilities is his base S4. Combine it with a couple key special rules and he is a master of versatility. With the Master of Blades rule and the Incubi Keyword, he benefits from +1 to Wound, hitting T4 enemies on 3+ or T8 Vehicles on 5+. Paired with the Lethal Precision ability, any wound rolls of 6 double to 4 damage each, so either of his weapon options has potential to be devastating.
His strength in addition to his single weapon bonus makes him capable of wounding tougher T4 opponents such as Space Marines on 2+ and T8 vehicles on 4+ when using his demiklaives as a single blade. On the charge and using the single blade, the Living Sword would have 4A at S5, -3AP, D2 (D4 on 6’s to wound) and could double if he charges due to his Murderous Assault rule (allowing him to activate to fight an additional time when charging). If you chose to wield dual blades, he has a total of 12A, S4, -2, D2 (D4 on 6’s to wound) and with the clarity for the FAQ, he is able to attack twice when he charges before an enemy model is activated.
Drahzar is capable of doing everything from slaying hordes to hacking away at vehicles, but he also grants a useful boost to Incubi within 6” of him via Lethal Precision as mentioned above. Having an escort unit of Incubi grants him a sturdy screen (3+save, 6+ FNP) nearby to prevent him taking unnecessary ranged attacks via his character keyword (when they arn’t embarked or locked in combat), but also supports his murder spree through weight of attacks and Lethal Precision.
It’s Smatt here with a brand new series for you! We are taking a deep dive into the Warhammer 40,000 universe to discuss T’au tactics. Today we are going to review how the Imperium and more specifically the Space Marine meta have drastically changed an imperative to T’au strategy: markerlight allocation.
With the arrival of 8th edition Warhammer 40k, some of its more flavorful T’au units have gone to the wayside, while others rise to ascendance. Markerlight drones were replaced with Pathfinders, but eventually the community cracked the code by discovering the finesse of the Greater Good in providing quality ballistic lights via relatively cheap characters. This norm has allowed T’au players to invest a small portion of their points on characters with markerlights and have them protected by their keyword character designation and the target priority rule.
A handful of updates and new units changed the T’au game and caused concern for this strategy. Not too long ago, snipers were few and far between. Now with the Vanguard Primaris line widely available, Space Marine players bring to the table Eliminators, capable of shooting characters and not needing line of sight. Pray that they aren’t Ravenguard, able to utilize the Surgical Strike ability to deliver a much harsher reality. In the Imperium, Vindicare Assassins were all the rage before the command point adjustment, allowing them to be taken for 85 points and one command point, while capable of killing two characters a turn without needing to change magazines. Vindicare Assassins are the sole reason I adjusted from being heavily reliant on solely characters with markerlights (via a Sa’cea Sept Vanguard Detachment with a Cadre Fireblade and triple Firesight Marksmen).
If you haven’t heard, T’au are sweeping the big tables lately with victories at SoCal and Nova, among others. We can learn quite a bit from both their lists as they show us markerlight innovation at its finest.
Recent 2019 SoCal Winner Brian Pullen uses mixed units of Shield and Markerlights Drones, Fire Warrior Shas’ui, Pathfinders, and an Ethereal for markerlights counters or similar aura effects. Let’s take a look at his list below:
His Markerlight Drones are able to move and shoot without penalty, adding better maneuverability for late game grabs and they are more cost effective on points in their role versus investing on a single character to get one markerlight. He buffs them by dedicating one of his Commanders wuth Drone Controller so they are able to Hit on 4+. The added protection of the Shield Drones allows him to allocate wounds if running low on markerlights or the Markerlight Drones can be used for Savior Protocols for other vulnerable units. Fire Warrior Shas’ui are cheap, hidden markerlights that will usually hang back in your castle. They will always be your last Fire Warrior to fall. Pathfinders can act as aggressive screens with their free pregame Vanguard move and have more staying power with drones. Each Pathfinder is armed with a pulse carbine or markerlight, adding to their versatility late game. Ethereals are able to use their ability to enact Storm of Fire, allowing reroll of 1’s to hit for stationary units within 6” as a backup for your diminished supply of markerlights.
Richard Siegler, winner of the Nova Open 2019 uses small accessory units of Shield Drones with Markerlight Characters (Cadre Fireblades, Darkstrider), units of Pathfinders, and an Ethereal to earn his markerlight buffs.
The main difference between Brian and Richard’s list is Richard relies on characters for quality markerlights hitting on premium BS and pairs it with Pathfinders and an Ethereal. He protects his characters by utilizing their drone options to have two shield drones accompany each applicable character and normally hides those drones out of sight. These small teams end up becoming tactically flexible for the T’au player and ceaselessly annoying for their opponent to kill.
With the game constantly unveiling new and better units and rules, T’au have proven that they have plenty of options for Markerlight counters, but just one won’t work. No matter where your markerlights are allocated, just make sure you have them well protected and your markerlights are not all in one Devilfish.
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