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8th Dark Angels Tactica and Tournament Guide (in progress)


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#1
Solrac

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Hey gang,

So I thought I would kick this off to replace my old Lion's Blade thread that so many of you contributed to and made the topic much more successful.

As all aspects of a Dark Angels army are now considered competitive I thought we would focus primarily on Tactica that you can use in any of your games and then specialised Tactica for tournaments. I will be hitting Tournaments heavy for the rest of this year cause you know, 8th got me very excited, but also gonna be trying to keep up to date with all the stuff that comes out of the woodwork.

I want get your input as soon as possible primarily for unit combos but also things you have found about playing the game in general.

I want to go over a lot of basics but also dive into some advanced stuff also.

Cheers guys looking forward to your input!

Disclaimer: As long as this disclaimer is here, this thread is still under construction. Thank you for your patience.

Prologue

The aim of this topic is to discuss Tactica for Dark Angels play in a competitive setting. Obviously you can then adjust these if you are playing a more casual or narrative game but the focus will mainly be Matched Play games using Points Values.

We will be covering all the units to give you a general idea on how they perform or how to use them but therer will also be a dedicated section for unit combinations with the way characters now work. List building is now more important than ever so it's best to build a list around a core focus and then add in supporting elements.

We will also be discussing Tournament play as they usually run custom missions. Tournaments will usually see a 2000pts limit as this is the new 1850pts from 8th edition. The most popular Tournament formats are currently:

Independent Tournament Circuit (ITC)

We will be covering the following topics:

Chapter 1: The Basics
Chapter 2: Advanced Strategy and Missions
Chapter 3: Unit Overview
Chapter 4: Unit Combinations
Chapter 5: Stratagems and Relics
Chapter 6: Current Tournament Builds
Chapter 7: Useful Links


Edited by Solrac, 06 September 2017 - 04:49 AM.

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#2
Solrac

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Chapter 1: The Basics

This chapter covers the basics about the game that is different enough from last edition to catch people out. You would most likely have to factor these in to various parts of the game not just when playing (e.g list building).

Re-rolls and Modifiers

Re-rolls and Modifiers have changed significantly from 7th to 8th. There are fewer things that provide you with re-rolls and modifiers are now applied to your dice results rather than the models stats. I have highlighted it as it is extremely important that you shake off how modifiers used to work and see it for what it is now. These changes have also become very important during list building and setting up unit combos.

So that you better understand the order of operations, I have made the following example (with assistance from a few articles I have read on the subject):

Spoiler


Abilities that Ignore Damage

Abilities that ignore damage are actually quite common (Nurgle's Disgustingly Resillient, Dark Eldar's Power from Pain, Venerable Dreadnought's Unyielding Ancient to name a few).

These abilities work similarly to the old Feel No Pain of 7th edition in which you essentially get another round of "saves" before removing casualties. There are however subtle differences to how they work now.

These abilities can always be taken regardless of weapon strength (the old instant death does not apply). However the enemy must roll a dice for each wound inflicted after Damage from a weapon is applied so if you use weapons with more than one damage you will have a higher chance to take these units down.

Example:
Spoiler


Edited by Solrac, 22 June 2017 - 01:24 AM.


#3
Solrac

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Chapter 2: Advanced Strategy and Missions

So we have some Basic things above to keep in mind. Now we need to head into some more Advanced Tactica in all aspects of the game.

List Building

List building is more vital than it was before. While some units got cheaper, a lot of units (vehicles in particular) got a points hike because of their now improved survivability. Add to that the multiple detachments that are available with more to come in the future and the fact that Command Points can save your bacon you can start to see the focus there is now on building a quality list.

Since we are looking at competitive list building we are looking at getting bang for your buck rather than picking your favourite units (although sometimes your favourite units can be quite good). Make sure you check out the unit review section and the unit combinations to help you with this part.

So with this in mind there are a few ways I have seen so far to build a competitive list.

1. Focus on a Theme
Now I'm not talking about a narrative theme. I am talking about on the board do you want your army to be quick to take Maelstrom Objectives? If so you will focus on a fair bit of Fast Attack or Transport units. Do you want it to be Resilient? If so you will probably want a few Apothecaries, Azrael for his 4+ Invulnerable save aura etc. You need to choose the Theme you are comfortable playing with as well as keeping in mind the armies that you regularly come up against in your local area/Tournaments.

2. Focus on a Unit
Building a list around a unit can be quite rewarding. You will pick a hard hitting or incredibly resillient unit and invest points into making it better with Character buffs. From there you add units to support it. Pretty simple but harder to master as any wrong moves with that unit and you will probably lose the game.

3. Focus on Weight of Dice
This style of list building can be a lot of fun and see some very high model counts on the board. You will forgo trying to buff your units and taking the bare minimum HQs and just fill it with as much bang for your buck as you can. The more dice you throw the more likely you will eventually whittle things down.

In all instances it is important to practice, practice, practice. Especially for upcoming tournaments. The more you get the feel for your army the better it is and then you can make adjustments to make it that much better.

Know Your Enemy

If you can get your hands on the other army books, knowing what your opponent will do or what your opponents list is capable of doing gives you a massive advantage. It can take quite a lot of games but eventually you can remember most army units off the top of your head without referring to a book. With the rules for matched play being very defined, you can use these to your advantage.

For example if your opponent has 12 units and 6 of those have some sort of deep strike mechanic, it's pretty safe to bet those 6 units will be in your face turn 1. You can plan for that by deploying further back then normal so their longer range support isn't there and you can try and take out 6 units in the first turn rather than 12.

Deployment

7th edition was all about deployment. The importance of this has not changed. With the new deployment maps it has added an extra layer into the game. Individual stratgies for each deployment will be covered in the missions section later however I wanted to touch on it here also.

This also relates to Knowing Your Enemy above but with units being able to deep strike with prescision and also charging on the same turn, it is crucial you get your deployment right. If you don't know anything about your opponents army you need to specifically ask about the deep strike units to deploy accordingly. You have a lot of room to move on the board so make sure you are not caught out getting charged first turn or either bait a charge with a cheap unit so you can eliminate it in your turn.

 

Missions


Edited by Solrac, 06 September 2017 - 04:51 AM.

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#4
Solrac

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Chapter 3: Unit Overview

In this chapter we will give an overview of each of the units we can use in the Dark Angels Chapter. We may touch on similarities with other units but the bulk of that will be discussed in the next chapter, Unit Combinations. We will not be comparing them to their 7th ed counter parts and instead try and have a "looking from the outside" mentality. I hope to eventually cover Forge World units but will start with the basic stuff first.

HQ

Spoiler


ELITES
Spoiler


TROOPS
Spoiler


DEDICATED TRANSPORTS
Spoiler


FAST ATTACK
Spoiler


FLYERS
Spoiler


HEAVY SUPPORT
Spoiler


Edited by Solrac, 04 September 2017 - 01:56 AM.


#5
Solrac

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Chapter 4: Unit Combinations

Combinations of buffs will amp up your armies effectiveness up to 11. The key to character combos lies with how you build your army. In my experience it is better to focus building your character combos with specific units in mind and then build the rest of your army to support those units.

Azrael + Dark Shroud + Lieutenant
This is the ultimate buff combo better used for a gunline setup. It combines the perfect synergy of rock hard defense with excellent damage output.

In defence Azrael provides 4++ to all models within 6" whilst the Darkshroud provides -1 to hit to all units within 6". This means that if high AP weapons happen to make it through you will still have a 50% chance to stop the shot. The -1 to hit is also a major deterrent for anyone supercharging weapons or using Get's Hot style weapons. It's important to note that vehicles benefit more from the 4++ buff.

In offence Azrael provides re-rolls to hit (not just re-roll to 1s like Captains/Masters) and then the Lieutenant allows you to re-roll 1s to wound. This makes our already excellent Lascannons (and other heavy weapons) incredibly more potent when you need to destroy hard targets.

I have found this combo to be very effective with lots of Lascannon vehicles (Predators, Dreadnoughts etc.).

Belial
As mentioned in his unit summary, Belial is an auto include for any Deathwing themed army as he will provide re-roll to all hits (not just 1s) to all Deathwing units.

Sammael + Rhino Primaris
This is an idea I toyed around with however it is a very all eggs in one basket type build. You combine Sammael (who provides re-roll to all hits for Ravenwing) with a Rhino Primaris (which gives +1 to hit) and buff a large unit of Black Knights or Ravenwing Bikes. Black Knights in particular benefit the most as with +1 to hit they cannot kill themselves when supercharging their Plasma Talons as the +1 to hit affects your dice rolls after re-rolls so any rolls of 1s become 2s. The 2s will still miss however at least you don't kill any bikers. The Rhino Primaris also has the speed to keep up with the Ravenwing units.

Sammael is also an auto include to any Ravenwing themed army.


Edited by Solrac, 01 August 2017 - 01:38 AM.


#6
Solrac

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Chapter 5: Stratagems and Relics


Edited by Solrac, 06 September 2017 - 04:52 AM.


#7
Solrac

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Chapter 6: Current Tournament Builds


Edited by Solrac, 22 June 2017 - 01:29 AM.


#8
Solrac

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Chapter 7: Useful Links


Edited by Solrac, 22 June 2017 - 01:29 AM.


#9
dtse

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Hi solrac. I got a lot to write. Already been posting lots here on on the list forum for various wings. Just the last 4 days I have played 7 games against all different lists (as usual my opponents are "competitive" minded)

As usual all these games will be on our channel as batreps and I plan to do a video tactics soon. We also have our first tournament in 4 weeks

Edited by dtse, 19 June 2017 - 10:59 PM.

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#10
Solrac

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Thanks dtse! I acutally do watch your batreps and Im sure I'll be picking up a fair bit of stuff from them. Also your post about the Rhino Primaris is excellent as it is the only thing in our list that gives +1 to hit that I've seen.

 

I played a Tournament practice game on the weekend with a full Deathwing list but lost 14 - 5 (though the game was much closer than the score makes it look).

 

Currently working on a double Battalion list with Azrael to get 10 command points.



#11
dtse

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I ran a double battalion today against sisters

Azrael
Primaris lieutenant
Company master
Librarian
4 tacs wth 4 grav cannons
4 rhinos
2 scout squads
Devs with triple lascannon
Leviathan dreadnought in Lucius
Dark talon

Tie game. Sisters are legit. 10 CP. lots of rerolls. That batrep should be up next week or week after

My more "hardcore" dark angels gunline list lost two games yesterday against a ridiculous demon filth list. But the game before that smashed an AM artillery spam list

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#12
Kasil

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Hi Solrac,

 

I've always liked land speeders and was a little disappointed when i saw their cost, specifically with the typhoon ML.  It may be that the standard speeder is still viable given the new vehicle rules, but then I realized the Land Speeder Vengeance is actually cheaper and has better output and more survivability.  Thoughts on this becoming a standard gun platform for us?  Do you think the regular speeder with typhoon ML is still a decent piece?Thanks.



#13
dtse

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TML speeders is excellent.

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#14
RayJ

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Out of curiosity, what's your channel, dtse?
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#15
dtse

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Right there in my signature. I think I'm not allowed to plug it

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#16
RayJ

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Gotcha. Those don't show up on mobile version :)

#17
gainsay

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Hi Solrac,

 

I've always liked land speeders and was a little disappointed when i saw their cost, specifically with the typhoon ML.  It may be that the standard speeder is still viable given the new vehicle rules, but then I realized the Land Speeder Vengeance is actually cheaper and has better output and more survivability.  Thoughts on this becoming a standard gun platform for us?  Do you think the regular speeder with typhoon ML is still a decent piece?Thanks.

 

speeders with two heavy flamers are really good. Also remember they can charge a unit like those kastlen robots then disengage shoot and charge again. Remember this is no lobger 7th edition the games totally different. 


also forgot to add the standard army comp with troops is dead in this edition there is literally zero reason unless you have to have +2 command points to play something like tactial marines. Play vanguard and run death wing ravenwing and some green tanks instead. 



#18
dtse

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Yup. Tacs become our chaff screen lol. Funny.

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#19
Orkinstein

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I know it is a crazy talk. But after read index, I think If I have 9 Interrogator Chaplain, any enemies within 6" their LD will be reduced to 0. Which means that if they lost even just 1 model, in morale phase the unit will lose 3.5+1 models on average...

#20
dtse

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I'm sure similar situation of same rules don't stack

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#21
Orkinstein

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I'm sure similar situation of same rules don't stack

Usually the rule says "within 6" of any", but Interrogator Chaplain and Ravenwing Darkshroud don't. I think FAQ will say no.



#22
dtse

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I'm sure FAQ will rule that same effects from identical rules don't stack
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#23
Chaplain Lucifer

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Warhammer 40K unwritten rule #45
If something looks to good to be true in a non-Eldar book, then usually doesn't work. ;)
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#24
Kewl Imp

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I think the FAQ will say the same effect by the same kind of model do not stack. It would allow for stacking effects without, lets say, three dark shrouds making the army impossible to shoot. It would allow a chaplain and an interrogator chaplain to stack their effects. It could allow clever army building by selecting different units for similar effects.


Always show respect for the First Legion.

#25
dtse

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all im saying, don't go out and buy 3 dark shrouds....


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