Sunday, January 16, 2011

Playing Dark Angels: Adjusting to the new environment.

Everyone has had the opportunity to look over the new FAQs by now, and there is a lot of hubbub about the changes to Dark Angels and Black Templars. While you won't see sweeping changes in what exactly works for each of those armies, a few outliers on the realm of competitive gaming have just stepped up for each list and are ready to swing against the forces of 5th Edition.

These two armies have lost their greatest asset (old smoke launcher rules) which will make mechanized forces a good bit weaker, especially those based around Land Raiders. Trying to compare BA or BT mech vs SM or SW will have you coming up wanting. Things may change when the Storm Raven rolls across all the SM armies in a couple of months, but for now things are a little to expensive for BT and DA.

It's not that their mech is necessarily more expensive (though for BT they are), but also that the component elements of the army are still overcosted. The extra mech durability these old armies had helped make up for the lack of units due to point costing.

What these armies have gained, however is rules parity for almost all the wargear available to them (DAs still have full table Psychic hoods, probably because all librarians short of Zeke only have a Leadership 9).

What these changes really do is bring a few unit options back into the competitive mix. For DA, these are still the same units that were being used competitively before, bu there is now some greater variety in loadouts. Basically what you will be seeing is a lot of cyclone missile launchers, typhoon missile launchers, and storm shields. Cheaper Land Raider Crusaders (free multi-melta and cheaper storm bolter upgrade) might see some more use with the new Machine Spirit, but the loss of old smoke will make that army not as durable in the mid field.

I'm currently piecing together a few sample army lists that I expect to pop up and actually work well for almost any mission. I've got a list based on my Loganwing List that I am expecting to perform superbly. Dark Angels have received about a 60-80% firepower boost and a 100% durability boost in close combat. Combining those two tools will allow them to make up for their shortcomings much more reliably, even though they are outnumbered. Expect some news tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I'm actually debating starting a Dark Angels army now and I've never been excited about a Marine book yet. I should have my list up sometime on Monday at me blog (shameless plugs FTW!)

    Actually, DA Razorback swarm might be OK. A TWL Lascannon RBack only costs 5 points more than the SM equivalent but can be filled with a Tac squad that carries an honest-to-God Meltagun or flamer rather than the combi variety that C:SM have to use. Sure, probably still not as effective as SW or BA at that style but backed up by cheap Typhoons and a Thunderbubble of Terminators might make the list hum.



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