Sunday, 19 July 2015

Dark Angels codex review part 4 / 5 - Greenwing

Part 4 is really mostly here for completeness, as I could likely cover the differences between codex marines and Dark Angels in a single paragraph. However, as we're talking about old Vs new with Dark Angels here, I've pretty much cut and paste my review of those units from the SM codex with some minor amendments.
No changes, save for those to grim resolve and bikes being part of the unit entry not the wargear list.
Now an HQ choice, the TM is almost the exact same stats as the old MoTF (save for 1 less Ld) and comes with a semi-pointless power axe as standard for the same price as the old TM +PA. So effectively you've gained BS, 1 wound and 1 attack for 15 points. Servitor and upgrade options remain the same, with servitors now seeming to be an upgrade rather than a squad. Note the servitors don't get grim resolve and so won't get the BS benefits for overwatch.
Tactical squad
Same except they gained access to grav cannons, as did other squads that can select from the heavy weapons list. With BS2 overwatch as standard now as per grim resolve.
Scout squad
BIG change here. Scout remained the same cost and have the same wargear options, BUT scouts have returned to BS4/WS4. Not sure how I feel about the change TBH as it makes BA and SW scouts look crap by comparison and doesn't fit the fluff as well as the previous stat-line. These guys are sure to be more popular now, especially snipers. Add too that the BS2 overwatch from grim resolve.
Company veterans squad
Hmm, I love the company veteran squads but they're just not that great TBH. Points remained the same and they got access to lists rather than picking from their datasheet. It's still 1/5 for special weapons, 1 heavy weapon and as many melee/ranged weapons (including combi weapons) as you want now, so that's officially fixed. Still though, when compared to sternguard (heavy flamers and special issue ammo) and vanguard (discounted weaponry and jump packs), these guys are just poor, despite the grim resolve.
Command squad
Base costs dropped 10 points and as with the ravenwing champion, for the upgrade cost he gets a sword of caliban (better than the codex equivalent). They get access to the banners section of the wargear list now rather than having banners listed in their entry, and are the only unit able to take the Chapter banner. Apothecary upgrade remains the same, as do melta bomb and storm shield access. All veteran can select melee, ranged or special weapons. This squad is probably the only one to get decent benefit from the sacred standards, as these would obviously benefit them when taking grav guns due to the relentless. Add to that overwatch perks. An expensive but punchy squad would be 4 grav guns, apothecary, sacred standard and a couple of storm shields - 200 points but packing a wallop in a drop pod or rhino.
Three big changes here which will finally make these chaps stars of the battlefield again hopefully. Firstly, a points drops on weapons, with plasma cannons being 5 points cheaper and both lascannons and assault cannons dropping in price by 10 points. Secondly, they can be taken in units of up to three now, though there's no mixing and matching with different types of Dreadnought and you can only take a drop pod if they're a single Dreadnought. Thirdly, the base attacks for the Dreadnought went up from 2 to a whopping 4, doubly their close combat potential. 4 may be a bit excessive (3 may have been a bit more balanced) but a boost of some sort was definitely needed to reduce tarpitting and the oh-so-common can't hit the side of a barn door dreadnought charge. Don't forget also that dreadnoughts have BS2 overwatch.
No change
No change
Drop pod
No change
Assault squad
A few changes here. Net cost is the same, just that you start without jump packs now and have to add them on, which obviously affects the previous cheaply available free transports. The only other change is that one in every 5 models (in addition to the usual upgrades) may take an eviscerator in place of their normal BP/CCW. Some implications here for anti-tank/anti-MC duties.

Devastator squad
Only a couple of changes of note here, namely access to grav-cannons (plus amps) for 35 points a pop and a new piece of wargear in the form of the armourium cherub, which allows one model in the unit to re-roll to hit rolls in the shooting phase as a one off. The addition of BS2 thanks to grim resolve and further boosts to this as will be discussed later make devastators, particularly grav devastators, a tempting unit.
No change to costs etc, but can be taken in units of 3 and (spot the trend) gain an appropriate boost so long as 3 are in the unit. Killshot grants them both monster and tank hunters.
No change points wise, but so long as they're in a unit of 3 they gain suppressive bombardment, granting each shot pinning and shred. Nice!
A 5 point price drop and again, access to squadrons of 3 for a bonus so long as all 3 are alive. This comes in the form of the mighty Linebreaker bombardment, which combines all 3 shots into a single apocalyptic blast which, wait for it, ignores cover! This is incredibly powerful and, while difficult to pull off due to range (and as with all of the squadron perks easily neutered by killing a single vehicle), will likely inspire fear and trepidation in your opponent.
Land raiders
Lost the silly dozer blade upgrade and also lost the ability to be Deathwing vehicles.
Battle demi-company

A bit different from the codex equivalent to reflect the DA codex divergence. The Dark Angel version has no optional elements in the assault and devastator slots and so it must consist of 3 tactical squads, an assault squad and a devastator squad. You may choose whether to include a Company Master or a Chaplain, and the optional elements are a Dreadnought squad, Company veterans squad and command squad. By adhering to this structure (which will feature in the next post about the Lions Blade strike force) you gain objective secured for all elements, not just the tacticals, and also the fire discipline rule, which bumps up overwatch rolls to BS3 for the formation. Pretty good TBH and seeing as the minumum cost is 440 and will form the core of most Greenwing armies I'd say it's worth it.
The hammer of Caliban
This formation must consist of a land raider, techmarine (who must start in the land raider, granting it BS5) and one full unit of 3 predators/vindicators/whirlwinds. They all form a single 2 VP unit and all models benefit from both monster and tank hunters. If you were taking a full squadron of 3 and a land raider anyway it's probably worth the TM tax, but only I think if you're running vindicators as a full squadron of predators get the rules anyway (so long as there are still 3) and the rules are somewhat lost on whirlwinds. BS5 is good for the land raider, but most of the weapons that would benefit from it are twin-linked anyway, though getting TH/MH is a nice perk. A reasonable formation for things that may well be in a greenwing force anyway.
Not too many changes then considering it was mostly updated last time around. The Grim resolve update and addition of Grav makes the greenwing element a more formidable one than previously. Some units in particular will shine, such as dreadnoughts, devastators and tactical squads, with others such as company veterans unlikely to often make the cut. That's it for part 4. Next week part 5 will try to bring all elements of the army together and discuss the Lion's blade strike force detachment now we've seen everything in detail individually. Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. I kind of like the Hammer of Caliban with Predators. The Land Raider is part of the Unit, so (PotMS aside), it has to fire at the same Unit they do, and most of the Land Raider options end up fitting better with Predators than with Whirlwinds or Vindicators. Keeping TH/MH even after losing a Predator is a pretty big deal, too. Then the cherry on top is that the Techmarine still has TH/MH even if he leaves the Land Raider during the Game, so he can skootch over and Join a Devastator Squad or something to buff them while the Tanks do their thing. Pretty ridiculously expensive, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to run it at least a couple of times anyhow.