Monday, March 7, 2011

Are Dark Angels the new Space Wolves?

I got into a discussion at my FLGS about the merits of the new post-FAQ Deathwing army. After the recent Battle Bunker Crash tournament was won by Ray's Deathwing force (and not just won - he was in the vicinity of 15 points ahead of second place, out of 120 total!) a friend of his was saying he thought it was the most powerful army around. He was disappointed that the FAQ had not balanced the points values along with new cyclone missile launcher and typhoon missile launcher stats. My reaction was that it is nice to have a new army that can compete at the top level - also I have a soft spot for Terminators, and had been dreaming of the FAQ being released for years!

The basic idea of such a force is that you take lots of thunder hammer / storm shield terminators with cheap cyclone missile launchers, and spam the cheap Land Speeder Typhoons. Cheap Venerable Dreads are another option that might be viable. I didn't play Ray's army, but at a non-comp event I might field something like this:

Deathwing 1500
Belial TH/SS 130
5 Deathwing - 4 TH/SS. 1 CML, 1 chainfist, Apothecary 270
5 Deathwing - 4 TH/SS, 1 CML, 1 chainfist 240
5 Deathwing - 4 TH/SS, 1 CML, 1 chainfist 240
5 Deathwing - 1 TH/SS. 1 CML 235
2 x 2 Land Speeder - heavy bolter, typhoon 300
1 Land Speeder - multi-melta, heavy flamer 75

16 Krak missiles at 1500 points is definitely getting into Space Wolf territory. Combine that with 21 2+ saves (6 with Feel No Pain) and a severe lack of target priority options for your opponent. The ability to deep strike in first turn with Deathwing Assault can ram those thunderhammers down your throat turn 2, but the army can also sit back and throw a lot of ranged S8 whilst forcing an opponent to advance, if that is what the objective requires. Nasty stuff - so what are the weaknesses?

  • Mobility of troops to some extent - but this is mitigated somewhat by the ability to deep strike in, and using the speeders to contest.
  • Lack of melta - mitigated to some extent by chainfists, and an abundance of S8 attacks throughout the army.
  • Hordes, especially Orks - you will only kill about 25 boys in cover in three round of shooting (assuming two frag hits per shot!). A full squad of 30 boys can wipe 5 termis on the charge. Not a common build though.
  • Tau - the speeders evaporate, drones take the missile hits, and Kroot screens protect all those plasma guns which can pick off a Termi here and there.

Hehe yes I'm semi serious - I think with my Tau I'd have a good chance if I took drones with my suit units. Might have to start doing that with the increase in missile spam these days. I am really looking forward to testing my Tau generalship against a list similar to the above.

But overall I agree that this is a first tier list, up there with Space Wolves and Imperial Guard. So do you agree? And how would you defeat it with your army?

1 comment:

  1. I've been running a similar army with devastators and now also bikes in place of the speeders. Mostly a durability thing, but the basics are all the same. The list is versatile, durable, and packs a huge punch.

    I don't know that it is the absolute best army out there, but it is very good once the general behind it figures out how to maximize its potential. I don't think many other armies can be equally adept at dishing out punishment in all phases of the game.

    Some things I have noticed that can really hurt this army though:

    - Null Zone
    - close combat blobs (IG blobs with comissar and power weapons can slowly whittle squads down, poison/furious charge boosted gaunts can get tons of wounds in, etc)
    - Massed Plasma/Melta (the 3+ invuln save is 1/4 as effective as the 2+ with FNP)

    Mostly, movement is the list's biggest weakness, and the things that hurt it most are the things already designed to deal with elite units. I can tell you for sure that I'm having a lot of fun throwing down 20+ terminators though!


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