Codex Dark Angels 10th Edition: The Goonhammer Review

The Unforgiven have carved their path through the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium, and now they emerge from the shadows, clad in the iconic green* armour of the Dark Angels. With the release of the new 10th Edition Codex for the Unforgiven, Curie and Gunum delve into the arsenal of new stratagems, units, and updated rules that will guide our secretive warriors in their quest for redemption and justice. Join us as we uncover the hidden secrets and powerful tools bestowed upon the sons of the Lion in their relentless pursuit across the galaxy!

(*other armour colours may apply)

We would like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a review copy of the Codex.

Note: The precise points are still unknown while the Dark Angels Codex gets ready to launch. We expect further changes that will likely follow the same path as Codex: Necrons. Although our first analysis is based on the current MFM points, any modifications that Games Workshop releases may require a reassessment.

Army Overview

Dark Angel Hellblasters led by a Librarian (Credit: Musterkrux)

We think the following are the five standout features of this book:

  • Detachments: This Codex showcases an impressive array of options, offering a rich tapestry of different Deathwing and Ravenwing builds to explore. While one detachment may stand out as particularly potent, 2 additional ones open the door to exciting possibilities.
  • Inner Circle Task Force: Speaking of detachments, we get access to a great new way to play with our Terminators and Deathwing units. The Dark Angels supplement unlocks some keywords to units that we didn’t have access to before. The DEATHWING keyword is attached to a collection of elite units, as well as every Dreadnought and Land Raider.
  • Ravenwing Command Squad: The Ravenwing Command Squad has been given a refresh, and they can now lead a unit of Outriders or Black Knights.
  • New Units for Old Leaders: Heroes like Ezekiel gain access to new units to lead, suddenly making them a lot more attractive. Being able to lead Bladeguard Veterans as well as the new Inner Circle Companions makes his +1 attack buff much more relevant.
  • A Sign of Things to Come? The new Ravenwing detachment unlocks the ability for Outriders to be taken as Battleline options. This is only the second instance of this sort of ability, and the first tied to a detachment rather than a Datasheet, and is definitely something we’d like to see more of.

With those positives out of the way, let’s turn to things we like less.

  • Deathwing Knights: Their unit goes from a max of 10, to a max of 5. Their maces go down to 2 damage. They no longer have cool robed heads. Incense hammers are gone. L’s all around.
  • Fallen Angels: Some beloved units depart from our lines. Most notably, the Talonmaster and the Deathwing Command Squad.
  • The Kitten: The Lion takes a couple of massive hits here, paying for some unforeseen sins. The Shield of the Emperor loses its “Shield” element by having its -1 to be wounded ability removed. Next, Fealty, the sword akin to Excalibur, loses a point of damage off its sweep. Our powerful, expensive leader takes some big hits.

Where’s Crusade?

You’ll find our review of the book’s Crusade rules this upcoming. It works quite a bit like it did last edition, with a hunt for Fallen.

Army Rules

Azrael. Credit: Rockfish
Azrael. Credit: Rockfish

Dark Angels armies all gain access to the Oath of Moment ability that is described in Codex: Space Marines. They have access to the full complement of Space Marine units, with the exception of any other Codex-specific units (no Roboute Guilliman in the Unforgiven Task Force!).

All Mounted and Vehicle units that can FLY gain the Ravenwing keyword while all of the following units gain the Deathwing keyword:

  • Terminator units
  • Bladeguard Veterans, Sternguard Veterans, Bladeguard Ancient, and Vanguard Veterans with Jump Packs
  • Land Raiders and Repulsors (all variants of both)
  • Dreadnoughts

While the list of mounted units is quite short in Codex: Space Marines, there are quite a few vehicles with FLY meaning the Ravenwing arsenal has expanded considerably since the last edition. Similarly, the Deathwing have again expanded their ranks, adding in the First Company units that weren’t available to them previously (notably Vanguard Veterans and Sternguard Veterans).


Dark Angels armies have access to 3 detachments (in addition to the 7 detachments in Codex: Space Marines). Unforgiven Task Force returns from the Index, with some minor tweaks. Gunum is into the Inner Circle Task Force, a bit ironically knowing his history, because of the tools presented to the players via the stratagems and enhancements. Curie feels that Company of Hunters is likely to see the most play owing to its mobility and flexibility. Is anyone surprised? Wings is leaning towards Inner Circle, but does enjoy some of the skew list prospects that Company of Hunters presents.

Unforgiven Task Force

Redemptor Dreadnought. Credit: Kevin Stillman

The Unforgiven Task Force is the Dark Angels Index detachment, and is something of an all-rounder option, with a theme around units improving when Battle-shocked (particularly for the Enhancements). As with any all-rounder Marine detachment, it struggles somewhat with the Gladius Task Force being an incredible all-round choice, but there are a few things here that you can make some use of..

Detachment Rule: Grim Resolve

When your units are Battle-Shocked, their OC drops to 1 instead of 0. This means that you’ll never lose an objective solely to failing a Morale test, which is welcome, and also means that Enhancements that only pop off when you’re shocked are less of a dealbreaker.


The standout enhancement for the Unforgiven Task Force are the Weapons of the First Legion (previously Heavenfall Blade). This gives the bearer’s melee weapons +1 to each of S, A and D, increasing to +2 when Battle-shocked. Even at the baseline it’s one of the best weapon buffs available anywhere in Marines, and if the additional boost triggers its wild. The updated Ravenwing Champion in the Command Squad is a potentially interesting bearer for this, and it’s also pretty great on a Gravis Captain with the dual wield build (as though the A buff doesn’t apply to the Extra Attacks, the other two boosts do).

Also handy is the Pennant of Remembrance, letting an Ancient hand out a 6+ Feel No Pain, or 4+ while shocked. You only really want this with stuff that’s got 3W+, but it is pretty good there, helping mitigate some of the things that will otherwise sweep through such a unit. If you’d rather go on the offence, Stubborn Tenacity provides a flat +1 to hit to the Character’s unit, and +1 to wound too when Battle Shocked. Somewhat decent for providing some extra oomph, though few units strictly need this.

Finally, you get the Shroud of Heroes, letting the bearer stand up on 3W on a 2+ the first time they die, or full wounds if they were Battle-shocked. Could be decent on a Jump Pack Captain leading some Assault Intercessors, as it can give you an extra turn of rampaging after their inevitable demise.


The Unforgiven Task Force gets Armour of Contempt like all Marines. It’s good, just like it always is.

Beyond that, the theme here is reliably grinding the enemy down, whatever they try to do to stop you. You get Intractable for Fall Back/Shoot/Charge (great on a big Ravenwing brick), Fire Discipline to give a unit Assault, Heavy and Ignores Cover all at once (very helpful for Inceptors once they’ve dropped) and Unforgiven Fury for Lethal Hits, which leans into the detachment theme by also triggering Critical Hits on a 5+ if any unit in your army is Battle Shocked. This one is great for pushing Hellblasters to an extreme.

The more unusual options here are Grim Retribution and Unbreakable Lines. Retribution lets a unit shoot back after the enemy kills a model from their squad, which again can be exceedingly nasty if you use it with Azrael and lots of Hellblasters. Unbreakable Lines unfortunately sees a bit of a nerf from the Index, triggering after an opponent Charges you to give them -1 to Wound (changed from -1 to damage) in the following Fight Phase (and also going up to 2CP). This does have the effect of making Deathwing Knights almost unkillable (and is also good if you stack a big bike brick), but it definitely could have stayed at 1CP.

Overall this detachment continues to have some cool stuff going for it, but still can’t compete with the potency of Gladius Task Force as an all-rounder pick, so you’re mostly doing it if you want to create some silly herohammer setups with the Weapons.

Inner Circle Task Force

Deathwing Terminator Praetor
Deathwing Terminator Praetor. Credit: Jack Hunter

The Outer Inner Circle Task Force brings forward what we all know and love about Dark Angels. The humble Terminator. Oh, and their Land Raiders and their Dreadnoughts… and Bladeguard Veterans… Vanguard Vets? Sternguard Veterans? Running counter to years and years of Dark Angels lore, we have some new inductees into the Deathwing and now quite a few more options opening up to any bone-white player. What do we get with these reinforcements? Let’s dive in and find out.

Detachment Rule: Vowed Target

At the start of our Command phase, the Dark Angels player picks a single objective marker to be the target. Until the end of the start of your next Command phase, each time a Deathwing Infantry unit makes an attack that targets a unit on that objective, add +1 to the wound roll. Is this the most powerful detachment rule we’ve seen? No. Is it pretty useful now that Dark Angels have a deeper infantry toolbox? Yes. This rule opens up some play options that I enjoy thinking about, like Sternguard Vets with Rifles out of a drop pod, or maybe 10 Deathwing Terminators dropping some real heavy bolter fire onto some poor objective holding Scouts. Speaking of Terminators and objectives, let’s look at some great ways to do that with the enhancements and stratagems.

Curie: Gunum passed up a fun interaction – Ezekiel, Asmodai, Lazarus, and Azrael all have the Deathwing keyword as befits them, which means that any units they can lead also gain the Deathwing keyword. Shenanigans?

Wings: Yeah I think this interaction is what gets this detachment over the line. As a starter for ten, slotting Asmodai + Assault Intercessors and Azrael + Hellblasters in feels very strong, and it hits that key criteria in the 10th Edition structure of making them plausibly better here than in any other Detachment.


As normal, there’s four enhancements on offer here. Two of them are focused around the Vowed Target, the other two are more utility pieces. Champion of the Deathwing is for a Deathwing character, providing their melee weapons with Lethal Hits. In addition, if they happen to be attacking a unit on the Vowed target, the unit causes Critical Hits on a 5+ instead of a 6+. Eye of the Unseen provides a bit of Command point help, giving us back a spent CP if a stratagem is used on the bearers unit on a 5+, adding +1 to the roll if they are within range of a Vowed objective.

Before we go much further, I want to point out how aggressively these two enhancements work towards the game plan of this detachment. We want to be looking at units who can hammer onto our chosen objective for the turn, make sure we clear that as well as a small area around it, as we prepare to cascade into the next one.

The next two we have are the classic Deathwing Assault and Singular Will. The latter is an enhancement that our slower units can benefit from, which is an extra 3” to Piles in and Consolidates to the bearer’s unit. A simple enhancement that can be used to devastating effect against some gunlines, or allowing for some great movement tricks. Deathwing Assault is where I think we find the real cream of the crop for our forces. A Deathing model that has Deep Strike can take it, and it allows the bearer’s unit to Deep Strike on your first movement phase, regardless of mission rules.

I don’t have to tell you how cool this is but I will anyway, it rules. Talk about a dream come true for Terminator players. I’d talk more about this, but I’ll save the real bit of strategy for one of our best stratagems. The Relic Teleportarium.


We have six stratagems, with one being the classic Armour of Contempt. Next, the aforementioned Relic Teleportarium. This, coupled with the Deathwing Assault enhancement, allows for incredibly aggressive play that can compete with the options provided by the Vanguard detachments infiltrate enhancement. Relic Teleportarium costs a single CP to allow a unit that will be arriving from Deep Strike in your renforcement step to arrive 3” away from enemy units, while being unable to charge. Let’s take a moment to picture this with our favourite melee powerhouses.


Yeah. It’s pretty great. 10 Assault Terminators? 10 Deathwing Terminators? 5 Deathwing Knights? Putting all of that in your enemy’s deployment zone on the first turn and utilising Azrael to gain a second CP to power an Armour of Contempt to keep them guys protected, and I think we’re onto something real here. Don’t forget, we can mark our opponent’s deployment objective as our Vowed Target to allow shooting elements, say plasma cannons or cyclone missile launchers, a real shot at doing some damage on an objective that wasn’t properly covered.

Wings: Definitely worth trying out going hog wild with this – I think I prefer it with shooty Terminators to do some actual damage when they arrive, and probably double-stacking a Captain and Ancient to go all in.

We have some other stratagems that work directly in tandem with Vowed Target. Marital Mastery allows us to pick a Deathwing Infantry unit and give them reroll wound rolls of 1 in melee. If you are attacking a target on the vowed objective, it rerolls all wounds. Again, with the +1 to wound bonus provided by Vowed, this gets very scary. Looking at you Devastating Wound Thunderhammers. Duty and Death is a fight on death stratagem used in melee as well, where on a 4+ if you hadn’t fought yet, you do get to. Adding +1 to the wound roll here, if you are currently on the Vowed Target. Next, we have Wrath of the Lion, this is used in the charge phase after we have completed one, to do a couple of hammer of wrath type mortals. Just on a  4+ with plus one to the roll if they are on the Vowed Target, sadly, this is maxed out at 3 mortals. Maybe not the best for anything other than finishing something off.

Though I loved Relic Teleportarium, the final stratagem is what empowers this army to go to the final stage of why I think it’s incredibly playable. Unmatched Fortitude is where we select a Deathwing Infantry unit during our opponent’s shooting phase, just after they have been selected as a target, we can reduce their wound roll by 1 if the strength of the gun is higher than our toughness. Now, this is an ability we have seen a couple times now, and isn’t by any means game breaking. When we utilise this stratagem along with cover, a 3” deepstrike, and maybe even Armor of Contempt, those 10 Assault Terminators become even more of a real problem. The suite of stratagems we get clearly try and lend themselves to the best Deathwing experience we can cultivate. I do think it is the most competitive option we have, as I can see there being fixed secondary objectives we can play into that allow for a consistent and powerful gameplan.

Company of Hunters

Do you feel the need for speed? Do you want to make White Scars players sad because we’re the true Mounted chapter? Then this is the detachment for you!

Detachment Rule

Adeptus Astartes units from your army are eligible to shoot in a turn in which they Advanced or Fell Back. Unlike the Inner Circle Task Force, this detachment benefits all Space Marine units in your army, making it quite potent. Being able to always fall back or advance and shoot makes for a highly mobile fighting force, and mobility is king in this game. Most secondary scoring abilities key off of being eligible to shoot, which this enables regardless of your units state at the start of your Movement Phase.

A solid B+ detachment rule.


Same as the other two detachments in this book we have four enhancements to choose from, from mediocre (Master-crafted weapon yes it’s you) to amazing. All of these enhancements are limited to Mounted units, which means that only the Chaplain on Bike or the Ravenwing Champion can take them. Let’s start with mediocre and build from there.

Kicking off the arsenal we have the Master-crafted weapon, which gives the bearer’s melee weapons Precision. Is it an okay benefit for a Ravenwing Champion with his 6 attacks at Strength 5, AP-2, and Damage 2? Time will tell!

Next that brings us to the Master of Manoeuvre – this enhancement allows the bearer’s unit to Charge after having advanced or fallen back. Coupled with the detachment ability, this unit can now fall back and shoot after having advanced or fallen back making for a hyper-mobile unit that can’t be tagged.

We’ve already seen an enhancement similar to Mounted Strategist in the Stormlance Task Force – this enhancement allows the bearer’s unit to be set up one turn earlier if it was deployed in Strategic Reserves. Very powerful as it gets this unit into the game much faster with either a first turn Rapid Ingress play or forcing your opponent to screen further than they’d normally be comfortable with.

Finally we have Recon Hunter – nice and simple, this gives models in the bearer’s unit Scouts 9” – which makes for some very fast bikes.

The Enhancements combine to let you set up a potentially interesting skew list. Take one Command Squad/Outrider unit with Master of Manoeuvre and one Command Squad/Black Knight unit with Recon Hunter and you’re very likely to be able to slam both units into the enemy straight away – the Outrider squad auto-advances 6” then charges, while Scout 9” on the Knights should be more than enough to set them up to smash into the foe too.The Knights can even lock an objective on the way with Hunter’s Trail. That’s some brutal stuff, especially as Talon Strike gives them a bit of an extra lift damage-wise. The caveat is, of course, that it might be better to do a similar plan with two units of Outriders in Stormlance, but this is certainly the kind of left field build that sometimes takes a surprise GT trophy if no one is ready for it.


The Company of Hunters detachment has 5 unique stratagems, and the ubiquitous Armour of Contempt that every Space Marine army has access to. The first of these is Hunters’ Trail, which makes an objective you control with a Ravenwing Mounted unit “sticky” in the Command Phase, allowing your fast-moving assets to run off and do some damage. The ability to use this in either player’s Command Phase means that throwing out a small unit of outriders early on might have some play to force their assets out into the open.

Next we have Talon Strike, which gives a Ravenwing Mounted unit +1 to wound in either the Shooting or Fight Phase against Infantry Character or Mounted Character units. Solid, if somewhat limited, damage boost against the attached units we’re seeing very often in this edition. Following this up we have Death on the Wind, which forces an enemy unit that was just hit by a ranged attack from a Ravenwing unit to take a Battle-shock test, with a penalty to the roll if there’s a Ravenwing unit within 6” of them.

High-speed focus makes a return in this detachment, providing a -1 to ranged hit rolls targeting a Ravenwing unit. Finally we have Rapid Reappraisal, which this author read several times as Rapid Reprisal. This stratagem allows you to place a Ravenwing unit into Strategic Reserves at the end of your opponent’s Fight Phase. This stratagem is particularly spicy when combined with Mounted Strategist, and can also be funny for setting up an improbably teleporting Stormraven.


There are significant changes to datasheets in this supplement – from wargear adjustments to beloved units disappearing.

It’s also worth saying in general that the points as printed in this book are very high, and we’re hoping that much like with the Adeptus Mechanicus the next Munitorum Field Manual adjusts these down to align with how 10th Edition is currently looking.

New Datasheets

Inner Circle Companions

These sinister warriors are here to join the fight in the hunt for the Fallen! Pay no heed to their conspicuously black armour. This unit can be led by Azrael, Asmodai, Ezekiel, or Lazarus  (plus anyone who can lead Sternguard) and consists of either 3 or 6 marine bodies, with 3 wounds each. The unit’s Braziers of Judgement ability gives them -1 to be hit while being led by a character, and Emnity for the Unworthy grants them +1 to hit rolls when their unit targets a character unit. Each Inner Circle Companion has a Heavy Bolt Pistol and a Calibanite greatsword. The greatsword boasts both a strike and a sweep profile, giving either 4 attacks at Strength 6, AP-1, Damage 2 with Lethal Hits or 4 attacks at Strength 6, AP-1, Damage 1 with Sustained Hits 2.

These guys are very cool, but the AP-1 might end up being a complete killer for them. Gladius Task Force can mitigate that with Honour the Chapter, but that’s quite a few hoops to jump through to make them work, and the comparison with Bladeguard, which only see marginal play, doesn’t look fantastic. The big advantages they do have are strong synergy with anything that adds hit re-rolls or additional attacks, since both let them fish for more valuable critical hits, and native S6 which gives them a better shot at cleaving through non-2+ save vehicles/monsters than Bladeguard, whose S5 can be a bit of a killer there. If the points land and these are slightly cheaper than Bladeguard you might run one unit in Deathwing, but if they don’t, these are probably more trouble than it’s worth (despite how cool the models are). If you put 6 of them with Ezekiel in a GTF you do sort of end up with an all purpose blender, but if you compare how much easier it is to set that up with Black Templars Sword Brethren or Chaos Chosen you’re left wondering what on earth is happening here.

Updated Datasheets

Lion El’Jonson

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The Lion gets two major adjustments to his datasheet – his sword Fealty’s sweep profile goes from Damage 2 down to Damage 1, and the Emperor’s Shield no longer grants him -1 to incoming wound rolls. This is pretty rough – he needs to come down a lot in points to be worth it now. Also worth noting that he is not Deathwing, so can’t make use of any of the Stratagems from that detachment (or at least, the ones he’s not already excluded from by dint of being a MONSTER).

Gunum: Guys… Wh… why…. What?


Asmodai has awakened with a new fury for purging heretics. His most notable change is he has exchanged his Crozius arcanum and Blades of Reason for a simple weapon: Crozius arcanum and power weapon. This weapon has both a strike and sweep profile, offering either 6 attacks at Strength 6, AP-2, Damage 2, or 8 attacks at Strength 5, AP-2, Damage 1. He seems good with Assault Intercessors now, as on top of pushing them to full hit and wound re-rolls against targets on an Objective, his own attacks boost the squad’s output.


Freshly arisen from the Rubicon Primaris, Belial has found his Strikes of Retribution to be a little more lethargic, only triggering on a 4+ instead of a 2+.

Epic Heroes

Credit: PierreTheMime

Azrael, Ezekiel, Asmodai, and Lazarus have lost the ability to lead Company Heroes (this appears to have been an oversight for Ezekiel and Asmodai as the unit would rather die than be led by them), but gained Inner Circle Companions as an option more befitting such long-standing members of the Deathwing.

Deathwing Terminators

Deathwing Terminators take a big blow from getting their new models – they no longer have access to Thunder Hammers, Storm Shields, or Lightning Claws. Their wargear is now locked to the same options that the Terminator Squad has, with the addition of a Plasma Cannon as an optional replacement for one terminator’s Storm bolter for every 5 models in the unit, plus access to a Teleport Homer. They do however keep the Deathwing ability which allows them to ignore hit modifiers and get a +1 to hit rolls against the Oath of Moment target. Weirdly they don’t appear to be able to take a power fist Sergeant like the regular Terminators, though the kit allows you to build one; this may be erratad in the near future.

Gunum: What is happening?!

Deathwing Knights

Deathwing Knights are also still adjusting to their new armour – they now are capped at 5 models per unit. They have gained the Teleport Homer ability that the other terminator units have, and have kept the Inner Circle rule, reducing incoming damage by 1. Their Mace of Absolution has lost a point of damage, being reduced to 2 from the 3 they had in the index. That means you might consider swapping them out for the new power sword option, which is only D1, but sticks at S6 and gives them an extra attack, which at least makes them pretty versatile, able to mow down hordes and chip through bigger targets. The Knight Master has gained an additional option to take a Relic weapon which has 6 attacks at Strength 7, AP-2, and Damage 2 instead of his Great weapon of the Unforgiven that has the same profile as the current Flail of the Unforgiven, with 6 attacks at Strength 6, AP-2, Damage 2, Sustained Hits 1, and Devastating Wounds.

Losing the 10-model option here shuts down quite a few shenanigans, and hitting them with a damage reduction at the same time seems pretty mean. This is also another unit where the book price is extremely too high, and needs to come down to what they are now in the MFM. I (Wings) do think there’s legs for the power sword build if the price is right though – high volume quality D1 has almost always outperformed people’s initial expectations, and these are still incredibly tough.

Gunum: Stop, please. Stop.

Land Speeder Vengeance

The Land Speeder Vengeance has seen its Plasma storm battery worn down, reducing both the standard and supercharge profiles damage by 1. Again – why?

Gunum: *sobbing*

Ravenwing Command Squad

The Ravenwing Command Squad have seen a significant rework – they each gain a wound, the Ravenwing Champion has gained the CHARACTER keyword and the unit has been granted the ability to lead Outrider Squads and Ravenwing Black Knights.

The Ravenwing Apothecary keeps their ability to bring back slain models, with the added caveat that it cannot bring back Invader ATV models. Notably, neither the Ancient or Apothecary are CHARACTERS themselves, so if you’re rolling these with Black Knights you can take any damage 3 shots on the Ancient, then pick him back up via the Apothecary, which is very good.

This unit existing in general raises the cap on how stacked you can make a single biker unit in Marines, as you can now have a 9-model squad of these and Black Knights, or even 10 models with an ATV and Outriders. That feels like it could be something in the Gladius Task Force or Stormlance Task Force – in the former, you can stick the Honour Vehement on the Champion, and create a unit of Outriders that will actually hit after Advancing/Charging turn one, while either they or a Black Knight brick are incredibly difficult to kill through Ride Fast, Ride Hard. This unit is one of the most interesting things in this book overall, and has serious build-around potential.

The Fallen

There are 3 datasheets that no longer have support in this supplement, and they follow the standard of no-model-no-rules that has been mostly followed in this edition:

  • Deathwing Strikemaster – never had its own model, was an option built from the Deathwing Terminator Kit introduced in the 9e codex.
  • Deathwing Command Squad – pour one out for the Deathwing Champion, Deathwing Apothecary, and the Deathwing Ancient. With the demise of the old Deathwing Terminator kit, so goes the Command Squad. May they rise again in a future edition!
  • Ravenwing Talonmaster – Curie is currently mourning this loss, particularly hard to stomach after Sammael misplaced his relic Land Speeder Sableclaw. Does at least mean that Wings no longer has to look at every new Marine Enhancement and wonder if it’s busted on a Talonmaster.

 Gunum: okay, I’m better now. Wait. Not the Talonmaster too… 

New Ways to Use Units

The Deathwing detachment is the main thing in this book that’s going to give some units additional legs. Pretty much anything that natively gets the keyword sees a significant boost there, and the ability to handout a few additional Deathwing-ifications via the Epic Heroes is super strong. Hellblasters with Azrael, probably riding in a Land Raider, feel like the real standouts – the unit ends up super durable between the 4+ Invulnerable Save and access to Unmatched Fortitude, and will kill almost anything dumb enough to sit on your Vowed objective. Asmodai and Assault Intercessors go really well into this detachment too, because they mostly don’t need the Vowed buff to get stuff done, but are another unit that enjoys Fortitude a lot, and also get plenty of value out of being able to headbutt something they charge for a pretty reliable three Mortals with Wrath of the Lion.

The Ravenwing Command Squad also uplifts Outriders quite a bit, as being able to seed extra quality models and an Enhancement into the unit is big. Being able to use Rapid Reappraisal to teleport Storm Speeders around the battlefield is also kind of cute, but any sort of Vehicle-based Ravenwing plan runs into the issue of Ironstorm doing it way, way better.

How They Will Play

Now, the magical moment we’ve all been waiting for – let’s dive into some lists! Each author contributing to this article took a unique approach to examining these lists. Let’s start with Gunum. Gunum, in his distinctive style, is exploring ways to employ the Inner Circle Strike force creatively. He humorously(?) dubbed it his Outer Circle Strike force, and in that flavour, purposefully excluding any of the named characters Dark Angels can take, perhaps following the true path of the successor chapter from the last edition.

Gunum – Inner Outer Circle Task Force


Ancient in Terminator Armor – Deathwing Assault

Captain w/shield and MC Power weapon

Chaplain in Terminator Armour w/ shield – Champion of Deathwing


Bladeguard Vet x6 (Inside Pod, joined by Captain)

Bladeguard Vet x3 (Filling up Pod)

Assault Terminators w/ SS-Th

Drop Pod

Inceptors w/ Plasma


Scouts w/Sniper + Missile

Scouts w/Sniper + Missile

Sternguard Veteran w/heavy bolter + rifles

Sternguard Veteran w/heavy bolter + rifles

Terminator Squad w/ Cyclone

Deathwing Knights (Joined by Chaplin)

2000 points

Alright, folks, Hear Me Out. When I laid eyes on this detachment, all I could picture was dropping in 10 Deathwing Terminators with Storm Shields, Thunder Hammers, and Cyclone missile launchers right into my opponent’s lap. Then reality struck, or more accurately, Curie pointed it out during one of my list-making stupors – I can’t pull off any of those moves anymore! I’m not quite sure what GW is aiming for with this book, but it’s definitely stripping away some of the unique identity that I’ve cherished in our faction. Deathwing Terminators used to be the kings of mixing and matching, and losing that flexibility makes me question if they’re even worth considering. But hey, since I’m playing Dark Angels, I had to toss in a Dark Angel unit, or else it’s just a list full of regular dudes! Those familiar with my Outer Circle lists will recognize this theme, as I usually skipped Dark Angels’ unique units. So, I threw in the much-loved new Deathwing Knight unit, which is worth every point. Let me quickly check my notes. Wait, 290 points for a unit of hammer terminators without hammers? A five man Assault Terminator unit with almost the same loadout is 195. Is -1 damage really worth 95 points?

Curie: Well you also get +2WS from the Assault Terminators to the Deathwing Knights… and lose 2 strength / Devastating Wounds from the Thunder Hammers.

Gunum: Hit on 2’s but lose a ton of offense? Not great! Doing it anyway!

Since the Deathwing Knights won’t be dominating the field, but I still want their identity, I opted to explore the new Deathwing options. Primarily, Sternguard Veterans! Bladeguard Veterans! And captains who no longer have Deathwing but gain it because they’re part of a Bladeguard squad! Despite the plethora of options, building this list has been a bit tricky due to an identity clash between what I see and some of the rules I’m handed.

This list isn’t what I’d call complicated. I have a simple plan – drop a brick of terminators in your deployment zone, followed closely by 9 Bladeguard Veterans and their free stratagem-giveing Captain. Hopefully, all that survives in your deployment zone long enough for Sternguard Veterans in Strategic reserves, Scouts, Infiltrators, Inceptors, and my regular Terminator Squad to help me score secondaries and primaries. Scouts are there for field movement and fighting for quarters, while Inceptors cover my back a bit. The Deathwing Knights are poised for rapid ingress with their brand-new item, the Teleport Homer, attacking a weak flank.

I’m currently focused on fixed objectives, and my choices for missions would be to deploy teleport homers and engage on all fronts with this list. The first turn sets the stage with an unstoppable move to secure both objectives. Then, it’s a matter of holding on and pummeling enemies to death with thunder hammers and impressive swords. This list can gradually introduce elements, reminiscent of waves of Space Marine infantry, delivering a substantial impact. Pairing Deathwing Knights with the Chaplain is a game-changer, with the enhancement providing Lethal Hits and occasionally critting on fives, making those hammers genuinely intimidating. There’s even a scenario where opting for swords becomes viable, aiming to accumulate as many wounds as possible with the additional swings at -2. Despite the Deathwing Knights being a bit on the pricey side, the Chaplains granting a plus one to wound makes them a credible threat.

Curie – Company of Hunters

Curie here with a take on the Company of Hunters detachment:

Ravenwing Command Squad
– Master of Manoeuvre

Ravenwing Command Squad
– Mounted Strategist

Ravenwing Command Squad
– Recon Hunter

Ravenwing Black Knights x6
Ravenwing Black Knights x6
Ravenwing Black Knights x6

Outriders x3
Outriders x3
Outriders x3
Outriders x3
Outriders x3
Outriders x3

Scouts x5
– Shotguns, Missile Launcher, Sniper RIfle

Scouts x5
– Shotguns, Missile Launcher, Sniper RIfle

Simplicity in its finest form – with the annoyance of being 1990 points in the codex. With a whopping 18 bodies of each of the Ravenwing Black Knights and Outriders, what speedster wouldn’t be happy? This list moves fast, doesn’t hit particularly hard, but does have a lot of chunk for the opponent to chew through, especially with the Ravenwing Apothecary being able to bring back Ravenwing Black Knights or his Ravenwing Ancient buddy. At OC27 per unit they should be able to bully most units off of objectives. 6 Outrider squads were necessitated by the fact of because we can so we must. There’s probably a more nuanced take on this list that uses Storm Speeders, maybe even a Stormraven, but right now I just want to zoom around the board with 45 bike bodies!

This list is a little lacking in action economy, so would be best suited to playing Tactical, but there’s an argument for Deploy Teleport Homer & Behind Enemy Lines with their speed and capacity to fall back and shoot.

Wings – Inner Circle Task Force

Dark Angels Land Raider Proteus (though counts-as Land Raider). Credit: Kevin Stillman

Keywords are more of a guideline anyway.





Ancient in Terminator Armour – Deathwing Assault

Lieutenant with Combi-Weapon


10x Assault Intercessors

10x Hellblasters

10x Deathwing Terminators

Land Raider Redeemer

Land Raider

Infiltrator Squad


Callidus Assassin

This leans in to the ability to put Azrael and Asmodai with non-Deathwing units and activate all of this detachment’s tricks. The (uncomplicated) plan is to turn 1 3″ drop the massive Terminator brick, and then roll the opponent over with the contents of the Land Raiders before they can recover. With Belial handing out Precision, there’s a good chance you can sow some significant disruption with that early drop, and it’s a formidible target to try and take down.

Final Thoughts

Curie: It feels like someone got bad-touched by Index Deathwing Knights running around with the Lion while this was being written and they sent a sternly worded letter to Games Workshop. I will say despite the questionable datasheet abilities, I do very much like the two new detachments and look forward to messing around with them further once we have some proper points.

Gunum: Guys. Again, what did the Land Speeder Vengeance do? What did the Lion do? The hero can’t even appear from rad forests in the game, at least let him appear on the table. Deathwing Terminators losing their identity as a mixed fighting unit, a unique trait they have had since their inception? Just incredible design choices.

Wings: OK, so I’m reasonably confident what’s gone wrong here is that the units in the Dark Angels index looked wild at a glance, and this book must have been finalised before 10th Edition bedded in and we found out that they were kind of fine. I remember opening up our review copy of the Dark Angels Index and having my eyes pop clean out of my skull, but once people sunk their teeth into what Marines could do, it turned out that either Black Templars or access to Calgar usually outstripped the datasheets in it.

This book feels like the design team got spooked by some mechanics that turned out to be fine, and overcorrected to the detriment of the Unforgiven, and the result is that this is the most disappointing book of 10th so far. It also highlights a problem we’re expect we’re going to see with Marines a lot going forward, which is that Codex Space Marines has a great suite of detachments, and it’s quite tough to find design space for detachments that competes with them.

I do think the Deathwing detachment here makes a strong attempt at that once you factor in the ability to hand the keyword to stuff the Epic Heroes can lead, and I think the Ravenwing Command Squad as a unit unlocks some interesting stuff you can pull off both with the Detachments in the book and more broadly. The flip side of the Space Marine design space issue is that the worst case for any Chapter is getting to run the regular detachments with a suite of extra units, and Dark Angels have some particularly good Leaders to do that with, so this isn’t a total wash. That still doesn’t stop it feeling like a big miss overall – the Unforgiven deserved better, and I hope that the Munitorum Field Manual at least tunes the points to a place where their unique toys are worthwhile.

Curie: Wings I’ve been hurt before, don’t give me hope!