Tayne’s Dark Angels: The Power of Being Fearless by Graeme Nicholls

11 Nov

Dark Angel units are the ballsiest Marine’s out there, either beginning fearless or being able to get it to any squad via a HQ option, and this week I’m going to take a look at what it means/how it affects our game play.

Firstly, a quick guide to Fearless itself. It comes as standard on the two most common DA builds, as both Deathwing and Ravenwing carry it in their rules. Ezekiel brings a 12” bubble of Fearless or, if playing without special characters, we can access it via an Interrogator Chaplain’s HQ squad carrying a sacred standard. (This way is getting expensive, to use the Dark Angels this way has to form part of your initial battle plan.)

Ok, now we know how to have it, what does it mean for us? The Fearless rule allows models with the rule to automatically pass all morale tests forced they are forced to make. If this comes as a result of combat, then the unit has to take additional armour saves equivalent to the amount the squad lost combat by to show them sticking around like piñata’s.

The combat option there comes up most noticeably (especially with my dice rolling skills), so let’s head there first. Dark Angels don’t run from a fight. We either win or we die. Deathwing are significantly more likely to win than Ravenwing (only ever charge with the Ravens’ if you have to/can pop a vehicle, they are more fragile than you’d think), but even here our squads are low numbered and slow to strike, they can be struck down quickly (Death Cult assassins, I’m looking at you).

Fearless is something to factor in when planning your shooting/assaults each turn here. Does that squad look fragile? Can you multi-assault that and, say, a transport for ease? Is the squad a worry? A few missiles first can soften them enough (don’t be afraid to krak missile a Blood Angel, you’ll ignore armour and double tap past his feel no pain after all). Is it truly a worrying squad? Then pull back, get at least one more squad in support and then charge in later. We have to pick our fights’, terminator armour only goes so far to support.

Fearless also gives us scope to *ahem* tactically withdraw. We will not run, so doing 25% casualties in a round is not enough, to stop us, they have to stomp us. I like a “dummy” run for a Deathwing squad in objective missions, sending one out a little way from the rest of the army looking like easy pickings. This squad is likely heavily shot at, but will also likely scrape through with a member or two left. That marine can now fall back, hiding out of Line of Sight if terrain is a factor and potentially claim your home objective, freeing another squad, or form a delaying party, threatening whomever your opponent sends to claim/contest there.

For the Ravenwing/Greenwing armies, Fearless is a little different. We’re less likely to want to play the aggressive game here. Instead we should be focussing on either being mobile, or supporting our Fearless firebase of Tactical Marines/Command Squad. Fearless here means that we will –not- leave our objective or run off the board. Here, we can force our opponents to make the long trek to us and try the shooting game (mixed results on my testing so far). If you’re Ravenwing, they should not catch you. If you’re Greenwing, remember to claim the assault. A chaplain + any squad can hold in a round of assault, but if they’re charging towards our base, surprise them with our own fearlessness and assault him first. As “bad” as a standard Marine is in an assault, 20+ charging whilst Fearless is a daunting prospect for an opponent.

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2 Responses to “Tayne’s Dark Angels: The Power of Being Fearless by Graeme Nicholls”

  1. Andy Ovel November 11, 2011 at 18:33 #

    Dark Angels were my first army, and I’ve payed them in 5 diffrent editions of the game; why?

    Because they don’t run away; when you put a unit somewhere you know they are there to stay.

    Deathwing are a 2+ armour save, and T4 model that is never going to flee the battle field, this means you can consistently rely upon them to hold and objective, flank or whatever else you need them to

    …untill they get wiped out by a unit of DCA!!

    I love Fearless, but just sometimes I think maybe Stubborn would be better especially when I’m failing those armour saves?

    • Digital Unicorn November 11, 2011 at 19:59 #

      Yes, I much prefer Stubborn as a rule, in fact I think from a purely language stand point they show be the other way round. Stubborn sounds more like the one that should result in wounds in combat to me, like their so stubborn they ignore the signs and are in danger of being over run. But nothing about fearless screams, no tactical sense, if u get me?

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