The Dark Vengeance army list. Building to 1500 points

6th Edition

With so many Dark Vengeance boxes forming the basis of new DA armies, I was asked by someone to build a viable legal 1500 points list by only adding to or swapping what came in the box. For this exercise we are using the 6th Edition Codex Dark Angels. I love a list-building challenge.

Thinking it through, there are plenty of changes one could make by changing and adding to it, but just additions is more of a challenge. A good place to start was the original points list from a previous article discussing the .

The army list has been compiled using models and wargear that they come out of the box with. In some cases I've cheated and added 'invisible' wargear in the form of melta bombs (Company Master and the Ravenwing Sergeant), and an psychic Mastery upgrade (Librarian). These upgrades have added 45 points to the basic list.

Unit Points
Company Master Balthasar
Power sword, combi-plasma, melta bombs
120
Librarian Turmiel
Force sword, bolt pistol, Mastery level 2
100
Deathwing Terminator Squad Barachiel (5)
1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist
245
Tactical Squad Raphael (10)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 1 x plasma pistol, 1 x plasma gun,
1 x plasma cannon
195
Ravenwing Attack Squadron Arion (3)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 1 x plasma gun, melta bombs
110
  770

That's 20 models on the table in total. And now you can see the reason to add the meltabombs and psychic upgrades as it takes the list to a more 'rounded' points value of 770.

Each army enlargement the route is simply a process of adding models to the above, as demanded by the original challenge. In all cases we'll end up with greenwing-biased army list. I'll demonstrate the simpler one first.

1. The tank-support route

Unit Points
Company Master Balthasar
Power sword, combi-plasma, melta bombs
120
Librarian Turmiel
Force sword, bolt pistol, Mastery level 2
100
Deathwing Terminator Squad Barachiel (5)
1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist
245
Tactical Squad Raphael (10)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 1 x plasma pistol, 1 x plasma gun,
1 x plasma cannon, Rhino w/ pintle storm bolter
235
Tactical Squad Fustiel (10)
1 x power weapon, 1 x meltagun, 1 x missile launcher
Rhino w/ pintle storm bolter
220
Ravenwing Attack Squadron Arion (6 + 1)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 2 x plasma guns, 1 x meltabombs
1 x Attack Bike w/ multi-melta
261
Predator
Autocannon turret, heavy bolter sponsons
95
Predator
Autocannon turret, heavy bolter sponsons
95
Predator
Autocannon turret, lascannon sponsons
115
  1486

At 39 models fairly respectable. Added two Rhinos, a 10-man Tactical, an Attack Bike, three additional bikers and three Predator tanks to the original box contents. No weapon swaps to the original models either.

The weakness is a lack of true scoring units. There are a lot of units here taking up points that can only contest. Two scoring units at 1500 feels light and means that some from those Tac squads must survive and be in scoring positions at the end of the game. The bonus though, in two 6th Edition missions, your Heavy Support or Fast Attack units may also be scoring — as you have items in both of these slots you can take advantage of this in those particular missions, even more reason to have a fairly well-balanced set up, which is probably why GW introduced those changes.

I don't like two HQs in a 1500 point list — this is a real disadvantage in the Dark Vengeance army as far as I can see. The option is there to leave one out obviously. The Company Master will need to footslog unless you combat squad one of the tactical squads to enable him to ride in their Rhino.

Some might baulk at the weak Rhinos, but I like them. Your situation may dictate other solutions including Drop Pods, or not using transports at all, that's fine.

It is very mobile, well-rounded and contains a good mix of weapons to cover most eventualities but some are spread pretty thinly. What it doesn't contain is an obvious deathstar unit. I guess the closest is the Deathwing squad, to which I'd attach the Librarian. Librarians are pretty good again in 6th Edition as they are not being restricted to the powers within their home codexes, for me they've become once again a must have HQ. If Turmiel was in Terminator armour I'd have been over the moon. The Deathwing squad isn't ideally set up either as it isn't taking advantage of either thunder hammers and storm shields nor the cyclone missile launcher. It's vey much a late 4th- early 5th-Edition DW unit.

This is by no means a power-gaming list, given the starting point, 'fluffy' might be a better description.

2. The Tactical spam route

Unit Points
Company Master Balthasar
Power sword, combi-plasma, melta bombs
120
Librarian Turmiel
Force sword, bolt pistol, Mastery level 2
100
Deathwing Terminator Squad Barachiel (5)
1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist
245
Tactical Squad Raphael (10)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 1 x plasma pistol, 1 x plasma gun, 1 x plasma cannon
Rhino or Drop Pod
230
Tactical Squad Fustiel (10)
1 x power weapon, 1 x meltagun, 1 x missile launcher
Rhino or Drop Pod
215
Tactical Squad Sannul (10)
1 x power weapon, 1 x meltagun, 1 x lascannon
185
Ravenwing Attack Squadron Arion (6 + 1)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 2 x plasma guns, 1 x meltabombs
1 x Attack Bike w/ multi-melta
261
Predator
Tl-lascannon turret, lacannon sponsons,
140
  1496

42 models with three large Tactical squads. This is more like it. We have a few lascannons dotted around — although the las Pred looks vulnerable so deploy in cover — for great ranged anti-tank to back up the melta weapons. The Deathing can also do a job assaulting rear armour but it is a bit of a waste of their talents. You also get plenty of bolters and a fair few blast weapons to worry heavy infantry, plus a lot of infantry and bikes (wounds) meaning it's going to be pretty hard to take down in a hurry and as such is really this lists big plus.

You'll notice that Tactical squad Sannul doesn't have a transport, that's because I want that lascannon firing from the get go.

The same comments regarding the HQs and transports can be made for this list can be found on precceding list Option 1, nothing has changed fundamentally here on that score.

Now both the above aren't really out of the ordinary and in their own ways are both mobile, offensive army lists. The last one is something else entirely.

2. The Aegis defence line route

Unit Points
Company Master Balthasar
Power sword, combi-plasma, melta bombs
120
Librarian Turmiel
Force sword, bolt pistol, power field generator, Mastery level 2
130
Deathwing Terminator Squad Barachiel (5)
1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist
245
Tactical Squad Raphael (10)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 1 x plasma pistol, 1 x plasma gun,
1 x plasma cannon, Rhino or Drop Pod
230
Tactical Squad Fustiel (10)
1 x power weapon, 1 x meltagun, 1 x missile launcher
Rhino or Drop Pod
215
Ravenwing Attack Squadron Arion (3 + 1)
1 x Veteran sergeant, 1 x plasma gun, melta bombs
1 x Attack Bike w/ multi-melta
155
Devastator Squad Boel (10)
2 x lascannons, 2 x plasma cannons
210
Predator
Autocannon turret, heavy bolter sponsons
95
Aegis Defence Lines
Quad gun
100
  1500

43 models including the Aegis with quad gun and Devastators give this a more static feel. The only thing capable of moving at any speed is the Ravenwing squadron and Attack bike. The Tactical squads have a variety of flexible options open to them: footslog, ride, or drop pod assault. The DW squad can get right in the face of the enemy by deep striking using the RW's homers. Homing beacons on the pods would be useful additions — but what to leave out?

One tactical note: the Librarian with his power field generator babysits the Devastator squad using his Prescience psychic ability to improve their shooting.

On the Devastator squad, arm them as you like. I've always liked two lascannons in there, yes plasma cannons are risky so substitute the next best weapon, the missile launcher, you don't fancy making Gets Hot saves.

The Aegis Defence Lines: joke or genius? I honestly don't know, but it's a solid base from which the Devs can operate from. The quad gun itself has full ballistic skill of the firer against flyers, useful if facing them, as well as the equally useful Interceptor rule v incoming reserves. Also has great range that fits well with the Dev's setup. The Aegis is not my style as it seems too gimmicky, but, I've seen it being made to work a treat.

It should also be mentioned that as a Fortification the Aegis is put on the table before any terrain pieces. An unsrcupulous opponent could put a building in front of it cutting its effective line of sight.

3. Conclusion

Three different style extensions to the basic Dark Vengeance box set. By no means the only thing one can do either. I've tried to keep scoring capability to the fore as well as the typical marine firepower and all-roundedness. Yes certain units can be weapon tweaked to make them much much more effective builds. And a simple HQ swap would instantly give you an additional scoring unit — which would be my first port of call given the option. Nevertheless the original extension challenge has been met.

I'm hoping no points errors have crept into the army lists. Feel free to tell me if there are.


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