The Dark Fortress

So the Fallen have finally become a faction

10 March 2017 | 7th Edition

The Fallen.
Wherever he goes, trouble isn't far away.
Image: Games Workshop.

With Gathering Storm III — Rise of the Primarch Cypher makes an appearance once again together with his Fallen buddies.

What's interesting is that the Fallen have become a standalone faction, capable of being fielded as a unit and a Fallen Champions formation, and because of this, feature on an updated allies table too as . They can be fielded as Battle Brothers with Armies of the Imperium (but NOT Dark Angels) and Chaos Marines. This is all very interesting and opens up some great creative scope for army modelling and converting.

I like the small formation. It reflects the fact that the Fallen were spread through both space and time. Thus there would never be enough in any one place for them to form larger groups.

There's no issue here on that. And it isn't really telling us anything new about the direction of Cypher. In fact rules-wise he's pretty much unchanged from his current Data Slate. But I do like the fact that the Fallen Champions' formation can be taken with forces of the Imperium.

It's likely that some Fallen are indeed true heretics and have turned to Chaos in all its manifestations. There is no hope for them. Yet others might be considered as mislead or misguided by the silky tongue of Luther, and, recognising their initial mistake are trying to atone for their error. These would still consider themselves to be loyalists.

Unfortunately the Unforgiven don't currently recognise these possible differences within the Fallen. All Fallen are traitors in the Unforgiven's eyes thus Games Workshop have little room for manoeuvre.

So although odd at first sight odd, it is entirely possible the 'Loyal' Fallen could ally themselves with Imperial forces (assuming of course that Imperial forces know nothing of the Dark Angels' schism), but not with the Dark Angels. This is a move forward in that it acknowledges that as far as the games developers are concerned, the two types of Fallen do actually exist. But it must get the Imperial allies wondering why the Dark Angels are suddenly appearing in black battle plate?

And Cypher, being the 40K's man of mystery, remains still enigmatically 'unfactionable' wth either camp.

Fallen and Deathwatch

An interesting side effect of this new faction: currently the Fallen can't be fielded with any “any model with the Dark Angels Faction”. Clear enough.

However, there is nothing stopping you fielding the Fallen and Dark Angels together in a Deathwatch squad. How is this oddity reconciled?

I guess there are several options here, ranked according to the likelihood of possibility:

  • The Dark Angel was purposely sent by the Inner Circle to serve within the Deathwatch with the aim hunting the Fallen. And he has protocols should he encounter any.
  • That the Dark Angel knows about the Fallen, but for reasons of secrecy can't do anything about it without drawing attention to the schism within the Chapter.
  • As above, but he has informed the inner Circle of the Fallen's presence and is waiting their further instruction.
  • The Dark Angel knows nothing of the Fallen, but is puzzled by the presence of another 'Dark Angel'.
  • The Dark Angel is Fallen himself (the least likely scenario).

It seems to me that any dark Angel sent to the Deathwatch is going to be of high enough standing with the Chapter to have knowledge of the Fallen. Indeed it's not inconceivable that he has been sent specifically to hunt for Fallen amongst the Deathwatch. Anyway, a neat twist in the relationship between the Unforgiven and the Fallen.

An interesting option on many levels would be to field the Fallen with the Inquistion.