Commonly Encountered Units
A Tau commander may not face all of these units in an encounter with Dark Angels, but he is almost certain to encounter some or most of them. Learning the threat capabilities of these units will prepare a Tau commander for the majority of a Dark Angel strike force's abilities.
All Ravenwing bikers have the Scouts, and Hit & Run special rules. They also carry teleport homers for bringing down Deathwing into your lines after scout moving forward (remember that a teleport homer must be on the table at the beginning of the movement phase in order to have any effect, and only benefits models in Terminator armour).Attack Squad
A unit of 3-6 Ravenwing on bikes. Has access to the regular special weaponry, but no standards. Can take an Attack bike for heavy weapon support (usually with a Multi-Melta) and can also take a Land Speeder if it is a full squad of 6 bikes. The Attack bike and Land Speeder each form their own units, effectively giving the Ravenwing player 3 choices from the same Force Organization slot, and 4 if they split the unit into combat squads (Troops if Azrael or Sammael is present).Black Knights
Basically a regular Attack squad on steroids, but they have the special rule Skilled Rider and can come in units of up to 10! Skilled Rider increases their jink save by +1 and they also ignore dangerous terrain tests. Black Knights near a Darkshroud will be nigh impossible to kill without Markerlight support. They all carry Corvus hammers (Rending weapons with a strength boost), making them somewhat efficient at hunting rear armour on vehicles, Plasma Talons (18" twin-linked Plasmagun) and often include a Ravenwing Grenade Launcher with 4 firing modes, one of which can reduce the target unit's toughness by 1 until the end of the turn (allowing Instant Death against most battlesuits, and easy wounds on Riptides).Command Squad
These are Black Knights, except with access to the Champion, Apothecary, and a standard. The Champion's weapon is a strength boosted power sword, the Apothecary carries the invaluable Narthecium (see Artefacts/Special Equipment
) and the standard could be the Feel No Pain aura, Salvo Bolter weapons, or one of the lesser standards granting Crusader or +1 attack. They can only come in a unit of up to 5 (6 including a commander).
A Command Squad's standard bearer will usually be the target of choice for precision shooting. The Apothecary is high priority too, in order to increase your shooting effectiveness overall. The Ravenwing Grenade Launcher can also be an important weapon to remove, simply due to its utility against battlesuits. With so many important targets to choose from, Command Squads can be particularly difficult to cripple through precision shooting.Counters:
High Strength Weaponry, Low AP Weaponry
Ravenwing Land Speeders
All Ravenwing Land Speeders are AV10 all around, and have 2 hull points. They are fast skimmers that also have the Deep Strike special rule, making them highly flexible when deploying and highly mobile once they are deployed. All are Fast Attack choices with the exception of the Land Speeder Vengeance, which is a Heavy Support choice.Land Speeder
Like the Tau Piranha, it is a cheap platform for support weaponry, carrying the Heavy Bolter as standard. However, it is more expensive than the piranha (40% more expensive). It can carry a Heavy Flamer or Multi-Melta for different targets. The Tornado pattern takes a second weapon of essentially the same weapon options, but this pattern is expensive and just as fragile. Land Speeder Typhoons are a bit more versatile, carrying a Missile Launcher with two shots in addition to the primary weapon. Vengeance
Carries a Heavy Bolter or an Assault Cannon, and the Plasma Storm Battery. The Plasma Storm Battery has two firing modes: Burst and Charged. The Burst and Charged modes are almost identical to the Ion Cannon's two firing modes. However, the Plasma Storm Battery always fires as Gets Hot and is always AP2.
It is excellent for removing heavy infantry. Despite this, it is actually not very common due to its inability to deal with battle tanks. It provides AP2 support to an army that has access to a lot of AP2 weaponry, so it is often left at home.Darkshroud
Like the Vengeance, it carries a Heavy Bolter or (more rarely) an Assault Cannon. It is Shrouded, making it particularly difficult to destroy without Markerlights. It has the Scouts rule, so it can keep up with any bike squadrons while providing them mobile cover. It shines as a support speeder, providing a 6" aura of Stealth and a 12" aura adding +1 to the result of assaults.Counters:
Deathwing have the special rule Inner Circle, Vengeful Strike, and Deathwing Assault in addition to the regular rules associated with Terminators.Terminator Squad
Just as resilient as regular Terminator squads. However, unlike the traditional Terminator squad, they can mix their unit between close combat and ranged models, so it is common to include 2-3 Deathwing with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields in a squad to provide protection for the rest of the team. This allows them to Deep Strike and fire into their enemies while they tank wounds with Storm Shields.Knights
A special close combat Terminator unit. They have the special rule You Cannot Hide (precision strikes like a character) and Fortress of Shields (T5 if base to base with 2 other Knights). They carry Storm Shields and Power Mauls. They have Hammer of Wrath and can make their melee attacks at a high strength and AP2 once per game.
They are a very tough unit to crack and will tear through anything they get into combat with. They are expensive, but barely more than a regular Deathwing squad. Command Squad
Identical to the regular Deathwing squad, but with a couple differences. It can contain an Apothecary, a Champion, and a standard and is limited to 5 models. The Champion carries the Halberd of Caliban, which is a strength boosted, very low AP melee weapon. Standard of Fortitude is a particularly strong choice in a Deathwing army (see Banners and Standards
If the squad includes an Apothecary or the Standard of Fortitude, these should be your priority targets for precision shooting. Feel no Pain is very strong on models like Terminators, so it should be removed as soon as possible.Counters:
Low AP Weaponry, Early Warning Overrides
Combat squads and access to special and heavy weaponry makes every unit a threat to almost any target. Drop Pods and other transports can shield them from attack until their special weaponry is in range. Any Dark Angels army that is not entirely composed of Ravenwing and Deathwing will likely contain at least a couple of these squads.
Tough, versatile and reliable unit. Not too expensive either.Counters:
Low AP Weaponry, Volume of Fire
For every HQ choice in the Dark Angels army, he can include a Techmarine. He is cheaper than a Fireblade Cadre, and comes complete with a 2+ save and Servo-arm (Like a Power Fist, except AP1). For a 50% increase in points he can take a Servo-harness, which adds another Servo-arm, a Flamer, and a short ranged plasma weapon. He increases the cover save of a single piece of terrain in his deployment zone, and he has the ability to repair vehicles he is in base contact with. He has only a single wound, so he will almost always be hidden. Infiltrating Stealth Suits or Kroot can be useful in drawing LOS.
He can be accompanied by up to 5 Servitors. They carry Servo-arms and increase the Techmarine's odds of repairing a vehicle. The Servo-arm can be replaced with a Heavy Bolter, Multi-melta or a Plasma Cannon but then they can no longer increase the odds of repair.
A Techmarine with a Power Field Generator, trailing behind a Land Raider is a popular combination. He can repair any stripped hull points or Immobilized results, is largely hidden from sight, and grants the Land Raider a 4+ invulnerable save. Techmarines are usually only taken to accompany armoured columns including Land Raiders, as they benefit the most from a Techmarine's presence, but they have been known to ride among Ravenwing units in order to grant a small invulnerable aura to key units. Counters:
AP2 weaponry, Infiltrating Units1 Anti-Tank Weaponry: Heavy Rail Rifles, Railgun Solid Shot, Ion Accelerator, Fusion Blasters, Longstrike
2 Anti-Transport Weaponry: Missile Pod, High Yield Missile Pod, Ion Weaponry, Seeker MissilesReturn to Compendium Index