The Deathwing and the Ravenwing are still used by the Dark Angels to this day in their hunt for the Fallen. The other four orders have been lost to the mists of time and are no longer fielded by the Dark Angels. They have been unseen since the time of the Horus Heresy. The Deathwing are notoriously stubborn and resistant, refusing to buckle under extreme pressure from enemy advances even when it would be more advantageous to retreat.
Yet the Deathwing is not solely a tactical formation. Promotion to the Deathwing also means that an individual is made privy to many of the Chapter's dark secrets. The most closely guarded of these secrets is that of the betrayal of Luther and the Fallen, and the subsequent loss of their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson. The Ravenwing protocol, which focused on the use of anti-gravitic units and all-terrain bikes, had its origins in early Legiones Astartes tactics for rapid-moving search and destroy formations, some of which dated back to the nomadic war clans of pre-Unification Terra.
After Caliban's discovery during the Great Crusade, these formations were revived and expanded as they offered a form of rapid strike warfare the Knights of Caliban both understood and had perfected over many generations, though now their steeds were ones of unyielding metal, rather than flesh. The speciality of the Dreadwing was total warfare using the most sinister of weapons. The elected lieutenant, bearing the title of Dreadbringer, commanded Destroyer Squads supported by other types of units to bring total annihilation of a foe on a specific battlefield.
Their hallmark was the use of dark, sinister, and shunned munitions such as Phosphex , Rad and Vortex Weapons. Its purpose is not currently known, completely lost to the mists of time. There are, however, intriguing heraldic links between the Firewing and the sigil of the Consecrators , a Successor Chapter of the Dark Angels. The Ironwing Protocol was developed before the Great Crusade was fully born, when the first Space Marines were used by the Emperor to exterminate threats to Mankind too dire to be allowed to endanger the glorious future.
He had designed later variants of this protocol, which sought to wed the superhuman power of the Legiones Astartes and amplify that killing strength with newly-designed, bespoke armoured units -- such as the Land Raider -- as well as mighty Dreadnoughts in close support, for the Ironwing's mission required the shock application of brute force. Those were entered into the Principia Belicosa for use and development by the Legions that would follow, notably the X th and IV th , but the Dark Angels would continue to develop the tactical pattern to serve their own ends.
The Stormwing specialised in spaceborne boarding operations. As the I st Legion, the Dark Angels were originally outfitted with a panoply of arms drawn not from the fruits of the Emperor's pact with Mars , but instead from the arsenal of the Unification Wars of Ancient Terra; relic weapons and technologies of great potency but often difficult to replicate and even treacherous, many of which would be later forbidden.
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Long after the other Legions were formed, and the Great Crusade ratified and standardised much of the Legiones Astartes wargear so that it could be replicated on Forge Worlds across the Imperium, the Dark Angels retained many of these ancient and potent relics, as well as the techno-arcana that resided within them.
These they continued to employ solely within the Legion, weapons whose secrets were never fully yielded to Mars or their Space Marine brethren by the Emperor's own command. These weapons included the following:. Following the tragic events of the Horus Heresy, the Dark Angels began acting suspiciously and growing more insular, which was noted by many watchful eyes.
Having incorporated the structure of the original Order on Caliban into the Legion, the remaining Dark Angels took that knightly brotherhood a step further, becoming even more monastic in manner. The Dark Angels sought to lay down the new rigours that would govern them in the wake of the terrible events that had led to the Fall of Caliban.
At this time in the early 31 st Millennium, entire new divisions of the Imperium, such as the Inquisition , were developed with the sole purpose of seeking out and destroying internal corruption related to the treachery of the Horus Heresy and the actions of Chaos on the human-settled worlds of the Imperium. Inspections following the destruction of Caliban judged the Dark Angels fit to continue as a Loyalist Legion. Some leeway for their new reclusive behaviour was granted due to the simultaneous loss of the Legion's Primarch and homeworld, but largely it was allowed because of the Dark Angels' ongoing and relentless heroics against the Imperium's foes during the travails of the Great Scouring.
Regardless of these allowances, the Dark Angels remained closely monitored by the Imperial authorities and particularly by the nascent Inquisition. After the disappearance of their Primarch, it did not seem that strange for the remaining Dark Angels to withdraw further into their own brotherhood. If before they had been described as reserved, now they were, at best, taciturn: Behaviour that once would have been described as pensive was now more like a brooding silence.
Yet there was one thing that had not changed -- their campaigns continued to be well-planned and effective actions. If the Dark Angels were in some strange mourning, it in no way dampened their ability to bring battle to the enemies of the Imperium and of Mankind. Many changes happened within the Imperium during those dark days. They had all recoiled in horror at the full realisation of how insidious the betrayal had been, how far across the galaxy the roots of corruption had spread.
Never again could the Imperium be subjected to such widespread rebellion; drastic measures had to be undertaken. To avoid the threat of the Space Marine Legions falling under the influence of the Archenemy, the remaining Legions were sub-divided into a number of smaller Chapters. Under the new structure of this so-called Second Founding , each Chapter's size was limited to a thousand warriors.
The organisation, tactics and roles of these new "Chapters" -- a word derived from a former sub-divison of a full Legion -- were defined in a hugely influential work known as the Codex Astartes. Roboute Guilliman , the Primarch of the Ultramarines, almost single-handedly undertook the work of preparing the Codex Astartes. The proscriptions within its pages not only lessened the risks of a single Traitor altering the course of the Imperium, but also allowed the limited number of Loyalist Space Marines remaining to be more flexible -- spreading more widely across the galaxy to confront Mankind's many enemies.
The organisation of the Dark Angels Chapter and its Unforgiven Successors differs from the standards of the Codex Astartes in the shape of its higher ranks, along with the order of battle of its 1 st and 2 nd Companies. After the fall of Caliban , the senior members of the I st Legion assembled in secret conclave. They decreed that knowledge of the fall from grace of their brothers must remain undisclosed for all time, and that no outsider must ever learn of the schism that had split the Legion or that some Space Marines of the Dark Angels Legion had turned to the Ruinous Powers like the Astartes of the Traitor Legions.
Should this dreadful truth ever become known, they feared that the Dark Angels would come to be reviled as Traitors like those who had followed Horus , and all hope of expunging the stain to their honour in the Emperor's eyes would be lost forever. As the decades following the Fall of Caliban turned to centuries, the Inner Circle took shape. It grew from an ad hoc conclave into a formal, if still furtive, organisation that spread through not just the Dark Angels, but their Successor Chapters as well. Recruitment planets were founded and new generations of Dark Angels were added, replacing the ranks of those lost in battle.
The regimens and drills of the Chapter were strict, with special emphasis on brotherhood and loyalty. However, the Masters and elder warriors who led the instruction told the Neophytes nothing of the sins of their forefathers. The truth of what occurred and knowledge of the Fallen was withheld, now known only to the increasingly small number of brethren who had survived it. The Inner Circle was comprised of the Legion's most senior officers, formed to forever guard this dangerous knowledge, and each member swore oaths of unspeakable secrecy. However, even the members of the Inner Circle receive gradations of the truth, and only the Supreme Grand Master of the Chapter is currently privy to all of the Dark Angels' many secrets.
The Grand Masters of the Inner Circle swore that so long as even one of the Traitor Fallen Angels remained alive and unrepentant, the Dark Angels would bear the stigma of the Unforgiven , cursed by their own brothers to atone for all eternity for the sins of the past. Until every last Fallen Dark Angel was captured and made to repent, there could be no peace for those sons of the Lion who had remained true to their duty.
This would be the true mission of the Inner Circle, and, through its secretive machinations, of the entire Chapter. The Inner Circle hides its true face even from its own. Where many Space Marine Chapters openly celebrate their ancestors' achievements, the Dark Angels take great pains to tell their story one passage at a time.
Much of the Dark Angels' teachings to their brethren on this subject are couched in allegory, parable and myth, the same essential truths told again and again in one form after another. As veterans rise through the unseen levels of trust, more of the truth is gradually revealed to them by the ranking members of the Inner Circle. The first such allegory a Dark Angel is told recounts the so-called Tale of Two-Heads-Talking, in which a band of Deathwing Terminators returned to the planet of their birth to find their people enslaved by hideous xenos overlords.
Daubing their armour white, as was the tradition of their native people, the Terminators began their death-quest. They defeated their enemy, but at the cost of the life of their beloved Librarian. Similar tales are told at every stage in a Dark Angel's progression through the ranks, the details changing from one story to the next, but the essential truth remaining. Each tells of a group of heroes returning to their homeworld to find their people enthralled by a Traitor, and only at the cost of eternal humiliation and dishonour are the enemies defeated.
Even then, some always escape, to be hunted down later. Only on his ascension to the elite 1 st Company, known within the Dark Angels Chapter as the Deathwing , will a Battle-Brother of the Dark Angels or the other Unforgiven Chapters begin to learn the truth of the events that transpired at the very dawn of the Age of the Imperium. This is the first ring of trust within the Inner Circle and those who are considered for membership are observed, unaware, by those within the hidden order and also by the diminutive Watchers in the Dark , the mysterious humanoid creatures that haunt the lower levels of The Rock.
It is essential that only those who have proven their loyalty to the Chapter time and time again across the decades are allowed to progress. Silent and hooded brothers lead any aspirants before the assembled Inner Circle for the great rituals of judgement, and those chosen are elevated to the Deathwing, or disappear forever, further casualties of the Unforgiven's shame.
While a new member of the Inner Circle might suppose he has now been told the whole truth about his Chapter, such is not the case. There remain circles within circles, levels within levels, with each step accompanied by its own rituals. Entering the 1 st Company is only the beginning of a Dark Angel's journey towards the truth. Rising through the intricate and convoluted ranks of the Inner Circle, he learns more and more, the secrets one by one revealed as his Masters' trust in him increases. Only upon ascension to the rank of Grand Master leader of an entire specialty of the Chapter is the whole truth revealed, and even then, it is likely that there remain revelations known only to the holder of the title of Supreme Grand Master, the Chapter Master of the Dark Angels.
Given the planning skills inherited from their Primarch, the Dark Angels have instituted fail-safe systems that automate the passing on of knowledge should key members of the Inner Circle die without being able to properly reveal their secrets to their successors. There are some revelations that are known only to those who gain ascension to the rank of Supreme Grand Master, the Chapter Master of the Dark Angels. And yet, there remain secrets of the Chapter to which even he is not privy The Dark Angels make use of very different terminology when referring to the Chapter's officers as compared to that commonly used by other Space Marine Chapters.
This is because the Dark Angels have continued to draw upon the ancient military traditions of The Order in organising the Chapter. In general, this terminology is also replicated in most, but not all, of the Unforgiven Successor Chapters of the I st Legion. A squad of Deathwing Knights and a Watcher in the Dark. The Deathwing is comprised solely of Dark Angels Veterans who only take to the field of battle in bone-white Terminator Armour , never standard Power Armour. After the Heresy, the bulk of the Chapter began to appear in dark green armour, whilst the 1 st and 2 nd Companies' panoply remained jet-black in honour of the original Legion colours.
The Deathwing Company's Astartes later painted their Terminator Armour in a bone-white colour scheme to remember the lone squad of Dark Angels Terminators who defended an important Dark Angels recruitment planet known as Plain's World from a Tyranid Genestealer invasion.
These Terminators painted their armour white, the colour of death, as they believed that they would never survive the confrontation.
Surprisingly, these Terminators proved successful in reclaiming the world and in doing so saved a crucial part of the Dark Angels' cultural heritage and the genetic diversity of the Chapter. The Deathwing are both the most stubborn and most resilient of the Astartes of the Dark Angels and Unforgiven Chapters, and will often refuse to leave a battlefield even in the face of overwhelming odds, citing the tradition of the Terminators who saved the Dark Angels' recruitment world.
The Deathwing is tasked with that mission which takes precedence over all others for the Chapter, even though they may be called upon to fight a wide range of foes. The Deathwing are responsible for crushing all of the enemies of the Unforgiven, and there are no greater enemies than the Fallen. Like the Ravenwing of the Dark Angels and other Unforgiven Chapters, which concentrates on mobile warfare using Bike Squads , specialised Land Speeders and aircraft, the Deathwing does not comply with the standard organisation of Space Marine Chapters' 1 st Companies as outlined by the Codex Astartes , though all of the other companies in Unforgiven Chapters generally do so.
The bulk of the 1 st Company is composed of Terminator Squads, indefatigable warriors who blast apart their enemies with Storm Bolters whilst advancing into melee assault range. Deathwing Terminators feature a mix of weaponry, for both long-ranged and close combat oriented roles. Terminators typically begin engagements aboard an orbiting starship, teleporting to the battlefield at a prearranged time, often homing in on a signal from ranging Ravenwing units.
By the time foes see the flash signifying the arrival of the Deathwing's Terminators, it is already too late. The Deathwing appear in a blazing hail of gunfire, as if they had begun firing while en route. They live up to their name, arriving like a sword stroke to deliver the deathblow. A Deathwing Knight is a fell-handed warrior of the Dark Angels, a member of the elite 1 st Company and a Company Master-in-training whose glorious deeds on the field of battle are matched only by his unflinching devotion to the Chapter.
Deathwing Knights are a truly imposing sight, for in them lives on some semblance of the Lion himself. They embody silent strength and a veiled, yet still palpable nobility. In the stratified Chapter organisation of the Dark Angels and the other Unforgiven, the Deathwing Knights represent the elite -- only the Masters and Grand Masters of the Chapter rank higher, and they are only chosen from among the company of the Deathwing Knights, who are also members of the Chapter's Inner Circle. None but the most fell-handed of warriors from the 1 st Company are promoted into the Inner Circle of the Deathwing, and displaying skill in battle is not enough to receive the honour of knighthood.
A warrior must be wholly dedicated to the Chapter, and must display an obsessive need to carry on the Chapter's secret crusade to hunt down the remaining Fallen. The highest-ranking members of the Inner Circle are sometimes accompanied by a Command Squad drawn from the Veterans of the 1 st Company. Such a hand-picked formation of the most veteran Deathwing Terminators makes a formidable unit, ideal for a bodyguard or to be assigned special duties by a Librarian or Interrogator-Chaplain. They can be equipped for any role and often include specialists such as Standard Bearers , Apothecaries or even the 1 st Company Champion.
Belial , the Grand Master of the Deathwing, has personally led many a Command Squad straight into the heart of battle, forging a breach in enemy lines and crushing opposing leaders. The Dark Angels are known for their stoic and intractable manner, unflinching against even the mightiest of foes. The Deathwing are paragons of stoicism, unwilling to take even a single step away from the enemy when battle is joined, their prowess honed across countless battlefields so that they can weather any attack. The Deathwing favour rapid teleport attacks, appearing literally from nowhere often collaborating with the more mobile Ravenwing squadrons on reconaissance missions to ensure the precision of their teleportation coordinates to deliver overwhelming force against an unprepared enemy.
Teleportation is the easiest way to strike from nowhere in Terminator Armour, but other methods work as effectively for a veteran of countless wars. Once the Ravenwing has located the enemy, the Deathwing are deployed to destroy them so utterly that not a single trace remains. In the case of the Fallen Angels , the Deathwing cast down all of their works and grind them to dust beneath their Ceramite boots, so that none may ever know of the stain cast upon the Unforgiven's honour by their very existence.
The fortunate are destroyed in the unstoppable maelstrom that is a Deathwing assault; the unfortunate are dragged away to the dungeons of The Rock , to suffer the attentions of the Interrogator-Chaplains and to confess their sins in the vain hope of a merciful end. The Dark Angels' 2 nd Company is called the Ravenwing. The members of the Ravenwing are chosen not only for their skill at fast assaults using bikes and Land Speeders but also for their resilience to the heretical rantings of members of the Fallen Angels.
The Ravenwing wear jet-black armour in the style of the Dark Angels during the Horus Heresy and specialise in lightning-fast assaults. All but the highest members of the Chapter's Inner Circle are oblivious to the true purpose of the Ravenwing, which is to hunt down and capture every last member of the Fallen.
Only with the blood or full repentance of the Fallen do the Dark Angels believe that their sins against the Emperor during the Heresy may finally be washed away. Like the Deathwing , the Ravenwing does not conform to the ideal of Space Marine Chapter organisation as laid out in the Codex Astartes , though the other Dark Angels and Unforgiven Chapters' companies are considered to be Codex -compliant. These vehicles are then divided into two groups; one serves as an attack squadron and the other as a fire support squadron.
Biker Squads form over half of the 2 nd Company's bulk and they are the centre of any Ravenwing attack. The Space Marine Assault Bikes lay down a torrent of fire from twin-linked Bolters and accelerate into combat should a vulnerable target reveal itself. It is Ravenwing doctrine to avoid becoming bogged down such that their speed is negated and the enemy's superior numbers can be brought to bear.
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Thus, the Ravenwing Bikers might charge into a foe, but unless they break them immediately, the bikers are likely to streak off, leaving their foe bewildered, unsure of which direction the next attack will come from. Equipped with teleportation homers , Ravenwing bikes often drive deep into the heart of their quarry before summoning the heavy assault troops of the Deathwing. The Ravenwing ride down any of the foe who attempt to flee, mercilessly allowing none to escape the ensuing massacre. The standard Attack Bike augments the more lightly armed Ravenwing bikes, lending its heavier firepower where needed.
The Attack Bike is ideal for getting into position to support the Ravenwing's assaults, clearing the path ahead of the onrushing bikes with its Heavy Bolter. Some Attack Bikes are outfitted with a multi-melta: Ravenwing Black Knights spearhead a lightning assault against a horde of Tyranids. Those who survive in the Ravenwing long enough learn to take the doctrines of mobile warfare to the next level of mastery. There, they will learn the real reason behind their hunt for Heretics and the truth about their Chapter's history.
To signify their exalted status, Black Knights carry Corvus Hammers , which are patterned after an ancient Calibanite weapon used to hunt the Great Beasts. The Black Knights' riding skills are supreme, and they can drive at top speed through almost any impediments to close on their foes. Ravenwing Command Squads usually consist of experienced Ravenwing Black Knights who form a swift and highly-mobile bodyguard around a mounted Chapter officer, or execute other specialised missions on their own. These squads usually include several other Chapter specialists -- an Apothecary to tend to the wounded and recover the fallen's gene-seed on far-flung scouting missions, a Standard Bearer , and the Ravenwing Company Champion wielding a deadly blade of Calibanite origin.
When a Ravenwing Command Squad rides to battle, they form a rallying point for one of the most fearsome fast strike forces in the galaxy. Beneath the fluttering shadow of their standard, the black-armoured Astartes of the Ravenwing bring death to the enemies of the Emperor. Ravenwing Land Speeders during an aerial assault. A Land Speeder Vengeance. A Ravenwing Darkshroud employing its field of darkness.
Nephilim Jetfighter in combat. Ravenwing Dark Talon attacking Necrons in a high-speed attack. A Dark Angels Tactical Squad. The remainder of the Chapter is organised along standard Codex Astartes lines. The 3 rd , 4 th , and 5 th Companies are Battle Companies -- the backbone of the Chapter's fighting ability and the core of any prolonged campaign. In large battles, these formations generally form the centre and will be counted upon to bear the brunt of the fighting.
These act as a reserve which may be used to bolster the front line, launch diversionary attacks or stem enemy flanking moves.
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When deployed en masse , this company is used to storm an enemy's position -- quickly closing with a foe and engaging in close ranged or hand-to-hand combat. The 9 th Company consists solely of Devastator Squads. It is the most powerfully armed company in the Chapter, and is used to bolster defence points and provide long-ranged fire support.
The 10 th Company consists of Scout Squads ; youths who have been partially transformed into Space Marines as Neophytes but are not yet full Initiates of the Chapter. This company represents the future of the Chapter and has no formal size as the rate of recruitment operates under a wide number of variables. Those Scout Squads nearest to completing their training are assigned to strike forces.
It is almost unheard of for the Scout Company to fight as a single unit. The 6 th to 9 th Companies are Reserve Companies, entirely composed of squads of the same designation. The 6 th and 7 th Companies are Battleline Companies, each consisting of between ten and twenty Battleline Squads.
The 8 th Company is the Close Support Company, and consists of ten to twenty Close Support Squads, most often used wherever a strong hand-to-hand fighting force is needed. The 9 th Company is the Fire Support Company, consisting of ten to twenty fire support squads. It is the most heavily equipped company in the Chapter, and its heavy-weapon bearing Astartes provide suppression and raw destructive power.
Squads from the Reserve Companies are often attached to a Battle Company in order to bolster a given force's capabilities. In such instances, they are identified as the 11 th Squad, 12 th Squad and so on. The 10 th Company in the new force organisation still serves its traditional role as the training ground for new Battle-Brothers of the Chapter, and is made up entirely of Scouts. Led by a Sergeant , these recruits will take to the battlefield alongside the strike forces of other companies, typically acting in a reconnaissance role.
The reformed Codex Astartes dictates no formal size for the 10th Company, as the rate of recruitment is not fixed. The most numerous and strategically versatile warriors in the Dark Angels Chapter are the Battleline Squads, and they form the backbone of most strike forces. Whatever the particular demands of an engagement, Battleline Squads are equal to the task, flexible enough to aggressively press home an attack or to staunchly hold a defensive position. As set down in the revised Codex Astartes , Dark Angels are organised into three main types of squad: Battleline, Close Support and Fire Support, each trained, armed and equipped to excel at a different battlefield role.
The squads are each led by a Sergeant , who directs his warriors to flawlessly execute the orders of his superiors, and are sometimes split into five-Astartes sub-units called Combat Squads, so as to provide greater battlefield flexibility. These squads include the following:. Dark Angels Intercessors in battle. A Dark Angels Tactical Marine. Nothing can end a battle as quickly as a well-coordinated and perfectly timed assault. It is the role of the close support squads to crack open the enemy lines and to deliver the blow that breaks them entirely, sending the remnants of their army fleeing.
To make such attacks, the designated troops must be fast, aggressive and hard-hitting. A Dark Angels Assault Marine. Without the aid of the Fire Support Squads, most Space Marine strike forces would swiftly grind to a halt. These units provide covering fire for their Battleline and Close Support Brethren, allowing them to better carry out their vital roles, while thinning out the enemy's infantry and eliminating their toughest armoured threats.
A Dark Angels Devastator Squad in battle. All of the companies of the Chapter, with the exception of the Deathwing, the Ravenwing and the 10 th Company, maintain Rhino , Razorback and Repulsor transports for each of their squads and Masters.
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More vehicles are held centrally by the Chapter Armoury, while Drop Pods are held by the Chapter fleet. The Deathwing has designated Land Raiders , and more are held in the Armoury for use as requested by a Company Master. Although maintained by the Armoury, it is customary for Dreadnoughts to remain a part of the company in which the warrior served before being interred within his cybernetic sarcophagus.
The Dark Angels Chapter includes a large number of support staff, the great majority of whom are human Chapter Serfs , though there are a few Space Marines amongst their number. Most of these are non-combatants of advanced years, tasked with leading the day-to-day administration of the Chapter, such as the Victuallers, or the Master of Recruits. A particularly vital branch of the Chapter's support staff is that which serves within the Armoury. These include the Chapter's Techmarines , and the vast number of mono-task Servitors that perform mundane work and maintenance. Dark Angels Librarian summoning forth his psychic abilities.
Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Dark Angels also maintain a Librarium of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels. Each Chapter selects its Librarians in its own way, either from seed worlds, as it does with the bulk of its Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana. Most Chapters train and test chosen psykers following the ancient ways laid out in the Codex Astartes.
Librarians of the Dark Angels are trained in this way, and, with few minor variances, have been taught to live by the word of the Codex. Dark Angels Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter:. As noted above, the Dark Angels and their Successor Chapters, the Unforgiven , are not organised according to the dictates of the Codex Astartes , instead maintaining their own unique order of battle which is intended primarily to aid their continued hunt for all of the remaining Fallen Angels , and to maximise their secrecy in doing so.
The Chapter order of battle as of ca. M41 before the opening of the Great Rift and the arrival of the Primaris Space Marines is as follows:. This council's composition changes depending upon the wishes of each Supreme Grand Master. As noted above, the Dark Angels and their Successor Chapters, the Unforgiven , are not entirely organised according to the dictates of the Codex Astartes , instead maintaining their own unique order of battle which is intended primarily to aid their continued hunt for all of the remaining Fallen Angels , and to maximise their secrecy in doing so.
In truth, the great majority of the Dark Angels' engagements -- from putting down insurrections to destroying xenos forces -- have nothing to do with their secret hunt for the Fallen. Yet this does not stop the sons of the Lion, from the most Veteran member of the Inner Circle, to the newest Scout Initiate, from searching each and every battlefield for the signs of sedition. Those with the least understanding see the search for specific heresy only as loyalty to the Emperor, while those of the Inner Circle know signs of corruption or human augmentation might be clues that lead to a lost brethren in need of absolution.
With the exception of their two specialist companies, the Deathwing and the Ravenwing , the Dark Angels otherwise fight as a Codex Astartes -compliant Chapter. Like all Adeptus Astartes, tactical flexibility, rapid deployment and combined arms remain key to their ability to successfully complete the vast range of missions to which they are assigned. Battleline Squads form the core of most strike forces, supported by Close Support and Fire Support Squads, although there are a number of more specialised formations, such as the tank-heavy Hammer of Caliban formation or the Scout Recon Stalker Strike.
Any Dark Angels force can also call upon elements of the 1 st or 2 nd Companies for support; although their secret priority is the hunt for the Fallen, more often than not the Deathwing and Ravenwing serve in more conventional elite roles upon the battlefield. Although smaller strike teams might be led by a Lieutenant or even a Veteran Sergeant , larger missions are typically presided over by a Master. It is his duty to lead his brothers in Humanity's defence, but there is another task incumbent upon him: The 3 rd , 4 th and 5 th Companies of the Dark Angels are kept as close to full strength as possible at all times, with steady replacements coming from the Reserve Companies.
These transitions are laden with ritual, and each company maintains its own archaic rites of initiation, oaths and traditions. Knowledge is densely stratified within the Chapter's ranks, and with each progression Battle-Brothers learn by rote the allegorical tales and pseudo-myths that strengthen their resolve, build their dedication, and harden their hearts against Traitors.
Whatever the reason, the force sent back felt disgraced and rejected. The Great Crusade had to go on: This event began a feud which still continues strong in the 41st millennium, usually taking the form of a ritualistic duel between two elected champions [2b] , although it has been known to manifest itself in a very violent manner . However during the Third Rangdan Xenocide the I Legion lost 50, Battle-Brothers saving the northern Imperium, a steep cost they would never truly recover from.
This contributed to the Dark Angels eventually losing their status as the most powerful Space Marine Legion, a title that would ultimately be claimed by the Ultramarines. As Jonson's fame spread throughout the galaxy and reports of his great deeds and prowess in battle reached the Legion's home world, Luther felt robbed of his share of the glory. He wanted the fame and recognition that he felt he deserved as Jonson's equal.
His role as planetary governor of some half-forgotten backwater world seemed more and more to him like an insult. The seed of jealousy and dissension that had been planted within Luther when Jonson was made the Grand Master of the Order now began to grow and rankle within his heart as the Primarch became more and more celebrated and famous. The seeds of heresy were further planted during the Dark Angels crusade against the Sarosh , who managed to sneak a nuclear warhead onto the Lion's flagship.
Luther discovered the plot and for a moment, overcome by jealously, wondered if he should leave Jonson to his fate. However he quickly proved his loyalty by foiling the Sarosh assassination attempt, but somehow The Lion discovered his hesitation. The Lion was furious at this unapproved deployment, and angrily demanded Luther return to his banishment. Feeling abandoned on Caliban and dealing with a rebellion by the landless nobility and Chaos agents, Luther and his forces would slowly turn against their Primarch.
During the Horus Heresy , the Dark Angels were far from Terra, campaigning on the Gordian League shield worlds, and were unable to participate directly in the events taking place there. Nonetheless, The Lion was able to lead a small strike force to the Forge World of Diamat , denying traitor forces an important supply base. During the battle, Night Lords Primarch Konrad Curze became stranded aboard the Dark Angels flagship Invincible Reason , eluding capture and killing every search team sent against him.
Ultimately after a number of disasters, clashes between Guilliman, Sanguinius, and Lion El'Jonson , and a vision by Sanguinius that the Emperor was alive, Imperium Secundus was abolished. The three Primarch's led their Legions in an attempt to breach the Ruinstorm and reach Terra. Through an arduous journey, they eventually reached Davin , the nexus of the Ruinstorm, and engaged a vast Daemonic host. After the battle and the destruction of Davin, a way to Terra through the Ruinstorm was clear. However in their way stood many enemy blockades as Horus had foreseen this route.
The Dark Angels were eventually able to set course for Terra. Horus was defeated by the Emperor, although the Emperor himself was fatally wounded and had to be entombed within the life-preserving mechanism of the Golden Throne. El'Jonson was stricken with grief over the fact that he had not been able to protect the Emperor against Horus. After the Heresy, the Dark Angels helped restore order to the Imperium. However, during this time, the Dark Angels who had been left behind on Caliban became agitated at being forced to essentially babysit a backwater planet.
This led to the leader of the garrison, Luther, turning to the Gods of Chaos , who had just been defeated with the death of their champion Horus during the Heresy. The Dark Angels returned to Caliban after the war, but they were fired upon by the planetary defences. They were forced to assault their own homeworld, where they found that their brethren had betrayed them. In a duel which mirrored that of the Emperor and Horus, Luther and Lion El'Jonson fought, resulting in Luther mortally wounding his former friend. Luther went insane upon realizing he had struck down his close friend and was captured.
In a fit of rage at being defeated once again, the Chaos Gods opened a warp rift in the planet which scattered the traitorous " Fallen Angels " throughout the galaxy. The Dark Angel space fleet also bombarded the planet mercilessly, and this caused the structure of the planet to collapse. The bombardment, combined with the newly formed warp rift, broke the planet up and it is now an asteroid field [Needs Citation]. This betrayal has tainted their honour in the eyes of the Dark Angels themselves.
Given that the event was purely within the Legion itself, and was on a world far from Terra, nobody outside of the Legion knows it occurred. Within the Chapters itself, only the elite veterans are permitted this knowledge - in the modern Dark Angels Chapter, only the Deathwing and senior officers know this secret. The Chapter leadership will go to great lengths to ensure that this knowledge does not reach the Imperium at large, even at times going so far as to disobey direct orders from Inquisitors and cause overly curious individuals to "disappear" [Needs Citation].
Only the most senior members, known as the Inner Circle, know the greatest secret - that Luther, the great traitor, is still alive and insane, living in a cell deep within the Rock. Lion El'Jonson's body was supposedly never found; Luther claims, in his near-senseless mutterings, that the Lion is near and will return and forgive him. The Lion actually sleeps in the most secret chamber in the rock, his presence known only by the Watchers in the Dark and the Emperor himself, until the time he will awaken and lead his chapter on a new and even greater crusade.
Caliban was destroyed during the Betrayal, shattered by the warp rift and orbital bombardment.
Chapter Focus: Dark Angels - Warhammer Community
The remains now form a sizeable asteroid field. They're Dark Angels, whether or not they have the key word. Because Deathwing units and characters get bonuses against them. This is actually not as heinously abusive of the fluff as it sounds, bear in mind that Cypher and the occasional Fallen cough - Astelan have been let out of their cells to go on missions with the Dark Angels from time to time, though usually under excessively heavy guard and threat of death and torture if they step out of line.
Cypher even shows up to offer sarky pointers every now and then. While essentially space marines with a twist, the Dark Angels do have some different tactics, mainly because of the ravenwing and the named characters.
Look for this section to be updated with the Codex. Use the above mentioned units and some of the Dark Angel named characters to enhance your army, but don't rely on just the Dark Angel only units. A predator, intercessor squad, normal lieutenant or dreadnought is still a great unit and will serve you well. Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad here, right now: Retrieved from " https: Warhammer Tactics 8E Space Marines.
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