Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dark Angels Review: Azrael

Continuing the review of the new Dark Angels codex, we move from Death Wing Terminators to Azrael.  He's the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels.  He knows their secrets (all except the ones that are kept from him ... like the biggie about the Lion).  He's had unfriendly chats with Luther.  He doesn't mind being followed around by daemons Watchers in the Dark.  You just know he's going to be awesome.

So, as an HQ choice, and a reasonably powerful one, my first thought is that it is refreshing to know he still costs less than a land raider.  The in-built perks include being allowed to choose a Dark Angels warlord trait to suit the occasion (this is potentially useful, but I think the warlord traits in this codex aren't quite are good as chaos space marines traits; but that's a discussion for another day); making both ravenwing attack squadrons and death wing terminators troops; and having all models in the army use his Ld for usual the checks.

Beyond that, he is a 2+/4+ marine, thanks to his Lion Helm (and a Watcher carrying it), conferring 4++ to his unit (guard blob of doom!!) with a 6+ feel no pain (not terribly reliable, but better than nothing).  The sword of secrets is a strength enhancing power sword and the Lion's wrath combi-weapon.  Its a combi-weapon (where plasma, obviously, is the combi part that also blinds).

In terms of battlefield roles, he's a candidate to sit on a gun behind a defence line or Imperial Bastion due to his BS=5.  But his best role would be to team up with a command squad (plus appropriate sacred standard!) in a forward position and press the advantage quickly.  His slew of special rules is what makes him tempting to take.  But if one is going to go down separate (pure) ravenwing and death wing components, then Belial and Sammael are superior.  For dual-wing, Azrael is going to be a winner.

To be clear though, he's not going to be getting stuck in in the same way as Belial (since he's not a terminator!) and Sammael, but that's the price to pay.  You'd better be sure dual-wing is the way to go.  If not, ask yourself if (e.g.) your death wing really needs to be troops, etc.

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