• Codex: Dark Angels (2024)

    I’ve read through the 10E codex. Here are a few observations.

    Deathwing vs Inner Circle: It explicitly says that the Deathwing is the first (outermost) ring of the Inner Circle. It’s okay to use those terms synonymously. Also, it mentions that Interrogator-Chaplains take “the solemn vow of the Deathwing,” further muddying the distinction between the two terms. For clarity’s sake I think it’s still best to use “Deathwing” to mean current members of the first company and “Inner Circle” to mean higher-ranking Deathwing and assorted other officers.

    We also get further confirmation that not all Chapter Masters are necessarily in the Inner Circle.

    Bladeguard, Sternguard, and Vanguard Veterans: The passage on the Deathwing opens, “The Dark Angels outfit their entire 1st Company—the Deathwing—with Terminator armour, lightning-wreathed power weapons and towering relic shields.” Boy do I hate using a comma splice to interpret a passage—my Republic for a full stop after “armour.” Not every Terminator carries power weapons or relic shields, but Bladeguard Veterans do. There’s no further mention of the lesser, non-Terminator veteran squad types, and not even a small passage saying, “Azarael decided that since Games Workshop included Bladeguard and Sternguard in starter boxes, he has to let them into the Deathwing.” But The Unforgiven rule on page 59 does give them all the Deathwing keyword, so you’re free to paint them in bone white and use Deathwing stratagems on them.

    Ravenwing Aircraft: The Ravenwing section (oddly on the page before the Deathwing) puts the Dark Talon and the Nephilim Jetfighter as those “among” the “the Dark Angels’ arsenal of sleek aerial fighters.” The above-mentioned Unforgiven rule gives the Ravnewing keyword to all aircraft, so if your Sammael wants a few other planes in black, go for it.

    Units without Models: Talonmasters and Strikemasters have their own sections, but no rules. Interrogator-Chaplains do not have their own section (they did on previous codexes) but do have decals on the included transfer sheet. GW’s been pretty consistent on this lately: if a unit doesn’t have a model, it isn’t going to have rules.

    We’re getting some very cool models in this wave. My wishlist for future releases, in order of preference, would be:

    • Black Knights (outrider-sized)
    • Interrogator-Chaplain
    • Talonmaster kit (or a suitable upgrade to Storm Speeders)
    • Ezekiel
    • Deathwing Command Squad
    • Sammael in plastic
    • Strikemaster

    Fluff and Lore: Overall the book is fine but could be a bit heavier on the story elements. The fall of the Dark Angels is brief and to the point. The events of the Lion, Son of the Forest and Arks of Omen are summarized but the story doesn’t progress from there. The only new addition is the Inner Circle Companions who are not quite said to be the Lion’s crew of Risen. We do get a bit more color on the story from White Dwarf that shows the Lion occasionally intervening in Fallen interrogations. The storytelling in the 2E book was probably the best; the amount of material in the 5–7E codexes is unlikely to be matched again.

    On Supplements: I wish this weren’t a supplement to Codex: Space Marines. I think it complicates balance for that book, and requires making design and balance compromises for the divergent chapters. Instead, my preference would be this: if you want to use one of the detachments from C:SM (Gladius, Ironstorm, etc), go for it, but you can only use units from that book. Your Deathwing Terminators are just regular Terminators there. Your bikes are regular bikes. No Deathwing Knights, no Black Knights, no Dark Angels characters. Likewise for Blood Angels, Black Templars, Space Wolves, and Deathwatch. It would allow GW to balance that book on its own merits without having to worry about competitive players cherry picking strong units from a supplement.

    In turn, the lists in these supplements could be much more limited but more flavorful. Think World Eaters, Death Guard, and Thousand Sons—they can’t take normal Chaos Space Marine units, but instead they get a smaller set of options that are heavily themed to their Legions. What I’d like to see for loyalist supplements are major restrictions: prevent Black Templars from using Intercessors, Assault Intercessors, and Scouts in favor of Crusader Squads. Then make Crusader Squads really good. Replace Space Wolf squads with their Long Fang, Bloodclaw, etc. equivalents. Let Space Wolves be Space Wolves.

    How would I handle Dark Angels? I’d strike most greenwing units that overlap the purpose of Deathwing and Ravenwing. If you want tough, slow infantry, you take Terminators, not Gravis. (Remember, if you have lots of Gravis models you want to use, you can still run them in C:SM detachments.) If you want fast guys with chainswords, you take bikes, not jump packs. For fun, maybe also replace Intercessors with Dark Angels Intercessors and let each squad take a Hellblaster for every five models, and give them a special sergeant with a Calibanite power sword (and letting GW sell extra Inner Circle Companions to be painted green with bone robes).

    I could go on, but the general idea is focus. The fewer units an army has access to, the more focused it can be. The more focused it can be, the better GW can tune each unit. Outriders could be replaced with Ravenwing Outriders and have more attacks and/or stronger chainswords. Deathwing Terminators could be true terrors. Chaplains could be monsters. Librarians could have different abilities. And everything would be contained in one nice book.

    All that said, you can do some of this yourself by just leaning into Dark Angels-specific units in your lists. But because every supplemental unit has to remain compatible—and balanced alongside—every vanilla unit, I do wonder if it limits GW’s ability to really let loose.

    Combat Patrol: The new Vengeful Brethren combat patrol is as strange as the we thought it was when the rumors came out. I like this mode a lot. If haven’t tried it, or don’t take it seriously, I think you’re missing out. I know that the point of these boxes is that they’re not supposed to overlap heavily (Intercessors aside) with the other combat patrol sets. But overall I think Octavius is the most Dark Angel-y box, especially if you substitute Belial in for the captain.

    The Rules: I haven’t mentioned the actual gameplay stuff so far, because I’m not that worked up about it. Partly because I mostly play Kill Team these days which is, in my opinion, a much better, more tactical game. But also because GW can just change the points and buff units whenever it feels like it needs to. Better an undertuned force that can be brought up than an overpowered one that makes everyone hate Dark Angels for several months.

  • Dark Angels Decals: A Look at Waterslide Transfer Sheets

    How about an (unfortunately somewhat dry) look at Dark Angels waterslide transfer sheets!*

    Here’s the default sheet that has been included in most DA kits over the last decade or so.

    2017 dark angels transfer sheet.

    Going from left to right, we have chapter badges, which tend to go on the marine’s left shoulder (or the right if he has MKVI-style studs on his left shoulder), with smaller versions for old-style scouts. Of course you can stick these on vehicles, dreadnoughts, etc. as well.

    Next are decals for battle line, close support, and fire support. See here if you need a refresher on which squads are which. They go on the model’s right shoulder with a number on top of them.

    (For these an all decals, I highly recommend you get Micro-Sol and Micro-Set solutions and watch a video or two on how to use them. For the squad types I varnish with ’Ardcoat, apply decal with sol+set, varnish again, apply number, varnish again with Stormshield. Yes, it takes forever.)

    Next we have Ravenwing symbols that go on the left shoulder of Ravenwing models, and if you have spares they can go wherever you think looks good on bikes, speeders, etc.

    The red sword goes on the right pad of Lieutenants. I think the point should be facing down. Newer manuals use the red sword face up for veterans. Older ones show a white sword facing down, but no recent decal sheet has provided them—2014’ Forge World sheet had white swords among those labeled for veterans; 2017’ Dark Imperium sheet had them in the campaign badges section.

    Campaign badges are next. This sheet uses the red sword with skull, but there are a few variations on other sheets, such as a white skull in a red triangle. Annoyingly there are only five on the sheet. Insignium Astartes 64, Games Workshop 2012:

    Space Marines do not always fight alone and often find themselves going into battle alongside other Imperial forces. The mass ranks of the Imperial Guard form the major portion of any allied contingent and include huge tank divisions as well as enormous numbers of foot troops. Other Imperial organisations can and do supply warriors and war machines to the war effort. These include the mighty titan war machines of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the warrior nuns of the Adepta Sororitas and a host of other units and individuals.

    When an army of the Imperium goes to war it is standard practice for the Imperial Commander or general to choose a symbol to act as a campaign badge in accordance with the regulations set down in the Codex. This “field sign” is known as the Army Badge and serves to identify all the troops and equipment that are operating under his command and helps them recognise friendly units on the battlefield. The Army Badge is painted onto Space Marine armour and Imperial Guard tank alike. Cloth patches may be sewn onto Imperial Guard fatigues. Huge versions of the badge will be stencilled onto the gigantic armour plates of Titans. Each time the badge is applied the recipient receives a blessing from the Company Chaplain if a Space Marine or from an attached member of the Imperial Ecclesiarchy if serving in one of the other Imperial forces.

    The design of an Army Badge is deliberately quite straightforward. Usually it consists of a simple geometric shape overlaid with a motif or it might be a simple stencilled icon. The Army Badge must be instantly recognisable if it is to function as a battlefield identification. Space Marines generally apply the Army Badge to their right leg greave.

    The Army Badge is only used for the duration of a single campaign. Once this is over the various forces that comprise the Imperial Army are dispersed and the Army Badge is either removed or replaced. If a squad, regiment or indeed an individual warrior has performed exceptionally in the campaign, the Army Badge may be incorporated onto their armour, uniform or heraldry as a permanent honour. This is particularly true of banners and standards and many of the lavish designs seen on Chapter, Company and personality banners are, in part, derived from the Army Badges of previous campaigns.

    The Indomitus campaign has its own symbol that you’ll see on many sheets.

    For Honour Markings we have a round symbol that resembles an Iron Halo:

    A Marine who demonstrates exceptional initiative will be awarded the Iron Halo. This badge has its origins in the earliest days of the Imperium. It is either painted or etched onto a Marine’s armour and coloured red. It also appears as an element of many Chapter and Company banner designs, presumably recording occasions when the Company or Chapter has demonstrated initiative beyond expectation. [Ibid]

    Below that, the Marksman’s Honour:

    This device is the Marksman’s Honour. Acts of remarkably accurate shooting or consistent performance with targeting are marked with this award. The Codex insists that those warriors who prove their accuracy in combat should be singled out so that their skill may be instantly commanded when necessary. The badges themselves are believed to have been constructed by encasing in gold bolter shell cases fired in battle from the bolt gun of Roboute Guilliman himself. [Ibid] †

    You’ll see these hanging off the shoulder pads or belts of some models as well.

    Next of course are numbers for the right pauldrons.

    Vehicle chapter markings can go anywhere you’d like. I’ve looked and haven’t ever found “proper” markings for tanks. The most common version seems to be to put a vehicle number on the front of the tank on its left, company marking on its right, and if it’s a transport it can optionally have the symbol for its squad type (battle line, close support, fire support) on the sides. The double-headed imperial eagle labeled “vehicle livery” looks good on either side of swing doors or on the front hood.

    Deathwing symbols go on Terminators’ right shoulders. The larger ones can go on Land Raiders or Dreadnoughts.

    Finally we have larger campaign badges, numbers, and company symbols that, again, you can put wherever you like.

    Going all the way back, here’s the transfer sheet from the original release of Warhammer 40,000.

    1989 dark angels yellow.

    They came in yellow (pictured), red, and white. The early Dark Angels models were shown in black, and even now the Horus Heresy colors maintain that color scheme, but the red has never showed up well on black armor. Note the combined Dark Angels badge and sergeant stripes on the right. Also, at the time, the Dark Angels logo was meant to be a winged dagger. It’s now more commonly shown as a sword.

    Each 40K starter set has come with a multi-purpose transfer sheet for Space Marines.

    8 dark imperium.

    Dark Imperium (8th edition) has the standard symbols from above. It add some tiny Dark Angels chapter badges, which will fit on foreheads, the corner of pauldrons, boltguns, kneepads, or anywhere you’d like.

    It has an Imperial Laurel:

    A Marine who bears this honour has literally won his laurels. Acts of valour leading to great victory are deeds rewarded with the Laurel Wreath. The wreath is often worn as a crown or sculpted onto the Marine’s helmet. The Wreathed Skull is a common form of the honour. The Codex demands that Company Standards be born into battle by proven warriors and the bearers of these all wear the Laurel Wreath. The Laurel Wreath also appears frequently on Chapter and Company banners. [Ibid]

    This would go on the right shoulder pad of ancients (like the one included in Dark Imperium or the newer one in the company heroes box, though I think his is covered by a cloak).

    The chain trim can go on cloaks, banners, vehicles, or on tilting plates—and here let me introduce an important concept: many of these symbols have no in-canon meaning. They’re just bling. Dark Angels keep secrets locked up, so chains are good symbols for them. Elsewhere you’ll see locks and keys for similar reasons.

    We have a ton of army badges, including a new skull with red wings that you can use, along with gold Marksman’s Honors and white swords for veterans.

    I don’t know where the Ⅲ is meant to be used. Dark Angels tend to use Arabic numbers with a blackletter styling.

    2020 indomitus dark angels transfer portion.

    Indomitus gives the usual suspects, left and right Ravenwing logos (the the sides of the Outrider bikes the boxed set included), and several of the Crux Terminates, which goes on the left shoulder of non-Terminator Deathwing veterans (Bladeguard, Sternguard, and Vangaurd Veterans).‡ It also includes Indomitus crusade badges, small imperial eagles, iron halos, skulls, and cool checkers.

    2023 leviathan space marine transfer sheet dark angels portion.

    Leviathan gives us a bunch of different variations of the standard Dark Angels badge. We have some with rivets, halos, skulls, and outlined versions. None of these are “supposed” to go on any particular marine or character. Just use them however you want. I like the skull ones for sergeants and the gold ones for characters. We also get some keys, swords, and shields. Again, just sprinkle these around.

    2024 Deathwing Assault.

    The January 2024 Deathwing Assault box includes Dark Angels symbols of assorted sizes—I’m unsure where the green ones are meant to go—generally over bone armor you’d be using red Deathwing decals. Otherwise most of the bigger decals would go on vehicles and dreadnoughts. There are a several army badge options at the bottom, swords for veterans, and cool variations of the Chaplain, Librarian, and Apothecary symbols.

    I’ll update this piece when I get my hands on the sheets that come with the the next wave of releases. In the meantime, here’s the white whale of decals, the out of print Forge World sheet:

    Forge world.

    Decals for the Standards of Fortitude, Devastation, and Retribution! swoon

    As some closing words, I want to suggest that transfers are a great way not just to blindly implement the “required” markings for your squads, but to add some variation to give your troops individual character. Add some text script to one marine’s leg. On another, put honor markings on either side of the chapter badge. On another, border the bottom of the shoulder pad with checkers. It can be a bit tedious but the result can be that you don’t have a squad of five or ten marlins who just look exactly the same, but instead subtly communicates that each of these battle brothers has earned individual distinctions and that their armor reflects this.

    Special thanks to /u/Metal_Boxxes/ for giving me clean scans of the transfer sheets.


    • 24 Jan ’24: published
    • 25 Jan ’24: updated with better copies of the transfer sheets, added ’89
    • 3 Feb ’24: added the Deathwing Assault sheet

    * For 40K. 30K Dark Angels have their own set of iconography that spans their history from their early “Uncrowned Princes” days, through their goth grim reaper phase, to the Hexagrammaton and Hekatonystika. For now we’ll focus on their “present”-day emo-core era.

    † This quote is taken from Insignium Astartes, which specifically uses the Ultramarines as its template. Whether there are similar awards made from Lion El’Jonsons’s gear is indeterminate.

    ‡ I, like many, am not wild about the change that allows non-Terminators to wear bone armour. I have to accept that it’s valid now, but I don’t have to run them. (And yes, I’m aware that White Dwarf 129 showed a Deathwing marine in Power Armour.)

    More Dark Angels stuff I’ve written:

    1. Shoulder Pads of the Dark Angels
    2. Dark Angels Apothecaries
    3. Why the Dark Angels Really Changed from Black to Green?
    4. How the Dark Angels story developed, from Rogue Trader to 2nd edition
    5. Successor Chapters
    6. My 4th company, “The Feared”
    7. The Deathwing: History and Complement
    8. Dark Angels Decals: A Look at Waterslide Transfer Sheets
  • The Deathwing: History and Complement

    The Deathwing are the Dark Angels’ first company. Like most first companies, it is comprised of veteran battle brothers. The Dark Angels are unusual, however, in having a large enough supply of Terminator suits that they can outfit the entire company in them. But recent changes to the rules and storyline have seen power armoured marines join their ranks. With 10th around the corner and the Leviathan box including Sternguard Veterans, I thought I’d take a look at the history of the Deathwing’s development, and spell out exactly who should be wearing bone white.

    TL:DR, these units are part of the 1st company and so can/should be painted bone white *:

    • Terminator squads of all types
    • Deathwing Knights
    • Bladeguard Veteran Squads
    • Sternguard Veteran Squads
    • Vanguard Veteran Squads
    • Dreadnoughts 
    • Land Raiders 


    • All characters in Terminator Armour (Belial, Chaplains and Librarians in Terminator Armour, etc).
    • Deathwing Command Squads, comprising Apothecaries in Terminator Armour , Ancients in Terminator Armour, and the Deathwing Champion
    • Bladeguard Ancients

    Librarians and Interrogator-Chaplains are members of the Librarius and Reclusium, respectively, not the 1st Company, though they are part of the Inner Circle.

    “Deathwing” In Lore and In-Game

    The term “Deathwing” is used a bit loosely in some sources. It’s the name of the first company, but also a tier of membership that a Dark Angel can attain. The rules use the Deathwing keyword to give bonuses to certain units even if those units are not part of the first company. Repulsors get it, for example, because they can transport Terminators and need the keyword to be able to target them with stratagems, even though the vast majority of the chapter’s Repulsors would be “greenwing.”

    A Brief Deathwing History

    The Deathwing as a distinct part of the Dark Angels were introduced in the Deathwing expansion of Space Hulk. Alongside the game Games Workshop released a short story by Bryan Answell and William King that followed a small group of Deathwing Terminators who return to their home planet to find it has been infiltrated by Genestealers. Not expecting to survive, they repainted their black armor bone white, which represented death in their culture, and were able to defeat the cult. All Deathwing Terminators adopted the bone white color scheme in recognition of this feat.

    This story has been retconned in two ways. First, the battle brothers in the story had a culture taken very broadly from the American Indian peoples. While a few Dark Angels models still depict feathers, a lot of this has been walked back. Second, the entire story is now considered to be apocryphal. There may not have been an actual squad that saved its home world in this way, but the story of righteous Dark Angels crushing an uprising of people they had thought to be loyal to them is now used as a fable to teach newer Dark Angels about treachery as they are prepared to learn the truth about the Fallen.

    The mandate that members of the Deathwing only ever wear Terminator Armour is stated plainly in Codex: Angels of Death (1996):

    Note that members of the Deathwing always fight in Terminator armour, and are never fielded as Veteran squads in power armour as is the case with most other Chapters.

    The following page (37) spells out the organization of the entire chapter. For the Deathwing, its members are: Master, Chaplain, Apothecary, Standard Bearer, 20 Terminator Squads, Dreadnoughts, Land Raiders.

    Deathwing Knights came along in 2012. Belial was also promoted to the head of the Deathwing, and the story from “Deathwing” is now listed as an “Apocryphal Tale.” Company Champions are a new character type around this time, getting a model in the plastic Deathwing kit.

    A few years later, GW began to greatly expand the Horus Heresy-era lore, inserting the Deathwing as one of the six wings of the original chapter, many of whom were veterans who served as honor guards. With the “Deathwing” story out of canon, the bone white color scheme was given a new origin: a battle brother who took a blow meant for another was allowed to repaint that part of his armor white.

    Through 9th edition, Dark Angels lists were explicitly forbidden from taking Sternguard Veteran and Vanguard Veteran squads, but the new Bladeguard Veteran and Bladeguard Ancient units were given the Deathwing keywords. At the time GW was keeping Primaris and firstborn units strictly separate. Terminators were firstborn, so there was nowhere for Dark Angels to stick their Primaris veterans. Thus, the Deathwing for the first time was able to field models in power armour.

    (There was also a matter of practicality here. The Bladeguard models came in the Indomitus launch box. GW’s choices were either 1) forbid Dark Angels players from using the models they’d just bought, 2) make BGV company veterans in green, or 3) allow power armour in the Deathwing. Option 1 doesn’t make commercial sense and would feel bad. Option 2 probably would have been fine. GW went with 3 and changed the lore.)

    In 10th edition, GW has decided to relax the Primaris/firstborn distinction, and has outright said that Primaris marines can wear Terminator Armour. Meanwhile, Sternguard Veterans are included in the Leviathan box, with Deathwing transfers for their left shoulders and the Crux Terminatus for their right. No in-story explanation has yet been given for this change. The 10th edition Dark Angels supplement also gives Vanguard Veterans the Deathwing keyword.

    [19 Jan ’24: updated for 10e.]

    * Unless you’d rather paint them in a different color scheme. They’re your models after all! See also my piece on successor chapters, which don’t all put their veterans in special colors. 

    Dreadnoughts and Land Raiders can, of course, also serve other companies, in which case they’d be green. In 10th edition they get the Deathwing keyword regardless of their color scheme but I think it makes sense for them to match the company they’re serving in. 

    See here for more on apothecary paint schemes. My preference is that the Apothecary retain the cold white of his office with a bone white shoulder pad, but you could paint him all bone white if you prefer. 

    More Dark Angels stuff I’ve written:

    1. Shoulder Pads of the Dark Angels
    2. Dark Angels Apothecaries
    3. Why the Dark Angels Really Changed from Black to Green?
    4. How the Dark Angels story developed, from Rogue Trader to 2nd edition
    5. Successor Chapters
    6. My 4th company, “The Feared”
    7. The Deathwing: History and Complement
    8. Dark Angels Decals: A Look at Waterslide Transfer Sheets
  • Dark Angels 4th Company, "The Feared"

    Issue 195 of White Dwarf magazine came out in early 1996. I had recently started playing Warhammer 40,000, and this issue was a big deal in two ways. First, it had a cool cover featuring Asmodai, and I had recently started playing Dark Angels. Second, on page 81 there was a feature showing the entire chapter of the Ultramarines. This seemed absolutely mad to me—over 1000 Space Marines!


    Well, I’m not there yet, but I’m excited to now be able to show off an entire battle company that I’ve painted. Allow me to present the Dark Angels’ 4th company, “The Feared.”

    Full company

    (Click images to enlarge)

    The Feared are entirely codex-compliant: six battleline squads (40 Intercessors, 10 Heavy Intercessors, 10 Infiltrators); two close support squads (10 Inceptors, 10 Assault Intercessors); two fire support squads (20 Hellblasters)

    Master and Its

    They are led by Company Master Larathiel Adellum and his two Lieutenants, Astrovel Soriel and Yofiel Seraphus, made from the Dark Angels Captain kit, the Dark Angels Lt kit, and the Warhammer Day Primaris Lt (kitbashed with the shield from the Forgeworld Dark Angles Praetor and a few other bits).

    The command squad consists of a Company Ancient, chaplain, champion, apothecary, and five Veteran Intercessors.

    Company Champion

    The Company Champion is last year’s limited edition Primaris Champion kit. The wings on his helmet were carefully shaved off the piece from the firstborn upgrade sprue. The sword comes from that kit, too.


    The Ancient has a laurel on his shoulder, which comes from the Dark Angels veterans box, and has a Dark Angels sword, too. The traditional heraldic device for a marine fourth company is the chief (half and half top/bottom). The Dark Angels bling theirs up with some checkers. You can see it on his banner. The gem at the top is green, a nod to the traditional color of the 4th company. Purity seals throughout are transfers from Forgotten Chapters.


    Yes, this did mean hand painting over 100 knee checkerboards. Some look better than others. (Ska may have faded with the 90s, but the two-tone army is still here on my table! Though Dark Angels would hate ska—they only listen to emotional hardcore.)


    Every model has a crusade badge—the red sword with a skull—on the right greave.


    Sergeants have bare heads and flowers on their base. Everything is organized around 10-man squads. When I field them in a game, squads are usually broken up and grouped as five, so each set of ten has a battle brother with a sword on his helmet who leads the second squad. This let me use all the sergeant poses. The bare heads are also (nearly) all from Dark Angels-specific kits.


    Dark Angels don’t recruit from any one particular world, so I worked to vary their skin tones across the army. Most everything is done with Contrast paint, from armor to robes to faces.

    tablewar case

    Excepting the dreadnoughts and tanks, the whole company fits in one full-size Table War case.

    Using current point values, the company comes to 3855 points.

    Not pictured are several thousand more points of Ravenwing, Deathwing, the entire Phobos army I took to NOVA last year, Aeronautica Imperialist Dark Angels, and some Heresy models I’ve started. My “pile of shame” is shrinking but I still have a bit more to finish. Up next is the new Azrael model.

    More Dark Angels stuff I’ve written:

    1. Shoulder Pads of the Dark Angels
    2. Dark Angels Apothecaries
    3. Why the Dark Angels Really Changed from Black to Green?
    4. How the Dark Angels story developed, from Rogue Trader to 2nd edition
    5. Successor Chapters
    6. My 4th company, “The Feared”
    7. The Deathwing: History and Complement
    8. Dark Angels Decals: A Look at Waterslide Transfer Sheets
  • Dark Angels Successors Chapters

    I’ve written before about heraldry and markings for Dark Angels Space Marines in Warhammer: 40,000. Today I’ll go over successor chapters. There are a number of named chapters that Games Workshop has developed, so you’re free to use one of those, or make up a new one entirely.


    Some Dark Angels successor chapters are going to hew closely to how the parent chapter is organized and operates. Some could be totally different. There are even brand new Ultima Founding chapters that don’t even know anything about the Fallen and just go about doing normal Space Marine things.

    By default I would recommend that your chapter follow the Codex Astartes, or a modified version like the Dark Angels use—ten companies of 100 marines plus command personnel. Whether you use colored helmets and company colors or Dark Angels-style heraldic devices is up to you.

    Note that successor chapters that use Dark Angels-style kneepads to designate their companies tend to use the model’s right kneepad (not left).

    Your chapter can have Deathwing or Ravenwing analogues, but it doesn’t need to. Perhaps your chapter master distributes knowledge of the Fallen throughout the companies to trusted veteran sergeants. In-game you’ll still only get the Deathwing keyword on the appropriate squads, but the story is yours to make up. Likewise with the Ravenwing. You can have the bikes be part of normal companies, not all grouped together in the 2nd.


    Successor Terminators and bikes can be the same color as the rest of your army; they don’t need to be different like with the Dark Angels. If you do want to give them their own color schemes, I recommend picking your palette with this in mind. Use the secondary color on the main troopers as the primary color on the veterans. Or just mark your Deathwing-equivalent with, say, gold trim instead of black. There are plenty of ways to distinguish them.

    The Unforgiven

    2nd edition Angels of Death codex:

    The three Space Marine Chapters shown here and the Dark Angels Chapter comprised the original Dark Angels Legion before the Second Founding. […] Collectively the four Chapters are known as the Unforgiven. The Angels of Absolution, the Angels of Vengeance and the Angels of Redemptionm share the ancient secret of the Dark Angels and that Chapter’s mission to reclaim its honour and eradicate the terrible shame of their part in the history.

    The three Chapters follow the Dark Angels’ pattern of organization closely and each has its own Inner Circle. They all have formations which are similar to the Deathwing and Ravenwing companies although they are not named as such. The Chapters of the Unforgiven coordinate their activites in regard of their secret mission and it is not unknown for the Supreme Grand Masters of the four Chapters to hold summit meetings on the Rock.

    Angels of Absolution: Accoding to Angels of Death, “all of the Chapter’s warriors wear bone-white armour.” This would include its Deathwing and Ravenwing analogues. Their robes are green. Their backpacks are black in earlier codex art but white in some. Their inner circle is called the Hidden Brotherhood.

    Angels of Vengeance: “The First Company wears black Terminator armour and the monkish robes of the Inner Circle are jet-black.” Some GW studio models have red tabards. Squad markings are inverted from Dark Angels—white with red numbers. “The Angels of Vengeance use a Terminator-armoured company known as the Dreadwing and a mobile Raptorwing to carry out the hunt for the Fallen (8th ed codex, page 45).

    Angels of Redemption: Red Robes. “The Angels of Redemption have the Redwings, their 1st and 2nd companies” (ibid).

    Other Named Successors

    Guardians of the Covenant wear red robes. Their bikers use the same silver colors as their battle companies, with some red panelling. Very monastic in their styling—probably hard to do these days without Primaris-sized robes but one could maybe use Black Templar pieces. Their inner circle is known as the Secret Order.

    Consecrators used to only wear MK VI armor but now have Primaris members. Their robes are red. Squad markings are inverted from Dark Angels—white with red numbers.

    Disciples of Caliban’s Terminators wear the same green and black as their battle company do. They have lots of relics so I’d recommend some cool ancient conversions. White/bone robes.

    Angels of Defiance have quartered black and bone armor. Black on the models’ upper-left and lower-right, bone on the top-left and bottom-right. Green robes.

    That’s just a few of the ones GW has made up. If I were starting over I’d probably so a codex-style chapter with black armor like the Heresy scheme. For ease I’d likely also try to use regular SM models so that I wouldn’t have to source chapter-specific parts.

    More in this series:

    1. Shoulder Pads of the Dark Angels
    2. Dark Angels Apothecaries
    3. Why the Dark Angels Really Changed from Black to Green?
    4. How the Dark Angels story developed, from Rogue Trader to 2nd edition
    5. Successor Chapters
    6. My 4th company, “The Feared”
    7. The Deathwing: History and Complement
    8. Dark Angels Decals: A Look at Waterslide Transfer Sheets
  • Finished up The Expanse last night. I’m glad I went back to it after finishing the novels, even if my feelings about the casting never really changed. Great space combat, though.

  • Listening to Apollo 18 on shuffle—the correct way to listen to *Apollo 18*—which required ripping it from a CD because Apple Music puts all of the “Fingertips” suite into one track.

  • Teammate was in development so long I had a Twitter handle in the contact section of the about window.

  • Here’s thing Twitter never quite did right: I see an article somewhere. I want to share it. That publication probably made its own tweet about it, which I’d like to retweet rather than writing my own, separate tweet. How do I quickly find that “canonical” tweet?

  • While Twitterrific for Mac still works, I’d always said that I’d stop using Twitter rather than use its awful app. As such, I can be found on Mastodon here: mastodon.social/@davextre…

  • I made a new thing! Teammate: Kill Team Spec Ops Aide is an iPhone, iPad, and Mac app for managing narrative campaigns in Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. Download now for free.

    Demo video.

  • I might not have known that Mac OS Ventura added a Weather app at the same time iPad OS did.

  • Also, Our Flag Means Death aired this year and was good.

  • Reading Polygon’s “best TV shows of 2022” list reminds me that 1) there were several good shows this year but 2) I’d totally forgotten about House of the Dragon. Like, I watched every episode and liked it a lot, but after the finale I haven’t thought about it since.

  • Creeper updates this rhyme: “You’re cheap and you’re haggard.”

    I appreciate the effort but it loses the bite of the original. I think maybe I’d just rewrite the couplet entirely.


  • Apple’s music app is infuriating in a dozen small ways. Why can’t the miniplayer show both the song title and the play/pause controls at the same time? I have a huge screen and the window is resizable.

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. 👍🏻

  • Christmas Playlist ’22

    I’ve been carefully building a Christmas playlist for over two decades, adding one track a year. There are now twenty-two songs on the list.

    1. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love
    2. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
    3. “The Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues
    4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland
    5. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
    6. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives
    7. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
    8. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” By Dean Martin
    9. “Christmas Time is Here (Instrumental)” by Vince Guaraldi Trio
    10. “The Christmas Song” by Nat “King” Cole
    11. “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson
    12. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon
    13. “Step into Christmas” by Elton John
    14. “I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard
    15. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses
    16. “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Elvis Presley
    17. “What Christmas Means to Me” by Stevie Wonder
    18. “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
    19. “What a Wonderful World” by Joey Ramone
    20. “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie & Bing Crosby
    21. “Father Christmas” by The Kinks
    22. “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade

    I typed up this year’s post a week ago with another song on the list, but then Elton John played his last US show and I realized that “Step into Christmas” needed to be the pick. I’m not quite sure what saves this song from being—I don’t know—a bit too top 40?—like it totally is, but I dig it.

    Listen on Apple Music

  • I’m finally working my way through The Expanse. I think the key was not in getting over the fact that Holden is so different than the book, but in finding other ways to like the series despite the scenes he’s in.

  • I’m only in a couple of Discords and keeping up with them feels like work.

  • I painted up a Blitz Bowl team in W&M Tribe colors. Turns out the actual team is really good this year, even!

  • Without Twitter how will Megan Amram notify us which day is the day Donald trump finally becomes president?

  • At some point recently Apple removed the awful “playback speed” button from the Apple Watch “Now Playing” screen. Hitting this by accident was basically a destructive action.

  • I have a slight concern people are seeing Andor and thinking what we needed was “adult Star Wars” and not “good Star Wars.”

  • As people on my timeline set up Mastodon accounts I’ve been following them, but using any such service without a client like Twitterrific just isn’t as pleasant.

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