The Invincible Dark Angel Vehicle Squadron?



When does armor value 11 count as 14? Come see the saucy new Dark Angels formation that’s poised to take the tabletop by storm!

A Dark Angels discovery by Roberto “gato-afficionado” Baer:

The new Dark Angels Codex is here, and it has given us what may be the game’s first mixed armor value vehicle squadron in the game!

Checkout the Hammer of Caliban formation;


At first glance this formation seems a little underwhelming, but let’s look a little closer.

First off you have to take a Techmarine and place him in the Land Raider of you choice. A sound strategy that conveys +1BS to the Land Raider, and allows you to fix it using the Blessings of the Omnissiah rule as well. Add in a few servitors to boost up that repair roll, and this tank can shrug off ablative hits with relative ease.

Per the formation’s rule Might of the Lion the Land Raider forms a SINGLE vehicle squadron with either three Vindicators, Predators, or Whirlwinds, which is where the strength of this formation may lie…

According to the vehicle squadron rules, in order to damage this ‘Quad Squad’ you must allocate hits to a specific vehicle just like you would an infantry squadron.  That’s the hidden tech, with some clever positioning you can protect the vulnerable side armors of those Rhino chassis above with the more powerful 14 armor of the Land Raider itself.

vehcile rules

Now attach Azrael to the Techmarine squad inside the Land Raider and now that bad boy is shrugging off hits on a 4+ Invulnerable and fixing whatever doesn’t explode it on an even better roll with the Blessings of the Omnissiah. Plus Azrael can probably deal with most hand to hand threats to the squadron itself buy using the ‘assault vehicle’ to it’s full advantage!

With a little smart play this squadron can fulfill whatever battlefield role you may need, from all lascannon hunters, to 24″ scoring denial with the Vindicators, and emerge relatively unscathed.

Don’t forget the whole formation has Monster Hunter and Tank Hunters regardless of number of models as well.

Just off the top of my head, I can already think of two “archtypes” of vehicle squadrons you could run with this.

1) “Down your Throat”, with a Crusader, full of TH/SH Termys, and 3 Vindicators going right up the middle!

2) “Hold the Line”, with a Godhammer, full of default scouts, and 3 Predators outfitted for massive long range fire sitting on your objectives.

In both cases, keep that Land raider on point to tank all the incoming fire, keeping the “little brothers” safe.

Now the REALLY STICKY question is, if you embark an objective secured squad in the Land Raider, would that confer to the whole squadron like it would for adding Independent Character to objective secured infantry squad?

The answer to that one is hard to find…



  • When a Techmarine takes servitors, can he still join squads?

    • Jamie Garrett

      My understanding is no in the same way that a character with an honor guard or command squad cannot join another squad. however characters can join the squad of techmarine and servitors.

      • yeah, so it makes the idea of a taking a Techmarine with servitors and scouts in a single transport moot. So you have to choose- super harden the LR with the servitors, or add a different aspect with the squad

        • BT

          The alternative is to keep the Techmarine separate and join him to the squad. The problem is I don’t know if he can leave the Land Raider if the squad leaves to assault. If you can join and leave a squad willy nilly, point is moot.

  • And the Obsec secured squad would not confer Obsec to the squadron. Typically rules from infantry only confer to a vehicle when they specifically say they do. EG- I embark devastators with tank hunters into a land raider, the land raider does not gain tank hunters.

  • Parthis

    “Now the REALLY STICKY question is, if you embark an objective secured squad in the Land Raider, would that confer to the whole squadron like it would for adding Independent Character to objective secured infantry squad?”

    The LR would only gain ObjSec if the vehicle is a dedicated transport for the ObjSec squad, right?

    Which I don’t think is possible now (didn’t DeathWing lose the ability to be troops?)

    • Katharon

      No. Only if a vehicle is purchased as the DT of a unit that possesses ObjSec does it gain that same rule. You want a LR with ObjSec, start taking Black Templar.

  • CoffeeGrunt

    Pfff, I’ll just throw Conscripts at it, you can’t beat an ObSec unit with this.

    Plus for the points, it doesn’t really bring that much firepower, and is still vulnerable to flanking. You can’t use the Land Raider as as transport anymore, so it’s just an expensive formation of tanks to sit at the back and shoot with.

    Kinda cool I guess, but not that great.

    • Jonathan Lowbridge

      3 Vindicators and a Redeemer?
      BOOOOoooM, FwwwooooSH, Dakka Dakka!
      *maniacal cackling*
      What Conscripts?

      • MycroftHolmes

        Yeah, Redeemer/Crusader would be paired with Vindicators and wouldn’t have a problem with Conscripts.

        The sit-back-and-shoot combination would have other units forward that
        ‘should’ be able to deal with conscripts.

      • CoffeeGrunt

        Sure, keep firing all that 900pts of firepower at my 175pt Conscript squad.

        • Jonathan Lowbridge

          Not sure it would take more than 1 turn to remove the conscripts…
          You could Add the Command tanks as well for even more overkill and an all vehicle army?

          • CoffeeGrunt

            It would take much more than one turn to remove the Conscripts. Take it from someone who knows, as you can safely assume they’ll be flanking through Cover.

          • Jonathan Lowbridge

            Much more than 1 turn?
            I would be surprised. With a 10″ Apocalyptic Blast which Ignores Cover at Strength 10 AP 2 from the Vindicator Squadron and then the Redeemer adding in its fire power…
            Maybe if they had Azrael leading them 😉

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Do you get that ability as well? The combined fire?

          • Jonathan Lowbridge

            Yes, the rules for each unit still apply as well as the formation rules. It makes some goodish things really nice.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            No I’m asking if Dark Angels get the squadron bonuses for vehicles like Space Marines do? If so, I’m going to very grumpily await my Guard being updated so they can receive some love. 😛

          • Jonathan Lowbridge

            Yes, they get the same bonuses (waits for cries of anguish from Space Marine Players about the lack of difference).
            It makes the Predators the least wanted combo as they get Tank Hunter and Monster Hunter anyway. Whirlwinds are interesting as they gain Pinning and Shred…with Monster Hunter? But Vindicators…they shine.

      • Andrew Thomas

        Crusader. All 28 of its shots, apart from upgrades, would effectively be BS 10, and would wound conscripts on 2s and 3s. And that’s before dropping 78.5 square inches of Strength 10, AP 2.

  • petrow84

    “may be the game’s first mixed armor value vehicle squadron in the game!”

    Nope. Leman Russes do this since their previous codex.

    “Add in a few servitors to boost up that repair roll, and this tank can shrug off ablative hits with relative ease.”

    Still not a defense vs. massed gauss / entropic / haywire hits.

    “with some clever positioning you can protect the vulnerable side armors of those Rhino chassis above with the more powerful 14 armor of the Land Raider itself.”

    ..restricting fire arcs, and LOS for turrets and sponsons. Also, cramming 3 rhino chassis beside a land raider is a cryout for templates, and you can do it only with their shorter sides (front, or back).

    “Now attach Azrael to the Techmarine squad”

    Provided, LOW are allowed, and you want to bring him, instead of another unit of Predators / Whirlwinds, or a Vindicator, or 3 Typhoon speeders.

    • Valourousheart

      You should go check out the squadron rules.
      A squadron of vehicles is treated just like infantry when determining LOS, squadmates are ignored.

      • CoffeeGrunt

        Still affects arcs of fire. They have to all fire at the same target.

        • BT

          Right… though they ignore tracing LoS through vehicles in the Squad. But the point is if it is a bunch of Preds and the LR, you might only get 3-4 LC shots off if someone comes in from the side (depending on the turrets obviously).
          What I think is the real question is if your Land Raider with PotMS can split fire at a different target than the squadron. If it can, you can at least have one secondary target with a single weapon per turn.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Given the amount of points though it’s just stupid. You’ve put all your tanks in one basket, so people will just pound the Squadron with Heavy Weapons or charge it with Thunder Hammers or something.

          • WellSpokenMan

            It’s the points that are the issue. Give me this same amount of points in Ravenwing and I will cause a lot more havoc than the vehicle squadron.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Easily. Hell, give me it in Lasguns and I’d do more damage to something. 😛

        • Grand_Master_Raziel

          That is a point. Still, one might go with Preds armed with TLLCs and HB sponsons. 5 TLLCs will make anyone cringe when you level them at a target, and with sponson HBs you’ve got utility against infantry hordes if you need it. Save some points that way too (as opposed to all triple-las Preds).

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Jack of all trades, master of none. 5 Lascannons honestly isn’t that scary against most targets. Especially if you can’t get a firing arc on all of them.

            Plus Barrage weapons or flanking opponents will really ruin your day.

  • Spacefrisian

    900+ points in a single unit, so i might as well hit it with 3×10 combimelta Sternguard units in pods (or 9 with 3 Librarian conlave Librarians with combimeltas and prescience) +Pedro and have objective secured at lower price tag, throw in 2 extra tac squads with pods and i be looking at 3 or 4 destroyed vehicles.

  • latro990

    Seems a waste of pts for not that much damage output.

    you could go full mental and stick a shroud landspeeder nearby no? so 2+ cover… unltess azzies thing is inv

    • Andrew Thomas

      It is, a 4++ to him, his ladz, and his ride. Not sure if that’d be just the Land Raider, or the whole squadron though.

  • BT

    To many eggs in one basket. It is neat and in a way it is even a death star, but that is a lot of points in one unit. And just like every other squadron rule, you can only fire on one unit at a time, unless DA have a way to get split fire on this unit somehow.
    See, that is how Guard pull it off with Russ squad… the Commander(Russ HQ) can give a order that gives them Split fire. Problem solved with a mixed unit like that.
    Now, what I might do is do the cheapest LR you can get and Whirlwinds. So yeah, your just sitting back lobbing Tank/Monster-Hunter templates all about. Odds are one of them is going to hit, even if they are just transport poppers. Then the question is, is this worth it. Can you do this with just a couple of Whirlwinds without the Tech marine and the Land Raider? How important is that Tank/Monster-Hunter to this unit?
    I guess I would try it a couple of times, but I just have this feeling that if your using this as it is kind of meant to be (a armored spearhead) it would be just way to expensive and ineffective. I mean, you would feel kind of silly if your 1k unit got wrecked by a couple of trukks with claws, because you could only kill one a turn with your massive amount of firepower.

  • Razer Free

    Next time on “Ridiculous 40K Rules”: GW makes an ork formation that fills the game table with 1000 boyz and leaves no room for the opponents army to play with you.

    • petrow84

      Now, if we could deep strike it somehow…

      • Morgan Peck

        The Vulcha Boyz Formation has to deep strike and that can be a squad of 91. Is that close.

    • life of adept brian

      I always figured that one day someone would write an article about how to win a game by forfeit. If your opponent can’t get to the game, you win!

      Chalk up another one for the Greatest Player of a Randomized Game in the WORLD!! Hey man, a win’s a win. And winning is everything. Apparently.

  • LordKrungharr

    Kinda neat but I still like the SM land raider spearhead better. Unless they get wrecked or exploded those raiders just keep on coming, loaded w hammernators!

  • deuce1984

    My reading of the formation did not require a full three tank squadron. Are we sure three are needed?

    • Jonathan Lowbridge

      Yes, it must be 3 vehicles. It says so in the restrictions.
      This Formation’s unit of Predators, Whirlwinds or Vindicators must include three models.

      • MycroftHolmes

        That’s too bad, as the formation would be far more effective/efficient with 1-2 support tanks

        • Jonathan Lowbridge

          Squadrons of 3 gain the special rules. I guess the choice is to invest in the formation or go cad for several smaller units

  • Hiphopopotamus

    tbh nothing special here, lot of points for a gimmick… melta and haywire will still ruin your day and its not hard to make the landraider not the closest target… so few shots from an expensive squadron, its really not hard to combat it.

  • Morgan Peck

    I think the main use of this formation is to give a better chance of getting the Vindicators’ super shot off, as the Land Raider can tank the shots for a turn or two helping you keep the three you need. I’d keep it cheap.

  • moonshadow101

    It’s invincible against Autocannon spam, I guess, but against any sort of dedicated anti-tank it’s not really amazing. It’s a lot of tanks, obviously, but not hugely more effective than those same tanks taken seperately.

  • winterman

    “Now the REALLY STICKY question is, if you embark an objective secured squad in the Land Raider, would that confer to the whole squadron like it would for adding Independent Character to objective secured infantry squad?”

    Why would it work like adding an Independent Character to an Obsec Unit.? A transport does not become obsec simply by having an Obsec unit embarked, it’s hull is simply used to measure scoring.