The Dark Angels have six rare formations, some unused in millennia. Come loremasters and learn the secrets organizations of The Unforgiven.
The Dark Angels were the first – the original Astartes Legion deployed by the Emperor of Mankind. Over the Great Crusade, and down through the centuries they have taken to the battlefield in many rare formations – some unseen since the Horus Heresy. Some are well known, while others are almost legend. Let us take you through what is known:
The Ravenwing is a highly specialized formation where speed is more important than heavy firepower. To this end, all of the marines in the company ride into battle on Bikes or Land Speeders on land, including specialized vehicles such as the Land Speeder Vengeance and Darkshroud. In the air, the Ravenwing employs Dark Talons and Nephilim Jetfighters. The Ravenwing’s hidden role within the chapter is that of mobile hunters, eternally prowling for their traitorous ancestors, The Fallen. Instead of the usual dark green panoply of the rest of the chapter, the Ravenwing’s armour and vehicles are painted jet black, echoing the original colours of the Dark Angels Legion. The Ravenwing also contains specialized sub-formations, such as Ravenwing Command Squads and Ravenwing Black Knights, the latter of whom are the most hardened veterans of the Ravenwing with access to the 2nd Company’s Inner Circle. Ravenwing Squads come in two primary varieties, attack or support.
The origin of the Ravenwing dates back to pre-Imperial times; originating from a mounted cavalry section of The Order who rode black horses and “could survive alone in the deadly forests of Caliban, heroic figures in matt black armour and winged helms.” While its title originates from Caliban, its role was designed by the Emperor during the Unification Wars as part of the Hexagrammaton.
The Deathwing is unique among the Space Marine chapters in that the entire Dark Angel’s First Company fights exclusively in Terminator armour. The company’s armour is a bone white colour, rather than the dark green of the majority of the Chapter, or the black of the original Legion . This alteration of the color scheme applies only to the Dark Angels, not to their successor Chapters. The Deathwing’s insignia is a variation of winged sword worn by the rest of the Chapter – the blade of the sword is depicted as being broken in Deathwing iconography. More so even than the regular Dark Angels, 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.
The Deathwing is not solely a tactical formation – promotion to the Deathwing also means that an individual is bestowed many of the darkest secrets of the Chapter. The most closely guarded of these secrets is that of the betrayal of Luther and the Fallen, and the subsequent fate of their Primarch, Lion El’Jonson.
Ironwing was developed by the Emperor himself in the Unification Wars for the purpose of exterminating threats to mankind too dire to be allowed to endanger the coming Great Crusade. Ironwing units were equipped with heavily armored vehicles such as Land Raiders and Dreadnoughts for their missions.
Here is an card from EPIC showing three of these formations. The Land Raider Company when used by the Dark Angels was named “Ironwing”
The speciality of Dreadwing was total warfare where the voted-lieutenant bearing title Dreadbringer used Destroyer Marine Squads supported by other types of squads to bring total anihilation of a foe on specific battlefield. The Dreadwing utilized mass armored assaults of Land Raiders, Spartan Assault Carriers, Mastodons and Fellglaives with advanced weaponry. They were also known to employ sinister and shunned weapons of mass destruction such as Phosphex Rad and Vortex Weapons. As of M41, the unit no longer exists.
The Firewing was one of the six “wings” of the Hexagrammaton during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. Its purpose is not known, lost to the mists of time. Like all Dark Angels wings save the Deathwing and Ravenwing it did not endure into the 41st Millennium. There are however, heraldric links between the Firewing and the Consecrators, a Successor Chapter of the Dark Angels.
~Secrets within Secrets. How many of these did you know of?