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Warhammer 40K: Meet the Dark Angels New Death Star

5 Minute Read
Feb 04

Let’s talk about how Dark Angels have the best healers in the game.

The Dark Angels (traitors or heroes, you decide!) have a new codex supplement. As I discussed this week it is… pretty good. They’ve got a host of powerful new units, and rules to use. Even more, they get these on top of the already strong foundation laid out in the Codex Space Marines. Today I want to take a look at one thing that’s really in the book – that they have some amazing healing units. With them they can built a crazy death star.

The Fast Healer

Apothecaries got a pretty big boost in the new Marine book. Not only did the Narthecium get buffed, but they got some new powers and the option to upgrade to Chief Apothecary. Two main things hamper the Apothecary from being as good as we might want. The Narthecium has a short range of 3″ and they are slow, being an infantry unit. Not only does this make it harder to keep units in range of their aura, but means they aren’t really able to support fast moving units like bikes or assault units. Dark Angels fix both these problems.

Not only is the Ravenwing Apothecary tougher than a regular one, with more wounds and toughness, and has better weapons but he doesn’t have the weaknesses of the normal versions. With a movement of 14″ he’s quite able to keep up with any Marine unit, and their Narthecium has a 6″ range. On top of that Jink and Inner Circle make him even harder to kill. The Deathwing version, it should be noted is also quite good, but lacks speed, even if it can deep strike. Now it’s possible that the 6″ Narthecium range is a typo, but even so, the extra speed is what really counts here. In addition, he can still be upgraded to a Chief Apothecary, making him even better. Yes, he’s 20 pts more than a Primaris Apothecary, but I think that’s well worth it for a super fast, hard to kill Apothecary who can support you fast units.

Attack Bikes Are Even Better Now

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that Attack Bikes got really good in the recent codex. They are cheap, fast, and pack a punch. You can also use the Combat Revival Stratagem to bring one back to life, which is pretty cool. However, in the core book, this required an Apothecary to be within 3″ of the unit, which could be hard if you were making use of the bikes’ speed. Now, however Dark Angels fixed this problem and made them a lot better.


Just by being in a Dark Angels army for instance they gain the Jink rule, giving them a 5++ save if they move and a 4++ save if they advance. This doesn’t cost you points at all, and I’ve got to say that a free invulnerable save (vs shooting) is pretty rad overall. In addition on turn one they will get an extra 3″ of movement and the option to advance and fire. This pretty much guarantees that they will be able to get in half range of almost anything they want and multi-melta it to vapor. On top of all that free stuff, you can now support them with a fast Bike Apothecary, to give them a +++ save, heal them and bring them back from the dead. That’s pretty solid.

A Lovely Detachment

As a part of your army you could for example take a trio of three-man units of Multi-melta armed attack bikes, backed up with a Ravenwing Chief Apothecary. This isn’t exactly cheap at 610 pts, buts it still less than 1/3 of a standard army and leaves you plenty of room for other units. This block, moving together puts out a really amazing about of firepower. At full strength you are getting 18 multi-melta shots, 36 bolter shots and either a grenade or 2 plasma shots form the Apothecary. That’s enough firepower that no enemy can ignore it, as left unchecked it will chew through their units. It’s also highly mobile, getting to pick and chose engagements, and either stay at range or close for powerful kill shots.

There’s a new Sheriff in town.

It’s also an amazingly tough block of troops, with each model being at least T5 with 4 wounds, and a 3+ save. Jink gives them a 5++/4++ depending on how fast they moved. If they chose not to move they will lose the invulnerable save, but gain +1 to hit. They also have a 6+++ save. All that makes them pretty hard to wound, but even if you do manage to, the Apothecary can heal two units a turn, and bring back one model a turn, so you better make sure to outright kill whole units or they will just come back. This block of troops is very hard to kill, and also something you have to kill. 

What I’ve put up above is just the start of a power block, you could do more to support it. A Ravenwing Ancient, can keep up with them and give the Attack Bikes a chance to get off some multi-melta shots even in death, and before you bring them back. A Darkshroud would give them a -1 to be hit, making them even harder to bring now. Support from Captains or Lts, or the already amazing Ravenwing Talon Master just pushes them to be even better. This is all together a super powerful group of units that you really need to watch out for.


Let us know what you think about the Ravenwing Apothecary, down in the comments! 

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