My, what a large Codex you are! Indeed Codex Adeptus Astartes Dark Angels is sizeable tome packed with a lot of pretty pictures, extended splash pages, miniature showcases, and more Dataslates than you can poke a stick at! There is a lot here, BUT... is it necessary to have all of this information in one tome when this includes repetition and potentially sacrificing good content.
More on that later, but the Dark Angels have a proud and shrouded history in the 40K universe - not only in terms of background but also in look a feel.
I was mentioning last week that there was a time where Native American iconography was associated with the Dark Angels - everything from mohawks to face paint to feathers. It's pretty politically incorrect these days and thankfully the Dark Angels are back to being gothic knights for some years now. I do wonder how different this Codex would be if they hadn't.
I will leave others to concentrate on rules, this is a review of the book, the look and the feel, the quality and content.
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The rest of the history and lore is couched in small pieces explaining the different units.
This is surprising considering the size of the book and how in the past there has been so much information about history, battles, heroes etc. It is not the case here.
These are pretty brief and then followed by the timeline of the Dark Angels right up to the 13th Crusade.
This is then followed by a page for every type of unit and vehicle used in the Chapter with added bits of fluff and an evocative illustration, quite different to the Dark Eldar Codex for example.
This is also the last of any kind of content surrounding the Successor Chapters - no models, not illustrations.. this is it! Considering the older Codex used to have a lot more on the Successors I am disappointed to see that this Codex is so scant on detail. As a fan of the Consecrators (below) I was really hoping for more on them and the others. All of them look great and surely one painted squad of each and a page for each of them wouldn't have hurt! Even the Blood Angels Codex gave more.
Warhammer Visions eat your heart out!!
I can see that they were giving lots of information here, but surely this was all in the Warhammer 40K released not that long ago. Considering the bulk of the Dark Angels-specific rules are in the Appendix at the back, this section seems pretty, but considering what's not in this Codex, bit of a waste for me.
The Deathwing Knights come off as being some of the nicest 40K miniatures around.
A new Warhammer 40K has only just been released with that information in it.
Sure, the special traits need to be there, but they can be listed separately in the Appendix.
Don't get me wrong - if you like your Dark Angels then this is for you, but I do wonder if some of this was just filled up with content that has been elsewhere and then filled with pretty pictures?!
Maybe that's what Codex are these days - less charts and fluff and more repetition and flashy pics.
Guess it depends on what you're after but for my mind this doesn't do the universe and lore any justice.
In comparison, the Space Wolves and Dark Eldar Codex did a lot more with less room as did the Skitarii.
I just think that as the Emperor's First the fluff is more important - the Great Crusade fluff especially.
The Dark Angels were the vanguard of the Empire and the transition from one type of super-soldier to another. Before the Emperor's Children got the Aquila as a sign of valour, before the XIIth Legion became the Emperor's War Hounds for their service, and the Imperial Fists became his watchmen, the Dark Angels strode into the eternal blackness of space and brought The Emperor's Light & Justice to the Galaxy.
This could have been more...