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Found 7 results

  1. As part of my run up towards a pre-Heresy Dark Angel force I was going through resources and putting together a set of painting/modeling guidelines. I decided to share them here. For my purposes, I am ignoring the first two books for these sorts of details (and characters whose ranks stem from them) because they are full of what I think are early installment weirdness. Organizational Hierarchy of the Dark Angels Legion Name Source Commentary HostHH6: RetributionListed as part of the formation information for the two example legionaries. The specific wording, "...his unit is of the 13th Chapter of the Third Host; a formation..." had me put this here because it could the Legion term for a smaller Expeditionary Force drawn from numerous Orders. I think this makes sense in the context of the First Host being assigned specifically to a single ship and the presence of a second Host (the Thirteenth) on it was unusual. For an alternative take, see below.[/tr]OrderSavage Weapons, The Lion, Unremembered Empire, Angels of CalibanOrders seem to take the place of Chapters as the Dark Angel upper level of the table of battle. Each Order consists five thousand legionaries and is led by a Master (based upon order of ranks from Angels of Caliban, p, 32) or less likely a Captain (based upon "The Lion" and Captain Tragan leading the Ninth Order, but this could be because he had not yet been raised to Master after the the death of Alajos). ChapterHH1: Betrayal, Savage Weapons, The Lion, Unremembered Empire, Angels of CalibanPresumably based upon the Principia Bellicosa unit and containing one thousand Legionaries (presumably there are five Chapters in an order). Each Chapter is led by a Captain. Early installment weirdness (via a throw foward to 40k) has the rank Chapter Master which may actually not be EIW, but rather a distinct ceremonial rank for Captains leading a Chapter.Battalion (Host)HH1: Betrayal, HH6: Retribution, Angels of CalibanThe Principia Bellicosa lists the Battalion as a half-Chapter strength unit, two per Chapter, led by a (amongst other title options) Commander. Commander is one of the ranks mentioned awaiting the orders of the Lion. It is possible Host is the legion name for this portion of an the organizational structure. I could see five hundred legionaries being assigned to a pre-Imperium relic ship. The promotion from lieutenant to captain makes me wonder if the Dark Angels use the former as the rank for a leader of Battalion rather than commander (see below why this just wonder and not think) or if Gav Thorpe was just putting in titles that sounded okay for those two scenes.CompanyHH1: Betrayal, Angels of CalibanAccording to the Principia Bellicosa it's one hundred legionaries led by a Company Captain alternatively called a Centurion. Centurion shows up as a rank during the Feast on Caliban, but it is Lieutenant that is mentioned in the Primarch's ranks. A lieutenant in the Principia Bellicosa is right below Centurion and commands three squads of a Company. Considering the out-of-touch nature of Luther's faction it's possible one rank replaced the other at some point during the later stages of the Great Crusade if the Lion saw that level of organization redundant. Considering the Lieutenant has command of a company immediately after the promotion to captain makes me think that it was his original command and not one received with the promotion. This also fits with him commanding a frigate and what we know about the capacity of frigates and battle-companies in 40k. The nature of the Wings and their perpendicular organizational structure lead me to believe that the Dark Angels would be unlikely to have many specialist companies and so I posit that the majority of companies are similar to the 40k battle-company. The resulting structure would be adaptable to many situations and capable of reorganization within a Chapter via Wings if a more specialist approach was required.[tr]SquadHH1: Betrayal, The Lion, Angels of CalibanTen to twenty legionaries for a Tactical Squad or 5-10 for a specialist squad. Presumably ten Squads per Company. Additional: Paladins appear to be the equivalent of Company Champions in an Order, but who are given or capable of field command. Their presence in an Order may be what allowed for the removal of the three squads level of company command. Perpendicular Organization of the Six Wings of Dark Angels Legion Wing Purpose Symbol AllEach Wing's membership consisted of legionaries whose specialty or predilection matched its purpose. Battlefield command could be switched from the normal hierarchy to that of one of the Wings if the nature of warfare required overwhelming application of its type rather than the usual operational adaptability of the Dark Angels. Each Wings was led by a Voted Lieutenant selected by its members. Voted positions in a Wing were completely separate from one's rank and were not impacted by Legion censure; presumably the membership of a Wing could vote to remove someone from a position. At least one member would be an elected Voted Successor who shadowed and learned from the Voted Lieutenant during Wing operations and could assume command if the Voted Lieutenant was unable to do so. This teacher-student relationship and pseudo-chain of command carried throughout the Wing; the highest 'teacher' on a battlefield would assume initial command once their Wing's protocol was called upon. These relationships were also independent of rank and allowed for similar fraternal discussions and outlets not normally found in the legions, but in the warrior-lodges that tended to pop up in other legions. There is one line in "Angels of Caliban," "the five warriors of Redloss' pantheon," that makes me think a pantheon is a smaller level of organization within a Wing similar to a squad.Each legionary would incorporate the symbol of their Wing into their armor's heraldry. It is likely higher members of each Wing would have Wing related ceremonial symbols in their heraldry and carry items-of-office specific to or fashioned to reflect their Wing. DeathwingMembers are the veterans of the legion. I think they acted as a pool of experience and advice for battlefield. The Lion gathered them and kept him at his side during the unsure and turburlant times in Imperium Secundus. Their Voted Lieutenant was notable for his thoughtful nature and not mindlessly following orders. It's possible the Deathwing protocol was when a force of experienced and thoughtful (i.e. hyper analytical and adaptable) legionaries was required.The Deathwing's banner was described as the Legion symbol in red on a field of black (Angels of Caliban). The symbol of the Deathwing was described as two red swords crossed, points down (HH6: Betrayal). DreadwingMembers are the extermination weapon specialists and genocidalists of the Dark Angels. They, and their weapons of Old Night, were spread amongst squads of the Legion. Their Voted Lieutenant was notable for his love of death. Where other legions had specialized death-squads and formations, the Dark Angels would enact Dreadwing protocol. The Dreadwing members would leave their squads and assemble into a singular field force (perhaps organized into sub-forces or squad-level units called pantheons) with the sole purpose of wiping out all non-Astartes life in the operation theater.The symbol of the Dreadwing was described as a skull-in-hourglass and their pennants were shaped like hourglasses. StormwingMembers are the spaceborne boarding specialists of the legion. Supposedly, the Stormwing consisted only of Breacher squads with boarding shields. I don't know if this meant when Storming members gather from individual squads (like the Dreadwing) or if Stormwing members were usually kept together as squads. I imagine Stormwing protocol is similar to the assault rites, void boarding, or orbital shock deployments strategies of other legions.A three-line lightning bolt (z-pattern) striking down and the left with a single wing on the upper left. FirewingThe Firewing specializes in destroying enemy command structures.A flame cradled above wings (like the Consecrator's chapter symbol). IronwingMembers are the vehicular specialists of the legion. It includes tank crewmen and members of the Armorium and also armored cavalry, presumably anti-tank specialists. The Ironwing protocol functions similarly to the preferred mechanized assault tactics of the X legion (Correction: the preferred mechanized assault tactics of the X legion function similarly to the Ironwing protocol). Considering the more blatant nature of this Wing Techpriests and the dual allegiance might be segregated into it.Similar to the Firewing's symbol, but with a capital alpha (the classic Ultramarine Devastator symbol) instead of a flame. The alpha has a spiked halo (similar to most modern representations of the iron halo). RavenwingMembers are the scout, flight, and presumably intelligence specialists of the Legion. It is unknown if members of the Ravenwing are part of non-fast units. The Ravenwing protocol is called for when speed and positioning are of utmost importance.A sword grasped by a winged raven's claw. These six wings, collectively referred to as the Hexagrammaton, are represented by a unicursal hexagram (drawn with one continuous line rather than two overlapping triangles. Heraldry What makes the difference, for me, between the Dark Angels and all the other posers in black (Catulan Company, Iron Hands, Raven Guard) is the heraldry. I've seen some great painted troops, and if it weren't for the Legion badge I wouldn't have guessed they were First Legion. I think, based on the HH6: Betrayal images, each Dark Angel should have: Legion badge, Chapter number, and Wing marking. Considering the Black Library sources, it seems like Order, Company, and Squad are represented by non-numeric heraldry (which may contribute to the 40k company markings). I'd guess the numeric heraldry have standardized placement based on Principia Bellicosa while everything else is the checker and stripe mixtures seen in much of the art. For example, Merir Astelan has a particular pattern shown on his pauldron and escrutcheon; it probably represents his Order. Thus each legionary probably has at least six heraldic devices. Certain other heraldic devices are known. A red sword vertical over white escrutcheon is the sigil of The Order. A green pauldron can represent a Calibanite legionary. When you take those elements and then add in whatever personal touches you want to the heraldry then you should have some Astartes that proudly proclaim Dark Angels and nothing else. Armor The preference or distribution of armor marks within the Legion is unkown. The available images show primarily what appear to be MkII and MkIII armor. The Forge World upgrade torsos match those. The strange part, in my mind, is the helmets. The Black Libary covers and original Visions of Heresy art show helmets similar to those from the 11th-13th centuries; the front profile is relatively flat which is closest to MkII and MkIII helmets. The Forge World helmets, however, are more similar to 14th and 15th century helmets. I'd expect that sort of progression for MkIV armor. Either seems appropriately knightly depending on personal taste. Escrutcheons, small shield-shaped attachments are often used to secure a cape, cloak, robe, surcoat, tabard, etc. Astelan has one evident in his bust image. Besagues (alternatively besagews) are small circular shields for guarding the armpit and can also be found on Dark Angel armor; again, often used to secure cloth. Speaking of cloth, as much as a pain it can be, I think it should be liberally scattered throughout a force. The white against black armor provides some nice pop that further helps distinguish the Dark Angels from other black-armored folk (And while I'm tossing completely subjective aesthetics around I'd avoid silver/metal or bronze/gold trim on pauldrons because they, to me, scream Iron Hands and Catulon Company). The trim of the cloth provides another place for heraldry: red, black, and green seem to have meaning (green and red were noted as the colors of Caliban so black is most likely related to Terra or having served beside the Emperor). Patterns of triangles along the trim could differentiate between squads or companies (seen on the edge of Astelan's cloak on the cover of "Fallen Angels" and a Dark Angel on the cover of "Descent if Angels"). Officers have been noted to have wings on their helmets rather than the crests seen in more traditional Principia Bellicosa forces like the Ultramarines and Imperial Fists. I'll update as new information comes my way. Hopefully this will be helpful to more than just me. Please feel free to post any miniatures that you think are helpful for displaying any of the above or to provide commentary of your own views. EDIT: If you are considering starting a Dark Angel force before the release of Angelus, I recommend you consider the numbers of each type of Wing you have present. For example, if you take all the special weapon troopers out of the tactical squads, they should be able to form a legal support squad (Dreadwing pantheon) while the Deathwing members from those squads for a legal veteran squad (Deathwing pantheon). Alternatively, if you could theme a squad as a pantheon from the start, i.e. Despoilers or Breachers for Dreadwing or Stormwing and hacve different hierarchy markings but Wing heraldry indicating they are single pantheon. EDIT: Updated the above base on the useful reminder that normal Legion Tactical Squads don't have special weapons. I got their options confused with Veteran Squads. EDIT: Added a new faction, courtesy of Cloud Runner.
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