[Dredging the Grimdark] The Fallen Angels

This article is a part of a series called “Dredging the Grimdark” that reviews how you can use old, out of production (OOP) Citadel models or odd fluff armies in your games of 7th Edition Warhammer 40k. In this edition, we will be looking into how you can represent the Fallen Dark Angels on the table top. Have a favorite mini or fluff concept you’d like to play with on the table? Let me know and it could be the focus of a post down the line.


Beautiful art courtesy of Ilqar on deviantart.com

The Fallen Angels are an interesting concept for a 40k army. The most interesting part being that, due to their number, I don’t know that you could classify them as an “army”.  According to the fluff, the majority of the Fallen are loners. Traveling through backwater systems as mercenaries, trying to stay out of the watchful gaze of their old brothers, the Dark Angels. But, some have taken a different path. A select few of the Fallen forge out their own empires among the stars, or band together and join the forces of Chaos in their quest to overthrow the God-Emperor. And, don’t forget to include the Fallen who have repented for their sins. These select few still side with the Emperor, some even joining the Deathwatch as Black Shields.

In a game system like 40k, finding the specific rules for your fluff based army can be difficult. The Fallen are veterans in the full sense of the word. Having lived and fought since the 30th millennium, you need make sure you represent their skills and abilities, while also making sure you are adhering to the narrative (unless you are the type of player that allies Tau with Chaos Daemons, then just go with whatever). Below are a couple rules options focusing on the three main types of Fallen Angels as I see them: Tainted by Chaos, Rogues and Mercenaries, and Exiles.

The Shooter McGavin of 40k ::double pistols::

Tainted by Chaos

I fell to Nurgle and I liked it. Taste of his rotten chapstick

The Rules: I would start with the Dataslate: Cypher. Run the Fallen Champions formation with Cypher and one to three units of Chosen. Ally with a Chaos army full of cultists, representing their henchmen and lackeys. Throw in a daemon prince for some spice and psychic fun.

The Models: You can model these Chosen as bog standard chaos models, or have some fun and use the Dark Angels Veterans bits. Forge World Mk. II and III armor would also be a really fun choice. These warriors have been fighting for millennia, so paint and mock them up as you see fit!

Rogues and Mercenaries

Power Hungry Super Humans

The Rules: I would use the First Company Task force from the new Space Marines codex. I see them best represented by Sternguard, but that’s just me. Limit yourself on fun toys, but don’t hold back if your narrative dictates it. Make sure to throw Cypher into the mix, too. These guys HATE the Dark Angels, and will do anything to get one over on the Unforgiven. Rulers of small systems and sell swords, I could see them picking up the odd tank or two. A heavy terminator force would be odd, but use it if you can justify it!

The Models: This could be fun. You could just use bog standard Dark Angels, painted in their pre-heresy colors. You could also use a mix of chaos and standard marine kits to give a slight edge. A lot of opportunity for creativity here!




We’re reeeeaaaalllyyy sorry!!!

The Rules: This one is a little off the wall, but I think Codex: Legion of the Damned would be an interesting choice. You could run a small allied force of around ten to twelve marines (which makes sense narratively) and just attribute their abilities to centuries upon centuries of warfare and sneaking under the noses of the Dark Angels. Extra points if you play with Space Wolves against Dark Angels. What a twist!!!

The Models: For this, I would use more standard Dark Angels marines, painted in pre-heresy colors. I would also recommend using the beautiful Forge World Mk VI kits (Who doesn’t love beakies?).. But, there is also some room for creativity here, too. Whatever you decide, they are your minis!


More Beakies!!!

I loved this idea so much, that I actually went ahead and did it! These guys are my Fallen Angels that I plan on using in an upcoming Khorne Daemonkin army. Exciting stuff, huh? Just don’t tell the Interrogator Chaplain, he’s an ass.

Until next time!

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  • Von

    Endorsed. I’ve always been sneakily fond of the Fallen and of the different ways they can play – full-on Chaos gribblies, hardbitten redemption-seekers, or reluctant saviours of the Imperium from its own crazed religiosity.

    • Porky_Poster

      This is an attraction of the traditional approach to the wider setting as well, that’s there’s so much space even down in the cracks. All of the game’s history as well makes for lots of variant takes down the years.

      On a slight tangent, it’s interesting the momentum this openness has, that even if the centre might these days prefer we’d stick to the set of specific factions named in books, or limit creativity to the confines of the official palettes or from conversions to kit bashes, that people still want to push at the edges and make their own takes. It’s presumably the nature of the medium, that when these things are in mind and in hand, unrestrained, the sensibilities and faculties do what they will.

      • Thuloid

        The setting itself invites this. Long stretches of time, huge expanses of space, unreliable communications, possibly false historical narratives–the best thing about the 40k setting is its ambiguity and mild incoherence. Hmm, really want to put together an Epic army now.

  • Zab

    just working my way througt Gav’s last novel now 🙂 I used to have a bunch of the fallen lead by Cypher.

  • Cedric Ballbusch

    What 40k needs is a army neutral point system. Where you can build any sort of statline/equipment loadout you want. Simply too many strange/cool options to be tied down by army books.

    • The best example of that is the Inquisition Codex. It is by far the best toolbox rule set they have. My hope is that the new Chaos Marine codex (whenever that comes out) has some really generic choices for Rogue Trader and renegade Marines.

      • Porky_Poster

        How much of a potentially dirty gaming pleasure would be one unified book – a ‘Liber Galactica’ maybe – with every entry from each codex and so on not yet replaced, but not separated out in the usual way, plus lots of extras from the past and adjacent materials, and no structural limits but what’s suggested by the background and the art – and with every classic section of text and image they still have the rights to use. There could be an appendix with Cedric’s neutral system or the full rough formula, and others with optional rules updated from RT, Necromunda, Inquisitor, and even Confrontation, possibly even a summary of each edition’s rules and a suggested blend, with a look back commissioned from each past designer. Open it, read it and soak it up, dream up scenarios, make lists and just explore. What a legacy product that would be, maybe a final gift for the loyalty.

        • Cedric Ballbusch

          Even if not released to the public, a document like you describe is should the starting point for any new edition or rules amendment. The fact that nothing like it exists is part of the reason you have balance and interpretation issues. You need a common starting point.

  • IndigoJack

    Not all the fallen are veterans, some were scattered through space and time, so there could very well be a fallen angel fresh from the 31st millennium in 40k. Also, not all of them are full fledged marines. The Lion left a lot if the DA thunder warriors behind as well. A thunder warrior fallen would best be represented by codex inquisition, imo

  • Love your Mk VI marines Joe, they look great. I’ve been considering getting that kit myself. Thinking of going back to my roots with a squad or two of my first ever 40k army… the Salamanders. They’re another one that’s been through a few changes. The whole black caucasian/drow elf thing is a bit awkward. I might just have them all wearing helmets 😀

    Speaking of ret-cons, why do you think the design studio changed the Dark Angels? I kind of liked them black. What’s the background justification for the colour change do you know? Hey remember when they were all native American-ish for a bit, around the time of the first Space Hulk?

    • Thanks! They have been a real labor of love. I’d highly suggest getting them. I just picked up two kits of Mk IV, and I’m going to use them for a Chaos army I’m building.

      Here is a link to Dakka with the answer of why they changed colors (http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/248774.page).

      And I love questions! Keep ’em coming.

  • Captain Kellen

    I rate this article a Watcher in the Dark on The Lion to minion scale.

    If you need me… I’ll be vacationing in a sandy corner.