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Blood Angels Death Company Tactica by Valkyrie (5th Edition)

Pic by Hakbo from the Dakka Gallery

Have you been trying to make a suitable Death Company unit, but find that it always gets way out of hand point-wise?

Death Company are one of the most complex Space Marine units around. With access to a 30 man squad and many different weapons, some unique, a squad of Death Company kitted out to an adequate level can reach hundreds, possibly thousands of points. This guide is designed to analyse the best weapons and wargear options avaliable to the Death Company, and other options they can take.


The Death Company are a unit of Blood Angels who have succumbed to the Black Rage, and are simply let loose onto the enemy. They are a 0-1 unit ranging from 3 to 30 models, costing 20 points each, although you buy 3 guys minimum for 60 points, counting as 1 Troop choice that does not count as a scoring unit. Because of their ferocity, they automatically have the Rage, Furious Charge, Feel No Pain and Relentless USR's, although they lose And They Shall Know No Fear. They have the basic profile of a Tactical Marine, with +1 WS and 1A, and the option to take either a Boltgun or a Bolt Pistol and a CCW. They all have access to Power Weapons, Power Fists and Thunder Hammers and Jump Packs, as well as partial access to Plasma and Infernus Pistols, and Hand Flamers.

The record for the most expensive unit goes to a 30 man Death Company, almost all with dual Thunder Hammers, Jump Packs with 6 Hand Flamers, led by Lemartes, totalling near 3000 points.

Style of Play

The real hitting force of the Death Company is only really shown if they get to charge: On the charge, even the most basic member gets 4 S5 attacks at Initiative 5 and WS5. Even Boltgun armed models get 3 on the charge, which you may want to think about when arming your members with Boltguns. Power Weapons are a cheap addition to your squad, as this greatly increases their killing power even more. By adding Jump Packs, you allow the squad to Deep Strike and move 12".

One of the most important points about Death Company: they will still die as easily as Tactical Marines to high strength fire. Even though they have Feel No Pain, Death Company only have a 3+ save. They are not invulnerable. You cannot just let your DC unit slog across the battlefield, thinking that they will survive. Battle Cannons, Star Cannons, Particle Whips etc, these things all kill Death Company just as easily as regular Marines, and nothing is worse than watching a 300 point unit blasted to atoms on Turn One. Therefore, taking a transport option is a good choice. Not necessarily a transport, but anyway that the DC can be deployed, creating the minimum possible distance between them and the enemy, in the safest way possible. Drop Pods, Jump-Pack Deepstriking, Rhinos, it all depends on your playstyle and wherever you can spare the points.

Close Combat Armaments

Death Company may swap their Bolt Pistol or Boltgun for either a Power Weapon, Power Fist or Thunder Hammer. Any member may choose this option. I'm going to go over each option and how you should use it.

Power Weapon: This is a good choice of CC weapon. Costing 15 Points, it can be costly in large numbers but increases their stopping power. I suggest you have at least a few Power Weapons in the squad

Power Fist: Costs 25 Points, allows the DC to harm vehicles, but reduces his potential by forcing him to strike at Initiative 1. I would suggest you only take one, two at the most if you have a unit of more than 10 members.

Thunder Hammer: A whopping 30 points each, giving the same benefits as a Power Fist, but any wounded victims strike at Initiative 1 for the next turn. If you're planning to use your DC against Monstrous Creatures or multi-wound characters, then you may want to choose one, otherwise spend your points on Fists

Ranged Armaments

For every 5 models in the squad, one member may swap his Bolt Pistol for either a Plasma Pistol, Infernus Pistol or a Hand Flamer.

Hand Flamer: This weapon is a very good choice. It's a S3 Ap6 Flamer which counts as a Pistol, so you don't lose the CC attack. It's cheap at 10 points and when the DC get close to the enemy, they can quickly roast them before leaping into combat.

Infernus Pistol: This is essentially a half-range Meltagun. On one hand you have an Ap1 Pistol, on the other, it's 15 points which you could alternatively spend on another Power Weapon, which has more potential. Most people prefer this over the Plasma Pistol, as although it has half the range, it has +1S, Ap1, and can roll 2D6 penetration for targets within 3", and does not Get Hot.

Plasma Pistol: Double the range of an Infernus Pistol, with almost as much killing power. It's the same cost as an Infernus Pistol with the same ablities, simply losing a point of Ap and S. Even though it Gets Hot, a 3+ save and Feel No Pain keeps self-inflicted casualties to a minimum.

Other Wargear

Jump Packs: For 15 Points per model, you can upgrade your DC to Jump Infantry. This gives you a 12" movement and Deep Strike, but removes your ability to embark in transports (except the Storm Raven). Although this makes them more manuverable, it increases the cost of a basic member to 35 points. I would only consider giving Jump Packs to a small squad, maybe 5 members maximum.

Lemartes, Guardian of the Lost: For 150 points, you can add Lemartes to your Death Company. Lemartes has the profile and wargear of a standard Chaplain, armed with the Blood Crozius, a master crafter Crozius, a Bolt Pistol, and sporting many unique abilities, the best of which is Fury Unbound. Fury Unbound causes Lemartes' Strength and Attack values to immediatly raise to 5 whenever he takes his first wound. Gaining 3 extra attacks means that he will have a total of 7 S5 attacks at Initiative 7 on the charge. The Liturgies of Blood ability allows Lemartes and any Death Company unit he is accompanying to re-roll hits and wounds on the turn in which they assault.

To run the numbers. A 5 man Squad of Death Company lead by Lemartes will cause 20 S5 I5 attacks, as well as 4 S5 I7 Power Weapon attacks, that can re-roll missed hits and failed wounds. If Lemartes is wounded, this raises to 7 S6 I7 attacks with the same abilities.

Sample Units

10 Death Company - 2 Power Weapons - 2 Hand Flamers - Power Fist - Thunder Hammer

Costing 305 Points, you shouldn't throw this unit away by not having a plan for them. This is the unit I use, and I've seen them plough through an army of Orks, taking out Mega Nobz, Looted Wagons and even a couple of Warbosses. On the charge, you will get :-

16 S5 I5 attacks. 8 S5 I5 attacks ignoring armour saves 3 S8 I1 attacks, ignoring saves 3 S8 I1 attacks, ignoring saves and causing wounded victims to strike at I1

However, you should take this unit in a transport vehicle, reducing the casualties they take while travelling across the battlefield. I run them in a Land Raider, allowing them to close with their enemy in complete safety, assaulting when they disembark.

5 Death Company - 2 Power Weapons - Hand Flamer - Jump Packs - Lemartes

345 Points. More costly than the last one, due to Lemartes, but much more manuverable, able to Deep Strike and move 12". Lemartes gives a great bonus in assault (see above).

3 Death Company - 3 Power Weapons - Jump Packs

150 Points. Cheap and cheerful. Can Deep Strike, move 12" and gets 12 S5 I5 Power Weapon attacks on the charge. A nice cheap unit which packs a good punch. Consider taking a Hand Flamer for some extra firepower (pun intended!) before you assault.

20 Death Company - 10 Power Weapons - 5 Thunder Hammers - 4 Infernus Pistols - Lemartes - Jump Packs

This is for Apocalypse only. Costing a massive 1210 Points but packing a fething huge amount of attacks. Use them as a rapid assault unit, using hammer-blow tactics to cripple vital enemy units. Lemartes greatly boosts their CC abilities and Infernus Pistols allows them to harm even the toughest Super-Heavy vehicles.


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