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Themed Army Ideas
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Iron Angels by Yann Folange
It's not often you run into a gamer who is smart; creative; an excellent sportsman; a skilled 40K player; and has a well developed, unique sense of humor. Yann Folange is such a gamer. Over the years, he has created many interesting armies, such as a Star Wars army (complete with tape recorder that plays "The Imperial March" during his Movement Phase), his "Night of the Living Tzeentch" Chaos army (led by a converted "Headless Horseman" Chaos Lord), and his "Mean Green Machine" Necron army (with "smiley faces" painted on the Flayed Ones). 

Yann's latest army is not at all whimsical; in fact, it should terrify the foes of the Emperor. I'll let Yann take it from here.... 

Background
Not all Blood Angels believe in tearing the enemies of the Empire apart with their bare hands. There are those who hear the cry of Sanguinius in the roar of an engine, or the firing of a bolter. The Iron Angels are thus, harnessing their rage through the use of machines and vehicles. While not as fanatical as the Iron Hands, with their beliefs that machines are better than flesh, the Iron Angels do believe in heavily augmenting their capabilities with the use of vehicles, transports, and above all, Dreadnoughts.

Philosophy
“Blood Within, Iron Without” is the motto of the Iron Angels. While they know themselves to be superior to average humans, the death of Sanguinius at the hands of Horus shattered any illusions of immortality that they may have had. Aware that Death can come for them at any time, they use machines and vehicles to help them get their mission done without sacrificing manpower. By providing protection from enemy fire and support in the means of heavy weapons, the Iron Angel vehicles have earned themselves a place in any force. 

A main difference from other chapters is their extensive use of Dreadnoughts. Being entombed into a Dreadnought is a great honor for an Iron Angel, for they are then able to serve the Emperor longer than their normal physical bodies would allow. But while it’s an honor, an Iron Angel who is so entombed knows that their joining with the great metal form is an end to one form of life, and the start of another. On the occasion where an Iron Angel is joined with a Dreadnought sarcophagus, the ceremony starts solemnly, as the Marine’s current life is coming to an end. After the entombing, the ceremony takes on a festive feel, celebrating the addition of a new Venerable Brother beginning his new life in service of the Emperor.

HQ
As per Codex: Blood Angels, with the following notations.

The Iron Angels are commanded on the field by an Iron Lord (Blood Angels Hero), a Space Marine commander who has proven himself on the field of battle. All Iron Lords have undergone training by a Techmarine, so they may be aware of the strength of the machines in their care. 

Iron Minds (Librarians) are not unknown in the Iron Angels, but their presence in the chapter is small. As psykers can not use their abilities once they become a Venerable Brother, they live their first lives as fully as possible, dreading the time when they are cut off from their mental abilities.

Iron Fathers (also known as Chaplains) are also part of the chapter, but they tend to be more dedicated to the support and upkeep of the machines dedicated to the chapter. The Iron Father acts as the main Techmarine for the chapter, his primary duty being the upkeep of the Venerable Brothers in his care. The Iron Father tells of how the Emperor was once a man, striding the world on his feet, but now is part of the Golden Throne, living his second life in service and command of humanity.

Sanguinary High Priests are not used in an Iron Angels list. The Iron Father covers whatever needs the High Priest would provide.

Honor Guard may be taken if so desired. They are usually in a Rhino transport or Razorback, but rarely equipped with jump packs. Land Raiders are considered a mark of honor, and are kept in reserve for a commander of high ranking.

Death Company: On the occasion when an Iron Angel is overwhelmed with the gene-memory of Sanguinius, instead of blackening his armor and letting the Marine throw himself to death in combat, the Iron Father connects the Iron Angel to a Battle Droid which goes out to battle in his stead. This way, the Iron Angel can expunge his rage at Sanguinius’ death and not decrease the manpower of the Iron Angels. 

Elites
Iron Angels go to battle with a full complement of Furioso Dreadnoughts. The close combat capacity of the Furioso is well respected by the Iron Angels, and they are at the forefront of all assaults.

Terminator/Terminator Assault units: Suits of Terminator armor are available to the chapter, but as the majority of their time and technology goes into the upkeep of the Dreadnought, Terminator armor is only available for characters. 

Veteran Squads and Veteran Assault Squads are not taken in an Iron Angels army. 

Troops
Tactical Squads are as per Codex: Space Marine, with the exception that all Tactical Squads must be mounted in Razorbacks or Rhinos.

Iron Angel Assault Scouts (Blood Angel Scout Squad) perform dirty work in close quarters. When recon and information are needed, the Iron Angels dispatch an Iron Angel Scout Squad (Space Marine Scout Squad 0-1) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their foes. 

Fast Attack
As per Codex: Space Marines. The Iron Angels use a wide variety of Land Speeders and bikes. The extra protection and speed is an well-appreciated addition to the Iron Angels force. Assault Squads may be taken, but they are very rare and only used in terrain that’s inhospitable towards vehicles.

Heavy Support
Iron Angels take a full complement of Dreadnoughts, armed differently according the mission at hand. Their ability to move and fire even the heaviest of weapons give the Iron Angels a tactical advantage over forces that rely on stationary vehicles to fire weapons.

Due to the Iron Angels heavy reliance on Dreadnoughts, only one each of the following may be taken in an Iron Angels force: Predators (all variants), Devastator Squads, Whirlwinds, and Vindicators.

Land Raiders are reserved for Honor Squads and commanders who have proven themselves worthy. They may only be taken as a transport option for a HQ. Thus, the Iron Angels do no use a Land Raider Crusader.

Painting and Modeling
Iron Angels are primed black with a Boltgun Metal drybrush. Trim is done in Brazen Brass. Shoulder pads, facemask, and gun are painted red, with the Blood Angel drop on the left shoulder pad, and the unit designator on the right pad. Vehicles are done with a similar style. Bionics and the Adeptus Mechanicus gear should be prevalent throughout the force, specifically on Sergeants and characters. Personally, I gave all my Marines bayonets, so they can spear people on the charge.

General Tactics
While this army may be immune to most small arms fire, you’ll have to watch out for heavy weapons. Since a lot of points are in vehicles, a good shot can blow away a chunk of your army, but don’t let it deter you. Some options are: 

  • Split Force – Send all your Dreadnoughts up one flank, and the rest of your army up the other side. 

  •  
  • Full Throttle – Drop off your infantry to provide a fire base, and use your speedier vehicles to harass the enemy until your Dreadnoughts can go break some stuff. Run them up the middle and break stuff. 

  •  
  • Come Get Some – This works against armies that rely on close combat. Use your mobile heavy weapons to pick off targets that can cause you problems and then crush the enemy as they come to you. 
The army has a good bit of mobility, with all the transports, Speeders and such. The only slow models that can cause problems are the Furioso Dreadnoughts; who move 6" a turn (not counting possible Black Rage). You can use your infantry models to tie up units until the Furioso Dreads get into position to crush things. Also, with some fire support Dreadnoughts and mucho heavy weapons on vehicles, you can pester your enemy so that they forget about the Furioso Dreads until it’s too late. 
 

Related Pages
Photos by Yann from the 01/18/03 Dream Wizards RTT
Other Space Marine Themed Army Ideas
 

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© Copyright Yann Folange, October 2003. Used with permission.
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle