Deathwing squad configurations and naming

Delving deep into the forbidden archives of the First Company, I have compiled a list of Deathwing squads' names, armaments and standing orders. These formations have been used with great effect over the millennia, and are tried-and-tested.

Note that under the new Codex Dark Angels some items of wargear are no longer available to the squad Sergeants, neither are certain transport options. Such items are marked by an asterisk (*).

They are arranged in alphabetical order.

Bear Claw Squad

Role:
Close combat and honour guards.

Armament:
All brother-terminators have twin lightning claws. There are no ballistic weapons used at all here. The squad is usually supported by a Fire Wind or Eagle's Eye squad.

Comment:
Primarily set up for close combat action where these squads excel at ripping apart foes at close range with powerful slashes from their lightning claws. There aren't many that can withstand this formidable attack from a Bear Claw Deathwing squad. It is quite usual for such squads to form the honour guard retinue for an Interrogator-Chaplain, both at ceremonial occasions and in battle. These squads are often deployed from the sanctuary of the Land Raider Crusader, whose firepower forms a shattering wall of destruction prior to and after any assault.

Eagle's Eye Squad

Role:
Fire support.

Armament:
Sergeant has the traditional power sword and storm bolter and an auspex*, all other brother-terminators have storm bolters and power fists. It is expected that one member of this squad be armed with a cyclone missile launcher in addition to his normal weapons.

Comments:
Very often the unsung heroes of the many battles where the Deathwing are involved. These squads excel at ranged fire support, covering other squads under their torrent of fire, where they make heavily-armoured targets their main priority. These units are the bane of those hoping that steel, monstrous size or thick chitinous armour will be a protection.

Fire Wind Squad

Role:
Counter assault.

Armament:
Sergeant has the traditional power sword and storm bolter and a combi-flamer*. One member of the squad has a heavy flamer, and he is protected in close combat by two brother-terminators with lightning claws. The remaining squad member has a storm bolter and power fist.

Comment:
These squads have proved extremely effective against Tyranids and Orks in the confined spaces on board ship or within buildings, where the horde-like xeno cannot fully bring their strength of numbers to bear within the narrow frontage. The blessed promethium of the heavy flamer is a great scourge to all enemies and rightly feared.

Hawk Talon Squad

Role:
Counter assault / close combat)

Armament:
Sergeant is armed with a thunder hammer and storm shield. All other members of the squad have twin lightning claws. In addition, one has the deadly cyclone missile laucher, or be rearmed with heavy flamer and power fist.

Comment:
Effective at teleport or mechanised transport deployment – these squads work their way behind enemy lines to hit the rear of enemy armoured support units with well-aimed krak missiles, or dug-in infantry with frag missiles, whilst still maintaining terrifying close combat capability.

Iron Serpent Squad

Role:
Close combat.

Armament:
All brother-terminators have thunder hammers and storm shields, one may have access to an assault cannon or cyclone missile launcher.

Comment:
Devastating against heavily-armoured foes in close-quarter fighting. They are never deployed alone and are often supported by Walking Spirits, Lion and Fire Wind squads, and the heavier firepower of battle company or Armoury support.

Lion Squad

Role:
Tactical

Armament:
Sergeant has a power sword and storm bolter and is supported by brother-terminators with power fists and storm bolters, two or three with thunder hammer and storm shields. In addition one carries the blessed cyclone missile launcher.

Comments:
The backbone of any Deathwing battle force and highly successful wherever utilised. The amount of firepower the squad can send into the enemy from range is formidable, and is often enough to break their spirit. However the real secret to their success is the protection of the storm shields afford, coupled with the use of the deadly thunder hammerin close combat. Capable of exorcising the blighted and all who stand in their path.

Striking Thunderbolt Squad

Role:
Tactical reconnaissance)

Armament:
Sergeant has a thunder hammer and storm shield and a teleport homer*, two brother-terminators have a thunder hammer and storm shields, two have storm bolters and power fists. In addition one carries the blessed cyclone missile launcher.

Comments:
As befits their title, these squads are tasked with scouting ahead of the main force to capture and hold objectives before being relieved by the Lion and Eagle's Eye squads. They are often deployed by deep strike and are expected to survive totally unsupported witihin enemy-held territory. As such they contain the greatest diversity of weaponry of any current Deathwing squad – not knowing what they might face – they are prepared for anything. Striking Thunderbolt squads are often accompanied in their missions by a Librarian in terminator armour who uses his own psychic powers to shield the squad as well as providing additional ranged attacks to annihilate the enemies of the Emperor.

Swooping Vulture Squad

Role:
Fallen hunters.

Armament:
Two brothers carry thunder hammer and storm shields, three have twin lightning claws. In addition one may carry a cyclone missile launcher.

Comments:
These squads specialise in deep interdiction missions where they are assigned drop pods or deployed directly via deep strike. As such they rarely appear so configured in open battle as their primary role is to secure member of the Unforgiven who are held captive in enemy hands, or secure members of the Fallen whose destination can be accurately pinpointed. They waste little time in ballistic firefights – as they rely on stealth as much as they can – deploying deep behind enemy lines using their deadly assault weapons to render guards and other close proximity escort units so much sliced meat. They can often be accompanied on these missions by an Interrogator-Chaplain, Librarian or other high ranking member of the Deathwing. Once the target has been acquired, the squad is retrieved by reverse teleport beam or a formation of Land Raiders and Crusaders.

Walking Spirits Squad

Role:
Tactical support.

Armament:
Sergeant has the power sword and storm bolter and an auspex*, two brothers with storm bolters and power fists and two with thunderhammer and stormshield. In addition one may carry a cyclone missile launcher or may be rearmed with an assault cannon.

Comments:
During deployment such squads are used to bolster the main battle-lines by protecting the flanks of the forward squads. They are used reactively where their main function is to predict and foil the plans of the enemy. Relying for safety on keeping out of harms way, they fulfill their main role by observational tactical assessment based upon their experience of many battles fought. Once the enemy's tactics are clear they instruct the forward Lion, Striking Thunderbolt and Bear Claw squads where to engage more closely with their lethal assault weaponry. These squads are also often seen deployed within battle company strikeforces, where they effectively perform the mobile reserve and counter-strike role.


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