The great 8th edition unit test…Deathwatch

Continuing down the road of testing out what my man-dollies can do in the new edition of 40k is an ongoing process at the moment.

Last night I met up with one of my besties for some scientific dice rolling at our FLGS so that he could further test out Ork units & I decided to pull my long suffering Deathwatch out from the back of the hobby cupboard.

I managed to play a few games with Death watch in 7th & have always found it hard not to go down the “Pimp my Killteam” style of list building. I mean they struggle to put numbers on the board anyway but who in their right mind can resist all the sweet gear? *cough*FRAG CANNON*cough* With that in mind I thought why change the habit of a lifetime, or at least one edition of 40k?

The list…

So this is what I went with….

deathwatchOutrider Detachment
Faction: Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, Deathwatch
Command Benefit: +1 Command Point

HQ
Watch Captain Artemis: 130

Watch Captain in Terminator Armour: 162
Warlord, Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

TROOPS
Deathwatch Killteam: 522

  • 1x Watch Sergeant with Storm Shield & Combi-melta
  • 4x Vets with Frag cannon
  • 1x Vet Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield
  • 2x Vet with Heavy Thunder Hammer
  • 1x Vanguard Veteran with 2x Plasma Pistol
  • 1x Terminator with Cyclone Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter, Chainfist

Deathwatch Killteam: 415

  • 1x Watch Sergeant with Storm Shield & Combi-melta
  • 4x Vets with Frag cannon
  • 1x Vet Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield
  • 1x Vanguard Veteran with 2x Hand Flamer
  • 1x Terminator with Cyclone Missile Launcher, 2x Lightning Claws

HEAVY SUPPORT
Land Raider: 356 2x Twin Lascannon, Twin Heavy Bolter

Land Raider crusader: 287 2x Hurricane Bolter, Twin-Assault Cannon

FAST ATTACK
1x Deathwatch Biker: 41 Twin Boltgun, Power Axe, Frag & Krak Grenades, Deathwatch Teleport Homer

1x Deathwatch Biker: 41 Twin Boltgun, Power Axe, Frag & Krak Grenades, Deathwatch Teleport Homer

1x Deathwatch Biker: 41 Twin Boltgun, Power Axe, Frag & Krak Grenades, Deathwatch Teleport Homer

As you can see lots of upgrades on the Killteams & two Land Raider variants eat a lot of points in this edition but lets take a look at the Killteam as a unit entry.

The Units

The Killteam is now the mainstay of the Deathwatch force as your only troops choice, standard Veterans are no longer an option outside this unit entry but it doesn’t matter as your Killteam can comprise entirely of Veterans should you desire.

The basic unit is five Vets including a sergeant and as before a Killteam can contain no more than ten models in the unit. You can add options into the unit & each different option adds a special rule to the Killteam & none of them are to be sniffed at:

  • More veterans; these guys don’t add anything beyond armour and more guys with special ammo (Deathwatch kept that to, but it functions a little differently). Most importantly for this entry, regardless of unit size you can still have up to four of these guys packing heavy weapons the Infernus Heavy Bolter is cool & a lot better in this edition but the star of the show is still the Frag Cannon.
  • Blackshield; you can upgrade one of the Veterans in your squad to be a Blackshield, nothing different profile-wise but he brings the rule “Atonement Through Honour” to the Killteam which, whilst the Black Shield is alive, allows the whole unit to perform Heroic Intervention as if it were a character. This is quite nice as it can allow you to pull more weight into a combat but I’m not sure how often it’d be beneficial to do so as you’ve likely not got numbers on your side anyway.
  • Vanguard Veterans; I can see myself adding one of these to every Killteam from now on. Again you can add as many as you like into the team (remember the 10 cap) but it’s the special rule you want them for. A Vanguard Veteran allows your Killteam to fall back & still be able to shoot! Considering the Deathweatch arsenal this is a very powerful ability.
  • Terminators; Great for soaking up certain damage types & have some great combat punch & interesting ranged options, again though the special rule they bring to the unit is great. A Killteam containing any Terminators automatically passes morale, which is great as failing morale checks can be pretty brutal.
  • Bikers; Now I didn’t take any in my teams as they can’t go inside a Land Raider but I can see their special rule being quite good in a team with mostly mobile members. Having at least one biker in the unit allows you to fallback & charge again in the charge phase, pretty neat. I’m just not entirely sure that Killteams are resilient enough to not be in transports & you’ll need to be constantly wary of squad coherency as bikers & even vanguard vets will easily outpace standard veterans.

Unit composition aside the key to survive-ability for this unit seems to be in the mix of gear you bring along, I seriously recommend a couple of Storm Shields per Killteam to tank serious weapon hits, it helped my units survive some serious Loota barrage! I’m not going to go into detail on the Frag Cannon, it does what it always did, deletes stuff. They’re not cheap by any means & adding four to a unit will seriously up the cost but they can really bring home the bacon.

The Bikers were an odd choice in this list I grant you being run at absolute minimum unit size but it allowed me to go to town on the upgrades & I was initially very tempted to try out the get of jail free card that is the Deathwatch teleport homer.

The Deathwatch teleport homer is an interesting piece of kit, you can deploy one for each unit that carries it during deployment inside your deployment zone. Then later in the game any unit containing at least one Deathwatch Terminator can forego movement & at the end of the movement phase be removed from the board & placed within six inches of the homer. This sounds great but the downside to them is that if an enemy unit comes within nine inches they’re removed & that seems to happen very easily. It’s cool, but I wouldn’t base you’re entire game plan on it.

Lastly a dual entry on this unit review Captains & Land Raiders, both utterly solid choices in my opinion, you won’t go far wrong with either 🙂


Anyway here’s the Ork list I was testing against….

HQ
Big Mek 100pts
Choppa, Shokk Attack Gun

Warboss on Bike 111pts
Attack Squig, Power Klaw, Shoota

Weirdboy 62pts
3. Da Jump

Troops
10x Gretchin 30pts
10x Gretchin 30pts
10x Gretchin 30pts

Elites
Burna Boyz 210pts
15x Burna Boy

Kommandos 160pts
Boss Nob with Power Klaw

15x Kommando
3x Burners

8x Nobz on Bike 386pts
Boss Nob on Bike
2 x Power Klaw

Painboy on Bike 115pts Power Klaw

Tankbustas 255pts
Boss Nob 14x Tankbusta
15x Rokkit Launcha

Heavy Support
15x Loota 255pts
15x Loota 255pts

Total: 1999pts

Game ended 8:4 to the Orks with only the Big Mek left alive at the end of turn 5 (curse you random game length!). Numbers were definitely the key here as the Orks were able to get a big lead fast forcing me to try & table him. Deathwatch could struggle in Maelstrom missions due to low numbers but I’m sure not going mental with the upgrades could yield a few more bodies.

Here’s a couple of quick snaps…

One thought on “The great 8th edition unit test…Deathwatch

  1. Pingback: 8th Edition; Deathwatch revisited | 40 Ammerz

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