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A Guide to Playing Deathwing Part 1
Old 25 Mar 2009, 21:33   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Guide to Playing Deathwing Part 1

The meaning of victory is not to defeat your enemy but to destroy him, to eradicate him from living memory, to leave no remnant of his endeavours, to crush utterly his every achievement and remove from all record his every trace of existence. From that defeat, no enemy can recover.
That, battle-brothers, is the meaning of victory.

-Codex Astartes

First off, I'm not going to sugarcoat this guide by advocating the amazing viability of the Deathwing. Donít get any disillusions that the men in white are going to win you any Grand Tournaments. However, when coupled with Deathwing Assault and some other spiffy tools, Deathwing can be a hugely powerful army that can take on most any army type.

Deathwing Assault

Deathwing Assault is perhaps the most advantageous rule for the Deathwing. Unlike other alternatives to reserves and deep striking, such as Drop Pod Assault (which dictates that at least half of your drop pod must arrive on turn 1), Deathwing Assault gives you the element of surprise. You can keep your opponent off balance by making him guess as to whether you will be setting up your models ala regular deployment or putting the entirety of your models in reserve. This is a small segment of the overall tactica on how to utilize the powerful Deathwing Assault to its full potential.

1) All games start with the roll for table edge/deployment/first turn. If you win, make him set up and begin the game first. This is advantageous for many reasons. First of all, you can see how he lays out his models and thusly, can guess at the tactic he will be using. This will also allow you to plan the perfect counter strike. Also, you have to remember that you have the option of either setting up regularly or in Deathwing Assault. Simply put, you can react perfectly to whatever deployment method he chooses:
  • If he chooses to place everything/most everything in reserves, you can set up normally and blast his models to Terra and back as soon as they arrive on the playing table. Although its not as useful for snagging objectives as Deathwing Assault, you canít really loose because everything he has will be destroyed/killed as soon as it arrives on the table.
  • Your second option is a reaction to if he deploys everything on the table as normal. This is when you take advantage of the Deathwing Assault. Deep Strike everything and you can get in the first round of shooting before your enemy. This is also nice for snagging objectives because there arenít many units that can wrest a plot of land from a determined Terminator squad.

Itís a lose/lose situation for your opponent.

However, any player who knows what he is doing will let you deploy first and mimic your deployment, setting up anti-tank across from your Land Raider, anti-infantry across from your infantry, etc. In this case it is better to just lay everything down on the table, because if you choose to Deathwing Assault, he will put everything in reserves. Plus, since you deployed first, you will get the first turn, and thus the first shooting phase (unless he seizes the initiative) and that is of utmost importance when it comes to playing Deathwing.

2) Tactical retreats are incredibly useful when playing against close combat oriented armies such as the Orks and World Eaters. Basically, you can counter your enemyís charges by retreating backwards 6Ē to keep their units out of assault range. Keep shooting at their units to make them more manageable and venerable to assault and when you have their squad down to a reasonable size, you can assault them and obliterate their unit.

3) You must be careful when plotting your deepstrike; overexert your forces and you will be overrun by a swathe of Genestealers. Play too timidly and your opponent can just sit back and shoot while you slog your way across the battlefield. To me, there are two main groups of Terminators that you can select: Assault and Regular. Assault are those Terminators armed with Thunder Hammers/Storm Shield (TH/SS) and those armed with Twin-Linked Lightning Claws (TLLC). Regular Terminators are armed with the standard Storm Bolter/Power Fist (SB/PF). Deep Striking these differ in ways of tactics.
  • Assault Terminators: Since they do not have any long range weaponry, these guys are best suited for heading your assault on the main enemy group. You can also use them to hid in cover and defend objectives but this will not work if the objectives are out in the open because your Terminators will come under a torrent of fire and will not be able to respond apart from leaving their post and their objective.
  • Regular Terminators: These are best suited for defending objects. Their Storm Bolter is powerful enough to take on most threats and they can defend their position quite adequately with their Power Fists. Also, they can be equipped with Cyclone Missile Launchers and Assault Cannons so long range fire power can be acquired.

Unlike regular Space Marine Terminators, Deathwing have the option of mixing and matching equipment types. Thusly, one Terminator could be equipped with the TH/SS load out, two with the TLLC load out, and two with SB/PFs/Cyclone Missile Launcher. This will give you more versatility in the squad but also less specialization. I tend to shy away from this outlook because of this. However, it can prove beneficial in regards to wound allocation.

4) Because of our smaller numbers, Deathwing players have to choose their targets carefully. We cannot go blasting at everything that moves. You have the judge its worth and then target those that are most dangerous to you and your tactics.

Important Targets
  • Tau Battlesuits
  • TEqs
  • Dreadnoughts
  • Heavy Weapon Squads

Less Important Targets
  • Infantry
  • Horde-Control oriented Tanks
  • Horde-Control oriented squads
  • Horde-Control oriented weapon platforms

Basically, anything that can do more then dent your venerable Terminators, should be taken out before you mop up the rest of the resistance. Not everything is powerful enough to kill a Terminator.

5) When played correctly, the Deathwing can be a powerful thing to behold. Nobody wants to see fifty machines of death walk inextolerably towards them. Nobody wants to feel what it feels like to have death be upon them. Deathwing have a certain psychological aspect to them as well that makes them terrifying on the battlefields. Go now, Brother, and make the First Company proud!
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