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Deathwatch musings
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 03:07   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Deathwatch musings

http://uk.games-workshop.com/spacemarines/deathwatch/1/

Since you can upgrade a space marine in any HQ, Veteran or Tactical squad to a Deathwatch marine and give him a special ammo type, is it worth doing generally across the board?
There's something about 30" AP4 bolters that's very appealing.
Or, for that matter, re-rolling wounds for a drop pod based force.

The Deathwatch Kill team as an HQ choice would make for a rock solid Drop Pod choice. Heavy bolter shots on landing, and with all those power weapons in there, you really don't want to assault it. See all the options they can take. These guys are expensive.
Are these guys are worth it. If you don't know what army your facing, you should take gear that will work all around. these guys are not indestrucible. We ned to get them in position to earn their points back so drop pods,infiltration and good use of terrain become our best options for play.

In a tac squad, keeping it small, with the 30" round, would be a nice solid firebase:
Use a 5 man: las, plas, 2 guys upgraded to DW, and a vet sarge. For only 20 points more than a 'standard' squad, you get better AP power. Just upgrade the non-heavy/special weapon marines here.

Another combination is upgrading a couple of infiltrating Veterans to Deathwatch, and giving them the M.40 Bolter/Stalker shell upgrade - getting power armoured snipers.

The Kill-Team might be the best buy, so long as you don't go crazy with upgrades, since they come with Frags and Meltas as part of that 20 points cost, along with True Grit and Deep Strike.
Kill Teams are 0-1 in the force.

A themed army allows you to take tank-killing heavy weapons and other assorted goodies. However, if you upgrade every marine in a list they would not have access to all of the options of the kill team but only death watch bolter ammunitions These are expensive and require more judicious application.

So are we looking for a small elite kitted squad that is meant to utterly destroy one army type with utmost utility? A squad of six to eight seems the right number.

Do we need to use a Librarian for his Psychic Hood which could be invaluable times.
Kraken Bolts and a Heavy Bolter with Hellfire Ammo can handle and some tougher characters.

Inferno Bolts for the re-roll, and Bolters with M.40 Targeters for the extra shots and the ever useful pinning tests are useful against tougher opponents and hordes (orks, necrons).

A lightning clawed captain and Metal Storm Ammunition and a power fists are good for an assault based kill team ( this ammo works agains nids well). kraken bolts and bolters are best left for shootier squads.

So we need to decide which niche we are filling.

What armies need them? Well drop spac marine armies seem a good fit but they era better fit in IG - fills a weakness and is a great drop pod surprise - and witchunters and DH. Standard marine lists often have better alternatives.

THOUGHTS?
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 17:23   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Paying any more than 20 points per man for a squad of single-wound power armoured models is a mistake in my book. I have, in the past, got so wrapped up with the damage potential of such unit types that I dismissed any possibility that they could die...then, when they started getting special attention because of the threat they posed, they started dropping like flies. It broke my heart as each man fell and I soon realised what a mistake it was to pour so many points into such a tempting target of a squad with so little survivability under pressure.

By all means upgrade a man here or there and make the most of his unique abilities from behind the safety of an expendable screen of power armour. But don't buy a whole Deathwatch kill team because, after the initial surprise and flurry of shootiness, it'll draw fire from every man and his dog and be whittled away to nothing in the space of a couple turns (if you dare to deploy into the heart of the enemy lines via drop pod). Even Terminators are a borderline choice for me because despite their awesome potential, surprise factor and terrifying firepower, a 2+ save is far from immortality.
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 17:32   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

A Deathwatch Kill Team can be a fearsome threat but one thing that you must consider is to make sure not to go overboard. As said power armor is power armor, its not invincible and they are only one wound models.

What I have seen of Kill Teams suggests that a couple Vets with a Captain upgraded for cc power, a couple heavy bolters with suspensors and then the rest all standard kill team marines works well. They get up close firing as they come and then unleash one last salvo before charging into close combat. All the others can die but its the Captain and the vets who are doing the damage and they can do quite a bit.

Or you can kit them to be cheap and very shooty and they do a pretty good job at that. They can take some fire before going down and take a lot of the enemies attention while still dishing out quite a lot of fire. Useful when fighting Orks, Nids, Tau and infantry heavy Eldar particularly as those Heavy Bolters can do a lot of hurt to the infantry of those races.
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 18:07   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Quote:
Paying any more than 20 points per man for a squad of single-wound power armoured models is a mistake in my book. I have, in the past, got so wrapped up with the damage potential of such unit types that I dismissed any possibility that they could die...
Yep. That's one of my comments. They are not close to indestructible so we need to carefully deploy them to get their points back.

Quote:
But don't buy a whole Deathwatch kill team because, after the initial surprise and flurry of shootiness, it'll draw fire from every man and his dog and be whittled away to nothing in the space of a couple turns
I'm of the opinion that kill teams are better then a smattering of deathwatch filling in here and there. I think you just have to piock out the right targets for them and properly back them up.

Quote:
Captain upgraded for cc power, a couple heavy bolters with suspensors and then the rest all standard kill team marines works well. They get up close firing as they come and then unleash one last salvo before charging into close combat. All the others can die but its the Captain and the vets who are doing the damage and they can do quite a bit.
A similar kill team managed to destroy over 750 points worth of Nids at a Canadian tournament - some small differences as a pf was used as well. I would lean towards a
cc kill team myself as most armies that need them have plenty of backup firepower. But shooty configurations have some nice options. I am having quite a debate as to whether to include them in my DH list. You cannot focus to heavily on them and ignore those grey knights. I might have to some converting.

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Old 25 Sep 2006, 21:58   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Ooh! Good to finally see the updated Deathwatch rules online. They look basically the same as their intial release but updated for the new codex.

What I would suggest for them is as a long range shooting squad. With Kraken penetrator rounds you have a great range and fearsome AP value. Try them against Tau or any other mid to heavy infantry and cackle madly you scythe them down where they stand!

Stick them in the middle slightly back in your battle line and blast away, then use them as a counter charge unit if it becomes absolutley neccesary.

Try this squad out:

Librarian w/ Fury of the acients
103
7 Deathwatch marines 2 w/ heavy bolters, hellfire ammo and supensors, 5 w/ kraken penetrtor rounds
Total points: 298

It's actually far more expensive than I would have thought, but its got a huge amount of long range armour cracking fire power, and will be a decent, though not godly unit in combat.
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 22:31   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Quote:
Originally Posted by bebe
What armies need them? Well drop spac marine armies seem a good fit but they era better fit in
IG - fills a weakness and is a great drop pod surprise - and witchunters and DH. Standard
marine lists often have better alternatives.

THOUGHTS?
Heya,

Death Watch are awesome. They're not a meal ticket to a standard Space Marine army, because they have the same thing for less points practically and far less limits (no 0-1 for example for a whole team) in that we have Command Squads. But to other Imperial Armies, they're gold!

Who needs them? No one needs them. But the I.G. can make a great use of them. An I.G. army that is normal, but suddenly has a Drop Podding Librarian with Fear of Darkness and a plasma filled squad? Who cares if they cost a lot; that's counter balanced by cheap infantry. That's a great tool to the army and a very big surprise to the foe who wasn't expecting drop podding marines to show up; especially not a death watch libby! The Witch Hunters and Daemonhunters love the Death Watch. We don't have a better alternative for an HQ choice. A Drop Pod is very, very nice for these forces. I've been using Death Watch in this manner since Chapter Approved 2004. They're simply a great tool. Having a Libby, or just a mass of Marines in a Drop Pod as a total surprise in armies that otherwise never see these kinds of mechanics is like having an ace up your sleeve. You can have a great time dropping a pod full of plasma or meltas down that normally wouldn't have been possible from a slow force. It's quite a treat to have Death Watch (exception: not with Grey Knights or Sisters obviously; speaking in terms of Inquisitorial based armies that are less heavy on the infantry and more specialized).

Cheers!
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 23:17   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Yeah, I think you're right, Mal. They're nothing special for a Space Marine army. A Devastator squad full of heavy bolters outguns a deathwatch kill team, and a Veteran/Command squad can be every bit as lethal at close quarters, all for a smaller price tag.

Do you regard Grey Knights in the same manner? Or do they fill a niche that Space Marines otherwise cannot accomodate?
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 23:31   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Yeah, I think you're right, Mal. They're nothing special for a Space Marine army. A Devastator squad full of heavy bolters outguns a deathwatch kill team, and a Veteran/Command squad can be every bit as lethal at close quarters, all for a smaller price tag.

Do you regard Grey Knights in the same manner? Or do they fill a niche that Space Marines otherwise cannot accomodate?
Well,

I don't hold Grey Knights in very high regard at all as a unit (model wise, they're beautiful). They're more costly than Death Watch and only have higher strength and storm bolters. All of which doesn't compete at all with Lighting Claws, Power Fists and Plasmaguns. The only Grey Knights that I hold high enough in regard for actual table use, are the Terminators, and even then, only in Imperial Guard armies and Daemonhunter armies that are taking Guard as an ally. Otherwise, they're just not worth the cost compared to normal Terminators (which I also, am not terribly fond of, but at least normal Terminators can have better shooting weapons).

Space Marines can always do what Grey Knights do, better.

The absolute only exception to this, is the Grand Master. A Grand Master is a huge bargain for his point cost. He easily outclasses any other Space Marine related character, for the cost, without upgrades. He's a bag of insanity. Unfortunately, the rest of the Knights are completely lack luster in his shadow, and in comparison to their cheaper and highly effective brothers, the Space Marines in all their bland glory.

Death Watch however, fill a very nice place that Knights otherwise cannot in the non-Marine heavy lists of the Imperium. The only exception in my opinion, again, is Grey Knight Terminators if you want Terminators; but not if you just want heavy infantry support (especially with build-in reliable mobility like a Drop Pod, or if you choose not to use it, natural deep strike and infiltration).

Cheers!
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Old 25 Sep 2006, 23:35   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

You surprise me, Mal. I have no use on the tabletop for Grey Knights, least of all Terminators. But the models are damn cool and I want to paint some just because they're so pretty! Didn't know about the Grand Master though...I might have to look into that. Thanks.
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Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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Old 26 Sep 2006, 00:07   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Deathwatch musings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
You surprise me, Mal. I have no use on the tabletop for Grey Knights, least of all Terminators.
That's surprising? Just because I'm a Daemonhunter fan doesn't mean I'm a Grey Knights fanboy hehe. I'm a Radical at heart... when it comes to being a fan.

Knights simply are not that great for their cost. 8x Knights with zero upgrades is 225 points. That's 8 Storm Bolters (not that much more effective than 8 bolters, honestly). And the combat power, which is what the Knights are generally used for, is only a maximum of 17 attacks there, at WS5 and Str6. Three of those attacks ignore armor. The rest, even a Gaunt can save against. The stats seem impressive, but the lack of dice with so few models with such a high price, quickly shows just how the game's mechanic works on the table top. More dice is generally always better. Knights were balanced out to have less dice, but more power behind them to justify them. Unfortunately, this translates to inefficient units. 225 points for 8 storm bolters, well, can easily be completely shown up by heavy bolters or even better, twice as many Bolter for the same cost. As for the combat power, well, 17 attacks with good stats is all well and good, but for 225 points, we can get nearly get two squads of marines, each with a power fist (nearly, it's slightly more) which will do a lot more damage. However, to keep it fair, 8x normal Space Marines, with a Serg with a Master Crafted Power Fist (just to beef up the points a bit) is only 150 points, 75 points cheaper than the Knights, which translates to 5 more marines if we wanted. Assume they have ccw/bolt pistols. Knights in power armor never get charge bonuses due to true grit. Normal marines do. However, without the bonuses, for 225 points, we're looking at 13 space marines worth of points, including our Serg. Anyhow, you can do the math and you'll find that both equivalents will on average (rounded) throw down about 4 casualties in assault. The difference being a lot more wounds behind the Space Marines and the Space Marines also get charge bonuses (which were not calced in that average to keep it fair). Knights suffer big losses with each lost model. The normal Space Marines suffer less, as they have more models.

Knights are just fancy marines in the end.

The Terminators do have impressive attacks; being full initiative and Str6 and ignoring saves. That's pretty brutal. But for the cost, well, it adds up fast. They're good in, as mentioned, non-marine based armies that could use some heavy hitters like Inquisition armies and Imperial Guard. But they definitely don't replace normal Space Marine equivalents in a Space Marine army even in the slightest (they're just a different flavor in that situation).

But in the end, aside from body count and capacity, it's the flexibility that makes the Knights not so great. No transporting ability. No extra weapons to help them out. Normal Marines can at least go with Infiltration, or take a Drop Pod, or even take the not-so-attractive Rhino. Knights get nothing. Marines are configurable to take out enemy tyranid Gaunts just as well as enemy Tanks. Knights, simply cannot do this.

-- Now, on the Death Watch point again, Space Marines in a Space Marine army are better than Death Watch, point for point of course. But again, in the non-Space Marine armies, the Death Watch are leaps beyond Grey Knights (because of real weapon access, like Claws & Fists) and real gun access (plasma says it all) and they have the widest flexibility in terms of deployment and mobility. They just punch Knights out of the heavy weight ring as they do it all, and better, at a similar cost (since Death Watch do end up very expensive).

Cheers!
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