Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Deathwatch(8E)

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Why Play Deathwatch[edit]

Cover art for the 7th Ed codex. Yes, he has a Necron sword. Just plug in the batteries....

The battle-brothers of the Deathwatch are the foremost xenos hunters in the Imperium. They are a black-clad brotherhood of noble warriors, bound by ancient oaths to defend Mankind from the alien, no matter its form. Hand-picked from the breadth of the Adeptus Astartes for their expertise in the slaughter of xenos threats, each of those who have joined the Long Vigil is a hero, tempered in the furnace of conflict and girded for battle with an arsenal of specialist weaponry. When the Watch Companies of the Deathwatch go to war en masse, there is no alien in the expanse of the galaxy that they cannot overcome.

"Amongst a hundred men, there may be none fit for the Adeptus Astartes. Amongst a hundred Space Marines, there may be none fit for the Deathwatch."- Watch Captain Brand MacLir

Pros[edit]

  • Operators operating operationally - The Deathwatch is the Imperium's premier xenos-hunting special forces, and as a result get the best gear.
  • Codex: Your Dudes - The relatively small model count and composition of many different chapters allows for great modelling and character opportunities. More so than any other army - you can really individualize each model, as they are all experienced veterans from different chapters. Trade bits with other Marine players to make each model stand out. Run your Kill-team from the Deathwatch RPG as part of your army!
  • On top of that, because of the customizability and huge variability in gear, (And because GW is allergic to balance,) Deathwatch are one of the strongest armies in a Power Level game if you capitalize on the fact that you've got access to tons of expensive equipment. Consequently Deathwatch are the poster children for why Power Levels don't work and nobody except GW uses them, so unless you're playing at a GW event, using Deathwatch in Power Level games will immediately convince your opponent to never run Power Levels again.
  • Awesome Paint Scheme: Because Black and Silver is the new Black.
  • Quick and easy to get onto the table - The simple (but awesome) paint scheme, combined with the low model count, means Deathwatch are one of the fastest armies to get built, painted, and battle-ready. And, if you like to play Sternguard and Vanguard veterans as count as Deathwatch, you likely already have the beginnings of a kill-team or two ready to go.
  • Forge World Support: As of the latest FAQ (1.1), Deathwatch can now field units from the Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes book. This opens up a wealth of possibilities with access to tons of dreadnoughts, flyers, tanks, super-heavy transports, and other craziness.
  • No longer are your Veterans just Sternguard in disguise, you are now the only guys with access to special issue ammunition
  • One of two armies with the Frag Cannon. Though somehow only Deathwatch have the portable version while Blood Angels are limited to mounting Frag Cannons on their Dreadnoughts.
  • Because Squad Loadout is the personal theme of your local gaming group.
  • You're a fan of X-COM and the FFG board game just doesn't work for you. With some work, Inquisition allies means you can build a fully upgraded Psi-operative and a close approximation of the Commander's Avatar. Tech-Priest Lily Shen and misanthropic snarky robot sidekick costs extra.
  • Corvus Blackstar, the coolest looking flyer in the game. Subjective. "Objectively subjective".
  • One of two factions that can take Terminators in the troops slot(for now). Though yours require a bit more work than Grey Knights as they are add-ons for Power Armor squads. You could count Space Wolves but they only get one Wolf Guard Termi per squad as an upgrade.
  • Lots of wound re-rolls and a focus on adaptability. With Stratagems geared against specific xenos foes and bonuses against units with specific battlefield roles, list tailoring is a cinch.
  • Primaris-friendly; access to Special Issue Ammunition and mixed squads does a lot to address the NuMarines' issues with overspecialization.
  • Excellent anti-horde capabilities. Between frag cannons, storm bolters with SIA, combi flamers, decent amount of melee attacks and more, your veterans can handle any horde with ease.

Cons[edit]

  • Low model count - Just like the Grey Knights and Adeptus Custodes, each model is extremely expensive, even when compared to other Space Marine chapters, without gaining much by way of added durability.
  • There are some oddities with loadouts and conversions when compared to the Vanilla Marines.
  • You're still Space Marines, and still vulnerable to anything that they struggle with (especially when it comes to non-xenos armies).
  • If you're not keen on Forge World models or Primaris Marines, you'll need some allies to patch the miles-wide hole in your long-range shooting game.
  • Having a squad where every single model has a different equipment loadout can make for slow play despite the low model count as each weapon is resolved individually, to say nothing of keeping track of how their rules interact with each other. Not recommended for beginners who need to constantly refer to datasheets.
  • While you'll do fine against Xenos, if you face off against Imperium or Chaos you'll be shit out of luck.
  • If you're lucky, 4 of your Stratagems will be meaningless. If you're unlucky? 5.
  • This is not a beginner army by any means, mastery of the Deathwatch will take time and a lot of trial and error. Knowing which Battle Tactic to use and how to set up your squads is crucial to success.

Special Rules[edit]

  • And They Shall Know No Fear: Re-roll failed morale tests, same as it is in the other Space Marine armies.
  • Defenders of Humanity: Objective Secured, also like the other Space Marine armies.
  • Bolter Discipline: We 2nd Edition now. Astartes and Heretic Astartes models using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can take double the normal attacks (2 for bolters, 4 for storm bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
    • target is in half range
    • if the model didn't move during the previous Movement Phase
    • if the firing model is a Terminator, Biker, Centurion or Dreadnought

This doesn't stack on top of itself, but the rule allows for Space Marine gunlines to be slightly more threatening. Standing still will give your Marines the full Rapid Fire benefit, while Dreads, Terminators, Bikers and Centurions now have their full firepower at all times.

  • As of the latest FaQ, it was (somewhat justifiably) decided that letting Deathwatch have Bolter Discipline and SIA at the same time would be a bit excessive. As such, Bolter Discipline functions as an additional choice for SIA instead of being on all the time.

Mission Tactics[edit]

At the beginning of each battle, all units with this rule (e.g. infantry, bikers, and Dreads) gain the ability to re-roll 1s to wound against anything belonging to one chosen battlefield role (i.e. against all enemy HQs, or all enemy Troops, or all enemy Heavy Support, etc). Several methods exist for switching the Mission Tactic mid-battle, allowing for considerable versatility.

The Tactics and their corresponding target battlefield roles (re-roll 1s to wound against all enemies from that role) are as follows:

  • Furor Tactics: Troops
  • Venator Tactics: Fast Attack
  • Dominatus Tactics: Elites
  • Malleus Tactics: Heavy Support and Lords of War
  • Purgatus Tactics: HQ
  • Raptoris Tactics: Flyers

Special Issue Ammunition[edit]

Any weapon from the following list may may choose to fire special issue ammunition. All models in a unit must use the same SIA, even if targeting separate enemy units, unless using the Optimized Volley Stratagem.

  • Absolvor Bolt Pistol
  • Auto Bolt Rifle and Master-crafted Auto Bolt Rifle
  • Bolt Carbine
  • Bolt Pistol
  • Bolt Rifle
  • Boltgun and Master-crafted Boltgun
  • Combi-Flamer, Combi-grav, combi-melta, and combi-plasma (boltgun profile only)
  • Guardian Spear
  • Heavy Bolt Pistol
  • Hellfire Extremis (boltgun profile only)
  • Stalker Pattern Boltgun
  • Stalker Bolt Rifle and Master-Crafted Stalker Bolt Rifle
  • Storm bolter
  • Twin Boltgun

Rule of thumb is choose the ammo that affects whatever the enemy has in abundance. Multiple debuffs to hit? Dragonfire. T5? Hellfire. None of the above/Wears cardboard or better? Kraken. Vengeance, if you are in range. Note you cannot use Bolter Discipline while using any of these ammo choices.

  • Dragonfire Bolts: Add +1 to hit when shooting at a unit in cover. This is okay, but Space Marines are pretty decent shots already. The real problem with units in cover is not that you can't hit them, but the fact they get better saves, and Kraken helps with that. Where it does shine is against light units that hog cover and have To Hit debuffs; Eldar Guardians & Rangers are the most blatant example, but Jormungandr Tyranids, Stygies AdMech, and the like fit the bill too. Anything with either T4 or a 4+ save is better dealt with other things.
  • Hellfire Rounds: Wounds everything except vehicles and Titanic units on a 2+, which against T5 and up is far better than other ammo types. Improving wounding from 5+ to 2+ means 2.5x the damage output of ordinary bolts, and improving from 6+ to 2+ means increasing damage output by a whopping 5x of ordinary bolts. To compare with the penetration bonus from Kraken, AP-1 is only 2x damage against 2+ saves, and 1.5x damage against 3+ saves. Considering the new 8E wounding chart and how difficult it is to get a 2+ To Wound these days, Hellfire rounds are golden.
    • The addition of Mission Tactics can turn this into a re-rollable 2+ to wound when targeting units with the right Battlefield Role, so exploit this if your opponent fields a lot of units that have a common Battlefield Role. Basically this is a 97.2% chance to wound, greatly simplifying mental estimates (and turning your enemies into mulch).
  • Kraken Bolts: Add 3" to the range if the affected weapon is a pistol, 6" range otherwise. Improve the AP by one to a maximum of -2. This essentially turns your Boltgun into a Bolt Rifle, and your Bolt Rifle into a better Stalker Bolt Rifle. Mighty useful, since it both debuffs AND lets you play with range: turns your Bolter into a Bolt Rifle, an Autobolt into two Bolt Rifles, a Bolt Rifle into a better Stalker Bolt Rifle, SBRs outrange Heavy Bolters, etc. But most importantly, it might put the enemy in Rapid Fire range: while one Hellfire round can be a bigger improvement, shooting two Kraken rounds is simply better.
  • Vengeance Round: Subtract 3" from the range of your pistol or 6" from other weapons. Improve the AP of the weapon by two to a maximum of -3. Phenomenal when you're in range for it, given that Bolters normally have AP0; against 2+, this is 3x output, and 2x against 3+. The best ammo against T4 and smaller, unless Kraken gets to shoot twice.
    • Bolt Rifles, Stalker Bolters & Stalker Bolt Rifles become like budget Plasma Guns/Incinerators, able to deliver AP-3 at comfortable range, from a unit in the Troops section.
    • Mind the range reduction! Since deepstrikers arrive at MORE than 9" away, this means Termie Stormbolters won't be in RF range, and Reiver Heavy Pistols won't get to shoot at all. Bolt Carbines and Auto Bolt Rifles, being Assault 2 instead of Rapid Fire, don't have that much of a problem.
    • DO NOT USE AGAINST VEHICLES ON ITS OWN. Not even against anything Gravis-sized, really. Vengeance rounds, though AP-3, still only do 0.15 wounds against those targets since the Strength value of the attack is unchanged. Want to kill a Sentinel using Vengeance? Get ready to shoot it 40+ times, then. Really, that's what the Tempest Shells Stratagem is for.

Mixed Units[edit]

If you have a squad with mixed toughness scores (by adding bikes to a veteran squad for instance), you use the majority toughness for the unit. If there is an even split, you choose.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  • Bane of Monstrosities: You can re-roll failed wounds rolls for your Warlord when attacking enemy Vehicles or Monsters. The former? Useful against Orks, Tau, Necrons, and Eldar. Monsters? Well, who else but Tyranids? Do note this is in no way restricted to Xeno units; the Vehicles keyword includes a great many Imperial and Chaos armies, and there are a good number of Chaos Monsters as well (looking at you, Daemons). Hilariously, Big Bobby G. himself is affected by this due to having the Monster keyword!
  • Lord of Hidden Knowledge: Once per battle, if your warlord is on the battlefield, you can re-roll a single hit roll, wound roll, damage roll, or saving throw made for your warlord. In addition, if your army is battle-forged, roll a d6 each time you use a Stratagem. On a 5, you gain a command point. Any Command Point recovery Warlord Traits is a valuable one, no matter what codex it gets copypasted into.
  • Castellan of the Black Vault: +1 damage to a weapon the Warlord Carries. Cannot be a relic, including the relic Banebolts of Eryxia. Interesting for a Storm Bolter or Master-crafted Auto Bolt Rifle. It can also turn your Captain's Thunder Hammer into something akin to a reliable Heavy Thunder Hammer.
    • Very useful for a Watch Master since the Guardian Spear is his only weapon and will benefit both for shooting and in melee, so it benefits the most and becomes very powerful.
  • The Watch Eternal: Friendly Deathwatch models within 6" of your Warlord don't lose their last wound on a 6. Only the last wound, so Primaris don't benefit that much, though it still gives your Apothecaries an easier time. Interestingly, it's not restricted to infantry, so roll for your tanks too.
  • Vigilance Incarnate: Once per battle, you can choose to swap out your army's current Mission Tactic for another one. It can only be used once, but unlike Adaptive Tactics it doesn't cost CP to use. While a bit of an overkill, putting this on a Watch Master with the Tome of Ectoclades can let you kill enemy brigades section by section. Watch Captain Artemis gets this trait.
  • Nowhere to Hide: Select an enemy unit at the start of each Shooting phase. That unit cannot claim cover against attacks made by Deathwatch units within 6" of the warlord. Since cover is usually +1 to saves, this can effectively turn your Kraken into long-range-Vengeance. It also affects vehicles too. Suck on this, Markerlights.

Stratagems[edit]

Codex Space Marines Copypastes[edit]

  • Armour of Contempt (1 CP): Gives a vehicle a 5+ save against Mortal Wounds for a phase, used right before a vehicle would take a Mortal Wound. Doesn't work on regular wounds.
  • Auspex Scan (2 CP): When a enemy unit comes from reserves within 12″ of one of your Infantry units, your unit can shoot at it but with a -1BS penalty. Basically, the return of the Interceptor rule. Useful against smaller units, although even with special ammo it's a bit on the expensive side for the damage it'll cause. Better used by nearby Hellblasters and the like.
  • Empyric Channeling (1 CP): Used at the start of the psychic phase if a Deathwatch Psyker is within 6″ of at least 2 other Deathwatch Psykers. The Psyker can immediately attempt to manifest one additional power and when he does so, adds +2 to the test.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): Used when a Deathwatch Infantry model with a Missile Launcher fires at an enemy unit with the Fly keyword. Add +1 to the hit roll, and if the target is hit, you deal D3 Mortal Wounds instead of the normal damage.
  • Hellfire Shells (1 CP): Used when firing an Infantry model's Heavy Bolter. Instead of firing normally, fire one shot and on a successful hit you deal D3 Mortal Wounds to the target. Use this to get past tough units like Monsters, damaged vehicles, and units with a good Invuln save.
  • Only In Death Does Duty End (2 CP): Use it when Deathwatch Character is slain. Before removing it from play, it can fight as if it were your Fight phase or shoot as if it were your Shooting phase. A general way to say a last "Fuck you, xenos!" from any of your Characters, which could be a very painful one for the receiving end.
  • Orbital Bombardment (3 CP): This stratagem is used once per battle, if your Warlord doesn’t move or fire their weapon normally, he may select a point on the battlefield visible to him. Every enemy units within D6″ of that points takes D3 Mortal Wounds on the roll of a 4+. Characters are hit on a 5+.
  • Tactical Flexibility (1 CP): Allows you to Combat Squad a unit of 10 Deathwatch that have the rule, splitting them up in to two 5 man units. Can also be used to split squads of Agressors, Inceptors or Bikers from 1 unit of 6 models into 2 units of 3 each. Situational, but you do have access to teleport units and mixed Troop squads, which can benefit.
  • Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): Allows you to reroll results of 1 to hit for all Deathwatch units within 6" of Deathwatch Dreadnought for a phase.

Deathwatch Specific[edit]

  • Adaptive Tactics (2 CP/1 CP): At the start of the turn, change the current Mission Tactics. If the Warlord is a Watch Master, this Stratagem costs 1 CP; otherwise, it costs 2 CP.
  • Armoury of the Watch Fortresses (1-3 CP): One use only. Your general more relics stratagem.
  • Clavis (1 CP): Select a vehicle within 1" of a Watch Master in your army. Roll a d6 and on a 2+ the Vehicle suffers D3 mortal wounds. Good for dealing that last bit of damage to destroy it or bring it down a wound bracket.
  • Death to the Alien! (1 CP): Used when a unit is selected to fight. That unit gains exploding attacks on 6+ (that do not generate additional attacks) against units without the Chaos, Imperium, or Unaligned factions. So, Tyranids, Necrons, Orks, Tau and Eldar of all kinds. Because that's what Deathwatch does! Useful on big units with high number of attacks, like lightning claw Vanguard Vets. Othewise you're spending a CP to gain like 2 attacks, which isn't cost effective.
  • Doctrines (2 CP): A set of 7 Stratagems that allow a Deathwatch unit to add +1 to its To Wound rolls against units with a designated battlefield role in either the shooting or fight phases. As they are all separate Stratagems, more than one Doctrine can be triggered in a single turn. In addition, they can be used on a unit that does not have the Mission Tactics special rule, such as a Land Raider. Combine them with Mission Tactics to do thing like wounding on a rerollable 2+. Operational Operators!
    • Decapitation: Reroll all failed to wound rolls against enemy Warlord
    • Furor: +1 to wound against Troops
    • Venator: +1 to wound against Fast Attack
    • Dominatus: +1 to wound against Elites
    • Malleus : +1 to wound against Heavy Support and Lords of War
    • Purgatus : +1 to wound against HQ
    • Raptoris : +1 to wound against Flyers
      • The doctrines help compensate for the overall low strength of Bolters. Overlaps a bit with Hellfire ammo, so use Kraken/Vengeance instead. Even with this, shooting a vehicle isn't a good idea, use Tempest Shells for that.
  • Tempest Shells (1 CP): Any one Deathwatch infantry model with access to Special Issue Ammunition may target an enemy vehicle and make only one hit roll; if it hits, the attack deals d3 mortal wounds. Like the Hellfire Shells stratagem, but for small arms against vehicles. You could string those two together to put a dent on a tank. Which you might need to do, since you lack diverse antitank options.
  • Honour Your Brothers (3 CP): At the end of the Fight phase select a Deathwatch Infantry or Deathwatch Biker unit. It can immediately fight for a second time.
  • Optimized Salvo (1 CP): Use before a unit shoots. Instead of all models in that unit using the same special issue ammunition, you can select the result on a per model basis. Usefull if you are split firing a unit into two enemy squads, but it's not like bolters are known for overkill.
  • Teleportarium (1-3 CP): You can set a DEATHWATCH INFANTRY unit or DEATHWATCH DREADNOUGHT in a Teleportarium chamber instead of placing it on the battlefield. 1 CP per unit, up to three. Combine it with a Jump Pack/Terminator Watch-Captain to have a FULL TELEPORTING SPACE MARINE allied BATTALION.
  • Overkill (1 CP): Anti-Necron. Use at the start of the enemy turn before a Necron player rolls their reanimation protocols. Pick a necron unit with 12" of a Deathwatch unit. They subtract one from their reanimation rolls.
  • Stem the Green Tide (2 CP): Anti-Ork. Use when a Deathwatch unit shoots overwatch at a charging Ork unit. For every casualty you cause, the orks subtract 1" from their charge distance. High risk high reward: reducing enemy charge ranges is always useful, but you have to hit the orks in overwatch first, let alone kill them. Useful if you have a Captain nearby, but stil a gambit against armoured things like Mega-armoured Nobz. Useless if the ork charges with the transport first.
    • Auto-hit weapons (Frag Cannons, Combi-Flamers, Flamestorm Gauntlets) benefit the most; they'll need to be in the 8" range, but even such a close range charge will automatically fail if you kill 5 orks. Only 4 kills needed to completely deny a 9" deepstrike charge, and even a single casualty debuffs the Here We Go chance from roughly 1/2 to 1/3.
  • Synaptic Severance (2 CP): Anti-Tyranid. Lets a unit snipe Synapse characters. Sniping things with heavy weapons is always nice, not to mention the added benefit of removing a synaptic creature that thought itself safe behind a blob. It also patches your lack of actual Snipers, but only against Tyranids
  • Intercepting Volley (2 CP): Anti-Eldar. Use AFTER an Aeldari unit that can fly moves. Pick a Deathwatch unit within 12" of the model (so after it has moved). They can shoot at the moved unit, but with a -1BS penalty. Like the Auspex stratagem, only not restricted to infantry, vs flying Eldar.
    • HOWEVER, IT IS A WASTE TO USE IT! Most Deathwatch units have a 3+ BS, which then goes -1 for the Strat, -1 as nearly all Eldar that can fly have a hard-to-hit rule, and if YOU think spending 2CP is worth killing that unit, THEY are going to spend 2CP to activate Lightning Fast Reflexes, which was FAQ'd to work outside the Shooting phase. So you're spending 2CP to be shooting with a -3 penalty. Alternate take... However you can still shoot bikes, HQ's and all of the other non-aircraft units that have flying, not to mention this also works against Drukhari as they also have the correct keyword.
  • Targeting Scramblers (1 CP): Anti-Tau. Use after an enemy T'au unit equipped with at least one markerlight has resolved all attacks in the shooting phase. Select a Deathwatch unit from your army and remove all markerlight tokens from it. Note that the Tau unit doesn't need to shoot with the markerlight, only be equipped with it

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Dominate
1 VP in the end of the turn in which this Tactical objective was drawn if you control the closest objective marker to the enemy Warlord. If aforementioned Warlord was slain or is not on the battlefield (e.g. the opponent was planning to deep strike him and you drew this on the first turn), your opponent picks an objective marker you should control.
12 - The Long Vigil
When this Tactical Objective is drawn, roll D6. Score 3 VP if you control the corresponding objective marker at the end of 3 (!) consecutive (!!) turns. Um...good luck?
13 - Kill Team Strike
1 VP if you destroyed at least one enemy unit this turn. If the last model in at least one such unit was destroyed by a friendly unit of Veterans or Intercessors, score D3 points instead.
14 - Crippling Blow
1 VP if one enemy Character was slain this turn, or D3 if two or more of them were.
15 - Priority Target
When drawing the objective, determine which of your opponent's model has the highest Power Rating; if there's a tie between multiple models, your opponent choose one of them. 1 VP if you annihilate the model, which rises to D3 if it was also a Monster.
16 - Suffer Not the Alien
1 VP if at least one enemy unit was destroyed during this turn. Score D3 points instead, if at least one of destroyed units had the Aeldari, T'au Empire, Necrons, Orks or Tyranid keywords.

Wargear[edit]

In addition to the standard Space Marine fare of Ranged and Melee weapons, the Deathwatch get access to some of the rarest and deadliest wargear the Imperium has to offer.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Assault Bolter: 18", Assault 3 S5 AP-1. Would be a really good gun on assault units. Unfortunately exclusive to Inceptors. That said, you can still perform effective hit and run attacks with it, aided by the Inceptors' ability to shoot after falling back.
  • Auto Boltstorm Gauntlet: A 3-shot Auto Bolt Rifle with 6" less range. Dual-wielded by Aggressors.
  • Boltgun: You know what a bolter is, but if you somehow forgot it's 24" Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0 1 D. The new AP system hurts it, as it no longer completely invalidates GEQ saves.
    • Bolt Carbine: An Assault 2 Bolter, exclusive to the Reiver Squad.
    • Bolt Rifle: A Boltgun with 30" range and AP-1 making it more effective exclusive to Intercessors.
      • Auto Bolt Rifle: The automatic version, an Assault 2 Bolter. Better than the Bolter and Bolt Rifle, but only from 13"/16"-24", respectively, so mind your positioning. Which you can, because it's an Assault weapon.
      • Stalker Bolt Rifle: Not a sniper rifle, lest it invalidates Scouts too. 36" Heavy 1 AP-2 Bolt Rifle, to give far away targets more than just a poke. Turns Intercessors into something akin to Troop Sternguard.
    • Stalker Pattern Boltgun: The special Deathwatch Boltguns, these bad boys are 4 points each, sporting 30" Heavy 2 S4 AP-1 D1, but you'll always be using an improved Special Issue Ammo profile. Tragically, they lost the Sniper rule from 7th ed, but are still a dependable and versatile choice for a ranged unit. The extended range for your two shots will get you more mileage out of Special Issue Ammunition compared to standard Boltguns, but you need to hold still to make the best use of it. Changes to Heavy weapons in 8th do allow for you to move and shoot these with a -1 to-hit penalty, however.
    • Combi-Weapon: Massively reworked, No longer Single Use, and can even be fired alongside the Bolter part now, at -1BS. But Combi-Flamers don't care for no BS. Available to Veterans, Terminators and non-Primaris Characters. Combi weapons are only 3p more expensive then their normal special weapon counterpart. And with the Special Ammunition the extra Bolter shots are really worth taking a combi weapon.
    • Master Crafted Weapon: Variant of a Boltgun, Auto Bolt Rifle or Stalker Bolt Rifle, for your Captains. The Boltgun gets +1 damage and +1 AP, the others only get +1 damage.
    • Guardian Spear: A Master Crafted Boltgun when shooting. Nicked from the bananas.
    • Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter: Cheap as chips Rapid Fire 2 Boltgun, available to Termies, Vets and vehicles. No longer an assault weapon, it's especially nasty at Rapid Fire range. Quite a bargain, even more so as they now have access to special ammo. A unit of 10 termies with storm bolters can put out 40 BS3+ S4 Ap0 D1 shots, or 20 BS3+ shots that either wound on 2s, have AP-2 but 6" less range, or have AP-1 with 6" more range when outside rapid fire range. When inside RF range (such as, I don't know, when you deepstrike the termies 9" away from a target), you put out the full 40 shots, and can use SIA. So, with a termie watch captain nearby, you would have 40 shots hitting on 3s, rerolling 1s, with S4 (or just wounding on 2s) AP-2 (or AP0 if you decide you'd like to pile on more wounds instead, such as against custodes). See that horde? Now you do, now you don't.
  • Bolt Pistol: A bolter in pistol form, meaning you can fire it in melee. Just don't forget it's there. Unlike other Marine codices, your Deathwatch units have to pay a point for it (bcuz SIA) We don't have to pay a point for it anymore and you can't shoot Pistols alongside your other gun types. Either buy your units a melee loadout or swap it out for a chainsword.
    • Heavy Bolt Pistol: More like Better Bolt Pistol, with AP-1. Exclusive to Reivers.
    • Absolvor Bolt Pistol: Designed to give the Emperor's Mercy to Xenos and Battle Brother alike, it is the Hand Cannon of the Bolt Pistols, with 1 Heavy Bolter shot at 16". And it still benefits from SIA.
    • Reductor Pistol: Designed to remove geneseed from dead marines, or if your feeling motivated, punch a hole through a nobz' skull. A Bolt Pistol with 2 damage and -3 AP, but a pitiful range of 3".
  • Deathwatch Shotgun: The Deathwatch Shotgun uses its own selection of special shells and slugs for your xenos-purging needs. Versatile, awesome-looking. Its 3pts cost looks bad when compared to a 4pts Storm Bolter that can deliver twice the firepower, but it lets your marinelets advance, unlike the Storm Bolter. Which you'll need to do, since it's short to very-short range.
    • Cryptclearer Round: 16" Assault 2 S4 AP0 D1. Re-roll failed wound rolls. Meh. You already reroll 1s, and Hellfire rounds wound on (rerollable) 2+.
    • Xenopurge slug: 16" Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D1. If the target is within half range (8"), becomes D2. Useful ONLY against multiwound models (or with FNPs) in half range, aka melee distance. Otherwise use Kraken rounds.
    • Wyrmsbreath shell: 7" Assault D6 S3 AP0 D1. Autohits. Essentially a weaker Flamer/up-gunned Hand Flamer, but MUCH more cost-effective, whilst still being relevant outside ultra-close range, due to its other ammo types.
  • Hand Flamer: 6" Pistol D6 S3 AP0 D1. Autohits. Only costs 1 point now. Put two of them on a vanguard veteran and go burn some xeno hordes.
  • Inferno Pistol: 6" Pistol 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6 with the same "half range keeps best of 2 dice for Damage" the melta has. Since this bad boy costs more than the actual Meltagun or Combi-Melta, it actually costs 7 pts, so you could see it more like a big-guy-killing melee weapon that also happens to be a pistol, than an actual pistol. Point at nearest alien monstrosity and stare through the smoking hole that used to be their chest.
    • Modeling Note: If you're converting or for whatever reason don't have one to hand, the barrel of a meltagun glued onto a grav pistol makes a pretty neat-looking counts-as.
  • Plasma Pistol: Fairly effective against MEQs when fired normally, a TEQ-killer when supercharged, but Gets Hot! now risks outright killing the user. A high risk-high reward pistol, your Captain's rerolls reduce Gets Hot to a 1/36 chance. Good against everything, really, as plasma can even wound tanks.
  • Plasma Exterminator: 18" Assault Plasma Cannon. Good for killing Heavy Infantry.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer: An Assault D6 S4 AP- weapon with 8" range which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, now they number of hits is independent of the number of enemies — 20 bunched Guardsmen suffer the same number of hits as 2 terminators: 3.5. Meh, at least it's cheap. Can't overwatch against charges starting more than 8" away, but those aren't reliable anyway, so a flamer is still good in those cases. Don't bother trying to hit airborne units, as they're too tough and armoured.
    • Flamestorm Gauntlet: A Power Fist with Co-axial Flamer. Dual-wielded by Aggressors.
  • Grav-Gun: 18" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-3 D1, upgrading to D1d3 if the target has a 3+ save or better. No longer a plasma-killer, and while it costs a bit more, has a shorter range, and is less likely to wound things with high Toughness, it can reliably reliably (and safely) kill heavy multi-wound infantry (like Primaris) while no longer being useless against smaller models.
  • Meltagun: 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6, becoming best of two 1d6 Damage at half range. Good against anything with lots of wounds, be they Vehicles, Monsters or even Heavy Infantry. At 12" range Supercharged plasma is better (but riskier) however, and this gun is more expensive, so you really should try and get to half range. While you can advance to close the gap, it is convenient that the unit's other weapons are assault weapons as well. You can't deepstrike closer than 9", however.
    • Auxiliary Meltagun: Remember how that one Salamanders guy in Overkill has a meltagun on his Powerfist? Yeah, well now every Terminator can have it including the Terminator Watch Captain!
      • Modelling Note: Branatar is the only model in the range that has it, so unless you have extra Chainfists and Meltaguns lying around, replacing either arm on Branatar model is very easy, or just get Inferno Pistol, cut off the grip, glue to power fist, done, they are very cheap on bits sites since no one was buying them before. Another way to model these auxiliary weapons is to grab the unused melta bits from your Devastator Centurions and attach them to your power fists.
  • Plasma Gun: You know what a Plasma gun is too, but for reference it's 24", Rapid Fire 1, S7/8 AP-3 1/2 D. As much of an all-rounder as the marine wielding it.
    • Plasma Incinerator: A Primaris Plasma Gun, because Cawl wanted to make marine guns' as insecure as their wielders. Better 30" range lets it not only rapid fire from further away, but outrange enemies. Better AP-4 makes them a menace even for tanks.
      • Assault Plasma Incinerator: Lighter 24" Assault 2 Str 6/7 version of the Standard Plasma Incinerator. Easier to make it cost effective, as it shoots double than the Standard version from 16"-24", still wounding most infantry on a 3+. The supercharge is still good D2, it just doesn't wound enemies on a 2+.
      • Heavy Plasma Incinerator: The other end of the spectrum. 36" Heavy 1 Str 8/9 lets you wound infantry on a 2+ without having to supercharge, and makes it effective against tanks, enjoying great range. Which you should keep, because it's not Rapid Fire like the other variants. More cost effective against vehicles than against infantry, but it does the job nicely.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Heavy Thunder Hammer: An enormous two-handed Thunder Hammer built for smashing in Xenos heads, this 30 point melee weapon hits at a staggering SX2, AP-3, D6(!) Damage. Further, Wound rolls of 6 automatically cause 6 Damage. It has the same -1 to-hit penalty of a regular Thunder Hammer, so make sure you've got a source of re-rolls to make every swing count (cause hitting 50% of the time ins't good enough). Taking a melee weapon that costs more than the marine who's carrying it isn't always a great choice, but multiple lascannon-strength melee attacks boosted by Mission Tactics can lay low even the biggest of xeno monsters (or enemy vehicles and characters). Be wary of overkill and choose your targets wisely - if you're killing enemies with 3 wounds or less, the regular Thunder Hammer is cheaper at 16 points and does a consistent 3 Damage, but if you fancy ghetto stomping a carnifex, here is your weapon of choice. Notably, the Heavy Thunder Hammer replaces both weapons and can only be taken by standard Deathwatch Veterans and Vanguard Veterans.
    • With a Doctrine Stratagem active, the damage boost occurs on a 5+ due to adding 1 to the wound rolls.
  • Guardian Spear: Only available to the Watchmaster, this Custodes weapon is essentially a Master-Crafted Bolter combined with a Relic Blade. S+1, AP-3, D3 Damage provides a nice balance between S, AP, and damage for good mileage against most targets.
  • Xenophase Blade: Literally jacking Necron Phase Swords, it's a Power Sword that forces successful invuln saves to be re-rolled. A 3-point upgrade over the standard power sword, it's not a bad choice at all, particularly when facing enemies who fall back on invuln saves against your AP -3 blade. Vet Sergeants and Watch Captains can take this.
  • Power Weapons:
    • Power Sword:
    • Power Axe:
    • Power Maul:
    • Power Fist:
  • Thunder Hammer:
  • Chainsword:
  • Lightning Claw:

Heavy Weapons[edit]

Kill Teams can grab up to 4 of these weapons in a single squad (Note: due to a further change to the April 2019 FAQ, these options, as with the Heavy Thunder Hammer, replace both weapons, so now we can't take Storm Shields with them anymore):

  • Deathwatch Frag Cannon: Giant. Beltfed. Shotguns. Sporting 2 firing modes and coming in at a costly 25 points, the Frag Cannon is still an incredible weapon option for the Deathwatch. Frag rounds act like double Heavy Flamers with 8" Assault 2D6 S6 AP-1 D1, autohitting. The solid shell rounds hit at 24" Assault 2 S7 AP-2 D2, but get stronger at close range, dealing S9 AP-3 D2 hits at 12" or less. Whether it's providing brutal Overwatch, shredding infantry, or mulching terminators and other multi-wound models, the Frag Cannon gets the job done. Special mention to the deep strike potential for solid shells.
    • The Frag profile is strictly better than taking two heavy flamers (if you could do so), at 4 points cheaper and +1S, and will completely outperform the Infernus Heavy Bolter against anything in 8".
    • The Shell profile is going to behave a lot like a two shot lascannon up close that deals 2 damage instead of 3.5, with some important differences when shooting exotic defenses like Quantum Shields or Serpent Shields.
      • Due to its cost, this profile will usually underperform a meltagun at the same range, although obviously it can shoot out to 24" if it has to; you should be regarding this weapon as a seriously up-gunned Twin Heavy Flamer, rather than a lascannon or meltagun variant.
  • Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1. Good against hordes at long range due to its high number of attacks, and still useful against lighter vehicles. It's most efficient against hordes with bad/no save, or things that rely primarily on a weak invulnerable save, like daemons. Good cheap way to throw out mortal wounds with hellfire shells
  • Heavy Flamer: A Flamer with S+1 and AP-1. More effective against armored targets than its smaller brother (and for GEQ a AP-1 is already a 50% reduction on saves), but cannot be fired after advancing because it's finally Heavy in this edition.
  • Infernus Heavy Bolter: A combi Heavy Bolter/Heavy Flamer. Costs 20 points and can be fired together like other combi-weapons, imposing a -1 to-hit penalty which the auto-hitting Heavy Flamer component gives precisely 0 shits about. Bear in mind that if you're shooting on the move, the Heavy Bolter already has a -1 to-hit penalty. The frag cannon is 5 points more, but simply does the job far better
  • Missile Launcher: Can fire either Frag Missiles that act like D6 Bolter shots, or a Krak Missile with S8 AP-2 D6 D. Not quite as good as a Heavy Bolter or a Lascannon in regards to dealing with infantry and vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles. This weapon is usually avoided by other armies, but the deathwatch mix and match their squads and field less marines so the missile launcher's versatility becomes more desirable.

Other Wargear[edit]

  • Storm Shield: Gives you a 3+ Invulnerable save. Can be taken by everyone except Terminator Captains and Terminator Librarians. As of Chapter Approved 2018, Deathwatch marines no longer pay a 15 points for these; they pay the standard 2 for vanilla units and 10 for Characters. It will keep characters alive and annoy the crap out of your opponents, but you may be better served by keeping it simple and loading up on more marines.
  • Deathwatch Teleport Homer: This exceptionally-useful piece of tech allows a unit to teleport to a pre-determined location during the movement phase instead of moving normally (even if they're locked in combat). During deployment, the homer is placed anywhere in your deployment zone. If an enemy model comes within 9" of the homer it is destroyed. During your movement phase, a unit which contains a Deathwatch Terminator can teleport to the homer, setting up within 6" of it, after which the homer is destroyed. The wording allows for units to share teleport homers as well - you don't have to move your unit to the particular homer they placed. Use it to rescue ranged units from melee units or simply re-position a Kill Team.
  • Combat Shield: A cheap 5+ invuln save. Unlike the Storm Shield it doesn't replace anything, so you can keep your guns with it.

Relics[edit]

  • Beacon Angelis: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, you can teleport a Deathwatch Infantry or Biker unit from any point on the battlefield or from reserve to within 6" of the bearer and more than 9" from enemy models.
  • Tome of Ectoclades: At the start of each turn, pick a Mission Tactic. Anyone within 6" of the bearer may use that Mission Tactic instead of the one currently affecting the army. Of course, this means a unit needs to have a Mission Tactic to begin with, so vehicles aren't affected Your weapons already give you flexibility, now so do your Mission Tactics.
    • Note that in the recent FAQ (v1.4, 29/05/2019), the Tome is capable of giving the Mission Tactic to a Deathwatch unit that does not have the Mission Tactics rule (Either because it is a unit that does not have the rule, or because it is not in a battleforged detachment). Enjoy giving it to your Vehicles! (Page 3, first item)
  • Banebolts of Eryxia: +1 damage to a ranged weapon shooting special ammunition, and each wound roll of 6+ made for any special ammunition causes one extra mortal wound in addition to the normal damage. Cannot be combined with the warlord trait "Castellan of the Black Vault".
    • Mighty on Storm Bolters, which can net you up to 8 damage at close range and have more chances to do those MW. And since they happen on a 6+, the Doctrine Stratagems will trigger MW on a 5+.
    • Put on a primaris captain with MC stalker boltrifle and hellfire up, point at a carnifex, and enjoy hitting on a 2 rerolling 1s, wounding on 2+, ap -2, D3 shots.
    • Master-crafted Bolters and MC Auto-Bolt Rifles will also deal whopping 3 damage a shot (though it's best to point them at the bigger stuff as to not waste damage), which enable Vengeance rounds threaten medium vehicles. That way someone else can use Tempest Shells.
    • If The Beta Bolter rules go through, this will be terrifying on a stormbolter terminator captain.
  • Dominus Aegis: A buffed storm shield. If the bearer does not move, all friendly Deathwatch models within 6" gain a 5+ invulnerable save. Good for any of your ranged units, but excellent for Primaris, who fit double the wounds in the same space and have better range (so they need to move less).
  • The Osseus Key: Watch Master only. Enemy vehicles get -1 to hit if they are within 9" of him (so, not on deepstriking). Additionally, each time he fights, he can make an additional attack with the Key against a vehicle within 1", and if he hits, he causes d3 mortal wounds. Essentially, a souped up Clavis that doesn't need CP to activate.
  • Thief of Secrets: 2D Power Sword that re-rolls failed to wound rolls against an alien race of your choice (Tau, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons, or Aeldari) picked at the beginning of the game.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Watch Master: For now, this is your top HQ choice. A Deathwatch 'Chapter Master' equivalent, his stat line is impressive with WS/BS 2+, 6 Wounds, Artificer Armor (2+) and an Iron Halo (4++). His bubble grants re-rolls-to-hit on failed shooting and melee attacks (including his own), so either at the back or at the front lines there's a place for him. You get him for 130pts, while that usually costs +50pts or 3CP elsewhere, and him being the warlord gives you a discount on the Adaptive Tactics Stratagem.
    • His (quite good) loadout is fixed, but the Relic-Blade-like Guardian Spear with attached SIA Master-crafted Bolter packs a punch both at melee and range. Furthermore, Castellan of the Black Vault increases the damage of both Guardian Spear's profiles. The Clavis is now a stratagem, but he can also get the Watch Master's exclusive Osseus Key relic, and inflict a Triple Punch against vehicles: Shoot at it with Tempest Shells, then use the Osseus Key and finally activate the Clavis for '3d3' Mortal Wounds. 4D3 if you also get someone to hit it with the Hellfire Shells Stratagem.
  • Watch Captain: Access to a variety of wargear, good overall stats (hitting on 2s), and lets all nearby friendly Deathwatch units (including vehicles and himself) re-roll 1s to hit. Enjoy your semi-twinlinked Land Raider Crusader. He's the only one with a Master-crafted Boltgun, but you could also give him a Storm bolter and the relic bullets for max dakka. The storm shield isn't a must-have since he comes with a 4+ invulnerable save by default, but it's there if you want it. Watch Captains also get access to Xenophase or Relic blades, on top of the usual Deathwatch Equipment. He can take a jump pack. His wargear options also allow for some very strange and highly varied combos of equipment. He absolutely always has a bolt pistol that can never be replaced with anything. On top of that he comes with a chainsword and MC boltgun, he can either replace the chainsword with a relic or xenophase blade (if he does this he must keep the MC boltgun), or replace both with any two weapons from the Deathwatch equipment lists. This allows you to do nutty things like dual wielding chainswords, being one of very few HQs who can carry a non-combi special weapon like a plasma or grav gun, or even triple-wield pistols as he has one pistol by default and nothing says you can't replace his other weapons with one or two more. Suck it Cypher.
    • Watch Captain in Terminator Armour: A vast improvement over the index version thanks to increased customization options. Now starts with a Relic Blade and can take combi-weapons and melee weapons from the Terminator list. Don't forget a Terminator Watch Captain with a Power fist with auxiliary meltagun AND a combi-melta (add some tempest shells for good measure) for an anti-tank army of one!
    • Primaris Captain: The usual +1W +1A Captain. Comes stock with SIA, a Bolt Pistol and a Master-crafted Auto Bolt Rifle (interesting with Banebolts) that he can swap for a Master-crafted Stalker Bolt Rifle, depending on what you want him to do. Surprisingly customizable for a Primaris, as he can also take a Power Sword, or replace his guns with a Power Fist and Plasma Pistol for melee.
  • Chaplain: The cheapest HQ with his stock wargear, to meet those new detachment minimums. He lets Deathwatch units in 6" use his leadership and reroll all failed hits in melee. A good support choice to back a choppy squad. Particularly useful helping hammer-wielding vets and termies mitigate their -1 to hit. Comes stock with a bolt pistol and Crozius, which is now somewhere between a power axe and maul at +1S and -1, but 2D. Can swap his bolt pistol for a bolter, pistol, or a combi-weapon, and can now take a jump pack! Notaby, he regained access to a powerfist in the codex.
    • Primaris Chaplain: The usual Primaris buffs (+1 A/W) and the usual points hike, but also has the Absolvor pistol, a 16" S5 AP-1 Pistol which becomes very dangerous with SIA. Like most Primaris HQs, his wargear is fixed and cannot be changed. Without the option of a Bike/Jump Pack you can only footslog him or put him in the very expensive Repulsor for additional mobility.
    • Chaplain in Terminator Armour: +1W. Can't get a power fist (nor an auxiliar Meltagun), so use him when you need resilience over raw damage.
    • Chaplain with jump pack: Fast deepstriking Chaplain. Useful to keep up with those Thunder/Heavy Hammer Vets.
  • Librarian: Your good old source of mortal wounds. Although the Librarius discipline is overshadowed by other imperial disciplines like Blood Angels and Grey Knights, its still a solid one that gives strong buffs to units and characters. Librarians are a lot more random in this new edition as you cannot change results or over-commit on one psychic power which you want to go off at all cost. Overall a solid pick for any army. The ability to dish out mortal wounds, use 2 powers and deny a power make Librarians one of the more powerful Space Marine HQs, especially when you consider they're effective in combat even without psychic powers. In smaller point cost games, however, it can be a hard choice between a Librarians power and the buffs handed out by the other HQs. Veil of Time can be useful for your melee kitted units (Heavy thunder hammers always going first? Yes, please!) while Null Zone can set up a tough enemy unit for termination from some of your heavy artillery. Might of Heroes on someone like the Watch Master is hilarious. He cannot take a bike, unfortunately, but regained access to the jump pack in the codex.
    • Librarian in Terminator Armour: Cannot use a storm shield, but picks up an extra wound over his base counterpart alongside a 2+ armor save an a 5++ invuln. Teleport strike can get him where you need him. With the codex boost to the Terminator Watch Captain the choice between these two is less clear cut.
    • Primaris Librarian: Can only use a Force Sword and Bolt Pistol, but gains the extra attack and wound that all Primaris Marines get. Also fairly cheap compared to other upgraded Librarian versions.
    • Librarian with jump pack: New to the codex, really difficult to advise taking over the other jump pack equipped HQ's and their unit re-rolls and customisation options.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Watch Captain Artemis: Hailing from the days of Inquisitor, Artemis is our only special character. Regular Watch Captain but also has Unstoppable Champion (FnP 6+). He's armed with the Hellfire Extremis (a Combi-Flamer whose flamer bit wounds non-vehicles on a 2+), a Power Sword, and a Stasis Bomb, which is a one-off grenade that does D6 mortal wounds on a hit...or D6 mortal wounds to Artemis if it misses. A 1/36 chance of re-rolling that 1 is likely worth the risk. An interesting alternative to a standard Watch Captain, but he is pricey at 130 points with all of his special gear. Make that Stasis Bomb count! Use your Command Re-roll if you get a mere 1 on the mortal damage.

Forge World[edit]

  • Chaplain in a goddamn Dreadnought: This is one of the best models space marines can currently use in 8th - arguably the best outside of special characters. More so because Deathwatch barely have any. A respectable statline of BS/WS 2+, T7, 9 wounds, 4 attacks, and a 3+/5++ is complimented by slew of special rules. It's a character, so can't be shot at unless it's by snipers (which it'll shrug off anyway) or it's the closest model. A dreadnought that CANNOT BE SHOT AT. He rocks a dreadnought-sized Rosarius granting it a 5++ save and also grants +1 S to friendly models in the same combat during the Fight Phase. As a character it also has Heroic Intervention for getting stuck into combat. Unyielding Ancient grants it a 6+ bonus save against unsaved wounds. It's also reasonably priced considering its many advantages at 204 points. He comes stock with double Dreadnought combat weapons and can re-roll 1's to hit with this loadout. His under-slung Storm Bolters can and should be swapped for Heavy Flamers. One fist can be swapped for a Multi-Melta, an Assault Cannon, a Twin Lascannon, or the awesome Inferno Cannon (a heavy flamer with S6 AP-1 D2). Overall a solid HQ choice, capable of dishing out the pain in ranged and melee combat while being surprisingly durable with the targeting restrictions against characters. His buff may not be as good as other HQ choices, but you're not taking him for that. If you're running more than one standard jack of all trades (all but the Mortis and Deredeo) Dreadnaught he is a decent unmanned Sub-Commander that can keep pace with Relic Contemptors and Leviathans. For added hilarity make him your Warlord and slap Castellan of the Black Vault on his Twin Lascannons. Only drawback is the fact that Forge World have now discontinued its production, so if you didn’t already have one be prepared to pay ~£100 for one off eBay (or convert one from a Furioso or a Space Wolves Venerable Dread).
  • Damocles Command Rhino: Only one Damocles can be taken per detachment. It can now transport a single CHARACTER model, and if that model is your Warlord you roll 2d6 at the end of each turn; if the result is less than your Warlord's Ld, you get a bonus Command Point. While this is obviously valuable, there's also the Orbital Strike, which is now...kind of odd. It now targets a point on the battlefield rather than a unit, and then rolls a d6 for each unit within 6" of that point, so preparing yourself a 12" diameter circle ahead of time will make your life easier (such as a paper one). On a 4+ (5+ for CHARACTERs), the unit rolled for takes d3 mortal wounds. While it can be useful if you're lucky, the Damocles is better off acting as a meatshield/Command Point generator, preferably far from the front lines.

Troops[edit]

  • Veteran Squad: AKA Deathwatch Kill Team, one of your two troop options, and what may well be the most complex unit in the whole Emprah-damned game. The Hammer to your Intercessors' Anvil, the unit starts at 5 Vets, a Kill Team's core. So far, so good. Adding models is where things begin to get odd, since vets aren't your only choice. You have a plethora of transport options, including the bike-carrying Corvus Blackstar and teleportation, so that won't be much of an issue. Each model other than veterans adds abilities to your entire unit:
    • Veterans: The default models, yet the best if what you want is to keep it simple, praise Emps and pass the Special Ammunition. Deathwatch Veterans and their Sergeant share stats with a regular Veteran team. They have nice Leadership values and 2 attacks base. Up to four of them can take heavy weapons (like a different Devastator team), any of them can take heavy thunder hammers, and the sergeant can pick up a combat shield.
      • Storm bolters make them your most cost effective source of Special Ammo. Marines, especially Vets, are a tad fragile for their cost. This fragility combined with their cost-effective damage output makes them a nice candidate for the Teleportatium Stratagem. Especially with combi-weapons, if you can afford them. You can also make them safer by giving the unit some Storm shields, terminators, or Stalker-pattern bolters so they can keep a healthy 30" distance and still shoot twice.
      • While for melee they have the same limitations of a foostlogging squad, you do have neat transports. Heavy Thunder Hammers are kind of a gambit, but on the safer side, power weapons are nice and chainswords are free.
    • Black Shield: They can't take a heavy thunder hammer, but they do have an extra attack over their Veteran friends, and they are a free substitution (instead of a forced addition). He (singular) adds Atonement Through Honour, which forces the unit to make heroic interventions. Useful for a squad that wants to get in the thick of it. That doesn't necessarily mean flamers and power weapons, though they are useful; remember Vengeance has a 9" Rapid Fire range. Since this will enable the squad to support the units next to it, at the very least give them chainswords.
      • It's worth noting the lack of minimum distance means that Atonement Through Honour is only ever a benefit as you can move a unit a fraction of a fraction of an inch, effectively not moving at all.
    • Deathwatch Terminator: Like the Elites version (up to three with special weapons) but with Defenders of Humanity instead of Teleport assault. More than firepower, you bring them to tank damage, especially AP0. They can also have TH/SS, but Veterans are better Stormshield bearers - they don't have to give up their shooting to get one unlike the termie, two 3++ storm bolter marines cost less than a single 3++ termie (25pts, you're NOT giving them Thunder Hammers) and if one of them tanks a lascannon, you only risk losing one wound instead of the 2W 2+save model. Keep your termies simple, focus on what you want the unit to do and they'll make their points back.
      • They let the entire unit use teleport homers, allowing them to get out of trouble. You need Bikers to get teleport homers however (but you can use any tele homer), and they deactivate when enemies are within 9", so you'll only be able to relocate behind your lines. Good for supporting an allied unit, however.
      • Oh, they also provide moral immunity with their Unflinching rule. For those times when your Ld9 rerollable unit loses 4 marines and you roll a 6 twice. Or to make Ld gimmicks irrelevant, that sort of "common" scenarios. Speaking of uncommon things, if you play Power Level (?!), termies are a good source of firepower.
    • Deathwatch Biker: 14" move, T5 2W, with a Twin Bolter and a melee weapon (taking the bolt pistol is stupid). All of which is wasted unless you combat-squad three of them alongside two Vanguard Vets. Which is useful, since their Relentless Assault lets them charge even if they fall back. One comes stock with a teleport homer - more bikers don't bring more homers. They're not bad by any meaning of the word, it's just that terminators are better, and Vets are cheaper. If you really want Relentless Assault and a teleport homer, go ahead.
    • Deathwatch Vanguard Veteran: While he lives, the entire unit can fall back and shoot. Doesn't have Fly, so various AA things don't get +1 to hit while shooting him or his squad. If you brought one for the Vanguard Strike rule, don't give him a Storm shield to tank wounds - if he dies, you lose the bonus. Now what? Give the storm shield to a regular no-name Vet, it's not like they gave up shooting to get the invul.

Sample unit builds: Kinda straight forward, actually, since this unit only really has three weapon options: bolt weapons, power weapons, special weapons. Yup, dismiss pistols - they become less of an option when squad members allow you to fall back and charge again. Three tenets here: what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, and transport options. As in, if they bring a Biker, they're forced to ride a Blackstar.

  • Shooty, aka "Normal": Vets with Storm bolters and free chainswords. That's it. Simple, flexible, your best answer to hordes, screw flamers. If you're worried about people shooting back at them, put a terminator in it. Threatened by high AP weapons? Further give two vets Stormshields. Not the terminator - he'll look dumb waving a hammer when everyone else is actually doing something. Give him an Assault Cannon instead, better than his Storm bolter in the 10"-24" range. Two such squads can fit in a Blackstar or LR Redeemer/Crusader.
    • Long ranged shooty: Vets with Stalker pattern boltguns. We're talking looong range - 30" is your normal shooty. We're talking shooting Borkan Tau back, twice and at AP-2. Compared to the similar Intercessor team, they shoot twice, but have half the wounds. This relative fragility combined with their range means they'll attract Heavy Weapons' fire, so keep them in cover. Nice combo with Apothecaries, Vigilance Eternal Warlords and the Dominus Aegis relic. They can hold objectives and still contribute to the fight.
    • Close ranged shooty: Vets with Storm bolters and free chainswords. Yup, still good. A Vanguard Vet is a good idea here. Maybe a Biker too, to hit back. Everything is a good idea as long as you can afford it. If you close into flamer range (8") then give them Frag Cannons, NEVER flamers. How did you get there? That's an actual question - bring a Termie to survive footslogging, cover your precious Frag cannons (optional Meltagun fist) AND get them a teleport getaway. Still fits in a Blackstar, though that'll force the Watch Sergeant to carry the Storm shield. Or bring additional Shotgun Vets if you want to advance without giving up shooting, yet still supplement the Frag cannon's flamer profile. Melta and Combi-meltas are better than Frag Cannons only within 6", keep that in mind.
    • Melee: Same as above but with more power weapons. Can either keep a gun for closing in and falling back (Frag Cannon/Shotgun/Storm Bolter), or ditch them all for paired Lightning Claws/Heavy Thunder Hammers/Power Weapon + Storm Shield. Funnily, Vanguard Vets are a bad choice if the squad lacks guns. Greatly benefits from a Biker and a Blackshield.
      • Melee offshoot: You can split a squad of 10 into two squads of 5. Three Bikers + two Vanguard Vets is a nice way to keep the best from both worlds: They benefit from T5 and retain good mobility and Defenders of Humanity. Furthermore, they can have two SS/TH and use their Twin Boltguns after falling back, before charging once more, due to the Vanguard Vets. Not even the actual Biker squad has that.
  • Intercessor Squad: Intercessor Squads can be taken similarly to their vanilla cousins, but where they really shine is their role as the base for the mixed Primaris units called Fortis Kill-Teams. Where normal Space Marine armies can sometimes struggle to find a use for Intercessors, the Deathwatch actually appreciates them a bit more, namely as backfield cover-campers and cheap-ish wounds. Your normal Kill Teams, being as loaded with great gear as they tend to be, are damn expensive, while a unit of Intercessors is both tougher per model and unlikely to run you much more than their base cost even as they benefit from Special Issue Ammunition to take on threats their vanilla counterparts would normally struggle against. Take 5, then add other flavors of Primaris Marines to match the role you have in mind for them:
    • Inceptor: Allows the unit to shoot after falling back. It doesn't actually grant the FLY keyword to any of them other than the Inceptor itself, so they don't need to worry about greater vulnerability to anti-air weapons.
    • Reiver: Adds the Reivers' Terror Troops rule to the unit. Thanks to their shock grenade, they're good for supplementing a squad with Auto Bolt Rifles and a sarge with a power sword, or Aggressors which plan to get into melee. They can take a grapnel launcher which allows the unit be used to outflank.
    • Aggressor: Adds the Aggressors' Relentless Advance rule to the squad, with the added effect of also allowing the squad to move and fire heavy weapons with no penalties. Although the Aggressor can't benefit from the latter part due to its lack of heavy weapons, it's ideal combining with Intercessors and Hellblasters that are using either of their non-Rapid Fire options. Inceptors will appreciate not taking that -1 to hit when they Advance as well, especially the ones with Plasma Exterminators.
    • Hellblaster: Does not add any extra rules of its own. It does, however, add a lot of extra firepower, and the Hellblaster definitely benefits from being in a unit full of models far more expendable than itself.
    • Sample Unit Builds: As there aren't quite as many potential combinations to work with for these guys as there are for their shorter cousins, here are some example Primaris kill-team loadouts to consider using:
      • 6 Intercessors with Auto Bolt Rifles (one of which is a Sergeant with Chainsword), 2 Reivers, and 2 Aggressors with Boltstorm Gauntlets. This results in a unit that will shit out 12-16 Special Ammo shots and 19-38 Bolter shots each turn from 18" away, can Advance and shoot with no penalty, and has Terror Tactics, Shock Grenades and 4 Fist and 18-20 Standard attacks; so they can inflict heavy damage in melee as well. And it only costs 238-246 points. It also counts as 12 models when transported, which would be a perfect size for the Corvus Blackstar...if it could actually transport the damned chads. Finally, you can combat squad without losing special rules on either unit.
      • 5 Intercessors with Stalker Bolt Rifles, 4 Hellblasters with Heavy Plasma Incinerators, and 1 Aggressor. This combo is a designated objective camper: the Intercessors act as ablative wounds for the squad and can also pick off light to medium infantry with Hellfire rounds, the Hellblasters take on vehicles and TEQs (possibly with the help of the Intercessors if they use Vengeance rounds for AP-3), and the Aggressor allows them all to move and shoot without penalties while providing a buffer against infantry that get too close.
      • 5 Intercessors with auto bolt rifles, 2 Aggressors, and 3 Inceptors with plasma exterminators. This layout is points intensive, but remarkably durable. The entire unit counts as being Toughness 5 due to their Aggressors and Inceptors and the ablative wounds of the Intercessors help keep your Inceptors alive. Further, the Aggressors let all the assault weapons in the unit fire without penalty when advancing, which means that the Inceptors won't kill themselves if they roll a 2 following an advance.
      • 5 Intercessors with bolt rifles, 1 inceptor, 4 Aggressors with Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets and Frag-storm Grenade Launchers. This combo is designed as an alpha/beta strike unit designed to shred hordes. Combine with the Teleportarium stratagem to negate the short range of the Aggressors' guns. The Intercessors provide additional fire support and ablative wounds, but can also split fire using their Special Issue Ammunition if needed. As with above, the entire unit will have toughness 5 and the addition of the Inceptor will let them fallback and keep firing if your opponent tries to assault the unit.
    • Note that there is no real reason not to take the Chainsword on the Sarge, unless you want a Power Sword, as the Chainsword is free.
    • Unless you're deep striking with stratagems or outflanking with a Reiver, these guys are your backfield campers. Their only transport doesn't let them do a max squad size with 2 Termies or Jump Packers like the standard vets, so instead deploy them normally and camp home objectives (with double firing Aggressors) or waddle up the field ignoring penalties to advance.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Rhino: Carries 10 power-armored models (no Bikers, Terminators, Vanguard Vets, or Primaris). 10 Wounds and a 3+ make the old METAL BOXES harder to crack open than ever before, and it comes with a mean new trick- at the start of the turn, you roll a d6, and on a 6+ the Rhino restores a lost wound. It might not seem like much, but it can make the difference between moving 12" and 6" if it moves you back a step on the damage table. Also now having 2 storm bolters means that you can output a lot of Dakka (8 shots at 12 inches), and Kill off some infantry then tie up vehicles in combat. A breakthrough star of 8th. Never forget that models can disembark and charge.
  • Razorback: Hauling 6 power-armored veterans across the board (no Bikers, Terminators, Vanguard Vets, or Primaris), being generally quite durable, and offering a decent variety of mounted guns, the Razorback is a nice transport choice in this edition. The default Twin Heavy Bolters can be swapped for Twin Lascannons or Twin Assault Cannons. The most optimal setup, for now, is twin Assault Cannons, move forward aggressively and hose the opponent with 12 Assault Cannon shots. Never forget that models can disembark and charge.
  • Drop Pod: Grants a power-armored unit Deep Strike (no Bikers, Terminators, Vanguard Vets, or Primaris). and arrives at the turn you chose. However, at roughly triple the cost from previous editions, fielding even a few of these pods can dig into your budget for proper fighting units.
    • Using 1cp is probably better than this (using the Teleportarium stratagem) pass unless playing a narrative list.
      • The Drop Pod is the only way to deep strike multiple units for a single resource. An 8 man Kill Team with Watch Master and Librarian would cost you 3 CP to drop via the Teleportarium, or you can spend 13 points more than a Rhino to get them in the center of the board and shooting at rapid fire range without running the risk of getting obliterated in the turn 1 volley. You're better off spending your CP to get your Primaris guys and Dreadnoughts stuck in and using Drop Pods on whoever can take them if you plan on Deep Striking basic Veterans at all.
    • This is even more true with the Beta rules regarding reserves meaning that only half of your PL can get in reserves.
  • Repulsor: Holds 10 Primaris Marines (models with Gravis armor count as 2) and carries a fair number of anti-tank or anti-horde weapons to protect its passengers. While it can be built to be a veritable battle tank in its own right, it is a heavy point sink and requires support to get the most out of its statline. As most of its anti-tank damage comes from having the potential to equip the equivalent of four lascannons, it might be best to aim for a mixed build to capitalize on its potential to melt hordes and severely damage vehicles. However, its costs can rack up quickly, so unless you plan to field a lot of Primaris Marines you're probably better off taking a Land Raider variant. It also has the FLY keyword with all of it's dis-/advantages. Take it with a squad of 8 Reivers, a Primaris Chaplain, and Apothecary for a rather mean, if expensive assault/harassing Unit. Just hope it survives the onslaught of AT weapons long enough to get them in position.
    • If you're just looking for lots of lascannons or horde-clearing weaponry, there are probably cheaper - if somewhat slower - means of getting them on the table, like a Redemptor Dreadnought. Anti-armor setups, in particular, have the issue that the las-talon has only half the range of the twin lascannons, which means it'll only be able to unleash half its anti-armor firepower at its farthest range. For that matter, most of its other weapons struggle with an equally short range compared to most vehicle-mounted weapons, so it will likely need support when dealing with long-ranged attackers.
    • Defensively, it's nearly identical to a Land Raider; although its armor is only a 3+, it has the same number of wounds as an LR and does a good job at discouraging charges with its Repulsor Field rule (-2 from any charge rolls). The optional Auto Launchers supplement this with an extra -1 to hit on opponent shooting rolls if the Repulsor doesn't shoot.
    • its tank-like qualities don't complement the Primaris only transport, as your opponent will be more tempted to take out a tank that also has duds inside.

Forge World[edit]

  • Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod: For delivering a dreadnought right where you need it most (as long as it's at least 9" away from enemy models). Good for delivering dreads right into multi-melta range or putting melee dreadnoughts into a good position for a charge. Can also deliver Leviathan and Deredeo Dreadnoughts.
    • Just like the normal drop pod Using 1cp is probably better than this (The Teleportarium stratagem) pass unless playing a narrative list.
    • This is even more true with the Beta rules regarding reserves meaning that only half of your PL can get in reserves.
  • Infernum Pattern Razorback: A Razorback with a Multi-Melta. Might be tricky to get it into melta range in one piece, but on the other hand, it's a Dedicated Transport with a Multi-Melta.

Elites[edit]

  • Primaris Apothecary: This is (currently) the only source of healing in the entire army and he is stuck with a Reductor Pistol (3" S4 AP-3 D2) and an Absolver Pistol, the same weapon as the Primaris Chaplain gets. He heals D3 wounds for a wounded unit, and on a 4+, he can revive a friendly Biker or Infantry unit. He's got 5 wounds and 3 Attacks, which is odd because he has no Melee weapons... Protect this guy if you want some good healing, same as you would a normal Apothecary.
  • Deathwatch Terminators: Sitting at 23 points per model, like Assault terminators, yet they are equipped like a standard. However, they have equipment options like both, making the squad very adaptable. Starts at 5 models, but up to three models can take an option from the Heavy Weapon list, including the assault cannon, heavy flamer, or cyclone missile launcher and storm bolter, the last of which is especially attractive as it lets you keep your Storm bolter with SIA. Also of particular note is the power fist & meltagun combo, which leaves room for a heavy weapon while also giving you yet another gun to split fire with. They can also rock TH&SS, which is something to consider, even in mixed units, as a damage sponge.
    • Special issue ammo makes normal termies decent all-'rounders.
    • Also note you can tinker around with normal power weapons to save on points or focus on hordes.
    • Deathwatch Terminators can become one of the most versatile units, even by Deathwatch standards. A 5 man squad can be, for example, 1 TH/SS, 1 Assault Cannon, 1 Heavy Flamer, 1 Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher, 1 Sergeant with Storm Bolter and close combat weapon of choice. And if you have the points left, all of the last 4 guys can take an additional Melta on their Power Fists. This gives them many different weapons and options for their Storm Bolters due to SIA, and they are no slouches in close combat. They simply do everything.
    • Stick to the basics, much like veterans. Take storm bolters and power swords for a cheaper unit that can hurt hordes at both range and melee, fists if you plan to fight multi-wound units.
    • One of the biggest gainers to the potential Beta Bolter rules. They can move and fire at full range with maximum shots which combined with SIA makes them a decent threat at far range. They can now Deep Strike and pump people full of Vengeance Rounds! No more after the 2019 Big FAQ
  • Deathwatch Vanguard Veterans: Vanguard vets, but with new toys, including the always hilarious and pricy heavy thunder hammer. These guys can be very dangerous. Additions like the inferno pistol make them all the more deadly. Remember that their stock bolt pistols get special issue ammo, making them a better free option than their vanilla counterparts.
  • Reiver Squad Aside from the lack of Jump Packs and options, Reivers make a great alternative to Vanguard Veterans, being pretty much chainsword-armed Vets with an additional wound, for not that much higher a cost. One or two small squads dropping down with Grav Chutes can tie up enemy units with some reliability and provide some not-too-bad melee against lightly armored enemy units.
    • Reivers profit greatly from the SIA in their Heavy Bolt Pistols because they can get AP-3 with them and can, of course, fire them in close combat.
  • Dreadnought: The Dreadnought is one of the best non HQ units, but the Deathwatch variant has some strange restrictions. It can only choose from a Twin Lascannon, Assault Cannon, or a heavy plasma cannon (Errata updated). For 177 you could have a Dreadnought with twin lascannons and the CCW w/Heavy Flamer. It comes stock with a Dreadnought CCW, with either a heavy flamer or storm bolter built into it. You can switch the CCW for a Missile Launcher. The unit is buffed by HQs and provides the same security any other bubble wrap could. If this bad boy doesn't float your boat, look to the Siege and Mortis Dreadnoughts - newly available to the Deathwatch.
  • Venerable Dreadnought: Shares the restrictions with its younger version. A Venerable Dreadnought has a slightly better WS and BS vs a regular Dreadnought, as well as the ability to negate received wounds on a 6+. Notably, the 2+ BS lets you move and still shoot heavy weapons with a better than 50/50 chance to hit. You cost 28.6% more and are about 25% more accurate and 20% more durable than a normal dread, the utility will depend on whether you're intending to buff it with an HQ.
  • Redemptor Dreadnought: The vanilla dread's Jock roommate. With nearly twice the wounds of a vanilla dreadnought (and degrading stats to accompany the increased durability), the Redemptor dreadnought is a solid heavy weapons platform, capable of holding the anti-horde Onslaught Gatling Cannon or the armor-melting Macro Plasma Incinerator, and the anti-air Icarus Rocket Pod as well as a pair of storm bolters or fragstorm grenade launchers. However, it is a heavy points investment, and much of its anti-armor potential might be better handled by specialized units like Hellblastors. Instead, anti-horde fire support appears to be its most effective niche, potentially able to put out a withering volley of mid-strength shooting that will take a significant chunk out of GEQ or weaker units and then follow up with a smack from its CCW, which is d6 damage compared to the normal Dreadnought CCW's D3. But even if it takes the Macro plasma Incinerator, the CCW can still swap its heavy flamer for an Onslaught Gatling Cannon to retain effectiveness against hordes.
  • Aggressor Squad: The better-looking lovechild of a Terminator and a Centurion. Cant use SIA, but that would be awfully broken. They come stock with auto boltstorm gauntlets (so assault instead of pistol) and a frag grenade launcher or you can trade all that in for Firebat pattern flamestorm gauntlets, which is a pair of flamers. Either you're going for 18 inches of 6+D6 (average: 9.5 shots, 6.33 of which hit) S4 or 8 inches of 2D6 (average: 7) auto-hitting S4, and either way it allows them to put out a lot of short-ranged firepowers, with power fists in melee. They've got Gravis armor, which makes them T5, move 5", and take up two slots in a Repulsor. Then there are the special rules: Fire Storm, which lets you shoot twice if you don't move (including in Overwatch, which is just plain scary when combined with the flamestorm gauntlets), and Relentless Advance, which lets you advance and fire assault weapons without penalty. This makes them surprisingly fast since all their guns are assault. Run and gun for the Emperor!
    • let us face it, the Xenos monstrosity will eventually bear down on your position. Might as well have them show up right in front of 6 flamers firing twice!! With perhaps some hammernators and the largest dreadnought you own. Flame aggressors backed by an apothecary make for an astounding front line, followed up by your slightly more vulnerable but far more killy squads.
    • Alternate take: never go flamers in a standalone squad. On average the bolt + frag loadout will get less than one S4 hit, at more than double the range, and that's before you start factoring in all the ways you can boost your shooting. Flamers should only be considered for an Aggressor being attached to Intercessors to serve as a charge deterrent.
    • Auto Boltstorm Gauntlet Math (aka why you should take ABGs 90% of the time): A squad of 6 puts out 36 + 6d6 shots (72 + 12d6 if they don't move) for an average total of 57 (or 114) vs a Flamer squad's 42 (or 84). Assuming rerolling to hit (which is easy to do because you always take a watch master), here are the results against various toughness (single fire. Just double the numbers if you get to fire twice): T3 = 33 wounds. T4 = 25 wounds. T5-7 = 17 wounds. T8+ = 8 wounds. Flamestorm Gauntlets produce: T3 = 28 wounds. T4 = 21 wounds. T5-7 = 14 wounds. T8+ = 7 wounds. And then remember that you get to fire twice as far with the AGBs vs the Flamerstorms.

Forge World[edit]

Thanks to the latest FAQ (1.1) for Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes, Deathwatch can now field a crazy variety of tanks and dreadnoughts which were formerly unavailable to them. They ARE one of the best-equipped Space Marine chapters after all...

Seriously, this is where you will find some delectable and sorely needed heavy firepower as well as armor.

  • Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts (Forge World):For just a modest points increase over a standard Dreadnought, the Contemptor packs 3 extra inches of movement, 2 extra wounds, +1 strength, the same WS/BS as the Venerable Dreadnought and a 2+/5++. His Contemptor CCW is also guaranteed 3 wounds instead of D3, which makes him considerably more capable of ruining the afternoon of a whole host of multi-wound models. All of this, unfortunately, comes with a small consequence. Unlike his boxier brethren, the Contemptor has a Damage Table, with his WS, BS, and Attacks falling with damage. Generally speaking, the Contemptor is a goddamn steal for what he costs now. The extra-fast movement speed means he can get into any position he needs to be in very short order, and reach melee combat with almost complete certainty. Similiar to Venerable Dreadnoughts, he can ignore wounds with a bonus 6+ save. This dangerous combination of potent stats and strong weapons means he can fulfill a wide variety of battlefield roles, and the dizzying array of wargear he can choose from only makes him even more adaptable. He starts with 2 Dreadnought combat weapons with inbuilt Storm Bolters. His Unstoppable Fury rule while allows him to re-roll 1s to-hit if he's armed with two melee weapons. One or both can be swapped for the following in any combination:
    • Kheres Assault Cannon: A big-ass Assault Cannon and your go-to anti-infantry loadout. A classic, this sucker is a nasty Heavy 6 S7 AP-1 D1.
    • Chainfists: Contemptor Chainfists gain -1 AP and +1 damage over a normal DCCW. Overall a solid upgrade that lets them do terrible damage to both vehicles and monsters. It's a must-take for all purposes. Better yet, give it 2! So much for Blood Angels getting a monopoly on double-fisting Dreads, huh?
    • Don't actually take 2. Taking 2 chainfists doesn't offer any benefit over taking one chainfist and one regular CCW, it just costs more.
    • C-Beam Cannon: The new Heavy Conversion Beamer is a single shot weapon that starts at S6 AP-3 that does D3 damage. It also gains +2 points of strength and +D3 damage after each 24" bracket of distance, totaling S10 AP-3 3d3 Damage at anything over 48" range. If a model is removed from play as a result of wounds caused then it automatically trigger 2d6 extra auto-hits on the target unit at S6 AP0 D1. The Contemptor MUST remain stationary for the entire turn in order to use it. It cannot be stressed enough that this thing really NEEDS the range, though firing it at infantry squads has a good chance of killing a random mook and triggering an average of seven further S6 hits, which is still better than a twin heavy bolter. At the full range, the initial hit will likely knock the crap out of any target, wounding it on a 2+ or 3+ depending on its toughness and generally reducing its save to 5+ or worse but those additional hits will likely be wasted.
    • Twin Heavy Bolters: Don't bother. The Kheres does everything it can, but better.
      • Alternate take: S5 and S7 wound T4 models on the same roll, a pair of twin heavy bolters is 16 points cheaper with 50% longer range than a Kheres, for the same number of shots. Against footslogging light infantry, the HB is an attractive option. True... but light infantry are not what this model is going after
    • Twin Autocannon: Identical to the one on the normal Dread. Not bad, but you didn't take one of these to field something other Dreads could take.
    • Twin Lascannon: Pop vehicles open without having to get into melta range. Probably better on the Contemptor Mortis, though.
    • Heavy Plasma Cannon: Might be a little better against multi-wound units, and unlike the Contemptor Mortis you can always try to negate the mortal wound you get if you roll a 1.
    • Fist Weapon Options: If you crave even more dakka, the inbuilt Storm Bolters can swapped for Heavy Flamers, Plasma Blastguns, or Graviton Blasters. Plasma Blasters are Assault 2 plasma guns, and the graviton blaster is just a grav-gun with a different name. Consider a double fist loadout with Plasma Blastguns for a melee dread with surprisingly good shooting!
  • Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: The end-all solution to your dakka-Dread needs, for when even the Contemptor Mortis won't cut it. Its armor save is slightly worse than the Contemptor's at only a 3+, but to compensate it has 2 more wounds and its invulnerable save rises to 4+ in the Fight phase on top of the built-in smoke launchers. For guns, you have the Anvilus Autocannons (8 36" autocannon shots with +1 S) for mulching infantry, the Hellfire Plasma Carronade (5 overcharged plasma gun shots which deal 3 damage each but cause mortal wounds on a 1) as the generalist option, and the Arachnus Lascannon Battery (2 S10 AP-4 D6 Damage shots that deal an extra mortal wound on 6s) for taking out vehicles, and also chest-mounted heavy bolters/heavy flamers. Don't bother upgrading to heavy flamers. While auto-hits are good, the Deredeo should be as far away as possible. It should be shooting things not tied up in melee. It can supplement the main weapon with either an Aiolos Missile Launcher for extra fire support or an Atomantic Pavaise to give everyone within 6" of itself a 5+ invulnerable save. The latter works great with long-ranged units that can help support the Deredeo's firepower.
    • 8th edition is kind of a mixed bag for the Deredeo. While 8 shots at BS2+/3+ on the move with the Anvillus sure are great the 12" range reduction is very painful, especially for the plasma corronade. 24" max means it will be in the range of most weapons in addition to the risk of losing wounds which is very probable at 5 shots per turn. So it is advised to have a reroll/repair character nearby should you go for the plasma option.
  • Deimos Pattern Relic Predator: We can't use regular Predators but we can take the retro one with better guns! Take a Predator, give it an extra wound, and slap a Plasma Destroyer on it as its turret weapon, and you have one of these tanks. The Plasma Destroyer itself can't be overcharged, but with the same number of shots as the basic Predator Autocannon and 2 Damage, it doesn't really need to be. While it can swap out the plasma destroyer for the standard Predator guns, that's a waste of its options (although Deathwatch can't take normal Predators, so is the only way to get standard Predator guns). Instead, you should use its unique options: the Conversion Beam cannon to make it a hard-hitting artillery unit, the Magna-Melta for close-range anti-vehicle firepower, and the Infernus cannon for a double dose of heavy flamer goodness.
  • Relic Javelin Attack Speeder: The poor Deoderant Tanks got a huge nerf in 8th edition. For the most part these fulfill the same role as before, that of a Heavy Land Speeder. But they lost the twin-linked rule on their Missile Launchers(WTF). They even lost their trademark Outflank ability. Overall this took what was already a mediocre relic slot item at best, into a shitty tool that's worse off than a generic land speeder.
  • Relic Sicaran Battle Tank: The Sicaran has transitioned smoothly into 8th ed, retaining its status a high-speed menace. With a big 14" Move, T7, 14 wounds, and 3+ Save it falls in between a Predator and a Land Raider in terms of size and durability. It's armed with a nasty Twin accelerator autocannon which has a couple neat tricks. It fires at 48" Assault 8 S7 AP-1 D2, suffers no penalties to its hit rolls when attacking flyers, and a to-wound roll of 6 increases the AP of that hit to -3. It's also armed with a single Heavy Bolter and can grab 2 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons, a hunter-killer missile, and a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter if you crave more dakka. The Sicaran is a useful anti-air unit in a pinch while and is well known for its ability to counter skimmers. Make good use of the Assault rule on its main gun by zipping around and firing while advancing.
  • Relic Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer: The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; even if a tank survives the Neutron Pulse Cannon's S12 AP-4 D6 damage hits (all 3 of them), it'll have all its shooting rolls reduced by 1 for the turn, which can make life very difficult for vehicles like Executioners or Tau vehicles with Ion Cannons. Additionally, it doesn't get penalties for moving and firing its heavy weapons.
  • Relic Sicaran Punisher Assault Tank: A new flavor of Sicaran, its draw is the Punisher Rotary Cannon- 18 Heavy Bolter shots guaranteed to make any hordes within 36" hate life. And if you don't move that turn, it re-rolls all to-hit rolls of 1. Enjoy making Orks and Tyranids cry.
  • Relic Whirlwind Scorpius: A Whirlwind variant, as with the Predator and Land Speeder Deathwatch have access to the relic version but not the normal. Scorpius is set apart from the basic Whirlwind by its Scorpius Launcher- while it has only half the range of either of the Whirlwind's rocket types, 3d3 S6 AP-2 2 D shots is still plenty to threaten hordes and light vehicles alike. And as an added bonus, it can fire twice in a shooting phase if the Scorpius hasn't moved in the movement phase.

Flyers[edit]

  • Corvus Blackstar: With a cost reduction and some new rules, the Blackstar is a solid choice for getting your marines around in style. A hover-jet stealth bomber, it's quick with a massive 45" move, has some good weapons, and can carry 12 models of various types, with terminators and jump pack models counting for 2 and bikers 3. Watch as it comes out of fucking nowhere and drops a melee kill team into your opponent's backfield, unleashes a blistering firestorm on another unit, AND bombs some bitches it flew over for good measure. It is armed with Twin Assault Cannons which cause havoc for blobs, while it's 2 Stormstrike missile launchers are a serious threat to vehicles with 72" Heavy 1 S8 AP-3 D3. The cannons can be swapped for Twin Lascannons and the missiles for Blackstar Rocket Launchers. The rockets are decent at taking out flyers, but that's about it. The Blackstar can also take a Hurricane Bolter (a Rapid Fire 6 Boltgun)which is cheap as chips and shits dice, an Auspex Array (which lets you re-roll 1s against non-flyers) and the Infernum Halo-launcher; ‘If an enemy unit that can Fly targets a supersonic model with an infernum halo-launcher in the Shooting phase, your opponent must subtract 1 from the subsequent hit rolls.’ The Blackstar also rocks a delightful Blackstar Cluster launcher, which lets you bomb a unit you flew over. For every model in the unit (up to 10), roll a die and, on a 6, that unit takes a mortal wound. It's very useful as a transport and as a support unit to cover your guys on the ground.
    • Compared to the Storm Raven, the Blackstar does have its drawbacks as, unlike the Storm Raven, the Blackstar does not have Power of the Machine Spirit, meaning that all of its Heavy Weapons suffer a -1 to-hit penalty when it's on the move. Additionally, the Blackstar cannot transport Dreadnoughts.
    • Make note that this model cannot transport PRIMARIS models. Because bikers and terminators fit but the new marines don't

Forge World[edit]

FAQ (1.1) for Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes has granted us additional airborne supremacy options:

  • Fire Raptor Assault Gunship: A heavy fire support craft, the unholy flying death machine got even better this edition. With T7, 16 wounds and 3+ SV, it's almost as tough as a Land Raider. The Avenger Bolt Cannon packs 10 shots at S6 AP-2 2D, enough to drop a whole Primaris squad if you're lucky. In addition, each Quad Bolter packs 12 heavy bolter shots. Hellstrike missiles are no longer one use only and you can, in fact, fire 4 missiles at S8 AP-3 3D a turn now. It can take 2 Twin Lascannons instead of the missiles for +1S and the chance to deal more than 3 points of damage per shot. It can also move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty. You can also swap the Quad Heavy Bolters for Autocannons as well. The firepower of this thing cannot be understated - it shits dice and will wipe squads off the board. Its expensive at nearly 450 points, but will make that back in 3 turns or less.
  • Storm Eagle: The big brother of the Storm Raven that vanilla marines know and love, this elongated flying brick of a hover jet boasts a transport capacity of 20 and some increased firepower along with some additional wounds. It can transport jump infantry and terminators, but not bikes or primaris marines.
  • Caestus Assault Ram: A crazy hover-flyer designed to ram starships/buildings and disgorge Space Marines into the breach, the Caestus Assault Ram is armed with a slew of powerful weapons and abilities. The Caestus is quite survivable with T7, 14 wounds, and a 2+ save. It's armed with a Caestus Ram - a melee weapon that hits at S User(8) AP-3, DD6, and increases to a +3 to hit (from its usual 5+) in melee against buildings when it charges. It's Airborne Ram ability restricts it to declaring charges against and being charged and attacked in melee by units with FLY, but only while it's in Supersonic mode. It is also armed with 2 Firefury Missile Batteries, each Heavy 4 S6 AP-1 1D. It is further armed with a Twin Magna-Melta - Heavy 2D3 S10 AP-4 D6D (with the Melta rule), meaning this thing can lay the hurt on medium enemy infantry and enemy armor alike. With its 50" movement (70" if you advance) and PotMS, it can reach out and touch people on turn one. For 340 points (for the hull and the Melta; missile batteries are free) it's pricey, but given Hard to Hit, its toughness, its wounds, and a 2+ save, it will deliver its cargo. It's unique troop bays can carry 10 infantry models in terminator armor or power armor (with terminators taking up a single space instead of the usual 2).
  • Xiphon Interceptor: A high-speed interceptor, the Xiphon is a heavily armed air flyer new to the Deathwatch. It sports a respectable BS3+, T7, 11 wounds and a 3+ save. It's armed with two Twin Lascannons (like a Land Raider) as well as a Xiphon Missile Battery - Heavy 3 S6 AP-2 D3. It also adds 1 to all hit rolls when targeting units with the "FLY" keyword thus negating the effects of "Hard to Hit" and since a lot of units with "FLY" don't have the "Hard to Hit" bonus it will hit them on a 2+. With a huge 50" move and 4 lascannon and 3 missile shots, it'll put some major hurt on flyers and ground targets alike.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Deathwatch Bikers: While they sadly lose the special weapons access their vanilla counterparts have, they are a different beast entirely. Their twin boltguns have full access to Special Issue Ammunition, which adds some needed diversity to their ranged weapons. Where they shine, however, is close quarters. Each can take a power weapon and gains an extra attack over their vanilla counterparts. Relentless assault means that they can charge even if they fell back, meaning they can choose to engage on their terms with the target they choose. Also, remember they get a free teleport homer. This is a diverse trick that can let terminators deep strike near it rather than moving. Of note is that this does not count as actually having moved, which can help with heavy weapons. Toss this in with a fast unit, and Deathwatch Bikers bring a very strong game.
  • Inceptor Squad: The deadly offspring of a Devastator Squad and a Seraphim Squad that can be taken in squads of 3-6. The mortal wound caused by their pseudo-HoW might look good on paper (on a 6+ does it though?), but when you only have a few models in the unit and no melee weapons melee may not be the most efficient use of them. Instead, take a page from the Seraphim's book and use your improved maneuverability to fire off strafing runs, courtesy of your Assault Bolters - effectively Assault 3 Heavy Bolters. They can also take 18" assault plasma cannons to wipe out MEQs/TEQS and put more hurt on vehicles now because that shit was easy to make into two hand-held guns apparently. Like Vanguard Veterans, Inceptors have the FLY keyword, with all the strengths and weaknesses that entails. (On the other hand, that does mean you can be a very good distraction if you force an enemy flyer into melee...)
    • Conversely, assaulting with this unit can be a strategic choice. Charging a unit that is weak in melee will allow the Inceptors to avoid getting shot or tie up the enemy unit for the next turn. Since the Inceptors have the FLY keyword, they can disengage next turn with no penalty and resume shooting. This is a tactical decision and will vary greatly depending on the enemy army.
    • A note on their melee capability: because their squad size is so small, the fact that their sergeant does not pay additional points for his +1A has a great opportunity to shine. More importantly, mortal wounds can be used to bypass otherwise durable targets. Nine min-sized Assault Squads with Jump Packs cost as much as five Inceptor Squads; the number of attacks in each is 99 and 35 + 2.5 mortal wounds (when charging), respectively. Doing the math for you, that means the Inceptors deal more damage per point on the charge against any target which is either T8+ and Sv 2 or Sv 3 (such as a Land Raider), or T5+ and Sv 2. Neither unit will do well in those situations, so you should avoid it, but it's worth noting. Against anything in the game, you're way better off with the Inceptor's guns.
    • Like reivers, these guys can deep strike but comfortably shoot at a safe distance, which is really helpful.

Forge World[edit]

FAQ (1.1) for Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes has unlocked some interesting fast-movers and support units:

  • Tarantula Sentry Guns: Whoooo boy, these suckers got a huge buff in 8th edition. They ended up gaining a whopping +1 BS, along with Toughness 5 and 4 wounds. In addition, they also now all count as separate units once deployed, so they can serve as some obnoxious MSU tools. Tarantulas can be equipped with the following loadouts:
    • Twin Heavy Bolters: These are the default weapons. Good against infantry, but comes with the Caveat that it MUST target the nearest infantry model
    • Twin Lascannons: The other default, good against tanks. Also comes with a restriction that it MUST target the nearest enemy tank.
    • Twin Assault Cannons: Arguably the best option. Tarantulas with Dual-assault cannons lose their targeting restrictions and gain a whopping 12 shots each. They used to be practically mandatory at only a measly 45 points per model, but recently gained a massive price increase and now cost 64. At that price it's a lot more difficult to justify taking them.
    • Multi-melta: Same deal as the Lascannons, but mathematically worse. However it does unlock your targeting restrictions, so a multi-melta equipped tarantula can fire at anything you want. Strangely the FAQ for the Imperial Guard added the requirement that they must always target the closest model if there's no priority target in range; however currently the Astartes version of the tarantula has no such restriction, so for now you can continue to use meltas and assault cannons to fire at will at anything in range.
  • Tarantula Air Defense Battery: As above, but stuck with S8 AP-2 Dd3 anti-air missiles that get +1 to hit against flyers and -1 against everything else. MUST target the nearest enemy flyer, but you were probably already planning to do that when you took this unit.
  • Land Speeder Tempest: A tiny drop in movement from the vanilla type, but has better toughness and Ld. Each one is equipped with an Assault Cannon and two Tempest Salvo Launchers (36", Heavy d3, S6 AP-3 D2; shorter ranged and not as hard-hitting as a Krak missile but more likely to get past armor saves). When Advancing, they must move between 20" and 35"; they also impose a -1 to hit against them in the next Shooting phase and prevents units without the FLY keyword from charging (or being charged by) them.
  • Deathstorm Drop Pod: A Drop Pod full of automated guns; it can choose either an 18" 2-shotgun with S8 AP-2 Dd3 or a 12" 6-shot S6 AP-1 D1 gun. In either case, it must make 1 full shooting attack against anything in range (except for CHARACTERS, who still can only be shot at if they're the closest unit in range).

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Land Raider: The classic Land Raider turned from an outclassed fortress to a fortress that gets shit done. With a total of 4 lascannon shots, 6 heavy bolter shots on top of 16 WOUNDS, and a 2+ save. Add a multi melta on top of that for even more firepower. Vehicle changes make some vehicles move from obscurity to being a force to be reckoned with, and the regular land raider is no exception. The Land Raider makes itself become a force to be reckoned with its sheer amount of firepower and long lasting ability. Still, has its transport of 10 models to zip guys to wherever you want. So, use it how you want!
    • Land Raider Crusader: Just like the regular, the Crusader version gains all of the cool bonuses of before but now has the ability to fire up to 24 Bolter shots when in rapid-fire range, but no Special Issue Ammunition on Hurricane bolters (the Xenos can rejoice). Still works well as a Terminator transport especially as those guys lost an inch of movement. Great for horde killing and Termie transporting. Go nuts. This one is the cheapest and will really chew up hordes. Those two factors make it a strong contender for the deathwatch, as any small elite army will struggle to not get overwhelmed by hordes.
    • Land Raider Redeemer: Just take a LRC...okay fine. While the flame storm cannons are good and all you have to roll D6 each time meaning it can fuck you over when you need a good hit. The Crusader puts out a ton more shots and at longer range AND it has greater transport capacity. Not a bad unit by any stretch just better alternatives.
  • Hellblaster Squad Some pretty wicked dakka right here. Their Plasma Incinerators are 30" S7 AP-4 D1 normally, with the same boost as other plasma weapons if supercharged (+1 to S and D) - more than enough to wipe out any TEQs they encounter. Run with any character giving re-rolls to hit (e.g. any of the Captain variations) to make these things a monster/tank killer if they get into rapid-fire range. But with the same inability to use transports other than the repulsor, like other Primaris Marines, that'll be a difficult task in itself. They're also as expensive as... well, as elite marines carrying souped-up plasma weapons.
    • The Plasma Incinerators comes in two more variants; a Heavy 1 with 36" and S8/9 that costs 2 points more than the standard option, and a 24" Assault 2 with S6/7 that costs 1 point more.
      • The Rapid Fire (standard) version is definitely the best in general, costing the fewest points for the most output against the most targets, but you'll want to get up close and personal with it - see the Assault version below for shooting things farther away.
      • The Assault version costs you more points for less strength, but better rate of fire in the 16-24" range, and you can fire it after advancing, so you could also consider it to have superior rate of fire in the 16-27.5"; therefore, it's actually better on a squad intended for longer range engagements, rather than one intended for, well, assaulting. Because S7 is so underwhelming compared to S6 or S8 against most real-world targets, it's seldom justified to overcharge this one, although it can be worth it if you're desperate for the increased damage. Take this version to shoot things farther away better, but up close worse, than the Rapid Fire version.
      • The Heavy version costs you more points for worse rate of fire (although you can move and shoot with it out to 36-42" range if you want), but more strength; that means you should never take it, as the absolute best it can do against most targets that actually exist in the game is equal the Assault version's output, while in general doing worse - the 6" range improvement it practically has (since you can move and shoot with the Assault variant for 6" more threat on it) isn't worth both costing more and usually doing less. Never, ever take this.

Forge World[edit]

Just when you thought that all Deathwatch could grab was the three Land Raider variants, suddenly... Forge World! Picture a Deathwatch Leviathan Dreadnought for a moment...

  • Whirlwind Hyperios: An anti-air Whirlwind variant. While it's still best used against aircraft because of its +1 to hit against flyers (and -1 against everything else), Heavy 2d3 S8 AP-2 D3 D isn't something to take lightly.
  • Rapier Carrier: A mobile artillery unit and dirt-cheap source of heavy bolter fire, which can also be used as a cheap counter to "light" superheavies like Knights if taken with Laser Destroyers or act as artillery if you use the Quad Launchers (added in the FAQ). Now coming stock with a 12-shot quad bolter for a good price on a fairly sturdy chassis. Fills out the heavy support requirements of a Spearhead detachment real nice, but keep the gunners safe or it gets auto-removed just like the Thunderfire Cannon.
    • If you're planning on taking a Leviathan Dreadnought, you need another Heavy Support choice to bypass the Relic rule, which states you can't take a unit with Relic in the title without bringing another Heavy Support unit. The Rapier is the cheapest option available to fill that slot, just a heads up.
  • Mortis Dreadnought: Your go-to dakka dread who's replaced his fists with double guns. It costs 5 points more than a standard dreadnought, with the exact same profile, but it brings the option to double down on weapons the regular dread cant. You can take a pair of twin bolters, autocannons, or lascannons, or a pair of regular missile launchers, assault cannons, multi-meltas, or heavy plasma cannons. All good choices for laying down firepower, with the best guns depending on what you plan to shoot and how many points you can spare. For good measure, you can also bring along a Cyclone Missile Launcher.
  • Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought: A contemptor dreadnought with double guns and a 3+ save. Better than the standard Mortis in every way, from the BS 2+ to the Atomantic Shielding, but costlier as well. He starts with double Twin Heavy Bolters which can be swapped out for double Multi-Meltas, double Twin Lascannons, double Twin Autocannons, double Heavy Plasma Cannons, and everyone's favorite: double Kheres Assault Cannons for all your infantry-shredding needs.
  • Siege Dreadnought: This Dread specializes in short-range firepower, coming stock with an Inferno Cannon that acts as a souped-up heavy flamer and a seismic hammer with built-in meltagun that suffers from a -1 to hit but will wreck anything that gets hit. With the ability to re-roll all to wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase when targeting a BUILDING or a unit with a movement stat of 0", its niche as a building killer should be obvious. This and other Forge World dreadnoughts have access to an expanded list of weaponry that the standard Dreadnought and it's Venerable cousin lack.
  • Relic Leviathan Dreadnought: The Leviathan Dreadnought is easily one of the deadliest single models in the entire game, barring actual Titans, packing a series of quite frighteningly powerful weapons that can make short work of virtually anything. It packs a Strength and Toughness of 8, a 2+/4++ save, and a whopping 14 wounds. Paint his left arm silver and off you go. The default loadout is 2 Heavy Flamers and two Leviathan Siege Claws (Sx2(16) AP-3 D3, Re-roll failed wounds against Infantry) with in-built meltaguns. Being a giant dreadnought powered by arcane and ancient technology (and a Forge World model) he explodes violently when reduced to 0 wounds, dealing D3 mortal wounds to units within 9" on a D6 roll of a 5 or 6. Send him charging into the fray and salute him when he finally detonates in a righteous fireball.
    • The Claws can be swapped out for:
      • Leviathan Siege Drills: which up the AP and D to -4 and 4, but you stop re-rolling failed wounds against Infantry (which were only ever the 1s). Also has a built-in meltagun.
      • Cyclonic Melta Lance: Capable of destroying a Land Raider in a single volley, while being able to shave off 15 wounds from a Knight (leaving it sufficiently weakened that it will no doubt then die to being slammed with 15 additional wounds in melee). This is the go-to weapon if you're seeking an answer to enemy vehicles, and especially knights; the higher rate of fire makes it more likely to slip damage past the invulnerable save, and the multiple hits more than makes up for the higher fixed damage of the bombard. Double this weapon to gut super-heavies in a single volley, and annihilate anything smaller. Maximum damage per single gun: 36 damage. Average (4 shots, 3+ to-hit, 3+ to-wound, no save: 2 wounds, 7 damage.
      • Storm Cannon Array: Has a whopping 10 shots, which do 2 damage each. While not quite as horrifyingly deadly against vehicles as the Cyclone Melta, it exchanges sheer output for more reliability. This can be useful since 2-wound weapons occupy a fair niche in the current meta, for their ability to 1-shot the numerous amount of multi-wound models, without suffering from overkill. This makes it the perfect weapon for dealing with models like Terminators. This is basically a seriously up-gunned heavy plasma cannon, with quintuple the usual shot volume and one worse AP in exchange for one better D, and an inability to Overcharge. Costs 5/6 the amount two of the cannons would cost you, though. It is far and away the most efficient gun you can take against most targets of 4 models or less - it will actually out damage both the Bombard and the Lance against anything T6 or less and T7 Sv 4+ or worse, and that's assuming the target has enough wounds left that no damage gets wasted. Maximum damage per single gun: 20 damage. Average (3+ to-hit, 3+ to-wound, 3+ save: 3 unsaved wounds, 6 damage.
      • Grav-Flux Bombard: Now your dedicated horde killer. It deals 1d3 shots, and gains an additional 1d3 shots for every 5 models present in the target unit, which means the Leviathan can get a whopping 7d3 shots when targeting a mob of Conscripts, or 14d3 if equipped with two of these. This essentially means that the grav bombard is your designated weapon loadout if you expect to go up against Infantry Blobs, as it can fry an entire 50 man squad each and every turn. It also does more damage (5, rather than 2) against Vehicles, Monsters, and Titanic. Despite the increased damage, it is actually the least effect weapon against vehicles; with only a d3 shots, between rolls to hit (typically with a movement penalty) and wound, you are actually unlikely to kill even a Rhino (or equivalent). Against anything with an invulnerable save so few shots are liable to bounce for no damage. A pair of these is the way to go for horde scrubbing - 2d3 shots every 5 models in the target means you average 4 shots for every 5 targets. The gun is only 18" and you'll take a BS penalty (typically down to 3+) for moving and shooting with it, taking you to 3 1/3 and 2 2/3 hits for every 5 targets, respectively. At S9 AP-5 D2, usually one wound per target is all it will take; assuming you're up against T4 or less without an invuln save, you're looking at 2 7/9 or 2 2/9 (after moving) dead for every 5 models in the target, or around 50% casualties. Hopefully Morale will do the rest of the work for you, or you can just bring two of these things. Maximum damage per single gun: 15 damage. Average (2 shots, 3+ to-hit, 3+ to-wound, no save: 1 wound, 5 damage.
  • Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer: A Vindicator who's siege canon has been swapped for a long-range anti-tank gun. T8 with 12 wounds and 3+ save is fairly durable, while the Laser Volley cannon kicks out an impressive 36" Heavy 2 S9 AP-3 3 Damage shot in 'volley fire' mode, and 36" Heavy 2 S10 AP-5 6 Damage(!) in 'overcharge fire' mode, but if you roll a 1 to-hit the tank takes 3 mortal wounds, so consider your firing profile wisely. Captains can buff vehicles with the same chapter keyword to help mitigate this via their re-roll bubble.
  • Relic Land Raider Proteus: The Proteus has two twin Lascannons like the vanilla LR, but it can choose to take a multi-melta or twin heavy flamer instead of a twin heavy bolter. (There's also an option for a single heavy bolter, but why would you even use that?) But its main draw is the Explorator Augury Web; taking it reduces the Proteus' transport Capacity to 6, but it prevents anyone from deep striking within 12" of the Proteus. Conveniently enough, that happens to be melta range for the multi-melta so suicide melta squads won't be able to get near it. For a more aggressively inclined Proteus, you can take the Heavy Armor instead to give it a 5+ invulnerable save, though it too reduces the Proteus' transport capacity.
  • Land Raider Helios: Also has twin lascannons, but it brings along a Helios Launcher- a Heavy weapon that fires 2d6 autocannon-equivalent shots (albeit only 1 damage) that can fire without LoS. A decent combo of the Whirlwind's different missile types, and it can transport 6 models too.
  • Land Raider Prometheus: A fun toy for your Warlord- if he's embarked within it, one of the Stratagems played on your turn costs 1 less CP to use. It doesn't reduce the cost below 1, but it helps. As an added bonus, its attacks all ignore cover saves, which make its 12 heavy bolter shots absolutely terrifying to light infantry. Carries 10 models.
  • Land Raider Achilles: The rage-inducing and expensive Achilles is back in a big way in 8th ed. T8 with 19 wounds, a 2+ save, and a 4++ Invuln save for good measure makes this raider insanely tough. The Achilles is armed with a hull-mounted Quad Launcher and 2 sponson-mounted TWIN Multi-Meltas (Heavy 2). The Quad Launcher can fire Shatter shells at Heavy 4 S8 AP-2 3 Damage, or Thunderfire shells at Heavy 4D3 S5 AP0 1 Damage (and can target units not visible to the Achilles). It can also grab a hunter-killer missile and a Storm Bolter for a little extra dakka. This weirdness is compounded by a transport capacity of 6, including terminators and jump pack models. Seriously, go look up a picture of this thing.

Fortifications[edit]

  • Castellum Stronghold: In case you want to play an army comprised of buildings instead of tanks and soldiers. 3 bunkers and a bigger bunker, with T9 and a total of 56 wounds (3x12 and 20). This realm of battle tile (yes, its 2' by 2') is fairly indestructible and can pack up to 5 heavy weapons, from anti-tank guns to AA or troop mulchers. The tacticus bunker has transport space for 30 guys, and the bunkers for 12 each. Up to 15 and 10 models can shoot out of each of the bunkers. If your army doesn't fit inside completely, they can man the battlements for a cover save. And untill the big bunker is destroyed all infantry, bike and dreadnoughts get a 4++ against shooting attacks while inside the stronghold. Oh, and one stratagem per turn costs 1 less CP if your warlord is embarked. At 550 points without guns this is something of an apocalypse thing.

Lords of War[edit]

For the first time Deathwatch now have access to Lord of War units, because who doesn't want a Deathwatch Spartan Assault Tank? Some bugs get really really big... Naturally, so does Imperial artillery guns.

Forge World[edit]

Forgeworld FAQ[1] updates the relic rule for LoW: You can take 1 Relic Lord of War choice with no pre-requisites. Further Relic Lord of War choices beyond the first require another Lord of War that is NOT a Relic to be taken.

  • Relic Spartan Assault Tank: The Spartan has always been a bigger nastier Land Raider at heart, and this edition just makes it even meaner. A relic from the Legion days, it boasts an impressive BS3+, S8, T8, W20, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It comes stock with hull-mounted Twin heavy bolters (which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers), 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (that's a total of 8(!) lascannons), and anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. And with a WS5+ and 8 attacks, it has a better chance than most tanks of actually hitting with them. If 8 lascannons don't do the trick, they can be swapped for Laser Destroyers to give it the role of blowing superheavies to pieces; its basic profile of S12 AP-4 DD6 is nasty enough as it is, but any time it inflicts damage, you roll a d6. On a 3-5, its damage rises to 2d6, and on a 6 it becomes a staggering 3d6 damage! If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, the Spartan has an enormous 25 transport capacity, including Terminators, Jump Pack Infantry, and Centurions (but not Primaris). If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: The Vindicator's big brother on steroids is a fierce siege engine, boasting BS3+, S8, T9(!), W22, and a 2+ Save. The Dreadhammer siege cannon taking up the entirety of the vehicle drops Heavy 2D6 S10 AP-5 3D shots at 24" or 48" if it holds still. Losing the enormous blast template from the previous edition, the Dreadhammer can now put serious hurt on vehicles and monsters with it's 2D6 high strength high AP shots. In addition to the main gun it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it (except for it's Dreadhammer siege cannon, which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer: An insane Titan-class laser weapon mounted on a Spartan chassis, boasting BS3+, S8, T9, W22, and a 2+ Save. The Heavy neutron pulse array kicks out Heavy 3 S14 AP-4 3+D6D shots at 72", and causes a -1 to-hit penalty to the shooting attacks of vehicles wounded by this weapon. In addition to the main gun it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it (except for it's Heavy neutron pulse array which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 5+ thanks to its Unstable Reactor), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Fellblade Superheavy Tank: The Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin. Absolutely bristling with guns, it has a massively impressive statline of BS3+, S9, T9, W26, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. It's enormous and versatile Fellblade accelerator cannon sports two shell types: HE shells are Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 2D shots and allow rerolls for the number of shots when targeting a unit with more than 5 models. AE shells are Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 6D shots that work wonders on tanks. It comes stock with a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter (which can be replaced with a Twin heavy flamer) and 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (which can be swapped for the amazing Laser destroyers like the Spartan). Like the Baneblade it also has a hull-mounted Demolisher cannon. If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with 9 WS5+ attacks from its Crushing tracks, which are S9 AP-2 DD3. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. If you need a LOT of dakka on a tough as nails platform, you can't go wrong with the Fellblade.
  • Relic Falchion Superheavy Tank Destroyer: A Fellblade variant which shares the same statline and special rules but mounts the unbelievably deadly Twin volcano cannon in place of the Fellblade cannon and Demolisher cannon. The Twin volcano cannon can annihilate targets 120" away with Heavy 2D6 S16 AP-5 D2D6 (re-rolling wounds against Titanic units. It has yet to be updated with the new 3d3 shot profile the Shadowsword has.). Just like the Fellblade it comes stock with two Quad lascannon sponsons which can be replaced with Laser destroyers. Given its ability to take the laser destroyers, it's objectively better at destroying superheavies than a single Shadowsword in practically every way but you pay almost triple the points. It also sports a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers, and you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta if you crave even more dakka.
  • Relic Mastodon Super-heavy Siege Transport: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's reroll to kick in. With 30 wounds, S and T 9, and a 2+ save, this bad boy will get your dudes where they need to go safely. It can also transport terminators, jump pack models, and dreadnoughts of the standard and Contemptor varieties, but not bikes.
  • Thunderhawk Assault Gunship: The standard air support and transportation workhorse of the Space Marines. This monstrous flyer will cost you an arm and a leg (in both points and real $) but has some seriously impressive rules. It has a big 20-50" move in Supersonic mode and can hover. Its has BS2+, S10, T9, 30W, a 3+ Save and PoTMS so it can shoot on the move. Its Void-hardened Hull grants it a 5++ save for extra durability. The Thunderhawk Assault Gunship is armed with a Thunderhawk heavy cannon - 48" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D6D, which can be swapped for the monstrously powerful Turbo-laser destructor - 96" Heavy D3 S16 AP-4 2D6D (6's to wound inflict an additional D3 Mortal Wounds). For secondary weapons it sports 4 Twin heavy bolters and 2 Lascannons at various points on the hull, as well as a choice of Thunderhawk Cluster Bombs or a Hellstrike missile battery. The Cluster bombs can drop once per game on a single unit you flew over, rolling up to 12D6 times (3D6 for ever VEHICLE or MONSTER and 1D6 for other models). Each 5+ result deals a Mortal Wound to the unit, though units consisting only of characters cannot be targeted. The Hellstrike battery is 72" Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3. It's Colossal Flyer rule forces your opponent to -1 from shooting attacks against the Thunderhawk, but also forces them to measure from where it's hull wound be if it was at ground level and add 12" to that measurement (which is an attempt to account for the custom flying bases you need to hold this heavy ass brick of resin up). It also means that a lot of guns flat out cannot shoot at it while it's Supersonic. Finally, the Thunderhawk has an impressive transport capacity of 30, including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, CENTURIONS, AND BIKERS. It is also one of the only vehicles that can transport PRIMARIS models, with each counting for 2 spaces, although you cannot mix them with non-PRIMARIS units.
  • Thunderhawk Transporter: A Thunderhawk variant designed for airlifting tanks, this unusual vehicle shares the statline of the Thunderhawk (with the exception of 26W - 4 fewer than the Gunship). In addition to 15 models including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, CENTURIONS, and BIKES, it can hoist vehicles into battle in one of the following configurations:
    • 1 model with the LAND RAIDER or SPARTAN ASSAULT TANK keyword.
    • Up to 2 of the following: RHINO, RAZORBACK, INFERNUM RAZORBACK, PREDATOR, DEIMOS PREDATOR, WHIRLWIND, WHIRLWIND HYPERIOS, HUNTER, STALKER, DAMOCLES, VINDICATOR, VINDICATOR DESTROYER, WHIRLWIND SCORPIUS.

These vehicles act exactly like other passengers and are subject to the usual restrictions for embarking and disembarking, meaning they can detach while in Supersonic mode at the end of the movement phase. Transported vehicles can carry units at no additional transport cost to the Thunderhawk, so feel free to deep strike 25 dudes in a Spartan PLUS 15 dudes in the Thunderhawk itself. The cost of this unusual ability is the loss of ranged firepower - the Thunderhawk Transporter is armed with 'only' 4 Twin heavy bolters and a Hellstrike missile battery. It's much cheaper than the Thunderhawk Gunship, but its usefulness is somewhat questionable, cool as it may be.

  • Sokar Pattern Stormbird: Fuck yes. For those who weren’t content with a mere Thunderhawk, we present for your pleasure the Stormbird! Can carry fully loaded Rhinos, most Dreadnoughts, or just a fuckload of marines. Did someone say deepstriking Leviathan Dreadnoughts?

Tactics[edit]

Without Allies[edit]

The Old One-Two (Three)[edit]

Take a Battalion. Fill your HQs with whatever you like. Your 3 Troops should be 2 Vet Squads, one tooled as an Anvil and one tooled as a Hammer, and a foot-slogging Intercessor Squad. Also take a Corvus and a Redeemer. Combat Squad all three troops choices, put the Anvil in the Redeemer and the Hammer in the Corvus. Deploy the Intercessors in your backfield and have them foot-slog and advance everywhere or camp a home objective. The Corvus should drop its 2 squads near something that needs to die and then all three should spend the rest of the game killing important units. Finally, the Redeemer and its 2 squads should be delivered to 1-2 objectives and refuse to move for the rest of the game if possible.

With Allies[edit]

Some general advice[edit]

While primaris look good on paper, they are still not exactly worth their points, unless you are hell-bent on playing a pure DW army. The codex greatly encourages getting your DW units right into your enemy's face, where you deal maximum damage with plasmas, meltas, frag cannons, and bolters. While your kill teams race towards the enemy in their Corvus Blackstars and Land Raiders, you need something that actually wants to sit back and can contribute efficiently to the fight. One of the biggest problems any DW player will face is that you won't have many units on the table at the beginning of the game. Thus, it's really easy for your opponent to focus fire on lone Corvus or a Raider, destroying it first turn and leaving your kill teams far away from the enemy and exposed. That is where Ad Mech and Guard comes in. Both factions have cheap troops that want to stay back (Skitarii snipers, Infantry Squads with heavy weapons), have excellent sources of long-range firepower that will ruin your opponents day if not dealt with (Cadian HWTs, Leman Russes, Basilisks, Onager Dune Crawlers). For example, for 670 points you can field 4 infantry squads, 2 company commanders, and 3 Leman Russ Battle Tanks. Use your Kill Teams as scalpels - eliminating key enemy threats while your allies deal with the rest of enemies army (Hammer of The Emperor Style). It's fluffy, looks cool, and is brutally efficient.

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