Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bro! Hold My Beer and Watch This!

I've been looking forward to the DeathWatch getting some significant Rules since their first mention back in 3rd. I still haven't had a chance to play with them, but I'm gonna do a quick rundown of the things that really jumped out at me. This will not be complete, if you want a full Review, there are plenty of them out there. Much of it is just very minor variations on basic SM stuff anyhow.

Wargear: The basic "SternGuard" Squads can take a Special Weapon for everyone, and up to 4 of them can take "Heavy" Weapons. "Heavy" is in scare quotes there because you're never actually going to take the Heavy options. It's all about the Frag Cannon and the Infernus Heavy Bolter here.
- The Frag Cannon is one of the best guns in the Game as far as I can tell. It was already good on Furioso Dreads, and now it's spammable, and has a longer-ranged mode that's a Marine Killer out to 24", and turns into a two-shot Lascannon within 12". Just ridiculously good.
- The Infernus Heavy Bolter takes a Heavy Bolter and fixes one of the big problems with it by making it Assault. Then it bolts a Heavy Flamer on as well, for the same amount you'd normally shell out for one of each, with the Bolter still being Heavy. Not as ridiculous as the Frag Cannon, but still solid.
- They're also relatively easy to convert. You just need a Heavy Bolter and a Flamer (regular Flamer actually matches the size of the official bit better), and anyone who's been playing Marines for any length of time should have those around.
- Be careful not to load up too heavily on them, tho. Your basic dudes are already expensive, and if you don't watch out, it's easy to end up with an Army almost entirely consisting of 40+ Point Models that are just as fragile as 14 Point Tac Marines.
- Cool thing that Greysplinter pointed out to me: You have to swap your Bolter for one of the Special or Heavy Weapons. But you can also take options from the Ranged Weapons list, which lets you swap that useless CCW for another Bolter for free.

Terminators, Bikes, and Vanguard Vets: At first glance, I thought these were all pretty badly overpriced, but the more I dig into the Dex, the more I like them. The big thing they all have going for them is that their Unit Size goes down to a single Model. This lets you go MSU with them to a ludicrous degree, but it also makes them very easy to slot into the various Kill Team Formations, where they each add something cool to the whole Unit.
- Terminators: Since every single one of them can take a Heavy Weapon, these guys can add in some serious firepower, either as a bunch of scattered singletons or in Kill Teams. In addition, they're Fearless, and that's one of the USRs that affects the whole Unit, so adding just one to a Kill Team will make the whole group Fearless as well as giving the Terminator(s) some cheaper ablative Wounds around.
- Bikers: The Bikers have Skilled Rider, which lets them Tank for the Unit a bit in a Kill Team, and also lets them function as very mobile and durable Objective Grabbers. A bigger deal, tho, are the cheap Power Weapons they can pick up, and the Teleport Homers they get, which work not just for Terminators, but also for any Unit using the DW Detachment Benefits to Deep Strike. A few of them scattered around can give you a lot of options for any Deep Strikers you've got in Reserves. Once again, tho, they really come in to their own as part of a Kill Team. This gives them some protection for that Teleport Homer, and in return, they really help the Unit get into Assaults. They still have to maintain Coherency, but their Move+Base Size can easily take 4-5" off what you would need for a Charge, just by shifting them from one side of the Unit to another. On top of that, they provide Split Fire, letting you unload all those Frag Cannon or whatever into one Unit while you just pop off a Bolt Pistol into the guys you actually want to Charge.
- Vanguard aren't as big of a deal as the other two, but they're also significantly cheaper. I don't really see much point in running them on their own, as one of the other two options here will probably do whatever you want better, but as part of a Kill Team, they add their Heroic Intervention Special Rule, letting you Multi-Assault without penalty and giving you Pseudo-Fleet that doesn't work while Running, but helps your Charges just as much. One of these guys and a Biker in the same Kill Team should provide some serious flexibility for Assaulting, which may well catch a few people off guard.

Kill Teams: These are all built around the same basic formula: A Squad of Veterans, plus one or more of Librarian*, Terminators, Bikers, Vanguard, up to a max of 10 Models total. They all get combined into a single Unit, and even the IC(s) can't leave.
- Aquila Kill Team: The basic version is my favorite. It has the weakest, but broadest, benefit, and no restrictions other than listed above. Re-rolls 1s to Wound or Penetrate Armour against everything. Very hard to go wrong with that, and you can unlock it with a single Vanguard or Biker for just a few Points more than adding another Vet to the Squad.
- The other five each target a particular FOC slot. If your target Unit has any Models with the appropriate Battlefield Role, you get to re-roll all failed Wound and Penetration Rolls. They each also have extra restrictions. For instance, the Fast Attack one requires you to take at least 2 Bikers, and the Heavy Support one not only requires you to take Terminators, but also that at least two Models in the Unit have Thunder Hammers (Heavy or regular). Outside of Narrative Games, the only one I can see using regularly is the Furor Kill Team, which gets re-rolls against Troops (which show up in most Games), and only requires one Terminator and that at least one Model have a Frag Cannon or Infernus Bolter, either of which are pretty solid against most Troops.

Relics: There are two real standouts here for me.
- The Dominus Aegis provides a 4++ for the Bearer's entire Unit if the Bearer himself didn't move in that Movement Phase. This is great for protecting Kill Teams that are planning on mostly camping one area of the battlefield, and becomes fantastic while you're Locked in Combat, and thus automatically not Moving in the Movement Phase. It's also great to bring in as an Allied choice for something like Imperial Guard, where it can be a much cheaper way of getting a 4++ than Azrael, if somewhat more limited as well.
- The Beacon Angelis is a Locator Beacon (which is already cool to be able to get on an IC who's potentially starting on the Board), and in addition, once per Game, you can pull another one of your DW Units off the table (even if they're in CC) and Deep Strike them within 6" of the bearer with no Scatter. All kinds of shenanigans possible with that.

Tactical Objectives: Not particularly powerful or anything, but they've got a cool mechanic. Unlike the other Factions with their own sets of Tactical Objectives, the DeathWatch get three possible sets to replace the 11-16 in the deck, and get to select which at the start of each Game. The Secundus would probably be my default choice, but against someone with lots of Elites and Characters, the Primaris are cool, and the Tertius provide a couple of extra targeting FA and HS.

Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

*It's unclear whether or not you can take a single option from the list multiple times. If you can, you can get an absolute shitload of Librarians in Kill Teams.

No comments:

Post a Comment