Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Battle Report 102- 8th Edition, Deathwatch vs Black Templars

This week's battle report is my first game from the brand new 8th edition. This game took place at Heaton gaming club and sees my Deathwatch army facing off against Kyle's Black Templars. 

After checking out the 8th edition rules, I was eager to give them a shot in an actual game. I made up a 1000 pts list for my Deathwatch using a number of different unit types. Once I had my army made up, I calculated the power level of my army and Kyle matched it with his army. 

My army consisted of:
Chaplain- Crozius Arcanum, Bolt Pistol, Rosarius (C)
Kill Team 1- 5 Veterans with Stalker Pattern Bolters, Terminator with Power Fist, Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher (KT1)
Kill Team 2- 5 Veterans. 2 Heavy Thunder Hammers, Black Shield with Power Sword, Sergeant. (KT2)
Kill Team 3- 2 Frag Cannons, Vanguard Veteran with two Lightning Claws (KT3)
Rhino- Storm Bolter (R)
6 Bikers- 4 Power Swords, Power Maul, Power Axe, Teleport Homer (DB)
Dreadnought- Assault Cannon and Heavy Flamer (D)

Kyle's army consisted of:
The Emperor's Champion (EsC)
Crusader Squad 1- 10 Initiates with Bolt Pistols and Chainswords (CS1)
Crusader Squad 2- 10 Initiates with Bolt Pistols and Chainswords (CS2)
10 Devastators- 4 Lascannons (D)
6 Bikers- Sergeant has Power Fist (B)
3 Attack Bikes- Heavy Bolters (AB)

We rolled for the mission and got Retrieval. Kyle won the roll off to place the first objective, and we placed the four objectives as shown below:

I got to choose the deployment zone and chose Spearhead Assault, taking the side with the three objectives. I figured that the two Crusader squads would have a long slog to reach my lines, while my faster force with long range firepower would do well against them. 

The deployment order was as follows:
  1. Black Templar Bikers
  2. Kill Team 1
  3. Attack Bikes
  4. Dreadnought
  5. Devastators
  6. Kill Team 3
  7. Crusader Squad 1
  8. Rhino with Kill Team 2 and Chaplain
  9. Crusader Squad 2
  10. Deathwatch Bikers
  11. Emperor's Champion
I set up the Bikers far forward to hopefully get a first turn assault, while the rest of my army stayed back to see where the Black Templars would end up. 

As I finished deploying first, I got to choose to go first. I actually miscounted the number of units, thinking that Kyle would finish first, but I forgot that the Rhino and squads inside would count as a single deployment. Otherwise, I probably would have started with the Dreadnought and Frag Cannon squad further forward. I placed my Teleport Homer next to the objective on my left flank. 

Kyle failed to seize and I took the first turn. 


The Deathwatch Bikers advanced towards the Crusader squad opposite them, while on each flank, the Rhino and Dreadnought advanced on the enemy. 

In the shooting phase, the Deathwatch Bikers opened fire with their Bolters on the Crusader squad. Despite hitting 14 times, I only managed three wounds! The Vengeance rounds (AP-2) punished the enemy Marines and three fell. The rest of the Deathwatch were out of range of the enemy units. 

In the charge phase, the Bikers launched themselves at the Crusader squad. I failed my 6" charge, but decided to use my single Command Point to re-roll and make the charge. The Deathwatch struck at the Black Templars, killing four of the squad, while suffering no wounds in reply. 

At the end of the turn, Kyle failed his morale test with the Black Templars and the rest of the squad were wiped out, giving me First Blood. 


Seeing the Deathwatch Bikers decimate one unit, the Black Templars were quick to react. The Emperor's Champion, the second Crusade Squad and the Bikers moved to encircle the Deathwatch. The Attack Bikes moved up the right flank around the building there. 

In the shooting phase, the Devastators opened fire on the Deathwatch Dreadnought. Three of the Lascannons found their mark and wounded the Dreadnought. The armour of the Walker managed to save one shot. Kyle then rolled a double 6 for the damage on the two hits and the Dreadnought was well and truly destroyed. 

The Crusader squad opened fire on the Deathwatch, wounding the Bikers once with their Bolt Pisols. The Black Templar Bikers opened fire on the Deathwatch Bikers, wounding twice and killing one of the squad. The Attack Bikes added their firepower, killing another of the squad. 

The Black Templar Bikers charged the Deathwatch Bikers. Despite firing 16 shots, I didn't get a single overwatch hit. The squad made it in, quickly followed by the Emperor's Champion and Crusader Squad. 

The Champion struck first, slaying one of the enemy Bikers. The Crusader squad then struck, killing another of the squad. By removing the nearest Biker, I was able to take the Black Templar Bikers out of range, so they could no longer attack, even after consolidation. My Deathwatch Bikers struck back, but failed to do any damage. 

At the end of the turn, the Deathwatch Bikers had somehow survived, suffering no harm from their morale test. 


The Deathwatch Bikers fell back from combat, moving towards the Devastator Squad. As they are Bikes, I could still assault after falling back, so was hoping to tie up those powerful Lascannons in combat. 
On the right flank, the Kill Team and Rhino advanced on the enemy units. Kill Team 1 used the teleport homer to move up into range with their weaponry. 

Kill Team 1 trained their Stalker Boltguns at the enemy Bikers, wounding them once. The Terminator fired his Cyclone Missile Launcher, killing the wounded Biker. The other Kill Team fired their Frag Cannons at the squad, killing two of the Bikers, while the squad's Bolters failed to cause any harm. 

The Deathwatch Bikers assaulted the Devastators, one of the squad falling to a Lascannon shot in overwatch. The sole remaining Biker struck at the squad, killing one of them. The Black Templars struck back, but failed to damage the Biker. 


On the left flank, the Bikers advanced on the Kill Team just outside the Deathwatch deployment zone, while the Attack Bikes moved up on the Kill Team on the other flank. The Emperor's Champion moved to engage with the last Deathwatch Biker, while the Crusader squad moved up on the Rhino. 

The Bikers fired at the Kill Team in front of them, killing one of the squad with their Bolters. The Attack Bikes fired at the other Kill Team, but failed to cause any damage to the unit in cover. The Crusader squad fired at the Rhino, wounding it once, but failing to get past its armour. 

The Emperor's Champion assaulted the Deathwatch Biker, easily slaying him in combat. 

The Crusader Squad charged the Rhino. The squad struck at the enemy vehicle and wounded it once. 

The Bikers attempted to charge the Kill Team in front of them. The squad turned their Frag Cannons on the enemy Bikers, wounding them 11 times with their firepower and killing two of the Bikers. The lone Sergeant failed the charge as a result, but fortunately did not suffer any more casualties from the Morale phase.


The squad in the Rhino disembarked, moving towards the Crusader Squad, while the Chaplain headed for the lone Biker. The Kill Team supported his attack, advancing to get into range of the Templar squad. 

The Kill Team opened fire on the Crusader Squad with their Frag Cannons (I could fire after advancing as they are assault weapons), killing 6 of the squad. The second Kill Team fired at the Biker Sergeant, wounding him once. 

On the left flank, the Terminator opened fire at the Attack Bikes, the Cyclone Missile Launcher wounded one of the Attack Bikes and took three wounds from it. The Stalker Bolters added a further two wounds, killing one of the squad. 

The Kill Team charged the remnants of the Crusader squad and succeeded in wiping them out with their attacks, thanks to the Power Sword and Heavy Thunder Hammers. The squad consolidated behind the containers to avoid the gaze of the enemy Devastator Squad. 

The Chaplain charged the Biker Sergeant, but failed to take his final wound. In reply, the Sergeant struck with his Power Fist, taking two wounds from the Chaplain. 

I had planned to charge with the second Kill Team, but forgot that you could not assault after advancing!


The Attack Bikes moved across the battlefield to target the Kill Team, while the Emperor's Champion moved up to the Freight Containers. 

The Attack Bike fired at the Kill Team on the crashed Aquila, killing one of the squad. The Devastators added their firepower, killing the rest of the squad with their Lascannons (I could not make a single 5+ save to keep them alive). 

The Emperor's Champion assaulted the Kill Team in front of him, killing two of the squad. The two Veterans with the Heavy Thunder Hammers struck back, killing the enemy Warlord. 

The Biker Sergeant and Chaplain struck at one another, but neither was able to get past the armour or invulnerable save of the other. 

At the end of turn 3, things were in the balance. I had taken out much of the enemy army, but had lost a fair amount too. Kyle's Devastators were proving to be highly effective, killing anything they targeted. He had only missed with one shot over the course of the game so far. 


The two remaining Veterans moved up towards the Attack Bike, while the Rhino moved to secure the nearby objective and get out of sight of the Devastators. 

The Kill Team on the left flank fired at the Devastators, but failed to kill any, despite wounding them multiple times. 

The two Veterans assaulted the Attack Bikes. The two Heavy Thunder Hammers struck, but I only hit with one of my four attacks. It managed to wound one of the Bikers, but then Kyle made his 6+ save to deflect the hit! In reply, the Attack Bikes killed both of the Deathwatch Veterans.

The Chaplain struck at the Biker Sergeant, wounding him, but Kyle made his 4+ save yet again to deny me the kill. The Biker Sergeant attempted to crush the Chaplain with his Power Fist, but failed to hit. 


The Attack Bikes moved to help the lone Biker Sergeant, while the Devastators turned their attention towards the last Kill Team. 

They fired their Lascannons, wounding three times. I failed to make a single save and three of the squad perished. 

The Attack Bikes charged the Chaplain and wounded him with their attacks, leaving him on a single wound. The Chaplain struck at the Biker Sergeant, hitting once and failing to wound. The Sergeant was unable to finish off the Chaplain. 


The Kill Team fired at the Devastators and finally managed to kill two of the squad. 
The Chaplain struck at the Biker, but once again failed to wound him. In reply, the Biker Sergeant finally killed the Chaplain.


The Biker moved up on the nearby objective, while the Attack Bikes went after the backfield objective.

The Devastators fired on the Kill Team, once again wounding them three times and killing all three of the squad (I hadn't make a single 5+ save out of 6 wounds!).

With only a single Rhino left, things were not looking good for the Deathwatch. We rolled to see if the game wound end and it continued.


The Rhino fired at the Biker, killing him (finally!). That was all that happened in my turn. Kyle's turn was even shorter as he did nothing, his units already in position to grab the objectives.

With that, the game ended.

Deathwatch- 5 (one objective, Slay the Warlord and First Blood)
Black Templars- 8 (two objectives, Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord).

A win for the Black Templars.

Thanks to Kyle for a fun game and a great introduction to 8th edition 40k.

This game was a smaller affair than normal to give us both a chance to learn the rules of the game, but there were still some things I could pick up from it.

1. Just because you can assault on turn 1, doesn't mean you should! I think throwing the Bikers at the Crusader squad was a bit of a waste in turn 1. Even though I eliminated the squad, it left the Bikers exposed and they were easily cut down by the rest of the enemy army. It might have been better saving them to go after the enemy Bikers and wait for the rest of the Black Templars to come to me.

2. Lascannons can be brutal. Kyle's Devastators cut down just about anything he targeted in the game. They demolished the Dreadnought in no short order and were able to cut through most of my Kill Teams. Even in cover, my inability to make a saving throw cost me here and most of my squads were easily cut down.

3. Target priority is very important. I need to pay attention to the order in which I fire my weapons. I fired the Stalker Bolters at the Bikers first in turn 2, causing a wound. I then fired the Krak missile and wounded again. Had I fired the missile first, I would most likely have killed one Biker outright and wounded another with the Bolters.

4. Stupid Sergeants! That Biker Sergeant simply wound not die! My Chaplain was stuck in combat with him for several turns and was unable to kill him. I should not have advanced the Kill Team and used them to charge and try and kill him instead, or in addition to the Chaplain.

5. Deathwatch Bikers are good. With four shots each at short range, added to Special Issue Ammunition, this unit will be very valuable in my games, I feel.

So, a few lessons learnt in game 1, with many more to go. I actually have a tournament in just over a week, so will need to try and get more practice in with my army and actually come up with an army list for the event.


  1. Great report and good read. Thanks for taking the time to document the game and your thoughts. I may have to paint up that Devastator Lascannon Squad in my to-do pile...

    1. They were surprisingly effective against vehicles, considering how mediocre they could be in 7th edition.

  2. Great write up, Mike. By coincidence, I also played my first 8th edition game of 40K with Deathwatch. Happy with the results so far...esp. the effectiveness of the dreadnought now; though to be fair, mine didn't have to face down four Space marine lascannons! :) A teleporting unit of terminators is ugly now, for a change too...esp. with the new way teleport homers work.

    Keep on putting the xenos and heretic to the holy flame of the Emperor!

    1. Yeah, 4 shots each at short range is pretty effective now, I'll need to give that unit a go.
      Just a pity the Frag Cannon is less useful when arriving by drop pod now.

  3. it was a great game Michael hope to have another soon

    1. Thanks Kyle, it was a great game. Will definitely need to get another one in.

  4. Sounds like a good game! Just as a note, when it says that a Player "determines" the Deployment Type, that just means that Player is the one who rolls for it, not that they get to pick. It's on the page with the maps for the 6 Types.

    Doesn't really matter at this point who rolls it, but if stuff like the 7th Ed Raven Guard comes back, some Armies may have re-rolls or something that they can only use if they're the one who rolls for it.

  5. Hey Michael! Nice battlerep, thank you. I had my first 8th game yesterday with DW and if you like I'll share my experiences as you do.

    First of all, I can't figure out with witch HQ units I should play. Tested the Libarian yesterday. But he didn't make sende to me. The Marine Psychic Powers don't look useful to me.
    I don't like that the Libarian and the Chaplain can't use a jumppack. The Watchmaster seems kind of expensive. He gives you a nice bonus, but since you won't have many units next to each other, it seems like wasted points.

    Like you do, I was absolutely satisfied with the DW Bikers. 4 Shots at short range can be brutal.
    Like in 7th edition, I went with a unit of Stalker Pattern Boltguns. With their 36" bolts I had a shootout with a unit of longfangs. Was pretty impressive. Over 3 rounds I was able to shoot them down, while the Longfangs tried to shoot my Rhino and my Fragcannon unit.
    I played a unit with 3 Fragcannons in Rhino. Fragcannons with autohit are absolutely destructive!!! In two rounds I managed to kill around 15 Marines?! That Rhino gave me a good portion of mobility.
    Another match winning unit were 3 Vanguard Vets. I played them with 2 Hammers and one guy with Lightning Claw. I was able to charge a Stormwolf and managed to bring it down in one round!!!

    For my next game I think about replacing the Rhino and try out a Razorback with Twinassault cannons. Cause I thought about adding some far distance firepower.

    Next game I will show up with 2-3 units of Fragcannons (3 Frag Cannons each) in Razorback with Twin assault.
    1-2 Units of 3 Vanguard Vets with 2Hammers/Lighningclaws.
    1 Unit of StalkerBolter.
    1 Unit of 5 Bikes 2Powerax 1 Powersowrd

    But I don't know which HQ or HQs I should use. What do you think? What do you think about a Captain with Jumppack with joins the Vanguard?

    Best regards, Tim

    1. Hi Tim,

      Frag cannons are incredibly good. They seem to work well in the Rhino, but have been hampered by the new drop pod deployment rules to some extent.
      The Stalkers have been doing ok. The added range is great. I've been coupling them with a Terminator armed with a Cyclone Missile Launcher to give me some anti-tank firepower.

      So far for HQ, I've used the Watch Master, Librarian and Chaplain. The Watch Master is pretty damn good for me. The re-rolls are great for my Heavy Thunder Hammers as they only get 2 attacks and are hitting on 4's. I like the Chaplain, he is also good for combat re-rolls and a bit cheaper. The Librarian is ok. Smite is very useful, but the space marine powers are a bit lacking for me.

      I'm working through some lists for an upcoming tournament, but I've only managed 2 games so far, so it is really hard to see what is working in the army at the moment.

    2. Hey!
      Unfortunately the Watchmaster is too slow to go with the Vanguards. Do you transport the Thunder Hammers with your Rhino?
      I tried that single Terminator with Cyclone, too. But I think it might be to expensive.
      I guess it takes some time to find some good combinations. I will let you know when I am done with more games. Cheers!