Thursday, 29 June 2017

Battle Report 103- 2000 pts Deathwatch vs Primaris Marines/Astra Militarum

This week's battle report sees my Deathwatch take on Will's Primaris Marines with Astra Militarum allies. 

My second 8th edition battle report saw me bulk my army out to 2000 points. I was working on a list for Caledonian Revolution, so was keen to try out my army and see how it would perform. The game was the Scouring. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment- 6 Command Points
Watch Master- Guardian Spear (WM)
Librarian- Force Sword, Bolt Pistol (L)
Kill Team 1- 5 Veterans with Stalker Boltguns, Terminator with Power Fist, Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher (KT1)
Kill Team 2- 5 Veterans with 2 Frag Cannons (KT2)
Kill Team 3- 5 Veterans, Terminators with Assault Cannon and Power Fist (KT3)
Kill Team 4- Black Shield with Power Sword, Sergeant with Power Sword, Heavy Thunder Hammer, two Veterans with Power Swords, Vanguard Veteran with Pair of Lightning Claws (KT4)
3 Bikers- Teleport Homer, Power Axe, 2 Power Swords (DB1)
3 Bikers- Teleport Homer, Power Maul, 2 Power Swords (DB2)
3 Bikers- Teleport Homer, Power Maul, 2 Power Swords (DB3)
5 Vanguard Veterans- 2 Pairs lightning Claws, 2 Heavy Thunder Hammers (VV)
Rhino- Storm Bolter (R)
Dreadnought- Heavy Flamer, Assault Cannon (D)
Corvus Blackstar- Auspex Array, Hurricane Bolter (CB)

The assault Kill Team, Watch Master and Librarian would go in the Corvus. Hopefully, it would get them quickly into combat to tear up the enemy army. The Vanguard would most likely go in reserve to grab objectives or assault the enemy. Three units of Bikers would give me some good mobility in the army, with two further Kill Teams (with additional Terminator) to give me some objective holders. 

Will's army consisted of:
Captain in Gravis Armour (C)
Primaris Lieutenant (L)
Intercessor Squad- Sergeant (IS1)
Intercessor Squad- Sergeant (IS2)
Primaris Ancient (A)
Inceptor Squad- Sergeant (Inc)
Hellblaster Squad- Sergeant (HS1)
Hellblaster Squad- Sergeant (HS2)

Company Commander- Power Fist, Bolt Pistol (CC)
Command Squad- 3 Meltaguns (CS)
Master of Ordnance (MoO)
3 Basilisks (B1, B2 and B3)
Wyvern (W)
Hydra (H)
Deathstrike (D)
Eversor Assassin (E)

4 Command Points

Quite a lot of artillery in Will's army, plus I would get to face the Primaris Marines for the first time. His warlord was the Captain and he took the 6+ save for each wound as his warlord trait.

The scenario was to be the Scouring, where my fast attack bikes would give up extra victory points, but would also get a nice form of objective secured. We placed the objectives as shown below:

We rolled for deployment zones and got Dawn of War. I chose my side and Will started deploying his units. The deployment order was:
  1. Dreadnought
  2. Wyvern
  3. Deathwatch Bikes (RHS)
  4. Deathstrike
  5. Rhino
  6. Hydra
  7. Kill Team 3
  8. Basilisks
  9. Vanguard Veterans (Reserve)
  10. Master of Ordnance
  11. Kill Team 1
  12. Company Commander
  13. Deathwatch Bikers (RHS)
  14. Command Squad
  15. Deathwatch Bikers (RHS)
  16. Eversor Assassin (Reserve)
  17. Corvus Blackstar
  18. Rest of Will's army

I placed the two Kill Teams with Terminators in cover to help with their armour saves, with the teleport homers placed next to the objectives, so that I could teleport onto them if I needed to. I focused on the right hand flank, placing two unit of Bikers, the Rhino and the Dreadnought to advance and silence the artillery. On the left flank, I put one Bike unit and the Corvus went in the middle. The Vanguard Veterans went into reserve. I put my three teleport homers next to the objectives in or near my deployment zone.

Will deployed the artillery tanks at the very back of his deployment zone. He then focused the infantry on his left flank, but kept the Assassin in reserve.

Will failed to seize the initiative, but used a Command Point re-roll and was successful in seizing on the re-roll. Damn those Command Points!


The Primaris battle line readied itself, with no movement occurring on the front line as the artillery tanks prepared to fire.

The Hydra opened fire on the Corvus Blackstar. The powerful anti-air shells hammered the Deathwatch flyer, wounding it once and causing two damage. The Hydra's Heavy Bolter fired at the central Kill Team, but caused no damage.

The Basilisks split their fire between the three Deathwatch Bike Squads. Two of the artillery tanks failed to cause any damage (thanks to some poor rolls by Will), but the third managed to kill two of the Bikers in the squad to the right. The three Heavy Bolters from the tanks fired at Kill Team 1, but failed to slay any thanks to the protection of the cover.

The Wyvern fired at the Dreadnought. The Wyvern gets 4D6 shots at its target, but Will managed to roll three 1's, meaning that it only caused a single wound, which was saved. I was quite fearful of the artillery, but thanks to Will's luck, they were not really causing much damage to my troops.

The Primaris units opened fire on the Kill Teams in front of them, but failed to cause any damage.

Finally, the Master of Ordnance directed a strike against the Dreadnought, wounding it twice.

With that, Will's first turn was over. Not as effective as I'm sure he had hoped it would be.


The mobile elements of the Deathwatch army advanced; the right flank advancing on the Primaris Marines in the ruins, while the Corvus sped towards the enemy Basilisks. On the left flank, the Deathwatch guided their Bikes through the ruins, as the Vanguard Veterans landed in front of the Basilisks.

Kill Team one fired on the Basilisk in front of them. The Terminator's missiles struck one of the vehicles, putting four wounds on it. The Stalker Bolters of the squad had no effect on the vehicle. The Central Kill Team fired at the Hydra, wounding it once with their Bolters.

The Corvus Blackstar opened fire on the Hydra. The Assault Cannon only managed a single wound on the vehicle, while one of the Stormstrike Missiles took another 3 wounds. The flyer fired its Hurricane Bolters at the Master of Ordnance, wounding him three times and leaving him on one wound. The Dreadnought also fired at the Hydra, wounding it once. The Hydra was damaged, making it more difficult for it to hit the Corvus the following turn.

The Bikers opened fire at the Primaris Marines in front of them, each squad wounding the enemy Marines once on either flank.

The Vanguard Veterans attempted to charge the middle Basilisk. The overwatch fire caused a single wound, which I managed to save on a 5+. Unfortunately, the squad did not make the charge distance, even with a re-roll from one of my Command Points. This left the Vanguard Veterans in a precarious position.


The two Hellblaster squads moved out of cover to target the Deathwatch, the three Primaris characters moving to support the squad targeting the Corvus Blackstar. The Company Commander moved towards the Vanguard Veterans, as the Command Squad broke cover to advance on the Deathwatch Bikers.
The Inceptor Squad and Assassin arrived from reserves, deploying in the Deathwatch deployment zone.

The Hydra opened fire at the Corvus Blackstar, wounding it twice despite the diminished accuracy of its Autocannon fire. The Hellblaster squad targeted the enemy fire with their overcharged Plasma Guns. The squad punished the Corvus with their firepower, taking 10 wounds from it for the loss of a single Primaris Marine, destroying the enemy flyer. The re-rolls from the nearby Captain were key here, as Will would have been losing Marines on a roll of a 1 or 2 to hit. The Kill Team, Librarian and Watch Master disembarked from the wreckage, fortunate that none were slain.

The Company Commander hurled a Frag Grenade at the Kill Team now in front of him, but failed to cause any damage.

On the right flank, the Command Squad fired their Meltaguns at the Bikers, but only managed a single wound on one Biker. The Primaris Marines added their firepower, slaying one of the Bikers.

On the other flank, the Hellblaster Squad fired at the Rhino. This time, the Deathwatch vehicle fared a little better and only lost 4 wounds. The Primaris Marines in the ruins fired at the Bikers in front of them, wounding three times. I failed two of my three saves and a single Biker perished.

The Inceptor Squad opened fire at the Dreadnought, wounding it twice with their Assault Bolters. The Wyvern added its firepower and succeeded in wounding it once.

The Basilisks opened fire on their targets. One fired at the Dreadnought, but failed to cause any harm. Another fired at the Kill Team from the Corvus Blackstar, killing one of the squad. The third fired at the same Kill Team, but failed to cause any damage.

In the assault phase, the Assassin managed a 13" charge on the Kill Team, suffering no overwatch damage as he advanced (the Eversor gets to assault 3D6"). The Company Commander assaulted the Kill Team in front of him. In addition, the Command Squad assaulted the Vanguard Veterans.

The Assassin struck at the Kill Team, killing three of the squad. In reply, the Veterans managed to wound the Assassin. The Terminator struck, wounding once with his power fist, but the lightning reflexes of the Assassin saved him from the blow.

The Company Commander struck at the Kill Team, killing two with his Power Fist. In reply, the lone surviving Kill Team member struck down the Commander with his Heavy Thunder Hammer.

The Command Squad attacked the Vanguard Veterans, killing one of the squad. The Guardsmen were easily cut down by the rest of the Deathwatch Veterans.

That had been a pretty brutal turn for the Deathwatch, as I had lost a number of important units.


The Watch Master and Librarian advanced on the Primaris Marines in front of them, while the lone Veteran with the Heavy Thunder Hammer moved up on the damaged Hydra tank. The Vanguard Veterans moved to engage the enemy Basilisks, joined by the Bike squad to their left.

On the right flank, the Bikes advanced on the Deathstrike, while the Veterans in the Rhino disembarked to target the Primaris Marines in the ruins.

In the Deathwatch deployment zone, the Dreadnought moved back to engage the Inceptor Squad, while the Kill Team engaged with the Assassin used a nearby Teleport Homer to escape from combat.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Smite, taking three wounds from the Hellblaster Squad in front of him. He then attempted to cast Might of Heroes on the Watch Master, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

In the shooting phase, Kill Team 3 targeted the Assassin, but some terrible rolling saw them suffer no damage. The Dreadnought fired at the Inceptor Squad, its Assault Cannon doing no damage, while the Heavy Flamer killed one of the squad.

On the left flank, the two Deathwatch Bikers fired at the Master of Ordnance, killing him. The Watch Master fired his Guardian Spear at the Primaris Marines, using his Vengeance rounds to penetrate their armour. He wounded once, but Will made his 6+ save.

On the right flank, the Veterans fired their Frag Cannons at the Primaris Marines. The Frag Cannons got 20 shots in total and wounded 15 times. Amazingly, Will made all but 2 armour saves (on a 3+) and only a single Marine fell. The Bolters of the rest of the squad accounted for another slain Marine. That was sorely disappointing from the Frag Cannons. The Rhino added its firepower, but caused no damage.

The two squads of Bikers fired at the Manticore, taking a wound from it.

In the charge phase, the Dreadnought assaulted the Inceptor Squad. He struck at the squad, but only hit with one of his four attacks (on a 3+!), killing one of the squad. The survivor struck back, but could not harm the Dreadnought.

The Vanguard Veterans and Bikers on the left flank assaulted two of the Basilisks, suffering no damage from overwatch. The Bikers were unable to damage the enemy vehicle, but the Heavy Thunder Hammers of the Vanguards were able to take 10 wounds from the central Basilisk, destroying it.

The Librarian charged the Primaris Marines. Will elected to overcharge his Plasma guns. Some fantastic overwatch rolling saw the Librarian pummeled with three shots, which slew him outright for no loss of the Primaris Marines. The Watch Master charged in as well, fortunately suffering no damage from the Plasma fire. He struck at the Marines, killing two of the squad. The Primaris Marines struck at the Watch Master, but were unable to get past his armour.

The lone Veteran assaulted the Hydra. Again, great overwatch fire saw the Veteran take two wounds. I failed one of my saves, and used a Command Point to re-roll. Unfortunately, I could not get that 4+ and the Veteran perished in the charge.

On the right flank, the Bikes assaulted the Deathstrike. The squad were unable to harm the enemy vehicle, suffering one wound as the Deathstrike attacked back.

The Veteran squad attempted to assault the Primaris Marines in the ruins, but failed their 5" charge. Fortunately, they suffered no damage from overwatch.

At the end of my second turn, this were not going well for the Deathwatch. I had only silence a single enemy tank and had taken severe casualties in the process. Some amazing overwatch fire from Will had seen my Librarian and Veteran cut down, where they could have turned the tide of the fights against the Hydra and Primaris Marines.


All units in combat fell back to escape the Deathwatch forces. The lone Inceptor Marine moved to the top of the ruins over the Dreadnought, while the two Basilisks, Deathstrike and Wyvern moved away from the enemy forces. The Eversor moved to the ground floor of the ruins, out of sight of the enemy firepower.

The Primaris Marines went on the attack. One Hellblaster Squad moved up to engage the Bikers, while the Captain and Ancient advanced on the Watch Master. The Primaris Lieutenant moved to engage the Vanguard Veterans.

The Hydra opened fire at the Vanguard Veterans, killing one of the squad. The Captain, Ancient and Lieutenant fired at the squad, killing one more with their combined firepower.

The Hellblaster Squad fired their Plasma weapons at the two Bike squads on their left flank, choosing to overcharge their shots. Four of the Marines killed the two Bikers, but lost one of their own number to an overheat. The last Marine fired at the lone Biker. He overheated and killed himself. However, the Banner carried by the Primaris Ancient allowed him to fire once more. This time he hit, but failed to wound. Will used a Command Point to re-roll the die, and succeeded in killing the Biker.

The Primaris Squad in the ruins fired at the Kill Team, wounding once, but failing to kill a Marine. The Wyvern fired at the squad, killing two of them.

The Inceptor Marine fired at the Dreadnought, taking a wound from the enemy vehicle. The other squad of Primaris Marines on the right flank split their fire between Kill Team 1 and the Bikers, but failed to cause any damage.

The Lieutenant charged the Vanguard Veterans, killing one of the squad with his attacks, leaving a single Marine left. The Vanguard Veteran swung his Thunder Hammer at the Lieutenant, taking four of his wounds and leaving him on one.

The Captain charged the Watch Master. He struck at the Deathwatch Warlord, wounding him 5 times. The Watch Master struck back, hitting with all 5 of his attacks, but only wounding once, which was saved by the Iron Halo of the Captain.


The Dreadnought turned its attention towards the enemy vehicles, while the surviving Bikers moved to target the Primaris Marines. The middle Kill Team used another Teleport Homer to move to the crater besides the Inceptor Marine.

The Dreadnought opened fire on the Wyvern, but failed to cause any damage. The Rhino fired at the enemy vehicle and wounded it three times, but failed to get past its armour.

The Kill Team fired their Frag Cannons at the Primaris Marines in the ruins. The Cannons hit 13 times, but only managed to wound 5 times, killing one of the squad.

On the left flank, the Bikers fired at the Primaris Marines. Despite hitting 6 times, they only caused a single wound with their Vengeance rounds, killing one of the squad. The nearby Kill Team fired at the Primaris Marines, the Cyclone Missiles of the Terminator killing two of the squad.

The Kill Team in the crater in my deployment zone fired at the lone Inceptor Marine, only managing to wound him once.

In the charge phase, the Rhino charged the Wyvern and the Bikers charged the Primaris Marines. The Frag Cannon Kill Team also assaulted the Primaris Marines. The Rhino failed to do any damage, but would at least stop the Wyvern from firing for a turn.

The Bikers failed to do any damage to the Primaris Marines, after Will made another 6+ armour save. Fortunately, the Primaris Marines failed to kill any of the Bikers.

The Frag Cannon Kill Team did a single wound on the Primaris Marines, suffering no damage in return.

The Watch Master struck at the Captain, wounding him once with his Guardian Spear. Will then chose the Lieutenant to strike, killing off the last of the Vanguard Veterans. The Captain then finished off the Watch Master.

Things were looking bleak for the Deathwatch at this stage. My forces were being quickly whittled down without doing significant damage on the enemy army.


The Eversor Assassin broke cover, heading for the Kill Team in front of him. Meanwhile, the Wyvern retreated from the Rhino.

The Deathstrike fired it missile at the Kill Team in the crater, killing all the Veterans and wounding the Terminator. The nearby Inceptor Marine fired at the Terminator, but was unable to kill him. One of the Basilisks opened fire on the Terminator, but was unable to wound him.

The Hellblaster Squad fired at the Rhino, destroying it with their Plasma fire.

The second Basilisk fired at the Kill Team in front of it, killing the Terminator with the Cyclone Missile Launcher. The Heavy Bolter on the tank killed one of the Veterans, leaving only one remaining.

In the assault phase, the Primaris Marines struck at the Kill Team he was engaged with, wounding once, but I made my save. In reply, the squad were able to kill off one of the Primaris Marines.

In the other combat, the Bikers struck at the squad, hitting twice, but failing to wound. In reply, one of the Bikers took a single wound.


The Bikers fell back from combat, hoping to charge into the Primaris Marine once more.

The lone Stalker Marine fired at the lone Primaris Marine, hitting twice, but I rolled a double 1 to wound.
The Terminator fired his Assault Cannon at the Inceptor Marine, but I rolled four 1's to hit, so only hit twice. Both shots wounded, but were saved by the Primaris Marine's armour.

In the charge phase, the Bikers assaulted the Primaris Marine once more, but failed to do any damage. I then used my last two Command Points to attack with the Kill Team in the ruins, hoping they could kill the Primaris Marine and consolidate into cover, out of line of sight. I then continued my rolling for the turn, only hitting with one of my 6 attacks! The one attack failed to wound, effectively wasting my Command Points.

The attacks back from the Primaris Marines failed to wound either the Kill Team or the Bikers.


Both squads of Primaris Marines fell back from combat to open up the last of the Deathwatch to the army's firepower.

The Hellblaster squad fired at the Terminator from the Kill Team and succeeded in killing him.

The Wyvern fired at the Kill Team in the ruins, wounding 5 times and killing one of the squad. The Captain fired at the squad, wounding them three times and killing another. One Basilisk fired at the survivor and killed him with his artillery shelling.

The second Basilisk fired at the Biker, wounding him once. The Hydra opened fire at the Bikers and succeeded in wiping out the unit.

With only a single Deathwatch Marine left, the Eversor Assassin charged in and put him out of his misery.

With that, the Deathwatch were wiped out, giving a win for the Primaris Marine and Astra Militarum force.
End of the game.

That was a brutal game, with luck swinging in both directions for both myself and Will. Even though the game was a loss, there were still some learning points for 8th edition for me to take into my future games.

1. Vehicles are tough. Trying to take out vehicles with infantry or in combat is an uphill struggle. Whereas in 7th edition, I could generally rely on a sergeant with Meltabombs to take out an enemy vehicle, this option is now no longer available. I think I should have focused on the infantry instead of being so afraid of the artillery in Will's army. I think I will need to add some more anti-armour firepower to my army if I am to stand a chance against any vehicle lists.

2. Primaris Marines are good. They cost only a single point more than my Deathwatch Veterans, but have an extra wound and a better gun in most cases. Though I do get the special issue ammunition, the Primaris Marines effectively get Kraken Bolts as standard on their Bolters. The Hellblaster Squads were also brutal, as their Plasma fire wiped out anything they targeted during the game.

3. Flyers are more vulnerable. The -1 to hit against most flyers is good, but that still means that most Marines are hitting them on 4's. They do get added wounds to combat this though. I think Will was incredibly lucky to take out the Corvus with his Hellblaster Squad, but it did die quite easily without doing too much.

4. Ruins are also good. Having his two Primaris squads on the first floor of the ruins pretty much prevented my Bikers from getting to them. This makes ruins very effective for blocking assaults from many of my units. This is concerning if I am wanting to run an all Ravenwing army in the future, as all my opponent needs to do is put squads on ruins to block my assaults. Also, opponents could set up objectives on the upper levels of ruins and prevent most of my army from being able to get to them. Hopefully, they might FAQ the ruins or implement a rule that objectives must go on the ground floor of ruins/terrain.

5. Command Points are fickle. Pretty much all of my command points were wasted in this game, as I did not succeed in a single re-roll that I used them for. My dice rolling did seem particularly atrocious in this game, as I was simply unable to make a save in ruins or wound anything on a 4+.

6. Teleport Homers. I think I forgot to remove then when Will got his units within 9". I will need to try and remember this for the future.

So that was an interesting game. It does not give me much hope for my army at Caledonian Revolution this weekend. Hopefully, I can still do well in the maelstrom games to give me a shot, otherwise I am looking at being tabled in most games at the moment. As much as I enjoyed using the Deathwatch in 7th edition, my first couple of games of 8th edition have not had me enjoying the army that much so far. Despite all the fancy special issue ammunition, I am struggling to actually do much damage to the enemy army in my games, as I simply don't have enough bodies on the ground to do the damage with the Bolters. 


  1. Nice to see some 8th edition battle reports. How are you finding it.
    One thing I did notice is that the eversor cannot declare a charge against a unit that is more than 12" away. Even though he can charge 3d6.

    1. It's early days yet, but I am enjoying 8th edition after my first few games. The game seems to flow a lot smoother, but is very deadly for many units in the game. I've pretty much been tabled in both games, whether that is due to me getting used to the game or a problem with the Deathwatch, I will need to wait and see.

      The Assassin was just over 9" away directly from the Kill Team, but we needed to add the extra distance for the first level on the ruins, making it a 13" charge. At least, that's how I think it plays.

  2. Very interesting game. I wish I could say "I wondered how Marines would weather against Primaris?" Gee, but I couldn't, nice to know. 1 point difference for Primaris, makes things tough though, good to see someone sussing out 8th.

    1. Yeah, they are a pretty powerful force now. Looking forward to adding some to my White Scars.

  3. I think you didn't focus fire on some targets enough and as you said the infantry were the danger. Cheers for writing it up and sharing it.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I'm playing my first game of 8th next week, with Deathwatch - I'm a bit nervous now! Never got a chance to use them in 7th. Bringing a couple of Razorbacks with lascannons for the anti armour, and will try out more mixed kill teams with vanguard vets, bikers and terminators. I'll see how it goes ...

    1. Have faith Richard! I actually changed up my list and played a game last night. It went a lot better. I ended up adding a squad of 4 Meltaguns in a Rhino and adding a couple of Frag Cannons to the squad in the Corvus Blackstar.

      It could just be teething problems with the army in 8th edition, but they will get a proper work out at the tournament this weekend.

    2. Cheers, I'll let you know how it goes!

  6. its great seeing all these reports and finding out how units play.

    my initial thoughts for primaris was to support my marines, but by the sounds of it my marines will be supporting them.

    any new tactics we should be aware of? one i have come across is maximising how you use the character bubble. some characters have gain the bubble from one unit to 6" and some have lost army wide bonus to 6". Special characters for one seem a little less "amazing".

    i have also noticed you seem to get a lot less in your army!

    the Primaris starter kit is about 1000 and seems a solid base to add marines to support it. my next game is not for a while (pesky kids!) but that will be the base i am going to use

    1. Cheers toonboy, glad you are enjoying them.

      Bit early for me to be conveying tactical advice at the moment, but there are a few things I have noticed:
      - Most characters are not powerhouses any more. I am still charging them into units of Marines and expecting them to wipe them out in combat, but often the squad is surviving and can cause real damage on a character.
      - Cheap power weapons are very powerful. I played a Blood Angels army last night, with Death Company squads loaded with power swords. They were chewing through my Marines quite effectively. Going from 15 pts per model to only 4 pts is a huge boost.
      - As I said above, tanks are very tough. You really need some dedicated anti-tank firepowers, as a couple of missile shots is not going to do it most of the time.
      - The re-rolls from the Watch Master are very powerful. Getting full re-rolls in shooting and in combat is great. He really adds a lot to the army I have found.

      Yeah, the small size of my force in 8th is a bit concerning at the moment. I have only really gone up against other Marines, so would be interested to see how I fare against a horde army. Not sure I would have enough firepower to deal with them quickly.

  7. Cracking batrep, enjoyed that. Good to see so many painted units on the board too!

    1. Cheers Dave! It really does make a big difference to have a fully painted force on the table. Looks good visually and inspires you to do well in the game. Not much luck on that here, though ;)