This week, there were several posts from Warhammer Community about the upcoming Deathwatch Codex. This is one that I am really looking forward to, as Deathwatch were one of my favourite armies at the end of 7th edition.
I've been following the reveals with some interest, and here are my thoughts on what has been shown so far.
Special Issue Ammunition
These rounds look to be pretty much unchanged from their current incarnation. I would like to have seen a change to Dragonfire Bolts. These give you +1 to hit against units in cover. For me, the trade off of +1 to hit vs +1 to your opponent's save is pretty much a wash on Deathwatch Veterans.
The big news is that Primaris Marines will be able to now use Special Issue Ammunition on their weapons. This is a huge boost, making their weapons even more powerful. Intercessors will be great with the special issue ammunition, thanks to their boosted range and -1AP on their Bolt Rifles. This will make the Dragonfire Bolts useful, giving you +1 to hit units in cover and effectively negating their cover save thanks to the Bolt Rifle. The other rounds will also be very useful, the Vengeance rounds giving you -3AP at 24" range!
Unless Deathwatch Veterans get a big points reduction, I can see them being replaced by Primaris Intercessors in most armies, due to the extra wounds and attacks. As it is now, the Deathwatch Veteran is more expensive than the Primaris Marine.
The only benefit of the Deathwatch Veterans will be their access to a wider range of wargear and transport options.
Another reveal was the Tempest Shell stratagem. This is essentially Hellfire Shells, allowing you to do D3 mortal wounds with a Bolter weapon. This is a great boost, allowing most basic troops in the Deathwatch to do mortal wounds on the fly.
These look to be the "Chapter Tactics" of the army. You pick a specific battlefield role (HQ, Troops, etc) and get to re--roll 1's to wound against these units.
A nice bonus to have pretty much army-wide with the Deathwatch. Especially good when combined with the special issue ammunition that wounds on a 2+.
As before, there will be ways to change your Mission Tactics, either through the warlord's abilities or a stratagem.
I think these are reasonably strong, giving you good general abilities against any army. However, a lot of the Chapter Tactics/army special rules are more powerful than these. The -1 to hit, or ability to fall back and still fire are big boosts to many armies.
Primaris Kill Teams
You will apparently be able to form Primaris Marines into kill teams, much like the Deathwatch Veterans.
This will give you some great options and special rules. For example, Aggressors will allow a unit to advance and still fire their weapons. An Inceptor will allow the unit to fall back and still fire, making their inclusion very potent.
I can see me picking up a few more Primaris Marines to add to my Deathwatch force.
This post yesterday got me really excited. Some of the stratagems available look awesome, and I like that they are tailored to each Xeonos race.
The reanimation protocols ability can be very strong. It is so frustrating to almost wipe out a Necron unit, fail to do so, and see much of the unit come back in the following turn. This will seriously hamper the ability of a selected Necron unit to survive an attack.
This one has the potential to be awesome and cripple an enemy charge. If the unit is assaulting something with Frag Cannons, odds are you will be able to completely shut down an enemy charge. If only this applied to all enemy units!
Another fantastic stratagem for Dealing with Tyranids. This will allow you to target many of the synapse creatures that you cannot normally go after, such as the Broodlord or Malanthrope. Not only do you get to target them, but the wounding on 2+ shells will be a big boost for damaging them.
This is an interesting form of intercept that can target units with fly. Could be very useful in certain circumstances.
Another nice bonus for keeping your unit safer by removing markerlights from your unit.
The Doctrines are a nice addition to the army as well. These give one unit +1 to wound against a selected unit type. This would work very well when combined with the Mission Tactics, giving you re-rolls of 1's to wound. My first thought was using this on a unit of Meltaguns. You would be wounding most vehicles on a 2+ with the stratagem and getting re-rolls of 1's to wound. This should make a mess of any enemy vehicles quite easily.
Most of these stratagems are pretty expensive at 2 command points each, so I can see you burning through the command points very quickly. Luckily, the Deathwatch seem to be able to access the generic "regain command points" that most armies now have access to.
I'm looking forward to the release of the codex next week. The reveals have made me more interested in seeing what the codex has to offer.