Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Deathwatch Codex Review: Part 5- Fast Attack

Part 5 of my Deathwatch Codex review will take a look at the Fast Attack choices available to the army. 

Fast Attack
The Bike Squad got a nice points reduction from the index, going down to 29 pts each. That is only a couple of points over a normal Space Marine Biker, for which you get an extra attack and special issue ammunition.

You now also gain the ability to give each Biker a Chainsword as well as a power weapon, allowing them to go up to 3 attacks each in combat, a nice little boost for the unit. The Biker Sergeant also now has access to the Deathwatch equipment list, allowing him to take a Storm Shield, Storm Bolter or Combi-weapon as just a few of the useful choices.

I think the Bike Squad is a strong unit. With twin Bolters and special issue ammunition, they can put out a lot of incredible firepower at longer range or in at rapid fire range. I think they are a solid addition to the Deathwatch army and you are likely to see many of the units fielded.

From experience, they are a big threat to the enemy army and are likely to be targeted very quickly and wiped out if you are not careful. Now that they are a bit cheaper, running multiple units could be a good idea to make the most of their firepower.

Realistically, you are only going to get a single turn firing with the unit before they are quickly wiped out. It doesn't take a lot to kill off a unit of Space Marine Bikers these days and most armies can manage it pretty easily. They do add some much needed mobility to the army, so I think they are still a useful addition.

Deathwatch now have access to Primaris Inceptors. These are a strong unit with their Assault Bolters able to put out a lot of reasonable firepower at S5 and AP-1. The Assault Bolter does not get access to Special Issue Ammuniton, a real shame, as they would be incredibly powerful with access to this.

They also have the option to take the Plasma Exterminators, which are incredibly strong plasma weapons, putting out at least 6 shots in a minimum sized unit, with the ability to put out 18 shots if you get incredibly lucky with the rolls.

I haven't used the Inceptors yet in any of my Marine armies. At 45 pts per model for the basic version, they are pretty expensive, but do get some good mobility on the battlefield, are able to deep strike and can put out a lot of firepower at medium range.

I think they are a nice addition to most Marine armies, but don't do a whole lot for the Deathwatch on face value. In other forces, they can be used for bringing deep striking Plasma weaponry close to the enemy army. In the Deathwatch, the Hellblasters can fulfil this role using Stratagems and Relics, so there may not be much use for the Inceptors in the army.

They are of more benefit in a Primaris Kill Team, allowing the unit to fall back and still fire in the shooting phase. I think this is where you will see them more often, as this is a fantastic ability to transfer to the Kill Team.

Just a quick one today, as this is a short section of the codex. I think the Bikers are one of the big winners in the codex, getting even cheaper, gaining an attack if you arm them with a chainsword and allowing the Sergeant to take additional weaponry.

They are, however, a prime target and could be easily taken out before they can do much. If you want to keep them alive for longer, you will need to play them smart. Maybe not throwing them straight into rapid fire range to get blown away by the enemy guns.

Deathwatch Codex Review
Deathwatch Codex Video Review
Part 1- Special Rules, Relics and Warlord Traits
Part 2- Stratagems
Part 3- HQ Units
Part 4- Troops
Part 5- Fast Attack
Part 6- Elites
Part 7- Heavy Support
Part 8- Flyers and Dedicated Transports


  1. Some of the reviews go really quick with smaller Dexes like this! ;)

    For the moment, at least, my Bikers are relegated to use in Kill Teams, since I only have two of them. I want to get at least one more at some point, but my DW really aren't terribly high priority for me right now, so it's not going to be soon.

    1. Yeah, I managed to get this one done quickly, the Elites and Heavy Support will probably need to wait till after the GT.

      Fortunately, I already had a fair number of bikes built up, so won't need to add any more to my army at the moment.

    2. Combat squad those two bikes with thee vanguard vets for some fun...

    3. It really works out best with three Bikes and two Vanguard, but yeah, I'll probably end up doing something like that.

  2. I look forward to the rest as I have been tempted to start deathwatch as a cool elite force

    1. Glad you are finding them useful. You'll probably need to wait till next week for the rest. Don't think I'll have time to do them before the GT this weekend.

  3. I think that DW Inceptors with Plasma Exterminators might actually be a pretty solid "assassin" unit to drop in and eliminate a key enemy unit,
    given their in high damage output and innate ability to Deep Strike.

    Specifically, what DW Inceptors have over other "flavors" of this unit (i.e. Space Marines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, etc.) is Mission Tactics and the
    various "Doctrine Strategems" which can massively amp up their (already very significant) damage output. For example, if you dropped 6 x Plasma Exterminators Inceptors and a nearby Terminator Captain from a normal Space
    Marine force and overcharge their plasmas to kill an enemy Mortarian, you would have something like this:

    24 shots (on average)*7/9 (to Hit, with Captain support)*2/3 (to Wound)*1/2(failed Invul saves)*2(damage per shot)*2/3 (failed Disgustingly Resilient
    Saves) = 8-9 Unsaved Wounds total (or about 50% of his total wounds).

    On the other hand, if you drop in 6 x DW Plasma Exterminators Inceptors and a DSing "Teleportariam" Watch Master (who is cheap enough to do this with,
    unlike most SM Chapter Masters) and engage Mortarian with Malleus Mission Tactics and "Malleus Doctrine" Stratagem, you get the following:

    24 shots (on average)*8/9 (to Hit, with Watch Master support)*35/36 (to Wound, with Malleus Tactics/Doctrine)*1/2 (failed Invul saves)*2 (damage per shot)*2/3 (failed Disgustingly Resilient Saves) = 13-14 Unsaved Wounds total
    (or about 75% of his total wounds)... throw in a Flakk Missile and Hellfire
    Shells from a backfield DW Squad and you have just killed Mortarian (on average) in a single volley for the price of 5 CPs... not too shabby!

    Of course, no guarantees on the tabletop (this is just Theoryhammer, after all), but my point is that DW Inceptors can really be that "surgical strike"
    force for your army to take out the lynchpin of your opponent's army on turn 2 or beyond.