Monday, 28 May 2018

Deathwatch Codex Review: Part 7- Heavy Support

Welcome to part 7 of my Deathwatch Codex review for 8th edition. This part will take a look at the Heavy Support options for the Deathwatch.

Heavy Support
Hellblaster Squad
This is an incredibly strong Primaris unit, but are very expensive to field. Their Plasma Incinerators are a powerful weapon, able to take on a whole host of units and do a lot of damage if they overcharge their shots. 

The Hellblaster Squad benefit well from the Deathwatch stratagems, particularly the Teleportarium stratagem and Doctrines. The Teleportarium helps to keep the unit safe from enemy firepower, as well as allowing them to deploy in rapid fire range to get maximum effect from their Plasma Weaponry from the first turn they fire. 

The right Doctrine and Mission Tactics will also really boost the firepower output of the squad. They will be able to wound most units in the game on a 2+ when overcharging and using the right Doctrine, plus re-rolling 1's to wound with the right Mission Tactics. This makes the squad great for causing maximum damage to an enemy target, especially when combined with re-rolls to hit from a Watch Master or Watch Captain. 

I think the standard Plasma Incinerator or Assault Plasma Incinerator are solid choices for the Hellblaster Squad. This will allow them to get 2 shots each when deep striking onto the board. The Assault Plasma Incinerator is a bit less powerful, but can make the squad more mobile, as they can advance and still fire. 

The Hellblasters can also be added to a Primaris Kill Team. They don't give the squad any additional benefits, but do benefit from the stacking special rules in the Primaris Kill Team, as well as providing the Kill Team with some potent firepower. 

In the Primaris Kill Team, most of the weapon options are valid if accompanied by the right Primaris Marines. You can use an Aggressor in the unit, to allow the squad to advance and still fire their Assault Plasma Incinerators at full effect, or move and fire their Heavy Plasma Incinerators to full effect. 

In addition, the Kill Team gives the Hellblasters some nice ablative wounds to keep the powerful Plasma weapons safer, for a cheaper cost for the full squad. I think a Kill Team with 5 Intercessors and 5 Hellblasters will provide some strong firepower on the turn they first arrive. Accompanied by a Watch Master, the Hellblasters can overcharge their rapid fire shots in relative safety, while also using the Doctrines and Mission Tactics to ensure that their hits do maximum damage on their target for the turn they arrive. 

I think they are a powerful addition to the Deathwatch army and should prove to be quite useful in the force. 

Land Raiders
The Deathwatch can take either the Land Raider, Land Raider Crusader or the Land Raider Redeemer. This provide a nice, albeit expensive, transport option for the Deathwatch army to keep them safe till they can get close to the enemy. 

I prefer them over the Corvus Blackstar, as they are much tougher to kill and have more accurate firepower (thanks to power of the machine spirit). However, they are expensive and a big fire magnet for enemy firepower. 

They are a great way of getting your Frag Cannons into range in relative safety, as your unit should be able to fire them at close range after a turn or two. 

However, with the Teleportarium stratagem, there may be less need for the Land Raider in the Deathwatch army. It is very expensive for what it brings to the army, and you may simply be better spending the points on more bodies in your force. 

If I was going to field one, my preference would probably be for the Land Raider Crusader. It's higher transport capacity and better firepower would help the army out. However, the regular Land Raider can add some powerful and durable anti-tank firepower that the Deathwatch are lacking, making it a valuable choice as well, just expensive. 

Again, a quick one today. There aren't too many Heavy Support options for the Deathwatch to take advantage of in the army. I probably wouldn't bother with any of the options to be honest. The Hellblasters may be better folded into a Kill Team to gain some ablative wounds, objective secured, and to benefit from other special rules the unit can bestow.

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. I definitely agree on the hellblasters. Primaris kill team with 5 intercessors, 4 hellblasters and 1 aggressor seems like the way to go. Do you think any of the FW options are any good, such as the leviathan (that sounds quite scary to teleport in on the enemy!).

    1. I was also thinking of that kill team :)

    2. Yeah, that is a solid option for the Kill Teams.

      I'm not too familiar with Forgeworld unit options to be honest. They are not really something I use in my games. I have seen a number of people talk about the Leviathan for Deathwatch though, so it could be of some use.

  2. I think a special section would be valuable for this army, where you look at several good kill teams, and what makes them good, and what stratagems to use with them.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have a think about the choices and put something together.