Wednesday 17 October 2018

Thinking Tournament Lists for Warhammer 40k- Dark Angels/Deathwatch

I have a couple of tournaments coming up in the next month, as well as a few planned for next year. This weekend, I began putting together a potential list to try and for the upcoming events. ]

Most recently, I have been using the Dark Angels and Deathwatch as separate army forces. 

The Dark Angels army performed well, but did suffer a few drawbacks in the force. The army had no reserves, meaning they were susceptible to the enemy firepower, as everything was on the board. The mobility in the army was provided by the Black Knights and Ravenwing Bikers, who suffered a bit in the army. They have some good firepower, but really lack the durability to stand up to the enemy firepower. 

The Deathwatch hit hard, with the special issue ammunition and stratagems doing well to give them some strong firepower and some limited mobility. 

I thought that it might be worthwhile to combine the two armies to get the best of both worlds. The Dark Angels to supply a solid firebase and some strong Plasma firepower, while the Deathwatch would give me some reserves to threaten enemy units, as well as giving me a degree of mobility with their deployment options. 

So here is my first proposed army. 

Battalion Detachment (Dark Angels)
Primaris Lieutenant- Master-crafted Auto Bolt Rifle
Primaris Ancient- Bolt Rifle
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles
5 Scouts- Bolters
5 Scouts- Heavy Bolter, Bolters
5 Devastators- Heavy Bolter, Armorium Cherub
10 Hellblasters- Plasma Incinerators
Darkshroud- Heavy Bolter

Battalion Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Master- Guardian Spear
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
10 Veterans- 10 Storm Bolters, 2 Storm Shields, 8 Chainswords
6 Veterans- 2 Missile Launchers, 4 Stalker Bolters

Auxiliary Detachment
Culexus Assassin

13 Command Points

This comes in at 1998 pts. It has 13 command points (including the +1 for Azrael and -1 for the Auxiliary Detachment). With the 3 command points for the Teleportium Stratagem for the Deathwatch, this will give me 10 command points to use during the game, as well as the chance to gain more through Azrael's warlord trait. 

Dark Angels
The Dark Angels contingent should provide a solid firebase for the army.

The combination of the Hellblasters, Azrael, the Lieutenant and Ancient is a potent force in the army, as should be at such an expense. The Hellblasters overcharging and using Weapons of the Dark Age gives me the tools to deal with many threats, especially when they get into rapid fire range. Azrael and the Lieutenant should maximise the damage output of the unit, with the Ancient allowing them to fire if they fall.

The Darkshroud should help to keep them protected from the enemy firepower, when combined with Azrael's 4+ invulnerable bubble. I just need to remember to advance it each turn to benefit from its Jink save, as I often forget to do this.

The rest of the battalion should give me some good board coverage and backfield protection. The Scouts are great for grabbing objectives and giving me some board control early in the game. The Devastators are great for using the Hellfire Shells stratagem, hitting on a 2+ re-rollable if the unit does not move. The Intercessors are also great objective holders, with the extra range and AP on their guns, as well as 2 wounds each.

I decided to add the Deathwatch to help with my reserves and mobility around the board, rather than the Ravenwing Bikers.

The Watch Master, Storm Bolter Veterans and Intercessors have been a powerful combination in my Deathwatch army, so should hopefully provide me with a way to deal with threats in the enemy army thanks to their firepower and special issue ammunition.

The third troops choice is a unit of Veterans with a couple of Missile Launchers and Stalker Bolters. These should give me some long range firepower for taking on vehicles and monsters and another nice backfield objective-holding unit.

I've also added a Watch Captain with Jump Pack, Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer. He should be a nice character for going after specific threats in the enemy army. When coupled with the +1 to wound stratagems, he will be wounding most things on a 2+ and Knights on a 3+.

The Deathwatch contingent will hopefully afford me some good mobility and board control when they arrive.

In my Warhammer World GT games, the Assassin was a great addition. Not only does he help to shut down psychic powers, something this army is vulnerable to, he is also great for shutting down tough units in the enemy army. On being hit on a 6+ in most cases, he is great for tying up enemy units for several turns in combat until they are able to take him out.

I've initially added him to the list to see if he can perform a similar role.

I think this is a solid start for my new tournament army. Normally I like to play single faction armies, but I want to see how this would perform. It is Imperial Soup, but hopefully it is an interesting variant of soup, more Gazpacho than Tomato.

One area where the army might suffer is mobility on the board. Once the Deathwatch are deployed, they are not too mobile, so I may struggle with getting to the other end of the board to grab objectives. I am hoping that the Scouts can go after distant objectives in the first turn, before my reserves can arrive.

The other issue is that my list no longer has the Black Knights to act as a distraction for the Hellblasters. The Hellblasters are likely to face a lot of attention in the first turn. Hopefully, the combination of the Darkshroud and Azrael can keep them safe from the enemy guns for a little while.

The army has 15 deployment drops, which should be about average. I may have a good chance of going first in a few games.

One of the tournaments that I am attending is warfare in Reading. One of the restrictions is a limit to 10 command points only. Any extra can be spent on auxiliary detachments, so my Assassin is ok. However, putting my three Deathwatch units in reserve means I only start the game with 7 CP, which may not be enough with the army to use all the useful stratagems I need to use. Hopefully, Azrael can supply a few more as the game goes on.

What do you think of the list? Any upcoming tournaments you are prepping for?


  1. You’ve got a lot more tournament experience than me but target saturation would be my concern, making sure that you keep those hellblasters safe. It looks to me as though you’d struggle to crack open a mechanism list too, outside that one unit there’s not much anti tank, just a couple of missile launchers and the watch Captain.

    1. Yeah, that was a concern for me too. With my original Dark Angels list, I had the Black Knights and Sammael to act as a target on turn 1, now the Hellblasters are likely to bear the brunt.

      I think the army will do ok with armour in many cases. The Hellblasters will shred any vehicle when overcharging and with Weapons of the Dark Age.
      The Intercessors are also pretty effective against armour. With the +1 to wound stratagem and the Kraken bolts, they are wounding most vehicles on a 4+ at -3AP. With re-rolls from the Watch Master, they can do a fair bit of damage.

      One thing I was considering was making a unit of 5 Intercessors and 5 Hellblasters for the Deathwatch. I can deep strike them in and use the re-rolls from the Watch Master to double tap and do a fair bit of damage. This would free up some points to add to my Dark Angels, maybe some more bodies or some Landspeeders (been having some fun with these recently).

      I've not used the list yet, got a test game on Friday to see how they perform. I may change up the list a fair bit after that, depending on how they go.

  2. What about breaking the Hellblasters into two smaller units? Harder to lose them both to enemy shooting in a single turn, perhaps?

    1. That is certainly worth considering. The reason I like the big 10 man unit is that it maximises the effects of the Weapons of the Dark Age stratagem.

  3. Looks interesting, my only concern would be your soup analogies - Gazpacho is possible the most offensive soup in existence, and should therefore be reserved for the most offensively OP soup lists. I would go with mulligatawny - interesting, a little bit spicy but above all will leave you feeling warm inside once you eaten it - er, played it.

    1. Hahaha! What, you trying to step to my soup game?!?
      Diss my 40k skills all you want, but you best come strapped when you going after my broths!

    2. That's it! I'm calling it - SOUP-OFF!!!

    3. Rule 1- We do not talk about Soup club.
      Rule 3- Spoons must be a regulation 6".
      Rule 4- Don't be trying to bring that chowder shit up in this place.

    4. The Viking Longspoon may have been the terror of medieval all-you-can-eat establishments, but it has no place in Soup Club!

  4. Seems pretty solid to me! I would suggest if its ok to trade the Primaris Ancient for a Chapter Ancient. He is 16 points more expensive, but if there's room maybe he is worth it. Cheers and best of luck!

    1. I thought about the Chapter Ancient, but was limited by the models I have available.
      He does allow you to fire back on a 2+, but I figured with Azrael nearby for the re-rolls, a 3+ re-rollable and 2+ re-rollable doesn't make a huge difference.

    2. You're right! Azrael is a swiss army knife!

  5. nice list.

    my only comment would be you don't seem to be using the full benefits of deathwatch and their ability to mix squads and get bonuses from that. can move the squads around to get a few of the specialist ones in?

    i like the 10 man hellblasters, you can always combat squad them if necessary. is there any mileage in making them the heavy ones and never moving or having limited movement with them?

    finally a comment about the event with a 10CP limit. Why??? this stop people taking a brigade for a start as they may as well take 3 battalions and not have the compulsory choices. i appreciate that certain soup lists are causing issues but this seems one of those knee jerk rules without fully realizing the untended consequences.

    maybe if they reduced the points to say 1750 that would be a better way pf limiting the more "outrageous" lists

    1. You're right, I don't really use the Deathwatch mixed abilities to the best. I might add a Vanguard Veteran squad to the Kill Team. It does reduce the firepower a bit, but you get the option to fall back and fire at full effect. I tend to find the squad doesn't survive long after the initial entry, so have never needed to use the other options much.

      I might try adding to the Intercessors, but will be limited in what I can get painted in time.

      The command point limit is a bit odd to me. They had already limited it to one CP regeneration per turn before the FAQ hit. I think the organiser just really does not like command points. I would like to see the before game stratagems, such as Teleportarium be exempt and able to use extra command points.
      Some armies really need to spend these command points to function correctly and it is quite limiting to them.

  6. Looks good, but I suspect everyone will throw everything including the kitchen sink at the hellblasters. They are an obvious turn 1 target, especially when the deathwatch are off the board. I don't think splitting the unit up will help much as most good opponents will just split their fire from a unit between the two of them.

    Feels like you need another scary unit (but that may be me not knowing dark angels or deathwatch too well).

    1. I agree. I'll just need to see how durable they are if I go second. Hopefully, Azrael and the Ancient can provide some protection and ability to fire back.