Saturday, August 20, 2016


I have been able to play a couple of games against this new monstrosity.  Space Marines have recently received an especially huge helping of awesome from the tables of Games Workshop in the recent months and this was not even on most peoples radar's, I don't think.

Like when Cult Mechanicus dropped, it was as if Games Workshop had suddenly gone to its vaults and said to themselves "now let's read some of these 20 year old fan suggestions and see what we might do next..."

While the Ordo Xenos has been kind of a fluff thing for a long time and has "officially" been part of the Inquisition picture, it has never REALLY been distinctive enough from every other Space Marine who hates xenos to make its actual existence very meaningful.

Nothing changed except for one thing:  Games Workshop decided to go ahead and make it distinctive to sell more models.  The result?

The flyer alone is worth looking into the Deathwatch For.  It's armor, weapons and general utility are impressive to put it mildly.  It fires concussion missiles, carries troops, AV 11 rear armor, Assault vehicle and Ceramite playing make it just as tough as the Stormraven just about.  It looks boss as hell and it is worth the price in points for sure.

The deadly Frag Cannons are just insane.  My Grey Knights got surprised on the drop to find that two of these had been installed in the units and they are STR 6, Rending Assault 2 weapons, so clumping is a terribad idea against them.  Making life more interesting yet, the army has a mechanism wherein it can drop a unit in on you and then bring a unit from anywhere on the board TO them, allowing you to deliver a massive amount of pain to any ones doorstep. The Relics are interesting, though the one that allows this is the most significant and will comer to be a hallmark of most competitive versions of this army.  Castling and waiting was my only answer to it and by and large it worked, but many armies are just going to get devastated by these weapons.

Another interesting feature is that the codex allows you to field singular Vanguard Veteran models or even singular Terminator models as units.  I have already seen what SIX solo Terminators can do with Missiles and Storm Bolters attacked for about 65 points total for each.  It's a REALLY smart idea for the codex and it certainly made an impression.

The codex is elite, and the number of models will be low as a rule but they hit so hard and come from everywhere.  Veterans are actually your troops choices making all your expenditures in the codex fairly spendy.  There are no rookies in this force.  Everything is Veteran or better.

Another interesting feature of the codex is that it features a bent towards killing things from a certain battlefield Role.  there are formations that specifically allow you to create a unit that can re-roll to wound and penetrate things of a certain Battlefield role.  This is a new take on an old theme:  excuses to twin link things.  The lethality of this when combined by the weapons and special ammunitions of the Deathwatch makes it a terrifying prospect to face and brings into sharp focus the need to have ways to work with reserves and to influence them.

The Skyhammer should consider itself on notice because even though the Skyhammer is very good, this might be better.  the shock and awe and re-rolling is going to make everything the Deathwatch shoot a sure bet to force saves if not outright ignore them.

"Lethal" probably isn't even strong enough a word to use.

It suffers the same problem as most elite armies but absolutely compensates for it by allowing MSU play in a way that no army I can think of does other than Tyranids (their Mucolid Spore + Hive Tyrant  + solo model combo gives you very similar results, which is MSU with super bad ass units to back them up and confuse priority) and the Tau Empire (with its monat suit drops from the Farsight Enclaves).

The point here is this.  The first game you play against this force, spread out in big circles and do not get caught off guard by the drops.  It is going to be a bumpy couple of turns before you start to see the effects of whittling their numbers down.

Color me very impressed with most of it.


  1. Good to hear actual game play against them. I'd imagine, like most elite armies, their achilles heel will be horde armies.

  2. well..they actually have a VERY convincing answer t ohorde armies. they can whittle one down in an extremely short amount of time. Just one of those units can END an entire 30 Gaunt unit or or group. the Overwatch is only slightly less horrifying. You have to shoot them to death. they are relatively small in numbers and their units are not cheap, so you have to hit them hard and play deployment shenanigns with them. Get them to show their hand before you do. Thus far, I am 3-1 against them. In all those fights, I was decimated. it's something to behold when played well.


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