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  1. #1

    Default Codex:Deathwatch Review from an unknown dude

    Ever since getting this codex 2 days, I've been tearing through it and coming up with lists like it's nobody's business. After going through it, I just felt the urge just to give it a quick review. Let's go over what was found.

    First off, this codex is such a cool fluff based army. Everything from shoulder pads from various chapters to the formations. I told a few people the other day that for whatever the reason if you want to go onto ebay and buy several marines, chapter specific shoulder pads (including the deathwatch ones), and many weapon bits for conversion of certain weapons, you can do it at a very cheap price (by 40k standards which I'll get here in a moment). The very facial appearance, to one degree, of where these marines come from and the wargear you give them adds to this affect. The various kill teams with mixed units is also evidence of the diversity and plays out well into your army. To say this is not a very fluff based army is like saying Michael Phelps is a terrible swimmer. It's absurd to believe that. So if you want to set up something fluff base with a competitive edge, this is it.

    What about the units and their rules? Well, for starters everyone in this codex is a veteran, so SM statline but have 2 attacks and leadership 9. Each squad is different in their own right, with Veteran squads as the backbone of the army (or because of the special issue ammo you could say sternguard squads but they're not because they don't have bolt pistols), and they get a wide range of both melee and ranged weapons. Where as Vanguard, Bikers, and Terminators are your elite and fast with more specific roles. Vanguard being you jump assault guys with Heroic Intervention, Bikers being, well, Bikers, and Terminators being your brutes, so no real changes except for one: you can only have 5 guys in each squad. To me, it makes sense, especially for the Kill teams, but that doesn't make them less effective. Vanguard and Bikers can take power weapons at a whopping 5 pts per model, whereas Terminators take them for free. Vanguard have the largest selection of melee weapons to choose from where Bikers are very limited (that also includes no ranged weapon options other than what they have already), but they get twin-linked bolters which also means re-rolls for special issue ammo, so some give and take. Plus Bikers have split fire and skilled rider special rules,. Terminators are really cool in this because, one, they're fearless, two, you can take 5 of the same weapons (ie 5 assault cannons), and three, this one is the coolest option, the powerfist with a meltagun. The only thing they don't get is special issue ammo, but honestly, they don't really need it.

    You also have your Dreads, basic SM transports, and Land Raiders, but the most interesting vehicle in here is the Corvus Blackstar. Although it does not have Power of the Machine Spirit, a bigger selection of weapons, and not being able to carry Dreads, for 180 pts, however, this is a pretty hefty flyer. Instead of Dreads, you can carry Bikers, and it's an assault vehicle (thank you sir, can I have another). The weapon options are ok, but it's the equipment you can put on that makes it mean. For 5 pts, you can reroll failed jink saves, and for 10 pts you gain strafing run (yes please). With 12 12 11 armor and ceramite plating, one could argue the Blackstar is just as good, or better, than the Storm Raven. The HQ units are pretty straight forward, especially when it's only the Captains, Chaplains, and Librarians, although there are a lack of some options on them, they can be easily forgiven. The Watch Master, on the other hand, is the most diverse. With a Chapter Master statline, these guys are rough, and prove a good point. Since they are Chapter Masters, basically, they come equipped with artificer armor, and with that said why can't all CMs come with artificer armor? It's stupid, but anyway, this guy really doesn't need much. He has the Guardian Spear that has +1 strength, AP 2, a bolter with special issue ammo, and you have a chance to negate an attack in assault. You also have the Clavis which brings down the statline of enemy vehicles. He can take a relic, like the relic clavis, but I personally believe it's not necessary. For 175 pts, this dude's already a bad***, and his model's awesome.

    Mission Tactics is interesting, and also fluffy. Being able the pick a Force Organization section (not a single unit, but the section that particular units are in) is good way for a small army like Deathwatch to be competitive. Changing one time, or a few depending on what you have in your army, helps give an edge if the army is smaller yet. Also, with Kill Teams being able to combine their special rules with Mission Tactics makes them very useful and deadly (although the Aquila Kill Team does a little bit of everything, where the other ones are more specific, which we'll go over next). The Kill Teams, IMO, are probably the coolest thing in the whole codex. Running as formations, each Kill Team has a pro and con. The pro is they all do something when wounding (rerolls), but not hits other than the current Mission Tactic. As I said, the Aquila Team does a little of everything, which means reroll to wound and armor penetration, but only on 1's. The other teams reroll any failed attempt to wound or penetrate, but it depends on which section it's targeting (HQ, Troops, etc). You can only have maximum of 10 models, but again, fluffy, and very effective. With mixing units in together, and not losing their special rules, I'd say Kill teams are worth it. So yeah, very much my favorite part of the codex.

    The codex is not without its drawbacks. The HQ units were the biggest let downs with a lack of options, like the Termie Captain and Librarian. There were more options for the power armor versions. The Chaplain can't even take Terminator armor. Also, no Heavy Thunder Hammers for any HQ (and to me it's the coolest and most hilarious melee weapon in here, with the rule pulverize: instant death on a 6 to wound). No bike or jump pack options hurts, too. I just think this was a missed opportunity to bring out the best in the HQ units. Also, no Preferred Enemy: Xenos. Maybe not as big of a deal, but they're specific purpose is destroying xenos. The last one is the small number, but that's expected with this army because they're all veterans. Despite this list, the rest of the codex more than off sets the down sides, so they don't appear as big.

    With interesting ranged weapons like the frag cannon and the Aliens inspired infernus heavy bolter to melee weapons like the "HULK SMASH" heavy thunder hammer and the xenophase blade, this is without a doubt one the best codices to come out in a long while. Another person and I are already making this a group project since we're kind of tired of working on the same armies we've been working on individually. So if you're looking for a fun, but both challenging and competitive army, Codex: Deathwatch is worth more than a look. I hope you guys enjoyed the review, and I understand a lot of you already had read over the codex or read reviews (or the leaks). I just figured it would sense for someone(s) not in charge of a forum to give their take on it. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    About the fluff - are there any bits of fluff about them fighting minor alien races? I did see a brief mention of enslavers in one of the screenshots but wondering if there is anything more meaty?
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asymmetrical Xeno View Post
    About the fluff - are there any bits of fluff about them fighting minor alien races? I did see a brief mention of enslavers in one of the screenshots but wondering if there is anything more meaty?
    Not really. There's mentions of other aliens and such, especially in the timeline, but that's all there is. No descriptions, pictures, or even stories.

  4. #4

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    Ah, thats a dissapointment, guess I won't be buying a copy then, thanks for replying
    Please support a Poor starving musician and buy my new album for only £5 :
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