Friday, March 4, 2016

What Codex Deathwatch should look like

So the new overkill board game and all the Death Watch and Genestealer Cult Minis has a lot of people talking about possible 40k rules and releases. There is some debate over what a Death Watch army should be, or even if they need a codex.
I wrote a while back HOW you can actually play DW right now using Codex SM (CHECK IT OUT! Seriously a great way to do it), but still, it isn't an exact fit. Do they need a full codex? Tough. Before I sat down to write this I would have said "A supplement is fine" but then I really did fill out a Force Org. Maybe a smaller codex, like Imperial Knights...

SO lets do a break down (all links are to Lexicanum)


Epistolary- The must have choice. The fluffiest of all the HQ Choices for the Army. Give access to some pretty wicked psychic relics and he will feel like he is a super Librarian, as it should be.

Watch Captain- Should have the Stat-line of a Chapter Master and any relics not specifically for buffing a psyker should make him a Monstrous Creature killing BEAST.

Chaplain- Standard Fair to round out the HQ choice. Maybe he gives "Preferred Enemy" versus all Xenos races?


Keeper Squad- These guys are your Veterans amongst Veterans. They have all taken the Oath of the Long Vigil and will be with the Deathwatch until DEATH. These guys should be a CC oriented squad in the army, pretty much working like and feeling like a Vanguard Veteran Squad. Maybe they come with Preferred Enemy: Xenos without having to include a chaplain or warlord trait. Maybe the true grit type rule below.

1st Company Veterans- These are the Terminators. They should work more akin to Wolf Guard or Death Wing terminators, allowing you to mix and match Shooty and Assault. Possibly give them special ammo like Sternguard/Kill Teams. Maybe Tartaros Armour?

Tech Marine- Upgradable to a Forgemaster perhaps, for a boosted stat-line. Accees to some crazy weapons, like a conversion beamer. No Servitors though.

Champion- Like the 30k champions or Space Wolves Lone Wolves, except give this guy Ind Character so he can also join squads. Maybe better to think of him as a mix of a Lone Wolf and an Emperor's Champion. Just a CC beast, who can go on his own or in a squad (eternal warrior mayhaps?) with some sort of spiffy strike at I AP2 sword. Fearless for sure.


Kill Teams- Essentially Sternguard Veterans. Special Issue ammo. Access to some pretty spiffy special weapon upgrades. Sergeant Upgradable to a ML 1 Librarian. Apothecary optional for squad as well, to get some FNP goodness.

Fast Attack-

Assault Team- A kill team with CC weapons and Jump Packs. I would say jump packs are NOT removable in this case.

Bike Squad- A kill team on bikes. Until OVERWATCH dropped, I wouldn't have even included this, but apparently they use them still. Maybe make a homing beacon standard on them.

Kill Marine- A single marine with Infiltrate, Scout and Stealth or Shrouded, and ability to buy a Teleport Homer or Locator beacon. Not an Independent Character. Fearless and the "True Grit" rule I listed below.

Drop Pods, Rhinos, Razorbacks- Standard fare. Maybe be able to get overcharged engines?

Heavy Support

Dreadnoughts- Since the DW rely on quick strikes, this is one of the heaviest things in their arsenal, thus the spot of Heavy Support vice Elites. Give it the Venerable rule automatically, and maybe some cool wargear, such as the Blood Angels Frag Cannon and Conversion Beamers.

Centurions- Since this is something all Space Marines are trained in as part of their vehicle training, it makes sense that the Death Watch would know how to use it. And they could easily have need of it, employing the heavy armour in lieu of vehicles.Maybe allow them to mix assault and devastator cents. Give their hurricane bolters special issue ammo.

Land Raiders- One of the few vehicles they would use, for storming only the most fortified of Xenos strongholds or to match the power of bio-titans.

Storm Raven Gunships- The instertion methods of choice probably. Small, fast and heavily armed.  Perfect for a single kill team. Maybe make it available as a dedicated transport? The fact it can carry a dread too is a big boon in this case.

Some additional concepts that would fit...

Chapter Master Special Character- Something new. I think it would be a really cool opportunity to choose as offbeat Chapter, like Exorcists, Howling Griffons or Star Phantoms, or something as to yet undefined in the fluff that much.

Other than the named Kill Teams from Overwatch...

DW Insertion Force- Storm Raven, Dread, Kill Team. Benefits: Turn 1 Arrival, can't be intercepted at a min.

DW Relic Guardians- Chaplain, Champion, Keeper Squads- Ob Sec like in the new Daemon Formation, where they can hold an objective even if them move off of it. Maybe some cool charge bonus when charging units on/holding objectives.

Some special upgrades
Black Shield- An option for a character. Gives them Crusader and Relentless maybe, as they have something to atone for?
Long Vigil- I am torn between saying this should just be like upgrading to a Vet Sarge and something more impressive. Maybe it is a table you roll on to see what skill they have acquired on their extended watch.
Suspensors- Makes a model with a Heavy Weapon Relentless.
Stummers- Grants a unit Stealth or Shrouded and Move Through Cover
True Grit- bring this back. Basically, allows them to assault after firing rapid fire.

As for a Detachment or Decurion style detachment, I am not. Best I can come up with is as I type this, so here we go

Death Watch Strike Force

Command- Captain, Librarian, Chaplain

Core- 3 x Kill teams

Auxilary- DW Armoured Det- Techmarine and 1-3 of LR, Dread
Auxilary- Boarding Force- 1-3 Terminators, 0-1 Centurions
Auxilary- Assault Force- 2 x Assault, 1 x Bike, 0-2 Storm Ravens

Can't think of more off the top of my head. Any ideas, post in the comments!

"WHY NO INQUISITORS?" You ask. Well simple. You don't need to include them in seventh. With multiple detachments making up a battleforged army, and codex inquisition having a SINGLE Inquisitor being its own detachment, you can just easily do that. There is no need to clutter DW with yet another set of Inquisitor rules.