Codex Deathwatch: Land Raider Achilles

Continuing to look at options for a Deathwatch army, another Forgeworld selection available to them is the Heavy Support slot option, the Land Raider Achilles:

-Like most Land Raiders, it has AV14/14/14 and 4HPs, plus POTMS built in. In terms of firepower, it comes with 2 x TLed Multimeltas (so good overall weapons at medium-short range) and a Thunderfire Cannon in place of the normal TLed Heavy Bolter (obviously, a significant upgrade which provides critical “artillery” type support to the Deathwatch, which generally lacks this kind of long-range shooting). On the disadvantage side, it can only hold 6 models and lacks the Assault Vehicle rule, significantly limiting its role as a traditional close combat delivery transport.

All that said, what really put the Achilles in a class of its own its special rule called “Ferromantic Invulnerability,” which makes it Immune to the special rules conferred to Melta and Lance weapons and which reduces any rolls on the Vehicle Penetration chart by a factor of -1 (so, basically, the only way you can get an Explodes! result on an Achilles is with an AP1 weapon that is either S9/10 or a weapon that has the Armourbane or Rending rules). Of course, Destroyer weapons are a significant threat, especially if you can get multiple shots of them per turn and/or if you get the luck 6+ result on the Destroyer table. Outside of that, and perhaps massed Haywire attacks, there is very little in the game that can efficiently bring down a Land Raider Achilles. Finally, the Achilles can upgrade with a Siege Shield like the one available to Vindicators (no other Land Raider variant can do this), which makes it immune to Dangerous Terrain checks (so, basically, an auto-take option).

So, given that it is not an Assault Vehicle and only holds up to 6 passengers, how can the Deathwatch make best use of this mighty War Engine? Fortunately, the Deathwatch are one of the best armies in the game at packing in tons of combat power into a small unit and making very dangerous “pound-for-pound” shooting and assault units that can actually fit inside an Achilles and take advantage of its amazing durability and superior firepower. Here are some examples I can think of:

 

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[1] Aquila Kill Team with 4 Frag Cannons, Black Shield (with LC/PF), and PML(2) Librarian and Technomancy – While expensive, this small Kill Team can ride around in the Achilles with the Librarian potentially buffing it with Ignore Shaken and Stunned/BS5 (Blessing of the Machine), AV15/15/15 armor (Warpmetal Armor), and/or IWND and restored HPs (Reforge), depending on what powers he rolls up. Once they are delivered to their target safely, the Kill Team can jump out, unleash 8 x S6 AP- Rending Templates (with re-rolls of 1s, thanks to Aquila Doctrine) to obliterate almost any non-vehicle/non-MC unit (if the squad does get into CC in later turns, they first get to Overwatch with 8D3 Frag Cannon “Wall of Fire” hits and then the Black Shield can lay down some heat with up to 5 LC or PF attacks at WS5).

 

[2] Aquila Kill Team with 10 Hand Flamers (two per Veteran) and Librarian with PML(2) and Divination – The goal here is to roll up Misfortune on the Librarian… if you are able to do that, then move the LR Achilles up 18” turn 1 (12” move + 6” Flat Out), shrug off any enemy shooting (except maybe D weapons), and then move/disembark Turn 2, cast Misfortune on the target, and then hit it with 10 Hand Flamer templates. Even though the Hand Flamers are only S3 AP6, the shear amount of wounds generated should hurt almost any unit, even without Misfortune cast, but if Misfortune is “on,” then you should be able to kill even things like TEQs, Centurions, Crisis Suits, Lychguard, etc by the pure weight of AP2 Rending hits generated (and, of course, T3 hordes would just evaporate to this shooting any ways).

 

[3] Three DW Terminators, all with Heavy Flamers and Melta PFs – A bit cheaper, but still dangerous and versatile, battle group here, these three Terminators could use the Achilles to get up close with their designated target, then jump out and hit it with either 3 Heavy Flamer templates or 3 Meltagun shots (with re-rolls of 1s to Hit, using the appropriate Mission Tactics). After they have shot, they can use their 2+/5++ saves to absorb enemy counter-attacks and then either jump back in the Achilles to “rinse and repeat” or foot slog forward and charge into assault with weaker enemy units to put their PFs to good use.

 

[4] Six DW Veterans, all with double Inferno Pistols – Another version of the “Gunslinger” build mentioned in option 2, this squad use the Achilles to safely get it in VERY close (either 6” from a non-vehicle target or within 3” for a vehicle that it is seeking to bring down, then unleashes 12 x S8 AP1 Melta shots, which ought to be enough to kill almost any Super-Heavy vehicle and even many MCs, especially with re-rolls of 1s to Hit due to appropriate Mission Tactics. Another expensive build here, but potentially a very deadly one for taking out a lynchpin enemy unit in sort of an “assassin” type unit delivered by the LR Achilles.

 

[5] Five DW Vanguard, two with TH/SS and three with PF/LC, plus DW Librarian riding inside the LR Achilles – The Vanguard use the Achilles as a mobile, AV14/14/14 “shield” to block LOS from enemy shooting as they move up field (i.e. basically hiding behind it as they move) and, once they get within charge range, the Librarian disembarks and casts Prescience on them before they charge, making their attacks much more effective/efficient. Of course, as with all the other builds, the LR Achilles can also lend its shooting to support this Battle Group, with the TFC taking on hordes/light vehicles and the MMs helping against vehicles/MCs/TEQs.

 

Finally, aside from the battle groups described above, I think there are several allies that can help maximize a LR Achilles’ abilities in a Deathwatch army:

[a] Grand Master Azrael – Not only can be buff the squad he is riding with via his flexible WL trait, armor, and close combat stats, but he can even give the Achilles a 4++ when riding in it, making basically twice as survivable (and even difficult for Destroyer weapons to bring down quickly). Of course, he would have to start the game outside the Achilles, but could quickly hop in Turn 1 and join the DW squad for the rest of the game.

[b] Iron Hands Techmarine with Servo-Harness – He can use his 2+ save to “tank” for the squad, plus his Servo Arms and shooting weapons to increase its combat power, but more than anything he can repair damage and HPs on the Achilles on a 3+, keeping it alive even longer if your opponent is able to “attrite: any HPs.

[c] Inquisitor Hector Rex – One of the Forgeworld HQ options from Codex: Inquisition, he comes stock with a 2+/3++ save, plus solid close combat abilities (especially against Daemons). Better yet, he is PML(2) and has automatic access to both Sanctuary and Hammerhand. This means you can jump him into a LR Achilles Turn 1 to join a 5 man DW veteran squad equipped with, say, 4 Frag Cannons and 5 Storm Shields and then, once they disembark to shoot with their Frag Cannons, he can cast Sanctuary to bring everyone’s save up to a 2++, making even this small squad much more survivable. He can also cast Hammerhand to make the entire unit better at close combat, in a pinch.

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There are probably many other options/tactics for integrating a Land Raider Achilles into a Deathwatch army, but these are just a few I have come up with to try and maximize their effectiveness within this faction.

 

Codex Deathwatch: Integrating the Leviathan Dreadnought

So, it looks like certain Forgeworld models/units are being added into the Deathwatch “cannon” of allowable choices (at least in a CAD or Allied detachment), which should provide a little more variety and flexibility to players fielding a Deathwatch list.

One of the new FW units available to the Deathwatch is the Leviathan Dreadnought as a Heavy Support option, which is nice since the only other HS choices they currently have are the different Land Raider variants, meaning that there is not too much competition for space in a CAD or Allied Detachment.

Look at the Leviathan, I think it actually fills in several of the “gaps” or weaknesses of the baseline Deathwatch line-up, particularly in terms of durability, close combat potential, and way to efficiently counter enemy Lords of War (i.e. Super-Heavies, Gargantuan Creatures, etc.) —

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[1] DURABILITY – With AV13/13/12 (so immune to S6 and below from the front, including Krak grenades) and 4 HPs base, plus built-in Extra Armor and 4++ save and the ability to upgrade with Armoured Ceramite, the Leviathan is easily the toughest non-Super Heavy walker in 40K, with these stats basically making it a walking Land Raider in every category except having AV14 armor (and if your DW Librarian rolls on Technomancy and gets Warpmetal Armor, then you can actually push the Leviathan up to AV14/14/13 stats, making it even more difficult to damage). Importantly, the Leviathan can take a Dreadnought Drop Pod, not only saving it from having to “foot slog” across the table to get into the action (and take multiple turns of enemy shooting along the way), but also providing an “outer skin” of protection via the Drop Pod’s Armor and Shrouding that the enemy has to remove first before they can actually begin damaging the Dreadnought itself. Just for reference, with Armoured Ceramite (basically a mandatory upgrade, IMHO), on average it takes the following to destroy a Leviathan:

-24 x BS4 Lascannon or Bright Lance/Dark Lance shots

-36 x BS4 Meltagun/Multimelta or Krak Missile shots

-18 x BS4 Railgun shots

-64 x BS3 High-Yield Missile Pod shots

-72 x BS4 Gauss weapon shots

-36 x BS4 Grav Cannon/Amp shots

-14 x BS4 Haywire Blaster shots

 

As you can see, it take some VERY significant firepower to bring down a Leviathan Dreadnought, especially when it is landing in the face of your army via Drop Pod turn 1. This is particularly relevant for a Deathwatch force because, number one, enemy armies cannot afford to simply ignore it because of its very potent shooting and close combat potential (more on this below) and, number two, because it can absorb a ton of firepower and attention away from the rest of your expensive and somewhat fragile DW squads/Kill Teams. Put another way, the Leviathan Dreadnought makes an excellent “anvil” unit to complement the “glass hammer” nature of most of the rest of the Deathwatch faction.

 

[2] COMBAT ABILITIES – While most dreadnoughts these days are actually quite dangerous in the assault phase, with 4 x S10 AP2 attacks at initiative in their base profile, the Leviathan takes this threat potential to an entirely different level. With the durability described above (i.e. AV 13, 4 HPs, 4++, and immunity to Melta rule), it can easily get close in with the enemy and shrug off everything from melta shots to Power Fist attacks, meaning your opponent will have to devote significant resources to dealing with it. On top of this, it has WS5, 4A base, and gains I5 and two Hammer of Wrath attacks (both at S8) on the charge, plus it has Move Through Cover and built-in Frag Grenades, mitigating two potential pitfalls when attempting to charge. Finally, for 1MB cost it can switch out one of its Siege Claws for a Siege Drill, giving you the flexibility to use the Siege Drill (S10 AP2, Wrecker, Armourbane) to rip down everything from fortifications to Imperial Knights OR switch to the Siege Claw (S10 AP2, Wrecker, Severing Cut – Every time an Unsaved Wounds is inflicted, on a 4+, inflict ANOTHER D3 wounds using the same profile) to devastate enemy characters, MCs, or even GMCs like Wraithknights and Stormsurges.

Combine all this and you have basically a “mini-Lord of War” style walker that can arrive turn 1 via Drop Pod and instantly begin threatening the enemy battle-line (NOTE: The Leviathan also comes stock with BS5, two Meltaguns, two Heavy Flamers, and the option to take up to 3 H/K Missiles at 3 MBs a piece, making a quite respectable at shooting as well). As I mentioned before, this synergizes very well with the rest of the Deathwatch, as they are able to apply very potent firepower themselves, particularly when the enemy’s attention is focused on the Leviathan. Described another way, because of how deadly it is, the Leviathan is the ultimate “distraction Carnifex” and can make quite a difference, both psychologically and in terms of raw combat power, in any Deathwatch force.

 

[3] LORD OF WAR COUNTER – I have already kind on hit on this, but one of the areas that the Deathwatch faction, surprisingly, have some difficulty with is dealing with enemy LOWs, short of suicidal Melta/Grav drops which can be risky and which the low model count Chamber Militant of the Ordos Xenos cannot really afford (unlike, say, Astra Militarum, which can throw away suicidal melta command squads like it is cool and not miss a beat). Even their Mission Tactics and Kill Team special rules, which cover pretty much every type of unit from the FOC, do not have a category for bonuses against Lord of War choices, meaning that Deathwatch don’t get any bonuses to off-set this weakness against the Super Heavies, Gargantuan Monstrous Creatures, Draigos, Ghazkhulls, etc. of the 40K universe. This is where the Leviathan comes in. When it first drops in, it can use its BS5 and meltaguns, plus and H/K missiles, to put a couple of wounds on an enemy LOW. Then, on subsequent turns, if it can get into combat with the LOW choice, the S10 AP2 attacks at WS5 and I5 (on the charge), plus the bonus damage via either Armourbane or Severing Cut, mean that the Leviathan can efficiently bring down even the mightiest Lord of Skulls, Wraithknight, and/or Ork Stompa, in turn removing that threat from the rest of the DW army and also freeing those forces to use their combat power on other, more viable, targets. Once again, I can see this as “force-multiplier” for DW commanders that goes beyond just the direct combat power of the Leviathan and which enables the entire force to function more effectively/efficiently as a whole.

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While I have not addressed the additional shooting options for the Leviathan here (i.e. the Storm Cannon and the Cyclonic Melta Lance), I think the Deathwatch already has plenty of capability in these areas from its own weapons (i.e. Frag Cannons, Meltas and combi-Meltas, CMLs on Terminators, etc.), so I have focused on the “close combat variant” of the Leviathan in terms of integrating it into the DW faction as a whole.

Since it is a Relic of the Armory, you can only take one per army unless you have a Keeper of the Relics, which FW has not “assigned” for the Deathwatch yet; hopefully they will, since fielding two or even three Leviathans as Heavy Support choices in a Deathwatch CAD would be highly effective, I think, alongside the DW Veteran squads and other units available to this faction.

Taken all together, I think the Leviathan Dreadnought is an excellent addition to the Deathwatch and, if used by a savvy commander, can mitigate many of their weaknesses while also enhancing the strengths of other units in the army.

Codex Deathwatch: Corvus Blackstar Tactica

So, I think the Corvus Blackstar is a unique enough addition, not just to the Deathwatch, but to the Forces of the Imperium writ large, that it rates its own dedicated review/analysis. Below are my thoughts on this new Flyer and how it fits into the Deathwatch faction from a tactical perspective (NOTE: For this review, I am assuming that Death from the Skies rules ARE in effect, since I anticipate that they will become part of the “core” rulebook next edition and so am trying to keep this article relevant in the future) —

-Corvus Blackstar (Flyer, Hover, Transport) – BS4 AV12/12/11 HP3 – Attack Flyer (Pursuit 3/Agility 2)

SPECIAL RULES: Assault Vehicle, Transport 12 (can carry Jump Infantry and Bikes)

WARGEAR: TLed Assault Cannon, 4 x Stormstrike Missiles, Armoured Ceramite, Blackstar Cluster Launcher (Bomb that can be used ever turn, not the normal Once Use Only, and can choose each time to be either S4 AP6 Large Blast [or] S5 AP4 Ignore Cover, Small Blast).

OPTIONS:

1 — Can replace TLed Assault Cannon with TLed Lascannon for Free

2 — Can replace all Stormstrike Missiles with TLed Blackstar Rocket Launcher (which shoots either 30″ S6 AP4 Heavy D6, Skyfire [or] 30″ S4 AP5 Heavy 1, Large Blast, Ignore Cover) for 3 MBs

3 — Can take either an Infernum Halo-Launcher (re-roll Jink saves) for 1 MB [or] an Auspex Array (gives Blackstar Strafing Run) for 2 MBs

4 — Can take any (or all) of the upgrade options from the following list: Searchlight, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon, single Hurricane Bolter)

Looking at the profile above, the Blackstar appears in many ways to be similar to the Stormraven Gunship, being a heavily armored Transport Flyer with significant fire support options, and a pretty hefty points cost, to match. One thing to note right off the bat is that the Blackstar can be taken as DT for a DW Veterans squad, meaning you field lots of them if you choose (and have enough points to do so). Additionally, if your are using a CAD or Allied Detachment, that grants the Blackstar “Objective Secured” which, combined with its ability to go into Hover mode, makes it into an exceptionally mobile, tough (AV12/12/11, 3HP, Armoured Ceramite, and the ability to Jink) “Objective grabber” mid-late game (remember, Fast Skimmers can move 12″, then Flat Out another 18″, for a net movement of 30″ in a single turn).

So, based on all this, I can see THREE primary roles for the Corvus Blackstar, based on how it is kitted out and deployed:


[1] MOBLE HORDE KILLER (TLed Assault Cannon, TLed Blackstar Rocket Launcher, Blackstar Cluster Launcher, Hurricane Bolter,  Auspex Array) — In this configuration, the Blackstar can Zoom over an enemy unit and Bomb it with either a S4 AP6 Large Blast//or//S5 AP4 Ignore Cover, Small Blast in the Movement Phase, then engage a different unit at 24″ with TLed BS5 (so 97% accuracy) shooting that includes 4 x S6 AP4 Rending shots, 3 x S4 AP5 shots, and a S4 AP5 Ignore Cover Large Blast. Against anything with 5+ Armor/Invul saves or worse, like Guardsmen, Inquisitorial Henchmen, Chaos Cultists, Chaos Daemon Infantry, Eldar Guardians/Rangers, Dark Eldar Infantry, Harlequins, Orks mobs of all kinds, Gaunt/Termagaunt/Genestealer/Ripper hordes,  Tau Pathfinder Teams, or Necron Scarab squads this can be devastating.

Put another way, the Blackstar in this configuration is a more powerful, more durable, more mobile version (but way more expensive) version of the Space Marine Whirlwind or Astra Militarum Wyvern, providing the Deathwatch with a long-ranged counter to being overwhelmed by cheap enemy hordes. If you can afford the points, taking two Blackstars with this configuration can be especially potent, since you can double-team your opponent with them and damage/destroy up to four separate enemy units each turn, which helps to quickly “clear the Drop Zone” for you follow-on Deathwatch “scalpel” Kill Teams. One more thing, in a pinch, the Blackstar Rocket launcher provides some Air-Defense capacity for Deathwatch that they generally lack, especially since they don’t have access to the AA tanks of the Space Marine Codex.

[2] HEAVY FIRE SUPPORT TRANSPORT (TLed Lascannon, 4 x Stormstrike Missiles, Blackstar Cluster Launcher, Extra Armor,  Auspex Array) — In this variant, the Blackstar could start the game in Hover mode on a Skyshield Landing Pad (giving it a 4++ save without Jinking) and engage a key enemy vehicle or Monstrous Creature with a BS5 TLed Lascannon and 4 x BS5 Stormstrike Missiles in an “alpha strike” role to either kill or mortally damage that designated enemy unit at long range. Turn 2, the Blackstar could switch into Zoom mode, continue to engage with its TLed Lascannon and Cluster Launcher Bomb, and carry a DW squad toward a designated target where, on Turn 3 it could drop back into Hover mode and disembark the squad to shoot and charge an enemy unit, as required.

This is kind of the “versatile” variant of the Blackstar and helps a Deathwatch army by providing long-range, high strength/low AP firepower that most of its units lack and still providing critical mobility options for the DW Veterans, Terminators, Bikers, Vanguards, and/or Kill Teams that they need to be effective in competitive games. Ideally, you would field this variant in pairs as well, but that would require two Skyshields, which means two CADs, which makes things much more complicated when list-building. You could start them in reserve and then, if both Blackstars came in turn 2 together, “beta strike” your opponent with 2 x TLed Lascannons and 8 x S8 AP2 Stormstrike Missiles, provided they came on in Hover mode and did not move more than 6″ (Fast Vehicles can shoot ALL their weapons if they move 6″ or less). This might be the Deathwatch’s best “organic” long-range option for dealing with Wraithknights, as BS5 means you will likely get 9-10 hits and S8/9 AP2 gives you solid chances of actually inflicting Unsaved Wounds on those T8 monstrosities.

[3] HEAVY ASSAULT TRANSPORT (TLed Assault Cannon, 4 x Stormstrike Missiles, Blackstar Cluster Launcher, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon Infernum Halo-Launcher) — Basically the “stock” Blackstar configuration, except with the additions of Extra Armor, Locator Beacon, and the Halo-Launcher, the goal of this build is to get your dedicated Assault unit into close combat at all costs, be it a TH/SS Terminator squad, Vanguard Vets with lots of PWs, or a Veteran Squad rocking SSs and Heavy Thunder Hammers. You can start in reserve, hopefully come in Zooming on turn 2, use your re-rollable Jink and “Hard to Hit” status to survive enemy shooting, and launch an assault on Turn 3, or you can try the Skyshield trick of starting on the board in Hover Mode, move 12″ + 18″ Flat Out Turn 1, rely on your AV12 and re-rollable Jinks to weather the storm of enemy shooting, and then Turn 2 launch an assault with your embarked squad. The Locator Beacon provides added flexibility to bring in other DSing (or Gates of Infinity) units precisely as the Blackstar dashes up-field and, once the assault unit has disembarked, allows the Blackstar to continue “pulling” in reserves accurately as it moves/shoots/seizes Objectives independently.

Using the Skyshield method (described above), you could even load up a heavy-hitting Allied assault unit (e.g. Space Marine Assault Centurions or DA Deathwing Knights or DA Black Knights or SW Wulfen or Sororitas Repentia with attached Priests or Inquisitorial Death Cult Assassins with attached Priests or GK Purifiers or Skitarii Infiltrators with Taser Goads or Death Company with attached Astorath) and then hopefully deliver them into combat no later than Turn 2 (the allied unit would start the game on  the Skyshield next to the Hover-mode Blackstar, then load into it turn 1 before it moves 12″ + Flat Outs 18″). The key advantage the Blackstar has here over, say, Stormwolves or Stormravens, is the re-rollable Jink save, which increases its save from 50% to 75%, making it much more likely to successfully gets its embarked squad into combat (Note: If one of your Psykers can successfully cast The Shrouding within 6″ of the Blackstar, then it becomes a re-rollable 2+ Jink save, making it all but invincible against anything without Ignore Cover shooting).


As per above, I think the Corvus Blackstar is quite a solid component of any Deathwatch army and provides many key functions that otherwise would be left lacking in a “pure” Deathwatch force. Of course, they are expensive points-wise, so you have to really have a plan to integrate them effectively into your army and battle-plan, if you plan to bring one or more Blackstars in your army list

Codex Deathwatch: Allied Cerastus Knight-Lancer

As I continue to look at the new Deathwatch faction and how to integrate them effectively into the competitive 40K landscape, I think take an allied Oathsworn detachment of 1-2 Imperial Knights would be a highly effective and synergistic mix. As I discussed before, one of the problems with Deathwatch is the high cost (and so low model count) of even its cheapest units, especially compared to other MEQ based armies whose “basic” troops often cost about half as much as a barebones DW Veteran (in this, I think Deathwatch armies are very similar to the old, 3rd/4th edition Grey Knight armies, which had pretty limited unit options and very expensive “base” models, but which had relatively high combat power potential in each unit). I addressed one potential solution to this high point cost/low model count with my recent post on allying in the Space Wolf “Wolfkin” formation to provide lots of cheap bodies for screening, board control, and melee tie-up, as well as distracting enemy shooting away from the pricey DW units (basically, the ‘Wolfkin” are kind of the Imperium’s version of Ork Boy Mobs).

The other problems I think Deathwatch faction players will face is the lack of potent, medium to long-range firepower outside of Razorbacks, Land Raiders, and Dreadnoughts with Lascannons and/or DW Vet squads with Missile Launchers (which is VERY expensive way to get a “Devastator equivalent” type squad), their lack of very durable assault units (outside TH/SS Terminators), and their somewhat limited options in dealing with Gargantuan Creatures like the very popular Wraithknights and Stormsurges of late.

One way to deal with all this is taking 1-2 allied Imperial Knights, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article. While you can find justification for taking pretty much any of the Knight variants as an ally to Deathwatch (the Knight Gallant and Knight Warden both come to mind), I think one Imperial Knight variant stands out:

-Cerastus Knight-Lancer — With a basic Imperial Knight profile of AV 13/12/12 and 4A base, the Lancer differs from other IKs in that it has special Ion Shield which cannot cover its rear arc, but gives a 5++ in close combat and forces Super-Heavy Walkers and Gargantuan Creatures to have a -1 to Hit in close combat attacks directed against it. Additionally, it can give up its shooting to run 3D6″ (so a max potential movement of 30″ in a single turn). Finally, it Shock Lance can shoot at 18″ with S7 AP2 Heavy 6 Concussive and can be used in Melee with Strength D AP2, just like most other Knight CC weapons, but it also grants +1I on the charge.

On its own, the Lancer is powerful threat that enemy forces cannot afford to ignore and thus can serve as a very effective “damage tank” to take opposing combat power away from your relatively fragile Deathwatch units and allowing them to keep dishing out their own combat power for longer. It also provides an effective answer to  LOW units, like Wraithknights, enemy Knights, etc. that would be difficult for the Deathwatch to handle on their own (i.e. if the Lancer inflicts an Unsaved Wound on a Wraithknight with its shooting, then Concussive reduces the Wraithknight to I1, allowing the Lancer to strike before it with a S10 Hammer of Wrath and 5 Strength D AP2 attacks, which taken together have a very solid chance of killing the Eldar GMC before it can even strike back).

In terms of synergy, the Deathwatch have exceptional access to Librarians (you can have multiples of these in EVERY Kill Team, if you want), which in turn gives them several options for force-multiplying the Lancer:

a) Invisibility — Obvious application here, an Invisible Lancer would be almost impossible to bring down before it charges into combat and even difficult to hit once it is in the Assault phase

b) Prescience — Being able to re-roll all of its To Hit (both shooting and assault) is a TREMENDOUS boon for the Lancer and makes its already effective shooting and devastating close combat abilities even better.

c) Magnetokinesis — Granting the Lancer a “free” move of 18″ in the Psychic Phase in addition to its normal 12″ Move and 3D6″ Run means it can basically be anywhere on the board at the end of Turn 1, ready to charge at will on turn 2.

d) Null Zone — Reducing a target enemy’s Invul Save by -2 combines very well with the Lancer’s shooting and close combat attacks, as it removes some of the only defenses those units have against the Lancer’s otherwise deadly offensive capacity.

e) Reforge — While not super powerful, repairing one lost HP and giving the Lancer IWND can keep it in the fight a bit longer, thereby forcing your opponent to dedicate even more combat power to deal with it (and, thus, less combat power they can use against your DW forces)

f) Warpmetal Armor — Along with Invisibility and Prescience, this might be the “ultimate” power to use on an allied Lancer. By increasing its Armor to AV14/13/13, Warpmetal Armor makes this Imperial Knight tremendously more survivable against both shooting and close combat attacks, with even S10 Railguns and Wulfen Thunder Hammers requiring 4+s to cause glancing hits on it.

Taken all together, I think a Cerastus Knight-Lancer, working in conjunction with MSU Deathwatch squads and/or Kill Teams, can make for a very effective, and hard to counter, combination in competitive 40K games, as well providing some balance to the weak areas of a Deathwatch CAD or Black Spear Strike Force primary detachment.

Codex Deathwatch: Xenos Hunting part 3 (or, how to beat ancient Zombie Robots with Lightning Guns)

Continuing with our look at how the new Deathwatch army can effectively deal with competitive Xenos forces, here is my take on how to build effective Deathwatch Battle Groups to combat the Necron Empire:


[1] Wraiths with Whip Coils that are part of the “Canoptyk Harvest” formation — Again, this is one of the classic “power units” that you can expect to face in a tournament Necron army. Right out of the box, Canoptyk Wraiths are already very potent units, being Fearless Beasts with S6 T5 and Rending for all their close combat attacks. On top of this, they can be taken in squads of 3-6, come with 2W a piece, have a built-in 3++ save, and with the Whip Coil upgrade strike at I5 in close combat. Not bad for 43 points per/model! What really puts them over the top, however, is when they are included in the “Canoptyk Harvest” formation and, using the Adaptive Subroutines rule, they can gain Reanimation Protocols for each friendly Movement phase that they start within 12″ of the formation’s Tomb Spyder. This gives them a 33% increase in survivability on top of their T5, 2W, and 3++ (which can be increased to 50% if they are taken as part of a Decurion or have a nearby Illuminor Szeras). Taken all together, this makes for super tough unit that is very fast and dangerous in assault, which means it is a real threat to any army, and particular to a Deathwatch force with its “elite” make-up and typically low model count. Below is my best take on how to deal with Canoptyk Harvest Waiths —

EAGLE BOW Battle Group configuration:

-Two Aquila Kill Teams, each with two Terminators (both with CMLs) and eight Veterans (all with Stalker Boltguns and Bolters).

The key here for the EAGLE BOW Kill Teams is to use their superior range/firepower to defeat the Wraiths at long range, before they can close the distance and get into assault. Starting turn 1, I would have both squads engage the Tomb Spyder at maximum range with their 8 x S8 AP3 Krak missiles (with re-rolls of 1s to Hit using Malleus Mission Tactics and 1s to Wound from Aquila Doctrine), which should reliable kill that Monstrous Creature in a single shooting phase (even with 4+ Reanimation Protocols). This removes any Reanimation Protocols from the Wraiths, making them MUCH easier to bring down in subsequent shooting phases. Turn 2, the Wraiths should still be moving up to try and charge, so you can engage them with the full firepower of both squads using their CMLs and Stalker Boltguns. With Venator Mission Tactics and Aquila Doctrine activated (for re-rolls of 1s to Hit and to Wound against the Wraiths), these two squads put out 8 x Krak Missiles and 32 x Stalker Boltgun shots with Hellfire rounds (so, wounding on a 2+). On average, this results in 31-32 hits, 30-31 wounds, and 10-11 Unsaved Wounds after the Wraiths’ 3++ saves, which nets about 5 dead Wraiths out of a max squad size of 6. Even if the surviving Wraith manages to subsequently charge one of the squads in the EAGLE BOW Battle Group, Overwatch should net about 1 Unsaved Wound, meaning that the PFs on the Terminators ought to be able to finish the last wound on the Wraith off in combat reliable (especially with re-rolls of 1s to Wound from Aquila Doctrine). While the EAGLE BOW Battle Group is quite pricy points-wise, the ability to reliable kill of a Canoptyk Harvest (minus Scarabs, which are relatively easy to deal with) at range is very powerful and, fortunately, can translate effectively against other Necron units or even other armies as well.

 

[2] Triarch Stalkers — While these Necron Walkers are not exceptional combatants in their own right, with only 3 S7 AP- attacks in combat and a single Heat Ray for shooting, they bring A LOT to any competitive Necron army via their Targeting Relay rule, which grants +1BS to friendly Necron non-vehicle units within 6″. On top of this, they tough to bring down, with 3HP, AV13 on their front and side (as long as Quantum Shielding is up), and the Living Metal special rule. Efficiently eliminating any Triarch Stalkers, somewhat like dealing with Tau Pathfinders or Eldar Farseers, can be key for forces seeking to “de-synergize” their Necron opponents. Here is my take on the Deathwatch can assassinate Triarch Stalkers —

PALADIN DRAKE Battle Group configuration:

-Dominatus Kill Team with two Vanguard Vets (both with PF/LC), two Terminators (both with SB and PF/auxiliary Meltagun),  and five Veterans (all with Meltaguns and Storm Shields).

The idea here is to use the Black Spear Strike Force “Sudden Onslaught” special rule to Deep Strike right next to the target Triarch Stalker(s) and light them up with 8 melta shots (with re-rolls of 1s to Hit with Dominatus Mission Tactics and re-rolls to Penetrate from Dominatus Doctrine), which should easily strip Quantum Shielding and kill even an entire squadron of 3 Triarch Stalkers. The Terminators can tank any non-AP2/1 firepower for the squad and the Vets can use their Stormshields to absorb AP2/1 attacks after this, so the squad is not on a complete “suicide” mission. In subsequent turns, the squad can shoot its Meltaguns again and then charge with 14 x PF attacks (or 8 LC attacks and 6 PF attacks), making it a significant threat to any Necron units that had previously been positioned near the Triarch Stalkers to take advantage of their Targeting Relay rule, be it a giant phalanx of Necron Warriors, Heavy Destroyers, or even Death Mark snipers. While the PALADIN DRAKE Battle Group is a more specialized build than some of the other Battle Groups I have proposed, against any army that relies on Elite infantry or heavily armored vehicles, I think it can be the Deathwatch’s more durable and more versatile version of Eldar fire Dragon squads.

 

[3] Doom Scythe — While perhaps not as notorious as Canoptyk Wraiths or event the Triarch Stalker, the Doom Scythe is a very potent Necron Heavy Support Flyer that presents a very significant threat against Deathwatch forces because of its S10 AP1 Small Blast Death Ray and multi-shot TLed Tesla Destructor, both of which can inflict multiple casualties on Deathwatch units every Shooting Phase. While the Corvus Blackstar (with the Blackstar Rocket Launcher) might seem to be the “natural” counter to Doom Scythes, I think actually the following Battle Group  might be a more efficient defense against this Xenos threat —

IRON PIKE Battle Group configuration:

-Malleus Kill Team with two Terminators (both with TH/SS) and five Veterans (four with Missile Launchers/Flak Missiles and Bolters and one with DW Shotgun and Bolter), all on top of a Bastion with a Quad Gun.

The idea here is that the entire squad starts on the top of the Bastion, with the DW Shotgun Veteran manning the Quad Gun and the Terminators up front to tank enemy shooting with their 2+ armor and 3++ Invuls. Once the enemy Doom Scythe comes in, the Veteran manning the Quad Gun engages it (thanks to Interceptor and Skyfire) with 4 x S7 shots. Using re-rolls to Hit (because the Quad Gun is TLed) and to Penetrate (thanks to Malleus Doctrine), he averages 2-3 stripped HPs (or 1-2 HPs, if the Doom Scythe opts to Jink). If you are lucky, this kills the Doom Scythe outright, before it can even fire, but even it does survive, it probably Jinked, so it cannot shoot its Death Ray at all and its Tesla Destructor is MUCH less dangerous. When your shooting phase comes up next turn, the remaining four Veterans can shoot their 4 Flak Missiles at it using Malleus Mission Tactics and Malleus Doctrine, removing an average of 2-3 HPs (or 1-2, if the Doom Scythe jinks again), which either way should be sufficiently to destroy it. Like the PALADIN DRAKE Battle Group above, the IRON PIKE Battle Group is pretty specialized against Flyers and FMC in the Heavy Support slot, but can still use its shooting against various enemy flyers or skimmers and, if required, switch to Krak Missiles against enemy Heavy Support Vehicles/Infantry, thus maximizing Malleus Mission Tactics and Malleus Doctrine.


Overall, like before, these are not perfect Battle Groups but, just like Tau Crises suit builds, they each can do a specific “mission” quite well against some of the more crucial elements of a competitive Necron army and yet still are versatile enough to be included in a Deathwatch faction “all-comers” list, I think.

 

Codex Deathwatch: Hunting Xenos, Part 2 (or, how to kill Blue Frog Gundams)

Shifting from Eldar to Tau, here is my thoughts on how the Deathwatch can handle some of the more dangerous units from the Tau Codex:

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[1] Riptides with Ion Accelerator and Early Warning Override/Stimulant Injectors  – One of the classic Tau “power units,” I would say it is rare to find a competitive list without at least one (if not 3-5, as some armies go all out with things like the Riptide Wing formation). The Ion Accelerator provides long range infantry killing power at critical S8 (so able to double out T4 and below) and AP2, while the Early Warning Override makes it a very potent defense against Deep Striking units that would otherwise be a significant threat (e.g. the GHOST EAGLE Battle Group riding in a Drop Pod I described in the counter-Eldar article). With T6, 5W, a 2+/5++ save (which can be improved to a 3++ via the Nova Reactor), plus the option to take a Stimulant Injector for FNP, the Riptide can be a challenge to take down, especially if you can’t use a Drop Pod alpha strike against it because of Early Warning Override. So, how would a Deathwatch army deal with Riptides efficiently? Here is my best take so far —

“PALADIN SPEAR” Battle Group configuration:

-Dominatus Kill Team with two Vanguard Veterans (both with PF/SS) and eight Veterans (4 with Frag Cannons and Bolters, 4 with Plasmas and Bolters), all riding in a Corvus Blackstar with the Auspex Array upgrade and TLed Lascannon/Stormstrike Missiles.

So, I think the key here is to not Deep Strike from Reserve (since the squad might get sucker-punched by a S8 AP2 Interceptor Pie Plate before it even gets to engage). To achieve this, the entire squad starts in the Blackstar, which itself begin the game in Hover mode on a Skyshield Landing Pad (you would have to take an allied CAD to get this, of course). The Blackstar moves 6”, disembarks the PALADIN SPEAR Battle Group 6”, and then the Blackstar and Kill Team shoot at the Riptide at 12” with 8 x S9 AP2 Frag Cannon shots, 8 x S7 AP2 Plasma shots, and 5 Lascannon/Stormstrike Missiles shots by the Blackstar (at BS5 due to Strafing Run). With Dominatus Tactics and Dominatus Doctrine activated, this yields an average of 5-8 Unsaved Wounds after both the Riptides 5++ and FNP saves, which should be sufficient to kill the Riptide outright in that one Shooting Phase. As with the other Battle Groups, the PALADIN SPEAR is specifically designed to kill Elites like the Riptide (or Crises Suits, Stealth Suits, Ghostkeels, etc.), but I think can be effective against other types of units, and even other armies besides Tau, with the Vanguard Vets providing “tanking power” up front via their Storm Shields and Close Combat capacity with their PFs, the Frag Cannons and Plasma Guns allowing engagements against all forms of infantry and medium-light vehicles, and the Corvus Blackstar adding mobility, additional firepower, and a rapid objective seizer as required.

 

[2] Pathfinders – One of the “cornerstone” units of the Tau army (if not THE cornerstone unit), Pathfinders are the most efficient source of Marker Lights for most Tau forces and often begin the game camped in heavy cover to maximize their survivability while “lighting up” (literally 😉 ) the enemy army for improved accuracy, Ignore Cover, and/or Strength D Destroyer Missiles. Thus, it goes without saying that removing Pathfinders efficiently is one of the top priorities for a Deathwatch army, so how can that be done? Without spending excessive points, here is my take on how to accomplish this –

“BOWHUNTER ” Battle Group configuration:

-Venator Kill Team with two DW Bikers (both with Power Mauls) and five Veterans (all with Stalker Boltguns and Bolters)

If the Pathfinders are in the open/not in cover, then the BOWHUNTER battlegroup can use Hellfire rounds, which causes an average of 7-9 Unsaved Wounds on the Pathfinders, basically eliminating even a max size squad. Alternately, if the Pathfinders are in cover, then the BOWHUNTER Battle Group can use Dragonfire rounds to ignore that cover, resulting in an average of 6-8 dead Pathfinders, which is still a significant blow to the Markerlight capacity of the Tau army. Since the Bolters and Stalker Boltguns all can shoot out to 24”, the BOWHUNTER Battle Group can likely sit still in terrain in their own DZ and take out multiple Pathfinder Teams (or other Tau infantry, as required) over the course of a game. If the enemy shoots back with AP3/2/1 firepower, then the DW Bikers can tank wounds up front with their 3++ Jink saves and, if for some reason the unit needs to charge, then the two Power Mauls on the bikers provide some anti-vehicle and anti-infantry hitting power. While this Battle Group primarily exists to sit and shoot, it can move and fire when required (thanks to the Veterans having both Stalker Boltguns and normal Bolters) and can deal with a wide variety of non-vehicle targets, thanks to their multi-purpose Special Issue Ammunition.

 

[3] Stormsurges – The new “heavy hitter” LOW option for the Tau Empire, this unit can really drop the hammer in shooting with Strength D missiles (with ML support), a multitude of long-range shooting options, and the ability to anchor and “double-tap” shooting. Like with Riptides and Pathfinders, dealing with Stormsurges efficiently is an important ability for any Deathwatch player facing competitive Tau armies. This can be a challenge, given that Stormsurges have T6, a 3+ save, FNP, the “Unstoppable” special rule, the ability to take a 4++ Shield Generator, and 8Ws! I think the key weakness of the Stormsurge is close combat, since they cannot fire Overwatch, only have 2 x WS2 I2 S6 AP2 attacks base, and cannot use Stomp if they are anchored. To exploit this, I think the following is an effective Battle Group for dealing with Stormsurges –

“EAGLE HAMMER ” Battle Group configuration:

-Aquila Kill Team with one Vanguard Vet (TH/SS) and six Veterans (two with SS and DE Shotgun, three with Heavy Thunder Hammers, and one upgraded to a Black Shield with LC/PF), plus an attached DW Chaplain with MB, all riding in a Corvus Blackstar with Infernum Halo-Launcher.

The EAGLE HAMMER Battle Group starts in the Blackstar in Reserve. Turn 2 (hopefully) the Blackstar comes in hot in Zooming Mode and, between forcing Tau units that do not have Velocity Trackers to snap shoot at it and its re-rollable Jink save (i.e. a 75% chance of ignoring Glances/Penetrating hits), survives long enough to position itself for Turn 3, where it drops into Hover mode, moves 6” , disembarks the EAGLE HAMMER Battle Group 6”, and then the Battle Group charges 2D6” (with re-rolls, thanks to Heroic Intervention) into the Stormsurge, which cannot Overwatch because it is a GMC. The three Storm Shields should be able to absorb the Stormsurges two S6 AP2 attacks at I2 and then the Battle Group piles in with 1 x S8 AP1 Melta Bomb attack, 9 x PF attacks and 9 x Heavy Thunder Hammer attacks, all hitting on re-rollable 3+s (thanks to Zealot) and wounding on re-rollable 2+s (thanks to Aquila Doctrine), which results in an average of 16-17 AP2 wounds and 6-7 Unsaved Wounds after the Stormsurge 4++ and FNP saves. While this is not enough to kill the Stormsurge in one turn, the EAGLE HAMMER should be able to finish it off in the next Tau player Assault Phase, thus freeing up the Battle Group at the end of the Tau player’s turn and allowing it charge another enemy unit in the subsequent Deathwatch player’s turn.

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Overall, while not perfect by any means, I think these Battle Groups are pretty solid against any Tau opponents and should be particularly effective against these “lynchpin” Tau units described above.

Codex Deathwatch: Hunting Space Elves

So, one of the first things that always comes up for competitive players in the current meta, no matter what army you are running, is how to deal with Tau and Eldar, as they are generally some of the most dominant and difficult factions to face currently. This is true of Deathwatch as well, both in terms of fluff (they are Xenos hunters, after all), and in terms of likely opponents they will have to deal with on the tabletop.

Today I am looking at how Deathwatch armies can combat Craftworld Eldar. More specifically, I am coming to realize that Deathwatch Veteran Squads/Kill Teams are basically the Imperium’s version of Crises Suits… highly customizable, very potent, especially in shooting, but still somewhat fragile, especially with the baseline MEQ profile (you will notice below that I took a page out of Tau player’s book and have started naming different configurations of Battle Groups based on their “parent” Kill Team type and weapons load-out; i.e. all Battle Groups based on Aquila Kill Teams have “Eagle” in the name, Battle Groups that rely on Grav Weapons a lot have “Ghost” in the name, etc.). For this analysis, I am going to focus on Veteran squads and Kill Teams that are part of a Black Spear Strike Force (i.e. in other words, they have Deep Strike and the ability to change Mission Tactics at least twice a game, potentially even more if you are running a Watch Master and/or have the “Vigilance Incarnate” WL Trait).

So, let’s take a look at what some of the most likely (and dangerous) threats the Deathwatch might encounter when facing the Craftworlders and, of course, how they might counter them effectively:

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[1] – Eldar Jetbikes with Scatter Lasers — For their points, these easily compete for some of the best, if not the best, Troops in the game, with amazing mobility (I think the phrase “Eldar Jetbike” speaks for itself here) and firepower (4 x S6 shots at 36″ and BS4 PER MODEL is better than many vehicles or MSU squads by themselves) and respectable survivability (e.g. T4, 3+ save, and the option to Jink). Since they are so effective, even in small units, many Eldar players run multiple squads of between 3-6 Jetbikes

So, how can Deathwatch efficiently counter MSU Windrider spam? Obviously, the ideal way is to hit them with mass Frag Cannon templates and/or charge them in CC (where they are horrible and cannot use their dangerous Scatter Lasers), but given Jetbike mobility and Scatter Laser range, this is likely hard than it looks (Drop Pods can help, but even those can’t get DW Kill Teams into assault and, for any units containing Bikes or Jump Infantry, they cannot be used). I think an ideal build is as follows —

“FIREBOW” Battle Group configuration:

-Furor Kill Team with 6 Veterans (1 with Frag Cannon, 5 with Stalker Boltguns) and Terminator with CML.

This squad can put out 10 x SX AP3 Sniper Shots, 2 x S7 AP3 shots, and 2 x S8 AP3 shots at 24″ range (or longer ranges, with the Krak Missiles from the CML) a turn. With Furor Tactics and Furor Doctrine activated when shooting at Eldar Jetbikes, that translates to an average of 10-11 hits, 8-9 AP3 wounds, and 4-5 unsaved wounds after Jink saves. Against that vast majority of Eldar Scatter Bike squads, that is enough to either wipe the entire unit out in a single volley or at least cause so many casualties so as to make it combat ineffective (especially when forcing the Eldar to Jink). While this “FIREBOW” build costs 230 points, it can statistically bring down 135 points of Scatter Bikes a turn, which means over the course of a typical 5-6 turn game, you could potentially eliminate five different 5 man Windrider squads, for a total of 675 points worth of models (or about three times the points value of the FIREBOW Battle Group). The advantage of this Battle Group is that it not only works against Eldar Jetbikes, but has the versatility to be effective against almost any type of MEQ based opponent, can threaten vehicles and MCs, is Fearless, can Deep Strike or ride a Drop Pod, can tank AP3 shooting with the Terminator, and has reasonable capabilities in close combat (Terminator PF, double Wall of Fire with the Frag Cannon, etc.).

[2] Eldar Wraithknight with dual Heavy Wraithcannons — Another classic “power” unit that many competitive Eldar players field, this GMC has buckets of mobility (12″ move and Jump Gargantuan Creature status), durability (6W, T8, 3+ save, FNP, and “Unstoppable”), and combat power for its points cost and can be very difficult for most armies to deal with, including the Deathwatch. Really, a player needs the ability to bring it down in a single “volley” so that the Wraithknight cannot continue to shoot and assault and so you can use the rest of your army to deal with the rest of the Eldar force. To accomplish this, I think one of the best options for the Deathwatch is the following:

“GHOST EAGLE” Battle Group configuration:

-Aquila Kill Team with 7 Veterans (all with Grav Guns and Bolters) and Librarian with Grav Pistol, “Dominus Aegis” Relic, and Divination discipline, all riding in a Drop Pod or a Rhino.

This squad puts out 16 Grav Gun shots at 9″ on the turn it disembarks. If you successfully cast Prescience, plus throw in Aquila Doctrine for re-rolls of 1s to Wound, then coming out of the Drop Pod or Rhino the GHOST EAGLE Battle Group averages 12-13 hits, about 9-10 wounds, and about 6-7 Unsaved Wounds on the Wraithknight after FNP rolls, which is more than enough to bring down the Eldar Lord of War with average rolling. In subsequent turns, the unit can engage other infantry targets with its Special Issue Ammunition or target another high armor unit with its 21 Grav shots at 18″ (provided it did not move), making it an excellent “forward firebase” unit to hold objectives and maneuver the rest of your army around. Additionally, if the unit stands still, then the Librarian can activate the “Dominus Aegis” and give the whole squad a 4++ save, making it much more durable against AP3/2/1 attacks. The entire GHOST EAGLE Battle Group comes in at just about 400 points, so VERY expensive for a single squad, but if you can take down a 300 point Wraithknight turn 1, then kill another squad or two the rest of the game, you will have made your points back and, more importantly, taken out one or more crucial elements of the enemy army, which has psychological impact all its own.

[3] MSU Warp Spider squads with BS5 (from Aspect Host formation) — Another very deadly, mobile unit that “pound for pound” outclasses most other units in 40K, Warp Spider squads have seen a large spike in popularity since their recent success in the tournament scene. With some of the best mobility for a non-flyer unit in the game, plus lots of S6 shooting (with quasi-Rending) at BS5, these Aspect Warriors are a threat to everything but AV13+ vehicles. To counter lots of minimum sized Warp Spider teams bounces around the board, I think Deathwatch have to “fight fire with fire” with min-sized Kill Teams of their own, as follows:

“EAGLE SABER” Battle Group configuration:

-Aquila Kill Team with 5 Veterans (all with Bolters and DW Shotguns) and two Terminators with Assault Cannons, all riding in a Drop Pod.

Upon disembarking, they use Aquila Doctrine and Venator Tactics to fire 10 Vengeance Rounds, hit with about 7-8, and inflict about 6 AP3 wounds, resulting in 6 dead Warp Spiders on average. The Terminators also fire their assault cannon, averaging 6-7 hits, about 6 AP4 wounds, and about 2 more Unsaved Wounds, for a total average of 8 dead Warp Spiders (or 152 points worth of models). Even against a 10 man unit, that should effectively neuter the Warp Spiders for the rest of the game, allowing the EAGLE SABER battle group to turn its attention to other targets (like additional MSU Warp Spider squads, for example). Again, the versatility of this Battle Group is nice, since the combination of Bolters and DW Shotguns enables it to deal with a variety of foes and the two Terminators provide strong tanking power and CC punch, beyond their effective Assault Cannon shooting.

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There are obviously a myriad of other Deathwatch Battle Groups that you can create/use, as there is also plenty of other dangerous Eldar units (Farseers, Hornets, War Walker, Wave Serpents, Dark Reapers, and Wraithguard with D-Scythes all come immediately to mind) to counter, but I think you would have a hard time going wrong with these three Battle Groups if you face Eldar opponents on a frequent basis.