Experimental Rules: Fixing Grav Weapons

As a frequent user (and abuser; my current 2000 point list can put out 70 Grav shots a turn) of Grav Weapons, I know how over-powered these weapons are in the current game and agree with many that, when 8th edition comes around, GW should find a way to make this a less “auto-take” weapon and rebalance how they fit into the overall game. Right now, if you really want to be competitive, no other weapon choices really come close (the DW Frag Cannon might be an exception, but even that is not as strong against so many targets as Grav Cannon/Amps are). Additionally, Grav weapons are pretty much single-handedly the reason that lots of iconic units like Terminators, Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, etc. are rarely used in the current competitive meta… thus, toning down Grav might allow for a “rebirth” of sorts for the competitive use of some of these units.

Now, Grav weapons do bring one positive to the game, namely they are a hard counter for things like Wraithknights, massed Riptides, massed Dreadknights, Stormsurges, and even certain types of Deathstars that would otherwise be almost impossible to deal with. Taking that into account, and considering the other heavy/special weapons available to armies with access to Grav weapons (i.e. Plasma weapons, Flamer Weapons, Melta weapons, Missile Launchers, etc.), I think the following might be a possible solution for “balancing” out Grav weapons so that they still have a purpose and can be taken in competitive armies, but that they do not overshadow all other weapon types and make certain units unplayable:

—GRAV WEAPON PROPOSAL—

*Grav Weapons would still maintain their current profiles, including number of shots, range, AP2, and Concussive rules.

*Grav Weapons would not longer strip a HP from and Immobilize a vehicle when they roll a 6+. Instead, on a roll of 6+, they cause a Crew Stunned result ( with NO hull point stripped).

*Grav Weapons would no longer wound based on the target’s armor save (i.e. wound on a 2+ against TEQs, on a 5+ against GEQs, etc.). Instead, they would wound according to the following chart:

T1-T3: 6+ to Wound

T4: 5+ to Wound

T5: 4+ to Wound

T6: 3+ to Wound

T7-10: 2+ to Wound

**Note: If the target is a Monstrous Creature or Gargantuan Monstrous Creature, then reduce the roll on this chart by -1 (so a T6 Riptide would be wounded on a 2+ and a T5 Daemon Prince would be wounded on a 3+, for example; this would not be able to improve Grav Weapons wounding to better than a 2+, however, so if they were a MC with T7+, then they are still wounded on a 2+). Also, Flying Monstrous Creatures/Flying Gargantuan Monstrous Creatures suffer a -2 to any grounding checks they take if they suffer an Unsaved Wound from a Grav Weapon that same turn.

So, you can see significant proposed changes here. Overall, the idea is to make Grav weapons still very strong at dealing with MC/GMCs, and even a solid counter against higher toughness units like Bikes, TWC, Nurgle Marines, etc., but also to make them vastly less powerful against standard infantry and vehicles. The vehicles, in particular, would no longer lose HPs to Grav weapons and, at worst, be unable to Move and Shoot for a turn (I think this gives you the ability to still use Grav weapons on vehicles as a “desperation weapon,” but not make them the go to choice over plasma, melta, MLs, etc.).

If these changes were made, I think you would still see armies taking Grav weapons, but in much smaller quantities and for much more specialized “monster hunter” duties, rather than as a staple for the entire army list. I also think you would see an uptick in plasma and melta weapons again, since they would have to step up to fill anti-MEQ/TEQ/vehicle void resulting from the Grav weapons being rebalanced.

Also, as I alluded to earlier, I think expensive, elite infantry and vehicles (like Land Raiders, Terminators, etc.) would start being more useable again, since they would be so much less vulnerable to Grav weapons than they used to be (i.e. under my proposal, for example, it would take 6-7 BS4 Grav shots to kill a Terminator on average, whereas before it only took about 2-3 BS4 Grav shots to kill one). Finally, I think Grav weapons would still have an auxiliary role because of their Concussive rule, which enables them to debuff multi-wound models before charging into combat, and also because of their ability to help bring down FMCs, since they have a much increased chance of “Grounding” them.

Overall, this would not fix all the balance issues in 40K by any means, but I think it would go a long way toward bringing competitive lists back toward “center” and allowing more diverse units and weapons to be included in those competitive lists.

Experimental Rules: Veteran Skills for Deathwatch Squads

Deathwatch is one of my favorite armies in terms of fluff and background and thematic elements (I really like the idea of Astartes “Special Forces” drawn from all different Chapters and equipped with the best equipment, but always fighting outnumbered and out-gunned), so ideas for how to make this codex both more fluffy and more competitive are always coming to mind for me.

One thought I had was to allow each Watch Sergeant in a Veteran squad (or Watch Captain as an IC) be able to “purchase” a Veteran skill that would apply to him and his unit and would reflect him teaching the squad methods of warfare that he is especially proficient in, based on what Chapter he originally came from. For simplicity’s sake, I thought it would be best to just make one skill per the original 9 Loyalist Chapters (after all, they are the primogenitors of all the subsequent chapters, so they could be used to represent Watch Sergeants from other Chapters as well) and to limit each “veteran skill” upgrade to one per army (i.e. so you could only have one Space Wolf background Watch Sergeant and one Blood Angels background Watch Sergeant, etc. etc. per army).

Here are my ideas for this:

[1] “Tactical Acumen” — Ultramarine Veteran Skill (15 points) — Once per game, starting at the beginning of the friendly Movement Phase, this model and all members of his squad with the Deathwatch faction may re-roll all to Hit rolls until the beginning of the next Friendly Turn.

[2] “Bane of Tanks” — Imperial Fists Veteran Skill (15 points) — This model gains Tank Hunter USR.

[3] “Advanced Bionics” — Iron Hands Veteran Skill (5 points) — This model gains FNP(5+).

[4] “Firestorm Tactics” — Salamander Veteran Skill (10 points) — This model and all members of his unit with the Deathwatch faction gain Shred for their Hand Flamers, Flamers, Heavy Flamers, and Heavy Flamer portions of their Infernus Heavy Bolters.

[5] “Cunning Combatant” — White Scars Veteran Skill (15 points) — This model gains Hit and Run USR.

[6] “Shadow Tactics” — Raven Guard Veteran Skill (5 points) — This model gains Shrouded USR for the first game turn, provided it did not start inside a vehicle.

[7] “Battle Wrath” — Space Wolf Veteran Skill (5 points) — This model and all Deathwatch faction models in his unit gain Counterattack USR.

[8] “Storm of Fury” — Blood Angel Veteran Skill (10 points) — This model and all Deathwatch faction models in his unit gain Furious Charge USR.

[9] “Unrelenting Fortitude” — Dark Angel Veteran Skill (5 points) — This model and all Deathwatch faction models in his unit can fire Overwatch at BS2.

As you can see, these skills basically mirror at least a portion of the “chapter tactics” of the original 9 Loyalist Chapters and, I think, would also be competitive choices customizing each DW Veteran squad a little further. The Watch Captain could add even more flexibility by taking one of these skills and attaching to a squad that has a different skill via its Watch Sergeant… so, for example, you could have a close combat focused squad that has both Furious Charge and Hit and Run or, alternately, you could have a squad with both Tank Hunters and the ability to re-roll all to Hits once per game.

Assault Vehicles for All!

While I think there is a need for “macro-changes” in 8th edition to help rectify the current discrepancy between shooting and assault, one thing I think that would help accomplish this at the more immediate level would be to provide an additional, affordable assault transport for every major faction so that their close combat troop are not stuck with either footslogging, riding in non-Assault vehicle transports, and/or paying 200+ points for Assault Vehicles.

Here is my stab at making this kind of vehicle for each faction (minus Chaos Daemons):

—————————————

RETALIATOR APC — (FAST ATTACK choice for Space Marines, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Deathwatch, Sisters of Battle, Inquisition, and Chaos Space Marines) — 100 points

BS4   AV13/11/10   3HP (Vehicle, Tank, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 10 models (no Bulky/Very Bulky/Extremely Bulky models)

WAR GEAR:

-Pintle-mounted TLed Flamer (may upgrade to a TLed Melta Gun or TLed Plasma Gun)

-Siege Shield

-Omni Grenade Launcher — Every turn may choose to use Smoke Grenades (not limited to one use, unlike most vehicles) OR Concussion Grenades (enemy forces may not fire Overwatch at any unit that has disembarked from the Retaliator APC for the rest of the turn)

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Advanced Repair Servo — Can repair Immobilized or Weapon Destroyed results or a lost HP on itself each turn (instead of shooting or moving Flat Out) on a successful roll of a 5+

—————————————

TELEPORTATION POD — (FAST ATTACK choice for Grey Knights) — 80 points

BS4   AV13/13/13   3HP (Vehicle, Immobile)

Transport Capacity: None

WAR GEAR:

-Gatling Psycannon

SPECIAL RULES:

-Deep Strike

-Drop Pod Assault

-Psychic Pilot (3) — Always knows Force, Banishment, The Shrouding (from Telepathy), and “The Summoning” powers (“The Summoning” is a WC1 blessing with 72″ range and no LOS requirements that teleports one friendly Grey Knight non-vehicle unit or Walker unit to within 6″ of the caster with no scatter, using the rules for Deep Strike; you can upgrade it to a WC3 power which acts in the exact same way, except that the teleported unit can charge on the same turn that it is teleported)

—————————————

CERBERUS APC — (FAST ATTACK choice for Astra Militarum and Genestealer Cult) — 75 points

BS3   AV12/12/10   3HP (Vehicle, Tank, Fast, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 20 models

WAR GEAR:

-Pintle-mounted Quad Heavy Stubber

-Smoke Launchers

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Suppressive Fire — Any non-vehicle units hit by the Quad Heavy Stubber must take a Pinning Check at the end of the Shooting phase

—————————————

CHAMELEON — (FAST ATTACK choice for Craftworld Eldar and Harlequins) — 90 points

BS4   AV12/12/10   3HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Fast)

Transport Capacity: 12 models

WAR GEAR:

-TLed Shuriken Cannon

-Specter Holo-Matrix — Vehicle may re-roll failed Jink saves

-Star Engines

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Assault Vehicle

—————————————

SCORPION (FAST ATTACK choice for Dark Eldar and Harlequins) — 110 points

BS4   AV10/10/10   3HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Fast, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 18 models

WAR GEAR:

-6 x Black Venom missiles (72″ S6 AP1 Fleshbane)

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Unrivalled Assault Vehicle — Any units that charge into combat on the same turn that they disembark from this vehicle add +3″ to their charge range and gain +1S to all their close combat attacks during that fight sub-phase.

—————————————

KROOT WAR SKIFF (FAST ATTACK choice for Tau) — 60 points

BS3   AV11/11/11   3HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 16 models

WAR GEAR:

-2 x Heavy Kroot Guns

SPECIAL RULES:

-War Totems — Only Shapers, Kroot, Kroot Hounds, and/or Krootox may embark on this vehicle. On any turn that a unit disembarks from this vehicle, it gains Hatred, Rage, and Furious Charge for the rest of the turn.

—————————————

DA CHOPPA’ WAGON (FAST ATTACK choice for Orks) — 110 points

BS2   AV14/11/10   4HP (Vehicle, Tank, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 30 models

WAR GEAR:

-4 x TLed Big Shootaz

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per Ork Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-More Dakka! — All vehicle weapons can fire at full BS if the vehicle has moved 12″ or less

-Da Biggest to da Front! — Every Nob, Mega Nob, and/or War Boss in a unit that disembarks from this vehicles gains +1A until the end of the phase.

—————————————

NECRONTYR WAR BARGE (FAST ATTACK choice for Necrons) — 80 points

BS4   AV11/11/11   4HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Fast, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 10 models

WAR GEAR:

-Gauss Cannon (may upgrade to a Tesla Cannon)

-Quantum Shielding

SPECIAL RULES:

-Living Metal

-Combat Protocol Beacon — Any friendly Necron non-vehicle units within 12″ of this vehicle gain Hatred

—————————————

BROODOFEX (FAST ATTACK choice for Tyranids) — 130 points

WS3 BS3 S6 T6 W4 I2 A2 Ld8 Sv2+  (Jump Monstrous Creature)

WAR GEAR:

-Acid Spray

-Stinger Salvo

[***May take normal Biomorph upgrades, per Tyranid Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Fearless

-Instinctive Behavior (Hunt)

-Brood Beast — Up to 30 Termagaunts/Hormaguants, 15 Genestealers, or 10 Tyranid Warriors may ride on a Broodofex exactly as if they were embarked on an open-topped transport vehicle (i.e. they can all shoot their weapons, they can disembark 6″ and assault the same turn, they are vulnerable to Template Weapons due to the No Escape! rule, etc.).

Traitor Legions: Fixing Cult Troops

Now that Traitor Legions is officially out (and is an outstanding release overall, I’d say, breathing whole new life into both the tactical abilities and rules-reflecting-the-fluff aspects of the 9 original Traitor Legions), I think there is a pretty obvious shortfall that needs to be addressed whenever the “base” CSM book finally is updated: the obsolescence of Cult Troops.

Given that even basic CSM now get buffs to bring them into almost complete parity with Cult Troops (i.e. Khorne CSM now get Fearless, Furious Charge, and Adamantium Will for “free,” meaning that they have everything Bezerkers have except WS5/access to Chainaxe upgrades and cost 4 points less per model; or, Nurgle CSM also get Fearless, FNP, Relentless, and -1I, just like Plague Marines, but cost 8 points less per model, with the only compensation for Plague Marines being their Blight Grenades, Plague Knifes, and access to 2 Special Weapons when at minimum squad size; etc., etc.), I think GW really ought to provide some improvements to the 4 different iconic Cult Troops to make them worth taking, and not just providing some special formations that give them buffs like they have already.

Based on that, here is  my idea for how to improve Cult Troops in a reasonable manner (while keeping their current points costs the same) so that they are not auto-take, but also are still a competitive option as compared to basic CSM with their respective Marks:

[1] Khorne Bezerkers — Give them back their old 2A base (so, that would be 3A base on the Bezerker Champion) and make Chainaxes a S: +1 AP4 Rending weapon.

*Rationale — Between WS5 and 5A on the charge, I think this would justify the 4 points/model higher cost of Bezerkers over basic Khorne CSM. Additionally, if they paid the extra 3 points/model for the Chainaxe upgrade, not only would they gain +1S and AP4 (so S6 on the charge), but the addition of Rending really increases their versatility and overall close combat hitting power, making them a more expensive, but more capable, close combat option to Khorne CSM (which is what they should be, as an elite unit).

 

[2] Plague Marines — Increase their FNP(5+) to FNP(4+) and add Poison (4+) Bolter ammo to their Wargear.

Rationale — At 8 points/model more expensive than Nurgle CSM, Plague Marines need a bit to justify taking them over their less “elite” counterparts. Based on this, I think they definitely need more than Blight Grenades and Plague Knives to set them apart from basic Mark of Nurgle Marines. Increasing their FNP one “step” I think would give enough of a boost in survivability to make them a strong option for taking/holding Objectives and giving their Bolters/BPs Poisoned (4+) ammo makes them kind of like a CSM version of Sternguard. Overall, with Defensive Grenades, Poisoned (4+) for both close combat and shooting, and enhanced FNP rules, I think Plague Marines would be worth considering over “normal” Nurgle CSM.

 

[3] Rubric Marines — Improve Inferno Bolts to (S:4 AP3 Armourbane, Rending), improve Soulreaper Cannon to (S:5 AP3 Armourbane, Rending), and improve both Warpflamer/Heavy Warpflamer to Torrent (6″) weapons (this would obviously impact Scarab Occult Terminators as well).

*Rationale — Like Plague Marines, Rubric Marines are MUCH more expensive (8 points/model more expensive) than their Tzeentch Marine counterparts, but also are a lot better than them out the gate (i.e. 4++ instead of 6++ save, AP3 Bolter ammo, access to Psychic Powers via their “sergeant,” etc.). What Rubric Marines really need, I think, is better shooting versatility, instead of being limited to just AP3 Bolters. Adding Armourbane to both the Soulreaper Cannon and their Inferno Bolts makes them MUCH more versatile against light-medium vehicles and adding Rending to the Inferno Bolts gives them a chance at dealing with Terminators, Heavy Vehicles, MCs, etc. Finally, making the Warpflame weapons into Torrent (6″) gives much more reach and versatility for these anti-horde options, especially since Rubric Marines are so slow outside of Rhino/Land Raider transports.

 

[4] Noise Marines — Give them BS5 and allow them to take one Blastmaster (30 points) or Doom Siren (20 points) per 5 models in the squad.

*Rationale — Noise Marines are currently only 2 points/model more expensive than their Slaanesh Marine counterparts, but they also have nothing to show for it, except access to Sonic Weaponry (which they have to pay even more points for, and Slaanesh CSM have access to normal Special/Heavy Weapons that Noise Marines cannot take). Giving Noise Marines BS5 would justify taking them instead of normal Slaanesh Marines and would make purchasing the Sonic Blaster upgrades even more worthwhile. Also, giving them options for up to 4 Blastmasters/Doom Sirens in a max squad of 20 (or 1 in a squad of 5, 2 in a squad of 10, etc. etc.) would help “customize” them as a solid option in competitive play.

Black Templar “Decurion”

Here is my idea for experimental rules for Black Templar to get their own Gladius, or Decurion, type detachment, as well as special Relics, etc:

 

BLACK TEMPLAR CRUSADER FORCE (1-2 Core, 0-3 Command, 1+ Auxiliary)

Special Rules:

1 – Litanies of Hate – All Chaplains and High Chaplain Grimaldus in this detachment grant themselves and their squad Shred when in close combat

2 – Vows of the Templar – Before each game, must choose one of the following Vows, which then applies to all models within the detachment for that game:

*Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch – All units in this detachment gain Preferred Enemy: Psykers, Brotherhood of Psykers, Pyschic Pilot

*Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds – All characters in this detachment gain +D3 attacks and Initiative when fighting in a challenge

* Suffer Not the Unclean to Live– All units in this detachment gain Hatred when locked in close combat with one or more models from the Eldar, Dark Eldar, Harlequin, Orks, Tyranids, Tau, or Necrons faction

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WARLORD TRAITS

1 – Warlord gains +1A/+1WS

2 – If the Warlord’s Unit fails a morale check during the Shooting or Psychic phase, they run 2D6” toward the nearest enemy unit, instead of falling back

3 – Warlord has Hatred: Psykers and Preferred Enemy: Psykers

4 – Warlord and his unit may re-roll charge distances

5 – Warlord has Fearless and may re-roll failed to Hits when in a Challenge

6 – Warlord and all friendly units within 12” may re-roll failed Morale, Pinning, and Fear checks

————————–

RELICS

1 – Blade of the Crusader – S: x2 AP2, Two-Handed, Massive (always strikes at I2)

2 – Armor of Hatred – Terminator Armor that gives bearer +1T and Eternal Warrior

3 – Black Rosarious – Bearer and unit gain 5++ save, or re-roll failed Invul saves if they already have one, while locked in Close Combat (Chaplain only)

4 – Orb of Antioch – 12” S8 AP2 Small Blast, Ignore Cover, Shred, One Use Only

5 – Chains of Zeal – Bearer and his unit add +3” to Run and Charge distances

6 – Banner of Wrath – All friendly Black Templar units within 12” gain Fearless/within 6” gain +1S when locked in combat (Command Squad/Honor Guard only)

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CORE (1-2 Option)

a) Battle Demi-Company (see Codex: Space Marines)

b) Crusade Fighting Company

(*1 Castellan [Captain] or Chaplain)

(*0-1 Emperor’s Champion)

(*0-1 Sword Brethren Squad [Command Squad])

(*4-8 Crusader Squads)

(*2-4 Assault Space Marine or Assault Centurion Squads)

(*0-1 Devastator or Devastator Centurion Squads)

Special Rules:

1 – Crusade of Wrath – Once per game, choose an Assault Phase and all units in this detachment have the Hatred and Fleet rules until the end of the phase (this can be used separately from High Marshal Helbrecht’s ability of the same name)

2 – Unequalled Zeal – Any unit with the Righteous Zeal special rule in this formation gains Counterattack and Rage FOR THE REST OF THE GAME if it suffers one or more casualties in the Shooting phase or as the result of Overwatch

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COMMAND (0-3 Option)

a) Strike Force Command (see Codex: Space Marines)

b) Reclusiam Command Squad (see Codex: Space Marines)

c) Council of Zeal

(*3 – 6 Chaplains)

Special Rules:

1 – Reclusiarch’s Vow – All Chaplains in this formation gain +1WS/A for free

2 – Shield of Faith – All Chaplains in this formation grant themselves and their unit +2 to their Deny the Witch rolls (this is not cumulative if there is more than one Chaplain in the same unit)

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AUXILIARY (1+ Option)

a) Storm Wing (see Codex: Space Marines)

b) Land Raider Spearhead (see Codex: Space Marines)

c) Armoured Task Force (see Codex: Space Marines)

d) 1st Company Task Force (see Codex: Space Marines)

e) Marshal’s Hammer

(*1-2 Land Raider Crusaders)

(*2-4 Vindicators)

(*1-2 Techmarine)

Special Rules:

1 – Anointed Armor – Vehicles in this formation ignore the effects of the Lance rule

2 – Awaken the Machine Spirit – All Vindicators within 12” of a Techmarine from this formation have the Power of the Machine Spirit rule

f) Drop Zone Clearance Force

(*1-3 Dreadnoughts/Venerable Dreadnoughts/Ironclad Dreadnoughts – must take Drop Pods)

(*1-3 Thunderfire Cannons – must take Drop Pods)

Special Rules:

1 – Clear the Zone – All units in this formation must start in Deep Strike Reserve and arrive on turn 1 automatically (their Drop Pods do not count when calculating the Drop Pod Assault rule). Thunderfire Cannons gain the Relentless rule and Dreadnoughts/Venerable Dreadnoughts/Ironclad Dreadnoughts count their weapons as Twin-Linked on the turn they arrive from Reserve

g) Templar Lancer Assault Squadron

(*1 Command Squad – All Veterans must take Space Marine Bikes and Power Lances)

(*2-4 Space Marine Bike Squadrons – Must take Veteran Sergeant with Power Lance)

(*0-2 Attack Bike Squadrons)

Special Rules:

1 – Furious Charge

2 – Tank Hunter/Monster Hunter

 

Ideas for Deathwatch Special Weapons

I think Deathwatch is a very interesting and challenging faction to play right now, especially given some of the really good things GW did in designing the codex and also some of the pretty significant missed opportunities that exist in that book.

One of the best things about the new Deathwatch book, IMHO, is the unique weapons like DW Shotguns and Infernus Heavy Bolters, which really set this army apart from all the other “Marine equivalent” factions, is true to its fluff and style, and also helps it be competitive.

Based on that, I think GW should have gone “all the way” in giving Deathwatch an entire armory of unique, better-than-average weaponry, both to reflect their fluff of getting access to the best/rarest equipment and to make them more competitive in the niche as a “glass cannon” army.

Here are my ideas for a “complete overhaul” of the DW armory along the lines of what I described above:


—DW RANGED WEAPONS—

*”Deathwatch” pattern Bolters and Combi-Melta/Flamer/Plasma/Grav (with Special Issue Ammunition) – No change except all Combi-weapons only cost 5 points to upgrade and all of these weapons gain “True Grit” rule (model that has a Deathwatch Bolter or Combi-Weapon and another, non-Specialist CCW get +1A)

*”Deathwatch” pattern Storm Bolter – Gains access to Vengeance (18″ S4 AP3 Gets Hot!, Assault 2), Kraken (30″ S4 AP4 Assault 2), Dragonfire (24″ S4 AP5 Ignore Cover, Assault 2), and Hellfire (24″ S2 AP5 Poisoned (2+), Assault 2) Special Issue Ammunition.

*”Deathwatch” pattern Bolt Pistols/Hand Flamer/Grav-Pistol/Inferno Pistol/Plasma Pistol – All gain “Quick Fire” rule, which enables them fire Overwatch at full BS (vice normal BS1) and, for template weapons, to automatically get 3 hits from Wall of Fire (vice normal D3 hits).

—DW SPECIAL WEAPONS—

*”Deathwatch” pattern Shotgun – No change

*”Stalker” pattern Boltgun – No change

*”Brimstone” pattern Flamer — Torrent (6″) S4 AP5 Assault 1 (5 points)

*”Hellion” pattern Melta Gun — 18″ S8 AP1 Assault 1, Melta (10 points)

*”Nova” pattern Plasma Gun — 24″ S7 AP2 Rapid Fire, Blind  (15 points)

*”Spectre” pattern Grav Gun — 18″ S* AP2 Salvo 2/3, Graviton, Concussive, Monster Hunter (15 points)

–DW HEAVY WEAPONS–

*”Infernus” pattern Heavy Bolter — No change

*”Deathwatch” pattern Frag Cannon – No change

*”Cyclone” pattern Missile Launchers (available only to DW Terminators) – No change

*”Beowulf ” pattern Missile Launcher (25 points) – Missile Launcher with multiple special ammo types “organic” to the Missile Launcher:

(a) Firefang Missiles – 48″ S4 AP5, Small Blast, Ignore Cover, Heavy 1
(b) Ironspear Missiles – 48″ S8 AP2, Sunder, Heavy 1
(c) Skyfury Missiles – 48″ S7 AP3, Skyfire, Interceptor, Heavy 1
(d) Venomcraft Missiles – 48″ S2 AP3, Fleshbane, Heavy 1

*”Wolverine” pattern Assault Cannon (25 points — available only to DW Terminators) – 24″ S6 AP3 Heavy 4, Shred, Rending

*”Draken” pattern Heavy Flamer (10 points — available only to DW Terminators) – Torrent 6″ S5 AP4 Heavy 1

–DW MELEE WEAPONS–

*”Deathwatch” pattern Close Combat Weapon (Free) – S: User AP5

*Heavy Thunder Hammer (30 points) – No change

*”Reaper” pattern Lightning Claw (15 points) – S: User AP3 Shred, Specialist Weapon, Deadly Precision (user gains +1WS when fighting with this weapon)

*”Xenophase” pattern Power Sword (15 points) – S: User AP3, Molecular Realignment Field (enemy units must re-roll success Invul saves taken against wounds caused by this weapon)

*”Furion” pattern Power Lance (15 points) – S: +1/User AP3/4, Swiftstrike (gains +2I on the charge)

*”Direblade” pattern Power Axe (15 points) – S: +1 AP2, Bulky (always strikes ay I2 with this weapon)

*”Shieldbreaker” pattern Power Maul (15 points) – S+2 AP4, Concussive, Sunder (re-rolls failed Armor Penetration rolls)

*”Bellator” pattern Power Fist (25 points) – S: x2 AP2, Unwieldy, Rampage, Specialist Weapon

*”Xenosbane” pattern Thunder Hammer (30 points) – S: x2 AP1, Unwieldy, Concussive, Specialist Weapon, Master-crafted

*”Praetor” pattern Relic Blade (30 points, only available to a DW Watch Captain) — S: +2 AP3 Two-Handed, Champion Bane (gains AP2 and “Pulverize” when bearer is in a Challenge)

*”Redemptor” pattern Crozius Arcanum (DW Chaplains only) – S: +2 AP4 Concussive, Rending

*”Vigilance” pattern Guardian Spear (DW Watch Master only) – S: +1 AP2, Two-handed, Block, Armourbane (Shooting portion has profile of a DW Storm Bolter with Special Issue Ammunition)

—DW SPECIAL ISSUE WARGEAR—

*”Durendal” pattern Combat Shield (5 points) – Gives model a 5++ save

*Omnispex (5 points) — Bearer’s unit gains Split Fire and Night Vision rules

*DW Locator Beacon (15 points) — Any friendly unit arriving by Deep Strike within 9″ of the bearer does not scatter

*Long-ranged Auspex (10 points) — If bearer does not shoot, he may nominate one enemy unit within 24″ during that shooting phase. That enemy unit has -1 cover save against all friendly shooting during that Shooting Phase.

*Digital Weapons (5 points) — No change

*Melta Bombs (5 points) — No change

*Rad Grenades (15 points) — Same as used by Ordos Xenos Inquisitor from Codex: Inquisition

*Blind Grenades (5 points) — Same as used by Vindicare Assassin from Codex: Assassins

*Psykout Grenades (5 points) — Same as  used by infantry units from Codex: Grey Knights

*Orbital Strike Relay (25 points, DW Watch Master only) — Same as carried by Inquisitor Karamazov from Codex: Inquisition

Shield of Guilliman Strike Force

I have greatly appreciated the effort GW has put into providing Gladius equivalents for White Scars, Raven Guard, Salamanders, Iron Hands, and Imperial Fists.

I realize that the Gladius Strike Force, and pretty much everything in C: SM, is supposed to be the Ultramarine’s version of things, since they are the most “Codex-adherent” chapter out there, but I still think it would be neat for the Sons of Guilliman to have their own unique Detachment, Relics, etc.

Here is my stab at that concept:

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SHIELD OF GULLIMAN STRIKE FORCE

*1-2 CORE

*0-3 HQ

*1+ AUX

RULES:

1 – Rites of Command — If WL from this detachment is alive, all units from this detachment may use his Leadership value instead of their own for any Morale or Pinning tests.

2 – Veteran Skill — Once per game, Veteran Sergeants in Tactical squads from this detachment may give their squad and any attached characters Relentless. Once per game, Veteran Sergeants in Assault squads from this detachment may give their squad and any attached characters Shred for their close combat attacks. Once per game, Veteran Sergeants in Devastator squads from this detachment may give their squad and any attached characters Interceptor for their shooting attacks.

3 – Battle-Tested Leaders — If this detachment includes 2 CORE choices, one with a Captain and one with a Chaplain, then any Tactical, Assault, Devastator, Scout, Scout Biker, Assault Centurion, or Devastator Centurion squads may upgrade their Sergeants to Veteran Sergeants for free.

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CORE

1 – Battle Demi-Company (See C:SM)

2 – Assault Demi-Company (1 Captain or Chaplain, 0-1 Command Squad, 0-1 Dread/Ironclad/Venerable Dread Squadron, 3 Assault/Bike/Attack Bike squads, 0-2 Assault Centurion squads)

**RULES — Assault Doctrine (can choose to use once per game for models in this formation), free Eviscerators in Assault squads

3 – Devastator Demi-Company (1 Captain or Chaplain, 0-1 Command Squad, 0-1 Dread/Ironclad/Venerable Dread Squadron, 3 Devastator squads, 0-2 Devastator Centurion squads)

**RULES — Devastator Doctrine (can choose to use  once per game for models in this formation), free MMs and HBs in Devastator squads

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HQ

1 – Strike Force Command (see C: SM)

2 – Librarius Conclave (see C: SM)

3 – Command Tanks (see Angels of Death Supplement)

4 – Guardians of Ultramar (Marneus Calgar, 1-3 Honor Guard squads, one of which must take a Chapter Banner or Relic Banner)

**RULES — All units in this formation have Preferred Enemy and Fearless as long as Marneus Calgar is alive

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AUX

1 – 1st Company Task Force (See C: SM)

2 – 10th Company Task Force (See C: SM)

3 – Stormbringer Squadron (See Angels of Death Supplement)

4 – Skyhammer Annihilation Force (See Angels of Death Supplement)

5 – Ravenhawk Assault Group (See Angels of Death Supplement)

6 – Raptor Wing (See Angels of Death Supplement)

7 – Armoured Task Force (See C: SM)

8 – Centurion Battle Group (1-2 Devastator Centurion squads, 1-2 Assault Centurion squads)

**RULES — Monster Hunter, Tank Hunter, Overwhelming Fusillade (any unit hit by shooting from Devastator Centurions from this formation may not fire Overwatch if charged by Assault Centurions from this formation)

9 – Armorium Support (2 Land Raiders/Land Raider Crusaders/Land Raider Redeemers, 0-1 Chronus)

**RULES — Blessed Hulls (Lance Weapons only reduce armor to AV13, Melta Weapons only gain +D3 to their penetration rolls, and Haywire weapons suffer -2 on the Haywire Table against vehicles from this formation)

10 – Talon of Ancients (3 Contemptor Dreadnoughts, 1 Techmarine)

**RULES — Battle Doctrines of the Great Crusade (all Contemptors from this formation within 12″ of the Techmarine from this formation may enact EACH of the doctrines once per game at the start of each friendly game turn: i) Advance Upon the Foe! — May move 9″ this turn [or] ii) Smite the Foe — Gains Rampage this turn [or] iii) Decimate the Foe — May shoot twice in the shooting phase this turn, but must shoot the same target)

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ULTRAMARINE RELICS

1 – Victorum Laurels  — Bearer may choose his WL trait, instead of rolling for it, as long as it is from the Ultramarine WL Trait Table

2 – Helm of Varthion — (Veteran Sergeant from a Tactical squad only). Gives Bearer and his squad one free use of Tactical Doctrine

3 – Mantle of Ultramar — TDA that gives bearer +1W

4 – Marian Blade — S: User AP2 Swiftstrike (gives bearer +1WS/+1I)

5 – Orbital Command-Link — Bearer may bring in one friendly unit from Reserves automatically each turn

6 – Banner of Macragge — (Command Squad/Honor Guard only) All friendly Ultramarine units within 12″ gain Preferred Enemy

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ULTRAMARINE WARLORD TRAITS

1 – Champion of the Blade —  Warlord and his unit gain +1 WS

2 – Eye of Precision — Warlord and his unit gain +1 BS

3 – Master of the Vanguard — Three friendly units chosen before deployment gain Scout

4 – Master of the Keep — Three friendly units chosen before deployment gain Objective Secured

5 – Indomitable — Enemy units must re-roll successful To Wound rolls made against the Warlord

6 – Unequalled Warrior — Enemy units must re-roll successful Armor and Invul saves of 6+ made against the WL’s close combat attacks