Author Topic: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?  (Read 5375 times)

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Offline hillshire

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Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« on: September 14, 2016, 08:35:00 PM »
The first question a Deathwatch player should decide is whether to start with a CAD or Formations.

First let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of going with a CAD.

CAD will give your Veterans Objective Secured along with their transports. Which include your typical Drop Pod, Rhino, and Razorback. Then things get more interesting when you can choose the Corvus Blackstar. An ObSec flyer has a lot of potential, particularly in tournaments where Objectives are ruled to have infinite height. No need to drop into hover mode to claim an Objective if you time things well.

ObSec can be very important if you are going for an all Deathwing army or their allies aren't ObSec. Then again, if the Deathwing units are allied in to an ObSec army, there is less of a pressing need. Personally, I would not field an army that does not have at least some ObSec, preferably mobile, for general tournaments. If you run into a Daemonic Incursion corrupting objectives with ObSec, you can literally do nothing about it if you cannot get ObSec units onto it.

Naturally, CAD loses the nifty formation bonuses. We'll cover that in more detail on the formation post.

A rather nifty option with CAD is the ability to take micro units to fill out your army.  Terminators, Vanguard Veterans, and Bikers can all be taken in units of 1 - 5. A single Terminator or even a Vanguard Veteran threatening back field campers could be pretty effective. The lesser units will have a hard time dealing with the Terminator while the heavy hitters don't won't to waste a turn on a singleton.

At the moment, I'm thinking of Terminator singletons, Bikers in pairs (w/power sword & power axe), and Vanguard Veterans in trios (2 w/Storm shield & Lightning Claw and 1 w/Heavy Thunder hammer). I won't really know until I can test it out.

Of course, that could be literal suicide in Kill Points missions. But I'm thinking if the heavy hitters are keeping the enemy pre-occupied, the light and mobile units can get some dirty work done along the side lines.

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 09:56:00 PM »
Now let's look at Formations.

In a way, the formation special rules are kind of ho-hum. Nothing flashy like assaulting out of Deep Strike or free transports/equipment. On the other hand, they make a lot of sense. They make Deathwatch better at killing.

I'm not going into detail about the formations at this point, this is more of an overview to help choose between CAD and Formations. So, just enough to get the ball rolling.

Aquila is the most generally useful since its re-roll 1s to wound/pen apply to everything. Good enough when you're wielding a Heavy Thunder Hammer. What aren't you wounding on 2+ anyway? Well, before we fall down that rabbit hole, let's get back to the formations. The rest of the formations specialize in killing different categories of units by granting re-rolls to wound. Which is very powerful but also situational. You really have to match up the right formation with the right target to get the benefits, the trick is getting there. I'm betting most people will stick with Aquila since it always triggers.

As already indicated above, the formations do not grant Objective Secured. Which is fine since it requires the player to make choices but also limits the usefulness of formations. Still, it's not hard to ally in other armies which have ObSec or even take a Deathwatch CAD along with the formations so it's not too big of a problem. The main limitation there is points cost. Deathwatch can add up very quickly.

Each formation is based around a 5 man team of Veterans. Which is a solid core to build from. They are very flexible and easy to equip for specific roles. Still, it would have been nice to see some other formations centered around other infantry units. I suppose that leaves an easy path for expansion via supplements and White Dwarfs in the future.

Again, Aquila is the most flexible. The only requirement is the 5 man team and at least one additional infantry model (Librarian, Terminator, Vanguard Veteran, and/or Bikers). Very easy to build to specific missions/roles. The other formations include a mandatory unit choice but that's ok since it really comes down to just adding a single model and maybe a specified weapon choice.

There are two formations of formations (kill teams) but neither has any impressive special rules. Decent but not enough to be a default go to so far as I can see. More like an efficient way to add a Captain, Chaplain, or Librarian to a formation.

Speaking of Librarians, while there isn't a Librarius Conclave equivalent, it's pretty easy to take many Libbies in this army.  You can add one to each of the formations easily. With the Strategium Command Team, you could even take two Librarians in the same Kill Team.

Offline Tywinn

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 10:21:12 AM »
thanks for starting this ,alot of great info in here! I am prolly going to run these guys along with my GK going to attempt some dragio watch master shenanigans at 1st .gate around and then Using the beacon angelis relic to mitigate for other deathwatch scattering ,plus with the summon deathwatch rule once per game. With those new shotguns & frag cannons can just savage alot of diff units types template all the things . The one thing i am having problems with is keeping the mixed kill team specialized all shooting \melee. i do really like the termies either storm shield thunder hammer cyclone missiles or assault cannon melta pfist. the vanguard vets scream heavy thunder hammer to me but i would love a way to make them more shooty (gunslinger time ?) i feel the libis will be rolling on biomancy often divination for the reserve rolls manipulation . speaking of which that relic where u dont move n the whole unite gets a 4++ . Sounds like a a full stalker bolter squad in the backfield best friend. lets dig deep here !!

Offline Alfalpharius

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 01:32:36 PM »
Thanks for this.  Right now, still got all my stuff and I'm trying to figure out where to go with it.

I might run a CAD and an Aquila and a Furor. 

Sitting on a lot of stuff, eager to start building and painting.

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 11:03:48 PM »
I've been stressing over whether or not to add a Librarius Conclave to mine. I'm particularly looking for Null Zone to counter Storm Shields and Perfect Timing for some Ignores Cover. I'm more interested in breaking Deathstars than building one. But then I look at the huge points investment and wish I had more shooting. Basically, I need to finish building stuff and start play testing. I might start another thread to discuss what I'm building.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 11:06:41 PM by hillshire »

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 11:42:34 PM »
Here's another very important consideration when looking at formations, specially, Kill Teams. You can combine different model types and stack their special rules.

Let's start with our basic Veterans. As a unit, they don't have any special rules that stack. What they do have is flexibility. You can make them shooty or assaulty or some mix there of. For the sake of this example, lets' suppose that the 5 man squad includes a Frag Cannon and a Heavy Thunder Hammer.

Then we add a single Terminator. Now the unit is Fearless. No need to worry about pesky morale checks. On a side note, sometimes Fearless is a detriment. It keeps you in the fight when what you really want to do is run away, regroup, and shoot some more. Maybe start a new assault with fresh first round bonuses.

The Terminator also gives you a 2+ armor save to deflect small arms fire from your more squishy yet important models such as the Frag Cannon and/or Heavy Thunder Hammer. Maybe give him a Storm Shield to fend off some low AP wounds. Not to mention arming him to be shooty, assaulty, or both to compliment your Veterans. On the down side, he will keep you from Sweeping an enemy unit in combat. So weigh his advantages and disadvantages carefully.

Next, we can add Vanguard Veterans. These guys will particularly help out an assault unit. A Vanguard Vet adds the Heroic Intervention rule to the unit, allowing them to ignore disordered charge penalties (ok but not impressive) and make re-rolls for charge distances (very handy). Basically, he's going to make your assault unit more dependable.

While more expensive as a model, their discounts for taking power weapons make them cheaper than their Veteran brethren when adding assault capabilities. Sadly, no discount for the Heavy Thunder Hammer.

And finally, we have the Biker. He adds two special rules: Skilled Rider and Split Fire. Well, kind of three since Skilled Rider packs two special rules into one heading. First, they ignore Dangerous Terrain tests. This is particularly helpful for a Deep Striking formation. Second, the Biker model gains +1 to his Jink test. Basically, he ends up with a 3+ Cover Save. Almost like a free Storm Shield. And since he's just shooting twin-linked bolters anyway, it's not really a problem that he will have to Snap Shoot if he survives. Not to mention his T5 makes him harder to double out.  A Jinking Biker would be cheaper than a Stormshield Terminator but wouldn't help vs Ignores Cover. Still, a good ability. Third, the Split Fire applies to the unit, not the model. So, the Frag Cannon in our example could be the weapon to Split Fire at a tougher target while the rest of the unit shoots at something softer. A nice ability for a shooty unit.

Unlike his codex brethren, a Deathwatch Biker can't take special weapons to improve his shooting. But he does get Power Weapons at a discount. So it's cheap and easy for him to contribute to close combat as well.

Basically, by adding these units together, you stack:
Fearless
Heroic Intervention
Skilled Rider
Split Fire

On the downside, you're also stacking points at an amazing rate. Unit efficiency can go right out the airlock.

On the upside, you can make your own A-Team that's very thematic and personal.

So, if you're going to make a super formation, you need a definite plan of what it's supposed to do on the battle field and how you're going to maneuver it around to accomplish that mission.

Offline Alfalpharius

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 12:23:33 AM »
So, if you're going to make a super formation, you need a definite plan of what it's supposed to do on the battle field and how you're going to maneuver it around to accomplish that mission.

Very useful.  I've got a ton of Deathwatch goodies, so- wanna help me figure out how to build about 30x veterans?

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 11:43:00 PM »
"I've got a ton of Deathwatch goodies, so- wanna help me figure out how to build about 30x veterans?"

That could be a good project to help us figure out how to use these new units.

First, a survey to figure out what kind of build we are working toward.

1. Pure Deathwatch or are you looking to include allies?

2. You mentioned you have 30 veterans. Do you want to stick to veterans for your Deathwatch or include other units?

3. What format are you playing? Casual or competitive? Are you playing mostly ITC?

4. What is your favorite army to play?

5. What is your preferred style of play? Gunline, assault, alpha strike, board control, etcetera?

6. What kinds of missions are you building your army towards? GW book missions, Maelstrom, ITC, Adepticon, Warzone Atlanta, etcetera?

7. Are there prevalent armies in the meta your building this army to fight in? Tau monster mash, Iron Hands Deathstars, Eldar trickery, 5 Knights on the prowl, Daemon spam, Orks?

Offline Alfalpharius

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2016, 12:47:18 AM »
1. Pure Deathwatch or are you looking to include allies?

The only think I'm thinking of allying with them is a Imperial Knight Crusader, but for now I would rather focus on 'pure Deathwatch'. 

2. You mentioned you have 30 veterans. Do you want to stick to veterans for your Deathwatch or include other units?

Total list: 

30x Veterans
5x Vanguard vets
10x Terminators (5x Assault, 5x Regular)
1x Ven Dreadnaught
1x Reg Dreadnaught
1x Watch Master
3x Bikers
2x Rhinos.
1x Corvus Blackstar
1x Drop Pod
1x Land Raider Crusader

3. What format are you playing? Casual or competitive? Are you playing mostly ITC?

Mostly casual, with intent to be slightly more competitive than 'normal casual'.

4. What is your favorite army to play?

Before this I played Black Templars.

5. What is your preferred style of play? Gunline, assault, alpha strike, board control, etcetera?

Flexible tactics, open to a lot of ideas.

6. What kinds of missions are you building your army towards? GW book missions, Maelstrom, ITC, Adepticon, Warzone Atlanta, etcetera?

I'd prefer having versatility, mostly a beginner group.

7. Are there prevalent armies in the meta your building this army to fight in? Tau monster mash, Iron Hands Deathstars, Eldar trickery, 5 Knights on the prowl, Daemon spam, Orks?

Everything but Chaos-related armies is in the group I game with. 

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2016, 07:15:33 AM »
And some follow up questions which I should have included last night. Sorry about that.

8. What points level do you want to base this on?

9. Do you prefer durability (upgrading models with Terminator armor and/or Storm Shields) or striking power (upgrading models with power weapons and/or heavy/assault weapons) or board control (get more marines on the ground as opposed to kitting them out)? A combination/balance of these is possible to a point but it'd still be helpful to know which direction to skew the build.

10. Do you have a preference in HQs? I see you have a Watch Master and we can work him in at higher point levels. What other HQs appeal to your style of play? Captain for durability and close combat prowess? Chaplain to buff a close combat unit and make them Fearless? Librarian to buff units and/or use some offensive powers?

In case it makes a difference in your HQ selection, here's an interesting tactic we can explore:

*Have an HQ join a Veteran team that can drop in Turn 1 with the drop pod (if you get a second drop pod, you can have the option of arriving Turn 2 instead although you might be effected by enemy reserves manipulation if they have that capability). That HQ has the Beacon Angelus. Since that unit is vulnerable to intercept, it would be best to get them in or behind some cover and have some durability built into it if you have Tau players in your meta.

*Hidden in your backfield within cover, preferably Ruins, is your Land Raider Crusader filled with more veterans. Could be kitted for close combat or shooting, maybe even both. Your choice.

*Your HQ uses the Beacon Angelus to summon the Crusader within 6" without deviation (note, you could use the bulk of the Crusader to shield you HQ unit from Interceptor fire). Since it was already on the battle field, it is not subject to Interceptor. If at all possible, place the model in a position where it can claim some cover. Not an easy thing to do with a Land Raider.

*The good news is, you've got a Land Raider Crusader along with the Deathwatch Veterans right in the enemy's face. I would interpret that you can't charge that turn. If you want, you could hold a dedicated assault unit inside and hope the Crusader survives into the next turn to pull of their charge. Or you could pile out a bunch of Frag Cannons or whatever and get in some close range shooting.

*Since Beacon Angelis uses the Deep Strike rules, it would seem that the Crusader counts as having moved at Combat speed, which is decent. Using Power of the Machine Spirit, you can fire at two targets with full BS. Most like the Assault Cannon and one of the sponson Hurricane Bolters. The remaining Hurricane Bolter has to snap fire, which isn't too bad since it is twin-linked.

*The bad news is that your Crusader is now in close range to things which can kill it such as melta, grav, melta bombs, etcetera. This isn't necessarily bad. Indeed, if your opponent is choosing to have units target the Crusader because it has a melta gun instead using its full fire power to shoot at your softer infantry units, so much the better. It's possible to one-shot a Land Raider but it's not easy. Target priority comes into play. If you're trying to preserve the Land Raider, maybe because it has an assault unit inside, try to kill the most effective of the tank killers (of which there are many these days). If you're using it as shield and bate, try to kill the most effective infantry killers. Very situational.

Worth noting that you can pull off nearly the same thing with a Rhino or foot infantry but since you have a Land Raider in your list and we seem to be building in a fun/casual direction, a Land Raider Crusader would both look cool and be cool. Still, Rhino or foot are worth consideration too. We'll see how the points break down.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 07:25:53 AM by hillshire »

Offline Alfalpharius

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2016, 07:27:01 AM »
8. What points level do you want to base this on?

I'd actually like to range from 1000-2000, since the group plays several sized battles.

9. Do you prefer durability (upgrading models with Terminator armor and/or Storm Shields) or striking power (upgrading models with power weapons and/or heavy/assault weapons) or board control (get more marines on the ground as opposed to kitting them out)? A combination/balance of these is possible to a point but it'd still be helpful to know which direction to skew the build.

Durability and firepower.

10. Do you have a preference in HQs? I see you have a Watch Master and we can work him in at higher point levels. What other HQs appeal to your style of play? Captain for durability and close combat prowess? Chaplain to buff a close combat unit and make them Fearless? Librarian to buff units and/or use some offensive powers?

I could order a Chaplain.

In case it makes a difference in your HQ selection, here's an interesting tactic we can explore:

*Have an HQ join a Veteran team that can drop in Turn 1 with the drop pod (if you get a second drop pod, you can have the option of arriving Turn 2 instead although you might be effected by enemy reserves manipulation if they have that capability). That HQ has the Beacon Angelus. Since that unit is vulnerable to intercept, it would be best to get them in or behind some cover and have some durability built into it if you have Tau players in your meta.

*Hidden in your backfield within cover, preferably Ruins, is your Land Raider Crusader filled with more veterans. Could be kitted for close combat or shooting, maybe even both. Your choice.

*Your HQ uses the Beacon Angelus to summon the Crusader within 6" without deviation (note, you could use the bulk of the Crusader to shield you HQ unit from Interceptor fire). Since it was already on the battle field, it is not subject to Interceptor. If at all possible, place the model in a position where it can claim some cover. Not an easy thing to do with a Land Raider.

*The good news is, you've got a Land Raider Crusader along with the Deathwatch Veterans right in the enemy's face. I would interpret that you can't charge that turn. If you want, you could hold a dedicated assault unit inside and hope the Crusader survives into the next turn to pull of their charge. Or you could pile out a bunch of Frag Cannons or whatever and get in some close range shooting.

*The bad news is that your Crusader is now in close range to things which can kill it such as melta, grav, melta bombs, etcetera. This isn't necessarily bad. Indeed, if your opponent is choosing to have units target the Crusader because it has a melta gun instead using its full fire power to shoot at your softer infantry units, so much the better. It's possible to one-shot a Land Raider but it's not easy. Target priority comes into play. If you're trying to preserve the Land Raider, maybe because it has an assault unit inside, try to kill the most effective of the tank killers (of which there are many these days). If you're using it as shield and bate, try to kill the most effective infantry killers. Very situational.

Worth noting that you can pull of nearly the same thing with a Rhino or foot infantry but since you have a Land Raider in your list and we seem to be building in a fun/casual direction, a Land Raider Crusader would both look cool and be cool. Still, Rhino or foot are worth consideration too. We'll see how the points break down.

How do you think we could work in the Blackstar?  I like it.

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2016, 12:14:02 AM »
1. Pure Deathwatch or are you looking to include allies?

The only think I'm thinking of allying with them is a Imperial Knight Crusader, but for now I would rather focus on 'pure Deathwatch'. 

We can work with that. The symmetry of having a Land Raider Crusader and Imperial Knight Crusader could be very thematic. We'll explore that more when we get to list building.

2. You mentioned you have 30 veterans. Do you want to stick to veterans for your Deathwatch or include other units?

Total list: 

30x Veterans
5x Vanguard vets
10x Terminators (5x Assault, 5x Regular)
1x Ven Dreadnaught
1x Reg Dreadnaught
1x Watch Master
3x Bikers
2x Rhinos.
1x Corvus Blackstar
1x Drop Pod
1x Land Raider Crusader


That's pretty impressive! All I've got so far is the Death Masque box and some extra bits I bought off eBay. Gives you lots of options.

3. What format are you playing? Casual or competitive? Are you playing mostly ITC?

Mostly casual, with intent to be slightly more competitive than 'normal casual'.

Cool. There's a lot of fun potential in Deathwatch. Going tournament level would most likely require allies. I'm hoping we can discover hidden gems during this process.

4. What is your favorite army to play?

Before this I played Black Templars.

This gives me a sense of direction for the army as well as options for future symmetry between your armies.

5. What is your preferred style of play? Gunline, assault, alpha strike, board control, etcetera?

Flexible tactics, open to a lot of ideas.

Deathwatch is pretty flexible, we'll learn a lot while exploring this.

6. What kinds of missions are you building your army towards? GW book missions, Maelstrom, ITC, Adepticon, Warzone Atlanta, etcetera?

I'd prefer having versatility, mostly a beginner group.

We'll try to build in some mobility to give you the most versatility. I'm thinking we're going to need Objective Secured to get the most milage out of the units.

7. Are there prevalent armies in the meta your building this army to fight in? Tau monster mash, Iron Hands Deathstars, Eldar trickery, 5 Knights on the prowl, Daemon spam, Orks?

Everything but Chaos-related armies is in the group I game with.

Good to know. Deathwatch already has good potential vs Chaos armies so we're already covered there. As we build lists we can figure out how Deathwatch can handle different armies.

8. What points level do you want to base this on?

I'd actually like to range from 1000-2000, since the group plays several sized battles.

Maybe lists for 1000, 15000, 1850, and 2000?

9. Do you prefer durability (upgrading models with Terminator armor and/or Storm Shields) or striking power (upgrading models with power weapons and/or heavy/assault weapons) or board control (get more marines on the ground as opposed to kitting them out)? A combination/balance of these is possible to a point but it'd still be helpful to know which direction to skew the build.

Durability and firepower.

Will do. We'll particularly need the durability if we're using the Corvis Blackstar

10. Do you have a preference in HQs? I see you have a Watch Master and we can work him in at higher point levels. What other HQs appeal to your style of play? Captain for durability and close combat prowess? Chaplain to buff a close combat unit and make them Fearless? Librarian to buff units and/or use some offensive powers?

I could order a Chaplain.

Chaplain could go nicely with an assault unit in the Corvis Blackstar

How do you think we could work in the Blackstar?  I like it.

I do to. I've been giving the Blackstar quite a bit of thought. Let's get into that in the next post.

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2016, 12:44:24 AM »
I ran my Grey Knights with a Stormraven, sometimes two. The Stormraven and Blackstar are quite similar in their basic usage: gunship of opportunity and assault vehicle. Blackstar is probably more survivable thanks to the Infernum halo-launcher. Stormraven has better firepower for anti-tank while the Blackstar might be better at anti-infantry. I wish there was a weapon mix which was good vs Gargantuan Creatures. Deathwatch could use some help with that. Our poisoned shots are forlorn hopes versus GCs.

The central problems for the Blackstar is the same as the Stormraven: first, while you can use it as a gunship, you often only get the initial turn of clean shooting since the rest of the time it's jinking to avoid being shot out of the sky and crushing its cargo. So if you're carrying Stormstrike Missiles, you gotta use 'em or lose 'em. The second part of the problem is that your assault units inside (if that's what you're going with) won't get into the fight until Turn 3 at the earliest. That's a long time to wait for a valuable unit to be basically inactive. Although there is value in a powerful unit arriving after the initial skirmishes to change the tide of battle.

I've tried using a Skyshield Landing Pad with Ready for Take Off in the past but wasn't impressed with the results and additional points cost. While it can be possible to get in a Turn 2 assault, something has to wander into strike range for that to work. Meanwhile, being in hover mode leaves the flyer vulnerable to a lot of shooting. AV12 isn't good enough in those circumstances. Although . . . with re-rolls to Jink saves, it might survive. And the Land Raider Crusader could start on the board there with a nice 4++ Invulnerable save. Hmmm.

Even though the units are slow getting to the battle, there is something awesome about an elite assault unit flying in and charging into battle. If we're going to use the Blackstar (and I think we should, it's a fantastic model), we have to make it central to our army.

Basic idea, no Skyshield Landing Pad:

Turn 1: Veterans drop pod in and use their Frag Cannons, bolters, shotguns, and whatever else we add in to destroy scoring units, bubble wrap units, mobile units, and targets of opportunity. We'll try to make them durable enough to survive enemy return fire. Nice thing about drop pods, at least we won't lose men before they get to shoot. Watch Master yanks the Land Raider Crusader up next to him and it starts pouring out fire. If assault troops, they stay inside. If shooty, they get out and shoot. Maybe assault next turn.

Turn 2: Blackstar arrives from Reserves (might need to build in some reserves manipulation to improve the probability) and fires into targets of opportunity while lining up its approach to launch the assault troops next turn. Surviving Vets continue to shoot things up and get to scoring objectives. Assault units in Land Raider Crusader assault key target.

Turn 3: Blackstar makes final move and launches the assault team. Vets keep firing. Assault team attacks key unit.

Basically, we end up with a crescendo of violence. Turn 1 shooting, Turn 2 LRC assault, Turn 3 Blackstar assault. But it also risks being destroyed piece meal. Would be nice for the assault units to hit simultaneously. For that, we need that Skyshield Landing Pad after all.

Basic idea, with Skyshield Landing Pad:

Turn 1: Both the Crusader and Blackstar start on the Skyshield Landing Pad (with the Ready for Take Off upgrade). Veterans drop pod in. Watch Master uses the Beacon Angelus to pull the Crusader to the front lines (try to give it some cover, even if it's just hiding behind a drop pod). Blackstar hovers off the SLP, lines up for Turn 2 assault.

While the Blackstar is more vulnerable, chances are a lot of the quality anti-tank shooting would go into the Land Raider since it's the imminent threat. With good target priority, hopefully your Veterans can reduce the enemy's anti-tank firepower. Even if the Land Raider is destroyed, the unit inside should be tough enough to withstand some incoming fire and still be able to assault next turn.

Turn 2: Crusader and Blackstar move into position and disembark their assault teams. Veterans continue to attrit lesser units. Assault teams attack critical targets.

Basically, this is an Alpha Beta strike, the Alpha being shooting and Beta being assault. Thanks to the Beacon Angelus and Skyshield Landing Pad, they coordinate rather well. It's pretty risky though. One round of good shooting can wreck your assault vehicles and lay waste to the assault units.

What do you think? If this interests you, we can get into specifics.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 12:50:59 AM by hillshire »

Offline hillshire

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2016, 05:59:18 PM »
Alpha 01 - Deathwatch CAD @ 1850
Over all, I donít think this is a tournament army but it could be a lot of fun in a more casual environment.
Weíll look at something more competitive in the future

Deathwatch
HQ
205   Watch Mater w/Guardian Spear (S+1 AP2 Block), Bolt Pistol, Artificer Armor (2+), Rosarius (4++ Invul),
   The Beacon Angelis

95   Chaplain w/Power Armor (3+), Rosarius (4++ Invul) Bolt Pistol, Crozius Arcanum

Troops
   Kill Team Alpha
170   Veterans - 2 marines with Frag Cannon & SpecAmmo bolters, 2 marines with Deathwatch Shotgun &    
   SpecAmmo bolters, Sergeant has Storm Shield & SpecAmmo bolters
35   Drop Pod - dedicated transport

   Kill Team Beta
170   Veterans - 2 marines with Frag Cannon & SpecAmmo bolters, 2 marines with Deathwatch Shotgun &    
   SpecAmmo bolters, Sergeant has Storm Shield & SpecAmmo bolters
35   Drop Pod - dedicated transport

   Kill Team Chi
170   Veterans - 2 marines with Frag Cannon & SpecAmmo bolters, 2 marines with Deathwatch Shotgun &    
   SpecAmmo bolters, Sergeant has Storm Shield & SpecAmmo bolters
35   Drop Pod - dedicated transport

   Kill Team Delta
200   Veterans - 2 marines w/Heavy Thunder Hammers, 2 marines w/Deathwatch Shotgun & Storm Shield,
   Sergeant w/Deathwatch Shotgun & Storm Shield
35   Drop Pod - dedicated transport

   Kill Team Zeta
230   Veterans - 2 marines w/Heavy Thunder Hammers, 1 marines w/Deathwatch Shotgun &    
   SpecAmmo bolter, 1 marine w/Storm Shield & Lightning Claw, Sergeant w/Storm Shield & Lightning Claw
185   Corvus Blackstar - dedicated transport armed with Blackstar Cluster Launcher, Four Stormstrike Missiles,
   Ceramite Armor (immune to melta), TL Assault Cannon, Inferno Cluster Launcher (re-roll Jink)

Fast Attack
35   Drop Pod

Heavy Support
250   Land Raider Crusader - 2 Hurricane Bolters, 1 Assault Cannon, and Frag Assault Launchers

Alpha 01a - Deathwatch CAD @ 2000 add
Elite
115   3 Vanguard Veterans (1 w/Stormshield & Lightning Claw, 1 w/dual Lightning Claws, and 1 w/Stormshield & Power Axe)

Fast Attack
35   1 Biker w/Power Sword and Melta Bombs

Some statistics @ 1850:
12 Scoring units (including vehicles but not HQs), 10 of which are ObSec. 14 Scoring units if HQs separate.
0 Warp Dice
3 Shooty infantry units and 2 Assault infantry units
10 Quality anti-tank weapons: 4 Heavy Thunder Hammers and 6 Frag Cannons

This list can launch an alpha strike with a strong follow-up. Hereís how it can work (in very general terms):

Deployment:
KT Delta is in the Land Raider Crusader waiting for the drop pods. Tuck it into ruins and hide it

Turn 1
The Watch Master joins KT Alpha and arrives Turn 1 along with KT Beta & KT Chi. If desired, drop in the Watch Master and KT Alpha first so you can use the Beacon Angelus to guide KT Beta & Chi without error if you place them within 6Ē of the Watch Master. Watch your spacing though, gotta leave room for a Land Raider. Again, take advantage of cover to help keep you marines safer from return fire

Or have the Drop Pods spread out so they can cover multiple Objectives.

Use the Beacon Angelus to pull up KT Delta and its Land Raider Crusader. If desired, the Chaplain could join KT Delta or KT Zeta (more on that later). You can use the Drop Pods to screen the Land Raider and give it cover. Remember to not block it in, leave it a path to launch its assault unit next turn. Similarly, the Land Raider can use its bulk to block incoming fire from certain angles

Basically, youíre using 6 Frag Cannons to take out key units. Theyíll have to use mass fire vs tougher targets. But between Special Ammo bolter fire and the Frag Cannons, you have a lot of flexibility. I am concerned whether itíll be enough to put an enemy force on its back foot long enough to let the assault teams to get in there and get their work done. Each unit has a Storm Shield to give it some protection vs AP3 or better. Meanwhile, the Land Raider Crusader can add some fire into lighter units (although, itíll be mostly snap firing I would imagine)

Turn 2
2 Empty drop pods (1 ObSec, 1 not). Drop those onto objectives to hold them

KT Zeta and its ObSec Corvus Blackstar line up to get in some solid shooting. May as well use the Stormstrike Missiles now since youíll likely be Jinking to keep it alive. Plan ahead and maneuver towards the target you want
KT Zeta to assault next turn

KTs Alpha, Beta, and Chi are free to move and shoot while advancing to get better angles or reach an Objective.

KT Delta can launch its assault from the Land Raider (if itís still alive). With a bit of clever maneuvering, the Watchmaster could join the assault force before making its attack if desired. Basically, the marines with Storm Shields absorb attacks while the Heavy Thunder Hammers do the heavy hitting. Literally.

Turn 3
KTs Alpha, Beta, and Chi continue to shoot and scoot

KT Delta could pack back up in the Land Raider and move towards another target to be assaulted while it shoots away

KT Zeta get their turn to launch their attack. Make sure to place the Blackstar carefully so it doesn't get assaulted

Turn 4
KTs Alpha, Beta, and Chi continue to shoot and scoot

KT Delta launches its second assault from the Land Raider while its shooting away at light targets

This depends on the situation. KT Zeta could pack back up into the Blackstar in hopes of a Turn 5 assault or they can slog it on their own so that the Blackstar can zoom away to safety and a Turn 5 seizure of an Objective

Turn 5
KTs Alpha, Beta, and Chi can continue to shoot and scoot but need to be on End Game Objectives

KTs Delta and the Land Raider Crusader might be able to pull off a second assault, maybe sweeping an Objective

KT Zeta needs to keep the pressure on but remember itís ObSec as well, maneuver for End Game

Use the Corvus Blackstarís speed to hold distant Objectives

Turn 6 and 7
Hold tough and try to hold your objectives

Some Concerns:
*Lack of Psychic Power. While not necessary, a psyker can add flexibility by selecting powers tailored against the foe

*Lack of Mobility. Really, only the Corvus Blackstar and Land Raider Crusader are going to be able to scoot around the board to score objectives. So, initial placement of the drop pods and marines will be crucial to later success as the game turns continue.

*Lack of boots on the ground. There are only 27 sets of boots on the ground, always a problem for elite armies.

*Lack of grav. Hated by xenos for a reason, grav cannons are highly effective with a high rate of fire. While the Frag Cannon is a great all-comers weapon, I find it surprising that Deathwatch would not bring grav cannons to battle. As it stands, this army would be relying on the Frag Cannons and Heavy Thunder Hammers to deal with Gargantuan Creatures and Super-Heavy Vehicles.

Some strengths:
*Superior ObSec. In most armies, Objective Secured units lack combat power. With Deathwatch, your shooty units can put out a lot of firepower while your assault units can take some of the best melee weapons in the game

*ObSec Flyer. The Corvus Blackstar has some good shooting, decent durability (thanks to re-rollable jinking), and a lot of speed. Gives the army a lot of threat range and striking power with its assault unit aboard

*Land Raider to the face. Land Raiders are tricky because they are expensive and there are many, many weapons out there that can destroy them. On the other hand, a lot of units have trouble dealing with AV14 and having one appear in their deployment zone really limits their time to wear it down. If at all possible, avoid setting it in strike range of units which will eliminate it unless you can deal with them first

*Accurate arrivals. The Beacon Angelus makes this list much more reliable, if the original unit doesnít scatter too much. Good use of obstacles can help guide it where you want

What do you think?

Offline Alfalpharius

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Re: Deathwatch Tactica - The First Question: CAD or Formations?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2016, 08:56:41 AM »
I like it.  For the next couple of weeks, I'll be testing this.  First game is Tuesday, but it'll be boozehammer so it might be a smaller game. 

Stand by for reports and thank you for your help!