40K Deathwatch: The Watch Master & His Trickery

deathwatch-master-horz

Today we look at the lord of the Deathwatch codex – with plenty of dirty tricks to go around!

We’ve been seeing all kinds of leaks and teasers leading up to this weekend’s Deathwatch release.  Today let’s take a look at the big bad boss – the Deathwatch Watchmaster and his bag of dirty tricks, and put to rest any remaining mysteries of the new black flyer zipping your way.

images via Spikeybits Forum 8-10-2016

The Watchmaster

watchmaster

Ok, this guy is clocking in at 25 points more than a Space Marine Chapter Master with Artificer armor (so they both have a 2+).  For that those 25 points you lose Orbital Strike, but you gain some nasty tricks of your own.  Here’s what the Clavis and Guardian Spear do:

guardian spear

Yup, that sure looks like an Adeptus Custodes spear to me – described with rules for the first time in 40K history.  Special issue ammo, then 4 WS:6 I:5 S:5 AP:2 attacks with Block is nothing to sneeze at.  Block is such a fun rule as well – I love the fun and drama of roll-offs.  Having problems with the machines out there.  Well the Watch Master has something for that too.  Behold the Clavis!

clavis

I can’t even begin to think of the enemy vehicles that are going to hate this guy the most… the Watchmaster is full of fun and games!  Oh, and don’t forget he can also take Deathwatch Relics and Special Issue Wargear and let you alter your Deathwatch mission tactics an addition time per game.

 

~What’s your favorite combo?

 

  • Mike Salamandrin

    Sad this guy didn’t turn out to be a Keeper, but I love the flavorful special rules. I’m expecting jokes on how he changes his special ammo, though 😀

    • MPSwift

      Thumb selector on the aft firing grip 😛

      • Mike Salamandrin

        I just assumed he either shouted commands to it’s machine spirit….or he was really good at planning the loading of it’s clips

  • __

    Says that there are relics in the last paragraph link, but I can’t find any relics in that article???

    • MPSwift

      I don’t think they’ve been leaked yet

  • AmasNagol

    Pissed he can’t take a bike or jump pack. Kills it for me.

    • Austin Becht

      Bikes and Jump Packs are under Special Issue Wargear. Unless there’s some leaked list of the Wargear that excludes him from taking them, he’s all good.

      • GingerPowered

        Actually, the “Special Issue Wargear” section in the DW codex doesn’t include a bike or jump pack

        • Orblivion

          It doesn’t include the bike but it does include the jump pack.

          • GingerPowered

            I’m looking at the special issue wargear right now and the jump pack isn’t on there.

          • Austin Becht

            And I’m seeing the Jump Pack in the Special Issue Wargear section in the link above.

            Wouldn’t be surprised to see the bike in there in the real codex too.

          • GingerPowered

            It’s in the armoury page, but according to the “Deathwatch Wargear List” page, it can’t be taken for a points cost.

          • Orblivion

            Are you only looking at the first half of the page? It is on the second half, between the Iron Halo and the Rosarius.

          • GingerPowered

            It’s in the armoury page, but according to the “Deathwatch Wargear List” page, it can’t be taken for a points cost…

  • So how does blocking work exactly if he gets attacked by multiple attacks? He picks one of the enemy’s dice and tries to roll higher than that? Or they both roll for the first attack and try to block this, then the remaining attacks follow as usual?

    • ILikeToColourRed

      after any roll to hit, you can choose to try and block (once per assault phase)

      • petrow84

        And after blocking he will be like: “not on MY WATCH!”

      • Horus84cmd

        yep kinda, exactly, how the rule is written and phrased. Do not see any ambiguity here.

      • So you pick which one when I have three dice to roll in order to attack?

        • SYSTem050

          Yes but after the roll has been made.

          • Yes? The question was “which one”. You can’t answer that with a “yes”. So the master choses vs. which dice he wants to roll off?

          • Orblivion

            “can attempt to block a single Attack that targets them.” It doesn’t specify a random attack, which means it is the player’s choice by default.

          • I could use the same argument the other way: “It didn’t specify the player’s choice, so by default it’s random”. Doesn’t work.

          • Orblivion

            “can attempt” implies choice, not randomness.

            I can attempt to block an attack if I want to. Well I don’t want to attempt to block that attack, but I do want to attempt to block this attack.

          • Horus84cmd

            This, just this.

            Adding the word “choose” or changing “can” for “choose” would simply be: redundant to the sentence and wouldn’t change the meaning of the rule.

        • ILikeToColourRed

          your opponent attacks with a mixed unit, containing a powerfist

          rolls 5 successful hits at I4 – you can choose to nominate one roll to block if you want to
          if you didn’t nominate one to block then, at I1, you can attempt to block one successful powerfist swing

          in each case, the player controlling the Watch Master chooses which dice to challenge

          • Where does it say he gets to chose?

          • SYSTem050

            Where does it say he doesn’t?

          • So 40k works now by “he’s allowed to, because it doesn’t say the model may not”?

          • SYSTem050

            40k works by neither intra or ultra vires it works by a social contract of agreement between players.

            In this circumstance i say it works as I and others have described I see no concern as to why it would function differently. If you have a different opinion explain how you think it should work. If I agree grand we do it that way if we don’t we roll a d6 4+ for me, we then continue to shuffle or various models about have a beer or Jaffa cake and move on

          • Well, it’s the way I’d probably play it. But why do we always need GW to make an FAQ first? Because, imo, this isn’t clear and could have been easily made clear.

          • SYSTem050

            You see the thing is I think it is clear. I don’t have any concern with it.

            Appropriate rules the same way as life assume good faith, don’t be a plonker and more often than not it’s easy to answer

          • Shawn

            It’s an age old argument on both sides of any ruling: It says he can’t, but it doesn’t say he can either. Both are not very good arguments. However, I did try to break it down for you in regards to language Hendarion.

          • ILikeToColourRed

            wording is: attempt to block a single attack.
            timing: After the “to hit roll” has been made

            ergo, after your opponent rolls to hit you can choose a dice to try and block – you cant roll a dice and then choose

          • But the word “chose” is not written anywhere. It would have been so simple for GW to make it a straight out clear rule.

          • SYSTem050

            And people would still poke holes in it. It’s not a legal document deciding the fate of a million dollar settlement, it’s a rule to allow a model to do something cool and different (personal opinion on the cool and different).

          • Shawn

            Which differing groups could play differently, based on their interpretation. It happens all the time. However, I would argue that since there aren’t any specific mention of when or how the block occurs, then “can attempt to block a single attack in the assault phase,” implies a choice can be made.

          • ILikeToColourRed

            I can’t see another interpretation, so please enlighten me

          • Horus84cmd

            Adding the word “choose” to the sentence is redundant to the meaning of the sentence. Adding it would make no difference to the meaning of the rule – as Shawn so eloquently explains below.

          • Shawn

            Thanks Horus.

          • Shawn

            The Watch Master’s choice is implied in the following sentence: “Once per turn, in the Assault Phase, a model equipped with a guardian spear can attempt to block a single attack that targets them. So, if there are multiple attacks on him he can make a single attempt to block one of them. “I can attempt to block that chainsword attack, or I can attempt to block that power axe attack, or I can attempt to block the powerfist attack. Since the powerfist attack could outright kill me, I’ll attempt to block that one attack this assault phase.” Possessing the ability to attempt a block without specifying which attack or when the block must be made implies a choice. The sentence is permissive enough to allow a choice. If the sentence had stated “may attempt to block the first attack that targets him in the assault phase,” or may only block the most powerful attack that targets him in the assault phase, is a restrictive sentence. The lay out of specific instances of when the block may be attempted removes any implication of choice and is quite specific when the block occurs. This clearly indicates that no choice may be made as to which attack may be blocked. Since such restrictive elements are absent from the wording of the rules, then a choice may be made.

    • Parthis

      Basically, yes. Say three attacks come in, hitting on 3s. Opponent rolls 3, 4, 5.

      Pick the 3.

      Ignore the hit on a 4+ Block roll.

      • Jared van Kell

        It is the parry rule from 2nd edition 40K.

      • Doug Olson

        Actually you dont pick a die to roll against you choose to roll against the attack. Opponent rolls 4 dice to hit needing 3+, gets 2,3,4,6. You roll one die, getting 4. Your 4 is higher than one successful to hit die, so you succeed and take away a successful attack.

        You may be saying, but what if the 6 causes ID, or some other nefarious proc? Well tough turds, you cant roll higher than a 6 so its a mute point there. Meaning you can never block 6s off the to hit roll.

        There is no mention of nominating a dice.

        • Parthis

          It was illustrative. I wasn’t saying that you can choose a specific dice to negate specific mechanics, simply that as the rule doesn’t state “pick the lowest and roll above it” you need to “pick the lowest and roll above it”.

        • Andrew Thomas

          Rule of 6 & 1: in normal die rolls, a 6 always succeeds and a 1 always fails. So a 6 could negate a 6, but it’s not really prudent to try to do so. Luckily, the model has a 2+/4++ stock.

          • Nameless

            A 6 does not always succeed though. for example on to wound rolls against high enough toughness’s

          • Doug Olson

            No such case for 6s. 6 does not auto pen or wound. If he rolls a 6 and you roll a 6 who’s takes precedence? If you roll double 6s on a leadership test you fail. In general a 6 is good, but its not auto success.

            The rule here has no ambiguity on that you must roll “higher.” With no other modifiers or influence, you cannot roll higher than a 6 on a d6.

            I dont know why this is a debate. ;p

    • Phil Turner

      Please…just read the rule. I think you must have been one of the guys who sent in a lot of the “faq” questions……ie; “how does run work? Can i assault out of deepstrike? Can my dreadnought ride a bike?

  • euansmith

    Waith Knights are Monstrous Creatures, right? So they will ignore the Clavis?

    • petrow84

      AFAIK, knights are super heavy walkers, so no.

      • Gleep

        Guess he meant wraith knights…they are a Gargantuan Monstrous Creature – so they will ignore it, yes.

      • euansmith

        Are Walkers not vehicles under the rules (or is it the super heavy part that would give an Imperial Knight protection)? The weapon’s fluff is an attack by machine spirit, so one would assume that anything mechanical would be vulnerable.

        • petrow84

          I stand corrected by Gleep, WK is indeed Gargantuan Creature.

          • euansmith

            No worries, I actually missed the “r” out when I originally posted the comment, turning the mighty Wraith Knight in to a lisping Waith Knight 😉

            It was more a question of fluff. The Clavis uses a machine spirit to attempt to interfere with the operation of machinery (stated as “vehicles”); so I was wondering, in my usually obtuse manner, what would fall under that threat?

            It things like the Wave Serpent and Leman Russ would be affected, why would it not also affect Wraith Knights or Dreadnoughts?

  • Ebsolom

    Shame it’s such a statically posed model. Looks almost like a grey knight.

    • OldHat

      They call this “stoic”. I like it. Works on some models.

      • euansmith

        “Watch Master, you’ve been stood like that for hours; are you okay?”

        “It’s the old problem. My stoic is acting up again.”

        • OldHat

          He caught a nasty case of stoic from Ulrik, I am guessing.

          • SYSTem050

            It can be really contagious, just standing on a cliff edge looking to sea increases your odds by 35%

          • euansmith

            Stoic, the silent killer.

          • Jim Collins

            “Enhanced ossification”

      • SYSTem050

        I agree it does work, just not sure what the conversion options could be. That said dynamic models are usually the worst offenders for wobbly model syndrome.

        • Austin Becht

          Not that you have much in the way of conversion opportunities for him, considering his Wargear is rather static outside of Relics and Special Issue Wargear. So your talking bikes, jump packs, and storm shields, plus whatever Relic weapons there might be, at the most. The bike would be the most difficult one.

  • Jared van Kell

    The older players around here may recognise that the block rule is essentially the parry rule from 2nd edition 40K.

    • ZeeLobby

      Which is a shame, modern 40K lacks those tactical choices. I’d love if they included more choices in a game. (Obviously with some streamlining, as it’s already pretty weighty)

      • Hmm. But people cry all the time about “steamrolling” and simplifying the rules. You want more choices?

        • ZeeLobby

          LoL. I knew some one would immediately point this out, so I edited my original response. My comment was more to the fact that there only ever seems to be Pros, and choices are made because some unit Pros clearly outweigh other unit Pros. I’d like the game to have taxes for benefits. After all, on a real battlefield squad leaders make real-time choices all the time, most of which gain both benefit and cost.

          It’s something common with many other game systems which I wouldn’t hate if GW “borrowed”. Sure you could increase accuracy, at the cost of melee defense. Or block incoming melee attacks, at the cost of an attack.

          Of course all of this would require game developers we know they don’t have, so maybe it’s asking too much right now.

          • Dunno. The costs can be point-costs, there doesn’t need to be a drawback imo.

          • ZeeLobby

            Which would help if anything in 40K was costed correctly. I mean maybe 8th will fix that, but right now, whatever formula they use seems to be very flexible. I thought they were heading the right way with formations which required underplayed units, but then they also released formations with bonuses for the strongest units in a book. All at no point cost.

          • Mira Bella

            I’m just going to paste a comment that I wrote a few days earlier (yeah I’m lazy). It’s about the lack of tactical choices.
            In this case it’s Overwatch.

            Ask yourself this.
            Is there any situation where you would NOT want to Overwatch, except when lets say there are two units charging you and you hope the first one won’t reach you so that you can Overwatch on the second one? (in which case you would still Overwatch)
            See, there is no downside to over watching. It requires no thought at all. It’s just another layer of damage output/rolling.
            I don’t want to argue about if Overwatch is too powerful/not powerful enough. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.
            For example let’s say you would get a minus one initiative penalty if you decide to Overwatch (just an example).
            That small rule change would require you to make an assessment. Is it worth to Overwatch and take the penalty or should I not do it and fight without the penalty? It forces you to make a decision! Rather then being just another layer of mindless dice rolling.

            Im not a native speaker and I really hope you understand the point that I’m trying to make here. 🙂

    • Shinnentai

      I don’t recall having to give up attacks to parry in 2nd Ed.

  • Andrew Thomas

    Better Power Axe. No reason not to take this. Too bad Apothecaries can only be had with any usefulness via Aligning with BA or Wolves, although 2 Wolf Priests and 2 Lone Wolves isn’t a huge point-sink.