40K: Ten Awesome Facts About the Deathwatch


A new codex means new secrets unveiled about our newest faction.  You’ll love these:


Induction: A Marine’s Captain, Chaplain and Apothecary are required to affirm a Battle-Brother’s Skill, Body, and Soul before being seconded to the Deathwatch.

Dark Past: Blackshields are mysterious Astartes with no home chapter who when inducted to the Deathwatch become members for life.

What Index Astartes? Within a Deathwatch Fortress each company is composed of four Kill-teams led by a Watch Captain.

Ends Justify the Means: Each Killteam is unique with with a fluid variable manpower ranging from 6 up to dozens of Battle-Brothers drawn from across the Imperium.

 Ever Vigilant: The Deathwatch maintain a string of Great and Lessor Watch Fortresses across the Imperium, supported by a large network of outlying small Watch Stations. Only the Segmentum Pacificus is relatively unguarded – hosting only a single Watch Station within it’s borders.


I’ll Take That: Battle Brothers who survive their Long Vigil of service with the Deathwatch keep their distinctive silver pauldron and wear it upon return to their home chapter.

A Cut Above: The Watch Master’s Guardian Spear is the identical weapon used by the Adeptus Custodes, here armed with Deathwatch special issue ammunition.

What’s a Lock? Deathwatch officers have access to the Clavis, the “master key” to the galaxy. These ancient devices contain powerful machine spirits that disrupt machinery and can open any lock or barrier encountered.

Only the Best: The Deathwatch make extensive use of the highly advanced Mk VIII power armor, in numbers unseen an other chapters.

Swiss Army Knife: The Infernus Heavy Bolter may be the best weapon of it’s type in the Imperium, combining easy of use and mobility thanks to it’s suspensors, special issue heavy bolter ammo, and an integrated Heavy Flamer! DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA WHOOOOSH!


~ ‘Suffer Not The Alien to Live’



  • Xodis

    Pretty cool but a link to the Warhammer wiki would have done the same and more lol

  • Severius_Tolluck

    So the Clavis is essentially a Sonic Screwdriver?

    • Horus84cmd

      allons y!

    • Ben Martin

      I doubt the Doctor would approve of their methods though.

  • Jesse Cavazos

    Wait, so if they make use of Mark 8 armor does that mean painting your armor black is no longer a thing?. Do they hand out new suits now?

    • mafiacheese

      IIRC, they do ritually paint their armor black when they leave their home Chapter, but are given the choice between keeping what they brought with them or using Deathwatch™ brand equipment when they get to their new post.

    • Damistar

      It may be all replacement parts/suits are newly minted MkVIII ones. It probably varies from station to station and also some Chapters consider repainting over the Chapters colors to be dishonouring the wargear and risks offending it’s machine spirit.

  • SilentPony

    I miss the days when the Deathwatch was founded by the Death Guard Garro had returned to Terra with.
    Now its all about mourning Vulkan’s death and fighting the Beast. That’s not nearly as interesting.

    • Damistar

      I think Garro and company are more related to the Grey Knights than the Deathwatch.

      • SilentPony

        Garro yes, but old canon was the Death Guard who came with him became the original blackshields and were assigned to far flung outposts to ensure aliens weren’t taking advantage of the Heresy.
        The Death Guard became watchers. Thus DeathWatch.

        • Damistar

          I hadn’t heard that, but it sounds right. GW is always retconning the fluff and attributing it to the vagaries of Imperial record keeping.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Whu-huh? Black Shields being a thing in 40k now would lead me to assume that the Sigilite had more to do with the founding of the Deathwatch in canon than anything/one else, and it would neatly explain what happens to Loyalist members of the Renegade Chapters or Traitor Legions, apart from being killed/sacrificed.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      I think you have your 30k history mixed up.

  • Simon Chatterley

    These aren’t really new now are they??. Much of the Deathwatch background and narrative existed already via the RPG source books. The new codex at least doesn’t recon this so those of us who liked the 40k universe for reasons other than power list building will likely know all this already (well, I did anyway because I love the Deathwatch)

    Those who want to power list build probably don’t care. But you got a view and comment from me so touche.

    • petrow84

      Have about 12 years of 40k beyond my back, and never ever played with a 40k RPG. So most of them were pretty nice to know.

      • Simon Chatterley

        I never played the RPG either tbh. Just got the source books for the story bits as I’m a massive Deathwatch fan. Reading it back I sounded salty. Just get narked when the word “new” is used for things that aren’t I guess.

  • bfmusashi

    So the clavis is the 40k keyblade.

  • Jukka Vuorisalo

    What´s this?

    Blackshields ain´t “in” deathwatch all their lives and clavis ain´t multikey of that power…

    Or are the dark powers messing around again

  • FiscalHermitCrab

    Shouldn’t it be “What ‘Codex’ Astartes”?

  • Mathias Vilhelmsson

    Dont forget the Minotaurs now. They might just have the Deathwatch beaten when it comes ti MK VIII armor, being the high lords personal executioners and all.


    The deathwatch codex is poorly designed
    The book goes on and on about how special and rare these guys are and gives them pretty much basic stuff ( stuff all ) with a few meh weapons options
    Artremis is not named in the codex and there are no special characters you can use , just the one
    No dedicated land raider transports for the terminators or troops
    Few new weapons options and they cannot use other marine weapons
    As spec ops marines they should have there choice of gear

    Its like the ad mech codex
    Very small and simple codex
    Given the hype im quite disappointed