Goatboy here again. The Deathwatch codex coming down the pipeline looks to be a glue codex – sticking together all the Primaris marines into a weird combo heavy monster.
We haven’t seen the book yet at BOLS HQ – but just by the little tidbits we have heard whispered as well as the nice little blurb from GW we can easily piece together something interesting. I expect this army to be a heavy “combo” style feel that tries to utilize multiple layers of Stratagems and unit abilities to try and get the job done. Plus you can create truly unique unit combos as well.
How Special Is Your Ammo?
First of all – it will heavily depend on how much the “special” edition ammunition is for each unit. There are a lot of interesting Primarus weapons that if they have access to this ammunition – could be pretty crazy. I know they talked about Aggressors as being a part of the army so if they could throw out some super bullets with their plethora of firepower we could see something really interesting. I don’t know if that would be fair or if the points you have to pay to get it would be worth it – but it is something to think about. Hellfire rounds or Kraken shots could be extremely devastating on what is normally a closer ranged unit.
Beyond just having better ammunition the units better have some interesting combinations. I don’t think will see anything “new” beyond some rehashed options in the Space Marine kit range with the added name and sprue of Deathwatch X. Part of me doesn’t want to see more boxes on the wall to dilute the Space Marine range but since we say all the new “Deathwatch” kits during the last release (which wasn’t that long ago…) then I bet will just see a refresh of all the Primarus with the extra sprue or two to help it out. I think it would be interesting to see some of the Primaries outfitted with more of a close combat ability as I feel like some kind of jump Assault option or just assault option in general would be pretty interesting.
CPs & Strategems
Beyond all the gear and new but old units I think the army will really find its strength in how it utilizes Command Points. With the update to Battalions with a flat rate of 5 we could see some interesting usage of these guys, maybe some custodes, and a smattering of Assassins to create a truly anti Xenos/Imperium force? Its hard to say as again – it all depends on the points you have to dump into each unit. We all know that Marines still feel a tad overcosted these days. Heck all versions of marines (Chaos too) just don’t feel relevant currently so trying to create an army/codex around the basic Marine is a tough thing to do.
I am guessing will see a ton of Stratagems that resemble things like they used to do in the old book. Abilities like reroll all wound rolls versus x type of foe. Or maybe something like that – super ammunition – pick two of the Death Watch abilities and combine them together. I think this is where the book will have some legs as it can cascade a bunch of different stratagems to build up some kind of crazy deadly turn. It all really depends on how much they can bring to bear.
Small Model Count
I am really worried it will be come another small army. While this is great for a slow painter – having an army that needs to rely on good saves to keep alive long enough is a big issue. Custodes circumvent that a bit by having a decent amount of wounds on each body. Every 4+ inv save they make takes out a lot of damage from an opponent and thus they can stick around for awhile. If Deathwatch fits into that small army format – but with a ton of 1 to 2 wound guys – then you just have too expensive of Marines trying to complete a mission they don’t have a ton of hope to complete.
The old Deathwatch book and armies gave abilities to the combination units based on their make up and I would love to see that with some Primaris Marines. Let’s say the capri-pants wearing Reavers gave you the ability to cause fear or some kind of hidden deployment option. Or how Aggressors could move and shoot so the whole unit can ignore the Heavy Weapon restrictions. There is a lot of options we could have in these units – but it really depends on how cheap they could be and not be over powered. Of course if an actual all Marine army is doing good how much of an issue is that going to be?
I am excited for Deathwatch as they are an easy army to paint that isn’t some kind of simple Metal paint mixed with some washes. If they allow for a ton of customization then it could be a converters. Each unit has their own stories and adventures and somehow it all combines together into a cohesive army that actually can do work – or it is the Marine army that can be bad to allow for the next Marine army to be good (Space Wolves?).
~Time will tell if we all learn to fear the DeathWatch. How do you think GW will make them viable in 8th?