Boy can you build some incredibly nasty Deathwatch units with Primaris models. Let’s examine a handful.
Everyone is talking about the big new addition to the Deathwatch, the Primaris Killteams. With the Deathwatch Codex the underpowered Primaris Marines really come into their own. The book both makes the basic units more deadly, with Special issue ammo as well as allowing the expansive elite units to mix in some cheap ablative wounds. But what’s the best way to take these new mixed units? Let take a look at some solid options.
Lean And Mean
10x Intercessors w/bolt rifles, 1x chainsword -190 pts.
This is about as basic a unit as you can get, with a cheap barebones unit. This is a unit that may not have a ton of tricks but hits a lot harder than a regular Intercessors Squad thanks to Special Issue Ammo. You can use Kraken bolts to turn you guns into a 36″ range rapid fire gun with AP -2, or Vengeance rounds to give you AP -3, and still have a 24″ range. Both of these really let your basic unit chew through enemies for next to no cost. Couple this with a Watchmaster allowing you to reroll misses, and your Mission Tactics and you can put out a lot of wounds.
It’s also important to keep in mind the Doctrine Stratagems, which give you +1 to wound to on each Battlefield Role. Combing all these can allow even this basic unit to threaten tanks, by throwing out 20 shots that reroll misses, wound on 4s rerolling ones and are AP -3. Lastly don’t forget to give your Sergeants chainswords, they are free and give that model a total of 4 attacks. I can pretty easily seeing using 2-4 of these squads to bulk out your Deathwatch force on the cheap. You can of course also take these in 5 man squads for half the points, which helps with filling out Battalions, but makes the Doctrine Stratagems less useful. This basic unit may be limited but its also the building block of all the others, so keep these tricks in mind.
5x Intercessors w/auto bolt rifles, 1x chainsword 1x Aggressors, 1x Aggressors w/flamestrom guantlets, 3x Inceptors w/ 2x twin plasma exterminator- 353 pts.
This is a much more expensive unit but works great as a front line brute squad. Like regular kill teams Primaris Killteams get special rules based on the models in them. Aggressors give the unit the ability to advance fire assault weapons, or move and fire heavy weapons with no penalty. Inceptors meanwhile allow the unit to fall back and still shoot. This units takes advantage of both rules. Every weapon in the unit is assault, meaning unless you plan to charge, you should be advancing every turn, making this a very mobile squad.
It’s also deadly. The 3 Inceptors can put out a good amount of plasma fire against tough enemies. The Aggressors, both types, can clean out hordes, while the Intercessors can put firepower on any enemy. It’s a mobile unit you really want in your front line, and it can also take a punch.
The Dirty Secret
The secret of the unit lies in taking advantage of the Mixed Unit Rule. Because the unit has 5 T4 models and 5 T5 models, you as the Deathwatch player get to decided what T the enemy rolls against, which will be 5. However even if they roll versus this you can still put your wounds on the T4 Intercessors. In effect you get T5 Intercessors for free, in both combat and shooting, making the unit MUCH more survivable. Even as you take losses they are going to come from your Intercessors, meaning it’s a while before the unit’s heavy firepower degrades. You also want this unit out front to blunt charges. They can overwatch, with flamers, tank the attacks with their 2 wounds and T5, hit back with a good amount of attacks (good ones from the Aggressors) and then fall back and shoot the unit that just charged them. Tricky! (Note: While I like having the Basic Aggressor it could easily become a 4th Inceptor or a 2nd flamestorm.)
5x Intercessors w/ auto bolt rifle, 1x chainsword, 1x Agressors, 4x Hellblaster w/ assault plasma incinerators -275 pts.
I like to think of this squad as my follow up unit. It’s very similar to the above unit, trading power for a lower points cost. Like the previous unit it should always be advancing and shooting. The Hellblasters may get less shots than the Inceptors, but they have a slightly better range, and being cheaper matter less when you overcharge and kill them. This unit doesn’t have any new tricks, but its a cheaper and reliable middle ground between the above options.
I think if you have the extra 78 points the Big Boy’s squad is far better, but 78 points isn’t cheap. You could take two units of Big Boys or two units of Mobile Death and one Lean and Mean Unit for about the same cost. It all comes down to preference.
Arriving in a Flash
5x Intercessors w/bolt rifles, 1x chainsword, 5x Aggressors w/Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets and Frag-storm Grenade Launcher -280 pts.
This is your anti-horde unit. One of its keys is that it can take advantage of the Telporarium Stratagem to Deep Strike on the battle field. This means the normally short ranged Aggressors can drop in on turn 2 where they want and unleash a really impressive amount of shots, chewing through horde units. Like the Big Boys the unit take advantage of counting as T5 so it can take a beating as well.
Leave the Reivers At Home
You’ll notice that none of the Squads listed above have Reivers in them. Simply put I just don’t think they are any good. They are outclassed in pretty much every way by the other options. While they do give the units special rules, none of these are really that great, and I don’t really want my units getting into combat anyway. If I do get into combat I can always just fall back and use the Inceptor I took instead of the Reiver to let me still shoot. So sorry, Reivers, but you get to stay on the shelf in my armies.
I’ve touched on a few of my favorite combos above. In the end there are so many different ways to kit out your Killteams that I could never cover them all. Whatever you want to do, and however many points you have to spend, you can build a team to fit. I think with this book Primairs may have really come into their own, and given how little it costs to make your units Deathwatch I don’t a see a good, non-fluff, reason to not make your Primaris units Deathwatch. It’s still early days and time will tell what proves to be the best option, but for now, get out there and play.
Let us know how you plan to field your new Killteams, down in the comments!