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Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch Codex Supplement Overview

4 Minute Read
Nov 4 2020

What’s in the new Deathwatch Supplement? A lean, mean Xenos-fighting machine! Come take a tour with us.

It’s a short book that packs a punch. The Deathwatch Supplement is in the house and we’re taking a look between the covers:

The Xenos-Hunters

Don’t let the size fool you. While this hardback is only slim 64 pages, it’s going to make the Deathwatch into a Space Marine Army that’s worth taking note of. With 9 Datasheets that are Deathwatch specific, you might be wondering what’s so special and that’s a fair question. But the rest of the rules make them stand out for sure. If you’re looking for more of a rules breakdown, check out Goatboy’s first impressions here.

The Deathwatch are known for the their Xenos Hunting prowess, they are just as good at killing other things, too. Special Issue Ammo is back and got some tweaks to make it fit better with 9th editions ruleset. However, it’s pretty limited in the units that can take it. Deathwatch Vets – those fancy looking Classic Marines – still have access and that makes them worth a look. Plus they basically have a Primaris statline because they are veterans!

The new Primaris units have other tricks up their sleeves though.  There are 4 Kill Teams you can build from this book and 3 of them are centered around the Primaris specifically. You basically get one for each type of Mk. X armor they have. So if you want a Gravis-only or Phobos-only Kill Team, you can now do that.


Naturally, this book also has a ton of other rules you can use. Aside from ALL THE CRUSADE rules, it’s got the other staples of a new codex: Stratagems, Warlord Traits, Relics, Secondary Objectives, and a Deathwatch specific Psychic Discipline. But those are all things we’ve come to expect and so the Deathwatch Supplement delivers.

One of the stranger sections is the mixed armor rules. Due to the way the Kill Teams can be build, you will have the option for some pretty funky units. Just know that you can Combat Patrol – but you’ll want to plan ahead for that situation. It makes the Deathwatch very flexible. Paired up with their new Specialisms and their ability to choose which Combat Doctrine is active, you’ve got an army with answers.

Personally, I think this supplement and the Deathwatch Army is a really neat take on Space Marines. At the same time, it’s a little confusing at first glance but it’s also not so dense that it’s unknowable. Just take your time with it and make sure you’ve got a good grasp on their special rules – because your opponent will have questions. What’s so confusing about it? Well, for me, it was the fact that you have to rely so heavily on having Codex Space Marines. This book is a true supplement. It does not stand on it’s own. I mean, technically, you could build an army from units only from the supplement…but you wouldn’t have any Primaris units and you’d be severely lacking in overall options, too.

Keep this book handy.

You’ll also be building armies based on the points and power levels in both books (Codex Space Marines and the Deathwatch Supplement). While the Space Wolves Supplement did rely on Codex Space Marines, I don’t think it’s to this same extent. Just know that if you want to build and play a Deathwatch Army you need both books. There’s no way around it.


…And this book handy.

If you’re looking for a very flexible Space Marine Army that can be a little confusing to build at first glance, then check out the Xenos-hunting Deathwatch! You’ll have a TON of options and all the right tools to handle just about any situation folks can toss at you…the trick is to remember how to use them!


Back in Black (and Silver).

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