BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Warhammer 40K: Xenos-Hunting Stratagems From The Deathwatch

3 Minute Read
Nov 4 2020

The Deathwatch are the Anti-Xenos army and they have the stratagems to prove it.

It’s been widely acknowledged that yes, the Deathwatch have lots of tools to handle pretty much any army. They are super flexible thanks to their Specialisms and Mission Tactics. However, when it’s time to kill those alien-heretics dead, they just so happen to have some very specific tricks for them.

Death To The Alien!

The stratagem is your general “kill all xenos” option. Are you in Engagement Range of a Xenos unit? Get some extra attacks! Simple and effective.

Prognosticating Volley

Having trouble hitting those crafty Aeldari? Why not just ignore all the modifiers and see if they can still dodge those rounds! Interestingly, it’s “any or all hit roll and Ballistic Skill modifiers” which means, if we’re reading it as the player gets to pick any, they can ignore the negatives and keep the positives. Seems like a great plan to me!

Synaptic Severance

While I’m all about #PlanRoll6s, I don’t always like to spend the CP to activate it. However, if you’ve got the spare CP laying around this causes unmodified 6s to hit to also Auto Wound. Considering the sheer volume of fire a basic Marine army can put out, you know the Deathwatch can do that, too…and in some cases better. Sure, it’s only vs Tyranids but if you’ve only got 40 bolter shots to drop a big bug, why not spend the CP and hope you get to skip the “to wound” rolls for those shots? And hey, it also works in the fight phase, too!

Stem The Green Tide


Do you have an Ork Infestation? Are they quickly approaching? Lay down some Overwatch fire and hopefully slow their charge distance by 2. Look, I’ll be honest – for 2 CP, I’m not a huge fan of this one considering you have to get a kill with your Overwatch shots for it to work correctly. On the flip side, it does say “The Deathwatch units that were selected as a target of that charge…” so you could have multiple squads shooting. Eh, I feel like the Deathwatch should have had a tweaked version of this rule for the 2 CP cost.


There is no such thing as Overkill when you’re fighting Necrons. Unless you’re talking about the stratagem, in which case, be sure to use this when you can. It’s a flat -1 to Reanimation Protocols during the fight or shooting phase for any casualties from a specific Deathwatch unit’s attacks. Knock them down and KEEP them down.

Targeting Scramblers

Finally, we have Targeting Scramblers for the T’au Empire. And we FINALLY have an anti-markerlight option against the T’au. Man, I feel a little bad that this can completely negate a very specific tool of the T’au. Then again, I’ve been on the receiving end of “Marklight Shenanigans” one too many times. Or was that a Rave? Doesn’t matter. Point is – maybe don’t use all your laser-pointers on one target next time?

There’s plenty more anti-Xenos tools in this toolbox. Check them all out when the book drops in stores this weekend!


  • Warhammer 40K: Space Wolves Codex Overview