Monday, January 17, 2011


So, as everyone must have heard by now, the Dark Angels and Black Templars finally got their contracts with the Adeptus Mechanicus renewed and their shiny new shipments of 5th ed thunder hammers, storm shields and cyclone missile launchers have just arrived.

The Deathwing, of course, probably benefited the most from this change, as now they can run around with scoring, 2+/3++ thunder hammer wielding maniacs! This fact, along with the news that apparently the Dark Angels terminators can get greedy and wield TH/SS alongside their Cyclone Missile Launcher (CML) (Thanks DaveHowitzer for cluing me onto this!) immediately put me into list building mode.

From my perusal of the Dark Angels Codex it seems like there are a few key parts to a Deathwing list: Belial, Terminators, and Heavy Anti-Armor weapons.

Let's make an 1850 list as that's the most popular points limit in my area. I want my Deathwing to foot it as 2+/3++ is pretty darn reliable and buying expensive Land Raiders that die as soon as they get near the enemy is not exactly my idea of a good time.

We'll start with the man himself. Belial costs 130, so we'll add him in with the TH/SS load out as somebody forgot to give the master of the Deathwing a frikkin' Iron Halo and I hear invulnerable saves are the shiznit right now.

Next, an assortment of scoring hammernators. A squad with CML costs 235, so we'll take 6 of those. Since we're taking Belial one lucky squad can be upgraded with an Apothecary. Since the Dark Angels' medicae facilities ALSO got visited by the friendly neighborhood FAQ fairy he now grants FNP to his squad, making them, for all intents and purposes, INVINCIBLE. Finally 25 points buys us the Deathwing Standard which adds +1 attack to the unit carrying it.

Lessee... 130+235*6+30+25=1595, leaving us with 255 points to spend. Terminators hate Null Zone so a Librarian is unfortunately a necessary buy. He may only be leadership 9 and get pretty underwhelming powers but a full-board psychic hood is still pretty good. 150 points buys us a Libby with a combi-melta and Terminator armor, the latter so that he can join the teleport party and employ the former.

So, now that we have all of our Terminators in a row we need to talk about the elephant in the room, heavy anti-tank. While CMLs are nice at cracking tanks when it comes to Land Raiders and even Predators they don't do so hot. And, unfortunately, the Dark Angels aren't exactly spoiled for exciting ways to get melta in their list. Our options include:
-Ravenwing Attack Squadrons (scouting bikers)
-Ravenwing Support Squadrons (land speeders)
-Assault Cannon Terminators

Let's talk about the last option for a minute. Upgrading a Terminator to carry an Assault cannon costs 10 points more than for a CML but grants the possibility of Rending its way through 2+ saves and Land Raiders. Unfortunately it also comes at the cost of halved range and no TH/SS as it needs to replace a stormbolter. It still has the powerfist and plenty of buddies to take wounds but it is something to consider.

We currently have 105 points to play with, which means that we need to drop something. Dropping the Banner would get us enough for two speeders or three bikes with a meltagun or a Dreadnought with a multimelta. I'm not liking those options so let's try dropping a Terminator squad instead, bumping us up to 340 pts. Now we can afford:

3 land speeders with Multimelta/Typhoon launcher, 1 land speeder with Multimelta/Heavy Flamer, switch two CMLs to Assault Cannons/Chain Fists, two CML termies switch to Chain Fists
Two Ravenwing Attack Squads each with 3 bikers and a MM Attack Bike

The choice between these two is a tough one. The Land Speeders bring incredibly cheap Typhoon launchers and 4 melta shots at 3 targets, plus the option of Heavy Flamers for anti-infantry. The bikes are easier to hide and can offer great first strike potential thanks to their teleport homers. Just drop some termies off for side shots and next turn assaults and then try to smash tanks while staying alive. In the end I think the cheap Typhoons will win me over but for more accurate Deathwing assaults the bikes might be the better option.

So- what do we have?
Belial with TH/SS
Librarian in Terminator Armor with combi-melta
1*5 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS and 1 CML
2*4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 with CML, stormbolter and chain fist
1*5 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS and the Deathwing banner, Apothecary, 1 Terminator with Assault Cannon/Chain Fist
1*4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 Terminator with Assault Cannon/Chain Fist
2 Ravenwing Support Squadrons with 1 Typhoon/MM speeder
Ravenwing Support Squadron with 1 Hvy Flamer/MM speeder and 1 Typhoon/MM speeder

10 CML/Typhoon shots at 5 different targets, 8 Assault cannon shots at 2 different targets, 4 MM shots at 3 different targets, 2 heavy flamers plus a single-shot meltagun.

For taking the list to 2k I'd go for something like this:

Belial with TH/SS
Librarian in Terminator Armor with combi-melta
1*5 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, CML
2*4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 with CML, stormbolter and chain fist
4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS (one is the Apothecary, one has banner), 1 Terminator with Chain Fist and Assault Cannon
4 Deathwing Terminators with TH/SS, 1 Terminator with Chain Fist and Assault Cannon- 280
3*2 Land Speeders, 3 with MM/HF and 3 with MM/Typhoon (one of each per squad)

Tactics with the list are simple. Got first turn? Deploy 2 squads, Assault with 3 squads (2 assault cannon squads, 1 chain fist/CML squad) making sure that Belial goes with the non-banner and the Libby with the Banner (both of which enter first turn). Have speeders run around and melt/missile things while trying to stay hidden.

Alternatively we could strip the "ablative" MM/HF speeders, take out the non-Assault Cannon squad chain fists and throw in a 6th CML Deathwing squad, but I think this makes our speeders a little bit too fragile.

Not sure if it's the most competitive list, but what do you all think about the list? Good, bad, almost there? Any way, this looks like a very fun list to run and is definitely VERY different from my current force. Who knows- maybe Defending Humanity will start flourishing the Deathwing soon...

*All images are owned by Games-Workshop


Anonymous said...

*sigh* do people ever read codexes anymore? Landspeeder squads can only take 1 upgrade. ONE tornado or ONE typhoon per squad.

Max said...

Actually it's an "and" not an "or". You can have one Typhoon AND one Tornado.

I did make a mistake in regards to my double MM/HF speeder squadron at 1850 which has been fixed. Thank you for your magnanimous comment.

Bartender said...

8 Landspeeders are a marvelous sght like the helicopter scene in Apocolypse Now.

How are you keeping sir?

Max said...

"I love the smell of meltas in the morning... smells like Purging."

I'm doing all right- thanks!

Baugh said...

Also, deploying 2 DW squads on the table would only allow 2 of the 3 held in reserve to Deathwing Assault on turn 1. That last unit is normal reserves, though you need not DS him.

Max said...

I did know they had to be reserved but not that they could just walk on the table... interesting. Thanks!

Andrew said...

Hey Max,

I like how you write through your though prosses when writing a list like this, it's fun to read. However I think you have overlooked a key part of "running" assault bassed terminators, and that is in fact running. As cool as CML on a hamminator are, in a squad full of haminators your giving up d6" of that world of hurt being closser to it's goal every turn just so one guy can shoot 2 rockets.

Don't get me wrong, on tactical terminators don't go to work without one, but in this list I thing the CMLs might be a waste of points. But then again they might give you that little bit of flexibility and intimidation that the list might need, so I guess give it a shot, could be fun.

Max said...

@ Andrew: The loss of running was in my mind, especially after DW assaulting near the enemy in a nice clumped formation. But the fact remains that tactical terminators just don't survive long enough in the face of lascannons and their ilk. The storm shields help with this and let you blast away while walking up the field. For those that are more likely to get into assault just teleport in close and then hammer away.

Everyone else will just walk to the middle and wait for people to come to them, which should happen with good objective placement. At range 2+ armor is pretty darn awesome, too, so standing back at 48" and blasting has it's merits, especially when lascannons can't hurt you.

I'm not sure if it will work, but at least that's my thought process. Some more stormbolters might be necessary in the final build though to add some more shootiness to the list.

Andrew said...

I'm not to familiar with the codex, but can you mix terminator squads like with SW with DA, cause if that's the case I'd think you'd only need 2 or 3 SSs to ward off las wounds, leaving space for more stormbolters which could give the units some more flexibility.

Let me know next time you're near Universe in Mpls, maybe we can get a game in.

Max said...

@ Andrew: Oh, I'll let you know. As for the stormbolters... yes, I am seeing their use now. I think I'd like to stick with 3 SS termies but having two shootier termies per squad would really help the anti-infantry.