Guest Editorial: Dr. Insanotron’s TSHFT Open Battle Report: Deathwing/Grey Knights

These are Reecius' Dark Angels, Dr. Insanotrons' are much nicer!

These are Reecius’ ancient Dark Angels, Dr. Insanotrons’ are much nicer!

Hello everyone Dr.Insanotron here from Sinister Wargaming. Today I was asked by Reecius if I would do a wright up on the army list I used, Tactics behind it, and battle reports on the games I played at the TSHFT Open this passed weekend. Since I love talking shop I thought it would be good fun to do the write-up and share my thoughts on tactics, strategy, and list building I used for the event.

OK, so to start with let’s go over the list I decided to bring this time around. Since this would be the last time I would play the old Dark Angels Codex I thought it would be fitting to break them out one last time before I have to redo the army for the new codex. Its important to note that this year TSHFT and Frontline Gaming have both decided to allow at least “40k Approved” Forge World units. Keeping this in mind I was able to overcome the biggest weakness I see in the old Codex when dealing with the new meta: fliers.

So here it is Deathwing ala Insanotron.

2000pts Dark Angels

With Grey Knight Allies

(Ben Cromwell)


Belial (130), Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield (0)                                                                                                                                                                    130

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor (25), Terminator Armour (40), Psycannon (15), Psyker (30), 3x Servo Skulls (9)                                            119


Contemptor Mortis Pattern Dreadnought (155), 2x Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon (25)                                                                           180

Contemptor Mortis Pattern Dreadnought (155), 2x Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon (25)                                                                           180



Deathwing Terminator Squad  (215), Cyclone Missile Launcher (20)                                                                                                                         235

Deathwing Terminator Squad  (215), Cyclone Missile Launcher (20)                                                                                                                         235

Deathwing Terminator Squad  (215), Cyclone Missile Launcher (20)                                                                                                                         235

Deathwing Terminator Squad  (215), Cyclone Missile Launcher (20)                                                                                                                         235

10x Grey Knights (200), 2x Psycannons (20), 1x Thunder Hammer (10), Justicar with Master Crafted Halberd (10)                 240



3x Hyperious Launchers (105)                                                                                                                                                                                                             105

3x Hyperious Launchers (105)                                                                                                                                                                                                             105


Total = 1999



OK, so this is the list I decided to bring as I felt it would give me all the tools I would need to win and For the most part I was right. Let’s break it down by the units I took and why.

Belial. Well if you want to play Deathwing you have to take this guy and for 130pts with a thunder hammer and strom shield he is one of the best buys in the game for his points. He’s cheap enough that I can spit him off on his own to kill something like a lone vehicle or witteld down squad and if he die’s it’s no big loss other then giving up Warlord.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor. Now this was one of my list choices a lot of people were questioning. Most people thought that I should go pure Deathwing but I wanted a little more  anti infantry so with a Psycannon and Divination on his squad he is a pretty good shooting unit. the Servo Skulls are also a great help when it comes to shutting down scout moves and infiltrators. With the new Ravenwing this had the potential to be awesome at throwing a monkey wrench in my opponents’ plans.

Contemptor Mortis Pattern Dreadnought. These guys are pure win. Twelve str6 rending shoots with sky fire and interceptor (if he doesn’t move) and BS 5 is amazing. He shoots the hell out of stuff or he creates a 30 inch bubble that many of my opponents wouldn’t enter unless they had to. Most notably Necron fliers who would give up turns of shooting in order to stay out of their reach.

Deathwing Terminator Squad. The back bone of my army. They are tough, fearless, pack a cyclone missile launcher and can tear up most things in melee with thunder hammer and storm shield. I also ended up using Deathwing assault in every game so that ended up playing a pretty big role in my strategy.

Grey Knights. These guys pull tripple duty, if I get first turn they have the ability to shut down deep striking units, they can also be used to Insta-Kill monstrous creatures and multi wound units such as swarms and the like. But there primary role is to join the Inquisitor and lay down anti infantry fire or use their psycannons to deal with tanks. I also gave the Justicar a Halberd to help him out in a challenge

Hyperios Launchers. These are hands down the Best AA support you can get for most Marine armies. They are cheap, twin-linked, high strength, long range, sky fire, interceptor  and are pretty tough with T6 and a 3+ save with 2 wounds each. If I need AA this will always be my first choice. These bad boys did most of the heavy lifting when It came to taking out fliers due to the fact they could basically reach any point on the board.


So the basic idea I wanted for the list was to try and have something to deal with almost anything I may come across. It has long been my experience that a TAC (take all comers) list will consistently preform well and will generally have less bad match-ups in a tournament  In addition to that, I like to have units that deploy outside of the normal deployment phase to keep my opponent guessing. This can be done by deep-striking or infiltrating  I prefer to deep strike as it allows me to bring forces to bear just were I need them. The only thing the army was missing that I normally always like to take was a couple of fast moving units for late game contesting or line breaker. However line breaker could be achieved through deep striking.

The only truly bad match up I could see would be a true horde army, but these are rare at most tournaments as it is hard to get through a game, so I knew the chances of running into one was low.


This was the first TSHFT Open and I must say it was awesome. Everyone I meet and everyone I played was fantastic. I got to meet in person Reecius and Frankie from Frontline Gaming and they were super cool guys. I highly recommend this event to any one thinking about going it is well worth it. I had five great games and even got to play Frankie in the last round witch was awesome.


GAME 1  vs guard with allied space wolves

The game was The Scouring, the deployment was hammer and anvil, my opponent was Gareth. He brought 2 primaris psykers, 2 manticores, 2 comand squads in chemeras, 2 blobs one 40 man one 50 man, 1 vendetta, 2 rune preists, 10 grey hunters, 6 long fangs with 5 missiles, and a agies line

He built his aegis in a long line that he placed most of his army behind to gain the 4+ save. He also placed all 3 of his objectives behind the line as well. he then placed his 50 man blob on his deployment line in the center. He reserved the 40 man blob and his vendetta.

I deployed all but one of my Deathwing terminator squad and the squad of grey knights with the inquisitor  When the objectives where flipped I ended up with two more points in my deployment zone then he did. At this point I knew I didn’t have to be to aggressive  I just needed to  give him something to deal with too keep most of his forces busy while most of my forces hung back using there 48 inch range to take care of his vehicles and the dreads assault cannons to thin out the blobs.

I dropped both squads in his back field to force him to move backward in order to deal with them as I destroyed one of his Manticores and sent the grey knights after his blob. On his turn two he brought in his vendetta and the 40 man blob that got to out flank thanks to his warlord trait. My Hyperios Launchers destroyed the vendetta as it came in. Then on my turn 3 I ran my dread up to lock the blob in melee for basically the rest of the game, I then set about taking apart his mobility and in the end he couldn’t move fast enough across the board after having to move backward to kill my sacrificial deep strike units.

Win: Dark Angels 15 to 6


GAME 2  Necrons

The game was kill points and the deployment was dawn of war. My opponent was Kristen and he brought 1 Doomscythe, 3 Nightscythe with 10 immortals each, 3 units of 2 spiders, 3 units of scarabs, and 2 destroyer lords and a aegis defense line.

I got first turn and decided to reserve 2 units of  Deathwing. I dropped these two units on his right flank to start opening fire on the units of tomb spiders since they would be the easiest targets to get kill points of of and a good chance to get first blood. I also shoot all of my Hyperios launchers at them as well. I managed to kill one unit of them plus one out of another unit. The dreads moved there way up the center of the board and opened up on the scarabs since there assault cannon will instant kill them. I also moved my grey knights up to fire at the scarabs and lord, and to position them self between them and the rest of my army so I could use there force weapons on the swarms to cut through them quickly. He made more scarabs and moved them and his destroyer lords up. This brought everything into range of all of my weapons I finished off his spiders and assaulted his scarabs with the grey knights and wiped them out in 2 rounds of combat. At this time all of his fliers came in and he was so afraid of the dreads that he kept them outside of 24 inches of the dreads so he had to give up his first turn of shooting. My Hyperios launcher went to work on his fliers and ended up killing the Doomscythe and one of the Nightscythe. I then moved up Belial and his squad and eventually got into hand to hand and started wrecking shop. In the end I gave up four kill points to his eleven.

Win Dark Angels 18 to 6


GAME 3 vs Orcs

The game was Big guns never tire with vanguard deployment.  my opponent was Dan Root and he brought 3 units of Grots, 3 dakka jets, 20 boys in a battle wagon, 2 units of nobs in trukks and 1 in a battle wagon, 2 war bosses and 2 units of 3 killer kans with grotzookas.

I got first turn and reserved 2 units of Deathwing. I dropped both next to his kans and opened fire on them with everything  I dropped both units of kans on turn one. this was really important as the grotzookas would have made a mess of the terminators that deep struck. He moved his guys forward to get him self ready to charge on his next turn. on my turn I killed the battle wagon with the 20 boys in it and all of his trukks. On  his turn all 3 fliers came on and my Hyperios shoot down one and stunned another. He shoot up some units and killed some terminators and two Hyperios. He also got in to hand to hand but nobs don’t really like fighting thunder hammer storm shield. In the end I couldn’t kill all of the 20 man boy squad and all of his Grots and he couldn’t kill all of my terminators, we both had two objectives at the end but I had killed all of his heavy support.

Win Dark Angels 18 to 8


GAME 4 vs Necron with Chaos Marine allies.

The game was Crusade with 4 objectives he brought 2 units of warriors in Nightscythes, 1 Doomscythe, 1 squad of 10 immortals, a Destroyer lord, 2 annihilation barges,a unit of scarabs  typhus, 2 squads of zombies, 2 obliterators, and a hell drake with flamer. This won was going to be hard to pull out a win from the beginning due to the number of models I would have to kill thanks to the zombies and there wasn’t any tie breakers for the missions like there was in big guns and the scouring. He got first turn and opened fire on some terminators but didn’t really manage to do any real damage he also keep all of his units in his deployment zone to hold his objectives hoping that his 2 warrior squads in the Nightscythes could show up late game and contest or hold a objective. I set up two units of terminators to hold my objectives and one of the others in the center to move forward and put pressure on his left flank I also put one unit in reserve along with the unit of grey knights. On my turn I deep struck the unit of terminators on his right flank and destroyed one of his annihilation barges and took out the others quantum shielding. on his turn two he got all of  his reserves but again he was so afraid of the dreads that he was unwilling to get with in 24 inches of the dreads so he was unable to shoot any of his fliers. my Interceptors opened up and I killed one of the Nightscythes and out a hull point on the Doomscythe. He tried to put fire on my Hyperios launchers and terminators but by the end of turn 4 i killed all of his fliers and there was no way he could get across the table to win the game. So it was up to me to see if I could get enough to him to steal one of his objectives I moved Belial and his terminator squad through typhus the the second annihilation barge and finally into his obliterators. by then all that was left of them was Belial and one terminator and the ended up getting shot down by the immortals and both units of warriors. On the other flak his dragon took care of the grey knights I was moving up and his destroyer lord finished off the squad of terminators after the had been shot up a couple turns by his immortals. In the end I couldn’t bring enough to put pressure on his lines to pull out the win

Daw Dark Angels 12 to 10


GAME 5 vs Eldar with Dark Eldar allies


OK so this is the game I had been hoping for, Frankie and his Harliestar, I knew going in that this would be a hell of a fight but one of the thing that I felt I had going for me was that I knew exactly how good of a player Frankie is but he had no real idea of my skill level. So I was hoping that he would be a little more aggressive than maybe he would normally be. In addition I knew exactly what I had to to in order to make sure I wouldn’t loss the game. Kill all his troops and ignore the Harliestar as long as I could. So the mission was the emperors will with a extra objective in the center of the board and the deployment was dawn of war. I won the roll to see who got first turn and decided to give Frankie first turn as I was worried about his bikes doing a late game objective grab, I wanted to give myself a chance to kill them after they made there move. Looking back on the game know I feel that this was the only real mistake I made during the game. If I had chosen to go first I could Have crippled his war walkers and most of his ability to hurt me with shooting. Frankie decided to reserve all of his troops and pushed forward with his Harlies and opened fire with his war walkers on my terminators.

I decided to put two units of terminators, belail, and the grey knights into reserve. the rest of my amry was deployed near my back table edge to try and give me as many rounds of shooting as I could before the harlies got to me. As my reserve showed up I deep struck them on his left and right flank in hopes that I could put enough pressure on his defense line that he would have to split up his harlie star to deal with it. these units opend up fire on his troops and I made sure to do enough damage to all his troops to make them take a break test and It payed of, I killed one unit of bikes and made a unit of warriors run of the board. I spent the next two turns killing off all of his troops. By this time I had lost most of my troops to the combined fire of his army but all I had to do was hold out and it would be a draw, I had also scored more of the secondary points the he had. I did manage to kill Fugin, Eldrad, and Vect. By the end of turn 7 I only had one hyperios launcher left but had already killed all his troops and all his HQ’s. This was a awesome game and the first real test of my skill level against someone outside the Pacific NW so I was very happy with the result

Draw Dark Angels 13 to 11


I found that the army had preformed pretty much how I thought it would however I did find myself missing a fast moving element. for the new codex I will be switching to a shooting based list and I’m very excited to see how it does.

Please feel free to ask questions if you have any I would be happy to awsnser  as many as I can


Til next time



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

26 Responses to “Guest Editorial: Dr. Insanotron’s TSHFT Open Battle Report: Deathwing/Grey Knights”

  1. Sur January 27, 2013 12:32 am #

    Thanks for a nice report. Did you consider the new DA ?

    I love the fireoutput from the Kheres assault guns, but a lot of times find myself out of range. Specially against fliers, because i then have to stand still to get skyfire/interceptor. So only a 24 bubble. Usually a lot of vendattes around here, who outrange me. They will go for the dread first.I have gone over to use the autocannens with the cyclon launcher.

    And thanks too Reece for asking.

  2. Bikeninja January 27, 2013 5:01 am #

    I am little confused….did you use the old DA codex and the other guy use the new one and that was ok with the tournament organizers?

  3. Sur January 27, 2013 5:37 am #

    I think bouth was allowed.
    Not unusually around here either, when new codex arrive short before GT.

  4. Dave_Fay January 27, 2013 6:37 am #

    Is this list correct? I think the strike squad should be 255? I also thought the platforms and dreads were heavy’s?

  5. dr.insanotron January 27, 2013 9:35 am #

    they are heavy’s I made a mistake when making the list but cought it before my first game and told my opponents they are really heavy’s. The platforms are fast attack

    When I was talking about the 30″ bubble I was talking about when they shoot at ground targets so it’s 24″ range plus 6″ move for 30″ bubble.

    They Grey Knights are 200pts for 10 men, 20 points for 2 psycannons, 10 points for hammer, 5 points for a halberd, and 5 points for mastercrafted for a total of 240pts.

    They did allow use to use ether the new or old codex due to the fact that the book had only been out for a week. I did think about playing the new codex but all the terminators are set up with thunder hammer storm shield so I did’t have the points since things in the new book got more expensive. But I am bringing the new codex down for the BAO so we will see how they do

  6. dr.insanotron January 27, 2013 9:52 am #

    @Sur if you are facing a lot of Vendettas I would say the platforms are were it’s at

  7. Dave_Fay January 27, 2013 10:56 am #

    Yeah the strikes are right. I mentally added psybolt ammunition and forgot to add the master crafting. sorry for my confusion.

    Just used to seeing psybolt everywhere 🙂

  8. Brian January 27, 2013 8:04 pm #

    I thought the Hyperious Launchers could only shoot air, is there something i am missing in the new rules that allowed you to shoot the tomb spiders

    • Reecius January 28, 2013 11:35 am #

      It can fire at ground targets, too. It has Interceptor and Skyfire.

  9. Lalo January 27, 2013 10:36 pm #

    As Brian, I also thought the Hyperios Launchers were only allowed to shoot at air units. Also, don’t they have an armor value? Where do you see that they have 2 wounds and a 3+ save? Did I miss an update?

  10. James January 28, 2013 4:52 am #

    I have the same question as Brian. Also where does it state that it has two wounds and a Dave of +3? Did I miss an update?

    • James January 28, 2013 4:53 am #

      Sorry I meant a save of 3+

    • Reecius January 28, 2013 11:40 am #

      In Aernautica Imperialis, they are stated as having tough 6, 2 wounds, no crew, interceptor and skyfire. That is the most recent edition of the rules I am aware of.

  11. Clown Baby January 28, 2013 6:50 am #

    This battle report is wright on the money! I’m also glad you got to met Reece and Frankie, witch isn’t too bad, either! I’m glad you didn’t loss the game against Frankie. Don’t worry about his Harliestar, there not very good. Reece can’t edit.

    • dr.insanotron January 28, 2013 8:06 am #

      Haha looks like we missed that one.

      the Hyperious as per the new Airanutica book can fire at ground targets. the rule that would stop them from shooting at ground units is called like AA or something close to that I don’t have the book in front of me, but the platforms don’t have it

      • Brian January 28, 2013 9:45 am #

        Guess i didnt see the new rules.. certainly makes them a much more attractive unit now

    • Reecius January 28, 2013 11:33 am #

      You are a mean, mean Clown and a Baby! Or are you a baby clown? Either way, you should win an underground street fight!

  12. Drowgamer January 28, 2013 10:32 am #

    Thank you for the write-up! It is refreshing to see someone play a list that is outside of the box and do well with them!

    Did you arm all your termis with Thunderhammer/ Stormshield?

  13. Ben Cromwell January 28, 2013 12:44 pm #

    Yes. But now I’m globing all shooty for the BAO

  14. Ben Cromwell January 28, 2013 1:09 pm #

    So far I’ve gotten 2 practice games in with the new list. One against a drop salamander list and one against a five flier necron army. I managed to win both games so so far I’m pretty happy and am just making minor tweeks to it

    • Drowgamer January 28, 2013 3:39 pm #

      Thanks for the reply. I’d like to see your new updated list that you are toying around with.

  15. dr.insanotron January 28, 2013 5:12 pm #

    No problem. here it is so far

    Belial 180
    inquisitor 25, level 1 psyker 30, 3x servo skulls (9) 64

    10 Deathwing Terminators 440, 2x Heavy flamers (20) 460
    10 Deathwing Terminators 440, 2x Assualt Cannons (40) 480
    5 Deathwing terminators 220, 1x Assualt Cannon (20) 240

    10 Grey knights 200, 2x Psycannons (20) 220

    3x Hyperios Launchers 105

    Total = 1749

  16. dr.insanotron January 28, 2013 9:46 pm #

    I was a Little off on the points Belail is 190 and i didn’t end up taking the servo skulls

  17. Dave Lewy January 31, 2013 3:42 pm #

    Does this author suffer from Dyslexia? Terrible english skills. I stopped reading after the fourth spelling mistake.

    • Reecius January 31, 2013 3:50 pm #

      We only have one rule at Frontline Gaming in the comment section: talk to people here as you would in real life. I don’t mind criticism at all for me or our guest writers, but please frame your critiques in such a way as to avoid being offensive. It just isn’t necessary.

    • Hakana March 2, 2013 3:30 pm #

      ‘English’ should always be capitalized. Also ‘dyslexia’ should not be capitalized.

      Pot calling kettle? Absolutely.

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