Chapter Tactics #6: Genestealer Cult vs Deathwatch

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Which new codex release is more competitive in the 40k  meta? We also cover the Genestealer Cult’s impact on competitive play in depth, and how you can defeat the bug cult menace. 

Today PeteyPab and Reece go over tactics, key units, potential army lists, and compare the Genestealer Cult and Deathwatch codexes. This was a fun one to record and Reece and I get a lot of theoryhammer in. For more great 40k content check out the Tactics Corner! We also give a quick shout out to all of the GT winners from last weekend. There was a lot of great 40k being played by some top notch competition all around the US.

Check out the last episode of Chapter Tactics here!










I am now taking your Genestealer Cult, and Deathwatch list submissions! Let’s see what you guys can brew up!

Do you think your list could hold up to the List Lab? Email it to…

Please do not send your army list in a format such as Army Builder, send them in an easy to read, typed format. Thanks!


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

20 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #6: Genestealer Cult vs Deathwatch”

  1. Avatar
    Colin Sherlow October 8, 2016 8:30 pm #

    Really enjoyed listening to this pod cast.

    Keep up the good work.

    Loving the GSC so far. They are very different from all the other 40k armies

  2. Avatar
    Hugz October 9, 2016 1:49 am #

    GSC is a godsend. I will happily admit to being one of the people ordering stupid numbers of Acolyte boxes in anticipation of playing this faction.

  3. Avatar
    Hugz October 9, 2016 1:51 am #

    GSC is a godsend. I will happily admit to being one of the people ordering absurd numbers of Acolyte boxes in anticipation of playing this faction.

    • Avatar
      Peteypab October 9, 2016 1:28 pm #

      I agree, I think it is great for the game

  4. Avatar
    Colin Sherlow October 9, 2016 7:54 am #

    Curious as to how Abberants get to st10? Hammer + furious charge from the icon ward banner gets them to st9 on the charge. What am I missing?

    Just wondering if yiu can get them to st10 reliably. Or if you have to rely on psychic powers?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 9, 2016 10:15 am #

      They don’t, they’re strength 8, my bad.

      • Avatar
        Hiveminded October 11, 2016 5:41 pm #

        Yeah…they hit at S8, but they are still solid units, imo. They’re a little on the pricey side, but S8, AP2, T4, 2W, 5+ armour w/ 5+ FNP (4+ FNP with the iconward buff) is not too shabby.

  5. Avatar
    Donthemagnificent October 9, 2016 11:07 am #

    Awesome job on the podcast Pablo! I did lose the mastodon to a D thirst from my own idiocy during a game at the rattler cup GT. Other than that, the Mastodon has yet to be destroyed. I will try to get you some more quality data on it, in the near future. I just need it to be posted on the list of approved super heavies.

    • James Carmona
      kontraktkiller October 10, 2016 6:34 pm #


  6. ChrisG
    Ahkris October 10, 2016 1:54 am #

    Deathwatch seem really lackluster sadly (Unlike GSC). I’ve started collecting deathwatch but i will be playing mine as a space marine battle company as it seems flat out better.

  7. Avatar
    Nightman October 10, 2016 3:26 am #

    If you goal is to run as many single unit models as possible with Deathwatch what is the tax in order to say take 7 solo terminators?

    • Avatar
      Ben Mason October 10, 2016 11:41 am #

      In a CAD? Nothing. Everything besides Veterans can be taken singly.

  8. Adam
    Adam (TheDiceAbide & RUMBL) October 10, 2016 11:46 am #

    Great work guys!

    A couple notes about Deathwatch that I picked up while reading through the book. At first the Black Spear doesn’t seem great, but the big deal is that you can make your whole army out of Kill Team Formations (probably only Aquila, Furor, or Strategium Command), effectively meaning most of your army will be re-rolling to wound in some way. The Black Spear also lets you spam the crap out of psykers.

    If you’re looking for point efficiency, then for the regular squads, NEVER take combi-weapons, instead exchange your boltgun for the weapon you want, then exchange your CCW for a boltgun! If you’re not taking a special weapon, then exchange your boltgun for a shotgun and CCW weapon for a boltgun, bring all the special ammo!

    Don’t bother with power weapons, they do not come with a pistol, so unless they exchange their boltgun for the power weapon, they wont get the extra attack in melee. With that power weapon, they cost more than a Vanguard wielding one, and almost the cost of a terminator, so leave melee for the melee dudes, and keep your Deathwatch Veterans shooty.

    Finally, don’t forget that you can put terminators into drop pods, so an Aquila or Furor kill team with 1-2 assault cannon terminators, will put the hurt down. Furor teams are especially tempting, since those assault cannons will re-roll to pen against enemy dedicated transports for troops (as they inherit the battlefield role of their parent unit), which will help a lot against Battle Company.

    • Avatar
      Trentat October 10, 2016 2:13 pm #

      Really good observations, Adam. I’d pretty much come to similar conclusions and was already incorportating most of your suggestions. It’s great to get the corroboration from another critical 40K thinker.

      I’m not super sold on the Black Spear detachment since it’s meager benefits involve an Auxiliary tax of some sort:

      a Dreadnought – definitely a tax
      or a Corvus – a decent transport flyer but still too jack-of-all-trades and doesn’t deliver it’s payload into assault until the game is at least halfway over. (Unless you want to include a Skyshield which is even more points and requires a CAD somewhere).

      I favour the Watch Company which gives you even more stackable wounding re-rolls so long as the target includes ICs, Psykers or their Warlord. It’s pretty common they’ll have one of those or if you’ve taken some Furor teams (which in the age of Gladius Co.’s you should!) you’re getting re-rolls vs. Troop units and their transports.

      I agree with Reece in that I think Deathwatch work best as allies to other Armies of the Imperium. You need some chaff to compensate for their lack of numbers. I’m going with a SM CAD of Telion and Scout squads just to sneak around and ObSec objectives. Ignores Cover is going to ruin their day, but I’d rather they get shot than Veterans! Oh yeah, also squeezing a unit of Quad Mortars in there too. With Telion’s Storm of Fire trait I’ve just had too much success rending the heck out of things.

      • Adam
        Adam (TheDiceAbide & RUMBL) October 10, 2016 2:56 pm #

        I’m not sure I’d consider the Corvus a tax. Slap on that jink re-roll and it’s a fantastic flyer. If you’re taking a watch company, putting a decent 4th assault unit in the flyer isn’t a bad option.

        Definitely a good point though, if you’re running Black Spear, you can run the Watch Company as well. The list I would do would include a chaplain as your Watch Commander, Watch Company as your core choice, and a single Black Star as your Auxiliary.

  9. Avatar
    AngryPanda October 11, 2016 4:39 am #

    Great podcast, at least for me it was way better that it got straight into stuff. Im really curious how deployment will be handled for these guys because no one seems 100% sure. Ongoing reserves from turn one just seems odd. From reading it the first time i had asumed that only happens once you took them off the table via return to the shadows first.

  10. Avatar
    Blightstar October 11, 2016 10:34 am #

    Basically every DW veteran will have shotgu and bolter. You can swap your bolter to shotgun and pistol to bolter. And all for free!

    • Adam
      Adam ( October 11, 2016 9:33 pm #

      No pistols, they exchange their CCW for the shotgun. Close enough though, except when you want a pistol + power weapon, then you’re screwed.

  11. Avatar
    Prot October 12, 2016 10:25 am #

    I’m struggling a lot with Deathwatch. At the top level of play I’m really having issues with survivability vs damage output. The game is free stuff, and they get none of it, and a good third of the codex doesn’t make a lot of sense. Personally, I wouldn’t even ally with them. My Marines do better at every job… 1st Co is far superior and the Frag Cannon does not touch what a Grav Cannon does.

    I may sound bitter, but really for competitive environment, I much prefer my 1st Co with Ultra, and Psychic Shriek. You’ll still have bodies left over and OBSEC and with 1st Co you can actually fit in a B.Co. (1st Co. doing minus leadership is undervalued imo).

    The Frag Cannon is ‘good’, but they tried basing a codex on it. Big mistake. Lots of holes in the wording, I’m a good 20 games in and I still scratch my head on a lot of the wording. The ol’ Swap-a-roo with the Beacon Angelis is the only thing I’d consider in a competitive meta (gets around Interceptor and allows Slingshotting a Landraider if you want).

    You still need drop pods, and most likely a CAD because you gotta reinforce reserves.

    Ironically I find the Deathwatch codex quite decent at killing marines, but having immense frustration against top Xenos. Ironic?

    The codex feels about 3 units short of a full book. I’ve concocted lists that could do very well with Grey Knights, but the CAD is probably better than the Black Spear (you still MUST be dead accurate deep striking or your Frags kind of suck.)

    Don’t forget in a CAD you can bring in ninjas like Jetek, or Garan as solo units. Dual CAD might be even better to spam solo Termies with toys.

    I’ll stop here, but suffice to say I’m still learning with the codex but finding extremely little in the way of Battle Reports and what not (I’ve written up a few on BnC). There’s almost nothing on Youtube yet…. starting to see the Genestealer stuff on the Tube though. Now that codex looks really good, a few friends bit into that one hardcore…. I’m scared of Xenos. 😉

    My goal is to finish top 24 in a major event. Take that Pablo!

    (P.S. I still love the army and realize my post sounds as salty as can of seawater Tau)

    • Avatar
      Peteypab October 12, 2016 9:49 pm #

      Good write up! Sorry about your lack of success. I think everything you said is pretty much spot on.

      The deathwatch teleport homer on min bike squads is, IMO, the best compliment to the Black Spear SF. I would love to see you get into the top 24, especially with Deathwatch.

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