Hi everyone, Michael here to take a look at what the changes in Chapter Approved 2019 mean for the Deathwatch. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
I eagerly grabbed my copy of Chapter Approved 2019 to see what changes were in store for one of my favourite armies, the Deathwatch. There were some very interesting changes for the boys in black and silver with the points updated.
While the Deathwatch have been overtaken in some aspects by the new Marine Codex and supplements, there is still a lot of fun to be had with the army, and the new changes should help them even further in boosting their offensive potential on the tabletop. Let’s take a look at some of the main points changes for the Deathwatch in Chapter Approved 2019.
Storm Bolter Veterans
A Deathwatch Veteran armed with a Storm Bolter has dropped from 18 pts to 16 pts (or 18 pts with a Storm Shield). As one of the premier units for the Deathwatch, any reduction in points cost for the Storm Bolter Veterans is a big boost to the army. Coupled with Special Issue Ammuniton, the Storm Bolter Veterans can still put out an incredible amount of strong firepower on the tabletop.
The reduced cost of the Drop Pod is also a big boost for the Deathwatch Veterans. You can put a unit of 9 Veterans with Storm Bolters and Storm Shields, along with a support character in a Drop Pod. Not only does this allow you to drop the Veteran Squad on turn 1, you also save 2 precious CP from having to use the Teleportarium stratagem for the two units. The downside of this is that you cannot include a Vanguard Veteran or Terminator in the Veteran squad, which does limit their utility somewhat.
The Watch Master got a 15 pts reduction to 115 pts. This character is a must-have for the Deathwatch army, giving you re-rolls to hit within 6″, as well as putting out some decent firepower and combat ability. Getting a points reduction makes him an even better bargain in the list.
With the Thunder Hammer going up to 40 pts for characters, the Deathwatch Smash Captain goes up to 143 pts. I still think he is worth it in most lists, giving the Deathwatch a powerful melee character, but you will need to find the extra points to get him in your list.
Heavy Thunder Hammer
The Heavy Thunder Hammer gets a much needed points reduction, going from 30 points(!), down to 18 pts. At its previous cost, this item was pretty much useless and never really saw play in most lists.
However, the combination of Shock Assault and the price reduction means that this is now a viable option for adding some strong melee punch to your Deathwatch squads. At only 2 points more than a regular Thunder Hammer, the additional damage of the Heavy Thunder Hammer is definitely worth considering on a melee unit. Half the time you are going to be doing more damage than a regular Thunder Hammer, but it is going to be very frustrating when you get a wound through and roll a 1 or 2 for the damage.
The Corvus dropped 10 points in Chapter Approved. A great model, but still not worth taking, in my opinion.
The Stalker Boltgun dropped from 4 pts to only 1 point in Chapter Approved. This is a great gun to equip to backfield objective holding units in the army. As you can no longer use Bolter Discipline with the Special Issue Ammunition, the Stalker Boltgun gives you the ability to put out a reasonable level of firepower with a 5-man squad sitting in your deployment zone, as well as getting the benefits of special issue ammunition in addition to their increased AP.
The Frag Cannon also dropped to 20 pts. This Frag Cannon has seen some reduction in play due to the changes to reserves not allowing you to fire the Frag rounds when deploying from the Teleportarium or a Drop Pod. However, it does give you some medium range anti-tank firepower, as well as proving a useful deterrent to charging units, thanks to its automatic hits. Sticking one in a Drop Pod Kill Team will discourage enemy units from assaulting you.
The Deathwatch got some nice points reductions in Chapter Approved 2019, which should help give them a little boost. The already great Storm Bolter Kill Team got a nice reduction in points, as well as the ever useful Watch Master. I think Heavy Thunder Hammers could prove to be a useful addition to the army now, thanks to the bonus attacks from Shock Assault, as well as a hefty points reduction. Add in a Chaplain or Watch Master for some re-rolls, and these Veterans could do a lot of damage to enemy vehicles and monsters.
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