Playing Deathwing: Getting the Hang of It

Hey everyone, Reecius here back with another report of my ongoing adventure learning to play my new Deathwing army!

You can read the first part of this series, here.

I managed to get another game in with a very skilled local player this past weekend, Aurelio. He was also playing Dark Angels which made for a very interesting game, although his list was a well rounded army and didn’t focus on just one aspect of them as mind does. Here’s my list again for reference:

  • Vanguard Detachment: 9cp
  • Belial
  • Master of Sanctity in Terminator Armor
  • Deathwing Terminators x 10: Cyclone x 2, L.Claws on Sarge
  • Deathwing Terminators x 10: A. Cannon x 2, L.Claws on Sarge
  • Deathwing Knights x 5
  • Deathwing Command Squad x 5: L.Caws x 1, T.Hammer/S.Shield x 4
  • Deathwing Chief Apothecary
  • Deathwing Chapter Champion
  • Deathwing Chapter Ancient
  • Outriders x 3

My opponent’s army featured a lot fewer Terminators but significantly more bikes.

  • Adeptus Astartes Battalion
  • SUB-FACTION: Dark Angels
  • HQ WARLORD: Captain on Bike (115) Power sword, Storm Shield
  • TRAITS: Dark Angels: Outrider
  • RELICS: The Burning Blade Primaris
  • Chaplain on Bike (140) UPGRADE: Master of Sanctity
  • TRAITS: Wise Orator
  • LITANIES: Canticle of Hate (Aura), Exhortation of Rage
  • RELICS: Benediction of Fury
  • STRATAGEMS: Hero of the Chapter, Relic of the Chapter
  • Ravenwing Talonmaster (160)
  • TROOPS Incursor Squad (105) 1x Incursor Sergeant 4x Incursor
  • Intercessor Squad (100) 1x Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes chainsword 4x Intercessor
  • Intercessor Squad (100) 1x Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes chainsword 4x Intercessor
  • ELITES Deathwing Knights (329) 1x Knight Master 6x Deathwing Knights
  • Ravenwing Apothecary (115) Plasma talon
  • UPGRADE: Chief Apothecary
  • TRAITS: Selfless Healer
  • RELICS: Reliquary of the Repentant
  • STRATAGEMS: Hero of the Chapter, Relic of the Chapter
  • Ravenwing Black Knights (225) 1x Ravenwing Huntmaster: Corvus hammer 4x Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus hammer
  • Ravenwing Black Knights (225) 1x Ravenwing Huntmaster: Corvus hammer 4x
  • Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus hammer
  • Ravenwing Darkshroud (130)
  • FAST ATTACK Invader ATV Squad (255) 3x Invader ATV: Multi-melta
  • Total Command Points: 8/12 Reinforcement Points: 1 Total Points: 1999/2000

I knew winning the mission was going to be a challenge vs. an army with so much mobility but I felt fairly confident I’d be able to outfight my opponent in a head to head contest.

We rolled up a 4 objective mission which was good for me (with so few units trying to hold lots of objectives gets challenging). I deployed on the line again and improved over my deployment strategy from last time by placing my characters to allow them to keep up with the main blocks of Termies and keep the Command Squad nearby to prevent them from getting shot to bits.

My opponent went first and despite the withering firepower he had, I took very minor damage, only losing 4 Terminators in total, one of whom was revived by the Apotehcary.

My counter attack was quite effective, killing all the ATVs and dropping one squad of Black Knights down to 2 bikes and wiping another. My opponent came in to me hard on his turn 2, dropping in the unit I was most worried about, the Deathwing Knights, and then hitting me with all of his bikes and Speeders. This would be a critical turn in determining the outcome of the game as both of our armies were almost entirely engaged with one another now. I took fairly significant casualties, losing one entire unit of Terminators on my flank but largely weathered the storm with plenty of hitting power to counter attack and win the game if the dice fell my way.

Well, the dice did not fall my way, lol. A unit of 7 Terminators charged a unit of 2 bikes, killed zero, My Deathwing Knights and Command Squad with Character support charged his Deathwing Knights, didn’t kill them, and I had two character charge his Bike Captain (including Belial who is a beast), and failed to kill him, lol. Each of the matchups was pretty massive overkill but all 3 failed to go my way which left me in a really poor position. Had they gone the way I had hoped, I likely would have taken the game as my opponent wouldn’t have been able to get me off of objectives.

I also had made a few pretty big errors, like leaving my Characters more than 3″ away from the Command Squad, allowing them to be killed. I also positioned my Apothecary a bit poorly leaving him only able to heal one squad a turn. Lessons learned for next time!

While that key turn went sideways for me, I still won the fight in terms of killing more than my opponent. However, he wisely now only had to play keep away from me, focusing on objectives for the last two turns of the game while I was not in position to kill much.

In the end I lost a close one 77 to 75. Had I not made so many errors and not had such a poor turn 2 I think I would have taken it. But, learning from mistakes is the point of practice games! I had a lot of fun and next time will perform all the better for the tough lessons learned here.

What I took away beyond the above, was the need to try and add more units into my army to make holding objectives easier. Splitting the Command Squad into 3 units of 2 models I think will do the trick. It allows me to still protect my Characters but also drop off little units onto objectives that are actually quite hard to kill. Also, despite wanting to stick to a Terminator theme, I am considering swapping the Apothecary to a Ravenwing Apothecary as that would increase mobility, give him some offense, and it would allow me to bring in the Deathwing Knights. I could then drop the Outriders for more Terminators (although the Outriders are stupidly good, lol).

The army is fun and easy-ish to play, you just have to remember all of the overlapping rules it has access to, is durable and it hits like a dang truck. I have another league game lined up for this week and will report on the outcome! Thanks for reading.

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About Reecius

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

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