Playing Deathwing: Tuning the List

Hey everyone, Reecius back with another Deathwing update!

I played a league game against a great opponent playing a very interesting Tzeentch Daemon list which he was 2-0 with in our Vegas 40k league. From memory, here’s what he was running:

  • Changecaster
  • Herald on Disk
  • Pinks x 30
  • Pinks x 30
  • Brims x 10
  • Flamers x 3
  • Flamers x 3
  • Flamers x 3
  • Summoning Points: a ton of them, can’t remember the exact number but enough to do the full split form Pinks to Blue to Brims.

My new Deathwing list is largely the same with some minor tweaks which I think have made it quite a bit stronger.

  • Belial
  • Master of Sanctity: Re-rolls in combat, +1 to wound in shooting, +2″ Charges
  • Deathwing x 10: Cyclone x 2, L.Claw on Sarge
  • Deathwing x 10: Assault Cannon x 2, L.Claw on Sarge
  • Deathwing Knights x 7
  • Command Squad x 2: T.Hammer/S.Shield
  • Command Squad x 2: S.Bolter/Fist
  • Command Squad x 2: S.Bolter/Fist
  • Ravenwing Apothecary: Upgraded with Reliquary of the Repentant and upgraded to super Apothecary
  • Deathwing Ancient: Upgraded to Chapter Ancient with Pennant of Remembrance
  • Deathwing Champion: Upgraded to Chapter Champion with Key of Achrabael

The new list loses the Outriders for the Ravenwing Apothecary whom is easier to keep hidden to ensure the delivery of the Deathwing Knights via the Combined Assault strat. He is also faster than the Deathwing Apothecary, and has some awesome abilities like the -1 Invul aura relic, and a 6″ healing bubble.

Also, the splitting up of the Command Squads into 3×2 gives me the ability to cover objectives effectively which I struggled with before.

This was an interesting game as my opponent’s army was insanely durable with the units of Pinks expanding to maximum size making them incredibly difficult to destroy. I thought I may be facing challenges with the mission but thankfully we rolled up 5 objectives where all of the objectives are fairly close to the middle of the table. That made covering them much easier for me.

I also got first turn which was useful for allowing me to get up the table a bit before my opponent jammed me up with his big, durable units. The shooting of the Deathwing is impressive, the units with Storm Bolters do work due to all of the layered buffs you can apply to them. Re-rolls to hit, +1 to wound, +1 to hit, +6″ range, etc. etc. etc. It actually gets difficult to remember all of them at times, lol. The end result though, is some seriously impressive firepower for so few models.

My opponent was able to take the shooting and assaulting fairly well and was beating me on objectives early game but simply had no way to really hurt me. He relied on Mortals via psychic powers which did indeed do a ton of damage (I think he did in excess of 15 mortals by turn 3) but with the insane durability of my army giving a 5+++ and the Apothecary healing, it resulted in a single dead Terminator.

As we ground into turn 3, my opponent was running out of models despite me having to chew through 300+ horrors. After they lost their ability to move block me, there wasn’t much to be done. The Flamers came in to make a game of it but I had tagged several with the Deathwing Knights so that they were the only viable target and with Storm Shields were able to tank the shots without much hassle.

As his ability to contain my movement faded, my ability to take objectives increased and I started to catch up on the Primary rapidly which is something I notice is a common theme with this army. I lose on the Primary initially but as my army does so well at beating up my opponent, I tend to catch up later in the game.

The two small units of Command Squads were great for holding objectives. They’re tough enough to not be easy to remove and can sit and put decent shots downfield with their Storm Bolters. If anything gets close, they can hold their own in melee as well.

Overall, I still need reps with the army but I am really enjoying playing it and feel it’s a pretty serious contender at this early stage. Their speed is their biggest weakness but with the smaller board size and objectives often being closer to the center of the table, I find it really isn’t that bad. Combined with +2″ charge ranges, it hasn’t felt like the setback I initially thought it would be. Plus, it’s an army of Terminators and what’s not to love about that?

Thanks for reading! More updates to come.

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About Reecius

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

12 Responses to “Playing Deathwing: Tuning the List”

  1. Office Waaagh! December 16, 2020 9:50 pm #

    Really liking these articles and the list looks like tons of fun. I’ve been wanting to try this with Orks for ages and just go nuts with meganobz, it sounds like you’re having a blast with this army so I’ll have to finally give it a try.

    • Reecius December 17, 2020 8:03 am #

      Thanks, glad you’re enjoying them! And I know that feeling, I have 15 Meganobz fully painted, lol. Used to run them in the Bully Boyz formation, it was a lot of fun.

    • Ghosar December 17, 2020 1:24 pm #

      I have 12 meganobz and their issue is they shoot badly or don’t all (might as well go double saw), and hit on 4s in melee. They don’t have an invul either, and have 10 times less buffs. So no lol they won’t work in the same way.
      They can get obsec though. I would also like them to work as an orks “ main force” but imho wait for next codex and hope…

      • Reecius December 17, 2020 2:31 pm #

        They don’t have all the extra rules for sure but they are still super fun to use.

      • Office Waaagh! December 18, 2020 6:57 am #

        Have to disagree, dude. You can do nasty things with Meganobz if you build your army and plan your stratagems around them. I’ve got ten of them at the moment, and I’ll build it out to 20 plus a big mek and give it a whirl, it sounds like a fun army. It’ll just come down to whether your opponent can deal with that many wounds at T4 2+, but based on Reece’s experience either way it should make for a fun game!

  2. Michael Corr December 17, 2020 12:40 am #

    Great to see how the army is progressing! It makes me really want to get my Deathwing and Ravenwing back on the table. Hopefully next year……

    • Reecius December 17, 2020 8:03 am #

      Yeah, they’re both super strong, and I have been having a blast with the Deathwing. Very fun army.

  3. Dakkath December 17, 2020 2:30 pm #

    The fact that your list can “chew through around 300 horrors by the bottom of turn 3” is scary and a bit disheartening.

    • Reecius December 17, 2020 2:30 pm #

      Yeah, the damage output is pretty wild.

  4. Prophet December 18, 2020 12:30 am #

    Its a pity the Minis are not painted or based…

    • Michael Corr December 18, 2020 4:01 am #

      I mean, he is just starting the army. It’s not like it’s a tournament game, it would be a bit mean to insist on painted and based models at a local gaming club.
      As you can see from the photos, both armies are in a similar state, so they are obviously happy to play a game. At this point, I would happily play an unpainted army if it meant being able to play.

      • Reecius December 18, 2020 8:04 am #

        Yeah I literally just got my hands on the models in the past few weeks. The league doesn’t require painted minis so it allows players to experiment with different builds.

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