Playing Deathwing: Getting in Reps

Hey everyone, Reecius here with another update on playing my new Deathwing army!

I have been playing a lot lately and I got in 3 league games in the past weekend. Here’s what went down and what I have learned.

For reference, here is my current list:

  • Deathwing Vanguard
  • Starting CP: 4 (lol)
  • Belial
  • Master of Sanctity: Wise Orator
  • Deathwing Terminators x 10: Cyclone x 2, L.Caws on Sarge
  • Deathwing Terminators x 10: Cyclone, Assault Cannon, L.Caws on Sarge
  • Deathwing Knights x 7
  • Deathwing Command Squad x 2, T.Hammer/S.Shield x 2
  • Deathwing Command Squad x 2
  • Deathwing Command Squad x 2
  • Ravenwing Apothecary: Chief Apothecary, Reliquary of the Repentant, Selfless Healer
  • Deathwing Champion: Chapter Champion, Martial Exemplar, Key of Achrabael
  • Deathwing Ancient: Chapter Ancient, Steadfast Example, Pennant of Remembrance

Game 1

My first game I played my coworker Kevin and his nasty Blood Angels army. Here’s his list form memory:

  • Blood Angels Battalion
  • Captain with Jump Pack
  • Chaplain with Jump Pack
  • Sanguinary Priest: Jump Pack
  • Assault Intercessors x 5
  • Assault Intercessors x 5
  • Incurssors
  • Death Company x 5, Jump Packs
  • Sanguinary Guard x 10
  • Death Company x 10, Jump Packs
  • Blade Guard x 5
  • Impulssor
  • Eradicators x 5

Quite a punchy list and as I had not played against Blood Angels with their new book yet, I was curious to see if all the hype about them was justified. Turns out, they’re popular for good reason, lol.

I deployed in my standard formation with 20 Terminators in the front and all the Characters and a Command Squad between them. I made a big mistake though that cost me, forgetting about Wings of Fire. My opponent got first turn and capitalized on that, sending the 10 Death Company behind me and made the charge into my rear, killing my Apothecary and several Terminators top of turn 1. Youch, that hurt. I have never lost the Apothecary in a game so far and was curious to see how I would recover without being able to revive Termies.

In my counter attack, I smoked all of the Death Company (my opponent realized he could have done the same thing with the 5 man unit and not taken so many casualties in return). I then adjusted to stay out of his charge range and laid into him with my shooting phase.

Realizing I would outshoot him, my opponent came at me but wasn’t able to charge so moved forward and hid as best he could. I moved up, used the +2″ charge bubble on the Chappy, finished off the Impulsor and sent the Deathwing Knights into the Blade Guard, beating their butts. I also slignshot Termies on a flank from the Incurssors into the Eradicators to stop them from shooting. Also, that unit is so stupid, lol.

At this point I had middle board and my opponent was in a tough spot. He had to KO me on this turn or get mulched by my turn 3 assault. He sent in the house and did quite a bit of damage to me but the uber tough Deathwing just didn’t take enough casualties and as they pop, they swing due to the Banner and do even more damage. On my next turn between shooting and melee, I was able to destroy most of my opponent’s remaining forces to the point he didn’t have enough juice in the tank to come back.

Meanwhile, my little Command Squads were scooping up mission points. We called it on turn 4 and Deathwing take it 84 to 67.

What I learned was that even without the Apothecary, Deathwing are double tough and can take a beating. But, obviously, you want to protect him and the Banner Bearer at all costs. Also, Blood Angels hit like a truck but don’t take a punch nearly as well as Deathwing can. They run out of gas pretty quick.

I’m big and mean and green!

Game 2

My second game was against a super nice opponent in the league named Jason with a lovely Ork army. Here’s his list from memory:

  • Ork Battalion, Deffskulls
  • Warboss with all the fixings
  • Warphead
  • Painboy
  • Shoota Boys x 30
  • Shoota Boys x 30
  • Slugga Boys x 30
  • Flash Gitz x 10
  • baby Squiggoth
  • Dragsta
  • Dragsta
  • Snazzwagon
  • Deffkopta
  • Komandos x 5
  • Komandos x 5
  • Komandos x 5

This was an interesting match-up. I wasn’t sure how Deathwing would handle the mob of Boys but I was confident in my ability to withstand the damage as they didn’t have a lot of ways to actually hurt an army like mine. I’d have to keep an eye on objectives to avoid losing the missions while winning the war.

My opponent got first turn and quickly moved to grab objectives. Also, hilariously, one of his Dragstas smoked an entire 2 man command squad in one shot, lol. I will have to remember to deep strike them in situations where I can’t afford to lose them early.

I started mowing down Orks with bolters and sending Kraks into the vehicles but my opponent came at me from every angle, forcing me to spread out. As predicted, he really struggled to do damage to me outside of the Flash Gitz. I was moving to center table like normal but was forced to spread out as I needed to keep him from dominating the mission. I made a critical error and moved a unit of Terminators too far, out of range of the banner and paid the price. My opponent focused on them with shooting and melee and got them down to a single Termie! I was able to recover but it was quite painful.

As with most of my games, a familiar pattern emerged. The majority of our armies met in the middle and my resilience combined with hitting power enabled me to take the punches and hit back harder. With the Apothecary bringing back a Termie a turn, eventually the ability of my opponent to fight back was diminished to the point where I was in a dominating field position and then able to take objectives and catch back up on the scoreboard. Even with most of my rank and file Terminators dead, the Knights and Characters are more than able to clean up what’s left of the enemy army.

My opponent had done a great job of forcing me to spread out and keep an eye on objectives with Ork units all over the table but even sending a single Deathwing Character at several smaller units of Orks meant they had very little chance of surviving.

When the dust settled, the Deathwing took it, 90-21.

Game 3

My last game was against another awesome opponent, Frank and his Custodes! Here’s his list from memory:

  • Custodes Battalion
  • Trajan
  • Captain on Dawn Eagle
  • Vexilus Praetor: -1 to be hit banner.
  • Vertus Praetors x 4
  • Custodian Guard x 3
  • Custodian Guard x 3
  • Custodian Guard x 3
  • Allarus x 4
  • Allarus x 4
  • Culexus

I think I am forgetting part of the list but it was a fairly standard ground pounding Custodes army. I was interested to see how this would play out as Custodes are quite tough and hit hard but they lacked all the extra buffs Deathwing get.

Again, my opponent won the roll to go first and took it, but wasn’t able to do too much with his shooting. He did split up his Allarus to run out and grab objectives.

The game went in a predictable pattern due to the nature of our armies. We basically didn’t have a choice other than to lay into one another and close distance. It turned into a scrum in the middle and the fact that I can only be wounded on a 4+, have a 5+++ and the ability to bring Termies back to life, plus all the re-rolls, bonuses to hit, etc. the Deathwing just out mathed the Custodes. I took casualties along the way but the outcome was evident fairly early and my opponent was trading models at a disadvantage despite making a good show of it and grabbing points where he could.

The extra rules Deathwing get just gave me an advantage that the Custodes couldn’t overcome. Since both armies played the same game, it really just came down to an inherent advantage and the game ended 81-44, Deathwing take it.

What I learned

Deathwing are legitimately a powerful army. I want to take them to a tournament to really put them to the test but so far I feel that they have everything they need to go the distance. My last league game will be against Frankie and his Harlies which will be a very good test of their mettle but generally, it is a bad ass army.

I will likely further reduce two of the Command Squads in points to upgun the Assault Cannon to another Cyclone. While I was pleasantly surprised at how well it did, the Clyclones are just vastly better weapons. otherwise I am quite pleased with the list as it is. I have just enough units to cover objectives, and my main force going up the middle is quite the force of nature. So far nothing has been able to stop it or resist the power of the offense.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you all think about the mighty Deathwing so far.


About Reecius

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

18 Responses to “Playing Deathwing: Getting in Reps”

  1. DalamarDE December 23, 2020 9:17 am #

    Hey Reecius,

    Your list is illegal you have 7 Elite slots max is 6 in Vanguard.

    In your previous version your DW Apothecary did not take up a slot because you have DW Command squad. The Ravenwing Apothecary takes a slot because you don’t have a Black Knight squad. You need to go back to DW Apothecary or drop one of the two man Command squads to make this work.

    • Reecius December 23, 2020 9:19 am #

      No, one of the Command Squads is free because of the Captain. So the only actual slots being taken up are the 2 Termie squads, the Knights, 2 of the Command Squads and the Apothecary. The rest don’t take up a slot.

  2. Twydell December 23, 2020 11:39 am #

    Heya, loving the content (pumped for the rest of the necron breakdown)

    Your death guard list(s) are so phenomenal at playing the mission, have amazing staying power and good enough lethality.

    I’m wondering if you could reverse engineer it and see what if any other army could go toe to toe. I imagine the harleys could. give you trouble but if so it’ll be shenanigans and invuln rolls yes?

    Is there any other army that has the tools to be competitive at your lists “own game”

    I’m LOVING your armies play style but will not be jumping on the marine bandwagon. Do you think necrons have the tools to stand up against it? Other marine chapters?

    I am curious but also maybe it would be a good exercise.

    Seems like you definitely struck gold. Can you replicate your results?

    Thanks again for the content!!

    • Reecius December 23, 2020 4:21 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words!

      We’re debating that internally now and think Crons with C’tan support could totally get it done as they can cut through the terminators and don’t die right away. We will have to test it out for sure.

      I am playing Harlies soon against Frankie who is a very skilled player so that will be quite the test.

      The real litmus test though will be going to a tournament. Hopefully that is a realistic goal sooner than later.

  3. Gustavo Woltmann December 23, 2020 9:59 pm #

    It’s a very fantastic game and I always like to play this type of game, Because it’s a game able to remove the stress of mind. Gustavo Woltmann

  4. DalamarDE December 24, 2020 3:45 pm #

    Wow I feel dumb, I completely forgot about that rule. I was building a version of this list but I don’t have Belial so I use Azreal for the 4++ invuln on termie bricks. I just couldn’t figure out how you got the third command squad.

    • Reecius December 25, 2020 10:24 am #

      All good =) It is a bit confusing, but yeah, you can effectively get like 10 elites choices with Deathwing.

  5. john russell December 26, 2020 8:56 pm #

    Hard Counter Test vs White Scars

    3 Heavy Intercessors
    4 x5 Boltstorm Aggressors
    2 x5 Bolter Inceptors

    Bolter Fusillades and ?

    I have a set up similar-ish to this with my Raven Guard. Paradoxically Raven Guard are the best Chapter for an Gravis army. Mine is more Inceptors, less Aggressors and awaiting the Heavy Intercessor kit but using a Indomitus Lt with the Vox relic and applying Bolter Fusillades as a Successor it has been strong.

    • Reecius December 27, 2020 11:20 am #

      Sorry, you’re saying that that list as White Scars counters Deathwing?

      • Michael Corr January 5, 2021 7:15 am #

        Yeah, I don’t think Bolter Intercessors are going to be a hard counter to Deathwing.
        White Scars Terminators could actually have a decent shot in combat. In the assault doctrine, their Power Fists will be AP-4 and 3 damage, making it easier to kill them when you do get a wound through.

        • Reecius January 5, 2021 8:07 am #

          Yeah you need to be able to do more than 3 damage a pop or just throw buckets of decent AP shots at them.

          • Michael Corr January 5, 2021 8:38 am

            You’ve got my finishing my Deathwing Terminators off after years sitting half painted.
            Oh well, only another 6 months before I actually get to play a game. *Sigh*

          • Reecius January 5, 2021 10:43 am

            yeah, they are ridiculously good!

  6. Yusto December 29, 2020 2:22 pm #

    Hey Reecius what secondaries did you play? I guess oath of the moment is a safe pick and deploy scramblers too, do you agree?

    • Reecius December 29, 2020 2:35 pm #

      Oath of moment is good, as is the “kill more stuff than you lost” secondary. Raise the Banners is pretty easy to get usually as well.

  7. Paul January 1, 2021 7:15 am #

    I really like the look of this list; I’ve been wanting an all-termie army for a while (since the first Deathwing story got published in WD, in fact…).

    One question; the current Index, Battlescribe, and Wahapedia all seem to be lacking the Deathwing Ancient data sheet for some reason; are you using the Company Ancient in Terminator armor data sheet?

  8. Paul January 1, 2021 7:25 am #

    Hm, I thought you can only have 2 Hero of the Chapter upgrades in 2k points, but Battlescribe is telling me you need them to get the WLT upgrades for your Champion, Ancient, and Apothecary (which means 3). Am I missing a trick?

    • Reecius January 4, 2021 1:12 pm #

      Nope, looks like I cheated on accident, lol.

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