Codex Supplement: Deathwatch Review- Secondaries

Hi everyone, Michael here to take a look at the new secondaries available to the Deathwatch. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Each new codex has seen new secondary objectives added to the list of those available for use in your games. Let’s see if any of the new Deathwatch Chapter Approved Rules are worth using in your games.

The Long Vigil (Battlefield Supremacy)– Score 5 Victory points at the start of your Command phase if there are no enemy units (excluding Aircraft) within 6″ of your deployment zone and there is at least one Deathwatch unit wholly within your deployment. You cannot score this in the first battle round.

This is actually a solid choice against a number of opponents and deployment types. Against a gun-line army that is unlikely to want to venture far into your deployment zone, this could be a great option. Useful against Astra Militarum gunlines and T’au and Ad Mech castles. You only need to score this three turns to max it out, so against the right opponent, it should be pretty easy to score. Odds are, you are going to have one of your units in your deployment zone to hold an objective, so you are more likely to fulfil this requirement and doesn’t prevent the unit from shooting.

This is likely to be taken in place of Engage on all fronts. Against some enemy forces, engage is superior, but harder to max out than the Long Vigil. Not an auto-include, but a solid option to keep in mind against slow moving or static shooting armies.

Cull Order (Purge the Enemy)– After both sides have finished deploying, starting with your opponent, both players alternate choosing battlefield roles until three have been selected. At the end of the battle, for each Battlefield role that was selected, score 5 points if every enemy unit with that type has been destroyed.

This one seems incredibly difficult to achieve, and I doubt it will see much play. The big downside is your opponent getting to choose two of the three battlefield roles, meaning they are likely to choose two which are the most difficult to achieve. Could be useful if there are only one or two of each battlefield role in their army, but so easy to not score any of these at all in a game. I would most likely avoid this one.

Cripple Stronghold (Shadow Operations)– After both sides have finished deploying, your opponent picks one objective to be the Stronghold Objective, which must be wholly within your opponent’s deployment zone if possible.

A Deathwatch Infantry unit in your army may attempt the following action: One Deathwatch Infantry unit in your army can perform this action at the end of the movement phase if they are within range of the stronghold objective and there are no enemy units (excluding aircraft) within range. The action is completed at the start of your next command phase, so long as the unit performing the action is still within range of the objective marker. Score 6 victory points each time a unit from your army successfully completes this action.

Wow! This could possibly be the worst secondary objective that there is. Not only do you need to hold an objective that is most likely in your opponent’s deployment zone till your next turn, you also need to perform an action meaning that your unit cannot do anything. If this was simply hold the objective, or was worth 10 points each time, it might (maybe) be worth taking if you had no other option. However, having to do this for three turns to max out is ridiculous. Odds are that if you do this even once during the game, you are probably winning anyway, so there is little point in having it. The fact that it competes with Raise the Banners High or investigate sites makes it even worse. Avoid!

Suffer not the Alien (No Mercy, No Respite)– Score 1 victory point at the end of the battle for each enemy Tyranids, Aeldari, Ork, Necrons or T’au Empire unit destroyed by a Deathwatch unit from your army during the battle.

This one has a lot of potential against certain armies. Against Orks or Tyranids, you are probably better with Thin their Ranks, as you have a better chance of scoring more points (depending on army build). Against T’au, this is great if they have lots of small drone units. Against MSU Aeldari or Necrons, this could be a useful secondary choice if they are weaker units. For example, against Drukhari venom and kabalite warrior spam, choosing Suffer not the Alien and Bring it Down could be a very powerful choice. The fact that you cannot choose this against a whole range of opponents does make it a pretty poor secondary.


Of the four new secondary missions available to the Deathwatch, only one will probably see some use, with the Long Vigil being the best of a bad bunch. Cull Order and Cripple Stronghold are just plain awful, and would only be picked as a last resort. Suffer not the alien could be useful against certain Xenos builds, so it is one to keep in mind on the off-chance it could be useful.

Most of the time, you are probably better going with the main book secondary objectives.

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

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