Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Deathwing Tactics Part 3: Elites and Transports

Deathwing Tactics Part 3: Elites and Transports

The final part of my Deathwing tactics, where we look at Deathwing Terminators themselves. Thanks again for /u/Merendino for requesting this.

Before I analyze individual units, let me briefly talk about why terminators are so weak right now. The game as a whole has become much more deadly, and there is an abundance of low AP weapons, meaning that often the only defensive difference between a terminator and a scout is the terminator’s weak invulnerable save. Melee has also become unreliable, making the terminator’s weak ranged weapons and powerful melee weapons less of a benefit. Deep Striking is not very reliable, and terminators are slow, so they need to be placed well. Finally, in the age of formations most terminator formations aren’t very good, while their elite slot in a CAD is crowded. The Deathwing detachment alleviates a number of these problems and gives slightly better shooting, making Deathwing the only choice I’d go for if I wanted to use terminators in a tournament.

Deathwing Terminators
Thanks to the flexibility that the Deathwing Strike Force provides, regular Deathwing Terminators are probably the worst choice among the terminator-armored Dark Angels. The ability to mix and-matched loadouts is nice, but the Command Squad does the same and has the same weapon options, while the Deathwing Knights are better in melee against anything without a 2+ armor save. Unless you’re really loading up on terminators, leave these guys at home.

Deathwing Command Squad
The most flexible option, a Deathwing Command Squad should be part of any Deathwing army unless you’re just grabbing a squad or two of knights. The Command Squad has all of the same strengths and weaknesses of regular terminators, with the added bonuses of being able to take a very cheap apothecary and champion. It can be tempting to load them out to take on any threat, but mixed-weapons squads aren’t usually particularly useful, especially when they’re this expensive. I personally like to give them the champion and apothecary upgrades, grab an assault or plasma cannon, then grab 2-3 thunder hammer/storm shields and maybe a chain fist, for a squad that’s able to go toe-to-toe with most monstrous creatures.The banner is usually skippable, but it’s not a bad option, especially if you throw a character in there.

Deathwing Knights

I have definitely saved the best for last. These guys are the closest thing to good terminator units in the current competitive meta. They’re tough, crank up the toughness of characters who join them, and with just the addition of a chaplain have a good chance of bringing down a wraithknight in one turn of combat. Their bonus to toughness helps alleviate one of all terminator’s biggest issues, although they are still lacking in speed. Of all the Deathwing, they may benefit the most from footslogging, especially if you add Sammael for both Hit and Run and Rapid Manoeuvre. I’ve toyed with the idea of building a deathstar around these guys and while it remains untested, an Interrogator Chaplain, Sammael, and a Librarius Conclave could definitely bring the pain and be pretty tough as well.

Deep Striking works just fine for a Command Squad most of the time, especially in the Strike Force, while Knights can Deep Strike or walk, depending on the opponent’s army. Regardless of their loadout, treat Deathwing Terminators like melee units, because that’s where they excel, so keep them out of flying transports. Land Raiders are expensive but not an awful option, especially if you can protect them for a turn or two, while most superheavy transports aren’t assault vehicles. The Spartan Assault tank is worth a look for people who don’t mind spending a few extra points for a much tougher delivery vehicle.

Hope you guys enjoyed this tactica, and as always toss me any questions you have. A big thanks to /u/Merendino for requesting this as his reward for the painting competition.

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