Thursday, March 14, 2013

Further adventures of Deathwing

A nice wallpaper for my phone to match the army... 

So, I tried out this list against Ian's Emperor's Children army:

Level 2 Librarian in Terminator armour
DW Command Squad with 2 Hammers & Shields, Cyclone Launcher, Deathwing Champion and Banner of Fortitude
7 Deathwing Knights with Perfidious Relic of the Unforgiven
5 DW Terminators with Cyclone Launcher, Chainfist and Hammer & Shield for the Sergeant
5 DW Terminators with Assault Cannon, Chainfist and Hammer & Shield for the Sergeant
5 DW Terminators with Plasma Cannon, Chainfist and Hammer & Shield for the Sergeant

This list goes with a completely different strategy from what I usually go with. All my previous armies, the Blood Angels, the Necrons and the Black Legion, were all brutally aggressive and subtle as baseball bats. All three are reliant on massive coordinated alpha strikes to smash the fight out of the enemy in one crushing blow. Deathwing requires a different approach. Here's an overview of how this army functions:

Back line: The DW Command Squad and the DW squad with the Cyclone Launcher are rearmost, and serve to pummel any tasty targets with their Cyclone Launchers. The Librarian will be with the Command Squad, casting Prescience on whichever squad I feel needs it. The Command Squad's most important role is to hang back and give as much of the army as possible Feel No Pain. 

Middle line: The DW Squads with the Assault Cannon and Plasma Cannon march just ahead of the Cyclone-armed squads, picking at targets best suited for their tender mercies. For example, the plasma cannon can be used for roasting the contents of a transport freshly cracked open by the Cyclone Launchers, and the Assault Cannon with Prescience on it can, in a pinch, be used to maul Flyers that get too close. 

Vanguard: Belial goes with the Deathwing Knights  because it's quite crucial that this unit forms the shield of the army. Ideally, this unit is about 12" away from the Command Squad, directly between the Command Squad and the bulk of the enemy forces, so the Banner of Fortitude can give them Feel No Pain, and the Knights can react to attacks on either flank. 2 FNP saves by the Deathwing Knights pretty much pays for the Banner. What makes this unit doubly effective as a shield, besides the Storm Shields, is the threat posed by their Maces of Absolution, especially if the Librarian chooses to give this squad Prescience. On the charge, this squad is swinging with 18 S10 AP2 attacks at initiative. That kind of killing power will smash damn near anything into jam. On top of that, if anything survives that, 2+ armour and 3+ invulnerable saves mean the Knights can quite likely stick around to keep pummeling whatever's left.

Deployment: The whole army is to Deathwing Assault in on Turn 1, preferably going second, as the foe's attempt to move for objectives will quite likely result in a gap to exploit. With 5 squads of Deep Striking Terminators, it's pretty likely that not everything will quite go as planned, so it helps to take whatever steps one can to minimize the impact of the dice screwing you over. First to deploy should be the Command Squad. The Banner of Fortitude is a vital component of this army, so it's crucial that one settles on its position ASAP. This squad comes in about 3-4 feet away from enemy lines, to put that Cyclone Launcher to good use. The other Deathwing Terminator squads then Deep Strike in, always making sure to keep close enough to the Command Squad to benefit from the Banner of Fortitude. Last to deploy should be the Deathwing Knights. This should be placed to receive or thwart a charge from the foe, seeing as it's the most durable unit and the most lethal in close combat (for a turn, at least).

So how did it fare? Not so bad actually. The strategy is a far cry from my usual in-your-face methods. The thing is the long range firepower is actually quite surprising, thanks to the first-turn twin-linked nastiness. On top of that, the Split Fire rule proved to be invaluable, making sure the right guns are directed at the right targets as much as possible. VERY important in a list with so few models on the table. Anyway, it was a kill point game, and I won, 2-1. The first kill went to me in Turn FOUR. Terminators were hell for Ian to kill, even with 2 Lascannon Predators, thanks to my lovely Sergeants (more about that in another post). On my part, once on the board, it was hard for me to inflict any real ranged killing power that could follow through and take the kill point. Since I'd started quite far from Ian's lines, no close combat happened, as Ian's close combat elements (Raptors and Bikers) were trying to get round my Knights.

Anyway, enough talk. This army needs to go to WAR! In the meantime, more pictures of the mustering...

Moar Hammer & Shield Sergeants!

Deathwing Knights!

Belial's slooowly getting his paintjob...

MOAR stompy bone-white badasses... 

... and their bases...

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