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Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Deathwing

Okay so the Deathwing has been given a new lease on the table with the new Dark Angels FAQ. now we have what all the other chapters have:

> 3++ stormshield
> 2 shot cyclone missile
> Feel No Pain apothecary
> Some other goodies as well such as the 75 point landspeeder Typhoon

The first three are the ones that will have the most affect on bringing the army up a level in competitive play. You can have an entire army of terminator scoring units with the 3++ stormshield. Prior to the new FAQ GW stated that you ask your opponent if you could have these upgrades. I've been playing Deathwing on and off for over 15 years now and I can tell you we needed these buffs for 5ed. Unfortunately there were some who said an entire army of scoring termies all armed with the 3++ stormshield would be completely over the top - broken. I laughed when I heard that every time. My current opinion is Deathwing will move up from a mid tiered army to a second tiered army - its a very small army and if you go with lots and lots of stormshields you're not really going to have that much shooting. So I think they'll do much better but I don't think they are going to suddenly win any big truly competitive events. I hope someone proves me wrong though! : )

Here is how I used to kit my standard Deathwing terminator squad back in 3rd and 4th edition:

Sergeant: stormbolter & power sword (no options)
2x assault cannon & chainfist
2x stormbolter & power fist

This squad could lay down a lot of midrange anti troop dakka and the two assault cannons were useful versus light armor. I had no problem beating Tyranids or Orks (hordes). The toughest matches were versus other SM armies.

Here is how I kitted my standard Deathwing terminator squad in 5ed prior to the new FAQ:

Sergeant: pair of lightning claws
Cyclone missile launcher & pair of lightning claws
Chainfist & stormbolter
2x power fist & stormbolter

Again a good amount of shooting (obviously not as much) and when my opponent would allow me to use the 2 shot cyclone missile launcher these units did well versus light armor.

Here is how I'd run a squad now with all the new toys:

Sergeant: pair of lightning claws
Cyclone missile launcher & pair of lightning claws
3x thunderhammer & stormshield

Most people are advocating all stormshields but I think you need some attacks that strike at a higher initiative. You can play the wound allocation game with three stormshields and that is good enough for me. On the charge this unit is swinging 8 lightning claw attacks and 9 thunderhammer attacks - that's a good balance.

I am one of the few that likes to run landraiders in my army and typically I'll take three (two normal plus one Crusader). It cuts down on the number of terminator squads but it drastically increases the mobility of the army and they need the additional firepower. The cyclone missile launcher is great but there isn't enough to get the job done versus a lot of armies. Landraiders add a whole new dimension to your tactics and I'll talk about that in a follow up article. I'll end this one by saying based upon my experience six squads of five terminators apiece is going to have some problems versus certain armies.


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