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Codex Deathwatch Points updates: The Lemondish Leaks, and Shotguns are back!

Bloggers and Youtubers often say how grateful they are for comments and likes. Usually it's just because it makes them more search engine optimised. I, however, could not be more grateful for comments since they give me access to the 40K community.

I have a full 24 hour job in the boarding house, and so my hobby time is far, far less than most other Games Workshop commentators. What little time I do have for hobbying is usually spent indoctrinating my children into being nerds playing with my kids. So whenever you guys drop me comments revealing new information, it saves me the time spent digging through forum posts and 2 hour videos to get to interesting information.

My unending thanks goes to Lemondish, a routine commenter who has revealed some great information about the Deathwatch Codex. They have driven development of my analysis spreadsheets by a huge margin over the past few days, and I could not be more grateful. Thank you Lemondish!

Here's what he revealed:

Hey friends!
A quick glance at some codex review videos and it looks like Stormbolters will be 4 points, and shotguns 3.
- Lemondish

Followed up with:

Yep! There's a shift in the way SIA is pointed now. It used to be part of the baseline cost of the model, which was a problem when you wanted to give that model weapons that never used it. Now it's attached to the weapon cost instead!
Almost all weapons are a point more than they otherwise would be, with Stormbolters ending up 2 points more. On top of that, Vets dropped to 16 points (down from 19) and Intercessors remain at 18. Since Intercessors have to take both a rifle AND a pistol, they end up at 20 standard with Vets sitting 3 points behind with a boltgun and chainsword (which it looks like is still free). Stormbolter equipped Vets end up equal to standard Intercessors, but -1W, slightly less range, and double the shots at AP 0. Or you could stick with the boltgun and grab a power sword, making that Vet significantly more killy in melee for a point more.
Everyone will love the SIA Stormbolter, but I think the humble SIA empowered Boltgun still has a place here, especially with an army where points are going to be really tight to come by. 3 points may not sound like an awful lot, but it adds up I feel.
- Lemondish

The good news is is that shotgun armed Veterans average out to be just as points efficient as Stormbolters!

When you take into account the points cost, the close combat ability and the defensive durability of the model alongside the shooting competency, the difference in efficiency between the two comes to a fractions difference. Stormbolters are ahead by 0.15 efficiency... which you just won't notice with the randomness of dice rolls.

Shotguns have quite a specific niche where they operate best though, and that would be against close combat hordes and their good overwatch. In other situations they're still good, that's just where they shine.

Bolters are much more efficient for their points cost than both, so taking a minimum squad with just bolters and chainswords is the best way to go for pure points efficiency. A bit bland, but the SpecIssAmmo gives them a heck of a lot of flexibility, particularly coupled with the anti-tank ammo Stratagem.

Stalker bolters remain useless. Unless they get FAQ'd with the Sniper rule, in which case they become awesome (2 shot sniper rifles wounding on 2+... my gosh). In gact they wouldn't need the mortal wounds. Just allow them to target enemy characters.

Whilst it's not point optimal, I'm revising my standard load out to 4 Bolter/Chainsword armed Veterans, and one Veteran armed with a Deathwatch Frag cannon. This clocks in at about 114 points 109 points (thanks CyberNinja! You get a post to yourself later this week), and has tools to threaten pretty much anything in the game along with the excellent overwatch offered by the Frag Cannon.

Intercessors though... these guys are marginally more efficient than the regular Bolter/Chainsword Veterans. Their edge is (as ever) in their second wound, with the Bolt Rifle really abusing the heck out of SpecIssAmmo. Wounding on 2+ with an AP-1 weapon is just horrendous! As Lemondish suggests in a previous comment, they will make for excellent early game anchor units, marching up the field absorbing fire and giving out quite a lot of pain.

Autobolter armed Intercessors are less points efficient, but that's the trade off you make for mobility, and better projection of double shot Kracken/Hellfire rounds.

A word on Power weapon veterans:

They're not as efficient as fielding Veterans armed with chainswords, but they will certainly hit harder in melee against armour 4+ and above. 3 attacks per Veteran is hard to pass up, but they will be a very flexible unit.

Also, they look cool.

At this stage it's almost certain I will be restarting my Space Marine Field Police as a Deathwatch army. I'll just need to pick up some conversion sprues, and go to work on my current army!

Until next time!

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  1. My favourite part about the auto bolt rifles is the synergy with an Aggressor added to the squad. With Vengeance rounds, you're both operating at 18'' with the ability to advance without penalty. 5 Intercessors firing 10 shots at AP-2 is great for really putting the hurt on certain targets. Then you have the Aggressor's normal bolt rounds. Heck, add in 3 more bolter aggressors and a flamer one and you have a horde clearing machine of a unit that is T5 with 10 ablative wound before you even hit the Aggressors. This pack will clear screens, deny Overwatch, and you'll get to double shoot with those Aggressors often.

    I'm really enjoying this codex for its opportunities for some truly epic unit combos. Sure, this is almost 300 points - so I'm not quite sure how efficient it'll be - but you need screen clearing and there's nothing quite as fun as a mobile unit with T5, 20 wounds, and 2+ save in cover that can pump out red hot xeno hatred as quickly as this can.

    1. Swap in an Inceptor with the twin 18-inch Heavy Bolters, and you've got a roving fire base which houses powerfists and can opt out of any combat it doesn't like.

      I really like the codex too... there's a huge amount of variety that can be done, and various different play styles you can have without needing to repaint your power armour!

  2. As a standard codex player, I'm not jealous of SIA at all! Honest... Actually talking of codex marines, is there any chance you could talk us through dreadnought options at some point? There are so many different types it's a bit difficult to wrap your head round their uses.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I certainly can go through the dreadnought options, but I don't have a great knowledge of Forgeworld models. I think going through the various types in the Games Workshop codices would be fun though!


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