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Deathwatch Codex Leak: Just use Stormbolters and Recommended Default Squads

Here's a list taken from Faeit212, who got it from miniwars, who got it from 4chan. Yes, this is quite the chain of whispers, but it looks fairly legitimate and I have no reason to doubt the image.

deathwatch special issue ammunition stormbolter bolters bolt rifles

What we can draw from this is that your default weapon for Veterans is going to be the Stormbolter. There is no question of it. As a 2 point upgrade you double your number of shots, and the ability to use Special Issue Ammunition just means you can tailor the units role on the fly.

The Deathwatch shotgun, barring a discounted points cost or upgraded Special Issue shells, are now rather redundant, only having a somewhat niche use in Overwatch defence. Even then, a slight increase in points (133 up from 120) will get you better far better results. Taking 4 stormbolters and a Frag canon gives you all the Overwatch and autohit potential of 5 combat shotguns, along with 4 stormbolters.

Equally, Stalker boltguns are redundant as well. Stormbolters can do a similar role (2 shots out to 30-inches), whilst being rapid-fire for close range power. Stalkers only have a niche in 6 inches more reach, which is lost when the unit starts moving.

Unless you're kitting out your Kill Teams for specialised roles (and lets face it, you were) then your default squad would be:

  • 1 Veteran Sergeant with Stormbolter
  • 3 Veterans with Stormbolters
  • 1 Veteran with Deathwatch Frag canon

Put them in a Rhino or Razorback, get close to the aliens and let rip. If you do have specialised squads, and are looking for ablative wounds, the 2 point upgrade to double the shots from your model is definitely worth it. You can add other models to the unit but they are a little awkward (Vanguard Vets would be a great idea for this shooty unit, but don't fit in a Rhino).

Minimum squads for Primaris Kill-teams are somewhat simpler, in that it's just an upgraded Intercessor squad. However, I do recommend the following:

  • Intercessor Sergeant with Bolt rifle
  • 4 Intercessors with Bolt Rifles
  • 1 Inceptor with plasma weapons

The idea here is the Intercessors are very good ablative wounds for the Inceptor, and the Inceptor allows the group to Fall Back out of combat and still shoot. The Inceptor is a better platform for plasma than Hellblasters in this case, putting out a the same number of shots on average per round of shooting as two Hellblasters with only a loss in range.

These are just my gut feelings at this point, but the above two builds of unit are quite a strong core to hang specialist squads on. At least until I find out Deathwacth Veterans can't use Stormbolters anymore...

Until next time!

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  1. I'm not certain that the storm bolter is only a 2 points upgrade in the new deathwatch codex

    1. Neither am I. This is going off of Index prices. I won't be too sad if the Stormbolter is priced higher though. I was thinking about how to model them today, and I was feeling a bit disappointed about not using the bolters in the Deathwatch Veteran kit.

      Another possibility would be for the shotgun to become cheaper. I'd like it to be a straight side-grade to the spec-issue-ammo bolter.

      Thanks for commenting!

    2. Hey friends!

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

    3. Huzzah! That makes them somewhat balanced! Well, kind of.

      Shotguns now have a bit of an advantage in overwatch against close combat hordes and multi-wound low save models. Stormbolters look like they still pull ahead in terms of general application (as you would expect something with double the shots and only a point above will do). Might be the weapon of choice versus orks, but that seems very niche.

      I don't see a huge reason to change my recommended loadouts. If you don't want to model stormbolters, regular bolters average out better in terms of general efficiency (cheaper in terms of defence and assault ability). So good... you can tailor your Kill Teams right down to fine details if you really want to get nerdy about this.

      Did we get any views or hints about the points cost for Veterans or intercessors yet?

    4. 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.


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