Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Playing Deathwing: Necrons As Allies Is Godly

Wow. Outstanding. Truly. That's what I have to say after playing three games today with a friend (Christian) who let me use his Necrons to try as allies for my Deathwing. I felt like an Angry Marine. No, not like I was fielding Angry Marines: I FELT LIKE AN ANGREH MERHREEN!!!!

*Ahrem* Let's look at the games we played very briefly before moving onto the day's lessons, before I fail an instability check and morph into a possessed chaos marine. -_-

The Army List:
- H.Q. 1: Belial (Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield)
- H.Q. 2: Necron Overlord (Resurrection Orb)
- Troop 1: Five shooty Deathwing Terminators; one with a chainfist, and one with a cyclone missile launcher
- Troop 2: Five close combat Deathwing Terminators (Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield)
- Troop 3: Twenty Necron Warriors
- Fast Attack: Six close combat Canoptek Wraiths (Whip Coils)
Total: 1335 points

Why Necrons As Allies?

I received an interesting comment to the question as to whether or not other people thought I should choose Necrons as allies, considering that I'd like my army to be competitive. Here it is:
"your main army is Dark Angels... so speed honestly is not a problem that your own codex cannot remedy. More guns? Go Banner of Devastation, LRC & some tactical squads with minimal upgrades. I think that if you can avoid the Desperate Allies situation than it is great-- recall that gauss weapons are rapid fire, so optimally, you should be within 12'. That gives you a 6' break. Now, that's a lot, but a mistake could debilitate an important unit."

Good points. However I have to admit that I'm not a fan of Landraiders. Don't get me wrong, I think the unit is superb, but I don't like putting so many eggs into one basket (not normally, anyways). Also, I don't like the look of the model. Heresy!!!, you say? Perhaps. 

As for the bikes -- yeah. About those.. another model I don't like. I know, most people think they're awesome. How is this possible, you ask? Because I'm me. And what about the Tactical Marines? Well, I'd rather just drybrush and wash a bunch of Necro-dudes, than do what I always do: spend hours painting every model, one at a time (because I'm a bit of a perfectionist).

So why Necrons? 

I knew that they were capable of doing a good job -- although to what extend, I was about to find out. Also, I think the models and fluff is cool. As a fellow gamer at my local Games Workshop store pointed out, if you don't like your models (especially if you're like me and you love to paint), then don't bother with the hobby. Furthermore, I could see myself branching off with a second army, being Necrons, which I could mix and match with my Deathwing army. 

If you enjoy your models (albeit, choose them intelligently if you want to win more often than not), then that's what's important. Also, it will give me plenty of opportunity to practice NMM on the heroes and more interesting models.

Deathwing & Necron vs. Chaos Daemons

I lost this battle, because:
1. I didn't take the time to learn the rules/victory conditions, and so I focused my energy on the wrong targets. In addition to this, I made poor use of my Canoptek Wraiths, which got them killed. However my Necron Warriors held up against a Daemon Prince for three turns.

Over-all, the issue was related to how I was playing my models, my understanding of the rules and how the victory points worked. So we could say that I had a strong army; I needed to learn how to use it.

Lesson: Learn the rules, focus on the victory points and use the Canoptek Wraiths more intelligently.

Deathwing & Necron vs. Tau

I won this game, but I could have used my Terminators better. For one, I should have focused on holding the objective I had with at least one of my Terminator squads, and I shouldn't run my Canoptek Wraiths straight into the Tau fire-line. Yes they have a 3+ invulnerable save and two wounds each, but really -- they could have done more damage if I thought of a more intelligent way of maneuvering them around the battlefield.

"This is the end of the game. We both hold a three point objective but earlier in the game, my Commander standing at the top of the Fortress of Redemption was gunned down by Deathwing Terminators. Thus, the Tau Empire lost this battle."
(Photo and commentary by Christian)

Also, deep-striking my shooty Terminators right in front of his commander to obliterate him was a smart move: although I sacrificed the squad in the following turns, it added extra  bonus points that helped me to win the game.

Finally, deep-striking my close-combat Terminators with Belial was a bad idea: I should have kept them near the objective so that they could lock his Riptide into close combat; if his Riptide had locked my (lone) Necron Warrior squad in close combat, I would have lost the objective, and the game would have been his.

Lesson: Focus on holding the objectives and don't charge Canoptek Wraiths straight into a Tau fire-line.

Deathwing & Necron vs. Chaos Space Marines

I did the best I could and do not see what I could have done better, except learning all the rules of the game, and I deep-striked my shooty terminators behind his two Landraiders. Instead, I should have used them to kill his Cultists.

Paying attention to the victory conditions really paid off, and everything was geared towards that.

It is worth noting that during two turns, Belial was within six inches of Necron Warriors. This was necessary in order to give myself the absolutely best chance possible at taking the game. It also proved to be not too much of a worry, however it is worth keeping in mind that I shouldn't do this too often: when you play with fire, you eventually get burned.

"The Master of the Deathwing survived a few rounds of fire from two Land Raiders, secured the relic and the Necron Warriors covered his withdrawal to ensure victory!"
(Photo and commentary by Christian)

Lessons: (1) Don't deep-strike shooty terminators behind big shiny targets with A.V. 14 like a Landraider. Instead, deep-strike them where they can do the most damage such as next to his troops or better yet: right in front of his H.Q. in order to assassinate it for the victory points.

(2) Give Necron Warriors (especially with a leader that has a Resurrection Orb) an objective to camp on, and they'll hold their ground. Terrain to hide in, on or behind helps as well.

(3) always ask yourself "Why did I lose?" when you lose, "Why did I almost lose?" when it was close and "What could I have done better?"

What Next?

From today's games and lessons, I already have two things to focus on:

1. Save Up
Two boxes of Necron Warriors, one Necron Overlord, six Canoptek Wraiths and a carrying case for all the minis is my purchase-goal for the summer, as far as Warhammer is concerned. This won't be easy -- let's hope I get that second job some time soon..

2. Destroy: Flying Monstrous Creatures & Tanks
I have 165 points left to go before I hit my 1500-points target. I had a hard time taking down flying monstrous creatures and tanks; this is a weakness in my army. Christian recommended that I go for for two Devastator Squads, or a Doomscythe. We'll see where I go from here, based on how things go when I field Necron allies, as I did today.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Allies: Deathwing & Necrons

I was going through the allies list and I was thinking about some of the more realistic constraints I have when it comes to playing Warhammer 40,000: As I'm still a student, I don't have a lot of money to spend on this hobby, I have a strong compulsion to only field models that I've painted or begun painting (a personal quirk) and finally, I started a Deathwing army in part because I knew I wouldn't have to purchase, paint and field very many models in order to play, and this also meant that it wouldn't take a long time to paint my army.

However this came at a price, which is at the center of the challenges that face my current army list. As a remember, here are those challenges:

1. Being a bullet-magnet eventually hurts: red-shirts are useful
Red-shirts. I need 'em. For this reason many people recommend Imperial Guard as allies.

2. Too slow and lack of maneuverability
I have a Need for Speed.

3. Not enough guns. 
I need more boom-sticks.
As this is still a new (and small) army, I still have a long way to go (just over 800 points) before I reach that 1500 point-line. The distance is even greater (over 1300 points), before I hit the 2000 point-mark, which is my real objective. So. That leaves me with a very large number of points left to go!

So the way I see it, having the basics down (one H.Q. and two Troops choices) was the easy part. Now comes the complex (yet fun!) process of actually going through the endless choices that are available to us and, as the title suggests, today's topic is about allying a Deathwing army with Necrons. Here goes my idea:

Allies: Necrons

Why Necrons? 
They count as Desperate Allies! That means that (1) all their powers that affect enemy models will affect the Deathwing, (2) they won't profit from the synergy of choosing a allies that are Battle Brothers and (3) why the hell would Dark Angels (especially an army that looks like they're supposed to represent the Angels of Vengeance, who hate xenos) fight alongside Necrons?

The answer to these questions are: 
1. It's true, the Necrons have a lot of very cool powers that have an impact on the tabletop as a whole and large swathes of the opponent's army, so yes -- this will limit my H.Q. to some degree. Nevertheless I feel that the advantages of fielding Necrons as allies to a Deathwing army, outweighs this cost.

2. This is true, but not necessarily a problem. First of all, I only have to keep my Necrons and Space Marines apart by 6 inches if I want to completely avoid any risk of tripping over my own shoe-laces. Second, there is an element of confusion and arguably of surprise that comes with choosing alliances that few would expect. Finally, the truth of the matter is that the Necron army is capable of filling in all three of the major challenges I've identified with fielding my Deathwing army. This is the central point, and is the point that outweights the price I would have to pay for the lack of synergy within the alliance.

3. This is a fluff question, but deserves to be tackled, since Warhammer 40,000 exists in our hearts and minds as much as a strategy game, as a story and fantasy world galaxy. So here's the general plot line I'd be going with: the Dark Angels and Necrons were fighting each other, when x-army arrived and totally threatened to obliterate both armies. However they decided to ally up just so they could survive to fight another day..
.. all this being said, I don't doubt that I'll probably have a lot of fun forging a much more elaborate narrative at a later time! ;) 

Now onto the army list itself and what I would field...

- H.Q.: Nemesor Zahndrekh (185 points) & Vargard Obyron (160 points); 345 points
- Troops: Twenty Necron Warriors (260 points)
Total: 605

With my 605 point Deathwing army, the new total would be 1290, so I would still have another 210 points left to spend. So the question remains: how would this work? I'll go from 'bottom to top', it's just easier that way...

- Necron Warriors: Provide me with the quantity of firepower and body/red-shirt model count I need. Not only are they troops that arrive in number, but they're quality troops as well -- so while they're still a little expensive, I get what I pay for, while simultaneously taking care of two thirds of the challenges that my I face in terms of army composition. Also, they have gauss weapons, so there's no need to worry too much about tanks.

(Necron Character Breakdown: Nemesor [&] Obyron)

- Vargard Obyron: (1) Goes with the troops to bolster their leadership and deliver a an extra punch in close combat. (2) He also allows the unit he's with to be removed from the tabletop and deep-strike anywhere at any time, including during close combat. In addition to this, he doesn't scatter if he deep-strikes 6 inches next to Nemesor Zahndrekh. This provides my army with the mobility and speed that I need.

- Nemesor Zahndrekh: (1) Acts as a homing beacon as long as he lives. (2) If he joins a unit (such as the Necron Warriors), the unit will benefit from his Resurrection Orb (4+ to survive any wound, including Instant Death for the whole squad; that's basically a 4+ invulnerable save for my wad of Necrontyr). (3) His Adaptive Tactics combined with his Counter Tactics gives my Necron troopers an immense advantage, by providing them with a nice list of special rules for me to choose from, every turn -- and to simultaneously deny from any opposing unit! Essentially this makes my Necrons very tactical!

About Points...: I do see a weakness in all of this: Necrons are very pricey! If, for example, I were to take a much cheaper H.Q. (to be fair I've only looked at a couple of Necron H.Q.s so far), I could really save a lot of points. For this reason, I would almost certainly purchase the Necron warriors and use a proxy to test out different leaders, or combinations of leaders.

Assuming that my H.Q. idea is good, what would I do with those last 210 points? This is my guess at what could be most useful, before actually having tried any of this out. Call it my.. hypothesis of what would go well in this twisted alliance:
- Dreadnought: I've never tried using a Dreadnought, but they scare people so why not give it a trial run? I'm not sure if I'd go with a Venerable Dreadnought or not, so that I could use my spare points to purchase a Drop Pod for it (125 to 135 points)
- Nephilim Jetfighter, to watch the skies and bomb tanks (180 points)
- Six models for a Ravenwing Attack Squadron (161 points) or five Ravenwing Black Knights (210 points) because Ravenwing bikes would provide me with more mobility, speed and fire-support

Necron Goodies:
- Sixteen more Necron Warriors, because perhaps my army still needs more 'boys than toys' (208 points)
- A Catacomb Command Barge for Nemesor Zahndrekh so he could zoom around the battlefield as a homing beacon, thereby increasing the mobility of my Necron Warriors (80 points)
- Ghost Ark to provide my troop unit with a (nearly) infinite stream of warriors to replenish my ranks thanks to it's Repair Barge special rule (115 points)
- Five to six Canoptek Wraiths, because they're incredibly fast and can hold units down in close combat terminators either move in to finish the kill or take care of another enemy unit (about 210 points)
- A Monolith, because it frightens people, is a great distraction and an adequate bullet magnet (200 points)

What do you think about this odd alliance between Necron and Deathwing? What do you think about my H.Q. and Troop choices?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Allies: Deathwing & Imperial Guard -- For The Numbers

As per my last post about strategies, some of the major challenges facing a newly-created Deathwing army are:

1. Being a bullet-magnet eventually hurts: red-shirts are useful
Red-shirts. I need 'em. For this reason many people recommend Imperial Guard as allies.

2. Too slow and lack of maneuverability
I have a Need for Speed.

3. Not enough guns. 
I need more boom-sticks.

Before we get started it's worth noting that this is still a new army, with very few models. We're counting 685 points for:
- Belial as a H.Q., armed with a thunder hammer and storm shield,
- Five terminators with stormbolters, power fists, one cyclone missile launcher in the squad (the sergeant who has a power sword) and,
- Five more terminators for the second choice, all armed with thunder hammers and storm shields.

In this post I'll be looking at the pros and cons of fielding Imperial Guard allies to tackle the first of these three challenges that face a Deathwing army. As we'll soon see, the purpose of having these boys on board would prove very grim indeed for the individual guardsman..

"When you decide to die, remember to give your enemy the same honour"
- Commissar Grenville let's go over them quickly to get a general idea of what the I.G. have to offer. If you feel compelled to do so, I do invite anyone who plays Imperial Guard, knows a lot about them, or who feels that he or she knows enough about 40k strategies, to leave their comments below. Perhaps there's something we can all learn from your insight?

Red-Shirts Are Useful

Let's consider the situation: Terminators are easily thinned out and, when faced with too much firepower (such as when facing Tau), they eventually fall. On the other hand Imperial Guardsmen are cheap and appear more like tides, than men.

Let's remember why I felt this was an important lesson: when my opponent had the firepower of his entire army focused on my two tiny terminator squads (whether he was a Space Marine or Tau commander), the sheer number of his shots overwhelmed my armour and invulnerable saves. To be sure, it's worth re-iterating that the laws of probability and statistics will eventually kill your men, even to small arms fire.

So the issue here is really about giving the enemy something else to shoot at, other than two squads of terminators. For this reason it's all about the idea that quantity is in itself a distraction. In addition, a squad Imperial Guardsmen can score victory points and hold down objectives. 

"Peace? There cannot be peace in these times."
- Lord Commander Solar Macharius

Therefore to solve this issue we want to look at the points cost of an Imperial Guard H.Q. and Troop selection, while asking ourselves: "How can I get the most guys for the least amount of points?" In other words, as far as this first problem is concerned, we're looking for quantity over quality which is, after all, the complete opposite of Deathwing terminators. So let's look at what H.Q. will offer us the most guys, for the least points.

H.Q.: Command Squad -- 50 points for 5 models

This decision is both easy and obvious. Why? Because while a command squad stands at five men (or "five wounds"), at 10 points a piece,every other H.Q. choice starts at 1 model, for a minimum cost of 45 points. This H.Q. choice therefore gives us the most models, at the lowest price.

So what about the Troop choice?

Troop: Infantry Platoon -- 80 points for 30 models

There are three troop choices with Imperial Guard: Infantry Platoons, Veteran Squads and Penal Legion Squads.The veterans are cheaper than the penal legionnaires, at 7 points per model. However when we compare the veterans to two infantry squads of ten men (that's TWENTY guys in one troop choice!!!) and their platoon command squad (that's an extra five guys wounds for a single troop choice!!!), we find that the group averages out at about 2.66 points per model wound!!!

So what have we discovered? Simply that an Imperial Guard ally can offer a Deathwing army a minimum of 35 men wounds, at a total base cost of 180 points! I doubt if any other ally can top that!

However this won't be the single defining factor, as in 6th edition players can shoot over squad-blobs. In addition, there are two other factors to consider here: (1) speed/maneuverability, and (2) how many ranged weapons we can bring to bear. Finally, numbers alone isn't the only factor that will secure victory, but a tide of men can certainly help.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Painting: Belial

I wasn't sure if I should paint Belial in the black colour scheme of the Angels of Vengeance or not -- but then I thought he'd look cooler in traditional Deathwing colours. As for the white rim around the edges his robes, I got the idea from how the Romans are depicted in the Asterix comics. When I finally got a chance to play, it was fun to imagine Belial taking command over a successor chapter, like the Angels of Vengeance!

I don't know what colour I should paint his thunder hammer, the insignia on his shoulders or the decorative rope on his robes -- leave your ideas as comments below. :)

Behold! My Belial!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Playing Deathwing: Strategy Lessons vs. Chaos Daemons, Tau & Deathwing

Tonight I had the chance to play five short games with some new friends, and these short skirmishes against a variety of different armies taught me a lot about fielding a Deathwing force. As before, the focus will be: (1) what worked and (2) what didn't and how can I improve?

In case you haven't read my earlier post, my Warhammer 40,000 army is 685 points and contains:
- Belial as a H.Q., armed with a thunder hammer and storm shield,
- Five terminators with stormbolters and power fists, except the sergeant who has power sword and,
- Five more terminators for the second choice, all armed with thunder hammers and storm shields.

This is going to be a long one, but will have a lot of useful information for anyone starting a Deathwing army! So here's some chill music for you while you read (I know, I think of everything! ;).

What Worked?

- Deathwing is scary.
I learned that simply having Deathwing terminators on the battlefield is somewhat like having a Carnifex back in fourth and fifth edition. Basically that means two things: (1) it has a psychological impact, and (2) it's what I like to call "a bullet magnet", perfect for creating distractions.

- Deathwing (invulnerable) saves are OUTSTANDING!!!
On one hand this is a given -- on the other hand, I never realised just how good they are! Why? Because I'm keenly aware that the laws of probability and statistics will eventually kill your men, so I never wanted to create my strategy and gaming-style around the idea that my terminators don't care about cover. However I've realised that my terminators are cover!

- Prioritise.
Without priorities we're lost in life. Without priorities terminators die.

- 5 Terminators: Thunder Hammer & Storm Shields
Although sometimes a double-edged sword (as we'll soon see when looking at how much firepower I'm lacking), these guys can take out almost anything in close combat!!! I was surprised by how much Chaos Daemons/Monstrous Creatures avoided them! :)

Now for the fun bit: what didn't work, and how can I improve? :) Let's break it down by armies I faced, because well.. that's more fun! ;)

What Didn't Work vs. Chaos Daemons 

- Too slow and lack of maneuverability. 
Deepstriking with Belial is amazing! However my army is thin and easily spread apart, like butter scraped over too much bread (if you know where that quote comes from, you're awesome -- and a geek! Maybe even a hipster..?)

Once my guys hit the ground, I'm pretty much stuck there, like a blob of awesome-steel that moves at the rate of turtle. Perhaps I should steal some Blood Angels vehicles. Why? Cuz da red wunz go fasta. Yes. That was a joke. On a 5+ you will "lol".

- Not enough guns.
I don't have any artillery, and having 1/2 of my army entirely geared towards close combat, and attracting all the attention like dancing frogs, not to mention that I'm missing out on the twin-linked awesomeness that is Vengeful Strike, means that I inflict less damage than my potential allows.

What Didn't Work vs. Tau

- Too slow and lack of maneuverability. 
Same lesson as before, but more critical this time: after shooting, some of his jumpy guys were able to back away. In turn, my turtle-nators decided to ignore them and press forward with other matters, all the while receiving shots in their backs, as they were picked off like boogers in the nose of that girl you were about to go talk to, but then decided otherwise for obvious reasons..

- Being a bullet-magnet eventually hurts: red-shirts are useful
This was my worry when starting Deathwing: facing Tau and Imperial Guard armies, because I knew they'd be able to dish out so much firepower, that my termies wouldn't be able to handle it, and as the laws of Mathhammer would have it, my army eventually buckled under the weight of countless Tau laser pointers..

- Not knowing the rules can kill you.
I walked into a forest. The forest killed a man. The end.
Moral of the story: read the friggin' rule book or suffer the consequences. Conversely, this added some interesting dynamism to the narrative of the gameplay. :)

- Difficult terrain slows turtles down to the speed of snail.
My models move slow. That much has been ascertained. What happens when they go through difficult terrain? They move extra slow. What happens when they move slow(er)? They get shot more, and die.

What Didn't Work vs. Deathwing

- Keep the victory points in mind.
I played against an army that nearly mirrored my own and reduced them all to a single model: Belial. However my opponent had more victory points, especially after killing my Belial, with his Belial. Now, I'm not sure if it's "legal" or not to have the same unique character in the opposing force, but that's beside the point. The point here is: keep the victory points in mind.

On the other hand, I do enjoy the moral victory of thinking "Objectives? I'll just smite all his men!" >:) In the end, he had only Belial left -- yet still, he won by a fair margin, because he kept the essentials in mind.

What Didn't Work vs. Chaos Daemons (redux)

- (1) Not enough guns, (2) too slow and lack of maneuverability
My opponent wasn't particularly keen on tangoing with my close combat terminators, but thoroughly enjoyed serving knuckle-sandwiches to my shooty guys until their teeth were a red and white paste.

In the end, I lost because I wasn't able to deny him enough objectives and score enough victory points. This was because (1) I lacked any kind of firepower to reach his chaos daemons that were covering an objective that was impossible for me to reach and (2) even if I still had a second squad, I couldn't move fast enough to claim enough objective markers, that could help me win the game.

Conclusion: Deathwing Tactics

To summarise the lessons learned from my first five games with a Deathwing army (remember: I played my first game on Friday):

1. Prioritise. 
Pick your target carefully and annihilate it.

2. Being a bullet-magnet eventually hurts: red-shirts are useful
Red-shirts. I need 'em. For this reason many people recommend Imperial Guard as allies.

3. Too slow and lack of maneuverability
I have a Need for Speed. Lame joke. "lol" on a 6+

4. Not enough guns. 
I need more boom-sticks.

5. Know the rules; know the victory conditions.
If you don't know how to play, you may lose.

Out of these lessons, which can be fixed by making changes to my army, and which ones are purely intellectual? Well, lessons (1) and (4) are based on intellect and knowledge, whereas lessons (2), (3) and (4) are based on what I actually field in my army.

This means that I need to add something that (1) attracts a lot of attention and is tough (or has a large number of wounds/models), (2) is fast and (3) is shooty. What comes to mind right now are the following options:

An allied force such as:
1. Imperial Cheap-Wounds Guards,
3. Space Wolf cavalry (yep, they'll cooperate with Dark Angels!) or,
4. Another Spess Mehreen chaptah(?)

Or Dark Angel units such as:
4. Ravenwing bikes,
5. Flyers,
6. Tanks or,
7. Regular marines or scouts (possibly arriving via drop-pod).

In my next few articles I'll review the allies options, and consider the pros and cons of the Dark Angel units mentioned above. Finally I'll draw a conclusion based on a balance between points cost, over-all benefits and even actual price (because as we all know, 40k is dirt cheap expensive as hell).

If you have any other option ideas, please leave a comment and let me know what you think! :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Painting: Trial Model

Here are a few shots of my trial model. I'm (obviously) going for a black colour scheme, based off the Angels of Vengeance, from page 16 of the Dark Angels codex, and I chose to give them a snowy base, to contrast with all the black.

Alternatively I'm considering painting them all in traditional Deathwing colours. At first I thought this might be boring and was a lack of imagination -- but after starting to paint Belial that way, I think it's actually pretty cool, especially considering the contrast between dark green and bone-white.

In any event, here's my heavy weapons guy. Don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page! :)


Playing Deathwing: Strategy Lessons vs. Spess Mehreens

Last night I played my first game with my Deathwing at my local Games Workshop store. For every game, I will write a review of the lessons I learned. Rather than going into detail and writing a battle report, the focus is what did I learn from this game?

As I only have eleven models, I allied with a Space Marine player, and we faced off against a Dark Templar player. We weren't able to finish our game before it was time to go -- but basically he would have won. The things that hurt us (and me in particular) the most, were:
- Receiving most of the firepower on the battlefield, especially from sternguard coming deepstriking with drop pods,
- His Vindicator and finally
- His two Thunderfire Canons, hidden in 4+ cover.

Here is the army list I'm currently using:

HQ: Belial

Troop 1: Deathwing Terminator Squad
- Sgt: Power sword & storm bolter
- Terminator #1: Power fist & storm bolter
- Terminator #2: Power fist & storm bolter
- Terminator #3: Chainfist & storm bolter
- Terminator #1: Lightning claws & Cyclone missile launcher

Troop 2: Deathwing Terminator Squad
- 5x Thunder hammer & storm shield

Total: 685 points

Lessons Learned

1. Keep playing to better understand how Deathwing armies work.
Because I still have less than 1000 points and only eleven models, playing with allies who compensate

2. Prioritise.
My guys may have awesome saves, but when everyone shoots at them, they die. By prioritising, I do the most damage possible before attracting almost all the firepower on the tabletop.

As an example, I decided to deepstrike my shooty terminators behind his dreadnought, while my ally had a clear shot on it with two heavy multi-meltas. On one hand the redundancy ensured the demise of his unit, but on the other hand I could have deepstriked next to his vindicator with Belial and the first squad of terminators, which included a chain fist and a twin-linked cyclone missile launcher; twin-linked because it was benefiting from the Vengeful Strike special rule.

In short, watch out for redundancies.

3. Being a bullet-magnet eventually hurts: a squad or two of wound sponges would be useful.
I'm considering an extra ten terminators (for a total of twenty) divided into four squads. The questions remains however: how to arm them?

A lot of the forums I've been visiting suggest a list that's very heavy on storm shields and thunder hammers, however I'm hesitant about this, since the Vengeful Strike special rule (twin-linked when deepstriking), makes terminators with storm bolters a very attractive option.

On this note, the player who beat us recommended that I have more than 50% of my army capable of shooting, once again, especially because of how good the Vengeful Strike special rule is.

4. Too slow and lack of maneuverability: Consider purchasing bikes and/or a Vindicator
Bikes would give my army speed; a vindicator is simply an awesome tank to field, and helps attract a lot of attention as well.

Finally, I asked for advice based on my army list and last night's game on Here's the post and their response (note that I made a mistake when mentioning the sergeant's load-out).

Also, don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page! :)