Sunday, 27 March 2011

Bully's Deathwing - List & Discussion

Let's take a ride aboard the Bully Train...with one week to go before Brighton Warlords 1500 singles tournament, where is Bully at? Ed. 

Deathwing - My Tourney List + Option Discussion

So I've done a couple of WIP posts - with another 2 or 3 to come before the army is done (Tourney is at the start of April - my WIP currently is essentially detailing the entire army, with very little "bulk" painting left so to speak, other than the arms/shoulders of the terminators). But since lists and discussions on units seem to always been reader favourites - other than battle reports, I thought I'd chime in with my Deathwing list and discussion points.

So I'll go through the main unit's that you can use / look to see in Deathwing armies. Right off the bat I am going to discount some units - and I'll give the reason why.

This is a Deathwing force - meaning Belial and DW Terms as the core - at 1500 you shouldn't really be seeing any less than 3 units + Belial - which is the better part of 900 points, your using these to replace tactical marines available in the codex (the only troop choice), rather than support.

Additionally the likes of bikes as troops with Samael is something we're not looking at - as thats a different army entirely in my eye's (also if you want a Ravenwing Army, I seriously do suggest the vanilla codex - it represents the force much better with a command squad and better options all round).

The List:

Belial - Twin LC's

Deathwing Squad 1: TH/SS x5 - CML - Apoc
Deathwing Squad 2: TH/SS x3 - CML/TH/SS - SB/CF
Deathwing Squad 3: TH/SS x3 - CML/TH/SS - SB/CF
Deathwing Squad 4: TH/SS x3 - CML/TH/SS - SB/CF

Ravenwing Squad 1: Bikes x3 - MGx2 Melta Bombs - Attack Bike w/ MM
Ravenwing Squad 2: Bikes x3 - MGx2 Melta Bombs - Attack Bike w/ MM

So this comes in at dead on 1500 - 9 Kill Points - 29 Models and a whole lot of 2+ and 3++ saves. Additionally, to venerable it up a bit. There is 14 S8 shots with 8 different threat vectors (range varying).

Belial -

So this is the guy that makes it happen between the sheets. In reality he's a poor man's Captain, rather than "Master of the Greatest 1st Company in all of SpaceMarinedom". But at 130 points he is an absolute bargain, he really is. He does have options in wargear, he has rites of battle which allows you to take a 40 point Sisters Inquisitor and have it be LD10 for defence (cheeky!), and additionally he has the Deathwing rule and upgrades for one squad. Not to mention a 2+/5++ with Twin LC's or 2+/3++ with TH for 130 points is not all that bad for a WS5 I5 3 wound char.

My preference for Twin LC's is just purely because I wont risk the likes of melta, lascannon, bright/dark lances and what not on him, though I would take a plasma on him and just put that 5++ to the test for the cost of a wound. He's quite expendable at times, and I'll sometimes take him out of the squad (especially when the game is late in and not much fire power left it might force him to shoot at 1 squad or belial, but not both) and charge him into a combat squad or what not. TH/SS is viable - in combat having it against power weapons is handy certainly. I also like to use that I5 to try and sneak in some wounds or whittle down bigger squads.

Deathwing Squads: 

These guys are versatile as hell since the FAQ - obviously the CML plus TH/SS is where it is at, and a basic squad of x5 TH/SS and 1 with a CML is scary - its a half a dev squad that can move, plus one of the most potent assault squads in the game. I've seen varying setups, from the above, to 2 or 3 TH/SS and then a mixture of CF's, PF's and PW's. I personally do change one TH/SS to a SB/CF partly for wound allocation, but also a threat against tank shocks (via placement, especially late game on objectives).

The command squad really is your beat stick, and while it is best to not over extend, I do feel like these guys need to be presented as your "main threat" - they are still scoring, but with Belial and FNP they are 8 wounds, 2++/3++ and 4+++ - very hard to make go away.

Ravenwing Squads

So I went with the Ravenwing support. This gives me access to melta - not only that, but extremely mobile, fearless melta. With additional deployment options and melta bombs they are serious threats via scouting or outflanking and can really force a opponent to alter their own deployment, especially if they are mech heavy. Plus for me, they add an element of duality of threatening every aspect of the game, they are mobile/shooty and can assault - I have used them repeatedly to support a Deathwing squad - and while they in themselves are pretty weak in combat, it presents some issues of being a T5 I4 body there.

The attack bikes are again a bit of the same - but being able to act independently is quite handy, where you can use the turbo to protect the bikes, but the 36" threat range on the attack bike means that more often than not they are going to be able to get their shot off. Though when using these - especially at tourneys, get the ruling at the start as to whether they consider them scoring - by the rule book they "are" - but common sense would dictate that is from when Samael is present.

On the upgrade - Melta Bombs are so very worth it for 5 Points - since you often find yourself 15 or 20 points short of list totals - rarely over by a few points, these are great buys - and can threaten tanks off an alpha strike with scout or on the outflank.

Other Support:

So above is the force I work with, but there are some other options.

Land Raiders:

This changes the mechanic of the army entirely. TH/SS and CML's dont really need to be stored up in a 250 point transport - they can get to where they need to go (especially 20 of them) by walking and firing, inviting people to take the objective. LR's in a DW force really look to start using the likes of LC's and TH mix, doesnt take advantage of the CML - and thus in my eye's, would be much better going down the Black Templar terminator route in that case (or Blood Angels) which do these versions of "Deathstars" much better.

Mech Support:
75 Points for MM and a Typhoon is incredibly cheap - but they are also very fragile. These are the most common "support" you see thrown out for the Deathwing forces. While careful placement and use of cover can protect these guys, at AV10 a single shot can ruin their day, and with no scout or deepstrike options it makes it very hard to justify these, as cheap as they are.
Also the use of Preds and Vindicators, or even Dreads, begins to move away from the theme of the DW army, incredibly resilient foot force. Dreads could just about creep in, but again can be nullified by a single shot, which is something your wanting to avoid - though 3 of them for fire support is not bad. However, most of these options, or even all, move away from one of the core rules of mech or mech support - suppression and redundancy.

Devastator Support:
Despite being 170 points for 4xML's - this is actually an excellent option, it comes in 25 points cheaper than the ravenwing squad, so gives a fair whack of points left over at 1500 - meaning you could ally a hood in from the old Witch Hunters or for a couple more weeks the old Demonhunter books. It also throws your S8 shots per turn up quite high - though unlike the Ravenwing - it has less threat vectors, and only threatens a single aspect of the game - shooting. While deployment can cause issues for opponents, they can do the same to you (LOS) or games of DOW (so 1/3 of your game) your trying to run them into the right positions (where as RW quite like DOW as they can turbo T1 to midfield and be a big threat).


There are varying options for DW - I've seen most suggestions, which generally incorporate some of the options above in some way. Some lists I've seen I certainly wouldn't tell people not to play it, but I do feel that my list is pretty strong, not for lack of weaknesses. One is certainly lack of psyker defence - something that I've felt in a couple of games.

When doing the force, you want to make everything link together, in all aspects of the game. Deployment, Movement, Shooting and Assault, like any list.

The next work in progress is being written up now as well - hopefully with a bit more eye candy than before painting wise - I am throwing in my Belial, who I am spending a bit more time on (as of this moment I am 3 hours in to painting him and only done the armour and cloak


  1. Looking for some advice / suggestions on the Belial model at the top as well fella's.

    I am not sure what to do with the base - my army basing looks like

    Also the LC's I am not sure whether to leave black and do a glow effect or maybe do some design on them or something.

    Any suggestions or pictures to people's LC's as well would be great for idea's.

    Back to the grind stone ... !

  2. For the base maybe a rocky overhang over some lava? Afraid I don't have any pics of my lightning claws but o leave them black but do edge highlights and blend up in a specific colour (usually green for me) making it look like the edges of them are glowing. I'd only do osl if you have time left over. Another option is to highlight the centre of the claws making it look like they have an internal glow. Worth experimenting on a spare weapon though before you do the final model.

  3. he really looks awesome. as for the base, i'm afraid i suck at those....

  4. Cheers Andy -

    I think I will try to make the ledge / lava pit. If I can find some good cork I will do it, or maybe have a greenstuff ledge with a bit of a tank door over hanging it might look quite striking (also gives it a solid base to pin it to).

    I am going to do a WIP post to send it over to Ven - will have the bikers and belial - final one (before I go) DW + bases + objectives and a final army shot etc... (and if I do a fancy base for Belial - a bit on that prob)

    As for the LC's - I've just done the command squad shield wings in a regal blue to quite high highlight and they look quite striking - so I might do a more subtle blend and then a glowing LC a bit like:

    except - not quite as good as I can prob only spend 1 hour doing the the LC's

  5. First, thx for your list (looks like mine). But I haven't played it yet. Any suggestions about the playstyle? Agressive? Boosting your bikes in the scout move and teleporting one squad of terminators in your opponents deployment zone? Moving the rest of the terminators straight towards your opponent? Or staying put on your table edge, shooting away?