Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Hammer Returns: Deathwing HO!!

Well, after what feels like quite a round about trip, I've settled on what I'll be playing for the foreseeable future. As the title suggests I will be returning to my Deathwing. Inevitable? Ok Venerable and Bringer of Death may have called it after Brighton, but it took a lot of games before I just couldn't bare to be away from my 4th Edition boys much longer. It doesn't help that I've just rummaged around my bits boxes and found some fantastic bits to add onto the force, more on this in a second!

With this return to the Deathwing, it has reinvigorated me to pick up my Deathwing Tactic/Deployment series. As much as anything I've found it quite a productive exercise for putting some method to my madness in playing the force - ironing out the exact reasons why I do things, and sometimes (quite often actually) noticing things I can do better, or finding new tricks.

Another part to this is that since Brighton I've been thinking heavily about my games, and I realised something. I limited myself far too much to either a "passive or aggressive" play style, aggressive being essentially if I got the Alpha Strike (and thus meaning I needed 1st turn) - passive being the Phalanx. With the way the "meta" (or rather a slew of newer armies we are seeing) has changed on the tables, I.E - we are seeing a hell of a lot more "shooty" armies - Venom spam Dark Eldar and Grey Knights (3 of my 6 opponents were in these 2 categories, other 3 - Deathstar Blood Angels, Vens shooty McMuffin wolf list and a dual lash AP2 spam chaos list ...). I realised that I needed to introduce a new tactic to the fold, something to deal with these forces if I couldn't get the alpha, essentially a "if going second" deployment, as being sat in a phalanx just invited way to much shooting to achieve the win condition. Thus the series on deployment is going to look like:

Yes I am yet to think of a good name, but I kind of like Mid Range, as it does sort of summarise the nature of the deployment quite well. These articles will be followed up on a piece about Ravenwing and some various uses and thoughts about where/how/when and ways to use them, given their absolutely fantastic flexibility.

We know the Alpha Strike from the article I posted, and I still hold true to this, maybe even more so now. The Phalanx is certainly solid, and I still need to use it when I don't "meet the criteria" for a alpha strike (I.E wrong types of army/lists). However, there is armies that I need/want to Alpha and due to being forced to go second, well I had to create a middle ground - enter the Mid Range Deployment using DWA. Essentially it looks to leverage your DWA in various manners, it can be a full out reserve, however, I prefer 2xOn Table 3xIn Reserve - bringing down either 2x Terminators onto a weak flank or splitting them into a "deals with x or y but rarely, if ever both" - and nicely boxing in his army to boot - this also throws in 1 to 3 units in reserve that can come to aid weaker points - via DW/Outflank - the reserves allow for a very solid level of flexibility. However it still needs to keep to the mandate of not leaving your army too isolated. I often see Deathwing players just DWA a single unit onto a flank, and the opponent just simply shifting away with mobility. The idea of the mid-range is to create a box - using his board edge, a squad either side and then 2x squads as the "lid" - then hopefully it becomes the trash compactor scene from Star Wars.

Anyway - enough on that, I'll leave it for the article!


I've been having a big clear out of my GW stuff. Now really this is HOBBY DONT'S 101 - but really its just there taking up space and I never really plan to do anything with it. That Dark Eldar force I've had sat there only needs £200 to be ~2K of competitive loving, but if I haven't done it already ... well I might still yank that off eBay ;)

But still I've found/reminded myself of some brilliant bits I wanted to do:
  • 3xGenerations Grey Knight Terminator Force
  • Space Hulk Stealers / Terminators
  • Rogue Trader "Tactical" Terminators for my Deathwing
  • Flying Jetbikes for my Ravenwing! 
  • Dark Angel Vets / 2nd/3rd Ed Models for my Black Templars/Blood Angels! 
  • Air Brush my "Crowe Grey Knights" - because - why not right?
So quite a bit to do, and really this was all in a couple of boxes marked "to do" ironically enough. The Space Hulk models I've been itching to do, and I think I actually be good and do them "traditional" colours.

The triple gen GK terminator for is just a lark really. I have about 10 old school rogue trader Grey Knights that I've just stripped up - I plan on using them as either Paladins or Ghost Knights in a sort of Draigobomb "funsies" list. Can see it amusing me to drop Draigo, Mordrak and 5xGhost Terminators right into the heart of a force, and then tear it up with multicharges from a mix of Halberds, Hammers and Draigo's headbutts.

It also gives me a chance to spruce up my Deathwing/Ravenwing - I can add some more conversions in the Ravenwing jetbikers, plus actually finish off these damn shields I've been promising myself to do for the past 4 months. Hopefully some WIP progress on this in the near future!

I should be getting a bit more active now, between some hobby updates (pictures next time, should have a Bjorn the Fel Handed updated by the weekend!) and the Deathwing series, I may throw in some battle reports from some games between myself and Atreides - especially in relation to the Alpha/Mid/Phalanx.

Anyway, everyone wish our boy Killswitch good luck at ETC. Also big good luck to Co Rhodes, repping the 4th Edition with his Black Templars!


  1. Good luck buddy! I'm giving mine another spin this weekend, here's to glory for the Deathwing!

  2. Sounds awesome! I've always liked the idea of a Deathwing army, but I've never actually gotten around to collecting one. Maybe your articles will inspire me =P. Looking forward to them!

  3. Venerable Brother hates to be right all the time but...19 August 2011 at 09:02

    Called it!

  4. Great to see you back with the Deathwing; as a fellow Deathwing player, I have always found your articles interesting.

    You are absolutely correct about the amount of shooting armies; especially the Dark Eldar which are fast becoming the army of choice around here (Southern California).

    I am interested in your take on the Phalanx as that is my preferred style of play for my Deathwing.

    Oh, here is a link to my blog:

  5. Yo mags!

    I've been watching/reading you for a while dude, Angels Encarmine then loving that you swapped to Angels of Vengeance! Is black matt doing you AoV models?

    Oh and nicely done on 2nd at Ard Boys mate, saw that the other day, what did you rock at 2500? I keep thinking about it myself - prob would run myself:

    Belial + Command Squad (FNP/Banner)
    4xTH/SS units
    2xSB/PF Units - 1 of which is not a scorer
    3xBike Units (2xMG 1xMB 1xMM AB)

    Reserve all 7 and can alpha 4 squads!! Supported by 6x melta guns 3x Multimeltas and melta bombs for good measure. Yeah not many mech gunlines can survive that lol!

    The Phalanx certainly is trusty - I always had the view of if I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, I'd just deploy tight nit and it often worked. However, some brutal shooting lists with good mobility made me realise sometimes you just have to adapt with what you got!

    The "midrange" deployment is really just a comprimise of "I dont want to phalanx but cant alpha".

  6. Blood Angels were not for me...
    ...I tried to play a mech heavy army...
    ...just not my thing.

    Luckily, my friend wanted a new army, and just like that....
    ...he had a new army and I had one I am having fun playing.

    The Angels of Vengeance Army is being painted by Big Jim of Galaxy in Flames (the blog). He is doing a fantastic job, I would recommend him to anyone....
    ...meanwhile I am plugging away at my Daemons.

    Yes, I was happy to take third, I was outnumber a whole lot, by a whole lot of armies.

    I took:
    Upgraded Deathwing with Banner, Apothecary, 5 TH/SS and Cyclone
    Deathwing with 5 TH/SS and Cyclone
    Deathwing with 5 TH/SS and Cyclone
    Deathwing with 4 TH/SS, Cyclone, Chainfist & Stormbolter
    Deathwing with 4 TH/SS, Cyclone, Chainfist & Stormbolter
    Deathwing with 4 TH/SS, Cyclone, Chainfist & Stormbolter
    Deathwing with 4 TH/SS, Cyclone, Chainfist & Stormbolter
    Deathwing with 4 TH/SS, Cyclone, Chainfist & Stormbolter
    Tactical Squad with Powerfist, Melta-gun, Missile Launcher, in Drop Pod
    Landspeeder Typhoon with Multi-melta
    Landspeeder Typhoon with Multi-melta
    TOTAL: 2500 POINTS

    I have bikes, but really haven't integrated them into my game... is something I will start playing with in the near future.

    Good Luck with the Army - have to always root for the Fellow DW players - just like our army, we are small in number.

  7. haha yeah.

    Thats not a bad route to take really. I prefer the FNP squad as a troops - while they are your "mace among hammers" - with the FNP and Belial sometimes they just get ignored because small arms fire takes twice as much to kill them, often leaving one or two alive (or they take twice as much fire power because they are troops AND a beater unit ...)

    Just making my typhoons now, want to give them another try - not sure if I'll drop the bikes fully - might just drop either 1 unit. Making them for my Black Templars Hybrid force.

    I can feel you on the BA's - I played a standard mech/pred spam list before the DW and because the damage table chart hates me, I just saw 5's and 6's against me all the time (after I failed my 4+ cover save ofcourse) - DW gives me 2+/3++ - no matter what, and unshakable guns - figured that was unshakable logic ... ;D

  8. Actually thinking about it - I might have shoved Ezekiel in at 2500 - 170 points - gives you a LD10 hood that covers the entire table (love 4th Ed ...) with some funky powers (yeah MINDWORM!) and plus he has a half decent invuln save.

  9. Ezekiel was something I had thought about. However, I decided to go for more bodies versus the one model...., if he had Eternal Warrior....

  10. Yeah - Well for me it was to drop the bikes - so it would just be a case of dropping the speeders + turn that tactical to another DW squad.

    8 normal squads and 1 full command squad + belial/ezekiel = 2470

    Throw on CF upgrades to the "tactical" ones (in my version) - if not - spread some CF's around due to lack of melta for that AV14 potential.

    Might have to try that ... no to find someone with 2500 ... which NEVER happens around here lol.