USING DEATHWATCH KILL-TEAMS
IN WARHAMMER 40,000
( DEATHWATCH )
The Deathwatch are a highly elite force. Specialising in countering the incursions of aliens that threaten the freedoms and lives of Mankind, they are equipped with unique weaponry to neutralize xenos predators.
Deathwatch members are primarily volunteers from Space Marine chapters that rigidly adhere to the Codex Astartes. Because teams are made up of battle brothers from several chapters, it is essential they follow a similar doctrine. On the Eastern Fringe of the Imperium, the Inquisitorial Fortress of Talasa Prime has recruited, trained and equipped Kill-teams from the Ultramarines, Scythes of the Emperor and Lamenters Chapters for service against the Tyranids.
There are two ways that members of the Deathwatch can be incorporated into normal Warhammer 40,000 armies. The first is to use an entire team of Deathwatch Space Marines. Up to one Kill-team can be included in any Imperium army as an HQ choice (see army list entry). For this purpose, an Imperium army consists of any Space Marine army picked using only Codex Space Marines*, any Imperial Guard army (including Catachans, Steel Legion etc) or any Inquisitorial army (Daemonhunters, Witch Hunters or Alien Hunters).
As an alternative to fielding entire Kill-teams, you may upgrade one or more members of any Space Marine army selected using only Codex Space Marines* to members of Deathwatch. As a reward for the service provided to the Deathwatch, the rare ammunition types they use are made available in limited numbers when the volunteer Space Marine is back in regular service with his chapter. Only Independent Characters or members of HQ, Veteran or Tactical squads can be upgraded, and these must wear the distinctive Deathwatch shoulder pad. Deathwatch members must be armed with a bolter or a combi-weapon with a bolter component. It costs 5 points to make a model a Deathwatch Veteran (there is no change to their profile). Each may then select one of the following ammunition types at the cost specified in the squad rules below.
This ammunition may only be used with a bolter or the bolter part of a combi-weapon.
* In truth, the Deathwatch are recruited from all different chapters including Space Wolves, Blood Angels etc. However, the discipline and training of such individuals is legendary, so for this article we have only covered 'Codex' Deathwatch - other chapters with their own codexes get plenty of extras already!
Number/Squad: The Deathwatch squad consists of one Space Marine Captain and between 4 and 9 Deathwatch Space Marines. The Captain (or Librarian) is an Independent Character and may not leave the squad. If all the members of his squad are killed, he acts as an Independent Character as normal.
Equipment: Bolter and close combat weapon, frag grenades, melta-bombs.
Options: The Captain may select items from the Space Marine Armoury.
The Captain can be upgraded to a Librarian (Codicier) at + 40 points. As a Librarian he is now equipped with a force weapon and psychic hood. He may use the Psychic Power 'Storm of the Emperor`s Wrath'. He may replace this power with an alternative power at the points cost listed on page 21 of Codex: Space Marines. He may select Librarian only items from Space Marine Armoury.
Any squad member can be a Veteran, but costs 30 points rather than 20 points.
Up to 2 Space Marines can be armed with a special weapon from the following list in place of their bolter: Heavy bolter with Hellfire ammo and suspensors at +15 points; M.40 targeter, bolter and ammo at +10 points, plasma gun at +6 points, meltagun at +10 points, flamer at +3 points.
Any Veteran can be armed with a weapon from the following list unless the are also armed with a special weapon. The new weapon replaces their close combat weapon: power fist at +25 points, lightning claw at +25 points or a pair of lightning claws at +30 points (replaces both bolter and close combat weapon), power weapon at +15 points.
All models not armed with a special/Veteran weapon may be issued with one of the following special ammo types: metal storm ammunition at +5 points, inferno bolts at +5 points, or kraken bolts at +5 points. Note that the same ammo must be used throughout the squad. See ammunition details below.
True Grit. All Deathwatch Marines have True Grit. See the Universal Special Rules section of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook.
Transport. A Deathwatch Kill-team may be mounted in a Rhino at +50 points. If the Squad numbers six models or less then they may be mounted in a Razorback at +70 points. A Deathwatch Kill-team may be mounted in a Drop Pod (see p21 of Codex: Space Marines).
Deep Strike. The Deathwatch have many ways of reaching a battlefield by surprise. Unless they are mounted in a Rhino, they may always start the game in reserve and arrive by Deep Strike. Whether this is by teleporter, termite, alien technology or grav-chute is up to the player
Haevy bolter. Potentially a very versatile weapon - if equipped with an additional suspensor unit that provides just enough stability to allow it to be fired on the move. The effective range is seriously reduced but it gains the ability to provide suppressive fire while advancing. Because Kill-teams often operate alone, this justifies the use of the rare suspensor units.
It is also capable of utilizing the Hellfire round, a ceramic sheath that shatters into thousands of needle-like shards on contact, penetrating the hide of the target and carrying mutagenic acid into the enemey's blood stream. The acid is so powerful that even the most enormous creature is vulnerable. A Hellfire round is loaded and fired singly. It wounds on a 2+ regardless of the target's Toughness.
Bolter with M.40 targeter. A normal bolter equipped with an M.40 targeter with auto-sense link and Stalker silenced shells acts as a perfectly satisfactory sniper weapon. In this mode the bolter is a Heavy 2 weapon which causes Pinning tests but is otherwise identical in terms of range, accuracy and strength to a normal bolter.
Metal storm ammunition. A bolter loaded with metal storm ammunition may be fired from the hip with remarkable accuracy. The metal storm shells explode in proximity to the enemy, their fragmentation casing making pinpoint accuracy unnecessary. The penetrative and destructive qualities of the round suffer as a consequence.
Inferno bolts. A bolter loaded with Inferno rounds can cause far more horrific wounds than a conventionally loaded bolter. This is achieved by filling the bolt with an oxy-phosphor gel. Re-roll any failed rolls to wound (but not any vehicle Armour Penetration rolls).
Kraken bolts. A bolter loaded with a Kraken penetrator round is capable of piercing the toughest hide thanks to its adamantine core and improved propellant.