Hello Everyone, with having most of the rules I wanted to start an indepth thread about the role that DW will play in an imperial army. In my opinion, running pure DW is not going to be competitive. The game designers have made clear with this edition is that any army/unit of the Imperium occupies a specific niche at any given time. Each army has its role to play in fighting the greater battle. Knights are not designed to deal with hordes, their firepower per point is very low. Lasguns (despite arguments to the contrary) are not designed to deal with land raiders, the volume of fire is just not effective application of firepower for the points.
Role of the Deathwatch in imperial armies
We are the masters of specialization within squads and we need to take advantage of that fact to be successful. We are no longer penalized for taking a unit with a mishmash of upgrades and wargear. Further we are paying for SIA in our base profiles(being 3 points more than other veterans) and so should factor that in when looking at the points cost of things. In addition we have a unique ability to stack keywords and unit abilities within our units and need to take advantage of that.
The playing field has diversified, 8th edition is such a huge shift that any attempt to deal with all of it at once will descend into nothingness as we try to tackle too many topics at once. So, I will begin by compiling my thoughts and resources as I go along and will update it as I find things across the internet.
General 8th edition Strategies and Adjustments
Great topic on army construction from another thread in here.
Hitting and Wounding in 8th Edition
The following charts showcase how we need to re-evaluate weapons going forward.
Lets look at how AP increases the chance of causing a wound.
Wargear and equipping models
One of the most significant changes in 8th edition is the clear separation of wargear from "models"(which I will refer to as chassis from now on). Because any particular weapon is always priced the same it is simply a matter of comparing the "chassis" that will bring that weapon to the table(for ranged weapons). When calculating out the fire power it is important that we factor in all of the advantages and disadvantages of that particular "Chassis" for that particular weapon.
For Example: Land Speeder with Multi-Melta versus Land Speeder Storm with Multi-Melta
Land Speeder with Multi-Melta = 107
Land Speeder Storm with Multi-Melta = 107
Storm - +2 Movement, +1 Wound, -1 Save, +5 Transport Capacity
In this situation there is no reason to ever take a land speeder over a storm if you want to bring a multi-melta to the table. The Land Speeder storm is so much better at the same price point.
Now lets factor in that the Land Speeder can get a second Multi Melta shot for an extra 27 Points.
107 + 27 = 134/2 = 67 points per multi-melta shot
If I am trying to bring Multi-Meltas to the table then I save 30 points per shot by taking the land speeder over the storm. Is the additional +2 movement, +1 Wound, etc worth the additional 30 points per multi melta shot?
Obviously this is over simplified but you get the idea.
With how many points are frontloaded on the chassis you will find that expensive models will tend to benefit from maximizing the number of weapons they can bring.
Lets do the Same comparison for a Predator(151) and a Razorback(115) with twin lascannons
A Predator has +1 Wound and loses out on 6 carry capacity.
So just taking the turret weapon on a Predator is NEVER worth it as you are effectively paying 35 points for +1 wound -6 transport capacity.
Now lets look at a 4 lascannons predator. That is 200 points compared to two razorbacks 230. Once again we see that the predator is losing out as the razorbacks get effectively 9 wounds and 12 transport capacity for 30 points. Not a good buy Why would I ever take a predator over a Razorback?
Moving and Firing Heavy Weapons
Well that is where the genius of the -1 to hit when moving kicks in. Razorbacks tend to want to move and advance to fullfill their role, meaning they will be requiring a 4+ to hit a majority of the time while your predator is sitting still most of the game.
When looking at the cost of weapons for consider the effective cost when getting a -1 to fire any weapon.
It basically boils down like this approximately(these are gonna be off by a few % but the idea is there)
3+ instead of 2+ = +25% to weapon Cost
4+ Instead of 3+ = +33% to weapon Cost
5+ instead of 4+ = +50% to weapon Cost
6+ instead of 5+ = +100% to Weapon Cost
So, A razorback that is moving to match the firepower of a predator that is sitting still requires effectively 267 points in razorbacks. A large part of the predators upfront cost factors in that it can sit still and shoot without losing out on any effectiveness. Basically the worse your enemy makes you shoot, the more costly any penalty to hit becomes. This is super important to consider when firing combi-weapons.
This edition is one of the first times we can directly calculate how much the chassis costs compared to other units, and how much we are paying to bring something on a particular platform. What I have discussed above translates beyond just vehicles, but applies to any platform. For units that we expect to be moving you want to keep your heavy weapons cheap, for units you expect to sit still/survive or that can ignore the negatives for heavy weapons you want to invest in more expensive wargear upgrades since the opportunity cost is lowest.
*This does not apply the same for melee weapons as that is much more dependent on an individual units stats but we can do similar calculations based on the chassis for melee weapons.
A battle forged army starts with 3. Most 2k lists I see range between 9 and 12 CMD points
We currently have three options for CMD points with more down the line that are tied to specific factions (Not going to talk about the Maelstrom one)
2: Auto Pass Morale
When it comes to spending CP there is an entire mini game involved in when and where to use them. It is important to ratio them out, while at the same time knowing when it is important to burn them.
This is probably the most common one you will see people use as there are many games where a re-roll is the difference between victory and defeat. Knowing when to use these re-rolls is going to be crucial to success. Knowing when a re-roll will increase the success rate or if you are just throwing it away is important.
2+ - 87%
3+ - 66%
4+ - 50%
5+ - 33%
6+ - 17%
So you have to decide when the change to chance of success is worth it and likely to pay off. It will be 100% situational and learning this will be a powerful skill to have. One of the mistakes I see people making is planning around using CMD points. CMD points are too limited to plan around using them, any strategy that relies on a limited unreliable resource to succeed is going to have problems from the get go. Plan around never needing to use them and then use them when you need to rather than planning on using them when you might run out.
Auto Pass Morale
In most situations marines wont have to worry about this one as our squad sizes tend to be small enough that, combined with a re-roll we wont usually lose models to battleshock and as such it is not usually worth using.
When you want to use this is when a unit is nearly guaranteed to be wiped out as a result of a battleshock test, especially for Necrons or IG if your Commisar is not around.
Example: 50 man Conscript squad, LD 4. If I kill 28 Conscripts the minimum they can roll is 29. 29-4 is 25. Unless you have a commissar in range that squad will automatically disappear without me wasting any more firepower on it. This is a situation where it is potentially worth using the two CMD points.
However this is where part of the strategy comes in. Lets say for example I only kill 20 of the 50 conscripts. Now he will be getting a minimum of 21, losing 17 models taking the squad down to 13. Is it worth it for him to use the CP now? Probably not. Much of this is situation and army dependent and so baiting out those CMD points is going to be important. What if I kill 28 conscripts from two squads? Now if they dont use 2 CP they will lose both instead of just one.
Forcing these decisions is where battle shock will be important.
Now this one is huge and will require a lot of tactical practice to get right. The ability to interrupt a charge sequence not only forces your opponent to be careful in how they activate their charging units, even if you dont actually plan to use your CP to interrupt, it also provides the ability to wipe out certain enemies before they can swing. It makes charging a CC unit risky unless you activate that unit first. Maybe you can wipe out that character before he gets to swing, removing those buffs from the units surrounding it. Lots of options and once again it will require a situational awareness and experience with playing the game.
Army Defense (Bubble Wrap)
While the need to "bubble wrap" is not new to 8th edition how and what you need to bubble wrap against has changed. With the removal of scatter, reliable deep strikes, and an exclusion zone the nature of bubble wraps has split into two distinct categories. Assault Defense and Deep Strike Defense. Both are very different and the types of units that will excel will vary.
The purpose of Assault Defense is for the purpose of protecting your more vulnerable units from units that are powerful in melee that can either lock up your units; forcing them to fall back and losing out on shooting, or getting killed in assault. These are units you want to basically block all avenues of advance from any specific direction. One of the most common units talked about for this purpose are conscripts. They are cheap, they can be in large units(making it easy to take advantage of aura buffs), and they mitigate leadership to some extent. Another example is pox walkers, while more expensive than conscripts their inherent durability and lack of needing auras for leadership mitigation really help justify their cost. Many of these units also serve the dual purpose of being large in number and thus good at taking objectives. They also lose next to nothing for falling back since their firepower is not really relevant compared to what they are protecting.
A few important things to be aware of when taking a unit for Assault Defense - Be careful of making a gap too large where the enemy can slide through to charge one of the units you are protecting. This is where positioning is important. With the removal of blast weapons their is not as much of a reason to maximize the distance between your models. However, you dont want to be too close together as it might be possible to remove yourself from combat as a result of casualties negating the need to fall back. Secondly, be wary of the 3 inch post combat pile in. Effectively you need to make sure you are 5-6 inches back from your screen to make sure they cant get to you with a pile in. Assuming that you were able to prevent them from sliding in between your bases to get to you.
Another potential type of Assault defense unit is a durable CC unit that can take a hit and then strike back. This is a unit that your opponent will have to think twice about charging, if you use your CMD points to interrupt his charge order and strike back with this unit before he can go it will definitely blunt his charge.
Deep Strike Defense
Whereas in previous editions the units that were good at Assault defense also served the dual purpose of deep strike defense in this edition they still can but it is not an efficient method of doing so. Many of the current power builds rely on being able to deep strike in close with power units and hit hard without a chance to return the favor. Scion drop lists are an excellent example. With many deep strike armies keeping their unit count down to go first it can be difficult to create the exclusion area necessary to protect your army from first turn deep strikes without having to position yourself poorly within your deployment zone which in and of itself is a victory. This is where Deep Strike Defense units come in.
To protect from deep strike you need to maximize area denial using the inherent 9 inch push back. For deep strike defense the optimal unit is something cheap, disposable, and fast preferably with some sort of scout move. The second thing to factor in is that a larger base drastically increases the area that can be denied with a single model.
Lets use 25mm base as the comparison size. 32mm base and a 60mm base
25mm base - 283 square inches
32mm base - 291 square Inches - 3% increase
60mm base - 326 square inches - 15% increase in area covered
So we can see that a single model on a 60mm base will deny 15% more area than a 25mm single model. With the limitation that a unit has to be within 2 inches each additional base added will provide a minimal additional amount of coverage
So how do we bring this all together? Well The unit you are protecting will have its own 9 inch bubble. To protect your army a deepstrike defense unit can be over 10 inches away and still provide all of the defense necessary. This effectively places the enemy over 26-29 inches away from their ideal targets. To perform this role they need to get into position either before the turn begins or within the first turn. Even if they die after this first turn they have bought enough time for your slower assault defense units to get into position and provide the same role with more wounds. In addition they can re position more effectively to cover your army as it moves. Simply by being further from the center of your army the distance they have to travel will be much higher to provide the same protections. They might need to protect the front of your army, but as you advance they now need to provide deep strike coverage to the back.
So any unit that has a scout move or alternate deployment types is ideal for this role, however multiple additional units can provide the role over the course of the game.
Units that are good for this are scout sentinels(45 pts), scouts(55), attack bikes (57), etc.
Edited by leth, 05 July 2017 - 03:54 PM.