A Prot 40K Battle Report: Deathwatch vs. Genestealer Cult 2K + FAQ / Abominant testing.
Greetings everyone. I typically do Battle reports on the Bolter and Chainsword but we’ve been down for a while now however we should be back up sooner rather than later with any luck.
In the meantime I thought I should put up a quick batrep based on my trials and tribulations with Deathwatch. They’ve been surprisingly difficult to play and I wanted to try a ‘fun’ list. I’ll try and keep this brief and entertaining for you, but keep in mind we’re both experimenting and we were trying the September 2018 FAQ rules in play. We wanted to see how big an impact this would have on our respective lists. The results were very surprising to me.
Also my opponent was testing the new Abominant with Aberrants in his list. It should be interesting….
First off the lists by memory:
Watchmaster (in Rhino usually) Lord of Forbidden Knowledge, Tome of Ectoclades.
Captain in Termie armour with Bane Bolts (Stormbolter) and Melta Fist
1 squad of Primaris Intercessors w/4 Hellblasters
1 Primaris Apothecary (combined with above squad and place in Repulsor Transport)
1 Squad of Vets (Deepstrike Reserves) 6+ Stormbolters, Shield, Vanguard Vet w/Shield.
1 Squad of Vets (5) w/2 Fragcannons. (in Rhino with Watchmaster and Libby)
3 Bikes, Srge w/ Shield (test unit I haven’t used in a while)
5 Terminators, Meltafist/Hvyflamer, Cyclone Missile Launcher, Hammer Shield. (test unit I haven’t used in a while.)
List Notes: Full of units I don’t use anymore that I felt long over due to test the waters on again: Terminators and bikes specifically are big no-no’s for me in 8th (post index). Bikes are okay, but it’s their movement that I use them for and in this game a teleport homer might be handy.
The Heinous Xenos! (Genestealer cult):
Sorry, but I don’t know the names of all this stuff, it all looks the same to me…
HQ some guy with ridiculous Psychic powers. Let’s call him Fat head Xenos.
HQ (Warlord) Broodlord
HQ that is new to the Hoof and Claw boxset, or Claw and Tooth, or something like that. He is called an Abominant. If you haven’t seen this guy, he is NASTY. He buffs Abberants. He is extremely efficiently potent and wait till you see what he does…
3 x 20(?) Genestealers
Acolytes (in a Tansport)
Aberrants (plus Abbominant) in a Transport
Acolytes shooty with mining lasers and other nasty hardware surplus tools. (I think there were 2 squads like this giving him a dual Battalion.)
Leman Russ Battletank.
Game Type: Maelstrom: Kill Confirmed. Deployment: Quarters
Deployment: Early Game.
- I get first turn, but find now that I know he cannot deploy the meat of his army it leaves me in a conundrum. Do I go for early points and leave my backside largely exposed? Or do I ‘turtle’ and wait for the onslaught?
- I deploy and move out quite a bit to give my Repulsor a fighting chance I keep the squads, and Watchmaster out to buff the shooty units.
- In the opposite corner, the Xenos have pushed transports to the front while leveraging cover for mining laser squads and the Leman Russ sits firmly parked at the back of the pack.
- My Turn is lackluster; with 2 long range lascannons I put one wound on the Leman Russ, and the shorter Lascannons only have range on the transports doing very little as well. The main body of ‘pew-pew’ takes stabs at the closest Acolyte squad. The Deathwatch fail to get first blood due to the Cult using the Strategem to prevent breaking.
- The Xenos turn consists of mostly advancing the Transports, and waiting for the reserves. The Leman Russ and shooty contents of the Cult army does a very good job of poking away at the Repulsor. It’s the same old story for that unit…. He takes a beating.
Turn 2: Xenos everywhere….
- The Deathwatch are not ‘anti-vehicle’ typically so I have to exhaust resources to get the Transports down, but I need to expose the Abominant and his Aberrant crew. So I disembark my Repuslor contents of hardy Hellblasters, and deep strike my Captain, and Terminators into some ruins on my end of the table (I contemplated going for the Leman Russ but it was so heavily protected I am sure it was suicide.)
- The Terminators’ melta fists, and the Hellblasters do the job, and both Transports are down. This exposes some Acolytes and the Abominant/Aberrants. They are filthy beasts, but I can only eliminate some with my left over fire power.
- I brace for the coming of….. Genestealers:
Genestealers push back:
- As expected the Genestealer horde pushes inward from my back corner. A lot happens here. The Cult rolls, or re-rolls a ‘5’ or ‘6’ for every Genestealer deployment! If you don’t know what that means, it basically translates into “Deathwatch are screwed”. But wait there’s more…
- Behind the ‘white’ Genestealers to the very left is the Warlord Broodlord. (this is important later.)
- In the Psychic phase, I have my Frag Cannon squad targeted by “you can’t overwatch me” powers, which my Libbie cancels with his psychic hood! (First time for everything!). But he does get off the power that allows him to take control of a model in my army. He takes control of a Hellblaster, overcharges the Plasma weapon, and proceeds to destroy 2 of Hellblasters from the same squad. (Insert eye roll here.)
- And just when you thought the luck couldn’t get any worse….
- Genestealer Cult shooting is horribly effective. The Leman Russ combined with some friends, destroys my Repulsor. What’s worse? I roll a 6 so it explodes. So I command point re-roll it and… another 6! What horrible luck. So here’s the result of that: 2 Dead Intercessors. Librarian down to 2 wounds, Watchmaster goes down to 1 wound (!), and the Apothecary dies! (the saying, “Physician heal thyself” comes to mind.
Interesting Factoid: My Repulsor explosions are legendary. At the local Games Workshop I believe I still hold the legendary record of a Repulsor Explosion result in my Ultramarines’ army resulting in an astounding 21 mortal wounds to my army! (Man I hate this vehicle.)
- The Genestealer assault phase is as equally disturbing. They make all three major assaults. You’ll recall above that I denied the ‘you can’t overwatch’ psychic power, so the Genestealers avoid assaulting that squad, and instead plan to Consolidate into it later. The Aberrants would fail their assault and so would the Warlord , but otherwise I was looking at 60 Genestealers threatening to wipe me in one turn!
- The Deathwatch take a horrific beating. The left most Genestealer squad hits the Bikes, and a squad all at once, then consolidates into the Frag Cannon squad as suspected, rendering them useless.
- Somehow I get to interrupt with my Watchmaster, and play every strategem I can imagine to kill 4 Genestealers. Somehow this results in a minor miracle of leaving the Watchmaster alive to buff surrounding units while they still breathe.
Turn 3: The end of Time and what the frak is an Abominant?
- My options are extremely limited, I’m fighting for my life. I decide I will extract some revenge here. My cards are all bad this turn simply because I am land locked and have no table control to grab objectives. I decide the least I can do is kill the Broodlord (Warlord).
- The Veterans drop in and massively overkill the Broodlord.
- That’s about it for the fun stuff though, because the truly bizarre is about to unwind. Remember that Abominant and my dislike of Terminators in 8th I mentioned? Here’s a hard lesson on those two units:
- So just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, I try to attack this ‘thing’ with my Terminator fist squad. I first move, then shoot at his pack of Aberrants in hopes of getting him alone… I can’t quite do it. The rest of my army is locked in a losing battle of close combat. This is all I can throw into this fight, but it’s 5 Termies with Fists and a Hammer… no problem right?
- Shooting doesn’t go so well, so I charge the 5 man Termie squad in but keep 1 model back just far enough to keep the Termie Captain aura of re-rolling 1’s JUST IN CASE he FAILS his Charge.
- HE FAILS HIS CHARGE. Oh boy… this is looking ugly. (he needed about a 6).
- The Abominant is pure BEAST MODE! I charge into it.. having the finest armour afforded our fine forces, the Terminators will be swinging their fists and hammer at -1 because… our tech sucks. I hit 3 times (average), would once because Side Show Bob is Toughness 5. The wound goes through! But wait, I roll a 2 on the D3 chart, ’cause that’s how fists work in 8th… and he reduces all Damage by 1. Then rolls a 6 for his Feel No Pain mechansim and now it’s his turn! *gulp*. With a lack of upperbody clothing, there’s no way this guy could be more resilient than tactical Terminator armour, right?
- The Abominant winds up his hammer, but of course he will hit on 3’s because a block of steel with a stick in the middle of it is much better than a futuristic Fist… he hits 3 times. I save one on the Shield, and fail the next two saves.
- Unlike the cruddy Imperium Power Fist, the block of steel does a minimum of 3 Damage! That means two dead Terminators just like that. Wow.
- Oh and just for good measure, the Abominant grows back D3 wounds every turn.
- The Cult is in a great position. My Terminators hitting a shirtless brick wall really destroyed all hope. In this turn I realize I have no board control.
- I am largely stuck in a close combat I want no part of.
- The Genestealer Cult destroys my Rhino, it explodes, killing my Librarian, and a few Vets. It can’t get any worse really…
- In Close combat the Abominant swings his block of steal and smokes the rest of the Terminators with ease. Now it’s officially over as I have no way of wrestling out of the mosh pit in the Deathwatch corner and I’m forced to concede.
Post Game Thoughts:
- Both me and my opponent wanted to try some stuff. I think his list was actually very strong. Not a lot of opponents can handle 60 Genestealers and a juiced up dude with a metal hammer in their zone at the same time, charging you. The thing with Genestealer Cult is if you roll hot for your Strike From the Shadows infiltration rule, then you are going to have a heyday. It’s exceptionally potent against any ‘elite’ style army like Deathwatch.
- The Beta Rules for Deepstrike… oddly enough I think they favoured my opponent. He had a good chunk of baseline units in his zone that I couldn’t interact with AND hope to ‘block’ his cult infiltration. The fact he was forced to wait 2 turns forced my hand, and it created a gap that left me very open to massive damage in assault.
- Units: The Terminators are still a horrible competitive choice. Fists are still very poor choices, the Terminators aren’t survivable, and their load out rarely kicks in to the degree you need it to. I always find the points better spent elsewhere, especially in a very elite army. The Bikers? I could take or leave them. The Repulsor? Another dud unit for me. I can take two with my Ultramarines and they are better used there, but here it is hard to keep focus off of one, stronger vehicle like this.
- The Abominant is a fierce unit. A little too good for its cost and in this game I couldn’t have written it any better for match ups: he clearly out shined my Terminator unit and highlighted the disparity in these units.
- I look forward to another rematch. I definitely won’t be taking nearly as many ‘fun’ units next time. For the sake of completeness I should mention we just played this match up a week or two ago in which I nearly tabled him very, very early. The difference? His Cult infiltration rolls didn’t get him close enough to commit Turn 1 assaults. Well that and the fact he went up to 60 Genestealers and included the Abominant!
- I hope that was at least somewhat entertaining. If you made it this far, thanks for checking it out!
The parting image I wish to leave you with!