Prot Batrep: Deathwatch vs. Genestealer Cult. The Rematch

So after that last horror show which I reported on last week, I wanted to get another game in using these two armies. Although we used the FAQ it had an interesting effect on the GSC’s ability to Strike from the Shadows. It really forces you to play more defensively than you want to because they will have more time and space to really get into your lines if you spread yourself out too much.

More importantly I needed to tighten my list up. I took the GSC too lightly and took too many ‘fun’ units. Deathwatch isn’t a particularly forgiving army to play so if you take a Corvus, then add stuff like a Replusor…. next thing you know you have an extremely overpriced force on the table with a handful of elite troops to do a LOT of work.


Skip the Dishes driver from hell - don't answer the door 2

Do you remember this guy from the last Battle Report? Yea, well he’s back and he hasn’t bathed.


This time I went back to squad configurations I am comfortable with. My opponent changed his list as well. He reduced the Genestealer count, and added a second Leman Russ… not a bad decision. It’s hard to put pressure on GSC backlines when you have to worry about the heinous alien jumping out of the sewers!

The Game:

We played the Maelstrom game where you wager the number of cards you can accomplish. Failure to complete your ‘bet’ gets your opponent those points instead.

We played the Vanguard Strike (corner to corner angle )map and the stinky alien horde would get the first turn!

GSC deploy

Genestealer Cult corner deploys with a full force of bodies, and shooty stuff.


DW Deploy

The Deathwatch corner with a Dreadnought Firebase.

Opening Turns:

  • GSC starts with first turn. Using Beta rules he keeps the stinky horde in the sewers. Most of his infantry was out of range. The Leman Russes opened up though and did some really good work. They came within ONE WOUND of blowing up my Watchmaster’s Rhino. Close call. Believe it or not the last shot the GSC fired was a Lascannon from a Leman Russ which Wounded the Rhino however the Deathwatch made the save on a 5+! So you could say the ‘new’ cover strategem saved me First Blood.
  • That said the GSC had accomplished 2 objectives and completed a ‘bet’ for an additional point but First Blood was still up for grabs.
  • The Deathwatch had to limp the Rhino behind cover, and blew smoke launchers and crossed our fingers!
  • The Deathwatch had taken the game long tactic to re-roll 1’s to wound against Heavies. I don’t normally do this but a LOT of GSC troops are T3 and I have so much trouble against vehicles I decided to go this route.
  • So with that in mind I tried to blow up one of the Leman Russes using a firebase I created with a Venerable Las/Missile Dread in front of a squad of Vets with 2 Missile Launchers. It worked well but no matter what I threw at him the Russ lived with 2 wounds!
  • I did not kill anything, could not complete any Maelstrom cards, and therefore could not complete my ‘bet’ of 1 card, giving the GSC another point. Ouch. 4-0 Genestealer Cult has the early lead.

The Fun Part!

Now that I’ve been forced to spread out a bit for objectives, the fun part for GSC is they get to come up out of the groundwork and wreak havoc. Unfortunately they do not roll 5’s or 6’s making it very hard for them to get into close combat.

  • GSC make another bet… it gets worse here for Deathwatch but at least the GSC cannot get into the DW lines. They are forced to adhere to normal deep strike rules and stay 9″ away.
  • Most of them huddle around a vehicle and try to push the middle with stinky pants (Abhorrant).
  • But another contingent of them come up out of the ground deep in my corner. It threatens my back lines if I’m not careful.
GSC corner deploy

The Deathwatch Dread squad watches on as Genestealers push the middle and Acolyte Factory Workers trade in their picket signs for pick axes.

  • The Deathwatch Rhino dies, and explodes killing 3 dudes!
DW blownRhino GSC T2 shadows

Dead Rhino = very long charge range. Who needs a ride? Living is an acceptable alternative.


  • The Genestealers are now out of range of any feasible assault… perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. The Rhino footprint would have given them a 9″ charge.
  • The Dreadnought somehow still goes unharmed, and a few pot shots are taken at the Corvus as it flies overhead.
  • Essentially the GSC have positioned for a heck of an assault in Turn 3. They accomplished another ‘bet’, got First Blood, and accomplished a Maelstrom card. I think the lead was 6- to zilch. I have to be honest I knew I had to have a stellar turn in my half of Turn 2 or it was going to be a stinker like last time.

The Calvary Arrives: Sorta.

  • I take a huge risk and ‘bet’ 1 Maelstrom Card. I draw my hand of 3 cards and they are extremely difficult. I need to hold an objective I cannot get to no matter what (his Acolytes are squating on it). I need to kill 1-3 Characters (most are hidden in or protected by squads). And finally I need to slay the Warlord.
  • As bad as it looks I do formulate a real long shot way of doing this.
DW T2 all or nothing

Well, well, it’s our old friend Stinky Pants and his gremlins.

  • Our elaborate plan starts with a multi assault targeting characters. The Corvus Blackstar unloads Captain Artemis and his squad (which happens to have a Heavy Hammer for pounding unbathed heathens into the ground.) The remnants of the Rhino squad are reinforced by the Watchmaster, a Librarian and an Apothecary who actually restores one dude.
  • The Corvus tries to position itself to Snipe the Broodlord who happens to be his Warlord. The problem is all the Genestealers have to go first! (They are closer)
  • I carefully Deepstrike a Fortis Kill Team with 4 Hellblasters, 1 Plasma Inceptor, and 5 Intercessors. The Intercessors cannot possibly see the Broodlord BUT the plasma stuff can. The Reiver Squad comes in to support the Fortis Squad however it is not a factor and will look to get into the Acolyte squad below.
  • Shooting commences. It’s a crazy turn of shooting. The Frag Cannons go off, the SIA rounds crack through the darkness… A lot of the Genestealers disappear. I barely get them all.
  • In the back lines the Ven Dread uses Wisdom of the Ancients. He gives a Fortis Dakka squad below him  re-roll 1’s (they shoot a ton into acoloytes and Genestealers) and the aura also helps the dread and Missile Vet squad blow up a Leman Russ!
  • Back to Mid table the moment of truth… the Fortis Plasma squad can legally shoot at the Broodlord but it has a good Invuln save. I decide to Overcharge and Fire Everything!


    I strongly recommend Page 187 of the Watchmaster’s handbook titled: FIRE EVERYTHING. (twice if you can – don’t forget to overcharge… EVERYTHING)

  • You Fire Everything, you Overcharge Everything, you deal with the consequences: The Plasma Inceptor overcharges and gets 2 x D3 shots. He rolls two 1’s. Whoopy. 2 Shots are Fired, he rolls a 1 and a 2, which of course means he’s going to die. Missing is bad, but killing yourself is immeasurably worse. I use a CP re-roll, and roll another ‘1’ ensuring my Inceptor truly wanted to cash out his chips. Gees what a start. So he’s taking a dirt nap now.
  • The Helblasters see this sign of failure and follow suit by overcharging and firing their 8 shots. One of the Helblasters roasts himself in the process. I cause some wounds, but the Broodlord lives with ONE WOUND! Seriously… this means I did more casualties to myself than the Broodlord!
  • Well I had to make do with what I could. The diamond in the rough here is that I have the ability to continue clearing out the front of the GSC vehicle and go after characters.
DW T2 going for Warlord

It’s a boatload of fail. The Corvus considers flying off into the sunset at this point.

  • Captain Artemis decides to take matters into his own hands. The crew clears out a lot of the dudes in in front of the characters and they charge the vehicle as well… it’s a mosh pit from hell.
Confronting irratic behaviour

Pulling over a suspected DUIG: Driving Under the Influence of Genestealed infestation.

  • The Deathwatch really finally came through here, two characters were crushed and the Heavy Hammer did kill the main Abberant character threat as well as the vehicle.
  • So I managed multiple points from “Kill Character(s)” and my ‘bet’ but perhaps most importantly I got the Leman Russ down, and a LOT of his main killing force was killed in that turn. The other Leman Russ was down to 2 wounds as well.

Turn 3: It Ain’t Over Until the Broodlord Sings…

  • This time it’s the Genestealer Cult’s turn to draw some very difficult cards. He tries to make a threat in the corner but he’s run out of room and now I have multiple squads there. His shooting is also hampered and his infantry deep in his zone really doesn’t have good targets. Not a lot happens until the Deathwatch turn which would be the deciding turn…. As a side note, being the heinous alien he is, the Broodlord went “back into the Shadows” for a CP, removing my chance at Slay the Warlord.
  • Deathwatch draw feasible cards but I took a huge chance and ‘gambled’ 2 cards needing a big point turn for possible victory.
DW confront in T3 back corner

Time to break up the Union meeting. Back to the factory you heinous beasts… those  Nike runners aren’t going to make themselves.

  • The Deathwatch Fortis squad and Reivers push back in the corner. I make a big mistake here and even said it while I did it… I forgot the throw the Reiver Grenades, robbing the Acolytes of Overwatch and giving them -1 to hit. I pay for that mistake losing 2 Reivers in the process. I underestimate what the Acolyte boss does and the GSC make a decent last stand in the corner.
  • One of the Obejectives forces me to shoot something up, and own an objective in my opponent’s zone. I put Artemis to the task and he roasted an Acolyte for one point, and sat on the objective for a possible 2 points.
  • It looked like I was now in the lead which surprised the heck out of both of us.

End Game:

  • The GSC pulled his cards, and they weren’t going to be accomplished with his diminished forces. He rolled for his Broodlord hoping for a strong Strike from the Shadows but it didn’t happen. At that point all he could do was shoot everything from his last (heavily wounded) Leman Russ. And Artemis took a lot of wounds, and managed to shrug one or two off from his 6+ feel no pain. Finally the Russ hits and wounds with a Lascannon! With only one wound left, Artemis would make the Iron Halo save and spit in the face of the inferior Xenos (for two victory points).

The rest would be mop up. The GSC conceded before my turn, but I did see my next three cards were very plausible.

I take this as a lucky win and even my opponent was almost sure the way the first two turns went that it might be a rout of the Deathwatch forces. Not this time foul Xenos!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for checking out the batrep!



  • Hmm, question. Doesn’t the Broodlord carry the synapse keyword? Could have used Synaptic Severance to snipe him out.

  • Yes, in hindsight I could have. But it is 2 CP, and I really was certain the way I lined up the Fortis Squad, and the Corvus it would be no problem at all. If I were doing it all over again I would have shot those units first, then saw the immense failure and death they experienced and potentially blown the 2 CP. But again I could probably re-roll that scenario 10 more times and his Broodlord doesn’t get away with that last wound and subsequently go ‘back into the shadows’.

    Even thinking about it if I would have diverted the rest of the firepower towards the Broodlord (the fire power that could have reached) it would have meant he had Genestealers, and the Leman Russ on the table so I think it worked out in the end. But I’m sure in the correct sequence, you are right I could have potentially finished him off with the Dread Lascannons perhaps.

  • Its actually a Patriarch (GSC) not a Broodlord (Nids) – similar HQ creatures but different abilities. Broodlords have synapse, Patriarchs do not. In fact nothing in the Index Xenos – GSC list does.

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