On the Deathwatch front, I like how they differentiated the Kill Teams. But it also drives me nuts because now I have to rebuild my whole damned army.
I'm super happy I can finally legally use all those Phobos models I previously bought. Conversely, losing special issue ammo on so many units & options hurts a lot. With Veterans going to 2 wounds and Intercessors not getting special issue ammo anymore I'm honestly not sure it's worth fielding Fortis Kill Teams. And no SIA on Storm Bolters, Bikes, and Terminators is rough. Hopefully the list of weapons & models that get SIA will be expanded when the actual codex supplement drops in a couple of weeks.
Similarly, the change to Hellfire rounds feels like a pretty big nerf. Going from a flat 2+ to wound to just a +1 on the wound roll definitely makes the choice of what ammo to use harder. Need to update my app with the new rules to figure out what the best option is under different circumstances.
On the up-side, DW getting a 300% increase in the number of named characters is nice. It always bugged me that Cassius and Natorian never had rules in any of the previous codices.
And finally, the biggest improvement to Deathwatch as far as I can tell, is the simple ability to take almost everything in the SM codex. The only thing they flat-out can't take are Scouts. Everything else has a pretty obvious replacement data sheet:
- DW Veterans <--> Tac Squad, Sternguard, Devastators
- Vanguard Vets and/or DW Veterans <--> Assault Squad (depending on if you want jump packs or not)
- Veteran Bikes <--> Bikes & Attack Bikes
No more weird restrictions like only being able to take 2 of the Land Raider varients, having access to Primaris Apothecaries but not normal ones, can take Lieutenants now, can take Landspeeders & Predators, etc... Generally getting a huge boost in variety & options, especially on the vehicle front.
I'm hoping Special Issue Ammo will be more widely available in the final codex version as opposed to the supplement, but generally I think these changes are in the right direction.