1500 Deathwatch Vs Orks: Secure and Control

Started by Wyddr, July 30, 2019, 08:23:51 PM

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1500 Deathwatch Vs Orks: Secure and Control

Captain Andiev Boleski had seen much of war. He had been fighting on Orthos IV for three years, and in that time had fought in trenches, cities, blasted wildernesses, and arctic wastes. He'd fought in desperate hand-to-hand combat with orks. He'd hunted them through stinking sewers. He'd been ambushed in mosquito-infested jungles. But in all that time, he had never seen anything quite like this.

It was--or had been--a fortified ork camp. There were barricades, gun emplacements, foxholes, pillboxes--all dug into a hill that the orks piled up themselves. Captain Boleski had been tasked with seizing such fortifications himself. They had been costly operations, and only partially successful. The orks dug themselves into these makeshift hills like bloodticks in the backside of a megodron. It was the bloodiest fighting he'd ever seen, except for the second battle of Arendt.

And yet here he was, looking at one completely destroyed. Utterly, completely erradicated--every gun ruined, every ork a stinking corpse. There had been no apparent retreat--the orks had simply not had time. The craziest thing? Boleski had not seen a single Astartes casualty.

Not one.

"Something troubling you, Captain?" Boleski jumped at the sound of the booming voice. It was the Master of the Watch, Raziel. He towered over Boleski so that the sun itself was blocked by his bulk. Boleski felt small and weak and stupid. He hadn't even heard the giant approach.

He saluted lamely. "Captain Andiev Boleski reporting, sir...errr...milord. Field Marshal VonGrune sends his regards. He wishes a report to hear how the war against the orks is going, sir. Milord."

Raziel's hard face did not shift. "VonGrune is aware that I do not report to him. Not over the vox. Not via courier. Not in person."

Boleski had nothing he could reasonably say to that, so he defaulted to a simple. "Yes, milord."

"How does it look like the war is going?" Raziel said, gesturing to the battlefield. A single battle brother was walking along with a flamer, setting all the ork corpses alight to prevent their spread.

"Begging your pardon, milord," Boleski said, "but...how did you do it?"

Raziel looked down at him, a mere mortal, and grinned. "Why don't you tag along, Captain - we're about to do it again. Then you can bring some tales back to satisfy VonGrune."

This game marks the second game in a campaign narrative arc against Roboknee. You can read about it all here, but basically the orks are retreating in disarray and have managed to make a firebase as a last ditch attempt to stall my advance.

Deathwatch Battalion
Watch Master Raziel (Warlord: Lord of Hidden Knowledge)
Watch Captain w/Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Stormbolter (Bane Bolts of Eryxia)

Primaris Kill Team w/5x Intercessors (Sarge w/Chainsword), 3x Hellblasters (Plasma Incinerators)
Primaris Kill Team w/5x Intercessors (Sarge w/Power Fist), 2x Aggressors (Boltstorm Gauntlets)
Primaris Kill Team w/5x Intercessors (Sarge w/Chainsword), 2x Aggressors (Boltstorm Gauntlets)

Venerable Dreadnought w/Twin Lascannon, Missile Launcher
5 Terminators w/Stormbolters, Powerfists

Fast Attack
3x Inceptors w/Plasma Exterminators

Razorback w/Twin Lascannon
Razorback w/Twin Lascannon

Ork Garrison Force
Bad Moon Battalion
Warboss w/Killa Klaw, Kustom Shoota, Attack Squig (Warlord: Invul Save Thing) on Warbike
Big Mek w/Kustom Force Field

10 Shoota Boyz
10 Shoota Boyz
10 Shoota Boyz

Heavy Support
3 Smasha Gunz
3 Smasha Gunz
15 Lootas

Evil Sunz Battalion

10 Grots
10 Grots
10 Grots

10 Nobz w/Power Stabbas

Heavy Support
Battlewagon w/Ard Case, Deffrolla

Dakkajet w/6x SupaShootas

Mission, Terrain, and Deployment
As indicated by the campaign, the next mission was a basic Secure and Control with Search and Destroy as the deployment type. The terrain was rocky, hilly, and mostly open. There was a very large hill in the NE quadrant with a little forest on top, hills in all four corners, a small scrub/cover area at about board center, and a bunch of rocks and ridges. My opponent won the deployment roll, and he chose the NE quarter, giving him access to the huge hill.

The orks deployed the Battlewagon with its payload of nobz in the Tellyporta (question just occurring to me: does the Power Level of the embarkees count towards the total power level of things being put in the tellyporta?). The six Smasha Gunz got placed in the western half of the big hill and the Lootas crowded into the forest on the little knoll at the very top. Two groups of ten grots screened these from the front and the three small groups of shoota boyz deployed up the eastern half of the hill. The Big Mek with his forcefield deployed so as to shield all the big guns and the Lootas. The two ork psykers and the warboss sort of deployed at the center of the big hill-fort. Finally, the third group of grots took up space in the backfield and claimed the objective (which my opponent placed at the far NE corner) and the Dakkajet deployed at the eastern board edge.

As deployment went on, it became clear that my opponent was using the hill and therefore wound up very, very close to me. Ordinarily this is good for orks, but not so with an army of orks like this, which is barely bringing any close combat oomph. I decide, then, to deploy as close as possible myself, so as to come to grips with the enemy very quickly. The Dread and two Razorbacks formed a gunline behind a ridge just by my objective, which I placed atop the ridgeline and pretty far forward. The Hellblasters and one Aggressor Kill Team deployed right at the front, close enough to move into cover on turn 1. The second Aggressor unit deployed along the western edge of my DZ, pretty far forward, too. The Inceptors hid behind a giant rock and the Jump Captain deployed just behind the Aggressors in the center. The Watch Master hung back, deploying on the objective and remaining close enough to grant his re-roll bubble to much of my army. The Terminators would teleport strike.


Seems like we're playing a game of "King of the Mountain"
My plan, at this point, is "GO GET 'EM"
The Orks bring air support!

Turn 1
I finished deploying first by about 3 drops and the orks fail to seize the initiative, so I go first. Malleus Tactics are in effect, since pretty much everything of consequence the enemy has is a heavy support slot. Target priority goes like this: Lootas first, then Smasha Gunz, then deal with the Battlewagon when it shows up. Had the Battlewagon started on the board, target priority might have been a little harder to manage, so that was something of a gift on the part of my opponent.

All kill teams move forward, with the Hellblasters and center Aggressors moving into the shrubs at board center and the east Aggressors swinging wide on the advance. The Aggressors are tasked with removing the grot screen, which they do in very short order, and some of the overflow firepower kills 4-5 Lootas on the hill (I massively overkilled the grots, which is a bad habit that I'll need to address some other time). The Hellblasters took most of the wounds off one Smasha Gun and killed a couple more Lootas. That gun was finished off by the Inceptors, who jumped forward, and they also killed an additional gun. A third Smasha gun was wiped by the lascannons on by backline, despite some good force field saves by my opponent. Finally, the Watch Captain scored 3 more wounds on the Lootas (thanks to the Bane Bolts!), leaving only 5 Lootas left, two of which ran away at the end of the round's shooting. This was a very, very solid round--my top two target priorities badly damaged if not crippled, and not a dangerous counterstrike possible that I could see from my opponent.

Top of Turn 1

Imagine smoking wreckage here

In the bottom of the turn, my opponent does his damndest to wipe out the eastern Aggressor squad, which has no cover. The Dakkajet, one group of twenty orks (two groups of 10 that Mobbed Up), the remaining Lootas, two smites, and a couple Smasha Gunz later and there is one Aggressor that just WILL NOT DIE. Also of note, in their haste to get off their super-smites, the two weirdboys each do 3 wounds to themselves by channeling too much warp energy for their tiny brains to cope with. 

Irritated by the last Aggressor's stubborn refusal to die (he made, like, 5-6 saves without a fail), the Warboss shoots at him (to no avail) and charges the Inceptors, which he slaughters in short order and then consolidates into the lone Aggressor (who chokes on both powerfist attacks). Surely he should fail his 6-casualty morale test! But no, he Knows No Fear (says so right on his Datasheet), so the Aggressor survives the round to my extreme surprise.

Finally, one last Smasha Gun smashes one Inceptor in the other Aggressor Kill Team. Battle Brother Todd is tossed over the horizon, to the mute appreciation of his brothers. He will be found later stuck head-down in a bog, calmly awaiting rescue.

Bottom of Turn 1

The Lone Aggressor Lives!

Turn 2
I'm expecting the Battlewagon to show up at the end of this turn, so I need to tie up some loose ends. First off, my durable Aggressor falls back from combat so that the mostly intact Aggressor Kill Team can blow the Warboss off the board, which they do. The Lascannons and Hellblasters keep trying to kill Smasha Gunz and are less successful this turn thanks to that damned force field and they only manage to ace one of them. The Intercessors in the Hellblaster group shoot at the mobbed up shootas, killing about 6 or so.

The terminators dropped in along the eastern edge of the board, pretty close to the back end of the mob of 20 and the backfield grots. Their shooting finishes off the remainder of the 20 boyz (less the Nob, who just ran away) and then they charged and thoroughly squashed the grots, giving them good position to threaten the ork artillery in succeeding turns.

Finally, the Watch Captain shoots down the remainder of the Lootas and charges both the Weirdboy and Warphead. He kills the Weirdboy with no trouble and then piles into the Warphead, who does two wounds to him before I spring Honor Your Brothers and attack again, killing him, too (two psykers in one round? Not bad.). He then makes the error of consolidating into the next group of 10 orks, who manage to drag him down with sheer numbers. The guy had a good run, though.

Top of Turn 2

My terminators haven't been painted yet. Sorry.

In the bottom of turn 2, I've done *tremendous* damage to the orks, but my opponent wants to play it out another turn or so to see how things go. First off, the Dakkajet sees an opportunity to strafe my Watch Master, who was getting a little cocky and standing by his lonesome halfway between the kill teams and the gunline. The ork pilot zeroes his sights and pulls the trigger, doing 9 wounds! I save 8 of them. EIGHT! For those of you who know me, this pretty much never happens to me, since I roll armor saves like a chump. But not today!

My good luck continues as the Battlewagon drops in very close to the Hellblasters and I get off an Auspex Scan that does a whopping 6 wounds to the vehicle before it can even charge and then, when it *does* charge, they do another 2 wounds--half the thing's wounds accounted for in the ork turn! It does then proceed to grind up three marines and the orks inside use Boarding Action to stab a few more guys, killing 1 more, which is unfortunate, but my unit is still there and the Battlewagon is in precarious shape.

The Smasha Gunz kill one Terminator in their backfield and the remaining shoota boyz take off one more wound with their guns. They charge and do no damage, however, and the Terminators respond by killing 6. Three of the remaining 4 orks run away, leaving me with a nob tying my termies up in combat which, while irritating, is not that big a deal overall.

Bottom of Turn 2

Getting it from both ends

Turn 3
In my third turn, the three dual lascannons lined up make very short work of the Battlewagon. The Nobz that pile out of the wreckage use the Loot It stratagem to earn themselves a MEQ save, but they can't withstand three Aggressors and four Intercessors firing Special Issue Ammunition, losing 2 to the exploding Battlewagon, five to the shooting, and then another two when the Aggressor Kill Team charges. The remaining Nob runs for the hills.

The Terminators crush the nob tying them up and consolidate toward the Smasha Gunz. I can't kill another Smasha Gun this turn, despite my efforts. At this point, seeing he only has a flyer, a Big Mek, and two artillery pieces left, my opponent concedes.

Top of Turn 3

Final Score
Deathwatch: 6 (1 objective, First Blood, Warlord, and Linebreaker)
Orks: 0

Roboknee and I had a frank conversation after the game in which he expressed how helpless he felt against the withering offense of the Deathwatch. Aggressors with Special Issue Ammunition rip straight through any non-vehicle they face, and my anti-tank capabilities are no slouch either, thanks to my gunline of 6 lascannons, not to mention a fair amount of plasma hanging around. Oh, and Tempest Shells (I forgot--my Watch Master used them twice during the game, both time scoring 3 mortal wounds). Clearly he needs a totally different strategy, but is at a loss for what to do. My instinct says more Trukks and more Buggies and more Power Klaws, but I confess to not being an ork player.

Larger than that, I think my opponent made two mistakes here. First was deploying very, very close to me. Given that I was almost guaranteed first turn, a more conservative deployment was preferable. He ranged me with his big guns and could have taken advantage of that. Second, I think, was putting the Battlewagon in reserve. True, I could have killed it turn one, maybe, but consider how much firepower that would take (I fired a rapid-fire volley from my Hellblasters and all 6 lascannons to take it out) that would not, then, have ripped through his artillery line. There's something to be said for saturating the board with important targets. This is a strategy I use myself (I take two Aggressor units here for a reason) and has worked well for me over many editions, so I suspect it might work well here. Or maybe not.

As for my own force, I have few complaints. My dice were hot, all units performed their duty admirably, and while there were a couple niggling details I could improve (be more aware of flyer strafing; don't put the sergeant with the powerfist in the unit you know is going to get hit first, don't consolidate into fresh enemies if they have a lot of attacks), but otherwise all was well.

Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!


I know I made a lot of mistakes during deployment.  Before the game I told myself I should castle up in a far corner and out range Wyddr.  When I got to game I just didn't do it.  Maybe it was the heat of the day, frustration from the work day, or who knows what but my brain was just fuzzy all game.  I even had trouble remembering a friend's name during the battle.

As for the Battlewagon, I'm so used to getting shot up first round I figured I should put it in reserve to save it from getting shot off the board before I could use it.  Seems like that was the wrong thing to do.  And to answer your question, the units inside do not count toward the power level of the transport for the tellyporta stratagem.  It's in the Ork Codex FAQ.

All things said, this was the first time I did not have fun playing a game.  Deathwatch to hit with re-rolls and to wound on 2+ with re-rolls is obscene.  It's no fun to play against.  When I shoot I feel like apologizing to my opponents because I can take 60 shots with 30 shoota boyz.  But I'm not hitting with 53 shots, wounding on 51 of them, and seeing 43 failed saves.  I'm not upset with Wyddr about it, I'm upset with GW about how overpowered a combination it is.  It's basically an army wide +2 to wound vs. boyz or +3 to wound vs. bikes on strength 4 weapons.  How is that balanced?  Sorry, it's been over four days and I'm still fuming over it and shouldn't be ranting.

Yes, I need to change strategies but it seems like everything but boyz is overpriced, less efficient, and doesn't have synergy anywhere near as good as anything I will be facing.


Yeah, hellfire rounds are crazy pants, especially against any army that makes its living on having a high toughness. I also think that Deathwatch Aggressors are way too cheap for what they can do. Those guys should be about 15 points more expensive *each*.

Despite the fact that they seem to be a hard counter to the orks, I'm reluctant to call the Deathwatch overpowered *overall,* though. My game against the Eldar was a near thing and as much luck as anything else. I honestly have no idea what I could do against the AdMech at all. The Guard would stomp me flat, too.

But yeah, message received. I'm not interested in playing games where both of us don't have fun. I'll retire the Deathwatch against your orks for a while. I can break out the Guard again or any of my other armies. Also, there's always Sigmar! 


Thanks for being understanding, Wyddr.  It was good to get that ire out of my system.  I need some time to think about what I can do against the Deathwatch before we play the last battle of the Arc.  In the mean time, yes, there is Sigmar or other armies to battle against.

You're right, overall they probably aren't over powered.  Against Orks they certainly seem to be, probably because Orks only wear T-Shirts to battle.  It works with the fluff of the setting but doesn't work with the fun of the game.


I don't have much of a comment other than to say I enjoyed reading the report.

Seems like Robokneee got a bad batch of luck on top of an already tough draw in terms of army matchup, deployment and mission. 

-Matchup: Deathwatch are premiere xenos slayers so no surprise here.  As regards GW balance: they have shifted focus away from balance to just putting our more stuff in this edition (which I support) and I think it is up to players to do some self regulation for non-tourney play.

-Deployment: The map and deployment type made keeping the DW at range tricky. 

-Mission:  The Deathwatch model count is so low, that having only one place to go (the other objective) allows them to really concentrate fire.  If there were 6 objectives on the table, it would have made things easier. 

Add in some dice variance and it makes for some very tough sledding. 


All that is true, yes. The nature of the mission was to favor the Deathwatch (when you win a previous mission in the campaign, the next mission is more suited to the winning army's playstyle).

Given how quickly I can wipe out non-vehicle units, though, it doesn't much matter what mission it is if I can table an enemy by turn 3/4.

I do think if the orks had deployed more like the guard (huddled in the back corner of their DZ), this becomes a closer game. The Lootas need to be able to shoot twice at full strength to put a real dent in my firepower.

As for self-selecting...I'm not sure I can? I could ditch the Aggressors, sure, but that's only about 150 points in total (4 Aggressors x 37 points each) and it isn't like the other things I'd buy with those points wouldn't *also* have Hellfire Bolts.

The supreme irony here is that I started the Deathwatch for the purpose of playing an army that would be easier to beat than the Guard and, in this particular instance, it has not worked *at all.*

Besides, if we're self-selecting stuff, any chance of you ditching your Wave Serpents?  ;)


Hahaha, fair point, but I'm not tabling anyone...yet.  I do have a 1750 point list brigade detachment that I have been meaning to try that has none of my beloved grav tanks.   


Quote from: McComas on July 31, 2019, 03:06:12 PM
Hahaha, fair point, but I'm not tabling anyone...yet.  I do have a 1750 point list brigade detachment that I have been meaning to try that has none of my beloved grav tanks.

My Vostroyan Guard would *love* to play them.

As would the Deathwatch, but from what I've seen so far, the Deathwatch would eat them whole in very, very short order.  :-\


Another great victory for the orks! Those umies just think they won.

On a different note, take a mek with KFF for your BW, it makes a surprising difference in having that invul save against shooting. (My son used three Leman Russ tanks with all their shootiness and the BW still had 6 points left after the shootin was over)

I have found that fighting marines and AM that you have to get in close quick, boys are just not meant to be standing back shooting. The weirdboy trick "da jump" is one way to do it, the other is trucks and more trucks.

Since you seem to be at the left side of the learning curve playing speed freaks, you can either keep practicing (recommended) or go back to the green tide. It is indeed very satisfying to hear your opponent say they don't have enough to kill all that.

For a good marine killing unit try flash gits. Sure they don't move much, but they are basically nobs with 4+ shooting (good stuff!) Also I find that a small squad of kommandos sneaking around in the back are good for killing heavy weapon stuff. Make sure the nob has a PK for that pesky armor save they have.

So, since your surviving nob is now the new boss, make sure he changes your tactics some. Remember to shoot the fighty stuff and fight the shooty stuff.

My two teef
"It needs but one foe to breed a war. And even those who have not swords can still die upon them" (Lady Eowyn)
     We orks are not about being the hero; We orks are about being the mob.
Quote from: angel of death 007
Skeetergod: (adj) A crazy fascination for all things combustible mixed with an unhealty lust for red paint. see also Speed Freak


Quote from: SKEETERGOD on August  7, 2019, 12:13:44 PM
On a different note, take a mek with KFF for your BW, it makes a surprising difference in having that invul save against shooting. (My son used three Leman Russ tanks with all their shootiness and the BW still had 6 points left after the shootin was over)

This might have helped, true.

QuoteI have found that fighting marines and AM that you have to get in close quick, boys are just not meant to be standing back shooting. The weirdboy trick "da jump" is one way to do it, the other is trucks and more trucks.

I don't recommend you ever try Da Jump against the Deathwatch. It's...ugly. I killed ~20 boyz in the Ork player's turn once doing that.

I do think Trukks have some promise, if only because Hellfire rounds don't work on them. 

QuoteSo, since your surviving nob is now the new boss, make sure he changes your tactics some. Remember to shoot the fighty stuff and fight the shooty stuff.

My two teef

Right now, given the lists I've been facing, I'm much more worried about Ork shooting than I am about ork assault. The Deathwatch have some truly horrifying stratagems to prevent orks from charging (Stem the Green Tide is filthy) and I can usually thin even the largest horde down to a manageable number of boyz. Throw in the fact that Primaris Marines have 2 wounds a pop, and I feel pretty safe.

If Roboknee started bringing more Power Klaws, that might be something. One Nob with a Klaw is good for killing 2 Primaris marines, even assuming I kill the rest of his whole squad.

The main point is that the Deathwatch are really, really good at slaughtering orks. Like, way better than I thought they would be. With the advent of the new codex and Shock Assault? Yeah, it's not pretty.


Thanks for the suggestions Skeeter.  Using a second KFF was something I was thinking about, either on a bike or in a transport.

Wyddr, Uncle Tungsten and Mccomas are all familiar with Da Jump.  They all have ways of killing off a lot of boys that arrives that way or from the Tellyporta.  Never get into Auspex Scan range of an Agressor.  One of them can knock out 20 boyz on it's own.

I have been thinking of Flash Gitz too.  I have some I need to put together but haven't gotten around to yet.  I think they have enough AP to actually make marines fail their armor saves.  That was an issue I was facing in a battle against Mccomas I have yet to write up.

As for Wyddr's post, Trukks may help.  Especially if GW gives them the Assault Vehicle keyword they just posted about in the newest Space Marines preview.  Or added that Orks can charge out of assault vehicles, which is what trukks are supposed to do for them.

Power klaws might help too, maybe in a trukk, to help them get into range.  These are things I'm thinking about, it's just going to take some time before I feel like I'm ready to face the Deathwatch again.


It's worth noting that the *only* Battlefield Role the DW *can't* re-roll 1s to wound against is Dedicated Transports.

Which I think is stupid (why *those* of all things?), but is a loophole you could maybe exploit.


Believe me, that has crossed my mind as a shenanigan to pull against the Deathwatch.  I've got some other things in mind but it will take me some time to pull it all together.

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