Deathwatch: Field Test

Deathwatch RPG

This weekend my gaming group finally sat down and did a field test of Deathwatch. I came up with a small search and rescue mission in a section of ruined city; below you can see the map layout that we used:

Deathwatch Map 1The kill team entered the map on the edge where you can see the marines standing. They performed a couple of Perception tests to see if they could detect anything in the first to buildings they came too; however, since we forgot that their helmets gave them a bonus to Perception, they failed and had to gain entrance to the building. The door on the bastion was locked, and the door on the administration building was not. The Techmarine choose to simply punch the door open with his Servo-arm than unlock it. After that, the team split up and slowly cleared the building. Once they reached the top floor, they took another Perception test to see if they could detect anything further down the road. A Shrike and a Magnitute 30 horde of Hormaguants popped up. The Shrike was waiting at the top of the tower and the guants where lurking in the ruined building across the street. We followed the rules for starting combat, but that’s when things got ugly.

To begin with no one was surprised, which I was disappointed by because I was trying to figure out how to do ambushes. It seemed to work but with disastrous effects for the team, since we were using a 1 inch to 1 meter scale for movement. I wanted to make it tough, but they way the combat was going it just seemed off. We also bumbled the damage the librarian and bolters could do to hordes, and to be completely fair, there was horrible rolls going on with the players. I ran the same scenerio last night but changed the scale from the previous scale to a 1 centimeter to 1 meter scale. I also factored in the correct damage for attacking a horde; however, this time the pendulum seemed to swing the other way. The squad had plenty of time to react to the horde and kill it before it got to them, and the Shrike only caused 6 wounds on a single character before he died. I think we’ll be doing another field test this weekend, but I’ll have to do some more experimenting and going to the forums to figure out what, if anything, is going wrong.


Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Rapier Weapons Battery

Legion Rapier Weapons Battery

Similar in design to many other Imperial units the Rapier carriers are semi-automated weapon carriers that are used where larger heavy vehicles may not be able to go. Designed to support weaponry to large and cumbersome for even Astartes, the Rapier’s relatively small size and mobility makes it a perfect support weapon. The most common armaments mounted on the Rapiers are the quad-heavy bolters or Laser Destroyers used for ant-personal and anti-armor respectively. The more unusual load outs such as the “Thudd Gun” and Graviton cannon also find us on the battlefield.


Any Rapier can replace its quad heavy bolter with the following:

Laser Destroyer A very nice upgrade and would be similar to deciding between the anti-armor Predator or the Dakka Predator
Quad mortar (“Thudd Gun”) I actually would take this over the Laser Destroyers. It does a great job with large clumps of men, and has a chance of pinning them
Graviton Gun I’ll be honest. I’m not a big fan of the Graviton Gun, but if you want a Graviton gun in your army, this is the better way to get it.

Build Options

It’s best that if you take three of these for a single choice all three weapons batteries should be carrying the same gun.

 Option 1

3 Rapier Weapons Batteries armed with Laser Destroyer. For 165 points, this option is a nice and relatively cheap anti-armor choice. Because of it’s size and the fact that it’ll probably be in the back field, this option shouldn’t draw as much fire as a normal tank would, and even if it is destroyed, it’s still cheaper than a tank would have been.

 Option 2

3 Rapier Weapons Batteries with Thudd Guns. Personally, this would just be an absolute fun option to play with, and very fluffy for those who are looking to play Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, or Imperial Fists. All that aside, this option is also very good at handling the large blobs of twenty man strong tactical squad that are likely to be walking across the board.

The nice things about these little fellows are that you can bring a fire amount of firepower without using a heavy support choice and at a cheaper cost. The draw back to this is that they don’t have the mobility that a tank would give you. It’s probably best to think of the Rapier is a kin to the Thunderfire cannon. You’ll want to set them up in terrain somewhere in the backfield and not move them after they are deployed. The roles are self-explanatory based on what gun you take: heavy bolter or quad mortar for anti-infantry and Laser Destroyer or Graviton Gun for anti-armor.

In my book, the quad mortar or Laser Destroyer are the best options to pick. With the Laser Destroyer you would get three shots with the Ordnance special rule. The quad mortar would give you 12 STR 5 small blast templates that cause infantry units to have to take a pinning test.


The Rapier is a great choice given its points cost. The draw back is that it’s an Elite choice, so you’ll want to make those points count. Still, it’s another option to bring yet more heavy weapons onto the field to be used to either support or in conjunction with Heavy Support choices. Points for points the Rapier will be cheaper than many of the Heavy Support choices and will probably be just as lethal.