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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Deathwatch Idea

As I said I've been toying with the idea of making a Deathwatch army.  The idea being that my guys can come from an Astartes Chapter, the only difference is that their chapter insignia would be on their left Pauldron.  GW sells a bitz kit for the conversion of the right Pauldron, though it's a bit pricey for what you get coming it at $25 plus shipping, though you do get new heads and guns.  Unfortunately I doubt those extra heads and guns would work with my Marines due to their age.

Here's a little Background from the Lexicanum on the Deathwatch:

Rather than following the standard Codex Astartes organization, the Space Marines themselves are drawn from many different chapters. These chapters have sworn sacred oaths to raise a unit of Space Marines specifically for this task. The warriors are then gathered together to fight where and when they are needed.
Giant fortresses orbit desolate worlds at the edge of the galaxy, keeping constant vigil over possible xenos forces. There are also several secret bases spread throughout the Imperium, which provide a launch site for their crusades.
The warriors who fight are given the honour of painting their armour black (to show their service to the Emperor), while leaving one shoulder pad with the original insignia of the Chapter from which the marine came. Although the armour is painted black, it is never all painted black as this action would dishonour the armour's Machine Spirit. They also are equipped with a new shoulder pad with the symbol of Deathwatch onto their other side. Once in the employ of the Deathwatch, there is no set length of time for service, rather it is as long as the commander deems necessary. Each Space Marine may serve a discrete amount of time, or for the duration of a mission, which may be a number of years. Once the mission is complete, the Space Marine is allowed to return to his chapter, under an oath of silence, as their honour has been fulfilled.
The orders of the Deathwatch are not merely the cleansing of xenos cultures. They also include the recovery and study of alien devices and artifacts. Sometimes it is necessary to use a weapon against the enemy who created it, although this is not taken lightly. The Deathwatch are constantly vigilant for sabotage, or to advise if it is truly safe to use a weapon of xenos origin. The Adeptus Mechanicus are always on the lookout for alien technology; the C'tan Phase Sword, used by the Callidus assassin was recovered from a Necron tomb world and successfully integrated into the arsenal of the Imperium.
Usually, a Deathwatch team is led by an Inquisitor, but in extreme circumstances, a Deathwatch Captain or Librarian may take command of the unit. Their word is law, and can requisition anything they desire to get the job done. They are the best armed and trained units in the Imperium. They might be deployed in areas where conventional methods are insufficient or if the troops available are not properly equipped or trained for the task. The presence of a Deathwatch team is always welcomed, even though they are feared by all those who know of them.

Again I'm just toying with some ideas, but this one is definitely gaining steam.  The Lexicanum mentions that the rules for playing as a Deathwatch Army can be found in Chapter Approved 2003.  Would anyone out there by chance have this book or access to it so that I might find out if they have a special set of rules????


  1. I actually have a PDF version of those old Deathwatch rules. I'm not sure if they're still legal though, thanks to their age. An open minded opponent would probably have no problem with them (and there's plenty of open minded players in this area), however, they can only be used as a single squad added onto a regular army. If you wanted to do an entire army as deathwatch, there aren't any official rules for that, but you do have an alternate option:
    I've heard some experienced gamers compare the Sternguard vets in the new 5th ed. Space Marine codex to the old deathwatch rules, and I agree there are some similarities. Not as many close combat options, but very similar bolter special rules and options.
    If you wanted to just have a single deathwatch squad in a regular space marine army, you could just make a squad or two of Deathwatch miniatures and simply use the Sternguard rules for them when your playing an opponent who's being anal about using up to date rules. As far as the lack of close combat options, you could just have the close combat models in the squad function as a separate squad of those new assault veterans who's name I've forgotten. Vanguard vets I think?
    As far as doing an entire army of Deathwatch, you could just make a regular Space marines army with a deathwatch paint scheme and use a bunch of those vet squads I mentioned. There's a limit to how many vet squads you can use in a single army, but It's a start.
    And just a side note, inquisition forces like the deathwatch are supposed to get a new codex/codexes some time, eventually, someday... but right now all we have are rumors.
    Well, I hope that's helpful. if you want that PDF, let me know and I'll either e-mail it to you or try and remember what site I got it from.

  2. My theme for Project Space Marine is that they are a Deathwatch army. The normal squads will be made up of Marines from different chapters, and will be neophytes in the Deathwatch, and the Deathwatch Kill Teams will be represented by Sternguard squads painted up in the traditional Deathwatch livery.

    The army will be lead by an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, and a Librarian (from the Blood Ravens chapter).

    I certainly think the idea of a Deathwatch army is cool and will (hopefully) look really nice on the table.

  3. I can't wait to see your finished project.