The second part of my Codex Deathwatch review will look at the HQ and Troops units available in the new book.
Being a Space Marine Chapter, there are many similarities between the HQ units in the Space Marine and Deathwatch Chapters.
The Watch Master is essentially the Chapter Master of the Deathwatch army. He comes with the Chapter Master stats, along with a 2+ save, Guardian Spear, Iron Halo and Clavis. He also allows you to change the Mission Tactics for your army once during the game.
A Watch Master is a solid character to lead the Deathwatch. He comes with a 2+ save and 4+ invulnerable, meaning he can be quite durable in combat or to shooting. The Guardian Spear also allows him to strike at S5 and AP2 at initiative, which is quite good for taking on a range of opponents. Changing your Mission Tactics is also great for some added tactical advantages during your game.
One downside of the Watch Master (and most Deathwatch HQ units) is that he is unable to take a Jump Pack or Bike. This seriously hinders his mobility on the battlefield and will force you to take a transport vehicle and an attached squad if you want him to move around the battlefield quickly, with some additional protection.
The equivalent of a Space Marine Captain in stats. He can be upgraded to carry a range of wargear options including Artificer armour, a Storm Shield, Terminator Armour, a Relic Blade or Xenophase blade, as well as the Deathwatch Relics. He is also the only HQ unit able to take a Jump Pack (though no bike).
This gives the Captain a mobility advantage over the other HQ units and would allow him to join a unit of Vanguard Veterans or Bikers.
A standard issue Space Marine Chaplain with special issue ammunition. Great for giving a unit Fearless and re-rolls to hit thanks to Zealot. Again, suffers from mobility issues unless attached to a squad with a transport. I would love to have the Chaplain leading a unit of Vanguard Veterans or a Bike squad to provide them with Fearless and Zealot re-rolls, but this is not an option with the Deathwatch Chaplain (if you want to keep the mobility of those units).
A standard Space Marine Librarian. He has access to the standard Librarian powers, including the Angels of Death psychic powers. A Librarian is a decent addition to a Space Marine army, but I find a single Librarian really struggles to have much of an influence on the game.
Overall, the HQ units are the standard Space Marine fare. However, with the exception of the Captain, they lack the ability to take a Jump Pack and none can take a Bike. This will limit their mobility in the game and could cause problems if you want them to get into combat quickly.
The Deathwatch codex features only a single Troops choice, the Veterans. These are essentially Sternguard Veterans, with some really nice upgrade options.
Any Veteran may take a Storm Shield or Heavy Thunder Hammer. Any model may take Melee, Ranged or Special Weapons and up to 4 may carry Heavy Weapons.
Even though the Deathwatch only have one troops unit, the wealth of options available to them means that they can be outfitted to perform almost any battlefield role. You could load up the squad with special weapons or heavy weapons and put them in a pod for a great alpha-strike unit. You could choose to arm them all with power weapons and Storm shields for an assault unit, or simply arm them with two close combat weapons for additional attacks. You could even choose to give them no upgrades, as the Special Issue Ammunition provides great utility for the unit as it is.
The only problem with this unit is that the cost will quickly rise with lots of different options added on. I like the ability to give any veteran a Storm Shield. One or two in a squad should help with their durability to shooting and close combat.
The Squad Sergeant can also be upgraded to a Veteran Sergeant and may also purchase a Xenophase blade.
One Veteran can also be upgraded to a Black Shield. This gives him the Atonement Through Honour special rules, giving bonus attacks in certain situations.
The Veterans unit provides a solid choice for the Deathwatch army. The only issue is that they are quite expensive and die just as easily as normal marines. Their wargear upgrades are brilliant though, allowing you to tailor them to your play style very easily.
Deathwatch Codex Review
Deathwatch Codex Review