Experimental 'Cyclonewing' Lists

7 February 2011 | 5th Edition

Cyclones in action
Target practice is required to get used to the improved cyclone.Models by VanSan.

With the introduction of the DA Update FAQ of Jan 2011 I have had to reconfigure some elements within existing pure Deathwing lists to attempt to take advantage of new weapons and wargear. By doing so I hope to have hopefully improved their performance.

Tinkering with tried and tested Deathwing lists…

Games Workshop have thrown the DA a bit of a lifeline — the Deathwing especially. It seems that as Deathwing Hammernator armies are popping out of the Warp everywhere, it was time to seriously consider how and to what extent I'd re-tune my own Deathwing.

What I do want to avoid though is the very storm shield / thunder hammer spam that has made the DW so viable. In my mind the DW is all about movement and firepower, combined with good close combat capability at squad level. It's a difficult balance to get right and what suits some will not suit others so your mileage may vary.

Squad composition

This is a bit of a moveable feast at present. More testing required, but, I'm gravitating towards three thunder hammer / storm shield models (one carrying the Cyclone), a chainfist model and a storm bolter model. Notice that the 'traditional' power sword Sergeant has gone a has my customary twin claws model.

For Belial's 'Assault' squad, two twin claws and three thunder hammer models seems an ideal combination of durability and outright assault, plus an Apothecary and banner upgrade too. The banner to be honest I've never really bothered with before but in this squad should perform well. The Feel No Pain of the Apothecary is a no-brainer. Feel No Pain will be the subject of a later article.

But as far as the lists go squads can be finely tuned at a later date — and shall be looked at in more details in a separate article — at this stage it's broad concepts only.

OK onto business… these are 2000 point lists — but can be scaled back to 1750 or 1500. I prefer larger 2000 point games and now pretty much always develop lists around this size.

List 1: 2000 points

A classic footslogging Deathwing set up.

UnitPoints
Belial
w/ pair of lightning claws
130
Venerable Dreadnought
w/ TLLC/ML/
175
Venerable Dreadnought
w/ TLLC/ML/
175
Deathwing Terminator Squad 1
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x th/ss [apoth], 1 x th/ss [banner], 2 x claws
290
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 6
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
  1970

This is a classic footslog Deathwing list with as many squads as can be taken, backed up by two TLLC/ML dreadnoughts providing the long range fire support.

At the core of the force the six Deathwing squads fill out the Troop slots. They are able to pump out 12 missile shots per turn backed by the Dreadnoughts one each. All moving and firing. What this more exciting though is the 48" range — giving the ability to hit MCs and horde armies hard from relative safety. At mid range the storm bolters come into play, the traditional strong point of 'shooty' squads, but now reduced by less models carrying them. Overall a slight reduction in squad ballistic weaponry carried but made up by the cyclone's better rules.

These six squads allow the flexibility to put one or two into reserve to slam down in the face of the enemy. The storm shields are now vital in the role of keeping these squads alive if faced by massed incoming fire.

Squad 1 is entirely thunder hammer carrying and with the Apothecary's FNP it will be a tough nut to crack so an ideal unit to Deathwing Assault onto an objective or just to bring down behind or on a flank to shoot at side armour or roll along the enemies line. As such it might be the only squad that gets put into reserve.

Belial remains armed with lightning claws as these still offer great advantages over even the thunder hammer storm shield combo. Too many to pass up. But I do wish Belial had a Eternal Warrior like Lysander. As I've always been in the notion that Belial is expendable I don't tend to gear him for durability. Remember not too many points are tied up in him and with him gone no special rule are lost.

Dreadnoughts provide the high strength shots to take out the heavier armour the cyclones can't touch, and to put wounds on MCs and high toughness targets. Their missile launchers adding useful blast or krak shots per turn.

Anything the Dreadnoughts can't knock out from range can be hit in close combat with hammers, power fists and chainfists. As most vehicle armour is on average AV10 (on the rear) terminators have the punch to do some damage if they can get into position. Remember that DA hammers if they hit, cause a Crew Shaken result at least.

What this list does lack though is mobility. 6" a turn isn't great especially if you're tied up in close combat or need to manoeuvre around terrain. But it does have that appealing sit back and shoot aspect that I've always really liked about the DW, their slow advance cinematic and totally in character.

List 2: 2000 points

Deathwing with Land Raider back up.

UnitPoints
Belial
w/ pair of lightning claws
130
Deathwing Terminator Squad 1
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x th/ss [apoth], 1 x th/ss [banner], 2 x claws
290
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Land Raider
(Pintle mounted storm bolter)
250 (255)
Land Raider
(Pintle mounted storm bolter)
250 (255)
  1880 (1890)

A reactionary Water Warrior set up. In order to fit the two Land Raiders in a Deathwing squad has been taken out. I don't feel this is much of a loss given the firepower of those vehicles. Much of what was said for list one could be said here. So it is really what the Land Raiders can offer that the two Dreadnoughts in List 1 can't. And that comes down to (in most cases) durability, firepower (the ability to split fire over two targets) and the added tactical flexibility of transporting DW squads if required. I know many people prefer the more aggressive suppressive fire of the Crusader, but with the cyclonewing the synergy of 48" weaponry is what is primary driver of the thinking here — rather than ability to cruise and assault. The 4 twinlinked lascannon shots per turn all capable of being at different targets is nothing to be sniffed at.

As you can see there are 110/120 points going spare, options are limited to spend those in a pure DW force, but could include a Techmarine in full Harness or more usefully a Librarian in terminator armour who would suit the character of this army very well.

List 3: 2000 points

Mech Deathwing.

UnitPoints
Belial
w/ pair of lightning claws
130
Venerable Dreadnought
w/ TLLC/ML/
175
Venerable Dreadnought
w/ TLLC/ML/
175
Deathwing Terminator Squad 1
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x th/ss [apoth], 1 x th/ss [banner], 2 x claws
290
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
1 x cyclone/th/ss, 1 x sb/pf, 1 x sb/cf, 2 x th/ss
240
Land Raider Crusader
 
250
Land Raider
 
250
Land Raider
 
250
  2000

The least Cyclonewing list here due to the lack of cyclones. What this allows is for each squad to be transported if required. Belial and his 'Assault' command squad ride in the Crusader, the other squads can use the Raiders. It isn't a favourite approach of mine as it is simply taking out too many scoring units / wounds and assault weapons for my liking. But it does take full advantage of the boost granted to the Land Raiders to its maximum.

Food for thought.


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