Death-dealing Deathwing 'Hammernator' Lists

22 July 2011 | 5th Edition

Typhoons, Devs, Preds and Dreads. Building a DW list in pure from for optimum performance is always a challenge so the lists below add non-DW elements to help improve destructiveness.

I should warn the faint-hearted these are not in any way fluff-based lists. The criteria being that they are built for dishing maximum brutality with a built in durability offering a good to high chance of survival. Hence I've used as many DW hammernator squads as I reasonably can. No room here for finesse as that doesn't come into it. Oh and all while having a reasonably 'fun' time in the process (win or lose).

Usually I start at 2000 points, but these are at 1850.

OK let the fun begin…

List 1: 1850 points with Vindicators and Typhoons

Unit Points
Belial
w/ thunder hammer and storm shield (TH/SS)
130
Deathwing Terminator 'Command' Squad 1
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
Apothecary and Banner upgrade
290
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Vindicator
w/ dozer blade and pintle mounted storm bolter
135
Vindicator
w/ dozer blade
130
  1850

I've seen something like the above suggested on several forums and perform at a tournament where it punched well above its weight — but this was just after the DA faq so many were taken by surprise by it. It isn't my taste, but I can see the appeal. The obvious weakness for me are the two Vindicators. Some swear by them, but I think they're too short-ranged and are extremely vulnerable: with one weapon destroyed they become table decoration (well, and cover). I doubt it's a 'fun' army to face either. But it is hard.

For the first time since our 4th Ed Codex came out Belial is now increasing being armed with the thunder hammer and storm shield combo, allowing him the ability to shrug off many wounds and let him stand toe-to-toe with MCs. This at the cost of initiative attacks.

Five DW hammernator squads make up for lack of medium fire power by vastly increased durability, although they can put out ten frag or krak missiles per turn. Hammernator squads can be brutal. The entire unit gets a 2+ armour save and a 3| The Dark Fortressinvulnerable save making them some of the most durable Troop selections in 40K. But with only two model types in most squads wound allocation could be a real issue, risking that precious cyclone. The squad with the Apothecary is going to be extremely hard to put down, requiring a large quantity of small arms fire. The Company banner is to add insult to injury to the Command Squad's charge into close combat — making 20 attacks in all, rising to 25 with Belial attached. Notice no chainfists… don't get stuck in cc with a Dreadnought.

The three Typhoons are a great choice, offering speed and mobility albeit in a fairly fragile package. But primary role is taking out armour and transports early, if they achieve that and survive, anything else they do is a bonus.

Vindicators I've already touched upon. Yes they are useful for punishing large units so will add a useful dimension versus hordes. Yes they are also useful in denying the enemy proximity as who's going to risk those Str10 AP2s falling on them? And thanks to 5th Edition all supporting armour units could also benefit from having near constant cover saves provided by the terminator screen advancing before them. They'll need that as they draw a lot of fire.

Conclusions

Overall, tough, but scoring units lack mobility unless deep struck into prime positions and that isn't always the best way to deploy. The list is close-combat biased for sure and doesn't carry an abundance of firepower — especially ranged anti-tank for heavy armour. At up to 24" what firepower it does have can be brutal. It's worth noting that every single shot or attack could hit at Str8 or higher.

List 2: 1850 points with Preds and Typhoon

Unit Points
Belial
w/ thunder hammer and storm shield (TH/SS)
130
Deathwing Terminator 'Command' Squad 1
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
Apothecary and Banner upgrade
290
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Predator
w/ las sponsons, dozer blade and pintle mounted storm bolter
140
Predator
w/ las sponsons, dozer blade and pintle mounted storm bolter
140
Predator
w/ las sponsons, dozer blade or pintle mounted storm bolter
135
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
  1850

Vindicators have been replaced by Predators. The lascannon sponsons limit fire-and-move capability to one shot but are crucial in replacing the two Typhoons' meltas for ranged armour-cracking.

Conclusions

Doesn't have the mobility of list #1. Static firepower from the Preds is good provided they are in the open and can get both sponsons pointing at the target. Moving, firepower is severely restricted but with a choice of auto or lascannon, transports and tanks are still threatened.

List 3: 1850 points with Dev Squads and Typhoons

Unit Points
Belial
w/ thunder hammer and storm shield (TH/SS)
130
Deathwing Terminator 'Command' Squad 1
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
Apothecary and Banner upgrade
290
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Dev Squad (5)
w/ 4 missile launchers
170
Dev Squad (5)
w/ 4 missile launchers
170
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
  1850

Adding 10 bodies with the two Dev Squads also adds eight missile launchers! They are static (or will waste turns moving rather than shooting) so ideal deployment is critical. As they are small squads pretty much every casualty is an expensive loss — in that respect they're like the rest of the army. Saner minds might drop the Typhoons for five more bodies in each squad to mitigate against casualties. Not here — we're going for maximum damage remember.

Conclusions

Devs don't sit well here for me, but the additional frag/krak shots available are hard to pass up. The whole army shoots an impressive 22 missile shots per turn — most of which can be done while moving. Dealing with AV14 spam might be problematic with only two fragile multi-meltas though. Hopefully glances might do the trick though.

List 4: 1850 points with Dreads and Typhoons

Unit Points
Belial
w/ thunder hammer and storm shield (TH/SS)
130
Venerable Dreadnought
w/ lascannon and missile launcher
175
Venerable Dreadnought
w/ lascannon and missile launcher
175
Deathwing Terminator 'Command' Squad 1
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
Apothecary
265
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
  1835

Dreadnoughts: slightly more familiar territory. Lascannons add much needed armour punch to counter AV13/14 from the safety of range. They also provide tarpits should the need arise. Options include dropping the two Typhoons for an additional Dread. But frankly I prefer the threat-to-damage potential of the Typhoons — and that's coming from someone who believed that Dreads were the best SM units around.

Conclusions

Solid but maybe not the 'hardest' of the four lists here so far. What works in its favour is its total fire and movement capability. It also feels much more like a proper footslogging Deathwing army to handle.

List 5: 1850 points fully mechanised with AV14

Unit Points
Belial
w/ thunder hammer and storm shield (TH/SS)
130
Deathwing Terminator 'Command' Squad 1
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
Apothecary
265
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
4 x TH/SS, 1 x cyclone/TH/SS
235
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Land Speeder Typhoon w/ multi-melta
75
Land Raider Crusader
w/ pintle-mounted storm bolter
250
Land Raider Crusader
w/ pintle-mounted storm bolter
250
Land Raider 250
  1840

Just three point scoring units at 1850 is a challenge even if they are rock-hard durable and in or around AV14 vehicles. Be aware that there is plenty that can handle 3 x AV14 by either shooting or assaulting. PoTMS can come in very useful in allowing the 'Raiders to split their fire, in that sense firepower is better than the three Deathwing squads being replaced. Everything can move and fire (something) so that is a positive and racing the Raiders forwards is always fun.

So, have fun hammering stuff. If anyone's got a really good hammernator-based DW list on the go I'd love to see it.


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