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I have recently really been digging the release of the Deathwatch book. Its really got my imagination flowing, but it sure does make the common table top space marines look like shrimp.
I was wondering if it would be possible to come up with a list that could go toe to toe with any other 2250 army, but required a lot of skill to use, and used a very small count of models. Similar to what the old Last Chancers list was.
Does anyone have any ideas?
What if you ran 10 Tac Marines at T5, and 1 Venerable Dreadnaught and then An inquisitor to lead them.
But if you want to go along the lines of that, why not try using some existing rules to represent your Deathwatch?
I could well imagine using Codex: Dark Angels Deathwing rules and just have your models use the rules for terminators (but represent them with your Deathwatch Marine miniatures). You can have tough Troops (tough enough to actually survive a game, whereas T5 marines have no chance standing up against a 2,250 points army - Plague Marines have T5 and Feel No Pain and some extra equipment like defensive grenades, but even 30 of those wouldn't stand the hint of a chance...) and your Venerable Dreadnought, and you can easily include an Inquisitor using the allies rules of Codex: Daemonhunters or Codex: Witchhunters.
This way you could have your low-model-count Deathwatch Marines plus Venerable Dreadnought and Inquisitor army that stands a chance but requires some skill to use.
Hope that helps! Good luck. May your dice fall favorably.
Another option is to field them units of Sternguard painted up as Deathwatch - they're a powerful unit, and quite similar in wargear and rules to the old Chapter Approved rules for a Deathwatch Killteam. From there, you could add some Scout Marines as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, and whatever other units you like painted however you want to represent attached units from your marine chapter of choice.
I love that you guys are replying so passionately to my question. I was worried no one would help.
They suggestions so far have been about as good as I can get, but I think I am trying to think out of the box a little bit. I am trying to recreate that feel from an RpG. Your one hero is a super badass and these 10 marines could probably take out an hq choice. Even a greater daemon or a tank. Deathwatch marines always do crazy tricks with grenades to take out vehicles. In the fluff for the book, deathwatch marines are always killing xenos that well would outrank them on the tabletop.
Also, its much more scenic when marines don't just disapear off the table, but one guy gets his arms shot and he can't use this power sword anymore, or one guy gets shot in the leg and you have to leave him behind. This is the reasoning behind my next idea and let me know if it sounds crazy.
I was thinking that you could resolve the marines as if they were vehicles. Immobilized would mean then have a hurt leg and take a movement penalty. Damaged weapon means their hand was hurt and they can't fire with that hand. Also, each marine would count as an independent character.
I'm sure another space marine player playing against me would think I'm crazy but this is mainly for fun and I will be playing against xenos armies.
I see the limitations of this. First lets assume they have a ton of cover so they arn't just vaporized where they stand.
This is a problem of the table-top representation: judging by the fiction, a tactical squad of Space Marines should suffice to take on a 1,000 point enemy army. But if Space Marines were that good, Games Workshop wouldn't sell enough models. And - don't get me wrong - that's unfortunately what it's all about...
Some time in fourth edition there used to be inofficial rules for a Space Marine "army" that could live up to its reputation and fluff. (I think they came in a White Dwarf.)
One tactical marine was 100 points: he had WS 5, BS5, S6, T6, W2, I5, A3, Ld9, Sv3+ with re-roll, and a 3+ invulnerable save (without re-roll). Bolters were 36" S6 AP4 Assault 4 Rending. Grenades were 6" S8 AP3 Blast. Each model was its own unit and had Fleet, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, and Acute Senses. Their close combat weapons gave them Rending in the assault as well.
The sergeant had better stats and his chainsword was plain awesomeness. You could of course also have one missile launcher and one flamer with insane rules, and one Space Marine hero who was a sort-of subsergeant. Their transport was AV13 in the front, AV12 on the side, AV11 in the rear. Despite of being individual units, several Space Marines (10 in a rhino and 6 in a razorback, as usual) could be transported inside. The twin-linked lascannon was 60" S10 AP1 Ordnance1 Twin-Linked Instant-Kill-Regardless-of-Toughness and hit every model along its line of fire until you either failed your to hit roll for one of the models (unlikely with BS5 and a re-roll) or a model that was hit survived - though the strength of the hit was reduced by 1 for each model in the line that had been hit before...
On top of that you could also buy a limited number of "stunt doubles" which were basically a number of ignored failed saves: if you failed a save (either your invulnerable save or your re-rolled armor save) you could remove one stunt double instead of reducing the actual model's wounds.
Well, needless to say those rules are insane. When we used them for a test game back in fourth edition I didn't even have a full tactical squad, but I annihilated a Necron army without losing a single model. And, mind you, Necrons suck nowadays, but they were really strong in fourth edition!
Something like this can be done, but it must be done in a reasonable fashion to a reasonable extent - and even then I'm not quite sure how fun it is, especially for the opponent. Even if the rules are balanced it is a psychological law that your opponent will get frustrated very quickly because he gets to have few moments of success if your army is so elite. Even when he does quite well it will not overtly appear so on the tabletop. So many of his units will be removed while the Space Marines keep going on...
I think what he's describing is the "Movie Marines" pdf that is floating around. Red's correct. The rules were found in the US #300 White Dwarf edition.
Yeh i've still got that WD lying around my house somewhere. Those marines were brutal and could destroy any armies we put them up against, even as a tactical squad v. a 1500pt army!
Now though, with the increase in AT weapons, and with codex creep making the new 'dexes more powerful it might be nice to try out the movie marines, see if they're still the "autowin".
If you want a more reasonable deathwatch army though i'd go with the sternguard, scouts, lord inquisitor route that others have sugested. Hell throw Pedro Kantor in there to make he sternguard scoring, call him an inquisitor with no psychic powers in fluff if you want.
Some other additions could be things like a thunderfire cannon, hell that comes with a tech-marine so you could grab a unit of servitors to run around with Pedro, be his "inquisitorial retinue".
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