Army Showcase Sunday - Renzus' Deathwatch!

This week on A.S.S we sit down with Renzus, a long-time painter, gamer, and regular of Gamersaurus Rex. His most recent project might come as a surprise to those of you who have known him for a while - read on to find out!

Well met, Captain Renzus. Many of our regulars know you as THE Chaos player, Chaos Space Marines in particular. What sparked this change of heart? And why the Deathwatch?

I’ve always had a small Deathwatch force since all the way back in 2016 when they first launched as a standalone faction, but sometime last year, a friend and I made a mutual pact to start new armies, and so I decided to follow up and complete my Deathwatch collection as a fully-sized army.

I’ve always loved the notion of the Deathwatch being comprised of individual veterans sent from each Chapter from across the galaxy, as well as the departure from the regular Space Marine aesthetic of straightforward heroism; Deathwatch Marines truly feel like special forces, undertaking high-risk missions like clandestine recovery, assassination, deep recon and sabotage. How cool is that?

So, are you a traitor?

The short answer is yes.

We see you have painstakingly painted a unique chapter symbol for most, if not all of your marines. Just how painful was that?

It was...not as bad as you might think. It was helpful to have the assorted Codexes from across the editions on hand as references. It only really got tough when some of the Chapter emblems have really thin lines, like the feathers of a bird, or if it’s especially stylized like the Howling Griffons. But more to the point, I needed a lot of colours of paint that I didn’t normally work with.

Any special chapters you want to mention?

A lot of them are mentioned somewhere in your average Space Marine codex or supplement, so it’s not hard to find them. But one of them in particular, my Primaris Apothecary, belongs to one of my friend’s personal homebrew chapters, the Imperial Swords. Shoutout to Valerie Goh in this regard! Apothecary Glabius continues to be a valuable member of the Deathwatch.

Apart from the chapter symbols, it looks like there are some recognisable references here. That hat looks awfully familiar…

Yes, as a little personal touch, I decided to toss in little easter eggs here and there. The Phobos Captain already looked quite a lot like a certain SAS officer from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, so all I needed was his signature boonie hat, crafted from green stuff. Bonus friendship points from me if you can recognize which video games the references are from!

And is that the XCOM insignia on their kneepads?

That is indeed. Which might explain them taking 99% shots and inexplicably missing them. We’ll get them next time!

It is so cool to see what pop culture influences inspire our players and hobbyists, and how that turns out on the tabletop. Speaking of the tabletop, what’s the general strategy and play style for these guys?

The important thing about the Deathwatch is that they have a lot of ways for their player to adapt to the mission or their opponents, starting from deployment all the way to during actual gameplay. Their mixed squad compositions synergizes well with certain defensive relics available only to the Deathwatch, resulting in a Space Marine army that’s tougher than usual (admittedly not as tough as Deathwing or Death Guard).

One of their biggest strengths is being able to give Objective Secured to models that don’t usually have them, like Outrider bikes or Eradicators. The Kill Teams also lets me create mixed squads that lets me control which models take damage from certain weapon types.

And finally, one of the most standout stratagems is the ability to select a Deathwatch unit and replace their default Alien Hunters Chapter Tactic with any other Chapter Tactic from the Space Marine Codex. Need a burst of speed to close the gap? White Scars! Need to weather a storm of long-ranged firepower? Raven Guard! Need that extra killing punch in melee combat? Blood Angels! It’s served me well so far, and definitely taken some opponents by surprise!


With such a reactive, adaptable play style, I’m sure there have been some fun moments, maybe during one of GRex’s past tournaments or during the Mithras Crusade?

Definitely. On one occasion, I’ve had my Fortis Kill Team of Intercessors and Outriders use both the Brotherhood of Veterans stratagem, as well as the Deathwatch’s Relentless Assault stratagem, to fall back, shoot and then charge.

On another, I’ve used the Beacon Angelis relic to teleport my Apothecary over to a weakened flank so that he could heal wounded and revive fallen models. Lots of fun moments!

It’s been a truly enlightening time talking about your army, Captain Renzus. Before we go, any sage advice for aspiring Deathwatch players, or new players in general?

Keep calm under pressure. It’s a more important skill than is immediately apparent. Also, know your codex. Understanding which strategies are integral to your army’s playstyle is key no matter who you’re facing. Just because a certain stratagem looks weak or niche doesn’t mean it won’t be useful, since you’ll often find yourself in very strange situations when both armies start bleeding strength and it comes down to the wire. And most importantly, of course, have fun!

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