I love the look of the Deathmarks - when the pictures of the models were first leaked I'm on record as saying "No matter how bad they are, I'm getting them into a list".  Then I made my lists (and assembled my Immortal/Deathmark kits) and there was nary a Deathmark in sight.  Was I wrong?  Let's take a look with the help of some wonderful mathhammer!


Hunters from Hyperspace
Deathmarks are an Elites choice (boo!) sharing the slot with some very nice choices (the Stalker being the big stand out), but are actually released.  They cost slightly more than an Immortal, which given their similar roles will serve as our point of comparison.  Like Immortals they can choose a Night Scythe transport, but can also Deep Strike if you're so inclined.  They do not score, however, and this can be a big factor.

They have identical stat lines, so let's look at their primary role - shooting the face off the enemy:

10 Deathmaks firing their Synaptic Disintegrators:

At 24" (while stationary) - 10 shots, 6.6 hits, 1.82 unsaved wounds against MEQ
At 12" (Rapid Fire!) - 20 shots, 13.2 hits, 3.64 unsaved wounds against MEQ

10 Immortals firing their Gauss Blasters:

At 24" (while stationary) - 10 shots, 6.6 hits, 1.44 unsaved wounds against MEQ
At 12" (Rapid Fire!) - 20 shots, 13.2 hits, 2.88 unsaved wounds against MEQ

So, when comparing Immortals and Deathmarks in this manner the Deathmarks come out on top (even adjusted for the higher points cost the Deathmarks are more points-efficient in killing MEQ).  Gauss Immortals do more damage to 4+ save targets due to their AP4, but this isn't a common enough enemy to really work out (you want to kill Space Marines, not Fire Warriors).

Lightning Manipulation for Fun and Profit
Immortals don't only come with Gauss Blasters though...

10 Immortals firing their Tesla Carbines:

At 24" (we're Assault 1) - 10 shots, 10 hits (Tesla ftw), 2.18 unsaved wounds against MEQ

So. now we're better than Deathmarks at range and we can even move around and still reach out and touch someone at full distance.  Up close the Deathmarks run away with it, but if you move around a lot on foot then the Tesla Immortals have more turns of shooting to make up for their lower efficiency.

Marked For Death
We are ignoring a key role that the Deathmarks can fulfil here though.  They're assassins and they're good at it. If they mark an MEQ unit, the numbers start to change.  If they mark a monstrous creature they can really cause trouble.

10 Deathmarks against a marked MEQ target:

At 24" - 10 shots, 6.6 hits, 2.54 unsaved wounds.
At 12" - 20 shots, 13.2 hits, 5.08 unsaved wounds.

Those are better numbers.  Ripping half the Marines out of a unit opposite is pretty powerful, but you can only mark one unit so you better be sure you want them dead.  But we've already said Deathmarks shine in taking down those pesky MCs, so let's take a look at that:

10 Deathmarks against a marked Tyranid MC (T6, 3+):

At 24" - 10 shots, 6.6 hits, 2.54 unsaved wounds.
At 12" - 20 shots, 13.2 hits, 5.08 unsaved wounds.

Oh yeah, Sniper!  Same numbers against any target with the same saving throw.  MCs rarely get cover too, so we don't have that to worry about.  Five wounds is nearly a whole Tyranid MC right there in one turn, but it has cost you nearly two hundred points for that kind of fire power.

Winter is Coming
Bring out the Wolf Cheese!
Long Fangs are pretty damn good at the MC hunting job too, let's take a look how they stack up.

6 Long Fangs (5 MLs) against a Tyranid MC (T6, 3+):

At 48" (stationary) - 5 shots, 3.3 hits, 2.75 unsaved wounds.

The Long Fang unit is cheaper, but if we adjust for that, we find we get the following figures:

Long Fangs at any range: 1.96 wounds per 100 points
Deathmarks at range: 1.34 wounds per 100 points
Deathmarks up close: 2.68 wounds per 100 points

Comparable.  Given the Deathmark's ability to Deep Strike (and their odd "probably designed for 6th" ambush rule) you could conceivably be in Rapid Fire range on your first strike.  You need to hit hard and you need support otherwise that whole 190 point unit is lost after the first strike though.  Long Fangs bring range and the ability to sit in cover affecting three quarters of the board space.  Difficult to compare but Necrons are a mid field army.  We don't hunker up at the back - we simply don't have the range for that kind of play.  If the Deathmarks had a way to threaten the back of tanks we'd be set for all comers but until the FAQ we have X strength on our rifles and thus no ability to harm any AV over 9.

The Bottom Line
So, what's my point with all this?  If you've got the Troops choices you need you'd do a lot worse than considering Deathmarks to fill out some more anti-infantry fire.  They serve us well as MC hunters and we don't have much else to fill that role for us (though our Annihilation Barges make a good showing and Wraiths can really do this well).  If you can get a lucky Entropic Strike into the MC your Deathmarks will truly shine in eliminating them (think Harp of Dissonance).

I really like how Games Workshop are filling more and more of the armies with these choices that don't stand up to direct mathematical comparison due to movement concerns and other gameplay effects.  Any unit that favours being played well over simply being flat-out better for the points is a well-designed unit in my book.  Really makes coming to a satisfying conclusion on articles such as this difficult though.

I'd really like to see more on this unit.  I love the fluff and aesthetic of the unit, so let's get them working people! Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...