Hive Fleet Dagon’s advance into the worlds of the Orpheus Salient is implacable. With each new world overcome, the Tyranid Swarm gains in potency and the Crusade forces lose resources necessary for their desperate defense. The Deathwatch has become an essential asset to the Imperial forces, as their focused abilities provide the Crusade with necessary reprieve from the most hazardous of duties. The Deathwatch are often used when all other options have been exhausted, forcing the Space Marines to solve situations that have become truly dire. In several cases, Battle-Brothers have been martyred trying to preserve the lives of others. To cope with these extreme conditions, the Kill-teams within the Salient have learnt to refocus their abilities so that other units might survive to fight another day. At the same time, these Space Marines have developed means of coordination to improve their own chances of survival.
Oath for the Fallen
When facing the might of Hive Fleet Dagon, even the might of the Imperium can prove an insufficient defense. Millions have been devoured by the Tyranid swarm that rushes through the systems of the Orpheus Salient. For many, there are no survivors to recount their memories. For others, friends and comrades recall how their lives were snuffed out far too soon by the xenos invaders. Even a few of the elite Deathwatch Space Marines have succumbed to this brutal assault.
Cost: 300 XP
Prerequisite: Tactical Marine, Apothecary, or Assault Marine
Effect: As the Kill-team prepares for the mission, they share their memories of those who have fallen in battle against the Tyranid swarm. These meetings are carefully archived, so that the memories of those martyred may be added to the Deathwatch archives and retold to future members. With the tragic tales fresh in their hearts, the Battle-Brothers vow to not fail the memories of those who have gone before. They focus on both vengeance and their sacred duty. For the duration of the mission, each member of the kill team receives 5 Temporary Wounds. Unlike normal Wounds, these bonus Wounds are removed when affected by the Damage of any successful attack, and are always removed first before applying Damage to the Battle-Brother’s normal Wounds. When the Mission is completed, these bonus Wounds are lost.
Squad Mode Abilities: Lure, Tactical Spacing, Soak Fire
Oath of Cleansing
Once a system has become tainted with a Tyranid infection, overcoming that disease is a virtually impossible task. These xenos infest a world from the microbial level, and virtually
every organism is capable of growing, mutating, and developing to eventually replicate most other strains of the Tyranid swarm. To eliminate this threat, any portion of a system that has played host to Hive Fleet Dagon must be thoroughly cleansed. In fact, some portions must be sterilized, before native forms of life may be safely reintroduced.
Cost: 250 XP
Prerequisite: Devastator Marine, Techmarine, or Librarian
Effect: Kill-teams that are assigned a mission to completely eliminate a Tyranid force often choose to swear an Oath of Cleansing. These Space Marines typically choose weapons that are capable of inflicting massive amounts of damage over a large area. When facing the Tyranid swarm, collateral damage is rarely a concern. Instead, it is far more important that the xenos be cleansed before they have time to expand further. Kill-teams that choose this Oath are devoted to thoroughly annihilating all vestiges of Tyranid infection. They may reroll their damage on any successful attacks made with Blast weapons.
Squad Mode Abilities: Purge with Fire, Strongpoint, Tunnel Advance
Oath of Illumination
Hive Fleet Dagon’s forces are certainly capable of effective ranged combat, but their capabilities in this regard pale next to the awesome might of the Imperium’s artillery. Crusade forces are most likely to win engagements against the Tyranid swarm when they can turn a battle into a protracted long range fight. As a consequence, it is essential for these units to begin firing at the most extreme range possible, and maintain a blistering rain of explosives to stop the horde from further advance.
Cost: 250 XP
Prerequisite: Librarian, Devastator Marine, or Tactical Marine
Effect: Space Marines that expect to support an Imperial stronghold against Tyranid assault often expect to assist in both the long ranged and short-ranged portions of the battle. As expert marksmen, a Kill-team can often eliminate huge swaths of Tyranids before the xenos have an opportunity to fire their bioweapons. If the Battle-Brothers choose to swear an Oath of Illumination, they undergo extensive rights of cleansing upon their eyes and other sensory organs. Visual acuity is temporarily enhanced with the addition of neurochemicals at the same time as fragile enhanced sights are requisitioned for their standard armaments. With these additional enhancements in play, the Kill-team reduces the penalty for Long Range fire to 0 and the difficulty for Extreme Range to –20.
Squad Mode Abilities: Selective Targeting, Fire by Ranks, Fire for Effect
Oath of Preservation
On worlds under the assault of Hive Fleet Dagon, it is often vital to preserve some Imperial assets so that they may be used for future battles. In these instances, it may be acceptable
to sacrifice raw materials, replaceable stores, or even some military forces so that a vital manufactory, specialized combat unit, or command staff might survive to fight once more.
The officers of the Orpheus Salient are forced to make these decisions on a daily basis as the Hive Fleet continues to grow in size and potency.
Cost: 250 XP
Prerequisite: Assault Marine, Tactical Marine, or Apothecary
Effect: Deathwatch Kill-teams that expect to be inserted into an extremely hostile environment may choose to swear an Oath of Preservation. Under this Oath’s direction, they focus all of their efforts on keeping themselves and their allies alive, by whatever means are necessary. While slaying the enemy remains a focus, diverting it is generally a higher priority. In these circumstances, the enemy often has substantial advantages over even the most stalwart of Kill-teams, so they must focus on insuring survival. For the duration of the mission, all Kill-team members receive a +10 bonus to any Dodge or Parry Reactions taken.
Squad Mode Abilities: Dig In, Hold the Line, Go to Ground