I just got the Deathwatch Codex and it was worth the decade-long wait. Certain websites that shall remain nameless have had this Codex on their "next 8-12 months" for almost that entire decade. Rumors are such garbage.
It took GW more than a few tried to get Daemonhunters/Grey Knights/Ordo Malleus right and some could say that they still are not a well-rounded army. They have never done justice to Sisters of Battle with numerous chances and it almost seems misogynistically intentional at this point. While I can't say that this is a "home run on the first try" situation that we have here but is a darn good for a first try.
Deathwatch is going to suffer from what every Astartes army suffers from and that is being out numbered, except Deathwatch (like Grey Knights) runs the risk of being out numbered by Astartes. All of these armies lack a cheep troops choice. There were several things that I was shocked to see didn't make it into this book that were part of 40k cannon, but I was really shocked to see Scouts missing. GW seems to have a problem moving that dated box set. They would not even have to release anything new to include them though a Deathwatch Scout arm like the one I made would be pretty awesome.
I can kind of see why they skipped Scouts though as it opens up a whole can of worms. If you include Scouts, then people will want Land Speeder Storms. If there are Land Speeder Storms, then people will want regular Land Speeders. GW only likes to give regular Astartes access to the neat toys. It still would have been nice to see a more well-rounded Codex.
Another thing missing shocked me so much that I had to check it three times before I would believe it. Terminators and Storm Bolters in general, do not have Special Ammunition. I have speculated about this for ages and for it not to be included in this army is almost criminal. As it stands, the Deathwatch fields Terminators that are different in no way from regular Astartes (aside from the number of special weapons they can take). GW had the chance to make the shooty Terminator the king of the battlefield again like it was in the good old days. They included profiles for Special Ammunition for pistols and the new Stalker-pattern Bolter but eschewed the Storm Bolter all together.
In my head cannon, the Storm Bolter Special Ammunition would have the same ranges as the Bolter but Assault 2 rather than Rapid Fire. This makes the Terminator units super deadly and would require a complete revision of their points costs. No only would their base cost need to be somewhere in the 50-55 points range (at least 10 point increase over where they currently are) but also of all the weapons they can swap out. Now the cost/benefit dynamic has changed. It is a whole can of worms to open up but I think that they would have made Deathwatch Terminators the new "must have" unit.
I have not really had much of a chance to dig deep into the Codex yet and decide what I need to buy. The good news is that I have a Company of Space Marines in bits and more than enough Deathwatch pauldrons to make my Deathwatch army. The only things that I will need to buy are the new things.
Speaking of new, I will be buying a formation of Corvis Blackstars as soon as I can. I really only want two but the formation that lets you reroll to wound and armor penetration on Flyers and Monstrous Creatures is too good not to have access to. I think I will start with two and then try and pick up or trade for the third later once the excitement dies down.
I also need the Watch Commander figure. I love the rules for the halberd thing and the mini is cool. The Terminator one seems phoned in but I may get it for fun.
I will also need 4 boxes of the Deathwatch Kill Teams if only for the Infernus Heavy Bolter. That thing is sexy. The added bonus are shotguns and fun bits like those Storm Shields.