View Full Version : Deathwatch Shoulder Pads

20-03-2013, 21:47
I have not read all the new deathwatch fluff but GW keep putting the Deathwatch shoulderpads on the left shoulder. I remember in older fluff that chapters left there chapter colours and only switched out their unit shoulder pad. Since Chapter insignia goes on the left shoulder do they just switch it when they join deathwatch?

20-03-2013, 22:27
Yes. Deathwatch-markings supercede Chapter-markings in this case. Also, as there's no need for tactical, devastator or assault-markings in the Deathwatch, the chapter-colours are instead used to distinguish between the different marines. I suspect the reasoning is partly symbolic, as a Deathwatch Marine leaves his parent Chapter to take on a higher purpose, and that his membership of the Deathwatch is deemed more important than where he came from, while still acknowledging his Chapter-heritage.

21-03-2013, 00:23
There's also the fact that the Deathwatch usually deploys as single, small (5-10 strong) kill teams, rather than a large force. What this means is that there's no need to differentiate based on the Codex mandated squad roles, since the kill team is by definition supposed to be a versatile, self sustained unit that can adjust to a variety of threats, and react to rapidly changing conditions. I'm not sure whether that means they only field marines who have served tours as all three roles (assault, devastator, tactical), or whether they deliberatley mix and match squads depending on the experience level of the marines they're being sent.

21-03-2013, 03:41
Also, while the deshtwatch chapter emblem replaces the old chapter iconography, they still maintain their original chapter heraldry on the opposite shoulderpad to not only honour their parent chapter but also to appease their armours machine spirit (as they believe completely defacing of the original chapter colours might offend machine spirit, at least I seem to remember that was the case when the desthwatch were first detailed).

21-03-2013, 08:06
Current fluff says that when a marine joins Deathwatch the right pad is removed and stored, the left pad with Chapter insignia is trasferred to the right side, the left arm is painted silver and finally a new left shoulder pad with Deathwatch symbol is attached.

So they have original Chapter insignia on RIGHT and silver Deathwatch insignia on LEFT. Also, Deathwatch marines do not wear company or squad insignia or other specialist markers than apothecary or librarian honours (mostly in knee pads). Sergeant status does not exist at all. The only markings in the Deathwatch armour are original chapter, deathwatch, possible honours (silver skull, marksman badge, crux terminatus and so on) and rank markings for Watch Captain and Watch Commander.