Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition – Guide to Formations of The XVII

The guide of how the XVII marches towards its glorious victory on derelicts and asteroid cave interiors alike. Facing whatever man or beast or both! Using only pure discipline through formations and ingenuity through the ever vigilant tactical minds of its operators.

All About Formations of The XVII

Formations of The XVII

Note: The following information to be received about gameplay strategy requires discipline and logic, it is rhetorical that one’s team is to be be balanced both in classes and equipment to accomplish the following Formations.

The Advancement Formation (“TAF”)

Is the standard issue marching formation of a team of Terminator Space Marines vs the incoming hordes of Tyranids. The team however must stand close together like one fighting machine if they are to make it through the hard times ahead. The formation goes like this;

(Front) Heavy -> Librarian -> Apothecary -> Tactical -> Chaplain -> Assault (Rear)

Heavy Weapons

Need more open view to shoot their weapons more effectively. The most recommended weapons are the Plasma Cannon and/or the Assault Cannon.


Work better as crowd control for the heavy as well as a fire support from behind with the powerful lighting bolt and the inferno against giant Genestealers.


Support their “most-likely-to-be-damaged” team mates (heavy and / or librarian) as well as their tanky team mates by staying in the middle. Note that the apothecaries only have the ability to defend themselves in combat but do not possess enough fire power to support their teams by themselves. The rocket launcher “Hellfire” stuns foes from afar or close up if they come near team formation thus making the enemy easier to kill. The most recommended scope with the Hellfire is the Invisibility Detection.


Are fairly tough with a servo skull that can assist the team as additional firepower, they can help both front and rear team parts but they cant handle their own unless well equipped. But they perfrom admirably once in a team formation. They can also revive one person at a time.


Are tougher than the tactical with a better reviving ability and more toughness perks to help watch the back of the team as they advance


While the team advances forward they need not worry about their rear so the job of the sternguard assault brothers is to supress and eliminate any attack coming from the back of the team with the help of either chaplains to take their posts as they heal or tacticals and their servo skulls during all times

The formation must be applied thus; two players at the front holding and two at the back, or in tight spaces such as tunnels and door ways only one at a time, but they can switch places to heal and perform where the team requires help most. Team flexibility does not stop at that, the secondary rear member be they Chaplain or Tactical can support both front and back with a Flamer or the Tactical’s Servo Skull. Note that the chaplain can trade places with the Assault once they are damaged or unable to fight.

The Square Formation (“TSF”) 

It is where the team needs to hold the line, perhaps an important team member has fallen or the objective stated that the team must stand their ground for a period of time. There is only one way to do it: The Square Formation (sometimes triangle if only 3 players are available (“TTF”)). It consists of having the ranged members of the team to hold their backs against the wall and pointing their volleys of fire at the front where the enemy is charging while the Assault class deals with close up enemies that broke through the line of fire. Apothecaries can move back and fourth to heal certain damaged members while Chaplains and Tacticals with flamers can help enforce the front along with the Assault class thus putting two players at the front and two at the back making a square.

The Shock And Awe Formation (“SAW”)

It helps the team handle giant Genestealers when not in a place with any cover. Both Librarian and / or Assault and / or Chaplain must stand firm infront of the Genestealer circling them for a period of time as their Apothecary brothers utilize their Hellfire handheld rocket launchers to stun the target or other approaching contacts as they heal their damaged team mates while the Heavy weapons specialist aims for the head of the giant Genestealer for a better chance to land a critical thus making short work of the overgrown insect.

Note: Headshots grant Double damage and +50% critical chance.

Also Chaplains must use their second or third ability to endure the Genestealer’s attacks, however the third ability reflects all the target’s damage helping quicken the takedown process. Assault must never let their guard down as the Genestealer might attempt to use the lightning strike against them causing instant death. The Heavy weapons bearer is recommended to use first and third abilities when firing at the target increasing damage and rate of fire and so reducing recoil all to help quicken the takedown process. However the middle ability grants use of a mine to use if the target decides to rush towards the Heavy unit.

Heavy Weapons Specialist can also be carrying Plasma Cannons which can stun the giant Genestealer for a moment, take note for a moment the overgrown insect can unleash its lighting strike killing the Heavy weapons handler in an instant. Thus the Chaplain and Assault are needed to taunt and draw away the attention of the giant Genestealer whilst utilizing their abilities to endure whatever quick attack there can be. The Apothecaries will still heal and perform their usual duties of clearing off the lesser ambushing Tyranids until the team is done taking down the bigger prey.

The Back to Back Formation (“BTB”)

It is to be applied where only two team mates remain. No matter what their classes, they must hold their ground using all the abilities they have got saving the best for last and the toughest team member up front. Blocking is extremely necessary to endure The hordes for a short time until the rest of the team arrives. If there are only two members available per deployment, one must be an apothecary and the other must be a front liner (see the top for more information) The quicker, the better: The duo must never let their guard down nor let their feet rest, mission must be completed at high speed or the hordes will mass on the team in ceaseless groups killing them in a matter of minutes. Giant Genestealers must be outrun at all costs if one is not carrying the plasma cannon, seek small doors to escape the wrath of these overgrown insects, keep vigil for suicidal bombers and stealth Genestealers, they can be the way to an instant and painful death…

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13561 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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