Death Guard vs Salamanders (1750 pts)


I had a match against a new opponent, he had an entirely infantry based Space Marines army painted up as a custom Chapter.  He had bikes, but there are infantry models sat on them so I’ll call them infantry, but there were no tanks or other vehicles.  The army looked great and was full of character.

So we had two fully painted armies on the table, not a hint of grey plastic anywhere.  I understand and have no issue playing against armies that aren’t “finished”.  It doesn’t affect the game at all and finding time for modelling is hard.  But I will say that it’s so nice, and looks so great, when everything is fully painted up.

List Theory

I built the list around a Poxwalker horde and a fast moving group of flying units.  The Poxwalkers would be buffed by Typhus and also given some anti-armour punch with two Foul Blightspawns. The flyers would be three Bloat Drones and a Daemon Prince.  The horde would be there to either sit on something at the backfield or to slowly spread across the table and grab something on the other side.  They’re slow to move and react so I would have an objective for them and stick to it.  The fast movers would circle the Prince and protect him from gunfire while also being able to zoom around the table and grab objectives or deal with enemies as appropriate.  A final element to my army would be two Plagueburst Crawlers and a unit of Cultists.  The Crawlers would probably stick with the Poxwalkers but are actually pretty speedy so could charge about as required.  The Cultists were there to screen or objective grab depending on the mission and my opponent’s list.

This is exactly the same list that I played against the Dark Angels with, and the reasons were similar  I wasn’t quite sure what I was up against and wanted something that I hoped would be reliable and could cover a few bases (speed, board control & shooting).

Set Up


We were running late and just went for the Front Line Warfare mission from Chapter Approved.  Four objectives were on the table, two in no-man’s land worth 2 points each and then one in each of our deployment zones that was worth 4 points to our enemy or 1 point to ourselves.  All points were to be scored at the end of the game.

Due to running running late and facing a new opponent for the first time I was somewhat flustered and blew my deployment, I left my Cultists and Foul Blightspawn in my box until quite late.  So I really didn’t think too hard about what to do with them.  My Blightspawns ended up stuck right at the back of my Poxwalkers with no way forwards and also bottling Typhus in.  My Cultists I just stuck off to one side in some scenery, I’ve no idea why.  I knew I was facing deep striking Terminators but the penny just did not drop.

The Crawlers went to one side of the Pox Walkers, where they would have their advance slowed by a hedge, awesome placement…

The Salamanders won the roll for the first turn.

The Game

We only managed three turns, and they went something like this….

Salamander Turn 1


The bikers and Inceptors shot down my right flank and destroyed the Cultists, First Blood to the Salamanders.  The rest of the Marines blazed away at my army, the took down some Poxwalkers and chipped some wounds off of the Daemon Engines but nothing that unduly concerned me.

Death Guard Turn 1



I took down quite a few Marines but didn’t manage to wipe out any units, this would be a problem as the Salamanders heavy weapons began to take a toll.  But look at what I’ve done, Typus is all bottle up and the rear of my mob is left open..

Salamander Turn 2

More chipping away at my army, I think one of my Crawlers went Boom! but nothing too worrying.  However two units of Terminators and a Chaplain dropped in behind my horde and charged into melee combat.  My Foul Blightspawn survived but would have to withdraw next turn and so wouldn’t be shooting, which is a problem, and they were also bottling in Typhus who couldn’t get into the fight.

Death Guard Turn 2

The Blightspawns withdrew leaving the coast clear for Typhus, the Prince and the Melee equipped Drone to get stuck into the Terminators and Chaplain.  They wiped them out.

My Terminators dropped in behind the Marine’s line and took a battering from a stratagem that allowed the Marines to shoot at them.  Excellent rolling from the Salamanders and rubbish saves and Disgustingly Resilient rolls from me meant I lost two or three of the five man unit immediately.  Their fire back was pretty rubbish and I don’t think I killed a single Marine.

The other units continued to chip away at the Marines.

Salamander Turn 3

More shooting but, to be honest, nothing that was too serious for me, I lost the last of my Terminators but they were so reduced that it didn’t feel too bad.  It was now going OK.

Death Guard Turn 3

My Foul Blightspawn finally sort themselves out and one of them gets shooting and single handedly wipes out the Bikers who were continuing to drive around my flank.

More Marines were taken down and my Poxwalkers were on the cusp of getting their rotten hands onto the Marines guarding the objective in their deployment zone.

And then we had to call it a night.

The winner was?

At the end of turn three the Salamanders were sitting on one 2 point objective and one 1 point one, they also had First Blood.  I had nothing, I could have easily grabbed 3 points of objectives but just played on as if the game was going to last longer.

Post Game Thoughts

One of the big reasons I stated writing my games down in a Blog was in the hope that I would remember stuff, and it’s clearly not working too well.

  • Death to the False Emperor!  I keep forgetting this…  Many Death Guard units have this, a hit roll of a 6 in melee combat will generate another hit roll.  A few more hits is always appreciated.
  • Foul Blightspawns cause enemy units that charged a friendly unit within 7″ of the Blightspawn to fight as if they hadn’t charged.  I triggered the Counter Offensive stratagem to let my Poxwalkers fight after a charging unit had, this was unneccesary.
  • I should have screened with the Cultists!  This might have stopped the Salamanders getting First Blood and would have stopped my Blightspawns having to withdraw and not shoot.
  • I should have left lanes clear so that my Blightspawns could Advance out of the Poxwalker horde and shoot things, they only did any firing in turn 3 and that’s entirely my fault.
  • Death Guard need their time.  The longer a game goes on the more the resilience of the Death Guard will come to the fore.  We had to end just as my big melee blob was about to go to work.
  • Should I have chased the points?  A 1 point loss looks a lot better than a 4 point one, but I don’t think I should have done.  As said above Death Guard need their time, this is something I learned a long time ago.  I thought it better to continue to play my army as it would have been played in a “full” 5 turn game than to drop back and just snaffle up some easy objectives.
  • Reacting to the Terminators deep striking my rear with the Daemon Prince and a Drone might have seemed like overkill and a poor use of units.  But they’re fast and can reposition quickly so it seemed like the smart thing to do.  They did also wipe out the Terminators and free up my melee mob to push onwards across the table.
  • The Salamanders have a Chapter Tactic that allows them to re-roll one to hit roll and one wound roll for every combat, shooting or melee, that they engage in.  When you have, what I presume is, a tactical squad with one heavy weapon you can save the re-roll for that weapon and it becomes incredibly powerful.  Casualties can be taken on the cheaper and less important bolter carrying Marines.

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP [98 PL, 1750pts]

HQ [18 PL, 355pts]

  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Arch-Contaminator, Malefic talon [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Warlord, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]
  • Typhus [9 PL, 175pts]: 5. Putrescent Vitality, 6. Curse of the Leper

Troops [18 PL, 284pts]

  • Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 44pts]: 10x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [40pts]
    Cultist Champion [4pts]: Autogun
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 120pts]: 20x Poxwalker [120pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 120pts]: 20x Poxwalker [120pts]

Elites [22 PL, 379pts]

  • Blightlord Terminators [14 PL, 225pts]
    Blightlord Champion [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]

Fast Attack [24 PL, 452pts]

  • Foetid Bloat-drone [8 PL, 158pts]: 2x Plaguespitters [34pts], Plague probe [25pts]
  • Foetid Bloat-drone [8 PL, 158pts]: 2x Plaguespitters [34pts], Plague probe [25pts]
  • Foetid Bloat-drone [8 PL, 136pts]: Fleshmower [12pts], Plague probe [25pts]

Heavy Support [16 PL, 280pts]

  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 140pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [34pts], Heavy slugger [6pts]
  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 140pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [34pts], Heavy slugger [6pts]


One thought on “Death Guard vs Salamanders (1750 pts)

  1. Pingback: Death Guard vs Space Marines (1750 pts) – Plague Gardening

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