Death Guard vs Salamanders (1750 pts)


My first game of 2019 is a rematch against the Space Marines that I beat in my last game of 2018.  This time the Space Marines were all Salamanders, which means lots and lots of re-rolls.

List Theory

I wanted to try Terminators again.  The last time I used them the Space Marines played a stratagem that allowed a squad to fire on a unit as it teleports onto the table.  This pretty much nuked my Terminators and they never got to do anything.  But I was prepared this time, the stratagem has a range of 12″, and my Terminators can rapid fire out to 18″.  So I’m intending on deep striking more than 12″ away from those pesky Devastator Squads with their multiple heavy weapons…

I also wanted Plague Marines on the table again, so my list was very similar to my last game but I dropped the Melee Marines and the Rhinos in exchange for taking two squads of shooty Marines.

The plan would be that the Daemon Prince and his Drones would act as fast moving objective grabbers but would also be ready to handle any deep striking Terminators that might appear behind my lines.  The Plagueburst Crawlers would get up close and dirty with the enemy as quickly as they could while the Marines either held the back or lumbered forwards.  The squad of Poxwalkers would lurk at the back to hold objectives, and to buy time if the Prince and Drones were needed, but could also be buffed by Typhus if I needed that.

Set Up

We rolled the “Supplies from Above” mission from Chapter Approved.  This puts four objective markers on the table that can drift around at the start of each turn.  It is also another mission where one army deploys entirely first and then the other.  The Marines deployed first and set up along one side while I then set up along the other.

I was able to drop my Poxwalkers onto an objective and have them in cover, very handy.


The Game

The Space Marines forced the Death Guard to take the first turn.  The Death Guard are, perhaps surprisingly, an army that wants to get up close and dirty (literally).  So me having the first turn isn’t ideal, I wouldn’t be doing a lot of shooting and I would be exposing my self to a barrage when the Marines got their turn.

Turn 1

There would be no scoring in this round.

Death Guard


A very simple first turn, I just pushed forwards towards the Marines.  The Daemon Prince rolled Perils of the Warp and did it again after a Command Point re-roll taking two wounds in the process.  The Plaguecaster then blew his rolls so not a lot happened in the psychic phase.  There wasn’t much shooting either.   One drone began to nibble away at a unit of Marines packing heavy weapons and the Plagueburst Crawlers did a bit of damage to the Dreadnought but that, I think, was about it.  I was more than a bit nervous about surviving the upcoming barrage…



There was a lot of fire backed up by a lot of re-rolls but nothing much happened.  I nearly lost a Bloat Drone in the second to last volley but decided it was worth risking a re-roll of a failed Disgustingly Resilient in order to keep it alive as an awkward choice for the Dreadnought who hadn’t fired yet.

The Dreadnought didn’t achieve an awful lot and then charged into the other Bloat Drone and did very little damage to it.  The Drone did more damage in return.

Turn 2

The objectives moved and were scored, I believe that the Salamanders got one while the Death Guard got two.

Death Guard


I kept pushing forwards, on my left my Drones and Plagueburst Crawler were now all within range of the Marines.  The Foul Blightspawn was ready to try and deal with the Dreadnought, if he failed the Prince would take it on in melee combat.

On the right my other Crawler advanced on the Predator tank backed up by another Blightspawn.  In the centre my Plague Marines were now also within range of the Marines.

I dropped my Terminators in right on the Salamanders left.  There was a relatively squishy unit of Marines holding an objective that my Terminators might be able to gun down and they could plod towards the objective.  It would also force the Salamanders to react, would they pull something back to deal with them or would they drop their own Terminators in to defend their lines?  That latter would be ideal for me, I didn’t want Terminators dropping into my deployment zone.

Both Blightspawns blew their weapon rolls with low strength and low attacks.  This can happen, they’re terribly random, though taking two does help to ride out the averages.  They did some damage.  More Marines were taken down by the rest of the army and then in the fight phase the Daemon Prince killed the Dreadnought.  Somewhere along the line I picked up “First Strike” for another Victory Point.  I also took down two of the flying Inceptors, which was good as they had an advance for holding objectives due to the mission.

I charge the Plagueburst Crawler on my right into the Salamanders’ Predator.  This was, I believe, a good choice.  It meant that the Predator wouldn’t be firing next turn, it would either sit in melee combat or hopefully withdraw which would free up my Crawler.



On my left the Predator withdrew, the remaining Inceptor backed up and the Salamanders’ Terminators dropped in.  They clearly didn’t want to risk losing objective 4 when I already had the two objectives in the centre and the one in my deployment zone. This was very good for me as it took away the pressure the Terminators could have exerted elsewhere on the table.

Gunfire finally took down one of my Plague Drones but other than that not a lot of damage was caused.  The loss of the Dreadnought and the inability of the Predator to shoot caused a significant drop in what was being shot at me.

A unit of Marine bikes had looped around heading towards my deployment zone but they decided to charge one of my Foul Blightspawns, who overwatched and finally got his act together and rolled a decent number of attacks at a decent strength.  The entire unit of three bikes was wiped out.

The newly arrived Terminators blew their charge rolls and so achieved very little.

Things were looking very grim for the Marines.

Turn 3

The objectives drifted around the table, the Salamanders picked up a point and the Death Guard got one or two along with First Strike from the previous round.  So the score was about 4-2.

Death Guard


On my right the Terminators ignored the newly arrived Salamander Terminators and kept up the pressure on objective 4.  The Predator was blown apart and the Marines there took casualties as the Foul Blightspawn and the Crawler pushed ever closer.

In my centre the Plague Marines kept up the fire on the Marines whittling them down ever further.

On the left my Deamon Prince made it into close combat with the enemy Warlord while the Crawler and Drone took down the Marines surrounding him.

I did forget my psychic phase, which was an awesome achievement when I had three Psykers on the table. Genius…

In the fight phase the Deamon Prince slew the Warlord, who used a stratagem to fight again killing the Prince, and then used another stratagem to fire at a Plague Marine blowing him off of the table.  Now that’s how you go out!


They didn’t have a whole lot left.  On my left a unit of Marines moved out of cover to get shots in on the remaining Drone, they blew it.

In the centre there was ineffective fire on my units there.

Finally on the right the Terminators did get a charge in against my Terminators and killed all but one.  Typhus was now in on the action and he killed two of them in retaliation.

The Conclusion

At this point we called the game, there were not many Marines left and the Death Guard had pretty solid control of the table and were ahead on points and would grow that lead each and every turn.

Post Game Thoughts

  • I must remember my psychic phase!  My opponent was incredibly gracious and when I forgot it on turn two did a roll off to see if I could have it, and I did.  When I did it again in turn three he could have said “nope” but he rolled off again and it was the dice that decided I couldn’t do it.  This was entirely my fault and I must be better.  I think I feel a bit pressured due to time and just move on to shooting.
  • The Crawlers and Drones felt like my best units once again, they’re tough, relatively speedy and can do good damage to infantry or middle toughness units.
  • The Foul Blightspawns are random, but they can be incredible.  In one round both blew their rolls and did nothing, but in the next they took out an entire unit of bikers and took a big bite out of a Predator.  That they’re Characters really helps with their survivability.
  • I think I played my Terminators much better this game.  They were a lot of points and didn’t seem to kill very much (a couple of Salamander Terminators and maybe three Marines) but their presence on the table forced a big reaction from the Salamanders that meant I could relax elsewhere on the table.  If I had have remembered the psychic phase and had Typhus smiting and Cursing the Marines then they would have done even more.  Thumbs up 🙂
  • Invulnerable Saves on the Deamons and Disgustingly Resilient are a golden combination, the amount of damage that I can shrug off can be incredible.  Every unit in this army had Disgustingly Resilient and it felt good.  It does mean that it feels harder to take units that don’t have it (e.g Chaos Lords, Rhinos or Helbrutes).

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP [73 PL, 1216pts]

HQ [15 PL, 290pts]

  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 6. Curse of the Leper, Malefic talon [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]
  • Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: 5. Putrescent Vitality, 6. Arch-Contaminator, 6. Curse of the Leper, Warlord

Troops [26 PL, 330pts]

  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 132pts]
    Plague Champion [16pts]
    Codex: Boltgun, Plague knife
    4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [64pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 132pts]
    Plague Champion [16pts]
    Codex: Boltgun, Plague knife
    4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [64pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 66pts]: 11x Poxwalker [66pts]

Fast Attack [16 PL, 316pts]

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

Vanguard Detachment +1CP [31 PL, 534pts]

HQ [9 PL, 175pts]

Typhus [9 PL, 175pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Blades of Putrefaction

Elites [22 PL, 359pts]

  • Blightlord Terminators [14 PL, 205pts]
    Blightlord Champion [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]


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

  1. Pingback: Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts) – Plague Gardening

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