Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts)


My fourth match against the player who usually takes the Space Marines.  I’d mentioned that I liked tanks and had never seen a Baneblade on the table, so he thought he would rectify that with a pair of them.  I’d built an infantry heavy army for a change from my previous lists and knew that this would be a hard slog.  He asked if I was sure as he had an alternate list, I said I was, so off we went…

List Theory

My list was all about the infantry.  I took typhus and as many Poxwalkers as I had (two units of twenty).  I backed that up with three units of Plague Marines.  For speed there was a Daemon Prince and a single Bloat Drone.  I also took some deep striking Blightlord Terminators all packing combi-plasma backed by a Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour.  Those chaps can rapid fire overcharged plasma out to 18″ and although expensive I thought it would give me some pretty powerful anti-armour that could drop right where I needed it.

So the plan would be for the Poxwalkers to shamble onto an objective or sit on one and act as a tarpit.  The Marines would give me some shooty.  The Prince would be protected by the Drone and would give me a speedy unit to grab some objectives.  Meanwhile those Terminators would be ready to take out any backfield artillery.

Set Up

We rolled the Beachhead mission.  Three objectives, one in the centre and one in each of our Deployment Zones.  I had to setup first.  I put my Poxwalkers up front and wrapping around most of my army.  I was somewhat paranoid about some deep striking Imperial Guard units.  The walkers would shamble forwards to claim the objective in the centre which was only 9″ away.  Another unit of Plague Marines was camped out in the back guarding my objective.  I gave up all hope of ever reaching the objective in my enemy’s deployment zone.  I was facing Cadians, they wouldn’t want to move so they could get re-rolls.  I just had to grab the centre for 2 VPs a turn and then make sure I didn’t lose my own objective and then the game would be golden.

The Guard set up in a massive block around their objective, it looked really rather intimidating.

But I made my first mistake, despite knowing in part of my head that the Cadians wouldn’t want to move I also gave up the chance to take the first turn.  Another part of my head thought that the Guard would move towards my mostly short range army and then I could nail them.

The Game

It went something like this…  I’m not sure if I’m quite right on who held what when but the gist is true.

Turn 1


There would be no scoring from the objectives this round.

The Guard went first, and rolled a staggering amount of dice from the Baneblades.  Vast chunks of my army were just blown away.  Plague Marines and Pox Walkers evaporated. Things looked really bad.  They claimed “First Strike” for a victory point.

The Valkryie meanwhile shot down the side of the battlefield.

On my turn I rolled pretty well for my Advances (thanks to the Noxious Blightbringer) and got onto the centre objective.  But I would have to hold it through to my next turn to score off of it.  I knew that the Valkyrie was swinging around to grab the objective in my corner, and I knew it was fast.  But for some reason I then decided to chase after it with my Bloat Drone and Daemon Prince.  This would be a very questionable decision.  I plinked a few wounds off of the flyer but not very many.

Turn 2

The Guard hold only the objective in their zone so score a single point. and mostly sit still.  The Valkyrie continues onwards to the far corner away from my objective.  More carnage is caused by the tanks, I’m down to not many Poxwalkers now, so much for my tarpit.  The Baneblades are pretty much point and delete and are wiping out my troops all over the place.  I haven’t done anything back to them, I can’t get close enough.  Some elite units are dropped into my deployment zone.

I hold the centre and the objective in my zone, three points to me.  I’m ahead.

I clutch onto the central objective and also manage to mostly deal with the deep strikers other than a straggler or two.  I know I’m in for a hard time and I feel that I really can’t resist the sheer firepower being thrown at me.  But that central objective is worth two points a turn.  If I can just stick on in there I can get ahead and stay there.  But I mustn’t lose the objective in my corner, it’s worth three points to the Guard.  The Valkyrie is still heading in with a cargo of infantry but it’s taking more and more fire.

But I make a really bad decision with my Terminators.  The ones I brought to fire overcharged Plasma.  The ones with the Chaos Lord to back them up and re-roll ones to avoid exploding units.  I drop them down to try and take on the Valkyrie.  Which is a supersonic flyer.  So gives a -1 to hit, which makes exploding on a 2 possible, which I can’t roll.  Face palm…  Their shooting goes about as well as you can imagine and the tanks of the Guard sit opposite them smiling and unplasmaed away…

Turn 3


The Guard still take only a single point but clear my last few Poxwalkers off  of the centre, I’m going to be earning less points.  The Valkyrie now makes it to the objective marker but has to wait a turn to drop off its cargo.

I blow the Valkyrie out of the skies, this is a good thing.  It exposes the squishy contents within to my fire.  But I’ve not got much left to fire with.  I do do some damage to them and continue to hold the objective, but will I by the start of my next turn.

My Terminators achieve nothing else, I won’t mention them again, let’s just forget about them.

Turn 4


The Guard start to move forwards.  Typhus has taken a battering from incoming fire and Celestine the Living Saint swoops in to deal with him.  He’s only one wound point left, he falls.  Celestine consolidates onto the objective, I’m in trouble now.  The surviving passengers from the Valkyrie charge the few troops I have holding the objective but fail to do much and take casualties from the fight and overwatch, I continue to hold it.

On my turn I deal with the last of the Valkyrie passengers.  My poor Warlord reeling from the loss of Typhus is running as fast as he can’t, which isn’t saying much, for my corner and away from the guard.

Turn 5

The Guard hold their own objective and the one in the centre picking up three victory points.

I hold only my single one point objective and have little left to achieve anything, I’m facing a tabling.

And then a great thing happens, the roll to continue the game fails, the game is over.

The Conclusion

I lost by a single point, which was incredibly close considering how badly I thought I was doing.  My plan kind of worked, holding on the the centre did push me ahead.  But I didn’t hold it long enough and I didn’t get Line Breaker or anything.  So not as bad as I thought, but still a clear loss.  If we’d have had another turn I think I would have been wiped out and the the Guard would have picked up even more points boosting their lead.

Post Game Thoughts

  • Baneblades, oh boy… They’re big and therefore have awesome line of sight to shoot at things.
  • The game was a billiard table, the guard could shoot from one end to the other.  Meanwhile I was a slow army that needed to get up close or get into cover.  I could do neither.  And I helped set the battlefield up so have no one to blame.  You do really need to look at your army and in this sort of situation make sure there’s some line of sight blocking terrain and some cover up for grabs.
  • The Terminators, what was I thinking?  I meant them to take on any army and they should have done.  Five Terminators and a Lord rapid firing over charged Plasma should have taken out the Leman Russ in a turn or two and really reduced the fire that was being hurled at me.  Firing on the Valkyrie, with the accompanying -1 to hit, was a really bad call.
  • But, all things told, it was only a loss by a single point even with the dreadful errors mentioned above.  If I had have set up better and played better I could have taken the day.  The Guard army was great at throwing out the damage but bad at taking objectives. It was not unbeatable.  I lost due to my own decisions and by being logically outthought by an opponent who systematically dismantled the part of my army holding the centre in exactly the order the the needed to.  If you’ve got to lose losing because you messed up and your opponent out played you isn’t so bad.
  • I had a lot of fun!  Baneblades are awesome!  I jokingly said that I couldn’t lose this game.  If I won I won, but if I lost I lost because of the great tanks and I love tanks so that too would be a kind of victory 🙂

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP [82 PL, 1366pts]

HQ [15 PL, 290pts]

  • Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour [6 PL, 110pts]: Combi-plasma [11pts], Power sword [4pts]
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, Malefic talon [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]

Troops [45 PL, 668pts]

  • Plague Marines [13 PL, 164pts]
    Plague Champion [16pts]
    Codex: Boltgun, Plague knife
    6x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [96pts]
    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]
  • 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, 120pts]: 20x Poxwalker [120pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 120pts]: 20x Poxwalker [120pts]

Elites [14 PL, 250pts]

  • Blightlord Terminators [14 PL, 250pts]
    Blightlord Champion [50pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-plasma [11pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [50pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-plasma [11pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [50pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-plasma [11pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [50pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-plasma [11pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [50pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-plasma [11pts]

Fast Attack [8 PL, 158pts]

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

Vanguard Detachment +1CP [21 PL, 384pts]

HQ [9 PL, 175pts]

  • Typhus [9 PL, 175pts]: 5. Putrescent Vitality, 6. Curse of the Leper

Elites [12 PL, 209pts]

  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Noxious Blightbringer [4 PL, 55pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Plasma pistol [5pts], Warlord


5 thoughts on “Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts)

    1. I think I was very lucky to only lose by that one point. If there had have been just one more turn I think I would have been tabled and my War Lord would have been killed. It was one of those missions where you keep on playing until the end of the game even if the opposition is tabled. Had that have happened the AM would have built up a massive lead. Losing by a single point somewhat understates what a catastrophic defeat it was 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Death Guard vs Crimson Fists (1750 pts) – Plague Gardening

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