Death Guard vs Dark Angels (1750pts)

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I’ve played this Dark Angels player a few times now (here and here) and he normally plays a pretty infantry heavy list with lots of deep striking stuff.

List Theory

I’ve got some Armigers on the way to the table and this might be my last game without them for a while.  So I wanted to play with an anti-tank type of list, the type of anti-tank that I have now before the Armigers come along.  As I’ve said this player doesn’t seem to bring along a lot of armour, so it might not be the “best” of choices, but it seemed like a good idea and weapons that can deal with tanks also seem to be able to take on multi-wound Primaris Marines quite nicely too.

So I wanted Plasma equipped Plague Marines, and they’d need a Chaos Lord to help them avoid exploding on 1s when overloading.  I’ll also take my anti-tank Helbrute (twin Lascannon and a missile launcher) as that’ll also benefit from the Lord’s buff.  I fear this players deep strikes so I take a unit of Poxwalkers to both deny deep strikes within 9″ and to act as a screen when the inevitable happens.  This anti-armour blob is then also backed up with two Foul Blightspawns, they’re decent anti-tank units and should be able to do some damage to deep striking multi-wound Terminators.

So that’s one bit of my army.  The other was built around my Landraider.  This would carry Typhus and his Deathshroud bodyguard into combat and be anti-tank (I’m not sure about this dual role, but deep striking with my Terminators has never proven to be very successful).  I want that Landraider to get there, so I also take two Plagueburst Crawlers as a distraction.  Finally I take a winged Daemon Prince, he’s my Warlord with Arch-Contaminator.  He can fly up with the Landraider, buff all the Plague weapons on the crawlers and then in the melee as well as being pretty useful himself in combat.

Setup

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We decide to use the Open War cards.  I enjoy these as they can be gleefully cruel but haven’t used them in a while as I got stuck into the Chapter Approved missions.  So we draw the cards and get a really simple “kill ’em all” type of game.  But, and this is a huge but given I’ve taken a long range anti-armour army, it’s at nighttime and attacks and psychic powers are limited to 12″.  Awesome.  The range should increase during the game, but the first turn is going to be a peaceful one.

I see that my opponent has taken ten deep striking Death Wing Terminators, my fear of the deep strike ramps up.  He’s tried melee only deep strikers before with about as much luck as me.  This time he’s gone for a mix, they’re packing melee weapons and ranged weapons.  The fear increases.  I set up what I think will be an awesome anti deep strike screen with my Poxwalkers, this is going to come back and bite me…

The Game

Turn 1

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I take the first turn and run into an immediate problem, my Poxwalkers have boxed me in.  I want my Landraider over the other side of the table dropping Typhus into combat.  That’s not going to happen, and the 12″ shooting range means that it’s not going to be shooting either.  Great stuff.  My Plagueburst Crawler should also have been racing up and getting in 9″ range so it can use its Plaguespitters, it doesn’t do anything this turn.  However I do get some units into range and I nearly manage to take out a Land Speeder that protects nearby units with a -1 to hit them.

The Marines are mostly set up in ruins on the other side of the table and they don’t move much.  Their return fire is also limited due to the range.  The Dark Angels take a real blow this turn, their Librarian attempts to manifest a power, and rolls a double 6, perils of the warp.  A Command Point is spent on a re-roll, they roll a 6 again.  I think he had already taken some damage and he dies due to the mortal wounds he takes from perils.  He then damages units around him too.  This is a real random and cruel blow.

Turn 2

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The shooting range limit increases slightly out to 18″.  My Landraider and second Plagueburst Crawler are still jammed up behind the Poxwalker screen.  But with the increased range I do start to take down Marines and that wounded Landspeeder.

The Marine return fire takes down some Marines but doesn’t achieve much else.  The deep striking Death Wing do not arrive, I’m now feeling very nervous about what they’re up to.

Turn 3

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I keep whittling away at the Marines, but I know that bad things are about to happen.  My second Plagueburst Crawler and the Landraider are creeping around but are still jammed up by the Poxwalkers.  Three turns of this mess…  On a positive note the range has increased to about 30″ of shooting which is enough for me to take on pretty much whichever units I’d like to.

And on the Marine’s turn they do, the Death Wing appear on the battlefield.  They’ve got a stratagem and the moment they appear they can fire, there’s an awful lot of Stormbolters and they blow away my Poxwalker screen.  So my wonderful screen achieved little other than holding up my Landraider and a Plagueburst Crawler.  The Marines no make their charge into combat and taken down one of my Foul Blightspawns, a unit I was hoping to use to take on the Terminators.  But they don’t fall into the other one, this proves to be a mistake.

Turn 4

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A positive has come out of my Landraider being locked behind my Poxwalkers, it’s right next to where the Death Wing appeared, and it’s carrying my best melee units…  First though the remaining Foul Blightspawn does his thing and hoses down the Terminators, they take casualties.  Then Typus and his bodyguard get out of the Landraider and shuffle an inch or two towards the Terminators.  They fire their short range weapons killing a couple, then Typhus uses his psychic powers to take down some more, and then they charge in.  In the melee they devastate the survivors of the unit.  My Daemon Prince throws caution to the wind and flies over the melee to take on the Dark Angels supporting characters who dropped in behind the Death Wing.  His melee does not go well and he’s taken down to a wound or two short of death.

The Dark Angels are struggling now.  They do finish off my Daemon Prince, who is also my War Lord.  Other than that there’s not a lot to report.

Turn 5

For the first time I use Cloud of Flies to protect Typhus against overwatch (see here for other uses).  I apply the stratagem to him when his Deathshroud are closer to the surviving deep striking characters than he is.  So when he charges he can’t be targeted, and into combat he goes.  Then my Deathshroud also charge and because Typhus is already there in melee they don’t get overmatched either.  A nice tactic 🙂  This melee mops up the last of the deep strikers and across the table more Marines are taken down.

The Marines don’t have that much left on the table but bravely struggle onwards.

The Result

I killed about 80 Power Levels worth of stuff and lost about 35, a victory to the Death Guard.

Post Game Thoughts

  • I was incredibly daft in this game, and then incredibly lucky.  My poxwalker traffic jam should have been a huge problem for me.  I lost the fire from my Landraider and one of my Plagueburst Crawlers and didn’t get Typhus & Co where I wanted them to be.  But, this paid off when the deep strike happened.  Had I have had my way my melee units would have been too far away to intervene in the fighting.  I must watch my positioning.
  • The Dark Angels’ Librarian exploding his own head with Perils of the Warp is a reminder of the dangers of relying on Psychic Powers.  I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a Psyker actually die due to Perils, and when it does it’s horrible.  This meant that Typhus and my Daemon Prince could now manifest powers without being denied.
  • I liked that I finally remembered to try and deny overwatch with the Cloud of Flies stratagem.  It’s situational, but it can be really useful.
  • The Landraider didn’t do very much at all, and this can be a theme with it.  It’s trying to fill the dual role of Terminator delivery device and anti-armour.  For one it wants to be close up, for the other it wants to be sitting at a distance.  It does seem to struggle with those opposite desires.  However it does get Typhus and his Deathshroud into combat, and I think it looks pretty good, so all things told I’m happy with it.

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP [60 PL, 991pts]

HQ [14 PL, 251pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Typhus [9 PL, 175pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Curse of the Leper

Troops [20 PL, 310pts]

  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 113pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [32pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 113pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [32pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 84pts]: 14x Poxwalker [84pts]

Elites [26 PL, 430pts]

  • Deathshroud Terminators [11 PL, 156pts]
    Deathshroud Champion [52pts]: Manreaper [17pts], 2x Plaguespurt gauntlets
    2x Deathshroud Terminator [104pts]: 2x Manreaper [34pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Helbrute [7 PL, 120pts]: Missile launcher [20pts], Twin lascannon [40pts]

Spearhead Detachment +1CP [44 PL, 759pts]

HQ [9 PL, 180pts]

  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, 6. Curse of the Leper, Hellforged sword [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Warlord, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]

Heavy Support [35 PL, 579pts]

  • Chaos Land Raider [19 PL, 299pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts], Twin heavy bolter [17pts], 2x Twin lascannon [80pts]
  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 140pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [34pts], Heavy slugger [6pts]
  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 140pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [34pts], Heavy slugger [6pts]

 

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