Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts)

List Theory


More mono-Codex Death Guard, this is a bit of a theme at the moment.

The list has a few components to it.

  1. Airborne, a winged Daemon Prince and two Foetid Bloat Drones.  This should be able to move quickly around the battlefield to seize things or react to events.
  2. Mechanised infantry, two squads of Plague Marines in Rhinos backed up by two Plagueburst Crawlers.  There is also a Malignant Plaguecaster, a Biologus Putrifier (who will also be my Warlord with the Arch-Contaminator trait) and two Foul Blightspawns.  This is stuff that likes to be close up to things, 9″ auto-hitting plague weapons, 6″ Hyper-Blight Grenades and the Plaguecaster giving out additional mortal wounds within 7″.  So the Rhinos race up and then drop the infantry off close to something to fight.  The Plagueburst Crawlers can then hang around to benefit from the Warlord Trait or push onwards to blow up close other enemy units.
  3. A backline consisting of an anti-armour Helbrute (twin lascannon and missile launcher), a Chaos Lord to give re-rolls and a squad of Chaos Cultists to act as a screen or to seize objectives.

The Game

We rolled the Supplies from Above Eternal War mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  Four objectives would be on the table and units with the Fly keyword would take precedence in securing them.  The objectives will drift around at the start of each battle round.

You can read Cadian Shock’s write up of this battle here.


We rolled the Search and Destroy deployment, so we’d be in opposite corners with a circle in the middle that we couldn’t deploy in.

The Astra Militarum had to set up first, they dropped their artillery at the back and everything else pretty far forward, it was a bit of a traffic jam.

I had my airborne section on my front right flank, my mechanised infantry on my front left flank and then my backline at the back.

After that the Ratlings infiltrated the board.  They popped up right at the back near my Helbrute.  This was a problem, I was hoping to spend 1CP to have my Helbrute fire twice with the Fire Frenzy stratagem.  But this has a limit that it has to be at the closest target, and I’m not wasting my anti-armour Helbrute shooting at pesky Hobbitses.  They would have to be dealt with.

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Death Guard vs Grey Knights & Inquisitors (2,000 pts)

IMG_4513.jpgThe Grey Knights are, apparently, not a top rated army.  I’ve seen it said that they’re the worst in 8th Edition 40k.  However, I find them a bit of a handful.  The mini smite that they can all do causes an automatic 3 Mortal Wounds to Daemons and with their Gates of Infinity psychic power you can’t pin down a big unit in melee combat, it’ll just be gated away to shoot you again.

So I enjoy playing them, I find them a challenge, an army that’s armed at taking my army down.

List Theory

We agreed to play a slightly bigger game than usual at 2,000 points.  I still wanted to play a mostly mono-Codex Death Guard army but was concerned that at that number of points I might meet some tough Land Raiders or other armour.  So I compromised a bit and allowed myself to take one Renegade Armiger.  It would give me a reasonably speedy unit that could lay down some troubling anti-armour fire that couldn’t be ignored.

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Custom Chaos Lord 2

I’ve completed my second custom Chaos Lord for my Death Guard (you can read about the first one here).


This one is based upon the Chaos Lord model that first came with the Blackstone Fortress set but that you can now but as a stand alone.

Both of the arms have been completed replaced with the arms from a Blightlord Terminator that are holding the weapons that I usually give to my Chaos Lords (a Combi-Bolter and a Balesword).  Blightlords are Cataphracti Terminators and so a second shoulder pad is meant to go on top of the ones that are on the model.  But this made the model look far too big and caused problems for the backpack.  So I left them off, sanded away the raised mounting points and burned some holes into which I painted Nurgle’s Rot.  The top knot was also cut away and the head smoothed down, the Death Guard don’t do top knots.


This shows the original model on the left and my other new Chaos Lord on the right.

I used to use the Champion from the Easy Build Plague Marines box as a Champion, but he’s smaller than a Chaos Lord should be and just doesn’t look as impressive.  The new figures stand out a bit more, as is proper for a Lord of the Death Guard.

This Lord also needs a name, I’ve gone for Oldenhaller for my first one, I think this one will be Kugel.  I think both shall be Lords of Virulence.  They’re normally they’re to buff shooting units, and the mantle for that is the Lord of Virulence who are said to “prefer the use of massed bombardment.”  So that’ll do.

For historic gaming reasons I wanted to call him Kugelschreiber, but that means ballpoint pen, Kugel means bullet, so I’ll shorten it to that.

Death Guard vs Imperium (1,750pts)


I’m taking on the Imperial Knights again, my second game against them (though I’ve played the player many times).  I believe that I need more experience playing against the super heavies in the game, and Knights seem to be the leading example of that right now.  This was going to be a tough game, but an educational one.

List Theory


As with my last game I really wanted to run a mono Death Guard list, so that’s what I did.  My army is very similar to that used in the last game but I tinkered with it slightly to see what else it could do.

What I was tinkering with was taking a unit of Combe-Plasma equipped Blightlord Terminators back by a Chaos Lord in Terminator armour to take on some of the anti-armour load.  As I played with the list I added and removed the Rhino with the melee Plague Marines multiple times, but the last time I put it back in I forgot to add the Rhino itself.  Compared to the cost of the Melee Plague Marines (151 points), the Plague Caster (110 points) and the Biologus Putrifier (60pts) the Rhino is a little bit on top.  But you need all of those components for it to work.  So it was a really bad move.

What I should have done was to probably drop the Foul Blightspawn.  One on their own is questionable due to the randomness of his weapon and the Plasma should have made up for his anti-armour effect.  Or the Blightlords and the Terminator Lord should have been dropped out and something else work in in their place.

So that’s why my list is too many points, it reflects what I actually put on the table that night.

The Game

I believe that we rolled the Strategic Gamble Maelstrom of War Mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  For reasons that become apparent this didn’t affect how the game played out.


We had some quite lovely Orky looking scenery that we used to construct two walled off enclosures.  After some discussion we agreed that we couldn’t see through the walls or move through them, you’d have to find a gate or climb them.  This would be a key issue in the game.

I setup first and dropped most of my stuff near the centre with one squad of Plasma Marines on top of the walls.  The other Plasma stuff went to their left with the Prince, Drone and Crawler off on my right.  The Plasma squads would hold still with the Helbrute and backed by the Chaos Lord hopefully do some anti-armour damage.  My Rhino would also go in the middle but race to the enemy lines as quickly as possible.


The enemy set up with their Marines and Knight in the centre with both flanks taking an Armiger and a squad of Guardsmen.  Note how most of the Marines are not on the wall.  This was done under the assumption that I would get first turn and that this would protect them from my shooting, which it did, but it caused trouble for the Imperials too.

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Death Guard vs. Chaos Space Marines (1,750 pts)


A game against my Brother Heretic Astartes, though they follow other Dark Gods and not Grandfather Nurgle.  If only someone had just said “that would be an ecumenical matter” then I’m sure this could have been avoided, but we are where we are.

List Theory


Things have moved on since I pondered What next?, there is a full Codex on the way for Chaos Knights.   That means that since I do have a pair of Armigers that I’m no longer going to be mono-Codex Death Guard whether I like it or not.  I also spent a lot of time pondering whether to get any Forge World stuff for my Death Guard and just not getting very excited about it.  So now that I’m going to be multi-Codex I might as well do it properly.

What all of that means is that I really want to play a full mono-Codex Death Guard army again, this meant leaving my Armigers behind.  I also wanted to put some units back onto the table that I haven’t used for a while, Blightlord Terminators, one of my Malignant Plaguecasters and my melee Plague Marines.

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Re-rolls before modifiers


The rules for re-rolls says that “re-rolls happen before modifiers (if any) are applied).  This has some curious side effects.

The one I’ve met the most is that if you have a -1 to hit something and you can re-roll rolls of 1 to hit then if you overcharge a Plasma weapon it will explode on a 2 and there’s nothing that you can do about it.

But thinking some more this also happens to wound rolls when you have positive modifiers.  For example consider my melee units.  I’ll often try to manifest Blades of Putrefaction on them giving a +1 to wound and then I can also use the Veterans of the Long War stratagem to give them another +1 for +2 in total.  Now complicate it further, as I often will, by having my Warlord nearby with Arch-Contaminator as his Warlord Trait.  This allows me to re-roll all failed wounds for Plague Weapons.  But I have to do that before I add the +2.

So let’s expand the scenario a bit.  The melee unit mentioned above is a squad of Plague Marines armed with a Plague Knives and they’re attacking a squad of regular Space Marines.  So that’ll be a S4 attack against a T4 Marine, I’ll wound on a 4+.  Normally I’d just say “OK, I’m wounding on 4+ with a +2 so I’m looking for 2+ on the dice rolls.”  But that’s wrong.

What I have to do is to roll my wound dice putting any that are 4+ to one side.  Then I grab everything that is under 4, even the 2s and 3s that would eventually have become a wound, and re-roll them (that’s presuming that I’m fast rolling everything).

This will cause my chances to wound to go down, I’m re-rolling dice that would otherwise have caused a wound and there’s a chance that they will now fail to wound.

On the positive side when I’m in this sort of scenario I’m also looking for wound rolls of 7+ to trigger the mortal wounds that Blades of Putrefaction gives me.  So I now get another chance to get the 5s or 6s that would trigger that when I’ve got that +2.

However the simpler scenario of just having Veterans of the Long War will happen more often.  And I’m going to have to remember to do this right in the future.


Death Guard vs Imperium (1,750 pts)


This was a rematch against the Imperium player that I’ve played a few times before.  This time he was fielding his Knight…  The Knight is, so they say, one of the big units in the meta these days.  They’re really good and powerful units, and this would be the first time that I had taken one on.  I felt more than a little nervous.

List Theory

This is the same list that I took in my last game, so the theory from there still holds.  The game was very last minute and I didn’t have time to put anything else together, I also wanted to see how it would handle if I wasn’t such a dirty cheat with the Daemon Prince (see the last report).

The Game


We rolled the Scars of Battle Maelstrom of War mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  In short we could throw out six objectives but then we would also roll and throw out another batch of objectives as well (e.g 21 to 26 if you roll a 2).

This hurt me right from the outset, I lost the “seize” objective cards.  These are the ones where you only have to hold an objective at the end of one turn.  Loosing those means objectives will not be so easy to grab, you’re left with “defend” which means holding them for two turns.

We played facing each other across the table with a long edge each.

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