Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1750 pts)


List Theory

I described my list before the game as a “bit of a splurge”.  By that I meant that my list bent itself into somewhat of an odd shape so that I could take the units that I was after.  In particular I wanted to see my Armigers on the table again, play my new Nurglings and take the Land Raider with Typhus aboard (which I didn’t think this player had seen in use before, I was wrong about that).  And that’s a lot of points already taken up.

The Nurglings in particular are troublesome to fit in, they’ve not got the Death Guard faction keyword.  They share the Chaos and Nurgle faction keywords with the other Death Guard units, but if I put Death Guard units into such a detachment then the Death Guard units lose the Inexorable Advance (helbrutes and infantry only, rapid fire out to 18″) and Plague Host (objective secured for troops) that they would have for being in a pure Death Guard detachment.  So you either have to take an Auxiliary Detachment, and pay a 1CP tax, or build up another detachment type and accept those consequences.  What I did was to take a Patrol detachment with a Daemon Prince leading the Nurglings.  The Daemon Prince doesn’t benefit from Inexorable Advance (not infantry or a helbrute) or Plague Host (not a troop unit) so there’s no direct loss.  But if I hadn’t have done this I might have been able to take another detachment of something and pick up one extra CP.  So there’s a tax however you roll it.

So, anyway, I have some decent anti-armour on the table.  I take a Daemon Prince with Wings and a Plagueburst Crawler.  They both want to get up close, the Daemon Prince is the Warlord with the Arch-Contaminator trait.  He’ll be able to help the Crawler with re-rolls of ones to hit as well as re-rolling any failed wounds for Plague Weapons.  He’ll stick near the Land Raider to help it out with re-rolls of 1s too.  When Typhus and his Deathshroud leap out of the Land Raider he can buff them as well and be buffed back in return with an extra attack via the Deathshrouds.

And there’s now not many more points to play with.  Two six man units of Plasma equipped Plague Marines lead by a Chaos Lord (for re-rolls to avoid exploding overcharged Plasma weapons) and a Poxwalker unit to act as a screen against deep strikers finish the army off.

So I think I have two flanks.  The Land Raider, Daemon Prince and Plagueburst Crawler will take one and will be my mobile army.  The Plague Marines will take the other and will try and grab or hold onto something.  The Armigers will be split onto a flank each and will try to stay out of melee range and use their 60″ ranged weapons to take on enemy army.

The Game

You can read Cadian Shock’s much more competent blog article, both in terms of writing and not being a cheating wotsit (see later) here:

We rolled the Disruptive Signals Maelstrom of War mission from Chapter Approved 2019.  We could both throw out six objectives from our objective card deck before the game began.  So I threw out such cards as holding all the objectives or grabbing those in the Guard’s deployment zone, these are tough for the slow Death Guard to get.  I also knew that I wasn’t facing anything that could Fly, so that card went too.



I had to set up first.  I pushed my forces pretty far forward, the Land Raider group on my left flank and my infantry group on my right.  There was an Armiger on each side, nice and separate so getting both into melee would be difficult, hopefully.

The Guard could respond, and they did.  Infantry at each back corner, more infantry forwards with the Hellhounds and the artillery lurking at the back.  A lone sniper took up a position atop a tall building, he would be pretty much unassailable up there and had the range with his gun to make use of it.

I got the first turn, the guard failed in an attempt to seize the initiative and get the first turn for themselves.

Turn 1


We both pushed forwards at each other.  Our long range units, for me the Armigers for the Guard the artillery, stayed away and blazed away at the enemy.  I was lucky in that one of the objective guards I drew was to defend an objective underneath the Armiger on my right, so I would score that if I still held it at the end of the Guard’s turn (defend means to hold for two turns).  I then had a trickier objective, I had to seize the objective near my Land Raider group.  But I wanted them to go forwards, so what to do?  I ended up sending the Land Raider forwards as I knew I wanted Typhus in melee quickly, I backed this up with the Plagueburst Crawler.  The Daemon Prince went for the objective, this stopped the re-rolls for my heavy armour, but I thought it worth 1VP.  The Prince would be quick enough to catch up in turn 2.

I considered my long range fire to have been reasonably ineffective and I believe I lost one of my Armigers, I wasn’t feeling too confident at this point.  It felt like I should have killed a lot more stuff, and I didn’t.

We both scored well for the turn and both got First Strike, but I was ahead at this point.

Death Guard: +7 Points (7 Total)

Guard:+4 Points (4 Total)

Turn 2


Things got messy…  I drew some good objectives, including kill things in the melee phase and kill things in general.  The shooting part went pretty well and I took out one of the Hellhounds coming down on my right flank, this went bang hurting the guard units around it.  Then in the melee phase things really went my way.  The Nurglings leapt out from behind a building and made friends with the Guard units coming their way on my left flank.  And then on my right Typhus and his Deathshrouds made it into combat.  And they were great.  They took out an infantry squad and then ripped apart the final Hellhound, they took some damage from the resulting explosion.  But it was OK.

The Guard took their revenge on Typhus and his bodyguards, long range artillery and the exploding mini-tank took care of him.

This turn I managed to claim all of my objectives and due to the number of units I’d killed scored well for them.  This came at the cost of Typhus and his Deathshrouds.  When the melee had finished they were out front, alone and obvious targets. But it seemed worth it considering the points that were on offer.  I really opened up a lead on this turn.

Death Guard: +10 Points (17 Total)

Guard:+1 Point (5 Total)

Turn 3

The guard were clearly after my Warlord, the Daemon Prince.  Aside from the usual 1VP for killing him they had an objective to kill something that could Fly and to take down the Warlord.  Killing him would be a tasty prize.

I had some poor objectives that I didn’t think I would get this turn but were worth handing on to, so I needed to plan ahead a touch.  My left flank was starting to look a little sparse, so I shifted my Prince over to the right where I could screen him with infantry more easily.  I should have pulled my Land Raider back, his Lascannons have a long range, but instead I pushed it forwards trying to get a shot on the artillery lurking at the back.  This would turn out to be a bad move.

The Guard kept on pushing and blazing away with their artillery.  The most worrying issue was that they charged the Land Raider.  Getting that unit into melee combat is a very bad thing, it’ll have to withdraw next turn and won’t shoot anything.  There’s still a fair bit of armour on the table, this is therefore a bad thing.

This was a low scoring round for the pair of us, we were both getting ready for the next one.

Death Guard: +0 Points (17 Total)

Guard:+1 Point (6 Total)

Turn 4


A good round for me, I cleared all of my objectives.  Only for 1VP each, but it all helped.  I kept pushing onwards trying to take out the Guard’s artillery, they were the units on the table that were really hurting me and I think I took out one or both of the Wyverns.

The Guard kept up the pressure on my Land Raider, a handful of cheap infantry were trying down a very expensive unit.  Curses.

Death Guard: +4 Points (21 Total)

Guard: +2 Points (8 Total)

Turn 5


I was just trying to mop up the Guard’s artillery, and this was proving tricky.  My Landraider was still caught up in a Benny Hill style chase where it would withdraw and the infantry would run after it.  Neither could really hurt the other, but that wasn’t the Guard’s objective, they’d nerfed a very expensive unit who should have been blowing apart the artillery with its Lascannons.

The Guard were still trying to nail my Warlord, but he was doing OK, and it managed to rip their Warlord apart.

We rolled that the game didn’t end, there would be a turn 6.

Death Guard: +2 Points (23 Total)

Guard: +0 Points (8 Total)

Turn 6


I took out one of the Guard’s artillery pieces, just some infantry and one more big gun to go.  The Prince managed a charge into is, but just didn’t do enough damage.

The artillery piece withdrew, it wouldn’t fire, but the Daemon Prince was out in the open and I had nothing to protect him with.  The sniper poised at the top of the ruins had trouble drawing a line of site back to the Daemon Prince.  But he shuffled to the side, poked his gun over the edge of the building and bingo he could get a shot in.  And he missed.  What followed was worse though, the surviving Guard infantry poured out of the ruins and unleashed a hail of lasgun fire on the Prince, and he fell.  Somehow having a hole bored through his head by an elite sniper would have felt like a more noble end, but there you go, dead is dead.

We rolled that the game was over, there would be no turn 7.

The guard scored well in this last round, all those objectives finally paid off, but it was too little, too late.  A victory for the Death Guard

Death Guard: +2 Points (25 Total)

Guard: +6 Points (14 Total)

Post Game Thoughts

  • I should have moved my Plague Marines over to my left flank to protect the Land Raider.  As was a handful of infantry units were able to tie it down and prevent it from contributing anything to the battle for two turns.
  • Adding to the above I should probably have sent the Daemon Prince over to help liberate the Land Raider.  I knew that the Guard were after my Warlord and denying them the points for killing him plus freeing the Land Raider would have been a very smart move.
  • More generally there is a problem with using an expensive Land Raider to drop off Terminators.  That is that in its anti-tank role the Land Raider wants to stay the hell away from other units so that it cannot get tied down in melee combat.  However in the transport role it wants to get close to something so that its cargo can get into combat.  I need to work on my tactics and positioning.
  • I used the Cloud of Flies stratagem for a couple of turns in the game, and it would have been a couple more if I’d remembered to use it.  But it was used to protect the Daemon Prince, who is not a valid target for it, he’s no Infantry.  I’m off to apologise to my opponent right now…  Apology made, don’t I feel foolish…  The effects of this are hard to gauge.  I used it for two turns including one fairly early on, so it was on my opponent’s mind.  The indirect effects of decisions he made on which units to target are very hard to consider.  A bad mistake.

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [78 PL, 1170pts]

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 [26 PL, 324pts]

  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 129pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    3x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [48pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 129pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    3x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [48pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 66pts]: 11x Poxwalker [66pts]

Elites [11 PL, 156pts]

  • Deathshroud Terminators [11 PL, 156pts]
    Deathshroud Champion [52pts]: Manreaper [17pts], 2x Plaguespurt gauntlets
    2x Deathshroud Terminator [104pts]: 2x Manreaper [34pts]

Heavy Support [27 PL, 439pts]

  • 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]

Super-Heavy Aux Detachment (Renegade Knights) [9 PL, 172pts]

Lord of War [9 PL, 172pts]

  • Renegade Armigers [9 PL, 172pts]
    Renegade Armiger [9 PL, 172pts]: Heavy stubber [2pts], Two armiger autocannons [10pts]

Super-Heavy Aux Detachment (Chaos – Renegade Knights) [9 PL, 172pts]

Lord of War [9 PL, 172pts]

  • Renegade Armigers [9 PL, 172pts]
    Renegade Armiger [9 PL, 172pts]: Heavy stubber [2pts], Two armiger autocannons [10pts]

Patrol Detachment (Nurgle) [12 PL, 234pts]

HQ [9 PL, 180pts]

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

Troops [3 PL, 54pts]

  • Nurglings [3 PL, 54pts]: 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]


2 thoughts on “Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1750 pts)

  1. Alexis West

    I really wish they’d give Chaos a Land Raider variant that actually wants to get up close, like the Imperial Crusader and Redeemer do. The classic one just has too much tension between its firepower and transport roles, and is too expensive to just leave one of them out.

    Both Imperial and Chaos versions need something to keep them from having their shooting completely shut down for a Turn just because some random Grot/Guardsman/Cultie/Kroot/whatever ran up and tagged it, tho.


  2. Pingback: Death Guard vs Imperium (1,750 pts) – Plague Gardening

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