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.

I’ve also been pondering my Daemon Prince since he got clobbered by the Space Wolves, he is relatively fragile, but he’s also a melee unit and he should be in the melee at some point.  So I wanted him once again to be out there doing his thing.  I need to learn how to determine if it’s the right time to commit him or not.

So I ended up with the Deamon Prince, a Bloat Drone and a Plagueburst Crawler as fast attack mobile units.  A squad of melee Plague Marines with a Plaguecaster, Biologus Putrifier and a Foul Blightspawn would squeeze into a Rhino and could either follow the Prince or go off and do their own thing.  The Putrifier would be the warlord with Arch Contaminator.  This would buff the melee Marines and the Blightspawn as well as allowing a storm of Hyper Blight Grenades from the Marines.

That’s the mobile side of my army sorted out, I now needed something solid for my backline.  So two units of Plasma equipped Plague Marines, an anti-armour Helbrute, a Chaos Lord (for re-rolls to support overcharging the Plasma) and a full squad of twenty Poxwalkers to act as a screen or as a board control unit.

The Game

We rolled Decapitation Strike from Chapter Approved 2018.  This let us throw some of our objectives out, and I chose the ones that I couldn’t achieve (such as killing a Flyer when my opponent had none) and ones that were hard (such as defending objectives on the other side of the board, tricky when you’re a slow army).

The other part of this mission, that we totally forgot to do, is that when a character is killed we should have lost a tactical objective card, D3 cards if it was the Warlord.  D’oh…  Hard to tell what effect this would have had on the game, but given that it came close to a tabling I think I would have carried it anyway.


Very simple opposite each other deployment.


I put my fast stuff on my left and wrapped my backline in Poxwalkers.  My Terminators went into Deep Strike.  I probably should have pushed my second squad of Plague Marines forward a touch, they had range issues on the first turn.


My opponent put his fast Rhino in the centre, faster bikes on his left and Marines in the ruins on his right (not visible) and centre.  His Terminators and a pair of Obliterators went into Deep Strike.  His force was a mix of Red Corsairs (generates extra CPs) and Black Legion (can treat Rapid weapons as Assault weapons).

Turn 1


My Death Guard had the first turn.  I pushed my fast units up my left flank while I blazed away with my shooting units on my right.  I was lucky in that the enemy Rhino was closest to my Helbrute without it moving, so I used the Fire Frenzy stratagem and had it fire twice.  That and the Plasma that was in range nailed the Rhino.  This was carrying a melee unit so it was good that they wouldn’t be hitting my front line any time soon, it also netted my first blood.  On my right the Drone picked off a few Marines in the ruins.

The enemy reacted to my moves and pecked a few units away but not unit died.  The enemy bikes pushed forward and were getting close to my backline units, they massacred a whole lot of Poxwalkers.  Which was fine, at least it wasn’t my Plague Marines.

I managed to score a few objectives and also got First Strike, a very good start.

Death Guard: +5 Points (5 Total)

Chaos Space Marines:+0 Points (0 Total)

Turn 2

My melee Plague Marines disembarked and charged the Marines in the centre ruins.  My Rhino and the Foul Blightspawn pincered around on the Marines in the ruin on my left.  Combi-bolter fire took down some Marines while the Blightspawn massacred the Sorcerer hiding at the back.  The enemy was now out of Psykers, no more denying Psychic Powers.

My backline repositioned somewhat to cover their loses and to protect against the coming Deep Strike.  They kept up their fire and wiped out the big unit of enemy bikers, this was good, I didn’t want them getting into melee and nobbling my shooty units.

In the melee my Plague Marines did OK but my Prince was frankly incompetent.  He managed to kill two Marines, this is not good when you’ve got seven attacks.  The Marines then attacked him back, and got a lot of hits, but he had the Suppurating Plate relic on and saved pretty much all of the damage and then killed 5 of the enemy with the mortals the plate can inflict back.  Insert evil laugh here.  However he had some melee characters there as well and they hammered my Prince hard and he fell.  Curses.

My Rhino now charged the enemy unit remaining in the building on my left, it had heavy weapons and I didn’t want it shooting at anything.  Measuring from the hull of the vehicle allows it to fight units on the first floor, something that other units can’t always do.

My turn ended, and I’d totally forgot to deep strike my Terminators…

The Chaos Space Marines did not forget to Deep Strike and a whole load of Terminators, some with heavy weapons, appeared on my right flank.  The two Obliterators also appeared, and promptly wiped out my Helbrute, they were a brutal unit well played, and now I really feared them.

The enemy Warlord, the last surviving biker, turned around and came for my Melee Plague Marines.  He looked annoyed, very annoyed, must be an Angry Marine.  Gunfire took my Bloatdrone down and then the Warlord and another Melee Character showed my Melee Plague Marines what a proper melee unit can do.  They were wiped out, ouch.

It was a good turn for the Chaos Space Marines, they were catching up.

Death Guard: +2 Points (7 Total)

Chaos Space Marines:+3 Points (3 Total)

Turn 3

Concentrated Plasma fire took out one of the Obliterators, one to go.  My Plagueburst Crawler backed up to try and help deal with it, or to offer a tempting target to let my Plasma Marines stick around longer.

I repositioned to protect my Warlord and then managed to kill the enemy Warlord.  The Malignant Plaguecaster can be a great unit, when he manifests a power with a 7+ he inflicts a mortal wound on the nearest enemy unit.  This combined with his powers killed the enemy Warlord, things were looking up.

I remember to bring my Terminators onto the board, they started laying down a hail of Combi-Bolter fire while plodding towards the remaining enemy units in the centre.

The enemy struck back with his Obliterator and killed my Plagueburst Crawler, but my valuable Plasma was left alone.  A melee character charged my Plaguecaster and took him out in revenge for the death of their Warlord, but he couldn’t get at my Warlord.

Another good turn for my opponent, but he’s running out of units while I’m doing OK, I just need to score at least as many points as they did so as to keep my lead.

Death Guard: +1 Points (8 Total)

Chaos Space Marines:+3 Points (6 Total)

Turn 4

My Blightlords make their charge and they capture the objective in the centre and wipe out the last marine stood there.

Some of the Plasma in my backline take out the last Obliterator, the rest begin to fire on the enemy Marines surviving in their deployment zone on my right flank as they advance towards them.

And now there’s not really much that my opponent can do and the game is called.  I’m about to claim a lot of objectives and in the next turn should wipe out the opposing force.

I scored well in my last turn and take the game, victory to the Death Guard.

Death Guard: +4 Points (12 Total)

Chaos Space Marines:+0 Points (6 Total)

Post Game Thoughts

  • Locking down the Rhino seemed like a good idea.  It ended up tying down one heavy weapons Marine and they spend three turns of the game ineffectively hitting each other. The Marine could hit the Rhino but not hurt it, the Rhino couldn’t hit the Marine.  Was it worth tying down a single Marine with a 75pt vehicle?  Well given that my Warlord got pretty exposed as the game went on I think so, this Marine might have had shot at him had he not been busy punching the Rhino’s driver.
  • Forgetting to Deepstrike was just stupid, one more round of fire from the Terminators might have really helped things along.  There were a lot of Marines in the middle and they’re great targets for masses of rapid firing combi-bolters.
  • The Daemon Prince was his usual mix of awesomeness and ineptitude.  His armour was amazing when it killed five enemy Marines, but his own attacks were poor.  He seemed like a good distraction though.  When he’s not my Warlord I’m not so worried about losing him, yes it’s bad, but it’s not terrible.
  • I liked the mix of a Bloatdrone and a Crawler.  They’re similar yet different.  The Drone is mobile due to it being able to Fly, it can get in and out of tricky spots.  The Crawler is a nice solid hammer, it’s fast but due to its bulk a little trickier to manoeuvre.  But it can then hit much harder, and it’s cheaper.  Running two on a board with a fair bit of scenery can be a real squeeze, I never felt that running one with a Drone.
  • I’m quite liking my Helbrute again.  I went through a bit of a downer on it, in part because it lacks Disgusting Resilient and it seemed to die alarming often.  But having dabbled with other anti-armour options, such as the Armiger, and been doing a lot of looking up online the Helbrute now doesn’t seem to be such a terrible option.  They’re only 120 points now with a Twin Lascannon and a Missile Launcher  following point drops in Chapter Approved 2018.  I can see me getting another one.  Three attacks, even with the Lord for re-rolls, can be so variable so upping the output and bouncing more dice to ride the extremes of rolling out feels like a good plan.

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [71 PL, 1,251pts]

HQ [14 PL, 262pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 82pts]: Balesword [6pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, Malefic talon [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]

Troops [30 PL, 497pts]

  • 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]
  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 151pts]
    Plague Champion [25pts]
    Codex [9pts]: Boltgun, Plague knife, Power fist [9pts]
    Plague Marine w/ melee weapons [26pts]: Flail of Corruption [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ melee weapons [26pts]: Flail of Corruption [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ melee weapons [21pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts]
    Plague Marine w/ melee weapons [21pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts]
    Plague Marine w/ melee weapons [16pts]: 2nd Plague knife
    Plague Marine w/ melee weapons [16pts]: 2nd Plague knife
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 120pts]: 20x Poxwalker [120pts]

Elites [7 PL, 120pts]

  • Helbrute [7 PL, 120pts]: Missile launcher [20pts], Twin lascannon [40pts]

Fast Attack [8 PL, 158pts]

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

Heavy Support [8 PL, 140pts]

  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 140pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [34pts], Heavy slugger [6pts]

Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 74pts]

  • Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 74pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]

Vanguard Detachment +1CP (Death Guard) [41 PL, 496pts]

HQ [6 PL, 110pts]

  • Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Curse of the Leper

Elites [35 PL, 386pts]

  • Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, 60pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Warlord
  • Blightlord Terminators [27 PL, 249pts]
    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 [44pts]: Flail of Corruption [10pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]

One thought on “Death Guard vs. Chaos Space Marines (1,750 pts)

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

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