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.

Turn 1


I did get the first turn.  My infantry shuffled forwards, the Rhino raced ahead popping smoke as it did so and on my right my Prince, Drone and Crawler advanced.  Shooting then commenced, and it was a good start.  The enemy Armiger on my left was closest to my Helbrute, so I paid 1CP and attacked it twice.  It was fell to the barrage.  Other than that not a lot went on.  A few Marines on the walls fell to Plasma but not many, Primaris Marines with two wounds are hard to kill.  On the right I think a few Guardsmen were pecked away.

In retaliation on their turn the enemy blew away the Helbrute and wiped the Marines from the top of my Orky wall.  But a large chunk of the Marines were behind the wall, and they couldn’t get to the top of it.  The return fire from the Imperium was limited, more so considering that they were an Armiger down.

The Imperials did manage to claim an objective while we both got First Strike, the Imperials have a slight lead.

Death Guard: +1 Points (1 Total)

Chaos Space Marines:+2 Points (2 Total)

Turn 2

On my right I push the Prince, Drone and Plagueburst Crawler right up and they start chewing away on the Guard inflicting some nasty casualties.  The Terminators remember to appear on time in this game but their fire is ineffectual.  Out of 20 overcharge Plasma shots I think only actually damages the Armiger they were firing at, not a good start.

But the real action happens on the left.  My Rhino made is close enough to unload its cargo.  The Plague Marines are all within 6″ of the Knight and unleash a Blight Bombardment (1CP) backed by Veterans of the Long War (1CP) and the Bilogus Putrifier onto it.  That’s 7D6 attacks, while they might only be S4 have a +1 to wound and will generate Mortal Wounds on a 6+, a 5+ with the bonus.  So about 1 in 3 wound rolls will do a Mortal Wound, and those that damage normally will do 2 wounds a piece.  The Psyker and the Putrifier himself also hurl Blight grenades.  At the end of all of this the Knight is down to 5 wounds or less.  The Foul Blightspawn tries to finish him off but fluffs his rolls and does nothing.

So, melee.  The Rhino charges in an attempt to protect the Marines from overwatch but dies to some lucky powerful shots.  So it’s down to the Plague Marines, they make their charge with no casualties.  At this point the game is called.  The Imperial’s on my right flank are crumbling and the Knight is about to fall joining his Armiger comrade.  The Imperials just don’t think that they can win the game from this point.

So we just lined our armies back up again and had at each other for an hour or so, crazy Warhammer is better than no Warhammer 🙂


Post Game Thoughts

  • The Rhino Melee Bomb can be an awesome unit.  If it can get within 6″ of a target then I’ve seen it kill all sorts of things such Nemesis Dreadknight’s carrying a Warlord, massive Tau Battlesuits and now a Knight.  7d6 attacks when 1:3 of those that hit will cause a Mortal Wound can really take down some big things.  But, this is a very expensive and somewhat obvious tactic.  You need the Putrifier to buff the Grenades, a Psyker to buff the Marines for any resulting combat, a Warlord to re-roll all failed wounds and a Rhino to get the whole lot to within 6″ of an enemy.  Then you’ll also be spending at least 2CP, 1CP to launch the Grenades and more CP to get a +1 to wound.  A number of players have learned this and if they seen that Rhino coming they nuke it or just bloke it with chaff melee screens.
  • The Armigers haven’t been the long range anti-armour weapon I was hoping for.  A S7 and with -1AP they’re actually quite gentle.  Against S8 targets like Knights they have a tough time.
  • On the plus side my Helbrute has played well the last few games.  In my previous game it popped the enemy’s melee Rhino in the first turn.  It does rely on having a valuable unit as being the closest though.  That’s happened in the last two games but it’s an easy trick to nerf if you know what to look for.
  • The player from my previous game advised this player to nuke my Helbrute on sight.  After the Helbrute took down an Armiger that seemed like good advice, but it meant that my Rhino could get up close to do its thing.  The Rhino Melee Bomb is a very neat trick, but Im very away of how vulnerable it is.  So I often try and provide other distractions, I want that Rhino to seem inoffensive and for other things to seem scary.  Maybe I should get another Helbrute to back up the first?
  • Have I learned how to deal with Knights?  I don’t think so, part of this was luck.  But this does flag up how they can be such a vital part of an army that if they’re lost the army can’t win the game.
  • The decision we made as to how to handle the walls and the Imperial’s desire to hide from my guns were crucial decisions.  It reduced how much of the Imperial Army could come into play at any one time, I took a lot less fire than I should have down because of that.  Surviving is good, but shooting can be better.
  • It’s hard to know when to call a game and when to go for the heroic last stand.  In this case I think calling it was right, we still had enough time to get a few turns of a free for all in to see how units handled themselves.

The List

This has been corrected, so it’s 73 points over the 1,750 limit.

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [80 PL, 1,275pts]

HQ [20 PL, 366pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, Hellforged sword [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]
  • Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Curse of the Leper

Troops [36 PL, 477pts]

  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 130pts]
    Plague Champion [28pts]
    Codex [12pts]: Plaguesword [1pts], 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, 130pts]
    Plague Champion [28pts]
    Codex [12pts]: Plaguesword [1pts], 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, 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, 66pts]: 11x Poxwalker [66pts]

Elites [4 PL, 60pts]

  • Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, 60pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Warlord

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) [31 PL, 548pts]

HQ [6 PL, 101pts]

  • Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour [6 PL, 101pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts], Power sword [4pts]

Elites [25 PL, 447pts]

  • 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]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Helbrute [7 PL, 120pts]: Missile launcher [20pts], Twin lascannon [40pts]



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