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.

Other than that I knew that I wanted to try the Melee Plague Marines in a a Rhino again, it’s been fun recently.  That meant taking the Malignant Plaguecaster and the Biologus Putrifier to buff them.  I also had enough points to take a second Rhino into which I popped a squad of five Plague Marines with two Blightlaunchers.  They would enjoy similar buffs to the Melee Plague Marines from an Arch-Contaminator Warlord.  A Chaos Lord could also fit into the bus to provide re-rolls all round.

My backline would be two five man squads of Plague Marines armed with three Plasma Guns and an anti-armour Helbrute.  I took a second Chaos Lord here to provide re-rolls to try and avoid the explosions from over charged Plasma.

So that means I’m taking all four squads of my Plague Marines and both of my new Chaos Lords.  I’m very happy with this.

Now I also needed something speedy.  My eye continues to remain on the Daemon Prince and I took him with two Foetid Bloat Drones.  They could zoom around and grab things, if they end up near the Warlord and the Melee squad then they’ll get buffed again, this would be a good thing, but not something I’d try too hard for.

Finally there two units of 10 Poxwalkers, I fear deep strikes form Grey Knights as they have so many things that can do it.  They would provide board control and area denial for me.  I did not want my anti-armour backline getting charged.  Taking two units of ten allowed me to fill out two Battalions.

The Game

We rolled the Tactical Cascade from Chapter Approved 2018.  You would choose your first two objectives and then each completed objective would generate two more.  There would be a punishment of -1CP for each uncompleted objective at the end of the game.  A rule that we missed was that there would be a limit of six objectives generated each turn.  As it turns out this wouldn’t trouble the Grey Knights, but it would give me more to do and mean that at the end I also took a hefty penalty from having so many things that I just couldn’t finish.



We set up along the long sides of the table, I had to set up first.  I placed my backline in the centre with the two squads of Poxwalkers surrounding them as a screen.  Knowing that I would pick my first two tactical objective cards I set up aiming to defend two of the objectives on the table.  In the first Battle Round I would need to hold them at the end of my turn and my opponent’s.

I remember to leave a hole in the screening units for my speedy units to get out of.  I would send them up the middle in the hope that my opponent would set something up for them to get at.

My Daemons went on my right.

My opponent set up his Grey Knights on my left and centre and then his Inquisition units on my right facing my Daemons.  He had done this to presumably benefit from the re-rolls to hits and wounds that the Inquisitors would give their troops against Daemons.  But this was fine with me, it meant that the Grey Knights and their 3 Mortal Wound smites were away from my Daemons.  Re-rolls I can deal with.  A dozen units casting almost automatic smites (Warp Charge 5 with no increase on repeated manifestations and a +1 to the manifestation roll) causing that much damage can be really really painful to a Daemon.

Turn 1

I really fear Deep Strikes, look at my screen…  But it all goes well for me on my first turn. My melee Rhino rolls a really great Advance and gets right up the middle of the table, the ranged Rhino behind isn’t so quick but does OK.  The first Rhino takes an impressive 7 or 8 mini-smites from the Grey Knights.  But it’s not a Daemon so that’s only 7 or 8 wounds, if my Daemons had been closer they would have taken 21 or 24 Mortal Wounds.  Sure I can Disgustingly Resilient away a third of them, but that’s still enough to kill pretty much anything and still really hurt something else.

As the sun sets my Daemons begin to tear apart the Inquisition troops, but I don’t kill a unit so no First Strike for me.

The Imperium shoots back but doesn’t move in to engage, they don’t wipe a unit out either.

With neither I nor the Imperium getting First Strike it’s down to the Tactical Objectives that we chose as our first two.  I took a risk and went for “Defend” ones which netted me two points each, the Imperium played it safe with “Secure” ones which only gave them one each.  The Death Guard are ahead.

Death Guard:+4 Point (4 Total)

Imperium: +2 Point (2 Total)

Turn 2

On my turn I keep up the pressure on the Grey Knights.  My melee Plague Marines make it into combat and start to cause hurt.  On the other side my Daemon Prince takes on an Inquisitor and nearly kills him.  I focus on my objectives and manage to get all four cards.

The Imperium strikes back!  The Inquisitor runs away from the Prince, but other Inquisition troops gun down one of my Drones.  I pay the 1CP to force it to explode, the carnage takes out the Inquisitor and a number of other troops.

Their deep strikers alive.  Three Adeptus Custodes Shield Captains in Allarus Terminator Armor appear on my right.  They’re tough, T5, 7 Wounds and a 2+ save.  Thankfully they blow their charges.

The Imperium again gain 2 Victory Points, but I get 4, my lead increases.

Death Guard:+4 Point (8 Total)

Imperium: +2 Point (4 Total)

Turn 3

I react to the deep striking arrivals and adjust my screen, but there’s no need.  They’re the closest units to the Helbrute who can fire twice and my Armiger stalks across to lend his guns against them.  Overcharged Plasma does its part as well.  One Custodes goes down and another is down to one wound left.  On my left I continue to mop up the Grey Knights while in the centre the Daemon Prince and Drone and finished off the Inquisition and turn to deal with the Custodes as well.  I want them fighting away from my Gunline so they’re offering themselves up as targets.

The Custodes go for the bait, they move away from my guns and take on my Deamons.  They do manage to kill the Prince, but my precious gun line is safe.

The Death Guard do well and clear down 6 objectives for 8 VPs.  The Imperium again gain 2 Victory Points,.

Death Guard:+8 Point (16 Total)

Imperium: +2 Point (6 Total)

Turn 4


It’s all over, and all I have is this blurry photo.

We’re running low on time and the Imperium is running low on units.  The Death Guard take down the two remained Custodes and all but to Grey Knight Paladins and their Warlord.

At this point we call the game, if I had another turn I probably could have managed a tabling.  But as was the Imperium wasn’t going to complete any more objectives and I had done well again.

I also claim Linebreaker but have a -5 VP penalty for my uncompleted objectives, the Imperium are facing a -6 VP penalty for theirs and score no more this turn.

Death Guard:+8 Points & -5 Penalty (24 Total)

Imperium: +0 Points & -6 Penalty (0 Total)

Post Game Thoughts

The List

  • I think that my Deamons didn’t face the Grey Knights really helped me out.  Setting up the Inquisition to take them on, the Imperium set up second, is really tempting with all the re-roll buffs going on but it just doesn’t compare to what could have been 20+ Mortal Wounds.
  • The Custodes Shield Captains can be beasts, but they appeared right near my Gunline and on the other side of a screen.  As was they blew their charge, but even had that of succeeded I would have lost a few Poxwalkers and my guns would still have taken them out.
  • My Armiger was strangely ineffective.  I didn’t face as much armour as I thought and they spent their first turn wasting their auto-cannons on 1WP models.  When the Custodes did arrive it was the Helbrute and the Plasma that took most of the weight.  But it was flexible.  I could shift it about quickly as it moves at a nippy 14″.
  • I’m pleased with how I played my screen this week.  I didn’t get distracted and try to send it into combat and it didn’t block in the units that did need to move.  I am improving 🙂

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [54 PL, 970pts]

HQ [14 PL, 256pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, 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 [17 PL, 286pts]

  • 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 [3 PL, 60pts]: 10x Poxwalker [60pts]

Elites [7 PL, 112pts]

  • Helbrute [7 PL, 112pts]: Helbrute fist [30pts], Multi-melta [22pts]

Fast Attack [16 PL, 316pts]

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

Super-Heavy Auxiliary 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]

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [51 PL, 858pts]

HQ [11 PL, 186pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Curse of the Leper

Troops [20 PL, 312pts]

  • 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
  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 101pts]
    Plague Champion [17pts]
    Codex [1pts]: Boltgun, Plaguesword [1pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [32pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
  • Poxwalkers [3 PL, 60pts]: 10x Poxwalker [60pts]

Elites [12 PL, 214pts]

  • Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, 60pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Warlord
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]

Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 146pts]

  • Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 74pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 72pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts]

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