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.

Turn 1

We both pushed forward at each other.  My Cultists took a pounding from long range artillery but I saved the unit, to deny First Strike, with the Insane Bravery stratagem.  2CP to deny my opponent 1VP seemed like a smart move.

My reduced Cultists and the Chaos Lord didn’t seem like they would have enough firepower to deal with the Ratling snipers, so I sent one drone back to assist them.  Together they got the job done and my Helbrute could fire twice at the closest Imperial vehicle, a Helbrute.  He did, and blew it to pieces.  At least three dead units gives me First Strike (+1VP).

The objectives score nothing in the first round so I’m one VP ahead.

Imperium: +0 Point (0 Total)

Death Guard:+1 Point (1 Total)

Turn 2

Infantry begins to pour out of the Imperial vehicles and the artillery barrage continues.  But I’m lucky and don’t lose much.

My own infantry dismounts and with support from the Helbrute destroys both of the remaining flame thrower vehicles and two Armoured Personnel Carriers.  With the infantry exposed I also open fire on them.  The battle for the centre ground, and those precious objectives, is going my way.   My Death Guard are up close and so the Malignant Plaguecaster is able to cause extra mortals when he rolls a 7+ to manifest a power.  When there are so many units in an Astra Militarum army this feels like draining the ocean but every little helps.   I charge one of my Rhinos into the Malcador Defender (which is beautifully painted) so that it will have to withdraw next round, I could do without all the heavy bolter shots it can pour out.

The Imperium controls two objectives and I currently only hold one, the game is a tie.

Imperium: +2 Point (2 Total)

Death Guard:+1 Point (2 Total)

Turn 3

The Imperium holds no objectives at the start of their turn, which is good for me.  The Malcador Defender does withdraw, so it won’t shoot this round.  But the artillery unit does, and it’s devastating.  One Plague Marine out of two squads survives and both Plagueburst Crawlers are lost.  Both Plageburst Crawlers explode (this takes a 4+), my Warlord takes damage and is then finished off by something else, possibly the assassin sniping from the ruins.

I don’t have a lot left on the table but I do control two objectives at the start of my turn.  At this point I probably should have pulled things back and hunkered down to try and hold the objectives that I have.  But I lose sight of what will win the game and pushed some things onwards.  I try to take an objective off of an Imperial squad when I probably should just have shot them off of it.  The Marine I sent forward isn’t going to survive and be there in my next turn so I won’t score anything through his sacrifice.

Imperium: +1 Point for killing my Warlord (3 Total)

Death Guard:+2 Points (4 Total)

Turns 4 & 5

The Astra Militarum only has the Malcador Defender as a mobile unit.  The artillery and the sniper want to say still and kill things, and this is what they try to do.

I send my Rhino and Bloat Drone forward for one attempt to try and nobble some of the artillery but they fall to incoming fire.  So I shift into camping mode and just squat down on the objectives I’ve got, I’ll take the incoming fire in a style befitting of the Death Guard.  I doubt the Imperium will score many more points, if any more at all.  Meanwhile I’m in the lead and anything extra I can get at all will push me further ahead.

Imperium: +0 Points (3 Total)

Death Guard:+2 Points (6 Total)

Turns 6 & 7

The game continues, curses.  I could do with it ending.  The endless bombardment finally makes my last unit fall in turn 7.  But the Missions’s Acceptable Casualties rule means that this doesn’t matter, it’s all down to points.

The Imperium steal one extra point through the Malcador Defender taking an objective, but I also gain one more.

Imperium: +1 Points (4 Total)

Death Guard:+1 Points (7 Total)


Victory to the Death Guard, 7 points to 4.

Post Game Thoughts

  • Was one Chaos Lord (76 pts) an over investment for one Helbrute?  It would have been nice to have a bit more back line shooty stuff but I’ve only one Helbrute, maybe this needs to be fixed.  The Lord also proved quite adept at mowing down Ratlings with his combi-bolter, so maybe he’s worth more than I think?
  • Apparently the placing of the Ratlings and the nerfing of my Helbrute was a coincidence. But it does show the risk of relying on neat “tricks” to do damage.  It’s so easy to spot and foil.
  • Turn 3 is the point at which I should have started to pull back and shift into a holding position.  I could easily have claimed one more objective at the start of my next turn and sending a Marine forward was a very risky and questionable decision.  As was in turn 4 I scored nothing, that should have been a point or two.
  • It was really nice to see the effects of the artillery.  They were devastating, and in the end they tabled me for no losses.  But tabling doesn’t matter for these new missions and the artillery wasn’t actually earning the Astra Military any points.  They’re true support units, and maybe the army needed more ground controlling units to get out there and score points?  Thank Nurgle for the Acceptable Casualties rule, you can’t just sit there and shoot and win, well not all the time anyway.

The List

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [87 PL, 1,424pts]

HQ [14 PL, 256pts]

  • 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]

Troops [26 PL, 304pts]

  • Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 70pts]
    13x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [65pts]
    Cultist Champion [5pts]: Autogun
  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 117pts]
    Plague Champion [17pts]
    Codex [1pts]: Boltgun, Plaguesword [1pts]
    3x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [48pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 117pts]
    Plague Champion [17pts]
    Codex [1pts]: Boltgun, Plaguesword [1pts]
    3x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [48pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]

Elites [7 PL, 120pts]

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

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]

Heavy Support [16 PL, 280pts]

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

Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 148pts]

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

Vanguard Detachment +1CP (Death Guard) [18 PL, 324pts]

HQ [6 PL, 110pts]

  • Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 6. Curse of the Leper

Elites [12 PL, 214pts]

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


4 thoughts on “Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts)

    1. It was closer than it should have been, I should have played the mission better and started securing my positions in turn 3 rather than turn 4. It’s just so very hard when that artillery is all parked up in nice rows blowing your units to pieces, it’s so tempting to go and try and take it out, it’s a good distraction.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Malcador Defender gets an outing versus The Death Guard - 1,750 Points -

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

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