Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts)

A recent bout of the universe reminding me of its general hostility and unfairness has meant that it’s been a while since I last had a game.  But time came when it was OK to get back into the saddle, and so here I am facing Cadian Shock’s Astra Militarum again.

You can read Cadian Shock’s write up of this game here.

List Theory

IMG_4824.jpg

This is a very similar list to the one that I played in my last game and the one before that.  Both of those lists used my Rhinos to mobilise my infantry and get them out grabbing objectives.

In my last game I dropped the flying Daemon Prince and the Bloat Drone to see how I could manage without the rapid moving flying units.  In their place I took a pair of Armigers, and all things told it went pretty well.

This time I tweaked the list again to drop the Helbrute and Plasma backline.  I stuck with the Armigers and this time added in some deep striking combi-Plasma equipped Terminators.  They would hopefully provide me with some anti-armour to replace that which I had lost by dropped by backline.  This would also give me some S8 weaponry which I do feel my Death Guard are lacking.  The Terminators would be supported by a Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour who would try to help them avoid exploding when they overcharge.

Setup

We rolled the Narrow the Search mission from Chapter Approved 2018 with the Spearhead Assault deployment map.  There would be one objective in the centre which would be worth one point a turn.  To begin with you would have to be within 18″ of it, but then that would drop by 3″ a turn as they game went on.  There was also a 12″ “null field” around the centre which would stop any invulnerable saves being taken.  Death Guard have a lot of invulnerable saves going on, and I’ve played this mission before, and that hurt me a lot.  So this time I was more than a little scared of getting my Daemons or Terminators anywhere near the centre.

IMG_4825.jpg

I had to deploy first and dropped my vehicles as close to the front as they could go.  My Plagueburst Crawlers would go up my right flank to avoid the null field in the centre, so thet could retain their invulnerable saves, while my Armigers would hang back providing long range fire support.  The infantry on foot and in the Rhinos would go in and get dirty in the centre to claim the objective.

IMG_4826.jpg

The Astra Militarum force had an awful lot of bodies on the pitch.  Some were forwards clearly intent on the objective and some were hanging back offering fire support of their own.  Hidden right at the back was an artillery park.

I took the first turn, the Astra Militarum failed to seize it, so away we went.

The Game

Turn 1

Both sides pushed for the middle.

I hadn’t yet fully realised the vital importance of Troops in this mission so focussed an awful lot of firepower on the enemy vehicles, and I rolled poorly.  I killed nothing, no First Strike for me.  In particular one enemy vehicle took an absolute barrage of Plasma and Autocannon fire and survived with one wound remaining.  Curses.

The Astra Militarum also had a tough time of it.  There was a hail of fire and a relic backed artillery barrage that picked off a Plague Marine or two and a couple of Poxwalkers.

The sheer number of troopers that the Astra Militarum had near the centre objective seized the day.  I had about 20, they had in possible double that.  First point to my enemy.

Death Guard:+0 Point (0 Total)

Astra Militarum: +1 Point (1 Total)

Turn 2

The penny dropped for me, kill troops!  Then I might be able to get a higher model count near the objective.  So wherever possible all fire went onto enemy troop units.  I pushed my Rhinos forwards to try and block off easy access to the centre.  But I should have played it smarter, they weren’t far enough forwards, this turn you could still claim the objective by being within 15″ of it.

I also dropped my Terminators pretty ineptly.  The Astra Militarum had done a great job in terms of board control and I didn’t have a lot of choices let to me.  But I wanted to avoid that null field and keep my 4+ invulnerable saves,  be in cover and get within 18″ of something so I could double tap my combi-plasma.  This lead me to chose a clump of trees on one side that was within 18″ of one vehicle.  But once that vehicle was gone that position was very very poor.  Line of sight was terrible and there wasn’t a lot else around.  A lot of points were wasted on those Terminators who seemed to do very little.

The Astra Militarum also knew what it would take to win this mission and pushed troops into the centre.  They killed a lot more of more troop units too, one Plague Marine was all that remained.

One again the Astra Militarum would control the centre, there was just so many of them. But with everything I had shooting at their troops how long could they hold on for?

Death Guard:+0 Point (0 Total)

Astra Militarum: +1 Point (2 Total)

Turn 3

The struggle for the centre continued with both sides focussing hard on it.  I tried to get as many models as I could within the now 12″ range.  The Astra Militarum even ordered their missile units to drop their fire support mission and to double time it into range, they weren’t troops but they could do the job on model count alone.  I think it was about 6 models against 4 or 5 of my Death Guard and they took it again.

Death Guard:+0 Point (0 Total)

Astra Militarum: +1 Point (3 Total)

Turn 4

The central objective falls to the Death Guard!  My Plagueburst Crawlers have now made it right around the right flank and the volume of fire I can lay down wipes away what enemy infantry remain near the centre, I also manage to take out of the enemy artillery units with my remaining firepower.

With at least two turns left it looks like at worst I’m going to get a draw.  The Astra Militarum are three points ahead, but I’ll get a point this turn and the next for the objective and I should get Line Breaker too.  If the game goes on for any more turns or I can claim the enemy Warlord then it’s going to be a victory for the Death Guard.

The Astra Militarum see this and begin to move their artillery to stop me being able to shoot at their Warlord, this will stop me getting another point but means their shooting isn’t as accurate.

Death Guard:+1 Point (1 Total)

Astra Militarum: +0 Point (3 Total)

Turn 5

I manage to take out another piece enemy artillery and my units are getting close to the enemy Warlord.  Again the Astra Militarum move their artillery to shelter their Warlord.

The centre is still firmly in the hands of the Death Guard.

Death Guard:+1 Point (2 Total)

Astra Militarum: +0 Point (3 Total)

At this point the game would be a tie if it ends, I will be picking up Linebreaker for an extra point.  However we roll that it continues for Turn 6, and then we roll again that there will be a Turn 7.  So now the game is called with a victory for the Death Guard.

Post Game Thoughts

  • This game was an awful lot of fun.  There was that moment in turn 2 when I realised that troops were going to be key to holding the central objective, and so did my opponent.  So there was this switch to really doubling down on taking out the enemy’s infantry while ignoring their bigger units.  Even the Armigers were blazing away with their Autocannons trying to kill as many ground pounders as possible.  It became an awesome and frantic struggle for the centre.  The Guard couldn’t hold it for ever, but were trying hard to hold it long enough to get enough points so as to win.  Focussing on the mission is great, I really like missions rather than just killing things.
  • I need to remember the Nurgle’s Rot stratagem.  Select a character and then there’s a 50% chance that enemy units within 7″ of it will take D3 mortal wounds.  It’s only once per battle but when you really need to put that final wound onto something, such as the Hellhound with one wound left or knocking down just one or two enemy models to claim the central objective, then it could be invaluable.
  • As with my last game against them the artillery park didn’t seem to achieve that much.  They did wipe out a lot of my troop units, but I had so few of them anyway that the guard were never in danger of losing control of the objective.  Once the troops were gone and we were just down to model count I had my tougher vehicles and characters that were protected by not being the closest unit to the artillery.
  • My Terminator deep strike was, to be frank, rubbish.  I should have put them somewhere possibly more risky but where they could have actually done something.  Being over cautious achieves nothing.
  • It felt like I could have manoeuvred around the central objective a lot better and I should have been much more aware of the range that the Astra Militarum were trying to get within.  I was quite simply out played by someone who was making much better decisions about that.  And that’s good, the better player won some more points.  Had I been more on the ball maybe the game would not have been a draw had it ended in turn 5.

The List

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]

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) [52 PL, 900pts]

HQ [11 PL, 186pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 6. Arch-Contaminator, 6. Curse of the Leper, Fugaris’ Helm, Warlord

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]

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) [28 PL, 505pts]

HQ [6 PL, 101pts]

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

Elites [22 PL, 404pts]

  • 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]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]

 

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

  1. Pingback: Cadian Brigade Detachment vs Death Guard -

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

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