Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts) – Battle Report


I’ve played Cadian Shock’s Astra Militarum about 7 times now, and he’s beaten me once.  So, as it turned out, he was really out to get me.  This game was a few weeks ago, life has intervened somewhat, but I think I remember it fairly well as it was pretty memorable, for all the wrong reasons…

You can read Cadian Shock’s take on the battle here, the photos might look familiar as I passed mine over to him.

List Theory

1,750 point Death Guard army

This game was a few days after the new rules for giving Heretic Astartes extra attacks came out.  So, despite knowing that Cadian Shock had 7 newly completed Leman Russ tanks, I decided to go melee and drop my usual attempts to take some anti-armour units.

So the first part of my list was Typhus and his Deathshroud, they all would go into a Land Raider to get them close enough so as to get into combat.  I wanted more melee Marines so I took a squad of Melee focussed Plague Marines and a Rhino.  Also squeezing into a Rhino would be a Biologus Putrifier (for Blight Bombardment shenanigans) and two Foul Blightspawns (for some anti-armour).  I also took a Daemon Prince and a Foetid Drone with the lawn mower attachment, which also benefits from the extra attacks.  All of these things would charge up together and hopefully some of them would make it into combat.

For my backline I took a squad of Plasma equipped Plague Marines supported by a Chaos Lord.  To round out my battalion there would be a squad of Chaos Cultists.

Finally, for some reason, I then also took another Rhino.  I’m really not sure why I did this.  I think it might have been to make the Plasma squad mobile if I wanted it and it might also have been just a distraction and something to soak up overwatch.

The Game


We rolled the Four Pillars Eternal War mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  There would be four objectives along lines from the centre of the table.  If you control more than your opponent you get 1VP per turn, if you can control them all you get 3VP.  There is there another 1VP available each round for killing more units than your opponent.

Deployment would be the Hammer and Anvil map and I took the first turn.

My Death Guard deployed aggressively, my mobile units all pushed far forward.  One Plague Marine squad hung onto one objective and a squad of Cultists took the other.  I would have to push forward as fast as I can and get my stuff into melee combat.

The Astra Militarum hid their tanks behind an infantry screen.  I would have to peel that away if I was to get those tanks in melee combat.

Turn 1

Oh boy this did not go well…

I charged my vehicles forwards and had very little fire that was ineffectual.  I had hoped to maybe take down at least one tank, preferably one of his tank commanders, but managed to deal only a couple of wounds to it.

And then the Astra Militarum fired back, and they wiped out most of my army.  The Land Raider, both Rhinos, the melee Plague Marines, the Drone and the Deathshroud were all taken out.  The Imperium used the Relic of Lost Cadia relic to re-roll all failed hits and all failed wounds.  And the incoming fire was just utterly punishing.  Guard troopers then charged into action and did enabled me to get some kills, but nothing to be proud of.

At this point it was clear that I wasn’t going to win this game, the melee units that I’d built my army around had been gutted.  Losing the vehicles wasn’t the end of the world, but losing the melee units was, they were what my army was built for and they’d now gone.  For the moment though we both get 1VP for First Strike but the Imperium picks up another for killing many more units that I managed.

Death Guard: +1 (1 total)

Astra Militarum: +2 (2 total)

Turn 2

It’s clear I’m not going to take this game, but I’m not going down without a fight.  I hope that my Blightspawns might be able to take down a tank, but they both roll poorly and fail.  To make this worse I’d pushed my Warlord, the Biologus Putrifier, forwards to buff them with re-rolls from his Arch Contaminator trait.  So my Warlord was now exposed.  My Daemon Prince manages to make it into combat but Typhus fails his charge.  The melee combat also goes poorly, I don’t kill anything.

And the guard shoot back and hit hard again, more of my stuff dies.

At the end we’re both still holding one objectives but, again, the Astra Militarum have killed more units than I did so they push ahead by another point.

Death Guard: +0 (1 total)

Astra Militarum: +1 (3 total)

Turn 3

The Guard now begin to push forwards and I try to kill a few more to get some revenge on the Imperium, but again I roll poorly, and again I take heavy casualties.  My Warlord also falls giving the enemy yet another Victory Point.

By now it’s clear that I’m about to lose one of my objectives and have lost pretty much all of my army and made no dent on the enemy tanks at all.  So I concede the game and call it done.

Death Guard: +0 (1 total)

Astra Militarum: +2 (5 total)

Post Game Thoughts

  • I knew that I had built a pretty daft list by focussing on melee units but I didn’t expect to take such a walloping.  I think I had a lot of units that are of questionable value and in return I was facing an army that was built with the idea of taking my Death Guard down.  But, even then, I should have done better than I did.
  • Should I have let the enemy take the first turn and hope that they moved closer to me?
  • There was some poor rolling, the Land Raider and both Foul Blightspawns failing to do any substantial damage was an unlikely event, but I should have been playing my stratagems better to make the most of whatever fire I did manage to get.
  • I probably should have stretched my Cultists out across both of my objectives, put the Plasma Marines into the empty Rhino and unleashed overcharged rapid fire Plasma at an enemy tank.
  • This does reinforce my difficulties in dealing with T8 enemy units, and this guard army was jam full of them.

The List

Total: 107 PL, 1,750pts

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Death Guard)

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 [26 PL, 366pts]

  • Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 70pts]
    13x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [65pts]
    Cultist Champion [5pts]: Autogun
  • 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 [10 PL, 145pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [64pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]

Elites [4 PL, 60pts]

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

Fast Attack [8 PL, 136pts]

  • Foetid Bloat-drone [8 PL, 136pts]: Fleshmower [12pts], Plague probe [25pts]

Heavy Support [19 PL, 299pts]

  • Chaos Land Raider [19 PL, 299pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts], Twin heavy bolter [17pts], 2x Twin lascannon [80pts]

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 (Chaos – Death Guard) [28 PL, 485pts]

HQ [9 PL, 175pts]

  • Typhus [9 PL, 175pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Curse of the Leper

Elites [19 PL, 310pts]

  • Deathshroud Terminators [11 PL, 156pts]
    Deathshroud Champion [52pts]: Manreaper [17pts], 2x Plaguespurt gauntlets
    2x Deathshroud Terminator [104pts]: 2x Manreaper [34pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]
  • Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 77pts]

7 thoughts on “Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts) – Battle Report

    1. “Well done for sticking it out Mark!”

      There was still things I could learn, such as how well Typhus would do in combat against the tanks. It’s also the case that we weren’t going to get another game in, and playing Warhammer is better than not playing Warhammer so the game goes on.

      “I thought a unit could only hold one objective at a time even”

      I used to think the same, but then a horde army did it to me and I re-read the rules. All they talk about is the number of models within a certain distance of a point. There doesn’t seem to be any additional restrictions about the units that those models come from. So ten cultists could have stretched for nearly 30″ across the table. When the unit takes casualties you take from the middle and gradually the unit becomes separated by an ever larger distance. You cannot do any movement unless you get back into coherence, so eventually you’ll lose the ability to ever move any model within the unit again but you’ve still got the objective.

      Liked by 1 person

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