Nurgle vs. Space Marines (1,500 points) – Battle Report


This was a rematch against the Space Marines that I took on in my last game, we’d upped the points to 1,500 for this

List Theory


This time I was focussed on trying to integrate my Nurgle Daemons with my Death Guard.  The points had been upped so I had a bit more room, but it was still going to be tight.  So I made the decision to drop Rotigus.  This meant that I could take two elements to my Death Guard force.

The first Death Guard element would be a gun line of Plasma equipped Plague Marines, the Contemptor Dreadnought and a Chaos Lord to give re-rolls to both.  The Contemptor would again take the Butcher Cannons rather than Lascannons, with the Plasma Marines I hoped that I had enough anti-armour and the Butcher’s ability to knock down Primaris Marines might come in very handy.

The second Death Guard element would be two Plagueburst Crawlers and a Deamon Prince, this would be a mobile detachment that I would hurl forwards at my enemy.

To round out my Death Guard to a battalion I took ten Poxwalkers.  These are relatively cheap yet are also good at sitting on an objective as they have Disgustingly Resilient and can ignore morale.

The Nurgle Battalion retained the Plaguebearers and Nurglings with the HQs of the Poxbringer and the Spoilpox Scrivener.  These Daemons would also want to get close to the enemy, and there would be synergy with he mobile Death Guard section.  The Poxbringer adds one to the strength of Nurgle Daemons, and that’s exactly what the Plagueburst Crawlers and the Daemon Prince are.  That could see the Crawlers hitting at S8, which would be nice.

The Game


We rolled the Narrow the Search mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  I hate this mission, there is one objective in the centre which is worth 1VP for the controlling player at the end each battle round.  The controlling range starts off at 18″ and then drops by 3″ a round.  The reason for my dislike of this mission is that there is also a null field, which negates invulnerable saves, for 12″ around the central objective.  Nurgle Daemons, and to a lesser extent Death Guard Daemons, really rely on their invulnerable saves as their normal save is often only 6+.  Thankfully I had my Death Guard infantry who didn’t have the invulnerable saves to worry about.

I had to deploy first and so couldn’t see what my opponent was going to do.  My Death Guard infantry would go for the centre.  I put my Death Guard Daemons on my left flank where they could motor past the null field.  The Nurgle Daemons would take the right flank.  Both units of Daemons would circle the null field and try to catch something in a pincer movement.  If needed it my Plaguebearers could run into the centre to add some more models and secure control.  I had to guess what to do with my Nurglings and opted to drop them all on my left as far forward as they could go.  I hoped that might drive some of the enemy to be deployed away from them and towards my Plaguebearers.

Turn 1

Objective area of control = 18″

I get the first turn and I play as planned.  Death Guard Daemons to the left and Nurgle Daemons to the right.  The Nurgle horde tries to get as many of their number within 18″ of the centre, but outside of the 12″ null field, as they can.  My Death Guard infantry advance into the null field and the leading Plasma Gun equipped elements of each squad manage to get into cover.  In my psychic phase I manage to manifest the power that gives the Plaguebearers an additional -1 to be hit on top of their natural -1 (Miasma of Pestilence).

In my shooting phase I do pretty good.  The combination of overcharged Plasma fire, Butcher Cannons and Plagueburst Crawlers firing their mortars manage to knock down a squad of Intercessor Marines and another of Hellblaster equipped ones.  This gives me First Strike but also takes away those horrible Hellblasters.  I did manage to lose the Champion of one of the squads of Plague Marines when his Plasma Gun overloaded and was reduced to a pair of smoking slimy boots.  My Nurglings race towards the enemy’s rear and pin a squad of Marines in close combat.  They’re not going to kill the Marines, but they’ll be equally pretty hard to kill.  Those Marines will hopefully be surrounded and unable to withdraw, if they can withdraw at least that’ll still be one round without shooting.

The Marines now took their turn, and it didn’t go too well.  No fire went in the direction of the Plaguebearers, a -2 to hit is a real deterrent, and instead a lot went on the Plasma Marines.  One six man squad was reduced to a lone survivor and the other lost a couple.  I burned some CP to keep that lone Plague Marine on the table and to deny the Marines First Strike, there was a decent chance he’d blow his morale test if left to the roll of a die.  A squad of Meltagun equipped Marines dropped down in a drop pod almost in the centre, thankfully they rolled poorly and my Plagueburst Crawlers rolled well, they chipped a few wounds away but nothing too bad.

At the end of the turn I had a horde of Troop models within 18″ of the centre and took the objective for the round.  I pick up two points, First Strike and the objective, while the Marines gain nothing.

Death Guard: +2 Point (2 Total)

Space Marines:+0 Point (0 Total)

Turn 2

Objective area of control = 15″

On the left flank I pushed my Death Guard Daemons forwards, they managed to get the Land Raider into melee.  That’s a great thing as while I may not kill it, though the Daemon Prince should dent it badly, it’ll not be shooting.  And if it withdraws it’ll still be within easy charge range next round.  Basically I can make it never shoot again if I so chose.  My battered Marines in the centre keep up the Plasma fire from the four guns that are left between the two squads.  That and possibly some fire from my Death Guard gun line takes down the enemy’s Contemptor Dreadnought.  The bulk of the Marines in the centre including the arrivals from the drop pod are wiped out.  My Nurgle Daemons keep on circling the centre with enough staying within 15″ of the objective, yet outside of the 12″ null zone, to make sure the objective will be mine.

The Marines pull back from the centre and try to consolidate.  The Land Raider does pull back but will therefore miss its shooting.  There really isn’t much else they can do, they pick a few wounds away and take out a few more Plague Marines but it’s not enough to make a difference.  With turn 2 heading to its conclusion, the Death Guard picking up more points and the Marines facing a seemingly impossible task, given their lack of Troops, to control the central objective they concede defeat.  Victory to the Death Guard.

Death Guard: +1 Point (3 Total)

Space Marines:+0 Point (0 Total)

Casualties return to the Garden of Nurgle and the loving embrace of Grandfather Nurgle

Post Game Thoughts

  • The Marine’s Land Raider performed as I thought it might, poorly.  If you’re not using it to carry a lot of troops then the Marines seem to have better choices such as the Primaris Repulsor Executioner that I’ve played against.  Letting it get caught in close combat is also a weakness that I know only too well.
  • This is a tough game when it comes to determining the value of the Nurgle Daemons.  The Death Guard carried the weight of the fight while the Nurgle Daemons looped around a side where there was nothing to get at.  It’s possible that their approach made the Marines feel that they had to withdraw from the centre, which made their winning the game impossible, but that’s a tough one to call.  Their large numbers also made it much harder for the Marines to take the objective and, if necessary, the Deamons would have plunged into the null zone to take it.  So I think it was all about their threat and potential rather then the kills they scored.  Was that worth it?
  • The Marine player did say that he’d played a few times against a friend’s Death Guard and had never won a match against them.  So I did talk a bit about the weaknesses, as I see them, of my Death Guard.  So I mentioned the trouble I have with T8 units that can wipe me out from long range (Knights or Leman Russ tanks) and snipers picking off my characters when I feel so dependent on their buffs.
  • Two units of Nurglings, 108 Points, tied down a unit of Primaris Intercessors armed with auto bolt rifles, 90 points.  Was that worth it?  The Nurglings were never going to kill the squad, but they did kill on Marine, go Nurlings!  However tying the Marines down in combat meant that they weren’t shooting and they weren’t off to try and contest the objective as they were troops.  You don’t have to kill things to win, so that felt like a good move.
  • I never got to see how my Death Guard Daemons would fare with their Strength buffed by the Nurgle Daemons.  That’s a shame, but I felt like I had to do the pincer manoeuvre to stop the Marines being able to just back away from the advancing mob and/or get at my gun line.

The List

Total: 89 PL, 1,500pts

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Daemons) [26 PL, 508pts]

HQ [8 PL, 165pts]

  • Poxbringer [4 PL, 70pts]: Miasma of Pestilence
  • Spoilpox Scrivener [4 PL, 95pts]

Troops [18 PL, 343pts]

  • Nurglings [3 PL, 54pts]: 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]
  • Nurglings [3 PL, 54pts]: 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]
  • Plaguebearers [12 PL, 235pts]: Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts], 29x Plaguebearer [203pts], Plagueridden [7pts]

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [63 PL, 992pts]

HQ [14 PL, 256pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: 3. Tainted Regeneration, Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts], Warlord
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, Malefic talon [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]

Troops [23 PL, 318pts]

  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 129pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, 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, 129pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, 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]
  • Poxwalkers [3 PL, 60pts]: 10x Poxwalker [60pts]

Elites [10 PL, 138pts]

  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 138pts]: 2x Butcher cannon [50pts], Nurgle

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]

One thought on “Nurgle vs. Space Marines (1,500 points) – Battle Report

  1. Pingback: Death Guard vs. Space Marines (1,000 points) – Battle Report – Plague Gardening

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