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


This is a rematch against Cadian Shock, the last time we met he out played me and tabled my army.  Since then I’ve got my Daemon battalion onto the tabletop, how would I fare this time?

List Theory


The list was built around two main components.  The first would be my Nurgle Daemons, I’m still learning and having fun with them.  But I also wanted to take them a bit more seriously and really think about how I was going to use them.  To this end I decided to leave out Rotigus.  He’s a lot of points, and I think he needs more thought about how he should be used and if he needs a Sloppity Bilepiper for support.

The second component would be my Dreadnoughts.  I have completed my second Contemptor Dreadnought, this one armed with the butcher cannons that I’ve been taking my first one with instead of the dual twin lascannons he’s modelled with.  I knew that I was playing the Astra Militarum with this list, but didn’t know if it would be tank heavy list, like last time, or a horde of infantry.  So I couldn’t deliberately focus my list and had to build generally.  So I would take the Contemptors as modeled, one with dual twin lascannons and one with dual butcher cannons.  Therefore one anti-armour and one a bit more anti-infantry.  I would also take my Helbrute and that would take one twin lascanon and one missile launcher.  This would let it swing between anti-armour and anti-infantry a bit.  So I think it was pretty balanced.

The rest of the list was just filling in holes and getting me up to a Death Guard battalion for the Command Points.  Two Plagueburst Crawlers and a Daemon Prince gave me some fast moving threats, heavy things that might distract some fire away from the comparatively softer targets of the dreadnoughts.  Two squads of blight launcher equipped Plague Marines gave me some tough infantry with a bit of a punch in terms of strength (the launchers) and dakka (bolters).  A single squad of Poxwalkers to help hold objectives, they’re immunity to morale is very helpful.  Finally there would be a Chaos Lord, my warlord, who would be there to provide re-rolls to the expensive Dreadnoughts.

The Game

Cadian Shock’s write up of this game can be read here for the view from the other side.


We rolled the Beachhead mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  This would put three objectives on the table, one in the centre and one in each of the deployment zones.  From the start of the second battle round you would score at the start of your turn.  The central objective would be worth 2VP, the one in your deployment zone 1VP and the one in your enemies deployment zone 3VP.  Deployment would be the Search and Destroy map, the table would be in quarters with a 9″ bubble around the centre point in which you cannot deploy.  Both of us had similar ideas and dropped the objectives in our own zones close to the centre, we’d be going all out for full control of everything.

I had to deploy first.  The hill in the centre the table would be difficult to get around, it had some high sheer cliffs on my side.  So my Plagueburst Crawlers would go on my left flank, they would loop around and threaten the enemy or be ready to head back to catch deep strikers.  On my right flank would be my Nurgle Daemons, they would push for the enemy’s objectives.  In the centre would be my Plague Marines.  They would go for the centre but also be ready to offer fire support to hold the objective in my deployment zone.  The Dreadnoughts took some high ground on my right where they could hopefully see into the enemy deployment zone and take out some vehicles.  The Poxwalkers would act as a screen to prevent deep strikes and would then consolidate and hold the objective in my zone.  I dropped my Nurglings outside of my deployment zone and close to the objective in the enemy’s, they would charge straight in and hopefully divert some fire while my Plaguebearers got in close to do their thing.

We were ready, I would go first.

Turn 1

I stick to my plan.  On the left the Daemon engines clank around the hill.  I push one with an advance hoping to get into range of the nice soft infantry, but I roll a one when I think a three or more would have done it.  So I spend 1CP for a re-roll, which seems worth it if I can get the thing attacking.  But the Raven Guard have used a stratagem, stranglehold, that can increase the cost of my stratagems by 1CP.  This triggers, so I now pay 2CP for my re-roll, which gives me another one,  Grump.  On the right my Plaguebearers begin to filter around the hill, they won’t be in charge range this round.  My nurglings gleefully skip towards the enemy objective.  My shooting goes pretty well, I manage to pop one of the enemy Hellhounds and a handful of infantry fall (though I spend another 2CP to re-roll a one, getting yet another one).  My nurglings change the enemy infantry and while they don’t do a substantial amount of damage they are now sitting on the enemy objective.

The Imperials are facing the forces of Nurgle from their front, left and right.  They push infantry up onto he hill, which will stop me being able to hold the objective next round as they outnumber me.  The nurglings absorb a lot of fire but keep on hanging in there.  And then they send in one of their cyclops demolition tanks.  And it goes boom big time.  It manages to take out the two other cyclops tanks and maybe ten or so infantry men.  Impressive, and unlikely as he rolled a six for the range of the blast, anything else would have been fine.  After all the gun fire one of the groups of Nurglings is hanging on in there.  They are charged by more infantry, which although it doesn’t kill them it does mean that I won’t control that objective at the start of my next turn.

The first turn closes with both of us picking up 1VP for First Strike, killing an enemy unit on our turn.

Death Guard: +1 (1 total)

Astra Militarum: +1 (1 total)

Turn 2

At the start of my turn I only control the objective in my deployment zone, so I’ll be picking up one Victory Point for that at the end.  However my turn goes well, my Death Guard clear the infantry from off of the hill, that should be one objective that’s mine next turn.  My Plaguebearers charge the infantry holding the objective in the enemy deployment zone.  I outnumber them, if I can avoid heavy casualties I should hold that objective too.  In my rear my Poxwalker screen tightens itself up to prepare for the deep strike.

At the start of the Imperial turn they control no objectives, so no points for them this turn.  The enemy bring in their Raven Guard this turn and a unit of infantry also teleport onto the field armed with melta weapons.  The latter squad simply wreck one of my Contemptor Dreadnoughts.  Thankfully it’s the dual twin lascannon one, and two of the enemy Hellhounds have been taken care of, so there is less armour on the table for it to deal with.  I was hoping to bait in some of the Raven Guard with my Dreadnoughts, as it was my infantry that I wanted to survive to take the objectives.  The Imperials saw through this and went for my troops, but they did split up their Raven Guard which might have been a mistake.  The fight for the objective in the Imperial deployment zone goes in my favour.  My Plaguebearers are a -2 to hit due to their numbers and the miasma of pestilence psychic power and I also interrupt with them after one unit of Marines fights, they knock down a number of of the other unit before the can fight.

The surviving Hellhound unleashes its flamers onto the Plague Marines on the hill, and they take it all without a single casualty.  Sometimes Plague Marines seem to really underperform, but I do love them, and times likes this are partial explanations for that.  T5 and Disgustingly Resilient make them really tough to shift sometimes.

Over on the other side near my deployment zone a unit of Marines has dropped onto the battlefield with Shrike.  They all try to charge one of Plagueburst Crawlers but even with the re-roll Shrike gives they blow it.

The turn ends with the Death Guard picking up the only point and looking pretty secure.

Death Guard: +1 (2 total)

Astra Militarum: +0 (1 total)

Turn 3

At the start of my turn I control all three objectives, that will be 6VP to my Death Guard.  In the enemy’s deployment zone I destroy the final Hellhound and it erupts in a colossal explosion that wipes out a number of models standing around it, including the Warlord.  My remaining fire kills everything other than Shrike and three of the teleporting Infantrymen.

The Imperials control nothing at the start of their turn.  Shrike launches himself across the battlefield, pausing to unload his pistol into my Warlord he then leaps across my lines and slays him in close combat.  Ouch, but wonderfully thematic.  I did try to screen with my Poxwalkers but Shrike can really move quickly and he can fly over my screens.  I’m not used to that and I screen poorly, at the cost of my Warlord

At the point the game is called, the Imperials cannot catch up and have barely dented the forces of Nurgle.

Death Guard: +7 (9 total)

Astra Militarum: +1 (2 total)

Post Game Thoughts

  • I think I built a pretty good list after a few games of tinkering and playing.  The list wasn’t focussed on dealing with just armour or just light infantry but had a spread of capabilities and it seems pretty points efficient.  It felt like there was nice balance between the melee capabilities of Nurgle and the shooting and toughness of the Death Guard.  It was a shame that I didn’t have Rotigus though, I’ll be looking at him in the future, I want to see him back on the table.
  • The issues with getting deep striking melee units into combat shows itself in this game again.  Shrike and the squad of Marines with him blow their 9″ charges in turn 2, and that’s even with Shrike’s ability to re-roll the charge.  So they just stand their doing not very much.  My Death Guard don’t get that re-roll, so for me it’s even harder.  This is why I use things like Land Raiders or Rhinos to get melee units closer.
  • The Raven Guard have an ability where (basically) if the unit being shot at is more than 12″ away and not in cover then it gets cover and it it is in cover then it gains a -1 for units shooting at it.  There’s also a stratagem that can be used on a unit that didn’t shoot to give it an additional -1 when shot at.  So would it be better to have them on the table and use jump packs to zoom around the battlefield to get into melee rather than to deep strike?
  • I like the way that this mission scores by looking at what you hold at the start of your turn.  That way you have to be able to secure something on your previous turn, the enemy has a chance to knock you off of it in their turn and then you must still be holding it as your turn begins.  You can’t just dash at things and grab them, you have to securely hold onto them with sufficient forces to be able to withstand the enemy’s attempts to dislodge you.
  • I took relatively few casualties in this game while nearly tabling the Imperials, sometimes it’s good to be the Death Guard.

The List

Total: 83 PL, 1,442pts

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) [57 PL, 934pts]

HQ [14 PL, 256pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: 3. Tainted Regeneration, Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts], Warlord
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 6. Curse of the Leper, Malefic talon [10pts], The Suppurating Plate, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]

Troops [20 PL, 278pts]

  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 100pts]
    Plague Champion [16pts]
    Codex: Boltgun, Plague knife
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [32pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 100pts]
    Plague Champion [16pts]
    Codex: Boltgun, Plague knife
    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 [6 PL, 78pts]: 13x Poxwalker [78pts]

Elites [7 PL, 120pts]

  • Helbrute [7 PL, 120pts]: Missile launcher [20pts], Twin lascannon [40pts]
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 168pts]: 2x Twin lascannon [80pts]
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 138pts]: 2x Butcher cannon [50pts]

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]

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

  1. Pingback: Catachan and Raven Guard vs Death Guard - Warhammer 40K Blog

  2. Pingback: Nurgle vs Orks (2,000 points) – Battle Report – Plague Gardening

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