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

List Theory

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It’s all about the Poxwalkers.  I’ve only played one game with Necrosius, which was an utter disaster, and I needed to try him again.  As a coincidence it then happened that Chapter Approved 2019 came out which dropped the points cost for Poxwalkers and Typhus.  So my course was set.

The list underwent a radical revision about 15 minutes before I was due to leave home for this game.  Originally I thought I would have static Poxwalkers holding objectives and then other mobile things to grab objectives.  But then I realised that that is what I had ended up doing the other time I played Necrosisus, and the Imperials would love it if my Poxwalkers just sat there waiting to be shot at.  I had to be mobile, which was the original but ignored plan for my other Necrosisus list, which meant bringing in a Noxious Blightbringer.  The other elements of my army would then be refocussed on being the static holders.  The still relatively expensive Poxwalker horde would go out there and get into the enemy’s face.

So the Poxwalker horde became Typhus, Necrosius, a Noxious Blightbringer (who I made my Warlord), a Chaos Lord (for re-rolls) and two full 20 “man” units of Poxwalkers.  There would be two Plagueburst Crawlers, which would benefit from the fast advancing buff of the Noxious Blightbringer and his Arch-Contaminator Warlord Trait, which could tag along if I wanted them too.  A squad of seven Plague Marines with two blight launchers could either come along (the Arch-Contaminator, Blightbringer and Chaos Lord would all benefit them) or could be a separate squad for something else should I need it.

Now that I had my infantry horde I didn’t feel the need for any Nurgle Daemons, and given that I was looking at a mono-Codex Death Guard list I thought it would be nice to play my Blightlord Terminators again, so a squad of five of them went in.

Finally my static, well relatively, gun line of the three Dreadnoughts and another Chaos Lord give me some long range anti-tank weaponry.

I hoped that the Poxwalker horde and two Plagueburst Crawlers bearing down on the enemy would provide sufficient distraction to let my anti-tank units survive for a round or two.

The Game

Setup

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We rolled the Lockdown mission from Chapter Approved 2019, so this would be new for both of us.  6 objectives were distributed around the table and then the deployment map was rolled for and I got to chose my deployment zone.  With that done Cadian Shock would chose one of the objectives as “1” and then I would chose one as “6” the rest would be random.  At the start of battle rounds 2, 3, 4 and 5 the objective with that number would be removed.

So the objectives were determined.  I chose to make my left flank 6, I would hold this with my Dreadnoughts.  For the others in my deployment zone I got 2 and 3. Scoring was at the end of your turn.  1VP for each objective held and a bonus 1VP if you control more objectives than your opponent.  So I had an immediate problem, I would begin to lose objectives in turn 2.  If my opponent did nothing they would hold one more objective than me in turn 2 (so +2VP) and then two more in turn 3 (+3VP).  I would have to move and move quickly.

The Astra Militarum set up first, they were the Attacker in Chapter Approved 2019 terms. They spread themselves out across the table with a heavy focus on the centre where their objective 1, which would survive the whole game would be.

Then I had to set up.  We had agreed to play the ITC style rules where the first floor of ruins blocks LOS.  So I really used this and hid as much of my stuff as I could.  My Dreadnoughts hid behind walls on the my left on objective 6.  My Plague Marines hid behind other walls on my right on objective 3.  My Poxwalker horde gathered around 2 with as much out of sight as possible.  My plan would be to try and smash the Imperials off of their objective 5 and then reach their objective 1 with my Poxwalker horde and take it.  Some Poxwalkers would have to hang hang back to claim objective 1 at the end of my turn.  My Plague Marines would have to hold back until turn 3 so maximise my scoring, I couldn’t just give up that objective while it was there.

But then I was given the first turn as Cadian Shock wanted me to move out of cover, and consider he knew I had to move because of the objectives.  So off we go.

Battle Round 1

In the centre most of my Poxwalkers push ahead but some hang back to make sure objective 1 is held at the end of my turn.  My Plague Marines stay out of sight so that long range fire from the tanks won’t decimate them and that they can continue to hold the objective.  On my left the Dreadnoughts edge out of cover so that they can all see the same enemy tank to maximise my firepower, meanwhile only one or two of the enemy tanks can see them without moving, and Cadians don’t like moving.

Cadian Shock had played it so that there was no way that I was going to get a first turn charge off of the Poxwalkers but on my left there was a fair bit of outgoing fire.  I took out one tank and started to chip away at the infantry that had been assigned to objective 5.

At the end of my turn I hold three objectives and score a point for First Strike, 4VP.

Over to the Astra Militarum.  They’re in an awkward spot, lots of my stuff can’t be seen yet and if they move things to see them they lose re-rolls or will get less attacks.  So their fire is somewhat fragmented with different things firing at what units they can see.  My forward squad of Poxwalkers takes a hammering but isn’t wiped out.  A squad of Guardsmen even charge them to try and take them out but don’t accomplish it.

At the end of their turn they hold three objectives and did not achieve First Strike, 3VP.

Death Guard: +4 (4 total)

Astra Militarum: +3 (3 total)

Battle Round 2

At the start of this round objective 2 is removed, this is a pain.

On my right my Plague Marines sit tight behind their wall, I need them to hold that objective as if the enemy hold more than me the bonus for achieving that would give them a 2VP boost.  In the centre my Poxwalkers push on.  The infantry that were sent into the ruins to oppose them are killed and their deaths reinforce my Powalkers further.  Typhus uses charges and fight phase movement to push himself forwards and closer to the enemy objective.

On my left Blightlord Terminators arrive from deep strike.  I teleport them near to the enemy held objective 5.  Between them and the Plagueburst Crawlers I hope to be able to finish off the infantry on that objective but I don’t believe that I manage it.  My Dreadnoughts adjust position slightly so they can see another couple of tanks while hiding themselves from any others.  They open fire and while they damage one tank badly they don’t manage to kill it, that’s not good.  I hoped to be popping one tank per round.

At the end of my turn I hold two objectives and score 2VP.

The Astra Militarum have a rough turn now.  Many of their remaining tanks are out of position and once more their fire is scattered.  I lose a Terminator and a few Poxwalkers but things are holding together. At the end of their turn they hold three objectives which is more than me so worth 4VP in total.

Death Guard: +2 (6 total)

Astra Militarum: +4 (7 total)

Battle Round 3

Objective 3 is now removed, my Plague Marines are free to move.

In terms of VPs the game is working out how I feared, I’m losing objectives because they are removed so by default the Astra Militarum will hold more than me and build up a lead.  I need to act quickly.

On my right I move my Plague Marines out of cover, they fire a few long range shots and dent the infantry screen the Imperials around objective 1.  In the centre there’s a break through, my melee horde breach the Imperial lines.  They’re supported by a Plagueburst Crawler and the Terminators who now make a charge into combat and destroy an enemy tank.

On the left the fire is kept up and the enemy are cleared off of objective 5.  The Dreadnoughts continue their shuffle while staying close to the Chaos Lord, who is holding objective 6, for the re-rolls.  They manage to blow up one enemy tank and possibly cause initial damage to the other that the Terminators then finished off in their melee.

All told things have gone well and at the end of my turn I hold one objective, so 1VP.

The Astra Militarum are in trouble, they begin to pull back to try and hold objective 1 but don’t achieve very much.  Psykers are sacrificed to try and act a speed bump to my Terminators.  One engages one with a flail and is smashed to a pulp, the other takes on one with an axe and clings on in there.

At the end of there turn they hold 2 objectives, which is more than me so 3VP.

Death Guard: +1 (7 total)

Astra Militarum: +3 (10 total)

Battle Round 4

Finally the Astra Militarum lose an objective, number 4 vanishes freeing up the infantry squad holding it but they are out of position.

In the centre it’s now pretty much all over.  The final tank is destroyed and one squad of Poxwalkers backed by Typhus makes it all the way to objective 1.  There’s another squad not far behind, I’m not going to lose it.  The enemy warlord falls in the fight phase.  Long range fire from my left flank, the Dreadnoughts, and the right, the advancing Plague Marines, helps out.

At the end of my turn I hold two objectives (+2VP), more objectives than the enemy (+1VP) and have killed the enemy warlord (+1VP).

At this point time is against us and the Astra Militarum concedes.  They’re not going to score any points at the end of their turn and in any further turns they’re either going to be tabled or just never score again.

Death Guard: +4 + Linebreaker (12 total)

Astra Militarum: +0 (10 total)

Post Game Thoughts

  • Cadian Shock’s write up of the game is here.  It includes some nice wide photos of the entire table and a better setup digram than I could manage 🙂
  • The mission did pose me some problems.  I was going to lose one of my objectives on turn 2 and then another on turn 3.  The Astra Militarum wouldn’t lose any of theirs until turn 4.  This meant that I couldn’t just sit there and score points, I had to take the initiative and push the Astra Militarum off of their objectives.
  • It may not have looked like it but it felt like I was lacking in troops.  The Poxwalkers all had to be near Typhus and Necrosius for maximum impact, and they had to be close to the enemy due to their slow speed.  So that meant they took the centre leaving the Plague Marines to take the objective on my right.  Which meant they spent two turns not shooting.
  • The Line of Sight rules that we used (which I believe are the ITC style ones) where the lower level of ruins blocked LOS helped me out.  The enemy tanks were spread out in a line across their deployment zone.  By putting stuff on one side of the central ruins I could limit what could shoot at me each turn.  In return I was able to focus my Dreadnoughts all on the same targets for at least the first two or three turns and that really helped with my damage output.
  • Necrosisus actually did pretty well in this game, much better than he did in my last one.  His psychic powers were useful but he also saved four or five Poxwalkers from death due to allowing them to re-roll 1s for Disgustingly Resilient.  I am aware though that it might just be more points efficient to buy another unit of 20 Poxwalkers for 100 points.
  • I’m back to forgetting things again.  At least once I forgot my psychic phase and another time to move some of my buffing units.  My opponent very graciously let me step back and do them as we’d only moved on a phase.  Laster still I forgot to move my Terminators and didn’t realise until several phases has passed and it was too late.  I think that I panic and feel under pressure to hurry along, which leads to things being missed.  I need to take a deep breath and to be more methodical.
  • I forgot the Havoc launcher on the Dreadnought each and every fire phase.  Oh dear.

The List

This was costed up using beta data files for Battlescribe which implement the new points from Chapter Approved 2019.  In doing so I made a mistake and went over by five points.  This is less than the cost of the Havoc Launcher which despite forgetting in the shooting phase and remember a phase or two later I would then promptly forget again in the next shooting phase.

Total: 109 PL, 1,755pts

Battalion +5CP (Death Guard) [77 PL, 1,247pts]

HQ [21 PL, 372pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 82pts]: Balesword [6pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Necrosius the Undying [7 PL, 135pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 5. Putrescent Vitality
  • Typhus [9 PL, 155pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Curse of the Leper

Troops [22 PL, 332pts]

  • Plague Marines [10 PL, 132pts]
    Plague Champion [16pts]
    Codex: Boltgun, Plague knife
    4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [64pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [26pts]: Blight launcher [10pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 100pts]: 20x Poxwalker [100pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 100pts]: 20x Poxwalker [100pts]

Elites [18 PL, 258pts]

  • Blightlord Terminators [14 PL, 208pts]
    Blightlord Champion [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [44pts]: Flail of Corruption [10pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
    Blightlord Terminator [41pts]: Bubotic Axe [5pts], Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Noxious Blightbringer [4 PL, 55pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Fugaris’ Helm, Plasma pistol [5pts], Warlord

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]

Vanguard +1CP (Death Guard) [32 PL, 508pts]

HQ [5 PL, 76pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts]

Elites [27 PL, 432pts]

  • Helbrute [7 PL, 120pts]: Missile launcher [20pts], Twin lascannon [40pts]
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 144pts]: 2x Butcher cannon [50pts], Havoc launcher [6pts]
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 168pts]: 2x Twin lascannon [80pts]

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

  1. Pingback: Cadians vs Death Guard - Chapter Approved 2019 - 1,750 points -

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