Death Guard & Nurgle Daemons vs Astra Militarum (1,000 pts) – Battle Report

This is my third game of 9th edition 40k and will be against Jake from Cadian Shock. I’ve lost my first two games, can I improve?

Jake’s write up of the game can be read here.

List Theory

1,000 Point Death Guard & Nurgle Daemons List

In my last game, also against Cadian Shock’s Astra Militarum, I felt that I struggled with the objectives. So in this game I wanted to make sure that I had some units that could be dedicated to that as opposed ones that I felt should be off killing things. These thoughts lead me to thinking about Nurglings, they can be deployed outside of my deployment zone so they could grab objectives nice and early. They can also be tricky little chaps to shift especially when combined with the Nurgling Infestation stratagem from Engine War. A squad of 5 Nurglings comes in at 90 points and will be immune from the new rules about blast weapons doing more hits to large units.

I was quite taken with the Ironclot Furnace relic to give Daemon Engines a 4+ invulnerable save. So I took two Plagueburst Crawlers and a Foul Blightspawn to carry the relic. I then knew that I needed some more anti-armour so two five man Plague Marine squads carrying plasma guns were taken. The obvious companion for them would be a Chaos Lord who was also given the Wormspitter relic pistol. When that pistol hits a target all subsequent shows from other units count as Plague Weapons. Taken with the Arch-Contaminator Warlord trait this gives me re-rolls of all failed wounds for my overloaded plasma. Nice.

So now to fill out the list. I needed a HQ for my Nurglings and went for a Poxbringer. This would give me a reasonably cheap Psyker that could also buff the Plagueburst Crawlers with +1S, useful for the spitters. I juggled upgrading him to a Daemon Prince and squeezing in a third Crawler but I just couldn’t make it work. I also felt that I should take another unit that could take and hold objectives. I needed some cheap infantry with objective secured. I had enough points to buy another unit of 5 Nurglings but even with my recently added Nurglings I didn’t have enough so I bought a minimal squad of 5 bolter equipped Plague Marines. The lesson here is buy more Nurglings!

The Game

Setup

We rolled the Reconnaissance mission from the Grand Tournament 2020 book.  This gives us a primary of controlling at least one of the four objectives with increasing points for controlling more.  We then secretly select our secondary objectives.

I select:

  1. Thin their ranks – Kill things
  2. Bring it down – Kill big things
  3. Raise the banners high – Take an action on an objective to claim it for more points.

The Astra Militarum select:

  1. Recon Sweep – Mission specific secondary. Have a unit perform an action in each quarter of the table, more points for how many quarters you reconnoitre.
  2. Engage on all frontsGet into three quarters or all quarters of the board.
  3. Mental Interrogation – 3VP each time a Psyker performs this psychic action with 18″ of an enemy character.

We will deploy on opposite quarters of the board with an 9″ bubble around the centre where we cannot go. We roll and the Astra Militarum will go first.

My plan is to hold the objective in my left rear of the table with the Nurglings, the one in my right rear with the bolter equipped Plague Marines and then use the rest of my army to go forward and knock the enemy off of at least one objective and to possibly to wipe them out.

Turn 1

The Astra Militarum push forward. One APC down the left flank, one down the right and one down the centre. There’s then a lot of fire that initially, to me, feels terrible. The Leman Russ tanks at the back are firing an awful lot of powerful shots and I felt like I fluffed a lot of armour saves and Disgustingly Resilient rolls. But, when the smoke clears, I’m actually not doing too badly. One Crawler has been hammered down to 2 wounds and a group of Nurglings was lost but that was it. That could have been a lot worse.

I then get my chance, and I do well. After pushing into the centre I focus on the enemy APCs, it’s the infantry that will be scoring the points and I want them gone. I manage to blow up two of them and inflict reasonable casualties on their occupants. Even my little Nurglings, gleefully reflecting on their fallen colleagues, get into the action and tear apart an infantry squad.

Progressive Scores

I’ll only list the objectives that are not scored at the end of the game.

The Astra Militarum are off to a good start and take an early lead.

  • Astra Militarum
    • Primary +0 (0 pts)
    • Engage on all fronts +2 (2 pts)
    • Mental interrogation +3 (3 pts)
  • Death Guard & Deamons
    • Primary +0 (0 pts)
    • Raise the banners high +0 (0 pts)

Turn 2

At the start of their turn the Astra Militarum hold only one objective scoring 5VP on the primary mission. They’re running out of infantry and then the tanks do very little damage. My Death Guard are largely undamaged due, to a fair degree I think, to poor rolling from the Astra Militarum and good rolling from the forces of Nurgle.

It’s then Nurgle’s turn and again it goes well. At the start of the turn I control two objectives which gives me 15VP. I grind forwards and then open fire. The enemy infantry pushing out of their deployment zone are all wiped out and the last APC goes boom. My half of the table is now clear and secure. The enemy tanks have some ability that reduces any damage they take by 1, this is painful when you rely on lots of low(ish) damage weapons, like over loaded plasma, but they begin to dent the things.

Progressive Scores

The followers of Nurgle, thanks to holding two objectives, more than their opponent, move into a narrow 1VP lead.

  • Astra Militarum
    • Primary +5 (5 pts)
    • Engage on all fronts +2 (4 pts)
    • Mental interrogation +3 (6 pts)
  • Death Guard & Deamons
    • Primary +15 (15 pts)
    • Raise the banners high +1 (1 pts)

Turn 3

The Astra Militarum have little now they can do, they manage to finally blow up one of the Plagueburst Crawlers and take down a few Marines but it’s not enough.

Nurgle holds on to the objectives in my half of the table and continue to relentlessly advance. Despite the reduction to all incoming damage one of the Leman Russ tanks is blown apart.

Progressive Scores

Nurgle is now building up a heavy lead, it looks pretty certain that the Astra Militarum cannot stop them.

  • Astra Militarum
    • Primary +5 (10 pts)
    • Engage on all fronts +0 (4 pts)
    • Mental interrogation +0 (6 pts)
  • Death Guard & Deamons
    • Primary +15 (30 pts)
    • Raise the banners high +2 (3 pts)

Turn 4

The one remaining Leman Russ does very little damage and is then destroyed by Death Guard counter fire.

Progressive Scores

  • Astra Militarum
    • Primary +5 (15 pts)
    • Engage on all fronts +0 (4 pts)
    • Mental interrogation +0 (6 pts)
  • Death Guard & Deamons
    • Primary +15 (45 pts)
    • Raise the banners high +2 (5 pts)

Turn 5

The last survivors of the Astra Militarum infantry are wiped out, Nurgle controls the battlefield.

Progressive Scores

  • Astra Militarum
    • Primary +5 (15 pts)
    • Engage on all fronts +0 (4 pts)
    • Mental interrogation +0 (6 pts)
  • Death Guard & Deamons
    • Primary +0, hit maximum limit (45 pts)
    • Raise the banners high +2 (7 pts)

Final Scores

The points that are scored at the end of the game are added in and it’s brutal. Nurlgle is victories with 85 points to the Astra Militarum’s 38.

  • Astra Militarum – 38 pts
    • Primary +0 (15 pts)
    • Recon Sweep +3 (3 pts)
    • Engage on all fronts +0 (4 pts)
    • Mental interrogation +0 (6 pts)
    • Battle ready +10 (10 pts)
  • Death Guard & Deamons – 85 pts
    • Primary +0, hit maximum limit (45 pts)
    • Thin their ranks +9 (9 pts)
    • Bring it down +12 (12 pts)
    • Raise the banners high +2 (7 pts)
    • Battle ready +10 (10 pts)

Post Game Thoughts

  • I scored lower in this game on the secondaries compared to the previous one, 28 points this time compared to 35, but scoring much higher on the primary mission objective is what made the difference here.
  • I tried to focus much harder in this game on playing the primary mission, that’s in terms of both scoring for myself and trying to prevent the enemy from scoring. For example this lead me to ignore the tanks until the armoured personnel carriers and their infantry passengers were destroyed. It would be the infantry that would be scoring points in this game, they were the priority target. I think that this worked out.
  • I still felt pretty out of control on the secondaries. Two of them were obvious choices but the third, raise the banners high, was something that I’m still not sure about. Were there better ones? Should I have used the Poxbringer to score the Mental Interrogation objective?
  • It took about 45 minutes to get the game going, which is quicker than before but I think should still be faster. Choosing the secondaries is a big part of that and I think that will get easier as they become more familiar, I think the ones that are “good” for Death Guard will become clearer.
  • I think that I had a much more balanced list then in the last game that I played. I had the plasma Marines backed by the Chaos Lord for anti-armour, the Plagueburst Crawlers for anti-personnel and the “cheap” Nurglings and bolter equipped Plague Marines for objective holding.
  • The Ironclot Furnace relic works really nicely on the Plagueburst Crawlers combined with the smaller table sizes, meaning targets tend to be closer, and the removal of the -1 penalty to hit for moving vehicles. Both of those mean that the character carrying the relic is able to keep up with the Crawlers as they tended to not be advancing.
  • The Wormspitter relic carried by the Chaos Warlord coupled with his Arch-Contaminator trait were a very nice combination. It meant that the plasma guns were re-rolling all failed wounds, which seemed to help give them a decent level of output.
  • In turn 2 I made a mistake with handling cover. A squad of Astra Militarum infantry had about four of their number in a ruin and six outside. I thought that cover would run as it did in 8th in that no one gets cover until the entire unit gets it. But that’s wrong. The defender can allocate the attack to whichever model they chose (unless a model has already been allocated an attack in that phase or is wonder in which case they must be the target). And the benefits of cover are now on a model by model basis. So cover should have applied until all the models in cover were dead, if that’s what the defender chose to do, and why wouldn’t they? Would this have made a difference? I’m not sure. The Plagueburst Crawler firing still had its machine gun to go and managed to wipe the unit out with its Plaguespitters. Had the unit survived due to the cover then the machine gun might have finished them off. Had it not then the Marines would have fired their weapons at it to stop the Astra Militarum earning points. So fire that did go onto the armour might have gone onto the infantry buying a bit more time for the armour to fire back. But I don’t think this would have earned them any more points or prevented me from earning any. A bad mistake though. Presume nothing. Just do what the rules tell you.

The List

Total: 52 PL, 3CP, 1,000pts

Patrol 0CP (Death Guard) [44 PL, 5CP, 835pts]

Configuration [6CP]

  • Battle Size [6CP]: 2. Incursion (51-100 Total PL / 501-1000 Points) [6CP]
  • Detachment CP
  • Plague Company: The Poxmongers

Stratagems [-1CP]

  • Gifts of Decay (1 Relic) [-1CP]

HQ [5 PL, 80pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 80pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Warlord, Wormspitter

Troops [18 PL, 330pts]

  • Plague Marines [6 PL, 120pts]
    Plague Champion [28pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [10pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [36pts]: 2x Blight Grenades, 2x Boltgun, 2x Krak Grenades, 2x Plague knife
    Plague Marine w/ special weapon [28pts]: Plasma gun [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ special weapon [28pts]: Plasma gun [10pts]
  • Plague Marines [6 PL, 120pts]
    Plague Champion [28pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [10pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [36pts]: 2x Blight Grenades, 2x Boltgun, 2x Krak Grenades, 2x Plague knife
    Plague Marine w/ special weapon [28pts]: Plasma gun [10pts]
    Plague Marine w/ special weapon [28pts]: Plasma gun [10pts]
  • Plague Marines [6 PL, 90pts]
    Plague Champion [18pts]: Boltgun, Plague knife
    4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [72pts]: 4x Blight Grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak Grenades, 4x Plague knife

Elites [5 PL, 85pts]

  • Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, 85pts]: Ironclot Furnace

Heavy Support [16 PL, 340pts] +

  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 170pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [40pts], Heavy slugger
  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 170pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [40pts], Heavy slugger

Patrol -2CP (Daemons) [8 PL, -2CP, 165pts]

Configuration [-2CP]

  • Chaos Allegiance: Nurgle
  • Detachment CP [-2CP]

HQ [4 PL, 75pts]

  • Poxbringer [4 PL, 75pts]: Miasma of Pestilence

Troops [4 PL, 90pts]

  • Nurglings [4 PL, 90pts]
    5x Nurgling Swarms [90pts]: 5x Diseased claws and teeth

3 thoughts on “Death Guard & Nurgle Daemons vs Astra Militarum (1,000 pts) – Battle Report

  1. Pingback: Death Guard & Nurgle Daemons vs Dark Angels (1,000 pts) – Battle Report – Plague Gardening

  2. Pingback: Death Guard & Nurgle Daemons vs Astra Militarum (1,500 pts) – Battle Report – Plague Gardening

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