Engine War

Psychic Awakening – Engine War – A Nurgle Review

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, the Chaos Factions (Knights and Daemons) are very much the supporting actors in this book.  The Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knights both get 14 new stratagems and some other nice things to play with.  Chaos Knights get one stratagem per house and Deamons get four stratagems per God.  Chaos quite simply doesn’t get as many new tools as the Imperium forces do.  But what about the ones that we do get, are they any good?

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Death Guard vs Adeptus Mechanicus (2,000 pts) – Battle Report

This game was a couple of weeks ago but I’ve been bit busy so I’m playing catch up….

List Theory


I had no idea what the Adeptus Mechanicus would be like, so I wanted a fairly flexible list and didn’t try to build it to counter any particular type of army.

I’m still enjoying playing a Zombie horde so I took two full squads of 20 Poxwalkers backed by Typhus to buff them.  They could be used to take an objective (as long as it wasn’t too far away), hold something in my deployment zone, to act as a screen against melee armies or to tarpit big monsters.

I then took two seven man squads of Plama equipped Plague Marines.  They would be supported by a Chaos Lord and would travel in two Rhinos.  These would be used to rapidly get somewhere useful so as to get the Plasma into useful range.  This would give me some S8 anti-tank capability.

Further anti-tank would be provided by a Helbrute equipped with Lascannons and a Missile Launcher, this would be backed by another Chaos Lord to try to make him as effective as possible.

Some light long range anti-armour would be proved by two Wardogs armed with Autocannons.  They’re not so good at taking on T8 armour but if there’s any T7 or under armour around then they’re pretty good.  They’re also useful at taking down tougher multi-wound models such as Primaris Marines or Terminators.

I did need something speedy that I could hurl at the enemy to buy time while my Poxwalker horde gets into position.  And that would be a Daemon Prince backed by two Plagueburst Crawlers.  The Prince would also be my Warlord with the Arch-Contaminator trait so as to buff the Crawlers.

My army is now getting pretty large with a lot of infantry, I add two ten man Cultist squads which allow me to take two Battalions and earn some extra CP.  The Cultists can also act as a screen to protect my Helbrute against any deep striking mischief.

The Game


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Rusting up a War Dog

I’m awaiting the HQs for my Nurgle Daemons so I returned to dirtying up my War Dogs (they’re not Renegade Armigers anymore).  I’ve been working on my rust technique and began applying it to a a larger model.  I had one of the War Dogs out for repairs anyway as one of his guns had broken.  A bit of rust would help cover up the fix.

The rust was done with Tyhpus Corrosion and then Ryza Rust dry brushed over the top.  For things like weapons you can then add silver to the edges of the weapons where they would be scraped clean.  For the War Dog I haven’t done that, they’re not going to get scraped, they’re just going to rust.

I did the hull and then I started on one of the guns leaving the other undone.

I sought some opinions and it was suggested that the rust be made patchier.  So I practised first on the stubbed and then on the main gun.

And I think that does look better, more random, more natural perhaps.

And then finally here’s the finished (well possibly, I might return to it) War Dog next to it’s “clean” brother.

All told I’m pretty pleased, I’ll continue working on it.  This is something that I will gradually be doing to the rest of my Death Guard.

Death Guard vs the Imperium (1,750 pts)


I’ve a problem taking on T8 armoured things, in particular super heavies likes Baneblades or Knights.  I need to learn how I can deal with them, there’s some mix of army changes and my own skill set that needs to be considered.  So in this game I took on an army with two giant Imperial Knights and two smaller Armigers, this is going to be a challenge…

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Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts)

A recent bout of the universe reminding me of its general hostility and unfairness has meant that it’s been a while since I last had a game.  But time came when it was OK to get back into the saddle, and so here I am facing Cadian Shock’s Astra Militarum again.

You can read Cadian Shock’s write up of this game here.

List Theory


This is a very similar list to the one that I played in my last game and the one before that.  Both of those lists used my Rhinos to mobilise my infantry and get them out grabbing objectives.

In my last game I dropped the flying Daemon Prince and the Bloat Drone to see how I could manage without the rapid moving flying units.  In their place I took a pair of Armigers, and all things told it went pretty well.

This time I tweaked the list again to drop the Helbrute and Plasma backline.  I stuck with the Armigers and this time added in some deep striking combi-Plasma equipped Terminators.  They would hopefully provide me with some anti-armour to replace that which I had lost by dropped by backline.  This would also give me some S8 weaponry which I do feel my Death Guard are lacking.  The Terminators would be supported by a Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour who would try to help them avoid exploding when they overcharge.


We rolled the Narrow the Search mission from Chapter Approved 2018 with the Spearhead Assault deployment map.  There would be one objective in the centre which would be worth one point a turn.  To begin with you would have to be within 18″ of it, but then that would drop by 3″ a turn as they game went on.  There was also a 12″ “null field” around the centre which would stop any invulnerable saves being taken.  Death Guard have a lot of invulnerable saves going on, and I’ve played this mission before, and that hurt me a lot.  So this time I was more than a little scared of getting my Daemons or Terminators anywhere near the centre.


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Death Guard vs Dark Angels (1,750pts)


List Theory

My list had three elements to it.  The first part would be a mechanised infantry group, something that could move pretty quickly.  There would be two Rhinos carrying infantry supported by two Plagueburst Crawlers.  The infantry would have a Malignant Plaguecaster, two Foul Blightspawns and a Chaos Lord for re-rolls.  These are all things that want to be up close to hurt stuff.  If I take the Fugaris’ Helm relic then the Plaguecaster can cause additional mortals out to 10″ rather than 7″.  This element would move quickly to grab an objective or to just get up the board.

The second part would be a backline.  This would secure my deployment zone and also have some long range anti-tank.  I do worry a lot about deep strikes and so took some Poxwalkers to give me some screening both to prevent deep strikes and to stop them being able to charge my anti-armour and stop them shooting.  The anti-armour itself would be Plasma equipped Plague Marines and a Helbrute both backed up by a Chaos Lord to re-roll 1’s.

The third part would be two Armigers.  I really dithered over this for a long time.  You’ll notice that my list doesn’t have a Daemon Prince or a Bloat Drone in it.  I’d have to give up my usual fast moving flying units to take the Armigers.  The Armigers are pretty flexible in that they can move quickly (by Death Guard standards) and threaten a variety of units with their S7 guns.  I also haven’t played them very much, so the usual flyers were out and the Armigers were in.  They could hang about shooting things at a distance supporting either the front or the back line.  But I’d have to be careful about units dropping in and getting them into melee combat, my Armigers are built for shooting and they’re not good at fisticuffs.

How would the Death Guard work without their rapid flyers?

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Death Guard vs Grey Knights & Inquisitors (2,000 pts)

IMG_4513.jpgThe Grey Knights are, apparently, not a top rated army.  I’ve seen it said that they’re the worst in 8th Edition 40k.  However, I find them a bit of a handful.  The mini smite that they can all do causes an automatic 3 Mortal Wounds to Daemons and with their Gates of Infinity psychic power you can’t pin down a big unit in melee combat, it’ll just be gated away to shoot you again.

So I enjoy playing them, I find them a challenge, an army that’s armed at taking my army down.

List Theory

We agreed to play a slightly bigger game than usual at 2,000 points.  I still wanted to play a mostly mono-Codex Death Guard army but was concerned that at that number of points I might meet some tough Land Raiders or other armour.  So I compromised a bit and allowed myself to take one Renegade Armiger.  It would give me a reasonably speedy unit that could lay down some troubling anti-armour fire that couldn’t be ignored.

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Death Guard vs Imperium (1,750 pts)


This was a rematch against the Imperium player that I’ve played a few times before.  This time he was fielding his Knight…  The Knight is, so they say, one of the big units in the meta these days.  They’re really good and powerful units, and this would be the first time that I had taken one on.  I felt more than a little nervous.

List Theory

This is the same list that I took in my last game, so the theory from there still holds.  The game was very last minute and I didn’t have time to put anything else together, I also wanted to see how it would handle if I wasn’t such a dirty cheat with the Daemon Prince (see the last report).

The Game


We rolled the Scars of Battle Maelstrom of War mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  In short we could throw out six objectives but then we would also roll and throw out another batch of objectives as well (e.g 21 to 26 if you roll a 2).

This hurt me right from the outset, I lost the “seize” objective cards.  These are the ones where you only have to hold an objective at the end of one turn.  Loosing those means objectives will not be so easy to grab, you’re left with “defend” which means holding them for two turns.

We played facing each other across the table with a long edge each.

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Death Guard vs Astra Militarum (1750 pts)


List Theory

I described my list before the game as a “bit of a splurge”.  By that I meant that my list bent itself into somewhat of an odd shape so that I could take the units that I was after.  In particular I wanted to see my Armigers on the table again, play my new Nurglings and take the Land Raider with Typhus aboard (which I didn’t think this player had seen in use before, I was wrong about that).  And that’s a lot of points already taken up.

The Nurglings in particular are troublesome to fit in, they’ve not got the Death Guard faction keyword.  They share the Chaos and Nurgle faction keywords with the other Death Guard units, but if I put Death Guard units into such a detachment then the Death Guard units lose the Inexorable Advance (helbrutes and infantry only, rapid fire out to 18″) and Plague Host (objective secured for troops) that they would have for being in a pure Death Guard detachment.  So you either have to take an Auxiliary Detachment, and pay a 1CP tax, or build up another detachment type and accept those consequences.  What I did was to take a Patrol detachment with a Daemon Prince leading the Nurglings.  The Daemon Prince doesn’t benefit from Inexorable Advance (not infantry or a helbrute) or Plague Host (not a troop unit) so there’s no direct loss.  But if I hadn’t have done this I might have been able to take another detachment of something and pick up one extra CP.  So there’s a tax however you roll it.

So, anyway, I have some decent anti-armour on the table.  I take a Daemon Prince with Wings and a Plagueburst Crawler.  They both want to get up close, the Daemon Prince is the Warlord with the Arch-Contaminator trait.  He’ll be able to help the Crawler with re-rolls of ones to hit as well as re-rolling any failed wounds for Plague Weapons.  He’ll stick near the Land Raider to help it out with re-rolls of 1s too.  When Typhus and his Deathshroud leap out of the Land Raider he can buff them as well and be buffed back in return with an extra attack via the Deathshrouds.

And there’s now not many more points to play with.  Two six man units of Plasma equipped Plague Marines lead by a Chaos Lord (for re-rolls to avoid exploding overcharged Plasma weapons) and a Poxwalker unit to act as a screen against deep strikers finish the army off.

So I think I have two flanks.  The Land Raider, Daemon Prince and Plagueburst Crawler will take one and will be my mobile army.  The Plague Marines will take the other and will try and grab or hold onto something.  The Armigers will be split onto a flank each and will try to stay out of melee range and use their 60″ ranged weapons to take on enemy army.

The Game

You can read Cadian Shock’s much more competent blog article, both in terms of writing and not being a cheating wotsit (see later) here:

We rolled the Disruptive Signals Maelstrom of War mission from Chapter Approved 2019.  We could both throw out six objectives from our objective card deck before the game began.  So I threw out such cards as holding all the objectives or grabbing those in the Guard’s deployment zone, these are tough for the slow Death Guard to get.  I also knew that I wasn’t facing anything that could Fly, so that card went too.



I had to set up first.  I pushed my forces pretty far forward, the Land Raider group on my left flank and my infantry group on my right.  There was an Armiger on each side, nice and separate so getting both into melee would be difficult, hopefully.

The Guard could respond, and they did.  Infantry at each back corner, more infantry forwards with the Hellhounds and the artillery lurking at the back.  A lone sniper took up a position atop a tall building, he would be pretty much unassailable up there and had the range with his gun to make use of it.

I got the first turn, the guard failed in an attempt to seize the initiative and get the first turn for themselves.

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