Wednesday, 4 October 2017

DEATH GUARD: DO YOU SMELL THAT?


Oh sweet holy mother of god!  It's here!  Ok, kiddies, lets sit back and let me tell you of a time when the Death Guard were actually a playable army.  Way back in 2002, a codex was released, playfully called 3.5, it contained rules to play each and every legion as a legion unto itself.  And here we have it again (and hopefully it will last longer that "Traitor Legions" did), with a bunch of new units and abilities.  Lets go in for a closer look shall we?

Now I could go on and on and regale you with the exploits of the Death Guard, their origins, and their fall from grace during the Heresy.  So I will...

Things begin at the beginning, go figure.  The origins of the Death Guard begin with the Dusk Raiders, warriors built form the gene stock of Albia, an empire of Terra known for it's tenacious resistance to the reunification.  So named for their tendency to attack the enemy as the sun sets, using the change in light to distract their foes.  They favoured the use of heavy infantry with a relentless advance when attacking, and a stalwart/stubborn defence.  Durable and resourceful, they were often self reliant and able to complete any task with out specialist units or weapons, relying on "boots on the ground" and weight of numbers.  Thanks to that durability, they were not simply throwing bodies at the problem as it would seem, each warrior able to withstand large amounts of damage even for an Astartes.



Before they become the Death Guard proper though, they must meet their primarch who has been lost on the planet Barbarus.  The planet of Barbarus is ruled by powerful warlords who live hight in the mountains, of which the planet has many of.  Barbarus is also covered in a poisonous fog that becomes denser and more virulent as the altitude increases.  The humans of the planet lived deep in the lowest valleys and were often treated as cattle and experimentation subjects to the evil and grotesque machinations of the warlords of the planet.

Scattered to the winds of chaos Mortarion's pod came to land in the middle of a field post-battle.  Thousands and thousands of bodies littered the ground for miles around, the result of a battle between warlords, of which the winner was lauded as the most powerful on the planet.  More importantly, he was still there.  Hearing the cries, he was amazed that the child actually lived as they were too high of any normal human to survive the poison fog.  He brought the young primarch home with him and taught him everything of war and Mortarion lead the warlords forces against other warlords and their creations which varied from zombies to biological daemonic monstrosities.
Mortarion was still human though, at least mostly, and when he discovered that there were other humans deep in the valleys there was nothing his adoptive father could do to stop Mortarion from leaving and joining them.  Shouting of his treacheries, the warlord made it clear that Mortarion was cut off, and to return would be death.  The realization that they prey the warlords fought over and experimented on were his own people gave Mortarion a deep self loathing and he vowed to give the people of Barbarus justice.

This was a little harder than expected as he himself was a monstrous human-esq being with pallid flesh and hollow eyes, and it took the raid of a lesser warlord to cement his place amongst the people.  Picking up a large scythe, he waded into the warlords forces hacking them to pieces.  Seeing he was to lose the battle the warlord ascended his mountain where he thought himself safe, not realizing that Mortarion's hardy constitution could withstand the poisons, until it was too late.  With the peoples trust earned, he began training them in the ways of warfare, traveling from valley to valley, teaching, fighting, training, and building up the defences.  It wasn't until he created a crude breathing apparatus that he was able to lead other humans into the fog and take the fight to the warlords.  The men that went with him into the fog were the strongest and most resilient he could find and he named them the Death Guard.

I assume they would look something like this.
After years of war, and hundreds of battles, there remained only one warlord left to destroy.  Of course it's Mortarion's former foster father.  Before he could mount an attack, there came rumour of a great warrior who has come to grant them salvation.  This pissed Mortarion off because he would be the one to grant salvation and retribution to the people of Barbarus, not this fancy pants in his shiny gold armour.  However, once Mortarion met the stranger, it became apparent who he was.  It was of course the Emperor, who challenged Mortarion to take the final bastion alone and kill the last warlord.  If he could not complete this challenge, then Mortarion must swear fealty and join the Emperor's ranks.

I can just picture Mortarion with this attitude...
Well, like Yao, things don't go quite as planned.  As Morty ascends the mountain the poisonous gas become so lethal that it begins to eat through the hoses and armour.  As the fog overcomes him he falls unconscious, the last thing he sees is the Emperor stepping in his field of view and cutting down the Warlord just as the Warlord was about to do the same to Mortarion.

This doesn't quite feel right to me though, and I have a feeling that the Emperor manipulated Mortarion to get him to do something very stupid.  There didn't seem to be any time stipulation to the challenge, so why was Mortarion so determined to complete the task right now?  Why was this manipulation required?  Why didn't the Emperor just say, "Hey buddy, I'm your Pa.  Wanna go get some ice cream?  I'm sorry I haven't been there for you, but you know how it is, chaos gods scattering you across the galaxy and all.  I got here as soon as I wanted...  An evil warlord you say?  Oppressing the people you say?  Well, we can only have one of those around here, how about you and I go and end this guy together.  Father and Son, ruling the galaxy."

Either way you spin it, Mortarion kneels and pledges his loyalty, upon which he is introduced to the Dusk Raiders, promptly naming them the Death Guard.  He also double downed on the Combat Doctrine implemented by the Dusk Raiders.  Masses and masses of boots on the ground.  Unstoppably waves of heavily armoured, unkillable, relentless, warriors, each one capable of completing any task at hand being well trained in multiple weapon systems and combat styles.

As the composition of the Death Guard began to shift from being primarily Terran born to Barbarus born, a tension between the two began to develop.  It's never really clear when this rivalry began, but it is pretty clear it that it starts with First Captain Typhon (Typhus).

I'm going to leave the story here.  It picks up in the Horus Heresy books, and if you really liked the paltry story I retold, then I highly suggest you read these books.  It takes you through the battles at both Isstvan sites and the fall of the traitor legions, although none focus on the Death Guard quite as much as "Flight of the Eisenstein".

Lets move on...
So, what do you want to talk about now?  Rules?  Yeah, me too.

Starting off with the special rules we got Death to the False Emperor which we are all familiar with, giving an extra attack on a hit roll of 6+ in the fight phase, Disgustingly Resilient, basically the old school Feel no Pain 5+, and weapons with the Plague Weapon rule allow you to re-roll 1's to wound.  If your army is battle forged, which is pretty easy to do now a days, you also get Inexorable advance, and Plague host.  The latter being "ObSec" and the former allowing all infantry and helbrute units to ignore the -1 to hit penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons and advancing and shooting assault weapons.  They also change their rapid fire range from "Half the range of the weapon" to 18" which is god damn fabulous, giving that double-tap plasma death bubble an extra 6".  This rule, overall, is amazingly good particularly for the Death Guard army as it helps negate their lack of speed, as almost all infantry units move less than 6".  Being able to advance and still fire assault weapons to full effect actually makes Death Guard Infantry surprisingly quick and dangerous and being able to ignore the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons not only helps the Infantry, but really keeps the Helbrutes a viable option as a fire platform and not just a close combat monster, the twin lascannon being a favourite of many.

Running through their warlord traits, there isn't anything mind blowingly awesome but each and every one of them have their uses..  We got +1 to DR rolls(except for mortal wounds), mortal wounds on enemy units within 3" on a 4+, regain one wound at the start of each of your turns, +1 T, reduce the DAMAGE of an attack by 1, and 7" bubble of re-roll ALL failed wounds with plague weapons.  I really like the one that passes out mortal wounds, something that this army does really well, but it will largely go unused if your opponent does not want to get into combat.

Excuse me, sir, do you have a minute to talk about our lord and saviour Nurgle?  Sir?
While the warlord traits are good, the psychic powers are amazing.  At least some of them are.  Miasma of Pestilence is back, giving a -1 to hit penalty on all enemy units targeting the recipient of the power.  We see Gift of Contagion again, handing out a -1 to A, S, or T.  The fact that the characteristic can't be reduced to below 1 really hurts the -1A result as many units already have only 1A making 33% of this power useless.  Next up we have Plague Wind, which is potentially very powerful against big units.  Roll a number of D6s equal to the number of models in the unit, for each 6 the unit suffers a mortal wound.  Blades of Putrifaction is new, and really really good.  It adds 1 to all to-wound rolls made by the target unit made in the fight phase.  If the weapon used has the Plague Weapon ability, you will deal a mortal wound, in addition to the regular damage, on a to wound roll of 7+(with the power, it's basically a die roll of 6).  Putrescent Vitality only affects Death Guard Infantry units, but it gives +1S&T.  Finally, Curse of the Leper, roll 7D6, for each die roll that is higher that the T of the target, that unit suffers a mortal wound.

That's it Frank, no more chilli for you.
Moving onto a low note, we have the relics.  These are underwhelming, some of them being gimmicky, other just not very useful, but they are free, and they all do something.  So you should take one just for the simple fact that it is better than nothing.  The Plaguebringer replaces a Plague knife, balesword, or power sword with a -2AP, d3D that does mortal wounds on a to wound roll of 6+.  It does not have the plague weapon ability though, so you re not re-rolling 1's, and you can't stack Blades of Putrifaction on it for double mortal wounds.  However, combining it with Blades and VotLW and you will cause mortal wounds on a 4+ in addition to wounding most things on at least a 3+.  The Suppurating Plate is armour that gives a 2+ save, and for each saving throw the wearer makes in the fight phase, roll a D6, on a 4+ the unit that caused the wound takes a mortal wound.  Toss this on a Prince and throw him into a unit that puts out tons of low AP attacks.  Watch as not only does he kill a bunch with Plague Wind, he will also kill a bunch in CC, then they will kill themselves trying to kill him.  The Pandemic staff goes to a psyker and gives them +1 to cast smite.  The weird thing about this one is that it's a weapon, but it doesn't have a CC profile, and we don't know what weapon it replaces.  As it is right now, you can take it on a sorcerer with a force axe and a combi-melta.  Really meh.  The Dolorous Knell is an upgrade for the Noxious Blightbringer only and adds aura abilities.  At the start of EACH Morale phase enemy units within 7" take a mortal wound on a 6+.  Furthermore, enemy units taking a Morale test within 7" must roll 2D6 and choose the highest.  This stacks nicely with his original ability of -1Ld bubble, and the Icon of Despair that Plague Marines can take which is another -1Ld bubble.  Next up is Fugaris' Helm which increases the range of any aura abilities the model has ON IT'S DATASHEET by 3".  That part in all caps in important cause it means that any abilities it can get that are not on it's data sheet are not affected.  Such as the Warlord Trait Living Plague, the one that deals mortal wounds.  Finally, we have the Holy hand grenade, or the Plague Skull of Glothila.  It's a one use Grenade with 1 shot and a range of 7".  If it hits, its basically Plague wind.  Roll a D6 for each model in the unit, on a 6 the unit takes a mortal wound.

Now lets move into stratagems, some of these we see in the Chaos book, so I'll simply mention them and if you want to know what they are you can check out that post.  I will talk about them more when they come up in combos though, so don't worry there.
First up, we have Nurgles Rot.  This is a 3 CP start that targets a friendly Death Guard Character and can only be used once per battle.  Roll a D6 for each non-nurgle unit within 7" of the character, on a 4+ they take D3 mortal wounds.  I find that this being a 1 time use only, and that you need to roll for each unit, 3 CP is a little high.  Still, if you have a bunch of wounded units near you, it could very well be worth it to drop this one and pick them off.
Cloud of Flies is quite possibly the strongest, preventing your opponent from shooting at the target Death Guard Infantry unit unless they are the closest target.  Basically making the unit a character for targeting purposes for 1 CP.  Now, I have heard some contention as to how the wording is interpreted, and it could be interpreted as your opponent must target this unit if it is the closest unit.  It all depends on what word you put the emphasis on, but I believe that the former is the correct interpretation considering the flavour text.
For 2 CP we can have an apothecary.  An model in an infantry unit can regain D3 wounds, or a model can be returned to a unit with 1 wound left.
Did someone kill your tank?  Want them to pay?  For 1 CP Putrid Detonation will automatically cause the vehicle to explode.  I really like this one, especially late in the game when the enemy is in your lines surrounding your vehicles...
Do you like Zombies?  Do you like the idea of all your cultists dying to bolter fire only to stand again and join the ranks the ranks of the shuffling horde?  The Dead Walk Again is a 1 CP strat that changes the Poxwalker rule of adding a model to the unit to include any infantry model that dies within 7" of the target Poxwalker unit.
This last one is my absolute favourite, Blight Bombardment allows EVERY model in the unit to throw blight grenades.  Now with a range of only 6", this strat may only come into play once or twice a game, but holy smokes does it cause a shit load of hits and is part of a huge combo that I will talk about later.

Alright, we covered special rules, relics, stratagems, warlord traits, and psychic powers.  Whats left?  I covered it all, well thank for reading and until next time...

Ok, maybe you didn't really fall for it.
We gotta talk about units!

So the first up is the Daemon Prince, and he is pretty much the same as in the Chaos book with the addition of Disgustingly Resilient.  Now there is one point of contention, that we will have to wait for the FAQ on, in the data sheet it says he can take wings, but there is no points cost for a Daemon Prince with wings.  So we don't really know what the error is, the data sheet or the points list.  He is a beat stick, as he was before, but he is more durable now, for the same points.
EDIT: As I was typing this post the FAQ came out, there IS an entry for a daemon Prince with wings added to the points list for 170 points with no weapons.

Typhus got a little better, in that his weapon improved.  It is now master-crafted and deals a straight 3 damage which is absolutely savage as fuck.  He also swings at S7 and -3AP, and with 4A he is no slouch.  He also has the Destroyer Hive which is a pistol with 2D6 shots S4 and -3AP that ALWAYS hit on a 5+, including during overwatch.  That is pretty damn gravy if you ask me, don't forget you can shoot pistols while locked in combat.  He also has the Host of the Destroyer Hive which gives nearby Poxwalkers a +1S +1T boost.  He can also cast 2 powers and with Putrescent Vitality you can make those Poxwalkers S5 and T5.  He also has the aura that gives other Death Guard units the aura that causes mortal wounds to enemies.  He did get a points increase, which only makes sense because before he was less expensive than this guy...

The Lord of Contagion pretty much remains as he did before with a weapon option.  He can choose between a Manreaper (+3S, -3AP, 1d3D 17pts) or a Plaguereaper (+2S, -3AP, 3D 30pts).  The real difference depends on how much T6 and T7 units you face.  Monster heavy Nids, Rhino rush, Taurox parking lot scions, etc etc.  I like the Manreaper because it's cheaper and I will only really want to throw him in against other infantry units and use him for his Nurgles Gift ability.

Both of these guys are painfully slow, only having a 4"M and halving their advance distance, its almost better to drop these guys in when they are needed.

The Chaos Lord and Sorcerer have not changed.  They didn't get Disgustingly Resilient, which surprised me a bit since the Prince got it, but the Lord does grant the re-rolls to hit rolls of 1, which makes him still useful.  Take him cheap and keep him in the back near your Plagueburst Crawlers and keep the hits coming.  The Sorcerer however, is pretty much pointless as the Malignant Plaguecaster is far better for only 6 more points.  The Sorcerer can take some different weapon options, combi-guns and such, but I still think the Malignant Plaguecaster is better.  You will see why...

Cause he is next.  In a standard load out, compared to the Sorcerer, the Malignant Plaguecaster has T5, Disgustingly Resilient, and causes extra mortal wounds to enemy units if he casts a power with a test of 7+.  He has the same weapons to start, and can castand deny the same number of powers.  The main difference is the Plaguecaster can't take Terminator armour has had a 5"M.


Here we are at the core of the Death Guard army, the Plague Marines.  Unfortunately, I have not seen a ton of army lists that have multiple units of them.  What I have been seeing is large units of them, this is because of a couple particularly interesting stratagems called Cloud of Flies and Blight Bombardment.  I'll give you a second to double check those, while you do I'll also mention that there are a couple psychic powers that really but them as well, Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality and Blades of Putrefaction come to mind.  Since you can't cast the same power multiple times, it makes more sense to have bigger units than more units.  Your back form checking the stratagem?  Good, cause it's time for the first...


So you looked up Blight Bombardment, it allows every model to throw a blight grenade.  Now I have to mention a unit I have not yet talked about, the Biologus Putrifier, he has an ability called Blight Racks that increased the S and D of blight grenades in Death Guard units that are 3" away from him.  In addition to that, any to wound roll of 6+ causes a mortal wound in addition to other damage.  Now you take those things and add VotLW which adds 1 to all to wound rolls.  So in the end you are looking at something, potentially, like this...

Lets say you have a large unit of Plague Marines, and with Cloud of Flies, you have managed to keep most of the alive long enough to get them close to the enemy, I don't know, say a unit of Dark Angels Knights.  These guys all have thunder shields and can do some serious damage with their crazy maces.  Lets say you get 10 Plague Marines within 6" of 5 DA Knights and within 3" of the Biologus Putrifier, then you use the VotLW and Blight Bombardment stratagems, each 1CP.  That means you will get an average of 35 shots, 23 hits (with no re-rolls), 15 wounds with 8 mortal wounds on top of that.  Rolling average, hell, even rolling slightly below average, you are going to wipe that unit of 5 Knights.  Want another example?  Those same 10 Plague Marines will to 16 damage to any T7 Sv3+ model.  That means it will only take 5 Plague Marines to be in range to kill a Dreadnought.

All that and I haven't even really talked about Plague Marines yet.  They have not changed drastically, but have a plethora of weapon options.  Their standard kit is a plague knife, bolter, and grenades, but they have access to all the typical special weapons such as meltaguns and plasma guns, and some not so typical plague weapons such as the plague belcher (basically a flamer with 9") and plague spewer (heavy flamer with 9").  The blight launcher you've already seen, but there are close combat weapons as well.  The bubotic axe, flail of corruption, great plague cleaver, and mace of contagion, all of which offer several options for butchering the weak, certain options even giving you an additional attack.  There is one weapon in specific that I want to talk about, the flail of corruption.  While making D3 hit rolls is pretty good, it's the ability that the wounds carry over to multiple models that really makes this weapon worth it seeing that it kills around 2 single wound. models per fight, which isn't terrible for a single model.

Now, the close combat additions actually bring me to...


That's right, combo number 2 with the same unit.  Once again we are taking a big unit of Plague Marines and using Cloud of Flies to keep them alive, we have to get even closer with this combo, up close and personal.  You need to cast Blades of Putrefaction and use the VotLW stratagem, then get those Plague Marines wielding those close combat weapons into combat.  Once again, lets say we have 10, and all of them are able to make attacks.  Say 2 have special ranged weapons, 2 have bolters, 2 have flails and 4 have axes.  This will result in around 4 mortal wounds, and 8 wounds after saves for a total of 12 wounds, assuming your attacking MEQs.

Well, that is a lot on just the Plague Marines, so lets move on to...


Jesus Christ there is a shit load of combos in this book and the best ones all surround the troops.  What you need is a unit of Poxwalkers, and cultists.  Lots of cultists.  What you need to do is keep all them cultists within 7" of the Poxwalkers, and using The Dead Will Walk Again and the Cloud of Flies stratagem on the Poxwalkers.  Now, since the Poxwalkers can't be targeted by shooting they are safe, and if your opponent targets the cultists, he will kill them, only to see their bodies added to the mass of zombies.  Now, this is going to bog things down, and the Poxwalkers are unbearably slow and will block the units they are in front of so their placement is key.  Also, the Dead Will Walk Again only affects infantry MODELS within 7", not units.  So you will have to have a large cloud of Poxwalkers and cultists that are not very dangerous, not very mobile, and a drain on CP until the magic happens.  There are a couple ways you can manipulate your opponent to your advantage, one of which is to use the stratagems the first turn, then hope he shoots a couple cultists and finds out what happens.  Then next turn, don't use the stratagems and watch him pump all the firepower into the poxwalkers and cultists so that bullshit doesn't happen again.  Or if he happens to have an alpha strike assault list, like some Genestealer cult lists, you do layers of bubble wrap so that the enemy charges the cultists with the poxwalkers behind them slowly growing as models die.  This does not work so well when your opponent has the first turn, but if you can get the poxwalkers within 7" and then shoot the shit out of what assaulted you, you can get a lot of zombies that way too.  Remember, The Dead Will Walk Again stratagem works for a whole battle round.

Cultists have not changed, but they did get buffed by the Inexorable Advance rule allowing them to rapid fire their Autoguns at 18" and not worry about moving and shooting the heavy stubber.

Plaguebearers and nurglings exist, but I advise summoning them.  As they don't have the Death Guard key word, they will stop you from having a Death Guard detachment thus cancelling out the legion abilities.  They are good for holding objectives, creating speed bumps, and causing general confusion.  They will not do much for damage, but the plaguebearers are all equipped with plagueswords so they are re-rolling all failed to wound rolls.


On to the Elite section characters, I'm going to keep these short as this post is running really long.  They all have the same stat line, T5, W4, Sv3+, disgustingly resilient, but their special abilities are their key.

The Noxious Blightbringer allows you to roll 2D6 and choose the highest for advance distances for unit within 7" of him.  This is pretty huge if you are using Typhus and Poxwalkers as a bubble wrap cloud as they are all slow.  This can also give you those much needed inches to jump your Bloat-Drones in someone face to spit plague juice all over them.

Next in line we have the Fould Blightspawn, you gotta love these names right?  He has got 3 tricks up his sleeve.  First, his fancy gun, 9", Assault D6, S2D6, AP-3, D3, Plague Weapon, auto hits, this thing is the flamer from your worst nightmares.  Once per game, he can give a nearby character a Death Head grenade, which will turn any Blight or Hyper Blight grenade into 2D6 shots.  So to add to the first Killer Combo, you could have this guy next to the the Biologus Putrifier and get an extra D6 shots with the grenades.  Now all that sounds great, but this guy has a really strong offensive ability that makes him nearly invaluable against heavy assault armies.  His Revolting Stench prevents units within 7", that have charged or have an ability that allows them to attack first in the fight phase, from fighting first and instead are chosen in order as per normal.  Add the fancy helmet that increases aura abilities to this guy to pump that bubble to 10".

I already mentioned the Biologus Putrifier and how is makes all the grenades better, but he can also explode too.  When he dies he will cause a mortal wound to all non-nurgle units within 7" on a 4+.  The last thing that makes him interesting is a 3" pistol that does D6 damage to non-vehicle models.  So not much really except for the grenade thing.

The Plague Surgeon keeps your dudes alive longer.  How?  By allowing them to re-roll DR rolls of 1. He is also really good at killing space marines getting to re-roll to hit and wound rolls when targeting Adeptus Astartes Infantry/Biker units with his balesword.

Our last new addition to the elite characters is the Tallyman.  He is basically a Dark Apostle, granting re-rolls to hit in the fight phase, but he as another ability that is far more useful.  The Seven-Fold Chant not only sounds amazingly bad ass, it IS amazingly bad ass.  If you have a battle forges army, and again, this is super easy to do, every time you spend command points roll 2D6.  If the result is 7 on the nose, you are immediately refunded the command points you spent.  I know it's only a 1/6 odds, which are not great, but what a fucking awesome rule in every aspect.  Getting free command points, the magic number 7, the bad ass name, the cool model.

So maybe GW read my Chaos Index post, or more likely I jumped the gun on calling GW stupid.  If you remember I called them out for not having terminators on the list of units allowed in the death guard army from the Chaos Index.  Well, we got them now, in 2 variations.  The Deathshroud and Blightlord and they both have T5 and DR.


The Deathshroud we know and love from the Horus Heresy lore, are Mortarions personal bodyguard who are never more than 77 paces from him at any given time.  Well it looks like that rule has slipped a little as you can take these guys anywhere.  They have a couple of rules that accompany them and very little in the way of weapon options.  They have a plaguespurt gauntlet and a manreaper which puts them at a whopping 75 points per model.  They do have S5, 2W and a 2+4++, but they are slow (4"M and halving their advance roll) and only have 2W.  They do something that I've not seen before though, they buff characters.  Nearly everything in this game so far is about characters buffing other units, but these guys give nearby character an extra attack and will also soak wounds from them similar to Look out Sir in previous editions.  It does not look optional though, and the Deathshroud must attempt to take the wound.


The Blightlords are pretty much your normal terminators.  They don't get quite as many close combat weapon options, but they get all the same gun upgrades and they can teleport, which is good cause they too are slow due to their cataphractii armour.  And just to keep thing interesting, on to wound rolls of 6+ with melee weapons their AP increases by 1 (-2 goes to -3)

There are Helbrutes, Possessed, Spawn, Landraiders, Defilers, Predators, and Rhinos, as well as Beasts of Nurgle and Plague Drones.  I'm not going to dwell on these too much.  The former 7 are all the same as in the Chaos Codex, the later 2 are a little more interesting.  The Beasts are pretty much the same as Spawn with an ability that causes unit that fall back from combat to suffer a mortal wound on a 4+, and the Drones are fast.  Other wise they are pretty much the same, lots of attacks, lots of wounds, good harassment units but won't break the enemies lines.

Foetid Blight-Drones got a bit of an overhaul in that they gained 2 new weapon options, the heavy blight launcher (36", Assault 6, S6, AP-2, D1d3) and the fleshmower (Additional 6 attacks in melee, S+2, AP-2 D2), both of these weapons I really like.  The number of shots put out by the heavy blight launcher is huge, but it's rather heafty price tag of 35 points makes me shy away in favour of the discount mower from hell.

The Myphitic Blight-Hauler is an interesting one, it's a jack of all trades but a master of none.  It has a variety of ranged weapons, not limiting it to long range or short range but only BS4+, it has a decent close combat weapon, but with only WS4+, 3A and 1D it's not that dangerous, it also gives the benefit of cover to Death Guard Infantry units entirely within 7" of it and is -1 to hit in the fight phase so it's also a defensive support unit.  It does not suffer -1 for moving and shooting heavy weapons, and it gains a +1 to hit when there are 3 in a unit, oh and you can take up to 3 in a unit and it does not degrade as it takes damage!  Of all it's abilities, it's durability is strong with a 3+/5++ and 5+DR it can withstand a load of punishment for 145 points.  I could easily see taking 3 of these and moving them up the table behind a wall of poxwalkers flanked by Plague Marines, laying down a hail of gun fire in a dozen different directions.

For only 150 points, you can get a Plagueburst Crawler, which is more durable that the Blight-Hauler with T8 and 12W, but has a couple issues with it's use.  It has some options for some pretty powerful guns, but with only BS4+ at full health and the -1 to hit with most weapons when it moves it really makes it's main weapon, the plagueburst mortar, a liability.  While it looks like a fire support gun platform, I really see it for it's use of it's 2 plague spitters and it's durability and the mortar as a secondary bonus gun, being able to pound away at hidden backfield units.  You could take the Entropy cannons(almost lascannon) for only 6 points more, but you would have to support it with a Lord and maybe even a Sorcerer from Chaos Space Marines and Pescience to keep it effective.

The Death Lord, Mortarion

Oh man, this guy looks fucking amazing in both rules and model.  I love that he is not super warped and still has pretty much the same look as he does in the Horus Heresy Forgeworld model, aside that he is bigger and has wings.  I don't really know where to start because we have quite a bit to talk about with this guy, so lets start with what he CAN do.  He can kill shit, really good.  Particularly in close combat with Silence, his massive scythe that has 2 attack profiles, one doing D3 hit rolls for each attack he makes but being only -2AP and 1D, the other being x2S, -4AP and d6D.  He has super-hyper-death head grenades and an "old school" beam weapon that hits each unit between him and his target thats 18" S8 -3AP and D3.  He grants re-rolls of 1 to hit to Death Guard units within 7", reduced the T of enemy units with 7" by 1, hands out mortal wounds to enemy units within 7", and can explode when he dies handing out more mortal wounds to units within 7".  And despite his 18W, 4++, and DR, he is not that durable.  The main reason for this is that he only has a 3+ save and T7 which means that massed Infantry fire can take him out, and of all the battle reports I've seen, that is how he tends to lose most of his wounds.  He is also HUGE and dangerous so hiding him is a pain, and trying to distract your opponent from his is nearly impossible.  When he is not the table his is priority #1, which is what you have to count on.  This might be garbage to say, but for the first couple turns, you can use Morty as a fire magnet to keep the rest of your army safe until you can get units in threat range and take some heat off.  Even then you will still need to try and get him cover and cast Miasma of Pestilence for that -1 to hit.  You can also drop in a unit of Deathshroud next to him to soak some wounds but those guys are expensive and put out a ton of damage themselves.  You can take a Prince or Sorcerer from Chaos Space Marines and Warptime him across the table, but you will likely hit a line of bubble wrap only to have them fall back and then his whole army is primed to kill Morty.  If that is your plan, I would suggest dropping in a handful of other units via deep strike to try and soften up some targets, draw some firepower, and get into combat to stop the shooting.  Either way you look at it, your opponent is gonna look at takin Morty off the table.

Well, thats it, thats all I got.  If you are still reading this I would really like to thank you because you've been a real trooper.  This was a long one, and I know, really late.  The Death Guard book having dropped a couple weeks ago already.  Since you have made it this far, I hope you can hang on just a little more because I got some huge news...

I mean I got a sponsor.
Someone actually thinks my blog is good enough press to want to put their business's name to it, and that name is Maxx Collectibles.  I've actually been gaming and buying my stuff from there for quite a few years now and the owner, and my friend, Garth asked if this was something I'd be interested in.  I made it clear that I would not be changing my writing stye to good any time soon and he seemed ok with that.
Maxx Collectibles is located 835 Cavalier Dr, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.  Most of his store is dedicated to collectibles and comics...



...but he does have a significant miniature war-game presence lead by GW product.  He also hosts a monthly painting seminar where skilled painters come to his shop and give tips and advice.  All painting supplies are provided and if you don't actually play, he will provide practice models as well.


Well, thanks for suffering through that, but you'll see these pop up at the end of every post from now on, cause that's how sponsorship works.

If you have any comments feel free to leave them in the comments section, cause that's what it's for, or you can email me at 40kmisfit@gmail.com. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

BATTLE REPORT: NIGHT LORDS VS THOUSAND SONS


You read that?  Exciting frontline action!
Before I get into the game and such, I would like to send out a big thanks to Sean who, for no reason other than to play me, made a trip into Winnipeg from Brandon.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy right before he pounded me into dust.

Now that I got that out of the way, lets talk army lists.  I'll keep these quick and simple starting with my army.

Outrider Detachment
Daemon Prince with wings and axe
Chaos Lord with a jump pack and Claws of the Black Hunt
Warp Talons
Raptors with 2 meltaguns
Raptors with 2 meltaguns
Raptors

Battalion Detachment
Daemon Prince with 2 sets of talons
Dark Apostle
Exalted Champion with power axe and plasma pistol
Possessed
10 Marines with meltaguns
10 Marines with flamers
20 Cultists
20 Cultists
3 Rhinos

Sean's army is a Thousand Sons army from the Index, but because of taking Thousand sons, it forced him to take a couple auxiliary detachments in order to take Raptors and Oblits.  His list looks like this

Battalion Detachment
Daemon Prince with wings and 2 sets of talons
Exalted Sorcerer on a disc
Exalted Sorcerer on a disc
Tzangors
Tzangors
10 Rubric Marines with flamer and reaper cannon
Predator with autocannon and sponson lascannons
Mauler fiend
Heldrake

Lord of War detachment
Magnus

Auxiliary detachment
Obliterators
Raptors

For the mission, we decided to try out those fancy new Open War cards, of which I just so happen to be writing a review of, and this game actually does not affect my view on them at all.  That sentence will only make sense if you've read both posts.  We got the Courier, which means that Sean and I each have to choose a model in our army, other than our warlord, and the opponent has to kill that model.  The first player to kill that model wins.  We misread the card and didn't realise that the game essentially ends when one player kills the others Courier, so we continued to play out the whole game.
Our deployment was another wonky one, where one player (Sean) takes a triangle shaped deployment that extends from the corners on his side to a point in the very centre of the table.  My deployment was the opposite that was 2 triangles in each corner measured from the centre of the short edge to the centre of my table edge.  It sort of looks like chevrons if you look at the card.
Finally, the Twist was that everyone adds one to their A characteristic.  This was fine by me as I was looking to assault all the things.  Sean had fewer PL points than me, so he did get a Ruse, but as it was "Dug In" and he ended up moving everything turn 1, it didn't com into play at all.

So, as always, I make a mistake in my deployment.  My first 5 drops were all in reserve, being Raptors, Warptalons, and my Lord with jump pack, so he had a couple units on the table by the time I actually had to put anything on the table.  He had a Predator down on my far right flank, and some units of Tzangors I think when I put down my first unit, the Rhino with Possessed, Dark Apostle, and Exalted Champ, in the triangle on my right side closer to the middle of the table.  I then proceed to place EVERYTHING ELSE ON MY LEFT SIDE.  God damn noob mistake cause it costs me double in this game.

At the end of deployment everything looks like this...


Yeah, you see that Rhino in the top left corner of the pic on the right...stupid stupid spot.  Anyway, I got all my backside covered from the deep striking Oblits and Raptors so I'm content, I guess.  Sean gets the first turn and pulls a swift one on me moving Magnus up then casting Warptime to move Magnus again and get him here...
Oh fuck...I did not see that coming.
Now, had I not been an idiot and put the Possessed and their Rhino with the rest of my army, there is a good chance I would have had to move models to close that perfect landing pad for Magnus.
He also drops in the Oblits right next to my Possessed Rhino, flies the Heldrake over there, and moves his Predator to get a shot on it, he really wants that thing dead.  Of course he kills it but not with his Oblits who shoot like this...
The skulls are 1's.
He does bust it open and the Heldrake burns 3 Possessed.  He then assaults the Heldrake and Oblits into the Possessed, Apostle, and Champ and loses an Oblit for his troubles.  Magnus does not get the job done and fails to kill my bird prince(leaving him on 1 wound), who then turns around and deals 3 wounds back.  The Maulerfiend kills a couple cultists...yay.

During my turn I bring in all my reserves around his backfield and look to take out his predator and his Rubric Marine squad along with his Exalted Sorcerer.  I then proceed to NOT kill the predator with 4 meltaguns and fail 4 out of 5 charge attempts, and I had re-rolls for all of them.  The one unit that did make it in dies.

Cultists back off from the Maulerfiend who is then nuked from meltagun fire form the marines while my other cultists advance, flamer, and assault the Tzangor unit and wipe them out.
Sean then gets a little cocky and splits Magnus's attacks, putting 2 on the wounded prince and the other 6 on the one.  Well the birdy lives and manages to hit back for 9 wounds!  The other prince died...

The rest of the game I can actually swing through pretty quickly.  Thanks to my failed charges, my Warptalons and Lord were gunned down while his Prince jumped up and smashed a unit raptors.  His predator and Haldrake took out the other unit of raptors but for one meltagun who then teamed up with the last Possessed, Dark Apostle, and Exalted Champ to not kill the Heldrake...
See where the Warptalons and Lord used to be?


Magnus finally got that last prince but was then dragged down by the wight of 20 marines who were able to tear off those last 4 wounds while his warlord Exalted Sorcerer experienced a similar fate and was swarmed by a mob of cultists.

It was about this time, the end of turn 4, we realised that Sean actually won so we talked out the last turn as though the game didn't end as soon as my courier died.  It looked pretty close once Magnus was out of the picture, but thanks to First Blood, we were thinking Sean would have won.

Now, having said that, there is a caveat that I need to address, and it's of my own damn stupidity.  I ended the game still with 5 command points.
Can you read his lips?
I could have used From the Shadows to, maybe, keep my Lord alive.  I could've used VotLW to boost the green princes hitting power and maybe killed Magnus sooner.  Or even to re-roll some meltagun shots and maybe that predator would be dead.

Hey, that's how we learn right?  We get so badly butt hurt that we will never forget that feeling aver again...
I forgot what I was talking about...
Looking back on this post I realised I went picture crazy, mainly because I remembered to take pictures, but also because pictures are way easier than typing stuff.  They must be worth, like, 50-60 words at least.

Thanks for reading and as always if you have any comments feel free to leave them anywhere.  I desperately crave vindication for wasting so much time.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.