Tactical Command

Death Guard v0.3
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Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Death Guard v0.3

Hi all.

I'm currently taking over from Steve54 as sub-AC for the Death Guard. The power, the POWER, BWA HA HA HA HAAAAAH!


Obviously as a new AC I have my own ideas about the list, but given the strong foundation Steve's put together, any changes are going to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. That said, 0.3.0 contains some biggish changes and several smaller ones. I'll go through those changes in a minutes, but first...


Beyond the usual 'let's get this list to Approved state!', I have several guiding principles for development of the Death Guard list:

Build Variety - the list must be capable of generating a wide variety of viable/competitive army lists.

Distinctiveness - while a number of elements are shared with the EpicUK list, the slightly looser and less streamlined nature of the NetEA environment gives extra space to have more units and formations, giving the two lists their own distinctive flavour.

Theme & Gameplay - this needs to 'feel' like a Nurgle force. Given the foundations in place, this shouldn't be too much of an issue. :)

So, the major changes from 0.2 (the most recent 0.2 QR).

Armoured Assault Company (PROVISIONAL new formation)
6 Death Guard Vindicators, upgrades Vindicators and Walkers, 250pt.
This is shamelessly cribbed from the Iron Warriors list, but is strictly provisional upon feedback from Onyx.

To be blunt, I've loved Vindicator formations since Adeptus Titanicus days., and want to field them again. :) Being a little more systematic:

Pros - this brings back the Vindicator-only formation that was present in an earlier version, but without needing to bump the Vindicators up to 50pt each to prevent spamming of cheap activations. Background-wise, Heresy-era Death Guard were heavy users of close assault vehicles, specifically Vindicators and Dreadnoughts, although a lot of those will have been abandoned since then.

Cons - as a direct lift from the Iron Warriors list (where it's something of a signature unit), this may bee too much overlap between the lists. On the other hand, the slower nature of DG Vindicators (20cm move and no tripling) plus Walker upgrades will make it play very differently, plus it's a support formation instead of a core formation.

Blight Drones (PROVISIONAL profile change)
Looking back through the assorted threads, the 0.2 QRs appear to have added a 15cm Vomit Cannon from the 2014 Compendium list that wasn't present in Steve's posts. Therefore I have provisionally removed the 15cm Vomit Cannon and moved Ignore Cover back to the Maw Cannon. This brings the unit profile into line with the Blight Drones in the Red Corsairs list, but with different formation size, points cost and Initiative.

Pros - consistency between lists.

Cons - a noticeable decrease in short-range AP fire, with a corresponding increase in longer range AP fire.

Beasts of Nurgle (additional Lesser Daemon option)
In keeping with the other faction-specific CSM lists, I've added in more choice of Lesser Daemon. Taking the profile from the Ghallamore Incursion/Daemon World list, they have better FF than Plaguebearers and Ignore Cover on both CC and FF, at the cost of Mounted/Walker reducing their mobility.

Pros - more variety in Lesser Daemons, also,

Cons - I believe this unit profile hasn't seen extensive testing.

Other notes - Beasts of Nurgle could also be represented using the Chaos Spawn already in the list, at the cost of losing the usual rules for daemons.

Full changelog for version 0.3.3: (2016/11/25)
Green = name changes & typos.
Blue = changes from 0.3.1.
Red = new items or rules.

NEW FORMATION - Plague Marine Chosen are a new Support Formation consisting of four Plague Marine units with Scout, plus a Lord.

Initiative Change - Blight Drone Swarms changed to Initiative 2+.
Weapon Correction - Blight Drone Reaper Autocannon corrected from AP5/AT6 to AP4/AT6 to match other Reaper Autocannons and also the Red Corsairs profile.

Unit Cost Change - Plague Tower formations changed from 325pt each to 350pt each.
Unit Cost Change - Plague Tower transports changed from 300pt each to 325pt each.
Upgrade Change - the Plague Towers upgrade uses up a Support Formation slot.

Unit Cost Change - Contagion Tower formations changed from 350pt for four to 325pt for four.
Unit Upgrades Addition - Contagion Tower formations can now take the Walker Upgrade.

Unit Change - all characters - Fearless removed as they can only be added to a unit that already has Fearless.
Unit Change - Plague Lord character (re)gained Commander.

Weapon Name Change - Nurgle Daemon Prince's Nurgling Swarm changed to Plague of Blood Flies to match the Lord of Pestilence character.

Unit Weapon Change - Desecrator, Desecrator Cannon changed from AT6+ to AT5+ to bring them more in line with the EpicUK equivalent.

Unit Name Change - Beasts of Nurgle changed to Death Guard Beast of Nurgle.
Unit Change - Beasts of Nurgle changed from FF5+ to FF6+.
Weapon Name Change - Beast of Nurgle Cloud of Flies changed to Cloud of Crawling Flies to differentiate it from the non-identical weapon on the Plaguebearers.

Alternate Beast of Nurgle Profile - added a new Beast profile for testing, which does no direct damage but inflicts BMs.

Unit Correction - Nurgling Swarm had the missing Scout ability added.

Death Guard v0.3.3.pdf [232.94 KiB]
Downloaded 569 times

Initiative Changes
I've changed the Initiative 2+ units to 'Aircraft, Spacecraft, Contagion Tower and Plague Tower formations' to reduce ambiguity. Note that this leaves Blight Drones on Initiative 1+ compared to the Red Corsairs' 2+, but that's not a change from 0.2.

Name Changes
There are several name changes to units and guns, almost universally to match the names of the units in other lists. Gun name changes are limited to units that as far as I'm aware aren't in any other actively developed lists - the Desecrator and the Repugnant Titan.

Full changelog for version 0.3.1: (2016/02/05)
Green = name changes & typos.
Blue = changes from 0.3.0.
Red = new items or rules.

Initiative Change - Plague Zombie Infestations corrected to Initiative 2+. All Initiative 2+ formations marked with an *.
Name Change - Armoured 'Asault' Company fixed.
Unit Change - Rhino FF corrected to 6+.
Unit Change - Fearless corrected to Expendable on all Lesser Daemons.
Unit Change - critical effect on the Great Unclean One corrected to only affect summoned units.
Unit Change - Plague Ship changed to a single formation of 2D6+3 Plague Zombies after the barrage, applying Teleport rules.
Unit Change - Grave Warden Terminator Alchemical Weapons name change and upgraded to give a 15cm ranged attack, also Ignore Cover.
Unit Change - correction, Expendable removed from the Plague Zombies.
Additional Unit - an experimental Nurgling Swarm added to the Daemon Pool.
Additional Unit - Death Guard Assault Dreadnought loses all ranged AT in return for Heavy Alchemical Launchers.
Upgrade Change - up to three Plague Towers can now be added to a formation.
Upgrade Change - if a Daemon Prince replaces the Lord of pestilence, he gains the Supreme Commander ability.
Layout Change - the free Lesser Daemon for Daemonic Pact is now mentioned in the upgrade, instead of being in a separate box.
Army Rule Addition - Implacable Advance now adds a +1 modifier for Marshal actions.

Death Guard v0.3.1.pdf [227.18 KiB]
Downloaded 853 times

Full changelog for version 0.3.0:
Green = name changes or corrections.
Blue = changes from 0.2c.
Red = new items or rules.
These colour conventions are used in the QR file as well.

Initiative Change - removed Daemon Engine from the unit notes and changed the Initiative section to specify Aircraft, Spacecraft, Contagion Tower and Plague Tower formations as Initiative 2+. Note that this may be a change for formations of Plague Hulks.

Additional Formation - Armoured Assault Company support formation.

Name Change - Contagion Engines to Contagion Towers for NetEA consistency.
Unit Change - Contagion Tower Vomit Cannon changed from Disrupt to Ignore Cover to match other lists.

Unit Change - Blight Drone loses the 15cm gun and gains Ignore Cover on the Maw Cannon, to match the Red Corsairs version.

Unit Correction - DG Dreadnought Twin Autocannon corrected from AP4/AT6 to AP4/AT5.
Unit Change - Death Guard Dreadnought loses Walker in return for Invulnerable Save. Note - this will obviously need testing, but it feels like the most direct equivalent to the other DG vehicles losing speed in return for an Invulnerable Save.

Unit Change - Fester Titan reduced one shot on the Decay Cannon. Note - this was an error in the 0.2 QR but it's one that I'm happy with - gaining AT5+ on the Decay Cannon was already a pretty big buff compared to the EpicUK version that I'm used to running.
Name Change - Repugnant Titan's Rot Mortar change to a Plague Mortar as it has identical stats to the gun on the Plague Tower.

Name Change - Death Guard Defiler changed to Defiler as it's identical to the standard one.
Unit Correction - Defiler Reaper Autocannon was AP4/AT4, now AP4/AT6.
Unit Correction - Defiler's Twin Heavy Flamer changed from AP4+ to AP3+.

Name Change - Desecrator's Decay Cannon changed to a Pus Launcher to distinguish it from the Fester Titan gun.

Unit Change - Added AT6+ to the Plague Hulk's gun.

Additional Unit - Beasts of Nurgle added as Lesser Daemons.

Unit Correction - Plaguebearers reduced to CC4+, FF6+ to match other lists. I'm waiting to hear back about the CC3+, FF5+ in the current Black Legion and Stigmatus Coven online lists, as far as I'm aware that's a typo.

I also added the assorted text for Daemon Summoning etc.

Death Guard v0.3.0.pdf [222.6 KiB]
Downloaded 686 times

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

Notes on some of the other units:


I've left the three Defiler-equivalents almost untouched, just correcting the profile on the Defiler and adding AT6+ on the Plague Hulk's single gun.

Defilers - are fine as they are, they're widely tested and will be a great upgrade for Plague Tower formations/transported formations due to similar ranges on the main guns.

Desecrators - although I've complained in the past about them being the poor cousin of the EpicUK DG Defilers, that 15cm move makes all the difference. Although they can't keep up with armour and you therefore can't add AA capability to the faster formations without slowing them down, capable AA units that don't restrict formations from garrisoning are worth their weight in gold. For example, a formation of three Chaos Spawn and four Desecrators can garrison forwards off the Blitz and be covering most of your army while being a formation that most enemy formations won't want to go anywhere near in an assault.

Plague Hulks - I'm still slightly unsure on the addition of AT to their main gun. This is partly from my own prejudice as someone who mostly plays against skimmer-heavy Eldar, where the Plague Hulk is a dead weight, but I think it needs that little something extra to make it less rock/paper/scissors. I'll be very interested to see playtest info on these.

EDIT to add:

I've currently left the Plague Ship at 4BP followed by two formations of 3+d6 Plague Zombies appearing, without any mention of rolling for BMs on the Zombies. This is going to need testing testing testing...

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3


DG Dreadnoughts - as mentioned above, Heresy-era Death Guard made extensive use of Dreadnoughts. I have no wish to add a formation of Dreadnoughts, but am considering adding some form of assault variant. Possible something like this:
Lose Twin Autocannon 45cm AP4+/AT5+
Gain Twin Heavy Bolter 30cm AP4+
Gain Alchemical Flamer 15cm AP4+, Ignore Cover
OR (small arms) EA(+1), Ignore Cover

However this is likely to need a points increase over the 'normal' variant due to the extra FF attack in an army that lives or dies on it's assaults, and definitely needs a lot of testing.

Grave Warden Terminators - swap their Alchemical Weapons for the Alchemical Flamer listed above. This would add Ignore Cover to their extra FF attack and give them a 15cm gun for the times they don't assault. Again, much playtesting would be required.

Nurglings - the obvious third choice if we're adding back in Lesser Daemon variants would be Nurglings. From the Daemon World/Ghallamore Incursion list:
INF move 15cm Armour 4+ CC5+ FF-, Scout, Invulnerable Save.

In that list they're half the points cost of a Plaguebearer or Beast of Nurgle and as summoned daemons they'd be clearly inferior as cannon fodder - but that Scouting bubble could be very interesting, even when they're limited to arriving with 5cm of a non-daemon unit in the formation.

Implacable Advance - this is a big downside, it's lost me more than one game with EpicUK lists. I have no wish to remove it but would like to add a positive to go with it. The simplest would be adding the EpicUK version where DG formations get +1 to Marshal activations. An alternative would be to give all DG formations a formation-level Leader ability, but that may be too powerful.


There are a number of spam-lists that need testing for balance. Notably:
Plague Tower spam - as a support formation, are massed 325pt Plague Towers too much?
Massed garrisoning, especially if using 'based for advantage' Chaos Spawn on long strip bases to get your DG Retinues or Desecrator formations into the mid-table.
Multiple Terminator formations supported by massed barrages. Although I suspect that the resulting low activation numbers would easily balance this one.

So, wall of text done. Any and all feedback much appreciated!

Advance warning - due to other commitments I can usually only manage one Epic game every 3-4 weeks, so I will be depending a lot on other people's battle reports!

Author:  mordoten [ Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

Bith a very funny, thought thru and edjucating post! Thank you so much for doing it! I've myself built a deathguard army so hopefully i can help out with some reports. My main focus is the Gargant list though which I'm aiming to fine tune and set on the road for approval theese next three months.

But after that you can count me in for a couple of reports!

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3


First error spotted - Plague Zombies need to be added to the list of Initiative 2+ formations. Oops.

Author:  JumpingJehovah [ Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

Thanks for taking over the list - it is my next build of armies and look forward to having games and populating some feedback for you - love the list and agree with all changes.


Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

So, any feedback on the list and on the suggested further changes?

Author:  mordoten [ Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

i think all the changes you've done are good and have no complaints on them.

I do think there should be 1 formation of zombies in the plagueship barrage. Make it 2D6+3 if you like but then it's only 1 formation to deal with. Getting 2 more formations on the board "for free" is very, very good.

Do we really need 3 different types in the walker horde?? I would settle for just 1 (Desecrators) or 2 if people complained too much.

I also think Nurglings should be armour 5+ if they are gonna have te scout ability.

Making implacable advance like the EpicUK rule makes much sense also.

Author:  JumpingJehovah [ Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

I'll proxy an army for this weekend and get you a report

- Kendall

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3


For the Plague Ship I was thinking along similar lines, then remembered that the spacecraft itself activates once and then never comes back, So there's less activation-advantage than it initially looks like. That said, I'm not happy with the current version, it's already giving you 3 more Zombies than the 175pt Zombie formation.

Going back through previous suggestions, 4BP Disrupt and a single formation of 3+d6 Zombies could work with a price drop to 175pt. On the other hand that means you can take the Plague Ship and three Fester Titans in a 3k list as that comes to 1k points on the dot, and I'm not sure that's a good thing, so beefing it up might be better than reducing it. Which brings us back to your suggestion - 4BP Disrupt, a single formation of 3+2d6 Zombies and give it a price of 200-225pt depending on how it playtests.

For Walkers they do all have discrete roles, but I know what you mean. The 'standard' Defiler would be the obvious choice to drop. I'm not keen on dropping the Plague Hulk even though it's awkward from a design point of view, because I can see so much potential for a unique unit.

For the Nurglings profile I'm somewhat constrained in that they're shared with the Ghallamore Incursion list, but I agree they could do with being flimsier if they're adding Scouting ZoCs to a beefier formation like Terminators or a DG Retinue. As there is only one other (fairly niche) list using them, I think there's potential for a redesign considering how they could work.

Thinking aloud here, how about:
INF move 15cm Armour 5+ CC6+ FF-, Scout, Invulnerable Save, 'Grot rule'.

This takes them down to Plague Zombie levels of survivability (albeit with an INV save) and halves their damage output, in exchange for being useable as assault buffers as well as shooting buffers. That could get bleeping annoying when paired with the 'eight Firefight dice' Terminator formation of Death Shroud + Sorcerer Lord, Death Shroud + Champion of Nurgle, two Grave Wardens and Daemonic Pact, but that's a 475pt formation plus the cost of the daemon pool and getting to activate them quickly enough to get some daemons out.

Thematically I like it - they're pretty easy to get rid of but cover a large area in irritating squelchiness without much chance of killing anyone ('Oh bleep, I just stepped in a Nurgling, slipped, and did my back in!'), and the formation that summoned them really don't care about them dying. Possibly even drop them down to Armour 6+, although that would make it very easy to burn through your daemon pool quickly.

Taking that to the extreme...
Disposable Nurglings
INF move 10cm Armour - CC6+ FF-, Invulnerable Save. Lost Nurglings do not count for BMs or combat resolution. Nurglings do not count towards the size of the summoning formation. Summoning cost 0.5.

So you can summon piles of them at once but all they do is get in the way and die easily - they don't even count for outnumbering in an assault or for preventing the formation from breaking, and they also slow you down in an army that can't triple...

:wah >:( >:D

Kendall - great!

Author:  atension [ Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

What are your thoughts on Dreadclaws being added?

Author:  mordoten [ Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

Tjat would make the list loose it's only draw back which is it's lack of mobility.

Author:  atension [ Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

mordoten wrote:
Tjat would make the list loose it's only draw back which is it's lack of mobility.

I can understand the idea of your argument but having played a few games against shooty type armies/lists (Guard, Tau, elder, titans etc...) the slowness is a massive detriment, almost insurmountable. Dreadclaws would certainly increase mobility initially but then you are still stuck where you land and there are no Thawks or Landing craft like a marine list. Also Dreadclaws are the shittier cousin to marine drop pods, I'd take deathwind launchers over no scatter any day. I suppose terminators deepstriking is an option but they are prohibitively expensive and easily breakable. Garrisoning helps to a degree but even then a smart opponent can really limit its usefulness (depending on what you are garrisoning) with objective placement. You can also really limit the transport capacity of the plague ship. It doesn't have to be 20 like a strike cruiser, it could be 14 for 2 minimum size formations or even less. Since plague ships are already a 0-1 choice this would add a bit of initial mobility but not break the list by making it super mobile by any means..

Those are just my thoughts. Haha or maybe I've just become too spoiled with Necrons. Anyways, looking forward to some battle reports!

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

Highly unlikely.

With the EpicUK list (without using any transports) I've faced:

AMTL and beaten them, partly by having Plague Zombies 'trap' a Warlord for two turns.
IG with eleven freaking Shadowswords (and Deathstrikes and a Warhound pair) on a fairly open table, and managed a draw against the eventual winner of the tournament, by breaking 70% of his formations.
Multiple IG lists with Leman Russ companies.
Multiple Eldar lists, including dual-Vampires.
Tau and beaten them soundly, albeit against an opponent who hadn't faced Death Guard before.
Skitarii and beaten them soundly, including a Reaver and Ordinatus Majoris, although the EpicUK Ordinatus is a bit crap. :(

With DG0.2 I've faced multiple Eldar lists including a Warlock, and IG including a Basilisk company.

I have at least one win or draw against all of those variations.

That said, yes an experienced opponent will do their best to split up the objectives in your half to reduce the usefulness of your garrisons, but the NetEA list has That little extra trick not present in the EpicUK list - cheap Chaos Spawn add-ones for your DG Retinues and Walker formations. If the Spawn are on 25mm bases like mine, that's a full 37.5cm from the objective to the first 'proper' unit in the formation, or 42cm if using 40mm strip bases. That can bring Retinues in a long way in even from the extreme table sides, or simply garrison forwards off the Blitz.

This is why 15cm move on the Desecrators is such a big deal - your forward deployment AA is no longer limited to one per garrison, and can even include a whole formation of Desecrators garrisoning forwards off a trail of Chaos Spawn.

Looking back at the Nurgling ideas in the cold hard light of day, I love the Disposable Nurglings but fear that they would be impossible to balance. Having a potential 24 meatshield units turn up on a formation (Daemon Pact plus Champion of Nurgle) is just borken, even if it's costing you 75pt and two upgrade slots on the formation, plus a further 165pt in Lesser Daemons in the pool.

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.3

OK, Nurglings v4.

Nurgling Swarm
INF move 15cm Armour 5+ CC6+ FF-, Expendable, Invulnerable Save, Scout. Lost Nurglings do not count for BMs or combat resolution. Nurglings do not count towards the size of the summoning formation. Summoning cost 1.

Back to the Scout version but I've added both the 'Grot rule' and having them not count towards the formation size, making it 'easier' to lose all summoned Daemons by breaking the formation. This looks like a reasonable representation of loads of Nurglings across a wide area acting as a tarpit (should that be 'slimepit'?) but not really doing anything active.

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