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Death Guard v0.3

 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:21 pm 
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That took a bit of digging to find: http://epicau.com/mw/index.php/Traitor_ ... eath_Guard

Many thanks, last time I looked at the 30k stuff they only had Deathshrouds as a mix of the two units.

Somehow I'd not thought of EA+2 non-MW for the Deathshrouds. It slightly reduces their effectiveness against tough units, but they're going to shred anything lighter with an average two hits per stand. Add in Fearless and it's again not going to be a cheap unit. I'm wondering if it's worth doubling-down and instead of making them a weaker unfluffy unit they could stay very elite but get something to mitigate getting broken, for example a Deathwing-style rule but instead of the formation having Leader they get +1 to Rally.

Destroyer Havocs - I've been thinking the same, although I don't like the 30k Destroyer Squads as a template. Presumably more like 2x 30cm AP4+/AT6+ Disrupt. Or maybe drop it to 15cm and add Ignore Cover.


Blip - I know what you mean with the INV save on the vehicles, but it's a psychological effect more than anything - the slower speed has a much bigger impact than the 2-3 INV saves I make on them in a game.


All - given the amount of new ideas coming up, I'll try and get the next PDF up tonight with Chosen as Support (without Land Raiders), Beasts of Nurgle that dissolve everyone and a bunch of other minor tweaks and corrections (like the Reaper Autocannon on the Blight Drones getting corrected from AP5/AT6 to AP4/AT6), and then it's going to be time to start collating ideas and changes for version 0.4 as a bigger shakeup.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:04 pm 
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IJW Wartrader wrote:
I'm wondering if it's worth doubling-down and instead of making them a weaker unfluffy unit they could stay very elite but get something to mitigate getting broken, for example a Deathwing-style rule but instead of the formation having Leader they get +1 to Rally.

Although if the Supreme Commander re-roll gave a +1 to rally, that would have to be non-stacking - I'm not going to be responsible to introducing auto-rallying Fearless Terminators as long as there's nobody within 30cm!

Hmm, alternatively, Death Guard Terminators could ignore the -1 rallying penalty for enemy within 30cm, rather than getting a flat +1.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:46 pm 
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0.3.3 is in the first post (and yes, there's no 0.3.2...).

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 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.


You'll also see a lot of green text in the rest of the document where I've been going through making section titles more consistent and removing 'Chaos Space Marine'.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:53 pm 
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Good work. Will take a look.


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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:53 am 
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Very excited with the changes, basing two formations of Chosen as I write this.. Just downloaded the update but noticed it's missing the plague marine chosen stat line. Suggest you rename them "Chosen of Nurgle" less chance of confusion with "plague marines". Think it sounds better too, but up to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:46 am 
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Nice work IJW, I'm looking forward to getting some games in with this list.

This is a bit of a wall of text sorry; there is a summary at the end for those who want to skip a bit. ;)

I had a bit of an epiphany on the Terminators last night. Something wasn't quite right with them, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. But I think I've worked out what was bugging me now. It is more to do with the presence of the units themselves, rather than stats or gameplay.
Some food for thought on terminators:

Background.
During the heresy there were many Terminator variants within the Death Guard. Deathshroud, Grave Warden, and regular Terminators wearing Cataphractii and Tartarus pattern armour. Probably others too.
However in the 41st millenium these different formations no longer exist. Presumably the standard "Nurgle Terminators" are a mix of all of the above, as a result of the fracturing of the legion after their defeat at Terra and in the years of constant warfare since. The most powerful individuals would have gone on to become Lords and Sorcerers in their own right, possibly attaining daemonhood (or spawndom!). Others would have been combined into smaller units as attrition took place, and with the end of resupply of the highly specialist armour and weapons, presumably the armour of the fallen (both friend and foe) is salvaged and repaired. So the terminators in the 41st Millennium are in all likelihood vastly different to the Deathshroud and Grave Warden squads that existed in the heresy. They are more likely to be an amalgam of both, combined with features of other terminators. Note that none of the traitor legion specialist terminator squads survived the transition to the 41st millenium intact. No matter how cool they are (or how much we all want them to!).
However there could still be a preference to fight using the strengths that are inherent in the geneseed and the tactics that the marines were originally proficient in.


So taking this idea forward, this works well too at epic scale, and the different versions of terminators could be abstracted fairly neatly back into one unit type. This would potentially cause less headaches balancing and designing the list too.
The current Deathshroud Terminator unit entry are armed with the two Autocannons all chaos terminators are armed with, so clearly aren't Deathshroud. At a minimum it would be great if they could have a name change to something more fitting for the 41st millenium - Plague/Nurgle Terminators.
However it might be worthwhile scrapping the reaper autocannon option and replacing it with heavy flamers which is much more characterful for this army.

Looking at other approved Chaos Lists for precedence, neither the Black Legion nor (more importantly) the Emperors Children terminators are fearless. Even though the Noise Marines are fearless. So personally I think fearless has to go (sooner or later) for these guys to get approved (although the EpicUK list implies otherwise). This would reduce the cost of the formation too, and therefore could allow it to be a formation of 4-6 consistent with the other lists.

Mucking around with these ideas I ended up with something that looked remarkably like the Grave Warden unit entry without fearless:

INF 15cm 4+ 3+ 3+, Inv, RA, Teleport, TRA.
Power Weapons. (bc) EA+1, MW
Chemical Heavy Flamer 15cm AP4+ IC AND (15cm) (Small Arms) EA+1 IC (possibly with disrupt if you wanted to further offset the loss of the reaper autocannons).

The lack of range and lack of manoeuvrability are a bit of a hurdle to overcome. But upgrades can help if that's what you are after. And shooting at range and being manoeuvrable wasn't really their thing. Killing things in firefights and close combat in dense terrain was their thing.

So in summary:
how do people feel about removing the Deathshroud entry completely, renaming the Grave Wardens to Plague Terminators, dropping fearless, and making the unit 4 with a lord for 275, with up to two extra for 60 each?

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:15 am 
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Atension - yes, I forgot to include their unit entry, just use Plague Marines with Scout. Naming-wise I was following the 'Plague Marine Havoc' convention but I'll see.


Matty_C - wall of text is fine! I have no issue at all with dropping Deathshrouds, and they were going to have to lose the Reaper Autocannon anyway if called that. The issue is Fearless and the background.

Background-wise, the Emperor's Children are made up of both Noise Marines and 'normal' Chaos Space Marines. The Death Guard aren't - there might be a few normal CSM scattered about the place, but the vast majority of the modern Legion are Plague Marines. The 'Death Guard Marines/Plague Marines' distinction that existed in previous DG lists in Epic would be a distinction for a Nurgle-heavy force of CSM, not the actual Death Guard. That's actually why I chose the EpicUK list when I started my Death Guard force, because it fits the background better.

To rephrase it, Emperor's Children Terminators aren't all Noise Marines even if lists give them Blastmasters, but Death Guard Terminators are effectively guaranteed to be Plague Marines.

I also think having the most elite formation in the list as non-Fearless in a list of mostly Fearless formations is going to look really odd.


Tank Companies as Core - I've been playing around with a few lists based on this, and it definitely allows for some interesting 'actually a Nurgle Daemon Engine force' lists, but it's very easy to end up with a Death Guard list that doesn't contain any Death Guard. :wah

However I'm considering moving them into Core but still requiring Death Guard Retinues to unlock Elite and Support formations, which already allows more variation in lists. Effectively moving the tank companies outside the Core/Elite/Support structure, in the way that atension suggested for Chosen. Theoretically this would allow spamming of tanks in a way that doesn't fit the modern Death Guard (who have fewer vehicles left than the other Legion remnants) but it's unlikely to happen in practice because of the way it would limit access to those tasty Elite and Support formations.


Tank Companies with Daemonic Pact - this is almost guaranteed to be added as an upgrade option in 0.4. Now that I've finally tracked down a copy of Frogbear's 3.1 list (on MiniWars), he had it as an option on the Armoured Companies and as mentioned by Blip it's very fluffy. However it's likely to be limited to summoning Nurglings, at least to start with. Notably, the 3.1 list also had the option for Daemonic Pact on the equivalent of the Walker Horde! Not that that combines very well with Infiltrate on the Defilers or Plague Hulks...

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:01 pm 
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Plaguereapers - looking around at Superheavy formations in general, I'm considering a 'bulk discount' for non-singleton Plaguereapers, in a similar way to IG Baneblade equivalents getting a discount on companies and Engines of Vaul paying less for subsequent units. For example 200pt for the first and 175pt each for the second and third one in the formation. So a formation of two would cost 375pt and three would cost 550pt.

As Blip can bear witness to, I got decent use out of a formation of two in the EpicUK list, but they had the advantage of bringing their own AA bubble with them due to upgrades not available in the NetEA list, and if he'd known quite how nasty they were in short range he would have been avoiding them anyway. :)

Assuming Daemonic Pact (Nurgling Swarms only) works well on the Armoured and Armoured Assault Companies, it will presumably get added as an option for Plaguereapers as well. However I have no plans to add Walker or Contagion upgrades to them, as that helps leave the EpicUK list with some unique stuff that doesn't exist in the NetEA list.

Obviously this is all going to depend on heavy playtesting of Nurgling Swarms, which I hope to start on Tuesday. My prediction is that they're going to be great for tar-pitting enemy formations in assaults (not actually doing anything to the enemy, but soaking enemy hits without counting as kills), but that using them is going to deplete the Daemon Pool really quickly due to their poor armour. In fact the next step if they are too effective will be to drop them from Armour 5+ INV to Armour 6+ INV.

If time permits, I'll be using Nurgling Swarms or 'Non-lethal' Beasts of Nurgle for assaults, then immediately refighting the same assault with Plaguebearers to see how it would have gone differently.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:15 pm 
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Yeah, non-fearless terminators, while a nice way to reduce their cost, doesn't sit right with the rest. A single stat line however wouldn't hurt. Right now the split of two unit types is a bit micro-management for EA imho. Not sure why they have invulnerable tbh - are they all supposed to be demonically possessed? Surely 4++ is enough for any standard unit?

Non unlocking armoured Cos as core sounds good. And letting them have pacts (and maybe icon?) fits with the classic GUCO daemon possessed predators of old. In fact its funny hearing that the fluff states DG as having few vehicles as half the 40k chaos armour i see seems to be nurgle themed as its so fun to make them look gross ! :-) But i understand the need to keep spam in check to keep the theme of the list overall.

I wouldn't discount that inv save though. With small formations, two or three successes a game can be the difference between a dead unit and an annoying objective contester at the end of the day. Esp if non-fearless.


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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:39 pm 
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There are a few other lists that have 'split' Terminators profiles, but I have no particular preference between splitting them and making a more generic profile that combines bits of both. I suspect that the INV save was added effectively 'for free' by Steve as a way to help justify the points cost that Fearless is adding.

INV on AVs - oh I don't discount it, if just for those few occasions where I get to shout 'INVULNERABLE!' *sound of rolling dice again* 'WOO, YES THEY'RE INVULNERABLE!'. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:10 pm 
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IJW Wartrader wrote:
oh I don't discount it, if just for those few occasions where I get to shout 'INVULNERABLE!' *sound of rolling dice again* 'WOO, YES THEY'RE INVULNERABLE!'. :)


Don't i know it! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:10 pm 
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As an aside, I've been looking through the EpicUK tournament lists for Death Guard (http://epic-uk.co.uk/ukepicachampionship/albyr.php and pick Death Guard in the drop-down) and the EpicUK Terminators are used more often than I'd expected - they're in 7 out of 20 lists!

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:59 pm 
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Typo alert - in the 0.3.3 PDF the Death Guard Chosen formation should have access to the Chaos Spawn upgrade.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:18 pm 
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A very provisional profile if taking the super-elite route for Terminators:

Plague Terminators/Death Guard Terminators/Nurgle's Honour Guard
Speed 15cm Arm 4+ CC 4+ FF 4+
Power Weapons (bc) EA+1 MW
Alchemical Heavy Flamers 2 x 15cm AP4+ Disrupt, Ignore Cover
OR (small arms) EA+1 Disrupt, Ignore Cover
Destroyer Hive (bc) EA+1 Nurgle's Rot
OR (small arms) EA+1 Nurgle's Rot
Notes: Fearless, INV Save, Reinforced Armour, Thick Rear Armour, Teleport
Nurgle's Rot as per the experimental Beast of Nurgle - those hits do no damage, but instead place BMs on the formation after combat res and before withdrawal moves.

They're definitely Bad News Boys when it comes to assaults and supporting fire, no matter who initiates the assault. If a formation assaults a full set of four and win, they're likely to be taking four BMs on top of casualties, from two Disrupt hits and two Nurgle's Rot hits. If they lose, they're likely to be taking an extra two hackdown hits from the BMs from Nurgle's Rot.

The obvious problem is that this makes them even more of a win big/lose big formation when it comes to breaking them, and makes costing them very hard - plus potential synergies with summoning Nurgling Swarms as meatshields and to stop people getting into base contact. I can easily see a formation of four and a Lord costing 450+ points, but they're going to be game-winning if you can pull off an assault followed by supporting a second assault, or just a single good assault against an enemy BTS.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.3
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:51 am 
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Aaaaaand some more thinking aloud...

The Nurgle's Rot ability is very fluffy, but arguably makes the units too complex, especially if combined with attacks that have Disrupt as you're potentially dealing with normal hits, MW hits, Disrupt hits, Nurgle's Rot hits and if there's a Chaos Champion then potentially a First Strike hit as well.

So, simplification time. Make Nurgle's Rot closer to an assault equivalent of shooting Disrupt. It's a normal hit that causes damage etc. but in addition a hit will inflict a BM after combat resolution, regardless of saves made against the hit.

This simplifies the hypothetical Plague Terminator weapons to:
Power Weapons (bc) EA+1 MW, Nurgle's Rot
Alchemical Heavy Flamers 2 x 15cm AP4+ Disrupt, Ignore Cover
OR (small arms) EA+1 Ignore Cover, Nurgle's Rot

Although it forces a rethink of the Nurgle's Rot Beast of Nurgle as that then becomes too good compared to a Plaguebearer.

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