Tactical Command

Death Guard v0.4
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Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Death Guard v0.4

Following on from viewtopic.php?f=82&t=30859 ...

There have now been enough changes from v0.3.x to justify a new revision number, woo!

I'm very happy with the overall structure now, but obviously a number of units may need tweaks based on playtest feedback.

Changelog for version 0.4.3: (2017/02/23)

Green = name changes & typos.
Blue = changes from 0.4.2.
Red = new items or rules.

Nurgle's Rot
Changed Rule - changed to a formation-wide ability and added to some formations as a 25pt upgrade.

Death Guard Daemon Prince
Nurgle's Rot Changes - Nurgle's Rot removed as a unit ability and instead granted to any formation including the Daemon Prince.
Profile Changes - FF dropped from 3+ to 4+ to counter the increase in power of Nurgle's Rot.

Grave Warden Terminators unit
Nurgle's Rot Changes - Nurgle's Rot removed as a unit ability and instead granted to any formation including Grave Warden Terminators.

Blight Drone Formation
Upgrade Added - Nurgle's Rot.

Plague Marine Chosen Formation
Upgrade Added - Nurgle's Rot.

Skill Added - Infiltrator added.

Plague Hulk
Missing Skills Added - missing Fearless and Infiltrator added again.

Transport - can now transport four Nurgling Swarms.

All Titans
Fire Arcs - fire arcs added to Titan weapons.

Beasts of Nurgle
Major Changes - multiple stat changes, added Reinforced Armour, removed Mounted, Walker and Nurgle's Rot. Summing cost 2. Transport capacities for vehicles updated to let BoNs be transported, taking up two spaces.

Death Guard v0.4.3.pdf [163.8 KiB]
Downloaded 746 times

Changelog for version 0.4.2: (2016/12/29)

Green = name changes & typos.
Blue = changes from 0.3.3.
Red = new items or rules.

Plague Marine Destroyer Unit
Removed Unit - removed as not being distinct/useful enough.

Assault Dreadnought Unit
Major Changes - changed to 2 x 30cm ranged shots and regained FF EA attack, at the cost of losing the CC EA MW completely.

Death Guard v0.4.2.pdf [182.98 KiB]
Downloaded 577 times

Changelog for version 0.4.1: (2016/12/22) (0.4.0 was an internal version so doesn't appear here)
Green = name changes & typos.
Blue = changes from 0.3.3.
Red = new items or rules.


Not being a huge fan of Excel for layout, I've redone the whole layout from scratch and attempted to make it more readable. This also involved changing the order of a bunch of stuff like Upgrades and Notes to be in alphabetical order. The order of units in the quick reference section has also changed, so it goes:
Actual Plague Marines
Other INF
All AV
All non-Titan WE

I've also added more detailed Transport notes at the end of the section. A number of unit notes etc. have been changed in wording to be closer to the Black Legion.

Nurgle's Rot
Updated - now a Skill that effectively inflicts an extra BM after combat res, as long as one or more units with Nurgle's Rot were directly involved in the combat, including via Supporting Fire.

Army Structure

Core/Elite/Support - Armoured Company and Armoured Assault Company formations moved to Core, but without the ability to unlock Elite or Support formations.
Obligatory Retinue - Plague Marine Retinues are now 1+ for list construction, to reduce the ability to run an all AV/WE Death Guard list containing no Death Guard...

Formations, Upgrades & Units

Havoc Upgrade
Changed Upgrade - now gives the option of Havocs or Destroyers in any combination.

Plague Marine Destroyer Unit
New Unit - a short-ranged Havoc equivalent with Disrupt and Ignore Cover but only 15cm range.

Nurgling Infestation Upgrade
New Upgrade - Nurgling Infestation adds 1+1d3 Nurgling Swarm units to the formation. Available to Retinues, Armoured Companies, Armoured Assault Companies, Terminators and Plaguereapers.

Nurgling Swarm Unit
New/Altered Unit - Nurgling Swarms are now a 'normal' unit that can be bought as an upgrade.
New Skill - gain Teleport.
Lost Skills - Scout removed, Nurgling Swarms now count towards the size of the formation.

Predator, Rhino, Land Raider, Plaguereaper & Vindicator Units
Transport Expansion - related to the above, all 'standard' AVs can carry a Nurgling Swarm in addition to any existing Transport Capacity, Plaguereapers can carry three.

Plaguereaper Formation
Updated Costs - additional Plaguereapers in the formation costed at 175pt, so 1 for 200pt, 2 for 375pt or 3 for 550pt.

Lord of Pestilence
Weapon Change - as the only Chaos SupComm that has both MW EA in FF and CC, I've downgraded the MW FF to First Strike and Ignore Cover, along with a slight name change to echo the lower power level.

Nurgle Sorcerer Lord
Regained Skill - Commander added back in to match Black Legion.

Champion of Nurgle
Weapon Change - these were mistakenly listed as having both CC and FF Extra Attacks. I've dropped the CC EA and made the FF EA match the one on the Lord of Pestilence and the Daemon Prince to reduce the number of different weapons.

Death Guard Daemon Prince Unit
Weapon Change - FF EA MW dropped to FS, IC to match the Lord of Pestilence.
New Skill - added Nurgle's Rot.

Terminator Unit
Large Unit Changes - I've rolled the two unit types back into a single one and called them Grave Wardens as the Deathshroud Terminators are the CC specialist ones. All EA FF are gone, turning them into a more normal unit.
Weapon Change - '2 x Chem Launcher' represents a mix of Heavy Flamers and Astartes Grenade Launchers, with Ignore Cover added to their FF value.
New Skill - added Nurgle's Rot.

Dreadnought Unit
Regained Skill - Walker

Assault Dreadnought Unit
Regained Skill - Walker
Weapon Change - Twin Chem Launcher based on the Grave Warden Terminator weaponry, with Ignore Cover added to their FF value. This was partly to reduce the number of different weapons.
FF Value/FF EA - I've taken away the EA FF and bumped them up to FF3+.

Beast of Nurgle
Profile Change - reduced from CC4+ to CC5+.
New Skill - added Nurgle's Rot.

Death Guard v0.4.1.pdf [182.16 KiB]
Downloaded 566 times

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4


Obvious candidates for heavy testing include:

Nurgling Swarm Upgrade - I really want to keep these in, but playtesting may see them being too unbalanced in adding meatshields to some fairly powerful assault formations. Possible tweaks would be to remove their CC value or reduce their armour.

Grave Warden Terminators - arguably less powerful in an assault than before, but Nurgle's Rot makes it riskier to assault them and being able to add Nurlging Swarms to a teleporting formation makes them more robust.

Plague Marine Destroyers - are much much nastier than Havocs. If you can get them in range. I basically took 15cm off the range for disrupt (a la Noise Marine Havocs) and 15cm off for ignore Cover. If they turn out to be too much more useful than Havocs they could go down to FF4+, or the Havocs upgrade makes you choose between 3 Havocs/2 Destroyers.

Nurgle's Rot - with the reduction to being a single hackdown hit/BM after combat res it's easier to keep track of than separate hits, and less powerful. It's been tried out in a few combats but not enough to get a full picture. Notably, having it work via a Nurgle's Rot unit giving Supporting Fire needs testing. It's very fluffy in giving a 'bubble' of disease.

Armoured/Armoured Assault Companies - being unlimited by army structure may cause issues, because unlike Black Legion they can take their own AA support, albeit at the cost of the Desecrator being very slow at 15cm. Notably, being able to get twelve activations while including a Repugnant Titan...

Author:  atension [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

Interesting changes!

Only one I don't think will play that well is the destroyers. The point of havocs is to give the formation some shooting range. At 15cm shooting it seems kind of pointless. You'd only really use it to double and fire and when doing that it's a very small window of utility 15cm on your activation. Closer than that and I would think (if you crunch the numbers) it would make much more sense to just assault with them instead of shooting. The to hit (AP5/AT6) is just not even close to enough to make it worth doing even with IC and disrupt. For 6 shots you are only going to average 1-2 hits, less if the formation has BMs. It would be a little better for over watch purposes because of the disrupt but the IC is kind of pointless.

I think it was a good call to move the Armoured vehicals to core and I think the infestation adds some fun flavor to the list. The plague reaper I'll seriously consider taking now. I completely agree with the terminator change, having two different types is a little finicky and I look forward to giving them a go with the swarms.

I still don't think the contagion towers are worth 325. Had two games with them in the past month where I really want to like them but they always get broken and/or detroyed so easy, fearless doesn't mean much when they die so readily. In keeping with my comparison to the night spinners getting fearless+ the 30cm extra shOT and the extra unit is not worth an extra 150 points. I know you said that the moment on the night spinners was irrelevant but I disagree. While yes you do want to sustain as much as possible, having the option to move 90 cm is nothing to sneeze at for getting objectives or evading assaults. Also they are skimmers with is not an insignificant benifit. They also get all the crazy eldar rules with move and shoot and consolidations as well. Should add infestation to the contageons like you did for the reapers with out increasing the cost. That would make them reasonably costed.

Other than that I'm quite pleased with the list. Good work!

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

Destroyers - interestingly, opinion in my local group goes the other way, that they're more powerful than Havocs and need to be more expensive! Mainly due to extra BMs followed by providing Supporting Fire when another formation assaults. Note that FF values from the regular Plague Marines can be used for BM suppression, so assuming you're actually in range, you're going to get all six shots more often than with Havocs.

Contagions - I couldn't disagree more. I've used them in 40+ games with EpicUK and NetEA lists, and they consistently perform well, enough that they're usually target priority one for my opponents. Notably in the Night Spinner comparison you're getting an extra template and a formation that doesn't auto-break as soon as it takes a single casualty. Being able to Garrison them and put the enemy DZ in range from the start of the game is also a big thing over Night Spinners, especially when combined with other garrisoning units such as Chosen to screen them from assaults.

Please note that I'm not dismissing Night Spinners (Eldar were my main army before Death Guard, and have been since SM1!), but in my experience Contagions are easily worth the points increase.

Out of curiosity, what was attacking them in your games?

EDIT - note that a fair number of my EpicUK DG games have been against Eldar using Night Spinners, and the Night Spinners now get deployed almost exclusively where they can't be hit by the Contagions - because the Contagions almost alway break the Night Spinners, but the Night Spinners struggle to break the Contagions...

Author:  atension [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

Extra BMs from the destroyers from disrupt shooting? If the destroyers had disrupt FF now that would be powerful! In my experience I rarely can get supporting fire range with a plague marine retinue. They are so slow and my opponents just avoid the possibility of them being in range to support. If the formation is rhino mounted yeah they can double and shoot you can retain and assault with say some drones, but doubling your hit probability is very low. Rarely would they be in range and mounted to do a single move and shoot. Un mounted they in most instances it would be more practical to just perform the assault themself rather than wasting a second activation.

Anyways, I mean they should function fine but my point is that I don't think they are different enough from normal havocs to warrant the creation of a novel unit. Had similar resurvations about the terminators. In my opinion if you want the havocs to be different (more nurgley) then change then rather than making a while new unit. Personally I think the 45cm range has more utility though.

Falcons and whirlwind.

Author:  gunslinger007 [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

First, great update! Thanks for putting this all together and posting this. Hopefully I can try play testing some of the new options.

Second, is there any chance of having these changes updated on army forge? I understand it's constantly developing, but it be easier to tinker with lists and ideas.

Third, I have similar thoughts on the destroyers as atension. I feel like this is repeating the terminator discussion regarding abstraction, etc. Also, I would typically go with havocs for that valuable ranged shooting.

Thanks again!

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

Destroyers - fair enough, and thanks both of you. I originally had them at AP4/AT6 for hit rolls but was persuaded to tone them down because Double/disembark/shoot into cover put them at four times the chance to hit as a Havoc (AP5+ aka 1/3 to hit, compared to AP7+ aka 1/12 to hit), and Disrupt on top of that.

If you think that makes them usable I'd appreciate feedback from how they perform in games, although I'm also open to simply removing them to avoid unit-bloat.

FF Disrupt I'm trying to avoid as assaults are messy enough to keep track of as it is, plus it only has an effect if you lose the assault.

Army Forge - working on it! My local copy is almost done and the list structure and points should be pretty stable now.

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

First batrep is up: http://wargamingtrader.com/epic-batrep- ... hite-scars

Full post-game analysis still to be added, but roughly speaking:

  • Plague Marine Destroyers are just too short-ranged to be useful, and the Assault Dreadnoughts suffered from range issues as well.
  • Nurgling Swarms did a decent job of adding to formation sizes, in general forcing an extra activation of shooting to break each formation.
  • Nurgle's Rot would have had an impact in three assaults, but in all three cases the Marines were either dead before combat res or there were already enough hackdown hits anyway.
  • EDIT - on the one hand this means that Nurgle's Rot isn't overpowered, on the other hand it means that it's an extra rule that while fluffy is having very little impact on games.
  • As expected, intentionally slow list was sloooooow...

  • I messed up deployment for multiple formations, deviating from the rough plan that I'd made for the army, and was punished for it.
  • I messed up deploying the Terminators in turn two and was punished for it, having spent the last few activations of turn one planning to bring them on on my far right flank on the tail end of three intermingled White Scars formations and out of range of the Whirlwinds!
  • While INV saves saved my bacon a few times, a bunch of other armour rolls (notably the Plaguereapers, Terminators and the unbroken BTS) were notably poor.
  • In fact the Plaguereapers were slightly cursed when it came to dice - two of them Doubling and firing at the two visible Land Speeders with 6BP, 6 Heavy Bolters, 6 Lascannon and two Thunderer Cannon got two hits (no Disrupt) which were both saved, the first time they came under fire the one shot that got through critted and the second time they came under fire the Predators got above average hits and the remaining Plaguereaper got below average saves to get wiped by one volley. Hmm, I just realised - 6BP meant the Land Speeders should have taken two BMs and therefore had one unit suppressed. Not that that would made much difference.

List Stuff:
  • Destroyers will go. Although they could be beefed up (say AP3+/AT5+ IC Disrupt which would make Doubling much more effective) Havocs are still going to be more useful more of the time.
  • Assault Dreads will go back closer to their 0.3.3 version, with a 30cm AP4/AT6 Ignore Cover main gun and FF EA+1. I'll probably give them a second ranged shot and drop their CC EA, similar to Fire Support Dreads for Space Marines.

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4


As predicted by atension and gunslinger, the Destroyers did poorly - doing nothing that couldn't have been done as well or better by Havocs. They could be beefed up a lot, but Plague Marine Havocs are a longstanding existing unit and are already distinct from their equivalents in other lists via 3+ saves and Fearless.

Impact on army list: Destroyers will be dropped, the list is already pretty bloated for unit choices. As much as I'd like to try a shorter range harder-hitting Havoc equivalent it's not a role that's really needed.

Nurgling Swarms

The Nurglings in the Plaguereapers saved the formation from breaking when the first one went down to a crit, but only because one of them passing a 5+ armour save against their transport dying, followed by passing an INV save against the explosion from the crit!

The Nurglings with the Terminators saved them from breaking against the first shooting attack (from the Whirlwinds), which would have broken them due to causing a casualty and the BM for arriving. The remaining two Nurglings ate shots from the retaining Tacticals but the BM from being fired at would have broken the formation regardless, but this did save some shots from going onto the Terminators themselves. This meant that there were no Nurglings left by the time the Terminators assaulted the Whirlwinds, so their tarpit nature in CC wasn't seen.

Impact on army list: worked roughly as expected. Future test games will concentrate on trying them out in assaults, ideally by not landing Terminators right in the middle of the enemy army instead of where they'd been planned to arrive... :{[] I'll also give them a try in an Armoured Assault Company, where disembarking Nurglings can give Plague Hulks the chance to 'leapfrog' into base contact and still be in coherency.

Assault Dreads

The 0.4.1 version of these suffered from the same problems as the Destroyers - the 15cm gun just wasn't enough even with them starting in Overwatch as a garrison. Although the remaining one did help kill off the Bikes in CC in the end game, before taking Plasma to the face from the Warhounds.

Impact on army list: the previous version worked better. As previously mentioned, I'm going to try a cross between the 0.3.3 version and a fire support Dread. Provisional statline new statline:

Lose the Powerfist and it's CC EA MW.
Speed 15cm Arm 3+ CC4+ FF4+
Heavy Chem Launchers 3 x 30cm AP4+/AT6+, Ignore Cover
AND (15cm) Small Arms, EA+1, Ignore Cover
Fearless, INV Save, Walker

This means that they add some reasonable short-range shooting punch to a Retinue and bump up the FF output a good amount, at the cost of CC MW. Notably, three Havocs and three Assault Dreads gives the formation six shots within 30cm, before taking any Desecrators. Plague Marines and Chaos Spawn at the front of a formation backed up by Assault Dreads should do very nicely in assaults.

Question: would you prefer to see Assault Dreads as a separate unit entry, or have both Dreads rolled into a single unit that chooses between two weapon loadouts like the SM Dreads?


Adding three Chaos Spawn to the formation did help substantially in how much ground the formation could hold, and they also soaked a fair amount of shots when the formation got shot up by Tacticals. However I really felt the lack of ranged firepower, so will be trying them out with one or more Assault Dreads in there. Four Chosen, one Spawn and one Dread would come to the same 275pt but would give the formation more tactical ability. A bigger formation of four Chosen, three Dreads (possibly a mix of both types) and three Spawn would be getting pricy at 425pt but would pack a big punch in an assault even if the Spawn don't reach CC and just act as cannon fodder in front of the Plague Marines and Dreads. Even without base contact, you're looking at a potential 10 FF4+ and a FF4+ MW from the Sorcerer Lord.

Impact on army list: no changes to be made at this point, they're working reasonably well. More testing required for the various different upgrade options, notably Rhinos for more speed and Dreads for more punch/AV to claim cover from.


The formation mainly suffered from bad dice, and from having been deployed badly - they were supposed to be in the middle where they could help support assaults! The reduced cost of the second Plaguereaper made the formation 'feel' much more affordable even though it was less than 10% difference.

Impact on army list: none. To be tested - the impact of the Nurgling Swarm upgrade on a single Plaguereaper, where they're potentially doubling the size of the formation while hiding inside 4+ Reinforced Armour - but at the cost of increasing the formation points by 25%.

Question: has anyone run multiple Plaguereapers? Across all EpicUK events I'm the only person to have run two singles in a list and also the only person to run a formation of two, so I'd like to hear if other people use them.

Death Guard Daemon Prince

As mentioned up-thread, Nurgle's Rot had no impact as the assault was massive overkill anyway, and the change to the FF EA also didn't kick in as he was in CC.

Impact on army list: none. I may test an INV save on the Daemon Prince as it feels a bit weird not having it compared to all the characters, vehicles and Terminators, but that would probably involve dropping the FF EA slightly further to compensate. It's also likely to be too much when used on a non-winged version, like it was on Steve's original Terminators. 3+/3+/6+ for a save is just going to be irritating to play against, even if it's only on a single unit.

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

0.4.2 added to the first post. The only changes are the removal of Plague Marine Destroyers and changes to the Assault Dreadnought.

Author:  gunslinger007 [ Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

Nice job jumping right into the new list! I'm hoping to meet up with my group in January and get a few games in.

For the dreads, I would suggest formatting similar to the SM list instead of two separate entries. I think it's good to have continuation in formatting between lists. I also really like the new stat line. Might need to try and find room to squeeze one in to see how it does.

Don't have experience running multiple Plaguereapers simply because of trying to squeeze more things into the list.

Regarding the Inv Save for the Demon Prince. There is some precedent for rolls like this. The Dominatrix in the Tyranid list has a 4+/4+/6+. Admittedly this isn't the same as a 3+, but the DP also doesn't have multiple DC like the Dominatrix does. Since they can both be SCs for their respective lists, I'd say see if it can work! What type of a drop would you be looking at for the FF EA if you did go forward on it?

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

It's not on Armyforge yet, but you can temporarily access 0.4.1 on the test site: http://adam77.github.io/snapfire/war/ch ... S_dg_NETEA

With thanks to kyussinchains and Adam!

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

0.4.2 temporarily available on the same link above...

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4

Batrep 2 is up, vs Speed Freeks. Note that we weren't using the Grand Tournament Scenario, but it was still a good test for the units and formations used - although it's arguably a mission that favours the Death Guard's slow resilience.

http://wargamingtrader.com/epic-batrep- ... eed-freeks

Unit and formation specific thoughts to come.

Author:  IJW Wartrader [ Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death Guard v0.4


Unit & formation thoughts after the game:

Chosen plus Dreads plus Spawn
  • Assault Dreads now have a good mix of ranged fire and FF, at the cost of much poorer CC ability. They now feel like a viable option at 50pt when compared to the more powerful Desecrator at 75pt.
  • With Spawn as well this made for a tough and capable formation.
  • Future test - try Dreads in a Retinue with Havocs as a shooty Garrison.
  • Plague Marines with Scout are particularly good for Border War.

Vindicators and Hulks
  • Plague Hulks did a *lot* of damage in CC (six MW hits!) but because the formation was slightly overextended they took most of the return fire and died easily. If the formation had been closer before assaulting, I could have had some of the Vindicators or Nurglings in base contact to soak up hits instead of the much more expensive Plague Hulks.
  • Vindicators never fired normally (but there were only two turns) but did a good job of supporting fire.
  • I only rolled two Nurgling Swarms, but having them disembark on the the assault helped the Hulks reach combat and soaked two hits without giving the Orks any kills.
  • In a normal game this formation would have made an unusual BTS for Death Guard as the three Plague Hulks are the only Fearless units.

  • Taking no anti-air was a risk and the Contagions definitely suffered for it. On the other hand the formations are mostly tough enough or large enough that they're not as vulnerable as for example Eldar. I better idea would be to drop one Plague Hulk from the Armoured Assault Company and add a Desecrator to either the Contagions or the Daemon Prince's Retinue.
  • Double Plague Zombies was great for locking down areas of the board, even if they do nothing else.
  • Nurgle's Rot from the Daemon Prince kicked in in the big assault and killed an extra stand of Orks.

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