Battle Report: Death Guard #1

Pregame:

My Death Guard are taking the field opposite the Crimson Fists in a small 1000 point game to help my friend James get some practice in. He’s a newer player, but doesn’t want to play against a specifically toned-down list so that’s why I’m bringing what I am. I haven’t seen his list but I’m betting he’ll have a castle in the backfield and a few deepstriking elements to try to keep me away and clear objectives. All I can really do against that is double down on the resilience of the Death Guard, so that’s my intention.

Unfortunately for me my vehicles are a lot more fragile due to the Imperial Fists trait. I designed this more as an all-comers list though, and I feel pretty good about it overall. The gameplan is to use the slow Poxwalker blob to hold a nearby objective, send the Daemon, Drones and Hauler up the field to make a mess things and then lock stuff in combat, while my marines march up to grab objectives and take potshots at whatever is in range. The Plaguecaster should be able to stay out of deny range and buff up the marines to help ensure they stay on their objectives. Really counting on some luck to help the vehicles survive though, if one of them makes it into melee alongside the Daemon I’ll consider it a win.

Death Guard Battalion (1000 points, 8 CP)

  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle with wings, a pair of talons, the Suppurating Plate, Revoltingly Resilient, and Blades of Putrefaction (Warlord)
  • Malignant Plaguecaster with Putrescent Vitality and Miasma of Pestilence
  • 20 Poxwalkers
  • 6 Plague Marines two of which have blight launchers, champion gets a sword
  • 6 Plague Marines three of which have plasma guns, champion gets a sword too
  • 2 Foetid Bloat-Drones with two plaguespitters each
  • Mephitic Blight-Hauler

Crimson Fists (1000 points, 8 CP)

  • Primaris Captain with the Crimson Fists relic power fist and Refuse to Die (Warlord)
  • 2x Primaris Lieutenant one of which has the Crimson Fists relic boltgun
  • Primaris Librarian with the CP stealing power
  • Primaris Chief Apothecary
  • Primaris Ancient with extra 3″ aura range
  • 10 Intercessors with standard bolt rifles
  • 5 Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles
  • 3 Inceptors
  • 5 Hellblasters of the standard rapid fire variety

The Game:

Yes I do apologize that this isn’t a gorgeous game with two fully painted armies. That said, James just spent the last month building his 2000+ points of Crimson Fists and well, most of my stuff is painted. I really have no excuse, except for the Daemon Prince that is still under construction.

Anyway we rolled up The Relic as our mission, meaning that we just needed to try to hold that axe in the middle of the field by the end of the game.

Setup & Deployment
He deployed two sort of mini castles, with the hellblasters up in the tower with the captain for those re-rolls and good line of sight on the relic. Everything else bunched up on the line, in and around the ruin. Looking back, he realized he definitely should have kept the second lieutenant with the hellblasters and maybe stayed a little further back since my firepower was fairly short range. I tend to struggle with deployment but I knew I wanted to get my drones and Daemon into his lines and was pretty sure to have first turn so I placed things in cover or where I could get them into cover after moving.

Turn One
The first turn was… uneventful. I scooted everything up, made sure the drones were nicely protected, and cast all of my defensive buffs on the plasma marine squad. The Librarian opened up with a super smite onto my blight hauler for an impressive 6 wounds, but I made a couple disgustingly resilient saves. He took up positions in the ruin. In the end I killed a single Intercessor, he killed two Plague Marines.

Turn Two
In turn two things really kicked off. My shooting was once again quite lackluster, only taking out a couple intercessors despite both drones pouring their fire into a single squad was a real bummer. I got the buffs off on the Poxwalker blob and moved them onto the relic, then charged into the marines to kill a single one. The drones also made their charges, but didn’t manage much. In James’ turn he then dropped in the Inceptors and just wiped my filthy plague zombies from the board. His Librarian continued to demonstrate his mastery of the warp and did another super smite, this time for 5 wounds onto a drone. Hellblasters and everything else nearby tried to finish them off, but somehow I managed to make a ludicrous number of saves on my drones, allowing both to survive with a couple of wounds left. I made a huge mistake by not attacking with the Daemon Prince first, so the single marine that died allowed the squad to stay out of combat with him. However, I didn’t really get punished for it because the Crimson Fists had to focus their heavier fire on the drones which refused to die.

Turn Three
My priority was now to get rid of that pesky Librarian, and keep my few remaining infantry alive to claim the relic. That’s what happened. There just wasn’t much he could do to stop the Daemon from wrecking the 3 Intercessors and Librarian in close combat after a successful smite, and everything else I had worked on removing the Inceptors from the flank. Drones stayed where they were, safely locked into combat but achieving little. On his turn he piled out of the tower and fell back from combat to make sure his auras were reaching everybody, but didn’t have much left offensively after that.

Turn Four
We both thought this was going to be the end, as the Daemon Prince prepared to charge the Captain and I lined up shots on his remaining few units. A smite went off for 3 wounds, and I rolled a big charge to comfortably pile into the Hellblasters. After Death to the False Emperor I think he had to make 7 saves from the Malefic Talons, the Captain went down hard. Everything else weathered my firepower though, and then the Captain made his Refuse to Die roll and came back with one wound. On his turn he then turned around and put his fist through the Daemon’s face, wiped the gore off and moved toward the Apothecary to get stitched up. The Hellblasters moved up as close as they could towards the relic and laid down some plasma fire. His lieutenant killed the drone sitting on 1 wound so I spent my last CP to auto-explode it, triggering another explosion as that killed my blight hauler, leaving very little on the board.

Turn Five
I dropped my buffs on the larger marine squad and hunkered down on the relic. Not much else for me to do, I just waited and hoped he wouldn’t be able to clear us out. In the end, it came down to a single roll. His Captain needed a 9″ charge, and just couldn’t make it in. Without him, the hellblasters that did make it into combat just weren’t able to finish the job and the game ended on a roll of a 1 at the end of turn five.

Conclusion

We had a great game, and I’m feeling way more motivated to paint my remaining Death Guard now! I did not imagine that this would be so close going into it, I really thought I’d be losing a vehicle or two each turn and would be on the back foot most of the game. James is already tweaking his list and thinking of expanding it to include some Imperial Fists in a spearhead to delete key units while his Crimson Fists put out their crazy number of bolter shots, because my use of cover & buffs and his lack of heavy weapons really put him on the back foot this time around. I’m looking forward to the next time we cross swords!

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