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December 31, 2006

ARMY LIST: Death Guard Flex Attack 2000pts


I'm a big fan of the following "mixed-flex" CSM Death Guard army, that can adapt to a lot of situations. It's been tearing a path through my local club lately.

Army List


Nurgle Chaos Lord: 176pts

Mark of Nurgle, Daemonic Speed, Mutation, Strength, Aura
Manreaper, Bionics, Frags, Nurgle's Rot


6 Chosen Plague Terminators: 369pts
2Powerfists, 4Powerweapons, 2Reaper Autocannons,

1 Chosen Plague Terminator Aspiring Champion: [55pts]
1Powerweapons, CCW, Daemonic strength, Nurgle's Rot


6 Plaguemarines: 195pts
Flamer, Melta, Bolter x4,

1 Aspiring Champion [47pts]
Powerfist, Bolter, Teleport Homer, Nurgle's Rot

7 Plaguebearers: 112pts

7 Plaguebearers: 112pts

5 Nurglings: 50pts

5 Nurglings: 50pts

5 Nurglings: 50pts


Defiler: 180pts
Battlecannon, Reaper Autocannon, Heavy Flamer
Mutated Hull (AV:13/13/11)
Daemonic Possession

Predator: 165pts
Linked Las-cannon Turret, Las-cannon sponsons
Daemonic Possesion (ignores stunned/shaken)


6 Plaguemarines: 273pts
Melta x2, Bolter x4,

1 Aspiring Champion [80pts]
Powerfist, Bolter, Teleport Homer, Nurgle's Rot
Chaos Hound x3

1 Rhino [59pts]
Combi-bolter, Extra Armour, Smoke Launcher, Searchlight

6 Plaguemarines: 268pts
Melta x2, Bolter x4,

1 Aspiring Champion [80pts]
Powerfist, Bolter, Nurgle's Rot
Chaos Hound x3

1 Rhino [59pts]
Combi-bolter, Extra Armour, Smoke Launcher, Searchlight


Notes: The hounds allow the Rhino units to count as 10-man units making them much harder to break victory-point-wise. All Plaguemarine/Chosen squads have iconbearers.


The 2 Rhino squads deploy out of LoS, with troops embarked. The Defiler and Predator deploy near each other in area terrain to lay down supporting fire on enemy armour. The Lord and Infiltration squad deploy as close to a concentration of enemy infantry as possible. Nurglings deploy in the open along a wide front to deny enemy infiltrators access to my backfield.

The rhinos speed towards the enemy lines and pop smoke and disembark. Lord charges on turn one and ties down a flank of enemy infantry. The Defiler and Predator hunker down and get into a slugging match with enemy armor and hopefully draw fire away from my infantry. The nurgling run totally exposed in a beeline for enemy infantry (especially firepower units like devastator squads).

The goal is to distract the enemy heavy weapons with a slugging match against my two tanks (who are both AV:13 Front and ignore stunned and shaken) one of which has a battlecannon, while the other has triple las-cannons. Each is a decent threat. The nurglings who cannot count as victory points throw their lives away to draw fire from elite enemy units. If any survive, they will throw themselves into assault with units already being hit by the Plaguemarine units. It is here that Nurglings truly shine, as their high Wound count quickly throws the enemy into the very bad 3:1 or 4:1 outnumbered range with often disasterous results.

The Plaguemarines, approach on foot and advancing behind their rhinos, close and assault the enemy. They pull down the Plaguebearers as needed to hit the enemy first and tie them down to approach more safely.

The Lord and the Infiltration Plaguemarines homer the terminators down right next to them to put a horrificly powerful unit accurately in the enemy backfield.

Normally by late-game, its just mop-up operations. If the Nurgle army is not decisively mauled by the end of turn 2, its over is it just keeps summoning/teleporting more and more nastiness down onto itself and directly into the enemy lines. The enemy is routinely having to resolve up to 5-6 assaults per round as the entire army wraps him up in assault and grinds him down with that T:5 resiliancy and the Rot.

December 30, 2006

How many minis does bigred own?


Here is a shot of all of my armies. It turns out that almost 2 decades is enough time to put together and paint a lot of Minis.

From Bottom to Top:

Tyranids: This is a hodge-podged collection of nids ranging from Space Hulk to 2nd to 4th edition, unified by a single paint scheme. There are a couple of old Armourcast big bugs in there to.

Blood Angels: This is where it all began way back with my first minis ever, a box of RTB1 beakies. Some parts of this army were just painted this year, while some of the tactical marines have been fighting for the Emperor for more years than some players have been alive. Back then they weren't the assault crazed nutters of today, but just the "red marines" from the original rulebook (thank God I didn't decide to collect the Rainbow Warriors).

Imperial Guard: This was my 2nd army, and is a large collection of the old Rogue Trader plastics, that came 36 to a box, back in the days of Imperial jetbikes and Imperial beastmen. It has been modernized over the editions but still gets the job done. There is an old Armourcast Shadowsword superheavy way in the back.

Death Guard: My pride and joy. This is my newest army, built entirely from scratch within the last 2-3 years. I always wanted a white army as they are rarely seen on the tabletop, and decided to go with a Heresy-Era army for the modeling opportunities. With Loyalists on the right, Nurgle on the left, and custom decals all around, this is the army that turns heads at the local club.

Eldar: My 2nd true love. Some of these (the Guardians) are almost as old as the Blood Angel RTB1s. I've updated them through the years and am just putting some new touches and additions in now with the new codex. They earned me my most cherished compliment yet, with Jes Goodwin himself saying they very well done at Adepticon 2006. That right shelf is a bit empty as my current 2000pt list has been pulled. More on that list later.

Top shelf: Armourcast Reaver Titan, 2 Forgeworld Eldar Phoenix Bombers, and last but not least my Flames of War PanzerGrenadier army (I needed a change).


The Defiler


So it's time to post a bit on the Defiler.

I wanted to do something a little different for my Defiler as it is supposed to be part of a Heresy-Era Death Guard force.

So I decided to try to make it an ancient Legion piece of siege equipment. Probably something built with Mechanicus assistance. I started with the Defiler and an Imperial Guard Vehicle Accessory sprue, some odds and ends and came up with this. It has been "de-spiked" fairly well and has many standard Imperial components such as the battlecannon, fueltanks, exhaust stacks, and the entire rear gunner's platform.

I call it the Defender (it even says so on its custom decal on the rear fuel tanks). I think of it as the half forgotten ancestor of the 40th millenia Defiler. Perhaps the original crewed siege engine Abaddon used as his template for creating the daemonic monster we all know and love. He is one of the few surviving individuals who could have remembered it from those terrible days.

Hope you like it!


Heresy Era Traitor Death Guard


I've been meaning to get up some shots of the bloated and diseased brothers of my Loyalist Heresy Death guard force and here they are. These guys were designed to allow mix and matching between the loyalists and the traitors without much worry.

I did it by making the traitors much more "Imperial" in appearance and to use standardized equipment like the backpacks. The Loyalists were painted a bit dirty, so there isn't to much difference from say over 1-2 feet away.

Rather than go over the details of the traitors in detail (that will come later), here is my basic rundown of how I view the CSM Death Guard armylist on the tabletop:

In short here is the skinny on the DG and my advice to you if you ever have to face them on the battlefield.

First things first. In general the most commonly fielded unit in a Death Guard army are Plaguemarines. These guys are point per point one of the best buys in the game. 19pts gets you a T:5, 3+ Armour marine who is fearless. You should count on facing a lot of these terrors. Most enemies being T:3-4 gives you some obvious issues.

The main one being Assault. Here your fanciful weapons are somewhat negated and its down to most of your units wounding on a 5 or 6, while the DG player is wounding you on a 3 or 4+; that is before the armour saves come into play. As you can see, most T:3/S:3 armies aren't going to hold up very long against that type of math while the T:4/S:4 are still in a world of pain. In fact, it is the very innermost desire of any DG army to wrap up as many units of yours in assault as early as possible and grind them down using that T:5 in combination with the Rot.

So where are these monsters weak? Well the failings of the DG are blatant.

First Disadvantage: No range. The mark of Nurgle precludes the use of infantry held heavy weapons. That means no las-cannons, heavybolters, missle launchers, or autocannons. In general you will be facing bolters and lots of them, backed up with a fair mix of meltas (common), plasma (less common), and flamers (least common). In general this gives the army a max range of 24". The only way the DG can field long range weapons is on vehicles and Terminators who can field Reaper autocannons (36" range).

In general most opposing armies should seriously outrange a DG army. Beware of this advantage. I will comment further on this later.

Second Disadvantage: Very low model count. The DG in general are some of the priciest models in the game, and you should heavily outnumber them. This disadvantage is further extended by the unfortunate "magic number" of 7 that is tied to Nurgle. That means that most DG units are of that odd number to gain their army advantages, and making each squad broken upon the death of 4 models.

Final disadvantage: Very low number of scoring units. This one grows out of number 2, but is the achilles heel of many DG lists, especially "maxed out uber" lists put together by newbies, who have to have all the tooled out Nurgle goodies.

How to deal with the Deathguard

As an opposing player, I would emphasize long range shooting, lots of scoring units, and mobility. The DG are defeated by the end of turn 2 or not at all. They will come at you with everything they have. They will take their lumps, trusing in their high T:5 to push on through to your army, and they will usually be on you by turn 3 at the latest. Your job is to do whatever you can to stop it.

An ideal opposing army would have very heavy long range firepower in your back line, protected by cheap expendable picket units well forward to block the DG's movement into your army's core troops, and to tie up the weakened DG in time-wasting assaults while the rest of your army re-positions/retrogrades to keep their distance and fire off further volleys. The tactic of fire, retorgrade, repeat is your best bet.

Mobile firepower is much more valuable than static if you can get it. Think about this, there is no army I fear more than the Dark Eldar. They outrange and out move-me. The DG will often never reach the Dark Eldar lines, and be bled white by volleys of mobile dark-lance fire. On the other hand, I love the IG. They often knock me silly on turn one, but are static enough to get caught up in assault by turn 2, and have so many slow models that the army cant escape once ive grabbed onto a flank. DG Units will often hack their way through 4-5 IG units before the game is over, killing them in turn.

Going back to the previous DG disadvantage advice, you can expect to face two broad categories of DG, the newbie all-marine army, and the more subtle marine/daemon mix.

The all marine horde is a cinch to nail. Pick DG units in order of closeness, and kill 4 models. It is broken and no longer scoring. With a low unit count, you can often break every advancing unit easily and throw expendable units to tie them up in assault, and win on victory conditions.

The daemon mix is much more tricky. Plaguebearers exist to be summoned and charge into assault on turn 2-3. They wont live long by themselves, but they tie down firepower units allowing the safe approach of the DG marines, who really do the killing. Nurgling are a similar threat, who exist to do much the same thing. They will fill up your firelanes hoping to draw heavy weapons fire and protect their much more valuable brethren.

DG tanks are a special note. They are irritating, and definately will attempt to get into a slugging match with your vehicles. If you engage them, you are falling into the DG player's gameplan. Remember that always, the DG goal is to assault you. They will try every trick in the book to draw fire off of their infantry. Play into their plans at your peril.

There are of course hundreds of variations upon this theme, but this should be enough to help folks figure out what the army is about.

More pics and modeling talk later...


Heresy Era Death Guard


I finished up a 2500 pt pre-heresy DeathGuard army several months ago, after going bit fluff crazy.

Here is my take on it.

First, I got Index Astartes Volume 3 which has the Death Guard article in it as well as their pre-heresy color scheme.

Then, I picked up the Horus Heresy art books from Black Library as they are filled with pre-heresy Deathguard imagery as well.

I went with the following fluff goals (taken from pouring over every bit of fluff i've found going back to the early 90s stuffs):
Death Guard Legion (pre-heresy, loyalists)

-Known for their "toughness" and endurance: often won victories through sheer perseverence.

-Known for their tactical flexibility (no dedicated tactical or assault squads, each individual marine was expected to perform both duties)

-little reliance on exotic and or heavy equipment (tanks): the legion was focussed upon infantry

-legion partially compensated for infantry focus by making the most use of Terminator armor which was used in larger numbers and mixed more freely within the legion than in any other legion.

-preferred weapons (from artwork: multi-melta/plasma rifle/plasma cannon/bolter family

-distrust of psychics

-common use of the number 7 (hint,hint)


With that in mind I built this army:

General background notes:
I used the new SM codex as the basis for the army, and use the following doctrines to represent Mortarion's Legion:
Trust in you Battle-Brothers (true-grit,counterattack)
Cleanse and Purify (2x special weapons in tac squads instead of heavy weapons)
Flesh over Steel (very few heavy tanks)
Have Faith in Suspicion (no librarians)

Army organization: all squads of 7 with limited vehicle support:

Master (Furious Charge)
Pair of Lightning Claws (represented by a modified typhus scythe)
Combat Shield
Adamantium Mantle
Frag Grenades

Command Squad (x6, Furious Charge)
Vet Sgt. (Power Fist/Bolt Pistol)
Company Champion (powersword,bolt pistol, combat shield)
Apothacary (bolt pistol/CCW)
Standard Bearer (bolt pistol/CCW/ Company banner)
2x marines (bolt pistol/CCW)

Terminator squad (x7)
hvy flamer

Terminator squad (x7)
hvy flamer

Tactical Squad (x7, True Grit,Countercharge)
Vet Sgt (powerfist/bolter)
plasma rifle x2

Tactical Squad (x7, True Grit,Countercharge)
Vet Sgt (powerfist/bolter)
plasma rifle x2

Tactical Squad (x7, True Grit,Countercharge)
Vet Sgt (powerfist/bolter)
plasma rifle x2

Devastator Squad (x7)
Multi-melta x4

Devastator Squad (x7)
Multi-melta x4

Scout Squad (x7)
Sniper Rifle x6
Heavy Bolter

Land Raider
Land Speeder x2 (Multi-melta, Hvy Flamer)
Dreadnought (las-cannon/missile launcher)
Rhino (assigned to various units)


General observations

The tac squads are tough as nails and normally can take substantial casualties and still dish it out in assault because of the true-grit and the vet sarge. Double plasma also alows for highly lethal rapid firing within 12" while riding in a rhino.

The command squad is expensive, but tears a path of destruction if it reaches enemy lines. The standard bearer in particular keeps the battle line from running (Ld:10 with a re-roll is very reliable)

I found after several battles, that 2 dev squads with quad Multi-Meltas are far cheaper and more reliable that trying to use lots of Terminators. Its an added bonus that few people are used to seeing such a concentration of MMs and it really spooks them. (come on baby, bring them tanks closer). The trick is to not worry to much about trying to move up with 12" for the added +d6 armor penetration. The S:8 combined with AP:1 special rules make them lethal enough out to 24", and makes marine squads (of any type) just go away.

The army in general has to close with the enemy to fight effectively, using the rhino and LR for transport, then dismounting an using them as cover.

At range, only the LR, dread, scouts and cyclones can shoot over 24" (the speeders, terminators can deepstrike)

I designed it using the Horus Heresy art books and the Index astartes articles as my guide, so I've tried to stick as close to the fluff as possible. Its definately a challenge to play feeling like a hybrid of Space Wolves and Salamanders, but is great fun!
Modelling Notes:

I went with the old style 2nd edition "flying shoe" land speeders seen in the Horus Heresy art books, and traded with buddies to get as many "old style" marine torsos (the ones with the external cabling and the rivets), avoiding any with the Imperial Eagle, and using as many MK VI heads (beakies) as possible.

I additionally, bought a dozen or so Mk 2,4,5 armored bodies from the GW Classic collection to sprinkle among the squads to "age" the army. It turned out quite well.

I created the Death Guard decal sheet using Adobe Illustrator, with dozens of logos and company markings in a variety of sizes.
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