40K: Look Who’s Missing In Codex: Death Guard

We were looking at Codex: Death Guard and noticed some Chaos Units went MIA…

The Death Guard Codex is coming to stores next week but we’ve already seen the Table of Contents. On first look through the book, we can confirm these units are not included in Codex: Death Guard:

Missing Chaos Units

Dark Apostle

Exalted Champion

Warp Smith

“Standard” Chaos Space Marines






“Standard” Chaos Terminators

Chaos Bikers


Warp Talons






Chaos Vindicator


Obviously, we left out the Chaos God “Devoted” units like Berzerkers or Rubric Marines. We also skipped over the Chaos Daemons for the same reason. Some of these units getting a pass in Codex: Death Guard make sense, for example Warp Talons/Raptors. The Death Guard aren’t really known for their “lightning quick” assaults. “Standard” Chaos Space Marine Terminators getting the book also aren’t needed now that the Death Shroud and the Blightlord Terminators are a thing. Even the plain old standard Chaos Space Marines aren’t really needed thanks to having Plague Marines.

There are other units that we were a little shocked to see go missing. Havocs and Vindicators in particular as those seem to still “fit” in the Death Guard wheelhouse of units. The Daemon Engines like the Forge and Maulerfiend were also a surprise exclusion – considering that Defilers and Helbrutes are still in. Perhaps GW just wanted to make way for those new Blight Drone-type units or the Plagueburst Crawler.

But there are a few units up there that are just going to sting for a subset of Death Guard/Chaos Marine players. Not having “Death Guard” Bikers is really going to irk some folks who were fans of running those. On the other hand, you can still Mark them Nurgle – you’ll just need to ally them in. However, that could cost you some benefits and they still won’t count as Death Guard.


What do you think of these missing units? Any particular ones that you’ll really miss?

  • Christie Bryden

    same with the index on thousand sons, whole lot of things missing from that such as all non sorcerer HQ.

    • Damon Sherman

      that is kinda of a fluff thing, since anyone that wasn’t a sorcerer got turned into dust or a spawn.

      • Christie Bryden

        indeed, I hope they come up with some new HQs that keep the fluffy feel but also work well, some interesting use in their psychic powers rather than the standard sorcerer.

        lore wise after magnus warped in the plannet of sorcerers he started fortifying his position, it would be cool to se what hes come up with, cant imagine someone like that would not find a way to neurtralize the sisters of silence somehow.

        • LankTank

          I predict Tsons will get: DPrince, Maggie, Ahriman, Exalted Sorcs, Lords, Normal Sorcs, Rubies, Cuktists, Tzansigors, Horrors, Scarabs, Helbrute, Flamers of T, Maulerfiend, Heldrake, Vindicators, Spawn, Screamers, Raider, Forgefiend, Defiker, Pred and Rhino. New kits im thinking a smaller release, something like Castellax and around 3 elite characters like deathguard. Oracles or doomsayer characters. That will put their codex around the same amount of units and also keep to the index suggestions

      • Rafał Pytlak

        Yeah, and basically 100% of Death Guard should by by fluff a Plague Marine. Newer warbands worshiping Nurgle can have normies CSM, but the Horus Heresy OG dirty rotten Death Guard? Bloated. Every one of them.

  • generalchaos34

    I like it, you will get fun rules if you are focused and you limit yourself on unit choice. If you want to have everything you will have to accept the lighter rules. It kind of sucks for the old school deathguard player but in reality this is for all intents a brand new army.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      and, as usual from GW, veteran players can go f*ck themselves.

      • ValidUsername1674

        Because Codex: Chaos Space Marines is illegal and all those units dont have current rules

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          personally I’d like to be able to use the models I bought for an army in that army without FOC shenanigans and having two loads of models in my army, some of which benefit from special rules and some don’t.

          • KingAceNumber1

            To be fair technically death guard weren’t an army before now. You were playing CSM, who didn’t lose anything.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I was playing Death Guard, from Traitor Legions, complete with warlord traits, relics and objectives, and formations that included vindicators and heldrakes.

  • zeno666

    Oh noes. Are those ugly as *** Obliterators around? Poor chaos players. So many old and ugly models :

    • DoctorBored

      Tell me about it. Nobody asked for Mutilators, and we got them in the worst material: finecast. What a crap release that was. Still no multi-part cultists, chosen, or havocs either, and our Khorne Berzerkers, Noise Marines, and normal Chaos Marines are looking really dated, small, and lumpy compared to all the new kits that are coming out.

      • zeno666

        Ouch. Suddenly PP’s old plastic feels just fine 😉

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        Come to that nobody asked for Daemon Engines. Still no plastic Great Unclean One or new Beast of Nurgle either!

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. Sigh. I think GW is just permanently on a forward only dive. I bet some old stuff will be revamped, but I imagine whole ranges will be “replaced” with the indexes existing for the “old crap”

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            that might well happen. They are a little bit more targetted these days towards what people might actually buy, but I remember being simply amazed at the time a few years ago when new models like the mutalith vortex beast came out that there was still no plastic GUO. Then Glottkin and those Nurgley things came out, and still no GUO or Beast of Nurgle. Just beggars belief. Its like they aren’t a business at all, its as if their decisions were made by some executive who follows the promptings of their 12 year old kid without thought for the consequences. So many bizarre models released over the years that no-one wanted when there are key parts of their range that are ancient, awful or missing.

          • DoctorBored

            It’s all about the Neophilia. Why update something old and dated that wont surprise anyone when they can take a dive into a whole new section of things and get new and old players excited for something brand spanking new and never-before-seen?

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation


        • Bootneck

          You can always use the slug from Blightwars, I am sure it will be available from certain re-casters.


          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Bit big for a B of N, and pricey too. Make a good palanquin though.

          • Coltcabunny

            Too bad Palanquins aren’t in the book though…

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            its OK, I’m still playing 7th! Plenty of options for palanquins!

  • Having been playing Age of Sigmar since it was released, this is not shocking at all. They are going for highly focused allegiances. The units removed from codex: death guard are not really death guard troops or belong in that allegiance.

    • Most of it is fine, but the removal of vindis and havocs is odd, even the maulerfiend when you consider we kept the defiler. It’s just…weird

      • Bootneck

        It make the regular CSM dex useless and underpowered, with no reason to buy it or field it.

        Doesnt make any sense as all those units would still feature in the DG legion, some more than others but thye’d still have them.

      • BrianDavion

        it’s odd but we’ve known it’s coming since the index.

        • Of course, I just find it frustrating….like they can maintain predators but not vindicators 🤔

      • Bonesaw1o1

        Havocs makes sense, in most of the lore DG are described as not using handheld heavy weapons even as far back as the heresy, in the old 3.5 dex DG didn’t get Havocs (or raptors) and Plague marines couldn’t take heavy weapons at all.

        Also considering their legion rule imagine the amount of lists that would just spam Havocs and combi plas chosen who could advance and still fire with virtually no penalty. New DG book looks fun, I’m excited to play against it which is a nice change from the previous releases

    • Jimmy Rajden

      They are not really belonging to any chaos alligance to be precize. Armies are units of different specialized troops/machines that together form a temporary/permanent force. The Deathguard (as a force) might not have as many bikes, vindicators, obliterators etc at their disposal. But they sure should have them in the codex.

      A lot of armies have units not recieving any bonus from army rules or so that are still in the codex. So why shouldn’t the DG?

      • Nothing stops one from taking a separate detachment with those items from CSM list.

  • DoctorBored

    A. Themes are kept by removing certain things.
    B. Chaos Marines get access to things that cult-specific things don’t get. This keeps normal Chaos Marines interesting and relevant.
    C. Havocs have super old models. No surprise to see them being phased out.
    D. Chosen don’t really have models.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Besides, DG/1KS units have better Special/Heavy/Melee weapon access (or their basic equipment and rules are better), so Havocs and Chosen aren’t necessary in their lists, whereas EC/WE Legion rules work better on a wider variety of units in mitigating their Cult units limited focus.

    • Fergie0044

      “Chaos Marines get access to things that cult-specific things don’t get. This keeps normal Chaos Marines interesting and relevant.”

      A very good point. I’m still sad at losing my oblits though.

  • Moke

    To be fair, Havoks with DR and the fire heavy weapons with no penalty for moving thing would be super OP

    • Pat H

      And the strategem that makes it so they can’t be targeted by shooting unless they’re the closest unit.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    This is a non-issue. Each of the Legion-specific books are going to focus on the specific theme for the army. if you want access to those units, take another detachment and run them out of the Chaos Marine Codex.

  • Parthis

    Not sure why any of this is a surprise… it’s post-able, I guess, but ultimately this book represents the Death Guard becoming a real faction with their own set of stuff… just like all the others.

  • Heinz Fiction

    I like it when army lists stay lean and focused on their theme. It’s not cool when a subfaction has everything the main faction has plus all the exclusive stuff.

  • Defenestratus

    Can’t you – just use those unit entries from the Chaos Index? As long as they have the same keywords as the codex entries you should be good to go.

    • You can, but if it’s mixed/matched with Death Guard units, then it’s not a Death Guard detachment and you lose access to the Death Guard strategems. Also, they can’t have the Death Guard legion keyword, so they won’t gain any aura or psychic power benefits.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Yeah, but you’re better off using a Detachment from a different Legion. The DG chapter in the Index doesn’t allow those units to be DG anyway, so you’re throwing out your legion rules if you mix them into the same Detachment.

      • Defenestratus

        Ugh… why does it have to be so complicated?

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          Not all that complicated, you just keep everything compartmentalized and self-contained and nothing suffers.

          • Bootneck

            Can’t effectively do that, as you end up wasting points on “tax” units that you wouldn’t actually need – extra HQs, min troop etc.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Only 3 Detachments require Troops, and X-champs are 70 points a pop.

          • Bootneck

            I suppose you could field a Vanguard or Outrider detach, but imo its still a waste of 70 points, what can one exalted champ do in the grand scheme of things; he can’t get anywhere fast and has pretty mediocre output.

            Could spend the same points on most regular infantry or contribute towards a bigger hitting unit

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Personally, any of the specialist HQ choices would be better, especially the Hellwright, but the question remains: if the Legion Trait, outside of the HQ tax, doesn’t matter to the rest of the detachment, why not take a Herald, or 1 of your dirt-cheap Renegade HQs? You still get access to all the flavor choices available to both codices, in terms of Relic and Stratagem access, and you get to do what you want, which is play with your models.

      • Grandfathernurglescleanbrother

        If you use the daemons from the DG codex to fill a troop slot would you then lose access to the DG stratagems?

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          I believe they’re included for the same reason lesser Daemons are included in the CSM codex: so that their Datasheets are readily available if you choose to summon. In practice, taking them in a Detachment of Chaos, essentially hard-summoning them, would negate your legion trait, if you take them in the same Detachment, as the Detachment ceases to be a Death Guard Detachment, and becomes a Nurgle Detachment.

          • Grandfathernurglescleanbrother

            So I fielded this same question to the local game group and we can’t come up with a definitive answer. Does anyone have a page reference. Along the same lines. If you 2 battalions one DG one of Nurgle daemons is there a restriction on what command points you can use on the DG stratagems.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            I would say that there’s no limit on what you use your CP for, beyond having units that meet the requirements for a given Stratagem, so having 9 CP from 2 Battalions that only share 1-2 Faction Keywords doesn’t mean that the bigger Detachment gets to use more CP, nor that losing a majority of the models from a faction that has special Stratagems causes you to lose access to those Stratagems.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            The rules for that are on pages 156-7 of the CSM codex. Same rules are on pages 194-5 of the Space Marines Codex.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    stupid when Traitor Legions made Nurgle Havocs a fantastic unit.

    I really hate GW when it does things like this, just messing around with people’s armies for the hell of it. I happen to have three vindicators in Nurgle colours and a Heldrake. If I were playing 8th I guess I’d have to muck around with an allied detachment to field them, and then they wouldn’t benefit from the Nurgly rules everything else had.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll shelf the Heldrake and repaint my vindicators for my 30K Iron Warriors.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Look on the bright side: more CP. And it wasn’t like your Legion trait had any effect on them anyway.

    • Raketenralf

      You are just salty because you own these units so that you don’t see that it makes perfect sense fluffwise for moste of the units not to be there. The DG doesn’t use handheld heavy weapons or bikes. And before you ask, I have a small but nice old DG army myself and I have units like a sorcerer on bike or warptalons (which I have converted to look like demon fly marines) and you don’t hear me bitching about it.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        well they sure did during the heresy. In fact The Reaping Rite of War makes heavy weapon squads troops instead of HS, they were so common. They also used to make models of Plague Marines with heavy weapons back in the day.

        I didn’t mention bikes, though I remember an actual GW tactica encouraging taking bikes with Mark of Nurgle for T6.

  • kaptinscuzgob

    dont need those tiny boys anyway

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    No Havocs is disappointing, yes, but I can still build a brigade around Zombies, Drones, Siege Tanks, and Characters, with a few Terminator, Plague Marine and Spawn units for flavor.

    • Raketenralf

      Thats the way DG should be played. Everything else are just some Nurgle-Worshipping Renegade Marines who want to be DG, but are not.

  • Gorsameth

    this just in, non nurgle units are not present in the nurgle specific legion codex. More news at 11…

  • Daniel R Weber

    The Oblit/Mut models are so awful they should fit the DG aesthetic pretty well. 😉

  • Anasa

    I really, really hope that Thousand Sons get to keep all their vehicles and Dinobots in their codex, whenever it comes. I’ve converted too much to let them go.

  • Anasa

    I really, really hope that my Thousand Sons get to keep their daemon engines and vehicles.

  • Fergie0044

    Maybe GW thought long and hard about the internal balance of the new codex and deliberately left out certain units as the new DG units/strats/legion trait/etc was powerful enough?

    Bahahaha…..naw they just checked some darts and cut whatever units they hit.

  • LankTank

    As a player with 7 nurgle bikers, 3 nurgle obliterators, necrosius, a nurgle heldrake and a plague hulk who ruins my legion trait I am struggling how to tie them back effectively. But then again bikers and heldrake were definitely not death guard, I was just being a power creep rather than keeping to the lore. But the loss of my obliterators stings

    • Raketenralf

      I will use most of my old Nurgle themed CSM army as a renegade Chapter that supports the DG in their Eternal Crusade of Pestilence. Problem Solved!

  • Arthfael

    Can’t you field these units using a detachment from Codex: Chaos Space Marines and give them a mark of Nurgle or something?

  • piglette

    I’m glad I don’t have to see Nurgle Bikers anymore.

  • Pat H

    Dark Apostle/ Exalted Champion: I believe a couple of the new characters do pretty much the same thing they did.

    Warpsmith: It’s weird they didn’t get a nurgle themed guy to fill the whole vehicle fixing role. They did get an apothecary like guy though so there’s that.

    Standard Marines: Deathguard are the original Nurgle worshippers so I guess from a lore stand point it makes sense that you’d either be a plague marine or you wouldn’t.

    Standard Terminators: They have new terminators that are arguably better.

    Chosen: Aren’t Chosen mostly a Black Legion thing? The amount of plasma Chosen can take combined with the 18″ double tap range would get pretty silly pretty quickly.

    Mutilators/Oliterators I don’t know enough about these guys to say wether or not they’d make sense from a lore standpoint to be in a DG army or not.

    Bikes/raptors/warptalons I guess they don’t fit the whole Deathguard theme of slow creeping death. Would you even be able to get a plague marine off the ground if you strapped a jump pack to him?

    Havocs: Probably would have been too powerful with the no penalty to moving and firing heavy weapons and the strategem that prevents them from being targeted unless they are the closest unit.

  • Laszlo

    Have anyone seen my Palanquin?
    It seems i misplaced mine.
    It was big, slimy, oozing and filled with pus, tentacles and Nurglings.
    Give me a poke if it rings any bells.

    • Coltcabunny

      Yup, got 2 heavily converted ones and although I can still use the index entries they’re probably missing out on a lot (such as disgustingly resilient, which I’m guessing is present on every other DG character).
      It just feels like we’re going back to the old, overly litigious GW who are deathly afraid of 3rd party producers making the options they don’t cover in the codex, despite the Palanquin being THE iconic daemon mount for Nurgle champions for decades and TBH I was expecting a plastic kit finally (side note, does Kosarro Khan still have an option for Moondrakken? If so, one rule for SM. Different rule for everyone else), but no. we just get it taken away as GW don’t make a model for it currently, except they totally do (Epidemius), because that’s exactly the same method you’re gonna get KK on Moondrakken.

  • James Hall

    This really emphasises how bad some of the Chaos models were…

  • John Garside

    godamit, FW sell actual deathguard regular terminators. I bought some when 8th hit, and now they are ruleless?

    • You can do a Nurgle Chaos Space Marine detachment.

  • JdM

    OK, to people who are complaining… I get it. Losing stuff sucks. If you want a competitive game, understand that its armies must have access to things others do not. This allows Niche’s to be filled, and makes for a more diverse game. For those who complain about TAX to field a detachment of CSM…. Waaaaa! Suck it up. Or, if you want to have access to every option under the sun… Play Space Marines.