As we wait for the missing marine releases, and Blood of the Phoenix – I wanted to talk about how to “clean up” the sons of Mortarion – the Death Guard.
I thought, why not do some discussion on how we could fix a release within the confines of the new 8th edition hotness like the current Space Marines. Since I am randomly painting some Death Guard – how could we fix them to make the army work better? I want to look at it from the top with some kind of updated double army rule and then look at what we could do if you played a fully Death Guard army.
Marines double up their abilities on the initial wave of Chapter updates. Yes, their supplement gave them another one based on the Doctrine they are in, but we’ll start at the top and go from there. I have a few ideas that range from maybe being too powerful (probably not when you compare some Iron Hand stuff) or just hard to get working. I am trying to think of things that fit within the framework of the slow grind that is the Death Guard, as well as the overall feeling of dread the army is supposed to bring. Let’s start with a simple but powerful one that could work with forcing the player to be a Pure Death Guard list.
I think it would be great for a pure Death Guard army to get Disgustingly Resilient on all the units in their army. I wouldn’t increase their wounds, toughness, or anything just give a blanket rule to allow all their models a Feel No Pain like the rest of their army has. You could even add that if you already have this rule, you gain a +1 to that save to a maximum of a 4+. The way things are going with wounds, damage, etc. would meanwhile this is powerful – it probably wouldn’t be back-breaking as it forces you to be pure Death Guard.
With the removal of the Index book – the new DG army would lose access to the Dark Hereticus Psychic powers and thus limit some of the weird Warptime/Prescience things you could do. Also, the majority of the army that would get a 4+ Feel no Pain would end up being single wound or low wound models that are not going to break the bank. Some of the Daemon Engines would be powerful, but their range is short, their BS isn’t amazing, and it would make things decent. Mix this with having every unit be Death Guard, and you shouldn’t see nearly the crazy soup abuses that you might see now.
I think this would be an easy one, and while powerful, it might not be back-breaking. Feel No Pain is good, but without some kind of Damage prevention like Iron hands have, it isn’t nearly as amazing. Beyond this type of bonus, we could look at how the army might work. The idea from the lore and the stories in the book seem to indicate an army that moves slow but grinds the enemy into a paste with its brutal efficiency. So how could we work this? There are a few things that could be cool.
The first thought would be a tally – like we see in Chaos Daemons. GW likes to create these things that take a few turns to get work. Look at how Doctrines now work with the Marines, and how you could end up building some sort of tally that gets better as the game goes on. You could do something like models slain by the army or wounds caused to help drive the festering sickness raging through the enemy. You could build it as a system to do things like AOS, or you could have flat abilities that stack as the army moves forward. While I do like the ability to spend points and use them, it does get confusing sometimes. I think just having a tally you use to get more powerful ends up being better.
Some New (disgusting) Friends
Beyond all of these extra rules, I also feel it would be beneficial to bring some of the Chaos Space Marine elements into the army. It was frustrating to see those DG pictures with a giant robot monster running around and then not seeing it in the codex. I mean, I can only hope to see things like the Lord Discordant and an updated Dark Apostle. While I would hope we see a full rework of the Chaos Space Marines, I would expect to see DG redone before giving us a Version 3 codex.
What other thoughts do you think would help make this a better book and bring it more in line with the updated system of rules that the Space Marines have? I don’t think we need a straight copy, but I feel a few tweaks, additional rules, and pushes for single codex gameplay might make for a cool and unique army. I think the models are still pretty amazing, with the only issue being the rules were written during the initial birth of the new 40k versus this new perspective. Of course, with all this DG talk, I keep thinking I should try to play them at SoCal and pull for the stankiest Death Guard player.
~How would up update codex Death Guard to bring them up to snuff with the new Marine hotness?