Saturday, 12 September 2015

Death Guard

Greetings greetings, yes the resident Dice Wizard Brado here to have a small chat about the Death Guard legion.  Going to dabble into the Special Rules they get as a legion, their Rite of War and also the special units.

So the Death Guard as a legion get the following special rules:

REMORSELESS: Immune to Fear and Pinning checks
SONS OF BARBARUS: Re-roll failed dangerous terrain tests in swamp, mud and toxic terrain. In addition re-roll successful flesh-bane or poison rolls against them.
INTRACTABLE: Sweeping Advances suffer  -1

So as rules go having the immunity to fear and pinning checks is very good.  Having barrage weapons hit you and still be able to shoot back at full BS is always a good thing.  Immunity to fear helps if you charging or being charged by any unit that causes fear, I.E.: Gal Vorbak.

Sons of Barbarus seems to be a slight waste of a rule.  I don't play on many swamp, mud or toxic boards so it has never come to the fore but making people re-roll successful flesh-bane or poison wounds is a bonus since that could potentially reduce the amount of wounds you suffer.

Intractable hurts a bit due to now having a on average initiative of 3 when trying to chase down enemies in combat.  Not saying you wont but it's a negative against you.

So the special rules as a whole have some potential to make alot of your infantry units steadfast and hard to move.

I give it 3 wizard hats out of 5

Now war gear for Death Guard is chem-munition for Flamers on a whole and a Power Scythe.

The chem-munition has a great bonus of shred and its free.  Just one draw back is the gets hot rule which is a 1 in 6 chance of happening so not so much of an issue especially for the Dice Wizard.
With the war gear I start to think of a 10 man heavy flamer support squads all with chem- munition. Wounding on 3s with a re-roll means a lot of wounds going out.

The power scythe with its sweep attack and unwieldy quality at the same price as a power fist.  This can be equipped on any character and independent character so might be an idea for sergeants in tactical squads. The main use for the power scythe to the sweep attack which can give your characters those extra attacks that couldn't be bought any where else.

I give it 3 wizard hats out of 5

Now after the rules comes the Rite of War: The Reaping.

Veterans and heavy support squads become non compulsory troop choices.
All units gain move through cover special rule.
Any character or independent character may take rad grenades for 10 pts.

Cant run or go Flat out
Cant Deep Strike
1 Fast Attack Slot

So now this is where I like to start to think of how to theme my army and also think of the options I can use.  Heavy Support Squads taking up troop slots instead of Heavy Support slots means I am feeling a gun line.
Move Through Cover on all units makes infantry on foot a viable option, since most tables tend to have area terrain to move through and that can mean getting to objective quicker than your enemy.

Rad Grenades a nice little option for your sergeants and HQs since your able to throw them in the shooting phase.  Rad Grenades having flesh-bane will cause wounds that marines cant save against and might be what is needed to win a crucial charge.

Now 1 Fast Attack slot that can be filled in my eyes with 3 options:
1. Lightning tooled for anti tank.
2. Xiphon for anti tank duties if your light on.
3. Missile/ Multimelta Javelin squad. 
Why do I suggest these? Well I believe using this slot to fulfill an antitank role opens up a heavy slot to be dedicated to anti-infantry such as Basilisk Squad or Sicaran Battle Tank.

Not being able to run or go flat out hurts for a couple of reasons.  A Run move could be what is needed to win a game by jumping on an objective just out of range.  Not being able to go flat out means Rhino Tactics cant be used effectively.

No Deep strike now makes the Heavy Flamer Support seem a little less viable due to having to now get across the board in either a rhino or even if you have points spare a land raider.

I give it 3 wizard hats out of 5

No lets step through the Special Units that Death Guard have on offer.

Grave Warden Terminator Squad.
Heavy Support Slot

These guys come stock with Cataphractii Terminator Armour, Assault Grenade launcher, Power fist and Death Cloud. With options of chain fists, heavy flamer with chem and combi weapons.

OK so Terminators taking up a heavy support slot, interesting concept and also ties in with the Rite of War quite well if you plan to use it.  Since they have either a land raider for a transport or a Spartan with 6 or more keeps the choice to one heavy support slot.

The assault grenade launcher is an interesting concept.  I like the krak option since its a STR 6 AP 4 Assault 2 attack so 2s to wound on marines which is very nice.  Now the other option is Toxic which is very so-so in my eyes, yes it can get a lot of hits but not necessarily wounds.  This is because marines having a T4 so gives you a 1/3 chance to cause a wound on them.  This will be more used against the Imperial Army list since it is now a 50% chance and AP4 with no cover saves should remove a lot of them.

Now Death Cloud is where this unit gets their interesting rules.  This unit now can become a sort of counter charge unit since a unit that charges them will not get their +1 attack on the charge and they count as charging across dangerous terrain.  Not only do they have to worry about these issues when charging you, they also have to charge into template weapons.  So if you have 5 Grave Wardens that is between 5 and 15 hits during over-watch.

Overall for the cost of the squad they are not a bad choice overall, but they are a heavy support slot and for the price of 10 of these guys you could get 3 predators with plasma cannons that deals more overall damage. In saying that though fluff wise these guys nail what I think the death guard are about.

I give it 4 wizard hats out of 5

Death Shroud Terminators.
HQ slot

OK so this squad is slightly tougher that other terminators with 2 wounds.  The squad is definitely geared towards the anti-infantry having hand flamers with chem munition and power scythes.  They do give the option of equipping all the terminators with meltabombs for 5 pts each which isn't a bad option for the price.  Now these guys can be a command squad as such for a Praetor in terminator armour so there is one way of not having them take a slot by themselves. 

Now this unit can be buffed out to 10 man which would be a nice blob of wounds to protect your HQ unit but also gets pricey at 460pts for 10 terminators with meltabombs that not including the price of Praetor or transport.

So overall A nice body and possible cheap HQ choice that excels at anti infantry work.

I give it 4 wizard hats out of 5

Section Leader Crysos Mortug
HQ slot

OK so this special character to me lacks in a lot of thingsSad load out with hardened power armour, power sword, bolt pistol, combi flamer, frag, krak and rad grenades.  He is a level 1 psyker with endurance so he can become tough but overall its nothing really special.  If you want to run the special characters go for it but overall this guy as a whole isn't really worth it except for his warlord trait. To pay 175pts for a warlord trait seems a bit too much with me so as an opinion avoid him and build a choppy praetor instead with 7 attacks on the charge and can have a tool for all occasions, but enough of my rambling.  Moving on...

I give it 2 wizard hats out of 5

Marshal Durak Rask
HQ Slot

I like this guy.  This guy comes with volkite serpenta, artificer armour, thunder hammer, one phosphex bomb.  Gives a unit he joins wrecker and tank hunters so I am thinking 10 lascannons to waste some heavy armour or even autocannons for light tank domination. His warlord trait is also very useful in objective games so overall I good choice for a 165pts cost.

I give it 4 wizard hats out of 5

Calas Typhon
HQ Slot 

The first captain of the death guard, comes with a nice load out of wargearfor 200Pts, cataphractii, master crafted deathshroud power scythe, hand flamer with chem, grenade harness, nuncio-vox and rad grenades.  With this load out he nearly has a tool for any infantry unit that comes his way.  Now moving onto one of the stand out rules this guy has and that is Chem-Bombardment. This little gem is all about putting wounds on infantry units or even larger MCs.  It is AP 4, Ordnance 3, Barrage, Large Blast, Poison 4+ No cover saves.  So landing this on a big unit of infantry means alot of saves incoming for the opposing player.

Now his warlord trait is different in that it makes him a denial unit with the ability to make any enemy unit 3" away unable to claim an objective. So he only needs to be near a unit to stop them claiming. Which is a big bonus in regards to movement required to deny an objective over all.

Now he is also a Level 1 Psyker(lesser wizard) and takes a power from Telepathy which in 7th means primaris power and one other, so if your lucky (like the Dice Wizard) you will roll up invisibility and become a very tough not to crack.  The only down side to this is if Mortarion is on the board no pretending to be a wizard.

I like this guys overall feel and power for a Legion Praetor.
I give him 4 wizard hats out of 5


Lord of War Slot

Mortarion is the primarch of the Death Guard at a price of 425pts.  He is one of the tougher primarchs out there with Toughness 7 and 7 wounds.  His armour gives him a 2+ save with a 4+ invulnerable.  So what does Mortarion do for your army over all. Well for starters he makes all Legiones Astartes (Death Guard) Stubborn and frag grenades, frag missiles and havoc launchers all have the Poison 4+ rule.  Now team that up with heavy support squad being a troop choice via rite of war that could be your answer to alot of high toughness units such as bikes, jetbikes and mechanicum units.

Now we move onto his special rules which make him tougher again.  Preternatural Resilience.  How good is this, Reroll failed toughness test and it will not die tests, automatically passes any dangerous terrain tests, and makes any fleshbane or poison roll to wound a 6 regardless. That makes him a unit that you either hoepfully kill in one turn so he doesnt get a chance to get wounds back which he has improved odds on.  The passing on dangerous terrain test is great for his next rule Shadow of the Reaper.

Shadow of the reaper improves the fear test by -1 and allows him to make a "Teleport" move if he passes a leadership test and is not locked in combat, in a transport and didnt shoot.  This teleport is a 10" move where he can be placed anywhere as long as he is 3" away from an enemy unit.  Then the kicker he can then charge a unit in assault phase. Counting as disordered charge but when this man gets more when surrounded by more models who needs that extra attack. Now lets move onto his combat abilities and wargear.

He comes with his own IMMA KICK YO INFANTRY ASS scythe with stats of +1 str AP 2, Instant Death, Sunder, Unwieldy, two handed and sweep attack he is going to make a very large dent in any infantry unit.  But wait he has a gun too, his gun is 18" Str 8 AP 2 Assault 1 Sunder. Its a one shot wonder per turn but has a chance to blow some light armour up. And lastly he has unlimited Phosphex bombs with a range of 12", so that is his kicker for killing more infantry before he kills the rest of the squad.

He has one final rule and that is Witch Spite and that allows him to deny on a 4+.  Not a huge factor in the game yet but can come in handy later.

So overall Mortarion to me is a monster for killing infantry and has the ability to close of them fast but no real antitank scarynessness.
I give this guy 4 wizard hats out of 5

So overall I would give the Death Guard and very solid 3 out of 5 wizard hats

This is only a review on their special units and rules not an overall score on a list you could build.  This legion could really be built to deal out alot of heavy firepower with the benefit of alot of special units that kill infantry.

Thats all from me. Have a good adventure through your hobby.


  1. Really helpful article, wanted to do a DG terminator heavy army sometime and with the upcoming plastics this may happen. Cheers!

    1. Cheers mate. Plan to do a write up like this on all legions not covered by the blokes on the blog. ~Dice Wizard

  2. Grave Warden Death Cloud and overwatch?
    Cataphractii = "Slow and Purposeful" -> no Overwatch!

    And the rules for "Rad geenades" does not match.