The Dwarf Giants

I have finally finished my Dwarf team for Blood Bowl – something of a relief, as these models have been hanging around the painting table for months and months.

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I had started these guys early this year, but then I heard that Forge World were doing some star players, so I stopped and waited for them (may as well do everything together), then I got distracted by Age of Sigmar stuff, then 8th edition 40k came out…

Anyway, they are done now!

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I followed Duncan’s method for doing their armour (Sotek, Agrax, Sotek, and then Temple Guard Blue), which is fast and easy.

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For the Troll Slayers, I used the same oranges as on the Fyreslayers – the ‘dry’ Kindleflame is the secret weapon here, as it really brings out the highlights for not very much effort.

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I also started a Dwarf team in Blood Bowl II on the Xbox, to get into the mood (though I have been somewhat distracted by the Amazon team they recently added…).

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And finally, the models that stalled the entire team in the first place – straight from Forge World. The real ‘star’ here is, of course, the Death Roller, complete with a Goblin it is trampling over.

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Quite a fun model overall and, despite it getting sent off by the ref a great deal, I think it will cause a suitable amount of terror on the pitch.

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Grim Ironjaw was painted up in Dwarf Giant colours, though that really just means a change of trousers for a Troll Slayer.

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And, last of all, Grombrindal, the White Dwarf himself. I kept his colours more or less as Forge World suggests, as he is a bit special, but I did his padded tunic in the same blue as the Dwarf Giants’ armour to keep everything tied together.

Next up for Blood Bowl is the Goblin team (with the Black Gobbo and Troll!), and the Bright Crusaders. I think they will be a little while in coming, as I have a fair bunch of Death Guard and Heresy-era models to get through at the moment, along with the Kharadron Overlords…

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The Kharadron Overlords have Arrived…

I was all set to do the Kharadron Overlords earlier this year, but then the Horus Heresy happened and then came 8th edition 40k…

However, last week I read the latest Age of Sigmar novel, which had the Overlords in it, and the Arkanaut Companies kinda fell onto my painting desk. I polished those off quicker than I thought I might… and then polished off the Thunderers too. So, this morning, I can proudly present 60 Kharadron Overlords, all painted and ready to go – the entire infantry section of my planned force, done in one weekend (sort of)!

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The Arkanauts were actually a lot quicker to do than I had thought, and the fiddly bits (like the straps) were  not all that fiddly after all. They end up being a basic process of cloth, silver armour (finished off with Stormhost Silver to make them extra-shiny!), gold armour, straps. The only real ‘detailing’ is a bit of Soulstone Blue for any glowy bits). Base them, then they are done!

In the end, I went for the purple Baraka-nar, for several reasons, though their special rules were not among them (though being able to more or less shut down enemy casting will be fun). First off, as the largest skyport, I figured they would feature prominently in forthcoming campaigns from GW. Second, I picked up Brokk, the High Admiral, and he comes from Barak-nar. True, I could have him leading another skyport, or simply paint him in different colours… but I wanted things done ‘properly’.

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The Thunderers are even quicker for while they are slightly larger, they have no straps at all, so you can just whiz through them – overall, they probably take longer to dry than paint.

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So, there you go – 60 models in a weekend, and all the infantry of the Overlords done. Now they just need some ships and people to lead them. I have already put together three Gunhaulers and all the characters (bar Brokk himself), but I think I’ll take a quick break from these chaps (wasn’t going to crack on with them until the end of the year!) before finishing the force off completely.

Oh, and if 60 infantry were not enough… I also managed to polish off three more Nurglings for the Death Guard!

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Fate of Konor: Countdown to Destruction

The forces of the Imperium are strained trying to contain the invading armies, and the Walking Pox is running amok amidst the dwindling population of Drenthal. Imperial High Command has therefore taken the decision to overcharge the fusion core of Terebral Station Sigma – all loyalist forces must fight their way to the starport or perish in the destruction of the entire planet…

 

Armies

In the rush to get off planet, armies are hardly cohesive, so we are taking this opportunity to use smaller forces, at 60 points.

Death Guard (Battalion)
Daemon Prince of Nurgle (Tainted Regeneration, Suppurating Plate, Miasma of Pestilence)
Malignant Plaguecaster (Miasma of Pestilence, Blades of Putrefaction)
Noxious Blightbringer
Poxwalkers x 20
Plague Marines x 7 (Power Fist, Plasma Gun)
Cultists x 20

Daemons of Nurgle (Patrol)
Herald of Nurgle (Miasma of Pestilence)
Plaguebearers x 30
Nurglings x 6

The forces of Nurgle are starting to find their pace now – still don’t have enough Plague Marines (I foresee a big block of 20 in the near future, tooled up for close combat…), but the Plaguebearers are now 30-strong, we have the Daemon Prince in there and… we now have access to the new Codex – hello, Tainted Regeneration, Suppurating Plate and Blades of Putrefaction!

Marines Errant
Captain (Chapter Master)
Librarian
Venerable Dreadnought (Assault Cannon)
Tactical Squad (Missile Launcher, Flamer)
Tactical Squad (Missile Launcher)
Tactical Squad (Missile Launcher)
Assault Squad (Lightning Claws)

The Marines Errant are bringing one of the big guns for this fight, as their Chapter Master desperately leads the retreat, advised by his Librarian.

 

Mission: Countdown to Destruction

At the end of this battle (random game length), the Marines Errant will count up the Power Level of all units leaving the battlefield by the Death Guard’s table edge (not counting Flyers). If this totals 20 or more, then gain a major victory – any other result is a major victory for the Death Guard.

To complicate things, the Marines Errant will find that the ground disappears up to 6″ from their own table edge every round, and anything standing there will fall into the planet’s core, ensuring they are being driven forward at a fair pace!

To make things even more exciting (and to avoid easy wins) we are also not going to allow Reinforcements to teleport/drop onto the table.

The mission itself has two new Stratagems for the Death Guard – Aerial Dominance allows them to recycle destroyed Flyers, while Delaying Tactics allows the Death Guard to try to stop the Marines Errant from falling back (the cowards!). For their part, the Marines Errant can use Forced March, which allows them to roll three dice when Advancing, picking the best result.

The Fate of Konor campaign also introduces yet another Stratagem (Fighter Ace) allowing a single Flyer to gain a +1 bonus to hit rolls for the whole battle.

 

Deployment

The forces of Nurgle skulked around the ruins as the world literally tore itself apart, with a huge horde of Plaguebearers holding the centre, supported on the flanks by Poxwalkers and Cultists. The Plague Marines, Plaguecaster and Daemon Prince took position just a little further back, ready to plug any gaps.

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For their part, the Marines Errant lined up in the centre, determined to punch their way through before the ground fell from their feet.

 

Round One

The Marines Errant wasted no time, and jogged forward, aware that behind them the apocalypse was happening. They were immediately confronted by waves of Nurglings who fell over one another as they giggled and reached out to the Marines.

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Working together, the Tactical Squads gunned down the Nurglings as their Librarian created a Null Zone that robbed the daemons of their vitality. Nurglings burst apart in a spray of pus and filth as Bolter rounds detonated around them.

Taking advantage of their momentum, one Tactical Squad swept round the ruined Shrine of the Aquila to confront the Poxwalkers lurching towards them. Supporting fire from the Venerable Dreadnought ripped into the Poxwalkers before the Tactical Marines drew their Combat Knives and set about driving the zombies back with devastating efficiency.

IMG_9563 The Marines Errant had worse luck in the centre as a Tactical Squad crashed into the Plaguebearers alongside an Assault Squad. Clouds of flies obscured their vision and clogged their breather masks, but they managed to banish four daemons and watched as another three faded from view, their hold on the material world broken.

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Another Tactical Squad burst through the door of the Shrine of the Aquila, but halted as they saw a squad of Plague Marines waiting for them.

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By now, all the Marines Errant were engaged, with just the Chapter Master and Librarian holding back, waiting for their moment as the Venerable Dreadnought continued to unleash supporting fire with its Assault Cannon.

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Seeing the Assault Marines held in place by the Plaguebearers, the Cult Leader ordered his devotees to pull back, ready to guard against a breakout by the Marines Errant.

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The Daemon Prince, however, had more forthright ideas. Striding forward, he ignored the Tactical Squad fighting the Poxwalkers and turned the corner of the Shrine of the Aquila to find not only a Venerable Dreadnought, but the Librarian and Chapter Master too.

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Ignoring the Dreadnought, the Daemon Prince hurled a bolt of pestilent energy at the Chapter Master, but found his psychic energy drained by the Librarian’s Null Zone. As the Malignant Plaguecaster threw a Miasma of Pestilence over him, the Daemon Prince lumbered forward to knock the Librarian flying with one sweep of his Hellforged Sword.

Inside the Shrine, the Plague Marines advanced on the Tactical Squad who had intruded upon them, gunning down two Marines, then cutting down another three with their Plague Knives, This was too much for one Marine who, under the influence of the Blightbringer’s Tocsin of Misery, turned and ran for cover.

Not far away, the Plague Swords of the Plaguebearers started to drip with rotting filth as the Plaguecaster gifted them with Blades of Putrefaction. The daemons were quick to capitalise on this as they hacked down four more Assault Marines.

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Round Two

Behind the Marines Errant, the world was in turmoil as a massive section of the earth fell into the core of the planet. The Chapter Master gave a wary look behind him and knew time was running out. Barking orders, he commanded his Marines to make a general retreat, breaking out towards the starport where they could and holding the enemy if that was impossible.

The three surviving Assault Marines needed no encouragement as they gunned their jump packs and leapt high over the heads of the Plaguebearers. However, the Cultists had been waiting for just such a move and were already on their way to cut the Assault Squad off.

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At the front of the Shrine of the Aquila, the Chapter Master summoned the two closest Tactical Squads and he directed their fire against the Daemon Prince who seemed all but invulnerable.

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When the smoke had cleared from their Bolters, Flamers, grenades, and Krak Missiles, the Daemon Prince was still standing, leering at the Librarian and Chapter Master. Then, the Venerable Dreadnought charged him from behind.

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The Daemon Prince was nearly knocked off his feet by the Dreadnought’s mighty Power Fist, and he stumbled against the steps of the Shrine before he could recover.

Undaunted, the Daemon Prince regained his feet and grinned at his foes as the wounds he had sustained began to knit and heal before their eyes. Waving a great hand, he then cast a Miasma of Pestilence about himself, but was too arrogant in this display of power and was savaged by a Predator of the Warp before he managed to banish the errant daemon.

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However, the balance of the fight had now been reversed and as the Venerable Dreadnought flailed helplessly against the Daemon Prince’s layered defences, the Hellforged Sword started hacking huge slices of armour plating. The Tactical Squads supporting the Chapter Master and Dreadnought quickly found themselves sandwiched between the Daemon Prince and the Plaguebearers who marched forward to engage them.

Across the battlefield, a Tactical Squad had fought its way past the Poxwalkers and was now sprinting for the starport – however, they had not done so unnoticed…

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Despite the range, the Plague Marines laid down terribly accurate fire with their Bolters and Plasma Gun, and two Marines fell to the ground. Another two were immolated within their armour as the Plaguecaster summoned the energy of the Warp to stop them.

The Assault Squad, too, was within sight of the starport, but the Cultists were hot on their heels, gunning down two Marines with their auto-weapons, leaving just the Sergeant standing. Screaming prayers to Grandfather Nurgle, they rushed in, but Lightning Claws were their only reward as three were cut down in seconds.

 

Round Three

As the grounds continued to plummet into the core of the planet, the Venerable Dreadnought staggered away from the Daemon Prince. The Librarian tried to summon destructive energies from the Warp to finish off the Daemon Prince but found his talent suppressed by a gleeful Plaguecaster. At the entrance to the Shrine, a Tactical Squad unleashed every weapon they had, doing little damage, but distracting the Daemon Prince long enough for the Venerable Dreadnought to turn around and blast the creature apart with a burst of its Assault Cannon.

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However, the Plaguebearers were now in position to use their full weight against the Marines Errant and a bitter fight erupted as both daemon and Marine fell.

Seeing no chance to help his brothers, the Assault Sergeant fired up his jump pack once more, and raced to the starport.

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The Death Guard had stalled the main advance of the Marines Errant, but small units were beginning to slip through the gaps – and so the chase to the starport began.

Furious at having let the Assault Sergeant slip through their fingers, the Cultists ran for the Shrine of the Aquila, eager to prove themselves by facing the Venerable Dreadnought as it marched forward. The Plague Marines, joined by the Plaguecaster and Blightbringer, were far more pragmatic, and they jogged forward after the Tactical Squad that was also nearing the starport.

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Long-ranged Bolter and Plasma fire claimed two of the Tactical Marines, but the Plaguecaster was the only one close enough to reach them. Charging in, he blocked their path, but they dodged the swings of his Corrupted Staff.

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Round Four

A massive quake shook the entire battlefield as the ground fell away, taking three Plaguebearers tumbling with it.

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The Chapter Master and Librarian now had their backs to a fiery death while the hordes of Nurgle lay between them and safety – nodding to one another, they turned and ran for the starport, hoping to find some way through.

Further ahead, the three surviving Tactical Marines worked together bowling over the Plaguecaster as they raced for the starport, catching the last gunship before it took off.

As the gunship fired its engines and rocketed into orbit, the world below them collapsed in upon itself.

 

Conclusion

Short but intense! The Marines Errant claimed victory by getting to the starport but, with just four Marines making it to the waiting gunship, they could not have been proud.

The big question, of course… how did the new Death Guard Codex work?

Overall, well! The Daemon Prince bit way more off than he could chew, but he successfully tied up the Venerable Dreadnought and two characters while he fought, and the rest of the Marines Errant were blocked solidly by the Death Guard and Nurgle daemons. Only the Assault Sergeant, who used his speed (and was really very lucky not to be mobbed by those Cultists) and the Tactical Squad, who threw caution to the wind and just legged it, managed to reach safety.

Everyone else probably died on that battlefield!

One lesson is clear – you need a lot of Command Points for the Death Guard, as there is always a Stratagem you will want to employ (to the extent that using them for re-rolls seems a waste). For mid-sized games, a Battalion and an Outrider/Vanguard/Spearhead detachment might be the way to go and, if you can squeeze everything in, two Battalions.

However, the final analysis has to be that the Death Guard were tough to kill before, and they are even tougher now!

 

 

Codex: Death Guard

When I picked up my first Death Guard models in the Dark Imperium set, I really did not intend to do them as a full army. After all, it was not as if I did not have plenty to be getting on with. However, there was just something about their sculpts and colour scheme that hooked me, and after I started playing them, oh boy, I knew they were for me!

So, it was with great interest that I started paging through the new Codex when it plopped onto my desk.

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There have probably been more previews and leaks about this Codex than any other, so I am not going to give you a page-by-page, blow-by-blow account – instead, I’ll cover the highlights and what in particular tickled me…

In terms of the background behind the Death Guard, they have been rooted firmly in the Heresy-era, rather than just being marauding warbands of diseased marines. This may be because Mortarion has arrived on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium but it does give the legion a solid base. And if you really fancy a challenge, the organisation of the entire legion is provided, should you feel the urge ti paint it all…

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By my very rough calculations, that would be about 2,500 Plague Marines, plus all the other bits and pieces (you have to figure the Poxwalkers and Cultists will push that number right up…).

The colour schemes of various companies and warbands may provide a little less inspiration than normal as, aside from one pale Plague Marines, they are all varying shades of green. Not that you are likely to expect anything else.

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Unlike the Chaos Space Marine and Grey Knight Codexes, the Death Guard are getting a ‘proper’ release, which means new units to get to grips with!

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Starting off with the characters, we get:

Mortarion: The Primarch, very hard. Don’t mess with him.
Foul Blightspawn: Champions who specialise in alchemy, bringing a variety of diseases to battle.
Biologus Putrifiers:  These guys now watch the spread of disease and work out how to make them more effective. Tend to have their blight grenades explode when you shoot them.
Plague Surgeons: Once Apothecaries, they no longer fix their brother marines (the Death Guard are somewhat resilient anyway) and instead culture diseases among their fellows. They also nick gene-seed from loyalist marines.
Tallymen: Sort of like priests, the Tallymen like counting things – shots fired, fleeing enemies, plague-ridden flies. The other Death Guard enjoy this a lot. The Tallymen also act as guardians to the most horrific viral weapons in the legion’s arsenal.

So, the new characters tend to either be developments of the original legion, or are ‘normal’ Death Guard who have gone up the ranks, become champions, and then ‘specialised’.

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We get new units and vehicles too:

Blightlord Terminators: Elite Cataphractii-equipped infantry, eclipsed only by…
Deathshroud Terminators: Those who know their Heresy-era will recognise these guys, the elite bodyguards of Mortarion, pre-daemon. Now, they are just nasty, but more of that later…
Myphitic Blight-Haulers: Kind of a Bloat-Drone with tracks, these little tanks pack a good anti-armour punch while chucking out gasses that cloak nearby Death Guard.
Plagueburst Crawlers: Mobile artillery, but part daemon.
Foetid Bloat-Drones: Not actually new, as we got one in the Dark Imperium set, but these chaps now have access to heavy blight launchers and flesh-mowers, so they are worth a mention.

One thing to mention here – the artwork of the Beasts of Nurgle is very different to the current Finecast model and, try as I might, I cannot find a single Beast in any of the army shots of this book. New plastic Beast of Nurgle confirmed?

Anyway, what are these guys like to play? Well, if you have been messing around with Death Guard in the new edition, you will already know the combination of T5 and Disgustingly Resilient is pretty cool, Miasma is powerful, Poxwalkers are fun, and Bloat-Drones can really ruin someone’s day. Oh, and that the Lord of Contagion is actually quite hard once he gets into combat.

Have things improved, we wonder?

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The ‘common’ rules for the Death Guard include Death to the False Emperor (which is nice, so long as you remember to actually use it) and Plague Weapons (which used to more or less mean knives and swords but there are many, many new plague weapons in this book), which we have seen before, along with Disgustingly Resilient. All well and good.

However, if you keep to the Death Guard keyword in your detachments, you now also get Inexorable Advance (infantry and Helbrutes ignore penalties for shooting and moving with Heavy and Assault weapons, plus Rapid Fire up to 18″), and Plague Host (Troops grab objectives, even if the enemy has already got there).

Plague Host brings the Death Guard up to spec with loyalist marines, but Inexorable Advance is really quite funky. Bolters and Plasma Guns get a bit more terrifying but, more to the point, your Helbrutes can now peg it straight towards the enemy without losing accuracy. This would be the first clue that the new Death Guard have respectable long-ranged firepower…

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It is worth paying attention to Datasheets you think you have already seen before. For example, you will note that Daemon Princes have become cheaper for the Death Guard, and come equipped with Disgustingly Resilient. Combined with some other bits and pieces we will come to in a minute, we might just be seeing the new ‘default’ warlord for Death Guard armies, though it should be noted that the Lord of Contagion has also had a drop in cost.

Plaguebearers had a drop in cost in the Chaos Space Marines Codex, and that has been repeated here. However, the Plague Drones have not only become cheaper, but they have received an extra Wound each – still not sure they are all that, though they are fully capable of holding up enemy units for a while…

Plague Marines have the same options as those in Codex: Chaos Space Marines, but they are certainly worth a careful look. I am thinking units of 20, geared to close combat, might be a way forward – hellishly expensive, but nigh on unstoppable once you add a few bits and pieces that we are about to come to.

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The new characters sit squarely in the Elites choices, alongside the existing Noxious Blightbringer, so you don’t really have any cheap choices for HQs if you want something light to go alongside your Lord or Daemon Prince. However, the new guys are focussed squarely on improving other units rather than being cold killers in their own right (again, like the Blightbringer who speeds up other units).

The Foul Blightspawn is primarily around to stall enemy charges, removing their ability to fight first in a round. However, you will also be eyeing up his Plague Sprayer – this weapon is Assault D6 (9″ range) and automatically hits its target. The AP-3 and D3 are just mean, but the icing on the cake (the pus on the pustule?) is S 2D6 – an average of 7.

That thing is a Terminator-killer, whichever way you look at it, and characters are not going to be too happy getting hit either.

The Biologus Purifier pumps up Blight Grenades thrown by other units, turning them from Frag-a-likes to S4 and D2, with a potential for an additional mortal. That might be worth a shrug on your part, but keep it in mind as we begin to cover the Stratagems…

The Plague Surgeon is another model to keep close to your massed Plague Marine units, as he re-rolls any 1’s they make for being Disgustingly Resilient. His Gene-Seed Thief ability also means he is pretty handy in close combat against similarly-ranked loyalist Marine heroes.

The Tallyman will be another popular choice as he not only grants re-rolls to hits for nearby Death Guard, he also has a chance of refunding your Command Points – and, believe me, you will use a lot of Stratagems in a Death Guard army…

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Well, those are the characters. There is still plenty more to get excited about…

Deathshroud Terminators: At 11 points for 3, these guys are hellishly expensive, but with 3 S8 attacks at AP-3 and D3 damage, they will tear apart, well, just about anything. On top of that, any Death Guard characters nearby will gain an extra attack and, if they happen to be hit, one of the Deathshroud will step in to take the blow. Your Lord of Contagion should never teleport onto the battlefield without three of these guys.
Blightlord Terminators: These guys are 14 points for 5, which may seem a little more reasonable. You cannot really argue with T5 Terminators though, it has to be said, the weapon selections of the Loyalists are probably stronger. However, you will get a lot of mileage out of the Flail of Corruption, which will fairly reap anyone in power amour, and the Balesword they all carry is solid, if not exciting (though their Aura of Rust can increase it to AP-4). More durable than killy, the Blightlords will still cause the enemy issues when they teleport in.
Foetid Bloat-Drone: The drone now can have a heavy blight launcher, which gives it respectable (if not awesome) fire power at long range. However, the star here is the Fleshmower which, if I am reading this right, gives it 9 attacks (3 base, plus 6 for the weapon’s special rule, right?) in close combat at S8, AP-2 and D2. Tactical Squads, Chaplains… you’ll mow them all down with a couple of these.
Myphitic Blight-Hauler: The drone on tracks – comes with a missile launcher and multi-melta, which cannot be changed, but have three in a squadron and you are hitting on 3+ on the move. Decent enough for a mid-sized anti-tank unit. The really funny things are that it also gives Death Guard infantry cover, has a daemonic invun, and is Disgustingly Resilient – all on a platform that is T7 and W8, and costs less than a Blight-Drone. Count me in.
Plagueburst Crawler: Short version? Get three of these. T8, W12, Daemonic and Disgustingly Resilient. Add Entropy Cannon, that are basically lascannon that are a smidgen weaker and shorter ranged, but have AP-4, and a Plagueburst Mortar that requires no line of sight, and still kicks out D6 attacks at S8, AP-2 and D3 damage. Either have this on the front line, or tuck it behind a building and when the inevitable deep strike comes, kick out twin Plaguespitters which operate at S8 on this beast.

Now, these new units are all very exciting but, funnily enough, I think what really makes the Death Guard sing as an army can be found in the last few pages of the book.

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Let’s start with the Warlord traits.

The very first trait might be an automatic choice for you (until you get to the others, at least), as it effectively gives your warlord 4+ Disgustingly Resilient, for anything other than mortal wounds. That alone will keep your man in the game for a little longer.

Living Plague dishes out mortal wounds within 3″ of your warlord, which is easy enough to dismiss, but there are lots of different ways of kicking out mortals in this army, and they all start to add up…

However, you might well have your head turned by Tainted Regeneration – your warlord heals a wound at the start of each player’s turn. That is two wounds per round. Given how tough Death Guard warlords are in the first place, this might well put them beyond the reach of many enemies.

That Tainted Regeneration is going to be tough to beat but, depending on who you normally fight, Hulking Physique on your Lord of Contagion, taking him up to T6 could be worth a serious look, as S3 attacks (lasguns, puny mortals, etc) will just bounce off him all day.

In a similar vein to the last two, Rotten Constitution reduces all Damage by 1 (to a minimum of 1) which can really cut some of the weapons wielded by loyalist Space Marine heroes down to size.

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The Warlord Traits are good – the Stratagems are even better, and really start to make the synergies within the Death Guard shine. Here are some highlights:

Cloud of Flies: Gives one infantry unit cover when they are in the open, for one measly Command Point. Think about that 20-man Plague Marine unit I suggested earlier, who are now pint-sized Terminators. Or, think about Terminators, who now bounce Krak Missiles on a 3+.
Grandfather’s Blessings: Heals an infantry model (or brings one back). This could have saved my Lord of Contagion more than once in the past…
Gifts of Decay: Gets your more relics – normally, I might skip this one, but the Death Guard relics are actually quite funky.
The Dead Walk Again: Every model (friend or foe) that dies within 7″ of Poxwalkers, becomes a Poxwalker. Not likely to win you the game, but very very funny.
Blight Bombardment: Your unit of 20 Plague Marines gets charged? How about every one of them lobbing a Blight Grenade in Overwatch? Did you keep your Biologus Purifier close by? I knew you would.
Veterans of the Long War: Add +1 to the wound rolls of one infantry unit. The damage that could do in the hands of Terminators (of either flavour) will give any Lord of Nurgle happy thoughts.

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I mentioned relics earlier, and yes, they are pretty top drawer as far as Nurgle is concerned.

Suppurating Plate: I predict that you will see this on a Daemon Prince in more than half of the Death Guard armies you fight. It gives him a 2+ save, and bounces close combat hits that the armour catches – add that to some of the sexier warlord traits (Tainted Regeneration, perhaps), and the Daemon Prince will just keep on going… and going…
Pandemic Staff: Adds +1 to psychic tests made for Smite. Sounds a bit poor, but the amount of times I have failed that roll (plus gives you a better chance of turbo-blasting the power).
Fugaris’ Helm: Increases auras by 3″. Doesn’t sound so much but in some cases you will be doubling their range…

For psykers, the Contagion discipline gets new powers and… you know what… I am a little less excited by these – but I also know why.

Miasma of Pestilence is just so good. Not too good, but so good. It sort of over shadows all the others.

That said, you get Blades of Putrefaction which adds +1 to wound rolls of any Death Guard unit, with the possibility of kicking out mortals too. With a charge value of 5, this will get attention.

Putrescent Vitality has potential too, as it boosts the Strength and Toughness of an infantry unit by 1 – however, this could be quite situational, given that the Death Guard tend to be tough and strong to begin with. There will not be too many times, for example, where it is beneficial for Plague Marines to be T6. However, if they are S5, they are suddenly whacking normal Marines on a 3+. You’ll need to match up power and unit against a specific enemy.

Curse of the Leper rolls 7 dice and every one that beats the Toughness of the nearest enemy unit causes a mortal. Not desperately exciting, but a good roll could cause a typical character all sorts of problems.

The biggest issue with these powers is that the first you will pick is Miasma, cutting down on the other choices. Put another way, it is a brave Death Guard lord who goes into battle without tooling up on Miasma…

 

Summary

All in all, this Codex is, I think, a Win for Nurgle and the Death Guard. It is very characterful and while it may not have any obvious ‘Death Stars’, the sheer resilience of the army makes it very forgiving, and there are endless ways to confound your enemy as you gradually wear him down.

On the flip side there are a lot of rules to remember for each unit (what kicks out a mortal wound, and under what circumstances, for example), and you will forget a bunch of them when you first start playing. However, as I said, the Death Guard are a forgiving force, so you won’t be losing battles just because you forgot rules X, Y, and Z.

Overall, I would grade this Codex as making the Death Guard born again hard, and I can’t wait to get them onto the battlefield again!

 

Space Wolves Xiphon & Support Squad

The Space Woofs took delivery of two new units this weekend – a little Tactical Support Squad and a big, honking Xiphon Interceptor…

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My Space Woof Heresy-era army is doing quite well with support squads, ever since I discovered that their main Tactical Squads actually are support squads (Space Woofs use Grey Slayers as their core, which I will be working on soon).

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On the whole, I have avoided filling up both the Space Woofs and Thousand Sons with a multitude of AP2 and 3 weaponry, to make the forthcoming battles more interesting – not much fun when you are removing whole units at a time, and we want to see squads moving up the battlefield as they weather a hail of firepower.

However, to move onto what I think you will all be more interested in… the Xiphon Pattern Interceptor…

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This model was not a complete pain to put together by any means, and the central split between the two halves of the fuselage is well concealed by the cockpit, engines and sensor pods.

Painting-wise, it was as dead simple as they Caestus (all Space Woof vehicles will follow this pattern), with a base of Dawnstone and Khorne Red, Agrax seeped into all the cracks (not as time-consuming as you might fear), followed by a tidy-up of splashes and then following all edges with Adminstratum Grey or Mephiston Red. Polish off with metals, make use of the Forge World transfer sheet and you are done!

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For the forthcoming Prospero campaign, I am planning some Death From the Skies battles to feature the initial wave of attacks on Tizca from the sea, which involved a lot of aerial battles. The Space Woofs will have this Xiphon to protect them but will mostly have various troop-carrying craft, such as the Caestus. The Thousand Sons will have a strong air defence, receiving two Xiphons for starters.

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Now, after finishing these Space Woof models, I was going to dive into Thanquol, Horticulous, and a Void Shield Generator (the first-run resin model, quite a sod to put together), but I got distracted by the new Eight Lamentations novel from Age of Sigmar which features (among many other things) Kharadron Overlords. So, I found myself grabbing my Arkanaut Companies this weekend and base-coating them.

Finishing them this week might be a tall order but, once done, I will be diving back into 40k with the aforementioned Void Shield Generator, and some more Thousand Sons models – their first Xiphon, plus a clutch of characters.

Of course, I’ll be getting hold of Mortarion and another unit of Plague Marines this week, so we will see how long that plan survives contact with the enemy…

Rise of Nurgle

As the new Codex: Death Guard is going to be plopping onto my desk next week, I have been getting various supporting units ready for the army. This was nicely bolstered by the recent release of the Blightwar box set, whose Nurgle daemons I promptly co-opted for the Death Guard.

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As you can see, I also snuck in the Daemon Prince of Nurgle so my Lord of Contagion finally has someone to boss him around.

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This is a Finecast model, easy to put together and quick to paint – fundamentally, he is no different to Plague Marines, just a tad bigger! In a battle, we might well find that is the Suppurating Plate he is wearing, giving him a 2+ Save that bounces mortal wounds whenever it blocks a blow. The Warlord Trait Revoltingly Resilient will give him a further 4+ against any hits that get through the armour or his Toughness 6 and, with 8 Wounds, he has a lot of leeway for any twists of fate.

Nasty!

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More Nurglings are always welcome (I could use another three though), and the Plaguebearers are going to get added to the existing unit, making them full strength at 30 models. This gives leeway on their Cloud of Flies rule, meaning they will not lose their -1 to be hit as soon as they lose a single model.

With a Herald of Nurgle following them up and laying Miasma of Pestilence on them (for a total of -2 to be hit), they are always going to reach the enemy. Whether they can actually do anything worthwhile once they get there is another question but here int he Death Guard we deal with one problem at a time!

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Finally, three new Plague Drones. I have never really been enamoured with these on the battlefield (though they have acted as good speed bumps against me in Age of Sigmar), and my AoS Daemons of Nurgle army already has eight, so I really did not need to do any more. However, this gave me a chance to vary the paint scheme a little, tying in their purple wings with the secondary colour I have used with the Death Guard. And they will always be available for use when we want really big battles where we just put everything on the table.

Next up for the Death Guard will be the new releases, specifically the Daemon Primarch Mortarion and a new squad of Plague Marines built from the Easy to Build and forthcoming Brethren sets. However, this weekend is all about the Heresy-era Space Woofs, who will get getting another squad and a spanking new flyer!

Space Wolves Mk III Tactical

The Heresy forces roll slowly on, and they are now building into decent forces – not enough for a big battle, but I can see they are beginning to get there!

This week… a Mk III Tactical Squad for the Space Woofs.

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This makes two Tactical Squads done and dusted for the Space Woofs, matching the Thousand Sons. Normally, this would mean I now have enough to fill out the basic force organisation for the army but, with Space Woofs, it does not quite work out that way. In the Heresy Era, Tactical Squads are support options for the Wolves, meaning that while they take a Troops slot, they cannot be used for compulsory Troops slots – instead, the Space Woofs have Grey Slayers squads, and two of these will be the next major addition I do for the army.

Might slip in a little Xiphon as well…