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Playing Death Guard with the new Chaos Codex
Old 04 Sep 2007, 04:11   #1 (permalink)
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Default Playing Death Guard with the new Chaos Codex

After skimming through the new Chaos codex I have to say I'm very excited about getting to work building my Death Guard army. Breaking away from the mind frame of the old codex may at first seem difficult but I think the pros outweigh the cons. The options available to Death Guard players allow you to play a similar force to the one laid out in the previous codex but also allow you to redefine what a Death Guard army can be.

The new Chaos codex focuses more on renegade warbands of Chaos Space Marines rather than the Cult Legions, however, building a pure cult army is easily done with the flexibility provided in the book. If we are to use the previous codex as a template, Death Guard would use limited transports and no heavy weapons in infantry squads, no raptors or bikes. Adding these units to your Death Guard army may seem unfluffy to die-hard Death Guard players but I think an army can include some or all of these options and remain a fun and fluffy army.

The focus of renegades and warbands in this book lends itself to some interesting ideas and options for what a Cult Legion 10,000 years after the Heresy would look like. The likelyhood of such a force retaining all of its original members without new recruits is slim to none. Thus you can easily explain a rogue Death Guard Champion breaking from combat doctrine and adding other units to suit his needs. Units that are not true plaguemarines but blessed by Nurgle none-the-less.

Let's take a look at the staples of a Death guard army and some ways to use the new unit choices:


Chaos Lord - A powerful character with alot of options for customization. I personally think a Terminator Lord leading a squad is the best way to go. With icons available to most squads, deepstriking right where you want to be is very easy and can put a rock hard squad right on an objective and they will be very hard to remove once dug in.

Daemon Prince - A very dangerous and cheap assault unit. Can become even more deadly when given psychic powers and/or made more mobile with wings. With no 0-1 limitation I expect to see dual prince armies becoming very popular.

Sorcerer - Comparable to the Lord but with psychic powers. Again, the terminator option may be the best layout. Warp time is probably the best psychic power available for Nurgle sorcerers. The daemon weapons for nurgle are useful in some situations(monster killers)but are definitely not always the best choice(GEQs).

Typhus - A powerful but expensive HQ choice. A good option for a counts as Lord for the Death Guard purist.


Chosen - A solid unit that can be tailored to a variety of different styles. This is also one of the few units that should have the options available to standard plague marines for a death guard force. They are still a great option but in gaming terms they should be as tough as PMs.

Dreadnought - A fluffy unit for Death Guard but due to the Crazed special rule using them as a "lone wolf" or commando unit may be best to avoid unwanted friendly fire. Fielding multiples of these may make it harder to keep them away from your other units.

Terminators - Another fluffy unit. As I said before, I think they are best used led by a Lord or Sorcerer in terminator armor but can do very well as a stand alone unit.


Plague marines - Tough as nails. They can be a brutal shooting unit as well as a rock hard assault unit. They lose True grit but with a bolter, bolt pistol and CCW standard they are actually better in assault now. Mounting them in rhinos can get them to strategic positions and it will take concentrated heavy firepower to remove them once entrenched. Even with lower initiative blight grenades will lessen the damage from units assaulting them.

Chaos Space Marines - You play Death Guard, take these over plague marines and you should be slapped. :P

Fast Attack

Bikers - Nurgle bikers are toughness 6 and as such are a very resilient unit. They should draw alot of fire however so keep them in cover or use turbo boost to increase their chances of survival. Having the icon will prove useful for bringing terminators and daemons in to battle where they are needed most.

Raptors - Maybe the most versatile new unit available to Death Guard. They can provide much needed mobile CC support to an infantry heavy DG army. They are also very useful for bringing deepstriking units into position, just as bikers are. However, they may not draw as much attention as bikers will. They can also claim objectives without risk, which bikers cannot. Another option would be to have them support a winged DP in an all out charge on enemy lines. A direct assault like this will not go unnoticed so stay in cover as you advance. Toughness 5 should increase their survivability as they advance towards the enemy.

Heavy Support

Havocs - If you want an all infantry DG army, havocs are a must have. They can provide much needed fire support with heavy weapons. For a more mechanized force, they can provide mobile fire support with special weapons and rhino transport. Another versatile unit that will surely gain favor with a large number of DG players.

Obliterators - They are not as tough as they once were but now have some new nasty weaponry to unleash on the enemy. A solid heavy support choice and another must have for the all infantry DG armies.


Greater Daemon - The Greater Daemon may no longer have the title of Great Unclean one but they are much cheaper and have better stats than the old GD. They also take up no FOC slot leaving room for other powerhouse characters in your army.

Lesser daemons - Without the ability to be marked they aren't as tough as plague bearers were but they are cheaper and can be taken in larger numbers.They can prove to be very useful taken in large numbers and summoned in the heart of enemy lines.

So they you have it, some old favorites and some news units to try in your Death Guard force. I skipped over the tanks seeing as most of you know their pros and cons. Whether you want a traditional force or want to change the look and play-style of Death Guard, the new codex allows it. Now go out and build an army Papa Nurgle would be proud of!

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Old 04 Sep 2007, 05:31   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Playing Death Guard with the new Chaos Codex

This is a pretty good sum up of the deathguard consensus out there. just remember: Preds are nothing without M hull, Vindicators always get blown up by round 2, and Nurgle marked CSMs are a joke. Personally I think termies are to expensive to be given any real thought outside of at least 2000pts. Last but not least: meltas still IK bikes, thats all I need to say.
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Old 04 Sep 2007, 09:02   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Playing Death Guard with the new Chaos Codex

I should be bitchslapped with a dreadsock a lot since; ( : )

1) I used Nurglite CSM over Plague marines as they suit my playstyle more. 3rd edition Plagues are nice as they can infiltrate, but with the advent of the new codex, I am just too lazy to make another mech force.

2)I prefer Predators over Havocs, as they are able to move and still fire all their heavy weapons.

But I have practical reasons as well as fluff reasons as to why I use CSMs with Mark of Nurgle than Plague Marines (which I will not elaborate unless asked) and bikers.

The nice thing about this codex is that you are still able to stay rather adherent to Nurgle, but having a more diverse and flexible force to play with.
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Old 06 Sep 2007, 03:56   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Playing Death Guard with the new Chaos Codex

@ CV, I do like predators as well. I was just thinking that people should probably know how tanks work. Maybe I should add it anyway?

I think Havocs are really useful in a different way from predators. Sure they can be a spiky devastator squad but they can also be mobile fire support if transported by rhino. Plus they can take objectives and don't always draw as much attention as a predator will, so they have some advantages over a predator. But then again there are equally good reasons to get tanks, that's why I'll be getting both!
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