Thursday, 3 December 2015

My Epic Death Guard Strategy - For 30k and 40k

In my continuing quest to have Epic armies for all my 28mm armies I am currently having a good hard look at what I want to achieve for my Epic Death Guard. I have quite a few old epic models in storage, and also have some newer ones that I have been lucky enough to come across, so thought it was a good time to work out what I wanted to achieve for this collection.

I tried to think about what makes a Death Guard army "Death Guardy". Once I would have simply said "Lots of blokes with bolters and nothing fast or long ranged" but that has been superseded by the more recent, more detailed (and far less lame) Forge World Heresy works.

Forgeworld has chosen to make the 28mm scale 30k Death Guard "Death Guardy" in the following ways:

  • They are infantry heavy, but the inability to field long ranged firepower (which arose predominantly from 40k 3rd or 4th) has been removed. In fact they have kind of gone the other way, now using plenty of infantry based heavy weapons (Rite of War: The Reaping). 
  • They also are pretty good in heavy cover (gaining move through cover so aren't slowed by it, plus plenty of emphasis on taking ignore cover weapons so shooting in it isn't reduced too much).
  • They use transport vehicles (this is specifically mentioned in Betrayal) and they don't use deep strike much (Rite of War: The Reaping).
  • They use plenty of Terminators, Fellblades, Vindicators and Dreadnoughts. Most of their vehicle crewmen were the pre-Barbarus Terran born marines, so were purged from the legion on Istvaan III (Betrayal). Therefore there is an emphasis on infantry, with these vehicles being the most common veciles they do choose to field.
  • They are pretty slow and have a limited number of fast attack choices (0-1 in Rite of War: The Reaping, plus can't run or go flat out).
  • Prolific use of phosphex, rad weapons and chemical warfare. 
  • Special troops are the Death Shroud, Grave Wardens, plus characters such as Typhon. So predominantly terminators.
  • Special Rules: Immune to fear and pinning (Remorseless), re-roll failed dangerous terrain tests in mud, swamp and toxic, plus more resilient to flesh-bane and poison (Sons of Barbarus), -1 to sweeping advances (Intractable).

So the overall feel for the army is foot troops with heavy weapons and Terminators. Fighting in cover and performing well within it.
Translating this to 6mm scale, the 30k version of the army don't get the movement bonus to cover, so probably still need transports to be viable, however a garrisoning unit or two on foot are a good choice.
So based on the above, the following models are my "go-to" Epic Death Guard choices:

  • Tactical Companies with bolters, and attached Heavy and Tactical support squads. The heavy squads will provide a small amount of air defence with flak missiles. 
  • Fighting a lot in cover means using vehicles that have the walker ability. So Dreadnoughts, Vindicators and Typhons are in. Deredeo dreadnoughts will provide additional ground based air defence, and could count as decimators (Nurgle Specific AA capable defilers) in 40k era games.
  • Terminators are in, but deep strike is out. This means they will need transports to be most effective. Options are Spartans or Land Raiders, with Assault Rams or fliers being a possibility (though they are fast, and I don't want too many fast vehicles). Mortarion is described in some of the narrative as utilising assault rams (he even uses his battleship in this manner!), so I might reserve a couple for him and his posse. Given the fact that I want to use these models for both 40k and 30k era games, I'm going to go with Land Raiders for Terminator transports as Spartans aren't in the 40k 6mm game at the moment.
  • Destroyers in the 6mm 30k list, and I'll be including some of them with jump packs, who can count as raptors in 40k era games. These guys might benefit from a storm eagle, but I'm unsure about that one.
  • Fellblades are in. They can count as Plague Reapers in the 40k version.
  • Predators. These are described as one of the main battle tanks of the Legions. They are one of the few vehicles that are available in 30k and 40k era lists, so I'll include some but not too many.
  • Medusas. I have these in, the short range powerful guns are fitting. I think phosphex shells are an option for the 28mm version, so it sits well with my "use lots of phosphex units" philosophy. In 40k era games they can count as Contagion Engines.
  • Outrider Bikes. This one is a little left field. I have some bikers in my 28mm army, so would like some in the 6mm version. They are fast, but are infantry, so kind of fit in, at least more than land speeders or something like that. The army would need scouts. These seemed like a reasonable option to me.
  • I decided I needed some type of fliers, so went with Fire Raptors. These are gunships that support ground operations, so I felt that they fitted the theme more than fighters.
  • The Pale King Mortarion. Hard not to include him really. He can count as a Daemon Prince in 40k games. The Deathshroud bodyguard will be useful in 40k games too.
So I don't have a particular list in mind, more an overall philosophy to guide the list building.
The following is an example of a list I might build using the guidelines above:

Death Guard Legion Army List (Epic Armageddon 30k era).
3960 points. 10 activations.

Line Detachments = 1445
8 Tactical Stands + Librarian + 2x Heavy Support + 2x Deredeo = 625 (garrisoning formation)
4x Grave Warden Terminators + Champion + 4x Land Raider Proteus + 1x Typhon = 820 (Break Their Spirit formation)

Support Detachments = 1215
Medusas x4 = 225
Vindicators x4 = 200
Predators x4 = 240
Bikes x5 + Chaplain = 250
Destroyers x4 + Champion = 300

Lords of War = 1300
Mortarion and 3 Terminators + 4 Land Raiders = 700
1 Falchion = 300
2 Fire Raptors = 300

And a smaller army using similar models from a Plague Marine List (Epic Armageddon 40k era).
3000 points. 9 activations.

Retinues = 825
7 Plague Marine Stands + Lord + 4x Rhinos + Vindicator = 425
4 Plague Marine Stands + Sorceror + 3x Havoks + 1x Deredeo (count as Desecrator) = 400

Elites = 800
Terminators x4 + Mortarion (as a Daemon Prince) + Supreme Commander + 4x Land Raiders = 800 (Break Their Spirit formation).

Support Choices = 800
Medusas x4 (count as Contagion Engines) = 325
Predators x4 = 200
Deredeo x4 (count as Desecrators) = 275

Allies + War Engines = 625
Fire Raptors x2 (count as Helltalons) = 225
Falchion Superheavy Tank (count as Plague Reaper) = 200
Fellblade Superheavy Tank (count as Plague Reaper) = 200

So a couple of lists there for me to try out next time I get some epic games in. Just need to keep up the painting momentum and make sure they are all fully painted.

Because as we all know, fully painted is for closers.

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