Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Death Guard(8E)

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Why Play Death Guard[edit]

For the first time in 40k's history, Grandfather Nurgle's favorite pus-sacks have gotten their own Codex, and it's a solid mix of the fluffy and crunchy. You might not exactly be zipping across the board, but if you want a footslogging army that can shrug off almost anything the opponent can throw at them and retaliate with punishing short-range attacks (and have an obsession with the number 7), the Death Guard is the army for you.


  • Can fire Assault and Heavy weapons with none of the normal penalties when footslogging and Rapid Fire weapons can double tap from 3/4 (18") max range instead of the usual half range. This makes them the best shooting army for Chaos until Iron Warriors, The Fallen and Dark Mechanicus get actual rules.
  • Plague weapons make wound rolls reliable with easy access to re-rolling 1s, and can be buffed in several different ways.
  • Excellent Toughness on average, and most of your army, including some of your vehicles, have Disgustingly Resilient (which can be buffed), giving you a 1/3 chance to ignore every unsaved wound, even a mortal one!
  • Lots of debuffing auras to discourage choppy armies from getting too close to you.
  • Many of your units have ways of dealing mortal wounds, letting them bypass those annoying invulnerable saves.
  • They have access to a Primarch.
  • As the other army in the starter set and the Conquest magazine, alongside the Primaris Marines, it'll be easy to start up a collection.
  • They are one of the most up-to-date lines of Chaos models.
  • Thanks to Grandfather, your auras have a greater size compared to nearly all other armies (7” compared to 6”), which is obviously very useful.


  • Lack of Anti Armour capabilities at range.
  • The infantry that makes up the bulk of your army is SLOW. Most units have 5" of movement at most, and the Terminators are stuck with Cataphractii armor so they'll move even slower.
  • Practically no designated long-range fire units outside of vehicles.
  • A slight lack of rerolls; only 4 units have access to them (5 if you count the Termie Lord apart from the normal Lord). This is a much bigger problem in the infantry-heavy Death Guard with high numbers of troops and several back-sitting long-range fire support options in the codex.
  • While they did gain some new daemon engines in the bloat drone, blight-hauler and crawler, they also lost access to the maulerfiend, forgefiend and heldrake.
  • Some lazy ports of standard chaos units.
  • Elites slot is rather crowded. Not much of an issue since a Battalion detachment has tons of Elite slots to accommodate all those Characters, but you might fill them out to capacity.
  • Many of the units that made up the core of a Death Guard army in 7E Traitor Legions are no longer accessible to the new Death Guard. This includes absolutely crucial fire support such as Havocs and Obliterators, as well as Bikers and pretty much anything that went fast in previous editions. Nurgle armies looking for those will need to use vanilla CSM rules and detachments.
  • Most of the mortal wounds you deal out require you to be very close if not in melee range, putting your units at risk against fast, shooty armies like the Eldar as well as flyers in general.
  • Several of your more important characters (eg noxious blightbringer) are not available separately
  • Low model reusability. In spite of the fact that they're still technically Death Guard, you're probably not going to find much use for your old Plague Marine minis now unless you can kitbash their new weapon options on. Even if you previously had a DG army, if you want to run DG using THIS codex, you're probably going to have to start from scratch as all the actually good units are new, or equipped with new gear. Just like the Thousand Sons before them.

How to handle these cons[edit]

  • You should imagine playing a DG army as a slow-growing but potentially lethal tumor. Sure, we are slow, but we can utilize Spawn, Possessed, Tanks or flying DPs to move ahead of the main wave and cause dissent before the rest catches up into mid-range to cause maximum damage.
  • If you had Bikers, Helturkeys, and Obliterators in 7E and want to use them in a DG army, you still can, but they must be restricted to a separate detachment of vanilla CSM (if you want your DG to keep Inexorable Advance and Plague Host). In addition, nothing stops you from painting your Bikers in DG colors and running them with rules for regular CSM Bikers, so get creative! It's all about your dudes!
  • Transports can help our slow-moving troops to get across the board, but most of them don't have Disgustingly Resilient. Metal Boxes are not as good as they used to be. Taking transports has always been a tactical choice, but now more than ever. This subject is a bit of a skub depending on who you ask and on the kind of terrain you usually play on. I suggest experimenting with having more troops, but no transports OR 2-3 transports, but less troops. There is always a sweet spot in balance that Papa Nurgle would approve. If you have a LoW slot to spare and can afford Forge World, the Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank is a perfect solution to the transport issue.
  • Opinion on transports. Put a plague marine squad (7 if you're feeling fluffy) and characters to fill the rest of its capacity. Counts as 1 unit drop during deployment while deploying as many as 4 units inside. This can help you gain first turn to move up the board and fire what long range weapons you can. Start the game on your own terms.
  • An option for a slightly less expensive long range anti tank than predators (as long as you don’t mind taking an allied detachment or two) to take some R&H Disciple/Command squads with las cannons or missile launchers. A second much less expensive option is renegade heavy weapon squads with las cannons, they’re cheap but they will miss more often than not.
  • Consider taking a Sorcerer on a Palanquin or an Index Daemon Prince, or alternatively allying with a CSM sorcerer, with warptime and 1 other power (Prescience is a good pick). Dark Hereticus powers affect Heretic Astartes, rather than [Legion] models, so it will buff your Death Guard. The ability to move an appropriately killy unit twice in an army as slow as DG can make a huge difference in getting your guys where they need to be, when they need to be there.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Inexorable Advance: If your army is Battle-forged, all Death Guard Infantry and Helbrute units (not Daemon Princes or Cavalry, though) in Death Guard detachments gain this ability. Such units do not suffer a penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons, or for Advancing and firing Assault weapons. In addition, a unit with this ability can fire twice with Rapid Fire weapons at a range of 18", instead of only being able to fire twice with them up to half the weapon's maximum range. Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.
    • While this ability IS extremely good bear in mind its limitations.
      • The bonus that will get the most mileage is the extra Rapid Fire range as this affects Bolters, Autoguns, Plasma Guns and Combi-guns of all sorts for Infantry.
      • The bonus to Assault weapons affects Blight Launchers, which are 24 inch range and thus usually never need to advance, and Meltaguns, which love the bonus.
      • The bonus for Heavy Weapons only affects your Helbrutes, Blightlord Terminators with a Reaper Autocannon, and Heavy Stubber Chaos Cultists, since they're the only things with a heavy weapon, and supports you running a Melee+Ranged build so you can advance while still shooting or a pure ranged so you can reposition with no penalty. As of the Forgeworld FAQs, however, all the Chaos Dreads love this, especially the Leviathan dread.
  • Disgustingly Resilient: Not exclusive to the Death Guard, but most of your units have it. 'Feel No Pain' on a 5+.
  • Plague Host: Objective Secured, Death Guard edition (if Battle-forged), to all TROOPS, no matter how many fewer than the enemy.
  • Plague Weapon: A weapon that rerolls to-wound rolls of 1. Incidentally, a lot of your weapons are these.
  • Daemonic Ritual: Same as vanilla CSM, but locked to NURGLE DAEMON.
  • Death to the False Emperor: Just like vanilla CSMs, rolling a 6 to hit in close combat against units with the Keyword IMPERIUM, lets you perform a bonus attack using the same weapon, CODEX: DEATHGUARD Update Ver 1.4 states you may use a different profile for the weapon e.g. Mortarian using Silence. People usually tend to forget this one but seriously, this little friend could change a loss into a win.
  • Bolter Discipline: (Beta Rule): We 2nd Edition now. Astartes and Heretic Astartes models using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can take double the normal attacks (2 for bolters, 4 for storm bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
    • target is in half range (Inexorable Advance makes this 18" inches rather than half range)
    • if the model didn't move during the previous Movement Phase
    • if the model is a Terminator, Biker, Centurion, Dreadnought or Helbrute.
  • Hateful Assault: +1A if you charge, are charged or perform a heroic intervention. Features in the CSM ‘dex but affects all Heretic Astartes except for poxwalkers and cultists, so yay for us! Morty and Deathshroud will ADORE this.

Warlord Traits[edit]

Can be chosen freely, but if you have decision anxiety, roll a d6.

  1. Revoltingly Resilient: When using Disgustingly Resilient to resist a non-mortal wound, add +1 to the roll. Consider having your designated sawbones (Plague Surgeon) nearby, to boost this even further.
    • Better than Constitution against 1-damage attacks, but worse against multi-damage ones. It always depends on what army you'll be facing.
  2. Living Plague: Any unit within 3" of the Warlord at the start of any Fight phase takes a mortal wound on a 4+. Typhus comes stock with this one.
    • Not terrifying on its own, but it allows you to dish out YET more mortal wounds, on top of Typhus' innate ability and a potential Nurgle's Rot stratagem. Works very well on death stars. Makes MSU armies wilt but won't so much as tickle a horde army.
  3. Tainted Regeneration: Recover a wound at the start of each player's turn.
    • Very good if fighting against jack-of-all-trades armies, but not as good as Revoltingly Resilient against armies that like to annihilate one unit at a time with focus fire (looking at you, weeaboos).
  4. Hulking Physique: +1 to Toughness.
    • Generally bad compared to Revoltingly Resilient and terrible compared to Rotten Constitution, although it can be useful on a T5 model if you're trying to wade through S3 spam, such as lasguns on a conscript-spamming list.
  5. Rotten Constitution: Reduce all damage taken by 1, to a minimum of 1. Less damage taken means fewer chances for Disgustingly Resilient to fail, so it's an even bigger boost than it might look. As mortal wounds are inflicted one at a time, it won’t help versus those. Compared to revoltingly resilient this trait is better vs 2d and 3d weapons, equally good vs 4d and worse against all other. If you are in range of a plague surgeon or has a maxed epidemius buff on a daemon Prince, it is virtually identical on D3 weapons as well (1.22 vs 1.25 D taken per hit), so the choice isn’t obvious.
  6. Arch-Contaminator: Re-roll all failed wound rolls made with a Plague Weapon within 7" of your Warlord. Mortarion comes with this.
    • Blatantly the best of the bunch if you want your Warlord to be a force multiplier. Just sit a Chaos Lord (or Mortarion at that matter) with this trait on top of some Blight Launcher Plague Marines and Plagueburst Crawlers and watch the fireworks. Also makes almost every special close combat weapon (including bubotic axes which are hugely available across the codex) into lightning claws for free. In addition, does the same to blight grenades, meaning that this trait is essential for anyone planning to run a Biologis Putrifier. Add the appropriate relic to boost this to 10" and make Salamanders cry over how many more re-rolls you get than them.


Of course there are 14 (7x2) of them!

  1. Blasphemous Machines (1 CP): Use before a vehicle attacks in the shooting phase. Until the end of the phase, that vehicle can ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons or for advancing and firing. Identical to CSM version.
  2. Blight Bombardment (1 CP): Use before a friendly DEATH GUARD unit shoots or fires Overwatch; instead of only one model being able to use its Blight Grenades as usual, the whole unit can throw them at once. Hilarious when paired with the Foul Blightspawn and the Biologis Putrefier since they both buff blight grenades even further.
  3. Chaos Boon (1 CP): The infamous boon table returns from the CSM codex, now on 2d6 and triggered after a non-Daemon Prince CHARACTER kills any CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER in the Fight phase. A single CHARACTER can benefit from it multiple times, and duplicates turn into 7. Interestingly, Matched Play explicitly does not interfere with your Character transforming; the only restriction is that the transformed unit has to keep the Mark it started with (and since Death Guard can only use the Mark of Nurgle that won't be an issue). Since you can pick and choose who activates this, this is far better than what it used to be.
    • 2: Spawndom. Replace your character with one of the gribbly things, set up within 6" of his former position.
    • 3: All of the character's ranged weapons get a 6" range boost.
    • 4: +3 M
    • 5: +1 S
    • 6: +1 A
    • 7: Pick any result other than Spawndom or Daemonhood.
    • 8: Enemies targeting this character in the fight phase get -1 to hit rolls.
    • 9: +1 to all saving throws. Arguably the pick of the bunch when on a Terminator character like Typhus as it gives him a 1+ save (though remember that all rolls of 1 still fail, you're essentially just subtracting 1 from all AP characteristics) and a 3+ invuln. Make all AP -1 weapons cry. Sadly, doesn't affect Disgustingly Resilient as it's an 'ignore' instead of a 'save' rule.
    • 10: +1 T
    • 11: +1 W
    • 12: Daemonhood. As Spawndom, but replace the character with a Daemon Prince instead.
  4. Chaos Familiar of Nurgle (1CP): Use at the start of your Psychic Phase; a DEATH GUARD PSYKER can swap one power known for another from the Contagion discipline. Very situational, but it can be useful. As written, this allows you to swap Smite for an extra Contagion power.
  5. Cloud of Flies (1 CP): During your movement phase, select a DEATH GUARD INFANTRY unit. Until your next turn it cannot be the target of ranged attacks, unless they're the closest unit to the foe. This essentially gives your footsloggers the CHARACTER rule making them immune to shooting attacks. It pairs remarkably well with a unit or two of Nurglings, who can use their Mischief Makers ability to get right up close before the battle even begins. Possessed also love this, considering how vulnerable they are to ranged attacks.
    • As clarified by the FAQ, Cloud of Flies "wins" against the special rule on Sniper weapons that lets them ignore proximity when targeting CHARACTERs.
    • This cannot be used on units deep striking in at the end of a movement phase, because of the most recent FAQ, even though it is still the Movement Phase when it happens.
      • The FAQ entry states,
        • Q: If I set up a unit on the battlefield as reinforcements at the end of my Movement phase, can I then use any Stratagems that are used ‘during your Movement phase’?
        • A: No, unless the Stratagem specifically says otherwise
  6. Fire Frenzy (1 CP): Use on a Helbrute unit that did not move this turn. It may fire all its weapons twice but can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. Another CSM Stratagem and quite good. Consider a Helbrute with two gun arms to take advantage of this.
  7. Gifts of Decay (1 or 3 CP): Use before the start of the battle. You can have a second Relic of Decay for 1 CP, or 2 extra for 3 CP. All the Relics have to be different, and all have to go to different Characters.
  8. Grandfather's Blessing (2CP): Select a DEATH GUARD INFANTRY unit. One model heals d3 wounds. If there are no wounded models in the unit, a single model that was slain earlier in the battle is returned to the unit with 1 wound. You guessed it, another CSM copypaste. The nice part about this one is that you choose which model gets resurrected. Champion blew himself sky-high with his Plasma Gun? Give 'im a second chance.
  9. Killshot (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase if you have a Predator within 6" of 2 other Predators. Add 1 to the wound rolls and damage for all of its attacks against Monsters and Vehicles. Again, the same as CSMs and regular Space Marines by extension.
    • Now only effects baseline Predators, not Hellforged ones. Probably hard to coordinate fire with a shrieking daemon, but it still sucks to not have.
  10. Nurgle's Rot (3 CP): Use in the shooting phase, but only once per battle. Select a DEATH GUARD CHARACTER unit and roll a d6 for each enemy unit within 7" of them. On a 4+, the unit being rolled for suffers d3 mortal wounds. Note that this has no effect on units with the NURGLE keyword, so don't use it in mirror matches or against Nurgle Daemons. If the enemy makes the error of bunching up his units then you can punish them pretty hard with this mini nurgly nuke.
  11. Plague Pact (1 CP): Use this stratagem when a DEATH GUARD CHARACTER attempts to summon a unit of NURGLE DAEMONS to the battlefield using a daemonic ritual. The summoning roll uses 4 dice instead of 3, and your character will not suffer any mortal wounds for rolling doubles or triples (no word on what happens if you somehow roll quadruples). Make Word Bearers weep with how good this is. Considering how much cheaper Daemons have gotten, this makes summoning a lot more viable.
  12. Putrid Detonation (1 CP): Select a vehicle that's lost its last wound; it explodes with no need to roll for it. Useful for one last "fuck you" to the guy who destroyed your Land Raider with his Assault Terminators.
  13. The Dead Walk Again (1 CP): Use at the start of the movement phase. Pick a unit of Poxwalkers and change their Curse of the Walking Pox to the following: "Each time an Infantry (Non-Poxwalker units) model, friend or foe, is slain within 7″ of this unit, add one model to the unit." Pair up with a cultist blob to recycle your tarpit with ease.
    • RAW, this stratagem allows a dead model to be raised as a poxwalker in multiple different units, for example if a poxwalker kills a model, another unit (with stratagem), 7" away, can also gain that model. Note however, the same stratagem can only be used once per phase, so you would not encounter a situation in which two units both had curse of the walking pox active.
  14. Veteran of the Long War (1 CP): Select a DEATH GUARD INFANTRY unit. They add 1 to all their to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. Same as CSMs but still useful- especially when paired with Blades of Putrefaction.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Death March
1 VP if at least 3 Death Guard INFANTRY units are in your opponent's half of the board.
12 - Disgusting Devotions
1 VP if you passed at least 7 Disgustingly Resilient rolls this turn.
13 - Grandfather's Gift
1 VP if at least one enemy unit was destroyed, with the last model in the unit being slain by a Plague Weapon. Given how many of your best weapons are Plague Weapons, this should be trivial.
14 - Spread Contagion
Pick a CHARACTER. If he survives until the end of the game, you get 1 VP. Obviously, this should be your toughest character to ensure that he doesn't snuff it.
15 - Symbol of the Fly Lord
d3 VP if you control exactly 3 objectives by the end of the turn. No more, no less.
16 - Death Begets Life
Score 1 VP if you killed 7 models this turn, scoring an extra VP for every 7 models you kill after that. A maximum of 7 VP can be scored from this Tactical Objective in this way (from a total of 49 models killed in a turn). Almost certain to make you win if you're fighting a horde army.





  • Autogun - 24" Rapid Fire 1 S3 AP0. Got better with Inexorable Advance.
  • Boltgun - 24" Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0. As mentioned above, that extra 6" of Rapid Fire range is a bigger difference than it looks.
  • Blight grenade - Frag Grenade (6" Grenade 1d6 S3 AP0 D1) that rerolls 1s To Wound. Just about every unit in your army that would normally take Frag Grenades gets these instead, and they can be buffed from a surprising variety of sources.
  • Krak grenade - 6" Grenade 1 S6 AP-1 D d3, always better than the bolt pistol/gun shot it replaces.
  • Blight launcher - 24" Assault 2 S6 AP-2 D d3 plague weapon. A hard-hitting anti-infantry weapon that's also good against light vehicles. It can very well substitute plasma weapons if you want some more range in exchange with AP. It also has some really nice combo with Arch Contaminator. Now four points cheaper thanks to Chapter Approved!
  • Plague Belcher - 9" Assault D6 S4 AP0 D1. Standard flamer with an extra inch of range and the plague weapon special rule. Don't underestimate that extra inch- it'll let you Overwatch more effectively than a basic flamer. (Deep-strike charges Deep striking units need to be placed outside of 9" so this flamer still cannot hit)
  • Plague Spewer - Same as the Plague Belcher but with heavy D6 S5 and AP-1. The plague equivalent of the heavy flamer. Stronger, but keep in mind that you still can't shoot it after advancing, which is pretty important given your slow movement. It also comes at an ungodly price.
  • Plasma Gun - 24" Rapid Fire 1 S7 AP-3 D1 or S8 AP-3 D2 and you die if you roll a 1. You know it, you love it. Say goodbye to anything but the toughest units. The decision here is whether you want the launcher, to rip apart infantry units, or plasma for those pesky tanks and TEQ's. Remember that you can also fire it twice if you are within 18".
  • Meltagun - 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D d6. If you're within half range, roll two damage dice and take the highest. One of the very few options the Death Guard have in dealing with large, tough units. Their pitiful range is somewhat mitigated by your ability to run and shoot them every turn with no penalty. Consider packing a model or two with a Great Plague Cleaver or Mace of Contagion, as you must be in charge range to use them anyway. Rhino delivery system optional, but recommended.


  • Plague Knife - A basic CCW with the Plague Weapon special rule. It’s free, so shut up and take it.
  • Plaguesword - A straight upgrade for your Plague Champions, stolen Gifted from a Plaguebearer. Like a Plague Knife, but rerolls all failed To Wound rolls instead. It's cheap at least...?
  • Bubotic Axe - S+1 AP-2 D1, standard power axe but with the Plague Weapon special rule.
  • Balesword - S: User, AP-3 D1, so a power sword, but, you guessed it, with Plague Weapon special rule. Note that this is the only plague weapon that the standard Chaos Lord can have.
  • Power Fist - You know it, you love it. -1 To Hit, but doubles your Strength, has AP-3 and deals D3 damage. Your Plague Champions seem to have a fetish for them, but a Chaos Lord can use them, too.
  • Flail of Corruption - The new hotness. Up to 2 Plague Marines per squad and 1 in 5 Blightlord Terminators can take these babies. D3 hit rolls per attack, S+2, AP-2, D2, Plague Weapon, and any excess damage it causes rolls over between targets, a tasty morsel of crunch very few units can get, so it has the best of all worlds: Lots of attacks, high AP and damage, and it's not a waste to use against single-wound models. Practically auto-include on anything that wants into melee, really. Pretty sad that characters cannot take it but whatever, perfection is Slaanesh's thing anyway.
    • Designed for fucking over GEQs. S+2 means you're S6 (wounding on 2s), AP-2 means they don't get a Save and the Damage carrying over means that W1 doesn't mean shit.
  • Great Plague Cleaver - A Power Fist but with Plague Weapon and D6 damage. The main reasons not to take it are its horrendous points cost and the fact that only Plague Marines with their paltry single attack can take one. Best skip this, though cleaving a tank in two could be fun. It would be better if Champions had a fetish for this weapon instead of the Power Fist.
    • Alternate Take: The Death Guard don't really have any other options for dealing with close-range melee juggernaut units like Dreadnoughts or Monstrous Creatures outside of the very expensive Deathshroud. While Meltaguns can do alright, they don't really work if the squad gets locked in melee (and considering how slow your units are, you will get locked in melee). The Great Plague Cleaver can actually do fantastic work against these kinds of units, provided it's properly supported with a Tallyman or Lord. Combined with a Power Fist and some Plague Knife dudes to eat wounds, your Cleavers can work wonders as a counter-charge unit, dealing with those hard-hitting single units with ease. Combine it with Blades of Putrefaction and Veterans of the Long War and laugh as you smash chunks of wounds off of these units with a unit that costs a fraction of the price.
  • Mace of Contagion - A flat 3 damage, S and AP buffs and, since it comes paired with a Bubotic Axe, also bestows a second attack. The downside is the -1 To Hit, but when hit rolls are that important, you just use the Axe instead. A bit expensive to swing both around, though.
  • Manreaper - For a reasonable price we got a S+3 AP-3 Dd3 Plague weapon. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.
  • Plaguereaper - S+2 AP-3 D3 plague weapon, only Lord of Contagion can have it, but given his hefty price he is probably better off with a Manreaper anyway.
    • It's now only 3 points more than the Manreaper, so if you need the flat 3 damage, go for it

Relics of Decay[edit]

Note that Relics no longer cost points. Instead, you get a single free relic per army (if it is battleforged), and can pay CP to get 1-2 more. However, you can't put more than one relic on one guy. Also, because they mostly replace weapons, you can't give most of them to Daemon Princes.

  • Plaguebringer: Replaces a plague knife, plaguesword, or balesword. SUser, AP-2, D3, Plague Weapon, and a 6+ to wound causes an extra mortal wound. Actually has worse AP than the balesword it could possibly replace, but if you want to improve the melee capability of a Biologis Putrifier, it's a flat upgrade over the free plague knife you could already take. Not so great in other situations, but of particular note when combined with the Blades of Putrefaction power (a termi sorcerer can wield this by replacing a power sword, or you can always buff the wielder with a separate caster); in that case, it will deal 1 mortal wound when you roll a 5 on the die, and 2 when you roll a 6.
  • The Suppurating Plate: Grants a 2+ armor save, and in the Fight phase, if the bearer passes a save, the unit that caused the saved wound takes a mortal wound on a 4+. GW has noted that against melee tarpits such as Ork Boyz, this leads to an amusing game of "quit hitting yourself" that combos very nicely with a Daemon Prince's T6, 8 wounds, and Disgustingly Resilient. Also, remember that the wearer of the plate deals mortal wounds on any successful save, including invulnerable ones, which is going to ruin hordes and tarpits when combined with the "quit hitting yourself" effect. Just remember, only saves trigger it - the higher your toughness, the less often it will go off, because fewer wounds will reach your save.
  • The Pandemic Staff: Psykers only. Adds +1 to Psychic tests to manifest Smite. A flat buff that lets you inflict more mortal wounds, especially on a Malignant Plaguecaster, since it makes it easier to get that 7+.
    • Takes the wielder's average output from 1.79 mortal wounds to 2.08, on top of making him harder to Deny and triggering the Malignant Plaguecaster's special rule more frequently.
  • The Dolorous Knell: Noxious Blightbringer only. At the start of the morale phase, roll a d6 for every enemy unit within 7"; on a 6, that unit takes a mortal wound. Additionally, when taking morale tests within that range, the opponent must roll 2d6 and discard the lowest. Perfect for when you need just one little push to make a squad break.
  • Fugaris' Helm: Improves the range of aura-based abilities ON THE CHARACTER'S DATASHEET (now errata'd to include warlord traits, etc) by 3". As most of your auras are 7", this will boost them to an impressive 10", while it will effectively double the auras of most of your Elites slot characters. Also covers your plague ridden face, making you feel pretty.
    • Consider combining this with the Living Plague warlord trait, as it will double said trait's range.
  • Plague Skull of Glothila: A 7" Grenade 1 weapon that can only be used once per battle. If it hits, roll a d6 for each model in the unit that was hit, re-rolling 1s - on a 6, the unit takes a mortal wound, for each 6 rolled. Effectively a single-use Plague Wind that doesn't need a psychic test and is more likely to cause mortal wounds, thanks to that built-in re-roll, so use it on that 50-man conscript blob and watch it melt into disgusting goo.
    • It goes without saying this should only go on a BS2+ model, preferably that re-rolls 1s/misses, as you really, really need this weapon to hit the one time you throw it, if you're going to use it. Assuming it's a Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince throwing this thing, its expected output against that 50-man conscript blob is 9.45 mortal wounds, which gets worse as the target unit's model count goes down, so use judiciously.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Keep in mind that you may choose or roll on the tables below!

Contagion Discipline[edit]

  1. Miasma of Pestilence - Warp Charge 6. Select a visible friendly DEATH GUARD unit within 18". Any attack that targets that unit is at -1 to hit. Note that overwatch hit rolls cannot be modified in any way, so you can't become immune to Tau shenanigans. However, this can cause overcharged plasma shots to overheat on 2s (including in Overwatch), so there's that. With Deathshroud and Blightlord Terminators, this spell will be absolutely horrifying, as it makes the unit you target not so much immune to plasma as it makes opponents shooting them with plasma spontaneously combust even more motivated to fire on safe mode, and thus increase your 'nators durability even further. Alternatively, throw this on one of the FW flyers that you've given a Mark of Nurgle to and laugh as your opponent pathetically attempts to take it down when they have a -2 to hit it; even dedicated anti-aircraft weapons will struggle.
  2. Gift of Contagion - Warp Charge 7. Select a visible enemy unit within 18" and debuff them with either -1 Attack, Strength, or Toughness (randomly rolled for.) Since you can't pick and choose which of these happens, this isn't as impressive as it could be. That said, if you plan on going into melee with the target unit anyway, any result is going to be useful to some extent.
  3. Plague Wind - Warp Charge 5. Select an enemy unit within 18" and roll a die for each model in the unit; 6s cause mortal wounds. Effectively, this won't ever do much, but as it is one of the very, VERY few things left that scale with target unit size, you should take this if you are seeing tarpits on the other side of the table. And hey, what other Warp Charge 5 power can kill 8 Conscripts (assuming a 48-50 man blob) on average?
  4. Blades of Putrefaction - Warp Charge 5. Oh my, this thing. Choose a visible friendly DEATH GUARD unit within 18" and add 1 to all wound rolls it makes in the fight phase. Rolls of 7+ using melee plague weapons inflict a mortal wound. Stab that Land Raider with a rusty knife! It is probably the most synergistic power in the entire codex, since nearly every cool weapon we have is also a plague weapon.
  5. Putrescent Vitality- Warp Charge 6. A visible friendly DEATH GUARD INFANTRY unit gains +1S and +1T. Unlike other buff spells, this one affects units and not models, so use it on those Poxwalkers and make them undying. (You did bring Typhus, didn't you?)
  6. Curse of the Leper- Warp Charge 7. If manifested, roll 7d6. The closest enemy unit within 14" takes a mortal wound for each roll that exceeds its toughness characteristic. It might not have the potential to cause more mortal wounds than Plague Wind (and won't work at all on units with T6 or higher for obvious reasons), but it's more reliable against units with lower toughness. Like, just as an arbitrary example, the ones that have been debuffed by Gift of Contagion or Mortarion's aura. Generally speaking, only better than Smite against T3 or below; if the caster is carrying the Pandemic Staff, only better against T2 or below (after debuffs, of course).

Unit Analysis[edit]

All units without rules that are listed here can be assumed to use the equivalent Chaos Space Marines rules, with Death Guard replacing the <LEGION> keyword and NURGLE as its <MARK OF CHAOS>, as well as any special rules applicable to the Death Guard replacing the Legion Trait.

  • Important Note on Psykers!: While you're generally better off taking Codex versions of the Daemon Prince and the various non-Plaguecaster Sorcerers, there is one very specific circumstance where you might want the index one instead--they use the Dark Hereticus Discipline, while even the otherwise copy-paste entries in the Codex use Contagion. While most of the Contagion powers are probably better for the Death Guard, certain Dark Hereticus powers (coughWarptimecough) can be VERY helpful. It's also worth noting that when the CSM codex was released, GW specifically said that Psykers from Index: Chaos can use the expanded Dark Hereticus list from Codex: CSM (Magnus was listed as an example) just in case you wanted to be That Guy and cast Diabolic Strength on Mortarion.


See this ruling for an explanation, but you use Codex datasheets with Index points values when both datasheets exist but you're using wargear only available from the Index, and Index datasheets when the Codex datasheet doesn't exist, with Codex points values for wargear when available. This is relevant to multiple HQ choices who lost options when the Codex came out.

  • Daemon Prince - Note the difference from the Daemon Prince of Nurgle, below; the name change does not matter, because the Daemon Prince is an Index model that is overridden by Codex:Chaos Space Marines and Codex:Thousand Sons datasheets. However, to get a Daemon Prince with the Dark Hereticus powers you can run one from the aforementioned codices. Compared to the Nurgle version, hasn't got Disgustingly Resilient, but can take a Warp Bolter (which is where it will come up that he won't get Inexorable Advance - Death Guard are the only Legion who don't share their trait with their Demon Princes).
  • Daemon Prince of Nurgle - Buffs himself, Death Guard, and Nurgle Daemons the same way a Chaos Lord buffs their Legion. Also a seriously powerful melee character who, thanks to his Wound count, can still hide behind your dudes. Same as the CSM version, but with Disgustingly Resilient. The FAQ specified that it can take wings for 24 pts. Can now bring a Plague Spewer (if using a sword and one claw), which makes up for not having a Warp Bolter, but still doesn't get Inexorable Advance, because Death Guard are bad at trait sharing; because the weapon automatically hits, this doesn't actually matter, but it's still massive derp. Must also follow the Contagion discipline (which is great when you want to cast the -1 to hit spell on him). Remember that this unit is Death Guard specific.
  • Chaos Lord - Your "basic bitch" with a "reroll 1s To Hit"-aura that especially your plasma guns like. Same stats as CSM version, but replaces frag grenades with blight grenades. Interestingly he can take a Balesword, but none of the other new Nurgle-only melee weapons. It's also probably one of the better options for him, since with Arch-Contaminator this is basically a Lightning Claw with better AP for two points less.
    • Chaos Lord Jump Pack - Don't let the Codex fool you, you can use the Index to pay to put a jump pack on this guy.
    • Chaos Lord on Palanquin of Nurgle - Index datasheet, with Codex points values for wargear (use the Index points value for the model itself). Because it is CAVALRY, it also won't get Inexorable Advance.
    • Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour - Same as a standard Chaos Lord, but with -1" M, +1 W and +1 Sv. He can do a pretty good thing that his little brother can't: deep strike. Blightlords are going to thank you, especially if you give him Arch-Contaminator as well. A balesword is pretty good on this guy too for the same exact reason as above.
  • Sorcerer - Unless fielded with a Palanquin, he uses Contagion instead of Dark Hereticus.
    • Sorcerer with Jump Pack: Still legal, but has to use Contagion.
    • Sorcerer on Palanquin of Nurgle - Index datasheet, with Codex points values for wargear (use the Index points value for the model itself). As a result, this is your only Sorcerer who can use Dark Hereticus; because it is CAVALRY, it also won't get Inexorable Advance.
    • Sorcerer in Terminator Armour - Got a massive price cut in Chapter Approved, but still vastly inferior to what Typhus can bring to the table. Typhus is tougher, stronger in melee, a better Psyker, and buffs your units more. Yeah. Take only if you already have Typhus and for some reason don't want a Daemon Prince.
  • Lord of Contagion - Your generic Nurgle-blessed Chaos Lord, with a Plaguereaper/Manreaper, Cataphractii armor, the ability to deep strike, and the Disgustingly Resilient rule, but without the re-roll aura. Like Typhus, he has the Nurgle's Gift aura instead, which allows all Death Guard models within 7" to cause mortal wounds to units they are in melee with on a 4+. They've gotten cheaper and can now take a Manreaper, so they may be worth taking if you're fine with a less shooty HQ than a Chaos Lord. Inexplicably, they've lost wargear options in their promotion from Deathshroud Terminators, and can't take 1 or 2 Plaguespurt Gauntlets.
    • Since Nurgle's Gift triggers at the start of your turn, it is best suited to counter units who charged the previous turn. Put this guy near a Blightspawn if you absolutely don't want a certain unit to be charged.
    • Plaguereapers cost nearly double what a Manreaper does, for -1S (7->6), in exchange for, on average, *1.5 (+1) damage. Think carefully before you spend the points on buying a Plaguereaper.
      • As of Chapter Approved 2018, Plaguereapers are now only 3 points more than Manreapers, meaning the choice between the two now largely depends on what you want him to do. While Manreapers will cause more wounds against T6 and T7, Plaguereapers will demolish multi-wound heavy infantry (like Tyranid Warriors or Terminators) as the flat 3 Damage means that every wound that gets through will kill something.
      • Note that dropping from S7 to S6 only makes a difference against T6, T7, T12, and T13.
  • Malignant Plaguecaster - Nurgle-themed Sorcerer with a corrupted staff (force staff), blight grenades, and Disgustingly Resilient. He knows Smite and two Contagion powers. Every time he rolls a 7+ on his psychic test, the closest enemy unit within 7" takes a mortal wound, which makes him fantastic in short-ranged firefights, same as the Plague Marines. Keep him in Grenade range and he can unleash a Blight Grenade, Smite, either a buff, debuff, or yeet more Mortal Wounds, and then 2 Mortal Wounds from his ability for casting twice. That's quite a lot of dakka, most of which also works in melee.
    • Remember the Pestilential Fallout occurs after the power is resolved. Don't Smite the enemy within 7" and go denying yourself a "free" Mortal Wound.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Typhus - Grossest living mortal being in the galaxy. Incredibly tanky with a 2+/4++ (with Cataphractii armor, which halves his Advance rolls), the Disgustingly Resilient rule, and six wounds. He gives all Poxwalkers within 7" of him Strength 4 and Toughness 4, as well as blessing any Death Guard models within 7" of him with the ability to cause mortal wounds to units they are in combat with on a 4+, which conveniently stacks with his own Living Plague Warlord Trait. His Destroyer Hive is now a Pistol 2d6 weapon with S4 and AP-3 that always hits on a 5+ (even on Overwatch!), and he knows Smite and two Contagion powers in addition to his S+3 AP-3 D3 MASTER CRAFTED MANRAPER. He can also teleport. He is quite versatile, allowing you to putting him on foot along with poxwalkers and plague marines for a huge blob of nasty space AIDS or send him deepstriking along with blight lords and every good thing you can think. You can also pair him with a chaos lord in terminator armor or a Lord of Contagion and give them the role of general and Arch Contaminator, making Typhus even more killy.
    • Though it may be slightly unfluffy, he pairs exceedingly well with Necrosius. Give Necrosius Arch Contaminator and he will do the job of a Chaos Lord, while buffing Poxwalkers even further.
    • Also note that he shares 3 faction keywords with Abaddon - Chaos, Heretic Astartes, and Nurgle. Did anyone mention the Warmaster in a Death Guard army?

Forge World[edit]

  • Necrosius the Undying - Necrosius lost his Plague Zombies in favor of Poxwalkers which is not super surprising. T5 W6 A4 Ld9 and a 3+/4++ save. Has Death to the False Emperor and Disgustingly Resilient. Buffs friendly units with THE TAINTED keyword by adding 1 to their to hit rolls during the fighting phase (if you take him in Death Guard, he only buffs himself and Mamon Transfigured). Also buffs Poxwalker units by allowing them to reroll results of 1 for their Disgustingly Resilient rolls. However unfluffy and abhorrent, combining this with Typhus's +1S/+1T to Poxwalkers buff would be a very interesting combination. He can cast two powers a turn, can attempt to deny 3 psychic powers in each enemy phase (cool!), and knows three psychic powers from the Contagion discipline (also cool!).
  • Mamon Transfigured - Named Daemon Prince, but only allows re-rolling misses of 1 in the Fight Phase for THE TAINTED. Has two melee weapons, a kick that really excels at murdering high-wound infantry (it deals 3 more damage to them) but is also his best bet against most targets, and a punch that can also deal mortal wounds. The punch is usually worse, but has some very specific niche use-cases, like murdering Knights, or against stuff with high-level invulns. Also has an auto-hitting 9" Pistol 2D3 S* AP-1 D1 weapon that wounds non-vehicles on a 2+ and Vehicles on a 6+. Not particularly great at face value.
    • Amusingly, despite his weapons being called 'Contagion Spray', 'Pustulant Stomp', and 'Fist of Decay' (all of which include names of nurglite illnesses), not of of them is a plague weapon, which makes him a little less reliable at wounding in cc than the other big hitters in the Death Guard (I wonder who we could mean...). Despite this, he still hits at S8 or S9, so it's kinda mitigated.
    • Alternate Opinion: He may not be great at face value, but when you dig a little deeper, you realise that this is one of the hidden gems of the forge world rules sets, one of the nigh-mythical Forge World units that hit very hard without being insanely overcosted (looking at you, mastodon). First, when you factor in that he only costs 200 points, he immediately becomes a lot better; for that, you get a high toughness, 5+ invuln, along with DR, (and a 3+ armour save if he’s near a blight hauler and in a building) making him extremely durable, and with the fact that he's below W10 meaning that he can't be shot at unless he's the nearest unit (and as you're likely to be spamming poxwalkers anyway) making him a tough customer for your opponent to deal with. His Spray wounding everything except vehicles on 2s is hilarious considering the sheer number of units that aren’t vehicles, including all named characters and tyranid bio-titans (yes, this guy wounds bio titans on 2s in the shooting phase). His fist dealing additional wounds at S9 but only being ap -1 is invaluable against armies with non-infantry units that have very high toughness and invuln saves like Knights (who, incidentally, are the most popular ally for imperial armies), and his kick is excellent against TEQs and named characters (barring primarchs and nids), all while allowing himself (and others around him if you choose them to have The Tainted keyword in addition to Death Guard) to Reroll hit rolls of 1 in the fight phase. At power 9 he's also quite easy to summon using Daemonic Ritual, preventing him from being targeted down and essentially meaning he can deep strike so long as your Psyker is nearby. So, a mini great unclean one that can deepstrike and hits like a rape train in shooting and melee? Yes please. In short, he's the middle ground between Typhus' force multiplication and Mortarion's "Imma gon' kill EVERYTHING". Use him for taking down the enemy's warlord and his elite bodyguard, or for showing the middle finger to the guy who deepstriked his unit beside that "lone" sorcerer.
  • Cor'bax Utterblight: - He's a tough customer, even for Nurgle characters. T8, 12 wounds, 5++, Disgustingly Resilient that gets buffed to 4+ if hit by anything that does 1 damage (pair with the revoltingly resilient warlord trait for 3+ disgustingly resilient against 1 damage weapons). Offensively, he has no ranged weapons, but in melee he hits at S6 dealing 3 damage at -3AP with his main weapon but each hit of a 6 becomes 3, which is nasty... and then gets D6 more attacks at S2 AP0 D1 from his worms after he's done swinging. But wait - that's not all, because when he charges, enemies within an inch of him take a mortal wound a 2+. Oh, and he also ignores movement penalties caused by terrain for his charge rolls, and dishes out D6 mortal wounds to any unit within D6" on a 4+ if he dies. Sounds great, but once he starts taking damage (which will hapen as he's a Character with more than 10 wounds), he starts losing some serious speed; therefore, better to summon him, especially as he can't hit back at range as he doesn't have ranged weapons - he's juuuust at the point where summoning him is doable at PL12. He's a great way to fit a GUO into your army when it's otherwise not allowed.


  • Noxious Blightbringer - A debuff machine with a plasma pistol, Disgustingly Resilient, a cursed plague bell (D2 poisoned close combat weapon), and blight grenades. Units within 7" of him are at -1 Leadership, and friendly Death Guard models in the same radius roll 2d6 and pick the highest when Advancing (which is the reason to take him). Would not be surprising to see this model proxied as a Plaguecaster, as it looks magnificent. Being Elite, the Blightbringer also doesn't eat into your HQ budget. That said, being Elite he also doesn't help you fill HQ slots.
  • Foul Blightspawn - 77 points, 5″, WS/BS 3+, Strength 4, Toughness 5, 3 Attacks, 4 wounds, Leadership 8, 3+ save. His weapon, the Plaguesprayer, is a 9" Assault 1d6 S2d6 AP-3 D3 Plague Weapon that autohits like a flamer, which means that with a good enough roll for its S and number of shots it can trash anything from MEQs to vehicles. The Unholy Death's Head grenade he carries can be used by him (or another friendly DEATH GUARD Character within 3" of him) to upgrade their Blight Grenade/Hyper Blight Grenade to Grenade 2d6 once per game. He's no slouch in assault either, due to his ability Revolting Stench (yep his power is stinking). It causes enemy units within 7" of him to lose the ability to fight first in the Fight phase, even if they charged or have rules that would otherwise allow them to fight first. For glass cannon melee units that rely on being the first to strike in the Fight phase to compensate for their poor durability (like Daemonettes, Howling Banshees, and Emperor's Children Chaos Space Marines), this can leave them defenseless at the worst possible time.
    • If you want to go hunt monsters and tanks with him to make the most of his Plaguesprayer's high damage, I'd recommend putting him near a Warlord with the Arch-Contaminator trait. You've got a 40% chance with T7 and a 68% chance with T8 to wound on 5s. Otherwise he's best suited to take care of medium-to-low toughness units with multiple wounds, like Characters or Terminators.
    • Here is a table showing the overall to-wound chance of the Plaguesprayer vs. various toughness values. Note that as a plague weapon it rerolls wound rolls of 1, and in range of the Arch-Contaminator aura it rerolls all failed wound rolls. This is important to keep in mind whether you are fielding this model yourself or playing against someone who is; the random 2d6 Strength characteristic obfuscates how hard this thing hits. At the tabletop, think of it as somewhere between a Plasma and a Melta weapon.
Plaguesprayer To-Wound Chance
Toughness 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 16
Regular 95.1% 89.7% 80.5% 71.8% 63.2% 56.7% 49.2% 44.3% 38.3% 24.8%
Arch-Contaminator 96.1% 93.2% 87.7% 82.5% 75.8% 70.6% 63.3% 59.1% 53.0% 37.5%
  • Biologus Putrifier - Same stats as the Foul Blightspawn. He's only got a plague knife for melee, and his shooting leaves much to be desired- sure, his Injector Pistol is S4 AP-1 D6 damage (1 against vehicles), but it has a pathetic 3" range. It's his grenades that make him worth it: his Hyper Blight Grenades are S4 instead of S3, deal 2 damage, and inflict an extra mortal wound on a wound roll of 6- and any other friendly Death Guard units within 3" get their blight grenades upgraded in the same way. As an added bonus, when killed he explodes like a vehicle on a 4+, inflicting a mortal wound on any non-NURGLE units within 7" of him.
    • It doesn't take a genius to figure out that pairing his Hyper Blight Grenades with the Foul Blightspawn's Unholy Death's Head is a combo that's highly effective for its cost. The combination is also strongly supported by the fluff for good measure.
    • This also goes very well with the Stratagem that lets you throw an ass-load of blight grenades in one shooting attack.
      • Also, while the "ass load of grenades" stratagem is great, you don't necessarily have to do this all the time. Each unit can throw one grenade and the dozens of HQ characters and mini Elite slot characters that DG armies will no doubt end up running, can each throw a blight grenade. So the bulk of your army may well be able to throw half a dozen grenades in a single shooting phase without even using a stratagem.
  • Plague Surgeon - Dr. pimple popper. It's ironic that out of all the Traitor Legions, it was the Death Guard of all people that kept their Apothecaries. Like their Loyalist counterparts, they're mainly intended for support, but instead of reviving dead units, they allow re-rolling 1s for Disgustingly Resilient rolls for Infantry units within 3" of them. This may seem underwhelming, but since the benefit is per unit he can buff an entire Poxwalker blob if he's near only one model of them. He also adds 1 to all his hit and wound rolls when targeting ADEPTUS ASTARTES Infantry and Bikers in the fight phase; while it may seem like a bad idea to get him stuck in, he carries a Balesword (a Plague Weapon equivalent of a Power Sword), so he can actually hold his own in close combat with the right support (like that Poxwalker blob he's buffing, for example). It is needed to point out however that his bonus is not as big as it could sound, increasing a 33.333% probability to shake off a wound to a 38%.
  • Tallyman - The mortal version of a Spoiled Scrivener and Epidemius. A cheap (62 points (55 as of CA 2018)) Dark Apostle-like unit that allows friendly Death Guard within 7" of him to reroll failed hit rolls in the fight phase, but since he only has a plasma pistol and grenades he should probably be kept out of melee himself. His other, odder gimmick is called Seven-fold Chant- every time you use a Death Guard-specific Stratagem with a Tallyman in your Battle-Forged army, roll 2d6; on a 7, you don't spend the CP used for the Stratagem. While this is a nice bonus, you shouldn't count on it actually triggering all that often since it only activates on a specific number - specifically, your odds of this happening are 1 in 6. Still, he's cheap enough to be worth using even with the unreliability of Seven-fold Chant. Just think of him as a more cost effective Dark Apostle (since he's cheaper, his reroll radius is 1" wider, and you really don't need the Leadership buff on your Fearless Poxwalkers anyway) and he's worth it even without the Chant.
  • Deathshroud Terminators - A returning favorite from the Death Guard's 30k version, and still a potent bodyguard after 10,000 years. Even more sluggish than the rest of the Death Guard due to their Cataphractii Terminator Armor reducing them to 4" of movement and cutting Advance rolls in half, but they can deep strike to make up for it. Between their 2+/4++, their ability to intercept hits for Death Guard Characters within 3" (hits not wounds, meaning they still can take their 2+/4++ and Disgustingly Resilient saves), Disgustingly Resilient, having two wounds, and adding an extra attack to any nearby Death Guard Characters (except for Mortarion), they're practically a requirement for keeping your Warlord as indestructible as possible. In battle, they're no slouches themselves, thanks to their Manreapers and Plaguespurt Gauntlets (a Hand Flamer, but Pistol 1d6, not 1d3). They also cost A LOT. (Actually as of December 2017 Chapter Approved they are now 35 ppm, I guess GW needs to sell an expensive kit.) You'd better find a way to send them into close combat (a chaos sorcerer with jump pack and warp time could help).
    • A good way to get these guys into combat is deep strike them with a unit in-between them and their target, use Cloud of Flies and move + charge next turn. No longer an option since the spring FAQ; Cloud of Flies can only be used during the own movement phase. Deep strike happens at the end of the movement phase.
    • Or if you don't mind using a chaos list add a detachment with a regular old chaos sorcerer and drop a warptime on them. No longer an option since the spring FAQ; deep striking units cannot move for any reason, including via warptime.
    • Deathshrouds may be incredibly expensive, but it does pay to look at what you're getting with these. The Manreapers are effectively Power Fists without a To-Hit penalty, striking at S8 re-rolling 1s, AP-3, and D3. These things will cleave through any tank you point them at, never mind what they'll do to Primaris Marines and other tough multi-wound infantry. And unlike, say, Custodes, who easily get bogged down in numbers, their Plaguespurt Gauntlets provide an answer to that problem.
      • To put these guys in perspective, a squad of 6 of them can easily kill Girlyman in a single turn, delivering 9 wounds. Alternatively, with a bit of psychic support from a Malignant Plaguecaster (Blades of Putrefaction + Putrescent Vitality on the Deathshroud), they can down a Knight in 1 turn, dealing 24 wounds. Prescience them for a 2+ to-hit with DTTFE triggering on 5's. Now the train runs on whole grain imported from Lordaeron.
  • Blightlord Terminators - While the Deathshroud is best suited to acting as a bodyguard, the Blightlords act more like classic Chaos Terminators with a few Nurglite twists. Like the Deathshroud, they've got Cataphractii armor with all the benefits and drawbacks that brings them, but instead of buffing Characters, they treat their melee attacks as having -1AP on a 6 to wound (e.g. AP-2 becomes AP-3). While they don't get Manreapers, they can equip just about anything else a Plague Marine can use, as well as Reaper Autocannons, allowing them to fill any kind of niche. Also interesting is that they can take Combi-Weapons, including Combi-Plasma. And there is something to be said for a full squad of Combi-Plasma that can double-tap from 18" away.
    • something to note, with the combo of Veterans of the Long War, Blades of Putrefaction and their Aura of Rust these guys get the bonus AP on a 4+ and are causing bonus mortal wounds on a 5+.
  • Possessed - You might be tempted to skip past these blokes, but not so fast. Thanks to their two wounds and Daemon save, they are actually about as tough as normal Plague Marines, even though they lack the Disgustingly Resilient rule both the plague marine hosting the daemon and the daemon itself have to make the Possessed. D3 attacks with what amounts to Power Axes is only slightly inferior (6/7) to a Plague Marine with a Bubotic Axe. In this comparison, the Possessed are cheaper and faster, deal almost as much damage, and can be affected by a Herald of Nurgle if you're willing to include one. Small units of them are both cheap and effective, both as melee units and as distractions, and every round they take is not directed at your Blight Launchers.
  • Helbrute -You know it, you love it. These are your Dreadnought equivalents and you can kit them to just about anything, but between inexorable advance and their weapon options, you're probably going to go ranged. 7 Power Level because of course we needed another number 7. By default it comes with a fist and a multi melta. The melta can be swapped for a variety of ranged weapons including twin heavy bolters for horde munching, reaper autocannons for threatening tougher stuff at a distance, plasma cannons that are always overcharged, and for long range anti tank it's your best source of lascannons and missile launchers. Alternately the gun arm can become a second fist arm, adding 1 to the number of attacks it can make and coming with an underslung combi bolter that you can upgrade to a heavy flamer. Meanwhile the fist arm can be swapped for a missile launcher or a mix of melee weapons including a hammer which, compared to the fist loses its underslung gun and takes a -1 to hit penalty, but has 1 more AP and rolls D6 for damage, but since it has the same strength you shouldn't bother, the fists will be more consistent. Another melee option is the power scourge which makes three attacks on its own even if you make all your other attacks with a different weapon and hits like an overcharged plasma with 1 less AP. While Helbrutes can be nasty in melee, you're really going to want to kit them for range because lascannons and missile launchers are some of the longest range weapons this army has, and the Helbrute can have both for less than 150 points. In case Helbrutes weren't great enough to take just with their wargear, they also can fire on the move without penalty, have a stratagem that lets them double tap if they don't move, and every phase in which they take damage they roll a D6 and on a 6 they get a free round of shooting attacks if they're not in combat, or melee attacks if they are. Never leave home without one, and consider taking more.
    • Alternate opinion: Even though it seems to be great, you might want to not take them after all. Twin lascannon and missile launcher are good anti-tank weapons, but not for us, we are not gunline army. 3 shoots hitting everything on 3s and wounding most of enemy vehicles on 3+ isn't that great after all, and you can't really modify outcome in any reliable way. You might get lucky and shoot down Leman Russ in 1 turn, or you might not do anything at all for entire game (or those 2 rounds that Helbrute last for). Not having Disgustingly Resilient and invulnerable save makes you very fragile, and this is exactly what you shouldn't be as Death Guard
      • Alternate Alternate Opinion: as of Chapter Approved 2018 these are now dirt cheap and can bring some very nasty weapons to the board with Fire Frenzy. Might be worth a look.

Forge World[edit]

  • Chaos Decimator - 8th edition has shown our favorite pseudo-dreadnought some real love. Movement is a fast 10" with WS 3+ BS 3+, S7, T7, W8, A5, SV 3+ 5++ with no degeneration as wounds go down. You regenerate a wound at the start of each of your turns, and gain +1 attack if you keep both melee weapons on. It still has all of its old weapon loadouts while sadly losing its cool flamer special rule from 7e. Stock Claw is +2S AP-3 D3 with a Hellflamer doing Heavy D6 S5 AP-1 D2 Auto Hits. The Decimator Storm Laser is as you would expect from last edition, 24" Assault 5 S6 AP-2 D1. The once horrible Soulburner Petard now has some real use with 24" Assault 2D3 S- AP0 D1, causing auto MORTAL wounds on successful hits, while to hit rolls of 1 cause Mortal wounds to the Decimator. It states that you cannot take more than 1 mortal wound a turn via this rule, so you are fairly safe using it due to your regeneration. Butcher Cannon is still reliable with 36" Heavy 4 S8 AP-1 D2 causing -2 LD to enemy unit should a casualty be sustained. C-beam Cannon has also gotten some new life, 72" Heavy 1 S6 Ap-3 D3, you gain +2S and +D3 for every 24" you are away from the target, AND if the enemy suffers a casualty due to your original shot, the same unit suffers 2D6 additional S6 AP0 D1 damage. Overall the Decimator handled the transition to 8th nicely and are more attractive now than they were in 7th even with the lack of Deep Strike capabilities.
    • Note that despite visual similarities to Helbrutes and Dreadnoughts, the Chaos Decimator does not have the HELBRUTE keyword - this means that it will not benefit from Legion Traits.
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought - S7 T7 W10 A4 Sv 3+ (hilariously, Loyalist version has 2+), the Contemptor remains as good as it ever was. It has a huge amount of options with your typical fist (deathclaw) and chainfist (chainclaw) available as well as some of the more Chaotic choices available. New to the menu is the Kheres Assault Cannon which the Chaos Warpsmiths finally found a working version of! As of the FAQ, you can now go double guns should you feel the need. Butcher Cannon (36" Heavy 4, S8 AP-1 D2, causes a LD -2 debuff on enemy units that it has inflicted casualties on) and the Kheres Assault Cannon are attractive choices. On a 5+ it eats an enemy it killed in melee for healing a wound, it has a 5++ against shooting and overwatch with a 4++ in melee, and gains +1 attack if you keep both arms as CCWs. A solid choice that is a natural step up from your standard Helbrutes. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
    • FW FAQ: Now the Contemptor can replace both arms for ranged weapons if you so wish, and now you can take an Havoc Launcher too.
    • Also per the FAQ, Chaos Dreads have the Helbrute keyword, letting them gain Legion traits.
  • Hellforged Predator - Confused to see this in the elites slot? So is everyone else! Anyway, it's a Predator that's an elite with some extra rules and guns. Standard Pred weapons with the ability to choose Flamestorm Cannon (8" Heavy 2D6 S5 AP-1 D2 Flamer), Magna-melta Cannon (24" Heavy D3 S10 AP-4 D6, roll extra dice if in 1/2 range), C-beam Cannon (72" Heavy 1 S6 AP-3 D3, +2S & +D3 for every 24" between shooter and target, causes 2d6 S6 AP0 1D additional hits if you kill a model with your first shot), and Plasma Destroyer (36" Heavy 2D3, S7 AP-3 D2). Can eat people in melee to regain one wound on a 5+, causes D3 additional attacks when it successfully charges, and has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. It's a fine choice if you feel the need to have those special weapons on a Pred platform. The damage charts for this and other hellforged tanks are distinctive in that they actually get better in melee the more injured they get, meaning the more you need some wounds repaired the more likely you'll be able to eat some, although your movement does suffer so it gets less able to get into melee.
  • Hellforged Sicaran - An even bigger vehicle in the elites slot? No it's not the Slaanesh dust kicking in, this is real life. The Sicaran is still a beast at T7 W14 3+, but as always we take it for its main weapon. Twin Accelerator Autocannon is kicking around at 48" Assault 8 S7 AP-1 D2, No penalty to shoot at FLY and every wound of 6 is jumped up to AP-3. It can move 14" between 7-14 wounds; imagine flying around the board shooting those Autocannons on 3+ (remember, it's assault, not heavy), ouch! Can eat people in melee on a 5+ to regain a wound, and has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. Yes, you will still lose friends over fielding this.


  • Cultists - The proof that Grandfather Nurgle loves everyone equally, the humble Cultists are a solid investment in a Death Guard list. What weapon they should take depends on your play style and what else is in your list. "Inexorable Advance" makes Autogun & Heavy Stubbers equipped cultists a pretty nice shooty unit for their cost. On the other hand, a big blob of melee-equipped cultists is a premium target for a "Blade of Putrefaction" psychic power as they'll force a lot of armor saves on whatever they're swarming due to sheer volume of attacks. Keep a Myphitic Blight-hauler in their general area for free cover, and they're pretty decent for their points. Received a points increase (1 point per model) in Chapter Approved 2018
  • Plague Marines - Starts with 5 models but can go up to 20. At 16 points each now, these guys are rather reasonably priced troops, and even cheaper than they were before. With a 5+ save-after-the-save and T5, they are very hardy unless the opponent points multi-damage weapons at them, and then T5 makes it so that even Lascannons don't wound them on 2+. For standard armament they come with the same as CSM, but exchange the Bolt Pistol with a Plague Knife and the Frag Grenades with Blight Grenades, both of which reroll 1s To Wound, except for the Champion, who gets to keep his pistol. Now, these guys have a massive array of options that let you gear them for specific purposes. 2 per squad can take either a Plasma Pistol, Plasma Gun, Meltagun, Blight Launcher (which is a Plague Weapon, remember), Flamer, Plague Belcher (plague flamer), or Plague Spewer (plague heavy flamer). 2 more can take either a Great Plague Cleaver (basically a plague Power Fist with D1d6) or a Flail of Corruption (S+2 AP-2 D2, makes D3 hit rolls per attack, damage rolls over between models, plague). YET two more can take a Bubotic Axe (plague Power Axe) and Mace of Contagion (plague Power Maul with D3, -1 To Hit, and plague). ANY of the other non-Champion models can lose the Boltgun for either a Bubotic Axe or a second Plague Knife. With all this, the unit is extremely flexible, able to be geared for melee or for range. Some of the simplest options include: 5 with 2 Blight Launchers and 2 Flails, 5 with 3 Plasma Guns and 2 Cleavers, 5 with 2 Plague Belchers and 2 Flails.
    • Any Plague Marine with one of the following loadouts gets +1A: Two Plague Knives, a Bubotic Axe and Plague Knife, or a Bubotic Axe and Mace of Contagion.
    • Due to Index equipment remaining legal, the Champ starts with the same weapons as the Marines and an optional Bolt Pistol and can replace his Boltgun and/or Bolt Pistol with any Standard CSM Champion Weapon. Alternatively, he can replace his Boltgun with a Plasma Gun, Plasma Pistol or Bolt Pistol. He can also take a Power Fist.
    • These guys are an ideal partner for Fabius Bile. 8th edition sees him willing to farm out his wares to willing volunteers, with the only small caveat that it may cost you your life. A squad of 10 plague marines will take 1 or 2 casualties as a result of his experiments, but these can be partly mitigated through their disgustingly resilient saves. In return you will get a 1/3 chance (or 55% if you are wiling to use a command re-roll) of them becoming T6. This makes an already hardy unit borderline un-killable. If you then place them near a Blighthauler for that extra juicy cover save, you will have a unit that almost never dies to basic weapons. +1A can also be a heavy buff, with duel knife PMs getting 3As and marines with flails getting a terrifying 2D3 S6 AP-2 D2 attacks each for only 10 points; because you didn't really need to be alive, did you?
    • If you're running max squads, consider a Champion w/ Combi-Bolter and Knife, Iconbearer w/ 2x Knife, 7 Plague Marines w/ Bolter and Knife, 7 Plague Marines w/ 2x Knife, 2 Plague Marines w/ Special Weapon and 2 Plague Marines w/ Power Weapon. This provides a good balances of melee and range.
    • Whilst combat orientated Plague Marines are not fashionable, it is worth looking at their potential. A squad of 10 phlegm marines, all with duel plague knives, aside from a sergeant with a knife/pistol and 2 armed with flails, comes in at a total of 180 points. These will pump out 14 knife and 2D3 flail attacks in combat, re-rolling 1s to wound. Buffing these guys with VotLW and blades of petrifaction makes them an absolute menace, producing an average of 4 mortal wounds before your opponent even starts making his saves. If you then add in arch contaminator to re-roll failed wounds, it becomes significantly higher. Using this tactic will deprive you of their bolter fire, but if you run them with a Biologus Putrifier, then close up grenade potential can more than make up for it (despite making them very command point hungry).
      • If running a list like this, construct the blob of 20 with 2 Iconbearers, one with each of the two icon styles. Similarly, make one Plague Marine distinct from the rest. This allows you to easily transform the 20 man unit into a 10 man.
  • Poxwalkers - They're Plague Zombies with a trademarkable name. They are completely immune to morale tests thanks to being mindless, and have the "Disgustingly Resilient" rule to ignore wounds on a 5+. Good thing, as they have a 7+ save, meaning they only can get regular saves if in cover. Though their statline is unimpressive, they are cheap, and make great tarpits, thanks to their resiliency rules. In addition, every time they kill an enemy infantry model, they can add an additional Poxwalker to the unit. Though this might seem difficult to do, in units of 10+ they get WS4+ to help them create self-reinforcing tarpits. Basically, against light infantry, you use them to shred through stuff like Conscripts while being damn near invincible, and against anything tougher, you hold them in place until your next turn, then Fall Back and have your Plague Marines unleash Plasma against them. Because their only regular save is the Disgustingly Resilient, they're vulnerable to weapons with more than 1 damage, since a wound from a D2 weapon causes two Disgustingly Resilient rolls, either of which could kill the model. Be aware that, despite their appearance, they are not a screening unit. With only melee attacks and a 4" movement, they are a slow, lumbering mass for attrition. If you are looking for chaff to take up space on the board quickly, Cultists will be both better and cheaper.
    • Opinion - If you want a murder squad of poxwalkers, take Typhus with Putrescent Vitality along with an allied CSM patrol detachment with 2 squads of cultists (recommended minimum size of 20) and a vanilla sorcerer with Prescience and Diabolic Strength (Diabolic strength only affects one model, not unit, Putrescent vitality from the contagion discipline will give +1 strength and Toughness.) Use your cultists as a poxwalker battery for The Dead Walk Again, followed by a casting of both Prescience from the Chaos Sorcerer and Putrescent Vitality from Typhus. Now you have a gargantuan squad of S5 T5 zombies of death that are hitting on 3+. See that Land Raider? Now you don't. This strategy (as of October 2017) costs 406 points with 2 squads of 20 cultists and a squad of 20 poxwalkers.
      • For added fun, add a CSM marine detachment with Fabius Bile (a supreme command detachment with Fabius Bile, Lucius and Abaddon (who shares the Chaos, Heretic Astartes and Slaanesh Keywords, so can be taken alongside Luscious Lucius and Fabulous Bill in the same detachment) works very well). Over the course of 2 turns, Bile will buff your beautiful zombies by either an additional S, T or A. With all of these buffs combined, you are looking at potentially having T6 poxwalkers. Neat!
        • While the above is neat and can work, be aware of a savvy opponent watching for something like this. Remember that you're committing Typhus, a Sorcerer, and 40 cultists to hold one part of the board, which end up only being 4" + advance fast. A simple counter play will be to simply shoot the cultists down enough to force a bunch of morale casualties, then just ignore your giant plodding walker unit (or feed it chaff all game). Sometimes your Pox Walkers will not be doing any work and it's far better to be down just the 120 points for them and get their support staff into the battle.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Chaos Rhino- It's a Rhino. It does everything you'd expect it to do. Keep in mind that it doesn't get Disgustingly Resilient, so it'll technically be squishier than the Plague Marines it's likely to be carrying. On the other hand, this does mean that after disembarking its cargo, it can be repurposed into a suicide bomb thanks to Putrid Detonation.

Forge World

  • Terrax Pattern Assault Drill - subterran assault transport (set up anywhere 9" away from enemy models at the end of your movement phase) with a terrifying melee weapon (if it hits). Transports 12 Infantry but no Terminators. Expensive, though. Note: this thing explodes for a nasty D6 mortal wounds (2D3 for psykers) to everything in a whopping 2D6”, and you can force it with Putrid Detonation. Field these things as deepstriking nukes for a bargain 106 points apiece.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • The Thing That Shall Not Be Named We don't talk about these things, but when we do, we say that they aren't terrible, but they aren't as good as the other "Fast" Attack options that the death guard have available to them. Take another bloat drone instead. That said, if, for detachment requirements, you need a Fast Attack slot filled, a little 33 25 point Chaos Spawn nonononoNEEEAAAARGHOFHAFHURJG ...a little 25 point monster is a quick way to get it done. Remember though that their main use of keeping up with fast HQs is basically limited to only the winged Daemon Prince. Additionally, thanks to their melee attacks being AP-2 and D2, they actually hit pretty hard for their cost. Also of note is the fact that they impose a -1 Ld penalty on enemy units, which pairs fantastically with all the other Ld modifiers in the army.
  • Foetid Bloat-drone - Close-range and fast (always advance) anti-infantry vehicle with two plaguespitters and a plague probe . With T7, Disgustingly Resilient, and a 5++ daemon save, it's quite tanky. Slightly more likely to explode than other vehicles, too. Always Fall Back and shoot as the Drone's melee is nothing to write home about (it's not that bad A3/2/1 AP-2 D3 will kill some SM). That is, unless if you have its new Fleshmower weapon, which makes it absolutely terrifying in close quarters: S+2 AP-2 D2 is powerful in itself, but as an added bonus it adds a whopping 6 attacks! It can also swap out a plaguespitter for a Heavy Blight Launcher, which is basically three normal Blight Launchers with 12" more range; considering that it's got a 4+ to hit, and can't get Inexorable Advance, is a mediocre option at best.
    • On Heavy Blight Launchers: At first glance this seems like an option that you'd never really have any good reason to take. In practice, it is actually a lot better than you'd think. 8th edition has many, many fast moving assault armies and plenty of units that can charge out of deepstrike to be on top of your fire support elements in the blink of an eye. Plagueburst Crawlers are awesome, but not when a unit of Assault Marines is sitting on top of them. That's not even accounting for things like Helldrakes and Hive Tyrants, that can move so quickly that they're almost assured to be on your back line by turn 1 or 2 depending on the deployment. A Plagueburst Crawler, Myphitic Blight-Hauler, or squad of shooty Marines isn't worth a pile of rotting dicks if they can't fire. Enter the Bloat Drone. The Plaguespitters are great, but if you need some long range fire support that can't get tied up by enemy assaults, the Heavy Blight Launcher has you covered. It can fly, its (important) stats don't go down as it takes damage, it's tough as nails for its cost, and it can play keep away with assault elements in the enemy army without sacrificing its usefulness. I find it to be especially useful floating around your backfield grabbing objectives, so that your slower, shorter ranged dudes can march forward without giving up valuable victory points. If your meta is thick on the ground with Space Wolves, World Eaters, Tyranids, and Genestealer Cults, you definitely want to lean more on the Blight Launcher Drones than Crawlers or Haulers.
  • Myphitic Blight-Hauler - A speedy (10" movement, lightning-quick by Nurgle's standards) tank that can be taken in squads of 3. Which you will always do since it boosts them to BS/WS 3+. 8 Wounds gives them solid durability without subjecting them to a damage table, and with 3+/5++ paired with Disgustingly Resilient, they'll be sure to stick around. Weapons-wise, they come with a missile launcher, a multi-melta, a bile spurt (a 12" Assault d3 with S6 AP-1, and a plague weapon), and a gnashing maw (S User, AP-2, plague weapon). As it ignores the normal penalties for moving and shooting heavy weaponry, it's good at quickly shuttling anti-armor weapons to where they need to be- and more importantly, it acts like cover to any units entirely within 7" of it, allowing to buff your troops and unleash its dakka simultaneously. This buff also applies to itself, so they essentially come with a 2+ save. As one more bonus, all to hit rolls against it in the fight phase are made with a -1 penalty.
    • Chapter Approved 2018 made literally everything about these little guys cheaper, and they now clock in at just 117 points each. Taking 3 has never been easier.
    • With the new Great Unclean One, these things might have gone from a cool buff unit to something that is legitimately terrifying. They are your only daemon engine that can be taken in squads. Stick them next to a Great Unclean One with a Doomsday Bell, and you can replenish a lost Blight Hauler to the squad on a 4+, at full health. The GUO can also heal them with Psychic powers, and use Shriveling Pox to lower the toughness of T8/T9 targets to something more managable. An expensive combo, but one that packs a huge amount of punch and absolutely will not die.
    • A nearby CSM sorcerer will make these guys legitimately terrifying to armour. Add prescience (they are Heretic Astartes after all) to a unit of 3 to have 3 multi-meltas and 3 missile launchers hitting on 2s, EVEN AFTER MOVING 10!" In an army which can lack both speed and long ranged firepower, this is definitely worth considering.

Forge World[edit]

  • Greater Blight Drone- For a flat 200 pts (Chapter approved increases this to 231) you get an extremely fast moving (14" movement with 9" infiltrate) daemon that hits like a ton of bricks and (as long as you keep him away from lascanons and mortal wounds) is one hard dude to put down at 12 wounds with T7 and a 3+/5++ (no disgustingly resilient though). Oh, and he regenerates one wound per turn thanks to infernal regeneration. This beast comes stock with a bile maw (12" range S8 AP-2 D3 pistol 3 with rerolls of 1). Also the drone hits on 3+. Nurgle be praised. At 36" range you get a 4 shot S7 AP-1 D2 gun with 6's increasing the AP to -3. for close encounters you get a plague probe. Now being 31 more points in CA, its not such a great choice. You're getting into a different price point and need more offensive output to stay competitive. Take at your own risk.
  • Hellforged Dreadclaw Drop Pod - This flyer/drop pod/thing is a ball of spiked sex! It can transport 10 models or a Dreadnought/Helbrute and comes in via Drop Pod Assault. Moves 15" which does NOT go down as you lose wounds, though its S and A do. T7 W10 3+ with Blade struts for melee (S User, AP-2 D2) and Thermal Jets for shooting (6" Pistol D6, S6 AP1 D1, which automatically hits all units, friend and foe, within 6" with separate shooting attacks and can only be used if more enemy units are affected than allies. Can eat things in melee combat for a wound back on a 5+. When it explodes PSYKER units nearby take D6 mortal wounds rather than D3. While the tears of the loyalist scum fill the streets after watching their drop pods get pumped up to 108 pts per pod (boo-hoo), the Dreadclaw hits you in the groin with 130 pts.
    • One opinion: 130 points for a gimmick transport flier without the firepower or speed of a flier. Like its older brother, Kharybdis, totally overshadowed by different to the Storm Eagle, clocking in at 295pts.
    • Another opinion: 130 points to put 10 models (plus the Dreadclaw) in charge range turn one and have a flying Rhino to ram into your enemy's backside field.
  • Hellforged Kharybdis Assault Claw - Dreadclaw not have enough spikes? Ever wanted to field a model that weighs as much as its point cost? Well here you go! Seriously, it's like Forge World mails you a giant block of resin and you chisel it out and glue some pointy parts on (so that they know it's supposed to be Chaos). Having almost the same stats as a Dreadclaw (except BS4+, T8 and W16) but with more weapons/troop capacity/model weight and of course SPIKES. 300 pts gives you a flyer/drop pod that can carry 20 infantry into battle by either drop pod assault or like a normal transport. A fat 16 wounds and the ability to regain wounds on a 5+ after killing an enemy model in CC. In addition to the blade struts and thermal jet array that the Dreadclaw has, the assault claw can charge something that's Titanic, a vehicle, or a monster, and you have the option to instead use ONE Melta cutters attack, S16 AP-5 hitting on 2+ doing 2D6 damage. Additionally, to soften whatever you're​ about to forcefully-melta-sodomise, it's equipped with 5 Hvy 3 Storm launchers S6 ap-1.
    • Maybe throw it at your opponent. The weight and extending spikes will bring about guaranteed victory! (And assault charges)


Remember that while the Death Guard are stated to look down on the use of flyers, nowhere does it say that they don't actually use them (because what's the point in specialising in attrition warfare if you have no air superiority and just get bombed and/or strafed all the time?). So, when that guy tries to tell you why you can't field three Fire Raptors in a Death Guard army because its not fluffy, you can give him the proverbial finger.

Forge World[edit]

  • Hell Blade - Courtesy of the Dark Mechanicus's warped minds comes one of the better anti-flyer units in the game. Only 130 points (As of CA2018) with twin helstorm cannons (Heavy 2 S6 AP-2 D3 and wound rolls of a 6 cause an additional mortal wound), with a 3+/5++ and Hard to Hit plus a +1 to hit against other units with FLY. Can swap its two Helstorm cannons for two Lascannons. With a 18"-60" movement that doesn't degrade as you take damage and a funky rule that allows it to pivot up to 90 degrees at the beginning AND end of each movement phase, you will be hunting enemy flyers in style. Since it's AIRBORNE, possibilities exist for you to use its move base to block movement of enemy models and when they get sick of it and blow it up, spend a CP to make it explode with Putrid Detonation.
  • Hell Talon - Very expensive at 270 points, but considerably tougher than its baby brother the Hell Blade with 12 wounds and T7 as well as its 3+/5++. In addition to the mandatory Helstorm cannon and twin Lascannon, you can choose between three (free) sets of bombs, all used at the end of the movement phase (see below). This is a flying Predator spending 70 extra points to get FLY, Hard to Hit, 20"-60" move, 5++, no penalty to move & fire Heavy weapons and a bomb that will likely do some Mortal Wounds to a unit you fly over.
    • Pyrax incendiary bombs: The anti-infantry option. Once per battle, pick a unit you flew over and roll a d6 for each model in the unit up to a maximum of 20d6. Each 5+ (or 4+ if targeting infantry) causes a mortal wound.
    • Warp-pulse bombs: Pick a unit you flew over and roll 3d6 for each vehicle or monster in said unit, or 1d6 for each other model, up to a maximum of 9d6. Results of a 5+ cause mortal wounds. In addition, the unit targeted is at -1 to hit and -1 leadership until the start of their next turn.
    • Baletalon shatter charges: The demolition option. Pick a unit you flew over and roll 6d6 for each vehicle, building, or monster in said unit, or 1d6 for each other model, up to a maximum of 6d6. Results of 3+ cause mortal wounds. Pick this one.
  • Chaos Fire Raptor Assault Gunship - Not much different than the loyalist scum variant. With T7, 16 wounds and 3+ SV it's almost as tough as a Land Raider. The average bolt cannon now packs 10 shots at S6 AP-2 2D, enough to drop a whole Primaris squad if you're lucky. In addition, each quad bolter packs 12 heavy bolter shots. Hellstrike missiles are no longer one use only and you can, in fact, fire 2 missiles at S8 AP-3 3D a turn now. It may replace the Hellstrike missiles for the cheap Balefire missiles or it can take 2 double lascannons instead of the missiles for +1S and the chance to deal more than 3 points (D6) of damage per shot. It can also move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty. You can also swap the heavy bolters for reaper autocannons if you wish for more S but only a half of the shots. Got a small net price decrease (10 points before wargear) in the latest round of FAQs, so is even more of a very viable option if you want some airborne support!
  • Chaos Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: Your flying Land Raider if you will. This flyer can transport 20 infantry models or half of that in terminators. Doesn't have as many guns as the Fire Raptor but can take hellstrike missiles or two twin lascannons for more shots and S instead, or alternatively the cheap Balefire missiles if you save on points.
  • Chaos Xiphon Interceptor: Faster than anything in your army has a right to be, the interceptor is zippy and hard-hitting. Slightly more durable this edition (corrugated cardboard), it's best suited to hard blitzes against enemy aircraft. Unfortunately, your army favors infantry, making it somewhat hard to buff or support and turning it into a single-use missile.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Chaos Predator - Same as CSM codex. Everything there applies here, though it should be mentioned that the Death Guard do not have Havocs, so the Predator is our prime heavy weapons caddie. And boy, those Lascannons sure fill a niche in this army.
  • Chaos Land Raider - Same as CSM codex. Good if you want to get your Blightlords or Deathshroud somewhere fast, but also a horrendously expensive way to do it.
  • Defiler - Also the same as the Chaos Space Marine version. Not quite as reliable at shooting as the Helbrutes since it lacks Inexorable Advance, but it's got good enough range and hits hard in close combat.
  • Plagueburst Crawler - It is quite tough with T8 and 12W coupled with 3+/5++ and Disgustingly Resilient. It can move 9" but moving will drop it's BS down to 5+. The mortar is Heavy D6, S8, AP-2, Dd6 and can shoot at targets 12"-48" away, even if it cannot see them and it's also a Plague Weapon. It is additionally equipped with the same plaguespitters the Bloat Drone has (9", Assault d6 auto-hits , S user, AP-1, D1 Plague Weapon). They can be switched for entropy cannons (Heavy 1, 36", S8, AP-4, Dd6) effectively making it a short lascannon, if you want AT instead of anti-horde. It also has a hull mounted heavy slugger (Heavy 4, 36", S5, AP-1, D1) that can be replaced with a rothail volley cannon (Heavy 3, 24", S6, AP-2, D1) if you want to exchange range and shots for a more reliable chance to wound. Given how badly movement affects it's BS, the best option would probably be to load up on ranged weapons and keep it static behind cover if you can.
    • Alternate Take: The Plagueburst Crawler is not very good at sitting back and shooting. Its mediocre BS and low volume of fire makes it an unreliable damage source at best. However, it almost moves as fast as a Blight Drone, while being significantly tougher and much, much bulkier. Their Plaguespitters are stronger and significantly less effected by movement (i.e., not at all, including advancing) than its other options. The Plagueburst Mortar and Slugger/Volley Gun are some nice bonus firepower to throw downrange, but the Plagueburst Crawler is a much more aggressive tank than something like a Predator or Basilisk. Use its large profile to provide cover for your advancing Marines and force your enemy to shoot at the giant, ridiculously tough brick bearing down on them before your softer, squishier infantry. Great for holding midfield objectives like a big, armored frog with the Plaguespitters and throwing firepower around with the hull gun and mortar.

Forge World[edit]

  • Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer (Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer) - Use the Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer datasheet on page 8 of Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes. It gains the Hellforged keyword and must replace all of its Faction keywords with the following: Chaos, Heretic Astartes, MARK OF CHAOS, LEGION. In addition, it gains the following ability: ‘Machina Malefica: At the end of each Fight phase, roll a number of D6 for this model equal to the number of models that were slain by it during this phase; for each dice that scores a 5+, this model regains one lost wound. This model cannot regain lost wounds by any other means.’
  • Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought - Chaos finally got the Dorito Dreadnought! A lot of people have wanted this for a while and rightfully so, it kicks ass. The Butcher Cannon Array is a fantastic weapons platform with 36" Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2, -2 LD to any unit that takes casualties from it. The Ectoplasma Battery is less impressive, 24" Heavy 5, S8 AP-3 D3 and causes a mortal wound to the dreadnought on the roll of a 1 (booooo). A third option called Dual Malignatas Saker is 48", Heavy 2 S* AP-5 D6, Roll 3d6 vs enemy LD, if it total equals or exceeds enemy L than the target model is wounded. E.G. choose Butcher Cannon Array. Greater Havoc Launcher is awesome at 48" 3D3 S6 AP-1 D1 that does not need LoS to shoot (heck yes!). Battle it out, than hide behind a rock when you have low wounds to stay relevant. Can eat things in melee combat on a 5+ to get a wound back. Has a 5++ against shooting/overwatch and a 4++ in melee. All friendly units within 5" have a 5++ save (If you chose the hellfire veil over the Havoc launcher that is!) (mmmmmm), and a Helical Targeting Array which can be activated at start of a turn, stopping you from moving, advancing or charging but adds 1 to its hit rolls against things with FLY. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. And most of all remember, the cool ranch upgrade is better than the nacho cheese one. Has the Helbrute keyword. Who's up for firing Butcher Cannons on the move with full BS?
    • Consider taking the hellfire veil on a DG Deredeo. Inexorable advance will mean it can move without a penalty to your shooting anyway, and if you put it near your poxwalkers, then grandpappy Nurgle's favourite gribblies get a 5+ invulnerable save, to go with their 5+ disgustingly resilient save. This means that against any D1 weapon, you have a 55% chance of survival; significantly better than your normal 33% chance. Your opponent will need to remove the Deredeo to get at your squishy poxwalkers, giving you a good reason to use miasma of pestilence on it.
  • Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought - Whatever was sacrificed in the name of Chaos to make these available... it was worth it. This super dreadnought is a monster and priced very well for what it does. T8 W14 A4 2+, comes with Siege claw (fist) and Siege drill (chain), Hellflamer (8", Heavy d6, S5 AP-1 D2 which autohit), Butcher Cannon Array is a fantastic weapons platform with 36" Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2, -2 LD to any unit that takes casualties from it. Soulburner Ribaudkin is another arm option at 18", Heavy 2d3 S- AP0 D1 which inflicts mortal wounds, Grav-Flux Bombard is your third option at 18", Heavy D3, S9 AP-5 D2 which actually does D5 wounds against Vehicles, Monster, and Titanic while adding D3 attacks if the enemy target has 5+ models. It can eat people in melee and on a 5+ it gets a wound, it has a 5++ against shooting/overwatch and a 4++ in melee and gains +1 attack if you keep both arms as CCWs. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. Has the Helbrute keyword, which means you can comfortably run the 1 gun, 1 CC weapon variant and footslog to your target while laying down some deadly firepower. Take the Butcher Cannon array for anti-infantry or anti-light vehicle duties, although in that case you might be better off with the Hellforged Deredeo. The Soulburner Ribaudkin will make Storm Shield units cry with its 2D3 Mortal Wounds. Finally, the Grav Bombard is the (interestingly) take all comers option, which can do work against both blobs and heavy targets.
    • Moreso than any other faction that can take them, Death Guard Leviathans might seriously want to consider mixing melee and ranged weapons. Moving to close the distance does not negatively impact your firepower at all. Miasma of Pestilence can seriously mitigate lascannons, meltaguns, and other potent single-shot anti-tank weapons. Hellflamers are amazing up close, and they're kinda wasted on a shooty Leviathan, and the Siege Claw or Siege Drill let it gobble up enemies in melee to heal itself. You have a lot of options that benefit a flexible Leviathan. If you want pure shooting, a Deredeo is generally better. If you go pure melee, you miss out on Inexorable Advance. It's definitely something worth looking at.
  • Hellforged Land Raider Achilles
  • Hellforged Land Raider Proteus - For a bit more points you get a LR with some fantastic additional abilities. Standard loadout but it can eat enemy units in combat to regain a wound on a 5+. You can choose to take an upgrade called Accursed Phylactery which lowers the transport size to 6, but gives you -1 ld to all enemy units within 9" as well as any unit Deep Striking within 12" must roll a D6 and on a 1 or a 2 suffers D3 mortal wounds. Interesting for sure. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
  • Hellforged Scorpius - Chaos finally gets a Whirlwind! Scorpius Multi-Launcher is going to do work at 48" Heavy 3D3 S6 AP-2 D2, shoot targets you cannot see. Can also get a Havoc Launcher, but you aren't going to do that since you want it hiding all game and shooting. Can eat people in melee on a 5+ to regain a wound, may fire twice in the next shooting phase if it did not move!!! This is going to be a Chaos MVP for sure. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
    • Alternate Take: Why would you spend more than twice the points for less range, less shots, and less Strength? Rocket Barrage is nice, but it's not the Whirlwind it's trying to be, especially not at the point-value it's been offered at. You have better sources of indirect fire, that either earn their point-value or are just plain cheaper.
  • Hellforged Sicaran Venator: The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; it has a Malignatas Beam Laser, which is AP-5, Damage 2D6 and you roll 3d6 vs the target's Ld to wound. It has Undying Hatred, which lets it roll a 4th dice (discarding the lowest) to the Malignatas wound roll if it kills any model.
  • Plague Hulk of Nurgle - Want a better and tougher Defiler who doesn't heal himself? You found him! T8, 14W, 5++ and 5+ Disgusting Resilience. With S8 and "Rusting Curse" which lowers Vehicles saves within 1" by -1, he's going to punch the crap out of enemy armor. It can also be summoned, but with 12 PR it's not going to happen reliably. Rot Cannon is largely unchanged but with new stats, 36" Heavy D6, S6 AP-3 D2 and all wound against Infantry are rerolled (cool). Its vomit has morphed into something else altogether, 7" range, Pistol D6, S5 AP-2 D1 where all shots auto-hit... very cool! The Iron Claw remains largely unchanged, Sx2 AP-3 D6 (not -1 to hit rolls) with the Warp Sword being potentially good now with User S, AP-3 and flat D3 damage which also allows you rerolls to hit (much better than the last edition for sure!)...I still see most people taking the claw though. All around, the Plague Hulk is a great 8E choice.
  • Spined Chaos Beast

Lords of War[edit]

I have returned...
  • Mortarion - Tremble, mortals, the Rotten Angel cometh! After a long teasing campaign by GW, Mortarion is finally here and is probably going to be the centerpiece of many Death Guard or even regular CSM armies. Standing at 18 wounds, a 4++ save, and Grandaddy's trademark Disgustingly Resilient he will prove quite hard to bring down, his survivability can be boosted further with Nurgle's stratagems. He has the best (at the moment) anti-horde weapon in the game, his huge scythe Silence. It can dish out Ax3 (18 base!!!) S:U AP:-2 D1 Plague Weapon attacks per phase of combat, which will annihilate tarpits like there's no tomorrow. To deal with anything requiring more killing, Silence has a second profile being S:x2 AP:-4 D:1d6 Plague Weapon. His 'command aura' affects every enemy unit standing within 7" of him, giving them -1 toughness and they will receive 1d3 mortal wounds on a roll of 4+ (scaling down as he takes wounds, alas). He still carries his old Lantern pistol that can cause quite a bit of damage to lined units for it hits automatically every unit in a straight line between him and the one he aims for, but only once per shot. He still carries nice phosphex bombs that deal 2D6 S5 AP-1 hits (They're not Plague Weapons, though). Cherry on top, he's now a psyker. (Yeah, the very thing he hated back in the days but, hush. No more tears, only Nurgle's happiness now!) He knows 3 powers from the Contagion discipline, he's able to cast two and deny three every turn. All this is in addition to the fact that he is the fastest piece in the army, moving 12" with FLY, meaning he can hit things like Stormravens and Thunderhawks in CC. Just go away and think about that for a second. Anyway, all in all he’s a really, REALLY strong big daddy. Use him whenever you can.
    • Like Magnus, Mortarion's command aura only grants reroll 1's to hit. However he has two other auras that either weaken or damage his enemies so there's no reason whatsoever to hold him back since you can achieve a reroll 1's aura with a regular chaos lord, Morty is at his best being in close combat with his enemies while his son's support him through units like the deathshroud soaking wounds for him. Do note however that while he's tanky he's far from invulnerable and always keep in mind that he is a massive fire magnet. Just like in 30k, you'll need supporting units and a plan to get the most of ole Morty. That said, if he does somehow go down he explodes like a vehicle for a few parting mortal wounds.
    • Don’t forget his Primarch of the Death Guard rule! Re-rolling 1s is always useful. Also remember that Mortarion benefits from this, so you’re mathematically auto-hitting with his attacks hitting 97% of the time.
    • It's worth noting that because Mortarion is considered a daemon of Nurgle, he can be targeted by the Nurgle daemon psychic spells. So if you think that having an ensemble of deathshroud and Miasma of pestilence to protect Morty isn't enough, then ally in a Great Unclean One or Herald of Nurgle and give them fleshy abundance to keep Morty topped off on wounds and even more difficult to kill. Or give him Virulent blessing and watch him shred through armor and infantry alike even faster.
    • He also loves you (except you Typhus, fuck you).
    • Special Note on Psychic Powers: Give him Blades of Putrefication and any other Psychic power. Ally with a Chaos Space Marine Patrol Detachment. During your first turn spend 1 CP on Chaos Familiar to swap out the second power for WARPTIME. Congratulations, you now have a flying deathmachine who can travel 24 a turn assuming your opponent doesn't stop his Warptime.
      • Blades of Putrification here is especially good for the added fun of using it on himself and abusing it with his Reaper Swings for 18 Strength 8 ap-2 D1 attacks that have +1 to wound and cause Mortal Wounds on a 7+. This goes to 21 Strength 10 attacks if you can get Diabolic Strength on him. Virulent Blessing from Daemons gives you +1 to wound and 7+ Wound rolls do double damage. The final statline is 21 s10 attacks with +2 to wound and on a 7+ doing a mortal wound and double damage
        • Math says that this should generate 7.719264403292181 Mortal Wounds and 19.840464 Wounds doing 27.55972840329218 damage. (97.2% chance to hit accounting for re-rolls he gives himself, 97.2% chance to wound anything in the game accounting for Plague Weapon re-rolls, 38% proc Mortal Wounds accounting for Plague Weapon re-rolls)
          • Don't forget the Nurglings! Mortarion ALSO has d6 additional attacks at S2 and no AP, but they'll also benefit from Blades of Purtrefication and Virulent Blessing, and are Plague Weapons to boot, for potentially even MORE mortal wounds!
          • Hilariously, for being a huge daemon primarch, Mortarion is exceptional at dealing with infantry. 2 attacks with a blades of putrefaction will inflict 10.7 wounds to Guard meaning mortarion with diabolic strength can kill 4 full squads of guard! Sweeping blows are nearly always better. With blades of putrefaction Mortarion will wound anything T8 or lower on a 2+ with the sweeping blows if he has diabolic strength this extends to anything T10 or lower. While the increased damage and ap on the strikes would be helpful having 3x as many attacks. If this is an Imperial all the better since each 6 gives you 3 extra attacks. Over 40 wounds inflicted average before saves but some of them are mortal
          • Pay attention to the Death Guard FAQ. Mortarion may switch the profile for his DTTFE attacks against Imperium units. Use the 3x hit rolls from Sweeping Strikes to generate some 6s against Knights, and use those 6s to attack with d6 damage Reaping Blows. Prescience is more your friend here, and let your imagination run wild. When surrounded by 3 Smash Captains, split them 6, 6, and 6, and let DTTFE carry the day as 6 hit rolls apiece turns into 9,12, or 24 (Yahtzee, motherfucker). They'll never charge him again. They'll be dead.
          • Always run the Deathshrouds with Mortarion. 180 points to save his ass from being punked turn 1 is worth its weight in gold. 4-5 means that he can kick around for 1-2 turns before absolutely murderizing your enemies. Warptime them up so that they can keep up with him, and run them through cover. Their armor save is better than his, and when taking 6 or 2d6 or 4d3 damage from a failed save would make even Morty balk, the Deathshrouds dgaf about biting it for the Lord of Silence.

Forge World[edit]

All of the following units are well beyond the realm of being reasonably priced, most of them getting 200 point (or more, in the case of Scabby) increases on top of their already ridiculous points costs. As such, they should not be taken in competitive play, even some of the better units (Fellblade, Scabby) as Death Guard probably have a lite version of that unit for less than half of the cost (Morty or Mamon for Scabby, Land Raider or 3 Myphitic Blight Haulers for the Fellblade).

  • Scabeiathrax the Bloated - My oh-my is this guy one tough son of a bitch. At T9 with 22 wounds (which can be healed with the Nurgle Discipline), a 4+ Invulnerable save for being a Daemon Lord, and the Disgustingly Resilient special rule, you will need a crap ton of heavy firepower to put him down. And if he dies, on a 4+ a unit within D6" suffers D6 mortal wounds. His close combat abilities are not to sneeze at either. He has Horrific Vomit, which is a 2d6 flamer at S6 AP-2 with Damage D3 that can be fired into close combat. Then, he has the Blade of Decay, a S+2 AP-4 sword that does a flat 6 damage. To round it all out, he gets D6 additional nurgling attacks at S2 AP0. He can cast 3 powers and deny three powers and knows Smite plus two Nurgle powers. Finally, he lets Nurgle Daemons use his leadership within 6" of him. Oh, did I forget to mention he forces a -1 to hit modifier on all friendly Nurgle Daemon units within 6"? Yeah, you want this guy. The only thing stopping you from taking him in every game is he's 777 points, and he's a LoW.
  • Annoyingly, despite his sword having 'Decay' in the name, it is not a plague weapon, and neither is the vomit. So no Blades of Putrefaction mega-bonus for you :(
  • Chaos Sokar Pattern Stormbird Gunship: Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points and tangible money alike, it can ferry the entire army onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. The void shields can extend and overlap nearby troops 8" away that jumped out if it has hovered. Has 40 wounds, T9, a 5++ after the void shields. Its insane points cost (2321 for the default, which is more than a warhound Titan) completely prices it out as you won’t be able to fill its transport slots short of a 3000 point game.
  • Chaos Thunderhawk Assault Gunship: Baby’s first Stormbird, costs 1400 points so is more widely useful than its big bro (which, admittedly, isn’t hard at all) but still dies alarmingly fast for such an expensive unit - it has 3+/5++/5+ VS (deg). Its best weapon for survival is its toughness and -12” to the range of weapons shooting at it. Also puts out a surprisingly small amount of hurt - the same number of Heavy Bolter shots as a fire raptor (which is nearly FOUR TIMES CHEAPER) and either a turbo laser destructor (to evaporate vehicles) or the Thunderhawk cannon (generally inferior due to unreliable shot output). It does start off at BS2+ however, so consider keeping a barebones chaos lord in it throughout the game to get those lovely reroll wound (no idea how a plane would feel sufficiently inspired by a 10000-year-old man with horns riding inside it to magically be better at shooting but hey welcome to 8th). The bombs are a nice touch at least, and it’s still very fast.
  • Hellforged Mastodon: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's rerolls to kick in. Good thing too, being 1060 fucking points for a single unit!
  • Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank - THIS IS SPARTA(N)! The Death Guards true answer to its slow speed. The Spartan is a beast! With 8 lascanons (Which can be exchanged for 2 Laser destroyers) and a twin heavy bolter (Can be exchanged for a Twin heavy flamer), plus capacity for a Havoc launcher or the standard pintle weapons. This beast also rocks a transport capacity of a whopping 25! That's 5 Death Shrouds, 5 Blight lords, A Lord of Contagion, a Malignant plaguecaster, Biologius putrifier, Tallyman and Foul Blightspawn. All in one simple sweet package! The only downside is that it is expensive (Still better value than a Land Raider) and that it is a Lord of War choice. Still awesome!
  • Hellforged Cerberus Heavy Destroyer - Jesus, this thing is expensive but nasty. So on top of the rules, we've seen for the other Hellforged tanks, this beast sports T9, 22 wounds, a 2+ save and can always shoot or charge even when falling back. It also hits at S8 from its infernal hunger and rolls D6 for its containment breach mortal wounds (2D3 against psykers). It can take two heavy bolters or lascannons for sponsons and havoc launcher or combi-weapon for the pintle blah blah blah - let's talk about that FUCKHUEG gun sticking out of the front of it. It slings 4 shots down a 6-foot range with AP-6 and dealing an eye-watering 5-10D per shot (aka, 4+D6). The fun part, however, is how it wounds - it doesn't have a strength characteristic but instead, you roll 3D6 and compare against your target's leadership; if you equal or exceed that value, the target is wounded. This means that on average, you will wound ANYTHING in the game, which then takes an average 7 damage at -6 to their armor. Oh hey, if you kill anything with this tank in the previous turn with any of your guns, you get to roll 4D6 and choose the highest 3. Obviously, wipe something weak and then focus fire on trouble spots. EDIT: don't forget, it's also BS 2+...so it really works well against flyers.
    • For countering this beast, the Warlord trait in the basic rules which adds +1 leadership in a 6" bubble (Inspiring Leader) is pretty impressive against this thing, as do other abilities which increase the leadership stat. Invulnerable saves work just fine against it. And lastly, it really can only target one enemy per turn (with 4 shots) so it won't be effective against opponents without elite targets (against grots, it will kill 4 grots per turn). Defensively, this (thanks to chapter approved) very expensive tank has no invulnerable save, so will die quickly to traditional anti-tank weapons.
  • Hellforged Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - Your tank for when you absolutely need 1 unit dead. It comes stock with the infamous Dreadhammer Siege Cannon that dishes out 2d6 S10 AP -5 shots that each do 3 wounds on a failed saves, starting at 2+ to hit. The randomness of the number of shots makes it ok at best for dealing with squads that are 10 man or more, but that shouldn't be your priority with this thing. You want to be shooting and those special prize units of 5 or fewer models or rival tanks. This brings us to our next point, wargear. It may also bring Heavy Bolter or Lascannon sponsons and you can give it a Havoc Launcher (if you have the points, just take the Lascannons). Its no slouch defensively either T9, 22 wounds, and a 2+ save will keep it on the board far longer than your enemy will be comfortable with. Oh and it regenerates wounds from Close Combat.
  • Hellforged Fellblade - Incredibly expensive, even more so due to the Chapter Approved points hike it got (897 points for the default loadout), but still the Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin and the king of the 1500-2000 point game. It comes with a twin heavy bolter, two quad lascannons (that's 8 lascannons, people!), a demolisher cannon, and the Fellblade Accelerator Cannon, which is all kinds of rape. The FAC fires shells in 2 flavour: AE (Anti-Everything), which fires 2 shots at Strength 14, AP -4 and a flat rate of 6 damage per wound - whatever you hit with this shell will die, or be damged so bad it will become irrelevant thanks to degrading stats. HE (High Explosive) is anti-GEQ/anti-MEQ with 2d6 shots strength 8 ap -3 D1, making it absolutely perfect for killing MEQs (S8 and Ap-3 also make it decent against TEQs as you're wounding on 2s and dropping them to their 5++, but the D1 will halve the number of kills you get out), and you can also reroll the number of shots fired against units with 5 or more models in. The HE shells also suffer less than the AE shells as the tank takes damage and loses accuracy thanks to its higher rate of fire (so target vehicles early in the game, while you still have accuracy with AE shooting) The 8 lascannons are arguably the most deadly part of the loadout as rate of fire is king in 8E and you're putting out 8 S9 AP-3 Dd6 shots, making this an excellent knight killer. For dealing with T9 or above superheavies, the lascannons can be replaced for laser destroyers, which are 36" Heavy 1 S12 Ap-4 Dd6. You also roll a d6 every time an unsaved wound is dealt against this weapon, and on a 3-5 the damage is changed to 2d6, and on a 6 the damage is changed to 3d6. A pair of these are also cheaper by 40 points than a pair of qaud lascannons, but their usefulness takes a much greater hit than the lascannons as the tanks takes damage. It also has a demolisher cannon (24" Heavy d3 S10 AP-3 Dd6 (which becomes Heavy d6 against units with 5 or more models), and a twin heavy bolter (which can be swapped for a twin heavy flamer) to round the arsenal out (not including your choice of combi-weapon or havoc launcher goodness). All-in-all, keep this beast at around 24-48" range to get the most use out of its weapons, but watch out for high ap weapons as it doesn't have an invuln. To make up for this, feel free to stay at 100" and snipe the units with high ap weapons with AE shells. It's an insanely good take for non-apocalypse games, and only gets better as the points limit drops towards 1000 as there becomes less and less that can hurt it and less and less targets (allowing you to focus fire). Just don't expect to be having the room for any other expensive units (or just any units at all if you're playing 1000 points).
  • Hellforged Falchion - Insanely expensive (well over 1000 points), but excellent for deleting titanic targets (seriously, Stompas don’t even get armor saves against this thing, not to mention them being wounded on a 2+. Sit there and laugh as your enemy’s 40-wound beat stick is destroyed before turn 2). 2d6 strength 16 shots, -5 AP, 2d6 damage. It'll wound anything T8 or lower on 2's, and the few T9 targets out there on 3's. Keep a lord/DP around to re-roll 1's to make the target's death all but a foregone conclusion. 2 quad lascannons (or two laser destroyers if you really want to wreck superheavies) plus a hull twin heavy bolter add to its already impressive firepower.

Notable Strategies[edit]


Get a big blob of Poxwalkers and Cultists. Move the Cultists in front of the Poxwalkers, then use Cloud of Flies and The Dead Walk Again stratagems on the Poxwalkers. Now your opponent can only shoot the squishy Cultists, and your Poxwalkers become an even bigger tarpit with every Cultist that dies near them on top of any nearby enemy infantry that get killed by the Poxwalkers or the Cultists. Remember the Cultists don't necessarily have to be DG, so you can use Tide of Traitors for EVEN MORE bodies and increase the size of the Poxwalker blob to utterly ridiculous levels. This basically creates a reverse Distraction Carnifex, something that you literally can't respond to unless you deal with other units first. All smiles motherfucker! Expensive in CP, though. In Matched Play, Poxwalkers that exceed unit starting strength cost reinforcement points now. Bye bye Harvest.

Another option is if you have a "the purge" detachment, tie up an enemy unit with poxwalkers then pop the "Dead walk again" stratagem and follow up with "all life is Worthless" on a havok/obliterator unit to fire into the fight. Any losses from friendly fire should be recuperated with interest right away.

Grenade Storm[edit]

Get a Biologis Putrifier, as many Plague Marines as you can, and use the Blight Bombardment stratagem for an impressive amount of shots, up to 20d6 if the squad is full size. Combine with Veterans of the Long War to get Mortal Wounds on a 5+, in case you want to take down heavy vehicles using only grenades. For extra fun, deep strike a Lord of Contagion with the Arch-Contaminator warlord trait. Since you can take Plague Marines in 7 man squads, one possible delivery method is a Rhino containing seven Plague Marines, a Biologis Putrifier, and two more characters, like a Foul Blightspawn for 2d6 extra grenades or a Tallyman for a follow-up charge.

  • The major weakness of this strategy is that the grenades are 6 inch range and everyone and their mother will see it coming. Trying to line up the shot is very difficult without the aid of something like Warptime or a Dreadclaw. It feels like this would be a great backup strategy rather than a main battle plan.
    • As a huge fan of grenades, I've spent a lot of time trying to make this work. I find it is most effective as a backup option for your shooty marines. Having a Biologus hanging out in the back might seem kinda expensive, until your opponent deep strikes a Dreadnought on top of you or their Hive Tyrant comes to play. Unload on them with your plasma guns and blight launchers, but rather than wasting all those bolter shots on a tough target, you can get a squad and a bunch of supporting characters to all chuck grenades. With an Arch-Contaminator nearby, and VotLW, you can decimate an expensive deep striker unit with minimal risk of return fire. I've dropped everything from Terminators to Mawlocs in a single shooting phase with a 7 man squad and 2-3 characters. 1d6 shots, 2 damage, and bonus mortal wounds add up fast.

Nurgle Daemonkin[edit]

Mortarion and the Daemon Engines have the NURGLE and DAEMON keywords, allowing them to benefit from the buffs of Poxbringers and Epidemius' Tally of Pestilence. With this, Mortarion can be buffed to an S9 T8 21 Attacks monster, and that's without any psyker shenanigans! You can also get S8 Plaguespitters on your Bloat Drones in case you wanted anti-tank flamers. Blades of Putrefaction and Virulent Blessing can also make a nasty combo if applied to Mortarion or a Fleshmower Bloat Drone, and Fleshy Abundance is always useful. Since you can organize an army around the NURGLE keyword, you can have an Outrider Detachment based on Bloat Drones and Plague-Haulers (who won't mourn for the loss of Inexorable Advance seeing as they never benefited from it) lead by Epidemius and/or a Poxbringer. Horticulus Slimux can help out further by providing healing (via Cultists dying near him) and planting Feculent Gnarlmaws which provide cover (For infantry), more buffs(Charging after Advancing/Falling Back), aid in summoning, and mortal wounds to non-Nurgle things all at the same time.

  • Another way to use Nurgle Daemons is to get a Supreme Command Detachment and fill it with Nurgle Chaos Daemons not Death Guard ones. Now any wound rolls of 6 for your Daemon Engines causes 1 additional damage if they're near a NURGLE character.

Tides of Deathvomit[edit]

When building an army list, it's often better to think of it in terms of move speed and attack range. What you want is to hit your opponent in waves, forcing them to react to your moves rather than letting them do what they do best. First waves are usually fast moving units like Mortarion, Bloat Drones, Plague Drones and Daemon Princes, since they have ridonkulous movement range. Second waves are usually deep strikes and marines popping out of rhinos to deliver faceful of grenades, deep frying with plague flamers, or melee Helbrutes leaping into the fray. Final waves are usually Typhus and his zombie mosh pits. The downside to this strategy is that you'll be absolutely shit when it comes to holding territory. Then again you're a filthy heretic, who cares about defending?

The Harvest[edit]

Get a Tallyman and a Malignant Plaguecaster, give the Tallyman the Fugaris' Helm relic for the extra 3" range for re-rolls in the fight phase. Give the Malignant Plaguecaster 'Blades of Putrefaction' for +1 to wound in the fight phase as well mortal wounds on 7+ with plague weapons, and 'Putrescent Vitality' for +1 Strength, and +1 Toughness. Stick them in a 'Rhino' with a unit of your choice. Get a squad or squads of 'Deathshroud Terminators', put the terminators in reserve. Ride the Rhino to the enemy line. Deploy when available to do so. Deep strike the Deathshroud Terminators as close as possible to the enemy but stay within the range of the Tallyman, and the Malignant Plaguecaster. Target the Deathshroud with the psychic powers. Keep in mind the modified 10" of the 'Tallymans' Re-roll range for the fight phase. Charge. Fast forward to fight phase. Use Veterans of the Long War for a +1 to wound (This means due to BoP psychic Power, it's +2 to wound, and mortal wounds are now going off on 5+). Deathshroud are hitting on 3+, re-rollable misses, wounding anything Toughness 9 on 2+, rerolling 1s, and mortal wounds go off on 5+ in addition to damage. Very good at killing anything tanky like Land Raiders or Knights. Not a bad point cost for a death star. You basically have 'Mortarion', but doesn't die first turn.

  • A massive con for this strategy is the vulnerability of the Deathshroud after screwing up your charge. I hope you remembered the marines that were accompanying the Plaguecaster, and the Tallyman. Put them between the Deathshroud and the enemy. Use Cloud of Flies on the terminators, so the enemy can't target them. Charge your marines in, just so the enemy can't overwatch you.
  • Another con is the time it takes for this to work. You have to be a couple of turns in to be able to get the characters out the 'Rhino'. Heavily relies on deployment and enemy placement. Typically a lot of factors can make this strategy not work, but on paper it works great.
Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics