Beanith’s Road to… NoVA?: Building a Death Guard Finale?

An article by    Events and Challenges Gaming Hobby Road to NoVA Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Picture this scenario if you will, dear reader, which may or may not have happened on a typical Thursday afternoon last week.

Rob: Why are you in that hammock and why are the Goonhammer Offices full of sand?

Beanith: Sipping from a beverage with a small umbrella “Research”

Rob: You know I can see you making air quotes when you make them in front of me in real life, right? Pauses to take a deep breath You know what, this isn’t the time. Where is your article on your finished Death Guard army? The one you were writing for your imaginary NOVA debut? It’s almost September.

Beanith: The hellish reality that is 2020 has seeped into my dreamscape and postponed my imaginary NOVA debut till next year as well? Real shame too, I was looking forward to facing off with Dream Richard Siegler for the crown and sash that I assume is awarded at the end of the event.

Rob: It’s a sword, actually. And also a sash.

Beanith: I even had witty banter prepared too. Such as when meeting Dan, I’d congratulate him on making it onto the cover of Necromunda House of Iron.

SERIOUSLY WHAT

Rob – Delusions aside, I’m not sure anyone needs 18 months to get an army ready. Especially not you. I’ve seen your How to Paint Everything write-ups.

Beanith: I have lead miniatures that are old enough to drink and vote and that makes them old enough to say otherwise.

Space Wolf Long Fang

Beanith’s first attempt – Space Wolf Long Fang 1993

Rob: Point taken. But I want pictures of Spider-Man on my desk next week either way.

Beanith: I see you are wearing the Spiked Cleats of Encouragement today. Fine…

 

Beanith’s Road to the Then-Imaginary NOVA Open.

Well it’s been a wild 5 months since I wrote my opening article, Beanith’s Road to… NoVA?: Building a Death Guard First Army with monthly updates snuck into the End of Month Hobby Roundups.

I had a lot of fun with Trello keeping track of everything and giving me ideas on what I should work on next, the little buzz of joy whenever I moved something into the “Done Son” column was an excellent motivator too at times.

Beanith’s Trello August Progress

My Daemon Prince won’t arrive until late September and Warhammer Conquest has given me another 20-something Plague Zombies to throw on the pile. I got to play around with different techniques and paints that I normally wouldn’t use and it was fun to play an army that was slightly different to my Primaris Iron Hands with less wounds (for now, October brings me more wounds for my chubby little boys) but a better feel no pain.

Along the way, the Physical Sleepy War of Spider-man dropped and buffed the Death Guard army up enough to that delightful point just above “James ‘Boon’ Kelling starts complaining about their impact on the competitive scene” but just below “They’re so good that James ‘One_Wing’ Grover starts playing them.” Which is a shame because I was hoping to meet Greg “ANAmal.net” Chiasson and his Dark Angels on even ground.

Foetid Bloat-drone – Credit Beanith

So with an artificial cut off date in place, I have the following ready to start building a list for the imaginary Nova Open:

Beanith's Finished Death Guard collection

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour

Lord of Contagion

Malignant Plaguecaster

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists
. 10x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Poxwalkers
. 10x Poxwalker:

+ Elites +

Biologus Putrifier

2x Foul Blightspawn

2x Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought: either 2x Butcher cannon or 2x Twin lascannon. I do have bits for Havoc launchers too.

Plague Surgeon

+ Fast Attack +

2x Foetid Bloat-drone: 2x Plaguespitter

4x Myphitic Blight-haulers

+ Heavy Support +

3x Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino: Combi-bolter

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill

++ Total: [147 PL, 2,902pts] ++

 

And joining me – OF HIS OWN FREE WILL – on my journey in this article is James ‘One_Wing’ Grover to help me with some great advice and tips to make my chubby boys into a mean fighting force.


Wings: So, uh…I don’t exactly know if this is good or bad news, but the turning of the edition has been extremely kind to this collection and this now looks honestly kind of great. I’m looking at some Nurgle armies in a list review piece that’s going up tomorrow, and you now have access to a lot of the same tools that are seeing use in top lists, and can fill out to taste with stuff that’s at least good.

Plagueburst Crawler – Credit Beanith

With three PBCs and a unit of Blight-haulers, the clear way to go with this is Poxmongers in order to take advantage of their exceptionally powerful Ironclot Furnace relic, granting a 4++ bubble for the Daemon engines. Plague Marines are also a lot spicier than they used to be, and you have access to a Terrax drill to drop some of them in. In an ideal world I’d probably want to run a fairly bare-bones unit of 10 to pull off the full Blight Bombardment combo, but tooled up 5-model squads seem to be landing at somewhere around “fine” in the metagame, so we can probably get away with passing on that (with the models available I guess you could do a 9-model squad, but let’s just park that).

Myphitic Blight-Haulers – Credit Beanith

I was going to drop a list in at this point, but I looked ahead and the one you’ve come up with as a planned “GT” list is close enough to what I came up with that I won’t steal your thunder, and will put in suggestions there instead. A couple of Daemon Princes is definitely the next thing you want on your shopping list, as they’re the glaring gap, with enough bare-bones Plague Marine bodies to build out a grenade squad of 10, then maybe some Blightlords as a final option. As it stands though, this is a really strong collection – you’ve got tools to build lists with real bite, but also enough fun stuff to tune up or down as needed.


Beanith: Ok, so from that what I understand is that I have once again, just like with my Iron Hands, through no planning on my part, managed to end up with a competitive army. Maybe I should build my Necrons and see if I can go three for three.

So I’ve managed about ten games of 9th so far since the mid July release, about two thirds of which could be considered “competitive”.

The list I tend to favor is a rough 1,500-point list that’s easy to pack up and travel with.

Beanith's travel pack Death Guard

Plague Company: The Poxmongers

+ HQ +

Lord of Contagion: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Harbinger of Nurgle, Ironclot Furnace, Warlord

Malignant Plaguecaster: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 5. Putrescent Vitality,

+ Troops +

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

+ Elites +

Foul Blightspawn:

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn

Foetid Bloat-drone: 2x Plaguespitter, Plague probe

+ Heavy Support +

3x Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill: Contaminated Monstrosity, Heavy Flamers

++ Total: [74 PL, 10CP, 1,478pts] ++

 

I have faced off with Coda (who is both cool and good) with his Sporks of Desperado Marines which we wrote up over here at They See Me Crusadin’, They Hatin’.

I put my big boy pants and went to a FLGS for my first ever pick up game this year (at the time we Aussies could still meet in person in stores, that’s kinda debatable again now) with Jye and his very lovely Wraith-heavy Necron army and got dumpstered in a 9 to 70-something game. This is the game that taught me the importance of actually properly choosing secondaries instead of picking the kill more (Rob’s Note: Attrition/Grind Them Down), the mission specific one and, for some unknown reason, Linebreaker.

Be

Beanith’s Battle with Jye’s Necron

The rest have been against my two mates and their Eldar and Orks and both followed a pattern of a small teaching game at around 500-1000 points and then another game at 1,500 points using the match play rules.

For this I can not recommend the Crusade mission Sweep and Clear enough. It is quite possibly the best mission to use to teach a player who is new to 9th edition, especially if they have never played ITC before, the importance of secondaries and primary scoring. The Crusade secondaries give them a good idea of what to look for when making the jump to Match play missions.

The next game I would recommend that you should play with them is the GT 2020 Incursion mission – Resupply. Making sure to go through the secondaries with them and give them good pointers on what would be a good idea to pick against your list. In my case, Bring it down is a gimme most of the time and While we stand, we fight is a hilariously bad choice for Orks, especially when the Burna Bomba is one of those three units.

My current idea for my list to take to a tournament:

Beanith has no idea GT Death Guard

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) ++

Plague Company: The Poxmongers

+ HQ +

Lord of Contagion: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Harbinger of Nurgle, Ironclot Furnace, Warlord

Malignant Plaguecaster: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 5. Putrescent Vitality,

+ Troops +

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

+ Elites +

Biologus Putrifier

Foul Blightspawn

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought: 2x Butcher cannon, Contaminated Monstrosity

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought: 2x Butcher cannon, Contaminated Monstrosity

+ Fast Attack +

Myphitic Blight-haulers

Myphitic Blight-haulers

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill: Contaminated Monstrosity, Heavy Flamers

++ Total: [102 PL, 8CP, 1,993pts] ++


Wings: So, as outlined above this isn’t miles away from what I came up with, and realistically my changes are more like tuning than outright shifts. I ended up on:

Death Guard - Wings Version

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) ++

Plague Company: The Poxmongers

+ HQ +

Lord of Contagion:  Harbinger of Nurgle

Terminator Lord, Balesword, 6. Arch-Contaminator, Ironclot Furnace, Warlord

+ Troops +

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Plague Marines
. Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma gun
. 3x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
. 2x Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Cultists x10

+ Elites +

Foul Blightspawn

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought: 2x Butcher cannon, Contaminated Monstrosity

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought: 2x Butcher cannon, Contaminated Monstrosity

+ Fast Attack +

3x Myphitic Blight-haulers

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino, Contaminates Monstrosity

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill: Contaminated Monstrosity, Storm Bolters

++ Total: [103 PL, 8CP, 2000pts] ++

The biggest changes from your version are:

  • Shift the warlord trait and relic across to the Terminator lord. The Lord of Contagion will struggle to keep up with the PBCs and Blight-Haulers as they move up the board, so you want the slightly higher movement. and normal-rate Advance. I’d sort of like to be able to take Allwyther on the Terminator, but don’t quite trust opponents not to snipe out the Foul Blightspawn if he’s handed the furnace.
  • Cut the Plaguecaster for the simple reason that he didn’t feel like he was doing loads, and since you currently don’t have Daemon Princes you might as well lean in on that and unlock the option of Abhor the Witch in secondaries.
  • Moved the Blight-Haulers into a single squad to make them tougher to kill and more reliably lock in Grind them Down. (Rob’s Note: This also lets them get the +1 to hit bonus, which is super helpful).

Lord of Contagion – Credit Beanith

For both versions of the list, you’re aiming to push in force up the board to try and dominate primary scoring. Not having Daemon Princes does make you a little bit more vulnerable to being pressed by a melee army, but at least the plaguespitters on the PBCs will help out with that. I’m generally slightly more of a fan of the Entropy Cannon build, but with a lack of a countercharge element that math changes. Your Plague Marine squads can ride in the drill and either deep strike or start on the table, while the Cultist Rhino provides you with a moderately durable throwaway tool for the early objective grab.

My count as Assault Drill – Veer-myn Tunneller or Berrrrrrrrrtttttttt – Credit Beanith

Secondary-wise, Grind them Down is going to be one of the strongest options here, and on plenty of maps Domination is a real choice. This list can push to the mid-board very effectively, and presents some fairly severe mid-ranged threat, while also having plenty of reasonably durable stuff that can sit on an objective somewhere. Mission secondaries are worth a look, and it’s got enough teeth to pull off kill-based choices too. If all else fails, you probably have a modest shot at scoring Raise the Banners High – it’ll mean deploying the drill on the board, and probably holding the Lord of Contagion to drop in on a mid-board objective later on, but it’s there as an option and this army puts up enough of a wall that many opponents won’t get past you to take them back down.

The exceptional resilience of Death Guard make them very good at throwing up “all comers” lists and I think that’s basically where this ends up – a great place to be if you’re heading to an event.


Well that is some excellent advice, thanks heaps for that, Wings. I like the idea about dumping the Plaguecaster as I haven’t been using him too effectively anyway. He tends to lurk in the back and buff the tanks due to a lack of better targets. As I said earlier, I’m still waiting on my Kickstarter Daemon to arrive but with your advice I now have a reason to buy the GW version as well. I am well aware of how nasty a melee army can be for me, and I found that my Lord of Contagion is a beast in hand to hand recently when he was facing off with a Morkanaught. I’m happy that my zippy little haulers made the cut too and I look forward to seeing the Melta changes for them in October. Plus thanks heaps for the suggestions on Secondaries, I’m still getting my head around them.

Speaking of October, a local gaming convention, Briscon, looks to be going ahead after it was cancelled back in April. There’s no information yet about the 40k tournament yet but I might go, depending on the precautions and safety measures put in place. But if that doesn’t pan out then I can to get some more pick up games at my FLGS soon as well so I can put this advice to the test.

 

Future Plans

“Plans” is a strong word so I’ll just say I have plenty of “ideas” for these guys. I’ll of course continue playing them and learn some new tricks, I’m especially looking forward continuing the Crusade Force against Coda when we next meet up. I’ll need to spend a few Requisition Points of course to update my Roster.

The October changes should make the Plague Marines an even more durable choice with the 2 wound update. I may have to stop being so cheap and pick up a box or two of them plus the Blightlords for melee options to go with the two Daemon lords. The siren call from my Indominus box may be strong, especially with the biker boys, but I’m holding strong for now.

Hobby wise there’s still plenty left to paint as you can see earlier in the Trello image. I also have an idea for a Patrol detachment of Nurgle Daemons to run alongside the main force and I’m looking forward to reading a future article from Wings on that.

Because thanks to Warhammer Mortal Realms (The Age of Sigmar version of Warhammer Conquest) I now have a hundred Nighthaunt Chainrasps that, with a decent paint job, will hopefully be able pass as a count as bunch of Plaguebearers midway through being summoned into reality. I am in no way trying to justify owning one hundred of them… or the thirty Sequitors for that matter, which could one day become Veteran Primaris Sargeants still wearing their bathrobes? Yeah, that could work.

Plaguebearer being summoned into Reality – Credit Beanith

Anyway, thanks for reading and following along! We’re all bummed here that NOVA was cancelled but it was the right move. The good news is that the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) is still running their summer raffles, and tickets are on sale through September 6th, so if you want to participate in at least a little of the NOVA experience and want to donate to a good cause, consider heading over there to check it out.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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