The Horus Heresy Legion Focus: Death Guard

Welcome back to Goonhammer’s series for aspiring Praetors. We know that the Horus Heresy system can seem intimidating to players unfamiliar with its particular quirks, but this series aims to equip you with everything you’ll need to play out epic clashes on the battlefields of the far future with your very own army. In this series, we’ll be walking you through how to build your force and command it to glory, including everything from units to tactics to lead your army to victory.

Hitting second edition as a surprise favourite of Traitor warlords, the Death Guard are tough, relentless and have a surprising number of extremely brutal options that can swing any game in their favour. Though they can be flexible and embrace almost any playstyle, their natural inclinations are towards big guns, big armour and big bois.

Death Guard Spartan. Credit: Serotonin

You’ll find they’re surprisingly manoeuvrable, moving through the battlefield with an ease that other legions envy, and running and gunning with the heaviest armaments. On top of that they have a huge number of tricks to slow down, disrupt and generally interfere with the enemy forces. Fighting them can often feel like fighting through knee-high mud, as every advantage you have is blunted and weakened and drained.

Legion Special Rules


The Death Guard legion trait really cements them as a relentless mobile force – not fast like the White Scars, but persistent and merciless in advance. As long as any unit (that isn’t Cavalry or Artillery) doesn’t run or otherwise use a special movement type (like a jump pack) they can move ignoring any restrictions or penalties to their movement. This includes terrain but also, as called out in the text, Pinning. This makes them remarkably resistant to some of the worst effects of that rule, as they can still manoeuvre and get into position for when it clears. It also lets Stunned vehicles keep on the move (though not immobilised ones).

This allows the legion to just wander through difficult (though not dangerous) terrain like it wasn’t there. It doesn’t affect their charges so you still have to contend with that, and you’ll still be taking dangerous terrain tests (well, most of the time, see Rites of War) but this is a game changer. You can make use of cover saves in area terrain without the downsides most cover of that type imposes on other legions, and you can get around the board faster and more relentlessly than anyone else.

The other component of the trait is that they are considered to be stationary when making Shooting Attacks even if they moved in the movement phase. That means you can wander around and fire off heavy weapons without Relentless, and it also means that vehicles can make the most of their mobility and still fire at full effect. This doesn’t impact charges, but the ability to run and gun with heavy support squads or, even better, nemesis bolter recon squads, is enormous. It also means that Tactical Squads can fire Fury of the Legion literally every turn – you’re always considered stationary, so feel free to advance and fire with that extra shot.

If there’s one weakness with this trait it’s that exception for Cavalry and Artillery. Now, it’s not completely clear if they also don’t benefit from the second part of this rule, but the use of “furthermore” suggests that it only applies to models the first part applies to, so most events and players are running it as not applying in its entirety. Which kind of blows to be honest – maybe they just thought wheeling around Rapier batteries and shooting enemies as you go would be a bridge too far, but it does seem a little odd. It also makes bikes a liability – they’re going to be bogged down far more than infantry are. Overall there are strong disincentives to bringing bikes for Death Guard.

Advanced Reaction: Remorseless Advance

Find another word, Games Workshop – using remorseless for the trait and the advanced reaction is just lazy. Moving past that linguistic disappointment, the reaction itself is actually fantastic – one of the strongest of any of the legions. It’s a shooting phase reaction, and when used grants a 4+ Feel No Pain damage mitigation to the unit and lets them ignore any morale or pinning test that results from the shooting. Once it’s all resolved the unit can then move up to 7″ in any direction they like (making this less of an advance and more of a wander).

A Death Guard leviathan dreadnought plays king of the hill with some Blood Angels at Goonhammer Open Horus Heresy 2022

There are some very strong contenders for when you should use this. Using it in reaction to a key pinning test (from a Telepathy librarian, for example) is a great shout – especially in a key turn for scoring if it means a Line unit can be scoring when it really counts. It’s also a fantastic way of keeping a vital unit alive and well from very heavy fire – a 4+ Feel No Pain is a great way of avoiding serious damage. Do remember though that a Feel No Pain cannot be taking against Instant Death attacks, so don’t waste this protecting some Toughness 4 models from lascannon volleys.

The extra movement after resolution is where this really shines brightest however. It can be used to get a unit out of trouble, into cover and so on, but it can also be used to advance a melee unit somewhere that they can cause trouble in your turn. Using this on a Cataphractii Terminator squad is particularly rude since 7″ is actually faster than they can normally move. There’s very few things as scary as shooting some heavy firepower at a unit of Deathshroud only for them to shrug off the blows and then advance at breakneck pace towards your lines.

The Reaper’s Arsenal

The XIVth get three new pieces of kit for their forces: Alchem Munitions, Toxin Bombs and Power Scythes.

Alchem Munitions are basically alternative flamers that can be swapped for their normal counterparts for free. They add the Fleshbane and Gets Hot special rules, making them substantially more dangerous for everyone. Even those units that force you to reroll successful fleshbane wounds are probably wounded more easily with one of these than the normal to wound roll of a flamer, and so it’s broadly just a uniform improvement. It makes them positively lethal against large squads, and the Gets Hot is not that much of a threat given that the AP is still standard for a flame weapon. It’s hard to imagine a situation in which not taking these is a good idea – load all your flamers with alchem and go to town.

Toxin Bombs are a 10 point upgrade for any character with the Traitor allegiance (I guess Loyalists… don’t use warcrimes? Hrmm) which includes sergeants in units. Any unit that charges them effectively has a chance to take a wound, rolling a die for each model and on a 1 suffering a wound that can only be saved with invulnerable saves and nothing else. This is a bit of a knock to units like Terminators but is hilariously devastating to Assault Squads and other mass attack units. It’s probably not an upgrade to put on all your units but on anything with Counter-Attack or which you really want to be as safe as possible from charges (like Heavy Support Squads) this is a good choice. Just make sure to loudly remind your opponent that units have them before they declare their charges for full psychological effect.

Power Scythes are a thematic option for power weapons for characters which basically are an extra option for those (you technically switch the whole power weapon for a power scythe but it’s functionally the same as having an extra option). It’s… honestly a real shame these are only for characters? Having a unit of veterans with power scythes would be fucking cool as hell, and these are hardly massively better than other options, though they are good. They’re basically a combination of a power sword (ap 3, rending 6+) and a power maul (+2 strength) but with the two-handed rule and then reaping blow (1) to mitigate that a little. You want to be surrounded by enemies or you’re just rolling less attacks. They’re definitely a little better than other power weapons, but they’re not overwhelmingly so – if you’re not going for the ap2 of the power axe, this is a probably a good choice. Just don’t expect it to do much against terminators.

Sons of Barbarus

There are three warlord traits available to the Death Guard, one of which is locked to Traitors while the other two are open to both allegiances.

The Reaper’s Visage is the Traitor-only pick, and effectively gives the warlord Fear (2) but only applying against units within 12″ that don’t have an Independent Character or Primarch in them. This is ok, and can be hugely impactful especially if you’re playing a more assault focused army, or you want your warlord to lead the way surrounded by sniper fire for pinning, but the lack of impact on Independent Characters is a bit rough. You also get an extra reaction in the Assault phase, which is generally the least useful kind to get, so overall this feels a bit of a miss.

Witch Hunter is a hugely situational trait, being very very good against some match ups (Thousand Sons for example) but absolutely dreadful against others (if your opponent doesn’t bring any psykers this is effectively entirely wasted). It basically gives buffs to your warlord and units nearby when they’re dealing with psykers, plus an extra reaction in the Assault phase (two warlord traits to grant this for the Death Guard is rough, frankly, and it would have been better for all legions to have access to one of each minimum). Another miss, sadly.

The Blood of Barbarus is probably the best of the bunch, though it’s hardly an amazing get. It makes Rending, Fleshbane, Murderous Strikes and Poisoned only actually go off on a 6+, rather than the normal number, against this warlord and the unit he joins. This is actually pretty damn good, as it dramatically reduces a lot of the nastiest volume fire (the Rending component is the best part). Though it not impacting Breaching just feels mean, since plasma is going to rip through them, and Charnabal weapons are now king. And odd one, but it also gives a reaction in the Shooting phase which is great, so this is probably the one to go for if you’re not getting one from a special character.

Death Guard Rites of War

The Death Guard have two Rites of War available to them, one of which is restricted to just Traitors.

Raven Guard ambush the Death Guard at Goonhammer Open Horus Heresy 2022

The Reaping

Available to both allegiances, The Reaping is a Rite of War that really hones in on the classic Death Guard fighting style – heavy troops moving slowly but relentlessly and hammering you to death. You get to take Veteran Squads as Troop choices (but they don’t get Line) and Heavy Support Squads as non-Compulsory Troop choices, which means you can easily fill up your entire Troop slots with stuff that doesn’t give you Line (don’t do this, put some recon squads with nemesis bolters in to boost your output). It also lets you really really fill up on heavy support squads, and just wave after wave of guys with autocannons isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. The other benefit is that Characters can take rad grenades for 10 points, which really buffs the hell out of close combat units, especially those with power scythes – with a -1 Toughness penalty normal marines are now suffering instant death to Strength 6. Load those Veteran Squads up with Power Mauls and go to town.

The downsides are, however, pretty substantial. First of all you can’t Deep Strike, Flank or use a Subterranean Assault, but more substantially you’re not allowed to Run or make Movement reactions which is just absolutely devastating. What feels like it should be a footslogging heavy fire then heavy assault list kind of falls apart here – footslogging assault troops rely so heavily on the ability to run and use movement reactions to advance. That means loading them into transports, probably land raiders, and that gets expensive. It doesn’t make the Rite useless by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a heavy price to pay for… not a huge amount of benefit. Other than the rad grenades you can take Pride of the Legion to get much of the same benefit but better, without having to suffer the pretty substantial downsides.

Creeping Death

Available to Traitors only Creeping Death is the Rite of War most likely to make your opponent groan when you announce you’re using it, which may be fun or not depending on what kind of person you are. It supercharges the terrain nonsense of your army, letting you auto-pass dangerous terrain tests, making your deployment zone dangerous and difficult terrain and giving you Shrouded (6+) while you’re in it, and making all area terrain on the battlefield dangerous terrain. You can also take Grave Wardens as non-compulsory Troop choices which is whatever really, it’s the terrain nonsense you’re here for.

This is absolutely crushingly miserable for many armies to face off against. Does your opponent have recon marines that want to hide in ruins for a cover save? Well fuck those guys, they’re dying now. Does your opponent have some Custodes that want to hang out in ruins to get a tasty 4+ cover save? Well fuck those guys, but probably they deserve it so that’s ok. Does your opponent have to get units into your deployment zone in order to win the mission? It’s really not their day.

The “downside” for the Rite of War is your have to bring a Siegebreaker consul, which would only really count as a downside if they weren’t really good, but since they are… ok then.

It’s worth ploughing straight into the nonsense that this entire thing grants vehicles too. Vehicles don’t suffer difficult terrain (so your legion trait doesn’t help them), treating it all as dangerous terrain. But now you automatically pass those tests, so they don’t suffer dangerous terrain either. This means your vehicles can just smash through ruins with impunity, presumably doing wheelies across the alchem fire they’re drenched in. Absolute nonsense.

This is good. It’s really good. Against some match ups it’s merely frustrating and annoying and difficult to deal with. Against others it forces them to experience a catastrophe in slow motion. If you’re running a Traitor Death Guard force and you don’t have another Rite of War in mind, it’s hard to work out why you wouldn’t run this.

Legion Units

Deathshroud Terminator Squad

Some of the most expensive legion specific terminators in Heresy, Deathshroud earn this premium price point due to their sheer resilience. They’re in Tartaros armour which isn’t quite as tough as Cataphractii, but does mean you can sweep and run, and on top of that they’re 3 wounds each and have battle hardened (1) so they can’t be Instant Deathed with Strength 8 weapons – a classic way to deal with terminators. This means they’re going to hang around, and do some damage with their alchem pistols (which since they have fleshbane are hardly much worse than full fledged flamers) and power scythes. You should definitely give at least one model a grenade harness.

These guys are a solid retinue, and giving such a tough unit Line is very nice, and because there’s no cap on the number included in a retinue you can give a full unit of 10 Line and have them rock around with Typhon in a Spartan and just be a menace. Sure the Power Scythes aren’t cutting through terminator armour easily, but the sheer number of attacks is going to wear down most targets and tarpit the rest. You can also give them melta bombs if you want them to be able to handle heavy targets, which isn’t a bad idea. Don’t underestimate the fact that they have Chosen Warrior too, so you can just hold up enemy characters almost indefinitely.

The downside of all of this is cost. As mentioned, they’re a premium unit – 70 points per model is more than a custodes and so you need to be aware just how much of your army they’re eating up. That said if you want something big and tough to just sit there and not die, it’s hard to recommend better. It’s unclear whether they’ll actually achieve much, but they sure will stick around.

Grave Warden Terminator Squad

We’ve had one legion specific terminator squad, yes, but what about second legion specific terminator squad? Well, the Death Guard have you covered and the Grave Wardens are no slouches either. Cataphractii with an inbuilt 6+ Shrouded who make all charges against them disordered, these guys are some of the toughest terminators around – other than their brothers in the Deathshroud. They come with power fists you can upgrade to chainfists (upgrading a couple isn’t a bad idea) and a couple of ranged weapons which they can fire both of thanks to firing protocols. The assault grenade launcher shoots frag or krak grenades up to 18″ away, while the death cloud projectors are Poisoned (3+) template weapons. All of this means that charging these guys is a bad plan.

Make the most of that buy buffing the squad with a Herald to make them Line and putting them on a central objective that’s hard to crack. If you really really want to up the ante you can put a librarian in here too and up their toughness to stop instant death stinging so much. A ten marine unit of these will be incredibly difficult to shift.

The Death Guard Advance at Goonhammer Open Horus Heresy 2022

Mortus Poisoner Squad (Expanded)

A budget elite option, the Mortus Poisoner Squad is an odd pick, but a flavourful one. You can field them in units of between 5 and 15 models, but if you have no more than 10 you can bundle them in some dedicated transports, including a drill, which is a nice way to actually make use of it. They’re basically tactical marines by the statline and armament, with the addition of rad grenades, but they get a couple of special rules: bitter duty (generally a downside), counter-attack and stubborn. The rad grenades and the counter-attack are ways to dissuade charges, and stubborn will keep them in the field. It feels like the intended role here is to get these guys to a specific point and have them hold it, dissuading charges and advances.

This is good in theory and there are some bumps to it with equipment – the entire squad can swap their bolters for alchem flamers for free, and this is probably a good idea. It certainly makes attacking them a scarier proposition. You can also pop a heavy alchem flamer in for one in five models, but given that it’s expensive and you already have fleshbane on your shots, I’m not convinced it’s worth it. Now the downsides: a unit of 10 with chainswords and alchem flamers clocks in at a not insubstantial 240pts, and honestly at that point it’s hard to imagine it’s your best choice. Tactical Support Squads can do a lot of what these guys do and will be cheaper, and importantly don’t swallow up an Elite slot which is always in demand. Not a bad unit, but more fun that functional.

Calas Typhon

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

First Captain of the Death Guard, The Left Hand of Mortarion, Master of the Terminus Est and the real “power behind the throne” of the legion, Calas Typhon is a seriously tough character with a substantial price tag to go along with it. He’s more or less kitted out as a Grave Warden with all their special rules, but swapping the assault grenade launcher for a grenade harness, rad grenades and an alchem pistol. He also wields Lakrimae, a buffed power scythe with fleshbane (ouch) and ap 2 at initiative (double ouch). He’s also tough for an Independent Character, with 4 wounds, but you can still inflict instant death on him.

He has a unique warlord trait, Comes the Reaper, which buffs poisoned and fleshbane weapons for him and anyone within 6″ which is pretty decent and makes his already scary stats even scarier. It also grants a Movement phase reaction, which is decent and will help get your army where it needs to be, tackling one of the key weaknesses of the legion. Just remember that if you take The Reaping Rite of War then this is pointless and futile. He’s also a pysker with some unique powers. Witchsense buffs him even more in melee making him close to one of the best melee characters going, while the Toxin Cloud psychic weapon lets you throw out a big blast of pinning fleshbane attack (and don’t forget you can use it and shoot another weapon thanks to his Firing Protocols).

In short, Typhon is a beast of a character, tough and dangerous and a great leader for a Death Guard army that’s not bringing Mortarion along (he’s actually worse if the primarch is around, because he can’t use his psychic powers). Putting him in a big block of Grave Wardens is absolutely a strong play, and his heft price tag is more than worth it – just be very wary of precision shots meltaguns or lascannons which can snipe him out and kill him.

Crysos Morturg (Expanded)

The Blackshield, the Revenant, Captain of the 108th Independent Company, Cyrsos Morturg is in the running for the silliest name in Heresy but he’s actually a really fun Loyalist pick. He’s basically a Moritat (with no jump pack) but he can be your warlord and actually has a fun trait, The Shadow of Death, that lets him and his unit move 7″ if an enemy ends deployment within 18″ of him, and also gets a free reaction to react to people coming into reserves (but just for him and his unit). This isn’t good but it’s fluffy and fun enough I’m not sure it matters.

He’s also a psyker, with a special psychic power: Shielded by Hate. It’s super fun – once per battle when he would be removed as a casualty you make a psychic check and if he passes he’s not dead, he goes into reserves with 1 wound remaining and can come back on. This is hilarious and I love it. He also gets Aetheric Lightning but the man has two disintegrator pistols so why the hell would you ever use it.

Which brings us on to his insane arsenal. He has two disintegrator pistols (awesome), an alchem combi-flamer (awesome) and a special melee weapon that has a chance to injure him when he uses it (awesome) and hits at ap2 at initiative with +1 Strength and Reaping Blow (2) (awesome awesome awesome). The guy even has rad grenades, so get a biomancer nearby, load him up with some extra strength, and let him instant death terminators on the charge.

Is this a good pick for an army? Probably not, if you’re just trying to win. But this is what Expanded characters should be for – fluffy, fun, wildly divergent from the normal options and honestly something you want to build a whole army around.

Marshal Durak Rask (Expanded)

Siegemaster of the Death Guard Legion, Marshal Durak Rask is a Traitor HQ pick who is Heavy despite only being in artificer armour and not having a shield of any kind. However it kind of makes sense given his role, which is to be a solid and immovable object and encourage others to acts of brutality. He has a vox and wields a hammer that’s basically a thunderhammer with Sunder, but that’s pretty much the extent of things in terms of interesting equipment. The meat of the character is in his warlord trait and his special rules.

The warlord trait is Merciless Doctrine and it basically reduces FNP saves against attacks made by him and a unit he joins and it’s… kind of odd. Not a huge amount of stuff in the game has a Feel No Pain, so this is a gamble in of itself. Plus, his heavy subtype means you’re probably running him with a Heavy Support Squad, and lascannons (the premier choice) are going to ignore those FNPs anyway. It feels very niche – not awful but niche.

Protocols of Destruction are the other part of this. It grants the usual Siegebreaker ability to hand out phosphex (though it’s bizarre to put it in this rule since the other part is a once per game ability), but the key bit is once per game he can give himself and a unit he joins +1 on vehicle damage table results from attacks they make. This can be very effective, making lascannons very reliable for explosions, but the real gem is autocannons and it now means they can cause explosions. But only once per game, and it’s a max of one target because split fire isn’t going to be available so… it’s fine.

Overall a little flabby and lacklustre. You can see what they were going for and there’s some fun flavourful stuff in here, but nothing that actually makes him feel compelling at the 165pt price tag compared to a standard Siege Breaker. Plus you can’t use him as the compulsory add for Creeping Death which just feels like a swing and a miss.


The Pale King, Master of the Death Guard, the Traveller, Dread Liberator of Barbarus, Mortarion is an unusual Primarch that demands a particular playstyle. Unlike many of his brothers he’s not necessarily strongest with a bunch of powerful aides in a large armoured bus, slamming into other Primarchs. Instead he has incredible mobility, especially compared to his legion, and that means he’s a comparable unit to something like Corax but probably better off just on his own, striking out against the world. However that means he can be very vulnerable – caught out in the open he’s going to die to a hail of lascannons, so you need to play it carefully and cunningly.

Ruleswise he has all the usual primarch stuff going on, with a ws7, s7, t7, i5 profile (making him markedly slower on the swing than a lot of his brothers) but with a hefty 7 attacks backed up by It Will Not Die (4+) meaning he will likely recover quite a few wounds over the game. He’s also only affected by Posioned, Rending and Fleshbane on a 6 (though again, breaching punches through which is rough) and happily wanders about with a 2+ save and a 4+ invulnerable save. Armament wise he gets 7 phosphex bombs (cool) and Silence and the Lantern. Silence is a big old scythe that hits at initiative and has Reaping Blow (2), Instant Death, Sunder, ap2 and will be striking at Strength 8. Reaping Blow (and two-handed which it also has) means that he’s not at his best one on one – he’s at his best jammed into a unit of enemies swinging hard. This gives us a clue to his role, and we’ll come back to it. The Lantern is a decent assault weapon but is only a single ap2 shot so it’s not exactly a highlight on the sheet.

His warlord trait is Sire of the Death Guard, which lets all units in the army ignore penalties from Shell Shock and Fear, and also from casualties suffered in combat. This is ok, and it’s nice it’s a global buff since he’s going to be away and doing his own thing. He gets an extra reaction in the Assault phase which is… a bit meh. But ok.

Now the juicy bit: Shadow of the Reaper. This special rule lets Mortarion, instead of shooting, teleport 10″ away ignoring anything in between him and his destination, as long as the destination is 3″ from an enemy model. He can still charge, but doing so is Disordered. This means he can, in effect, move 17″ in a turn and then charge, losing the +1 attack but otherwise striking as normal. Even basically ignore difficult terrain for all of it, and impassable and dangerous terrain with the last 10″ as long as he doesn’t land in it. This really speaks to his real role: harrying and hunting.

Mortarion really wants to move up close (either using some Deathshroud as cover and then leaving the unit once he’s close enough, or just making his own way if there’s enough cover), and then hopping around the board avoiding lines of fire and taking down units that are nearby and vulnerable. Being a primarch there are few non-primarch units that can face him down in combat – even dreadnoughts are going to fall – and he can absolutely chew through units one after another. Be careful with positioning and you’ll find he more than makes his points back as, effectively, an extremely thorough assassin. He’s best into targets like heavy support squads, backline terminators (fulmentarus maybe) and others, and if you have a way to pin those squads before he hits even better because that way he can avoid the pain of overwatch. Do not forget he can pick his targets too, so he can easily chew out the highest leadership models and leave the rest of the unit to flee from him.

Putting it All Together

Death Guard Praetor
Death Guard Praetor – Credit: Serotonin

Death Guard are relentless and hard to stop. They are surprisingly mobile in some ways, thanks to being able to fire heavy weapons as they move and ignoring difficult terrain when they’re not running. However this bonus means that they’re no faster when they do need to run, and so you’re best playing hard into armoured lists or footslogging and taking the slow road and accepting it.

Here are my key thoughts on how to get the most out of Death Guard:

Go Heavy where you can. Heavy Support Squads are basically only limited for you by their slots, and otherwise can move and fire as freely as Tactical Support Squads. Most Death Guard lists should be running one or two 10-marine Heavy Support Squads. Also don’t be afraid to load up on vehicles with weapons that normally require them to go slow or be stationary – you can gun them around the field and still fire freely.

Alchem is best-chem. Alchem flamers are just a fantastic thing and you’ll do a lot of damage with them if you use them well. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle them into any unit that can take them, strap them to vehicles and otherwise load up. A couple on a tank can ruin infantry nearby in a way that normal flamers just can’t.

Rely on your resilience. You have two legion specialist terminator options and one of them should probably turn up in your list. They’re both good and they’re both very tough – use them to hang on to key locations and delay key enemy units and you’ll do well.

Creep death, you creep. It’s sometimes a little overplayed but the Creeping Death Rite of War is just so good and has so few downsides – if you want to really make your opponent pay there are few better choices.

Death Guard Contemptor Dreadnought – Credit: Serotonin

Example List: Creeping Death (3000pts)

Thanks to reader JellyMuppet for this list, which I’ve had the misfortune to go up against a couple of times:

Calas Typhon (Warlord) (Rite of War: Creeping Death)
Siege Breaker (Boarding Shield, Nemesis Bolter)
Librarian (Force Staff, Psychic Hood, Telepathy)

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon (one with dual gravis lascannon and a helical targeting array and a second with a gravis melta cannon and a gravis power fist with meltagun)
Apothecary (Artificer Armour, Power Sword)
Techmarine (Cognis Sigum, Boarding Shield)

Tactical Squad (20 marines, 10 with chain bayonets, sergeant with Power Scythe, Artificer Armour and Toxin Bombs)
Tactical Squad (10 marines, sergeant with Artificer Armour)
Recon Squad (5 marines, Nemesis Bolters, Augury Scanner)
Recon Squad (5 marines, Nemesis Bolters, Augury Scanner)
Grave Wardens (5 terminators, 1 Chainfist, Toxin Bomb with a Land Raider Proteus Carrier as a dedicated transport)

Leviathan Dreadnought Talon (one Leviathan with a Cyclonic Melta Lancer, Siege Claw, Alchem Heavy Flamers and a Phosphex Dispenser)
Heavy Support Squad (10 marines, Autocannons, Augury Scanner, sergeant with Artificer Armour)
Heavy Support Squad (10 marines, Lascannons, Augury Scanner, sergeant with Artificer Armour)

The technmarine joins the lascannon squad to give a +1 to hit, while the Siege Breaker joins the other. The Apothecary and the Librarian join the large tactical squad  and advance, while the dreadnoughts provide cover and the Grave Wardens and Typhon advance in the Land Raider.

It has some weaknesses – a single vehicle is a strong draw for anti-tank weapons, but the dreadnoughts more than make up for that. And it just vomits so much shooting across the table while remaining very mobile. That combined with all the difficult and dangerous terrain, and it’s a mire for the enemy to get caught in while you gun them down.


That’s it for the Death Guard, some of the toughest sons of bitches in the Heresy. We hope you’ve found this article useful; if you have any comments or feedback, please let us know here or on