We are going to share our impressions from the new Death Guard codex. It’s hard to call it a complete review since it’s impossible to judge this army without multiple playtests. So, here are some impressions and ideas of how to play it. We will surely share the results of playtests with you later. The army on the photos belongs to Jes Bickham. the editor of the White Dwarf.
Why so? Because Death Guard seems the most variable and complex army in the 8th edition by far. There are so many mechanics and tactics, and a real synergy between them. You can see how the one character’s special rules give meaning to the other ones’, added by stratagems or magic and provide incredible results.
How about, for example, a chance to throw 20D6 grenades from one unit? Grenades with mortal wounds on 6+ and additional damage. You need only to combine two characters, the units itself and the stratagem. And the transport to bring them 3 inches to the enemy, of course.
Or the spell that makes you inflict mortal wounds on 6+, combined with common CSM stratagem for +1 to wound roll. Or maybe you need a close combat squad with re-rolls of everything? And here are only the first combinations that come into the head.
In general, «Mortal wounds» - is the keyword for this book. They are delivered by almost everyone in many different ways. If you were always depressed about those saving throws your enemy makes, forget about them. This codex is definitely for you. But there is an issue – most of the mortal wounds abilities work in 7 inches or even closer. (Again, you have the ways to increase that aura). Such distance makes us think about the ways to deliver the units, and this is also an interesting part of the codex.
The most obvious choice – terminator drop. They are as awesome, as it’s possible. Tough, with a great choice of weapons (both shooting and close combat), available for all the cool Nurgle spells. Even lack of 3++ doesn’t spoil them. T5 and FNP makes them may be better. The best terminators in the game, for sure.
However, such alpha strike is balanced by the fact that all the characters with buffs can’t deep strike. So, you have to delay your terminators until they come closer somehow. Or act straightforward and don’t wait for any help. You have all standard transports for infantry models’ delivery, but all the special rules push you to the barefoot march towards the enemy. There is shooting with assault weapons at full BS after running, Rapid fire range increased, crawlers with +1 to cover save, spell with -1 to hit, and the bell with a choice of 2D6 for advancing – everything to make your clumsy plague warriors move faster. And they don’t stop shooting.
Playtests will show if this tactic is more effective than classic «plague marines on the rhino» On the one hand it takes more time, on the other – they can’t shoot while being in transport. So, the concept of the Death Guard advance by far looks like waves – terminators to strike your enemy first, plague marines with characters, marching towards and providing fire support, Bloated Drones and Rhinos for fast battlefield control, and the last wave of zombies, crawling behind and capturing objectives. It greatly represents the spirit of the Death Guard.
By the way – the full specter of Nurgle daemons are in the codex. So, Drones and nurglings can be a real help in field control. Let’s see, how it will look in the game.