Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Plaguing Away From Home: Crimson Fists vs Death Guard

Infect Them With Our Blight!
It's All-Skype Fight Night!

Hot on the heels of our last battle report, I, Stylus, find myself back in the general's chair. This time, I'm trading in the nice, healthy green of the Orks for the verdant putrescence that is the Death Guard.

And in the bold corner, making his all-skype fight night battle report debut, iiiiiiiiiiit's LE-O-FAAAAA!  Hi [waves]  I'll be bringing my Wombles.


Eternal War: The Relic - this one is as simple as it gets: there is a single objective in the centre of the table. Get it and hold it. Only infantry can claim or carry the Relic, no other victory conditions apply.

This is when I start worrying that I've taken far too many vehicles for 1000pts...


The Congregation of Vapours - Death Guard

I was limited to what models my host could provide (essentially the models from Dark Imperium, First Strike and Blightwar), but I've no complaints, as I want to try them all.

I have a reasonably durable meat shield in the Poxwalkers, Plaguebearers and Nurglings, which should help me deliver Typhus into close combat, where he has a good chance of scything anything down.

I could wish for some more Plague Marines (10 were available, but I went with 7 as an offering to Grandfather Nurgle), but at least I can score 6 Command Points from this lot.

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

  • HQ 1 - Typhus, Manreaper, The Destroyer Hive, Blight grenades, Miasma of Pestilence, Gift of Contagion, Warlord w. Legendary Fighter
  • HQ 2 - Malignant Plaguecaster, Corrupted staff, Bolt pistol, Miasma of Pestilence, Gift of Contagion
  • Elite 1 - Noxious Blightbringer, Cursed Plague Bell, Plasma pistol
  • Troop 1 - 7 x Plague Marines, 4 Boltguns, 6 Bolt pistol, 6 Plague knives, 1 Plasma gun, 1 Blight launcher, 1 Plasma pistol, 1 Power fist, 1 Icon of Despair
  • Troop 2 - 16 x Poxwalkers, Improvised weapons
  • Troop 3 - 10 x Plaguebearers, Plaguesword, Instrument of Chaos, Daemonic Icon
  • Troop 4 - 4 x Nurglings - Diseased claws and teeth
  • Fast Attack 1 - Foetid Bloat-drone 2 x Plaguespitters, 1 x Plague Probe
999pts - Battalion Detachment

Crimson Fists

I was also limited to what the host could provide, but that meant I only had myself to blame!  I'd tried something similar to this before but decided to switch out lascannons for assault cannons and also dropped an apothecary somewhere along the line.

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

  • HQ 1 - Pedro Kantor, Dorn’s Arrow, Power fist, Frag & Krak grenades, Warlord w. Tenacious Survivor
  • HQ 2 - Chaplain, Crozius Arcanum, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
  • HQ 3 - Techmarine, Power axe, Servo-arm, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
  • Elite 1 - Dreadnought, Assault cannon, Storm bolter, Dreadnought combat weapon.
  • Elite 2 - Dreadnought, Assault cannon, Heavy flamer, Dreadnought combat weapon.
  • Troops 1 - 5 x Tactical Marines, Sergeant with Power fist and Storm bolter; Flamer, Boltguns, Bolt pistols, Frag & Krak grenades.
  • Troops 2 - 5 x Tactical Marines, Sergeant with Power fist and Storm bolter; Flamer, Boltguns, Bolt pistols, Frag & Krak grenades.
  • Dedicated Transport 1 - Razorback, Twin assault cannon, Storm bolter, Hunter-killer missile
  • Dedicated Transport 2 - Razorback, Twin assault cannon, Storm bolter, Hunter-killer missile
999pts - Patrol Detachment + Auxiliary Support Detachment


Search and Destroy - appropriately enough for this mission, although it does leave me in quite a bare sector of the map, staring down a lot of dakka with a long walk ahead of me.

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

I deploy as close to the Relic as permitted: staring with an arc of Plaguebearers, anchored on each flank with Nurglings and Poxwalkers.

The Foetid Bloat-drone goes at the far edge, in the hope of being out of range of something, while the Plague Marines hunker down in the ruin, for some cover saves.

Typhus and the Plaguecaster go with the Poxwalkers, and the Blightbringer goes behind the Plague Marines.

My plan is to essentially weather the storm of bullets coming my way, then try and overwhelm the Relic before it gets too far. At least I have numbers in my favour, so if it comes down to an infantry scramble over the Relic, I have a chance.

I mirror my opponent and deploy as close as possible, with troops in transports to steal the extra 3" move.

Turn 1 - Crimson Fists

Phew - with my limited infantry options, I'm glad I got to go first. The Tactical Marines closest to the Relic jump out and make a dash for the Relic. The Chaplain, who was cadging a ride too, picks it up and the combat squad form a defensive arc around him.

Kantor disembarks and takes up a central command position, with his combat squad forming a gunline in front of the Razorback.

Both Hunter-Killer missiles hit the Foetid Bloat-drone and take off four wounds. The transports and Dreadnoughts then pepper the Plague Marines, Poxwalkers and Plaguebearers with lead - we won't be seeing a large swathe of them again in a hurry. Wrong! Stylus found a loophole in the Warp and put the whole daemon unit back on the table.

Reality blinked when I rolled a '1' for Morale, and then restored all six of my fallen Plaguebearers. Marvellous!

Turn 1 - Death Guard

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

Well, that was a frightening amount of shooting! And while my cheeky Plaguebearer resurrection helped to mitigate my losses, I need to close up before I suffer another round.

Urged on by the Blightbringer, the surviving Plague Marines hoof towards the centre. The Foetid Bloat-drone scoots behind a building, in the hopes of staying alive long enough to make a quick interception of the relic. Everything else moves up to charge the luckless tactical squads.

In the psychic phase, my Plaguecaster puts Miasma of Pestilence on the Plague Marines, but fails his Gift of Contagion. Speaking of fails, I completely forgot that Typhus is also a Psyker and skipped past his two spells.

In the shooting phase, I realise just how little firepower I have, and manage to do nothing with it.
In the charge phase, the Nurglings jump onto the tactical squad on the left flank, and everything else - Typhus, Plaguecaster, Poxwalkers and Plaguebearers - hit the tactical squad in the centre. The Plaguebearers take a few Overwatch casualties going in.

In the fight phase, Typhus swings his Manreaper, but Leofa manages to make a couple of saves and only three marines fall before him. Leofa then spends two command points to interrupt, and whack a couple of wounds off the Plaguecaster with his Power Fist Sergeant.

He needn't have bothered, as the Plaguecaster, Plaguebearers and Poxwalkers all whiff their attacks - two marines are left standing, and they even pass their morale check with ease!
On the far side, two swarms of Nurglings are scattered in return for, predictably, no Imperial losses.

Turn 2 - Crimson Fists

The Chaplain makes a swift retreat with the relic. His bodyguard combat squad choose to withdraw from melee, presenting a nice target for the big guns. Which do their job well and clear the board of the remaining Poxwalkers and Plaguebearers.

On the flank, the other combat squad manage to whittle the Nurglings down to a single resolute base. 

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

Turn 2 - Death Guard

Okay, so the Relic is high-tailing it out of here, and all my cannon fodder has been swept away, but I'm close to Leofa's gunline, and a little faith should see me through.

Typhus and the Plaguecaster edge past the two-man tactical squad, eyeing up a charge on the Dreadnought. The Foetid Bloat-drone can't get within shooting range without Advancing, so I move him closer to the Dreadnought to spew off a few wounds. The rest of the Plague Marines and the Blightbringer trudge forward (maybe I should have put them in front).

The remaining swarm of Nurglings falls back from combat, rather than face the inevitable squishing.
In the psychic phase, Typhus remembers he has powers and promptly Smites away the smaller tactical squad, but fails Gift of Contagion. The Plaguecaster once again puts Miasma of Pestilence on the Plague Marines, but fails his Gift of Contagion attempt (why does no-one want my gifts!)

In the shooting phase, the Plague Marines and Foetid Bloat-drone fail to kill anything (although I did assume he only had one Plaguespitter, rather than two), but Typhus is close enough to the Dreadnought for his super-pistol to chip off two wounds.

In the charge phase, Typhus closes up with the Dreadnought, losing a wound to Overwatch. The Plaguecaster follows him in, since close combat is probably safer.

Typhus once again swings for the fences, and gets in just enough wounds to kill the Dreadnought. He and the Plaguecaster consolidate into the closest Razorback, so at least he won't be shooting next turn.

Turn 3 - Crimson Fists

Well, I got off lightly there I think!  The Chaplain doesn't stop running, cradling the precious Relic as he goes.  The engaged Razorback withdraws to a safe distance while the other and the remaining Dreadnought tear into the surviving Death Guard characters with assault cannons.

Even the untouched combat squad jump up on a platform and have a go, using their bolters to chip off Typhus' very last wound.

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

Turn 3 - Death Guard

Warhammer 40k battle report - The Relic - 1000 points - Death Guard vs Crimson Fists

Damn, Typhus chose a bad time to roll like a chump for his armour/resilience saves. Maybe I should have taken Tenacious Survivor on top of everything else.

The best Hail Mary plan I can summon up is to kill all the Crimson Fist infantry (would have been a lot easier with Typhus alive), then I can at least reduce Leofa to a minor victory (since none of his models would be able to actually pick up the Relic).

But since all his remaining characters are better than me in close combat, and he still has five assault cannons pointing at me, I throw everything at the last Dreadnought, in the hopes of salvaging some pride.

No such luck: I pop off a tactical marine with some shooting, and then declare charges into the Dreadnought. The Blightbringer loses three wounds to Overwatch, then fails his charge. The Plague Marines lose two of the number to Overwatch, but at least the Sergeant makes it in, allowing the Foetid Bloat-drone and Nurglings to complete their hopeful assaults.

When the Power Fist Sergeant misses both his attacks, I know it's a lost cause. The Dreadnought survives everything, then clobbers the Foetid Bloat-drone, who explodes and showers everything with mortal wounds - taking some of the Crimson Fists and crucially killing my last Plague Marine and Nurgling.

Turn 4

Left alone and on a single wound, the Blightbringer goes down to a hail of assault cannon fire, a dozen shells ricocheting off his Cursed Plague Bell to ring in the Crimson Fists victory.

Locker Room Decontamination

Ouch. Clearly I've got a lot to learn about playing the Death Guard and walking very slowing into a hail of bullets is not the best tactic.

"It's the last thing the enemy would expect!"

Yes, the assault cannons certainly worked better than the lascannons did against Orks in their last outing. 

Still: a good game. The Relic seems a punishing scenario for slow-moving armies that deploy last. Unless you seize the initiative, you're going to be on the back foot. But I think what really did for me was a gunline with Pedro Kantor at its heart. Very characterful for the Crimson Fists, but a bugger to come up against with a close-combat force.

I've always loved the Crimson Fists (hell, my minis are from 1992!) so its nice to see them actually work on the battlefield. They lost their previous 2 games, so this was something of a surprise win for me.

For all that, I enjoyed playing them. Typhus is a great warlord (once I remember all his rules - I could have had him deepstrike in) and a second squad of Plague Marines should give me more durability and firepower.

I might leave the deamons at home - enjoyable though it was to hear the incredulity in Leofa's voice when I informed him that all the Plaguebearers he had painstaking shot off would be returning ("They do what now?..."). In terms of cannon fodder, Poxwalkers are cheaper, and boosted nicely by Typhus (just don't expect them to kill anything).

Yeah, you were rather tied by my poxy (a-hem) collection of minis. Sorry.

I might give the Blightbringer a miss too - the Plague Marines are horrendously slow, but 80pts just to chivy them along doesn't seem worth it. Maybe if I did have a second squad, he would start to show value.

The Tallyman can now add another loss to my name. Still, it's better than my Age of Sigmar record.

I demand another game soon so balance can be restored to the Force!


  1. Hurrah! Leofa in a battle report! Bonus points all round. Were you using all the new Codex rules for each side, or keeping it simple?

    Loving that scenery, as well - where's it from?

    1. Just the Index rules this time around. If I can forget small details like my Warlord's psychic ability, then I'm not ready for the codex strategems yet.

    2. I used codex Space Marines points values etc but not any of the codex stratagems etc.

      The scenery is a tiny fraction of the BattleSystems SciFi2 Kickstarter that recently arrived. I played a great game of SWA on a 3'x3' littered with the stuff on Sunday - great fun.