I know both my regular readers will be shocked, but despite buying Kill Team proclaiming it the future, Bill wanted to play the big game. So after much complaining as my models were still boxed up from my move, I dug around and found the models needed to play my first game in seven years, Nurgle be praised!
Everything seemed easier in the olden days, picking an army, painting, playing the game. It took me hours to unbox and redisplay my miniatures at my new place. Only two broke during my move, one may have broken moving to Calgary but I never fixed it, an old Rogue Trader Ork Warbike, but the other model that broke was the Inquistor scale Space Marine.
I now have less models in my Ikea display case, basically the Diseased Sons plus some of their allies. I’m not sure I trust the extra shelves and the models seems safer in foam. I will probably order additional Battle Foam and given my army was 13 models a new case. Bill wanted to play 500 points or 25 Power. I of course agreed and after getting the revised power levels from my iPhone I learned that a plague marine squad with a rhino was ten and a lord was five and my army was chosen.
This is of course an over simplification, all my models were still packed from my move, so I had to unbox them, the last case I unpacked had the two rhinos I wanted to use. Then I had to choose which models I would actually use. But before that I had to choose my secondary objective which we didn’t use, my plague company, my warlord trait, my relic, and I also wrote down all the rules and the pages they were on. It wasn’t until the last turn that I think I started forcing Bill to lose one toughness.
So my lord was Maceo the Maligned, he was painted while I was an MBA student, maybe the only model beside a plaguebearer that I painted on campus. Basically I’ve stopped playing and painting several times for school and work and other life events. So some of my models are from when I was a high school student, others were painted in Japan, but most of them were probably painted in Vancouver, but some were painted in Calgary and Ottawa. I even painted in Yellowknife.
My models also have campaign badges which correspond to major tournaments attended. But while trying to put them in the display case I had trouble reading the unit markings and I painted them! So yeah I think my eyes are getting worse, I had trouble reading the cards. I bought those at Sentry Box just before the game, I think they do help, but every time I buy more stuff, I end up not playing again for seven years…
I took Maceo because he had a mace which I used as a Power Maul. He also had a kit bashed combi-plasma. I basically brought a variety of models just to see what they did on the table. So to that end, I made a green allstar squad and a purple allstar squad. I just cherry picked models rather than worry about squad markings.
I was going to bring Bob the Necessary Evil, I always bring Bob the Necessary Evil, he is the necessary evil! But then under Bill’s proposed rules I didn’t have to pay points so why not have a plasma pistol so I took a model which may have a name but I’ve forgotten. I think of it as a new model, I know I built it for a tournament, I know Malcolm liked it, but it turns out it dates from 2008 so not exactly new.
I already wrote how I didn’t bring my old squads, but the next model I did select was a melta gunner, another conversion for another tournament, perhaps the 2010 Astronomi-con because I know Mike said it was his favourite in my army. I don’t know why, I think to use the hold two-handed h2h weapon rule but I had a plaguemarine converted to have a flail so the Internet seems to love Flails of Corruption so I took one. Then despite some on Facebook thinking they aren’t worth it, I took an Icon of Despair. I follow the rule of cool.
For the last member of this squad I took a guy with an axe. In the olden days all h2h weapons were either equal or swords were better. Now there are way more rules I don’t care what Bill says. So I used that model as my Bubonic Axe. He never actually got to hit anyone with it. I plan to make an AXE squad.
My big decision for my second squad was to bring purple guys. Pro tip kids, paint all your models so they are easy to switch between squads with just a kneepad re-painting. I have a lot of purple plague marines, this used to upset some people online, now I see plague marines in all different colors because Nurgle loves all his little children. I don’t know why other than completeness but I have a purple champion with a powerfist and a plasma pistol so perhaps this proves the importance of Bob the Necessary Evil.
I also used an old Nurgle renegade with a heavy weapon to represent a Plague spewer, he looked the business and as I had decided the Diseased Sons should use the Chosen Sons rules expect me to paint and field a lot of these plague flamers. The first squad I build will max them out. Then if you know my purple squads they have the plasma so I took one of those. Then I brought both an Icon of Despair and a Sigil of Corruption.
Optimal Death Guard Army
Before the self-proclaimed Internet experts write their angry comments, this was my first game of 40K in seven years and before that I think I played four times I believe in ten years or something. I literally spent five minutes picking my army and used exclusively models painted for several editions ago. If I get serious again I will still not be using the optimal Death Guard army instead I will be bringing something different.
Actual Battle Report
The game ended about five hours ago. I haven’t spent five hours blogging, but I can’t help but recall some loud know-it-all last night proclaim “content was easy”. Obviously he hasn’t maintained a blog for over a decade. Bill actually has his own notes, as he kept score. I fully expected to lose. Bill was playing Ultramarines. Last time I played Bill in 40K he used Orks. I wonder if I can turn up that battle report.
Every time I re-read my old posts, I find grammar mistakes, so in the interest of actually finishing this battle report today, I will not be reading a nineteen year old battle report, but maybe Bill will.
Pre-Game Dice Rolls
Although Bill and I may not have played Warhammer 40,000 against each other since 2002, Bill has played way more 40K than me since 2002. This would be my fifth game in the last decade if my quick math is correct. We played the simplest mission. I rolled a lot of fives before the game started so I got to place the first objective, then I got to choose a side and go first. My dice have the same six sides as all the other Bolter & Chainsword dice, but it was funny when I kept rolling five.
The side I chose had an objective then there were two in the centre and one on Bill’s side. Getting first turn was my hope, because I don’t know what I’m doing. Although I brought two rhinos I decided to deploy one squad in a rhino and one squad outside their rhino, this would allow me to hopefully take more objectives. I put my Chaos Lord with the green allstars. Heroes no longer can lead squads it seems, but my basic Death Guard strategy is keep my lord alive and try to remember to benefit from his auras.
Bill’s army outnumbered mine, which blows my mind. I had two troops, two rhinos and the cheapest chaos lord. Bill had three squads, one might have been elite and one assault. His plainest janest squad was in the centre of his line and truthfully they did the least damage. On my left flank were the hellblasters or whatever the super plasma guns are called. I did take pictures and maybe Bill will even correct me.
I don’t know if I won every dice off, but I did get to go first. So as per the plan my rhino sat still and held an objective. The havoc launcher was my only gun that could shoot over 24 inches in my entire army. The purple plague allstars actually advanced. They were my shooty squad but they also tried to score victory points. The other rhino drove straight ahead. The combi-bolter on that rhino did a wound. We had to look up so many rules, but the havoc launcher didn’t kill much, but I always shot it first.
I held two objectives, all my command points, and the early lead. Bill didn’t think he could come back from my devastating one wound causing first turn. He advanced everyone but the plain janes. He did two wounds to the lead rhino eventually, he may have caused a wound to the purple squad. So he did more damage than me, but I scored more points.
My pseudo-razorback stayed still, but because Bill advanced, I think I got to shoot the combi-bolters on turn two but also on turn four. Purple actually moved again. If you are five models or less you can assume the snake formation. So I think I’ll run a mix of five model squads and ten model squads. I don’t know if I’ll try seven model squads. The green squad got out of their transport. In ninth edition you have to get out before the transport moves. Also Bill pointed out I couldn’t drive through my own models, so I could have planned turn one and two better.
I must have shot at something, but I’m not sure I killed anything. I know in turn one Bill killed one of his hellblasters. I was trying to kill the not-terminators, but I think did little, I saved my command points because I didn’t even know the rules. We looked up a lot of stuff. I tried to remember my auras and all the special Nurgle Death Guard rules.
Bill rolled a lot of dice. He will tell you he rolled seven ones. What I remembered to do was use my foul smokescreen. I read the odd thing online and I never hear people talk about that stratagem card, but I used it twice. In the olden days you could only pop smoke once a game, but now it is once per enemy shooting phase. So if you’re guessing Bill failed to kill my lead rhino you’re correct. He did do wounds and I did spend command points to protect it. He killed purple plague marines too.
Bill charged me, I remember that, so I think purple walked forward and I used the special Chosen Sons stratagem to boost my one plague flamer. I think it did nothing. I can’t remember if the plasma gun did much, but I also got some bolter shots. I continued to shoot combi-bolters and the havoc launcher. Maceo got to shoot his combi-plasma. But this wasn’t the shootiest army that is for sure.
This was Bill’s big turn, he spent command points more liberally than me. He use the command re-roll all the time. I kept saving mine in case I thought of something clever and I didn’t believe any single die roll I made was that important. In the future I may spend command points more liberally, I definitely plan to get an extra relic in bigger games. Bill shot a lot, he also got to charge. Both his warlord and fanciest looking models fought purple. I tried to use all my rules but Contagion of Nurgle didn’t get applied all the time until the fourth turn.
Bill failed to kill all of the purple plague marines. Rhinos being able to claim objectives was a big help for me. I also plan to use Nurglings to claim objectives at some point in the future. I apparently had quite the lead now, but we played the fourth turn. I think the hellblasters charged the damaged rhino after shooting at it, it continued to live and I used Foul Smokescreen on it again. That was one thing I remembered and I think it helped, I got to use my cards and tokens.
This was the turn I got to charge. My warlord and Gangrene aka the green plague allstars got to charge. I think purple’s champ got to fire his plasma pistol. My havoc rhino continued to do little in shooting, but earned me victory points every turn like clockwork.
H2H went pretty well. I re-read all my rules almost every turn. My auras should allow me to re-roll to hit rolls of one and re-roll failed wound rolls. The plague weapon rule especially the plague guns rule I will try to leverage more and more. I remember my lord and his power maul doing OK. The Flail of Corruption guy killed the last fancy marine. This meant the rest of that squad did little. powerfists being -1 to hit makes them less desirable. Bill had no tanks so I’m not sure if they are necessary in ninth edition.
Bill used a lot of command points on his warlord. He could heal somehow and get back spent command points one third of the time. He also had a sword and something else to hit with in H2H. He could split his attacks but after pointing out that only the purple champion was alive he put all his attacks into that guy.
BIll’s final turn didn’t accomplish much, his hellblasters couldn’t kill the rhino. The rhino as a vehicle could shoot at models within engagement range and even fight in H2H, but did little other than get close to objectives, that seems to be their main use and why I was so excited to see Death Guard get fast attack. I will buy some of those models eventually, but I want to paint what I own and get my troops if not optimal than at least less ragtag.
The plain janes didn’t kill much, but they like the rhino scored victory points. For bigger games one will need a certain amount of cheep objective holding squads. I plan to use Nurglings at some point, but I also plan to try cultists and apparently rhinos can perform this role. I’ll also probably try Hellbrutes maybe even park a Defiler in my deployment zone.
Bill called it after four turns, apparently I was way ahead. I did kill his warlord which was a mission objective. I also usually got the extra victory points for controlling two of the four objectives. Bill generally had the one in his zone. I don’t know how Bill managed to bring a slower army than the Death Guard. Maybe he’ll bring scouts and bikes next time. Next time I might bring an army that fits in a smaller miniature case.
What did I do right?
- First Bill shocked me into playing a game of Warhammer 40,000 even if it was just a small one. That was a win. I still hope to play Kill Team and Necromunda, but you can’t play alone, so I’ll go with whatever Bill and company want to play.
- The rhinos actually worked. Bill didn’t seem to think they were worth 8 Power Levels and they didn’t kill much but they gave me a gun that shot over 24 inches to harass with. They moved one squad up 12 inches in one turn and they actually can hold objectives in ninth edition.
- I’m not sure the Flail of Corruption is the be all end all but it does get four attacks, apparently it is even better on terminators, so I will have to buy that model and paint it. Giving up your gun is an odd decision in the far future to hit someone with a flail…
- I do think you need a mix of shooting and h2h so I’ll probably continue to bring these two squads. I might bulk one up to ten, but 500 points or 25 power level isn’t that much, so when we go up to a larger game I’ll have more options.
What did I do wrong?
- Not knowing the rules. I used to know the rules, especially those that hurt my army. This time I had to read and re-read certain rules every turn. So that will hopefully improved but there are lots of rules we didn’t use like the psychic rules and crusade rules.
- Not having enough plain janes. Bill’s most boring squad didn’t do much but score, but five models isn’t very many, whenever someone died, it was a guy with special rules in my army. So in a ten man squad I’d lose the cheaper guys first. I think a cheap screening unit would also help, if not Nurglings then some cultists.
- I had one gun that shot over 24 inches. That seems stupid in hindsight even though I won. I know they have shrunk the battlefield. But there is no rule you can’t play on a bigger battlefield. I’ll bring something that can shoot and hurt the enemy from over 24 inches next time.
- I need to really position my lord carefully. I got him Arch Contaminator and Fugaris’s Helm, this combo may be old hat, it literally is an old hat, but it is one I plan to use sometimes because I do use plain jane models often. So since he can’t lead the squad, he must be positioned between them so both squads can benefit from the auras.
Bill is now talking 40K crusade instead of Kill Team or Necromunda campaign. He is active on Instagram, so you can see what miniatures he is working on. I planned to paint cultists for Kill Team and I planned to use some Necromunda models as cultists. I wanted a big squad but now a cheap squad to sit on objectives has appeal. I’m willing to give Bill a rematch against this army, but if we play again I might try models I didn’t use this time whether Hellbrutes or whatever. I’d also be willing to go up a bit in points as aren’t Landraiders and Defilers costly?
I plan to paint again. I got a spot, it still isn’t optimal, but I’ve painted under less than optimal conditions before. My back, hips and apparently eyes aren’t what they are used to be. I’m not looking forward to redoing insignia for yet another edition of Warhammer 40,000. I ordered 300 base adapters. Bill thinks small bases may be an advantage but with all the auras I think I need to use the right bases. I don’t know what this means for my demons. I got 40+ plaguebearers on square bases and all my Nurglings, beasts, even my Demon Prince is on a square base. I can’t rip them off the bases…
Bill won’t care, but tournaments must. The one in Calgary even has rules for what dice you can use. Bill’s roman numerals might be right out. I also don’t understand why demons are not in the app. Do I need to buy the demon codex? The plan is to eventually have two formations, one Death Guard and one Nurgle. I’d be willing to run a demonic combat patrol, but I would prefer to have guns in Kill Team. I’ll probably concentrate on the codex I own and the models I own, but as always I’ll paint more plague marines, but first likely more practice models I need a good green and purple recipe, so I might paint more Nurglings and goblins.
If you have advice or thoughts you can leave them below, but Bill and I were just playing for fun and to learn the rules, neither army was optimal. I don’t even know the final score, but I shockingly won, I haven’t lost a game of 40K in years, and maybe I’ve never lost to Bill…