Monday, November 29, 2010

Codex: Death Guard

The latest Chaos Space Marines codex left a bad taste in the mouths of many Chaos players, because it took way the ability to play cult armies in a consistent fashion. For example, an army of Plague Marines cannot be lead by a Chaos Lord with Feel No Pain; power armoured troops taken as Elite or Heavy Support are inferior to the basic troop selection, missing Feel No Pain and blight grenades. It's frustrating to have to deal with all these differences during a game. It makes it harder to immerse yourself in the game because you have to play an army that doesn't properly reflect the fluff.



Last year a group of us on WargamerAU started talking about how a Death Guard Codex could be created. What follows is the codex that I suggested, with a couple of tweaks. So thanks to the other people contributing to those threads, some of their ideas are included within.

I'll write a follow up post later this week to explain my design decisions...

Codex: Death Guard
by Plague Marine
  • Requires Codex: Chaos Space Marines
  • Rules for Plague Zombies taken from the Apocalypse Plague of Zombies data sheet.
  • Rules for Plague Bearers and Great Unclean One taken from Codex: Chaos Daemons.

The Death Guard are the diseased sons of Nurgle. They are the masters of infantry tactics and resilience, building their constitution with a diet of poisons. There is no force more stoic in the face of danger than these once-proud marines, now infected with the blessings of the Chaos god Nurgle. Their decaying armour and equipment is held together by pestilent growth and daemons of the warp.

From what we know of the Death Guard they are split into two major known forces. The majority serve their Daemon Prince - and Primarch - Mortarian. They occasionally venture forth from the Eye of Terror to cause death and destruction at a planetary scale. There is also the breakaway group that follow Typhus, the Host of the Destroyer Hive. They protect him as he spreads the Zombie Plague that has been claiming whole imperial worlds.


Rules

All units use the rules and options for a corresponding entry in Codex: Chaos Space Marines, with the listed exceptions.

Due to the infantry based nature of the Death guard, a fast attack slot is filled for every dedicated transport purchases for the army. See the fast attack section for more information.

For Lesser and Greater Daemons, follow the rules for summoning Daemons as per p61 of Codex: Chaos Space Marines.

Cloud of Flies: The models count as being equipped with offensive and defensive grenades

Plague Sword: a poisoned weapon that always wounds on a 2+.


HQ

Death Guard Daemon Prince - 150 pts
Use the rules and options for a Daemon Prince with the following modifications:
  • Mark of Nurgle (+1 Toughness) - included in base cost
  • -1 Initiative
  • Feel No Pain
  • May not take wings
  • May take Cloud of Flies for 10 pts

Death Guard Lord - 125 pts
Use the rules and options for a Chaos Lord with the following modifications:
  • Mark of Nurgle (+1 Toughness) - included in base cost
  • -1 Initiative
  • Feel No Pain
  • Blight grenades (if in power armour)
  • May not take a bike, a jump pack or wings
  • If in power armour, may replace close combat weapon with a plague sword for 10 points
  • If you upgrade to Terminator armour, it only costs 25 pts
  • If in Terminator armour, may replace power sword with plague sword for 5 pts less
  • May take Cloud of Flies for 10 pts

    Death Guard Sorcerer - 135 pts
    Use the rules and options for a Chaos Sorcerer with the following modifications:
    • Mark of Nurgle (+1 Toughness) - included in base cost
    • -1 Initiative
    • Feel No Pain
    • Blight grenades (if in power armour)
    • If you upgrade to Terminator armour, it only costs 10 points
    • May take Cloud of Flies for 10 pts
    • May not take a bike, a jump pack or wings

      0-1 Great Unclean One - 130 pts
      WS6 BS4 S6 T6 W5 I2 A4 Ld10 Sv-
      Unit Type: Monstrous Creature
      Greater Daemon, Fearless, Feel No Pain, Slow and Purposeful, Poison 2+, Cloud of Flies, 4+ invulnerable save

      
Typhus - 235 pts
      Use the following modifications:
      • Has the Cloud of Flies rule


      Elites

      Death Guard Chosen - 26 pts each
      Use the rules and options for Plague Marines with the following modifications:
      • The models have Infiltrate
      • +1 Leadership
      • Replace all weapon options with those from the Chaos Space Marine Chosen codex entry
      • Any model with the optiont o take a power sword can instead take a plague sword for 10 points

      Death Guard Terminators - 40 pts each
      Use the rules and options for Chaos Terminators with the following modifications:
      • Mark of Nurgle (+1 T)
      • Feel No Pain
      • -1 Initiative
      • One model may be given a Personal Icon for 5 pts. No other Icons can be purchased
      • Armed with a plague sword rather than a power sword. Any model may replace their plague sword with a power sword for 5 points
      • You may take Cloud of Flies for the unit, at a cost of 5 points per model

      Death Guard Dreadnought - 110 pts each
      Use the rules and options for a Chaos Dreadnought, with the following modifications:
      • Daemonic Possession
      • Crazed roll is replaced by the following:
              1 - Shower of Pus: Does nothing all turn, all models within 6"  take an S3 poison hit.
              2-5 - The player controls the model normally.
              6 - Projectile Vomit: Must move and run towards nearest enemy, then an S3 poison template attack at nearest unit in front arc.


      Troops

      Plague Marines - 23 pts each
      No rules modified.

      Plaguebearers - 15 pts each
      WS3 BS0 S3 T4(5) W1 I2 A1 Ld10 Sv-
      Unit Type: Infantry
      Unit Size: 5-20
      Weapons: Plague sword (this Daemonic version is only Poison 4+)
      Special Rules: Lesser Daemon, Fearless, Feel No Pain, Slow and Purposeful, Cloud of Flies, 5+ invulnerable save

      Plague Zombies - 5 pts each
      WS2 BS1 S3 T2 W1 I1 A1 Ld10 Sv-
      Unit Type: Infantry
      Unit Size: 10-30
      Weapons: Count as having 2 close combat weapons, that are Poison 4+
      Special Rules: Fearless, Feel No Pain, 5+ invulnerable save

      Lord of the Zombies: When deploying Plague Zombies they must always be placed within the zone 12" from a Death Guard Lord or 18" from Typhus. If entering play from reserves they are deployed in the above zone using the deep strike rules but without scatter - and if no Zombie Lord is on the table they are destroyed. If at the start of the movement phase no model in the Plague Zombie unit is within the deployment radius of a Lord or Typhus, they become Slow and Purposeful.
      Join Us!: At the end of every Assault phase during which the Plague Zombies have fought in close combat, before ‘pile in’ moves, roll a D6 for every casualty caused in the combat (friendly and enemy). On a roll of a 6, they are resurrected as a Plague Zombie – add a model to the Plague Zombie unit. If the Plague Zombies unit was wiped out that turn this rule has no effect. If multiple Plague Zombie units are involved in the same combat, evenly divide the new models between the units (Chaos player’s choice for any odd models).

      Plague Zombies do not count as scoring. Your army must includes Typhus or a Death Guard Lord in order to allow Plague Zombies to be selected. Like Lesser Daemons they do not count towards your Troops allowance, so you may include any number of units in your force if they are allowed.


      Fast Attack

      
Chaos Rhino - 55 pts
      Use the following modifications:
      • Each Rhino taken as a dedicated transport also fills a fast attack slot.
      • Daemonic Possession (included in base cost)
      • Cannot take Dirge Caster

      Chaos Spawn - 30 pts each


      Heavy Support

      Death Guard Pandemics - 23 pts each

      Use the rules and options for Plague Marines with the following modifications:
      • The models that can take a flamer, melta gun or plasma gun may instead take a lascannon for 35 pts, a missile launcher for 20 pts, an autocannon for 20 pts or a heavy bolter for 15 pts

      Chaos Predator - 90 pts
      Use the following modifications:
      • Must take Daemonic Possession (included in base cost)
      • Cannot take Dirge Caster 

        
Regurgitator - 165 pts
        Use the rules for the Chaos Vindicator with the following modifications:
        • Must take Daemonic Possession (included in base cost)
        • Replace the Demolisher Cannon with a Bile Cannon (S6 AP3 Ordinance 1 Large Blast). Units wounded by the Bile Cannon cannot take a cover save.

        
Chaos Land Raider - 240 pts
        Use the following modifications:
        • Must take Daemonic Possession (included in base cost)
        • Cannot take Dirge Caster

        7 comments:

        1. Looks pretty good.

          *Is the T boost for the lord/DP added to base T or is it T(T)? Assume it's the latter, as normal.

          *Should specify that Typhus can be taken in HQ

          *What happens to zombies if they come in from reserve and there's no lord/typhus on the field?

          *I could see zombies as non-scoring.

          *Why not modify Spawn to be more like Beasts of Nurgle?

          *Pandemics - so they can only take two heavy weapons?

          *Regurgitator - why not let them take regular vindicators, with the bile cannon as an optional upgrade?

          *Why possession on all vehicles? I don't recall that as standard for DG. If wanting to represent the nurglification commonly seen on people's vehicles, maybe introduce some other options instead? Like keep DP as an option, but not standard, and add things like: Blessed Corruption (counts as dirge casters - really, you'd want to run if that's coming at you!), Nurgling Infestation (for every 1 rolled in close combat to hit the tank, unit is hit with d3 S3 attacks), Cloud of Flies (+1 to cover saves but cannot use smoke launchers).

          ReplyDelete
        2. I think sons of taurus pretty much summed up all the questions I was going to ask except:

          * As a daemon player I don't know how happy I would be that another army could use my units (great unclean one and plaguebearers), especially if the daemons get nothing in return for it. I think that if you are going to use this option, they should cost a few points more than the daemon codex gets them for (not less like in the case of your great unclean one).

          Other than that good job!

          ReplyDelete
        3. Thanks for the great feedback sonsoftaurus. Much appreciated.

          * I can't believe I left out Typhus from the HQ section. It doesn't seem to matter how much you proofread eh?

          * The Lord/DP/Sorcerer have the Mark of Nurgle as per the Codex. So yes, it is T4(5), they are Plague Marines!

          * If there is no Zombie Master on the table then Plague Zombies in reserve would not be able to enter play and thus count as destroyed. Added to article.

          * Yes Pandemics can only take 2 heavy weapons. But they are well protected when in cover!

          The rest of your points I will address in my next post.

          ReplyDelete
        4. Hi Warhammer39999, contrast your comments with those of Dave above. I'm walking a fine line here!

          ReplyDelete
        5. After a bit more thought, I like the idea of making the Plague Zombies non-scoring. It adds to the balance between them and Plaguebearers - you can't just take a 10 man Zombie squad to hold that home objective.

          I also realised that I completely missed the Join Us! rule for the Plague Zombies.

          I have updated the original post accordingly.

          ReplyDelete
        6. It looks like a Norweigan is using this codex in a local campaign. Check out the site through Google Translate.

          Hello all my visitors from Norway!

          ReplyDelete

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