Thursday, April 22, 2021

40k - Death Guard: Simplifying My Life

 One thing I have found through the last 25 years of gaming is, generally, if you focus on some core principles and strategies with an army then you have more success.

I have never been the proponent that you need to have the exact tool for every job because as we all know you can use a spanner as a hammer (and given the right circumstances, vice versa). To that end I generally will strip units to their basics with minimal variety within a unit.

For me the latest iteration of my Death Guard has been slightly different. As a hobby project, I have imposed some thematic concessions that complicate efficiency. The first of these is 4 blocks of Plague Marines - units of Poxwalker can largely fulfil the same role in VP generation at half the cost. Second, I have used units of 7. This has three downsides - it exposes them to Blast, it is inefficient re weapon load out and it provides additional cost for Strategic Reserve options. The third concession is the utilisation of the full array of plague weapons (if I can use it I will even though we know efficiency varies).

What that has left me with is a wider variety of weapons, units etc. than I would typically use and for the older and slower of us that means more brain thinking.

Faced with that and pages of special rules re characters, contagions, plague companies, I approached the 4+ pages of stratagems with trepidation. Over the past couple of evenings I have cut and culled the list of all those strats that (though nice to have) I may only utilise in less than one in ten games. My intention is that once I am proficient with the army I can add back the nice to haves. So I now have a single page of strats that best fit my list and playstyle. 

The second exercise is to map my CP spend. I've noticed with Death Guard that the spend on Relics and Traits gives a better bang for your buck compared to CP spend. Generally this is because the ability lasts for all five turns. On this basis I maximise my spend.....utilising 6 CPs pre-game.

So I start with 6 CP, receive 5 CP over the game at start of each turn and from Tallyman get an average 4 additional CP over the course. That gives me 15 CP to allocate and I can then go about planning my spend. For instance, Strat Reserves in relation to Rhino/PMs/Blightspawn costs 3 CP, Bombardment costs 3 CP, Blightening 1 CP (possibly multiple iterations. The important thing is that I know from my Maths Vermid Whispers is inefficient if shooting in terms of wounds generated, Cloud of Flies is expensive and I better really need it.

I love this aspect of 40k. Distilling a myriad of options down to a few key decision points works for me. Hopefully it pays dividends both in results and play speed.


  1. I agree.

    With my CSM and Daemons, options are very limited because most strats are shithouse.

    1. Yeah, that guaranteed 6 for a charge die is a killer, coming out of Deep Strike. And whoever uses Endless Cacophony?