Wednesday 26 May 2021

Battle Report - Death Guard vs Astra Militarum


I've finally been back at the gaming table! Hurrah! And with my new Death Guard force for the first time! I played against Rich, over at Grim Dice Tabletop Gaming in Grimsby, with his Astra Militarum at 1000 points. Both of us were playing with newer forces for ourselves, and most of his 1000 points was a bloody big tank, so we both knew it wasn't going to be a particularly subtle, nuanced game.

We played an Incursion mission from the main rulebook: Forward Push. We both took the mission secondary to score points for making actions on the objectives - more points for further up the board. I also picked up Attrition and Titanslayer (rude not to give it a go). Rich decided to target both my HQs with Slay the Warlord and Abhor the Witch.

I took a battalion from the Mortarion's Anvil plague company, looking something like this:

HQ: Lord of Contagion (Plague Reaper, Warp Insect Hive, Arch Contaminator), Malignant Plaguecaster (Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality)

Troops: 3x 5 Plague Marines (assorted loadouts)

Elites: 5 Blightlord Terminators (Combi plasma, Blight Launcher, Flail of Corruption)

Heavy Support: Plagueburst Crawler (Entropy cannons)

Rich's force was mostly built around a Hellhammer super heavy tank and some support infantry. I don't remember all the details, but roughly:

HQ: Lord Commissar (Von Klinkerhoffen), Tech Priest Enginseer

Troops: 2x10 Guardsmen, 5 Scions

Fast Attack: Scout Sentinel

Heavy support: 3 Missile launcher teams

Lord of War: Hellhammer

In deployment I sheltered my army behind the ruin and bastion at my end, while Rich split between the big tank in the open with some support, and the infantry in the ruins on the other side of the board. Both the main ruins held the no man's land objectives, while Rich was camping on his with the missile squad and mine was temporarily ignored. I also had the Terminators and Lord in reserve. 

I won the roll for first turn, and started to move out to get to the objectives. I declined to reveal the PBC to the Hellhammer on turn one, so lined up shots to kill off the Missile teams on turn one instead. The Entropy cannons missed, but the Mortar killed two teams, and the last one ran to morale.

In Rich's turn one, the tank and infantry trundled forward to get some firing lines. I then found out what a Hellhammer cannon does - it deletes a five man Plague Marine squad with a single big boom. Split fire from the rest of the weapons was mercifully less effectively though. It did leave my Plaguecaster without a bodyguard to use Look Out Sir, so he faced a Hunter Killer missile from the Sentinel, which, thanks to the grace of papa Nurgle, missed with a CP reroll.

Turn two, I hadn't got any secondary points, but was in position on two objectives to none, getting me 15 Primary off the bat. I decided it was time to take that tank down! Terminators and Lord deployed, plasma and blight launcher Plague Marines lined up for some shots, and the Crawler aiming all guns at it, using the Disgusting Force stratagem for D3 on the Mortar.




The Terminators did manage to kill off some Guardsmen with their bolters, but the shooting phase was a bit of a disappointment. So, charge phase. Overwatch and Defensive Gunners raked the Terminators, but I was lucky enough that only one fell. However they did fail the charge, leaving the Lord of Contagion to go it alone. He did a whole six wounds to it. Granted, that was infinitely more than everything else in my army, but he was about to pay the price for it!

"I've made a terrible mistake!"

Rich's turn 2 didn't earn him any Primary points, but he quickly picked up 6 secondaries for turning the Lord into a pair of smoking Terminator boots. The Blightlords held up much better to the bombardment, thanks to psychic powers from the Plaguecaster. They lost one more, leaving them in a decent position to move into the Imperial Guard deployment zone.

My turn three and I picked up 10 Primary since the Guard had moved onto their objectives, but I was in a position to punish them with my remaining Terminators. The Plague Marines on a mid board objective gave up trying to shoot the Hellhammer (last turn they had only succeeded in killing their plasma gunner), instead completing the Forward Push objective repeatedly.

Bolters and Mortar thinned one guard squad, while the Blightlords charged the one on their home objective, losing another model to lascannon overwatch, but butchering the remainders to a man.

Militarum turn three, they picked up just the 5 Primary points. The sentinel moved up to flame the Blightlords, while the Hellhammer moved to a commanding position and fired off in all directions. The PBC took the brunt of it, reducing it down to 2 wounds, while the other squads lost the odd marine. In addition by this point the Tech Priest had nearly fixed up all the damage the LoC had done to it!

Insultingly, the heavy flamer on the Sentinel managed to finish off the Terminator champion, leaving only the 'Mr Tickle' flail wielder alive. He was however still holding the Guard's home objective...

Ramming speed! The Hellhammer made a 10 inch charge to try and crush the Terminator beneath it's treads! But luckily for me, the last Blightlord held on to contest that objective going into my turn 4.

At this point we mostly talked through the last couple of turns. Thanks to that Terminator sticking around, I was going to max out the Primary, though in turn 5 Rich would catch up a bit. I'd also have got a few more points for the Forward Push objective. I'd lose pretty much everything in turns 4 and 5, but I'd be able to hide my Plaguecaster behind the bastion to deny Abhor the Witch. In the end it was a tight victory to the Death Guard, 60-50.

Ahhhh, it's good to be back. Not a super competitive game, but a fun one! Always amusing when big tank go bang bang, and the Death Guard did Death Guard things, sticking around to hold the objectives in the face of overwhelming firepower. The Blightlord Terminators were definitely the MVP for me, tanking so much fire and going on to hold the Astra Militarum home objective and really winning me the game. The Plagueburst Crawler was not so impressive, but I guess something had to suffer with new model syndrome. Hopefully it'll prove it's worth next time!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed that little write up. I have some more games booked in for the upcoming weeks, so expect some more of this kind of thing. Stay safe.

1 comment:

  1. I one day hope to be the kind of monster who'd bring a Hellhammer to a 1000 point game! Love that tank, but good to see the Death Guard keep it from a win. Good game!


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