So Death Guard. They aren't in a great place in 40k right now, and a lot of people have been fairly salty about this. Personally I'm not really one of them, to me Death Guard are not good, but they still kind of do what I feel they should and with GW re-writing rules for the entire game there was always going to be a few winners and losers on the balance front. With that in mind I have decided to plow on regardless with running Death Guard for the first chunk of 10th ed, until the Tyranid codex comes out at least.
With that in mind I put a minimum investment in to playing the army - I bought the data cards and a few cheap deals off eBay, and got to playing some games and figuring out how to play the new edition. I managed to sign up for a Grim Dice tournament at the end of the month so I think my goal is probably to take Death Guard and win one game, but we shall see how that turns out. In any case, the new additions included a trio of Mephitic Blight-haulers, the most adorable of daemon engines, which I have painted up with lots of help from the sponge.
Anyway, first game with Mortarion and friends was against Tom's Adepta Sororitas. I took the Primarch of course, with assorted vehicles (all I had at the time) and big blocks of Blightlord Terminators, melee Plague Marines and shooty Plague Marines, all with full character support. Basic plan was to smash into the middle with Morty and the Terminator block, while the vehicles got positioning and objectives.
It wasn't a totally embarrassing defeat, but the Death Guard were fairly comprehensively beaten. I learned that the big blocks just aren't that tough, even with character support, and I also severely lacked in cheap chaff units to score secondary objectives. Finally I learnt the power of overwatch when Vahl's unit took a huge chunk out of Mortarion with their multimeltas after he landed within nine inches of them.
Second game was shortly after with the same list and a rematch from one of my latter games of 9th against Sharpy and his Aeldari. This game featured Servo-skull objectives so it was a fun one to learn how to try and score the secondaries better.
This one ended pretty close, but another loss. The Eldar snuck ahead at the end thanks to swooping hawks pushing the objective around unopposed. Mortarion once again killed the Avatar (though it did take him a long time to do it) but the DG were once again not quite tough enough to get away with big units walking around in the open.
I decided to split my 10 man units up into smaller ones in order to hide them better and focus on the objectives. Without the big blocks I also dropped a bunch of characters in order to sneak in some Poxwalkers to do the annoying chaff thing.
Third game with the DG was against Mixtapir and a load of mostly Primaris Space Wolves. Like me he had decided MSU was the way to go so there were a lot of small units running around.
This time the list actually worked really well. While I know Space Wolves are also struggling a bit in 10th it felt like I was very rarely blocked out of scoring by a bad card draw or units being tied up with killing stuff. Mortarion flying up the middle as a big distraction kind of worked - the enemy decided to ignore him and focus on the light vehicles to get some easier kills and as such he got stuck into their front lines, and then back lines! For the first time in 10th (and possibly 9th as well?) I scored the full 100 points (I think the SW got 60 in the end, so not a completely one sided game).
The fourth and most recent game was once again against Tom's Sisters, now with Knight Armiger allies. We both had a lot of units to play with and it was the servo skull mission again so it would be all about pushing forward.
This game was really, really close, ending with 10 points in it. My forces did a great job of occupying the middle board and Mortarion took a hilarious amount of firepower from the Imperial forces. MSU worked great with lots of trading on the flanks, but I was once again undone by Vahl and her warsuits, eventually clearing their flank and escorting a servo skull into my deployment zone in turn 5. The various flaws of the Death Guard were pretty apparent in the end game here - struggling to remove enemy armour and their infantry lacking the famed survivability you might think they should have. None the less a well contested game and an encouraging sign for the future!
So, four games in an 1-3 with the DG, but lots of lessons learned and some close games so I'm feeling confident that I can get something out of them, so I think I will persevere to the tournament. On a practical point I have the cards for them and I've now learnt most of their rules, plus it has been a lot of fun painting up more dirty plague dudes!
Anway, thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed! Stay safe out there!