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Sunday, June 30, 2013

An MSU Approach to Building a Death Guard Army

Hi everyone it's your friendly Black Blow Fly reporting in again with another article on Chaos. I am going to discuss how to design a competitive Mono Nurgle army applying the MSU approach.

I was not a huge fan of the Many Small Units approach to building an army in fifth edition... However back in fourth edition I had what I thought was a good MSU Space Marine army. MSU could work well in fifth edition too and did due to the strength of cheap transports such as rhinos and chimeras. I have come to realize that my approach to building a new Death Guard army is almost completely MSU. Many of the better Nurgle units from both Chaos codices are costly so you need to strive for a balance if you opt to go this route.

The basic tenet behind building a competitive MSU army is that you have so many units your opponent cannot destroy them all over the course of a game and it can be frustrating to play against such an army. The one weakness of the MSU approach that quickly comes to mind is you can give up First Blood quite easily but my philosophy is I simply don't care... Focus on winning by dominating in other more important aspects of the game. Now that objectives are highly featured over kill points this type of army is even better! Also there is a general approach to use multiple objectives now at the big tournaments and losing First Blood has much less impact in such a tournament. environment.

Here are some of the better units I find to be competitive for a Death Guard army. Note that I use the Chaos Space Marine codex for my primary detachment and the Chaos Daemon codex for my allies. Also I want to point out I strive to designed totally balanced armies now - they are mobile enough, can shoot well and are strong in melee. The shooting element should have some long range fire power.

Plaguebearers are comparatively low costed and scoore so you'll be wanting to field a good number of them to help achieve that balance. I like to use two big squads of Plaguebearers and they are perfect for holding objectives. If you field large units they will last that much longer and they are not a pushover in melee due to their poisoned attacks. Sure a squad of 15 Plaguebearers is not a small unit but they are cheap for what you get compared to everything else - they really help to flesh out your army.

Death Guard are the work horse unit of the army. A squad of five in a Rhino with two special weapons is perfect. You can easily field three to four of these units. Combined with the Plaguebearers you have lots of scoring units (assuming you take Typhus or a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Nurgle). Five Death Guard can take a lot of punishment and dish it right back out. There is no need to spend any points on the champion since he has a plague knife which is poisoned unless you want a combi weapon for some more blasty or flamey death.

Obliterators with the Mark of Nurgle give your army long range fire power. They are quite costly but sorely needed. The best load out is two units of two since you can target more enemy units. Morphing assault cannons is perfect for grounding your opponent's flying monstrous creatures. Let them move into charge range if they are so bold so your Plaguebearers can assault them as soon as they hit the deck. The Obliterators will force smart opponents to remain at arm's length which is exactly what you want. Another option for long range fire power is the Chaos Predator and they are fairly low costed, especially compared to say a squad of three Obliterators. I prefer the Obliterators because I find them to be both more resilient and more shooty. Obliterators also give you more options which is always a good thing. For instance Obliterators can deep strike and your Chaos independent characters can join them.

Chaos Space Marine Independent Characters
I prefer to run a Chaos Lord as my Warlord. I mount mine on a bike for mobility and the high toughness (T6). The Nurgle Lord converts Death Guard into scoring units. Typhus with hordes of zombies is the no brainer approach to building a Nurgle Chaos Space Marine army but he is slow and I think Plaguebearers are superior in every way to zombies.

My second choice is a Level 3 Sorcerer casting from the lore of Biomancy. You have some options here. You can mount him on a bike as well but another good option is the Palanquin! The evil wizard basically becomes a walking monstrous creature that can join the Death Guard. In larger point games I prefer the Palanquin and will field a Chaos Land Raider so he has a pimp ride. I think the Sorcerer is worth the points since he buffs your primary detachment and is not shabby in melee either if you equip him with a force axe. These are some of the really good things Nurgle has access to compared to the other marks.

Chaos Daemon HQ
There are two choices - a greater daemon or the daemon prince. I currently run a prince for the speed. The Great Unclean is good though. It depends on your style which is better suited for you. A Prince with flight can cover lots of ground quickly and is a true beast with the Bale Sword. The Great Unclean One (GUO) is there to anchor your battle line acting as a major deterrent.

Next well I will discuss some of the less used units.  That's all for now, Blessings from Grandfather Nurgle to you all!

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