War of the Spider: Death Guard Tactics – Part One

Death Guard Tactics

The Death Guard are the inexorable forces of Mortarion himself, dedicated to the Chaos God Nurgle. They’ve been waiting for their release in Psychic Awakening, and at last, it’s here. Like the War of the Spider: Creations of Bile Tactics before, we’re going to be looking at potent combinations for the first three of seven Plague Companies. These combinations might not dominate the top tables at major tournaments, but they’ll make Mortarion proud! 

The Harbingers: Death Guard Tactics

Death Guard Tactics

The best part about playing from The Harbingers is that you can include Typhus in the detachment without penalty. Typhus naturally synergizes with Poxwalkers, as he bumps up their Strength and Toughness by one. From The Carrion Heaps allows you to set up two units of Poxwalkers alongside a table edge on the second turn. Use Typhus’s ability and set up in reserves. Drop him inside the Poxwalkers when you arrive. So, now you have a unit or two of zombies and Typhus set up on the side of a table, so what?

Well, this horde of Poxwalkers turns on Cloud of Flies, since they will be closer than a key unit that you want to protect. From here, you have a few options. You can run this with a squad of 10-20 Plague Marines with Plague Knives and march them up the board. Add in a Biologus Putrifier and you can start doing some Mortal Wounds with their grenades. This isn’t new in and of itself, but the Poxwalkers turn on Cloud of Flies consistently in a way that Death Guard couldn’t do before.

The nice thing about this combination is how cheap it is. Even if you go with two units of 30 Poxwalkers and 15 Plague Marines, you’re in the ballpark of 750 points. That’s three giant blobs and room for some supporting characters. From here, you can do whatever you want with the rest of your points. The takeaway here should be that you can use the Poxwalkers to body block for a key unit walking up the board with Cloud of Flies.

The Inexorable Death Guard Tactics

Death Guard Tactics

War of the Spider gives Death Guard a lot of new Stratagems to mess around with, including some love for Demon Engines. Death Guard tactics for the inexorable is all about Daemon Engines. Give Disgustingly Resilient to any unit you want thanks to Contaminated Monstrosity. Although it will be very CP intensive, you can give 3 Defilers Disgustingly Resilient before the game begins for 6 CP. That makes each Defiler have a functional 21 Wounds!

If you add in three Plagueburst Crawlers and a Foetid Bloat-drone or two, you have a fully mechanized army with just enough room for some cheap Battalions for CP.  Many lists won’t be able to harm you, and you can grind your opponent out over six turns. The Inexorable makes this even better by allowing you to give three different vehicles the Inexorable Advance ability for 1CP. It only lasts for a turn, but this is still a +1 to hit for 3 different Vehicles that moved for 1CP, which is a bargain.

What’s nice about the Inexorable is how flexible they are. You could settle for taking three Predators instead of a bunch of Vehicles to save points and CP. Add in The Daemon’s Toll, and you have 3 Predators with a 5+ Invulnerable Save and Disgustingly Resilient. The Predators only pay 1 CP for Contaminated Monstrosity since they have fewer Wounds, which frees up CP for a Killshot or two. It’s 450 or so points for 3 Predators with Havoc Launchers, Heavy Bolters, and Predator Autocannons. You can lay down a respectable amount of firepower for cheap without paying too much for it.

Mortarion’s Anvil Death Guard Tactics

Death Guard Tactics

Blightlord Terminators are already one of the best units in the Death Guard codex. Mortarion’s Anvil is about pushing them to the max. They’re already tough as nails thanks to their 2+ Armor Save and 4+ Invulnerable Save. Having 2 Wounds and Disgustingly Resilient makes them tougher still. Mortarion’s Anvil lets you make them also reduce all damage they suffer by one, which is wild. Make Custodes go from gold to green with envy. In the War of the Spider: Custodes Shield Host Tactics, Custodes are tough but not like this. The main way people would remove Blightlords is overloading them with high damage weapons, invalidating their Disgustingly Resilient in the process. But thanks to Futility Made Flesh, that’s no longer a realistic option unless your opponent has lots of 4 Damage weapons, which is a very uncommon value.

You can push their durability even further thanks to the Contagion Discipline by making them -1 to be hit and Toughness 6. The brutal thing about this is that your opponent will have to answer the Blightlords sooner or later since they deal some pretty heavy damage. Against hordes, their Combi Bolters will do plenty of work, and if needed they can now become Rapid Fire 3 for a turn thanks to Relentless Volleys, which is another new Stratagem in War Of The Spider. Against tougher targets, the various Plague Weapons Blightlords have can rip opponents to shred in melee, especially when you add in Blades of Putrefaction.


War Of The Spider has provided Death Guard with lots of new options and breathed new life into the army. We’ve only looked at 3 of the 7 Plague Companies today, but it’s already looking like Death Guard have many more options now than they did before. It was a long time coming, but Death Guard is back in their prime as one of the most durable armies in the game.

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