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White Scars vs. Death Guard Tactics

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#1
Prot

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Hey guys,

 

This area is super quiet lately. I'd like to talk about the green elephant in the room; Death Guard. 

 

I've still  been working on my White Scars, however since the DG codex came out I've been trying to adapt my White Scars lists to deal with the idea that I'm facing an army that literally shuts off the super doctrine inherently.

 

Also DG are extremely good up close, and have a ton of negatives presented to you once you're in engagement range.

 

I am facing Death Guard sometime this week. So I haven't had a chance to play DG before this, and thought I'd ask if anyone has any experience against them and what they would recommend?


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#2
techsoldaten

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My advice is don't overcompensate for DG. Aim for a general TAAC list and tweak it to deal with specific match ups you think you will encounter.

 

- Most Death Guard players will likely run a single Battalion with the Nurgle's Gift Contagion. This is an aura on every DG unit that subtracts 1 from their opponent's toughness up to 7" distance (progressively growing as the game goes on.) 

 

- The infantry you are most likely to run into are Blightlord Terminators, Plague Marines and Poxwalkers, which are mid-range shooting or cc only.

 

- The armor you are most likely to run into are Plagueburst Crawlers, which are ridiculously good right now.

 

- In terms of HQs, you will see a lot of Daemon Princes and Lord of Contagions in lists, but probably not too many of both.

 

- Watch out for Mortarion. He's tough and will show up in some lists.

 

Seems to me White Scars would want to dominate secondary objectives, constantly outflank, and focus on things that can do mortal wounds / nullify invul saves. I see a lot of Rhinos in DG lists, mostly because they're a cheap way to deliver Contagions. I could see Bikes and Land Speeders being the primary focus of a list, followed by Aggressors and Inceptors to gun down Poxwalker squads.



#3
Marshal Loss

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You'll want to watch out for the Foul Blightspawn with Revolting Stench-Vats. He's utterly brutal against WS.


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#4
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You'll want to watch out for the Foul Blightspawn with Revolting Stench-Vats. He's utterly brutal against WS.

 

Foul Blightspawn, is he the one with the built in flamer? I haven't seen him as much. Or is he fight last guy? 


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#5
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Lightning claws could be clutch. I think you’ll want a solid fire base to hit them from range plus they need to react to it. I’d definitely bring a Chief Librarian a couple clutch denials could be a real game changer.


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#6
Marshal Loss

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You'll want to watch out for the Foul Blightspawn with Revolting Stench-Vats. He's utterly brutal against WS.

 

Foul Blightspawn, is he the one with the built in flamer? I haven't seen him as much. Or is he fight last guy? 

 

The fight last guy with the super flamer, he's an elites choice (guessing the former refers to the new LoV). He picks one unit within 3" which fights last, & with the RSV relic also has an aura which prevents all enemies within 6" from fighting first & from ever counting as having made a charge move. If the DG player runs the Ferrymen PC they can add 6" to the relic's aura for a full round (at a cost of 1CP), effectively giving him a 24" bubble that stops you from benefiting from Shock Assault, your +1D from doctrine bonus when charging, etc. Really nasty stuff against any army that gets potent bonuses on the charge


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#7
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#8
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You'll want to watch out for the Foul Blightspawn with Revolting Stench-Vats. He's utterly brutal against WS.

 

Foul Blightspawn, is he the one with the built in flamer? I haven't seen him as much. Or is he fight last guy? 

 

The fight last guy with the super flamer, he's an elites choice (guessing the former refers to the new LoV). He picks one unit within 3" which fights last, & with the RSV relic also has an aura which prevents all enemies within 6" from fighting first & from ever counting as having made a charge move. If the DG player runs the Ferrymen PC they can add 6" to the relic's aura for a full round (at a cost of 1CP), effectively giving him a 24" bubble that stops you from benefiting from Shock Assault, your +1D from doctrine bonus when charging, etc. Really nasty stuff against any army that gets potent bonuses on the charge

 

 

Yeesh. Okay I'm catching up. I used to play DG a few years ago and this is more powerful.. .much more powerful. 

 

Here's my worry; basically what you're describing shuts down what White Scars live for... turn 3, and charges. The Death Guard pretty much counter a lot of the codex, simply by existence; no 2 damage chainsword, no re-rolls, close combat is pretty dangerous. -1 Toughness, reduced movement etc. All of this counters White Scars.

 

Here's one mechanism I'm wondering about;

 

If I reinvest in using the Justicar, how does that interact with the Blightspawn ability? Or the 'no charge' aura? If I charge within 3" of a unit with the Justicar, does this help?

 

Also considering Eliminators at this point. 


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#9
Marshal Loss

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Here's one mechanism I'm wondering about;

 

If I reinvest in using the Justicar, how does that interact with the Blightspawn ability? Or the 'no charge' aura? If I charge within 3" of a unit with the Justicar, does this help?

Both the Judiciar & the FBS have essentially the same ability, picking a target within 3" at the start of each Fight Phase (only difference is that the Judiciar's is "...until all other eligible units have done so" while the FBS's is "...until all other eligible units from your army have done so"). Without access to something that actually switches off an aura though, you won't be able to negate the "don't count as charging" bubble (which is from the relic and is not an ability native to the FBS).


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#10
SanguinaryGuardsman

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I had a game vs new death guard about a week ago... I got clobbered by a fairly innocuous looking DG list.  It was 2 units of PMs... one was geared up for CC the other was plasma+bolters, 1 rhino, foul blightspawn+stench vats, 2 casters, 1 LoC, 2 units of 10 poxwalkers, 2 hellbrutes(1 shooty 1 punchy), 2 PBCs (50 points undercosted imo), 1 bloatdrone with 2 spewers, 1 Miasmic Malignifer (aka, the fart factory).  The mission was... 4 objectives and long deployment... I forget the name and I went second.  So it was the worst possible army matchup with the worst possible mission using the least favourable deployment.  That said, I do not think this matchup will be a fair fight until the WS get a new supplement that is brought into line with 9th edition mechanics in a similar manner to Dark Angels.  The reason is that the WS core strength is HARD countered.  You just dont get one of your army rules at all and there is nothing you can do about it. 

 

I don't really have any non list construction solutions to this problem.  DG is just gonna walk up to the midfield and you pretty much have to come to them since you won't win a fire fight before they are 50 points ahead on primary. 

 

I think some things that might work are:

 

1.  High quality 1 dmg weaponry. 

-Redemptors dreads x 3  the best 170 points with the vehicle keyword in the codex.  Everything else is laughably worse imo.

-Mario Karts in blobs of 3 if you can stomach the models. 

-anything with lightning claws, VVs?  Terminators... whatever.  Bonus points for str 5.

-assault plasma hellblasters.  

-blade guard vets... got spam?  If you have 15 or are willing to buy/paint that many, I can't this being a bad option. 

 

2.  Mortal wound output.

-librarians... just use whatever powers do mortals... everything else is an optional extra.  

-units that have mortal wound stratagems but are also not terrible.  Hellfire rounds, meltabombs, whatever.  

 

3. 3 Damage weaponry

-redemptor dreads, starting to see a pattern here?

-blade guard vets with doctrine active

-eradicators... obviously

-terminators with chainfists

 

4.  Utility

-something that dishes out "can't fight until stone dead". Judiciar or the Whirlwind tank are both good options. 

-a deepstrike threat to keep them from congesting in the midfield too much

-Kor'sarro Khan... +1 to wound is great vs t5

 

5.  Allies.  I hate this option but when you get hard countered by really annoying rules interactions sometimes you gotta comprise.  Some good options...

 

-Guard vehicles.  How about 2 tank commanders and 10 meatbags.  You could leave 1 tank off the table to use use vengeance for cadia on whatever is close by.  Bring your second tank on after the first tank dies and keep blasting.  A demolisher with multimeltas will probably be best but I could see the punisher working also.

 

-Sisters.  Not sure how exactly this army works other than miracle dice + meltas = stuff dies. 

 

-Guard bodies.  610 points gives you 100 obsec bodies that a lot of DG lists will not be able to slice through all that easily.  DG doesn't appear to have as much anti horde firepower as they do anti elite/tank.  This is exploitable. 

 

Here is the list I'm going to try in my DG rematch.  It is somewhat constrained because I try to run lists using TTS based off of what I own. 

 

Kor'sarro

Primaris Chap on Bike, master of sanctity, wise orator, exhortation of rage, canticle of hate, benediction of fury.

 

Incursors x 5

Incursors x 5

Intercessors x 5, ABRs, hammer

 

5 Bladeguards

5 terminators with chainfists

2 redemptor dreads with onslaught

 

6 bikers with 2 melta and a hammer

6 bikers with 2 melta and a hammer

3 ATVs with Multi meltas

 

I think this should do ok since it has enough dakka to hurt plaguemarines with shooting and enough low ap 3 dmg weapons in close combat to bypass the -1 damage.  If I was inclined to purchase models purely for the purpose of drinking death guard tears I think I would drop all the bikes and add either 2 more units of bladeguard or 2 units of eradicators.   


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#11
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Oh boy. So what you’re saying is I should be playing this game with my Ultras!? Heh... well I will run models I own. I guess the Judiciary is essential, I’ve got to read up on how this will work with the Blightspawn. 
 

So I wanted to run a Primaris core and although I can’t ignore the fact I’m playing DG, I want to play as close to my all comers list as possible. That means: outriders x2. Lots of troops, usually lots of assault Intercessors (A squad of 2-3 melta ATVs ( yes I actually own these). Typically I encircle a squad of Eradicators. 
 

I always use Kahn, and my Primaris chaplain on bike (usually warlord) and I always take a Libby even for the anti-over watch and there’s a great mortal wound power I always use ( can’t remember the name). 

I use hammers with all my troop sarges, but I would have to proxy vanguard or relic Termies. 

as a side note (not for this game) I am seriously considering a Grav Leviathan in encirclement. 

 

Another thing I did a lot in 7th was take Impulsors pre shield dome nerf. I’m considering them again maybe even with the 8 shot turret, or keep the domes and block off other armies like DG from center. 
 

I only have three blade guard, they make all the lists. 
 

Anyway, I’m working on my third version of White scars troops so I’d like to use them. I do agree that DG is such an incredible anti White Scar army that the odds are definitely against me. I know my opponent says he’s just starting the army and doesn’t know what he’s doing with DG. I said they are dead simple though... very easy to pick up. Essentially a “point and fart” army, literally. 


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#12
SanguinaryGuardsman

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Oh boy. So what you’re saying is I should be playing this game with my Ultras!? Heh... well I will run models I own. I guess the Judiciary is essential, I’ve got to read up on how this will work with the Blightspawn. 
 

 

I think the blightspawn wins.  He has 2 rules with the relic.  A "fight when you're dead" mechanic that is single target but the relic gives a mechanic that nullifies any mechanics associated with charging in a 6" bubble.  So if even your Judiciar can use "fight last" none of your units count as having charged and will fight after whatever the DG player has.  You gotta figure out a way of killing him in shooting or isolate him in close combat otherwise you just get rekt like a chump.  

 

If your judiciar is facing a blightspawn without the relic then whoever is attacking (whoever charged) should be eligible to fight first.  There is the rare rules section in the back of the BRB that has an explanation for when two rules are contradicting each other that the attacker wins in these situations.  



#13
Prot

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Well I came up with this in the Warhammer app

White Scars

Adeptus Astartes - Strikeforce - Grand Tournament ( 12CP - 2000PT - 0PT )
 
Adeptus Astartes Battalion Detachment ( 3CP - 1965PT )
 SUB-FACTION: White Scars
HQ
Kor’sarro Khan 
WARLORD: Primaris Chaplain on Bike 
UPGRADE: Master of Sanctity  
TRAITS: Master Rider    
Primaris Librarian    
 
TROOPS
Assault Intercessor Squad 
4x Assault Intercessor
1x Assault Intercessor Sergeant: Thunder hammer      
Assault Intercessor Squad 
4x Assault Intercessor
1x Assault Intercessor Sergeant: Thunder hammer      
Incursor Squad 
4x Incursor
1x Incursor Sergeant      
Intercessor Squad 
1x Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes grenade launcher, Auto bolt rifle, Thunder hammer
4x Intercessor: Auto bolt rifle      
 
ELITES
Bladeguard Veteran Squad 
2x Bladeguard Veteran
1x Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant      
Primaris Apothecary 
UPGRADE: Chief Apothecary      
Relic Terminator Squad 
1x Relic Terminator Sergeant: Chain-fist
2x Relic Terminator: Chainfist
2x Relic Terminator: Lightning claw, Lightning claw      
 
FAST ATTACK
Invader ATV Squad 
1x Invader ATV
2x Invader ATV: Multi-melta      
Outrider Squad 
2x Outrider
1x Outrider Sergeant      
Outrider Squad 
2x Outrider
1x Outrider Sergeant      
 
HEAVY SUPPORT
Eliminator Squad 
2x Eliminator
1x Eliminator Sergeant      
Eradicator Squad 
2x Eradicator
1x Eradicator Sergeant      
 
 
Total Command Points: 3/15
Reinforcement Points: 0
Total Points: 2000/2000
 
i can use some Ultras if I have to but I don’t think it would make much difference unless I wanted to dump infantry for Redemptors, in which case UM are probably better off. 

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#14
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For White scars, fast move-and-fire meltas are most effective against DG. -1 or not -1 dmg won't make differences, when one hit have 5 dmg against a 3 wounds model.
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#15
6262

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Depending on the list you're using it seems an ancient with the relic banner to get +1S sounds like it would give a boost to get the Scars at least into the same ballpark.



Am I wrong in thinking that they're (DG) still a primarily slow list to play against?

I've mostly been living under a rock this past year so I doubt I'll encounter them anytime soon, but as I've been playing Scars almost exclusively I'm curious as to how this plays out once I get games in again.

Edited by 6262, 09 February 2021 - 04:36 AM.

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#16
Black Blow Fly

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Solid list Prot.


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#17
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Solid list Prot.

 

Thanks but I don't know if it looks solid enough. I'm waffling a bit... since I have not tested UM against the new DG either.

 

But at best this will be a loose test. I don't feel that good about the White Scars chances here, even though my opponent is pretty green (pun intended!)

 

The thing is I don't want to bend the list too much, plus it's White Scars, right? So it's gotta have a lot of pointy sticks running at the enemy.

 

The things I think this thread has helped me decide: pull out the Judiciar, 2 remove my transports. (Just not seeing value in them right now.)

 

The BIG test: 3 mario karts. (1 is dakka, and will be first to die, the other 2 are MM's)

No traditional bikes. I think they may be better, but I want to try Outriders and ATV's. 


Depending on the list you're using it seems an ancient with the relic banner to get +1S sounds like it would give a boost to get the Scars at least into the same ballpark.



Am I wrong in thinking that they're (DG) still a primarily slow list to play against?

I've mostly been living under a rock this past year so I doubt I'll encounter them anytime soon, but as I've been playing Scars almost exclusively I'm curious as to how this plays out once I get games in again.

That banner isn't a horrible idea, except I really don't think I have the points right now. Bodies are better typically against most armies, though I agree it would be helpful here.


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#18
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What is usually sitting on the objectives for DG lists? Small groups of Poxwalkers? Still getting my mind around 9th in some ways as I've only been punching a mechanicus player in the face so I have no idea what the wider edition is feeling like.

#19
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UM are much better suited. Ranged warfare is best for dealing with unwashed filth that is Chaos traitor.

 

That said I think each new 9th edition codex will each be stronger than the last for quite a few releases. I’m not starting a new army until the super power creep starts to level off.


Edited by Black Blow Fly, 10 February 2021 - 03:02 AM.

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#20
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Just brainstorming a bunch here:

 

  • Eliminators (and maybe sniper rifle scouts?) to kill the Foul Blightspawn (if he's not protected by Deathshroud).  For us to have any real success we need to kill the FBS asap.
  • Vanguard vets with thunder hammers and storm shields would still be getting D2 hits in even before assault doctrine.  And in assault doctrine on the charge they'll be D3 and killing a terminator per unsaved wound.
    • Powerfists would also get one more AP compared to thunder hammers and still hit at D2 with assault doctrine active on the charge. 
    • Someone would have to do the math comparing both of these to lightning claws, though.
  • Bladeguard with assault doctrine active on the charge will also still hit at D2.
  • Korsarro Khan to go with the Bladeguard and give them +1 to wound, and Vanguard vets can drop near him too and get it also
  • Assault hellblasters- five of them should kill three plague marines per turn (without any buffs), and hopefully they'll be a lower priority target compared to BGV and VanVets
  • Infiltrators to start on objectives and screen out deepstriking terminators
  • Encircling eradicators or MM attack bikes to take out PBCs/bloat drones

Could it also be useful to try and use incursors or maybe invictors to try and hem the DG into their deployment zone early?  Make anything that wants to walk up the board deal with killing the incursors/invictor first before they can go where they want to.  And then hopefully by the time the DG munches through them and gets to the objectives, we have BG and Van vets waiting for them, with hopefully the foul blightspawn already dead.

 

It seems to me that our hurdles are going to be killing/stalling Mortarion and killing the FBS, while not being able to rely on +1D to our basic melee attacks.  So outriders will probably be a bust, and intercessors become less useful.


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#21
Prot

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Just brainstorming a bunch here:

 

  • Eliminators (and maybe sniper rifle scouts?) to kill the Foul Blightspawn (if he's not protected by Deathshroud).  For us to have any real success we need to kill the FBS asap.
  • Vanguard vets with thunder hammers and storm shields would still be getting D2 hits in even before assault doctrine.  And in assault doctrine on the charge they'll be D3 and killing a terminator per unsaved wound.
    • Powerfists would also get one more AP compared to thunder hammers and still hit at D2 with assault doctrine active on the charge. 
    • Someone would have to do the math comparing both of these to lightning claws, though.
  • Bladeguard with assault doctrine active on the charge will also still hit at D2.
  • Korsarro Khan to go with the Bladeguard and give them +1 to wound, and Vanguard vets can drop near him too and get it also
  • Assault hellblasters- five of them should kill three plague marines per turn (without any buffs), and hopefully they'll be a lower priority target compared to BGV and VanVets
  • Infiltrators to start on objectives and screen out deepstriking terminators
  • Encircling eradicators or MM attack bikes to take out PBCs/bloat drones

Could it also be useful to try and use incursors or maybe invictors to try and hem the DG into their deployment zone early?  Make anything that wants to walk up the board deal with killing the incursors/invictor first before they can go where they want to.  And then hopefully by the time the DG munches through them and gets to the objectives, we have BG and Van vets waiting for them, with hopefully the foul blightspawn already dead.

 

It seems to me that our hurdles are going to be killing/stalling Mortarion and killing the FBS, while not being able to rely on +1D to our basic melee attacks.  So outriders will probably be a bust, and intercessors become less useful.

 

I just tried Eliminators. To be honest I think I can do better for the points. Picking off a wound a turn (on average) just isn't going to do a heck of a lot.

 

The thing to remember is a lot of what you're suggesting is Damage 2. So until turn 3 you are paying for weapons that will do the same damage as bolter.  If you are facing a hardcore DG list, then there is an excellent chance you won't count as charging at all so it basically shuts off the 'super doctrine'. 

 

I was actually eyeing up Assault Hellblasters. I think they could actually be really good for White Scars... advancing to keep up with potential aura's. I almost got them in my list yesterday but wanted to stay 'true' to my early 9ed lists.

 

So I think my game yesterday showed me a sizeable adjustment has to be made to the list approach entirely. Yea, it's not like every game is vs. Death Guard, but I really believe it's such a bad match up that you have to give yourself a chance. Plus those same adjustments help you with BA, SW, Dark Angels, Slaanesh Daemons, etc.

 

I do differ in belief that stuff like Invictors and Incursors play right into their hands (Their aura's are incredibly punishing to any CC army.)

 

I think Vanguard Vets are a great shout out as well. Speed, shields, and even claws.


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#22
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[snip]

 

 

I just tried Eliminators. To be honest I think I can do better for the points. Picking off a wound a turn (on average) just isn't going to do a heck of a lot.

 

The thing to remember is a lot of what you're suggesting is Damage 2. So until turn 3 you are paying for weapons that will do the same damage as bolter.  If you are facing a hardcore DG list, then there is an excellent chance you won't count as charging at all so it basically shuts off the 'super doctrine'. 

 

I was actually eyeing up Assault Hellblasters. I think they could actually be really good for White Scars... advancing to keep up with potential aura's. I almost got them in my list yesterday but wanted to stay 'true' to my early 9ed lists.

 

So I think my game yesterday showed me a sizeable adjustment has to be made to the list approach entirely. Yea, it's not like every game is vs. Death Guard, but I really believe it's such a bad match up that you have to give yourself a chance. Plus those same adjustments help you with BA, SW, Dark Angels, Slaanesh Daemons, etc.

 

I do differ in belief that stuff like Invictors and Incursors play right into their hands (Their aura's are incredibly punishing to any CC army.)

 

I think Vanguard Vets are a great shout out as well. Speed, shields, and even claws.

 

Yeah, the base D2 stuff like MC power swords and power fists would need Adaptive Strategy on them before turn 3.  I should have spelled that out more in my post.

 

But maybe swapping out BGV for more VanVets with claws and shields would be the way to go.  The VanVets are more mobile and with claws don't need to worry about -1D.

 

I agree that Eliminators aren't super efficient, but it seems like the Foul Blightspawn will absolutely hamstring most of our army, and I can't think of a more reliable way to kill him than with 9 eliminators and maybe psychic power mortal wounds (via jump pack libby w/ fury of the ancients/psychic scourge).  Once the FBS is dead, the Eliminators could then plink away at any other supporting characters, so they're not completely useless.  Then if we kill the FBS, we have the upper hand with VVs shredding them while we fight first, which takes a lot of the teeth out of their -1T aura.

 

And I see what you're saying about not wanting to be in CC with incursors because of the -1T aura, but Transhuman Physiology would negate that.  I'm just thinking about using them to break up the DG's attack and try to keep them off balance.  Delay then initially and because they're relatively slow, that will hopefully allow us to take them apart piecemeal.  This is all just theory though, so it's very possible I'm barking up the wrong tree.

 

Another out there suggestion might be a squad of 10 assault intercessors with a TH sarge fighting twice and running with Korsarro Khan and a Judiciar.  The Judiciar would allow the assault intercessors to fight twice before the DG squad (assuming there's just one) can fight at all (if I understand the rules interaction correctly).  72 chainsword attacks RRing 1s to hit, +1 to wound (so wounding on 4s), with -1AP do 14 wounds to plague marines (or 18.666 wounds with -2AP in assault doctrine or w/ adaptive strategy), plus 10 thunderhammer attacks RRing 1s to hit, +1 to wound (so wounding on 2s), with -2AP get through 3.24 unsaved wounds for another 3 PM dead.  So theoretically the squad can kill 10 PM on average, and that's without the Khan's and the Judiciar's attacks.

 

My armchair general analysis seems to me that we need to kill the FBS at any cost, and then we should be able to mulch units on the charge -- which negates the -1T aura because there won't be much left to hit us back.  And if we can manage to stagger the DG's assault so that we're not dealing with more than one unit at a time per combat, it seems like we should be able to win them.

 

None of this takes into account Morty, or getting slowed by the Droning or anything like that, though.



#23
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At the incursor comment; actually it's more than the -1T, it's the potential of taking mortal wounds from the Lord of Contagion aura, it's the half movement, it's the potential of no re-rolls. It's the bonus mortal wounds from the psyker tests... You really, really have to line up your assault carefully and prepare for the worst. 

 

And yes the Blightspawn is stupidly efficient against any assault army, but I just found I couldn't touch him. I couldn't shoot him, and he hid behind tons of poxwalkers (at one point 6 came back to life) and the Eliminators just don't do the damage against the T5 army and -1 damage. I just don't think their worth it. I'd rather try targeted Psychic spells. 

 

I used to use the Judiciar all the time. Because of DG I've elected to pull him out the list.


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#24
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#25
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Come on back to Team Blu !

Ha! I never left!  I just knew this would be a worst case match up and I like the White Scars too....they just play so different from UM that it feels like a different army. 


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