After painting the Noxious Blightbringer I found myself wondering just how many points worth of Death Guard I now have at my command. As someone who really isn’t a gamer by any stretch of the imagination I tend not to keep track of these things too closely and I’ve no idea what points costs are current having not seen the most recent codex, but I put the models I have into the “Combat Roster” tool on the Warhammer Community website and was surprised to discover that I now have exactly 50 power. I know the more passionate gamers out there have strong feelings as to how well “power” compares to “points” as a means of totalling up the value of the models from a gaming point of view, and I’m sure that competitive players would be concerned about tallying up exactly how many extras they could squeeze into a list, but I don’t really give a damn about any of that. I am however familiar with the idea that 50 power roughly (very roughly) equates to 1000 points, or half an army. You see back in the days of yore when I was more interested and involved in the gaming side of Warhammer 40k we usually aimed for armies of 2000 points, so when you got to 1000 you were halfway there.
I know I’m probably loosing half my audience with this boring, technical talk about gaming, and loosing the other half of my audience through my general ignorance of said gaming side of the hobby. Suffice to say, although an army is never finished (there’s always room on the shelf for another unit after all) in my mind it’s “done” when it reaches 2000 points, and anything that’s added after that is a bonus. Ergo, if I have 50 power I have roughly 1000 points, and the project is roughly half way along the trajectory that takes it from being “a few Death Guard models” to being “a Death Guard army”. And yes, I know the word “roughly” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence!
Anyway, let’s take a look at what my half-army looks like (as usual clicking on the pictures will let you see them full size).
For a while, in the wake of the release of Warhammer 40k’s Eighth Edition, and all the nice new Nurgle-worshipping, plague-infested horrors that came with it, I was quite excited about the Death Guard and the army grew quite nicely. To shoehorn in a disease-related metaphor for these disease-loving scoundrels, this was the first wave! However by the time I’d converted and painted 40 poxwalkers I was getting a little burned out and in need of a break. Then along came Covid-19 in the real world and suddenly you couldn’t hold a conversation or look at the news without plague taking centre stage. In the end I decided I wasn’t enjoying the outbreak spreading into my hobby time as well and put the army on hold for a while to concentrate on other things. As a result I never did manage to get much done with the actual plague marines themselves, which should really make up the meat of a Death Guard army. I do however have plenty of them waiting for paint so expect to see them appearing as part of the inevitable second wave.
In the meantime let’s remind ourselves of what I have managed to paint. The core of the army is built around a swarm of 40 poxwalkers (or plague zombies as they used to be known). Each one has been converted to be entirely unique and if you don’t mind risking infection you can take a look at them all here.
The other major part of the army are these 20 plaguebearers – the lesser daemons of Nurgle. These were mostly painted years ago but I finally got around to painting the last two back in August.
Now some people might say “Well actually…” because apparently you can’t take Nurgle daemons as part of a Death Guard army in 9th edition 40k (even though back in 8th edition this was fine). To which I would respond that I don’t really give a toss. For one thing I’m not trying to get to the top tables at a Grand Tournament, in fact I’d be surprised if this army sees the tabletop at all before 10th, 11th or 110th edition rolls around, by which time Games Workshop will have changed things again. If and when some dice do get rolled however I can’t imagine I’ll be playing against someone who’s going to be finicky about these things either. Armies that mix daemons, mortals, power armour and beastmen – all worshipping a single god – look cool. Mixed daemon armies on the other hand look, to my eye at least, like “soup” (which is hip modern young person slag for “a big old mix of models that don’t really belong together or look consistent, usually to take advantage of some rule or other” – which makes you wonder what kind of soup they’re eating). The Chaos gods hate each other, Nurgle daemons fighting alongside Slaaneshi daemons, without a Word Bearers diabolist physically restraining them from turning on each other, has never looked good to me. Nurgle daemons belong in a Nurgle army with Nurgle-worshipping mortals and that’s my last word on the matter!
The remainder of the army is made up of the Daemon Prince who leads them, the aforementioned Noxious Blightbringer, a Foetid Bloat-drone and a Hellbrute. Oh, and some Nurglings which I forgot to take a group shot of, and which are also apparently not allowed in a 9th Edition Death Guard army.
To be honest I don’t know how soon I’ll get around to painting the second half of this army – that being the half with most of the actual members of the Death Guard in it! – at the moment there are a lot of other projects which are demanding my attention. However it’s safe to say that no treatment protocol has yet been invented which would put me off from painting Plague Marines forever so expect to see plenty of filthy power-armour showing up around here sooner or later!