Codex Preview – Death Guard

We finally have gotten some teasers of the Death Guard and will get some more tidbits throughout the week. We know Death Guard are getting more units (shocking) but also get some teasers on Mortarion to go with the model. He’s tough with T7/W18/3+/4++ along with a 5+ FNP. One imagines a Death Guard Warlord trait will increase durability further, though whether Morty will have it remains to be seen. you could take the stock standard 6+ FNP from the rulebook for a lot of ways to avoid taking damage. An average shooting army should still drop him in a turn but the 4++ / FNP makes it frustrating to get those high D rolls through. Get him close to the opponent, even with just an advance move, and it will be negatively impacting the opponent. -1T to units within 7″ is really strong and an aura that you do not want to get involved in. It means all S7 weapons wound T4 models on 2’s and vehicles are not as tough as normal. Imagine Darkstrider’s effect on your whole army across multiple units…

The fact that he then does mortal wounds for being close to units is icing on the cake. He looks expensive based on PL but we know he has some good abilities right out of the gate.

Mortarion and the Death Guard: Next Weekend!

Last year, the first Daemon Primarch returned to the 41st Millennium at the head of a full Legion of Heretic Astartes.

Now, his brother is about to join him…

The new Death Guard codex is dropping next week, and alongside it is what we’re sure will be the centrepiece kit for many a Death Guard army – the phenomenally imposing new Daemon Primarch Mortarion. Accompanying these will be a Plague Brethren collector’s set of 3 never before seen Death Guard Plague Marines packaged with exclusive content, providing a fascinating insight into the design process of these and the entire Death Guard miniatures range.


Anyone who wants the codex will have a few options – the hardback and digital copies, of course, and for the truly dedicated, there’s also the limited edition Codex: Death Guard, packed with exclusive goodies like art-cards, trackers and datacards, all presented in disgustingly lavish fashion.

Mortarion is, of course, the plague-ridden star of this army release, whether as the leader of a Death Guard force on the battlefield, as an incredible miniature to add to your collection, a painting project, or just for what his return means for the galaxy of the 41st Millennium – he’s sort of a big deal.

As one of THE major players in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, you’d expect Mortarion to be a powerful force in the game, and you would not be disappointed.

His full datasheet and rules are in Codex: Death Guard of course, but since we like you guys, here’s a bit of a preview what the Death Lord can do:

With 18 Wounds and Toughness 7, Mortarion is unbelievably durable – anyone who’s played against his Brother Magnus, who has a similar statline, can attest to that. This is further augmented with a 4+ Invulnerable Save and your Death-Guard-standard Disgustingly Resilient rule, making the Death Lord one of the hardest models in the entire game to kill. Offensively, Mortarion is very different from his brother Primarchs. While Guilliman is a talented commander and Magnus a master of the magic, Mortarion is an altogether more sinister figure. Toxic Presence reduces the Toughness of anyone foolish enough to stand close to him by 1, while Host of Plagues allows him to stack up a growing tally of Mortal Wounds on nearby enemies.

Once Mortarion has closed the gap on his enemies, their demise is all but assured, winnowed away slowly both by his attacks and the supporting fire from his army. We haven’t even got into the deadliness of his scythe, Silence!

These are just the beginning: the new Death Guard are about to be realised in more disguising detail than ever before. You can look forward to the return of classic units like the Plague Marines, as well as unit’s we’ve never seen before, including new Elite troops, characters and vehicles – all benefiting from a whole epidemic of special rules in the codex, to help represent your army on the tabletop.

Come back on Tuesday, when we’ll be diving into some of the Stratagems, Relics and Warlord Traits that make this army tick.

You’ll be able to pre-order your new codex, Mortarion and the Plague Brethren next week – in the meantime, if you’re looking for a way to start that Death Guard army you’ve been thinking about, look no further than the Dark Imperium or Know No Fear boxed sets –  both of which offer a great core to any Nurgle Heretic Astartes force.

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11 responses to Codex Preview – Death Guard

Mortarian will be a beast… But that’s not really a surprise revelation. Plague Marines are going to be hard to kill. I’m itching to know what the Death Guard are going to have going for them in terms of basic staples of army construction: long-ranged anti-vehicle options? Fast-moving counter-assault? Transports? Anti-Aircraft? Aircraft?

Going by just the forces in the Index, it’s very hard to put together a balanced Death Guard force. They’ve got fantastic anti-infantry options and they excel at holding ground… But…

"One imagines a Death Guard Warlord trait will increase durability further, though you could take the stock standard 6+ FNP from the rulebook for a lot of ways to avoid taking damage."

Likely Morty will have a fixed WL Trait.

I’m hoping Mortarian and Typhus have fixed Warlord Traits and the list of selectable ones makes the generic Lord of Contagion worthwhile (and/or give him a significant price cut). He’s not a bad choice of HQ on paper, but Typhus does literally everything the generic Lord does AND has psychic powers, a shooting attack, a Pox Walker buffing aura AND costs less points.

I’ve seen some nonsensical design decisions from GW before, but that one takes the cake.

Yeah, Typhus is a good 200pts worth. Only weakness he has is he is -so- slow. If you face him in games, just run away.

Mortarion viable target for warptime and more importantly Miasma of Pestilence. Warptime can be denied sure, but miasma you can cast from out of deny range….. Still he has a potential first turn charge no problem.

On paper he still looks a lot weaker than Magnus. Magnus has all those psychic powers baked in, a 3++ rerolling 1's but..i wait with baited breath to find out if Mortarion is a Daemon for this.

I call it, the ultimate power mortarion.

Epidemius's Tally of Pestilence add 1 whenever an enemy unit is destroyed by a Nurgle Daemon.

0-1 no effect
2 reroll 1's to hit for nurgle daemons.
3 increase move by 1
4 increase str by 1
5 increase T by 1
6 Increase A by 1
7 reroll disgustingly resilient.

Live the dream, kill 2 monsters with a t1 charge then spend a cp to get a buff from Chaos Boon! 3++ invul -1 to hit t8. Kill me now! Then just work your way through the enemy army til you reach T9 with disgustingly resilient rerolls (at this point you should have won).

The issue i see, is that neither Morty or Magnus are titanic, and they utterly wreck enemy knights. Fielding both in a 2k army is incredibly viable and lord of skulls got cheaper too. I really hope there is enough stuff in the book to make deathguard good enough, that three super heavies + changeling and horrors won't just utterly wipe the floor with them.

Just looked at Nurgle Daemon powers, they can heal him for D3 a turn, but here's the real killer, they can buff him to have +1 to wound and a 7+ wound roll does double damage. I think he will be even deadlier than Magnus.

Really like the idea of battalion of mixed Nurgle and Tzeentch Demons, then a Supreme Command of Deathguard and Magnus. but then you don't get the chaos CP stuff hmmm.

How about Super Heavy Detachment of Morty, Magnus and a knight, of the cheapest variety please sir! Can still afford a supreme command detachment for Changeling, Epidemius,and herald of nurgle (to buff mortarion lolz) and a Batallion of Chaos Marines to pick up the ability to use CM strategems!

Yes yes! this all makes sense now! Mortarion gets buffed by every buff spell, He will get +2 str +1 atk, 2 moves, -1 to hit him, 1 on wound rolls and double dmg on 6's! Still leaves enough casts left to smite with magnus and buff magnus to a 3++!

It is 100% tournament legal too. Man you would have so much fun, who cares if you win, just terrorise peoples armies and see how many units you can kill with Morty to get his tally up, while trying to make magnus 2++ Oh wait I forgot, don't deathguard get their own spells too?

They do! we need another way to do this.

The list needs to have in. Magnus, Morty, a Nurgle Hereticus Sorcerer, a Malignant wotsit and 2 spells worth of Nurgle Demon casting, oh and Epidimius + we need to have access to chaos stategems to get the boons.

Supreme Command of Nurgle 1cp

Mortarion, Epidimius, 2 heralds 800pts

Supreme Command of..Chaos 1cp

Magnus, Changeling, Typhus (cos why not, he got spells), Sorcerer of Nurgle 800pts

Some random amount of Chaos Space Marines for 400pts

Right so.

By the time the game ends, you can have bagged 3-4 boons, finished the Tally table and you are looking at a total of S11, T8, A8. You get 1 more of these at random, +1 on wnd rolls double dmg on 7+, reroll 1's to hit. Maybe picked up +1 svs from boons, with another A and another T? live the dream, make the most powerful Morty ever!

-1 to toughness will also have a big impact on even just bolters, not to mention helping in assault. DG were always meant to be close range monsters and this might just make them that, especially combined with the new melee options for plaguies.

Magnus has reroll invul saves aura, he smites for 2d6 on an 8+, has a 3++ cos of his psychic, and 8a at str 20 -4 3dmg. Pretty sure Magnus will not get buffed. If Magnus kills a char, monster or Vehicle, there is a fair chance he becomes a 2++ rerolling 1's that adds 2 to his rolls to deny psychic powers. Very best of luck killing that sir, we have called 3 games on turn 1 cos 2++ Magnus will solo a warlord titan with no real effort.

GW need to stop messing around with this and that, and carte blanche ban any save going under 3++.