Quickie Battle Report: White Scars Vs. Death Guard 2K

So I’ve played quite a few games in the past weeks with my White Scars. What a different army to play. Honestly in part it’s been frustrating. The reality is as a marine player, I really don’t think it’s advisable to put all your eggs in the Assault Basket as a White Scars player. The truth is some other armies do it better…. but we still have tricks, and the ability to lean on the wider Codex Astartes to -shoot- our way out of a difficult match up that may see us clobbered in Close Combat.

With that in mind I tried to pick one of my recent games that was hard fought. I can tell you I did beat a Blood Angels army that was quite strong, and even brought a Storm Cannon Leviathan. But I ended up winning simply from keeping my Shield Captain on Bike with Mater of Snares, and hugged his Leviathan without him getting to fire a single shot. This one trick basically won me the game and would be a bit boring.

So believe it or not the Death Guard have been extremely difficult for me. Why? It’s not a simple answer;

  • Death Guard excel in the 24″ range. So do I.
  • Death Guard have inherently superior survivability.
  • White Scars spent resources on getting to the opponent faster… Death Guard invite that opponent with open, stinky, arms/tentacles.
  • Death Guard are actually quite good at eliminating infantry.
  • Plague Crawlers. Not only are they tough and out range me, they are quite potent against an army like White Scars.
  • Death Guard Psychic Phase increases damage output, and survivability.
  • Death Guard Characters are extremely potent in Close Combat.
I smell a tough game coming.

Let’s get into the game:

White Scars List:

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium – Space Marines) [94 PL, -4CP, 1,997pts] ++

  • Configuration +

Chapter Selection: White Scars

Chapter Selection: White Scars

  • HQ +

Captain on Bike [6 PL, -3CP, 140pts]: Master of Snares, Storm shield, Stratagem: Chapter Master, Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom, Thunder hammer, Twin boltgun, Warlord, Wrath of the Heavens

Chaplain [5 PL, -1CP, 90pts]: 6. Canticle of Hate, Jump Pack, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Master of Sanctity

Kor’sarro Khan [105pts]

Librarian in Phobos Armour [5 PL, 101pts]: 2) Soul Sight, 6) Temporal Corridor, Camo cloak, Force sword

Primaris Librarian [5 PL, 98pts]: Force sword

  • Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 95pts]: Incursor Sergeant
. 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired Combat Blades, 4x Smoke Grenades

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 95pts]: Incursor Sergeant
. 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired Combat Blades, 4x Smoke Grenades

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 106pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Thunder hammer

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 101pts]: Bolt rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Thunder hammer

Scout Squad [4 PL, 65pts]
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Sniper rifle
. 4x Scout w/Sniper Rifle: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Sniper rifle

Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Combat knife
. 2x Scout w/Combat Knife: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Combat knife, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. 2x Scout w/Shotgun: 2x Astartes shotgun, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

  • Elites +

Aggressor Squad [10 PL, 185pts]: 4x Aggressor, Aggressor Sergeant
. Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets/Fragstorm Grenade Launcher

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [6 PL, 131pts]: Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, Heavy bolter, Incendium cannon, 2x Ironhail Heavy Stubber

  • Fast Attack +

Bike Squad [9 PL, 180pts]
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta, Twin boltgun
. Biker Sergeant: Thunder hammer, Twin boltgun
. 4x Space Marine Biker w/Bolt Pistol: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Twin boltgun

  • Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 72pts]
. Eliminator Sergeant: Bolt sniper rifle, Camo cloak
. 2x Eliminator with Bolt Sniper: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Bolt sniper rifle, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

Thunderfire Cannon [4 PL, 92pts]
. Techmarine Gunner
. . Servo-harness: Flamer, Plasma cutter

Thunderfire Cannon [4 PL, 92pts]
. Techmarine Gunner
. . Servo-harness: Flamer, Plasma cutter

  • Dedicated Transport +

Impulsor [4 PL, 97pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Shield Dome

Impulsor [4 PL, 97pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Shield Dome

++ Total: [94 PL, -4CP, 1,997pts] ++

Created with BattleScribe (https://battlescribe.net)

Death Guard List:

This is mostly from memory….

HQ: DP w/Wings. Revoltingly Resilient, Supporating Plate. (Warlord)

2x Plague Casters

Lord of Contagion

Lord with Balesword


2-3 Poxwalker squads of various sizes.

2-3 Plague Marine squads in basic load outs. Some fists, Flails? etc.



4 x Cataphractii Bodguard Terminators (Forgot the name… with the Scythes.)


3 Plague Spitter Foetid Bloat Drones.


2 x Plague Crawlers with indirect cannons and Plague Spitters.

The Pre-Game:

We played a Maelstrom game with a bit of a twist. The thing we’ve been testing lately is from ITC missions; there is NO SEIZE roll.

So I got to go first, and he chose the map which was:

Search And Destroy

I’m okay with Search And Destroy, however it was a lot more “Search” and not enough “Destroy” for me. In hindsight I really should have given him first turn. But I feared those Plague Crawlers.

“As we did on Terra, we shall banish their stinky farts with greatest of Chogoris Perfumes!”

The Early Game:

What follows is some important turn summary info to keep this short!

The White Scar Deployment. The Fast and the Not So Furious!
  • Early game has the White Scars going first.
  • I spend 1 CP to “Encirclement” the squad of 5 Aggressors. I also spend 1 CP on an extra relic for the one caster to have +1 to his casts, and give the Chaplain “Master of Sanctity”. My Captain on Bike with the Hammer has the Relic Bike (go through walls/units) and Master of Snares Trait. (can’t retreat on a 4+)
  • The Chaplain Successfully casts Litanies: Adding to assault range, and Re-roll all “To Wound Rolls”.
  • I find he’s planted his three Bloat Drones quite aggressively in the ruins. Do I hold back? Maybe I should have, but since 90% of my army is in the open, I feel like all those flamers are going to hurt.
  • I decide to move very aggressively, advancing the bikes, using Strats to get 3++ invlun, and still shoot. Since I can still charge after doing so, I decide to move in the Captain on Bike for support.
  • My Psykers are successful in putting lots of wounds on one of the Bloat Drones, and cast the ‘deny Overwatch” power on the biker squad.
  • Shooting is semi eventful. I take the two Thunderfires, and fire one of them twice with the Tremor Shells. This makes his Poxwalkers move 2″.
  • The real meat of the turn is the first turn Close Combat. This is weird I confess. My biker squad easily pounds out the one Bloat Drone, BUT I only use my Close Combat blade with my Captain so that I can attempt to keep the Bloat Drone stuck in Close Combat with me. The goal here is to prevent the Death Guard from firing at me with 6 flamers, and various other shots, by keeping my Bike Squad, and Captain Locked in combat with one Drone. My stupendous plan works…. sort of.
  • White Scars turns ends with 3 points scored. 2 on cards, and First Strike.
“I don’t care how much that drone stinks, hug it until you can smell its armpits.”

Death Guard:

  • They try to retreat the ‘trapped’ Drone and my Captain succeeds in trapping the Drone in.
  • Although the Death Guard can barely move the Poxwalkers, which trap in some of his Troops, I can see I should have hit his one squad of Plague Marines on the right of the ruins. They would march in for close combat and cause some real issues.
  • Death Guard Psychics are really good… Putrescent Vitality, and Blades of Putrifaction both go off enhancing his Daemon Prince, and Plague Marines. He also gets off a lot of Mortal Wounds. I can see this is going to be the end of my big pre game plan….
  • Shooting isn’t great, but it doesn’t have to be. Death Guard take a few rounds off of the Impulsor and my Invictor Warsuit. I lose a squad of Scouts for first Strike.
  • Then the assault I worried about… The Death Guard Daemon Prince is being held waaay back in his zone but moves up for a kill on the Biker squad. The entire squad is easily destroyed with 2’s to hit, re-rolls of 1, and Death to the False Emperor. Ouch. The buffed up Plague Marines easily over kill my warlord Captain on bike who I choose not to swing with (in death).
  • The Death Guard tie the game, and I’m down a LOT of points in stronger units. I’ve really only killed a Foetid Bloat Drone and some Poxwalkers.
From the Death Guard side of the Ruins. They retaliate very hard.

Mid Game:

I call this mid game, because really it feels like I’m very much behind the 8 ball losing my Warlord and now having to rely very heavily on a few Intercessor squads and the Aggressors.

White Scars:

  • I decide to split my forces. I feel like he needs to stay together for his very limited aura’s to work. My force is faster, so I take a two pronged approach.
  • One Impulsor goes deep into his deployment long board edge. The other Impulsor goes to the ruins where all my stuff just died.
  • The Captain and bikes can’t have died in vein. I have to kill those Drones, and tie up whatever I can.
  • The Psykers do their thing. The Invictor Warsuit goes up and kills a bunch of infantry, while my Aggressors come out deep on his board edge.
  • I make a MAJOR mistake here, and recognize it right away. I shot all my AutoBolter Primaris at his 5 man Plague Marine Squad. I could have shot at many other squads, but I realized as soon as I rolled the dice that all I have to do is kill ONE Plague Marine, and I rob my Aggressors of a vital charge range. Sure enough, I kill 2 somehow and that’s exactly what happens. What an amateur.
  • The Aggresors to boltstorm away and fail to kill the last 3 guys! How crazy is that?
  • I try to shoot up some stuff, but really next to nothing dies. I do assault a Plague Crawler with an Impulsor to prevent a turn of firing!
Cutting off an angle, and preventing some shooting.

Death Guard:

  • Death Guard didn’t lose too much so they do a pretty similar repeat of last turn- casting buffs, but very much keeping the Daemon Prince back from the frontline.
  • Death Guard can only fire one Plague Crawler and that helps me out a bit, but I do take some damage on my Invictor Warsuit.
  • His Last two Bloat Drones flame a bunch of scouts, and Incursors.
  • Eventually he brings in his 4 Deathshroud terminators, but they fail the charge on my Invictor warsuit! Whew… close call as those guys can really cause pain with Vets of the Long War on them.
  • His charges include another Plague marine squad into my Aggressors. I couldn’t kill any in overwatch, even with double fire! Gees these guys really stunk this game. He only kills one, but I can’t kill them all back.
  • He also charges a few poxwalkers (for overwatch) and his Lord of Contagion into my Invictor Warsuit. I literally walk away from that fight not able to kill the Lord of Contagion, but with 2 wounds left thanks to “Only in Death Does Duty End”, reducing damage from his scythe. Wow. If his Deathshroud had made the charge, I was dead.
  • The Death Guard cannot score, simply because the White Scars own most of the real estate in the game. The White Scars have a narrow lead.
The Invictor Warsuit is barely alive, but can with draw, and re-assault thanks to White Scars!

Late Game:

With a narrow lead I feel this is a turn where I have to score a lot, and withdraw. His Daemon Prince is still fine, and he will have full use of his Deathshroud termies to bully me out of his deployment.

White Scars:

  • I make sure to take the three Objective cards I can score thanks to A) Behind Enemy Lines, and B) Hold the Line, and “Kill something”.
  • My Psykers do a great job hammering down the Bloat Drone holding middle ground. I shoot the remaining wounds off of it, and that frees up my Invictor to charge back in to the Lord of Contagion..
  • My Primaris Eliminators finally punch 3 wounds out of a Plague Caster. (they sucked all game really.)
  • My Aggressors can’t manage to kill the remnant squad of Plague Marines…. Kor’Sarro Khan has to do it! I keep the Impulsor of the field to ensure “Behind Enemy Lines”.
  • Back in my shooting phase it’s important to note my weight of Intercessor fire has been doing a slow, but steady job of cleaning up Plague Marines and Poxwalkers, but heck they are incredibly resilient.
  • I end the turn stuck in his zone, but now with a 3 Point lead.

Death Guard:

  • Death Guard retaliation has to be big. His psychic phase is great as usual, and not much I can do about it. I lose the Invictor Warsuit.
  • With limited numbers the Death Guard can’t gain a ton of ground, but all of his heavy hitters are there.
  • The Daemon Prince comes out of hiding, and he would assault my Aggressors. I don 1 wound with double firing overwatch!
  • His Plague Crawler is still stuck with my Impulsor but I’m down to 2 wounds on it. My Incursors are still shot up, then I realize I forgot to get the squad of Intercessors with Hammer out of it! D’oh! Luckily it survives with the shield Dome save.
  • The Daemon Prince takes his attacks on my 4 Aggressors… all easily die. This leaves his Daemon Prince right in front of the Khan, an Impulsor and 4 Intercessors! ouch.

His turn is good, but not good enough.

The Warsuit dies, and these Aggressors get spanked pretty hard by the Daemon Prince!

We decide to call it here. It was getting late, and the idea was we both believed that my Khan, Hammer/Intercessors, and Chaplain, that he would have lost his last offensive unit in the Daemon Prince.

To be sure I drew up my hand and sure enough thanks again to my real estate I could do most of my objectives, where the Death Guard were pinned too far back.

White Scars win, by a narrow margin.

Post Game:

  • It is worth noting that I believe that if he wasn’t so defensive with his Daemon Prince, and Deathshroud, that he most likely would have won.
  • The Price of victory? Was it a bad move for me to go in so aggressively? I lost a big, expensive bike squad, and my Warlord Captain. BUT I also kept Plague Crawlers stuck in against Impulsors, and took 80% of the board actually giving me the win. Hard to say. My Opponent felt I gave up too much and his Plague Crawlers’ and Bloat Drones’ shooting wasn’t as much a concern as I made it out to be.
  • I told myself before this game I would be less aggressive. I wanted to bide my time until T3 for the Assault Doctrine and the bonus damage. I blew it, and went in hardcore, but in T3 that’s when he had to be even luckier on his Resilient Rolls and it made a big difference. The bolter shots were crappy and did nothing.
  • Big Units for me: Impulsors (blocking flamer overwatch/tying up Plague Crawlers). Khan, and the Invictor Warsuit probably had its best game! Psykers deserve an honourable mention. They help a lot.
  • Bad Units for me: Aggressors. Man they stunk it up. Bolt shots do nothing in a game like this, and I don’t want to be in the Tactical Doctrine longer than T2. Biker squad/Captain. Combined they killed 1 model. That was an expensive, and stupid trade off. I should have kept the Captain back at least.

So I am still looking for 1 or 2 more Impulsors, and this is a hard army to play. It takes a lot of timing, and there’s not much going on in the shooting phase, but it is certainly fun once you get to T3.

Thanks for reading and I have my next game lined up……

The Tau are coming up…

You filthy fish are no match for my futuristic spear fishing gear!

Thanks for checking this out.


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