Principia Belicosa: Death Guard Special Rules and Weapons

In the embrace of great Nurgle, I am no longer afraid, for with His pestilential favour I have become that which I once feared: Death.

— Kulvain Hestarius of the Death Guard

Jason Tick is the Ferryman, guiding us through the tennets of the Deathguard.



Death Guard units are immune to Fear and automatically pass any pinning tests they must make.

This is a nice rule but won’t come up a ton through most of your games. You will have some pin checks from time to time, as well as Fear, but I find this comes into play maybe once every three to four games.

Sons of Barbarus:

Death Guard units with this rule may re-roll failed Dangerous Terrain tests. They also gain feel no pain(4+) against wounds caused by Poison of Fleshbane.

This is much more useful. The rule reflects their inexorable nature, a slowly advancing line of infantry that cannot be turned away. Dangerous Terrain comes up fairly often in games and is a nice bonus. Feel No Pain comes up more often and it’s surprising just how many weapons utilize poison. One of my main opponents is a mechanicum player and Fleshbane is their candy.


When making sweeping advance tests, models with this special rule reduce the score by -1

The Deathguard aren’t known for their speed. This is obviously negative, even though it does fit their fluff. When you’re in combat, and you come to sweeping tests, you’ll be at a small disadvantage, so just wipe them out instead!


Power Scythe :

Like Mortarion, his sons can come to battle with Power Scythes, usually instead of power fists or other hand to hand combat upgrades. 

This weapon boosts your strength and has the magical AP value of 2. You won’t get a bonus for two close combat weapons, however, if you are touching two models or more, you get +1 attack. Unlike the power axe this strikes at -1int, meaning you will be swinging before power fists and most other close combat weapons that strike at AP2.

Rad Grenades:

This is not a Death Guard only item, but it should be mentioned. War crimes are our thing, and there’s nothing more henious than Rad weaponry. It’s very fitting in the fluff, and in-game terms, it gives your opponents in contact with the model -1 toughness characteristic. This means regular models are wounding their cousins on 3s, and models with a Power Scythe on 2s! This also counts toward their instant death threshold.

Chem Munitions:

This is an upgrade for all flamer style weapons, large or small. This gives you some really nice kill power for your flamers while giving the small drawback of Gets Hot. However, shred of flamers is a gorgeous thing.

Miniature Painting Course Library.


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