Review: Traitor Legions – Death Guard

The Traitor Legions are upon us! Fourteen years after 2002’s release of the beloved CSM 3.5 codex, full rules for all nine traitor legions are here! These are each a unique army that will open up the game to dedicated CSM players who find the default codex a little plain.


Each Legion has a distinct feel with 9 sets of Legion restrictions and special rules, warlord traits, relics and of course a detachment – all of which add to the distinctive of being playing a traitor legion. While I personally think some are more characterful and cooler than others, it is a major step forward from the previous incarnation of vanilla Chaos Space Marines in all but name. There are, like with every release, however, some standouts that will be altering the meta.

Now, onto what you came for, let’s crack open the covers and see what makes the Death Guard sick, I mean tick:


The Death Guard are back to spread pestilence. The jury is still out on whether they are THE most potent legion in the new Codex, but Grandfather Nurgle has been spreading his warm infectious love upon his favourite children.

The Legion special rules are in keeping with their 3.5 ancestors for a Cult Legion. Mark of Nurgle is mandatory and Veterans of the Long War is free. Typhus is the only named character, which is a shame, as I would have liked to have seen Ignatius Grulgor, the Eater of Lives, included as an additional option. Like with 3.5, Daemon Princes must be mark of Nurgle and use Nurgle powers.

In exchange for this, Plague Marines are troop choices and all your VotLW infantry gain Fearless, Feel No Pain, -1 Initiative except Typhus and Plague Marines who are already patrons of Nurgle. The game changer, which is from 3.5, is all VotLW gain Relentless. If you can see through the cloud of flies, I predict Death Guard Armies fielding lots of Havoc Squads.

Death Guard Armies now will be full of official Plague Marines and a bunch of “Really Sick Marines” who can move and fire heavy weapons. Remember back in the 3.5 codex when the Death Guard were limited to only using Heavy Bolters? Well now they can take anything from the standard CSM codex. Just think of the many uses a squad with relentness Lascannons, Missile Launchers, Autocannons and even Heavy Bolters can find.

Moving onto the potent Vectorium Detachment we get an improvement of Feel No Pain and Stealth of ALL units in the detachment if they are more than 18″ away from the firer. That +1 cover save for your entire army is going to come in very handy, especially on top of all that Feel No Pain with rerolls.

While not an exhaustive review of the Death Guard, it has certainly been fun reading through their options and I predict we will be seeing a lot more of them in the future.


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