Death Guard reinforcements incoming – and the advent of 8th edition.

It seems that just about every blog out there involving Warhammer 40,000 has had something to say about the release of 8th edition. I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Since the release is just a few hours away, now seems like the perfect time for a procrastinator like me to say something. Here are a few quick thoughts.

First off, as someone who’s been a long-time Death Guard player and collector (since 3rd edition), the fact that the new starter box includes them has me giddy! While I’m probably one of the few players on the planet who still likes the old Death Guard models, I’m pleased to see the supplicants of Father Nurgle get an update. I haven’t seen anything confirmed yet, but it looks like from some of the teaser videos that a Death Guard Plague Marine multi-part kit is also on the horizon. So, looks like GW won’t pull another Dark Vengeance with the CSM faction and leave the starter box models as exclusive to the set.

Death Guard, pre-8th edition
Patiently awaiting reinforcements….

Second from what I’ve seen, I like most of the rules for the Death Guard. I’m glad the kept a Feel-No-Pain type rule that’s even a little more useful than it was in 7th edition. I like that my Forge World Death Guard dreadnought… err… Helbrute and Chaos Land Raider will be officially Death Guard units again. I like that the army is getting a few new specific units like the Pox Walkers, the Bloat Drone, and the Plague caster.  It’s also pretty cool that the troops can take up to three plasma guns in a squad, thanks to the new load-out available to the Plague Marine champion.

That said, there are some gripes I have. Let’s start by mentioning the Plague Marine champion again. I’ve had the model seen below since the end of 3rd edition. He’s been legal in every successive edition. However, from what I’ve read of the Plague Marine rules, this model is now illegal. You can’t run a Plague Marine with a bolter and a power fist:

Death Guard champion, pre-8th edition
Is he still legal?

Unless I’m reading the rules wrong, but I don’t think I am. I’ve gone over the entry several times and just don’t see how it will work. Hopefully, it’s one of the first things to get FAQ’d. But it’s still really annoying to have to deal with this as GW assured us multiple times that every model (note: I’m using the word “model” here, not “army”) that was legal in 7th would be legal in 8th. That’s simply not true. Another gripe I have about the Death Guard list is that Chaos Terminators are not listed as one of the army’s units. I mean, really?! Nurgle-marked Terminators have been an iconic part of the Death Guard since forever. Of the four cult-specific Special Characters for CSM, the Death Guard character, Typhus, is the only one in Terminator armor. Heck, even some of the new models in the starter box are clearly in Terminator armor. How was that ball dropped?

One of the major things I’m hopeful for in the new edition: the hard reset of every faction. I never thought GW would do it, but it was absolutely the right thing to do. I have no illusions that a game with so many disparate factions can achieve parity balance. It simply can’t. I don’t even think it should. But the hard reset will definitely give GW the opportunity to get as close as humanly possible to a balanced Warhammer 40K game. Since they’ve mentioned tweaking the rules as needed over the next few months, I hope they do seize the opportunity.

I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the coming days as I drill down into the rules a bit more. We’re at the dawning of a new age.

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