Guy Haley’s Death Guard

Black Library author extraordinaire and self-confessed greenskin sympathiser Guy Haley returns as he embarks on a new project featuring an altogether less wholesome shade of his favourite colour…

Guy: I’m known for my affections for orks, orruks, orcs, grots, goblins and greenskins of all sorts. But I’ve always enjoyed collecting Chaos models as well, specifically Nurgle. I like the general horribleness of the Nurgle ick. It’s Chaos without the pretty and it suits my scabby painting style perfectly.

You’ll have seen my Nurgle Chaos army for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar right here. I’ve added a few more models to this force since it last featured. I’ve also got a budding host of Daemons of Nurgle. And naturally, a small warband of Plague Marines.

My current Nurgle Warhammer 40,000 army. All change please…

There’s a little story as to why I chose Nurgle. Come here, and I’ll gurgle it into your eyes… (cough, cough, hack, splutter).

I began playing Warhammer 40,000 frequently again during the 3rd edition of the game, when a lot of Orks came out (hey, I wrote about that too!). After many exciting battles, I grew weary of my Orks having very little to speak of in terms of saving throws, so I went to the other extreme. Plague Marines effectively get two.

Back then, Plague Marines were supposed to be another tool in the box of wider Chaos forces, and weren’t at all balanced for play on their own. But I wanted to collect Death Guard, not Chaos as a whole, and not just Plague Marines either. I wanted to claim the original vector of infection, not some Johnny-come-lately renegade with a cold. Against all tactical sense, that’s what I collected.

28 Plaguebearers gives me a solid basis to build upon.

I lost a lot of games with my Orks, and I lost a lot of games with my Plague Marines. Expensive, slow, and, in my themed Death Guard army, lacking heavy weapons, these plodders were easy prey to loyalist Space Marines and then, especially, often, actually all the flipping time, the T’au.

Still, models more than victory are what motivates me.

Roll around Warhammer 40,000 8th edition, and I’m in heaven, or Nurgle’s Garden, if you prefer. Death Guard are their own faction, with some great units and doubtless more goodies on the way. The models are beautiful. I mean ugly. I mean beautifully ugly. As you read this, I’m commencing an update of my Plague Marines, who are now officially the Death Guard.

Five Chaos Spawn for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and now for Warhammer 40,000 too!

It’s time to assess my warriors, and see who remains in the cabinet and who goes into storage.

Currently, I have:

Daemon Prince of Nurgle


29 Plague Marines

5 Havocs

2 Helbrutes

2 Rhinos

1 Defiler

18 Plaguebearers

Adding a new base to this Defiler will be the first step in an exciting new hobby journey.

Typhus and all the basic Plague Marine infantry will be going into boxes. They’re great models, and I really don’t have to replace them, but I am going to because the new Plague Marines are amazing.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve assembled all the models from Dark Imperium, so I’m ready to get going with the paint. Besides them, I have some models I bought before which, though unpainted, are suitable for inclusion in my army. Here’s a list of those too:

1 Lord of Contagion

1 Noxious Blightbringer

7 Plague Marines

1 Blight Drone

20 Poxwalkers

1 Chaos Land Raider

10 Plaguebearers

9 Plague Drones

10 Chaos Cultists

10 Plaguebearers

6 bases of Nurglings

I’ve not nearly enough Plague Marines, but it will do for now.

A brace of Helbrutes. One Forgeworld, one Citadel, both converted.

I always try to get a maximum return for my efforts, so I’ll be basing my Death Guard army the same way as my Rotbringers and Daemons of Nurgle. That way I may reuse the appropriate units across all forces. While painting up my Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Rotbringers, I finished five Chaos Spawn, rebased the 18 metal Plague Bearers I had painted for my Plague Marines army, and painted ten new plastic ones. Eventually, I’ll have a mortal Nurgle force for Warhammer 40,000, the same for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and a Daemons of Nurgle army I can use in both systems.

With plenty of models that crossover, I should be able to assemble four flexible armies to use in two games! Won’t that make me look like the busy hobbyist, and no one will ever suspect how lazy I am.

These Rhinos will remain in my updated force.

For Warhammer 40,000 I should have a mortal army that looks something like this. In brackets is what I need to do in order to get it all ready.

Daemon Prince of Nurgle (rebase)

2 Helbrutes (rebase)

2 Rhinos

5 Chaos Spawn

1 Defiler (add base)

1 Lord of Contagion (paint)

1 Noxious Blightbringer (paint)

7 Plague Marines (paint)

1 Blight-drone (paint)

20 Poxwalkers (paint)

1 Chaos Land Raider (paint)

10 Chaos Cultists (paint)


A Daemon Prince adds some welcome psychic support to the army.

And a Daemon army that looks like this:

1 Daemonic Herald of Nurgle (paint)

9 Plague Drones (paint)

38 Plaguebearers (paint ten)

6 bases of Nurglings (paint)

Ulp! I have to paint all of this? And that’s not even all of them? Yikes!

I have to be honest with you and myself. I’ll never get it all done before something else with that must-have factor draws my eye, so my aim is to complete enough models to create a characterful, balanced army with a power level of around 75. Wish me luck. I get distracted easily. Next month I’ll be back with some of these new models finished.

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