We all love spending those precious CP’s in 8th edition. We all want more, though how many we need will depend on our army build. Are you building an army that you know you will be using a particular stratagem? Or do you use them sparingly for the odd re-roll or to pass morale?

For most armies the easiest way to generate CP’s are through a battalion detachment. To do this we need to fill 3 troop slots.

Now troops have important but different roles within your army, it’s likely they will be in your list for 1 or more of the below reason outside of just CP generation.

  • To screen your important shooting units from getting counter charged
  • Board Control to prevent your opponent deep striking units
  • Objective secured to claim objectives.
  • Damage dealers. 

So within a Death Guard army what do you choose?

If you want to stay ‘Battle forged’ and keep the benefits of ‘Inexorable Advance’ or ‘Plague Host’ you have the choice of Cultists, Poxwalkers or Plague Marines.

If you don’t mind losing those because it won’t effected the units you are using, you can also use Nurglings or Plaguebearers.

Before CA2019 it was well known that Plaguebearers were one of the best troops in the game. Now that hasn’t changed, but the opponents have got more re-rolls which makes the -1 to hit less beneficial. They also went up a point. Which now makes them not quite as attractive (if ever anything Nurgle is attractive!) per point as they used to be. A unit of 30 is now 30 points more. That can make or break a list especially in lower point bracket games.

Personally I used to run them in units of 27. It saved a few points over 2/3 units to spend elsewhere in the army. My experience found that an opponent used to target the unit and kill 12+ or barely target them and I would only lose 3/4 so turn two I would still have the -1 to hit anyway.

So how has CA2019 changed things?

Well Cultist went back down to 4 points, Nurglings stayed the same, Plaguebearers went up to 8 points each and the most interesting in my view is that Poxwalkers went down to 5 points.

With the new points lets at how they stack up being shot against by a standard unit

Math Hammer

Against a 5 man unit of Intercessors inside rapid fire (10 shots) with standard bolters (-1 AP) no re-rolls.

TroopBase Points per woundHitsWoundsWounds after saveWounds after DRTotal lost points
Nurglings T24.
Plaguebearers T486.
Cultist T346.64.4N/AN/A17.6
Plague Marine T5166.
Poxwalker T356.64.4N/A2.914.5
Bonus line Buffed Poxwalker with Typhus T456.63.3N/A2.211

Looking at this the best value unit is Nurglings, although its close. However this doesn’t take any external factors or HQ / stratagem buffs into account and how your army is designed or played could affect those resultsEach unit has their positives / negatives and there is no wrong choice. It is your army and your hobby!

My experiences with them:

Nurglings – They are great for hiding, they can start further up the board outside of your deployment zone. They annoy opponent’s loads when they are trying to kill them. I never run them in units larger than the minimum 3 bases so morale is never really an issue.

Plaguebearers – They are great for sitting on an objective or two as they take a good amount of effort to remove them. In my opinion morale is their weakness. When you start losing 10+ to shooting or combat, you suddenly start losing a lot more to morale. The Banner can help this but I never seem to be that lucky or you end up spending CP’s to auto pass.

Cultists – I have never had any joy with them in a Death Guard army. When ran with the Chaos Space Marines codex you have extra stratagems and ways to make them auto pass morale which really helps. With Death Guard they are squishy, you lose a few and the rest tend to run away.

Poxwalkers – These move less than cultists and don’t have the shooting but they don’t die anywhere nearly as quick. They are also fearless so auto pass morale. Buffed with Tyhpus they last even longer. I haven’t had much opportunity to test them in competitive play but I think there is some millage there now with them only being 5 points each.

Plague Marines – The ultimate, classic Nurgle troop. Cool models with quite a few option, load outs. However the common opinion is they are just too many points to be confidently used in competitive play. If you play fun fluff games use them. They look amazing and can be tough to shift, but other armies out there bring so much fire power it’s hard to invest the army points into them.

Future plans and thoughts from the Troops section in my army?

Before CA2019 I go to was to run a Codex Daemon battalion with either just Nurglings or a mix of Nurglings and Plaguebearers as my CP generation alongside my Death guard detachments. I will discuss separately why I do this. However this could change with the Poxwalkers. Although I imagine I will still want some sort of Nurgle Daemon Detachment as they work so well alongside Death Guard units.

So I am going to dig out my unpainted Poxwalkers I got at the start of 8th Edition and get them painted. With the Plaguebearers going up, and the Poxwalkers going down I honestly think we will see them more and I think you should give them another try.

We also have access to the Noctilith Crown too. How about we put that in the mix? It went down to 80 points in CA2019. This could be used to give the Poxwalkers a 5+ invun save for some if not all of the game.  This would make them very similar to the Plaguebearers but for less points.

Of course there is a lot more you can take into account with how different HQ’s, Elites or stratagems can improve units, but as I have said before I like to look at what a unit can bring to the table on its own. You can spend a lot of time and points trying to make one unit work and the rest of the army suffers for it.

Let me know in the comments below what troops you use and why?