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Posted 13/09/2017

Jes Bickham, Chosen of Nurgle

Jes Bickham has been lucky enough to get his hands on some of the astonishing new Death Guard kits – here he talks about how he’s adding them to the plague-ridden force found in Dark Imperium


Jes: Here’s a quandary common to many of you, I’ll bet: when I ripped the cellophane off my glorious new Dark Imperium boxed set, which force would I built and paint first? The Primaris Space Marines or the Death Guard? Decisions, decisions –  both sides are astonishing exemplars of what our wizardly Miniatures department can do. Given that I already own a vast Black Legion warhorde, though, my sympathies eventually landed at the (revolting) feet of Grandfather Nurgle; the miniatures in the box would make a grand band of allies for Abbadon’s finest.

But, of course, they are just the start of the story for the Death Guard in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, with the imminent release of a new codex and a belief-beggaring deluge of astonishing new models. At the time of writing, you’ll have seen some of them, the Daemon Primarch Mortarion in particular – and the full range of new miniatures offers a tremendous amount of variety in building on the force presented in Dark Imperium. So where do you go next?

Well, even before I’d finished painting my Dark Imperium set I’d ploughed into painting the shiny new stuff (as we say in the Design Studio, when it comes to deciding what to paint next, always ‘ride the wave’ of what you’re most excited about – because then you will be guaranteed of painting something!). Having completed the Lord of Contagion, Plague Marines and Foetid Bloat-drone, I’d become so enamoured of the latter – both in terms of painting and playing games with it – that I immediately knew I wanted a core of three, to form the guts of a Vanguard detachment. Three of these vile Daemon Engines buzzing around spewing weaponised filth at the enemy is a sight to behold and a hoot to play, with their ability to fall back and shoot playing merry havoc with their enemies.

I also wanted an ‘elite’ feel to my nascent Death Guard army, too, so naturally the new Deathshroud Terminators were a must, to provide bodyguard protection to my Lord of Contagion – and given they’ve got a special rule called ‘Eyes of Mortarion’ how could I not include the big guy himself? He is a remarkable Citadel Miniature and a real (disgusting) joy to build and paint. (One tip for you, though – paint the voluminous noxious smoke plumes that plug into his back vents separately. It’ll make your life much easier!)

All of that’s given me around 1500 points of painted plague-heretics: my initial aim is to get a square 2000 done so I can take my Death Guard to the Warhammer 40,000 GT being held at Warhammer World in October. (Are you going?) So what’s next to make that happen? Well, I’m literally just putting the finishing touches to a unit of five Blightlord Terminators, to continue the elite infantry theme, and then after that I’ve got the amazing new Typhus miniature lined up, along with a Noxious Blightbringer (to help my infantry move up the board a little quicker) and another Plague Marine or two. (By the time you read this they will hopefully be complete and photographed!) My none-too-subtle game plan is to have lots of Nurgle-worshipping traitors in corrupted Terminator armour teleporting in and wreaking havoc, while Mortarion and the Bloat-drones fly up the field to do some good old-fashioned killin’ and the Plague Marines grab an objective or two.

But the army won’t stop there. I still need to go back and paint my Poxwalkers and Malignant Plaguecaster from Dark Imperium, and then I’ve also got a Plagueburst Crawler on my project box for a bit of anti-armour shooting. The long-term, post-GT goal is to build and paint at least one of everything in the Death Guard range, then take my new army into battle alongside my existing Black Legion force for an epic Chaos versus Imperium showdown against James Karch and his beautiful Sons of Guilliman (You’ve seen some of them on the Warhammer Community website already – he is fast painting a huge Primaris-only Space Marine strike force and I can’t let him get too far ahead!). We’ll book one of Warhammer World’s feature tables for a day-long mega-battle, and who knows, maybe we’ll be able to take some pictures and report on it here on Warhammer Community.

But until then, the ranks continue to swell. All hail the Plague God!


Thanks Jes! You can pick up Dark Imperium for yourself online or in your local store, while the Death Guard codex is now available for pre-order.

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