Hello fans of Frontline Gaming, SaltyJohn, and TFGRadio today I bring you the somewhat new and upcoming Chaos Space Marine formation, the Plague Colony! For more reviews, bat reps, tactics discussions, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner!
The Death Guard, the XIV Legion of the Adeptus Astartes, hailed from the toxic world of Barabrus which led to them having a heightened resistance to poisons, disease, and mortality in a more general sense. They were known through out the Great Crusade as implacable warriors, with their Primarch Mortarion at their head they would wade into combat to slay the enemies of the Emperor. Most often deployed in large formations of Astartes on foot Mortarion made certain his warriors were trained to advance into the enemy while receiving, and dolling out, heavy fire. Once they’d fallen to Chaos and devoted themselves to Nurgle, the XIV Legion became even more stalwart and implacable warriors, often shrugging off massive volumes of enemy fire while continuously marching forward, pouring their own deadly fusillade into the ranks of their enemies. With their new rules the Death Guard are finally beginning to live up to these aspects of their fluff.
The Plague Colony is a special formation available as a core choice to the Vectorium Detachment of the Death Guard. Along with the Chaos Warband, and coupled with their special rules, the Plague Colony can be a truly devastating force on the table top, especially because of its resilience. With the possibility of being able to reduce their targets Toughness characteristic and ability to carry multiple special weapons on squads that are harder to kill than normal marines, Death Guard players have access to a cool formation that is both fluffy and good.
- 1 Chaos Lord or Tyhpus
- 3-7 Units of Plague Marines
- 440 Points base, 800 points for a bare bones maxed out force.
- Enervating Pestilential Aura: Enemy models within 7″ of any Plague Colony units at the start of the Fight Sub-phase must reduce their Initiative and Weapon Skill by 1 for the duration of the phase. If the Formation includes the maximum number of units at the start of the game, the models within 7″ of any Plague Colony unit at the start of the fight sub-phase also reduce their Toughness by 1.
This is probably one of the most resilient of the formations available in the new Traitor Legions book when taken as part of the Death Guard Vectorium detachment. They are relentless, re-roll 1s when failing a Feel No Pain, and have Stealth when they are fired at from over 18″ away. The unfortunate aspect of this formation is that it’s best part isn’t unlocked unless you take the full 7 squads of Plague Marines, which begins at 800 points. Luckily though you can still build a decent list around that, one that even includes the ubiquitous Nurgle Bike Squad.
Even if you only take the minimum requirements for the Formation and slot it into a Vectorium with a Chaos Warband you can get a really helpful formation. The Lord who comes as a requirement for the formation benefits from Enervating Pestilential Aura. If you take a Chaos Lord on Bike with the Warband and you put the lord from the Plague Colony on a bike as well, then shove them into a nice sized Nurgle Bike squad you have a nice little mini-Death Star. T6 units with FNP that re-rolls ones are good, plus they’ll have Stealth when shot at from over 18 inches away. When you hit a unit they’ll be fighting with 1 lower initiative and 1 lower Weapon Skill thanks to the Plague Colony Lord, if you were able to take the full Formation and still get a nice biker unit in the list the enemy you’re attacking would also be fighting at -1 Toughness.
Another interesting, if even more unfluffy than bikes, would be using Raptors and Lords with Jump Packs. Raptors that benefit from the Death Guard rules would be interesting to play. If the bikes are too cost prohibitive for how you want to run the Vectorium you can always try Spawn from the Auxiliary formation to go along with a Lord on Bike.
The issue with using this formation will be points. Much like the Thousand Sons are too expensive to properly fit Magnus into a list with them, or to be taken in large enough numbers to be effective, the Plague colony is cost prohibitive to be truly effective. It is that same mechanic built into all the 1k formations that hamstrings them. The notion that to be good the formation must take the maximum number of units is problematic when the units required are so costly. Luckily for Death Guard players the Plague Colony units are cheaper than 1k sons units and their lesser rules for when you don’t take a full formation is still useful. Overall the Plague Colony has some great rules and potential uses, it will just take real points finagling to get it all to fit!
As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.