Ok so the first time I wrote this out I got it wrong... waaaay wrong.
I said that you could summon guys with the Daemonic & Nurgle keywords, and missed the bit about ritual summoning being a rule they need.
I even went as far as to post it on my blog (now the blog is covered in oop's notes though!)
However I think that while I got what I could summon wrong (ie not as many units as I thought), I do quite like the concept of summoning for my Deathguard, or to be honest any Chaos Space Marine army.
Its something that I think has some real power, and should scare people more than it does.
So lets look again at what the Deathguard can summon up and how.
Step 1 - It must be a Deathguard Character, they must choose not to move, and then they must roll 3D6 adding the total together.
If they roll a triple they lose D3 Mortal wounds (and still get their Disgustingly resilient save against it)
Once you have done this and know what your total is, you can choose which unit you want to summon, using your reinforcement points, the model has to be within wholly within 12" of the summoner, and more than 9" away from the enemy.
So how many Deathguard Characters can do this?
- Mortarion - to be fair you wont be doing this until he is in the middle of the enemy and you are pretty sure you will get the charge even without moving!
- Typhus - if he is camping next to Poxwalkers to keep them buffed he might be a sensible chocie
- Lord of Contagion
- Sorcerer / Sorcerer in Terminator armour
- Chaos Lord / Chaos Lord in Terminator armour - note he doesn't have disgustingly resilient
- Malignant Plaguecaster
- Deamon Prince
- Biologus Putrifier
- Noxious Blightbringer
- Foul Blightspawn
- Plague Surgeon
Thats a pretty impressive list as you could concievably have (just using a Battalion + Lord of War Auxilary) 10 dudes on the table top that can ALL use the Daemonic ritual in a turn.
So what can you summon?
- Plaguebearers - Power Level 4 / 8 / 12
- Nurglings - Power Level 3 / 6 / 9
- Beasts of Nurgle - Power Level 2 - 18
- Plague Drones - Power Level 6 / 11 / 16
- Great Unclean One -Power Level 12
- Herald of Nurgle - Power Level 4
- Epidemius - Power Level 5
- Plague Hulk of Nurgle - Power Level 12
- Mamon Transfigured - Power Level 9
- Cor'bax Utterblight - - Power Level 12
- Plague Toads of Nurgle - Power Level 6 / 12 / 18
- Pox Riders of Nurgle - Power Level 8 / 16 / 22
- Spined Chaos Beast - Power Level 10
So the hardest unit to summon here is a full 9 man unit of Pox Riders of Nurgle, or a full 9 toad unit of Plague toads (22 & 18 respectively).
With the Stratagem below both of those become easier to get to (although still unlikely)!
Now I think that in most cases people are unlikely to save more than 25% of their army for summoning - if nothing else saving more than this means you could be facing 2000 points of firepower with only a 1000 points on the table.
Given that it means you could be looking at 500 points, myself I am aiming for a 1750 point list, with 250 points spare to summon as that gives me a bit of flexibility in what i can get (pretty much anything in the above list!)
Its also worth considering that if you are only summoning one or two units, then you are more likely to get the benefit of plague pact both times, sure if you want to overload your enemy with models you will need to take risks with some of your characters, but if you are willing to just wait, you can ensure you never take mortal wounds, and increase your chances of getting that bigger unit out (points permitting).
If you have the time and money then you can technically have a wide range of choices available to summon and available for your opponent to think about.
As they are reinforcement points, nothing says they have to be used prior to the end of turn 3 - they arent in reserve after all, and this allows you bring in a couple of 10 man Plaguebearer units to hold or contest objectives in the last turn - just remember they aren't part of your Deathguard detachment so they don't get the new Objective secured!
Unlike Age of Sigmar (which coincidentally nearly all these models could form a Nurgle army for!) you can buy upgrades as part of your reinforcement points, which allows further customisation if required.
Finally you can also summon additional psykers like the Herald of Nurgle to help you out with some extra Smite, and the contagion discipline from Index Chaos - for 250 points you can get three of them and still have enough points for a beast of Nurgle!