Death Guard Dark Mechanicum: Perfect Counts As?

By Jack Stover | September 15th, 2017 | Categories: Adeptus Mechanicus, Death Guard, Editorial, jstove, Warhammer 40k

Dark Mechanicus CawlCome see one Chaos player’s thoughts on why the new Death Guard are the perfect counts as Dark Mechanicus army that we’ve been waiting for!

Jstove here, talking about Morty and Sons, who as of this writing are just now going up for pre-order. As a Chaos player, I’m hyped for one of the Big 4 Traitor Legions getting this much love. First KDK (Even though it wasn’t a proper World Eaters book) and then 1k Sons (much better!) and now the DG, I love how Chaos is finally getting it’s act together and making our boys into completely distinct armies, instead of just the same handful of spikey boys with pink, blue, red, or green paint.

But wait- I’m not here to talk about Death Guard at all! I’m here to talk about DARK MECHANICUS!

If you’ve seen the spoilers, or if you have a codex in your hands by the time this article is published, check this badboy out right here…

Death Guard Codex ToC


What’s that? To me, it sounds like an honest-to-Nurgle Dark Mechanicus Techno Magos! We have the first actual Dark Mechanicus model in the 41st millennium, a faction that all the servants of the Dark Gods have always wanted to see miniatures for.

In the past, we just had to pretend we were evil mechanicus, or before the Skitari and the Ad Mech came out, the best option was to just make flavor counts-as armies with Iron Warriors with lots of Warpsmiths and demon machines.

Dank Mechanicus- The Death Guard Counts As

Now I think that we’re actually getting somewhere as Chaos, it’s time to come back to Dark Mechanicum with the Death Guard book. I really think the Death Guard has some winning entries in it for representing a Mechanicum force twisted by darkness.

More importantly, Death Guard models are hard as hell. With Disgustingly Resilient and Stratagems to increase their survivability, it’s the perfect army to represent a host of hellforged demon machines from a traitor Magos’s nightmare. After all, if everything you make is bolted together out of ceramite and demon flesh, shouldn’t it shrug off some serious punishment?

Vultarax drone


We’ve already seen these in 30k, and their cousins that survived to the 41st millennium, the Blight Drone, which have evolved into the new and easy-as-hell-to-get-because-it’s-in-a-starter-box Bloat Drone. The Death Guard Bloat Drones are already practically Dark Mechanicum models with no extra work on our part.


The Dunecrawler is a walking tank. The Defiler is a walking tank. What happens when you smash parts from both kits together? A Dark Mechanicum Defiler. Next model.



The Slaves, Servitors, and minor Techpriests could easily be Poxwalkers. Why Poxwalkers instead of Plague Marines? Because Plague Marines would be proper, mid-level techno Magos. What the Dark Mechanicum really needs are disposable, ethically-bankrupt, weird evil scientist torture experiments. If you remember your Heresy, you remember that a lot of the Cybernetica went with Horus when he went traitor, so the Dark Mechanicum would have access to armies of tons of disposable cyborg slave soldiers and abandoned experiments to use as shambling bullet catchers. Just chop up the Poxwalkers you’ve already got and splice in some Necron limbs.


I have never been a fan of of the iron Striders. I think as a concept, they’re goofy. A dude riding a mechanical ostrich? This is the best the Loyalist Mechanicum can do? What a silly unit. But here’s the thing- I saw the rules for the Myphitic Blight Haulers, and I love them. They’re fast, they don’t degrade when they take damage, they have a demonic invulnerable save, and they have access to some fun looking weapons. This makes me think that they’re ideal counts-as candidates for the mecha ostrich.

Death Guard Typhus Wal Hor


Typhus is great because he’s big and fat and buffs zombies, so it makes perfect sense to have a master Dark techpriest with tons of bionics as a Cybernetica Magos leading his flock of experimental zomborgs with his demonic dark science.



Kataphron have great models, but Chaos Spawn is a cheap, effective, workhorse model in every flavor of the Chaos codex since 6th ed, and I doubt the DG will be any different. (unless Beasts of Nurgle are just better.) In any case, it’s a cool looking fat model on a fat base, counts-as an equally fat model on an equally fat base. Can’t go wrong.



This is an easy sale to make. The Kastelan robots are easily the size of Helbrutes, and here’s the best part- Helbrutes in Death Guard look pretty great, because Helbrutes get the AMAZING Death Guard rules for no penalty on heavy and assault weapons and 18” rapid fire. Helbrutes are always moving forward with all guns blazing with no consequences. I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys end up doing a lot of work in that codex because of that great rule. So why not count a robot as a robot and go with it?



We’ve never actually had a model for a top-level Archmagos of the Ad Mech. We’ve got Belisarius Cawl, and he’s gunning for the job of Fabricator General, but Guilliman won’t pull the trigger. Old Cawl is a ten thousand year old big dog in the Ad Mech game, and he’s a pretty huge model with a lot of goofy technocrap hanging off of him. So if he’s that fat and modified up, imagine what kind of monster cyborg the fabricator general is. Now imagine that, cranked up to 11, turned evil, and sent to the eye of terror to make evil cyborg DOOM demons for 10,000 years.

I’m thinking with a lot of greenstuff, mechanical bits, and some jet engines instead of fly wings. You could have a pretty beastly Traitor Archmagos of the Cybernetica.

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About the Author: Jack Stover

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