You're right that vehicles could compensate to an extent. But in the few times I faced Death Gaurd take out the vehicles and the rest fell apart. And what were the great options available for them? I think possessed is better now than it was, what else was there?
We had predators with AV 14/12/11 and dreadnoughts with 13/13/11. Our vehicles used to be scary things on the tables, they could all have a pair of DDCW for a measly few points, could cause other units to quake in terror, or even give out own units fearless via loudspeaker. They were -fantastic- vehicles.
Also possession might be better, but we can't take it on units that really would benefit from it. Also I think it costs more.
As for true grit and fearless. They now get bolt pistols (I think sorry codex at home) so are actually better than true grit! And they are still fearless so and T5 so no change for the worse.
Those pistols are almost a commodity, if you're charging with plague marines, something went wrong if you're playing competitively. Although I agree plague marines were, without a doubt, buffed significantly this codex.
And a havoc squad with plasma cost what 300 points or so, and thats without a tarted up champion. A little pricey for a one shot unit whose blokes fall over to plasma gets hot as easily as any other marine. And by the way used up one of the heavy support choices you wanted for vehicles.
Actually I'd have to do the math on that, I believe our weaponry on a whole costs alot more this edition...Also our obliterators used to be in the elites, so even without the tanks we'd do well.
I actually mourn the loss of power specific daemons as my only real whine for the new codex but plaguebearers against wraithlords? OK but how many games did you actually get to do that. How many Eldar players were actually dumb enough to let them close?
It was called the daemonbomb. We used to be able to do it. Nobody besides the inquisition could do anything to stop it.
You could never rely on the tactic as you never new when or where they would turn up. I never collected a Deathgaurd army but had a small squad of daemons from each power in my Word Bearers army (Still there in fact) and they only ever really functioned as a roadblock. Furies, Daemonettes and Bloodletters all performed better over a couple of years on the table.
I'll agree that I never gave plague bearers much of a look through, bloodletters were amazing, and daemonettes rocked.
As for characters I always thought the old ones were overpowered anyway so don't mind them calming down. All my opinion obviously but in my experience Deathgaurd were shit. (By the way I loved the idea as fluffy as hell but was too scared to take on the project of doing them properly painting and modelling wise).
The older characters had a bunch of zany, nonsensical rules that made them fun to do, they weren't so much 'point and click' like they are now.