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Nurgle are one of the factions to beat if you want to perform well in the current meta. But just how do you give yourself chance of doing this?
As you no doubt realise by now after perhaps your own experience playing as or against Nurgle, or even from Danny and Declan’s comments on the top three lists, Nurgle are tough! Army wide 5+ ward saves mean they have a chance of saving anything. However if you have good access to mortal wounds then you may be able to negate this slightly. There are even spells out there which effectively ‘switch off’ ward saves (see Nasty Hex – Kruleboyz).
Commonly Used Units
Below are the most commonly taken Maggotkin units.
- Great Unclean One
- Spoilpox Scrivener
- Beasts of Nurgle
- Lord of Afflictions
- Pusgoyle Blightlords
- Feculent Gnarlmaw (faction terrain)
- Putrid Blightkings
- Orghotts Daemonspew
- Morbidex Twiceborn
- Horticulus Slimux
- The Glottkin
- Festus the Leechlord
- Bloab Rotspawned
- Plague Drones
- Harbringer of Deca
Plaguebearers/Spoilpox Scrivener/Sloppity Bilepiper
HOW THEY WORK
You’ll find these are one of the main units run in Nurgle lists. They’re highly durable with a 6+/5+ save and bravery 10. This is added to with their ability Cloud of Flies which forces enemy units to subtract 1 from their to hit rolls when targeting Plaguebearers with missile weapons, and their Icon Bearer who if present in a Plaguebearer s unit when you roll for battleshock, will allow you to bring a model back on an unmodified battleshock roll of 1.
Because of this they’re perfect for holding objectives, as you’ll find that you’ll often struggle to deliver enough damage to shift them. But, they’re not hard hitters, with a unit of ten only dishing out an average of 3 or 4 damage from their zero rend weapons.
If your opponent has a Spoilpox Scrivener though, then this fella will buff the Plaguebearers in one of three ways;
- Giving a unit of Plaguebearers an additional attack on their melee weapons. (This essentially doubles their attacks and damage output).
- Giving a Plaguebearer unit -1 rend on their weapons, or;
- Adding 1 to the save rolls for a unit of Plaguebearers. This increases the average damage required from 36 damage to 45!
If your opponent also has a Sloppity Bilepiper then they can also add one of the following;
- +1 to wound rolls
- 6’s to wound, cause 1 mortal wound in addition to its their normal damage.
- Stop units piling in against them.
On top of this you’ll find opponent’s who like to give them the benefits of Mystic Shield for the +1 save and Inspiring Presence so they won’t flee in Battleshock.
Pusgoyle Blightlords/Lord of Affliction
HOW THEY WORK
Lord of Afflictions with Pusgoyle Blightlords are usually taken in Drowned Men lists. This is because the Drowned Men will allow them to make an 8″ move before the the first battle round begins. Then they’ll get their normal move in the movement phase and before you know of they’ve moved 16″ towards your line and are already holding any centre field objectives! The likelihood is that they also be around 8″ away from your units and solidly within charge range.
But I can deploy further back to counter this! I hear you cry. Well you could, but the Lord of Afflictions has another trick up his sleeve for just that situation. The Lord of Afflictions has an ability called the Swarm Descends, this allows a Lord of Afflictions and up to two Pusgoyle Blightlords to set up in reserve, coming in within 12″ of each other anywhere on the tabletop 9″ away from any enemy models at the end of the movement phase.
WRACK & RUIN
So either way your likely to have these guys threatening first turn charges and if they do, both units have another ability called Wrack and Ruin which gives them a chance to deal D3 mortal wounds at the end of their charge to any enemy unit within 1″. This has to be rolled for, and is successful on a 4+. But, you’ll probably find that the Nurgle player has chosen to give a model in each unit Dolorus Tocsin. This will allow those models to add 2 to their Wrack and Ruin roll, meaning they’ll cause D3 mortal wounds on 2+ instead.
Then the blighters attack you, and they hit hard! For a unit of two Pusgoyle Blightlords and a Lord of Afflictions making a charge you’ll probably already have suffered 6 Mortal wounds from Wrack and Ruin before the fighting even begins! Then they get rolling, and on average the Lord of Afflictions will dish out roughly 6 damage before any saves, while the pair of Pusgoyle Blightlords will add a further 9-10 damage on top of that. Not only that, but you’ll then have to contend with the Pusgoyle Blightlords, Relentless Attackers ability, which if the unit they’re fighting has a wounds characteristic of 3 or less, they’ll be allowed to roll a dice for every model in that unit. Any rolls that exceed the wound characteristic of that unit cause 1 mortal wound.
So hopefully this goes to show what a deadly combination these units are together. But how do you counter this?
Firstly, as you’ve probably guessed deployment will be key. You’re probably going to need a few screens that you don’t mind losing. Have these in front of your main army and ensure that there’s no points 9″ to the sides or behind your army where the flies can drop and charge with the Lord of Afflictions. Also make sure you’re screens are close enough to our main lines so that the Lord of Afflictions and Pusgoyle Blightlords 60mm bases can’t fit inside – otherwise there is no point having these screens as they’ll just fly right over the top!
Once they’re in your screens, they’re delayed for a turn. Take the opportunity to hammer them with ranged attacks if you can. Preferably with lots of mortal wound causing weapons, if you can stop them taking ward saves, even better. Fight on your terms, make sure you get the charge in and not them to cancel out their Wrack and Ruin ability.
Don’t bunch up too much if possible, as they’d love to get a charge in against multiple units at once. If you have a hard hitting unit nearby that can then deal with them, then this may be a good ploy to lure then in, otherwise I’d try and avoid it.
Alternatively you may have abilities which allows you to redeploy units after setting up, in which case you’ll already know whether the big bugs will be dropping in or flying towards your lines. Use this to your advantage! Of they’re flying towards your lines, then make sure after their 16″ move they still need a long bomb charge to make it to your important units.
I’d also class armies that have pre-game moves in this category. If you’re going to go first, position yourself so that you can get the charges in and not them. If you’re going second then move them away as above to make sure they’re left with long bomb charges that enable you to make a counter charge in your turn.
If you are able, perhaps deploy some of your key units off the table and bring them on at a point that suits you.
Your own faction terrain or even the standard terrain can be used to make the charges for the Pusgoyles particularly difficult. Having to bend their charges around these pieces.
Further notes: Retreat & Charge abilities, terrain charge vectors