General 40k Shinanigans

Daemon Strategy Part 1: Mono-Nurgle forces. What are the Nurgle units and how do they stack up?

Okie doke then.  Taking a bit of time off from the rats to catch up with my daemons.  So, I will start with the strategy that not only has worked really well for me at my FLGS, but seems to be almost a joke in many people’s eyes.

So, let’s look at the units in a mono-nurgle force shall we?

Epidemius: I’ll start with this guy.  This guy is the keystone to the whole thing.  No, he’s not truly required, so if he dies don’t lose hope and just quit.  It just means your 13 point nurgling bases aren’t gonna be terminator killing monsters anymore.

So, Epidemius as a force multiplier is awesome.  The tally of pestilence rule allows all of your units to get stronger, this part is obvious.  HOWEVER, he is a great means of target priority confusion.  This alone can be a strategy, and has been before for me.  If you bury him in a unit of 15-20 plaguebearers he is miserable to dig out.  Just miserable.  Don’t bank on an experienced player going all in for this guy though unless your tally is at 15 when you get those 3+ FNP rolls and then he will be target numero uno. 

Epedimius isn’t half bad as a HQ herald either.  Rocking defensive grenades,  aura of decay, a poison weapon with 3 attacks and 3 wounds for 110 points with eternal warrior isn’t half bad.  In fact, it’s pretty good and a lot of books have MUCH worse options for HQ units.  If you use him, remember that if you are against real strong units that can kill him if basing him, put him in the rear or buried.  Against large squads, make sure he is up front to capitalize on those defensive grenades.

Overall, he is a “MUST HAVE” for a mono-nurgle list.

Kugath/GUO: Ok, so go with Kugath if you can.  For only 135 points extra you get an extra wound, 3 ranged attacks,  and an extra melee attack.  Kugath is everything you could ever want…except fast.  If for some reason you can’t take him, go with a GUO and put breath of chaos, Unholy might, cloud of flies, and instrument of chaos on him bringing him to a comfy 215.  The GUO will be lacking a bunch of stuff, but will still have the key ranged attack and a higher strength to boot (good for vehicles as he wounds everything on a 2+ if it has a T value).

Kugath is an early game dead-model delivery system.  Not a guy you want to hold for later, or second half.  His blast that is AP2 allows him to really crank out some wounds, and coupled with breath, can rack up a LOT of wounds even when he deepstrikes.  Remember, his role is two-fold.  First, he kills things.  Plain and simple.  Don’t be afraid to get him in the mess.  With a toughness of 6, 6 wounds, FNP, and a 4+ invuln there is really no army that has scoffed at him or ever brought him down easily.  HOWEVER, the one exception is space wolves.  If they have jaws, go in with daemon princes and icons, crack the transports,  and then land him within 6 of the icon to toast the wolf priest.  Second, he is a target priority modifier.  No one says “hey, its a dude with 6 S6 MC attacks on the charge with 6 wounds.  Nah, I can deal with him last turn…”.  Everyone will go guns ablaze to drop him before he closes.  The joy of Nurgle and the current meta is this: Most games are at least in-part, if not primarily, objective games.  The enemy WILL be coming to you eventually if you put yourself between them and the objectives (unless they are fast..will get to that in a bit).  So throw him in, let him take abuse, and watch as he shrugs it off and keeps a coming.  However, watch out for GK stuff.  Given the current rules system, they can lower his Ld to 2, then hit him with a force weapon, forcing a Ld check or he dies.  Yeah, had that happen.  Just make your opponent hand you his army list and grill him on his powers first, don’t let him sandbag you.

Overall, Kugath or a GUO are key units, even WITHOUT Epidemius.  Take one, or two if no Epidemius.

Beasts of Nurgle:  I have never actually played these guys.   I can’t really say if they are good or bad as unless you play a MASSIVE game, you will burn up any excess points on plaguebearers.  If you have taken them to much effect, good or bad, let me know and I will surely update this!

Nurglings: Don’t discount these guys.  Lots of people whom are veterans of 40K say “Bah, swarms are useless”.  Here, they are wrong.  At only 13 points a model, they are great for tying up that one nasty heavy hitting MC or unit.  Great for tying up things like walkers, Mephiston, or even whole squads for a few turns.  For only 117 points you get 27 wounds.  Yeah, that’s tough to pound through.
Here’s the bonus.  Those little swarms that they ignore turn into anti-infantry powerhouses once you hit ten models dead.  10…that’s not many.  Unless you are playing against GK or elite BA list, maybe some super mech armies, 10 is turn 2..maybe 3.  SO, suddenly that S3 swarm base with 3 attacks suddenly wounds on 2.  Yeah…you get the idea.  Ever seen a terminator squad break against a squad of swarms or a swarm lord go down to half his points?  Then, you hit 20…and they become nightmares.  Normal Nurgle units are, but these guys are brutal.  Not only are they wounding on 2 and ignoring armor saves, but they have stealth so it’s damn near impossible to kill the damned things.  Lot’s of people say “Oh, Cover denying S6 flamers”.  Standard anti-swarm equipment, and while flame templates with S6 not that common, S6 and above blasts are and flamers are as well.  HOWEVER, tack on the 5+ invuln and eternal warrior and suddenly that unit that they mocked is chewing it’s way through things such as hive tyrants, tervigons, hammernator squads, and even things with Dark Excommunication fall nicely ( take away the wounding on 2.  I still ignore armor, have eternal warrior, and 3 attacks base so I am gonna roll enough “6’s” to drop you.


Bottom line, take these guys.  Take them to fill up space if nothing else.


Plaguebearers:  These guys are the bread and butter of any nurgle force.  With a T5, FNP, and a 4+ poison weapon (that becomes a 3+ after only 5 kills, then 2 up), these guys benefit most from the tally.  Without the tally, they aren’t super hot, but can hold their own in CC.  However, the tally is what makes these guys tough as nails and nasty as hell.  They are slow, so you are gonna want to spread them out.  If you clump, even a inexperienced player is going to run and gun you to death.  Spread out so that when he runs…he runs into you.


Daemon Prince of Nurgle:

Here he is…your anti-tank.  I suggest running 3.  With wings…and armor.  I kit mine with armor, wings, breath of chaos, mark of Nurgle, noxious touch, and cloud of flies.  This makes him weigh in at 245 points so he is pricey to say the least.  But with the 3+/5++ and a T6 with flight, you gotta use him aggressively.  Rhinos?  Yeah, Plaguebearers can pop them, and most of the time a well dropped GUO or Kugath can catch them.  Use the princes for those tough things.  Land raiders, Monoliths, or (and this is key) killing those damned fast things!  This is why you take the breath.  With a 4+ glance, you have a reasonable chance to glance ANYTHING.  Then, you need to roll a 4 or 6.  That’s not great, but really any roll works.  Why a 4 or 6 you ask?  To auto-hit that tank.  5 attacks with a 4 or 6 to hit?  Not great.  5 auto-hits, even against AV 14 (he is S5 with 2D6 armor pen, so average pen of 12) he has a pretty good shot at at least stunning him again (which you then auto-hit during his turn).  Once the princes crack those crunchy outer shells to reveal the soft squishy filling, it’s game on for everyone else…to include the prince.  This guy doesn’t really benefit from the tally at all…I mean it, not at all.  He wounds on a 2+ and ignores armor saves, plus he lacks FNP.  So these are the guys to sick on the opponent early.  Yes…they will die.  However, if no vehicles, chuck them at big things.  With wounding on 2+ with re-rolls to wound against T5 and less (so pretty much most things) and an I5 to boot, they can drop many things such as dreads, MCs, and small squads before they even get to swing.  An experienced player will seek to gun these bubbas down, so playing defensively will give them adequate time to mass-bolter you to pieces.  Hug terrain and cover to try to get that 4+ cover, and then assault as soon as humanly able.


That’s it for the Mono-Nurgle units…next will be “Deep striking with Nurgle: How to deepstrike a force that is slow and purposeful with no shooting”.


Thanks for reading!



5 responses

  1. hippie

    Sounds like you got “sandbagged” before? You also forgot the part about PB’s low WS and low number of attacks which as a result miss.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

  2. 3 isn’t a terribly low WS, and only 1 or two models in the game they hit on 5 (or 3 for that matter). 1 attack base isn’t good…no. But the key is to limit the casualties and win combats through one or two wounds. Remember, the low A and WS values are made up for by most of the time a re-roll to wound as they are S4 with a 4+ poison attack.

    But I maintain you just don’t like plaguebearers. 😀

    June 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    • Hippie

      If they had those stats and had a PW it would be totally different. Playing Marines(most of the time) I cause a wound or 2 and they save them. They do a couple to me, long story short I lose, fearless saves, get wiped out in a round or 2 of combat.
      I have run squads of 10 and still the same results. Maybe if I ran larger squads like 15 and if I could beat on IG or Tau it would be different.
      Don’t get me wrong, they ARE a rock and good solid Icon, just don’t expect them to kill their points cost for you without a Tally rung up. IMO

      June 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  3. When I run mono-nurgle, I follow most of the rules you set forth with a couple of exceptions:

    I rarely give my princes flight (or armor). For that matter, about the only upgrade I give them is Breath. Granted, all of the upgrades you’ve mentioned are good, but it’s hard to justify the drastic increase in points to get them all. I’m sure flight is necessary if your scene plays heavy mech, and it’s probably good advice all around, but with him costing 1/8th to 1/6th of my total points fully upgraded, something just has to give.

    I tend to run only one large squad of PB’s (the blob that protects Epidemius). The rest of my squads are in 7 man units (for fluff reasons). I also find that 7 is a good amount to hold an objective, and it allows me to spread out and tie up multiple units (hopefully) getting the tally up in the process.

    The biggest question I have is what the proper ratio of PBs to Nurglings is. I tend to overdo it on Nurglings, as they’re little chainsaws once the tally goes up. If you have some mishaps or problems with your princes though, it’s hard to get the tally up with so many points invested in swarms.

    As for deep striking, normally I play aggressive with demons, but with Nurgle, I’ve learned that I just can’t do that with my princes. They’re far too valuable to risk losing (and I lose them fairly often when I try aggressive strategies).

    June 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm

  4. @ Warhammer39999, I use wings to handle the fast stuff (my meta is heavy mech, most of the time all the squishy stuff is in transports). The armor is to keep them around. I find that with the 3+ armor, they don’t drop to 6 bolter wounds (with a 5+ save, this is likely). I lean on my DPoN to crush those transports and handle the fire of what falls out of them.

    As for the Nurgling thing, I tend to do 1 full squad of Nurglings (7-9 bases) per 2 squads of PB. Thus is a 2000 point list I will run 4 squads of PB and 2 squads of Nurglings. My biggest thing is that they can’t hold objectives just contest. I use the nurglings to contest with Kugath’s Nurglings which are a unit by themselves and suck up fire. Key thing to remember with the nurglings is that for normal infantry and intervening model if ANY part of the body (legs included) is obscured. Nurglings do this (make the bases with a full 5 and they do it quite well). If you put the Nurglings part in cover, and part out, it gives you a great means to skirt cover with the PBs (doesn’t really matter really) and keep the nurglings in cover.

    Yeah, how I play mono-nurgle will be covered in the next part.

    @Hippie, No, you just have terrible luck with PBs then. It took ripped dragon 4 assault phases with his deathstar 10 man death company with Lemartes. 15 PBs is a monster to crush (14 if you want to be fluffy). Even with no tally, they are tough to kill, can really mess up non MEQ units (even orks with their poor saves have troubles and guardsmen and tau die quite nicely) and they create a fire priority issue. If you know that you can’t gun them down in 1 turn and they are sitting on objectives, it can draw a good deal of fire from the big guys.

    June 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

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