Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fun with Papa Nurgle (Part 2)

In my previous post, I began talking about one of my most enjoyable armies to play, a Nurgle-themed Chaos Daemons army. I took a detailed look at the two Forge World units that I recently added to my army, the Nurgle Blight Drone and the Plague Hulk of Nurgle. This time I wanted to take a look at the standard Nurgle Daemon units from Codex Chaos Daemons.

Plaguebearers are the core troop choice for a Nurgle Daemon army. They are renown for their resiliency and they are the undisputed kings of objective squatting. With a Toughness of 5, 5+ Invulnerable Save, and Feel No Pain (FNP), they can be difficult to kill. They are also Fearless, so if you want to get rid of them, you will need to kill off the entire unit.

Plaguebearers have two distinct weaknesses. First and foremost, they are Slow & Purposeful and must take Difficult Terrain tests every time they move or assault. If you are not careful, they can be easily outmaneuvered or outran. Most enemy units will tactically retreat while firing at them and trying to stay out of assault range at the same time. Second, Plaguebearers have no ranged attacks. You can use this second weakness to help counteract the Slow & Purposeful by simply running them every turn you do not plan to assault.

In close combat, Plaguebearers are best at tying up enemy units but can be decent otherwise. They are I2 and will practically always strike last, which is usually not a problem as the enemy will find them hard to kill given their resiliency. Although they only have one attack, their poisoned Plagueswords allows them to always wound on a 4+, and thanks to their high Strength, they will frequently be re-rolling failed to wound rolls.

Personally, I prefer to run Plaguebearers in units of 15 models and with an Icon and no other upgrades.

Beasts of Nurgle
Stat-wise, Beasts are almost identical to Plaguebearers but with two significant differences. First, they have two wounds. With only a max unit size of seven models, this is important, especially since they do not suffer from Instant Death thanks to Eternal Warrior. Like Plaguebearers, Beasts too are T5, 5+ IS, FNP, and Fearless and are just as difficult to kill off.

Second, they have D6 Poisoned attacks. I know a lot of players look down on them for this, and while there will be occasions when you roll a 1 for their attacks, the times you roll 6 will make them worth taking. A unit of seven Beasts, on the assault, has the potential for between 14-49 attacks! Combined with poisoned attacks and a high strength allowing for re-rolling failed to wound rolls, they have the potential to mow through just about anything.

Like Plaguebearers, Beasts are also Slow and Purposeful.

I always take a max unit of seven Beasts and I like to use them as Shock Troops. In my experience, they work best against small, highly armored units, like Terminators, where their potential for lots of attacks can pay off. At the least, the Beasts can tie the unit up for a couple of turns.

Great Unclean One
IMO, the granddaddy of Greater Daemons. With a T6, 5 wounds, 4+ IS, and FNP, it will take a lot of firepower to bring this monster down. A GUO is pretty decent in close combat. With a high WS, Noxious Touch and a high strength, he will generally hit on a 3+ and will always wound on a 2+, almost always with re-rolls for failed To Wound rolls. As a Monstrous Creature, it ignores Armor Saves and rolls 2D6 for Armor Penetration. Keep an eye out for your opponent throwing a large block of expendable troops at it in an attempt to tie it up for as long as possible. If you know this could be coming, or you are going up against a Horde army, you may want to consider taking the Aura of Decay gift.

Like other Nurgle Daemons, the GUO also has the Slow & Purposeful universal rule, but as a Monstrous Creature, he rolls three dice to see how far he moves.

As for gifts it is allowed to take, Cloud of Flies (acts as both offensive and defensive grenades) is a must. I like to take Breath of Chaos as it extends the GUO's reach, but I will forgo it if I am short on points. Unholy Might (+1S) is not really needed because of Noxious Touch. Instrument of Chaos is a good way to spend 5 extra points you may have left over that you cannot put anywhere else.

I prefer to use the GUO as a shock troop and send it towards the biggest concentration of enemy units, or the biggest threat, in an attempt to draw as much firepower to it as possible. With some good dice rolling, it can withstand a lot of punishment before going down. Your opponent will be hard pressed to ignore it, and if they do ignore it, then the GUO will run amok their lines. I also find GUOs as the best way of dealing with enemy Dreadnoughts.

This is not a unit I find the need to use. Swarms, in general, are not that good in 5th edition. The over abundance of blast weapons that I find in the game would just kill them off way to quick. Also, they do not have FNP like other Nurgle daemons. I prefer to spend the points on more Plaguebearers.

Next time I will look at the non-Nurgle aligned units that I commonly use.

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