The Book of Decay Pt. 5, Review and Implementation

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BOOK of DECAY - part 5 Review and Implementation
Now that we have discussed the options available to Nurgle players, let's delve into some of the implementations of these options and ideas.  Generally speaking, I feel that a good Nurgle army should be primarily infantry based, focus on durable units, bear as many Marks of Nurgle as possible and, when possible, be composed of units of 3 or 7.  These guidelines will effect my decisions below as often and as fundamentally as tactical considerations.  Certainly, there are better lists and load outs than I will suggest, but it is my opinion that these will lean too far towards either effective-but-unfluffy-competition gaming or ineffective-but-fluffy-friendly gaming.  I seek to strike a balance between the two.

What is a Nurgle Army?
In my opinion, a true Nurgle Army follows the guidelines set out in the "Book of Nurgle" from the previous Chaos Codex and from my own interpretations.  These boil down very plainly to a reliance on infantry, durability, and mid-ranged weaponry.  This is contrasted by a shunning of mobile units, machines, and an aversion to gaudy excess (i.e. focused battlefield roles and maximized efficiency vs. points).

Special Characters
In response to the Loyalist emphasis on "counts as" characters, it is only fair that Chaos Marine players return the favor.  There are three characters in particular who fit well with a Nurgle-themed force.

Typhus is the Nurgle character.  He is Marked, durable, and is essentially a Plague Marine in Terminator Armor.  His high wounds, great saves, and Feel No Pain combine to make him incredibly durable.  His psychic powers and Manreaper make him incredibly deadly in combat.  I find, personally, that he is more effective with Plague Marines than with Terminators as you are more likely to use them in the same roles.  In all honesty, Typhus is a real steal for his points as well.  To get a similar Lord or Sorcerer (Typhus is both rolled into one) 180-185 points and they will still not be the equal in game terms.  For a relatively minor investment, Typhus can deliver so much more. 

Typhus, of course, scores a 5/5 for both appropriate ness and for tactical potential.  I think that he should be making an appearance in almost every Nurgle list of 1,500 points or greater.

Fabius Bile
Fabius Bile should be a Nurgle character.  He would be so much cooler if he was.  Still, Dr. Bile is a mad scientist in every right - making him perfect for Nurgle lists.  Bile has a strong capacity in close combat while retaining a durability which is almost equal to that of a Plague Marine.  Bile also allows you to pump your standard Chaos Space Marines up a bit (if not randomly) creating a sort-of lesser Possessed.  While it may not be the best use of your points, they can certainly be fun. 

Bile is a fun and versatile character in terms of story lines.  He gets a 4/5 for his appropriateness  in a Nurgle army - limited only by his Unmarked status.  Tactically, he is hampered by the fact that his own uses are regulated somewhat and better options exist.  If you want to pump up your Chaos Space Marines with him, I'd suggest that you leave their Icon at home as it can cost you dearly.  But this contributes to an unfluffy army.  So Fabuis is really just a novelty.

Abbadon is a tank.  His special mark means that he can fit fairly well in any of the cult armies.  He is, of course, undivided, but that doesn't mean that his "counts as" character has to be!  Abbadon is a master of close combat and you pay for that.  He's more expensive than Typhus and, arguably, only slightly more deadly.  Abbadon, though, is a Chaos Lord through and through and if you don't like the idea of fielding a quasi-sorcerer as your character, Abbadon will suit you well.  He excels, nay, owns close combat and your only task should be getting him within charging range then letting him cut the enemy to ribbons.

Abbadon scores a 3/5 for appropriateness because, though he has the effects of the Mark of Nurgle, he also carries other effects as well.  He is redeemed by his incredible powers in close combat which earn him a 5/5 for tactical potential.

Armies of the Plague God
Here are three sample forces for your Nurgle Lists.  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.  They center around the three core principles behind Nurgle forces: durability, firepower, and cohesiveness. 

Deathmarch Army
The Deathmarch Army focuses on building a large force of Plague Marines supported by a few similarly durable units.  The idea here is very simple: create an army that will be almost impossible for most opponents to eliminate in six turns and that can simultaneously destroy the enemy piecemeal.

1500 points
1 x 7 Plague Marines with Champion, Power Weapon.
2 x 7 Plague Marines with Champion, Combi-Weapon, and 2 Plasma Guns.
2 x 7 Plague Marines with Champion, Twin-linked Bolters, and 2 Plasma Guns.
3 x Obliterators

Plague Wing
The Plague Wing army is the exact opposite of the Deathmarch force in that it focuses on a very small army of elite troops capable of dealing out a lot of punishment.  A player will have to be very careful with this list as the low model count can penalize you.  However, when all is said and done, a properly gamed Plague Guard army can provide a lot of hurt for most enemy armies.

1500 points
1 x Daemon Prince with Mark of Nurgle, Wings
2 x 7 Terminators with Icon of Nurgle, 3 Champions, 3 Lightning Claw Pairs.
2 x 7 Plague Marines with Champion, Twin-Linked Bolters and 2 Plasma Guns
2 x 2 Obliterators

Dread Wind
A Dread Wind army is perhaps the fastest Nurgle army.  Without utilizing Bikes or Raptors, the force relies on its ability to move fairly quickly and deploy as a large bubble in the midst of the enemy.  This is the most appealing type of army to me as I envision zombie warriors materializing from the air to destroy garrisons and trench warriors alike.  I'm not certain that the army is entirely viable, though, as it could be hard to execute.

1500 points
1 x 7 Plague Marines with Champion, Power Fist, Personal Icon
2 x 7 Plague Marines with Champion, Combi-Weapon, 2 Plasma Guns
4 x 7 Lesser Daemons
1 x Land Raider with Possession, Havoc Launcher

Preferred Loads
Lord of Nastiness
Chaos Lord with Mark of Nurgle, Plaguebringer, and Palanquin of Nurgle.  At 180 points, this Lord is amazingly expensive.  However, he can be transported in a Land Raider for some protection and mobility and yields an amazing 7-11 attacks on the charge with a very durable amount of wounds.  The biggest problem with this set up is that he dies far too easily.

Plague Marine Squad
Plague Champion with Combi-Plasma weapon and 6 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma Guns.  This unit is relatively inexpensive at 216 points and can dish out considerable shooting power.  Since the unit can resist small arms fire well, unless you're facing units like Eldar Pathfinders, you should be able to outshoot anyone at medium range.

Land Raider of Overcompensation
This vehicle is fairly overcompensated but is very durable and shooty.  This makes it a great escort / transport for your Lord.  Take a Land Raider with a Havoc Launcher and Possession.  At 255 points, you can tote your Lord around or stand your ground and unleash four main weapons on your enemy.  All the while, shrugging off enemy attempts to bring it down.

A quick review of units:
As a rule, anything with a score of 80%+ endorsement to be a unit you should seriously consider using in your force.  If an decision comes down to two units, consider using the one with a higher endorsement score.

Unit NameAppropriatenessTactical ValueEndorsement
Chaos Lord5/54/590%
Chaos Sorcerer5/55/5100%
Daemon Prince5/55/5100%
Chaos Space Marines4/52/560%
Plague Marines5/55/5100%
Other Cult Marines1/52/530%
Chaos Bikers2/54/560%
Chaos Spawn4/53/570%
Land Raider4/55/590%
Greater Daemon3/54/570%
Lesser Daemon3/53/560%
Fabius Bile4/53/570%

What List Does Emlyn Run?
I run an elites-heavy army with a fast bubble component.  Essentially, my basic force consists of two units of Plague Marines, one tooled for Plasma, the tooled for assaults.  The assault Plague Marines ride in a Land Raider of Overcompensation with Typhus and make for a quick turn 2 assault.  Around them, I'll bring in a unit of Terminators (tooled with Reaper Cannon and several Combi-Plasmas) and some Obliterators.  Because of my army's fluff, I also run a Dreadnaught and a Daemon Prince.  This yields a fairly small army at low points games (i.e. 1,500 points or below).  For larger games, I toss in a little of everything, less for tactics than for just fun with Lesser Daemons, Possessed, and even Thousand Sons (Zombie Marines!) making appearances.

If I were to score my usual 1,500 point list on the above chart, I'd score a 92% for my overall force.


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