Thought on the Maggotkin of Nurgle
As a preface, this blog post isn't how I feel about Maggotkin as a whole, that's been done god knows hw many times already by smarter men than me. Want i want to talk about is how Maggotkin of Nurgle relates to Skaven Pestilens, as both armies entirely share the Nurgle keyword.
Initially, I was quite excited. My faith was low with the Corruptor, and like all wargamers the allure of new shinys was indeed a potent lure. I weighed up dusting off my 30 Plaguebearers and using them as a generic battleline while stuffing the rest of the list with Pestilens under the Maggotkin alleigance. I liked the idea of the terrain, being able to run and charge, and having the benefits of the random effect clock thing they get.
However time eroded my concerns and restored my faith. Alleigance abilities often exist to shore up the weaknesses armies have, and there's no denying Maggotkin helps Nurgle with theirs. However, Pestilens absolutely do not share the Nurgle weaknesses, and have their own to deal with. Pestilens are much more mobile than nurgle, they'll easily engage the eney army turn 1/2 circumstance depending, not 2/3 like Nurgle. The cycle heals all Nurgle models and that's cool because the army is jam packed with multi-wound models like blightkings etc, again something Pestilens lacks mostly. Finally, if you've read my Pestilens Battle Traits overview you'll know I am very fond of Strength in Numbers. Can I live without the Great Plagues? Probably. Can I live with my army getting sneezed on by a Dracoth and deciding to abandon the ship? Absolutely not. If Strength in Numbers was an inate effect shared across all Pestilens warscrolls I'd probably be cutting the cover off my battletome and pasting the Maggotkin one inside. But the battleshock phase is a thing and I play skaven so no can do.
Interestingly however, there is a point of interest that people haven't noticed. You know all those Maggotkin spells that do horrible amounts of mortal wounds but if the victim is nurgle it does nothing or straight up heals them, desiged as a multipurpose spell for them to heal themselves or smack the enemy? Pestilens has army wide Nurgle keyword, so not happening Maggotkin. You know the Maggotkin wheel of fortune they have for a battle trait? Doesn't specify allied nurgle, just nurgle in general. Pestilens has army wide Nurgle keyword. If you, a hardworking, blue collar Pestilens player gets matched against one of these high and mighty, has-an-actual-battletome Maggotkin preeners, they're in for a smacking. Their strengths are our strengths too, and their multipurpose utility spells are worse than useless against us. That lovely terrain feature that let's Nurgle models run and charge? Those blightkings just took a turn 1, fully buffed Plague Monk charge and exploded.
In the end if asked whether Maggotkin changes Pestilens, not at all. They might take the odd Pestilens unit as a damage bomb, but as we all know a single bit of damage splashed on that will see it cut and run. Maggotkin has a lot of strengths, but all Pestilens need to succeed is grit, a dice bucket and some good old fashioned strength in numbers.