I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and New Years? I have spent the last week or so mostly laid up in bed following my operation. Fortunately I received a copy of the newest Chaos Battletome: Maggotkin of Nurgle, which has provided some great reading and made the week more bearable!
As I am currently not podcasting and am unable to do any voice based stuff at present, I thought it might be fun to just put up some of my initial thoughts on here. I appreciate this may be a duplication of information for some people, but hopefully it'll be of interest to some of you. It's worth noting that @Mengel Miniatures will have a review up tomorrow/next week, @Russ Veal & the Facehammer crew also have a podcast ready to go. Finally you can check out some great videos @Terry Pike has done on magnetising the Great Unclean One on Twitter (@TerryPike84).
So I'm not going to go into too much detail or anything and won't cover the lore side of things (I'm sure @Spirit of Grungni will have us covered there in due course!).
Part I - Allegiance Abilities
Cycle of Corruption - We have already seen this from the Blight War book, so no need to go into any further detail at this stage. However, it is worth noting that there are ways within the book to adjust the Cycle mid-game, which is pretty powerful if you find yourself needing the extra move or wanting to pick of a final few wounds from a support character etc. It will be interesting to see two Nurgle armies face off against each other as they use the same cycle, which is pretty cool.
The Garden of Nurgle - Similar to Sylvaneth, after terrain is set up but before you choose territory, you can set up a Feculent Gnarlmaw. As we go through this I will talk more about the Gnarlmaws and their interaction with the army overall. I have to say it is cool seeing GW bring more things like this into the game.
Summon Daemons of Nurgle - This is one of the most interesting parts of the book IMO. All the Daemon scrolls in the book have lost their ability to be summoned as a spell (which has farther reaction implications to Chaos as a Grand Alliance, that's another subject for another time though) and instead you now build up Contagion Points as the game progresses. These are gained for controlling certain areas of the board and having Feculent Gnarlmaws in place, which is really thematic. At the start of your Hero phase you can expend these Contagion Points to summon furth a variety of Nurgle Daemon units (or more Feculent Gnarlmaws). They are placed within 12" of a Hero or Feculent Gnarlmaw and 9" away from enemy units. I suspect you may see players using the initial points to get an extra Gnarlmaw or two on the table. From my initial (and indeed subsequent) reading of this, I see no reason why you would not have to pay reinforcement points to summon Daemons in this fashion. However, with the removal of the summoning spells I do wondering if this is something factored into the army cost and perhaps we will see this ruled as "free" summoning. Seeing which way this falls will really effect the overall power of the army. I do really like this mechanic, seems much more refined than spells.
These are split down into three categories; Rotbringer, Nurgle Daemon and Nurgle Mortal and all have some interesting options. It's worth noting at this stage that there are a lot of named characters in this book, way more than any others so far. This means that there will likely be plenty of times that you don't have a command trait. Very quickly;
1. Grandfather's Blessing - Once per battle move the Cycle of Contagion.
2. Living Plague - Units within 1" can suffer a mortal wound in your hero phase, and you gain a Contagion point.
3. Hulking Physique - Bonus to wound.
4. Bloated with Corruption - Splash damage back in the combat phase.
5. Avalanche of Rotten Flesh - Boost to run and charge rolls for your general.
6. Resilient - Bonus save vs wounds or mortal wounds.
Some nice choices there and I do think there may be times you will see pure Rotbringer armies with a generic hero as the General. With this being the case you could tailor your selection here around that. I do think being about to move the Cycle onto the extra move for another turn just seems solid though.
1. As above.
2. As above.
3. As above.
4. Tainted Corruptor - In your hero phase you can taint terrain near your general to have some of the features of a Feculent Gnarlmaw (not the best ones haha!)
5. Nurgling Infestation - Once per game can inflict D3 mortal wounds in the combat phase.
6. Pestilent Breath - 6" ranged weapon that is good vs hordes. Inflicts mortal wounds.
Again, I think I like the ability to move the Cycle. It actually offers quite a lot of utility/versatility against some of the other options here, but as we'll get on to there are other ways to achieve this. Nurgling Infestation is good if you can get your General within 3" of a wounded key piece and finish it off automatically, much like the Kharadron Overlords "no trading with some people" (I think it's called). Pestilent Breath has the potential to do a lot of damage, but is probably too situational. I think there is every chance you'll have a Great Unclean One as your General, so this is a list of options you'll probably be looking at a lot.
1. As above.
2. As above
3. As above.
4. Hideous Visage - Bravery debuff for enemy.
5. Overpowering Stench - Opponent has to reroll hits of 6 vs your General.
6. Virulent Contagion - Improve Rend by one.
Off the top of my head, I cannot see many lists appearing with a Mortal General. Perhaps a Chaos Lord on Daemonic Mount and that being the case, maybe you'd try to build some sort of bravery bomb. But yeh, this is the least exciting for me...though perhaps I'm just being short sighted as the Mortal scrolls aren't in the book!!
Artefacts of Power
As above, these are split down into the same 3 categories. You'll need to take consideration here, as obviously even if you named character as your General you'll still get to pick one of these for one of your other characters.
Rotbringer - Artefacts of Contagion
1. The Splithorn Helm - Bonus save vs wounds or mortal wounds.
2. Muttergrub - Wizards can attempt to case an extra spell. Non-wizards get a spell.
3. Rustfang - In combat phase pick an enemy unit within 3", reduce their armour save by one for rest of the game.
4. Flesh Pealer - Can cause mortal wounds within 6".
5. The Bileheart - Splash damage back in the combat phase.
6. The Fecund Flask - Once per game 2+ heal all wounds, 1 you die!
A couple of these seem to duplicate up one the command traits. Bloated with Corruption and The Bileheart could be entertaining, though it's kind of a shame you can't do it with a Great Unclean One. Rustfang has the potential to be absolutely massive I reckon. Muttergrub is less glamorous, but just solid.
Nurgle Daemons - Daemonic Boons
1. Noxious Nexus - Cause mortal wounds based on the turn number.
2. Nurgle's Nail - If you cause wounds with this weapon, you can roll 2D6 and on a 7 auto kill the model.
3. The Bountiful Swarm - In hero phase can essentially do a Stardrake Cavernous Maw attack. If the model had 4+ wounds you can add a Beast of Nurgle to your army.
4. The Witherstave - Enemies within 12" have to re-roll sixes to hit.
5. Tome of a Thousand Poxes - +1 to cast for a wizard, non wizards get a spell.
6. The Endless Gift - In the battleshock phase the model can heal wounds taken that turn.
Whilst there are some good options here, if you're taking anything other than the Nail you're doing it wrong!! Autokilling models with a splinter of one of Nurgle's toenails, need I say anymore?!
Nurgle Mortals - Plagueridden Gifts
1. The Virulent Blade - +1 damage if you roll 5+ to wound.
2. The Foetid Shroud - Opponents re-roll hits of 6+ in the combat phase.
3. Sublucus' Stenchplate - Enemy units within 3" at the end of their movement phase suffer D3 mortal wounds.
4. The Eye of Nurgle - Once per battle, the nearest model to the bearer dies on a 2D6 roll of 7!
5. The Carrion Dirge - Good bravery debuff to enemies with 12".
6. The Shield of Growths - Reroll saves if the roll is equal to or less than the number of wounds suffered.
Much like the Nail, the Eye is super fun. I do think the Dirge has the option to be really strong though.
Part II - The Lores of Nurgle
As to be expected with any new Battletome, we have some cool new spells here. Firstly, all wizards know the Foul Regenesis spell, which allows you to move the Cycle of Contagion. This is the spell granted by the Muttergrub, so there is plenty of opportunity for this. I feel that this ability is really strong within the army and the easy access to it here is what makes Grandfather's Blessing not an auto pick imo.
There is a separate lore for the 3 branches of Nurgle, which are as follows;
Rotbringer - Lore of Malignance
1. Blades of Putrefaction - Buff. Rolls to hit of 6+ inflict a mortal wound as well as other damage.
2. Rancid Visitations - Unit takes a mortal wound for each model within 3" of the caster.
3. Gift of Contagion - D3 debuff. -1 to hit in combat / -1 to wound in combat / -1 to save
Some great stuff there. Visitations is situational but potentially huge. Gift is great, albeit random. the top option is great if cast against a unit Blightkings are fighting. Blades is an awesome spell for the army, again working well with Blightkings (this won't be the last you hear about that unit!!).
Nurgle Daemons - Lore of Virulence
1. Favoured Poxes - Debuff. -1 to hit, wound and save until caster moves, attempts a spell or dies.
2. Glorious Afflictions - Debuff. 1/2 move, run, charge. Also cannot fly. Good range.
3. Sumptuous Pestilence - Bubble damage. Short range.
Favoured Poxes definitely will have some solid applications, though the downside is potentially an issue. Glorious Afflictions is the pick here. There are so many ways to push your own movement options, so if you can do that whilst holding your opponent back I think you can create some really dominance.
Nurgle Mortals - Lore of Foulness
1. Magnificent Buboes - Arcane Bolt with a slightly better range, also debuffs target until your next hero phase.
2. Plague Squall - Mini Rain of Stars.
3. Cloying Quagmire - If you can roll over the enemies save they take D6 mortal wounds.
All of these are really good just for adding additional ranged mortal wounds. Great reason to include the already powerful Chaos Sorcerer Lord in your lists IMO.
Part III - Warscroll Battalions
Just a quick run down of what they are and what you need for them, with some additional comments;
The Munificent Wanderers - This is one of those bigger Battalions which includes multiple smaller ones. In this case, you'll need two Tallybands and a Great Unclean One and can also add additional units. The benefit is a boost to the Rampant Disease stage of the Cycle of Corruption. Due to cost and requirements, unlikely to see play.
Tallyband of Nurgle - Standard Daemon Battalion, can be made up of a variety of units. Minimum would be 1 Herald and 4 units of Plaguebearers/Drones. Each unit heals a wound in your hero phase, Plaguebearers grow D3 models. Also if you have 7 Plaguebearer/Drone units in the Battalion you gain a contagion point. Definitely possible to make a one drop army from this Battalion, which means it likely to get used.
Thricefold Befoulment - 3 Great Unclean Ones baby!! Who needs to know any more! @The Lost Lighthouse (Gary) has already called shotgun on this though, sorry! . The big boys gain various buffs when they are close to one another, boosting hit & wound rolls, as well as improving the Plague Wind spell. Very cool/fun, will see play for these reasons alone. If I don't see @Ben Johnson running this at some point as well I'll be disappointed.
Nurgle's Menagerie - This is Horticulous' Battalion. He's joined by 3 units of Beasts (could be individuals) and up to 3 other units (Drones, Beasts, Nurglings). So this can be a cheap enough Battalion to field and the benefits are pretty good as you can use Horticulous' Cultivating ability in every hero phase, not just once a game. Can also place the Gnarlmaws within 3" of any unit from the Battalion. There's also a secondary benefit which has a bravery debuff, however the condition for that is hard to meet. People like Horticulous and the benefit here is reasonable, so I think this will see some experimentation, but ultimately will not see much play.
The Blessed Sons - This another of those Battalions that includes other ones. You need a Plague Cyst with maxed out characters and at least 4 units of Blightkings. You can add other units to it to keep it one drop, which is nice. You are immune to battleshock whilst your units are over 7 models, however due to the costs I would expect smaller units of Blightkings. You also get to reroll saves of 1. I'm not sure the cost outweighs the benefits here. Obviously if you're playing a 4,000 point game or something, this is bangin'.
Plague Cyst - This is the Lord of Plague & Friends Battalion. You get to reroll all hits and also can put out extra mortal wounds on a 6+. Rerolls on Blightkings is super juicy, any chance for another crack at those exploding sixes has to be worth consideration. Ultimately though, I think there are better options. This leads me on nicely to...
Blight Cyst - This is the Lord of Blights & Friends Battalion and this is my favourite Battalion! Very cool as you get to hand out the Lord of Blights shooting attack to all Blightking units within 3". Also, in the combat phase, enemies don't get any benefits for cover, which is potentially huge and is the equivalent of rend for the Blightkings, something they would hugely benefit from. Oh, btw, Blightkings also get Rend -1 in this Battalion!!! Fantastic Battalion and a great excuse to add that amazing new Lord of Blights to your army.
Affliction Cyst - This is the Lord of Afflictions & Friends Battalion! So rather than Blightkings, you're packing your army full of their mounted counterparts, the Pusgoyle Blightlords. Note these can also be Batteline if the Lord of Afflictions is your general. The Battalion allows your units to deploy hovering in the sky and drop down with 9" of enemies. Also makes the Lord's command ability affect all Blightlord units instead of one. This is probably one of the coolest Battalions and whilst not the strongest will 100% see play on this factor alone, and rightly so.
Some nice options there. The Tallyband and Blight Cyst are the ones you're probably going to have to look out for. Kind of a shame to not see any including Mortal Nurgle units and also that they ones present are strictly limited to Nurgle Daemons or Rotbringer units (even the two bigger ones) and there is no intermixing of the subfactions.
Anyway, I'm going to leave it there for now. Hopefully that will be interesting to some of you guys, please feel free to ask me any questions, though I will not be giving out points or anything like that. Screenshots and such are not allowed on these forums and will be removed.
I will return with Part IV tomorrow, which will be a brief overview of the warscrolls within the book. You can get a jump here by checking them out on the GW website if you haven't already.
I'll also share some of the army lists that I have been writing.
Thanks for anyone reading and to GW for providing the book,
*Edit 09/01 - Part IV - Nurgle Daemon Warscrolls, can be found at the top of page 3*
*Edit 10/01 - Part V - Rotbringers Warscrolls, can be found in the middle of page 3. Direct link below*