Warhammer 40,000: Daemons of Nurgle part 1

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Welcome to day three of my look at Codex Chaos Daemons. Over the last two days I have looked at the units available for Slaanesh and the corresponding Warlord Traits, Stratagems, Psychic powers and Relics.

Today it’s the turn of Nurgle.

Like with my Slaanesh, I have a Nurgle Daemon army that I have been using now and again in Age of Sigmar. As Daemons appear in both AoS and 40k, I am able to port this army straight across to the 41st millennium with little effort. It turns out my 2000 point Age of Sigmar Nurgle list comes in about 1500-1600 points in Warhammer 40,000, leaving me a bit of room to add something to it, more on that later.

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Army wide rules 

All Nurgle units in my army have the Disgustingly Resilient special rule, giving them a 5+ save against any wounds taken. This is a great rule that is shared by the Death Guard and helps keep this already pretty tough army on the board for even longer.

Because my force is pure Nurgle Daemons, all characters have the Locus of Virulence. This buff grants all Nurgle Daemons weapons within 6” of a character +1 damage if they roll a 6 to wound. Nurgle Daemons aren’t known for their damage output, so it will be interesting to see if this bonus point of damage helps out on that rare occasion when they manage to actually cause a wound.


My first HQ is the Great Unclean One. Although the new model is really really nice, I have been using a converted Glottkin as mine. In the short term I have no plans to replace this, especially as I don’t see my 40k Nurgle Daemons getting to the battlefield that often.

As you’d expect from a Nurgle Warlord, this guy is tough, packing a toughness of 7 and 18 wounds. He only has a 5+ invulnerable save, but combine that with the 5+ Disgustingly Resilient ‘back up’ save and he has a good chance of negating a lot of the damage that gets to him.

In combat the one weapon that stands out for me is his Plague Flail. Usable whilst in combat the multiple damage on this assault 3 weapon is not lost on single wound models, instead, all excess is carried over to other models (much like in Age of Sigmar). Combine this with the Locus of Virulence and with some lucky rolls you could be wiping out units left right and centre.
Its unlikely but the maximum damage this could put out in one round of shooting is 9 damage, and that's before the close combat attacks.

My second HQ is Epidemius. He rarely does anything of note in Age of Sigmar, so I’m hoping 40k will be where he shines. Much like the Great Unclean One, and all the Nurgle Daemons, he has a 5+ invulnerable save and 5+ Disgustingly Resilient ‘back up’ save, so should hang about for a while. His 8 wounds also mean that he can hide within his followers without getting picked out.

Epidemius won’t be doing anything exciting in combat, so I’ll be hoping that his Tally of Pestilence adds enough bonuses to the army to make his inclusion worthwhile. A couple of units killed by the Nurgle and they will all be re-rolling hit rolls of 1 which will be very useful. Increasing their Strength, Toughness and Attacks will be amazing if the forces of Nurgle are able to put out any damage rather than just doing what they do best and hanging about all game. I will report back once they’ve hit the table.

Next on my list of characters is a Poxbringer, the new name for a Herald of Nurgle. Only a 4 wound character, he won’t be a very big thorn in the side of the enemy, but hopefully his ability to give +1 strength to Nurgle units within 6” and providing the Locus will mean he will be very helpful in giving the Plaguebearers around him that boost to damage they really need. He is also now a spell caster and you cant really say no to another Smite. I’ll look at the available Nurgle Psychic powers tomorrow.

I do have a Horticulous Slimux model that I am yet to build that I could add to my army, especially as he gives good bonuses to nearby Beasts of Nurgle. He also has the ability to add Feculent Gnarlmaws to the battlefield, but again I don’t have any of these and don’t intend in adding much, if anything, to my current Nurgle collection. Again, more on that later.


There are only two troops choices for Nurgle, so lets start with the Plaguebearers. At Toughness 4, a 5+ invulnerable save and Disgustingly Resilient these guys should be able to take plenty of punishment, and who knows, with a lucky Battleshock roll of 1, they’ll be coming back too!.

At present I’ll be running three units of 20, which will grant them a -1 to hit, but this could change to two units of 30, to allow this bonus to last even longer. With Nurglings being Troops, this wont mess with my ability to be Battleforged.

The Plaguebearers are not very good in combat, hitting on 4s and strength 4 with no rend and 1 damage. With a nearby Locus, they could get a bit of lucky damage through, and with the ability to re-roll 1s to wound, this is slightly increased, but I wont be relying on these for any damage output. These will be objective grabbers.

Nurglings are known to be rubbish but annoying for the enemy. These guys are only toughness 2, so even with their invulnerable save and back up 5+ save, they are going to be making a lot of save rolls. Their strength 2 attacks aren’t going to give anyone nightmares.

The newest rule for these guys is their ability to set up further up the battlefield, and thus possibly get in to combat early and tie down some good shooting units. I doubt these guys will last more than a turn or two, but if they can stop a tank or a heavy weapons unit for firing for a turn, they will have done their job. Do I run these in two units of three, or one unit of six, who knows, when I decide, I’ll let you know how I get on.


For my Elites I have three Beasts of Nurgle. Much like the Nurglings these have never been much to shout about. Their Attention Seeker rule allowing them to perform an Heroic Intervention as if they were characters means that they are a good unit to hang near other Nurgle Units and join in a fight for free. At Toughness 5 and 5 wounds they should be able to hang about for a bit and annoy anyone who gets too close while my other units run away. Although they have a damage 2 close combat attack, the poor Weapon Skill of 4+ means that they wont be getting a grubby paw on many enemy, but a lucky 6 to wound does make them damage 3. Will be good to see them take out a Custode or two!

Fast Attack 

My final units are my Plague Drones. The fastest units in my Nurgle Army. With a 10” move they are still relatively slow, especially when comparing them to the Slaaneshi units I have looked at the last few days.

One of the only units in my Nurgle list to have a shooting attack will probably be used to zip around a flank and try and weaken the enemy before they hit my battle line.

At Toughness 5 and 4 wounds, two units of three of these should take some shifting, and much like the rest of the army, will be hanging around and not putting out too much damage.


Looking at all the Nurgle units in my list, it is pretty obvious that these guys will not be putting out much damage. The bonuses to strength and the chances of an increase in damage is going to sometimes help in the game, but cannot be relied on. This army is there to annoy the enemy and with scenarios requiring you to hold on to objectives, this will be a very good army at soaking up punishment and ticking up those victory points.

Whether they’ll be fun to play on the battlefield, I’m not sure. It could get very frustrating not being able to kill anything, especially with Epidemius waiting to give out all those buffs. On the other hand, there will be hopefully some great stories when a load of 6s to wound managed to take down that enemy tank.

Those missing 400-500 points 

As you will have seen, this list only comes to around 1500-1600 points, so what what should I add to this list? I do have a Death Guard army, so I could do a detachment of them.

I recently did a poll on Twitter with two options I had been mulling over, to see what I should add. The choices were Mortarion or a Renegade Knight. In the end the Renegade Knight came out on top, but whether I’ll follow the advice of the Twittersphere I am yet to decide. The time for me to add something to my Nurgle Daemons is a little way off yet, so it will all depend on how I am feeling when the time comes.

Tomorrow I will be looking at the Nurgle Stratagems, Warlord Traits, Relics and Psychic Powers.

*Triple Helix Wargames are not paying me to promote their website, but have been kind enough to send me some miniatures for sending you in their direction.
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One thought on “Warhammer 40,000: Daemons of Nurgle part 1

  1. Nurglings, I would definitely run in two Units of three. What they’re really good at is taking up space on the board, and keeping your Opponent from getting their own Units with special Deployment Rules all up in your face. Since that’s almost universally a 9″ zone, two Units of three can block off way more room.

    Plague Drones can actually end up doing a surprising amount of damage. Because they get full re-rolls to Wound, and so many Attacks from the Mounts, each Drone hits almost as hard as a minimum Unit of Plaguebearers in CC, even against single-Wound targets. Throw in that most of those Attacks are d2, and things start looking pretty sketchy for anything Multi-Wound that doesn’t have 2+ Armour. It is too bad we can’t give the Champ an Aetherblade anymore, but they can still do work.

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