Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Deluge of Filth: Nurgle at Adepticon

I've reviewed the Maggotkin of Nurgle battletome and painted up 1,000 points worth of models in about two months, and now I've finally had the chance to test out my newest army on the tabletop, and at a tournament no less! After playing six games with my Vanguard sized army, three of which were as part of a team, I have to say, I'm pretty happy with them.

I had no intention of doing a Nurgle army with the release of Maggotkin, but once I had the book in my hands and one of the new Great Unclean One models, my will power crumbled. I have a history of playing Nurgle actually. Back in the day, with 3rd edition 40k, I had a friend who always played Death Guard and I had the hardest time beating them with my Space Marines. After a few years of fighting against them I decided to join them instead. I bought and painted up a whole Death Guard army when the Eye of Terror campaign was in full swing, including a bunch of Plaguebearers. I also briefly had a small Nurgle Warriors of Chaos force in 6th edition Fantasy. I ended up repainting my 40k Nurgle stuff over the years and played them up through 6th edition 40k. I also used some of the War of the Ring movement trays to use my demons in 8th edition Fantasy a few times. Basically, I've always liked Nurgle. I resisted starting an army of them in AoS when they didn't have their own book, and I thought I was done with them, onto newer armies and ideas. But like a plague, the sickness blossomed again and I'm afraid I've come down with Nurgle's Rot. I painted up a full 1,000 points of them, including three Gnarlmaws and a display board in a little over two months time. Unfortunately, all that painting left me little time to play any games with them, so the tournament at Adepticon was going to be their first outing. I played in both the 1,000 point Vanguard tournament as well as the Doubles and used the same list for both. So, before I go into my games, here is what I took:

- Great Unclean One with Sword and Knife, General, Endless Gift, Grandfather's Blessing, Spell: Sumptuous Pestilence
- Poxbringer, Spell: Glorious Afflictions
- 10 Plaguebearers
- 10 Plaguebearers
- 3 Plague Drones
- 3 Nurglings

I was pretty happy with my choices. I could have gone for more Plaguebearers, but I wanted a second hero for Three Places of Power or Duality of Death, and I also had the Nurglings painted up.

The Vanguard Tournament

Game 1

My first game was against Will Hoges with a Chaos Dwarf army playing Starstrike. I had a couple of issues in this game. First, Chaos Dwarfs are an army I have only played once before and one you also don't see talked about very much, so I didn't know much about them. I had a general idea of what to do (kill the big guns), but beyond that I feel like I was reacting to him instead of making choices on my own. Secondly, his two Magma Cannons ignore my -1 to hit and bypass my save, leaving me with just my Disgustingly Resilient save to stay alive. I also ran into the problem of my army being fairly small. We were playing on a 6' x 4' table instead of a 4' x 4', so two of the objectives ended up being too far away for me to grab. I ended up losing, but still had a ton of fun. Will was a great opponent, and actually plays Nurgle himself, so he was able to help remind me of a few things and get a good feel for my army, so a big thank you to him for that! A few highlights from the game include starting out on a six for the Cycle of Corruption, meaning I was dealing wounds to his heroes and warmachines right away, then on the next turn I healed some wounds he inflicted on me, before ticking the wheel back one with my command ability to do my mortal wounds to him. On turn one he managed to kill about half of each Plaguebearer unit with his shooting, but I then rolled a 1 for my battleshock test for both units, followed by a 6 for both units meaning they were back up to full strength. The Drones did well, and managed to kill pretty much everything they charged, and the Nurglings popped up in the back of his deployment in some trees and tied up his only combat unit all game. He pretty much ignored the Great Unclean One and it only managed to get into combat on the last turn, but all in all it was a really fun game, even with the loss.

Game 2

My second game was against Chris Grafton and a Wanderers army using a couple of compendium Wood Elf units in a Knife to the Heart scenario. This was again a case of me not being too familiar with certain units, but I learned my lesson, that Wood Elf Dragon is mean, especially when paired up with three Glade Lords on Great Eagles. If you're not familiar with the dragon, it has an ability that makes any enemy units within a certain distance attack last in combat. He kept the eagles close to his dragon too and basically ran them as one unit. This way he was able to isolate my more powerful units and take them out. The Drones were killed this way, although they did take down one of the eagles and regened a model thanks to their banner too. I charged my Great Unclean One into the dragon hoping to tie it up while my Plaguebearers and Nurglings made a run for his lightly guarded objective. Surely the Greater Demon would survive a few rounds of combat and he'd be able to regenerate a bunch of his wounds. Nope. It went down after two rounds. After that the game was pretty much over and it ended on a minor loss for me. I didn't have much luck in this game and he out played me as well. I really needed some shooting to kill or at least weaken that dragon from a far.

Game 3

My last game of the day was against Rob Hensell and a combined Beasts army (Brayherd and Warherd) in Border War. I sadly took little notes during this game in my AoS journal, but I think I can recall most of it. Apologies to Rob if I get some stuff wrong. I remember running up and grabbing the two middle objectives turn 1, so I started scoring point early. His Ghorgon ran up and charged me, taking out half my Plaguebearer unit on one of the objectives, but died within one round of combat to a counter-charge from my Drones. To be fair they had +2 attacks from a nearby hero and the Great Unclean One's command ability. His unit of Gors came for the other middle objective and that combat turned into a bit of a grind, surprisingly. He rolled really well for his saves and that unit stuck around all game. In the later turns he gained that objective, but by that point I was too far ahead in victory points. The Nurglings once again popped up in the backfield and took out a Shaman who was hiding nearby. His central objective was held by a 40 strong unit of Ungors with Inspiring Presence on them. My Great Unclean One charged in here and started whittling it down. After awhile my Drones and Nurglings joined in as well, and by the end of the game I had more models within range of the objective meaning I got it. He had counter-charged in some Bullgors, but the Great Unclean One managed to take them out with his sword. Using the spell that allows me to reset the wheel I managed to stay on the bonus that gave me +1 to wound in combat for most of the game. This is mainly what I used my Poxbringer for in a lot of my games actually. I had a ton of fun in this game, and it was nice playing such a cool army that you don't see very often.

At the end of the Vanguard tournament I had one Major Win, one Major Loss, and a Minor Loss. There are secondary and tertiary objectives though too, which I scored in most of my games, so that helped bump my points up. I ended up finishing 30th out of 57 people thanks to some high paint and sports scores, so right around the middle of the pack. That's not bad for my first outing with the army.

The Doubles Tournament

I took the same exact list for the Doubles Tournament, and my partner William Murray, took a Tzeentch list with two units of three Skyfires, a Shaman, a Lord of Change and two minimum sized Marauder units. This definitely helped balance my list out with some long range firepower.

Game 1

In game one we played against Nolan and his teammate whose name I unfortunately didn't write down, my apologies. They brought a team of a Chaos army comprised mostly of Chaos Knights, and a pure Dispossessed army with Longbeards, Warriors, Ironbreakers, a King, and a whole bunch of Quarrelers who were tunneling with a Rune Priest. The Quarrelers didn't tunnel though until the first turn, so we didn't really deploy our whole force to maximize denial. On our first turn we spread out a bit to limit his potential deployment and started advancing on their objective. The Doubles games all had unique scenarios. Some of them were similar to GHB scenarios, while others were modifications of Narrative scenarios and other sources. This one, I believe, was an immediate victory scenario if you controlled both objectives. We just launched my whole army forward towards them while William provided fire support and magic denial with his army. He was able to unbind pretty much every spell they cast, which was crucial. It came down to the wire. On the right flank I tied up some Knights with my Nurglings, while on the left William shot apart the Quarrelers and then tied them up with some Marauders. In the middle the Great Unclean One, some Plaguebearers and the Drones took on the majority of the army. Duardin are tough when they're re-rolling most of their saves. It was a grind, but eventually we got their numbers down enough that William could charge in with his Skyfires and with my few remaining Nurgle models we killed enough of their models to claim the objective on turn five and get a major victory. This was a super close game, with a ton going on each turn. From turn two on there wasn't much danger of us losing to them, but it could have swung down to a minor victory fairly easily.

Game 2

Our second game was against Kyle and Michael, fellow club mates of ours. They were playing a Sylvaneth and Legions of Nagash mix. It was basically a Treelord with a lot of Kurnoth Hunters and a few other things and 80 skeletons with a Vampire Lord on Dragon. This scenario was really odd, in that you had to secretly bet how much time it would take you to deploy. You and the opposing team then reveal your bets, and whoever bets less wins deployment, but they have to deploy their entire army in the time they bet. Anything not on the table at the end of that time starts in reserve. The catch is, if you lost the bet, and you bet double or more what your opponent did, you have to roll for each of your units, and on a 2+ they start in reserve. Well, we bet two minutes. It seemed reasonable for our armies, and they had so many models we figured they would at least have to bet the same amount of time. They bet a minute and won. Deploying 40 Skeletons in the grave really speeds up your deployment time. When it came time for us to roll for each of our units since we bet double their time, I rolled horribly, and the only units of mine that started on the board were my Great Unclean One and Poxbringer. Reserves also don't come on until turn two. With my army not on the board essentially they were able to focus entirely on Williams, ignoring my heroes, and pretty much cripple his whole army. Both the Treelord and the Vampire were able to get into our deployment zone, while the Skeletons popped up and took the two central objectives. The objectives were kind of laid out like Border War. When I was finally able to bring my army on I was able to kill the Treelord with my Great Unclean One (a 2+ re-rollable save doesn't help you with a steady stream of mortal wounds) and the Vampire Lord with the drones. We then managed to wipe out one of the Skeleton units, but by that point they were so far ahead there was no way we could win. William only had one Skyfire left on the board at the end of the game. We did manage to claim our Secondary though, and I think maybe our tertiary as well. It was a little demoralizing, though it was fun trying to fight our way back near the end. I was determined to take out their heroes though, and was happy I was able to do it. Often when I'm in a situation where I know there is no way for me to win the scenario I'll look for way to claim a moral victory like that.

Game 3

The final game of the doubles tournament had us facing off against Facehammer's own Terry Pike and Byron! They were running their classic mixed order and mixed chaos lists. This scenario had three objectives in each deployment zone, and at the start of each battle round each team had to role to see which of their objectives was the real one. If you held your objective it was worth D3 points, and if you held theirs it was worth D6. Turn one, William was able to hold onto our objective while at the same time clearing out their's, which ended up being right across from them, and move his Skyfires into range to claim it. He then rolled a 6 for both of them nabbing us 9 victory points from the get go. After that it was an uphill battle for Terry and Byron and we held a comfortable lead the rest of the game. As far as the actual battle goes, my Great Unclean One got stuck in combat with Byron's Frostheart, which we were never able to kill. After four turns they finally managed to down my Great Unclean One. On the left my Drones, Nurglings, and a unit of Plaguebearers held off Terry's army for a few turns, but were eventually brought down. At the end of the game I think we had 10 Plaguebearers, William's Shaman, and most of his Skyfires left, and that was about it, but we had won on victory points. Winning was partially down to us being so luck on our rolls for how much the objectives were worth, but I'll take it after how horribly I rolled for reserves in game two.

Nurgle Thoughts:

So, now with six games under my belt, how did I feel about my Nurgle army? I loved it. It plays wonderfully. The tree and wheel mechanic are great, and I love being able to manipulate the wheel. In later turns I found myself mostly changing it to the bonus for +1 to wound, which was super helpful. The Great Unclean One with Endless Gift was pretty much an immovable object, even if on average he didn't put out as much damage as I was hoping. The Poxbringer didn't feel like he did a lot, but he was usually the one casting to change the wheel, so I guess he kind of did. He also helped me get my loci buff a few times. The surprise star of the tournament for me were my Nurglings. They pop up in my enemy's territory turn one in cover and nab me extra contagion points, but more importantly, they're a huge tarpit. Unless they're willing to dedicate a really hitty unit to deal with them, they're pretty hard to move. If you don't kill an entire four wound base in a turn, it just heals back all of its wounds. They're great and definitely worth the 100 points. I'm super stoked about my Nurgle army now and I'm all ready to add in the second 1,000 points. At the moment that looks like 30 more Plaguebearers, three more Drones, and Horticulus, but I also have two more units of Nurglings, the other two heralds, and a Beast just so I can have some variety if I want. I'm really loving everything about this army and I may even stray over to the mortal side of it. That Lord of Afflictions is just way too nice not to paint up.

What are your thoughts on Nurgle?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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