Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mail Bag: Nurgle Marines. (A pox on you all)

by: Chambers


Another E-mail from the  Back40K's inbox:
Hey guys!  My names Chad, Outremer on the boards. . . Spag may have mentioned me.  I started playing 40k a few months ago and i'm planning on playing in the tourney at the south side Game Preserve this coming weekend. 
As a new player i've spent a lot of time reading up on things on the internet. . . yes, I know you should take everything seen there with a grain of salt (or a shovel ful of salt at times!), but having little to no experience it's at least a way to start getting some basic information. 
One of the issues i'm having is that for every person who says "unit x is the greatest thing ever, field ten of them!" there's another person who say's "unit x is the biggest turd in the game, never use them!".  I understand that a lot of this will come down to personal preference and playstyle (ie. experience). . . and while I do feel i've absorbed some good information, some of it can just be confusing to someone starting out!
I'm facing some indecision on my 1500 point list.  I'm going mono Nurgle. . . if I throw out some of my ideas could you guys give me some input?  
1.  Daemon princes.  The one i've been running so far has been hit and miss, but I think that's more user error than anything else.  It seems like two of these guys would be pretty ferocious, especially in a lower point game.  Would two  HQ's in a 1500 point game be going overboard?
2. Plague marine squads.  Seven man squads or five man squads?  I'm running them all with Rhinos.  Smaller squads mean another scoring unit and an extra chassis on the table.  I'm thinking five man units with FNP should be alright.  Unfotunately going with five man units means I have to keep them pretty bare bones.  Would three units of seven with a few more bells and whistles like combi-weapons and power fists for more flexibility be better at 1500 points?  Oh god. . . the arguments about using power fists on Plague marine squads alone are enough to give me a headache! 
3.  Heavy support.   I want to take my full three HS units allowed. . . Plague marines seem to be lacking in dakka.  I've been using a couple of Vindicators. Dropping pie plates is pretty awesome, and I really like the idea of them running up the middle with the Pm's. . . but I feel like I need some more long range firepower.  Of course everyone says take as many Obliterators as you can afford. The sheer versatility they bring to the table seems like a great thing.   I have six put together ready to go.  But. . . i'm actually thinking about two units of two oblit's and a Missile launcher havoc squad.  I like the fact havocs can put out more shots that are effective against infantry or armor.  I'm looking at putting some havocs down to pop transports/hit infantry and the oblits to deep strike and throw down firepower where needed.  Thoughts?
This is what i've come up with:
1x Daemon prince, Mark of Nurgle, wings
1x Daemon prince, Mark of Nurgle, wings
1x 5 Plague marines, 2 melta, Personal icon, Rhino w/ dozer blade, multi-melta
1x 5 Plague marines, 2 melta, Personal icon, Rhino w/ dozer blade, multi-melta
1x 5 Plague marines, 2 flamer, Personal icon, Rhino w/ dozer blade
1x 5 Plague marines, 2 plasma, Rhino w/ dozer blade, havoc launcher
Heavy support
1x 2 Obliterators
1x 2 Obliterators
1x 5 havocs w/ 4 missile launchers
Total: 1500 points

First of all I would like to welcome you to the right side of history.  I would also like to remind you that Papa Nurgle loves all of his children, even the misguided one who have been duped into following a rotting corpse stuck in a golden fish bowl.  So try to be nice to the small minded, helmet wearing brothers out there, it is not their fault they are just a little light on the genetic diversity.    
First off: You only have 3 numbers you can chose from 1,3, and 7.  Most units should be seven of number but the other two are acceptable alternatives.  Now on to the force org selections...

The Nurgle DP is a beat stick, but I think that you will have greater success if you spend a bit more on them. 
 There is a good reason why most players take warptime with their princes.  And funnily enough it is not just so that they can sing "Time Warp" every turn.  Rather the re-rolls to everything make a good hq, great.  Reliably getting 4 wounds off each turn is a big deal.   
While the current codex has made Princes almost a non-choice, there is a lot to be said for the biker lord with a manreaper.  Looking at the rest of your list it might be better to hold off on that one for now but keep it in mind for when you can better support him.
As for one or two DP frankly that is up to you, I typically only run one until 1850 at the earliest but I want to see more troops, especially when you have such great troops as PM.

On to the core of the list Plague Marines.  The base unit that I start out with is two 7 man PM squads with double melta, rhino, and Sargent W/ power fist.These are your jack of all master of all squads there isn't a whole lot that they can't do well. I am slightly biased but these two squads have pulled victory from defeat more than a couple of times for me.  They form a solid core to anchor the rest of your force off of.  The down side is that this unit will cost you 256 points each, expensive but not unreasonable for what they can do.  The next unit that I normally fall back on is again seven strong but this time with only 2 plasma guns and a rhino.   This unit comes in at just shy of 230 and make excellent mid field objective holders.  
One last note, I don't typically like flamers for PM, not that they are bad weapons or don't have their place.   Just with the in3 I rarely find my self rushing into hoards.  I feel that bolters are strong enough when taken in quantity to thin out the hoards, and no one can grind out a combat like papa Nurgles chosen sons.  
Okay I lied.
The elephant in the room Summoned lesser daemons, no where as good as they once were but they have their place especially in point heavy cult lists.  I try to get at least one squad (of seven naturally) in every list that I play, three if I can squeeze the points.  yes they look like garbage and they can fail spectacularly but when they are on they can be golden.  I truly believe that they are one of the least understood and "wrongly" played units in the game.

Fast...bikes maybe worth it someday but not right now

On to your heavies, I think that you have the truth of it already.  Oblits are great but you pay for the versatility. A point to remember is that you don't have to sit them in cover and fire lascannons every round.  I have had better results being more aggressive with my oblits than not. 
Havocs are also good but I would suggest looking at arming them with autocannons.  While not as great as they were last edition, they are probably the best unit that we have to de-mech the opposition with. 
For the vindis you are running them with demonic possession right? 145 gets you one of the best all comer tanks in the game.  

These are just my first thoughts but hopefully you find them helpful and please feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.  


  1. And this guy Chad makes some sick conversions!!! I am going to be doing a series of posts on his conversions in the future. I look forward to seeing you at the tourney Chad. Hopefully we can get a game in!


  2. Well, I'm not really sure about the rest of your army, but as far as 2 Oblits vs Havocs w/4x Missiles, the Havocs will actually be 5 points more than the 2 Oblits. Now, against infantry, I'd say the Oblits would be more effective since they can shoot PlasCans, vs Frag missiles. Granted, you get more shots, but you'll probably get more wounds with the PlasCans. Just a thought. Time for sleep now.

  3. Uh, one thing I forgot. Where are you getting those Multi-Meltas for your Rhinos? Do you mean Combi-Melta? Cause those are two TOTALLY different things.

  4. Doh! Multi-melta's?! How did I manage to do that? Yes, Never you're correct. . . I meant combi's! Thanks for the response Chambers! The one constant in all my games so far has been running a plasma squad to camp on objectives. . . seems I'm already thinking along the same lines as your advice. As to the heavy support. . . I reeeaaaally have a thing for those Vindicators. What do you think about running two Vindi's across the table with the plague marines and using two or three oblit's for long range support?

  5. That is a fair plan in my opinion Outremer. You definitely have to be more aggresive with them that way. Hide them behind your rhino's for cover saves if possible as well and protect their flanks with each other, terrain, and rhino's

  6. I like the list...were it not for the over-abundance of high init power weapons floating around. Plague Marines are no where near cost-effective as they once were. You might be better off going with normal marines and an overkill on plasma.

  7. The Warboss is wrong, just like cowbell you always need more Plague Marines.

    I like the idea of running two vindies. For what ever reason I find one worthless but two are awesome. I tend to run my together regardless if they are running up a flank or straight up the center. One note of caution is that with vindicators you should be at least mindful of where the scatter can fall to. I would suggest running the vindicators (demonically crewed right?) as line breakers and holding off pushing the PM into the breach until mid game at the earliest.

    Against high str power weapons, Lesser daemons are the best thing in our codex to counter them. The lack of an armor save is not an issue and the fact that sld charge on the drop means that you are getting the charge.

  8. When you guys miss with 2 vindis twice you will leave them at bay. list already have enought AP fire and all it needs is long range AT fire. In this point of view exchanging oblits or havocs for vindicators is clear fail.

  9. Heh. Ok. I'll take on his list with normal chaos space marines any day.

  10. Sorcerer (Lash, Wings)
    Sorcerer (Lash, Wings)

    Chosen (x3 Melta Guns, x 2 Plasma Guns, Rhino)
    Chosen (x3 Melta Guns, x 2 Plasma Guns, Rhino)

    Asp Champ (PF) + 9 CSM (IoCG, Melta, Plasma, Rhino)
    Asp Champ (PF) + 9 CSM (IoCG, Melta, Plasma, Rhino)

    x5 Havocs (x2 melta, x2 Plasma, Rhino)
    x5 Havocs (x2 melta, x2 Plasma, Rhino)

  11. BTW, I assume those multi melta are really combi melta? I might thinka bout dropping the havocs or one Oblit and adding warp time to those nurlge daemon lords....

  12. Alright I will bite, here is a 1500 Nurgle list hopefully it doesn't deviate too far from where the op wanted to go.

    Daemon Prince w/ wings, MoN, and warptime - 175pts

    Plague Marines x7 w/ fist champ, double melta, icon
    Rhino w/ combi-(pick one) - 271pts
    Plague Marines x7 w/ fist champ, double melta, icon
    Rhino w/ combi-(pick one) - 271pts
    Plague Marines x7 w/ double plasma, icon
    Rhino w/ havock launcher - 246pts
    Summoned Lesser Deamons x7 w/ pure win - 96pts

    Vindicator w/ Daemonic Possession - 145pts
    Vindicator w/ Daemonic Possession - 145pts
    Obliits x2 w/ one heck of a multitool - 150pts

    total cost 1494

    Might be a little light on scoring troops but as I mentioned before I like lots of scoring bodies in my lists.

  13. I have to disagree with the taking of 7-strong PM units.

    I get it, I played a Death Guard army last Codex, and for a good while it was my favourite army - it played like I wanted it to play, even if I figured a few more heavy weapons might be seen in trenches, typically a SIEGE tool - but I digress.

    As well versed in Grandfather Nurgle's fluff as I am, the extra 2 bodies add VERY little actual killing power to the list; in what reality is 4 bolter shots at 12" worth 46 points??

    The Plague Champ - I get it, the best argument is that he adds a Fist, and this allows you to stand against Dreadnoughts.

    Uh, no it doesn't.

    Heard of Blood Talons?
    Heard of Riflemen?
    Heard of MM/PF Dreads?

    That's what you face.
    Talons kill the Champ LONG before his couple of Attacks that have only a 50% chance of hitting and a 50% of rolling on the damage table get a shot.

    Riflemen pop your Rhino WAY before you close with the Dread, and walk away, making it a worthless investment.

    MM Dreads blow the Rhino up and leave you walking through a crater - but against these you have no reason why you can't Melta them and thus not need to end up in combat.

    Couple other things:
    The list immediately above would be hugely improved by dropping a Vindi for 2 more Oblits - they are (almost) the only way for Chaos to get access to Multi-Meltas, the second best gun in the game.

    If not taking the cheaper Combi-Bolter for the extra 'ablative wound' on a Rhino (ie, the ability to take 2 Weapon Destroyed results before moving into Immobilised) then a Combi-Flamer is a must, allowing you to sweep away Kroot and Gaunts, while not compromising on your limited numbers of Troops duality by not taking Meltas.

    Oh, and only 2 Troops in the Warboss' list means it'll get bent over by IG, SM and SW, probably DE and BA too.

  14. If I'm playing objectives it might...or I might kill their troops so the point is moot. Two troops are fine for friendly games

  15. I have been playing nurgle for some time and it is one of the armies I play on a regular basis and do very well with it and its always nice to see someone else use the CSM codex. Couple things though. I prefer running units of 7 in a nurgle list mostly because of fluff and superstition about dice and such. Other than that I have found no sound reason for it, but that is reason enough for me to keep doing it. As far as PF's on champions go "they don't kill dreads" well I only ever seem to detroy their weapons and spend the rest of the game tied up with them. I still like taking them though a power weapon just doesn't pack the punch. The rest of the guys do well enough in combat the fist just helps ensure you win by 1 or 2 wounds. Between Oblits and Vinds I prefer oblits but that's just my style i have bad luck with tanks so I avoid them when I can. Then again my oblits tend to overheat and wound themselves pretty reularly so I say whatever you like run with. The one thing I have seen going around I would go against though is warp time. Here is why. Its expensive and I think rot or wind is a much better choice and again I find it more fitting. The second problem is and I see it played wrong all the time is that with warp time its re-roll "all" not just failed rolls. You could wind up rolling worse than you did the first time so it only really helps when you botch a roll and I just don't find it that useful. I've played a list similar for a few years now and from experience I would suggest against it.

    For comparison my most recent 1750 list is pretty close to what follows.

    HQ - Daemon Prince(Wings, Wind, MoN)
    ELITE - 7 Terminators (1xChampion with Chainfist, 4x Combi-Meltas, Heavy Flamer, Icon of Nurgle)
    Troops - 2x 7 Plague Marines (Champion Fist, 2x Meltas, Rhino with combi-melta)
    FAST - 7 Bikers (Champin Fist, 2x Meltas, Icon of Nurgle)
    Heavy - 2x 3 Oblits it might be 2 units of 2 though.

    This may not be exact but its pretty close and I think that's 1750 not 1500. I have been playing this list(with slight variations depending on points) for a couple years and it always does well. It may not seem like the best and its not but I will say its a ton of fun to play and does hold up well even against newer books. Hope this helps a bit.

  16. @sMuppet

    I guess I should start off by adding the caveat I thought unnecessary,;CSM is not a top tear book. If you are not building lists for fun then why bother playing chaos? To that end I stick with themed armies that are fun to play. Which means that I run my PM in squads of seven. Am I superstitious about the two extra bodies making a difference, probably but I see the advantage in ablative hard to kill wounds not in damage output. In fact i don't see PM as having a whole lot of offensive capabilities rather their value comes in from being a pain in the neck to get rid of

    I disagree with your take on powerfists. If you are gonging up against anything other than a basic troop in combat you are already playing for the Hail Mary round. Rather I view them as a means for PM to grind out a win in a protracted melee.
    I actually do agree with you on how to run the DP, I love nurgles rot. It is a fun and characterful power that helps with hoards, as for your read on Warptime another time maybe.

    I have the Vinids in the list I put together because it was my impression that is what the gent emailing us wanted. If you ask me to build a list with carnifexies I am not going to build a razorspam list for you instead. While I like them and have two my stay home until much large points are reached.

    I know that it is shocking that on the internet we have different opinions, and that works too. If it makes you feel better I can always go emo and start talking bad about you as a person.

  17. @Chambers

    Sorry if you felt like I was stepping on your toes. I was simply giving my opinion on a nurgle list to a new player who had some questions. I wasn't directing anything at you or against anything you said. I think we both agree that CSM is not a top tier book however I would pit a CSM army against any other book out there. My biggest complaint is lack of variety not utility. As far as PF's go I think we both have the same view on them. They're not about killing the big things they're about ensuring a win against troop units like SM and like you said kind of a just in case against something big. Perhaps I just didn't explain in well emough. Other than that I was simply giving him my thoughts as a player and not trying to take away from you or anyone else or put anyone down. Just another persepective. Again sorry if you felt like I was stepping on your toes but the only thing I felt like I really varied from you on was warp time and I thought it was an important note to throw at him about the re-rolling and like you said we can discuss that later. Also I don't see why you would think I was stepping on your toes when what I said varied far less from you then some of the other posts and if you have anything you think you would like to say about me as a person feel free.

  18. Woa, you got a lot of comments. I stopped reading them all.

    FWIW I always or close enough to always use 7 man squads. I used to do one flamer and one melta, but with all the vehicles and high toughness monstrous creatures two meltas is the way to go now a days. I try to always have them in rhinos, but it isn't a must. Sometimes an extra squad is more valuable than all rhinos.

    I almost never run a Demon Prince, because it is so common. I tried hard to run sorcerors, but not having fearless is a disadvantage, but if they join a squad that is fearless, they don't run...

    For heavy support I often take a landraider not because they are so shooty, but because they are hard to kill. I keep wanting to try predators more but I don't get to play or practice much. I've moved on from all Nurgle all the time, but I did it for longer than most anyone. When the next codex comes out I'll try it anew.

    I'm not a fan of all missile launchers, again because it is so common. I take Nurgle Renegades ie not Plaguemarines quite often in ten man squads with a single heavy weapon to add to my long ranged fire power. The all Nurgle army or at least a Plaguemarine heavy army list has become very common due to FNP being such a good thing to have, people have gotten used to it, it used to be much rarer.

    Twin demon princes has its proponents, but with 23 point basic troopers you end up with a very small army that has a hard time with missions where you have to get to multiple locations.

    Good luck

  19. Sorry guys, been having trouble logging in to respond. I ended up going with the following list:

    1x Daemon prince, MoN, wings, warptime
    1x Daemon prince, MoN, wings, Nurgle's rot

    5x PM's, 2 melta, icon, rhino, d. blade
    5x PM's, 2 melta, icon, rhino, d. blade
    5x PM's, 2 plasma, icon, rhino, d. blade, havoc launcher.
    5x PM's, 2 plasma, icon, rhino, d. blade, havoc launcher.

    2x oblit's
    2x oblit's
    1x oblit

    1st game was a draw against daemons.
    2nd game was loss to orcs.
    3rd game was a win against chaos.

    I ended up coming in 4th overall!

    The best part is. . . I had a blast! Met some cool people that want to hook up some games later and I learned something from each game.

    Thanks for the input everyone. . . now to figure out my 1750 list for next month. . .

  20. @S Muppet
    I am Sorry.
    I didn't intend to come of as either snarky or hurt by your comments. The fact is that I rather enjoyed reading what you had posted, hence why I responded to your post. After rereading my post I can see that I totally failed at conveying my thoughts correctly. I will have to be more careful about conveying mood in the future.

    What I failed at doing was going into greater depth on why I proposed the list that I did, a list that is drastically different from the one I typically run.

    At the same time I was attempting to take a jab at not you but rather at all of the doll drama that has been flying across the internet since Nova. Again I failed to properly convey my message.

    As for the wording on Warp time, I typically solve the issue by not playing with it and letting my op4 chose how they want to play it. I don't think that it is entirely clear cut.
    In the end after going back and forth several times myself I had the opportunity to ask one of the Inat FAQ contributors. His position was that you could reroll only the failures if you wanted to. I know there is a lot of shall we say discussion around the Inat but wrong or right they are freely available and serve as a good base line.

  21. @Chambers

    No sweat I was just a little thrown when I read your post. I guess I could work on how I convey my messages as well.

    As far as warp time I used to always play it as re-roll fails until the wording was pointed out to me. Its been a couple years now and I think I have most of the local guys playing it all or nothing. I don't see any thing in the wording to make me think otherwise but if an event organizer said at their event it allowed to re-roll just failures I wouldn't complain it's not like it would make chaos ridiculous or anything. I just wanted to throw that in for Chad so that he would know before playing in a local event how it would probably be ruled so that he wasn't caught by surprise with it.

    I am interested to hear more about your thoughts on the "doll drama" post Nova that you mentioned though. Maybe you could post something about it. Might be a good topic to have people chatting about. I feel that sometimes the drama gets the best of the game and the players and chases many of the more casual away from coming out to events and eventually away from the game.

  22. "I am interested to hear more about your thoughts on the "doll drama" post Nova that you mentioned though. Maybe you could post something about it."

    I see your bait there and I chose not to swallow the hook.
    No I think that the sooner the drama dies down the better, no reason for me to jump in and rekindle something. Mike Brant has said anything that I would say but more eloquently than I could.


Recent Favorites

All-Time Favorites