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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Part 1. Building a Competitive Mono Nurgle Army

I am a long time avid Death Guard player. I was not a fan of the last codex due to its overall blandness. I am really liking the new codex though. Sure it does not meet the heights of the fourth edition codex but in my mind its at least a few steps in the right direction. While the Chaos Space Marine codex is not the most competitive book I think it has all the tools you need to win big plus we have access to daemons again! The combination of the two can be very powerful. As always the goal is to design a very balanced army. You've got to ask yourself Can I beat the top armies with my list? If the answer is no then it's right back to the drawing board. Sure it's easy to design a rock-paper-scissors army and copy another latest and greatest Internet meta list but in a top tournament environment you will probably end up facing your worst nemesis if you make it to a top table.

My last article compared the popular use of cultists as compared to Chaos Space Marines - the conclusion is while most every CSM army has some cultists you rarely if ever see any Chaos Space Marines in the top armies. Cultists are dirt cheap and seemingly perfect for holding objectives. Chaos Space Marines are quite costly when compared to other units. Daemons can provide you with your cheap troop choices plus they are all superior to cultists plus they don't need an expensive baby sitter to fight off all the big scary monsters you see flying around now. You can field Chaos Space Marines as elite units and they score... The combination of daemonic troops and Chaos Space Marines can be highly synergistic just as it was once upon a time in fourth edition.

I think that Chaos Space Marines are still viable but it requires more thought to craft a competitive army list. Death Guard were extremely popular in the last edition back when mech was the king. They are still very good and can do more good things for you than cultists.

This article is the first of my discussions regarding building a mono Nurgle army. I am thinking of something along the following lines for the primary detachment:

Primary Detachment - Chaos Space Marines
Chaos Lord - Mark of Nurgle, Chaos Space Marine Bike, the Black Mace, Power Axe, Blight Grenades
Chaos Sorcerer - Mark of Nurgle, Lvl 3 Psychic Mastery, Power Axe

5x Death Guard - Flamer, Meltagun
Champion - Power Axe, Boon of Mutation
Chaos Rhino - Dozer Blades, Havoc Launcher

4x Death Guard - Flamer, Meltagun
Champion - Power Fist
Chaos Rhino - Dozer Blades, Havoc Launcher

4x Death Guard - 2x Meltagun
Champion - Power Fist
Chaos Rhino - Dozer Blades, Havoc Launcher

4x Death Guard - 2x Flamer
Champion - Power Fist, Combi-Flamer
Chaos Rhino - Dozer Blades, Havoc Launcher

The Chaos Lord is my personal version of a winged Nurgle Daemon Prince with the Black Mace. He unlocks Death Guard as a troop choice which is necessary for this list and he is almost as fast as a winged daemon prince. The one disadvantage is the Black Mace wielded by a Chaos Lord is only AP4. However at T6 he is more survivable and immune to instant death from S10 attacks such as Smash or a demolisher cannon... There is lots of S10 out there too. His speed lets him choose whom he engages in melee and his main purpose is to clobber T3 hordes. I see lots of armies featuring T3 hordes... Gaunts, guardsmen and now eldar again for example. A Lord on a bike is easier to hide behind LOS blocking terrain which also makes him more survivable than a daemon prince. My Lord also has a power axe should he have to square off against anything with a 2+ armor save... Coteaz really hates on him... Heh !

I find the Chaos biker Lord to be a better choice than Typhus for two reasons - first the biker Lord is much faster and second he is overall more survivable. It seems the Typhus-Zombie era has finally come to a close... I didn't see any of this type of army on the top tables at WGC nor did it fare that well at Adepticon to the best of my knowledge. There are plenty of things that can quickly shred right through cultists and zombies such as the ever notorious Heldrake.

The Chaos Sorcerer is there to provide a tough melee character to support the troops. I have been taking two spells from Biomancy... They are all good and you really hit the proverbial jackpot when he rolls up Iron Arm. Of all the psychic powers available in the Chaos Space Marine codex I like Nurgle the best so it's win-win.

I have four troops so at 2000 points and above so I can field one daemonic allied detachment. If I want to take two primary detachments then I'd have to take a second Chaos Lord with the Mark of Nurgle instead of the Sorcerer if I want to take two HQ from the Daemon codex (i.e., two allied detachments).

The Death Guard are the best elite choice for Chaos Space Marines hands down. Small units such as what I've selected can take quite a beating and still dish out the punishment. If nothing else they can be extremely annoying. I prefer meltaguns and flamers since they are assault weapons. The plasma gun is more popular now but there is still some armor out there and meltaguns are as always an excellent deterrent. For those new to Chaos Space Marines ere is what you get for 23 points per model:

• Fearless
• T5
• 3+ armor save
• 2 base attacks (plague knife & bolt pistol)
• Bolter
• Poison
• Blight Grenades
• 2x special weapon

In many ways Death Guard are the Grey Hunters of Chaos and much better in just about every way... You get what you pay for with these bad boys. For example FNP is really good this edition... If you stop to think about it FNP is a lot like the Necron Reanimation Protocol.

Rhinos don't last long these days but one full move plus a flatout gets your Death Guard where you need them to be in a hurry. I think the Havoc Launcher is worth the points since there is so much horde out there. One of the biggest weaknesses of the Chaos Space Marine codex is the lack of a reliable and low costed delivery system. Plague Marines can still work due to their inherent toughness. Mainly you want your troops in midfield if necessary and this is the cheapest method.

You probably noticed there are no Heldrakes in my list. I would rather use these points towards monstrous creatures in my daemonic allied detachment plus taking no flyers totally nerfs armies designed with a heavy anti-air component.

The next article will cover my optimal choices for daemonic allies to compliment this Death Guard army.

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