And so we come to Grandfather Nurgle. Again, we have a varied set of powers to cut our teeth on.
The Primaris Power is the classic Nurgle’s Rot. This is a 6” Nova power (all enemy units within 6” of the Sorcerer get hit) and any unit that gets hit immediately takes D6+1 Poisoned 4+ AP5 hits. It’s not going to tear armies asunder and you need to be murderously close to deploy it, but it is a very handy backup power to cull the weak from the herd before an assault. I quite like this power, but as I don’t really play Nurgle, I’m unlikely to give it a good playtest. It strikes me as a solid Primaris power.
Next up we have Weapon Curse, which is a lot of fun. It’s a Malediction power with 24” range. If successful, the targeted enemy unit receives Gets Hot on all its ranged weapons until the end of their next turn. In that sense it work similarly to the Warpsmith’s Machine Curse, except it’s got longer range, can affect infantry and automatically hits. So, you know, better in nearly every respect. This has a great deal of tactical application, although it is unlikely to result in a wave of enemy deaths, it is significantly more likely to prod your opponent towards inaction in the shooting phase. It’s this psychological effect on the other player that is the power’s greatest asset, I think. If your opponent is running MSU or good armour saves, then it may well not have much of an effect, but I think it will find a very valid target in most games.
The third power is Gift of Contagion which is the power I’m least struck on from Papa Nurgle’s armoury. It’s another Malediction (who’d have thought? The disease god would specialise in Maledictions!) and hits the target unit with a random debilitation. The enemy would potentially lose an Attack and receive Shrouding, lose a point of Strength and be unable to run, or lose both a point of Strength and of Toughness. Obviously the randomness of this power could be its making or breaking in the eyes of the player. You’d probably not want the first effect to crop up, but if you’re assaulting that unit, what do you care if they’re Shrouded while you do so? Anyway, the major plus point for this power, as opposed to Enfeeble (it gives the unit -1S and -1T) is the range. The range of this ability is a mighty 48”. Suddenly the power becomes a lot more viable, especially for the backfield psyker. Not to mention, that the effects of multiple gifts are cumulative. This could have serious defensive implications if you’re up against a hammer unit. Even Paladins would have a hard time with a couple of contagions giving them the shits.
The final power, just like in the Tzeentch list is a 2 Warp charge one, but is (again) thoroughly worth it. Plague Wind does essentially the same thing as Breath, but is a large blast with a 12” range instead. And it can’t hurt vehicles, but that’s only a minor thing when you look at how horrific this power will be against any given hammer unit. There is significant risk of nuking yourself with it, so be careful plaguemongers! A comparison between Plague Wind and Breath of Chaos is kind of inevitable, so I’ll sum it up quickly. Plague Wind is the high risk, high reward version of Breath. It can’t take vehicle (but Breath isn’t great at that with one shot anyway) and the enemy get their cover saves, but apart from that there isn’t much bad to say about Plague Wind. Just hold your breath when you cast it, alright?
Anyway, the last of the literate pantheon, Slaanesh will get the once over next time.
See you then!