[Army List] 1250 Nurgle CSM w/ Daemons

I have a game coming up tomorrow and I've been experimenting with all sorts of stuff from the new CSM book while remaining true to the nurgle theme.  I've noticed a general lack of long range fire power to deal with things like dev teams, predators and other dedicated shooting units.  I end up walking up the field (essentially) and absorbing the hits.  To try something new I want to see if deepstriking some plague bearers into the face of the enemy can serve as a distraction since the way I've been playing really is a mid range play style.  I could alter this at some point with havok teams but those aren't models I've painted or assembled yet.

CSM detachment
Chaos Lord - bike, MoN, Power Axe, Sigil of Corruption and Blight Grenades
7 Plaguemarines, lightning claw, meltabombs, 2x melta guns and a rhino
7 Plaguemarines, lightning claw, 2x plasma guns and a rhino
Blight Drone of nurgle
2 Spawn with MoN
9 Raptors with MoN

Herald of Nurgle - Breath of Chaos and Cloud of Flies
5 Plaguebearers
5 Plaguebearers

At 1250 this gives me 4 troops, one of which can just deepstrike onto a far away objective since I really lack mobility and a total of 37 toughness 5+ models.  Games I've been playing are typically seeing 1-2 fliers on the other team at around 1500 points so this shouldn't be a big deal.  The lord on a bike will run with the spawn and everything will move up as fast as possible to wipe out the enemy which I'm sure will castle up if they're shooty.  If the enemy is an assault army I'll play for positioning and feed them plaguebearers first.  We'll see how it goes tomorrow but I'm thinking it will be pretty fun to play with the variety of unit types.


  1. Just a few thoughts, its always worth adding one of the Chaos Artefacts to a Lord, the Brand of Skalathrax is great on a Nurgle Biker Lord, it increases his range massively and allows him to soften up a Marine squad enough that he can take the rest of it on without being tarpitted. Spawn are good with a biker, but you might consider a 3 man unit of bikers, they are cheap and you can add meltas, flamers or even plasmaguns (as bikes are Relentless) which gives you a better ranged AT/AI option over Spawn.

    Power axes are better than single lightning claws. As Plague Marines are I3 you'll be striking last against Marines anyway so unwieldy isn't much of a penalty. The rest of the squads poisoned weapons means wounding isn't a problem against high toughness targets. You still keep your bonus attack for two weapons with a power axe, which you lose with the Claw (unless you take two). Power axes are statistically better against MEQ and loads better against Terminator equivalents.

    I had the same thoughts for Demon Allies (either those or IG) to make up for the long range shortcomings of the Chaos Codex. However I've found a single Great Unclean One and a minimum squad of Plaguebearers better than a Herald and two squads, especially if its long range Anti Tank you are after. He can land and Breath something (maybe even glance a bunch of tanks if you are lucky) and then smash them in melee. He is tough enough to take some return fire before he charges too.

    1. I appreciate the suggestions. I was going with spawn at the moment solely because I only have 3 of the toads (and one counts as the HQ) so I can't run 3 bikes plus the HQ with this paint scheme. Though I would question whether the ability to ascend ruins and the 3 wounds makes the spawn better since I play with the BRB terrain layout (D3 per 2 feet squared) so it is terrain dense).

      As to the lightning claws, I'd read when facing against marines that since the claw lets you strike before powerfists/axes of the opponent it increased the survivability of your character against 3+ targets unless they're running swords which I don't see often. Most players seem to be going with an axe or a fist for the AP2 so striking first against them is nice. So it seems pretty situational; what are your thoughts on this? I'm assuming the AP2 flexibility outweights the 20% increased survivability of lightning claws over marines (just a ballpark number) and I can understand that. I'll switch them up to axes.

      The GUO option was on my mind too but I see a lot of poison (DE/snipers) or just volume of fire. Would you suggest dropping the GUO turn 2+ so that by the time he arrives the rest of the army is nearby? I've run similar things before and turn 1 if they show up (much like a sole drop pod) the contents get blasted. T6 won't help against an entire army of firepower ranged against you. Though I guess the same can be said for 7 wounds from the unit I was running albeit for cheaper than a GUO with breath.

      Another thing I was debating was dropping the plasma guns and replacing with melta. Sure you lose a shot at rapid fire range but you also lose the ability to charge with the unit and decreased flexibility vs true tanks. Over the last 15 or so games I've noticed melta to still outperform the plasma guns in terms of flexibility. It seems much better to have the option to fire pistols/melta and charge (if the situation warrants this) than being forced to stand and rapid fire bolters. A lot of time it just makes sense to charge to protect my unit from return fire.

  2. Those are all good points, I hadn't considered the advantage of Spawn being able to climb up in buildings, though since you would have to detach the Lord how well would they perform on their own? It would also leave the Lord without his meatshields! I guess that is an advantage. I think it is outweighed by the bikes shooting though personally. Anyone hiding on a second floor will die to a couple of turns shooting with the Brand anyway, if you give him that.

    I think the Lightning Claws certainly have a place on Nurlgle marked CSM, but not Plague Marines simply because at I3 you'll be going second most of the time anyway, and at least you'll get an extra attack which adds to your survivability slightly as there is more chance of killing the enemy Champ in the first round. And much better against TEQ!

    Yes poison is a pain but the GUO is a solution to camping Basilisks, Manticores etc and other vehicles hiding behind an Aegis. He is also very good against TEQ with Breath you'll likely kill half the squad if you are lucky with your Deepstrike. He makes up for some of the lack of your army, but yes he will die against poison. Deepstrike him on T2 into some terrain near a target for Breath and hope for the best.

    If you pay a lot against DE then a couple of Oblits might be an option instead, they can still deepstrike in to get at camping artillery, but they have a 2+ save. Oblits marked with Nurgle is fluffy and effective too.

    Yes Melta is great, I've found flamers really good too these days since everyone is running big infantry blobs. Against deep striking Terminators a pair of flamers will force a lot of saves. They work better against THSS TEQ than plasmaguns do.

    I always like one squad with plasma to sit on a home objective though.

    1. I guess with the spawn I am willing to give up 2 melta shots for 4 extra wounds. I'll have to try out the burning brand though. I had just never thought about it. You've sold me on the axes too. The extra flexibility is too good to pass up.

      In a small game like this I think adding breath to the GUO makes me way too HQ heavy. I'm not comfortable with two HQ models accounting for such a high portion of the points. Perhaps dropping five of the plague bearers for a nurgle obliterator and keeping 5 plague bearers and the herald I have now would suffice; dropping the herald alone. I feel a lot safer deepstriking a single 80 point model with breath than a GUO that close to the enemy. Whether the herald dies or not he's done his job. The obliterator will be just as effective as the GUO against camping artillery and I feel is a bit more flexible due to the range.

      Yeah the THSS TEQ and Meganobs I've been seeing lately are really not that phased by plasma. I find I'm paying more for the shots than the models I'm killing which isn't ever good.

  3. I find the main problem with Nurgle lists is that they don't put out much damage. They endure, but they don't hit back too hard. For this reason I always go with template weapons if I can in a Nurgle list as it tends to increase the potential damage you can do. So with this in mind I always add Havoc launchers to my Rhinos, or at least to Rhinos for backfield scoring units. If you can find the points I'd give the plasma unit a Havoc Launcher.

    I don't think the plasma is that great, but it is the best weapon to take on a backfield unit of Plaguemarines as it has some range. I'd actually consider taking a ten strong unit of Nurgle marked marines so I could give them a lascannon and a plasma gun if I had the points.

    Taking an Oblit instead of the GUO sounds like a really good compromise, and it increases your potential damage output- Breath of Chaos and whatever the Oblit fires rather than just one Breath attack from the GUO. You can join the Herald to the unit too, so they have to kill the whole unit to get rid of him. I might do this myself if all my HS slots weren't full already!

    When I design a list I think about it in two halves, a defensive half that will hold the home objective and provide long range fire support, and an offensive half that will go out and get the enemies objective, or at least meet them halfway. Both halves need to be equipped for some anti tank and some anti infantry.

    You have a good core defensive force in the PMs with Plasma, with an Oblit for support.

    Your offensive force with the Lord+Spawn, Plaguebearers and Herald is good too, the Raptors are part of this too.

    How you equip the remaining unit of Plaguemarines should depend on how the Raptors are equipped IMO. If you equip the Raptors for some anti tank with meltaguns then I'd give the Plaguemarines flamers for anti infantry. If you are concentrating on anti infantry with the Raptors (and you've given them flamers) then I'd keep the Meltaguns on the Plaguemarines.

    If they are part of your default defensive side then to be honest almost anything goes, all the special weapons are potentially useful as an adjunct to a first unit with plasmaguns. Since you have three squads in play then maybe give one flamers, one melta and one plasma.

    1. I appreciate the discussion!

      I'm not too keen on keeping an entire marine squad in the backfield to hold an objective. I've tried the whole las cannon support thing and I find any dedicated units coming to take that objective will do so whether there are 200 points of marines on it or not. I've been slowly coming around to just storming the enemy and hoping to overwhelm them without the need for a 200 point unit contributing nothing offensively. I'm thinking the plague bearers can do the same job if needed at a fraction of the cost by just deploying on the hardest to reach objectives OR helping with tabling if required. Maybe this is flawed logic but it's always worked for my loganwing, blood angels or bike armies. I just don't subscribe to the sit and shoot mentality unless the whole army is doing so.

      I find my rhinos are ALWAYS moving 12" to either drop off their payload, screen my units or tankshock something. It doesn't leave much time for shooting blast markers which can't be snap fired. I agree it would be good if you took it as a backfield unit though.

      I think in contrast to your list building mentality which has a balanced offense/defence approach I tend to go pure offense which I think with nurgle is even more important since as you say their damage output is less than average. I tend to try to run the bulk of an army always within the same optimum 'range' of weapons so that they're never isolated and play a moving castle. The biggest issue I've come across with the CSM book is the lack of long range fire support options (I'm used to using mortis contemptor dreads). Havoks are a definate great choice but I'm a bit scared of helldrakes. I think I should put some effort into finishing a squad of havoks off to give me some better options since I think a few squads of las, missile or autocannon havoks would really be a nice fit and I'd gladly replace the raptors for them.

  4. I don't think it is flawed logic at all, its just a different play style. It does depend on the mission, but I always try to have a couple of units that would be good in a defensive role, which usually means they are both scoring, tough, and have weapons with reasonable range. Nurgle really excels at this, which means you opponent has to commit far more points to have a chance to shift said unit/s than the cost of the units themselves. It is important that they have some means of contributing to the whole effort though. That said there is something to be said for leaving one unit in a seemingly useless spot so no-one bothers to attack it, as a full strength unit with its transport intact can be a game changer when it suddenly emerges and moves 18" in turn 4 or 5.

    I find storming towards the enemy can be problematic if they have a reasonable proportion of Deep striking troops or very fast units as you can find yourself outflanked or even enfolded/surrounded. For this reason I generally attack down the weakest flank with the table edge to protect me from being surrounded(unless they have outflankers!). We have a lot of deepstrikers in my local meta, a lot of players who have Deathwing or Grey Knight allies for instance.

    I guess it al comes down to concentration of forces, you win by fulfilling the mission objectives, but you destroy enemy units by having a higher concentration of mutually supporting units/projected force in one part of the battlefield than your opponent. Anything that draws decent amounts of your enemies army out of the way of your offensive thrust is good. Annoying tough deepstriking forces are good for this as they take far more to destroy than they cost and also psychologically give you the initiative. Or they can help in that concentration of force if your assaulting units can apply pressure on the front of the enemy while your deepstrikers attack from behind in the same area of the table. Likewise a tough unit at the back of the field drawing off your opponents deep strikers is good too if it reduces their ability to react quickly in later rounds.

    I have found lascannon and autocannon havocs both excellent, and my Khorne army has a unit of each to compensate for its lack in range weapons and contribute to saturation of power armoured bodies.

    I haven't tried this but either an Oblit or even a Helbrute could man a quad gun attached to an Aegis and wouldn't care anything for the Heldrake's AP3.

    Or what about this for a laugh, a Helbrute on the roof of a Bastion with a quad gun and a 6 man squad of havocs on the inside manning the 2 HBs and firing their own weapons would be a hell of an anti Heldrake bunker for 338 points!


Post a Comment