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Maggotkin of Nurgle Army Guide & Review (Tactics & Lore)

This article will describe in detail the Maggotkin of Nurgle army starting from its lore, describing the main units and their roles, how the army plays and finally our personal opinion of the army.

For a complete run-down of the different armies available in Age of Sigmar, consult our Age of Sigmar army overview article.

In this article we will refer often to Matched Play and other technical terms like allegiance abilities, command points, army roles in building a list, core battalions, Endless Spells/Invocations, etc. We assume the reader will be knowledgeable with those terms, otherwise please refer to the relevant guides for more details.

Age of Sigmar 4.0
This article has not been updated yet with the newest rules and discoveries from the fourth edition of Age of Sigmar. We will be reviewing all articles and updating them really soon.

The Feature Image for the Maggotkin of Nurgle Army Guide

Overview of Maggotkin of Nurgle Army

Maggotkin of Nurgle is a faction of the Grand Alliance Chaos and represents one of the major Chaos Gods: Nurgle.

Nurgle’s history predates the Mortal Realms and starts in the World-That-Was. Nurgle is the God of Pestilence and Decay, the alter-ago of Death in a more twisted and corrupted way that often rivals with Alarielle, the Goddess of Life.

In game terms, the Maggotkin are a slow attrition army, with plenty of ways to provoke mortal wounds and they are extremely resilient. Their aesthetics are rich with decaying, decomposing, purulent iconic elements, so you will need some stomach to paint them. On the other hand, they are a perfect beginner-friendly army, especially for novice painters, as it allows for messiness, actually embracing it, while still keeping the potential for award winning paint jobs.

The latest battletome was released in December 2021 and was the third one released for Age of Sigmar 3.0 bringing this army to the new edition and eliminating the bloat of rules spread across different books that characterized them up to that point.

The Maggotkin of Nurgle Battletome for 3.0 edition of Age of Sigmar

Lore of Maggotkin of Nurgle Army

Of all Chaos Gods, Nurgle is the most jovial and benign. As mortals struggle to cope with the concept of their own mortality, Nurgle can allure them with promises to end their grief and distribute his boons generously.

As he is the Lord of Decay, the Chaos God of pestilence and plagues, his gifts to humans are exactly what you would expect: diseases of all sorts that are carried by Nurgle’s mortal and daemonic followers, the Maggotkin, so that they can spread across all Mortal Realms.

The Maggotkin of Nurlge armies are extremely resilient and they can infect anyone they encounter, as their maladies are both of body and spirit. An enemy’s death is not meaningless, as in their death new lives will thrive in the forms of maggots, flies, and all sorts of other beings.

For Grandfather Nurgle, life is life, it doesn’t matter how little is the creature born and he instructs his troops to spread pestilence everywhere, by poisoning rivers, befouling crops and other acts of depravation.

Within the Realm of Chaos, a space behind the Mortal Realms where everything is possible and just glazing at it would make most mortals insane, Nurgle can manifest his full power. His territory is called the Garden of Nurgle, a place where his daemons can proliferate and where everything is decay. A place where diseases are uncountable and more are created every day by the incessant work of the Lord of Plagues. It is this that awaits the Mortal Realms should Nurgle succeed in conquering them.

Nurgle fighting stormcast artwork by GW
Blightwar cover, credit Games Workshop

As someone who claims to be the real bringer of life, Nurgle covets most of all Ghyran, the Realm of Life. And for some time, during the Age of Chaos, he had control of most of it, with its inhabitants dead, corrupted or surrendered to his blessings. Alarielle, the Goddess of Life, was in hide and Nurgle spent all his resources to find her because he knew in time Life would heal itself as long as Alarielle was alive.

But he was never able to locate Alarielle, until Sigmar sent some of his most trusted Stormcast Eternals to find her in a desperate tentative to restore the old Pantheon. The ensuing battle that unfolded led to Alarielle being reborn in her War aspect and bringing an end to Nurgle’s dominion in the Everspring Swathe. New cities of Order were built in the reclaimed territory and the Genesis Gate, the Realmgate connecting Ghyran with the Allpoints, was retaken and cleansed.

Even one of his champions, Torglug, was reforged by Sigmar in a Stormcast champion. Despite these setbacks, Nurgle is in control of most of Ghyran and has since moved to other realms. In particular, he was revolted by Nagash, the Supreme Lord of Undeath, and his aspirations to control everything through Death magic, the antithesis of the continuous cycle of rebirth dear to him.

While his forces were unable to stop Nagash from summoning the Necroquake, a surge of deathly energies, the ritual was corrupted by Chaos forces nevertheless and Nurgle took joy in continuing his quest to pull down Ossiarch Bonereapers necropolises and Soulblight Gravelords keeps.

When Alarielle took advantage of Nagash’ demise by launching herself a powerful ritual that replaced the deathly energies with life, awakening primordial forces, Nurgle saw an opportunity to corrupt this blooming abundance.

If he could corrupt enough magic sites and ley lines, he could re-enact his garden in the Mortal Realms one step at a time. So started the Maggotkin’s crusade to defile and debase as many arcane sites as possible in a humorous twist on Sigmar’s Dawnbringer Crusades that were sent to retake as much territory as possible from the Chaos forces.

Nurgle forces fighting Sylvaneth in Ghyran, credit Games Workshop

Army rules for the Maggotkin of Nurgle

But how does a Nurgle army play on a tabletop? First let’s go through the main rules for this army.

The first thing you need to choose is the subfaction your army will belong to choosing between these six Plague Legions and Contagiums:

  1. Munificent Wanderers (the most zealous of Nurgle’s daemons, focus on disease points)
  2. Befouling Host (those tasked to protect Nurgle’s Garden, can take an extra Feculent Gnarlmaw)
  3. Droning Guard (the airborne force of Nurgle, focus on Plague Drones)
  4. Blessed Sons (the greatest Nurgle mortals, focus on disease points)
  5. Drowned Men (Nurgle’s pirates, focus on Pusgoyle Blightlords and Lord of Afflictions)
  6. Filthbringers (the most zealous of Nurgle’s mortals, focus on magic and Rotbringer Sorcerers)

Each one of these subfactions provides a small boon to direct your roster towards a particular direction, but in Age of Sigmar 3.0 does not restrict which command traits or artefacts you can take, giving ample freedom of choice.

The first battle trait that characterizes Nurgle armies relates to the disease points. Those represent how hard it is to fight the infective and purulent Maggotkin hordes. Every battleshock phase all units with disease points roll to see if they sustain mortal wounds. There are different ways to give disease points to enemy units and this can be an important part of your attrition battle.

The other part that contributes to the resilience of the army is their 5+ ward (an after-save ability to negate a wound) and their ability to heal units in their own hero phase. Both ward and healing can be improved using various mechanisms and rules of the Maggotkin of Nurgle army.

One important keyword to keep an eye on is if a unit is either a Mortal or a Daemon as some abilities or traits benefit only one category. For example, you can summon Daemons by using contagion points, that is another currency for Nurgle armies. There are different ways to obtain them, but the simplest is through their terrain feature, the Feculent Gnarlmaw, or by ensuring to always occupy with one unit each both theirs and the enemy territory.

The last battle trait is a reimagined Circle of Corruption that is a circular table with different boons that affect Nurgle armies or hamper enemies. Every round the boon is different and you start from a random point by rolling a die.

Command traits, artefacts and spell lores are divided by those available to Mortals and those for Daemons. A notable command trait for Daemons is Nurgling Infestation that gives -1 to hit against the General and +1 to hit to nearby Nurglings, while for Mortals Overpowering Stench prevents the issuing or reception of command abilities to nearby enemy units.

A notable artefact is the Witherstave that increases by 1 the disease roll for units near the artefact bearer.

The Lore of Malignance is the one for Mortal wizards with spells like Gift of Disease, which spreads more disease points, and Rancid Visitations, which can be useful to trim down big units with mortal wounds.

The Lore of Virulence is for Daemons instead, with Stream of Corruption providing mortal wounds in a similar way to Rancid Visitations and Fleshy Abundance useful to provide an extra wound to Daemon units like the Plaguebearers.

Units and their roles in the Maggotkin of Nurgle Army

Heroes in Nurgle

Heroes can perform Heroic Actions, in addition to the other abilities they can perform. You do it in the hero phase and you can only do one heroic action. Here is the list:

  • Heroic Leadership: on a 4+ (or 2+ if your general has been slain) get a command point only that hero can use.
  • Heroic Willpower: one non-Wizard hero can attempt to dispel or unbind a spell for that phase like he was a wizard.
  • Their Finest Hour: can be used only once by each hero to improve save and wound rolls by 1 for that turn.
  • Heroic Recovery: a disengaged hero can heal D3 wounds if he rolls less or equal to his bravery with 2D6.
Great Unclean One

Rotigus is a named Great Unclean One, the top of the hierarchy of Nurgle daemons. He counts as an extra general (being a Warmaster) that helps in certain situations, and he is a double caster (can cast 2 spells per turn). His signature spell can do some splash damage, nothing exciting or reliable but there’s no range.

The Great Unclean One (you may hear or read people referring to him simply as GUO) comes from the same kit as Rotigus, with several assembly options. The preferred and more consistent weapon profile is the Bilesword and Plague Flail. Compared to Rotigus, he can benefit from few enhancements named characters cannot take and he is also more flexible.

You may want to consider bringing always one in your army as they are tough and work as a focal point for the rest of your army and being both monsters and heroes can take full advantage of the Age of Sigmar 3.0 rules. They can also be summoned but they cost a lot of contagion points.

Sloppity Bilepiper

Nurgle Heralds are an happy bunch of friendly guys, able to provide boons left and right.

Sloppity Bilepiper is the crowd’s favourite, with the ability every combat phase to play a different tune, all benefitting Nurgle Daemons unit. A stand-out would be preventing units close to a daemon unit from piling-in, that in the right situation can become extremely powerful. He also counts as a Totem, so can issue generic command abilities in an 18″ range.

Spoilpox Scrivener is another good option, to be used in conjunction with Plaguebearers. In particular it can increase their attack characteristic by 1, to ensure their enemies always have a count of 7 disease points for those juicy battleshock mortal wounds.

The Poxbringer is a wizard that would go in pair with Plaguebearers, but does too little to be remarkable.

As daemons, all 3 heralds can be summoned, with the Poxbringer being the most expensive and the other 2 perfect for summoning as their ability can still trigger the turn they are summoned, provided they are positioned correctly.

Horticulous Slimux

Epidemius, the Tallyman of Nurgle, is a named Daemon hero. He can keep track of the diseases spread by your army, but in game terms it means that it allows you to re-roll up to 7 casting rolls per game and little more.

Horticulous Slimux is another named Daemon hero, this time providing synergies to Beasts of Nurgle. So if you are interested in exploring that side of the army, Horticulous is definitely a good option. He also provides a free Feculent Gnarlmaw, for extra contagion points.

While they are both daemons, they are named characters, and exactly as Rotigus, they cannot be summoned half-way through the game. They are also totems.

The Glottkin

Despite his tremendous shape, the Glottkin is a Mortal unit not a Daemon, and it is actually three different brothers rather than being a single entity. It is also a Warmaster, meaning that counts as an extra general, and a double caster.

There’s lots going on in this unit, making it a good alternative to a Great Unclean One, in particular if you prefer focussing on Mortal armies. The first thing noticeable is that it can counter-charge together with another unit in the enemy movement phase.

Another ability forces units with low Bravery from retreating when close-by the Glottkin or suffer mortal wounds. And finally, its signature spell is mostly useful to increase Blightkings wound characteristic until its next turn. This makes that unit even more resilient and perfect to hold objectives (reaching 5 wounds counts double the value of models around an objective).

Bloab Rotspawned

From the Maggoth Lord kit comes three different named characters, all mortals and monsters.

Bloab Rotspawned is the most popular of the trio. He is a wizard with a casting bonus (+1) and the ability to reduce the “to hit” value of nearby enemies by 1. His signature spell can be devastating if you are able to keep damaging a unit: every phase the target unit is allocated wounds or mortal wounds, on a 2+ receives an extra D3 mortal wounds. It lasts until your next hero phase, so it has the potential to keep damaging a unit for 3 turns…

Orghotts Daemonspew is a Warmaster, counting as an extra general. He is the most offensive of the three with better melee attacks, an ability to do mortal wounds on a roll of 6 on his ward roll and the capacity to issue a command ability for free. It is a tough competition with the Great Unclean One and Bloab, but it can be useful in certain circumstances.

Morbidex Twiceborn is the most underestimated of the three as he best benefits Nurglings, another unit that has not seen much use so far. However, he is particularly tough to kill, considering he heals back in the battleshock phase, in addition to all other ways Nurgle units can heal back.

Lord of Afflictions with Pusgoyle Blightlord

The Lord of Afflictions is the most used Nurgle Mortal hero. Apart from his great versatility with 8″ flying movement, his best trait is the ability to be put in reserve with up to two units of Pusgoyle Blightlords or Plague Drones and reappear anywhere on the battlefield outside of the 9″ range from enemy units.

This is quite useful in ambushing tactics and combines well with Drowned Men trait, that protects Plague Drones with a -1 to hit against them the turn they are set up, or by giving a command trait like Overpowering Stench, that prevents nearby enemy units from issuing or receiving command abilities.

On top of that he can spread mortal wounds in the hero phase and after a charge. He can also benefit from becoming a wizard with the universal enhancement Arcane Tome giving more options thanks to his greater movement.

Festus the Leechlord

Gutrot Spume is another Mortal hero that can play the ambush playstyle with up to 3 other Mortal units. His limitations are due to the fact that he can appear only within 6″ from a battlefield edge and that, being a named character, cannot be given command traits or artefacts.

Festus the Leechlord is also a named Mortal hero and in addition he is a wizard. Apart some extra healing or mortal wounds in his hero phase, Festus signature spell gives a -1 save to an enemy unit, helping out to reduce some of the save stacking on the toughest units in the game.

Rotbring Sorcerer

The Rotbringer Sorcerer model is the newest in the range. He is a wizard whose main use is to summon Endless Spells as those are treated as units for the purpose of spreading disease points. Great examples would be the Shards of Valagharr and the Soulsnare Shackles.

If you take the Filthbringers subfaction, you can take three Sorcerer as a Rot Coven. While being treated as separate units, one of them each turn can benefit from casting, unbinding and dispelling rolls, up to +3 if near the other two.

Lord of Plagues

The Lord of Plagues is a generic foot Mortal hero that synergizes well with Putrid Blightkings, adding +1 Attack and allowing to both fight one after the other. If he does manage to destroy a unit (statistically 2-3 damage per round of attacks), it can also be used to generate contagion points.

The Lord of Blights main characteristic is to enable Putrid Blightkings to perform a 7″ ranged attack. The attack itself is forgettable and, apart the ability to tag its attack with a Putrid Blightkings unit like the Lord of Plagues, there’s not much else from this Mortal hero.

The Harbinger of Decay is one of the oldest models in the range and its rules are equally uninteresting: a couple of free command points on the first turn and a chance to prevent an enemy unit to issue or received commands on the combat phase.

Fecula Flyblown is at all effects a Rotbringer Sorcerer with two Putrid Blightkings as bodyguards (The Wurmspat). This group is a Warhammer Underworlds warband from Season 3 (Beastgrave). Fecula herself is an interesting wizard with the ability to cast two spells in the same phase once per game. The bodyguards can absorb the damage directed to her on a 4+.

The Exalted Greater Unclean One, a ForgeWorld model now not sold anymore, lost his validity in May 2023, so your only option is to use it as an alternative version of a normal Great Unclean One.

Orghotts Daemonspew

Monsters in Nurgle

Monsters can perform special abilities called Monstrous Rampages at the end of the Charge phase. Each action can be performed only once per phase therefore only up to 4 monsters can perform one at a time. Here is the current list:

  • Roar: on a 3+ an engaged enemy unit cannot issue or receive orders in the following combat phase.
  • Stomp: on a 2+ do D3 mortal wounds to an engaged unit that is not a monster.
  • Titanic Duel: + 1 to hit rolls against another engaged Monster.
  • Smash to Rubble: on a 3+ demolish a close-by terrain feature, disabling its scenery rules.

Rotigus, the Great Unclean One and the Glottkin have their own monstrous rampage, Mountain of Loathsome Flesh, that is an enhanced version of the Stomp.

There’s definitely abundance of Nurgle monsters as the list continues, but it comes mostly from 2 kits:

  1. The Great Unclean One
  2. and the Maggoth Lord kit, with the addition of the Glottkin.

All Maggoth Lords are monsters as well: Bloab Rotspawned, Morbidex Twiceborn and Orghotts Daemonspew.

There’s no monster that is also not a hero and only one is not a named character (the Great Unclean One). The Exalted Greater Unclean One from ForgeWorld is also a generic monster.

Battlelines in Nurgle


Plaguebearers are the basic Daemon battleline for Nurgle armies and one extremely efficient in the role of cheap cannon fodder but also a great attrition piece when opportunely buffed.

They start with 2 wounds apiece (but can get to 3 using the Fleshy Abundance spell), a 5+ ward and few abilities to heal back or summon slain models (on a 1 on the battleshock roll or through the Rally command ability). Note that the Glottkin Abundance of Flesh spell works only on Mortals, so you need a Daemon wizard to use the similarly named spell.

They don’t have a great weapon profile but their objective is to spread as many disease points as possible and this can be made faster through different means: in the Munificent Wanderers subfaction they spread 1 more disease point just by staying close to an enemy, a Spoilpox Scrivener can increase their attack to 2 apiece (or their rend or save roll) and a Poxbringer can use them to spread some mortal wounds (and to attack at the same time as them).

They are extremely synergetic with many aspects of the army and a great tool to play the attrition war. If unchecked they can also hold objectives for the entire game.

Putrid Blightkings

Putrid Blightkings are the basic Mortal battleline but despite so they are quite elite. They have 4 wounds apiece (5 their unit leader), 4+ save, 5+ ward and Nurgle’s ability to heal back wounds making sure that they are not that easy to get rid of.

They can be extremely dangerous to small-base low-wounds units, by allocating mortal wounds to models with less than 3 wounds within 3″ of them just before the battleshock phase and the disease points kick in for a potentially devastating end of combat.

The Glottkin spell Abundance of Flesh is perfect to increase their wound characteristic to 5 and count double when holding objectives. Few more synergies can be found in the subfaction Blessed Sons where every dying Blightking would have a further chance to increase the disease points against their attacker, in the Lord of Plagues and Lord of Blights ability to attack one after the other, in the Lord of Blights ability to give them a (weak) ranged attack and in the Lord of Plagues trait that can give one unit +1 attack bringing a single unit to 30 attacks with -1 rend…

Sometimes it may even be useful to put them in reserve with Gutrot Spume and re-appear deep in the enemy lines considering their somehow slow movement of 4″.

Overall, the Blightkings are a great unit, even better considering they are a battleline.

Conditional Battlelines in Nurgle

Plague Drone

The Pusgoyle Blightlords are Nurgle Mortal flying forces. They are basically elite Blightkings mounting Rot Flies, sharing the same mortal wounds ability at the end of the combat phase.

They become battleline in a Drowned Men army or if a Lord of Afflictions is the general. And there’s few more benefits in having either: Drowned Men subfaction allows both the Pusgoyle and the Lord of Afflictions a free move after deploy, while the Lord of Afflictions can be set up in reserve together with Pusgoyle or Plague Drones, perfect for ambushing tactics.

They can perform after-charge mortal wounds and in the new edition you can have a single-model Pusgoyle unit for each Lord of Afflictions, to compensate from the fact that from one box if you create the Leader model, you would have a spare miniature that now can be fielded by itself.

Plague Drones represent the Daemon air force of Nurgle: Plaguebearers on top of a Rot Fly. Note that despite being Plaguebearers they have a different keyword and they don’t benefit from the same synergies. However, they can be battleline in a Droning Guard army where they receive -1 to hit against them the first turn or the turn they have been set up. This becomes relevant because a Lord of Afflictions can take them in reserve and then be deployed later on anywhere on the battlefield (outside of the canonical 9″ from enemy units).

They add to their arsenal a ranged attack, not impressive but against horde units statistically something goes through. Having 5 wounds means they count double on objectives, and the ability to resurrect a slain model on a 1 on a battleshock roll can hamper enemy’s moves. They are not particularly tough with their 5+ save and 5+ ward, but 8″ of flying movement and 7″ of ranged attack makes them good skirmishers.

Beast of Nurgle

Beasts of Nurgle can seem horrific creatures however they are just happy puppies that play (and break) with enemy fighters as if they were toys. If you want to take maximum advantage of these daemons, consider using Horticulous Slimux as not only can allow them to re-roll charges, but also adds +1 to Hit.

On 3+/3+, 4 attacks at rend -1 and D6 attacks with no rend per single model, they can be more than a nuisance. Not Gargant-breaking units, but still, they can do some damage. Damage further incremented by their run and charge and, more importantly, retreat and charge ability. They can retreat passing through enemy units like they were flying, assigning disease points while retreating, charge back and if they fail Horticulous can let them re-roll. After the charge, they can do D3 mortal wounds each.

In a Befouling Host army, they become battlelines so you could have a unit with 2 or 3 of them, but they mostly work well individually.

Wizards and Priests in Nurgle

Fecula Flyblown and the Wurmspat

Nurgle has no priests, he spreads his boons to anyone worshipping him without priesthood requirement, however if you do need priests, you can use Skaven Plague Priests or Slaves to Darkness priests.

Of the various wizards available to Nurgle, The Great Unclean One, Rotigus and The Glottkin are double casters (meaning they can cast, dispel or unbind twice per hero phase). Fecula Flyblown can also cast two spells in the same phase once per game.

Bloab Rotspawned is a single caster but with an innate +1 to cast and providing a -1 to cast penalty to enemy wizards. The Rotbringer Sorcerer is useful to spread disease points through endless spells and if taken as part of the Rot Coven can get up to +3 to cast.

Other wizards in this army are: Festus the Leechlord, Poxbringer Herald of Nurgle and of course any coalition unit you can add like Archaon the Everchosen.

Other units in Nurgle


The Nurglings are the last of our Nurgle Daemon units. While on paper they are a group of jovial little beings, in game terms they are terrible damagers. However, you don’t take them for their attacks, rather for the ability to be deployed directly from a terrain feature (9″ away from any enemy).

They can regenerate all their wounds each battleshock phase, but they also have only 4 wounds and a 6+ save (on top of the 5+ ward), so they are not going to last too long. Still, underestimate them and they can block more expensive units a turn too many.

Coalition units for Nurgle

All Chaos gods can use other chaos units as coalition units (better integrated than allied units), but Nurgle excels in this by recruiting Skaven as well.

Here are the armies that can be used as coalitions, but consider that most Nurgle abilities specifically require to have the Maggotkin of Nurgle keyword, for example the 5+ ward save:

  • 2 units every 4 can be Slaves to Darkness units with Mark of Chaos keyword obtaining the Nurgle keyword.
  • 1 unit every 4 can be Skaven units from Clans Pestilens.
  • 1 unit every 4 can be Beasts of Chaos units without the Tzeentch keyword and they obtain the Nurgle keyword.

Some notable coalition units used in the past are: Archaon the Everchosen, the various Chaos Lords and Chaos Sorcerer Lords.

Feculent Gnarlmaw

Endless Spells, Terrain and Start Collecting in a Nurgle Army

Nurgle does not have Endless Spells, but if you are using Rotbring Sorcerer, then you can benefit from their ability to spread disease points through Endless Spells. If that is your tactic, then you can benefit from things that reduce the enemy’s mobility, like the Soulsnare Shackles or even better the Shards of Valagharr.

The Horrorghast could be another tool in your arsenal, to prevent using Inspiring Presence and obtain more effects from those pesky disease points slowly hacking your enemy lines.

Nurgle’s terrain is the Feculent Gnarlmaw, a really corrupted tree that exemplifies what happens when Nurgle forces take root. In game, the Gnarlmaw is another way to spread disease points but most importantly, one to obtain contagion points (1 for each tree without enemies within 3″). You can have one tree in your army for free, and an extra one if you take Befouling Host subfaction or Horticulous Slimux. They can also be summoned.

Another important synergy for trees is in the Corrupted Regrowth stage of the Cycle of Corruption where tree’s contagion points are doubled.

Vanguard box Maggotkin of Nurgle

Finally, Maggotkin of Nurgle were the first to lose their Start Collecting box in place of a “Vanguard” box. This follows Warhammer 40k trend where the smaller and cheaper boxes have been replaced by fuller and more expensive boxes. It still represents a good 35% discount on the models inside and is a great box for beginners containing 1 Spoilpox Scrivener, 5 Putrid Blightkings, 10 Plaguebearers and 2 Pusgoyle Blightlords.

As we have seen above, they are all great units you may want in abundance. Even a second Spoilpox can be useful for summoning, while the Pusgoyle kit can be used to assemble the Lord of Afflictions as well.

Content of Vanguard box for Nurgle
Content of Vanguard box for Nurgle

Tactics and Final Verdict on the Maggotkin of Nurgle Army

The latest battletome for Maggotkin of Nurgle is an excellent work bringing an army that had the oldest battletome in circulation (was actually a first edition tome) to the third edition and that plays exactly as you would expect from a Nurgle army.

The current statistics for Nurgle (May 2022) see the army as a competitive one, exactly in the middle of the pack for chances of victory (around 50%) meaning they are a fair army to fight against, but still one that is able to go 5-0 in a tournament (meaning winning all 5 matches in a 2-days tournament).

They have few strategies that they can adopt and they are quite flexible, but the core of the army is a slow attrition army, with models slowly getting into position, spreading disease and really tough to eradicate. This is achieved with two important currencies to keep track (on top of the command points): the disease points and the contagion points. The first is used to give mortal wounds to the enemies every battleshock phase, the second is used to summon more daemons to replenish your army in the later stages of the battle.

There are several ways to give disease points to the enemies, but remember they can never have more than 7 at the start of the battleshock phase and after the disease roll they go back to 1. These mortal wounds are the one that will make the difference in the long run, so treasure them appropriately.

And remember, even the toughest heroes with super saves and wards, cannot negate disease points (they can still negate the mortal wounds if they have a ward or other similar system), so every little helps to chip health away.

While the army is split into Daemons and Mortals, and most synergies prefer one or the other group, there are many abilities that affect indistinctly “Maggotkin of Nurgle” meaning they can be used with either group. At the same time, it means that many coalition units, especially Slaves to Darkness, that previously benefitted from being in a Nurgle army, now have a limited purpose.

Some synergies are expressly mentioned like for example Horticulous Slimux and the Beasts of Nurgle, or Spoilpox Scrivener and the Plaguebearers, some can be easily found like increasing wounds characteristics on Plaguebearers or Blightkings, providing you with enough inspiration to have fun creating different rosters.

Right now there’s no single way to play Nurgle that is more efficient than others. If you prefer ambushing tactics, you have two different options, one with flying models (with the Lord of Afflictions) and one for Mortals (with Gutrot Spume, limited to the battlefield edge).

If you want to inundate your enemy with meat, Plaguebearers are your way to go. If you prefer a more elite army, you can use Pusgoyle/Plague Drones and Blightkings or even Beasts of Nurgle.

For main heroes, you have several options, some are more efficient than others, but all have a role and their usage will depend on the evolution of the meta and of course of the point adjustments. Some really hot at the moment are of course the Great Unclean One, the Glottkin (both monsters), the Lord of Afflictions and Spoilpox Scrivener.

Almost every unit (only Nurglings are excluded) can become battleline, but Plaguebearers and Blightkings are great options, so you can never go wrong.

The only small flaw, if we want to find one, is that there is no non-hero monster options, and even among the heroes, only the Great Unclean One is not a named character, meaning it is the only one who can get command traits and artefacts. A Flaming Weapon, for example, is a great tool for it, but also the Witherstave. As monster heroes can perform Heroic Actions AND Monstrous Rampages, they are extremely versatile and powerful but also quite expensive in general, therefore having a separate unit that performs only one of the functions could have been an interesting alternative.

Overall Maggotkin of Nurgle is a great and fun army to play, of course if the aesthetic intrigues you, with a range wide enough to provide you options without feeling too much redundancy.

Other resources

Some excellent information that we often use from articles like this one comes from YouTube channels like Warhammer Weekly with Vince Venturella, AoS Coach and of course The Honest Wargamer.

If you are interested in the competitive standpoint, when we talk about statistics, a tremendous effort is done by Rob from the Honest Wargamer, Ziggy and Tsports Network! in the AoS Stat Centre with precious information, constantly kept up to date.

Really good informative material is also collected by Dan from AoS Shorts.