Grandfather Nurgle is the benevolent Chaos God of plagues and diseases spreading his “gifts” to everyone, willing or not. The Rotbringers are Nurgle’s chosen, blessed with his boons from a vast array of mortal followers. Are you ready to spread Nurgle’s blessing in the Eightpoints?
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What changed in Warcry: Agents of Chaos for the Rotbringers Gallowbands?
Note: The new Warcry books released with Tome of Champions 2020 brought some changes in how Thralls, Monsters but especially Allies work. The roster of available leaders has been massively increased and it’s now possible to use more than one as a “Hero” (1 in matched play and up to 3 in a Narrative campaign).
Link to the 4 new books:
– Warcry: Sentinels of Order (all Order warbands updated)
– Warcry: Harbingers of Destruction (all Destruction warbands updated)
– Warcry: Agents of Chaos (all non-warcry specific Chaos warbands updated)
– Warcry: Bringers of Death (all death warbands updated)
In the Agents of Chaos book, Nurgle Rotbringers Gallowbands saw their numbers double in size like a pestilence at its peak: from 5 to 11, with the addition of 5 new leaders.
The new fighters are:
- Lord of Afflictions
- Lord of Blights
- Lord of Plagues
- Harbinger of Decay
- Rotbringer Sorcerer
- Putrid Blightking with Filth-Encrusted Shield
The new abilities are: Thrice-ripened Death’s Head, Stream of Corruption and Rotsword Stab.
Background and Lore of the Nurgle Rotbringers Warband
Nurgle is called Grandfather by his followers because he distributes his gifts equally. He rejoices in death and decay because from rot and corpses new life can bloom in form of maggots, parasites, flies, etc. He is akin to the Goddess of Life Alarielle, and as such he long coveted her realm Ghyran, until Sigmar rescued her and together closed the main entrance of Nurgle’s armies in the Realm of Life.
Many populations surrendered to Nurgle seeing in his blessing what other gods denied them by abandoning them. The most zealous and worth of those warriors receive personal boons from Nurgle and become his chosen, the Rotbringers. Nurgle does not thrive in military conquest, his chosen are people who forsake other Chaos Gods while infected in the hope of surviving or loyal followers that poisoned cities or fortresses by bringing disease and plague to those that dared to defy Nurgle.
The most talented commanders become Lords of Nurgle and guide the Rotbringers to battle. The Putrid Blightkings are the chosen warriors, hulking bodies ridden with festering wounds, parasites and spilling innards that know no pain nor fatigue.
The most courageous of those warriors undergo a rite called the Feast of Maggots: they willingly get infected with a maggot that will devour his host within 7 days. In that time the Blighking needs to find 77 followers of the other Chaos gods and infect them with the same curse. If he succeeds, he will be blessed with renovated vigour and a Rot Fly. Those cavaliers are thereupon known as Pusgoyle Blightlords.
Nurgle has a particular interest in the Eightpoints, as an important gateway to spread his gifts to all other realms and as an important laboratory for development of new diseases.
But Nurgle Rotbringers Gallowbands are wise enough to not attack directly the centre of power but rather slowly corrupt everything they touch biding their time.
But how do the Nurgle Rotbringers play on the tabletop in Warcry? If you have the stomach to continue, let’s have a look at the most disgusting details.
Overview and Points for the Fighters in the Nurgle Rotbringers Warband
Maggotkin of Nurgle Rotbringers warband is made from 2 kits with 5 options of which 1 is a leader.
Lord of Plagues: 205 points
The Lord of Plagues is the heavy hitter of the warband with Strength 5 and 3/5 damage. 32 Wounds and Toughness 4 guarantee him some longevity too.
He does not have special abilities however and does cost a fifth of the warband. He can use Virulent Discharge for a Double allowing a chance to do extra damage to an injured fighter already engaged, or Grandfather’s Blessing that allows to add 1 to the Strength characteristic of all friendly fighters within 6″.
The average Strength of the warband is 4, so this warband does not necessarily depend on this ability as much as Daemons, but increasing it by 1 can ensure more hits against the toughest opponents.
Lord of Blights: 210 points
The Lord of Blight loses 1 in Strength (4) and damage on normal hit (2/5) compared to the Lord of Plagues, but adds Toughness (5) and the special Double Thrice-ripened Death’s Hand.
Despite being a mouthful name, the ability is not impressive providing an unreliable way to damage an enemy within 6″: roll 2 dice, on each 4-5 allocate 1 damage, on each 6 as much as the value of the ability. The generic Virulent Discharge, while having a lower maximum potential, on average can do more damage.
As all leaders on foot he has 3″ Movement and as all of them has access to Grandfather’s Blessing to increase Strength by 1 to friendly fighters in range.
Rotbringer Sorcerer: 165 points
The Sorcerer, with a Sorceress model available as well now, excels in debuffs: on a 5+ for each dice rolled (up to 6) damage by 1 an enemy fighter and reduce the Toughness by 1 (to a minimum of 1).
It triggers on a 5+ but it does cost a Double and has a comfortable 9″ range allowing to target a specific fighter and making him softer for your other minions’ weapons.
If you can’t increase your Strength bring down their Toughness, but since Nurgle is generous, now you can do both at the same time given two heroes or two activations.
A strong Toughness 6 opponent that would normally shrug off most attacks, can now be brought down to Toughness 4 or even less, and with the chance of bringing the warband’s Strength to 5, it means you can end up for one turn from hitting on a 5+ to hit on a 3+, while maintaining the usually high amount of Attacks (4).
The Sorcerer weapon profile has still another surprise: the only ranged option available in the Gallowband. 2 Attacks at 7″ range for 3/6 damage can allow the Sorcerer to spread his boons while keeping a safe distance.
Should he be engage, 3 Attacks for 1/4 damage can scratch few opponents, but with Toughness 3 and 22 Wounds he is going down fast.
Harbinger of Decay: 195 points
The Harbinger of Decay is another debuffer. For a Triple he can make a bonus attack and if he scores a critical (on 3 Attacks) he then has a chance (on a 4+) to reduce permanently the opponent movement by 1″ for each success.
Another extremely thematic ability, considering is on one of the fastest unit in the Gallowbands (6″) who can reduce the speed of running enemies enough for the rest of the warband to catch up.
The Harbinger has 2″ range weapon that allows to keep distance while attacking so he can preserve for longer his 25 Wounds on Toughness 4.
2/4 damage on Strength 4 means that he can put on a fight when is needed and otherwise use his movement to get in the right position in case is necessary to use Grandfather’s Blessing.
- Putrid Blightking Blightlord: 190 points
- Putrid Blightking with Filth-encrusted Shield: 145 points
- Putrid Blightking with Sonorous Tocsin: 145 points
- Putrid Blightking Icon Bearer: 140 points
- Putrid Blightking with Blighted Weapons: 135 points
The Putrid Blightkings represent most of your army: slow but resilient with 3” movement, Toughness 4 and 25 wounds (30 for the Blightlord). They have similar weapon profiles but at least two have a special ability that differentiates it from the others.
The Putrid Blightlord has 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 2/5 damage that makes him a hard nut to crack with a punch back. He has access to Grandfather’s Blessing, to increase by 1 the Strength of nearby units, bringing it to 5, that should be more than enough.
The Putrid Blightking with Sonorous Tocsin has 2” range for 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 1/4 damage. His special ability, Toll the Sonorous Tocsin, provides a bonus +1 Move within a 6” radius. While this ability is useful especially on the first round and with correct placement, the universal ability Rush already provides a +1 Move until the end of the battle round. To prefer this ability over Rush you need to have more than 1 unit benefitting from it and ensure both movements start within the 6” range.
The Putrid Blightking Icon Bearer has 3 attacks at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage and his special ability for a Triple provides +1 Toughness to all friendly fighters within 6”. At Toughness 5 now and with high wounds this warband can shrug off most horde units.
The Putrid Blightking with Blighted Weapon has the same weapon profile of the Icon Bearer and no special ability for 5 points less.
While the one with Filth-encrusted Shield loses one Attack compared to the Icon Bearer, but increases the Toughness to 5.
- Lord of Afflictions: 290 points
- Pusgoyle Blightlord: 245 points
The Pusgoyle Blithglords represents the winged army of this warband. With a flying movement of 6” they are also the fastest unit available and 40 Wounds (42 for the Lord of Afflictions) with Toughness 4 makes them extremely resistant.
With 2” range and 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 2/5 damage (3/5 for the Lord), they can hit enemies without being engaged, however their special ability, Venomous Sting, requires the enemy unit to be within 1”. For a Double on a 2+ they can prevent that unit from disengaging or moving for the rest of the battle round.
As all units of this warband for a Double they can do also extra damage (50% each die) or recuperate wound with a Quad.
The Lord of Affliction is the most expensive fighter in the warband with a profile of a heavy hitter able to take more than a punch.
Abilities for Nurgle Rotbringers
- Virulent Discharge (Double, Everyone): A chance (on a 4+) to allocate up to 6 damage to an engaged enemy.
- Venomous Sting (Double, Pusgoyle Blightlord and Lord of Afflictions): Pick a visible enemy fighter within 1” and roll a die: on a 2+ that unit cannot make move or disengage actions until the end of the battle round.
- Toll the Sonorous Tocsin (Double, Putrid Blightking with Sonorous Tocsin): Add 1 to the Move characteristic of friendly fighters that start the action within 6”.
- Thrice-ripened Death’s Hand (Double, Lord of Blights): A chance to do some random damage depending on ability value and dice roll (up to 12) to a 6″ away fighter.
- Stream of Corruption (Double, Rotbringer Sorcerer): A chance (on a 5+) to do up to 6 damage and reduce by 6 the Toughness (to a minimum of 1) of an enemy within 9″.
- Blighted Icon (Triple, Putrid Blightking Icon Bearer): Add 1 to the Toughness characteristic of friendly fighters within 6”.
- Grandfather’s Blessing (Triple, Putrid Blightlord): Add 1 to the Strength characteristic of melee weapons for all friendly fighters within 6”.
- Rotsword Stab (Triple, Harbinger of Decay): Perform a bonus attack and for each critical hit on a 4+ reduce permanently of 1″ the Movement of the opponent fighter.
- Unnatural Regeneration (Quad, Everyone): Remove up to 12 wounds if the fighter is not engaged.
Strategy and Tactics for Nurgle Rotbringers
Nurgle Rotbringers Gallowband is an elite warband extremely resilient as you would expect from a Nurgle army. There are few models available, but this also means almost everything is contained in the Start Collecting box for some savings.
The choice of leaders increased in the last book allowing you to choose between a flying hulking monster (Lord of Affliction), heavy hitters choosing between higher Attacks (Blightlord) or higher Strength (Lord of Plagues) and specific debuffers (Sorcerer and Harbinger).
Where Nurgle Daemons excel in synergies buffing their own unit, Nurgle Rotbringers prefer to obtain the same results debuffing the opponent: from the Sorcerer’s Stream of Corruption sapping away the Toughness of target enemies, to the Rotsword Stab of the Harbinger reducing their Movement.
They are not guaranteed but they are useful weapons in your arsenal that would force your opponent to decide how to handle the,/
The units’ costs are also similar meaning that you may end up with a big gap in your roster if you don’t calculate accurately.
Pusgoyles, for example, are expensive but not only they are the fastest model available, they can also fly allowing you to reach places otherwise inaccessible with the base 3” movement of the rest of the warband. Movement can be increased with the Sonorous Tocsin (for a Double) adding 1 to every move starting within 6” of the initiator. This requires accurate positioning or would end up redundant compared to the universal Rush.
Another expensive ability is Unnatural Regeneration that, for a Quad, doubles the result of Respite (costs a Triple and heals up to 6 damage). In certain situations where you need a unit to survive to the next round, you may be able to use the Quad efficiently, but in a warband with 25 to 40 wounds with Toughness 4 what you suffer the most are the critical hits and this could not be enough.
Toughness is another value that can be increased with the Blighted Icon for a Triple. Now with Toughness 5 (or 6 for the Blightking with Shield), only the strongest units in the game can go toe to toe with them and the others will need to rely on critical hits.
The last buff available to these units is Strength when Grandfather’s Blessing is used by a leader for a Triple. Increasing the Strength of the closer units to 5 ensures high percentage of successful hits and with a minimum damage of 2 even without 6s the damage output becomes extremely relevant.
Now, while technically not impossible (could be pulled off in the third round by keeping all wild dice and a bit of luck), it would be extremely rare but you could have a 6” bubble of +1 Movement, Toughness and Strength. Just two triples would give you the +1 Strength and Toughness required to make a battle round a walk in the park, and that is more achievable.
Where this warband will struggle is to reach the furthest objectives or control them with numeric superiority. Or to chase fast opponents around the table with their limited movement and no ranged attacks. For the rest you should shrug off most nuisances and hit hard pointing to clear the table from the weakest units before sitting on the objectives.
Pros and cons of Nurgle Rotbringers
+ Elite units
+ Ultra resilient
– Low mobility
– No ranged options
Some thematic warbands for Rotbringers Gallowbands
Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to control at least two territories before mustering your first hero.
Maggotkin of Nurgle: Putrid Blightlord, 1 Pusgoyle Blightlord and 4 Putrid Blightking: with Sonorous Tocsin, Icon Bearer, with Filth-encrusted Sheild and with Blighted Weapons. All conveniently in the Start Collecting.
Fly my little Pony… of Decay: A Lord of Affliction, 2 Pusgoyle Blightlords and 1 Harbinger of Decay for a consistent 6″ Movement across the entire warband.
How to buy the a Nurgle Rotbringers Warband for Warcry
Most of the warband is contained in the Start Collecting! Maggotkin of Nurgle that contains a Lord of Blights, 2 Pusgoyle Blightlords (one can be assembled as a Lord of Affliction) and 5 Putrid Blightkings. All different Blightkings profiles are included in the box and do not detract from the correct use of that unit in an Age of Sigmar game.
If you are interested in some alternative Blightking models, then the new Warhammer Underworld warband “The Wurmspat” provides 2 alternative sculps for £22.5 plus a Rotbringer Sorcereress (and at the end of this season those warbands are sold even cheaper without cards).
Tips on painting Nurgle Rotbringers for Warcry
Nurgle armies are perfect beginner’s armies because they do not require precision, on the contrary the messier the better. In saying so you may want to follow some guidance, Warhammer Community updated their guide with the new battle ready tutorials for classic and contrast method.
There’s plenty of other tutorials like this from Pete the Wargamer. For the Rot Fly you can find details like the wings or if you have an airbrush this tutorial. Alternatively, you can also have a look at the newest Wurmspat warband tutorial.