Because nurglings weren't tall enough to hurt big things or smart enough to count diseases, Papa Nurgle decided to give his most well-behaved kids arms, legs, rusted swords and big brains for numbering sores, pustules and festering wounds. They sit at tables counting and naming all sorts of disgusting things and unlike most of Nurgle's daemons, they are somber and focused on their work, and even in battle they incessantly count the number of people they've killed. They represent the futility of mankind's obsession with bringing order from chaos. They document the gifts of Nurgle, and the constant droning chant of their findings inflicts the diseases described within the chant on all who hear it. Your average plaguebearer (judging from the models and artwork featuring them) is almost nine feet tall and looks like the corpse of a drowned human with almost skeletal limbs, two-toed feet (or three-toed feet), a horn (or three), and a single eye (or three, but only if arranged like Nurgle's symbol).
In 40k these guys were the second hardest thing to kill right behind Plague Marines, but in 7th edition changed them up a bit. They're not nearly as durable, but they're a lot cheaper, and gain shrouded, giving them staying power when in cover comparable to the old version. They still excel at holding objectives, especially those in cover (2+ cover save in ruins, without having to go to ground), but are otherwise a mixed bag. They are 9 point infantry that can literally kill ANYTHING in the game, but that doesn't change the fact that small groups of them struggle in combat against guardsmen.
In 8th Edition these blokes are even more shit. They've lost Shrouded, which has been replaced with Cloud of Flies, definitely not nearly as useful as it only provides a -1 to-hit modifier for enemy attacks and only if there are 20 or more Plaguebearers in the unit. Similar to AoS except it's -1 for both melee and shooting attacks. While they have the usual 5+ Invulnerability and Disgustingly Resilient (5+ FNP) they are only T4 with 1 wound. The good news is Plagueswords allow you to reroll any failed wound rolls (tho again this is a nerf from previous incarnations), and Daemonic Icons can be interesting as rolling a 1 on any Morale test lets you add D6 additional Plaguebearers to the unit. Instruments of Chaos just add 1" to any Advance/Charge rolls.
In Age of Sigmar, Plaguebearers serve as the ultimate tarpit. Their abilities not only effectively give them TWO SAVES (one save against mortal wounds as well), being near a HERO OF NURGLE lets them reroll 1s from their first save. Combined with units of 20+ giving -1 to hit them in melee and -2 for ranged means they can easily hold their ground for the entire battle, even against mortal wound-centered armies.
- Epidemius is the Tallyman of Nurgle, his most favored plaguebearer. A regular Herald of Nurgle on the tabletop aside from his Tally. Every turn that passes, it will make you more and more annoying and your opponent will rage, devoting a lot of aggression to getting rid of this palanquin-riding fatboy. Unless he's playing Grey Knights, in which case you shouldn't even be playing with him. Once legendary-- Epidemus's tally once actually allowed Plague Marines to fire bolters with AP "ignores armor saves" and granted them a 3+ feel no pain. These days are over, as the power of Nurgle wanes... But Nurgle's power always returns...
- Horticulous Slimux (or "Old Sour-Seed", as the Nurglings call him when he's not around) is rumored to be the oldest of all of Nurgle's daemons. As the Grand Cultivator, he's in charge of maintaining the Garden of Nurgle. Aiding him in this is his mount, the giant snail Mulch. So far he only has rules in Age of Sigmar, being part of the Blightwar boxed set, but he'll be playable for the first time in 40k with the release of the Chaos Daemon codex.
Herald of Nurgle
Basically what happens when a lesser daemon earns an upgrade by basically being the teacher's pet. Daemonic Heralds are exalted Lesser Daemons who have gained the favor of their Gods, often leading Daemonic armies into battle.
Uniquely among daemons, plaguebearers are formed from the souls of mortals, specifically, from the victims of Nurgle's Rot. As the victim grows physically sicker, his soul begins to decay as well, forming a monstrous pod-like structure in Nurgle's garden which breaks open to form a new plaguebearer as soon as the victim either accepts Nurgle's "gifts" or succumbs to the disease… whichever comes first.
The souls of mortals which survive the longest before finally giving into Nurgle's Rot go on to form the Heralds of Nurgle. The most common variant of which is the Poxbringer. These larger, more powerful Plaguebearers often lead armies of their kind and sometimes mount Rot Flies to form squadrons of Plague Drones.
The one you want to bring if you want to make your standard Plaguebearer even more mindbogglingly hard to kill.
One of the most common variants and the one that is the most sensibly named. Poxbringers are a type of Herald of Nurgle and are the most common lieutenants of the Great Unclean Ones, in the Chaos God's Daemonic armies. They stand taller and broader than the Plaguebearers that surround them and project an air of malign authority, which help ensure the Great Unclean Ones' orders are carried out to the letter and allow a more cohesive and tactical mindset.
In battle the Poxbringers wield their Baleswords with prodigious strength, to hack down the enemy's champions and sorcerers, while also unleashing their own special versions of unclean spells to corrupt and despoil.
Poxbringers, like most Heralds of Nurgle, possess a strength and hardiness that belies their rotten frames, as well as a jovial nature somewhat at odds with the world-weary aspect of their droning minions.
Sloppity Bilepipers are a type of Herald of Nurgle, that perfectly sum up the repugnant jollity of the Plague God. Essentially a Nurglite Harlequin.
The Sloppity Bilepipers have a ridiculous name, and are ridiculous enough to match: they're jesters that spread a disease that can make you laugh yourself to death (The disease itself is called the Chortling Murrain, and the Heralds are themselves also the victims and carriers of the disease) and any Plaguebearer that is deemed incompetent is turned into one as a punishment; when the disease goes into remission, they're transformed into a musical instrument for the next Sloppity Bilepiper to use. They'd be right at home in the Carnival of Chaos.
Sloppity Bilepipers cavort and joke with Nurglings, Great Unclean Ones and Beasts of Nurgle (but not Plaguebearers, who lack a sense of humor) and their appearance on the battlefield strikes both a lethal amount of Wat and Lulz into the hearts of their mortal foes.
Their equipment are crafted with a set of jolly gutpipes and a marotter.
If you thought regular Plaguebearers lacked a sense of humor, the Spoilpox beats them to the ground. Spoilpox Scriveners are a type of Herald of Nurgle, that are downright dour creatures when compared to the Plague God's other Daemons.
Whereas the Sloppity Bilepipers entertain both the enemies of Nurgle and Nurgle's children with plenty of joy, the Spoilpox Scriveners on the other hand are in charge of making sure Plaguebearers meet their tallies. To aid them in this, they have a gigantic mouth to fling abuse and insults to their minions. This causes the Plaguebearers to fight even harder and makes them a strategic linchpin in Nurgle's armies.
Their constant bitching and whining is helped with their access of a giant fucking mouth-trunk that would look not so out of place in a set for Little Shop of Horrors.
It is said their only pleasure in existence is in catching one of their underlings slacking off so they can yell at him. Yeah, they're almost as butthurt and unnecessarily pissed off as the Rot Flies.
|Forces of the Death Guard|
|Leaders:|| Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Sorcerer - Chaos Champion |
Malignant Plaguecaster - Plague Surgeon - Tallymen
|Troops:|| Biologus Putrifier - Blightlord Terminator - Chaos Spawn - Deathshroud |
Foul Blightspawn - Noxious Blightbringer - Plague Marines - Possessed
|Vehicles:||Chaos Land Raider - Helbrute - Plaguereaper - Predator - Rhino|
|Flyers:||Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Thunderhawk|
| Blight Drone - Defiler - Foetid Bloat-Drone |
Myphitic Blight-Hauler - Plague Hulk - Plagueburst Crawler
|Daemons:||Beast of Nurgle - Nurgling - Plaguebearer|
|Auxiliaries:||Cultists - Pestigors - Plague Zombie - Poxwalkers|
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|