Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Nurgle

From 1d4chan

This is the general tactics page on how to play Nurgle in Total War: WARHAMMER.

Why Play Nurgle?[edit]

  • Because you've always wanted to take a cannon to the gut and say "I'm sorry, did something hit me?"
  • You will be a tanky menace. Burning through you is going to be a massive pain in the face for most factions.
  • Because you want to worship Chaos but not be a COMPLETE asshole.
  • Saying you worship Nurgle is the perfect cover for your horrible B.O. (No it isn't take a fucking shower.)
  • You enjoy the irony of playing the God of Disease during/after a certain global pandemic. Bonus points if you actually had it. Double bonus if you were asymptomatic like a true favored one.


  • Durability: You will likely be one of the tankiest factions in the entire game. With high health, defense and regeneration on most of your units you will be a monstrous pain in the ass for most faction to cut through. Plus lore of Nurgle can heal and make your army even tankier.
  • Morale: Nurgle is about toughing it out even when you're a walking mass of pustules and tumors, expect high leadership if not outright unbreakability.
  • Poison Aplenty: It'd be a sin if Poison wasn't common in your roster, helping you carve through enemies and make it even harder to take you out.
  • Debuffs: The mark of Nurgle gave a reduced chance to hit on the table top, which will likely translate to some nurgle units giving reduced melee attack to units they're in contact with. As such the enemy units will rarely be fighting at full strength. Your plagues can also provide plenty of debuffs, speaking of which...
  • Plagues: It is Nurgle, the god of disease, and despair. He can spread plagues better than the Skaven can, allowing you to spread corruption very fast, and soften up enemies and settlements before you pick them off the map like ripe rotting fruit from Nurgle's garden. For the cultists that understand Grandfather Nurgle's love, expect powerful boosts instead from receiving a plague.


  • Slow: Don't expect to be going anywhere fast. Most factions are probably going to have you beat when it comes to mobility so try and get into the meatgrinder as fast as you can.
  • Weakness to Fire: With all that Regen comes a weakness to fire, so any faction that has plentiful access to it is going to be your bane. High Elves, Dwarfs, Tzeentch, and really any faction with Lore of Fire may be a rough time.
  • Lack of Ranged: I mean, Tzeentch aside Chaos isn't known for being strong in the ranged department, but unlike you they at least have options. Your only unit dedicated to ranged combat is the Soul Grinder. Some units have Death Heads as a precursor attack, but good luck out shooting Elves with only that.
  • Lack of Offense: Sure the enemy won't be killing you quickly, but you aren't going to be killing them that much faster. Melee Attack and charge will likely be low for your units. Debuffs will probably be there to make up for it, but expect to either have to rely on monster or magic to delete enemies or prepare yourself for the grind.
  • Give papa Nurgle a hug! I promise it's not contagious!: Very few factions are willing to align themselves with the literal personification of plague. Besides the Skaven who also personify it, and your mortal followers in the Beastmen, Norsca, and Warriors, you are unlikely to have too many diplomatic options.
  • DLC: Call it a safe bet. Every core race before you had units cut for DLC and you will be no exception. You have the fewest mortal units of all the Monogods, and the two you do have are straight up recolors, so expect Blightkings, Bile Trolls and others in the future.

Faction Traits[edit]

  • Cloud of Flies: A trait shared by all of your Daemon Units. As your Daemons stay in melee combat, they actively gain Melee Defense, encouraging leaving them in to grind it out against the enemy. As you are supposed to be the tanky Daemon faction, this encourages you to stay in and outlast the enemy as opposed to outfight them. While this doesn't encourage you to be completely passive, it does mean that you don't really need to do any complex pull out game or maneuvers. Not exactly the most complex faction passive in the entire game, but one that does fit the playstyle that Nurgle wants to go for.
  • Daemonic: Undead with extra steps, really. Once your daemonic units lose enough leadership, they'll begin to lose health and fade back into the Warp in the same vein that undead units crumble away. The good news is that even if your daemons are doomed to evaporate, they'll at least stick in and fight to the last model.


Legendary Lords[edit]

  • Ku'gath Plaguefather: The one and only. He's a spellcaster of Nurgle (duh) and also works as artillery here like on tabletop. Big Ku'gath has 14,800 HP(!), but is expectantly VERY slow. Like 28 speed slow, Hierotians can outpace this guy. His slow speed combined with only 70 armor means that he will actually be rather susceptible to skirmish fire. While this may sound bad, again, mother fucker has 14k HP and ranged attacks so he should be able to weather the storm and pelt and skirmishers that come his way. Can also summon a unit of Nurglings that have a suicide explosion ability.

Generic Lords[edit]

  • Exalted Great Unclean One: The generic lord equivalent of the standard Great Unclean One. This blubber butt is a massive regenerating wall of slime with access to poison attacks and the Lores of Nurgle and Death. Wields a giant bell mace in one hand and a plagueflail in the other. It'll be slow. Like, I'm talking Hierotitan and Giant levels of slow. I mean if you want to out run your opponent why the hell are you playing Nurgle? This thing will be a tanky monstrosity that should be able to hold out for a while against almost anything.
  • Herald of Nurgle: Nurgle's secondary generic lord option, also a caster with Lore of Nurgle or Lore of Death. Unlike Exalted GUO he has a bit more mobility, being able to ride both a Palanquin and a much faster Rot Fly. Durable, but nothing compared to the EGUO. Will work better vs ranged heavy factions like vampire coast/cathay who can easily shoot a EGUO to pieces.


Legendary Heroes[edit]

Generic Heroes[edit]

  • Plagueridden: The hero version of the Herald so you can have it if you want the Great Unclean One as your leader. Can ride on a Rot Fly or a Palanquin of Nurgle.
  • Cultist of Nurgle: Your primary spreader of Nurgle's Love, can move onto enemy or neutral armies or settlements to spread a plague, at the cost of the Cultist.



  • Nurglings: The first real swarm unit in the game. While there are technically only 60 models in a unit, those models consist of roughly 5-6 Nurglings meaning theres roughly 300 of these little shits in the same unit. In terms of use, they're chaff and look to be damn good chaff at that. They have vanguard in order to block the enemy attack and mostly just exist to waste the enemy time and wear them down. They also have the ability to set off suicide bombs, though this may be limited to summoned nurglings only
  • Plaguebearers: The bread and butter of your armies. As slow as zombies and minimally armored, but decent melee stats, regeneration/poison, and a fuckheug HP pool means they'll hold for ages and grind most basic infantry to dust through attrition.
  • Forsaken: Basically the same as Forsaken in other armies. They are faster, have frenzy, cause fear and are immune to psychology, but are much more fragile compared to the Plaguebearers. Their best use here is as a hammer, at least until you recruit Spawn.
  • Exalted Plaguebearers: Aside from being a standard upgrade, they have the ability to throw a smaller versions of the Plague Drone’s Death’s Heads at foes as they approach, similar to Dwarf Miners and Chameleon Stalkers.



  • Plague Toads: A surprising addition from the Forge World Throne of Chaos book, but a cool one non the less. Much slower than other cavalry, being giant amphibians and all, but have a very high charge bonus and do well against infantry.
  • Plague Drone: An oddity for this faction, being not only fast fliers, but have armour piercing as well. Comes in two variants, standard melee (essentially an upgrade of rot flies) and a ranged version that tosses Death’s Heads at their foes.
  • Pox Rider: Essentially just an upgrade to the Plague Toads, only with Plaguebearers on top of them instead.



  • Chaos Furies (Nurgle): Same as normal Furies with poison attacks, which will likely make them the best furies in prolonged combat. One of the fastest units in your army and will probably pair well with Nurglings for Vanguard shenanigans.
  • Chaos Spawn (Nurgle): Aside from having regeneration, they are faster and killier than most other grounded troops in the army. Use them instead of Forsaken if you can.
  • Beasts of Nurgle: A big adorable puppy of a single entity unit. Able to slow down units behind and in contact with it, their regen makes them weak to fire, but resistant to Death spells, so use them to blob up infantry for your Lore of Death casters to mop up.
  • Rotflies: Riderless Rotflies. They appear to be melee only, using their flight speed and armour piercing to harass enemy back lines. Use them as a replacement for Furies.
  • Soul Grinder of Nurgle: Looks and acts like a 40K Plague Hulk, only replace the sword with a claw. Essentially the only other artillery the faction has aside from Ku’gath, and definitely the only long-ranged unit you can get more than one of.
  • Great Unclean One: Nurgle's big bulbous boys of mass and rot capable of withstanding the blast from a hell cannon and shrug it off. Considering how Khorne and Tzeentch got their greater daemons as unites, it was inevitable that Nurgle would get his. These jolly green giants are casters of the lore of Nurgle and the massive swords they wield can shear through armour.


Multiplayer Strategies[edit]

You are designed to pretty much out last everyone you fight against, as your Nurglings and Plaguebearers hold the line so your monsters and army abilities give the enemy a slow death. Poison and debuffs are aplenty in your army as you drown the enemies in their own sickness. However, you had best pray your enemies are Anti Vaxxers because if they practice social distancing, it'll be hard for you to do your job. The fastest thing in your army are toad monsters and fat bugs, so yeah you're not exactly a speed demon. Combine that with your lack of ranged units and kiting builds in particular might end up being a big problem for you. Still, if you are able to get into melee, expect the plagues to slowly melt them down. Now go out there and make Papa Nurgle proud!

  • Dwarfs: Ku'gath's traditional nemeses and for good reason. They might be as slow as you are but they have a ton of range and easy access to fire damage. Make good use of your Rotflies, Furies, Pox Riders, and Forsaken because you need to close the distance as fast as possible, otherwise Dwarf cannons will turn your army into bubbling puddles of green paste.
  • Nurgle:
  • Tzeentch: It's a safe bet that this will be a very unpleasant matchup for you. Tzeentch will control the skies, your fliers are no match for his even if he doesn't bring a flying lord of change. The plodding movement speed of most of your army means you won't be able to chase down Tzeentch's speedier units and keep them from abusing barrier regeneration with hit + run attacks. Worst of all, your enemy has access to an absurd amount of fire damage, so kiss goodbye to regeneration. Best advice for a theoretical matchup is to suicide screen your army with nurglings and bring plague toads/pox riders to trap cycle chargers. Minimize losses by blocking with fodder, spreading out to reduce units hit by breath/vortex spells, and spamming fleshy abundance heals from the Lore of Nurgle. Winds of magic are a finite resource and most of Tzeentch's ranged units don't have much ammo so eventually he will have to close to melee and fight you in your element. You'll have the game in the bag if you keep enough of your army alive until then.
  • Wood Elves: Yeah... good luck ever catching these guys. Kite builds seem like they're going to counter Nurgle hard and this is the best kiting army in the game. Nurglings might actually be a must bring in this match up as their vanguard will allow them to ambush any archer unit and tie them up for Furies to finish them off. Rot Flies and Plague Drones may prove useful as their speed will let them catch up to any running units, though they will be an easy target for missiles. Another must bring might be the Soul Grinder, as Wayawtchers get shut down by artillery and it will be able to defend itself against any cavalry that might come its way. We don't know how fast Plague Toads will be, but they may be a cheap way of tying down units. This might end up being one of those "Avoid at all costs" match ups.
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