The New Warhammer Age of Sigmar Maggotkin of Nurgle Battletome review.
OH MY DAYS !!!! the new Maggotkin of Nurgle battletome is finally here and it is my absolute pleasure to be writing this article, giving you the reader, a rundown of all the new and disgusting changes to one of my favourite factions in Age of Sigmar.
So first off I want to thank Games Workshop for sending us a copy free of charge to review, needless to say it made my week when this battletome arrived.
I’d also like to remind all readers that you can pre order your copy from Element Games and get your copy of the new Maggotkin of Nurgle battletome and support us at the same time.
So let me start off by saying that I am a huge Maggotkin of Nurgle fan ever since their previous battletome came out almost 4 years ago now. I started building and painting Blight Kings, the Glottkin and Orghots Daemonspew during the end times of Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition and something about them just stuck with me.
I’ve found the models even now are great fun to build, paint and play with, having amassed over 5,000 points in the old battletome clearly I was slightly obsessed with them.
I found that with the previous Maggotkin of Nurgle battletome the army was very quick which never really sat well with me, they were also resilient, which as more and more battletomes came out got less resilient and lastly the army did quite well grinding the opponents army down; which again as more battletomes came out became harder and harder; all of which are things that have been updated in this new battletome.
Now I hate spoilers so I will keep this section moderately brief, we start of the lore section with an intro into Maggotkin and what they are about and an idea of who their mortal followers are or were before receiving Nurgle’s blessing. We then recap the Realm Gate Wars and nurgle’s invasion into Gyran ( realm of life) with a nice snippet about Torglug, who was a Lord of Plagues who was killed by the Celestant Prime but was sent to Azyr and became a stormcast eternal, spoilers nurgle does not forget his betrayal.
There is a few pages dedicated to explaining what the followers of Nurgle have been up to since the Realm Gate Wars which was pretty interesting and we saw some of this in the Broken Realms Teclis book, this section takes up 4 pages and is really interesting.
We also get small sections explaining the organisation of Maggotkin armies both mortal and daemons and the different plague legions / contagiums which again was really cool to read, the rest of the narrative section is taken up with unit entries explaining the different units and what their roles are….. I love the Sloppity Bilepiper lore.
So this part of the battletome for me is simply amazing, you can clearly tell that these allegiance abilities were designed to make Maggotkin of Nurgle resilient and more of a win the war of attrition army which is how I imagine a Maggotkin army would be.
Plague Legions and Contagiums
So in the book there are 6 Plague legions / Contagiums (which are the Maggotkin’s version of hosts or tribes), some of which we saw in the Wrath of the Everchosen book but they have had the same treatment that we saw in the Stormcast Eternals and Orruk Warclans battletomes, where each has only a special rule and nothing else. I love this trend as it doesn’t lock you into specific artefacts or command traits, so here we go.
- Munificent Wanderers – If an enemy unit is within 3″ of a friendly Plague bearer host unit that has 10 or more models then at the end of the movement or combat phase, it receives 2 disease points instead of 1 for being within 3″…… more on this later but this is pretty good.
- Befouling Host – A Befouling Host army that has a Daemon general can include 2 Feculent Gnarlmaws instead of 1…… this is great if you want to do a summoning list.
- Droning Guard – Subtract 1 from hit rolls that target Plague Drones units in the first battle round or when they are set up on the battlefield.
- Blessed Sons – If a Blessed Sons mortal model is slain within 1″ of an enemy unit then when the model dies roll a number of dice equal to the wounds characteristic of the model and on a roll of a 6 inflict a disease token on the enemy unit….. this is super good with an army of blight kings as they have 4 wounds a model.
- Drowned Men – After deployment but before the first battle round begins you can move Lord of Afflictions and Pusgoyle Blightlords units up to 8″…. super good if you want to go for a super aggressive list.
- Filthbringers – You can include a Rot Coven in your army ( 3 Rotbringer Sorcerer’s that are taken as a single leader choice but count as separate units for 360 points), pick one of the wizards from the coven each hero phase and they get +1 to cast, unbind or dispel with additional bonuses if more models from the same coven are within 3″ to a maximum of +3. I like this as it gives some more reliable magic but I wish the range had been longer, to get the most benefit from this they all have to be next to each other.
I love that each of the Plague Legions / Contagiums encourage a certain build which has given me ideas for loads of different Maggotkin lists, if you want to run an aggressive list then Drowned Men is great and if you want to run loads of Plague bearer’s then Munificent Wanderers is the go to.
So this ability is the perfect blend of narrative and rules on the tabletop, causing disease is something all followers of Nurgle do and this rule brings it to the tabletop and makes Maggotkin of Nurgle play like you would imagine them to.
So at the end of the movement and combat phases any enemy units that are within 3″ of a Maggotkin unit receives a diseased token (up to a maximum of 7, Nurgle’s lucky number), at the start of the battle shock phase the Maggotkin player rolls a number of dice equal to the number of tokens, and on a 4+ that enemy unit suffers a mortal wound; and then you remove all tokens except for 1.
This rule is really the only source of mortal wounds in the battletome so you want to be getting as many tokens onto enemy units as you can, there are a lot of spells, artefacts and other ways to get tokens.
This is a Nice simple rule but it will allow you to get a lot of diseased tokens,which is any unmodified hit roll for both shooting and in combat you inflict 1 disease token onto the enemy unit. Nice and simple and when you see the war scrolls there are a lot of attacks, blight kings now have 5 attacks each !!!
Healing Diseased Tokens
This is a nice little rule which I suppose is only fair, whenever an enemy unit heals a wound your opponent can choose to remove that many diseased tokens instead of healing wounds, as all characters get heroic recovery I imagine heroes are going to be doing this a lot, however if they are removing tokens then they aren’t healing either way its good for the Maggotkin player.
Legions of Chaos
This rule is just explaining how coalition units work which I believe is already out of date as there is nothing to say that coalition units cannot be battle line which the FAQ introduced so I can only assume that when the FAQ comes out in about a months time it will change.
At the minute though 2 in every 4 units can be slaves to darkness and 1 in every 4 can be either Clan Pestilens or Beasts of Chaos, however these units do not gain the Maggotkin keyword only the Nurgle keyword so I’m not sure how many units you will see unless you want to run a nice themed force.
Oh my days this is where the resilience of the book really comes through, everything ……. yes everything in the Maggotkin of Nurgle battletome has a 5+ ward save and all models auto heal 1 wound suffered at the start of the hero phase. So when I first looked at the pitched battle profiles my first reaction was that a lot of stuff is very expensive but when you consider that the whole army has a built in Amulet of Destiny the points seem more reasonable.
Locus of Fecundity
Great Unclean One’s just became a lot more ……. great, so Great Unclean One, Horticulus Slimux, The Glottkin and Festus the Leechlord all gain this rule which allows models whose unit are within 14″ to heal D3 wounds from disgustingly resilient instead of 1. Which just makes all those multi wounds models in your army even more ……. resilient.
Summoning Daemons of Nurgle
This mechanic is very similar to how it was in the previous battle tome, you get 3 contagion points (summoning points) if you have Maggotkin of Nurgle units in your territory and 3 CP if you have Maggotkin of Nurgle units in your enemy’s territory and 1 additional CP if there are no enemy units in those territories. Feculent Gnarlmaws give you 1CP at the start of your hero phase, there are command traits and spells that can also give you more so with a little bit of list building you can be summoning turn 1.
So first turn you will most likely get 5 CP unless to build your list more geared towards summoning.
- Great Unclean One 30 CP
- Plague Drones ( 3 models ) 18 CP
- Plague Bearer Host (10 models ) 14 CP
- Poxbringer Herald of Nurgle 12 CP
- Beast Of Nurgle ( 1 model ) 10 CP
- Feculent Gnarlmaw 9 CP
- Nurgling Swarm ( 3 models ) 8 CP
- Sloppity Bilepiper Herald of Nurgle 7 CP
- Spoilpox Scrivener Herald of Nurgle 7 CP
I really like this chart as the units I would really like to summon are the easiest, summoning a Sloppity Bilepiper or a Spoilpox Scrivener in turn 2 saves you about 120/130 points in your list which is great as these units are essential if your planning on running Plague Bearers.
Cycle of Corruption
There were rumours circling the around that the Cycle of Corruption was disappearing from the battletome which in some ways it has in the sense that it is completely different to what effects it gives your army. So the way it works is simple, the Maggotkin of Nurgle player rolls a dice at the start of the first battle round, that dice roll refers to the effect that occurs the whole battle round, in the next battle round you move the cycle 1 step further.
- Unnatural Vitality – All Maggotkin of Nurgle Heroes have a ward save of 4+.
- Fecund Vigour – All units are considered to be within range of a model with the locus of fecundity.
- The Burgeoning – At the start of your hero phase roll a number of dice equal to the current battle round for each 4+ you get a command point.
- Plague of Misery – Heroes that do not have the Nurgle keyword cannot carry out heroic actions and cannot issue the Rally or Inspiring Presence commands.
- Nauseous Revulsion – Subtract 1 from charge rolls for units that do not have the Nurgle keyword and enemy units that do not have the Nurgle keyword cannot pile in. This one could be huge and really adds to the resilient of the army.
- Rampant Disease – Add 1 to your disease rolls you make, so you can be doing mortals on 3+ in this battle round.
- Corrupted Regrowth – For each Feculent Gnarlmaw on the table you gain an additional contagion point. This result you cannot roll in the first battle round so you have to let the cycle move onto this result.
If both players are Maggotkin then only 1 player rolls for the start of the cycle and the result applies to both armies.
And that is all the allegiance abilities which are all amazing, each add something to the army that fits from a narrative perspective, the army is resilient and will gradually do damage over several battle rounds.
Like the Stormcast Eternals and Orruk Warclans battletomes that came before Maggotkin of Nurgle get access to a lot of enhancements in command traits, artefacts and spells.
Lords of the Rotbringers
These traits are for mortal heroes only.
- 1.Grandfather’s blessing – once per game you can move the cycle of corruption 1 step forward so a 4 becomes 5 for example.
- 2. Infernal Conduit – If your general is on the board at the start of the hero phase roll a dice on a 2-5 you get 1 contagion point and on a 6 you get D3, quite handy if you want to summon turn 1.
- 3. Living Plague – At the start of the hero phase roll a dice for each unit within 7″ and on a 2+ they get a diseased point and you get a contagion point. I like this one on a Lord of Afflictions as he can start generating those points quite quickly.
- 4. Avalanche of Rotten Flesh – When the general charges you roll a number of dice equal to the charge roll, for each 6 they suffer a mortal wound and also get that many diseased tokens.
- 5. Bloated and Corrupted – If the general rolls a 6 on their disgustingly resilient you can give an enemy unit with 3″ a diseased token.
- 6. Overpowering Stench – Enemy units within 7″ of this general cannot issue commands and enemy units wholly with 7″ cannot receive commands, with how important all out attack and all out defence is at the moment this has some serious power on the table.
I really like these as they really help to generate more disease tokens and contagion points, while also giving us some decent de buffs on enemy units. When I look at these and think about the units that I can put them on, the command traits really do buff some of the heroes and give them a key role on the table.
Avatars of Corruption
These traits are for Daemon heroes only.
- 1. Gift of the Febrile Frenzy – Once per battle at the start of combat phase give all Nurgle daemons wholly within 7″ +1 Attack.
- 2. Nurgling Infestation – Subtract 1 from hit rolls that target the bearer and nurglings wholly within 7″ get +1 to hit.
- 3. Pestilent Breath – Pick an enemy unit within 7″ and roll a number of dice equal to the number of models within 7″ and on a 5+ do a mortal wound.
While these are good traits they don’t really help your overall army and I don’t feel they have as much of an impact as the mortal ones do but are still quite good if you want to go all daemon if not I think most people will take a mortal general; but overall none of them are bad which is great.
So there are a lot of throwbacks in the artefacts sections however they have all been reworked and as always we have loads of brand new ones, there are 8 for mortal heroes and 6 for daemons, again I feel they missed a trick by not giving both 7 artefacts………..
Mortal heroes only.
- The Eye of Nurgle – Once per battle if an enemy unit within 14″ has any diseased tokens on you can roll 2D6 and if the roll is 7 the closest model in that unit is slain………. This I hate to say is one of the most disappointing artefacts as I do not think anyone will run this and have it do anything as there are sooo many variables.
- The Foetid Shroud – At the start of combat pick an enemy hero within 3″ that is not a monster and they suffer -1 to hit rolls while your army gets +1 to hit against them. A little bit situational but could be good if you want to hunt heroes.
- The Shield of Growths – You can re roll saves if the save roll is less than the number of wounds currently allocated to the hero. This could have been better as most heroes for mortals have a 4+ and 6 – 7 wounds but is pretty good on a Lord of Blights who has a 3+ save.
- Flesh Peeler – In your hero phase roll a dice for each enemy unit within 7″ and on a 4+ they suffer a disease point.
- The Splithorn helm – The bearer gains a 4+ ward save….. which is pretty good considering amulet of destiny is soooooo popular the downside is their are no Mega Gargant equivalent that can take this artefact so it’s still great but I don’t think it will be as silly.
- The Fecund Flask – Once per battle at the start of your hero phase the bearer can drink from the flask, on a 2+ they regain all of their lost wounds but on a roll of a 1 they turn into a Beast of Nurgle !!! Personally I see no downside here….
- Muttergrub – The bearer can attempt to cast the Gift of Disease spell ( more on that later) and if they are a wizard they get + 1 to cast it…. now a similar thing happened in the Sons of Behemat battletome and they FAQ it to give them the wizard keyword so it will be interesting to see if they do the same here but still really good.
- Rustfang – It’s back, I loved this artefact in the previous book, it now subtracts 1 from save rolls but only for a single enemy hero within 3″ at the start of the combat phase once per game; so it been toned down a little bit but still really good.
A bit of a mixed bag here I really like numbers 5-8 as they are very useful the others are good but don’t stand out to me and the Eye of Nurgle is soooooo bad, its a shame to an otherwise pretty good selection of artefacts.
Daemons of Nurgle heroes only.
- The Bountiful Swarm – Once per game pick an enemy model within 3″ at the start of your hero phase and roll a dice if you roll higher than their wound characteristic they are slain and replaced with a Beast of Nurgle if they had 4 or more wounds. Not a great artefact, I feel that if it were remaining wounds and not stuck to your hero phase I might consider it.
- The Endless Gift – The bearer is always treated as being within range of the Locus of Fecundity meaning they heal D3 wounds at the start of the hero phase. This artefact isn’t bad but if you take a Great Unclean One which most Maggotkin armies will it becomes a lot less useful but still good especially if you play smaller games.
- Noxious Nexus – The bearer counts as 2 units for the Diseased trait, again more tokens is always good.
- Nurgle’s Nail – This one used to do the same thing that the Eye of Nurgle does, but not any more now its really good, so you pick one of the bearers melee weapons and you inflict a disease token for every unmodified hit of a 5+ instead of a 6. Where this becomes really good is the Great Unclean One starts of with 15 !!! host of Nurgling attacks that are not treated as mount attacks, which is pretty good.
- Tome of a Thousand Poxes – This does the same as the Muttergrub artefact for the mortals but if you are going for an all daemon force and do not have any mortal wizards it’s really good; again a lot of these artefacts fill gaps in different list builds which is great to see.
- The Witherstave – This was my favourite artefact in the previous book, now it is still super useful and synergises well with the army, so you add 1 to disease rolls for enemy units within 7″. So a nice little aura of 3+ mortal wounds which as far as I can tell still stacks with the cycle of corruptions +1 so you can have mortals going off on a 2+ for one turn within 7″ pretty good.
So thats all the artefacts, overall a bit of a mixed bag, none seem to be an auto include and with the exception of the Eye of Nurgle they all seem to be worth considering so overall I’m happy with the option I have as a Nurgle player.
The spell lores in this battletome are again divided into separate lores for mortals and daemons with the mortals getting a lot more, which at first was a bit annoying but when you consider there are a lot more mortal wizards in the book than daemons it makes sense.
Mortal wizards only – Lore of Malignance
- Magnificent Buboes – Casting value of a 7 and a range of 21″ pick an enemy hero and they are -1 to hit, chant, cast, unbind and dispel.
- Plague Squall – Cast on a 6, then roll 7 dice for each 6 you can give a visible enemy unit 1 disease token.
- Cloying Quagmire – Cast on a 5 with a 14″ range, pick an enemy unit and roll a dice, if that roll is equal to or higher than units save characteristic then they halve their move and subtract 2 from any runs or charges. I think if the range of this spell was more along the lines of 24″ then I would consider it but 14″ is just too easy for your opponent to avoid but its still an okay spell.
- Blades of Putrefaction – Cast on a 7 with a range of 14″, this makes a friendly unit within range generate disease tokens on 5’s and 6’s to hit instead of just a 6. This I think is going to be super popular choice as its another way to generate those all important disease tokens which are soooo important for your army.
- Gift of Disease – This is the spell that Muttergrub and Tomb of a Thousand Poxes artefacts give you, so its cast on a 6 with a range of 21″ so nice and easy to cast and has a decent range, you pick an enemy unit in range and give that unit and all other enemy units within 7″ of the target get a disease token; again its all about those disease tokens.
- Rancid Visitations – Has a casting value of a 6 and 7″ range, roll a dice for each enemy model in the target unit in range and on a 2+ they suffer 1 mortal wound, short and deadly.
I really like this lore, you have some spells to generate more disease tokens which is great you have spell that throws out a -1 to hit on an enemy hero and some short range but extremely effective mortal wound damage but what I really like about this spell lore is that some spells encourage certain wizards more which I think is either very clever rules design or a great by – product, Bloab Rotspawned would be even better with Rancid Visitations for example while a Rotbringer Sorcerer would benefit more from Blades of Putrefaction or Plague Squall.
Daemon wizards only – Lore of Virulence
- Favoured Poxes – This is the same as the previous battletome which I was surprised to see if i’m being honest, the spell is cast on a 7 and has a range of 14″ the enemy unit is -1 to hit, wound and save rolls until the caster moves, attacks, casts, unbinds or attempts to dispel an endless spell or is slain. Now in Age of Sigmar 3.0 you have to attack if you are in combat which makes this spell a little bit worse but honestly for that kind of de buff I think its a fair balance.
- Fleshy Abundance – So you want nurgle daemons to be even tougher well okay, this spell is strangely cast on a 7 with a 14″ range and gives a friendly unit +1 wound …… yes wound characteristic, until you next hero phase and even has a small designers note that explains what happens if a model is on 1 wound at the start of your next hero phase.
- Stream of Corruption – This is similar to Rancid Visitations but is not quite as good, so its cast on a 6 and has a range of 7″,it does mortal wounds on a 5+ for each model in range, you can also increase the range to 14″ but then it only does mortal wounds on a 6. Not terrible and considering there are only 3 spells in the lore its okay but I feel that I would probably take flaming weapon over this spell, if it also gave a diseased token out as well then I would consider this on a combat Great Unclean One.
Overall both spell lores are pretty great and there are some interesting choices to be made, it is a little bit disappointing that the Daemons didn’t get more than 3 spells but 2 of them are very strong and will see play so its an argument of quantity over quality for me with the daemon lore, while the mortal lore will generate some more disease tokens so overall really good.
Path to Glory
Here on Sprues and Brews we are big fans of Path to Glory and Crusade content so when I started reading this section I had high hopes, oh man I was not disappointed, as a follower of Nurgle it is your goal in Path to Glory to spread the garden of nurgle across as many territories as you can. When you roll a 61-66 on the exploration roll you can instead choose the corresponding territory from the garden of nurgle table in the battletome, these give you some impressive bonuses such as increasing your wizard limit by 2 or the number of monsters by 2 for example.
There are 3 unique quests in the book, 2 of which unlock unique battle plans that allow you to convert existing territory into the garden of nurgle depending on whether to win those scenarios. These are really cool and I think they will be really good with small forces. Daemons of nurgle that are not heroes are not added to your order of battle…….. they instead show up free of charge, yes thats right free. You are limited to how many units you can bring depending on what is in your order of battle, a Great Unclean One for example lets you bring 3 daemon units that are not heroes to your game, pretty cool and I really want to see how this plays.
There are some uniques rules for Maggotkin players if you are the defender when playing core book scenarios, you are also consider to be the defender if you are the : ambusher, custodian, guardian or ritualist. These are nice simple rules that give you more contagion points or give your enemy disease points if you or your opponent stand near terrain, there is one rule that allows your opponent to revert a garden of nurgle territory back into a regular territory while my favourite allows a hero to seek Grandfather Nurgle’s help when they die………. this could heal them completely or even turn them into a Beast of Nurgle which then is added to your order of battle in place of that hero.
There is a small name generator which you can generate names for mortal heroes as well as daemons…. they are very difficult for me to pronounce but still fun to have. There are 3 unique quests which are very thematic, so 2 of them you add a quest point every time you get a minor or major win in a game and when you have 3 points you can play the scenarios to convert territory into Nurgle’s garden while the 3rd allows you to give your daemon units you add to your force unique maggotkin veteran abilities for 1 game.
There are also 7 War-scroll battalions that you can unlock and I have to say none of these are super difficult to unlock either, the plague legion overlord for example only requires a single Great Unclean One and they give out more disease points or contagion points, again very narrative and Nurgle themed without being over the top.
So there are 4 grand strategies for the Maggotkin which sadly are not that great in my opinion when you consider how resilient Maggotkin are picking a grand strategy like Hold the Line or Prized Sorcery would be a better choice but completing one of the others might be better for a challenge. It will be very interesting to see if generic grand strategies disappear once all armies have access to their own, only time will tell.
- Corrupt Arcane Nexus – Have a Maggotkin wizard within 3″ of the centre of the table at the end of the game and no enemy models within 6″ of the centre, that feels quite hard to do.
- Tend the Garden – If there are no enemy models within 3″ of any Feculent Gnarlmaws at the end of the game and there is a Feculent Gnarlmaw wholly within your opponents territory, this is a lot easier but still a lot harder than some of the generic ones.
- Spread Rampant Disease – If every enemy unit on the board has a disease token at the end of the game, this to me actually sounds quite fun as there are a lot of ways to generate them and not every army can heal that much.
- Blessed Desecration – If your general is mortal then after deployment pick a terrain piece in your opponents territory if you control it at the end of the game you get this grand strategy, again not terrible but not always that easy as your opponent knows your grand strategy and could try to stop you by putting a unit on this terrain but again not incredibly hard to do either.
- Feed the Maggots – Kill 7 models in a turn with disease rolls, pretty easy if your opponents army has a lot of 1 wound models but it will require some set up to do.
- Nurture the Gnarlmaw – Pick a Feculent Gnarlmaw that is with 12″ of the enemy at the start of the turn if at the end of the turn there are no enemy models within 12″ you score this battle tactic. I think this will be one of those where you have a small enemy unit that you plan on killing anyway but it is very hard to set up.
- Gifts of Nurgle – If all your remaining units inflict a disease token in a turn you get this, much more do able in the later turns of the game especially if you only have an handful of units left, just got to hope that the super durable army isn’t always so durable.
- Glory to the Grandfather – if more enemy units are killed in a turn than your units, actually a fairly easy one to get so I could see this being used a lot.
- The Droning – Score this if there is a unit with a Rot Fly mount in every quarter of the table, very easy to do if you theme your list around Pusgoyle Blightlords or Plague Drones.
- Sudden Domination – Summon a Great Unclean One ……… for 30 contagion points thats hard to do, it also has to be within 3″ of an objective you control in your opponents territory. I mean that should be worth 7 battle points not 2 because of how hard that is.
Overall there are some cool and realistic tactics here but there are some that are very difficult to set up and I don’t think are worth trying to do over the ones from the generals handbook.
There are 2 core battalions for the Maggotkin which are both very good and I think will see some play so first up we have …
Thricefold Befoulment – This battalion must and can only include 3 Great Unclean Ones and gives you the magnificent trait which gives you an extra enhancement for your army, this battalion will take up the majority of your army as Great Unclean One’s and Rotigus are 495 points now plus 3 battalion options and that is your army. I used to run this battalion in the previous book and loved running 2 Great Unclean Ones and Rotigus.
Rotbringer Cyst – This battalion includes 1-3 Mortal maggotkin heroes with less than 10 wounds and 3-6 mortal maggotkin units that are not leaders or behemoths and gives you a 1 drop deployment which is great, you can quite easily make a 2,000 point army from this one battalion but you do limit yourself to what units you can take and you will have a very small army as Blight-kings are now 250 points for 5 !!!
The warscrolls in this new battletome have had so major updates, in this new battletome every single !!! war scroll has changed, if you count the updates that came in the broken realms Teclis book then all apart from 2 warscrolls have changed. Now I did notice something very interesting while reading the warscrolls, only 1 model has a command ability in the whole battletome, a trend that we saw with the Stormcast book and again in Orruk Warclans as well.
So let’s get into my top 10 warscrolls in the book.
- The Great Unclean One – This is a model that if you play maggotkin you have to have in your collection and now more than ever. It now has 18 wounds and has gotten considerably stronger in close combat with the Bilesword now doing 4 damage and the Host of Nurgling’s now having 15 !!! attacks on its top bracket, that is a lot of disease tokens and if you put the Witherstave on this model they are doing mortals on a 3+. It can still cast 2 spells with the Bileblade giving you the option for a 3rd spell, the Doomsday Bell now is damage 2 with has 5 attacks and can give you more contagion points. With this model also having the Locus of Fecundity I think you will see at least 1 of these in most armies but at 495 points it is costly.
- The Glottkin – Oh My Days this has to be the most improved war scroll in the book, they now have 20 wounds, a 5+ ward save, they heal D3 wounds and thats just the tip of the iceberg. The war scroll is now a lot stronger in combat with 7 damage 3 attacks that all hit on 3’s and wound on 2’s and with all out attack you get them hitting on 2’s, thats pretty good but not too good that I think its silly. They counts as your general even if they are not and can cast 2 spells of which the Abundance of Flesh spell still gives +1 wound to a maggotkin mortal unit they are super amazing. Oh and to finish it off they have the only command ability which allows the Glottkin and 1 mortal unit to charge an enemy unit they are both within 12″ of at the end of your opponents movement phase………… they are however 700 points so quite an investment.
- Plague bearer Host – They even got a name change to start of with oh and a wound characteristic of 2 !!! Yes 2 wounds now, only a 6+ save but they still have a 5+ ward save so I think they got a lot better, the standard now only adds 1 model back to the unit and the Cloud of Flies rule is now -1 to hit against shooting if the unit has more than 5 models, they are 150 points for 10.
- Putrid Blightkings – They no longer have 6’s explode in to multiple hits but they now have 5 attacks with -1 rend a model so again I think thats much better, they no longer get +1 to run and charges for having a a musician in the unit so they are slower. They have been given a new rule called Relentless Attackers that allows them to do mortal wounds to enemy units with 3 or less wounds by rolling above the units wounds characteristic for every model within 3″ of that enemy unit; and when you consider they have a 5+ ward save and heal wounds and do disease points like crazy they seem really good. They are however 250 points for 5 soooooooo yeah you might not get a lot.
- Plague Drones – These are the go to choice in the book and they can be battline role in a Droning guard army. They have 8 attacks that are 3’s and 3’s which is a lot better than what they were before, but the real selling point with them is the death heads shooting attack. It only has a 7″ range but the number of attacks is equal to the number of enemy models in the enemy unit ……. to a max of 7 per model. So 3 drones can now unleash hell with the best of them and would have 15 attacks per model if you include their shooting and combat which again is a lot of disease tokens, they are 200 points for 3.
- Rotbringer sorcerer – The new plastic model is amazing and super fun to paint, he is basically the same with 1 additional rule, any endless spell he casts counts as a maggotkin of nurgle model for the diseased battle trait meaning any endless spell he controls will give your opponent disease tokens, he is also a mortal wizard which have access to some really good spells. He is 145 points.
- Harbinger of Decay – This model was very interesting in the previous book because he could give your mortal units the 5+ ward save, well now that they do normally what does he do ? Well he now has an ability that allows him to roar a unit, this means that on a 3+ a unit in the combat phase cannot issue or receive commands, thats pretty good as it is not a monstrous action so Hunter in the Heathland does not prevent you from doing it. He is 140 points so I think you will see him a lot.
- Sloppity Bilepiper – This model got an update in broken realms Teclis which took this model from being really bad to being really good the only change now is that his ability to grant a daemon unit mortal wounds now works on wound rolls now instead of hit rolls as that would conflict with the diseased trait, he is 130 points but is only 7 contagion points so I could see him being summoned rather than in your list.
- The Maggot Lords – This is a 3 for 1 choice as all 3 maggot lords have changed, first off the mounts all hit on 3’s wound on 2’s and are damage 3 !!! which is great, but all of their attacks are at least damage 2 now. Orghotts Daemonspew has a rule that lets you issue a command to a mortal unit once per turn for free so is great if you want to save some command points, Bloab Rotspawned is still a 1 cast wizard but he can really do a lot of chip damage and has a nice -1 to hit aura if you roll a 4+. I really like the idea of putting Rancid Visitations on him and just seeing how much damage he can do. Morbidex Twiceborn is basically a tank, he has 12 wounds with a 3+ armour save a 5+ ward save and …. he heals half the wounds allocated to him at the end of the battleshock phase. Not just yours but your opponents as well. Morbidex Twiceborn is 320 points while the other 2 are 300 points.
- Feculent Gnarlmaw – This model no longer gives your units run and charge which always was a bit silly and not very Nurgle to me, it counts as a Maggotkin model for the purposes of the diseased battle trait and gives you a contagion point if there are no enemy models within 3″ at the start of the turn, there are ways of getting more and you could always summon more but I don’t think you need more than 1 in my opinion. There are some clarifications on where it can be placed and set up and it now counts as impassible.
There are 16 more warscrolls in the book but these were the ones that I felt were significant and interesting enough to do a rundown of. I think that you are going to to smaller armies then we are used to seeing based on the new points, Blightkings being 250 points for 5 is a lot and I really want to play some games with them.
Games Workshop were nice enough to send us a copy of the new Maggotkin of Nurgle Rotbringer Sorcerer and vanguard box and to review free of charge, the vanguard box is the Age of Sigmar equivalent of the combat patrol boxes we have for Warhammer 40,000, the Maggotkin box is fantastic as it gives you a lot of what you are probably going to want to run in it and is pretty good if you want to buy multiples of which is great.
Breaking down the box you get =
- Lord of Afflictions – 210 points
- Pusgoyle Blightlord – 110 pints or 220 points for 2 if you don’t build the Lord of Afflictions.
- Spoilpox Scrivener – 120 points
- 10 Plague bearers – 150 points
- 5 Putrid Blightkings – 250 points
So if you build the Lord of Afflictions you get 840 points in the box if you build 2 Pusgoyle Blightlords then you get 740 points of Maggotkin of nurgle, combine this box with another box of plague bearers and you have 990 points which is an amazing value box. If I were starting Maggotkin again I would 100 % buy this box, but thats not all as Games Workshop sent us the new Rotbringer Sorcerer model as well.
This model is amazing and is a great replacement model for the finecast model, the model itself was very easy to build and not very complicated to paint which is great, there is even a Nurgling trying to get out of the chest on its back that I didn’t even notice until I started painting, needless to say I will be running at least 1 in my army…… although if I buy another I can run a Rot Coven !
Overall this battletome is in short amazing, the allegiance abilities really work well in balancing the narrative of a Maggotkin army and how they play on the tabletop. The army really does revolve around the diseased tokens and how resilient the army is and now that all of your units have a 5+ ward save and heal and !!! are all multiple wound models the army is very tough.
I did notice in the book that there are not a lot of de buffs or buffs which I would have thought would be Nurgle’s style but with the 5+ ward save I think it would be too much, the fact that there is only 1 command ability is very intriguing as I think this is what we can expect going forwards, by taking out a lot of command abilities from the battletomes you make the generic core book abilities much more useful, I think if this book is anything to go by then Age of Sigmar 3.0 is going to be the best edition of the game so far.
I also love that all of the warscrolls have had some sort of update as there were a lot of units that you didn’t see played because the warscrolls were bad, The Glottkin and the Maggot Lords are all valid choices and I can see why player would put these models in their armies while giving Plague Bearers an extra wound makes them a super solid battle line unit that I think you could justify spending those reinforcement points on.
In terms of how competitive the army will be think it is very similar in power to the Stormcast Eternals and Orruk Warclans, nothing in this book jumps out as being too powerful and while there are some less optimal choices I think with the right army build every unit in this book is worth putting on the table. I think we will see a lot of Plague Drones and a couple of Great Unclean Ones but even then I don’t think we will see them in every army list.
Overall it is a great army and I cannot wait to start playing games with the new book, thanks for reading.