Nurgle vs Dark Eldar (1,750 pts) – Battle Report

This was a game at Distinct Gaming in Belper.  My opponent was someone who I ‘d never had a game against, so I had not idea what I would be up against.  It turned out to be the Dark Eldar, and this was really exciting as I’d never seen them on the tabletop before yet alone played them.

List Theory


A few days before this game I had finished painting my Sloppity Bilepiper, so this list was going to be all about giving him a go.   The reason that I got him was to help buff Rotigus so as to increase the chances of getting him into combat.  He allows Great Unclean Ones to charge after advancing, which increases his threat range.

Aside from that I took the rest of my normal Nurgle Daemons, and this meant that I had four HQs on the table, so one had to go into an auxiliary detachment costing me a CP.

I then took some Death Guard to provide me with some shooting.  The two Contemptor Dreadnoughts turned up backed by a Chaos Lord and a Poxwalker screen.  Two five many squads of plasma gun equipped Plague Marines backed by another Chaos Lord completed the Death Guard infantry.  A Plague Burst crawler used up the rest of my points and would hopefully provide  distraction from Rotigus.

Tactics wise I expected to deploy Rotigus on the table backed by the Bilepiper, he’d run up as fast as possible and hope to get into combat.  The Death Guard Dreadnoughts would hang back and shoot.  The rest would react to the mission, I could deep strike the Plaguebearers, footslog them or use them as wrapping to protect the Plague Marines.

The Game


We rolled the Beachhead mission from Chapter Approved 2018.  There would be three objectives on the table.  One in the centre, worth 2 Victory Points, one in your deployment zone, worth 1 Victory Point, and one in your opponent’s deployment zone, worth 3 Victory Points.  You would score from the second round onwards at the start of your turn.  So you need to end your turn holding an objective and then hold onto it until your next turn.

I had to deploy first.  The Plaguebearers, Poxbringer and Spoilpox all went into deep strike.  That cost me 4CPs but I was hoping to use them to grab the objective in the enemy deployment zone.  The Death Guard units, other than the Plagueburst Crawler, would hang back and try to hold on to my objective.  Rotigus would hot foot it to the enemy backed by the Sloppity Bilepiper and the Plagueburst Crawler.  I decided not to sneak my Nurglings anywhere, I couldn’t see a useful space for them.  So instead I used them to hold the objective in my deployment zone, they’d be quite tough to chew through.

Then the enemy set up, lots of things that could fly with pretty much everything having a -1 to hit in shooting.  I wasn’t going to be overcharging my plasma guns in this game.

I would get the first turn.

Turn 1

My shooting wasn’t bad, I managed to blow up one or two of the speeder type craft that was carrying a load of Dark Eldar infantry.  The big success was that Rotigus made it into close combat.  He destroyed another speeder and also took out the infantry that had spilled out of one that had been shot down.  Not a bad first turn.

The Dark Eldar moved fast and hit hard.  Infantry raced in to try and claim the objective in my deployment zone.  Jets shot down both sides of the table.  Pretty much all of the fire went into Rotigus.  I buffed his invulnerable save to 4+ with a stratagem but even that wasn’t enough to save him and he fell to the barrage.  But most of the Dark Eldar fire had been spent.  They had a lot of weapons that were poisoned and so would always wound “living” things on a 4+, that hurt Rotigus.  A lone Dark Eldar infantry model charged the Nurglings holding my objective but didn’t shift them.

The turn ended with both sides claiming First Strike for 1VP each.

Nurgle: +1 (1 total)

Dark Eldar: +1 (1 total)

Turn 2

At the start of my turn I was holding just the objective in my deployment zone for one VP, not great.  I hoped that I would be able to take control of the one in the enemy’s zone so I would deny them the same points, that would help the score.  The Poxwalkers abandoned their screening of my Dreadnoughts to take the central objective.  I kept up my gunfire and I think another speeder went down and possibly one of the big heavy weapon ones.  But the big success were the Plaguebearers.  They dropped in and managed to charge a speeder, destroy it and then pin down the heavy weaponry infantry contained within so that they wouldn’t be shooting.  The Dark Eldar vehicles kept exploding too, the Dark Eldar Warlord fell to wounds taken from this, that would be another VP for me.

At the start of their turn the Dark Eldar held no objectives, I was taking a small lead.  They tried to take down the Poxwalkers holding the central objective.  This is where the poisoned weapons are a hindrance.  The weapons continue to wound on a 4+ when most things would wound unbuffed Poxwalkers on a 3+, so they stuck it out.  They even tried to take them out with a charging speeder but still they clung on.  A lone Dark Eldar warrior, Drazhar I believe, leapt onto the battlefield and managed to charge one of my Dreadnoughts now that their screen had departed, they failed to kill it though.

Nurgle: +2 (3 total)

Dark Eldar: +0 (1 total)

Turn 3

At the start of my turn I hold all the objectives, that’s 6VP to me.  My Plaguebearer horde button down and hold the objective their on. Every turn of that will earn me three VP.  Elsewhere the Poxwalkers back away from the flyer that charged them but continue to be close enough to hold the objective.  My Nurglings are taking a hammering but hold on to theirs too, I’m looking very good indeed.

The Dark Eldar are running out of options and models. Drazhar does manage to take out one of my Dreadnoughts but then my Warlord, buffed by CP, takes him down with his chain sword.  and with that the Dark Eldar’s hopes die.  They end their turn with no objectives, and because you score at the start of your turn it’s clear I’ll be picking up another 6 points at the start of my next turn.  So we call the game here, a victory for Grandfather Nurgle.

Nurgle: +6 (9 total)

Dark Eldar: +0 (1 total)

Post Game Thoughts

  • Another game that I really enjoyed.  The Dark Eldar are, like Orks, characterful and seemed to play in a distinct way.  They’re fast moving and can hit like a hammer, but they’re also pretty soft, if you can hit them.
  • I’m still not convinced about the value of Rotigus.  He’s 285 points plus a further 60 for the Bilepiper.  And then I was lucky that we had a deployment where we were 18″ apart (half of the deployment maps have that, the other half have 24″ between the two armies) and that I got to go first.  Had I gone second then it’s likely that Rotigus might just have died in turn one or had his profile reduce so that he would be slower and therefore failed to get into combat.
  • On the other hand…  Rotigus did absorb an enormous amount of firepower from the Dark Eldar before he fell.  And had that fire gone somewhere else then maybe I would have lost other important units.  He was a massive distraction that the enemy felt that they had to deal with.
  • I’m a big fan of Poxwalkers because they’re immune to morale.  My unit of them took a beating that knocked them all the way down to two survivors, but they didn’t flee and hung on to their objective.
  • Moving the Poxwalkers away from screening to objective grabbing was a tough call.  But it did deny the Dark Eldar the central objective and added to my score, so I think it was the right thing to do.

The List

Total: 104 PL, 1,749pts

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Daemons) [29 PL, 568pts]

HQ [11 PL, 225pts]

  • Poxbringer [4 PL, 70pts]: Miasma of Pestilence
  • Sloppity Bilepiper [3 PL, 60pts]
  • Spoilpox Scrivener [4 PL, 95pts]

Troops [18 PL, 343pts]

  • Nurglings [3 PL, 54pts]: 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]
  • Nurglings [3 PL, 54pts]: 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]
  • Plaguebearers [12 PL, 235pts]: Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts], 29x Plaguebearer [203pts], Plagueridden [7pts]

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Death Guard) [58 PL, 896pts] ++

HQ [10 PL, 152pts]

  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts]
  • Chaos Lord [5 PL, 76pts]: 3. Tainted Regeneration, Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts], The Suppurating Plate, Warlord

Troops [20 PL, 298pts]

  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 113pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [32pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
  • Plague Marines [7 PL, 113pts]
    Plague Champion [27pts]
    Codex [11pts]: Plague knife, Plasma gun [11pts]
    2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun [32pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
    Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon [27pts]: Plasma gun [11pts]
  • Poxwalkers [6 PL, 72pts]: 12x Poxwalker [72pts]

Elites [20 PL, 306pts]

  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 168pts]: 2x Twin lascannon [80pts]
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 138pts]: 2x Butcher cannon [50pts]

Heavy Support [8 PL, 140pts]

  • Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 140pts]: 2x Plaguespitter [34pts], Heavy slugger [6pts]

Auxiliary Support Detachment -1CP (Daemons) [17 PL, 285pts]

HQ [17 PL, 285pts]

  • Rotigus [17 PL, 285pts]: Fleshy Abundance, Nurgle’s Rot, Virulent Blessing


One thought on “Nurgle vs Dark Eldar (1,750 pts) – Battle Report

  1. Pingback: Nurgle vs Astra Militarum (1,750 pts) – Battle Report – Plague Gardening

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