Welcome to our Closer Look series. We are digging into the changes for each faction in Age of Sigmar 3.0. Join us moving forward as we bring on different authors to give insights into their favorite factions!!
Play test, play test, play test. That is what I have been doing since the new book arrived. I have been putting together models more than list to see what performs and how. Here are my thoughts on the new book. I will not break down the new book as countless others have done. I will not be diving into the trees as there is confusion surrounding them. Instead, I will let you know my personal thoughts and experiences trying to shape different competitive lists. I will break down the units and things that I feel we can really lean into to be a competitive army. Death comes to all over time just remember that the next time you place these models on a table.
For starters let’s talk about our abilities. I find an army-wide 5+ ward has been a most excellent addition. No more Harbinger following around your units to baby sit a 5+ ward. This has opened game play for us. Also, all the negative comments surrounding the Disease counters hold no water. These wounds have chipped away enemy units and heroes time and time again in play testing. They can be spiky at times but don’t forget you just get to do it again the next round. Recently I got a Kracken-Eater to 4 wounds left with 7 counters and was able to kill it in the battle shock phase losing it the objective it was on and denying the points. Our ability to outlast the opponent is exactly where this army should be and it finally feels like you are playing for Poppa Nurgle. With one tree each game, I have summoned many units throughout my games.
Summoning with this book has had some changes. The summon with in 7” does come with some feel bad moments but it also is something we need to live with. 7 is going to come up a lot in this book as it is Poppa Nurgles number. If you really lean into the thematicness of the book it is fitting. But when all your shooting is 7” and you only move 4” it makes it hard to use it without being in combat. The #1 thing to summon in my eyes as fast as you can is Sloppity Bilepiper if you have any daemons on the table. Then if you, don’t I feel you go for a Beast of Nurgle or Nurglings. I think Nurgling’s are one of the best units in the game we have access to, but we will talk about that later. I don’t believe holding off for a GUO (Great Unclean One) is worth it unless you build a list suited to try and get one very quickly. Nurglings or a Lord of Afflictions will help you get into the opponents’ territory for your extra 3 “CP” (Contagion Points) per turn. Therefore, almost all my list include at least one unit of Nurglings.
Thoughts on Unit’s & Heroes
I want to start with my favorite part of this army: Nurglings. They are our cheapest unit but one of the best we have in my opinion. They do exactly what you feel they should do. They start off the board which in a slow-moving army is important. I can make an opponent have to waste some units early to block off the back of their line or find a nice spot to get into their territory. If you are blocked off, they are the perfect road block for an opponent to get stuck into while you advance the board slowly. Then once in combat they do what they should. They use their 15 attacks to put some Disease counters on the unit and get a bite in here or there. The 5+ ward save to them has made them hands down a tank unit with their healing in battleshock. I have watched games where three of them out last a monster unit for 3-4 turns. Continuing to just add some Disease and chip damage to bracket it enough before coming out of the combat. Now with heroes unable to heal in combat our Disease counters just get even better with the new FAQ.
My next favorite unit in this book is the Glottkin. For 700 points this unit does exactly what is needed. Not only does it have a nice shooting at range 12” (What?! Not 7”?!), but the -2 rend and 7 attacks helps put some chip damage on something or hit it with a Disease counter or 2. Add in that he now has 7 attacks at -2 rend for 3 damage a pop means that once the Glottkin does get into combat, whatever is next to him is not going to last long. I almost exclusively have been taking the Gift of Disease with the Glottkin. Spreading as many Disease counters as possible throughout the board is key to this army. Those spots of damage add up. Add in a cast of Fleshy abundance that can make your PBK (Putrid Blight Kings) act as two models a piece. That helps with objective control a whole lot. Therefore I feel it is important to play PBK with the Glottkin. Counting as 10 models that are hard to kill and can tank most things in the game is great for objective control.
I haven’t even touched on the most important part of this model. For 1 command point, you can have the Glottkin, and one other unit within 18” of it, make a charge move at the end of the enemy movement phase. I will save a command point for this alone almost every turn. The board control options provided by the ability are not to be underestimated. For example, charging a unit of blight kings into an enemy unit that declared the battle tactic, Bring it Down, to stop the enemy from being able to charge into one of our monsters is a game changer. The possibilities are endless. Then if the Glottkin gets into combat the opponent must retreat on their next turn or take D6 damage. I will say that this model is 100% worth its 700 points and have built a list I believe to be competitive with him. I will share the list later.
Your kids are all grown up, and you no longer need to pay for a babysitter! That’s right for 250 points you have a unit that needs no support hero nearby. Many people will be building lists to include the support heroes for the PBK, but I feel those days are over. In a recent game I watched 5 of them tank a Gargant for 2 turns and I still had one left as the giant fell on top of him when the GUO made his way over to help. I find myself happy with playing this unit in groups of 5 and would never play them in a group of 10 because of the 1” reach. In the play testing I have done I have found them excellent for the charge from the Glottkin’s ability to screen or just do good damage to something. With them having five attacks each, you maximize your disease points every time you get into combat. They also gained -1 rend which has been needed in the world of +1 to save.
Lord of Afflictions
Almost an auto-include at this point. What I tell you will not be anything new. But I have to include him because maybe some people have not seen what you can do with him. I have found myself a bit disappointed with how tanky I thought he would be in playtesting for him. The theory is with him is to make him your general, giving him the command trait Overpowering Stench (Enemy units with in 7” of this general cannot issue commands, and enemy units wholly with in 7” cannot receive commands). This is huge! Stopping different command abilities from heroes can be largely impactful. Then you give him the Splithorn Helm for a 4+ ward save. This gives you a tanky unit that moves quickly to shutdown command abilities. I am the biggest fan of him being able to start the game with up to two fly units off the board. Once again this gives us another unit to start the game in the opponent’s territory. His attacks are ok, but you are fishing for 6’s to hit with ten attacks. Most of your damage will come from charging for D3 mortals or Disease counters.
These guys are almost identical to the Lord of Afflictions. Almost the same attacks and same Charge ability for D3 damage. I wanted to run them in a unit of 4 but found it hard to justify due to our points being so expensive and needing models to go to different areas. They are very interesting with their Relentless attacker’s ability. This can allow you to clear out some hoard models surrounding them with a mortal wound or two. The other bonus for this unit is the ability to move 8”. This helps an army as slow as ours to disrupt our opponent as our slower units move up the board. They can also start the game off the board for you to deep strike the back lines.
Here is another hero that I feel could make it into most mortal list. You can take up to three other mortal units with you to come in on the board edge in turn one. This is great for an army struggling with movement. Having the ability to react to your opponent’s deployment will help you win games. I recently played a game vs Kragnos and deployed everything on turn one on the opposite side of the table to just ignore him for as many turns as I could. Sitting at 8 wounds is also really good for a 170-point hero on a 4+save. His attack profile is nothing to brag about but starting the game with the Glottkin off the board if you need to for whatever reason is an awesome ability to have.
Great Unclean One (GUO)
Here is one of our hardest hitting units now. This is nice because in 2.0 and early 3.0 you were often left out of battle and just using him as a support character. Now you have people worried about getting too close. The sad thing is redeploy will continue to make it hard to charge into combat with the 4” movement. The shooting is great for unleash hell as you can do some decent damage with it if charged. Then you get to do mortals with mountain of Loathsome Flesh. This means by the time they are attacking you they have been chipped for at least 4-5 wounds.
During playtesting I can see arguments for each build. I personally am a fan of the bell. I feel the extra contagion points significantly impact what you can summon. I have rolled that lucky 6 and gotten 3 extra CP on turn 1. This let me get a Sloppity turn 1 in the back of my Great Unclean One and Nurglings next turn. I am also a massive fan of the Blade with the tome of 1000 Poxes as it gives you access to the Gift of Disease spell. I think it is one of the best spells in the book. 21” range lets you use it on turn one most of the time to tag units with Disease counters. The +1 to cast helps in the land of unbinds and buffs to unbind. The sword now hits for four damage, so you have options if you want to mix and match what works. The flail is also great for damage. I find myself making a support GUO (Bell and Blade) or a pure damage version (Sword and Flail). With the point increase, I feel like they are still worth their added features. In my list, I found it needed to have a GUO or Glottkin. Though my playstyle usually revolves around a monster of some kind.
How to play the New Book
With the changes that have come I have noticed that this book is a complete 180 turnaround from the previous book. No longer are we sprinting around the board with marauders doing mortals on 5s with 61 attacks. No more are you getting an extra 5” to movement with the ability to run and charge. Instead, we are now what we should be. We are resilient, slow, and pumping out rampant Disease throughout the board until our opponent degrades slowly next to us.
During my time play testing I have been presently surprised. I linked up with a friend of mine that plays Gargants competitively and asked him to bring his list. I thought that this would be an army we would have little to no chance to hang with. But to my surprise I was in the game the entire game and even downed a Mega-Gargant by turn two with Orghotts Daemonspew and some Nurglings. I was hot on my 6s and not allowing all-out defense with a Roar. At the same time, Orghotts went down to 7 wounds before killing the Mega-Gargant. He was destroyed when my opponent won the roll-off and took the next turn charging in with a Gatebreaker. That is a trade I am willing to make.
We do have select damage dealers so you must use them as a surgical knife and not get careless with them. But our support units will grind down our opponents over time. In time everything will crumble to our Disease output. We are in an even better place with the loss of Amulet of Destiny being available to all heroes. We are now the 5+ ward faction which feel right. If you are a player that like to chip away slowly at your opponent, I have good news for you. This army is built just the right way to not feel overpowered, but you think there is always a chance in every game you play. Make sure to play units that can come into the battlefield somewhere not in your territory. This will help with the lack of movement. I would also suggest having between 1-3 drops for the selection of the first of second turn. You cannot afford to get pinned into your territory.
My list: Glottkin Competitive
Here is my list that I am currently using. It is one drop. It also can start with the whole army off the table if need be. I would not suggest it as you will lose out on many battle tactics. But it gives you flexibility at a 2-day event. I have been playtesting, and the Glottkin can help you manipulate the board and get your Nurglings into units that will get stuck into combat without the ability to remove them from the table. That is why I am really liking the play of two of them. They can pin a monster somewhere for a turn or two if you are lucky. Charging in your opponent’s turn lets you get a charge off with some flies that may have failed their charge. This will stop an opponent’s movement up the board towards objectives. I feel like taking the first turn will be more common with this list and I feel like the flies do not always need to come in turn 1. Sometimes waiting for turn 2 will give you a major advantage. I also take the Blood Thirsty triumph to ensure I have as many chances to make charges as needed. Letting a unit reroll a charge using the Glottkins ability in your opponent’s turn could be huge! Therefore I made sure to leave 20 points off the list to up my chances of getting the Triumph. Try out the list and see what you think. I may tweak it the more I play but as of right now this is my list I will be playing just for the sheer flexibility and table control. Keep trying out different things and we will figure this army out soon! I feel we are in a great spot moving forward!
Let the dice flow through you!
(There will be a second article going over the second list I have come up with soon)