Thursday, June 25, 2009

Swordwind vs Nurgles Rot

Its been over a week, so some of the details may be murky, but the Dead Tau Project took to the field once again for another game. This time I was starting to play-practice my list for the 40K Radio World-Wide-War in September. While I will try and post some details below, let me say that the game ended with my opponent stopping the final turn (turn 6) and instructing me on what he would do if he were in my place. When a game ends this way you know 2 things for certain:
1. You lost. Very likely you lost in a big embarrassing way!
2. Your opponent is a great sport, and is willing to help you instead of just curb-stomping you.

My thanks go out to Brian from the IFL for the game and the advice!

So, lets look at the face off:


Autarch (Mandiblasters, WJG, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun)
Farseer (Doom, Fortune, Runes of Warding, Spirit Stones, Spear)

6x Fire Dragons
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Brightlances)
9x Banshees
w/ Banshee Exarch (Mirror Swords, Warshout, Acrobatic)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Scatter Laser)

9x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Missile Launcher)
5x Dire Avengers
6x Jetbikes
w/ 2x SCan

6x Warpspiders
w/ Warp Spider Exarch (Withdraw, Powerblades, 2x Deathspinner)

1x Falcon (Holo-field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, SCan)

My opponent brought Nurgle Daemons... something like this:
4 units of plague bearers (in unit strength 10 and 15)
1 unit of 6 nurgling bases
2 Daemon Princes

Record: 1-3-0

So, while I cannot go through all the points of the game, let me sum up. At the end of the game, I had killed 1 Daemon Prince. He had NOT killed my serpents, my falcon, and my 5 damn Dire Avenger Vehicle Upgrade (DAVU). Ouch.

My biggest problem in the game, as I see, was dealing with Toughness 5. It was not so much that I did not have the tools, I think I did. In the army I have:
  • 12 vehicle based Str 6+ shots
  • 16 str 6 shots from the spiders
  • 6 str 8 shots from the dragons
  • 1 str 8 shot from the autarch
  • 1 str 9 shot from the farseer
  • 2 str6 shots from the bikes
Overall, I was simply not working my strategy around how hard T5 is to deal with. I did not focus fire on units to wipe them out and I focused very heavily on his big Daemons. I am not convinced this was the best strategy.I have to balance this against the knowledge that only his daemons had the ability to kill my tanks. Perhaps that was too much of a focus since all my tanks lived and he crushed my units.

Other issues were my farseer getting stuck in close combat, and not keeping my Banshees and DA together. I split them early in the game then hesitated to pursue the reason I split the squads. This left my Banshees out of the fight until the final turn, after my DA were already wiped out and the Farseer killed.

I would love to hear suggestions on how to deal with Nurgle Daemons. They seem like a tough army so I would expect to see them more as I play.


  1. Can you tell us anything about his list? I am thinking about starting up Nurgle and info on what worked or didn't in his army from your perspective would be cool.

  2. Yeah, Nurgle daemons are a pain. I've dealt with a local list that's just a HORDE of Plaguebearers, the Tallyman, a few Soul Grinders and a Great Unclean One.

    Best I got is combine fire on 'em. Between T5, Feel No Pain, and the 5+ save they ALWAYS get, you want to either hit them with high-strength weapons, or things that deny FNP. Preferably, hit them with both at the same time.

    I can tell you that mechanized Eldar are a pain for the daemon armies, as they just don't stand still, and he should need 6's to hit you IF he can catch you (and that should generally be only winged things).

    Your biggest problem ought to be killing enough of his guys to keep him from getting all the objectives locked down, but remember that you can just tank-shock him off them.

    Some questions on your list...
    I am a bit surprised at the relative lack of anti-tank (..well, Bright Lances) in your list. I'm a fan of Bright Lances on my Wave Serpents; I'd find the points to put those on all of them. I'd also think about the Executioner over the Mirror Swords; what about the Mirror Swords makes you prefer them to the S5 power weapon?

    On the Farseer, why Fortune? I don't see a 'efty unit that really wants Fortune all the time. I'm used to seeing Fortune alongside a Seer Council or a troops unit of Wraithguard. Doom ALWAYS has a use, but I don't get the Fortune.

    For the DA, I've lost faith in the Exarch. Defend means you got assaulted, and you're going to be lucky to be around another turn against most folks. Bladestorm is nasty enough, but keeps you from shooting the next time around, and in the long run means you get fewer shots in fewer volleys. There are too many times where I've needed just a FEW more shots to kill something, and been unable to get it because I bladestormed to get 'em to that point.

  3. @HuronBH - I can say that with Epidemius, turns 5 and 6 he had the full total of kills. Basically power-weapons and FNP bonus and all the rest of his goodness. His big daemons (Gur'latch and the 2 daemon princes) both had the flamer template attack that he used on my squads and on my tanks. My tanks survived, but spent much of the game shaken and not shooting. His overall tactic was to sit Epidemius in a large squad in terrain and only move when the squad was whittled down to dangerous levels. The monstrous creatures ran around the board on the attack, and one unit of plague bearers plus the nurgling bases slowly moved onto the attack.

    @Raptor1313 - I have made some additional changes to my list based on how the game went. For this list, I had bright-lances and a squad of dragons for tank-hunting. I also find that my deep-striking spiders with the Autarch + Fusion gun take out light armor effectively. I have added additional lances with my new list, dropping the Falcon.

    I try to only attack with my banshees when a unit is doomed. Due to the extra attack, I prefer the mirror swords over the executioner. I may change my mind on this as I play more.

    fortune on the Farseer. Basically, I ran my previous farseer with doom and guide. I received a recommendation that guide was not really necessary with my build, and I should consider fortune or drop one power all together. I was not ready to drop one power and go with a single power Farseer, so guide/fortune was the decision.

    Re. Defend, I agree with you. I am still considering it as a backup power in case they are charged, but I am just as strongly considering dropping it. I am still in love with bladestorm plus doom plus banshee charge, so the bladestorm will stay in for now.

  4. On the Farseer
    I admit that Fortune is ALWAYS handy, but I've mostly used it with the heavy unit that always draws fire. The enemy's other way of dealing with fortune is simply to ignore the fortuned unit. If they can afford to do so, they probably will.

    Have you considered Eldritch Storm as a secondary power on such a Farseer, though? Doesn't check to hit, and Doom + S3 hits is more hits, and chances to pin. However, I find it to be a VERY fun choice against vehicle. You get 2d6 + 3 for pen (...big deal), BUT you also get to rotate their facing randomly via a scatter-dice roll. I've found it to be a good way to annoy the enemy or find juicy side/rear armor ( most vehicles DO have juicier sides/rears, Land Raiders and Monoliths notwithstanding...)

    On Warp Spiders...I'm just not a fan; most of the time I've played them the enemy isn't annoyed by 'em enough to kill 'em, or the enemy just nukes 'em. S6, AP- is ok enough for killing transports, I suppose, but it's just not enough punch for my personal tastes, and a lot of the time I tend to face heavily mechanized folks. Still, they can get the rear armor, and put wounds on pretty much anything.

    My vote for the Executioner comes from the need to actually inflict the wounds. Fewer attacks, but it lets you at least ding up AV10 rear vehicles (..more of a neat bonus than a purpose-built thing) and it also lets you wound monstrous creatures much more handily. I'd rather have a couple wounds from the Exarch reliably get through than hope for scads of 6's. Again, though, I'm not much fun of Banshees because of the issues in getting them into position.

    On Defend
    Mostly it's a matter of any dedicated assault unit being able to mop the floor with 'em. I think back in 4th edition it was a potential option, but hitting on 4's and wounding on 5's against any worthy melee opponent is going to lead to a loss. A full squad of 10 avengers (including a power weapon Exarch) nets 9 regular and 3 power weapon attacks > 4.5 hits and 1.5 power weapon hits > 1.5 wounds, 0.5 wounds that ignore armor. Chances are the enemy might lose one guy, and then you're eating lots of pain. Probably enough to lose the combat and then look at a -2 or better leadership modifier.

    I'm curious to see the revised list.