In the last 2 days of last week I finished my first year of University (almost, I have an exam on the 15th). This means that I have a lot more time on my hands, at least until I go back to Sheffield and begin work. So what better way to celebrate this than to analyse Beasts of Nurgle, an extremely tricksy unit. Keep an eye out for a video on this one. Because they're such a tricksy unit, I'm not sure what to make of them, so with this post, I'm going to explain what they do, and leave you to make your own judgement. More opinions in the video though just to flesh it out a bit.
Statline wise, they're WS3, don't have a BS, S4, T5, W4. That's all you really need to know, although they can get between 2 and 7 attacks per turn, making them far from ideal as a hammer, due to their random nature. They do however come with poisoned, making them extremely good for monstrous creature hunting, however bare in mind that in this scenario they're not too durable as monstrous creatures can smash for S10 doubling them out.
However, as a tarpit, they're still exceptionally good. T5, 4 wounds and, 'it will not die' will ensure that these guys are sticking around for a long time even with Daemonic Instability. Therefore, I wouldn't say that you need to max out a squad. This is because you're not going to be able to create a consistant hammer unit out of these guys unless you reallly pour in the points and take, by which point you're already spending almost 500pts for a potential 18 S4 poisoned attacks. Although you could also get 63, which isn't great for the points you're spending but it't not bad. You're really looking for consistancy in your competitive units though.
But back to why you'd only want a squad of 3. They're still 12 T5 wounds with it will not die, and they're also beasts so they're exceptionally quick. All for just under 160pts, so not too expensive.
However, the reason why the beasts are tricksy is because of a couple of special rules. Firstly, they essentially have defensive grenades, anyone charging them is treated as having made a disordered charge. Meaning they don't get charge bonuses such as the extra attack.
Secondly, they're attention seekers. This means that when an enemy unit within 12" charges something, the Beasts of Nurgle have to attempt to charge into that unit. Now, when I first saw this I thought it was fantastic, as you're making the assault in your opponents turn, meaning you can bail out your unit for your own turn after getting the consolidation and slingshoting into your opponents lines.
However, if your opponent knows that you can do this, they're not going to charge a unit into you that will evaporate if the beasts charge in too. Additionally, this is an example of baiting the Beasts of Nurgle around, a bit like Ork Tankbustas, a little harder to do as they're so quick but remember that Beasts of Nurgle cannot be relied upon to be hitty, they can be hitty, but you just don't know.
So what you can essentially do, is if you don't think you'll be able to make a charge into the Beasts, you can charge a closer unit, let the Beasts then pile into that, and then benefit from the +1 attack for charging as you're not actually charging the Beasts of Nurgle, they're charging you. Then, as a squad of 3 will max churn out 21 attacks. hitting on 4s, 10.5, wounding on 4s, 5.25, with re-rolls, about 7.8 wounds max, they aren't going to be shifting much and you can essentially tarpit the Beasts of Nurgle before they tarpit something more valuable, and you have another squad into the bargain to churn up.
One final thing before I go off to record the first video for the YouTube Channel, Beasts of Nurgle cost just over 50pts a pop, occupying an Elites slot. So that's all for today. Tomorrow I shall begin on either Fast Attack or Heavy Support. But for now, make up your own mind.