It is time to take a look at another great Death Guard unit, the Daemon Prince of Nurgle! While it might look similar to the CSM flavored Daemon Prince there are some key differences. As always, for more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner.
As one of the more expensive HQ options in the army the Nurgle Prince really stands out as an amazing option. His great damage output, survivability and speed turn him into a real force in his own right. Whereas the standard CSM Daemon Prince might get their choice of legion trait to augment them, the inexorable advance Death Guard trait does nothing for the Nurgle Prince at all. However he gets something that is better in my opinion: Disgustingly Resilient. Combine this with an excellent selection of warlord traits and relics and you really can beef this guy up to be an absolute monster. I personally would always give one of the princes in my army the suppurating plate relic, and there are various good warlord traits to choose from.
This is another place where this prince is different from the CSM and Chaos Daemons versions. Yes we have to pay for our wings as well since the FAQ, but we still can not buy Warp Bolters. But what do we get? A daemon prince always comes with a Malefic Talon in one hand and a choice out of three for the other.
- Daemonic Axe: This is the hardest hitting one of the three, clocking in at S8 Ap-3 D3. The upgraded strength comes in handy quite often as it will improve your to-wound rolls not only against MEQ but also a very common array of T7 and T8 vehicles, and seeing how the other units in the DG armylist often struggle against these vehicles it is nice to have something that can threaten them. The major drawback to this weapon is its -1 to hit. Not only do you drop from hitting on 2+ rerollable to hitting on a 3+ with reroll 1’s, you also no longer are able to get sixes for Death to the False Emperor.
- Hellforged Sword: S7 Ap-2 D3 is great but I do not see this being better than the pair of Malefic Talon option. Compared to a pair of talons you have 4 attacks that are damage 3 instead of damage 2, while the talons get 2 additional attacks with damage 2. This means the talons do the exact same damage against multi wound models and do way better against hordes. Many units have models with 2 wounds in them as well, making the claws better there. If you are facing a lot of 3W models in your local meta however the sword does decently against that. If not: grab talons or an axe.
- Malefic Talons (Pair): Every prince starts off with one talon that he may swing with for free when he fights, pretty much a heftier version of a chainsword. And at S7 Ap-2 D2 it definitely is a nice attack to be gaining for free. By getting a second talon this bonus is upgraded to three bonus attacks, giving your prince a whopping 7 attacks. Combined with DTTFE a prince with double talons will really make his way through any MEQ, hordes, etc.
So after this choice of main weapon we have one more option we may give our prince:
- Wings: Increases the move characteristic from 8” to 12” and more importantly gives it the fly keyword. I do not believe this should be as much of an auto include as most people think it is. The extra movement is great but it does cost a fair few paints, and if you have a prince footslogging with for instance a line of Plague Marines and Myphitic Blight-haulers the extra movement does nothing for you. That being said putting wings on the prince most often will be the right decision, giving him the speed to join up with the Foetid Bloat-drone and take on a flank, or the ability to jump over whatever screens with the fly keyword and start hitting what needs to be hit.
- Death to the False Emperor: Exploding sixes versus imperium, standard chaos stuff.
- Disgustingly Resilient: Most Death Guard have this and it is awesome. Ignore damage taken on a 5+. Really upgrades this unit to go on way longer.
- Prince of Chaos: Aura that gives reroll 1’s to hit to both friendly Death Guard as well as friendly Nurgle Daemons within 6”. Everyone already knows that reroll aura’s are absolutely great and it is really neat that this works on Nurgle Daemons as well. This means you can add various things such as Forgefiends, Maulerfiends, Obliterators or Plaguebearers and give them reroll auras without having to splash for an allied HQ to give it to only them. Awesome!
- Psyker: The Nurgle Prince is a psyker who can manifest once and deny the witch once per turn. He can choose his powers from the contagion discipline. Miasma of pestilence is always nice as is blades of putrefaction. Simply casting smite however often is what he ends up doing (and thats not a bad thing to do!)
We have seen in the wargear section how a daemon prince certainly can do some damage to the enemy, and with 8 wounds at T6 with the by now very familiar +3 5++ DR5+ we know that it is going to take quite some work to bring him down. Especially with warlord traits or relics upgrading that durability even further. You should however always be mindful of the fact that this is a character with less than 10 wounds and try to make sure something else is even closer to the main threats to the Prince. Small arms fire you can tank all day long but if you charge him too far forward and the enemy falls back and shoots a few las cannons or melta’s into him he will go down. This is easily remedied however by teaming him up with some FBD’s or hiding some Nurglings on various parts of the board.
Overall the Prince of Nurgle is a points efficient and very self reliant HQ choice that offers a lot in terms of raw power to any list. The Daemon Prince with Axe is an amazing tank-killer that many Death Guard armies can really use and the Prince with two Malefic Talons and a suppurating plate will just laugh like a maniac while destroying any hordes or volume of attack units. The difference between a great player and an average player controlling the Daemon Prince will be recognising opportunities and having a feeling of where you can throw him in or not. There is a fine line between being too timid with your Prince and not doing the damage you could be doing and overcommitting into an area or unit you won’t beat.
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