Daemons Codex Review – Troop: Nurglings

Charlie here from 40kDiceRolls, here again, to discuss another one of the best troop choices for Daemons, Nurglings. As always, for more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!



“Little Lords”, “Mites of Nurgle” or simply “Nurglings” are a lesser daemon of Nurgle. They revel in mischevious fun and in many ways are the very embodiment of Nurgle himself. Erupting from wounds and boils on greater daemons, these little lords scamper and play across the battlefield, giggling as they cause mischief and spread disease. Really, they’re rather cute in their own disgusting way.


On the tabletop, Nurglings consist of at least 3 Nurgling Swarm models but up to 9 in a single unit. They are a troop choice.

Nurgling Swarm

5″ 4+ 4+ 2 2 4 4 7 6+


Each Nurgling swarm attacks with diseased claws and teeth (S[User] AP0 D1, reroll wound rolls of 1)

Special Rules

  • Disgustingly Resilient (DG)
    • 5+++
  • Daemonic
    • 5++
  • Daemonic Ritual
    • Can be summoned
  • Squishable
    • Only benefit from Disgustingly Resilient against attacks with a Damage characteristic of 1.
  • Mischief Makers
    • You can set up a unit of Nurglings either in their own deployment zone or anywhere on the battlefield more than 9″ from the enemy deployment zone or an enemy unit.


As referenced in rvd1ofakind’s Daemon Troop review, Nurlgings are trash for damage but bring a lot to the table apart from that, leaving them in a very good spot. They’re also a very common troop choice of daemon armies and that’s not without reasons. Nurlgings models are very small and it’s quite possible to place them completely out of the line of sight for many enemy units. This, combined with the fact that they can forward deploy, means that at the start of the game, they can already be camping objectives and demand a response from your opponent. At 54 points for an MSU of Nurglings, the fact that they exist to hold objective and then die is not a bad thing. They’re tougher than they look too with each base having 4 wounds and a 5++/5+++, even despite the T2. Many times, an unseasoned opponent will dedicate slightly less firepower than needed to remove the last base because of their surprising resiliency. An alternative is for your opponent to direct multi-damage weapons at it so that they don’t get their DG, but this is still good news for you as it means those multi-damage weapons aren’t aiming at your more-valuable targets. It’s very much a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario for your opponent as their tough enough to pose a problem and can’t really go unchecked.

There are ways to try and increase the damage output of Nurglings, and en masse, it might be substantial. A Bilepiper can add 1 to the attack characteristics of Nurglings nearby and can also allow them to advance and still charge. Advancing and charging is generally great, but most of the time your Nurglings will be deployed further up the board and your Bilepiper will start in your own deployment zone, so they won’t be near enough to take advantage of this aura. Furthermore, at only S2, even an extra attack will not make a huge dent in any sort of sturdy target. By and large, I think that Nurglings are best utilized as objective holders and not as sources of damage.


As they can be forward deployed, Nurglings can camp midfield objectives from the start of the game and can screen out your own forwardly deploying units. If not killed before turn two, they can also screen out deepstriking units as well. A good opponent will tuck them behind a hill or crate such that you’ll need to probably dedicate some of your LoS-ignoring firepower to remove them. If you really need them gone, consider using a weapon profile of more than 1 damage so that they don’t get DG. Nurglings are also quite squishable in close combat and even a marginally resilient unit can wade into close combat with them with little to fear from their diseased teeth and claws.

Be careful about screening at the start of the game since they can deploy 9.001″ away, move 5″ and then need a 4″ charge if you deployed on the line. They can also wrap a unit and stand a decent shot (thanks to their S2) of not killing a model, so be on the lookout for that type of tactic. These will for sure be a nuisance but can be mitigated against with diligent and careful play.


On the board, like in the fluff, Nurglings can be quite mischevious and get in the way of your best-laid plans. They are a valuable asset to just about any daemon army and can be used to cheaply fill out a battalion for extra CP. If you’re running a daemon detachment, you’d better have a good reason NOT to take them if you’re not, with how much utility they provide. They mix well with Plaguebearers for an excellent combination of resiliency and utility.

How many swarms per unit is best when running Nurglings?

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About Charlie A.

Mathhammer is best hammer. Follow Charlie on twitter @40kDiceRolls for mathhamer, painting pictures, and a generally good time.

One Response to “Daemons Codex Review – Troop: Nurglings”

  1. Avatar
    WestRider June 17, 2019 12:33 pm #

    Lesser Unclean Ones would be another good name for them. Very useful little guys, especially now that so few Units other than Astartes can forward deploy during Deployment.

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