WH40K 8th Battle Report: Chaos Marines vs Nurgle Daemons

Yesterday I played my 4th game of 8th edition 40K. We’ve been playing at 80PL (power level) since that’s what the store’s July tournament will be. I got to play Chris and his Nurgle Daemons in his first game of 8th.

This won’t be too much of a battle report; more of an overview. As usual, I forgot to keep taking pictures during the game. I get so consumed by the game that getting pictures becomes an afterthought.

The Game

I won’t run through the lists, but I do have pictures of what we each brought.

To make life easier on Chris to learn the game, I decided on the Eternal War mission Retrieval with Dawn of War deployment. So, we had to place 4 objective markers, and for each you held at the end of the game you got 3pts. It also has First Blood, Slay the Warlord, and Linebreaker.

The Action

I’ll be honest. Right now in my games of 8th I’ve thrown caution to the wind just to try stuff out. My lists consist of things I want to try, and I basically just surge forwards to see how things go. If I was playing to win then I’d have played this game very differently, but hell, it’s just fun to get into the thick of it and see what happens!

With that being said, I advanced up heavy on the left, and one Helbrute on the right. I tried to focus fire down a Soul Grinder, but I think I only managed maybe 2 wounds on it. I threw my Heldrake at a Daemon Prince, after doing (I think) a wound to it with the Baleflamer. The Heldrake did put around 3 wounds on the Prince in combat, but the Prince punched back harder (shocking, right?), and did 6 wounds in return.

Chris’ response was to get the Great Unclean One into combat with my Heldrake, but he only managed 2 wounds. I used the Counter-Offensive stratagem to get my Heldrake to swing next, as Chris also charged a Soul Grinder at my Heldrake. The Heldrake did a few more wounds to the Prince before getting crushed by the Grinder.

I moved up more on the left, poured more fire power into the Grinders, and got nowhere with it really. For shits and giggles I threw my Helbrute at the Great Unclean One. I might have done a wound, but the GUCO threw 10 wounds on the Helbrute to destroy it. Brutal!

My Chaos Marines, and Grimtech (Warpsmith), had charged a Grinder to no effect. I lost a Marine. On the right, that Helbrute was brought down by the Soulgrinder.

On my right I shot that Grinder with the Multi-melta Helbrute, did around 4 wounds, and charged in to do a few more. The Helbrute took 2 wounds in return.

Chris got the GUCO into those Marines with the Grinder, and that unit, along with Grimtech, were annihilated. The Prince and GUCO later moved on to my Defiler to destroy it as well. Chris also kept advancing his Grinder on my right, along with a Beast of Nurgle, and killed off the Cultists there.

Our game was running long, as we were taking our time for Chris to learn, and we had to call it on the bottom of turn #3. Chris held 3 objectives, got First Blood, Slay the Warlord, and Linebreaker for 11pts. I got nothing.


As I said, I’m just trying stuff out, and despite it not doing my favors for points in the game, I am coming away with a lot of information.

First up, Nurgle Daemons are tough. They have Disgustingly Resilient, a 5+ to ignore wounds, and it’s damn effective. They also get a psychic power called Fleshy Abundance which heals D3 wounds. So, not only is it hard to get wounds to stick on Nurgle Daemons, they have the ability to heal them. Chris used this to great effect to keep his Prince I focused on, and the Grinder I focused on, in the game.

The Great Unclean One is a beast in combat. His Bilesword does D6 damage, and with 5 attacks, you’re talking a potential for 30 wounds. Naturally 30 would be perfect, but Chris was averaging around 8-10 wounds each time the GUCO got into combat.

In general, the previously known walkers of the game are also great at high damage output potential, like the Defiler, Soul Grinder, and Helbrute. These units aren’t great at smashing through 1-wound infantry, but get them into combat with a high wound model and they will destroy it quickly.

I also came away from the game realizing how bland Chaos Space Marines are right now. I love CSM, don’t get me wrong, and I feel they got a much-needed boost under 8th, but right now they’re a bit flavorless. CSM don’t really have Marks of Chaos. I mean, they do, but it’s a keyword thing that only matters for a few things. However, you can’t just take Mark of Nurgle for +1 toughness, or Mark of Khorne for extra attacks, etc.

It’s not just that though, and it’s hard to put my finger on it, but they just feel bland right now. I’m really hoping that a proper codex will inject back in those elements CSM are missing to make them feel right.

For my next game I’m going to try using some of the Daemons I do have to mix in with my Chaos Marines. I don’t have a big collection of Daemons, and nothing really scary, but with the ability to blend CSM and Daemons into one force, it’s hard to pass that up.

  • Good stuff. Two nice looking armies smashing each other to shreds is always fun. Were the screamers stand ins for the beasts?

    I must admit I don’t expect to be taking my heldrake anytime soon, not really thought of the idea of getting it into combat.

    • No, he actually used the Screamers as Screamers. So, not 100% Nurgle, but mostly.

      Heldrake isn’t bad in combat, which I love. At 4 attacks, S7, and D3 damage, he can handle himself reasonably well. I threw him up there on turn #1 to tie up that Prince, and to see what it could do against the Prince. I knew I’d lose in the end, but I prefer to learn from practical experience than rely on theory.

  • Blazmo

    I play Chaos, and I didn’t find them bland at all in this new edition. I do use a lot of Noise Marines though, so my theme was already there, as opposed to having to take the mark on ordinary guys. I really like that I can now combine in some of my Slaanesh daemons too, without worrying about the old Allies rules. I’d be interested to see a new Chaos Codex too, but I hope they won’t be first out again, as I fear the potential for codex creep!

    • Noise Marines came out pretty well in the update. That being said, right now you can’t mark other units though to keep with the Slaanesh theme. You can, but it’s meaningless mostly, and doesn’t give them a true Slaanesh feel.

      Merging both CSM and Daemons is one of my favorite things. I used to run a small allied force once in awhile with 1 HQ and 1-2 troops. Now it’s just part of the same detachment as my CSM – love it.

      I agree about the codex. Chaos got the first 6th book, and everything that came after it was better. Orks got the first 7th book, and they got passed by every codex after. Yeah, first codex out tends to be a bad omen.

  • Very cool. That is the way to learn things, throw caution to the wind and try shit out!

    I think the feel of blandness comes from the lack of rules that add flavour to units. I am hoping the new codexes add this in, like in AOS. My Wolves feel the same

    • Yeah, I think you’re right about the special rules. It’s just not Chaos yet.

  • Our games have been kind of similar. “Hey, I wonder if my Tyrant can take on Belial?*” and stuff like that. Very fun, that it’s changed enough that I get to do this kind of exploratory gaming again.

    *A: No. At least not when already down a couple of Wounds and with all her Tyrant Guard gone.

    • I agree. I feel like a kid in a candy store, just trying everything out. I haven’t felt that way since I first started playing Chaos years ago. It is nice to have that feeling surge up again.

  • Thanks for the report Thor, great as always!
    I’m focusing on my Deathwatch right now, the army has seen a few big changes to rules and playstyle, so it’s interesting to have to re-learn them. I’m looking forward to seeing how my other armies have changed as well. Shame you feel the CSM are bland at the moment. As you say, hopefully a full Codex will help fix that.

    • Relearning is part of the fun. It’s a reason I enjoy edition or codex changes; you get to start over a bit.

      I’m sure a new codex will fix it. I’m optimistic. GW has put all this work into a hard reset, so one would hope they have a game plan.

  • Kenneth Raymond

    I have yet to play a game of 8th edition. (Due in part to a campaign my group is running in 7th) but we have the indexes and have started the process of preliminary observations.
    Oddly Forgeworld’s chaos hellforged vehicles seem to have the flavour. Where they get better at eating enemies and gain wounds back for doing so as they take damage.
    The marks doing nothing is the second big WTF moment right after the horrible way that oblitorators have been altered. (loosing powerfists and the multiple weapon options does not justify the 5 point deduction they gained.)

    • I don’t mind the Oblit change, but I’m one of the few. I think their shooting profile is decent, and their loss of first makes way for Mutilators, who were previously pretty much useless in the face of Oblits. Still, it’s a big change and I get why most aren’t happy with it.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        Oblits shooting is terrible. Max range os 24″. On average they kill one Primaris per turn or one to two marines, or take two wounds off a rhino. With two shots per turn they can only kill a max of two infantry targets. With no PF they are rubbish in CC.

        So they have no function whatever and are hugely overpriced as well as unfun to use.

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