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Age of Sigmar: The New Maggotkin ‘Diseased’ Mechanic Will Have Your Armies Practicing Social Distancing

3 Minute Read
Dec 7 2021
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This is one of those Nurgle Gifts that just keeps giving…your army mortal wounds. I hope you brought some heals.

One of the things that Games Workshop teased earlier about the new Maggotkin of Nurgle army was their new ‘Diseased’ Mechanic. Here’s what they said initially:

“The followers of the Lord of Pestilence have waited a long time for this update, but in return they’re getting some incredibly fun and thematic new abilities. The grossest is the Diseased battle trait, an army-wide ability that withers any enemy units that are nearby or that have taken damage from Diseased Weapons.”

Well today, we get a look at the mechanic…or most of it. Let’s see how this is going to work.

via Warhammer Community


So let’s break this down. At the end of BOTH the movement phase and at the end of the combat phase each enemy unit that is within 3″ of your Maggotkin of Nurgle units gets a disease point. They can’t more than 7 disease points — but that’s a lot of points. Initially they don’t do anything else…until the Battleshock Phase.

At the START of the battleshock phase, you roll a die for each disease point an enemy unit has and for each 4+ they take a 1 mortal wound. At the END of the battleshock phase you reduce the disease points on that unit by 1.


“Free Hugs!”

At least GW did mention there is a way to deal with the diseases:

“Unless infected units use healing magic or abilities, they won’t be able to shift this rot.”

So there does seem to be a bit more to this rule than what is listed above. However, we have enough information to give some initial impressions. My fear about the new Diseased battletrait was if it would be unfun to play against. I was more worried about this ability causing some other debilitating effects — like a debuff aura on enemy units. And I was also concerned about not having any good counter-play options besides “just shoot them” from across the tabletop.


At the end of the day, this ability is just more damage. It’s on a 4+ on each die. Sure, your odds increase for taking mortal wounds the more disease points you have, but it’s a 50/50 shot per die. Plus you can heal the damage and you’ll lose a point at the end of every battleshock phase.

Did they thread that needle between useless and busted? I’m not sure as we don’t know what other ‘gifts’ Nurgle has in store of us. There could be other abilities that interact with these disease points, too. But at face value it’s just more damage. And it sticks around which is more interesting than doing an extra mortal wound on their basic attacks with diseased weapons. And speaking of those…

These also got modified. They now inflict an extra disease point on the target unit when you roll a 6 to hit. This is going to be a good way to ramp up those disease points for sure.

We’ll have to wait and see what other nasty spells and abilities the Maggotkin of Nurgle are getting. But it seems like we’re off to a strong start — but smell isn’t everything!




Nurgle’s Rot returns in a new form! What do you think of the new Diseased Mechanic?

Author: Adam Harrison
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