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Citadel Journal 12

Nurgle War Altar

Nurgle War Altar

David Cain is the current Warhammer world champion and recently he travelled down from Scotland to the studio to play a brilliant battle against Gordon Davidson which appeared as a battle report in White Dwarf 190. David brought with him his converted Leman Russ, the Nurgle War Altar. Yes there is a Leman Russ underneath all those Nurglings!

As you can see the Nurgle War Altar looks absolutely brilliant, so we simply could not resist showing all you Journal readers what David spends his spare time doing and provide rules for this new Chaos toy at the same time. You can find rules for the Nurgle War Altar on page 10.

Armed with the deadly rot launcher and the vomit spray cannon and those trusty weapons of war the lascannon and the battle cannon, the Nurgle War Altar is ready to roll!

There are a multitude of miniature parts that have been used to make this stunning tank. Answers on a postcard if you can name them all; no not you David!

Nurgle War Altar

p10-12 — Nurgle War Altar

Unique amongst the Chaos Gods, Nurgle takes great amusement in the petty effigies that are constructed in his honour. His gaze will dwell a while on such constructions and as such they act as a beacon to all followers and worshippers of Nurgle.

On the war torn battlefields of the 41st Millennium, such War Altars are found built onto the backs of vehicles to allow the priests of Nurgle to spread disease and pestilence over a wide area. Most commonly, Nurgle's followers utilise tanks so that the Priest gains a measure of protection from the vehicle's imposing firepower. A captured Leman Russ is a particular favourite although any vehicle the cultists have will suffice.

The Nurgle War Altar in 40K

The War Altar can only be included in the Chaos army if it includes at least two squads of Nurgle orientated troops (Nurgle Space Marines and/or squads led by a Champion of Nurgle, not Daemons however). The War Altar is a unique vehicle and as such cannot be further enhanced by the addition of further vehicle cards.

High Priest Rancidguts

Rancidguts has been the High Priest of Nurgle for more than eight hundred years having risen from a lowly cult member to his powerful position. Rancidguts has been gifted with the Throne of Nurgle which is mounted on his captured Leman Russ, Plaguefury.

The High Priest of Nurgle is a level 2 psyker and as such gets 2 psychic powers. He is equipped with flak armour and is armed with a laspistol and carries two Wargear cards which are force rod and the throne of Nurgle.

War Altar: The effects of the slime on the altar platform and the presence of flies and Nurglings make hand to hand combat with the Priest fraught with difficulties. Any would be attackers must first bypass the Rancid Appendages (see below) and can then choose to attack the Leman Russ or the High Priest himself.

The altar acts as the focal point for psychic energy and helps to fortify the link between warp space and the physical presence of Daemons. For this reason the High Priest can draw D3 extra warp cards after the cards for the psychic phase have been dealt.

Divine Influence: Followers of Nurgle take heart when the War Altar accompanies them to battle because they sense their deity watching over them. To represent this the following special rules apply to all troops within 6" of the Nurgle War Altar.

Any Nurgle Daemons within 6" of the altar at the start of the Chaos player's turn have a 3+ daemonic save for the entire turn instead of the normal 4+ roll.

Any followers of Nurgle (Nurgle Space Marines or squads led by a Nurgle Champion) within 6" of the altar at the start of the Chaos player's turn roll on the table below. Just roll once and apply the results to all the followers within 6". The effects last for a complete turn; i.e.: until the end of the opponent's turn.

Nurgle War Altar Divine Influence Table
1Troops can do nothing as they stand in holy reverence of the altar.
2With their belief in Nurgle bolstered, troops can reroll any Ld tests.
3Troops count as having Ld of 10.
4Troops gain an additional +1 to attack strength in hand to hand combat.
5Troops count as being frenzied.
6Troops gain a +1 modifier to their Toughness.

If the War Altar is destroyed or the Priest is killed each individual Nurgle Daemon within 6" must pass a Ld test or be immediately banished back to the warp. For the remainder of the turn and the following turn, those Nurgle Daemons which survived this test only receive a 5+ Daemonic aura save. After this the save returns to normal. Nurgle troops within 6" must pass a break test (on their normal Ld) or will be broken.

Rancid Appendages

The armoured surface of the Leman Russ is no longer recognisable as it is covered with slime, welts, power saws, poisoned whips, tentacles and rotating blades. In addition monstrous creatures and daemonic entities burst forth from its rotting armour slashing and biting.

The total effects of these appendages are 4 fold.

Ablative Armour: The mechanical and living protusions from the rotting surface of the tank act to absorb the energy of incoming shots. As such the first hit to penetrate the armour is completely ignored.

Causes Terror: The tank/altar causes Terror. Therefore troops wishing to charge the altar must pass a Terror test to do so.

Poisoned Blades: In hand to hand combat with the tank, attackers must roll under their Initiative characteristic to avoid the poisoned blades. If they pass the test they can attack the priest or the tank. If they fail the Initiative test they suffer an automatic strength 4 hit from the poisoned blades with an armour save at -1. They are pushed away from the tank and cannot attack this turn.

Nurgle's Rot: Any non-Nurgle aligned models (not vehicles) coming into contact with the tank contract Nurgle's Rot. At the end of each turn roll on the Nurgle's Rot table below for each affected model. Armour saves do not apply unless it is enclosed armour such as Power armour, Terminator armour or Eldar Aspect armour.

Nurgle's Rot Table
1-2The disease is killed off by the immune system.
3-4Disease dormant. No effect this turn. Roll again next turn.
5Nurgle's Rot begins to spread. Lose 1 Wound. Roll again next turn if still alive.
6Disease rampant. Lose D3 Wounds. Roll again next turn if still alive.

Sponson mounted weapons

The sponson mounted heavy bolters found in the normal Leman Russ are frequently mutated to give more pestilence orientated firepower.

Vomit spray cannon: (Looks remarkably like an Epic Titan rocket launcher!)

Use the heavy flamer template. This can be placed anywhere within the normal 180 degree fire arc with the narrow end touching the cannon. Anybody under the template is automatically hit and anyone partially under is hit on a 4+.

Those affected suffer a Strength 3 hit with no armour save allowed.

Rot launcher: (a striking familiarity to the Epic Mega Gargant mega cannon!)

The launcher has a range of 30". A 2" template is placed at the point of impact. Anybody under the template is hit automatically and anybody partially under is hit on a 4+. Those affected have now contracted Nurgle's Rot. Place a Nurgle's Rot counter beside them and at the end of each turn roll on the Nurgle's Rot table above for each affected model.

High Priest Rancidguts4665625210

High Priest Rancidguts100
Force Rod15
Throne of Nurgle28
Leman Russ War Altar345

Attacking the War Altar: When you attack the War Altar in hand to hand combat you may choose to hit either the Leman Russ or High Priest Rancidguts. Attacks are worked out as normal except that Rancidguts may add an extra +1 to his combat score due to sitting on the Throne of Nurgle which is a lot higher than where the attackers will be.

If the War Altar is hit by a shot then roll for location as normal. If the shot hits the Throne of Nurgle then the blast has hit the throne's Conversion Field. If the shot gets through this energy field then it will strike the High Priest Rancidguts. Roll to wound him as normal. If the High Priest is killed the Throne of Nurgle will no longer provide protection from psychic powers from the psychic field.

Making your own Nurgle War Altar

If you choose to make your own Nurgle War Altar remember to try and keep it simple and add the details later. The use of milliput is essential for making models such as this where a lot of filling is required.

I myself do not know what all the bits David used on this fabulous model are but here're a few bits I do know of. A Leman Russ battletank kit, Throne from Nurgle Palanquin, Greater Daemon of Nurgle, an Epic Titan rocket launcher, a Mega Gargant mega cannon, a scattering of Nurglings and anything else that you really like. All of these parts are available from those helpful chaps from mail order.

You Nurgle War Altar does not have to be mounted on a Leman Russ. It could be on a Rhino or Predator, whichever takes your fancy.

p12 — Throne of Nurgle — 28 Points

The Throne of Nurgle incorporates a Conversion Field and a psychic field. The Conversion Field protects those seated in the throne from incoming shots and the psychic field protects the Throne and the War Altar it is mounted upon from the attentions of enemy Psykers. The Conversion Field gives a 4+ unmodifiable save against all shots which hit the Throne and the psychic field will nullify all psychic powers directed at the war altar on a roll of 4+.

High Priest of Nurgle Only

In the background exposition below, the Norscan city is spelled as "Averhiem" in the original source, but I have altered this to "Averheim" on the assumption that the original is a typo.

Plaguestrangler Vilestench upon a Palanquin of Nurgle

p36-39 — Nurgle Palanquin

The scourge of Chaos

For thousands of years the forces of Chaos have ravaged the lands of Warhammer bringing death and destruction wherever they go. Vile beasts and Daemons do the work of the Chaos Gods who seek to destroy, to corrupt and change the peoples of the world and bring about the downfall of life itself. All over the world secret clandestine meetings take place to worship the Chaos Gods and these are the beginnings of a Chaos infestation in the Old World. Only an ever vigilant watch can keep them at bay.

The Chaos gods are extremely powerful and the four most potent form the biggest threat to mankind in the history of its existence. They bicker constantly, fighting over the spoils of Warhammer as a child fights for sweets. In times of need the Chaos Gods will work together to further advance the power of Chaos but will soon go back to fighting for supremacy. Only time will tell if the Chaos Gods' cosmic game will cost the lives of all humanity, or not.


Let the air turn stale and foetid, let the flies gather like clouds. Let us worship the master of the plague, Nurgle! Nurgle! Nurgle!
— Nurgle cult incantation

Nurgle - The Great Lord of Decay, the Plague God. Nurgle's fascination lies in the lepers and plague ridden people of the world. For amusement Nurgle seeds the world with deadly contagions and plagues such as the nauseating Red Pox and the incurable Nurgle's Rot. Nurgle's power grows strong when his plagues are epidemic upon the good folk of Warhammer, and wanes with the fading of them. Nurgle is a bloated Chaos God whose foul appearance is only matched by the rank stench of decay which surrounds him. His body is green and leathery and covered in running sores and boils. The absolute foulness of Nurgle is beyond description by mere words.

The Greater Daemon of Nurgle, the Great Unclean One is similar in appearance to Nurgle himself; its organs hang outside its body and minor Daemons crawl over the Great Unclean One's body chewing and drinking the foul juices which lie therein.

Plaguebearers are lesser Daemons which carry Nurgle's Rot to the Warhammer world from the Realm of Chaos; their Plagueswords drip with venomous slime which rots and festers in the wounds of those unlucky enough to survive an encounter with them.

Beasts of Nurgle are gigantic slug like Daemons which leave a deadly slime behind them. The Beast's paralysing attacks leave victims stunned and when they reawaken they wish they were dead. The smallest Daemons of all, Nurglings, are miniature images of Nurgle himself, rotund and bloated. Nurglings are weak alone but when they group together they can prove to be a huge writhing mass of annoying and distracting little sods. Like a sea of green corruption biting and chewing at enemies' feet and ankles, Nurglings are in fact capable of overwhelming an overconfident opponent.

Nurgle Palanquins

Each Chaos God gifts his Champions with special rewards. Khorne for example may reward a champion for particularly impressive kills upon the field of battle and will gift him a suit of blood red armour. Nurgle will reward his champions with diseases and plagues but sometimes Nurgle's champions deserve more and for these special champions Nurgle reserves his most powerful reward - Nurgle's Palanquin.

Nurgle's Palanquin is a throne of putrid vileness carried aloft upon a litter which is borne by Nurglings. Nurgle's champion sits upon the throne and commands awe and respect from the lesser warriors under his command. Very few champions are considered worthy of a palanquin and those that are must be favoured warriors indeed.

One such champion is Plaguestrangler Vilestench who single handedly defeated over three score of High Elves in single combat. He was responsible for the destruction of Averheim, a city in Northern Norsca, in only one day. Plaguestrangler has lived for over three thousand years and has risen to fame amongst the ranks of Chaos, having started life as a lowly cult fanatic.

Vilestench's most memorable feat, and the one that earned him the Palanquin, was when he began the Black Fever in the town of L'anguille. Plaguestrangler sailed his Plaguefleet to Brettonia, some five hundred years ago, and passed the plague onto some local peasants and farmers who walked to the Brettonian port and began an epidemic of the deadly contagion. Vilestench defeated several Brettonian armies before Nurgle decided it was time for him to leave and return to the Realm of Chaos to collect his reward. Since then Plaguestrangler Vilestench has commanded great respect from those who fight for him and has become a feared sight upon the battlefields of the Warhammer world.

Plaguestrangler now commands an army which is storming down from the North towards the Chaos Dwarf city of Huzkuluk and the High Pass across the Worlds Edge Mountains into the Empire. If Vilestench were to reach the lands of Kislev there might be another plague infestation in the city of Praag for Nurgle to gloat over the other Chaos Gods with.

Plaguestrangler Vilestench: Champion of Nurgle

If you choose Plaguestrangler Vilestench to be your army general then he replaces the general given in the army list from Warhammer Armies: Chaos.

Plaguestrangler Vilstench305
Plague Sceptre of Nurgle100
Nurgle's Cloud of Flies30
Nurgle's Palanquin90

The profile (below) includes the Nurgle Palanquin, the Nurglings which bear it and Plaguestrangler who rides upon the Palanquin in battle. This is to make things easy to find in the heat of the game.


Weapons/Armour: Plaguestrangler wears Heavy Armour and is armed with a Sword and the Plague Sceptre of Nurgle. Vilestench's profile has had the +1 Toughness attributed from being a Champion of Nurgle already included.

Rides: Plaguestrangler rides to battle upon the mighty Nurgle Palanquin (see below).

Magic Items: Plaguestrangler is a Chaos Lord and as such may have three magic items or Chaos Rewards. These must always be the Magic Item Plague Sceptre of Nurgle and the Chaos Rewards: Nurgle's Palanquin and Nurgle's Cloud of Flies.

Special Rule: Noisome Stench. Plaguestrangler has not washed since he was twelve years old and as such has attracted a rather nasty smell over the last few centuries. The stench is so bad that it can knock out opponents if Vilestench gets close enough.

When Plaguestrangler is in combat with a unit all enemy in base to base contact with him must roll a dice. This dice roll is made before any other attacks. On the roll of 1 they are knocked out by his Noisome Stench and cannot attack this turn. They will not count as casualties but they can only be attacked by the Nurglings this turn.

Nurgle's Palanquin Special Rules

Causes Fear: Nurgle's Palanquin is a disgusting and obscene object to look upon and as such it causes fear. Foes charged or wishing to charge the Palanquin must first pass a fear test otherwise they will break and flee, or will be unable to charge.

March Moves: The Nurgle Palanquin may not make a march move and therefore can only move 4" per turn. This may be doubled to 8" when the Palanquin charges.

Daemonic Animosity: The Nurglings are subject to Daemonic Animosity. They must test for Daemonic Animosity if there are Daemons from a rival Chaos God within 12" at the start of the Chaos players and they are not in combat. They may test using Plaguestrangler's Leadership characteristic. See Warhammer Armies: Chaos for more details.

War Altar: The Nurgle Palanquin is a huge inspiration for Chaos troops in battle. All Nurgle units within 6" of the Palanquin are immune to all psychology tests and may add +1 to break tests.

Hits from ShootingHits from Hand to Hand

Distributing Damage: When the Palanquin is hit in hand to hand combat or shooting then roll a die for each hit and consult the relevant table above to determine where the blow has landed.

After you have determined where the hit will land then roll to wound as normal. If the Palanquin is reduced to 0 Wounds it is destroyed and the Nurglings which bear it will be crushed beneath its falling debris. If the Nurglings are reduced to 0 Wounds then they are killed and the Palanquin may no longer move. Vilestench may leave the Palanquin if either the Nurglings or the Palanquin are destroyed and move independently. If Plaguestrangler Vilestench is killed then Nurgle will be most displeased and take his gift, Nurgle's Palanquin, away from the earthly plane of existence; remove the model from the table.

p39 — Magic Spell — 100 Points: Plague Sceptre

The Plague Sceptre of Nurgle bears hideous markings and its metallic surface is etched with plague encrusted sigils of contagionic power. Locked deep inside the sceptre is a spell of disease and destruction.

Each magic phase anyone bearing the sceptre may unleash this spell upon a unit within 12". Place a plague counter next to the unit; they are now the victims of Nurgle's Black Fever. The affected unit will suffer D6 strength 4 hits this turn. If the spell is not dispelled by the next magic phase then the unit will suffer 2D6 strength 4 hits, and if the spell is still in play the turn after that the unit suffers 3D6 strength 4 hits and so on until the spell is dispelled or the enemy unit is dead. Any unit except Nurgle units which move into contact with the victims will also contract Black Fever.

Champion or Sorcerer of Nurgle Only

p39 — Chaos Reward — 90 Points: Nurgle's Palanquin

The Chaos Champion has received Nurgle's highest gift, the Nurgle Palanquin. Nurgle's Palanquin is a putrescent throne upon which the Chaos Champion sits carried aloft by Nurglings into the thick of battle. The Chaos Champion upon the Palanquin commands great respect and awe from his followers.

The Nurgle Palanquin has a Toughness of 7 and can sustain 3 wounds before being destroyed. The Nurgle Palanquin is borne by Nurglings which have the same profile as that given in Warhammer Armies: Chaos. The Nurgle Palanquin causes Fear (see Citadel Journal issue 12 for more details on Nurgle's Palanquin).

Champion or Sorcerer of Nurgle Only