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Plague Fleet (1993), p22-23 — Nurgle Plagueship

Plagueships of Nurgle are hideous to behold. They are huge, rotund vessels lashed together from mildew-ridden, slimy planking. They fly vast, ragged and rotting sails from their uneven and splintered masts. Their great treadwheels lazily churn the sea as they plod forward under a cloud of flies.

Behind them, the Plagueships leave a trail of disgusting detritus, polluting the sea and killing fish for miles around. Cackling Chaos Spawn and Nurglings swarm over their slippery, rotten decks. The stench of a Plagueship passing causes even the strongest stomach to retch as the foul smell of this immense tub-like vessel drifts downwind.


A Plagueship can move under sail or by paddle. At the start of the Battle Phase, you must declare which method of propulsion each Plagueship in your fleet is using this turn.

A Plagueship moving under sail uses the normal rules that govern sailing ships. It has a standard move rate of 6" under sail, whether the wind is from abeam or astern.

A Plagueship moving by paddle uses the following rules. It may move 4" per turn. It may use half its move to make a single turn on the spot up to 90°, or use all of its move and make a single 180° turn.

Plague Catapults

Plague Catapults are the principal weapons onboard a Plagueship. They are loaded down with plague-spores, excrement, rotting material and the infectious filth of decay. When fired, these disgusting weapons swing through a lazy arc and despatch their foul, diseased payloads towards their enemy.

A Plague Catapult may not be fired at close range because of its angle of fire. Shots made at ships within this range band simply pass straight over the target's masts and have no effect. This means that ships at close range may block line of sight to targets farther away, but are not themselves eligible targets.

It must always be aimed high - you cannot target a low location on the target ship. If the target has no high or low locations, like an Imperial Wargalley for instance, any of its locations may be shot at.

If a location is hit and fails its saving throw, it takes one point of damage and the plague spores crash down to the location below, just like a normal catapult.

This second location also gets a saving throw, adding +1 to the dice roll because of the diminished penetrating power of the shot. If this location fails it also takes one point of damage and the spores continue down. This process continues until a location makes its save or the shot passes straight through the ship, adding +1 to the saving throw each time a new location is damaged.

If the shot passes through an area that has already been destroyed the area does not take a critical, the shot just passes straight through to the location below.

If there is a choice between two locations as the shot falls roll a dice; on a 1, 2, or 3 the shot hits the left-hand area, on a 4, 5 or 6 the shot hits the right-hand area.

Once a successful shot has completed its path of destruction and has come to a stop, roll a second dice; on a result of 5 or 6, even if no damage has been caused, the ship has been infected with Nurgle's Rot - place a Nurgle's Rot counter on the top of the ship's template, next to the crew stack.

Nurgle's Rot Counters

During the End Phase, between rolling for blazes spreading and moving stragglers, the Chaos player rolls a dice on the following table for each Nurgle's Rot counter.

1-2The frenzied efforts of the ship's surgeon to contain the spread of the disease pay off. Remove one Nurgle's Rot counter from the infected ship.
3The plague has no effect this turn.
4-5The plage runs riot through the crew, incapacitating them. Remove one crew counter from the infected ship.
6The ship's hold creaks as it begins to decay. The infected ship takes one point of below the waterline damage.

Slime Trail

As the Plagueships of Nurgle plod across the seascape, they leave a stinking trail of foetid slime behind them. When the Plagueship has finished moving, lay the slime trail template behind it. The slime trail template remains in place until the Plagueship moves again.

The enemy player must roll a dice for any ship touching the slime trail template; on a score of 1, 2, or 3, the ship is infected - place a Nurgle's Rot counter on its template.

Boarding Actions

Any ship involved in a boarding action against a Plagueship must place one Nurgle's Rot counter on its own template for every round of combat it remains in contact with the Plagueship.