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Plague Fleet (1993), p24-25 — Nurgle Plaguecrushers

Nurgle Plaguecrushers are bizarre-looking vessels. They are loosely based on a Wargalley's hull, but have a huge siege tower sticking up from the central deck, built from whatever rotting and diseased timbers can be found.

The Chaos Cultists that serve aboard these vessels are protected by this tower from grapeshot and arrows as they close with the enemy fleet. Once in range, the slime-dripping Plague Catapults mounted at the top of the tower lob their filth-laden missiles towards their targets, spreading disease and pestilence wherever they strike.


A Plaguecrusher can move under both sails and paddles.

Under sail, a Plaguecrusher can move 6" whether the wind is coming from the side or from behind.

Under paddles, a Plaguecrusher can move 6". It can use 3" of this movement allowance to make a single turn of up to 90° on the spot, or use all 6" to make a single 180° turn on the spot. A Plaguecrusher may move 3" backwards instead of making its normal move. It may use the normal turn template if you want.


Each Plaguecrusher is armed with two Plague Catapults mounted on a boarding tower firing straight ahead.

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. Because they are mounted at the top of a tower, the Plague Catapults on a Plaguecrusher may ignore any vessels in the first 3" of the firing template; they do not block line of sight to other vessels.

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.

Plague 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 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.

Boarding Actions

Every round, place one Nurgle's Rot counter on the template of any ship involved in a boarding action against a Plaguecrusher.

Plague Tower

Because the Plague Tower protects the Chaos Cultists onboard, any ship boarded by the crew of a Plaguecrusher does not get any bonus for firing grapeshot in defence.

Crew and Chaos Rewards

A Plaguecrusher is crewed by Chaos Cultists; see the Chaos Crews section for more details.

A Plaguecrusher may only be given Chaos Rewards of Nurgle. See the Chaos Rewards section for more details.