Rotten Good Fun – by Guy Haley
Hi there! I’m Guy Haley, Black Library quill-goblin.
If you know anything about my hobby preferences, you’ll know me as a greenskin player. But I’ve some big love for another range of Games Workshop’s models, and that’s the followers of Nurgle.
By all rights I should be repelled by Papa’s finest, because, you know, they are pretty disgusting with all the guts and the ick and the boils, but there’s a mass of charm to the diseased little fellows. Every time I pick up a new Nurgle model, I get a sense of infectious (arf! arf! Argh!) enthusiasm, as if the Citadel design team really enjoyed making them as disgusting as possible. And boy, do they do a fine job of that.
As you might expect, background is a big part of the hobby for me, and I find Nurgle’s really quite cool, dripping with diseased pus and slobber as it is. He’s got a real duality thing going on, the god of life as much as of death, of morbid joy as well as morbidities. He’s all about the freedom from suffering through embracing it, kind of like a massively twisted Buddhist, if you like. You can see how people, trapped in desperate circumstances, might turn to him only to horribly regret it.
At the moment, Age of Sigmar is my absolute fave game, with simple base rules but an admirable depth of complexity, so I’ll talk about my Putrid Blightkings force.
I play every week, the tiresome business of being a grown up permitting, mostly scenarios either utilising the open or match play rules. Or a mixture. That’s another great thing about Age of Sigmar. Wargaming is fundamentally a creative, open hobby, but AoS encourages digression from the rules.
Here’s the army I’ve been running the last few sessions. We play in the evening, so we don’t go for huge battles, though we always succumb to the temptation to add in a few more units! My opponent and I rarely have completely equal points, we just find match play a good way to hit a fair-ish balance in-game, as well as helping us judge how long a game will last. I don’t play competitively. We’re all about the fun here, you know.
The Blightkings usually get divided into two or three units, and no, I don’t pay extra points as the book says I should for understrength groups. Fie on that. Beastmen come and go. Sometimes I’ll take Chaos Warriors of Knights and a Chaos Sorcerer instead. The important thing is to have a second wizard…
Nurgle armies have staying power, but little in the way of hard-edged killiness. My tactic is to pile on the magic and the mortal wounds. I tend to use the Lord of Plagues’ Grandfather’s Gift command ability to give Nurgle’s Rot to either my Spawn or a unit of Blightkings. Although both the Blightkings’ Virulent Discharge and Nurgle’s Rot cause D3 wounds to enemy units only on a roll of 6, once you get a lot of units with those abilities among the enemy, you are bound to cause multiple plaguey deaths during the course of the game.
Bloab’s Miasma of Pestilence spell is a killer. Literally. It causes D3 mortal wounds to a unit on a roll of 2+ in every phase they are wounded. The trick is to make sure your target takes damage in every single phase, so after Bloab does the dirty, so to speak, I’ll loose off a mystic bolt from Wizard Two, have Bilespurter vomit on them in the shooting phase, and make sure I batter them in combat. It’s very good against my pal’s Blood Warriors, as killing them in phases other than combat stops them fighting back. Cunning eh? And (un)naturally, you can’t fault the Blightkings’ Blighted Weapons for causing a ton of damage.
Painting is a big part of the hobby for me. I always have to be doing something, and painting allows me to be creative but use a different part of my brain to the over-taxed bit that does all the writing. I paint three or four times a week, and always paint to the best of my ability. It takes me forever to paint an army, but hey, it’s all about the journey.
My first unit of Putrid Blightkings. They took a long time to paint, but they were great fun. Usually I paint from a brown basecoat, but with these I went for white. I won’t be doing that again. Brown saves lots of time with models that have a lot of leather or wood. It is more forgiving if you miss a bit in some inaccessible place, which can be a problem with the marvellously three dimensional nature of modern miniature sculpts.
Bloab himself. Another fun model to paint, until I did the flies, that is. I painted all the eyes and all the wings one at a time. I still have nightmares about it.
Now I’ve a feel for the Blightkings, I’ve basecoated (in brown, do it in brown!) the next ten. This one is waiting for painting, but I thought I’d show off this minor conversion. There isn’t an empty hand on the Blightkings frame to go with this double handed axe, and I used the tentacle arm on my bell ringer (he has all the bells!). When I undercoated this chap he had another axe in his right hand, but I wasn’t happy he’d be able swing that massive chopper he has on his shoulder. I’m all about the realism. Swapping it with this hand cut off a Spawn component made me happy. A bit of Green Stuff fattened up the wrist.
As you can see, I’ve left the base more or less bare. In the past I’ve glued sand down, before undercoating as I like to paint the base as part of the model – I hated getting glue and sand on my lovely figures. I’m mad keen on the new texture paints, and have taken to using Agrellan Earth a lot. I’ve got Agrellan Badlands on my shopping list.
When he’s not busy adding to his Blightkings army, Guy can often be found writing words for the Black Library: