The most diseased agents of Chaos get their own battletome in the Age of Sigmar.
Bursting forth from Nurgle’s putrid garden, the agents of disease and filth are the first army to receive a battletome in 2018. Combining the demon and moral forces of Nurgle, the battletome comes packed with lore, beautiful pictures of the models, and all the necessary rules and scenarios.
Unlike some of the earlier Battletomes, the Maggotkin of Nurgle book dedicates a large portion of it’s content to lore, even going so far as to have sections for some of the larger models and units. Personally, this is my favorite part of the book, as it really helps detail the different types of monstrous creatures in Nurgle’s armies, giving them all a unique purpose in his grand plan to bring his cycle of life and decay to all realms. Each of these sections is accompanied by beautiful artwork, properly displaying the gross infestation of Nurgle’s forces. Though it would always be nice to have more lore about Nurgle, and the Age of Sigmar in general, there is enough here to flesh out the backstory of any themed army.
The middle sections consist of the usual variety of pictures of Maggotkin models, followed by a abridged painting guide. While this painting guide is useful in that it presents several different ides for how a Nurgle army could be brought to life (even some that don’t rely entirely on pale green as a base color) the guide itself is extremely short. In a way, this is much closer to a tips and tricks section for painting than an entire guide. This is pretty standard fare for the battletomes (and to their credit, Games Workshop does have an extensive Youtube library of painting videos) but it would be nice to maybe get a few more pages of color scheme ideas and more detail on painting some of the advanced models like the Glottkin or Great Unclean One.
The final section of the book, not including the warscrolls, details all of the varied command abilities, spells, and items that Nurgle armies can now bring into battle. It also introduces two new micro-systems in the form of the Cycle of Corruption (taken from the earlier Blightwar boxed set) and the Garden of Nurgle. The Cycle of Corruption plays as a constantly advancing series of buffs for the Nurgle army, starting at a random point before the battle begins. The Garden of Nurgle introduces Contagion Points, a system by where a Nurgle force can summon in more forces, based on the forces they have in play. It’s an interesting mechanic, and one that can be combined with some of the newer units into a variety of different tactics that give Nurgle armies a little more flexibility on the table. This section also includes Path to Glory rules for heading up a Nurgle warband, and one battleplan that pits a defending army against a slowly encroaching Maggotkin force.
The book does have some inconsistencies, though, that take a few points off from it’s total score. For one, despite being listed on the back of the book as a part of the Maggotkin, the Skaven Clan Pestilens is not listed as an allowed ally for pitched battles. While this somewhat makes sense from a lore perspective (Nurgle is all about decay bringing new life, while the Great Horned Rat cares only for total ruin) it’s a head-scratching omission, especially as other sections in the book would seem to indicate the two groups have worked together before. Also, unlike previous battletomes, each unit’s warscroll is not accompanied with a picture of the unit. While the legions of Nurgle are distinct enough to identify without a guide (looking at you, Stormcast), the lack of pictures here seems like a cheap way to keep the page count low. Finally, $40 for a 104 page book is a little on the high side, even for a Games Workshop production. Despite these drawbacks though, the battletome is a solid release, and hopefully a indication of the quality Games Workshop intends to maintain in 2018.