Short Daemons Tactica: Plague Drones

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Buboes, phlegm, blood and guts! Boils, bogeys, rot and pus! Blisters, fevers, weeping sores! From your wounds the fester pours.

My look at units from the Daemons codex continues with Nurgle Plague drones. A hefty price tag comes with these flying carriers of death, but its worth it due to the speed and flexibility they can bring to an otherwise pretty slow force.

The big surprise starts with the stats. Though they come with the standard low Initiative, Weapon and Ballistic Skill of most Nurgle Daemons, Toughness 5 with multiple wounds and attacks more than makes up for it. Along with this, they are Jetpack Cavalry, which means that nothing will be slowing them down and if they choose to Deepstrike in, they can avoid being pie plated to death by using their free assault move.

Plague Drones painted by DeathShadowSun from DeviantArt.

Having a few attacks each and actual delivery system means their plagueswords can be used to target units that they can be used effectively against, rather than hoping for the best and taking it as it comes like you would with Plaguebearers. Take a Plaguebringer with a cheap Etherblade and equip one of the unit with a Plague Banner and watch your opponent do a double take as you cause 4, AP2 attacks wounding on a 2+ along with a bunch more poisoned attacks to follow! It’s perfect for an assassination run on an Independent Character or Monstrous Creature, as the wounds and toughness of the unit champion should allow you to shrug off most attacks.

Alternatively, you can take Death’s Heads, which give them a nice ranged poisoned attack that you can use to weaken more powerful units before moving in for the kill.

One word of caution though. Despite their seemingly impressive toughness and wound characteristic, with only a daemonic invulnerable save and Shrouded to protect them, don’t expect them to last long against really tough or numerous units. They are the definition of a glass hammer, being able to dish out the hurt for a turn or two before losses make them pretty ineffective. Advance carefully up the battlefield (or if you can, deep strike them behind cover then can jump over the following turn) and pick your target well.

Larger games you can afford to have massive units of them, but in a smaller game of 1,000-1,500 points, a unit of 6 is going to be well into the 250 points range, so its a big investment and you will have to think long and hard about how to use them effectively. 

All in all, Plague Drones provide a Nurgle force with something it really needs, which is speed, flexibility and a nasty combat bite against heavy infantry and power armoured opponents in a pinch. For that, they are sure to be your opponents top priority. With good reason too – once your opponent experiences what Plague Drones can do, it won’t be an experience they will be happy to repeat.

Artwork by Les Edwards

Plague Drones are available from Firestore Games for £31.50

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