This article was written for a previous version of the Blood Bowl rules and has some outdated information in it. You might still find it contains some useful information.
There is now an an updated Blood Bowl 2020 Second Season Nurgle Starting Rosters article.
Nurgle Starting Roster Overview:
Nurgle teams have fairly expensive players (apart from the really cheap Rotters) though none of them start with any of the core skills (Block, Dodge, Sure Hands etc.). Their rerolls are also expensive and the Rotters while cheap don’t generally have very long life spans. These factors all combine to make a Nurgle team one of the weaker or harder ones to play effectively compared to a lot of the other Blood Bowl races.
Nurgle teams are perhaps also started in more variations than a lot of other races based on the preference of the coach and what they like to have from the outset. Unfortunately Nurgle are one of those teams where you really have to make a sacrifice somewhere and can’t really start with the full compliment of what you would like.
The Pestigors tend to do most of the blitzing and ball handling work due to the limitations of the rest of the team, though taking a handful of them means dropping something else. Nurgle Warriors benefit from starting early to aid their slow development and gets you the extra strength, Foul Appearance and Disturbing Presence on the team from the outset. A Beast of Nurgle has similar benefits to the Warriors and can also tie up more opponents with its Tentacles. Rotters are really cheap and can save you cash to spend on other things but with Decay and neither Regeneration or an Apothecary access they may need replacing fairly soon. Rerolls can also go a long way to help combat the lack of the core skills, though again they cost a lot so it means less money for players.
Full Mutations TV1000 Nurgle Starting Roster:
|Quantity||Player / Item||Cost|
|1||Beast of Nurgle||140k|
This is perhaps the nearest you will come to a “standard” Nurgle starting roster. It gets the maximum amount of players at the start who have Foul Appearance and Disturbing Presence. This makes it much easier to cover the pitch with their effects and harder for the opposition to avoid. These five same players are also your five strongest and also all have Regeneration which will help with avoiding getting out numbered.
It is handy to have at least one Pestigor to do the roles as mentioned above and by just having the one you claw back a bit of the money you blew buying all five of the most expensive players. You can also then concentrate on getting a skill on this solitary Pestigor before you start purchasing more. With six players so far you need at least five Rotters to fill out the mandatory eleven players you need to start the team with. That handily leaves you with exactly the right amount left over to get two rerolls. I do like to start with more normally but there is only so much you can afford. Hopefully though with careful play and positioning you can minimise the need to use rerolls. Nurgle teams can cope fairly well with failed Blocks by the strong players too, what with their high armour and Regeneration.
Going forward an extra reroll would be nice, especially if you are struggling. If you are coping with two though then a second Pestigor would be a great addition to the team. Hopefully you will have skilled up the first Pestigor by the time you get the money as well. If you tend to struggle more with having eleven players every drive then getting a couple more Rotters as soon as you can might be the better option. Nurgle teams have a good defence, though it does rely on having more players.
Three Reroll TV1000 Nurgle Starting Roster:
|Quantity||Player / Item||Cost|
Trying to fit three rerolls onto the initial lineup requires cutting one of the more expensive players. A reroll after team creation costs the same as a Beast of Nurgle and as Big Guys tend to be somewhat unreliable that is the one most coaches probably cut. The advantages of having three rerolls over two afford you a bit more flexibility on the pitch at the trade off for more strength and those disruptive skills. Some games the trade off will be worth it, other games they won’t. It is a bit of a gamble and why starting a Nurgle team can be quite tricky.
Unfortunately doing that exchange you are 10k short of upgrading a Rotter to a second Pestigor which would have been more attractive. With an extra Rotter on the starting team, that extra money you are saving by getting the reroll to start with may end up getting lost through player injury. With no Apothecary to save for, you can either keep it towards getting more Pestigors or the Beast of Nurgle, spend it on Cheerleader and Coaches (not recommended), or perhaps upgrade one of the Warriors to the Beast of Nurgle. That last option isn’t a bad one, a Warrior is less money to save up for and perhaps despite the reliability factors the Beast of Nurgle can cause problems that a Warrior can’t.
Future purchases are either a second Pestigor, or the player you dropped to afford that extra Reroll. If your single Pestigor bit the dust then I would think replacing them is the highest priority. If you don’t then most your ball handling will be done be Rotters, they will likely get the SPP from scoring (something Nurgle don’t do a lot of) which you risk losing on your high turnover players. Another option is getting some reserves by getting a couple more Rotters like above.
TV1000 Nurgle Starting Roster Summary:
There are certainly many more options when it comes to the starting lineup for a Nurgle team, though these two or slight variations are probably the most workable. You don’t really want to start with less than two rerolls on a slow, low agility, low skilled team. Turnovers will just plague you in early games against a good coach that your chances drop substantially. On the flip side starting with more than three requires cutting players that are probably going to help you on the pitch far more than that fourth reroll would.
The other real way to go with Nurgle is to try and make use of the cheaper players to start with a deeper bench. A Nurgle team can struggle if it gets outnumbered so having reserves can be a great help. The caveat to that though is to do so requires dropping your most hard to remove players in order to free up the cash. By doing that you may be increasing the likelihood that you do lose players and become outnumbered. Even worse though is that those injuries mean those players need replacing, though you are trying to save up the cash to afford those more expensive players that you started without. It also weakens your team on the pitch and those players you need to drop are also slow to develop. This is why I’ve not outlined an option for this, it may work, though I don’t think it is your best way forward.