Total War: WARHAMMER III Nurgle Roster Reveal


Total War
November 23 2021

The inexorable spread of Nurgle’s forces across the world is assisted by His many plagues and diseases. However, like any other major Chaos power, there is also a swarm of daemons at His behest, skittering and marching across the battlefield. The coming of Nurgle is accompanied by the laughter and joy of smiling daemons, a tide of rolling infection that grins as it moves. They are as thoroughly without mercy as any Warhammer race, but they think they’re doing you a favour.

Long-time readers know exactly which paragraph this is – it’s the one where I tell you WARHAMMER III is still in development and things could change before release. More and more gameplay footage is becoming available, but this still isn’t the place we want to drop every little stat. It’d make the article even more massively long than it is already, for one thing. Keep the feedback coming via your preferred platforms, and enjoy a look at the forces of the Plague God.

Nurgle Legendary Lord

Ku’gath Plaguefather

Whilst other Great Unclean Ones work to spread the plagues already extant, Ku’gath, the Plaguefather, is fascinated by the breeding of new and virulent life. Ku’gath aims to one day breed a contagion that can infect the Gods themselves. The Plaguefather rides upon a massive palanquin bedecked with alchemical paraphernalia: vials full of seething powder, flasks of indescribable liquid and hessian sacks stuffed to bursting with Nurglings. This great bulk is held aloft by a carpet of straining Nurglings, and Ku’gath is attended on by countless others, all bred from the Plaguefather’s pox vats.

In battle, Ku’gath operates as the campaign’s earliest-available artillery piece, hurling explosive Nurglings across half the map to detonate in the ranks of his enemies. He’s an expert spellcaster in the Lore of Nurgle, a uniquely powerful daemon summoner who can bring more of those explosive Nurglings onto the battlefield, and one very smelly boy.

While not a titan of single combat, he is still a Great Unclean One of immense power and renown, and thus not an easy target for anyone or thing. A great leader of his armies and an inspiring figure to all those that bear the Mark of Nurgle. From atop his Nurgling Palanquin he preaches the word of his lord, inspiring all who hear it and don’t consider it the most rotten filth imaginable.

  • Lores: Lore of Nurgle
  • Mounts: None, but rides a Nurgling Palanquin as default

Nurgle Lords

Herald of Nurgle

The longer a victim can endure against Nurgle’s Rot, the greater in the Plaguelord’s sight the resulting Daemon shall be. From the souls of such hardy individuals are shaped the repulsive Heralds of Nurgle, who march in the Daemonic legions as proof positive that even the strongest and ablest cannot indefinitely defy disease. Heralds of Nurgle possess a strength and hardiness that belies their rotten frames, as well as a jovial nature somewhat at odds with the world-weary aspect of their droning minions.

  • Mounts: Nurgle Palanquin or Rot Fly
  • Lores: Lore of Nurgle or Lore of Death

Exalted Great Unclean One

In perverse contrast to his horrific appearance, the Exalted Great Unclean One is neither morbid nor consumed with despair – if anything the opposite is true. Exalted Great Unclean Ones are exuberant in the pursuit of their enthusiasms. Gregarious and curiously sentimental, they hold their followers dear and even refer to them as their ‘children’. They take great patriarchal pride in the achievements of their fellow creatures, proclaiming vociferously the splendours of the poxes and sores evinced by those around them, and bellow with hearty laughter in response to the destruction wrought in Nurgle’s name.

Each is a being of magical power near un-matched, imbuing the air itself with the necessary energy to render all around them into the fleshy slush of ravaged corpses. Within their bodies live a thousand thousand contagions unborn, as well as the flies and beasts that feed off such sickness. At a moment’s notice they can unleash this on enemy troops, buzzing distraction proving as deadly a foe as the cursed blades of the Plaguebearers.

  • Lores: Lore of Nurgle or Lore of Death

Nurgle Heroes

Cultist of Nurgle

The fell Gods of Chaos ask for total and complete devotion from their mortal followers, and they grow strong upon the conflict and slaughter they unleash. In exchange, the Ruinous Powers offer their dark blessings – gifts that make the faithful mighty indeed. The Mark of Nurgle manifests itself in a variety of disgusting afflictions. A cloud of flies accompanies its bearers, making them difficult to target.

Cultists exist to spread the corruption of their god, Nurgle’s in particular. His most devoted servants carry plagues and worse the world over, infiltrating towns and armies to use their very bodies as fuel for the spread of His glorious gifts. These Plague Cultists exist purely for that purpose, outside of the normal deployment of Cultists.

While normal Cultists can serve in battle, they are a stronger force wandering the world, spreading corruption, sabotaging enemy plans, scouting, and generally making a rotten nuisance of themselves.


Though they share many loathsome features, Plaguebearers are by no means identical in appearance and ability, for Nurgle’s Rot is somewhat variable in its virulence and incubation. Once infected, your life is over, it is simply a matter of time and final result. Those hardy individuals who may consider themselves lucky, strong enough to resist the gifts of Nurgle even, do not get the last laugh. They are shaped into the repulsive Plagueridden, who march in the Daemonic legions as proof positive that even the strongest and ablest cannot indefinitely defy disease.

They are hubs of sickness, a beacon for their allies which increases their strength or rots away enemies when they are nearby. A Plagueridden is also a caster, destroying enemies through magical infection and disease as much as physical.

  • Lores: Lore of Nurgle or Lore of Death
  • Mounts: Nurgling Palanquin or Rot Fly

Nurgle Units

Nurgle Infantry


The rotting bowels of the Great Unclean Ones swell with pus and contagion, and within each swelling there grows a tiny and malevolent Daemon called a Nurgling. Physically, they are miniature versions of Nurgle himself, with friendly mischievous faces, tiny, bloated green bodies, and limbs that are often distorted or disproportionate. When faced with an enemy they advance in a furious swarm, clawing and gnawing at the foe’s legs, biting his ankles and licking at any interesting sores or abrasions they discover.

Notable characteristics:

  • All Nurglish daemons – so everything except Forsaken and Spawn – share a couple of traits. Poison Attacks and Cloud of Flies both represent the constant sickliness and aura of disease that surrounds them. The latter increases the Melee Defence of the unit if they are in extended melee combat.
  • All daemons also share the causes fear and physical resistance traits, as well as granting immunity to terror and routing, and causing damage when Leadership drops.
  • Nurglings may deploy far out from the main force with Vanguard Deployment, because they’re good little lads. Just absolute champs.

Plaguebearers of Nurgle

The rank and file of Nurgle’s legions, crafted from the soul-stuff of mortals who have been slain by Nurgle’s Rot. What little of the Plaguebearer’s skin that can be seen beneath the discharge of innumerable sores is tinged with suppurant greens and vile browns. Pus weeps continuously from its single bloodshot eye and from the Daemon’s forehead protrudes a single horn – the mark of Nurgle’s Rot. Units of Plaguebearers are surrounded by a constant drone, created by the attendant hosts of plump black flies.

Notable characteristics:

  • What they lack in armour and skill, Plaguebearers make up for in pure strength and health. They are blobs of flesh ready to absorb the enemy and strike back.
  • In general, Nurgle’s armies are slow – the plod of an oncoming, inevitable death – and Plaguebearers are some of the slowest.
  • No matter how nicely they ask, do not hug.

Forsaken of Nurgle

Forsaken are frothing maniacs that howl and scream as they sprint pell-mell towards the enemy lines, mutated limbs flailing and distended jaws snapping like those of ravenous beasts. Though they were once proud and mighty Chaos Warriors, because of the severe mutations bestowed upon them, they have become something less than human, with no more understanding of battlefield tactics than the hounds that gather around their bone-strewn lairs. These unfortunates have been reduced to the level of animals, and snarl and growl in a guttural parody of true language.

Notable characteristics:

  • As one of the few non-daemonic units, Forsaken cover an important role in Nurgle armies as hardy and quick-moving forcecs.
  • They are in a constant frenzy, cause fear, and are immune to psychology.
  • Significantly lower melee defence and health than Plaguebearers, giving you a choice of ways to destroy your enemies.

Exalted Plaguebearers of Nurgle

It is the Plaguebearer’s eternal role to herd Nurgle’s Daemonic forces in battle, as well as keep stock of the diseases, allocate appropriate fates to each new victim, and attempt to maintain order amongst a naturally chaotic horde. These onerous duties have earned Plaguebearers the title of Nurgle’s Tallymen in popular lore. It is all but impossible to tally anything amid the chaos of battle, though this in no way discourages the Plaguebearers from their efforts. They are the embodiment of the need of mortal creatures to impose meaning upon an uncaring void.

Notable characteristics:

  • Bigger, stronger, and more powerful Plaguebearers.
  • The Exalted also sport a special ranged weapon, throwing small versions of the Death’s Head at enemies as they close. This has armour-piercing properties, but a very limited ammunition count.
  • This also poisons, like almost everything Nurgle does. This weakens speed and damage of any unit affected.

Nurgle Monsters & Beasts

Chaos Furies (Nurgle)

Furies are yowling shards of malevolent energy – Chaos in its purest form. With little in the way of intelligence, they are utterly subservient to the whims of the Dark Gods, and shift in aspect and power as the balance of the dark pantheon alters. They are easily subjugated by other Daemons, whom they regard with a mix of dread and awe. Furies swarm at the edges of the battle, avoiding the thickest fighting if they can. Only when they sight a vulnerable victim do they descend, a wailing mass from which there can be no escape.

Notable characteristics:

  • For a slow army like Nurgle, the extremely speedy Furies serve a harrying and out-flanking purpose unfulfilled by many other units.
  • Their poison attacks also mean that hit-and-run is effective for slowing down enemies and keeping them in combat for longer.
  • Useful support for Nurglings with Vanguard Deployment, as both will be killed quickly in a pitched, unit vs. unit battle.

Beast of Nurgle

The Beast of Nurgle is a truly horrendous aberration, no less deadly than it is morbidly and irrefutably ugly. Its corpulent form is both sticky and slimy, as a layer of infectious ooze seeps from its every pore and orifice. Despite its fearsome appearance and deadly attributes, the Beast is an affectionate creature that behaves in all respects exactly like an over­friendly and easily excited puppy. It craves attention, greeting newcomers by slobbering all over them and petting them with its slimy tentacles. Once the Beast’s new friend stops moving, its interest quickly shifts to another target.

Notable characteristics:

  • Regenerating flesh is weak to fire but strong to death.
  • Oozing slime in all directions even as it sits still, this magic clings to enemies and slows them down.
  • “A happy chappy.” – James Martin, game designer.

Plague Toads of Nurgle

The blackest, filth-choked lagoons and lightless sumps of the Plaguefather’s realm have served as a spawning ground to all manner of daemonic beasts and foul creatures. They are toad-like bags of brackish filth and pus whose wide maws can swallow a man whole. As well as being dragged along like pestilent flies in the wake of Chaos summonings and Daemonic incursions, these maligned Daemons are drawn to places of disease and decay in the mortal world such as the dank reaches of sewer-pits and stagnant mires, devouring the unwary that cross their path and finding sustenance in suffering and befoulment.

Notable characteristics:

  • Take the role of light cavalry or powerful war beasts from another army, though with their own unique gait and feel.
  • Will smash aside lighter units with pure body weight, giving them anti-infantry properties.
  • On the cheaper and speedier side for Nurgle.

Rot Flies

Beasts of Nurgle, perpetually disappointed by the rag-doll inactivity of their mortal playthings, develop a kernel of bitterness in their ebullient souls. Crestfallen puzzlement leads to frustration and ultimately an aching resentment of the mortals that spurn its company. Over the millennia, a thin seed of malice grows in such a Beast’s heart, feeding upon depression and angst until it throbs like a canker at the Daemon’s core. Eventually the creature within bursts out of its fleshy sac as a full-grown Rot Fly, a creature of pitiless malice hell-bent on wreaking its revenge upon an uncaring universe.

Notable characteristics:

  • A fast-moving, armour-piercing, flying unit makes a powerful Nurgle piece when combined with His other units.
  • Taking the opportunity to highlight our new flying toggle, which works as well with Rot Flies as any other flying melee unit.
  • See, see what happens when you aren’t nice to a Beast of Nurgle? Look what you did. You gave it anxiety.

Pox Riders of Nurgle

Shambolic but purposeful, where they can Plaguebearers capture and harness Plague Toads to be their mounts, stalking and squeezing them from their filth-choked lairs in the darkest cesspools of the realm of decay. These Pox Riders, as they are known, often take the vanguard of a Plaguedaemon battle line, crashing into the ranks of mortal foes like bloated cannonballs, their riders’ tainted blades slashing about them, necrotic filth and brackish blood spraying up from them as they fall, heedless of their losses.

Notable characteristics:

  • Unlikely to outpace other cavalry on over-large, infected toads, but they’ll give it their best shot.
  • Their charge is, however, no less devastating, and the addition of a flailing, droning Plaguebearer to the jaws and mass of its steed is not pleasant for Nurgle’s enemies.
  • If the unit is injured (or is still replenishing after being hired, Nurgle campaign mechanics readers), is that a frog fraction?

Spawn of Nurgle

Should Nurgle continue to pile on His dubious gifts, the recipient will devolve into a mindless, hideous creature known as a Chaos Spawn. Though the Plague God may turn His champion into a spawn if they have displeased him in some way, he is just as likely to do so simply as a result of inadvertently heaping one mutation upon another. Though their forms are repulsive, these gibbering once-men are revered by the followers of Chaos, for they believe that it is better to know the briefest and most vile of existences at the behest of the Ruinous Powers than to grow old without drawing their notice.

Notable characteristics:

  • As well as the poisonous attacks befitting any chum of Nurgle’s, Spawn of Nurgle will regenerate over time.
  • Over Nurgle’s other forces, Spawn offer a significantly higher weapon strength and speed than most troops.
  • On the flip side, their high health gels well with Nurgle’s other troops and access to various healing affects.

Plague Drones of Nurgle

High-ranking Plaguebearers are known amongst the Daemon legions as Plague Drones; a title that conveys commendable humility, yet belies the power beneath. These stewards of Nurgle’s garden ride into the mortal realm mounted upon Rot Flies – colossal Daemon-insects whose appearance is so repugnant it leaves festering scars upon the mind. From their lofty positions the Plague Drones can properly tally the diseases running rife across the battlefield, as well as swiftly intervene should Nurgle’s divine plans meet with heavily-armed resistance.

When facing the unremarkable warriors of the mortal realm, a Rot Fly will slowly digest all meat from a skull before spitting out a plague-infused death’s head that its Plaguebearer rider can hurl at the foe. Given the chance, though, Rot Flies will hunt down the impertinent mortals that slew their previous incarnations. Opening their maws wider than physical law should allow, they consume their persecutors whole.


  • Flying War Beasts
  • Death’s Heads

Notable characteristics:

  • One extra angry, bile-spewing daemon per Rot Fly adds a mixture of additional stats to the mix.
  • Death’s Head variant gives a powerful, but low ammunition, ranged attack to help to soften up targets.
  • One more for our “daemon riding a daemon” tally.

Great Unclean One

A gigantic figure bloated with decay, disease and all imaginable kinds of physical corruption, the Daemon’s skin is a necrose and leathery surface covered with pockmarks, sores and other signs of loathsome infestation. His inner organs, rank with decay, spill through the ruptured skin and hang like rotting drapes about an immense girth. From these organs burst tiny pustulant creatures called Nurglings, which chew and suck upon the nauseous juices within. Such foulness echoes the fundamental truth of the universe: whilst there is life, there will be ruin and decay, even unto the end of all things.

Notable characteristics:

  • Has access to various spells from the Lore of Nurgle, making it an all-around menace.
  • A Great Unclean One is a truly disgusting thing to face, spreading terror through the ranks of opponents as it digests them.
  • Giant armour-piercing strikes can cut through fortress doors as easily as flesh.

Nurgle Missile Monsters & Beasts

Soul Grinder (Nurgle)

When a Daemon’s physical body is slain, he can surrender his true name to the Forge of Souls. The dark bargain thus sealed, his crippled essence is bound to a mighty Warp-metal hulk. Thus is he reborn as a Soul Grinder. A Soul Grinder’s clanking tread shakes the ground with every step, and it is devilishly fast for a creature its size, able to scuttle swift as a horse’s gallop, or even faster should the scent of battle touch its nostrils. Piston-driven legs thud home with sickening force, crushing to bloody paste those beneath.

Notable characteristics:

  • The Nurgle variant of the terrifying Soul Grinder can vomit gobs of poisonous material at artillery ranges to destroy formations.
  • Maintains great melee capabilities of other variants, making it a fantastic all-rounder.
  • Other Nurgle passives make it hardier in combat too.

Spread joy and pestilence

Nurgle brings disease in every sphere, on the battlefield and off it. Weaken your enemies first, then engage them with the slow-moving but deadly plague of forces you bring.