The oft-maligned Beast of Nurgle, is a situational specialty unit, with an unfortunate model. I think you would agree that the Forgeworld Renegade Ogryn models serve as suitable proxies.
As I have said before on this blog, the Forgeworld Renegade Ogryn models are among my favorite miniatures of all time. My first experience working with these figures, was during the creation of the Nurgle branch of my Chaos Daemons army. The barbed-wire and shorn flesh aesthetic that I was going for, did not mesh well with the “melted Snickers bar” appearance of the standard GW Beast of Nurgle model. I had been enamored with the Forgeworld Renegade Ogryn models for quite a while, and decided that this would be a good opportunity to paint a few.
On this “lead” model, I have added the top hatch of a 2nd edition Rhino model, complete with bullet holes, and a barb-wired trophy. I like the idea of this beast trudging across the battlefield, soaking up fire with not only his considerably size, but also his make-shift shield.
The remaining models were presented in a fairly standard fashion, with my Nurgle paint-scheme. The only real shift took place in the basing portion of the models. In order to replicate the profile of the GW Beast of Nurgle, I needed to make sure these Ogryn were on the correct sized bases, as well as standing appropriately tall. To build up the bases, I made a pile of extra square bases (take that, Warhammer Fantasy!) I had lying around. I pinned the Ogryn to the upper part of this pile, then used lightweight spackle to fill the mound in, and create a smooth surface to add sand and flock to. This evened out the slope on the large round bases, and gave these figures the height they needed to suitably recreate the profile of a “real” Beast of Nurgle.
While it is true that this blog of mine is primarily concerned with the hobby aspect of miniature gaming, I thought that this entry could use a brief gaming discussion. The Beast of Nurgle unit is often called one of the worst units in Warhammer 40k. I personally do not agree with this. When I run my Nurgle Daemons as a mono-god list, I think that Beasts have an important role to play. Naturally, a Nurgle mono-god list is going to be centered around Epidemius, and his tally special rule. The more damage your Nurgle daemons do over the course of the game, the more powerful they become. If this rule is allowed to snowball, a Nurgle Daemon army can become almost unstoppable. Unfortunately, Nurgle daemons are often hamstrung by the fact that they are slow, and also by the fact that they typically only have one attack each. A 15 point plaguebearer only has one attack. Consider though, that a Beast of Nurgle has d6 attacks (plus one for charging), and is 35 points. That means that for the cost of 2 plaguebearers, plus 5 additional points, you have a 3+ chance of getting far more bang for your buck. Suddenly, the small number of attacks is less of an issue. I have seen my 3 model unit of Beasts rip apart Carnifexes, Wraithlords, and even Nob Bikers. While I would never advocate taking this unit in any army other than an Epidemius list, if you are already planning on running with the tallyman, the unit certainly has its place.
Anyway, I should stop talking tactics and get back to doing what I do well. Now where did I put my pin vice…